walterdanaandlaurence (Photo courtesy of Dana Fuchs)

 

I was only 25 when I first heard Live (No More Fish Jokes) by Walter Trout. That album was, and still is, in my modest opinion, the epitaph of what Blues/Rock should sound like. Very few artists have been able to replicate that energy, vibes and intensity that Trout put on that record or in many of his studio albums he has recorded in his long and successful career but they rarely succeeded to do so.

In the last couple of years, horrible and heavy health issues have been very close to take away forever Trout not only from music and family but from life, in a very cruel way. Through the love and devotion of his family and fans, Trout has been able to overcome such issues and is living now a second life, to the point he struggles himself to believe he made it through.

Many people will remember the Lead Belly Tribute evening at the Royal Albert Hall in London on June 15th for the incredible quality of the line-up. Dana Fuchs (what a dynamite!), Laurence Jones, Paul Jones, Jools Holland, Billy Bragg, Eric Burdon, Van Morrison and many others. But Walter Trout stole the whole show. He just couldn't wait to go on stage, he didn't feel like doing anything else than playing tonight.

When that splendid woman that Marie, Walter's wife is, announced him to the London crowd, the whole Albert Hall rose on their feet for three Standing Ovations through the 10 minutes Trout had been on. Walter, visibly emotional, played a couple of tracks, one homage to the late great B.B. King, the other to Lead Belly, joined on stage by the young and very talented Laurence Jones during the whole performance. Apologies to all the readers at Bluebirdreviews about the fact I didn't take any photos. Purposely. I just wanted to feel and breath the whole emotion of that moment. To see Walter Trout on stage again, where he belongs, performing Live, has been an emotional and intense moment for myself and everyone present that night.

The Trout is back again, this time forever

 

Giovanni "Gio" Pilato

 

See Walter Trout Comeback on YouTube

 

There must be no better place in the world to celebrate 20 years of glorious carrier on the road for a "Shepherd" then the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, UK. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band is on the last date of their UK Tour of 2015 and London is paying a massive tribute to this phenomenal artist and his boys with another sold out night.

The night starts very well, with an intense blues mini-set performed by one of the most promising talents coming from England, named Ben Poole. Ben has been building himself a solid reputation in the genre in the last few years and this evening is no exception at all. Just about time to re-arrange the stage and at 20.45, a Blues Explosion detonates for the next two hours. Kenny and the band don't hold back from the minute they set foot on stage; Never Lookin' Back, Everything Is Broken and The House Is Rockin' set fire to the evening in style and Kenny and his band seem certainly to the top of their forms.  

"If you want to know my secret.

Don't come running after me. 

"For I am just a painter. Passing through in history."

From, "A Painter Passing Through," Gordon Lightfoot.

Wearing a blue satin vest, pressed white shirt and gentleman's boots, Gordon Lightfoot delivered a rich and elegant performance at the Calvin Theatre on July 13, 2014. The Canadian singer-songwriter legend, honored the Northampton full house, receiving multiple standing ovations throughout the night. With long set list of deep cut classics from his expansive catalog, his warm textured voice continued to deliver the same intensity and drive as it has since his first Toronto recordings in 1962.

When the band walked out and Gordon followed, cheers, whistles and applause filled the room. The band had equal command of the audience. The material played, which changes throughout the tour, was delivered with timeless impact that a group can only master from experience. They brought their history of folk, rock, country, and even a little jazz sound, to multi-generational crowd. For many people who grew up with the 70's singer-songwriter comfort of radio and early folk, the songs were heard through our souls.

The Iron Horse Music Hall hosted a full house to welcome native New Englanders, Will Evans and Jay Driscoll, the original members of roots rock band, Barefoot Truth. The band, with frontman, Will Evans, has recorded four full length albums and several EP's of his original music. Their most recent release, "Carry Us On", debuted at #10 on the iTunes Rock Chart. BFT went on hiatus in 2012, but Will Evans and Jay Driscoll have never stopped creating globally inspired roots rock music. Will Evans has shared the stage with many top artists including Crosby and Nash, Grace Potter, Bruce Hornsby, State Radio, Badfish and members of Dispatch.

Boston w/ Cheap Trick

Darling's Waterfront Pavilion
Bangor, ME USA
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
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Written by: Matthew Joel Phillips

Photography by: Chris Joles

Summer's only begun, but school was back in at Darling's Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, ME as classic rock legends Boston (on tour with Cheap Trick) showed every live band how to put on a show, rainy weather be damned.

Bringing their "A" game on Wednesday, July 2nd, the Boston mother ship landed just as skies darkened and our first taste of special effects came not from the stage but from overhead, and the original pyrotechnic wizard: Mother Nature.

Boston is of course led by Tom Scholz: guitarist, singer, inventor, producer, principal songwriter and graduate of MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and he proudly wears a gray shirt with the school's logo during the concert. (And his instrumental "Last Day of School", from their latest album, was one of my many early highlights of the show).

Sunday, September 7, 2014.

" ... raise a toast, to a rock and roll ghost."

We were Boston bound for the Minneapolis sound. Replacements fans around the globe suffered through rock and roll purgatory, waiting for a Westerberg-Stinson reunion we thought would never happen. "Should we give it up?"

On Sept 7, for New England fans, it was all over but the shouting. At 8:15 sharp, Jesus rode beside us. Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg were all smiles as they walked onto the Boston Calling stage. (Yes, SMILES!)

thereplacements38They were joined by Boston native, guitarist, Dave Minehan, (Who worked with Paul Westerberg, on his solo album, 14 Songs, and plays in the band, The Neighborhoods) with Josh Freese on drums. (Freese has played with: A Perfect Circle, Paramore, Nine Inch Nails, Devo, The Vandals, Sting, Paul Westerberg, Guns N' Roses, Fliptop, Ween, Kelly Clarkson, The Offspring, Weezer, The Desert Sessions, Mötley Crüe, Sublime with Rome, Avril Lavigne, Meraki)

Unlike younger bands, the Mats had no rebel reputation to prove. (Was the wine in The 1975 guys' staged bottle even real?) Dressed like gents, they looked crisp and sharp tonight, ready to take on the multi-generational festival pumped crowd. Tommy was finishing a beer and mumbled something to Paul, to which he laughed, "Hippies ... F*ckin' Hippies ..." Within a flash, Westerberg took off his jacket and they got down to the business of completely blowing our minds beyond expectation.

Rich Robinson Rocks the Paradise
June 6th, 2014, Boston

The tour bus was parked out on the street as the line of concert goers stood waiting for the doors of the Paradise Rock Club to open. A Boston original, the 'Dise" sits on Commonwealth Avenue at the edge of the Boston University campus. The Paradise holds just over 900 people and opened its doors in 1977. In 1981, U2 played their very first show on American soil here. Many Bands coming through Boston make this Rock Club one of their stops.


Rich Robinson and his band did exactly that on June 6th, a beautiful warm Friday night in Boston. Robinson, a founding member of The Black Crowes, is touring in support of his critically acclaimed album The Ceaseless Sight. Ceaseless Sight is his third solo album and was released just three days before this show.

"Buy a record, support the artists, preserve the future of music"

Remember to support your favorite artists through buying their products.
A good place to start is searching BestBuy.com and Amazon.com.