Live Reviews

SPRAINED ANKLES, JAY ALLEN & THE ARCHCRIMINALS, THE MIGS, THE JITTERS Cantab Lounge, Cambridge, MA 8/3/12 This is the year of the competing birthday shows—Bob’s show is next week but he’s got every band in town booked, so I’ve had to take a couple of unknowns (to me) on recommendation. The first of those are the Jitters, hailing from the Worcester area. They’re here on the good word of Myra Evil Streak—“You’ll like them,” she said…which proves either she’s got … Read More >>

Live Reviews

JENNY DEE & THE DEELINQUENTS, THE CHARMS, KATIE OBER Precinct, Somerville MA 5/26/12 Starting us off tonight is the very young Somervillian Katie Ober, whom I haven’t a clue about. She plays solo acoustic, not-quite-folk sensitive pop. Obviously her influences are way out of my realm of knowledge. Her songs aren’t compelling emotional gut-busters, but they sure sound like they’re heading in that direction. In truth, I don’t wanna make a definitive call until I see a lyric sheet—this stuff … Read More >>

LIVE REVIEWS

THEA HOPKINS Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA        5/3/12 A fine gig tonight at a great packed venue for long-time folk talent Thea Hopkins. She’s opening for the legendary Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, he of the more talk/less music mentality (that’s what octogenarians are apt to do—whoa!).  Immediately Thea and her tremendous sidekick, Andy Hollinger (guitar/ mandolin), set the audience upright with a short collection of great folk-rockin’ material. Her voice is crisp and clear with gorgeous sustained tones vested … Read More >>

Live Reviews

WHISKEY BOYS CD Release Party, Club Passim, Cambridge, MA 3/29/12 It’s a sold-out room inside Club Passim, in celebration of the Whiskey Boy’s sophomore release, Crescent Moon. All eyes are on the stage and the crowd hangs on every word and every note fiddler David Delaney and guitarist Mark Kilianski play. The pair is a lot of fun as a duo, but tonight they mix it up a bit and bring in some guests to round out the sound on … Read More >>

Live Reviews

ANAIS MITCHELL Club Passim, Cambridge MA 2/23/12 Having observed the local music scene for so many years, I often wonder about the hubris of “making it.” There’s enough blather, bling, and prattle out there on the boards to make the rafters weak. And then, there are those artists of pure poetry and substance that, once discovered, will never fail you. They keep on reaching and achieving, knowing that the work must get done—songwriters who show me the enviable task of … Read More >>

Live Reviews: March

CHELSEA BERRY, CHRIS O’BRIEN Shalin Liu, Rockport, MA 1/27/12 “This might be the nicest room I’ve ever been in, nonetheless performed in,” Chris O’Brien states as he takes center stage in the beautiful 330-seat Shalin Liu Performance Center. He steps into “Rosa” with the phrase, “She’s lightning, I’m thunder”— this song was in a competition that led him to being flown to Minnesota to appear on A Prairie Home Companion. He continues to sing along with a combination of percussive … Read More >>

Live Reviews

DARLING PET MUNKEE, DOWNBEAT 5 Radio, Somerville, MA 1/14/12 It’s the first review of the new year and I’m thrilled to report it’s a Downbeat 5 show. Savvy longtime Noise readers are predicting more glowing, sycophantic praise for DB5 out of me. I will not disappoint! Why not? This show’s like getting an extra Christmas present. JJ Rassler’s been sidelined for months due to hand injury, so they may be playing things cautiously (though likely my imagination). They keep the … Read More >>

Live Reviews

LIVE REVIEWS DECEMBER 2011 CARAVAN OF THIEVES, HEATHER MALONEY One Longfellow Square, Portland, ME 10/28/11 I arrive full of anticipation of this show dubbed the Caravan of Thieves Freakfest. The crowd is mostly over forty and everyone is eager for the entertainment to begin. Fooling us into thinking she is a substitute act named Amelie, Heather Maloney comes out in a black pageboy wig and long red dress, accompanied by a little ceramic gnome sitting on a stool beside her. … Read More >>