Van Morrison is a bad-ass. Yeah, you might not get behind that brand of early 70s rhythm and blues or smooth soul he made famous along side artists such as Dr. John, The Eagles, or the The Band, but for a lot of folks, myself included, when we want life to be mellow and not so friggin heavy or political, his brand of easy listening tunage is the best you can get. When you can still pull off pretty awesome duets with the likes of Mavis Staples, Natalie Cole, and Taj Mahal, you can fill my Sunday sun-room any time you like. And dude, he’s doing all of this at the age of 70. You cannot deny his voice; there’s something about that voice that fills the room with distinct heavy hooks. As much as the feel of his music has always been pretty mellow, you can feel the fire behind his eyes when he sings. Well, the Belfast Cowboy brings that fire to Ottawa this coming Friday as part of the newly-named CityFolk festival. At least we hope he brings that fire.
ASTRAL WEEKS by VAN MORRISON
Without ever having seen Van Morrison live, I can’t give a first hand opinion, but I’ve heard all about his shows from some of the most hardcore Van Morrison fans I know. Apparently, he can come out there and absolutely slay the crowd with an energetic throw down of soul, leaving you filthy and sweaty with glee, or he can stand at the side of the stage and not even show his face. In all fairness, word is that this has got a lot better in recent years, but it still happens. With my lager clearly half-full, I predict we will be wringing out our sweaty shirts when we get home, but word out there in tour land says he is still a bit unpredictable. Hopefully the stunning venue will lend a hand at steering thee ol’ Cowboy towards the fun people worshiping him for the evening. Because, he does deserve a little worshiping. Yes, it was decades ago, but Astral Weeks is still a clinic of cool. His voice is unlike any other voice, outside of maybe Dr. John, but if that’s the measuring stick we want to use – you can’t argue the coolness of Dr. John. For folks in my region of Ottawa, Van Morrison comes to town as part of the CityFolk festival at TD Place (On The Great Lawn) this coming Friday, Sept. 18. For tickets click here.
When was the last time a legend of this stature came to town? Exactly. Do yourself a favor, come out for this – if he’s on, he may just change you. The rest of his tour dates are listed below. – FATS
HOW CAN A POOR BOY? by VAN MORRISON (with TAJ MAHAL)
Sep 18 CityFolk (Ottawa Folk Festival) Ottawa, Canada
Sep 19 Sony Centre For The Performing Arts Toronto, Canada
Sep 27 Heineken Music Hall Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nov 08 The O2 London, United Kingdom
Nov 20 3Arena Dublin, Ireland