Adam Ezra Group Shines at ‘Ragtop Angel’ Album Release Show
by Holley Dey; photos by Louise Uznanski, Richard Uznanski, Holley Dey
Boston’s favorite roots-rock band, the Adam Ezra Group, celebrated the release of their new album Ragtop Angel last Friday evening at Brighton Music Hall. The hometown concert was sold out in advance, and there was a buzz of eager anticipation as the band took the stage. What followed was a good time performance that left everyone smiling, and many dancing, both on and off the stage.
There were surprises throughout the evening; when Royal Avenue Music record company executives presented Adam Ezra with a plaque honoring the new release, they were invited to remain on stage to perform. During a full throttle rendition of Scandal, the executives played tambourine and drums, enjoying a featured and well received solo. As Adam exclaimed, “Who knew that label guys had rhythm?!”
Both traditional and nontraditional instruments were spotlighted; the band’s solid musicianship was on full display. At one point, keyboardist Josh Gold stepped away from the keys and picked up the spoons, while percussionist Turtle beat a stage stool into submission. The audience responded with an enthusiasm that neared a fever pitch, and with flying arms and legs that risked serious injury to the unaware.
Also welcomed to the stage was vocalist Force, from opening band the Alchemystics, who joined Adam for one song. His strong, clear voice added spice to the mix. The crowd was encouraged to participate throughout the evening. At the Group’s request, hundreds of cellphones were held high during the Basement song. The captures will later be combined to make one fan based video, and a lasting memory of the night.
As expected, several songs from the new album were showcased. These featured more of the gritty vocals and intelligent songwriting for which Adam Ezra is known. Lead single Takin’ Off and 14 Days had hips swaying and feet moving in time to the music. Soldier seemed especially appropriate for this Veteran’s Day show. Told from the perspective of an American serving in the Middle East, the song describes the soldier’s constant state of vigilance, “in what would be the perfect night to watch the sky, we keep our focus on the ground”.
On this day, the show celebrated more than an album release. Our servicemen and women were also honored in words and in song. Fundraising for the family of Navy SEAL Kevin Houston met with an enthusiastic response from concertgoers who insisted that the donation bucket be passed a second time through the crowd.
An unexpected treat came midway through the show when a large screen dropped from the stage. The official music video for new album track Miss Hallelujah was shown for the first time, and the crowd was thrilled to recognize Boston landmarks throughout the film. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXah1VzRkPM Consistent with the ever present sense of good humor and fun shared between Adam Ezra Group and their fans, the screening was punctuated by laughter and exclamations of joy.
More than two hours after it started, the show ended with an invitation from Adam Ezra to keep the party going. Join me in the lobby, take home an album on me, come across the street for a drink….. From the appearance of the packed lobby, it seems that the response from fans was a resounding “yes”, and that the music and party will continue for a good long time to come.
The following photographs were captured at the November 11 Brighton Music Hall Show. More information on the Adam Ezra Group is available here: http://www.adamezra.com/
Singer/songwriter Adam Ezra wrote/co-wrote all ten songs on Ragtop Angel.