Live Review: Sierra Hull @ Strathmore Music Center — 2/13/20

SierraHull_Gina Binkley
Sierra Hull (Photo by Gina Binkley)

In her second appearance at the Strathmore Music Center, mandolin virtuoso Sierra Hull and her ultra-talented band recently opened for ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro. The former child prodigy, who recorded her first album at the age of 11, packed a lot of variety into her set, with vocal and instrumental numbers, as well as solo pieces where she accompanied herself on the acoustic guitar.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Jake Shimabukuro @ Strathmore Music Center — 2/13/20

Jake+1
Jake Shimabukuro (Photo coutesy Jensen Communications)

With a hearty “Aloha!” ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro greeted the crowd at Strathmore Music Center last night. “This hall sounds amazing,” he said. “It’s such an honor playing in this hall. You can’t play a bad note in this hall or, if you do, you hear it for a long time.”

Continue Reading

Live Review: DRUM TAO @ Strathmore Music Center — 2/7/20

Drum Tao DRUM TAO performs at Strathmore Music Center on Feb. 7, 2020. (Photo by Shedrick Pelt)

The drum, a percussion tool sounded by being struck with sticks or the hands, is one of the most recognizable and established instruments in any tribal community. You might say the drum is the heartbeat of the tribe. Those who wield it and those hypnotized by its depth are led to reach into their souls and find peace and harmony in the lowest of its tones.

Continue Reading

Best of the Year: Top 10 Concerts of 2019 by Mark E.

RosanneCash16bw
Rosanne Cash placed as one of Mark Engleson’s top shows of the year. Read on to see who else made the cut. (Photo by David LaMason)

Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.

Editor (again): After much consideration, the prolific Mark Engleson chose his top 10 shows for 2019.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones @ Strathmore Music Center — 12/2/19

Bela Fleck
Bela Fleck performs at MerleFest on April 27, 2018. (Photo by cp_thornton)

We all have ideas and preconceptions about different kinds of music. We can’t help it; we’re exposed to something, and it fixes our notion of what it is. For years, whenever I thought of jazz, I pictured a saxophone in my mind’s eye, and I heard a particular sound. While that sound is representative of some jazz, it’s certainly not representative of all it.

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, an all-star lineup of progressive jazz musicians, demolished and rebuilt my ideas of what jazz is and can be at the Strathmore Music Center recently.

Continue Reading

Preview: Béla Fleck and The Flecktones @ Strathmore Music Center, 12/2/19

Approved+Flecktones_2019-27
Béla Fleck and The Flecktones (Photo courtesy the artist)

In 1988, groundbreaking banjoist Béla Fleck was asked to put together his “dream band” for the Lonesome Pine Specials television series. The resulting band was The Flecktones, and they launched their first official tour a year later. Now, Bela Fleck and The Flecktones mark their 30th anniversary at the Strathmore Music Center on Monday, Dec. 2.

Continue Reading

Live Review: Ray LaMontagne @ Strathmore Music Center — 10/15/19

Ray-Live-PC-Brian-Stowell-1
Ray LaMontagne (Photo by Brian Stowell)

After a terrific opening set by the Canadian duo Kacy & Clayton, Ray LaMontagne took the stage at the Music Center at Strathmore recently. Accompanying him was Carl Broemel, the guitarist in My Morning Jacket. They began with “Be Here Now,” both playing acoustic guitar. The New Hampshire-born singer-songwriter followed with “Hold You in Arms,” from his first album, 2004’s Trouble.

Continue Reading