Steve Gilligan ~ 2013 April 11 ~ Amazing Things Art Center ~ Framingham, MA
Steve Gilligan on guitar, banjo, and lead vocals; Kenny Selcer on guitar and backing vocals
First Kiss - Come Back - All You've Gotta Do - What's a Little Rock 'n' Roll Between Friends - Halfway to Wichita - I Wanna Know - Jennifer Fields.
Scroll down past the videos for review; click to the right for photo gallery.
"Halfway to Wichita":
Thirty years ago I was a big fan of the Stompers, a Boston area rock band that always -- I mean, always -- put on a great show. They still play live shows four or fives times a year. Their leader is Sal Baglio, a great guitar player and songwriter. But the Stompers aren't just Sal. They're a five man band with five unique and wonderful musicians ... one of whom is Steve Gilligan.
Steve plays bass for the Stompers, but he has had a lengthy musical career outside of the band. He sang, played and wrote song with the folk trio City of Roses for a dozen years; he recorded a duo album with Jon Macey; and just last year he put out his first-ever solo album, Jacob's Well, a collection of songs that range from rock, to pop-rock, to folk, to cabaret, all making splendid use of Steve's lovely singing voice.
The night began with about a dozen aspiring musicians performing one song each, open mike style. The performances ranged from excellent, professional level songs, to more amateurish efforts; as open mikes go, a very good selection. After an hour of this, Steve came on stage and played a seven-song set. He played acoustic guitar and (on one song) banjo. Kenny Selcer accompanied him on guitar. By the way, add being a member of the Kenny Selcer Band to Steve's musical resume.
Steve began his set with a Stompers song, "First Kiss." The way the Stompers play it, it's a rock 'n' roll song bursting with excitement and youthful energy. But Steve's version is a very lovely reinterpretation, turning the song into a romantic ballad. Steve has a strong singing voice, pitched higher in register than Sal Baglio's, and his voice on this song sounded angelic. The rest of the set included a number from City of Roses called "Come Back," an exciting performance of "What's a Little Rock 'n' Roll Between Friends," a rocker from Steve's solo album, and some new songs including the one on which he played the banjo, "Halfway to Wichita." Scroll up this page for a link to a video of "Halfway to Wichita."
When Steve plays with the Stompers, he plays with a lot of enthusiasm and energy. For this show, he brought the energy down to a more appropriate level, but you could tell he was still enjoying himself, just with somewhat more restrained body language. He put on a fine performance and I was only sorry that his part of the evening wasn't longer.
I had never been to The Amazing Things Art Center before. I was pleasantly surprised at how good a venue it is. Located in a converted firehouse on Hollis Street in Framingham, it is just three blocks off the Boston Marathon route, and the master of ceremonies asked if anyone in the audience had ever run a marathon. (I raised my hand.) The stage is a good size with good lighting and an attractive backdrop displaying the name of the venue. Surrounding the stage is a good bit of open floor space that could be utilized for theatrical performances. About ten rows of seats slope up steeply, affording a good view from anywhere. The show was sparsely attended except for the open mike performers, but there were so many of them it seemed like a pretty good crowd.
More Stompers / Steve Gilligan
Here is a page with a handy list of links to all pages on this website with content relating to the Stompers, Sal Baglio, or Steve Gilligan.
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