A review, by Jeremy Owen
The first season of the new Spirit of Rasputin’s is drawing to a successful close (with just four Sundays left before the break -including the Gil Levine tribute on the 6th and Terry tufts on the 20th). It was both poetic and appropriate, therefore, to feature Meredith Luce this past Sunday night, since Meredith – by her own admission – got her start at the original Rasputin’s several years ago.
I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing those first sets, but catching Meredith’s show on Sunday showed me that the longevity of female singer/songwriters in Canadian Folk Music is assured. She is already leaving her mark upon the landscape, and I look forward to seeing in totality the legacy that is sure to follow in her wake.
For over an hour –sometimes alone, other times with Eric Vieweg of the Withering Pines- Meredith gave an enchanting performance and a preview of the future of folk; a future which, in her talented hands, seems quite secure. In her music she combines modern influences with the traditional, creating a timeless sort of stew, an exquisite balancing act between her rock-solid playing and her captivating voice.
In addition to playing songs from her latest album “Neck of the Woods”, she debuted a new song which has lingered with me long after the rest of the evening fades into memory. Called ‘the Legend of the Human Race’, the song describes future archaeologists who, sifting through our modern detritus, are trying to figure out who we were. In listening to the song and contemplating its message afterward, I felt fragile and fleeting, but the feeling was not without hope.
Because, her song promises, something will endure. Something will outlast us.
And if we are really lucky, one of those artifacts pulled from future digs may just be a copy of “Neck of the Woods”: let the people of the future judge us all by Meredith’s music and I’ll be satisfied.
If Meredith and Eric had been the evening’s sole performers it would still have been accounted a fabulous show; worth every penny paid in admission and beer. What really pushed the night over the edge however – and made it uniquely Rasputin’s – were show openers Rio Samaya. This duo –hailing from Vancouver but with a vivid Latin American flavor- did the work of an entire band, oftentimes swapping out instruments mid-song in what can only be described as an impressive display of virtuosity. It was simply amazing to see.
All told, it was another night of musical magic at the Elmdale, and another golden thread in the tapestry of local music history.
http://www.meredithluce.com/ (http://www NULL.meredithluce NULL.com/)
http://www.panchoandsal.com/ (http://www NULL.panchoandsal NULL.com/)