Review of “ The Barns at Wolf Trap” show, Vienna VA, March 5, 03
by Bob Adamson
I saw Sonny's show Wednesday night and brought my friend Morris over from Maryland to the beautiful "Barns of Wolftrap"-part of our National Park for the Performing Arts. Great venue, two old barns that were taken apart and re-built here in Vienna, VA, and converted to use as a theater. All of the recent performances I've seen there have been general admission dance parties where people can dance & wander around. This show was a "sit down" concert performance, which left Sonny & the band (Dave has played here before with L'il Band O' Gold) wondering why everyone was so quiet and sedate. Sonny said, "are y'all trying to be that quiet"? and then said, you're so quiet - maybe y'all are just being very polite and well-mannered - we've HEARD of that in Louisiana!
The band came on with little fanfare and jumped right in - 4 of the first 7 songs were instrumentals and the volume & sound in the room was just right! Sonny's rig had him sounding very hot - lots of power & "muscle" in the slide sound and Dave & Kenny provided a nice "pocket" for Sonny to launch out from.
South of I-10
Broken Hearted Road
All About You
A World Away
Hell at Home
Wind in Denver (new tune)
Blues Attack (old tune - self described)
Pedal to Metal
The show timed in at 1 hr 30 min with the encore. Sonny admitted to being a bit tired from playing two complete shows at the "Bottom Line" in NYC the night before (which was Fat Tuesday). Morris got the set list from Sonny's roadie (?) and we hung out a bit to get him to sign it. Sonny was very amiable & visited & signed for all who stayed after. He remembered us pretty well from Morris' earlier visit during the fall 2001 tour and from seeing us at the Lisner in October, always a delight to catch up. I thought the songs came across very well in concert - Sonny's vocals were good, but sometimes get overpowered by the screeching notes on his guitar. He took some incredible solo runs, but kept them in the context of his songs - in other words - they were tight! You know everyone is watching his hands while he's playing these amazing arpeggios and multi-chorded notes, and they're still going "how DOES he do it"?