Todd at the Ballard Firehouse Sat November 14

by Howard Shaw

A somewhat rowdy but appreciative crowd greets our hero, as he sauntered on stage just after 10 pm, resplendent in black sleeveless gortex and Polynesian style skirt...;the granny spectacles come out, as he jokes about a "new look we'll just have to get used to". The next two hours are a delight as a relaxed and jovial Todd powers through the classics. Noteworthy were Cliché on the acoustic..., Black and White on the electric, Compassion on an acoustic grand-complete with water dripping from the roof on Todd as he begins. He quips to much laughter "I’ll try not to let it distract me". Later he invites and quiets a loudmouth heckler to conduct the show, as he has "something to say about everything". No slouch, that Todd. The heckler is silenced. Later, the bossa nova set with Jesse is poignant, and sweet, preceded by an impromptu jam of Drunken Blue Rooster with Todd on the ivories, and Jesse performing calisthenics on the nylon string. "Mated" is a highlight, beautifully rendered, as is Can We Still Be Friends. Later he picks up the acoustic for One World, blows the opening chords and laughs that he's mixing it up with another song. Halfway through he breaks his "D" string, and grabs the electric, finishing it out with a bang. My pal Linda beckons to me, she finds a sweet little entre to the backstage area, and a kind and understanding roadie allows us to stand about 4 feet from the man as he encores with "Hawking". His voice is incredibly strong, the performance moving, and the crowd is stunned. Later in the alley, he sits in the van and signs autographs for the faithful. My old LP copy of Something/Anything now reads, To Howard, Best Always, TR...; and after that performance I couldn't agree more.