Monday, June 24, 2013
Infinity Hall Live Review
Rising Star Series, with
Glenn Roth, Kerri Powers and Jeff LeBlanc
The Monday Morning "Before-Noon" Music Review: Infinity Hall, Rising Star Series
We had two chances to see live shows at Infinity Hall while my wife and I were here in Connecticut. Having already seen the legendary Robert Cray, we opted for the Rising Stars series, which felt an awful lot like the shows I review back home for the Calgary Folk Club.
Turned out to be a wise choice...
Over the course of a few hours, we were introduced to three diverse and talented artists, in the stunning hall that is almost as prominent on Public Television's Infinity Hall Live series as the artists are. Being instant fans from the first broadcast we caught, we couldn't believe we were going to be just an hour's drive away in Hartford.
Opener Glenn Roth showcased his instrumental finger style acoustic guitar from his first song and onward. Offering up originals like "Busker", "Into The Unknown", and "Reincarnation", Mr. Roth proved a craftsman on his instrument - those fingers of his were flying...
For covers, Roth featured instrumental versions from his heavy-metal heroes, with a rich and hearty take on Ozzy's "Mama I'm Coming Home" - followed by some Iron Maiden. There's a whole new perspective on the genre!! And those are apparently big hits on his YouTube channel.
He also confessed to what we've all done when we were younger - or at least us males. Beginning as an air guitarist, he has clearly graduated with honours into being the real deal...
Check out Glenn Roth for links to his site and music!
Following Glenn was bluesy American roots and soul singer songwriter Kerri Powers. Soft blues, but only in the sense of the tenderness. She reminded me vocally of the wonderful Gretchen Peters, who I saw earlier this year, but she has definitely established her own musical identity. She's clearly comfortable enough to poke fun of herself, with a hilarious impression of Katherine Hepburn doing The Beatles "Let It Be". One of last night's highlights...
If I had to pick a few personal favourites they'd certainly include "Dancin'"and "Old Shirt".
During every evening of collected songwriters performing live acoustic sets, there is always one moment where you can hear a fly on the wall breathing. Last night, it was Powers' performance of "I've Got Your Back". That song had better end up on a CD soon...
I would strongly suggest you visit Kerri Powers online, and snap up some of her music...
Closer/headliner Jeff LeBlanc damn neared freaked me out towards the close of his set. During his first song, I scribbled this note:
Well, thanks iPhoto for not saving the photo rotation....
At any rate, during his first song, which I thought was a rootsy, Americana cover of a OneRepublic song, I took note that he sounded a bit like the singer from Crowded House. Later, he covered "Don't Dream It's Over"!!
Well, it was not OneRepublic after all, it was just one of many originals that showcased an ear for what I think will be some very familiar songs to listeners in the not too distant future.
With a new album due for release July 30, LeBlanc debuted a number of those new tracks, and I'd bet the farm he'll have some fair degree of success with this album. Keeping true to his indie roots, LeBlanc also manages to craft songs that have the potential to cross over, in the way that traditional roots artists can find a toehold in the mainstream music world.
That is already proven, with songs picked up by TV shows as diverse as "Teen Mom" and "Jersey Shore". I think indie will only be his style, once his audience discovers his music in larger numbers...
Jeff LeBlanc has some music already available, but keep your eyes peeled for his new album..
All in all, Infinity Hall was everything we expected. Hopefully this won't be the last time we get to enjoy what this amazing facility has to offer....