New York On My Mind- “The Bottom Line Tribute Show”
World Financial Center
River to River Festival NYC
June 22, 2011
If you’re a music loving New Yorker over a certain age, you probably have great memories of the now defunct Bottom Line club.
My favorite acts at The Bottom Line were the masterful Sonny Rollins and comedian/pianist/ventriloquist Uncle Floyd. I also saw The Main Ingredient, comic Richard Lewis, a post-August Darnell Dr. Buzzard’s Savannah Band, The Weather Girls, McCoy Tyner, and countless other greats.
This event was a smorgasbord of lovely sounds with a dozen or so name stars coming out for very brief sets. Frankly, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
Roseanne Cash seemed unrehearsed and was disappointing. The tremendous Garland Jeffries was slighted by them having him do just one song, although great he was. Newscaster Budd Mishkin’s personal reminiscences and Vin Scelsa’s reading of poetry seemed a bit out of place in the midst of a concert, particularly while acts of Jeffries’ stature were rushed off the stage.
But there were also some fabulous moments. Singer Dar Williams was a standout with her booming voice. Willie Nile has a lot of soul. Marshall Crenshaw is always wonderful, and particularly on this evening as he had a vocal harmony group, The Groovebarbers, backing him. Their rendition of Up on the Roof was just tremendous and even soothing. And Loudon Wainwright III was a show stealer.
The flawed but lovely show was a warm, fuzzy night for New York baby boomers. Let’s hope the Bottom Line does eventually return as they’ve been saying, for more wonderful music just like this.
--Evan Ginzburg www.legendsradio.net
Evan Ginzburg celebrates 20 years of radio July 12 at Gizzi’s Café 16 W 8th St. NYC 7-11 PM with a No Cover concert featuring 6 of his favorite virtuoso acts- all genres of music- and a 10 PM jam session.