Showing posts from August, 2017

John Sebastian, World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, 8/10/2017; With a Wealth of Experience and Music, The Lovin' Spoonful Singer & Songwriter Tells It Like It Was

Photo: The Acoustic Centre The last time I saw John Sebastian perform was in the Woodstock movie, documenting that most momentous live concert of August 1969. Which is not to say that Sebastian sat on his hands for the last forty-eight years. It's just that I had not crossed paths with his tour schedule, so when I saw him booked at Philadelphia's World Cafe Live on August 10th, I jumped at the chance to see him play. A quick check online revealed lots of gray hair and a voice that while somewhat older, was still easily recognizable and his spirit seemed intact. On record, Sebastian's latest is an acoustic duet with David Grisman from 2007. The album, Satisfied , covered mostly acoustic blues, and as such it contributed three numbers to Sebastian's set. In fact, he opened the show with a superb version of Mississippi John Hurt's "I'm Satisfied". I associate that song primarily with Taj Mahal, but it does seem to be a mainstay of the acoustic blu

Bill DeMain - Transatlantic Romantic; With Swan Dive On Hold DeMain Delivers His Full Length Debut, 'Left of Center Pop' At Its Finest

Photos courtesy of Bill DeMain After eighteen years and ten albums, the guitar playing and songwriting half of Swan Dive, Bill DeMain, just recorded his first full length solo album Transatlantic Romantic . This record excels in many ways, from songwriting and performance to production, but above all else Transatlantic Romantic is a triumph of vocals. I'd wager that if you made a list of your top ten favorite songs from the sixties or seventies, no matter if they be rock, pop, or soul, the one thing that they will have in common is great vocals. Spinning the radio dial these days, one might think that this is becoming a lost art. As a songwriter, musician, and a singer, DeMain is adept at creating some of the more memorable music that you will hear; the man knows his way around a hook. What's more, on this record DeMain multi-tracks the vocals and accompanies himself on all of the exquisite harmonies he writes. Think The Association crossed with Fountains of Wayne. The

Billy Ocean - Here You Are: The Music Of My Life; The Perfect Mood Album for Summer

Photo: Taylor Dayne Concert Photos I've been listening to a new album by Billy Ocean and liking it quite a bit. I first became aware of Ocean when he sang "Caribbean Queen" on the Live Aid telecast in 1985. Since then, I haven't followed him, my loss apparently. According to his website, Billy Ocean is the biggest black recording star Britain has ever produced, one who has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime. He has collected a pile of Gold and Platinum records across the world and hit the number one spot worldwide on pop charts including the USA, Australia, Germany, Holland, and the UK. Billy has achieved extraordinary success as both an artist and a songwriter. Born in Trinidad, Billy settled in London’s East End when just seven years old. The calypso crazy kid soon got turned on to soul singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, as well as pop groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, leading him to spend much of his study time in the music ro