Keep Christ in Christmas – Jingle Bell Rock Tour

Mickey Thomas of Starship, Lou Gramm of Foreigner and Eddie Money are conducting a mini-tour together to Keep Christ in Christmas. Take a look at the poster below and go out hear these three great vocalists at the cities near you.

The concerts are about rock music and each of their respective hits but it’s also about keeping Christ in Christmas. I think it’s an ideal counter balance, don’t you? ūüôā

Here is what each artist has to say about getting together to sing about Christ and Christmas.

“It’s going to be each of our respective songs and the¬†holiday¬†songs. We’ll be singing some things together. We really didn’t have the time to write originals,” says Gramm

“I think that Christmas is really all about the kids and the birth of Christ,” says Eddie Money.

“Of course Christmastime is a great time for joy and to Keep Christ in Christmas is how we say it. I’m really looking forward to having a wonderful time out here,” says Mickey Thomas

Frank Sinatra – The Best of The Best

I saw this television advertisement this morning for Frank Sinatra’s, Best of the Best on Capitol Records.

How cool is this, 23 songs for $9.99! The best of his Capitol and Reprise catalogues. All on one CD!

It’s the best of the best no-brainer ever.

There is also a 2 CD¬†deluxe edition, featuring the 23 classic songs and a 1957 live Seattle¬†concert. I want both products¬†ūüėČ

Frank Sinatra: Best of The Best

Concert Review: Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman, Ridgefield Playhouse, November 2, 2011

We shared an intimate evening with legendary progressive rock artists, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman this past Wednesday night. The two former members of Yes leveraged their warm affinity for each other’s musical heritage effectively resulting in ¬†a well-articulated collaboration.

Jon Anderson is the vocal heart of Yes. His gentle spirituality combined with his passion for Mother Earth endears you to him. The music he has co-written with Rick Wakeman,  The Living Tree is a notable departure from the Yes classics we know and love. The songs are light, yet provocative in their assimilation.

I especially liked the interweaving of Yes songs with Anderson & Wakeman songs. I found that to be a very effective method to transfer accessibility to The Living Tree compositions.

A high point of the evening that showed me the superior depth of the vast Yes catalog was the song ¬†“Awaken” from the¬†Going For The One¬†album. ¬†The synergy of Jon’s rich vocal instrument in direct harmony with Rick’s keyboard mastery produced a transfixing interlude. I have read that “Awaken” is Rick Wakeman’s favorite Yes selection. I have gained first hand insight why Rick Wakeman values this composition. ¬†I watched him in close pursuit as his fingers nimbly traveled over the keys, accenting the music’s edges as the respected maestro.

We found Rick Wakeman’s British humor refreshingly entertaining.

My wife especially liked the song, Garden. She loves Jon Anderson’s articulation as he equates the planting of flowers in the garden with how loving a relationship can center us all.

It was meant to be that Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson sent us home with a romantic song for our hearts, “The Meeting” from the album that features the collaborative genius of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe. I was reminded of this video as Rick Wakeman played the piano and Jon Anderson sang to us.

Surely I could tell
When I sleep tonight
A dream will call
And raise it’s head in majesty
Dividing all my energy
To the meeting of your love

Set List

Set 1

1. Intro – 2001 A Space Odyssey

2. Starship Trooper (Yes)

3. Sweet Dream (Yes)

4. Forever

5. And You and I (Yes)

6.  Living Tree (Part 1)

7. Long Distance Runaround (Yes)

8. America (Simon & Garfunkel Cover)

9. Garden

10. Living Tree (Part 2)

12. Time and a Word (Yes)

Intermission

Set 2

13. South Side of the Sky (Yes)

14. Wondrous Stories (Yes)

15. Just One Man

16. Nous Sommes Du Soleil (Yes)

17. Leaves of Green (Yes)

18. 23/24/11

19.  Your Move (Yes, Singalong)

20. I’ve Seen All Good People (Yes, Singalong)

21. House of Freedom

22. Awaken (Yes)

Encore

23. Roundabout (Singalong)

24. Soon (Yes)

25. The Meeting (Yes)

Concert Review: Lucinda Williams @ The Ridgefield Playhouse, November 1, 2011

It’s an accomplishment when you witness a performer that you can cross off your bucket list. ūüėȬ†Lucinda Williams was that artist Tuesday night at the Ridgefield Playhouse.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is sporting a fresh appearance. The renovation that took place in August provides new hardwood flooring, new seats (be they a bit smaller, probably so they can fit more people inside the venue) and an updated sound system. The acoustics have improved dramatically over the previous sound system. Trust me I attend 30+ concerts a year and my ears discern a clearer, distinct “available” sound versus the past muddier acoustics at this venue.

I’d personally like to thank Jayne Tansey-Patron for allowing me to use her articulate photographs of the Lucinda Williams concert. She captured the evening just as we saw it unfold. ūüôā

SetList

1. Drunken Angel
2. Metal Firecracker
3. Crescent City
4. People Talkin’
5. Stowaway
6. 2 Kool
7. Ventura
8. Fruits Of My Labor
9. Copenhagen


10. Born To Be Loved
11. Trying To Get To Heaven
12. I Lost It
13. Buttercup
14. Bleeding Fingers
15. Essence
16. Change The Locks
17. Joy
18. Honey Bee

Encore
19. Blessed
20. Cross To Bear
21. Get Right w/ God

Three Concerts in Five Days, In Spite of Snowtober

We are ticketed to see Lucinda Williams tonight, November 1st and Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman, tomorrow night, November 2nd at the Ridgefield Playhouse. Ridgefield, Connecticut got 17″ of snow on Saturday October 29th. Like much of Connecticut(790,000 customers at one point) they were out of power until last night. Here is the updated message about their status posted on the Ridgefield Playhouse Website.

As of Monday evening, power has been restored to the Ridgefield Playhouse!
All shows, beginning with Lucinda Williams on November 1st will go on as scheduled.
The box office will open Tuesday morning at 9AM.
We expect our website to be back up soon. Please click here for ticket information.

We never expected that three concerts in five days would have this swirl of excitement and anxiety surrounding the events. Heavy snow, power outages and rough traveling conditions (Saturday) have added to the nature of our live music commitment. This all began on Saturday October 29th with the Trucks Tedeschi Band, Scrapomatic concert at The Klein Memorial in Bridgeport, Ct. We drove through a hectic snow storm to witness a fantastic concert by TTB (see my post from October 30th to learn more).

Our dedication as patrons of the arts has been tested this week. So far we are coming through with flying colors, as are the artists, promoters, stage hands, ticket takers and all involved in presenting live music in our state.

Highlights of the Emerson, Lake and Palmer, 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert DVD

We watched the Concert One Limited, Emerson Lake & Palmer, 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert DVD the other night. It was filmed at the High Voltage Festival, on July 25th, 2010 at Victoria Park in London, England.

We found the live concert video to be an exciting visual experience. Rent or own it to learn more.

Renaissance – Concert Review, Infinity Music Hall, September 16, 2011


We couldn’t ask for a more beautiful¬†evening¬†midst¬†the rolling hills of Connecticut for Renaissance in concert at Infinity Music Hall.

Infinity Music Hall has such superb acoustics. The hall is an architectural wonder, a visual treat for the eyes and senses. We usually get our seats in the mezzanine, overlooking the main floor. This provides us with a great vantage point to watch the musicians as well as the entire stage.

Renaissance designed a unique concert experience in performing two of their best albums, Turn of the Cards (1974) and Scheherazade and Other Stories (1975) back to back, playing every track in logical sequence. These two albums actually follow each other in the Renaissance discography forming the heart of their catalog.  It made perfect sense to witness their music performed in concert as we listen to it on the recording. I long for the days when WNEW-FM, 102.7 NY City featured progressive album rock.

The band was in top form initiating “Running Hard”, as Annie Haslam joined the stage to enthusiastic applause. Annie Haslam acknowledged her fans with equal gusto.¬†Turn of the Cards unfolded quickly before us as Michael Dunford pointed out. “Black Flame” and “Mother Russia” were my favorite songs of the first set.

Scheherazade and Other Stories, the second set, took us in a whole different magical direction. I found myself¬† thoroughly intrigued with this series of songs. “Trip to the Fair” opens the album, taking us to a fair in the renaissance age. “Ocean Gypsy” took us to the water’s edge, a ¬†place of utter tranquility.

“Song of Scheherazade” which is performed in 9 movements was happily beyond the masterpiece I envisioned it might be live. My music appreciation was enhanced with new found¬†dimensional harmonies, richly accented by the dual keyboard interplay. ¬†The band worked in collaborative splendor to create elegant music baroque. I was¬†ecstatic¬†to float in dream ¬†sequence on the puffy clouds Renaissance formed all around us.

The evening ended with a single encore (I must admit I felt guilty after listening to two full recordings of great music requesting more…). “Mystic and the Muse” failed to disappoint. It was yet another high point of the evening as Annie Haslam reached her highest arias to our blissful astonishment.

Renaissance was very accommodating to their fans. We love that Infinity Music Hall has a designated area for merchandise sales, meet and greet/ autograph sessions. We purchased the 2011 Tour Poster and had it signed by all the members of the group. It was such a thrill to meet Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford at the autograph table. It means a lot when you can exchange a few words with people you admire.

Set 1 – Turn of the Cards

Image via Wikipedia
  1. Running Hard
  2. I Think of You
  3. Things I Don’t Understand
  4. Black Flame
  5. Cold Is Being
  6. Mother Russia

Intermission (15 minutes)

Set 2 – Scheherazade and Other Stories

  1. Trip to the Fair
  2. The Vultures Fly High
  3. Ocean Gypsy
  4. Song of Scheherazade
  1. i. Fanfare
  2. ii. The Betrayal
  3. iii. The Sultan
  4. iv. Love Theme
  5. v. The Young Prince and Princess as told by Scheherazade
    Scheherazade and Other Stories
    Image via Wikipedia
  6. vi. Festival Preparations
  7. vii. Fugue for the Sultan
  8. viii. The Festival
  9. ix. Finale
Encore
  1. Mystic and the Muse