Elvis/Allen play Saint Paul, MN , June 28

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Elvis/Allen play Saint Paul, MN , June 28

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:12 pm

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/06003 ... orcatid=60

Elvis Costello & The Imposters
The O'Shaughnessy, Saint Paul, MN
Wed, Jun 28, 2006 07:30 PM

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Postby johnfoyle » Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:59 am


Pioneer Press, MN

Sun, Jun. 25, 2006

Costello, Toussaint raise hopeful voices in Katrina's wake

Pop Music Critic

Elvis Costello remembers his first visit to New Orleans. It was the third city he played on his debut U.S. tour in 1977.

"When you are a music fan and you imagine going to all of these places you've heard about and imagined in song, you want them all to be exactly like your dreams," said the 51-year-old Liverpool native. "New Orleans was very vivid — exactly as I imagined. There was music playing in the streets, and it had that amazing atmosphere.

"But it was always a tough city to play. There was so much music there already, they didn't really need a lot of help from outsiders. I would actually scheme to get my agent to book us shows anyway, hoping they would be canceled so we could just have two days off to just spend there."

Costello's deep affection for the city brought him back to record "The River in Reverse" with New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint. The pair are on the road to promote the disc and perform live Wednesday night in St. Paul.

"It's a superb collaboration and a very real one," said Toussaint during a recent joint telephone interview with Costello. "It's not just me doing what I do as a producer. Elvis has such insight, it's wonderful to work together."

The pair have a history. Toussaint performed on Costello's 1989 album "Spike" and, earlier in that decade, produced Costello's cover version of Yoko Ono's "Walking on Thin Ice" for a tribute album.

They were reintroduced at Wynton Marsalis' Higher Ground Benefit, held in New York shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated Toussaint's city and home. They performed Toussaint's "On Your Way Down" together and quickly hatched plans to make an entire album.

The result, "The River in Reverse," includes seven songs from Toussaint's vast catalog, five new collaborations and the title track, which Costello wrote a week after the Katrina benefit.

" 'The River in Reverse' was undoubtedly influenced by Allen, but it was also influenced by conversations with friends from the city and people I was meeting for the first time," Costello said. "I wrote the song very rapidly, and there are some accusatory lines in it. But it's about the way we're living generally, the drift and the feeling that we could be doing better.

"(The album) began in my mind as a song book of Allen's work, but in those first weeks after Katrina, I thought maybe we could write some more songs that speak specifically about it — even though a song like 'Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further' is as true today as it was 30 years ago."

While anger and frustration are among the many emotions on the disc, Costello and Toussaint don't necessarily consider it political.

"There are love songs as well, but it's not an album about love," Toussaint said. "We are making music that's a reflection of the world we live in. There are things that need to be said, and what better way to say them than through song?"

Added Costello: "There are songs of celebration, too. Songs like 'Wonder Woman' that are so great to sing. There are despairing images, yet there's still hope. That's definitely the case in 'Ascension Day,' which opens very bleak and closes with hope."

In concert, Costello and Toussaint are joined by musicians from both camps, and they're performing songs from "The River in Reverse" alongside selections from Costello's past work.

"You'll hear new arrangements and some songs in brand-new forms," Costello said. "When you hear a couple of the songs in the show, you might get an idea as to why they're in there. Deep down, I learned something from Allen's writing a long time ago."

Outside of the business of making music, Toussaint has yet to re-establish his home in New Orleans, but he hopes to be back permanently by the end of the year.

"The recovery is very slow," he said. "There are people who want to come back but can't. They need help; they need to be reached out to. But the spirit is very good among the people who are there. In time, it will be fine."

Costello, for his part, said he's inspired by such talk. "Allen's optimism about the recovery has been remarkable. He's so stoic in the face of his losses. But he has moved forward and taken this as an opportunity to do new things. It would be crazy to respond with gloom and despair."

Ross Raihala can be reached at rraihala @pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5553. Read more about the local music scene on his blog, "The Ross Who Knew Too Much," at http://www.twincities.com.

Who: Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: The O'Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul

Tickets: $56.50-$46.50

Call: 651-989-5151

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Postby johnfoyle » Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:58 pm


Minneapolis Star Tribune , MN

Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint join forces at tribute

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint join forces to pay an R&B tribute to New Orleans.

June 26, 2006

Elvis Costello, England's seminal angry rocker, sounded uncharacteristically mellow over the phone.

Is it his advancing age? Maybe. Or living in North America with his pregnant third wife, jazz diva Diana Krall? Perhaps.

More likely, however, it was the third party on the line: New Orleans singer/songwriter Allen Toussaint, the latest in a long line of Costello collaborators and a behind-the-scenes legend with a 50-year track record of hitmaking. After creating a critically acclaimed album together, these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have undertaken the summer's hippest tour, which comes Wednesday to the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul.

Working together for nearly three hours every night has taught Costello, a lifelong R&B aficionado, a slightly different approach to making soul music.

"When Allen steps forward and sings, it just reminds me to bring my voice down to earth a little bit," Costello said last week from a San Francisco Bay Area hotel. "When you're used to singing in front of a loud electric band, you tend to sing with a lot of force.

"The gentleness of Allen's singing reminds me that there's something to be said in that voice as well. It helps me to be a better singer," Costello said.

The respect between this R&B odd couple -- the gentlemanly Southerner, 68, and the bombastic Brit, 51 -- was obvious over the phone.

Toussaint admires Costello for being "a giant" as a rock guitarist and as a vocalist in R&B, pop and country. "He covers so much territory," the Big Easy big shot said, "and he's such a student of the world of music -- musics. I've never seen more respect and love for the art than what's in Elvis -- and the energy to get it across."

Costello, for his part, admires the various roles Toussaint plays: songwriter, producer, pianist, arranger, "and the one he underestimates the most -- the sound of his voice."

Toussaint jokes that Hurricane Katrina was the booking agent for this project. His landmark Sea-Saint Studios -- where Paul McCartney, LaBelle, the Band and others have recorded -- was destroyed and his house was flooded. So he headed to a New York hotel, where Costello found him.

Toussaint had worked on two Costello albums, most recently 1989's "Spike." They ended up performing together at a series of Katrina benefits in New York last fall and that led to the album "The River in Reverse."

The hyper-prolific Costello wanted to do a tribute to Toussaint, who has penned more than 700 songs. It turned out that the Brit was more familiar with the New Orleans stalwart's catalog than Toussaint was. A few tunes were taken from Lee Dorsey's "Yes We Can," a favorite Costello album from 1970, and the collaborators co-wrote five new numbers.

They've added material for the tour -- some sung by Toussaint plus a few Elvis oldies he arranged to feature his Crescent City Horns along with the rocker's band, the Imposters.

"They weren't old songs to me," Toussaint said. "This music is very fresh to me. It's so involved. It's very unlazy writing. There are modes and modes in it. It keeps musical life interesting. I'm having a great time."

Unintended meaning

Several songs on "The River in Reverse" -- both new and old -- have political undertones. The two musicmakers see their album as part of the healing process for New Orleans as it deals with both the aftermath of Katrina and lingering anger over government officials' handling of the disaster.

In April, before the disc was released, Costello sat in with Toussaint at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He was struck by the crowd's reaction to the unfamiliar words of the Costello-penned title tune, which starts out: "How long does a promise last? How long can a lie be told?"

Even more powerful, he felt, was the feeling generated by Toussaint's song "Nearer to You" and its lyric, "I know you say that you'd be home soon."

"It suddenly occurred to me," Costello reflected, "that a song can have an unintended meaning and that it can offer some solace or consolation. It was quite hard to get through the line. It struck me as being very poignant."

Both artists think their album will have a life of its own after Katrina.

"This music is forever," Toussaint said. "Katrina isn't forever."

The Louisiana native is slowly making plans to return to his hometown.

"After the house is gutted, you have to do this purification about mildew," he said. "I'm glad to say it is in progress. Being out here is wonderful, but to get things done properly [in New Orleans], you'd have to show your face more than I can right now."

After his house is rebuilt, he'll think about setting up a studio. Meanwhile, he knows he can work at Piety Street Recorders, where half of "The River in Reverse" was recorded. (The disc was made quickly -- one week in Hollywood, one week in New Orleans.)

But for now, the studio denizen is finding out about life on the road. His last major tour was in 1957 as the pianist for Shirley & Lee, the R&B duo known for "Let the Good Times Roll."

"This is a first for me by a long shot," said the veteran, who said he's "collected some wishbones and feathers" on this trek.

On their 25-concert tour, Toussaint and Costello have played in a variety of venues from the Bonnaroo jam-band festival in Tennessee to a winery in California's Napa Valley.

"It's really been thrilling," said Costello, who announced Monday that he and Krall are expecting their first child (and Costello's second) in December.

On the tour bus, the two stars talk mostly about the previous night's concert, he said. "We've done it on a number of different stages, from a tent in the parking lot of a casino in Green Bay, Wis., to the fabulous Oakland Paramount, which is one of the great halls of R&B."

And New Orleans itself is a revered R&B institution, one that, like Toussaint, begs for renewed attention and respect. That's why, Costello says, their tour will play its final date there on July 18. How fitting.

Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
With: The Imposters, the Crescent City Horns and guitarist Anthony Brown. When: 7:30 p.m. Wed. Where: O'Shaughnessy Auditorium, College of St. Catherine, 2004 Randolph Av., St. Paul. Tickets: $47.50 and $57.50; 651-989-5151. Web: http://www.elviscostello.com.

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:33 am


Costello, Toussaint are cooking Big Easy-style

Review: Elvis Costello turned to fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Allen Toussaint to celebrate Crescent City R&B and to rearrange his own rockers.

Jon Bream, Star Tribune

Last update: June 29, 2006 – 12:15 AM

Rock's hyper-ambitious Renaissance man Elvis Costello has worked with a potpourri of collaborators in recent years -- an opera singer, a string quartet, a middle-of-the-road pop hitmeister, the London Symphony Orchestra and a piano-playing jazz diva.

Think what you will of those disparate adventures, but there's no question that for his new project with New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint, Costello's aim is true.

Costello, 51, and Toussaint, 68, a behind-the-scenes star, have made a critically acclaimed New Orleans-flavored album, "The River in Reverse," inspired by Hurricane Katrina. Now they have taken to the road with a smart concept -- a merged band, with Costello's usual backup trio combined with five of Toussaint's favorite studio players.

The pairing of the two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers made for an inspired and inspiring evening of cross-generational music Wednesday at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul.

Costello was clearly the star of the show, with his material and aggressive voice dominating, and Toussaint playing his customary role of sideman.

It was too bad that Toussaint didn't get to sing more than six numbers in the 30-plus song set. Still, his tasty-as-gumbo piano lines carried through the loud sound mix like a 2-year-old's scream at day care. And his Professor Longhair tribute was as much a New Orleans marvel as "Yes We Can" was a party treat and "What Do You Want the Girl To Do" was a sweet stroll into the '70s.

While the songs from their duet album were more dynamic live, perhaps the most interesting aspect of this collaboration was Toussaint's new arrangements of nine old Costello songs. Some were obscure, such as "Poisoned Rose," which became a little bit Patsy Cline, a little bit Charlie Rich and a whole lot of Elvis. "Alison," from Costello's 1977 debut "My Aim Is True," was dressed up with flute, horns and Toussaint's soulful B-3 organ. As for other early Elvis favorites, "Pump It Up" was full-band punk, "I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down" was buoyed by James Brown-like horns, and "Clubland" was redecorated with mambo horns and Cuban piano.

But this 2¾-hour concert also showed the tender vocalizing of England's angriest rocker. Probably the best example Wednesday was "The Greatest Love," a sweet and simple R&B love song. More important, though, were Costello's contagious joy and crowd-pleasing soulfulness -- on everything from jump blues to R&B ballads -- thanks to his new best friend, Toussaint.

Jon Bream • 612-673-1719

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Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:55 am

"Costello's aim is true" - how original :roll:
international laughing stock...

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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:21 am

http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincitie ... ertainment

Thu, Jun. 29, 2006

Elvis Costello finds kindred spirit in bluesman Allen Toussaint


Pioneer Press

Elvis Costello has met his match. Although long regarded as one of the world's great songwriters, the Brit has been spending much of the past 15 years channeling his muse through partnerships. From string quartets to opera singers to jazz big bands to '60s-era soft popster Burt Bacharach, Costello has seemingly been seeking someone who will help him find fresh inspiration and has found mixed success.

But then Hurricane Katrina brought about a reunion with a songsmith who has written even more music than the prolific Costello: New Orleans R&B master Allen Toussaint. They connected for a number of benefits for the victims of Katrina, and then set about recording an album of new collaborations mixed with older Toussaint songs that spoke to the survivors' situation.

Now the duo has hit the road with a blended band of Costello's Imposters — which includes most of his original group, the Attractions — and Toussaint's Crescent City Horns and guitarist Anthony Brown. And Wednesday night's performance at St. Paul's O'Shaughnessy showed it to be the best thing to happen to Costello in years. Filled with imaginative arrangements and funky energy, the well-paced 2½-hour concert liberated Costello's inner soul man and lent new life to songs from throughout his almost three-decade-long career.

Although he emerged amid the punks of late '70s London, Costello was always more a sculptor of song whose rage gained him entrée to the club. And the U.S. government's response to New Orleans' plight seems to have sharpened the focus of that rage more than anything he's yet confronted in his work.

It came through loud and clear Wednesday in his impassioned shouts near the end of the title track from his Toussaint collaboration, "The River in Reverse," on his piercing guitar solos on "Broken Promise Land," and through his lyrics for a slice of the returning evacuees' lives, "Ascension Day," on which Toussaint's piano played a minor-key variation on a theme by Professor Longhair.

But Toussaint, a master of love songs, also has clearly touched the tender side of Costello's heart as well, as evidenced by the latter's outstanding vocal performances on such ballads as "Poisoned Rose" and "The Greatest Love." That said, the final encore will linger longest in memory, as the horns brought funky flair to "I Can't Stand Up (for Falling Down)" and "High Fidelity" and set the crowd to dancing.

Rob Hubbard can be reached at rhubbard@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5247.

From listserv-

Was I the only lister at this? I decided to go at the last minute. It
at an auditorium at one of the Catholic universities in St.Paul, a
venue I
had not been to before and I believe the first time EC has played
rather than Minneapolis. Of course, only someone who lives in St.Paul
actually care about that.

Not having picked up RIR yet (I know, heretic!) and not familiar with a
of Toussaint's work, so I was only familiar with about half of what
played. Before the show they were handing out printouts of a setlist
the June 17th Bonnaroo concert though the person handing it out made it
as if it were the setlist for last night's show. They didn't stray too
from the printed setlist though, two notable changes were "Tears Before
Bedtime" and "(I Don't Want to go to) Chelsea" which Elvis said they
just learned that day.
The show was not sold out so I bought a ticket
up in the second to the last row which wasn't as bad as it might sound
because it was a rather small venue but the sound was a little muddy.
"Chelsea" in particular sounded a bit muddled, I wasn't able to pick
out the
riff and some of the vocals.

The difference in styles between Steve N and Toussaint was interesting
most evident when Steve and Allen switched keyboards. Toussaint is
smooth whereas Nieve is more aggressive, almost attacking the keyboard.
like 'em both, just found the contrast interesting.

So it was a nice show, I liked the arrangement of "Clubland" and one of
the EC and Allen solo songs "What Do You Want the Girl to Do". EC
seemed to
be in good spirits, he was very chatty. Of the new songs, the finale,
Sharpest Thorn" stood out the most for me.


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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:29 am

From listserv -
I was there too Chris (though pretty smelly after a long day of travel
camping for the last week on the Gunflint Trail!). Pity we didn't bump
each other.

For the handful of people that took their seats early, we got a bit of
treat, as Steve Nieve came out to play around on the grand piano.
Unfortunately the house music was playing and largely drowned out
playing, which, as near as I could tell, sounded like some Professor
Longhair blended with some classical flourishes. Unfortunately, a fan
approached the stage. Steve shook his hand and gave an autograph, but
the stage immediately.

"Poisoned Rose" was the most spectacular, but almost all the songs
from the new arrangements. Really nice hearing "Deep Dark Truthful
in a version that approximates it's SPIKE incarnation, and "High
was explosive. My biggest criticism was that Allen's vocal mic
very low in the mix, and his piano was both low and sounded a bit
The horn section wasn't just fun to hear, but also added a lot visually
the stage. Their dancing and evident enjoyment of the music was a joy

Given the unique circumstances and ensemble behind this album and tour,
suspect it's unlikely that we'll hear many (if any) of the EC/AT songs
future tours, so it's fortunate they chose to play almost all of the
album (sadly minus "All These Things" and "Six Fingered Man") and even
couple of the outtakes ("The Greatest Love" and "What Do You Want The
To Do?").

Afterwards I asked Elvis is there was the chance of a live album with
He didn't think so, but mentioned that one of the upcoming shows would
filmed for TV. When I responded that I though this show really merited
record (I think I said something about ROCK OF AGES, another live album
embellisged by Allen Toussaint horn arrangements), he smiled and said
he knew what I meant.

I did not keep a setlist, but I've attempted to reconstruct it from my
highly fallible memory (and other recent setlists). The order is
terribly jumbled. Aside from "Chelsea", not a lot of surprises when
compared against other shows from the tour.

(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding?
Monkey To Man
On The Way Down
Tears Tears and More Tears
Tears Before Bedtime
A Certain Girl
Clown Strike
Broken Promise Land
The Poisoned Rose
(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea
Freedom For The Stallion
The River in Reverse
Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further
Nearer to You
Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
Play Something Sweet
Watching the Detectives
Alison w/Trail of my Tears
High Fidelity
Pump It Up
Longhair Tribute
Ascension Day
What Do You Want The Girl To Do?
Wonder Woman
International Echo
The Greatest Love
That's How You Got Killed Before
I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down
Yes We Can Can
The Sharpest Thorn

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Postby migdd » Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:33 pm

A bit disappointing that Six Fingered Man, All These Things and That Day is Done have fallen off the setlist at recent shows. I hope they make it back by the time he reaches Atlanta on 7/17!!

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