Saturday, July 30, 2011


In 1998 I raced from Newark Airport to the lobby of the Gramercy Hotel in order to meet and interview the musician Richard Buckner for a magazine I worked for at the time. This was a completely spontaneous interview therefor I was ill prepared by having nothing to record the interview with. Nonetheless being both professionals and perhaps creatures of the night the interviewed ensued. In subsequent years I have seen and heard Buckner repeated times and various venues and our conversation has never ended and our interview is yet to be published. (Note to self: locate RB interview.)

So the other night I drove with my brother Paul through a murder scene to Linnemans bar and stage on a slightly edgy side of downtown Milwaukee to hear Buckner play again. His truck had driven over 570,000 miles to reach Wisconsin that night and the songs measured and met each of those miles note for note. Richard is a great American song writer, troubadour, relentless talent and unrepentant living example of a musician being a musician by making music.

I had last heard Buckner at the Mercury Lounge in NYC in early December 2010 and like that concert Buckner clumped and segued songs together only once or twice pausing in between with a few words of greeting or goodbye. One gets the feeling that Buckner is over the bullshit of concert protocol (always was!) and is using these live performances as a music lab to test out different ideas and new toys. I am a believer and unabashed fan of the music and the man and every concert is a pleasure - this one was no exception, quirks and all. (I liked that the paper cutout snow flakes from last December were still falling behind him on the stage.)

Buckner's newest album Our Blood was released this month on Merge records and it is even available on vinyl. Go forth and gather these songs! Listen for yourself, you can't go back.

Locking up the gear

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