Tag Archives: Charlie Hunter Trio

Charlie Hunter Trio Mississippi Studios Thursday, December 13th 2018

When Charlie Hunter came through town last year I missed the show. I never thought it would sell out and guess what, it sold out. This year when it was announce he was playing Mississippi Studios in Portland I bought my ticket as soon as they went on sale. I saw that he was playing in Seattle and kept waiting for something to be announce here in Portland. I was seriously considering a day trip to Seattle but glad they decided to make a stop in Portland.

It was a long day at work so unfortunately no pre-game before the performance. I did manage to take in the fresh air for a while and get a walk in. I also managed to talk to a friend at length which was good. Always nice to catch up. This lowered my stress levels and put me in the right mindset to enjoy the show.

Mississippi Studios certainly fits the bill of a typical Charlie Hunter venue. A narrow venue that surprisingly has a second level balcony. Pretty big stage with tall ceiling and exposed beams all over the place. This certainly looks like they took an old building and remodeled it with a healthy budge for improvements.

Tonight’s show was going to be a seated performance but with no tables. A small intimate venue and one that was for the most part quite. In the back a few for some reason thought it was a good idea to talk which was annoying. The stage is only a few feet off the ground so the band really feels close to the audience. Just a great venue for this style show

This time around the trio was a little different with a member being female vocalist Lucy Woodward. It has always been three instruments in the past. Each tour in fact is a different trio which is awesome. The song selection was very well done. First set was about 50 minutes and more traditional blue and jazz songs. After a short set break they came back for another set that was an hour long with encore. The second feature a local trumpeter for most of it, including the encore. The second set also got a little more funky.

Charlie never disappoints with his Trio over the years. This year with the addition of Lucy it was a totally different show then I have seen in the past. Just a great night of music and a little banter with Charlie on a Thursday night. He tours regularly with his trio and it seems like Portland is a regular stop for him. I can’t wait to see him next year.

Charlie Hunter – 8 string guitar
Lucy Woodward – vocals
Derrek Phillips – drums

Set 1 start at 8:05pm
1. .
2. .
Set over at 8:52pm
Set 2 starts at 9:16pm
1. .
2. .
Set over at 10:03pm
Encore starts at 10:04pm
3. .
House lights at 10:15pm

Charlie Hunter Trio Jammin’ Java November 14th 2010

Charlie Hunter Trio@Jammin' Java Vienna, VA
Charlie Hunter Trio@Jammin’ Java

All weekend I have been celebrating my birthday, starting on Friday, continuing to Saturday and wrapping things up on Sunday.  Charlie Hunter was playing at the Jammin’ Java in Vienna and Jeremy and I decided it was worth another night out on the town.  I of course wanted to see the show, but motivating my body to get off the couch after a long weekend and head to Vienna took a little doing.  But I kept telling myself, once I get to the venue and the show started I would be fine.  I was right and the show certainly did not disappoint.

We arrived around 7:30 to an empty parking lot and I started to wonder just how many people would actually be at the show. When we walked into the venue I got my answer, not many.  We discussed this fact after the show and figured maybe a 100 people went through the venue that night with at most 60 patrons at any one time.  I always feel bad for the artist when a show has a small turn out, but Charlie and the boys made the most of it.

We each got a coffee, it is a coffee house after all, and sat down to enjoy the show on some of the most uncomfortable seats known to man.  Just after 8pm the band walks on stage and you can see it on their faces they are not very thrilled with the attendance, Charlie even mentions he should have brought his audio recorder.  As soon as he said that I knew things would be ok, Charlie played his heart out and gave those that did attend a worthy performance.

I have no idea what the set list was that night but it certainly kicked ass.  They played songs from Charlie’s most recent solo album, Public Domain, and many from the latest trio album, Gentlemen I Neglect to Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid (what a mouth full).  We got two sets that night, each lasting an hour and I could have been there for another set if they wanted to play.  The venue was intimate and with such a small crowd the show felt very personal, like Charlie was playing for me.  In fact during the set break I saw the band members milling about the venue talking with audience members and Charlie even signed a few cds.  You wouldn’t get that at the 9:30 Club or the State Theatre now would you.

Jammin' Java - Vienna, VA
Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA

As soon as they started I was into the groove and couldn’t get enough.  As a classic three piece jazz band each member got their solos and would play off of each other like you would expect.  At the end of most songs you could hear them bantering back and fourth on what song to play and you could tell they picked songs they love to play and jammed the hell out of them.  In fact at one point when Curtis wailed away on his trombone the acoustics of the room allowed you to hear the mechanical sounds of his keys as he depressed them.  I was just blown away by that simple fact.  Same goes for Eric’s snare drum, it would rattle every time Charlie would play.  In a much larger venue or if it was packed to the gills with people these small nuances would have been missed.  For me they added to the show and made it that much more special.

I have seen the Charlie Hunter Trio 4 others times, the last time was five years ago in Alexandria, and they still got it.  In fact this show was much more of a traditional jazz performance then his past shows I have attended.  A job well done and I can’t wait to see him again in such a tiny venue.  As the saying goes: if you missed it, you missed it.