Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Anais Mitchell returns to the Iron Horse Music Hall

Anais Mitchell and The Young Man Band
Northampton, MA February 27, 2012

Performance Videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2953809D08483129&feature=plcp

Anais Mitchell returned to one of her favorite venues, The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton MA. Mitchell and her new band, The Young Man Band featuring: Rachel Ries, Ben Davis and Noah Hahn are out promoting her new CD which dropped today "Young Man In America"

Mitchell played 1:45 minutes before a very close to sold out venue (it was a Monday night after all.)

Rachel Ries and a Badger Pelt
The new band is coming together nicely and the vocal harmonies of Mitchell, Ries and Davis are amazing. To hear such angelic sounds singing some pretty gritty lyrics is quite an experience. 

Right before she treated the audience to "Dyin Day" she talked about NPR's On Point radio show last week and how the conversation somehow got on the subject of animal pelts, and that the kick drum's sheep skin "needed a friend pelt". A couple from Cornish NH (Inga and Nick) who were listening in and who tan 'road kill' contacted Mitchell after the radio show and said they'd bring a few pelts to the Iron Horse show. Well...the band chose a badger (pictured here) and a coyote that was on stage under Mitchell's feet. Mitchell gave a shout out to Inga and Nick!

Her set featured mostly songs off the new CD but she did treat the full house to a few rarities too. The band left the stage leaving Mitchell to do a solo. She asked the for audience some suggestions and the first she heard was "Come September" from the 2008 Righteous Babe Record release Country EP with Rachel Ries. Rather than do it solo she called Ries on stage. 

Another treat came when Mitchell announced that "I'd like to play a super old song" and off they went into..."Cosmic American" Mitchell explained how she wrote it as a student studying in Egypt. The song is off her 2004 Waterbug Records release "Hymns for the Exiled."

The band closed the set with "Ships", the last song on the new CD and then returned for an encore of "Why We Build The Wall" off her critically acclaimed 2010 folk opera "Hadestown." Mitchell asked the audience to sing along and for this song Ries and Davis switched instruments.

Wilderland/Young Man in America
Coming Down
Dyin Day
O My Star
He Did
Come September (with Rachel Ries)
You Are Forgiven
Cosmic American
Of A Friday Night
Why We Build the Wall

Joshua Meltzer opened the show and began promptly at 7 pm. He introduced one of his songs with a story about how it was written; he was attending a writers workshop and was rapidly approaching his deadline.

He was in a New York coffee shop sitting next to a couple that appeared to be breaking up. The couple got up and Meltzer thinking this might make a good song followed them out of the shop. "So here's the stalker ballad of the evening, Beautiful Mistake" said Meltzer.
Meltzer also told the audience that Anais Mitchell was he first person he saw after moving east from Los Angeles, in fact it was at the Iron Horse.

He closed his 30 minute set by saying "what's a night without a murder ballard" and began The Mountain.

Copyright ©2012 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Springsteen Week On Jimmy Fallon

From NBC Files via Bruce Facebook page
NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” will feature two appearances by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band next week — Monday and Friday . The latter appearance will feature an interview with Springsteen and multiple performances by the Boss and the E Street Band, according to Springsteen’s representative.
Bruce Mansfield MA 8/23/2009
Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt
When Springsteen and crew are not on the show, the week’s musical guests will perform Springsteen songs. Country star Kenny Chesney (seen at a concert with Grace Potter at Grand Point North 2011) will play “I'm on Fire” on Monday and Elvis Costello, backed by Fallon’s house band, the Roots, will perform “Brilliant Disguise” on Thursday .
Springsteen’s new album, “Wrecking Ball,” is drops March 6, and he and the E Street Band are set to hit the road, starting with a March 9 date at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. 

Area shows include:
TD Garden Boston March 26
Wells Fargo Philly March 28, 29
Izod Center  East Rutherford NJ April 3, 4,
MSG April 6, 9
Buffalo April 13
Albany April 16
NO Jazz Fest April 29
Pru Center Newark NJ May 2
Follow all the lastest on BRUCE at Backstreets
Springsteen appeared on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” in 2010 and performed Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” dressed as a ’70s-era version of himself, with Fallon, who was dressed as a ’70s-era Neil Young.
Some of my favorite videos:
More Springsteen Images
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Copyright ©2012 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals to Open for President Obama in VERMONT

From the Burlington Free Press

President Obama is coming to Vermont!

President Barack Obama is moving the location of his Vermont visit to accommodate more people, and adding a headline local musical act to the bill. Sources say the March 30 the event, originally scheduled for the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center on Williston Road, SOLD OUT too fast. Organizers began to search for a larger location. 

Grace Potter

The president's re-election campaign also says singer and songwriter Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, will be performing at the event.

Tickets for the event range in price from $44 students and grassroots activists to $7,500 for a photo opportunity with the president. 
Nocturnal Matt Burr
Nocturnal Scott Tournet
Nocturnal Benny Yurco
Grace Potter
The event is scheduled to begin at noon on the 30th and tickets are available online at https://donate.barackobama.com/page/contribute/o2012-march30burlingtonreception
Grace Potter and Vt Gov. Peter Shumlin NYE 2010
The last sitting president to visit Vermont was Bill Clinton in 1995. 

VT US Sen. Pat Leahy and Gov Peter Shumlin
at Goodnight Irene Fundraiser 2011
Obama, visited Vermont in 2006 (when he was a U.S. Senator from Illinois) at a rally in the Ira Allen Chapel on the UVM campus. That event included politicians Bernie Sanders and Peter Welch and filled to beyond overflowing.

 The GPN song "Colors" recorded 
Oct 9, 2011 at the 
"Goodnight Irene" benefit for Vermont Flood Victims.

Portrait of The Artist as a Young Woman--Relix 2010

They both have Candy Bars made in Vermont!

More Grace Potter Images
More Gov. Peter Shumlin
Obama Campaign 2008 Images

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Copyright ©2012 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Album Stream: Anaïs Mitchell - Young Man in America

Anaïs Mitchell’s unique musical style has produced memorable folk albums for the past decade, exploring stories that range from simple subjects all the way to 2010’s folk-opera Hadestown—a variation of a classic Greek myth. With her new album,Young Man in America, Mitchell continues to seek out richly-detailed stories, but has chosen to examine multiple angles in an epic tale throughout the different stages of the country.
“I’ve always been interested in songwriting as a storytelling device,” Mitchell explained about the album. “There’s a lot of characters [on Young Man] that speak on this. There’s a lot of stories, but it’s not a concept record. It’s more of a collection of short stories that belong in the same book.”
Mitchell didn’t have a grand plan heading into the album, and she’s adamant that she didn’t choose the stories, but the stories chose her. Lyrics and characters would just appear in mid-air due to emotions she felt herself, which she channeled into telling with as much vivid detail as possible.
Tour Dates
22 – Newmarket, N.H. @ Stone Church Music Club
22 – Boston, Mass. @ Club Passim
24 – Burlington, Vt. @ Higher Ground
25 – Peace Dale, R.I. @ Unitarian Universalist Church
27 – Northhampton, Mass. @ Iron Horse
28 – New York, N.Y. @ Joe’s Pub
29 – Annapolis, Md. @ Ram’s Head
1 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Tin Angel
2 – Vienna, Va. @ Jammin’ Java
3 – Charlottesville, Va. @ The Southern
4 – Charleston, Va. @ Mountain Stage
6 – Charlotte, N.C. @ Evening Muse
7 – Asheville, N.C. @ Grey Eagle
8 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Eddie’s Attic
9 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Square Room
10 – Nashville, Tenn. @ The Basement
28 – Doug Fir** – Portland, Ore. @ Doug Fir †
29 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Tractor †
4 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Freight & Salvage
6 – San Diego, Calif. @ USCD at the Loft
7 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Edye Theater
12 – Harrisonburg, Calif. @ Eastern Mennonite University
13 – Staunton, Va. @ Mockingbird
14 – Lewisburg, W. Va. @ Carnegie Hall
19 – Ann Arbor, Mich. @ The Ark
20 – Evanston, Ill. @ Space
22 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ 7th Street
-† = performing Hadestown

Anais Video Playlist: 
Hadestown Playlist:

Copyright ©2012 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Torchlight Parade and Fireworks!

Suicide Six 75th Anniversary
Torchlight Parade and Dance
Pomfret VT February 18, 2012
Photos and Videos by Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
Torchlight Parade

Everyone loves fireworks and most everyone loves a Torchlight Parade down a freshly groomed ski slope on a unseasonable warm February night. Suicide Six Ski Area in Pomfret Vermont celebrated its 75th (Diamond) Anniversary last night with a Torchlight Parade, a Dance-featuring Automatic Rooster, and a surprise display of fireworks.

Photos By Nanci covered the event for the Vermont Standard. Photos should be in the paper and online Thursday February 23. Videos of the Parade and Fireworks are posted on YouTube ; a sample video is below.

Copyright ©2012 Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
For The Vermont Standard: http://www.thevermontstandard.com/

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Suzanne Vega at Tupelo Music Hall Vermont

Suzanne Vega
Tupelo Music Hall White River Junction VT
February 17, 2012
Story and Photos by Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
Suzanne Vega, Tupelo Music Hall VT
The last time I caught Suzanne Vega in the Upper Valley, she co-headlined with  Marc Cohn at the Lebanon Opera House almost two years ago (February 5, 2010. Images)

From the internet...
A lot has happened to Vega since her break out hits "Luka" and "Tom's Diner" (the diner's exterior was used in the tv-sitcom  Seinfeld!) from the 1987 album Solitude Standing; most notably, she was dropped by her record label A&M Records and Blue Note Records, she now no longer has access to the master's recorded by these labels including "Luka" and Tom's Diner."

According to a Valley News article published February 16, 2012, Katie Beth Ryan reports that Vega wants to re-record her back catalog to gain control over these songs and has been doing just that over the last three years. She has re-released many of these songs on her won label Amanuensis (a Latin term for a manual laborer or slave--perhaps Vega is poking fun at her former labels.) As reported by Ryan in a telephone interview Vega said "My goal was to have a copy of, a physical copy, of the songs that belong to me, because I don't own the masters of my recordings that people know. The big hit Luka, when you hear it on the radio, that recording belongs to A&M. It doesn't belong to me. I have no control over how they use it or how they don’t use it.”
Kate McNally, NHPR.org
The first half of last night's show was recorded for "The Tupelo Radio Project" on NH Public Radio.   Kate McNally who hosts The Folk Show asked questions of Vega between songs and got some pretty interesting stories out of the singer songwriter; the show will air Sunday February 19 at 9 pm. A list of the other scheduled shows can be found on The Folk Show webpage.

Vega opened with "Marlene On The Wall" and played a few songs on her guitar. She then set the guitar down and broke into "Caramel" with lots of finger snaps for percussion. She took back the guitar and at the urging of NH PR's McNally introduced the wonderfully talented Gerry Leonard. Leonard does things to his guitar that routinely make audience members think the music they hear is pre-recorded but it's not, I've watched and photographed from the front row.

Gerry Leonard

When Vega was 18, working at a summer camp in upstate New York she met a fellow camp counselor "down the road" who returned to England at the end of the season. Vega penned this song for him and he gave her his bandanna. "Gypsy."

The guitar came off again and McNally asked Vega what was up next for her. Vega replied, writing songs to finish up the Close Up Series, working on the play (referring to the play she co-wrote with Duncan Shiek "Carson McCullers Talks About Love." 

Vega played three from the play to close out the first half of the show: "New York Destination", "Anne Marie" and "Harper Lee." 

Vega's Guitar
At 9:30 Vega and Leonard returned to the stage. Vega said it was time for a cheerful song and she told the tale of her beloved 17 year old cat that died. Her mom gave it a shampoo and blow dry; then her mom and stepfather carried it down to the East River and put it on a raft; set fire to the raft; and sent it sailing up the river in a Viking Funeral. Vega decided she did not want a Viking Funeral but a big old fashioned marble "Tombstone." Vega giggled "A long story for a very short song."

Gerry Leonard
After "Blood Makes Noise" during which Leonard again demonstrated his unusual guitar playing...Vega dedicated "Man Who Played God" to Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse/Mark Linkous)

They closed the set with Vega's two biggest hits "Luka" and "Tom's Diner." Vega said to follow her on Facebook so she could know more about everyone, like their birthdays. Then she wished a 'Happy Birthday' to a young lady in the audience named Luka who was celebrating her birthday last night.

 "Calypso"  and "Rosemary/Remember Me" were performed as encores.

Very full house, 1:45 minute show. Always great seeing Suzanne in the Upper Valley.

Marlene On the Wall (1985)
When Heroes Go Down (1993)
Small Blue Thing (1985)
Caramel (2010)
Frank and Ava (2007)
Gypsy (1986)
NY Destination (2011)
Anne Marie (2011)
Harper Lee (2011)
Tombstone (1996)
Blood Makes Noise (1992)
Man Who Played God (2009) Dedicated to Mark Linkous
Queen and Soldier (1985)
Some Journey (1985)
Luka (1987)
Tom's Diner (1987)
Calypso (1987)
Rosemary/Remember Me (1999)
(In Liverpool) on list not played
(New York is Woman) on list not played

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Southside Johnny Hits Stowe VT

Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center
Stowe VT February 11, 2012
Review and photos by Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

With no opening act, Southside took the stage just a little past 8 pm and played for just about two hours. The show wasn't sold out but was pretty darn full with a lot of folks in the crowd speaking with New York and New Jersey accents.

A few songs in Southside appeared somewhat confused, grabbed the setlist, looked it over then tore it up. We knew the fun was about to begin. Not often does he follow a setlist but this is the first time we've seen him tear it up. It usually causes some minor confusion among band members but being the professionals they are, you don't really notice the "audibles."

With one exception at this show, John Isley, in only his second night on Sax with the newly revamped horn section did seem a little lost after the setlist was torn up by Southside, however he did a great job with a little help from Chris Anderson.

Isley joined The Jukes after Ed Manion joined the E-Street band for Bruce Springsteen's Wrecking Ball Tour. According to an interview given by Southside to The Record “He’s stealing my saxophone players to replace Clarence (Clemons, who passed away last year), so we steal from each other’s bands occasionally.”

Southside paid tribute to his former roommate (1967or 68) and song writing partner, "Miami Steve", "Little Steven", Steve Van Zandt by playing a double shot of "Angel Eyes and "Forever" off the critically acclaimed Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul "Men Without Women." At the end Southside said "God Bless Steve Van Zandt!" (in a related article please read:
Rock and Roll Forever Foundation...Keep Kids in School

Southside told tales of driving the back roads of Vermont from Montpelier to Stowe, without cell service and how Vermont was going to get hit with a ton of snow in March. He also asked the crowd if anyone had a ski pass they could give to the trumpet player (Chris Anderson) "We're trying to get rid of him too" said Southside.

During "Talk To Me" he spoke about a hard day skiing and hanging in the ski lodge meeting up with a young ski bunny "and she's 20 years younger than you and she looks better than any girls you've ever gone out with including the four you married...". Then he tried to get the crowd to sing the chorus with him...

He closed the show with a new song "Umbrella in My Drink" and called Tom Rowell, the Spruce Peak Productions and Operations Manager on stage with his tuba.

Seeing Southside in such a comfortable, acoustically perfect setting makes me hate the Hampton Beach Casino even more, we are often forced to see Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes there because they aren't booked anywhere nearby. 

I'm also left wondering why a band with such talent is playing small venues when the likes of other no-talent folks are selling out arenas.

The Band: 

Southside Johnny

  Jeff Kazee, Keyboards

John Conte, Bass

Glenn Alexander, Guitar

   Tom Seguso, Drums

John Isley, Tenor and Baritone Sax

Chris Anderson, Trumpet and Flugelhorn

Neal Pawley, Trombone and guitar

Tom Rowell, Spruce Peak Productions and Operations Manager on Tuba

I Played the Fool 
Love on the Wrong Side of Town 
Lead Me On 
Gin Soaked Boy 
Talk to Me/Twist and Shout 
Harder Than It Looks 
Woke up This Morning 
Angel Eyes/Forever 
Into the Harbour 
Walk away Renee 
Tango till They're Sore (Intro only) 
Tuba Blues Improv 
Without Love 
Shake 'em Down 
All Down the Line (sung by Jeff Kazee) 
The Fever 
It's Been a Long Time 
I Don't Want to Go Home 
One More Night to Rock 


Umbrella in My Drink  (with Tom Rowell on Tuba)

Band Lineup 
Southside Johnny, vocals and harmonica 
Jeff Kazee, keyboards 
John Conte, bass 
Tom Seguso, drums 
Glenn Alexander, guitar 
John Isley, tenor and baritone sax 
Chris Anderson, trumpet and flugelhorn 
Neal Pawley, trombone and acoustic guitar 

Spruce Peak is a beautiful venue. Stowe has done a very tasteful job (in my opinion) developing the area. It's worth a look if you're up this way. 

Vermont is sure pretty in the snow, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to Florida next weekend. On The Beach!!! 

-- Carol (Thanks Carol)

This was our second show at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe Vermont, and it won't be our last. The theater has fantastic acoustics and very comfy seats. And for a photographer, the lighting crew does an outstanding job!

More Southside Pics