Friday, December 31, 2010

So, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction?...

Final trail mix of 2010:
Belle of the Blues (Janis Ian) Aftertones
Cajun Born (Emmylou Harris) Elite Hotel
Hey Now Baby (Professor Longhair) A Proper Introduction to...
Evidence (Thelonious Monk Quartet) At Carnegie Hall
Girl of My Dreams (Etta James) At Last!
Ting-A-Ling (Buddy Holly) True Love Ways
Willow Grove (Chick Corea) Remembering Bud Powell
On Your Way Down (Trombone Shorty) Backatown
Certain Things (Gil Scott-Heron) I'm New Here
Polka Dot (Desmond Dekker & the Aces)  The Israelites
The Girl I'm Gonna Marry (Fats Domino) Fats Domino
Cuarto Rojo (The Iguanas) Super Ball
Judy (The Pipettes) We Are the Pipettes

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A find from The Dish...

Email from Trish:  Check out Johnny A at Have you been to Bridge Street?  Ever heard of Johnny A?

JohnnyK:  First, no I have not been to Bridge Street.  Just went on their site and it seems like a pretty cool place.  I'm only slightly familiar with Johnny A.  I just checked to see that I have his 2004 Get Inside album, but I can't remember much about it.  I know he's supposed to be a guitar virtuoso, but little or no vocals, in the Santana, Jeff Beck, Duane Eddy vein.  Listening now, very tasty.

From Wikipedia, so it must be true:  
Johnny A. is an American guitarist/songwriter, born in Malden, Massachusetts. Growing up in Boston as a young child, he became interested in music, starting with drums at age six. Upon being exposed to The Beatles in 1964 (age 12), Johnny bought a $49 Lafayette Electronics guitar and started his life-long affair with the instrument.  After forming a band called The Streets and garnering heavy radio airplay on the now legendary Boston radio station WBCN, performing mostly in the Boston area, Johnny played with former Derek and the Dominos keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, then began a seven year stint as guitarist and musical director with The J. Geils Band front man Peter Wolf. He played on Wolf's albums, and co-produced one of them, Long Line 1996, as well as joining him on world tours. In 1986, Johnny's band, Hearts On Fire, placed second in the WBCN Rock & Roll Rumble only to be edged out by Gang Green. Johnny A. is the recipient of The Boston Music Award's - Blues Artist of the Year 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

She and Him...and Al Anderson....

Johnny Gumbo, there is no 'I' in team (unless, of course, Mark is spelling)...

Barry calls yesterday saying he's looking at flights to Nola for this year's Jazz Fest and has found a great rate on Expedia.  Only problem is that we'd be leaving Newark early Wednesday evening instead of early Thursday morning.  No prob, book it (although I was a tad put off by the little chuckle as I provided my date of birth).  So, we'll be arriving late evening and hook up with Gumbo when he arrives.  Oh?  Gumbo says he's not coming in from the  Great North Left until late Thursday?  WTF?  

Barry:  Hey JR, just reading the N.Y. Times food critic named the fried oyster blt at Cochon one of his best 15 dishes of the year.  I can see u eating it right now and my mouth is watering.   I know this opens up the Mother's joke for you other guys, but I didn't want to go there.

JR:  Thanks, and I know that at Cochon their service is great BECAUSE THEY CARE ABOUT CUSTOMER SATISFACTION!! 

JK:  It's because of the naval presence at Cochon's bar.  And, by the way, are you eating all of that?  (Btw, I've slept at Johnny Gumbo's Nude Lounge and it's not a pretty sight!)

Mark:  Allow me to introduce myself.  I'm just here being The Big Me.

Friends: 8 killed in NO fire musicians, artists....

NEW ORLEANS – Eight homeless squatters who died in a fire at an abandoned warehouse where they were trying to keep warm were accomplished musicians and artists who rejected the label "gutter punk," acquaintances said.  Firefighters said they could not tell the ages or genders of those who died Tuesday in the city's deadliest blaze in decades because their bodies were so badly burned. A 23-year-old man who escaped told the American Red Cross he could not get back in to help his friends because of the smoke, agency volunteer Thomas Butler said. The group had been burning debris to keep warm, with temperatures below freezing, authorities said.  A group of young people sitting on the steps of an abandoned house near the warehouse said the dead included three women and five men.  Rachel Park, 27, of California, estimated their ages ranged from 19 to 30. The victims never thought of themselves as homeless and rejected the "gutter punk" label used by some locals to describe transient youths, who are often seen begging for money or cigarettes on French Quarter Streets, she said.  "They were all accomplished musicians or artists — jolly, happy people," Park said. - (more)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sarah needs water....

Johnnykmusic appreciates, indeed encourages, the submission of your music opinions/experiences.  Peter M happened upon our girl, Sarah Borges (sans Broken Singles), one evening earlier this month.  His observations:

Yes. PAs Lounge is in the same block as Sally O'Briens, where we all went one night to see that singer I like, old whatshisname.  PAs is a weird place....a bar and next to it a separate music space/empty room. You can take your drink from the bar part and go through a couple of doors....but don't go outside with your drink!....and into the music room. Beer in plastic cups. After a couple the 40-something blond bartender broke away from her f-bomb-loaded conversation with her trashy looking girlfriend at the bar and offered a glass if I was just there to drink, plastic for music listeners.

It was a release party for some guy's CD and Sarah was first on. She came into the bar and announced to somebody she hadn't had a drink since a time I didn't hear and was stopping smoking. She asked for a glass of water and was a little put out that blondie took a while to fetch it.

Took my plastic cup into the next room to hear Sarah's set. She was solo, not in stage costume, sang a few and got off. She sounded fine, but nothing inspired. She was still weirded out by blondie and re-told on stage the tale of the slow glass of water. Maybe she just wanted everybody to know she was not drinking. The audience was all 30ish hipster guys in hoodies and caps, Chuck Taylors, skinny music guys with scruffy beards or stubble....and real skinny girl friends. I had to be the oldest person there by 30 years. Watched the next band .... the lead singer said it was an honor to sing after Sarah .... holy shit, he thinks she's a legend from the past.

Walking back to my car the sound of music pulls me into Sally O'Brien's. A different world. Gray-beard band, no skinny hipsters here. Lots of relaxed-fit jeans, some of the same people that have been there all three times I've been in this bar over maybe four years. Old guy with the hat, fancy dresser, camel hair blazer with the collar turned up, showing off his dance moves, hustling the ladies, not as drunk as the last time I saw him. Serious middle aged dancers, one woman putting sexy dirty dancing moves on her partner with the gray Prince Valiant hair cut, plus a few ballet turns to make sure we know she can still do it. Somerville Saturday night.

R.I.P. Teena Marie...

LOS ANGELES – Teena Marie's last album, "Congo Square," was titled after a historical meeting place for slaves in New Orleans, featured a tribute to Martin Luther King's widow and also song "Black Cool," written for President Barack Obama.  No matter that Marie, 54, was white. The R&B legend revered and fully immersed herself in black culture — and in turn was respected and adored by black audiences, not only for her immense soulful talents, but for her inner soul as well.  "Overall my race hasn't been a problem. I'm a Black artist with White skin. At the end of the day you have to sing what's in your own soul," she told in an interview last year while promoting "Congo Square." That album would turn out to be her last.  The self-proclaimed "Ivory Queen of Soul," whose many classic hits included "Lovergirl," Square Biz" and the scorching duet "Fire and Desire" with mentor Rick James, was found dead in her Pasadena home on Sunday at the age of 54. Authorities said her death appeared to be of natural causes.  (more)
Wikipedia  Five Key Songs


Saturday, December 25, 2010

The ghost of Christmas past...

This is the 7th year without a Johnnyk Christmas CD. Sorry.  I've put my annual labor of love on hold, but with the intention of resurrecting it in the near future.  Personally, I loved the content of these compilations. At the peak in 2003, I gave out over 200 CDs to family, friends, clients, friends of same. Can't tell you how many ink cartridges, envelopes, labels, CDs, cases, etc we went through in the production phase. Fun and exhausting, but worth it when it was appreciated. I still get people asking why they were left off last year's list! Anyway, for purposes of archiving, here they are:

Johnny K Has the Blues This Christmas (2001)
  1. Please Come Home for Christmas (Aaron Neville)
  2. Oh, Christmas Tree (Aretha Franklin)
  3. Merry Christmas, Baby (Bonnie Raitt/Charles Brown)
  4. Christmas Blues (Holly Cole Trio)
  5. Christmas Soul & Blues (Lowell Fulson)
  6. Hard Candy Christmas (Dolly Parton)
  7. Christmas Ball Blues (Leon Redbone)
  8. White Christmas (Roomful of Blues)
  9. Please Come Home for Christmas (Etta James)
  10. Soulful Christmas (James Brown)
  11. Blues for Christmas (John Lee Hooker)
  12. Christmas in Prison (John Prine)
  13. The Christmas Song (Luther Vandross)
  14. Christmas Time (Ray Charles)
  15. Gee Whiz, It's Christmas (Carla Thomas)
  16. Christmas Blues (Blues Traveler)
  17. Christmas Time Blues (Jimmy Dawkins)
  18. Faraway Christmas (Johnny Otis/Esther Phillips)
  19. Christmas Turkey Blues (Arrogant Worms)
  20. Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis (Tom Waits)

Mercy! Johnny K's Got the Blues Again This Christmas (2002)
  1. Silver Bells (Fats Domino)
  2. What About Me (Holly Cole Trio)
  3. Christmas Ain't Like It Used To Be (Jumpin' Joe Whiting)
  4. Winter Wonderland (Etta James)
  5. Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me (Elvis Presley)
  6. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (James Taylor)
  7. Christmas Blues (Canned Heat)
  8. Santa Claus, Santa Claus (Louis Jordan)
  9. All I Want For Christmas Is You (Vince Vance & the Valiants)
  10. Far Away Christmas Blues (Asylum Street Spankers)
  11. It's Christmas Time, Oh Yeah (Barenaked Ladies)
  12. Santa Baby (Calista Flockhart)
  13. Louisiana Christmas Day (Aaron Neville)
  14. Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin' (Albert King)
  15. Christmas in Heaven (Charles Brown)
  16. Xmas Time For Everyone But Me (Hank Ballard & the Midnighters)
  17. Run, Run Rudolph (Roomful of Blues)
  18. All Alone For Christmas (Darlene Love)
  19. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Houston Person/Etta James)
  20. Christmas Song (Dave Mathews)

Johnny K's Gone Eclectic This Christmas 
(but that doesn't make him a bad person) (2003)
  1. Merry, Merry Christmas (Koko Taylor)
  2. Rockin' This Christmas (The Tractors)
  3. I Told Santa Claus (Roomful of Blues)
  4. That's What I Want For Christmas (Nancy Wilson)
  5. Blue Holiday (Charles Brown)
  6. Christmas in New Orleans (Louis Armstrong
  7. Santa Claus Straight to the Ghetto (James Brown)
  8. Empty Stocking Blues (Floyd Dixson)
  9. A Very Special Christmas (U2)
  10. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (John Mellancamp)
  11. Merry Christmas, Baby (Bruce Springsteen)
  12. Where is Santa (The Ramones)
  13. I Hear Jingle Bells (Freddie King)
  14. Santa Ain't jivin' (Shadows)
  15. Christmas Long Ago (The Echelons)
  16. Children Go Where I Send Thee (Natalie Merchant)
  17. Honky Tonk Christmas (Alan Jackson)
  18. Santa Claus Got the Blues (Denise Lasalle)
  19. East Tennessee Christmas (Chet Atkins)
  20. Christmas Tears (Freddie King)
  21. Boogie Woogie Santa Claus (Charles Brown)
  22. Oranges For Christmas (El Vez)
  23. Under the Christmas Tree (Honeydrippers)
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

It was the night before Christmas and ....

The shopping is done!  The shopping is done!!!!!!

Okay, they'll never read this, so here's what I bought:
  • For Jonathan: Brothers (The Black Keys)
  • For Garrett: Sigh No More (Mumford & Sons)
  • For Yvette: Let It Die (Feist)
  • For Peter: Treme- 1st season soundtrack 
  • For Ron: Tears, Lies and Alibis (Shelby Lynne)
  • For Bette: Everybody's Boppin' (Lambert, Hendricks & Ross)
  • For Kay: Butcher Holler, A Tribute to Loretta Lynn (Eilen Jewel)
  • For Andy: Sky Blue Sky (Wilco)
  • For Carolyn: Children Running Through (Patty Griffin)
  • For Jonathan/Garrett: A Collection (The Flamin' Groovies)
  • For Andy: #1 Record/Radio City (Big Star)

When will Garrett/Yvette's buddy, Daniel Wayne, have a record out?
Far From Here (Daniel Wayne, Live at Southpaw)

Daniel Wayne | Myspace Music Videos

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another list for you to chew on...

Lonesome Onry And Mean's Top 11 Obscure 2010 Albums (site):
  1. Tears, Lies and Alibis (Shelby Lynne)
  2. Alabama Steam Punk Blues (Charlie Terrell & the Murdered Johns)
  3. Well After Awhile (Shinyribs)
  4. A.Enlightenment, B.Endarkenment, Hint:There Is No C ( Ray Wylie Hubbard)
  5. The Jukebox In Your Heart (Mike Stinson)
  6. Keep It To Yourself (Erik Koskinen)
  7. Wreck Your Wheels (Kim Richey)
  8. Big Red and Barbacoa (Hacienda)
  9. Raising the Bar (Magic Slim & the Teardrops)
  10. Girls Need Attention (Richard Julian)
  11. Sigh No More (Mumford & Sons)
Just the names makes me want to go out and buy them all!

2. Charlie Terrell & the Murdered Johns, Alabama Steam Punk Blues: Artist, playwright, songwriter, singer, Charlie Terrell is a sicker version of another sick Alabaman, Paul Thorn, all mixed up in Southern religious confusion and carnal desire. From the opening boogie "Bottle Flies" through a wicked cover of John Prine's "Onomatopoeia" to a Zeppelin-ish "Redneck Gigolo" and the sinister full-tilt boogie of "Straight Shooter on a Crooked Road," Alabama Steam Punk Blues is as nasty and murky as a Pentecostal preacher at a peep show or a right-wing, gay-bashing senator with his foot under the bathroom stall in an airport. "The bottle flies/ The baby cries/ I can't stand lookin' in your lovin' eyes."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yes, Dan Hart, I know of Bruce Cockburn...

It's been awhile, but Steve the Bod and I saw Cockburn down at Toad's in New Haven on a couple occasions either in the late 70's or early 80's.  This was one of his more popular songs.  Nice to revisit an old friend.

(From Wikipedia, so it must be true) -While Cockburn had been popular in Canada for years, he did not make a splash in the United States until 1979, with the release of the album Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws. "Wondering Where the Lions Are", the first single from that album, reached #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US in June 1980, and earned Cockburn an appearance on NBC's hit TV show Saturday Night Live.

The incomparable Doug Sahm...

Doug Sahm
Douglas Wayne Sahm was born November 6, 1941, in San Antonio, Texas. Considered to be a prodigy on steel-guitar, mandolin, and fiddle, he made his radio debut at age five singing "Teardrops In My Heart" on station KMAC in San Antonio. This was followed by two years of radio appearances on the Mutual network. He became a featured player on the Louisiana Hayride country radio program by age eight. Known as Little Doug Sahm, he would often sit in at live performances of such greats as Webb Pierce, Hank Thompson and Faron Young. In December, 1952, Hank Williams took Doug on stage in Austin, Texas, less than two weeks before Williams's death. 

About his pre-teen days, Doug wrote, "Across a plowed field from my house was a place called Eastwood Country Club. On any given night you had T-Bone Walker, Junior Parker, The Bobby 'Blue' Bland Review, Hank Ballard and James Brown... At about twelve or thirteen years old, my neighbor, Homer Callahan, a red-headed Irishman who loved to fight and listen to Howlin' Wolf, would bring over these great 45's with colorful labels like Excello, Atlantic, and Specialty, and dudes like Lonesome Sundown, Jimmy Reed, and Fats Domino. My mother, bless her soul, couldn't understand the profound effect these records had on her white son who was growing up fast in the predominantly black section of San Antone... Bear in mind, these weren't ghettos with crime filled streets, but for a white boy to be accepted at The Ebony Lounge was like being signed to the New York Yankees." - (more)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

In case you weren't paying attention, the Cleveland Browns SUCK!...

But that means little to Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, who died yesterday at age 69.
Musician and artist Don Van Vliet, who performed experimental rock under the name Captain Beefheart , died Friday, according to The Associated Press . He was 69. Van Vliet died in California from complications stemming from multiple sclerosis, according to the Michael Werner Gallery in New York. The gallery exhibits his paintings... Full Story »
Here's some new Black Keys, a free song on YouTube:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Got 'dem Xmas shoppin' blues, mama....

I don't know about you, but when I think of the blues (and who doesn't around Christmas time), I'm thinking Fairfield, CT.  Oh, yeah.  Y'all can hit me with being stuck in Mobile with the Memphis blues again or your Chicago blues, Delta blues or Texas blues, but y'all ain't got nothin' to touch Fairfield County blues, fueled by generations of rich kids with expensive guitars rippin' off  Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf,  John Lee Hooker  (Oh, Johnny Mayer, hey!  Was Jessica really a freak?  Cool).

I've got to admit I've never heard of Hubert Sumlin or the Nighthawks.  But Marcia read this article in the NH Register and sent around this email and The Reet can't go and Sharie can't go, but Keith can and, suddenly, we're going to see them at the Fairfield Theatre Company Friday night.  Excellent pre-concert pizza pies at the Valentes before heading out.  It's an early show, 'cause you know that Fairfield blues aficionados need to get back to check their stock quotes at eleven.  We drop off Marcia/Vin at will call and cruise the train station parking lot looking for that perfect spot.  Failing miserably on that account, we park in front of some plumbing factory, which means we have a 50/50 chance of finding the car when we return after the show.  But, hey, it's Keith's car.  On the walk back to FTC, we see at least three PERFECT parking spots.

It's just fifteen minutes before showtime, yet the lobby is sparsely filled.  While Vin is missing in action in the men's room, Marcia and I saddle up to the bar for a glass of wine and a Dos Equis, respectively (I'm not the most interesting man in the world, but I've been ranked as high as ninth).  We think Vin has been abducted from the men's room; we're thinking of sending in a posse, but he eventually appears unscathed.  We go inside.  The venue is intimate, about fifteen rows high directly in front of the stage and limited seating on either side. The Nighthawks appear on stage.  They've been touted as the world's greatest bar band - and, before they play a note, I'm thinking they sure look the part (i.e. you don't gotta be pretty to play the blues, mama; actually, let me amend that - You CAN'T be pretty to play the blues.  (Oh, hey again, Johnny Mayer.  Jess, really that freaky?  Cool.).
Some Nighthawks history:
The Nighthawks had its genesis when lead singer-harmonica player extraordinaire Mark Wenner returned to his native Washington, D.C., after six years in New York City, lured back by the success of his friend Bobby Radcliff's local acclaim with a blues band. Mark joined forces with a very young Jimmy Thackery and formed The Nighthawks in 1972. They spent a couple of years building The Nighthawks' reputation with a revolving cast of characters until, in 1974, they decided to get the best rhythm section the area had to offer: Jan Zukowski on bass and Pete Ragusa on drums.  The Nighthawks set off on a musical mystery tour that took them to 49 states and a dozen countries. They played with nearly all the living blues legends as well as a new generation of bands sometimes called “the Blue Wave,” and released several important albums, including the best-selling Jacks and Kings with Pinetop Perkins, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Calvin Jones and Bob Margolin. (more)
They get off to a nice start with a rockabilly Blue Christmas sung by their leader/harp player/founding member Mark Wenner.  The small theater has pretty much filled, a mostly older crowd  (I was going to say mature, but I looked to the left/right of me and thought better off it).  Chicago blues.  Energetic, rockin' (as my friend, Fish Burrito Jeff from Texas, would say).  They spread the lead vocals around.  And I really like the lead guitar, Paul Bell; very tasty without showing off.  The bass is a big ole boy with a husky voice and a pounding style and we are blown away by the drummer's vocals on one song later in the set.  He is the most recent member of a group of many personnel changes.  Hmmmm, isn't that the Temptations' Can't Get Next to You?  Nice.  They break for intermission after about an hour, promising to bring out Hubert for the second set.

Marcia chats it up with an old work mate, who we find out frequents Cafe Nine and was there for "that king of swamp blues guy."   Hey, buddy, that was Tony Joe White.  Let's have a little respect.  We're back in our seats for the second set when we see the 'Hawks helping a smiling, frail, old black man onto the stage and into a chair near the center microphone.  They strap on his Stratocaster  (I think, what the hell do I know!).  "How y'all doin' tonight?"  Loud applause, breaking the somewhat uneasy spell in the room. 
(From Wikipedia, so it must be true) Hubert Sumlin, born November 16, 1931), is an American blues guitarist and singer, best known for his celebrated work, from 1955, as guitarist in Howlin' Wolf's band. His singular playing is characterized by "wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic suspensions".  Listed as number sixty-five in the Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Sumlin continues to tour and play blues guitar. He is cited as a major influence by many artists, including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Robbie Robertson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.
The Nighthawks back Hubert during the forty-five minute set, filling in the blanks, deferring to him whenever he wants a solo.  It's obviously a labor of love for all of them.  Not many wrenched, shattering bursts of notes tonight, but it's cool to listen to, watch.  Some guy in the audience to the left of the stage is in ecstacy, going ballistic with every note, playing air guitar, even air harmonica!  He's a show unto himself!  Anyway, the guys are having fun and so is the crowd.  The show wraps up without an encore.  Marcia grabs a Nighthawks cd (unsigned) and we're off into the night.  BUT WHERE'S THE CAR!!!!!  Just kidding.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I'm feelin' mighty fine, got good music on my radio...

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia wants to see bluesman Hubert Sumlin...

Got an email early this morn from Marcia V saying she'd read a NH Register piece about a blues band named The Nighthawks and their guitarist, Hubert Sumlin.  Was I interested?  Maybe, but The Reet will be with Bette in Middletown for their annual Christmas cookie baking marathon.  That was followed by a phone call from Keith, finding him alone again, naturally, because Sharie was busy.  Okay, then, it's at date!
Authentic Blues: The Nighthawks and Hubert Sumlin in Fairfield
Southern Connecticut blues fans are in for a double treat tonight when Hubert Sumlin — lead guitarist on virtually all of Howlin’ Wolf’s classic cuts and one of the last great links to the golden age of Chicago blues — comes to Fairfield Theatre Company’s StageOne backed by one of America’s juiciest, grittiest and longest-running blues and roots rock road acts, The Nighthawks.   The understated, unassuming Sumlin — whose gentle demeanor belies the fiery, percussive, deeply soulful guitar playing that helped define the electric blues and light the way for disciplies ranging from the Rolling Stones to Eric Clapton to Elvis Costello to the Allman Brothers Band — is a genuine American musical treasure, and at this point in his life and career, is not an act any serious blues fan should assume they’ll see “some day.” (more)

It's beginning to look alot like Chris Smith....

Chris Smith (1988-92) (6-2, Bridgeport, CT): UConn's career leader in scoring with 2,145 points, Chris Smith is also the top Husky scorer in BIG EAST Conference games with 1,140 points in 64 league games. He led Connecticut in scoring three consecutive years and also led the entire BIG EAST in scoring in his senior season (22.1/game). Smith is one of only two UConn players to score at least 500 points in three different seasons. He ranks No. 1 in career three-point field goals made (242), is No. 2 in both career field goals (728) and career free throws (447), is No. 4 in career steals (193) and No. 7 in career assists (436). As a sophomore in 1990, Chris Smith was honored as the Most Outstanding Player at the BIG EAST Conference Tournament, scoring 54 points in three games as UConn won its first-ever league tourney title. He was also the New England Basketball Coaches Association Player-of-the-Year. Smith was a First Team All-BIG EAST pick as a senior in 1991-92, was also the United States Basketball Writers Association District I Player-of-the- Year, and was named a Second Team All-American by Basketball Times magazine. He was selected in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and played three seasons in the NBA with the Timberwolves. He then enjoyed a successful pro career in Europe.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is it Dodge-Gumbo?

Johnny Gumbo ecstatic, via email, about hero Neil Diamond's announced overdue election into the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame.  As I have mentioned on more than one occasion, The Reet and I attended a Neil Diamond concert with the Gumbo at the Hartford Civic Center one agonizingly long evening in the early 1990's before I knew him well enough to turn down his offer of tickets.  I'm not sure if I got one of Neil's sweaty scarves that night, but if I didn't, I was in the minority.  We did, however, have a very pleasant pre-concert meal at the old Hot Tomato's down at Union Station.   In addition to the Gumbo (or The Gumbo as he gets ready for The Ohio State University football bowl game), brothers Jim/Joe and sister-in-law Nancy have broken out the bubbly to toast Brother Love.  (Despite my sarcasm, I am a big fan of Diamond's early music.  I will continue to pass on experiencing him in the flesh).  My top five Neil Diamond songs:
  1. Red Red Wine (a big hit for UB40)
  2. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show
  3. Cherry, Cherry
  4. I'm a Believer (a hit for the Monkees)
  5. Sweet Caroline (if you can get by the fact it was written about a pre-teen Caroline Kennedy)

I, on the other hand, raise my glass to this gentleman's deserving, yet surprising, election (I LOVE this song): 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sawtelles release Triptych...

The latest from the Sawtelles debuted at Cafe Nine last Saturday night, just in time for Christmas!  Grab a copy here.  The legendary Plantsville duo will be appearing on 12/18/10 at Neverending Books on State Street, New Haven and on 1/3/11 at Thai Typhoon Restaurant on Main Street, Middletown (free, good Thai food, byob).  Here's the song listing taken (stolen?) from their new website:
  1. circus  
  2. lose her  
  3. brand new phase  
  4. redemption    
  5. accident  
  6. fight your way out
  7. ghost of johnny cash  
  8. rise  
  9. trust

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gumbo, Mother's feud reaches fever pitch...

Mother, you had me, but I never had you,
I wanted you, but you didn't want me,
So I got to tell you, goodbye, goodbye.

The Incident- Mother's Restaurant 2009
It's official! Johnny Gumbo, in response to a perceived disrespect given him (and his shrimp po boy order) at Mother's Restaurant on Saturday evening, announced today, through his press secretary, that he is leading a boycott of the famous New Orleans landmark. He hopes to use his considerable influence as one of the country's leading event planners to teach Mother's that there are some people you just don't want to mess with. Johnny Gumbo is them people. "Saturday dinner (at Mother's), some low-rent sandwich place with very poor service, the meal was disgusting, would never eat there again, others need to know how bad it is."

When asked to comment on the boycott, a Mother's representative replied, "Who the fuck is Johnny Gumbo?" Stay tuned folks, this could get ugly.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tonight...alas, we're home....

SPECIAL MONDAY EARLY SHOW (7 pm)• Skappo Presents: A Christmas Show with Members of The Blind Boys of Alabama (Jimmy Carter, Ricky McKinnie and Joey Williams) • "The Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Celebrated by The Grammys and The National Endowment for the Arts with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five Grammy Awards, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans over 60 years and shows no signs of diminishing.Their performances have been experienced by millions on The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman, the Grammy Awards telecast, 60 Minutes, and on their own holiday PBS Special.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Brownies (5-7) v. Buffalo Bills (2-10); one word- EXCITEMENT!....

Sunday morning, listening to Tab Benoit's Power of the Pontchartrain, Johnny River's Greatest Hits, A Tribute to Howlin' Wolf, Zoot Sims' Down Home

Getting ready for Buffalo (two post-game words- we suck):
Buffalo Soldier (Bob Marley) songfacts
Buffalo Gals (Malcolm McLaren) songfacts
I Cut Like a Buffalo (Dead Weather) YouTube
Can't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd (Roger Miller)
Baby Buffalo (James Taylor)
Donna the Buffalo

Friday, December 10, 2010

Road kill....

So, I'm driving from my house to my office early Friday afternoon listening to Gil Scott-Heron's new CD, when I look in the rear view mirror and see this truck-type vehicle RIGHT ON MY ASS!  Hmmmmmm, did I cut someone off at that last intersection.  No, I'm pretty sure I didn't.  Well, fuck him then.  But he/they continue to blink lights, blare the horn.  Assholes.  He/they persist, so I'm thinking, wtf?  And i pull over.  They pull up next to me.  THE POOL HALL STUDS!  I was right.  ASSHOLES!  Hey, join us for a drink at the Hearthstone Pub?  Oh, okay.

A toast to Johnny Gumbo out in the Great Northleft.  Jazz Fest about five months away and Gumbo has already booked the rooms at Staybridge, but jury is out whether or not he will settle his ongoing two-year feud with Mother's, located right across the street.  (Gumbo email: Attached are the reservations for the rooms in NOLA at Staybridge for the Fest. Both rooms are guaranteed under my card but are not pre-paid and can be cancelled up to 24 hours prior. Comes out to $107+/night/person.  The hotel was willing to honor my request that my  and JK's room not look out over that rip-off joint across the street that pretends to serve food).   Mark in town to put down Brown Betty.  Yes, a sad day.  One wonders if she should have instead been shipped out west to the vast Johnny Gumbo Museum of Misused Vehicles for her final resting place.

Meanwhile, AJ's/Bonterra staff picks for the Fav Four project:
stones - mothers little helper
billie holiday - god bless the child
harry chapin - cats in the cradle
zeppelin - tangerine
eagles hotel california
floyd - wish u were here
jim croce - time in a bottle
u2 - one ( cover by warren haynes )
melissa etheridge I'm the only one
meatloaf - paradise by the dashboard light (YouTube)
queen - bohemian rhapsody
roberta flack - killing me softly

JK comment: Before we go any further, excellent call on the Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Great song; actually, great album. Meatloaf should have quit after this one. Ellen Foley (who preceded Margie Post on Night Court) was the chick singer. R.I.P. Phil Rizzuto.

Please Mr. Custer, I don't wanna go....

BILLINGS, Mont. – Frayed, torn and maybe even a little bloodstained, the only U.S. flag not captured or lost during George Armstrong Custer's "Last Stand" at the Battle of Little Bighorn sold for $54 when it first surfaced in the 1890s.  On Friday, the swallow-tailed 7th U.S. Cavalry flag, known as a "guidon," is expected to bring up to $5 million at an auction at Sotheby's in New York.  And while Custer's reputation has risen and fallen over the years — once considered a hero, he's regarded by some contemporary scholars as an inept leader and savage American Indian killer — the guidon has emerged as the stuff of legend. (more)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Priceless (even though it's you're)...

Thirsty Thursday....

Still time to get your fav four songs of all time.
Lots of interesting lists.  Go here and click comments section at the bottom.  New Johnnyk list (hey, I can do as many as I like):
  1. Lived in Bars- Cat Power (forgot about this until G-Man reminded me; that voice! great video, too!)
  2. Lay Around the Shanty- Jonathan Edwards (who didn't see this guy at least five times in CT in the 1970's!)
  3. Christmas Card From a Hooker In Minneapolis- Tom Waits (last song on my first XMas CD, Johnny K Has the Blues This Christmas; some loved it, many hated it; I think it's a wonderfully sad holiday song)
  4. The Wanderer- Dion (Bronx street corner cool back in the day)

Sad news on the doorstep.
Aretha Franklin has (possibly incurable) pancreatic cancer - story

Email from Plantsville's own, The Sawtelles!
New CD release party Saturday night @ cafe nine, state street, new haven w/ frank critelli-type of music and ed leonard's age of reason.  We're told 9pm.  We do not know the order but you should stay for all bands anyway as they are all of our friends and make some awesome music. 

our new disc:  tryptych.  colors:  blue/gold/silver  why not one color like usual?  because there are three different types of songs, regular guitar, banjo, and slide guitar songs, three each.

email me for nutcracker info.  one is this sunday 2p @ the learning corridor over by hartford hosp (traditional-type of dancing).  I am the Mouse Battle Queen and in the Snow and Flower scenes. and saturday dec 18th 2p and 8p w/CONNetic Dance, which is presenting a very contemporary version of the nutcracker.  I am in various scenes thruout the production.  @ the aetna theatre wadsworth athenaum hartford.

Touch me, babe, can't you see that I am not afraid...
Jim Morrison has been pardoned for his indecent exposure, but I'm not sure he appreciates the gesture - story

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Rolling Stone's Best Albums of 2010...

1. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2. The Black Keys, Brothers
3. Elton John and Leon Russell, The Union
4. Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
5. Jamey Johnson, The Guitar Song
6. Vampire Weekend, Contra
7. Drake, Thank Me Later
8. Robert Plant, Band of Joy
9. Eminem, Recovery
10. LCD Soundsystem, This Is Happening
11. The Dead Weather, Sea of Cowards
12. John Mellencamp, No Better Than This
13. Taylor Swift, Speak Now
14. Robyn, Body Talk
15. The National, High Violet
16. Kid Rock, Born Free
17. Beach House, Teen Dream
18. Kings of Leon, Come Around Sundown
19. M.I.A., Maya
20. Neil Young, Le Noise
21. Big Boi, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty ///
22. Spoon, Transference
23. Elizabeth Cook, Welder
24. Maximum Balloon, Maximum Balloon
25. Superchunk, Majesty Shredding
26. Yeasayer, Odd Blood
27. Peter Wolf, Midnight Souvenirs
28. My Chemical Romance, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
29. The Roots, How I Got Over
30. Rick Ross, Teflon Don

Gumbo & The Studs finally arrive...

First, late last night (I think it's late morning there), Johnny Gumbo finally graces us with his fav four, together with a jab at UConn Huskies football:

OK, here's the Gumbo's.
1.Peggy Sue - Buddy Holly (first record I ever bought at age 10)
2.Whiskey River - Willie Nelson (opener for every Willie concert and his signature song)
3.I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2 (best song from the best album ever recorded)
4.Late in the Evening - Paul Simon (love that salsa rhythm and the horn section)

By the way.....UCONN in a BCS bowl game...come Huskie fans have to be a little embarrassed .... another example of why college football needs a playoff system!

from the left coast.......jg

Next, late this afternoon, Barry can't contain himself, he shows off by giving us an extra category:
I'm assuming u want my favorite four; because i'm late I will give my cajun fav. four and my all time favorites:
Buddy Guy - feels like rain
Theresa Andersson - I am I
Boozoo Chavis - give me cornbread
Wayne toups - sweet Jolene
David Bowie - young american
ZZ top - La grange
lyle lovett - She's no lady
Van Morrison - Tupelo honey
                 how's that barry

Last (and arguably least), Marky G:
JK: Just too many favs to narrow to 4 as it all depends on the scene
1.Muddy Waters = I'm your hoochie coochie man
2.Clash = London Calling
3.Beatles = Let it be
4.Etta James = I'd rather go blind
A close #5 = Stevie Ray Vaughn = Superstition (I know Stevie Wonder did it but please 1 of the best covers ever)

JK observation:  
Actually, these guys really do know their shit, but that statement is off the record because I'd never hear the end of it.  Kudos to Gumbo for the accompanying personal connections; Barry, very nice call with the Lyle Lovett, but is the Theresa Andersson pick for the song or the singer? Mark, Etta James would kick your ass!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Featured fav four- Yvette K (still waiting on Johnny Gumbo and the Pool Hall Studs)...

Thanks for the responses to the Weekend Assignment! Some intriguing lists, so I've decided to feature a few over the next couple weeks. First up - Yvette:

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Weekend assignment: give up your fav four!!!!!!!....

This is what they do at The Hartford (geez, how pretentious is THAT name!) while their customers assume they are insuring, investing, actuaring, hedge-funding, ponzi-scheming, posing with mooses, etc.  My friend 'Rant On' smuggled (via WikiLeaks) this important eyes only exercise:
Write down your all-time favorite songs.  NOT those you consider the best, but rather your personal favorites, for whatever reason (Sharie, perhaps you could note that special Queen song you shared with that rich, handsome hunk who dumped you before you had to settle for Keith).  Gus, I'm looking at you.  Here are those from The Hartford group (kudos, some really diverse lists; no artist/group had over two selections!):
In-A-Godda-Da-Vida Iron Butterfly
Copperline James Taylor
Taxi Harry Chapin
Piano Man Billy Joel
I cross my heart George Strait
Whiter Shade of Pale Procol Harem
Angel Eyes Jeff Healy
Rock Steady  The Whispers
Friends in Low Places Garth Brooks
Don't Worry, Be Happy  Bobby McFarrin
The Lion Sleeps Tonight The Tokens
Harlem Nocture Kofi
Gimme shelter Stones
I feel good James Brown
Redneck Woman  Gretchen Wilson
Imagine John Lennon
Dakota Stereophonics
Angels Losing Sleep Our Lady Peace
Where the Streets Have No Name U2
Possum Kingdom    Toadies
While My Guitar Gently Weeps John Lennon
Over the Rainbow  Israel Kamakawlwo'ole
Landslide Fleetwood Mac
Brown Eyed Girl  Van Morrison
Stairway to Heaven    Lead Zeppelin 
Within Without You    The Beatles
Kryptonite 3 Doors Down
Iris Goo Goo Dolls
Old Time Rock & Roll  Bob Seger
Family Tradition Hank Williams Jr.
Under the Boardwalk The Drifters
Five O’clock Somewhere Alan Jackson w/ Jimmy Buffet
What a Wonderful World Louis Armstrong
Turn the Page Bob Seger
Fireflys Owl City
Beth Kiss
She Walks the Earth  Sting
Pretzel Logic  Steely Dan
Brand New Day  Sting
West End Girls Pet Shop Boys
Mony, Mony  Billy Idol
Locomotive Breath Jethro Tull
All Along the Watchtower  Dave Mason
Ramble On  Led Zepplin
Louie Louie The Kingsmen
Seventh Son  Johnny Rivers
Shotgun  Jr Walker and the Allstars
Southern Cross Crosby, Stills, and Nash
A Song For You  Donny Hathaway
Baby  Justin Bieber
All About Love  Earth, Wind and Fire
Low Down Boz Scaggs
Moondance Van Morrison
Hallelujah Jeff Buckley
12 Volt Man Jimmy Buffet
Breakdown Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Soulshine Gov't Mule
Red Barchetta Rush
Try a Little Tenderness Otis Redding
Leader of The Band Dan Fogelberg

Okay, okay, here are mine (subject to immediate second-guessing):
Positively 4th Street (Bob Dylan)
Me and Mr. Jones (Amy Winehouse)
There She Goes (The La's)
Blue (Lucinda Williams)

Post yours in the comments or email them to me and I'll post for you.  Thanks.