Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

September 12, 2013

Music legend Allen Toussaint showcasing piano/song writing skills at Bear's Den

Niagara Gazette — This weekend certainly isn’t the busiest in terms of entertainment, but there are a few really good options if one is willing to expand their musical horizons. The best of the best is at The Bear’s Den this weekend, as they will host back-to-back performances from two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees in a venue that seats less than 500.

On Friday, New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint comes to town. The pianist has worked with a few “notable” names including Eric Clapton, Jerry Garcia, Elvis Costello, The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney. He also is in both the blues and rock hall of fame and is the recipient of the National Medal of Arts.

If that resume is not impressive enough, his songs include “Working in the Coalmine,” a hit for Devo, “Fortune Teller,” a song covered by many artists including the aforementioned Rolling Stones, “Southern Nights,” a hit by Glen Campbell and “Mother-in-Law,” a 1960s hit covered by Huey Lewis and the News.

The list of artists who have covered his songs includes Widespread Panic, The Pointer Sisters, Three Dog Night, Ringo Starr, Robert Palmer and The Doors.

To sum it all up, Toussaint is a music legend and American treasure. It is artists like Toussaint that underscore the important cultural contribution that the New Orleans music scene has made to the world, and why so many people came to support that music culture in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

On Saturday, a former member of the Au Go Go Singers, Richie Furay, will be headlining. You may not be familiar with the nine piece Au Go Go Singers, but Furay was in that group with a gentleman by the name of Stephen Stills. When Stills and Furay left the Au Go Go Singers they formed a group called Buffalo Springfield with another singer/songwriter you may have heard of, Neil Young.

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