Jesse Colin Young and Martin Barre Band Rock The Celebrity Theatre

Martin Barre Band

Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Celebrity Theatre
Date: Friday Sept 22, 2017

Folk and Prog met at Celebrity Theatre for an unforgettable night of outstanding music.  Being a child of the 60s and early 70s, I was exposed to both the early days of rock and roll and the transformation of Folk music into more of a rock and rock format.  Tonight, we had two different forms of that transformation.  Jesse Colin Young stayed in a more folk-rock flavor while Martin Barre as part of legendary group Jethro Tull moved into a Prog/Folk style.

Jesse Colin Young

Jesse Colin Young

Jesse Colin Young was part of the Folk-Rock group, The Youngbloods in the late 60s.  Early in the 70s, Jesse left the group and start a very successful solo career.  Two of his best-known albums, Together and Song for Juli came from that early solo career.

Jesse has taken a more relaxed life style and does not tour that much.  If you like folk style rock music and you get the chance to see one of his shows, please go.  You will love it.  His voice is still very good and his musical abilities are excellent.  Jesse not only plays acoustic guitar but also does all of the lead vocals.  Jesse has surrounded himself with an amazing group of talented musicals.  There are two great musical colleges in the US.  Almost everyone has heard of Julliard, but the other is Berklee College of Music in Boston.  All of these musicians in Jesse’s band are graduates of Berklee and outstanding musicians in their own rights.  They are Aleif Hamdam (Lead Guitar), Donnie Hogue (Drums), Jack Sheehan (Sax), JennHwang Wong (Keyboards), Tristan Young, Jesse’s son (Bass), and backup vocals by Sally Stempler and Virgina Garcia Alves.  Jesse went to Berklee in 2016 to see Tristin’s graduation and Jesse saw Tristin perform a recital with this fine group of musicians.  This finally pushed Jesse to tour again along with his son and these outstanding musicians.

The show started with two of his songs from those great early 70s solo albums, “Ridgetop” and “Sweet Good Times”.  One of my favorite Jesse songs is “Sanctuary” which is part of the 5-song group, “American Dreams Suite” from the American Dreams album.  They then play one of Jesse’s newest songs, “Cast a Stone” that was written by Jesse following the Boston Marathon bombing while his son was in Boston and Jesse was worried and stressed trying to contact Tristan.  It is the only song not currently on one of Jesse’s albums.  The band then paid respect to one of the great soul singers of the 60s, Marvin Gaye.  They performed two of Marvin’s songs, “What’s Goin’ On” and “Mercy, Mercy Me”.  For me the hi-lite of the show was the next 3 songs.  I remember each as I was growing up and the emotions they stirred, “Sanctuary”, Light Shine” and the outstanding Vietnam era classic, “Get Together”.  They finished the show with a Youngblood’s classic “Darkness, Darkness”.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2017

Jesse Colin Young Setlist:              (Album)
Ridgetop                                           (Song For Juli)
Sweet Good Times                            (Together)
Walk The Talk                                    (Walk The Talk)
Cast A Stone
What’s Goin’ On                                (Marvin Gaye cover)
Mercy, Mercy Me                               (Marvin Gaye cover)
Before You Came                               (Sweetwater)
Sanctuary                                          (American Dreams)
Light Shine                                         (Light Shine)
Get Together                                     (The Youngbloods)
T-Bone Shuffle                                   (Song For Juli)
Darkness, Darkness                           (Elephant Mountain, Youngbloods)

Martin Barre Band

Martin Barre Band

For those who don’t know, Martin Barre was the lead guitarist for the legendary Prog/Rock band Jethro Tull from 1969 to 2014.  In 2014, Ian Anderson, the lead singer of Jethro Tull announced the breakup of the band.  Martin decided to form his own band with fellow musicians Dan Crisp (Guitar and Lead Vocals), Alan Thompson (Bass and Backing Vocals) and Jonathan Joseph (Drums).  Given his 45-year career with Jethro Tull, a large part of his show is material that he did with that band.  Since 2013 Martin’s new band have created 3 studio albums, Away with Words, Order of Play and their latest Back to Steel.

They started the show with two Tull songs, “Minstrel In The Gallery” and “Steel Monkey”.  From the start it was amazing to watch Dan Crisp and how he at times mimicked Ian Anderson is both facial expressions and body jesters.  At times Dan’s voice also reminded me of Ian’s back in the 70s then I saw them.  This is not to say that Dan was trying to entirely clone Ian, but instead he added his own twist to his performance.  The one thing you realized when you saw this show, it was a heavier version of the Tull songs because of the 2 guitars and no flute.  Martin’s guitar work and riffs were great.  At different time during the show, Martin would tell us short stories about things that happened over his career or about the next song.  Martin related his gratitude to the Beatles for helping starting the Rock and Roll movement that he was able to capitalize on and make a great living.  As a tribute to the Beatles, they performed two songs, “Eleanor Rigby” and “I Want You” but they added their own twist.  Martin indicated that he was a recovering from an addiction, to cheese.  As part of his recovery, he wrote the next song, “Moment Of Madness “.  They ended the main set with three great Tull songs, “Song For Jeffery”, “Teacher” and “Fat Man”.  During “Fat Man” the entire audience was standing, clapping and singing along.  They came back for an encore and performed, “Locomotive Breath”.

If you were expecting to hear Jethro Tull songs as performed on their albums, then you would be in for a surprise.  There is no flute and Dan added a second guitar.  All of the songs have a heavier sound, but it was great.  As Martin told us during the show, if the music can’t be described, then they just label it as Prog.  Personally, I enjoy Prog music.  For me it really shows off the musician’s talents.  It typically is a more complicated style with multiple cords and tone.  If you like Jethro Tull’s music or just enjoy good rock and roll, then this is a show to see.

Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2017

Martin Barre Band Setlist:                  (Album)
Minstrel In The Gallery                            (Minstrel in The Gallery, Jethro Tull)
Steel Monkey                                        (Crest of a Knave, Jethro Tull)
Steal Your Heart Away                           (Order of Play)
Back To Steel                                         (Back to Steel)
Eleanor Rigby                                         (Beatles Cover)
I Want You                                             (Beatles Cover)
Sealion                                                  (War Child, Jethro Tull)
My Love                                                (This Was, Jethro Tull)
Hunting Girl                                            (Songs From The Wood, Jethro Tull)
Cross Road Blues                                   (Robert Johnson Cover)
Moment Of Madness                              (Back To Steel)
Song For Jeffery                                     (This Was, Jethro Tull)
Teacher                                                  (Benefit, Jethro Tull)
Fat Man                                                 (Stand Up, Jethro Tull)
Locomotive Breath                                (Aqualung, Jethro Tull)


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