gotta say it again
frank was accompanied on stage by hank smith, and the wcap broadcast team of wireless mike flynn and jack baldwin made the perfect tourguides to this one-of-a-kind musical evening. perfectly respectful to the music, they filled the breaks and got out of the way so that the audience could hear every single note. it was, indeed, the next best thing to being there, and i'm still pinching myself to have been able to take advantage.
in a way, the radio broadcast delivered a better musical experience to being there, (only a small way, let my glass be half full, please), as it was mic'd directly from the stage so the vocals and the guitars were crystal clear. (if frank's voice could ever be described as crystal). it was audible in a way that's just not possible "in person" in a crowded bar, so that what you lost in vibration from the positive energy from the crowd all around you, you recovered in part because of the incredible way you could hear every note and nuance. and the music was so genuine and heartfelt and full of nuance... stunning, in its way, because you just don't hear music this good on the radio, let alone from a small back alley club in a small little city like lowell.
but last night, on the radio, we did, and it was oh so very good.
i don't know from this "nitecap" series. never heard of it before, and couldn't find anything on past or future installments. but i do know that what wcap put on the air (and on the internet--you can and could listen right alone clear-as-a-bell from your pc or your phone or what have you) last night was jaw-droppingly good, and something that the city (meaning you, me, and everyone in it) needs to embrace because it's the best of what lowell can be.
i've heard it--the music downtown here is something special. roll the tanks at the old court, for one recent example. peter lavender and the limbo souls at ole thursday night for another. but frank morey and hank smith went them all one better last night, and--here's the thing: when the bar gets raised, and the musical gauntlet is thrown down, and all the musicians in town hear it, the inspiration to do more and better is irresistible. infectious. like an outbreak the cdc and no boundaries can contain. and last night, by putting frank and hank on the radio, and letting the world in on the musical secret that is the back page club, wcap did what a community radio station is supposed to do, and more, because they put it out there on the net where the whole world could hear it, if they had a mind and the notice to do it.
i do so hope the station gets whatever agreements might be necessary to put the recording out there where more people could and can hear. (if they didn't record it, i take back everything nice i'm saying about them--that would be nigh on criminal!) put down the challenge, and raise up the bar as it were. let everyone hear what's going on here, and see (hear) for themselves what it is that live music can bring to a city.
wireless mike, i don't know if it was you, or jack, or whoever else at the station that got it done, but good on ya, and here's to more, more, more.