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LIVE SHOW REVIEWS


Randy Bachman & The Heavy Blues Band - The Concert Hall, NYC, 4.25.15

by Bruce Alexander

Randy Bachman, a founding member of both The Guess Who and Bachman -Turner Overdrive was out with his great new band that contains two talented and attractive young women. Anna Ruddick, bass, was dressed in psychedelic striped bell bottoms and a fringe vest. Dale Anne Brendon, drums, rocked away behind the skins in a black tank top. The drums obscured the rest of her attire.

Bachman, a very talented guitarist, took care of that. He mainly played a classic sunburst Gibson Les Paul.

Bachman’s new record, titled “Heavy Blues”, is the impetus behind the touring, and there was plenty of blues played. It sounded great acoustically at The Concert Hall, a church on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that’s a wonderful venue to hear and see performances.


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Miles Davis

Carole Reiff at AIPAD Photography Show, Park Avenue Armory, NYC - April 16 - 19, 2015

by Michael Sherer

This is the most interesting and far ranging photo show I’ve been to, and I’ve been to a lot. I look forward to it every year. The Association of International Photography Art Dealers is a collective that has been in existence since 1979, and exhibiting since 1980. They currently represent more than 120 leading world wide fine art galleries, with 89 of them participating this year, the 35th anniversary of of the exhibition. U.S., Canada, Europe, South America and Asia were some of the counties represented.


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Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin - NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 3.22.15

by Michael Sherer

Lily Tomlin is a true talent and a veteran force in a comedy world that has far more men than women in its stand up milieu. Tomlin is an equally talented actress and can play any type. She’s also an accomplished writer and producer.

This performance was strictly stand up, and Tomlin was all alone. Daunting indeed, but if Tomlin felt that, it didn’t show at all. The stage at Westbury is a rotating one, so that everyone will get a frontal view. It was stationary for this show though, which was a matinee.


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Don McLean - BB King’s, NYC, 2.19.15

by Michael Sherer

Don McLean has the rare distinction of having a massive number one hit on his hands as early as his second record, ‘71’s break though ‘American Pie,’ where the title song was a eight plus minute smash. Another song from the record, ‘Vincent,’ about Vincent Van Gogh, was also big, reaching number twelve on the U.S. charts, but number one in the U.K. American Pie title song holds the record for the longest number one hit, and wasn’t always played in full on the radio, especially on AM. FM was still in hey day at the time, and often did play long songs. It had the power to break a song, as it did here. It would be the first and last time that McLean had this level of commercial success. He’s always been critically lauded though, including by fellow esteemed musicians and singers, such as Roy Orbison and Brian Wilson.


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Justin Hayward

Justin Hayward - The Concert Hall, NYC, 11.1.14

by Michael Sherer

With The Moody Blues being one of the most respected, intelligent, and experimental bands to come out of ‘60’s England, and with more than 70 million records sold, their guitarist, singer, and songwriter Justin Hayward can quite comfortably afford to do what he fancies. For now, it’s touring in support of his recent solo album, “Spirits Of the Western Sky”. Hayward is employing a simple, understated approach here, with only another guitarist, the talented Mike Dawes and keyboardist/background vocalist Julie Ragins accompanying him. Hayward’s fine voice is entirely intact, and he’s looking fit and healthy. (And smartly dressed.)


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Alice Cooper & Anthony DeCurtis

Alice Cooper With Anthony DeCurtis, 92Y, NYC, 10.27.14

by Michael Sherer

Following a screening of a recent documentary film about Cooper, called ‘Super Duper Alice Cooper’, Anthony DeCurtis and Cooper sat down to talk for a packed house. One of the first questions DeCurtis asked was about the character of Cooper, and where it came from. Cooper, who’s actually named Vince Furnier, explained that most of the performers that he’s been into become someone else on stage. He went on to say that he wanted to be this insane persona that was far removed from the average, simple, American guy that he really was. He secretly wanted to be more like Alice, but never had the nerve.

Initially, The Beatles, but more so the Stones a bit later, planted the seed of what he wanted to do in a rock and roll band. It became clear that a villain type persona was desired, as Furnier saw that his parents hated the more debauched Stones, and that he wanted strong reactions like this. Cooper noted that with his generation being the first to be brought up with television, the medium had an enormous impact. So did black and white horror movies at his local theater in his native Detroit. The most pivotal was called ‘Hell’s A Poppin’, which Furnier saw at ten years old. He said he wanted the insanity of all that, with the schlock element as well, but also the dangerous and scary sides, all in a rock and roll package. Key to this is that it be vaudevillian. He also wanted desperately to be Zorro throughout, which is where his sword came from later. Interestingly, Cooper said it belonged to the one and only Errol Flynn.


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