Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jan 19, 2013 at 08:00 PM
ImageEnjoying music up close and personal has always been a favorite thing for Rose & I to do in life. One of the best ways we’ve achieved that for going on 10 years is house concerts. Folks caring enough about music to open their homes to a gig is very cool indeed and tonight was no exception.

“Nancy B’s House Concerts” hosted at the home of Nancy Brand along with Lynn Macy in Sugar Land was a sweet deal indeed.

In from LA were the duo of James Lee Stanley and John Batdorf, whom we had the pleasure of catching at the Southwest Regional Folk Alliance in Austin last September. They captivated a showcase performance audience with incredible renditions of Rolling Stones classic hits. You have to witness it in person to see how cool those songs can come across when these passionate gents pour out the lyrics we’ve heard for years in an acoustic setting.

These two are musical veterans who do a whole lot more than Stones’ covers. Stanley tours regularly up to 300 gigs a year and has recently pulled off a Doors’ covers compilation which even got the attention of guitarist Robby Krieger! Sweet. Dude has been at it since 1960 and some of his killer original stuff he performed were ‘Let the Tree Fall’ about his mama who has passed and killer ‘The More I Drink the Less I Think’. Batdorf  has been singing since he was 5 years old with his uncle and shined on originals ‘Mama’s Coming Home Tonight’ and ‘Will I Love You Forever’ about being married 39 years.

But the main focus of this show was the stellar versions of ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’, ‘Paint It Black’, spooky ‘Under My Thumb’, a tribute to the greatest song ever written ‘Satisfaction’, timeless lyrics of ‘Mother’s Little Helper’ with an elongated jam tossed in and a stirring ’19th Nervous Breakdown’!

The duo had a very engaging sense of humor that connected well with the “mature” wine drinkin’ audience.  Lines like “Does clapping mean they like ya or glad you are done?” rocked. They made a point to praise the music loving state of Texas and it was truly from the heart.

As far as the overall venue experience it scored well by us. “Potluck” dinners are a strong attraction to the house concert experience and tonight they featured meat and vegetable lasagna with two killer salads, too! Folks bring side dishes and they were beyond delicious, plus the desserts were over the top! We could tell this is a “newbie” class of curious house concert goers for the most part and the growing pains showed a tad when Stanley had to politely say early on to clam up so they could perform.

The lack of a microphone/PA system hurt this gig as well. The lay out is beyond comfortable and adding some sound amplification would bring the experience to another level. Plus it is a lot easier on the musicians fragile vocal cords.  Nancy and Lynn are only 3 gigs in and there is no reason this series cannot stick and prosper in the future.  In fact, they have a show planned for 3/8/13 already.

Hit up nancyjbrand@yahoo.com for details and she can add you to her growing list of followers!  God Bless hard working folks who lean on live music to bond and enjoy life with others…See YOU out and about!