Last night a nearly sold out crowd at the House of Blues here in Cleveland saw what could be the concert of the year. Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit put on a powerful two hour plus show that left me hard pressed to think of anyone better at his craft right now.
I wasn't alone either. Here's some fan comments:
"What a great show. My love for him is unnatural, but I am ok with that."
"Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit put on one of the most genuine, no bs shows I've ever seen. Just write great songs and play the heck out of them. Thanks to these guys for keeping the real thing alive!!"
"It will be tough for anyone to knock tonight's Jason Isbell show out of the top spot on my list of best shows of 2015. Outstanding song choices, playing, and energy, and a nice, long show. If you were there tonight, you know what I'm talking about. If you weren't, I'm sorry for you."
I pedaled my bike over to the Hessler Street Fair yesterday, mainly to catch some live music. The festival had ten bands on the bill on Sunday alone. Between those acts you could mosey over to the Barking Spider for another terrific line up of talent. It got me to thinking what a great summer season of music this is shaping up to be for me.
I could give you a general concert list but I'll just share the ones on my schedule so far. It involves some driving as some of the shows didn't schedule stops in Cleveland.
Next Wednesday the 27th Jason Isbell plays the House of Blues here in town. Then on Saturday I head to Columbus to see The Rolling Stones play Ohio Stadium.
The following Thursday I'm back at the House of Blues for Tame Impala. Then the weekend of June 12-14 I'm heading back to Columbus to catch Spoon at the Newport on Friday and Belle & Sebastian on Sunday at the Lifestyles Community Pavilion.
On Monday, June 29 Morrissey is at the Akron Civic. Hopefully he doesn't cancel. Then that July 4th weekend I head to Chicago for three nights of The Grateful Dead. I might try to fit the John Fogerty gig at Jacobs Pavilion in that week as well.
There's more shows on my radar, but I haven't pulled the trigger on tickets yet. Graham Parker and The Rumour at Music Box, Steely Dan and Elvis Costello at Jacobs. It's shaping up to be a fantastic summer.
About a year ago Brent Kirby told me he was looking for a way to combine all of his different projects into one cohesive band. I'm not sure he achieved that but along the way he created a new band and a new sound for himself. The result is the excellent new album Patience Worth.
In choosing musicians for the new band, Brent Kirby & His Luck, he went outside his familiar circle enlisting top-notch talent as he always does. The result is a different musical direction for Kirby. There's elements of jazz, rock, and soul. You'll even hear horns, arranged by his father, and backing singers on some of the songs.
Kirby likes to write to the strengths of the players in his groups. This enabled him to shed the Americana vibe to a degree. In a recent listen to the album with Brent he pointed out one song which would've been arranged much differently had he written it a year ago. It's obvious he feels good about stretching his own perceived sound.
This Saturday night at the Music Box Supper Club Brent Kirby & His Luck will unveil that new direction in fine fashion with a live horns section and backup singers. The CD release event is nearly sold out so I'd suggest getting your tickets right now for what promises to be a special night.