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Blues & Lasers/Josh Dion/Foster McGinty - 03.21.2009 @ Sullivan Hall

Sullivan Hall brought in the vernal equinox with a magnificent budding of up and coming blues bands.  There were underlying themes throughout the night other than blues, which included blaring harmonicas and new faces. Foster McGinty’s keyboard player and Josh Dion both toyed with the mouth kazoo The climax of harmonica jams came courtsey of Blues and Lasers, which was the most talented group of the night.

Foster McGinty 


I showed up in time to catch Foster McGinty’s set which brought in some very good tunes.  From what I’m told the band was put together last minute backing Foster.  The drummer was reading sheet music as he was playing!  All things considered it was put together very well.  Doran Danoff added layer upon layer of keys which gave some of the songs a “Doorsy” feel.  Foster has a great feel for the guitar and blues lyrics.  You could sense a Hendrix influence in their final song “Can’t Help but Shine.”  The song came together with a great break down at the end behind McGinty’s guitar. Even with the lack of time together, I’d like to catch these guys after they’ve gotten a couple more shows under their belt to really see how well they mesh and jam.

List: Hard Jelly > Circus Mind > Burning Bee Hive > Dreamcatcher > 10 Moons > Darlyn Giver > Can't Help But Shine 

Josh Dion


Josh Dion began his set with the Sullivan Hall about ¾ of the way full. Dion has a very good following in the local New York blues scene.  Dion is a showman who really knows how to keep the crowd bouncing throughout his set.  He has been working with different musicians to come up with the right mix for the next stage of his music career.  Josh played all original songs throughout with the help of energetic Ben Scheuer on a
1966 Fender Telecaster and the toned down Geoff Kraly on a 1976 Gibson Thunderbird.  He began the set with “I Can See Right Though You” which had a great deal of guitar feedback that complimented Dion’s singing and drumming very well. “Three Gig Night” gives you a great feel for how much Dion loves playing in front of a crowd with the beginning verse “Oh how I long for a three gig night.”His song “I Don’t Know the Man” brought the most applause of the night.  Dion always has a fast paced set that gets the audience dancing whom he did not upset with the upbeat “Person to Person” to finish the set.

I Can See Right Through Ya > Hard Love > AM Heroes in an FM World > Three Gig Night > Get Out > I Don't Know the Man > Fire on the Bridge > Won't Turn Back > Person to Person

Blues & Lasers


It is a damn shame the majority of the patrons left for this incredible blues band.  Working, most frequently, as Grace Potter’s Nocturnal’s, I felt it was an insult to all the musicians.  There should be no need to even try to sell this group.

Scott Tournet ripped through some viscious solos throughout the entire two hour set. I was amazed that the strings of his guitar were able to hold up throughout the night.  Benny Yurco looked ripped out of his mind with blood shot eyes but kept everything in rythmn. He provided, in-tune, precise vocals despite the echoing drum beats and basslines.  The dual drummers of Steve Sharon & Matt Burr never missed a beat with new bassist, John Rogone, during the entire set.  There were no signs of a lack of practice, chemistry, or skill amongst these experienced musicians.  Everybody played with a very laid back free flowing attitude, the way rock n’ roll should be. You wouldn’t tell from hearing but just the fact that the Rogone was facing the two drummers for the majority of the set showed he was still getting a feel for things.  The highlight of band banter was when Yurco exclaimed, “I’m getting fucking electrocuted up here” to which Tournet stated “which means you’re seeing a good fucking rock ‘n roll show!” There was nothing false about that statement.  These guys dealt with this obstruction in stride by charging into another song. 

This band played with ease throughout the entire set.  They had a sound that related to what I’ve heard from the Black Keys but with a more massive sound accounting for the dual drummers, bassist and rythmn guitar.  They came out for their encore all in sunglasses except Yurco who needed to borrow a pair from someone in the audience.  This lead to an amazing cover of ZZ Top’s “Cheap Sunglasses.” Blues & Lasers finished up the set with Neil Young’s “Fuckin’ Up” which concluded the blues theme quite fittingly.  My only criticism for this show was that they were deafeningly loud, which is more of an explanation of their immense sound and the lack of applicable acoustics from the Sullivan Hall.  Maybe this was due to them outblasting the repetitive talentless dance music that was playing in the adjacent club.  I’d really love to see them in a larger venue with superb acoustics to get the full effect of their amazing sound.

Give It A Try > Fallen Friend > Take U Down > 22 Times > W.N.W.G.D. > Who Do You Think You Are? > Forgot About Me# > Othermen > After All > Devil's Wrapped Around Me > Better U Use Me > Homefunk# > I Ain't Changin'# > Rooster > Encore:
Cheap Sunglasses (ZZ Top Cover) > Somewhere Down The Road# > Fuckin' Up (Neil Young Cover) 

# Scott Tournet on Fender Telecaster

The rest of the songs were done with a Gibson SG

This was an amazing night of blues music.  To me there has been a lull in quality rock n’ roll bands out there, but witnessing these three up and coming bands essential for lighting up my confidence that rock n’ roll will never die.  If any of you have a chance to catch any of these three bands in person you will leave happy that you spent the $10 for somethings that will never show up on a record.

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 4/3/2009 4:00 PM
Josh Dion @ Sullivan Hall 2.14.09

It was yet another lonely Valentine’s day for me fulfilled by my loyal loves Johnnie Walker Black and live music. Josh Dion (drums/piano), starting a new from the break up of his very own talented assembly of musicians the Josh Dion Band, grouped up with friends Geoff Kraly (bass) and Chris Eves (guitar) for a short FREE set at the Rockwood Music Hall. The Rockwood was about the size of the living room in my apartment. Dion was able to pack the place like sardines.

Dion played a magnificent set, differentiating himself from his prior group by performing all new tunes. Nonetheless, he played with the same energy beginning his set with “I Don’t Know the Man.” Then Dion picked up the velocity playing “Person to Person.” Josh constantly has an eclectic show with diverse styles, tempos, and spirit in every song. In the ballad like “Fire on the Bridge” he ended the song playing the harmonica. Dion even paid homage to one of his various influences performing an excellent rendition of Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine,” as promised the only sappy love song of the night. I was particularly impressed when he leaped from his drum set to the grand piano, taking up almost the entire stage, playing an inspiring solo “Three Gig Night.” The encore for his undersized set was a glorious rock song, “7th Avenue.”

This was a superb performance by a remarkable drummer who deserves every bit of recognition. The heart Dion puts into each piece permeates throughout the entire audience, let alone the skill with which he plays. Every smash of his kit has a purpose. There is never a wasted thump of the bass, crash of his cymbals, hammer of his tom or smack of his snare. Dion mixes the tools from his belt with precise measure and syncopation. Kraly and Eves both complimented Dion very nicely, with Eves fastening a bottleneck onto one of his fingers playing slide guitar on a couple numbers.

I have never seen a show of his that I was not thoroughly pleased to pay for. I had absolutely no qualms with seeing him for free. For another retched Valentine’s Day, Dion was exactly the medicine necessary for this bleeding heart. I hope you will have the opportunity to witness this extraordinary performer with your own eyes and ears. According to Dion, the supporting cast for his new venture is in the works and the next big show will be March 21st at Sullivan Hall.

I Don't Know the Man > Person to Person > Fire on the Bridge > Vision > Get Out > > Stealin' From the Cow > These Arms of Mine* > Three Gig Night# > 7th Avenue

* Otis Redding Cover

# Piano Solo

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 2/20/2009 9:11 AM
Steve Kimock & Friends @ Mexicali Blues Cafe 10.03.08
I got to check out Steve Kimock on Friday night at Mexicali Blues Cafe in Teaneck, NJ.  I've been to the venue a number of times but not since they made changes to the layout of the venue.  Personally I think the changes are great for the audience that likes to keep drinking throughout the show.  For those who have never been, there used to be a staircase right in front of the middle of the bar that went up to the small upper level containing tables and a very poor view of the stage.  Now the stairs have been moved to the right, giving the audience at the bar a clear line of site to the stage.  I also believe this creates more room for tables during more intimate settings like the show I had attended.

Steve Kimock performed an acoustic set with Billy Goodman.  It was a nice relaxing set but I'm not one who gets overly excited over acoustic sets.  I like it loud, electric and with drumming.  The most notable songs for me were the ones I knew, Friend of the Devil, a good rendition of the Rolling Stone's "Send Me Dead Flowers."  The good thing about the acoustic set was that I still had my mind in my hands at the time.  Then the beers started going down too easily.  I love Victory Hop Devil!

The second set took some time for the set up.  They were trying to get the right sound out of the electric guitars and drums.  Wish it had been quicker because I might remember more but whatever.  The crowd lacked excitement.  The chairs were still set up from the acoustic set so nobody got out of their seats to get some groove on.  There was an ol' drunk lady at the end of the seating area near the bar that got up, but was a little keen on me and my Allman Brothers Tye Dye T-Shirt.  Her old man didn't look very happy with her either, but whatever IT WAS FRIDAY!!!!  Kimock ripped through a couple nice songs with his very talented guitar play.  I'm very happy to have discovered another great guitarist.  He is being added to my jambase.com account as a new favorite artist.  If anybody reads this, and likes to see live shows I highly suggest signing up for an account.  You can add any band not just jam bands and it'll tell you where they are playing within a certain radius (mine is 115 miles).  Then find me I'm ihob420.

My ride ended up leaving the show a little early, which was a shame, but we were all loaded (barring the driver).  I was happy to finally see some live music, it had been about two weeks from my last live show - TEMPERATURE HOT MUPPET & THE RENDEZVOUS!  I went home scarfed down some pizza and passed out on my couch until 7 AM where I promptly accessed Excedrin and Gatorade to start my next day of insane drinking.

All and all I'll rate the first set with a C, only because I'm just not into the acoustic stuff as much.  If you are one who is into the acoustic sets then I'd say at least a B.  Kimock can rip on guitar and I would definitely love to see him again.  I am going to have to pay more attention to the music than how full my glass is.  I will get better.

Here is the setlist:

Set 1: Willin', Walk The Street Alone, On The Run, Kind Hearted Woman, You Are With Me, Friend Of The Devil, Slow Down, Dead Flowers, The Road Must Surely Bend, Good Shepherd

Set 2: It's Up To You, Best Friend, Night Train, Ship At Sea, Thing One, Cowboy, Many Rivers To Cross, E: Me And My Uncle 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 10/7/2008 8:29 AM