Music


Currency Exchange Show Sundays at 11

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012 by The Professor

Sundays at 11am check out DJ Seth Michaels on The Currency Exchange as he explores a different world of music each week.  Whether its the Samba or vintage Ragas, there’s always something interesting going on.  Sometimes he has a guest musician and sometimes a world-weary traveler drops a pile of CDs at his door. You never know, unless you tune in!
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James is on His Game

Thursday, April 26th, 2012 by The Professor

James McCartney premiers with precision in Manhattan

by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

Profiled as making his New York City club date debut by having his new double album held up, “James McCartney”, was the immediate introduction by Blake Morgan, CEO of Engine Company Records. James McCartney youngest child and only son of Sir James Paul McCartney, premiered just 30 minutes behind schedule with his energized touring band on the American East Coast.

Sean Lennon, James McCartney, and Dhani Harrison were all born within three years of each other between 1975 and 1978, being the last of the Beatles bambinos. Julian Lennon was the first Beatles offspring to launch a recording career. Zak Starkey followed shortly thereafter and has established himself as the permanent bombastic replacement touring drummer for The Who.

Now after releasing two cyber CD EPs in August 2010 Available Light and September 2011 Close At Hand, James McCartney has finally set foot firmly across the Atlantic pond to perform live before American audiences. McCartney graciously appeared free of charge before an eagerly packed house on the intimate stage of the Rockwood Music Hall in the Big Apple on Wednesday, February 1, 2012.

McCartney simply walked out onto Stage 2, plugged in, and ignited his performance supported by a tight group of touring musicians. McCartney was adorned with pendants as well as buttons and pins on his jacket. Considering who his Pop is in the annals of the contemporary music industry, James exhibited a serene confidence in his stage persona.

It’s always an interesting experience to hear studio material live in concert for the first time. Will you like what you hear? Does the live sound transcend the recording? It was no surprise whatsoever that McCartney’s solid compositions sounded even stronger within a live environment. But please don’t critique his organic music to that of Father Paul’s career that would be silly beyond compare.

James exercised a wise decision in suspending his emergence as a musician until after he was well into his 30’s. Having maturity on your side helps to guide your path and take better choices. His grandfather Jim McCartney enjoyed playing trumpet in his own amateur Liverpool group The Jim Mac Jazz Band in the 1920s so music is more than an avocation in the limbs of the McCartney family tree.

“Oh, thank you. Thank you, New York. You are welcome. I’m James McCartney”, was all it took to set off unrelenting audience applause. An extra special treat for the crampt NYC crowd was that McCartney included in his performance a handful of the bonus tracks in his setlist from his new double disc.

Whether singing, jamming on acoustic or electric guitar and playing keyboards, McCartney’s talents for vocals, composition and performance were securely evident by the ease with which he handled himself before an up-close audience. Jimmy Boy certainly has a promising career ahead; you can count on that.

James Paul McCartney Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY, February 1, 2012 setlist: New York Times * I Only Want To Be Alone * My Friend * The Sound Of My Voice * Fallen Angel * Spirit Guides * Wings Of A Lightest Weight * Moonstar * Old Man * Angel * Mix



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Ronny Wood If You Let Him

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 by The Professor

R&R Hall of Fame inductee Ronald David Wood fires up his axe

-by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

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Congratulations are in order for Ron Wood. Woody has turned the corner reinventing his soap-opera drama life of the last few years into that of a productive musician trouncing the stage at the top of his trade. After two long decades of absence from the American circuit as a solo artist, Woody accepted an invitation to appear in Atlantic City at The Grand ballroom on April 21, 2012.

Ronnie Wood and Friends comprised an extraordinary caliber of seasoned musicians who are all lifelong friends of the infamous Rolling Stones guitarist. Vocalist Bernard Fowler, keyboardist Chuck Leavell, drummer Steve Jordan, organist Andy Wallace, and bassist Willie Weeks collectively enhanced Woody’s performance delivering a singularly exciting one-off jam session that decisively rocked the intimate venue.

Woody’s Saturday night setlist showcased songs that had a foundation rooted in rhythm and blues grooves. The masterful band routinely shifted gears flawlessly from rock to blues to reggae to ballads to funk and climaxed with a popular Faces rocker belted by Fowler on vocals.

The incendiary setlist chosen by Wood was a interesting mix of diverse material blending his participatory past with The Faces and tenure as a Rolling Stone with a few selections from his own solo endeavors in a killer stage presentation. The powerful impact of the fine-tuned musicians delivered the perfect performance everyone had been hoping to enjoy.

Major league fans flew into Sin City of the Eastern seaboard from all over the country and many more from foreign destinations as well. Stoners have been jonesing for a stage fix since August 2007, and Ronnie provided the perfect live music prescription. Woody was fit, trim and looked the picture of health. Raising his fists in defiance before Father Time, Ronnie will reach his 65th birthday on June 1st ready to rock for as long as he chooses to do so.

Exactly one weekend beforehand in Cleveland, Ron Wood was inducted for the second time into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Faces along with bandmates drummer Kenny Jones, keyboardist Ian McLagan, and vocalist Rod Stewart. Faces fans had been looking forward to a long overdue Faces reunion performance but unfortunately, Stewart was stranded by doctor’s orders to remain grounded from flying on a bedrest regimen.

Recently, Ron Wood found himself in hotwater with chief Glimmer Twin Mick Jagger for being misquoted in the mischievous media regarding whether The Rolling Stones had plans on regrouping in the studio to commence recording a new album with the band’s 50th anniversary looming soon on July 12, 2012.

Speculation on a Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Tour is now forecast to be undertaken in 2013. It has been wildly rumored that retired bassist Bill Wyman will rejoin Jagger, Richards, Watts and Wood for a world tour that will feature multiple dates in selected global cities.

Ron Wood, The Grand Ballroom, Atlantic City, April 21, 2012 setlist: Am I Groovin’ You * Cindy Incidentally * Thing About You * Seven Days * Sweetness My Weakness * Black Limousine * I Gotta See * Losing You * Oh La La * Spoonful * Flying * Statesboro Blues (Chuck Leavell on vocals) * It’s Only Rock’n Roll (But I Like It) * Dance (Part 1) * Worried Life Blues * Stay With Me



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A Saint Patty’s Musical Wish: The Irish Rovers Live

Friday, April 6th, 2012 by The Professor

The Irish Rovers share their charm to entertain loyal fans

by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

2012 is being touted as signifying the numeral 50. There’s quite a collection of musicians celebrating their Silver Anniversary as musicians on stage. The Beach Boys, The Moody Blues, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Pete Best, The Quarrymen, Status Quo, Roger Daltrey, Bob Dylan, Eric Burdon, Van Morrison, and Phil Lesh are all ready to hit the road to entertain their individual fan constituencies.

Rumors are rife that The Who anticipate launching another tour performing their 1973 mod-rock opus Quadrophenia later in the year. Still British contemporaries like Ray Davies, Jack Bruce, and The Yardbirds are presently in between touring engagements. July 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of England’s enduring export: The Rolling Stones. The word is that the classic rock icons will tour anew in 2013 now.

The Irish Rovers formed initially in 1963, but 2012 is curiously identified as their 47th Anniversary year. Two original members remain, George Millar on acoustic guitar and Wilcil McDowell on accordion. Bassist Ian Millar is the son of retired founding member Joe Millar. Sean O’Driscoll plays banjo and mandolin, and Fred Graham plays bodhran and drums. John Reynolds was absent from the stage lineup at the Barns of Wolf Trap for this date.

Appearing in Vienna, Virginia, on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, The Irish Rovers performance perfectly prefaced the impending Saint Patrick’s Day holiday on the immediate weekend. The band was promoting their recently released album Drunken Sailor. They delivered a total of seven salty songs on stage from their new disc.

The in-between-song banter and spirited interaction among the musicians was highlighted by a series of amusing exchanges and shared roadweary tales from their global touring experiences. Although the group attracts an exceedingly elderly audience, the rousing ethnic instrumental reels of The Irish Rovers engage the energy of the spectators who clap in time to the jaunty jigs.

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic which struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912, George Millar composed a moving memorial to the Irish shipbuilders in Belfast who constructed the pride of the White Star Line and the 1507 souls who lost their lives a century ago within the waves of the chilling Atlantic waters.

The Canadian gents dusted off three tunes from their 1967 record including the title track “The Unicorn”, which was an uncommon hit for a folk song all those years ago. The biggest surprise of the evening was a cover of “Lily The Pink” taken to Number One in England by The Scaffold with Mike McGear in 1968.

With the modern miracle of advances in medicine, people leading health conscious lives, and the physical stamina to perform live, it’s a true blessing that seasoned musicians who continue to age also continue to tour. Every band in this demography has either lost members to retirement or death sadly. You are as young as you feel and good vibrations will surely keep us all young for many years to come!

The Irish Rovers, Barns of Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA, March 14, 2012 setlist: Irish Rover * Boys Of Belfast * Ireland Boys Hurray * The Gracehill Fair * Dan The Cobbler > I Will If I Can * Brady Of Strabaney * Whistling Gypsy * Lewis Bridal Song * Sweet Anne * Willie Hunter > Dennis Murphy * The Titanic * Lily The Pink * intermission * The Orange And The Green * Dear Ould Ireland * When The Wife Is Mad * The Girls Of Derry * Black Velvet Band * Shamrock Shore * The Clare Hornpipe > Reconciliation * Whores And Hounds * The Unicorn * Dark Island > The Mason’s Apron * The Dublin Pub Crawl * Encore: The Drunken Sailor



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Making Mersey Beat Waves: The Mahoney Brothers Live

Monday, April 2nd, 2012 by The Professor

The Mahoney Brothers: Mach Shau in make up

by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

Time and time again, it’s been said that imitation is the best form of flattery. Although Beatles tribute bands are all too common today, one Fab act crests above the many carbon copycats performing on the touring circuit. The Mahoney Brothers have a musical pedigree that stretches all the back to the original Beatlemania stage production from the late 1970s.

The Mahoney Brothers’ Long Live The Beatles presentation comprises three individual sets that refashion separate creative periods within the Beatles recording career. The first musical phase has the group dressed as 1965 Mop Tops. The next transition represents their Flower Power psychedelic uniforms from 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. And finally, the lads tart themselves up resembling the 1969 Abbey Road album cover attire.

Brian Mahoney plays both electric & acoustic guitar and keyboards as Smart Beatle John Lennon. Tim Mahoney plays Hofner bass guitar as Cute Beatle Paul McCartney. Mike Mahoney plays the drums as Funny Beatle Ringo Starr. Joining the Mahoney trio to complete this PreFab Four unit is Jay Swanson on lead guitar as Quiet Beatle George Harrison. All four members sing lead and harmony vocals in addition to playing additional instruments during the course of their typecast program.

Highlights from the first set included “I’ll Cry instead”, “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You”, and “The Night Before”. The classic psychedelic numbers from 1967 and the 1968 rockers were high points from the second set. The biggest and best surprises of the concert were a cover of Ringo Starr’s 1971 hit single “It Don’t Come Easy” and the poignant 1995 Fab reunion single “Free As A Bird”. The show closed with the signature Beatlemania anthem “I Saw Her Standing There” that had everybody bopping to the beat.

The Mahoney Brothers appeared on a brisk Saturday evening igniting the intimate stage at the Recher Theatre in Towson, Maryland. Mersey Beat fans of all ages and backgrounds turned out to experience a melodic Fab recreation complete with choice brotherly harmonizing. Addressing the audience in cheeky Liverpudlian accents, the Mahoney Brothers even kinda look like their individual Beatle personas.

Beatles music has proven to be timeless with new generations of fans being born every year all across the globe. The outstanding compositions of John, Paul, George and Ringo reverberate unrelenting with a universal appeal promoted by a contagious catalogue of exemplary material that has generated an enduring legacy unchallenged by almost all of their British Invasion contemporaries.

The Mahoney Brothers, Recher Theatre, Towson, Maryland, March 31, 2012 setlist: She Loves You * Please Please Me * All My Loving * Roll Over Beethoven * If I Fell * Can’t Buy Me Love * I Should Have Known Better * Yellow Submarine * HELP! * I’ll Cry Instead * I’m Happy Just To Dance With You * The Night Before * Twist And Shout * intermission * Drive My Car * Day Tripper * If I Need Someone * Magical Mystery Tour * Strawberry Fields Forever * Penny Lane * With A Little Help from My Fiends * Fool On The Hill * A Day In The Life * Back In The USSR * Birthday * Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise * intermission * Blackbird * Two Of Us * Something * It Don’t Come Easy * Free As A Bird * Get Back * Come Together * Hey Jude * Revolution * The End * Dizzy Miss Lizzie * I Saw Her Standing There



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Three Monkees in a Corral

Sunday, June 26th, 2011 by The Professor

Dolenz, Tork & Jones 45th Anniversary Reunion Tour is a stunning stage rebirth

by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

The Monkees as a faux musical unit were initially a television creation for a Saturday morning viewing audience, singing hits crafted by top pop composers. As their popularity skyrocketed, the individual Monkees endeavored to record their own original music as a band. Whether you were a Monkees fan or not, one must respect the fact that they strove to establish a genuine musical identity for themselves.

The Monkees first regrouped as a trio sans Michael Nesmith for their 20th Anniversary and conducted a successful 1986 reunion tour that stretched from Summer into Fall. To commemorate their 30th Anniversary, Nesmith rejoined the fold and produced their only studio reunion album Justus in 1996. The full quartet toured England together in Winter 1997. The trio last toured for their 35th Anniversary in Spring 2001.

The terrific trio are now back on the road to mark their 45th Anniversary and simply put – Wow! The Monkees delivered an incredible performance at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, June 22, 2011. The intimate outdoor venue is nestled in between the playing fields of two major sport stadiums just along the riverbank. The cool evening weather was picture perfect to enjoy an extended live repertoire of classic Monkees material.

Credit for The Monkees reunion rebirth rests with their Tour Director who rearranged their live stage production to rock with an audible edge rather than rehash their sound as saccharine pop confectionery served up for the masses. This enhanced Monkees stage production was embellished by an eight member musical touring entourage that enriched the individual performances.

The sheer number of numbers the trio played was impressive itself. Dolenz, Jones and Tork each took turns alone and together singing their signature hits as well as mixing choice album tracks with several unexpected rare tracks for added measure. A diehardcore Monkees fan could not have asked for more than what the band knocked out under a blanket of sparkling stars in Pittsburgh.

Bassist Peter Tork participated in an expanded musical role on this overwhelmingly enjoyable tour. Peter sang lead vocals on a total of six songs from an exciting setlist of 37 titles. A good deal of unanticipated album tracks were pleasantly dusted off for inclusion and welcomed by an appreciative audience. The individual musicianship of The Monkees was demonstrated throughout the evening by the differing instruments each played on stage.

A magnificent montage of Monkees excerpts spliced from the television series accompanied the stage performances as background visuals. Dolenz, Jones and Tork each shared comments with the Pittsburgh natives recalling their experiences as a Monkee. Micky mentioned his 1955 appearance with an elephant at nearby Kennywood Park. Their humorous stage banter was an amusing and popular means of interacting with their loyal fans.

Without question, The Monkees reunion romp has to be one of the best tours going during the Summer of 2011. The gents were entirely entertaining and gave the crowd beyond what they bargained for as an overall presentation. Davy, Micky & Peter are solid entertainers and together, they prove themselves to be a powerful team. Hey! Hey! They are The Monkees.

The Monkees Stage AE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 22, 2011 setlist: Here They Come Again [ensemble intro] * I’m A Believer * Mary, Mary * Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) * The Girl I Knew Somewhere * When Loves Comes Knocking At Your Door * Randy Scouse Git * Valleri * Papa Jean’s Blues * Saturday’s Child * I Wanna Be Free * That Was Then, This Is Now * I Don’t Think You Know Me At All * All Of Your Toys * Hangin’ Round * She Hangs Out * Sometime In The Morning * Someday Man * Can You Dig It * As We Go Along * Didn’t I * Porpoise Song (Theme from Head) * When I Grow Up To Be A Man * For Pete’s Sake * Cuddly Toy * Words * She * Shades Of Gray * Goin’ Down * It’s Nice To Be With You * Auntie Grezelda * Last Train To Clarksville * A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You * (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone * Daydream Believer * Encore: Listen To The Band * Pleasant Valley Sunday * I’m A Believer



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Musical Mavens on the Go

Thursday, June 16th, 2011 by The Professor

The Go-Go’s parade on stage with a catalogue jam

by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

The Go-Go’s looked like goners in 2010. Their scheduled Farewell Tour was entirely postponed after Jane Wiedlin injured her leg while hiking a year ago. It’s therefore fitting that God blessed The Go-Go’s in 2011, marking the 30th anniversary of their seminal album Beauty And The Beat. The unanticipated calendar upgrade generated an advantageous twist of fortune after all.

Even though the lovely lassies have developed their own distinct personalities as musicians outgrowing their group association, vocalist Belinda Carlisle, guitarist Charlotte Chaffey, guitarist Jane Wiedlin, bassist Kathy Valentine, and drummer Gina Schock still produce that collective magic to effectively entertain their loyal audiences.

The Go-Go’s brought their beauty & beat to the Feline Center at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia, on Friday, June 10, 2011. A party atmosphere dominated the patrons populating the lawn section. Although the evening heat got more than a little hot, the gyrating women bebopping to the melodic music worked up unrelenting perspiration.

Strutting out onto the stage to burlesque fanfare, Carlisle barked, “Are you ready to rock?”, igniting crowd anticipation. The ladies launched their performance with “Vacation”. An `80’s revival commenced as the female fans sang in unison on the incorrigible chorus.

Valentine introduced Carlisle’s 1985 hit solo single “Mad About You” as having been refashioned into a Go-Go’s styled tune for fan appreciation. Gina Schock stepped forward to quiz the crowd, “Is it hot enough for you?”, soliciting a roar of approval in response. Chaffey wasted no time in prompting Schock to proclaim she was born in neighboring Baltimore. Gina proudly mentioned that her parents and her brother were seated in the audience.

An uncommon surprise in the concert was their cover of The Rolling Stones’ 1966 classic rock single “Mother’s Little Helper”. Carlisle seemed to emphasize the spoken intro, “What a drag it is getting old”, but they dispelled that notion as the feminine quintet rocked on a number the Stones themselves have long since abandoned from their tour repertoire.

Having acknowledged the 30th anniversary of Beauty And The Beat, the band showcased several selections in their setlist from that popular 1981 record. Touring as a nostalgia act in a lethargic economy can forecast risky business, but The Go-Go’s are indeed a unique group that attracts a loyal fanbase.

The closing three numbers, “Our Lips Are Sealed”, “Skidmarks On My Heart”, and “We Got The Beat”, were the perfect trifecta. Schock appeared front and center for a second time during the first encore to introduce her colleagues in the band. The Dollyrots power trio who opened was invited to dance about in freeform on stage.

The Go-Go’s treated the outdoor audience to a second encore of a Wiedlin composition “Fun With Ropes” identified as one of their earliest original songs. Many may not know that The Go-Go’s began their stage career as a punk band at the end of the 1970s. The ladies climaxed in a thrashing crescendo swamped by applause having delivered an energetic romp that left the Vienna crowd still wanting more.

The Go-Go’s Feline Center at Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA, June 10, 2011 setlist: Vacation * Tonite * How Much More * Get Up And Go * Mad About You * Lust To Love * Mother’s Little Helper * Automatic * Fading Fast * Cool Places * This Town * Unforgiven * The Whole World Lost It’s Head * Our Lips Are Sealed * Skidmarks On My Heart * We Got The Beat * 1st Encore: Sur > Beat > Surf * Head Over Heels * 2nd Encore: Fun With Ropes



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Cruising Once Again: The Cars Live

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 by The Professor

The Cars rev up historic hits and switch into high gear with new stage oscillations

by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

The Cars cruised into the Capitol on Monday, May 23, 2011, appearing before a sold out SRO audience at the 9:30 Club. As luck would have it for those fans without tickets staked out in front of the venue before showtime seeking to score entry, essentially every single person searching for sellers was able to buy a ticket priced marginally above face value.

Leader Ric Ocasek finally consented to a Cars reunion in the studio and on tour with his former bandmates lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes, and drummer David Robinson. Touring only as a foursome, they made the right decision not to replace their fallen partner and bassist Benjamin Orr. Hawkes picked up a bass guitar to play on two songs during their high-octane performance.

The quartet simply walked out on stage and immediately plugged into “Good Times Roll”. Their stage motif resembled Move Like This the cover art from the new disk. The Cars were primarily preoccupied with promoting their new album as the setlist featured a total of six fresh tunes. Although the studio recordings were rather thin on Easton’s distinct lead guitar wizardry, these new numbers sounded better live.

The classic Cars tunes from their initial 1978 self-titled album were exceedingly well received. The handful of selections originally sung by bassist Benjamin Orr generated an intense response from the Capitol crowd. Hawkes voiced an acknowledgment with, “A tip of the hat to our friend Ben Orr”.

Two exceptional unanticipated album choices unearthed for this modern tour by Ocasek that deserve recognition as major stage surprises were the apologetic heartfelt ballad “I’m Not The One” and the whimsical psychedelic vibe of “Heartbeat City”. Ocasek certainly left an indelible impression on the top pop hits of the 1980s with an innovative quirkiness unmatched by contemporary composers during his career peak streak.

Their triple-whammy encore drove audience hysteria to ecstatic heights. Incredibly after the concert concluded, each member of The Cars made himself available before boarding to sign autographs for the anxious fans crammed behind a barrier set up adjacent to the alleyway where their tourbus was parked.

Ocasek may not have broken any new ground in releasing a new collection of Cars material; however, this action reconstitutes The Cars with a creative rebirth in the new millennium. Depending on the level of success this present reunion project produces, there may be hope for Cars fans that more music and tours will follow in the future.

Even though practically a quarter century has passed, The Cars were rightly welcomed on the tour circuit by their loyal fanbase. Demand for the band was demonstrated in 2006, when The New Cars conducted an overwhelmingly popular nostalgia tour orchestrated by Todd Rundgren who handled lead vocals. Cars fans have Ric Ocasek to thank for this exciting 2011 Spring tour.

The Cars, 9:30 Club, Washington, DC, May 23, 2011 setlist: Good Times Roll * Blue Tip * Since You’re Gone * Up And Down * My Best Friend’s Girl * Hits Me * Touch And Go * I’m In Touch With Your World * Keep On Knocking * You Might Think * Drag On Forever * Free * I’m Not The One * Sad Song * Heartbeat City * Let’s Go * Encore: Moving In Stereo * Just What I Needed * You’re All I’ve Got Tonight



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Auburn Afire On Stage: Melissa Auf der Maur Live

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 by The Professor

Melissa Auf der Maur’s bass resonation batters Manhattan

by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman

Melissa Auf der Maur delivered an incendiary performance on Thursday, March 3, 2011, at the Highline Ballroom in New York City. This was the final date on her Out Of Our Minds World Tour and the only concert scheduled on U.S. soil. MAdM fans traveled from up and down the Eastern seaboard, across the border from Canada and afar as France to attend this singular event.

The second floor audience was eager for an engaging appearance by MAdM and she delivered 100% on all expectations. Dressed in form-fitting black attire and lengthy black boots, she and her trusty bass guitar rocked the intimate venue with absolute abandon. Auf der Maur enjoyed being in her element – live before an audience. Her impressive stage presence confirmed she is one woman who is secure in her sense of self as a professional female musician in a male-dominated field.

Melissa sang five titles from her old-new album also promoted as her multimedia project Out Of Our Minds. Surprisingly, seven songs in her blistering set were from her first phenomenal solo album issued in 2004. Having reached the climax of a world tour, her touring band of seasoned young musicians was tight and accelerated the jams on stage.

MAdM blew out a puff of smoke and opened her energized set with “Isis Speaks” off her sophomore effort. However, “Lightning Is My Girl” propelled the eclectic crowd into hyper activity with its kinetic melody. Her vocals were audibly captivating, and her spontaneous interaction responding to audience commentary displayed a raconteur sophistication.

“Happy Thursday New York, it’s Jupiter Day!”, proclaimed MAdM before she launched into a power-pop jam on “Real A Lie”. A lead guitar intro prefaced the band’s instrumental romp through “Lead Horse” from OOOM. “Merci Beau Coup, New York City”, MAdM said mentioning that this was the last date on her Out Of Our Minds world tour. She interjected her sense of humor during stage chatter between numbers.

“My Foggy Notion” was another high-octane highlight that prompted immediate gyrating. The energy level of the standing-room-only spectators spiked in response to the intensity of the music. In an unanticipated departure from her stage presentation, MAdM sang “Father’s Grave” as a prerecorded duet with Glenn Danzig. Her writhing body pulsed in time to the rhythm of the power-ballad melody.

Prefacing “Paranoid”, a tune Hand of Doom covered on her now out-of-print live 2001 Black Sabbath tribute album, she stated, “This is a song for those taken too soon”. To end the all-too-brief set, her distinct bass riff began “Followed The Waves” with her holding a note and hollering for maximum effect. Her band decisively cranked the volume, but Auf der Maur’s lone vocal finished in silence.

Returning for an encore, Melissa announced, “There are wild horses in my head tonight”, before kicking into high gear with a galloping version of “Skin Receiver”. She sang sans her instrument to the accompaniment of buzzing dual guitars with the charging music brought to an abrupt completion. Pausing to thank and introduce the members in her band, Baltimore was acknowledged with a shout from the MAdM.

The stellar one-its-kind concert closed with her rearrangement of the Doors’ classic “When The Music’s Over” reworked into a fantastic psychedelic blues vibe. Her unique rendition eventually surged into a climactic crescendo. Having sincerely thanked NYC, MAdM placed her throbbing bass guitar on the floor allowing the instrument to continue vibrating after she exited the stage.

17 countries in 17 weeks. Supporting MAdM on her 2011 Out Of Our Minds world tour were drummer George Donoso and dueling guitarists Alex Crow and Will Tendy. Segments of video clips from her 28 minute featurette The Hunt were projected on screen to introduce the show and then later shown behind the band to accentuate her prolific lyrics and stage action.

Melissa Auf der Maur is simply an incredible bassist, composer, singer and performer. Her live musicianship before an audience is unparalleled. Her movements on stage behind the microphone balance a subtle gracefulness with an alluring sensuality. She and her instrument of choice move and groove together on stage in a fusion of melodic bass animation.

Several dedicated Auf der Maur fans parked themselves in front of her merchandising table after the performance waiting for a meet & greet with the MAdM herself. Their investment in queuing up paid off as Melissa did indeed make a point to sign autographs and pose for pictures with a score of fans. Melissa has been blessed with an abundance of good luck being born in Montreal on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Auf der Maur built her bass career touring and recording with Hole in the 1990s. Billy Corgan later invited Melissa to play bass on The Smashing Pumpkins final tour at the turn of the millennium. Considering that she has spent a decent amount of her time as a backing musician touring with popular stage attractions, it’s amazing just how sincerely defined MAdM is as her own original artist before an appreciative audience.

Melissa Auf der Maur, Highline Ballroom, New York, NY, March 3, 2011 setlist: Isis Speaks * Lightning is My Girl * Real A Lie * Lead Horse * My Foggy Notion * Out Of Our Minds * I Need I Want I Will * Father’s Grave * 22 Below * Paranoid * Followed The Waves * Encore: Skin Receiver * When The Music’s Over



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Classic Crack Attack: Crack the Sky Live

Monday, April 25th, 2011 by The Professor

Crack The Sky packs in its fans for a score of musical memories

– by Radio RockonTour host Timothy Tilghman
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Crack The Sky achieved eternal Rock `N Roll glory within generations of Baltimorian hearts. Originating as a garage band from neighboring West Virginia, CTS found a permanent home playing venues in Maryland. The fact that John Palumbo and company are willing to continue to schedule scattered dates throughout any given calendar year is a testament to their desire to appear live before their loyal legions of fans.

CTS have recorded several outstanding albums during the course of their early career even if the majority of the baby boomer record buying public that should have been buying their masterpieces did not. This unfortunate oversight does not in any way negate their catalog of classic rock songs that diehard CTS fans enjoy so deeply to experience live on stage.

Once again the sultry siren of Baltimore’s rock radio airwaves, Sarah Fleischer, was on hand April 23, 2011, to introduce Crack The Sky. The never ready for prime time musicians ignited their extended set with the title tune “White Music” off their quintessential 1980 opus. The classic Crack tracks just kept on piling up one after another.

The best addition of the long evening was welcoming the Crack Pack Horns on stage to embellish and empower the classic Crack The Sky sound. The horn section comprised Barry Caudill on saxophone, Dave Makowieki on trumpet, and Jim McFalls on trombone. The horns add a new dimension to the music altogether.

The CTS anthem “Surf City” was punctuated with five Beatles segues. These Fab interludes were well received by the Charm City revelers. CTS’s musical mutation on Pink Floyd, “Hot Razors In My Heart”, was the perfect closer. Palumbo’s affection for John Lennon was reaffirmed by a double dose of Beatles psychedelia as back to back CTS’s encores. “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am The Walrus” are perennial stage faves.

Although Crack The Sky was hyped for its debut in Baltimore at Rams Head Live, the gig itself did not reach sell out status for a Saturday night. The capacity crowd certainly created an unavoidable obstructed view of the band on stage. It was a surprise to discover that there is a dull zone where the projected sound suffers directly dead center on the second level. This was not a reflection of the band or the tech mixing the sound.

Guitarist John Palumbo is the exalted leader of Crack The Sky. Founding lead guitarist Rick Witkowski is as animated as ever tearing up his axe with the intensity of a tornado. Original drummer Joe Macre continues to anchor the band behind his drumkit. Bobby Hird is no slouch on the guitar neck himself often trading or dueling guitar leads & licks with Witkowski.

Glenn Workman is their talented keyboardist. Dave DeMarco is now handling the bass guitar for live appearances. Overall, Crack The Sky have recorded 15 studio albums. Their recent efforts Dogs From Japan 2004, The Sale 2007, and Machine 2010, confirm Palumbo continues to be a prolific composer. Maryland musicians should be encouraged launch a Music Hall of Fame in Maryland to induct Crack The Sky. It’s a long overdue accolade that they certainly deserve.

Crack The Sky, Rams Head Live, Baltimore, April 23, 2011 setlist: White MusicHold OnNuclear ApathyFrom The Greenhouse * Go * Zoom * Sea EpicWet TeenagerMaybe I Can Fool EverybodyI Don't Have A TieHere It Comes AgainIceLighten Up McGrawSkin DeepFlashlightMind BabyShe's A DancerSurf CityLucy In The Sky With DiamondsA Hard Day's NightLady Madonna > The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (Skin Deep) > I Want You (She's So Heavy)Surf CityHot Razors In My Heart * Encore: Strawberry Fields Forever * I Am The Walrus



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