Tag Archives: Ridgefield Playhouse

British Invasion 50th Anniversary Tour

My favorite musical influence period was The British Invasion. I have never experienced an era of music that so continually thrilled me as 1964 and 1965 did. The AM radio airwaves, Top 40 as it was known in those days brought us constant sources of brilliant melodies and well written hits. The British Invasion arrived on our shores as a series of waves. Each successive wave introduced American audiences to more creative British bands and songs. It was such an illuminating time for the listener as we became enraptured with these musicians from across the pond.

We are attending the second British Invasion concert related event this year. In February we attended The Fest for Beatles Fans 2014 in New York City.

In September we will be attending the British Invasion 50th Anniversary Tour, outlined below.

Tuesday September 9, 2014, Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, Ct.

Gerry & The Pacemakers · Chad & Jeremy · Billy J. Kramer · Mike Pender’s Searchers · Denny Laine of The Moody Blues & Wings

This tour commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ momentous arrival in February 1964. They called it The British Invasion and in the wake of this massive mop top pop explosion, all the participants in this once-in-a-lifetime concert experience dominated the music world and scored more than forty worldwide Top 40 hits. Their sound and look changed popular culture forever and now they are back to celebrate and honor some of the greatest songs of the twentieth century.  The artists (all original singers of the classic hits) will be ably supported by a four-piece backing band faithfully recreating the classic sound of the vintage recordings and a full multi-media video package highlighted by rarely seen footage and incredible archival ephemera. The experience will be complemented by a full presentation of unique clips pre-show and during intermission of other fab combos of the era, making this a full evening of entertainment.

See more at: http://www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org/event/british-invasion-50th-anniversary-tour#sthash.w99nmbq6.dpuf

Los Lobos, “Kiko Live” Drops On August 21, 2012

I have deeply loved and admired the music of Los Lobos these past 40 years. Their sound has matured to such interesting depths of woven texture and synergy. It’s been great evolving with them over time as I never find their music boring or repetitive to listen to.

When we last saw them on tour in April, 2012 at The Ridgefield Playhouse, Louie Perez mentioned that their next music project would be a reissue celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Kiko (1992). Many people hail Kiko as Los Lobos’s watershed recording. Watershed is defined as a crucial dividing point, line or factor, a turning point (Merriam-Webster). Looking back on that period of Los Lobos’s career I would agree. 1992 is the halfway point in this cohesive group’s evolution.

Kiko LiveLos Lobos will be adding to the original studio album with previously unreleased early and alternate takes of several songs. Simultaneously, a document of the band’s 2006 performance of Kiko in its entirety will be released separately on CD, DVD and Blu-ray, with both Kiko projects coming Aug. 21.

The CD also includes three tracks the band recorded live at Capitol Records in Hollywood for a “Hollywood House Party with Los Lobos” special that aired in 1992 on National Public Radio. The album reissue and the “Kiko Live” DVD/Blu-ray are being released by the Shout! Factory reissue specialty label. Los Lobos: Kiko Live (Blu Ray/CD) [Blu-ray]

“Kiko Live” has never been released or broadcast, and includes interviews with the band members and others about the making of the album. In 2006, Los Lobos did a series of live performances focusing on it in its entirety. Here is exclusive video of the group’s performance of “Kiko and the Lavendar Moon.”


Instead of “segregating our influences, treating them parochially,” as band member Steve Berlin described the band’s approach before “Kiko,” for that album “whatever our unconscious minds’ response was to the stimuli, that was what we wanted. We let our imagination take over and didn’t try to control it.”

You can place a pre-order for  both the Los Lobos Audio CD and the BlueRay DVD on Amazon Here.

Keep it going my Los Lobos brothers.

Peace, Ese ;)

Related articles

Mickey Hart Band – New Album Coming Mysterium Tremendum

Mysterium Tremendum is the new Mickey Hart Band record featuring Dave Schools, Crystal Monee Hall, Tim Hockenberry, Sikiru Adepoju, Inkx Herman, Gawain Mathews, and Ben Yonas. By Howard Cohen, Galen Oakes and Justin Gelinas for 360° Productions.

I’m getting excited about what Mickey Hart and company have formulated. Take a look at the promotional video and you’ll see why :)

The Mickey Hart Band will be in the Connecticut backyard, Friday April 13 at the Ridgefield Playhouse and on Saturday July 21 at the Gathering of the Vibes festival. I am itching to see them play live.

Peace, Ese – Los Lobos

Peace, Ese our Los Lobos brothers.

Smiling that my lovely wife decided to buy us tickets for tonight’s Los Lobos concert at the Ridgefield Playhouse. We got second row seats, ain’t that cool. :)

Been a fan since 1986 ;) This will be the ninth time seeing Los Lobos play live. Hoping they switch it up for us this evening. I know we’ll love whatever they perform.

Thomas Dolby, Ridgefield Playhouse, Tonight

Time Capsule Tour 2012 - RidgefieldWhen I wrote last October about Thomas Dolby I wondered what his 2012 concert tour be like? As you can see its called Time Capsule Tour 2012. Tonight the tour stops at the Ridgefield Playhouse where we will be witnessing, listening and hopefully dancing along.

I love the inventive genius Thomas Dolby brings to the entertainment experience.

Thomas Dolby’s Time Capsule will be parked outside the venue. I hope we get a chance to record a 30 sec clip inside tonight for the future. An ingenious idea.

I perceive he will be playing selections from A Map of the Floating City among his other classics. I am liking the song Spice Train from the latest CD the most now.

I look forward to learning more about Thomas Dolby tonight.

Jefferson Starship at Ridgefield Playhouse Tonight

We’re going up on the fight deck with Jefferson Starship tonight at the Ridgefield Playhouse. It’s a special voyage to celebrate Paul Kantner‘s 71st Birthday. The Starship features David Freiberg, Slick Aguilar, Donny Baldwin, Chris Smith, and Cathy Richardson.

Image via Wikipedia

They will be joined on stage by their very special guest,  Nona Hendryx. There will also be a unique tribute to the late violinist Papa John Creach. Plus many other special guests! (I wonder who they will be????)

Jefferson Starship – Thu. March 15, 2012 – Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, Ct.


Rosemary bought us tickets to see the Jefferson Starship Paul Kantner 71st birthday gala at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Thursday March 15th, 2012. This secures our first concert for calendar year 2012.

Jefferson Starship today consists of Paul Kantner, David Freiberg, Slick Aguilar, Donny Baldwin, Chris Smith, and Cathy Richardson.

There will also be a tribute to the late Papa John Creach who we saw play with Hot Tuna in 1970 and 1971.

I have listened to Blows Against The Empire and Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra the past few days.

Nona Hendryx is listed as a special guest star. You may remember her from Labelle who had the hit “Lady Marmalade“.

The concert listing also indicates there will be other guest stars appearing with Jefferson Starship that night. My personal wish is that it will include Marty Balin but I’m not confident he will be there.

Mimi Page is the opening act.

Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY Plans Triumphant 2012 Return, Part I

The concert venue that started me on my journey to attend live music events for 42 years is the Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY. It was a haven of great music in the early 1970s. I attended 12 concerts there from 1970 through 1974. I am elated to learn The Capitol Theater will resume its preeminent role as a concert venue in our market in 2012.

The New York Times music section featured an informative article yesterday about The Capitol Theater titled, “Live Music to Return to a Storied Theater” by C.J. Hughes. (See Related articles link below).

The gist of the article is that Peter Shapiro who owns the Brooklyn Bowl plans to produce 100 performances a year there. The Capitol will undergo a two million dollar, four-month renovation project. This could translate into a late spring/early summer grand re-opening. Peter Shapiro is also the publisher of Relix magazine, which provides excellent coverage of the jam band scene.

I’ve never been to the Brooklyn Bowl but my son has and he really likes the venue. I am a long time reader of Relix. The magazine does a fine job of covering the alternative and rock music scene. Peter Shapiro is very well-connected in the music industry and this bodes well for us concert goers. The addition of The Capitol to the New York/Connecticut market sharpens the competition for the concert dollar. I think this may cause a couple of existing promoters to be more price competitive now.

The proximity of The Capitol Theater in Portchester, NY was beneficial for Fairfield County Connecticut residents. The lower drinking age of 18 just across the state line made it additionally attractive to go to shows there. Portchester was more adjacent than The Fillmore East in the East Village of New York City. I find it amazing that Howard Stein was able to book so many premium top rock acts at The Capitol in lieu of New York City and Bill Graham’s organization. Its going to get interesting with Connecticut having so many venues in 2011, such as the casinos, The Ridgefield Playhouse, The Klein and The Fairfield Theatre and Infinity Hall. My concert dance card will be full later on in the 2012 season. :)

The NY Times Capitol Theater article motivated me to finally write my reflective Capitol Theater music blog post. In order to do the topic justice I will write The Capitol Theater blog post in two parts. As as faithful progressive music listener I had heard The Capitol Theater radio advertisements on WNEW-FM 102.7. My second concert at The Capitol was Traffic, Silver Metre and Swallow on June 27, 1970. We attended the 8 p.m. early show. I was fortunate to be able to buy tickets in those days at a local head shop in Norwalk, Ct. The shop owner always offered us seventh row center seating.

The English Rock Groups at The Capitol Theater

product image

Traffic and Jethro Tull were my favorite two bands in 1970. I recall that Steve Winwood wore a long sleeve white shirt that was covered in silver stars. It was a shirt I would later buy at that same head shop and wear the next time we saw Traffic, much to Steve Winwood’s chagrin. Traffic consisted of Steve Winwood on Hammond B3 organ, guitar and vocals, Chris Wood on saxophone and flute and Jim Capaldi drums and vocals.

Notice on the bootleg cover that Steve Winwood is wearing the shirt I mentioned in the picture from that night. The two songs I remember the most from Traffic’s set were “40,000 Headmen” with Chris Wood playing the flute and “Pearly Queen”, which featured Steve Winwood performing a riveting guitar solo.

Our third concert was Jethro Tull, McKendree Spring and Livingston Taylor which again was an early show. Jethro Tull featured their third album Benefit that night. It was my second time seeing Jethro Tull (the first time was at The Fillmore East in July of 1969). It was our first Livingston Taylor concert. Little did we realize we would see Liv nine more times in later years. We bought his first record on Capricorn Records the following day as we fell in love with his music and charming wit.

I am going to go out of chronological order here to collect the acts we saw at The Capitol Theater under the proper headings. We saw Traffic again on Halloween night, 10/31/70.  By then Traffic was increasing strongly in popularity due to FM airplay and the chart success of John Barleycorn Must Die. We noticed that the audience was more enthusiastic the second time we saw Traffic. It felt like a band I had treasured for my listening pleasure was beginning to move out of my reach. But isn’t that the way its supposed to work in music industry circles.

We experienced this again six months later with Jethro Tull on 4/27/71 at the late show. Aqualung was receiving lots of accolades from the music critics and was getting heavy airplay on FM stations like WNEW-FM and WPLJ-FM out of New York City. My request to interview Ian Anderson and the band for our local college radio station was turned down the day of the concert by their publicist. She felt we were too small a radio station and market for the fast rising Jethro Tull. The audience was ravenous for Tull that night and I could feel the band being swept along by the success of Aqualung. Having been a loyal fan of Jethro Tull for three years I should have been psyched for their greater acceptance instead of feeling like others were tearing them away from our midst.

It proved monumental that The Capitol Theater served as the launchpad for the fueling rocket success of Traffic and Jethro Tull in America.

Part II of my music blog about The Capitol Theater early concert years will be posted tomorrow. It will cover the San Francisco era with such bands as Santana, The Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna and Big Brother and the Holding Company.

Concert Review: Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman, Ridgefield Playhouse, November 2, 2011

We shared an intimate evening with legendary progressive rock artists, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman this past Wednesday night. The two former members of Yes leveraged their warm affinity for each other’s musical heritage effectively resulting in  a well-articulated collaboration.

Jon Anderson is the vocal heart of Yes. His gentle spirituality combined with his passion for Mother Earth endears you to him. The music he has co-written with Rick Wakeman,  The Living Tree is a notable departure from the Yes classics we know and love. The songs are light, yet provocative in their assimilation.

I especially liked the interweaving of Yes songs with Anderson & Wakeman songs. I found that to be a very effective method to transfer accessibility to The Living Tree compositions.

A high point of the evening that showed me the superior depth of the vast Yes catalog was the song  “Awaken” from the Going For The One album.  The synergy of Jon’s rich vocal instrument in direct harmony with Rick’s keyboard mastery produced a transfixing interlude. I have read that “Awaken” is Rick Wakeman’s favorite Yes selection. I have gained first hand insight why Rick Wakeman values this composition.  I watched him in close pursuit as his fingers nimbly traveled over the keys, accenting the music’s edges as the respected maestro.

We found Rick Wakeman’s British humor refreshingly entertaining.

My wife especially liked the song, Garden. She loves Jon Anderson’s articulation as he equates the planting of flowers in the garden with how loving a relationship can center us all.

It was meant to be that Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson sent us home with a romantic song for our hearts, “The Meeting” from the album that features the collaborative genius of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe. I was reminded of this video as Rick Wakeman played the piano and Jon Anderson sang to us.

Surely I could tell
When I sleep tonight
A dream will call
And raise it’s head in majesty
Dividing all my energy
To the meeting of your love

Set List

Set 1

1. Intro – 2001 A Space Odyssey

2. Starship Trooper (Yes)

3. Sweet Dream (Yes)

4. Forever

5. And You and I (Yes)

6.  Living Tree (Part 1)

7. Long Distance Runaround (Yes)

8. America (Simon & Garfunkel Cover)

9. Garden

10. Living Tree (Part 2)

12. Time and a Word (Yes)


Set 2

13. South Side of the Sky (Yes)

14. Wondrous Stories (Yes)

15. Just One Man

16. Nous Sommes Du Soleil (Yes)

17. Leaves of Green (Yes)

18. 23/24/11

19.  Your Move (Yes, Singalong)

20. I’ve Seen All Good People (Yes, Singalong)

21. House of Freedom

22. Awaken (Yes)


23. Roundabout (Singalong)

24. Soon (Yes)

25. The Meeting (Yes)

Concert Review: Lucinda Williams @ The Ridgefield Playhouse, November 1, 2011

It’s an accomplishment when you witness a performer that you can cross off your bucket list. ;) Lucinda Williams was that artist Tuesday night at the Ridgefield Playhouse.

The Ridgefield Playhouse is sporting a fresh appearance. The renovation that took place in August provides new hardwood flooring, new seats (be they a bit smaller, probably so they can fit more people inside the venue) and an updated sound system. The acoustics have improved dramatically over the previous sound system. Trust me I attend 30+ concerts a year and my ears discern a clearer, distinct “available” sound versus the past muddier acoustics at this venue.

I’d personally like to thank Jayne Tansey-Patron for allowing me to use her articulate photographs of the Lucinda Williams concert. She captured the evening just as we saw it unfold. :)


1. Drunken Angel
2. Metal Firecracker
3. Crescent City
4. People Talkin’
5. Stowaway
6. 2 Kool
7. Ventura
8. Fruits Of My Labor
9. Copenhagen

10. Born To Be Loved
11. Trying To Get To Heaven
12. I Lost It
13. Buttercup
14. Bleeding Fingers
15. Essence
16. Change The Locks
17. Joy
18. Honey Bee

19. Blessed
20. Cross To Bear
21. Get Right w/ God