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Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey At The Loft, Friday, November 9th, 2018, Reviewed

A cold, wet and dreary night was the right time for my first visit to City Winery’s newest listening room, The Loft. And the perfect act to see was Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, two of my favorite musicians – both via their solo careers and with their legendary band, The dB’s.

The Loft is the perfect venue for the acoustic performance delivered by Messrs. Holsapple and Stamey; joined by guitarist Dave Schramm, who added the spot-on textures to various songs, this (as corny as it may sound) was an intimate set, filled with warmth, humor and pure emotion. After the introduction by Chris Stamey, quoting from Jack Lemmon, “it’s magic time”, the show began with Mr. Stamey’s “The Company Of Light”, from his 1992 album Fireworks.

It dawned on me pretty quickly that this set would be special – the audience would be treated to songs we’d never heard (or thought we’d hear) live – in any manner. From there, they were off and running – Mr. Holsapple delivered “She Was The One” from their first album as a duo, 1991’s Mavericks; a surprising acoustic version of The dB’s “Cycles Per Second” (!), “Geometry” and a powerful, heartfelt reading of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Darling Be Home Soon”.

For me, from the outset of the show, highlights were everywhere, especially the two numbers from The dB’s masterpiece, Repercussion – the very warm “Nothing Is Wrong” and my favorite dB’s track, “From A Window To A Screen” – I was absolutely in shock and thrilled to see/hear them do this. The next six songs ran right to the end of the set and all were stellar, including the very sweet “Early In The Morning”, from 2009’s Here and Now; a powerfully moving rendition of Mr. Holsapple’s recent solo single/video, “Don’t Mention The War”, from this year’s Game Day, “Here and Now”’s title cut and closing the main set with The Everly Brothers’ epic, “Let It Be Me”, which I’m not ashamed to say put tears in my eyes (a very personal song which my ex-bass player and I used to perform in our acoustic sets). A brief encore followed, including the “single” from Mavericks, “I Want To Break Your Heart” (another piece of pop perfection) and their version of The Byrds’ “Here Without You” (certainly a fan favorite, also from Mavericks).

It isn’t often that I go to a show and feel inspired afterwards. But I’ve been playing my guitar again these last 24 hours with some ferocity, thanks to seeing Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey. And I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to experience one of these very rare, live acoustic performances by them.

Setlist

The Company Of Light

She Was The One

Taken

Cycles Per Second

Geometry

Darling Be Home Soon

You Make Me Believe

Hollywood Waltz

Nothing Is Wrong

The Child In You

From A Window To A Screen

Early In The Morning

Close Your Eyes

Don’t Mention The War

Angels

Here and Now

Let It Be Me

 

Encore:

I Want To Break Your Heart

Here Without You

Lord Of The Manor

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