Sunday at the Leo: October 23, 2011

This was a night for musical variety.  

For the opening set, Neville Pohl brought along two musical friends — Joe on fretless bass and David on mandolin — in newly formed trio called Just Ripe. Their music — all originals — had influences of folk, Americana, and a little jazz. The Neville Pohl lyrics took the crowd from the deep blue sea to love and longing.

Tisa McGraw and Kyle Meadows, unfortunately (in one sense), arrived without half the act. Kyle had hurt his arm and  unable to play. It was fortunate, in another sense, in that Tisa became the centerpiece of the set, able to entertain the audience with some fine Celtic harp and a lovely old (auld?) Scottish ballad about a young couple in love. Tisa also played and discussed the hurdy-gurdy, an interesting instrument that drew lots of questions from the audience – sort of a mini-workshop.  

Ricky Nye closed out the evening with his energetic blues, boogie-woogie, New Orleans piano. His set included (among many others):

  • A Ricky Nye original that he said pretty much just arrived in his mind one night, fully formed and ready to write down. (Unfortunately, I didn’t write down the title.)
  • A Cole Porter standard – Miss Otis Regrets – that clearly fits (as Nye said) into the folk tradition of murder ballads.
  • The Suitcase Blues, written by Hersal Thomas  and his sister, Sippie Wallace.
  • The Sam Cooke classic – Bring it On Home to Me – that elicited a call and response interaction with the audience and was a pretty much perfect end to the evening – Yeah (yeah) Yeah (yeah) Yeah (yeah).

Nye is hosting his 13th Annual Piano Summit on November 6, 2011. The summit will feature Nye and other fine piano players from around the world:

Complementing the piano players will be George Bedard on guitar, Chris Douglas on upright bass, and Brian Aylor  on drums.

Spread the word; come out if you can.

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