Live Show: 7/27/97
Reviewed by: Chris O'Malley, Zard Snodgrass, Chris Traugott
Day Two of the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival:
The tents started rustling at eight in the morning. Off in the distance
you could hear "ICE!!!" being scream from a roving ice truck. Sunday
was a lot hazier and more humid, but fortunately the sun was blocked by
an overcast sky.
After all of our morning rituals, and a quick bite, Moxy was playing
at the workshop stage at 11:30, in a workshop dedicated to stories
and tall tales. A bunch of artists did round-robin, telling and singing
various stories. I had a ball. One of the story-tellers, who also
helped organize the event, was an amazing speaker.
Fruvous did a few songs, including Marion Fruvous!! (I've never
heard this live before). The workshop lasted longer than scheduled,
consuming about ninety minutes of the day.
Fruvous had another workshop scheduled at 1:40, so there was
another workshop in between fruvous'. I listened to some of it,
but also walked around and drank a LOT of soda (it was very
hot outside!!). Met up with Marcus briefly, and got to say hi
to some other fruheads (Sandy, Dan, Tre, and others).
The second workshop was called "Sweet Harmony", and after
a few songs by Salamander Crossing, the remaining bands did the
round robin thing again. Moxy once again did a couple songs, and
at the end of the workshop, all the bands joined together to sing
a song dedicated to Ken Saro-Wiwa.
After this workshop, Heather, Mike, Kelly, and I decided to head
home, even though Fruvous was leading in a final song for the weekend
on Sunday night. It would've been nice to see it, but we had a good
five hour drive ahead of us, and it was already 3:30 in the afternoon
at this point.
We said our goodbyes to as many as people as we could find, and left
Hillsdale by four, got into Utica by six, and I made it home to Rochester
Wow, what an amazing weekend. From a wonderully long set in Syracuse,
to sing-a-longs, to bonding with two dozen fruheads, I couldn't have
asked for a better time. Can't wait to do it all again...
From Zard Snodgrass:
The workshops on Sunday were fantastic. The first one was "Stories,
Poems, and Tall Tales Spoken and Sung" We heard some great stories - very
funny!! - by David Massengill (from east Tenn), Vance Gilbert (aka Pebbles
;)), ELH, David Roth, and of course, Fruvous. Get Chris T. to tell you
some of the spoken stories - she retells a mean one! Fruvous did the
Ballad of Marion Fruvous, which I had NEVER expected to hear live - what a
treat!! Spiderman was enhanced by a Jim Carrey-esque photo-op from Mike -
hold tight and we might get a shot of that scanned on the web page! All
the bands were great - June Rich was pared down to the 2 female singers
plus a drummer on what looked like a dumbek, but I'm not a drum expert -
sort of bongo-ish, and they sang some funky groovin' stuff, Magpie did
more traditional folk, although they heated up the audience with a jamming
bluesy funk, and then ended by leading all the performers in a song about
someone whose name rhymes a bit with Nigeria. They basically repeated
that with a few lyrics from a poem tossed in, but it sounded great with
everyone harmonizing along, and as they wound the song down to an end,
Jian kept singing the lines into a mike until the others joined in for a
mini-encore. The whole thing as a top off to the workshop just blew
everyone away, and they all got a standing ovation! Now, I'm still fairly
new to folk fests, but I'm assuming a standing ovation at a workshop is
fairly rare. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was a goosebumpy sight for
After that, Chris and I just ran around finding folks to say goodbye to
them, and managed to miss Fruvous singing with Dan Bern on the mainstage -
harmony to one song, but I would have liked to have seen it. Oh, well..we
did manage to pull out just as the rain started, so our timing was pretty
Once again, a weekend that'll be hard to top! It's so great that this
just keeps on happening! And once again, thank you to all the people out
there that make this such a great experience! I know lots of you, but the
best part of the whole weekend was meeting people at about the rate of 1
new one an hour, and everyone was super cool! I'm so happy that you're
all so NICE! and FUN! Can't wait to see you at Newport and Philly, and
others! take care! - Zard
From Chris Tragoutt:
The next day, Sunday, dawned bright and warm. We had breakfast, took
pictures of Fruville for posterity's sake, collapsed tents, packed cars
and made plans to meet up at various workshops. Fruvous had two on
Sunday, one about story telling and one on harmony. The story telling one
was especially fun for me, I loved the performances by David Massengill,
Vance Gilbert and David Roth, as well as Fruvous, of course. I heard my
first ever "Ballad of Marion Fruvous" and a version of GMIA which brought
th crowd to their feet.
The second workshop opened with Fruvous singing background to Penny Lang
(spelling?). I don't remember the title, but it was from one of Penny's
albums and the idea was "make room in your heart for love, truth, joy,
peace" and there will be room in the world for them as well. When the
song was over, Salamander Crossing came out and one of the singers
commented that while she had seen audiences sing along with a band before,
she had never seen an audience sing along with the *backup* harmonies, and
then imitated Murray singing the vocal bass line. After a few "bow, bow,
bow"s she said, "But hey, that is really cool that you all do that, and if
you all want to sing along with us and make fish faces singing the bow,
bow, bow harmony, that is great." I enjoyed the second workshop immensely
as well, and at the end of the performance the fruvous diaspora occured
once more and we went our separate ways to visit merch. tents, spend time
at the mainstage, or just hang out talking. Zard and I found Marcus and
chatted with him a bit about his arm, which seems to be doing better
although his hand is still quite swollen. Word is that the pins come out
in three weeks, followed by a cast for 3-6 weeks. All too soon it was
time to go, so Zard and I made the rounds and said goodbye to as many
fellow fruheads as we could find in the time remaining us. We managed to
pull out of the festival grounds just as a thunderstorm broke, and made
our long journey back to DC.
Thanks to laurie, craig, jason, ceecee, chris o'malley, jenn, lisa, susan,
katie and friends, ofer, christie, dede, sue, dan, dan, tre, josh, andre,
alison, roB, mike, kelly, heather, sandy and many, many others for making
this such a memorable weekend. And of course to the fru-lads, Marcus and
John. Murray said, during our Sudbury trip "First we were the reason, then
the excuse, now we are just irrelevant!" Well, not exactly, but these
weekend trips have come to be very special events for me largely because
of the time spent with other fruheads, feeding each others' creative
energy, and sharing in the joy and fellowship of music. Counting down the
days until philly folk fest and looking forward to meeting more faces
behind the e-mail addresses.
Click the description to get the pic:
- Upon Moxy's first "turn up to bat", they are greeted by a large round
of applause from the audience.
- Jian: That was really funny, Vance. (Jian is speaking sarcastically of Vance
Gilbert's story, jokingly upset that Moxy has to follow him)
- Murray: Following Vance is just dangerous.
- Jian, talking to the crowd: You all look like crap, get some sleep, for God's sake.
- Jian: So, it's the stories workshop...
- Jian explains that the song they're about to do is one of the first songs
they ever did, and it's a little Toronto-centric.
- Jian: America knows a lot about Canada, through the media. Canada is the
opposite, we don't know anything about America.
- Jian: So we want to tell a story about Canada.
- Mike: And where our name came from.
- Murray: Finally. We're gonna clear it up for all these people.
- Jian: It's a little environmental tale. You know the blue box program started
in Canada. Well, we call them blue boxes. I don't know what you call them here.
- An audience member responds with the answer.
- Dave: Oh, 'recycle bin', isn't that creative? Isn't that lovely?
- Murray: Is there a sticker on the side that says 'recycle bin'?
- Mike explains a few Toronto based factoids that the audience will need
to know to understand the coming song.
- Jian: Maybe we should just sing a New York song.
- Murray: Yeah, they would get that.
- Jian: We're supposed to start by asking where we got our name.
- Jian: Fruvous was actually 'Vance Fruvous', a funny haired fellow going
around spreading curb-side mirth across the United States.
- Murray: You're thinking of Vance Gilbert.
- Mike: Fruvous was the original creator of America's 'Free Fried Dough'
- Dave: It actually came from Moxy Massengil, who used to jump out of cakes.
- Jian: Fruvous is a speed on a blender, right Dave?
- Jian: Puree, Liquefy, Fruvous.
- Murray: The top just blows off.
- Mike: All right, who Fruvous'd the cat?
- Murray: Got whiskers on the fruit, come on.
- Murray: Fruvous came from Marion Fruvous, Toronto's first environmental
crusader, who used to ride around on a horse... It doesn't pay well, but
she got a free horse...
- The Ballad of Marion Früvous
- Murray forgets (purposely?) part of the opening dialogue for a moment.
- Dave appears as Marion. Jian and Murray, crouched on the stage, are looking
up at Dave.
- Murray: She's so much more beautiful in real life.
- Murray, pointing to his chin, referring to Dave: I like it, a little
soul piece, right there.
- Moxy takes the mics for their second song during the workshop.
- Mike: If anyone here does harm to Bill Kane, creator of Family
Circus, just go to court with a big sign that says "Ida know", and
you'll go free. (There were many references to Bill Kane and Family
Circus during the workshop)
- Jian, referring to an audience member laughing: This guy is peeing
up here; not sure if it's because of the joke, though.
- Mike: Depends.
- Dave intros the coming song about how the band was bothered
and badgered by a certain media figure when they first came to the states.
- Jian: We grew to love him.
- Jian: It was our first time cross the border to America,
we picked up our guns, cause they give you those at customs.
- Jian: And now he's making Cathode Ray incursions into Canada.
- Dave: He's the greatest man in America.
- The Greatest Man in America
- "taught me to love and praise Lee Atwater..."
- "Charleton Heston is a nice man too...Moses."
- Mike pulls on Murray's shirt when he says "Well, not everybody!"
- While waiting for the next workshop to start, a bunch of performers
(including Moxy) join to do an "in-between" song.
- Jian: We have to wait for Dan Bern to clear his stuff. As usual,
just taking up the stage.
- Dan: These guys are on stage a little much here, don't ya think?
- Murray: You become the darling of a festival and you think you can
just strew your stuff all over the place.
- Mike: This song, we also sang on an album.
- Not sure of the name of the song, but the main lyric is "If we
open up our hearts to joy, there's room for joy to come in".
- Moxy harmonizes along with all the other performers.
- Moxy comes up for the first song of their second workshop of the day.
- Dave: Boy, pretty music.
- Jian: Artists always say how great it is to be in workshops with other
artists, but the truth is you get really good seats to see your favorite
- Dave: And to see their butts.
- Murray: Wait till we start shakin' it.
- Dave: We're gonna sing a song, kind of keeping in the vibe and mood
of the thing...
- Gulf War Song
- Jian: The next song, you can sing along for the first two words. Then
you have to stop. This is me doing an impression of Mike's father.
- Mike, impersonating his father: You gotta do more songs
they can sing along to.
- Jian: So, what does America need?
- Murray: A hero.
- Jian: And we're gonna do a Tina Turner song right know, called 'We don't
need another hero'.
- Mike comes out from beneath the tent and into the crowd for this number.
- "Spiderman arrives just in time to tell you about his very short lived
political career. He found out the most important things in politics are
a photo op and sound byte. So, get your cameras ready."
- Mike gets on a chair, faces away from the audience, bends over, puts
his hand next to his butt, and pretends to talk out of his ass, "That
dog don't hunt no more."
- Murray: Catch Spiderman live on long playing video cassette.
- Moxy gets their instruments up to speed.
- Dave: Now that Salamander Crossing is gone, I can play the banjo.
- Jian: Why, did they not want you to play banjo, Dave?
- Murray: No, the banjo gods don't want him to play.
- Jian: But you never play it in tune.
- Mike: That's a great crossword question. 3 letters, Welsh banjo
god. It's like "URP" or something.
- Jian: We'd like to tell a tall tale.
- Murray: A tale of Paul Bunyon, born outside of Newark.
- Mike: And he used to eat flanks from Babe the Blue Ox, and oxtail soup.
He was a carnivore, and that's not good. So his mom pulled him aside and
said, "How 'bout flapjacks for a change?"
- Murray: You'll grow big and strong.
- Jian sings a little "Bunyan" number and taps along.
- Dave: Here's a song about this moment. I mean, that one. But, this one.
- Murray: You missed it again.
- Dave: Damn.
- Dave and Murray make some Canadian jokes.
- Jian: Just get all the Canadian jokes out of your systems.
- Murray: We know America wants to subjagate Canada and put all of us to
work in your salt mines.
- Jian: We only have three tanks, just come on, take us over.
- Murray: We know it's coming, it's almost worse if you wait.
- Jian: Better that you attack than the real army. Let Falconridge
take over, and spread some peace.
- Mike: Everyone can make a difference!
- Murray: Your opinion counts!
- The Present Tense Tureen
- At the end of the song, Mike thanks John (Lazlo) for helping
the band out the "last couple months".
- The host of workshop explains that they're going to try a song
they've never sang together, and all the acts will join in.
- Saro-Wiwa of Nigeria
- At the end of the song, rather than stopping as planned, Jian
keeps singing, and everyone joins back in, a cappella. The instruments
fade back in, and finally the song ends with a big finish.
Some other tidbits from the performance include:
- Feel free to help contribute to this section!
Back to the tour dates 1997 page