Rain Follows The Plow: A Dust Opera (Various Artists)

"A concept album and folk opera based on the worldviews and first-hand experiences of those who lived through the Dust Bowl."

Created by Stephen R. Coffee
Directed by Bill Davis

June 2, 2016
Jammin Java
Vienna, VA

Lostbrook 2.0 Volume 156

Source: CA-11(cards)>CA-9200>Sony M10(24/48)
Location: 25' from stage DFC

Transfer: Sony M10>Micro SDHC>PC>Sound Forge 10>WAV 16/44.1>
Trader's Little Helper>FLAC(level 8)

Taper/Transfer/Notes: Lostbrook
Covers: ethiessen1

Disc 1:

01 Intro (1:52)

Act 1:

02 Gone Went And Done It, Part 1 (Woody) (3:22)
03 Rain Follows The Plow (Miles, Jim Bob, Jimmy Dale) (4:07)
04 The Impossible Sky (Ruth) (5:02)
05 Beer Town/Come To Mama's (Jim Bob, Scratchy, Miles, Mama) (5:02)
06 Six Inches To Hell (Chappie, Jim Bob, Slappy) (4:06)
07 Indian Joe (Jim Bob) (3:35)
08 One Way Plow (Miles and friends) (3:01)
09 If It Rains (Ruth) (2:49)
10 Squall Line (Indian Joe) (6:26)
11 Black Sunday (Billy) (4:51)

Act 2/Disc 2:

12 Gone Went And Done It, Part 2 (Woody) (2:22)
13 Show You The Rain (The Rainmaker) (5:47)
14 Duster #99 (Miles) (3:17)
15 Walking To California (The Rainmaker) (5:43)
16 Mary Can't Come Out To Play (Jim Bob) (2:46)
17 Can It Be? (Ruth) (6:37)
18 Sunny Side Of The Ground (Woody, Joe, Jimmy Dale) (6:14)
19 Blessed Are The Dead That The Rain Falls On (Ensemble) (4:32)


20 This Land Is Your Land* (Ensemble) (3:53)

* Woody Guthrie cover

Bill Davis - Narrator, Minister
Tom Bodine - Chappy
Jim Clark - Jimmy Dale
Marcy Cochran - Mae
Kestrel Coffee - Jessie, Alice
Stephen Coffee - Miles, various roles
Caroline Ferrante - Ruth
Ron Goad - Scratchy, Slappy
Chuck Haskins - Fiddlin' Frank
Jim Johnson - Jim Bob
Niels Jonker - Lars Svensson
John Keating - Billy
Steve Potter - Indian Joe
Jeff Smith - Rainmaker
Elizabeth Stone - Mama
Greg Vickers - Hired Hand
Timothy White - Woody

Instruments - vocals, acoustic guitars, banjos, upright bass, bouzouki, harmonica, fiddles, keyboards, drum, percussion

I was browsing the DC area listings hoping to find something different when this leaped out at me. Some quick research confirmed that this was not an ordinary opera or play, but rather a song cycle about the Dust Bowl. There is no spoken dialogue other than a narrator (included at the end of each track) and no major character development, but the songs are powerful and moving. Even with the limited capabilities of Jammin Java it was easy to see that the raw material is present for a much larger production. This may have been only the second time it was performed so there are a couple of minor rough spots. If you're in the DC area, five more performances are scheduled in July as part of the Capital Fringe Festival. I'll certainly be attending again.

Images for all shows as well as full size images for this show.

Images for this show:

RainFollowsThePlow2016-06-02JamminJavaViennaVA (1).jpg
RainFollowsThePlow2016-06-02JamminJavaViennaVA (2).jpg
RainFollowsThePlow2016-06-02JamminJavaViennaVA (3).jpg