Person and persona

By MATT PARISH  |  May 4, 2010

Another throwback move of late is Shade’s incorporation of those strings, which bring to mind stately pop moments from “Eleanor Rigby” on down to Tom Waits’s drunk run-ins with the orchestra on his ’76 breakout Small Change. Meeting through mutual friends at the Lizard, Godowsky began rehearsing with the Neave Quartet back in February. “My whole life, I’ve been really into string quartets. I used to buy tapes of them for my mom for her birthday when I was younger, and they’d stack up in the glove compartment of her car. It has an effect that other music just doesn’t have. It’s tangible.”

The John Shade project now straddles two sets of basically unreleased recordings — the originals (from Wisconsin) and a new batch with just Godowsky and the strings, this one arranged by Hickman and recorded in Cambridge at Paul Kolderie’s Camp Street Studios. “I’m thinking about trying it one more time to balance the two,” he says, and I wouldn’t doubt it. The guy is a reserved perfectionist — Hickman and Erelli had to persuade him to stop throwing away songs he thought might be mediocre. But as long as he maintains an enthusiastic supporting cast, we should have plenty to look forward to.

He’s not totally convinced about his job security, however. “We’re trying not to get that excited — maybe five people will come to the next show. If that’s it, so be it.”

JOHN SHADE | Lizard Lounge, 1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge | May 11 + 18 at 9 pm | 21+ | $8 | 617.547.0759 or lizardloungeclub.com

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