College Street Music Hall
New Haven, CT
July 25, 2018
The College Street Music Hall outdid themselves when they invited in an amazing duo of acts. Beth Hart and Kenny Wayne Shepherd gave the audience a memorable night of the blues and fantastic guitar that meshed perfectly on the same night.
Beth Hart opened the night up with her solid blues number “Tell Her You Belong To Me.” This is my second time seeing Hart and she gets better each time. This theater an intimate venue seating only two thousand people and she said her and the band loved it and felt so relaxed there. which was obvious by her comfortable banter with the audience.
The band accompanying Hart was Bill Ransom on drums, Bob Marinelli on bass, and her guitarist of 20 years, Jon Nichols all gave an excellent performance.
There are many female singers out there but I can honestly say Hart is my favorite. She fills each song with such feeling it’s palpable. Hart has the audience’s complete attention and gives her all with each song and it clearly shows. Many of her songs reflect a time in her life and some struggle she has lived through and come out the other side stronger. Both a talented singer and songwriter her feelings are conveyed in every song.
At one point she wanted to come down into the audience and sing but there was no way off the stage into the crowd so instead she sat on a box at the far end of the stage and sang. It didn’t matter where she was the audience soaked in every note.
When Hart performed the Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy song “Why Don’t You Do Right?” the song could as easily have been coming from a singer at a smoky club post WWII. She has such a dynamic voice that’s timeless and was made for the blues.
This Beth Hart concert is the best show I’ve seen this year. She is just as comfortable strutting across the stage belting out down and out blues as she is sitting at the piano singing a ballad to her mother brimming with emotion. She fills each song with such raw emotion and connects so easily with the audience. The audience showed their appreciation for her talent as they stood up more than once during the night and gave her a standing ovation. Hart is so genuinely appreciative and beamed at the applause.
The band really amped it up and proved their their versatility with the encore of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” The audience was clapping and cheering the entire band as Hart’s set ended with a bang. Hart is not just a blues star she is a full fledged rock star.
If you get the chance to see Beth Hart absolutely do it, you will not regret it. She is a truly genuine talent and so very down to earth with her well earned fame. If there is one concert to see this year make it Beth Hart.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Tell Her You Belong to Me
If I Tell You I Love You (Melody Gardot cover)
Baby Shot Me Down
House of Sin
Spiders in My Bed
Love Is a Lie
Lay Your Hands on Me
I’ll Take Care of You (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover)
Why Don’t You Do Right? (Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe McCoy cover)
Take It Easy on Me
Mama This One’s for You
Leave the Light On
Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin cover)