The look may have changed, but her passion, talent, and heart have only grown larger. She has a loyal fan base which she keeps growing by touring nearly non-stop, while still finding time to write new material. The energy level on stage is intense even with it's swings from heavy rock-based blues to her sweet, moving ballads on the acoustic guitar. Samantha captivates the audience and works hard with the band to keep things moving in the direction she wants. Long-time bassist Christopher Alexander is a major part of that. He can read her very well, as does long-time keyboardist Phil Breen. Samantha is a rock-star and knows exactly what she wants to do. This girl is a true blues/rock/guitar slinging/singing star.
See all the shots from the show in the photo gallery here.
Bruce Katz has put out yet another stellar CD - a powerful statement by one of the premier keyboard players in the world. Read the full review of this great new release by Bruce Katz:
On July 15, 2018 we attended the final day of the four day Great South Bay Music Festival. The headliner that night was The Dickey Betts Band, re-formed with his son Duane Betts and Damon Fowler, both on guitar, Frank Lombardi (drums), Mike Keach (keys), Pedro Arevalo (bass), and Steve Camilerri (drums). Dickey was there. He was late due due to technical on-stage glitches, but he was there. Sounding pretty good, yet slightly tired. The band played a mostly familiar set of classic Dickey Betts Allman Brothers Band music. Focusing on the top tunes in Dickey's large body of work, the band sounded good and the audience was appreciative to see one of only two surviving members of the original Allman Brothers Band live again. Lead-in sets by The Devon Allman Project, Little Feat, and Electric Hot Tuna were all great, with Duane Betts cranking it out with the exuberant Devon Allman. The highlight of the evening was Hot Tuna. Jack Cassady (bass, vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (guitar, vocals), and Justin Guip on drums, the trio rolled into some deep Tunain their hour long set. Jorma's voice sounds fantastic as did his unique guitar playing. Jack Cassady is right at home on stage and was loving every minute. It's amazing to think just how long these two have been playing music together; since the pre-Jefferson Airplane days in San Francisco. Prior to the main-stage gigs we also caught a young funky band called Carrie and the Cats. They cranked out a great set of funk/soul/rock jams and the crowd loved them.
See the photos we captured at the festival here.
On June 29, 2018 we found ourselves at our favorite summer-time venue again - Wolf Trap. This time we were there to see the Wood Brothers open for Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers. Bruce Hornsby has been writing and performing rock-n-roll hits for decades now along with his stints with several bands, possibly most notably, the Grateful Dead. He and the band were tight as a drum, feeding off each other with the band intently following Bruce's lead throughout their set. Bruce led the talented group of musicians through the following songs and the audience loved it all.
1. Little Sadie>White Wheeled Limousine>The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance>Long Black Veil>White Wheeled Limousine
2. Circus on the Moon; 3. Country Doctor; 4. Blind Mice>The Way It Is; 5. Somewhere Someday; 6. Funhouse;
7. M.I.A. in M.I.A.M.I.; 8. Every Little Kiss; 9. The Black Rats of London; 10. On the Western Skyline; 11. Rainbow's Cadillac;
12. Nobody There But Me
See the photos of Bruce and the band here.
Photo credit: Janine Morse
July 28, 2018
Wolf Trap has become our favorite summer-time venue for concerts! The line-up of musicians regularly playing the venue is stellar!
Thanks to all the staff at Wolf Trap - from the ladies and gentlemen who run the box office, to the ushers, medical staff, and especially our friends in the PR/Media department.
Thank you all!
The opener that night for Bruce Hornsby was the incredibly talented trio, The Wood Brothers, made up of brothers Oliver (guitar, vocals) and Chris Wood (bass, vocals), and the multi-talented Jano Rix on drums, vocals, and what seems like a dozen other instruments. On tour in support of their recent release, One Drop Of Truth, these musicians get better and better each time we've seen them. Their music is uplifting (even if sad) and is consistently filed with interesting, thoughtful lyrics and musical twists. We've seen The Wood Brothers headline recent theater shows and will go out of our way to catch these guys live whenever possible.
See the photos of The Wood Brothers here.
On May 30th of this year, I saw legendary bluesman Taj Mahal for the very first time. He captivated the audience every moment he was on stage. You truly had the sense of watching a man at the top of his craft; of being in the presence of a great musician. Having fun, surrounded by several of his favorite stringed instruments, he played and sang to great heights and with such intensity. The audience was enthralled and showed their complete appreciation with rousing applause and, except for the occasional "whooot!", reverent silence, as he played.
Taj Mahal has been playing the music for nearly his entire life and making music professionally since 1961 with his first band, The Elektras. He drew heavily from his 1968 release, Natch'l Blues. Having played with everybody who is anybody from Hendrix to Richie Havens to B.B. King, Taj Mahal is a survivor and is doing what he loves and keeping the blues alive. The passion and emotion in his vocals was inspiring. There didn't seem to be anything but total commitment to what he was singing and to the wonderfully talented picking, strumming, and sliding he was doing at the same time. We were honored to have been there to cover this show and to photograph Taj Mahal in his element. Can't wait to see him again.
On June 21, 2018, classic rock icon Steven Tyler and The Loving Mary Band came to Wolf Trap on their current tour and rocked the house! Opening with "Sweet Emotion" and continuing with an Aerosmith heavy set-list, Tyler showed the audience that age is in fact just a number. At 70 years old, he can still hit the notes and sounded great. Backed by a band he's toured with for the past few years, The Loving Mary Band more than kept pace with the faster rock tunes, and showed their own talent with their backing vocals and spirited playing. Tyler is the consummate showman and had the crowd on their feet from the moment he walked on stage. Having seen Aerosmith many times in their heyday, it was great to see and hear Steven command the music and the crowd again. Tyler spent a few minutes familiarizing the audience with Janie's Fund, the charitable organization he founded with the non-profit group Youth Villages, that provides resources and support to neglected and abused girls. Visit them at http://janiesfund.org/. Opening the show were The Sisterhood Band, who, "flew up from Nashville just to open this show." The duo; Alyssa Bonagura, who sings and plays a mean acoustic guitar, and Ruby Stewart, singing and working the tambourine were great and shared their energy and enthusiasm with the audience, grabbing them right away. Happy, enthusiastic, and talented, with sweet vocals, the pair owned Wolf Trap for their roughly 25 minute set.
We are fortunate to be able to share photos we took from this killer show.
Ten cities. Roger Daltrey chose ten cities in which to perform The Who’s classic rock opera “Tommy” and on June 10 & 12, 2018, it was Vienna, VA and the world-class venue, Wolf Trap. Wolf Trap has a very interesting history and agreement with the U.S. Park Service. It's a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when the best collaborate on a plain good idea. In each city on the tour, Daltrey is backed by a local orchestra and his touring band, The Who Band. The band members are Simon Townsend (Guitar, vocals), Frank Simes (Guitar, vocals), Scott Devours (Drums), Jon Buttons (Bass, vocals), and Loren Gold (Keyboards). Simon is Pete’s baby brother, which would be apparent even without the same last name. He sounds remarkably similar to his brother, but he has a clear and unique talent. The orchestral arrangement was done by David Campbell. “Tommy” was first performed live by The Who on April 22, 1969 (that's 49 years ago!). It’s a remarkable thing to watch a man who has been at the forefront of music for over five decades walk out, stand in front of that sold-out audience at Wolf Trap, and perform at his level.
In addition to nailing every song in the vocally challenging and sometimes complicated “Tommy”, he gave the audience a taste of other Who music playing, "Who Are You" and "Baba O'Reily" as well as "Always Headed Home", the final cut from his just released album, "As Long As I Have You" out for all of 12 days when we saw him. With his signature microphone whips using the cord like a lariat, Roger Daltrey put on quite a performance. His vocals leading the way for all that sound coming from the stage made for a great show. The Wolf Trap Orchestra was superb and I could only guess, there was an extra level of excitement for the members.
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Bruce Katz released his brand new CD, Get Your Groove! with a celebratory concert by the Bruce Katz Band at Daryl's House in Pawling, NY. Besides Bruce, the band includes Chris Vitarello (guitar, vocals), and Ray Hangen (drums, vocals). The audience was digging it and the band was on fire.
Read our full review of this very cool event:
On May 27, 1977 a classic album of all instrumental music titled Free Fall was released in the U.S. by a relatively little known band called the Dixie Dregs. Nearly 41 years later, on February 28, 2018, all five musicians who created Free Fall reunited for a brand new tour. Steve Morse (guitar), Andy West (bass), Rod Morgenstein (drums), Allen Sloan (violin), and Steve Davidowski (keyboard) delighted their hard-core fan base with the news. Well, as of April 28, 2018, the reunion tour was over. In the books. Part of music history. Some Dixie Dregs fans weren't yet born when Free Fall was released, some had never had the chance to see them live, and still others made it to every show they could. Most everyone who has seen this tour have come away amazed and fulfilled.
After we broke the news about the reunion (thanks to our good friend Rod Morgenstein), and after interviewing all five band members, we were in the audience in Washington, DC at The Lincoln Theater on March 7, 2018 to see the show. The band sounded fantastic, playing songs from their extensive catalog. What a treat to hear tunes like "Day 444" and "Cruise Control" live! There was definitely electricity in the air. Hundreds of fans just like me, who have been waiting to see them live either their whole adult lives, or possibly, since the last reunion in 2009 were blown away. It was a special night and the band seemed to feel it as well. We were also on hand in NYC at The Town Hall on Friday March 16th. It seems as if any bugs have been worked out and the guys are hitting on all cylinders. We were granted unique access and were able to capture some amazing photos of the band at both shows.
As we continue to cover the Dixie Dregs reunion tour, and with Steve Morse’s permission, I am happy to be able to set a few things straight regarding the theft of Steve’s prized Buscarino guitar.
While initially it appeared that the guitar was taken during load-in in DC, as it turns out, it was actually stolen while the crew was loading out in Durham, NC the night before. It was inventoried as it was loaded into the van, but things needed to be reshuffled to make room. It appears now that it was taken at that point but went undetected until load-in in DC.
Steve described its return to me in the recent interview we did on April 5, 2018, without going into great detail, mostly because Steve stayed out of the return.
Read this interview with Steve Morse and read about the return of his classical guitar, how the tour is progressing, what his thoughts are on the reunion and a lot more.
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May 26th saw vocalist Dana Fuchs make an appearance at The Hamilton in Washington, DC. She put on a spirited show, although there was an overall air of sadness. Many deaths, and a tough road as of late for Ms. Fuchs, though the birth of her son at the end of 2016 makes her smile wide! Enjoy the photo slide-show of photos from the show.
The 2018 Reincarnation of The Dixie Dregs – Part Two
Rock, Roots, & Blues – Live
November 27, 2017
Over the course of the last few months, I've conducted a series of interviews with each of the five original Dixie Dregs. This is the group that played on the first real commercial album by the band, Free Fall. This edition of Rock, Roots, & Blues - Live includes an in-depth discussion with Steve Morse, the musical visionary of the band. Steve and I discussed the upcoming tour, how his style has changed over the years, as well as much deeper, personal introspection regarding what he has learned and how he has grown since the band was formed over forty years ago. In addition, we finally track down Mr. Allen Sloan, violin virtuoso and an unmistakable part of the Dixie Dregs' unique sound. This is our first conversation with Allen, and his excitement about the up coming tour was evident. The contrast between Steve Morse and Allen is stark, in terms of what they've been doing for the last forty years. Steve has remained a driving force in the music world as the lead guitarist for the classic hard rockers, Deep Purple, as well as his own projects, Flying Colors and The Steve Morse Band. In contrast, Allen Sloan has been less prominent in the music industry, but no less busy. I was glad to find out that Allen still gets out to play rather often. Find out what he has been up to and read about Steve's thoughts on a myriad of topics.
Check back often as we will be talking with, and following the band, up to and through the 2018 tour.
You can also read part one in our series of interviews with the Dixie Dregs here.
We spoke to the band about the 2018 tour and much more.
On May 26th the 8th annual Greenwich Town Party in Greenwich, CT hosted quite the concert. Many local bands played along with a return appearance by The Tedeschi-Trucks band and rare appearance of guitar legend Eric Clapton. Enjoy the photos we were able to capture from this amazing event.
On April 28, 2018, the Dixie Dregs played the final show of the Dawn Of The Dregs Tour. Fittingly, the final show was in Atlanta, GA. Now part of music history, the far too short, two-month run has come to an end.
As we wrap up our extensive coverage of Dregs reincarnation, we spoke with Steve Morse to get his perspective on this huge undertaking for him and the rest of the band who made their first album together over 40 years ago. It has been a great journey with the band since 2015 when Rod Morgenstein first discussed the idea of a Dixie Dregs reunion tour with me. We have interviewed all the band members, and we've interviewed Rod and Steve multiple times before, during, and now after the tour. Here we present the sort-of "wrap-up" interview with Steve Morse on the tour. We also discuss other of his bucket-list projects, and his more immediate gig - touring with Deep Purple on their "Long Road Goodbye" farewell tour. We caught up to Steve on May 1, 2018 in Mexico after spending only one day at his home after the Dregs tour was over.
A personal thank you to all the members of the band; Steve Morse, Rod Morgenstein, Andy West, Allen Sloan, and Steve Davidowski, as well as their tour manager Jeff Burkhart and the entire Dregs crew!
The Who band are talented in their own right. I enjoyed their energy and freshness, Frank Simes can play some serious lead guitar and Simon is charged and fun – comfortable jamming and singing.
A little over a week after this show Roger Daltrey donated nearly $500,000 to the Teen Cancer America, a foundation started by Daltrey and the Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to help expand its adolescent and young adult cancer program. Daltery started the organization to provide assistance to teen cancer patients world-wide. So, it's clear, Roger Daltrey has been and remains busy on many fronts.
Daltrey is quoted saying he was glad, “Tommy found him again” after all these years. I’m glad it did as well. It was a fun and memorable musical event.
See the photos we were lucky to take at the show here.
We've been following the career of blues guitarist and singer Samantha Fish since 2013. On June 6, 2018, Samantha brought her band to the stellar Washington, DC club The Hamilton and proceeded to light it on fire. Samantha has grown from a barefoot, long-haired, blues rocker into a glamorous, well coiffed, high-heeled rocker.