Martin Barre Band

The Martin Barre Band

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center

 Oct. 13, 2016

 

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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.
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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

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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.
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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.

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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.
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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”.
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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”

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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

Mark Farner

Mark Farner

July 10, 2016 – Mohegan Sun Wolf Den

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To many, when you speak of “Grand Funk Railroad” the person who comes to mind will always be founding member Mark Farner. He was the heart and soul of the supergroup.
Mark Farner led “Grand Funk’ from their breakout concert in 1969 right into the mid 70’s. After “Grand Funk” split up in 1976, Farner rejoined the group a couple of times, which didn’t work out, He has continued making music and performing for decades and has not stopped just because he is no longer with “Grand Funk Railroad”.
During recent years there have been ups and downs. Farner successfully continued his career and in 2012 at the age of 64, cardiac problems finally caught up with him and he underwent pacemaker insertion. Since then he hasn’t missed a beat and is still going strong. Farner says his faith is what keeps him going. Even today you still hear fans say they wish the group would reunite. I doubt that will happen, but it does not matter. He is still the ball of energy he always was and his show is non-stop from begining to end..
They began with “Footstompin’ Music” and rolled right into “Rock & Roll Soul” and then “Aimless Lady”. Farner was energetic and animated. He cavorted about the stage playing up to the audience. His energy was boundless. They blasted away at “We’re We’re an American Band” much to the audiences delight.
Accompanying Mark Farner at the Wolf Den was his band N’rG consisting of Dennis Bellinger on Bass and background vocals, Hubert (The H-Bomb) Crawford on Drums and Karl Propst on Keyboards and vocals. Together they treated the Wolf Den audience to an evening jam full of Grand Funk hits and a few extras.
Farner spoke of the times when songs stood for something and joined a generation collectively toward causes. He then launched into “Ohio”, a well-known Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song. The band the lightened up the tempo and ended the set with “The Loco-Motion” and “Some Kind of Wonderful”.
They returned to the stage for an encore that started with a fantastic drum solo by Hubert Crawford . When Farner introduced the last song of the evening “I’m Your Captain” (Closer to Home). he asked the audience to sing along and as they did to remember and honor the American servicemen and servicewomen who are keeping the country safe far from their homes and families. He didn’t have to ask the audience to sing along though, they already were and had been all evening.
It was a memorable concert and a treat to see Mark Farner perform so many of the songs he is so well known for, After all these years,he still plays with such energy, enthusiasm and happiness. His voice and guitar playing are still impeccable and he gives his all in concert and his band is a perfect accompaniment to his sound.
Would gladly see them again.
By Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris  www.georgebekris.com

Setlist:
Footstompin’ Music
Rock&Roll Soul
Aimless Lady
We’re an American Band
Heartbreaker
Shinin’ On
Creepin’
Mean Mistreater
Sin’s a Good Man’s Brother
Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover
Bad Time
The Loco-Motion – Soul Brothers Six cover
Encore:
Drum Solo
I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)

Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne at Tanglewood

June 21, 2016

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Our friend Patrick Markham, a lifelong musician from northern Virginia, enthusiastically messaged me about seeing the best concert he has ever seen at the Filene Center at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Va.  It was one of our favorite artists “Jackson Browne”. So we made arrangements to see his show at a similar venue in the northwest hills of Massachusetts.
It was the first day of summer 2016 and there is arguably no better way to spend the evening than enjoying a cool breeze watching Jackson Browne sing as the sun sets over the Berkshire Mountains. The Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts is a great venue set in the rolling mountains. It offers the choice of seeing the performers up close under the shed in seating or bringing their own seat or blanket and enjoying the music under the stars as the sun sets.
Browne began the night with “Rock me on the Water”. He recalled memories of his early years struggling to make it in the music industry. His easy banter with the audience made for a comfortable evening and his exceptional band consisting of Val McCallum (guitar), Mauricio Lewak (Drums), Jeff Young (keyboards), Bob Glaub (bass), Alethea Mills (Vocals) and Greg Leisz (guitar, lap steel, pedal steel) all meshed seamlessly giving the audience a night full of magical music.
Browne spoke of friends in his life. He sang the song “For a Dancer”, which he wrote after a friend died a few years back. This night it was also sung in memory of those who died in the tragic shooting in Orlando this month, as well as their families and friends. They ended set one with “Doctor My Eyes” and left the crown anticipating more to come after the break.
After a 15 minute intermission the band returned for the second set. This set consisted of mostly the hits from his early career with lyrics the crowd sang along with. Browne upped the tempo, sending the crowd to their feet. Many ran up to the stage and at one point Browne said it was ok to go back and sit down and return to their seats. That lasted for about one song and the crowd returned to the stage.
Never one to shy from political statements Browne sang “Which Side”, a song off his album “Standing In The Breach ” released in 2014. A song relevant in the current political and social climate in America.
Browne did two encores. Encore one was an ever popular cover of the Eagles “Take it Easy” done with a Jackson Browne twist.  Followed by “Our Lady of the Well”. He ended the night with “I Am a Patriot”, a Litte Steven cover. This sent the crowd home on a positive note.
The performance was just around 3 hours of great music with an exceptional band.  Everyone we saw seemed to thoroughly enjoy the night. If you have haven’t seen Jackson Browne and you get the chance, DO IT!!
He sounds just as wonderful as he did early in his career. Some performers’ voices change and it gets harder as the years pass to keep the sound their fans recognize when performing live. This is not true with Jackson Browne, after many years and multiple albums his voice is as true and spot on as it ever was. Browne’s last song sounded as good as the first. His songs, old and new, still play daily on the radio and his sound is as relevant as ever. Pat Markham was right, this was a concert well worth taking in and ranks as the best concert we have seen this year.
By Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris  www.georgebekris.com

Set List :
Set 1:
Rock Me on the Water
Just Say Yeah
Looking Into You
Linda Paloma
Fountain of Sorrow
The Long Way Around
Call It a Loan
I’m Alive
For Everyman
For a Dancer
Doctor My Eyes
Set 2:
The Birds of St. Marks
Play Video
Your Bright Baby Blues
Which Side
These Days
Somebody’s Baby
Boulevard
Redneck Friend
The Barricades of Heaven
Late for the Sky
In the Shape of a Heart
The Pretender
Running on Empty
Encore:
Take It Easy (Eagles cover)
Our Lady of the Well
Encore 2:
I Am a Patriot (Little Steven cover)

Santana 2016

Santana at Mohegan Sun

April 15, 2016

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Carlos Santana has done what many bands these days are trying to do, go back in time. He has assembled most of the original Santana band including Greg Rolie on keyboard and vocals, and Neal Schon on guitar and made it work exceptionally well. They started with “Soul Sacrifice” followed by “Jin-go-lo-ba”. Then “Evil Ways” sung by Greg Rolie. Neal Schon came out and joined the band on “Batuka” and jammed with Carlos. Seeing Carlos Santana and Neal Schon playing together again was a real treat. They complemented each other so well. It was as if time turned back and it sounded amazing.Santana and the band played a mix of the well know Woodstock era songs and introduced the music off their new album.
The concert coincided with the release of the new album Santana IV. It was as if time turned back and it sounded amazing. His new songs are reminiscent of the his older style with alot of percussion and drums. Each player did a own solo to highlight their talents. Bassist Benny Rietveld did particularly well on his solo.
The second half of the concert Andy Vargas and Tony Lindsay took the stage with the rest of his current band and they sound fantastic as well. They did just about every song you would want to hear Santana’s long list of hits and memorable music.. The sound was spot on and it was a great show, Carlos Santana never disappoints. A memorable evening and worth seeing.
By Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris  www.georgebekris.com
Set List
Soul Sacrifice
Jin-go-lo-ba
Evil Ways
Batuka (with Neal Schon)
No One to Depend On
Taboo
Shake It
Caminando
Anywhere You Want to Go
New York City
Fillmore East
Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (with Neal Schon)
Oye como va
Maria Maria
Corazón espinado
Smooth
Encore:
Toussaint L’Ouverture

ANA Popovic

ANA Popovic

Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun – Feb. 14. 2016
By Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Like a hot, steamy drink to take the chill off the arctic blast of cold air in New England on Valentine’s Day, Ana Popovic heated up the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den with an exceptional concert. Ana Popovic and her band brought their blues, soul and jazz with a funky style sound to a packed house. Any guitar aficionados in the audience were wowed by the caliber of music we heard last night.
Ana Popovic is fast becoming legendary as one of the best blues guitarists out there. Being a four times Blues Music Awards nominee and a woman just gives her that much more credibility. She credits her sound to her influences, Jimi Hendricks and Stevie Ray Vaughan among others.
The band blasted out the title song off her “Can You Stand the Heat?” album. Then, onto to a tribute cover of Albert King’s “Can’t You See What You’re Doing to Me?” She made her guitar sing, whine and moan with the accompaniment of Carlton Armstrong’s Bass, Keyboard by Stephen Malinowski and Stéphane Avellaneda on the Drums. They played “Object of Obsession”, also from the “Can You Stand the Heat?” album.
The band turned it up a notch when they played “Count Me In”. Then, on to the Jimi Hendricks cover “House Burning Down”. That was followed by an awesomely done drum solo by Stéphane Avellaneda as he pounded, beat and slammed his drums. He beat through one set of sticks and had to get a second set.
ANA spoke about her newest album “Trilogy” which will be released in May. The aptly named “Trilogy” is a mix of Ana’s three favorite music genres which are blues, jazz and funk combined into one three album set.
Ana Popovic has also been invited back for a third time to join the Experience Hendrix Tour in March. Ana stated it was with great pride that she again takes her place as one the few women chosen to join this mostly male dominated tour. She then tore it up on her version of Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic”.
The night ended with a second standing ovation for Ana Popovic and the band for giving the audience a fiery night.Bassist Carlton Armstrong, said “She doesn’t need a band” as Ana finished wailing on the last song.
It was great they played on Valentine’s Day because Ana Popovic captured the hearts of the audience with her energy packed show at The Wolf Den. If you haven’t seen her performance yet, you really should put it on the top of your list.

ANA Popovic Website
Hendrix Experience Website
George Bekris Photography

Lita Ford

Lita Ford

Lita Ford

Mohegan Sun Wolf Den – Nov. 27, 2015
Lita Ford played the Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den wearing a stunning red leather suit with her long blonde hair flying as she strutted the stage with her band to bring her brand of 80’s rock music back with a vengeance. One of the guitar queens of the eighties Lita and her band played to a full house plus the extra crowd that spilled out to the casino floor outside on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Many fans waited for hours to gain entrance to the concert. Those that didn’t get a seat circled the outside of the Den to take it in standing.
Ford started as a sixteen year old lead guitarist for the all-female rock band The Runaways in the late 70’s. After a short stint and rough breakup with the band she embarked on a long solo career. At 57 Ford is still out on tour rocking crowds 40 years into her career. LIta Ford still has staying power and proved she can still fill the seats.
Lita lead off with “Larger Than Live”, followed by “Relentless”. The warmed up crowded then rocked among to Ford’s rendition of Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back”. They continued with many of her best known songs.
The song “Can’t Catch Me” included drummer Bobby Rocks in an exceptionally fun and interesting drum solo. He beat on the drums shirtless and focused finishing with a flair and with his forehead. I have never seen head banging taken to that extreme. Evidentially, many others had not either and he wowed the crowd.
Patrick Kennison on guitar did a great job filling in for Ozzy Osborne’s part on the hit “Close My Eyes Forever”. The song was probably Ford’s most critically acclaimed hit when she performed it as a duet with Osborne on the self titled “Lita” album.
They performed “Devil in My Head” which let Marty O’Brien on bass shine with its heavy bass and drum beats. Then crowd helped out by singing along on the well known song Ch..Ch..Ch…”Cherry Bomb”.
“Kiss me Deadly” was the final song and there was no encore, but much to the fans’ delight Lita graciously held a meet and greet and signed photos for almost an hour after the show.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

Set List
Larger Than Life
Relentless
The Bitch Is Back
Hungry
Falling In and Out of Love
Gotta Let Go Back to the Cave
Devil in My Head
Can’t Catch Me
Out for Blood
Close My Eyes Forever
Cherry Bomb
Kiss Me Deadly