Concert review TERRI BINION and BJ BAARTMANS
In The Woods, Hollandsche Rading (NL) April 8th 2004
Reviewing CD's has many good sides and one of those is, that I get to know the material of still unknown (here at least) artists in a very early stage. Terri Binion from Orlando, Florida was described by me as "an original lady", who even convinced no one less than Lucinda Williams to sing harmony on a track of her album. Very cool, that I have the chance now to meet Terri in person! All of this thanks to Jos (Crossroads radioshow), who makes it a good habit to bring -with the help of booker Yvonne- the number one on his yearlist immediately to The Netherlands... Leo has a well-developed nose for talent, of course he booked Terri in his concertseries, which will expand to Sunday afternoons soon. It would be nice though, if he didn't charge unpaid critics the full price for a ticket... Anyway, this is how we end up with about sixty music lovers as guests on Terri's birthday!
Bart Jan Baartmans takes care of the show before the intermission and he does that in his very own natural way. He starts off with a hair-raising story for any insurance broker, about the "stolen" guitar of a friend. Then he brings us a number of new songs. Just like Jan Willem Roy he has something that includes a kitchen table, he called it "Jenny and Frank". It's followed by a blues and an absolutely beautiful song about a girl from his past "One Way Street". The last two songs are slightly older, touching "Lily Dear", that he wrote after his grandmother passed away and the fast "Priceless Man". BJ is one of the Dutch artists who can easily compete with all those Americans!
At half past nine the long set of Terri Binion starts, after we sing a heartfelt "Happy Birthday" for her. She received flowers and a big pile of presents, so she's really moved when she thanks us: "I'm overwhelmed by the sweetness and generosity..." The first song goes back into the folk tradition, nice, we know this "cuckoo bird" from our big friend The Watchman! Bart Jan plays professionally the second acoustic guitar and sings harmony. Terri sounds modest and really sweet, she looks like a favorite neighbor: short and a bit heavy, with straight dark hair and eyeglasses. She continues with "One More Number" from her first album, "about a man who can't keep away from the horsetrack and the drink", followed by her song about the weather in Florida "Come Another Hurricane" with BJ on mandolin. Gradually she feels more at ease in this livingroom setting, it's only avenging itself that singing and playing is totally unplugged, as her voice is actually not strong enough for adventures of this kind. As there are microphones installed -for a recording of the session- we're thinking unconsciously: "Please, add a notch of volume on the microphone for Terri's vocal!" Terri mixes unknown and new songs with the titletrack of her album "Fool" and "Dear Richard" and a cover of Teddy Thompson: "Missing Children". She tells that BJ only rehearsed for four hours, but he sounds indeed like he's been a musician in her band forever. He sings harmony (Lucinda's part) and plays mandolin with "GayleAnne", as Terri puts it: "the tune that caught attention here". After a whole series of thank-you's the "Porch Song" follows, but of course we keep applauding until she comes back with a glass of beer in her hand to do an encore, that sensual "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" and... a pretty phrased Christmas song, while it's almost Easter! I told you, she's an original lady, Terri Binion!
Written by Johanna J. Bodde, Dutch original of this review previously published on Real Roots Cafe, The Netherlands.