Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The Early Bird Aural Tectonic Shift Pageant at Normal's, Sunday February 10th
Study this head above well, my friends. It belongs to the body of Don Peyton, an iconic Baltimore figure who has more wild-assed stories than you’ve got grannies with carbunkles! One of my faves involves him as a youth in downtown Annapolis (back when it was 95% human, before the androids performed their nefarious takeover). He was gibbering like a squirrel with its nuts being pinched by a briar patch in front of the old King of France Tavern, waving around Black Beauties while on Black Beauties, rapping with none other than Stan Getz. Before he knew it a famous beat cop of the area was approaching and Don spilt his black beans on the pavement. Stan Getz, being old school hep jazzman begins playing his horn all around Officer Kransky to create a diversion while Peyton scrambled like an atomic crab to gather his winky bits!!!
Or there’s the story of when Don lived in New York and was becoming a member of a new band called The Swans. Before their first gig they were arranging what time to be at the show. When Don heard the scheduled time he said, “Good, I get off work an hour before that, I’ll be able to get there in time.” Herr Gira said: ”Swans do not have jobs. And Swans do not have apartments.” Don did not make it to the second Swans appearance on the Sullivan Show. He went on to play in the great group Songs From a Random House and eventually ended up back in Baltimore, living above ye olde "Bob's Subgenius Video Shoppe" in Sowebo back when about only a tenth of the living spaces were occupied and Dan Van Allan would wander alone late at night in nothing but jean shorts cut up to where his yarbles breath saying "Who will help me faux finish yonder Church bench? Meet me in the Arabbers' stable, I have a doobie and two carved coconut heads that resemble Captain Chesapeake!"
At any rate, Don has is a great musician, great storyteller and one of Baltimore’s treasures. On Feb. 10th, two Sundays ago, he and Dan Breen played some out freeform duets, covered an Earle Brown composition with Selena Schreyer on vocals and Charlie Chadwick on cello and did a beautiful cover of a Tinklers’ classic with the same quartet.
Opening was Geff Stuibbhart, who I wish Jack Rose was alive to hear. Geff knows his delta masters, the Takoma boys (Fahey and Basho) and all the rich American traditional folks and has absorbed it and oozes out a rich sound all his own. Despite still fighting off a version of this winter’s plague he played some incredible finger picking instrumentals on guitar and banjo, my favorite being “Buried Alive in Coal”.