Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Power and Poise...A Striking Combination

I take a break from my regularly scheduled Bon Jovi/Southside Johnny tour chaos ramblings to say a few words about another great musician...and even greater person.
So ... it may be a rainy, dreary day in New York City today but the sun was certainly shining last night in The Living Room on the Lower East Side. It was another fabulous evening with the talented, generous and kind violinist/singer/songwriter Lorenza Ponce.

This gig was the first opportunity I've had to hear her with her new band and ... wow!

Now, don't get me wrong, I liked her previous gang ... heck, one of my all-time favorite people played in it ... but, this new group of young, rocking musicians truly brings a special spark to the music. It's a much smaller group and you really felt the musical connection from person to person.

As I said to Lorenza after the show, there was a different kind of intensity to the songs ... and a feeling of flexibility and freedom that really captivated the room. A certain amount of that comes from the opportunity to work consistently with a group of musicians. There is a synergy that develops ... a trust that grows. It is called a band, afterall (def: a company of people coming together having a common purpose).

And that comfortability (yes, I know there is a debate on whether or not that is actually a word!) often leads to a situation where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I definitely felt a sense of that last night.

Here's what they played ...

Daddy's Baby
Baby Please Don't Go
Soul Shifter
Let It Down
Casual Girl
What Happened to You?

I hadn't heard "Daddy's Baby" live before so that was a real treat. On the album, the song took a while to grow on me but having now heard it in performance, I'm sold.

The new arrangement of "Baby Please Don't Go" simply rocks - there is no other word for it. And I think it's quickly becoming a signature piece for her.

Dedicated to a friend, Lorenza and the guys did a FANTASTIC cover of Neil Young's "Ohio" ...if you don't know the song, check out this link. Again, the arrangement was incredibly strong and powerful.

That aggressive feeling carried on to "What Happened to You?" which was on a whole different level than I had heard it previously. I have always loved the story behind that song (which I talked about in my last write-up) and last night's rendition really communicated the frustration, disappointment and disbelief behind the words. Loved it!

I'm looking forward to seeing where Lorenza and her band go from here (hopefully to someplace where they can play a longer set -- hahaha!) Seriously, though, I think she's in for an incredible ride ... and hopefully I can be there to experience some of it.

Next up for Lorenza...two more shows:

November 5th - Bearsville Theater (Woodstock, NY)

November 6th - Stanhope House (Stanhope, NJ)

p.s. I totally dug the Leon Russell tank top she was wearing. Cool. :-)

p.s.2. (trying to read my notes) the band included Jon Loyd (keys), Andy Stack (guitar), Zach Jones (drums) and Brett Bass (bass) ... truth be told, not sure Brett's last name was Bass or if I wrote it because he played bass. LOL. Sorry 'bout that!