The High Falutin’ Band started out the show on a high energy foot and never lost a step for the next 2 hours!
Their cover of B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone” was one of the best and most original interpretations I’ve heard in a very long time. Paying respect not just to B.B., but also to the soul and emotion of the song. If there were any hesitation in my head going in, this obliterated that question and I was sold right then and there on the soul of this band.
After a handful of masterfully done opening songs, Gracie Curran took the stage and commanded the room with a full and exhilarating energy that was completely infectious to the band and the audience.
Sometimes you’ll experience a band that has only one or two good energy members, sometimes not even that. Everyone has an off night of course. But there was nothing but great and positive energy coming across to everyone in attendance.
Gracie Curran, a Boston area native, truly brought the soul and fun with her on this cold New England night. (Thankfully no blizzards this time around.) With a personality that is warm and excited she brings the soul and passion of the R&B gold standards to life. She stands tall and owns the stage like an absolute pro. Her engagement with the audience also made for a fantastic night with some good laughs along the way. You could tell it was also a homecoming with the number of friends and loved ones in the audience who came out to support Gracie!
Also in attendance was the legendary Ronnie Earl, who came out to enjoy Gracie as well as to sit in with her on a couple of numbers. One of which being the Slim Harpo penned “Shake Your Hips (Hip shake)”.
It was a beautiful blend of classic Blues with epic and skilled guitar work paired with a voice that has the depth and range to carry the playful dance worthy number. Seeing Ronnie Earl play on this tune and the band carrying right along with him with any cues he might give, it was just absolutely a moment of pure joy for myself. With Gracie bringing the Hip Shake to life, you couldn’t help but be transported to the 60’s when the maturing Electric Blues were still pumping out the now classics that shape our modern and future artists.
The High Falutin’ Band was solid and on point all night long. With Terrell Reed (Peanut) on drums, Geoff Murfitt on bass/vocals, and Frank Maneiro on guitar/vocals; you know you’re in for a great night of music!
Terrell Reed, also of the Nick Black Band and Victor Wainwright Train, is a solid touring drummer whose passion for Soul and Blues music translates into allowing him to perfectly fit genres together while also defying to be categorized into any one box. It’s a skill not everyone puts on full display even when they are more than capable of doing so. it’s always a pleasure getting to see and hear his beat fill out the music in a way that brings on the “chair dance” experts and the out of your seat boogie movers moved onto the dance floor to shake their money makers. I’m looking forward to seeing him again soon as he links back up with Nick Black in the coming weeks, and especially the next trip through with Gracie!
Geoff Murfitt is one of the founding members of the High Falutin’ Band. Carrying a bass that is seemingly effortlessly moved from Blues to Rock to Soul and right into Funk, you can see why he has been a long time member of the band and has continued to work with Gracie’s fantastic energy. They make a pairing on stage that is pure joy to observe! During the tunes where Ronnie Earl was up with the band you could see him paying close attention to the Blues veteran making sure to pick up the cues given for any part of the song, and he hit them all in a great blend of styles.
The newest member of the band is Frank Maneiro, who also has his own band Franky Boy and The Blues Express, and was an absolute killer on that stage. His vocals matching perfectly to the cry of the guitar. He was a bright light on the stage. His skill, work, and talent showed in their full glory as he carried his side of the stage to perfection. His rendition of “The Thrill is Gone” was absolutely beautiful. He carried into it the love and respect for B.B. King and yet made it his own. He kept the soul right in place and the full tone of the guitar in that familiar range that has kept the song itself a standard of the Blues. I was so happy to see and hear the passion and respect he put into the piece.
As the night drew to a reluctant close, Gracie brought the Koko Taylor hit, “Trying To Make A Living,” to life. With the audience joining in with gusto, you could see the extent to which Curran and the band bring the fun to a room!
When you combine the talents and backgrounds of the artists both from the area and from outside of our area you get a beautiful blend of soul and sound that will stand on its own for years to come. With Gracie’s larger than life vocals and a band full of energy, you’ll never have a dull night of music.
I have to say that this was the first time I’d had the pleasure of seeing this band live and I can’t wait for their next trip back through the area. They are on my list of no-brainer choices when it comes to picking a night of music to enjoy!
Their night at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley MA is one of the highlights of 2019 thus far!
Make sure you check out her tour dates and keep an eye out for their much anticipated new album Come Undone.
*This review was not solicited by the musicians or venue.