Monday, May 30, 2011

Narrows Alum Offers Richly Textured Refuge

City of Refuge--Abigail Washburn--A beautiful recording from a Narrows alum who combines her banjo artistry with experience living in China. Even the CD package is gorgeous! Narrows audiences know her from her former membership in Uncle Earl, a celebrated string ensemble (Narrows photo above from 2006; Ms. Washburn is 2nd from left) that famously had a recording produced by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. City of Refuge's sound is bluegrass mixed with a lushness that suggests China; supporting players include two members of a group from Mongolia called Hanggai. Vocally, she reminds me of Narrows alum Kris Delmhorst with a dash of Dusty Springfield. Bottom line: City of Refuge is a rootsy yet richly textured and well produced listening experience. Suggestion: Check out her "making of" video.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer Simmers in with the Blues

The first day of the 3 day Memorial Day Weekend kicked off with the electric blues styling of former John Mayall guitarist Coco Montoya.

Mr. Mayall made his debut at the Narrows just a few days ago (check out an earlier entry in this blog), but Coco has been a Narrows' mainstay for years.

Traffic from New York City caused a show delay, quickly minimized by our lightening fast crew along with Coco and his band. A big salute to the fans for their patience!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dig These New Shows


CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band, August 6.

Carl Parlmer--yes that Carl Palmer--celebrating the music of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. October 22.

Girlyman, November 12.

Shemekia Copeland, November 17--She did a heck of a show at last year's Narrows Festival of the Arts, didn't she?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The British Blues Had a Daddy

A tremendous honor to host the gent from across the pond who was doing the British blues before all the greats from the 1960s, and fostered the careers of Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, John McVie, and others.

We're talking John Mayall, and he played the Narrows to a sold out house Thursday night.

Thanks Dad!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Meet Kenny White

A guy whose name keeps popping up at the Narrows is Kenny White. He's a musician's musician, and though the photo (taken as he opened for Judy Collins the other night) has him playing guitar, he's particularly celebrated for his keyboard skills.

If you've seen a Cheryl Wheeler, Peter Wolf or Judy Collins show either at the Narrows or elsewhere, there's a chance Kenny's been involved. And if you're a fan of Peter Wolf's CDs in recent years, you can thank Kenny White, who produced 'em.

So go to his website and get to know more about this huge talent. Chances are if you visit the Narrows on a regular basis, you'll bump into him--and will consider yourself lucky!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Don't Wait So Long Next Time

Low Country Blues--Gregg Allman--The voice and writer of the longtime Allman Brothers classic "Whipping Post" has put together, with the help of producer T Bone Burnett, an enjoyable collection of atmospheric blues tracks, including Muddy Waters' "I Can't Be Satisfied," a personal favorite of mine. "On a gritty 1959 afternoon at a B.B. King concert in segregated and grimy Nashville, Tennessee, two white kids were caught in a sonic explosion that would change their lives..." say the CD notes, referring to legendary and late Duane Allman and his younger brother Gregg, both not even teenagers. "We gotta get into some of this," said Duane. They did, and one of the great voices in blues and rock continues although Duane passed decades ago. It's been nearly 15 years since Gregg's last recording of new material. He shouldn't wait so long for his next. Get this. It's great.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Narrows Alums in Rolling Stone

Not that it really makes a difference, but it is nice to see mentions of Narrows alums in Rolling Stone magazine. Just perusing the April 28th issue I noted that:
  • Richie Furay, who played the Narrows in 2009 (check out the blog post about the show here) is officially back with Neil Young and Stephen Stills for Bonnaroo and other tour dates.
  • David Johansen, who played the Narrows in January (blog post here), will be touring as a member of the New York Dolls with Motley Crue and and Poison. I'm a huge metal fan, so I'm probably digging this item more than you are.
  • Jake Shimabukuro, who played the Narrows in 2008, is Rolling Stone's "Best Ukulele Hero." The magazine writes "One of the hottest axemen of the past few years doesn't actually play guitar..." Jake returns to our stage in July.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Roomful Debuts at the Narrows

It's been a long wait, but we were proud to host Roomful of Blues for the first time in our history on Friday night. And it was a sell out!

And get this: the Narrows is announcing that Roomful will be playing for FREE at our annual Festival of the Arts, Sunday, September 11. Mark it down!

Of course, Roomful filled our Friday night with lively and loud jump blues! Our friends at streamed it live, and we hope the performance will be posted in their archives soon.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Tuesday is for Total Relaxation

Ottmar Liebert and his group Luna Negra brought their soothing sounds to the Narrows Tuesday night.

Quiet, yet at times lively flamenco guitar and accompaniment soared through the performance area, underscoring, no doubt, that the Narrows can't be topped as a listening room.

The 5-time Grammy nominee may be the first Zen Monk ever to perform at the Narrows. He's also probably the first musician to have opened for Miles Davis AND performed on recordings by Diana Ross, Celine Dion and Kenny Loggins!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Congrats to Andrea! On to Bonnaroo!

Congrats to Berklee student Andrea Belanger on being chosen for Bonnaroo!

Details courtesy of the Herald News here.

Andrea is a true "daughter of the Narrows." Congrats to her mom and dad as well!

Learn more about her music here.