Bands & Entertainment in Buffalo, Amherst, Cheektowaga and surrounding WNY areas
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be in WNY is:
Featured Buffalo
Bars & Night Clubs
THE TRALF MUSIC HALL
Buffalo & WNY's top music venue featuring the best bands & entertainment around.
The Tudor Lounge
THE TUDOR LOUNGE
Proud Supporter of Buffalo's Independent Bands & Music. Bar and Live Music
Yellow Jaguar
YELLOW JAGUAR
Night Club

7200 Transit Rd.
Williamsville Buffalo and WNY's Number One Music and Dance Night Club
Moonshiners Pub and Grub
Moonshiners
Pub & Grub

5822 Camp Road
Hamburg (town), New York 14075
NEWEST Tavern Restaurant to hit Western New York!

SPORTSMENS
TAVERN
One of the best places to see live music in WNY.
MOHAWK PLACE
check out some of the  upcoming shows at the Mohawk Place.
BROADWAY JOE'S
3051 Main St.
(Under New Ownership)
Featured Artists
University Heights Arts Association
University Heights Arts Association -The voice for the arts in the University-North Buffalo area
Nimblefingers Ink
Nimblefingers Ink
Commissions & Fine Art Giclee Prints
Robert Schulman Photography
Robert Schulman's photographs focus on old structures, capturing the lasting beauty of what may soon be gone.
Thelma Winter, a Western New York artist who created colorful representations of many local landmarks

Susan Copley's work is exhibited nationally with permanent collections throughout New York State as well as numerous corporate and private collections

Jackie Felix
Featuring the art work collections of Jackie Felix
Robert John Holland
Robert John Holland maintains a symbiotic relationship with the world. He observes and describes the processes of building and "unbuilding".
SculpturesandForm.com
A multi-service sculpture development and fabrication company featuring the artwork of Lawrence Kinney.

WNY MUSIC
ON THE WEB
University at Buffalo Libraries
WNYMusic.com
Buffalo Music Awards
Buffalo Music
Hall of Fame
Buffalo Friends
of Folk Music
Best of WNY Music
Buzzalo.com
CNY Music
Disco Step By Step
The World's 
Largest Disco
Christian Concerts in
WNY
Buffalo Niagara
PERFORMING ARTS
Youth for Truth Performing Arts Company
Multi-cultural acting troupe of young men and women.
Shea's Buffalo
Broadway shows, concerts,  children shows and more...
Studio Arena
One of the oldest resident theatres in the nation.
Irish Classical
Theatre Co.
Plays by the world's finest playwrights.
Alleyway Theatre
Innovative plays and musicals.
Artpark
Theatre, concerts, cultural  festivals and children activities.
Kavinoky Theatre
Located at  D'youville College.
MusicalFare
Daemen College
Professional year round musical theatre company.
UB Center for the Arts
The highest quality entertainment in WNY
Shaw Festival
In the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Lancaster Opera House
An artistic palate even more exciting than the year before!
Bflo. Philharmonic Orchestra
World renowned performers in acoustically acclaimed  Kleinhans Music Hall.
Buffalo Chamber
Music Society
Second oldest chamber music series in the U.S.
Buffalo City Ballet
Our company offers classic and modern works.
Buffalo Place
We're Downtown!


WNY
EVENTS, FAIRS
AND FESTIVALS
Allentown Art Festival
Historic Allentown Preservation District
Attica  Rodeo
Voted #1 by the Professional Rodeo Association
Buffalo Irish Festival
Canalside on Downtown Buffalo's Waterfront

Buffalo River Fest
Buffalo River Fest Park, Downtown Buffalo

Canalfest
Erie Canal Banks, NT
Carly’s Crossing
Gallagher Beach
Chautauqua Light the Lakes
One of the largest fireworks displays in North America.
Children First Festival
Ellicottville, NY
Down-Home Country Weekend
Langford Tractor Pull Grounds Rt.75 & Rt.249 North Collins, NY
Eden Corn Festival
Route 62 Eden, NY
Ellicottville Summer Music Festival Weekend music festival, fireworks, arts & crafts

Elmwood Ave. Festival of the Arts
An eclectic arts celebration. Elmwood Ave.

Erie County Fair
Hamburg Fair Grounds
34th Annual Falling Leaves Festival
Salamanca NY
Friendship Festival
Mather Arch, Fort Erie,
Canada
The 4th at Riverside
Riverside Park, Buffalo NY
Genesee County Fair
Batavia, New York
German Heritage Festival
Celebrate German Culture
Cheektowaga Town Park
Buffalo Greek Fest
Be Greek for a day!
Hellenic Orthodox Church
Gus Macker Tournament
Niagara Square, Buffalo
Historic Lewiston Jazz Festival
Support Local Jazz!
Village of Lewiston
Italian Food & Heritage Festival
Italy comes to Buffalo!
Hertel Ave. Buffalo
4th Annual Jammin' in June Music Festival
A Weekend of events,music & Food. June 1st-3rd
St. Amelia's School
Juneteenth Festival
Martin Luther King Jr. Park
Kingdom Bound Christian Music Festival
Darien Lake Theme Park
Lewiston Artfest
artistic craft media & music
Church Street, Lewiston
21st Annual Macedonian Festival
Sts. Cyril & Methody Macedonian Orthodox Church

Music is Art Festival
Delaware Park. Buffalo

National Buffalo Wing Festival
Coca-Cola Park. Come Hungry!

Oktoberfest at Canalside
Buffalo Harbor Central Wharf
Orleans County 4-H Fair
makes the world go "round"
12690 Route 31, Albion NY
Pirate Fest
Evangola State Park
Brant/Angola NY
Polish-American Arts Festival
Cheektowaga Town Park
Harlem Rd. Cheektowaga
Polish Heritage Festival
Polish American Culture & Traditions.
Hamburg Fairgrounds
Rally in the Valley
Bradner Stadium, Olean, NY
Ride for Rosewell
RSVP for the Event
Roycroft Summer Festival
Parkdale Elementary School, East Aurora NY
Scottish Festival & Highland Games
Amherst Museum
Shakespeare in Delaware Park
Delaware Park, Buffalo
Sterling Renaissance Festival
Make plan now to travel back in time!
Taste of Buffalo
Delaware Ave and Niagara Square, Buffalo NY

Taste of Ellicottville
Throughout the Villiage
Ellicottville, NY

Thursday at the Square
Lafayette Square
Main & Court St. Buffalo
Ukrainian American Day Festival
Buffalo, NY
Weekend on the Niagara
Gateway Harbor and area events
Niawanda Park, Tonawanda
Williamsville Old Home Days
Food, rides, family fun
Quaker Arts Festival
Orchard Park Middle School
Queen of Heaven Carnival
Fun for the entire family
West Seneca, NY


Entertainment In WNY


The Tralf Music Hall Buffalo NY
Tralf Music Hall - 622 Main St. - 716-852-2860 ext.1#

Distant Signals - Rush Tribute Band
Rock n Roll Festival
Bringing The Spirit of Radio alive at the Letchworth State Park
Rock n Roll Festival
Click here for concert review with photo's

ALBUM REVIEWS
by Bob Silvestri

The TraditionalThe Traditional
- How To Live Without Blood -


In sports we often talk about how important the traits of confidence, determination and discipline are to achieving success. That sports axiom can be applied to Buffalo's own The Traditional. The band (Anthony Musior - bass/vocals, Michael Bienias -guitar, Ryan Bennett -guitar and Jon Coric -drums) has attained national notice with an unrelenting touring schedule and recently signed to Los Angeles, CA. label Anchor Eighty-Four Records (www.anchoreightyfour.com ) and have released the most righteously awesome album How To Live Without Blood. The album was recorded at GCR Audio under the watchful ears of studio guru Jay Zurbricky who also produced the record. The heavy alternative sound features great production with clean clear vocals and crisp guitars and is just a great sounding record. Loaded with great songs all written by the band the group took their time working on the material until it had a finished sheen. They kick things off with "Skeletons" before segueing into the title cut "How To Live Without Blood". The majestic tub thumper "Disaster" is a keeper as are "Marilyn", ""Constant Battle (Let It Go)" and the angst and betrayal riddled "Haunt You". Other tracks of note include "Run" which starts with simple guitar and vocals before exploding into a full sonic assault and the late night kiss off "I'm Not Going Home With You" featuring vocals from Bianca Dryland. The band is currently out on a US tour to support How To Live Without Blood before heading home for a bit and then back out for more dates as they add summer and fall festival dates. Confidence, determination and discipline traits that The Traditional are loaded with. For more information about The Traditional check out www.facebook.com/thetraditional or at www.thetraditional.bandcamp.com

For fans of Nirvana, Brand New and Green Day

Randle and the Late Night ScandalsRandle and the Late Night Scandals
- Cheap. Boozey. Dangerous -


Randle and the Late Night Scandals have finally released their debut album titled Cheap. Boozey. Dangerous. a twelve song collection of blues, rock, soul and funk. The band has been building a steady buzz over the last three years with some truly memorable live performances throughout the region so anticipation for an album was building. The band (Amanda Markovich-vocals, Luke Bennett-guitar, Marty Peters-guitar, Kimberly Mason-Alto Sax, Rob Schmarder-bass and Naminga-percussion) recorded the disc at One Flight Up Studio in Lancaster and were assisted by Reggie Evans on drums for the session. Other guests include Dan Harper on harmonica and Joe Rozler on keyboards. Markovich and Bennett wrote all twelve tracks as well. Highlights include "Whiskey Pillow", "Catwalk Blues", "Edwords' and "The Itch" along with the track "All Gonna Die" that features some awesome piano from Rozler. For more information about Randle and the Late Night Scandals their debut album and live performances go to www.ratlns.com

For fans of Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Lou Ann Barton, Amy Winehouse

Nick DiStefanoNick DiStefano
- Life Lessons -


Nick DiStefano made a name for himself with the pioneering local rock band The Road. They went on to some success signing with the Kama Sutra label, a couple of hits and a live touring schedule. Eventually when The Road disbanded, DiStefano headed to Nashville and began touring with artist such as Billy Joe Royal, T. G. Sheppard, Kathy Mattea and Marie Osmond to name a few. He also was an active house writer penning hits for Joe Cocker and Johnny Van Zant among others. All this while he was writing his own songs and music hunkered down in his home studio. After some Nashville musician friends called him out on it he showed them the trove of music he had assembled. They quickly got him into the studio again and put together his new album Life Lessons.
The twelve song collection, all written by DiStefano, has an adult classic rock vibe and features a host of Nashville veterans including Spady Brannon, Joe Hesse, Bruce Dees, John Dees, David LaBruyere, Larry Chaney, and Lisa Silver and Vickie Carrico. Highlights include "Feels Like Forever", "Whatever Moves Your Heart (for the troops)", "Right With The World", "Sometimes The Sun Breaks Thru (for Roddy Pahl)" and "As Long As There's Love". On the web check out www.nickdistefanomusic.com for purchasing info and more.

For fans of Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, Steve Winwood

Willie NileWillie Nile
- If I Was A River -


For some time now Willie Nile has longed to make a "piano" album. Of the many performances that Nile has played locally over the years a show at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery that was a solo piano show still stands out as one of his most memorable. If I Was A River, Nile's latest offering, is that piano album. The album was recorded on the fabled grand piano from the Record Plant Studio in NYC heard on albums by John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie to name a few. This is the very piano that Nile was playing on December 8, 1980 while recording his second album at the studio while John Lennon and Yoko worked on their own album in the next studio right before Lennon took his fateful ride back to the Dakota. The record and the material are very meaningful to Nile and features some of his most introspective and literary verse over the ten tracks.
The tracks "Lost", "Let Me Be The River" and the title cut "If I Was A River" all stand out for their sense of loss, love and life's longings. "Gloryland" dreams of a world "where all chains are banned forever" while "I Can't Do Crazy (Anymore)" reminisces about youthful days. Nile injects some humor along the way with "Lullaby Loon" his rant on various music genres he dislikes from the blues, pop, folk and rock. "Rock and Roll is a crock of s***" he declares. Other highlights include ""Song of a Soldier" and "The One You Used To Love".
For more information about Willie Nile and his latest release If I Was A River go to www.willienile.com

For fans of Bruce Springsteen, John Hiatt, Randy Newman

Gurf MorlixGurf Morlix
- Eatin' At Me -


In his own word Gurf Morlix has stated that his latest album Eatin' At Me is his Buffalo album and the LP has the dark grey pall of a winter day in the Queen City and I mean that in the most enduring way. Morlix left Buffalo for Austin in 1975 and still returns yearly and has a fondness for his hometown. The album kicks off with "Dirty Old Buffalo" a haunting ode to the city with a lyrically visual road map that has Morlix reminiscing about a bygone era. Family car trips over the Skyway from his Lackawanna home, Bethlehem Steel, Hertel Avenue, Father Baker's and the Allman Brothers at Alioto's all are mentioned as is the shiny new sheen and money lavished on his once gritty hometown. "50 Years" is a sweet tune sung with a wistful longing about looking back on his growing up days in Western New York while "Born in Lackawanna" another song about growing up here names checks Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Lake Erie, the steel plant and the hardy souls who lived and worked in the city. Other stand out tracks include "The Dog I Am" with its swiney groove and none too flattering lyrics, "Blue Smoke", "Elephant's Graveyard" and "Orphan Tears". Helping Morlix on the album are Rick Richards, Ray Bonneville, Gene Elders and Patterson Barrett. Morlix proves the old adage that even if you move away from Buffalo you never really leave. For more information on Gurf Morlix's latest album Eatin' at Me go to www.gurfmorlix.com

For fans of Ray Wiley Hubbard, Ray Bonneville, Slaid Cleaves

John and JacobJohn and Jacob
- self titled -


Words cannot describe how much I love the new self titled album from Pinson, Alabama outfit John and Jacob. After nearly stealing the show last month from Kacey Musgraves at Town Ballroom, actually they did steal the show and that is not a diss on Musgraves who was very good, it's just that these guys (John Davidson-vocals/guitars/harmonica, Jacob Bryant-vocals/guitar/trumpet/bass, Jake Thrasher-bass/guitar/bg vocals, Trevor Davis-drums and Austin Taylor Smith-guitar/keys/bg vocals) played with an incredible energy and passion for music that was hard to ignore. They work and tour hard to win over fans one at a time if necessary and have already surprised and wowed crowds at the 2014 Bonnaroo, CMA, SXSW and Hangout Festivals, have been welcomed by and toured the UK and have played the Grand Ole Opry. They have written hits for The Band Perry and have had their music played on the television show Nashville. Now before you stop reading because you think this is some Bro' Country band that is the farthest thing from the truth and they are nothing like anything on the country charts.
Using a live on the floor recording feel the band uses elements of early Beatles and Everly Brothers styled harmonies, a Buddy Holly knack for writing concise three minute songs about unrequited love and the country rock swing of Blue Rodeo or early Wilco. I know that's some heavy company but these guys pull it off and boy does it sound great. The songwriting, arrangements and the production are superlative.
Not a bad song among the eleven but a few really standout among them are "Think About You" and "I'd Go Back" both feature great guitar parts, harmonies and vocals and are possibly the best two tracks on the album. Other highlights include "Brand New" and their hit from the Nashville show "Be My Girl". I could get real nerdy here about production values, arrangements etc. and break down what makes "Be My Girl" such a great song but short story is it has a big guitar sound, instantly catchy melody and a yearning pleading vocal to his dream girl that wins you over. And one other thing, the mid song break catches you completely off guard when instead of the normal guitar solo you get a Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass style trumpet solo that at first sounds so wrong but then you realize it is so right. Other keepers include "Ride With Me", "Breaking The Law", "Goodbye' and "The Weekend". John and Jacob have truly made an album for the ages. Check them out at www.johnandjacob.com

For fans of The Beatles, Blue Rodeo, Steve Earle, good music in general.

CONCERT REVIEWS
Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt
Center For The Arts - SUNY @ Buffalo - Amherst, NY
April 23, 2015

Concert review by Bob Silvestri-
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

Lyle Lovett and John HiattSometimes the stars align and you happen to be at that certain place for that once in a lifetime magical moment. Such was the case when two of American music's greatest songwriters Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt paid a visit to UB's Center for the Arts on April 23, 2015. Casually strolling on stage as if walking through your front door the pair sat down and turned the sold out cavernous Center into an intimate living room concert for the next two hours and had you feeling that they were performing just for the individual you. The easy going nature between the two performers is a natural friendly relationship where good natured ribbing and joshing always hits the buttons but never goes below the belt. Their banter and jokes include relationships, songwriting, and some boasting and tall tales that often lead up to the next song.

John HiattAnd while the story telling is an integral part of the show we came for the music and they did not disappoint. Each performer took turns playing their songs but backed each other occasionally with guitar and harmony vocals. In this stripped down setting the material really was spectacular getting to the essence of the work both musically and lyrically. Highlights from Hiatt's portion of the show included "Drive South", "Icy Blue Heart", "Crossing Muddy Waters", "Real Fine Love", "Thing Called Love" and the show opener "Marlene". Not to be outdone Lovett offered up "White Boy Lyle Lovett Lost In The Blues", "Sonja", "Natural Forces", "L.A. County", "The Road to Ensenada" and "Fiona". The dubious subject matter of "Fiona", she is a one eyed girl, had Lovett relating a story after the song about how an audience member once came up to them after the song to show them his own glass eye. This led to Hiatt genuinely laughing uncontrollably as he listened to Lovett's retelling of the tale. They returned for an encore with Lovett giving us "If I Had a Boat" and Hiatt playing "Have A Little Faith in Me" before trading licks on Lovett's bluesy "My Baby Don't Tolerate". They got up from their chairs thanked the crowd and waved goodnight before casually strolling behind the curtain just like leaving through the front door. This was truly a magicaland spectacular performance from these two great artists. For more upcoming shows at Center for the Arts please visit www.ubcfa.org


SHOW REVIEW
The LaLa's
LA's Hottest Burlesque Show
Events Center, Seneca Niagara Casino
Niagara Falls, NY - April 17, 2015

Show review by Bob Silvestri-
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

The LaLa'sThe LaLa's-LA's Hottest Burlesque Show came to the Events Center at The Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, NY for three shows one on April 17th and two shows on April 18th. The group features six handpicked professional dancers who in their regular careers are seen on television (Tosh.O, People's Choice Awards, Glee and C.S.I.) or touring with major music acts (Black Eyed Peas, Ja Rule, Busta Rhymes). They just happen to have a side career as burlesque dancers. The group has performed in all fifty states and all over the world from South Africa to London to Ibiza. The show is a modern spin on that classic art form as The LaLa's version while still all about the tease involves modern dirty dance moves, lots of swinging hair and gyrations more akin to a gentlemen's club. This is definitely not your dad's burlesque with more va va voom and a little less subtly.

Tonya KayHostess Tonya Kay kept the ninety minute show lively with her banter, jokes and audience interaction that allowed the dancer's to change costumes after each number. There was no live band, no typical strip tease music from the 40's and 50's just classic rock from AC/DC to Tom Waits. The usual themes were explored in the tastefully done routines maids, cowgirls, sporty girls, policewomen and Vegas show girls. The dancers often left the main stage to dance on the smaller side stages or in the aisles so the audience could get a closer look.

The LaLa'sOne of the highlights of the evening came when four audience members were brought on stage to learn some of The LaLa's dance moves. The catch is that one of those asked up was a gentleman. Each audience member was given a shimmery fringe top to put on and were shown the dance moves by the cast. While the three ladies were able to copy some of the moves the guy was not. To say hilarity ensured would be under stating it. The guy was a good sport about it and laughed along which only added to the moment.

For more about The LaLa's visit www.thelalas.com for more great shows coming to the Seneca casinos visit www.senecacasinos.com


LOCAL CD REVIEWS
by Bob Silvestri

Willie May
- Shaken Tree Blues -

CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

Willie MayWillie May is arguably one of the most prolific independent blues/roots artists around today and his 15th album titled Shaken Tree Blues is arguably one of his finest efforts. Once again May has surrounded himself in the studio with a cream of the crop group of musicians including Dwane Hall who also recorded many of the tracks on the album, Evan Laedke, Jim Bohm, Jim Whitford, Kenny Parker, Kevin Espinosa, Mark Panfil, Owen Eichensehr, Randy Bolam, Robert "Freight Train" Parker, Ted Lambert and Ray Hangen. Multi Grammy nominee Mark Hummel also adds his harmonica talent to the disc.

The album starts off with the exotic Latin tinged instrumental "Dos Teresa" followed by the rollicking blues "Talk is Cheap". May breaks out the ukulele on a couple of tracks including the title number "Shaken Tree Blues" and "I'm Goin' Home" and fires up the accordion for the Acadian Cajun romp "Greta". May takes on the persona of a lonely lover on "Everybody But Me", digs deep into his soul for "Heartbreak" a song about his finding a murdered woman near his rural property and beats the blues right out of the haunting dirge "She's Leavin'".

Shaken Tree Blues shows that even with 15 albums under his belt Willie May is still full of fresh musical ideas and adventures. For more information about Willie May and his latest release shaken Tree Blues visit www.williemaymusic.com

For fans of Taj Mahal, Clifton Chenier, John Hammond.

Mike Zogaria
- Almost Worth The Wait -

CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

Mike ZogariaSinger songwriter Mike Zogaria has released his first full length album titled Almost Worth The Wait an eleven song collection of well-crafted acoustic rock and pop. Zogaria handles vocal, guitar and harmonica and gets help from Mike Vealey on guitar and bass, Mark Zogaria on guitars and Mike Argento on drums. Guitar virtuoso Mick Hayes shows up to lend his talents on the track "Gray".

The album kicks off with the slick power pop sound of "Someone To Sing To" and slides right into the blues rock number "Gray" one of many outstanding tracks. The jaunty acoustic tinged "My Misery" and "Rock Star Parking" shine as do the tracks "Pistol" and "Come Home".

Zogaria has been nominated for numerous local music awards and keeps a regular live schedule. Check out his show schedule and how to purchase his album Almost Worth The Wait by visiting www.mikezogaria.com

For fans of John Hiatt, Darius Rucker, Train

Handsome Jack
- Do What Comes Naturally -

CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

Handsome JackBirthed from the bowels of the original Mohawk Place Handsome Jack (Jamison Passuite - Guitar/Vocals, Joey Verdonselli - Bass/Vocals, Phil Allport - Organ/Guitar and Chad Salmeri - Drums) has survived through the second incarnation of the beloved club. Many a night the band plied the boards of the Hawk playing gritty sweaty "Boogie Soul" as they call it for their fans of which I count myself among. Their latest release Do What Comes Naturally (Alive Natural Sound Records) is a ten song collection of bluesy garage rock missing from much of today's musical landscape. Lending a hand on the recording is Forest Horn on harmonica, Bob Nave of Lemon Pipers on Hammond organ and Kristen Kreft and Beth Harris on backing vocals.

The album kicks off with a sonic slap to the head in the form of "Echoes" a solid blues rocker featuring some sweet soulful harmonies from Kreft and Harris. "Wasted Time" another scorcher also features the outstanding vocals of Harris and Kreft. Other standout tracks include "Between The Lines", the groove-centric "Right On", "Ropes & Chains" and ""You & Me".
The band has a regular touring schedule so catch them next time they are home. For show dates, band info and how to purchase Do What Comes Naturally go to www.handsomejackmusic.com or www.facebook.com/handsomejackband

For fans of Black Crowes, Rolling Stones, Kings of Leon.

Sara Elizabeth
- Be Well -

CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

Sara Elizabeth Be WellSinger songwriter Sara Elizabeth has released her sophomore album titled Be Well a twelve song cycle inspired by some personal changes she experienced over the past year including the death of loved ones and her engagement. The result is a more mature artist from her debut someone more aware of herself her craft and her direction in life. She wrote all the tracks here as well as handling guitar and a host of other instruments and was helped by her drummer Josh Schlabach, Michael Petrino on bass and Ana Vafai on violin. Chris Jacobs who produced along with Sara Elizabeth also adds piano.

"Box of Treasures" with its hushed brushed drums and bouncy bass lines is a winner as is the evocative ballad "Glory Be (to the Morning)" and the title track "Be Well". Other highlights include the up tempo "Any Other Way", the acoustic guitar and violin simplicity of "Happy and Loved" and my personal favorites "I Must Play" and the sunny and bright ukulele island melody track "Creek Walking".

For more on Sara Elizabeth including show dates and how to purchase her albums including Be Well go to www.saraelizabethmusic.com or www.facebook.com/MusicSEG

For fans of Joni Mitchell, Ingrid Michaelson, Sheryl Crow

Grace Stumberg Band
- Live! At the Studio Café -

CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

Grace Stumberg BandThe latest release from the Grace Stumberg Band is a live effort titled Live! At the Studio Café a fourteen song collection recorded before friends, family and fans on September 14th, 2013. Stumberg has grown from a talented yet unsure teenager into a confident writer and performer. Helping her along the way with a steady mentoring hand has been Bob James (BMHOF-Class of 2008). Stumberg who handles vocals and rhythm guitar has also wisely surrounded herself with a top notch group of musicians for band mates comprised of a rock solid engine room powered by drummer Josh English and bassist Michael Petrino along with some elegant and tasteful lead guitar from Grace Lougen.

The album kicks off with a slice of pure power pop adrenaline with "Power of a Woman" followed up nicely by "Just Like Me" and its "Car Wheels" era Lucinda vibe. "Another Hotel" shows the growth and maturity in Stumberg's writing as does "Ignorance is Bliss". The band also gets down and funky and struts their stuff on covers of Elvin Bishop's "What the Hell is Goin' On" and The Temptation's "Shakey Ground". Grace gives the band a rest and does a solo turn on "Appreciate" before they rejoin her on the encore "The Rootbeer Fairy". For more info on the Grace Stumberg Band and their latest album go to www.gracestumberg.com

(For fans of Joan Baez, Lucinda Williams, and Joni Mitchell)

Aqueous
- Cycles -

CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

AqueousOne of the brightest success stories of the last few years with both critically acclaimed releases and a regular national touring schedule is the band Aqueous. Their latest release titled Cycles shows the band (Mike Gantzer-guitar/vocals/keys, Dave Loss-guitar/vocals/keys, Evan McPhaden-bass and Nick Sonricker-drums) hitting on all cylinders with some creative musical ideas spread out over ten tracks. The band recorded the album at GCR Studios with Justin Rose manning the board. They also snagged the astounding Richie English for the horn and string arrangements.

The album starts with one of English's string arrangements on the beginning of the track "Dawn" before the band finds a funky groove that they mine to maximum throttle. "Kitty Chaser (Explosions)" is hands down my favorite track. A stand out jam the band plays it straight on a journey through a nice funky groove before a right turn to some 70's style Prog rock a left turn through some Steely Dan/Sea Level styled cool jazz before settling back to a funky groove. Ear candy to the max. Other standout tracks include the foreboding boot stomper "Skyway", "Complex Pt.1" and the album closer "Staring Into The Sun". Check out www.aqueousband.com for more information about the band and their latest release titled Cycles.

(For fans of moe., Phish and Rush)

David Michael Miller
- Poisons Sipped -

CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

David Michael MillerAs a writer sometimes you just can't find the right word or phrase to say what your thoughts are. I know that as an outspoken jerk some may find that hard to believe. With the slew of concerts and music we are constantly bombarded with even the redundancy of the same tired adjectives and a dog eared Thesaurus are of no use. Such was my dilemma after listening to the latest release from David Michael Miller titled Poisons Sipped. As front man for Dive House Union Miller steps into the spotlight and delivers an astonishing album full of soulful bluesy jams and Southern fried soul. Miller and his band The Other Sinners (Carlton Campbell-drums and Daric Bennett-bass) are augmented by a slew of gusts including two other Campbell Brothers (Darick Campbell and Chuck Campbell), Jim Ehinger, Barry Arbogast, Ron Davis, Serena Young, Jasmine Neeley, Ashley Brown, Jesse Miller, Stephen Jacob Mclean Jr. and Jason Moynihan. The twelve tracks are inflected with rock, blues, Gospel and soul for a unique and timeless sound.

As stated in the album notes the twelve songs are "treatments to soothe the soul". Standout tracks include the rocking "Hand Me Downs", the jazzy "Edge of the End of the World" with a hot sax break from Arbogast, "Moving On", the Southern blues of "Memphis Belle", "Once" and the soulful and churchy "Moonshine". The pristine recording was done at The Strand and Redbooth recording Studios with Dave and Jesse Miller doing a first rate production job. Poisons Sipped is clearly one of the best albums of 2014. For more about David Michael Miller and his album Poisons Sipped please visit www.davemillermusic.com

Noah Gokey & The Skulls
- Dream American -

CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

Noah Gokey & The SkullsThe latest offering from Noah Gokey & The Skulls titled Dream American is a seventeen song opus/suite theme blend of California Laurel Canyon sound with a healthy dose of current Americana flourishes featuring little to no breaks between songs. An ambitious project combining razor sharp electric guitar lines over acoustic background melodies all performed with virtuosity by band members Corey Hagstrom (vocals/ guitar/harmonica), Kyle Daunce (guitar), Bill Nelson (drums) and Rob Schmarder (bass). Keepers include the harmonica rave up "Stand In", "King Bus", "Even Better", the percussive driven "Pregressive", the up tempo rocker "Nope" and "404". The album was recorded, mixed and mastered over the course of a few months in 2013 at Shangri-La Studios in Buffalo. For more information about Noah Gokey & The Skulls go to www.facebook.com/noahgokey

Davey O
- No Passengers -

CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

Davey O, No Passengers,The title of the latest album from acclaimed singer songwriter Davey O, No Passengers, refers to the fact that he is the only person to perform on the record handling all the instruments and vocals. Davey wrote six of the seven tracks here with the lone cover being a haunting and sparsely arranged version of "Long Black Veil". This also marks the first release without his longtime collaborator Jeffrey Winston Mikulski who passed away early this year. The songs all stand out as Davey's writing over the years has been fine tuned. His ability to sketch a vivid character or moment with memorable lyrics and melodies to match has been honed with his relentless performing and touring schedule. He has grown into a very fine performer with a wisdom, maturity and knowledge of his craft.

Davey recorded the disc over two days at Fox Run Studios in Sudbury, MA. with Neale Eckstein manning the knobs. What they got was an honest and raw emotional recording very similar to Davey's live shows. Standout tracks include the afore mentioned "Long Black Veil", the romantic and introspective "The Song I Wrote", "Standing in These Shoes" and "The Main Street" a commentary about our times. No Passengers is another outstanding release from Davey O a premier writer and performer. For more information about Davey O and his latest release No Passengers check out www.daveyo.com

Grace Blues Project
- self titled -
CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

Grace LougenI first saw Grace Lougen play guitar when she was in Grace Strumberg's band and they opened a show in Toronto for a band I happened to be working with at the time. She seemed shy and unassuming as she set up her gear but when the show stated she played with ferocity and confidence and impressed all in the crowd with her chops for such a seeming young lady.

Now she has released her first album titled Grace Blues Project a collaboration with Lougen and some of the brightest talent on the local and national scene today including Jerry Livingston, Toney Rhodes, Carl Johnson, Bob James, Michael Petrino, Muscle Shoals guitarist Will McFarlane and Howard Fleetwood Wilson and her regular band mates Caleb Saathoff, Ben Saathoff, Alimany Bader and Linnea Crimean. The disc kicks off with "Swampy" and true to its title the instrumental follows on a hot swampy blues riff. The Texas Blues style shuffle "Across The Border" lets Lougen show off her muscular swagger on the guitar with some slick fret work as does "Direct Inject" another killer instrumental with a big rhythm and a big guitar solo. Lougen takes a turn on vocals on the track "The Blues" and emphatically states that "the blues chase the blues away". Amen sister! Lougen also has four of the brightest woman singers from our area adding vocals on the album with Emmi James on "Enough", Grace Stumberg on "Traffic", "Fresh Air" featuring Savannah King and Bethany Fonda on a cover of George Harrison's "Isn't It A Pity". Of the ten tracks on the disc Lougen wrote or co wrote eight with the others being the Harrison cover and one penned by Bob James. The Grace Blues Project is a great debut from a very promising and talented Grace Lougen. For more on the Grace Blues Project go to www.graceblues.com
Crashfuse
- Between You, Me, and The Lamppost -

CD Review - By Bob Silvestri
bobsilvestri@bestofwny.com

CrashfuseCrashfuse has released its first full length album titled Between You, Me, And The Lamppost featuring twelve well crafted hook laden alternative power pop and rock songs. The band (Chad Hornberger -Vocals/Guitar, Colin Eberhardt -Drums, Nick Wnuk -Bass and Mike Butler -Lead Guitar)was recently a top three finalist in the Hard Rock Rising band competition sponsored by Hard Rock Café and has had their music featured on radio stations in the US and Australia. With attention to details Between You, Me , And The Lamppost offers up a palette of quirky chord changes, bridges and other ear candy to keep the listeners attention. The disc starts off with "Out of Lives" followed by the slinky Reggae beat of "Sweet Routine". "Crossroads", "Fall On Your Feet" and the ballad "Oh, Apologies" all score here as does the spacey instrumental "Interlude" and the sonic guitar anthem "Watch Me Fall". For more info check out Crashfuse and their latest release Between You, Me, And The Lamppost go to www.crashfuse.com or www.facebook.com/CrashFuse

The Rock Rapport by Ross Cat
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