Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

April 15, 2013

New Odyssey concert most unique ever

Review by Bill Thom
The Daily Iowegian

---- — A large crowd enjoyed a concert by New Odyssey (three guys and 30 instruments) presented by the Centerville Concert Association on Thursday, April 11.

I think many music patrons were intrigued that such a small group would perform on 30 instruments and they were treated to probably the most unique show ever by the concert association in their 46 year history. Most of the audience was mesmerized that the group performed so many different styles including classical, Latin, rock, country, pop, blues and bluegrass.

Each of the artists was specialist on one main instrument. Gary Todd was the drummer as well as performing on over 15 instruments and singing, plus being a comedian. Michael Jay has always played the guitar and bass and is a very strong singer. He plays 10 instruments and does the lead vocals. Gary Polkow is the keyboard artist which includes the piano, synthesizer, melodica and accordion. He is the musical director of New Odyssey. They use the latest technology to enhance their arrangements and I was impressed with the big sound that came from the stage.

It was such a terrific show. Everyone was at least tapping their feet. They encouraged audience participation on several songs. Many people were clapping, singing and dancing. There was lots of humor and everyone enjoyed the various impressions of such people as Satchmo Louie Armstrong, Mick Jagger, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and the neatest one, Tina Turner. One of the most unusual selections was an electronic drum set built into a coat that drummer Gary Todd played on his body to “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

It is hard to choose some of the music I enjoyed the most because I loved the entire program. I guess the music I liked the best were songs from the past like the “William Tell Overture,” “Dayo, 25, 6 to 4,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” Beach Boys medley, “YMCA” and a patriotic set. Yes, they did play 30 instruments performing a Beatles medley all in 10 minutes. They ended our 46th concert season with a stirring arrangement of “Amazing Grace.”

The Centerville Concert Association wants to thank and commend all the area businesses and individuals who have chosen to support the arts program here in Appanoose County. Without their support we would not be able to have talented artists from around the world providing live entertainment for our enjoyment. There will be six shows in Centerville next season plus the opportunity to see shows in Ottumwa, Fairfield and Washington.