LIVE: Kendra Shank & John Stowell @ Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary, 5/9/14

May 13th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg

Kendra Shank and John Stowell

Photographs by Rudy Lu

Kendra Shank and John Stowell have it right: Some of the best shows are when the size of the crowd allows the intimacy level to rise – not just between the crowd and the performers, but also between the performers themselves. It stops being a concert and becomes a bunch of friends hanging out. That’s what happened when the NYC vocalist and the Portland, OR guitarist performed selections from their new TCB release New York Conversations last Friday night (May 9) at Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary in Albany.

It was the last night of the duo’s East Coast/West Coast tour, and the expansion and exploration that the two old friends have conducted was in full view as they mixed elegant originals and eye-crossing improvisations with great takes on everything from Rodgers and Hart’s “Blue Skies” to Monk’s iconic “Blue Monk.” The bare-bones configuration had both musicians stretching their talents to the fullest, and Shank knocked the audience out with her burgeoning prowess on a “looping station” that allowed Shank to morph her voice into a vocal armada.

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Five Firsts: Kendra Shank

May 7th, 2014, 10:00 am by Greg
Kendra Shanks

Kendra Shank

Photograph by J Hunter

NAME: Kendra Shank
BAND AFFILIATION: Kendra Shank & John Stowell
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Hmmm – hard to remember. When I was five years old, I remember dancing in the living room to the Beatles’ hit 45 of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (wearing a Beatles wig and playing air guitar) in 1963. (And now I’ve given away my age…) But I didn’t buy that record, my parents did. The first record I bought myself was probably by Joan Baez when I was 13. I don’t remember the title, but she performed folk songs solo with guitar, and “Wildwood Flower” was on it. I learned to play guitar listening to that record.

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