Buffalo Friends of Folk Music

Concert Reviews

Doug Yeomans/Joe Crookston:

The evening opened with Doug Yeomans, a longtime Buffalo performer. His guitar work was exceptional, especially with his closing instrumental, Amazing Grace, which featured a jaw dropping verse done completely with harmonics. Great Job!
The headliner, Joe Crookston, took the stage with a flurry of high energy and very entertaining quirky/funny original songs garnered from his love of people and many connections he has made by purposely seeking out the essence of those he comes in contact with. He showed his versatility by also picking up the Banjo for a very interesting medley which began with the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood". Joe seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself and his enjoyment was infectious as the more than willing crowd, with his encouragement, gleefully joined in on many of his witty tunes! A great time was had by all!...(as far as I know!)

Lynn Miles:

Lynn Miles was great!...She had wonderful stage presence and confidence. Her angelic voice was beautiful and powerful. Her comedic interludes between songs were as entertaining as the songs themselves!
She writes songs of the heart, albeit a broken one. If you or a friend of yours is going through a heartbreak or a rough time, just listen to one of her CD's and feel the catharsis it inspires.
This was a fantastic opening night to the BFFM concert series!

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David Wilcox: by Rick Battaglia

Comfortable and comforting, like a well worn sweater one keeps for wintry days.  Winter was certainly top of mind for all who attended last night's Buffalo Friends of Folk Music concert and David Wilcox, like the cherished sweater, provided the comfort.  The venue, the Village Meeting House, was perfect for his music: simple in design, intimate in size, and communal in history.

 

It has been a few years since I first and last saw David Wilcox perform.  Introduced to his music by a very dear friend, his warm voice, pleasing guitar, and thoughtful lyrics hold a special place in my heart.   Finally, an opportunity to see him again.

 

After providing a brief musical summary of his challenging six and a half hour drive from New York City, through snow, sleet, and ice - all done as a last minute house sound adjustment - David began with Show the Way, a song representative of his ability to evoke deep emotions about troubling situations, yet ultimately reminding one that love and good should and will triumph. 

 

"There is evil cast around us
But it's love that wrote the play...
For in this darkness love can show the way"

 

Unexpectedly in 2001, these lyrics provided a ray of light for many of his fans in the dark days following the World Trade Center attack.  I remember it well.   Those days seem distant, but there remains evil cast around us - far and near - that makes this song powerful still. 

 

David Wilcox has always combined his music with storytelling.  This performance provided many examples, including Start with the Ending - a "lighthearted" reverse chronology in story that ends with a twinkle in someone's eye and a song that describes a brutally honest "ending" of a relationship, one which paradoxically guarantees its long term success.

 

Another affecting story connected two songs - Three Brothers (from his latest release) and Native Tongue.  Longstanding conflicts, hopes of resolution, and the power of music and words provide the backdrop for both story and song, both personal and geopolitical.  A simple message, one neither new nor grand, but in his gentle way, he makes it seem possible.

 

Vehicles provide metaphor in a variety of his songs, with samples this night including Rusty Old American Dream, Eye of the Hurricane, and the new This Old Car.  

 

Another vehicle, an Airstream "cool rolling home," provided transportation for his family and inspiration for his latest album, aptly titled Airstream.  Two years on the road, traveling across the country with wife Nance and son Nate along for the adventure, seems to have provided an opportunity for the Wilcox family to connect deeply with each other and with the people and places visited.  The series of songs which comprise Airstream were featured prominently in his second set, including Perfect Storm, Plain View, and Reaper Sweepstakes - among others.

 

David Wilcox does so much so well.  What he often does best is describe relationships in ways which are honest, familiar, and, most importantly, filled with deep love.   His belief in love is powerful.  When you hear him sing as he does, you, too, begin to understand its healing and transforming power.    Quiet and moving, songs like Language of the Heart and How Did you Find Me Here? were highlights.

 

Other notable songs performed along the course of over two hours of music were That's What The Lonely Is For, Never Enough, and the ever beautiful Slipping Through My Fist.

 

During a brief intermission, David spoke with any and all, answering questions about his music and guitars, listening humbly to kind words about his music, and generously offering to sign and personalize copies of his work.  He appears genuine on stage and is truly quite genuine off stage.  That insight makes the music even more special, as you realize he writes songs and performs them from a place deep within his heart.  The spirit he creates with his music goes beyond words.   Upon reflection at the end of the evening you see the whole and it is so much more than the individual songs.  It is a world view from which one can draw strength, hope, and purpose.

 

I won't spend my whole life hiding
Where no soul could ever thrive
I can't live with just surviving
My heart wants to feel alive

Life is change, and change looks frightening
Watch that wind I've been warned
But I live to feel this lightning
In this perfect storm



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