Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shelby Lynne Trains Findlay Brown and Tames Peter Wolf at Johnny D's

The great thing about Johnny D's in Davis Square is that you can be just walking by and see on the marquee that someone you love is playing. And that's the way it was late Friday night when I noticed that Shelby Lynne was playing early Saturday evening. I showed up at 6:45pm for a 6:30pm show that didn't start until 7:30pm. In the meantime there was an opening act. And coming in, I met a couple trying to go out. "Can we get a refund for these?" they said handing back their tickets. "This is not what we expected."

Well my ears pricked up at that. What they weren't expecting was Findlay Brown singing Love Will Find You. Findlay hails from a small village in East Yorkshire, by way of York, London, and now New York City.

Findlay laid it on thick, commenting how he loves touring our wonderful country, how for him America is a musical pilgrimage. He listed his musical heroes as American's Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Townes Van Zandt.

This night Findlay definitely had the look and sound of Roy and Elvis. I wasn't always sure where he was going, but I wasn't leaving. No refunds were issued to the couple, by the way. They were convinced to stay.

I discovered Shelby Lynne somewhere between I am Shelby Lynne and Identity Crisis. She's got an old-fashioned country style and a lot of sensibility.

She's out singing songs from a new album, Tears, Lies, And Alibis, that she cut on her own record label. It features some great new songs like Old #7, Alibi, and my favorite Loser Dreamer.

She also had a bonus act with Peter Wolf, who she called up for a duet on the song Tragedy from his new album Midnight Souvenirs. He's got a great story about how a country music artist like Shelby Lynne gets duets with a rock and roll star like Peter Wolf. I'm loving it!

Would Peter Wolf arranging a J. Geils Band reunion show at Johnny D's be too much to hope for? I'll watch the marquee. If you don't want to wait, you can catch Peter Wolf on May 25 at the Wilbur Theatre and the J. Geils Band with Aerosmith on August 14 at Fenway Park.

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