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Blues Sunday with John Mayall & the Jamie McLean Band

Review of John Mayall/Jamie McLean Band at Sellersville Theater February 19, 2012

from Louise Uznanski, Richard Uznanski, Holley Dey

Last Sunday afternoon British blues legend John Mayall stood quietly in the lobby of Sellersville Theater, Pennsylvania.  Thirty minutes before showtime he presided over a small table stacked with copies of Live in London, the John Mayall band 2011 concert DVD.  A steady line of fans approached the table to shake the musician’s hand and purchase the autographed product.  Unlike many signing lines, most of the queued fans were men, and they took the opportunity to share the memory of a song or special show from years past.

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Amy Black: The Preacher’s Kid Sure Can Play

She’s a PK, and so it seems fitting that Amy Black was invited to the Me & Thee Coffeehouse series in Marblehead last weekend.  The preacher’s kid was raised in the Missouri heartland and among the good folks of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, moving to New England at sixteen when her father accepted a new church assignment.  For Amy, the warm wood pews and pipe organ of fellowship hall must have offered a familiar welcome on Friday evening.  So did the church kitchen.  There were generous servings of gooey homemade desserts from a gracious volunteer staff.  The strongest brew on tap was a piping hot cup of apple cider. Read more

Taylor Hicks on Tour: Finders, Keepers

Photos and blog contributed by Louise Uznanski for OntapBlog.

A hot June day in upstate New York. It rained a little, and it was a long day of waiting in the field near Syracuse for Taylor and his band to play in Jamesville. Tuning the guitar, Taylor looks out onto the crowd and spots the cones. A flashback happens caused by hundreds of nights playing in Grease and touring the road in shadow shows and scheduled tour appearances. Read more

Idol Gone Country: Ayla Brown Takes the Nashville Road to New Album

When Ayla Brown toured Afghanistan, the audience knew her name and her story.  They stood shoulder to shoulder in the relentless heat and dust to hear her sing.  The soldiers proved gracious hosts; one group used their downtime to prepare a special welcome for the country singer.  Proudly, they shared a photograph of entertainment mogul Simon Cowell taped to a small explosive device, then handed Ayla the detonator.  Kaboom.

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Craig Bickhardt on Songwriting, Artistic Integrity & Single Malt Scotch

Part 2 of 2 on award winning singer/songwriter Craig Bickhardt

The song was pitched to Johnny Cash, and he loved it.  Recorded the song with The Highwaymen, but the cut didn’t make 1995’s The Road Goes on Forever.  Could be that the song hit a little too close to home for the record label.

The story of a down-and-out entertainer addicted to drink and drugs, the lyrics parallel Cash’s own history of self-destructive behavior and public adulation.   Like many of Craig Bickhardt’s songs, this one describes a reality common to many; some believe the song was written about Hank Williams.   Co-written with Barry Alfonso, “If He Came Back Again” would later be included as a bonus track on the 10th anniversary edition of The Road Goes on Forever, earning special note from several reviewers. Read more