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.  

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.

"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.

Ray Lamontagne began his summer tour on May 27th, a rainy Tuesday evening in Portland, Maine. Listen to the the title track to his newest release, in summer fresh colors and sounds - SUPERNOVA:

 

Former Drive By Truckers alumni, Jason Isbell, opened the show for Lamontagne. Isbell is from Alabama and has been on a worldwide tour since the release of his 4th Studio album Southeastern in 2013.

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