The Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, MA provides a constant stream of quality entertainment to the area and on Saturday night they brought Sarah Blacker opening the night for the seven time Grammy nominated, and Grammy Award winning, Paula Cole.
Blacker began the night with a beautiful rendition of a track from her 2011 album “Come What May,” called Smitten. One of the reasons that Blacker was a nominee for a Boston Music Award this year is for songs like “Pluggin’ Away;” a new track that should be released on CD in 2013 and is bound to quickly become another in the growing number of fan favorites. The acoustics of the ballroom were perfect for Video of the Year (Limelight Magazine) nominated single “Knocked the Winds.” By the time Blacker finished out her set, she had once again won over new fans and wowed old ones. Blacker was accompanied by longtime Bassist Sean McLaughlin.
Massachusetts Native, Paula Cole has been entertaining audiences everywhere for nearly two decades now. The Grammy Award winning singer songwriter had never been to The Bull Run in Shirley, MA prior to Saturday night, however.
In a mesmerizing debut performance at The Bull Run, Cole provided a performance that showcased many of her dynamics. While most are able to instantly recognize her pop hits, they may not have realized all the diversity, and energy, she brings with her to a show.
There were several highlights to the evening with a couple deserving extra attention. The high notes Cole hit were indescribable; simply impeccable. The intimate atmosphere The Bull Run gave Cole’s favorite pop songs (“Where Have All the Cowboys gone,” and “I Don't want to Wait” in particular) a new dimension and special meaning as they were heard and enjoyed up close and personal. Cole’s upcoming CD, “Raven,” will be featuring many of the new tracks that she performed over the course of the evening and will be a CD to get your hands on.
Rounding out the Paula Cole trio on drums was Ben Wittman and on guitar / harmonica was Noe Socha. Witman is a percussionist and composer from Vermont while Socha is here from Italy and another Berklee prodigy.
This was a remarkable event. Many of those in attendance were being introduced to a Paula Cole they never knew before and is sure to increase her already huge following. The diversity of the lyrics and music she brought with her could both rip your heart out one instant and fill you joy and a love of life the next. Her talent went beyond the vocal range to playing multiple instruments; her ability to draw energy from the audience and immediately project it right back was overwhelming.
After a wonderful night of music, the performers made themselves immediately available to fans. Both performers spent time with every fan looking to meet them, have a photo opportunity with them, get their autograph, or pick up copy of their music.
Paula Cole will be off until April 19th when she will be playing at Wolf Trap at the Barns in Vienna, VA. Sarah Blacker’s next show is scheduled for February 8th is a house concert in Webster, NH. Blacker announced to her band on Saturday night they will be playing a full band show at The New England Music Awards on April 13th at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
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