Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Split Squad @ The Horseshoe, Thursday

Watch The Fleshtones' Keith Streng get down with Blondie's Clem Burke and Eddie Muñoz of the Plimsouls.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jorge Ben vs. José Prates

The melody of José Prates' 1958 recording of Nanã Imborô seems strangely familiar.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy 75th Birthday William Eggleston!

Here's Michael Almereyda's salute to the father of colour photography, William Eggleston in the Real World.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jessica Stuart Few w/ Wendy Stuart @ Harbourfront's Redpath Stage, Saturday

Don't miss Jessica's homecoming koto jam with her mom on Saturday from 3pm to 4pm – it's free! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Choir! Choir! Choir! @ Harbourfront, Friday

Providing a perfect counterpoint to Ford Fest, Choir! Choir! Choir! will rock the WestJet Stage at 8 pm.

Happy Birthday Don Ellis

Remembering the late great trumpeter/composer with a sweet show by the Don Ellis Tribute Orchestra.

00:05:27 Theme from "French Connection" (Don Ellis)
00:11:08 Open Wide (Don Ellis)
00:20:41 Variations for Trumpet (Don Ellis)
00:42:50 Indian Lady (Don Ellis)
00:57:04 Go Back Home (Don Ellis)
01:02:28 In a Turkish Bath (Ron Myers)
01:21:18 5er to Don Ellis (Thomas Gansch)
01:35:38 - Hey Jude (Paul McCartney)
01:41:43 (introduction of the band)
01:49:55 Bulgarian Bulge (Don Ellis)

2013-12-18 Bühne frei im Studio 2, BR - Munich, Germany
By Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting, BR)

Solo Trumpet: Thomas Gansch
Trumpets: Aneel Soomary, Josef Burchartz, Bernhard Nolf, Tobias Reisacher
Trombones: Dominik Stöger, Robert Bachner, Martin Grünzweig, Erik Hainzl
Saxophones: Florian Trübsbach, Clemens Salesny, Thomas Kugi, Christian Maurer, Herwig Gradischnig
Guitar: Martin Koller
Bass: Raphael Preuschl
Drums: Herbert Pirker, Lukas König
Leader: Markus Geiselhart

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bob Marley vs. James Brown

There's no mistaking the James Brown inspiration on the Wailers' amped up Black Progress. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Velvet Crush reunite for one song in Boston

Watch the new Reigning Sound video for Never Coming Home

Reigning Sound's Shattered album is out now. Tickets are on sale for their Horseshoe gig October 25.


July 24 - Carrboro, NC @ Merge 25 @ Cat's Cradle
July 25 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
July 26 - Asheville, NC The Mothlight

27 Philadelphia, Pa. @ Black Box in Underground Arts 
28 New York, N.Y. @ Bowery Ballroom 
30 Asheville, N.C. @ Harvest Records Transfigurations II
31 Columbus, Ohio @ Ace of Cups

1 Chicago, Ill. @ Empty Bottle
2 Bloomington, Ind. @ The Bishop 
4 Raleigh, N.C. @ Hopscotch Festival

Thu 23 Cambridge, MA – Middle East Downstairs
Fri 24 Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
Sat 25 Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern
Sun 26 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern
Mon 27 Detroit, MI – PJ’s Lager House
Tues 28 Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club
Wed 29 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
Thurs 30 Iowa City, IA – The Mill
Fri 31 Kansas City, MO – Record Bar

Sat 1 Memphis TN @ Hi-Tone
Sun 2 Nashville TN @ Mercy Lounge 
Mon 3 Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre

See Orgone @ The Horseshoe, Wednesday

Expect a preview of Orgone's new album when the heavy whumpin' LA crew shake the 'Shoe tonight.

Happy Birthday Tony Joe White!

Cheers to the Louisiana swamp fox who turns 71 today! He's at the Edmonton Folk Festival on August 10. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Whaddya mean you don't know The Steneboofs

Before Gyedu Blay Ambolley hit it big with the Apagya Show Band, he cut this proto-rap joint in 1973.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bobby Womack: Across 110th Street documentary

The incredible story of late great Bobby Womack is outlined in this hour-long BBC doc from 2013. 

Video of the Week: HDTV by Wrong Hole

HDTV is off Wrong Hole's debut 2012. Watch for the Hemingway nod – hey, it's Papa's birthday!

Happy Birthday Chris Eckman!

Here's a brilliant Walkabouts performance of Soul Thief issued as a limited seven-inch in 2012.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Buck Owens on the Jimmy Dean Show 1965

Buck is joined by Telecaster master Don Rich, Doyle Holly, Willie Cantu and pedal steel ace Tom Brumley.

Happy Birthday J. Plunky Branch

Before Plunky's Oneness of JuJu, there was simply JuJu who recorded two amazing Strata-East albums.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Robert Forster vs. Grant Hart

The title of Grant Hart's song 2541 comes from the address of Nicolett Studio, now a Mexican restaurant. 

Happy Birthday Michael Kentoff

Michael Kentoff's Imitation Air appears on The Caribbean's new Moon Sickness album discussed below.

The Caribbean - Moon Sickness (Hometapes)

“I’ve been working with The Caribbean for a decade now. I’m a passionate fan and I take my job as technical custodian of their art very seriously. They’ve always been an unusually thoughtful and creative band with a forward-looking aesthetic I have worked to protect and amplify. As time has gone on, their vision has become more refined and their execution more confident and authoritative.

This is as it should be.

Bands should get stronger and more interesting as they progress. Ideally, public awareness, critical acclaim and popularity increase in accord. Along these exact lines, a great thing happened in 2011. The band created and released ‘Discontinued Perfume,’ its strongest, darkest, most realized work to date. Happily, it was met with nearly unanimous acclaim. Here in DC, awareness of and esteem for the band rose palpably in the press. With ‘Discontinued Perfume,’ people started bandying about hyperbole like ‘brilliant’ and ‘masterpiece.’ The reception was surprising and gratifying for a fairly esoteric band that had resigned itself to being consigned to the margins. It was like a key turned in a cultural lock somewhere. People really began to ‘get it.’ It was nice.

But how do you follow up this kind of thing? Remarkably, when it came time to make a new album, the band did not become intimidated or self-conscious. There was no discussion about this new circumstance. They simply set about the business of creating new music in the way they always had. Michael Kentoff went down to his basement studio, used his formidable imagination, and came up with the scaffolding for nine new songs, which the band began to vivify and adorn. Business as usual.

Check out the Moon Sickness album right here.
The result is ‘Moon Sickness,’ a new set of songs with many of the recognizable characteristics of previous Caribbean albums — Kentoff’s literary and darkly dreamlike lyrics, the band’s advanced and eccentric compositional sensibility, and the curious, electronically treated surreal found-sounds draped around the songs. However, what feels new here is a bright, almost gregarious immediacy…embodied most obviously by the opener ‘Chemistry Sisters.’ This song contrasts pretty sharply with the opener of the previous album, the sinister, conspiratorial ‘Lands And Grooves.’ Where ‘Lands And Grooves’ opened with an introductory sound, an austerely minimal beat, and a stanza of poetic evocation, ‘Chemistry Sisters’ leaps out of the speakers with no overture whatsoever. The song is in your lap within a matter of seconds, overspilling with saturated, kaleidoscopic hues, a kinetic, byzantine chord progression, and a lyric that almost feels like a prosaic narrative description. Whole thing seems downright extroverted. It’s certainly a contrast from the terrain of ‘Discontinued Perfume.’

Before involving me in the album, the band described the music to me as concise, unforced pop songs. But I’ve been collaborating with the band long enough to be familiar with their tendency to characterize their own music as much more conventional and accessible than it is. It’s one of the qualities that makes them so beguilingly arcane: they don’t regard themselves as arcane at all. Still, I was indeed struck by the tone and presence of the songs when I heard them. ‘Imitation Air’ has dark lyrics, but it is pretty damned hooky from the first few seconds. With its appealing loping swing, I think it’s as close as the band has gotten to the word ‘confectionary.’ And ‘Jobsworth’ eschews the futuristic sonics that the band has often favored for a more plainly appointed rock arrangement. Seems to almost take on shades of ‘Document’-era R.E.M. Or at least that’s the way I hear it.

So at the risk of playing armchair analyst, I speculate that the Caribbean’s subconscious response to the new warmth and encouragement that enfolded them in the ‘Perfume’ period was to radiate it back out to the world. And that is a key energy you hear in this album. That being said, let’s be clear: Caribbean acolytes will not be shocked or dismayed. They are still arcane, introspective weirdo geniuses with a taste for the surreal and a basically melancholic disposition. I mean, come on, they titled it ‘Moon Sickness.’ It’s not a party record. You’d be wise not to expect straightforward, jubilant singalong choruses or ordinary chord progressions. But within the band’s canon — a body of work I love profoundly — this is certainly the most congenial entry yet.

Along with its own intrinsic virtues, I think it makes for a fantastic chaser for the last album.”

Chad Clark, producer/engineer

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One For The Weekend: Ebo Taylor & The Sweet Beans

Lee Hazlewood's Paris studio session in 1968

Watch Lee Hazlewood and crew track She Comes Running and the House Song at CBE Studio in Paris.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Neil Young asks Who's Gonna Stand Up And Save The Earth?

Mr. Fine Wine turns up two mysterious acetate gems

If the woman in the publicity photo above looks familiar, get in touch with Matt Weingarden. 

Happy 75th Birthday William Bell

Check out William's performance at the White House and his Stax demo of Will You Love Me Tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New album from Billy Joe Shaver "Long In The Tooth" due August 5th

The Ray Kennedy-produced Long In The Tooth boasts another duet with fellow outlaw Willie Nelson.


Billy Joe Shaver's finest songs prowl ("Hard To Be an Outlaw") and punch ("Music City USA") with welterweight fury. Evidence: The legendary outlaw's seamless Long in the Tooth. Shaver's first studio album in six years showcases a singular songwriter in peak form as he unearths his trademark truths around every corner ("Last Call for Alcohol," "The Git Go"). "This is the best album I've ever done," he says. "It's just dangerously good. I expect it to change things and turn things around the way Honky Tonk Heroes did."
Long in the Tooth, released on Lightning Rod Records through Thirty Tigers, charts his journey as an unrepentant outlaw. "Each song is different with different beats and different kinds of music," he says. "I even have one rap song. The titles are all so catchy like ‘It's Hard to Be an Outlaw' and ‘The Git Go.' Those are pretty hard to beat. Songwriting is gut wrenching, but if you dig down and write real honest you'll find something real great. I believe everybody should write. It's the cheapest psychiatrist there is and, God knows, I still need one."
Long in the Tooth spotlights all the highs, lows and in-betweens from Shaver's storied career, an evolving narrative never short on color. "The record's about me," says Shaver, who turns 75 years old on August 16th. "I've written a lot of great songs and I'm still writing great songs, but I felt neglected. I have been, actually. The reluctance to play old people's music is as bad as it was to play young people's music. I think it should level out where everyone can hear good art, but it seems like radio doesn't play older people's music. Man, it's like throwing out the Mona Lisa. I don't understand, but I'm just so proud of Long in the Tooth. This record will be a gigantic step."
Of course, Honky Tonk Heroes was the record that skyrocketed Shaver into public consciousness four decades ago. Waylon Jennings' landmark album delivered Shaver-written classics practically every measure: "Old Five and Dimers Like Me," "Willy the Wandering Gypsy and Me," "Ride Me Down Easy," the title track and the Top 10 hit "You Asked Me To." In fact, 10 of the album's 11 songs were written or co-written by Shaver. It established him as a singular songwriter, a man whose earthy poetry resonates across the board. He's doubled down ever since.
No one sings Shaver's songs like the man himself, but plenty have tried: Everyone from Johnny Cash ("I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal") and Tom T. Hall ("Willy the Wandering Gypsy and Me") to the Allman Brothers ("Sweet Mama") and Asleep at the Wheel ("Way Down Texas Way") has cut his tunes. "That's kind of like my trophies," Shaver admits. "Instead of getting CMA Awards, that means a whole lot more to me. When you write songs, and you write good songs, people will always remember you. Words will always outlive us. And if your name is attached to those words, you're gonna live forever."
Shaver spins yarns linking sacred ("Jesus Christ, What a Man") and secular ("That's What She Said Last Night") with a devil's grin. High watermarks have become instant standards ("Georgia on a Fast Train"). "These days it seems that every young songwriter in Texas wants to grow up to be Billy Joe Shaver," Kinky Friedman wrote recently. "Like the defenders of the Alamo, I predict that one day they'll be naming schools after Billy Joe, the man who wrote the immortal lines: ‘I got a good Christian raisin'/And an eighth grade education/Ain't no need in y'all treatin' me this way."
His most wistful ("Live Forever") and weary ("Blood Is Thicker Than Water") blur lines between life and art. In fact, Shaver, who lost parts of four fingers in an early sawmill accident, has lived through several tragedies that could serve as blueprints for teary country songs. Most notably, he endured the "cosmic misfortune" of his mother, first wife and only son (guitarist Eddy Shaver) dying within a year of one another. Life's simply treated him hard. Shaver hasn't aged gracefully, either. (Spin "Wacko from Waco" for his account of shooting a man in the face outside Papa Joe's Texas Saloon in spring 2007.)
The Corsicana, Texas native's Lone Star State roots run deep: His great-great-great grandfather, Revolutionary War veteran Evan Thomas Watson, was one of the founders of the Republic. Shaver was raised in hardscrabble circumstances by his grandmother, working on farms and selling newspapers on the street in his youth. He sang and made up songs "since I could talk," and was inspired in his childhood to keep at it after sneaking out of home one night to catch a country music show where he heard Hank Williams early in his career.
He drew a connection between country and blues from an uncle's record collection and the neighboring African-American farm workers' music. "Country music is really close to being the blues, and rock 'n' roll ain't nothing but the blues with a beat. That's about it," he says. Shaver was given a Gene Autry guitar by his grandmother at age 11 and began playing until his stepfather gave it away a few years later as payment for yard work. Following a brief stint in the Navy at age 16, a stab at professional rodeo, and the aforementioned incident losing parts of his fingers, Shaver took up playing guitar again and devoted himself to songwriting.
He hitchhiked to Nashville in 1965 and eventually earned a $50-a-week writer's deal with Bobby Bare's publishing company. Soon Jennings picked up those Shaver classics for Honk Tonk Heroes. As theWashington Post notes, "When the country outlaws were collecting their holy writings, Billy Joe Shaver was carving out Exodus." He followed his debut on the Monument label with three albums on Capricorn Records and two on Columbia through 1987, seeing little commercial success with his recordings but winning rave reviews and the admiration of his musical peers.
In 1993, he broke through with new generations and broader audiences as the currently booming Americana and Texas roots music and singer-songwriter scenes were gathering steam with the acclaimed Tramp On Your Street, united with his late guitar-playing son Eddy as simply Shaver. He has since issued 11 more independent albums, was honored with the first Americana Music Award for Lifetime Achievement in Songwriting in 2002, and inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.
As his well deserved public recognition came in the 1990s, Shaver was cast by his friend and fan Robert Duvall in his acclaimed 1996 film The Apostle, and has since played parts in three other theatrical and TV movies. He was the subject of a 2004 documentary produced by Duvall, A Portrait of Billy Joe, and published his autobiography, Honky Tonk Hero, the following year. He also sings the themes to the Adult Swim television show Squidbillies, and "Live Forever" was included in the award-winning hit movie Crazy Heart as its end-credit song.
With these accomplishments behind him, Shaver has been thinking his creative well finally dried up. After all, he hasn't released an album with new songs in six years. Thankfully, he was wrong. Credit East Nashville's favorite son with lighting the fire. "I didn't think I had another hope in the world of doing another studio album," Shaver says. "Then Todd Snider encouraged me to come up to Nashville and I listened. I knew if I didn't come out with new songs, it wouldn't be right. I've promised hundreds of critics that I would. So, I just buckled down and got the new songs together. Sure enough, it turned out great."

Nicola Conte vs. Lorez Alexandria

Bridgette Amofah voices Nicola Conte's swingin' update of Baltimore Oriole on his great new Free Souls album.

Happy Birthday Cordell Jackson

Late Moon Records founder Cordell Jackson with The Cramps' Poison Ivy in 1979.  Photo by Tav Falco

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jim Cuddy and reunited Hey Stella! announced for James Gray Memorial Show

Members of Blue Rodeo are joining the salute to their late keyboardist James Gray. 

THE SECOND ANNUAL JAMES GRAY MEMORIAL SHOW will be hosted by Derek Downham of The Beauties and Bill Heffernan at the Horseshoe Tavern on Monday, August 18th at 8 pm. Tickets are $12.50 in advance, $15 at the door. All proceeds go to The Shine Group For The Advancement of Music. 

Confirmed performers include: 
Jim Cuddy with sons Devin Cuddy and Sam Polley, members of Blue Rodeo 
NQ Arbuckle with guest Luke Doucet
The Travellers featuring James' dad, Jerry Gray
Hey Stella! special reunion performance featuring Lori Yates
The Gypsy Rebels 
Sugarlips aka Daniel Joseph
Chris Bottomley's Brainfudge featuring Richard Underhill and Gerry James Scott 
Marty Morin of the Tom Waits Appreciation Congregation 
The Gray Brothers with The Dustbowl Daddies 

Doug Paisley opens for Jason Isbell @ The Phoenix Tuesday

Check out the clips of Doug's performance at The Dance Hall in Kittery, Maine back in 2011.

Diamond D releases artwork, tracklisting for stacked Diam Piece album

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Neko Case offers a sneak peak at 2776

"These Aren't The Droids" appears on the comedy album 2776 which benefits the OneKid One World charity.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Budos Band get creepy for new album "Burnt Offering" due October 21

The Budos Band's new direction inspired drummer/artist Brian Profilio to go witchy for Burnt Offering's sleeve.

Jul 12 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
Jul 24 - Twilight Concert Series @ Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 25 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Jul 26 - Seattle, WA @ Capitol Hill Block Party
Jul 27 - Victoria, BC @ Philipps Brewery
Jul 31 - Los Angeles @ Echo Plex
Aug 1 - Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
Aug 2 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah
Oct 25 - Brooklyn, NY @ The Wick
Nov 15 - Live Oak, FL @ Bear Creek Festival

Happy Birthday Butch Hancock!

Cheers to the Lubbock legend Butch Hancock who turns 69 today. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Reigning Sound's "Shattered" out Tuesday

Shattered will be Reigning Sound’s first album for Merge and the first full album by the group since 2009’s Love and Curses (In The Red).
The band’s principal songwriter/member is Greg Cartwright, who’s been leading the shifting cast of characters since 2001. You may be familiar with some of the band’s work, as this album is preceded by five studio efforts as well as numerous EPs and live records. Or perhaps some of Greg’s other projects have been on your musical radar: The Oblivians, Parting Gifts, Compulsive Gamblers, 68 Comeback, Deadly Snakes, Detroit Cobras.
As far as Reigning Sound is concerned, this is as good a place to start as any because through many line-up changes and mood swings, the central, constant feature is the way Greg writes songs. This particular embodiment of the band includes longtime keyboardist Dave Amels, who joined the band seven years ago when Reigning Sound recorded an album, consisting mostly of Cartwright’s songs, with former Shangri-Las lead singer Mary Weiss.
Dave proved to be key in putting together the current line-up as well. About three years ago, Greg was asked to make a promotional EP for Scion. Recordings were set to take place in Nashville where he had lined up two local friends to round out the band, but as fate would have it, both had to bow out at the last minute. Luckily, Mike Catanese, Benny Trokan, and Mikey Post—Dave Amels’ bandmates in Brooklyn soul group The Jay Vons—were up for the task. The four flew to Nashville, learned the songs, and recorded them with Greg in a couple of days. Thus was born the group that you hear on Shattered. They’ve been touring and playing together ever since, and Shattered proves that the musical union is both exciting and consistent.
The album was recorded at Daptone’s Brooklyn studio (where drummer Mikey works in the office) and masterfully engineered by Wayne Gordon. The recordings are warm and punchy, a mixed bag of rockers, ballads, and something in between. There are only 11 songs on the album, but the band reckons it’s just right. Check out the track "My My" below.
Vinyl copies of Shattered and the recent repress of  Reigning Sound Live At Goner Records 6-26-2005 LP will be available at Goner (2152 Young Avenue at Cooper) in Memphis on Saturday (July 12) where Greg Cartwright will be playing a solo in-store. Be sure to arrive before 5 pm and yes, it's BYOB.

One For The Weekend: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80

Members of Fela Kuti's Egypt 80 band now back his son, Seun Kuti, who plays the Phoenix on Saturday.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy 75th Birthday Mavis Staples!

Celebrating the birthday of Mavis Staples with a stellar 1971 Staple Singers performance in Ghana.

Zacht Automaat @ Double Double Land, Friday

Monday, July 7, 2014

Whaddya mean you don't know Thomas Dean

Here's the glam-rock single "Oh Babe" by Rock City's Thomas Dean Eubanks co-written by Terry Manning.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Legends Of Ska documentary screens at Harbourfront August 2

During the summer of 2002, the original stars of Ska gathered for a special weekend of concerts featuring music, memories and fun. The Legends Of Ska concerts occurred on July 12-13, 2002 at the Palais Royale Ballroom on the shores of Lake Ontario in Toronto, Canada. The event was produced by Steady Rock Productions LLC in the United States and filmed in Hi-Definition by director Brad Klein as the Legends Of Ska documentary screening in Toronto at Harbourfront on Saturday, August 2 (see details below).

Ska is a musical genre featuring upbeat, positive dance rhythms, which have energized three distinct generations of fans. Born in the days prior to Jamaica’s independence from Great Britain in the early 1960s, Ska played a vital role in the creation of the island’s music industry. Other popular styles of Jamaican music include Mento, Rock Steady, Reggae, Dub, Dancehall, Deejay and Ragga.

Backed by an All-Star Skatalite Orchestra, top vintage Jamaican singers included Prince Buster, Derrick Morgan, Stranger Cole, Patsy Todd, Owen Gray, Justin Hinds, Lord Creator, Alton Ellis, Winston Samuels, Doreen Schaffer, Roy Wilson, Lord Tanamo and Derrick Harriott.

The 13-piece band featured Lloyd Knibb (Drums), Lester Sterling (Tenor Sax), Johnny Moore (Trumpet), Lloyd Brevett (Bass), Rico Rodriguez (Trombone), Lynn Taitt (Guitar), Herman Sang (Piano), Larry McDonald (Percussion), Phil Chen (Banjo), Dennis Sindrey (Guitar), Jo Jo Bennett (Horns), Bobby Gaynair (Alto Sax) and Cannonball Bryan (Alto Sax).
A host of other Ska luminaries contributed to the success of the event. There was King Stitt (Original Boss Deejay), Carlos Malcolm (Arranger), Graeme Goodall (Engineer), Keith Scott (Associate Producer), Karl Mullings (Coordinator), Pluggy Satchmo (Legsman) and Jeff Barnes (MC).

Additional personnel interviewed for the project include Toots Hibbert, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Dave Wakeling, Miss Lou, Coxson Dodd from Studio One, Ken Khouri of Federal Records, guitarists Ernest Ranglin and Jah Jerry, pianists Monty Alexander and Ken Stewart, singer Eric “Monty” Morris, and the original members of the Jiving Juniors. Here's the trailer.

@ Harbourfront Centre Studio Theatre
York Quay Centre (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto)
Saturday, August 2, 2014
5:00PM – 6:45PM
Q & A to follow with ska legends Herman Sang (The City Slicker),
Jo Jo Bennett + Roy & Yvonne
Admission is FREE