Sunday, January 30, 2005

The Iguanas

I received an email from JR inviting me to see The Iguanas on Sunday January 30 at a tiny bar in New Haven called Cafe Nine . I'M IN!!!! Guess I'll have to dust off their two old CD's and play them.

I'll keep you posted. Nuevo Boogaloo!

Lots of miles on this group packed sardine-like into Cafe Nine Sunday evening for this hard-to-believe booking. Cafe Nine is long, narrow, quite small, located at the corner of State Street and Another Street with entrances at the State Street front end next to the stage/dartboard area and on the side, back near the (surprisingly clean)restrooms; bar along the inside wall from the front of the stage and tables along the outside wall and next to each of the wooden columns that line the center.

Doors opened at six for the seven o'clock show. No one there at six 'cept a few regulars so we got ourselves a column table about 30 feet from the stage. Nothing to do until tipoff, we look around. Neighborhood tavern. They go for the Bohemian thing here and don't have to work hard to pull it off. Everything kind of beat up, but the feel is very cool. JR came here a couple weeks ago and took in a poetry slam. Kerouac stares from the wall above the bar, next to a case of Hull's sitting atop a liquor shelf. They have an eclectic mix of entertainment, some Saturday afternoon jazz gives way to a traveling blues legend in the evening. Mental note to bring the gang down here some Saturday afternoon before going out to dinner.

I am confused, wondering if my sense of the Iguanas' stature is skewed. There should have been a long line waiting to get in! But by the second round of beers, I find my fears are unfounded. The crowd filters in. Mature, weathered, friendly, commonly-bound as ones in on the secret. By seven the place is packed.

The bandmembers are squeezing their way to the stage from somewhere in the back. I pass them on my way to the (surprisingly clean) restroom. A comment to not start until I get back gets a half-smirk. A few minutes of fiddling around with stuff and let's go!

Up on stage, the lineup shuffles into place: two grizzled veterans to the right share the singing, one playing guitar/accordian (if I only knew way back when how cool I could be with my squeezebox!), the other guitar/sax; two younger sax players to the left, the shorter one employing the Buddy Holly look, we would soon be told, is a special guest; rounding out the group is the rhythm section, bass and drums, who are mostly out of our view most of the time.

I own Neuvo Boogaloo and Sugar Town, so I recognize a reasonable chunk of the music. The crowd knows more of it, JR a bit less, but everyone is into it. At times we get a THREE sax thing going, which sounds like it would be redundant, but it works really well.

He drew tatoos for his friends
They'd sit around and get real stoned
And he fought with guys twice his size
So he wouldn't feel so alone
They said it was a shame
They loved him just the same
They shut him out
They said you had a mean streak in your heart

The show lasts for about an hour and a half, closing with a one song encore. Buddy Holly has been very good- who IS he? Lots of sax and accordion sounds bouncing off the walls. As good as advertised. Nice night in New Haven. A quick final stop at the (surprisingly clean) restroom and we're on our way home. JR pops Nuevo Boogaloo into the CD player...

He walked the street to the corner liquor store
Got some ciagarettes and wine and he backed out the door
It didn't work out quite like he thought it would
Now he's back page news down in the neighborhood

And it's boom boom boom
Boom boom boom
Boom boom all night long
Boom boom boom
Boom boom boom
Boom boom all night long

Alas, they didn't play 'My Girlfriend is a Waitress'!

Awaiting Peter M's report after he sees them at Johnny D's Wednesday (2/2/05) in Cambridge.
Update from PM: Show was fun. We ate, drank, danced, had fun. The extra sax player, Chris, is a guy who went to junior high with Derek, plays in bands in DC. They put on a good show, played two sets, but it started at 830....As usual, the place was full...less than on a thursday or friday, but still full.....seemed like everybody there were fans...Johnny D's gets good people......Johnny D's

Hartford Courant review

2005 Concert To-Do List
A listing of artists I would like to see in 2005 (in no particular order)

  • Lucinda Williams- I saw her at Newport Folk Festival in 2004 and at Toad's Place in 2003. I want to see her again...and again

  • The Iguanas- Tonight (1/30/05) at Cafe Nine in New Haven.

  • Lou Ann Barton- It will never happen, but because she never tours, but I can wish. I'd settle for Marcia Ball.

  • Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen- Saw him open for Bonnie Raitt at Oakdale a couple years ago and loved him. He was slated for a gig in Greenwich last fall, but cancelled. Can catch him in Northampton, MA on March 9th tour schedule

  • Van Morrison- Any time, any place. Enough said. Drat to all who are picky about his impersonal stage habits. He's The Man!

  • Bob Dylan- Renewed interest in Dylan. He is touring in 2005 as "The Bob Dylan Show" with his band (not Band) together with Merl Haggard and the Strangers. But would rather it be a smaller venue.
  • Friday, January 28, 2005

    Traffic drummer, Jim Capaldi, dies at 60

    Rock drummer Jim Capaldi, whose driving rock rhythms helped make Traffic a household name in the 1960s and 70s, died Friday after a brief fight with stomach cancer, his publicist said. More...

    Cat Stevens, U.S. security threat, to perform for tsunami aid

    The singer formerly known as Cat Stevens will headline a concert in Indonesia for victims of the Asian tsunami, said a statement posted on his Web site Thursday.

    Yusuf Islam — who is barred from the United States because terror intelligence identifies him as a security threat — also plans to open an Indonesian branch of his charity, Small Kindness. More...

    Monday, January 24, 2005

    From Jim Kane, Bristol's oldies guru (now living in FL)

    Hi Guys:

    As most of you know, there will be a party at the end of June in Bristol. We have been asked to have music at the party for dancing or just singing along (I hope its only for dancing). So I will ask for your imput.

    I am going to record music for the party, from the era from 1955-1964. I would ask you to send me "10" of your favorite songs from that era. I will try to record as many of your favorites as possible. Since they will be played at the party, and since you will be there, you might as well hear something you like. I have a collection of over 3000 45s - so there is a pretty good chance your favorites will be there. Any song request before 1955 or after 1964 will be omitted. Since many of you are going to endure a snowstorm, this is a chance to pull out the old records and pick out your favorites.

    Now you don't have to do this, but be prepared to listen to other peoples favorites. Try! to get the songs you heard at the Boys Club dances. Have fun !!! Jim EMAIL

    johnnyk pics:
  • At Last by Etta James
  • She's Sixteen, She's Beautiful and She's Mine by Johnny Burnette
  • Please Mr. Postman by the Marvelettes
  • Palisades Park by Freddie (Boom Boom) Cannon
  • The Wanderer by Dion
  • School Days by Chuck Berry
  • Shop Around by the Miracles
  • Chain Gang by Sam Cooke
  • I Get Around by the Beach Boys
  • Long Tall Sally by Little Richard

  • Friday, January 21, 2005

    Kool lists

  • Courtesy of Steve Parsons - XM Radio's “The Essential 5002” songs in alphabetical order from Little Feat's Apolitical Blues to Dr. John's Zuzu Man.

  • Top 100 Philly albums of all time - 100. Tommy Conwell, Rumble- It's true: He and the Young Rumblers were the king of all bar bands, and that would hurt any rocker's credibility. But Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers were truly beloved in the '80s, mostly because this University of Delaware grad had a strong sense of what worked for the live crowd.

  • Tower Records 100 Essential Rock 'N Roll Albums - While shopping at the only Tower Records store in CT (with gift cards from Christmas 2003), I happened upon a pretty cool flyer, Tower Records 100 Essential Rock 'N Roll Albums listing.

  • Saturday, January 15, 2005

    What's hitting my ears this week

    The Delivery Man by Elvis Costello

    - his latest; not an easy listen at first, a country album, bought it over a month ago and just started listening again. I like it more and more (after the first cut). Duets with Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris. The man has taste in women. A listen in progress. More about EC...

    Pin Your Spin by Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen

    New Orleans funk. First saw Cleary as the opening act/keyboardist for Bonnie Raitt and loved his act (actually better than the now mainstream-popular Bonnie, whose music has taken a sappy turn). The groove is the thing here and Jon 'spins' a deep, funky one. Nothing really memorable, but the experience leaves you feelin' goooood.

    Jon Cleary's 2005 tour dates (March 9th at the Iron Horse Inn in Northampton, MA) Here...

    Wednesday, January 05, 2005

    Tom Rush

    Steve called today. Tom Rush will be in concert at Cheney Hall in Manchester (CT) on Saturday, February 12th and would I be interested? Hmmmm, he's still alive? Steve and I have seen a few together in our day - Bonnie Raitt at Toad's in her "Green Light" period and, in one of the strangest concerts ever, paired with Broadway legend father, John, at Oakdale; Jesse Colin Young at Toad's, Jonathan Edwards at Shaboo and Lake Compounce Ballroom come to mind) - but not for awhile.

    So, Tom Rush! Boston-based, as I remember. Well respected folkie. Pretty good, but I never had one of his albums, never saw him in concert, unless he was part of a folk show at the Thomaston Opera House in the late 1970's. Can't remember. A quick look online shows he's touring to support his new CD "Trolling for Owls", a live recording. Got to listen to some of his stuff.

    Saturday, January 01, 2005

    Some underrated CDs for your consideration

    The Last Real Texas Blues Band featuring Doug Sahm

    I discovered this in the used cd bin at Strawberries. I LOVE this album!

    "What Mac (Dr. John) is to New Orleans, Doug is to Texas. From Western swing to Lightnin' Hopkins' Houston blues, from TexMex ditties to polkas, Doug integrated it all and came out with something singular; his own sound on guitar, his own voice, his own songs. I also loved the irony of his calling his great sixties group The Sir Douglas Quintet, the Texan passing as a Brit to entice American ears. I was proud to produce his album, documenting Sahm's soul, embracing everything from T-Bone Walker to Bob Wills." - Jerry Wexler

    Don't Give Up on Me - Solomon Burke

    Saw him open for Van Morrison. Enormous and wildly entertaining. He was a minor star in the sixties, but forgotten for many years. Very well respected among his peers and his career is reborn with this cd, which was album of the year on many lists when released in 2002.

    Julie Roberts - Julie Roberts

    Thanks to Chris Dubose for the heads up on this one. Country with a nice blues accent. Catchy without the dreadful Nashville sappy/slick feeling. Give it a listen, I think you'll like her. Alot.

    Katie Melua - Call Off the Search

    Be careful about this one. You may hate yourself for listening to it - again and again, until you get that "I've eaten WAY too much candy" feeling. But this candy is good stuff. London-based by way of Soviet Georgia and Belfast, Katie Melua has been dubbed another Norah Jones, but she feels more jazz/blues than Jones' country blues. And, dare I mention, strings, too! She's been a BIG deal in the UK this past year. Go ahead, have another piece, just ONE more.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!