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REVIEW: McCartney wins over Fairfield audience in U.S. debut concert

James McCartney Band
James McCartney Band
FAIRFIELD — The face is the same, but the voice might even be better.

It can’t be easy to be a Beatles baby. How are you supposed to carve your musical niche when you look and sound so much like your dad?

Shave your head, for starters. Even without hair, James McCartney is still the spitting image of his famous father. It’s those eyes. And those glorious tenor pipes.

The younger McCartney, 32, made his U.S. concert debut Saturday night, playing back-to-back sold-out concerts at the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Fairfield.

The evening was a triple treat for audience members, who showered the artists multiple standing ovations throughout. McCartney and his bandmates opened the show with 40 minutes of blistering rock ’n’ roll, followed by Pleasantville native turned New York blues belter Laura Dawn and The Little Death.

Sixties folk icon Donovan wrapped up the show with his timeless hits, including “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Season of the Witch,” “Colours,” “Lalena” and “Riki Tiki Tavi,” calling all the performers back onstage for “Mellow Yellow.”

The eclectic event was part of the fourth annual David Lynch “Change Begins Within” Weekend at Maharishi University. Lynch, filmmaker and director of “The Elephant Man,” “Blue Velvet,” “Mulholland Drive” and “Twin Peaks,” stepped into the spotlight to welcome the audience and introduce the musicians.

While all the bands were terrific, I was most interested in hearing McCartney and company. OK, and secretly hoping his dad would be in the audience or watching from the wings. (If he was, I didn’t see him.)

Besides genetic blessings, the young McCartney has the material to make a name for himself. He just needs to find a little more confidence to allow himself to relax and connect with his listeners. He introduced each song by title, and thanked the audience sincerely, but he often began his songs by turning his back to the audience and looking at his bass player. And most of his songs just ended abruptly or with a sigh.

His material, written over 10 years is in the final stages of being turned into CD, deals with themes of social consciousness, friendship and spirituality. Some are ballads, some have a punk edge, others have a Middle Eastern flair and most just showcase a good, solid rock edge.

He has a knack for thoughtful, careful lyrics, sung in a crystal-clear tone, and he’s equally adept at guitar and keyboards.

With a little more experience and exposure, he could easily have a more lustrous career than Sean or Julian Lennon.

Last Updated: 11/15/09 18:32
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view comments Comments (3)

3 people have commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think below.
by frank blagdan : Reynoldsville pa November 15, 2009 9:48 PM EST (Guest)  click to register
I agree with Johnathan.We have a review on James and then a virtual attack at two other performers.Both are talented and have good careers in their own right.I really wish the best for James McCartney this was his first performance in the states.After the cd is out I would hope a tour to support it.Id want to see him because I like his music not that he is Sir Pauls son.I truly enjoy the music of Sean Lennon and Julian Lennon.The writer of the article isnt really us about what Julian Lennon is up to these days.Pity a real reporter should research what they are going to write about.Shame you must have taken the day off when they taught that in journalism class.
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by Jonathan Walsman : Los Angeles, USA November 15, 2009 8:26 PM EST (Guest)  click to register
This was a great little article until the writer had to suggest the comparison to Sean and Julian. Come on. How boring. I too wish James success.
 Reply to this comment -
by Celia : Rio de Janeiro, Brazil November 15, 2009 7:28 PM EST (Guest)  click to register
James, I hope you achieve great success in your career!
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REVIEW: McCartney wins over Fairfield audience in U.S. debut concert


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News Summary

The face is the same, but the voice might even be better. It can’t be easy to be a Beatles baby. How are you supposed to carve your musical niche when you look and sound so much like your dad? Shave your head, for starters. Even without hair, James McCartney is still the spitting image of his famous father. It’s those eyes. And those glorious tenor pipes.