Monday, April 1, 2013

The Voice - Underwoods Voice Blows Away Buffalo, NY

The Voice
No not that silly reality show that has made Blake Shelton famous, I’m talking about the Voice of Country Music, Carrie Underwood. Underwood blew away the sold out crowd of nearly 18,000 at The First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY two things; great staging and impeccable vocals. Underwood settled into a fairly modest setting. In a fluffy feathered dress, she played the title part of her opening song “Good Girl.” As the show progressed, it became apparent that the only the vehicles on stage would be the ones appearing on the video screens for her rollicking version of “Two Black Cadillacs.” We got a revealing costume change and some down-and-dirty vocals for “Last Name,” as well as some great country vocals through “Temporary Home” and “Jesus Take the Wheel.”
At about the half way mark of the show, Underwood disappeared through a trap door. The lights went down … and the stage started rising. In what had to be the greatest staging gimmick of all time, an entire section of centre stage rose high above the crowd, very reminiscent of that ‘back porch’ vibe Alan Jackson is always singing about. The reggae swing vibe of “Get Out Of This Town” started the set that was just Underwood her two guitarists and the guy who plays all the hard instruments; (banjo, fiddle, mandolin). With the stage making its way to the back of the arena, the crowd at it up and so did the band. “Nobody Ever Told You” and “American Girl” had a springy vibe and Underwood did her best Buffett with “One Way Ticket.”
Before He Cheats” had all the sass and “Cupid Has A Shotgun,” was equal parts Tanya Tucker and Janis Joplin. To top off the evening and the apex of her vocal superiority was on the finale “Blown Away.” Yeah the tornado blowing confetti was amazing but her voice was the best thing Buffalo has seen or heard all year. Carrie Underwood proved yet again that a voice and some cool staging makes for a really fun evening.
 
(c) by Chuck Schultz photo credit Kelly E Schultz

Angel Mary and the Werewolves (CD Review)

 Angel Mary and the Werewolves

Product Details
1. Cowboy 2. Better Run 3. Country Pride 4. Rodeo Clown 5. Betch Ya Miss My 6. Waiting on You

I have to say that I am extremely surprised and thrilled with this band. What a turn on! Living in NYC, we have just one country music station and I have yet to hear this group – pay attention Nash 94.7. I absolutely love the sounds, reminiscent of Reba, Wynonna, Gretchen, Carrie, Miranda and the Pistol Annies. Great blended vocals on each song.

Their first track “Cowboy” with Doug Phelps opens with a bluesy, woeful, gonna get my True Blood fix sound on and quickly switches to a Miranda Lambert kick butt tune. Angel Mary has a voice that just caresses the listener. Yes, Angel Mary I like my cowboy!

“Better Run” their second track is pure gold. Along with “Cowboy” a possible crossover tune. Beautifully written and performed.

I just checked this band out on Amazon and they are temporarily out of stock of their music – note to Amazon – stock up quickly! This band is going from playing obscure country fairs to headlining at awards shows.

For the life of me, I cannot pinpoint Angel Mary’s vocals. She is every country artist I adore all rolled into one. On “Country Pride” Im hearing pieces of Sara Evans as well as Kimberely Perry. Love the banjo. Given some airplay this could possibly be a top 40 hit. This is a hand clapping, foot stomping , must listen to over and over again song.

On “Radio Clown”, another country music radio must play, the versatility of this band is once again displayed. Angel Mary’s voice just grabs you and lures you in. She croons and lullabyes you as sweetly as Jennifer Nettles on this song.

The fifth track “Betch ya miss my” is yet another great tune – its Wynonna and Gretchen combined. Makes you just want to hop up on the bar and sing and grind away.

“waiting on you” the final track has left me awed. I’m not sure why this wasn’t their debut song. Doug Phelps had me at “Im so tired of waiting”. When he sings youre “The only one I love”…….I believe you and Im waiting right here for you. Come and get me! Lead us onto the promised land.

Angel Mary and The Werewolves is a must have for any country music listener. The more I listen, the more I want. Cant wait to see them live.

Country Misfit



ON THE ROAD WITH THE EVERHARTS APRIL 1. 2013


ON THE ROAD WITH THE EVERHARTS
     Anita, Iowa....."Wow, it's been a long road this winter, four months in Florida, lots of playing our old-time music, lots of new people to meet and visit with at the venues, some adventures and lovely experiences, and then back 'on the road again.'  We had to lay over an extra day just south of St. Louis, as they got hit with a foot of snow, but two days later they were clear and we smuggled our way back into the sunny, but still cold, land of rural enchantment, Iowa."
     Bob & Sheila Everhart are Smithsoniain Institution recording artists, and have just finished their tour to Florida, performing their 'Traveling Museum of Music." Contrary to at least one of the local 'jazz' musicians who said "There is absolutely no market for your old-time music here in Florida.  I've lived and performed here most of my musical life, and I cannot provide one name of one person that could help you find any work in Florida performing your old music."
     "It was very dismaying to hear this kind of report," Bob said, "but as it turned out, the 'jazz' man was a little off course.  We performed (everyone of them for pay) 22 times in 16 weeks, and had enough time out to take an 8-day cruise to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.  I would recommend that if anyone who plays old-time music wants to take a tour to Florida, I'd highly recommend it, but don't expect much help from the local musicians there, and plan far ahead to get some of the better paying jobs."
     "Driving the Interstate back home was remarkable," Sheila added.  "We saw a ton of semi-trucks in the ditch on both sides of St. Louis, and as we meandered back to Iowa, it seemed to warm up in the daytime, but got pretty cool at night.  That meant extra blankets."
     "Dad finally broke down and did it," Bobbie Lhea, Bob & Sheila's daughter, said.  "McDonalds was handy, right off the Interstate, and though they were still on the breakfast menu, dad used this as an excuse to have a budget lunch.  He still did pretty good with a $20 bill.  He had two burritos, a hash-brown, and a huge cup of McDonald's coffe.  "I like McDonald's coffee," Bob piped up.  "Be quiet dad, I'm trying to say what we had for a budget lunch" Bobbie continued.  "Mom had a McGrill (it's a kind of sausage and egg sandwich I think) a hash-brown and a cup of coffee.  I had a couple of cinnamon rolls (there's a name for them, I forget), and an iced coffee which is more milk than anything.  As it turned out, it was a pretty good budget lunch."
     "We got home before Easter," Bob added, "and kind of caught up on messages, etc., but the most important holiday of the year for us, is Easter, which is today.  This is the day, at least for us, that 'guarantees' we have someone to speak on our behalf to God.  That someone is of course Jesus Christ.  Today we celebrate His rising from the dead to sit at the side of God, and we know, deep in our hearts, deep in our conscious minds, deep in our being, that He will speak on our behalf when the time is right.  Happy Easter everyone.....which lasts all year." 

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