Three Shows in Five Days, A Trombone, a Hart and a Wolf

I had a nice run of shows recently which I never got around to posting about. Away we go…

The first show was Tuesday, July 8th. It was the Mickey Hart Band at the Calvin in Northampton.  I was kind of on the fence about going to this one.  I had seen the ex drummer before the Dead and wasn’t thrilled. I was itching for a show and I really liked some of the guys he had with him. Specifically, Steve Kimock on guitar, George Porter Jr on bass and Kyle Hollingsworth on keys.  The show was just alright. There were a few highlights but overall a bunch were misses. They had Jen Durkin on vocals and it was odd. Some of the songs she was perfect for, other ones she just butchered up.  When they stuck to the Dead catalog or covers, it was for the most part solid. Some of Mickey’s faux world music stuff is just a miss for me.  The bummer of the evening was they gave Steve Kimock close to no room to lay out.  The guy is a stellar guitarist and he basically played backup all night.

The trio of shows picked up on the second one though. Last Friday, I went to Meadowbrook Park in Hamden, CT for a free show by Los Lobos. It was a great summer night for a show. I brought a chair and was all good. The Lobos played as always great set. Unfortunately, I think the setlist was close to the one I saw them do a year or two ago in Northampton.  They have such a catalog, would have been nice to get more of a shakeup. They closed with a Dead combo of Not Fade Away> Bertha.  Don was pleased. The band is so tight, great to see them play, I wish they got to New England more often.

Last Sunday was probably the best of the three shows. It was Trombone Shorty out of New Orleans at the Iron Horse in Northampton.  I had read some great reviews of the young (21) trombonist but had not seen him yet. Excellent choice by catching this Sunday show. What a show by a band of young players. There wasn’t a guy in the band that I would not card but they could bring the funk and New Orleans traditionals like a bunch of veterans. It was Trombone Shorty on trombone and trumpet, two sax players, drummer, bassist, guitarist and a guy on percussion.  They brought the energy as well as the musical skill. They did a two set show and played just about two hours or so. They played a wide mix of instrumentals, traditional New Orleans tunes and some r&b covers.  They did an excellent version of Let’s Get it On. The Horse was set up without a dance floor for the show but the band got several dancers up by the end of the evening.  This is a band worth watching!

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