Saturday, September 30, 2006

Why don't we do it in the road.....

Caught up with Johnny Fest (aka Johnny Gumbo) while listening to Beatles tribute band Abbey Road (see photo) this afternoon at the Apple Harvest Festival. The band sounded good (even though I'm not a big fan of tribute bands) and the large crowd obviously enjoyed hearing their old favorites. The Fab Four was dressed in matching suits circa Ed Sullivan, but were to change into Sgt. Pepper era gear later. Didn't wait. Also of note, Paul now plays bass right-handed.

JF was raving about the performance the previous evening by the D. Smith Blues Band. The country/bluegrass band, Crossover, is slated for Sunday at 5:15pm (weather permitting).

Jim Kane in Heaven?....a scary thought....

Just kidding, Jim, kinda. Jim emails us from R 'n R Heaven South:

The ultimate "old fart" destination. Just north of Orlando is a place called "The Villages" , an over 55 retirement community. An "ACTIVE" community puts it mildly. They have almost 100,000 residents and activities abound. They even have their own 1000 seat softball "stadium"!!!!! But my favorite part of the villages is "Katie Belles" - a fantastic private restaurant, that seats about 400 and is for Villages residents only. Once a month "Rocky & The Rollers" play at this venue. This is an oldies premier rock n roll band. They are Bowser Bauman's "Rock N Roll Party" concert band. The Rollers have played all over the world. I met them many years ago when we were both performing at 'Little Darlins Rock N Roll Palace" in Kissimmee, Florida. One of my good friends in the rock n roll world is John Wagner, of "The Diamonds" (Little Darlin, The Stroll, etc.), will be our guest this evening at Katie Belles. We will be asked at some point in the evening to sing a couple of songs with The Rollers. (Lets hope the crowd has had enough Budweisers). The Villages is becoming our second home. This Wednesday night, we will journey back to The Villages to their elite concert center to see another good friend, Johnny Thunder (Loop DE Loop) and "The Duke of Earl"- Gene Chandler. If you like our music, then this is the place to be. Yes sir - Rock N Roll Heaven does exist - and it is "alive" and well at The Villages, in Florida!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Are you ready for the weekend?.....

Carolyn B, newly settled in Boston, is revved up for this weekend's 6th Annual Beantown Jazz Festival. G-man and JFK will be in town on Friday night to attend the Raconteurs' concert at the Orpheum Theatre. Another tasty offering is Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles at Johnny D's in Somerville.

This is also the opening weekend for the 39th annual Southington Apple Harvest Festival and host Johnny Fest has assembled a varied lineup of music for your enjoyment:
Friday- 7:00pm D. Smith Blues Band
Saturday- 4:30pm Abbey Road; 7:00pm The Kerry Boys
Sunday- 5:15pm Crossover

Jim Kane says johnnyk's all wet on the Beach Boys....

I've been taken to task for my less-than-admiring portrayal of the current and future versions of the Beach Boys (here) by good friend and Bristol oldies guru Jim Kane:

I beg to differ! I have recently heard Mike Love's version of The Beach Boys, with Bruce Johnston, and they were great. I saw them 2 months ago at EPCOT in Orlando, and they had a huge crowd screaming with delight. Sure its not the original Beach Boys, but the songs were still great, and their performance flawless. Jim Kane
PS - I should know, I've seen the Beach Boys back in the good old days of the 60s.

Jim, I respect your opinion on this, but the few times I've seen the Beach Boys in the last 20 years (granted, not in person), Mike Love's voice was shot. And maybe it's the old John Lennon/Paul McCartney thing, I always liked Brian Wilson more. However, my real point was that the beauty of the Beach Boys was in the gorgeous harmonies of the Wilson brothers, Mike Love, Al Jardine and that does not exist anymore. The Beach Boys put out some very good, though under-appreciated product into the mid-seventies (I love the Surf's Up album), but nothing of any creative consequence since. No, NOT Kokomo! I'm not saying one can't enjoy the current group(s), but, in my humble opinion, it's not the Beach Boys.

Turn It Up, one more once.....

  • Catch a Fire (Bob Marley and the Wailers)
  • Wonderful World Beautiful People (Jimmy Cliff)
  • Led Zeppelin II (Led Zeppelin)
  • Nashville Skyline (Bob Dylan)
  • Lou Reed...Live, In Concert (Lou Reed)
  • Diary of a Mod Housewife (Amy Rigby)
  • Lady Soul (Aretha Franklin)
  • Live at the Fillmore West (Aretha Franklin)
  • Soul '69 (Aretha Franklin)

    A spectacular early autumn day to take a quick trip to Northampton to Turn It Up, wish-listing from G-man in hand (Beck, Marley, Lou Reed, Cat Power, Mos Def, Led Zeppelin, Dylan, TV on the Radio). Could not resist a great 3-CD set of Aretha for $15!!! Also picked up Amy Rigby's classic in anticipation of her visit to Cafe Nine on November 9.
  • Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    From Alex Ross in 9/18/06 New Yorker....

    “As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden / The wounded flowers were dangling from the vine.” As usual, it is the words that seize your attention first. “Ain’t Talkin’,” the last song on Bob Dylan’s deceptively mellow-sounding new album, “Modern Times,” places the listener in a landscape of sweet decay, as handsomely ruined as Dylan’s sixtysomething voice, populated by sick mules, blind horses, a missing gardener, nameless foes, some woman, and the walking, weeping, brooding, ironically smiling singer. The vocal line is threadbare: it consists of just five notes, the ancient pentatonic scale. But it is the unswerving sureness of the musical choices—guitars twisting like vines around plain chord changes, an intermittently keening cello, a steady pulse like dripping water—that holds you mesmerized. The protagonist seems to be searching for some sign of hope in the apocalyptic garden, and, at the last moment, he finds it: after eight minutes in the minor mode, and a sighing reference to the “world’s end,” a moonbeam falls in the form of a glowing major chord. — Alex Ross

    Monday, September 25, 2006

    Are you ready for some football?....

    Surprising to see so much hype about tonight's football game at the Superdome. I think it's good for New Orleans, not quite the statement of renaissance that is being proclaimed; a milepost, perhaps, for the Superdome is way too recent to be of historical importance to this city. And the cost of $185 million is less than last Saturday's winning Powerball ticket! The bottom line is there are still too few people living there.

    As far as the music goes, U2 and Green Day would be pretty cool to hear, but how long will they play and will television audiences be invited? By the way, I thought Hank Williams, Jr.'s opening song last week with Little Richard, Bootsy Collins, and Little Steven Van Zant was pretty cool. As for the football, I could care less - the Brownies blew a sure win yesterday as JFK and I watched in disbelief at Sliders Sports Bar.

    AP story - Also, Is the Saints' future really secure here? story

    Sunday, September 24, 2006

    Wouldn't it be, it wouldn't....

    Pet Sounds was Brian Wilson's masterpiece, but news that Brian and Al Jardine will 'reform' the Beach Boys to play this music on a 40th anniversity celebration tour (see story) is scary. Given that brothers Dennis and Carl are dead (and, therefore, unavailable to tour)and that original lead vocalist Mike Love hates Brian and tours with his own pathetic oldies version (with Bruce Johnston) of the Beach Boys, it is blasphemy to call this tour a Beach Boys project. Just bill it for what it is - Brian Wilson with cousin Al sittin' in. The Beach Boys as a musical force have been dead since the early seventies.

    Girl put your records on....

    Note from the couch of Marsha V - "Thanks alot. I have copied them all (3 Lou Ann Barton, new Bob Dylan and Corrine Bailey Rae CDs) and will enjoy listening while I eat bon-bons and read trashy novels." Vin offered that he was unimpressed with Lou Ann Barton.

    Saturday, September 23, 2006

    Fabulous Foreplay!....

    Oh, I mean the Fabulous Four (Steve the Bod, Vinny, Keith, JK) play golf today in Richmond, RI at the seventh annual 65 Roses Golf Tournament to benefit cystic fibrosis. In the prior six events, we have finished third four times, once by matching cards and losing 1st and 2nd! Thanks for your support, we will try to be worthy.

    Dammit, we tied with two other teams for first and AGAIN finished third matching cards! But a good day for a good cause and we had great marguaritas at the Jimmy Buffett hole (see our hosts at left)

    Christine Ohlman, slated to appear at the Apple Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 7th, will be performing in DC the previous week at an all-star charity concert where the Beehive Queen will be dueting with Nils Lofgren with Carmine Appice on drums and Will Lee of the Letterman band on bass.....

    The Courant's Eric Danton has an interesting blog piece discussing the dirth of good radio and concerts in CT.

    George Jones, the hard loving, hard living country legend who is name-dropped by many an aspiring musician, performed at the Durham Fair last evening.

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    Got a good, cheap NYC rent for G-Man?....

    No Brooklyn apartment for G on Thursday; looked at one in Crown Heights and did a drive-by in the Red Hook section, but no luck. So G and I decided to drop by the 55 Bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village before heading home to CT. The bar is a small, below-street-level joint that features two jazz shows nightly. We finally found it and, subsequently, a place to park about three blocks away, and settled in around 7 o'clock, the slated time for Katie Bull and her supporting trio (keyboards, bass, drums) to start their set.

    While we wait for Kate (snicker), we order up a Brooklyn Lager 'n a Sam and look around - G notices a print of A Great Day In Harlem that I gave to CB (along with accompanying CD)for her graduation in June; photos and album covers of jazz greats adorn the walls while, curiously, punk blares from the club's sound system; instruments are set up down in the front corner. No food.

    A diverse crowd is filling in the dozen or so cocktail tables that take up the area from back to front opposite the bar; we slide from our barstool perches to grab one for the show. Kate beckons to a woman seated along the wall who we guess is Mom. Suddenly, at about 7:15, everything goes silent and it's show time. Kate starts off singing her band introductions, then launches into a scat-laced mix of standards and her own compositions. She has an interesting delivery, a great voice and she seems to enjoy work. According to her website, Katie will be appearing every six weeks on Thursdays exclusively at 55BAR.

    With the completion of the first of Kate's two sets, we hit the head and then the pavement - it's a long ride back to CT. Neat place, good music. Try it.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Happy birthday, JFK....

    Birthday CDs from G to his older brother:
  • The Greatest (Cat Power)
  • Never Mind the Bollocks (Sex Pistols)
  • Combat Rock (The Clash)
  • Flogging a Dead Horse (Sex Pistols)

    Bought for himself:
  • Uprising (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
  • Brushfire Fairytales (Jack Johnson)
  • I'll learn to work the saxophone, I'll play just what I feel ...

    Before his 2001 inauguration, George Bush was invited to a get acquainted tour of the White House. After drinking several glasses of iced tea, he asked Bill Clinton if he could use his personal bathroom. When he entered Clinton's personal bathroom, he was astonished to see that President Clinton had a solid gold urinal.

    That afternoon, George told his wife, Laura, about the urinal. "Just think," he said, "When I am president, I could have a gold urinal too, but I wouldn't do something that self-indulgent!" Later, when Laura had lunch with Hillary at her tour of the White House, she told Hillary how impressed George had been at his discovery of the fact that, in the President's private bathroom, the President had a gold urinal.

    That evening, when Bill and Hillary were getting ready for bed, Hillary smiled, and said to Bill...."I found out who pissed in your saxophone."

    - Deacon Blues Steely Dan

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    Just beat it......

    A quick howdy to Dan (good friend of jonathan k, whose birthday is today!) and good luck on his American Diabetes Associaton's Walk For Diabetes effort. Here is Dan's email if you wish to contribute:

    Hello Everyone,

    As I'm sure most of you are aware, I am a diabetic. My father, who also suffers from the disease, recently had his right leg amputated below the knee due to year long foot complications. Don't worry, he is fine and getting along quite well with his new prosthetic, but that, along with my own diabetic issues, has caused me to be a little more pro-active about the situation.

    I have registered as a walker for the American Diabetes Associaton's Walk For Diabetes and I am looking for sponsors. All the money goes towards research to find a cure for diabetes. My goal is to raise 500.00 (at least) and I hope I can meet that goal with your help. There is no minimum if you wish to donate and I appreciate any amount that you are willing to offer. The link to the donation website is: - HERE

    When you are at the website, click on "sponsor a walker" then type in my name in the space provided. This will bring you to my personal webpage.

    I know not all of you live in Boston but if there is anyone who does and is interested in participating in the walk itself (which is anywhere from 1-7 miles) let me know. It's easy enough to change my registration from an individual walker to a team and I would love the company.

    Thank you and feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions, -Dan- - EMAIL

    Suggested iPod songs to play during the walk:
  • Walkin' To New Orleans (Fats Domino)
  • Walk, Don't Run (The Ventures)
  • I Walk the Line (Johnny Cash)
  • My Walkin' Shoes (Memphis Slim)
  • I Want To Walk You Home (Fats Domino)
  • Sleepwalk (Santo & Johnny)
  • These Boots Are Made For Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)
  • Walk of Life (Dire Straits)
  • Walk On By (Dionne Warwick)
  • Walk Right Back (Everly Brothers)
  • Walk This Way (Run DMC/Aerosmith, you pick the version)
  • Walking After Midnight (Patsy Cline)
  • Walking In Memphis (Marc Cohen)
  • Walking On Sunshine (Katrina and the Waves)
  • Monday, September 18, 2006

    Shocking! Willie Nelson Busted for Pot

    E!Online article by Josh Grossberg

    The country outlaw is back on the road again after a pot-powered pitstop early Monday. Nelson and several of his band mates received misdemeanor citations for marijuana possession after their tour bus was pulled over in Louisiana. The bust came just two days after Nelson called for the decriminalization of marijuana while stumping for Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman.

    According to Willie Williams of the Louisiana Highway Patrol, Nelson and crew were traveling along Highway 10 in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, when they were stopped for a routine commercial inspection. Officers on the scene caught a whiff of something suspicious emanating from the vehicle as soon as the driver opened the door. And BioWillie be damned, a search of the bus turned up about one-and-a-half pounds of marijuana and a small bag of psychedelic mushrooms estimated at two-tenths of a pound.

    "No one aboard the bus gave any of our troopers any problems," Williams told E! Online. "When the search was conducted , they were very cordial and...subsequently admitted to being the owners of the narcotics." - complete article

    Sunday, September 17, 2006

    I want a Sunday kind of love....

    U2 and Green Day slated to perform at the New Orleans Saints home opener next weekend. And the Saints are 2-0 (granted against Browns/Packers)!!!

    Surprised to find that today was St. Patrick's Day at John Harvard's Brew House after golf today. So we were serenaded with the likes of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and Me and Bobby McGee accompanied by guitar, fiddle and pennywhistle over the din of the Giants/Eagles overtime. Shepherd's pie and ale blended in nicely.

    Sasha Frerer-Jones, music critic for the New Yorker, says Cat Power is a "must-see."

    From Rolling Stone Magazine, an article by Andy Greene about Bob Dylan's Greatest Thefts, siting a half-dozen instances of Bobby pilfering lyrics from various literature sources. Everybody just relax: Bob Dylan is still, hands down, the most gifted and original songwriter of the last century. But yes, he did poach some lines from 19th century Confederate poet Henry Timrod for Modern Times. He’s been lifting lines from other people for his entire career — for one, huge chunks of his 1985 disc Empire Burlesque was based on Humphrey Bogart movies. It’s part of the whole folk music thing, as well as the whole “geniuses steal” thing...

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    New kid on the block....

    Sweet Jane's Rock & Roll Eatery 88 Pratt Street, Hartford, 860-882-6754
    by David Moran, Special to

    The Vibe: Laid back, definitely. With almost 6,000 square feet of floor space split between upstairs and downstairs levels, Sweet Jane's is more than large enough to pack in the crowds, but the friendly, down to earth wait and bar staff seem like seasoned pros at making you feel, regardless of the crowd, as though you've actually stepped into a quaint, quite neighborhood pub. And the eight big screen TVs mounted behind the bar and at judicious locations around the dining area are usually kept tuned to the local area favorites, so you don't have to worry about missing the big game for a night out. Upstairs features two pool tables, a darts and video game area, and a jukebox.

    The Music: Varies per day or night. Tuesdays are open mic night, so single acts or full bands are more than welcome to jump up on stage and jam. Wednesdays are reggae themed. A guest DJ typically spins 80's rock all night long on Thursdays. Fridays are a bit mellower in tone, devoted to live acoustic performers. And on Saturday nights Sweet Jane's hosts a local area band, most often featuring a nice mixture of original stuff and cover tunes. Story

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    New album soon for Lucinda; come back to CT Lu!!!!...

    Lucinda Williams takes "Wheels" for a new spin by Jonathan Cohen (Billboard)

    While Lucinda Williams puts the finishing touches on her next studio album, her Lost Highway label will on October 24 release a "deluxe edition" of her acclaimed 1998 disc Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. The set includes the previously unreleased studio tracks "Out of Touch" (later re-recorded for the 2001 album Essence) and the 1920s blues tune "Down the Big Road Blues" plus an alternate version of "Still I Long for Your Kiss."

    A July 11, 1998, show in Philadelphia comprises the second disc of the set and includes nine tracks from "Car Wheels," as well as earlier selections such as "Something About What Happens When We Talk" and "Hot Blood." "Car Wheels" is the best-selling album of Williams' career, having sold 764,000 units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It won the Grammy for contemporary folk album in 1999. Williams' next album, due before the end of the year, features contributions from guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Jim Keltner.

    She will head to Europe for a handful of fall shows, beginning October 31 in the northern Dutch city of Groningen.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2006

    A vote for Sarah is a vote for......Sarah!!!

    Email from Sarah Borges - I'm grateful to announce that I've been nominated for a Boston Music Award in the category of Best Local Female Vocalist. Last year our record Silver City took Best Local Debut Album, so we'd love to extend the winning! You can vote online at until September 22. It only takes a second, and it makes us very happy when you do it!

    We're off on to Nashville next week for the Americana conference and then on tour again in October, this time with Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys, who we love, so check for dates and info. See you then! Best, SB and the BS

    Comment: Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles will be appearing at Johnny D's in Somerville, MA on Saturday, November 18 and at Cafe Nine in New Haven, CT on Saturday, December 9. Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys appear at Cafe Nine on Tuesday, October 10.

    Wednesday morning at 5 o'clock as the day begins....

    Dylan looks very cool and all stylin' with his cowboy hat and guitar in his new iTunes commercial, but he never came close to playing guitar during his concert at New Britain Stadium. What's with that, Zimmy?

    Courtesy of, a headsup to more music lists than can be healthy for you from Wikipedia. Example - list of songs that retell a work of literature

    Note to Marybeth's sister, Ryan Hartt & the Bluehearts won the 2006 CT Blues Society Blues Challenge Finals at the Hannon-Hatch VFW in West Hartford last weekend. They move on to compete in Memphis.

    Who ARE you?.....

    Do 75% of the shows on television now use The Who songs for their themes? Is it really The Who if only Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey show up for concerts (drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle are unable to appear because they, well, are dead)? Perhaps they should be called Who are Pete 'N Roger.

    The Who launch tour with classic-laden show by Jon Hurdle

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The Who kicked off the U.S. leg of their first world tour for more than 20 years on Tuesday with a two-hour set that included a full complement of classic hits, a smattering of new material, and some rough edges.

    The legendary British rock band which came to prominence in the early 1960s with songs about youthful rebellion and alienation has only two of its original members -- singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend. The gray-bearded Townshend, 61, periodically pumped up the capacity crowd at South Philadelphia's Wachovia Center with his classic arm-twirling power-chord style while Daltrey, 62, looking younger in jeans and a plain blue T-shirt, belted out the lyrics of The Who's extensive back catalog.

    The band, also consisting of Townshend's brother Simon on guitar, Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey on drums, Pino Palladino on bass and John Bundrick on keyboards -- fluently delivered many crowd-pleasing anthems including "Won't Get Fooled Again," "My Generation," "Teenage Wasteland" and "Behind Blue Eyes". - complete article

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Newsflash Update!!!!!!!!

    It took only one day for Dan Heffernan to sign a couple of Bristol guys to a recording contract. Ever the innovator, Dapper Dan has signed Bristol's Whitey Dudzinski and Bobby Watson to a long term contract. "I recognized their talent when they recorded with their group (Bristol's Six Olde Fartz), and then I found a project worthy of their talents." Dan was quoted as saying. Dan came up with the idea a few months ago, and the search was on. A mix of cultures and music was the key. After seeing the success of Bobby Vinton, Dan decided to add his own twist to the mix. Hence - Polish Soul Music ! You heard it here first, Bobby and Whitey singing Polish Soul music. Not only is this a new and refreshing approach, but Dan believes it is a long time coming to the industry. Dan did tell us the titles to two of the songs being recorded on his DDH label. They are "Who Took The Garage Key" and "Searching, Searching For My Chitlins".

    To add a little more Bristol flavor to the mix, Dan has added two other Bristol guys to produce this ground breaking CD. After thinking it over - Bristol record producer - Dick Carlson (Flash Carlson & The Cadillacs) passed on this project. But Dick did recommend Bristol's Father Tom Ptasynski and Eddie Whitehead, citing great knowledge of the subject. Father Tom, long time according player, along with long time soul vocalist - Eddie Whiethead were signed on for this upcoming challenge. Former Bristol St. Anthony High vocal standout - Johnny Kennedy has been hired to promote this endeavor. "Johnny, known for his worldwide blogging ability, will set in motion a marketing campaign never seen before on this planet," said Dan Heffernan.

    So all I can say is good luck with this project. But once again, the great city of Bristol will remain in the forefront of musical genius. This should be one for the ages! Jim Kane

    NEWSFLASH !!! ...from Bristol's oldies guru, Jim Kane....

    After recording their last CD (Bristol Talent) in March of 2006, Dan Heffernan quietly retired from Heffernan-Roy Records and the label was put to rest. His long time partner - Clem Roy also opted for retirement. After a couple of decades of success, we all thought the Bristol rock n roll genius of Dan Heffernan had turned into becoming a tie-coon. He has also dabbled in real estate. It now appears that retirement is becoming shortlived for young Dan.

    Rumor has reached me that Dan is launching a new label {DDH Records} . He might even revive some of the Bristol Talent artists for a whole new foray into the world of rock n roll. Two of Dan's mainstays - Woody "The Legend" Crosby & Dick "Mr. Doo-wop" Carlson have been summoned to Dan's new studio located in Southern Connecticut. I will let you know just how this plays out. There has been a rumor about a Holloween album, which I will check out. So long for now. Jim

    Sunday, September 10, 2006

    johnnyk taken to the woodshed.....

    Johnny K: I was at the Connecticut Blues Society Blues Finals and YOU WERE NOT! I was in total shock not to see you.

    The bands were great; I had my favorite. But alas we had the Corvette with the T-tops removed and right after the final band the black clouds rolled in. We jumped in the car and "flew" home barely making it to the garage. So I never found out who the heck won. If you know, do tell. My favorite band was Eran Troy Danner & Hot Dallas. I also liked Ryan Hartt and the Blueharts. Mojomatics had the best guitarist, however.

    Signed, Marybeth's Sister

    P.S. Save me a ticket for that great Mardi Gras party...I wouldn't miss it for the world.

    "Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance."

    johnnyk response: Guilty as charged. Yes, I should be ashamed of myself, but I had a golf tournament this weekend and I wimped out. And your tickets to the 2007 Mardi Gras Night are

    Saturday, September 09, 2006

    A Pip-less Gladys Knight sang God Bless America at the U.S. Open Women's tennis finals Saturday (k)night.

    G-Man made a Saturday dash to the mall and came back with:
  • Howl (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
  • Natty Dread (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
  • Revelations (Audioslave)
  • Blood Sugar Sex Magik (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  • Friday, September 08, 2006

    A killer on the loose.....

    It's always a tough call when considering new albums or live appearances by aging rock legends (or one-hit wonders, for that matter). I recall going to see The Drifters (hey, I was being a team player) in the 70's at some hall in Higganum and finding one old guy who claimed he was one of the originals along with a bunch of young disinterested turks playing to about a dozen people (Get the picture? Yes, we see). And they were dreadful. That's been a sore subject among oldies artists and their fans in recent years as bogus groups posing as The U-Remember-Us's scam nostalgic baby boomers. Several states (including Connecticut) are considerating legislation requiring proof of original members in order to perform in the state under the old group names.

    But even when you know the artists are the genuine article, are they worth seeing? I guess it depends on your perspective, but I was disappointed with Flo & Eddie as the Turtles at this year's Daffodil Festival, not because they couldn't sing anymore (a frequent problem with lifestyle challenged performers as they age), but because their act was silly. I don't ask that they take themselves seriously, but do take the music seriously - they acted like it was a Vegas act. Dylan, on the other hand, continues to reinvent himself, much to the dismay of some of his fans. And when I saw Wanda Jackson (with Rosie Flores) at Cafe Nine awhile ago, she was charming and very entertaining, yet, despite enthusiastic reviews, I wouldn't run out to buy her new CD.

    It was with this in mind that I read AMG's Featured Review on Jerry Lee Lewis' new CD Last Man Standing, a duet-based album with Killer singing the songs of and playing with the likes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Page. Hmmmm, duet albums are getting a BIT tiresome, mostly better in concept than reality.

    But, alas, Stephen Thomas Erlewine says no, this one is for real!
    "It often seems like there are only two ways for rock, country, and blues veterans to launch comebacks when they're senior citizens: confront mortality head on or surround yourself with superstar guests to help carry you through a half-hearted stroll through your back catalog, scattering a few new tunes along the way. At first glance, Jerry Lee Lewis' Last Man Standing seems to fall into both categories: the title suggests that Jerry Lee is in the mood to take a long look back, and certainly the very concept of the album -- pairing Lewis with 21 other stars for a succession of duets, often on material that his guests either wrote or made famous -- seems like a typical superstar duet record. But the Killer has never been predictable, and nowhere is that truer than it is here, where Jerry Lee treats Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Page, and 16 other stars as he treated the Nashville Teens at the Star Club in 1964 -- as game amateurs who have to sprint to keep up with the master. This is the only guest-studded superstar album where all the guests bend to the will of the main act, who dominates the proceedings in every conceivable way. Jerry Lee doesn't just run the guests ragged; he turns their songs inside out, too -- and nowhere is that clearer than on the opening "Rock and Roll," the Led Zeppelin classic that is now stripped of its signature riff and sounds as if it were a lost gem dug out of the Sun vaults. Far from struggling with this, Jimmy Page embraces it, following the Killer as he runs off on his own course -- he turns into support, and the rest of other 20 guests follow suit (with the possible exception of Kid Rock, who sounds like the party guest who won't go home on an otherwise strong version of "Honky Tonk Woman")."....... "This is a record that stays true to his music, and in doing so, it's not so much a comeback as it is a summation: a final testament from a true American original, one that explains exactly why he's important. But that makes Last Man Standing sound too serious, as if it were one of those self-consciously morbid Johnny Cash records -- no, this is a record that celebrates life, both in its joys and sorrows, and it's hard not to see it as nothing short of inspiring." - complete review

    Do I hear an Amen? I'll let you know, 'cause I'm outta here to buy it! Opps, it hasn't been released yet!

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    Howdy, folks....

    The New Haven Folk Festival is this weekend, featuring Bruce Cockburn, Eliza Gylkyson and the Arrogant Worms. Saw Mr. Cockburn at Toad's in the 80's with Steve the Bod, but lost track of him recently; the Arrogant Worms placed Christmas Turkey Blues on 2001's Johnny K's Got the Blues This Christmas CD. For more information -

    Preston, CT hosts the 1st annual Strawberry Park Folk Festival with Kris Delmhorst, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, the Kennedys, Richie Havens, Janis Ian and Jonathan Edwards (who may or may not be laying around the shanty, mama, putting a good buzz on).

    Thanks to niece Kelly for this heads up:
    Just in case you didn’t hear about it, there is a benefit concert this Saturday night at (Southington) Rec Park. It’s to raise money for lights on the soccer fields. The band that is a Beatles cover band called Number 9. They were practicing last night at the First Congregational Church. We were there last night for a preschool meeting and they sounded really good. I was thinking of you and Dad when I heard about it, but he works on Saturday nights. I’m not sure but I think that the concert starts at 5 and they are playing until around 10pm.

    Wednesday, September 06, 2006

    Yes, but I would not feel so all alone.....

    Dylan tops worldwide charts with acclaimed album by Dean Goodman

    Bob Dylan reached the top of the U.S. pop albums chart for the first time in 30 years on Wednesday, becoming the oldest living person to launch a new disc at No. 1. The 65-year-old rock poet's latest album, "Modern Times," sold 192,000 copies in the week ended September 3, his best sales week since tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan started using its point-of-sales data to collate the charts in 1991.

    Johnny Cash and Ray Charles both had No. 1 albums in recent years, but they were released posthumously. "We couldn't be more thrilled that fans have responded to it so enthusiastically by putting Bob at No. 1, which is where he belongs" said Steve Barnett, the chairman of Dylan's Columbia Records label. Dylan last reached No. 1 in 1976 with his album "Desire," which led the field for five weeks. At the time, he was on his Rolling Thunder Revue tour and winning publicity for his protest tune "Hurricane." His other chart-toppers were the 1975 classic "Blood on the Tracks," and 1974's "Planet Waves." - complete article

    Why we split up....

    She told me we couldn't afford the beer I like at $35.00 a case and that I'd have to quit drinking.

    Then I caught her spending $65.00 on make-up, and I asked her how come I had to give up stuff and she didn't.

    She said she needed the make-up to look pretty for me. I told her that's what the beer was for!

    I don't think she's coming back......

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    Vote! After all, it's your privilege and responsibilty....

    You are having a Labor Day barbeque at your house this year and can have any entertainer you like. Who is it ? (you are not constrained by reality and may vote for more than one)
    The early 60's Beatles in a battle of the bands with the Rolling Stones
    Lucinda Williams (beware, though, that she will drink you under the table)
    Neil Diamond - what an entertainer!
    Elvis Presley, circa 1957 (unsullied by Vegas)
    The dreaded Vegas Elvis (you must provide giveaway scarves)
    Bob Marley & the Wailers (perhaps with Jimmy Cliff guesting)
    Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles with special guest Van Morrison
    Bob Dylan and The Band (ok, throw in Joan Baez, too)
    The Grateful Dead (with Bill Walton on backing vocals)
    Give it up, Johnnyk, no one cares about your stupid poll
    I'd love Bonnie Raitt, but only if Freebo comes along
    Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama
    Marcia Ball, Angela Strehli and Lou Ann Barton
    Phil Spector (on special leave) with all his 'girl' groups
    These guys suck. I've got my own special performers and I'll tell you in the 'comments' section!
    Free polls from

    Our man Gumbo at Rhythm and Roots....

    Not to be deterred by a little rain like the rest of us, Johnny Gumbo ventures southeast to Charlestown. Here is his report:

    And then there was one........

    A little undecided Sunday morning about heading to R&R but then the feet got the better of me, the sun was threatening to come out and so off I went around 1:00, sans my fellow music lovers who had enough rain at Bobby Zimmerman. Pulled into the parking lot around 3:00 and could hear Rosie Ledet's accordion wailing away and I knew I'd made the right choice. What a beautiful day it turned out to be. Plunked my chair down about 25 yds slightly right center of the main stage, refreshed myself at the beer tent and then headed to the Red Hook. If you like to dance, R&R is a great place to go. No matter what's on the main stage, the dance pavilion is always cookin' with zydeco, cajun 2-step and a little swing thrown in for good measure. It's really a dance festival as much as a music festival and people come from all over, danced with a lady from Florida who comes up every year.

    Rosie & the Boys were great as usual. Tim O'Brien & Cornbread Nation turned out to be more folksie, not that that's a bad thing. Lots of string instruments and good rhythm, ala Bill Monroe. Enjoyed listening for awhile but then had to head back to the Red Hook. Came back to see James Hunter 'cause had to report to johnnyk. Thought he would be blusie but the tenor and baritone saxs and his lyrics gave off kind of an English James Brown flavor. I can never remember any of the songs in anybody's set like jk can so you'll have to look it up.

    The rest of the day became a little blended together going back and forth between the Red Hook and the main stage with stops in between at the beer tent to keep hydrated. Did take a break and went to the workshop tent which I usually don't do but was pleasantly surprised. Listened to Steve Riley and the Mamous talk about who and what influenced them musically and answer questions from the small audience. Then they would launch in to some tune that they were talking about. Have to do that at JazzFest next year.

    Spanish Harlem Orchestra very good, if you like Latin and salsa or just appreciate good percussion music but tough to zydeco dance to so back to the Red Hook. Scooted back to catch Dr. J who started out with a couple of songs from his Duke Ellington CD and then a couple from his new CD. Didn't recognize them 'cause I haven't heard it, but he said they were. Half way through, packed up the chair and went to finish out the night at the Red Hook with Steve Riley. Lots of dancers, lots of dancing, and a good time. Called it a nite around 11:30, packed up the Blazer and headed to Newport to stay at Barry & Cheryl's. That was a trip (literally the trip itself), but another story.

    R&R is really a well kept secret. There's lots of room, easy parking (no charge), great music for all tastes, some great food, beer, and the atmosphere is really laid back. Lots of families and nobody gets bothered. Would be fun to put together a bunch of people next year for the day, Mother Nature be damned. - jg

    Communications with Gumbo at R&R:
    3:30pm - Phone call from Gumbo, who arrived about an hour ago and got in some dancing before settling in about fifty feet from the stage. Weather is presently PERFECT, but rains have kept the crowds sparse. Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys have just concluded and he is awaiting Tim O'Brien & Cornbread Nation. I requested a report on the Van Morrison-touted James Hunter.
    6:00pm - Called Gumbo, no answer.
    6:30pm - Gumbo calls back, fresh from the dancing to Rosie Ledet at the Red Hook Dance pavilion. Says that James Hunter was sort of an English mixture of James Brown and Little Richard with two great sax players backing him. JG then hung up, had to go bad. Forgot to ask him about Cornbread Nation (wondering if Tim O'Brien collaborated with former NC-Charlotte/Boston Celtic great Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell).
    9:00pm - Final check-in from Gumbo, shirt soaked from dancing (yuck), just before Dr. John commences his set. Spanish Harlem Orchestra was good, but played mostly salsa, which does not lend itself well to zydeco dancing. He also sampled the Rounder Records workshops for about an hour, listening to the performers discussing their craft. After Dr. John, he is off to Newport for overnight.

    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    Plan B....took G to Northampton......

    While The Reet watched Andre Agassi finish out his career with a fifth-set tiebreaker loss, G-Man and I shuffled north to Turn It Up to grab a few tasty discs:
  • Fight For Your Mind (Ben Harper)
  • Broadway Jungle (Toots & the Maytals)
  • Me and Mr. Johnson (Eric Clapton)
  • Daydream (Lovin' Spoonful)
  • Recovering the Satellites (Counting Crows)
  • High Tide (Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys)
  • Israelites (Desmond Dekker & the Aces)
  • Should I stay or should I go....

    Sitting here early Sunday morning listening to Miles Davis' Ballads and Blues. It is raining cats and dogs, MUCH harder than Tuesday night for the Dylan concert. My enthusiasm for going to Rhythm and Roots is waning (The Reet's enthusiasm waned long ago). Keith & Sharie called with regrets, so it's a wrap on today's plans. What is Plan B?

    From - Blues singer Scarlett Lee Moore has taken Fairfield County by storm over the past couple of years, winning the Weekly’s best blues artist award, and performing her heart out at various venues around the county—weekly open mic at Bobby Q’s , regular gigs at the Crab Shell, Bistro du Soleil and the Green Room, plus lots of outdoor concerts. Every year she thanks her followers by throwing a gala outdoor music festival on the grounds of Newtown’s Sticks and Stones Farm. This year’s party looks to be a barnburner, as the singer has announced that she’ll be celebrating a milestone birthday. All she asks is that guests bring some sort of side dish or dessert to help feed the masses. Sticks and Stones Farm, 197 Huntingtown Rd., Newtown. (203) 312-6366

    Just in case you were thinking of messing around with The Boss or Patti, read this from Bruce's website: - "I hesitate to use this website for anything personal believing it should remain a place where fans of my music can come free of the distractions that occasionally arise with the rest of my job. However, due to the unfounded and ugly rumors that have appeared in the papers over the last few days, I felt they shouldn’t pass without comment. Patti and I have been together for 18 years- the best 18 years of my life. We have built a beautiful family we love and want to protect and our commitment to one another remains as strong as the day we were married." OK, Bruce, forget I ever mentioned going to a movie.

    Report on the Onset Bay Blues Festival from Bill Ives' music/food blog – "Some Great Acts...A few weeks ago we went to the 14th annual Onset Bay Blues Festival in one of our favorite towns, Onset, MA. We saw three great acts on Saturday afternoon at the town band shell over looking the bay. There were many others but I doubt they could top these three. This is an event to attend next year when they do the 15th one." - complete article

    Saturday, September 02, 2006

    Belly up to the bar...

    Someone recommended this place in Greenwich Village, so I looked it up. The 55 Bar, "...a prohibition era dive bar with incredible live jazz, funk and blues nightly...", sounds pretty damn cool. Anyone wanna go?

    Saturday night's alright for fighting....

    Doesn't look good for a sunny day at Rhythm and Roots. Johnny Gumbo originally planned to go down today (Marcia Ball, Los Lobos) and stay over, meeting the rest of us there tomorrow. But one rain-soaking a week (Dylan) is apparently the limit for Gumbo.

    If you have nothing planned out for this evening, treat yourself to a dose of the Soul Express with Dean Farrell. The Soul Express runs on WHUS, 91.7-FM, from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, on Saturday evenings from 9:00-midnight Eastern Time. It features the vintage soul rhythms of the 1960s and '70s, most of which you've either never heard before or haven't heard in 30-40 years. To hear WHUS live on the Internet, go here. Also, you can check out past playlists (including guest Christine Ohlman's) on the website.

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Soul legend Ronald Isley, who sang such hits as "Twist and Shout" and "This Old Heart of Mine" as a member of the Isley Brothers, was sentenced on Friday to three years in federal prison for tax evasion. Isley, 65, was also ordered to pay about $3.1 million to the Internal Revenue Service, having engaged in "pervasive, long-term, pathological" evasion of federal taxes, according to U.S. District Court Judge Dean Pregerson. article It is not known if the IRS duo of JPK & NGK were involved.

    The news from New Orleans continues to be depressing, but sometimes there are flashes of optimism. Here is a recent Rolling Stone piece about the bar music scene. It features the Maple Leaf Bar in the Carrollton section, where we saw Jon Cleary in 2005 during Jazz Fest. - article

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    Rhythm and Roots....'n rain?

    For the past two Labor Day weekends, Gumbo and I have ventured over to Ninigret Park in Charlestown, RI to the Rhythm and Roots Festival, where we've seen Marcia Ball (twice- always wonderful), NRBQ (disappointing), Keb Mo (good, but we were tired), Rosie Flores (great, made me catch her at Cafe Nine later), Donna the Buffalo (twice-really good) and many more.

    This year, we are picking Sunday to see Dr. John, but missing Marcia Ball and Los Lobos in doing so. Bought Mercernary, Dr. John's latest venture, a reworking of old Johnny Mercer songs. And we also get to sample James Hunter, whom Van Morrison calls " of the best voices, and best kept secrets, in British R'n'B and Soul. Check him out." We shall.

    Keith, Sharie and The Reet are in this year; Vin has just informed me that Marcia broke her foot, sidelining them. Weather threatening not to cooperate.

    SUNDAY, SEPT. 3 Schedule

    12:00 Savoy Family Cajun Band
    1:15 James Hand
    2:30 Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys
    3:45 Tim O'Brien & Cornbread Nation
    5:00 James Hunter
    6:15 Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys
    7:45 Spanish Harlem Orchestra
    9:15 Dr. John

    1:00 Music of Canray Fontenot: Ed Poullard
    2:00 Fiddle: Greeley, Savoy, Poullard, Driessen
    3:00 Accordion: Riley, Savoy, Legé
    4:00 Music of Balfas: The Mamou Playboys
    5:00 Get Myself Together: Danny Barnes
    6:00 Real Deal: James Hand

    12:00 Zydeco Dance Instruction: Jim Chistiansen
    12:30 Zydeco Dance Styles: Li'l Anne
    2:30 Cajun Dance Instruction: Michelle Kaminsky
    3:00 Cajun Dance Styles: Magnolia and Poullard
    5:00 Cajun Dance: Savoy Family
    7:30 Zydeco Dance: Rosie Ledet and the Zydeco Playboys
    10:00 Fais Do Do: Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys

    12:00 Dance for Kids & Adult Beginners: Erica Sigal
    1:00 Concert: Fiddle Dee Dee
    2:00 Story Telling: Mark Levitt and Len Cabral
    3:15 Concert & Stories: Keith Munslow
    4:00 Mask & Instrument Making Workshop
    5:00 Concert: Toe Jam Puppet Band
    7:30 Disney Film
    9:30 Teen Film

    You can fool some of the people....

    While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher, whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to former Texas Governor, George W. Bush and his elevation to the White House.

    The old Texan said, "Well, ya know, Bush is a post turtle." Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was. The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle."

    The old man saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain, "You know he didn't get there by himself, he doesn't belong there, he doesn't know what to do while he's up there, and you just want to help the dumb shit get down."

    First Fridays at the New Britain Museum of American Art....

    First Friday features live jazz music performed by local and nationally-known musicians, an opportunity to view the Museum’s premier permanent collection of 300 years of American art, a chance to mix and mingle with other art and jazz lovers, a selection of light hors d’oeuvres, and wine, beer, and soda. The cost is $7 for Museum members and $12 for non-members and includes two drink tickets with a cash bar thereafter.

    Jen Allen Trio - Friday, Sept. 1 from 5:30-8 pm

    The Jen Allen Trio begins the fall series on September 1 with Jen on piano, Adam Christgau on drums and Chris DeAngelis on bass. Jen Allen is a well respected jazz pianist and composer working in New England today. A native of the Boston area, Jen has studied music at the Longy School of Music, Berklee College of Music, and Hartt School of Music, where she graduated in 2000. Since then, her music has taken her around the world, as she has performed in Japan, Turkey, and many renowned American venues. Jen frequently performs in the solo setting, as the leader of her trio, and as a sideman with jazz luminaries such as Nat Reeves, Steve Davis, Charles Flores and Kris Allen.