Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Meriden Daffodil Festival lineup announced - The Sawtelles are back!...

(   For many people, the Meriden Daffodil Festival is simply a great spring festival, one of the outdoor fried-dough and touring-carnival extravaganzas held in glorious springtime in a lush city park.
But for the Connecticut local music community, it’s much more than that.  This growth from the city park affair to unparalleled local band showcase is due largely to one man, Rob DeRosa, and a horde of Daffodil volunteers. DeRosa spends months every year investigating new talent, keeping in touch with established acts, and creating a balanced two-day schedule of bands loud, soft, rocky, folky, melodic, raw, tribute-oriented, and excessively original.

According to DeRosa, exactly half of the 36 bands booked this year are new to the festival. Some are brand new acts; others (such as the nationally known Poor Old Shine) are well-established, but have just never made it out to Meriden before this. The others are reliable and popular acts who’ve rocked the Daffodil on other occasions, some of them numerous times. But just because those bands are have played before doesn’t mean they’re safe selections. I don’t think you can look at a list that has The Peacock Flounders, Mold Monkies, The Sawtelles and the great Mark Mulcahy on it and call it common festival fare. (Read more.)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Garrett home for the weekend - bringing new music...

Junky Star (Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses)
Deer Creek Canyon (Sera Cahoone)
O' Be Joyful (Shovels and Rope)  Saw them open for Justin Townes Earle at the Iron Horse in Northampton
Chain Letters (Big Harp)

Get Up! (Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Valentine's Day with Chris DuBose at Johnny D's...

(Chris DuBose is presently retired from teaching English and coaching hoops, which allows him to roam the Northeast attending Crimson hoops, visiting offspring and sampling music events. He offers his Valentine's Day experience at Johnny D's in Somerville.)

Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison played Johnny D’s on Valentine’s Day to an audience that enjoyed their valentine gift: harmonies and rockabilly both. Robison, his head barely fitting under the low ceiling, took the lead in the driving (“truckin’ “) songs he loves, while Willis told of abandoned love and lovers in the her songs. They produced a romantic sound from a married couple who, for the first time, after lengthy solo careers, are working together, having produced their first duo album, now supporting that release with a national tour. They offer a solid, seasoned C & W sound comprised of their own guitars, a stand-up bass, a lap-steel, and an unobtrusive drum set. Robison’s voice is the stronger of the two, whether he is taking the lead or supporting his wife with his easy harmonies. This tour will finally bring attention to the under-appreciated careers of these Texans who have learned that they might just be better together than separate, a realization that most married couples make eventually.

I am also attaching a poem that I wrote, inspired by the show. Just a little artistic expression. I think the poem builds nicely.


The slim singer gently approaches the front of the stage
Her guitar strap riding lightly on her left shoulder
Her squinting eyes probing the darkened tables of Johnny D’s,
Settling in when she reaches the bridge to those tables,
The register of nuance and ache in her voice,
Mounted on its slender stick of light steel

The microphone.

Seated at those tables, finishing their jambalaya and burgers,
Their heads rising from their plates,
Couples and friends anticipate her nuanced sound,
Ears attuned to the speakers mounted in the club’s corners,
Speakers wizened and stained with age and neglect.

And then the first note, a probing Aminor
Tempered by her husband’s delayed, complementary D,
The two voices dancing together in a breath-taking ballet
That chases away the patrons’ thoughts of the mundane,
Replacing them with an eager anticipation of an emotion
That transcends both the sound system and the club,
An emotion that resonates with a truth
Unrealized by the diners
Until they they hear it,
A truth implied in cadence and intonation and volume,
An ineffable truth
Offered as a gift to her fawning audience
As she leans in to the mike tenderly
Her lips open, straining,
In a gesture and a passion like
A lover’s kiss.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Gussy P takes Johnny K to task...

Former Westie Punks lead vocalist/bassist/songwriter/defensive stopper Gussy P dropped an email response to Johnny K's recent postings:

I'm a little disappointed that you made no mention of the death of DC5 bassist Rick Huxley. They had their run in the mid 60's with their 2 min & 25 sec hits, and the late Mike Smith had one of the best R&R voices of all time (my opinion). But, like my Giants (couldn't beat LA or StL, depending on the year), they were 2nd bananas. Now that I don't follow baseball, the Giants win 2 of the last 3. Unfortunately, no DC5 members have come back to life.

Johnny K reply:
Gus, I was glad all over to see the latest of your always-informative musings about sports, music and the human spirit.  In my defense, the music reference points of our earlier days are dropping like flies!  I'm having trouble keeping up (not to mention yesterday's news about Roger Clemen's underage country songbird- why did she have to shoot the damn dog?).  And now Tony Sheridan goes down at 72.  By the way, what about those persistent rumors of a Westies Punks reunion tour?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Alabama Shakes on SNL...

(johnnykmusic has been touting these guys for quite some time, but now the secret is OUT!)

About 37 minutes into the Feb. 16 episode of "Saturday Night Live," host Christopher Waltz extended an arm and announced, "Ladies and gentleman, Alabama Shakes." With that, the Shakes eased into their best (and best-known) song, "Hold On." The Athens-based band performed the soul-tinged rocker at a slower pace than the version appearing on their 2012 debut album "Boys & Girls." Singer Brittany Howard's vocals early in the song were subdued, but this only made her sanctified howls during the choruses seem even more juiced.

Howard's grunge-blues rhythm guitar playing, executed on a green Gibson, was high in the mix. Lead guitarist Heath Fogg's throwback-R&B fills were barely audible, but "SNL" music performances are notorious for being frequently plagued by lackluster sound.  Shakes drummer Steve Johnson shifted the song's dynamics expertly, grooving mellow with bearded bassist Zac Cockrell on the verses, and bashing his kit with no mercy during choruses to match Howard's chicken-fried hosannas. Touring keyboardist Ben Tanner added Hammond organ filigree. (Read more)

Tour dates - JR, you'd better note March 3rd at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

R.I.P. Shadow Morton...

George “Shadow” Morton (right) – Michael Ochs Archives
( George “Shadow” Morton, the visionary Brill Building songwriter and producer who also worked with rock artists including Iron Butterfly and Vanilla Fudge, has died at age 72. As of press time, the cause of death has not been disclosed.  Along with Phil Spector, with whose work his is often compared and confused, Morton is best remembered for helping popularize girl groups in the ’60s. He is most closely associated with the Shangri-Las, whom he discovered and helped fashion their biggest hits, ‘Remember (Walking In The Sand),’ ‘Leader of the Pack’ and ‘Give Him a Great Big Kiss.’

As a staff producer for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s Red Bird Records, Morton’s songs for the Shangri-Las came to life in the studio. He took advantage of the latest technology and often added orchestration and sound effects, most famously the motorcycles on ‘Leader of the Pack,’ which hit No.1 in 1964, to create a new sub-genre of pop: the teen melodrama.  Following the demise of Red Bird, Morton went on to discover and produce singer-songwriter Janis Ian and the Vanilla Fudge, including their debut, which featured their hit psychedelicized take on the Supremes’ ‘You Keep Me Hanging On.’ In 1974, he produced ‘Too Much Too Soon,’ the second album by proto-punks New York Dolls.  A native of Hicksville, N.Y., Morton was a childhood friend of Ellie Greenwich, who, along with her future husband Jeff Barry (the three are pictured above, with Morton on the right), wrote dozens of pop classics throughout the 1960s. He was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Fat Tuesday!...

Oh, and who is the #1 hockey team in the country?

Bought the new Ben Harper/Charlie Musselwhite album.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Who is going?...

What, no T & A at the Grammys?...

US television network CBS has warned stars attending the Grammys music awards show at the weekend not to reveal too much skin, including breasts, buttocks - or the dreaded "buttock crack".  In an email leaked to media outlets including celebrity news website TMZ, the television giant also warned of "puffy" bare skin exposure around the genital region.  "Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered," stated the letter from CBS's Standards and Practices department to representatives of stars due to take the stage in Los Angeles on Sunday.  "Thong-type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare flesh under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. "Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic.  "Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples.
"Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible 'puffy' bare skin exposure.
(read more)

Record Of The Year

  • Lonely Boy - The Black Keys
  • Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Kelly Clarkson
  • We Are Young - Fun. Featuring Janelle Monáe
  • Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye Featuring Kimbra
  • Thinkin Bout You - Frank Ocean
  • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Taylor Swift

Album Of The Year

  • El Camino - The Black Keys
  • Some Nights - Fun.
  • Babel - Mumford & Sons
  • Channel Orange - Frank Ocean
  • Blunderbuss - Jack White

Song Of The Year

  • The A Team - Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
  • Adorn - Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
  • Call Me Maybe - Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay, songwriters (Carly Rae Jepsen)
  • Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi, songwriters (Kelly Clarkson)
  • We Are Young - Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun. Featuring Janelle Monáe)

Best New Artist

  • Alabama Shakes
  • Fun.
  • Hunter Hayes
  • The Lumineers
  • Frank Ocean

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

WSJ article recommended by PHS Marky G (yes, he DOES read!)...

Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz (left) with Ry Cooder.
Only a handful of American roots-music recording labels have lasted decades. And in the whole arena's welcome evolution—away from a pre-1960s emphasis on highbrow folkloric preservation and from a related preference for decorous music strikingly lacking in rhythm, wit and sex—no label has made more of a difference than Arhoolie Records of El Cerrito, Calif. The little Bay Area label established in 1960 would find, record and spotlight such working, stomping artists as Fred McDowell in the blues, Clifton Chenier in zydeco, BeauSoleil and the Doucet family in cajun, the Campbell Brothers in sacred steel, and Flaco Jiménez in Tex-Mex Tejano, while bringing to the fore older, legacy acts, live or from recorded archives, in the same muscular, zestful mode—the Maddox Brothers and Rose, the Hackberry Ramblers, Mainer's Mountaineers, Big Mama Thornton, Lightnin' Hopkins, Lydia Mendoza. The range and focus on underexplored musical flavors were groundbreaking.

Arhoolie (the word refers to shouting-out-loud field hollers), the child of Chris Strachwitz, a music-struck German émigré, celebrated its 50-plus years last February in a three-day celebration that featured concerts at San Francisco's Freight & Salvage. Those shows are now on "They All Played for Us," a lavish 4-CD set with a hardbound book of commentary and colorful photography, released by the label last month. Arhoolie veterans are joined by such admiring, label-influenced roots-music stars as Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal and Peter Rowan on some 70 exuberant tracks. (read more)

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Hey, get out to see THE SAWTELLES...

the sawtelles hi folks.  the next few weeks have some new venues for us to play at starting with SUN FEB 10th @ the Hartford Public Library's Indie Pop Music Series 1:30pm.  free and all ages with their long-running sunday jazz series right after us.  click on View Events and then on the calendar date this info will come up

Indie Pop Series every second Sunday December- April 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 10- The Sawtelles (rescheduled to 2/17)
March 10-Lys Guillorn
April 14-Lesa Bezo

FRI FEB 22nd @ the Marlborough Arts Center  7:30p byob   
SAT FEB 23rd:  @ Javapalooza main st m'town 7:30-9:30p
:  @ Typhoon Thai main st m'town 6p byob
FRI MAR 8th: @ the fairfield U bookstore cafe  
TUE MAR 19th: @ Klekolo World Coffee, Court St M'town 7p


You made everything groovy...

Reg Presley, the lead singer of 1960s British rock band The Troggs, who scored a hit with the love anthem "Wild Thing," was reported to have died at his home in England on Monday after a battle with cancer. He was 71.  The Troggs catapulted onto the rock'n'roll scene with "Wild Thing" in 1966, making them one of Britain's most successful garage rock acts of the era.  "Wild Thing," which was written by American songwriter Chip Taylor, topped the charts in the United States and reached No. 2 in Britain.  Presley penned hits "With a Girl Like You" in 1966 and the band's final big hit, "Love Is All Around," in 1967. (Read More)

The Troggs were an English rock band from the 1960s that had a number of hits in the UK and the US. Their most famous songs include the Hot 100 chart topper 'Wild Thing', 'With a Girl Like You', and 'Love Is All Around'. 'Wild Thing' is ranked #257 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was an influence on garage rock and punk rock.  Fronted by Reg Presley, the Troggs were from the town of Andover in southern England and were originally called the Troglodytes. (Wikipedia)

Monday, February 04, 2013

A Groundhog Day with the Night Tripper...

JR is a good friend of Johnnykmusic as well as a close confidant of the late, sometimes-great Johnny Gumbo.  He pens his exclusive report after seeing Dr. John last Saturday night way up in the Great Northleft:

The Doctor was in Saturday night at Jazz Alley in downtown Seattle. Jazz Alley is a great venue, a throw back to the classic dinner clubs that is just the right size so you don't feel crunched in and yet you're close enough for interaction with the performers. We always enjoy ourselves there (saw Lee Ritenour in December, Tower of Power next month and Chick Corea in May). And the food ain't bad.
Mac was in his usual voodoo form...funky & mysterious. Ran through a lot of his standards (Iko Iko, Right Place, Wrong Time, Monkey Puzzle &  Mos' Scocious) and then a lot from the new album Locked Down that included a tune that Mac went back to his roots on lead quitar. I must say the Doctor is startin' to show his age although he will probably out live me and already has outlasted the late, great Johnny Gumbo. The voice isn't quite as crisp, he's got the old man shuffle, and the back is a little bent over but he's still "The Nite Tripper" in all his regalia. 

Now that he's split with the Lower 911, his "All New Band" is pickin' up the slack...Buddy Floyd on organ, Joel Jackson on guitar, Dwight Basley on bass, and Reggie Jackson (no not him) on drums. The star, however, is Sarah Morrow left over from the Lower 911 on a very hot and bluesy trombone. She can really get it goin and is the current band director. She and the Doctor sync well together. I don't think the "All New Band" has quite the charisma and group soul that the Lower 911 had but maybe the Doctor just wanted a younger group of guys backin him up. And maybe it was just the laid back Seattle crowd (home to Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft and Costco) that seemed to enjoy themselves but never really let go (like being at the end of a hot day drinkin beer at JazzFest!!). And he says he wants to do new things...whatever that means. I guess that's how you hang in there in the music business. Just keep re-inventing yourself.

Anyway, we enjoyed ourselves and it was good to come home again to that wonderful NOLA R&B.


Sunday, February 03, 2013

Beyonce defies the Johnny Gumbo boycott of Mother's while in NOLA...

Sunday morning pre-Super Bowl trail mix:
Time For Me To Come Down (Amy Rigby) Diary of a Mod Housewife
Only Trust Your Heart (Benny Carter w/Diane Reeves) Songbook
Over the Line (Johnny Rivers) Last Boogie in Paris
Como Fue (Beny More') Mambo Kings
Finger Prints (Patsy Cline) Patsy Cline
Down With It (Bud Powell) The Scene Changes
I Can't Sleep (The La's) The La's
How Long Must I Wait? (Dr. Dog) Be the Void
Ain't Waitin' (Justin Townes Earle) Harlem River Blues
Because I Love You (Buddy Holly) True Love Ways
Tell the Truth (Eric Clapton) 461 Ocean Blvd
You Go To My Head (Milt Jackson) Early Modern
Twistin' the Night Away (Sam Cooke) The Best of Sam Cooke
Southern Music (Maria Muldaur) Louisiana Love Call
Souvenirs (John Prine) The Singing Mailman
Love -> Building On Fire (Talking Heads) Best of the Talking Heads
Banks of the Old Pontchartrain (Amos Garrett, Doug Sahm) Return of the Formerly Bros
Since You Been Gone (Aretha Franklin) Lady Soul