WRONG SIDE of the ROAD is a project of the ESOTERIC Blues Society showcasing the songs and evoking the world of legendary outlaw Americana singer-songwriter and modern-day Mark Twain bluesman, Tom Waits. The songs are presented in the context of a road movie set with gas pumps, signs and lights, at roadside locations across the north of England. Waits albums are played on a vintage in-car record-player and a live set of his songs is performed by one or more musicians.
Each event begins and ends with a different Tom Waits album played on a vintage record player in the trunk of the Dodge. There follows a unique live performance of songs from across Waits’ discography, performed at the back of the Dodge on guitar, harmonica and percussion. Guest musicians are scheduled at certain dates. The music is by turns bucolic and pastoral, urban and noir, and occasionally nightmarishly surreal. Thematically the material is linked by roadside images and stories, phantom truck drivers, doomed hitchhikers, lost loves and lonely backroads, devilish women chasing you to hell.
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DATES and TIMES
The project takes place from 4th July 2021, American Independence Day, for 28 consecutive nights until the final event Saturday July 31st. The performance begins approximately 8pm and lasts until midnight.
The project is built around a 1974 Dodge Dart hardtop with lighting, instrument amplification and record players all contained within and powered by the vehicle. The microphone was hand-built by soupcanmic.co.uk from a Fifties Havoline oil can. The gas pumps are a Wayne 70 and a Blavin/GT. At the end of each event everything is packed back into the Dodge which then drives to the next location.
ESOTERIC Blues Society
Esoteric Blues Society (www.esotericbluessociety.org @esotericbluessociety) is Manchester’s only early forms/ country-blues event (established 2017). The events are roughly monthly and based at various bars and locations in the centre of Manchester. During August and September 2020, the ESOTERIC Blues Society presented the LOST HIGHWAY
Juke Joint in Manchester’s fashionable Northern Quarter. An immersive atmospheric Mississippi juke joint constructed from a period shipping container, the original duration of 3 days was extended to 10 days due to unprecedented demand for the live and recorded music, visuals, art and literature.