JD Mcpherson and his amazing band gave a very wanting crowd quite a show at Headliners Music Hall on Sunday night. The opening acts did not disappoint either.
The night began at 7 pm with Woodrow on the Radio planting the seeds of rock and roll and musical excitement. As always, Woody's wax spinning put a little liveliness in everybody in attendance. Though the next act, Sean Rowe, walked on stage equipped only with an acoustic guitar and an amplifier he could probably have fit in his back pocket, he did no less than keep the liveliness going. It took the crowd about half a song to make it up to the stage, and everyone seemed a bit mesmerized by Rowe's deeply emotional lyrics and commanding energy.
When JD Mcpherson finally made it to the stage, the crowd screamed and pleaded relentlessly for his dance-inciting rock and roll. He started out with a Louisville favorite (WFPK has its two recorded in-studio sessions with the song as well as the album version on regular rotation) "Dimes and Nickels". Accompanied not only by the usual rhythm section, but also two pianos and a saxophone, Mcpherson's sound was as full as it could be.
They rarely took it slow, but did not fail to make use of their laid back hits like "A Gentle Awakening". Neither did they lack variety. Rockabilly often faded nearly into country, and next headed straight for soul. Mcpherson's bassist, producer and collaborator Jimmy Sutton sang a few songs on his own, featuring even a little Bo Diddley.
The band played a solid four songs for the encore, allowing for each member to take a few solos each. By the end of the show, most of the crowd was either jumping or being jumped on. Mcpherson promised to return to Louisville as soon as possible. "I don't know if its those tall tobacco plants that grow here, or that sweet nectar in those oak barrels," he said, "but there's something special about this place."
And by the way, my wonderful photographer, Mary Burks, did indeed get many amazing pictures from the show. Unfortunately, however, my computer was stolen, so I am unable to share them with you. But I promise the show looked great!
Photo: courtesy of JD Mcpherson