Shelby Lynne | KCRW’s “Country In The City” | 7/26/14 [PHOTOS & REVIEW]

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Headlining the second concert of the County In The City concert series, inspired by The Annenberg Space for Photography’s newest exhibit, Country: Portraits of an American Sound,” was Grammy Award winning, country recording artist Shelby Lynne.

I found out about her and her music when she gave her now legendary Grammy Award acceptance speech in 1999 for Best New Artist. “13 years, and 6 albums to get here,” she said. It still gets me everytime.

A prolific recording artist, she has recorded 13 studio albums, and a handful of EPs, her latest effort being a 5 track EP released on December 10, 2013 through her own independent record label Everso Records. With so much music under her belt, her set consisted of music covering her entire career.

Opening her set with the heart-wringer “Your Lies”, then performing the first song she ever wrote, “Leaving”, covering a tune by Dusty Springfield, to performing “Life Is Bad” and “Where I’m From” (off her seminal album “I Am Shelby Lynne”), it was a concert filled with her “greatest hits”, and the crowd ate it up.

Perhaps the most poignant moments of her performance was when she sang songs for the heartbroken. The emotion espoused through her impassioned  lyrics, sung with her seemingly delicate contralto voice, left the audience moved. It may have been the lighting, but I could swear I could even see her eyes well up during several of the songs.

As an added treat, Shelby was able to get Jonathan and Zach of Jamestown Revival to come onstage to join her for the last song of her set (a cover of Neil Young’s “Are You Ready for the Country”). Reading lyrics from an iPhone, it was a light and carefree performance that brought the stellar acts of the evening onto the stage to bid the crowd goodnight.

Set List

  1. Your Lies
  2. Leaving
  3. Life is bad
  4. Easier
  5. I Only Want to Be With You
  6. Gotta Get Back
  7. Why Can’t You
  8. Look’n Up
  9. She Knows
  10. Should’ve Been
  11. Dreamsome
  12. Black Light Blue
  13. Wind
  14. Where I’m From
  15. Call me up
  16. This Road
  17. Walking
  18. Are You Ready for the Country — Neil Young cover with Jamestown Revival

It was a joy being in the pit shooting Shelby. I hope you like the the pics that I snapped. I sure like ’em.

 

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Gregg Allman | KCRW’s “Country In The City” Concert Series | 7/19/14 [REVIEW]

CLICK HERE To Check Out The Blog Entries Of The Other Acts Performing At KCRW’s “Country In the City” Concert Series

Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation
Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation

Headlining the inaugural concert of the County In The City concert series, inspired by The Annenberg Space for Photography’s newest exhibit,Country: Portraits of an American Sound,” was Gregory LeNoir “Gregg” Allman, an American rock and blues singer-songwriter who was the founding member of the The Allman Brothers Band. Inducted with the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and named one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine, Gregg Allman brought his vast catalog of music to the adoring Century City crowd

Dressed in a jeans, a t-shirt and a leather jacket, Gregg stepped onto the stage with his eight piece band and sat behind his now-trademark Hammond organ, his waist-long pony tail swaying from side to side.

Gregg has had a tough go at it this year. He’s been hospitalized on several occasions due to a variety of ailments (bronchitis, a wrist injury, and other undisclosed health issues) and he did look a bit gaunt to me has he perched himself atop his organ bench. I noticed in between songs that he’d quickly reach for tissues from a box perched on his organ. He even took a break midway through his set, I’m assuming to catch his breath and recharge.

Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation
Donato Sardella/Getty Images for Annenberg Foundation

He may have been under the weather, but his performance was not noticeably effected by it. With his right foot steady on the organ’s pedal, his left foot vigorously tapped to the beat of each song throughout the set.  His voice still had that soulful blues tenor rasp that got me interested in The Allman Brothers Band in the first place. Was he ill? I doubt anybody really noticed.

Being a fan of his repertoire, I was just thrilled to be able to see him performing live. “Black Hearted Woman/Hot Lanta”. “Melissa”. “Midnight Rider”. Those songs, especially “Melissa”, made my night.

The only letdown for me was when he performed “Whipping Post”. Maybe it was because he wanted to use the full sound of the band, but the arrangement of it was a little to nouveau for my tasted. In my opinion, “Whipping Post” is supposed to be raw and gritty. This version was more sass and flash. The chorus (“Sometimes I feel / Sometimes I feel / Like I’ve been tied / To the whipping post / Tied to the whipping post /Tied to the whipping post  /Good lord I feel like I’m dyin’) is supposed to wail. The arrangement that was performed that night was a bit anticlimactic.

That’s not to say that I did not love his performance. “Whipping Post” aside, I have no other complaints. Any chance to see a rock legend perform is a privilege. Any chance to hear one of the greatest voices in rock and roll live is privilege.  I was privileged just being there.

Set List (actual order might have been slightly different)

  1. STATESBORO
  2. ANGEL
  3. DON’T KEEP ME WONDERING
  4. STORMY MONDAY
  5. AINT WASTING TIME
  6. BULLETS
  7. I FOUND A LOVE
  8. SWEET FEELING
  9. James Brown medley (GA BREAK)
  10. -BAND INTROS-
  11. BLACK HEARTED WOMAN/HOT LANTA
  12. (MEDLEY)
  13. MELISSA
  14. MIDNIGHT RIDER
  15. LOVE LIKE KEROSINE
  16. WHIPPING POST
  17. Encore: ONE WAY OUT

CLICK HERE To Check Out The Blog Entries Of The Other Acts Performing At KCRW’s “Country In the City” Concert Series