Jonny Lang kicks ass. It's just that simple. On October 17, 2018 Jonny and his band played a rocking set at what was the old Annapolis High school. It has since been converted into a community arts center. The remodeled theater set the stage for Jonny and his signature style. at 37, Jonny has been a serious player in the music world since his first release at 15 years old, which went platinum. With his custom made thin-line telecaster as his primary guitar, he and the band played songs spannig his 20+ year career, drawing heavily from his latest release, Signs.
If you listen to the lyrics you can pick up on the spiritual nature of his songs. If you've never heard of Jonny, go familiarize yourself with his work. If you can catch him live, go.
See the photos from this show here.
Occasionally, the opening song of a show can set the tone for the rest of the night, so when the Tedeschi Trucks Band opened their February 23, 2019 show at the Warner Theater with "I Walk On Guilded Splinters", I had a feeling it was going to be an extra special night of music. I was not wrong.
On tour in support of the band's new album, Signs, and with the recent loss of Kofi Burbridge clearly still affecting them, Derek and Susan led the band through two emotionally charged and musically superb sets.
Set 1: I Walk on Guilded Splinters; Do I Look Worried; Part of Me; When Will I Begin; Walk Through This Life; Down in the Flood; Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever; Strengthen What Remains; Idle Wind.
Set 2: They Don't Shine; High & Mighty; Dreams; Sweet Inspiration; Made Up Mind; Shame; Midnight in Harlem; I Pity the Fool; Bound for Glory;
Enc: With a Little Help From My Friends
You can listen to the show as recorded by our friend Alex Leary on archive.org:
Playing the keyboard was Gabe Dixon who did a wonderful job. One can only imagine the emotions surging through him as he played Kofi's parts. In true Tedeschi Trucks style and class, the final show of the winter tour in Asheville, NC on March 2, 2019 was the same set list the band played on December 1, 2018 in Boston, which, as it turned out, was the final performance by Kofi with the band.
See all the photos we took that night in one our favorite theaters:
On January 18, 2019 The Wood Brothers made it back to the 9:30 club as the headliner. Each time I see these three talented musicians I am blown away by their raw talent and passion for the music. They've created a style that is uniquely their own, combining rock & roll, bluegrass, R&B, and several other musical flavors to produce one of the most unique sounds out there. Their ability to tell a story wrapped in tap your feet, get up and dance music has become somewhat of a trademark for brothers Chris and Oliver Wood, and percussionist and keyboard player, Jano Rix. From the moment they hit the stage, the crowd was completely hooked. With a way of wordsmithing their stories and combined with their one-of-a-kind sound, The Wood Brothers have quickly become one of my favorite live acts.
Opening for The Wood Brothers was Priscilla Renea. A talented songwriter and vocalist who had, until recently, stayed behind the scenes as a writer. I wasn't sure what to expect, and was thoroughly and happily surprised. Priscila can sing. Really sing, and has a great sense of humor, which was on display in her lyrics and her attitude. I would be happy to see her perform again. Below are two photos of Priscilla Renea from that night. You can hear the full concert as recorded by our friend Alex Leary and posted on archive.org at: https://archive.org/details/wb2019-01-18
Each time I see Samantha Fish I am amazed at how she is able to be better each time. October 22, 2018 at The Birchmere was no exception. Samantha, as usual, brought her A game and with her band, who alone can produce a room full of sound, proceeded to rock and amaze the audience. At each of her shows I seem to run into someone who has never seen her before. The consensus from everyone they speak to is, "Oh. Just wait. You'll be blown away." and this night was no different.
Touring nearly non-stop, Samantha seems to know exactly what she wants to do, and executes it with surgical precision. Gradually pulling the audience into her music and then blowing them away with her stage presence and passion, not to mention her talent. Playing music from nearly all her albums, including her most recent release, Belle Of The West, Samantha showed her varied talents from singing ballads with her acoustic guitar, to rocking the house with her white Gibson SG, and her Delaney guitars. By the time she breaks out her oil can guitar and puts that slide on her finger, she has the audience in the palm of her hand. Samantha puts on a full musical experience every time. As a long-time fan, I can only imagine where she will go next.
See all the photos of Samantha and the band here.
We saw Brandon "Taz" Niederauer three times at the end of 2018, including back-to-back shows in December. We caught up with Taz for the first time in 2018 in September when he appeared at the Brooklyn Comes Alive festival in Williamsburg. We crossed paths with Taz again on November 30 when he played at Pearl Street Warehouse in Washington, DC., and again the following afternoon, at a matinee show at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis.
Before taking the stage at Rams Head, Taz was nice enough to set aside some time from his hectic schedule to sit down with us for a great conversation. We discussed his first prominent role; appearing in School of Rock, his current touring schedule, his writing and music development, and many insights from an extremely talented and bright young man. At only 15, Taz has already been playing seriously for years, and he can play a mean blues guitar. His passion for his music and the music of others is clear; on and off the stage. Below is the interview we did with Taz on December 1, 2018.
Riding into The Hamilton in Washington, DC with the #1 Blues album on the Billboard Top 100, Walter Trout was in a great mood. He was there on a short but powerful tour with his friend Eric Gales. His brand new album, Survivor Blues, is something near a dear to him as he spent several months researching, listening to, and learning what Walter calls, "the more obscure blues songs that few get to hear." After our phone interview back in January, we got the chance to sit and talk with him on camera before the show at the Hamilton that night. Below is our conversation about Survivor Blues, what he is doing next, and lots more...
On November 1, 2018 Billy F. Gibbons, the face of that little ol' band from Texas, ZZ Top, brought his side project to the Pearl Street Warehouse in Washington, DC. He is touring in support of his recently released solo album, The Big Bad Blues, which focuses on his roots planted in the blues. With a heavy dose of ZZ Top tunes throughout the set, Billy and his band rocked the house with his signature rhythms and Texas growl. Having seen ZZ Top numerous times over the last 30 years, it was a unique experience to see him in a nightclub setting, up close and personal.
See the photographs from the show here.
Taz and his band rocked a packed Pearl Street Warehouse on November 30, 2018, playing a few new original tunes that will be on his upcoming release, as well as the band's take on several covers. The show the following afternoon at 1:00 p.m. was just as impressive with a slight set list adjustment. I asked him if he's ever played a matinee before, watch out interview for the answer. Taz has surrounded himself with a group of talented musicians. I was impressed by each member of the band and their ability to provide a powerful compliment to Taz's guitar playing and singing. The band is: Brandon Niederauer - Guitar/Vocals; Elise Testone - Vocals; Mat Godfrey - Guitar Matt Fox - Bass; Kendell Lentz - Drums; Mark Rechler - Keyboards/Vocals.
Sunday Afternoons at Earl’s Hideaway
Sebastian, Florida near Vero Beach.
An outdoor tiki bar with room to move. A big stage, great sound, a hip, friendly crowd.
National touring acts and local talent with an emphasis on blues and rock. By the river.
Admission is free. It’s like a dream come true.
Their motto says it all: “ You Can’t Beat The Feeling At Earl’s!”
On Sunday, February 10th, Tommy Castro and The Painkillers came through and rocked the house.
- Tom Pragliola
This tour Walter and Eric Gales had set out on was a co-billing, with each alternating as opener. In either order, the fan got to see both of these top guitar players blazing through their rocking sets. Walter sounded great. Always happy - even in the most gut-wrenching of blues tunes. Eric Gales also knows how to rock! Each with top musicians in their bands who know how to support and improvise at the same time.
A Conversation with Walter Trout
On Monday, January 21, 2019 I spoke with Walter Trout about his brand new Album, Survivor Blues, which was released on January 25, 2019. Survivor Blues is Walter Trout’s 28th album since 1989 and it’s an amazing collection of music and artistry.
The album consists completely of covers of older, less well-known blues songs featuring Walter’s take on music from Jimmy Dawkins and Sunnyland Slim, to John Mayall, Luther Johnson, and Mississippi Fred McDowell, to name a few. “This is something I’ve thought about doing for a long time” Walter told me. “I’ve often wondered why people seem to be covering the same twenty songs quite a bit, and I’m thinking that this incredible history, rich with artists and music and songs that go so far back, there’s this massive catalog of beautiful stuff out there. What I did when I started to do the research is, I went back to Charlie Patton who is kind of considered the beginning of this stuff. I went back to the Lomax field recordings and the Muddy Waters Stonewall Plantation recordings. I went back to all the old stuff and I worked my way forward. There are so many artists who really have not been heard and are rather obscure but they have done some amazing work. I had a great time. It was journey through the blues.”
Read the rest of our discussion with Walter Trout here --> WALTER TROUT INTERVIEW
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On February 15, 2019, at 57 years old, Kofi Burbridge died of complications from ongoing cardiac problems. A long-time member of the Tedeschi Trucks band, Kofi also played in the Derek Trucks Band. Kofi played several instruments, and sang, but is best known for his inspired, passionate, uplifting keyboard magic as well as his remarkable talent playing the flute. There truly is a large family of musicians surrounding Derek and Susan, the other band members, The Allman Brothers Band family, people associated with The Aquarium Rescue Unit, and many, many musicians and non-musicians alike. Kofi and his brother Oteil played together for several years in The Tedeschi Trucks Band.
The news of his passing hit many people extremely hard. Shortly after learning of his death, the band took the stage at The Warner Theater in DC, visibly shaken. This was the first show of what has become an annual mini-residency at The Warner. We here at Rock, Roots, & Blues - Live send our deepest condolences out to Kofi's family and friends. The man, his talent, and his passion will be greatly missed.
On Friday, March 22, 2019 guitar legend Robin Trower released, Coming Closer to The Day, his 23rd album, not including the eight Procol Harum recordings he appears on. The following day, Robin and I spoke on the phone about the new album, the way he goes about making music, his upcoming U.S. tour (starting tomorrow, April 2, 2019 at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA), and more. We chose to share the audio (instead of transcribing) because we love to hear musicians tell their stories in their own voice.
Robin's last several albums have a distinctly different feel than his older solo work, such as the iconic, Bridge Of Sighs, released in 1974. Coming Closer To The Day showcases Robin's brilliant guitar work, from the blistering, wah-wah laced, hard driving, aural festivals to the controlled, passionate, from deep down, melodies. As he did on his last several albums, Robin wrote the lyrics as well as the the guitar parts, he also sings each song and plays the bass. This complete freedom has allowed Robin to, "...record just for myself now." We hope you enjoy our talk with Robin Trower, a true guitar pioneer.
Check back soon for photos and review of the first show of the U.S. tour.
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Sonny Landreth is a pure musical craftsman. Apparent from the first notes of the show, his concentration and intensity immediately grab you and keeps the listener on the edge of the seat throughout his performance. Such was the night he spent educating and entertaining the audience at The Hamilton in Washington, DC.
See the photographs from the show here.
April 1, 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!