Ok, it is the day after Christmas and I am taking a ride up to Infinity Music Hall. I haven’t made that trip since I used to go cross-country skiing at Great Mountain Forest.
Jeff Pitchell has been joined by Michael Allman and Charles Neville. Their names evoke the family ties and their time on stage let’s you know names or not, they provide a show. Jeff’s voice seemed stronger than ever. It was goodto see him as it has been awhile.
It was a straight shot once on Rt 44. Plenty of parking and helpful people.
I went inside to meet Jeff and the staff got me my ticket and help getting to Jeff, and even provided me a photo pass. The one thing I try to avoid is being a photojerk and disrupting someone’s enjoyment of the night. And of course follow the house rules, no flash. So some shots are a little dark.
I was escorted down to the “green room.” In this case it was more like a “green apartment.” I’ve lived in smaller places.
Met Jeff and he introduced me to Charles Neville. Not sure if I ever shook hands with a Grammy winner. We talked for a time. Jeff is pretty relaxed backstage. And after meeting Michael, it seems all three are prepared for the show. I took a before show shot.
And then made my way to the hall. It appears the show was heeaded for a sellout. By the end of the night, it looked like standing room only.
Jeff started off with some of his songs. Tunes that many in the audience were familiar with. People were quick to respond to any of Jeff’s suggestions.
Charles was alive on the sax.
Before the first song was finished, Jeff and Charles were headed out into the audience. They drew a crowd.
One stage the music cooked. Jeff’s guitar was commanding and Charles filled the room.
The audience was responsive and kept yelling and clapping. Charles took a turn on vocals and while he said he wa not the singing Neville, he was pretty good. Nice to get some New Orleans sound to heat up a cold New England town.
Michael was a performer and fan as I coud see him taking photos from the side of the stage. He is an Allman and has the family traits but he has his own style and stage presence.
Charles took up some percussion.
Michael started with some of his own songs and when he asked if the crowd wanted an Allman song or two, the audience erupted.
The last portion was Michael doing a number of vocals. Nice harmony from Charles, Jeff and the rest of the band. The men backing the headliners are a talented crew. Their abilities make the show seem so easy.
A cake was delivered and the crowd joined in singing Happy Birthday.
After two plus hour the show was reaching an end.
They came back for an encore doing Whipping Post.
The show was over and people filed out. Some stopped by to purchase CDs and get autographs. And I prepared for the ride home. When I get outside, there is a crowd on the sidewalk.
Michael was there, singing a duet with a fan.
All in all a great night of entertainment.
Questions/comments, I can be reached through the Blog comments or at email@example.com. BluesBeatNews is written, produced, directed and photographed by Domenic Forcella. My weekly Blues Beat column appears in the New Britain Herald, Bristol Press, Middletown Press and Torrington Register-Citizen.