Garth Hudson on stage, Wolf Performance Hall, London, Ontario, 09.08.2002.
Photo by Geoff Robins, from the London Free Press, 09.09.2002.

Garth Hudson backstage, Wolf Performance Hall, London, Ontario, 09.08.2002.
Photo by Serge Daniloff.

Concert review

by Lance Anderson, September 9th, 2002

Last night I had the great pleasure of recording one of the most special evenings of music I have heard. I recorded 'An Intimate Evening of Music with Garth Hudson' at The Wolf Theatre in London ON. It was my honour.

Although not strictly a Blues concert, as he played a lot of Jazz in the program, it was one of the finest diplays of piano playing I have ever witnessed by a musician who is totally dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in music. Not only is Garth naturally gifted, but he has seriously investigated most genres of North American piano music of the past century (including blues, boogie woogie, jump blues rock n roll etc ...).

Remember, this is on the piano, not the organ which he is already well known for. (He also played virtuoso accordian, including some Romanian music and a number of saxes, but that's a whole other tale.)

As we talked after the concert, it became obvious that he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Blues, Jazz and Rhythm and Blues music and recordings. This man has lived for this music for the better part of his 60+ years. The audience, was not prepared for this onslaught of brillance and it floored them. Though the concert started anywhere from 1/2 an hour to an hour late due to confusion of the start time printed on the tickets and some technical difficulties with a film crew, they hung in there for what can only be described as a most memorable evening with Garth and his wife Maud.

If you have an opportunity to hear this phenomena, run don't walk to get a ticket. As you can tell, as a piano player, I am finding it hard to express how incredibly inspiring this gentle soul is. Unlike someone like Oscar Peterson who is 'touched by God', and has an inherited gift like Mozart had (and therefore, in a way, is beyond us mere mortals,) Garth's dedication to hard work, practice, youthful exuberance and sheer determination has inspired me to renew my investigation and to work on areas that have always given me trouble. It's his example that inspires.

Another unique aspect of Garth's approach to music is his 'theories of learning.' How to learn something in the fastest and most efficient way. He has given a lot of thought, not only as to what to learn but more importantly, as to the best way to learn it. I have never met, in all my musical education, anyone with more unique and insightful things to say on this subject, than Garth.

As you can probably tell I was thrilled to be around such a special artist and just had to tell someone. Sometimes life is very rewarding. Hopefully we can finish this recording and get it out soon, so that you can experience what I did last night. This is stuff of legends.