There is so much history in the Memphis music scene, and three of the elder statesmen of that scene headlined a stupendous show titled Take Me to the River at the Parker Playhouse over the past weekend.
These three gentlemen – William Bell, Bobby Rush, and Don Bryant – are 78, 84, and 75 years of age, respectively, but none of them show any signs of slowing. We were in the presence of music royalty and we knew it. And we appreciated it!
Everybody knows at least one of Jimmy Webb‘s songs even though they may not know his name. That was not the case with the full audience at Crest Theatre at Old School Square where everyone did know his name.
We were rewarded with a great evening of both stories and songs, mostly from his earlier days as a songwriter.
I ‘only’ saw 172 shows last year, which is the lowest number since 2013 (it was late in 2013 that I started this website). Nevertheless, it still made choosing my top ten shows difficult.
As always, I do not include sets from festivals because the energy at a festival adds so much to an artist’s performance that it is unfair to compare festival sets to ‘regular’ shows. This year, however, I make mention of some sets at festivals that were especially fabulous.
I am a relatively new (meaning the past eight or nine years) fan of Steve Earle and The Dukes and try to see him every chance I get, so I was thrilled to be able to cover the rescheduled show at the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale. The band had originally been scheduled to do a south Florida tour that unfortunately coincided with Hurricane Irma… The show was to be held at the Parker Playhouse which was previously booked this night so they partnered with the Auditorium to present it this night.
It was only after I met Carlos Averhoff, Jr. that I realized I also knew his father (although not personally) – the great Cuban saxophonist Carlos Averhoff who was one of the founders of the Afro-Cuban jazz group Irakere. Carlos Senior passed away almost a year ago, and I was fortunate to attend a tribute to him at Florida International University recently.
I cannot mince words – I believe The Mavericks is one of the best bands touring and releasing new music today, so I was thrilled to see them at Parker Playhouse last night. As always, I was not disappointed!
Their combination of country, Latin, and rockabilly styles is unique and I (as well as many others) simply MUST dance at their live shows.
There are not many singer-songwriters who can silence a room the way John Moreland can. The audience at the Culture Room may not have been as quiet as I have experienced at previous shows of John’s I have attended, but they were much more attentive than audiences at many other shows.
People with whom I spoke before the show started did not know John and I told them they were in for a treat!
YES is one of those bands I listened to a lot back in the early 1970s. Their progressive rock style appealed to me and many of my friends, and I even saw them once then. Fast forward to 2017 and there are two versions of YES featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman which tour. I was fortunate to see this version at the lovely Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.
As some of you may know, I relocated to South Florida a couple of months ago (yes, just in time to evacuate for Hurricane Irma). Seeing one of my favorites, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, at Revolution Live was an incredible way to start my inroad into the local music scene! I also finally saw Dumpstaphunk, a band I have been jonesing to see live!