I first saw Pete Anderson with honky-tonk savior Dwight Yoakam some 25 years ago at the Melody Fair Theater in Tonawanda. It was the closest I'd ever come to seeing Elvis-type hysteria sweep over a crowd. Besides Yoakam's nasally honk and hip shake, there was Anderson's twang-a-plenty Telecaster driving the truck over the cliff, and the females over the edge. It seems Anderson has forsaken the magnificent for the mediocre as he pulled out a set of standard blues at Abilene last Tuesday night. Don't get me wrong, Anderson's still a great guitar player, I just had a point of reference I was hoping to re-visit as opposed to sitting around waiting for nearly an hour as the band set up.
Teressa Wilcox has always been a mix of talent and potential as she weaved in and out of the singer-songwriter-rocker scene. Well, with the aid of a fantastic band (and a kicky new 'do), Wilcox has surpassed her potential. Operating in more of a rock vein with this well-rehearsed outfit, the songs still stand loud and proud amidst the dynamic treatment. Wilcox and her band blew my head off Thursday night at Sticky Lips Juke Joint and handed it back to me stuffed with confetti.
Traveling Scottish troubadour Jim Malcolm offered a pleasant and endearing two-set trip through self-deprecation, love, empowerment, and the wonders of being the father to a teenage girl. His music was uncluttered and beautiful as he cajoled and chided and crooned to the lot at Lovin' Cup Thursday night.
Then this weekend I took in a bunch of shows as part of the inaugural Rochester Fringe Festival, including sets by My Plastic Sun, Moho Collective, and the Harlem Gospel Choir. Check out rochestercitynewspaper.com to get those, plus 40 more reviews of Fringe shows by City's cultural critics.