Midway through a high-energy Free at Noon performance, singer-songwriter Don McCloskey posed a question to the World Cafe Live crowd: “If you’re not having fun here do you ever have fun?”

I find it hard to believe there was anybody in the house not having fun; McCloskey and his rousing band, who released the terrific album The Chaos and The Beauty earlier this year — and absolutely slayed their recent Key Studio Session — play dynamic, uplifting, feel-good music. “Dre” goes from a hush to a holler, anchored by tremendous gospel-inspired vocals by Hannah Taylor and Sarah Biemuller. “Son Of It All,” a snappy tune about McCloskey’s roots in Bristol, follows his careening sung/spoken vocals with a feisty rhythm by Shawn Hennessey and Chuck Staab guiding the way.

The band is rounded out by keyboardist Adam Flicker — who had a Wurlitzer spinning on the shimmering Beatles-esque “I Feel The Sunrise” — bassist / producer Devin Greenwood, and guitarist Ross Bellenoit. They gelled massively on the jaunty “First In Flight,” strolled along as “Kill The Lights” built from a ballad to a bop, and had the crowd clapping along to the set-closing “Open the Door.”

Listen to the performance below, check out The Chaos and The Beauty (and McCloskey’s back-catalog) here, and see him Friday, October 14th at Ardmore Music Hall with Chris Kasper. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at WXPN’s Concerts and Events page.

Don McCloskey Free at Noon 10.07.2022
Don McCloskey
Free At Noon
  • I IV V
  • Dre
  • Son Of It All
  • I Feel The Sunrise
  • First In Flight
  • Kill The Lights
  • Open The Door