I was going to write up a review until I saw this fan’s post. Thank you Hadar for letting me re-post.

Let’s start with the brilliant photos of Aaron Kershaw
Burlap to Cashmere (121 plus if you have a favorite buy it)
The Callen Sisters (128)

The Headliners: Burlap to Cashmere
Burlap to Cashmere at Next Charity Concert at Paulies
Mar 10th, 2012 by Hadar.

Burlap to Cashmere headlined the Next Charity Concert Series show last night at Paulies in Pleasantville, NY.

I’ve been hearing about Burlap to Cashmere (B2C) for a while now, all from the same person, all raves. I finally got to see them and only had to drive five miles to do it, discovering a wonderful local bar, Paulies, in the process.

Whatever I tell you about B2C won’t do them justice. There are bands that perform amazing shows. There are bands that write great songs. There are bands that integrate the two, which is where the magic happens. B2C has that, but they have more. There is a heart and soul to the songs and the performance that transcends even the magic, perhaps to something that borders mystical.

There are a number of groups who I or Lois have fallen in love with during their first song. There are even a subset of groups where we’ve both felt that way. B2C is now in that latter group, where independently, without looking at each other or discussing it, we both felt it, and knew the other did, instantly.

I encourage you to read their bio, because the story is incredible (both in the amazing sense, but also in the nearly incredulous one as well). Embedded in there is a description of their musical style on the new, self-titled CD:

On its first album in more than a decade, Burlap to Cashmere draws from all the influences that made it a touchstone band: Mediterranean and Greek rhythms, flamenco and classic American folk, to create a rich body of work that embraces the past while crystallizing its new creative vision.

I assure you that every element mentioned above existed in spades last night. We bought two copies of the CD and listened to it this morning, and I can also assure you that it all comes across fantastically on the CD as well. Get it, you’re welcome.

The truth is that the description above doesn’t really do them justice, even though it’s entirely true. At times, they play things that are reminiscent of great jazz. In fact, the guitar play reminded me a number of times of the awesome Acoustic Alchemy. Suffice it to say, it’s not necessary to categorize them, just to love and appreciate them.

Each person in the five-member band does their part so well, that the blend of sounds is far greater than the individual parts. The core band consists of three members. I’ll cover them first, then the two others.

Steven Delopoulos is the front man. He sang lead on every song and played the acoustic guitar beautifully, mixing rhythm with some fast and interesting finger-picking. I believe that he writes most (all?) of their songs. His voice is very special (and I’m thankful that I had the chance to tell him that after the show). There’s a quality that simply draws your ear to him, like a magnet.

John Philippidis on acoustic guitar and harmony. As special as Steven’s voice is, John’s (Johnny) guitar play is equally mesmerizing. The above-mentioned Flamenco/Mediterranean/Greek rhythms are mostly created by Johnny’s guitar play. For the most part, he’s a super fast, super interesting flat-picker. He did do a bit of finger-picking, but whatever he did, it was pure magic. Oh yeah, his harmonies with Steven are fantastic as well.

Did you read the bio like I encouraged you to? If so, can you believe that Johnny was left for dead and was in a medically induced coma? He wakes up and can play the guitar like this? I can’t even fathom it…

Theodore Pagano on drums. He (I believe they called him Teddy) was wonderful. The type of rhythms that B2C creates calls for some very demanding drumming and Teddy certainly delivered. He also handled selling their merch, so he’s mutli-talented.

Chris Anderson on electric and upright bass, along with background vocals. Chris was the person who has been raving about B2C to me (and I assume to anyone else who will listen). In addition to thanking him for this amazing discovery, I have to also thank him for his performance last night.

Keeping up with Steven, Johnny and Teddy is no simple task. Chris was flawless on two electric basses and an upright one as well. He was really fast and really tasty. He also sang his heart out when the songs called for three part harmony.

Erik Deutsch played electronic keyboards. Erik was filling in for normal keyboard player Todd Caldwell, who is touring with Crosby, Stills and Nash (no biggie, right?). Well, Erik is no slouch either. After doing his part in keeping up with the other four band members, he is jetting off to play at SXSW, followed by touring with Shooter Jennings (including an appearance on The Tonight Show).

We’ll be catching B2C again this Friday, March 16th 2012, at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, at 9:30pm. It’s a ticketed show, so grab them now before they sell out (I already got ours, which is why I’m OK promoting it).

The entire evening was brought to us by Chris Bro. Chris runs the All Things Next site, which includes a regular podcast. Last night’s show was part of a series called the Next Charity Concerts.

The show took place at Paulies. We’ve never been there before, even though we live five miles away (how convenient!). It’s a very nice local bar. The sound system was huge (I’ve never seen gear like this at a local bar), bigger than many full-time music clubs we attend. I don’t know if it’s a permanent fixture at Paulies or whether it’s brought in specifically for this series.

Opening band: The Callen Sisters
The Callen Sisters at Next Charity Concert at Paulies
Mar 10th, 2012 by Hadar.

We went to see the headliner (covered in my next post), so The Callen Sisters were a pleasant surprise on a few levels.

It’s not often that you walk into a bar and see a harp sitting on stage (hmmm, could be the start of a good joke!). If you do, you might think you’re about to hear classical music, or perhaps you think you’re about to have your interview at the Pearly Gates.

Either way, I expected a very mellow opening set. Instead, the majority of the songs actually had a rock feel to them, with the harp blending in as an interesting sound. Each of the sisters sing lead and a lot of lovely harmonies together.

Beth Callen was center stage, singing and playing rhythm electric guitar.

Jessa Callen sang and played the harp. For all but one song, she sang at the harp (duh), which meant that she was invisible to me. On one song, she stepped to center stage, took Beth’s mic in hand (leaving the stand behind) and sang lead. That was the only song with no harmony.

I enjoyed their set, but it wasn’t particularly special. That said, when I visited their site today, I streamed their current CD and enjoyed it. So, I encourage you to do the same and decide for yourself whether this is a group you want to follow, they may very well tickle your fancy.

They were supported by a great band, which accounted for some of the surprises mentioned up top. Left-to-right on stage:

Dan Castellani on electronic keyboards. In addition to being excellent on the keyboards, Dan arranged and produced their current CD, which as I mentioned above, is quite good. He’s clearly a very talented guy. We hadn’t heard about Dan before, but we know him now. In addition to the profile linked to his name, he owns Galactic Music and Audio.

Kenny Shaw on drums. This was the biggest surprise for us. Having never heard of The Callen Sisters, we didn’t know who their band is. We see (and love) Kenny all the time. We just saw him last Sunday (with Abby Payne) and Monday (with Rebecca Haviland), so even when we’re not purposely stalking him, we end up stalking him (or was it purposeful? … mwuahaha). I already mentioned that it was mostly a rock-style set, so Kenny’s drums were driving the beat, perfectly.

Chris Anderson on electric bass and light background vocals. The only reason we were at Paulies was due to Chris. He has been raving to me about the headliners for a long time (patience, the next post will be about them), and this was going to be our first opportunity to see them. I had no idea that Chris also played with The Callen Sisters. Score! All Chris all the time is just fine with us.

The show took place at Paulies. We’ve never been there before, even though we live five miles away (how convenient!). It’s a very nice local bar. The sound system was huge (I’ve never seen gear like this at a local bar), bigger than many full-time music clubs we attend. I don’t know if it’s a permanent fixture at Paulies or whether it’s brought in specifically for this series.

In addition to a top sound system, the sound engineer had a sophisticated sound board, that he controlled remotely on his iPad. That made the overly long sound check (each group separately) at least entertaining to watch. Apparently, while it wasn’t used yesterday, the system is capable of enabling a musician’s iPhone to control their own monitor, so that they can set the sound levels without having to holler to the sound engineer. Pretty darn cool!

I’m sure we’ll be back to Paulies to see more shows, both Next Charity Concerts and others.

P.S. We sat with some great folks who insisted on buying us drinks (thank you very much). I shocked them when I asked for a Chocolate Martini (perhaps my second favorite drink behind a well-done Frozen Margarita). I had to give a backup order in case the bartender didn’t know how to make one. Not to worry, the bartender at Paulies made me a perfect Chocolate Martini. Just another reason to return there.

The original posts (with pictures)
Burlap to Cashmere
The Callen Sisters

Fan Video via Thom

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