Support Hurricane Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico w/ City Winery

Puerto Rico_rotator

On January 29, City Winery’s sending 125 of our management to Puerto Rico, spending two days in the middle of the island, where we’ll work with farmers to rebuild their property. This includes planting seeds, removing debris, and rebuilding barns, sheds, and farms. Hurricane Maria took a horrific toll and decimated the agricultural industry, which normally acts as the main food supplier for the island.

Chef Cuevas of Restaurant 1919 and the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel acts as the leader in the farm to table movement in Puerto Rico and is collaborating with City Winery to help those in need.

The City Winery employees will be making the trip with duffle bags filled with supplies. Thanks to American Airlines, who will be waiving the excess baggage fees, the company will be able to bring necessities including ground coffee, shovels, extension cords, dehydrated milk, and much more.

To supplement the rebuilding efforts, City Winery will be leveraging its extensive customer-facing business with a campaign to help raise additional funds, allowing the company to bring much needed cash down for distribution directly to the farming and food-creating community.

With over 300,000 email subscribers and a strong social media presence, the 125 managers participating – separately from the campaign – are striving to raise over $250,000 between now and their departure.

Would you be willing to help support by donating product or funds
? We are looking for partners that can offer supplies, cash, and support in our efforts to continue to rebuild Puerto Rico. In return, we will make sure your brand is mentioned on all materials sent to the media and we will have photographer (Getty) documenting the entire effort and you are welcome to use those as you wish. Our PR team can also connect and collaborate with you directly as they will be doing appropriate outreach.

We’re doing boots on the ground efforts to help those affected, and together we’ll make a real difference, please join us by donating at http://www.citywinery.com/puertorico or emailing us at puertorico@citywinery.com

A Special City Winery Offer for Guests at The James in SoHo this Labor Day Weekend

If you are planning a memorable trip to the Big Apple for Labor Day weekend then look no further! The James hotel in SoHo is topping off their luxury experience with a special City Winery package. The complete offer includes:

– 2 admissions tickets to an evening concert at City Winery

– 1 complimentary wine tasting at City Winery

– Welcome amenity

– $50 Food & Beverage credit to the David Burke Kitchen or Room Service

 

For terms, conditions, & limitations please visit:  http://bit.ly/2giKt0c

2012 City Winery Benefit Concerts

 

 

City Winery is all about giving back.  In 2012, the charity events held at City Winery raised over $100,000, benefiting a wide range of causes. Please note all numbers are approximate total.

 

 

May 8th – Music for Occupy – Occupy This Album Record Release Party and Concert – $1,600

The album release party for ‘Occupy This Album’ brought in funds to benefit Music for Occupy that in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, supports the needs of the growing movement.

 

May 9th – Woman to Woman – Hadag Nahash –  $19,000

Israeli Western hip-hop/electronica band Hadag Nahash put on a performance to benefit Woman to Woman, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the victims of domestic violence in Israel.

 

July 11th – 13th – WoodyFest –  $13,700

A celebration of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday raised money for The Woody Guthrie Foundation.

 

September 22nd – Musicians for Mali – Concert to Aid Refugees – $10,500

Toubab Krewe organized a stellar line up of Malian and American artists to celebrate Malian Independence Day, heighten awareness about 
the ongoing crisis in Mali, and raise money for refugees.

 

November 14th – Hurricane Sandy Benefit – Joe Purdy – $170

Joe Purdy raised money for Hurricane Sandy victims through sales from his Artist Wine.

 

November 16th – Cabinet of Wonders – $11,300

John Wesley Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders with Steve Earle, Loudon Wainwright III, Alec Ounsworth, Quincy Troupe, Gary Shteyngart, Mike Scott and Steve Wickham of the Waterboys came together to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy Relief.

 

December 4th – Free the Slaves – Esperanza Spalding – $35,000

“A Night for Freedom” featuring Esperanza Spalding and special guests raised money for Free the Slaves, an international human rights non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating slavery and human trafficking worldwide.

 

December 8th – Hurricane Sandy Benefit – Kevin Griffin – $300

Sales from the Kevin Griffin Cabernet Sauvignon were donated to Hurricane Sandy Relief.

December 18th – Hurricane Sandy Benefit – Love Letter to NY –  $14,500

Matisyahu, Joan Osborne, Ari Hest, Nicole Atkins, Alberta Cross, Bobby Long, Kevin Devine, Sasha Dobson, Jesse Malin, and Chris Ayer came together for a very special Hurricane Sandy Benefit concert.

 

2012 Year in Review – Top 12 Greatest Moments From Our Staff (in chronological order)

 

#1 -Little Feat

January 2nd – 4th

What a great way start to 2012! For three nights, this American rock group brought their authentic, bluesy-horn blowing, down-home sound to the City Winery stage. City Winery has had their sights set on Little Feat for a long time, and hope that this will become a yearly event before they cross the ocean for their annual run in Jamaica.

 

 

 

 

Click here to see Joshua’s performance at City Winery.

#2 – Joshua Bell

January 6th

Joshua is one the most famed violinists in the world. Being a friend and a fan of our venue, he chose City Winery for a very special underplayed album release performance. The room was jam packed with an audience that was enjoying food and drink while remaining completely captivated by Joshua’s compositions.

 

 

 

 

#3 – The Cabinet of Wonders

February 4th, March 10th, April 28th, May 19th, September 8th, October 19th, November 16th and December 16th

City Winery is proud to have hosted and provided a home for wildly popular and NPR hit variety show by John Wesley Harding. The show has developed over the past three years into a true representation of what City Winery is all about; a coming together of leading cultural influencers in music, comedy, and literature. This year included the likes of Sam Amidon, Iris Dement, Nick Hornby, Stephin Merritt, Eugene Mirman, Aaron Neville, Steve Earle, Loudon Wainwright III, Alec Ounsworth, John Roderick, Ron Sexsmith, Stephen Kellogg and many more!

 

 

 

 

 

#4 – Wyclef Jean

February 24th, March 31st, October 18th, December 16th (Chicago)

2012 was “The Year of Wyclef” performing four incredible shows between New York and Chicago. This amazing talent showed everyone who was lucky enough to get in to the four-day residency that he is much more than a refugee; he is an amazing and talented musician who knows how to put on a remarkable performance. By the end of the show Wyclef had everyone out of their seats waving  City Winery napkins in the air. We look forward to seeing more from Wyclef in 2013 when he hosts the newly created Refugee Lounge Series at the winery.

 

 

 

 #5 – Robert Johnson 100th Birthday Celebration Rehearsal Show

March 5th

A live dress rehearsal at City Winery the night prior to the sold out show at The Apollo Theater. The show featured many soul, jazz and blues legends such as Steve Jordan’s All Star Band, Living Colour, Shemekia Copeland, Bettye LaVatte, Taj Mahal, Keb Mo, Sam Moore, Todd Rundgren and more.

Click here to see a clip from the show at City Winery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see Todd’s performance at City Winery

#6 – Todd Rundgren

March 7th

One of our most beloved artists came through City Winery with five shows this past year, each one a little different from the other. These shows were advertised as ‘An Unpredictable Evening With Todd Rundgren’ not without reason. In addition, Todd also took part in our outside production at the Apollo Theater to celebrate Robert Johnson’s 100th birthday anniversary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7 – Mother’s Day Show with Patti Smith & daughter Jesse Paris Smith plus Lucy Wainwright Roche  and daughter Suzzy Roche. 

May 13th

Click here to see a clip from the show at City Winery.

This very unlikely bill was put together specifically for City Winery and featured two mother and daughter combos and brought together the beautiful, melodic, harmonies of the Roches contrasting the strong minded delivery of the Smiths. Only in New York and only at City Winery can such a collaboration blossom from idea to reality.

 

 

 

 

 

#8- Ronnie Spector’s Beyond the Beehive

July 6th, 14th, 20th, 27th, August 18th, September 15th

This was a monumental run of 6 shows that was developed specially for City Winery and featured Ronnie Spector at her best. Ronnie took the audience on an emotional journey through her amazing life story through song, photos and video. Audience members included fellow celebrities in the music and theater community and friends that Ronnie has collected over the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see the performance of “This Land is Your Land” by Diana Jones, David Robbins, Steve Earle, Tim Robbins, Miles Guthrie Robbins, Steve Butts (original member of The Highwaymen), and John Hammond.

#9 – Woodyfest: Celebration of Woody Guthrie’s 100th Birthday

July 11th-13th

An incredible line up of musicians from all genres came out to celebrate the100th Birthday year of the man who defined Americana music in this country. The performers selected for the tribute were a perfect fit for the City Winery audience and we were lucky enough to get a little help from our friend Steve Earle who was both the co-curator and host for all three nights. Some of the highlights included Billy Bragg, Allen Toussaint, Tim Robbins and John Hammond among others.

 

 

 

 

 
#10 – Sam Moore

July 17th

Who knows the fate of feel good soul music? A true, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came when   Sam Moore of Sam and Dave played two shows in one day at City Winery this past summer. First he rocked out our backyard at the Hudson Square Wine & Music Festival and then a full show in the winery that evening. Keeping the Soul Man music alive!

See Sam More on “Goody Day NY” with Bethenny Frankel and Dave Price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#11 – Taj Mahal

August 25-26th

The legendary blues man hit the stage for two special nights as well as joined our Rolling Stones tribute at Carnige Hall. Taj has been on our radar from day one and to see him finally play our stage was definitely  a highlight, especially when his daughter Deva joined him on the last night.

 

 

 

 

 

#12 Gad Elmaleh

November 25th-29th

Truly not knowing what to expect after booking a 4 night of comedy show performed all in French – we ended up adding two additional nights, made way for Jerry Seinfeld and started talks about an encore performance this summer!  The show was a real home run with the French community in New York! We hope that by hosting one of the most successful comedians in the world more will join the ranks.

 

 

Be sure to comment below and let us know some of your favorites, or acts you would like to see at City Winery in 2013.

 

Happy New Year!!

A Night for Freedom with Esperanza Spalding, Bobby McFerrin, Gretchen Parlato and Special Guests Paul Simon and Prince!

Music is the greatest expression of freedom and that theme carried through in every capacity of the evening. Free the Slaves organizer Sarah Gardner started the show with a brief introduction about how the organization changes the lives of people still living in slavery in this modern-day in age.

The charm and wit of the lovely Esperanza Spalding carried the remainder of the night. She explained to the guests that she was brought up on the notion that using art and talent is the best way influence humanity for the greater good. Her voice rang with a soft chaos and moved across her bass with the grace of a ballroom dancer. Comrade and internationally recognized jazz singer Gretchen Parlato was introduced to the stage and brought another level of dimension and emotion to the performance.

The first surprise for the evening came with the introduction of the legendary Paul Simon. Esperanza did her best to respect Paul’s wishes and not to overdo the introduction, but that was quite impossible. Her introduction was a little early as Paul wasn’t quite ready to appear on stage. She joked about how now would be an appropriate time to Tweet and text your friends about not coming to the show and missing a chance to see Paul Simon! When Paul walked on stage he got right down to business and plucked out the first few chords of Sound of Silence. A truly religious experience for anyone in the room that night and a perfect instrumental duet between her bass and his guitar.

Bobby McFerrin was next up on stage and joined Paul and Esperanza for an impromptu performance of Scarborough Fair, Freedom Jazz Dance and Peace. Bobby continued to perform with Esperanza and the rest of the Chamber Music Society band. Bobby’s demeanor and presence on stage was perfectly in tandem with Esperanza and it was apparent that his seniority didn’t get in the way of working with the new girl on the block.

The second surprise of the evening was a very coy anecdote from Esperanza about her attempts to get auction items for the evening. She referenced a “very special” person who she nervously approached and graciously asked for practically anything, even a dirty sock! The morning of the show in the midst of sound checks and meetings a small box was delivered to her. The contents included a yellow, dirty sock. It was later confirmed that the one and only Prince would be sending a guitar to auction. And because he’s Prince, he took a private Jet to New York City and sat in our VIP section and enjoyed a portion of the performance. Esperanza very graciously nodded to him and she introduced the guitar.

The night was incredibly successful for the Free the Slaves organization raising somewhere in the neighborhood of $45,000 for the cause. A true night for freedom and memorable musical performance by some incredibly generous names in music.

 

Special thank you to photographer Adriana Mateo to which these photos are credited.

Eric Hutchinson: Uncorked and Uncovered

 

Artist: Eric Hutchinson

Playing at City Winery: October 29th, 2012

 

Emerson College is known for the focused environment it provides and driven mentality it encourages. Has this affected your approach to your musical career?

Yeah! I met some amazing people and was totally inspired by the Emerson world. I did my first official show on campus.

With so many colleges in Boston, house shows are very popular there. Did you ever go to house shows or play any?

I’ve played a few house concerts over the years. Good times, but I like a proper stage better.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

The Beatles were like religion in my house growing up. My dad used to play them every night during dinner and my mom would quiz me on which Beatle was singing each song.

Your voice has a real old-school jazz, blues tone to it. Did you grow up listening to that type music, too?

I love all kinds of music including jazz, but I tend to think my influence comes more from the soul records I love. Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, The Isley Brothers. All that classic soul.

Who are some musicians/bands out there today that you are currently listening to?

I love Vampire Weekend, The Black Keys, Frank Ocean, Fun & Gregory Porter.

You’ve lived all over the country, but you now call NYC home. How do you like it here? How do you think it has affected you as a musician?

I’ve been here for 6 years now and love it. I wrote my new album “Moving Up Living Down” here and was really inspired by the city’s energy. Love doing hometown shows!

Have found any favorite spots in NYC that you now frequent?

TONS. But can’t divulge them. So I can still get a table.

This upcoming show is at the only fully functioning winery in all of Manhattan. It’s pretty cool, right? Are you excited to play in this type of venue? And to try the wine?

I love wine and I’m looking forward to seeing my face on a bottle of Cab Sauv. Hope I’m sober enough to perform!

 

Cary Pierce of Jackopierce: Uncorked and Uncovered

 

Artist: Jackopierce

Played at City Winery: October 14th, 2012

Q&A With City Winery

So you both went to school for theatre. In fact, that’s how you met. Do you both still act?

We both try to act cool on occasion but it rarely works out.

Jack did a stint with the Bat Theater Company, voiceover work, etc but was scared back into music eventually.

I quit theater my sophomore year at SMU and never looked back. Twas not my calling. My B.I.L (brother in law), James Moye, is a bad ass, though. He lives in NY and has been in many a Broadway production such as Urine Town, Million Dollar Quartet, etc. But the coolest thing lately is that he is the Crunchy Nut Cereal guy. My kids think he’s a real super hero. I can’t compete with that.

What is your songwriting process like? 

I gave my oldest boy a baby Taylor guitar at 10 years old. It’s half size and really easy to just pick up and play. I have a dozen amazing guitars at my studio, but I play that one about 95% of the time. Most all the kernels for new songs start there. I also go to Nashville a lot to write and always come back with 3-5 new ones cookin’. I keep TONS of ideas in my phone, on my computer, etc. If a guitar is in my hands, I’m usually writing something. Usually music first and then lyrics.

Have you ever been in any bigger bands?

Nope. JP may be the biggest band I ever get to be in. We toured for years with a full band. It was fun playing rock star – being on a major label  – and having a bus and crew, etc. Our roots were as an acoustic duo and that’s how we play most of the time now. I live in Dallas and Jack lives in NY so we fly in to city, meet up and go play the show. When we do a full band show – we’re hiring real pros that are great, love what they do and there’s NO drama. Jack and I got enough drama goin’ on… no need for more fuel on that fire.

You’ve worked with a lot of other musicians, writing and producing. What made you want to get into that?

It just seemed to be a natural extension. I like helping people get to the “next level.” I learned a lot about making records by being produced by heavyweights like T Bone Burnett, Stan Lynch, Rob Jacobs, Don Smith, etc. I’ve learned a lot about co-writing over the years, too. I’m pretty much a co-writing producer, helping write the songs and then producing them.

How is working with other musicians different/the same as working with Jack? Do you find that being part of a duo was helpful to the process of writing for/working with other musicians?

Yes, I’m a duo guy. When I enter into a co-writing/production situation, I basically become the other half for a minute and then I get to bid them well and set them free to go “do it.”

What was the recording process like? You both live such different lives now, how did you manage to come together and make the album and this tour happen?

The album is called Everywhere all the Time and it was recorded just about everywhere: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, DC, LA, Minneapolis, Nashville, etc..

We tracked a lot of the bass and drums in Nashville and then I would grab Jack’s vocal and guitars in whatever city we were playing in. It was a lot of fun.

Do you feel that this album is more mature now that time has passed?

I just hope people like it. We’ve had a lot of people lately tell us that we’ve been the “soundtrack for their lives.” Wow. Mission is being accomplished. Just wanna keep that rollin’… I love writing and I love playing.

You guys mostly play acoustic together. Outside of Jackopierce, what do you like to play around with musically?

I have a James Taylor/John Denver side of me (like Jackopierce – Let Go of Me and Jackopierce – Lonely). But I also have a heavily 80’s influenced Smiths/Roxy Music/Tears for Fears/Police side of me that wants to make big, powerful compelling pop (like Jackopierce – Around Me Now). I also have a Mumford/Avett side of me that wants to bang on that acoustic hard and fast and kinda combine all of it. I have a fantasy of an acoustic trio or quartet a la Mumford. That kind of music is a big part of me – all acoustic. Love it. Have you heard the Punch Brothers? IN-SANE. Check this out. Humbling.

What inspires you? Both as a musician and as a person?

Art/museums/galleries. I love great design. I’m constantly saving design ideas – both graphic and architectural/interior design in Evernote. If I could, I’d probably be releasing a new Jackopierce shirt or piece of merch every week.

I love dreaming and scheming our Destination Shows. We are playing June 8, 2013 in Santa Barbara on a roof deck overlooking the ocean and the mountains. Gorgeous. And we are having a clambake dinner and concert on Martha’s Vineyard August 17, 2013.

I am also working on a book about being creative for a living. I post a new chapter most Fridays to my blog. It’s meant to encourage and inspire the same way I am inspired by so many great authors, speakers, teachers.

You guys are from Texas. Do you like the cooking down there? 

Of course. I love Texas. Love everything about it. Well, most everything. I went down to go to SMU and I’ve been there ever since. My wife is a Texan. All 3 of my boys are Texans. I love that.

You have a song called Vineyard and here you are playing at City Winery. What is the story behind that song? Are you wine fans? Do you have a favorite wine? 

Yes, Vineyard is actually about Martha’s Vineyard. I was heartbroken in college and went there to get away. I met a sweet gal and my 2 day trip turned into 5 or 6 days. That song seems to still be one of our most popular. We did a destination show in 2010 on the Vineyard and 400 people came from 36 States. We were glad to give them an excuse to come to one of the most beautiful places in the world.

We’ve done several destination shows in Sonoma County, CA. I’ve really fallen in love with Pinot Noir. When it’s good – its’ the best – but it’s a testy grape. I feel like I’ve tasted some of the best out there at Arista, the former C. Donatiello, Hanna, etc.

Best kind of wine is the wine you like. I’ve had friends open these fancy, expensive bottles of wine and they sit around and gush over it – and to me it tastes like it’s been open for a week. Mondavi has a great everyday Pinot now for about $6. Meiomi Belle Glose is probably my current favorite. They had it in several restaurants around Dallas and I was thrilled to find it in the grocery store for about $15 bucks. We’ve actually been in touch with them. They love our Destination Shows and we are hoping to partner up on something soon. I also love Willamette Pinots from Oregon and have discovered a great find: Merriman. I asked my waiter if I could see the bottle. There was an email addy on the back. I emailed them right there and it turns out the owner, Mike Merriman, is from Dallas and his winemaker sold me his house 15 years ago. Talk about small world and great Williamette Pinot!

The smell and taste of great Pinots take me to Sonoma (specifically Healdsburg) – a place that my wife and I could see ourselves spending

Grant Lee Phillips: Uncorked and Uncovered

Artist: Grant Lee Phillips

Played at City Winery: October 3rd, 2012

 

Q&A With City Winery

You’ve done a lot of work recently with comedienne, Margaret Cho. What role does comedy play in your life? Are there any other comedians you’d love to work with?

Margaret’s a force of nature. We’ve known one another for ages, but it was a huge treat to work with her on her “Cho Dependent” album. Comics and musicians are a bit like distant cousins, but there’s a crazy amount of courage it takes to be a comic and I look upon people like Margaret and Paul F. Tompkins with awe.

Do you check out any comedy shows? Any favorite places to check out? Do you ever think of getting on stage at an open mic or taking an improv class?

Largo out in L.A. has long been a hotbed for comedy. It’s a place where comics and songwriters mix and through Largo I’ve been able to explore the high-wire thrill of being onstage without a guitar.

You are very vocal about your Native American heritage. How has it informed your songwriting? What drives you to incorporate this into your music?

I grew up with an awareness of my Creek heritage. It was reinforced by my mother and grandmother. My desire to grasp the history of our country, one that’s often untold, has been a driving force behind a lot of my songs. Becoming a father has also compelled me to better understand where I come from, to honor my ancestry and pass that knowledge onward.

It seems like you have also been able to use comedy as a way of demonstrating your awareness of your heritage against a contemporary American backdrop. In the Margaret Cho video for “Asian Adjacent,” you appear as a Native American man when she says the word “Cherokee.” Something Margaret (and many comedians do) is poke fun at herself and address stereotypes that affect her on a personal level. Was this experience a first for you (as far as addressing it in a comedic way)?

Margaret came to me with “Asian Adjacent.” She’d written these lyrics inspired by our first meeting many years ago. For ages, she had assumed because of my features and the “Lee” in my name that I was Chinese. It’s not the first time that I’ve encountered this. When I explained that I’m actually Creek and Cherokee, it inspired the concept of being “Asian Adjacent.” In one scene of the video we did a take-off on “Miss Saigon.” I was portraying an American soldier, pursuing Margaret. The editor dropped me in on the Cherokee lyric, (the power of editing and suggestion). There’s something really incredible about her way of using comedy to challenge stereotypes.

You also combine your music and your heritage as a means of awareness and outreach. Though the Internet has had some negative impacts on the music industry, it has also been an amazing tool in expanding audience. Additionally, it has become a means of outreach and awareness. One platform this is possible through is PledgeMusic, which you are currently using; how has that been?

My new album, Walking In The Green Corn, is a Pledge Music project. I love the grass-roots connectivity of this approach. There’s something very hands-on about it that appeals to me. I’ve also become very informed in the ways of shipping these days and I have a greater appreciation for the US Postal Service.

Outside of your heritage, what inspires you as a writer/performer?

Songs are just the evidence of whatever life you live, the people you love, your desires, your fears and the rest.  I’m just trying to walk and sing at the same time.

I just wanted to mention that your website is incredible. How do you think that the aesthetic style and the design (interactivity, click-throughs) reflect you as a musician and as a person?

My website is one part American Pickers and one part Hoarders. I’m very at home there.

You’ve done a bit of acting work, even had a recurring role on Gilmore Girls. Is acting something you’d like to do more of, maybe having bigger, more prominent roles?

I’d love to do more acting. When Gilmore Girls ended I went back and studied some more. I’ve got a lot of respect for actors and all they have to put themselves through.

Do you have any favorite things to do in NYC? Are there any stores or restaurants you have to stop at when in town? Any other interesting spots along the road you love?  

New York, for all of the times that I’ve visited, still takes my breath away. I grew up in the country and learned to drive on one-lane highways out in the foothills so the city is little overwhelming. Still, on a warm night, with good friends there’s nothing like it.  New York is also a place where people still hold the door for each other. More often that you would think. ( LA is the worst for that). There’s a rhythm to this city. It can be tough to find the downbeat at first, but when you do, it’s an incredible place.

What is the best meal you’ve ever eaten? 

Depended how hungry I was.

If you could eat any meal right now, what would it be? Would there be a drink to go with it? 

I’m always up for a cup coffee and I’ve never pushed away a pecan pie.

Do you have any big plans for 2013? 

More music, more coffee, more pie. Let me get that door for you…

Shemekia Copeland: Uncorked and Uncovered

 

Artist: Shemekia Copeland

Played at City Winery: September 27, 2012

 

Q&A With City Winery

You have been newly crowned the “Queen of Blues.” Congratulations! How does it feel?

It was a total surprise and an incredible honor, something I try to live up to every time I perform.

You aren’t afraid to perform songs about serious issues and obstacles in life like domestic violence. Are these coming from first hand experience or knowing someone in these situations? Did growing up in NYC, seeing the constant class struggle and disparity have anything to do with your awareness?

I try to perform blues songs, but in a contemporary way. To make blues relevant for young people, especially women. So it makes sense to address issues like domestic violence and financial disparity. I don’t think these issues came out of growing up in NYC. They’re issues we all have in common everywhere, but you’d certainly run into them in NY.

Blues is one of those genres that kind of spreads out into a lot of other genres or at least influences and informs other genres/styles. Given that, is there anything you feel you’d like to do musically that you haven’t done yet?

I want to help this music evolve and grow, to reach young people and get them as excited about the music as I am. I’d like to expand the boundaries of traditional blues. Do a blues samba. A blues in French. New, different, and unexpected explorations.

 

 

Ronnie Spector’s “Beyond the Beehive” (One Girl’s Journey through Rock) – City Winery – September 15, 2012

City Winery thanks Frank Grimaldi for his review of Saturday night’s final Ronnie Spector performance.

Ronnie Spector’s “Beyond the Beehive” is a theatrical memoir of her life. Though, Spector confesses that she’s not an actress and reads her story off of an IPAD between songs, her emotions over the story itself provide all the necessary drama. On Saturday evening, a gentleman introducing the show requested that no videos be recorded. Before leaving the stage, he told the audience that Ronnie Spector was dedicating the evening’s performance to Amy Winehouse who would have been 28 years old on the day before the show (Sept.14th.)

Ronnie Spector is 69 years old but the only real signs of her being an elderly woman was when she sat between songs and kept wiping here face under her mass of hair. Amazingly. Ronnie Spector’s voice is as strong as it was in 1963 and still as strong as her New York accent. As one would suspect, most of Ronnie’s narrative had to do with her ex-husband, Phil Spector and his giving new meaning to the word “Possessive.” There are many sad parts to her story, but like Tina Turner, in the end Ronnie Spector gets her life and her career back.

 

For legal reasons having to do with Phil Spector, Ronnie explained that she could not perform any of her greatest hits as part of a theatrical performance. But she surprised the audience after the show with what she dubbed as a mini concert. I loved hearing those songs and so did the rest of the sold out audience at City Winery who stood up to reach out to grab Ronnie Spector’s hand. My favorite songs of the evening were “Walking in the Rain” and “Try Some, Buy Some.” But my ultimate favorite song of the early 60’s is still “ Be My Baby” hands down, and when Ronnie Spector sang it – I was in heaven.

 

 

Theatrical Performance Set List

1.Woman In Love (With You)
2.You Belong To Me
3.What’d I Say” (Ray Charles Cover)
4.He Did It
5.Do I Love You
6.Walking In The Rain
7.Time Is On My Side (Cover made famous by the Rolling Stones)
8.Don’t Worry Baby (Beach Boys cover)
9.Frosty The Snowman
10.(The Best Part Of)Breaking Up
11.Try Some, Buy Some (George Harrison Cover)
12.Say Goodbye to Hollywood (Billy Joel Cover)
13.She Talks To Rainbows (Ramones Cover)
14.You Can’t Put Your Arms Round a Memory (Johnny Thunders Cover)
15.Girl From The Ghetto

Mini- Concert Set List
1. Baby I Love You
2. Be My Baby
3. I Can Hear Music

To read more from Frank Grimaldi visit http://www.concert-log.com/