Thanks to this show, I can now pinpoint the exact date I became an unabashed fan of The Long Winters, as opposed to the casual admirer I'd been since their second record, 2003's "When I Pretend To Fall". While my appreciation for the songs of John Roderick & his Seattle mates was upped much further when their third album, "Putting the Days to Bed", arrived from Barsuk this past July, it wasn't until six weeks back that I really and truly got 'em. As the last note of their set faded on that last day of September, I made a beeline to their merch table to fill in any gaps, nearly amped enough (but not quite flush enough) to blow some cash on all the vinyl versions, which they noted were all now available there for the first time. So tempting for a wax-junkie, but I instead opted for their debut disc, 2002's "The Worst You Can Do Is Harm". Glad I did, as a couple of my faves from the set below reside there. It's always refreshing when a band's live show is evenly balanced between the old and the new.
Also refreshing? A frontman who is as genuinely engaging as he is talented. I'd heard tell of Mr. Roderick's coherently goofy on-stage wit, and he definitely brought it with him to Harper's Ferry that night. The banter entertained nearly as much as the songs themselves, and none of it forced, all of it delivered genially and sincerely. The guy's as comfortable as can be up there, even as he's good-naturedly insulting an audience member's misguided fashion sense. If I ever get sick of the the band's songs (and even with the amount I've listened to all three discs since the show, there's no danger of that), the Long Winters' live show ensured I'll be seeing them again when and if they return to our coast...
The band spends the rest of this month in Europe before a homecoming gig in Seattle on November 30th.
again with the fine print... If anyone has an issue with this live set being made available, just say the word (contact info in the 'nac faq). Recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps mp3s. Mp3s are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.