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>Josh Ritter in Philadelphia and Boston, Feb. 10 and 11

> Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band, opening night in Philly   What should one expect from a Valentine’s Day Brawl? Love, roses,  a nice slow-dance sax solo, and of course some heartache because this ain’t no Hallmark celebration. This was Josh Ritter’s tell-it-like-it-is idea of Valentine’s Day, and it was quite a party.  I was […]

>David Wax Museum CD release party at Oberon

> When a CD release party is billed as an Extravaganza, you expect just a little bit more than a band onstage running through their new songs. And so it was that the alt-Mex-folk act David Wax Museum — essentially the duo of guitarist David Wax and his violin and donkey-jawbone-playing partner Suz Slezak — […]

>Lissie at the Paradise, Boston

>   The second show of my weekend concert extravaganza was quite different than the first. Instead of the sold out large-theater setting of the House of Blues for the Decemberists, I was a mile or so up Comm. Ave. at the more intimate and comfortably crowded Paradise Rock Club, where a heavily college-age crowd eagerly […]

>The Decemberists at the House of Blues, Boston, Jan. 28, 2011

>   “Apparently, we ruined indie,” declared the Decemberists enigmatic lead singer Colin Meloy, in the middle of a small run of new songs off their new latest album, “The King Is Dead” early in the show. Meloy was referring to a recent, hilarious article in the Boston Phoenix blaming Meloy and his merry band of […]

>Lori McKenna at Passim, Dec. 17

>   The Holiday Crush is upon us, so I’ll have to make this kind of quick. But because of the Crush it is important to take time out and enjoy the good things in life. One of those good things is seeing Lori McKenna on stage at Passim.  Lori, who got a shot at fame a […]

>Double play: Eilen Jewell at Johnny D’s, Sarah Harmer at the Paradise, Nov. 6, 2010

> Sarah Harmer at the Paradise Ever have one of those nights where plans seem to just magically work, no matter what they are? Last Saturday, as much as a month ago, was tagged as a “tough call night” as to which show we would attend: Eilen Jewell at Johnny D’s, Sarah Harmer at the […]

>Josh Ritter in Portland, Maine, Oct. 22

>   First, the bullet points for those in a hurry to hear the details:1) I got this close to riding the tour bus from Portland to Northampton… damn those family obligations!2) The Portland crowd is a rowdy bunch. Hey, State Theatre bouncer guys: let the women dance in front of the stage. It’s a rock […]

>Jackie Greene at the Paradise, 10-9-10

>   “You guys are so rad. I’d forgotten just how rad you guys are!” That’s what Jackie Greene told the pumped-up crowd at the Paradise last weekend. His last visit, in February, must have made as good an impression on him as it did us. Greene, for those who have not heard of him, flat […]

>Heavy duty: A night out with the Stone Temple Pilots

> A review of the Stone Temple Pilots concert at Bank of America Pavilion, Boston, Sept. 1, 2010   We had read the stories: Singer Scott Weiland, numerous times in rehab, had fallen off the stage at a recent show. We had heard the rumors: He was lip-synching at the time.  But all of the worries that […]

>Newport Folk Festival, Aug. 1, 2010

> Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings Cory Chisel   The challenge for a music festival is striking the right balance in the acts, mixing new and old, loud and soft, energetic and laid back. Too much one way or the other and you lose portions of your audience.  Festivals also require a philosophy that the vibe […]