Friday, July 29, 2011

Email from Ronnie Spector...

I'll be at Damrosch Park Bandshell in Lincoln Center for the big Girl Group show and a tribute to my dear friend Ellie Greenwich Saturday 7/30/11.   Playing keyboards and singing back-up will be the women who wrote my very last recording in the 1960's, Toni Wine.

My tribute to Amy Winehouse will be available on-line this Tuesday.  Proceeds go to Daytop Village, a substance abuse treatment center for adults and teens throughout New York and the surrounding areas.
Facebook -

Some free Saturday history/entertainment in NYC...

NYC ARTS Venues David Rubenstein Atrium Listings Out of Doors Festival: Ponderosa Stamp: Girl Talk

David Rubenstein Atrium
(between 62nd and 63rd Streets)
New York, NY  10023
Tel: (212) 875-5350
Visit Web Site
Free admission (all visitors, all hours).

Dates & Hours: Sat, July 30, 2011, 12 pm – Sat, July 30, 2011, 4 pm

  • Barbara Harris (The Toys): Ponderosa Stomp
Click image(s) to enlarge slideshow

This Girl Group symposium reflects the music era of the 1960s and is moderated by Sheryl Farber, Alison Fensterstock and Lauren Onkey, including interviews with Lesley Gore, The Angels, and The Exciters, and a segment celebrating Ellie Greenwich’s life and legacy. Film archivist Joe Lauro will screen vintage footage of the girl group era in action.
12 pm-The Angels and the Exciters with Alison Fensterstock
1 pm- Interview with Lesley Gore with Sheryl Farber
2:15 pm -The Life and Legacy of Ellie Greenwich with Lauren Onkey

The Ponderosa Stomp: She's Got the Power! concert takes place from 5-10 pm at Damrosch Park.  The Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival takes place on the plazas of Lincoln Center from July 27 to August 14. Click here to view the full schedule of events. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday afternoon live Beehive at Muscle Shoals, Bama...

"Love Make You Do Stupid Things" goes swamp! With Christine Ohlman are most of the Decoys..Kelvin Holly on guitar, NC Thurman on keys, plus Mike Dilllon on drums and gospel harmonies....Muscle Shoals, AL on July 24, 2011 during the 2011 WC Handy Festival


Famous beehives:
Ronnie Spector & the Ronettes
Amy Winehouse
Christine Ohlman
Kate Pierson/Cindy Wilson of the B-52's
Dusty Springfield

Raise a pint (or two)...

Greater Hartford Irish Music Fest in Glastonbury this weekend (Friday through Sunday) at the Irish American Home (go figure), billed as the "Largest Irish Music Festival in New England."

Sorry, Johnny Gumbo will NOT make an appearance
Boston's Irish Rebel Band
Highland Rovers
Seven Nations
Colm O'Brien
Celtic Cross
The Rising
Shilelagh Law
Seven Nations
Andy Cooney
New York Show Band


The Grateful Dead...

Dan Peek (60), co-founder of America (and you thought it was Columbus), it's good to be out of the rain
Amy Winehouse (27), it has been said that death is an artist's greatest career move
Saxophonist Frank Foster (82)
Rob Grill (67), The Grass Roots, Let's Live For Today (must be tomorrow)
Manuel Garban  (80), Cuban guitarist for the Buena Vista Social Club

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some live Amy...

Take the Box on Later With Jools Holland (2003)
Me and Mr. Jones

Amy Winehouse performing "Monkey Man" on Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny (2007) backed by the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra with Dave Swift on Bass.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How smooth is this?...

Shelby Lynne and Tony Joe White- Rainy Night in Georgia:

1.Will put velvet out of business?
2.Not enough o's in smooooth?
3.Smooth as a prom queen's thigh? (heard this one years ago on Trinity College radio- great line!)

Wake up, godammit, it's Tuesday!...

From Jack White and Stephen Colbert:  The Black Belles

(From Yahoo) Swarming the music headlines this week, political funnyman Stephen Colbert debuted a musical collaboration produced by the hardestworking man in music, Jack White. With the fanfare surrounding his new song "Charlene II (I'm Over You)," the sequel to "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)," lurking as his black-suited backing band stood the Black Belles. Not to be confused as just being Colbert's band, the Black Belles are their own band--and a darn good one.

 But who are these ladies of darkness? Not much is known thus far--no names, no origins, very few photos (which only adds to the mystique). From what I could dig up from the Belle graves, the quartet is a brand-new band, discovered in the last year or so by Jack White, and they're currently signed to his Third Man Records label. Besides "Charlene," the Black Belles have only have one original recorded song, a fantastic cover of the Knickerbockers' 1960s classic "Lies," and have yet to record a debut album. (more)

Monday, July 25, 2011

New release: What Is Too Hip by Marcia V & Vinnie...

What Is Too Hip (Vista Records)
Can one be too hip?  Or two hipped?  Tell me, tell me if you think you know.  One thing is for sure, Marcia V will hip check you into the boards with her latest album, What Is Too Hip, a gumbo of tasty 'Haven-style blues, 60/70s Westie punk and sassy pop.  The title track attacks you with V's signature screeching vocals and doesn't let up for five numbing minutes.  I think it's a test: are you indeed hip enough.  I almost wasn't, but what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.  I was on life support.  But, miraculously, I was 'saved' by the total unexpected sweetness of former Westie Punk Gussy P's slide sitar guest solo on '99', a heart-felt gospel tribute to compatriot Steve the Bod.  Vinnie V (no relation), Marcia's long-time collaborator, lyricist and oboist, gets a rare turn at lead vocals on the countrified ditty New Sheriff In Town (an ode to Johnny E).  Next, MV stuns the senses once more with the strangest version of I Am the Walrus that I've ever heard, but I guess I'm too terrified not to like it.  Too unhip, perhaps?  It's out August 10.  I dare you!

Amy Winehouse with 'goddaughter' Dionne Bromfield...

Amy Winehouse's last gift to fans: Dionne Bromfield - article

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Johnny K's ever-changing top ten favorite albums (what are yours?)....

(In no particular order)

Top Ten
Back To Black (Amy Winehouse)
John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman (John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman)
The La's (The La's)
Bat Out of Hell (Meatloaf)
Moondance (Van Morrison)
Blonde On Blonde (Bob Dylan)
The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (Bruce Springsteen)
Dusty In Memphis (Dusty Springfield)
Sneaking Sally Through the Alley (Robert Palmer)
People Gonna Talk (James Hunter)

Honorable Mention:
Jaco Pastorius (Jaco Pastorius)
Dixie Chicken (Little Feat)
Gonna Take a Miracle (Laura Nyro & LaBelle)
All Summer Long (Beach Boys)
'Banana Album'  (Velvet Underground & Nico)
Live At the Fillmore East (Allman Brothers Band)
Sweet Old World (Lucinda Williams)
Midnight At the Oasis (Maria Muldaur)
Silver City (Sarah Borges)
The Heart of Saturday Night (Tom Waits)

I know you think your list is far superior, so gimme yours in the comments section or email me at .

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sadly, Amy, we kinda knew this was coming...

One of my favorites from the first time I heard her.  Back to Black is one of my top ten favorite albums of all time, putting a modern spin on 60s soul/girl group style, backed by Sharon Jones' fabulous Dap Kings.  Prompted me to sample Frank, her more jazz oriented first (and only other) album; liked it a lot (Andy, you still have it, my gift of a Christmas past?).  Her successful style begot the likes of Duffy, Adele, Lily Allen, etc., some of whom I really like, but none the match of Winehouse.  Unfortunately, she quickly became a public trainwreck (that dickhead 'My Blake, Incarcerated' helped push her over the edge, it seems), and my fear that we'd never get another taste has been fulfilled.  So, now she becomes immortal.  Sad how that works.

Amy Winehouse dead at 27  
LONDON (AP) - Amy Winehouse, the beehived soul-jazz diva whose self-destructive habits overshadowed a distinctive musical talent, was found dead Saturday in her London home, police said. She was 27.  Winehouse shot to fame in 2006 with the album "Back to Black," whose blend of jazz, soul, rock and classic pop was a global hit. It won five Grammys and made Winehouse - with her black beehive hairdoand old-fashioned sailor tattoos - one of music's most recognizable stars. But her personal life, with its drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders and destructive relationships, soon took over her career.  Police confirmed that a 27-year-old female was pronounced dead at the home in Camden Square northern London; the cause of death was not immediately known. London Ambulance Services said Winehouse had died before the two ambulance crews it sent arrived at the scene. -(more)

Performance at the 2008 Grammys:

Back to Black:

Cover of Leslie Gore's It's My Party for Quincy Jone's album:

Cover of the Shirelles' Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow for the movie, Bridget Jones:

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Duke & The King: Not "The Duke" Snider, but a home run nonetheless. Touch 'em all, boys...

I frequently receive email from publicity agents hawking the latest soon-to-be James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, The Band.  They must have found me on some late night drunken cyber witch hunt.  Anyway, I do regularly pay attention to a couple- The Muse Box and Ariel Publicity - with semi-regularity.   Today's pitch from The Muse Box featured a self-titled (okay, I'll say eponymous) U.S. debut album of The Duke & The King.  What caught my eye in the piece was the name Simone Felice, a founding member of the fabulous Felice Brothers:
"Formed in New York by acclaimed musician-writer Simone Felice, previously a key songwriter and founding member of celebrated country rock outfit The Felice Brothers, The Duke & The King are a potent vocal group created by Felice and Robert Bird Burke featuring Simi Stone and Nowell “The Deacon” Haskins.
Named after the traveling Shakespearean troupe in Mark Twain’s classic “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” The Duke & The King create a rollicking undeniably soulful sound in the vein of classic songwriters from James Taylor to Rolling Thunder Review, Fleetwood Mac and Sly & The Family Stone, while adding a distinctly personal touch with Felice’s affecting narratives.  It is a quality which inspired the BBC to compare his songwriting to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.

The band’s upcoming release is a collection of songs culled from the group’s two previous English albums, not available in the U.S.  Both records have received unanimously enthusiastic reviews from the British press."
I'm listening.  It is understated, with ear-catching lyrics ("cause we were just babies when the Jackson Five grew up so fast, baby, just come shake that country ass"), tasty backing harmonies (touches of early CS&N on You And I), sax flourishes.  Worth some attention.  They will be at the City Winery in NYC on Saturday, August 6.  Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Shaky is one of the catchiest songs you will hear all Summer:

Anyone up for Eilen Jewell at Cafe Nine tonight (early show)?...

She's really good and it gives you lazy bastards an excuse to check out the spiffy renovations they did over the Winter at the Musicians Living Room. Doors open at 7 (no, not THEM!), show starts at 8.  Ms. Jewell will also be in CT on August 20 at the Bridge Street Cafe in Collinsville. 
Eilen Jewell- Queen of the Minor Key: 
It is the battered cassette jammed in the tape deck of the getaway car, the music Ida Lupino cues up on the roadhouse jukebox as she counts the till after close. This is Queen of the Minor Key by Eilen Jewell, a smart cookie with a heart of burnished gold and enough stories to keep even the rowdiest crowd hanging on her every word. Though its long shadows and dark corners make her kingdom feel intimate, her sovereign domain stretches as far as the imagination. Its denizens seek refuge in padded rooms, abandoned automobiles… and strong spirits. They defend their territory by any means necessary: weird voodoo, sawed-off shotguns, broken bottles.

But beware, savvy observer. There is more to Eilen Jewell than meets the ear. Do not confuse the singer and her songs. The drama and darkness that give Queen of the Minor Key its gritty texture are in short supply in the Boston-based songwriter's personal life. And in a curious twist, these fourteen originals actually took shape in a sunny, idyllic location that contrasts strikingly with the album's moody, film noir atmosphere. - (more)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

But you say he's just a friend...

History of Rap, Part II- Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake:

Early morning neighborhood shuffle...

Love and Happiness (Al Green) Greatest Hits
Four Or Five Times (Jimmie Lunceford) Swingsation
She's Funny That Way (Coleman Hawkins) Body and Soul
Tinker Tailer Soldier Sailor (The Yardbirds) Over Under Sideways Down
Upside Out (Viktoria Tolstoy) Jazziz
The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else (Ella Fitzgerald) The Early Years
Psycho Daises (The Yardbirds) Over Under Sideways Down
I Just Keep Loving Her (Rob Stone & the C-Notes) No Worries
It's Raining (Lou Ann Barton) Old Enough
Jambalaya (Lucinda Williams) Ramblin'
Shelter From the Storm (Bob Dylan) Blood On the Tracks
Cajun Love Song (Leon Russell) Carney
My Career As a Homewrecker (Jonathan Richman) Having a Party With...

JohnnyK shuffle pick of the day: Lou Ann Barton It's Raining (also live version):

Lou Ann & Stevie Ray Vaughn in 1970s (with some really cool pics):

Monday, July 18, 2011

Do yourself a favor: Booker T Jones, Live at Daryl's House...

The legendary Booker T. Jones of Booker T. & the MG's.  Here's the link to the whole show.  Very cool.  I've been preaching about this show for a couple years now; it is time you listened to me!

The Memphis-born Booker T. Jones was honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a Grammy lifetime achievement award for his genre-defining Hammond B-3 organ work with the renowned Stax Records group Booker T and the MGs alongside guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald “Duck” Dun and Al Jackson Jr. His new solo album, The Road from Memphis, which was released in May on Anti- Records, features cameos by Lou Reed, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Sharon Jones. The L.A. Times said, “Jones makes a quietly convincing case that when it comes to soul music, all roads do seem to lead to Memphis.” Booker T., who has collaborated with a who’s-who of popular music greats, including Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Willie Nelson, among many others, had a blast playing with Daryl on the show.

“One of the nicest things about performing on Live from Daryl's House is that Daryl has surrounded himself with musicians who can 'hear,’” enthused Booker T. “That is, each one has talent to the extent of being capable of performing as a soloist on his own, not needing to be told the proper notes to sing or play.”

Friday, July 15, 2011

Some breezy Friday morning Esparanza Spalding...

Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz this weekend...

Friday July 15th, 2011

6:30 pm
Opening Ceremony

7:00 pm

8:30 pm

Saturday July 16th, 2011

4:30 pm Latanya Farrell
6:00 pm

7:30 pm

9:00 pm

10:30 pm

Sunday July 17th, 2011

10:00 am Dixieland Jazz Mass at Christ Church Cathedral featuring Ross Tucker's Hot Cat Jazz Band - 45 Church Street, Hartford, CT 06103
4:30 pm Paul Brown Quintet
6:00 pm
Josh Evans Sextet is: Josh Evans, Trumpet
Abraham Burton, Tenor
Ralph Peterson, Drums
Dezron Douglas, Bass
Frank Lacey, Trombone
David Bryant, Piano

7:30 pm
Al Foster Quartet with Special Guest Wallace Roney

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday afternoon, I'm just beginning to see, now I'm on my way...

Get it while you can:  Porn will be banned in Connecticut state prisons as of June 30, 2012. - story  (A heads up, just in case you think the risk of knocking off that Bank of America branch might be worth it.)

She didn't listen:  Police say Meriden man tried to run over ex-girlfriend. - story

But 'Lil Wayne (no relation to John Wayne or John Wayne Gacy), the bitch wouldn't split the damn check:   Lil Wayne dancers charged with beating up waitress. - story

Honey, shouldn't you recycle?  Wife cuts off husband's penis and tosses it into the garbage disposal - story

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Saturday nights are made for fighting (so start bitchin')...

  • The QUEST for 3,000 is finally over (thank god!).  Michael Kay was insufferable, but I'm guessing John Sterling was worse.
  • But Betty (The Clinic) Ford dead at 93.
  • The Pool Hall Studs are in Newport for some golf and some Bela Fleck.
  • Johnny Gumbo pens belated birthday greetings from the Great Northleft.
  • Watched CPTV's Jonathan Edwards on Infinity Music Hall Live (see Friday posting).  Good show, check it out (he dedicated Shanty to Michael Phelps).   Looking forward to Shelby Lynne coming up on July 22.
  • Sharie asked about our interest in seeing Brandi Carlile at Town Hall in NYC, saying she discovered her from Grey's Anatomy and really likes her.  But I'm completely unfamiliar with Carlile.  Off to YouTube:

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Hartford Jazz Society Monday Night Concert Series in Bushnell Park

July 11 

July 18
at 6:00 pm -
Sinan Bakir Quartet
at 7:30 pm - Larry Willis Quartet

July 25
at 6:00 pm -
The Umoja Ensemble
at 7:30 pm - Tribute to the great Abbey Lincoln - James Weidman, piano; Jay Hoggard, vibraphone; Leena Conquest, vocals; Brad Jones, bass; Bruce Cox, drums

August 1
at 6:00 pm -
Damian Curtis Quartet
at 7:30 pm - HJS New Directions Ensemble directed by Earl MacDonald

August 8
at 6:00 pm -
at 7:30 pm - Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tuesday morning linear trail mix...

In Your Dreams (The Strollers) A Million Dollars Worth of Doo Wop
Reynadine (Carolina Chocolate Drops) Genuine Negro Jig
Disgusted (Lucinda Williams) Ramblin'
Train In Vain (The Clash) London Calling
The Man I Love (Sarah Vaughn) The Roulette Years
Lifetimes (Van Morrison) Wavelength
Spirit In the Dark (Aretha Franklin) Live At the Fillmore
If I Could Be With You (Ingrid Lucia) Don't Stop
Cupid (Sam Cooke) Best of...
F-E-E-L (The Animals) The Complete Animals
Song For Rosemary (Fats Domino) Fats Domino
4th Time Around (Bob Dylan) Blonde On Blonde
My Feet Can't Fail Me Now (Dirty Dozen Brass Band) Our New Orleans
Betrayed (Lou Reed) Live In Italy
15 Minutes (The Strokes) First Impressions of Earth

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Yvette meets yet another Strange Boy...

Yvette & friends with Strange Boys' lead singer Ryan Sambol at 92Y Tribeca in NYC 6/24/11
(All Music Guide) - Brainwashed by years of exposure to an American Bandstand cassette (a circa 1966 show, apparently) in their mother's car, brothers Ryan and Philip Sambol started bashing out their own take on British and psychedelic rock while still attending high school in Dallas, TX. With Ryan on guitar and vocals, and Philip on bass, the brothers honed their retro sound on their own before enlisting Matt Hammer on drums and Greg Enlow on guitar and keys, forming the group now known as the Strange Boys in 2004. The fellas quickly asserted themselves in the fertile Dallas/Austin indie scene and released their debut EP, States Newest Noise Makers, in 2004. Relocating closer to the action in Austin in late 2006, the Strange Boys sought out the Gris Gris' Greg Ashley to man the board for their first full-length release. In 2007, amid work on the aforementioned full-length, the group issued the 7" EP Nothing on Milwaukee's Dusty Medical Records. The Strange Boys moved to In the Red Records for their debut album, 2009's Strange Boys and Girls Club. For the following year's more expansive Be Brave, the band enlisted Mika Miko's Jenna Thornhill and Darker My Love's Tim Presley as collaborators.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy 4th of July weekend, folks.....

On the radar:
  • Blackie & the Rodeo Kings- three guys; tasty twang, nice harmonies; new CD out, Kings & Queens, duets with Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Roseanne Cash, etc. (get it, kings and....) - poster - website - video
  • Bandana Splits- three girls; harmonies, humor reminiscent of the Roches - video - feature
  • Sonny & the Sunsets-  Jonathan Richman meets Jan & Dean; very clever, catchy tunes - website - video -100 records project

Friday, July 01, 2011

Happy Canada Day, Diana!...

WINDSOR, Ont. -- The tinny strains of Stompin' Tom Connors singing Canada Day Up Canada Way could be heard over the public address as the house lights went down for Diana Krall's Canada Day show Friday at Caesars Windsor's Colosseum. The tongue-in-cheek reference to the national holiday of Krall's homeland set the tone early for the pride of Vancouver. It's Canada's weekend to stand up and be proud, and there are few better to do that with than Krall and fellow countrymen The Tragically Hip, who were scheduled in a shrewd stroke of nationalistic genius to play back-to-back shows at Caesars. - (more)