Live Reviews

Worldwide concert reviews

Tina Shafer Hosts the Holiday Songwriters' Circle - The Bitter End (NYC - Dec. 15, 2014)

While watching Tina Shafer host an evening of musical entertainment, it is not hard to realize why this showcase of emerging and seasoned performers is still going strong into its 25th season. Not a first timer to The Bitter End for a New York Songwriters Circle event, I enjoyed the show a few months back, the dynamic of the audience this time was completely different. The night's show brought a new energy and excitement to a legendary venue. The Songwriters Circle began in 1991 as a way to give talented, unknown performers exposure. The premise of a Songwriters' Circle is that a...

Tab Benoit's Six Strings Down Tour – Lincoln Theater, Raleigh, NC, Dec. 12, 2014

For musicians, the road can be a lonely place. Tab Benoit has found a cure. When he gets lonely, he invites a few friends along. But there are no hangers-on in his entourage. Benoit's buddies are players, in every sense of the word. For his latest, the Six Strings Down tour, he's sharing the stage with Tommy Castro. Samantha Fish is on the bill as well as a local artist opening the show in each venue. Tonight's opener at Raleigh, NC's venerable Lincoln Theater, is Mel Melton, a local who adopted Louisiana culture in ’69. He moved to Lafayette and hooked up with slide guitarist Sonny...

Big Boy Bloater Live at the Cluny, Newcastle, UK

There was an embarrassing squabble when I mistakenly tried to get into Hall 1 -- where an AC/DC tribute act was about to play to a packed crowd of 300+. So, I had to scurry around the building to the smaller Hall 2 to find only a handful of people spread around the shadows as local award-winning blues DJ and "living legend" Gary Grainger was displaying his dexterous skills on an acoustic guitar before announcing his final song. As he packed his guitar away, I watched Big Boy Bloater as he stood in the doorway surveying the disappointingly barren landscape. Eventually...

Reunions and Range: Day Three at the Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Celebration

Sunday night at the Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary had a moment that was as much fun listening to music as can be imagined. It proved to be one of many moments from a weekend of moments: After a full set of “modern vintage” highlighted by the sly and flirty “Everybody’s Darling” and the soft-popish “Burn,” Miss Tess & the Talkbacks invited headliners Lake Street Dive to try something they’ve never done before. The eight — Miss Tess and her three Talkbacks, plus the four players in Lake Street Dive — launched into a smooth rockabilly chug, driven by Thomas Bryan Eaton’...