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Music seen: Tony McNaboe

Live at The Big Easy, February 10
By SONYA TOMLINSON  |  February 19, 2009

By the time you, dear reader, lay eyes on this, you will have one last opportunity to catch Tony McNaboe's month-long Tuesday-night residency at the Big Easy, which — according to his prediction on week two — is "only going to get better."

Departing from his norm, a long-haired and mustached McNaboe opened the second night of his series sitting down by himself with an acoustic guitar. This reintroduction to the guy whom we've seen for years behind a drum kit for Rustic Overtones (and as an energetic front man for the ten-piece Inside Straight, of which I was part) was a genuinely welcome change. It felt honest and boundary-pushing, qualities a listener looks for in a person resurfacing with new material.

But it wasn't long before the typical feel-good soul music that McNaboe is known for got the semi-thin crowd on the dance floor. Introducing new tracks from an upcoming full-length album that he announced will be out as early as next month, McNaboe dug up familiar dirt with "Letting Go," crooning about how he's "still got a broken heart." It wasn't surprising subject matter — singing of old love, new love, and lost love is something McNaboe has coined, and his fans like the way he does it.

That's why they appeared excited to also hear old favorites like, "Closer," and "Days Like This" off his now six-year-old debut album, Destination. There were even a couple of sing-alongs.

Everything old is new again, and McNaboe has an entirely new band — including Kenya Hall on vocals and tambourine, Mike Taylor on guitar, and other faces as familiar as Tony's sound.

Tony McNaboe will be at the Big Easy again on February 24.

Related: Portland music news, February 6, 2009, Portland Music News: May 29, 2009, There is a Light, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Entertainment, Kenya Hall, Mike Taylor,  More more >
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