• 02-04-2006, 08:38 AM
    Hyfi
    So, I met Al Stewart last night....
    Last night was the concert for the New Hope-Lambertville annual WinterFest. The performer was Al Stewart along with a great backing guitarist named Dave Nachmanoff. We had VIP tickets that included an open bar and food before the show at a restaurant close by. Shuttle bus included for the tipsy.

    We picked up our tickets at the little High School auditorium and Al was warming up and doing his sound check. Sounded great through the closed doors. He showed up at the VIP event for an hour before the show. Everyone there got to talk with him and take pictures. Duh'Oh, I forgot my camera.

    The show was awesome. We were dead center in the 5th row with nobody in front of us. The sound in this 5 year old auditorium is more acoustically correct that most venues. Outrageous for a High School. His backing guitar player performed 3 songs of his own before Al came on. Good for a Singer Song Writer because he could play as well as sing. Dave has been touring and playing for Al since the time Peter White branched out on his own. It's funny that most people never realize that Al doesn't play any of the cool background guitar, he just strums chords for the most part. They did jam out a bit here and there. The show was supposed to only be an hour and a half total with no intermission. Turned out he played for close to two hours with a short break.

    Now it gets just a little bit more cool. As we were introducing our friend and founder of the whole WinterFest to some people, we mentioned the Annie Haslam show that we engineered two years ago. The guy we were talking to says "she's sitting right behind you!". Without looking overly obvious, we turned to make eye contact with none other than Annie. Carolyn had a chat with her during the intermission. Al tried to get her up on the stage to sing, but she had numerous excuses. No matter, she's more into her art these days. Most of her paintings seem to have a female genitalia theme. We couldn't bring ourselves to ask her about it.

    On the way out, I bought the newly released biography of Al Stewart. It has lots of history, lyrics, pictures.....

    I had to give my tickets to his show last year to a friend because of surgery, but last night made up for it.

    Hyfi
  • 02-04-2006, 09:32 AM
    ForeverAutumn
    1 Attachment(s)
    Sounds like a great evening Hyfi!!

    Al has done a great job of surrounding himself with top notch guitarists over the years. We saw him solo last year and he's a very accomplished guistarist in his own right. He's no Peter White, but his abilities were very impressive nonetheless.

    I have some pictures from his show here last year, but none of them came out very well. Lots of blurred images. Here's one of the better ones....
  • 02-04-2006, 11:49 AM
    Davey
    Wow, that sounds like a cool show. I heard "Year of the Cat" on the radio the other day and was kind of surprised that it still sounded fresh and adventurous 30 years later. I actually started to change the station because I've heard it so many times before, but it just sounded so good. So I started thinking about it and can't remember ever hearing an Al Stewart album before. Guess I didn't fall for that million seller sound back in the day. Was that his best album, or what would you recommend to someone who wanted to check him out? I know there's a few of you big time fans here.
  • 02-04-2006, 02:53 PM
    Hawkeye
    Hyfi, what a great story. I had the pleasure of seeing and meeting Al Stewart when he opened for Argent/Blunstone (The Zombies), a couple years ago just outside of Philadelphia. Just him with an acoustic guitar, and I must say I was impressed, he can flat out play.

    I've read Stewart's knowledge of wine is second to none. They say you can hand him a glass of wine, he'll not only tell you what type it is, but the label, year, and in which field the grapes were grown. An exaggeration no doubt, though he did release an entire cd dedicated to wine - "Down in the Cellar" I have that cd and can recommend it.

    "The Year of the Cat" would be a nice cd to start off with, though, now that the radio overkill factor has subsided. It was produced and engineered by Alan Parsons so you know the sound is impeccable. It features not only Stewart of course, but also Stuart Elliot and Andrew Powell of Parsons' Project, David Pack (Ambrosia), Tim Renwick (Floyd, Waters), and of course Peter White. Interestingly, it was Parsons who convinced Stewart to use some saxophone on Year of the Cat, and although he had never used that instrument on his albums before, Stewart agreed. He liked it so much he continued to use the instrument on his following albums.

    One of my favorite Stewart songs is "Antarctica," but right now I'm drawing a blank as to which album its from.
  • 02-04-2006, 07:12 PM
    ForeverAutumn
    One of my favourite Al Stewart disks is called Rhymes in Rooms. It's a live disk featuring Peter White on guitar. The guitar work is breathtaking and the sound is outstanding. The song choices are like a best of collection so it would be a good place to start. Unfortunately, I think its OOP along with another fave of mine, Between The Wars.

    Year of the Cat and Time Passages are both excellent disks and have stood the test of time very well. Lyrically, both of these disks are some of his best work IMO.
  • 02-04-2006, 07:14 PM
    ForeverAutumn
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hawkeye
    I've read Stewart's knowledge of wine is second to none. They say you can hand him a glass of wine, he'll not only tell you what type it is, but the label, year, and in which field the grapes were grown. An exaggeration no doubt, though he did release an entire cd dedicated to wine - "Down in the Cellar" I have that cd and can recommend it.

    Check this out... http://worldofmusictours.com/tours/a...rtwinetour.htm
  • 02-05-2006, 06:50 AM
    unleasHell
    very cool and although i've never seen (or met) Al, have been a fan since hearing Roads to Moscow off of the Past, Present & Future release, whcih is where I'd reccommend as a good place to start...