Tag Archives: The Blue door

Some Thoughts on Seeing John Baumann Live at The Blue Door

My 2018 live music New Year’s resolution continued on Friday, (Jan. 19th), when I had the opportunity to see John Baumann live at The Blue Door, a great little listening room in Oklahoma City. I reviewed a Jason Eady show there last April, and I was excited to return to the venue.

I hadn’t known beforehand that this would be an acoustic show, but in a room like this, and with songwriting like that of Baumann, this turned out to be a very welcome thing. It became a really cool, intimate performance. Some of his songs are actually even better suited for this type of show. “Turquoise,” for example, already a highlight of his latest record Proving Grounds, actually sounded better stripped back with just the vocals and acoustic guitars. It takes a certain caliber of songwriting to be able to pull off this type of thing without it becoming “samey,” and John Baumann’s certainly qualifies.

But it wasn’t all the slow, thoughtful numbers you might expect from a show like this. There were nice lighter moments in songs like ‘bible Belt,” a story of growing up in the South and the first song Baumann says he felt like they wrote, and “Holding it Down,” a fun ode to Texas that he remarked should have been taken off the set list for a show in Oklahoma. There were also many breaks for humorous stories, like the inevitable butchering of his last name by concert promoters and his band’s fondness for puzzles. That ability to engage with the audience is great in any live setting, but it especially works at The Blue Door and listening rooms like it because in a small, intimate setting like this, it’s like John Baumann’s just gotten out his guitar and started performing in your living room. And why wouldn’t the guy performing informally in your living room take some breaks to talk about puzzles and Farkle?

I’ve seen two very different shows in two very different settings so far this year, and each one offered unique things to appreciate about live music. I’m only two into what will hopefully be at least twelve shows this year, but I’m already finding a deeper appreciation for the art of live music from these artists. Thanks, John Baumann, for another great live show to add to my 2018 concert series.

Best Live Acoustic Songs: “Turquoise,” “Here I Come,” “Bible Belt,” “Midland”

So Yeah, Put Seeing Jason Eady Live at the Top of Your List

So I had the opportunity to see Jason Eady at his album release show Friday in OKC at a cool little listening room called The Blue door, and I thought it was worth highlighting here.

This is indirectly going to be an endorsement of the blue door as well as Jason Eady because in order to explain the intimacy of this setting, I have to explain The Blue door. It’s known as “the best listening room in Oklahoma,” and that’s what you’re getting–it’s not a bar or a club or something where they play some live music and you get some drinks and maybe dance, it’s a room that holds about a hundred people, and it’s made for, yeah, listening. IN fact, this listening room is well-known as a “BYOB establishment,” and it’s perfectly normal to see people walking into The Blue door with ice chests and YETI cups. But it’s this laidback, intimate atmosphere that really lets Jason Eady’s mellow, thoughtful type of songwriting shine.

That’s not to say the whole night was mellow and laidback. In fact, much of it was quite upbeat, from the opener, “drive” from Eady’s new record to older songs like “Go Down Moses and “Back to Jackson.” But it’s in a setting like this where songs like “Barabbas” and “Black Jesus” really hit you, and where you can hear all the personal implications for Jason in songs like “Not Too Loud” and “Forty Years.” Eady told us he’d do every song on his new self-titled album, and he delivered, along with quite a few older ones from other albums and covers of Guy Clark and Merle Haggard. He even ended the night with a bluegrass song completely stripped down and allowing the listening room to fully live up to its name because, as Eady stated, “not every place is like this.” at that point, it wasn’t like he was on a stage singing for us; it was pretty much like Jason Eady was just sitting around in the living room with his guitar, and we were all singing along together.

I don’t want to speak too much about this or get into a long review, as it were, it’s just something I had to write about because you have to make it a point to see Jason Eady if you can. I can’t really pick a highlight of the night either, and that’s simply because the entirety of it was that brilliant. This is one of the best live music experiences you will be giving yourself, and I have to say I’m thankful to be here in Oklahoma where it will probably be easier to see him again. And while we’re on the subject, I’m going back to The Blue door too because let me tell you, that is one of Oklahoma’s best-kept secrets.