“I don’t have anything prepared, but I’m here…” Purdy remarked as he looked over to a stool that held a bottle of water, a cup full of amber liquid and his notebook. And with that, we embarked on an evening of music that brings people together not just for enjoyment, but for a reason.
I’ve previously babbled on extensively about Joe Purdy’s ability to draw a crowd in and keep every ear and eye attentive to his performance, and this past Sunday night at Brighton Music Hall was no different.
But I feel that there’s a clarification that needs to be made; being at a Joe Purdy concert isn’t a situation where you sit back and watch as the good ol’e Canyon Joe performs his music. Quite the opposite. Everyone in attendance is part of a musical movement and we are performing our music.
If you haven’t been partisan to Joe’s work of late, let me explain a little bit…
Purdy made his name by weaving simple, beautiful tales about his life and times (and all of our lives and times.) Surely, songs such as “You Can Tell Georgia,” “I Love The Rain The Most,” and “Can’t Get It Right Today,” have found their way onto their share of lovelorn mix tapes. But soon after the release of Eagle Rock Fire there was a gigantic shift in the focus of Joe’s music.
In the middle of 2016, Purdy released Who Will Be Next, an album who’s focus is no longer a beautiful girl and the wonders of mother nature. Far from it, actually. Joe’s “hillbilly wisdom” is now pointedly addressing the social unrest and injustice that is occurring around us daily. And in my opinion, it was the most important album of 2016.
In his own words “I’m fired up and I’m trying to put it to good use.” To get an idea of what he means, look no further than the video below of Purdy’s latest, only about a week or so old:
People What Will You Do // Joe Purdy @ Brighton Music Hall, 1.29.16
On this evening, soon after President Trump placed a ban on immigration from 7 Muslim countries, the songs we sang—many of them from Who Will Be Next—were much, much more than a way to entertain ourselves for a few hours. They were a sign of unity, empathy, inclusiveness, resistance and hope.
You can’t get enough of those things these days.
TL;DR: Go see Joe Purdy.