Sunday, July 17, 2011

Concert Review Swamp Dogg BAM R&B Festival Metro Tech Brooklyn 7/14/11

Concert Review
Swamp Dogg  BAM R&B Festival
Metro Tech Brooklyn 7/14/11

Jerry Williams, Jr., AKA Swamp Dogg, is a musical genius.
It’s too bad most of the world doesn’t know who he is.
The 69 year old R&B cult hero has the usual horror stories and more about record deals gone bad, labels that went under, and hits that didn’t happen. You wouldn’t know about his industry struggles on this day, though. His outgoing and even eccentric personality was evident from the very beginning as he announced he was ugly, short, and that we must be wondering how he could sing of being a “lover man.” Nonetheless he was resplendent in his green suit and the fun-loving, dynamic vocalist proved to be a great showman as well. Constantly up from his keyboards, he conducted the band, danced, and interacted with the large, enthusiastic crowd throughout the 90 minute show. 
In short, he held the noontime outdoor fans in the palm of his hands.
Mixing poignant ballads like Sam Stone about an addicted Vietnam Vet back home, with colorful up-tempo numbers like Total Destruction to Your Mind, as well as covers of various classics, Swamp Dogg turned this into a revival meeting of sorts. This was particularly the case during his twenty or so minute finale, I’ve Got to Get a Message to You in which he left the stage to sing among the fans who excitedly swarmed around him, took photos, videotaped, and hugged the tireless performer.
I wish he’d play NY more, because what Mr. Williams does is almost a lost art. This was only the second chance I’ve gotten to see him in spite of having many of his albums and CDs. And he’s recorded twenty or so; I also wish the world would finally discover them and the colorful Swamp Dogg.
A great show from a great artist, plain and simple.

--Evan Ginzburg

Love great music by artists deserving wider recognition? Come down to my NO COVER shows at Gizzi's Cafe 16 W 8th St. NYC EVERY Monday, Tuesday, Friday and 2nd Sunday!

Great live music of all genres/poetry/lit readings at Gizzi's Cafe this month


 “An eclectic mix of the arts”
Never a cover!  Great food/alcohol/coffee/desserts/ambiance
Upcoming July shows- 

Sunday July 17 7PM Jennifer Baron 8PM Jenn Constantine 9PM Coole High (acclaimed jazz/r&B/hip hop)

Monday July 18 7PM Mike Sheehan Poetry set     7:30 Glenna Bell- country music at its best
8:30 Michael McHugh poetry set and Evan Ginzburg reads from Apartment 4B Like in Brooklyn
9:30 Eddie Wiernik keyboard/sax/vocals

Tuesday July 19  “Kevin Marin Presents” - Corey Sky singer/songwriter
EdwardInNY .    Elizabeth Grimes singer/songwriter and pianist Madeleine Twyman- Inspired songwriter

Friday July 22 7PM Jazz Underdogs   8PM Annie Dinerman  9PM Jordan Cooper  10PM Edwin Vazquez

Monday July 25 “Kevin Marin Presents” Featuring Cheryl Pyle Jazz Flutist & TBA

Tuesday July 26 Women in Music series Vol. 1- HOSTED, BOOKED, AND STARRING LUANNE SURACE featuring Heather Edwards & TBA   

Friday July 29   7PM Felix Cabrera/Robert Ross blues duo  8PM Marc Raphael  9PM Ja’Nae Wilkerson R&B
10PM Stacee Mandeville( jazz and blues)

July 31 7PM Johnny Valiant comedy (tentative)  8PM Tohm Lev  9PM Timothy Douglas (jazz meets hip hop)

Gizzi's Café   16 West 8th Street (west of 5th Ave., east of Macdougal) New York, NY 10011
Take the N or R train to 8th Street, walk west or take the A,B,C,D,E,F,V train to West 4th Street; walk north, then east on 8th Street   Visit:,,

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Dear Friend-

I want to personally invite you to 2 spectacular celebrations at Gizzi’s Café that I am proud to have booked and will be hosting. NO COVER/NO MINIMUM.

Please come out and celebrate with us this Tuesday July 5 when we celebrate our first anniversary with 8 great acts and free champagne at 10PM.

Next Tuesday July 12, I celebrate 20 years of radio with some of my all-time favorite acts and it culminates with a memorable JAM SESSION! 

We would love to see you there. And if you’ve played at Gizzi’s or been on Legends Radio, please come down and share these very special nights with us.  Details below.


                                                                                                                                                                                              Gizzi's Cafe
16 West 8th Street (west of 5th Ave., east of Macdougal)
New York, NY 10011
N or R to 8th Street, walk west
A,B,C,D,E,F,V to West 4th Street; walk north, then east on 8th Street

Tuesday July 5.Gizzi's Café 1 year anniversary (under current management) celebration! 
I've cherished the great moments we've had with so many artists of all musical genres and I hope you can be part of what will be a tremendous and eclectic evening of music of virtually every genre. Note, this huge event is the premier of the Evan's Tuesday Events Series at Gizzi's where I will mix great live music with notable events. FREE champagne to all in attendance at 10PM.
6:45 PM Chad Mcloughlin/Billy Likitsakos duo (Jazz)
7:30 PM  Ron B and Mandola Joe (Folk music- guitar/mandolin)
8:00 PM Useless Beauty (Pop/alternative)
8:30 PM Marc Raphael
9:00 PM Samuel R. Saffery (from New Zealand)
9:30 PM Curtis and the Dilettantes
10:00 PM Alex Montanez
10:30 PM  Stacee Mandeville Jazz vocalist

Tuesday July12   Evan Ginzburg's 20th Anniversary in Radio Celebration at Gizzi's Café
Evan's dream lineup- each act masters of different musical genres. Don't miss it!
7:00   Edwin Vazquez Musica
7:30   SoSoon
8:00   Felix Cabrera and Robert Ross blues duo
8:30   Ned Massey (John Hammond Sr.'s final discovery)
9:00   Luanne Surace and her Bleecker Street Band, featuring Adam Tagliamonte and Aaron Lowry- Spirituals/Americana
9:30   Nikki Iliopoulo Jazz
10:00 to whenever OPEN JAM SESSION

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bobbi Humphrey Concert Review

Concert Review
Bobbi Humphrey
BAM R&B Festival
Metro Tech, Brooklyn
June 30, 2011

Flute legend Bobbi Humphrey sure knows how to throw a party.
The warm, funny, gracious, and personable hostess made the outdoor noontime audience feel like they were in her backyard. Mixing reminiscences, shout-outs, plugs, and just plain great music, the hour and a half or so flew by.
But not before we were privileged to hear some virtuoso playing.
Ms. Humphrey makes her instrument “talk” as they used to say. It was almost hypnotic.
Bobbi even sang a few uptempo, crowd-pleasing numbers that got folk dancing. An African woman walked to the stage and threw down some cash in tribute to her.
Hey, deservedly so.
Bringing up New Orlean’s keyboard wizard Davell Crawford only added to the festivities, and my jaded 78 year old Mom who has seen everyone from Bird to Art Tatum to Billie Holliday on down, gave this gig her ringing endorsement.
“I loved it” she beamed.
What more can be said? Just a wonderful afternoon.

 --Evan Ginzburg
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.

Bootsy Collins Concert Review NYC 6/26

Concert Review
Bootsy Collins
BB Kings Supper Club NYC
Sunday June 26

This one was like Heaven and Hell combined.
On the positive side, Bootsy and his merry band came to play and put on the funkiest two and a half hour show/party you’re ever going to see. Playing all their hits plus Sly and George and everything in-between, Bootsy even walked into the crowd to dance with and touch his adoring fans. And with Bernie Worell on keyboards, Blackbyrd McKnight on guitar, Frankie “Kash” Waddy on drums and Public Enemy’s Colonel Hardgroove on bass and vocals, you couldn’t ask for more. Hey, even Dr. Cornel West joined in.

In short, this was memorably great.
On the other hand, the club was painfully overcrowded. It felt like rush hour on the F Train. Sweltering hot and so packed that you couldn’t move, my calves “burned,” feet ached, back throbbed, and it basically became an endurance contest. Standing in one spot for almost four hours takes some of the fun out of things as you can imagine. And at $8 a beer, staying hydrated was an expensive proposition.
But, hey, it was for Bootsy who hasn’t toured in 13 years.
Opening act, Freekbot, tore the joint up on a smaller stage to the side of the main one, where everything was set and ready to roll for Bootzilla.  So you do have to question why there was a 45 or so minute break before Bootsy came out under such uncomfortable conditions.
All in all, file this under show of the year, but I sure felt it the next morning.
--Evan Ginzburg
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.