All posts by Amber Jennings

Light of Day/Dark of Night – Album Review

Light of Day/Dark of Night
Pat Ferguson
Writer: Amber Jennings

With musicians coast to coast dipping their toes in American Roots music and dosing the airwaves with an onslaught of hipsters sporting acoustic guitars and crooning out their fractured melodies it can be arduous to find an artist who digs deeper into their being to pull out something greater than a whimsical tune played at the local coffee chain. Pat Ferguson (The Smokin’ Bandits) is that rare light shining through the darkness of generic Americano. The Wisconsin based performer has emerged as a renowned and nationally recognized solo artist and released this first full-length solo effort, “Light of Day/Dark of Night” on LoHi Records and it is brilliant.

The album produced by Adam Greuel of Horseshoes & Hand Grenades features guest appearances by Jacob Jolliff (Yonder Mountain String Band), Kyle Keegan (Ben Howard), Kenny Leiser (Wheelhouse), Chad Staehly (Hard Working Americans & Great American Taxi), Sarah Vos (Dead Horses) and Samual Odin (Horseshoes & Hand Grenades).

As you dive into the “Intro” and submerge into, “Howl” you know you have found something amazing. The spacious auroric sound of Odin on the bowed bass sweeps through Leiser’s violin and strings. The reflection of the vulnerability of human connection is beautifully woven with Ferguson and Vos on vocals.

“The Night”, shivers into the landscape of an amalgam of Appalachian and American Roots it is a kaleidoscope of folk music featuring Jolliff (mandolin), Greuel (vocals, boots and hands), Leiser (fiddle, vocals, boots and hands) and Odin (upright bass, boots and hands).

The warm sensation burrowing into the mind of summer twilight fluttering between bowed bass and violin in “From Me to You” is breathtaking. The compilation of artistry colors ones memories with beauty. Staehly adds an extra dimension on piano.

“Part II” baths you in light, the bowed bass blends gently with fiddle letting the space become an invitation to get lost in the magnificent sound. Ferguson intertwines lyrics into an ethos of Americano that is untouched.

The gentle pulsing intro of “Fuel the Tide”, spins a tapestry of lyrics and instruments before pitching you into a rather honky-tonk number, “Blind”.

The final song, “I Won’t Forget You”, is linear and sparse braiding with just Ferguson, Leiser and Odin seamlessly together.

Ferguson kicks off his summer tour on May 16, 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin. For additional tour dates please click here.

Intro – P. Ferguson

Howl – Pat Ferguson (Acoustic Guitars, Vocals); Kenny Leiser (Violin, Strings); Samual Odin (Bowed & Upright Bass); Sarah Vos (Vocals)

The Night – Pat Ferguson (Acoustic Guitars, Vocals, Boots & Hands); Adam Greuel (Vocals, Boots & Hands); Jacob Jolliff (Mandolin); Kenny Leiser (Fiddle, Vocals, Boots & Hands); Samual Odin (Upright Bass, Boots & Hands)

From Me to You – Pat Ferguson (Acoustic Guitar, Vocals); Kenny Leiser (Violin, Strings);
Samual Odin (Upright and Bowed Bass, Strings); Chad Staehly (Piano); Sara Vos (Vocals)

Part II – Pat Ferguson (Acoustic Guitars, Vocals); Adam Greuel (Vocals); Jacob Jolliff (Mandolin); Kenny Leiser (Fiddle, Vocals, Strings); Samual Odin (Upright and Bowed Bass, Strings); Sarah Vos (Vocals)

Fuel The Tide – Pat Ferguson (Acoustic Guitars, Vocals); Kenny Leiser (Fiddle, Vocals);
Samual Odin (Upright Bass)

Blind – Pat Ferguson (Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Vocals); Adam Greuel (Vocals); Kyle Keegan (Drums); Kenny Leiser (Fiddle, Vocals); Samual Odin (Upright Bass); Chad Staehly (Piano and Organ)

I Won’t Forget You – Pat Ferguson (Acoustic Guitar, Vocals); Kenny Leiser (Violin, Strings, Vocals); Samual Odin (Bowed Bass, Strings)

Please Be With Me (digital only)

Balsam Range with special guest John Driskell Hopkins from the Zac Brown Band

Balsam Range with special guest John Driskell Hopkins from the Zac Brown Band
Red Clay Theatre, Duluth, GA
February 17, 2018
Photographer: Michael Podrid

The Wood Brothers at The Jefferson Theater

The Wood Brothers at The Jefferson Theater
Charlottesville, VA
January 25, 2018
Writer/Photographer: Bob Adamek

The Wood Brothers opened up an extensive tour to support their upcoming album “One Drop Of Truth”, which will be released nationwide on February 2nd, at The Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville VA. The tour has them running pretty hard through April at this point, with dates already showing up in May and June. On this night the band was clearly ready to go back to work.

Continue reading The Wood Brothers at The Jefferson Theater

David Grisman and Tommy Emmanuel

David Grisman and Tommy Emmanuel
Sandler Center for the Arts
Photographer/Writer: Mark Robbins

Dave Grisman can not be pigeon-holed; bluegrass, jazz, folk, composer, producer, session player, leader, the list is endless. Jerry Garcia nicknamed him “Dawg” and what he played was “Dawg Music”. Tommy Emmanuel was given is first guitar at age 4 and by 6 he was playing in the family band, The Emmanuel Quartet. He never learned to read or write music but Chet Atkins designated him a C.G.P. – Certified Guitar Player – one of only 5 musicians to receive that title from Atkins. At home with blues, jazz, folk, Spanish traditional, Emmanuel is at times a one man band playing melody, chords and bass all at once. So, when Grisman and Emmanuel appear together, as they did at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, they are a category 5 hurricane, F5 tornado, and a tropical cyclone let loose on the stage. Playing heavily but not exclusively from their album “Pickin” the pair performed a 2 hour high energy show that no one wanted to end. Continue reading David Grisman and Tommy Emmanuel

Dustbowl Revival and Sammy Miller and the Congregation

Dustbowl Revival and Sammy Miller and the Congregation
The Hamilton, Washington D.C.
November 17, 2017
Photographer/Writer: Bob Adamek

The nearly sold out crowd at Washington D.C.’s The Hamilton Live was treated to the kind of night that made you wish you were in a band, could share such a focused vision, and enjoy the people you worked with as much as the two bands seen on this night. The crowd was loaded for the headliner, The Dustbowl Revival, an 8 piece-touring powerhouse from Los Angeles, California, and they got everything Dustbowl famously delivers and much more.

For starters, the opening act, Sammy Miller and the Congregation, put on a clinic in winning over a crowd that was for the most part, unfamiliar with them. Drummer and bandleader Sammy Miller has created an ambitious project that succeeds by virtue of his band mates buying in all the way. It is part early swing band and part comic production. They are comprised of piano, upright bass, drums, sax, trumpet and trombone, and they have vocals good enough that the band sometimes goes a cappella. Continue reading Dustbowl Revival and Sammy Miller and the Congregation

Buddy Guy and the Damn Right Blues Band Heat Up a Hot Summer Night at the Sandler Center

Buddy Guy and the Damn Right Blues Band Heat Up a Hot Summer Night at the Sandler Center
Virginia Beach, VA
August 22, 2017
Photographer/Writer: Mark Robbins

When 81 years old Buddy Guy walked from stage left to the the microphone center stage of the Sandler Center the audience was already on it’s feet. That’s how it’s been for the past 50 plus years, whether sharing the stage with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and others or, like Tuesday night, just him backed by the Damn Right Blues Band.

Continue reading Buddy Guy and the Damn Right Blues Band Heat Up a Hot Summer Night at the Sandler Center

Save the Date…High Sierra Music Festival 2018

High Sierra Festival

Loyal fans come year after year to party and relax at High Sierra Festival. The four-day music festival always kicks-off over Independence Day weekend and is a celebration of all things newgrass, jazz, reggae and electronica. AllTheRooms has rounded up the top High Sierra Festival highlights. Continue reading Save the Date…High Sierra Music Festival 2018

Wheels of Soul Tour – Tedeschi Trucks Band with special guests Hot Tuna, Wood Brothers

Wheels of Soul Tour
Tedeschi Trucks Band with special guests hottuna.com, Wood Brothers
Wednesday, July 19th 2017
Indianapolis, Indiana
The Lawn at White River State Park
Photographer: Tyler Muir
Writer: Amber Jennings

The Wheels of Soul Tour has become an essential staple to the summer concert line-up at the Lawn at White River State Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The Lawn” as locals refer to it offers one of the states best amphitheaters. The venue sits on the east bank of the river and offers concert goers striking views when the sun slips behind the amphitheater and paints the sky with stunning sunset colors.

Under a painted sky on a warm Midwest evening, special guests, Hot Tuna, opened the evening. The Americano blues and root music set the stage as concert attendees made their way onto the lawn. Continue reading Wheels of Soul Tour – Tedeschi Trucks Band with special guests Hot Tuna, Wood Brothers