Published Jul 01, 2003For two consecutive shows, stellar producer, storyteller and musician Daniel Lanois, along with New Orleans drummer Brian Blade, brought it home to Hamilton, where Lanois's musical magic began, in support of his latest Anti release, Shine. The beautiful Theatre Aquarius was converted into a warm, comfortable "kitchen" where the pair created a small but powerful musical fire that was futuristic and minimal yet busy. Close friends and family fed this fire, lounging on couches in the periphery onstage, as the duo, along with occasional special guests like Brian Patti, Bob Doidge, Lori Reid, world class guitarist Brian Griffith, vanguard guitarist Bill Dillon and brother Bob Lanois converged, adding extra ingredients. Danny's outstanding guitar summoned the spirit of Jimi Hendrix and the arc-welding of Neil Young, done with pure rustic, cubist, blue-collar strokes, combined with Blade's surrealistic yet scholastic study of percussion architecture-meets-Japanese-chef-chops. Just as Lanois brings musicians closer in the recording studio, he managed to so with the audience, highlighted with the timeless "Rocky World," where he stepped away from the microphones and amplification, and raised his human volume and soul for all to absorb. No tricks, no toys, just passion.