Destination Cleveland: The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
I recently decided to escape the sweltering summer heat of Orlando for… well, the sweltering summer heat of Cleveland and made my first pilgrimage to the mecca of rock music, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and Museum. What an amazing journey…
Paul Simon and Sting Announce Amway Center Tour Stop
Two of rock musics most iconic singer-songwriters are collaborating on a once-in-a-lifetime tour. Sting and Paul Simon hit the road this winter on a tour that brings them to Orlando’s Amway Center on Sunday, March 16th.
Paul Simon & Sting, two of music’s most renowned and enduring artists, embark on a concert tour throughout North America in February and March 2014. Both artists have explored world rhythms and pushed the boundaries of popular music and through their music, continue to speak to generations of fans. Now, Paul Simon & Sting perform a series of concerts On Stage Together.
As friends for many years, their collaboration on a tour is a natural fit. During each performance, audiences are treated to the unique pleasure of experiencing these two innovative musicians On Stage Together, in addition to solo performances with their respective bands, in what will surely be one of the most highly anticipated concert events of 2014.
Tickets for Paul Simon & Sting: On Stage Together go on sale to the general public Monday, November 18. The artists’ fans will have access to a pre-sale through their respective official websites, starting Wednesday, November 6 at 10 a.m. local time. American Express® Card Members have an opportunity to purchase tickets before the general public.
At RARA’s Farm, we’ve seen both artists live, and separately they put on great shows. Catching them in the same show and sharing the stage together is one of those rare can’t miss moments.
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Brendan James’ 5th studio album starts off with a twinkling piano on “Windblown” that sounds like a wake up call from the hills and forests of his native New Hampshire. Once James starts singing it’s immediately clear that this is a man with a few things to say. The title track could easily become a protest song. “Stop for a minute and wipe the progress from our eyes, stare at the setting sun that holds us here alive” is a good summation of the track and the album as a whole. Stop, slow down, consider what is really important in your life. Is it money or is it happiness? Is the pursuit of one worth the cost of the other? The band sounds flawless and the mix is great in that none of the instruments overpower any of the others, including the front man’s piano.
James is not breaking any new ground on Simplify but what he is doing is taking a page from many of the greatest songwriters of the last 60 years. Paul Simon comes to mind more and more often with each listen, but James could also be compared to more contemporary artists like Damien Rice or Glen Hansard.
He is a songwriter of the highest caliber, a troubadour, a storyteller that knows what the score in life is, but rather than sounding down and out, he remains relentlessly upbeat. Even the heartbreaking chorus of “The Skeptic” seems to say “this is what is wrong…this this and this. But! Here’s what is also right” and it’s an admirable and inspiring sentiment to take away from a song. It’s little wonder that, with this attitude, he has already accomplished so much in his young career.
It is clear to me that James has already found his voice and knows what to do with it, but I can’t help having this lingering feeling that he is holding something back. He has the passion but I would bet money that there is a savage howl somewhere inside of him that he is suppressing, and I for one would be absolutely thrilled if he would let it out.
Other standout tracks include the bouncy sing-a-long “Hillary”, and and the philosophical “Constellations.” Simplify is an excellent record from start to finish, an inspiration to fellow songwriters, and will be in rotation on my iPod long after you’re done reading this.