Jeff Miers

Author

Pop Music Critic at The Buffalo News since 2002.

The first thing you notice is the disarming smile, even before you hear the man play his saxophone. Will Holton just plain beams. And when he does start to play, you get the sense that he is trying to translate that warm, engaging smile through his music. That his intent is to spread joy. That he's not up there to venerate his own ego. Holton - who brings "Love Ca…

Will Holton is schooled in Buffalo soul, and he knows where to find some of the finest proponents of the form, young and old. Here are his thoughts on a few of his current favorites, all of whom will be appearing with him during the "Love Cadenza III" show Feb. 18 at the Metropolitan Entertainment Complex (1670 Main St.). [RELATED: Will Holton shines a light on Buff…

A friend alerted me to a tweet early Monday morning, as I cleared the cobwebs from Sunday night's Grammy Awards from my head and guzzled some coffee in a vain attempt to trick my brain into somehow making sense of it all. The tweet was from a tenured recording engineer and record producer who has a mantel's worth of Grammy trophies of his own, and is a member of the Rec…

Ultimately, as seems to be the case with every event she deems worthy of gracing with an appearance, the 2017 Grammy Awards ceremony was all about Beyonce. Right or wrong, when the mega-star, visibly and radiantly pregnant with twins, took to the stage to perform an extended, gorgeously choreographed medley of pieces from her “Lemonade” album, her star power dwarfed…

It’s been 10 years, an eternity in pop music terms, since the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed before a Buffalo-area audience. But time has been kind to this quartet’s groundbreaking blend of L.A.-flavored punk-funk. One was hard-pressed to note any diminishment of energy, enthusiasm, irreverence, or slavish devotion to the groove amongst the four men on stage at Key…

The 2017 Grammy Awards take place Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live on CBS, and streamed live on CBS.com, beginning at 8 p.m. As has been the case with me for more than a decade, as the event approaches, I begin to feel mildly queasy, walking the tightrope between the apathy toward the event expressed by many readers who've tol…

Rick James may have brought the funk, he may have elevated Buffalo funk to levels unheard of before or since, but he didn't originate the funk. Not even close. Here's a look at 50 years of Buffalo funk music. Carl LaRue & His Crew Led by Bethlehem Steel worker LaRue, this funky R&B-infused early '60s outfit eventually evolved into Dyke & the Blazers. …

The Red Hot Chili Peppers has been many things over the decades – freaky-style dance party MCs, heavy rock band, pop-star quartet, alt-rock crossover act, mildly avant-garde album-makers, arena rock superstars. The one constant? The funk. It feels like poetic justice that for its first area appearance in more than a decade - Feb. 10 at KeyBank Center - the RHCP wil…

Lady Gaga took it as far as it can possibly go. As far as massive spectacle goes, the diminutive pop icon pulled out all the stops, appearing to free-fall off the top of the stadium after singing "This Land Is Your Land" beneath a flurry of red, white and blue drones, and landing on the stage below to meet a bevy of dancers working some seriously choreographed moves. It…

What did you expect? That question colored your judgment of Lady Gaga's Super Bowl Halftime performance. If you hoped she'd get overtly political, you were probably a bit disappointed. If you hoped she'd "shut up and sing," you were possibly a bit put off, but generally pleased. Gaga delivered an immensely dynamic performance, a visually stunning affair that fo…

John Wetton died on Jan. 31, after a lengthy battle with cancer. The revered progressive music  bassist, vocalist and songwriter was 67. Most media remembrances have  led with the fact that Wetton was in Asia, the mega-successful 80s pop-prog super-group known for hits like "Heat of the Moment" and "Don’t Cry." This is not untrue. But it buries the lede, as we say i…

Buffalo News Bills Columnist Jerry Sullivan will be attending Lady Gaga's news conference at 1 p.m. today, during which the "Mother Monster" will discuss her Super Bowl 51 Halftime Show appearance, and probably a few random Gaga-esque matters as well. I did Sully a solid by compiling a list of questions he should ask the diminutive superstar while he has the chance. …

Dark times demand music that elevates. And these are dark times, no matter which side of the political wall on which you choose to plant your feet. Happily, there is some great music – on the horizon, and already in the shops – that suggests that, though humankind continues to fail to live up to its limitless potential on many fronts, there are still great artists …

I didn’t hear the doorbell. And Melody the Golden Retriever, who normally senses visitors when they’re a mile away, didn’t perform her normal ritualistic freak-out to alert me. So by the time I opened the front door, Hayden Fogle and Vin DeRosa had been standing in the cold for a good five minutes. An inauspicious start to our scheduled hang, then, but I’ve know…

I witnessed Butch Trucks' magic in the first person more than 50 times between 1990 and 2014, and can attest to its power and to the soulful vibe it spread. Trucks, who committed suicide on Tuesday evening at the age of 69, changed the shape of rock music in his role as one of the Allman Brothers Band’s twin drummers. He brought a jazz-man’s dynamics, a rock drumm…