Live Music

Joe Jackson at the Shubert Theatre

After getting a heads (and two thumbs) up, from Hal Horowitz and Greg Michelle Martucci who saw him recently in Atlanta, I was lucky to score a good seat, at face value no less, to see Joe Jackson at the Shubert on Wednesday night. Billed as the "Four Decade" tour Joe, his long time mate & bass player Graham Maby, drummer Doug Yowell and guitarist Teddy Kumpel, did indeed play a great selection of songs from his eclectic, genre bending catalogue. While he started his career as a new wave rocker, he's gone way beyond that, exploring reggae, jump-blues, fusion and Latin rhythms, all of which he and his crack band presented in fine form over the two hour set. He also mixed in several songs from his current album Fool, a couple of which I would have traded for older classics he didn't do, like Look Sharp or Different for Girls. But his choice of covers (the Beatles Rain and a somewhat obscure Steely Dan King of the World) fit in perfectly with the other material. While he's never been heralded as a golden throated crooner, his rough edged voice sounded as good as on the albums and his 64 year old hands produced excellent, polyphonic sounds from the keyboards. 

Check out the set list here:…/shubert-theatre-boston-ma-2395646b…

Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Orpheum Theatre

Best Cover Band Ever??

Caught the middle night of TTB's annual 3 night, tour closing run at the Orpheum on Friday with several friends including Dick & Jennifer Stoner and Steve & Michelle Pritoni Scardino. Yet another stellar performance by one of the best live bands touring these days. Susan, Derek and their 10 member band are at the top of their game. I've seen them about 6 times over the last few years and it seems each show is better than the last. Those diehard fans that go to shows on consecutive nights are treated to an almost completely different set list - another reason they rank at or near the pinnacle of the live rock scene these days.

While Tedeschi Trucks Band has a fairly deep catalogue of impressive originals, a hallmark of their live shows is, for me, their covers. Their terrific song selections and stirring interpretations range from Willie McTell, Delaney and Bonnie, Derek and the Dominoes, to Dylan, Leon Russell, Joe Cocker and the Lovin' Spoonful. And that was just Friday nights show. Their 8 minute version of Darling Be Home Soon was nearly sublime. If you don't want sit through my amateur iPhone clip below, you can listen to a pro quality audio of the entire show here:…/tedeschi-trucks-band-boston…/

Or see/compare the set lists from all 3 Boston 2018 nights here:…/tedeschi-trucks-band-73d3bab1.html

Lake Street Dive at the Wang Theatre Boston

Lake Street Dive last night at the Wang Theatre

Attended yet another in a long list of great shows at the invitation of neighbor and concert buddy Steve Scardino. As usual, he knows how to pick em. (As does Lisa Breslow Thompson who suggested a while back I go see them).

This multi genre, multi talented band has been playing local Boston area clubs and festivals since emerging as a quartet from the New England Conservatory in 2004. Wished I'd jumped on their rapidly expanding band wagon earlier when they were still playing smaller venues. We were near the back of the sold out 3500 seat Wang Theater surrounded by youthful, fanatic, female fans who seemed to know every note of their mostly uplifting songs. Now a quintet with the addition of keyboards, their sound is somewhat hard to define, and ranges from big & bold to quietly beautiful 4 & 5 part harmonies. Steve sums it up well - "blue eyed soul".

Check out a recent full length show here:

and support them by attending a show or purchasing their songs to add to your playlist.La

Samantha Fish at the Center for the Arts Natick

On the recommendation of fellow RIT alumni and current music critic Hal Horowitz I saw this amazing young rocker last night at TCAN. SAMANTHA FISH. Outstanding blues based guitarist, good vocalist and excellent songwriter. She and her band smoked for almost 2 hours. I was lucky to score last minute tix, and to have seen such talent in an intimate venue. No doubt she’ll be playing larger shows in the future. Go see her now.

Larry Cambell at the City Winery Boston

Enjoyed seeing/listening to Larry Campbell and his wife Teresa Williams at the City Winery in Boston last night, with my friend & neighbor Steve. First time I'd been to this new North End venue. A nice room, good acoustics and site lines, though the tight table seating would be tough if it were a full house. If you're not familiar with him, Larry Campbell is multi talented, multi-instrumentalist-singer-songwriter, perhaps most widely known for his time as part of Bob Dylan's Never Ending Tour band from 1997 to 2004. He has extensive experience as a studio musician and has recorded or played live with a long list of artists incl. Levon Helm, Judy Collins, Sheryl Crow, Hot Tuna and most recently with Bob Wier and Phil Lesh. Go see him if you have a chance.

Keb Mo at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel Providence 5.13.16

Keb Mo at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel Providence

Kelvin Moore has been on my "see live" wish list for several years. I own his '98 2nd Grammy Award winning disk Slow Down, and a few other single songs, but usually have at least a couple in my active play list. I'm not a diehard fan of mainstream electric blues,  but there are certain sub-genres I enjoy and listen to.  Keb Mo is a skilled and seasoned practitioner of acoustic based, earthy, folksy, yet pain-filled, Delta Blues. He's been writing/recording as far back as the early 1970s, having been recruited for sessions  by Jefferson Airplane violinist, Papa John Creach, with whom he co-wrote the song Git Fiddle which appears on the Starship's 1975 Red Otcopus LP.  

The show at Lupo's was very satisfying. The downtown venue is a converted theater, intimate yet room to stand & dance. Keb started off sitting solo on a stool, adding one backing musician each for the next three songs. He came through with a nice mix of material from his vast repertoire.  His voice sounded rich and melancholic as in the recordings and the musicianship from all band members was excellent. I'm there to enjoy the music, so don't write down the songs 'cause I can usually see the set list later on setlistFM.  Unfortunately,  no one contributed a the set list for that night at Lupo's but here's one from a show in Hartford three nights later.  Note that you can single click the arrows next to each song to have a listen, though it's not necessarily from that specific show.

Lord Huron at the House of Blues

Lord Huron - my new favorite band.
Lucky to score a ticket to their sold out show with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats at the House of Blues Sunday night. Terrific show. Nathaniel Rateliff is a real party boogie band along the lines of St Paul & the Broken Bones or a less sophisticated Trombone Shorty. Seemed like the majority of the crowd was there to see and dance to them. The crowd had thinned a bit by the time Lord Huron came on. But they were awesome! Sonically nuanced and sophisticated, a bit dark and brooding at times, but all around excellent original song writing, vocals and musicianship. The drummer is kick ass.
If you're an indie folk rocker and they come to your area GO SEE THEM while they're still playing smaller venues. Above is a short iphone clip from one of 13 songs they did. Or check out this link to their latest album Strange Trails.