Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I know, it's only rock 'n roll....

Below are your nominees for the 2011 Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame class.  According to press releases, ballots will be sent to more than 500 voters from the music industry who will select the inductees (johnnyk is awaiting his ballot). They will be announced in December the induction ceremony to be held on March 14, 2011 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.  Here is the Johnnyk assessment:
  1. Alice Cooper - good, but not great.  Sorry, Al, school's out forever!
  2. Beastie Boys - I'll defer to the hip hop boyz on this
  3. Bon Jovi - too popular to keep out these Jersey boys out
  4. Neil Diamond - let the poor bastard in, for Christ sakes!  Great songwriter!
  5. Chic - wtf, really?
  6. Donovan - big fan here, but a little light in the resume for my taste
  7. Dr. John - he's in the right place, but at the wrong time (I'd put him in, but THEY won't)
  8. J Geils Band - some GREAT singles....but enough????
  9. LL Cool J - can't put both the Beasties and J in
  10. Darlene Love - borderline; I say no
  11. Laura Nyro - singer/songwriter extraordinaire; I love her (R.I.P.)
  12. Donna Summer - disco queen, yikes!
  13. Tom Waits - my man, therefore he has NO chance
  14. Joe Tex - only country guy; sorry, Joe
  15. Chuck Willis - going WAY back to the 1950s - CC Rider
  16. Pool Hall Studs - no way these lightweights should get in before the Johnny Gumbo Party Band!
Who ya got?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sad......but love his new album....

Earle postpones tour, enters rehab after arrest (AP)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Justin Townes Earle says he is suspending his tour and is entering a rehabilitation facility.  Earle's publicist confirmed the statement on the singer's website Thursday. The move comes after the 2009 Americana Music Association new/emerging artist winner was arrested Sept. 16 in Indianapolis following a show.  Authorities charged Earle with battery, public intoxication and resisting law enforcement. He is accused of doing $200 damage to his dressing room, then assaulting the club's owner. He has a court date Oct. 19.  The New York-based artist has postponed U.S. and British dates in support of his new album, "Harlem River Blues," through Nov. 14.  Earle says in a statement that he is "committed" to confronting his problems with addiction and denies published descriptions of the altercation. He is the son of Grammy-winning country artist Steve Earle.

Please help me, I'm falling...

The autumn leaves drift by my window....or not

'50s pop singer Eddie Fischer dies at age 82 by Raquel Maria Dillon, AP
LOS ANGELES – Eddie Fisher, whose huge fame as a pop singer was overshadowed by scandals ending his marriages to Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor, has died. He was 82.  His daughter, Tricia Leigh Fisher of Los Angeles, told The Associated Press that Fisher died Wednesday night at his home in Berkeley of complications from hip surgery.  "Late last evening the world lost a true America icon," Fisher's family said in a statement released by publicist British Reece. "One of the greatest voices of the century passed away. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch."  The death was first reported by Hollywood website deadline.com.  Fisher's clear dramatic singing voice brought him a devoted following of teenage girls in the early 1950s. He sold millions of records with 32 hit songs including "Thinking of You," "Any Time," "Oh, My Pa-pa," "I'm Yours," "Wish You Were Here," "Lady of Spain" and "Count Your Blessings." - more

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Corn Fritter Fry Day!

Golf EARLY at Wintonberry Hills in Bloomfield (7AM start), then off to Framingham for Peter's annual corn fritter fry. Will listen to the new Robert Plant, Band of Joy,  on the way up.....A-Rod, A-Rod, A-Rod!!!!!!!  Nice turnaround in result from possible strike three to game-winning home run.....The Reet passes (for you insiders)!!!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Derek Cheeter?....

Has it come down to this for The Captain, faking getting hit by a pitch in order to get on base?  G-Man keenly equates it to a basketball flop.  Ken Singleton, uncharacteristically, had a funny line: "Derek dove back to first base with his right arm - the left is his acting arm."  C'mon, Jeet, step it up!.... The latest episode of Live From Daryl's House features Sharon Jones (of Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings).  Check it out for both the music and the food.  This is a GREAT series!  If you don't agree, I may have to (nod to Stephen Colbert) put you on notice.  So, here is Episode #34.... Quick stop at West Hartford Barnes & Noble yielded the new Robert Plant (featuring Patti Griffin), but no Justin Townes Earle....Just read that Florence & the Machine's performance was a big hit on the MTV Video Awards last week.  Gave Jonathan their CD for Christmas, but the Boyz from B'klyn gave a tepid response to it.  Perhaps they should revisit.....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My name is Earle...

I'll always remember a well-lubricated Lucinda Williams at the Newport Folk Festival shouting out to the crowd, "Hey, y'all give it up for Steve Fucking Earle!"  Well, that has nothing to do with this article, 'cept that Justin Townes Earle is Steve's son.  Garrett and Yvette saw him open for Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys) awhile ago.  Justin will be appearing on October 19 at NY Webster Hall (7PM, $17).  Jessica Lea Mayfield supports.
Justin Townes Earle is an anomaly. He’s tall as the day is long, all angles and elbows and a hard stare, both welcoming and deadly serious. He’s Nashville North, all set up in lower Manhattan now, just like his hero Woody Guthrie, with twang and charm intact.  That hard working earnestness has paid off, to say the least. Justin won the Best New and Emerging Artist at the 2009 Americana Music Awards. His record, Midnight at the Movies, was named one of the best records of last year by Amazon, received four stars in Rolling Stone and found a sweet spot in the blackened hearts of fans and critics alike. GQ Magazine named him one of the 25 best dressed men in the world in 2010. He also appeared on HBO’s Treme with his dad, troubadour Steve Earle, on whose Grammy Award-winning Townes record Justin also guests.  The aforementioned Woody Guthrie once said, “Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” On Harlem River Blues, Justin chose the simple route. The record’s not a wall of sound produced to the rafters. It’s rockin’ and reelin’ at times, sweet and slow at others—and it’s great. Like good fried chicken, a well-cut suit and a handmade guitar, there’s heaven to be found in the beautifully crafted simpler things.

Below is a very positive review of his latest album, Harlem River Blues:

Justin Townes Earle, "Harlem River Blues" (Bloodshot)
By CHRIS TALBOTT, AP Entertainment Writer
Seems like Justin Townes Earle's backstory gets all the ink — enfant terrible, former heroin addict, fired from his own father's band.  With his third album, "Harlem River Blues," the son of Steve Earle should finally be free of the shadows cast by that past and his father's legendary career. The album's 11 tracks capitalize on the promise Earle showed on his previous releases, "Midnight At The Movies" and "The Good Life," and push him to a new level.  While it's still true the songwriting gift runs in the family, the younger Earle shows an emotional depth and subtlety that makes him a unique artist.  The album is packed with flavors — gospel, rock, folk — and ideas that seem to mostly swirl around Earle's move to New York City.  "Harlem River Blues," with a chorus performed by a choir, is perhaps the most upbeat song about suicide to come along in a while (though it also could be about immersing yourself in big city life). "One More Night In Brooklyn" has that climbing-the-walls feeling of a long day in the city and "Workin' For The MTA" could be a modern version of those old Dust Bowl laments, with Paul Niehaus' steel guitar adding a lonely lament.  CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: "Move Over Mama" comes the closest to capturing the energy of Earle's vibrant live show. It's got a rockabilly feel and bounces along on Bryn Davies' standup bass, Jason Isbell's snarly electric guitar line and Earle's clever lyrics.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Robert Plant...

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Some things in Robert Plant's record collection are completely predictable. Others might surprise you. Like that copy of Low's "The Great Destroyer." "It's great music," Plant said of the Duluth, Minn., indie band known for its often slow, atmospheric songs. "It's always been in the house playing away alongside Jerry Lee Lewis and Howlin' Wolf, you know. There's room for everything." That could be the theme of Plant's new solo album, "Band of Joy," an eclectic collection mostly of covers and reinterpretations that showcase the former Led Zeppelin frontman's range in ways you wouldn't expect from a singer in his fifth decade at the edge of the stage. The album — named for a band Plant was in with John Bonham before the two joined Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones — opens with a cover of Los Lobos' "Angel Dance," then jumps in several equally unpredictable directions. There are versions of Richard Thompson's "House of Cards" along with the Low songs "Silver Rider" and "Monkey," folklorist Bascom Lamar Lunsford's recording of "Cindy I'll Marry You Some Day," "The Only Sound That Matters" by Milton Mapes and Townes Van Zandt's "Harm's Swift Way." - (more)

Shit, missed him at the Bowery Ballroom last Sunday (tour dates).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

While waiting in line for jambalaya at Rhythm & Roots...

Stranger than fiction: Just received a video link from cmiper, saying he/she was directly opposite from me when I videoed the above! A sharp eye will find a handsome gent with sunglasses/backwards baseball cap taking video while in line (see below).

Fly me to the moon ....

It's amazing how cool Frank Sinatra sounds sometimes, like when you're sitting around making incisive points about the current state of the American economy to complete strangers at a wedding reception and Fly Me to the Moon blasts out.  Also waxed nostalgic upon hearing our own wedding song, the Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (just kidding, Reet).......Opening NFL Sunday.  That means my (and Jonathan's) beloved Brownies put their NFL best 4-game regular season winning streak on the line against Tampa Bay.  Jonathan wryly predicting another 'multiple-win' season for the nattily attired (a marketer's dream) Clevelanders....After catching him at last weekend's Rhythm & Roots Festival, I'm listening to Dave Alvin's Ashcroft CD.  Hey, Nine Volt Heart, I recognize that song as the title cut of an Iguanas CD.  A quick check in the liner notes gives me the connection: the song is co-written by Dave Alvin and Iguana Rod Hodges.  (Nod to Johnny Carson) I did not know that......G-Man home for the weekend with his newly-acquired Pete Molinari CD, but rather praising Daniel Wayne as the better of the two at Wednesday's gig at the Mercury Lounge in NYC.  Here's the only video clip I could find on him.  Reminds me a bit of Neil Young:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

And where IS Lesley Gore, anyway?...

Amy Winehouse to sing 'It's My Party' for Quincy Jones
(EW.com) - Is this the beginning of Amy Winehouse’s comeback? The troubled soul singer is poised to release her first new music in years, the Associated Press reports.Winehouse is said to have recorded a cover of Lesley Gore’s 1963 hit “It’s My Party” for Quincy Jones’ upcoming Q: Soul Bossa Nostra album. Her close collaborator Mark Ronson produced the track.  “It’s My Party” was one of Jones’ first major pop production credits before his legendary work with Michael Jackson. Its petulant, insistent tone fits perfectly with Winehouse’s strengths. And anyone who’s heard “Rehab” or one of their other five collaborations on 2006′s breakout Back to Black knows how arresting Winehouse can sound over a Ronson track.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Yvette, Pete & Garrett...

Pete Molinari in concert Wednesday night at the Mercury Lounge
From Daily Nuggets:  We're Not John and Yoko took a break from late-night jam sessions, and instead of performing their own music, headed out Wednesday night to hear some live music, ending up at the Mercury Lounge in Manhattan, on Houston Street, to see Pete Molinari, and the opener Daniel Wayne. We bought the ticket to see Pete, but Daniel went on first, stole the show, and was an incredibly hard act to follow. Originally from Ohio, and now living in Brooklyn, Daniel Wayne is unsigned, but I predict, give him a year, and he'll be a household name. Don't let me down Dan! And, I can call him Dan. We're Not John and Yoko got a chance to meet him after the show, and he was very genuine, appreciating our emphatic compliments of his show. (read more)

From Pete's website: "As a kid I was given two books that made as big an impression on me as anything could. They were by Woody Guthrie and Jack Kerouac, and along with the songs and music that were later handed down to me, they helped convince me that my life should and would be some kind of journey on the road that some call 'bound for glory' and others 'the road less travelled by'."

Monday, September 06, 2010

Sorry, Robert Randolph, it was a full day and we had to hit the highway...

Our plan was to arrive for the start of Geoff Muldaur's set around two-thirty. Lunch in Mystic on the way down.  With all due respect to the Danny Barnes Trio and Horace Trahan & New Ossan Express, who have the noon and 1:15 sets respectively, you just can't do it ALL!  Muldaur is an old jug-band folkie from the early sixties' Greenwich Village era, but has continued to create great music.  I've never seen him live.  We arrive right on time, pulling into the nearly full parking lot to their opening number. We grab our shit, buy our tickets and file into Rhythm & Roots 2010. It's a picture-perfect day: sunny, clear and just brisk enough. We mark our territory, open our chairs and....sit. "Great seats, hey buddy?" Sharie is skeptical about being in one place for the next seven hours and is subtly lobbying to ditch Robert Randolph & the Family Band before they come on at 9:15.  She hints at doing some hiking, kayaking, para sailing, skiing, snorkeling- anything to pass the time.  The Reet is attending as a favor to me; she has little interest in the music.  Keith is my ally in this venture.  But it's all good.  Keith/Sharie venture over to two-step at the Johnny Gumbo dance tent (yes, named after the one and only for his legendary smooth dance moves at R&R!).   The Reet holds down the fort.

I've heard enough of the Texas Sheiks for now.  I explore, finding my way over to the workshop tent where Dave Alvin is holding court.  The iconic Blasters co-founder (along with brother, Phil) takes questions, self-effacingly spins anecdotes about the sources of his songwriting, and sings a few songs.  Thoroughly entertaining.  We'll catch DA shortly at the Main Stage with his new band, Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women.  While exiting the tent, I run into an old neighbor of mine.  Now divorced and with his girlfriend, he apologizes for the time he screeched out of his driveway and, while roaring down our quiet little street, thrust his middle finger out the window.  "It wasn't meant for you, it was for my fucking ex-wife."  No offense taken, my man.

Back to the main stage as CJ Chenier & the Red-Hot Louisiana Band's ready for their 3:45 set.  My phone rings, but I can't figure out how to answer it, so I have to check missed calls.  It's Barry D, restaurateur/Pool Hall Stud, now in the house with his entourage inquiring of our location while they fill up on potato pancakes.  We're over HERE!  Finally, all  introduced and settled, we're now nine strong as CJ launches into his set of high-energy zydeco.  Keith offers to fetch the beers.  All that's missing is Gumbo and that Will Farrell-guy.  On second thought, it's nice and peaceful.  At five o'clock, Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women turn the music toward a roots rock vein.  During a bathroom break, The Reet & I take a quick look-see at the Dance Pavillion, where Preston Frank, Ed Poullard & Friends are playing to a packed dance floor.  Back to see Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, a band we've seen countless times.  Good stuff.

We notice that the festival program has an advertisement for the Knickerbocker Cafe (Southern NE's home of roots music year round) in Westerly, which features some of our favorites:
Sat, Sept 4- Sugar Ray & the Bluetones
Sat, Sept 25- Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles (I've been accused by friends of being a stalker, but haven't seen her in over a year)
Sun Sept 26- Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials (had a song on one of the legendary JohnnyK Christmas CDs)
Sat, Oct 23- "The Beehive Queen" Christine Ohlman (a long-time favorite; Keith and I served her band dinner from Anthony Jack's in the Southington Town Hall basement when she played Johnny Gumbo's Apple Harvest Festival a few years back)
Sun, Oct 24- Susan Cowsill (Gumbo and I saw her, along with 25 of our closest friends, at Cafe Nine a few years ago.)
Sat, Nov 13- Robert Earl Keen

I sample the jambalaya (liberally sprinkling hot sauce on my portion and pay dearly for it).  While waiting in line, we are entertained by the Hot Tamale Brass Band (I have video, but still trying to get it transferred from my phone).  The Reet tries to relive her hoola hoop daze with limited success.  It's now heading toward 7:30 and the Newport set decide they've had enough fun and frolic for one day.  Not even staying for Donna the Buffalo!  They are out.  Teary goodbyes all around.  While DtB is really good, I've seen them several times and Sharie's idea of leaving early is making more sense by the minute.  Okay, let's do it.  The Reet gives our extra Bayou Bucks to an appreciative neighbor while we pack up.  On the way out I attempt to buy a R&R Festival tee shirt, but the colors I want are sold out.  I leave empty handed.  After a bathroom stop at Wendy's (all four of us march in, march out), Keith steers us safely home (while I catch a few zzzzz's).  Golf at 7:37AM.  Night all.
Five Bayou Bucks will get you a Longhammer IPA
Not a cloud in the mid-afternoon sky for Geoff Muldaur & the Texas Sheiks
Former Blasters founder Dave Alvin talks songwriting, life and lost love at the Workshop Tent.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Look out, R&R, here we come! But where is Johnny Gumbo?...

No golf today.  Just hanging around this morning, reading the papers while The Reet catches up on her U.S. Open matches from last night.  We'll be picked up at noon by the Andersons to head down to Ninigret Park for the final day of the 2010 Rhythm & Roots Festival.  This is my first trip back since 2005 and 2006, when I attended with the one and (thankfully) only Johnny Gumbo, who swept many a damsel off her feet in the dance tent.  Gumbo went solo the following year and treated the Pool Hall Studs with his presence at Barry D's place in Newport for the night.  Oh, what a night!  ANYWAY, we're (or at least I am) trying to get there in time for Geoff Muldaur (Maria's ex) and his band, The Texas Sheiks.  From Wikipedia, so it must be true:  In 2009, Muldaur formed a roots super-group for work on a new album. Dubbing themselves Geoff Muldaur And The Texas Sheiks, folk and American music luminary Stephen Bruton, Grammy-winning Dobro player Cindy Cashdollar, fiddle virtuoso Suzy Thompson, guitarist Johnny Nicholas and bassist Bruce Hughes joined Muldaur in the studio for a pair of recording sessions in 2008. Bruton died in May 2009, but the music lives on in the album entitled Texas Sheiks that was released September 22, 2009, on the Tradition & Moderne label.

Today's lineup:
12:00 Danny Barnes Trio
1:15 Horace Trahan & New Ossan Express
2:30 Geoff Muldaur & the Texas Sheiks
3:45 CJ Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band
5:00 Dave Alvin & the Guilty Women
6:15 Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys
7:45 Donna the Buffalo
9:15 Robert Randolph & the Family Band

This has very little connection with the above, but check out this long ago jam with Leon Russell, Maria Muldaur and Bonnie Raitt - here.  Then, check out Leon on Shindig in 1964 below!!!!!!!! -

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Saturday in the (Ninigret) park....

Today's lineup at Rhythm & Roots Festival:
12:00 Uncle Earl
1:30 Creole Cowboys
2:30 Lil Freddie King
3:45 Horace Trahan & New Ossan Express
5:00 Bonerama
6:15 Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys
7:30 Marcia Ball
9:00 The Texas Tornados
10:30 A Texas-Sized Star-Studded Jam with Texas Tornados, Marcia Ball, Johnny Nicholas, the Mamous and who knows who else

Friday, September 03, 2010

Long driver, low rider....

So, I was practicing my putting this afternoon in preparation for our usual Friday afternoon skins game, when a voice blasted from the nearby pavilion, "And the long drive winner is: a big crew-cut Will Farrell clone!" Hey, I know that jerk! He's one of the Pool Hall Studs! I didn't think he could hit it 100 yards based on the way he plays pool!

Okay, okay, maybe he isn't THAT bad (yes, he is!).   I've got to give him props, though, because he knows his music and can be a decent human being (on occasion).

I guess the world is a ghetto...

Funk band War tells PepsiCo they're not friends (AP)
NEW YORK – Members of the original funk band War say they can't be friends with PepsiCo. They're suing the soft drink maker for more than $10 million, saying it did not negotiate with them to use their song "Why Can't We Be Friends" in a new commercial. Even if PepsiCo and its agencies got rights from the music's publishers or anyone else who owns them, attorney Ken Freundlich and his co-counsel Max Sprecher said the company should have negotiated with the artists too. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles, some of the group's original members and a relative said they learned the 1975 hit was in the ad for Pepsi MAX only when the commercials launched in July. PepsiCo said in a statement it believes the lawsuit has no merit. "Pepsi has a long history of partnering with iconic celebrities and musicians and we value our relationship with the music and entertainment industry," the company, based in Purchase, N.Y., said in a statement Thursday. A spokesman for ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day declined to comment Thursday, referring all questions to PepsiCo. The ad is part of a campaign pushing the no-calorie Pepsi MAX. The spot with "Why Can't We Be Friends" is a remake of the company's "Diner" Super Bowl commercial from 1995, but this time Pepsi MAX is pitted against Coca-Cola's popular Coke Zero. In the original, one of the best loved commercials from Super Bowl XXIX, delivery drivers from the rival soft drink makers form a short-lived friendship in a diner over music. Backed by the song "Get Together" from The Youngbloods in 1995, and War's hit in this year's ad, the drivers sample each other's drinks and the Coca-Cola driver prefers the Pepsi product. In both ads, the friendship comes to an abrupt — and funny — end. But the War members apparently weren't amused. They have asked for a jury trial and "confiscation of unlawful profits" in amount to be determined. Original members listed in the lawsuit are Harold Brown, Lee Oskar Levitin, Howard Scott, and Morris Dickerson. Laurian Miller, daughter of Charles Miller, is also a plaintiff. "Pepsi is selling its billion-dollar brand based on their voices and they have to pay for it," Freundlich said.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

My name is Earl...

As Hurricane Earl threatens to disrupt things tomorrow, including the opening of the Rhythm & Roots Festival at Ninigret Park in Charlestown, RI., here are a few Earl songs to ponder:
  • Goodbye, Earl (Dixie Chicks-1999) 
While searching for Earls, I found Jango, one of those free internet streaming stations that play whatever genre of music you choose.  Some early 60's (pre/alt-Beatles) for you from the Gene Chandler channel:
Duke of Earl (Gene Chandler)
Lonely Teardrops (Jackie Wilson)
I Don't Want to Cry (Chuck Jackson)
Give Me Just a Little More Time (Chairmen of the Board)
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted (Jimmy Ruffin)
Since I Lost My Baby's Love (Major Lance)
Oh What a Night (The Dells)
Backfield in Motion (Mel & Tim) (gotta love the lyrics "gonna have to penalize you")
Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher (Jackie Wilson)
You're No Good (Betty Everett) (the old Linda Ronstadt song) listen  also shoop shoop song