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LIVE SHOW REVIEWS


Billy Joel

Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame - Marriott Marquis Hotel, NYC, 6.16.11

by Michael Sherer

The 42nd annual Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame was held on June 16th at the imposing Marriott Marquis Hotel in the middle of Times Square. This year’s ceremony honored John Bettis, Garth Brooks, Leon Russell, Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly and Allen Toussaint. Veteran songwriting team and married couple Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil received the Johnny Mercer Award. The “Towering Song” distinction was “It Was A Very Good Year,” given to composer and lyricist Ervin Drake. The Hal David Starlight Award was also presented to Drake. The Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award recipient was Chaka Khan, and the first-ever Visionary Leadership Award was presented to SHOF Chairman Emeritus Hal David.


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Mike Watt at Shank Hall

Mike Watt & the Missingmen

Live @ Shank Hall April 16, 2011
by Joshua Miller

Punk rocker Mike Watt (Minutemen) & the Missingmen played Shank Hall with a lot of energy.


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Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson and Family

Live at the Riverside Theater 3/15/2011
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

Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, Dublin, Ireland - March 4, 2011
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

Live at the Rave 3/5/2011
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

Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall 2/12/2011
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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