NeilFest 2010 at Times Change(d), Winnipeg

Ridley Bent and Romi Mayes at NeilFest 2010. Wade Little photo

Ridley Bent and Romi Mayes at NeilFest 2010. Wade Little photo

Review and photos – Neilfest at Times Change(d), Winnipeg, 2010

– text by eugene osudar/photos by Wade Little

off the top
of my head,

these are the albums
covered
by the best
musicians
in My Winnipeg

the previous
4
Neilfest
s,

american stars n bars
harvest
hawks & doves
zuma
freedom
tonight’s the night
comes a time

(i’ve missed a few)

this year
the 5th annual

Neilfest

at the Times Changed
High and Lonesome
Club

Keith McMahon, Romi Mayes, Andrew Neville and Chris Dunn at Neilfest 2010. Wade Little photo

Keith McMahon, Romi Mayes, Andrew Neville and Chris Dunn at Neilfest 2010. Wade Little photo

celebrating Neil’s
birthday
his music
his time
here,

Winnipeg
his hometown

where he wasn’t
Denied. and he got
up from
the punches
the beatings
that came
fast and hard.
and he learned
how to play guitar.

this year’s albums,

Greendale (huh?)
Freedom
and
Harvest

song by song
minute by minute
beginning/end
whammy bar
punk power
distortion
to ballads
and
a crazy rock opera

Greendale,

‘this is what Neilfest is all about!”
a beaming
John Scoles
says as he walks by.

Keith Dyck at NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

Keith Dyck at NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

a movie, a graphic novel
a rock opera
Neil Young style

it’s no Tommy
it’s no Quadrophenia

(where is that
birthday tribute
to The Who?)

Greendale is,
lengthy
meaty
beaty
bouncy
(and mostly)
spotty

nearly 80 minutes
and yes
every song
has something Neil Young
beautiful within it
solos
words
distortion
and Woodshed Havoc
played it
prayed it
made it
wonder/full,

for some,
most?

i’ll be happy
to never hear
Greendale again.

now, i can’t remember
if a local band has taken
on
re/ac/tor

you know,
got mashed potatoes
ain’t got no T
bone

(just kidding,
please never!)

give me
liberty
give me
beauty
give me
true, the throb
of
The New Meanies
exploding through Freedom
pumping
like pistons
on stage
in the groove
in the rage
in the rock
hard
machinery

through 60 gorgeous minutes,

through the hard beginnings
and ends
and what mad genius guitarist
Damon Mitchell
calls Neil Young’s
“funny ones”

Chris Carmichael and Damon Mitchell at NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

Chris Carmichael and Damon Mitchell at NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

you know,
those sappy songs
he writes and records
that often work

somehow
someway

and Romi Mayes
and her friends,
performing Billboard’s #1
album of 1972

Harvest,

twice

Saturday,

an early 7 PM show
and during the 4 sets,
more than 3 hours!
of Neil Young songs

in the later evening
10 PM show,

Harvest,
Ridley Bent singing Heart of Gold!
are you ready for the country
Chris Dunn, those beautiful solos!
Sky Onosson on piano
Ken McMahon, percussion
Ryan Menard on bass
Andrew Neville singing out on the weekend
and harvest
Jaxon Haldane
singing what Romi calls
“the hard ones,”
a man needs a maid
there’s a world
and jaxon’s current fave from Harvest
Alabama

Jaxon Haldane at NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

Jaxon Haldane at NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

Romi Mayes
says it,

those people
who say
Neil Young
can’t sing,
are fucking
out of their minds.

she sings as high as she can during
Old Man
and as low as she can.
and she has her friends
sing all those gems
crazy pearls
sexy sapphires
dance(y) diamonds
big and sparkly
and then Romi sings
us
the needle and the damage done

rhyme and reason
time and season
Harvest
is
a treasure.

Scott Nolan
performed Friday and Saturday nights.
on the piano,
with his harmonica
and backing vocals
from The Chesterfields,
joanna, zap and rachel

Scott Nolan at NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

Scott Nolan at NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

albuquerque
cowgirl in the sand
long may you run
after the gold rush
everybody knows this is nowhere
helpless

Keith Dyck
sang 5 faves
including
This Old Guitar
Neil Young’s tribute to
(a great musician)
a guitar that belonged to Hank Williams
that Neil has had
for longer than Hank was alive!
“it made me ball
every time
i heard it,
made me ball
the first 50
times i played it,”
Keith confesses.

i Love that song.

Chris Carmichael at NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

Chris Carmichael at NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

and the 5th Neilfest
ended
with Chris Carmichael
and Damon Mitchell
trading whammy bar
distortion leads
downing shots
between songs
and the best drummer
in the city
from The Weber Brothers
Corndog!
(a newly minted Winnipegger)
and Ryan Menard on bass.

NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

one hour
45 minutes

cinnamon girl (twice)
powderfinger
you are like a hurricane
wonderin’
don’t cry
cortez the killer
ohio
don’t be denied
hey babe
southern man
homegrown
dirty old man
fucking up

and 1 or 2 songs
i forgot to note!

i overheard
Jake Bell
another great local drummer
passionately
telling a friend
if only Neil Young knew…
about this…

and i remembered when Neil was here
for Shakin All Over
when he shared the stage with Burton Cummings
and Randy Bachman,
when these local heroes
were here
to celebrate the bands
who influenced them…

Neil came out to watch
in the audience
but as soon as people
recognized him
they came, 100s
and in no time
No One paid attention
to the musicians on stage.

so he had to leave.

return backstage.
when all he wanted to do
was watch and enjoy these
wonderful musicians
who inspired him
his dreams.
his glory.

he wanted to acknowledge
their
influence
on his journey.

no,
Neil Young
can’t come
to Winnipeg
for Neilfest.

but you can.

right around his birthday.

Times Changed
High and Lonesome

there are advance
tickets and a few
spots open at the door.
every show sold out
early.

see you in 2011.
i reserved my tickets,

early.

oh, Times also
hosts
birthday tributes
for Tom Waits
Bob Dylan
Gram Parsons
Merle Haggard
Tom Petty
Hank Williams
Stompin Tom Connors
and so many more.
Our musicians
are
beyond anything
you can imagine,
The Best!

Thank you
Musicians.

Thank you
John Scoles.

Neilfest
Nov 12th/13th
Times Changed.

NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

NeilFest 2010, Times Change(d) Cafe, Winnipeg, Nov 13 2010. Wade Little photo

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene

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