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LOVE’s mercurial leader ARTHUR LEE passed away two months ago from acute myeloid leukemia.
But clearly his legacy lives on. In the small and friendly confines of Brooklyn’s Magnetic Fields, NYC-based SHAW ‘NUFF paid tribute to Love’s music by playing 22 of its songs over two sets (including “My Little Red Book” to both start and end the evening!).
MIKE FORNATALE, the lead guitarist and Shaw ‘Nuff’s main singer, did a more than admirable job of bringing Love’s songs to life. Fornatale, who has played with THE MONKS and MOBY GRAPE, among others, shared vocal duties with another guitarist, the drummer and the bassist. A true group effort!
The band was also accompanied by a keyboardist and KRISTEN PINELL REIL of the THE GRIP WEEDS on flute, which added color and an added dimension to songs like “Orange Skies.” Four guitarists made a cozy stage even cozier during a rollicking rendition of “A House is Not a Motel.” And “You Set the Scene” was devastatingly powerful.
The band – described by WFMU as “your favorite ad-hoc supergroup”—did indeed a super job of covering Love’s first four records, all on Elektra. And Shaw ‘Nuff noticeably played much of the material from Love’s first album with an extra punky edge. Fornatale primarily sang the more nuanced tunes and ones that required greater vocal range.
Shaw ‘Nuff played eight songs from both Love’s debut and the epic Forever Changes. The band also covered four tracks from Da Capo as well as “Singing Cowboy” and “August” from Four Sail.
The crowd, a mix of old and young, cheered enthusiastically and clearly appreciated the band’s down to earth and accessible nature.
My only criticism was the band’s comments about Lee’s recent death seemed perfunctory. Obviously they admire him and some of their comments were tongue-in-cheek, but nothing they said about Arthur Lee seemed to come from the heart, which was disappointing.
Still, on the whole, Shaw ‘Nuff was more than up to snuff.