December 11, 2008


Backed by a Brass Band, He Celebrates Himself (NATE CHINEN, 12/11/08, NY Times)

Howard Fishman has a fondness for old things and a knack for restoring them. A decade ago that combination of traits led to his first big New York engagement, at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel. Leading a spry quartet, he dusted off the cameos and curios of a vanished era, drawing no distinctions among Dixieland, bluegrass and Gypsy swing.

Mr. Fishman, a charismatic rhythm guitarist and an endearingly low-key singer, still has his fathomless cache of songs. And he still has his quartet, which will return to the Oak Room on Sunday night. But he has also diversified in recent years. His Basement Tapes Project reclaims the repertory associated with Bob Dylan’s most obsessed-over period. His theatrical oratorio, “We Are Destroyed,” contemplates the frontier tragedy of the Donner Party. His Biting Fish Brass Band borrows the strut of New Orleans street music.

Each of these outlets has been mobilized for Mr. Fishman’s 10th-anniversary celebration, slated to run through Dec. 18 at a handful of different spaces. It’s a programming stunt, transparently. But it’s also true to Mr. Fishman’s natural commemorative urge, even if he does seem to be on the receiving end of his own salute.

You can find a couple of Howard Fishman live shows at Internet Archives

-AUDIO: Episode 012 : Howard Fishman + Josh Lederman (Well-Rounded Radio)

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Posted by Orrin Judd at December 11, 2008 12:27 PM
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