OCTOBER 2010        back

Jakob Dylan : Oct 25th @ The City Winery

With lots of CD's sold and numerous sold out concerts around the country with his band The Wallflowers, Jakob Dylan never skipped a beat as he transitioned to his solo career, as he has continued to write great songs, sell CD's and perform to sold out crowds. These three nights at The City Winery were a rare opportunity to see him up close and personal and he did not disappoint.

He performed a good number of songs from his new release Women and Country (Holy Rollers For Love, We Don't Live Here Anymore, Everybody's Hurting...), material from his first solo release, Seeing Things (Evil Is Alive and Well, Will It Grow...) and a few selections from The Wallflowers. (Holy Rollers For Love)

He was joined by Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee on accordion for a few songs and joked with the audience "Do you remember me now?" when he started to play Three Marlenas.

This was a great show in one of NYC's coolest venues.


Lisse: Oct 22nd @ Hiro Ballroom

Well, I can keep this short and sweet. This mid-western pop-rocker has just released her debut CD called Catching a Tiger and I believe will become one of the next big things in popular music. Her style falls somewhere between Patty Griffin and Neko Case, always treading closely to country and Americana but ultimately always more of a rocker.

Backed by an electric guitarist and bass player, who also played percussion simultaneously (you don't see that every day), she growled and wailed her way thru an impressive collection of new material. She's in Europe at the moment and coming home to play Webster Hall in the near future so I suspect she's already well on her way to a sucessful career. (Here Before)


John Hammond: Oct 13th @ Music On Main Street (Woodbridge, NJ)

John Hammond is one of the masters of old time acoustic blues. He plays some original material, which often sounds like it might have been written from 40 to 70 years ago, and blues classics from people like Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. (Move On Up the Line)

He's also has lots of stories of his encounters with icons of the music world during his almost 50 year career including Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix and The Band. He played acoustic guitar, acoustic steel, harmonica, some slide guitar, sang and told stories. With a few exceptions you could have seen this same show 40 years ago. A nice trip back in time. 


Dala: Oct 7th @ The Peddie School (Hightstown, NJ)

This is one of the best new things I've come across in recent memory. Dala is a young Canadian folk Duo who I believe are about to take the acoustic music world by storm. Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine both play guitar and piano, both sing beautifully and both have great instincts and timing for humor.

They performed original material mostly from their two most recent releases Who Do You Think You Are and Everyone Is Someone and then worked in and impressive collection of covers including Neil Young's Ohio, which included a excerpt from Find The Cost of Freedom, Johnny Mercer's Moon River and works from Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Paul Anka to name a few. They also sang a few lines of The Eurythmics Sweet Dreams which they said was the first song they ever sang together back in school. Truely amazing! (Sunday Dress)

This day also included a workshop which Dala held with Peddie students earlier in the day. A good number of them attended the show and judging by their reaction and the number of CD's sold, I'd say Dala had a roomful of new fans which I suspect happens every time they play. (Anywhere Under the Moon)



The John Lennon Song Project: Oct 5th @ Joe's Pub

This past summer I had Aztec Two-Step in Woodbridge and Rex Fowler told me about his new project called "The John Lennon Song Project", which he began with Tom Dean of folk/rock group Devonsquare and subsequently added Alana MacDonald, also of Devonsquare.

The idea was for them to record selections of Lennon's Beatle songs with their own musical ideas, which included cello, violin, accordion, harmonica, three part folk harmonies and some clever medley pairings. Being intimately familiar with their previous work, I almost didn't need to hear it to know it would be good, which was confirmed when I listened to the CD - again and again.

I went to Joe's Pub with very high expectations (my expectations usually run on the high side) and somehow they managed to blow right past all of them. This was magical. Songs that I had never considered in the same thought suddenly seemed they had always been meant for each other, like Come Together matched with I Am The Walrus or I Call Your Name with You Can't Do That, which blended so perfectly that it took me a few moments to realize they were doing a medley. (You Can't Do That...)

Once the show hit it's stride, which took about two songs, there was a beautiful surprise around every corner whether it was the harmonica solo in Julia, Alana's heartfelt performance of Beautiful Boy and particularly their vocal arrangements. There was so much good about this show, and CD, but bringing Alana on board really brought the harmonies to the Peter Paul and Mary plateau.

You can see this show again in Montclair's Outpost In The Burbs in December and again in Woodbridge next May. I'll likely be at both.