Tuesday, July 30

Xavier Rudd - The Stone Pony - Asbury Park, NJ - 7/25/13

On any given night the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ becomes an awesome place to get out and see live music in a fun yet intimate setting. This past Thursday proved to be in my opinion one of the better nights to do so as The South Jersey Staple played host to Australian born international touring star Xavier Rudd. Along with two noteworthy and enjoyable openers who treated all who was in attendance to what was a pretty magical night of music. The evening kicked off with NJ folk artist James Dalton whose style of folk and blues allows for his raspy soulful voice to resonate thru the crowd accompanied by sweet guitar work and a harmonica that I won’t soon forget.  His set left me feeling as if I had taken a ride thru the mind of a man who has seen many things and lives to describe his travels and life thru his art.  With the energy inside already peaking Nahko and Medicine For The People took the stage engulfing the crowd with an insane blend of Tribal music infused with unique mix of Folk and Rock that is beyond what I could have hoped for or expected. Beautifully strong vocals mixed with the fierce percussion work of Hope Medford allowed for the crowd to dance and rejoice along with the band as they spread their word of Love for The Earth as well as all its living creatures.  Spreading the good word and attempting to gather others who will do the same thru music unlike almost anyone I have ever encountered. 
These were two very strong opening acts leaving nothing behind and setting the crowd up for Xavier to close the evening.  Starting off his set with a lovely tune called “Messages” off the “Food in the Belly” record  it was almost as if he wanted to settle the amped up crowd into a comfortable place and the slowly build them back up.  Leading that charge was a stellar tune of his newest release “Spirit Bird” was “Follow the sun” which seemed to be a crowd favorite and understandably so. This tune gives you everything from moving vocals to strong guitar work one of the many instruments he’s seemed to have mastered.  The smooth transitions from instrument to instrument seem to just keep coming as he dives into “Lioness Eye” for the first time entrancing the crowd with the beautiful sounds of his didgeridoos while adding an infectious percussion rhythm making standing still impossible. Xavier finds a way to draw the crowd in weaving thru several of his albums mixing gentle spiritually uplifting tunes with upbeat tribal explosions. There are few musicians that truly paint a picture with their performances and Xavier is surely one of them using the crowd as a canvas and drawing on their energy and love to propel the show to another level. From the smooth and mellow openers to the fiercely moving “Culture Bleeding” and “Footprint” closers you get a little bit of everything from this international musician. 
Tapping in to the spirit of the earth and using his music to convey a messages of Love for all of Mother Nature this evening has been nothing short of magical as Xavier re takes the stage for a Moving version of “Wind Cries Mary” written by “Jimi Hendrix” and then finishes it all off with the Title track off his newest album “Spirit Bird” An hauntingly beautiful song that starts ends the night perfectly. From top to bottom the Stone Pony and tonight’s artists offer a reminder of how music can take you to places and allow us as humans to release the stress of everyday life and just be in the moment, and proving once again that all this is worth more than any price tag that could ever be placed on it.

James Dalton is touring Europe and North America and all his music and tour dates can be located at the link below http://www.reverbnation.com/jamesdalton and his newest release Frankonia can be purchased thru http://www.reverbnation.com/jamesdalton

Nahko & Medicine for the people are currently on tour and you can find there music and links at the below link http://nahko.com/

Xavier Rudd is continuing his tour and any info and or music can be found at http://www.xavierrudd.com/  
Words and Photos: Chason Heins
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