Last Night: Kathleen Edwards & John Doe at the Tractor

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doedwards.JPG

Photo by 'Lil Scoop.

Who: Kathleen Edwards & John Doe

Where: Tractor Tavern

When: Tuesday, November 18

Kathleen Edwards and John Doe go together like

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Last Night: Kathleen Edwards & John Doe at the Tractor

  • Last Night: Kathleen Edwards & John Doe at the Tractor

  • ">

    doedwards.JPG

    Photo by 'Lil Scoop.

    Who: Kathleen Edwards & John Doe

    Where: Tractor Tavern

    When: Tuesday, November 18

    Kathleen Edwards and John Doe go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Both have true, rich voices that rank among the best in roots rock, and the pair have a palpable chemistry onstage that led to a classic exchange during last night's sold-out show at the Tractor. In an attempt to puncture the libidinous balloon in the room, Doe mentioned that he contemplated calling their joint jaunt the "We're not fucking tour," to which Edwards responded that she wanted to call the tour "We're not fucking...yet."

    Doe and Edwards first met at a Gram Parsons tribute concert four years ago, where Doe humbly confessed to being happily upstaged by "real stars" like Dwight Yoakam, whom Edwards said was "wearing fucking spurs on his boots." Rather than adhering to a traditional opener-headliner structure, Doe and Edwards came out together sans band and quickly launched into a duet version of the title track from Edwards' latest LP, Asking for Flowers. (I'm going to apologize up front for not being as schooled as I should be on Doe's vast oeuvre.) The crowd, unsurprisingly, was almost exclusively 30 and up, with the median age hovering around 40 -- and the guy in the back who kept burping up pepperoni needs to change butchers, pronto.

    After a couple tunes, Doe left the stage to Edwards for a few solo tracks, among them the sumptuous "Copied Keys" from her best album, Back to Me, and the clever "You Get the Dough, I Get the Glory" off Flowers. Before launching into "Run," she spun a long yarn about how she used to be an avid runner, but that she eventually quit because it caused her to eat too much peanut butter and be in too good a mood -- an emotional no-no, she said, for a songwriter. She also mentioned that the first time she ever played here was at the Sunset with Richard Buckner, and that while she loves playing Seattle, she "really loves Ballard."

    When the pair would play together, which was for roughly 2/3 of the show, Edwards revealed herself to be a marvelous multi-instrumentalist, rotating between guitar, mandolin, and violin. She probably overdid it by fashioning a tambourine she could play with her foot, which was the subject of a little performer-to-performer ribbing from Doe, whom Edwards would all but nuzzle during periods when the two would step away from their microphone stands and jam a little.

    Toward the end of their two-hour, all-acoustic set, which flew by, Edwards and Doe performed a scintillating rendition of "The Golden State," a soaring Doe-penned ditty that Eddie Vedder and Corin Tucker recently covered, and will doubtless enjoy a reign atop the college radio charts for.

    I left hoping that this won't be the last time I'll see this pair touring together, so well do they mesh. Doe will join his X ex Exene and Dave Alvin in an all-star band called the Knitters at the Tractor in mid-January. But sweet as that show will be, part of me will feel like he's cheating on Kathleen. Let's hope she and Mr. Doe are fucking by then, because they make a really dynamite couple, even if he's old enough to be her cool uncle.

     
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