Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tommy Doerr at Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market

Sometimes it's the beat that draws me over. Sometimes it's the voice. Today it was both, as I ambled down State Street at the Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market and saw an unfamiliar musician singing and strumming to the passersby. When the sound got me swaying, I had to find out who it was. Philadelphia-area native, Englewood-Florida-based Tommy Doerr  is his name, and his flamenco-flavored bluesy rhythms and sandy-voiced smooth vocals were a pleasant surprise.

You can catch Tommy Doerr on Sunday and Monday evenings at Tommy Bahama's on St Armands Circle on Lido Key, Sarasota. Also on Tuesday evenings at Blue Que in Siesta Village on Siesta Key.

I'll probably have more to say after I've seen him play a few times. Meanwhile, check out Funky Time on Tommy D's Reverbnation page, and you'll see what got me moving at the market.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"Delinquent Duo": Chris Otto & Siesta Key Lei

Wanting to vary my weekly live music schedule, last Tuesday evening I headed over to Darwin's, on 4th Street, just east of Lemon Avenue in Sarasota to check out two musicians I'd seen play solo and with other bands. Recombining in this instance as the Delinquent Duo were Chris Otto and Siesta Key Lei (Lei Stanhope). I wouldn't have put them together in my imagination, but they've crafted a pleasing and idiosyncratic sound and song list.

Chris Otto can be seen regularly doing solo gigs at S.K.O.B. on Siesta Key and at Marina Jack's at Bayfront Park. Siesta Key Lei is the lead guitarist and backup vocalist for Shift Change and sits in with The Instigators on lead and support vocals. At Darwin's, they featured a two-guitar dance that interwove leads, rhythm, and vocal harmonies. I particularly enjoyed their rendition of "Cassidy", a Grateful Dead tune written by John Barlow and Bob Weir. Otto offered a few of his originals, too.

They're recording their performances in anticipation of an upcoming CD. To that point, the sound quality I heard had nice depth, resonance, and a warm, live tone.

Delinquent Duo is on the calendar for Tuesday nights at Darwin's, from 6:30 to 9:30PM. Get there early for some tasty deals from the happy hour menu.

Don Tapert: New CD Released Today

Native Detroit bluesman and singer/songwriter Don Tapert, currently living in New York, has just released his latest CD, a remastered collection of songs penned in New York and Nashville during a fertile period of tune-writing during the 1980s. Titled 2142 Acklen Avenue, after the address of his Nashville studio, the songs chronicle the ups and downs of romance.

Even the heartbreakers benefit from a solid back-beat and capable lead riffs. This disc is happily danceable and manifests the country-rock vibe that was just surfacing in Nashville in the late 1980s.

Lyrically, Tapert's narratives often hearken back to the simple male-female imagery of classic teenage hopes and dreams, fast cars, furtive adventures and explorations. Sweet, reflective songs like Lucky Man, I Can Feel the Hurtin' Too, and The Girl Who Fell in Love with Me bespeak a more mature appreciation for love's bittersweet situations.

In 2142 Acklen Avenue, Don Tapert serves up his own unique blend of Detroit blues and Nashville country-rock, well-seasoned by a lifetime of experience and enduring musical passion.

You can sample and download Tapert's CD on