Rod Stewart – Mohegan Sun Arena – March 24, 2018

At 73 Rod Stewart is still going strong. He treated the Mohegan Sun Arena’s sold out crowd to a high energy performance. He brought to the stage an enthusiastic young set of singers and a mix of young and older members in his 12 piece band.

Before he took the stage a local band the Mystic Highland Pipe Band wound its way through the isles with bagpipes and drums.
The opening song “Soul Finger” had a 60’s feel to it with the singers shimmying out until Rod appeared and made he was across the stage. The energy of the night was palpable from that moment to the last note of the evening. They played almost nonstop for 2 hours including a number of costume changes.

His back up singers called the Rodettes shimmed and strutted right along with Stewart as has sang “Young Turks” followed by “Infatuation.”
Stewart and the Rodettes sang a great version of the Muddy Waters tune “Rollin’ and Tumblin’.”
The persussion section performed a great solo while part of the band did a quick outfit change.
During the song “Love Is” the ladies in the band were dressed tartan skirts. Julia Thornton played the banjo as J’anna Jacoby and Caissie Levy joined in on the violins. The ladies all accompanied Stewart twirling and dancing with the backup singers in a foot stomping dance to the song.
Stewart dedicated “Rhythm of My Heart” to those who died in battle during World War II. They then dedicated “People Get Ready”  to students who took part in the “March for Our Lives” against gun violence the same day.
Jimmy Roberts performed a great solo on saxophone allowing Rod and the Rodettes time for one of several costume changes.
Stewart told the audience to have a seat as he and part of his band and singers joined him at the front of the stage. They seated themselves and performed a multi song acoustic set. They did “The First Cut is the Deepest” followed by a fan favorite “Reason To Believe.” Next was Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately.” It was refreshingly laid back and intimate. Then the band went right into “You’re In My Heart.” The audience needed no encouraging to wholeheartedly join in the songs. They knew the words and Stewart enjoyed the participation.
Stewart’s final songs of the night were from his time with The Faces, including “Stay With Me” with Stewart kicking and throwing signed soccer balls into the audience. He is great kicker and landed a couple into the upper decks to the delight and shouts of approval from the crowd. He followed this with his Number 1 hit “Maggie May.”
The encore was “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and the audience loved it as this is one of Stewart’s best known songs.
Stewart and his band are definitely a must see if you get the chance. I don’t know how many more years he will tour, but he has an ageless quality and puts on a thoroughly enjoyable concert from beginning to end. I can’t think of one thing he didn’t do or could have done to make the evening more entertaining and enjoyable.
The band members:
Conrad Korsch – bass guitar
Dave Palmer – drums
Jimmy Roberts – saxophone
J’anna Jacoby – violin, mandolin, acoustic guitar
Julia Thornton – vocals, banjo, harp
Caissie Levy – vocals, violin
Chuck Kentis – keyboards
Emerson Swinford – guitar
Bridget Cady – vocals and dance
Becca Kotte – vocals and dance
Di Reed – vocals and dance
http://www.rodstewart.com/
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Setlist:
Young Turks
Infatuation
Having a Party (Sam Cooke cover)
Some Guys Have All the Luck (The Persuaders cover)
You Wear It Well
Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)
Love Is
Rhythm of My Heart (Marc Jordan cover)
Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (Hambone Willie Newbern cover)
Forever Young
Downtown Train (Tom Waits cover)
The First Cut Is the Deepest (Cat Stevens cover)
Reason to Believe (Tim Hardin cover)
People Get Ready (The Impression cover)
You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)
Have I Told You Lately (Van Morrison cover)
Stay With Me (Faces song)
Maggie May
Encore:
Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?

 

 

POCO – Infinity Music Hall Hartford, CT – February 24, 2018

Poco played the Infinity Music Hall to a sold out crowd of dedicated fans. The band is celebrating their 50th anniversary and is still giving it their all.
Poco in 2018 consists of Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, lap steel guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals; Jack Sundrud – bass, acoustic guitar, vocals ; Michael Webb – keyboard, accordion and mandolin; and Rick Lonow on drums, percussion.
Rusty Young, Richie Furay, Jim Messina, Randy Meisner and George Grantham were the founding members of the band Poco in 1968. Although most of the original members are no longer playing the four present this night were very much into making an enjoyable night for everyone. They are still holding up the traditions of one of the most well loved bands of the late 20th century.
Rusty started out the evening with a big smile and made the comment that the guys in the band were “All Fired Up” before launching into the well known song. The audience clapped along and got right into the spirit of the night.
They then played “Good Feelin’ To Know” which was followed by “Rose of Cimarron” It seemed like Rusty may have had a slight cold and coughed a couple of times during the songs. But, that didn’t detract from his recognizable voice and the band’s top notch playing.
Jim Messina, one of the founding members and the opening act to Poco, did a walk on to play a couple of songs. You could tell by the banter between Messina and Young that they still after all these years are friends and enjoy the chance to perform together. The audience got a kick out of it too.
Rusty Young quipped between songs about Poco’s history. He shared with the audience a couple of stories. He and Messina joked about a some of the early years and what they went through together.
Being the only 50 year member of the band Young did make one solo album “Waitin’ for the Sun” but that was recently. The bulk of his half century in the band was only recording with Poco.
The audience sang along to one of the best known favorites “Crazy Love.” Everyone knew the words with no prompting. It was nice to hear an entire hall of voices singing with the band.
Michael Webb got in a guitar solo as he sang lead on “That’s What Rock and Roll Will Do” from the All Fired Up album. A tune that’s about the rock and roll life on the road. It was a little more hard edged than the normal Poco songs and showed a different side to the band.
Jack Sundrud took the lead on the heartbreaking tune “Hard Country.” He did a wonderful job with the song that describes the loss of farms on a grand scale and the emotions of those left behind.
It’s still fantastic to see Poco out there and performing a setlist that most people are pleased to hear. There are certain songs that most bands know the public associate with their name, their anthems so to speak. Rusty and the band are keen to make sure that even though they can’t do all the hits and songs the audience calls out for they give a great mix. Each band member is allowed to shine and take the lead on different songs.
It was a wonderful evening of great toe tapping music that brings you back to a simpler time. One of my favorite bands of all time, I’m glad they’re still hanging together after all this time and making such enjoyable music.
http://pocoband.com/
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

 

Setlist
All Fired Up
Good Feelin to Know
Rose of Cimarron
Pickin Up the Pieces
My Friend
Call It Love
Heart of the Night
Keep on Tryin’
Crazy Love
Rock and Roll
Hard Country

Jim Messina – Infinity Music Hall Hartford, CT – February 24, 2018

It was a fantastic evening at the Infinity Music Hall with a spot on performance by the legendary Jim Messina and his band. Messina was joined by Gary Oleyar – fiddle and guitar, Craig Thomas – saxophone, woodwinds and percussion, Dave Beyer – drums and Michael Brady on bass. Together they gave the audience a truly memorable performance.
I think Jim Messina has never received the recognition from the public nor his peers that he deserves for his contributions to the music many of us heard in the 1960’s and 70’s and continue to hear now well into the 21st century. Messina was a member of Buffalo Springfield. A founding member of Poco and Loggins and Messina. All three of these bands are now legendary in the music industry.
Prior to becoming a member of Buffalo Springfield Messina was already an accomplished guitarist and producer. He began engineering while still in high school under the tutelage of guitar greats like Foy Willing of the Riders of the Purple Sage and other western music greats. He was already building a career in record engineering before he was approached to join Buffalo Springfield at the request of the group and  Atlantic Records founder and president Ahmet Ertegun. Messina became a bass player for the band replacing Bruce Palmer who was leaving. He played and toured with the Buffalo Springfield up until the completion and release of their album Last Time Around.
Messina and Richie Furay joined together in 1968 as founding members of Poco, which was a turning point band in music of the era joining country and rock together is what was forever after called country-rock. Messina left Poco and went his own way after tiring of the touring schedule and his desire to go back into producing.
In 1970 Loggins and Messina was formed. With Messina’s background even Kenny Loggins said right from the beginning, Jimmy was the producer. Loggins was a songwriter and had never made a record, put a band together or many of the things that bring a successful band to fruition. So Jim was the leader. Their first album was released in 1971 and together the duo made a total of 12 albums including live and compilation albums.
After parting ways with Kenny Loggins, Messina recorded four solo albums: 1979’s album Oasis; 1981’s eponymous Messina featuring guest performances by Jeff Pocaro, Joe Pocaro and Victor Feldman; 1983’s One More Mile; and 1996’s re-imagined retrospective of concert favorites Watching The River Run Revisited.
The concert at the Infinity was a mix of songs from each band Messina has been in and included a walk on by Rusty Young from Poco to play slide guitar on “Listen to a Country Song.”
There was a medley of Loggins and Messina songs “Traveling Blues,” which he said held special meaning now that he has children, “House on Pooh Corner” and “Thinking of You.”
They performed “Be Free.” Messina on mandolin with Oleyar on fiddle, and Thomas on flute had the audience stomping and clapping. A song that cries to free your soul. Always one of my favorite Loggins and Messina songs it was a pleasure to hear it done so well. Messina’s voice is still strong and he hits every note perfectly. His playing is just as precise and snappy as ever.
The encore was two well known favorites “You Need a Man” and “Your Mama Don’t Dance.”
Messina’s most recent album release, Jim Messina “In The Groove” with special guest Rusty Young, was recorded live in concert at The Clark Center and The Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara. It has been released both on a 12” Vinyl LP, as well as on an 8 gig “Flash Drive” the size of a credit card and is entitled Jim Messina “Access All’ Music/Video/Data, and can be used for future downloads and discounts. Because the vinyl LP can only hold 71 minutes of recorded music, it only contains the concert set and not the encore. However, since the “Flash Drive” is 8 gigs, it holds the entire 101-minute concert and encore. In addition, the Flash Drive contains a 27-minute video Encore (You Need a Man and Your Mama Don’t Dance”), the album’s artwork, the original set list (that was edited down) and the song lyrics.
I sat and had a talk with him after the concert. He is a kind, gentle and soft spoken man. You could easily pass hours just listening to the stories of his life. Many of his fellow musicians through the years had gotten caught up in their careers, drugs or alcohol and never got to fully enjoy the fame they worked so hard for.
Married with a family Messina has a firm belief that there is more to life than just his music. That life is to be lived fully and happily. He spends his off time on his ranch with his donkeys, ducks, dogs and a cat. He surrounds himself with friends from all walks of life. Not isolating himself to just the world of musicians. He tours but does it at his own pace. A set of 4 shows over a week or two in a certain geographical location and then back home to his family.
For those of you sailors who wonder if he still sails. He used to have larger boats but these days he would prefer to teach his daughter to sail on a lake or somewhere more forgiving than the ocean. He wants her to have the experiences of sailing just on a smaller scale. He said cruising the San Juan islands in Washington state would be nice because the water is still clean, the air is clear and the scenery is beautiful.
At the age of 70, although you would not think he was that age, there are no plans of slowing down. Being raised in Texas he is thinking he would like to go back to his roots. The next adventure they are considering is moving the family and animals to Texas for a new life there. The plan includes doing 4 performance tours at upscale roadhouses in various Texas locations.
I have no doubt this is what will happen if he wants it. He knew at a very early age he wanted a career in music. He stated he’s had guardians and maybe some guardian angels from the start that helped him launch his career in the music industry. From the short time I spent with Messina it appears he has no problem fulfilling any dream he sets his mind to.
Don’t miss the chance to see this music legend perform. Jim Messina and the band are masters at their craft. Each and every band member exceeded my expectations.
http://www.jimmessina.com
Setlist:
Mojito Moon
Traveling Blues
Medley:
Watching the River Run
House on Pooh Corner
Thinking of You
Danny’s Son
Whispering Waters
Kind Woman
You Better Think Twice
Listen to a Country Song – Holiday Hotel
Be Free
Angry Eyes
Encore
You Need a Man
Your Mama Don’t Dance
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

 

 

The Grand Slambovian Halloween Ball: A Mid-Autumn Night’s Dream

The Slambovian Circus of Dreams

Oct. 29, 2017

Infinity Music Hall and Bistro, Hartford, CT

Halloween started early when the Slambovian Circus of Dreams came to Hartford. The special performance Halloween Ball featured the band and audience in costume. Puck introduced the band with a poem. The band’s costumes were were a bit like an act out of  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” though a slightly twisted version. Joziah wore a trademark top hat, although this night it was more festively adorned with leaves and horns and the leader of the Faeries. The rest of the band costumed as faeries, elves and wizards.
The hall was set up with ample room on the main floor for dancing and the band encouraged the crowd to come close to the stage and dance so the band members could see the assortment of costumes for the judging of the contest that would happen during intermission. Many in the audience were longtime fans and some travel many miles to take in the Slambovians when they perform, especially the costume ball.
The band performed “Look Around,” a never recorded song off the British Album that they have written but yet to record.
They followed this with a cover of the Church song “Under the Milky Way Tonight.” They then did a song as a tribute to the late Tom Petty “It’s Good To Be King.”

The first set ended with a sing along on “I Know Where the Bees Have Gone” with Tink leading the audience in singing the chorus. A hive of bees in costume were the perfect accompaniment to the sing along. A couple of crystal bowls were used in the song by a local Connecticut performers dressed as a faerie and wizard.
Formed in Sleepy Hollow, New York about two decades ago, The Slambovian Circus of Dreams is a rock/folk band with an international following. The band’s performance is a colorful, quirky and delightful mix of music, dancing and conjuring up of the “Season of the Witch.” They enjoy the audience participation and Longo and Lloyd interact throughout the night with patrons.
The second set began with “Bravely, Bravely Dumb”, another sing along. Followed by “The Ridge.” The audience was dancing and enjoying themselves when the band continued into “Very Unusual Head.” This was a carnival type catchy tune.
Being Halloween the appropriate “Season of the Witch” was next. The set ended with “The Bipolar Express.” As the song played a troupe of psychedelic umbrella Jellyfish wove themselves in the crowd with a winding conga line as the band played. Skeletons, scarecrows, vikings, gypsies, and a varied assortment of costumed revelers joined in the dancing.

It was a colorful, unique and fun experience seeing the Slambovian Circus of Dreams especially for the Halloween celebration. Between their original songs and the covers of others they put out a excellent fun lighthearted show. The costumed band and audience was a bonus.

Joziah Longo (guitar, harmonica), Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, flute), Kolson Pickard (guitar, trumpet), Sharkey McEwen (guitar, mandolin), Paul Silverman (keyboards), Felipe Torres (drums, percussion), and bassist, Bob Torsello.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams
http://slambovia.com/
SetList:
Set 1:
The Grand Slambovians
Pushin Up Daisies
Look Around
Under the Milky Way Tonight (Church cover)
It’s Good to be King (Tom Petty Cover)
Pluto’s Plight
I Know Where the Bees Have Gone
Intermission and costume judging
Set 2:
Bravely, Bravely Dumb
The Ridge
Very Unusual Head
Season of the Witch (Donovan cover)
The Trans-Slambovian BiPolar Express
Encore
Golden Slumbers (Beatles cover)

Greenwich Concours d’Elegance 2017

Greenwich Concours d’Elegance

June 2 – 4, 2017

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

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

 

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

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.

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)

 

Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction Sells Out Weekend

Barrett-Jackson Northeast (Photo by George Bekris)

Barrett-Jackson kicked off its newest auction for The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions® at the sold out The Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Also, Barrett-Jackson set an attendance record for any event at Mohegan Sun.

“The inaugural Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction became a success within the first few hours with record crowds and an unprecedented sell-out of both tickets and consignments,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “This will be absolutely the best collector car event in the Northeast in 2016.”

Mohegan Sun, one of the most spectacular entertainment, gaming, dining and shopping destinations in North America, hosted the three-day collector car auction event for visitors from around the world. Coverage of the inaugural Northeast Auction presented by Barrett-Jackson was broadcast live on the Velocity and Discovery television networks as well.

Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris)

The first Northeast Barrett-Jackson exceeded expectation and the sale achieved $30,378,920 in total sales, and 574 vehicles sold for an average price of $52,925.  Not bad for it’s first year in New England.

Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )

Top sale of the weekend was a 1969 L88 Corvette at $624,800. Big sales in the American muscle category included a 1969 Boss 429 Mustang at $346,500, a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird at $330,000 and a 1968 Shelby GT500 KR Convertible at $203,500. Barrett-Jackson had numerous Italian cars in the lineup, including several 1990s Lamborghinis and 1980s Ferraris. The most expensive of them were the 1998 Lamborghini Diablo SV Monterey Edition at $253,000 and the 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2, a two-headlight car, at $330,000. This being a mostly no reserve Barrett-Jackson sale, there were only a handful of no-sales.

The Mohegan Sun arena was full of both bidders and spectators. During one part of the sale there were so many bidders in attendance they spilled over into the spectator portion of the arena making it even more interesting to watch the fast paced bidding.

Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )

There were vintage hot rods and old army vehicles as well. The auction had a wide array of memorabilia ranging from gas pumps and old signage to bicycles and pedal cars. So even if you were not in the market for a Lamborghini there were plenty of items to bid on.

Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )
Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )

Many in the crowd did not even come to bid but to stroll the giant tented parking lots of Mohegan Sun and take in the best car show around. There were classics, exotics, muscle cars, hot rods for everyone’s taste. There were one offs and show cars like the Shelby all polished aluminum shining in the sun.  Many of these cars you won’t see at any other show in the Northeast and the crowds seem to appreciate all of them judging by the spectators flocking from tent to tent and milling through the parking garage filled with both flesh and steel.

Barrett-Jackson (Photo by George Bekris )

Barrett-Jackson Northeast drew in its share of stars to enjoy the event. Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufmann of Fast ‘N Loud and brought in 12 vehicles from Dallas to sell at auction.  They were  spotted throughout the weekend with others from Gas Monkey Garage and camera crew zipping around the event in his Gas Monkey Garage golf cart as well as onstage during the auction.

Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions®, is the leader in collector car auctions and automotive lifestyle events. The company produces auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona; Palm Beach, Florida; at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut; and Las Vegas, Nevada. With broadcast partners, Velocity and Discovery Channel, Barrett-Jackson will feature live television coverage in 2016, including broadcasts in over 100 countries internationally. Barrett-Jackson also endorses a one-of-a-kind collector car insurance for collector vehicles and other valued belongings.

Hopefully this inaugural Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction will be the first of many years of auctions and amazing vehicles to come in the future.

For more photos of the Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction visit George Bekris Photography 

For more information on Barrett-Jackson Auctions visit Barrett-Jackson Online

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

Ian Anderson

From the rock opera "Jethro Tull"
Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson

Fox Theater, Mashantucket, CT
November 8, 2015
Ian Anderson’s Jethro Tull: The Rock Opera is not just another concert. It’s the story of Jethro Tull, an 18th Century agriculturist, as seen through Ian Anderson’s eyes and imagination. The whole concept of a rock opera is not often done, but when pulled off right it’s a night not to be missed. Ian Anderson has spent decades fluting his way around the stage as one of the most recognizable front men in rock. Who else is instantly associated with standing on one leg, like the Pied Piper of rock, with flute in hand? His opera consists of many songs we are familiar with mixed with 5 new songs and narration from the projected video of virtual guests on the back screen to tell the story of Jethro Tull. It was an entertaining mix of the English countryside, fields of grain, and other interesting imagery along with wailing guitar and Anderson owning the stage.
Most of the band members were considerably younger than Anderson’s age of 68, but you didn’t notice the gap as he cavorts about the stage shifting from flute to mandolin and on to harmonica. They played 2 sets with a short intermission and it was pure energy the entire time. After many years of singing Anderson’s voice is a bit raspier, but he hasn’t lost his bounce or swagger.
The stage band consisted of John O’Hara on keyboard, Florian Opahle, who played particularly well on lead guitar, Grieg Robinson on bass and Scott Hammond on drums. The virtual guests were Unmur Birna Björnsdóttir playing Tull’s wife. She added clean and frankly beautiful note to production as her voice pierced the theater and took it that next level. The virtual young Tull was played by Ryan O’Donnell, who also used to tour with Anderson a couple of years ago.
They started off with “Heavy Horses”, followed by “Wind-up”. Then came “Aqualung” with cheers from the crowd for Florian’s guitar playing on that oh so familiar song. “With You There to Help Me” and “Back to the Family” were next. “Farm on the Freeway” was backed by scenes of farmland being pushed out by loaded freeways clogged with streams of cars. Anderson new song “Prosperous Pasture” was followed by the heavy beats of “Fruits of Frankenfield”. He then ended set one with the well know and more folkish “Songs From the Wood ”
The band resumed the opera with set two and “And the World Feeds Me” and ” Living in the Past” always well received. Next came “Jack-in-the-Green” and “The Witch’s Promise”. The set continued with new songs “Weathercock” and “Stick, Twist, Bust”, which was a new song . Anderson and the band followed with “Cheap Day Return”, “A New Day Yesterday” and “The Turnstile Gate” another of his new tunes.
It only took the first few notes of the closing set and opera song on the keyboard by John O’Hara for the audience to know “Locomotive Breath” was coming down the track and many rose from their seats singing along to the steady pounding beat and “No way to slow down”.
The final song and encore of the evening was “Requiem and Fugue”.
Well done and very entertaining night. If you get a chance to take it in don’t hesitate, even if you have seen Anderson perform many times. This rock opera rounds out a long career wonderfully.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

Set list :
Heavy Horses
Wind-Up
Aqualung
With You There to Help Me
Back to the Family
Farm on the Freeway
Prosperous Pasture Anderson
Fruits of Frankenfield Anderson
Songs From the Wood
Set2
And the World Feeds Me
Living in the Past
Jack-in-the-Green
The Witch’s Promise
Weathercock
Stick, Twist, Bust
Cheap Day Return
A New Day Yesterday
The Turnstile Gate
Locomotive Breath
Encore:
Requiem and Fugue
(with Bourée snippet)