Monday, November 21, 2016

STEVE FORBERT


 
Folk Rock Legend Steve Forbert 
to Play the Kennett Flash

By Rob Nagy

An American treasure who has touched the lives of generations of fans around the globe, singer songwriter Steve Forbert is an enduring artist.

“Flying At Night” (2016), Forbert’s latest U.K. album release, available via his website, features a treasure trove of unreleased material from the creative vault of this veteran of the American folk pop rock circuit.

“I just completed a month overseas in Europe and the U.K.  Even though I released a record called “Compromised” a year ago, we needed something to promote the U.K. tour, which was about ten dates,” says Forbert, while on tour in New Jersey. “My booking agent in England asked me if I could possibly come up with a release to precede this year’s Fall UK tour. I completed nine unfinished songs that span several decades.”


I had been doing these recordings with Anthony Crawford.  So, we made a record for the U.K. market so to speak. Anthony Crawford and I have worked together off and on since he guested on my album “The American In Me” (Geffen Records, 1992),” says Forbert. “As producer of “Flying at Night,” he ran free with the tunes, adding whatever he wanted from his home studio toy box—lead guitar, bass, drums, fiddle and mandolin. It happens to be excellent.  So, who knows what will happen with it?”

Forbert rose to international prominence with the release of his “Jack Rabbit Slim” (1979) album, featuring the hit single and his signature song “Romeo’s Tune.” Reaching number 11 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot 100 Chart, the album garnered Forbert well-deserved notoriety and a strong cult following that remains to this day.

“I don’t get tired of playing “Romeo’s Tune,” says Forbert. “It’s really helped a lot. It’s a calling card. People say, ‘Oh, I remember him.  I like that song. Let’s go hear it.’ The rest is up to me. I’ve got to entertain them and keep them interested for an hour and a half, which is something I love attempting. For me, playing folk rock has made all the difference. Being a singer songwriter and a folk artist, I’m able to write songs regardless of the market and present them to my audience.  I’m able to develop the material relevant to getting older. The crowd I’m attracting is an audience that I’m very pleased with.”

“I try to keep the level of quality the best I can (in terms of) the songs themselves,” adds Forbert. “I don’t think I’m better, but I don’t think I’ve let my standards down.  The fact is that the shows are spontaneous and I can react to the audience. It’s really about the world and the time I’m a part of. What defines me is a certain sense of sensibility. It’s in the songs. I consider myself a storyteller.”

With dozens of studio and live albums to his credit and a loyal audience that continues to support his art, Forbert is grateful for the following that affords him the opportunity to continue to pursue his passion.

“Let’s be perfectly honest,” says Forbert. “It’s not a large audience.  It’s a cult crowd. It’s the kind of audience that would go out to listen to lengthy songs with a lot of words and even listen to a guy with just an acoustic guitar. That’s not a large number of the populous. Keeping it in perspective, it is not Madison Square Garden, but I love what I do and I think those people that come out for it get that feeling too. So it produces, I like to think, some positive result out there in the world. The energy is good, and I love what I’m doing.”

“I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished so far,” adds Forbert. “Making and crafting records is a real challenge. I’m able to control the writing of the song and singing it. I haven’t always made the best records of the songs I’ve written.  That bothers me a little sometimes. But I’m still at it. It’s that sensibility. My music seems to be very therapeutic to people on a regular basis and I take great joy from that. I think my biggest problem is the fact that I’m not getting any younger. I just want to continue doing it and I want the performance to be good. I may get good at this yet (laughs).”

Steve Forbert will perform at the Kennett Flash, 102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, PA 19348, Friday December 2, 2016 at 8:00 P.M.  For tickets and information, visit www.kennettflash.org.

To stay up to date with Steve Forbert, visit www.steveforbert.com.

THE ROLLING STONES












A visit yesterday to the new Stones exhibit in NYC, an early birthday gift from my daughter Haley.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

R.I.P. SHARON JONES




Photos by Rob Nagy 2014

Friday, November 18, 2016

GREG SOVER AT PUCK 11/18/16










Another stunning performance by the Greg Sover Band at Puck (Doylestown, PA) last night. Photos by Rob Nagy

Sunday, November 6, 2016

TRIBUTE TO THE MUSIC OF STEELY DAN


“Countdown to Ecstacy” Performs the works of Steely Dan at the Kennett Flash

By Rob Nagy


Emerging from the increasingly popular tribute band circuit, “Countdown to Ecstacy” is one of the few acts to successfully deliver the music of “Steely Dan.”  Paying homage to the classic work of Donald Fagan and Walter Becker, Countdown to Ecstacy’s name comes from Steely Dan’s 1973 sophomore effort.  The band’s flawless delivery of Steely Dan classics has earned them a loyal audience of discriminating music fans.

“It happened by chance,” says founding member Glenn Marrazzo, from his home in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. “We had been getting together casually.  I owned a store in Bensalem that catered exclusively to bass players. We were getting together there for fun to just play songs we all knew. No goal, no end game in site. We would get together and play Beatles tunes, The Police and classic rock tunes. Just get together, drink some beer and play some songs. At one point Toy, who is the original guitar player and still with the band, called me up and said, ‘I’m really having fun with this project we’re doing and from that came the decision to evolve into a tribute to Steely Dan.  That was around 2007.”

“We are defined first and foremost by our love of the music,” adds Marrazzo. “The entire band is made up of a group of seasoned musicians who enjoy performing the Steely Dan songbook and are challenged by the sometimes complex material. We consider the band to be a tribute to the "music" of Steely Dan, so no costumes or staging is necessary for us to resemble the real thing. We perform all the material live.  That is to say, we do not use any type of prerecorded backing tracks or sequences to supplement the band.  This necessitates the 11 member band.”

“Countdown To Ecstacy” features a stellar line-up that includes band leader Glenn Marrazzo (bass),
Matt Sevier (vocals/acoustic guitar), Peg Talbott-Lane (vocals), Teresa Grace (vocals),
Mike Kernicky (drums), Jon Mernyk (guitar),
Tony Winkler (guitar), Dan Smedile (keyboards),
Nancy Kribbs (trombone), Kevin Coltri (sax) and
David Laich (trumpet),


“Our purpose is to present the music as accurately and authentically as possible,” says Marrazzo. “Most arrangements come from Steely Dan studio albums as well as some selections from Donald Fagen's solo recordings.  We do mix in some current "live" interpretations as well as mix it up by having our female singers sing lead or duets with some tunes. "Dirty Work" is a good example.”

Submerged in a highly competitive tribute band genre that has made its mark on the live music scene, Marrazzo and his band mates are taking it all in stride and reveling in the dedicated fan base that supports their creative efforts.

“Claiming to be a Steely Dan tribute band already sets the bar pretty high.  So, it has not been unusual for some fans who are new to Countdown to Ecstasy to be a bit skeptical at first,” says Marrazzo. “We have found that, about 30 seconds into the opening song, we've pretty much won them over and they're ready to sit back and enjoy the ride! I would hope folks would appreciate the level of musicianship and dedication to the material.  We find that we exceed the expectations of those who may have not yet had the experience of seeing us live. Fans really appreciate the attention to detail and will respond with applause whenever one of the musicians nails a familiar signature solo - for example, the guitar solo in "Peg" or the sax solo in "FM." People do recognize the degree of difficulty and will take the time to compliment the band after the show.”

“Ultimately, I would hope that the audience feels they got their money's worth and cannot wait to see us again, with new fans in tow,” adds Marrazzo. “We currently have more than 65 songs in our repertoire - all the hits plus plenty of deep cuts.  So, it's a safe bet you will never see the same show twice.  We will never become complacent or stale.  There is always room for improvement and we've tweaked a few things along the way.  I want the crowd to feel that we get better every time they see us!”

Countdown To Ecstacy will perform at the Kennett Flash, 102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, PA 19348, Friday November 4, 2016 at 8:00 P.M.  For tickets and information, visit www.kennettflash.org.

To stay up to date with Countdown to Ecstacy, visit www.countdowntoecstacy.com.

http://www.tickettoentertainment.com/blog/2016/11/04/countdown-to-ecstacy-performs-the-works-of-steely-dan-at-the-kennett-flash-tonight/