Jakob Dylan City Winery
Hey Jakob Dylan Fans! Thanks for stopping by, Im a singer/songwriter from NYC, and I hope you take a second to click around my video page, or my outside links... Drop me some feedback...I appreciate you stopping by! Now, where to begin. (I apologize...this became more of a review than I expected... I got carried away.)
Let's get the venue out of the way: City Winery is fantastic. I highly recommend the experience. The food was tasty, a fair selection of wine & beer, in addition to their own wines, and while we had "Partial view seats" it doesn't appear there's a bad spot in the house. It's a perfect mixture of restaurant & music venue, and I would only say be prepared to spend more than your average concert, only because as the night goes on you just want to keep drinking...and eating.
Nicole Atkins opened the show. 2/3 of her band, The Black Sea, made appearances for some light backup and I was glad I finally had a chance to see her. Her voice is an impressive thing to witness...and it doesn't let you down. How impressive? Well, check her out for yourself, but know that she closed her set with "Crying," a Roy Orbison cover...and that just ain't easy. Look for a new record from her and band in January. I believe it's an independent release after splitting with Columbia.
Enter Jakob Dylan. The man is cool. The band is country. You got your standards on stage...Acoustic bass, Pedal Steel, Telecaster, Fender amps and so on. Best way to kick off a set is to surprise me with your musicians, and maybe I missed it somewhere, but I had no idea Eric Heywood was playing pedal steel for him. If you read this blog in any type of regular fashion, you might remember me saying some nice things about him in regards to his work on Ray Lamontagne's "Empty." He tours with Ray and his playing is all over those last 2 records...so we're off to a great start.
Jakob's voice, in person, is interesting. As raspy as advertised, he doesn't veer too far from center, and without the help of his 2 backup singers I can see it getting monotonous. However, it doesn't get old, which is why his voice is his signature. The set was heavy on songs from the latest solo album "Women & Country," which is a good thing...and some thrown in off the first solo effort "Seeing Things." The set was perfect for the venue. Wine drinking, relaxed atmosphere, nothing too raucous and it actually never got louder than needed. I found it to be not so strange a coincidence, when he switched off his kick ass Gretsch for the exact style of vintage Gibson acoustic I played minutes after running into him at Matt Umanov Guitars Saturday afternoon (it's a pretty popular vintage model, and as you can see in this gorgeous photo, it's just a beautiful instrument....lay off, we were in the back.)
I'd make a safe bet that most folks were curious if he'd do any Wallflowers songs. I can honestly say I wasn't expecting any and if that had been the case, I wouldn't have been disappointed. God Said Nothing Back (off of the band's last record, "Rebel, Sweetheart") made an appearance on the set list....which is fitting for it's "rootsy" feel. Now, having covered my own ass in voicing my satisfaction in Jakob's solo material, I was thrilled when he invited his friend, Rami Jaffee, on stage (Rami is the keyboard player in The Wallflowers.) I was even MORE thrilled when the songs just kept coming. Standing next to Jakob, he played an accordion, full bearded and long haired giving off a very Rick Danko vibe....maybe it was just the hitchy movements required for playing accordion, but he looked cool. As Rami made it to the stage, Jakob's sense of humor was in tact, counting the band in to Three Marlenas (Bringing Down The Horse) he poked fun at the audience, saying "Now you remember who I am..." The Wallflowers set continued, and probably not in this order, wth: How Good It Can Get (Red Letter Days,) Up From Under (Breach,) I've Been Delivered (Breach,) & Jakob alone with his backup singers doing Here He Comes (Confessions of A Drunken Marionette) (Rebel, Sweetheart.)
Pretty great, right? Well, he finished the set strong with the band and one of the more "up" tracks off of "Women & Country," and of course, there was an encore. After one song, Jakob invites Rami back up, and as he makes his way to the stage, a bigger round of applause stirs up for an even more familiar face...Jakob's white, beat up Telecaster. Yea, a guitar. Take a moment to appreciate the photography here (I particularly enjoy how the microphone looks like an ol' broom moustache.) The claps just kept on coming when the drummer moved into the familiar opening of One Headlight. Such a great song, and so cool to hear it live, true to form. Granted, The Wallflowers haven't been together since 2006?, and even then, the lineup wasn't exactly consistent. In the eyes of most, they're a band who's core members are Jakob & Rami. So we got some kind of a reunion at City Winery. That would have been the obvious end to the evening, but they dove into a lesser known track from "Bringing Down The Horse" to close the show, God Don't Make Lonely Girls. All in all, a great set, good dinner & unique miscellaneous?
Miscellaneous: 1.I introduced myself to the talent booker (here's to hoping they need an opening act and he remembers my ghetto business card) 2. I met an obvious music lover/ potential new friend/listener/reader/fan? who chatted me up after she witnessed # 3. me chasing Larry Campbell down the street when he left towards the end of the show. Yea, you read that correctly. Larry Campbell, as I've mentioned in the past, is an extreme musical talent...band leader for Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble, for one, and former member of Bob Dylan's "Never Ending Tour Band," for two. He was at the show, and when he walked out the door, I couldn't let him leave without re-introducing myself. So I did just that... except I had to catch him at the corner. If it makes it any better, the corner was only 5 steps from the door. Larry, if you're reading this, sorry if that was weird...
I'd say a successful evening. Did some decent self promotion, and YOU CAN TOO...Tell your friends!
Rockwood Music Hall - Wed. December 1st at 6pm!
Have a nice week...
P.S. Just got the OK to post this link of professional photos from a photographer I met last night (I cant say they hold up to my iphone shots above, but they'll do.) Thanks, Levi!