A small but adoring crowd greeted Danny O'Keefe for his first visit to Australia. "We're talking serious Danny O'Keefe fans here," one called out to the Seattle based singer songwriter early in his twenty song set.

This appeared to relax the artist and he responded positively from a less distant stance.

He delivered a series of poignant and plaintive songs about lost love, with accompanying anecdotes of old favourites from his nine album back catalogue, stretching back to his eponymous release from 1970.

There was a sprinkling of new songs, the highlight being the ironic He Would Have Loved You More Than Eva Braun.

However, it was on the older songs that O'Keefe, accompanied by acoustic guitar, demonstrated his exceptional quality as a solo performer.

Angel Spread Your Wings, Quits, The Road, Along For The Ride and Catfish were greeted with wild enthusiasm.

Possessing a voice pure and clear and a highly proficient guitar prowess, he threw away the set list for a while and responded positively to audience requests.

Forgetting the words to a recent song Souvenirs he was immediately reminded of the lost lyric by an audience member sitting close to the stage.

The riveting I'm Sober Now clearly demonstrated his former battle with the booze, which he openly admitted by acknowledging "Hey, Charlie's having a good time tonight, sober too."

The ninety-minute set passed all too quickly, and he returned for the first encore with Mike McClellan (who had opened the show) to deliver Song and Dance Man and his major 1970's hit Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues.

With the audience baying for more, O'Keefe returned solo to generously perform three further songs including the brilliant Farewell To Storyville (Good Time Flat Blues).

Many people in the crowd would have owned one or two Danny O'Keefe vinyl albums from the seventies, perhaps long forgotten.

For a short time on a Tuesday night in Richmond, we were clearly reminded and privileged to be in the presence of a master tunesmith.

< Danny O'Keefe at Basement Discs

Review by Lawrie Weir with photos by Anne Sydenham

1.Along For The Ride.
2. The First Time.
3.The Road.
5.Angel Spread Your Wings.
8.I'm Sober Now.
11.He Would Have Loved You More Than Eva Braun.
12.If I Hold You With My Heart.
15.Last Call.
16.Song and Dance Man.(with Mike McClellan)
17.Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues.
18.Just Sleep With You.
19.Farewell To Storyville (Good Time Flat Blues)
20.Bottle Up and Go.

top / back to articles