Best time to
be in WNY is:
& Night Clubs
TRALF MUSIC HALL
& WNY's top music venue featuring the best
bands & entertainment around.
Proud Supporter of Buffalo's Independent Bands
& Music. Bar and Live Music
7200 Transit Rd.
Williamsville Buffalo and WNY's Number One Music
and Dance Night Club
Pub & Grub
5822 Camp Road
Hamburg (town), New York 14075
Tavern Restaurant to hit Western New York!
One of the best places to
see live music in WNY.
check out some of the upcoming shows at
the Mohawk Place.
3051 Main St.
(Under New Ownership)
Allentown Preservation District
on Downtown Buffalo's Waterfront
Buffalo River Fest Park, Downtown Buffalo
Canal Banks, NT
Light the Lakes
One of the largest fireworks displays in North
Langford Tractor Pull Grounds Rt.75 & Rt.249
North Collins, NY
62 Eden, NY
Summer Music Festival Weekend music festival,
fireworks, arts & crafts
Ave. Festival of the Arts
An eclectic arts celebration. Elmwood
Annual Falling Leaves Festival
Arch, Fort Erie, Canada
4th at Riverside
Riverside Park, Buffalo NY
Cheektowaga Town Park
Greek for a day!
Hellenic Orthodox Church
Lewiston Jazz Festival
Village of Lewiston
Food & Heritage Festival
comes to Buffalo!
Hertel Ave. Buffalo
Annual Jammin' in June Music Festival
A Weekend of events,music & Food. June 1st-3rd
St. Amelia's School
Luther King Jr. Park
Bound Christian Music Festival
Lake Theme Park
craft media & music
Annual Macedonian Festival
Sts. Cyril & Methody Macedonian Orthodox Church
is Art Festival
Buffalo Wing Festival
Coca-Cola Park. Come Hungry!
Buffalo Harbor Central Wharf
County 4-H Fair
the world go "round"
Route 31, Albion NY
Harlem Rd. Cheektowaga
American Culture & Traditions.
in the Valley
Stadium, Olean, NY
RSVP for the Event
Elementary School, East Aurora NY
Festival & Highland Games
in Delaware Park
plan now to travel back in time!
Ave and Niagara Square, Buffalo NY
Throughout the Villiage
at the Square
Main & Court St. Buffalo
American Day Festival
on the Niagara
Harbor and area events
Old Home Days
rides, family fun
Park Middle School
of Heaven Carnival
Fun for the entire family
West Seneca, NY
MOVIE TIMES AND THEATERS
Tralf Music Hall - 622 Main St. - 716-852-2860
Johnny and The Asbury Jukes
Bear's Den - Seneca Niagara Casino
Niagara Falls, NY- October 16th, 2015
Review - By Bob Silvestri
Bear's Den in the Seneca-Niagara Casino
in Niagara Falls, NY hosted a sold out
show by legendary New Jersey band Southside
Johnny & The Asbury Jukes on October
16, 2015. The longtime road warriors are
currently out supporting their new album
Soultime!. The new material an exuberant
mix of rock soul and blues finds Southside
back on his "A" game with some
fine songwriting with Jukes keyboardist
Jeff Kazee and others. The ninety minute
show had the Jukes playing a plethora
of their classic hits along with a healthy
dose of the new album, some covers, crowd
requests and Southside's hilarious quips,
comments and crowd interaction. They kicked
off the show with a snippet of Elvis'
"Don't Be Cruel" before ripping
into "Shake 'Em Down" followed
by "Spinning" off the new album.
A crowd request for "Love On The
Wrong Side of Town" was accommodated
before a killer version of "Strange,
Strange Feeling" from the album Pills
and Ammo. "Looking For a Good Time"
also from the new album was warmly received
by the crowd as was a raucous run through
Keith Richard's and the Rolling Stones
"Happy". A slew of Jukes hits
followed "I Played the Fool",
"Hearts of Stone", "I've
Been Working Too Hard", "Talk
to Me", "The Fever" and
"I Don't Want To Go Home" had
the crowd on their feet and cheering as
the band left the stage. They returned
for a swinging and swaying version of
"Having A Party", "All
I Can Do" another excellent track
off the new album, before calling it an
evening with "This Time It's For
Real". After the show a long line
of fans waited to meet the band at the
merch table and have their LP's and CD's
autographed and have photos with the band.
For more about Southside Johnny &
The Asbury Jukes go to www.southsidejohnny.com
for more upcoming shows at the Seneca
Casino's visit www.senecacasinos.com
Hideaway's - Hamburg, NY
September 25, 2015
Review - By Bob Silvestri
up on Season 8 of NBC's The Voice, Meghan
Linsey stopped in town for a show at Hideaway's
in Hamburg, NY on September 25th, 2015.
Currently out on the road in support of
her new release Believer her ninety minute
set for a sizable and appreciative audience,
many decked out in Linsey clothing apparel
and singing along to her songs, featured
tracks from her two releases and a mix
of covers and shout out requests from
the crowd. She also took time to explain
and introduce her songs, talk about her
time on The Voice and to interact with
the crowd. Linsey is a country music veteran
having opened for Brad Paisley and Blake
Shelton in her teens and was a member
of the country duo Steel Magnolia who
were just making a name for themselves
when conflict broke up the band.
Performing as a duo with songwriter, guitarist
and producer Tyler Cain on acoustic guitar
and harmony vocals the two proved to be
a perfect foil for each other's talents.
Linsey has a soulful smoky voice but never
over sings the song and moves from a whisper
to a sexy growl without ever seeming cliché.
Highlights from the evening included the
opener off the new disc "Counterfeit",
"Love Never Sleeps", "Sunshine
in my Soul" that featured an opening
snippet of Bob Marley's "One Love",
the sassy one two punch of "Mess"
and "Try Harder Than That" and
the title cut from the new album "Believer".
A slew of choice covers included George
Jones' "Tennessee Whiskey",
Lucinda Williams "Can't Let Go",
James Taylor's "Steamroller Blues"
and Little Big Town's "Girl Crush"
that Linsey nailed. Requests from the
crowd included Janis Joplin's "Mercedes
Benz" and Patsy Cline's "After
Midnight". To finish the show Linsey
offered up "Cocaine and Jesus"
and a spine tingling acapella version
of "Amazing Grace". After the
show Linsey hung out at the merch table
greeting fans, posing for pictures and
signing autographs. For more information
about Meghan Linsey go to www.meghanlinsey.com
for more upcoming shows from Back to Back
Entertainment check out www.b2bconcertsny.com
- Rush Tribute Band
n Roll Festival
The Spirit of Radio alive at the Letchworth
Rock n Roll Festival
here for concert review with photo's
- Same Soil -
Since the demise of his beloved former outfit
Dive House Union, David Michael Miller has
wasted no time on his solo career with the
release of his second album titled Same
Soil. Mining the same mix of blues, soul,
funk and folk as his first solo album Miller
knows his way around good songwriting and
about getting an impeccable recording in
the studio. The twelve cuts on Same Soil
feature Miller on guitar and vocals along
with Shannon Street, Mike Brown, Carlton
Campbell and Josh Miller on drums, Robert
"Freightrain" Parker, Tom Vayo,
Richii Valentino and John Kibler on bass,
Jason Moynihan and Barry Arborgast on saxophone
and Jeremy Keyes on harmonica. My vote for
unsung hero on the sessions is keyboardist
Jim Ehinger who always seems to play the
right part. Highlights on Same Soil include
the opening track "All The Blues To
You", the recorded live rave up "Got
Them Blues", the slow burning blues
number "Friend of Mine" with great
sax blowing from Moynihan and "Needle
to the Wheel" dedicated to the "Last
Real DJ" Anita West. Other keepers
include "Born to Lose", "Too
Early in the Morning" and "Doing
Me In, Doing Me Wrong". For more information
about David Michael Miller and his latest
release Same Soil go to www.davemillermusic.com
For fans of Ry Cooder,
Allman Brothers, Little Feat.
House Safe For Tigers
- self titled -
A House Safe For Tigers is the musical collaboration
between the seemingly polar opposite musical
forces of Mark Costantino and Brandon Delmont.
Costantino's last band was the raw hardcore
outfit The Exit Strategy while Delmont has
cut his teeth with beloved power pop group
Girlpope and the symphonic synth rock of
Odiorne. Somehow their styles mesh for an
alternative pop meets baroque chamber music
sound that is at times atmospheric, serene
and mystical. Costantino and Delmont perform
all of the music with help from Zak Ward
and James Burgess on a couple of tracks.
The disc opens with the fittingly titled
instrumental "Entrance" followed
by "Ann Marie" and the first single
from the album "Evaporate". Other
highlights include "Search Lights"
the funky "Hiding Places", "Crickets"
and "The Pines". The album closes
with a cover of Luna's hit "I Want
Everything" and a solo version of "Ann
Marie" and a great way to end the album.
If you were wondering where the guys came
up with the band name it is a reference
to a movie soundtrack of the same name made
by legendary producer/singer songwriter
Lee Hazelwood. Now you know. Check out A
House Safe For Tigers and their new album
or at www.ahousesafefortigers.bandcamp.com
For fans of High Llamas,
- Hesitate E.P. -
Vinnie DeRosa has released a five song EP
titled Hesitate a funky soulful affair from
start to finish. DeRosa recorded the album
at GCR Audio with Justin Rose at the controls
along with Matthew James Castronova. A slew
of stellar studio aces and members of DeRosa's
other band Vitamin D played on the disc.
Among them are drummers Steven Carlos Padin,
Anthony Prude Jr. and Deshawn Jackson, bassists
Matthew James Castronova, Brad Lee Robbins
and Alex Aponte and on keyboards Rocco Dellaneve,
AJ Scibetta and Danny Pizarro. Richie English
handled string arrangements and Carlos Day
and Ken Whitman played horns. Standout tracks
include the funky neo soul tile track "Hesitate",
"Courage" that moves along to
an easy skanking Reggae groove and "You
Already Know" that features Geraldo
Castillo. For more information check out
For fans of Michael Franti
and Spearhead, Daryl Hall and John Oates
- Blues Mona -
Legendary bluesman Willie May has released
a new album tilted Blues Mona a ten song
collection of some on May's finest material
yet. As usual May surrounds himself with
only the finest musicians to play on his
albums and this time his guests range from
the old guard to the new regime. Dwane Hall,
Jim Whitford, Robert Parker, Harvey Murello,
Ray Hangen and Randy Corsi along with teen
guitar sensation Haydon Fogle are just a
few of the artists lending their talents
on Blues Mona. Highlights include a sweet
duet between May and the incomparable Sharon
Bailey on "Lock it Up", "Stop
Hurtin' Me" featuring Mark Panfil on
banjo, "Mona's Watching Eye" and
the classic surf rock vibe of "Surf
Mona Blues". "Big Legged Woman"
an ode to the obvious and "You Don't
Know Me" with a touch of breezy Bayou
accordion are some of May's best songwriting
to date. For more information and how to
purchase Blues Mona go to www.williemaymusic.com
For fans of Taj Mahal,
Robert Lucas and Lowell George
- For E-V-E-R -
London, Ontario based outfit Nikki's Wives
have released their debut album titled For
E-V-E-R. The band, Nikki Whitehead (vocals/keyboards),
Dylan Lauzon (guitar) and Nate Baylor (drums),
recorded the album at GCR Audio in Buffalo
with Justin Rose and Brad Lauchert behind
the board along with Alastair Sims and Alex
Krotz and features a bevy of Western New
York talent. The string section consists
of Mary Ramsey and Kate Weissman while the
horns include Phil Sims, Tim Clarke and
Eric Wozniak. Richie English did the string
and horn arrangements and compositions.
The six song disc has a dreamy dramatic
flair and highlights Whitehead's vocals.
Tracks of note include the haunting title
cut "For E-V-E-R", "Fight
Song", the up tempo "Another Lie"
and the bouncy "Lonely Being Cool".
The feature track is without a doubt "Ghost"
a slow brooding number featuring Whitehead's
earthy smoky vocals. Outstanding! For more
information about Nikki's Wives and their
debut album For E-V-E-R go to www.nikkiswives.com
For fans of Lights, Marina
and The Diamonds and Lordes
- The Resurrection Of Rock And Roll -
A few years back Forewarned founder and
creative force behind the band was diagnosed
with a life threating medical condition.
Both during his treatment and recovery he
sought solace in his music the result being
Forewarned's ambitious double album The
Resurrection Of Rock And Rock. The band
delves into a 70's classic rock sound that
not many bands are making today with lots
of synths, big guitars, big choruses and
songs of epic length. The band, Steve Supparits
- Vocals/Guitars, Lynn Carol Schriver (she
of music royalty Ramblin' Lou Family)- Keyboards/Vocals,
Shawn Kilbourn - Lead Guitars, Aaron Anson
- Lead Guitars, K. William George - Drums
and Percussion, Dement Ormond - Bass Guitars
and Marilyn Hudson - Background Vocals,
get some help in the studio from Kenny Hawkins,
George Puelo, Jerry Livingston, Jim Wynne
and a host of others.
The album, a mix of soaring rockers and
metal style ballads, starts with a spoken
word disclaimer stating that no Auto tune,
samples, beats, loops, arpeggiators etc.
were used on the album and that all parts
were played live.Highlights among the twenty
two tracks include the rock orientated "K.M.A.",
"On The Road Alone", the instrumental
"Demonic Rise" and the lengthy
opus "Hero" and its nearly as
long counter parts "No Tomorrow"
and "March 1st". Standouts among
the ballads include "Unsure",
"Angel" and "How Will I Know".
In a nod to their classic rocks roots they
also tackle Meatloaf's "Bat Out of
Hell" with success.
For more information about Forewarned and
to purchase The Resurrection Of Rock And
Roll visit www.forewarned.net
For fans of Rush, Kansas,
Boston and Styx
and The Kings
- Bold & Unsteady -
When Savannah King started playing music
she set out as an independent solo alternative
folk artist with a guitar, great voice and
plenty of well written songs. Along the
way she picked up three amazing band mates
(Mark Bamann -lead guitar, Loren Metzger
-drums and Scott Gergelis -bass) andmorphed
into a front person for her band Savannah
and The Kings.
Their new release Bold & Unsteadyis
filled with memorable melodies and King's
lilting voice all framed by the band's no
frills approach. Touches of jazz (courtesy
of Gergelis' outstanding upright bass playing),
pop, folk and indie rock meld together for
a cohesive sound. No self-indulgent doodling,
no gimmicks, no unnecessary window dressings
among the arrangements. Highlights among
the twelve tracks include the album opener
"Sour Milk", "Rabbit Run",
"Are You Salt?", "Let Me
Go" and "Houdini". The tracks
"It's Just Water" and "Fruit
Tree" are standouts as well. King and
her band keep a busy live calendar playing
everywhere from intimate clubs to large
summer venues. To see where Savannah and
The Kings are performing or to purchase
their new album Bold & Unsteady visit
For fans of Haim, Natalie
Merchant and Sarah McLachlan
Canal Street String Band
- Wah Hoo! -
The Canal Street String Band plays true
American music in its purest form. The band
Dave Ruch-mandolin/guitar/banjo/vocals and
Jim Whitford-string bass/guitar/vocals)
embrace a mix of folk, bluegrass,Western
Swing, Appalachian, Adirondack Mountain,
sea shanty and songs from the heydays of
Buffalo's early maritime and canal days
and brings life and joy to this sometime
forgotten genre of music that truly spans
generations of music fans.
Fresh off some extensive touring the band
has released their sophomore effort Wah
Hoo! a fourteen song mix of originals, covers,
traditional and songs from the public domain.
Lots of good stuff here including the opening
track "Le Gadeliderot", the title
cut "Wah Hoo!", the playful boast
of "Gay Paris (The Boaster)",
"Bully in the Alley" and "Canal
Street Slide". Other keepers include
Whitford's vocal turn on the ode to short
women "Short and Sweet", the tender
"I Had Someone Else Before I Had You",
"Phil's Waltz"and the twin fiddle
romp "Beaver Cap" featuring Gretchen
Banaszak on fiddle and vocals. They also
nail the Bob Wills classic "Take Me
Back to Tulsa" featuring some great
guitar and fiddle interplay.
To find out more about The Canal Street
String Band and their latest release Wah
Hoo! visit their website at www.canalstreetstringband.com
For fans of Pete Seeger,
Ricky Scaggs, Bill Monroe
- The Buffalo Spell -
musician Toney Rhodes established his
musical reputation at the age of fourteen
as the organist and leader of the choir
at his father's Pentecostal church. As
he got older he branched out to a few
local R&B, funk, blues and Reggae
bands and from there Rhodes and his keyboards
went on to forge as career as a go to
session guy and stints with saxophonist
Najee, classic rock superstar Steve Miller
and Joe Wooten of the Wooten Brothers
to name a few. In between he was putting
together musical ideas and tracks that
have finally seen daylight as his new
release The Buffalo Spell. The fifteen
track disc is a sweet offering of jazz,
funk, soul and R&B and features a
solid cast of musicians helping out Rhodes
among them are Carl "Flute"
Johnson, Jerry Livingston, Kenny Hawkins,
Mike DiSanto and RiShon O'Dell. Rhodes
who wrote twelve of the fifteen tracks
on the disc never hogs the spotlight giving
all the musicians ample room to show their
talents as well.
Highlights include the title track "The
Buffalo Spell" with its Latin vibe,
"Therapy" that trips along on
a jaunty bass line and "First Cause"
featuring some nice saxophone from Dominic
Missana. Other tracks of interest include
"Osaka Bay Sunshine", "I
Love Your Spirit" and "I Want
You" that has the feeling of watching
an ocean sunset.
For more information about Toney Rhodes
and his new release The Buffalo Spell
visit his website at www.toneyrhodes.com
For fans of Spyro Gyra,
YellowJackets and Bobby Jones
- How To Live Without Blood -
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
) 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
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
- 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
- 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
For fans of Bruce Springsteen,
John Hiatt, Randy Newman
- 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
- 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,
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
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.
- Shaken Tree Blues -
Review - By Bob Silvestri
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.
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