Monday, 26 July 2010

414 JED PARISH, "Hi-Fi Records", Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA USA, Saturday 7 August 1999

What will hereafter forever be known as "Pit Day" starts with a late breakfast with EdV and his friend Terri, plus Mike Gent and Pete Caldes. I then get the "T" over to Jamaica Plain for an "In Store" appearance by "The Colonel", Jed Parish, the leader and vocalist of tonight's gig hosts, and the reason for this trip in the first place, The Gravel Pit!

Eventually find Hi Fi in Jamaica Plain, following an encounter with a distinctly unhelpful bus driver (“How many stops is it to Center Street ?”; “Never counted”). I bury myself in the racks and come up for air having spent another $80, enough to warrant a free t-shirt. Weird out some shopper, as I find a vinyl copy of “Positively Dumptruck” and pull it out of the racks and kiss it.

Pick up a Willard Grant Conspiracy CD, and Debbie, the clerk, points out that Robert from WGC was in the shop a second ago. Robert returns for Jed’s show and I introduce myself. A large, amiable chap, with whom I enjoy a good chat about how to break into the UK music scene, as WGC have toured recently in the UK. I mention I’d also read some UK press which indicated that WGC sound like Grant Lee Buffalo. Robert’s view is that they’re more like Sparklehorse. I try not to start frothing at the mouth at the prospect. Fortunately Jed arrives.

Jed sets up in the corner of the shop, pulls out an acoustic guitar and following a short intro from the clerk, plays a vibrant set for about an hour. I’m even more lost in admiration of this guy’s talent; the selections tax his voice a lot (particularly the Beach Boys’ “Little Deuce Coupe” and Debbie’s request of the Gravel Pit’s “Wicked Witch”) but he doesn’t blow a single note. A couple of Pit numbers are thrown in and mix well with his solo, more rootsy, bluesy stuff. Jed is obviously at ease with the intimacy of the occasion, and his mother walking in midway through his set obviously helps this.

Shake the Colonel’s hand following his set, and depart for the “T” via a huge Dunkin’ Donuts, back to EdV's to get sorted for this evening, and the main event...

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