The New Riders of the Purple Sage (NRPS): Buddy Cage, Michael Falzarano, Ronnie Penque, and Johnny Markowski and friends: Rob Wilson and Ron Harrison took the audience on a memorable journey of country rock at Fairfield Theatre Company's StageOne in Fairfield, Connecticut. Although David Nelson was not with the band due to a serious injury, the band and friends performed the songs that we have all come to know and love.
As a bit of background, the New Riders of the Purple Sage performed from 1969 until 1997 with John Dawson, David Nelson, Buddy Cage and others. David Nelson and Buddy Cage re-formed the band in 2005, with the line-up featuring David Nelson on lead guitar and vocals, Buddy Cage on pedal steel guitar, Michael Falzarano on guitar and vocals, Ronnie Penque on bass and vocals, and Johnny Markowski on drums and vocals.
Unfortunately, David Nelson fractured his shoulder while on tour prior to the Fairfield Theatre Company's StageOne performance, and had to fly home for surgery. Ever the consummate performer, David suggested that the band "soldier on and try to make to the next few gigs to fulfill their contracted obligations; taking it one show at a time."
New Riders of the Purple Sage
On Sunday, September 18, 2016, we were fortunate to be in the audience for the New Riders of the Purple Sage and Friends' performance with the legendary Buddy Cage on pedal steel guitar, Michael Falzarano on guitar and vocals, Ronnie Penque on bass and vocals, and Johnny Markowski on drums and vocals joined by "friends," namely Rob Wilson to fill in on lead guitar for David Nelson, and Ron Harrison on keyboards, and the band and friends indeed soldiered on to create a memorable evening of music taking the audience down a nostalgic journey into the days of our youths.
Rob Wilson, Michael Falzarano, Ronnie Penque
A band that is well-loved by its fans, for the New Riders of the Purple Sage, it was their 14th appearance in 11 years at Fairfield Theatre Company's StageOne, and for the audience it was the opportunity to get up close to the band in the intimate 225-seat, wrap-around setting.
The band deftly opened the first set with the song, Rainbow, a cut off the NRPS' 1972 Powerglide album, which set the tone for the evening. Next in the line-up was the song, Fair Chance To Know, followed by the late John Dawson song, Louisiana Lady, one of our favorite NRPS songs, that was off their self-titled 1971 album, New Riders of the Purple Sage.
Another highlight of the evening was the song, Sweet Lovin' One, also from their Powerglide album. Michael Falzarano introduced the next song, Take Back What's Mine with a heartfelt dedication to his friend Natalie who had been in a serious accident and he was wishing her well. Natalie, we too hope that you make a full recovery.
When we thought that it could not get any better, the band segued into the song, Friend Of The Devil, a song written by Jerry Garcia and NRPS original member, John Dawson, off the band's Keep On Keepin' On album, followed by another audience favorite, Maggie's Farm, written by Bob Dylan, with more than one person in the audience singing along.
Johnny Markowski and Michael Falzarano
After a short intermission, the band opened the second set with the Johnny Markowski, Bobby Driscoll song Higher off the NRPS' 2009 album, Where I Come From, before segueing into the Bob Dylan song, Tangled Up In Blue, followed by Never Can Tell. Along the way, there were more great songs before the band closed out the performance with the Mick Jagger, Keith Richards' song, Dead Flowers, a cut off the band's 1976 studio album, New Riders of the Purple Sage.
Michael Falzarano left the audience with the parting, "No one knows what's going to happen, (with David Nelson out, and Buddy Cage battling cancer and on chemo), but if this is it, it's been a great 11 years."
Rob Wilson and Michael Falzarano
Whatever the future may hold for the New Riders of the Purple Sage, we were thankful to have been a part of the experience at Fairfield Theatre Company's StageOne on September 18, 2016 and to have the opportunity for another listen as we journeyed down the musical highway together. We wish David Nelson and Buddy Cage speedy recoveries.
"The Fairfield Theatre Company is a nonprofit center for the arts and culture located in the heart of downtown Fairfield, Connecticut. We bring together a community of musicians, actors, artists, writers, fans, and supporters who are dedicated to the simple premise that the broadest spectrum of live entertainment and cultural exchange is essential to the vitality of our society."
"Established in 2004, StageOne is a 225-seat venue in the heart of downtown Fairfield, Connecticut. Originally built primarily for theatre productions, StageOne is consistently voted as the best place to hear live music in the entire region because of the quality of the sound, the intimacy of the space, and the caliber of the artists. There is literally not a bad seat in the house and there are few venues in the country where the fans can be so close to the world-renowned artists who grace the stage in over 200 concerts and productions a year. The artists love to perform here and frequently cite StageOne as their absolute favorite venue. This brings out the very best in them, which is reflected in the quality of their performances and enjoyment of their fans."
Fairfield Theater Company now has two exciting venues: StageOne (225-seat venue), and adjacent to StageOne, The Warehouse, their newest venue (640-capacity, flexible seating).
StageOne and The Warehouse are conveniently located directly across from the Fairfield Train Station making it easily accessible by car or by train via Metro North. By car, it is a 30-minute drive from Greenwich and New Haven, a 60-minute drive from Hartford, and a 90-minute drive from New York City.
Please visit the website, www.FairfieldTheatre.org for program information on upcoming performances at all three of their venues. For tickets or information, please call: +1-203-259-1036.
A few of the many upcoming shows at StageOne in Fairfield:
|October 13, 2016
||Matt Schofield, Jay Stollman
|October 22, 2016
||Rumer Willis, A Post Modern Caberet
|November 5, 2016
||Royal Southern Brotherhood
|November 27, 2016
||Alejandro Escovedo Band
A few of the many upcoming shows at The Warehouse in Fairfield:
|October 5, 2016
|October 16, 2016
||The James Brown Dance Party
|October 21, 2016
||Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes with Gary Douglas Band
|October 28, 2016
|November 16, 2016
StageOne and The Warehouse
Fairfield Theatre Company
70 Sanford Street (across from the Fairfield Train Station)
Fairfield, CT 06824
Box Office: +1-203-259-1036
For upcoming New Riders of the Purple Sage performances, please visit the website: www.TheNewRiders.com
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