The Tallest Man on Earth
San Francisco, CA
May 9, 2010
What a charmer: The Tallest Man on Earth, in his skinny jeans & square jaw w/his wee elfish boots & his raspish voice. On record, The Tallest has been fairly compared to a young Robert-o Zimmerman, for obvious similarities of timbre, phrasing, inflection, verbosity.
On stage in person, the analogy does not hold. The Tallest hops into the room & then proceeds to take efficient ownership of it. He roams hither & yon, upstage & down, he eyeballs the audience, now grave now flirting now comic now tragic. He cracks little non-sequiturs & we laugh as if we're in on some joke we maybe don't quite get but Oh how we wish to. The Tallest is a seducer, you see. Within ninety seconds, substantial contingents of the audience are swooning.
It was really quite a magical thing. The Tallest performs alone & unadorned. There's no band, the stage is clean, it's just him & his 3 guitars. He plays through a little practice amp that's miked right into the PA. He's got a cushy chair to collapse into from time to time as the need arrives. Which it doesn't much, The Tallest is a firecracker he doesn't much pause he doesn't much rest.
The Tallest goes & goes. His music generally gets called Folk. It's a fair descriptor, but a wholly inadequate one. I mean, ok, it's a guy & his guitar & his songs are all poignance & poetry, all of that is true. Still. I am not aware of any Folk paradigm that would encompass the ragged, naked charisma of the Tallest. Or more significantly, the raw & (hello?) sexy charge that he elicits onstage. It's luxurious & it's often quiet, right, but what The Tallest brings is rock & roll I just don't know how else to say it. You can find familiar things in unfamiliar places, sometimes. What a delight is that.
The Tallest has a couple of albums out, now. They don't (can't, really) do justice to the allure of this guy working the room. The songs are truly great ones however, & you really ought to check them out. The Wild Hunt is the apt title of the current LP.