Tab Benoit is truly special. His passion combined with his other-wordly talent leaves you with your mouth hanging open and eyes fixated on his mesmerizing guitar work. The show he put on at Rams Head On Stage on April 10, 2019 was the most powerful performance I've seen from him yet. Along with Corey Duplechin (bass) and Terrence Higgins (drums), Tab brought a few other friends with him. Opening the show was Eric McFadden and Eric Johanson, with Tab on drums. Anyone who knows Tab knows that his first musical love was the drums. Occasionally after shows he would head over to a small club and jam just so he could play t he drums. On this night, the crowd was treated to an entire set with Tab rocking the kit.
Wolf Trap has quickly become one of our all-time favorite summer-time venues. This year showcased some stellar concerts at the beautiful Filene Center, with huge names in music as well as lesser-known supporting acts getting an opportunity to play in front of the huge Wolf Trap audiences. This combination can work well and when it does, you can experience some truly inspirational musical moments. Below is a shot from each show we covered at Wolf Trap this summer.
On April 2, 2019 Robin Trower's long awaited U.S. tour kicked off at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA. Robin hit the stage with a huge smile and you could tell the next 90 or so minutes were going to be special. He opened the show with "Too Rolling Stoned", one of my personal favorites, and a tune that made it's appearance on the Bridge Of Sighs album released in 1974. When I first started seeing Robin play he always looked so serious, totally into what he was playing, and rarely was there any interplay between he and the audience. In the last 15 years or so, and in particular the last five, he has been noticeably happy, acknowledging the audience, smiling, appearing totally relaxed and at ease.
While he may have lost a touch of speed, his tone and technique have been honed into a seamless force of guitar mastery. I've seen Robin somewhere around thirty times and he constantly amazes me. One of the true guitar legends from his era, he is still pushing the boundaries of his playing and in his writing. His last several albums have featured Robin doing it all, except playing the drums. Writing, playing the guitar, bass, and singing, he clearly knows what he is after with each new release.
The second song was "Diving Bell" from his recent release, Coming Closer To The Day. Personally, I think Robin's singing is brilliant, and he is able to impart what he is feeling through his vocals as well as his guitar. The show included a nice mix of old "hits" and songs from his recent albums. The crowd clearly showed their respect and admiration for a musician that has been at his craft for well over 50 years, beginning with the band, The Paramounts, which he formed back in 1962. There are not many musicians around with the talent and passion that Robin Trower has, let along the fact that he has been playing music nearly his entire life.
This year we saw some shows that were real throwbacks to the 1970's hard rock shows I used to go to. On May 14 Michael Schenker came to Baltimore with his Schenker Fest. A true guitar hero - hitting his peak with the super talented UFO as well as his solo work, Michael still has serious guitar chops. On tour with several of the singers he has employed, Muchael put on a fantastic show of his hits such as Doctor, Doctor, Lights Out, and many more. This was fantastic show that I has been waiting to see for quite a while. He did not disappoint!
Heavy Metal pioneers Judas Priest rolled into Washington, DC and took over The Anthem for a rocking good time! Unfortunately, original guitarists K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton are no longer with the band, but original bass player Ian Hill and singer Rob Halford have found more than capable players in Richie Faulkner (guitar), Scott Travis (drums), and Andy Sneap (guitar). Rob's voice still sounds amazing, and hearing these songs again live after all these years was too. Other than AC/DC, no other band pushed the heavy metal envelope quite like Judas Priest. With seemingly hit after hit in the 80s, Judas Priest was THE heavy metal act on tour. It was great to see them again - I hope they roll on for a long while! Uriah Heep, another band who helped pioneer metal put a great opening set with the only original member left, guitarist Mick Box. The rest of the band: Phil Lanzon – keyboards, co-lead vocals (1986–present), Bernie Shaw – lead vocals (1986–present), Russell Gilbrook – drums, percussion (2007–present), & Davey Rimmer – bass, backing vocals (2013–present).
~ PHOTOS ~
We spoke with Steve Morse last night (10/12/19) and when asked for his thoughts on the current tour, he responded:
"The new tunes are going very well. In general, playing with Flying Colors is very exciting because we never do enough gigs to make it old hat or boring! What I noticed about the show last night (10/11/19) was that when everyone is comfortable we can have these tremendous dynamics even within the songs. That’s just another thing that I really enjoy about the band."
Taj Mahal (Henry Saint Clair Fredericks (born May 17, 1942)) really is that oft-heard and over-used cliche' "living legend". Few musicians from the era that produced Taj Mahal are still with us, and of thise that are, there are only a few that can still play with the passion, technique, and talent that Taj does. Seeing at The Birchmere seemed to be a bonus, in particular, for Taj Mahal. The atmosphere lends itself perfectly to the rather intimate show that seems to make him tick. Surrounded by all of his favorite instruments, from a standard acoustic guitar, to a banjo, to his gold American Standard resonator guitar, he appeared releaxed and in complete control. A showman in every sense of the word, he still plays songs that were first written decades ago with a passion that is hard to decribe....eyes closed, fingers working, all enhanced by his bluesy, relaxed, experienced vocals. As our musical heros age and depart us, it is a pleasure to still be able to see and hear such a huge musical contributor person, still. The audience was enthralled, and it was much more of a shared experience with Taj, than a concert.
Wow, there was a lot of fantastic music we were lucky enough to see & hear over the past few months! There was no shortage of amazing shows to see. From world famous, household name musicians to younger, newer, lesser known acts, the one thing all the artists have in common is passion. Regardless of genre or level of popularity, the musicians we gravitate towards are all passionate about what they are doing. The message they are sharing. The feelings they are conveying. Great music is all around. It may be harder to find these days, but there is no lack of options.
So, support your local music venues and go see a show!
-Steve & Tom
While vacationing in PA over the summer, I found out that Robert Cray and Shemekia Coplenad were playing not more than 15 minutes from us. Needless to say - we went. Robert Cray has been at the top of the blues music scene for decades now. His clear, powerful vocals combined with his universally acknowledged guitar prowess always make for a great show. His shows are always flawless, almost precision-like. Each song telling it's own story. His guitar playing so smooth and fluent, always impressive. If I could ask for one thing, I would love to see him improv more guitar work. He keeps all that raw talent under wraps, leaving me wanting to see him just rip through a ten minute solo. Even so, his show was fun and always memorable. Shemekia Copleand put on a short, but soulful set. Her talent is effortless. The show also featured Marc Cohn with The Blind Boys of Alabama. Legends, the Blind Boys still sound amazing, and Marc Cohn and his unique vocal style was interesting to hear.
We stepped out of our "norm" (whatever that is) and hit the famous 9:30 club in Washington, DC for a killer triple bill of hard rock. We went to see Bones UK open the show. The band is Carmen Vandenberg (guitars, vocals), Rosie Bones (bass, vocals), and Heavy (drums. vocals). Bones UK have just put out a brand new album and are touring extensively getting the word out. We first became aware of the Carmen & Rosie back in 2016 when they were asked by the one-and-only Jeff Beck to help with a new album (Loud Hailer) as well as tour with him that summer. We caught Jeff's tour at Wolf Trap then and were impressed by the performances of these two hard rocking musicians - so when we saw they were scheduled to play the 9:30 club in DC, we made it a point to be there. Nice bonus that the headliners were The Struts with The Glorious Sons playing in between. On June 12, I spoke to Carmen on the phone and we chatted about the new album, touring and writing with Jeff Beck, her musical influences, and much more. .
~ See the photos from BONES UK's killer set ~
~ Photos of The Struts in command of the audience ~
On , June 14, 2019 musician / guitar player extraordinaire Matt Schofield popped back to NYC in between his many overseas gigs to put on a few smokin' shows with this incarnation of his band at the legendary Iridium. On stage this night with Matt were Christine Tambakis (vocals), Tom Tlee Waitea (bass), Raul Valdes (drums), Chelsea Baratz (sax), and Darby Wolf (keyboard). I hadn't seen Matt with Christine singing, and she has a powerful, soulful voice that meshes well with part of Matt's set. She wasn't on stage for every song that night, and it provided a great mix of music. Another "new" sound for me to hear with Matt was Chelsea on sax. She is very talented and fit right in the places she opened up and wowed the audience. Matt Schofield is, and has been, one of the top cutting edge guitarists playing today. His ability to play it all from loud rockin' tunes to slower, more melodic, from-the-heart blues, always keeps the audience's attention. Technically, Matt is head and shoulders above most - add to that his passion, and in my opinion, he rises right to the top.
~ See the photos from the incredible show Matt & the band put on ~
After the show Matt sat down with us in the nearly empty club to chat. This made four or five times since 2013 that Matt has been nice enough to take the time talk with us. Check out Matt as he shares what's up with him now, living and playing in southern Florida, an interesting peek into making recorded music, and much more as we shoot the breeze with Matt.
~ Check out the on-camera interview Matt did with us: Matt Schofield Interview ~
In full disclosure, I went to this show to see Jonny Lang. I am a huge fan, and a concert with just him is always more than just fine. I knew there was an opening act, but didn't know who. Imagine my utter thrill at finding out (thirty minutes prior to show-time) that the North Mississippi Allstars and JJ Grey and Mofro were both going on before Jonny. This is one of the best triple bills I've ever seen. NMA came out and brothers Cody (drums, washboard) and Luther Dickinson (guitar, vocals) with Scott Sutherland on bass, casually walked out, said hello to the audience, and proceeded to rock and roll for over an hour! Luther Dickinson is a force of nature. His playing is spot on, clean, and happy, never over the top or forced, he drives the trio. Luther's technique is really something you need to see to appreciate just how difficult and technical what he is doing on the guitar really is. If you only listen, he makes it sound so effortless and fluid, you might not "get it" all.
Rams Head On Stage hosted a 1:00 all ages matinee on May 18, 2019 featuring one of Alice Cooper's guitar player who is also breaking into a solo career - Nita Strauss. Nita is a powerhouse player and person. Her guitar work, while definitely on the heavy side, is still lyrical and easy to listen to. Her stage presence is undeniable - working the audience from the moment she hits the stage. Knowing the right times to flick her long blond hair or hold her signature Ibanez in the air while sustaining a long note, this show was fun. Fun to watch and hear. With her motivation, I expect big things from Ms. Strauss.
We are very lucky, and for some reason, Tab Benoit plays in the DC/VA/MD area often. On , August 20, 2019 Tab made Rams Head On Stage home for the evening. It's been a while now, but Tab is branching out. After producing music for Anders Osborne and others, Tab has started his own label - Whiskey Bayou Records. Seems like a natural extension for someone as talented and experienced as Tab. One of the artists on his label, Eric Johanson, has been tourng with Tab. Eric opens the shows with Corey Duplechin (Tab's bass player) and the man himself on drums. For those who may not know, Tab started out as a drummer and as a kid, seemed destined to be behind a kit. We know how that turned out - Tab has become one of those guitar players that true guitar junkies go to see. His style is straight ahead - take no prisoners - hell, take nobody - but just crank out his unique brand of Louisiana swamp rock/blues. Eric Johanson played a great opening set of his own music, drawing heavily from his 2017 release (on Whiskey Bayou), Burn It Down. Eric has his own unique style - and with the band he had behind him, he sounded great. It's fun to watch Tab play the drums, he is very into it, and from talking to him about it, he really loves when he can do that.
Tab's set started out blazing and rarely slowed down. His sound is driven by his pure talent combined with his love of his thin-line Telecasters plugged directly into his Cat 5 amps. No toys. No effects. No illusions. What you see and hear from Tab is what you get, and personally, I really dig that sound. Note that several guitar players play by plugging directly in. Springing to mind is Derek Trucks. There's just something about this set-up produces an unadulterated sound that just grabs the listener. Whether wanting to or not, it didn't take long for Tab to begin fielding requests. If you ask him to play something, do yourself a favor and have the song title right and male sure that Tab actually wrote or recorded it. With his usual knack for knowing when to bring things down and play one of his slower songs or a straight up ballad, Tab puts on a complete show. Even without his usually hilarious stand-up comedy bits, Tab's shows are an experience. The comedy only adds yet another layer to an already smoking show.
~ See all the photos ~
Now - add legendary guitar player and musician Dave Mason to the show as the opener and you have a concert you circle on your calendar. Best known for his ground breaking work with Traffic and his recordings with everyone from Paul McCartney to Michael Jackson to recording the acoustic opening to Jimi Hendrix's version of "All Along The Watchtower", Dave Mason has been there. He has had hits with the iconic "Feelin' Alright", recorded by numerous artist's including Joe Cocker singing it at Woodstock all the way through to his soft-rock FM hit "We Just Disagree". Dave and the band put on a great set. Hearing Dave Mason sing these songs brings back many fond memories (mostly of hearing the tunes in my the car as a kid). Dave was in great spirits, and seemed genuinely happy at the reception he received. Here is the song list courtesy of setlist.fm:
1. World in Changes; 2. Pearly Queen; 3. Rock and Roll Stew; 4. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys;
5. Dear Mr. Fantasy; 6. Can't Find My Way Home; 7. We Just Disagree; 8. Look at You Look at Me;
9. Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave; 10. Only You Know and I Know; 11. Fellin' Alright;
12. All Along the Watchtower
June 8: Lake Street Dive and The Wood Brothers. Great, fun show. The wood Brothers are so super talented. Fisrt time seeing Lake Street Dive - and I'd see them again. Tight, great set.
June 23: Buddy Guy, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Samantha Fish. The best triple bill I've seen in years. I've been covering Samantha Fish for years now, and she and her band are the real deal. Honing her style, still killing it on her many guitars, and definitely is making her mark on the music world. Kenny Wayne Shpherd is a powerhouse and a damn fine guitar player. High energy, rock and roll set. Closed with Voodoo Chile. Mr. Buddy Guy! What is left to say...? A true blues legend. Sounded great, was seriously happy and several times really dug in and played that strat like in days gone by. Have to mention Ric Jaz - always on fire and getting better and better. Awesome set. Awesome concert. Fantastic fit of bands.
July 3: Jackson Browne. Inventing his own completely unique style in the 1970s, Jackson Browne produced numerous hits and FM staples, beginning with "Doctor My Eyes" from his 1972 debut album to the iconic, partially live album, "Running On Empty", containing the classic song of the same name. He sounded fantastic. Even considering just how long ago he hit the music scene, Jackson and his band sounded great. His voice still spot on with his unique melodic expression. He did all the hits and much more in a great, purely fun concert.
~ Photos:Jackson Browne ~
July 17: The Wheels of Soul Tour with The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Blackberry Smoke, and Shovels and Rope. What can you say about the Tedeschi Trucks band that hasn't already been said? Solid, driven, super-talented true band members. Evry time I see Derek he is either so good, it makes forget the last time I saw him play, or he truly gets better with each concert. Maybe it's both? Susan's mighty vocal lead and her own soulful, gritty, rocking guitar work is surely the anchor. Each member show their talent alone, and as part of the ensemble. It is a true aural pleasure to see these guys & gals live. Unfortunately I missed the opener, Shovels and Rope, but Blackberry Smoke put on a great set. Seeming maybe a tad out of place with TTB, they were still able to grab the audience and make fans out of hem, if they weren't already. Lots of energy and raw talent from these guys.
July 24: Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers & Amos Lee. Bruce Hornsby runs a super tight band. They follow his every lead and played his music flawlessly and with plenty of their own flair. Hit after hit. I had forgotten just how many FM hits Mr. Hornsby is responsible for. Bruce is prolific as well, just releasing his 21st album titled, Absolute Zero. Live, all his influences, from bluegrass to country to pop are on display. His voice sounds as good as ever, and he has fun on stage in front of he audience. The opener, Amos Lee, has a powerful voice that was the centerpiece of his set. Singing and playing contemporary music, of which I know little about, Amos Lee put on an uplifting, enjoyable set of music.
July 31: Steve Miller Band with Marty Stuart & The Fabulous Superlatives and Matt Anderson. Stevie "guitar" Miller is not only still at it, he is rocking the audiences smart enough to go catch the Steve Miller Band live. Like Bruce Hornsby, My teenage years were filled with the FM sounds of Steve Miler as well as his shows, since he seemed to pass through and play once a year for a long time. Steve's guitar playing and especialy his voice, sound fantastic. That unique tone to his voice still ever-present and right on. On tour with him Gordy Knudtson, Kenny Lee Lewis, Jacob Peterson, and Joseph Wooten provided the perfect backing band as well as the perfect, "let's push the boss a bit" band. They were great. At one point all but the drummer were at the front of the stage dancin' and jammin'! This was an excellent show and one I had a lot of fun being in the audience for. Opening the show to a sparsely filled amphitheater at 7:00 pm - with people milling about, finding their seats, eating, hitting the bathroom, or walking around the beautiful grounds, strolled out a man with an acoustic guitar. His name - Matt Anderson - and forging through what must have been a tad of a nerve-wracking situation, proceeded to put on a passionate, heart-felt set of blues. Quite an accomplished guitar player, it was Matt's booming, attention-grabbing voice that made an impression on me. Having just released his latest album, Halfway Home By Morning, in April, Matt showed no signs of stress walking out on that huge stage with only his voice and an acoustic guitar and proceeded to throw down a scorching set of music. His voice filed that amphitheater and for those luck enough to have been in their seats were treated to a fantastic opening set. Matt's voice has a wide range, from quiet and tender to rocking and forceful. I was glad i didn't mis him as I became a fan before he was done with his set. I hope to catch Matt again soon. In between Steve Miller and Matt Anderson was legendary folk/bluegrass/country legend Marty Stuart. It seemed odd to me that the band on right before Steve Miller was so vastly different, and so incredibly talented. Marty worked with Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins very early in his career and eventually found the formula to make it as the leader of his own band. He and his band put on a great set of down-home rockabilly mixed with bluegrass and several other genres. I didn't know what to expect, but Marty was very good. Putting on a truly professional show with "get-up-and-dance" music, it was a fun set of great music.
August 1: Lyle Lovett & His Large Band with Mavis Staples. I've been a long-time fan of Lyle Lovett. It is his natural ability to intertwine a interesting, sometimes odd & intriguing, sometimes straight-forward stories with his one-of-a-kind voice and his upbeat, intricate music. With his large band, the stage is nearly overwhelmed with talent. Beginning with his long-time singing partner Francine Reed, the entire large band are at the top of their musical game in their own respective areas. From Luke Bulla on fiddle and guitar to the bassist who sits and plays the "stand-up" bass and has been with Lyle for decades, Lyle has assembled a super talented full band to tour with. Playing a lot of his less recognizable songs that night, yet squeezing in songs like, "She Makes Me Feel Good", and, "That's Right (You're Not From Texas)" Lyle, Francine and the band brought the audience on a twenty-four song ourney. Lyle never sounded better. I guess he may be the type of artist you either love or hate, with probably not a lot of middle ground, the audience was clearly in the former group. What another great show by Lyle Lovett & His Large Band! The audience were all treated to a very special opening set by Ms. Mavis Staples. Her name clearly proceeds her and she brought the Wolf Trap audience to the Church of Mavis. Passion is an understatement when describing Mavis' singing. She is absolutely immersed in the music - mind, body, and I would think, soul too. Her set was fun and inspiring and you really did know you were watching and hearing a musical legend.
~ Photos: Lyle Lovett & His Large Band with Mavis Staples ~
August 10: Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band. A Beatle came to Wolf Trap! That's funny, but in 2019, it's also great to be able to say. And not only did Ringo Starr come - he played. And he played great! Ringo Starr, iconic, legendary, historic drummer for The Beatles, brought an amazingly talented group of musicians with him to the Wolf Trap stage. Gregg Rolie on keyboard and vocals. You've probably caught a few shots of Gregg from Woodstock singing with Santana. An integral part of the early Santana sound, providing vocals on Black Magic Woman and many other classic Santana tunes. Gregg also cultivated and prospered in another band you may have heard of, Journey. On guitar with the All Starrs - Steve Luthaker, front man and guitarist for Toto among his other accomplishments. On guitar and vocals, Colin Hay, best known for his work in Men At Work. Gregg Bissonette on the drums. Greg made a name for himself primarily working with Van Halen singer David Lee Roth, as well as studio recrding with some of the big names in rock. Warren Ham, who has played with the likes of Kansas, Cher and Olivia Newton John, and Hamish Stuart who played for years with the Average White Band and also Chaka Khan. He played in Paul McCartney's band as well as wrote for many of the big names in music. This band played all the hits led by the natural showman Ringo! The audience was treated to music from each member of the band. Of note was Black Magic Woman, Land Down Under, and the many hits from Ringo. In addition was a great crowd sing-along to Yellow Submarine! Wow - 2019 - singing Yellow Submarine with Ringo, live. This was a great show full of nostalgia as well as overal good vibes. My guess is Ringo's goal is to get the happy and smiling, to share a couple of hours of true "leave it all behind" and enjoy the moment.
~ Photos:Ringo Starr & The All Starr Band ~
It seems appropriate that this year, 2019, the year of Woodstock and of remembering hippies, peace, love, and music, we
we were able to go see electric Hot Tuna - fifty years since their beginning - play to a packed house at the Warner Theatre in Washington, DC. This is the area where Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen grew up as best friends. Almost more fitting is seeing them together with Dave Mason. The rock and roll history these three men have not only lived through and seen, but helped define, has filled the pages of dozens of books and has appeared in countless documentaries and live broadcasts. Jack and Jorma have remained best friends throughout their lives, as part of Hot Tuna or as the driving force behind the music of Jefferson Airplane. The chemistry between these two is clear. It's not what you see them doing or saying to each other, it's the communication that you can't see between them, only hear, that is just so unique.
Opening the show with "Been So Long" which is also the title of Jorma's recent autobiography, Jack, Jorma, and drummer Justin Guip set out on an amazing 90+ minute journey through a small sampling of their vast music catalog. Seemingly effortless for the band, this show was plain fun to watch and hear. Jorma's guitar playing is as good or better than it's ever been and, coupled with his distinctive organic voice (occasionally reminiscent of Pete Seeger), Jorma sounded wonderful. Jack is pretty stoic as he holds down the beat while riffing off of it at the same time. He is able to match, compliment, and lead Jorma's playing, taking the perfect role in each song, even switching within songs. They actually get very close quite often and play while staring into each other's eyes. As if they are seeing the music inside each other. Deep - but true. Their current rock-and-roll drummer, Justin Guip, compliments Jack and Jorma perfectly. Bringing the songs to a harder, driving ending, or barely noticeable in the background of the quieter songs, the three have their own polished chemistry.
The audience, clearly knowledgeable and thirsty for Hot Tuna, at times were up on their feet applauding, and at other times were perfectly still and quiet as Jorma's voice filled the theater. I had been looking forward to this show all summer and it exceeded my expectations. I really do feel lucky to have seen electric Hot Tuna again, and on this, their 50th anniversary tour to boot. Here is the set list [courtesy of setlist.fm]:
1. Been So Long; 2. Hesiotation Blues; 3. Barbeque King; 4. Walkin' Blues; 5. Wolves and Lambs;
6. Trial by Fire; 7. Bowlegged Woman, Knock Kneed Man; 8. Ode for Billy Dean; 9. Sleep Song;
10. Good Shepherd; 11. Hit Single #1; 12. Funky #7; 13 [Enc]: Water Song
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This was my third time at Tampa Bay Blues Festival. Great line-up, great sound, great location. Free after shows at a local club.Good choice of food vendors. Friendly atmosphere. It’s one of the best. Some highlights:
Samantha Fish: Samantha has a devoted following and always gets a very enthusiastic reception in Tampa. She gave the crowd everything they wanted in a rousing set. [PHOTOS]
Jonny Lang: Closing out the first day of the festival, Jonny Lang played a strong set consisting mostly of his older material, including Lie To Me, Still Raining, A Quitter Never Wins, and Red Light - all performed with Jonny’s trademark intensity. [PHOTOS]
The Connection with Mike Welch and special guests: One of the most anticipated sets for me, especially after the previous nights show at Ringside Cafe, a local club in St. Petersberg. With the recent loss of soulmate Mike Ledbetter, Mike Welch poured everything he had into his performances. He was joined at different times by guests Vanessa Collier on sax, Curtis Salgado on vocals, and Kit Holliday on vocals. The Connection consists of Scot Sutherland on bass, Luca Chiellini on piano and organ and Andrew “Blaze” Thomas on drums.
Boz Scaggs: Closing out the 2nd day of the Festival, Boz was met with a very curious crowd. Having recently released a blues-oriented CD, what would Boz choose to play? Boz did not disappoint those folks looking to hear his classic hits. In addition to a number of songs from the latest recording, “Out Of The Blues”, Boz entertained the crowd with “Harbor Lights”, “It’s Over”, “Georgia”, “Lido Shuffle”, and “Lowdown”.
Tab Benoit: On Sunday, the weather was overcast and a bit windy, with a rain storm predicted for the evening. The weather was pleasant enough all day, but the storm was imminent. As the final act, Tab took the stage 15 minutes early so as to perform as long as possible. There was an extra bit of urgency in Tab’s singing and playing, and his sound was strong. As the band began playing the 4th song, “Shelter Me”, the winds picked up and the rain began. And the wind and rain quickly became fierce as Tab sang “...the wind will blow, the rain can pour…” and people started scrambling for shelter. With everyone seemingly on the move, the band finished playing the song in a pouring rain and howling wind, and scrambled to protect the equipment. Tab and the band gave 110% for their brief 20 minutes of music. Although disappointed that the elements caused an abrupt end to the set, it was a notable ending to a great weekend of music, food, and fun. [PHOTOS]
~ Festival Photos ~
Flying Colors rides again! After two primer shows, including the Morse Festival, Steve Morse took a night off from his 25 year gig with Deep Purple as they say their Long Goodbye, to rock Sony Hall in NYC. In addition to Steve, Flying Colors includes with Dave LaRue (bass, vocals), Neal Morse (keys, vocals). Mike Portnoy (drums, vocals), and Casey Mcpherson (guitar, vocals). One of Steve Morse's many projects, brainchild of Bill Evans, these five talented musicians found time to write and record a new album, Third Degree (released on October 4, 2019), and go on an abbreviated, yet intense tour with only five stateside gigs, and then several overseas shows.
Sony Hall was packed with dedicated fans and the band sounded extremely good. Playing several tunes for the first time live anywhere. As most people, I was there to see Steve Morse play the guitar. I had just seen/photographed him with Deep Purple two nights before in Washington, DC, and watching him completely change gears is pretty amazing. The tunes were pulled from all three albums. They sounded well rehearsed and were keyed in to each other. The band played: "Blue Ocean", "A Place in Your World", "More", "Kayla", "You Are Not Alone", "Forever in a Daze", "The Fury of My Love", "The Loss Inside" (live debut), "Love Letter" (live debut), "Crawl", "Peaceful Harbor", and "Infinite Fire". As of tonight, there is only one more stateside show scheduled on October 17, 2019 in St. Charles, Ill at the Arcada Theater. These guys were great and I can tell you that there is no moss on Steve Morse!
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October 12, 2019
Wolf Trap has become one of 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!