Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Sunday, 17 February 2013 10:44

Concert review: A packed Sheldon Concert Hall gets carried away by Bucky Pizzarelli and Denise Thimes, Friday, February 15

Concert review: A packed Sheldon Concert Hall gets carried away by Bucky Pizzarelli and Denise Thimes, Friday, February 15 flickr.com/photos/loureiro/6038665502 / Eduardo Loureiro
Written by Tyler Williamson
Rate this item
(2 votes)

At 87 years young, Bucky Pizzarelli, along with St. Louis' Denise Thimes, ad-libbed his way through two hours of infectious swing and a five-minute standing ovation before relinquishing the stage back to the Sheldon.

Bucky, his white-shirt distinguishing him as leader on the night from the all-black ensembles of the quintet, has been a major figure in the music industry for his entire adult life. Mr. Pizzarelli, after starting professionally at 17 and working his way onto "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, found himself regularly touring with Benny Goodman. He even shares the distinction of being invited to perform at the White House -- twice for Reagan and once for Bill Clinton.

Having performed for George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth II herself, Denise Thimes proved a flawless accomplice for this "Be My Valentine" bill. Consistently compared to the legends such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, the singer also cites her father, St. Louis radio personality and BBQ restaurateur Lou "Fatha" Thimes, among her biggest influences.

Playing his signature guitar, the Benedetto Bucky Pizzarelli Signature seven-string, the musician set another high mark for the intimate Sheldon Concert Hall. It was jazz in the purest, with simple nods instigating solos and solos finding entire new directions for each timeless composition. Damrius Hicks, the trio's standout drummer, took the plunge first before making his case for star status the rest of the night. Relentless, it felt as if his sheer exuberance would swallow the stage whole at any moment; he pushed his playing further and further, as if his parents were coming out to the garage to shut him down for the night.

The night's muse also made her presence known rather immediately. Wordless, Denise prompted three rounds of boisterous applause for the band during her walk to the microphone. Speaking on behalf of the musicians, Denise put it simply, "Proud to be St. Louisans, nothing better than the Sheldon." Making the impossible possible, Denise embodied yet another legend, Nina Simone, for the highlight of the night, "I Want a Little Sugar in my Bowl." With the band taking a second to indulge in our adulation at the end, the smartest woman in the crowd loudly requested a repeat. Indulging the fans, the set on stage hit a more raucous reprise.

However, it was Bucky whose lighthearted fingerprints were all over the show. From making his bandmates repeatedly laugh at the utter audacity of his improvisations, to the child-like joy that washed over his face in response to the crowd, it was clear there wasn't a place he'd rather be. He even cupped his hands and yelled to preempt the cover of "Sing Sing Sing" with a little tongue-in-cheek, "The next one you all know, so sing along."

Showcasing the theme of the night, the group took the classic well off the beaten path, earning one of many thoroughly merited, full-house standing ovations.

Upcoming Concerts

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. Don't Hide is full of high energy jams and groovey improves that gives them a good time vibe. Download their song "Don't Hide"…

Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

88.1 KDHX Shows

m-guitar.jpg

KDHX Recommends

July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


August
Saturday
02

The Aching Hearts at Harvest Sessions 2014

The Aching Hearts at Harvest Sessions 2014 The Aching Hearts are the husband and wife duo of Ryan Spearman and Kelly Wells (host of Steam-Powered Radio on 88.1 KDHX), who recently released the CD "Just a Habit." Join them and KDHX for a morning of classic, old-time...


August
Wednesday
06

Discovery Series: Mandolin Orange

Discovery Series: Mandolin Orange KDHX presents Mandolin Orange as part of the Discovery Series on Wednesday August 6 at 7:30 p.m. The North Carolina-based duo combines bluegrass, rock and country, providing a modern take on age-old styles. Tickets available...


Online Users

6 users and 8112 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook