Guest Author - Chris Curtis
The Peeptoad Coffee House hosted a special performance by the multi-talented and multi-award winning David Grier. The Peeptoad Coffee House is located at a Baptist Church in Foster RI with the performances taking place is a small sanctuary. It offered an intimate and personal setting for David's performance. Hailing from Nashville, David sat relaxed in the center spotlight sporting a Boston Red Sock cap and chatting easily with the patrons while giving a little bit of history with a whole lot of humor in between each piece he played. The show consisted of two sets with a short break in between and lasted nearly 3 hours. At the end of his extraordinary performance there was no doubt why David is a three time IBMA "Guitar Player of the Year."
Like many virtuoso, David displayed complete command over his instrument improvising as each song moved him. There were times during the performance where the complexity of the overlapping melodies and dexterity of David's picking seemed like twin guitars were playing together. Yet, David was the only person on that stage. This is characteristic of David's combined use of a drone string and his cross picking style producing a more fluid sound. David even joked about it being easy to play guitar illustrating by wiggling the fingers of his left hand around followed by moving his right hand in an flailing up and down motion while holding the index and thumb together; concluding "it's as simple as that!" If only, it were!
David played the evening without a set list but never seemed to hesitate in selecting tunes to play. He played several tunes from his "Hootenanny" CD with Tim O'Brien and Dirk Powell including Red Haired Boy, Little Rabbit and Have You Ever Been to England. Before playing Red Haired Boy from "Hootenanny", David relayed a childhood story. Explaining how honored he'd felt, when at about the age of 12, being asked to pick with the adults. It was a right of passage and a signal that he had gotten "good enough." He recalled, with added animation, one "old" (35 or so, he quipped) woman who kept pestering him saying "You know what would be really cute, young man" repeating it several times. David exclaimed "no 12 year old boy wants anything to do with being cute" but he remained polite as his dad was present. She continued on about David's red hair and how cute it would be for him to play Red Haired Boy. David then played it for us, and it's still cute!
There were also many tunes composed by David that will be on his up coming solo project several of which are not yet titled. David relayed that he is not good at naming his work and asked for suggestions from the audience if something inspired them. He talked about having made that request at another venue where a woman approached him with a title she thought was perfect for one of the unnamed songs, suggesting "Song for Mary." You guessed it, her name was Mary. Regardless of the untitled pieces, the tunes were inspired and the CD promises to be an exciting piece of work. Watch David Grier's website for its release date.
I had seen David in a "Psychograss", set at Greyfox 2005 that was fiery HOT! The audience was just wild with excitement. As amazing as that set was, David's performance at the Peeptoad was no less HOT but in a more intimate way. Don't miss David in a solo performance if he comes to a venue near you.