LIVE: Jim Weider’s Blue Chicken @ the Falcon, 1/17/15
Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
Billed as a “Roots Rock Gumbo of All-Star Musicians Playing Their Out-of-the-Coop One-Stop Reunion Tour,” Blue Chicken showed what rock and roll is all about – just plain fun.
This band is one of many projects that former Band guitarist Jim Weider is involved in. Onstage at the Falcon in Marlboro, he shared the stage with journeyman guitarist Sid McGinnis (best known as the guitarist on “The Late Show With David Letterman.” They represented a true contrast in styles both in playing and stage presence. Weider preferring to just stand and play complex leads and slide work. He let his guitar speak for him. In contrast, McGinnis played snarling lines and power chords to his bandmates, also adding plenty of visual drama to the performance.
Byron Issacs was similar to Weider. He providing a rock-solid foundation, locking in step with drummer Rick Ciarlante and adding occasional lead and background vocals.
Randy Ciarlante, a well-known drummer of the Woodstock scene and former Band-mate of Weider, played the syncopated drum patterns and sang the impassioned vocals he is known for.
The band also featured a pair of multi-instrumentalists. Keyboardist Brian Mitchell played piano, organ, accordion and harmonica, as well as providing lead vocals. Trombonist Clark Gayton doubled as a percussionist, and added visual humor – at one point dressing up in a yellow banana suit.
Much of the music played were songs that are near and dear to a late baby boomer’s heart – gems like Little Feat’s “Dixie Chicken,” Van Morrison’s “Cleaning Windows,” Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie On Reggae Woman” and not surprisingly the Band’s “The Weight.”
Weider declared the event a throwback to the ’60s and ’70s, when “people were coming out to hear the music and have fun.” That it was. So, Jim, when is the next One-Stop Reunion Tour?
See more of Rudy Lu’s photographs of this show