Local Concert Preview for Chicago & Milwaukee:
March 22-31, 2009
First Appeared in The Music Box, March 2009, Volume 16, #3
Written by John Metzger
Thu March 26, 2009, 05:30 AM CDT
3/26 - Eagles - Sears Centre - Hoffman Estates - 8:00 p
Fourteen years after a bitter divorce, the members of the Eagles managed to set aside their differences and resume touring. Rumors of a new album surfaced with some regularity, but the seemingly endless stream of shows the band performed without a new product to promote combined with its exorbitant ticket prices to make it seem as if the Eagles simply was cashing in on its fame and good fortune. Finally, in October 2007, the group issued Long Road Out of Eden, and in spite of its limited distribution, the set quickly became the top-selling outing in the country. The Eagles has always given its fans exactly what they wanted to hear, and sure enough, Long Road Out of Eden stylistically catapulted through the collective’s canon, touching upon its country-rock roots as well as its guitar-driven classics. Pared down to a foursome, the Eagles will recreate most of its hits as well as several tracks from its latest album when it visits the Sears Centre for a three-hour performance on March 26.
3/26 - Glenn Tilbrook - House of Blues - Chicago - 8:00 p
Try as he might, Glenn Tilbrook has had trouble establishing himself outside the realm of Squeeze. Unfortunately, his latest project isn’t likely to extricate him from being forever intertwined with his former collaborator Chris Difford, either. Although Pandemonium Ensues boasts a handful of solid tracks, it — like all of Tilbrook’s post-Squeeze projects — is a decidedly uneven affair. Calling his backing band The Fluffers also may prove to have been a huge mistake. Either way, Tilbrook typically has succeeded in shrugging off his missteps in the studio whenever he takes to the road. He will attempt to do it again when he performs on the Back Porch Stage at the House of Blues on March 26.
3/27 - Jeffrey Foucault - Schuba's - Chicago - 7:30 p
In the wake of his third solo set Ghost Repeater, Jeffrey Foucault received some of the best reviews of his young career. It almost makes sense, then, that on his latest outing, he sidestepped the responsibility of crafting a worthy successor to the endeavor. Instead, Foucault remained well within his safety zone by parlaying his longstanding infatuation with the legacy of John Prine into a full-fledged tribute outing that is entitled Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes. Over the course of the endeavor, Foucault and his backing band — which includes Eric Heywood, Peter Mulvey, and Kris Delmhorst — reinterpret 13 of Prine’s compositions. At times, they even stray off the beaten path to explore a handful of lesser known tunes. Foucault will perform material from the endeavor when he stops by for an intimate performance at Schuba’s on March 27.
3/27 - Walter Trout - House of Blues - Chicago - 9:30 p
3/29 - Walter Trout - Shank Hall - Milwaukee - 8:00 p
For a relatively unknown performer, Walter Trout has a solid pedigree. Not only has he performed with Canned Heat, but he also has had a lengthy stint with John Mayall, an artist who long ago demonstrated his knack for finding and hiring talented guitarists. Joined on his 2006 endeavor Full Circle by a slew of special guests, Trout took stock of the many twists and turns that his career has taken. His latest set The Outsider doesn’t necessarily open a new chapter in his life, but it does refine many of his tried-and-true ways. Trout will bring his big, blues-rock sound to the Back Porch Stage at the House of Blues on March 27, where he will astound passers-by with his guitar-driven pyrotechnics.
3/28 - Railroad Earth - House of Blues - Chicago - 7:30 p
Although its studio output has been a little uneven, Railroad Earth has never faltered in concert. Regardless of the strength of its songs — which, even at their worst, have fared better than most of what the modern-day jam-band scene has to offer — the group’s penchant for weaving intricate instrumental interludes into the fabric of its material has led it down some interesting paths. Within its lyrics, Railroad Earth typically has allowed the rays of spiritual optimism to shine upon the trials and tribulations of daily life, while its music consistently has been imbued with the timelessly interlocked strands of bluegrass, American folk, and classic rock. Railroad Earth sounds more focused than ever on its latest set Amen Corner, which should translate into a stellar performance when the outfit slips into the House of Blues on March 28.
3/28 - Raul Malo - Shank Hall - Milwaukee - 8:00 p
3/29 - Raul Malo - Martyrs - Chicago - 8:00 p
Since disbanding The Mavericks, Raul Malo has spent his time crafting holiday albums and paying tribute to his heroes. In a sense, it seems as if, by trying something different, he simply was aiming to put some distance between himself and his former band. On his latest set Lucky One, Malo returns to the business of writing original material. The constraints he placed upon his approach to the endeavor, however, resulted in an album that is so conservative that it ultimately fails to leave much of an impression. Hopefully, when Malo ventures into Shank Hall in Milwaukee on March 28 and Martyrs in Chicago on March 29, he’ll find a way of incorporating more of his own personality into his latest batch of songs.
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