Extended Play Sessions @ The Fall out Shelter, Something New Under the Sun.

March 16, 2016

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12140835_1055959311090193_4332352516506581344_nAnytime you put Hayley Sabella on the same bill as Jo Henley  you can expect me to be there. Send me a private invitation to a special session with these two recording and performing artists and you can set it in stone, we’ll be there. Just such an evening occurred  Friday at the Fall Out Shelter, Extended Play Sessions  in Norwwood Ma. Set your GPS to 61 Endicott street Norwood. When you find yourself  backing out of a dead end alley  inside a brick and mortar  jungle left back from the industrial revolution, you’ve passed the entrance.  The original  Fallout Shelter sign still hangs in the darkened doorway giving the only  indication that you might be in the right place. You’ll notice a very old stone tunnel that one would need to crawl through on their hands and knees. Don’t worry, the entrance is just to the left of that.

 

The massive steel door opens up and you step onto a platform staircase  that stands 15 feet over  this magnificently restored industrial space complete with behemoth  pillars and massive forged  beams all glowing in light and polish.   The  dimmed lighting over the cocktail style tables and chairs dressed in black slip covers and slightly  illuminated with footlights gave an inviting warm glow to this amazing oak and iron bomb shelter. One look at the stage and you  just know these people have it all going on. The audio and video equipment, the lighting and the organization and design of the seating perfectly arranged around the stage leaving not a bad seat in the house. After picking our seats we were promptly  invited to help ourselves to the buffet. I wouldn’t want the food to steal the story but let me say it was excellent, fresh, creative, diverse and delicious satisfying epicureans  to vegans. The fully stocked bar was open for your pleasure with only a clear glass jar for a cash register. Our fantastic host was happy to open and pour a special bottle of wine we brought along. We’ll be bringing some to share next time.

The food, the wine, the atmosphere, the friendly generous hosts along with dozens of true music fans only feet from the stage had me levitating from my padded seat  in euphoric anticipation.

225262_1025921014113638_3574251361170106008_nAt seven PM sharp the amazing Hayley Sabella took to the stage  along with a film and sound crew that had me beginning to understand the Extended Play Sessions concept. I was sitting-in on a once in a lifetime,  professional recording of two of my favorite acts in the music business. Hayley Sabella is one of the few artists in the business who can pull off  playing acoustic solo in this type of venue.  The lyrics of her original songs, her skill on guitar  laced with her distinctive  angelic voice is truly mesmerizing. Sabella’s music is serious and severe at times often revealing her soul to the audience through her heart-wrenching  prose, heavy guitar  riffs and priceless facial expressions.  Truly one of the great singer/ songwriters.  All that along with a genuinely warm personality  makes a fan of everyone she touches. Listen to her  King Solomon album in front of the lyrics and you’ll have a new favorite.

With very little down-time the headliners took the stage following the incredible Sabella performance. Andy Camplieto,the great Ben Lee, Kent  Stevens and Ari Reijan were joined by two more musicians, Amer Saab  on keyboard and Robert Loyot  on sax and percussion. Both artists have been featured on past  Jo Henley albums and shows but this was the first time we got to see them live.   Again, my wildest expectations were blown away as Jo Henley unleashed a set of ten of their finest gems chosen  from their 100 song anthology covering ten years and seven albums. Clinton’s Ditch, Inside Out, Bayley Hazen Road and Better off with Him, just to name a few, were pumped up like never before with wicked  keyboarding, wailing saxophone and wildly enthusiastic  fan approval.1918241_10153952605086092_4706701676056675145_nThis was my 27th Jo Henley Show and perhaps the best one yet.   The last two years found Jo Henley  making their most polished records and  best live performances ever. Around these Parts is a studio masterpiece and Live at the Spire is last year’s best live album by far.  The band is constantly pushing the envelope hitting one home run after another. To top it all off,  Sabella rejoined the band on stage for a haunting rendition of Deep the Dirt from Jo Henley’s latest album,Around these Parts.

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One of my very favorite things about Jo Henley shows  is to watch first time fans jaw’s drop in awe, especially  those of the proprietors. I got a full portion this night.

After the smoke had cleared and the band had mingled with the euphoric fans, the artists assembled again on the stage, this time seated in a row of  chairs. Bill Hurley turned from club operator to cameraman and now interviewer. The artists were asked a wide range of questions and all answered with amazing insight and honesty. It was the perfect after- dinner mint to sit and listen to the question and answer portion of the event. People who can make beautiful music like these folks make operate on a whole different plain of consciousness than the average Joe. Their answers were fascinating giving glimpses of the creative talents that are the building blocks for their songs.  It was the final touch on an amazing evening with The Extended Play Sessions.

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The Fallout Shelter offers a truly unique music experience that gives the average fan a front row seat and the almost  famous band the spotlight in a professional  live recording studio. For me  was as if I was attending  MTV unplugged series with Bob Dylan from the front table at Chaulky White’s Onyx Club.  The Fall Out Shelter is a one of a kind entertainment experience if you are seeking something new under the sun.

We give the Fallout Shelter our highest marks! Food, Ten. Drinks, Ten. Service Ten.  The atmosphere I can not put a number high enough on. It needs to be experienced to be believed.

The Fallout Shelter is not open to the public. It is an invitation only, private recording company that records a couple times per month.All food beverage is provided at no charge to their invited guests For more information contact Extended Play Sessions, studioconcertseries@gmail.

11921698_10206414482395283_2789630359997299855_n A word from Extended Play Sessions producer, Bill Hurley. “I’ve been a friend and fan of Jo Henley going back quite a few years. I worked their first album to Americana Radio and I’ve written about them in The Alternate Root Magazine on subsequent releases. I’m never dissappointed with the sound thand Andy and Ben come up with and their growth as writers and musicians has been steady and exponential. The show at The Fallout Shelter studio where we film The Extended Play Sessions was as good as I have heard them and the new songs are among the best material they have produced. As a band they have come into their own and I’d rank them with any band out there on the American Roots music circuit. The show was incredible and the additions of Rob Loyot on percussion and sax along with Hayley Sabella’s appearance made the night even more special than it already was”. – Bill Hurley, Producer, The Extended Play Sessions -