Outside the Berklee College of Music
This weekend's radio broadcast is an encore presentation recorded in May 2007 as part of the first "Moving the Mountain" tour. We recorded three shows in six days with a travel day in between, lugging 3.5 tons of recording equipment and a crew of twenty-something up the east coast.
Last week's radio show (up for podcast at our Archives) with Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, Cowboy Junkies, Martin Sexton, Ben Arnold and Eric Bazilian & Rob Hyman was recorded at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, PA, the first stop on the tour. We were welcomed warmly by our friends at WXPN in Philadelphia, and World Cafe host David Dye showed up to introduce Larry Groce (below).
Mavis Staples' dressing room, sign by Joey Ansel, stagehand extraordinaire.
From there we went to Boston to record at the famed Berklee College of Music with our friends at
. We welcomed two distinct icons of American folk music in Mavis Staples and Judy Collins. Both talented singers have very different backgrounds and careers and both are consummate performers the audience seemed to enjoy equally. "I don't know about you," Mavis said from the stage, "But I'm havin' myself a good time!"
A bunch of us tuned in at our hotel room the night before to see Mavis performing on David Letterman. You can hear one of her songs from the show, "Eyes on the Prize," on our Song of the Week page.
At the time, songwriter Lori McKenna was living in Boston and had just released
, a CD of her country-flavored tunes, some of which she performed on the show (see the set list). She's written songs for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, which led to an appearance on Oprah.
Most recently her material can be found on the latest CD by Mandy Moore, Amanda Leigh (who is coincidentally married to Ryan Adams). I climbed into the scaffolding to capture the above photo during Lori's set.
As you might imagine there were pianos all over the place at Berklee, including in our catering room. I turned the corner to find Todd Snider, who just made his 10th appearance on the show this past weekend, plunking intently on the piano. "Brown Eyed Girl" if I remember correctly.
Todd did some of his greatest hits on the show and was in top form both in song and in between songs. He is great at his funny and profound songs, but he proves with "All My Life" that he's capable of writing a tender love-song as well.