Carley Tanchon

Carley Tanchon at Rockwood Music Hall

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Carley Tanchon headlined Rockwood Music Hall last night. We’ve seen Carley perform three full sets, plus two shows as a background vocalist. Two of the full sets were solo acoustic and one was a full band CD Release show. Last night was a full band show, giving me an even chance to rate Carley both ways.

The voting is in (the wait wasn’t that long, right?). Carley handles herself extremely well solo. She can easily hold my attention for the entire set. Still, I have to say that she really comes alive when she’s channeling her Rocker Chick, supported by a full band. She’s such a natural rocker.

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Carley has a stunning voice (true in her acoustic sets as well), but you can feel her need to belt it out, which just feels so much more right when supported by a band. She plays the guitar well (both acoustic and electric, opting for the electric with the full band). She writes catchy songs.

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If we’re having fun being in the audience, I can only imagine how much fun it is to play with her on stage. That’s why she doesn’t seem to have any problem attracting top talent to join her. That included a new face for us as well.

Left-to-right on stage:

Andrea Longato on electric guitar. Andrea took quite a number of incredible leads. He’s a major talent. Carley’s music (including her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Rihanna) lends itself to spicy rock guitar leads and Andrea delivered. We hadn’t heard of him before, but we’ll be on the lookout going forward.

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Ethan Mentzer on electric bass and light vocals (can’t find a good individual link, but Ethan is all over every mention of The Click Five). We’ve seen Ethan play bass twice before, once at the previous Carley Tanchon CD Release. So, I knew I’d enjoy his bass play, and I was correct. He also sang some harmony, the only band member who did.

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Nicky D’Agostino on drums. We’ve seen Nicky play drums twice before, with Carley and with Jesse Ruben. He was excellent at both of those shows, but I was more impressed last night, perhaps because we were up so close and personal. The only issue (I won’t say complaint) is a general Rockwood 1 thing, Nicky was quite loud (I did say we were really close to the drums, right?). In any event, he was really interesting and kept the energy at maximum level for everyone else to live up to!

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We found out after the set that Carley was sick. Amazing performance for someone who wasn’t at the top of her game. What a trooper for powering through!

To continue my theme from the previous two posts, I’ll mention that we nearly missed this show. I only found out that Carley was playing last night earlier in the week. By then, we already had dinner plans that weren’t going to end until nearly 11pm. Because of that, I didn’t put Carley in the calendar.

When we successfully moved our dinner plans, I had forgotten that Carley was playing. When I checked the Rockwood site to see who was on at 9pm (to determine whether we’d stay after Barnaby Bright, before returning for Patryk Larney at 11pm), no one was listed at 10pm at Rockwood, so I had no reminder about Carley. This was a potential disaster in the making.

Then, while I was checking out the two acts at 9pm at both stages, I liked Rebecca Pidgeon enough to decide to stick around Rockwood 1. By the time I double-checked the Rockwood site, Carley was once again listed at 10pm, which cemented my decision to catch Rebecca at 9pm.

All’s well that ends well! Smile

Jesse Terry and Carley Tanchon at Sessions 73

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At 8pm we were at Rockwood Music Hall catching a set by Derek James and the Lovely Fools. The minute the set was over we hopped in a cab and headed straight up First Avenue (no turns from Rockwood all the way to Sessions 73).

We had never been to Sessions 73 before, but any opportunity to see Jesse Terry and Carley Tanchon (separate sets) is a perfect excuse to check out a new place.

We got there just as Jesse was setting up so I didn’t have a chance to check out the rest of the place (from the site, it seems like the room opposite the bar is a restaurant, and they might even have a separate room for larger shows, but I’ll have to return to verify that).

While Jesse was soundchecking, Lois snapped a photo of Carley with Jesse’s wife:

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The bar is a long narrow room with a very nice stage set up in the corner (right up against the First Avenue windows).

This will be a super-short post (by my standards) for a number of reasons, the most important being that I’ve written about Jesse and Carley quite a number of times, and neither broke new ground last night (no one expected them to). I’ll point you to my most recent post about both them, when they appeared at a house concert.

Jesse was up first and selected a wonderful set of his music and some covers. He invited Carley up to sing with him on The Weight by The Band (excellent!). To close the show, he asked people to pick one of two choices. I yelled up Natural (which wasn’t one of the choices, rebel that I am!). Jesse looked for confirmation from others to make sure I wasn’t overruling the collective desire. He got the nod, and proceeded to melt everyone in the bar. Smile

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Carley also performed a mixed set (mostly originals). Her cover was an homage to Stevie Nicks, her favorite singer. She even bothered to learn the tricky guitar parts that she and Jesse used to hum when they played it together in the past. Winking smile

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This was a bar, so I won’t complain that occasionally people talked. At times, so loudly that you had to wonder why, since this was solo acoustic music, they could have heard each other without the screaming, but hey, it’s not unexpected here. That can make Sessions 73 a hit-or-miss place to see someone you really like, but possibly a good place to discover some talent if you can put up with the chattering (which I can, in this situation).

The other complaint is that the sound guy is about the nicest person you could imagine (hey, I know, that doesn’t sound like a complaint!). Unfortunately, he didn’t get the vocals right last night (and there was only a single person singing for all but The Weight).

The vocals were off in that they were a drop too loud, but really had too much punch in them. It wasn’t quite reverb, it was more like being attacked by the vocals. It was worse in the mid-range, so Jesse suffered the effect more than Carley.

In a horrible ironic twist, while Carley introduced her last song, he must have noticed it too, and he turned off the effect (he didn’t lower the volume). Her voice became clearer instantly. She then sang the song (amazingly, Blues in C, check it out!), with no ill vocal effects. So, it can be done right at Sessons 73 as well.

We had a fun (but another late!) night out. Come join us at Rockwood 2 tonight at 9pm for the amazing Delta Rae!

Jesse Terry, Michael Logen and Carley Tanchon at a House Concert

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For people who see live music as often as we do, I’m still amazed that it’s only been eight months since our first-ever house concert. We’ve been to a reasonable number of them since. Last night brought us full circle. We attended a concert at the same house that kicked it off, with the same headliner, with two other artists.

I’m normally very long winded (for the newcomers here, it’s because I write purely for myself, to remember the events in detail). Today, since I’ve written about all three performers (Jesse most of all), I’ll be briefer about them. You can click through above to see more about Jesse from the last house concert, or the links below for my coverage of Michael and Carley. You’re welcome! Smile

Jesse Terry was spectacular (again). In addition to selecting (and performing) a great set, he was on fire with his banter (quick and witty). He dedicated two songs to our amazing hostess. He dedicated another to a therapist in the room (a deeply moving song called Silver Hills, that melted everyone’s heart when Jesse introduced it). He dedicated another to Lois (I think just because he knew he could make her cry, he’s cruel that way!). Winking smile

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Jesse made reference to a video shot in Vanuatu. He mentioned that it’s the last documented case of cannibalism (we found out later it was roughly 25 years ago). None of the people in the video look like they were involved in that incident, but you never know, so be careful (especially of the one guy who dances behind Jesse, looking a little too happy!). The woman in the pink dress is now Jesse’s wife (not yet when the video was shot) and the woman in the straw hat, bikini top and shorts is Carley, another of the performers last night:

Ain’t No Tellin by Jesse Terry

Here’s Jesse telling the story about the video:

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And the lovely ladies who appear in the video:

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And the effect the story had on Carley!

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Michael Logen alternated songs with Jesse (like he did the only other time we’ve seen him). This time it was only acoustic guitar (he played the grand piano as well at Rockwood). I’ll repeat that Jesse was right when he said we’d love Michael, we do!

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Michael has a wonderful voice, plays the guitar and harmonica beautifully, and writes excellent songs, many of which are very moving. We were happy to buy his CD last night, Things I Failed to Mention (we ran out too quickly after the Rockwood show), so now we’ll get to hear them over and over.

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At Rockwood, Michael harmonized with Jesse on Noise (a song they co-wrote), while accompanying him on the piano. Last night, he also harmonized (beautifully) and accompanied Jesse on the guitar. In fact, Michael added a bit of harmony to a few of Jesse’s songs last night (and Jesse returned the favor once or twice). I was sitting less than two feet from Michael, so I could hear every note, but Lois asked him to sing his harmonies louder, because they were so well done!

Carley Tanchon opened the show. We had a tiny taste of Carley, singing harmony with Jesse on one song at The Bitter End. Then we finally got to see her goods at her CD Release Show at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2. That was a full band, all-out Rock ‘N Roll show.

Last night was solo with acoustic guitar. Still, everything I said about her in that show applies. Aside from the generic fact that Carley has a stunning voice, it’s a bit hard to imagine a better fitting voice for a house concert. No microphone? No problem! Her voice projects so clearly and cleanly. She has such power, but there’s no yelling about it.

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Jesse called Carley up to sing harmony on Ain’t No Tellin (the video above). Of course, the harmony was gorgeous.

They closed the show by calling Carley back up again and all three (but mostly Jesse and Carley) sang To Love Somebody by the Bee Gees. Of course they nailed it, but more interestingly, nearly everyone sang the chorus with them, quite well.

Excluding an intermission, they played for three hours (or a bit more!). It was by far the longest house concert we’ve seen. It was awesome, but made for a very late night, since we still had to drive back to Manhattan from Long Island.

Here are a few photos from before and after the show:

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Now that I’ve gotten the music out of the way, let’s get to real point of last night, eating our hostess’ food! Ah, you think I jest, but I don’t! Last year’s meal was one of the best home cooked meals I’ve had. I’ll admit (now) that I was bit nervous if the second time around would live up to my own memories and expectations.

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No need to worry! There was an even bigger choice, so there were a few dishes I didn’t get to taste, but everything I ate (which was a lot of variety) was simply amazing. Pasta Puttanesca, Beet Salad, Rigatoni with meat sauce, Meatballs, Tandoori Chicken, Indian-spiced Chickpeas (cooked, not a salad), Bean Dip with Chips, Homemade Breads (made by a male guest!).

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Every bite was excellent, but I still can’t get the taste of the meatballs out of my head. If my godson had been there, I don’t think they could have gotten him to leave. Winking smile

The reason I didn’t eat everything (I skipped the Poached Salmon, Asparagus Salad, Grilled Chicken, Basmati Rice, Veggie Wraps and a few other dishes) is because last year I was too full to enjoy the incredible desserts. Since I am occasionally capable of learning from my mistakes, I saved room.

While trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid stares from Lois, I did indeed indulge in a number of desserts during intermission and after the show. They were all amazing, but I have to shout out to the chocolate covered strawberries (OMG) and the blond-mini-kisses covered pretzels. Desserts were provided by a variety of guests, so a special thank you to all of you!

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Merry, you outdid yourself! So, now I’m already nervous about the next house concert and what you will serve to delight me (that’s why you’re doing these shows, right?). Smile

Carley Tanchon at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2

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Our first tiny taste of Carley Tanchon occurred on December 3rd, 2010 when she sang harmony on a song with Jesse Terry at The Bitter End. I give my first impressions of Carley in the last few paragraphs of this post.

Since then, we’ve come close to attending a number of Carley’s shows, but scheduling snafus conspired against us each time.

Last night was Carley’s CD Release show for Leave the Light On at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2. We were actually scheduled to miss that too, but this time, we conspired successfully against our own schedule and were able to attend! Smile

I knew Carley was performing with a full band, so I knew that I would hear something completely different from her harmonizing with Jesse with only an acoustic guitar accompanying the two. I was right.

The set started off with an extremely pleasant surprise though. In addition to a normal full band (two electric guitars, electric bass, electronic keyboards and drums), Carley had a horn section (trumpet and tenor sax). Have I mentioned how much I love horns? (you know the answer if you read this space regularly.)

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While I would describe Carley as performing a mostly Rock set, there was plenty of diversity (Jazz/Blues/Pop) to satisfy most people.

For me, first and foremost, experiencing Carley Tanchon is about being blown away by her voice. So powerful, so clean, so versatile. She hits the nearly-falsetto highs softly and sweetly. She belts out the midrange like the best rockers. She can sultry it up on more jazzy/bluesy numbers as well. Her voice is a fine-tuned instrument.

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She’s a talented songwriter, as you’ll discover if you check her out online, or better yet, pick up her new CD! She also plays the guitar well.

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I listened to the CD this morning (we bought two copies last night) and I like it a lot. That said, it felt much softer to me than her more gutty/raw performance last night. I can’t be sure whether Carley wanted it that way, or it was produced that way, but I encourage anyone who likes the CD to go out of their way to see Carley live for a more intense (in the most positive way) experience.

Carley was backed by an excellent group of musicians. Standing left-to-right on the stage:

Matt Owens on trumpet (I can find a number of mentions, but no good individual link). Very nice job. The brass section was on stage for a few of the numbers and to sing with the audience on the closing number.

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James Casey on tenor sax. Wow! Not enough of James, but since the set started off highlighting him, his skill was obvious from the first minutes. In searching for James, I noticed that both he and Matt play with Tim Blane. Now I have another band I need to look out for. Smile

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Amy Crawford on electronic keyboards and harmony. Given two electric guitars, a bass, drums and brass section, I honestly couldn’t make out a single note on the keyboards, so I can’t comment on Amy’s skill there. But, I had no trouble hearing her sing harmony with Carley, beautifully. She has a wonderful voice (as you can hear on her site, linked to her name). She’s locally based, so I look forward to discovering more of Amy’s own music as well.

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Nicky D’Agostino on drums. Nicky kept the beat lively throughout. Very crisp, even though he’s a hard hitter. Two thumbs up!

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Ethan Mentzer on electric bass and light harmony. Most links about Ethan relate to his work as member of The Click Five (TC5) so you can read about him there. Kyle McCammon is Carley’s usual bass player. I don’t know why he couldn’t make it. I believe that Jesse Terry suggested that Carley reach out to Ethan. I am sure Carley has no regrets. Certainly the audience didn’t have any. Winking smile

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Adam Tressler on lead electric guitar and harmony. Last, but certainly not least, Adam blew away the crowd with his extremely tasty, fast and diverse leads throughout the set. He also sang nearly as much harmony as Amy did, but it was only a few times that I could actually hear his voice. Those times were very sweet (because the three-part harmony came together).

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Adam looked familiar to me, but I admit that I didn’t have a clue as to why, until I looked him up (in my own blog!). We’ve seen Adam once before, 13 months ago, when he subbed for Chris Kuffner at Ian Axel’s show at Joe’s Pub!

Here’s what I said about him that night:

Adam Tressler was a new addition (for us) playing electric guitar and a bit of harmony. I didn’t hear quite enough to have a strong opinion, but the little I heard was quite nice. Ian’s music doesn’t tend to highlight solo guitars (which is fine) but Adam supported the rest well enough.

Since Carley definitely highlights the electric guitar (hers as well as Adam’s), the above paragraph no longer applies. Adam has the skills!

In case you have any trouble remembering the name of Carley’s new CD, here’s a visual reminder that will hopefully stick:

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We had a great time and were thankful to have made the change in our schedule. We also thoroughly enjoyed meeting Carley’s family. They made the long drive from Ohio to come celebrate this wonderful moment with her.

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Jesse Terry at The Bitter End

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What do you do the night before you get married? Have a wild bachelor party? Meditate on the changes your life is about to experience? Not if you’re Jesse Terry, a wonderful singer/songwriter who hails from Nashville. You give your family, friends and fans a chance to celebrate with you.

Jesse Terry played a 35-minute set at The Bitter End last night (he’s getting married today!). We had heard about Jesse for over a year from one of his biggest fans and finally got to see him perform three months ago at a house concert at that fan’s (our friend’s) house. I covered that night in this post. We’ve been big fans ourselves ever since.

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Last night started off a bit shaky. Jesse and his entourage (fiancée, mother-in-law-to-be, others?) allowed two hours to make a 40-minute drive to the city. With crazy holiday traffic, it wasn’t enough. After scrambling to set up, Jesse’s set started 15 minutes late. That’s fine, it only added to the anticipation. Smile

Jesse played a seven song set of mixed genres. The third song was Natural, one of two songs that Lois plays over (and over, and over, and over…). Jesse switched from up-tempo strumming to fantastic finger-picking for this heart-tugger. I linked to the YouTube video in the last post, but I’m going to do it again, because you need to hear it (even if you’ve heard it before!). Smile

Jesse Terry performing Natural at the Bluebird Cafe

A couple of songs later Jesse asked for any requests. Lois was first with a request for Noise, but we heard at least five other people call out Noise, including Jesse’s father! Noise is another stunning song, finger-picked to perfection. I can’t resist linking that one either. Winking smile

Jesse Terry peforming Noise at the Bluebird Cafe

If you don’t know Jesse, don’t be fooled into thinking that everything he does is mellow finger-picking (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Winking smile Jesse is simply a wonderful singer/songwriter who isn’t shackled to one style. These two songs just happen to blow both of us away.

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To close out his set, Jesse invited up his duet partner, Carley Tanchon to sing with him. Jesse and Carley performed together for months on a South Pacific cruise. It’s on that cruise that Jesse met his bride-to-be, Jess (yes, they’ll be Jess and Jesse Terry). Smile

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Carley has a gorgeous voice (you can check it out in the link to her MySpace page above). The two of them sang beautifully together and ended the set on a high note.

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Congratulations to Jesse and Jess as your new life together begins in a few hours!