MUSIC REVIEW | Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby play superfreak’in fast!

An almost sold-out crowd welcomed legendary musicians Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby and settled in for a toe-tapping, hand clapping, fast moving night of amazing music with a heavy concentration on bluegrass, followed up by rock and gospel sprinkled with elegant jazz moments. If I could write this review as fast as they could play, I’d be done in 30 seconds flat, which makes me wonder if anyone has measured the speed of Skaggs’ hand on mandolin strings, or of Hornsby’s fingers on the piano keys? My guess is that it would rival World Series MPH pitching numbers.The music started just shy of being on time, and played on for well over two hours straight.  Skaggs and Hornsby shared the November 2 spotlight at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center with Kentucky Thunder featuring Andy Leftwich on fiddle, Cody Kilby on lead guitar, Paul Brewster on rhythm guitar and harmony vocals, Justin Moses on banjo and dobro,  Mark Fain on bass, and Ed Faris also on rhythm guitar and adding baritone vocals. Patrons were able to meet the musicians after the show, too, as the tour is doubling as a book release party for Skaggs and his autobiography, “Kentucky Traveler: My Life In Music” and the Hornsby/Skaggs “Cluck Ol’ Hen” CD launch.The show opened with the unmistakable sounds of Skaggs’ mandolin playing which was supported first quietly, and then more intensely, by Hornsby’s signature piano playing. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Chris Cornell pulls pages from his songbook at the O’Shaughnessy

I was 14 years old when Superunknown was released. I remember being motivated to buy it after hearing “Fell On Black Days” and “Black Hole Sun” on the radio and being absorbed by Kim Thayil’s licks and Chris Cornell’s stellar vocals that were unlike anything I’d ever heard. The ‘Screaming Elf’ on the cover freaked me out so badly and it was impossible not to stare at it while listening to the album. Soon to follow, I picked up Badmotorfinger and Louder Than Love, but it was Superunknown that got worn out in my CD player and is still a regular whenever I want to rock out. Chris Cornell’s voice is so smooth and transcending, no matter your musical taste, you can’t help but be stirred by it. That’s why his career has spanned decades, and why he played to a sold out crowd at The O’Shaughnessy last night.Soundgarden’s frontman rolled out onto stage on a red beach chopper-styled cruiser, complete with black handle bar tassels, to screaming fans who regularly yelled, “I love you Chris!” throughout the night.“I’m gonna do some songs. Continue Reading

MUSIC PHOTOS | Xavier Rudd at the Minnesota Zoo Amphitheatre

July: The time in Minnesota for enjoying long summer evenings before we are strong-armed into the icy hold of winter which inevitably comes. We love the energy the warm summer sun brings to us, the energy we long for during the winter months. This same energy can come from music. As deep rhythm blends with the warm evening breeze, this energy flows through the amphitheatre. The voices of the crowd croon in unison with the chorus exuding from the speakers, and every soul is one with Xavier Rudd. Continue Reading

MUSIC REVIEW | Xavier Rudd brings Australia to First Avenue

Even though I’m not a hippie, the hippie inside me couldn’t help but bob my head, sway my hips, and stomp my feet while finding it impossible to keep the smile from spreading across my face. With a perfect view of the mainroom from the platform behind the soundboard, the crowd appeared like ripples on the water, rhythmically swaying in unison and sharing their energy with the barefoot performer who was seemingly levitating over the stage before them as he shared his virtuosity.

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STYLE PHOTOS | Mexico Magico Fashion Show at Solera

On September 28, Solera hosted Mexico Magico, a fashion show featuring some of Mexico’s premier designers. The event was part of MNfashion Week, which a weeklong event dedicated to enhancing the local fashion industry in Minnesota by giving designers, boutique owners, and other industry professionals an opportunity to display their work at various events. The designers for Mexico Magico included Carla Fernandez, Jose Maria Torre, Alexia Ulibarri, and Delia Gonzalez.

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MUSIC REVIEW | Trampled by Turtles had mayors bodysurfing at First Avenue

A damn good show deserves a damn good review. But what do you do when the show is an extraordinary, engaging, vibrant, and completely groovy experience? Well, you hope that your words can attempt to come close to what the artist gave the audience. Seeing Trampled by Turtles live for the first time is one thing, but seeing them live for the first time at First Avenue is a happening you feel the need to share with others.

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