“I thought every one of you would be wearing tie-dyed!” cracked Ian McLagan, dressed in black, standing behind his keyboards at mid-set to the conservatively dressed crowd in the bar area of the Bearsville Theatre. The subsequent laughter made him smile wider, raise his drink, and continue on with an engaging series of flashbacks to the peaks and pitfalls of the 1960s music scene when he was in the Small Faces with Steve Marriott, Kenney Jones and Ronnie Lane.
Joined for a majority of the set by John Notarthomas on bass, guitar and vocals, McLagan was in fine form, and honored to be playing in a venue that had deep historical connections to the Band. Glancing at the vintage photos that surrounded the bar area, McLagan opened the show with a brief reference to owning the late Richard Manuel’s piano, the instrument upon which “Hello Old Friend,” a song for Ronnie Lane, was written. (For those who may not know, Lane, who died in 1997 after 20 years of battling MS, wrote some of the best songs in rock era as bassist for the Small Faces and the Faces, as well as releasing some excellent solo albums, too).
There’s a certain kind of geekiness that’s quite at home with blistering power-pop.
Remember, geeks are good with obsessions – find one who’s obsessed with delivering short, sweet, raging tributes to testosterone, the tribulations of twenty-something-dom and maybe even true love, and you’ve probably found Jeremy Willis, who brought his Brooklyn quartet Cathy up to the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock last Friday night to open for the Catbirds.
Jeremy is none other than the nephew of Catbirds bassist, the legendary Chandler Travis. But the kid has a winning way of his own that’s highly infectious.
“We are Cathy,” Willis said, introducing the band, “and so are you.”
Murali & Larry Coryell (photo courtesty of NormanMusicScene.com)
“It was a Chet Atkins album. I can’t remember the title of it, but I remember that the first song on the album was `Swedish Rhapsody.’
I can’t remember whether I already owned a guitar at that point or whether I just had a ukulele, but I’ll tell you, I had never ever heard anybody play guitar like that before. That was some serious guitar playing.”
Singer-pianist and two-time Emmy Award-winner Vonda Shepard – best known for her stints on the TV show, “Ally McBeal” – steps into the spotlight at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock at 9pm on Saturday (May 19). Although she’s touring in support of her latest album, “Solo,” Shepard will be performing with her trio, which also includes guitarist James Ralston and bassist Jim Hanson. All tix are general admission, priced at $30.
NAME: Jay Collins
BAND AFFILIATION: Jay Collins & the Kings County Band. I also regularly play with the Gregg Allman Band, the Levon Helm Band and the Dukes of September (Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, Michael McDonald)
INSTRUMENT: Saxophone, flute
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … “Elvis Presley Solid Gold Hits.” I bought it from a TV ad, and it came in the mail in a paper cover with no info on it – just the names of the songs.
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