Friday, October 23, 2009

Susan Cowsill

Susan Cowsill, formerly of Newport, RI and now of the Big Easy, brought her hook-filled, pop-injected songs and voice to the Narrows Thursday night.

Susan is a terribly underappreciated talent who has no doubt benefited and been cursed by being one of the singing Cowsills, chart toppers in the 1960s with "Hair," "The Rain, The Park and Other Things," (performed at the concert) and "Indian Lake"--pretty darn good pop records, in your humble blogger's opinion. Later she was a member of an underappreciated group, "The Continental Drifters," which was one of the first groups to perform at the Narrows.

Now 50 years old, she seems dedicated to her art, despite the tough times she's endured (most lately, Hurricane Katrina and the death of siblings). Her voice remains strong--with more than a dash of world-weariness--and her songs, memorable.

Local heroes Louie Leeman and his band (below) did the opening honors.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rediscovering Nick Lowe

To many people I'm sure, Nick Lowe's career began and ended with "Cruel To Be Kind," a hit single that provided some rock 'n' roll on the radio in the late disco era.

Your humble blogger discovered Nick Lowe with "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" earlier in his recording career. But like many, I lost touch after about 1980.

Still, he continued to write and record, and many of the fans attending Thursday night's show at the Narrows probably have most of those recordings.

It was him, his acoustic guitar, and his songs. One after the other as he did a retrospective of his career, which includes "What So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding" (Elvis Costello did a well known cover of the song), and "The Beast in Me," covered by Johnny Cash.

Former Commander Cody guitarist Bill Kirchen, now a longstanding collaborator with Nick Lowe, opened with a clever set, and sat in with Nick for a song.

If you missed the show, keep an eye on this space. We're sure to have Nick and Bill back next time they're available.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Can We Wish You'd Go Away If You're Never Here?

It's been too many years since Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks have played the Narrows. Your humble blogger is a big fan, not only of "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away" and "I Scare Myself," but newer classics such as "First I Lost My Marbles, Then I Lost You," "Barstool Boogie," and "C'mon to My House."

As you might expect, your blogger is somewhat jaded when meeting famous musicians: Roger McGuinn, done that; Richie Havens, many times; Chris Hillman, interesting guy; Richie Furay, salt of the earth, etc. All very much an honor for yours truly, but, heck, they're just regular folks when you come right down to it.

A this point there are a few that leave me nearly speechless, and Dan Hicks is one of them (Jonathan Richman is another; and Ray Davies would be another, if he ever plays the Narrows).

Details on Dan's return here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hometown Hero

Cheryl Wheeler got to play a gig close to home Saturday night, performing before a hometown crowd that lined up around the corner from the Narrows' entrance waiting to get in.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Marc Cohn Returns in November

We had such a great time with Marc Cohn earlier this year, we've got him returning on November 21.

Visit for more.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Way Out

Prog jazz quartet Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey kicked of the weekend with an approach that had room for Lennon as well as Monk.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Narrows Alum Tom Russell on Letterman

One of the first artists ever to play the Narrows was Tom Russell. Not many folks showed up then, but we hope more will when he returns in June. One of the more interesting singer/songwriters you'll hear. Your humble blogger particularly enjoys his song "Everything's Gone Straight to Hell Since Sinatra Played Juarez."

Friday night he played David Letterman. See the performance here.


A packed house on a rainy Saturday night welcomed new grass pioneers Peter Rowan (l) and Tony Rice to the Narrows.

Kicking off with Peter Rowan's "Panama Red" (made famous by The New Riders of the Purple Sage), the guys picked and grinned, told stories about the old days, and just generally delighted the crowd with playfulness mixed with musicianship.