Last week we attended the sold out WFUV Holiday Cheer concert at the beautiful Beacon Theatre in Manhattan. On the bill were four distinct and different artists including: The Record Company, Corinne Bailey Rae, Lucinda Williams, and my favorite Amos Lee.
The show opened with a short, three song set by up and comers The Record Company. They are 3 guys (bass player, drummer, and a singer who plays many instruments including harmonica), playing fun southern rock in similar style to Robert Randolph. They have a lot of energy and were great about including the audience – skills many seasoned performers lack.
Next up was the beautiful Corinne Bailey Rae. She is such a vibrant, personable and quirky performer with a buoyant voice. She had just a keyboard player and guitar to back her up but she delivered a great bluesy soul set of new songs and classics including Put Your Record On and Just Like A Star. She also did a moving cover of Joni Mitchell’s River for the holiday season.
Following Ms. Rae was 3 time Grammy winner Lucinda Williams with rambling stories, but the songs to back them up. She’s a true southern rocker and held her own on the guitar with much younger guitarist, Stuart Mathis, accompanying her. Even though she seemed to have her lyrics on a music stand at her side she delivered and gave a great set including the great Lake Charles, a duet with Amos Lee, the upbeat Honey Bee and closing out with the political and anti-Trump Foolishness.
Heading this wonderful benefit concert was one of my favorite singers, Amos Lee. His voice is flawless and super soulful and really got into his grove on his second song Jesus. He brought out Corinne Bailey Rae to duet with him on a horn heavy version of Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight. Mr. Lee then brought out another special guest, Rachel Price (from another favorite band of mine, Lake Street Dive), and they did an awesome rendition of Spirit, off Amos’ latest album. Amos threw in a crowd pleasing cover of Sara Smile by Hall & Oates and then brought out Lucinda Williams for another special duet of I Envy The Wind. For the encore, since this was a concert of holiday cheer, Amos and Rachel did a great cover of This Christmas and then brought out all the artists from the night, minus Lucinda, and ended the evening with a great and soulful Silent Night, with Amos’ beautiful falsetto really shining through on his verse.
This was a great night of music for a great cause! I was happy to have been a part of it and to witness so many wonderful collaborations.