Friday, July 30, 2010

TGIF, boys and girls...

What is hip?  Tower of Power tonight for the final Hamden Arts Commission concert of the Summer.....

And if you can get hold of Marty McFly's DeLorean DMC-12 to bring you back to this weekend in 1970, try the Powder Ridge Music Festival for $20!!!!!!!!  Featured bands: eric Burdon & War, Sly & the Family Stone, Delaney & Bonnie, Fleetwood Mac, Melanie, Mountain, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, the Allman Brothers Band, Van Morrison, Jethro Tull, Janis Joplin.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

From the bowels of Bay Ridge...


And let the blues become a soundtrack
That another lonesome boy steps to
And let my ideas become a path
That we will one day walk through
And on the other side see its footprints

And let unfinished lyrics remain hidden
In the "Rubber Factory" album
And one day someone will find 'em
And they can sell 'em
Under my breath
I'll always be whisperin'

And let feet keep stompin'
So neighbor's ceilings start shakin'
And they start actin'
Actin' like they mad
But can't help nod their head
Because the rhythm-beat's so intriguing
And let their neighbors become angry
And let me keep repeatin' - "and let"
So the audience gets so annoyed
They start repeatin'
Like them on radio rotation
And let me be patient
But not your patient
For I'm the one supposedly deliverin' the medicine
And let Kevin Bacon become the symbol - we are one?
Or don't
And let an overanalyzed artist's toilet become a monument
Or don't
If you want to be that way

And let the blues become a soundtrack
That another lonesome boy steps to
And let my ideas become a path
That we will one day walk through
And on the other side see its footprints... (more)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pool Hall Studs' night out...

The Iguanas Tuesday night at Cafe Nine

And it's boom boom boom, boom boom boom, boom boom all night long.  Well, it isn't exactly booming inside Cafe Nine as I arrive at 8:50 PM for a "9:00 PM sharp showtime" after finding a parking space right out front.  That in itself was scary.  The street looks deserted!  Did the Iguanas show get canceled?  And they changed the front door!  WTF???   But I go around to the side and give my fifteen bucks to the disinterested Goth-girl just outside the entrance.  I missed Sarah Borges at the Nine on Saturday and Wayne Escoffery/Carolyn Leonhart at Bushnell Park on Monday night, so I'm  making myself stay up past my bedtime for this show.

 Red Stripe, barkeep.  Late-arriving crowd?  He smiles an insincere, you're-not-as-clever-as-you-might-think smile.  There are only about ten others in the place, so I go into my oh yeah, I'll just focus on all these really cool things up on the wall mode.  I'm meeting the Pool Hall Studs and the girls here.  The Reet doesn't do late night dive shows, so I'm sort of a fifth wheel.  Yankees are being beaten by some kid making his first Major League start up on the very old tv.  Three guys in short-sleeved white shirts finish their drinks and scoot out the door.  We're down to seven!  Not to worry, the Iguana nation is slowly shuffling in. And I recognize a real live Iguana (I think the accordian/guitar/singer guy) enter too!  Barry suddenly appears and we grab a table.  Mark and Maureen are close behind, followed by more friends.  Suddenly I'm a nineth wheel.  Hugs (Maureen) and kisses (Mark) all around.  Mark reminds me that HE is the original link to Cafe Nine, then fills me in on seeing Trombone Shorty a few weeks ago in Fairfield.  He orders another round for the table, then leaves for the men's room just in time for the guy on my left (sorry, guy, I suck at names) to pick up the tab.  Smooth.

Para donde vas
Para donde vas 
Para donde vas, donde vas

The Iguanas have been around the block a few times, but their energy on stage is contagious.  Originally a guitar/sax-driven band, they've added keyboards and a great trumpet player.  I like it.  Rod Hodges on guitar & accordian, Joe Cabral on sax & guitar, Rene Coman on bass, Doug Garrison on drums.  I don't know the other names; bad reporting, I know, but deal with it.   We're discussing how to classify their music, but it's not easy - Tex-Mex, rockabilly, cajun, some country, jazz riffs - a veritable gumbo of influences.  Did I say GUMBO!!!!  Mark texts the big guy, now living out on the Left Coast, and gets a response that I cannot read.  I'm sure it was witty.  The Gumbo Nor'east Summer Tour will stop in Southington on Monday, August 9th at AJ's, where he will hold court for all of his fans.  Tickets go on sale tomorrow; ask Barry.

Darlin', let's give in to this night of sin
Heaven holds a place for you and me
'Cause if we both give in to this night of sin
Heaven's just the place we're gonna be

Everyone is now in a dancing mood as the band runs through their vast catalog of songs - EXCEPT FOR, my favorite, My Girlfriend is a Waitress (treat her right)!  For some reason, the trumpet player leaves, I didn't catch the explanation.  Good job, though, guy.  The band plays on, sounding really great.  I love these guys!  The band gives a nice shout out to Cafe Nine, saying there are only a couple guys they play for on the road that really care about the bands that come in, and Billy from Cafe Nine is one of the good ones.  Encore!  It's late, they finish, I'm out.  It may be a night of sin for some, but I'm too tired.  Goodbye hugs (Maureen), kisses (Mark), handshake (Barry), wave (all others) and I'm out on deserted State Street, hoping not to get mugged.  A good night.  Good night!

Here's a YouTube clip of a previous show at Cafe Nine:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Na na na na na na na na is yer birthday.....

Mick Jagger (67)
Bobby Hebb (72)
Darlene Love (69)

(Delirium Vault)- You'd think we might highlight today as the birthday of Kate Beckinsale, but you're wrong. Today we celebrate Michael Philip Jagger, born today in 1943. When Mick was 4 he met Keith Richards. They lost touch when they went into secondary schools and lost touch. But one day in 1960 they accidentally met on the Dartford train line and both realised that they had an interest in rock n roll combined with blues. Between 1960-1962 The Rolling Stones formed. A record deal was signed in 1964. Their record company Decca insisted on signing The Stones, keen not to make the same mistake twice after they'd already refused to sign The Beatles. Classic Stones tracks (from the first decade) include '(I can't get no) Satisfaction', 'Let's Spend the night together', 'Sympathy for the Devil', 'Honky Tonk Woman', 'Wild Horses', 'Brown Sugar' and 'It's Only Rock and Roll'. But isn't DV a movie site? True that, but Jagger is also an actor. In 1970 Mick Jagger starred in Performance, an unmistakable cult movie by Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell. Jagger starred as the retired rock star Turner opposite James Fox and Mick even had his first solo hit which was the soundtrack to the film 'Memo from Turner'. The movie was so controversial the producers didn't want to release it at first. It was only the fifth cut that made it to the screens. In the same year Jagger also played the lead in Ned Kelly. The Maysles documentary Gimme Shelter is also noteworthy: In 1969 the Stones gave a free concert in Northern California. About 300,000 people came, and the organizers put Hell's Angels in charge of security around the stage. Armed with pool cues and knifes, Angels spent the concert beating up spectators, killing at least one. The film intercuts performances, violence, Grace Slick and Mick Jagger's attempts to cool things down, close-ups of young listeners (dancing, drugged, or suffering Angel shock), and a look at the Stones later as they watch concert footage and reflect on what happened. Another Stones documentary, Cocksucker Blues, is even more forbidden and to this day it hasn't been officially released. Honestly, you don't need an excuse to watch Performance again, but today is an excellent day to do so. Unless you want to spend the entire day trying to get your hands on a bootleg of Cocksucker Blues. Trivia you could live without: Attended London School of Economics.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Put me in coach, I'm ready to play...

John Fogerty, the writer of baseball's national anthem, 'Centerfield,' will be welcomed at the Hall on Sunday

Leading off and playing Centerfield on Sunday at the Baseball Hall of Fame: John Fogerty.
Twenty-five years after first singing "Put me in, coach,' Fogerty finally is getting in the game. He'll take the stage with 67 Hall of Famers in Cooperstown, N.Y., and perform the song Centerfield before the start of induction ceremonies.  "I've been told by fans all over the world that it's always a major part of their baseball memories from hearing it at their Little League games to major stadiums,' Fogerty said when the Hall decided to honor the song.  "I'm overwhelmed and truly humbled to be a part of the hallowed halls of the Baseball Hall of Fame and to have been asked to share the same stage with some of the greatest players who ever lived.'  A recording of Centerfield has been played before the start of induction ceremonies for more than 10 years. (more)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Everybody's working for the weekend...

The Fabulous Valentes are considering the Gregg Rolie Band of Santana and Journey fame (says his publicist) Friday night for the Hamden Arts Commission Summer Concert Series, but I will be playing golf up at The Ranch on Friday, so I don't think I'll be back in time (and anything with 'Journey' in it scares me to death!)  If you want to go, the Valentes are having pre-concert food/drinks at their place.  I'll give you directions to their house (just tell them Johnnyk sent you; bring a salad).....Sarah Borges hauls the Broken Singles back to Cafe Nine in New Haven on Saturday night; New London's Reducers open.  The billings were reversed last summer when SBBS visited the Whaling (Wailing?) City.  I'm considering a solo flight as The Reet frowns upon 11:30 PM showtimes....The 6th annual Southington Italian Festival is being held this weekend featuring professional Italian singer Aaron Caruso on Saturday.  Anthony Jack's Wood-fired Grill will have a booth at the Fest, which will be located in the lower Center Street area of downtown.  Owner (and Pool Hall Stud) Barry D is offering a special treat to anyone who announces he/she is a friend of Johnnyk!.....Htfd Courant jazz critic Owen McNally is high on the Wayne Escoffery/Carolyn Leonhart concert for the Htfd Jazz Society's Monday Night Jazz series at Bushnell Park (article).....And if that's not enough, New Orleans' Iguanas return on Tuesday night to Cafe Nine.  Johnny Gumbo and I caught a couple great Iguanas shows at the Nine a few years ago.  A shout out to the Gumbo, who will be appearing at an AJ's near you in mid-August...

Monday, July 19, 2010

We missed them, shame on us!...

These guys (Dex & Sara Romweber) played at Cafe Nine on July 1, but I was TOO BUSY to notice!  

Dexter Romweber Performs "Ruins of Berlin" Behind the Apollo Theater For Us, Names "Heroin" As Something He's Done Once and One Time Only

"Dexter Romweber was and is a huge influence on my music. I owned all of his records as a teenager, and was thrilled at the fact that we were able to play together recently on tour. His attitude towards music is remarkable. And his songwriting, along with his love of classic American music from the south, be it rockabilly, country or R&B, is one of the best kept secrets of the rock n roll underground."- Jack White (White Stripes)

"Whats that lunatic up to these days?"- Mike Mills (R.E.M.)

"Dexter Romweber is the real thing, there's absolutley nothing phony about him." - Daddy O Grande (Los Straitjackets)

"Nobody plays rock ..n' roll with as much raw and naked passion as Chapel Hill, NC's Dexter Romweber ... the godfather of this generation's roots-rock guitar/drum renaissance." - Baltimore City Paper

"That's no greasy middle-aged man, that's Dexter Romweber, a greasy younger cat from Chapel Hill, North Carolina whose hillbilly guitar and soulful pipes recapture the primitive off-the-cuff brilliance of early rockabilly (as in Jerry Lee Lewis, not the Stray Cats). While other fans of the old stuff simply try to replicate the past, Flat Duo Jets ... somehow become the real thing, displaying nary a hint of nostalgia." - Trouser Press

“Long before such combustible duos as the White Stripes and Black Keys entered the lo-fi sweepstakes, teenage phenom Dexter Romweber was churning-out primitive, stripped-down guitar 'n' drums (-only) raunch with Chapel Hill, NC's Flat Duo Jets.” – Jeff Jarema - Creem Magazine

"Dexter Romweber is god. Dexter Romweber bestrides this world like a colossus. Dexter Romweber is the Voodoo Child." - James Mann - Ink 19

Friday, July 16, 2010

Music, music, music!...

The Reet and I are invited to a performance of the play Carnival at the Goodspeed Opera House  Saturday night with Trish n George.

(Per Carnival (1961), a musical play by Michael Stewart (book), Bob Merrill (music, lyrics). [ Imperial Theatre, 719 perf.; NYDCC Award.] The orphan Lili (Anna Maria Alberghetti) joins a French carnival and falls for an egotistical magician (James Mitchell), but she is truly loved by the bitter puppeteer (Jerry Orbach). Yet when he speaks to Lili through his puppets, his true emotions are revealed and she learns to love him back. Notable songs: Love Makes the World Go Round; Grand Imperial Cirque de Paris; Always Always You; Mira. David Merrick produced this enchanting musical tale, based on the 1953 film Lili, which was enhanced by Gower Champion's inventive staging that created a circuslike atmosphere with lights and movement. Bob MERRILL [nĂ© Henry Lavan] (1921–98), a native of Atlantic City, first found fame as the author of many pop songs on the charts in the 1950s. His early Broadway scores were for New Girl in Town (1957) and Take Me Along (1959), both based on Eugene O'Neill plays. Merrill provided lyrics for Jules Styne's music in Funny Girl (1964) and Sugar (1972). His other scores include Henry, Sweet Henry (1967) and cult failures Breakfast at Tiffany's (1966) and Prettybelle (1971).


 If you crave some blue-eyed soul, there are few better than Daryl Hall (hope you've checked out Live at Daryl's House by now), who appears free Friday night at the Hamden Arts Commission's 2010 Summer Concert Series held at Town Center Park at Meadowbrook, 2761 Dixwell Avenue. Concert begins at 7:30 pm with opening act, the Gregg Rolie Band (ex-Santana).


This weekend's 18th Annual Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz (billed as New England's largest free jazz festival) kicks off tonight at Bushnell Park. The schedule:
Friday July 16th, 2010 (Sponsored by the Evelyn W. Preston Foundation)

  • 6:30 pm - Main Stage- Opening Ceremony
  • 7:00 pm - Main Stage-Christine Spero Group
  • 8:30 pm - Main Stage- Layla Angulo Group
    Saturday July 17th, 2010
  • 12:30pm - Friends Of Festival Stage- Hartford Jazz Orchestra with Bobbi Rogers – Music of Chic Cicchetti
  • 2:30 pm - Friends Of Festival Stage- Ricky Alfonso Quartet
  • 10:30 pm - Friends Of Festival Stage- Motown Dance Party with Jus Us
  • 4:00 pm - Main Stage- Ace Livingston
  • 6:00 pm - Main Stage- Elan Trotman
  • 7:30 pm - Main Stage- Doc Gibbs & N' Fusion
  • 9:00 pm - Main Stage- TIZER featuring Lao Tizer, Chieli Minucci, Karen Briggs
    Sunday July 18th, 2010
  • 10:00 am - Jazz Mass at Christ Church Cathedral with Ross Tucker's Hot Cat Jazz Band
  • 12:30 pm - Friends Of Festival Stage- Ross Novgrad Latin Jazz Quintet
  • 2:30 pm - Friends Of Festival Stage- Canton High School Jazz Ensemble
  • 4:30 pm - Main Stage- Nobuki Takamen
  • 6:00 pm - Main Stage- Iris Ornig Group
  • 7:30 pm - Main Stage- The Hartford Symphony Orchestra Strings and Jazz Project "Music of Stan Getz" featuring Joel Frahm
  • Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    He's got a wife!...

    Keith Richards' wife tells Vogue she beat cancer (AP)
    NEW YORK – The wife of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is a cancer survivor.  Patti Hansen reveals in the August issue of Vogue magazine that she was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2007.  She says she first underwent chemotherapy, which shrunk the tumor but didn't get rid of it completely. One doctor said she had two to three years to live.  Her next move was a bold one: Doctors removed her bladder and used her intestine to create a neobladder, or a new bladder. She also had her appendix removed and a full hysterectomy.  The 54-year-old Hansen says she wants to help other women who suffer from bladder cancer. The disease is typically associated with men, but an increasing number of women are also suffering from it.  The August issue of Vogue hits newsstands nationwide July 20.

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Where you been, Gil S-H?...

    Gil Scott-Heron plays Montreux Jazz Festival (AP)
    MONTREUX, Switzerland – Gil Scott-Heron, the hard living 'godfather of rap,' had a message for his audience at the Montreux Jazz Festival.  "For those of you who bet I would not be here — you lose."
    The poet-singer from Chicago whose angry lyrics about racism, poverty and addiction struck a chord with young black Americans growing up in the 1970s, opened his set in Montreux with "Blue Collar."  If it was meant to be autobiographical, the refrain from this 1982 song was prescient: "Ain't no place I ain't been down."  Scott-Heron, 61, has been down, most recently in 2001 when a judge in New York sentenced him to one to three years in prison for failing parole conditions after being arrested for cocaine possession.  Out of the limelight for over a decade, his songs have stayed on the airwaves thanks to sampling by a new generation of artists such as Tupac Shakur, Kanye West, Mos Def, Common and Dr. Dre.  In 2010 Scott-Heron released his first studio album for 16 years, "I'm New Here," from which he played "I'll Take Care Of You" a love song by someone who's been there, and done that, and still has something to give.  Joking about his encounters with border guards on the way to Switzerland — "I've been arrested by bigger police than you" — the elder statesman of protest lyrics baffled some in the audience with his trademark blunt delivery, but stayed away from the songs that marked an angrier time.  "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" wouldn't, perhaps, be understood by the YouTube generation.  The 44th Montreux Jazz Festival, held on the shores of Lake Geneva, runs until July 17.

    Thursday, July 08, 2010

    A heads-up from the Pool Hall Studs...

    Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue Friday night in Fairfield!...
    Fairfield Theatre Company - Friday, July 9th at 7:30 - $25

    Stage One, 70 Sanford Street, Fairfield, CT - directions

    Trombone Shorty interview - read

    Trombone Shorty Reel 2010 from verve on Vimeo.

    Tuesday, July 06, 2010

    Happy Birthday, Johnnyk (and G-Dub)...

    Will you still be sending me a Valentine, birthday greetings, bottle of wine?.....(

    Sunday, July 04, 2010

    Happy 4th!!!!!!!!

    FINALLY using my Barnes & Noble Christmas gift card from Bette (thanks, Bette!), purchased the following discs on a late afternoon trip over to West Hartford with The Reet:

    • Quiet Nights (Diana Krall)...deluxe edition with bonus DVD!
    • Back to the River (Susan Tedeschi)
    • Backatown (Trombone Shorty)
    • Heaven Is Whenever (The Hold Steady)

    Saturday, July 03, 2010

    Hello, Lamppost by John Seabrook (New Yorker)...

    Michael Dorf, the impresario behind the City Winery, has in recent years perfected the art of the tribute concert. The formula goes like this: select an artist to honor; recruit a bunch of other musicians to perform songs from the artist’s catalogue; and make the event a benefit for a worthy cause. Dylan, Springsteen, and R.E.M. have been among Dorf’s honorees. What makes these events so enjoyable is that they don’t seem staged; the performers become fans, and the audience feels like part of the artistic community.   So when the City Parks Foundation began to think about a benefit for Central Park’s SummerStage, which is in its twenty-fifth year, Dorf got the call. “Of course, right away I thought Simon and Garfunkel,” he said the other day, “since they are so closely associated with Central Park. I threw that out there and the foundation people loved it. So then I got in touch with a lot of artists, and told them I wanted duets, and all songs were available, except ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ which we reserved in case the boys themselves showed up.” (They did show up, but did not sing.)

    It was around noon on a Monday, and Dorf had asked the artists who would be performing to come by the Winery, which is on Varick Street, to run through the songs they had chosen. Among the first to arrive was Dar Williams, who had selected “We Got a Groovy Thing Goin’.”  Singing this with my sisters, literally holding a hairbrush as the mike,” she said. “This was in the early seventies, and it takes me back to going to peace rallies with my mother, and my sister had a peace sign on her stomach.”  Dean & Britta were next, doing “Homeward Bound.”  Dean: “We wanted to do ‘The Only Living Boy in New York.’ But Aimee Mann stole that one—and she’s not even a boy!” - (read more)