David Olney and Sergio Webb

On Friday September 17, David Olney and Sergio Webb entertained a very appreciative crowd at a Queen City Balladeers special concert.

Gayle Grantham’s liner notes on Olney’s CD “Deeper Well” described the experience perfectly (and there is no sense trying to improve on perfection): “Olney’s songs are the heart of the matter. They reflect what he has been reading, a theory that he has been gnawing on, or a feeling he has about the people he has known or events he has witnessed. They have startling imagery, plots…. “In the on-going debate of substance versus form, hairdo versus heart, there is only one conclusion to be made about David Olney: no smarmy claptrap here. He is the genuine article.”

Olney and Webb performed for nearly three hours; including a 15-20 minute break about two-thirds of the way through. During the break, David sold CDs and talked to and joked with members of the audience. Being that “up-close and personal” with a talented artist is certainly one of the things that make the Queen City Balladeer concerts unique and memorable.

The other is the music. Some of the songs that stood out for me were:

  • Titanic : the famous wreck – from the iceberg’s point of view.
  • Jerusalem Tomorrow: spoken word, from the point of view of a slick hustler following a new kind of preacher who talks about love and doesn’t ask for money.
  • If My Eyes Were Blind: a love song.
  • Women Across the River: traditional sounding folk song about female wisdom and power
  • And a song about Vermeer’s “Girl With Pearl Earring” for which I don’t recall the title

And finally, there was Sergio Webb’s lead guitar work (and other accompaniment) that complemented Olney’s songs perfectly.

It is one of the things I love about the QCB special concerts – they never disappoint. I’ve learned to trust that if the QCB thinks enough of an artist to bring them in, it is going to be a great concert.

What about you? Were you there? What stood out for you?

Eric Hansen, web administrator

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