Saturday night at Boot & Saddlewas Pete Donnelly’s album release party for ‘Phases Of The Moon’. The show began with a duo set by Oddfellow Church. Then Chris Kasper and band took the stage next. Oh my, hearing Chris Kasper’s music live is always a wonderful experience especially when he’s backed by such incredible talent as: Kiley Ryan (fiddle), David Streim (keys), Freddie Berman (drums), and Jaron Olevsky (bass). The show ended with a full band set by Pete Donnelly and it was an excellent way to celebrate the release of a new album. I LOVE LIVE MUSIC!
Psalmships, Marie/Lepanto @ Johnny Brenda’s (04/18/18)
I have blogged about Psalmships plenty of times over the years. It don’t get any easier trying to capture in words how amazing Psalmships is. The only word that comes to mind is UNREAL. I know you’re thinking “how unreal is Psalmships?” It’s moments like this that remind me that I need to get some of my other blog features together. In the meantime, you can check out Psalmships music and decide for yourself. Psalmships continues to be one of my favorite artists. Thank you, Psalmships.
Marie/Lepanto (Will Johnson and Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster) was a touring band and Wednesday’s show was my first introduction to their music. I enjoyed their set and if given a chance to see another Marie/Lepanto show I would go. Marie/Lepanto creates music that is worth your time and deserves your full attention. Yes, another band that you might want to check out.
I have seen A LOT of Illinois‘ shows over the years and last night’s show might have been the best to date. Illinois took the stage at Archie’s Big Heads (Hatboro, PA) at about 11:15PM and played nearly two hours of all Illinois with only two Tom Petty covers thrown in by request. A true “is this heaven” moment for any Illinois fan and anyone in attendance. If you missed this awesome show, the following photos and videos might help you to imagine what it was like to be there firsthand.
Let these photos provide you with some of the sights from Saturday night’s Ben Arnold Band double set show at Burlap and Bean (Newtown Square, PA). The musicians for this performance were Ben Arnold (singer, songwriter, guitar, keys), Matt Muir (drums, vocals), Erik Sayles (guitar) and Jonathan Colman (bass, vocals). Plus, special guest, Bob Beach on harmonica for a few songs. As usual, Ben Arnold and band gave another fantastic performance and the music sounded delightful. Also, Burlap and Bean is such an amazing listening room and it’s always nice to see a show at this venue.
Ben Arnold has a forthcoming album to be released January 2018. Having heard a mini-set of new material tonight, I say—GET EXCITED.
Originally Banners was supposed to tour with Echosmith and play the Theatre Of Living Arts (Philadelphia, PA) on 11/9. I was so excited when I heard that news. Then the Echosmith tour was postponed and Banners would no longer be a part of it. That was terrible news because all I wanted to do was see Banners perform live again. Is that too much for a music fan to ask!?!
I remember I first heard Banners music on AltNation and immediately knew that his music was something special. The first thing from Banners’ music that caught my attention was THAT VOICE. It’s a voice with such an amazing sound that I would gladly listen to endlessly and having heard it I would never want to lose that sound. That voice belongs to Liverpool born singer-songwriter Michael Nelson who goes by the stage name Banners. So, you can imagine how excited I was when the AltNation Advanced Placement Tour came to The Foundry (3/10/16) and Banners was on the bill with The Moth and The Flame along with Pop Etc. That show was SO GOOD, and I got to see some great bands.
Anyways, when I found out Banners would be playing the Mercury Lounge on 11/6 I knew that missing the opportunity to see Banners live again was not an option. This show had “I WANT TO GO TO THERE” written all over it. So, I went there. Banners had the closing set of Monday night’s early show at the Mercury Lounge. Banners played a full-band performance with a real rock show experience. The set list included songs from Banners latest ep ‘Empires On Fire’ (released last Friday) as well as other material. There were even times of comical stage banter. It was nice to see an artist who truly seemed to be grateful to play to a sold-out crowd full of fans. It was perfect.
Dean Lewis @ Mercury Lounge (11/06/17)
The opening set belonged to Dean Lewis. He played a solo set alternating song-by-song between playing the keyboard or the guitar. Up until Monday night I had no knowledge of Dean Lewis’ music. And sometimes it’s nice to go into a show with a clean slate and no preconceptions about an artist’s music. Then you can leave it all up to the performance to decide whether you like what you heard. Thankfully Dean Lewis did not disappoint, and I enjoyed his entire set. I’m going to have to do some Dean Lewis music shopping now.
Well, if my thoughts have failed to convey the fact that I am a huge fan of Banners’ music then I apologize because that was my intent. Also, I am a new fan of Dean Lewis’ music and am wondering why no one ever mentioned his music to me before. Oh well, I’ll call it a better-late-than-never moment. I must thank Banners, Dean Lewis, and the Mercury Lounge for a great night of music and a memorable show.
On a side note, I wish I brought my real camera because these iPhone photos are sad. Hehe 🙂
Have something to add to this post? Please add your thoughts in the comments.
It was so good to see Psalmships(Joshua Britton accompanied by Carl Cheeseman) at Bourbon & Branch (Philadelphia, PA) Wednesday night. I haven’t seen Psalmships perform live in a few years. I think that made the show feel extra special. I was definitely missing that live Psalmships sound. In case you were wondering, the Psalmships duo of Joshua Britton and Carl Cheeseman with electric instruments just works brilliantly. I hope there are more Psalmships shows to come. I’ll be there!
Below are a few photos from Psalmships set Wednesday night at Bourbon & Branch.
Upon entering the Dragonfly Music & Coffee Cafe located in Somerville, NJ I immediately felt its warm, cozy, welcoming atmosphere. The necessary qualities for a music venue that hosts live acoustic shows. The stage area is at the very front of the cafe with the storefront windows as a backdrop with a view of Somerville just outside the store.
After some brief piano playing and words from the host the show began with a set by Sonofdov. The performers played alternating sets in in-the-round fashion. Collectively Sonofdov’s sets included older material like “King of The World”, new material such as “A Low Hush Keel”. There was even a song from a previous band Sonofdov’s Dennis King used to belong to tossed in for his former bandmate was in the audience. In my opinion, this performance keeps Sonofdov in the category of talented singer-songwriters that I am grateful to know, who have my unwavering support, and remind me why I love music.
Emily Barnes was the other singer-songwriter on the bill and the one alternating sets with Sonofdov. Had I done my music homework I might have been able to identify some of Barnes’ songs beforehand but I went into this show with a relatively clean slate for Emily Barnes’ music. Anyways, what I take away from this show about Barnes is that she is a dedicated singer-songwriter, with a beautiful voice, and an ability to take command of a room. Also, she said she’s not a piano player yet she played a few songs on piano with such ease and confidence. Not a piano player—really!?! Well, Emily Barnes, you have my attention now and I am listening.
Overall it was a stellar night of music in a nice venue in a northern New Jersey town. Traveling from the Philadelphia area to the Dragonfly Music & Coffee Café isn’t very convenient but I’ll consider returning if any of my favorites play there or if I happen to be in the neighborhood. As for Friday’s show, I really enjoyed the experience. Plus, it was nice to see two artists who spoke so highly of each other and are true fans of each other’s work. Sometimes I hear artists say such things but I’m not convinced it’s true—this time it seemed undeniably genuine.
Last night I saw Val Emmich & The Veeries at The Saint (Asbury Park, NJ) and it was a fantastic performance. I hope these photos and videos capture some of that live experience. If not, it’s always best to witness these performances in person. See you at a show!
Val Emmich’s ‘The Reminders’ Book Release Concert (presented by Little City Books) was last night (June 3, 2017) at Maxwell’s Tavern in Hoboken, NJ and it was a fantastic celebration. I hope these photos and videos give you an idea of what the event was like. Last night was so wonderful and was definitely one of those rare nights that you wish you could live over and over again. Wow!
These are some of the photos I took at the Methyl Ethel / Blonder / Archawah show last night at Boot & Saddle. There is minimal post editing if any. Maybe my novice photography shills show but in this case I felt like editing these photos would not enhance them any. Well, photography is a form of art and my choice not to edit could be wrong. Anyways, I attended the show to see Archawah, an established favorite band of mine. However, I did stay to hear Blonder’s and Methyl Ethel’s sets. I enjoyed all the music I heard that night. And I might have found some new fave bands. YES!!!
Have your own show thoughts? Please tell us in the comments.