Friday night, I had a 2nd row ticket to see a band from San Francisco that was generating a huge buzz, specifically about their singer, a young woman named Janis Joplin. The band, of course, was Big Brother and The Holding Company!
The opening act was a band from England that I was unfamiliar with, but within 10 seconds of their opening riff, I was eager to become much more familiar with them! That band was Ten Years After, and their guitarist was the fastest guitarslinger in the land, up to that point! Alvin Lee was mindblowingly fast, yet always remained tasty and in the groove! I had never seen anyone like him, and I don’t think anyone else had either!
Ten Years After went on to become one of the genuine Heroes of Woodstock ’69. The band became a huge international draw, but ironically got locked into playing “Going Home”, their Woodstock highlight, at blinding speed without much regard for the “Roll” in Rock n Roll, for the rest of their career! As an intelligent, well rounded guitar picker who liked to jam and swing as much as rock, this was anathema to Alvin, who left the band in 1973!
Lee went on to record the collaboration with Mylon Le Fevre, “On the Road to Freedom”, which featured George Harrison, Steve Winwood, Ronnie Wood, and Mick Fleetwood as guests, and produced the huge international hit, “I’d Love to Change the World”!
Although he remained active in the music business, that was his last big hit, and Alvin Lee passed away March 6, of complications from a routine surgery at the age of 68! He left us way too soon! RIP Alvin! Goin’ Home one last time!
In news from the barely living (LOL), The Rolling Stones are about to announce an 18 city 50th Anniversary Tour of America for this Summer, with more dates expected to be announced in the UK.
And Further, the Grateful Dead spinoff that features Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, just announced 8 nights at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester in April, all of which are already sold out! Info at www.thecapitoltheatre.com.
Now for this week’s live picks.
Wednesday, March 13 – If it’s March, THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND must be playing at The Beacon Theater in Manhattan! And they are finishing up this year’s run this week! Final dates are tonight, and this coming weekend, Friday through Sunday, March 15-17!
I’d recommend going this weekend, if you wanna see The Brothers, because tonight, there is a major show at The Brooklyn Bowl! Headlined by local resident, MARCO BENEVENTO, of Benevento-Russo, and DAVID HIDALGO of Los Lobos, the lineup also features LONDON SOULS, an amazing two piece guitar/drum combo, and a band I’ve never heard of, THE SHADY HORNS. I like their name, and if they’re the fourth band in this crowd, I’ll give ‘em the benefit of the doubt! Benevento-Russo is a great band of amazing musicians (Bandmate Joe Russo just finished touring with Phil Lesh, and is now on the road with Further), and Los Lobos have been rockin’ out of East LA for decades! This is an awesome quadruple bill, but if you go, get there early, and do not miss any of the bands, especially London Souls!
Thursday, March 14 – Former local resident JACK GRACE will be playin’ some real Country music tonight at The Rodeo Bar in Manhattan. Jack’s funny, intelligent, and he rocks! Can’t beat that combo!
Friday, March 15 – Tonight, up in Woodstock, BROTHER JOSCEPHUS AND THE LOVE REVOLUTION, bring their show to The Bearsville Theater. Now, I don’t know much about these guys, but they won the Independent Music Awards “Best Live Performance” award in 2011, the picture on the theater’s website looks totally amazing and high energy, and I have it from reliable personal sources that they are fantastic! So, go check ‘em out. I know I probably will! More info at http://www.bearsvilletheater.com/events-calendar/brother-joscephus-and-the-love-revolution-friday-march-15-2013.
Also tonight, we have a high powered Americana bill at The Capitol Theatre, with DRIVE BY TRUCKERS and OLD 97’S.
Saturday, March 16 – As usual, there’s a lot going on Saturday night! DRIVE BY TRUCKERS and OLD 97’S move their show to The Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ. Also, our own GENYA RAVAN is at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. The biggest thing downstate tonight though, is DOCTOR JOHN AND THE LOWER 911 at Town Hall in Manhattan! Up in Woodstock, PROFESSOR LOUIE AND THE CROWMATIX bring it at The Bearsville Theater, but where I’ll be, is at a totally non-musical event! I will be indulging my second love, comedy! DIMITRI MARTIN is a very funny comedian, who started, at least for me, as a reporter on The Daily Show, but was quickly spun off into his own show, which was quickly cancelled after one season! Never mind that he was hilarious and he made you think while you were cracking up! On basic cable, Dimitri was too smart for the room! That shouldn’t be the case at The Egg in Albany tonight, where Dimitri will hold court and tell you some very interesting things that you didn’t already know!
Monday, March 18 – The great ARLEN ROTH wields his axe at The Iridium in Manhattan!
Tuesday, March 19 – An artist who hasn’t toured much in recent years returns to live performing tonight at UPAC in Kingston. GEORGE THOROGOOD had a string of rockin’, blues based hits back in the 80’s and 90’s, and, in my opinion, his cache has done nothing but increase during his inactivity. Those songs still stand up, even today! This show should remind everyone that this guy is freakin’ phenomenal!
Wednesday, March 20 – STICK MEN, featuring Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto of King Crimson, at The Bearsville Theater in Woodstock.
Don’t forget to check me out this Monday night, March 18, at 8:30 pm on John Madeo’s Little Delaware Jamboree on WIOX, 91.3FM, and online at www.wioxradio.org.