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NY Guitar Fest Announces 2 New Shows

The New York Guitar Festival today announces two additional performances in its 2010 offerings, both at Le Poisson Rouge. January 26 welcomes an evening of exquisite finger-style guitar featuring music by James Blackshaw, Max Ochs, Ben Hall, and Nick Jonah Davis, while February 2 serves up Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog and Skeleton$. Details are listed below.

The New York Guitar Festival launched its 10th event last week with a free opening night performance at World Financial Center’s Winter Garden by Slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya. Among India’s most esteemed musicians, Bhattacharya lured the packed house with music both soulfully serene and frenetically ferocious. Catch a glimpse here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9cDctzwyJc . Next up for NYGF – this Thursday Merkin Hall hosts the first of four highly anticipated performances in the series Silent Films/Live Guitars.

No instrument has spoken in more voices to more people than the guitar, and over the past decade no festival has sought out the modulations in those voices and the range of the guitar’s cultural expressions than the New York Guitar Festival.

Following its success since 1999 (with rave reviews in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Jazz Times as well as sister festivals in Urbana, Illinois and Adelaide Australia), the New York Guitar Festival announces its tenth season of concert performances, January 8 though February 4, 2010.

The festival boasts over 30 exceptional guitarists of jazz, classical, rock, traditional, and avant garde styles. Participating venues include Merkin Concert Hall, The 92nd Street Y, The World Financial Center’s Winter Garden, Le Poisson Rouge and Barbes. Concerts range from an all-day Guitar Marathon interpreting the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries, (featuring, among other internationally-famous musicians, the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Paul O’Dette, Ana Vidovic, Eliot Fisk, Paul Galbraith and Nigel North) to the Hindustani slide guitar music of Debashish Bhattacharya.

The festival also has a history of commissioning remarkable original works, and the 2010 season breaks yet more new ground by presenting ten classic silent films (seven by Chaplin, one by Keaton and two by Harry Smith) accompanied by original scores performed live by a spectacularly rich and varied coterie of guitarists: Gyan Riley, Alex de Grassi, Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver), Steve Kimock, James Blackshaw, Marc Ribot, David Bromberg and the members of Chicha Libre.

The New York Guitar Festival, a not-for-profit arts organization, was founded in 1999 by musician and producer David Spelman, who serves as its Artistic Director. The Festival’s goal is to broaden the public’s appreciation for the guitar by fostering emerging talent, supporting innovative collaborations among outstanding artists, and commissioning new works. In addition to producing eclectic concerts and radio broadcasts, its Guitar Harvest series of recordings supports outreach programs in New York City public schools.

CONCERT SCHEDULE:

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 14, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant + The Kid

Music by David Bromberg and Marc Ribot
2008 Grammy nominee David Bromberg is known for his eclectic combination of blues, bluegrass, jazz, folk, country, and rock. He’s recorded and performed with Reverend Gary Davis, Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry Garcia, Bob Dylan and George Harrison among others and is presenting the premiere of newly commissioned music for Charlie Chaplin’s 1917 The Immigrant. Style-morphing icon Marc Ribot has lent his mercurial guitar sounds to collaborations including Robert Plant and Alison Kraus, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and John Zorn, and will improvise a score for Chaplin’s 1921 classic, The Kid.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 21, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s One A.M. and Easy Street + Buster Keaton’s Cops

Music by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Steve Kimock
Bon Iver is the nom-de-guerre of musician Justin Vernon. His album For Emma, Forever Ago was a critical and commercial hit, making him one of the most talked-about indie artists of 2008. For his scores to One A.M. & Easy Street, he’s joined by Chris Rosenau, of Collection of Colonies of Bees, whom Justin calls his “guitar mentor.” Steve Kimock is best known as co-founder and guitarist for the San Francisco band Zero. He’s recorded and performed with Bruce Hornsby and members of the Grateful Dead—Jerry Garcia once hailed him as his favorite guitarist. He performs music for Buster Keaton’s Cops.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleeker Street
Tickets and Information: (212) 505-FISH or
lepoissonrouge.com

Tuesday, January 26 @ 6:30 PM

The New Possibility

Music by James Blackshaw, Max Ochs, Ben Hall, and Nick Jonah Davis
An evening of exquisite solo finger-style guitar, assembled by New York City’s Tompkins Square label, a leading purveyor of acoustic guitar music. The Village Voice called the label’s three-volume ‘Imaginational Anthem’ series “the gold standard for guitar nerds.” Ben Hall and Nick Jonah Davis will be making their first-ever New York performances.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, January 28, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms and The Fall of the House of Usher (directed by James Sibley Watson and Melville Webber)

Music by Alex de Grassi + James Blackshaw
One of the top fingerstyle, steel-string guitarists, Grammy nominee Alex de Grassi is renowned for his impeccable technique and compelling compositions. He’s explored a variety of world music influences and drawn acclaim for his 14 recordings on Windham Hill and other labels. He presents his original score for Chaplin’s 1918 masterpiece Shoulder Arms. James Blackshaw is a London-based prodigy who’s released seven albums of mesmerizing 12-string compositions. His style is often described as “American primitive” and incorporates elements of Indian raga, improvisation, and psychedelia.

92nd Street Y
Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
Tickets and information: 212-415-5500 / www.92Y.org

Sunday, January 31, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a break at 5 p.m.

The Guitar Marathon: Bach

Music by Paul O’Dette, Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Eliot Fisk, Paul Galbraith, David Leisner, Nigel North, Gyan Riley, Benjamin Verdery, Ana Vidovic, Jason Vieaux, and additional artists to be announced.
Our 5th biannual Guitar Marathon at the 92nd Street Y’s Kaufman Auditorium is co-curated by Paul O’Dette and the NYGF’s David Spelman. Some of today’s finest classical guitarists and lutenists will reveal the different facets of the music of J.S. Bach and his contemporaries. The event runs from 2—10pm, with a break at 5pm. “An epic event” is how the The Wall Street Journal classified our first Marathon, and Jazz Times called it “a veritable guitar orgy.” Half and full-day tickets will be available in August. Presented in association with WNYC Radio and broadcast on 93.9 FM.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleeker Street
Tickets and Information: (212) 505-FISH or
lepoissonrouge.com

Tuesday, February 2 @ 6:30 PM

Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog and Skeleton$

Music by Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog: Marc Ribot (guitar), Shahzad Ismaily (bass, Moog, electronics), and Ches Smith (drums, electronics). Skeletons: also known as Skeletons and the Girl-Faced Boys and Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities.
Ceramic Dog is a post-everything band combining the energies of two masters of downtown New York City mayhem: guitarist/vocalist Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, John Zorn, Robert Plant, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello) and bassist Shahzad Ismaily (Laurie Anderson, Will Oldham), with West Coast indie/experimental genius drummer Ches Smith. Ribot is a widely recognized original on the guitar, with influence across multiple genres of music, including rock, jazz, punk, Latin, soul, 80s No-Wave, avant-garde and noise. Opening the show will be Matt Mehlan’s revolving ensemble musical project Skeleton$.

Merkin Concert Hall
Goodman House, 129 West 67th Street
Tickets and information: 212-501-3330 •
kaufman-center.org

Thursday, February 4th, 8 p.m.

Silent Films/Live Guitars

Charlie Chaplin’s The Pilgrim and shorts by Harry Smith

Music by Chicha Libre + Gyan Riley
The Peruvian-influenced psychedelic pop of Chicha Libre mixes Colombian cumbia, dreamy surf guitar, and Andean melodies. They present their score to Chaplin’s 1923 The Pilgrim. Gyan Riley is an equally strong presence in the worlds of classical guitar and contemporary music. He’s performed throughout Europe and the U.S., both as a soloist and in ensembles with Zakir Hussain, the San Francisco Symphony, the Falla Guitar Trio, and his father, the composer/pianist/vocalist Terry Riley.

John Abercrombie Organ Trio w/ Greg Osby

John Abercrombie

Over a career spanning more than 40 years and nearly 50 albums, John Abercrombie has established himself as one the masters of jazz guitar. Favoring unusual sounds (he played electronic mandolin on McCoy Tyner's 1993 album 4x4) and nontraditional ensembles (recent quartet recordings have included violinist Mark Feldman), Abercrombie is a restless experimenter, working firmly in the jazz tradition while pushing the boundaries of meter and harmony."

Greg Osby

Saxophonist, composer, producer and educator Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz as a leader of his own ensembles and as a guest artist with other acclaimed jazz groups for the past 20 years. Highly regarded for his insightful and innovative approach to composition and performance, Osby is a shining beacon among the current generation of jazz musicians. He has earned numerous awards and critical acclaim for his recorded works and passionate live performances.

Gary Versace

Since basing himself in New York City in June of 2002, jazz organist, pianist, and accordionist Gary Versace has quickly become one of the busiest and most versatile musicians on the scene, often featured in bands led by musicians such as John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Maria Schneider, Matt Wilson, Lee Konitz, Eliot Zigmund, Scott Wendholt, Joe Magnarelli, Danny Gottlieb, Seamus Blake, John Hollenbeck, Andy LaVerne, Adam Nussbaum, Brad Shepik, Ingrid Jensen, Tim Ries and many others.

Adam Nussbaum

One of the finest and most versatile jazz drummers on the scene today Adman’s played with everybody from Sonny Rollins, Gil Evans, Carla Bley, Dave Liebman, Sheila Jordan, James Moody and  many others.  He’s also part of the co-op group  'NUTTREE' with Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi & Gary Versace.

JANUARY 14 – 17 JOHN ABERCROMBIE ORGAN TRIO WITH SPECIAL GUEST GREG OSBY
JOHN ABERCROMBIE – GUITARS, GARY VERSACE - ORGAN, ADAM NUSSBAUM – DRUMS, GREG OSBY - ALTO SAXOPHONE

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IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (CORNER OF 51ST)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
HTTP://WWW.IRIDIUMJAZZCLUB.COM/
SETS AT 8:30 & 10:30PM

Switzerland Meets New York @ The Canal Room - 1.14.09

Beat Kaestli at the Canal Room NYC - 1/14- for the Grateful Web

Visit the Canal Room on January 14th, 2009 for an incredible night of new music from three of the hottest performers from Switzerland. With support from the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York, the night will also include gift bags filled with tasty Swiss treats.

8pm:
BEAT KAESTLI:  "Beat Kaestli's emergence as a vocalist bespeaks a life full of experience. Like jazz itself, his willingness to adapt and improvise has given rise to a unique young man and artist." —David Donnenfeld, Esquire Magazine

Beat Kaestli moved to New York from his native Switzerland, where he was awarded a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music and he received his Master Degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music. While honing his craft alongside luminaries such as Jane Monheit, Jason Moran and Stefon Harris, he immersed himself in Manhattan's fiercely competitive music scene, and now appears in clubs such as The Blue Note, Birdland, The Bitter End, The Jazz Standard, The Stone and Sweet Rhythm, performing with jazz greats, like Esperanza Spalding, Clarence Penn, Joel Frahm and Victor Prieto.

In 2005, Beat was the chosen vocalist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, thrilling audiences in concert halls across the USA. Since the release of his acclaimed CD "Happy, Sad and Satisfied" in 2006, he has toured the world extensively with his own projects, around the US, Europe, Mexico and Canada. Tonight, the internationally acclaimed vocalist previews his upcoming release
Far From Home – A Tribute to European Song.

9 pm
SERENA JOST:  "Serena Jost writes gently eccentric songs and sings them in an elegant alto, often accompanying herself on cello, but it isn't quite right to call her a singer-songwriter. The term art song—normally tied to 19th-century concert music—usefully characterizes Jost's carefully arranged pieces and succinct lyrics, neither quite rock nor folk..." —Bob Bannister, Time Out New York

Singer-songwriter and cellist Serena Jost was born to Swiss parents and raised in the Midwest. Her debut CD, Closer Than Far, was produced by Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson) and released in spring 2008 to a sold-out house at Joe's Pub.  Time Out NY lauded Serena's "rollicking take" on Iris DeMent's bittersweet Our Town and "catch(y) vocal hooks" and noted: "Jost writes gently eccentric songs and sings them in an elegant alto, often accompanying herself on cello, but it isn't quite right to call her a singer-songwriter. The term art song—normally tied to 19th-century concert music—usefully characterizes Jost's carefully arranged pieces and succinct lyrics, neither quite rock nor folk..." (Bob Bannister). Serena's music has been compared to 70s English folk artists like Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention—and also to the Canadian artist Jane Siberry—but is still entirely her own, "seamlessly merging classical and pop melodies" (Lucidculture).

10 pm
GRAND PIANORAMAX FEAT. MIKE LADD & CELENA GLENN:

"Funky, flipped-out, beat-heavy tracks that pop, swagger, and strut across everything from post-bop jazz to hip-hop to electronic music, all the while staying in the pocket enough to be accessible as well as innovative…
The Biggest Piano in Town actually is—and then some." —All Music Guide

Winner of the first Montreux Jazz Festival International Piano Solo Competition, Leo Tardin conceived Grand Pianoramax as a live keyboard/drum group, blending powerful analog-synth bass, syncopated keys, organic drumming and freestyle spoken word.

Tailored to explore hybrid stylistic directions in their most essential renditions, Tardin developed the ambitious Grand Pianoramax project by joining forces with first-class NYC drummers Deantoni Parks (Kudu, The Mars Volta), Jojo Mayer, and Adam Deitch (Talib Kweli, John Scofield). To add to the unique sound, Tardin invited in some of the most creative poets/MCs on the scene today, including Americans Mike Ladd, Celena Glenn and Invincible (Platinum Pied Pipers), and French hip-hop/folk artist Spleen.

Grand Pianoramax's latest album on the ObliqSound label, The Biggest Piano In Town and its hit single "The Hook," remixed by DJ Spinna (which hit #18 on CMJ's RPM charts and was DanceTracksDigital's #1 download), continues to generate rave reviews in publications such as Downbeat, BPM, XLR8R, Jazzthing, Jazzthetik, Time Out New York and Vibrations.  Grand Pianoramax is joined onstage by emcees Celena Glenn (Coco Rosie) and underground spoken word hero Mike Ladd (Big Dada recording artist known for his trilogy of albums Nostalgiator, Father Divine and Negrophilia: The Album).

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Beat Kaestli's Upcoming Performances:
Jan 26th - Blues Alley, DC
Feb 8th  - Smoke Jazz, NYC
Marz 19th - Francophonie, Mexico City
Maerz 28th - Festival de Cuidade de Mexico
April/May - European Tour
May 20th - The Kitano Hotel, NYC (Reservations advised 212 885 7119)
June 4th - Ottawa Swiss Residence (tbc)

Kenny Drew Jr. In Rare New York City Performance

Kenny Drew Jr.- for the Grateful Web

Jazz pianist Kenny Drew Jr. returns to New York for a rare solo performance on December 17, 2008 as part of the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York concert series at the Kosciuszko Foundation. He continues the Lyric's tradition of infusing Jazz into traditional Chamber Music programming, combining his virtuosic talents, evident in his performances of Classical works, with superb improvisational instincts, as showcased in his Jazz performances, be they solo or in collaboration with such luminaries as David Taylor, Daniel Schnyder and many others.

In just ten seasons since its debut in the spring of 1998, the Lyric Chamber Music Society is recognized by musicians, the press, and audiences as one of the preeminent chamber music organizations in the country. Founded to present the works of the giants of the past and present, the Lyric performs masterpieces of chamber music literature and unusual repertoire in the intimate salon of an elegant Fifth Avenue mansion and at Victor Borge Hall — offering the music in the personal and intimate ambience in which it was intended to be heard. "Adventurous," The New York Times has called the Lyric, for its repertoire spanning from the Renaissance to the present, a combination of classic canonical chamber works, rarely performed compositions, and contemporary pieces. Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata may be followed by a sonata by Poulenc, Gershwin by Jobim, Bizet by bossa nova, or J.S. Bach transcribed for four marimbas by a world premiere composed for Lyric artists.

The Lyric has attracted to its roster some of the world's most distinguished musicians, accomplished orchestral players, and up-and-coming young talent. More than a dozen concert masters and first chair players of the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra as well as extraordinary jazz musicians have chosen the Lyric as their musical second home. Young artists who are recognized in music circles as the next generation of performing greats—many handpicked by the Lyric's legendary Advisory Board—regularly get an opportunity to introduce themselves to a wider audience. Such has been the creative energy and sense of possibility flowing from our concerts that in the brief period since our inception one new trio has already been formed under our auspices and two have made their New York debuts.

Reaching out to an ever-widening audience, Lyric virtuosos bring the inspiring scope of music's possibilities to thousands of New York public school students and reach millions of listeners on National Public Radio. As New Yorkers and visitors look to the Metropolitan Opera for opera and the New York Philharmonic for symphony, more and more people are turning to the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York for chamber music and "chamzz," a Lyric innovation: programs combining classical music and jazz.

Kenny Drew Jr. was born in New York City in 1958. He started music lessons at the age of four. After studying classical piano with his Aunt Marjorie, he branched out into the area of jazz music. Kenny Jr. has performed worldwide with a comprehensive variety of musicians, including Stanley Jordan, Out of the Blue (OTB), Stanley Turrentine, Slide Hampton and the Jazz Masters, the Mingus Big Band, Steve Grossman, Yoshiaki Masuo, Sadao Watanabe, Smokey Robinson, Frank Morgan, Daniel Schnyder, and many others.

Kenny Drew Jr. was the winner of the 1990 Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida. He has appeared as a leader at many major festivals, including the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Kyoto Jazz Festival, Savannah on Stage Festival, Clearwater Jazz Festival, and the Newark Jazz Festival. Kenny has also performed as a leader at many major jazz clubs around the country, such as Bradley's (NY), Visiones (NY), The Blue Note (NY), Blues Alley (DC), Fat Tuesday's (NY), The Village Gate (NY), Trumpets (NJ), The Jazz Showcase (Chicago), Twins Lounge (DC), One Step Down (DC), and the Montreal Bistro (Toronto). He has recorded nine albums as a leader and has also made numerous recordings as a sideman. Kenny has performed at concerts and in clubs with The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Faddis/Hampton/Heath Sextet, Steve Turre, Jack Walrath, David Sanchez, Jack Wilkins, Michael Mossman, Ronnie Cuber, Steve Slagle, and Marlena Shaw. Other performances included appearances with Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton, and Jimmy Heath at the Montreal North Sea, and Lugano festivals and with the Mingus Big Band at the Chicago and Detroit festivals.

In addition to his exploits in Jazz, Kenny has built a reputation as a performer of classical music. He has performed both jazz and classical music at the Barossa Music Festival in Australia. The classical repertoire included Bach concertos and music by African-American composers. These concerts consisted of solo piano recitals and appearances with renowned classical musicians such as violinist Jane Peters and pianist Peter Waters. Kenny participated in a performance of Charles Mingus' large-scale composition Epitaph at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam under the direction of Gunther Schuller. He performed a Mozart concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony conducted by Andreas Delfs, and appeared at the International Bach Festival in Leipzig, playing Bach's music with Daniel Schnyder and David Taylor. Further appearances as a classical performer include the Luzern Piano Festival and in Key West.

In addition to his work as a soloist and jazz side man, Kenny has been playing with a classical/chamber-jazz trio led by composer/saxophonist/flautist Daniel Schnyder, with David Taylor on bass trombone. The group has performed concerts in Switzerland and New York as well as the Barossa Festival in 1997. Among Kenny's recordings with Daniel Schnyder are the Sonata for Soprano Saxophone And Piano and the Sonata for Bass Trombone And Piano (with David Taylor). Kenny also participated in the recording of Schnyder's Third Symphony with the Basel Radio Orchestra under the direction of Hans Drewanz. Other groups and artists Kenny has performed with are the Absolute Ensemble, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Shirley Horn, Teddy Edwards and Henry Johnson. Kenny also played a solo piano tribute to Duke Ellington on Ellington's 100th birthday at the Tonhalle in Zurich. He has recently appeared with his own trio at the Village Vanguard in New York, the Jazz Showcase in Chicago and on the Queen Elizabeth II Jazz Cruise.

Kenny has recorded over twenty albums as a leader, amongst them, in 2001, Autumn for the Japanese label Pony Canyon. The CD features George Mraz on bass and Tony Jefferson on drums. Drew recorded a CD of two-piano jazz arrangements of music by Ravel with pianist Peter Waters. This CD, which was recorded in Switzerland, also features the Winterthur Chamber Orchestra. Kenny Drew Jr. taught at the Engadin International Summer Piano Academy in Switzerland, giving master classes and private lessons. He was one of the featured artists at the West Coast Jazz Party in California. He has toured Switzerland with Daniel Schnyder, including a concert with members of the Zurich Opera Orchestra. Kenny played two concerts at the Umea Jazz Festival in Sweden, including a performance of Daniel Schnyder's Piano Concerto with the Norrlands Opera Orchestra under the direction of Kristjan Järvi. This concert was recorded for release as a CD.

New York Dolls Play Craig Ferguson Oct 28th & Release New Album

New York Dolls- for the Grateful Web

New York Dolls announce the release of their brand new unabashed live album. Recorded in December of last year at NYC's Fillmore East, this disc captures ten prime tracks from the reunited Dolls:  "Babylon," "Trash," "Jet Boy," "Personality Crisis," "Rainbow Store," "Looking for a Kiss," "Puss 'N' Boots," "Dance Like a Monkey," "Pills," and "Lonely Planet Boy." Its everything you have come love about the Dolls over their giant spanning career, yet still keeps you on your toes and wanting more.

Morrissey recently exclaimed this with a fervor that somehow made his chronologically impossible claims seem plausible. Watching footage of the 'Dolls onstage two years ago at the behest of one of their biggest fans (who was curating the prestigious Meltdown Festival in London) one realized just how vast - and heretofore unsung - their influence truly was. Everyone knows the famous logo: chrome lipstick, scrawling that name across an unseen mirror, but it's more than the great brand. It's not about the androgyny either. Skinny boys were wearing make up long before them. Little Richard. Elvis. It's not even about the music, as the Dolls themselves were always quick to credit 50's R&B numbers or early 60's girl group productions as their own influences. Really, what makes the Dolls so eternal is the attitude - it got into rock's water supply and never left. Kiss, Aerosmith, The Ramones, Blondie, The Sex Pistols, The Damned, Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses, Hanoi Rocks, The Strokes, The Libertines and just about any gang of strutting rockers who are convinced that their band could take your band and possibly your whole town in a pretty for pretty, ugly for ugly throwdown. The Dolls, and their disciples win, not just with brawn but with what guitarist Sylvain Sylvain calls "plenty of intellect and plenty of sex."

Thirty five years into their existence (thirty one since they disbanded down in Florida in a haze of smack withdrawal and managerial anarchy), with three men down, they can still take your band, pretty for pretty, ugly for ugly, onstage, and now, with the long (long) awaited follow up to 1974's awesome Too Much, Too Soon, on CD too. "You know how England is," David Johansen quips in his Staten Island drawl, thick as South Ferry sludge, "We made a big noise over there, and we were having so much fun, we decided to keep going." "The phone didn't stop ringing," Sylvain adds, "The kids wanted this. Kids of all ages." An album's worth of brand new New York Dolls compositions, as unlikely as it may have seemed in 2003, was a foregone conclusion after wildly successful festival and live dates that spanned the past two years. They were a reunion when they re-started. Now, with replacement members feeling comfortable stepping into the stack heels of departed legends like Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan, and most recently Arthur "Killer" Kane, they're a gang once more. "It won't be very long that we'll be together longer than the original band was," Johansen laughs.

Tour Dates
Oct 29 - Ventura, CA - Ventura Theatre
Dec 3 Madrid, ESP Joy Eslava
Dec 4 Santiago, ESP Sala Capitol
Dec 5 Baracaldo, ESP Rockstar Live
Dec 6 Zaragoza, ESP Oasis
Dec 20 - Los Angeles, CA - Nokia Club w/ X
Dec 27 - New York, NY - Fillmore at Irving Plaza

New York Dolls "Live At Fillmore East"

photos by Sherry Rubel- for the Grateful Web

New York Dolls announce the release of their brand new unabashed live album. Recorded in December of last year at NYC's Fillmore East, this disc captures ten prime tracks from the reunited Dolls:  "Babylon," "Trash," "Jet Boy," "Personality Crisis," "Rainbow Store," "Looking for a Kiss," "Puss 'N' Boots," "Dance Like a Monkey," "Pills," and "Lonely Planet Boy." Its everything you have come love about the Dolls over their giant spanning career, yet still keeps you on your toes and wanting more.

Morrissey recently exclaimed this with a fervor that somehow made his chronologically impossible claims seem plausible. Watching footage of the 'Dolls onstage two years ago at the behest of one of their biggest fans (who was curating the prestigious Meltdown Festival in London) one realized just how vast - and heretofore unsung - their influence truly was. Everyone knows the famous logo: chrome lipstick, scrawling that name across an unseen mirror, but it's more than the great brand. It's not about the androgyny either. Skinny boys were wearing make up long before them. Little Richard. Elvis. It's not even about the music, as the Dolls themselves were always quick to credit 50's R&B numbers or early 60's girl group productions as their own influences. Really, what makes the Dolls so eternal is the attitude - it got into rock's water supply and never left. Kiss, Aerosmith, The Ramones, Blondie, The Sex Pistols, The Damned, Motley Crue, Guns N' Roses, Hanoi Rocks, The Strokes, The Libertines and just about any gang of strutting rockers who are convinced that their band could take your band and possibly your whole town in a pretty for pretty, ugly for ugly throwdown. The Dolls, and their disciples win, not just with brawn but with what guitarist Sylvain Sylvain calls "plenty of intellect and plenty of sex."

Thirty five years into their existence (thirty one since they disbanded down in Florida in a haze of smack withdrawal and managerial anarchy), with three men down, they can still take your band, pretty for pretty, ugly for ugly, onstage, and now, with the long (long) awaited follow up to 1974's awesome Too Much, Too Soon, on CD too. "You know how England is," David Johansen quips in his Staten Island drawl, thick as South Ferry sludge, "We made a big noise over there, and we were having so much fun, we decided to keep going." "The phone didn't stop ringing," Sylvain adds, "The kids wanted this. Kids of all ages." An album's worth of brand new New York Dolls compositions, as unlikely as it may have seemed in 2003, was a foregone conclusion after wildly successful festival and live dates that spanned the past two years. They were a reunion when they re-started. Now, with replacement members feeling comfortable stepping into the stack heels of departed legends like Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan, and most recently Arthur "Killer" Kane, they're a gang once more. "It won't be very long that we'll be together longer than the original band was," Johansen laughs.

July 12 - Kent, UK - Down on the Farm Festival

July 13 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Club Vega - Headline

July 16 - Athens, Greece - Fly Beeyond Festival

July 18 - Benicassim, Spain - FIB Festival

July 24 - Stezanno, Italy - Druso Under the Sky Festival

July 25 - Pinarella Di Cervia, Italy - Rock Planet Club - Headline

July 29 - Tel Aviv, Israel - Heatwave Festival  w/ Morrissey

Aug 2 - Lokeren, Belgium - Lokerse Festeen Festival

More Dates To Be Added...

New York Guitar Festival Opens to a Packed House

Natalia Zukerman-photo by Chris M. Junior- for the Grateful Web

Every other year, some of the world's most distinctive guitar players gather in New York City to celebrate the New York Guitar Festival with a series of intimate concerts and one-of-a-kind collaborations.  To open the 2008 New York Guitar Festival, more than 20 artists assembled at the World Financial Center's Winter Garden to honor the music of Bob Dylan by recreating his famed 1966 "Royal Albert Hall" concert.  (The original Dylan show actually took place May 16, 1966, in Manchester, England, not at the Royal Albert Hall in London but has become known as such through many old mislabeled vinyl bootlegs.)  From Belle and Sebastian frontman Stevie Jackson to vocal powerhouse Toshi Reagon, the concert featured an eclectic lineup of some of today's most talented guitarists and vocal standouts.  Performing the show in sequence as Dylan did more than 40 years ago, the musicians treated the at-capacity crowd to an unforgettable interpretation of one of music's most known and storied concerts.

To open the show, host John Schaefer (of WNYC radio) introduced Oakley Hall - with full band - to electrify the usually acoustic "She Belongs To Me".  Dylan's inward and outward battle with his shift from acoustic to electric guitar playing was a recurring theme in Saturday's night's concert and Oakley Hall set the tone.  In contrast, "Royal Albert Hall" Project line-up latecomer Natalia Zukerman nailed "Fourth Time Around" with her outstanding acoustic guitar work.  Natalia's soft yet powerful performance led seamlessly into Stevie Jackson's "Visions of Johanna" solo.  With an affected Dylanesque vocal delivery, albeit with a Glaswegian accent, Jackson captivated the audience, who listened attentively still wondering the song's true meaning. 

Warmed up and ready for more, the crowd was delighted to see Jason Isbell, co-founder and formerly of Drive-By Truckers, take the stage for his rendition of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", which he sang as though he'd been performing the song for years.  The next tune, "Desolation Row", was performed by Freeman, a young Welsh songwriter/guitarist and recent signee to Clive Davis's RCA Music Group. In introducing Freeman, John Schaefer touted him as possibly the next Jeff Buckley, creating nearly impossibly high expectations for everyone.  However, his impassioned vocal performance, accompanied by Brandon Ross's fine guitar work, astounded the audience and left little doubt about his promising future.

A fan favorite, "Mr. Tambourine Man", came next on the bill.  Kelly Joe Phelps' inspired vocal performance and his Mississippi John Hurt-like fingerpicking induced an excited hush over the packed house.  Additional concert highlights include Jim Lauderdale and John Leventhal's version of "Tell Me Momma" and Chocolate Genius, Inc.'s full-band take on "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"; Marc Ribot's virtuoso guitar work nicely complemented Genius' snarky, growling vocal.  Not to be outdone, Lenny Kaye, Mr. Nice Guy (who also doubles as Patti Smith's guitarist) and Katrina Kiedis (late of Sufjan Stevens's band) gave sweet treatment to "One Too Many Mornings," alternating vocal duties during the verses and bringing it on home during the hook.

For the last song, Toshi Reagon and band – with Marc Ribot again supplying Telecaster genius – tore through "Like A Rolling Stone" with such force that not an eye could be turned.  Reagon's powerful voice filled the cavernous Winter Garden and had the audience on its feet in overwhelming approval.

Much to the audience's delight, all of the night's artists rejoined on stage for a very special encore performance of "Knockin on Heaven's Door".  With some of guitar's most talented players performing the music of one of the world's most gifted songwriters, The "Royal Albert Hall" Project was the perfect beginning to the exciting weeks of music still to come in the New York Guitar Festival

 

Complete "Royal Albert Hall" Project setlist and artists below.

 

1. "She Belongs to Me"                       Oakley Hall

2. "Fourth Time Around"                      Natalia Zukerman

3. "Visions of Johanna"                      Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian)

4. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"            Jason Isbell (formerly of Drive By Truckers) with Browan Lollar

5. "Desolation Row"                          Freeman & Brandon Ross

6. "Just Like A Woman"                       The Last Town Chorus

7. "Mr. Tambourine Man"                      Kelly Joe Phelps

8. "Tell Me, Momma"                          Jim Lauderdale with John Leventhal

9. "I Don't Believe You"                     Laura Cantrell with special guest Stevie Jackson

10. "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down"           Harry Manx & Kevin Breit

11. "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues"            Jesse Harris

12. "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"              Chocolate Genius Inc. with Marc Ribot

13. "One Too Many Mornings"                  Lenny Kaye & Katrina Kiedis

14. "Ballad of a Thin Man"                   Richard Julian & Jim Campilongo

15. "Like a Rolling Stone"                   Toshi Reagon with special guest Marc Ribot

16. E: "Knockin on Heaven's Door"            All Artists

Rex Foundation Benefit Show in New York City

  Support the Rex Foundation!- for the Grateful Web

Founded in 1984 by the Grateful Dead, the Rex Foundation celebrates the magical combination of music, community, creativity and joyful spirit in New York City on Saturday, November 12th with its Black Tie-Dye Ball featuring The Zen Tricksters and special guests Donna Jean Godchaux-McKay (Grateful Dead, Heart of Gold Band), David Nelson (New Riders of the Purple Sage, David Nelson Band), Tom Constanten (Grateful Dead), Rob Barraco (The Zen Tricksters, The Dead, Phil Lesh & Friends, The Dragonflys), Greg Anton (Zero, Heart of Gold Band), Michael Falzarano (Hot Tuna), and Wendy Lanter (Hope in Time). Mickey Hart is a special guest at the pre-concert reception.  Call (415) 561-3135 or go to www.rexfoundation.org for vip tickets & ticketmaster for concert tickets.  Proceeds support local non-profit programs.