Photos: Nellie McKay in Lafayette

by Carl Abernathy on April 23, 2015

Nellie McKay (click to enlarge)
Nellie McKay (click to enlarge)

Nellie McKay (click to enlarge)
Nellie McKay (click to enlarge)

Nellie McKay (click to enlarge)
Nellie McKay (click to enlarge)

Nellie McKay just might be the funniest woman in America. She gets my vote, at least.

Armed only with a ukulele, a grand piano and a portable Hammond organ on Wednesday night at Duncan Hall in Lafayette, Indiana, McKay humorously eviscerated entitled young rich folks, feminists and conservatives. She defended Mother Earth and praised Eddie Albert. And she charmed the audience with cover songs of the ’60s from artists ranging from The Kinks to Herman’s Hermits. (Those songs may be found on her new album, “My Weekly Reader.”)

Thanks to Friends of Bob, a local music cooperative, for bringing McKay and for another fabulous season.

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Photos of James Hunter Six at City Winery

by Carl Abernathy on April 5, 2015

I have a friend, a well-respected jazz guitarist, who idolizes James Hunter. It’s easy to see why.

Saturday night at the City Winery in Chicago, Hunter and his band, The James Hunter Six, shimmied and sliced their way through their repertoire of songs that explore the intersections of soul, blues and rock. Their sound pays homage to classic soul artists, particularly Lowman Pauling and the 5 Royales.

Hunter often sounds a lot like Pauling on guitar. He plays with power that’s tempered with a smirk, both in his riffs and in his vocals. And his guitar riffs are intricate, even when he’s racing.

I hadn’t seen him perform for almost 10 years. I hope I don’t have to wait that long again. I’d also like to see Paul Cebar, the opening act, again soon. Cebar and his band are a hoot, and they throw just about all my favorite genres of music into their mix.

Here are a few photos from the show:

James Hunter
James Hunter (Click photo to enlarge)

James Hunter
James Hunter (Click photo to enlarge)

James Hunter
James Hunter (Click photo to enlarge)

James Hunter Six
James Hunter Six (Click photo to enlarge)

James Hunter Six
James Hunter Six (Click photo to enlarge)

Paul Cebar
Paul Cebar doing The Popeye (Click photo to enlarge)

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QuinTango and Emmanuel Trifilio at The Jazz Kitchen

by Carl Abernathy on March 29, 2015

It’s been awhile since I’ve heard a great tango band. QuinTango, a tango quintet performing at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis with Argentine bandeon master Emmanuel Trifilio, moved me to tears several times, especially when they played the songs of Astor Piazzolla. It was a beautiful show.

Here are a few photos from the evening.

Pianist Jeffery Watson (Click to enlarge)
Pianist Jeffery Watson (Click to enlarge)

Emmanuel Trifilio (Click to enlarge)
Emmanuel Trifilio (Click to enlarge)

QuinTango (Click to enlarge)
QuinTango (Click to enlarge)

Emmanuel Trifilio (Click to enlarge)
Emmanuel Trifilio (Click to enlarge)

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Phil and Dave Alvin at Lafayette Brewing Co.

March 2, 2015

At the Lafayette Brewing Company tonight Phil and Dave Alvin performed Big Bill Broonzy songs from their new album, old Blasters tunes and a few Dave Alvin numbers. All were spectacular. Thanks to Friends of Bob, a local music cooperative, for booking the show.

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Photos of Robbie Fulks at Duncan Hall

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.

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Photos from the Purdue Jazz Festival, 2015

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.

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Tab Benoit and Kris Lager at City Winery

December 22, 2014

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 […]

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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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