Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
erry Lee Lewis isn't exactly out and about hitting the clubs these days. But if he was searching for someone who was carrying on his torch, he would do well to check out Adam Weiner, the force behind Low Cut Connie.
The Philly band was highly entertaining with Weiner a true force of nature. Think Lewis merged with Springsteen (although The Boss is The Boss).
Weiner's star seems to be rising even at the age of 38. He simply could not be held down, sometimes tickling the ivories of his elderly piano, Shondra. Weiner may have had a piano bench, but more often than not, he was playing the piano standing up with one leg fully stretched out behind him or later singing while standing on top of the piano. Or going into the crowd twice.
Some could accuse him of being over the top, and they might be right. It's hard to say that Weiner needed to shake his tush on a number of occasions with his back to the crowd, pulling down his suspenders and then ripping his beater t-shirt.
Weiner and band played with abandon in song after song. This was hyper speed rock with a bit of a rootsy or soulful sounds. There was no sense of Low Cut Connie slowing down.
There was a lot of palpable joy not only in the crowd, but amongst the band themselves. When Weiner went into the crowd to press the flesh with the 200 fans there, the band carried on the small stage with glee, particularly lead guitarist Will Donnelly.
Weiner was ably backed on vocals by Saundra Williams, who was with the late Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Williams gave a soulful reading to the songs, especially when she took lead vocals on one song.
The Killer lives on as Low Cut Connie.
Ruby Boots opened with a too-short set of 7 songs in 35 minutes, which she means the Ozzie left you wishing she had more face time on stage. Boots (aka Bex Chilcott), who has a few albums out in this country on Bloodshot, mines the more rocking side of Americana.
Strong on vocals, she underscored that on the most telling song of the set, "I Am a Woman" sung a capella and solo. Written a few years ago, the song has a lot of meaning in today's climate. While not to the same level of poignancy, Boots also turned in "Infatuation," about being followed by a stalker.
For the most part, Boots was rocking pretty well thanks in large measure to her ace lead guitarist.
There was not much let up in Boots' songs or delivery. On this night, too short was better than nothing.