Louisville Homefront Performances Resume Performances

David Olney and Grammer Evans Featured

By Jean Metcalfe

If it hadn't been for the Homefront folk and especially their dependable "booking agent" Dallas Embry, I may never have had the good fortune to meet David Olney and hear him perform his great original songs.

On Saturday evening, September 16, Olney introduced me to songs that made me want to take them home on cassette tape as well as in my memory, which I did and I'm glad.

When I stepped inside the door of the Stuart Robinson Auditorium I felt very welcome. David Evans and John Grammer, who make up Grammer Evans, were in the midst of a nice version of "I've Got My Doubts About You Boy," which I have heard and enjoyed many times as it was written by my friend and colleague Paul Moffett.

(Evans, Moffett and I were three of the four charter members of the Louisville Area Songwriters' Cooperative; Debi Knight was the fourth.)

Grammer Evans continued with a nice version of Dave's "Shadow" (a favorite of mine) from their Pseudo-Live album. "And now, as they say, for something completely different," said John, introducing his excellent instrumental original "Femando's Ore."

Next Olney gave the audience a preview of his talent in his pre-taping portion of the program. "Remember this when you write your book, that this is the road that General Lee took" were the first words of the first song that Olney offered. He continued with "Bama Lou" ("What in the world am I supposed to do with a crazy girl like you?"). From his Rounder Records album, Eye 0f the Storm, he sang "(If I Were) Saturday Night And (You Were) Sunday Morning," wherein, that being the case, "for a fleeting moment we could touch at midnight."

I especially enjoyed Olney's "Love's Been Linked to the Blues," which advises that the Surgeon General says that "if you gotta have bad habits, it's better to stick to booze, 'cause love's been linked to the blues." ("They've checked it out on little mice and rats.")

When emcee John Gage introduced Olney for the taped-for-radio portion of the evening, he used the Townes Van Zandt quote that Olney is "the finest songwriter that I've ever known." I don't doubt that Van Zandt said it Olney is indeed "right up there" with the likes of that gentleman and Olney was to later return the compliment.

Sounding at times like Kenny Rogers (although not in his delivery of that sound), Olney drew songs from his latest album Deeper Well. (He related that he has been "in constant contact with my people and they assure me that any day now it the album will break into double figures") From Deeper Well Olney also sang "Women Across the River," a haunting song that makes you want to rewind the tape and listen to it again before continuing.

Grammer Evans, characterized by Gage as having a "style ranging all the way from the classic standards of Bach Right on down. to the funky ... pseudo-acoustic original music." They led-off with Evans' "Fishin' Hole" and "Love Of A Lifetime" from Pseudo-Live, with Grammer explaining that the latter number "describes pseudo-acoustic better than we can." It contained a flashy instrumental break, as did the follow-up "Ladder Of Love," also an Evans original and a cut on the aforementioned album.

Emcee Gage joined GE on stage and sang a Bill Staines song (was the title "River, Take Me Along"?), which he dedicated to "the Ohio River in the hope that one day we might even clean it up." Gage, Evans and Grammer appealed to the sing-along nature of the audience by inviting them to do so on Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' No Where."

Following a nice a cappella version of "Honest Work," the two talented performers laid on us Grammer's rowdy "Deymosall" (a leering but fun male-gender declaration that "no matter what they're like on the flip side, they most all look good from the back." Wink, wink.) They ended with Evans' very sexy "Telephone Song," a cut on Pseudo-Live.

Olney came back to do another set for the taped for radio hour, and his songs seemed to get better and better. Introduced by Gage as someone who "takes us into the heart of life and asks us to think a bit," Olney countered with "I was gonna do something stupid and tasteless and you blew it." He lived up to his introduction on the first number "Jerusalem Tomorrow" from Deeper Well, a song well worth the price of the album and one which several of today's televangelists would do well to study.

Switching to lighter fare, Olney tickled the audience's funnybone with a number which he said he heard one night by former President Reagan. ("He had a little band he fronted," Olney said.) The song had Reagan telling how good things were for him and how bad things were for "you guys." The lyrics were great.

The radio hour ended with Olney playing the show off the air after introducing us to the title cut from his Deeper Well album and "Chain Of Gold."

Both acts returned for post-taping sets that were truly entertaining. Grammer Evans even did a little whistling of the theme from the Andy Grifflrh Show and Olney revved up with "Long and Lean Limousine." And before the evening was finished he even sang "Titanic" as told from the iceberg's point of view.

It was truly a great evening of great original music performed by the very capable writers.

Let's have more concerts like this one!