September 22, 2017

The New Ten Years After Lineup Wows the Sellersville Theater

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On September 20, 2017 a new and revamped Ten Years After came to absolutely shake up the Sellersville Theater. Before the night was done everyone in the building were on their feet or dancing in the aisles.

Prior to and after the show longtime friend (50 years now) Ric Lee and I caught up. It has been over three years (last time TYA performed here) since were able to eat dinner together and talk about things. He told me all about the new line up in the band and how happy he is with them. You could hear in the conversation and in his performance on stage that new life has been breathed into Ric and the group.

For those who have seen the group in the past decade or so will be amazed at the improvement. While it is extremely hard to replace the lead singer and guitarist, the late Alvin Lee, they have finally found someone who is more than capable in that role.

After first hearing Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” at age 16, all that Marcus Bonfanti wanted to do was play guitar in a rock band. He worked 12 hours a day in a kitchen to save enough money to buy his first guitar. He still plays with that passion.

After playing as a session player for almost ten years he released his first solo album HARD TIMES in 2008. He did a tour here in the US as an opening act for several major acts to support the album that got rave reviews in England, but was largely ignored here in the US.

Then in 2010 his follow up album WHAT GOOD AM I TO YOU was listed as a top 50 LP by Classic Rock Magazine in the UK. In 2012 & 2013 just prior to joining Ten Years After, Marcus won the British Blues Award for Best Songwriter. He also was nominated for both best guitarist and vocalist of the year for the past three years. His 2013 release SHAKE THE WALLS made it to top 5 in Classic Rock Magazine with glowing praise.

For example:

Marcus Bonfanti deserves to become the next British Blues Guitar Hero.
The London Guardian

As if Jimmy Page had been reborn. Utterly spellbinding.
The London Times

Marcus’s stage presence and over-all performance in Sellersville did not disappoint the audience. He was just the shot in the arm the band needed. His voice is raspy and soulful. It is somewhat of a cross between Joe Cocker and Bob Seger. He can really rock, but can also pull off a heart filled ballad.

If there was any doubt that the new bass player wasn’t the right fit, it disappeared quickly. As someone in the audience shouted, “Colin you are my new favorite bass player” the audience cheered.

Colin Hodgkinson is hardly new to playing the bass guitar. He had been playing it since he was 14 and turned pro in 1966. His career took off in 1968 when Alexis Korner (father of the British Blues scene) asked him to join him. Later he toured and played with Back Door, Jan Hammer, Whitesnake, Long John Baldry and Spencer Davis.

Ten Years After did two sets with a brief intermission. One of the highlights of the night was a very pleasant surprise to the crowd. They did an acoustic trio of songs that included “Portable People”. The song was recorded at the very first sessions the group did in 1967 and was one of the first songs that I played on the air by them when I was on WIFI in Philadelphia. It was the first time Ten Years After had been played on the air in the US.

Ric Lee entertained the audience with his chats and drumming. His lengthy innovative drum solo on “Hobbit” showed that he is still one of the best drummers in the world.

The only damper on the night was the fact that original member Chick Churchill was not on keyboards. Yesterday Chick underwent a serious heart surgery. I am delighted to report that Ric Lee informed me this morning that Chick is out of surgery and doctors are very happy with the results. They expect Chick to be able to resume his keyboard duties soon. Ric was happy to report the good news and also wanted to say the following:

Thanks so much to everyone at The Sellersville Theatre and to every single one of you that came down to the show last night. We had an incredible time with you all and are already looking forward to coming back again one day. What a fantastic venue.

I will echo the thought that The Sellersville Theater is a fantastic venue. It is just about a perfect place to see a concert. There isn’t a bad seat in the house and it is very clean. While Ric and I were talking after the show, crews were already cleaning the building from top to bottom.

For those who were not lucky enough to witness the concert, you will be able to capture some of the vibes with two CDs. The first features the new line up in a live performance called THE NAME REMAINS THE SAME. There’s also a new CD with all new material coming out here in late October A STING IN THE TALE. Both are available now through their website. You can also get a sample of what the new lineup sounds like at http://www.ten-years-after.co.uk/.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Ric Lee has also written a book. It is called FROM HEADSTOCK TO WOODSTOCK A DRUMMER’S TALE is coming out in November. You can pre order the book at http://www.RicLeeTYA.com.


Ten Years After SmugMugCom 2

Courtesy of Arnie Goodman. Photos of this concert and many more can be purchased by going to https://www.smugmug.com/.

 

Ten Years After SmugMugCom 1

Courtesy of Arnie Goodman. Photos of this concert and many more can be purchased by going to https://www.smugmug.com/.

 

Ten Years After Same CD

 

Ric Lees Book

 

 

 

Ten Years After New CD

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