I missed out on seeing Ike Reilly while he was touring his last record, Born On Fire. I definitely didn’t want to be left out of seeing the latest, Crooked Love, performed on a stage somewhere. So seeing him solo at Old Town School Of Folk Music was a great opportunity. Having seen him with his band a number of times, this was my first experience seeing him alone.
The room was sold-out, or really close if not, for the third performance in his month-long residency at OTSOFM. Many in the audience had been to one of the previous shows (both in some cases). It’s not a huge room, but it’s a very nice venue with great sound and lights.
May 24th is Bob Dylan’s birthday, so when Ike took the stage he opened with “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” to honor the legendary songwriter on his 77th. After playing the song, Ike said “Bob Dylan ruined my fucking life.” He mentioned his dad asking him if Dylan was living in their house because Ike would constantly play the records in his bedroom. The influence of Dylan has long been a staple of Ike’s music and it was great to hear his version of a classic song.
The evening was kind of like a Storytellers session, with Ike breaking down what the songs are about and telling stories that relate to the music. He played a lot of songs off Crooked Love, still working out how they should sound live. I’m happy to report that they all sound as good as they do on the album, particularly “Missile Site” and “Don’t Turn Your Back On Friday Night.”
He also went deep, playing songs I didn’t even recognize. A great one is “I Don’t Want What You Got Goin’ On” off the EP that followed his debut Salesmen & Racists. It’s a good reminder that even though he’s been under the radar, he’s been releasing great tunes since 2001 without any major gaps in quantity or quality.
He went into the full story of working as a doorman/bellhop at the Park Hyatt and having to show Donald Trump and his then-wife Ivana to their room and how he got stuffed by the “billionaire.” He turned it into a great song called “Took It Lying Down,” which is on the new record.
It was a great show filled with some career highlights from one of the best singer/songwriters working today. He’s got one show left at OTSOFM this Thursday, May 31. Tickets are available here.