On Stage: Haley Reinhart covers a lot of ground

By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times

Haley Reinhart

When Haley Reinhart brings her “What’s That Sound? Tour” to the World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com) on November 10, she will treat her fans to live renditions of many of the songs from her latest album.

On September 22, the talented singer/writer Haley Reinhart released “What’s That Sound?” her debut release for Concord Records. The album finds Reinhart digging into her rich musical heritage and reimagining some of rock-and-roll’s most legendary songs.

“A lot of the songs from the album are in my live repertoire,” said Reinhart, during a phone interview last week on her way from L.A. to a show in San Francisco.’

“I’ve grown up being mesmerized by these classic songs. I’ve been singing all these songs from my favorite bands – the Zombies, the Stones, Pink Floyd and Zeppelin. I’m a huge fan of the whole era.”

Hailing from the Chicago area, Reinhart has previously shown her rare gift as a song interpreter with her certified-gold remake of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (a 2015 release whose video has amassed over 20 million YouTube views). It was also used in a highly-popular Extra Gum commercial.

“I really like Elvis so I sang a cover of ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love,’” said Reinhart. “It really exploded – especially given the exposure from the commercial. It got thousands and thousands of hits on Shazam. It happened overnight.”

The L.A.-based 26-year-old has also emerged as the leading artist on Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, with her jazzed-up versions of tracks like Radiohead’s “Creep” earning more than 112 million views to date.

“What’s That Sound?” features 11 renditions of classic songs from the 1960s, as well as three original tracks from Reinhart. A captivating vocalist who started singing in her parents’ rock band when she was just seven, Reinhart purposely focused on songs originally released between 1966 and 1969.

According to Reinhart, “There is an undeniable connection between the late ’60s and now. They’re both turbulent, yet hopeful times. As I thought of what songs I’d like to reinterpret, I wanted to bring these similarities to the forefront. I also feel the urge to spread the revolutionary idea of people coming together through love and music.”

In co-producing “What’s That Sound?” with Grammy Award-winner John Burk, Reinhart stayed remarkably authentic to the sonic landscape of the ’60s. Made at the historic Sunset Sound, the album was recorded to tape in order to achieve a warm, vibrant feel true to the era.

“We started the album in January in L.A. ,” said Reinhart. “I had some rally heavy cats play on the album – and also some of my friends. It was very collaborative. We recorded live to tape at Sunset Sound. I got a full tour of Sunset Sound. There have been so many great albums made there. It’s like a living museum.’

Some of the album’s classics that were made popular more than four decades ago are The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling,” The Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon,” The Mamas & The Papas’ “Words of Love,” The Zombies’ “Time of the Season,” Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,” The Shirelles’ “Baby, It’s You,” Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” The Box Tops’ “The Letter” and Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.”

“We did the whole album analog,” said Reinhart. “It was a unanimous decision between me and producer John Burk. It was crucial to do analog and record it live with a full band. We had one leg in the present and one leg in the past – taking old songs and giving them my own flair.”

Video link for Haley Reinhart – https://youtu.be/4iVSwMBWTsA

The show at the World Café Live, which has Michaela McClain opening, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23 SRO and $28 seated.

Another artist from the Concord Records label will also be performing in Philly on November 10.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Kenny Wayne Shepherd will be the headliner for a show at the Sugarhouse Casino (1001 North Delaware Avenue, Philadelphia,
877-477-3715, www.sugarhouseentertainment.com).

Shepherd is touring in support of his new album “Lay It Down,” which was released recently on Concord Records.

“I went into the studio in January,” said Shepherd. “After I made the album, The Rides went out on tour again this year.

Shepherd’s recent visits to the area have been as a member of The Rides.

Separated in age by a musical generation but bonded by a mutual love of classic cars and the blues, two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stephen Stills and five-time Grammy-nominated singer, guitarist and songwriter Kenny Wayne Shepherd joined with famed Chicago rock/blues keyboardist Barry Goldberg to form a very fresh and vital blues-rock band — The Rides.

“I had been building up songs,” said Shepherd. “Whenever I had time off, I’d be writing. I don’t do fancy demos. I do basic demos and then they come to life in the studio. I can start a song anywhere. Then, I’ll take it out and finish it with somebody else. I did this album in Nashville. Historically, I write with people form Nashville. On this album, I wrote with two other people and me.”

Shepherd’s new album has a traditional feel and, at the same time, rocks hard.

According to Shepherd, “I wanted to make an album of great American roots music and the end result is something that I’m really pleased with. I wanted to play to our strengths, but I also wanted to make an album full of music that people haven’t heard from us before.

“I’m pulling from a lot of different periods and genres on this one. I wanted to strike a balance between the heavy emotional stuff and the stuff that will put a smile on your face. A new album should feel new and refreshing, and this one definitely feels that way to me.”

More than two decades into a recording career that began when he was 16, Kenny Wayne Shepherd has built a powerful reputation as a visionary recording artist, a riveting live performer and one of the most talented and distinctive guitarists of his generation.

“With the new album, I just wanted to have a diverse album,” said Shepherd. “The idea was to take blues music and push it in a different direction. That’s the idea of contemporary blues – push it in a new direction…make something new sounding.

“We just wrote whatever we felt that day. I wasn’t trying to write a contemporary album. At the end, I took inventory and decided on the best 10 songs. I just knew I was doing 10 songs. That was the number for me – a good even number.

“Obviously, blues is the most important style on the album. There is a little country influence along with some rick and some R&B. We covered a lot of ground.

“Right now, I’m playing seven of the 10 in my live show. But, we also go all the way back to songs from my first album. The show lasts about two hours every night.”

Video link for Kenny Wayne Shepherd – https://youtu.be/P0b3DBBs10U.

The show at the Sugarhouse Casino will start at 9 p.m. Tickets are $49.

The Coronas

The Coronas, who have been a top band in their native Ireland for more than a decade, have just released an new album and now are in America touring in support of their recent LP.

On November 11, they will introduce live versions of the songs from “Trust the Wire” when they headline a show at MilkBoy Philadelphia (1100 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 215- 925-6455, www.milkboyphilly.com).

The band features Danny O’Reilly, Conor Egan, Graham Knox and Dave McPhillips.

“Our debut album was in 2007,” said O’Reilly, during a recent trans-Atlantic phone interview from his home in Dublin, Ireland. “We were just winging it back then. But, we’ve been making progress. We’re very lucky to be still doing it 10 years later. Myself and the bass layer (Graham Knox) went to school together. We’ve been friends since we were very, very young. We decided we were going to form a band before we could even play any instrum4ents.”

O’Reilly and Knox have known each other practically since their birth just two weeks apart. Their parents were friends, and essentially the pair grew up together. They met Egan at Terenure College secondary school in Dublin where, in 2001, they formed a band called Kiros with O’Reilly on vocals and guitar, Knox on bass and Egan on drums plus another friend.

Kiros morphed into The Coronas, the name taken from the Smith-Corona typewriter in Cameron Crowe’s classic film about the music business, “Almost Famous.” The lineup was finalized in 2006 with the addition of McPhillips, a friend they met during a summer in Vancouver, on lead guitar.

“‘Heroes or Ghosts’ was our first album 10 years ago,” said O’Reilly. “We recorded it ourselves. One song — ‘San Diego Song’ – got a lot of airplay in Ireland. ‘San Diego Song’ got thje foot in the door for us.”

The Coronas’ sophomore album was “Tony Was an Ex-Con” in 2009i followed by “Closer to You” (2011), “The Long Way” (2014) and now “Trust the Wire.”

The Coronas’ new album may surprise their army of fans. A sonic leap on from its predecessors, “Trust the Wire” sees the award-winning, arena-conquering band fuse their arms-aloft melodic pop with lush electronics, spine-tingling atmospherics and a new-found sense of adventure.

“The album came out in Ireland in July and just got released in the states in September,” said O’Reilly. “We set up our own label to release it. We just finished a tour of the U.K. and now we’re on a long tour in the states and Australia.”

The album’s title, taken from a line in the broody, dramatic closing track “Look At All The Lovers,” reflects the recurring theme of self-belief and sums up a band both acknowledging their achievements to date and stepping out of their comfort zone to tackle new challenges.

According to O’Reilly, “Like a tightrope walker who doesn’t need to see the next step, they just know. It’s about believing that what feels right will work and going for it. If you don’t trust your instincts, you’ll never move on.

“This is our fifth album. It would be easy for us to stick with a sound because it’s worked for us in the past. But that doesn’t excite us. Discovering what we’re capable of as a band, knowing that we can grow and get better is what makes us want to keep doing this.”

“Trust the Wire” was written last summer at a rented house in Dingle.

“We just set up our gear and wrote songs every day,” said O’Reilly. “We set up shop in a little cottage in Dingle, which is in the southwest corner of Ireland. It’s really isolated there.

“We recorded the album with producer Elliott James in London at a great studio called East Cote. It was an enjoyable experience. We had been building up songs for a year. Since we had our own label, there was no pressure. We took our time with it.”

Video link for Coronas – https://youtu.be/P0x8lvM5MvI?list=PLhmZQmVm7fewPjGbUR4UNfzLAIjlLK_Sa.

The show at MilkBoy Philly, which has Berdmajic as the opening act, will start at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.

The Claudettes

On November 11, The Claudettes will bring their audience-rousing live show to the area when they headline a show at Kung Fu Necktie (1248 North Front Street, Philadelphia, 215-291-4919, kungfunecktie.com).

Pianist Johnny Iguana formed the Claudettes, who feature Berit Ulseth on vocals, Zach Verdoorn on bass guitar and vocals and Danny Yost on drums.

The Claudettes combine the Chicago blues-piano tradition with the energy of rockabilly and punk and the sultry sound of ’60s soul-jazz to create a thrilling new spin on American roots music.

According to Downbeat Magazine, “The Claudettes hit listeners upside the head with a mash-up of Otis Spann blues, Albert Ammons boogie-woogie, Ray Charles soul and “Fess” Longhair New Orleans R&B.”

Rather than attack the blues with one or two guitars, the Claudettes brandish a piano instead. But the Claudettes have created their own fanatical fusion of blues and soul-jazz – sort of like Ray Charles on a punk kick.

The band is still touring in support of its sophomore album No Hotel,” which was released in 2015.

“We just finished a new album,” said Iguana, during a recent phone interview from his home in Chicago. “It took a while to figure out who was going to put it out. We’re going to put it out in March. We’ve gotten interest from some very good labels. The album is a throwback – very 60s sounding.

“We recorded it with producer Mark Neill at Soil of the South studio in Valdosta, Georgia. We used all analog gear and then Radar to take it digital. It’s got a warm sound with a lot of low end, acoustic instruments and vintage reverb. It doesn’t sound like it was produced by a modern indie-rock record.”

The Claudettes have created their own genre.

“The Claudettes blazed a new trail masquerading as a blues/roots bands but it’s a punk band at its core,” said Iguana. “We can play a punk bill as a rock band or a different bill as a blues band. The Claudettes really put a lot of heart in our live show. We combine musicianship and humor. We have a stage setup that converts the stage into a mini-tavern – a reality check built into our stage show.”

On stage, Claudette’s drink specials scroll across LED displays pinned to the band’s shirts (e.g. “$5 domestics on Sunday with dinner and Champagne purchase,” “MONDAY NIGHT: DESIGNER NIGHT! You design shot, I design price”).

The Claudette’s have a strange history – and an interesting story behind their name.

“Michael Caskey, a drummer from Chicago, and I had a piano-and-drum duo,” said Iguana. “We called a place called Claudette’s Bar in 2010 looking for a gig in between Chicago and St. Louis. Claudette booked us into her bar in Oglesby (Illinois) and fell in love with the band.

“So, she hired us as her house band and put them. That drummer’s wife had a baby so we hired a new drummer and then expanded to a four-piece. Since then, we’ve done a ton of shows.”

The show at Twisted Tail will be a homecoming for Iguana.

“I was born in New Jersey and grew up in the Philly area,” said Iguana. “I graduated from Upper Dublin High School and the University of Pennsylvania.

“Then, I moved to New York City where I worked in publishing and played piano. I began meeting blues musicians and playing in blues bands. I met Junior Wells in Chicago and played piano in his band.”

In addition to touring internationally and recording six albums with his cult-favorite rock band oh my god, Iguana has played live or recorded with Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Koko Taylor, James Cotton, Lil’ Ed, Carey Bell, Billy Boy Arnold, Lurrie Bell, John Primer, Billy Branch, Carlos Johnson, Sugar Blue, Dave Myers and Eddie Shaw.

Video link for The Claudettes – https://youtu.be/NELZHKivVnQ.

The show at Kung Fu Necktie, which has The Records as the opening act, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12.

Chris Fabiano

Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org) will host B An Evening of Magic, Mentalism and Comedy with Chris Fabiano & More — Jon DelCollo, Mike Brooks on November 10; Davey Dickens & The Troubadoors and Grady Hoss on November 11; Fresh Faces of The Kennett Flash – Wildflower, Tiem, Enigmyst, Wildflower, Shueh-li Ong on November 12; and Cory Branan and Paul Keen on November 14.

The Steel City Coffee House (203 Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610-933-4043, www.steelcitycoffeehouse.com) will host Swearingen and Kelli along with the McGorrys on November 10 and Lisa Chosed along with Hotsy Totsy on November 11.

Chaplin’s (66 North Main Street, Spring City, 610-792-4110, http://chaplinslive.com) will have Olivia Swenson and Kevin Cox on November 11.

The Ardmore Music Hall (23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, 610-649-8389, www.ardmoremusic.com)  Swift Technique: 10 Years of Funk in Philly on November 10, Mipso + The Brothers Comatose + The Lil’ Smokies on November 11, and “Philly Really Loves Petty” on November 12.

On November 10, Point Entertainment presents Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn at the Colonial Theatre (Bridge Street, Phoenixville, 610- 917-1228, www.thecolonialtheatre.com)

Burlap & Bean Coffeehouse (204 South Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, 484-427-4547, www.burlapandbean.com) will present Dala on November 10 and the BenArnold Band on November 11.

The Tower Theater (69th and Ludlow streets, Upper Darby, 215-922-1011, www.thetowerphilly.com) will host Tegan and Sara’s “The Con X Tour” on November 10.

The Keswick Theater (291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, 215-572-7650, www.keswicktheatre.com) presents Bruce Cockburn on November 10, Rhett & Link Tour of Mythicality on November 11, and Ilana Glazer & Phoebe Robinson on November 13.

The Grand Opera House (818 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware, 302-652-5577, www.thegrandwilmington.org) will have Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt on November 10, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox on November 12 and National Acrobats and Martial Artists of People’s Republic of china on November 14.

The Sellersville Theater (24 West Temple Avenue, Sellersville, 215-257-5808, www.st94.com) will host The Strawbs on November 10, Joe Conklin on November 11, Felix Cavaliere’s Rascal’s 50th Anniversary Tour and Laura Cheadle on November 11, California Guitar Trio on November 14 and Herb Alpert with Lani Hall on November 15.

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