Mike Plume- Edmonton, March 24 2016   Leave a comment



This past week, Edmonton folks have been reflecting on a memorable show that occurred 20 years or so back featuring a band that is big now- Radiohead, Coldplay…someone like that. Doesn’t matter. Last night at The Almanac 150 or thereabouts were fortunate to capture something equally memorable, the return of Mike Plume to the burgh formerly known as the city of champions.

I’ve followed Plume mostly from a distance these last 20+ years: I caught he and the band opening for Fred Eaglesmith once a lifetime ago in Red Deer. Despite having heard Plume live fewer times than many others in attendance on this evening, my appreciation for Plume is well-developed. His albums are of a consistently high caliber, and he has dropped a series of live recordings that reveal his sharp wit and timing, not to mention keen songwriting and performance chops.

All were on display as Plume returned to the city where he started to make his name before relocating to Toronto and Nashville. Now on his way back, this one-off gig was a show I couldn’t miss. Well worth the hour drive home through the dark.

The two-hour long set leaned heavily on his most recent recordings Red and White Blues and 8:30 Newfoundland. I was (pleasantly) surprised how familiar the audience was with this material; for some reason, I believed these recordings had flown under the radar. Wrong there. Over the course of the evening, tunes including “Stay Where Yer At,” “Like A Bullet From a Gun,” Half Full is the Cup,” and “If Fins Were Wings” were greeted with enthusiasm and no little bit of sing-a-long. The hockey anthem “More Than a Game” and “So Long, Stompin’ Tom” proved popular, while “Coming Home Again” almost brought the roof down. Plume certainly captures the Canadian experience in his music.

Older songs were also performed, although I don’t recall anything that predated “Alcohol” and “Silver Lining.” One after another the hits kept coming with only “Steel Belted Radio” and “Rattle the Cage” notably absent, although folks shouting out requests for “Eldorado and the 12:15” and “Rust” were also disappointed: a pair of duets with Jenny O made up for such. “DiMaggio” remains one of the finest songs I can recall; “Free” isn’t far behind. A personal highlight was “Best Job I Ever Had,” the song Plume co-wrote with Guy Clark.

A tiny room soon to be renovated, The Almanac featured good sound throughout the evening. While the show was advertised by wait staff starting ‘a little after’ doors opened at 7, the music didn’t start until 8:40. The extended wait was quickly forgiven.



Posted 2016 March 25 by Donald Teplyske in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: