Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Jazz Fest cubes are out! The Jazz Fest cubes are out!...

Some very tough choices to be made!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Our girl Lucinda in the New Yorker this week...

Lu in the afternoon by Nick Paumgarten
There are few things more perilous on tour than a free afternoon. Lucinda Williams, the singer and songwriter, had one during a swing through the city not long ago to play a couple of gigs. “Last time I was in New York, we went to Trash and Vaudeville, and I spent—how much, honey?” Honey was her manager and husband of two years, Tom Overby, a mild and lanky Minnesotan. They were out on the sidewalk in Cooper Square in the dying light of an idle Sunday. They hadn’t been awake long. (Williams sleeps past noon while on tour.) “This was before we realized we were broke,” Williams went on. “I spent, like, eight thousand dollars.” So shopping was out. Instead, it was decided, they would get a drink. A few blocks away, they found an airy Italian restaurant, sat down at the bar, and ordered a bottle of Brunello. The bartender, sensing something, poured Williams the first taste. “Mmm, yeah, that’s good,” she said.  Read more

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nine down, two to go...


Stick with the Dogs
They're man's best friend
You'll always get a little action
Stick with the Dogs
They're man's best friend
Guaranteed satisfaction

(Fabulous Farquahr )

Saturday afternoon waitin' for the Huskies trail mix...

The Yankee Flipper (The Baseball Project) Frozen Ropes & Dying Quails
People Grinnin' In Your Face (Ruthie Foster) The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster
Street Symphony (The Subdudes) Unplugged At Pleasant
Little Lion Man (Mumford & Sons) Sigh No More
Come Into My Life (Jimmy Cliff) Wonderful World, Beautiful People
Sweet Jane (Lou Reed) Live In Italy
Birds (Neil Young) After the Goldrush
Sunday Kind of Love (Ben Sidran) That's Life I Guess
I Can't Help Myself (Bonnie Raitt) Green Light
Arson (The Sawtelles) Dime Museum
Sweet And Lovely (Thelonious Monk Quartet) Monk's Dream
Vinegaroon (Calexico) The Black Light
Blind (Talking Heads) Best of the Talking Heads
Twisted World (Doug Sahm) Day Dreaming At Midnight
Hiss-On-U (Al Anderson) Pay Before You Pump
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pink Floyd) Wish You Were Here
Indian Summer (Earl Hines) Tour De France
Real World (Anders Osborne) Rabadash Records

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Andy, did you ever listen to the Big Star cd I gave you for Christmas?...

Big Star's third album finally gets star treatment
NEW YORK (Reuters) – It was supposed to be a celebration.  Big Star, mostly unheralded in the 1970s but now revered by generations of younger bands, was scheduled to perform in Austin, Texas in March, last year.  Three days before the show, Chris Stamey, founding member of the dB's and Big Star acolyte, was planning to fly in and pitch a new project to the band: a series of performances of its legendary third album -- alternately called "Third" or "Sister Lovers" -- that included a full string ensemble.  That morning, before Stamey left, Big Star frontman Alex Chilton died of a heart attack at age 59. But instead of derailing the project, Chilton's death gave it momentum.  "There was a greater sense of purpose for this now," Big Star drummer Jody Stephens said of Stamey's project.  So, Stamey has assembled a group that includes Stephens, Michael Stipe and Mike Mills from R.E.M., Mitch Easter from Let's Active and Matthew Sweet, and they are slated to perform the album the way on Saturday at New York City's Mason Hall.  If you don't know Big Star, you are not alone, but you may have heard their work. Their song "In the Street" was the theme for TV's "That '70s Show," performed by Cheap Trick. And if that song is unfamiliar, many of rock's biggest acts of the '80s and '90s performing alt-rock, grunge rock and even today's power pop songs, owe some debt to the band. (more)

Dan forwards a belated, but tasty, fav three...

Wondering where the lions are (Bruce Cockburn)
In your eyes (Peter Gabriel)
Seven bridges road (The Eagles)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Newport Jazz Festival announces 2011 schedule...

The Newport Jazz Festival features Michael Feinstein "Come Fly with Me" with Special Guest Joe Negri plus Wynton Marsalis on Friday, August 5, 8:00 pm at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino. 

On Saturday, August 6, 11:30 am - 7:00 pm at Fort Adams State Park on Harrison Avenue, catch Wynton Marsalis; Esperanza Spalding & Friends I; Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band; Al Di Meola World Sinfonia; Michel Camilo "Mano a Mano" with Giovanni Hidalgo and Charles Flores; Hiromi; Mujeres De Agua by Javier Limon featuring Buika; Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue; Regina Carter's Reverse Thread; Steve Coleman and Five Elements; Joey DeFrancesco Trio; Grace Kelly with Special Guest Phil Woods; Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet; Mostly Other People Do the Killing; and New Black Eagle Jazz Band.

The Festival continues at Fort Adams State Park on Sunday, August 7, 11:30 - 7:00 pm, with Esperanza Spalding & Friends II; Angelique Kidjo; James Farm with Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman & Eric Harland; Hiromi: The Trio Project; Charles Lloyd with Guest Zakir Hussain; Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue; Mingus Big Band; Ravi Coltrane Quartet; Randy Weston's African Rhythms Trio; Miguel Zenon's Alma Adentro with Conductor/Arranger Guillermo Klein; John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble with Guest Uri Caine; Avishai Cohen's Triveni with Guest Anat Cohen; Apex: Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green; and Brubeck Brothers.

All Tickets are available online, by phone and by mail. For general information, craft vendor information or to leave a message for festival staff, call the festival hotline at (401) 848-5055. (article)

Monday, March 21, 2011

(Bruce) Pearl Jammed...

I'm still alive, but I don't have a job.  Anyone want to come to my BBQ?  (story)

Monday morning reality...

Brackets are in ruins.  UConn/San Diego State game is slated for 7:15 pm on Thursday.  Ruthie loses out.  Anyone want tickets?
Jimmy Kimmel, left, and Billy Gibbons, right, join Rachael Ray at her Feedback 
side party during the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas 
on Saturday, March 19, 2011. Photo: Jack Plunkett / AP

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ruthie Foster causing domestic problems...

Good news:  UConn Huskies beat Cincinnati to advance to Sweet Sixteen next Thursday.
Good news:  Ruthie Foster concert coming up this week in Fairfield.
Not so good news:  Same night.  The Reet is on a rampage, adamantly refusing to go, but I'm holding out to see if we can pull off this very tricky daily double.  Go Huskies!  Go Ruthie!

I was disappointed to hear Reece Davis say (once again) that the quest had just begun for the Capital One Cup.  I was hoping it had ended.  Who gives a shit? 

Nice review of The Sawtelles' new CD, Tryptych, in the New Haven Advocate (read here).  You can purchase the CD at

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I heard the (Sawtelles) news today, oh boy....

Plantsville duo featured in the Southington Observer (2/14/11)

The Sawtelles offer up a “Tryptych” to their fans
Peter and Julie, the Plantsville hardworking duo known as the Sawtelles, have a new album out, called “Tryptych.” And The Observer caught up with the twosome via email to see what’s new and different in their nerve rock world. 
OBSERVER: First of all, how does the new album differ from your previous efforts? 
SAWTELLES: Everything for “Tryptych” was done at home so that we didn’t have to block out/ run out of time/ money. Everything was set up and left so that we could record at any time.
Q: Did you keep it DIY?
A: Totally DIY. If we rolled out of bed and wanted to do some recording in our pajamas that’s what we did. (There was) no packing gear in the car, driving some place, unloading, setting up and then finally getting to putting sounds down.  Plenty of musicians want no part of recording themselves, hate the decision-making of what to do/ how to sound. But we love it. Peter is the guy behind the board. I’ll give some input but I totally
trust his judgment. I’ve gone off to dance class and come home and he’s whipped up some fabulous sounds (like on “Ghost of Johnny Cash”).
O:What makes you most proud of the album?
S: Thus far we seem to be getting a positive reaction to the songs. Also being able to turn knobs ourselves and not directing anyone else to get the sounds we heard in our heads
O: I noticed a lot more harmonies now, or more noticeable harmonies.  How did that come about?
S: Playing some of the songs live at our shows (83 this year alone!) let the songs evolve on to more complex harmonies.  Once the first backgrounds have been part of the song, adding other layers is very easy. - (more 1) (more 2)

Johnnykmusic comment:  You can catch  Pete and Julie on the 1st Friday of each month at Typhoon Restaurant, Main Street, Middletown.  Bring your own beer/wine, taste some great Thai cuisine and listen to the Sawtelles.  Sounds like a winner!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yeah, Louisville to win it all was a brilliant pick!...

No miracle needed tonight for the Huskies, though.

Top o' the morning to you!...

A virtual St. Paddy's Day hello from the Gumbo! 
No, ney, never no more, will he play the Wild Rover (yeah, right!)

(From The Gumbo) - "Will be “quaffing” a few today at O’Malley’s Pub. Designated driver will be along. My son’s in NOLA today thru the weekend. He and his buddies go somewhere every year (last year Las Vegas) to party and watch the opening rounds of the tourney. Have directed them to frequent Lucy’s and stay away from that dump restaurant on the corner of Tchp and Poydras."

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Did ESPN (part of the GO network?) take Joe Lunardi out to the woodshed?....

We're all set and excited for Ruthie Foster next Thursday night at Stage One in Fairfield.  Keith/Sharie are doing a cooking class in New Haven and Rant On has a retirement party in Hartford, but we've got Vinnie/Marcia and Maureen/Mark (aka The Big Me) set to go.  Mark's Pool Hall Stud partner Barry D is undecided.

As a public service, Johnnykmusic offers the following tips for those who are still on the social networking prowl: 
  • Attn: Cambridge/Somerville - Top 10 cities to date a nerd - article
  • Just a heads-up (sorta):  Oral sex is leading cause of increasing U.S. cancer rates - article
How about a little Esperanza Spaulding? 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I'm the friendly stranger in the black sedan, won't you hop inside my car...

(Wikipedia)- The Ides of March (Latin: Idus Martii) is the name of 15 March in the Roman calendar, probably referring to the day of the full moon. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months.  The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Roman Senate led by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and 60 other co-conspirators. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey (where he would be assassinated), Caesar visited with a seer who had foretold that harm would come to him not later than the Ides of March. Caesar joked, "Well, the Ides of March have come", to which the seer replied "Ay, they have come, but they are not gone."  This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned to "beware the Ides of March".

Monday, March 14, 2011

Leon 'N Mac, a coupla funky fuckers....

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces the artists who will induct this year’s honorees. 
Alice Cooper will be inducted by Rob Zombie 
Neil Diamond will be inducted by Paul Simon 
Dr. John will be inducted by John Legend 
Darlene Love will be inducted by Bette Midler 
Tom Waits will be inducted by Neil Young 
Leon Russell will be inducted by Elton John 

NEW YORK – New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John wore a bright purple suit for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, leading a class with Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper and Tom Waits. Singer Darlene Love, whose voice cut through Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound," called her induction into the Hall her best 70th birthday present.  Pianist Leon Russell also was to be inducted at a black-tie dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan. A tape of the ceremony is to air March 20 on Fuse.  Dr. John said he felt "like I'm blessed to be singing, to be breathing."  He was inducted by singer John Legend, who recalled meeting him at a benefit for Hurricane Katrina relief. Legend said the new Hall of Fame member has been a leading global ambassador for New Orleans and its special musical gumbo.  "He has never stopped flying the flag of funk," Legend said. "Tonight, he is definitely in the right place at the right time."  That was a reference to one of Dr. John's best-known songs, "Right Place, Wrong Time," with Allen Toussaint and the Meters. (more)


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just how BAD was the CBS selection show!!!!!!....

Dreadful, amateurish, unprepared.  Chuck Barkley had no clue about any of the teams, frantically looking through his notes to name-check SOMEONE!  Kenny (The Jet) Smith was awful as well.  NBA guys thrown in without proper knowledge of the subject.

Over on ESPN (still part of the GO Network?), Dickie V not only threw his alma mater, Seton Hall, under the bus ("I didn't get to go to one of those good schools, I went to Seton Hall..."), but then compared VCU v. Colorado by stating that "It's like dragging up Rosanne Barr against Scarlett Johansson, baby!"  Nice.

Sunday morning sprung forward (already?) mix...

Ring of Flame (Christine Ohlman) Wicked Time
Maybe I'm Amazed (Bettye LaVette) Interpretations
Echoes (Joann Brackeen) Invitation
The Woofy Girl Stroll (Corky Siegel) Corky Siegel's Traveling
Travelin' Band (Jerry Lee Lewis) Last Man Standing
Cantata BWV 63 (The Bach Choir of Bet) Dorian Sampler
Tornadoes (Drive-By Truckers) The Dirty South
Streets of Baltimore (The Little Willies) The Little Willies
Doubt (The Corin Tucker Band) 1,000 Years
Prove Your Love (Fleetwood Mac) Heroes Are Hard To Find
The Sudden Stop (Lou Ann Barton) Old Enough
Sinister Kid (The Black Keys) Brothers
I Fall In Love Too Easily (Sarah Vaughn) The Roulette Years
TV Mama (Taj Mahal) Maestro
Big Noise From Speonk (Lovin' Spoonful) Daydream
You Don't Know (Doug Sahm) Day Dreaming at Midnight
Shake A Hand (Lou Ann Barton) Read My Lips

Sunday morning, comin' down...

You know, this guy is pretty good.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Isn't Pat Haden the AD (and former QB) at USC? Oh, THAT Haydn....

Peter, fresh from trashing Lu, heaps praise
Friday night in Worcester for Haydn's The Creation, and there is no trouble getting a parking spot right across the street from Mechanics Hall (, self described "acoustical masterpiece" and "one of the world's great concert halls." Sort of "most beloved".....

Pre-show talk cancelled, so I have time to kill and walk down Main Street to Armsby Abbey ( for a Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. Nice dark old timey bar with good beer and usually good locavore food. Sit at the bar next to two academic sounding guys who I figure will be at The Creation (they are).

Mechanics Hall is indeed impressive, especially the main hall, which really is gorgeous...the rest of the presentation of the building could use some energy.

The performance is terrific. Professional/academic soloists imported from Oberlin, Harvard, BU, local (I assume amateur) orchestra and chorus. The choral director and conductor's bio sounds like he is an Aussy, but also CT, Hart BA, Yale MA, and a stint at the Greater Middletown Chorus! Stage full, lots of horsepower for a big piece of music that I have been listening to for a couple of months. The big choral pieces by Haydn, Handel, Beethoven are incredibly powerful, and enjoyable to listen to.

After the performance the orchestra and chorus people .... mostly middle aged men and women.... come down into the audience in their tuxes and black dresses and pearls for hugs from family and friends. It must be tremendously satisfying to be able to keep up with music all your life and at a high level. I think maybe a lot like being able to keep playing a sport at a satisfying level as you get older. I'm impressed.

Johnnyk comments:
Good morning.  You've had a busy music week!  I gave Lucinda another spin and I think I like it.  Sounds more understated, hearkening back to her earlier albums where she didn't try to be so trashy rock (except for Buttercup, which has a good sound, but awful lyrics).  Give her another try.  I'll see her live at Jazz Fest this year.   

A couple weeks ago, when Garrett and Yvette came up, I tried to get the crew down to Sprague Hall (I think) for a lecture/chamber music event, but couldn't convince them that it was a really cool thing.  Oh well. 

Great day of hoops yesterday.  Worked until 2, then down to Payne-Whitney (they call it something else now, maybe because Payne & Whitney can't contribute anymore!) for the Harvard-Princeton game with Chris, Tommy & Kathy (Jan was sick).  Great atmosphere!  That's a great place.  I remember my father taking me to see Yale v Holy Cross (with Jack 'The Shot' Foley) as a kid and we played our HS semi-final there (well, I sat the bench) my junior year.  One of the highlights was a student's 'scoreboard' showing Harvard leading with U.S. Presidents 8-2 (can you name them?), while also "winning" the 'In New Jersey' category 0-1.  I wish I could remember some of the others.  

Finished the day with dinner with Tommy/Kathy at Gianni's in Meriden, then watched the Huskies (bastards version) beat the Celtics' franchise destroyer, Rick Pitino, and his Louisville Cardinals for the Big East title.  I wonder if he reserved another post-closing table for two after the game.  "Sir, would you like a glass of Chianti with that dish?"   Do you want in on Keith Anderson's NCAA pool this year?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Peter bitchslaps Lucinda's new Blessed; likes her better live at HOB...

Peter M's exclusive review of Lucinda Williams' concert Wednesday night at the Boston House of Blues:

Peter not feeling Blessed
Tuesday afternoon at my CD store got a couple of Mahler symphonies and a Mozart opera....and got Blessed.

Wednesday driving in to meet up for the show put the CD in. I had liked what I heard on Youtube. Hmmmm.....this Buttercup doesn't shine too good. She sounds AWFUL! More cuts, more of the same. This CD SUCKS! She better listen to Willy Nelson's advice and pick up the tempo, or this night is going to be a bummer.

After driving around looking for parking for too long and then walking too far in the cold around America's most beloved ballpark (still wrapped in tarps after another winter of improvements), finally got to our meeting spot, The Citizen Pub. (There are very few un-pretentious bars in Boston...this not one of them, but it was fine.) Kay was already there just off a plane from a couple of days in DC, my friend Caryn arrived shortly,  and then Carolyn off the T. Couple of drinks and snacks and we're off, hoofing it down to House of Blues in the shadow of the Green Monster.

Great timing...the opening act is wrapping up, and Lucinda comes out after a few minutes. Whew...relief as soon as she opens her mouth and sings  "just want to see you so bad" and sounds great. Not the cracking-voiced old lady, Edith Piaf imitation on the CD. Get another Sierra Nevada, this is going to be fun.  Good show, mix of familiar and new. I still don't love the Blessed stuff, but it was way better live than on CD. Lucinda sounded great, strong and clear.

We were entertained through most of the show by a young dancing couple, a pretty, slim girl in fashiony leggings and shawls and her skinny boyfriend in grubby hoody, jeans, ball cap, and scruffy beard. She's dancing sinuously and sexily, sometimes solo, sometimes wrapped around Butch, and sometimes with a drink balanced on top of her head! In a plastic cup! No kidding. She left fairly early....I suspect the corps de ballet goes to work early. Inexplicably, Butch comes back, but is soon escorted off by STAFF. Too sexy for HOB? Caryn says she got a whiff of weed.   Kay and Carolyn leave a little early, and we stay for a couple more songs, but when she starts another Blessed number we call it a night. 

Johnnykmusic comment:  Yikes, I kinda liked Blessed, although I admit that Buttercup is embarrassingly bad. I'm encouraged that she sounded strong and clear last night, for I was despairing that the voice I once adored had been going the way of one Bobby Zimmerman.  (By the way, what were you doing near Wrigley Field?) 
Boston Globe review

It don't get no smoother, Son....

Jazz and Strings does 'Trane & Hartman (Owen McNally)
Despite a messy snow storm the day before and wintry weather on the day of its premiere concert in March 2009, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra's "Jazz and Strings" series drew a packed, enthusiastic house at a Hartford church.  The series, with its fusion of jazz and classical, got off to a high-flying start musically. Two years later, its level hasn't faltered as it prepares for its fifth presentation this weekend, an homage to the 1963 album, "John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman."  The series, which has paid homage to famous jazz albums by giants ranging from Charlie Parker to Ella Fitzgerald, has once again cast excellent performers to fill the roles of the original immortals for its concert Friday at 8 p.m. at the Theater for the Performing Arts at the Learning Corridor, in Hartford. Giacomo Gates, one of today's few authentic male jazz singers (a highly endangered species in 2011), is cast as Hartman, performing four selections from the famous, gorgeous ballad album, plus other material associated with Coltrane.  Wayne Escoffery, the rising tenor saxophonist and onetime Jackie McLean protégé, is, in an exceptional piece of casting, set to play Coltrane. He'll perform selections from the album plus additional Coltrane-related material, perhaps even including Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue," a signature Trane track and guaranteed show-stopper. - (more)

Johnnykmusic: John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman is one of my favorite albums of ALL time and it is being performed Friday night in Hartford featuring vocalist Giacomo Gates and saxophonist Wayne Escoffery.  However, because of Kemba's buzzer-beater, I will be in front of the big screen watching Huskies/Orange.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Alas, no Mardi Gras Night at AJ's this year. 

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Thai-ing one on Friday night with the Sawtelles...

Just back on Sunday afternoon with more hoops disappointment- the Quinnipiac Bobcats are beaten 64-62 in the NEC semi-finals by Robert Morris at the TD Bank Sportscenter in Hamden.  No trip to Brooklyn on Wednesday for the finals.  No NCAAs again this year, finishing 22-9 (recap).

On the bright side, we dined at Typhoon on Middletown's "Restaurant Row" Friday night while enjoying the ever tasty music of The Sawtelles, who have just penned  "we hope you took a disc with you friday nite!  thanks for dragging out your posse to typhoon and perhaps they'll want more abuse in the future."  We did (I grabbed Dime Museum) and we will be back!

Sunday mourning (damn Huskies) mix...

Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha (Sam Cooke) The Best of...
Cigarettes And Coffee (Otis Redding) The Very Best of...
You Must Believe In Spring (Freddy Cole) Always
Feeling Music Brings (Susan Tedeschi) Wait For Me
Across the Great Divide (The Band) Rock of Ages
Country John (Allen Toussaint) The Allen Toussaint Collection
Louis Riel (Amos Garrett/Doug Sahm) The Return of the Formerly Brothers
It's a Long Lonely Highway (Ingrid Lucia) Don't Stop
Alison (Elvis Costello) My Aim Is True
Cold Nights (The Subdudes) Annunciation
A House In the Country (The Pretty Things) Get a Buzz
Life Floats By (The Jayhawlks) Smile
Wild Wild Life (Talking Heads) Best of...
Guantanamera (Celia Cruz) Mambo Kings
You Are My Sunshine (Erroll Garner) Contrasts

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Since I've been reading Life by fellow CT resident Keith Richards, this incident involving his fashion model daughter caught my eye...

Keith Richards' daughter Theodora arrested - It is not one of their big hits, but the Rolling Stones song “Little T & A” from “Tattoo You,” sung by Keith Richards, seems to have worked its way into one fan’s consciousness.  Now, three decades after the album hit the airwaves, Theodora Richards, the 25-year-old daughter of Mr. Richards, has been arrested on charges of leaving a graffiti tag on a building in Lower Manhattan.  The tag appears that it might be, among other things, a reference to the song Ms. Richards’s father sang: it consists of a T, a symbol for a heart, and an A, according to a law enforcement official. - (compete story)

Just when you thought today's music is crap, a talented new artist like this comes along...

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Keeping up with The Gumbo....

Word out of the Great NorthLeft is that Johnny Gumbo, lead singer/sax player of The Johnny Gumbo Party Band, is vacationing in Mexico while writing songs for his upcoming album, Dodge Balls.  His previous album, Western Horizons, went plastic.