Bill Morrissey at Slate's, Hallowell, Maine, October 12, 1998

Date:          Tue, 13 Oct 1998 16:12:00 -0400
Subject:       Drive-by Shouting in Hallowell, ME

Hello all,

Last evening (Monday, October 12) I had the pleasure of seeing Bill at one of my favorite clubs, Slate's in Hallowell, Maine, about 4 miles from Augusta. I've played there before and seen many fine performers there and am always amazed how the tiny place, a restaurant that seats about 50 in its main room, always invites a performer to do his/her best.

When my friend and I arrived for dinner, Bill was sound-checking the room with the Slate's soundman and, after a bit of tweaking, seem happy with the sound. He mentioned that the clarity in the room was nothing like the bass kickback in the stage area, but managed to get the monitor adjusted to his liking.

Bill went on at 8:15 for a substantial, casual and appreciative crowd. He has added some truly hilarious banter to his stock of stories, one about watching "Angry Red Planet" in a hotel room a few weeks before, and another about playing in a town whose claim to fame is Bob Dylan's childhood summer camp. Of course he included Texan Shakespeare and a reading from Edson.

He also announced (for anyone who doesn't know) that he has finished an album of Mississippi John Hurt songs in New Orleans with some of the same musicians who played on his last CD. He played three from that as well as a new tune from his friend, Peter Keane (whose CDs are also well worth the investment!).

The ample set list ran as follows:

1)  Man From Out of Town
2)  Different Currency
3)  Letter from Heaven
4)  Inside
5)  Long Gone
6)  Avalon (a M.J.H. song)
7)  Motels + Planes
8)  John Haber
9)  Pantherville (Bill subtitled this one "Luka Goes to Millinocket")
10) Monday In Hallowell (particularly hilarious improv!)
11) As Long As the Sun
12) Robert Johnson
13) You Don't Want Me (another M.J.H.)
14) Winter Laundry
15) Another Kind of Blue (Peter Keane)
16) Birches 
17) Up On the C.P. Line
18) These Cold Fingers
Encores included:
19) Funky Butt (the 3d M.J.H. song)
20) Grizzly Bear

Bill appeared very comfortable with the atmosphere and audience. In the dozen or so times I've seen him in the past few years I have to say he has never sounded better or seemed to enjoy himself more than last night. As usual, he spoke after the show to members of the audience. I overheard quite a few people mention in passing how exceptional he was.

Too bad more people on this list weren't within driving distance of Slate's ... you all missed one great show!

Vic Leclerc