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)

 

Jesse Colin Young

Jesse Colin Young

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

Feb. 18, 2017

The Jesse Colin Young Band performed at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center on Saturday, February 18, 2017. It was a two part show. The first set was all acoustic with Young solo on his guitar. The second set was Young accompanied by his band of young talented artists in their 20’s. It’s ironic that they are around the age he was when he was touring in the Youngbloods.

Jesse Colin Young’s career began on the east coast in 1964 but really took off when he became one of the founding members of the Youngbloods in 1967, during the summer of love in California. Their best known hit is the iconic and still well loved song “Get Together” which was a worldwide top ten hit.
“Get Together” has become one of the anthems of a generation that proclaimed peace, love and harmony and would see us all through the turmoil of the Vietnam war era. It is such a classic that no Jesse Colin Young article or concert would feel be complete without the song. It’s been included in numerous movies throughout the years.

After the Youngbloods, Young continued with his own successful career and solo albums. He recorded in his studio in Marin, California and started his own Ridgetop Record label until a fire ravaged his home and property in 1995. He then moved his family to Hawaii and began a new life that included writing and producing music in a new studio. He and his wife also started their own coffee plantation 2000 feet up the slope of the 8000 foot Hualalai Mountain Volcano.The organic coffee is called Morning Sun and is sold and shipped worldwide.

Young opened with his well known songs “Songbird” and “Sugar Babe.” Followed by “Four in the Morning,” “Sunlight” and “Desire.” Young told the audience how he had taken a hiatus from touring for 6 years and had not planned on returning to the road until he saw his son and fellow Berklee college students performing at a recital and was blown away by their talent. He then decided to start touring again and invited Aleif Hamdan (electric guitar), Jack Sheehan (saxophone), Donnie Hogue (drums), Jenn Hwan Wong (keyboard), Sally Rose (backup vocals), Virginia Garcia-Alves (backup vocals) and Young’s son Tristan Young (bass) to join him. Their youth and enthusiasm energized his desire to tour again and it’s evident he enjoys their energy onstage.

For the second set Young was joined by the band and they started the set with “Ridgetop.” This was followed by “Sweet Good Times” and “Walk the Talk About Love.” They then sang “Cast a Stone,” which Young wrote following the Boston bombing about the emotions felt during the anxious hours in the aftermath.
The band shows their versatility by changing it up with a mix of blues and soul songs. They played a cover of the Marvin Gaye songs “What’s Goin’ On” and “Mercy, Mercy Me.” The band moved smoothly between the blues, folk and jazz mix of songs. Sally Rose and Virginia Garcia-Alves added beautiful accompaniment to Young’s voice.

 

They performed another of Young’s acclaimed songs “Darkness, Darkness” off the album Elephant Mountain. The song was also an anthem of the 60’s but refers more to the soldiers feelings in Vietnam. Jesse then sang a song he wrote, “For Orlando” after the tragic Orlando, Florida nightclub shooting.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is gem of a venue in Old Saybrook, CT, an intimate theater holding 250 patrons. It was a sold out concert and all of the patrons were happy to spend an evening with the band judging by the applause for an encore as the performance ended. The band returned to the stage and played a rousing rendition of T-Bone Shuffle.
It was a feel good performance with a legend and his band that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

Jesse Colin Young Band Members:
Aleif Hamdan – Electric Guitar
Jack Sheehan – Saxophone
Tristan Young – Bass
Donnie Hogue – Drums
Jenn Hwan Wong – Keyboard
Sally Rose – Backup Vocals
Virginia Garcia-Alves – Backup Vocals
Set List
Set 1 : Young Solo
Songbird
Sugar Babe
Four in the Morning
Sunlight
Desire
Set 2 with Jesse Colin Young Band
Ridgetop
Sweet Good Times
Walk the Talk about Love
Cast a Stone
What’s Goin’ On/Mercy, Mercy Me
Lightshine
Statesboro Blues
Right Here, Right Now
Darkness, Darkness
For Orlando
Get Together
Encore
T-Bone Shuffle
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

 

 

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt

Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt

Garde Arts Center, New London, CT
January 20, 2017

The Garde Arts Center was the perfect setting for Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt’s intimate acoustic duet performance.
The Garde is a historic theater in downtown New London celebrating it’s 90th anniversary. The theater still has the feel of the majestic performing houses of the early 20th century with cloth seats, ornate decorations on the walls and balcony seats. It holds a little over 1400 patrons which was a perfect size for this show.
The show consisted of two excellent singer, songwriters, Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt and a couple of acoustic guitars for each artist. That’s it. No fancy sets, lighting shows, neon or strobe lights. Both men came out dressed in their Sunday best, suit and tie. It was just about as pure as it gets. Lovett and Hiatt made this work perfectly and the audience didn’t need it any other way. The show was a combination of songs from each performers vast library of tunes intermingled with witty banter about being on the road and life with other performers over their decades of touring.
Lyle Lovett would sing one of his songs with back up harmony and accompaniment on guitar by Hiatt. Then the roles would reverse and John Hiatt would sing with harmonies by Lovett. The format was entertaining and spanned country, blues, Texas swing and some of their mainstream alternative country classics. They sang both the award winning songs and lesser known obscure ones.

They both have so many songs to choose from that, as Lyle Lovett mentioned, they go into each show with no real setlist and float from one song to another picking lead in from the previous song. They played off each other like a straight man and his sidekick. Both have a dry wit and an easy style of country humor that brought the audience along with laughter. It was such an easy night akin to sitting around country store in Texas or a barstool in Memphis picking and storytelling. If it is scripted beforehand you wouldn’t know.
Lovett is a songwriter and actor is addition to his longstanding career as a country, blues and Texas swing singer. He hails from Texas and has 20 albums in his storied career. His other lesser known talent is comedy. He had the audience going from chuckles to full out laughter at his insights in the preambles to the songs. He performed “She’s No Lady” and “Her First Mistake” as well as the very Texan “Don’t Touch My Hat”. He also included some of his lesser heard tunes to round out his half of the songs. His deadpan humor made each song more enjoyable.
John Hiatt has done 22 albums has been singing and playing for 40 years. He played with many of the greats. His voice is more grizzled than Lovett but that only serves to compliment the harmonies of Lovett’s tenor better. The best of his playlist were brought out “Seven Little Indians” and “Drive South. He crooned his blues toned “Cadillac with Tennessee Plates” to the audience delight. There was a new song “Over the Hill”, a great song I hope to hear more of in the future. Hiatt played his harmonica with gusto and his playing has only gotten better over the years. But, Hiatt has another talent that surprised the audience, he can whistle. I don’t mean just whistle. He belted out a whistle that was pitch perfect and resonated throughout the theater like a fine tuned instrument. It was one of those wow moments where you can hear a pin drop in the audience. I think he took most everyone by surprise judging by the applause as the song ended.

 

Many went into the theater for this sold out show expecting a great concert. I don’t think the audience expected to be as blown away as we were by such an exceptional concert done with the most minimal of equipment out there, a couple of guitars and a harmonica. This is a pairing of talents that was meant to be. New London may be in the middle of New England, but it was all Tennessee, Louisiana and Texas in the The Garde this January night. The Garde outdid themselves booking these men and I sincerely hope we see them back there in the future. If you get the chance do not miss this duo. Grab your tickets and see them while you can.

Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Interior Garde photos courtesy of Rita Rivera

 

 

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy

Mohegan Sun Arena

January 6, 2017

Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy awed the full house at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, January 6, 2017. The stage was placed in the center of the arena giving all the patrons a great view of the action. The troupe amazed the spectators with contortions and energetic acts of tumbling and high flying balancing performances. All forms of jungle creatures were brought to life in vivid constumes and make up. There were frogs, snakes, ladybugs, bees, ostriches.

The performers took to the air on hoops, nets, lines and pieces of cloth. Many of these feats done over 20 feet off the ground with no safety net. They performed precise manouvers suspended high off the ground at times only being held by feet on the hoops or an outstretched hand. It is impossible to describe some of the moves that the performers gracefully executed with seeming ease. Only photos and seeing them in person can accurately convey the difficulty of each act and their graceful agility.The crowd laughed and gasped as the dozen or so perfomers bent their bodies and pushed the envelope of what the human body can acheive. To say they were limber would be a gross understatement. Their balance superbe and exact.


There were jugglers of balls, logs, hoops and people. It was a circus of vibrant color with people and items tumbled and flipped in the air on performers feet over and over at a dizzing pace. The show was fast paced and entertaining. It moved smoothly from one act to another with just enough time for your mind to adjust to what new body bending move was coming next.
A great family event for all ages.


Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Mohegan Sun Arena

Nov. 25, 2016

0005

Stevie Nicks North American 24 Karat Gold tour is named after her most recent solo album,
Stevie Nicks greeted the enthusiastic Mohegan Sun crowd with a mix of songs seldom heard in her concerts blended in with a few of her better known hits. She started off the evening with the soul song “Gold and Braid.” She also did cuts from newest album, “24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault,” which were accompanied with stories from Nicks about how each song was written and subsequently “lost” over the years.

 

15267781_10154461417568598_729815368043371361_n

15242020_10154461417583598_6611893611823749914_n

15241885_10154454854723598_7078149946946458902_n

15241320_10154461417593598_1832875394056539729_n

0015
Nicks recalled that she had been in the music industry for 43 years. Nicks did a lot of reminiscing about the early years and playing with Lindsay Buckingham on their first album together. She performed songs from her 1981 “Bella Donna” for the first time since the very early ‘80s, and four songs not heard live before other lesser played cuts from her 1983 album “Wild Heart”.
Nicks talked about bringing the song “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” onto an album that she credited for launching her solo career. She said Tom Petty and that song were instrumental in making a name for herself without Fleetwood Mac. Nicks then was joined by Chrissie Hynde on stage to perform it along with Waddy Wachtel singing Petty’s choruses.
Tempe’s Al Ortiz on bass, Sharon Celani and Marilyn Martin were on vocals. Waddy Wachtel her long time production manager played lead guitar.

15241172_10154459693413598_2184228126557076072_n

0013

0011

0010

She told of how she did not perform live for 9 years after being dismayed by the internet until finally being moved to perform again by the 2011 song “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)” inspired by the film “Twilight: New Moon”. She felt she had lived a similar love story to Bella and Edward in her past relationship with Lindsey Buckingham.
She then rolled into a more well know combo of “Gold Dust Woman” a Fleetwood Mac favorite followed by “Edge of Seventeen.” as a tribute of sorts to Prince with his images added to the screen. She told that this was one of his favorite songs.
The encore was two of her best know crowd favorites “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac, which Nicks said she has performed at every concert since 1975, and she ended the concert with “Leather and Lace”.
After this show it was announced that she would add 20 new dates to the tour.
Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders opened the show. 

0012

0016

0014

0008

0007

0009
www.stevienicksofficial.com
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Stevie Nicks Set List
Gold and Braid
If Anyone Falls
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (with Chrissie Hynde)
Belle Fleur
Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac song)
Wild Heart
Bella Donna
Enchanted
New Orleans
Starshine
Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)
Stand Back
Crying in the Night (Buckingham Nicks song)
If You Were My Love
Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac song)
Edge of Seventeen
Encore:
Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac song)
Leather and Lace

 

Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders

 Mohegan Sun Arena

Nov. 25, 2016

0013

Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders opened the night for Stevie Nicks. At 65 you would think Hynde would be showing signs of slowing down, not so. She prowled the stage guitar in hand with just as much swagger as ever. Hynde and the Pretenders sang for an hour prior to Stevie Nicks taking the stage.

0011

Hynde played many of their most popular 1980s tunes including “Back On The Chain Gang,” “Brass In Pocket,” “Private Life” and “My City Was Gone”. They all sounded great and were still played with enthusiasm. Her vibrancy on stage has not deminished. The band played tracks from their recent album “Alone” produced by Dan Auerbach, including”Gotta Wait,” “Let’s Get Lost,” “Holy Commotion” and “I Hate Myself”.  Hynde knows when to stick with what works and this album had very much of the same feel as those ’80s rock tunes that made her a household name.

0001

0010

0009

0004

Known as one of the classic women in rock Hynde still entertains and although she gave praise to Stevie Nicks and downplaying her own influence on rock,  Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders had no problem showing that they are still one of the best known rock bands fronted by a woman.

0002

0003

0017

0016

0012

0015

0006

0007

15181495_10154470502353598_6669312282178231035_n
www.thepretenders.com
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Pretenders Setlist
Alone
Gotta Wait
Message of Love
Private Life
Down the Wrong Way (Chrissie Hynde song)
Hymn to Her
Back on the Chain Gang
I’ll Stand by You
Holy Commotion
My City Was Gone
Stop Your Sobbing (The Kinks cover)
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Mystery Achievement
Middle of the Road
Brass in Pocket

Martin Barre Band

The Martin Barre Band

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

 Oct. 13, 2016

 

0002
Just one word needed to describe the Martin Barre Band performance at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center on October 13th. “Brilliant“.
To coin a british term brilliant best sums up the energetic performance. The band took the stage and wowed the sold out crowd. They played an assortment of songs including original compositions by Barre, some blues-rock, Jethro Tull classics, and even a jig.

0010

0011

0009

Martin Barre on guitar, Dan Crisp on vocals and guitar, George Lindsay drums and Alan Thomson on bass were a top notch combo. Each an exceptional musician in their own right combined to make a memorable evening. All of the band members complimented one another’s talent and they meshed beautifully. It was evident they enjoyed playing together and looked like they had fun on the stage.
In between the songs Barre entertained the audience with a few clever quips and jokes. Barre has an unexpectedly dry sense of humor as well as being warm and down to earth. He also spoke of the early years of playing and how he was changed by coming to America.
Martin Barre has not wavered a bit in his performances. After 43 years of playing with Jethro Tull and then on to his own Martin Barre Band one thing that has never changed is his amazing ability on the guitar. While with Jethro Tull he sold over 60 million records and racked up eleven gold and five platinum records. He sounds just a good as I have ever heard him.
Dan Crisp was spot on on his vocals with backup from the rest of the band. He belted out with great animation the Jethro Tull songs and soulfully crooned the blues numbers. Sounding similar enough like Ian Anderson when needed but with a style all his own on most songs. Crisp showed that when he launched into “Bad Man” off the Back to Steel album and in “Thorazine Shuffle” a Warren Haynes & Gov’t Mule cover.
There was no need for a flute in this crowd. The guitars wailed and teased the audience into each song with abandon. They did reengineered versions of “Teacher” and “Fatman” and a few other Jethro Tull classics. Enough of the original to remind you of the roots but taken in a different direction by Barre. Barre even pulled out the mandolin for a tweaked up version of Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues”. Every song was so great that 2 1/2 hours later it was impossible to pull out a favorite.
Called back by a cheering and clapping audience for an encore Barre and the band blew the roof off the house with “Locomotive Breath”. As they took their bows Barre said he would remember “The Kate” for a long time and promised to return again. We certainly hope they do. If you get the chance to see The Martin Barre Band definitely do it.

0018

0016

0004

0006

0015

0014

0012

0008

0003

For more information on the band and future tour dates visit www.martinbarre.com

0021

0019

0005

0001

0007
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
SET LIST:
Hammer
Cry You A Song
Minstrel In The Gallery
Steal Your Heart Away (Bobby Parker cover)
Back To Steel
Eleanor Rigby
Nothing To Say
Sea Lion
Love Story
Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day
Intermission
Thorazine Shuffle
Cross Road Blues (Robert Johnson cover)
Jig/Hymn 43
Bad Man
Moment of Madness
Sweet Dream
A Song Four Jeffery
Teacher
Fat Man
A New Day Yesterday
Encore
Locomotive Breath

Martin Barre Interview

Interview with Martin Barre

Sept. 28, 2016

martin-live-2

The Martin Barre Band will be playing the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Theater in Old Saybrook, Connecticut on October 13, 2016.
Martin Barre did a phone interview with New England Rock Review’s Donna Erichsen prior to his scheduled show.
Barre spent 43 years as a guitarist for the legendary English band Jethro Tull before launching into his new career when Jethro Tull called it quits and broke up in 2011. Martin has since formed his own band, The Martin Barre Band, made up a quartet of seasoned artists. It features Martin Barre, Dan Crisp, George Lindsay and Alan Thomson. The Martin Barre Band released the album titled “Back To Steel” in 2015 and they have a new DVD “Live at Daryls” due out for Christmas 2016.
++
Question: You have played large arenas with Jethro Tull and the Kate is an intimate venue. Do you prefer larger or smaller venues?
Martin: “I’ve played arenas with Jethro Tull and in small theaters and now I’ve played festivals with the Martin Barre Band. We’ve played theaters, we’ve played clubs. A gig is a gig, and in many ways the smaller the gig the more control you have. The sound is going to be better for everybody with a smaller audience. When you start getting larger the sound varies so much contained within the bigger space. I always look at the audience, if they’re having a great time I know it’s a good place to play and inevitably we get a great reaction”
Question: Do you play this tour with a full band including the female backups on this tour or how many of the band will be with you?
Martin: “It’s a four piece band, but it’s the four guys that are on the Back to Steel album. Maybe next year or at some point we’ll add the girl singers and expand on it for the future. It’s a good question. At the moment the four of us sound pretty good and you get what you hear on the album. We work really well together and with the four people everyone plays with lots of dynamics and lots of power.”
Question: In the years that you’ve been away from Jethro Tull, I know that Ian Anderson has gone on with his own band. Do you miss the camaraderie of being with Ian Anderson and the rest of Jethro Tull. Or, have you taken it in your own direction and enjoy being with your own band?
Martin: “Oh yeah well that’s a difficult area now. In 1969 when we started it was good and you had that connection. I have that now with my band now. We get on really, really well and have that sort of unity. That unity that was with Jetho Tull in the early days diminished as the years went on and people changed in the band. When the lineup changes, although we’re always friends, that spirit disappears. You know that inner glow, that inner connection. I’m glad to have that back again.”
Question: Your wife is from America. Do you spend more of your time in the United States now?
Martin: “We live in England. My wife is from Mississippi. My son lives in Mississippi and we go and visit him a lot. We’re at the moment, last year, this year, next year and 2018 we will spend at least six months of the year touring. My heart is in America and musically my roots are here. It’s where I’ve always been really happy to play. It’s easy here, music is, America loves music and music loves America. It’s a simple formula. I know I live here in spirit. I don’t have a house, I live in hotels but I love things here.
Question: You have a very busy upcoming tour schedule. Is there a particular place or county that you prefer to play in?
Martin: “You know it’s universal. Music is universal as well. Particularly with Jethro Tull there were no boundaries, there were no frontiers. There was really nowhere that was really different. Nowadays it’s a universal love of music and I like being in certain countries because of the culture, the food or the scenery. I have to say that we have been driving through the Adirondacks, through the Catskills and through the Blue (Ridge) Mountains and you know America has the most spectacular scenery in the world. It’s right here in America. It’s a beautiful place. Not many people I think are aware of it. I think many people think of Europe as being beautiful with the mansions and the scenery, but you have it here as well. You can make travel amazing and the highway is kind of what you make it. I try to make it as comfortable and as interesting as possible.”
Question: With the younger generation and the new influences and different types of music that are out there now. Do do you find yourself making changes in your music writing and composing as your going along now?
Martin: “No, I don’t. I don’t because Jethro Tull followed fashion to a degree. We went through an electronics stage in the mid eighties and it was a big mistake. Fashions come and go in music. If you don’t follow it you’ll be in exactly the same place after it’s been and gone. No, I like music and I respect it and I love all styles. I like country, bluegrass, blues, classical music in particular and folk music. I enjoy listening to it and I draw inspiration from it. I don’t copy it, but I know I draw inspiration from it. I certainly won’t change the way I am. I’m not saying that I’m perfect by a huge amount but I have a self belief. I just that I know what I like and I have to stand by that. I stand by the fact that the music I write is the music I love. If people don’t like it I’d be very, very disappointed and if people do like it I’m extremely happy. It’s one hundred percent of my own making, my own volition.
Question: You have been at this for so many years. Do you plan to keep on and see where it takes you or do you plan to slow down and relax a while?
No, no we’re at the beginning of a new career for the Martin Barre Band. We’ve just started and I’m not going to slacken up on it for quite a few years. We are already planning 2018. It’s a big, big year for us and we have some special things in mind for that year. As as long as my health permits we’re in it for the long term.
Question: You have been using more of your own music and compositions and less of Jethro Tull in your performances. On your next album will there be more of your own music?
Martin: “I think there will be that comfortable balance. I don’t want to be known as a band that is famous for playing Jethro Tull music. I want to have our own identity and I want the people in the audience to appreciate the band as individuals. I want to write music and if people to enjoy the music that I write it is a real accomplishment. There will always be that mix, I’ll always understand the historic side of what I’ve done is important for the fans and I would never ignore that. It’s a nice mixture, sometimes we’ll play “Trashing Government Mule” or “Porcupine Tree” or a blues standard. We’re in a position that we can do anything that we want because we’re passionate about doing it. We don’t have any constrictions in our catalogue. We can experiment and I want to do that, I want to keep the audience guessing. I want to keep their interest and I want to keep their enthusiasm as much as I want to keep the band’s enthusiasm.”
Question: Do you plan to bringing in any other artists with you in the future or work in collaboration with other artists?
Martin: “Yes, we’ve got some plans or 2018, a very special tour. With some very, very special guests. It’s a bit early to give details but we have some interest in that from some amazing people.”
Question: In the past Jethro Tull included flute as an instrument. In your latest album that is absent. Do you plan leave that out in the future as well?
Martin: “No, no I don’t, I played flute before I met Ian and I will be playing flute again. But only when musically the situation arises. If I write a piece of music and it would be sound nice with flute then that’s what I’ll do. But, the flute fortunately or unfortunately is very replaceable. We’ve gone to electric guitars more. The flute isn’t a comfortable instrument in a rock environment, although Ian made it famous and did make it work. But I think the proof in the pudding is that there aren’t many bands that feature a flute.”
Question: Does your wife travel with you?
Martin: “Yes she does. We’re expecting our second grandchild in a week so she’s going to fly back in a few days to England for that. But, she runs the business of Martin Barre, whatever that is, with me. Without her I couldn’t do it. She does the administration and it’s a lot of work.”
We will have more from the Martin Barre Band following the show at 7:30pm on Oct 13, 2016 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Theater in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

Richie Furay Acoustic Quartet

Richie Furay

Sept. 30, 2016
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

0009
Richie Furay and friends entertained an intimate audience at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Cents, also known as “The Kate”. Richie  helped shape the sound of country rock and folk as we know it today and is known the world over as one of the greats in the early rock scene. A founding member of Buffalo Springfield, Poco, and the Souther,Hillman Furay band, his voice is instantly recognizable.
0003
Furay gave a wonderful performance on September 30th. He started the evening off letting the audience know this was going to be a relaxed performance. Kind of like a gathering in his living room for a evening with friends. It indeed felt like a big living room as the Kate holds only about 250 patrons. It also was a pared down version of his band. He began the evening by himself. Then as the evening progressed introduced his daughter Jessie Furay Lynch who sang harmony beautifully. Scott Sellen joined in after that and played guitar and banjo. Finishing out the quartet Jack Jeckot joined them on keyboard and harmonica.

0070

0019

0046

0015

0025

0021

0034
Richie spoke about the influence other artists have had on his career and how they helped in the evolution of his music. He performed Dan Fogelberg’s song “Don’t Lose Heart” accompanied by his daughter Jessie Furay Lynch on harmony.
The informal show was very well performed and it suited the Kate. Being a small venue Furay was able to easily interact with the audience. It was a very enjoyable evening.
0001
Richie Furay (Lead Vocals and Guitar)
Jessie Furay Lynch (Harmony and Lead Vocals)
Scott Sellen (Lead Guitars, Banjo, Keyboard)
Jack Jeckot (Keyboards, Harmonica, Vocals)
Opening for Richie Furay was the Chris Berardo & The DesBerardos Acoustic Trio.
Chris Berardo, his brother Marc Berardo and Billy Kelly warmed up the crowd. They played a few songs off their “Ignoring All the Warning Signs” album along with the single “Somebody Like Me”.
0003
0001

Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band

  Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA – Aug. 20, 2016

“I Don’t Know Tour”

0002

To those who are Jimmy Buffett fans or Parrotheads, and even to those who are not, a Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band concert is a once in a lifetime thing not to be missed. They are not just concerts. It is an event.
Most concerts begin at about 8 pm. Not a Buffett event. It starts as soon as the officials open the gates, usually about 11am on the day of the concert. The Parrotheads flood in with their cars sporting fins on the roofs and “Buffett or Bust” and “Follow us to Margaritaville” signs smeared on windows. You can spot them coming with their Hawaiian shirts, leis, coconuts and every array of parrot hued outfits and hats that could be imagined in a tropical bird and cheeseburger filled caribbean dream. The pop-up tents, grills, blenders, and inflatable palm trees and other inflatable items decorate each tailgate space with individual ideas of island paradise in a parking lot. Buffett music wafts through the lots and a sea of Parrotheads and Pirates float around the crowd, or island to island, enjoying the company and cheeseburgers of neighbors washed down with an assortment of inventive and tropical drinks.
 When the venue opened at about 7 in the evening the party was in full swing. This no small party by any means. The Xfinity center holds about 19,900 people so you get the idea of how many grass skirt wearing wahines were mingling with the land sharks, some who were also wearing coconuts, throughout the day. If you are going to take in a Jimmy Buffett concert make sure to arrive early and enjoy the pre show in the parking lot. It’s a friendly crowd just wanting to unwind and live for an afternoon on island time.
The Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA or as it is still fondly know as “Great Woods” is a New England Parrothead staple festival. It draws fans who have come there for so long they have brought their children and now their children’s children, called “Parakeets” for their introductions to the Parrothead life.
Now on to the concert itself. The Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band part of it. Buffett and eleven top notch musicians and singers who make up the Coral Reefer Band took the stage and the crowd went wild. The conch shell horn sounded the beginning. Buffet led in with “SummerZcool”. The audience was on their feet singing along as he went right into “We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us About”. Beach balls flew across the crowd with a few landing on the stage and kicked about by the barefooted Buffett. I don’t think many ever sat down for the rest of the concert.
Buffett played “Grapefruit – Juicy Fruit” followed by “Son of a Sailor” with beautifully sung solo by Nadirah Shakoor. These songs are played so often the whole band could probably do them in their sleep and still pull it off perfectly. Buffett then changed the tone to a more bluegrass style and they brought out the mandolin and accordion for “Gypsies in the Palace” which then led into the “Take It Easy” cover in tribute to the late Glenn Frey of the Eagles.
Mac McAnally took over Alan Jackson’s part in the duet of the cover of Jackson’s “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”. They then slowed things down a bit for “Come Monday” and “Meet Me in Memphis”. Bass player Jim Mayer took the lead on “I Don’t Know and I Don’t Care” with the chorus of “Spicoli’s Theme” added in from the song Buffett wrote for the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
At the opening note of “Fins” played by Michael Utley on the keyboard the audience immediately threw their arms over their heads to create fins. Buffett led the audience pointing their fins to the left and fins to the right. He laughed with the crowd and did his own land shark bites from the stage. You would never tell he is turning 70 years old this year. He seemed to draw from some fountain of youth he has found as he bounced barefoot across the stage.
They did an a acoustic version of the song “Delaney Talks to Statues”, the Margaritaville Door Number Three pick of the week. The Door Number Three pick is an opportunity for the fans on the Margaritaville website to choose a song they would like performed live from list of songs that aren’t performed on a regular basis. He does it to change things up because with 27 albums there are always songs many want to see performed. This gives Buffet a chance to showcase the most popular requests.
Of course no Buffett concert is not complete without the standards “Margaritaville”, “Changes in Latitudes” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise”, all on the must play list or the evening would not feel complete.
The crowd roared as Buffett and the Coral Reefers returned to the stage for the encore with Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” and then “One Particular Harbor” The evening ended with a solo acoustic version of “Last Mango In Paris”.
The entire day was fantastic. They put on a great show with contagious enthusiasm. It was a perfect evening for a summertime island getaway. I would definitely go again.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
SET LIST:
SummerZcool
We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us About
Grapefruit—Juicy Fruit
Son of a Son of a Sailor
It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere (Alan Jackson cover)
Come Monday
Meet Me in Memphis
Love and Luck
I Don’t Know and I Don’t Care
I Don’t Know (Spicoli’s Theme)
(Only the chorus lyrics are sung)
Quietly Making Noise
Fins
Margaritaville
Acoustic:
Delaney Talks to Statues
Gypsies in the Palace
Take It Easy (Eagles cover)
Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
Jolly Mon Sing
Cheeseburger in Paradise
A Pirate Looks at Forty
Southern Cross (Crosby, Stills & Nash cover)
Volcano
Encore:
Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison cover)
One Particular Harbour
Last Mango in Paris