UCR INTERVIEW: Matt Easton of The Jenny Thing

The Jenny Thing

“The Jenny Thing came together on the Berkeley campus of the University of California in 1991 when singer/guitarist Matt Easton met guitarist Shyam Rao. Matt and drummer Mike Phillips had grown up together, and both had been friends with bass player Ehren Becker since junior high.”

The Jenny Thing released three albums throughout the ’90s and received extensive airplay on college radio. They toured primarily in the west and performed at colleges and clubs like The Roxy and The Troubador in Los Angeles.

The band has reunited and have just released their first album since 1999. American Canyon is available wherever you purchase or stream music.

I had the opportunity to visit with Matt Easton, vocalist/ guitarist/ songwriter of The Jenny Thing. He shared stories of his first concert, best performing experience, and how American Canyon came about. It was a real pleasure to talk with him. Enjoy!

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UCR INTERVIEW: James DiGirolamo

James DiGirolamo

Nashville-based singer-songwriter James DiGirolamo has extensive experience as a
session musician and touring sideman. As a keyboard player, he’s worked with Mindy
Smith, Holly Williams, Peter Bradley Adams, Alice Peacock, Robby Hecht, Fognode,
The Bittersweets, Judson Spence, and many others. DiGirolamo’s latest solo work
draws on a wide array of influences including Paul Simon, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell,
Elliott Smith, Kate Bush, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, Thomas Dolby,
Steven Sondheim, XTC, Steely Dan, Ben Folds, Ron Sexsmith, and to no small degree
many friends and peers from his time in Nashville, such as Sarah Siskind.

James DiGirolamo has just released an EP of original songs. I had the opportunity to talk to James about Paper Boats, his music career, and much much more. Enjoy!

Interviewed by Kevin Rolfe

UCR:  Where am I talking to you from right now? 

James DiGirolamo:  I’m just outside of Nashville. 

UCR:  Oh, nice, and is that where you’re from originally, or did you move there for music?

James DiGirolamo: I came here in ’87 to go to college at Belmont. I studied music there. I’m originally from outside of Philadelphia.  I’ve lived here in Nashville the longest. I did the requisite New York City sojourn after college, and then I came back five years later, not necessarily with my tail between my legs. But that’s a hard place to struggle.

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Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit to Open Red Butte Garden’s 2021 Outdoor Concert Series on July 30

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

June 1, 2021—Red Butte Garden deputy director Derrek Hanson announced that JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT with very special guest Lucinda Williams, will kick off the 2021 Outdoor Concert Series on Friday, July 30. 

Tickets for the July 30 concert will go on sale early to Garden members this Thursday, June 3. And to the general public on Friday, June 4. Details for purchasing tickets to the July 30 concert date are available on the Red Butte Garden website  www.redbuttegarden.org/concerts.

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The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber May 7, 2021 Eccles Theater

Attending The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber at Eccles Theater felt like a joyous homecoming. I love this theater.  I was there opening night and have had the great fortune to return many times attending concerts, comedy, and theater.  This return, after over a year away felt that much sweeter. I even had the box office staff say, “Hi Kevin, welcome back! Here’s your ticket.” before I even made it to the window.  It really did feel like I was home.  

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UCR INTERVIEW: David Osmond The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber

The Really Useful Group in London has authorized a special, limited engagement of The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber to be produced almost entirely with Utah talent for Utah audiences in celebration of the return of live performance to Utah stages.

Emmy Award-winning Utah composer KURT BESTOR is collaborating with director LOUANNE MADORMA to bring this very special production featuring Utah musicians, singers, cast, crew and featured performers, including DALLYN VAIL BAYLES , DAVID OSMOND, Tony Award-winner LISA HOPKINS SEEGMILLER, LEXI WALKER and others, to the Eccles Theater, May 7th–15th.

Utah Concert Review Editor in Chief, Kevin Rolfe had the opportunity to chat with cast member, David Osmond leading up to Friday night’s opening performance.

Photo Credit:Russ Dixon

UCR:  I know what it feels like for me to once again prepare to cover a show but to be rehearsing and on a stage and listening to the music, what does it feel like to be preparing for an actual show?

David Osmond:  It is goosebumps! We were on stage yesterday and we’re doing our tech rehearsals and the lights are on and you smell that theater smell and everybody’s there and we’re going through the music and its great content. I just have a perma grin. I’m ear to ear, I’ve been able to grow up in the music world since I was a baby in so many different capacities of performing.

As a kid in a barbershop quartet and my brothers as a boy band back in the day to pop music and then the opportunity to get into musical theatre and perform doing Broadway tours and shows and of course “Joseph” was kind of the kingpin of that. I did five companies of it. To do that music again in this setting is epic. There’s nothing quite like it and to know that Eccles has been down for 14 months and this is like we’re kicking the cobwebs off and we’re bringing it back! And this is a Utah show with Utah’s finest. I’m honored to be part of the mix and I think the audience is going to be thrilled not just to be back in seats and not feel that live element again. But because of the show itself, it’s pretty epic.

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RAIN-A Tribute to the Beatles April 9, 2021 Maverik Center

RAIN St Peppers

What a strange year it has been. It’s hard to believe that it had been over a year since there was a concert at The Maverik Center! What a way to make its return to concerts than with the music of the greatest band in rock history, The Beatles. RAIN- A Tribute to The Beatles is the premier tribute band of The Beatles. They are in the midst of performing a three-show residency at The Mav. Today there will be a show at 3:00 PM and 8 PM. This show should not be missed by any fan of The Beatles. You’ll have a hard time convincing yourself that you’re seeing RAIN and not the actual Beatles.

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UCR INTERVIEW: Paul Curatolo (Paul McCartney) of RAIN- A Tribute to The Beatles

RAIN as The Beatles

RAIN – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES will bring the greatest hits to life, from Ed Sullivan all the way to Abbey Road. This mind-blowing performance takes you back in time with the legendary foursome delivering a note-for-note theatrical event that’s as infectious as it is transporting. Let RAIN take you back with all of your Beatles favorites such as “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Hard Day’s Night,” “Sgt. Pepper,” “Come Together,” “Hey Jude” and more! Experience the worlds’ most iconic band and get back to where you once belonged with RAIN – A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES.”

RAIN will be performing a 90-minute Best of the Beatles for three shows at the Maverik Center on April 9th & 10th. The first rock shows at Maverik in over a year! These shows will take place at 8 pm on the 9th and 3 pm and 8 pm on the 10th. The Maverik Center has taken enhanced health and safety measures including limited capacity seating for plenty of distance, face-covering requirements, hand sanitizing stations, and cleaning protocols before and after each performance. Click here for tickets.

I had the opportunity to chat with Paul Curatola, who performs as Paul McCartney in RAIN- A Tribute to the Beatles. We discuss what he’s been up to during the coronavirus pandemic, how he came to be a part of RAIN, what to expect from the Maverik Center shows and much more! Enjoy!

UCR: I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me.

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