Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jonah Koslen and Stage Pass Now at the Winchester 18 April 2009

Jonah Koslen brought his latest project to the Winchester in Lakewood last Saturday night, a night of classic rock featuring all the songs off the 1977 MSB album Stage Pass, as well as some other old gems from Koslen's career with both MSB and Breathless.
This time around Koslen brought with him a veteran crew of local and regional musicians including Donny Thompson on drums, former Beau Coup member Bill March sharing guitar and vocals, Rik Willinger on keyboards and a variety of other things, and former Easy Streeter Van Eidum on drums.
I wasn't sure the concept for the evening, playing all the songs from Stage Pass in the order they appeared, without the rest of the original principals was going to work. But, for the most part it did. Koslen did most of the vocals, but everyone else pitched in a song or two, the musicianship was solid, and the strength of the songs overshadowed any rough spots.
Amongst the highlights were the Koslen originals "Nothings Gonna Change My Mind" (which the band did twice, the second time as the last encore); "Waste a Little Time on Me," and, of course, the album's closer "Strike Up the Band." His guitar work also shined on "Calcutta Auction," "Moving Right Along," and "Let's Get the Show on the Road." Bill March did a good job filling in for Michael Stanley on a few of the vocals, and Willinger did more than a fine job with the Daniel Pecchio flute solo that opens "Moving Right Along."
The band also through in a few Koslen tunes from early MSB albums, including "Angel Eyes," "Blue Jean Boy," and "Ladies Choice." The encore included the Breathless standards "Walk Right In" and "Taking It Back." The almost capaicity crowd of forty and fifty somethings really enjoyed the evening.
Before he heads up to the islands this summer to do his one man band thing, Koslen with this line up will be doing several more Stage Pass shows in the area. Go to for more info.
It had been a while since I had been to the Winchester, but every time I do I see improvements in the club. They've redone the bathrooms, and the walls in the front bar are getting filled with some great photos of some of the performers who have graced their stage. Keep up the good work! As always, they have a lot of good things coming up, including Nashville singer/songwriter Darrell Scott on April 24; blues diva Kristine Jackson on May 1; the Sultans of Bing on May 2; Vambo Rools, a Alex Harvey Tribute band, on May 9; and the legendary Shawn Phillips on May 23. Visit for more information.
The photo at left is courtesy of

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