I went to a concert with my pal Li, at the Gramercy Theatre in Manhattan (New York). The concert was Nancy Wilson from Heart with her new side project and new band Roadcase Royale. I‘m a big fan of Nancy and was so happy to have finally seen her in concert. The vocal lead, Liv Warfield of Prince’s New Power Generation, seriously had some out of this world vocal pipes. And the lead guitarist who is also from the Prince’s New Power Generation, was almost an embodiment of Prince’s spirit of great musicianship - the man was on fire. It was mesmerizing to hear him and watch him at the same time.
Nancy has a wonderful voice and she’s an awesome guitarist. I did see her sister, Ann Wilson, last year at the City Winery. Ann, if you didn't know, is also in the band Heart as the lead singer. In any case, this was one of the best concerts I ever attended, and I have to tell you why. The opening performance was of a singer and guitarist by the name of Brian Ripp. His music was like folk rock. But what made his performance so wonderful was that he had the audience joining in and singing with him on the choruses, of three of the songs he played. He was an excellent singer and an equally excellent guitarist. But like I said he interacted so well with the audience; my friend and I started to harmonize with him on the choruses. And then Nancy Wilson came on stage. Nancy Wilson and her new band Roadcase Royale. We got to talk to her from the audience, as we were sitting one guitar extension chord away. The whole concert was made up of songs that were about friendship, having faith, getting through your troubles, and one song that was specifically about “minding your business.
Sometimes you just have to have songs like that in this day and age. But finally songs of prayers, which was really needed, in an aim to heal us all in a world at odds. And they didn’t have to introduce these songs by explaining so much, but just sharing moments of their thoughts with us was enough. It made me feel as if I was in the living room having a musical jam session and having light yet meaningful discussions. I felt so connected to the music and musicians.
In the many years of watching performances of Nancy Wilson on youtube, and seeing her and her sister Ann in a concert many years ago, I came to know, that she is well known for her kicks while playing the guitar. I wasn’t disappointed. She played her fabulous guitar licks on “Crazy On You’, which Ann and Nancy wrote in the mid 70s, on their Dreamboat Annie, Heart album. So with songs like these, you could see it coming. She would play the acoustic or electric with intensity, and then you could see the energy, as she first jumps and then does her high kick and doesn’t miss a beat.
It was just a fantastic treat listening to these magnificent musicians. It made me feel so happy. But there was finally something more special about this group. They were a multi-cultural collaboration. They were a multi-cultural band. And this, speaks to the world that music is for everyone, of any background or any culture. I believe it’s one of the many gifts from God that tells humankind to continue to make this world a beautiful and better place for it’s people. Music being universal, can make all as one. And for time after time, in the presence of music, the world is a better place.