Skip to main content

Cravin Melon/Lincoln Theater

I was working for a couple days in Charlotte, but when I got home to Durham, I knew I had to go see Cravin Melon's show in Raleigh Saturday night.

My Hootie pal Gary Greene was back in the engine room for the band. I never get to see him play, so this was my chance. Plus we'd just played together, along with Doug Jones, Cravin's splendid singer, down at the Sewee Outpost show.

I'm not much of a clubgoer anymore. Especially solo, like Saturday. I wrote out the directions in large longhand and put off leaving the coziness of home until the very last moment, even reprogramming my iPod with a little Idle Race/Move/Roy Wood mix for the ride over. I left and locked the house without remembering the garage had lost my car key last week. It was a foregone conclusion that I was going, but the prelude to actually getting on my way was fairly inept and time-consuming.

So much so that, approximately forty-five seconds after I set foot through the door, Cravin Melon struck up the first acapella notes of "The Great Procrastinator". The audience roared their approval, and the first gig by a beloved band in seven years had begun. I lived elsewhere at the time so I never got to see these guys in their heyday, but from the response they got Saturday their following has been laying in wait since they packed it in.

I did, however, spend a few days with the band, before Gary joined them, writing with them. They were very sweet people to hang with, and even though I'm not much of a co-writer, we came up with a song they recorded, "She Loves the Fire" and they played that next.

I had forgotten how bad-ass a bass player Rob Clay is. And Jimbo Chapman, with his finely sculpted tone, made every note in every solo count. Gary, as expected, was subtle and powerful.

Doug Jones' voice is expansive, cutting across the tops of songs. His delivery is deadpan, distracted slightly. His voice is always sure and strong, even when it's quiet and reserved. Some people are born singers, and I think Doug is certainly one of those people.

The crowd sang along to all the songs, raising their beer bottles and cell phone cameras in the air.

Back at the bar, the Carolina game was finishing up. Somehow I hadn't expected to hear any cheering for the Tarheels in a Raleigh club, but sure enough, after they'd dumped Louisville, a few yells were audible between Cravin songs.

Sad to say, my old bones didn't make it to the end. The prospect of an early-rising four year old on Sunday morning, expecting pancakes, necessitated me booking about an hour in, and I'm sorry about that. It was wonderful to see the outpouring of love from an audience who'd obviously been missing Cravin Melon. The band gave it back to their fans with interest, and their songs resounded through their listeners like shared memories at a party, sweet, funny, happy and wistful.


Popular posts from this blog

Back in the saddle again -- new shows and updates from Peter H

  Outside The Hit Shed, Durham NC Hi everyone, Getting ready to start back up again, after a year-plus out of action onstage. I have five shows opening up for  Tommy Prine (son of John) coming soon:     August 6 - Georgia Theater (Athens GA)     August 7 - Cat's Cradle Back Room (Chapel Hill NC)     August 8 - The Grey Eagle (Asheville NC)     September 3 - 118 North (Philadelphia PA)     September 4 - Rams Head (Annapolis MD) I'm also going to open for the Connells , whose new album Steadman's Wake is superb:     September 18 - The Eastern (Atlanta GA) You all probably already know about Our Back Pages  (by Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey) being released on LP and CD via Omnivore Recordings, but if not, here's a link to the new video for "Today Could Be the Day." The songs on OBP are from the catalog of The dB's but given new and interesting treatments by Chris and me. I've been working in The Hit Shed, my home studio, over the months, writing a

Jungle gym

Day before yesterday, after school, I got to watch the five-year-old put hand after hand on the overhead ladder and get himself from one side to the other. It seemed like only days ago that he'd been struggling, worried about how to get from one rung to the next, how far down he would fall and how badly he'd be hurt if he did fall. Now he boldly traversed the ladder with me ten feet away, hearing "watch this, Daddy" and looking on, gapemouthed and amazed. I remember having that feeling about ten years ago, out at the lakefront park in New Orleans, watching my daughter struggling the same way for weeks of her trying and dropping to the sand, sadly defeated for all her effort. Until one day, she swung herself to the next rung, stayed attached then did it again with a look of intense exhiliration in her face. She was incredibly proud of her victory, as was I, and she has excelled at gymnastics and physical education ever since. There's one more child that I get to

"Back yet again!" says the Infrequent Blogger

(photo by Bill Reaves) I am inevitably confounded by the amount of time I let go by between posts here. My last post was February of last year (2022). You may ask yourself "what was he doing that prevented him from posting again?" and the answer is, of course, "nothing really." I forget I have this place to write my thoughts down for a waiting world to read, which would be helpful for me as well to empty my chaotic mind and make a little space. But since you're here and may be wondering what I'm up to, I'll try to fill you in. Mostly, I'm tending to home stuff. I do laundry and pick up groceries and a lot of domestic engineering that involves a broom, dustpan and mop. And sometimes that sweet shower glass cleaner recipe I found a while ago that makes it so you can see out again. We have a new junior at UNC-W and a new junior at Riverside High School, and they've been navigating their lives outside the nest. The high schooler just got her drivers&