Last Saturday night, I went on an insane adventure to NYC. I probably bit off more than I could chew, but I closed the store early and raced to Manhattan to catch Chuck Mead at Joe’s Pub. Chuck doled out a set of the finest Country Music this side of Tennessee for his adoring fans, many of whom included VIP’s from satellite and terrestrial radio. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Chuck Mead is the real thing, the genuine article, and he’s one of the few who’s carrying the torch for real Country Music! His take on Johnny Cash and June Carter’s classic duet “Jackson” with Laura Cantrell was as good as anyone’s, and that’s some pretty impressive company!
After catching up with Chuck and the boys, and some of his radio fans who I knew from my days with The Brooklyn Cowboys, I tore off into the night to catch Del Fuegos at The Bell House in Brooklyn. It was great to see these guys back together after 21 years and still rockin’! On their last tour, 21 years ago, I played James and Bobby Purify’s “I’m Your Puppet” with them at soundcheck at the Jones Beach Theater. At The Bell House, we didn’t really get a chance to talk, because there was too much craziness, so I said a quick hello and took off into the night again, ending up at an all night diner with a friend that I hadn’t seen in years, and then driving back home, arriving in the Hudson Valley at 5AM! To quote Frankie Valli, “Oh what a night”!
Boy, we’ve got a great week of music here now. I could go out every night this week and twice on Sunday, and every night would be a Pick of the Week! Starting with EILEN JEWELL at The Bell House in Brooklyn on Thursday, March 8. Jewell really is a diamond in the rough, who hopefully, will never get polished! She leads her band through the tragedy of heartbreak to a rockin’ backbeat and some very sweet guitar licks from guitarist Jerry Miller. She’s really, really good! Highly recommended! We also have terrific singer/ songwriter, TODD SNIDER, at Irving Plaza in Manhattan. And I don’t mean that in an acoustic 70’s singer/songwriter kinda way. More like a rockin’ 90’s kinda way. Todd writes some great songs. He’s one of our best.
Now for The Big One! The Boss, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, at The Apollo Theater on Friday night, March 9! Are you effing kidding me? Springsteen, at The Apollo?!!! If you’ve never been there, The Apollo Theater is very, very small. I don’t think Springsteen’s played a venue this small (unannounced surprise appearances in New Jersey excepted) since The Bottom Line in 1975, which I was there for! Forget about Pick of the Week, this is the first ever Pick of the Month! And, it’s not a wimpy solo acoustic gig either. It’s the full on E Street Band, so put your rockin’ shoes on and get on up to Harlem for a night to remember!
Hold onto your hats, cause we ain’t done yet, not by a longshot! One of the few men who could step into the late Clarence ‘The Big Man’ Clemons shoes, the great BOBBY KEYS, longtime sax player with The Rolling Stones, brings his band, The Sufferin’ Bastards, to The Highline Ballroom in Manhattan. Bobby’s been with The Stones since they added horns in the early 1970’s, and has played every immortal Stones’ sax solo ever done! “Live with Me” to “Brown Sugar”, it’s all Bobby! But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Bobby Keys has been a touring musician since 1956, when he went on the road with Buddy Holly at the age of 16! He played the baritone sax part on Elvis Presley’s “Return to Sender”! He also had a long history with The Beatles, playing on George Harrison’s masterpiece, “All Things Must Pass” and John Lennon’s “Whatever gets you Through the Night”. But here’s the kicker – Bobby played the sax solo on “The Wanderer”!!! I was just listening to that a few days ago and marveling at the power and intensity of the sax playing in the solo. The guy’s a legend! Friday night’s show is already sold out, but there are tickets left for Sunday. Hence, go!
Whoa…there’s rock n roll royalty all over town tonight! The ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD performs at BB King’s tonight! This band sports names like Neville, Allman, and Wooten, so, you know what I mean? The ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND themselves start their annual 3 week run at The Beacon Theater tonight. I’m not gonna give you all the dates, but you can check the theater’s website for more information. And last but not least, in the Hudson Valley, JIM WEIDER’S PROJECT PERCOLATOR showcases Weider’s amazing guitar chops at The Falcon in Marlborough. Jim is the TeleMaster in Levon Helm’s band.
Saturday, March 10 – ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD reprises Friday night’s show at Club Helsinki in Hudson and TODD SNIDER does the same at The Egg in Albany. And for you downstaters, DAVID JOHANSEN, lead singer of the New York Dolls, and in another incarnation, Buster Poindexter, is at The Highline Ballroom in Manhattan.
Sunday, March 11 – BOBBY KEYS is back at The Highline Ballroom for his final show in New York, and, prepare yourselves, the great TONY BENNETT is at The Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie! The Bardavon has the best sound system in the Hudson Valley and one of the best anywhere. A great place to see The Ol’ Crooner.
Monday, March 12 – Up and coming supergroup THE BLACK KEYS pull into Madison Square Garden for a night.
Tuesday, March 13 – A great night of music is planned to CELEBRATE THE MUSIC OF THE ROLLING STONES 1964-1971 at Carnegie Hall. A veritable who’s who of the music world gathers tonight to honor the self proclaimed “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”. Scheduled to perform are Roseanne Cash, Steve Earle, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes, Jackie Greene, Taj Mahal, Jackson Browne, Marianne Faithfull, Art Garfunkel, Rickie Lee Jones, Marc Cohen, Angelique Kidjo, Ronnie Spector, Gomez, and probably many more unannounced guests. This will be a hot show, and I’m making it my Pick of the Week!
Wednesday, March 14 – The week winds up with JACKIE GREENE at City Winery in Manhattan.
Have a great one!