Report: Tommy Keene Live in Portland



Jan. 29 in Mississippi Studios, the Bard
O’ Pop delivered, in spades.


By Tim Hinely
/Photo by Martin Winch

Was excited to
see Keene’s touring partner, Austin’s 
Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves but alas, they cancelled their tour due
to bass player issues and then for some odd reason they had Keene, on the scene
for nearly three decades with an armful of terrific records, open for Portland
newbies Parson’s Red Heads. Now, admittedly an early bird like me didn’t mind
but geez, give the guy some respect (not that the Parsons Red Heads aren’t any
good ‘cos they certainly are, but still).


Keene and crew
hit the state at 9:15 PM and he has one helluva backing band, both the younger
lead guitarist and drummer are shit hot and the bassist certainly was no slouch
either, just more low-key (and according to Arena Rock Recording Co’s Greg
Glover the bassist played in ‘bama band Carnival Season nearly two decades ago
and currently lives in Japan and heads to America to tour with Tommy).  Keene,
no slouch on guitar either, can certainly bend some strings as well and he’s
not afraid to rock the hell out, either. He opened with a scorching version of
“Call On Me” from his 1986 record Songs
from the Film
and played a few other from that record as well, namely
“Places That Are Gone” as well as a few from, his latest release, the solid Behind the Parade (Second Motion
Records) including the title track, and “Nowhere Drag” He also tossed in the
terrific “Long Time Missing” from 1998’s Isolation
).  The guy (and his band) is a
real pro who still s pours his heart out every night whether he’s playing to 5
or 500 folks.  He still genuinely enjoys
doing it, that much you can tell.



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