Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If Gooley had been pitching, there would have been no catch...

Took a trip down to Hamden last Friday afternoon with coach-on-the-field Gino to see the old our teammate, Dan Gooley, get outcoached and eyewitnessed this catch. In fact, I was standing right next to the guy who filmed it. QU had a 2-1 lead with two outs when the catch occurred.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back as the closers at Jazz Fest....

Neville Brothers reign as first family of funk by Kim Ruehl (Billboard)

When the last spit of Abita beer has been squeezed from a tap in the Jazz Fest 2008 food court next Sunday, New Orleans will get back to its roots -- celebrating the close of another Jazz Fest with the Neville Brothers, there to mark their 30 years as a band. "The Neville Brothers are not just local heroes," says Scott Aiges, director of programs for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the group that sponsors the festival. "They're an institution. They've been the closing act on the biggest stage at Jazz Fest for as long as I can remember."

Indeed, for as long as they can remember, the Neville Brothers have been laying down the funk all over town. Even before they got together as a band, Art Neville says, "we were always the Neville Brothers. That was one of the biggest things we had." It all started one Friday the 13th in 1977, when 13 musicians from the 13th Ward -- four of them surnamed Neville -- took to the stage at a new club in uptown New Orleans called Tipitina's and proceeded to bring the house down. - complete article

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Late for the Sky (Pilot), with apologies to Jackson Browne...

Morning has broken:
Less than a week to go before Jazz Fest, but this is a weekend not to be wasted. Up at dawn for a 7:07 tee time. Chilly! But it's good to be back playing with Steve, Vin and Gino (substituting for the injured Keith), putting up our usual lackluster numbers. Three birdies, though, not bad for the initial 18 of the season (mixed in with a nine, tree trouble, on the par five 6th hole). But, Jesus, it's cold! Where is that mid-week, summer-like warmth?

Showered, shaved and fed, The Reet and I pick up Sharie & the Little Guy at 2:45pm for the short trip over to Hubbard Park to catch the 4pm Eric Burdon & the Animals' performance at the 2008 Meriden Daffodil Festival. The morning of golf has not allowed time to catch either Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez or Plantsville's own The Sawtelles, who went on around noontime. We drop off the young ladies at the park entrance and make our way slowly to the bottom of the hill where we park at Maloney's Pub, then hike the half mile back up the hill. It is now quite warm as the sun has suddenly awakened, and I lose the ESPN sweatshirt, wishing I had left it in the car, and don the sunglasses.

Still an hour from showtime, so we sample the craft booths, with The Reet and Sharie picking up some jewelry along the way. I make my way over the the Food Tent, where River City Slim & the Zydeco Hogs are performing. Keith and I caught these guys at the 2007 Apple Harvest Festival and liked them alot. Zydeco is infectious, toe-tapping music. The others catch up shortly to hear a few numbers, but the Hogs don't seem to have the same zip for us today. Knowing it's close to showtime, we hike back over the hill to the Bandshell Stage to stake out our turf for the show. Not much room left, but Keith finds us a small opening in the crowd where we can sit on the grass (we were too lazy to bring chairs, shame on us). Since we are positioned behind those who DID bring chairs, we will have to stand during the performance, but that's ok.

Enough Rope to hang ourselves:
Hmmmm, we wait. And wait. A half-hour passes before some guy steps to the microphone to announce that "...Eric Burden is close to Meriden" so please be patient. Here we go, close to Meriden my ass. More waiting, the crowd gets restless as Announcerguy reappears with the news that, while we wait for Eric (Godeau?), we will be 'rocked' by a band called Rope. Allllllrighty. For Rope (two of whose members, according to the Festival band notes, play with Animal Hilton Valentine in a Connecticut band called Skiffledog), this is both difficult, having an impatient audience, but an opportunity to play before a large crowd, so the power trio launches into some grinding, distorted guitar-based rock that is initially passable, but ultimately painful. As it becomes obvious that they will play their complete set (they were scheduled to follow Burden), an exasperated woman seated behind us pleads, "Make them stop!" Thankfully, they eventually do.

But now Announcerguy tells us that we must have additional patience while they set up for Eric, and suggests that we (a) save our seats, (b) go buy a hot dog, (c) buy a Rope CD, normally $30, but on sale to us, because we've bonded so well, for $5. Although a savings of $25 is difficult to pass up, I do just that. I don't buy a hot dog either. Christ, it's getting chilly again. I am now thankful I didn't leave the ESPN sweatshirt back down the hill in the car!

Announcerguy gives it up to Announcerguy2, a WPLR DJ, who tells us to give it up for Eric Burdon & the Animals. Well, ok. Eric looks older, but fit, with grey, crew-cut hair and sunglasses, which are needed only for appearance for the day has once again turned overcast and quite chilly. "Where's Hilton?" someone cries out from in front of the stage. Burdon, somewhat annoyed, retorts, "I don't KNOW where Hilton is. Ask his wife!" I guess the only other original Animal will not be joining us!

In this dirty old part of the city, Where the sun refused to shine
People tell me there ain't no use in tryin'
Now my girl you're so young and pretty, And one thing I know is true
You'll be dead before your time is due, I know
Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin', Watched his hair been turnin' grey
He's been workin' and slavin' his life away, Oh yes I know it
(Yeah!) He's been workin' so hard, (Yeah!) I've been workin' too, baby
(Yeah!) Every night and day, (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)
We gotta get out of this place, If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place, 'cause girl, there's a better life for me and you

My expectations for this show are high, much higher than for oldies acts that typically are "and you all remember what you were doing when you heard this one!" crap (like The Turtles at the 2006 Daffodil Festival). Burdon is, at his core, a blues singer, having continued to perform with various incarnations of War, the Animals and his own bands over the years. I am not disappointed. He is in fine voice, still powerful, growling. And his band (Red Young/keyboards, Billy Watts/guitar, Eric McFadden/guitar, Paula O'Rourke/bass and Tony Braunagel/drums) is solid, better than solid, taking full advantage of their many solo opportunities. No pedestrian run-through of the greatest hits here. Each song is stretched, kneaded, with an overriding sense of deep respect for the music, especially the blues, as is obvious with Burdon's comments prefacing a Memphis Slim number (I forgot which) and John Lee Hooker's Boom, Boom, Boom.

Many of the hits (Baby let me take you home, Don't let me be misunderstood, It's my life), but with other stuff worked in over the ninety minute show. A Mardi Gras number, then an a capella snippet of Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans preface a rousing House of the Rising Sun to close the show. For an encore, EB gives some love to Tina Turner (doesn't mention Ike) with River Deep, Mountiain High and then another number I didn't recognize. Great show, worth the wait!

We gotta get out of this place:
The group is completely frozen as we make our way down to the car, catching a brief glimpse of Burdon being whisked into a white stretch limo behind the bandshell. It's late, going to have to blow off the annual Rotary bowling night, but can't help it. We top off the evening with some tasty Italian at Lido's. A very good day.

Images of Saturday in the (Hubbard) Park....

A freshly-cut ice sculpture sits dripping gloriously in the afternoon sun at the Meriden Daffodil Festival.

Mighty Purple (I think, I stopped by during the wait for Eric Burdon) play at the Welcome Stage late Saturday afternoon.

Eric Burden and the Animals perform in the late afternoon chill at the Bandshell Stage.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Marybeth takes a walk on the wild side...

Exclusive report on another of MB's weekend adventures:

My weekend usually includes one night out with the "Ya-Ya's", my dearest girlfriends from my High School, Class of 1974. Our adventures usually start with sharing stories of our week at work or the latest drama in our kid’s lives. We might end up visiting the Christmas Tree Shop or head over to Stew Leonard’s on the Berlin Tpke. to do a little shopping, nothing unusual for Ya-Ya’s. Let’s face it, we’re in our early 50’s and on a weeknight we’re usually off to dreamland by 10:00 pm.

In support of one of our Ya’Ya’s, whose kid would be performing, last week we headed to the Hartford Polo Club which hosts three shows nightly featuring the best in female impersonation throughout Connecticut! We were taking in the early show at 11:00pm. Not only was it past our bedtime the adventure was a little bit more than what we’re used to. We were pleasantly surprised to pull up to a nice establishment in a very well lit section of the south end of Hartford. Inside we were welcomed by masked greeters (hey, it was super hero night), who led us to our reserved table. We got there by 10:00 so our first drink was only $2.00! There was a diverse crowd to say the least. A group of 10 young women celebrating a bachelorette party were seated nearby. The first show started promptly at 11:00, which was perfect for us. Don’t forget, we’re there to support our fellow Ya-Ya and would be leaving as soon as it was over! The emcee came out and humored us with a few jokes. We were than entertained for the next half hour with some of the most beautiful women (???) we have ever seen. The costumes were magnificent and the camouflage technique still has us baffled. We’ll be talking about that one for a while! The entertainment was phenomenal! We stayed for the 12:00 o’clock show!!

I would recommend the Polo Club to any open-minded individual that enjoys a good show! Just to let you know…our little Ya-Ya doesn’t dress in drag. He dances keeping his pants on so those days of changing his diapers, were not revisited! We love you K!

Good music ahead...

This weekend, Meriden's annual Daffodil Festival brings lots of good music, including headliners Eric Burden & the Animals. I don't care if there are any original Animals (actually, original guitarist Hilton Valentine is in the band), for Burden is a great rock/blues performer in his own right. In addition, catch SNL's Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez, Plantsville's own The Sawtelles, and The D. Smith Blues Band.

Here's the complete dilio (for those of you not in the know, the Urban Dictionary defines dilio as "...a word nerds use when they want to try to be cool. It means deal and is usually used with a weird english accent. It is not really that cool and should only be used occasionally because of it's god damn weirdness."):

Bandshell Stage
Saturday April 26, 2008
11:00-12:00 Mark Mirando
12:30-1:30 Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez
2:00-2:45 The Manchurians
4:00-5:15 Eric Burdon & The Animals
5:45-6:45 Rope
7:15-8:15 The River Street Band
Sunday April 27, 2008
11:30-12:15 T.U.B.
12:45-1:30 Boxx Cutter
2:00-2:45 Desiree Bassett
3:15-4:00 Plan B

Jeff Crooms Welcome Stage
Saturday April 26, 2008
11:30-11:45 Skye
12:15-1:00 The Sawtelles
1:30-2:15 The Tyler Trudeau Attempt
2:45-3:45 Mark Mulcahy
4:15-5:15 Mighty Purple
5:45-6:45 Rolla
7:15-8:15 Kitty Bang Bang
Sunday April 27, 2008
11:00-11:45 Shandy Lawson
12:15-1:00 James Velvet & The Ivory Bills
1:30-2:15 Frank Critelli & The Good Kind
2:45-3:30 Seth Adam Band
4:00-5:00 The D. Smith Blues Band

Food Tent Stage
Saturday April 26, 2008
10:30-11:30 Carlos & Roy
12:00-1:30 The Gonkus Brothers
2:00-3:00 Stacy Phillips & Paul Howard
3:30-4:30 River City Slim & The Zydeco Hogs
5:00-6:00 Shiny Lapel Trio
6:30-7:30 Porter
Sunday April 27, 2008
10:00-11:00 P.T. Kroll
11:30-12:30 Joey Milardo & The Musical Cavaliers
1:00-2:00 After All
2:30-3:30 Eight To The Bar
4:00-5:00 Sean, Kelli & Wayne

Friday, April 25, 2008

Jazz Fest opens. Plant/Krauss wow 'em...

Plant, Krauss dazzle Friday at Jazzfest Keith Spera (Times-Picayune)

The early contender for show to beat at the 2008 Jazzfest? The bewitching Friday afternoon set by Alison Krauss, Robert Plant and their all-star Americana band. I wasn't sure how the intimate arrangements from their "Raising Sand" album would translate in the wide-open space at the Acura Stage. They translated just fine, especially with a brooding gray sky framing the whole affair. complete artcle - insider's guide

Here's my schedule for Friday, April 25th, 2008 (alas, if I were there):
Time Performer Stage
11:20am - 12:05pm Susan Cowsill Band/ Acura Stage
12:20pm - 1:10pm J. Monque'D Blues Band/ Southern Comfort Blues Tent
1:45pm - 2:45pm Theresa Andersson Group/ Acura Stage
2:05pm - 3:05pm The Iguanas/ Gentilly Stage
3:30pm - 4:50pm Robert Plant and Alison Krauss featuring T-Bone Burnett/ Acura Stage
4:20pm - 5:20pm Tab Benoit/ Southern Comfort Blues Tent
5:45pm - 7:00pm Lizz Wright/ WWOZ Jazz Tent

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

She's no Tom Waits...

Let me preface this by saying that I LOVE Tom Waits. Hell, his Postcard From a Hooker in Minneapolis closed my Johnnyk has the blues this Christmas CD in 2001. I also love Scarlett Johansson, so I was pretty psyched to hear that she was doing an album of Tom Waits covers. It's been quite awhile in the making, but it will be released in May. A couple cuts have made their way online and I am, while not crushed, disappointed. Oh well, why did I think she was going to be great just because she has great taste? Here is the ORIGINAL in 1976 performing Warm Beer and Cold Women, a torch song written "primarily for piano and fire extinguisher."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Riotbecki and Rosay, we hardly knew ye!...

You got me, girls. I heard you, loved your retro 60's girl-group sound, bought your cd. Now I'm supposed to stay interested when you have just replaced the two remaining original members by posting a note on your website? I feel so....jilted, just like the boys in all your songs. I'm going to my room. - Pitchfork story

Now, children, pay attention. Here is Julia Indelicate, the OTHER founding member of The Pipettes, who left first and was replaced by Gwenno (got it?): - review of The Indelicates' American Demo.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Yankees lose, again!...

While watching namesake, Ian, and the Bombers get bombed once again, I cranked up an old favorite as the soundtrack- The Soul Express with Dean Farrell on WHUS in Storrs. Here's the playlist:

1. NIGHT TRAIN - James Brown & The Famous Flames (1962)
2. ANGEL BABY (DON'T YOU EVER LEAVE ME) - Darrell Banks (1967)
3. LET IT ALL REACH OUT - The Capitols (Not originally issued)
4. DO THE FUNKY CHICKEN - Rufus Thomas (1970)
5. I WANT TO LOVE YOU BABY - Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson (1969)

6. THE SATISFIER - Eli Reed & The True Loves (2008)*
8. DIRTY TRICKS - The Sweet Inspirations (1974)
9. IT'S ALL IN THE GAME - The Four Tops (1970)
10. SHAKE A HAND - Freddie Scott (1967)

*Yes, new music!

11. THE SLOP - The Olympics (1960)
12. AIN'T NO SOUL (IN THESE OLD SHOES) - Major Lance (1966)
13. OH, WHAT A DAY - The Dells (1970)
14. UNGENA ZA ULIMWENGU (UNITE THE WORLD) - The Temptations (1970)
15. GET ON THE GOOD FOOT - James Brown (1972)

16. UNCHAIN MY HEART - Ray Charles (1962)
17. MR. BIG - Aretha Franklin (1967)
18. ANYONE WHO HAD A HEART - Dionne Warwick (1964)
19. CIGARETTES AND COFFEE - Otis Redding (Not originally issued)

20. SINCE I FOUND YOU - Maxine Brown (1963)
21. YOU'RE THE ONE - The Marvelettes (1966)
22. MOODY WOMAN - Jerry Butler (1969)
23. NINETY-NINE AND A HALF (WON'T DO) - Wilson Pickett (1966)
24. LIVING FOR THE CITY - Stevie Wonder (1973)

25. I WANT MY BABY BACK - Edwin Starr (1967)
26. LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL & FEEL SO GOOD - Bunny Sigler (1967)
27. OUT OF THIS WORLD - Gino Washington (1964)
28. FORGIVE AND FORGET - The Vibrations (1965)
29. I WAS CHECKIN' OUT, SHE WAS CHECKIN' IN - Don Covay (1973)
30. YOU CAN LEAD YOUR WOMAN TO THE ALTAR - Oscar Toney, Jr. (1967)
31. UHH - Dyke & The Blazers (1970)
32. WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT GOODBYE, MY LOVE? - The Flirtations (1969)
33. I FEEL AN URGE COMING ON - Joshie Armstead (1967)
34. TRULY YOURS - The Spinners (1966)

35. FUNKY WORM - The Ohio Players (1973)
36. QUICK CHANGE ARTIST - The Soul Twins (1967)
37. CHIRPY CHIRPY CHEEP CHEEP - Mac & Katie Kissoon (1971)
38. I DON'T KNOW - Linda Lyndell (circa 1969)
39. DAYS GO BY - Bobby Bennett (1971)
40. HEART BE STILL - Lorraine Ellison (1967)

41. THAT'S THE WAY LOVE IS - Marvin Gaye (1969)
42. PART-TIME LOVE - Ann Peebles (1970)
43. WHISPERS (GETTIN' LOUDER) - Jackie Wilson (1966)
44. I DIG GIRLS - J.J. Jackson (1967)
45. TRY SOME OF MINE - Little Richard (circa 1965)

46. WHOOP IT ON ME - Brenton Wood (circa 1968)
47. OO WEE BABY, I LOVE YOU - Fred Hughes (1965)
48. GRITS AIN'T GROCERIES - Little Milton (1969)
49. I MISS YOU BABY (HOW I MISS YOU) - Marv Johnson (1966)
50. WATCH YOU WORK IT OUT - Kip Anderson (1968)

Ballad block:
51. SHA-LA-LA (MAKE ME HAPPY) - Al Green (1974)
52. WHERE PEACEFUL WATERS FLOW - Gladys Knight & The Pips (1973)
53. LOVELY WAY SHE LOVES - The Moments (1970)
54. FOR YOUR LOVE - Sam & Bill (1965)
55. THAT'S WHERE IT'S AT - Sam Cooke (1964)
56. YOU OUGHT TO BE HERE WITH ME - Annette Snell (1973)
57. SHOULDN'T I LOVE HIM? - Mable John (circa 1968)
58. YOU DON'T MISS YOUR WATER - William Bell (1962)
59. BETWEEN THESE ARMS - Percy Sledge (1968)
60. LONELY - Eddie Floyd (1960)
61. SOUL SERENADE - King Curtis (1964)

Denis Horgan on New Orleans in today's Courant travel section..

It's in the texture of the place. It's in the architecture, the balconies, the porches, the dormers and doorsteps, in the art, the landscaping. It's in the trees, Spanish moss and branches aglitter with Mardi Gras beads (all made in Fuzhou, China, by the way) tossed to the winds. It's in the smells and the colors, and it's in the friendliness of people on the streets. It is in, heaven help us all, the glory of the food.

A miracle is that everyone here doesn't weigh 500 pounds or more, so wonderful is the food and so vast is the opportunity to sample it at restaurants, cafes, pushcarts and beignet emporiums. Cajun. Creole. Catfish. Crawdads. Shrimp. Gumbo. Jumbalaya. Rice and red beans. Muffulettas. Oh, my.

The French Quarter, Magazine Street, Mid-City, Gentilly and so many other parishes pulse with otherworldy offerings of food such as nowhere else might boast. To recommend restaurants is like trying to choose which grains of sand at the beach are the prettiest. Antoine's. Emeril's. Central Grocery. Liuzza's. Cafe du Monde. Brennan's. Too many.

You can look at or to scratch the surface or visit the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau site for clues ( You can hardly go wrong, and might have to work at it to remember that 2 1/2 years ago, 80 percent of the place was flooded. The city wants to move on from that memory, too. If New Orleans doesn't want to make a big deal of its Katrina woes, why should the visitor?

Well, to honor them. To respect the suffering of so many who do not stay at the Ritz or take to Bourbon Street for their frisky fun but, instead, are trying to rebuild their small, poor houses and their lives. complete story

Test your knowledge of New Orleans - quiz

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Judy is back from the Cape!.....

And Judy, one-half of the iconic duo Reet 'N Judi, is wanting to know who sang the song with the lyrics when the lovin' starts and the lights go down.....hmmmmm, I KNOW that song, but age has dulled my (lyrics) reflexes and I have to resort to the Internets (as our beloved president would say). Do you know? find it here

have mercy baby, on a poor girl like me, you know i'm fallin', fallin', fallin' at your feet
i'm tingling right from my head to my toes, so help me, help me, help me make the feeling grow

'cause when the loving starts and the lights go down, and there's not another living soul around
you can rule me until the sun comes up, and you say that you love me

have pity baby, just when i thought it was over, now you got me runnin', runnin', runnin' for cover
i'm begging you for a little sympathy, 'cause if you use me again it'll be the end of me

(repeat chorus)

baby, baby, hope you're gonna stay away
'cause i'm getting weaker, weaker everyday
i guess i'm not as strong as i used to be
and if you use me again it'll be the end of me

(repeat chorus) fallin', fallin', fallin........

Say You Will- Words and Music by Christine McVie
From the album Fleetwood Mac

Friday, April 18, 2008

A history of pop icons revisited: Gino & the Busy Signals...

Emerging from the seedy clubs of New Haven, CT, Gino & the Busy Signals busted down the doors of the pop scene in 1968 with their debut album, I'm Not Very Tall, But I'm Really Slow. The band's latest album, Not Retired, Just Appears That Way, blends Gino Zuroli's syrupy melodies with to-the-point strumming to generate a disc overflowing with sugar-coated ditties. With standout tracks like "Big-Headed Driver" and "I Feel Your Pane (I'm a Window Man, Baby)" already certified platinum in Europe, Gino & the Busy Signals can count on loads of future success. The group is presently on tour promoting the album; just don't count on them showing up.
Bumbershoot band bio generator

Walkin' the line....

iPod shuffle walking from Curtiss Street to Plantsville center and back on a fine Spring morning...

  • Born to Run- Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
  • Livin' For You- Al Green
  • Kind-hearted Woman Blues- Eric Clapton
  • Burnt Orange Peel- Beck
  • Thinking About You- Norah Jones
  • Elsa- Bill Evans
  • Girl On My Mind- Buddy Holly
  • Angel in the Dark- Laura Nyro
  • Without a Friend Like You- Maria Muldaur
  • Essence- Lucinda Williams
  • Busy Being Blue- k.d. lang
  • Positive direction- The Fabulous Rhinestones
  • Tipitina- Professor Longhair
  • Paris Sunset #7- Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals
  • Go Ahead- Alicia Keys
  • I'm in Love Again/All By Myself- Bonnie Raitt/Jon Cleary
  • Love Came to Me- Dion
  • A Woman of the World- Laura Nyro
  • The Windfall- Joni Mitchell
  • So Many Rivers to Cross- Marcia Ball
  • Around 9- sarah Borges & the Broken Singles
  • Dance With Me- Marcia Ball
  • My Wild Irish Rose- Keith Jarrett
  • Exile on E Street...

    E Street Band member Danny Federici dies at 58 (AP)

    Danny Federici, the longtime keyboard player for Bruce Springsteen whose stylish work helped define the E Street Band's sound on hits from "Hungry Heart" through "The Rising," died Thursday. He was 58. Federici, who had battled melanoma for three years, died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. News of his death was posted late Thursday on Springsteen's official Web site.

    It was Federici, along with original E Street Band drummer Vini Lopez, who first invited Springsteen to join their band. Federici played accordion on the wistful "4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" from Springsteen's second album, and his organ solo was a highlight of Springsteen's first top 10 hit, "Hungry Heart." In a band with larger-than-life characters such as saxophonist Clarence Clemons and bandana-wrapped guitarist "Little" Steven Van Zandt, Federici was content to play in his familiar position to the side of the stage. But his playing was as vital to Springsteen's live show as any instrument in the band. - complete article

    In memoriam- Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band live at Hammersmith Odeon, 1975 performing 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy):

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Just getting into the mood...

    Bobby Lounge Live at Louisiana Music Factory

    We didn't know quite what to make of this guy because of all the hype he received two years ago. Caught him at the Grandstand stage. Great entertainer, but I could do without the iron lung routine.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Hot off the presses from Jim Kane, Bristol's oldies guru...




    ELAINE HERSHMAN………………………………………………………ANGEL
    DONNA BULLUS……………………………………………………MR. SONGWRITER
    JACKIE HEFLIN……………………………………………………….SUSIE Q
    DIANE KOWALSKI……………………………………………………..ONE BOY
    ROGER MICHELE…………………………………………………..SUSIE DARLIN


    Sunday, April 13, 2008

    Marybeth has the hots for Fonzie...

    Special report to Johnnykmusic of Marybeth's Friday night at the Goodspeed Opera House to see the opening of Happy Days, a new musical which runs through June 29:

    This was my first time at the Goodspeed Opera House. I grew up with summers spent in Old Saybrook on the water but was blown away by the picturesque town of East Haddam. Going over the little bridge to the Theater made me proud to be a resident of Ct.

    We were greeted at the door by teenagers (I'm thinking from the local high school theater group) dressed in character of the 50's. Poodle skirts and hoola hoops for the girls and soda jerk outfits and mega phones for the guys, asking us to help "Save Arnolds" which was the theme of the story. Inside the theater is very small giving any seat in the house the perfect view. We were in row 7 center thanks to my Corporate sponsor friend. I was star struck with the sightings of Garry Marshall the shows writer, Paul Williams who wrote the music and lyrics, Charles Groden, and John McDaniel. I did find out on Saturday afternoon from my friend that Scott Haney WAS there that evening as we talked about. Don't know how I missed him. Our seats were near the "House Seats" so there were others that looked familiar but not sure who they were. Enough about the rubber necking!

    The show opens on a street in Wisconsin with Ritchie Cunningham reminiscing about what we are about to see during the next 2 hours. The cast includes. Ritchie, Fonzie (drool.... dribble) Chachi, Potsie, Ralph, Joanie, Mr. and Mrs. C, Pinky Tuscadaro and a fantastic ensemble. The scenery was outstanding. It is amazing what they can do with such a small stage (It is about half the size of Southington HS's.) The character of Fonzie was amazing. His voice wasn't exactly like the original which was ok because there's only ONE real Fonz, but his mannerisms were eerie. The scenes with Fonzie and Pinky were my favorite with their sarcasm banter and beautiful singing. Pinky's voice was UNBELIEVABLE!.

    With the size of the theater, I know that Fonzie was singing to me when he looked out into the audience (a girl can dream can't she?). The ensemble's singing and dancing made you want to get up and dance in the aisles. Mrs. C and the girls do a tap dancing number that was awesome. Great music (all new tunes) dancing, HUMOR and energy. There's always a little message and this one's was strength and friendship (duh). A must see fun evening for all ages. Hate to spoil it but Arnold's gets saved from the new Mall project but you'll have to go and see it to find out who's the hero!

    Wednesday, April 09, 2008

    Love that dirty water....

    I'm gonna tell you a story, I'm gonna tell you about my town
    I'm gonna tell you a big bad story, baby, Aww, it's all about my town

    Yeah, down by the river, Down by the banks of the river Charles (aw, that's what's happenin' baby)
    That's where you'll find me, Along with lovers, fuggers, and thieves (aw, but they're cool people)
    Well I love that dirty water, Oh, Boston, you're my home (oh, you're the Number One place)
    Frustrated women (I mean they're frustrated), Have to be in by twelve o'clock (oh, that's a shame)
    But I'm wishin' and a-hopin, oh, That just once those doors weren't locked
    (I like to save time for my baby to walk around)
    Well I love that dirty water, Oh, Boston, you're my home (oh, yeah)

    Flash! Neil Diamond announced that he will perform on August 23rd this summer at Fenway Park. I guess they announced it during the 7th inning Sweet Caroline (uh uh uh) thingie that Bosox fans think is pretty cool, but that I think is pretty creepy since it was written about Caroline Kennedy when she was 12.

    Bosox finally honored Billy Bucks after years of killing the guy for booting that ground ball in the World Series. Nice job. Like they were going to win something anyway. You should be ashamed.

    But, go Celtics!

    Nancy and Joe, you bastards, I knew it!
    WASHINGTON -- Federal employees charged millions of dollars for Internet dating, tailor-made suits, lingerie, lavish dinners and other questionable expenses to their government credit cards over a 15-month period, congressional auditors say. complete scoop

    April showers bring.....The Sawtelles!

    4.12.08 fiddleheads, new london 1pm free
    4.19.08 Funky Monkey Cafe, cheshire 8pm free
    4.20.08 UKE FEST at the Oasis, new london 9pm free
    4.24.08 Surf Nite! at Two Boots, bridgport 9pm, $5

    Saturday, April 05, 2008

    New Orleans, Johnnyk, Johnny Gumbo, and the Pool Hall Studs gear up for Jazz Fest...

    By Larry Blumenfeld (Reuters)

    Eight months after the floods following Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005, there was at least one hard, good fact regarding a threatened music scene: the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival took place at its customary Mid-City Fair Grounds site. Familiar favorites, from Buckwheat Zydeco to pheasant-and-quail andouille gumbo were served up. Local heroes like singer John Boutte and national ones like Bruce Springsteen brought audience members to joyful tears.

    "I remember talking to Mitch Landrieu, the lieutenant governor," festival producer Quint Davis says from his office in New Orleans. "It was January, and we weren't sure if we could mount the event. And he told me, 'Not having the festival is not an option.' I knew what he meant. And I knew that if we put this big, soul-generating battery on and, for two weekends, people could plug in, it would mean something."

    (click on image for larger view of the 2008 fairgrounds setup)

    The festival also generated $300 million in city revenue last year; that meant something too. Now, more than two years later, in a city rebuilding only in troubled fits and starts, the festival arrives again (April 25-27 and May 1-4) with another positive jolt. The 2008 Jazz Fest marks the return of the Neville Brothers, who have not played the event since Katrina, and the festival's full seven-day schedule.

    Davis says the festival's fortunes now draw heavily on the support of its corporate underwriter, Shell Oil, which came onboard as title sponsor in Katrina's wake. It has also been aligned since 2005 with AEG Live, which has led to the booking of headliners with broad appeal. This year's crop ranges from Billy Joel to Stevie Wonder, Santana to Diana Krall. Yet for many in attendance, especially New Orleans residents, it's the local heroes that define the event -- none perhaps more so than the Nevilles. "There are still over 100,000 people who are estranged from NOLA, whose families are separated," Davis says. "To me, the Nevilles embody and represent those people." - complete article

    Bonnie Raitt Jazzfest 2007

    Friday, April 04, 2008

    Maybe you should try them....

    Hey, who's that, they sound pretty good. Black Keys, Garrett replies, again. After about five repetitions, I figured it was time for a serious listen, and with good timing, for the duo of guitarist-vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney has just released Attack & Release, a project begun as a collaboration with the late Ike Turner. Hey, this is very good stuff.

    Eric Danton, Htfd Courant- "With its varied sound and newly expansive songwriting, “Attack & Release” is a bold, but fitting, way for the Black Keys to prove they know more than one way to make a statement."
    All Music Guide- "Back in 2002, it seemed easy to discern which of the Midwestern minimalist blues-rock duos was which: the White Stripes were the art-punks, naming albums after Dutch art movements, while the Black Keys were the nasty primitives."
    Rolling Stone- "Note to Amy Winehouse: Book these dudes for a collaboration."

    Tuesday, April 01, 2008

    The cubes are out, the cubes are out!...

    Email from Johnny Gumbo with the news that the cubes, which list the dates, times and stages of the performers at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz $ Heritage Festival, are out on the JazzFest website. Gumbo feels, with good reason, that the first weekend seems the stronger. We are 2nd weekend guys. I'm especially bummed about missing Alison Krauss/Robert Plant. But that's the beauty of the event, there is SO much great music to be found, that to be lazy and only go for the national acts is your loss.

    Hoping that the Pool Hall Studs' performance at Ryan's Pub is better than last year's, which failed to live up to the duo's lofty rep.