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  • Black Jacket Symphony - Hotel California, Knoxville 2015

    The Black Jacket Symphony – Hotel California

    Bijou Theater

    Knoxville, Tennessee

    May 9, 2015

     

    Buck Johnson (L) & J. Willoughby

         

    Knoxville loves The Black Jacket Symphony and they love Knoxville. Both was evident in last night’s performance by BJS of Eagles’ “Hotel California” and some of the greatest hits.

    Performing in front of an enthusiastic, sold out crowd, BJS wowed them from the opening, iconic notes of “Hotel California” and every song thereafter.

    As he did during his performance last year of the Led Zeppelin IV album, Buck Johnson delivered vocals virtually identical to the album on every song he sang. When he wasn’t singing, then BJS leader, J. Willoughby did the same. Together, they were a vocal powerhouse of Eagles harmony.

    Not everyone will be able to catch Eagles in concert but everyone in the South should be able to see Black Jacket Symphony as they tour the region, presenting “Hotel California” in a way that will make Eagles band members (as well as their fans) proud.

    Black Jacket Symphony’s schedule and upcoming projects can be followed at BlackJacketSymphony.com

  • Black Jacket Symphony Performing Abbey Road – 2015

    Black Jacket Symphony Performing Abbey Road – 2015

    February 21, 2015

    Bijou Theater

    Knoxville, Tennessee

    Photo courtesy of JamesPattersonsGallery.com

         

    When I first saw Black Jacket Symphony perform the Led Zeppelin IV album last October, I wrote (here) many glowing superlatives about their amazing talent and delivery of a musically difficult album. 

    Last night, I saw one of the BJS bands (fronted by vocalist/guitarist, J. Willoughby) deliver an equally accurate and crowd pleasing treatment of the Beatles’ historic “Abbey Road” album.

    Like one of those “fade-to-the-past” methods used on TV shows like “Cold Case,” I watched a crowd be taken back to their teens or young adult days as they remembered key events of their past set against this particular soundtrack. 

    From the opening chords of “Come Together” to the closing notes of the crowd pleasing encore, “Hey Jude,” BJS had the capacity crowd and the beautiful and intimate Bijou Theater in downtown Knoxville. A crowd, I might add, that braved slushy streets and cold rain to catch this show and BJS did not disappoint.

    In between those historic, musical bookends were fun and memorable deliveries of the entire Abbey Road song list during the first half of the evening and other hits from the Beatles catalog during the second half of the evening. 

    Most of the vocals were performed by Willoughby with significant contributions by Oak Ridge’s Mark Lanter on drums and lead vocals. Between the two, they wowed the crowds.

    Rounding out the band was Aaron Branson on bass, Allen Barlow on guitar, Andres Berrios on violin, Bob Taylor on keyboards and vocals, Brad Wolfe on guitar, Nathan LeFevre on Cello and Peyton Grant on keyboards and guitar.  Corporately, they delivered a performance that was as tight as it was fun  - and they looked like they were enjoying it as much as the crowds.

    If you want a great night of musical nostalgia, catch a Black Jacket Symphony performance. You won't be disappointed.

  • Black Jacket Symphony Performing Led Zeppelin IV - 2014

    Black Jacket Symphony Performing Led Zeppelin IV
    October 03, 2014
    Bijou Theater
    Knoxville, Tennessee

    Photo by James Patterson

         

    Tribute acts, can be (to paraphrase Forrest Gump) like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. Some are merely weak attempts at being a cover band. Some do a phenomenal job.  Most fall in the middle of the spectrum.

    When the opportunity to see Black Jacket Symphony (whom I’ve never heard of until I knew they were coming to Knoxville) perform Led Zeppelin’s “IV” album (plus some of their greatest hits), I had no idea what I was in for. I mean, c’mon! They’re going actually try to cover “IV” from beginning to end? If it didn’t work, they’d be playing on sidewalks of the inner city of their choice.

    Wow!

    To say that this southeast centric (as of now) band nails it would be a gross understatement. From the opening strains of “Black Dog” to the crescendo ending of “Kashmir” at the end of their encore, BJS is, musically, the next best thing to seeing an actual Page/Plant/Jones reunion.

    After wowing the crowd with “Black Dog,” they bowled us over with an incredibly energetic treatment of “Rock & Roll”. But they thoroughly won the crowd with an eye-popping handling of “Over The Hills And Far Away”.

    The crowd swayed to “Stairway To Heaven” and danced in the aisles while playing “Misty Mountain Hop” to perfection. They finished out the album’s performance with “Four Sticks,” “Going To California” and “When The Levee Breaks” (those last to were rewarded with standing ovations).

    After an intermission that was just the right length, Black Jacket Symphony returned to the stage to play pretty much anything you’d hope and pray would be

         

    Photo by James Patterson

    on a Zeppelin set list. Tunes like “The Song Remains The Same” and “Good Times Bad Times,” which had the crowd enthusiastically on its feet, singing along.
     
    During a wonderfully dirty and bluesy, “Dazed And Confused,” guitarist, Bryan Gibson, broke a string while playing his gold top Les Paul with a bow. The boy didn’t miss a lick and the performance was not affected in the least little bit. THAT, my friends, is a sign of a consummate professional.

    Trading out guitars, the band went into an almost note-for-note perfect cover of “Battle For Evermore,” a brilliant “What Is And What Should Never Be” and the crowd singing right along on “Ramble On.”

    The second set wound up with bang-on performances of “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (the vocalist’s range un-flippin’-believable!), a well-oiled delivery of “Houses Of The Holy” and “Whole Lotta Love” (complete with a perfect use of a thermin).

    For the encore, the band left the crowd in blissful exhaustion after an absolutely masterful performance of “Kashmir” that would have Page, Plant and Jones standing up and taking notice.

    Yeah, it was that good.

    Black Jacket Symphony has several bands that tour the country performing various albums and greatest hits. With this band’s performance of Zeppelin, you can bet I’ll be catching anything they’ve got going on within driving distance of me.

    And the Bijou Theater?  It’s the first time I’ve seen a performance in the beautiful and intimate venue. The acoustics are great and the staff there are friendly, courteous and helpful. It’s a class act all the way and I look forward to seeing future shows there.

  • Black Jacket Symphony – Escape

    Black Jacket Symphony – Escape

    Bijou Theatre – March 19, 2016

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Knoxville loves The Black Jacket Symphony and, once again, it showed Saturday night at the Bijou as the group performed Journey’s epic LP, Escape.

    Performing in front of yet another enthusiastic, sold out crowd, BJS blew the audience away and left them begging for more. I couldn’t understand what the lead vocalist’s name was but he did an amazing job cranking out the ten songs from “Escape” as well as a hand full of Journey’s other huge hits. Did I say he was amazing?

    Yeah, he was that good.bjsescape001

    If you ever get a chance to catch any BJS, do. Regardless of what album they’re covering. They never cease to blow me away.

    Black Jacket Symphony’s schedule and upcoming projects can be followed at BlackJacketSymphony.com.

     

  • Blues Traveler - Knoxville, TN - August 2015

    Blues Traveler

    Bijou Theater

    Knoxville, Tennessee

    August 23, 2015

     

    Photo by Randy Patterson

         

    Before last night’s show at Knoxville’s beautiful Bijou Theater, I have never seen Blues Traveler in concert. For that, I say, “Shame on me!”

    The nearly thirty year old band put on a show that was nothing short of phenomenal. The band’s fusion of blues, rock, reggae and jazz was a musical feast for the capacity crowd’s ears.

    Front man, John Popper, was one thousand percent on top of his game both with his vocals and his harmonica mastery. Original guitarist, Chan Kinchla, and his brother, bassist, Tad, played with such blazing precision and blistering fluidity as to boggle the mind.  I literally watched as my mouth was open, they were that amazing. Drummer, Brendan Hill, and keyboardist, Ben Wilson,

         

    Photo by Randy Patterson

    also often brought the crowd to their feet with their wizardry.

    The band pulled from their fabulous treasure chest of a music catalog to wow the crowd, including two cuts from their latest

    album, Blow Up The Moon, released earlier this year. 

    If you love great music whether it’s blues, rock, reggae or jazz, then you’ll not want to miss the chance to see Blues Traveler if they’re hitting any stage within decent driving distance from you.  They’re definitely the bomb.

     

  • Dave Mason Discusses His Traffic Jam Tour

    Posted October, 2014

    Photo by Chris Jensen

         

    If one were to make a list of attributes of a rock and roll icon, all of the qualifying boxes on that list would be checked under Dave Mason’s name.

    • Great guitarist. Check
    • Songwriter.  Check.
    • Wrote and recorded songs that are part of the soundtrack of the baby boomer generation.  Check.
    • Played with rock’s most historic figures like Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, The Rolling Stones and more.  Check.
    • Has been – and still is – an actively amazing performer and concert draw. Check.
    • Still putting out great music that people love. Check.
    • An inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Check.

    Dave Mason is all of that and more.  An energetically dynamic sixty-eight year old rocker, the co-founder of the legendary group, Traffic, still records fantastic, relevant music and still tours the country - and the world.
     
    I recently contacted Mason at his California home to discuss his latest album, “Future’s Past,” and his current tour.  This was my second opportunity to interview the rock legend (the first interview is here).  Always warm and engaging, we started off our chat by discussing “Future’s Past”. For the rare fan who might not know the story behind the album, I asked Mason if he would tell readers what motivated him to record it.

    “I have a studio at home. Making a CD or album like we used to, it’s something that I’ve kind of throw out the window at this point. But that being said, music is my life so, when I’m home, I’m always working on something in my studio. Albeit, it may be a revised version of an older song – I have versions of songs that I loved when I was growing up. There’s Eddie Cochran that I’ve done that hasn’t been released. And, then, I have new stuff that I’ve worked on.

    “So, to say that I was consciously putting an album together – I wasn’t. But what I do have, as I said, is I just have a collection of music that I constantly keep making. A lot of it is never in one style, which has presented a problem in the sense that it’s hard to pigeon hole me, musically. Am I rock? Am I ballads? Am I blues? I’m not any one of those. I just want to cover the gambit of songwriting.

    “So, I have a collection of stuff and I had some things sitting there and there was some stuff that I revisited. Like, I did a re-write of that version of ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy’ and, yes, I was going out to do ‘Traffic Jam’ so it seemed appropriate to put a couple of things on that CD from that era. Then, I had some things like, ‘Sad and Deep As You,’ that I put on there that was from ‘Alone Together’ – my first solo album. It was such a strong and powerful version that I felt that it should go on there.

    “So, essentially, I had a mix of stuff that was new and old and, hence, the title eventually becoming ‘Future’s Past’. A lot of my fans who have been following me for years, for them some of that stuff

         

    Photo by Chris Jensen

    is old material. As an artist, one lives in the hope that there are some younger people that, to them, this will all be brand new material.

    “Music, for me, doesn’t span any age or style. The music’s just good music. Essentially, ‘Future’s Past’ was just me putting together a collection of stuff that I thought was pretty cool and represented some things I was doing at the moment and part of what I do in my shows. Then, I was lucky enough to have a friend send me some stuff from Graham Nash’s art show and one of the things that he had was the cover which is done by Graham. It’s a photograph of me in the seventies when I was at his house in Kauai and he did artwork on it. So, the cover is done by Graham and it sort of seemed to fit perfectly with the title.”

    Record sales for most artists in all genres have been tough over the past several years. Internet piracy is still a problem, detrimentally affecting album sales and decimating what we once knew as the record industry.  When I asked Dave what sales for “Future’s Past,” his matter-of-fact answer echoed those I’ve heard from virtually every other artist I’ve had the privilege of interviewing.
    “Well, record sales are pretty much non-existent these days for anybody. We just basically have CDs at the shows.”

    He continued by responding in a way that validated everything else I’ve heard about record sales.

    “Everybody is stealing everything. That’s the easy way to put it. They’re taking it all off of the internet – which goes for literature, as well. All intellectual property is somewhat being decimated by the internet – but that’s been happening for a few years now.

    “For any artist, it doesn’t really matter. I mean, even with Beyoncé and that new record, because a big corporation ordered a bunch of CDs to give away, otherwise, there are no record sales. They’ve just disappeared because everybody is just taking it from the internet. Some people are downloading and purchasing stuff, but for all us artists, a huge part of our life has disappeared. If I was to say, ‘Record sales are great!’ I’d be bullshitting and lying to you. It’s not just me. It’s pretty much any classic artist and any other artist. What would’ve been a big selling record, say, a half a million records or something like that, would now be maybe twenty thousand CDs.

    “I’m not just cryin’ the blues for myself. I’m just saying that’s what’s happening to all of us. People would rather spend five dollars on a café frappe latte mocha than they would spend a dollar on a piece of music that’s going to last them forever.”

    That all said Mason has, obviously, faced the piracy issue head on and has been an early adopter of online marketing and social media engagement of his extensive, global fan base.  One only has to sign up for his newsletter on his website (here) or follow him on Facebook (here) or Twitter (here) to see that he’s mastered the medium. As he remains resilient and adaptable to market changes, I’m sure that we’ll continue to observe Dave implement technology and changes in social media and implement them into his marketing efforts.
    Our conversation shifted to his current Traffic Jam tour and the shows that are going to be held in my home region of East Tennessee.

    “I’m looking forward to playing down there in Tennessee and some other states. I haven’t played these places in years! I’ve played Atlanta but not a lot of other places like Chattanooga and some other places but, I mean, it’s been years and years since I’ve played those places. I’m very much looking forward to playing there and hoping people will remember to come out. The band is great. The show is great. I’m as good at being Dave Mason as I’m going to be .Ha! Ha!”

    As for the current band line-up and what fans can expect at one of the Traffic Jam shows, Mason said, “Alvino Bennett is still playing drums with me. Johnne Sambataro is playing guitar as well and I have a great keyboard player named Tony Patler but he also handles bass. So, basically, it’s just a four piece band and we push out a lot of music for a four piece band.

    Photo by Chris Jensen

         

    Mason said about the show, itself, that, “Basically, the Traffic Jam show runs about two hours and we do it in two sections. The first half of it is pretty much the songs from Traffic days when I was with them. Then we take a fifteen minute break and then we come back and we do stuff from my solo career. Along with it all there’s some visual stuff that goes with it. I’ll BS a little bit and tell some stories. You’ll get a bit of everything but I’m sure that there’s something that I’m going to not do that somebody will want.”

    To that point, I had to ask Dave which version of “Dear Mr. Fantasy” he would be playing during the Traffic Jam tour.

    “It will be the way it is on ‘Future’s Past’. Song-wise, I prefer it. I really came up with it because I was doing acoustic shows a year or so ago and I was trying to find a more interesting way to do it acoustically. The original version, basically, only has three chords to it and, so, there wasn’t a lot of places to go, acoustic-wise, with it. I came up with this version, again, I just started messing around with it and we thought it started sounding pretty cool.”
    When I ordered “Future’s Past” directly from his website, I took advantage of a pre-release offer wherein he also sent gave his live album, “Dave Mason Live at Belmont Park 1978”. What an amazing offering! Naturally, I was curious if he had any other goodies in the vault that might be released.

    “Yeah, I’m planning on a new CD which comes out at the end of this year or the beginning of next year – I’m not sure, yet. But, yes, we are working on some other combinations like that.”

    Almost as an afterthought, I told Mason that my favorite song of his was “How Do I Get To Heaven” from his “26 Letters, 12 Notes” album, to which he replied, “Yeah, it’s a really beautiful song. It’s an example of something that would have – to our opening conversation – had this been twenty years ago that would probably have been a hit song.”

    As our call was winding up, I asked Mr. Mason what 2015 looked like for him, tour (and other) wise.

    “According to my agents, there seems to be a large demand for Traffic Jam so we may be playing this out through 2015. And, then, I’m hoping in April, to go to the United Kingdom. I’m not sure if it’s going to entail some of Europe but I haven’t played there in over thirty years. That’ll be interesting. After that, we’re toying around with the idea of doing what would be, ‘Alone Together, Again,’ where part of the show would be the whole of the ‘Alone Together’ album. But, at the moment, it seems that the Traffic Jam thing – there’s still venues that still want to do the show so it will probably go through a good part of next year.”

    To see if Dave Mason is going to be appearing in or near your town, be sure to visit his website, DaveMasonMusic.com. While you’re there, be sure to shop around his online store and take advantage of his signed CD offerings. They’re a definite must-have for your own collection and excellent gifts for the music lovers in your life.

  • Dave Mason Knoxville 2014

    Dave Mason
    November 09, 2014
    Bijou Theater
    Knoxville, TN

    By James Patterson

    Photo by James Patterson

         

    For those who enjoyed the sounds of "Traffic", the Dave Mason "Traffic Jam" tour will take you back to those reverberations and not disappoint you.  Dave walked onto the stage in his black outfit and long classy scarf and to the cheering audience said. "We'll do two sets tonight, the first will be songs from "Traffic" and the 2nd set will be Dave Mason tunes."; and with that the band started into "Forty Thousand Headmen".  The enthusiastic  crowd loved it!  Then came the really perky songs, "You Can All Join In" and "Pearly Queen".

    Instead of an audience continually standing, it was like they all wanted to sit and take in each song; then after each song, they stood, clapped and screamed.  One time Mason paused to change guitars and from the audience came the shouts, "We love you, Dave". It was also at that moment that Dave went into some history, complete with a slideshow, of his early years in his home town of Worcester England. Explaining it was there where he had teamed up with his mates Steve Windwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood and formed the legendary "Traffic". And, it was there in a small cottage where they worked on their music creations, a cottage that had no running water or electricity (a generator was used to power their amplifiers).  "Heck we were kids, we didn't care, of course all of that changed", Dave said as he began, "Medicated Goo".

    Mason stated, "Here is a song that I've arranged a bit different hope you enjoy it"; right away he ignited the audience with the beginnings of his long and slow bluesy version of, "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys". Then behind the band with projections on the screen of psychedelic graphics, the crowd screams with the intro of "Dear Mr. Fantasy".

    After the break and before Dave goes into his tunes he has another slideshow and enlightens everyone of the many groups and individuals he has worked with including the many who had faired well recording and having successful song hits from his originals.  One such duo on the screen, with photos and videos, Bonnie and Delanie as "Traffic Jam" played,  "You Know and I Know".

     "And you may remember this song which became a huge hit for Joe Cocker", which Dave also explained he wrote when he was 16 years of age…"Feeling Alright". As the band played other Mason hits like, "Alone Together", World of Changes" and "We Just Disagree" it became apparent that not only did Dave Mason still have his strong and awesome vocals, but his band was instrumentally great and were adding terrific harmonies.  Alvino Bennett, Drums; Johnne Sambataro, Guitar/Vocals; and Tony Paler, Keyboards/Vocals. As always, complimenting any band's sound was the wonderful acoustics found in the Knoxville, Bijou Theatre. 

    Dave, ending his outstanding performance; showing his personable side, said, "I'll see you on the way out, and I'll shake the babies, and kiss the hands!" Laughter ended a marvelous evening of classic tunes!

  • Delbert McClinton - Knoxville, 2015

    Delbert McClinton

    December 4, 2015

    Bijou Theater

    Knoxville, TN

     

    Photo by Randy Patterson

         

    Delbert McClinton’s Friday night show at the Bijou Theater was one for the record books. 

    Opening act, Alysa Bonagura, has become a new favorite of Boomerocity. Consider her one of music’s best kept secrets. If you know her work nowhere else, you will most likely have heard her “I Make My Own Sunshine” that was used in commercials for Lowe’s. Hear that song once and it sticks in your mind (and brightens your outlook) for quite awhile.

    Check this girl out and keep an eye on her.

    When Delbert hit the stage, he and his tight band hit the audience with entertaining energy. Fun, engaging, nostalgic, McClinton often had the capacity crowd on their feet and dancing. 

    As always, McClinton gave the crowd what they wanted by serving up all sorts of favorites and with an energy that would’ve given the uninitiated the impression that the songs were new and fresh to him and the band. 

    A new Boomerocity favorite by McClinton is a tune he released back in 1997, “Sending Me Angels” and has now been bought and downloaded into the Boomerocity jukebox from iTunes.

    Of course, you never go wrong catching a show at the beautiful and historic Bijou Theater. There’s not a bad seat in the house and the acoustics are magnificent. 

    If you’ve never seen Delbert McClinton in concert, you’re missing out on true musical genius and one of the most fun nights you can ever experience.

  • Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience - Knoxville, 2015

    Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience

    Bijou Theater

    Knoxville, Tennessee

    May 5, 2015

     

         

    It’s been over seven years since the remaining members of Led Zeppelin assembled together for their historic performance at London’s O2 arena. At this time, it appears that a tour from the mates isn’t going to happen. 

    However, what we do get to enjoy is Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience which hit Knoxville on May 5th and what an experience it was!

    The band was greeted by a sell out, enthusiastic crowd at Knoxville’s Bijou Theater as they hit the stage playing “We’re Gonna Groove” and went on to blast through Zep favorites such as “Black Dog,” “I Can’t Quit You, Baby,” “Dazed and Confused,” and a bunch of others.

    The band did especially great covers of “Since I Been Loving You,” “Kashmir,” “When The Levee Breaks” and “Stairway To Heaven.” The crowd often sang along and didn’t seem to notice some of the technical difficulties that Bonham would comment about. 

    Guitarist, Tony Catania, was amazing in his treatment of the Zeppelin classics and James Dylan killed it on the vocals.

    A first for Boomerocity: Seeing a drummer actually break a brass cymbal. Yup, Jason did exactly that to which his drum tech quickly replaced while the band left to cheers for an encore. Yes, the band did encore with “Whole Lotta Love” and 

    Jason tours with LZE through the end of May. If you get a chance to get “Experienced,” do. You won’t regret it. 

  • Jeff Daniels and the Ben Daniels Band - Knoxville 2015

    Jeff Daniels With The Ben Daniels Band

    Bijou Theater

    Knoxville, Tennessee

    May 19, 2015

    Photo by jamespattersonsgallery.com 

         

    Knoxville, you missed out on a great musical experience with the legendary Jeff Daniels and his son’s band, The Ben Daniels Band.

    The turnout for the show was low but the energy – both from the crowd and Daniels – was the perfect level for his music.  The consummate professional, Jeff performed just as he would to a sold out crowd in Madison Square Gardens. Funny. Precise. The band tight with much of the set list came from his latest album, “Days Like These,” but Daniels’ earlier albums were well represented, too. 

    Arguably the two most poignant points of the show was when Jeff had Amanda Merte join him on the

         

    Photo by JamesPattersonsgallery.com

    sad, “Back When You Were Into Me” and Jeff and his son, Ben, closing the show with a father/son song about watching Ben grow up. At the end of it, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. When I chatted with Daniels after the show, I asked when he was going to record the song. He indicated that it would be on a CD scheduled to be released in November. Stay tuned!

    Due to Jeff Daniels’ heavy acting schedule in the future, there will be limited opportunities to catch one of his musical performances. To catch one of his musical performances is definitely a rare and very enjoyable treat so do so if you get the chance. You won’t regret it and you’ll have yet one more reason to be a Jeff Daniels fan.

    Keep up with Jeff Daniels at JeffDaniels.com and with the Ben Daniels Band at BenDanielsBand.com.

  • Steep Canyon Rangers - Knoxville January 2016

    Steep Canyon Rangers

    January 15, 2016

    Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, TN

     

    Photo by Randy Patterson

         

    Sometimes, we just have to break out of our self-imposed confines of tastes and interests to experience something new. Whether it’s trying new foods, new activities, or a new hair style, our world is often expanded by trying something different. 

    Friday night at the Bijou, I did exactly that. I tried going to a kind of concert that I don’t typically attend: a bluegrass show. Not just any kind of bluegrass show but one put on by Steep Canyon Rangers.

    I’d heard of SCR because of their work with Steve Martin (one of my favorite actors and comedians) but, I have to admit, I’d never really paid any attention to their work.

    I do now.

    These guys put on a show that kept us spellbound for two hours (less a very short intermission). If bluegrass can rock, then Steep Canyon Rangers do it to perfection.

    With front man, Woody Platt (guitar), the band cooks with gas with the likes of classically trained Nicky

         

    Photo by Randy Patterson

    Sanders who often stole the show with his Jimmy Page-esque playing and maneuvers on fiddle; banjoist extraordinaire, Graham Sharp; Mike Guggino on mandolin; Charles R. Humphrey III (upright bass); and Mike Ashworth on drums. Watching each and every one of these gentlemen perform their art is a treat all to itself.

    If you’ve never experienced a live bluegrass show – or, maybe you have and you were less than impressed – I strongly recommend catching a Steep Canyon Rangers show. They will give you a higher appreciation of the genre – if not make you a diehard fan of the band. 

    They’ve made one out of me.

    Follow SRC at their website: www.steepcanyon.com 

  • The Chris Robinson Brotherhood - Knoxville, 2015

    The Chris Robinson Brotherhood

    Bijou Theater – Knoxville, Tennessee

    June 28, 2015

     

    Photo by Randy Patterson

         

    What do you get if you take the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynard, blend them all together and put Chris Robinson in as lead singer?  

    The Chris Robinson Brotherhood. 

    And what do you get if you put said Brotherhood in Knoxville’s beautiful and intimate Bijou Theater?

    A full and enthusiastic house.

    The band started precisely on time and blew the crowd away for an amazing two set night. From the opening tune (Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight) to the encore (a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee”), Robinson and crew had the crowd on their feet and eating out of his hands the entire night. From hippies to yuppies, every member of the audience was thoroughly enjoying everything the band played.

    Arguable the most well-received tune of the night was the band’s delivery of “Star or Stoned”.  If Robinson didn’t own the crowd before that song, he certainly did after.  As far as I’m concerned, that song, alone, was worth the price of admission. Whether measured by the number of songs performed or the length of the show, Robinson delivered supreme musical and financial value for the price of admission.

    I’ve got to give special notice to Neal Casal’s guitar work. I could sit and listen to that guy’s versatile playing forever. Y’all gotta check him out. He’s that good!

    As for those who might say, “well, it ain’t the Black Crowes,” I would say, “duh.” The CRB is a completely different band with a completely different vibe and sound. If you love good ol’ rock n’ roll along with a jazz/jam band sound, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood is well worth your investment of time and money. I can’t wait to see them again!

  • Tommy Emmanuel and Joe Robinson Knoxville 2016

    Tommy Emmanuel W/Joe Robinson

    Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, TN

    May 20, 2016


    tommyemmanuelknoxville2016001Last night was the third time I’ve had the privilege of catching one of Tommy Emmanuel’s performances live and for the third time, he blew me away. Ever the masterful musician (a Certified Guitar Player, actually. Read about it here), Tommy is an incredible entertainer, to boot.

    Don’t take my word for it. Ask anyone who was part of the near-capacity crowd at the beautiful and historic (some say it’s even haunted) Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville.

    Emmanuel dug deep into his vast catalog of songs to dazzle the crowd. He even laid one on us that hasn’t been recorded yet. He didn’t share the name of it but you can bet I’ll get his next CD so that I can hear it. It was one of his best and most beautiful compositions yet.

    Opening for Tommy was Joe Robinson. Until last night, I hadn’t heard of the young Aussie. However, I can assure you that I will never forget him. Robinson is who you would get if you cloned Tommy Emmanuel and Phil Keaggy together. I've never seen anyone masterfully use looping and layering to the extent that Joe did last night. Keep an eye on this kid. Boomerocity will and we’re a new fan for life.

    If you’ve never had the chance to see Tommy Emmanuel perform in person, you’re missing out on a real treat. I will never pass up a chance to see him perform. Now, I also won’t pass up a chance to see Joe Robinson, either.

     

    Note: You can read the three Boomerocity interviews with Tommy here, here, a-a-a-a-and here.

  • Warren Haynes - Knoxville February 2016

    Warren Haynes

    Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, Tennessee

    February 28, 2016

     

    Photo by Randy Patterson

         

    Let me say right from the git go that if you’ve never seen Warren Haynes in concert, you’ve been missing out on a phenomenal musical treat. That was certainly what the sell out crowd at Knoxville’s historic, intimate and beautiful Bijou Theatre experienced last night.

    From his show opener (Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”) to the Allman Brothers’ “Jessica” for the encore, Haynes had the exuberant crowd eating out of his legendary nimble fingered hands.

    Admittedly, while I’ve heard lots of Warren’s work over the years, this was my first time seeing the legendary guitarist

         

    Photo by Randy Patterson

    live. I was mesmerized by his precision and fluidity of movement along the neck of the guitar. Speed and range, both, were taken to their limits.  

    As for his Ashes & Dust band (the name taken from his last CD), they were tight and smooth as a well oiled machine. Each and every musician were fascinating to watch them perform their craft to the highest levels of excellence – a compliment to their leader, for sure.

    While much of the set list was from Haynes’ Ashes & Dust CD, he pleased the crowd with tunes from his other body of work, as well. All of which, of course, resonated beautifully in the Bijou.

    Again, if you’ve never caught Warren Haynes live, you need to do so. You’ll never want to miss a show once you do.

Featured Photo

 

 

george lynch

Our Featured Photo by Boomerocity friend and famed rock photographer, Rob Shanahan (robshanahan.com), is of Dokken's George Lynch! Check out more of Rob's work at RobShanahan.com!

 

 

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