Thursday, August 20, 2015

Amy and Sarah at Johnny D's

There’s some panic with Johnny D’s planning to close soon, and Amy Black apparently felt it, as she suddenly added a Tuesday night date there to her latest tour.  She’s delved into her Muscle Shoals roots lately and is touring as the Muscle Shoals Revue with Sarah Borges.  So we got tickets, since we’re a bit panicked ourselves!

A band called the Southern Belles was suddenly put on the bill as an opener.  When they went on pretty much all the tables were full of people eating, though the club itself was less than half capacity … the bar was non-crowded.

And we loved Southern Belles!  They’re a young country-rock jam band from Richmond VA, had gotten a gig up in Burlington, and were desperate for another gig or two to help pay for the trip when they stumbled upon this date at a small place of some sort in Somerville MA.  They were stunned that there were actually people there listening to them and cheering them on, as opposed to a barroom of people more interested in drinking than in being at “a concert.”

Drums, bass, guitar, and keyboard and these guys rocked and played all originals.  The funny thing was that the organ/piano player looked and sounded a bit like Marco Benevento (though not as good), the drummer looked and sounded a bit like Alex Koford, and the guitarist looked and sounded a bit like a tall Ross James, though with no hat.  They did 4 or 5 songs only, really stretching all of them out.  I particularly liked Getaway, had a nice conversation with their bass player Andrew afterwards, and bought their CD.

Amy had been way delayed by traffic but was just in time for the main set, though she hadn’t had a chance to change or get made up the way she wanted to for a “Revue” show.  Whatever, she and Sarah were fantastic.  Those two are made to sing together.

I’m not really familiar with a lot of Muscle Shoals material, but recognized most of the songs, though I’d only heard them a few times here and there.  They opened with You Left the Water Running, did Starting All Over Again, Please Don’t Give Up On Me, and of course You Gotta Move (that the Stones had recorded).  Their band was excellent and I loved the sound, switching mellowly from soulful ballads led by Amy (whose voice can be incredibly powerful, she's born to sing soul music) or Sarah to funky earworms that the girls harmonized on.

Not a long set on a Tuesday night, thanked Amy and Sarah as they walked off-stage, and then got out of there through the light August traffic.

pictures of Amy and Sarah

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