From Tracy: The Living Tradition Concert Series in Anaheim , this past Saturday, November 21:  We (TN $ R – Tracy Newman and the Reinforcements… that’s my new way of writing it,) opened for Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band.
A word about the venue – Steve and Michele Dulson started this series at the Anaheim Community Center ten years ago.  We’ve appeared there three times in the past two years, and felt privileged to be invited to play the final show under their management.  Gary and Terri Trobridge from Dallas will take over in January, 2010.  I look forward to working with them, but I will miss Steve and Michele.  They were dancing together in the back of the house through many songs… mainly waltzes, actually. You don’t see that too often.  The house was a good size, maybe 65 or a bit more… and very appreciative.  The sound was spectacular… I felt like every word of every song could be heard.  I was very much at ease because Lorie and Gene and I could hear each other so clearly!  That doesn’t happen all the time and it makes a huge difference.  Thank you to soundmen George and Steve… I don’t know your last names.  Thanks, guys!   I had my full band there – Lorie, Gene, John Cartwright on bass — (Did you know that he played with Harry Belafonte for 35 years?) – the fabulous John O’Kennedy on mandolin, dobro and Weisenborn, and the steady Doug Knoll on drums.  We did a pretty tight 45 minute set… an even mixture of songs from “ A Place in the Sun,” and new material.  I love doing “Table Nine.”  And each time we perform “Waffle Boy” I learn something new.  This time I learned that I can sing it slower that I have been.  There are a lot of words and the story is very detailed.  It’s good to slow down.  It worked very well that way for this crowd.  Of course, the crowd always loves seeing Lorie Doswell’s special moves to “Goodbye Aloha.”  Our encore was “Mama, I Know You Ain’t Santa,” which we only get to do a few times a year.  Not a dry eye…
Now, Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band – so great.  So entertaining and soulful.  Bluegrass .  Most of their songs are new and written by lead guitarist, Rob Carlson.  All about murder and heartbreak.  The only other artist I know who can pull that off is Ernest Troost.  Rob’s songs all sound like they’ve been around for years, and have been honed and changed over time the way real “folk songs” are supposed to be.  It’s quite an art and Rob is brilliant at it.  Susie has a high, pure voice.  I love it.  You can’t really talk about Susie Glaze without saying how cute she is.  Being a woman myself, and not always appreciating being called “cute,” I hope she’s not offended.  But damnit, that’s what she is.  Cute and in fact, quite beautiful.  Her husband, Steve Rankin (who is also a hard-working actor – Google him – you’ll recognize his face; you’ve seen him a million times), plays guitar and mandolin by her side.  The bass player is Fred Sanders.  He sang an original about parenting that was very moving.  All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed their show.  Lorie, Gene and I sat in the back and quietly harmonized.  Watching the show, I remembered a song I’ve known most of my life… the Ballad of Springhill, written by Ewan McCall and Peggy Seeger, about a mine disaster in Nova Scotia .  I think we’ll learn it and do it.  Needless to say, Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band were inspirational to me.  We’re doing another show together – on Saturday, Jan 9, 2010 at Kulak’s.  I can’t wait to see them again!  I’ll post details soon.