Sunday, April 30, 2006

Litchfield Jazz Festival announces 2006 lineup....

Here it is:

Friday, August 4th
Cyrus Chestnut Trio
Dionne Warwick

Saturday, August 5th
Robert Glasper
Terell Stafford Quintet
Trio Da Paz
Carol Sloane
Lee Konitz Quartet
Eddie Palmieri

Sunday, August 6th
Eddie Marshall Ensemble
Dena DeRose Trio
Bill Charlap & Renee Rosnes
John Scofield Trio
James Moody Quartet
Dr. John

Gus, with his slightly bent sense of humor, muses whether Dionne Warwick already knows if we are going to see her on August 4th.

Saturday, in the park, I think it was the 29th of April.....

You can't get there from here, but once you do, it's a great setting for a Spring Daffodil Festival! Brother Bones Jones and I obediently set out to park/shuttle (as instructed in the event info), but there was no place to park to GET the shuttle! Not to worry, we discovered a nice tavern lot at the bottom of Hubbard Park hill (thanks, Maloney's Pub!) and hiked up to the festival. This was, as it turned out, an EXCELLENT move on our part for we later observed (smugly) that it would take much longer to get a shuttle back than to walk down the hill. Not to mention the health benefits!

Hubbard Park's hills, walkways and ponds provide a perfect natural stage for this community event. Lots of food and music. The plan was to see Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez followed by the Turtles, both appearing at the James Barry Bandshell stage, but we arrived early, which allowed us to sample some of the other offerings. A quick hike over the hill to the Food Tent stage had us listening to a few songs (The Band/Kingston Trio covers) by Meriden's Gonkus Brothers. Enjoyable. We then ambled over to the Jeff Crooms Welcome Stage (I knew you were going to ask - I don't know who he is, so cut me some slack, okay?) to catch the Sawtelles, a male-female duo of middle-age St. Paul-Travelers types with purple (he) and orange (she) hair. They were quite good. This stage seems to be the local indie-scene stage. We stopped back later to see another group, but didn't care for them as much.

Christine Ohlman doesn't sneak up on you - big blond beehive, dark sunglasses, hot pink rhinestone-laced outfit, stiletto heels. And she delivers the goods. We hoof it back over the hill to grab some open lawn in front of the bandshell. George and Trish, fresh from some heavy bushpulling with Johnny Gumbo, join us. Gumbo does not. Love Christine's act. Lots of blues and blues-based rock with gritty, sexy vocals and Rebel Montez (Michael Colbath-bass, Larry Donahue-drums, Eric Fletcher-guitars) backing her up with some fire of their own. Throw in a guest harmonica and you have yourself a very interesting, enjoyable set under a cloudless sky. George astutely observes, later confirmed, that she was with the Scratch Band in the 70's. Prefacing her new song The Cradle Did Rock, she explains that she has recently returned from New Orleans, "...the cradle of American popular music", where there is a continuing need for support; she appeals to the crowd to write a check to the Red Cross (personally, I'd be wary of that organization's ability to monitor the funds given their recent track record, but I agree with the sentiment). The song itself is a good one, not falling into the trap of "We Are the World" slop. To close the show, Ohlman picks " of the top ten love songs of all time" and breaks into a rousing version of Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away. I'm a fan - good show, Beehive Queen.

While Brother Joe and I venture back to the Welcome Stage, George/Trish go over to check out Christine's CD's and grab her live Radio Queen. Back in position for the Turtles set, I decide to grab a CO&RT CD for myself, a different one since we can burn/trade. I catch her in the parking lot and ask her if she's still selling. Smiling wryly, she directs me to the trunk of her station wagon where I select her latest, Strip, upon which she pens "To Johnny K - Rock on, Christine Ohlman".

The Turtles were just okay, a little too much banter (some surprising drug references that must have gone over just great with the families in attendance) and lots too much "we are the Turtles" (yes, we KNOW!), but they did really nail Elenore (vocally) toward the end of the show. Flo and Eddie are the only real Turtles in the band (some cynics would say they were the only real Turtles anyway), so the other bandmembers were essentially just a backup band. Still, it's all good fun and the very large crowd enjoys them. We cut out just before the inevitable "Happy Together" and scoot down to Maloney's for a thank-you-for-the-parking-spot beer. Good day at the Fest.

What better way to end the day than dinner at Sam the Clam's with The Reet and The Nance - where we AGAIN met George and Trish, fresh from their day at the Daffodil Fest!!!!

Mardi Gras thoughts from the Beehive - Thanks to Christine Ohlman for the heads-up about her Mardi Gras diary carried as the cover story of the New Haven Advocate this past March. - here.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Jazzfest opens...

The 2006 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival opened yesterday with Bob Dylan headlining (actually, he 'opened' for Dr. John). NY Times - One week to go!!!!!!

Elenore, gee I think you're swell....

I've never attended Meriden's annual Daffodil Festival, but a quick glance at this weekend's music lineup has my interest piqued. A sample:

The Turtles - Oh, pooh, you say. Well, I object, for these guys were also part of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention AND, as Flo & Eddie, graced johnnyk's album collection a couple times, so there! And the Turtles put out some very clever, catchy material. Let us hope some of their musical gifts have remained intact. The Turtles will perform at the Bandshell Stage on Saturday at 3:30pm. Eric Danton of the Courant has quite different expectations, "...for some reason, I saw the Turtles probably 15 years ago when I lived in Colorado, and they were boring then..." his blog here.

River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs - The Hogs were scheduled for last Fall's Southington Apple Harvest Festival, but were rained out. RS&TZH come highly recommended by Johnny Gumbo and UNFORTUNATELY will perform on Saturday at the Food Tent Stage opposite The Turtles. I may have to sneak over to catch some.

Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez - The lead singer for the Saturday Night Live Band has her own band that plays frequently at Cafe Nine. She has a great rep and has been on my "must see" list for quite some time; now is the time! She will precede The Turtles at the Bandshell Stage on Saturday.

Perhaps I will see you there!!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Somebody help me, yeah.....

Lisa Leob and her glasses will be in the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun (Htfd Courant review) on April 30th, preceded by Rock & Roll Army (what is THAT?) featuring Felix Cavaliere (sans Young Rascals), Mitch Ryder (sans Detroit Wheels), Joey Molland (got me there!) and Spencer Davis (sans Group) on April 29th.

johnnykmusic has just passed the 10,000 hit mark (9,500 of which is me formatting) and would like to thank all who have dropped in to nose around.

Sarah Borges to have some special guests at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA on Saturday, May 20 including Jake Brennan and mandolin player extraordinaire Jimmy Ryan. On her Website, she links to two (tutu?) radio spots she did recently, one an audio interview at the SXSW (mvyradio @ SXSW 2006, which features live accoustic versions of Daniel Lee and On the Corner, and the other a script of an interview at WERS radio at Emerson College.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.....or not

Perhaps I'm the only living soul who had not yet seen this, but I read a Washington Post article today and discovered/experienced standup comedian Chris Bliss' Abbey Road Medley juggling video. Not sure what to make of it, for it is incredibly simple (almost stupid), yet charming. You decide for yourselves:

juggling video - Washington Post article

Van the devil....

From today's NY Times about upcoming events:
VAN MORRISON (Monday) Van Morrison has flirted with country music before, but his latest album, "Pay the Devil" (Lost Highway), offers his slanted take on songs like Hank Williams's "Your Cheatin' Heart" and Rodney Crowell's "Till I Gain Control Again." He's better at his own classic, agitated R & B but can certainly work up a surly-cowboy pique. 7:30 p.m., Theater at Madison Square Garden, 3 (212) 307-7171; $79.50 and $149.50.

Nice prices, Vanno! The new CD on Lost Highway (yeah, Lucinda's label!)has been getting very good reviews; AMG gushes over it. "Pay the Devil is at the crossroads of country, blues, and soul. In his voice is the authority to bring them together. No matter how restless and inconsistent he can be because of his obsession with perfection, Morrison is capable of being inspired enough to let his muse guide him toward something approaching greatness. Pay the Devil is proof." Complete AMG review here.

Per his website, The Man is only playing Elay, Minneapolis, ChiTown and The Apple here in the States on the current tour.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Sarah gives Apple Fest a definite maybe.....

Under relentless pressure from Johnny Ryan to commit to playing this Fall's Southington Apple Harvest Festival, Sarah Borges graciously gave her best "Yeah, let's see what we can do about it" last night prior to performing at Cafe Nine in New Haven.

And there was PLENTY of time for such negotiations because Diamond J and the Rough, an assemblage of eight that seemed like eighty, took over an hour to set up equipment for their opening act. Even Kerouac, looking down on us from above the bar, looked beat (sorry). Unfortunately, good does not always come to those who wait. DJ&TR gave us waiters (and waitresses??) loud, plodding, mediocre country rock, while being heckled by SOMEONE in the crowd (we won't mention Johnny Gumbo for fear of retaliation) who kept yelling "Yeah, one more!" after the FIRST song! DJ was not amused. We were.

The evening started early, the full compliment of hotkennedys (plus Aaron) cruising down I91 listening to the Yankees trying to beat up on Anna Benson's husband, yet only scoring one run in the first inning despite crushing the ball. So we parked (deftly) and left Chien-Ming Wang to protect the 1-0 lead (he didn't). Happy Hour was in progress as we grabbed a good viewing table next to the bar. Hey, look at that guy's Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols shirt! Well, the guy, Andy Gray, a weathered 50-something, was suddenly on stage treating us to a very tasty set of accoustic Pistols, Clash, Sublime, Who, etc. He has been doing the Friday night happy hour gig for the month of April, according to Cafe Nine's website. Keith/Sharie can't make it, Trish/George have to deal with a migraine, Johnny/Mary show up fashionably late.

Sarah and the boys (no mention of the "Broken Singles") finally took the stage just before 11:30 and played for about an hour, showcasing her Silver City stuff, but also mixing in a generous selection of songs I had not heard from her before, including a very nice Charlie Pride number. The bandsmen (Binky on bass, Rob Dulaney on drums, Mike Castellana on guitar/pedal steel) were in good form and seemed to be enjoying themselves, with Southington native Binky acknowledging Aaron's frequent "Yo, Binky!" yells after each song. Aaron and G-Man had been chatting earlier with The Binkster.

With the set over to a rousing applause, but no encore, we settled the tab with our very nice waitress (The Reet's assessment)and headed out to the street where we again chatted with Binky (suggesting to him that Jake Brennan play The Nine) and Sarah (telling her we may see her in May at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge) before piling into the car, Reet at the wheel, for the SLOW trip home. Good show. These late nights kill me. I'm going back to bed.

Awake again. I screwed up again by not using the cell camera to snap some pics, but I vow to figure it out soon. Borges 'N Boyz played at the Narrows Center for the Arts (prior review) in Fall River (close to Sarah's "Silver City" hometown of Taunton, MA) on Saturday night. It's a great venue and Stephen Louis Hug does good recap of the shows, with photos, on his blog. I will link to that review as soon as it appears on their site. HERE!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

What a wonderful thing we had....

Kal David (Fabulous Rhinestones) in town for two dates....

You can catch Kal David at the Hungry Tiger in Manchester on Friday, May 26 and/or Saturday, May 27 at J.C. Hook's in Waterbury. He was guitarist for the Fabulous Rhinestones, which consisted of David, bassist Harvey Brooks and Marty Grebb.

Meriden tabs rock icon to help celebrate its 200th

Oh Carol, don't let him steal your heart away
I'm gonna learn to dance if it takes me all night and day

Chuck Berry is coming to celebrate Meriden, CT's 200th! Record-Journal story

Turn it up!.....again

Stopped by to see what's cookin'. The counter guy was featuring Dr. John's Gris Gris (I have the LP, but not the CD), probably because The Night Tripper is to appear at the Iron Horse on Saturday night for two shows. I'm going to miss his 1st weekend show at JazzFest; going 2nd weekend (will attempt to blog it, hoping for better results than last year - no guarantees). In any event, I plan to catch Dr. John at this year's Rhythm & Roots Festival held on Labor Day Weekend at Ninigret Park in Charlestown, RI.

The take:
Dusty in Memphis (Dusty Springfield) - This CD has been on my list for quite awhile. Recorded in 1969, Springfield sings songs of Randy Newman, Goffin-King and Bacharach-David backed by some soulful Memphis horns. Great stuff!

Reach Up and Touch the Sky: LIVE (Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes) - Saw Johnny give a great show at the Milford Oyster Fest last Summer. Tom H gave me some pics of the show that I have not yet posted.

Sweet Old World (Lucinda Williams) - Replaces my burned copy of this wonderful CD. I wonder when she will release her next.

Live at the Monterey Festival (Jefferson Airplane) - Remembering how good the 'Plane was before crashing into outerspace.

You Win Again (Van Morrison/Linda Gail Lewis) - You can't get enough Van. This CD features Linda Gail Lewis, who happens to be Jerry Lee Lewis' sister. G-Man still can't find any Van comparable to Moondance.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sarah returns to The Nine....

Be there Friday night, boys and girls!

For those of us who can stay up later than 10pm (SHARIE, WAKE UP!), Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles will be at Cafe Nine on Friday, April 21. There will be numerous opportunities to catch her in the northeast this Spring, but Cafe Nine is a wonderful venue to see great talent at close range (although certain unnamed females dislike The Nine because people actually STAND to watch the music in the bar's very tight quarters).

From Cafe Nine's site: "Boston songwriter Sarah Borges will soon have to make like Wolf Parade and abandon Cafe Nine for one of New Haven's larger stages. But not yet. We are thrilled to have her and her super-tight band back on April 21."

Received a wonderful gift from The Dish last week: a signed Sarah Borges Silver City CD with the inscription "To Johnny K with love, Sarah Borges" (I'm assuming she meant every word). Sarah makes a return appearance at Cafe Nine in New Haven on Friday.

Other chances to catch Sarah:
Friday, April 21 at Cafe Nine in New Haven, CT
Saturday, April 22 at Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, MA
Saturday, May 20 at Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA
Saturday, July 22 at Johnny D's in Somerville, MA

We are not the champions, but .....

On a non-musical note, johnnykmusic congratulates certain members of this year's Southington Men's Hoops All-Tournament Teams:

Over 35 All-Tournament Team:
Kevin Meier
Todd Meier
Ray Kastner

Under 35 All-Tournament Team:
Garrett Kennedy

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter, Passover.....don't kill anyone, including yourself

All Music Guide has again revamped its format, now featuring The Whole Note, a weekly discussion of music by the AMG editorial staff. They open with a roundtable discussion of this week's American Idol, which featured the remaining eight contestants singing the songs of Queen.

I loved AMG's original format which cross-referenced EVERYTHING imaginable. It then changed to a more 'departmentalized' style and added the annoying 'free member' feature which I could never use efficiently. This site remains a wonderful reference tool.

Received a wonderful gift from The Dish this week: a signed Sarah Borges Silver City CD with the inscription "To Johnny K with love, Sarah Borges" (I'm assuming she meant every word). Sarah makes a return appearance at Cafe Nine in New Haven on Friday.

Off to Somerville......

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Hey, WTF, where's my johnnykmusic?.........

Give me a break, I've got less than a week to go.....

June Pointer, youngest of the Pointer Sisters, died today - story

The Little Willies already sold out (some, not I, would say that is redundant) at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA

A week 'til Sarah at Cafe Nine

Friday, April 07, 2006

And I love that dirty water......

The youngerk's are both off to Beantown this weekend for concerts - jfk tonight at The Orpheum to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and gdk on Sunday night to see the John Butler Trio at the Avalon Ballroom. Both groups are relatively new to me; we have the most recent CD's of each and I've found myself liking them. I've requested concert reviews of each but I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Let's have a party.....

Received an email from Les Luchter 'bout new Wanda Jackson film....

Thought you might be interested in a film trailer for a new documentary on Wanda Jackson, which is currently in post-production: trailer

Here’s some background info:

KPI, a New York City-based television and new media production company, has completed location shooting across the U.S. and Europe for EVERY NIGHT IS SATURDAY NIGHT, a high definition documentary film that tells the unsung story of rock 'n' roll pioneer Wanda Jackson. Jackson played an integral part in the history of early rock, and toured with Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, June Carter and Johnny Cash—the singers immortalized in the motion picture WALK THE LINE.

The film is being produced in association with Los Angeles-based producer Joanne Fish. The team has followed the tireless 68 year old Jackson and her husband/manager Wendell Goodman as they travel from honky tonks to Lincoln center as well as Sweden and Finland. Production began in June 2005 when the filmmakers documented the recording of Jackson's new release Wanda Jackson Remembers Elvis. The project is in post-production. It will be released in 3rd quarter 2006.

Les Luchter, Vice-president, Trylon Communications

johnnykmusic's visit to Cafe Nine to see Wanda Jackson and Rosie Flores June 7, 2005- here

Only love can break a heart.....

Some would call his songs "unrock-like", but I always liked Gene Pitney. Perhaps it was because he hailed from Rockville (he was, of course, the Rockville Rocket), but he had his own style and did what he did quite well. He died today in Wales (story. ">

A nice tribute to Gene Pitney in Thursday's Hartford Courant by Roger Catlin - here
AMG bio

From oldies guru Jim Kane: Sad to report the passing of a Connecticut icon. Gene Pitney - the Rockville Rocket - has passed away. He was 65. I was listening to some Gene Pitney songs. We used a few on our Bristol CD Collection - they sure brought back some memories. One of my bands opened up for Gene in 1966 in Rockville. He was a true showman. He will be missed! Jim

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I'm not like everybody else.......

In case you were wondering, that slick, cool IBM commercial song is a Kinks song written by Ray Davies and originally found on their 1965 album Kinkdom.

I won't take all that they hand me down,
And make out a smile, though I wear a frown,
And I won't take it all lying down,
'Cause once I get started I go to town.

'Cause I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.

And I don't want to ball about like everybody else,
And I don't want to live my life like everybody else,
And I won't say that I feel fine like everybody else,
'Cause I'm not like everybody else,
I'm not like everybody else.
complete lyrics