Sunday, April 03, 2005

REV Cody Schrank in Concert!

Cody is a young guy that i first met several years ago, under circumstances i don't remember. We have several connections. He works with troubled kids at a youth camp, and we have a lot of common friends because of that. He also went to school with someone i've worked with over the years, and his sister works at another place where i used to work. So . . .

In any case, our meeting did have something to do with music as i recall. And what i mostly remember about that was that this kid had a fine voice and a hard case of poetry. I've been bugging him to get on a stage ever since -- every time i see him, which is not all that often. He's probably tired of me ragging on him. I even have a note on my website yakking at him to get on stage.

So, when he called me earlier this week to say he'd be playing, i was more than surprised. Struck with some anticipation is more like it. And i was not disappointed.

So, first let me tell you about this place where he played. It's called Paddy's Pub (i'd never heard of it), and it's at the Buckhorn resort near the end of Goat Creek Road just off I-10 out of Kerrville. It's a cozy little venue, it might seat 50 folks, with a performance corner. According to Cody they'll be upgrading the sound system soon.

For part of the day it's a restaurant also. I got there in time to try some chili (in a baked bread bowl), Caesar salad, and some feta bruschetta. The one thing i'm not gong to pretend to do is review food (since i'll eat anything), but i know that i'll be going back, for the food as much as Cody. Very good stuff.

Cody played two sets, about an hour each, and stuck mostly with songs in his own style and range. Among the covers i particularly remember Patty Griffin, Blue October, David Crowder Band, and Tragically Hip. And then there was Tom T. Hall -- Sneaky Snake, and Little Jimmy Dickens -- May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose! I'm sure Cody does a lot of his playing for the kids.

The first set was mostly slower tunes, generally pickin' things, but the second set was full-bore. Something besides the tempo changed in that second set also. Cody settled in more comfortably to being on stage it seemed like, and excellent got even better.

Now what i really wanted to do was tell you about Cody's own songs. He played five of them last night, and repeated a couple of those at the end of the night. All were superb.

His 6 and 10 is one he's played for me before. The guitar part consists of a variety of strums, half-strums, pickin' and Taylor-pulls. But that's not the only way it shines. It's as good an example as any of his way with language. He takes that old lover's lament of "what now" after a relationship goes wide of the mark and turns it into a battle for his wits between her memory and the TV/radio/cable.

"Well I see her face at 6 and 10 and 5 on the weekends
Her hair is a little shorter, but I recognize that grin
I knew about TV, but I thought she wanted me
Plug it in, turn it on, set yourself free
devolves into:

"Just like your picture I was collecting dust""

until all we're left with is:

"Another 18 hours wondering where she’s been
She’s got her new car and her new life

I’m so tired of 6 and 10
I’m so tired of thinking about you
I’m so tired of 5 on the weekend
I’m so tired, don’t want to think about you
So I listen to the radio
I listen to the radio"
Better in Your Head talks of growth in terms of art, from crayons to painting to scultping a heart:

"With my kindergarten crayon
I trace my heart
A little messy
At least it is a start

I colored too fast
Did not take my time
should have used more red
And stayed inside the lines"

Yet all that is returned is back-handed:

"Here comes my nurse
My heart in her hands
She lays it in my lap
And says it must have been better in your head"

The mahogany Takamine (with a story of its own that includes Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines) he plays, held down with this cool camo maroon/purplish-blue/and maize strap, sounded best when going through second set contortions.

Later in the evening he brought up a friend, Matt White who obliged with a couple of tunes, including a taste of Eric Clapton. It's a shame there was only one working mike, because i think their voices would have blended quite well. Maybe next time.

To end, Cody's She's My Star takes the daydreaming about a certain lady to the next extreme.

"Should I make her a card
With yellow and blue highlight markers?
With a heart on front and a verse inside, I’m the real Hallmark.

Should I buy her a single rose?
Even though Valentines was two weeks ago?
I better drive down to Kroger before they close.

Should I take her to Nasa
With my half price coupon
We’ll blast off on rocket ships
Watch astronaut movies and yawn."

In short, Cody is someone you ought to check out if you like Texana acoustic style music, alternative folk, or retro-country. I can't imagine anyone with taste being disappointed.

I'll be sure to let you know when Cody's up again.

P.s. I was real tired when i wrote this. I'm not sure it makes any sense at all, but i'll revisit it soon, and probably expand my comments.

Update: Cody fixed me up with added info and corrections, so if you read this before, it's changed a little.


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