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15 August 2010

Ray Charles Live In Waterloo Park, Austin TX (2001)

The Ray Charles concert at Waterloo Park, in Austin, on 19 May 2001 was recorded from the audience. The setlist was:
  1. It Hurts To Be In Love
  2. That Lucky Old Sun
  3. Almost Like Being In Love 
  4. Georgia On My Mind 
  5. Then We'll Be Home (Sadies Tune)
  6. Your Cheating Heart
  7. The Good Life
  8. Hey Girl 
  9. Blues For Big Scotia 
  10. A Song For You 
  11. All I Ever Need Is You
  12. America The Beautiful 
  13. 3/4 Time
Another fine example of how Ray as a septuagenarian still knew how to compensate the frailty of his voice with pure soul. That Lucky Old Sun got an extremely moving rendition.

Drummer Peter Turre informed me that:
"The Waterloo Park concert was a Symphony Show. It  was part of the KGSR Blues Festival, and Jimmy Vaughn opened for us. A good gig. The song list is classic symphony stuff:
  • It Hurts To Be In Love
  • That Lucky Old Sun
  • All I Ever Need Is You (his "fake" closer)
  • America The Beautiful (his built-in real closer)
  • 3/4 Time (his built-in encore for symphony gigs, although he started playing it with his band, but then retired it from the big band's repertoire once we started doing a lot of symphony shows). 
These are all songs that were performed almost exclusively (99.9% of the time) with strings, which were an integral part of the arrangement. Occasionally, when forced to by circumstances, we might try some of this stuff with the trio - like on the gig at the Olympia Theater in Paris in November, 2000.
Occasionally Ray would bring out big band charts to play during a string show, and conversely he had a few of his old arrangements that were originally recorded with strings orchestrated for the tour band, so there was some back and forth there. But the trio was pretty limited in what it performed. While some stuff of ray's classics worked fine with a trio, some of his stuff just wouldn't.
The local orchestra in Austin was put together by Ray's former tour trombonist Armin Marmolejo.
The gig in Austin was around the same time that we were doing a lot of private shows for Mercedes. They were introducing the new S-class vehicles, and did a 10-city tour in the US. they would invite local press, local dignitaries, and potential customers, have champagne and hors d'oeuvres, a fashion show (models strutted on the runway to Barry White's Can't Get Enough Of Your Love EVERY night), then we would play a 4- or 5-song set (a tough nite, i tell ya - NOT), then they would have a "local sports hero guy" go warm up the crowd. Finally, they'd unvail the cars.
I met a lot of my favs on this trip - a different one in each city, and there were also some memorable encounters between Ray, who was a huge sports fan, and the various star athletes, who, no matter how big a star they were, just freaking revered Ray." 
Read (a little) more on this promotion here.

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