eef barzelay [2008]

Cafe du Nord
San Francisco, CA
30 July 2008

This was my second time around seeing post-Clem Snide Eef. (Sounds like a mix between a medical condition and a marijuana strand.) On this go-around, though, Barzelay was joined by a backing band that quickly established itself as not being Clem Snide.

Most distinguishing was the slide guitar, prevalent throughout most of the evening. The sometimes haunting, sometimes warm, but always sustained tones of the slide guitar proved a perfect compliment to Eef’s often-times clipped delivery.

He still played at least a few songs by himself, the band leaving the stage at a couple of points during the night. And despite my enjoyment of said band, it was still clear to me that, throughout my 10-year love affair with Clem Snide, it’s really always been all about Eef and a guitar.

Yes, how romantic. But until you’ve experienced it yourself, it’s difficult to appreciate the presence, the humanness, that he brings to the stage. The fact it was once again the intimate Cafe du Nord stage certainly helped. You can’t get much more intimate.

Somehow, Eef Barzelay is still playing small venues. Somehow he’s not selling out the Great American. But until that day comes, we can all enjoy his music from three feet away and catch every little witty aside, every smirk.

Maybe it’s better this way.