Artists have to do things differently these days. For Ariel Posen, this means a whole world tour in just one night. On the 25th March Posen broadcast live from Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre, streaming all the way from Canada to London and beyond.
The gig comes off the back of his eclectic new album ‘Headway’, which was released earlier this month. Posen’s songs are silky smooth, with a laid-back melting pot of americana, blues and soul, and John Mayer has even labelled him, “One of my favourite guitarists”.
‘Headway’ is all about song writing, growth, and the life and musical journey of this musician and producer. So for this concert, he faithfully plays the entire album in track order, which is a sometimes rare opportunity to hear the artist’s work played live, just as they intended the collection of songs.
As with any online gig during these COVID times, there’s a slight awkwardness to begin with, without the rumblings of the audience to fill the gaps between songs. “Welcome everybody to the Headway world tour,” announces Posen, and he receives only a couple of weak whoops in response. But Posen is so cool and poised that it doesn’t really matter, and it isn’t long until we’re settled into our front row seats for this intimate concert, in which Posen is joined by a couple of backing singers, drummer, bassist and guitarist.
Two particularly stand out tracks were ‘Big Picture’ which injected real energy into the performance, and ‘It’s you’ which has more of a country rhythm to it than some of Posen’s other songs, which works well with the aching sadness within the lyrics of this love song.
Once ‘Headway’ is complete, Posen treats us to two older tracks: ‘Fade’ was released in 2018 and features on the acclaimed album ‘How Long’, and ‘Angeline’ that was released as a live single in 2019. It’s on this last song that Posen shows off his true talent as an outstanding guitarist, with a mean slide. This sets him apart from many other similar artists in the same space.
So at the end of maybe the shortest ‘world tour’ in history, we give a very loud virtual applause to Ariel Posen and his band. He tells us that he’ll take the band on the road when the road opens. We’ll hold him to that.
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