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Customer Review

on January 13, 2011
The list of artists that can change your life, or at least the way you think about life, is really pretty short. Graham Parker is on that list. GP could not write a bad song if his life depended on it. The fact that he is still churning out great music is a gift to us all. I was thinking the other day about the sad fact that many artists do their best work later in their careers, but our youth-fixated society dismisses them out-of-hand. Well, unless they do a duets type record paired with young, hip, current pop stars. Of course, GP was never embraced by the mainstream, so no use lamenting too much. That whole story has been told. This DVD is so wonderful, from the song selection to the audio and video quality. The pacing of the set list is perfect, mixing new songs off Imaginary Television, with a wide span from other records. The Figgs are way cool, and seem to genuinely enjoy every moment of playing. You can tell that they respect the stature of GP, yet they come off like a cohesive band in their own right, including Graham. Being very competent, but not virtuoso musicians, they let the songs shine and never distract with any grandstanding or doodling. GP's voice still has all the emotion you need, tempered by a man who has seen it all and seems comfortable in his own skin. He appears comfortably resigned to his place today, and hopefully in rock n' roll history. In one segment he introduces the band members and tells about their day-jobs. These aren't folks with allusions of stardom, just your neighbor up the street that loves to play music in between coaching high-school wrestling or making investment banking deals. There is something heart-warming about the whole dynamic. The audience is of course enthusiastic, being periodically coached on the making of the DVD aspect. Still the rapport is intimate and the band is very gracious to the small sized crowd. Graham can still touch the heart with ease, and bring home a ballad (hear 'Broken Skin') like nobody's business. There is a wonderful interview with GP included, that is very humorous at times and reveals nifty things about his early days, the the making of Imaginary Television, and his approach to song writing (which somehow seems simple, would that it were). Note: He never played in a pub rock band! I believe that someday the larger world will better come to know the music of Graham Parker, but maybe at this stage of the game everything has been written about GP that needs to be said, and it is time to just put in the DVD and enjoy the show. The package includes a CD with most of the songs on it, for when you can't take your TV with you. Thanks Graham!
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Product Details

4.1 out of 5 stars
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