LIVE: Garland Nelson & Soul Session @ Congress Park, 8/25/09

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On Tuesday night, Bruce Springsteen was performing for some 25 thousand fans at SPAC, where lawn tickets set onlookers back $40. But just a couple miles away, rhythm & blues powerhouse Garland Nelson fronted his band Soul Session for several hundred people in Saratoga’s Congress Park, where lawn tickets were free.

Sporting an ear-to-ear grin, Garland Nelson shouted that he, too, was “Born In The USA” as he launched his band into a show that exploded with funky rhythms, rocking guitar and a smoking horn-section that honked and howled behind Nelson’s soulful tenor voice.

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The audience danced, bounced in their lawn chairs and gave a lot of love to Soul Session as the band conjured up musical memories of Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes and James Brown.

You can bet that if “The Boss” were there, he would have grabbed his beat up Telecaster and joined in the fun.

Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

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