February 26th, 2010

New York Blues

After CES earlier this year we went to New York for a few days and re-discovered how easy it is to find good live music. There are loads of incredibly talented artists playing every night of the week in this city.

Andrew Nicholas - www.thiscityismine.com

Photo: Andrew Nicholas - www.thiscityismine.com

After a nice authentic NYC dinner at the classical institution Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn, we arrived quite late at the Terra Blues Club in Greenwich Village. Having eaten a good chunk of delicious meat we were in the best of moods. We got a table, ordered a few beers and then the music started. What a shock – we were totally blown away by this guitarist and his trio. Loud, long, powerful jamming tunes that sometimes went from one song and seamlessly changed over to another one. Suddenly a trumpetist arrived at the dark stage playing a solo – and this underlined the openness of the music.

We had seen this recommended in the TimeOut Magazine and took a bit of a chance as we had never heard of Michael Powers before. He has a lovely voice and plays fabulous solo guitar with a lot of rhythm and a free floating feeling – just great! Apparently he plays with his drummer and bass player twice a week at this blues bar in Bleeker Street. Powers is heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix, but with his own unique thing within the given frames of the genre – guitar blues.

Another night we reserved a table at The Blue Note Café and saw a great act with Joe Sample (formerly The Jazz Crusaders) telling stories, recounting memories and playing music from his long career.

A very intimate and personal performance – trio jazz at a very high level, which we enjoyed a lot.

The same night we popped in to a place called The Groove Bar & Grill. A proper NY place with different live bands every night. The band called Li’nard (which is the name of the band leader to the right in picture) played a lot of covers but in their own R&B type way which was really cool. We had to sit at the last available table, right in front of the small stage and the band made fun of us for covering our (golden) ears – it was quite loud just in front of the stage with a full band performing – so we became part of the entertainment. It was a right laugh all the way as they were as good as entertainers as they were musicians and singers.

If you’re in NYC for a few nights we highly recommend all of these places:

Blue Note
Club Groove
Terra Blues Club
Peter Luger Steakhouse

The first photo in this post was taken by Brooklyn photographer/designer Andrew Nicholas. The rest of them were only taken with our mobile phones unfortunately, so sorry about the quality.

Cheers
Jörgen


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