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Concert Reviews

The Joe Olds Band at Craze Tavern

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Georgia’s premier Country music talent promoter and booking agency, Georgia-Country, has added a new venue for its country music artists. The Grand Opening at Craze Tavern (formerly Bogies) last Friday featured one of their many crowd pleasin’ Country artists, The Joe Olds Band.

This was a perfect match for the newly remodeled Sports Bar/Music Hall, which sounded great and had plenty of dance floor for the boot scootin’ line dancers to boogie through the night.  Joe’s stage presence and the band’s energy got the dancing started right off as they kicked out songs by artists like George Strait, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, Alan Jackson and Steve Earl  (just to name a few).  Their authentic Nashville country sound includes lots of guitar –  with two acoustic, a Telecaster lead and especially the pedal steel.  The play between Ivan Duke ‘s lead guitar and Steve Allison’s steel gave each cover the real country feel. Joe gave each band member an opportunity to show off their individual talent with Sonny Fleming on drums and sharing vocals with Eli Odum (bass), Jeff Marcus (acoustic), and Ivan Duke (lead guitar) .  One of my favorite parts of the night was how Joe and Jeff blended verses in their unique medley of Swinging and Livin’ on Tulsa Time.  Other highlights of the night were Ivan’s version of Luke Bryon’s Shake it for Me and Eli singing Bill Withers Ain’t No Sunshine.

You couldn’t help but have a good time and enjoy watching these guys – I had heard they connect with their audience and it was true. Take This Job and Shove It got a whole group of hardworking women up on the dance floor to help them forget about their day at the office.  Along with doing a great job with the cover tunes, Joe played an amazing original called I Wanna Ride that will be out soon on their upcoming CD.

The Joe Olds Band and Georgia-Country let Atlanta fans know they don’t have to go to Nashville for live country music.  For more information on both check out www.joeolds.com and www.georgia-country.com.

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Concert Reviews

Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad

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Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.

Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”

Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.

The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.

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Concert Reviews

Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair

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The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.

What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.

Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.

Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.”  The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.

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Concert Reviews

Years & Years at Royale Boston

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During winter storm Juno, UK electro pop group Years & Years were forced to cancel the first show of their two-night stint in New York City back in January. After the snow finally melted, they made the rounds again this past March, playing several shows in California, South by Southwest before finally landing in Boston.

Due to popular demand, the show was moved from The Sinclair to the Royale in downtown’s Theater District.

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