review of Rams Head show April 14

Review by Bill Hoyt (Switch to

I stood up clapping, as I always do, when Prarie, Jessie, Kasim and Todd took the stage. As I have matured more into Todd's music, I become more grateful for his artistry each time I see him perform. And after listening to the blues at the Rams Head Tavern on Wednesday, I remain pleased, respectful and impressed.

After being welcomed, Todd thanked "The Faithful", whom he described as those who come out to see him play no matter what he's currently doing. Of course, it was packed in the Rams Head, and that's no surprise, and when you see the thinning hair, bald heads and plump bellies in attendance, you know that Todd's fans are life-long, with many folks supporting his 40 year tenure as a unique musician.

So, whaddya do with Robert Johnson tunes? Well, you play them, and there was Prarie setting the beat, Jessie keeping jam time with that left leg of his, Kasim plucking away, and Todd singing and soloing with heart. These guys have been together steadily for almost 3 (?) years through Arena, AWATS, and now Johnson, and they have fun with their vocation, and by turn, the audience grins, laughs, and applauds.

There were plenty of goofy moments with Todd mocking his age, and with the band hamming it up on songs. This is what makes seeing Todd such a delight: he's having fun. While he said "Now that was hard.." after playing "Bleeding", and said he thought he was "stroking out" when the stage lights temporarily went out, there's no worry coming from the audience; 60+ years finds this musician in a sweet spot, and we love being part of the ride.

So, go ahead Todd, toss out "I Saw the Light" (the ladies always start swinging and swaying and squealing), sashay through "Black Maria", slide through "I Went to the Mirror", bounce through "Open My Eyes", and punch through "Unloved Children." Keep smiling, laughing and playing, and we'll see you soon.

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4/14/2010 - Rams Head On Stage - Annapolis, MD

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