Michael Eck and Paul Grondahl @ Albany Public Library’s Local History Room
Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Ed Conway
Music meets books…
Songs meet stories…
Poems meet performance…
The Albany Public Library’s Reading Music series gives Greater Nippertown musicians the opportunity to dig in and create music inspired by works of literature.
Singer-songwriter Michael Eck has taken on that challenge before, teaming up with Matt Durfee two years ago to present songs based on John Steinbeck’s classic novel, “East of Eden.”
But with “Signals: Songs from Raymond Carver,” Eck took it one step further. Armed only with an ever-shifting array of guitars, Eck performed a dozen new songs – an entire album’s worth – expertly crafted from the short stories and poems of one of the greatest American writers of the ’80s.
Helping to illuminate Carver’s work and his place in American literature, journalist-author Paul Grondahl teamed up with Eck to offer insightful biographical background on Carver, as well as readings of some of his works, most notably the spare but creepy short story, “Neighbors.”