Boston Herald article about Bob Metzger and Leanne Ungar

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bridger15
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Boston Herald article about Bob Metzger and Leanne Ungar

Post by bridger15 » Wed May 27, 2009 7:33 pm

This is a great article with a well deserved focus on Bob Metzger, "Signature of Steady" and Leanne Ungar, sound engineer extraordinaire.
Also included is a youtube link to the Partisan at the Beacon and a great photo of LC and Bob in concert.
http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainme ... 5&srvc=rss
Hallelujah! Hub guitarist’s gig with Leonard Cohen is heavenly
By Daniel Gewertz
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bob Metzger has spent a lot of time playing guitar at such local roots music strongholds as Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville.

But not lately. For the past year, Metzger has been plying his trade in front of big crowds on Leonard Cohen’s world tour.

This week, Metzger gets to play for a hometown audience again. He’ll back Canadian singer/songwriter (and poet and novelist) Cohen - who’s onstage again after a 15-year break from touring - at shows Friday and Saturday at the Citi Wang Theatre.

“Leonard has had a huge influence on my life,” Metzger said before a show last week at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. “He’s a very wise and moral person and someone of such intellectual rigor. When I write a song now, I invest more in my lyrics because of my work with Leonard. He makes everyone around him better.”

At age 74, Cohen - a sometimes reclusive Zen-practitioner - is hot again. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year and in 2006 he was the subject of a documentary, “I’m Your Man.” Now hehas a new double-CD, “Live in London,” as he continues to tour for adoring critics and fans eager to catch a legend while they still can.

“Considering his long absence from the scene, it became less and less likely he’d ever tour again,” said Metzger, who moved to Boston from L.A. in 2004 when his wife, Leanne Ungar, got a job at Berklee College of Music teaching engineering and producing.

Metzger and Ungar’s marriage is the stuff of music industry fairy tales - and Cohen played the role of fairy godmother. The two met in 1988 while working on Cohen’s “I’m Your Man” tour.

“Leonard is very much the cupid in my life,” Ungar said, “and an inspiration for love. I’m extremely grateful to him for hiring Bob.”

Ungar, 56, started working with Cohen in 1974, when the then-20-year-old was the assistant engineer on his “New Skin for the Old Ceremony” album.

“I’ve consistently engineered Leonard’s records since 1984,” she said, “and produced a couple.”

On Cohen’s current tour, Ungar is in charge of the stage monitor mixes. And she gets to travel with her husband.

“We’re doing songs from a 40-year span of Leonard’s career,” Metzger said. “He’s such an expert at putting a compelling show together, selecting a set list. We’re filling some sports arenas, but without the fireworks and histrionics. It’s pure music.”

Cohen claimed he was robbed of millions by his former manager and a jury awarded him $9 million in 2006. But he is unlikely to collect that much. With his bank account depleted, he decided to take a break from his semi-monastic lifestyle for what’s turned out to be the most profitable tour of his career.

“I’m so happy he’s getting this adulation,” Ungar said.

When not playing with Cohen, Metzger still performs as much as possible. One of his local gigs is playing with the Patsy Hamel Band, which contributed a track to the new “Song For Sally” compilation CD, a tribute to Sally O’Brien’s.

“If you don’t play regularly,” Metzger said, “you won’t evolve. You’ll shrivel.”

Leonard Cohen at the Citi Wang Theatre, Friday and Saturday. Tickets: $77-$253; 617-482-9393.
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Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
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Re: BOSTON article-Bob Metzger

Post by sturgess66 » Wed May 27, 2009 10:17 pm

Thanks Bridger - great article. And - yes! Big kudos to Bob Metzger - and to Leanne Ungar. I was listening yesterday to the CD "Cohen Live" and taking note of Bob Metger's guitar. The liner notes for that CD say "Produced by Leanne Ungar and Bob Metzger" and then "Engineered by Leanne Ungar."

Very nice article.
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Re: BOSTON article-Bob Metzger

Post by burningviolin » Wed May 27, 2009 10:43 pm

Bridger you find all the best articles!
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Re: BOSTON article-Bob Metzger

Post by bridger15 » Thu May 28, 2009 1:55 am

burningviolin wrote:Bridger you find all the best articles!
Thanks, but I can't take all the credit for finding them. Most of them arrive in my email inbox from YAHOO alerts and GOOGLE alerts.
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2010-Gothenburg|Berlin|Ghentx2|Oaklandx2|Portland|LVegasx2
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Arlene's Leonard Cohen Scrapbook http://onboogiestreet.blogspot.com
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Re: BOSTON article-Bob Metzger

Post by MaryB » Fri May 29, 2009 1:21 am

It is wonderful to see Bob and Leanne getting the credit they so richly deserve! They are both phenomenal in their respective positions and sometimes get overshadowed by the other members of this incredible entourage.

Arlene - thank you sooooo much for posting this wonderful article (no matter how you discovered it).

Best regards,
Mary
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Re: Boston Herald article about Bob Metzger and Leanne Ungar

Post by woolwork » Sun May 31, 2009 6:10 pm

yes, thanks for the Post - and the article and view on Metzger and Ungar - having followed LC since Central Park in 1967... I know their work and appreciate their having been a key part for a long long time...
i did a one-day round trip up to Boston (by bus) for last night's show [which went on sale before NYC RCMH - and i was concerned that i might miss the tour entirely - so the Wang center's second show was my insurance]... what a beautiful venue... The band and its key performer LC - were brilliant... from seat 108 of the 2nd row of the loge ... it was a very intimate experience... with everyone on stage in the moment, performing with a full heart ...
sail on sail oh mighty ship of state - bring benefit to all beings in RedRocks and across the Atlantic....
xox jane
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Re: Boston Herald article about Bob Metzger and Leanne Ungar

Post by sturgess66 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:51 pm

Here's an article from the California Chronicle (originally published in the Boston Herald about the CD "Song for Sally," - the idea for which was conceived by Bob Metzger:
HOTLINE ; CD, Concert Sing Sally's Praises
June 12, 2009

By MICHAEL MAROTTA

Saturday night, anyone down in Somerville's Union Square looking for live music and a pint can take home Sally for a song.

The Sally in question refers not to a pretty lady batting her lashes from across the room, but Sally O'Brien's Bar & Grill on Somerville Avenue and its network of musicians, owners, friends and patrons, who came together to put out a new compilation album, "Song for Sally."

The soulful 18-track roots collection, which features 13 of Sally's regular performing acts, goes on sale at Saturday's show celebrating its release. Admission is free with the purchase of a CD; $5 without, but why resist?

A dozen of the 13 performers on "Song for Sally" - which includes the Tom Hagerty Band, Stan Martin Band, Dave Sammarco Band, Attention Shoppers and Reverb Joe & the Reverberators - will play short sets beginning about 5 p.m. and ending around last call.

Conceived by Bob Metzger, Leonard Cohen's touring guitarist and frequent Sally's patron and performer, the compilation serves as a snapshot of a bluesy roots rock scene blooming in Union Square.

"It was Metzger's idea to capture a moment in time, and the scene grew with the CD project," said Sally's booking agent, Jonas Kahn, who also plays with two of the compilation contributors, Mayberry and Juliet & the Lonesome Romeos. "It's definitely a community project. The sound is a reflection of what happened here."

Roughly 40 percent of the 76-minute compilation was recorded at Sally's in one sitting on March 24, 2007. Each band played a set under a small overhead sign that flashed "On Air." Then the recording engineer would pick out a song or two for each band to play over again. The session lasted for hours, but no one in the packed 100-capacity room, which features live music six nights a week, seemed to mind.

"People dug it," said Kahn. "A lot of comps just grab tracks and put it out. We made the thing."

In order to get on the CD, owner Liam Mannion, who opened the pub with co-owner Gilbert Carey in 2003, had one rule: You had to play at Sally's at least once a month. A lot of the performers, including Mayberry and Martin, had been playing there from Day One: St. Patrick's Day 2003, when Mannion scored his entertainment license. Since then, Sally's has set out to be a friendly destination for roots music.

"The room dictates the sound," Kahn said. "It's more of a pub than a rock club, which means you can only book a certain style of stuff."

Which sold country singer-songwriter Martin right off the bat.

"As far as live music venues, Sally's is very musician friendly," he said. "I think it's a great oasis for roots music in this city."

Maybe the compilation will put a spotlight on Somerville. Union Square now boasts several off-the-radar locations for live music, including P.A.s Lounge, Bull McCabe's and Precinct.

"Cambridge used to have a great scene, withLizard Lounge and Toad, and that's cool," Martin said. "But Sally's is a bit different. It's a little community unto itself. There's a lot of camaraderie. It's almost like a clubhouse."

Even after six years, Mannion still considers

Sally's to be in its infancy stage.

He hopes the album spreads word of the pub as well as its music.

"It's definitely a reflection of the scene and a

good launching pad for the future," he said. "Hopefully it'll put the room on the map as a live music venue. It's intimate but it's not tiny. It feels good."

E-mail your nightlife news or event listings to mmarotta

@bostonherald.com.

Originally published by By MICHAEL MAROTTA.

(c) 2009 Boston Herald. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
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