Wednesday, August 13, 2008
There was not a space to be filled on the stage at Joe's Pub last night. Jim Boggia and his very large band celebrated the release of his new album by performing the entire album, which can be purchased on CD and/or vinyl. He encouraged the audience to buy two copies of the LP and play simultaneously, as it's recorded in mono. Mono made me think of Pet Sounds. Pet Sounds co-writer is Tony Asher. Tony Asher co-wrote with Jim, Chalk One Up for Albert's Sake. Last night the horn section added that borderline melancholy Pet Sounds feeling to the song. The drum fills and vocals at the end of the song were pure Pet Sounds. Adding these little touches to the song hinted at its co-writer's pedigree. The song’s opening reminded me of a faster version of the Rascals’ Girl Like You. All of this, makes for a multi-layered, good pop song. As I’ve said before, I think one of the endearing things about Jim is he wears his influences on his sleeve.
An aside: On leaving the show, my friend Sean and I were contemplating that there are two songs we can think of with the name Albert (remember Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey?) in the title, which also happens to be my father and brother's name. We couldn't come up with one song with Sean (or Shawn) in the title.
Jim reaches back into his musical memory for songs like 8 Track, a fun, put the top down, Rubinoos type song and Listening to NRBQ. Both songs evoke the days when radio was king, albums were listened to on both Side A and Side B and liner notes were read.
Ben Carroll joined Jim on stage (at this point it was only Jim and Ben) to add vocals to a touching acoustic version of On Your Birthday which Jim co-wrote with David Poe. Jim usually plays at least one cover and it was a soulful version of I’d Rather Be Blind, which has been recorded by Etta James and Faces.
A great live performance is made that much better when the backing singers and band are having too much fun. This was clearly happening. In the trio of singers was Kate who performed with him at his last NY show. Their energy combined with Mr Boggia’s had me clapping along and having a great time. I guarantee you’ll have a smile on your face during and after a Jim Boggia show.