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soulBlog: TRAF This Week, India Arie @TRAF Last Week, Lyndsey Smith Farewell Concert, Your Delicate Ears

TRAF (Three Rivers Arts Festival) This Week

Tank & The Bangas (Hartwood Acres, July 2017) – They play TRAF on 6/14/19

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust continued to step up the diversity of TRAF for 2019. The Friday evening primetime events were off the chain, starting with Lyndsey Smith and India Arie. More to come! Here are the upcoming events I plan to attend:

  • Kaia Kater, Wednesday evening (6/12/19) – she’s a new name for me, but I like to catch good talent early.
  • Tank & The Bangas, Friday evening – Pittsburgh was fortunate to have Tank visit before she catapulted (thanks to the local Music Night on Jupiter production company), then during the ascension (Hartwood 2017), and now as the huge star she is. You will love this.
  • Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Sunday evening – this show was moved to weekend primetime, and I’m really excited about that. Big band, great frontman (Karl), hard funk.

India Arie (TRAF 2019’s opening night)

Lyndsey Smith didn’t take long to make her TRAF debut, and she did it justice as India’s opener. With much of her regular band, Lyndsey brought in Cheryl Rinovato of Soulful Femme as guitarist. I would say more here, but her spotlight comes in the next section of the soulBlog.

By the time India Arie hit the stage, it looked like this. Terri Bell (Pittsburgh Cultural Trust VP) and I participated in the introductions, and we agreed that we couldn’t remember it like this, ever.

India Arie got spiritual right off, and she had everyone in a trance for the rest of the evening.

The final cap was Terri Bell’s block party on Stanwix. It was a great night.

Lyndsey Smith Farewell Concert, Hard Rock Café

We knew the day was coming for Lyndsey Smith to finally pack up for New Orleans and take the next step in her career. The Farewell Concert began very nicely with hunnycomb and Starship Mantis. In addition to her band, Lyndsey had a singer squadron. Also in support were the Steeltown Horns, who screeched into Station Square after an Ohio gig earlier on.

I never know what Lyndsey’s peak is. This may have been a new one.

Your Delicate Ears

I realized at some late point that I should be protecting the ears, especially with all of the shows attended, and especially since photography draws me right into the danger zone of big speakers. Here is what I have been wearing for the past 7-8 years. They were recommended by a colleague at WYEP. They seem expensive (15.00), but they are comfy and very effective at reducing volume without affecting the frequency balance of what you hear. While you’re at it, get a gift pair for another music-lover, and maybe get a bag of cheap orange spongy ones for random acts of kindness to desperate souls. You’ll spot them easily in the crowd.

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