By Mike McKenney, Rock At Night New England
Venue: The Stadium Theatre, Friday November 13, 2020–Woonsocket, Rhode Island
Live music has been difficult to find in New England since the pandemic began. All of the larger venues are closed, and following the social distancing rules along with a 25% occupancy limit make most shows financially prohibitive in all but some of the smaller boutique venues. So it was exciting to find the uber talented Jeffrey Gaines playing at The Stadium Theatre on Friday night.
With only his voice and a guitar for accompaniment, JG entertained a small but enthusiastic crowd all evening, mixing original songs with a few covers. Soulful, gritty, and passionate, best describe Jeffrey’s vocals on originals “Hero In Me”, “Falling Apart”, and “To Be Free”. While he displayed his range and vocal breadth on The Cult’s “Brother Wolf, Sister Moon”, and a fantastic Ewan MacColl’s “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (Roberta Flack version), Gaines is chock full of personality and he kept the audience in the palm of his hand all night, engaging them with funny stories and when someone requested a song, he encouraged them to sing it with him.
JG is also a talented guitar player and although he is great with a band, this stripped down, just his voice and guitar version is at times powerful, complex, and truthful. During one song he came out in front of his mic and just sang to the crowd under his own power.
Gaines managed to get in a full set before curfew and when he closed with his unique arrangement of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”, it was as if we were hearing that song for the first time ever. Amazingly heartfelt and emotional, it brought the house to their feet.
Jeffrey Gaines was a Daytime Emmy Nominee for his hit “I Want You to Want Me” that he wrote for “All My Children”. He has toured with artists as Paula Cole, Tori Amos, Sting, Joe Jackson, and Stevie Nicks. His latest album Alright is widely available.
Catch him streaming live on Sunday November 22, 2020, tickets available on his website.
Hero in Me
Talent for Surrender
To be Free
No I don’t think so
Scares Me More
Fall you fool
First time ever I saw your face
Brother wolf, Sister Moon
In your eyes