Louisville musicians perform Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” Tonight

I’ve been up since 7:30 on this lovely Saturday morning trying to learn these new Fleetwood Mac tunes for the encore. Yes, we’re expecting an encore because the show is just THAT good. For those of you who don’t know, several of us are playing the “Rumours” album in its entirety tonight (Saturday, March 12) at the Rudyard Kipling. Two shows: 7:30 & 9:30. Call ahead for more info or visit www.therudyardkipling.com.

Learning this album has been a lot more work for me than it should be, mostly because I just really never listened to Fleetwood Mac. Sure, I listened to classic rock radio stations as a kid, but I swear I don’t remember ever hearing Fleetwood Mac songs. I know that’s really weird for most of you to believe, but I think I’ve mostly heard Fleetwood Mac at karaoke, not even knowing who the original was done by.

Also, it’s weird having to actually learn a cover song note for note, rather than just doing your own interpretation. I can learn most songs — at least the instrumental parts — with only one listen because my brain thinks in harmonies. Harmonies are easy to memorize because they are usually very simple. This, however, is totally different in that I’m having to learn Christine McVie’s piano/organ/keyboard parts note-for-note, exactly like the record, memorize it, and then also sing all the right words, not to mention the right notes, without a cheat sheet.

A few months ago I had this gaping hole in my musical history knowledge, and now suddenly, I know this album in and out and have wurlitzer/clavinet pre-sets programmed into my keyboard labeled “You Make Loving Fun.”

I like the songs, and I especially like the arrangements and production. It makes a huge difference listening to a record with my good headphones, rather than the dumb earbuds that essentially leave out all the electric piano parts. Sure, I look like a big dork when I’m walking around the neighborhood with my giant noise-canceling headphones on, but it’s been a nice study.

I’m also amazed by how easy it is to work with the other five musicians playing in this “Rumours” reenactment. Not only are they all absolute pros and sickeningly talented, but they are all, well, nice. You might think that throwing the six of us on a stage without a musical director — or at least without a certain person deemed the leader — would be disastrous. But there’s been nothing but ideas, praise, modesty, and unbelievable talent. No egos or personality clashes — just music. It’s great.

You should come to the show. Kimmet Cantwell will convince you that you’re seeing Stevie Nicks in person. Danny Flanigan and Todd Johnson have somehow managed to get the exact same guitar tones and solos and play together so minimally and perfect you won’t even notice how hard they’ve worked. Tim Halcomb plays the complicated bass parts so well and keeps us on task in rehearsal, and Ray Rizzo on drums just brings it all together… both spiritually and musically. Tiffany LaVoie will be on-hand with some engaging and fun theater while we’re flipping from Side A to Side B. See you there.