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Melanie Penn, Andrew Rose Gregory & the Color Red Band
Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2
New York City, NY

It was Fat Tuesday in New York City and that means a night of good red hot music. Melanie Penn brought her new extended band to the stage of New York City's hottest music venue, the Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2. The band now consists of Melanie on vocals & guitar, Steve Elliot on guitar, Chris "Bones" Bonner on bass guitar, Spencer Cohen on drums,Gerald Menke on pedal steel & mandolin and Bryn Roberts on keyboards. The evenings set list consisted of tunes from Melanie's debut album, entitled "Wake Up Love", and newer material written after the albums release. Stylistically the material consists of singer/ songwriter tunes with a hint of modern country thrown in for good measure. The band is one of the tightest groups working the club circuit in the city and the sound is both refreshing and totally professional.

Melanie is one of an interconnected family of artists who play with and support each others work both live and recorded. The end result is a group of musicians who are at ease and at home with both their own and other artists tunes. I find that the older I get, the more of a musical snob I am becoming. I just do not have the time or the inclination to listen to or venture out to see what my friend Mike Roe would call sub-standard material. That being said, I would go see Melanie Penn anytime, anywhere. She makes this old disc jockey jump and and say great music is alive and well in New York City.

Melanie's set list included:
"I Try On"
"Stars Lament"
"Wake Up Love"
"Fred Astaire"
"Song About The Sun"
"The Monarch"
" Ordinary Day"

Up next immediately following Melanie was Andrew Rose Gregory & the Color Red Band. Andrew is not only a solo performer but a founding member of the famed New York based band "The Gregory Brothers as well as the leader of the Color Red Band. The band for this evenings performance consisted of Andrew on vocals and guitar, Evan Gregory on percussion, Sarah Gregory on vocals, Evan Mazunik on piano, Alex Foote on guitar, Jay Foote on upright bass, Matt Holman on brass and Justin Lee Keller on woodwinds. All of the tunes performed this evening were taken from an as yet unreleased project whose songs are based entirely on the "Song Of Songs" from the Bible. To my mind, at least, the music sounded like a combination of klezmer and chamber music. The effect was to say the least both beautiful and haunting at the same time. This music will stay with me for many days to come. As with Melanie Penn, Andrew Rose Gregory is an artist I would make an effort to see anytime.

The set list consisted of"
"Your Love Is better Than Wine"
"Where We Lie Down, Our Bed Is Green"
"I Am My Lover's & My Lover Is Mine"
"In The Garden Of Ein Gedi"
"If You Find My Lover, Tell Him I Am Faint With Love"
"He Is Radiant And Ruddy"
"Set Me As A Seal"
"Let Me Hear You Now"

You can keep with both of these artists through their respective web sites: 

Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock

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