Sunday, November 30, 2008

Is This The New Face of Rock 'n' Roll?

In the end, the crowd surged and jumped on the stage with the band--just a typical happening at Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles' annual post-Thanksgiving bash at the Narrows.  A busload of folks from Taunton--led by Sarah's dad--stormed the Narrows to welcome the band as it wrapped up its 2008 touring schedule, after dozens of states and foreign countries.  About 100 shows, according to bassist--and the new face of rock 'n' roll--Binky, pictured above.

Sarah=-wearing a dress she says she bought at a Salvation Army store for a buck--introduced the group's new guitarist--an axeman with plenty of rock chops--and noted that a new CD was coming out in March 2009.  From the tunes they played, it sounds like the band is moving toward a rock sound, perhaps lessening the countrified seasoning as in the past.

But Saturday night was about coming home--to her family and to her friends from Taunton. Like the guy below--perhaps a Borges' relative--who ended up personally supervising Sarah as she belted out a song.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Still Crooked

Even though there's been a shuffling of some members, roots revivalist Crooked Still continues to grow its audience, playing to a packed house at the Narrows Friday night.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sarah and The Times

Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles, playing their annual Thanksgiving weekend show on Saturday night, were recently featured in the New York Times.

Check it out here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mikes Get In Your Eyes

Celtic prog rockers Enter the Haggis, from Canada, made their debut Friday night at the Narrows.  Mixing slamming rhythm guitar with a bagpipe, whistle, powerful drums, keyboards, fiddle and bass, the band was hard to pin down--are they Celtic? Alternative rockers?  Secret metal lovers?  

Whatever you call it, the music was upbeat, hooky and fun.  These guys are your humble blogger's favorite new band.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Iris Dement Goes Shopping

As Iris Dement pointed out early in the show Saturday night, the concert would have started a bit earlier but was delayed because she noticed that the Narrows "has stores."  So, above, she briefly did a little shopping in one of the studios until your humble blogger gently suggested it was time to start the music.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Peter Wolf at the Narrows

The Wuffer Guffer with the Green Teeth (or whatever his nickname is) Peter Wolf stopped by the Narrows on Thursday night to watch Shelby Lynn. The word we got was that he was visiting with her in her bus before the show. He quietly came up through the usual entrance, drawing little attention, and took his seat.

Of course, those of us who grew up listening to the J. Geils Band were knocked out to see him. Forget about "Centerfold" and "Love Stinks"; listen to the live "Blow Your Face Out" album and tunes like "Lookin' for a Love," "I Do," "First I Look at the Purse," and "Hard Driving Man."

Fab Narrows volunteer Carl, below with the Wuffer Guffer, advises him where a wolf might get a late night bite on a Thursday night.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Soul Country

Shelby Lynne made a fab debut at the Narrows Thursday night, bringing her soulful country musicality with more than a dash of rock 'n' roll.

Her vocals were gorgeous and her band right on the mark (despite seemingly rehearsing Tony Joe's White "Polk Salad Annie" for the first time, which delighted the crowd as Shelby, tongue in cheek, coached her bandmates).  It was clear by the end of the night that Ms. Lynne was loving the show as much or even more than the audience.

She waved a vinyl copy of her latest recording on stage (photo above), which celebrates the late British chanteuse Dusty Springfield.  We've been playing the CD version at the Narrows for months, and it's a good 'un.

By the way, in the audience was one of the original bad boys from Boston, the Wuffa Guffa. More on him in the next entry.

In short, Shelby Lynne's concert was in the top two or three concerts of the year at the Narrows.  Probably number one in the eyes and ears of your humble blogger.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Beautiful Voices

Kris Delmhorst, one of the first musicians ever to play the Narrows, returned Friday night with a bagful of new songs and a collaboration with opener, Meg Hutchinson (right, in above photo).

The show was streamed live on, by the way.

Meg, a first-timer at the Narrows, also brought a bagful of songs and delivered a moving rendition of "America the Beautiful" which deserves to be airing on Americana radio stations across the USA (maybe can grab it off the recording made of the show).

Narrows prez Patrick Norton recalled that Kris was the 4th artist ever to perform at the Narrows.  Her first show took place on an extremely snowy night 7 years ago.  That also was the first time your humble blogger ever volunteered at the Narrows.  So as Kris pointed out onstage "we grew up together."

It was a night of beautiful voices, lush songs (for someone with just a guitar), and positive vibes.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Tim O'Brien brought his relaxed rootsy sound to the Narrows Saturday night to a packed house.  Tim played solo this visit, which probably allowed him to interact with the audience a bit more and do things on a whim.

Opener Jimmy Ryan warmed things up.  Above in the photo, Tim (left) and Jimmy do some pickin' "backstage" at the Narrows.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Boo, Baby!

Thursday night at the Narrows was a celebration of surf music, starring Los Straitjackets (above) and Laika and the Cosmonauts (below), a Finnish band calling it a career over the next few days after decades in the business.  We were slightly surprised at the strong turnout by the local folks.  Goes to show that the surf sound is still making waves in these parts.

The Providence Journal did an interview with the group, which you can link to here.  (By the way, Laika and the Cosmonauts used the Los Straitjackets' drum kit, which is why it says "Los Straitjackets" in the photo below.)  Apparently a Finnish television station was videotaping everything, so we hope that the folks in Finland will soon be learning about the Narrows.

We should point out that Los Straitjackets always wear masks on stage, so the Halloween season had nothing to do with their appearance.

In the photo below both groups and management gather together for a "backstage" photo. That's Narrows prez Patrick Norton on the far right.