Friday, September 30, 2011

Shawn Colvin Debuts

It was a long time coming, but Shawn Colvin finally made her Narrows debut on Friday night.

The Grammy-winner performed for a sold-out house, as you might expect.

Narrows-fave Liz Longley opened.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Candidate for Record of the Year

Revelator--Tedeschi Trucks Band--Narrows alum and Massachusetts native Susan Tedeschi has teamed up with husband Derek Trucks--current Allman Brother and nephew of original Allman Butch Trucks--to create a blues/rock/soul masterpiece.

Imagine if Bonnie Raitt were fronting the Allman Brothers, who brought in as special guests The Meters and a 70's soul horn section. That's the sound, although Ms. Tedeschi is an edgier singer than Ms. Raitt to these ears. (Off the record tidbit--a Narrows crew member told me the other day that he was, if memory serves, traveling in an elevator with Ms. Tedeschi during her visit to the Narrows in 2009 (photo), and she referenced how hard she works on her vocals.)

Hard work seems to be key to Revelator's success. According to the Tedeschi Trucks Band website, both put their solo careers on hold to make it happen. Says Mr. Trucks, "We spent a whole year putting a band together, with different lineups, different approaches, different mindsets, and during the same time began songwriting. After about six months we had over 30 songs to choose from." Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, said Thomas Edison. Clearly, Ms. Tedeschi and Mr. Trucks lacked neither in making Revelator.

This recording deserves a shot at a Grammy and to be in your CD player/computer/smart phone. Here's a video taste:

Friday, September 23, 2011

That's Entertainment!

What show features one of the hottest guitarists on the scene; a drummer, named "Sugarballs," who gets held upside down by a couple audience members while he plays guitar; and, on bass, a member of the nationally known cowpunk band Social Distortion?

Just another night with Deke Dickerson and his crew.

And these guys turned a soggy Friday night at the Narrows into a rockabilly, smilin', toe-tappin' experience.

One of the funnest shows of 2011. These guys get it done!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Singer and Her Songs

Karla Bonoff graced the Narrows stage Thursday night with her crystal clear vocals, side guitarist Nina Gerber, and, of course, stellar songs.

Her compositions include "All My Life," a Grammy-winner for Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville, and "Tell Me Why," a hit for Wynonna Judd. She had her own top 20 hit with "Personally" in the 1980s.

She has been closely associated with Linda Ronstadt, who covered a number of her tunes. And they shared Kenny Edwards, a member of the Stone Poneys (remember "Different Drum"?) with Ms. Ronstadt. Kenny worked for years with both artists, touring with Ms. Bonoff, including a show or two at the Narrows, until his passing last year.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Narrows Performer

Canadian icon Bruce Cockburn made an impressive Narrows debut Friday night, replete with chimes and a customized backdrop.

This after a busy day in which, we hear, he went to a Fall River laundromat to do a load or two. One of the many ways the Narrows brings dollars into the city to benefit business.

You'd be surprised what some of the artists do when they roll into town. Blues guitar great Robert Cray, for example, purchased shoes on Plymouth Avenue in Fall River during a visit. Greg Brown bought a guitar in Swansea. Eric Lindell bought a bass cabinet over there too. And, of course, local eateries regularly host the Narrows performers.

On a more serious note, with the thousands upon thousands of people that the Narrows draws to the city every month maybe we ought to change our name: the Narrows Center for Economic Development.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Narrows Jazz

Jazz trumpeter Christian Scott, accompanied by a fabulous pianist, bassist and drummer, wowed the crowd Thursday night at the Narrows.

Not even 30 years, he's already been up for a Grammy and even appeared with George Clooney in a movie (Leatherheads)! His--what might one call--"progressive" or maybe "fusion" stylings put me in the mood to listen to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew.

His appearance reflects the Narrows' commitment to bringing more jazz to the local stage, recognizing that jazz has some of the finest musicians in the world. Their artistry deserves to be heard, though filling a room for a jazz performance is challenging.

That's why we're asking all our jazz devotees to help us spread the word. When we have a jazz show, Facebook it, Twitter it, call up your friends. Then be here!

Our next jazz show is October 7 with Ben Allison.

Pass the word.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Narrows Festival 2011: Thanks for the Memories

It was Liz Longley's tears as she sang an a capella "Amazing Grace" recalling the 9/11 tragedy; the cool psychedelic country of the New Riders of the Purple Sage; and the rootsy Girls, Guns and Glory doing an energetic medley of Johnny Cash songs.

It was the many Narrows volunteers who not only made the event flow, but this year, through their work, honored the spirit of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.

It was Amy Black (photo) who tore up the stage as she sang the traditional-- and covered by Johnny Cash--"Ain't No Grave"; the Dino Govoni Organ Trio Plus One and their instrumental jazz adventures; the classic folk photos, courtesy of the New England Folk Music Archives, on the Narrows' exhibition space walls, sporting a young Tom Rush, Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, Richie Havens and many others.

All of this and much more (including picture-perfect weather) made the 2011 Narrows Festival of the Arts one for the history books. Hope you were there!

Friday, September 09, 2011

A Rush for the Weekend

Looking like a very dapper Mark Twain, Tom Rush brought us into Friday night with a sold out show, and into a weekend filled with fabulous free music!

Will you join us this Sunday just outside the Narrows? It's the annual Narrows Festival for the Arts!

On the indoor stage (inside the Narrows) starting at 11:30 it's Rocky Roberts and Friends, Narrows fave Liz Longley, the Dino Govoni Organ Trio plus One, and the Amy Black Band.

On the outside stage, it's Girls, Guns and Glory starting at noon, Bill Kirchen, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and then Roomful of Blues.

Also, starting at 11 a.m. there will be entertainment and arts and crafts celebrating "music in motion," presented by the Children's Museum of Greater Fall River.

This is a rain or shine event, but we're hearing the weather will be perfect Sunday.

Hope you're there!