I’ve seen Tony Joe White a few times now – even got to interview him a few years back; he’s got some good yarns. But this was the first time I saw him and his music was fairly new to me, I knew him as songwriter only and quickly caught up on what I could, via a couple of compilations. And I bought a ticket and took myself to the show.
I loved the James Cabaret (still do – by the way). But at this point I’d only seen a few shows there – all of them had been fantastic. For this everyone was just sitting on the ground, chilling out between sets – and people stayed seated for a while when Tony Joe strolled out. He started the show by improvising a blues about flying into Wellington, he was just sitting there with that massive drawl, a bunch of harmonicas, his guitar. And he was good. Really fucking good.
A couple of songs in he goes, “I’m gonna introduce my drummer to y’all, say hello to Boom Boom” – or something like that. Second song of the night he asked for requests.
It was an amazing show. I’ve enjoyed seeing him – and listening to him – ever since this. But thinking back now this really was one special show.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.