Singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist Rachael Yamagata has been making music for more than a decade. Her debut album, Happenstance (stream it below), out in 2004, earned the sultry vocalist (above, doing an acoustic “Be Be Your Love”) plenty of attention. “When she isn’t writing intelligent piano-driven pop, she’s creating ballads so classic you’ll wonder where you heard them before,” gushed PopMatters. “It takes a great songwriter to show how few great songwriters ever really come along, and Rachael Yamagata’s latest effort proves just that. Keep an ear out for this one.” She’s remained steadily busy ever since, working with the likes of Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne and Toots and the Maytals, while still finding time to release her own live albums, EPs and full-lengths. Her fourth full-length, Tightrope Walker, just came out today, and, in support of it, the New Yorker plays two local shows, at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday and at The Bowery Ballroom the following night. Annapolis, Md., trio Pressing Strings open both shows.
Tag Archives: Toots and the Maytals
NOLA-based instrumental-funk outfit Galactic (above, doing “Hey Na Na” with Corey Glover for KEXP FM) are bringing their shake-your-hips music our way this weekend. They began as an eight-piece with Theryl DeClouet (House Man) as their singer. But over the years, they’ve paired down to five and parted ways with DeClouet. But no doubt, they’re still bringing the funk: Witness their most recent album, the Mardi Gras-themed Carnivale Eletricos. Of course, when they come to play it’s rarely alone, and this visit is no different. Expect plenty of special guests, like vocals from the Revivalists’ frontman, David Shaw, and Nigel Hall, whose band opens the show. That in itself would be a pretty great weekend lineup. But wait, there’s more! Because Galactic—about whom Esquire wrote last year: “In a perfect world, Galactic would be 2012’s Black Keys, consistently underrated veterans who get belatedly huge”—are sharing the bill with none other than ska and rocksteady legends Toots and the Maytals. This is something not to miss. So do yourself a favor and don’t. Instead, head to Terminal 5 tomorrow night.
Tags: Carnivale Electricos, Corey Glover, David Shaw, Galactic, House Man, Nigel Hall, Nigel Hall Band, Preview, Terminal 5, the Black Keys, the Revivalists, Theryl DeClouet, Toots and the Maytals, Video
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Toots and the Maytals – Brooklyn Bowl – March 25, 2012
Frederick Nathaniel “Toots” Hibbert is the self-proclaimed inventor of reggae. As the story goes, his 1968 recording of “Do the Reggay” is among the first songs to use the word and classify the style of music. But regardless of whether he is the genre’s rightful originator, he is certainly one of its oldest and most successful practitioners. At 66, Hibbert is still creating and performing to critical acclaim and large audiences. And on Sunday night at Brooklyn Bowl, Toots and the Maytals played with relentless energy to a sold-out crowd.
The set opened with Hibbert’s widely known “Pressure Drop.” In the years since appearing on the soundtrack to The Harder They Come, the song continues to stay in the public consciousness, with second life from covers by the Clash and other artists. For this show, the band’s straight-up midtempo performance established a solid foundation to build on. And as the group sped up and extended such hits as “Funky Kingston” and a “Louie Louie” cover, the crowd willingly followed suit, dancing and yelling with each call and response.
Throughout the show Hibbert stayed attentive to the band and the audience. “I have a big voice,” he told all, supporting the claim for close to two hours, closing with the semi-autobiographical crowd-favorite “54-46 (That’s My Number).” At the “Give it to me” part, Hibbert improvised and asked the crowd to “Give it to me 13 times.” After approximately thirteen responses of “Hey,” he responded with genuine surprise, “No one has ever done that,” he said. But as long as Toots Hibbert continues to perform, this record is sure to be broken: If he gives it to us, we’ll give it to him. —Jared Levy
(Toots and the Maytals also play Brooklyn Bowl tomorrow night.)