Al Stewart – Live at Eddie’s Attic 2015

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This was our second straight year seeing Al Stewart, enthusiastically paid for far in advance due to how enjoyable it was the first time and a preference of being seated the next time.   While the revisit lacked the surprise of how good an artist is who I’d largely ignored since the late 1970’s, it remained just as enjoyable.


Guitarist Dave Nachmanoff began the set with three of his own songs, each showcasing his songwriting skills, at times suggesting that he has learned to borrow vocal phrasings from Stewart.  He’s very accessible with his banter and worthy of his own stage, which he holds easily.  He played a new song after an intermission called “The Painter” about a homeless person who lives under a bridge.  It was my favorite, due to the same lyrical poignancy that made it my wife’s least favorite.


He’s a frequent sideman to Stewart, adding guitar flourishes to supplement Stewart’s songs.  It’s curious that he doesn’t solo for his own work, as there is no doubt that Stewart’s acoustic shows would be less enjoyable without him.

But, he was there, and Stewart’s star shined more brightly.  Stewart ran through some of his songs which he played last year, but mixed in with others either by plan or by request.  Last year, Stewart did a fantastic job introducing each of his songs, explaining the “history” behind it, usually in a very humorous way.  This year, there was some of that, but couple a great sense of humor with a British accent, and the crowd enjoyed the back and forth dialogue just as much. 

“On the Border,” “Lord Grenville,” “Carol,” “Time Passages,” and “Year of the Cat” were each excellent, even if expected.  But “Bedsetter Images,” from his frist CD, was a surprise, and, as I’m not fully familiar with his work, there seems to be a very pleasing consistency regardless of which decade he wrote it.  Maybe that’s due to his good humor, the “fun” that can be had tuning a guitar to another’s, tidbits about the origins of Cat Stevens’ name, a true or not joke, and/or his seemingly ageless voice.

Two years in a row, this has proven to be a show great for a date night – good spirits, great humor, interesting songs, great acoustic guitar, and a crowd largely adhering to the venue’s “listening room” policy (i.e., shut up when the artist is playing).  But, if you’re the lady with the New York accent who was seated at the island bar, you’re obviously the most important person in the room, so that policy doesn’t apply to you. 


It was another fine show, and I’d see him again.  It’s the kind of show that makes you feel lucky to be one of the 125 people in Atlanta who who were there.  That leaves a lot who don’t know what they missed.

“Carol,” recorded by someone else in attendance:

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