Presented by Pasadena's Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, this was a free concert that took place at the gorgeous Scripps College located in the equally gorgeous city of Claremont. Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch, the sponsor of the Levitt Concert Series, is a Scripps College alumna, hence her inclination to bring live music to her alma mater.
Until not too long ago, "Martha Redbone" was just a name I would occasionally see here and there on the Internet. I showed up at last night's concert strictly on the strength of a few randomly picked YouTube clips - the videos were good, but seeing the vocal powerhouse that is Martha Redbone in a live setting is a different matter altogether.
Martha's voice is something to behold. She's got range. She's got power. She's got soul. With her outstanding ability to control her voice, she can be gentle, loud, passionate, you name it, and I can go on and on praising her vocal abilities without overstating a thing. Yet Martha is much more than just a great voice - her warm and humble personality impressed me at least as much as her singing ability.
|Martha Redbone in Claremont|
As the members of Martha's band took their places, I immediately recognized the often-seen Debra Dobkin, who's probably best known for her work with Richard Thompson. I liked the band, they sounded great.
Aaron Whitby - Keyboards, melodica
Nick Kirgo - Guitars, banjo
Debra Dobkin - Drum, percussion
Simeon Pillich - Upright bass
|Martha Redbone, Nick Kirgo & Debra Dobkin|
PARTIAL SET LIST
Garden Of Love
A Poison Tree
Hear The Voice Of The Bard
How Sweet I Roamed
On Anothers Sorrow
Drums (from Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears album)
Introduced as an all-female hand-drum group from Sherman Indian High School, the White Rose Singers performed a twenty minute set at the mid point of the concert. I liked their voices and found their music very appealing.
|The White Rose Singers|
|Martha Redbone and the White Rose Singers|
|Martha Redbone and her band in Claremont|
|Concert organizer Karen Fagan kicking off the evening|