Show Review: Dan's the Man

With all due respect to The Wooden Birds, the billing was backwards last Thursday at the Crofoot in Pontiac.

Andrew Kenny's thoughtful musical arrangements and lyrics reminded us of driving across the open farmland and prairies of middle America: steady rhythm, soft undulations and a clear view of where you're headed. The Austin, Texas-based band (pictured below) and their mellow, southern-inflected brand of ambling country rock was no doubt well-received in Louisville, Ken. where they played the night before.

But based on heads alone Dan Mangan was the headliner in the Pike Room that evening, and it was obvious that audience appreciation-- which included our fellow CBC Radio 3 bloggers Wapuche and jojodillon-- went far beyond body count. A confessed introduction to Kentucky bourbon in Louisville appeared to have no affect on Mangan and his band: guitarist Gord Grdina, bassist John Walsh and drummer Kenton Loewen.

They enthusiastically delivered the majority of Nice, Nice, Very Nice, a few selections from Postcards And Dreaming plus a new song composed while on tour, concluding with a rousing "Robots" sing along. Mangan seemed genuinely surprised everyone knew the words. So were we. Ring the bells that still can ring and sing your stupid head off to the ones who are not listening... We're listening, Dan. We're listening.

Photos: Yort Images