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 &#151 rooted in the sounds of traditional R&B and traditional Persian music &#151 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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2014 Chicago Blues Festival photos

June 16, 2014

I made it to the Chicago Blues Festival only on Saturday this year. Work intervened Friday and I wanted to beat the storm home Sunday. I’m not complaining. I heard a bunch of great blueswomen. I also took my friend Diana to her first blues fest and the weather was almost perfect. We started the […]

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Sam Morrow: ‘Ephemeral’

May 30, 2014

John Steinbeck would love Sam Morrow. The young musician, still in his early 20s, writes about addiction, love and heartache with a photographer’s eye for detail. His musical tales are nuanced and tragic, vivid and hopeful. Morrow knows the subject matter intimately; he’s been drinking since his early teens, and a few years ago his […]

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Cahl’s Jukebox, 5-29-14

May 29, 2014

Thursday morning blues: 1) Percy Strother: “Love is Growing Cold” 2) Jimmy Witherspoon: “Early Morning Blues” 3) Jimmy Rushing: “Blues in the Dark” 4) Eddie Boyd: “What Makes These Things Happen to Me” 5) Otis Spann: “Trouble in Mind” 6) Michael Burks: “Salty Tears” 7) Calvin Leavy: “Brought You to the City” 8) Preston Shannon: […]

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Chicago Blues Festival preview: Diamond Jim Greene

May 27, 2014

Diamond Jim Green coaxed a variety of sounds, a lifetime of emotions, out of the guitars he used on his 2012 release, “Surrounded.” On the opening track, “Shake ’em on Down,” Greene’s guitar riffs are as jaunty as his vocals and the horns. Greene and his guitar sound as if they’re creeping down an old […]

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