December 2010      back

Charlie Winston: December 8th @ The Living Room

This British artist is barely known in England or in the States, but when he goes out in Public in France, he needs security to protect him from the throngs of female fans. His song Hobo was #1 on the charts for 16 weeks and he outsold U-2 and Coldplay in France last year. After seeing this show, it's my guess that it's just a matter of time before he's a star everywhere. (Hobo - live)

I loved the whole set but special mention goes to Hobo, In These Hands and the cover of Spencer Davis' I'm A Man which really rocked the house. (I'm a Man - live)  Backed by a great combo of bass, drum and an amazing harmonica player the level of energy far outreached my expectations. The next time he plays NYC, you can count on seeing me there. 


Amos Lee, Citizen Cope...: Dec 6th @ Society For Ethical Culture

This was the annual WFUV Holiday Fundraising Concert. The last one I attended was their first one 6 years ago and the opening act was Amos Lee and featured Martin Sexton and Norah Jones. I loved Amos' performance back then and loved him even more now. Playing with a 7 piece group, including two of the best back up singers I've seen in a while, he performed old favorites and mixed in several tunes from his soon to be released CD including Violin, and soulful ballad and one of my favorites of the night. From what I heard the new CD sounds like it's going to be great. (Violin)

Citizen Cope also has a new release called The Rainwater which is one of my favorites of the year. He performed solo which in some cases fell short of the beauty and aura of the studio versions, but Healing Hands still gave me my moment. He also did some tunes from other CD's including his most popular Clarence Greenwood release. (Healing Hands)

Bluegrass Band Punch Brothers, led by Chris Thile of Nicklecreek, and Secret Sisters, a country folk harmony  duo who'll soon be touring with Willie Nelson, each did short sets to open the evening.



  The John Lennon Song Project: Dec 3rd @ Outpost in the Burbs (Montclair, NJ)

I just saw this show in October and booked it for my series in Woodbridge for May 11th, 2011, so coming to see it again at The Burbs should give you a clue as to how much I love this show. Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step and Tom Deam of Devonsquare have been talking about this project for almost 30 years. It seems the 30th anniversary of Lennon's death and his 70th birthday were the catalysts for the "now or never" realization.

The idea was to take songs, mostly from Lennon's Beatle catalog, and re-Imagine them in their own style. Arranged for acoustic guitars, cello, violin, harmonica and 3-part folk harmonies, as well as some curious "mashups" of sometimes unlikely tunes, they're put together a CD and live show that is simply beautiful. It's nostalgic, but new, and original without stepping on the recognizable melodies.

Rex, Tom and Alana MacDonald (also of Devonsquare) usually share all the lead vocals but for this show all the musicians had a spin at singing lead vocals and they were all surprisingly good, or at least entertaining on some level. (video)

If you're not able to see this show in Woodbridge on May 11th, then see it somewhere else. You won't regret it.