Friday, June 24, 2011

Jon Svetkey and Heather Quay at Main Streets Market & Cafe, Concord, MA 6-16-11

A lot of folks know Jon Svetkey as the singer/guitarist/songwriter of the rock band The Loomers. But before that band existed, he was in a band called End Construction, which was composed of four Boston singer/songwriters. Yes, folk. Brian Doser, Jim Infantino, Ellis Paul and Jon Svetkey played mainly around the New England area in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They played mostly original material, but occasionally would do a cover tune. And whenever they did, it was always an interesting choice. For example, they covered The Police song "So Lonely." They also did a bluegrass medley of David Bowie songs. And it was fantastic.

So it's not a giant surprise to learn that Jon Svetkey and Heather Quay are doing a series of concerts of covers. All covers. And while there were no Police tunes in the set list on June 16th, there was a David Bowie song. Surprisingly, it was one that End Construction had never done - "Life On Mars?" from Bowie's 1971 release, Hunky Dory. Heather expressed a bit of worry before playing it - wondering if perhaps they were stepping a bit too far outside the comfort zone. But it was a seriously cool rendition. I wish i had been taping this show.

They opened the show with one of Randy Newman's best songs, "Louisiana 1927," from his 1974 record, Good Old Boys. (This was long before Randy Newman went completely soft and starting writing nonsense for Disney.) I always thought Randy Newman had a great combination of heart and wit in his early work, and in that way Jon Svetkey is actually quite similar to him. So perhaps this is a natural choice of covers, and Jon and Heather did an excellent job with it. Their voices blend perfectly together.

In the first set, they also did a wonderful version of "Falling Slowly," a song that won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. (It was from the 2007 film Once.)

Jon and Heather also did beautiful renditions of Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound," "Bookends" and "The Boxer." And one of the highlights of the second set was their string of Bee Gees songs, including "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart," "New York Mining Disaster 1941," "I Started A Joke," "World," "Massachusetts" and "Run To Me."

If you get the chance to see Jon and Heather do one of these nights of cover songs, i definitely recommend going.

Here is the set list:

Jon Svetkey And Heather Quay - Main Streets Market & Cafe, Concord, MA - June 16, 2011

Set I
  1. Louisiana 1927
  2. Homeward Bound
  3. Save The Last Dance For Me
  4. If I Fell
  5. Operator
  6. Help Me Make It Through The Night
  7. Romeo And Juliet
  8. You'll Think Of Me
  9. Falling Slowly
  10. Boulder To Birmingham
  11. Strawberry Wine
  12. High And Dry
  13. Big Yellow Taxi
  14. Wasted On The Way
  15. Handle Me With Care
  16. Catfish John
  17. Nowhere Man
  18. Danny's Song
  19. Superstar
Set II
  1. Question
  2. See The World
  3. You're So Vain
  4. Bookends >
  5. The Boxer
  6. I Can't Get Over You
  7. Desperado
  8. Life On Mars?
  9. Elenore
  10. Georgy Girl
  11. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart
  12. New York Mining Disaster 1941 >
  13. I Started A Joke >
  14. World >
  15. Massachusetts
  16. Run To Me
  17. Happy Birthday To You
  18. Mary Jane's Last Dance
  19. Different Drum
  20. Two Of Us
  21. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around
There was no encore.

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