Nick Lowe Live at City Winery, New York, NY

Photo: Arnie Goodman

Known in the US primarily for his power pop hit “Cruel to Be Kind” and his longtime association with Elvis Costello, songwriter Nick Lowe is often dubbed a “pub rocker,” which— like many British expressions—sounds so much more elegant than “bar band.” Lowe remained in his element for his sold-out three-night stand at City Winery, a casual version of the golden-era jazz clubs—but definitely not a bar.

The civilized-yet-unstuffy Winery proved a perfect environment for the opener, Geraint Watkins and his lush piano and witty repartee.  Lowe took the stage for a couple of acoustic guitar solos, then was joined by his full band, including Watkins on electric keys and backup vocals. Moving the set along, Lowe showed his performance chops to good advantage, moving swiftly and surely through a long set to the obvious delight of his audience, which enthusiastically called him back for two encores,  an intelligent reaction to a very intelligent show.

Suzanne Cadgene

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