The library is a place for learning. Last Friday everyone who came to Jim Green's concert at the Thomas Ford Library learned the sound of percussive acoustic guitar, a method perfected by the Chicago area musician. With his fingers positioned above the strings, Jim can sound like a guitarist and a drummer, and when he adds his harmonica, he is a band. Several of his compositions played Friday night evoked the sounds of trains, especially his instrumental "Hotshot" and his vocal piece "Boxcar Man." In the later we also learned classic hobo vocabulary.
As appropriate as it is, learning was not really the objective Friday night. The pleasure of being entertained by a talented musician with a sneaky sense of humor is what I take away. We all laughed at his story of being a street musician getting advice from a preschool boy, a story I do not want to spoil in case you attend one of his concerts. I also took away his CD Boxcar Man.
If you look at the cover of his CD, you will not see the name Jim Green. Until recently he performed as The Wandering Endorphin, but has now decided to use his own name. The CD has eight pieces, two vocals and six instrumentals. Of course, there is a lot of instrumental in the vocals, too. Like his concert, the pieces create many moods. My favorite might be the foot-stomping "Let It Ride," though I am very moved by "Old-Timer" and "Weathered." Well, "Boxcar Man" may be my favorite, or maybe whichever piece I am listening to when I'm trying to decide.
If you get a chance to hear Jim at a library, pub, or summer festival, take it. In the meantime, you can learn more at his website or view Boxcar Man on YouTube.