Here's a review from a now defunct underground paper called
The show was May 5th, 2001.
The good Dr. Eugene Chadbourne visited Rudyard's this past Sunday and
delivered an excellent set of avant-garde country and western bebop with a
style that is all his own. No one sounds like Eugene Chadbourne but Eugene.
This virtuoso guitar/banjo player has been emitting sounds too "ahead of
time" to be noticed by the mainstream. That, and his lyrics are poignantly
sardonic and brilliantly aware.
On this evening he presented a couple of tracks dedicated to the Bush
Dynasty, his apparent disgust aggravated by the recent moniker given to
Intercontinental Airport, where he arrived. One of the songs was about how
to steal, properly, and get away with it. "If you steal small, you'll get
caught, but if you steal big, they'll make you king." Besides the
of the good ole boy network's control of fossil fuels and corrupt foreign
policy, Dr. Chadbourne played a tune lampooning the fallacy of the "war on
drugs" and the inherent hysteria. These are some of the more to-the-point
pieces penned. Others are more ambiguous and subtle but still retaining the
good doctor's wit and charm. Plus the sumbitch plays the hell out of his
instruments. He rips. Using a metal slide on his pinky, Chadbourne can place
squealing, dissonant leads between his unbelievably intense picking. He's so
fast it's almost comical. Another thing he's known for is his unorthodox
cover songs by... well, you name it. On this occasion he played Willie
Nelson and Sun Ra, and probably some others I didn't recognize or can't
remember. What other performer is going to provide that much range and make
it seem completely natural? If you weren't there, all I can say is keep an
eye out for Eugene Chadbourne in the future, after all there aren't that
many legends still living. Here's a brief list of people he has collaborated
with over the years: Susan Alcorn, Shockabilly, Michael Snow, Derek Baily,
John Zorn, Carla Bley, Camper Van Beethoven, Jimmy Carl Black (the original
drummer for Zappa's Mothers of Invention), Tiny Tim, Frank Lowe, Sunny
Murray, and The Violent Femmes. Of course there are many more.
Review and photos by Richard Smith