Reservoir Music Notes returns…for a minute or a month. We’ll see how much there is to say, but the days are warming and the unofficial kickoff to summer is here now, so I thought it would be a good time to return to civilization with a column about some of the outstanding concert series that are happening this summer. This won’t be, as it might have been in the past, a comprehensive, all inclusive, guide to summer festivals, concert series, and shows. It will just be me, writing about whatever comes to my attention, whatever strikes me as good, or possibly interesting to you, or maybe something I should go out on a limb and recommend! It’s part of a more laid back attitude to life that I’ve adopted since my shoulder surgery and closing of Reservoir Music as a retail store, last year. And part of this will be that columns and blogs will no longer be written weekly. They will be written and posted on the blog pages of my websites, www.reservoirmusiccenter.com and www.brooklyncowboys.com , and probably on the articles page of www.hvmusic.com as well, whenever I feel like there is something noteworthy to tell you about. This could happen daily, or monthly, but I will always post an announcement on Facebook and Twitter when there is a new blog, and if it fits into the Tri-Valley Townsman’s publishing schedule, as this column does, it will appear in the newspaper. So you won’t get the complete guide to summer music in one sitting, but stick with me, and we’ll get everything done over time, and just in time, for all of us to experience some great live music this summer!
Well, well, well! Look who’s back! And it’s good to be back! There’s been so much we’ve missed, don’t rightly know where to start! That’s a lie!
Might as well start the first column of the new year by telling y’all where I’ve been. Moving, mostly. I’ve moved Reservoir Music from the log cabin on Route 28 that we’ve occupied for the past two years, into an office in the historic Stockade District of Kingston! The retail store is closed, but we remain in business working by appointment and online. Over the next few months, I will be working feverishly to get all of my inventory listed on our website, www.reservoirmusiccenter.com. You know the site because it’s where you go to read this column online, or, should I say, one of the sites, the others being www.brooklyncowboys.com, www.hvmusic.com, and, of course, www.thetownsman.com.
I made this move for several reasons, those reasons being time, family, health, and financial. It’s a hand that can’t be beat! Without going into the details, which are personal, I’ll just say that I’m very happy since the store closed. I can still be reached at 845-657-6127 and firstname.lastname@example.org. The focus of the business is now buying and selling vintage guitars, doing repairs on all instruments, and rentals of band instruments, PA systems, and stages, so if anybody’s got any vintage gear to sell, get in touch, please. We will also still sell items on consignment, and we look forward to serving the needs of the Hudson valley musical community for another nine years, and beyond!
What tasered me out of my moving stupor, and back into my life, and this column, was, of course, some very moving, inspirational, and flat out great Rock n Roll, from a member of a very elite club, the “greatest Rock n Roll frontmen in the world” club, former J. Geils Band lead singer, Peter Wolf! WDST Radio Woodstock presented Peter and his top shelf band at The Bearsville Theater last night! Inertia almost kept me home, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was a show I had to see, and I was right! Peter and the band were just too good to not write about, so here we are!
Driving over to the theater, I was a little worried about the nature of the music that Peter might present. You see, the early J. Geils Band was one of the hardest rockin’ blues and rock bands that America’s ever produced! Their first two albums, with songs like “Cruising for Love”, “Floyd’s Hotel”, “Homework”, “First I Look at the Purse”, and “Lookin’ for a Love”, both kick serious ass, and so does their first live album, “Full House”, but as time went on, the band became more Pop, less Rock, until, by the late 1970’s and early 80’s, they went full on Pop with songs like, “Love Stinks”, “Centerfold”, and “Freeze Frame”. This was not my favorite J. Geils period, but these songs were all huge radio hits! From what I’ve heard, this musical direction was the cause of the split in the Geils Band songwriting team, with Peter continuing to favor the Rock and RnB roots that the band came of age with!
Wolf left the band in 1983. His first solo endeavor, “Lights Out”, written with the great Don Covay (Hitchhike, Chain of Fools), attempted a return to form, but still had a Pop sensibility to it, IMHO! So, I didn’t know what to expect. Would I get the hard drivin’, blues and RnB based, rocker of the early J. Geils Band, or the somewhat more subdued popmeister of the 1980’s? I hadn’t heard much of Wolf after his early solo hits (to be fair, I also stopped listening to the radio around this time) and I didn’t know what to expect.
As I drove up to the theater with my windows down to let in the unseasonably warm night air, the band had just started their first song, and it sounded pretty darn rockin’! So far, so good. As I stood on the porch talking to my friend, Gary McKeever, I heard the band launch into “Homework”, the Otis Rush tune that was a mainstay of the early J. Geils Band, but, oh no, they were doing it as a Country Blues, almost always a sign that an artist has mellowed out, and is not gonna rock!
I almost didn’t go in, but I decided to put my preconceptions aside, and let the music speak for itself, and I am so glad I did! The first two songs I heard were new songs that hearkened back to Exile era Stones, and that’s never a bad thing! Rockin’ along in a relaxed groove that wouldn’t quit, Peter and his outstanding band were winning me over. Then they launched into “Cry One More Time”, a song from the second J. Geils Band album, “The Morning After”, that was covered by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris on Gram’s first solo record, “GP”. They had me!
From there, Wolf went on to reveal his newly reinvented self, as a fully matured rocker who encompasses all forms of music, my favorite kind of musician! Next up was a cover of Bill Monroe’s “When my Blue Moon Turns to Gold”! What’s this? Peter Wolf, doing Country and Bluegrass? Yup, but it all rocked! As if to drive home the point, the next song was “Love Stinks” done as a Bluegrass tune. Killer! I suddenly loved this song that had never really done anything for me before!
Wolf, looking like an elegantly wasted vampire, prowled the stage with a presence
reserved only for the great Rock n Roll frontman, completely relaxed and in control, telling stories about Tennessee Williams and Bill Monroe, showing off the moves and vocal gymnastics that proved, once again, that this man is in the same league as Jagger, Iggy, Springsteen, and the great Soul singers that he draws inspiration from! And the band was right there with him! Every musician was right where they should be. Not a note was played that wasn’t required. The rhythm section couldn’t have been yanked out of the pocket with a crane (to paraphrase John Lennon talking about Ringo). The guitar solos were exquisite! The band played at a level commensurate with their leader. Two guitars, bass, drums, and keys. Classic!
Now, in case anyone got the idea that Peter Wolf has lost touch with his RnB roots, with all this Country music creepin’ in, he channeled my favorite Soul singer of all time, Joe Tex, towards the end of the show, and then encored with a Gospel tinged RnB song called, “When Women Are Lonely”. Don’t that title tell you everything you need to know! You can almost hear the song from the title alone!
The band got two or three encores from the appreciative audience. One of them was “Give it to Me”, the Geils Band hit from back in the day. As I was listening, I thought to myself, “Damn! This is as funky as anything Sly or War ever did”! And it was, proving that great artists can work in any genre of their art, and make it funky! Oops. I meant good. LOL!
About four years ago, in a particularly bad year for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees, I wrote a column about ten artists who should be in The Hall, but aren’t. One of them was The J. Geils Band. Most of the rest have made it in, but the Geils Band, despite being amongst the finalists two years running, have still not been inducted!
Peter’s two most critically acclaimed solo albums are 1998’s Fool’s Parade and 2002’s
Sleepless, which feature guest appearances from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Steve Earle! Sleepless was named one of the 500 best albums of all time by Rolling Stone! The J. Geils Band albums I recommend are the ones mentioned here. And the Peter Wolf show that I recommend you seeing is the next show he does, anywhere near where you are!
After the show, we hung out with Peter and his band for a while, and he seemed to be one of the most level headed and down to earth rock stars I’ve ever met (and I’ve met a lot of them). A genuinely nice guy, HE insisted on taking a picture with ME! That’s a rare commodity in the music business!
Before I took my hiatus, I wanted to do one last column in which I profiled two young film makers, Justin Martinez and Kevin Smith, of Upstate Moving Images, who have lent their considerable talents to capturing images of new and up and coming bands, including my new band, Ghosts of Electricity. However, I hit a wall, and just couldn’t do them justice with my move on my mind. I really wanted to write their story for my first column back, but Peter Wolf hijacked me, so next week they will finally get their due. Look for it!
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, that while I was on hiatus, we lost two of the
great ones, Phil Everly and Ray Price! What a legacy those two left behind! They will be
Now for this week’s live music picks!
Wednesday, February 26 – THE SECURITY PROJECT is a band consisting of former
members of King Crimson, Peter Gabriel’s band, and Lou Reed’s band, who’ve come together to play Peter Gabriel’s music, but more importantly, this is JERRY MAROTTA’S FIFTH ANNUAL 54th BIRTHDAY PARTY! Always a good scene and a fun time. Bearsville Theater.
Thursday, February 27 – ‘MOJO’ MYLES MANCUSO, the steadily improving guitar wunderkind, at The Falcon in Marlborough.
Friday, February 28 – Primus was a band that mixed humor with great songwriting and extreme musicianship. LES CLAYPOOL is their excellent and innovative leader and bass player. Claypool is certainly one of the best around on his instrument! His DUO DE TWANG, obviously a two piece unit (bass and guitar), displays the virtuosity that has become Claypool’s, and Primus’ trademark. Personally, I think the band would be a little tighter and fuller sounding, if they became the Trio De Twang, and added a drummer, but they will astound you, amuse you, make you laugh, and you’ll leave the show knowing you’ve seen one, and maybe, two, of the Masters of their instrument! The show is already sold out, but they’ll probably be selling some tickets at the door. Bearsville Theater.
Also tonight, THE LARRY CAMPBELL AND TERESA WILLIAMS QUARTET at The Falcon. The band includes Byron Isaac and Justin Guip on bass and drums respectively. I don’t believe I’ve seen this particular configuration of Levon Helm Band members booked anywhere locally, so this is exciting! I could watch and listen to Larry all night! Teresa has an awesome voice, and the rhythm section ain’t no slouches! I think the music at The Falcon starts early, so you just might be able to see this show and still make it to Bearsville in time for Duo De Twang! Check showtimes with the venues.
Saturday, March 1 – Hooray! February’s over! Spring is only 3 weeks away! Tonight, BOB WEIR AND RATDOG stop by The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester for the first of two nights, concluding tomorrow. Up in Woodstock, the fantastic hard rock/prog rock band, 3, returns to The Bearsville Theater. 3 display a tightness and cohesiveness that belies their tender years. They’re freakin’ great! Joey Eppard and Billy Riker wail away on their guitars, while drummer, Chris Gartmann, channels John Bonham, and Daniel Grimsland goes head to head with his bandmates, while still holding down the bottom and looking like the star that he is! I have a feeling this will be a great show!
Sunday, March 2 – At Bearsville Theater, the dynamic, amazing, and always entertaining BROTHER JOCEPHUS AND THE LOVE REVOLUTION return for an afternoon show that’s being called the FIRST ANNUAL WOODSTOCK MARDI GRAS PARTY. Miss this one at your peril!
Club Helsinki in Hudson is a beautiful venue that is well worth taking the drive for, especially when THE NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL STARS are playing! They rocked Bearsville last year, and now they return to the HV for a show at Helsinki.
Monday, March 3 – At The Falcon, the very talented SIMI STONE AND HER BAND start a March residency, which, I assume, will be every Monday. You owe it to yourself to catch at least one of these, and I suggest you go to an early one, because you’ll probably want to go back! This lady is going places!
In the city, we finally have a show! I guess it’s the mid-Winter lull in the concert biz, but the city is dead this week! Except, of course, for tonight, when New Paltz resident and fearless leader of Americana darlings, Old 97’s, RHETT MILLER, returns to City Winery for one night!
Tuesday, March 4 - You know, there weren’t a lot of shows this week, but what there was made up for quantity with quality! Any of this week’s shows could be a Pick of the Week in a normal week, so LOS LOBOS emerging as the only PotW, tells you how special I think this show will be! You just don’t see these guys playing as intimate a venue as Bearsville Theater very often. If you only go out one night this week, this, is that night! This is also a special Mardi Gras show!
Thursday, March 6 – We end the week with POPA CHUBBY at The Falcon, playing the music of Jimi Hendrix, in something he’s dubbed, “Electric Chubbyland”! Sounds good to me!
Have a great week, and I’ll see you here next week. Good night and good luck!
It’s hard to believe that we still have almost 7 weeks before the actual start of Winter! I suspected this would be an early, cold Winter when I saw my first red and gold leaves in the middle of July! Prior to the last really bad Winter, about 3 years ago, I saw my first red leaf on July 26. This year it was about two weeks earlier than that! Could be a clue, so get ready for a long, cold, snowy Winter, and for everyone who doesn’t ski, snowboard, or indulge in other Winter sports and activities, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Of course, the good news is it will probably be over by April! Ha ha!
Since there’s nothing earth shattering that happened in the music world since Lou Reed died, and since my deadline is looming, and since I do have a life with it’s attendant demands, this week’s column is gonna get right down to live music picks. Here we go.
Wednesday, November 6 – PHIL LESH AND FRIENDS continue their five night run at Best Buy Theater in Times Square, finishing up on Sunday.
Thursday, November 7 – Saturday night I was at a party and SPIV UK were playing. I had heard a lot about these guys and was interested in seeing them play. Well, they were pretty damn good, so I’m recommending their Artist in Residence series at Bearsville Theater, every Thursday this month, except, of course, for Thanksgiving, which falls on the 28th this year. So that would leave November 7, 14, and 21 for you to check out Spiv UK, who by the way, are a local band! If you’re in the city tonight, THE B-52’S are at Brooklyn Bowl, and if you feel like taking a drive, the great MARTY STUART is at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Connecticut. BTW, Marty’s guitarist, Kenny Vaughn, is the best guitar player in Nashville, which is to say, one of the best anywhere!
Friday, November 8 – The superlative OS MUTANTES stop by Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan to blow a few minds, just like they did at Bearsville Theater a few months ago. The great roots rock band, LUCERO, are at Terminal 5, HUGH POOL is at Rodeo Bar, and this week’s Pick of the Week, which I was gonna keep to myself, but no one’s getting in anyway, so I might as well let the cat out of the bag, is RONNIE WOOD and MICK TAYLOR at The Cutting Room tonight and tomorrow, with an unrelated and separate early show by Jefferson Airplane founder, MARTY BALIN, tonight only. Both Mick and Ronnie shows are completely sold out!
Saturday, November 9 – Only game in town tonight is ex-Moody Blues lead singer and Wings band member, DENNY LAINE, presenting an Abbey Road program that will include the album, Abbey Road, in it’s entirety, as well as many other hits recorded at the world famous studio, and Denny’s own hits with The Moody Blues and Wings.
Sunday, November 10- Wind down the weekend with A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR KWASI LESLIE, a young man battling Leukemia. Featured performers will be ALEXIS P. SUTER, AMY HELM, JOEY EPPARD, CHRIS GARTMANN, RAS T, and more. Please support this worthy cause, and have fun at the same time!
Monday, November 11 – There’s something called DYLAN FEST NYC at Bowery Ballroom tonight and tomorrow, and ELVIS COSTELLO is also playing at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester tonight and tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 12 – JOHN FOGERTY at The Beacon Theater tonight and tomorrow, is my second Pick of the Week!
Wednesday, November 13 – CHRIS CORNELL of Soundgarden at UPAC, Kingston.
Thursday, November 14 – ELVIS COSTELLO at UPAC.
There’s your week in music. Enjoy!
Reservoir Music Notes - Lou Reed, Grateful Dead, Cat Review of Papa Roach and Pop Evil, Live Music Picks
Well, the big news this week is that Lou Reed passed away yesterday. Although I was not a big fan of his later work, his immortality is assured by his output with The Velvet Underground alone, not to mention the early classic solo work, like Rock and Roll Animal, with it’s awesome live version of “Sweet Jane”, featuring some of the most mind-blowing guitar work ever recorded, played by Dick Wagner!
Reed worked with many greats of the ceative world – David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Mick Ronson, photographer Bob Rock, and Metallica, (with whom he recorded his final album, 2011’s Lulu), amongst others, and was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Velvet Underground, in 1996.
About The Velvet Underground, Brian Eno has said, “The Velvet Underground didn’t sell that many albums, but everyone who bought one went on to form a band”, cementing their reputation as one of Rock and Roll’s most influential bands!
Reed was famously quoted as saying, “One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz”, which is a philosophy that I just have to love! My guitar player, Gene Geary, who also passed away two years ago, and who I wrote about in this column several times, including when he died and again, on the one year anniversary of his death, would also have loved that quote. Interestingly, I had no intention of bringing Gene into this week’s column, but that quote is so something we would have celebrated, that I HAD to mention him, and inadvertently was reminded that the two year anniversary of Gene’s death has also just passed. I miss him as a musician and friend. There’s no one left to rock out with at a million miles an hour anymore! But, I digress.
Reed’s body of work included 49 albums (slightly more than half of them recorded live), and forays into the worlds of literature, photography, and theater! He was knighted in France and performed for Pope John Paul II in 1986!
The cause of death was not known at press time, but he did undergo a liver transplant last May. Lou Reed is survived by his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson, who he married in 2008, after a whirlwind 13 year courtship! Reactions poured in from all the creative worlds that Lou Reed ventured into, but the one that I like is from The Who, who wished Lou “a walk on the peaceful side”. I can live with that! Lou Reed, 1942-2013. RIP!
In other news, Move Me Brightly: Celebrating Jerry Garcia’s 70th Birthday, hits stores this week. The movie, directed by Justin Kreutzmann, son of Dead drummer, Bill Kreutzmann, features documentary footage of a 5 hour concert that Bob Weir held last August (Jerry was a Leo) at his TRI Studios in California, in honor of what would have been Garcia’s 70th birthday. The show featured members of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Phish, The Hold Steady, and Vampire Weekend. There are also interviews with people who knew Garcia well, including his brother, who famously cut off Jerry’s finger in a childhood accident! Complete track list for the DVD is below.
"Cumberland Blues"/"Going Down the Road Feelin' Bad"/"Mission in the Rain"/"Shakedown Street"/"He's Gone"/"Eyes of the World"/"Terrapin Station"/"Days Between"/"Franklin's Tower"/"U.S. Blues"/Bonus Tracks - "Friend of the Devil"/"Bird Song">"New Speedway Boogie"
In other Dead news, Delaware brewery, Dogfish Head is set to release American Beauty pale ale this fall. Sounds yummy!
Regular readers of this column will be familiar with Catharina Christiana, of C3 Photography, who often works with me at shows. Cat, as she is known, wrote a guest review for us, of a show she attended this week. So, without further ado, here it is.
Papa Roach with Pop Evil at Starland Ballroom
It was as if I was making a deal with the devil as I was listening to Pop Evil dominating the stage at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey last Wednesday. Pop Evil put on a performance that’d make you forget you were there for the headliner, Papa Roach. No qualms of disagreement came from the crowd when lead singer Leigh Kakaty disses Justin Bieber and mentions how we all need to stick together as a community, all the rock/metal heads of America because this is the real music that will thrive and live on. And as if slighting a pop icon wasn’t enough, he stood on the hands of the audience that supported and lifted him as he was screaming and singing his lungs out for such hit songs of theirs as “Deal with the Devil”, “Trenches” and “Sick Sense” from their new album, “Onyx”. Pop Evil got the crowd revved up and ready for one of my all time favorite bands, the legendary Papa Roach. Vocalist Jacoby Shaddix came out already grooving and bopping his head ready to take the stage with a mind-blowing performance like always. He belched great hits like “Leader of the Broken Hearts”, “Where Did the Angels Go?”, and “Still Swingin” off their latest album “The Connection”. With guitarist Jerry Horton wailing on guitar and Jacoby singing, spitting, and spraying the audience with I lost count of how many water bottles, they gave a performance that left your ears ringing and body still shaking to the beats and tunes until the next day. Papa Roach and Pop Evil are bands definitely worth checking out and if you haven’t already heard of their music, now is your time to! Seeing them in concert is always worth the trip, money, and bruises you might face in the mosh pit of people.
Thanks for sending us that review Cat!
Now for something completely different, my live music picks for this week!
Wednesday, October 30 – If you’re in the Hudson Valley, the only place to be tonight is BSP Lounge in Kingston, for the final night of THE DUKE MCVINNIE BAND’s October residency. This will be your last chance to catch one of the most unusual and unique bands around, at the best place in town, so, see you there? Course if you’re in the city, you’ve got either rap and cultural icons, CYPRESS HILL, at Best Buy Theater, or YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND with THE FOUNDING FATHERS opening, at Brooklyn Bowl, but my own personal favorite would be BRYAN AND THE HAGGARDS, a jazz group led by a sax player, who do nothing but Merle Haggard songs, who’re playing at The Stone on Avenue C! Not that I’ve heard these guys, or even heard OF them. I just love the concept! They’ve got three CD’s out, so I am going to check them out when I get a chance.
Thursday, October 31 – Happy Halloween! THE LINDSEY WEBSTER BAND will be performing a tribute to Led Zeppelin at The Bearsville Theater, with guitarists MYLES MANCUSO, VITO PETROCITTO, and MATT FINCK duping Jimmy Page’s gazillion tracked guitar tracks! Further downstate, THE JACK GRACE BAND and HUGH POOL are at Towne Crier in Beacon, and even further downstate, PHIL LESH AND FRIENDS return to The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester for the first of four nights.
Friday, November 1 – The great, I mean seriously great, STEVE WYNN AND THE MIRACLE 3, are at Bowery Electric tonight, and this is definitely this week’s Pick of the Week! These guys gave a performance worthy of Jimi at Monterey, when I saw them at Livestock a few years ago. If you are anywhere near Manhattan tonight, and you don’t go to this show, you are an idiot! Up in our beautiful and glorious Hudson Valley, THE SLIDE BROTHERS are at The Falcon in Marlboro, and ABRAHAM AND THE GROOVE, a new rock, soul, and funk band featuring Abraham, who CAN sing and front a band, and tonight, drummer Tony Parker’s brother will be joining the band for a double drumming experience that should establish the groove quite nicely, thank you!
Saturday, November 2 – Double drumming acts two nights in a row at The Bearsville Theater? Whoda thunk it? But, yes, it’s true! DEAD ON LIVE return to Woodstock for an acoustic set with their two drummers, and they were very good the last time they were here! In the city, STEVE EARLE is at Town Hall.
Sunday, November 3 – The legendary MERLE HAGGARD rides into UPAC in Kingston, and the somewhat legendary ARLEN ROTH is at The Falcon.
Monday, November 4 – THE HAG (Merle Haggard) moves over to Tarrytown Music Hall. Wonder if he knows about Bryan and The Haggards?
Tuesday, November 5 – PHIL LESH AND FRIENDS move into the city for the first night of five at Best Buy Theater.
That’s it! Remain calm and carry on!
Damn! What a couple of weeks of tech problems! Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been absent from the paper for the past two weeks. Well, here’s why.
As most of you know, this newspaper hits the stands on Thursday every week. My deadline, however, is Friday. I usually push the envelope to the limit by handing in my copy on Monday afternoon, just in time for the printer. Barely! This allows me to cover the weekend’s events for you in a timely fashion.
So, for the issue dated 10/10/13, I was furiously typing away on Monday morning, October 7. I finished the column and was in the process of proofreading it, when the lights flashed and my internet service went out! Never lost electric, mind you, just internet, which meant that in the final seconds before sending that week’s column, I lost the ability to submit it! I was going to take my computer somewhere where there was still service, but just at that moment, the newspaper lost their service!
Okay, so that sucked, but I figured The Townsman could put a notice in the paper, and direct everybody to one of the websites where the column is usually posted Tuesday night at Midnight (technically Wednesday morning), but here’s the rub. Tuesday afternoon, the power supply for my computer crapped out, and since the battery is useless, of course, I now could not turn on my computer, meaning I could not get to the one place in the world where that week’s column was! Had I been able to send it anywhere, I could have used that email to retrieve and post the blog.
But it was not to be! I immediately ordered a new power supply, but it took a week to get here, and during that time, my computer was a paperweight! So, no column last week, ANYWHERE! Thankfully, it’s all been sorted out, and we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming.
During my computer outage, I managed to catch a bit of Ginger Baker’s last night at The Iridium in Manhattan. Ginger seemed tired and ready to finish up the night and go home, but it was still great to see the grouchy old curmudgeon in such an intimate venue. My thanks to Iridium manager, Grace Blake, for her generous hospitality and good cheer.
Now for this week’s live music picks.
Wednesday, October 23 – Although I respect BB KING immensely, I am not a huge fan, but he’s playing AT BB KING’S in Manhattan! Surely this rates as an event worth seeing, and don’t forget folks, BB recently celebrated his 80th birthday, and he may grow tired of touring someday soon. If you are a fan, you’ll probably never get a chance to see him in a more appropriate venue!
Thursday, October 24 – BLACK CROWES, fresh off a four night run at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, now bring their show to Terminal 5 in Manhattan for an additional four nights, starting tonight, and continuing Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday, October 26, 27, and 29. This is an acoustic show, so the energy level may be down a notch from an electric Crowes show, (which, take it from me, is one of the highest around, especially if Jackie Greene is playing guitar with them), but with a group of this caliber, an acoustic show will probably be better and more rockin’, than most groups best nights, electric or otherwise! Also tonight at Lincoln Center, in the David Rubenstein Atrium, a free concert by a fantastic sacred steel group, THE CAMPBELL BROTHERS! The Campbell Brothers are one of the few groups in this tradition of using the pedal steel guitar for church music, that have taken it to the outside world (the other notable one being, of course, The Slide Brothers, who have been mentored by Robert Randolph, the genre’s biggest star). This would be a must see for me if I was in the city!
Up in the ol’ Hudson Valley, an interesting group calling themselves THE LOST LEADERS is at The Falcon in Marlboro. The band consists of bassist Byron Isaacs (Levon Helm Band), Lee Falco (Connor Kennedy Band, and for my money, easily the best young drummer in the area), and singer and composer, Peter Cole, an Afro/World Music artist who’s a big star in Africa. This should be very interesting!
BSP Lounge in Kingston continue to impress with their bookings. Tonight, a band I’m not that familiar with, KURT VILE AND THE VIOLATORS. I’m just going on faith here, because I trust BSP to only book good music! The fact that KV and The Violators are at Terminal 5 in the city the next night, also shows me that these guys can bring it, so, see you there!
Friday, October 25 – Slide guitar master, SONNY LANDRETH, at Iridium. This will be amazing! The room is tiny, and Sonny’s huge! He’ll probably blow the hinges off the doors! Or he might just tone it down a bit. Either way, you wanna be there! Over in Brooklyn, feminist punk icon, Kathleen Hanna, of Bikini Kill, brings her new project, THE JULIE RUIN, to The Music Hall of Williamsburg. In Kingston, BSP is having a pre-Halloween costume party with The Mid-Hudson Misfits roller derby team! Should be a hoot!
Saturday, October 26 – The weekend’s in full swing tonight, with shows all over New York, both up and downstate! In Woodstock, The 2013 WOODSTOCK INVITATIONAL LUTHIERS SHOWCASE will feature the best acoustic instrument makers in the world, as well as continuous music all weekend, special shows at night, workshops, and other events, culminating with a show closing concert with LARRY CAMPBELL, TERESA WILLIAMS, AND FRIENDS at 5PM on Sunday. Visit www.woodstockinvitational.com for more info and a complete schedule. JOE LOUIS WALKER, who’s been busy mentoring Murali Coryell’s career, is at The Falcon in Marlboro, SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY AND THE POOR FOOLS at The Towne Crier in Beacon, and the real Halloween party at BSP in Kingston. Downstate, we’ve got THE FAB FAUX performing the music of George Harrison at The Beacon Theater, and great R n B singer, JAMES HUNTER at BB King’s! He’s the real thing folks!
Sunday, October 27 – SONNY LANDRETH pulls into The Towne Crier for a night, RYAN MONTBLEAU is at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan, and the WOODSTOCK INVITATIONAL AFTER-PARTY is at The Colony Café in Woodstock!
Monday, October 28 – I’m recommending two wildly differing shows tonight, something that brings me great joy! Glam-Punk icons, THE NEW YORK DOLLS will rock Irving Plaza, and ALAN JACKSON, one of the very few current Country acts who doesn’t suck, is at Carnegie Hall. This has to be a highlight of his career, and I’m betting he’ll perform like it!
Tuesday, October 29 – All the action tonight is down in the city. THE TUBES are at BB King’s and YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND with THE FOUNDING FATHERS opening, are at Brooklyn Bowl. This will be a great Bluegrass show, and BTW, Founding Fathers is made up of former Infamous Stringduster members who didn’t dig Nashville, so it’s gonna be a goodun!
Wednesday, October 30 – Rap and cultural icons, CYPRESS HILL, are at Best Buy Theater. Hip Hop fan or not, these guys will be a blast! In Kingston, the great DUKE MCVINNIE BAND concludes their October residency at BSP Lounge.
Thursday, October 31 – Happy Halloween, and there’s two ways to have fun tonight. Three, if you count the Halloween parade in Manhattan, four if you count the Halloween parade in Woodstock, but we’ll just stick to music! PHIL LESH brings his FAMILY BAND into The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester for the first of four straight nights, concluding Sunday. At The Bearsville Theater, THE LINDSEY WEBSTER BAND celebrates Led Zeppelin with a costume party and performance!
Joining Lindsey will be her usual cohorts on keyboards and drums respectively, Keith Slattery and Dan Hickey, with three special guitarists, Myles Mancuso, Vito Petrocitto, and Matt Finck. I guess they needed three guitarists to duplicate Jimmy Page’s parts. Not surprising, since they’re triple tracked (or more) on the Led Zep records.
Alright! Hopefully, no more tech glitches. See you next week!
Well, I was right! I loved the Billy Joe Shaver show at B Side Ballroom in Oneonta, and I love the B Side Ballroom! What a cool venue! The owners, Wayne and Rebecca, are lovely, as is Billy Joe Shaver! I’m gonna tell you a story. I met Billy Joe once in Austin. When he told me he was glad to meet me, I really believed it, because he said it like he really meant it! I was impressed with his vibe, too. He was glowing with something, not sure what. Love, maybe. After the show at B Side, I went over to say hello. Billy Joe immediately greeted me warmly and asked how I’ve been. He remembered me from a 15 minute meeting, once, ten years ago! See what I mean? The man is an amazing character, who’s LIVED! He told stories about his son dying, about shooting a guy at a bar in Texas, about Willie Nelson, music, you name it! Billy Joe Shaver is a wellspring of stories and music! I guess that’s what happens once you’ve been to Georgia on a fast train!
He brought his band with him, which was a pleasant surprise, and they rocked! Great playing, guys! Former Georgia Satellite Keith Christopher was there, and sat in on guitar, and I spotted some Horseshoe Lounge Playboys in the crowd, as well as my buddy John Madeo, who hosts The Little Delaware Jamboree on WIOX, 91.3 FM on Monday nights, and on whose show I am a frequent guest. Also on the web at www.wioxradio.org.
So, it was a fun night rockin’ out with Billy Joe, and I hope to return to the B Side frequently. Please support this place if you can. It’s awesome, and we need it to keep on doing what it’s doing for live music in Oneonta!
This week in the city, the second annual CBGB Music and Film Festival takes over the town from Tuesday through Sunday, with over 500 bands at almost 200 venues all across Manhattan and Brooklyn, and over 200 speakers and films, for a total of over 700 live events, culminating in a free concert in Times Square (see below) with My Morning Jacket, The Wallflowers, Grizzly Bear, and more bands and DJ’s! More info at www.cbgb.com!
Now for this week’s live music picks!
Wednesday, October 9 – The immortal GINGER BAKER and his new band, JAZZ CONFUSION, with saxophonist PEEWEE ELLIS, starts a 5 night run at Iridium in Manhattan. It looks like the former Cream drummer has put together a Jazz band, and has threatened to perform classics by Monk, Bird, Miles, and Trane! Well, he really always was a Jazz drummer! Nightly through October 13. Also at Leftfield on Ludlow Street, Hudson Valley resident GENYA RAVAN, formerly of Ten Wheel Drive and Goldie and The Gingerbreads, will be holding court with former Dead Boys guitarist, CHEETAH CHROME, who Genya produced for the debut Dead Boys album. Should be a great reunion! RODRIGUEZ is an artist with an amazing story! The Mexican-American singer/songwriter was signed to a major label and released two albums at the beginning of the 1970’s. Both albums stiffed and he was dropped from the label, after which he dropped out of the music business and lived on the brink of poverty for the next thirty years, doing demolition work and attending Wayne State University, where he earned a BA degree. Unknown to Rodriguez, during this time he became a platinum selling artist in South Africa and also very popular in Australia. In 1998, two South African fans discovered Rodriguez alive and well and living in Detroit. This started a musical comeback the likes of which has never been seen in the music business! In 2012, a documentary was made called “Looking for Sugar Man”, which won numerous awards around the world, including the Academy Award for best documentary! Rodriguez is now enjoying a resurgence of his career and is playing at The Barclay Center in Brooklyn tonight, and Radio City Music Hall tomorrow night! Radio City is sold out, but you can still snag tickets for the Barclay Center. Google him, visit his websites, and check him out on YouTube. Even if you don’t go, it’s an amazing story that will brighten your day!
Thursday, October 10 – If you can’t get a ticket for the sold out RODRIGUEZ show at Radio City, try STEVE KIMOCK AND BERNIE WORRELL at Brooklyn Bowl. Kimock is a veteran of numerous jam bands and Worrell is a member of the Parlia-Funkadelicment Thang, AKA The Parliament Funkadelic Musical Collective, and a former member of Talking Heads.
Friday, October 11 – The weekend starts with a bang, or several bangs, to be more precise! PUSS N BOOTS, a little Americana trio put together by Norah Jones, ex- Grace Potter and The Nocturnals bassist, Catherine Popper, and former Ryan Adams and The Cardinals member, Sasha Dobson, (and who my band, The Cheating Hearts, shared a bill with last year at Hill Country Barbecue in Manhattan), will be at Bowery Electric in Manhattan, with three other bands, all of whom will probably be good! (BTW, Norah listened and danced through the entire Cheating Hearts set, and then told us we were “great”)! Also tonight in Manhattan, the reunited Buena Vista Social Club, now known as ORQUESTA BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB, is at Jazz at Lincoln Center for the first of two nights, counter-culture demi-god, JOHN SINCLAIR (Google him) at Cutting Room, and the last surviving master of his style, TONY BENNETT, is at Radio City Music Hall! Up in the Catskills, RICKIE LEE JONES will perform at a breast cancer benefit at The Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, and The O+ FESTIVAL kicks off a 3 day weekend in Kingston. More info at www.opositivefestival.org.
Saturday, October 12 – We’re all about Manhattan tonight! Woodstock local hero, SIMONE FELICE is down in the city at Rockwood Music Hall, mega influential rock band, THE MEAT PUPPETS are at Brooklyn Bowl, FUZZ, who I never heard of, but have been favorably compared to Blue Cheer, are at Mercury Lounge, and MY MORNING JACKET, THE WALLFLOWERS, GRIZZLY BEAR, and several more bands, are at a place called Times Square!??? Outdoor show? Yup! It’s part of the CBGB Festival. It’s a free, all day show, so, enjoy!
Sunday, October 13 – RICKIE LEE JONES at Towne Crier in Beacon, DIANA KRALL at UPAC in Kingston, BEARSVILLE SESSIONS 8 will focus on ONE HIT WONDERS at The Bearsville Theater, and in the city, awesome Americana rock band, RECKLESS KELLY, is at Bowery Ballroom, and HAWKWIND, who were sort of the British version of The Grateful Dead, are at Gramercy Theater!
Tuesday, October 15 – MARK LANEGAN, of the fantastic grunge rock band, Screaming Trees, at Gramercy Theater, and an odd coupling of Rock Royalty, JEFF BECK AND BRIAN WILSON at The Beacon Theater!
Wednesday, October 16 – GLENN TILLBROOK, late of the band, Squeeze, at Stage 48 on, where else, 48th Street.
Thursday, October 17 – CBGB’S FILM makes its Hudson Valley premier at Bearsville Theater.
That’s it for another one! See you next week!
Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Wuhl with their band, The Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger, onstage at BSP Lounge, Kingston, NY, 9/28/13. All photos by John Gullo.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column about the grand opening of The Anchor, a new club in Kingston. This week, in an effort to give equal time and recognition to other venues that are helping to keep live music alive in the Hudson Valley, I turn my attention to BSP Lounge in Kingston!
BSP is a place that has had its share of ups and downs, but since Trevor Dunworth came aboard as manager, it’s come alive! Nice room, good music, hip crowd, it’s one of the hottest spots around, in my opinion! Very sophisticated, urbane, and cosmopolitan. Not your average Hudson Valley nightspot!
Their booking policy has brought all sorts of national acts to Kingston in the past few months. Former Captain Beefheart guitarist, Gary Lucas was there in June, former Stiff recording artist, Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby in July, they’ve had Grace Potter and The Nocturnals and Assembly of Dust on a double bill, Neko Case (who just tore it up at Radio City Music Hall!), Marco Benevento, 3, Mercury Rev, and last Saturday night, BSP brought Sean Lennon to Kingston, with Charlotte Kemp Muhl, and their band, The Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger!
The place was packed with the hippest people for miles around, the opening bands, Parakeet and Brother JT, were awesome! Parakeet performing a long ambient piece of music and Brother JT waking up the crowd with their punk infused original songs! Brother JT must be singled out for special mention, and I am planning a longer piece on them, as soon as I can! They were intense, weird, and great!
But everyone was there to see Sean, and he didn’t disappoint! Hanging out at the bar before they went on, Sean seemed to be, like his father, a man of the people. Very casual, very relaxed, seemingly very comfortable in his own skin. Sean and Charlotte took the stage like experienced pros! I didn’t know what to expect, because people had warned me that Sean had more of his mother in him than his father (not necessarily a bad thing), and was heavily into electronic music, but I’m happy to report that Sean channeled both of them and added his own thing to emerge as a real artist in every sense of the word! The show was marvelous! The band was rockin’, the songs were good, and, without being slavishly imitative at all, were very John, with a Sean filter. Really, really good stuff! Not Electronica at all! Just Rock and Roll, and a splendid time was had by all in attendance! Come back Sean! You said Kingston was hip from the stage, now come back and give us some more love, brother!
In an effort to meet my deadline, let’s get right to this week’s live music picks!
Wednesday, October 2 – There’s a great venue that I just discovered called The B Side Ballroom. It’s up in Oneonta, and after I go there for their first anniversary celebration tonight, to see the iconic BILLY JOE SHAVER, I just might write something about this promising venue. It sounds like my kind of place. We shall see. Stay tuned. Back in Kingston, the uncompromising, unusual, and very unique DUKE MCVINNIE BAND starts their October residency at BSP Lounge in Kingston. Check www.bspkingston.com for more info. Just another example of the fine work they’re doing at BSP! In the city, STEELY DAN are on the third night of their 7 shows in 9 nights run at The Beacon Theater, and THE RAVI COLTRANE QUARTET are on the second night of a 6 night run at the legendary Village Vanguard.
Thursday, October 3 – The WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL starts tonight and continues all weekend. www.woodstockfilmfestival.org for more information. For you rockers in the city, MARKY RAMONE AND ANDREW WK are at Irving Plaza tonight, and again on Saturday night.
Friday, October 4 – Big show tonight at Roseland Ballroom, so why not make it a Pick of the Week? BLONDIE and X together should make this a night to remember! My old friend GARY LUCAS is out at Brooklyn Academy of Music tonight and tomorrow with his band, GODS AND MONSTERS, performing The Edge of Heaven, his tribute to some of the greatest Chinese singers of the last century! Very esoteric, as Mister Lucas always is! Up in the Hudson Valley, the great CKS is at The Falcon in Marlborough, and AMY HELM PRESENTS FRIDAY NIGHT AT LEVON’S BARN in Woodstock! www.levonhelm.com for more info.
Saturday, October 5 – Couple of really big shows tonight, as Ed Sullivan used to say, in the city! LIVING COLOR reforms for a show at Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem, and RUFUS WITH SLY STONE are at BB King’s! I’m not expecting much from Sly because he is way out there, but this could be great, so I’m making both of these shows Picks of the Week, with a stronger nod going to Vernon Reid’s Living Color, which will be more rockin’!!
Wednesday, October 9 – GINGER BAKER starts a five night engagement at Iridium in Manhattan tonight!
Th-th-th-th-th-that’s all folks! See you next week!
Two really cool things happened this week. Well, three, if you count The London Souls playing at Club Helsinki in Hudson last Friday night! The other two are that Metallica played a two hour set at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem last Saturday night, and from all accounts shredded the place, then burned it down! The concert was broadcast live on Sirius/XM Radio, so you might be able to find it. Read all about it here http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/metallica-shred-through-greatest-hits-at-the-apollo-theater-20130922
And the third really cool thing that happened this week, actually, on Monday, is that the iconic Ray Charles got his own United States postage stamp as a birthday present from Uncle Sam! Ray’s Forever stamp will coincide with the release of Ray Charles Forever, a compilation album being released the next day. The artwork for the stamp is a beautiful full color picture of Ray beaming onstage! As soon as I saw it, my first thought was, “I wanna send all my letters with that stamp”! The only problem is, who sends letters any more? LOL. Read more here http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ray-charles-honored-on-u-s-postage-stamp-20130922
Alright, so I’m still in recovery mode from all the excitement of the first half of September, but I’ve got a feeling I’d better hurry up and get ready for the weekend, cause it starts Wednesday, and it don’t let up on Sunday, so, here we go!
Wednesday, September 25 – EARTH, WIND, AND FIRE are already into the second of two nights at The Beacon Theater, and GRAHAM NASH is onto the second of three nights at City Winery, but I’m really looking forward to THE HOWLIN’ BROTHERS at Bearsville Theater! Never heard these guys before, but they look cool, they’re funny, talented, they have a hit record, and they look like they’re going places! More info at www.bearsvilletheater.com. With The Hope-Gold Duo opening.
Thursday, September 26 – Well, THE HOWLIN’ BROTHERS are at Hill Country Barbecue, and JOE SATRIANI and STEVE MORSE are at The Beacon Theater, but if I was in the city tonight, I’d be at NEKO CASE at Radio City Music Hall! This lady is peaking right now, her new song, “Man” rocks, this is the first time she’s headlined a venue of this size and historical importance, and she is going to rise to the occasion! I wouldn’t be too surprised if special guests showed up for this show, either! She’s worked with a lot of them on record!
Friday, September 27 – Lots of great stuff going on this weekend. Let’s start with the great BEN E. KING, he of “Stand By Me” and “Spanish Harlem” fame, former lead singer of The Drifters, and Rock and Roll and Vocal group Halls of Fame inductee, who’s making an extremely rare appearance at BB King’s in Manhattan! Our friends in THE ALEXIS P. SUTER GROUP are at Iridium for the first of two nights. Moving up to the Hudson Valley, THE ANCHOR in Kingston is open for its second weekend, and they have a good line up tonight! It’s MEGAN JEAN AND THE KFB, with THE OLD DOUBLE E, and TRAIL LIGHT REBELLION, opening. Now, the only one of these bands that I’ve actually heard, is The Old Double E, which, I assume, gets their name from Ed Butler and Little Earl from Voodelic, two of the principals of the outfit, but I could be wrong. It could be something old and arcane! If you come to The Anchor tonight, you can ask them yourself! But, I digress. I know The Old Double E are good, if you like old timey bluegrass, country, rockabilly, and folk n roll, and THEY told me that Megan Jean is amazing! Is that enough of a recommendation to go on? I think so. Anyway, I’m looking for The Anchor to become one of those places where it doesn’t matter who’s playing, because it’s always someone good! Over at The Bearsville Theater, they’ve got a very special performance by two artists who play together only rarely, DAVID BROMBERG AND LARRY CAMPBELL! It seems like they will be playing together tonight! These two are both Masters of their various instruments, so this should be exciting. And up in Hudson, the fabulous EILEN JEWELL will return to Club Helsinki, hopefully with her amazing guitar player, JERRY MILLER, who’s just released a terrific solo album himself! Highly recommended!
Saturday, September 28 – The weekend hi-jinx continue with SEAN LENNON at BSP Lounge in Kingston. Yes, that would be John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s son, Sean. Can’t vouch for the musicality of Sean, but I’ll be there none the less! Will we get John, Yoko, or a hybrid? Stay tuned. In Woodstock, MOONALICE is at The Midnight Ramble, with The M.R. Band, and Woodstock comes to Hudson in the form of young guitarslinger, CONNOR KENNEDY, who’s at Helsinki tonight. Downstate, the great BILLY JOE SHAVER pulls into Hill Country Barbecue, JONNY LANG is at Irving Plaza, and the immortal JIMMY CLIFF is at Webster Hall, and lemme tell ya folks, Jimmy Cliff’s still got it! Recommended! Any one of these three will be great!
Sunday, September 29 – It’s a quiet Sunday night. You’re exhausted from being out late Friday and Saturday. Runnin’ on fumes. How ‘bout New Orleans guitarist, ANDERS OSBORNE, solo acoustic, at City Winery?
Monday, September 30 – STEELY DAN open a 7 night in 9 day engagement at The Beacon Theater that will probably be really good, even if you’re not an SD nerd, but tonight, tonight we will be at City Winery with JAMES COTTON! His new stuff is awesome, and I’m betting this show will be too! And if you’re home tonight, don’t forget to tune in to John Madeo’s “Little Delaware Jamboree” at 8pm EST, on WIOX, 91.3 FM, where you will hear some great music, and, at a little past 8:30, you can listen to John and I discussing music, both live and recorded! My segment usually lasts until 9 pm station ID. Also online at www.wioxradio.org.
Tuesday, October 1 – John and Alice Coltrane’s son, Ravi Coltrane, will be taking up residence with his band, THE RAVI COLTRANE QUARTET, at my favorite jazz club, The Village Vanguard, tonight through October 6! I did mention Ravi Coltrane’s heritage, but we would be recommending him if his last name was Smith! The man can blow! Expect some great music during this run! The Village Vanguard is the last remnant of the New York jazz scene as I imagined it was in the 1950’s! Minus the smoke, of course! LOL. A basement room down the stairs. Last time I was here, I saw Tony Williams! Good times!
Wednesday, October 2 – Up in Oneonta, The B Side Ballroom celebrates it’s first anniversary with a very special appearance by a lovely man, BILLY JOE SHAVER! This should be fantastic! Catch it if you can!
Thursday, October, 3 – Opening night for The Woodstock Film Festival. Check local listings or woodstockfilmfestival.com for more.
As always, if you give away your copy of The Townsman, this column is online at www.reservoirmusiccenter.com, www.brooklyncowboys.com, and www.hvmusic.com, and archived on www.thetownsman.com.
See ya next week!
Archives - archived columns are also posted online at www.thetownsman.com. Many of them are still interesting, even though they're old.