Sarah Shook and The Disarmers

Sarah Shook hails from North Carolina.

She sounds like she is soaking up the whiskey and driving around in her van smoking cigarettes. This song is fabulous. Her album Sidelong from 2015 is a twangin’ gem ….and looking forward to hearing her most recent release.

The War On Drugs-Live-Sydney-2018

The War On Drugs

Live @ The Enmore Theatre

6 Feb 2018

Next time The War On Drugs play Sydney it will probably be a larger venue then The Enmore Theatre. They can now fill a stadium with fans, there is no doubt. They can also fill just about any space with their layered and gorgeous sounds.

The set-list tonight was made up of their 2017 Grammy Award winning record (Best Rock Album), A Deeper Understanding and 2014’s Lost In The Dream. “Buenos Aires Beach”, from their debut Wagonwheel Blues, was thrown in for good measure!

The six piece took us on a sonic journey where people stood and grooved and danced a wee bit when the guitar solos went ballistic. Adam Granduciel showed once again that he can take us away for many minutes when he gets lost in the strings. Sonic beauty and psychedelic travels were all part of the fun.

 

The influences of many other artists pop up when you listen to them. I will leave that for you to discover as you dip into these last two albums. If you have already, I will leave those interpretations to you. For me I just want to be in a car with the windows wide open and this band blasting as the miles drift by easily. Road and headphone music of the top shelf quality.

And although we did not get their Grateful Dead cover (“Touch Of Grey”) or Neil Young’s “Like A Hurricane”, we were given a reading of Zevon’s  “Accidentally Like A Martyr”, which might have been the only real singalong for the evening.

For the rest of the night the crowd was lost in the beauty that is The War On Drugs.  “Strangest Thing” early in the set was tremendous and the troika of “Under Pressure”, “In Reverse”, and “Eyes To The Wind” just blew the roof off to end the evening. Don’t miss them next time.

Jonathan Wilson-Live @ Cake Wines Cellar Door-1-2-2018

 

Anticipation and expectation of a live performance is what gives me general pre gig giddiness or excitement. Sometimes the act lives up to all of it, sometimes they surpass it, sometimes they miss the mark completely. That is the crap shoot of live music as art and one of the reasons, besides dancing, that keeps me going back to drink from the well over and over.

Coming in from Los Angeles, via New Zealand, Jonathan Wilson took advantage of a night off from singing and playing with Roger Waters to perform some of his compositions. “Gentle Spirit” and “Can We Really Party Today?”  were done simply on vocals and acoustic guitar.  “Ballad of the Pines” had Wilson doing some sweet fingerpicking and most of the audience were appreciative. Unfortunately, there were quite a number of ‘talkers’ at this gig. It being a small venue, it was annoying and you wonder what drives them to rudeness.

 

There really was no stage height so the ability to see Jonathan and his band was limited to the people very close to him. That was a minor concern as well, I am there to hear the music, but it is a beautiful thing to watch a band interact. Joining him were Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket) on keyboards, Joey Waronker on drums, and Gus Seyffert on guitar. If there was anyone else up there, I could not see them!

All of his band members tonight are from the Roger Waters touring band and they played effortlessly with very few missteps throughout the set. Waters attended but he did not play at all this evening. Actually, Wilson had to close the show down early due to noise/curfew issues at the venue. So no flying pigs or Floyd covers tonight, which is a bit of a shame. There were even rumours of Father John Misty in town to make an appearance, but word had it he was eating some fungi looking for an eclipse.

Desert Raven was a highlight with duelling chiming guitars and some of the new songs rolled out, Trafalgar Square being one of them, should make fans look forward to the Rare Birds release upcoming in March.

Wilson may not hear it himself that he is channelling the Laurel Canyon sound, as he has stated in his online bio, but there are many similarities. Seeing him in 2013, he blended Garcia/Young styled guitar solos with psychedelic imagery and 2018 did not seem much different with the acoustic start and electric finish. Someone I know compared him to the group America, but with better guitars. There is some credence to that here and there, but performing live he displays that his music has a bit more depth and highlights then “Horse With No Name”.

Wilson is a rare bird in this part of the world. Let us hope he spreads his wings and returns sometime soon with a band and a venue that lets him stretch out some of these songs as they should be played.

 

“Rare Birds” is out on Bella Union on the 2nd of March.

Check out “Loving You” here:

 

 

 

Jonathan Wilson In Sydney This Week-1 Feb One Show Only

Jonathan Wilson Outdoors

Jonathan Wilson has been on my radar for awhile. “Gentle Spirit” is a cracker of a record and is in my Top 100 all time.
So, there you have it.

Here is what I thought of a gig of his in 2013:

Jonathan Wilson

He is in town as part of Roger Waters touring band. He is doing one show solo in Sydney at Cake Wine Cellars Door on Thursday. It is Sold Out.

His new album “Rare Birds” will be out on Bella Union in March.

Here is “Over The Midnight”…..from his upcoming release….

Check him out…I don’t think you will be disappointed….report back if you are…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Over The Midnight”

We’re traveling over the midnight
We’re holding our hearts
We’re in flight
And our shoes might as well be nails!
In our minds play 1000 pretty songs (for us)
And there’s nothing up here that could be savage
There’s no fear, no hatred, no killers, no guns

And besides, you’re wearing red ruby lipstick
So I touch you and smile while you laugh
While these idiots all lose their power
And we dance as we cover our trail

Yeah this world it is burning
But don’t it feel incredible?
Whisper in my ear
And tell me what you see in the flames

There’s a freak loading out of my driveway
He’s a stranger with a kind hippie face
There’s the muscled ghost
And it’s riddled with torment
Can you roll babe?
Here’s some papers and grass

And besides, we’ve got the whole town to roam around in
And they’ve overdubbed our voices in French
To the Beverly Hills for our Margaritas
You look so pretty in the polo, but you’re smashing in pink

Yeah this world it is burning
But don’t it feel incredible?
Whisper in my ear
And tell me what you see in the flames, in the flames

We’re traveling over the midnight
We’re holding our own, we are in flight
And our shoes they might as well be nails
Our minds play 1000 pretty tunes (for us)
There is nothing up here that could be savage
Theres no fear, no hatred, no killers, no guns

Buffalo Springfield-The Reunion That Did Not Happen

Buffalo Springfield Revisited

This clip just surfaced in my You Tube today.  1986 and the BS get together to rehearse. Looking at Neil’s reaction to interacting with Stills, easy to see why this reunion did not take place. But it would have been good…if they had pulled it off.

And in 2010-11….they did a reunion and played 7 of the 30 shows scheduled until Neil had had enough again.

Of course, we will never see it happen again….but here is a bit of 32 year old rock and roll history.

Long may you run…

Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Chris Robinson sure loves The Grateful Dead.
This is a sweet moment from a couple of years ago.

Little Lizzie Mae.

And this reminds me that  I have 19 shows from the Fall 2016 tour to listen to at some point….time to start this week!

Brooklyn Bowl November 21, 2015 Brooklyn, New York

Eli Fox From Knoxville Is An Old Soul At 18

Knoxville, located in Tennessee, was where Phil and Don Everly were discovered by Chet Atkins when they were just teens. Today, another youngster, the 18-year-old Eli Fox from the same city, is making a bit of noise

Fox is already a very accomplished instrumentalist on guitar, dobro, harmonica and I think about anything he picks up. Besides that his influences, as you will hear on this release, are people who played what they loved, such as Bob Dylan and John Hartford and maybe a touch of Hank Williams.

Actually the delivery and humour and song writing is similar to the early days of all of these artists. Tall Tales, his first long player, is well worth a visit and you may find yourself going back for a sip more often than not. Eli keeps the soul of Woody Guthrie alive for yet another generation.

I do believe we will be hearing more from this young man down the road apiece.

Yes, 2018 is in a very early stage but this is my Americana album of the year so far (even though it was released ½ a year ago)…sometimes it is just so hard to keep up!