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Showing posts from October, 2018

Chris Isaak, Parx Casino, Bensalem, PA, 8/31/2018; Isaak's Career Spanning Selections Made For a Solid Rock 'n Roll Show

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Photos courtesy of Chris Isaak Chris Isaak's last studio album came out in 2015, so I suspected that something new might be in the offing when I saw he was booked to play at Parx Casino on Friday night August 31st. I had never seen him before so the concert was quite a thrill. Isaak's show offered a good survey of his career, programmed to please. He talked quite a bit through the show and all of the self deprecating humor entertained the crowd for sure. For three seasons starting in 2001, Isaac played himself on a weekly hourlong TV show, The Chris Isaak Show (Showtime). Having watched all of the episodes, Isaac and the band members who participated were starting to seem very familiar, even though I'd never been to see them live. The TV show was a mixture of comedy, drama and performance, loosely based on Isaak's experiences from his career. The music performances were top notch and the whole thing was scripted to seem unscripted and natural. That is why live m

Smokey Robinson, Mann Music Center, Philadelphia, 8/25/2018; A True Living Legend Delighted the Philly Crowd

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Photos Courtesy of Smokey Robinson "I’m very blessed, and I’m living the life that I absolutely love. I love every aspect of my work, and when your job is something that you love like that, time flies." Smokey Robinson, RollingStone, 2009 When it comes to concert audiences, I've seen enthusiastic. I saw the sold-out crowd at The Spectrum sing, unprompted, the entire first verse of "Hungry Heart" when Bruce Springsteen opened the concert with it in 1980. In my years of concert going I've been in some pretty incredible audiences, but I don't think that any of them were any more enthusiastic than the crowd that greeted Smokey Robinson when he appeared at The Mann, Saturday night, August 25th. You can watch the video below. It occurred to me during the opening notes of "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" that Smokey wrote this song that is so identified with the Beatles. I realized right then that we were watching not just an icon but a true

Hot Club of Philadelphia, Michener Museum, Doylestown, PA, 8/15/2018; The Hot Club's Gypsy Jazz Transports the Listener to Another Place & Time

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The Hot Club of Philadelphia performed at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA on August 15th. There are numerous Hot Club bands that take their inspiration from The Hot Club of France, which was formed in the 1930s by Django Reinhardt (guitar) and St├ęphane Grappelli (violin). About Django Reinhardt and The Hot Club of France: Django Reinhardt has astounded and thrilled numerous generations of guitar players and jazz lovers with his amazing command of the guitar. January 24th, 1910 at Liberchies Belgium, Django was born into the open air, rambling lifestyle of his gypsy parents. At the age of eight, his mother's tribe settled near the belt of fortifications that surrounded the old Paris, near the Choisy gate. He never wore a suit or lived in a real house until he was twenty years old. These French Gypsies or Manouches were a world unto themselves, medieval in their beliefs, and distrustful of modern science. Django grew up in this world of contradictions, one fo