Are you hip to the Rochester Residency yet? If not, you should be. And May would be as good a time as any to start. Each month, a different local musician owns the stage at Three Heads Brewing every Thursday. Artists are free to use the nights however they wish. May belongs to Kurt Johnson, guitarist from the bands Maybird and Moho Collective among others.
He got his residency month off to a fun and rollicking start this past Thursday by hosting a Midnight Ramble, at the more sane hour of 8pm, but in the spirit of the southern jam sessions of yore. The evening included a large portion of the other Rochester Residency hosts from previous months and from the months yet to come. January’s Fran Broderick lead the band on Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers Guns and Money,” February’s Charlie Lindner joined in on keys for about half the set, July’s Eli Flynn brought the house down with a show-closing rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” August’s James Searl lead a searing rendition of David Bowie’s “Man Who Sold the World,” September’s Matt Ramerman snuck in drum duties for the encore of “I Shall Be Released,” November’s Wil McKenna held down the low end for most of the night, and December’s Brian McDonald lit up the room with a fun playing of Jackson Browne’s “Doctor My Eyes.” The night played out like a great review of the first four months and an even better preview of the next 8.
In addition to fellow residents, Johnson had many more friends join in on the fun. Moho Collective’s Ryan Barclay manned the drums for the whole night. Eric Carlin, from the Flood, joined on guitar and vocals for much of the night. Kris Schramm, Willy O’Reilly, Ben Rossi, Alan Murphy and Brian Blatt all got in on the action as well. But it was still Johnson’s night. And so it will be Johnson’s month. And because he chose May for it’s 5 Thursdays, and because he had to unexpectedly miss the first Thursday, he’s extending his Residency into the first week of June. So you still have four more chances to get in on the fun. See the schedule below and marker them into your calendar, you don’t want to miss one week.
Kurt Johnson’s Rochester Residency at Three Heads Brewing
May 17th: The Wallboards
May 24th: The Moho Collective
May 31st: Covering The Allman Brothers’ Eat a Peach
June 8th: Covering The Grateful Dead’s debut album, The Grateful Dead
Setlist: Jam > Get Out of My Life Woman (Lee Dorsey), Lawyers Guns & Money (Warren Zevon), Heart of Gold (Neil Young), ?, Man Who Sold the World (David Bowie), Jam > Doctor My Eyes (Jackson Browne), Ophelia (The Band), What Light (Wilco), Franklin’s Tower (Grateful Dead), A Change is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke)
Encore: I Shall Be Released (The Band)