Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Vote for me and I'll set you free!.....


The Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fames has announced its 2007 nominees and five of them will be selected. Which five are worthy?
R.E.M.
Van Halen
The Stooges
Patti Smith
The Dave Clark Five
Chic
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Joe Tex
The Ronettes
Where the hell is Neil Diamond?
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

BOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....


Startled you, didn't I. Don't forget to stock up on your candy for the little bastards tonight or else they'll egg your house. They may anyway, then run - like little Bats Out of Hell!!!

DJ Bill T's Halloween Party Tunes

Saturday, October 28, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, REET!!!!!!

EMAIL 59th birthday wishes to Reet

Are they trying to barf up the Gumbo?

The Town of Southington is doing a nice job of diffusing this year's post-Apple Harvest festival euphoria by refusing to renew director John Ryan's contract for next year's festival. Apparently, some town officials' asses were not sufficiently kissed to the point that they voted to put the contract out to bid based on Ryan's stated desire to also take over the sponsor function of the festival, a natural progression after two years. That is the thanks Ryan gets for taking a tired, aging event and making it interesting, local-oriented, fun and profitable (his original mandate was to break even) by using an organized, efficient, if not always motherly, management style. The results speak for themselves, but a few selfish Town officials would rather put their pouting above the constituents. Nice. Well, as Joni Mitchell once warned us, "You don't know what you got 'til it's gone." Shame on the City of Progress (or whatever we call ourselves these days)! - various news articles

Friday, October 27, 2006

Appearing now in the Southern Comfort Blues Tent.....Some Guy From Sales Blues Band!......

Just in case you thought your dynamite performance at karaoke last month warrants a spot at this year's Jazz Fest, here's info from Johnny Gumbo from a NOLA blog he monitors (Gumbo, is that like, "Hey, do you have a hall pass, buddy?"):

Organizers of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell recently announced the guidelines for musicians who wish to perform at next year’s festival (April 27-May 6, 2007). They will accept press kit submissions for bands wishing to perform between September 1 and October 15, 2006. The festival is only accepting applications from bands and artists who live and work in Louisiana, or who lived and worked in Louisiana prior to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Press kits should be sent to:

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell
Attn: Music Production
336 Camp Street, Suite 250, New Orleans, LA 70130

The press kit should include a recording, a bio, a photo, press clippings and contact information. Electronic press kits (EPKs) are not accepted.
Traditional jazz bands wishing to play the Economy Hall Tent can call the office at 504-410-4100 (ask for the Music Department) or email musicprod@nojazzfest.com.

Swag comment: I don't think that this means a locals-only Fest. Rather, for out of state bands, it's "don't call us, we'll call you".


Andrea Bocelli tickets for 12/3 at Mohegan Sun priced at $75 to $400. Got change? (I saw it on 'The Google')

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I'm stunned.....

Where the hell have I been? I've been meaning to check out James Hunter ever since I read a couple blurbs about him being a Van Morrison favorite, but I missed his show at Rhythm & Roots this Labor Day weekend past. What a mistake, for this guy is unbelievable! Ok, slow down, JK, because you've only listened to his CD, People Gonna Talk, a couple times since you picked it up last evening at Turn It Up in Northampton (see below). I can't help it! He starts out sounding like early James Brown, then at times maybe Clyde McPhatter, then a smooth, soulful Sam Cooke (complete with I know, I know). Catchy, soulful, great backup band.

His current tour takes him to these Northeast venues:
  • Sunday, November 19 at Higher Ground, Burlington, VT
  • Tuesday, November 21 at Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA
  • Wednesday, November 22 at The Paradise, Boston, MA
  • Friday, November 24 at Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH
  • Saturday, November 25 at Revolution Hall, Troy, NY
  • Saturday, December 30 at BB Kings, New York, NY
  • Sunday, December 31 - NEW YEAR'S EVE! at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA

    Cafe nine, I know you must be aware of this guy because you seem to know about everyone, but is there ANY chance to get him? Maybe an early Sunday show on November 26???

    James Hunter blog maintained by his staff, but with input from him.
  • The latest disc grab....


  • James Hunter (James Hunter)- Johnny Gumbo blew him off to dance the night away at R&R last Labor Day, but if Van says Hunter is the real deal, it's good enough for me
  • Smile (The Jayhawks)- favorite of Courant's music critic Eric Danton, so I thought I'd try them
  • Having a Party With (Jonathan Richman)- he's a one-man party like Artie
  • Sippiana Hericane (Dr. John & the Lower 911)- what the funk, J?
  • Nuages (Django Reinhardt)- can't get enough of this jazz legend
  • Whisper (Jim Lauderdale)- has played with Lucinda and others; missed his show at Cafe Nine; it's time I got around to hearing him
  • Rickie Lee Jones (Rickie Lee Jones)- restocking a classic LP

    While Google-ing johnnykmusic, I found that I am now an Area Music Site on Cafe Nine's website: JohnnyKMusic - Good CT blog covering the New England music scene, with occasional reviews of Cafe Nine shows. Please, don't hold this lapse of good taste against this great music venue.
  • Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    They ain't makin' candidates like Kinky anymore....

    Caught Tucker Carlson, of all people, gushing it up with the next governor of Texas, Richard S. "Kinky" Friedman. Bought my first 'Kinky' in the mid-70s with his self-titled LP, which featured Wild Man of Borneo and his most recognized They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore. Lost track of him until Imus latched onto him about 15 years ago and now he is an independent candidate for governor of Texas. But don't be fooled by his smartass persona, this is one sharp bastard.

    He is also an author of note. According to Wikipedia, ..."After his music career stalled in the 1980s, Friedman found a new lease on life as a detective novelist. His books have similarities to his music, featuring a fictionalized version of himself solving crimes in New York City and dispensing jokes, wisdom, Texan charm and Jameson's whiskey in equal measure. They are written in a straightforward style which owes a debt to Raymond Chandler. To date, he has only written one novel that did not star the Kinky Friedman character, Kill Two Birds and Get Stoned.

    Friedman has also written a regular column for the magazine Texas Monthly since April 2001, although it has been suspended during his run for governor of Texas; his last essay appeared in the March 2005 issue. Two books have been published collecting some of these non-fiction writings, as well as previously unpublished ones: 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out and Texas Hold'em. He has also published a travelog (The Great Psychedelic Armadillo Picnic) and an etiquette guide.

    The recurring character Rambam, a New York private investigator and friend of the Friedman character in the books, is based on the real-life investigator, Steven Rombom, who acts as a technical advisor for the real Friedman.""

    G-Man pickups and reviews.....

    A quick trip by G-Man to Borders yields:

  • Moon Pix (Cat Power) - starts to show the direction she goes on her two best and lastest albums (You Are Free, 2003 and The Greatest, 2006, released while she was in rehab), both are classics...I really have to listen to Mix Poon more...AMG has this as an album pick; I suggest her latest two, but with more listen this will be a solid album

  • The Covers Record (Cat Power) - starts with decent Stones' cover(Satisfaction); good start but seems to keep same tone throughout...best at moment is the Dylan cover (Paths of Victory); however, the rest of the album is growing on me and it's Cat Power people!

  • Beggars Banquet (Rolling Stones) - Beggars Banquet after lst listen sounds just as good as Exile and Let it Bleed; however, I guess Exile remains the best almost by default because there are many more songs than both the other albums...a solid pickup though...I'm pretty excited!

  • Extraordinary Machine (Fiona Apple) - Fiona's album is aight...couple decent songs...reason I got it, saw her on TV couple times and thought it was pretty cool; thought I'd give it a try; little dissapointed but will give more listens

  • Ed. note- As you can see, we are loading up on angst-ridden songstresses (and the grizzled old geezers who prey upon them).

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    Happy birthday, lil guy (no, not you, Keith)....

    iPod Turns Five... So What's Next? - Christopher Null, Yahoo Tech

    Five years, five major "generations"... it's time to pay our respects to what is, if not the most innovative, the most influential piece of consumer electronics in recent memory: The Apple iPod. Contrary to common misconception, the iPod was not the first MP3 player—not by a longshot. The original MP3 player dates back to the Eiger Labs MP3Man, released in 1998, a full three years before the iPod came around. While you've probably never heard of Eiger Labs, you may remember the Diamond Rio, the first MP3 player to really catch on. (It was so popular it also has the distinction of being the first electronics company sued by the RIAA over the legality of digital music, a suit which the RIAA eventually lost.)

    But Eiger and Diamond came and went, paving the way for the Apple iPod, introduced with a 5GB hard drive on October 23, 2001, with the promise of putting "1,000 songs in your pocket." 1,000 songs almost seems quaint now. Today's iPods bear only a passing resemblance to the original, both in the controls and under the hood: The state of the art 5G iPod holds 80GB of data, or about 16,000 songs. The click-wheel has been honed and refined year after year to the point where it's hard to believe the 1G, 2G, and 3G (pictured) iPods actually had buttons. Today's iPods play video in full color and are smaller and slimmer than ever.

    So what's the next act for iPod? Apple famously plays its cards close to the vest, which causes rampant speculation from far too many gossip and rumor sites. But two major innovations are widely expected as "just a matter of time" for the company. TrustedReviews has them both mocked up: A touchscreen iPod with a screen that spans the entire width of the device and has no physical controls at all, and the long-fabled iPhone mashup of cell phone handset and MP3 player. While I agree that the iPhone is probably very likely in the near future (though not likely to look much like the mockup on TrustedReviews), I'm skeptical that a touchscreen iPod would work very well, if for no other reason than you'd get fingerprints all over your gorgeous screen any time you wanted to play your videos. Touchscreen certainly looks elegant on the surface, but I for one would prefer actual, physical buttons (on the sides?) and keep my screen pristine.

    What do you want your next iPod to do? Happy birthday, little guy.

    Sunday, October 22, 2006

    I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in....

    Watching the start of game two of the World Series with John Cougar (ok, Mellancamp) singing his brand new hit Chevy commercial, This Is Our Country, followed by Anita Baker singing the national anthem, followed by a Bob Seger clip which I didn't understand (he's from Detroit, of course, and has a new album, Face the Promise).

    However, the Tigers' starting pitcher, Kenny Rogers, did not bring along the First Edition. BUT HE DID BRING ALONG HIS PINE TAR!!!!!!

    Who?....

    "The Rick" (golf and music aficionado extraordinaire) informs at Friday night pre-UConn/WV blowout BBQ (GREAT chili!) that he and the little woman plan to take in The Who and The Pretenders at Harbor Yard Arena in the beautiful seaport of Bridgeport. The Who will be absent drummer Keith Moon and bassist John Entwistle, who are currently dead and unavailable to tour; the Pretenders' Chrissie Hyde, however, remains alive and seriously hot.

    People try to put us d-down
    Just because we g-g-get around
    Things they do look awful c-c-cold
    Yeah, I hope I die before I get old


    No word yet on a new Generators tour.

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Tom Waits for Scarlett...

    According to Paste Magazine: If what recent media reports and blog posts are saying is true, Scarlett Johansson’s intended debut album will be a match made in husky-voiced heaven. As first reported by FoxNews, the actress has plans to make a foray into the music industry—but, in typical Johansson style, her debut will feature anything but the requisite Hollywood-starlet-gone-songbird fare. Instead, Johansson is rumored to be currently in the studio recording an entire album of Tom Waits songs, with a release date speculated for late winter or early spring. The 22-year-old actress has reportedly signed with Rhino Records’ Atco label.

    And don't forget the Motor City!....

    Bob Seger and Anita Baker will sing before the first two games of the World Series at Comerica Park, the Detroit Tigers announced. Seger, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, will perform "America the Beautiful" before Game 1, scheduled for Saturday night. Tigers greats Al Kaline and Willie Horton, accompanied by club owner Mike Ilitch, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Baker, a Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, will perform the national anthem before Game 2 on Sunday. Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson, manager of the 1984 World Series champion Tigers, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

    LADIES OF DETROIT SOUL VOL. 1

    1. Sweetheart Darling/Rose Batiste
    2. I'm Spellbound/Tamiko Jones
    3. Baby Boy/Juanita Williams
    4. Hey!/Barbara Mercer
    5. Keep On Lovin' Me/Frances Nero
    6. I Can't Give Back the Love I Feel For You/
    Rita Wright
    7. To Win Your Heart/Laura Lee
    8. You Need Me/Lewis Sisters
    9. Stay My Love/Debbie Dean
    10. Hang On Bill/Little Lisa
    11. Daddy Please
    12. It's Easier Said Than Done/Joyce Webb
    13. He's All I've Got/Supremes
    14. Can't Shake It Loose/Pat Lewis
    15. Going Down a One-Way Street/Little Ann
    16. Nobody Loves You Like Me/Barbara Mercer
    17. I'm Still Loving You/Kim Weston
    18. Reconsider/Brenda Holloway
    19. Too Late For You and Me/Gladys Knight & Pips
    20. Look Whan You Done Boy/Lollipops
    21. Midnight Johnny/Liz Lands
    22. Love's Gone Bad/Chris Clark
    23. Goodbye Cruel World/Linda Griner
    24. Lonely Lonely Girl Am I/Velvelettes
    25. You're Gonna Love My Baby/Barbara McNair
    26. I Got a Feeling/Barbara Randolph

    Thursday, October 19, 2006

    Jim Kane announces new oldies CD!....

    AMERICA’S TOP TWENTY- SONGS THAT SLIPPED THROUGH THE CRACKS

    1. If I Should Fall Behind………………………..Dion & The Belmonts
    2. For Your Sweet Love…………………………………..The Cascades
    3. What You Do To Me…………………………………….The Embers
    4. Your Big Brown Eyes……………...Bobby Comstock & The Counts
    5. Walk On With The Duke……………………………..Gene Chandler
    6. Take Me In Your Arms…………………………...The Isley Brothers
    7. Magic Is The Night………………….Kathy Young & The Innocents
    8. Ya Ya………………………………………Joey Dee & The Starliters
    9. That’s All She Wrote……………………………………Ricky Nelson
    10. Believe Me…………………………………………...The Royal Teens
    11. Save The Last Dance For Me……………………….Jerry Lee Lewis
    12. Follow The Rainbow………………………………….Terry Stafford
    13. Heaven Only Knows………………………………..The Shangri-Las
    14. She Loves To Dance……………………………………..The Jarmels
    15. There’s A Moon Out Again………………………………The Capris
    16. Mr. Lonely…………………………………………………The Videls
    17. Oh My Lover…………………………………………….The Chiffons
    18. As Time Goes By…………………………………………The Duprees
    19. Hot Rod High…………………………………………….The Surfaris
    20. La La La La La…………………………………………The Blendells

    Rock N Roll is here to stay
    It will never die
    It was meant to be that way
    Though I don’t know why
    I don’t care what people say
    Rock N Roll is here to stay!

    Paul McCartney's breasts...

    .....It said the document, said to be filed by Mills McCartney in response to the former Beatle's divorce petition, lodged in July, also claimed McCartney had later objected to his partner breast-feeding their daughter. The newspaper quoted the alleged court papers as saying McCartney had told his wife "they are my breasts." - complete article

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    Congrats to Sarah!!!!......

    From Backstage at the Narrows

    September 28, 2006 Boston, MA - Boston songstress extraordinaire Sarah Borges took home the award for Best Local Female Vocalist at the 2006 Boston Music Awards on Wednesday, September 27th. The awards show was held at Avalon in Boston as part of the NEMO Music Festival taking place throughout the city and surrounding areas September 28 – 30. Ms. Borges also won the local semi-finals in the NEMO Music Makers songwriting competition this past August, sponsored by NEMO and Starbucks New England.

    Last week, the band performed for the Americana Music Conference in Nashville, TN where they packed the house at 3rd & Lindsley and stirred up an amazing buzz when they finished their set by playing their last song atop the bar.

    The wit and charm of Ms. Borges along with her scorching vocals, charismatic songs and brilliant star power prove her to be an entertainer on the rise. Chris Morris of The Hollywood Reporter claims, “This is one performer nobody should miss… she’s the goods,” and Paste Magazine tells people to “make note of this name and get in on the sawdust covered ground floor… this stuff screams for a wider audience on par with at least Lucinda, if not Gretchen Wilson.” The Improper Bostonian names her as the top of their “IT” list and advises its readers to “go see her so when she’s bringing down the house on Saturday Night Live in a year or two, you can say you saw her way back when.”

    When not on the road, the band will spend some studio time with noted producer Paul Q. Kolderie at Camp Street Studios in Cambridge, MA recording songs for their sophomore release.

    (note: Jake Brennan took Best Local Male Vocalist)

    Blue Sunday's best of 2006.....



    megablues.com

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Lord, we was born a ramblin' men.....

    Red Stick Ramblers Amble Into Cafe Nine Tonight by Brian Slattery, New Haven Advocate

    Traditional American music is easy to play, really hard to play well, and even harder to play in a way which can make modern audiences relate—and dance. The Red Stick Ramblers are the real deal. The band can keep it simple, but doesn’t just groove and rock. They form clear, strong melodies, whether tearing through a raucous fiddle ride or sneaking around a double-jointed jazz solo. At an August show in Clifftop, West Virginia, guitarist Chas Justus pulled down a guitar solo which consisted of one note, played maybe five times over sixteen bars. Every time, that one note was in just the right place.

    Justus learned gypsy jazz and bluegrass in Baton Rouge. Linzay Young, who sings and plays fiddle, grew up in rural Louisiana and has played fiddle since he was 12. Chas Kevin Wimmer is a classical violinist who decided twenty years ago to dedicate himself to Cajun fiddle, and ended up playing in Balfa Toujours. The rhythm section—Eric Frey on upright bass and Glenn Fields on drums—are versed in a variety of styles. In one set, the band can switch from Cajun to blues to Western swing to old-time, and never seem as if they’re pretending. They also sound like they’re having a blast, fitting for a band that formed at Louisiana State University and got its chops playing parties and festivals. - complete article

    BOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....


    Triskaidekaphobia


    13th Floor Elevators

    Thursday, October 12, 2006

    G-Man checks out the Raconteurs....

    Special report from G-Man:

    THE RACONTEURS - Live 9/29/06 at the Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA

    Opening Act = Dr. Dog - we didn’t watch them, for drinking brewsky was more important....

    Much of the following is the result of severe lack of sleep; however, I stand by every word!

    FIRST REACTION Below was written the day The Raconteurs’ debut album “Broken Boy Soldiers” came out…

    I give this album more like 3 1/2 stars. iTunes needs 1/2 stars; something I have always fought for...furthermore...

    Today was the release date to Mr. Jack White's new band, The Raconteurs - as you all know, otherwise would not be reading this. However, I'm sure like many of you, my first impressions of the album came from mp3s on the internet. Future advice to myself -- wait for the damn album to come out. I screwed up the release date because I had already heard pretty much all the album online and that distorts a music lovers feel for an album when listened to in whole. The internet leaks made my expectations satisfied though -- for anything Jack White touches makes good music. “Steady as She Goes”, a solid first single that gets better with more listens. Try the acoustic version. And “Store Bought Bones”, not White's Mona Lisa, but a quick song to let us know better things are to come.

    Now, when rating an album, one must put into account an artist’s past work, and their expectations. Mr. White is in the band - so it must be 5 stars and the result being iTunes gives us those 1/2 stars we all want because the album’s too good, right? Well, 30 minutes or so of Jack White is great. I don't care if it's his Zeppelin, Son House, or straight acoustics. But when u add “Alternative to Love”, Brendan Benson's latest album, which blew massive chucks, it takes away from White's airtime and reduces the album to more like 20 minutes. “Intimate Secretary”, a Benson vocal about his rabbit hopping and girl shopping doesn’t deserve that sophisticated music journalist lingo - it's simply corny ass lyrics and he needs some bass in his voice. However, Benson won me over with possibly the album’s best all around song, “Together”, and later “Call It A Day” is a solid song and for some reason should be put on when it's raining out (huh?).

    The album concludes with all White vocals on “Blue Veins”, leaving his mark and telling fans to stick around. It's definitely a Jack White song and like many of his songs, they are so freaking cool that the audience will play it again and will be waiting for more the next time the Raconteurs hit the store. With more work together, White and Benson could become classic – hold your horses on the quick Lennon-McCartney comparison…please continue that band you began in your “Little Room”.




    Let’s go see these guys in person - September 29, 2006 –

    Beantown visit for the Kennedy brothers this past Friday because Jack White was in town, without MEG (or Dylan = shitburgers). Companying Mr. Jack was Brendan Benson (solo artist sharing vocals with Jack), and the Greenhornes drummer and bassist (another Detroit act that Jack met over the years of life). This makes up their new band, The Raconteurs, which means ‘skilled story tellers’. Jack and company have shared chuckles over this. People think the name fits them because they’re qualified lyricists; however, Jack chose this because he thought “Raconteurs” sounded “cool”…no need to seek Webster (the little black kid’s book of words; also known as a dictionary) for the meaning of “cool” because this is Jack White, he’s a rock star and they’re all cool, right? Especially, the Raconteurs bass player ??? – you can look up his name for your own useless knowledge, but to me he is Garth with a black wig. Where we sat, you couldn’t see him during the whole concert – it didn’t matter at all. We had a perfect view of Jack White and at this point it’s hard for me to see these dudes as a band; it feels more like Jack’s buddies from Detroit playing and waiting for Jack to take them to legend status.

    Side bar: Garth lookalike slash Raconteurs’ bassist said, in my recent interview, at Jack’s Nashville house; “You didn’t tell them about my pubs, did ya?” – one of Garth’s most classy lines in Wayne’s World; bassist will deny he said this line, but believe me people, it is publish in an Oprah (strong black women; purposely spelled with the “E” because Oprah represents all black women) endorsed book.

    It is hard to criticize anything Jack White does – because I know his opinions about critics and pretty much every song he’s touched I like. I also know Jack doesn’t want people to compare this to the White Stripes, and the Raconteurs is not a side project people – this is a band Jack has been waiting to start for a long time. Here’s the however…However, we are entitled to our favorite White songs and not one mine incorporates Brendan Benson, Garth & Co. It is impossible to not compare the Raconteurs to the White Stripes – it’s like trying not to compare Tyson chicken breast to KFC…and we all know what I mean.

    I have tried not comparing these groups, but when the Stripes set the bar so high, well, it only sets up the Raconteurs for disappointment. Not failure though. This is respectable music, but falls short similar to how ladies say Irishmen do.

    Jack White is the first true rock star I have seen in person. I got over that pretty quickly and realized these songs just aren’t that good. I denied this going into the concert because I hate criticizing musicians because I have never played a note in my life (Mary Had A Little Lamb with the Alto Sax in 3rd does not count Garrett!). And I am not criticizing. The Raconteurs just are not close to the White Stripes. But who is? Well, the answer is Dylan. So I suggest if you see the Raconteurs in person, see them when they’re touring with Zimmerman. When Bob and Jack perform I will be sure not to answer nature when it calls. I missed the Raconteurs best song, “Blue Veins”…fill in the blanks yourself…shitburgers.

    Sarah Borges was better live…John Butler was the best I’ve seen live so far…Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is somewhere in the middle…I have yet to see the White Stripes live…what was I thinking missing them…obviously I wasn’t…ok, nature is calling…talk to you later, bloggers.

    Cheshire's Bonnie Lee Panda...

    by Ralph Hohman (Record-Journal)

    Bonnie Lee Panda plans to get into the studio next year, backed by a band, to make a fully produced al­bum. For now, she’ll take “Live,” a disc recorded dur­ing her solo set (with a cou­ple of cameo accompani­ments) on April 29 at the Vanilla Bean CafĂ© in Pom­fret. “When I first recorded it I thought I might like two or three songs,” she says from her home in Cheshire, “but I ended up liking the whole thing. It had a great live feel.” The sound is smooth and consistent, especially for a live album. Panda and her composing partner, Erik Balkey, wrote most of the songs. They showcase the 27-year-old singer’s distinc­tive, yet classical country/folk singing and guitar playing. Panda has been taking singing lessons for a dozen years, she says, and teaches it, too. Her voice has matured. It’s fuller than it was a couple of years ago — a versatile, strong instrument. “I just like to keep learn­ing,” she says.

    Pushing toward the next level, she plays out fre­quently and writes a lot with Balkey (who lives in Philadelphia) and on her own. “I’m in a songwriting cir­cle” in East Haven, Panda says, “where we meet once a month, and write a song a month.” Balkey, she says, also works as a music promoter, and Panda credits him with getting her music on the air in California, Texas, South Carolina and even Ger­many. In 2004, she was a re­gional finalist in the Nashville Star talent com­petition. She didn’t make it onto the TV show, but the contest did get her some notice, and a live perfor­mance on WWYZ, Country 92.5 FM. This year Panda was a fi­nalist in the Plowshare’s songwriting contest in Phoenixville, Pa. She’s played in New York City and throughout the North­east, and sung the national anthem at UConn basket­ball and New Britain Rock Cats baseball games, and for the Connecticut Special Olympics in 2004 and ’05.

    The official release of “Live” comes Oct. 27, when Panda performs at 7:30 p.m. in the old train station as part of the Milford Fine Arts Council’s Performance Coffeehouse series. Tickets are $10; for reservations, call (203) 878-6647.

    She also hosts open-mike programs on the first Fri­day of each month at the Vanilla Bean, and on Nov. 16 Panda is booked at The Space in Hamden. She has a road trip planned for December, with performances and ra­dio-station interviews in Philadelphia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey. It’s all listed at bonnieleepanda.com, the Web site Panda says will be revamped in a couple of days. Copies of “Live” will also be available on her Web site, and through CD Baby.

    Panda, who has a bache­lor’s degree in psychology from UConn, works 20 hours a week at the Con­necticut Mental Health Center in New Haven, do­ing administrative work for a psychiatrist. “I have the best of both worlds,” she says. “I can tour on the weekends, or go for a four-day tour.”

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Hump day.....

    Johnny Gumbo emails us that we are a scant 200 days from Jazz Fest 2007.

    From Sarah Borges' Myspace site: I was awarded the 2006 Boston Music Award for Best Local Female Vocalist last night (9/27) at Avalon, in a night that included lots of friends, a fairly number of drinks, and a 6ft. man in a bear costume. I swear it was due in part to my Grandma Phyllis's mobilization of her fabulous web-savvy bingo ladies. Thank you for voting! SB (Sarah and the Broken Singles appear tonight at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, opening for Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys)

    John Fogerty will perform on December 1 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. Tickets go on sale October 6 at 11:00 a.m. He will perform on December 2 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut; tickets go on sale October 14 at 10:00 a.m.

    People who need people....

    NEW YORK (AP)- The most riveting moment of Barbra Streisand's Madison Square Garden concert was one of the only unscripted ones. Streisand endured jeers as she interjected a political skit into Monday night's show, exchanging zingers with a celebrity impersonator playing George Bush as a bumbling idiot. Though most of the crowd offered polite applause during the slightly humorous routine, it went on a bit too long, especially for those who just wanted to hear Streisand sing.

    "Come on, be polite!" the well-known liberal implored. But one heckler wouldn't let up. And finally, Streisand let him have it. "Shut the (expletive) up!" Streisand bellowed, drawing wild applause. "Shut up if you can't take a joke!" With that one F-word, the jeers ended. And the message was delivered — no one gets away with trying to upstage Barbra Streisand, especially not in her hometown.

    Monday, October 09, 2006

    country, bluegrass, blues & other music for uplifting gormandizers...

    This is the last week that legendary punk club CBGB exists - at least in NYC. Sunday marks the final day as owner Hilly Kristal surrenders the premises after a lengthy, bitter lease dispute. But don't fret, Kristal plans to resurrect the club in Las Vegas, where middle-aged soccer moms and dads can make-believe they are on the cutting edge of punk.

    Savage Brothers in Newport...

    Attended Andy/Emily's wedding last evening at the Hotel Viking in Newport with entertainment by the Savage Brothers Band, which was voted 'Best Band in Hartford" for 2006 by Hartford Magazine. Saw them earlier in the year at Blackeyed Sallys in Hartford. They started out playing some very tasty jazz, then a nice mix of Van, Otis Redding, Al Green, etc and ending with dance music. Even got johnnyk out on the dance floor, a sight that could be harmful to your health.

    Saturday, October 07, 2006

    Saturday night at the fest...

    The line for apple fritters was an hour long, but not to worry, I wasn't getting any. Keith and I took in two excellent music groups this crisp Autumn afternoon/evening as our beloved Yankees curled up and died (periodic cell updates of gloom from The Reet) for yet another baseball year. With Johnny Fest running around in his organization mode, the AHF was clicking on all cylinders (as if I know what that means). Promptly at 5pm, Christine Ohlman, she of the sky-high platinum beehive doo, and her band, Rebel Montez, took the stage and gave us some serious 'hip shakin' rock/blues culled from their four albums and an announced album-in-the-making. Keith promptly requested copies of the three CDs that I have. Car baron and Tiger buddy Stevie P joined us for a few numbers and was also impressed by the Beehive Queen.
    Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez

    Set over, it was my duty (orders from Johnny Fest) to pick up the band dinners at AJ's an scurry them over to Park & Rec where the band 'hospitality suite' is located (no expense spared by FestMan). So I dragged Keith along; we had time while waiting for the dinners to have a beer and watch the Bombers slide into winter. Upon delivery, we chatted a bit with Christine and lead guitarist ??Goodwin about playing Cafe Nine, where musicians love to play despite its size. We told her we'd see her at The Nine in November.

    Then it's time to catch River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs (with Bill Walton playing accordian). After a bit of a slow start, Slim and the boys cooked pretty good. Sightings in the crowd - Jessica Lange, Robert Mitchum (well, we THINK they were).

    River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Weekend update....

    Second weekend! Do NOT miss Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez at 5pm on Saturday at the Southington AHF followed by River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs at 7pm!

    Corrine Bailey Rae to be musical guest on SNL. A must-tape. Paste Magazine


    OCTOBER FIRST FRIDAY IS A COSTUME PARTY at the New Britain Museum of American Art! Dezron Douglas Trio is the featured entertainment from 5:30-8 pm. A bass player, Dezron has studied under Nat Reeves, Jackie McLean and Steve Davis at the Hartt School of Music and has performed with Branford Marsalis, Rene McLean, Winard Harper, Eddie Henderson, among others. Dezron is the founder of The New Jazz Workshop of Hartford and has been heavily involved with gospel and blues music scenes from Hartford to Montana.

    A GEM of a gig (which I must miss because The Reet and I will be in Newport for a wedding) is Jim Lauderdale at Cafe Nine in New Haven on Sunday evening at 7pm. Jim is a Grammy Award winner who has played with Lucinda Williams and Donna the Buffalo, among others. Treat yourself if you can get a ticket.

    Tuesday, October 03, 2006

    Killer on the airwaves....

    Watching Jerry Lee Lewis playing/singing on Imus this morning. JLL is promoting his new album, Last Man Standing, looking a little long in the tooth, but his voice holds up quite well. Damn, got to pick up that CD today!

    G-man picked it up for the old man!!!! I LOVE the duet Couple More Years with Willie Nelson's tasty vocal accompaniment and guitar licks, and, of course, Springsteen's Pink Cadillac. An interesting matchup is Killer and Little Richard doing the Beatles' I saw her standing there because LR always claimed that his fame was shortchanged by Elvis and his peers because he (Little Richard) was black.

    50 years ago, Sam Phillips' legendary Sun Records in Memphis, TN was the home of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and jerry Lee Lewis, the founding fathers of rock 'n roll - today, Jerry Lee Lewis is the 'Last Man Standing.'