• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Great songs but where's the edge?

The Roaming Roots Revue

The Roaming Roots Revue

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Seen on January 19

AND so it came to pass that the early 70s bohemian idyll of Laurel Canyon came to be regarded as a golden era of the singer-songwriter.

So tonight we have Roddy Hart and The Lonesome Fire introducing a string of guests performing classics from that time, ranging in quality from entertaining (Lau's version of James Taylor's Fire and Rain, a collaboration with Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith on Jackson Browne's Before the Deluge), to excellent (Lindi Ortega's take on The Eagles' Desperado) to breathtaking (Siobhan Wilson's reading of Joni Mitchell's A Case Of You).

Entirely missing was any acknowledgement that the Laurel Canyon community, retreating from the heady excitement of psychedelia into a Class A drug-induced stupor, opened a Pandora's box which encouraged big business and "hip" capitalism to neuter youth culture and its spokespeople.

And so tonight Hotel California's wasted nihilism is instead reduced to feelgood nostalgia, and Neil Young's Revolution Blues (Well, I hear that Laurel Canyon/ Is full of famous stars/But I hate them worse than lepers/ And I'll kill them/ In their cars) with its allusions to Charles Manson is the unheard ghost at the feast.

Richard Walker

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.