Month: May 2019

Review: Classic Albums Live “Chronicle, Vol. 1”

headerBy Monica Jarrell, guest blogger

Chronicle, Vol. 1, also known as Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits, is a greatest hits album by Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) released by Fantasy Records in January 1976. Classic Albums Live honors the legacy of CCR by performing their Chronicle album without changing any of the music. Each song is played with every note and rhythm of each song perfectly replicated.

As the lights dimmed and the musicians unceremoniously came on stage, there was a hush that came over the audience as they anticipated the performance that was about to begin. The band members were not in matching costumes, or sequins or flashy attire. They are dressed in black and were all about the music. Without any introductions, the band began to tune their guitars and prepped to perform “Susie-Q,” the first song of the album.

Being a part of the audience, I found myself along with many others, bobbing my head, clapping and tapping my toes as we all sang along with the band. Once “Susie-Q” came to an end, the band performed “I Put a Spell on You,” followed by “Proud Mary” and “Bad Moon Rising.” Mike Slute, the lead vocalist, nailed the vocals. It was as if I was there in 1976 when the original album was released.

In the first half of the show, there was very little to no interaction between the band and the audience. Mike Slute explained at intermission that they rather play the music just like the original album. After intermission, during the second half, they took liberties.

The second half was kicked off with the second album.  The band played “Run Through the Jungle,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” and many more. Lead guitarist Shane Honkonen blew the audience away with his ability to play the guitar, replicating each note as it was originally written and performed. It was mesmerizing to watch him play and I got lost in the music.

James Taylor, who played the bass and vocals, was very connected with the audience.  He seemed to really enjoy himself.  This translated to the audience.  He joked with drummer Ryan Granville Martin, who also kept the audience entertained.  Included in the performance were some local musicians. These musicians only met the band the day before.  They were incredible together! One would have thought they were all on tour together. On percussion and sax was Eric Natsuhiro Jordan, Bill Stephens was on keys, and on trumpet and percussion was Dylan Vessel.

The night ended with everyone signing “The Midnight Special.”  It was the perfect ending to an amazing show.

If you have not seen Classic Albums Live, you will want to check back often on the Lone Tree Arts Center web site.  Classic Albums Live is an all-time favorite and performs here frequently. The next title they will perform is Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon on Saturday, June 8. Tickets for that performance are available here.

Preview: Classic Albums Live “Chronicle Vol. 1

headerBy Monica Jarrell, guest blogger

Did you enjoy listening to the songs of Creedence Clearwater Revival on your record player or on your 8 tracks when you were younger? The music of Creedence Clearwater Revival could be heard blaring out of car radios as they drove by or at roller rinks in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Classic Albums Live at the Lone Tree Arts Center is the only place where you can listen to the music of Creedence Clearwater performed with such accuracy, it’ll be as if you were in the recording studio when the original was recorded.

The Classic Albums Lives concert series was founded in 2003 in Toronto, Ontario by a musician named Craig Martin, who previously produced a series of boutique cabaret shows, including composing music for television and stage. Classic Albums live is a concert series in which musicians perform a classic rock album in its entirety and play each song in its perfection.

Creedence Clearwater Revival (often called CCR) was one of America’s greatest bands.  The music of CCR reached across generations with their mix of “blues” and “rock and roll. ” Remember “Down on the Corner,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain”? You can hear these classics and much more when you come to see Classic Albums Live on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at the Lone Tree Arts Center.

Before CCR, John Fogerty, lead vocalist, lead guitarist and primary songwriter, joined his brother Tom Fogerty rhythm guitarist, Stu Cook, bass and drummer Doug Clifford in 1959 and formed the band The Blue Velvets. They were later called the Golliwogs. Their musical style encompassed roots rock, swamp rock, and blues rock. They played in a Southern rock style, despite their San Francisco Bay Area origin, with lyrics about bayous, catfish, the Mississippi River, and other popular elements of Southern United States.  They also wrote and sang political and socially conscious topics including the Vietnam War.

The band performed at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Upstate New York.  CCR was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.  Creedence Clearwater Revival’s music is still a staple of US radio airplay; the band has sold 28 million records in the United States alone. Rolling Stone ranked them 82nd on its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

The talented musicians of Classic Albums Live will thrill audiences, young and old, playing all CCR’s greatest hits including “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”. You will not want to miss the instantly-recognizable, toe tapping songs of one of the world’s greatest classic rock albums performed live on stage. You will be treated to an exact replication of the song’s as they were originally performed.

Purchase your tickets now, before they sell out!

Review: Oh SNAP!

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Oh SNAP!

By Kristi Andrus, guest blogger

If you are heading to Lone Tree Arts Center tonight, Sunday 5/5/19, at 7pm, for SNAP, you’re in for a treat. The show is silent, illusory storytelling with a mixture of shadow art, a disappearing door that leads to other worlds, or maybe dreamland, a very unusual juggler, bumbling mimes, and even a tribute to your favorite first-generation video games. It’s hard to explain, but it’s so much fun!

Eight Korean performers star in the contemporary magical mystery performance. The energy is upbeat, and I found myself rooting for the mimes, even though they never utter a word. They weren’t heroic necessarily, but good-hearted and resolute. The music is fun and appropriate – it’s scary during suspenseful scenes, and energetic when the action is frantic.

I took my three little ones, 6, 6, and 4, and they were mesmerized from start to finish. They kept saying “It’s so funny, mom. How did they do that?!” I especially loved not knowing what was next. Truly, when was the last time you couldn’t guess what was coming or how something ended?

The storyline flipped back and forth from the real (ish) world to the dreamlike characters, and it felt a little vaudevillian and little bit woo-woo. I think there might have been a subtle message in there somewhere, but with the kids, we missed it, or rather we embraced SNAP for its lighthearted comedic elements instead.

Highlights included:

  • The color-changing clown who had a magic Lego box that played cartoons (or is it animated episodes now?) and classic video games.
  • The cards that morphed to confetti and glitter and more!
  • The umbrella dances.
  • The paint studio shenanigans, especially the paint brushes that kept appearing in hands, the hand the crawled out of the painting, and the sneezes that made things disappear.

It was the perfect length and perfect tempo for families. Enjoy!!

Review: An Intimate Evening with the Ivy Street Ensemble

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By Theresa Allen, guest blogger

On April 26, 2019, the Ivy Street Ensemble presented a spirited evening of chamber music at the Lone Tree Arts Center. The performance celebrated the music of three, prolific, male composers, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ferde Grofé alongside the works of two modern, female, master composers, Rebecca Clarke and Maria Newman. Members of the Ivy Street Ensemble include Catherine Peterson on flute, Erik Peterson on violin, Phillip Stevens on viola, and Danielle Guideri on cello. All of the performers are also members of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

The concert featured commentary by Betsy Schwarm, a local music historian, who warmly provided context and analysis on each composition for the audience.  For those of us who were new to chamber music, Schwarm said that this form was written to be performed by three or four instruments in small intimate spaces, such as a living or drawing room. She said that in chamber compositions, no one particular instrument is the star, rather the music is an interplay of parts that showcase the strengths of each instrument.

The concert opened with “Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola Op 25” by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). Schwarm explained that Beethoven wrote this in 1801, when he was merely 30 years old. At the time, Beethoven was writing Mozart inspired symphonies and this playful, light, spirited piece reflects that influence. While chamber music may have been originally played in a drawing room, the Lone Tree Arts Center’s stage has wonderful acoustics and this beautiful, elegant music filled the room leaving the audience with the sense of having experienced something quite remarkable.

The second performance, “Two Pieces for Viola and Cello,” by Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) was constructed in two parts, the first a lullaby, a form most of us are familiar with and the second part was a grotesque, which Schwarm described as being quirky and irregular. Stevens and Guideri performed together giving us a beautiful, soft lullaby that was executed with dramatic precision and then a bright, lively, full-sounding piece for the grotesque movement.

The Ivy Street Ensemble then performed Table d’Hote: Humoresque, by Ferde Grofé (1892-1972), which was originally written in 1945. Schwarm explained that the title takes its name from the convivial gathering of people conversing around the main table in a restaurant, and as such, the performance evolves through many moods from cheerful to melancholy and back to lively.  I noticed members of the audience listening so intently and silently that you could hear a pin drop.

We then heard a thrilling rendition of Mozart’s (1756-1791) “Quartet for Flute and Strings in D Minor, Op. 285” which was written for the flute as the lead. The first movement was a lilting serenade that transitioned into a soft, sad mood that allowed the audience to appreciate the mastery and genius of Mozart.

The last work that the Ivy Street Ensemble performed was “Pennipotenti for Flute, Violin, and Viola” composed by Maria Newman (1962). Schwarm noted that Newman is from Los Angeles and is the daughter of composer Alfred Newman as well as related to Randy Newman, the musician. Composed in 2005, the title of this composition means “the power of feathers,” and Newman created in four movements representing birds. The first movement, “The Dipper,” soars bewitchingly light and playful, the second movement “The Hummingbird,” is fast and furious, the third movement, “The Snowy Owl” is quiet with its deeply moving harmonies and textures, and the last movement, “The Falcon” is complex, contemporary, and full of energy and power. Newman’s piece was a splendid ending to a delightful evening of beautiful music sprinkled with charming stories by Betsy Schwarm.

In addition, the Ivy Street Ensemble also generously gave each member of the audience their latest CD, Serenades: Then and Now. If you’d like to learn more about the Ivy Street Ensemble, you can visit their website at http://www.earwarp.com