by Deirdre Kaye
Up-and-coming Pop/Reggae singer/songwriter plays Ballroom at the Taft
South Carolina’s Trevor Hall doesn’t make the kind of music you might expect to come from a native of the American south. Instead, Hall’s music has a Reggae streak, similar to the kind of tunes he may have heard growing up in the beach community of Hilton Head or later at the arts school he attended in California.If you like Jack Johnson and Colbie Caillat and enjoy grooving to Bob Marley on occasion, Hall’s releases would fit nicely in your CD (or iTunes) collection. His newest album, Everything Everytime Everywhere, highlights everything that’s great about Hall’s music, with 12 tracks of summery, beach-y Pop with undertones of contemporary and classic Reggae.Unlike Caillat and Johnson, Hall focuses on more than just sappy love songs. The love Hall is most willing to write and sing about is love for yourself and the world around you. Hall, who travels to India almost yearly to spend time in an ashram that houses underprivileged children, lives up to Marley’s “One Love” message better that most of his musical contemporaries. Everything even features snippets of sounds from an Indian street corner and a song introduction by one of the young girls from the ashram.Hall has performed with Matisyahu, Jimmy Cliff and The Wailers, and is currently headlining his own tour. He plays on the Taft Theatre's Ballroom stage tonight with Justin Young and Pete Dressman. Tickets are $17.
June 29 • Ballroom at the Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, June 25, 2012
Any band with decent musical
aptitude and a passion for the days of sheet music stores, phosphates
and the Charleston can churn out covers of songs gleaned from thrift
shop 78s and attract a sizable, loyal audience. The real gift is
taking that Hot Jazz/Country Blues/Ragtime/Western Swing inspiration
and translating it into original and completely contemporary songs;
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three possess that gift.
by Deirdre Kaye
Posted In: Live Music
at 02:17 PM | Permalink
Oh, Cincinnatians! Wednesday night, when you filed into the Ballroom at the Taft (Theatre), loudly and drunkenly declaring your love for Dawes, I knew I’d never been more proud of you in all my life. (Except you, Guy Who Tried to Vomit Back into His Beer Can like a sorority girl MacGyver. Know your limits, dude.) You filled the basement with your singing and your cheers and, whether you saw it or not, left four California boys looking pretty giddy in your presence. While I still think some of you have some fairly bad taste in music, I now officially consider everyone in the room on Wednesday to be the new loves of my life.That includes Dawes and Sara (and Sean) Watkins, too. They deserved every ounce of love that you gave them. This was not a massive and disconnected arena show; this was just some gig in Will Taft’s basement. But Dawes rocked out in a very big way. For every beer-induced bellow you made, a little more of the musicians' hearts seemed to shine through. There was no phoning it in, no signs of fatigue after a long year of touring (for Dawes) and no amateur hour when Sara Watkins started off the night. The only downfall was knowing that it would end and that, as good as Dawes’ albums are, they would forever pale in comparison to their live show. It was that good. It was the kind of concert where you walk out knowing you will never miss another one of their concerts. The kind of night that leads to going home and staring at their tour schedule and your bank account, trying to decide if you can make it to another show on this round of touring. They’re the kind of band that flings out so much energy in their set that, come 4 a.m., you’re still lying in bed, wide awake and humming “Fire Away.” In other words: Holy Shit. Dawes is amazing.Which is surprising, honestly, since at first glimpse, no one in Dawes looks like a Rock star. Lead singer and guitar player, Taylor Goldsmith, with messy brown hair and just slightly too short pants, looks more like a philosophy professor straight out of the ‘70s. You know — the one who gets all the girls and invites the best students back to his apartment to get high. His brother, Griffin, has a massive mane of blonde curls and a face like every other one of your little brother’s friends. But he attacks the drums, has an awesome voice and great facial expressions. Behind the crazy organ/piano set up is Tay Strathairn, working like a mad scientist and bouncing from one machine to the other. Meanwhile, Dawes' bassist, Wylie Gelber, comes complete with that trademark bass player “chill”-ness. He’s cool. Basically, they’re just your average guys. They’d fit in just as easily in Cincinnati as they do in Los Angeles. On stage, though, they are far from average. They are amazing. They can turn a basement into a ballroom and a gig into a "show."Vintage Rock hasn’t sounded so good since it was just Rock. In total, the guys played over a dozen songs. Included on the set-list were their more popular hits, like “When My Times Comes” and “Time Spent in Los Angeles.” They also played a few new (and oh-so-awesome) songs that may or may not make it onto their new album.I could gush for another 600 words, but instead I’ll end with this: Go see Dawes. Get in your car right now and drive to whatever city they’re playing next. Squeeze in close and wait to be awed. Wait for that moment, a couple songs in, when your cheeks hurt because you can’t stop smiling. Wait until Taylor Goldsmith dedicates “When My Time Comes” to the “first-timers” and then scream along. Go see Dawes and fall in love with good music.
June 6 • Ballroom at the Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, June 4, 2012
At least twice recently, Rolling Stone has referred to someone’s sound as “Laurel Canyon.” If you were born after the late ’70s and don’t have a soft spot for Neil Young and his friends, you
May 11 • Ballroom at Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, May 7, 2012
Long before Jack and Meg White made it fashionable, Scott
Lucas and Joe Daniels made serious waves as Indie Rock duo Local H. Anything’s possible at a Local H show; tickets for their 2007 morning
gig at Cellular Field were available only by finding Lucas on the street
and addressing him, “Attention all planets of the Solar Federation, we
have assumed control.” The countdown is on.
April 28 • Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Friday, April 20, 2012
Bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles was originally formed as a side
project so the original four members could take a break from their Rock
bands, but the exercise was comfortable and rewarding enough to warrant giving
up Rock and moving full-time to Bluegrass.
April 26 • Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Friday, April 20, 2012
the star-crossed events that improbably introduced peanut butter to chocolate,
the universe conspired to match Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks at a beautiful
personal and professional crossroad.
by Deirdre Kaye
Posted In: Live Music
at 09:53 AM | Permalink
Some musicians get jaded and cynical when they become mostly known for only a handful of songs that aren’t even necessarily the best examples of their work. When this happens, bands sometimes fall entirely on their most popular songs and use them as a crutch. Or they shy away from playing them at all. Alison Krauss and Union Station may have earned their biggest media coverage and added the most fans when they were featured on the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack, but they’ve released far more music than just that handful of songs. After being in the music business for over 20 years, the gang know how best to handle appealing to their most faithful fans as well as their soundtrack buddies. At the Taft Theatre March 31, the ensemble played the best songs from its newest album, Paper Airplane, and quite a few older favorites. Because so many members of Union Station have careers outside the band, the night also featured a few solo performances. Alison sang “Let Me Touch You for Awhile” and Dan Tyminski played the “singing voice of George Clooney” when he revived “Man of Constant Sorrow.” Dobro legend Jerry Douglas even played a little bit of Paul Simon – a sneak peek at his forthcoming album, perhaps?The group also had to appease concert goers who may only know Alison and the boys from the O Brother songs or her duet with Brad Paisley. They did this with an encore full of those well-known hits. Included in that mix were two verses of “Down to the River to Pray” and the last verse of “Whiskey Lullaby” (with just Krauss backed up by her bassist). All of those songs, by the way, were played with instruments unplugged as the members leaned in around one vintage microphone.The night was enjoyable for fans on any part of the dedication spectrum. The band members teased each other and had fun together on the stage and their smiles were, as cliché as it sounds, contagious. The music Saturday night couldn’t have sounded any better if you were listening to the group's albums through a sweet-assed Bose system. They performed flawlessly.
March 30 • Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Monday, March 26, 2012
sweetheart Alison Krauss and her band of pickin’, strumming and bowing
minstrels, Union Station, return this week to the Taft Theater. Krauss has been
on the music scene for more than 25 years. She drew a flurry of attention when
she was featured on the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? and
again when she released an album of duets with Robert Plant. Krauss is more
than just a pretty face and enchanting voice. She’s also a champion fiddle
March 24 • The Ballroom at the Taft Theatre
0 Comments · Friday, March 16, 2012
No one has ever wondered what would happen if a
mad scientist isolated the musical DNA of Camper Van Beethoven, New
York Dolls and Georgia Satellites and recombined them in a beaker with a
shot of Gospel and a splash of Soul. If that thought should cross some
inquiring mind, rest assured they need only slip a copy of the eponymous
2010 sophomore release by J. Roddy Walston and the Business into the
changer, thereby saving science a lot of time, effort and unnecessary