“I’ve just come back from one of the coolest gigs I have had the pleasure of performing. It’s called Artists Without Walls. What an excellent, upbeat, positive group of individuals. Thanks Clyde Berger for turning me onto them. Great positive reception to my music too.” Toby Tobias
And upbeat it was. The evening began in rocking style with Terry McCarthy and his new acoustic band featuring Gerry Griffen, Andy Sandel and Tom Monaghan. Terry played three songs from his latest release The Charm: “By Any Chance,” “Sorrow Salsa” and “Just Today.” As an encore Terry debuted “Anything to Have You Here.” Click here to listen to Terry’s music.
Connie Roberts read three poems from her newly released collection Little Witness. “This is the poetry of rock-hard experience. It will skin your soul,” New York Times journalist Dan Barry wrote. Her first poem, “Inheritance,” memorialized 35 children and one old woman who perished in an orphanage fire in Cavan town in 1943. Her poem “For the Love of God” was an homage to an orphanage housemother, Miss Winifred Carberry, who took care of her as a child. And, just to prove that there are in fact a few happy poems, alongside the Irish-miserable-childhood ones in Little Witness, Connie finished with a life-affirming piece entitled “Campground: The Adirondacks.” Little Witness is available by clicking here.
“Well done to you and your team of volunteers. Community! I really enjoyed performing, and was mighty impressed with the talent. Such a diverse group of artists displaying their multi-talents,” Vincent Cross said.
Vincent, mixing guitar and harmonica, performed his sombre songs of jealousy, murder and biblical redemption, “Childish Things,” “Cursed,” and “Bowed Down” with a voice both high of tenor and plaintive in tone. Picking the guitar with melody, chords and bass lines, the hard knock songs of the wayfarer came to life.
“Spirit of Vaudeville,” performed by Richard Stillman and Flip Peters, captivated the AWoW audience. Richard is a entertainer in the style of the jazz age performers of the 1920’s. His combination of banjo playing, tap dancing, singing, ukulele strumming, storytelling, harmonica & bones playing and juggling is a joy to watch. Flip Peters is an excellent jazz guitarist and accompanies the show with great skill. We look forward to the full show on June 11th at the Concert Space at Beethoven Pianos, which Project 142 is sponsoring.
First time AWoW performer South African-born singer-songwriter and musician Toby Tobias followed with and a performance style that could be described as a colorful combination of African rhythms interspersed with American country, folk and jazz, with lyrics that are both thought-provoking and uplifting. His music was thoroughly enjoyed by an appreciative audience, especially ‘Madiba’, a song Toby wrote in dedication to Nelson Mandela. Toby has been living in the United States for 27 years and performs his brand of music throughout Long Island, Brooklyn and the tri-state area. Click here to check out his music.
John Shea read a short story “The Guilt and the Ghosts” from a new collection of the same title with accompaniment from fiddler Jenny Evans. “John’s short story was pure poetry! Simply brilliant. I loved the rhythm, the wit, the pathos–it had it all going on. And I loved Jenny’s accompaniment on the fiddle. It reinforced all of the aforementioned. Fantastic collaboration.” Connie Roberts
Shu Nakamura performs solo with his band “the Ninja Orchestra” and collaborates with other artists regularly in NY area and Japan. Shu plays what he calls “folk-root” music, as well as rock material such as the two songs that rocked the house, “Train Song” and “Rain Dance. ” Shu was then joined by AWoW’s cofounder Niamh Hyland who sang a stirring version of the Irish classic, “Wild Mountain Thyme” and closed with a rousing rendition of “Resurrection.”
All photos by Vera Hoar. AWoW’s next Showcase will be at The Cell Theatre on Tuesday, May 26th, 6:45pm.