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Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue @ Boulder Theater

photo by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Review was formed in 2005 from the top players of the foremost Grateful Dead tribute bands in the Rocky Mountain region, Shakedown Street & Dark Star Orchestra. Based originally on a premise of player interchangeability to suit the situation, compatibility and success have coalesced the band into its present configuration. The band's forte lies in its faithful rendering of Grateful Dead material, both originals and covers, and the Grateful Dead's trademark style of improvisation. Achieved through a careful balance of comprehension and execution of the more defined musical elements of the material with a fearless passion to connect with the elusive "X factor" that Jerry Garcia affectionately spoke of, RMGDR remains aligned with the Dead's creed of playing off the energy of the audience and making them an integral component of the overall dynamic.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN GRATEFUL DEAD REVUE
Friday, January 9      
doors 8:30pm, show 9:00pm

Boulder Theater
2032 14th Street
Boulder, CO 80302
303.786.7030
www.bouldertheater.com

Chris Darrow was California's rock Zelig - Reissued 70's LP

Chris Darrow- for the Grateful Web

Chris Darrow may not be a household name — yet. But throughout the history of Southern California country-rock, folk, surf, psychedelic and world music, he has cast a welcome presence. His trail-blazing, country-rock-leaning pair of solo albums, Chris Darrow (1973) and Under My Own Disguise (1974), soon will be released by Everloving Records, the home of Inara George & Van Dyke Parks, Cornelius and Herman Dune . The Darrow collection, titled Chris Darrow/Under My Own Disguise, will be available as a deluxe two-CD, two-LP (180 gram vinyl) with a 48-page 12" x 12" photo book. Street date is March 3, 2009.
 
The music will also be available through digital retailers without all the fancy stuff.
 
The Chris Darrow story begins with Kaleidoscope, a late '60s L.A.-based band cited by Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page as his "favorite band of all time." Elektra Records founder Jac Holzman wrote in his book Follow the Music that the first Kaleidoscope album, Side Trips, is his favorite album of all time. Why this cult mania? Kaleidoscope was the first to blend country, rock, folk, blues, psychedelic and world music and have been called the first "world beat" band. They were also precursors to the Flying Burrito Brothers. Singer/songwriter/guitarist David Lindley was also a member.
 
But the Chris Darrow story did not end with Kaleidoscope's dissolution. He joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and then followed the band's Jeff Hanna into the Corvettes on Dot Records. The Corvettes (sans Chris) went on to become Linda Ronstadt's band. Later the Dirt band reformed with Bernie Leadon, who soon became a Flying Burrito Brother. (Is this saga Southern California enough for you?) Darrow later recorded and toured with Hoyt Axton, John Stewart, James Taylor, Sonny & Cher, Gene Vincent, John Fahey and Helen Reddy. As the Chris Darrow reputation continued to develop, he crafted a pair of legendary solo albums for the United Artists label: Chris Darrow and Under My Own Disguise.
 
The story goes on and on — Darrow went on to record with Nesmith, Kaleidoscope briefly reunited, he recorded with Chris D's Divine Horsemen, formed an unlikely working relationship with colorful producer Kim Fowley and an even less likely collaboration with the Surf Punks' Dennis Dragon. As Darrow continued his 40-year (so far) career in the music business, a new generation of artists discovered him.
 
Ben Harper, who grew up in Darrow's long-time roost of Claremont, Calif., covered the song "Whipping Boy" from Chris Darrow. The Dust Brothers later remixed it. Mudhoney's Steve Turner has come to idolize Darrow, writing: "It's these solo albums that keep finding their way onto the turntable around my house They have slowly, through the years, wound up in the hands of the right people. People like you and me. And that's no accident."
 
Likewise, many authors have cited Darrow's contribution to the development of Southern California rock.  He is invoked in such volumes as Barney Hoskyns' Waiting for the Sun and Hotel California, Chuck Crisafulli's Are You Ready for the Country, Richie Unterberger's Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rock.

Enter Everloving Records, the esoteric label from L.A.'s Loz Feliz, known for its relationship with the Claremont musical community that begat both Darrow and Ben Harper. The LA Weekly's Randall Roberts described Everloving as "globetrotting this year, putting out thrilling music by Germans, French, Japanese and Angelenos. The label since 2003 has delivered hot music action from wherever it arrives. They cherry-pick choice little records from across the globe and deliver them stateside."
 
Everloving Records is noted for their innovative packaging. The Darrow package is an objet d'art. But how will the label create widespread demand for a double album reissue by an artist from the '60s and '70s whom — if you're under a certain age — you've likely never heard of til moments ago? Glad you asked. That's where you come in.

the subdudes – music matters

the subdudes- for the Grateful Web

Over the course of 20 years and eight albums, the subdudes have quietly become one of America's national musical treasures.

The New Orleans-rooted group is a living synthesis of American music, a vibrant cauldron of sounds that stirs together meaty grooves and jazzy dynamics, soulful R & B swagger, easy vocal harmonies, cheeky rock 'n' roll attitude and folky social consciousness – not to mention exceedingly sharp musicianship and ensemble playing.  It's tight enough to be loose, but never sloppy.

Their distinctive sound is that of Steve Amedee's tambourine, which they used to replace the traditional kick drum. Their decision to forgo conventional rock drumming gave them a distinctive sound, but it might have cost them - because they remain one of the untold stories of rock.  Now the time has come for their story to be told, a little louder.

But in a quiet way – which is to say, Fall 2008 brings us the subdudes, subdued – an all-acoustic tour, their first, that will celebrate a number of different things.  It'll celebrate in advance the mid-October release from Biographica Films of their double DVD, Live at the Ram's Head (the regular electric 'dudes) and Unplugged at Pleasant Plains.

The tour will also celebrate their new relationship with Texas-based Music Road Records for their next CD, due in the spring.

In March 1987, John Magnie (vocals, keyboards, accordion) and Tommy Malone (vocals, guitars) started a new band…

Magnie had begun his musical career in the Denver area with a blues band, then came to New Orleans in the '70s, where he studied the work of the great NOLA pianomen James Booker and Professor Longhair.  Eventually he cofounded the legendary "Little Queenie and the Percolators," in its time one of NOLA's hottest bands.

In 1980, Tommy Malone joined LQ&tP.  A native Louisianan, he'd started at 14 in a cover band called Elroy (which included a drummer named Steve Amedee), then at 18 moved to New Orleans and began working with his two older brothers in Dustwoofie, a country-rock band.  Eventually he joined Little Queenie and the Percolators.  After the band lost steam, Tommy and John formed the Continental Drifters.  "I think we were trying to be edgy, and we just ended up being loud," said John.

One night, as an antidote to the volume and a general dissatisfaction with the direction of the Drifters, they decided to with a different set of rules.  On March 16, 1987, John, Tommy, their friend Johnny Allen from the Drifters and another pal, a veteran of the Bourbon Street club scene, Steve Amedee (vocals, percussion, mandolin) came together at Tipitina's.  Their rule for the night was, play only what you could carry into the club.  Listening to the tape, they knew something special had happened.  The four of them moved to Fort Collins to define themselves, and in the succeeding years signed a contract with Atlantic Records and developed an enthusiastic fan base in Colorado.  But luck was not on their side, and in 1996, they went their separate ways.

Magnie and Amedee joined forces with Tim Cook (vocals, bass, percussion) and worked the Colorado club circuit as the 3 Twins.  During the 3 Twins' era, Tommy Malone was working with the band Tiny Town, then releasing a solo album, Soul Heavy, and re-connecting with Jimmy Messa (vocals, bass, guitar), who'd worked on Bourbon Street and had also been a member of the Continental Drifters.

But the subdudes' peculiar magic could not be denied.  In 2001, the Three Twins and the Tommy Malone Band joined forces to become first the Dudes and then – just as it should be – the subdudes.  The revived subdudes released the splendid Miracle Mule and then followed it up with Behind the Levee – a highly appropriate title in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which included the radio hit "Papa Dukie and the Mud People."  Their most recent studio release was in 2007, Street Symphony.  In addition to the songs Tommy and John bring in, the band has developed an 'everybody in the room' collaborative writing style that has generated highly successful results.

Live at the Ram's Head/Unplugged at Pleasant Plains is a knock-your-socks-off double package of subdued-ian musical pleasure.  The Ram's Head shoot is mostly hand-held, capturing the intimacy of a small room.  You ARE there.  And Pleasant Plains, with more room, is a little more elegant.  Both ways, they capture the power of the music, and that's a wonderful thing.

They may be subdued – but they make a lot of noise.

EXPORT NOLA: Experience New Orleans Music in NYC!

New Orleans tunes in the Big Apple- for the Grateful Web
The Backbeat Foundation is proud to present "EXPORT NOLA: Experience New Orleans Music," the Official APAP Showcase of New Orleans music at the 2009 Association of Performing Arts Presenters Conference in New York. EXPORT NOLA showcases will be held on the evenings of January 9 and January 11, 2009 at Sullivan Hall in New York City.
The APAP Conference is the largest gathering of performing arts presenters, managers, and artists in the world. EXPORT NOLA will provide New Orleans artists the opportunity to perform before an audience of national and international talent buyers in town for the conference, sparking interest in New Orleans music and culture.

The line-up of EXPORT NOLA will offer some of the best musical talent from New Orleans and will include Paul Sanchez, John Boutte, Leroy Jones, DJ Soul Sister, The Jon Batiste Band, Christian Scott Quintet, Big Sam's Funky Nation, and Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove feat. Big Chief Monk Boudreaux.
 
The Showcase on January 11 will be preceded by an EXPORT NOLA reception where attendees will be able to sample some of New Orleans soulful culinary delicacies while dancing to the party beats of DJ Soul Sister.
 
EXPORT NOLA events are open to the public and free to APAP Conference attendee badge holders. Tickets for the events are available at www.backbeattix.com.
 
EXPORT NOLA is made possible thanks to the generosity of the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, WWOZ 90.7 fm, the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, Hubig's Pies and Loretta's Authentic Pralines.
 
Additional details and information about the events can be found at www.backbeatfoundation.org or by visiting the Foundation's Facebook and Myspace pages.

JEMP RECORDS RELEASES PHISH 12/30/97

After a standout show on 12/29/97, the band gave a loose, funky performance on the second night of their three-night stand at Madison Square Garden.  The band came out of the gates smoking on night three of a four-show holiday tour on December 30th with "Sneakin' Sally Thru The Alley" > "Taste".

Jazz Pianist Dean Malsack nominated for best Jazz CD

Dean Malsack- for the Grateful Web

Dean Malsack started piano lessons at the age of five and began playing professionally at fourteen.  His father, also a professional pianist, was his teacher.  His mother teaches piano as well. Dean has performed all over the United States as a solo pianist and with several ensembles ranging from jazz to blues to popular show tunes and has just released his 6th solo piano recording.  Dean is a voting member of the Grammy Awards and has performed on a USO tour.  Dean's enjoyment in playing is evident in his whimsical and unique style, and appeals to a wide range of listeners.  Dean performs over 250 engagements yearly.

New location for Rex Foundation's 25th Anniversary Celebration

gweb says: support the Rex Foundation- for the Grateful Web

The Rex Foundation changed the location to make sure everyone can all come together in a more intimate setting. Let's celebrate the power of music and kindred connections to raise spirits and boost much-needed support for grassroots non-profit programs. Peter Rowan is bringing along friends and family, including Ramblin' Jack Elliot, the Rowan Brothers and Crucial Reggae legendary musicians Fully Fullwood and Tony Chin, plus Michael Kang (of String Cheese Incident) with Panjea, and Jackie Greene, rising star of Phil & Friends.

Saturday, December 13th
Rex Foundation 25th Anniversary Celebration!
"Sweet Music Everywhere"
The Grand Ballroom of the Regency Center
1300 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA
Click here for ticket information

TRIBUTE TO ELMO HOPE - Dec 9 & 10 at the Jazz Standard

Elmo Hope- for the Grateful Web

Pianist and composer Elmo Hope was on the scene from the mid 1950s into the 1960s. This year, June 27, 2008, would have been Elmo's 85th birthday. Elmo was very close to two forward-thinking musical giants, in fact, he spent so much time with Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell that they were called "The 3 Musketeers." Monk loved Elmo's composing and referred to him as his favorite contemporary composer.

Elmo left us with a body of important original music that he recorded essentially between 1953 and 1963. On Tuesday, December 9, and Wednesday, December 10, the sextet will be performing 4 different sets of Elmo's music, exploring the music chronologically each night. This will give us the opportunity to present at least 24 of Elmo's compositions over the two nights.

Elmo's music is compelling (to the audience) and demanding (to the musicians). As drummer Kenny Washington said at rehearsal, Elmo's music demands all your musicianship to try to play it, but if you spend the time to really try to learn it, the rewards are incredible! For the audience, it's an opportunity to hear Elmo's world through the artistry of today's fine musicians.

It's been a dream of mine for quite a few years to be able to present Elmo's music to contemporary audiences. So on Tuesday, December 9, and Wednesday, December 10, we will be performing Elmo's original compositions. Most will be performed in a sextet context, featuring a horn section of alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon (the 2008 winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition), tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart, and myself, Don Sickler, on trumpet. The rhythm section features the pianist who knows more about Elmo's music than anyone, Bertha Hope, Elmo's widow; bassist John Webber; and drummers Kenny Washington (Tuesday the 9th) and Willie Jones, III (Wednesday the 10th). Special guest pianist Jonny King will perform "La Berthe," one of Elmo's tributes to his wife Bertha, on the second set opening night.

Please join us for an exploration of Hope!

Don Sickler

At the Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street New York, New York 10016

Elizabeth & The Catapult Brings You 'Christmas With The Jews'

Elizabeth & the catapult - photo by EJ Decoske- for the Grateful Web

In less than two years since their move to New York, Elizabeth and the Catapult has already racked up an impressive list of accomplishments. In May and August of 2006 they were featured in WNYC's "Soundcheck" as well as PRI's "Fair Game with Faith Salie" At the end of the year they were dubbed by NPR as "One of the Best Discoveries of 2006."  The Catapult have had residencies at clubs such as the Living Room and Rockwood Music Hall, and after opening for national headliners like Jessie Harris, Kirk Kirkwood (of the Meat Puppets fame), The Wood Brothers (of Medeski, Martin, and Wood), and Amanda Palmer (of The Dresden Dolls) there was enough buzz about them to support a tour and label interest on the West Coast. All of this success also earned them a place as the Billboard Underground Artist for last October.

Bound by a common love of eclectic influences, Elizabeth & the Catapult draws inspiration from artists such as Tom Waits, David Byrne, Joni Mitchell, and Jon Brion—as well as classical influences such as Debussy, Ravel and Chopin. One explanation for the band's musical diversity is Elizabeth Ziman's musical background. She was trained as a classical pianist until the age of sixteen. "As a kid, I used to practice all the time…" Elizabeth explains. "But one day I realized that I couldn't lock myself in a room for eight hours a day…that's when I started writing and singing." After that, it quickly became apparent that her vocal abilities rivaled her piano skills. In 2002, Elizabeth successfully auditioned to be a background vocalist for soul-queen Patti Austin and ended up joining her on tour for the next year and a half. Elizabeth's experience along with Pete and Danny's folk/rock sensibility piece together to make up the band's harmonically distinctive pop sound, a sound well reflected in their stylistically diverse new EP.

After a listen to the Elizabeth & the Catapult EP, it is immediately clear that a great deal of thought went into each of the songs' arrangements. Strings, Horns, Marimba and Synthesizers are all blended together, creating an organic, off-beat style that fans have often referred to as "baroque pop." The sound of the EP is also shaped by the guerilla-style fashion in which it was recorded. Drummer Danny Molad recorded most of the EP in basements and bathrooms, producing this album, along with Elizabeth, in an incredibly modest home studio. With these limited resources, Elizabeth & the Catapult managed to produce an expertly mixed album. Every note of the EP sounds deliberately placed while there still manages to be an air of effortlessness that penetrates throughout all the songs.

In their recordings as well as live performances, Elizabeth and her band members bring together all their backgrounds and experiences to make music that they themselves enjoy. They acknowledge their amorphous style and readily admit that it probably scares record labels. Even so, Elizabeth asserts that she is "not interested in assigning herself a specific style." Elizabeth & the Catapult are proud of their ever-changing sound and are committed to keeping their music fresh and creative.

Tour dates!
Dec 27 Washington DC at DC9
Dec 29 Easton MD at Coffee East
Jan 22 Hoboken NJ at Maxwells

The Walkmen Announce Winter Tour

The Walkmen- for the Grateful Web

The music that inspired The Walkmen to compose You and Me follows in a tradition of song writing that goes back to early rock 'n' roll: the intimacy and energy of Elvis Presley's and Buddy Holly's early recordings, and the massive voice and orchestration of Roy Orbison.  And it carries on through people like Bob Marley and Randy Newman and on to bands like The Pogues and The Modern Lovers - the sort of songs that are very much a product of their time and place while firmly rooted in tradition.  The vocals were performed live right in the room with the full band, and sometimes a horn section too.
 
With some romance and drama, You and Me harnesses a sense of classic live-band production into meticulously constructed, unique-sounding rock songs.  The sound would definitely not be mistaken for old, but it would be impossible to ignore the most timeless influences. You and Me offers a distinctive twist to the "Walkmen" sound of their first three records. Each song shows focus, and an up-beat enthusiasm apparent in all lyrics, music, and performances. It is a long record, clocking in at just under an hour, and it presents a wide range of ideas.  The pacing is very important, as the band felt it was essential to set the right tone, and show each song in its proper light.

Writing and recording of You and Me happened over a vibrant and rigorous 2-year period, during which the members of The Walkmen were split between Philadelphia and New York.  The band rode China Town busses five days a week to work in two small rehearsal spaces (an old nightclub in Chelsea, New York and a warehouse in Fish Town, Philadelphia) to freeze by the kerosene heater in the winter, and sweat it out in the summer. By the time of the record's pressing there were over four hundred cast-off 8-track tapes littering both spaces.

The song "I Lost You" was the first major breakthrough, and inspired many songs to follow. Maroon was teaching himself the viola and trumpet at the time, and the song was the culmination of many 8-track experiments. The new warmth and romance in the music seemed to beg for the same from the lyrics, so the cold and stand-offish tone that had run a-ground in recent years was abandoned for a more personal and real approach.  "I Lost You's" strange pacing, and the way in which both the music and the lyrics together pushed towards an Orbison-like crescendo, was the new direction everyone had hoped for.  Songs like "Red Moon", "On the Water", "If Only it Were True", and "In the New Year" were soon to follow.

The album was recorded in two installments - the first at Sweet Tea studios in Oxford, Mississippi (where they had worked on Bows and Arrows) with engineer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Hold Steady, Sonic Youth) and in a couple of sessions in New York's Gigantic Studios (built by Phillip Glass) with engineer Chris Zane, who also produced Les Savy Fav, Asobi Seksu, White Rabbits and who the boys consider "the best f@#king engineer in the world" and a f@#king god-send."

 

You and Me is a solid and complex showcase of inspired songwriting. Romantic and celebratory, this is the sound of The Walkmen returning to classic form.

West Coast Dates
w/ Beach House supporting
1/19: Belly up, San Diego
1/20: Henry Fonda Theater, Los Angeles
1/21: Fillmore, San Francisco
1/23: Wonder Ballroom, Portland
1/24: Neumos, Seattle