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Saturday, October 31, 2009

A sound fit for angels.

It’s not often I can walk a few blocks from my house and post a blog claiming I’ve seen something I’ve never seen before… Jim Kam and his soon- to- be legendary Chapman Stick qualify as unusual and even elevating, and he and his companions are working on an instrumental album that should be that, if not fascinating and perhaps even historic. They are developing a sound that is pushing the limits of my vocabulary, but you know I’m going to take a shot at it. Kam plays his instrument as if he is making contact with another dimension… and it sure sounds as if he is. And it is one we will all long to visit, if not stay indefinitely.

Once again, I’ll skip the rest, and just cover it with adjectives. Heavenly. Mesmerizing. Otherworldish. Haunting, complex, addictive, awesomely beautiful.

You have to hear him for yourself. Friday night he was accompanied by two excellent musicians, singer/guitarists Tom Tranchilla and Buddy Allen, who might have intimidated most performers, both of them strong entertainers in their own right. But the three of them played round robin, letting flow a wonderful evening of songs, at times contrasting and other times finding stunning and almost indescribable harmonies, and Kam’s Chapman Stick often turning a familiar song on its ear and delivering once- in- a- lifetime renditions with musical genius.

At one point, they were playing a blues instrumental, two acoustic guitars giving it all, and this amazing Chapman Stick running ahead, lagging behind, almost playing tag with intricate harmonies, Hell, I don’t know what I’m talking about! But these guys know what they are doing singularly and collectively, and it was sure exciting to watch them share this unique sound at the Corner Café.

It is rare to witness this kind of virtuosity, anywhere. For me to be able to hear it a few blocks from my house… let’s just say I’m having a ball, and you are missing out. I think almost all of Navasota is so busy being busy, that people are letting incredible, once- in- a- lifetime opportunities slip by, history being made down the street, and never stopping for a moment to notice how special your town, or your cultural surroundings are.

Those of us that are there however, are determined to enjoy it enough to make up for the rest of you!

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