Photos of Robbie Fulks at Duncan Hall

by Carl Abernathy on January 25, 2015

On Saturday night Robbie Fulks, Shad Cobb (fiddle), Don Stiernberg (mandolin) and Chris Scruggs (bass) delighted the folks at Duncan Hall in Lafayette with a mix of country, bluegrass and folk.

Thanks to Friends of Bob, one of the country’s best community music cooperatives, for booking the show.

Robbie Fulks (Click to enlarge)
Robbie Fulks
(Click to enlarge)

Shad Cobb (Click to enlarge)
Shad Cobb
(Click to enlarge)

Don Stiernberg (click to enlarge)
Don Stiernberg
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Chris Scruggs (click to enlarge)
Chris Scruggs
(click to enlarge)

Robbie Fulks and friends (click to enlarge)
Robbie Fulks and friends
(click to enlarge)

Photos from the Purdue Jazz Festival, 2015

by Carl Abernathy on January 19, 2015

I always try to catch some high school bands at the Purdue Jazz Festival. They sounded great. And the Purdue Jazz Band is one of the best collegiate jazz bands in America, even though Purdue doesn’t have a music school.

Here are a few photos from Saturday’s competition and workshops with pros.

Dave Douglas plays his trumpet with the Purdue Jazz Band. (Click photo to enlarge)
Dave Douglas plays with the Purdue Jazz Band.
(Click photo to enlarge)

Drummer Nate Smith with Chris Potter's Underground Orchestra (Click photo to enlarge)
Nate Smith with Chris Potter’s Underground Orchestra
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Chris Potter's Underground Orchestra (Click photo to enlarge)
Chris Potter’s Underground Orchestra
(Click photo to enlarge)

Chris Potter (Click photo to enlarge)
Chris Potter
(Click photo to enlarge)

A singer with the Purdue Jazz Band (Click photo to enlarge)
A singer with the Purdue Jazz Band
(Click photo to enlarge)

Bill Sears (Click photo to enlarge)
Bill Sears
(Click photo to enlarge)

Young trumpeter  (Click photo to enlarge)
Young trumpeter
(Click photo to enlarge)

High school jazz musicians (Click photo to enlarge)
High school jazz musicians
(Click photo to enlarge)

Tab Benoit and Kris Lager at City Winery

by Carl Abernathy on December 22, 2014

Tab Benoit (click to enlarge)
Tab Benoit
(click to enlarge)

Tab Benoit and Corey Duplechin (click to enlarge)
Tab Benoit and Corey Duplechin
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Tab Benoit keeps rockin' with five strings (click to enlarge)
Tab Benoit keeps rockin’ with five strings
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Tab gets goofy (click to enlarge)
Tab gets goofy
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Tab Benoit (click to enlarge)
Tab Benoit
(click to enlarge)

Kris Lager (click to enlarge)
Kris Lager
(click to enlarge)

Kris Lager  (click to enlarge)
Kris Lager
(click to enlarge)

The Kris Lager Band: Jeremiah Weir, keyboards; John Fairchild, drums;  Brandon Miller, bass (Click to enlarge)
The Kris Lager Band: Jeremiah Weir, keyboards;
John Fairchild, drums; Brandon Miller, bass
(Click to enlarge)

Drummer John Fairchild of the Kris Lager Band (click to enlarge)
Drummer John Fairchild of the Kris Lager Band
(click to enlarge)

Tab Benoit broke a lot of guitar strings Saturday night at City Winery in Chicago. It was bound to happen. Benoit attacked his bluesy songs with a ferociousness that probably sent any would-be rock ‘n’ roll guitar gods in the audience scurrying back to their day jobs.

Benoit never slowed down after breaking a string and the audience barely noticed. His frenetic rendition of “Medicine” was the highlight of the set for me, but I loved his tender version of “Nothing Takes the Place of You,” too.

I try to see Benoit at the Rock and Bowl or at a festival whenever I hit New Orleans. He’s always phenomenal. Saturday night he was goofy, too, telling funny stories and joking with the audience members. There wasn’t anything funny about his music, though. Catch Benoit’s show if you get a chance.

Jazz Fest is in four months. This year I’m hoping to see him at a club and at the festival.

The Nebraska-based Kris Lager, who opened for Benoit, is a pretty wicked guitar slinger himself, and, yeah, he broke a couple of strings, too.

Lager’s band threw a lot of genres into their musical blender and it all sounded good. Even hip-hop. Drummer John Fairchild threw down some funny verses and Lager used his guitar to mimic the sounds of a record being scratched. It was funny, but Lager and his band have some serious talent.

Check out their new album, “Platte River Runaway,” which was produced by Benoit.

Pokey LaFarge Band in Lafayette, Indiana: photos and concert review

November 23, 2014

> Pokey LaFarge and his band rolled into a rollicking rendition of “Knocking the Dust Off,” a jaunty mix of Western swing and Dixieland jazz to start their show Friday night at Thomas Duncan Hall in Lafayette. Then Pokey dedicated the second song, “Back Home Again in Indiana,” to the Hoosiers in the audience. Needless […]

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Photos & review: Jarekus Singleton at Carnahan Hall in Lafayette

October 26, 2014

Jarekus Singleton gave me a bear hug after his show Saturday night at Carnahan Hall in Lafayette and I felt it all the way down to my bones. I was ready for it, though, because for two hours Jarekus had been roughing me and the rest of the audience up with frenetic blues and squeezing […]

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Shadwick Wilde and Quiet Hollers at People’s Brewing

September 11, 2014

There aren’t many folks who can hear their own voices when they look in the mirror. I’ll bet Shadwick Wilde can. When Wilde, the lead singer and guitarist of the Louisville alt-country band Quiet Hollers, starts a song his eyes roll back a bit, creating a far-away look. His vocals echo the mood, dripping with […]

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2014 Uptown Jazz and Blues Festival: Jarrard Harris, Tizer Quartet, Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra, The Bo-Keys

August 24, 2014

Organizers of the 2014 Uptown Jazz and Blues Festival in Lafayette delayed the shows for a half hour until the worst of a storm had passed. And man did it rain. The rain continued sporadically for much of the evening, but it wasn’t too bad. The down side is the crowd was the smallest I’ve […]

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Shiny Penny at Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette

August 10, 2014

I’d never seen Shiny Penny before I went on Saturday to Mosey Down Main Street, a regular showcase for musicians from Lafayette, Ind., and the surrounding area. The Kokomo-based band surprised me and ignited the crowd. Their high-energy rock and pop is infectious. They’re talented, energetic and charismatic. These young guys could make it big. […]

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Matthew Sweet concert at City Winery in Chicago

July 26, 2014

Matthew Sweet didn’t interact with the audience much Friday night at the City Winery in Chicago. He spoke only a couple of times (other than when he was pitching his Kickstarter campaign for a new album and bronze cat figurines). He didn’t open his eyes but a few times, either (he said the lights hurt […]

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Taste of Tippecanoe, 2014

June 21, 2014

I’m bummed. Local officials postponed the Taste of Tippecanoe just a couple songs into Jennie DeVoe’s set because of a big storm headed our way. I don’t blame them. You don’t mess with public safety. But damn. The Indianapolis-based singer, who delivers blues and a bit of country with a sweet rasp, was making tons […]

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Mahsa Vahdat and Mighty Sam McClain: ‘Scent of Reunion: Love Duets Across Civilizations’

June 17, 2014

Soul and bluesman Mighty Sam McClain’s voice floats. Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat’s voice soars. Together, their tunes — rooted in the sounds of traditional R&B and traditional Persian music — are almost other-worldy in their beauty. I’m partial to “Scent of Reunion: Love Duets Across Civilizations,” but everything they’ve recorded is worth acquiring.

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