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Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson and Family

by Jennifer Bronenkant

Willie Nelson played preacher man to a room full of believers with a show that felt like an old fashioned tent revival meeting. The enthusiastic crowd and Nelson seemed to feed off of each other’s energy to bring the mood at the Riverside Theater on Tuesday night to a fever pitch.

Opening the show with his standard “Whiskey River” and moving quickly on to “Still Is Still Moving To Me” and a medley of hits, Nelson had the crowd with his first note. Although the crowd remained seated during most of the performance, they rose to their feet in enthusiastic applause after every number.

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Philomena Lynott

Still In Love With You - Philip Lynott exhibition opening

by Michael Sherer

“Still In Love With You” is a highly apt title for the most comprehensive Philip Lynott exhibition ever launched. Lynott is best known as the founder, singer and bassist of Thin Lizzy, who’s original life span was ’69 through ’83. The band has reunited a few times over the decades with new members, and are actually touring this year. The presentation purposely coincides with the 25 year mark of the tragic passing of Lynott, at the age of 36, from complications of drug abuse.

For full impact, the spread just had to be located in Lynott’s hometown of Dublin. (He grew up in the suburb of Crumlin.) The exhibit is situated on the top floor of Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, on Grafton Street. This is the city’s most well known street, located in the heart of the city. Philo, as he was affectionately called by many, hung out around this area aplenty. He worked on many song ideas at the sprawling and old time Bewely’s Cafe, also on Grafton, which opened in ‘27. It’s still there and looks even more attractive inside than ever after a renovation in ‘04.

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Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses

Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses

by Jennifer Bronenkant

Raw and powerful — Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses’ high energy performance rocked the small but ardent crowd at The Rave in Milwaukee.

Bingham’s career has been on the rise recently with Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe wins for his song “The Weary Kind,” which he co-wrote with T-Bone Burnett as the theme for the Jeff Bridges movie Crazy Heart. Burnett, a music industry hit maker, produced Bingham’s latest album Junky Star. Even with all of the recent success, Bingham’s current tour is still playing in relatively small venues across the country, and his music remains honest and real.

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God's Outlaw

God’s Outlaw

by Jennifer Bronenkant

When we first arrived at this classic Milwaukee bar, there were just a handful of people there along with friendly bar owner Andy. The band was just finishing up with a crew who had been shooting a new video an original God’s Outlaw song – “Uhaulin’”, the tale of a spat between lead singer Brian Smith and his wife. The atmosphere was laid back and friendly. We felt right at home.

The band’s loyal following quickly filled the house and at around 9, the band hit the stage. For about two hours, the trio entertained the crowd with the music of Johnny Cash along with some of their own originals, throwing in a little David Allan Coe and Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” per an audience request. Although they primarily perform Cash covers, this is no cheesy impersonator act. While they do sing the big hits like “Boy Named Sue” and “Folsom Prison Blues”, they add deeper Cash cuts to the mix creating a totally enjoyable experience.

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Mark Farner & camper

Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp finale show

by Michael Sherer

Do you play an instrument and/or sing decently? Do you have $10,000 to spare for extensive jamming, recording and musical sparring with some well known rock stars for six days at the Rock & Roll Fantasy Camp? If not, how about $7,500 for the next package down? No? Then what about $5,500 for the next one? Still no? Then just go to the performance at the end. That’s what I did.

For some back ground, the camp is held in various cities throughout the U.S., London, England, and the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. It was founded in ‘97 by producer and former sports agent David Fishof. This time it was in the country’s media capital, NYC. The club BB King’s, located in Times Square, was the site of the finale show. It intermittently featured the famous camp counselors, which was exciting for all. They were Mark Farner, the former guitarist and singer with Grand Funk Railroad. Rudy Sarzo, the bassist formally of Quiet Riot, Ozzy Ozbourne, Whitesnake and currently with Blue Oyster Cult. Then there was Kip Winger, the bassist and singer of Winger. Drummer Sandy Gennaro, who’s played with many artists, including the Pat Travers Band and Joan Jett, laid down a rock solid beat. So did Dave Uosikkinen, the drummer of The Hooters. (Not at the same time, though.) There was also guitarist and singer Jeff Foskett, who plays with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. Guitarist, producer and song writer Mark Hudson, who’s also worked with many artists, including Aerosmith and Ringo Starr, was on hand as well. Spike Edney, the keyboardist and guitarist who’s played with Queen and others, pitched in too. Special guests included drummer Simon Kirke of Free and Bad Company, singer and song writer Nona Hendrix, formally of LaBelle, bassist Cliff Williams of AC/DC and guitarist Gene Cornish of The Rascals. The headliner was Roger Daltrey, lead vocalist of The Who, of course. The band Three Doors down also performed, and were quite good. (And young.)

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