OMG what a night at the Rams Head. OK, here’s what went down. Wife and I arrived with friends and Sonny virgins Ray and Donna. The Krewe had the “Tea Room” reserved for dinner, so there we went. Soon, other bowling shirt attired fanatics arrived: Judy and Russ, along with Russ’ old college roommate and mate; MonaLisa, friend and brother-in-law, Bluesgirl, Carol (Ed had to stay home, but will be joining us in Philly), Jazzcat and Lucky. God I hope I didn’t forget anyone – forgive me if I did. Walter was there for the show also, and some more of Judy’s friends. We had a nice dinner, and probably scared the **** out of those who hadn’t seen Sonny before and were wondering what the hell was up with those bowling shirts???
Well, the Krewemister scored all the front seats for us, so we settled in for CC Adcock. 2 acoustic guitars and an upright bass. The bass player played and smacked that sucker like a red-headed step child (apologies to all red headed step children, but this phrase was one I heard at college in the South – always cracked me up), so he was fun to watch. CC was pretty good until he said “I have to play the git-tar” and plugged in the electric. Well, what can I say with Sonny to follow – no contest. So I was glad to see his set end, although he certainly was into it….
Sonny came on a little before 9:30. Had what looked like a new (birthday present perhaps) shirt on, plugged in, said Hi, and off into Z Rider. South of I-10 was next, then Native Stepson – he remarked that one of the first times he performed Stepson was at the Rams Head some time ago. By then he was starting to cook, and the crowd, especially those who’ve never seen him live, were also starting to really get into it. He brought out Ron Halloway (tenor sax) to join him on a few numbers, and they played really well together. The sax added a new layer to the solo sections I thought. It was a treat to see them both so in touch with the songs and each other. Promise Land, World Away (a request from the Krewe), and Gemini Blues were the 3 that Halloway sat in. (At least I think….my memory’s not what it used to be).
Did the 1981 Blues Attack (should be renamed attack the **** guitar cause that’s sure what he did). By this time Sonny was really getting into it, moving around the stage, dipping, and doing all those “Sonny things” to get the most amazing sounds out of his ax. Port of Calling was it’s eerie, trance-inducing self, and I’m sure a treat for those who have never heard it. USS Zydescomobile and Broken Hearted Road seemed to be ratcheted up another notch if that is possible. He then did Wind in Denver and really went after it. All this time, Dave and Kenneth were their usual masterful selves providing the backbone to Sonny’s gymnastics, but the next song was all about the bass and drums just driving, driving, driving All About You.
OK, then the Krewe favorite, Bayou Teche. Well I don’t know who enjoyed it more, us or Sonny playing it. All I know is that saying “he was wailing” doesn’t even come close!!! When he was in the middle of Gone Pecan, I realized that he was “warmed up” and literally giving everything to the song. The third new one, Pedal to the Metal was just incredible; a totally rockin instrumental that brought everyone to their feet at the end.
Yes, the encore was Congo Square, WITH Ron Halloway. When Ron took over for a solo, he was so into it that it seemed that he had played with Sonny for years. Then Sonny took his turn. Ron then took an 8 bar ride and stopped. I was watching Sonny during this and his eyes were closed as he was doing little things while Ron had it. But when Ron stopped, Sonny opened his eyes, kind of surprised like “OK, so that’s the game we’re playing” and took right off. They traded 8 bar solos for a few minutes, then Ron cut it down to 4 bars. Sonny was right on him echoing what Ron played. They then went back and forth like that for another 3-4 minutes, just building and playing off each other. They were hot as hell… what an incredible Congo. Then it ended; over 2 hours of Sonny…wow.
We didn’t stay to talk to him after the show (2 hour drive and work today), but I did notice quite a few waiting to talk, get autographs, and buy tee shirts. And the shirts are great.. nice color and a fine tribute to Mr D. Allman with the peacock. (Hint to all you Allman guys to buy a shirt!!!)
Apologies if I forgot anything or the order of the set list, I’m still a little groggy.
Next up Saturday at the World Café Live. AND a special music lab with Sonny in the afternoon. So I’ll post about that later
First, Thanks Genny for the contest; my wife already claimed this sogned cd!!!!
Now for the World cafe Live show:
I'll let some of the others give thier takes on the show, but I do have some observations:
Sonny's set list really is structured fantastic. The whole show just keeps on building, both with emotion and technical expertise. Just when you think he really gave his all on a song, the next one outdoes it!! He didn't do World Away, but the rest of the list was the same as Annapolis.
Sonny really seems to be into playing his new 3 songs; Pedal to the Metal seems to get better exponentionally each time he does it. Also, he is moving around on stage more. Even his body movements and facial expressions are more annimated, but definitly not out of character. Just seems to add to him "emoting" the piece.
The venue is a great place to see a show. The accoustics are close to perfect!! Seats about 300 if that. Only open 3 months.
There was a blur of bowling shirts running to the side as soon as the first notes of Bayou Teche rang out. I was looking for someone writhing on the floor in front!!!!!
There is not a better group of people to attend a show with than the KREWE.... And I think Tuna and Croky from the Allman board can definitly be Krewe members. Nothing like having a booming voice shout encouragement to Sonny from about 10 feet away!!!! (And they were blown away by him)
My sons thouroughly enjoyed the show. How could they not sitting about 5 feet from Sonny!!!!
Those tee shirts rocked...seemed to go over well. And there were 2 Krewe members hawking those babies....they were great ambassordors; talking to the concert-goers, providing smiles and information. Excellent job ladies!!!!
And how many CC Adcock cds were bought "just to get him to sign it because he was cute????????"
And the Music Lab he did that afternoon....WOW, what an experience. World Cafe Live is taping (video and audio) sessions with artists (did Joe Sample and Michael McDonald so far; Sonny was the 4th session) for distribution to schools for music education. So we few (maybe 100+) were a part of an almost 2 hours playing (maybe 5 songs), demostrations of technique, stories, and descriptions of everything from his background in music as a young boy (trumpet player), to his songwriting, to his feeling or emotion as he plays, to even taking audience questions. Really a once in a lifetime (or at least a great while) opporntunity to see and hear`Sonny, the person, talk and play. There was one time when they had to do another take and Sonny had to do something over. He made the comment (in jest), "Man, don't harsh my vibe." and everyone cracked up. It was that kind of feel, relaxed and personal.
Just an absolutely great, enjoyable experience for all. It was great seeing all the Krewe on the road trip and I can't wait till next time.
Enjoy Sonny as he plays in the next months.
Thank so much for the great review Zeke! Do you happen to have any photos from the show? I'd love to make a page with this review for my site. You eastern US fans are so lucky as to have so many shows in your area!
Take care and thanks for sharing the review!
Sorry, I didn't take any pictures of the 2 shows. You might want to contact Russ, Judy, MonaLisa and Pam: those guys took a few.
Thanks again for the contest - the stuff came today.
Just a note: I emailed Tom, the guy who did the music lab and said how we all enjoyed it. He came back with how EXCITED and Pleased they were to get Sonny. The DJ's at XPN said similar things. Even though David Dye was busy doing a shift on the XPN member drive, they said he had taped a show with Sonny about Grant Street - don't know if it was Friday or taped sometime before, but we'll have a new segment with Sonny on the WorldCafe show to look forward to.
Glad your stuff arrived... did you get your "wine opener" too? Did the wife take the autographed CD? :o)
That's cool that they recorded a show about Grant Street... hope when it comes on you're able tune in.
I'll have to ask Russ if he took any photos he'd like to share from the shows... I'm behind on website work as I've been working VERY long shifts and haven't had but two days off in about 13 days... or something crazy like that. They want me to work the next two nights as well but I said NO WAY! Besides.. .my girls have ballet recitals the next two nights so it's family time for sure. Anyway, I'm going to try and get caught up with the site... have lots of Grant Street reviews to post that Jazzcat sent to me and a few other things to post as well. Thanks anyway (about the photos) and thanks for the review... I'm going to make a page for it on the site if that's ok with you.