So - finally made it to the Stoughton Opera House for the Tony Rice Unit show on Friday.
I stopped off at the Pour House beforehand. Nice place; nice people. Since I was flying solo I took full advantage of the little crewets filled with Trivial Pursuit / other trivia game cards to amuse myself while I chowed/swilled.
The venue itself was extremely cool; they did a great job with the restoration. My one complaint is having to negotiate two flights of extremely narrow stairs to get to the bathrooms, and to get out of the place at the end of the show; I had flashbacks to trying to get out of Wrigley Field after a Cubs game.
As for the show - I was in the second row, right in front of the fiddle player. He looked oddly familiar to me; I thought 'Where have I seen this guy before?' Finally it hit me - I had been parked right in front of him at the Emmylou Harris show back in the fall. He may have been wondering if I wasn't stalking him.
Tony himself didn't disappoint. I've been fortunate enough to see Richard Thompson, Leo Kottke and Bob Mould all do acoustic shows; while I would say that Thompson plays with more emotion and Kottke has a greater mastery of guitar harmonics, only Mould maybe - maybe - is a faster picker than Mr. Rice.
Dude be fast. Ho-lee shit.
One amusing sidenote / possible freaky coincidence: Tony closed the show with a cover of "The Last Thing On My Mind." Which is funny because Werner Herzog's Stroszek, set in Wisconsin, features the Les Paul / Mary Ford cover of the same tune.
Is Tony Rice a big Herzog fan? Or was this just one of the myriad vagaries of the cosmos?
Sadly, we may never know...