Go out and listen to something…

February 25, 2007

Hootie, New Columbia, and the Bolshoi

Filed under: music — burnett @ 7:01 am

…all in one day.¬ My colleagues in the New Columbia Swing Orchestra opened the Leukemia Ball at the Washington Convention Center last night.¬ Hootie and the Blowfish followed as the featured band for the benefit, but I slipped over to see the Bolshoi Ballet at the Kennedy Center after our performance.The Bolshoi presented their “Don Quixote”.¬ First, let me say that the music is stellar and the Ken. Cen. Orchestra was superb.¬ I did not know this score by Minkus, and it was a continual delight to hear the endless waltzes, lyrical pieces and the occasional polka.¬ The ballet had dazzling moments, and the dancers¬ delivered ¬ the required technical stunners.¬ However, I will say that there was no standout performer on this evening.¬ No knockout talents.¬ I hate to even say that, but I was kind of thinking that the Bolshoi would deliver a sensation.¬

Which brings me to Hootie and the Blowfish.¬ After the Bolshoi, I had to return to the Convention Center to retrieve equipment from the New Columbia group.¬ The visit enabled me to listen at length to Hootie.¬ The sound was quite uniform, and there was very little articulation in their mix.¬ The audio engineer was sitting at a 64 ? channel mixer, and yet the sound was a big mush.¬ What is with these guys, anyway?¬ The band was comprised of a guitarist who did the occasional Pete Townsend sendup, percussionist who played largely maracas and congas, bassist, drummer and keyboardist.¬ The feature of this band is Hootie’s voice.¬ Otherwise, the essential sound of each tune is the same.¬ ¬ Very rarely did the maracas or congas emerge from the mire, and the guitar solos were also buried in the general mix.¬ A pity, really.¬ The result was a sound that gave the distinct impression of a frat party band.

¬ By the way, thanks to New Columbia special guests:¬ Sue Jones, Danny Villenueva, Barry Dove, Mark Carson, Karl Mailand, John DeSalme, & Dan Haverstock.¬ ¬ It was an enlarged ensemble at the request of the host.

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