A couple of show reviews to catch you up on.


2 individual artists showcased their music in the last 7 days. On 3/22, James Hearne and his band The Way Home, held a listening party and an unplugged performance at Sine Studios. I had met James at Connie’s Ric-Rac last year, and also at Lickety Split earlier this year. James’ quick exuberant delivery of songs about everyday life makes for an exciting performance. The party was absolute fun; most people seemed to know everyone else, making for a truly supportive environment unlike a standard music venue. Proprietor Matt Teacher led tours of the studio during the event. There was plenty of Naragansett and Yuengling lager along with Rolling Rock and your basic Coca-Cola. Pretty good food spread too (the salsa was delicious). James performed on acoustic, with newest member Henry Nam on the Rhodes, Dan Drago on acoustic (usually on bass for the band), and Nicklas Hughes on percussion. The Way Home performed most of the songs from the album. Aaron Stock, a longtime friend of the band and also of their precursor The Sobriquets) played vibes on 2 of the songs, tho I suspect this was more of a joke. Aaron also darted through the band in one song to get to the food, probably the funniest moment of the evening along with some generic debauchery, to coin a phrase. I’ll spare the finer details except this: a handful of folks tested the vibes, not aware initially that you have to have your foot on the pedal to give it the warm sound you’d recognize from it!
On 3/28 Boston songwriter Kirsten Opstad performed at Community Cultural Exchange, a small one-room storefront on South Street. CCE serves to be the living pulse of South Street, supporting all forms of art and culture for the immediate community. Kirsten had just canceled a scheduled performance at the aforementioned  Connie’s Ric-Rac to play this one. She was on acoustic and solo for this show. What gets me is not the voice, not so much the music, but the words. Kirsten brings the snark! It’s present in her tales of late-night and morning-after viewpoints, and reflections of female relationships in a thoroughly modern distracted age. Kirsten’s delivery is quick and simple, as is her delivery on her Takamine guitar. She performed a 40 minute set amidst the assortment of artwork adorning the walls and floor of CCE. She was a pleasure to as well before and after the performance.
Following the show I attended a poker game at O’Neal’s on South 3rd just off of South Street. I’ve done OK at their twice-weekly tournament games, coming in 4th this time around. I was kinda rusty after being away from the game for awhile. This is just about the best Irish bar I’ve ever been to.
Afterward I strolled by Legendary Dobbs, hearing a band perform some raucous call-and-response, audible for about a block away. John & Britttany run the open mic there every Wednesday. Brittany told me the name of the band, something..Potato. Anyone know?Walked down East Passyunk to give you this look northeastward.

Friday at noon I will update the Chart tab with the 50 artists I ranked for the first quarter of airplay.
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