Sanctuary Chatham NY 10/02/10

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Sanctuary Chatham NY 10/02/10

Postby Tom » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:11 pm

Hey guys,

Thanks for the feedback and video posts on The Sanctuary show, sounds like another great night for all.

Here's a great review from an online Chatham paper.

All the best,
Tom Sheridan

Country-Rock Band's Harmonious Performance in 'League' of its Own
Pure Prairie League plays classic hits, new tunes at recent Sanctuary Concerts.

By Steve Wilson

The Pure Prairie League has harmonies down to a science. Or at least it did Saturday night as the band performed for a nearly full house of fans and regulars of the Sanctuary Concerts series.

From the first song to the last note of its second encore and 1980 hit "I'm Almost Ready," the country-rock group that enjoyed significant success throughout the '70s and early '80s showed how effective harmony can be in providing a fuller and more aesthetically pleasing sound, especially in a venue as intimate as the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township, where the Sanctuary Concerts series is held.

While founding member Craig Fuller led most of the songs, long-time bassist Mike Reilly, guitarist Donnie Lee Clark and drummer Rick Schell provided a backup vocal sound that was sometimes feel-good, sometimes haunting—the harmonies during the chorus to "Falling In And Out of Love" punctuated the song's confused, lovelorn tone—but always beautiful.

However, the harmonious quality of the band's performance was not strictly limited to backup vocals. The instrumental drive of the steel guitar, expertly played by original member John David Call and which gives the band the country aspect of its unique country-rock sound, swept over the crowd and served as the perfect complement to Clark's expert guitar picking.

Although Fuller led vocals for most of the set, which featured a heavy dose of hits, including "Amie" and "Two Lane Highway," and songs from their 2005 release "All In Good Time," Reilly, Clark and Schell each sang at least two songs.

Of all of them, Clark, who joined the group full-time in 2007, was the real vocal standout, singing "I'm Almost Ready" and the band's highest charting hit "Let Me Love You Tonight" with a range and crispness that arguably gave the original versions a run for their money.

Whether due to the band's own welcoming presence or the intimate setting provided by the church, Pure Prairie League was also in-tune with the audience.

While Fuller provided most of the song introductions, Reilly frequently conversed with the audience, telling a story of their first Sanctuary Concerts performance last year and popping jokes. At one point, his jokes and constant energy caused one audience member to scream, "I want what he had."

Reilly also playfully joked about the performance venue, remarking that the band's "Pickin' to Beat the Devil" would get everybody warmed up for Sunday service.

"We really like these kinds of gigs," Reilly said, referring to the church's intimate setting, "because we like to play these songs like we wrote them, which was more or less in living room or a kitchen."

The church setting was also used as segue fodder by opener Danielle Miraglia, a Massachusetts-bred guitarist, whose bluesy voice was expertly matched by the sharp, unique and deeply emotional lyrics of her self-written songs.

"I always feel a little funny singing that in church," she said, as she finished performing her song "Sell My Soul," which paints a humorously cynical picture of talentless, yet successful, celebrities.

Miraglia grabbed the audience's attention right from the start with a hand-clapping, foot-stomping number and did not let go until giving the stage to Pure Prairie League.

Before the group took the stage, Robert Palladino, of Florham Park, who had never attended a Sanctuary Concerts performance before Saturday, said he was very interested to see how Pure Prairie League would perform.

When the concert finished, Palladino simply smiled, nodded and said, "that was very enjoyable."

All in all, the set was pretty impressive for, as Fuller remarked, "a bunch of old guys who haven't been on the radio in 30 years."
Last edited by Tom on Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jpmagg3 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:06 pm

Sadly, these days "not being on the radio" often indicates a greater likelihood of authenticity and musicianship.

Thanks for the review, Tom.
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