Friday, March 17, 2017

Juke


Rather than shedding tears of grief upon learning of the death of the aged blues harmonica titan James Cotton yesterday, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for living during an era that enabled me to catch multiple performances by the luminary.  I first witnessed Cotton at the original incarnation of Antone’s in Austin. I heard him for the last time at the Uptown Theater in 2011.  Thanks to the blues scare of the late 1980s and early 1990s, I also attended plenty of gigs by John Lee Hooker, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy Rogers, Albert Collins, B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Honeyboy Edwards, Koko Taylor, Johnny Copeland, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Z.Z. Hill and many other since-departed giants.  The blues was alright.


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I reviewed last night’s outstanding concert by Charlie Wilson, Fantasia and Johnny Gill at the Sprint Center.

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I reviewed Ben Folds’ concert with the Kansas City Symphony.

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I reviewed the Quality Hill Playhouse production “Unchained Melody.”

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I write weekly concert previews for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine.

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I named Everette DeVan the KCUR Band of the Week.

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I wrote an extended concert preview about Ariana Grande for The Kansas City Star and Ink magazine.

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I reviewed the one-man play Live Bird at Plastic Sax.

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Evan Johns has died.

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Joni Sledge has died.

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Tommy LiPuma has died.

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New albums by the Kansas City based artists Samantha Fish, Hermon Mehari and Matt Otto were released today.

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The heavy Kansas City rock band Hyborian is off to an auspicious start with ”As Above, So Below”.

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Based on the stellar quality of the three advance tracks from Valerie June’s new album The Order of Time, I was hoping for a modern-day Astral Weeks.  It’s not even close.  The remainder of The Order of Time is merely good.  RIYL: Van Morrison, celestial boogie, Iris DeMent.

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I thought I’d outgrown 1980s college rock, but the Rolling Blackouts' The French Press makes me swoon in spite of myself.  RIYL: The Windbreakers, 1985,  the Go-Betweens.  Here’s ”Julie’s Place”.

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Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives’ Way Out West is a showcase for guitarist Kenny Vaughan.  RIYL: Dick Dale, spaghetti westerns, Marty Robbins.  Here’s the title track.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

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