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