4

Blinding Flashes of Light (and John Common)

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Thanks to a tip from a reliable informant, I managed to catch a sneak preview of John Common's band last night as they "rehearsed" at a most unlikely venue: the Washington Park Grille. Common has assembled a top-notch ensemble for his latest outing, and it was great to hear the group working out the kinks before its big debut, which happens Friday, February 20, at the Oriental Theater. While most of the press for this show is focused on the debut of Common's People's Kazoo Orchestra, last night's show proves there's even more to be excited about.

Backed by staggeringly talented multi-instrumentalist Wes Michaels, gracefully restrained drummer Carl Sorensen, deft key-tickler Jon Wirtz, ubiquitous bassist Jimmy Stofer and smoldering vocalist Jess De Nicola, Common sounds better than ever. The band is able to groove on jazzy numbers, jam on rockers and twang out for country-flavored ditties, all while preserving the sense of sincerity and humor that characterize all of Common's live performances.

Though Common occasionally leans a little too far toward well-worn cliches of earnest heartache for my taste, when his well-calibrated songwriting bat really connects with the ball, he easily knocks it out of the park. I heard some great tunes last night -- honest, aching, beautiful, rousing songs, made even better by the sextet's solid arrangements and engaging performances. I'm very much looking forward to catching John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light on February 20, especially with Achille Lauro and Ellison Park opening.

And, yes, there'll be kazoos, too.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.