Whew! It’s been a whirlwind week, or, I should say, weekend, and I’m still recovering! It’s tough to write a column when you should be lying in the sun somewhere with your mind turned off, but with Captain Kirkian inspired will power, I shoulder on!
Friday night, I moseyed on over to The Anchor, a brand new spot that was having it’s grand opening at 744 Broadway, in the space formerly occupied by The Basement, and folks, my mind was blown! Finally, the Hudson Valley has a music nightclub! You know, where the lights are low, there’s a bar up front, darker music room in the back? The optional dining room is there also, off to the side. I didn’t check the menu, but the food is probably the same as the owners had at the Roundout Music Lounge, their other spot, now closed, which was good, especially for late night, around here! But you’re not there for the food! You’re there for music! And The Anchor delivers! Opening night they had Pitchfork Militia, Lara Hope and The Arktones, and a couple other bands. Saturday night of opening weekend, they had Grape and the Grain, Tigeriss, Clover, and The Blind Ambassadors, and for Sunday brunch, Jonny Monster! Pretty impressive job of booking by Brandy! From the looks of the rest of the shows they’ve already announced, the booking policy will lean towards, Rockabilly, Punk Country, Rock n Roll, Heavy Metal, Honky Tonk, and Americana, which is everything I like, just about!
The important thing about The Anchor, and why it’s so ground breaking, is that it’s a real music room, and a cool club, with good food and a good crowd, and it’s a place that national acts could play, as soon as the sound system is upgraded, which is in the works! And please don’t pre-judge The Anchor by Roundout Music Lounge, which was not a great room, and was nothing like The Anchor!
The Anchor has to be experienced! This weekend they’ve got a great schedule of Outlawbilly, Country Metal, Honky Tonk, and Americana. Sounds like fun. Stop by for a drink. I’m betting you’ll stay and be back. On music nights, admission is only $5, and all the money from the door goes to the bands!
“The Anchor’s brought some class to the neighborhood” - Peter Head
“Every step of the way, they did the right thing” - Dustin Bryant
“You don’t have to walk over the stage to get to the bathroom anymore”
- Kris Leterg
Saturday night, I was planning to go to The Anchor again for the second night of their Grand Opening Weekend, but, as they say, the best laid plans, etc., etc. That afternoon, I noticed that The Byrdcliffe Barn was hosting an event that started at 7:30, much earlier than The Anchor, so I decided to go there first. The Byrdcliffe Barn is another fantastic venue that should be utilized more often! It’s part of The Byrdcliffe Colony, the oldest still surviving arts and crafts colony in the USA! The barn is a wonderful old building, and when it’s filled with music, it’s magical!
The show was a record release party for Burnell Pines. I didn’t read anything more, just decided to go. Didn’t know who Burnell Pines was, but it sounded good, so off I went! Imagine my surprise when I arrived to find that Burnell Pines is Jeremy Bernstein, and the band was essentially Stoney Clove Lane, updated and modernized! I know I should have known this, but as I said, it’s been a whirlwind week, and I wasn’t paying attention! I hadn’t even noticed Adam Widoff standing around before the show (Adam is the other half of Stoney Clove), but as soon as he started playing, I knew it was him, by his guitar tone and style alone! Adam is one of the Hudson Valley’s best guitarists, and should be more widely recognized as such! Simi Stone also guested on violin and vocals! Not sure of the other musicians, but I think David Baron, Tim Bright, and Ben Perowsky were there as well!
In any event, this was an awesome show! This band, Burnell Pines, is one of the best around! Great playing, vocals, songwriting and performance! This is the standard to which all bands must rise! There were moments, and even complete songs, where I thought, this is as good as it gets! Burnell Pines is now on my can’t miss list, and I can’t wait to hear the new CD, which has been proclaimed as a masterpiece! Burnell Pines. Goin’ places!
Running out of time, so I gotta get to this week’s live music picks, cause there’s a lot of ‘em!
Wednesday, September 18 – WILLIE NELSON AND FAMILY ride into The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester for the first of two nights. THE PIXIES start a three night invasion of New York at Bowery Ballroom that sees them back here on Friday, and out in Brooklyn, at The Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday. The very funny, very talented, and very entertaining, ROBBIE FULKS is at Mercury Lounge in Manhattan, and the great SHEMEKIA COPELAND is at Iridium for the first of four nights, ending on Saturday.
Thursday, September 19 – Buncha stuff in the city. LEFTOVER SALMON at Brooklyn Bowl, DAVE MASON at BB King’s, JESSIE CAROLINA AND THE HOT MESS at Radegast Hall and Biergarten in Brooklyn, MICHAEL FRANTI AND SPEARHEAD at Terminal 5, and, amazingly, THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS at The Barclay Center, plus the continuing events from Wednesday! Upstate, IVAN NEVILLE’S DUMPSTAPHUNK are at Bearsville Theater.
Friday, September 20 – This week’s Pick of the Week is LONDON SOULS at Club Helsinki in Hudson! London Souls are friends of mine from Brooklyn who just got done touring with The Black Crowes (see last week’s column for a review of that), and are doing a few small shows, like this one, before going back out with Tedeschi –Trucks and Govt. Mule! In fact, they’ll be heading straight for The Beacon Theater in Manhattan after this show, where they’ll be opening for Tedeschi-Trucks on Saturday! Next time you hear about these guys, they’ll probably be headlining their own shows!
TEDESCHI-TRUCKS actually start at The Beacon Theater tonight, with one of our best songwriters, TODD SNIDER, opening. PATTI SMITH GROUP is about to become the first American rock band to play at The Metropolitan Museum of Art! Oh, I know they’ve had a few European alternative and art-rock bands, but Patti is the real American grown Rock n Roller, and what a great venue – The Met! Awesome! I’d make this a Pick of the Week if tickets weren’t so expensive. Also tonight, all in the city, THE SELECTER at Gramercy Theater, BODEANS at BB King’s, and former Mott the Hoople lead singer, IAN HUNTER, for the first of two nights, at City Winery, with WRECKLESS ERIC AND AMY RIGBY opening! A great double bill! For the after work crowd, there’s what promises to be a great show at Williamsburg Park in Brooklyn. THE DAPTONE SOUL REVUE, featuring CHARLES BRADLEY will start at 5:30! Further upstate, The Capitol Theatre is hosting LEFTOVER SALMON, ASSEMBLY OF DUST and THE INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS, in a really good triple bill!
Saturday, September 21 – FARM AID at SPAC, and MICKEY HART BAND at Capitol Theatre. Either of these shows will be fun, but Mickey is at the top of his game right now! Catch him if you can! And, of course, TED-TRU with LONDON SOULS – Beacon Theater!
Sunday, September 22 – The immortal LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan!
Tuesday, September 24 – GRAHAM NASH starts a three night run at City Winery! I’m startled by this show. Graham Nash, in an intimate venue? Awesome! Also, the only 70’s Soul/RnB band that mattered, EARTH, WIND, AND FIRE open a two night engagement at The Beacon Theater.
Wednesday, September 25 – A new band, for me, THE HOWLIN’ BROTHERS, are at The Bearsville Theater, with GOLD- HOPE DUO opening. Between them, The Howlin’ Brothers play seven traditional instruments and all three sing. Hope Gold is Lara Hope and Matt ‘The Knife’ Goldpaugh. I really like The Howlin’ Brothers! Check ‘em out on YouTube, bearsvilletheater.com, or their website. Should be a good night of old timey, traditional, roots Rock n Roll, Rockabilly, stripped down RnB, Country, and Americana! What’s not to like? If you’re in the city, they’re at Hill Country Barbecue tomorrow night.
Thursday, September 26 – For you guitar geeks out there, JOE SATRIANI, with STEVE MORSE opening, at The Beacon Theater, and for the men (and women), the beautiful and talented NEKO CASE, at Radio City Music Hall! I’m betting this will be great for the following reasons: 1) She’s really good! 2) She’s peaking right now! 3) Her new song, “Man”, is at the top of my playlists right now! 4) Her first time in an historic venue of this size in New York City! Always brings out the best in any performer! Neko Case. I would love to be at this one!
Alright! Gotta run! See you next week.
Greetings, and welcome back to Fredro's blog! It’s been a fun summer, (especially the last two weeks, which we’ll get to in a minute), but now is the time to put aside dreams of the sun, tighten up, get back to work, and get ready for the winter! In other words, it’s time to start writing this column again! My battery is recharged and I’m ready, willing, and able to rock n roll all night, or at least as long as it takes to write this column!
In the past two weeks, I have seen not one, but two, of the best shows of the summer, and a third that wasn’t half bad either! A man must know his limitations, and there were tons of great shows this summer that I just couldn’t attend, but I’m sure glad I got to these two! It all started August 30 at The Bearsville Theater, a performance I had been looking forward to since the day it was announced! The amazing Albert Lee wowed the crowd in attendance, which should have been much larger, but, hey, if you snoozed, you lost big time! Albert is without a doubt, one of the premier guitarists on Earth, and has been for a long time! I was surprised there weren’t more Woodstock guitarists at the Theater for Albert. When Junior Brown was there, every guitar player in town came out, and all had their jaws on the floor for Junior, as they should have! And as they would have for Albert, but most were conspicuous by their absence! Well, most guitar players could learn a thing or two from Albert Lee. He’s probably my second favorite living guitarist, after Jeff Beck! Go look at his YouTube vids, and you’ll see why!
Albert told us right where it was at with the first song of the night, Fats Domino’s “I’m Ready”, proclaiming his preparedness, desire, and ability to rock all night, and he mostly did, with the notable exception occurring when he sat down at the piano for a few songs, which slowed it down for a minute and gave the audience time to breath!
From there, Albert ran through the gamut of the type of stuff he’s renowned for, country, roots rock n roll, and rockabilly, mostly. Standouts were a couple of Gram Parsons’ tunes (“Wheels” and “Luxury Liner”), but every song was great and all displayed awesome guitar playing and soloing. Lest you think that Albert was the only soloist that night, his keyboard player (and rhythm section) were exceptional, and, as is his habit, Albert graciously handed off the first solo to the other musicians, before stepping up, and as good as he is, he never overshadows the musicians he’s playing with! Rather, he’s complimentary in his playing, and it all fits together so nicely! I would go see Albert Lee anytime I could, and so should you!
My thanks to Jodi Sleed and the staff of the Bearsville Theater for making it possible. Keep up the great work guys! You’re doing a fabulous job bringing awesome music to Woodstock!
The following night, I went to my first Midnight Ramble since before Levon passed, which was emotional for me, but the great William Bell called me out and delivered some Stax style RnB, backed by The Midnight Ramble Band, with Steve Forbert opening. Forbert’s a good songwriter and performer, but I would have loved to see HIM backed up by the MR Band! Guess he’s gotten so used to touring solo that it might have just been easier for him to go that route, but Steve may have forgotten the excitement and energy a full band can produce!
After a short break, and a few chestnuts from Levon’s band (hope you don’t mind if I still occasionally call them that), Mister Bell hit the stage! Resplendent in a silk suit and shades, and looking every inch the Soul crooner that he is, Bell launched straight into some kick ass Otis style rockin’ soul tunes, complete with horns, backup singers, and Steve Cropper style guitar solos from Larry Campbell and Jimmy Weider! This could have been my moment to die in peace, but it wasn’t my day yet!
After a few minutes, Bell slowed it down and ran through a set of the type of crooner ballads he’s known for, including, of course, his major hit, “You Don’t Miss Your Water”, which was a highlight! All in all, a pleasant night with friends, and a splendid time was had by all.
One of the musicians in Crazy Horse injured himself, forcing the cancellation of the rest of Neil Young’s tour, which, of course, meant the cancellation of the Neil Young and Crazy Horse/ Patti Smith Group double bill at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, so all I had left to look forward to was the last great concert of the summer, at a venue I’ve been trying to get to for a long time, Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, for another fabulous double bill – Black Crowes and London Souls, and it was a great experience on many levels!
First off, beautiful location! You think you’re going to Cooperstown, which is itself a lovely, quaint village, but Ommegang is 8 miles outside of Cooperstown in a picturesque country setting! You park in a field and then walk into the concert area, which is in a natural amphitheater behind the brewery. There’s no seats or walls, just a big field and a large stage with a great sound system, and that’s the way I like it!
London Souls, some friends of mine from New York, kicked it off with their high energy brand of Rock n Roll and did not disappoint! These guys are a great, stripped down guitar trio that could draw comparisons to White Stripes or Steve Wynn and The Miracle Three, but they’re really their own men. Playing originals and obscure covers, they were the perfect beginning for the evening! London Souls have opened for Tedeschi-Trucks, Umphrey’s Magee, and Govt. Mule, and they’re playing at Club Helsinki on September 20, so, that’s obviously the place to be, then! www.londonsouls.com for all things London Souls!
Originally billed as a triple bill with Tedeschi-Trucks, I had not heard the news that they had cancelled, so when The Black Crowes suddenly appeared on stage, the energy level ramped up real fast! The band started off kinda laid back and nice n easy, but started simmering before long and quickly built up to a rapid boil with Crowe stalwarts like “Thorn in my Pride”, “Jealous Again”, and “Remedy”, and covers of The Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Nothins” and Lowell George’s immortal “Willin”!
The original core band, Chris and Rich Robinson with drummer, Steve Gorman, are joined on this tour by the very capable and fluid, Sven Pipien, on bass and vocals, Adam MacDougall on keys, and, most importantly, guitarist and vocalist, Jackie Greene! Jackie brings something to The Crowes that is rare indeed! Not many musicians have this gift. Chris Robinson might, and it’s probably no coincidence that Chris and Jackie have both been hanging out with The Grateful Dead, because what they both have, is what Jerry Garcia had, which is the ability to take you to another level, another world, if you will! One which you might not even have known existed, but could end up more real than the world you think is real now!
When Garcia played with The Dead, listening to his guitar was the best way to listen to the band. Everything fell in place naturally, and so it is with Jackie Greene! I’ve seen him do it numerous times with numerous bands and now it can officially be called a pattern. Jackie Greene can take you to the Promised Land! I will make an effort to go see any project that Jackie Greene is a part of! He separates the men from the boys with Phil Lesh, and tonight The Black Crowes flew to new higher heights on the wings of Jackie Greene’s guitar playing! And Rich Robinson’s no slouch either! Between the two, and London Souls’ Tash, Brewery Ommegang was guitar player’s paradise for a night!
The crowd appreciatively lapped up the juice the Crowes was fe’mentin’, and responded in kind, on their feet, dancing, stompin’, whoopin’ and hollerin’, just like a good Rock n Roll audience should! When the last strains of Little Feats, “Willin” had faded to silence and the crowd was heading for their cars, I don’t believe there was a single unsatisfied fan in the bunch! Can’t wait for next year’s summer concerts at Ommegang! They far exceeded my expectations as a venue. And the beer is delicious too! My thanks to Allison Capozza at Brewery Ommegang for her hospitality.
Now to this week’s live music picks!
Wednesday, September 11 – Coupla excellent, blues based Rock n Roll bands tonight in Manhattan, one from England and one from Memphis. At BB King’s, we have the current incarnation of THE YARDBIRDS, led by drummer, Jim McCarty, and ably joined by the new members. Trust me, these guys are good, so if you’re a fan of the band that spawned Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, you might wanna check ‘em out! And downtown, at Irving Plaza, we have THE NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL STARS in residence (that’s right, Memphis is the northernmost city in Mississippi! Whaddya think? It was in Tennessee?). These guys have the heritage to bring it, and they do!
Friday, September 13 – Be scared! Be very scared! That’s right, it’s Friday the 13th again (mojo hands available at Reservoir Music lol)! Well, if you are upstate for the weekend, I recommend you make a beeline for the Bearsville Theater, where they will be presenting the very blueswailing RHETT TYLER, another Texas guitarslinger who can kick some serious butt! And if you’re in the city, I recommend the highly anticipated double bill of BIG SANDY AND HIS FLY-RITE BOYS/ BARRENCE WHITFIELD AND THE SAVAGES at The Bell House in Brooklyn! Should be a great show!
Sunday, September 15 – What can you say, except YOKO ONO AND THE PLASTIC ONO BAND! Doubt she’ll be bringing Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, or John, but, some other interesting people may, just may, show up! At Bowery Ballroom, in Manhattan, of course.
Tuesday, September 17 – Tonight is a night that everyone for miles around should come out and support a member of our musical community who lost everything in a fire recently! MICHAEL “CLIP” PAYNE is a keyboardist and vocalist who’s been a member of the Parlia-Funkedelicment Thang since 1977! His house burned, he lost everything, he needs assistance! Do you really need to know anymore? I’ll see you there! Bearsville Theater! More info at www.bearsville theater.com.
Wednesday, September 18 – WILLIE NELSON AND FAMILY ride into The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester for the first of two nights. In the city, the venerable PIXIES are at Bowery Ballroom.
Thursday, September 19 – Close out the week by funkin’ it up with IVAN NEVILLE’S DUMPSTAPHUNK! Neville, of New Orleans musical royalty Neville family, has put together a pretty rockin’ little outfit with Dumstaphunk. They’ve been doin’ it for a while, and they keep getting’ better! Bearsville Theater.
Alright! That’s it! I’m exhausted. More later!
Howdy folks! As I mentioned last week, this will be my last column until Labor Day, but not wanting to leave y’all not knowing what to do and where to go to get your live music on, I felt compelled to tell you about the events that are already scheduled for August and the beginning of September, so here we go!
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.
Well, it’s been a busy week, and a great week for live music!
It all started last Sunday, when I drove up to Cooperstown to see Further at historic Doubleday Stadium. I was surprised by how small the stadium was, and that up to five minutes before the band started, you could walk right up to the stage and talk to anyone on it! Cooperstown is a lovely, quaint little town, and I’m looking forward to my next visit.
Happily, Bobby Weir came roaring back after his fainting episode at The Capital Theatre last April, pulling out old chestnuts like “Black Throated Wind” and Van Morrison’s “Gloria” to the approval of the adoring crowd! The band was on fire and the whole show was great from start to finish!
FILTER, Ives Concert Park, 7/19/13
All Ives Park photography by Catharina Christiana, C3 Photography.
Then after working hard all week, I went to the nicest concert venue I’ve ever been at to see Everclear, Live, Filter, and Sponge! All the bands were great, but Sponge and Filter stood apart, for me. The thing that impressed me most, though, was the venue itself – Ives Concert Park in Danbury, CT. A very easy, hour long, all highway ride, Ives is on the campus of Western Connecticut State University. Entering on a path through the woods, you suddenly come upon a clearing and a big, beautiful lake! The reserved seat section is very small, and the lawn section is even smaller. They had delicious food trucks there if you happened to get hungry, but the coolest thing was that the stage was on a gazebo built on the lake, so the lake was the backdrop for the bands! It was the most idyllic setting I’ve ever seen a show at! And they have some big shows there! I noticed Warren Haynes, Tony Bennett, The Specials, and Moe had already been through, with some other good shows still to come this summer! This place is great, and well worth the ride! www.ivesconcertpark.com.
Sadly, I was forced to miss my friends in CKS, who played Bearsville Theater that night, and my friends in Pure Gravy, who were at The Colony Café in Woodstock. I had been eagerly anticipating both of those shows, but then the Ives show came up, and choices had to be made. Decisions, decisions, decisions!
The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, The Rosendale Street Festival, and Bob Dylan at SPAC were also this weekend, but I could not fit any of them into my busy schedule! I did have a wonderful weekend though, and am conserving my energy for two Phil Lesh shows at The Capital Theatre tomorrow night and Tuesday!
Pearl Jam recently announced plans to tour this Fall! Starting in Pittsburgh on October 11, the tour will visit 21 cities in 56 days, finishing in the band’s home town (where else) of Seattle on December 6! Local shows are in Brooklyn, at Barclay Center on October 18 and 19!
This will be my last column until after Labor Day! I’m taking a much needed and well deserved vacation! Reservoir Music will still be open, but unless something earth shattering happens in the music world, this column will remain dormant until September 5, when I will return to the pages of The Townsman, as well as the websites, www.reservoirmusiccenter.com, www.brooklyncowboys.com, and www.hvmusic.com. There will, however, be a column next week that will give you whatever live music picks I already know about for August and the beginning of September, information I had originally intended to include in this column, but space and time limitations have forced me to bring that to you next week.
Here are this week’s picks!
Thursday, July 25 – The week starts not with a bang, but a whimper, as THE EAGLES fly into Bethel Woods. They’ve seen better days, but they’re still The Eagles, they still have a gazillion hits that you’ve heard too much on the radio, but they will be great again when played live! More exciting to me, is GRACE POTTER AND THE NOCTURNALS at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown! GP and The Nocturnals are one of the newer, younger bands that have caught my ear in recent years. They’re really good, and fun to watch, and, as I already said, Cooperstown is a lovely place to spend the day! Even more exciting to me is the PAUL WELLER invasion of New York! Paul was the frontman, songwriter, lead singer, and guitar player in Punk/ Pop/ New Wave band, The Jam, who modeled themselves on The Who, and while not as exciting as The Who in the glory days (I mean, who was? Answer – Nobody!), The Jam still managed to stand out on the virtue of their excellent songwriting and production skills. Since they broke up, Weller has distinguished himself with a string of well crafted, catchy songs that rock! He’s a fantastic songwriter and makes hit records! Tonight at The Apollo Theater, an amazingly tiny place compared to what it looks like on TV!
Friday, July 26 – Here comes the weekend! PAUL WELLER is at Webster Hall tonight, another amazing venue to see him! My pal, CHUCK MEAD, formerly, and occasionally, currently, of the most influential Country-Rock band of the 80’s and 90’s, BR5-49, is also around! Chuck is the real deal, as I’ve stated repeatedly every time he comes to town, and tonight he’s at Hill Country Barbecue in Manhattan, where the food, women, and music, are all to die for! King of the Surf Guitar, DICK DALE, starts a two night engagement at Brooklyn Bowl, and, further upstate, at The Capitol Theatre, DICKIE BETTS will run through just about every hit that his former band, The Allman Brothers Band, ever had (he wrote most of them), aided by opening acts, THE FABULOUS THUNDERBIRDS and THE DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND!
Saturday, July 27 – DICK DALE concludes his stint at Brooklyn Bowl, and PAUL WELLER ends his New York run with a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, but the place to be tonight is the Prospect Park bandshell in Brooklyn, where ROBERT PLANT will present his latest project, THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS!
Sunday, July 28 – Today is a great day to spend in Norfolk, CT, because Infinity Hall, a marvelous and ridiculously small and beautiful venue, is presenting two very special shows! An afternoon show will feature teenage ukulele virtuoso, JAKE SHIMABUKURO ( check him out on YouTube, especially his show stopping version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”), and an evening show with pedal steel virtuoso, ROBERT RANDOLPH AND HIS FAMILY BAND! It’s a long ride, but a beautiful one, and to see this level of musicianship from two fabulous artists, in one day, at this venue, is truly something special! Go early, spend the day, eat in the delicious restaurant attached to the venue, and prepare to have your minds blown by these two stellar musicians!
Monday, July 29 – WKZE, our area’s best radio station (since it’s been programmed by Rick, host of the Evolution show, which is heard Wednesday nights at 10 PM on WKZE, 98.1 on your FM dial, and online at www.wkze.com), has been playing a new band who has jumped out of the radio to demand my attention! That band is DAWN MCCARTHY AND BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY, and they are at Town Hall in Manhattan tonight! Their remake of the Spencer Davis group hit, “Somebody Help Me” is as good as the original, and several of their other songs have really caught my ear. This is good music, and I’m betting this show will be memorable!
Thursday, August 1 – Tonight features a very special show at Iridium in Manhattan! MORELAND AND ARBUCKLE, an up and coming band from Kentucky, who tore up Bluestock at Hunter Mountain two years ago, will be in the house! These guys are amazing! Their guitar player plays a homemade cigar box guitar with guitar and bass strings on it, and he plays both parts! I expect big things from these guys. They could be the next ZZ Top! I’ll post some video from their Bluestock appearance on the web versions of this column this week, online at Midnight on Wednesday.
That’s it for now. See you next week with my live music picks for August and the beginning of September, and there have already been some killer shows announced! While I’m on hiatus, I will still be doing my radio segment on John Madeo’s Little Delaware Jamboree radio show, every other Monday night between 8:30 and 9:00, so please tune in at 91.3 FM, or online at www.wioxradio.org. Next show is August 5, and I’ll see you back in The Townsman and online in September.
Enjoy the rest of the summer!
Greetings! Hope everyone had a wonderful extended weekend for Independence Day. I know I did! It was a weekend filled with great people, parties, and future memories! I did manage to squeeze in one super awesome show on Friday night at The Bearsville Theater. The The Band Band rocked the house and channeled the spirit of the original Band, beautifully!
Now, as I mentioned, these guys cover the music of The Band, (hence the name, which I shorten to simply, The Band Band, and may not be so confusing if you think of it as The (The Band) Band. Get it?). But it’s not so much a tribute band, as a recreation of The Band’s music! And TTBB are quite upfront about this. They say, “We don’t do our arrangements. We do their arrangements!” And they do them well, recreating The Band’s music note perfect and channeling the spirits of Rick, Levon, Richard, Garth, and Robbie to a remarkable degree! Not an easy task! The Band’s music is deceptively complex! It may seem like basic Rock n Roll, but, believe me, it’s more complex than that, and not easy to recreate, but they do it, and they do it well!
Drummer, Vinny Nicosia, has Levon’s style down, again, not easy. Seems simple and basic, but what other drummers can nail it? Trust me, very few! Bassist, Gary Solomon has Rick’s licks covered, even down to the scroll bass and manic stage presence that Rick always exhibited! Garth’s and Richard’s piano and organ licks are perfectly covered by multi-instrumentalists, Jack Kraft and Mike Corbin, and even Robbie’s idiosyncratic and iconic guitar leads are matched note for note, in style and substance, by guitarist, Josh Radin!
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. These guys are not slavish imitators! They play The Band’s songs and arrangements, but they are their own players! They don’t try to look or act like the original players, but somehow they do! It’s probably not conscious, but they are so in the moment that the essence of all the original members comes shining through! You never think anything like, oh, this is good, but it pales beside the original. No, it’s actually just as good, just as entertaining as the original! Sure, it would blow everybody’s minds if Rick, Levon, and Richard returned from the dead to play with Robbie and Garth, and the historical importance of it would be almost too much to bear, but that ain’t never gonna happen! The Band is gone forever, and these guys carry the torch! It’s the closest you’ll ever get to the music of The Band in a live setting, at this point!
The show was totally entertaining, never boring, and a splendid time was had by all in attendance! I would go see The The Band Band anytime I could, and I highly recommend that y’all do the same! More info at www.thethebandband.com.
Live music picks for this week are:
Thursday, July 10 – Lots of music tonight, but all in the city! Upstaters will have to wait till tomorrow to rock! Brooklynites can start tonight, with FURTHUR at Barclay’s Center. This will be their first show since Bobby Weir fainted at The Capital Theatre last April, and I’m guessing that here, in the Dead’s East Coast stronghold, they will be back like gangbusters! If you’re not in the mood for a big arena show, try Reggae legends, SLY AND ROBBIE, original Wailers and the best rhythm section in the history of Reggae Music, at Irving Plaza! I’m sure they’ll be surrounded by A list players, so if you’re a Reggae fan, this is must see TV! Zydeco veteran BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO is at BB King’s (request their smokin’ version of Clapton’s “Why Does Love Have to be so Sad”), and Woodstock’s favorite son, CONNOR KENNEDY, makes the trip to Manhattan to rock The Rodeo Bar!
Friday, July 12 – Founding member of Traffic, guitarist and songwriter extraordinaire, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, DAVE MASON, returns to The Bearsville Theater. For more of Dave’s history and my thoughts regarding his music, please reference last week’s column at www.reservoirmusiccenter.com, or www.brooklyncowboys.com, on the blog pages. Suffice to say that if he shows up, this will be a great show! For the harder rockers amongst you, original Dictator, ANDY SHERNOFF, debuts at Market Market in Rosendale! Andy has been around the Punk scene since the beginning, and his work as player, songwriter, and producer is quite extensive. This show is highly recommended, and I will be there! More info on Andy at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Shernoff.
Saturday, July 13 – The BEARSVILLE SESSIONS series continues at The Bearsville Theater with ONE HIT WONDERS! The band is composed of top Woodstock players, and this series is always entertaining!
Sunday, July 14 – Spend the day in Cooperstown. FURTHUR’s at Doubleday Field at 7 PM! Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. Stroll the streets before the show. Eat dinner. Hope the weather co-operates.
Tuesday, July 16 – The musician’s band, NRBQ, performs at BB King’s in Manhattan tonight!
Thursday, July 18 – Downstate we’ve got ALICE COOPER at The Beacon Theater, and upstate, try my friend, FOSTER MCGINTY at The Bearsville Theater. Foster was fabulous last time he played here!
Have a great week!
It seems to be a little bit of a slow week for live music. Normally, I have to sort through around 400 events to pick the ones I recommend. This week, there were less than 250! I suppose it has something to do with July 4 falling on a Thursday this year. That’s this week’s excuse. What’s next week’s? Well, holidays seem to slow everybody down for a while, especially when it’s summer, and we don’t even need an excuse to kick back. Anyway, there’s still some great opportunities to groove on out to some great live music, so here we go.
Wednesday & Thursday, July 3 & 4 – Apparently, everybody in the world is spending the holiday home with family or out at a party with friends, because there are no music events to speak of, but I’m sure some smaller local events will pop up at the last minute, so keep attuned to your local listings for July 4.
Friday, July 5 – AMY HELM hosts the second FRIDAY NIGHT AT LEVON’S BARN, and THE THE BAND BAND returns to The Bearsville Theater, making tonight a Band night all over Woodstock! The The Band Band covers The Band, and they do it well! Up in Saratoga, PHISH returns to SPAC for their annual July Fourth weekend, continuing Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday, July 6 – Hudson Valley’s rockin’ this weekend! The city, not so much, except for this week’s Pick of the Week, THE FLAMING GROOVIES at Bowery Ballroom, tonight! You may never have heard of these guys, because they have a ridiculous name, and they’ve been around since San Francisco psychedelic days, so they might’ve sort of slipped through the cracks of most people’s musical conciousness! In their original incarnation, when the great Roy Loney was writing all their original material, The Flaming Groovies were one of the all time greatest roots rockers ever to come down the pike! After Loney went solo, around 1980, the band became sort of a 60’s jukebox, peppering what original material they still had with radio hit nuggets from The Stones, Paul Revere and The Raiders, and others of a similar ilk from that era. Still a great band, just a different band, and this is the band that’s playing at Bowery Ballroom tonight. But these guys are no cover band! They really are more like a jukebox! Their version of “And Your Bird Can Sing” is virtually indistinguishable from The Beatles, and their version of “River Deep, Mountain High” is the only version, of the many that have been recorded, that compares favorably to Tina Turner’s original! Anyway, it’s a rockin’, fun night out, so if you’re in the neighborhood, check ‘em out! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
At The Belleayre Mountain Music Festival, Country superstar DWIGHT YOAKUM will rock the house! Request his version of The Grateful Dead’s “Truckin”!
Sunday, July 7 – DAVE MASON, one of the co-founders of Traffic, (with Stevie Winwood), makes an appearance at City Winery in Manhattan, prior to next week’s show at Bearsville Theater. If he shows up, expect to be surprised. Mason is an underrated guitarist, and of course, everybody knows what a great songwriter he is (“Feelin’ Alright”, “We Just Disagree”), but his guitar chops seem to have flown below the radar! He is one of the best rock guitarists around! Also fairly unknown, is that he played on records by Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, The Rolling Stones, Delaney and Bonnie, Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Steven Stills, Ron Wood, and Fleetwood Mac, amongst others! Mason actually joined Fleetwood Mac for a hot minute, and recorded one album with them, “Time”! He was also slated to be the second guitarist in Derek and The Dominos, but quit before the band got into the studio, which worked out well for everybody, because Duane Allman took his place, but that’s the league he’s in as a guitarist! Mason does have a reputation for canceling gigs, so you might wanna call ahead to make sure he’s coming.
Tuesday, July 9 – Last year at The Bearsville Theater, THE GRANDMOTHERS OF INVENTION put on one of the best musical displays I had seen in a long time! I’m sure tonight’s performance at Iridium in Manhattan will be even better! Second Pick of the Week!
Alright folks. That’s it. Have a safe and happy Fourth, and I’ll see you next week! And please don’t forget to tune in to The Little Delaware Jamboree on WIOX radio, 91.3 on your FM dial, and on the web at www.wioxradio.org, every other Monday night at 8:30, where I appear as a guest to discuss the events and news that I write about in this column. Next show is this Monday, July 8.
Fredro's Blog - Chet Flippo, Bobby 'Blue Bland, Stones Catalog On Itunes, Levon Helm Memorial Boulevard, Live Music Picks
Music journalism lost one of the great ones last week. Chet Flippo, who wrote for several major music publications, including Rolling Stone, Billboard, Texas Monthly, and The New York Times, and served most recently as editorial director of CMT and CMT.com, passed away in Nashville at the age of 69. His first book, Your Cheatin’ Heart: A Biography of Hank Williams, remains the definitive bio of the Country Punk Rock n Roll superstar, and was very inspiring to me when I was forming The Brooklyn Cowboys! In fact, The Brooklyn Cowboys got their name when our recording engineer asked me what name to put on the tape reel for our first demos (which, by the way, were recorded in 1996, and featured Larry Campbell on fiddle and steel guitar). With no thought, I blurted out, “The Brooklyn Cowboys”, and that was it!
Now, I happened to be reading Chet’s Hank bio at the time, and in the millisecond after I said it, my first thought was “Driftin’ Cowboys, Brooklyn Cowboys”! Not that I was trying to copy Hank’s band name. I did say it came out with no thought involved, but afterwards, this thought affirmed the name! But I digress. Back to Mister Flippo.
Chet’s first article for Rolling Stone was about the vastly underrated Doug Sahm, the Austin based Country Blues RnB rocker who clearly should be in every hall of fame there is! Chet was a fierce advocate for Country music and the Country and Rock overlap, early on, when Gram Parson and Chris Hillman, The Grateful Dead and The New Riders, and The Band, amongst others, were trying it on for rock audiences and finding it flew!
Chet was, as they say in England, a lovely man. He was liked by musicians (and everyone), and was just one of those guys who you loved immediately, and who you knew had a good heart! Chet lost his wife, Martha, last December, and may have died of sadness and a broken heart, but the doctors said pneumonia. I’m sure it was the rockin’ kind. Chet Flippo RIP!
Of course, everybody knows by now that James Gandolfini also died last week, of a heart attack at the age of 51! While Gandolfini is not really part of the music world, he was such a cultural icon that he crossed all barriers! He was best known for “The Sopranos”, of course, and music was featured very prominently in that show. Not to mention that Gandolfini’s underboss was Little Steven Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen’s guitar player! The day after his death, Springsteen and The E Street Band gave a full album performance of “Born to Run” and dedicated it to Gandalfini! Thanks fer the memories Jimmy! RIP!
Not as many people know that we also lost Joey Covington, former drummer for The Jefferson Airplane, who wrote and sang their last hit, 1971’s “Pretty as You Feel”! Covington hit a retaining wall and was not wearing a seat belt! Wear your seat belts kids! Covington was 67.
Now, I must confess, I heard about Joey Covington, but when it came time to write this column, I couldn’t remember who died. I just knew that someone noteworthy in the music world had died, but I had forgotten who! So, not wanting to not pay my respects, I researched it, and remembered it was Covington, but a funny thing happened on the way to Joey Covington. I found out that Slim Whitman had also died, at the age of 90 from a heart attack! Now if you don’t know who Slim Whitman was, I ain’t gonna tell ya, but trust me, he was iconic, mainly because of his late night campy TV commercials where he sold his music catalog. 90 years old! Slim’s generation knew how to live…long!
I also found out while researching Covington, that Nigerian musician, Fatai Rolling Dollar, had died at 86. Never heard of him, but you gotta love that name!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the verified world’s oldest living man is no longer with us, either! Jiroemon Kimuro passed away of natural causes at the age of 116 on June 12!!!
And finally, just as we were going to press, I got the news that Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, had passed away at the age of 83! Turn on your lovelight Bobby! RIP.
Sorry to have to be the bearer of all this death news, but, hey, people die, and a lot of notables have done so recently. I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em! But now for some good news! The Rolling Stones entire catalog has just been made available on Itunes! Did I say “entire”? Yes, I did. Everything! “Stoned” to “Doom and Gloom”, it’s all there! And digitally remastered exclusively for Itunes, so technically, it’s new!
In local news that reaches beyond to the world at large, Governor Andrew Cuomo has made it official! The entire length of Route 375, between Route 28 and Route 212, the road into Woodstock, is now Levon Helm Memorial Boulevard! Cool! And in other Levon related news, Amy Helm has started a new music series at The Barn that looks really promising to me. It’s called Amy Helm Presents: Friday Nights at Levon’s Barn, and I think they’ve finally come up with the way forward. Ticket prices are set at an affordable $35, and I think all the elements are there to make this a success, so support it!
So, is that enough news for ya? Well, there’ll be more in the live music picks, so here we go.
Wednesday, June 26 – Wow, do we have a lot going on this week! Summertime is music time, USA! Tonight, Brazilian legends OS MUTANTES make their reunited debut at The Bearsville Theater. You can read their extensive bio on the theater’s website, so I’ll just say that these guys are a very important band. I haven’t really heard much of their music, but I know I wanna check ‘em out! Last week’s Pick of the Week, ROBERT CRAY at Infinity Music Hall, is downgraded to simply highly recommended, which doesn’t make it any less enjoyable than it was last week. There’s just too much going on to keep it as this week’s pick. In the city, MOE at Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club, COURTNEY LOVE at Warsaw in Brooklyn, and at BB King’s, the great BUDDY GUY will hold court tonight and Thursday! I’m sure Buddy’ll have something to say about Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland passing over.
Thursday, June 27 – In the city, lots of choices tonight. In Woodstock, not so much. The only show in town is THE GABE BUTTERFIELD BAND with special guest, KAL DAVID! David is a fantastic guitar player, and this band’s regular guitarist, Jimmy Eppard, is no slouch! Plus, they’ve got Rob Papparozzi, probably the best inheritor of Paul Butterfield’s musical legacy, on harp! Downstate, Americana heroes OLD 97’s begin a 3 night run at Brooklyn Bowl, jazz legend ROY HAYNES starts a 3 night engagement at The Blue Note, and PETER FRAMPTON, who, contrary to his teeny bopper image, is a pretty damn good guitar player, brings his GUITAR CIRCUS into The Beacon Theater with special guests ROBERT CRAY, DON FELDER (The Eagles), and ROGER MCGUINN. Sounds pretty good to me!
Friday, June 28 – Guitarist’s guitarist, RICHARD THOMPSON, returns to The Bearsville Theater and AMY HELM kicks off her FRIDAY NIGHT AT LEVON’S BARN series, while down in the city, immortal songwriter JIMMY WEBB (check out his catalog on Wikipedia. It’s freakin’ unbelievable!) stops by The Cutting Room, and jazz giant, WAYNE SHORTER, celebrates his 80th birthday at Town Hall! Are you serious? Wayne Shorter’s 80?!! I know he cut his teeth with Miles and Art Blakey, and helped invent fusion with Weather Report in the 1970’s, but 80?!! Already?! Didn’t know he was that much of a senior citizen. Well, happy birthday Wayne. You’re in rarified company.
Saturday, June 29 – TONY BENNETT. UPAC. Nuff said, okay? Levon’s Barn is hosting CONNOR KENNEDY for his record release party. I’m sure there will be many surprise guests at this event, and you can get in for only $20. Pretty sure it will be money well spent. In the Big Apple, OS MUTANTES are at The Prospect Park Bandshell, a great place to see anyone, master acoustic guitarist TOMMY EMMANUEL is at BB King’s, rocker GARLAND JEFFRIES at Highline Ballroom, and the Hudson Valley’s own LARA HOPE AND THE ARKTONES ARE AT The Rodeo Bar, so if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and support Lara. No cover.
Sunday, June 30 – THE NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE bring Country-Rock to the former jazz club Iridium, but the really big shoe tonight (as Ed Sullivan used to say) is BIG STAR THIRD, performed by an all star house band with a 20 piece orchestra and special guests, in Central Park! Big Star was one of the most influential bands of their time. Peter Buck of REM says, “Big Star served as a Rosetta Stone for a whole generation of musicians”! Core band for this event is Mike Mills (REM), Richard Lloyd (Television), famed producer Mitch Easter, Chris Stamey (DB’s), Ken Stringfellow (Posies, Big Star), and original Big Star drummer Jody Stevens. Special guests include Marshall Crenshaw, Pete Yorn, Jane Scarpantoni, and The Uptown Horns! Best of all, it’s free! The show coincides with the release of BIG STAR- NOTHING CAN HURT ME, a documentary on the band, July 3, on Itunes and On Demand! Pick of the Week!
Howdy Y’all! Hope everyone’s enjoying the beautiful weather, when it’s not raining. Don’t forget, April showers bring May flowers… hey, what the hell? IT”S JUNE!!! Well anyway, be thankful for the good ones when they come along.
The Towne Crier in Pauling has finally closed in preparation for their move to Beacon. In my opinion, this is a great move for The Towne Crier, and for the city of Beacon, although probably not so much for Pauling. That said, Beacon has been up and coming for quite a while, and in recent years, the town has accelerated it’s pace of rising hip quotient, so much so that I wanna go there and check the place out! It sounds really cool! I don’t know if it’s any closer than Pauling, but Pauling was quite a hike, so I don’t think it could be any worse! And Beacon will now have a “crown jewel” in it’s rising tide of galleries, restaurants, clubs, and places for musicians to play. My best wishes to The Towne Crier in its new location, and folks, they book a lot of different types of artists here, all good. There’s something for everyone at The Towne Crier, so please support these guys when they re-open. Moving costs a fortune nowadays and they’ll probably need all the help they can get at the beginning.
Farm Aid’s coming to SPAC! That’s right, Willie, Neil, Mellencamp, and the rest of the Farm Aid board are bringing the show back to the heartland, after a few years in NYC. The shows at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (one of the most beautiful places anywhere to see a show), are scheduled for September. Line up TBA.
This week’s live picks:
Wednesday, June 19 – DAVID MURRAY is a giant in the Jazz world! Tonight, his new band, THE INFINITY QUARTET, will be playing at Subculture, at 45 Bleecker Street, with MACY GRAY as guest featured vocalist. I love Macy Gray, and this just might be a titanic show! Reprise performance Thursday. Also in the city, IAN MCGLAGEN, of Small Faces, and later, Faces, who has been living in Austin, Texas for years, at Iridium, and BILL PAYNE of Little Feat at Highline Ballroom. Further north, FLEETWOOD MAC at Times-Union Center in Albany, and LEO KOTTKE, the world’s foremost living progenitor of trance-raga music, is at Club Helsinki in Hudson.
Thursday, June 20 – I don’t often recommend Hip Hop shows, but tonight, three titans of the Rap world are getting together at Roseland ballroom, and if you have a fondness for Hip Hop, or maybe even just like it a little, or sometimes, then you have to sit up and take notice at this show with three of the best and most influential originators of the genre, LL COOL J, PUBLIC ENEMY, and ICE CUBE from NWA! This is seriously huge! The only way it could get better, would be if they added Run-DMC to the show! Up in the mountains, HOT TUNA’s at Bethel Woods.
Friday, June 21 – My parent’s wedding anniversary. I’ll be celebrating by going to see IAN MCGLAGEN at The Bearsville Theater! Really looking forward to this one! For the more adventurous among you, WILCO’S SOLID SOUND FESTIVAL kicks off tonight at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., and continues through the weekend. They have an impressive lineup this year, and if the weather co-operates, this should be a blast! More info at www.solidsoundfestival.com. And if you’re thinking about taking in the Wilco festival, you might want to think about making a short stop on the way there, at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT for to catch the ASSEMBLY OF DUST show. This place is tiny! I can’t even believe AOD is playing here! And it’s also a really nice old building with a great restaurant. The room where the music takes place reminds me of a smaller Ryman Auditorium! Lovely staff as well. Infinity Music Hall deserves your support. It’s a bit of a drive, but a lovely one, so go early, enjoy the drive, eat dinner before the show, and then rock out to Assembly of Dust, a really good band! Back in NY, the excellent, inventive guitarist JOHNNY A is at The Falcon in Marlboro. Johnny spent 7 years as guitarist and musical director for Peter Wolf before launching his solo career in 1999, with an album released on Steve Vai’s label! Steve ain’t signin’ no slouches! If I hadn’t been looking forward to Mac’s show at Bearsville for so long, I would definitely be here. The “A” is for “Awesome”!
Saturday, June 22 – If you’re not in the middle of Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival, there’s only two choices for you tonight. One, really, depending on where you are. If you are in Manhattan, the great FEMI KUTI and his band, THE POSITIVE FORCE, is at Central Park for a FREE concert! That’s right, I said free! Femi is the son of the immortal Fela Kuti, who practically invented Afrobeat music, and an amazing artist in his own right. The show is at 72nd Street in the middle of the Park. This will be a great night out! Upstate, the all day ROSENDALE ROCKS THE RIVER will be starting at noon, and yours truly will be performing at 2 PM, followed by one distinguished band after the next! C’mon out and get yer feet wet!
Sunday, June 23 – Wow! There is so much good music out there tonight, stretching across the entire state of New York, that you’ve gotta find something to make you happy tonight. We’ll go from North to South geographically, but artistically, we’ll start in the South, with Florida native son, TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS at SPAC in Saratoga Springs. TP and the H’breakers are one of the best live bands around, this is one of the best live venues around, and this will be one of the best shows you will see all year! Moving south, we come to the city of Kingston, where STEVE MARTIN, EDIE BRICKELL, AND THE STEEP CANYON RANGERS will take over UPAC for a night of Bluegrass music. Ah, Steve and Edie, together again! Martin is a credible banjo player who’s recorded a pretty good record with The SC Rangers, and from what I’ve heard, has also made a really nice album with Edie Brickell! Of course, his comedy career needs no introduction. Any way you look at it, this combination of artists should produce some music worth hearing! Continuing south, we come to The South again. Great new band, ALABAMA SHAKES is at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, and finally, one of my all time favorite bands, SOCIAL DISTORTION, are at Warsaw in Brooklyn.
Monday, June 24 – Two interesting shows tonight, one upstate, one down. In the city, guitarist LITA FORD is at Iridium with The Les Paul Trio, and at The Bearsville Theater, the multi-talented DUKE MCVINNIE BAND will be playing the last night of their June residency. This will be your last opportunity to catch this unique band here for a while. They are great and deserve your support, and, you’ll be lovin’ it!
Tuesday, June 25 – The STEVE AND EDIE (Martin and Brickell, with The SC Rangers) show moves to Town Hall, and NAZARETH moves their exquisite version of “Love Hurts” to BB King’s, both in Manhattan.
Wednesday, June 26 – Amongst all the great music we have to choose from this week, ROBERT CRAY at Infinity Music Hall is my Pick of the Week. Rarely does an artist of Mister Cray’s stature play a venue this small and intimate. It’s a prefect place to observe the talents of the man. In the city, there are two shows that I find interesting, rather than out and out recommend. One is MOE at The Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club, at 89 South Street. Moe is a well loved jam band, and I have the idea this venue will be very cool. Any place that combines “beer garden” and “beach club” is A-OK in my book! The other is COURTNEY LOVE at Warsaw in Brooklyn. Love has become more of an embarrassing celebrity than a singer or musician, but, Hole rocked, and maybe she still can too!
Thursday, June 27 – Tonight, we’re back to the geographical tour. In the city, BUDDY GUY at BB Kings. Hudson Valley – GABE BUTTERFIELD BAND with Rob Papparozzi, Jimmy Eppard, and special guest, fantastic guitarist, Kal David! Check him out on YouTube and you’ll be there!
Have a great week!
There’s a lot going on this week, just not in the music world (other than festivals and summer tours), so we’re going to go straight to the live music picks for the week.
Wednesday, June 12 – RAVI COLTRANE, the talented son of jazz immortal, John Coltrane, has recently released “Spirit Fiction”, an album that takes his already excellent playing to a new level! Tonight, or actually yesterday, he started a 5 day run at Birdland, which concludes this Saturday, June 15. DELBERT MCCLINTON brings his masterful stage presence to BB King’s, and ZAKK WYLDE concludes a 3 day engagement at The Iridium.
Thursday, June 13 – A TASTE OF COUNTRY music festival kicks off tonight at Hunter Mountain, and runs through Saturday night. Headlined by WILLIE NELSON, the rest of the line up is mostly modern Country hat bands, with one exception. BLACKBERRY SMOKE, who regular readers of this column will remember were one of my favorite discoveries of 2012, are also on the bill, and The Smoke and Willie will be worth the price of admission alone. Hopefully, they’re playing on the same day. More info at tasteofcountryfestival.com.
Friday, June 14 – There once was a band called Uncle Tupulo. When they broke up, the two head honchos formed two bands, Wilco, who’ve gone on to fame and fortune, and SON VOLT, who haven’t. In what passes for the music business today, this makes perfect sense, because I’ve never heard anything by Wilco that moved me, but Son Volt have what it takes, and they’re playing at The Bowery Ballroom tonight, and The Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow. If you like Americana, this will be a great show. JIMMY VIVINO, man of many fingers in many pies, will be playing with THE BARNBURNERS at Iridium tonight. Could this be the same Barnburners that Levon used to play with, just before his late career revival? I’m guessing, yes.
It’s easy to forget that BLACK FLAG existed before and after Henry Rollins, but founder/guitarist, Greg Ginn, has reformed the group around vocalist Ron Reyes, who has been with Black Flag since the late 1970’s, and a new album and tour are in the works. Tonight and tomorrow at Warsaw in Brooklyn.
Saturday, June 15 – If it’s mid-June, it’s THE CLEARWATER FESTIVAL, a weekend fun fest that features many great bands, craftspeople, and vendors. This year the schedule is better than ever, with more emphasis on the music. Full line up and more info at clearwaterfestival.org.
Monday, June 17 – The fabulous DUKE MCVINNIE BAND continues their Monday night residency at The Bearsville Theater. Last week, the place was empty, which is a disgrace for a band this talented. SUPPORT LOCAL MUSICIANS! Especially when they’re awesome! In the city, JIMMY VIVINO with THE LES PAUL TRIO at Iridium.
Tuesday, June 18 – The always amazing guitarist, JOHN MCLAUGHLIN starts a 3 night run at The Blue Note with his band, 4th DIMENSION tonight.
Wednesday, June 19 – Busy night tonight. BILL PAYNE, from Little Feat, is at Highline Ballroom. IAN MCLAGEN, from Faces and Small Faces, is at Iridium (next week at Bearsville Theater. Don’t miss!). THE ROOTS and My Morning Jacket frontman, JIM JAMES, are at the Prospect Park Bandshell. LEO KOTTKE, the best living trance-raga guitar player, is at Club Helsinki in Hudson, and FLEETWOOD MAC is at The Times Union center in Albany.
Thursday, June 20 – The week concludes with HOT TUNA at Bethel Woods.
Have a great one!
Fredro is the founder, with Walter Egan, of The Brooklyn Cowboys. He's also the drummer, one of the main songwriter's, co-producer, and CEO of the label, Leaps Recordings.