July 28, 2006
Geoff Berner, “Whiskey Rabbi”, Grad Club Kingston, 13 January 2006
photo by Silje Ese Haugen from a show in Norway in 2005.
The first show I attended this year was Elliot Brood in Kingston. While they were excellent, the real treat was seeing the opening act, Geoff Berner. Never before have I seen such a nervous looking guy grab a crowd’s attention, and with an accordion no less, singing songs about the failure of the Maginot Line (“Stupid! Stupid!”) and losing poker to Corb Lund. With an extremely strong voice, engaging storytelling, and audience participation, Berner had everyone’s attention through his rather odd set. His music is based in klezmer but informed by punk. It is passionate, political, and filled with dark humour. I would highly recommend checking him out live should you get the chance (he returns to Kingston on September 5th as part of a nation wide tour).
I only recorded one song from his set, but Berner has a live album which I suggest you check out if you dig what you hear.
* Geoff Berner, Whiskey Rabbi.mp3 (4.24 MB), Live at The Grad Club, Kingston, January 13, 2006.
* Geoff Berner, Maginot Line.mp3 (4.2 MB), from the album “We Shall Not Flag Or Fail, We Shall Go On To The End”
* The Be Good Tanyas, Light Enough to Travel.mp3 (2.86 MB)