Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa

Oakdale Theater, Wallingford, CT

August 8, 2017

This hot August night was extra steamy with the arrival of smokin’ Joe Bonamassa and his blues-rock performance at the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT. He was classily dressed in his now signature suit, cool shades and slicked back hair.
Bonamassa noted that he had played at the Oakdale theater in the round 27 years ago when he opened for B.B. King as a young upcoming and obviously talented blues guitarist. He was at the time only 13 years old. Though he admitted the when and where he was eluded him until reminded by a stagehand just exactly why he remember the place, there was a déjà vu moment when he arrived at the venue.
The night started out with gritty sound of “This Train” to warm the audience up for “Mountain Climbing”.
Bonamassa crooned out “Blues of Desperation” off the album of the same name which debuted a #8 of Billboards top 200. He played cuts off this fantastic album including the searing, slashing jam on “No Good Place For the Lonely” that left the audience cheering.
A master at changing up the pace he slid into the heartbreaking and soulful “Breaking Up Someone’s Home
” On “Boogie with Stu”, a Led Zeppelin cover, Reese Wynans got a chance to shine on the keyboard.
The instrumental “Black Winter/Django” was seven and a half minutes of pure showman with riffs and hand movements that were so intricate they memorized the crowd. He finished the song motioning the audience to raise out of their seats. Those who weren’t already standing rose up and continued to stand right though a stirring rendition of Zeppelin’s “How Many More Times” and into the stomping cries for an encore.
They finished up the night with a tribute to B.B King and a rendition of his “Hummingbird”
At the age of 40 he has a longstanding career and has accompanied some the guitar greats of our age. He played with Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and too many others to name. Mentored by Danny Gatton in his youth and introduced to the stage since his early years, he is now touring worldwide to sold out houses. Bonamassa’s name has become one of the most recognizable names in the blues scene and he has earned his place among the greats by paying his dues over time.
Bonamassa has topped the all artists by having 15 #1 Billboard Blues Albums. Funny thing about the blues. It seems if you don’t suffer the blues you’re not taken as seriously. Bonamassa did not have to suffer much of the low down, down and out life of the early blues masters like the 3 Kings (BB King, Albert King and Freddie King) he admired and even did a tribute tour in honor of, but he has all the feeling and style that makes a truly memorable blues guitarist stand out.
This year’s touring show includes a horn section consisting of Lee Thornburg playing trumpet and Paulie Cerra on saxaphone. Anton Figs was on drums and bassist Michael Rhodes. The three women vocalists all hail from Australia. Juanita Tippins, Mahalia Barnes and Jade Macrae gave a soulful, deep performance. Each woman is a standout singer but together they were wonderful and rounded out the band perfectly, especially on “Slow Train” which showcased each in a solo.
Bonamassa’s baritone resounded throughout the hall as he seared through a mix of his own music and a intermingling of covers from other great artists that he gave his own distinct flavor. He has already made his mark in the blues world and I hope he will continue to entertain for many decades to come. It was a great performance by the entire band and I hope he does not wait 27 more years before he revisits the Oakdale Theater again.
If you get a chance don’t miss his show. This is a guitarist everyone should see at least once. But, if you do see Bonamassa once will not be enough.

 

Bonamassa’s band members:
Anton Fig – Drums
Reese Wynans – Keyboards
Lee Thornburg – Trumpet
Paulie Seron – Saxophone
Michael Rhodes – Bass
Whinita Tipons – Singer
Jade Mcgregor – Singer
Mahalia Barnes – Singer
SET LIST:
This Train
Mountain Climbing
Blues of Desperation
No Good Place for the Lonely
How Deep This River Runs
Breaking Up Someone’s Home
Angel of Mercy (Albert King cover)
Slow Train
Driving Towards the Daylight
Boogie with Stu (Led Zeppelin cover)
Last Kiss
Black Winter
How Many More Times (Led Zeppelin cover)
Encore:
Hummingbird (B.B. King cover)
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

Barrett-Jackson Northeast 2017

Barrett-Jackson Northeast 2017

Mohegan Sun

June 21-24, 2017

Barrett-Jackson kicked of their Northeast 2017 festivities early this year by sponsoring the New England Concours d’Elegance and adding it to their summer docket. This extends the high end automotive extravaganza to a two weekend affair. They hosted the competition on Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18 outdoors on the Mohegan Sun grounds in Uncasville, Connecticut where thousands drew later in the week for the Barrett-Jackson auction in the arena.
The auction in it’s 2nd year at Mohegan Sun attracted thousands of patrons to take in the wide array of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and automobilia. Many register to bid on the items up for auction, most of which were for sale with “no reserve.”  Thousands more come for the day, two or three days of watching the fast paced bidding and enjoying the exhibits in the event and filling the upper seats in the arena to take in the spectacle.

Barrett-Jackson auctions have been holding events for 46 years. It’s become such a popular yearly auto event that it has branched out across the United States from it’s home in Scottsdale to include events in Palm Beach, Las Vegas and now Mohegan Sun. This year’s The Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction sold 630 vehicles and 685 pieces of automobilia for a total of all sales of approximately $24.3 million.
For the thrill seekers there were the Ride ’N Drives and Thrill Rides. The Big Three automakers—Ford, General Motors and Chrysler were offering rides. There were Dodge Charger Hellcats, Challengers and Vipers and GT350R’s  with pro drivers on a rubber burning course for those craving a bit of extra excitement. Throughout the event while outdoors you could hear the revving of engines, burnouts and squealing tires as cars drifted through corners on the closed off special purpose track. The lines formed from early morning to closing at the popular attractions.
One of the sale highlights was the 1966 Shelby GT350-H Fastback that sold for $220,000

A 1947 Indian Chief Motorcycle with Sidecar sold for $110,000 dollars.  It was painted a custom teal color and adorned with a brown seat and bags.  It’s been converted to electric start for simplicity and completely restored. During the restoration, a Goulding sidecar was purchased and shipped from Poland.
There were plenty of deals to be had for those with a slightly lower budget. Lot after lot of cars, trucks and automobilia that including rare, one of a kind items on the block for all tastes like the 1933 Diamond T Truck with a period-correct display flat-track bike included.
Barrett-Jackson also this year joined forces with Prestone as they unveiled the “Project Prestone” restoration build project. The car, a 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aero Coupe, was rolled out during a press conference on Thursday. The plan is to complete the restoration documenting each step of the process along the way before putting it up for auction at the Barrett-Jackson 2018 Scottsdale Auction. The public can keep up with the progress on Barrett-Jackson.com and on social media using #ProjectPrestone.
With this auction Barrett-Jackson has surpassed $94 million dollars in total raised for various charities over the years.  At each event there are “car for a cause” vehicles donated  for the auction and sold with the proceeds given to various charities.
In addition the event was covered by both Velocity TV and The Discovery Channel bringing in viewers from around the globe to both watch and bid on TV and digital media. These are worldwide events with millions tuning in to buy or watch.
The Barrett-Jackson’s auctions also reach out in other ways. This year volunteers from the Vermont based Teen Challenge donned grey shirts and white gloves and assisted the Barrett-Jackson staff maneuvering the items on and off the block unscathed. Teen Challenge is a faith based group that works with at risk men in an environment conducive overcoming life controlling issues. Their motto is Confronted by Hope – Walking in Freedom – Living with Purpose!
It’s a wrap until next year when the trucks pull in, the tents are raised and the smell of oil, rubber, exhaust, barbeque and seafood mix on a hot summer afternoon. It’s almost like the automotive circus comes to town.  Just another year to wait.

Barrett-Jackson Northeast Preview Day and Automobilia Auction

Barrett-Jackson Northeast Preview Day and Automobilia Auction

Mohegan Sun kicked off it’s Barrett-Jackson Northeast with a Preview Day and Automobilia Auction. The crowds were beginning to gather and gaze at the tents and garage filling up with vintage autos, hot rods, and pretty much something to match the expectations of most auto and truck enthusiasts.
The 2nd Annual Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction returns this week, June 21-24, at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions® will once again offer a full schedule of events, including a variety of family festivities. The excitement continues Thursday through Saturday with the collector car auction, featuring a sold-out docket for the second year in a row.
There was a Ford & Chevrolet Ride’ N Drive and Dodge Thrill Rides for those game to ride and drive the track burning rubber and drifting around the corners of the specially set up track in the side lot of Mohegan Sun in view of the spectators.

There were custom made metal sculptures to go with the custom autos and 4×4’s placed between the tents.

 

In the auction arena, the first of more than 650 pieces of authentic automobilia made their way to the famous Barrett-Jackson stage, many of them – including a vast selection of pristine diecast model cars – hailing from the Cedarmore Collection. Among the top-selling automobilia items today were a large HC Sinclair Gasoline double-sided porcelain service station sign from the 1930s-40s (Lot #6312), a beautiful 1940s Gulf Oil Premium Gasoline Gilbarco model 98 restored service station gas pump (Lot #6260) and a Pennzoil Gasoline Bennett model #766 restored service station gas pump from the early 1950s (Lot #6310).

Greenwich Concours d’Elegance 2017

Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

June 2 – 4, 2017

The 22nd edition of the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance was held this past weekend at the beautiful waterfront venue in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was an event celebrating both vintage and some of the latest offerings from the auto industry. The event featured the American Classes on Saturday and the International Classes on Sunday.

The Concours d’Elegance is an event that also gives back. The proceeds from entry fees and ticket sales along with other generous donations from patrons are donated to charity. Americares, a health-focused charity serving all 50 states and 90 other countries, is the charity of choice for the Concours d’Elegance.
Saturday’s event could not have asked better weather and drew crowds from Connecticut and surrounding states to take in the mix of beautifully restored and maintained American automobiles and motorcycles. There were also plenty of custom and hot rods cars on hand as well. There was nostalgia in the air and some owners dressed the part to complement their entries.
The judging was divided into classes with teams of judges. Each team of three was assigned approximately 15 cars to judge. Saturday’s classes were Hot Rods, Custom Cars, Children’s Cars, Horseless Carriage, Brass Era, Classic Open, Classic Closed, Postwar Open, Postwar Closed, Unrestored Preservation, Competition, Muscle/Performance, Supercar and Motorcycle.
Wayne Carini of the hit Velocity Channel show “Chasing Classic Cars” was an honorary judge. He also had two cars of his in the Concours as entries.

 

The youngest judge was also a seasoned veteran. Christopher DeMarey at 15 years old was judging for his ninth year alongside his father Jeff DeMarey. Starting at the age of seven it is safe say he was exposed to some of the finest cars on earth before many his age could even pronounce the name Lamborghini correctly. Christopher proudly displayed his pins from previous years tacked to the inside of his jacket. It is safe to say he will continue on at Greenwich for quite a few more years.
Bonhams Auctions held an event on the grounds and Saturday and Sunday displayed items for sale in tents as well as on the lawn for prospective buyers to inspect for Sunday’s auction.
Sunday featured the International classes of Bugatti, Racecars from the 2016 Lime Rock Historic Festival, Children’s Cars, Prewar, English Sports/GT, English Touring/Saloon, German Sports/GT, Italian Touring, International Sports & Touring, French, Special Interest, Unrestored Preservation and Motorcycle Classes.
One of the interesting things to do is to wander the grounds and speak to the owners about their specific vehicles, especially the restored classics. Many of those I spoke to gladly told the history of vehicle, how long it took to restore and what process they went through to get it right, down to the smallest details. Each owner clearly proud and many had photos of past owners and some cases racing history and drivers.
Take the 1933 Packard 1006 V-12 Cabriolet Deville by Fernandez & Darrin owner who painstakingly had 24 coats of paint placed on his Packard until she gleamed a mirror. He recited how the vehicle was once owned by Charles Lindbergh’s son-in-law and possibly Lindbergh himself.
For those who prefer something more modern there was an example of a new generation of concept cars. The Rimac Concept One two-seat high-performance electric sports car designed and manufactured by Rimac Automobil.
The ultra modern electric car has a total output of 811 kW the equivalent of 1,088 hp, and can accelerate from 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) in 2.8 seconds.
The 2017 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Best in Show vehicle is decided by an experienced panel of judges and is presented during the awards ceremony, where the owner typically drives the car to the podium area and is interviewed by the master of ceremonies.
The Best of Show for Saturday: 1935 Packard Dietrich D-C Pht.
The Best of Show for Sunday: 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante.
All class winners are listed below,
For all vintage vehicle and modern one of a kind auto and motorcycle admirers the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance is a must see for the summer. If you have not taken in this New England weekend of beautifully crafted vehicles it is something you should consider for next year. In addition it’s a charitable event so it’s great for everyone involved and attending helps in many ways far beyond Greenwich.
By Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

David Crosby and Friends

David Crosby and Friends

Garde Arts Center

May 29, 2017

The Garde Arts Center outdid themselves with this concert. Although they have hosted many great shows, this show was spectacular.
Growing up as a child of the sixties one the voices in the soundtrack of my youth would have to be David Crosby. He and his counterparts were a representation of the era and the outspoken cry for justice and political change in America. To see him now as an adult completes a cycle of decades of changes. Changes in age, political climate, people. Crosby has accepted those changes and evolved into a still relevant voice in American music. Though the Vietnam war is long over we are still embroiled in ever present political strife as much now as ever.
Crosby, never one to shy away from his political stance still speaks for peace and love. He has an opinion on what is right and what is wrong in America and what we as American’s allow to happen in our society.
This was such a memorable concert on many levels. To hear Crosby play his older tunes was one but also to hear his musical evolution brought it to another level. He has for almost the last two decades enjoyed playing with one of his sons. James Raymond, Crosby’s son, is the keyboard player in the band and also co-author of many of Crosby’s newer works. They have worked together since forming the band CPR (Crosby, Pevar & Raymond) with Jeff Pevar on lead guitar in 1996.
Crosby gathered together some friends to tour with him, Truly talented friends they are. As Crosby stated during the concert each band player is an accomplished musician on their own and have had their own bands. The friends are James Raymond (keyboards/vocals), Jeff Pevar (guitar/vocals), Michelle Willis (keyboards/vocals), Mai Agan (bass) and Steve DiStanislao (drums/vocals).
Starting off his career with The Byrds, then on to Crosby, Stills, Nash. Continuing with the addition of Neil Young for a time.  Crosby was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and inducted twice for his works with the Byrds and CSN, and he was a founding member of both bands.
Crosby released his first solo album, If Only I Could Remember My Name, in 1971 and his solo career is still going strong to this day. This past October he released Lighthouse. His newest release “Sky Trails” was available for the concert patrons to purchase only at the venues on concert nights.
There were the obligatory Crosby, Stills and Nash songs. Along with each song though there was a short explanation of where that song belonged in his life. The reasons for writing them and where his mind was at the time and who among the greats of 60’s rock he was associating with during the writing and performing of those songs.
Crosby said that all his life when he had an emotion he squashed but felt he needed to air he would air it by writing a song about it. “In My Dreams,” was the opening song of the evening. Followed by a song he wrote about Jim Morrison. The Crosby, Stills & Nash song “Long Time Coming” finished up the first set and the band took a short intermission.
After the intermission they returned to the stage and went right into a CPR song “Map To Buried Treasure” They played a Crosby & Nash song “Homeward Through The Haze” and then “Angel Dream.”
Jeff Benedict, prize winning author and native of New London, CT, who wrote the book “Little Pink House.” “Little Pink House” is a story of one woman’s fight to keep her house which was being taken by the law of eminent domain. It tells of how large corporations or governments can remove a person’s right to live in a home they purchased and call home simply because it is in the way of development. The Garde Arts Center concert was important because the fight the book and film were based upon is the case that took place in New London.
The book was made into a movie and while searching for inspired music for the movie Benedict thought of asking long time friend Crosby. Crosby an opponent of taking of homes for eminent domain of course agreed and wrote the song “Home Free” Jeff Benedict invited Crosby to play at the Garde Arts Center and the song was performed live for the first time ever at this concert.
They finished up with a rousing version of the CSNY hit “Déjà vu.” The encore to follow was full of patriotism and a great rendition of “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee”
At 75 years young David Crosby sounded fantastic as did his friends. Their voices filled the theater with such wonderful harmonies. Crosby’s vocals were so strong all we can hope for is that he continues to play for many years to come. Hopefully he will also do a encore performance at The Garde Arts Center in the near future. If he does I am sure the house will be full of eager patrons waiting to hear his beautiful music.
Set List
In My Dreams
Morrison
Tracks
She’s Got To Be
At The Edge
Laughing
1000 Roads
Long Time Gone
Map To Buried Treasure
Homeward
What Are Their Names
Home Free
Angel Dream
Low Down Payment
Delta
Deja Vu
Encore
My Country Tis
http://www.davidcrosby.com/
http://jamesraymond.com
http://pevar.com
http://www.michellewillis.ca
http://maiagan.com
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

 

 

 

Robert Cray 2017

The Robert Cray Band

May 26, 2017
The Garde Arts Center

The Garde Arts Center audience was taken on a blues train on May 26th with a great performance by Grammy award winner, blues guitarist and singer Robert Cray. Cray is 63 but his energetic performance and crisp clear voice leave no indication of his years. He still sounds as good as he did in the 80’s. Better actually as his voice has a deeper tone and resonance while he can still hit the high notes with strength and ease.

Cray’s guitar playing and solos are a delight to hear. He and the band knew each note so well. They mesh and change tempos with ease leading up to and following Cray’s solos. Band members bassist Richard Cousins, keyboardist Dover Weinberg and drummer Terence Clark all performed flawlessly.
The set started with “The Same Love” followed by “I’ll Always Remember You.”  Cray’s soulful voice echoed in the Garde. Cray then sang on to “Poor Johnny.”  He makes the most difficult of riffs look easy.
They played “It Doesn’t Show” and you could hear a pin drop with the exception of a shout or two from the audience as they got softer and softer on the notes.
Cray was appreciative of the audience and he acknowledged how good the music sounded in the Garde Arts Center and  that it was an excellent venue to play. He also localized the song “Phone Booth” to the audience’s delight by saying “I’m back in New London baby” to cheers from the crowd.
Cray got his start in music in the 1960’s in Newport News Virginia. That’s where he played in his first band, The One-Way Street. He then moved  west and in while living in Oregon in the late 70’s formed the Robert Cray Band. Many decades later he is a world renowned blues and soul wonder. Cray has five Grammy Awards and 15 nominations. In 2011 Cray was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
They introduced two of his new songs “I Don’t Care” and “Aspen” off the Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm newly released EP. This was recorded in Memphis and produced in collaboration with Steve Jordan.
The Opening Act was John Fries and Corina Malburn. The duo played songs off their newly released EP “Unreleased.” I really liked their music. It was upbeat and entertaining. John Fries on guitar and Corina Malburn on Upright Bass gave a great performance with a rich sound. Do go see them if you get the chance.
Set List

 http://www.robertcray.com/tour

Review by Donna Erichsen

Photos by George Bekris

Rhode Island National Guard Airshow 2017

Rhode Island National Guard Airshow

May 20 & 21, 2017
Quonset, Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Nation Guard annual airshow at the Quonset Point air base could not have asked for better conditions. They treated families, aviator’s, plane enthusiasts and photographers to an action packed weekend with some of the world’s best aviators in action. The planes ranged from F-16 Vipers to vintage WWII aircraft circling the skies over Narragansett Bay in a spectacular display of daring and skill.
The United States Special Operations Command Parachute Team opened the show jumping out of a Lockheed Martin c130 and trailing a 30 foot American Flag held by the lead jumper as they passed a baton in mid air and trailed smoke as they showed off their precision landing skills in front of the crowd. The Para-Commandos are representative of the Special Operations Forces and represent the Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, Air Force Combat Controllers and Marine Raiders.
It was a kid friendly event that was perfect for families and as an extra bonus all the proceeds from the vendor’s profits goes to the Hasbro Children’s Hospital and other local charities. Patrons got to enjoy a world class airshow, eat, drink visit various displays and support local charities all in one afternoon.
The USAF F-16 Viper Demo Team streaked through the sky performing precision feats and high performance rolls. They showcase the capabilities of the jet and the expert pilots of the USAF.
Mike Goulian put is EXTRA 330SC Unlimited through a thrilling aerial aerobatic display of daring climbs, barrel rolls. Goulian is one of the top performers in the sport and it was evident in this performance. The high tech carbon-fiber and rugged steel plane is the world’s most high performance aerobatic airplane. He flawlessly swooped down low and upside down just feet above the runway before driving his craft straight up skyward and then tumble back toward earth. He showed his world class skills before a cheering crowd.
The military brought out the Rhode Island National Guard Dynamic Military Display with soldiers giving a demonstration of troop deployment from a variety of aircraft. They used Apache helicopters and medical helicopters to show deployment of personnel and equipment including cannons, and vehicles as well as evacuation of personnel.
John Klatt piloted The Jack Link’s Screamin’ Sasquatch Jet Waco plane powered by dual power plants. It has a Pratt & Whitney 985 radial engine and a General Electric CJ610 jet engine with 3,000 pounds of thrust for a combine rate of 4,500 lbs. This jet can accelerate while climbing straight up and were both on hand to thrill the crowd with aerobatics and screaming jet powered antics.

Of course no Jack Link’s event would be complete without the Jack Links Sasquatch on hand to mingle with the crowd much to the delight of the kids on hand bringing smiles from toddlers and adults alike. I think I spied a dinosaur ambling through the spectators too.
The AV-8B Harrier V/STOL strike aircraft was brought out to show it’s capabilities in all conditions. It can take off and land on short runways and pitching aircraft carrier decks. It provides close air support, intermediate range intercept and attack missions. The versatile aircraft performed takeoffs, landing and was able to turn 360 degrees while staying in the same spot in front of the crowd. It was then able to rise up and take off to speed in seconds.
A 1940’s F4U Corsair piloted by Mark Murphy performed stunts and was put thru her paces. This was a popular aircraft from WWII and was proven in both the british and US military. The planes were flown off aircraft and were successful in downing 2,140 enemy aircraft during the war.

Sean D. Tucker took to the skies in the bright red Team ORACLE Challenger III. The legend of the air performed awe inspiring daredevil feats in the air. He is amazing in his ability to maneuver the plane into seemingly impossible positions. He dove down and went under, cut through and back under 3 cables strung across the airstrip just 30 feet above the ground. He spoke from the cockpit while performing and entertaining the spectators with enthusiasm and his trademark yell of “Yeah Baby!!” while screeching across the sky rolling and pitching his plane in amazing twists and turns.
The Shockwave Jet Truck showed up and blasted its 36,000 horsepower down the runway. They even had a race between the Shockwave Jet Truck and Rob Holland in his MXS-RH Nano Pro plane. Holland and his Ultimate Airshows is the three time defending World Freestyle Aerobatic Champion raced the Shockwave Truck upside down down the track in a amazing feat of both skill, daring giving the spectators a visually stunning loud and fast jet race from ground and air.
Randy Ball brought out his 26 years of airshow experience by wowing the crowd with an exceptional performance of the capabilities of the MIG-17 jet fighter. He powered his machine past the crowd at a screaming pace with low level runs to shoot straight up skyward at a breakneck speed. The spectacular aircraft looked like a couple wings hooked onto a huge engine.
The Geico Skytypers Air Show Team performed precision flight maneuvers with six aircraft simulation war time flight scenarios and amazing stunts. They performed low level flights in the WWII American SNJ-2 1940 and 1941 vintage trainers surrounding the crowd with beautiful precision flight from the world renowned team.
All in all it is a great weekend event that changes it’s talent each year. Next year the Blue Angels are scheduled to appear again. So mark your calendars for May 2018 in Quonset, RI for a memorable weekend event.

Greenwich Concours d’ Elegance

Greenwich Concours d’Elegance celebrates its 22nd year in 2017

Bugattis, Historic Race Cars, Hot Rods and Children’s Cars featured to benefit Americares  

 

GREENWICH, Conn. (April 27, 2017) – Recognized as one of the premier classic car shows in the country, the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance will celebrate its 22nd year of showcasing significant cars, motorcycles and one-off automotive creations on June 3-4, 2017.
The brainchild of the late Bruce Wennerstrom, the Concours continues its tradition of holding two unique Concours back-to-back at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park overlooking the Greenwich, Conn., harbor on Long Island Sound.
For 21 years, the proceeds from the Greenwich Concours have gone to support Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization that responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing medicine, medical supplies and health programs.
Organizer of the world-renowned Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Bill Warner, has been named the Grand Marshal.
Saturday, June 3, will be the Concours Americana for American cars and motorcycles, while Sunday, June 4, will feature the Concours International for imported marques.
The inaugural hot rod display being organized by Velocity Channel’s Chasing Classic Cars host Wayne Carini will highlight Saturday’s show. A special exhibit of children’s cars and supercars will round out the day’s displays. Saturday’s ticket also allows attendees to preview all of the cars in the Bonhams auction tent.
Tickets are also available on Saturday night to a gala party and elegant buffet at the Greenwich Delamar Hotel, with luxurious yachts as a backdrop on the quay.
Sunday’s featured marque will be Bugatti and will include a collection of rare Bugattis from the American Bugatti Club. Sunday will also feature race cars from the Lime Rock Park Historic Festival. The Bonhams auction begins at noon on Sunday and requires a separate admission.
Also showcased during the weekend will be the iconic outlaw cars from the original cross-country Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, held in the ’70s, along with some of the later non-outlaw entries. These cars will also be displayed at the Cannonball Reunion, a joint evening event  with the Greenwich International Film Festival, at Cole Auditorium on Friday, June 2.
Both days will include displays of the latest in new cars including BMW, Cadillac, Tesla, Lincoln, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Miller Motorcars of Greenwich will highlight its Ferrari, Bugatti, Pagani, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, McLaren, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Maserati marques. Opportunities to test drive some of these new vehicles will be offered. There will also be a number of luxury yachts displayed at the adjacent Delamar Hotel docks.
“The Greenwich Concours is proud to partner with Americares to help families in need all over the world,” said Mary Wennerstrom, Concours Chairman. “Not only will attendees who appreciate these rare cars be treated to two days to delight their senses, they will also be contributing to one of the world’s most respected charities.”
“Americares is honored to be the Greenwich Concours’ charity of choice for more than two decades,” said Americares President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis. “Together we are helping families affected by poverty or disaster get the health care they need — the health care they deserve.”
Baby Bugatti with a 1925 Bugatti Type 35A/51 Grand Prix at the Greenwich Concours site.
Photo by Bearded Mug Media.
VIP tickets are available on a limited basis. A VIP ticket includes early entry to the Concours, breakfast and lunch with the car owners and judges, access to the VIP lounge and patio at the Delamar Hotel, entrance to the Bonhams Cocktail Reception on Friday night, lapel pin, poster and a VIP lanyard.
    • Gates open at 10 a.m. for general admission, 8 a.m. for VIP ticket holders
    • Advance tickets for both days are available at $30 per day or $50 for both days
    • Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult
    • VIP Admission is $250 per day or $450 for both days
    • Saturday Night Gala tickets are available for $175
    • Tickets can be purchased at Tickets
    • Admission to Bonhams auction is available on site at $40 for two people
The weekend activities will include other events, open to the public, some in cooperation with the Greenwich International Film Festival:
About Americares
Americares is a health-focused relief and development organization that responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing health programs, medicine and medical supplies. Each year, Americares reaches more than 90 countries and all 50 U.S. states with over $600 million in innovative health programs and quality medical aid. Americares is the world’s leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine and medical supplies. For more information, visit americares.org.

Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood

Grand Theater at Foxwoods, Mashantucket, CT
April 28, 2017

Steve Winwood has a career that spans decades. He started as a member of  The Spencer Davis Group at age 14 in England. He went on from there to Traffic, and then to Blind Faith one of the first super rock bands. Once leaving those bands and embarking on his successful solo career he has carried on through time with hits of his own. It is great to see such an iconic legend of an era still out there touring.
Winwood was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of  Traffic in 2004 and won two Grammy awards. He was nominated twice for the Brit Award for Best British Male Artist: 1988 and 1989.
The evening started out with Winwood on the mandolin as he and the band played his well know hit “Back in the High Life Again.” He was accompanied by Richard Bailey on Drums, José Neto on Guitar, Edwin Sanz on Percussion, and Paul Booth on Saxophone.
Then they rolled into “Pearly Queen” and then “I’m a Man” from his Spencer Davis Group days. They followed that with “Fly” off his Nine Lives Album.
“Higher Love” was one of his US Billboard Hot 100 number ones that they played. Though Windwood does not speak to the audience too much while performing he was clearly happy to have his daughter Lilly Winwood come on stage and accompany him in singing “Higher Love” as well as on “Gimme Some Lovin’ ” during the encore.
The first encore song was the ever popular “Mr. Fantasy.” Always one of the audience favorites and a must play at any Steve Winwood concert.
The song list was not lengthy, but there were some great solos by each of the band members. It had the feel of an earlier time at concerts when bands would jam on longer during live performances.
Winwood’s voice still sounds as good as ever. I last saw him 11 years ago and he has not lost a bit of his edge. I would recommend this concert to anyone wanting to hear great music spanning 4 decades. I only wish there was enough time in one concert to cover his many songs and styles of singing.
It was also refreshing to see Winwood’s daughter, Lilly Winwood open for him. She played an acoustic set of cuts from her newly released debut EP titled “Silver Stage.” Her voice was soulful, beautiful and wise beyond her years.
Set List:
Back in the High Life Again
Pearly Queen (Traffic)
I’m a Man (The Spencer Davis Group)
Fly
Them Changes (Buddy Miles cover)
Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith)
Had to Cry Today (Blind Faith)
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic)
Empty Pages (Traffic)
Light Up or Leave Me Alone (Traffic)
Higher Love (with Lilly Winwood on vocals)
Encore:
Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic)
Gimme Some Lovin’ (The Spencer Davis Group)
(with Lilly Winwood on vocals)
By Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

 

Beth Hart

Beth Hart

Fire on the Floor Tour

Feb. 25, 2017

Fox Theater, Mashantucket, CT

The Fox Theater darkened and the band begins to play. The crowd looks at the stage anticipating Beth Hart’s arrival. An electric guitar continued to moan in the dark. Beth Hart began singing the first lines of a song, her voice echoing throughout the theater. Suddenly she surprised and thrilled the audience when a lone spotlight lit up the singer dressed in a sparkling mini smoothly entering the theater from behind the crowd. The spotlight followed her as she passed by patrons, touching a few shoulders and hands along the way, as she sung “Don’t Explain” a Billie Holiday cover. Hart paused in the isle turned and faced the enthusiastic crowd to croon out the blues. She swung around and glided up onto the stage, not missing a beat. This woman has big stage presence and a voice to match it. Everyone was already fixated and cheering Hart on and the second song had not even begun.
The second number was “As Good as it Gets,” which was a number one single of Hart’s in Denmark. She has had many releases in Europe of various songs that have topped the charts. She is well recognized for her blues and soul songs worldwide and has released the albums “Seesaw” and “Live in Amsterdam” with fellow blues artist Joe Bonamassa.
Beth Hart and her band consisting of guitarist Jon Nichols, bassist Bob Marinelli and drummer Bill Ransom meshed so well, they knew their show and played perfectly. Jon Nichols made his multiple guitars used during the performance wail, moan and he also sang backup vocals.
Hart has such incredible range and rich tone. She brings the audience right down into the depths of her low down blues. She sings with such conviction coming from a life of knowledge of pain and suffering that she transfers into such beautiful music you feel every note. Hart’s “Lift Me Up,” a song she wrote for a sister who passed away was soulful and beautiful. The raw emotion in the song had people feeling it in the audience.
Hart’s husband Scott asked her to include the song “Leave the Light On,” off her platinum album of the same name. Before the song he made an impromptu appearance on the stage running over to her at the piano and giving her a little hug.
The evening was well rounded with heart aching blues off Hart’s newest album “Fire on the Floor,” including the title song from that release that told of the heartbreak of desire and love. These soulful ballads were alternated with lighter songs from the same DVD. The rock song “Fat Man” was popular as well with a catchy with toe tapping, driving beat.
The band played a mix of songs from some of Hart’s large catalog of releases since 1999. She also sang a cover of Tom Wait’s “Chocolate Jesus.” Hart alternated between shimmying across the stage, sitting, kneeling and playing on the piano. Her energy was passionate and boundless.
The band came back onstage for an encore of “No Place Like Home” followed by Hart’s 1999 single “LA Song (Out of This Town)” from her second album “Screamin’ for My Supper.”
I was totally blown away by this concert. I have heard her music and loved her voice, but seeing Hart perform in person was a treat I will not forget. Hart was humble, thankful for her success and honest about her struggles in life. Her sharing that made the show even more memorable. To realize what she has gone through in her life and for her to come out so positive and happy on the other side makes you want her success to continue for a long time. If you get the chance to see this woman and her band perform do it. Do not hesitate for a moment. If you are a blues lover or just a lover of great music this is a night not to miss.

Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Beth Hart 
Set List
Don’t Explain (Billie Holiday cover)
Good as It Gets
I’ll Take Care of You (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover)
Delicious Surprise
Baddest Blues
Lifts You Up
Baby Shot Me Down
Sister Heroine
Close to My Fire (Slackwax cover)
My California
Chocolate Jesus (Tom Waits cover)
Woman You’ve Been Dreaming Of
St. Teresa
Leave the Light On
Fat Man
Love Is a Lie
Encore:
No Place Like Home
L.A. Song (Out of This Town)