Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sarah Borges Featured in Weekly Dig

Sarah Borges, who returns to the Narrows April 22, is featured in the latest issue of the Weekly Dig in Boston.

Click here for what we hope will be a live link to the article.

Old School Freight Train:Photos

Old School Freight Train brought their musical prowess with a strong sense of taste and dynamics to the Narrows Saturday night.

The audience not only enjoyed the show, but at times were almost--and this is probably the right word--astonished.

For example, when the group did a moving cover of George Harrison's song Something you could almost hear the crowd gasp at the creativity, particularly when the stand-up bass player did part of George's classic lead line from the song.

Old School Freight Train plays a combo of bluegrass and jazz--sometimes called dawg music. While that type of music can be overly technical, the group managed to project a true reverence for song, whether it was written by the guys or the likes of Randy Newman (they did his Louisiana).

If you missed the show, try to catch 'em next time.

If you saw them, please leave a comment. We'd like to know your thoughts about the show.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Adrienne Young Photos

Adrienne Young and her group Little Sadie kept the crowd at the cozy Narrows hoppin' on Friday night.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer Weighs In On Our Friday Night Performer

Adrienne Young plays the Narrows Friday night. Here's an excerpt of what one reviewer thinks of her work.

Benjamin Franklin, of thee she sings
Adrienne Young was inspired to base a CD on his 13 Virtues.
By Jeff Gammage
Inquirer Staff Writer

Adrienne Young swears she didn't know it was Ben Franklin's 300th birthday, that it wasn't some sort of marketing gimmick to sell records.

You have to believe her.

For one thing, she's obviously sincere. For another, you've got to figure that if she were going to choose a musical inspiration based solely on audience appeal, she would have picked somebody with a lot more Top-40 star power than dear old Ben.

"I follow my intuitions, I go where I feel I'm being led," Young says. "And I was led to Franklin."

The result is a rich, textured bluegrass album called The Art of Virtue, much of it inspired by Franklin's celebrated "13 Virtues," his self-created, self-administered, self-scored guide to self-improvement...

For Young, Franklin's 280-year-old list offered still-relevant guidance, both for her music and her life. In the virtues, she says, she found practical, everyday applications of powerful themes - commitment, justice, concern for the greater good...

The Art of Virtue, released last summer, is thick with fiddle, banjo and stand-up base. It is Young's second album, following her 2003 debut, Plow to the End of the Row. At the end of 2005, The Art of Virtue ranked as the year's 13th-most-played disc on Americana radio. (Americana being the style of music that the Tennessean newspaper has aptly described as a bit too folksy, bluesey or rock-and-rollish to be considered pure country.)

Young's new songs have been described as pop-inflected old-time music, channeling not just the spirit of Philadelphia's most electric citizen but influences that range from bluegrass to the Grateful Dead.

Entertainment Weekly praised Young, saying that few singer-songwriters "could mix folkie conscience and bluegrass escapism as deftly," while the Los Angeles Times said she "approaches bluegrass as though it, not she, was born yesterday."

Monday, February 20, 2006

William Cowsill Dies--Just Before Barry's Memorial

Our condolences to Narrows friend Susan Cowsill and her family on the loss of yet another brother...this time William.

This just before they had a memorial for Barry, who died as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

The Providence Journal wrote a piece on this incredible sadness, which you probably can read by clicking here.

Ollabelle Gossip

The word we get is that one of our fave groups at the Narrows, Ollabelle, has been recording a new album with Dylan side-guy Larry Campbell.

The record is to be released this spring on Verve Records.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Fred Eaglesmith Photos

Fred Eaglesmith did his rollicking great show Saturday night at the Narrows in front of a large crowd of Fred Heads. Some photos to commemorate the evening.

Down the bottom of the page is a photo of the opener, singer/songwriter Kevin Connolly.

Musical Family Night at the Narrows

It was mostly father-son night at the Narrows Friday night. Here's a picture of high school senior James Brown sitting in with one of the bands.

James is the son of the bass player of one
of the two bands featured, The Horse's Mouth.

Actually, the evening started out with the Brazilian musician Luciana Horta and her son.

Luciana comes from Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Those two guys with string instruments over there are father-son. The guy on the drum looking at something over to the side is another son. He plays bass, too. All three sing harmonies as only blood relatives can and make up the group Next of Kin, clearly an appropriate name.

They blended folk, country, rock, and Celtic and did a particularly inspired cover of the song "Hurt," which Johnny Cash featured on his last album. If memory serves, "Hurt" is from the rock group Nine Inch Nails.

Down below is The Horse's Mouth, featuring Narrows board member, and bass player, Clem Brown, daddy of the young fella with the violin way up above. (Clem is the guy sitting down with his eyes closed.) The Horse's Mouth did the straight ahead rock 'n' roll thang. Special salute to Clem for volunteering so much of his time to the Narrows. Our board members have a low profile and we don't get the chance to thank them publicly. So your humble blogger will take this opportunity: Thanks Clem! (By the way, I also dug your melodic bass playing.)

Friday, February 17, 2006

News and Muse

  • Looks like a good crowd for Fred Eaglesmith on Saturday night, but a good number of tickets are still available. Walk ups should be no problem.

  • Tom Rush tickets are moving quickly, so we advise you to get your tickets darn soon. He'll be here Saturday, March 10.

  • Leo Kottke, who's coming to the Narrows in October, is already selling tickets! My, my, my.

  • Nice photos in the Thursday, February 16 Projo Massachusetts section. Fab photo dude C. Eugene Emery, Jr. took great shots of Lucy Kaplansky and her opener Craig Cardiff. We particularly liked the Craig Cardiff photo because it kinda makes the Narrows look like MTV Unplugged or something.

  • In case you haven't heard, Ray Davies' CD is coming out in a matter of days. God save the Kinks!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Your Humble Blogger Reviews the Campbell Brothers CD

The Campbell Brothers played the Narrows last Friday night, so I picked up a copy of their latest CD and wrote a little review of it you can see right here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Fred Eaglesmith Tickets Still Available for SaturdayNight

The legendary Fred Eaglesmith, who has sold out the Iron Horse in Northampton Friday night, is coming to the Narrows SATURDAY NIGHT.


Meet the guy who has inspired a horde of "Fred Heads" around the country:

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ray Davies Reveals: Had A Device To Turn Brother's Volume Down

Ray Davies (you know, from The Kinks) reveals in an interview with Rolling Stone that he had a device so, during concerts, he could turn down the volume on his brother Dave's guitar. "We had Dave well in control."

Ray has his first solo album coming out later this month.

Read the entire interview by clicking here.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Campbell Brothers Photos: Part Deux

Campbell Brothers Photos: Part I

The Campbell Brothers brought their wonderful mixture of "the Allman Brothers meet gospel" to the Narrows Friday night.

It was steel guitars, drums, bass and an electric guitar that sometimes sounded like organ, with passionate vocals that brought the crowd to its feet for much of the night.

Can I get an "Amen?"

More photos coming!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Tim O'Brien Wins A Grammy!!!

Our guy Tim O'Brien (see the January 22 & 23 entries in this blog) has just won the Grammy for best traditional folk album!

Congrats to Tim, a great guy and a wonderful performer. Sometimes nice guys win!

"Sacred Steel" from the Campbell Brothers Friday Night

Friday night's show is the "sleeper show" of 2006--meaning it's the one not selling the most tickets, but it damn well may be one of the best.

The Campbell Brothers (okay, I know there are a couple women in the group, but let's move past that) mix gospel with steel guitar. If you've visited the Narrows recently you probably heard their music played before the regular show begins and after the first set. We believe in this group, and we hope you will too by buying a ticket for the Friday night show.

Learn more at

Two from SMU Art Show

The Narrows Center for the Arts actually started as a place for the visual arts, with music coming in later. While our music shows get the headlines, the Gallery at the Narrows has continued to present fine shows featuring painting, sculpture and photography.

Currently the Gallery features a couple of artists who graduated from Southeastern Massachusetts University (SMU) now called UMASS Dartmouth.

Your humble blogger took these shots on Saturday and forgot to write down who was who, so if I get this wrong, leave a note. Anyway, up above is Robert Dec. And down below is Phil Oliveira.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Lucy Kaplansky:The Narrows Photos

Lucy Kaplansky sang and played beautifully to a large, appreciative crowd at the Narrows on Saturday night. For the record: your humble blogger recommended to her that her version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" be turned into a CD single. Your humble blogger hears a hit! She's taking it under advisement.

If you've seen Lucy, you know she's a friendly, sociable person, ready to take requests from the audience and to sign CDs. The crew at the Narrows also found her gracious "backstage," a very low maintenance performer.

We hope to have her back as soon as possible.

The opening act was Canadian singer/songwriter Craig Cardiff, who impressed the crowd with his songs and singing, and also his gadgetry. He had one of those loop pedals, or whatever you call them, and actually sang harmony with himself. It was very cool and creative. He sold a lot of CDs after his part of the show.

Many new faces came to the show, which makes us very happy! To survive, we need to keep building our audience base, and it seems we're doing that while keeping our wonderful regulars, such as Tom and Lynne and you-know-who-you-are. We love you and appreciate your longtime support of the Narrows!

Special thanks to Griffin Mfg. for making a $500 donation during the show! Griffin Mfg. is a continuing fiscal supporter of the Narrows. I'm sure they join us in asking that other folks who have donated in the past join them in "renewing" their donation to the Narrows.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Eilen Jewell Band Returns!

Singer Eilen Jewell and her band impressed the locals with their opening set for the Paul Rishell and Annie Raines show a little while back.

So much so that we're bringing her back on April 22 to open for our fave Sarah Borges, whom we discovered opening for Grace Potter.

It's funny how that sometime happens.

Yes, There Are Lucy Kaplansky Tickets

As of this writing, there were still Lucy Kaplansky tickets for tonight's show (Saturday, Feb. 4)

Portrait of a Blues Woman

Rory Block at the Narrows Friday night. The country blues. The virtuosity. The passion.

Rory Block.