Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Live in 2014: Roger McGuinn at The Glee Club, Cardiff on Tuesday 4th November 2014

The word 'Legend' is thrown around a lot these days in ALL walks of life but tonight I got to see (again) a Real Musical Legend - an artist who was inspired by greatness (Dylan & The Beatles) and who went on to influence SO many other great musicians himself.

Looking nowhere near his 71 years, Roger McGuinn turned back the years in a quiet and unassuming manner to give a masterclass of songwriting and guitar playing.

It was an intimate evening at The Glee Club in Cardiff tonight as Roger McGuinn made his first  return to Wales in quite some time.

Armed with his Martin D7  7 String acoustic guitar and his signature 12 string Rickenbacker electric,  Roger played a game of two halves for a night of story telling and sublime music.

Roger dipped into songs from throughout his career from his Brill Building days right up to a brand new song.

He started the show by walking on playing his Rickenbacker and gave us a gorgeous rendition of Bob Dylan's My Back Pages - the first of several Dylan tunes performed this evening.

I won't spoil the surprises by revealing the stories that Roger tells during the evening - suffice to say he has become quite the raconteur and with so many years from which to draw upon, he kept the audience entertained throughout the two hours he was on stage.

Roger played many of the hits from throughout his illustrious career and included some nice gems too that we don't get to hear that often such as The Ballad Of Easy Rider.


King Of The Hills

The first half of the show included such greats as Mr Spaceman & 5D (Fifth Dimension) 

We also had a crowd pleasing rendition of The Bells Of Rhymney - and if there's a best place to play this, it's Wales - and produced rapturous applause.

There was even time for a new song, written with his wife and based on the John Steinbeck novel The Grapes Of Wrath.

Also included in the first half was his song Jolly Roger from his album Cardiff Rose - again if there was one place to mention it....
The first half concluded with the Dylan Classic, Knocking On Heaven's Door.

Part two started as did part one with Roger walking onto the stage, Rickenbacker in hand but this time playing The Byrds classic, So You Want To Be A Rock n Roll Star. I'm using 'classic' a lot here but a lot the songs are indeed now 'classics'.

One of the musicians Roger has had a great influence on is Tom Petty and he has included an lovely acoustic version of Petty's American Girl into the set.

If there is one song that the majority of the crowd had been waiting for it was Mr Tambourine Man and Roger didn't disappoint as he again strapped on his Rickenbacker and gave the audience what they wanted.

Another great version of a Byrds song, Chestnut Mare also lit up the second half of the show.

The second half concluded with a stunning acoustic version of 8 Miles High.

There HAD to be an encore and Roger came back on to perform Turn, Turn, Turn and finally finished with May The Road Rise To Meet You.

An excellent choice of songs with a story linked to most - a great evening with a true legend.

Twitter - @RogerMcGuinn

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