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charlene 02-11-2014 05:36 PM

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Rick:This day brings us to the Moody Theater in downtown Austin, TX.
This is the 'newer' home of Austin City Limits, and the same folks put on regular shows, like ours, in this facility. We've played in Austin many times since the earlier days of Gord's career.

Melissa 02-11-2014 05:55 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
Yee haw - they're here! Our little group (from various places around the country) will be heading downtown shortly for dinner and the concert. Then, tomorrow, it's on to San Antonio, then, Corpus Christi on Thurs. and Houston on Fri. The Texas tour. :)

Austin, TX

jj 02-11-2014 09:37 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
that's terrific, melissa! so hi to any and all (assume that might be Matt, Derek, Ed, Denny and other fine folk ...record if you are pulling out the axes:))

charlene 02-12-2014 03:45 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
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Gordon Lightfoot: Song for a Winter’s Night
Canadian folksinger stirs the Moody with a career ‘Sundown’
Gordon Lightfoot at the Moody Theater, 2.11.14

A year ago this month at the Moody, Mary J. Blige preempted my SXSW with a high-heeled soul stomp unequaled by any female performer I’ve ever witnessed. A 75-year-old Canadian folksinger is no match for a fortysomething hip-hop queen from the Bronx, so Gordon Lightfoot’s stopover at the same venue last night resulted in a stark study in contrasts.
“I’m Gordon Lightfoot and reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
So opened the Ontario native on a night whose temperatures must have made the great white Northerner feel right at home. A drafty hall two-thirds full of AARP reverence rustled its approval and over the course of two 50-minute sets and a short intermission absorbed the twilight of a storied career in mostly hushed awe.
“We’re from Toronto and we don’t smoke crack cocaine,” rejoined Lightfoot directly afterward in reference to the now notorious mayor of said metropolis. He bookended the evening with the same sentiment and a grab bag of rib-ticklers. “Here’s a song called ‘Let’s Meet Over By the Rock Pile Where I’ll Get a Little Bolder,’” he cracked late in the set. His quips were genuinely funny in the sad face of mortality and its effects on aged entertainers.
Lionel Hampton’s taxidermied Austin City Limits taping in 1999, George Jones in the round at the 2011 Austin Rodeo (or rather round the bend), Lemmy’s squeak on Motörhead’s new Aftershock: Never say die took root in vaudeville, but doubtlessly originated with Greek theater. Gordon Lightfoot has ceded all but the faintest whiff of nuance to his still weightless tenor, which in its heyday flitted almost birdlike – fanning, fluttering, cooing. Even then, he swallowed his words with Canadian humility, but the pull of his lyrics offset against the soar of his singalongs bent your ear and emotions towards him. Now, he sings as if he’s got a mouthful of tacks, never biting down on anything and thus receding from the listener.
He and his veteran fourpiece gamely picked through his 1975 calling card, Warner Bros. compilation Gord’s Gold, all-too-age-appropriate “Song for a Winter’s Night” and its yang “Summer Side of Life,” plus “I’m Not Saying,” “Did She Mention My Name,” “Sundown,” “Cotton Jenny,” “Don Quixote,” “Carefree Highway.” Not for the first or last time in the concert, I was hard pressed to understand a single word past its introduction of “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” up in the balcony.
He recapped Elvis Presley knighting his composition “In the Early Mornin’ Rain” and covered Marty Robbins covering his “Ribbon of Darkness,” whose last notes were finished pitch perfectly by a man sitting behind me.
“That sounded pretty good to me,” exclaimed Lightfoot from the stage downstairs.
A melancholy “Drifters” elicited the audience’s most rabid response, followed shortly thereafter by the short, single encore of “Beautiful.” If Gordon Lightfoot no longer sounds so attractive, as another legendary Canadian once sang, long may he run nonetheless.

sunshine 02-12-2014 11:21 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
My granddaughter is in kindergarten where the overriding theme of the year is to be kind. Maybe someday she will be able to look back and think "Everything I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten." Not so with this reviewer. I understand the points that are being made and that a reviewer must analyze and be objective and think of creative ways to express his/her thoughts. But it's the tone. The agism. The meanness of spirit. The lack of kindness. In my case, it just served to engender a greater loyalty to the man and the masterpieces, an appreciation for the effort, an inspiration to "rock til I drop." I admire the endeavor and aspire to be as effective in my life as Gordon is in his.

Melissa 02-13-2014 04:29 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
Well-spoken, Sunshine.

BTW, all the "AARP'ers" in the almost full theater comprised one of the most enthusiastic crowds I've seen at a GL show in recent years. And they were all nimble enough to give standing O's for Carefree Highway, Beautiful, Sundown, The Wreck and IYCRMM. After the show, I commented to Gord that "we sure had a great audience tonight!" His response was "well, we expected that in Austin!" :)

It was sad to read that caustic review from a journalist with obviously limited exposure to true talent.

Gord was very chatty and energetic and looked like he was feeling great. The show was terrific from beginning to end. The crowd also responded wildly to the two new additions to the setlist, Drifters and Now and Then, so it was obvious that all the old "Geezers" in the audience were quite familiar with much more of Gord's catalog than just "Gord's Gold." I was thrilled to hear those two, as well.

Tonight's show in San Antonio was terrific, too.

OK, gimme an "A" ----- gimme another "A" ------gimme an "R"-----------gimme a "P"-----
Let's all vacate the Bingo Hall and head to Corpus Christi for tomorrow night's show!


charlene 02-13-2014 10:02 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
That reviewer didn't know what side of the fence to fall on. And he was just plain old mean on top of it...

niffer 02-13-2014 10:02 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
Very well said, Sunshine and Melissa.

I too felt that the reviewer' tone was more than a little snarky, but I thought that perhaps I was just being a little overprotective of our Gordon.

Rereading the column, it definitely seems to be a classic example of damning with faint praise what was by all other accounts a very good show.

charlene 02-13-2014 10:04 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014

Gordon Lightfoot sings songs built to last at ACL Live

COMMENT(2) (both comments have been removed from the website)

February 12, 2014

By Peter Blackstock

“We really love the work, and that’s why we do this,” Gordon Lightfoot told the crowd at ACL Live on Tuesday night near the end of a two-hour show that stretched across the Canadian songwriter’s half-century career. At age 75, Lightfoot is less light of foot and more fragile of voice than in his radio-hits heyday, but it’s still quite clear that he loves the work.

Long after he’s gone, his songs will still stand strong. For now, though, there are still opportunities to hear them sung by their creator, and that chance drew a couple thousand fans downtown on a cold and windy night. Across two sets parted by a 20-minute break, Lightfoot delivered 26 songs – some universally recognized, many mildly familiar, a few unknown to most in the crowd.

There were, inevitably, key moments everyone was waiting for. The bluesy “Sundown” came near the end of the first set; the epic “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” somewhat surprisingly was served up as the second song of the next set, rather than being held back for the finale.
Near the end of the show came “If You Could Read My Mind,” ultimately still Lightfoot’s most affecting number. Much as the song reached into another dimension when Johnny Cash sang it with a frail, fading voice near the end of his life a decade ago, so too does its pathos connect more deeply when Lightfoot revisits it now. The ending really IS just too hard to take.

With classic older artists such as this, sometimes audiences simply anticipate the “hits,” the songs they remember from the radio days of their youth. It’s another matter with Lightfoot, though: His greatest works have become standards, enduring folk songs, almost monuments of North American culture. It’s tougher for him to deliver them now, and the sonic results may be diminished; his four-piece backing band was a model of restraint, taking pains to support the songs gracefully without overwhelming Lightfoot’s vocals. Still, it’s doubtful that anyone in attendance regretted being there.

It’s worth noting, too, that Lightfoot's catalog reaches well beyond the chart-topping points. It was telling that four more songs came after “If You Could Read My Mind,” all of them carefully chosen because he was well aware they could carry the weight of such placement. The set-finale “Early Morning Rain” – written 50 years ago and recorded by everyone from Elvis to Dylan to Jerry Lee Lewis – was perhaps an easy call.

But “Restless” was a brilliant choice to directly follow “If You Could Read My Mind”; from the underrated 1993 album “Waiting for You,” it’s a three-minute zen moment, one in which Lightfoot assures that “We will be returning to the things that we love best.” That’s why he does this, indeed.

niffer 02-13-2014 10:58 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
Now THAT'S a nice review :)

dray7austin 02-17-2014 06:49 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
My wife Lori and I we're at this Austin show. After the show we had the opportunity to meet Gordon as well as the rest of the band. Gordon autographed my album wishing me a happy birthday. For my wife had bought the tickets as a birthday present for me. It was such a great show and although Gordon did not play "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" he was able to play two or three other songs, all in which I had never heard him play live before. The very next night while performing in San Antonio, Gordon played "If Children Had Wings", which I've always loved. I wish I traveled the 60 miles down to that show as well. But at least my kidney recipient was able to see that show. So I guess I could say that a part of me was there. My wife and I have now caught Gordon three times in Austin. At The Glenn in 2007. At the Bass Concert Hall in 2009 and last week's ACL Moody Theatre performance. We only wish he would come to Austin a bit more. Melissa? We may have met for Lori and I were with a small group of people given passes after the show. I may have even talked to you. I had met Rick, Carter and Barry. But not Michael Heffernan. And another lady told me that he usually doesn't mingle with the fans after the show. But it was such an honor to meet the rest of the guys as well as it was meeting Gordon. And the show was fantastic. As it always is.

I am so happy to also see Austin 360's Peter Blackstock give Gordon such a nice review. He obviously saw the same show that I and many others saw. Like I mentioned above, my wife and I loved the show. I just hope he doesn't wait five years to return.

JimJ 02-19-2014 04:28 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
It's easier to do a cynical review than it is a praiseworthy one. All the AARP stuff...come on. And there should be appreciation for how the fans reacted. The good news: Nothing is going to deter the rest of us from going to see The Man whenever possible.

dray7austin 02-19-2014 05:07 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
The show started off rather pecular yet in a manner which I think most of the fans loved when it was all said and done. The band came out on stage followed by Gordon. After playing just a few seconds of the intro of "The Watchman's Gone", Gordon stopped playing. Made a comment, turned around, took off his guitar and set it down. He then ran off stage. As the band and audience waited for about 3 or 4 minutes, Gordon ran back on stage with another guitar and the band kicked into TWG again. It was great. No explanation but judging from what we viewed, he had the wrong guitar I'm guessing. Some people may have looked at this as a spectacle that they had no patience for. But for us hardcore Gordon fans, it was as if Gordon came into our own home and had to just run back out to the car and grab his other instrument. I am glad that Gordon feels as comfortable doing that in front of us as we are as comfortable letting him do it. He's a class act.

charlene 02-19-2014 05:16 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
He did the same thing at a show I was at last year too..can't recall..strapped on the guitar, started a tune, stopped, put it down, jogged offstage for a few minutes and came back with another guitar and started over..
Wish I could remember the city..I'll have to check my notes if I even made note of it..All I was thinking was that either Chuck put the wrong guitar out or once onstage Gordon decided on a different tune and had the wrong one..it was something I don't recall ever seeing before.

dray7austin 02-20-2014 04:10 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
Is Chuck his roadie? May I ask Charlene, what the name of Gordon's road manger is? I sure would like to thank him. I was under the impression that my wife and I were given permission to receive guest passes by Carter. But after looking back on everything we are now thinking that Gordon's road manager played a role in it. Making it the best birthday I ever had.

charlene 02-20-2014 08:34 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
Chuck is Lightfoot's long time stage manager. Warren is the tour manager.

dray7austin 02-21-2014 01:19 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
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Gordon and I in Austin, Texas, Feb. 11th, 2014. This was the best Birthday present I could have hope for. It was also the one year anniversary of my Mom's passing so emotionally it had been a tough week. Thanks to Gordon, And I believe either Warren or Carter, maybe both, they helped so much with restoring my faith in life. Because I was pretty blue this week. I had handled my Mother's passing up until this time very stoically. But the one year anniversary on Feb. 6, really hit me hard. Then my birthday two days later carried no joy with it although my wife and I made the best out of it. Thank you Gordon, Warren and band. Even at my age of now 51, dreams can still come true. BTW, Gordon had been smiling all the way up to this and after. Even in my wife's photo he'd been smiling. It was just that one second at time that he wasn't. But All I can remember are his smiles as we talked for those couple of minutes.

jj 02-21-2014 01:48 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
good lookin guys, good lookin jackets...thx for sharing!

charlene 02-21-2014 02:10 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014

Originally Posted by dray7austin (Post 184131)
Gordon and I in Austin, Texas, Feb. 11th, 2014. This was the best Birthday present I could have hope for. It was also the one year anniversary of my Mom's passing so emotionally it had been a tough week. Thanks to Gordon, And I believe either Warren or Carter, maybe both, they helped so much with restoring my faith in life. Because I was pretty blue this week. I had handled my Mother's passing up until this time very stoically. But the one year anniversary on Feb. 6, really hit me hard. Then my birthday two days later carried no joy with it although my wife and I made the best out of it. Thank you Gordon, Warren and band. Even at my age of now 51, dreams can still come true. BTW, Gordon had been smiling all the way up to this and after. Even in my wife's photo he'd been smiling. It was just that one second at time that he wasn't. But All I can remember are his smiles as we talked for those couple of minutes.

I think you need to tell the rest of the story - and your friends story from the next night... it's amazing..

dray7austin 02-21-2014 02:53 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
I will Charlene. We are leaving to visit my wife's parents later next week and we have a house guest this weekend. But in between I will do my best. And thank you JJ for the compliment my friend. Thanks again Charlene. It's a long story but an interesting one. Peace & Love. David

dray7austin 02-22-2014 02:57 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
Thank you Charlene. There really is so much to this story but I guess you can say it all started innocently enough a couple years ago when I decided to write an email to Carter Lancaster welcoming him with support to the band. I never at that time imagined how the wheels of life would turn just two years later. But time passed and last year my Mom finally lost her three year battle with cancer on February 6th. Three years before that she was given only three months to live being told that her cancer was inoperable and chemo wouldn't do any good. But chemo gave her three more loving years with us. But as I sat beside her last year watching her pass, I swore to myself that I was going to do all I could to make sure I could help prevent another family from going through this. Around the same time I read on Facebook about an acquaintance who was just added to the kidney transplant waiting list. That's when I decided that I was going to make a difference in this person's life by donating a kidney. His name was Jerry Clayworth. On my wedding anniversary of March 15th, 2013, my wife Lori and I accidentally ran into Jerry at an Emmylou Harris/Rodney Crowell performance at SXSW held here annually in Austin, Texas. Jerry had no idea what I was planning. Neither did my wife Lori. But after the show on our walk back to the car, I asked Lori if she would mind if I donated to Jerry. She proudly said she would stand with me.

I emailed Jerry the very next day and told him what I wanted to do for him. He was very excited and within weeks I began my testing. It would be a seven month journey of testing for a compatibility in blood, DNA and a host of other things. Usually the process takes a shorter time but because of Jerry living in San Antonio where the University Transplant Hospital is located and I lived in Austin, the test where spread out in some cases and some had to be repeated. There were a few scares along the way but after retesting a few procedures, smooth sailing prevailed. Our surgery was finally scheduled on October 24th. Because of Jerry being a show promoter and holding many benefits for ill or dying musicians, a benefit was held for him just a few days before the surgery. And another a month after to cover cost of anti rejection medicines not covered by insurance and other care needed to keep him alive after the transplant.

The surgery ended up being a success. And now, all that waited ahead was a two to three month recovery period. And it was around this time I believe that I noticed that Gordon was coming to Austin on February 11, 2014. So my wife purchased the tickets for my birthday which was going to be on February 8th. Just two days after the anniversary of my mom's passing. During the last week of January, I decided to write Carter Lancaster to ask if he not only remembered me writing him a couple years ago, but also asking if there was any way he could get this fan backstage to meet Gordon. I had also told him about my kidney transplant and donation. About ten days went by without any word from Carter. I just figured maybe my email was sent to his junk mail folder because I had sent photos of Jerry and I in the hospital together. And I told Carter our story. Yes, I'm guilty. I was playing the kidney card. But here was my all time idol coming to town and with all I'd been through the previous year, I wanted to personally meet him.

The first week of February arrived and the excitement I had for Gordon coming out to Austin sort of slipped slightly when the anniversary of my Mom's passing hit me hard. Harder than it had in quite sometime. I really didn't even think much about Carter's email I wrote him. As we got closer to Gordon's show, I was feeling pretty far down. My beautiful wife gave me a beautiful birthday day. But I was still pretty low. The day of Gordon's concert at the ACL Moody Theatre had finally arrived. I decided to one more time reach out to Carter thru email. But no luck. So that night it was bitterly a cold one in Austin and our plan of waiting outside the venue after the show was scrapped even before the show started. But just in case Carter did get my message, I went Will Call to check for backstage passes and see if any were left but there were none. That was okay. Lori and I now could just relax and not worry about anything and just watch the show. No other care in the world but watching Gordon.

After the show ended, Lori asked me what I wanted to do. I was tired and I was so happy just to go home with the memory of a great show. As we walked down the stairs on the outside, Lori asked me if I was sure that I didn't want to try and meet Gordon? She got me thinking. And I decided to try and just go through the doors into the stage area. There a young security guard stopped me. I told her I was there to see Carter. She told me I needed to go around the other side and talk to those security guards. When Lori and arrived to that destination, the head of security was there. He told us that the band was doing a quick meet n greet and leaving. I asked him if he would be kind enough to tell Carter that David and Lori Ray were waiting for him. So the guard wrote all that down. I figured that maybe Carter did get my email and would recall the name. I also told the security guard to tell him that I was the kidney transplant patient. So the guard left Lori and I alone. I really didn't expect anything to happen except to be driving home in just a few minutes on the icy roads. But about 5 minutes later, the Moody's chief of security came back and in his hand were two guest passes. I couldn't believe it. He lead us back into the theater and we waited with a group of about 10 others.

Soon the band members came walking out. I first talked to Barry. Then Carter came out. As I started talking to Carter, I was telling him who I was and I was thanking him for allowing us the guest passes. Carter was so nice to Lori and I and engaged us in conversation. But he did seem a little confused when I again thanked him for the passes. Soon Gordon came out with Rick and Warren. And everyone was so nice. The other fans waiting were really great people. And my dream came true with Gordon autographing my Sundown album, "To David Happy Birthday Gordon Lightfoot!. And he autographed Lori's cd, To David and Lori, Love Gordon Lightfoot". "Love Gordon Lightfoot?" Wow! Lori and I realized right then and there that you are never to old to dream or wish. That night on the way home when things became a little clearer, we started to wonder if it was Warren who sent the passes out and not Carter. Like I said, Carter seemed a little confused but nevertheless he treated us like long lost friends. But Warren, if it was you responsible for all this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless you.

With Gordon playing the next night down in San Antonio, I really wanted to go. But since my surgery, money has been a little tight because of the work I've missed. But my kidney recipient Jerry, decided to go down to the Majestic theater and wait outside for Gordon. After the show Gordon came out with Warren. Jerry ended up asking Warren if Gordon could speak a few words into a video camera supporting organ donations for another friend we have in need of a transplant. Warren wasn't sure if Gordon could do that at that moment and Jerry was very understanding. But Jerry did get his photo taken with Gordon as I myself had the night before. Just think about it. Gordon on one night was with me standing side by side. And the very next night he was standing side by side with my old kidney. Or Jerry's new kidney. We both got a laugh out of that. Tomorrow I will also post Jerry and Gordon's photo. As well as the one taken of my wife and Gordon. That's a real good one. There really is so much more to this story that makes it so unbelievable. If only time permitted. But if you GOOGLE both Jerry Clayworth and David Ray together, there are quite a few stories on there about us. I hope my grammar or spelling wasn't too bad for I am typing all this from my Android. Whose spell check has a mind of it's own. Thanks to Charlene for allowing me to tell my Gordon story and Jerry's and my kidney story. Thank you Warren my friend. I think it had to be you who made my wife's and my dream come true. And thanks to Gordon, Carter, Barry and Rick also. We love you. And please remember everyone. At this very moment in the USA alone, there are over 122,000 men, women and children on dialysis with kidney failure. Thousands will die this year alone while waiting on the transplant list. It's not money, or science or more money that's going to save them. It's you! Be a donor. Please! Although living donors are preferred, just being a donor in case of death will work also. Too many people are losing their lives from a disease in which there is a cure! We're the cure! All of us! Thanks Again Charlene. I also want to apologize for writing so much and taking up so much space. Sorry......

charlene 02-22-2014 11:56 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
I LOVE this story!
Thanks for putting it up for everyone to read...and here in Canada organ donation is an issue too. Along with blood donations, organ donations, stem cell, bone marrow etc., living or not, they are truly the gift of life for many who are living with completely curable/fixable health issues.
I believe it's the Canadian Blood Services that says it best : "It's in you to give."
I'm so happy that you and Jerry got to meet Gordon and the guys..
Stay healthy and thankful...

dray7austin 02-23-2014 03:09 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
Charlene, I really love the motto of "It's in you to give". Beautiful! Bless you all. Always for Gordon!

LadyA 02-25-2014 12:46 PM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
What a wonderful post. I'm a firm believer in what goes around, comes arround. You did something selflessly from your heart (or kidney lol) expecting nothing in return. Maybe meeting with Gord is a little payback to you....may there be many more!!

dray7austin 02-27-2014 01:17 AM

Re: AUSTIN-TEXAS-Feb.11-2014
Thank you for the kind words LadyA. The best part of this whole story I even failed to mention. But my kidney and Jerry are doing so well together. The doctors were even surprise at how well his body accepted it. There were a few normal adjustments on his anti rejection medication when his creatinine levels rose slightly a few weeks after surgery. But nothing ever out of the norm. And they've since lowered to an acceptable level. The full impact of how I helped Jerry hit me a couple months ago when he was at his house straightening it up. Last year he mainly stayed at his parents home and let his home become pretty bad off. And on the phone be said in January, "I'm over here cleaning my house and fixing it up. Last year I really let it go David when I didn't even think I'd be around this year. So why take care of it?" It hit me right then and there at just how dire his outlook was. He hid that feeling from us all. Tomorrow I'll try to post photos of he and Gordon and one of us together just minutes before we went in for surgery. Bless you all for allowing me to tell our story.

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