Thursday, August 1 – Two years ago, Radio Woodstock sponsored a second event at Hunter Mountain, the site of the always popular Mountain Jam. This was called Bluestock, and featured a great array of Blues oriented artists. One of the bands I discovered there, who blew me away, were MORELAND AND ARBUCKLE. No, not an accounting firm, Moreland and Arbuckle are a 3 piece Blues band out of Kansas, who rock the hell out of the traditional forms! Their instrumentation is harp, guitar, and drums, so as I was watching them at Bluestock, I kept wondering where the bass was coming from! I didn’t see a bass player, but I definitely heard one! So, I walked up front, and as I focused on the guitar player, who, incidentally, was playing a home made cigar box guitar, I realized that his geetar had guitar AND bass strings, and he was somehow covering both parts! After kicking ass and taking no prisoners, the band had a roomful of new fans! They were great! One of the best bands and refreshing new discoveries of the weekend! They’re back now with a new CD, 7 Cities! They’ve toured with ZZ Top, George Thorogood, Los Lonely Boys, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, and Jonny Lang, and Memphis legend, Steve Cropper, guests on their 2011 release, Just a Dream! I think you can see what kind of company these boys keep! If you like edgy, electric, down home Blues, these are your boys! Tonight at Iridium in Manhattan!
Friday, August 2 – Kings of Reggae, THE WAILERS at BB King’s tonight. I don’t think they need an introduction, but this was Bob Marley’s band! Nuff said?
Sunday, August 4 – In my opinion, BECK is one of the best and most unique musical artists to emerge out of the 90’s. He plays a dozen instruments, he’s done just about every style of music, he can’t be categorized, and he’s kind of unique, maybe even a musical genius, whatever that is! One night, while channel surfing, I came across a Beck performance, and he did a song that was one of the craziest, most unusual pieces of music I’ve ever heard. I have no idea what the song was, but it blew my mind! The only thing I could compare it to was Frank Zappa at his best! I’d go see him just to find out if he played that song, but I don’t even need that much of a reason to go to the Prospect Park bandshell in Brooklyn to see a show! It’s a great vibe, lovely setting, Beck will rock, and even his hit song “Loser” has a deep, irresistible groove!
Saturday, August 10 – Okay, back up to Port Chester for sacred steel master, ROBERT RANDOLPH AND THE FAMILY BAND at The Capitol Theatre!
Tuesday, August 13 through Sunday, August 18 – Two of the most amazing guitarists around are teaming up this week for a gig at The Blue Note in Manhattan! Both defy genre categorization, but Jazz-Rock MIGHT partially cover it! Most people, or at least most musicians, or at least most guitarists, know who ERIC JOHNSON is. If YOU don’t, you should! Not as many outside the Jazz world, are familiar with MIKE STERN, but Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Billy Cobham, Dennis Chambers, Michael Brecker, David Sanborn, Bela Fleck, Pete Erskine, and Jack DeJohnette are! These are all cats Stern has played with! But he’s not purely a Jazz guitarist! Even though he makes his home in that world, Stern’s style is as much Rock as Jazz! He even looks a bit like Jeff Beck, another genre defying guitarist! Thrice GRAMMY nominated, Stern was named Best Jazz Guitarist by Guitar Player magazine in 1993, and in 2009, Downbeat featured him as one of the 75 best Jazz guitarists of all time! I’ve seen this guy, and he rocks, and so does Eric Johnson, so together, they’re gonna rock your socks off! (Special no-prize to the first person who posts a comment on www.reservoirmusiccenter.com blog page who knows the origin of that phrase. Column will be posted Tueday night at midnight).
Thursday, August 15 through Monday, August 19 – Another of the world’s best guitarists is returning to Iridium in Manhattan this week! ALBERT LEE rocks the Country and Countrifies the Rock! He is awesome! I strongly advise you to catch at least one night, if you can, but if you can’t, he’ll be at Bearsville Theater at the end of the month (listing to follow).
Thursday, August 22 – One of the best bands to emerge out of the 80’s was England’s THE CULT! Featuring excellent songs and hard rockin’ guitars and drums, The Cult are still around, while Axl Rose continues to make a fool of himself with whatever he’s calling Guns n Roses now! He who laughs last…Lead singer, Ian Astbury, also toured with The Doors for a while during a Cult hiatus, performing Jim Morrison’s parts, and lemme tell ya, IMHO, he pulled it off! So check ‘em out at Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan tonight!
Monday, August 26 – Ten Years After guitarist, Alvin Lee, passed away last March. (Read my obituary of Lee in my March 13 column, archived at www.reservoirmusiccenter.com, and www.brooklyncowboys.com. Columns are posted on the Blog page of the sites). Tonight at Iridium, guitarists will gather to pay their respects and honor his memory. Don’t know who’ll be there, but it will be worth the price of admission, at the very least!
Friday, August 30 – The aforementioned ALBERT LEE pays a visit to the Hudson Valley at the house another Albert built, The Bearsville Theater. This is must see TV!
Monday, September 2 – Happy Labor Day! A great way to pay yourself back for working hard all year is to go see a very different, unusual, and intriguing pairing at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. These artists need no introduction, so I’ll just tell ya, it’s NEIL YOUNG AND CRAZY HORSE with PATTI SMITH opening! Some double bill, huh?
Finally, we end my hiatus with an awesome triple bill at Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, a lovely hamlet in upstate New York, that will be worth the ride. BLACK CROWES, TEDESCHI-TRUCKS BAND, and up and coming, destined for stardom, killer band, THE LONDON SOULS! Wow! What a great triple bill! Every one of these guys will have you on your feet and yelling for more, but don’t be late, because, take my word for it, you do NOT want to miss The London Souls!
Okay, that’s it! Enjoy the rest of the summer, and I’ll see you back in the pages of The Townsman, and online after Labor Day. If anything earth shattering comes up in the meantime, I’ll talk about it on the radio on The Little Delaware Jamboree, WIOX FM 91.3, and online at www.wioxradio.org, Monday nights at 8:30. August shows will air on August 5 and 19.