After four years of twice-monthly musical performances, this version of The Acoustic Showcase has ended. Many thanks to all the wonderful, talented musicians who freely shared their songs with us; many thanks to the people who showed up to listen, sing along, and (occasionally) dance; and many thanks to our hosts at Starbucks, 60 Bedford St. in Lexington, MA.
As of this writing, a new version of the Showcase is planned to begin in the spring of 2013.
David Keevil is a musician, performer and songwriter (and clinical psychologist) who enjoyed organizing and presenting the Acoustic Showcase. You can contact him at davidkeevil
With the blizzard of the century impending but not descending, the Acoustic Showcase played the blues! The curtain rose with some Showcase regulars playing half-hour sets.
David Keevil and Don Strauss tore through a scintillating collection that featured a couple of new ones: "My Conviction" (from Hair) and "Run Away," an alt-pop evocation of longing and ambivalence.
David Moore graced us with his ringing guitar, punchy lyrics and passionate vocals. His songs are the ones I'm singing to myself as I drive home after the show.
Rob Carlson came next, with Jeff Trout on the (5 string) bass and Ted Millen on the cajon. For those of us unfamiliar with the cajon, that's the wooden box-thing Ted's sitting on. It's got a kick-drum side, a snare side, and a sound hole side as well. A very satisfying sound, with the added appeal for the percussionist of literally sitting in (or at least on) the pocket. Rob's speed-of-light guitar work and airborne vocals are hard to beat, and the deft support of Jeff and Ted made this set a real crowd-pleaser. It's no surprise that Rob's off to Brazil later this winter to pick up an award from MTV Brazil...
THEN, we took a few minutes to bring in a bunch of equipment, added a drummer (less-is-more whiz Ethan Schneider) and a keyboard player (maestro Jeff Finn), and shazam! we were reborn as the Acoustic Showcase Blues All-Stars!
The All-Stars are (left to right): Rob Carlson (guitar/vocals), Jeff Finn (keys), Don Strauss (bass), Ethan Schneider (drums), David Moore (guitar/vocals), and David Keevil (harp). Kudos and thanks to David Moore for putting together and leading a set of blues standards with a few appealing curve balls (early Fleetwood Mac?).
Everyone had an extremely good time...
In fact, we had so much fun that we're threatening to do it again...
Maybe in the Spring? Stay tuned!
Now we're digging out from all the snow that finally fell, and savoring blue memories of the latest Acoustic Showcase. The Showcase will take New Years weekend off, then come back with a bang on January 16th! Don't miss it!
We've got something special planned for Saturday the 19th. Beginning at 5pm, the first half of the evening will feature half-hour sets from some Acoustic Showcase regulars: David Keevil with Don Strauss; David Moore; and Ron Carlson. Then at 6:30 we'll join together for a blues jam featuring Moore on vocals, Carlson on lead, Keevil on harp, and Strauss on bass. We'll add the very talented Ethan Schneider on drums, and there's a rumor we may even have a mystery keyboard player as well. This should be a blast for musicians and audience. Stop by and enjoy the music!
A marvelous blend of activity at the Acoustic Showcase last night as the first snow of the season fell outside. The place was jumping, with each performer bringing in new listeners -- by the end of the evening we had one of our biggest and most enthusiastic audiences to date. Here's the rundown, with pictures from my phone (forgot the camera again)...
The evening began with Acoustic Showcase regulars Mike Barrett and Chris Eastburn playing a nice set of standards -- folk, country, and some holiday chestnuts. The duo presented their songs alphabetically by title; how come more performers don't do that? Nice harmonies, guys!
Then we heard from Alyssa Zahka, and wasn't that a pleasure! Alyssa's music is a really appealing blend of solid guitar work and heart-felt vocals. Covers and originals -- for someone who hasn't been doing this long, she really knows how to put a song across.
Here's Alyssa singing, with members of Random Chants (see below) listening in the background. And that's Rob Carlson way in the back... One of the highlights of the evening for me was watching people in the audience appreciatively singing along (quietly) as Alyssa performed. Check the calendar -- we'll try to have her back in the Spring.
Next came Random Chants, a nine voice women's a cappella group. They gave us holiday songs -- "Santa Baby" was a big hit. Very tight harmonies, precise yet flexible presentation. And they looked like they were having fun! They'll be back at the Acoustic Showcase on February 6th. Can't wait!
Finally Robert Cedrone took the rug (I love saying that). Rob was with us last June, and we had him back as quickly as we could (he's a busy man). He doesn't disappoint -- a gutsy voice and assured guitar playing -- impassioned songs from Van the Man and others.
And as you can see from the photos, Robert was joined by some stellar talent. That's Rob Carlson on the left, Noah Mendelsohn next to Robert in the middle, and Ron Chancey on the right. Noah provided the rock-steady bass line, while Carlson and Chancey traded solos -- deft, scorching, soulful -- these guys are some serious talent. The crowd went wild (at least by Acoustic Showcase standards).
And so a wonderful time was had by all! Stop by for excellent music bubbling up out of community bedrock (how's that for a metaphor!). Seriously, it's a very good time, with talent, camaraderie, enthusiasm (and snow) blended in equal measures.