The first time I heard Christine Lavin must have been 1985. I was living in New York City and a friend suggested we go see a group called “Schooner Fare” performing at Tommy Makem’s Irish Pavilion. Debbie had become their fan in her home town of Bangor, Maine, the state from which they hale.
She and I befriended the guys in Schooner Fare and became regulars at the Pavilion. We came to know many of the groups that performed there and often went to see them at other venues. One evening, the guys in Schooner Fare were performing at a large club (now gone) with other musicians I hadn’t yet heard…Christine Lavin and John McCutcheon. After the concert, I immediately went out and bought CDs by these wonderfully talented performers.
Although I primarily listen to jazz and classical music these days, I still enjoy contemporary folk music. It’s a genre that arose during the ’50s and ’60s as the conscience of a nation. Folk singers sang what needed to be said. Sometimes, like popular comedians, they took the mundane and put it under a musical microscope to show its sadness, ridiculousness, poignancy or humor. Christine Lavin is one of those talented singers that translates our everyday experiences for us, offering a new perspective with songs such as “The Dakota”, “The Kind of Love You Never Recover From” and “Good Thing He Can’t Read My Mind.” As I viewed Youtube videos of her performing (unfortunately, none captured professionally) to find one to include here, I was happy to see she has not lost this knack. Her songs are as funny, as compelling, as whimsical and her voice as true as when she was making the rounds in New York’s folk scene 25 years ago (how could it possibly be that long?!). Nice to know some things don’t change.
So, if you’re looking for a wonderful evening of musical entertainment, a lot of laughs, and some heartfelt moments, go see Christine Lavin performing “My 25th Anniversary Concert: What Was I (Ever) Thinking” at the Auburn Public Theater on Saturday, January 29 at 8 p.m. For the $23 ticket price, you’ll get far more than your money’s worth.
The Auburn Public Theater is located at 8 Exchange Street (at Genesee Street) in Auburn.