Strip down the distortion, unplug from the amp and hear songs the way they originated: just a man (or a woman) and a guitar.
The Revival Tour, now in its sixth year, celebrates the old-fashioned acoustic get-together. This year, everyman hero Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music) is back, along with Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids, New Amsterdams) and singer-songwriters Jenny Owen Youngs and Rocky Votolato.They will be playing all their hits in an intimate setting and will also be joined on some songs by fiddle and upright bass players to complete that folk-y feel. In advance of their 8 p.m. show on Tuesday at Fitzgerald’s, the performers shared with us the first songs they learned to play on guitar.
“One of the very first songs I learned on guitar was Otis Redding’s ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,’ taught to me by the same fella who taught me some of the first standard chords I have ever learned, some 25 to 26 years ago. Mr. Roy Ridenour, one of my dad’s buds, used to come over for dinner and pick his guitar with anything from bluegrass to blues to old soul and folk tunes. Wherever you are Roy, thanks for all your patience and positive words that kept me from giving up!”
“The first song I learned on guitar was ‘Day Tripper’ by the Beatles. I did not want to learn this song; I wanted to play ‘Mountain Song’ by Jane’s Addiction, but my guitar teacher was an (expletive). So I quit and taught myself ‘Merchandise’ by Fugazi because I couldn’t figure out ‘Mountain Song’ on my own.”
“The first song I ever learned was ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain’ by (Credence Clearwater Revival). I was actually living in Houston at the time, and my mom bought me an acoustic guitar in a pawn shop for $200. My uncle was, and still is, a truck driver in Texas, and he used to come over and play that song along with some (Bob) Dylan and the Beatles songs for the family.”
Jenny Owen Youngs
“I remember learning to play ... ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana. When I heard ‘Nevermind,’ it became absolutely necessary for me to begin decoding the mysteries of the borrowed guitar, which had up to that point, mostly sat neglected in my bedroom. So began my long romance with power chords and country chords. Thanks, Kurt.”
The Revival Tour
Featuring Chuck Ragan, Matt Pryor, Jenny Owen Youngs and Rocky Votolato
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Fitzgeralds, 2706 White Oak