Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Tom Lindsay
Ten years ago for his 40th birthday, singer-songwriter-musicman about town Michael Eck was honored with a surprise party at Valentine’s Music Hall in which a big batch of his musician pals and bandmates (past and present) took the stage to sing his songs back at him.
Last Saturday, Eck stepped out on the stage of the Steamer No. 10 Theatre in Albany and reclaimed the songs for his own with a combination concert/birthday celebration.
From rough and tumble spitfire (“The Gossip Train,” “Exit Wound”) to tender ballads (“Yellow Ribbons,” “The weight of the World”), Eck ran the musical and emotional gamut, as he served up two generous sets of original tunes culled from his rich, four-album solo catalog.
The concert was billed as a rare return to Eck’s “maximum solo acoustic” attack, and for the most part, that’s what he served up. He didn’t go strictly alone, however, enlisting a handful of musicians – most notably dobroist Kevin Maul and vocalist Rosanne Raneri – to help him out on a few songs scattered throughout the night.
But of course the spotlight remained focused on the birthday boy, a 30-year veteran of the Nippertown music scene. And as he sang during the final song of the show:
“I’m glad that I’m not old, and I’m glad that I’m not young.
I’ve sung my song, and now my song is sung”
MICHAEL ECK SET LIST
Modern Boy Blues
Date Nail (Railroad Song) (w/ Kevin Maul)
Quiet as Flowers (w/ Kevin Maul)
Dorothy Parker’s Ghost
Marigny Blues (w/ Rosanne Raneri)
Whiskey for My Coffee (w/ Rosanne Raneri)
Do You Hear My Jesus (w/ Greg Haymes & Tom Lindsay)
The Gossip Train
You’re a Mountain
The Weight of the World (w/ Rosanne Raneri)
Dead Man’s Shirt
Yellow Ribbons (w/ Kevin Maul)
Pony (Ride Away) (w/ Rosanne Raneri, Kevin Maul, C.B. Smith, M.R. Poulopoulos, Bryan Thomas)
In My Shoes
Black Shoes (w/ Rosanne Raneri)