Best of 2019: Top 10 Musical Moments at the Bull
Here’s my unsolicited account of some of my favorite moments of 2019. I realize that most of Nippertown’s readership has no idea where Galway is, what the Cock ‘n Bull is or who the hell I am (editor’s note: Rick is the owner), but… we’ve got an old barn with terrific acoustics, a great sound system, immensely talented technicians and some truly unforgettable performances that I’d like to share…
Scott Sharrard & Jay Collins on September 9
Scott Sharrard brought his southern spirit and roots music infused sound to the Cock ‘n Bull. Best known for his lead guitar and musical director roles for the Gregg Allman Band, Sharrard is a prolific writer and performer. Sherrard also played with his own band The Chesterfields; he has also released three of his own albums.
Tony Trischka’s “Of A Winter’s Night” on December 11
Trischka is a world-class banjo bluegrass musician with followers who will recognize him from a career marked by performances with Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs, Béla Fleck, Tony Rice and many other luminaries. He has released over thirteen albums as lead banjoist, and at least a half dozen more with other bluegrass bands.
Jim Gaudet and the Railroad People on October 25
Jim is as much a storyteller as a songwriter. As he sings his songs the listener can visualize the scene as if it’s playing out in front of the stage, and, such weepers as “Johnny Was An Outlaw” and “Goin’ Up To Saratoga”, tugs at the heart. Not that they are all sad, but the emotion still comes through on his faster songs. “I Ain’t Gettin’ Up” is a Cajun rocker dripping with New Orleans spice.
Flinner, Grier & Phillips on August 15
From the Redwoods to the Rockies to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the members of Phillips, Grier & Flinner are considered to be among today’s finest acoustic instrumentalists. The trio is well-loved for their clear, sparse sound that focuses on bluegrass melodies.
With Todd Phillips on bass, David Grier on guitar, and Matt Flinner on Mandolin, this acoustic trio always thrill with amazing skills on strings. This concert was noted as a “reunion show,” as the trio is not often touring together.
Band of Rustlers on February 22
Band of Rustlers features three incredible musicians: JP Biondi (Cabinet) and brothers Roy and Kevin Williams. JP demonstrated tremendous range with his sweet tenor voice and had a fun whistle to add to the traditional cowboy songs. Brother Roy, a frequent performer this summer at the Cock ‘n Bull, delighted with his fast-paced and technical guitar playing, as well as his fun bass voice that he used both to sing and speak through the archetypal western tunes. Kevin Williams on bass was consistent, playful and a well-rounded third to the other two.
Ruth Moody on May 15
Although best known for her work with The Wailin’ Jennys, Ruth is an artist of exceptional depth and grace in her own right. Critics have lauded her ethereal vocals, impressive multi-instrumentalism, and insightful songwriting. Written with a maturity and wisdom that belies her age, her songs are timeless, universal, and exquisitely crafted, all sung with an intimacy and honesty that is unmistakably hers.
Angelina Valente CD Release on April 10
Angelina Valente grew up in Galway, NY where she developed a love for performing at a very young age. Angelina’s singer/songwriter style strips her music down to the bare bones with just vocals and keys, emanating a folk/pop sound. Her soft piano and strong voice, complete with her honest lyrics, create an exceptional, emotional experience suitable for all listeners.
Peter Mulvey on October 13
Peter Mulvey is a veteran singer and songwriter from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He began his career on the streets of Dublin, Ireland, as a busker, and from there moved on to performing in the subways and streets of Boston, Massachusetts. This led to his first record deal and a leap to full-time national and international touring, beginning in the early nineties.
Time Sawyer on June 9
Time Sawyer is interested in “real people and real songs” and that’s just what the listener finds in their music – a sense of realness. Time Sawyer blends a grassroots feel with heart-felt lyrics to put on an entertaining show. From introspective ballads to high-energy crowd-pleasers, Time Sawyer’s songs land in that rootsy sweet spot where folk, alt-country, and rock gather for a good time.
Jeffrey Foucault on October 24
Excerpt from Nippertown review, “At the Cock ‘n Bull, Foucault played over a dozen pieces in his humble, understated manner, telling jokes between songs that included gritty, descriptive lyrics that transported the listener and made the mundane features of daily life somehow wondrously linked to human connection and spiritual awakening.”