Stan Ridgway LIVE @ The Mercury Lounge NYC 6​/​17​/​96

by Stan Ridgway / Ridgway Historical Series

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1.
The Big Heat 05:52
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Stranded 04:18
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Camouflage 06:51
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Lonely Town 05:18
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16 Tons 05:50
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about

Live at the Mercury Lounge NYC
6.17.96

Stan Ridgway LIVE 1996 with his full band, in NYC @ the ultra cool Mercury Lounge. Classis stage banter. Songs from "Black Diamond", all the hits and more. An incredible knockout show in the Big Apple. The "Extra" release from Italy.

NYC - It was a dark and semi-stormy kind of night - a perfect Stan Ridgway kind of night. The wry Californian - former singer-songwriter for quirky new wave antiheroes Wall of Voodoo and solo artist in his own right for a decade-plus - took to a local stage for the first time this decade at the Mercury Lounge and he did not disappoint...unless you find story-songs about people who lead disappointing lives disappointing.

In two words: rock noir. Ridgway, who played with a crack backing quartet, took the crowd on a 75 minute sojourn through back alleys and twisted minds, where someone thinks he's "a little too smart for a big dumb town" and someone else is waiting for an ambush - "a bullet with my name on it." Pretty much everyone seems to live in "Lonely Town," where Ridgway sings of "wide open spaces...and empty rooms" and conjures up the musical equivalent of a "Red Rock West" or a contemporary "Bladerunner." Desolation boulevard.

Ridgway, 39, is the rare musician who speaks in cinematic terms, and we're not just talking about lyrical detail. The lonesome intertwined keyboard/guitar lines from Pietra Wexstun and Mark Schulz carry the same spooky, complex message - Joe Berardi's drums crash with authoritative, quasi-omnious punch and he set the tone with the opening song, "The Big Heat," a rolling, roiling song of shadowy behavior.

If you're gathering that Ridgway is an A - level ironist and Dylan-esque skeptic-disciple, you're in the ballpark. He did play Wall of Voodoo's mega-hit, "Mexican Radio," though he introduced it with "I've been drawing and quartering it, chopping it into little bits...but because I still like the damn song, I do it the way its supposed to be done." And he did. Twang, deadpan humour intact.

A country twang is important to Ridgway, though he is in no real way a country artist. It's a Johnny Cash thang - a heartfelt sourse he paid rhythmic/lyrical tribute to in "Luther Played Guitar," and explicitly in a spooky stittering version of Cash's classic "Ring of Fire."

Later Tennessee Ernie Ford's "16 Tons," the ultimate workingman's not-quite-kitsch anthem. Yeah, owing your soul to the comapny store is funny...until it's true.

Ridgway's song of "aspiration and dreams" was "Crystal Palace," a saloon song, where the singer reflects that "I feel lucky, I suppose, that we're still breathing - yeah, barely," and carries on to unearth some sort of triumph.

Ridgway has issued an excellent record, "Black Diamond," on his own label, with partner Joe Ramsey on the Birdcage label.

Jim Sullivan / NY PRESS

www.stanridgway.com
all songs c & P stan ridgway / dis information music bmi
all rights reserved

credits

released August 18, 2017

THE 1996 BAND
Stan Ridgway - guitar, harmonica and mouth
Pietra Wexstun - keyboards and vocals
Joe Berardi - drums and percussion, catskill timimg
Mark Schulz - lead guitar and hobo bag
Jay Swanson - bass and feather boa
John Gillingham - road czar and sweat lodge and dirty playing cards

Stan Ridgway LIVE 1996 with his full band, in NYC @ the ultra cool Mercury Lounge. Classis stage banter. Songs from "Black Diamond", all the hits and more. An incredible knockout show in the Big Apple. The "Extra" release from Italy.

all songs c & P stan ridgway / dis information music bmi
all rights reserved
www.stanridgway.com

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all rights reserved

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Stan Ridgway & Pietra Wexstun Los Angeles, California

Stan Ridgway and Pietra Wexstun are now on BandCamp. New directions in music for your listening pleasure. Music and Song, Soundtracks for Film. Electronic experiments. Obscure song covers. its all part of their weird world. yeah gee. Join them. Resistance is futile. ... more

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