Music Reviews — 03 May 2012
Tyrone Wells at City Winery: A Concert Review

Tyrone Wells
City Winery, New York, NY
May 2nd, 2012

A true showman must be a jack of all trades- entertaining the crowd, while at the same time melting their faces with something they have never seen before. If you want to witness a modern showman then look no further than Spokane, Washington’s Tyrone Wells. For nearly twelve years, Wells has been honing his craft, slugging it out in local clubs and touring circuits. His years of hard work and self promotion have paid dividends as in recent years, Wells has garnered himself a loyal and growing fan base through social media, festival touring, and spots on popular television and film soundtracks. was fortunate to catch Tyrone Wells live on the second of two sold out nights at New York’s City Winery.

City Winery is one of downtown Manhattan’s finest venues. The large yet cozy atmosphere is the perfect setting for a concert such as this. Concertgoers can kick back at one of many tables strewn throughout the room, while sipping on housemaid wine. And once it came time for Tyrone Wells to take the stage, the sold out crowd was primed and ready to be rocked. Luckily, this was exactly what Wells had planned. To say Wells’ setlist was loaded would be a gross understatement. It was in fact a ‘kitchen sink’ event showcasing exactly what this guy is made of. ‘Running Around’ proved to be a solid opener as a fan favorite and upbeat song to set the pace for the evening.

The hour and a half plus set traversed Tyrone’s song catalog like a road trip to ‘Chilltown.’  Setlist highlights began with the title track off his latest album- ‘Where we Meet,’ then cruised on down the line to ‘Carolina Blues’ and didn’t let up for a rest stop until the rousing and emotional, ‘Freedom.’ Show highlights appeared to be organic, showing off Tyrone’s knack for improvisation. A prime example of this occurred when he mentioned a fan’s ‘Twitter’ song request for the tune, ‘The Most.’ He made it a point to say he reads all tweets and proceeded to rip right into the song causing certain audience members (I wonder who) to leap to their feet and shake their booty’s.

The amount of range this man and his band have is truly remarkable. Whether it was a Yodeling sing-a-long with the crowd or a song a family member had taught him called, ‘Two Buffaloes’ or even a medley featuring sounds from the ’90s from such artists like Paula Abdul and C+C Music Factory, Wells and the boys knocked even humorous moments out of the park with spot on accuracy through instrumentation. His unique approach to the live concert extended into his encore. Before he would sing the song ‘Seabreeze,’ Tyrone bowled the crowd over with a funny yet heartwarming story, about being asked to sing the aforementioned song at a fan’s marriage proposal under several hilarious circumstances. The way in which Wells told the story transported the audience to that exact moment in time, hence making the actual performance of the song that much richer. In this day and age, true showmen are few and far between. Fortunately we have Tyrone Wells as our soulful crooning ringmaster.

- Jay Rubin

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