BY BOB KRASNER | The second annual Village Trip concert in Washington Square Park looked like a success, judging by the audience who listened raptly to Marc Ribot, sang along to Steve Earle, and danced to The Tall Pines.
Ribot, primarily an electric guitarist whose resume includes stints with, among others, Tom Waits, John Zorn, Elvis Costello, the Lounge Lizards, Diana Krall, Wilson Pickett and Elton John as well as numerous solo albums, chose to perform on an acoustic guitar.
“It was dumb of me,” he admitted after. “Next time, I’ll bring a huge amp.”
Nevertheless, the crowd hung on every note as he played a set that included two pieces by Frantz Casseus, his first guitar teacher.
“After a lesson, Frantz and I would sit on a blanket here in the park, playing our guitars and hoping someone would listen,” Ribot recalled after the show. “That was 50 years ago.”
Earle, a singer/songwriter from Texas, made Greenwich Village his home 14 years ago.
“I’m going to live here till I die,” he told the crowd, which organizers estimated to be about 1,000 people.
His set began with Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” (“I always wanted to sing that song in this park,” he said) and worked its way through original tunes about drugs, guns, lost loves and, occasionally, politics.
Although the talkative and generally outspoken Earle stayed out of current events in his banter, a song like “City of Immigrants” summed up his feelings about that subject perfectly.
As for performing in Washington Square Park, the musician couldn’t have been happier.
“This is my son’s front yard,” he told us before walking home. “I’m working on a musical set in the park, dealing with its history.”
After a brief reading by Mary Lee Kortes from her book “Dreaming of Dylan,” husband-and-wife team Connie Lynn Petruck and Christmas Davis (a.k.a. The Tall Pines) followed Earle with a rocking set as the sun went down.
They began their set as a duo, but expanded to include, variously, Tammy Faye Starlite (channelling Nico), Jeremy Chatzky on bass, Eric Ambel on guitar and backup singers Julia Joseph, Marcy Harriell , Katia Floreska with Mary Lee Kortes. A rousing version of the Stones classic “Gimme Shelter” left the crowd calling for an encore just as their time was up.
A quick negotiation with concert producer Danny Kapilian gave them a little extra time.
“We’ve got two minutes!” announced Connie, and they used it well.