good

Jam Stampede @ Brooklyn Bowl w/ Mark & Kenny

The Jam Stampede will perform at their ongoing Dead Center event at Brooklyn Bowl on April 19, 2011. We were too excited to wait another day until 4/20 for this show so we are performing on 4/19.

For the first time Mark Karan (Jemimah Puddleduck, Ratdog) will be joining us for the festivities and Kenny Brooks (Alphabet Soup, Ratdog) will join us again after having such a good time last October.

With the help of our good friends Mark and Kenny we will again revisit some of the Grateful Dead lore and explore some new ground with the tunes through the expression of these two great instrumentalists who played together in RatDog and have put their own historic stamp on the music.

-

Brooklyn Bowl

61 Wythe Avenue

Brooklyn, NU

4/19/2011 @ 8PM

Wanda Jackson at the Boulder Theater | 4/1/11

When Wanda Jackson, the justly crowned Queen of Rockabilly, recorded “Let’s Have A Party,” a tune she made into a hit of her own in 1958 even after one-time boyfriend Elvis Presley had released a version of it, her delivery of the chorus wasn’t so much a suggestion as a command. As the title – and, more importantly, the contents -- of her latest album, The Party Ain’t Over, indicates, this feisty septuagenarian artist is as galvanizing as ever. Jackson was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, honored with a long-time-coming, Early Influence accolade for her pivotal role in the evolution of popular music, especially where female artists were concerned. As a teenager in the mid-50s, the diminutive Jackson was the first woman to perform unadulterated rock and roll – and she one-upped the boys defining this new genre, Presley included, with her exhilaratingly forthright approach. The young Jackson, an Oklahoma native, came across as both gritty and glamorous; a playfully suggestive growl to her voice matched the daring, handmade outfits she wore, short skirts and fringed dresses that have inspired would-be bad girls for decades to come. A tireless touring artist for more than 50 years, Jackson continues to win over new, young fans, including guitarist-vocalist-White Stripes founder Jack White.

On this debut for Third Man/Nonesuch Records, produced and arranged by White at his Nashville studio, the spirited Jackson proves that brash rock and roll attitude need not have an age limit. Her trademark growl remains intact on rockers like “Rip It Up” and “Nervous Breakdown;” she opens the set with an echo-laden sneer on a rollicking version of “Shakin’ All Over” and ends it ten songs later with a plaintive take on Jimmie Rodgers’ “Yodel #6,” along the way gamely tackling country, gospel, densely worded Bob Dylan, and a little bit of Tin Pan Alley. Jackson and White are a remarkably simpatico pairing; their collaboration came together quickly, serendipitously. One of Jackson’s colleagues had originally approached White about doing a duet with Jackson for a proposed “Wanda and Friends” disc, but White demurred. Instead, he offered something better, inviting Jackson to cut a single with him for his Third Man label, and that swiftly led this kindred spirits to put together an entire album.

Jackson admits, “I was scared at first because I didn’t know what this young rock star was going to expect of me or ask me to do. I kind of had shaky feet, deciding whether I wanted to do this or not. Of course I knew about him, I have to admit, from the album he did with Loretta Lynn and how successful that was. That certainly got my attention when he said he was interested in doing one with me. So we began sending material to each other; he sent me the things he thought I should do or he wanted me to do, and I sent him some ideas of things I had put aside for recording at a future date. When I finally got to Nashville, he put me at ease immediately. He’s just so laid back and such a cool guy that I found myself wanting to please him, I wanted to do it his way. My husband (Jackson’s manager of 40 years) and I told him, you do this. If you want a suggestion from me, feel free to ask. Otherwise, you make the decisions. That gave him a lot of freedom and I wanted him to have that freedom. And I think that’s what made it so good as an album. As I began singing these songs and listening to the playbacks he made, I realized he wasn’t wanting to change my style of singing at all. He just wanted me to have new, fresher material. And I said, hey I could do this. I can sing like Wanda Jackson. He just wanted more of Wanda than I was used to putting out. And apparently it worked.”

White and Jackson came up with inspired and wide-ranging song choices that reflect Jackson’s long history with country, gospel, and even the big-band music she remembers from her childhood as well as with rock and roll: Harlan Howard’s woozy lament “Busted”; the Andrew Sisters’ kitschy tropical travelogue, “Rum and Coca Cola”, a fitting companion to her own “Fujiyama Mama”; Dylan’s rockabilly fever dream, “Thunder On The Mountain”. They also recorded a cover of contemporary bad-girl Amy Winehouse’s “You Know That I’m No Good,” which White first released as a single in 2009, paired with “Shakin All Over.” The Winehouse song suits her, Jackson says, but she’s careful to draw the line between life and art: “On the one hand, I’m good, on the other hand, I’m bad. That seems to be the image this new generation of fans that I have has given me. It’s like the title of the documentary about my life that recently came out: The Sweet Lady With the Nasty Voice. Maybe that says that I become a different person, a different persona, when I sing those songs. I have a good reputation, always have had, and respect from everyone as a lady, and that pleases me very much. But the young girls think I’m this hard gal that gets her way and storms in. It’s just because of the material I’ve sung and the way I’ve sung it. And that’s okay. That’s cute.

White himself backs Jackson on lead guitar, cutting loose with solos that are as ferocious and fun as Jackson’s vocals; in fact, the entire band that White assembled – including pedal steel, a horn section and backing vocals from singers Ashley Monroe and Karen Elson –is similarly uninhibited, matching Jackson’s and White’s intensity and, just as often, their humor. Though the work is carefully arranged, the resulting tracks feel like one unforgettable after-hours session, with everyone in thrall to the woman at the heart of these tunes. The first song White suggested they cut was “Rip It Up,” one Jackson knows very well from her rockabilly days. As she explains, “It shocked me that he wanted me to do that but that was the first one I recorded. He loves that song and I do too. But I think he did that to put me at ease, let me do something that I’m real familiar with and real comfortable with, and he didn’t have to direct me or any of that. I just reared back and sang it. That got me loosened up and made me comfortable.” Not that White simply wanted to make things easy. On the sultry “You Know I’m No Good,” says Jackson, “We’d get through one take and he’d say, ‘Oh Wanda that was great.’ And I said, ‘Whew, I made it.’ Then he said, ‘Now let’s do one more and let’s push a little more.’ I was getting physically kind of tired and probably kind of got angry but he got the take he wanted. It’s funny how you can come up with what your producers want in the strangest ways.” A little bit of their repartee can be detected at the top of the track, just as the analog tape gets rolling.

The Party Ain’t Over is about stepping out, not summing up, but it does touch on important aspects of Jackson’s life and ever-evolving career. “Teach Me Tonight,” a country-inflected interpretation of the DeCastro Sisters’ hit, partly fulfills Jackson’s desire to cut a 40s-style big-band disc. “Like A Baby,” recorded live in the studio with the whole band, allowed Jackson to revive an obscure, bluesy number from her old buddy Elvis. The Jimmie Rodgers tune is the first song she ever learned as a child; her father taught her the chords on the guitar, she figured out how to sing along while she played, and, like any aspiring vocal star of the era, she taught herself how to yodel, a skill she has clearly maintained over the ensuing decades.

Jackson remains too busy to look back – her legend looms especially large now in Europe and Japan, where she is always in demand as a concert performer – but she does allow herself a moment to reflect: “I can’t think of anyone who could be any luckier or any happier than me. I think it’s a blessing from the Lord. I had wonderful parents who gave up so much so that I could have my dreams come true. I was an only child so I had all the love and attention that anyone could ask for. My mother made my stage clothes and a lot of my street clothes too. Dad traveled with me and drove me to all those early dates so I didn’t have to be alone. You couldn’t ask for more, to make your living doing what you love to do, to sing and travel and entertain people all your life. I can’t think of any life that could be better than that.”

And, as she notes, the party ain’t over.

--

Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Friday February 11th!

$20 adv / $22.50 dos

Hit by a Train -- the Old 97’s in Boulder

I left the Boulder Theater with both ears ringing thoroughly and my head in a satiated state of buzz, and in fact I was bone sober (as far as intoxicants are concerned).

John Prine at the Boulder Theater - 03.25.11

97.3 KBCO & the Daily Camera are proud to present John Prine at the Boulder Theater on Friday, March 25th, 2011.

The first time he got onstage to perform – at a Chicago open mic night – there was absolute silence. Here comes a guy nobody had ever seen, a mailman from nearby Maywood, and the very first songs he ever sings are miracles, songs like “Hello In There” and “Angel from Montgomery.” But this stunned silence spelled disaster to Prine. “They just sat there,” he said. “They didn’t even applaud, they just looked at me. I thought, `Uh oh. This is pretty bad.’ I started shuffling my feet and looking around. And then they started applauding and it was a really great feeling. It was like I found out all of a sudden that I could communicate deep feelings and emotions. And to find that out all at once was amazing.”

That one night changed his life. The club-owner offered him a gig, and from that moment on he quickly became one of Chicago’s most beloved local heroes, a guy who would honor the Windy City with as much love and grace as Studs Terkel and Carl Sandburg. Prine soon befriended another local hero, Steve Goodman, and with Goodman he met the world. Kris Kristofferson heard his songs, helped him land a record deal, and soon everyone knew what Chicago already did, that Prine was the real deal. From that first album on, he came known as a genuine “songwriter’s songwriter,” one of the rare ones who writes the songs other songwriters would sell their souls for.  Evidence of this is the long list of songwriters who have recorded his songs, including Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, the Everly Brothers, John Denver, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, Ben Harper, Joan Baez, and many others. Even Bob Dylan was stunned. “His stuff is pure Proustian existentialism,” said Bob Dylan.  . “He’s so good,” said Kristofferson, “we’re gonna have to break his fingers.”

Dylan and the rest were simply recognizing that which we have all come to know, that Prine’s songs are so hauntingly evocative of the laughter and tears inherent in the human condition, so purely precise and finely etched, that lines from them linger in our hearts and minds like dreams, separate from the songs. There’s the rodeo poster from “Angel from Montgomery,” the hole in daddy’s arm and the broken radio (from “Sam Stone”), the old trees that just grow stronger (from “Hello In There.”) The kinds of lines you carry around in your pocket, knowing they’re in there when you need them. With a staggering penchant for detail, a proclivity to be both hilarious and deeply serious (and often in the same song), and a visceral embrace  of roots music, he’s  made the kinds of songs nobody ever dreamed of before, or since.

Born on October 10th, 1946 in Maywood, he grew up spinning Roy Acuff and Hank Williams 78s in his dad’s collection, as well as tuning into WJJD to hear Webb Pierce, Lefty Frizell and others “back to back, all night long.” And then a new kind of music arrived: “I was coming of age just as rock and roll was invented,” he said, and along with his country heroes he added Elvis, Little Richard, Fats Domino, and the one he loved the most, Chuck Berry: “Because he told a story in less than three minutes.”

At 14 he started playing guitar and never stopped, starting with old folk tunes taught to him by his brother Dave. After high school he enlisted in the army, and was happy to be stationed in Germany, far from Viet Nam. He spent most of his time in the barracks playing guitar and singing Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams songs with a friend.After the army, he became a mailman, which he loved because he could write songs while walking his familiar route. “It was like a library with no books,” he said.

He haunted the fringes of Chicago open mic nights, mostly at the old Fifth Peg on Armitage in Old Town. Once he summoned up the courage to perform, although terrified, he knew he was home. The rest is singer-songwriter history. It was 1971, the dream of the Sixties was over and Goodman and Prine emerged with a new kind of song, eschewing abstractions to write story songs about real people:  “Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree,” as Dylan put it. Songs with the concrete details and imagery of a novel, but compounded, like Prine’s hero Chuck Berry’s songs, into mini-masterpieces.

After landing his first gig, he went home and wrote more masterpieces that made up his first self-titled debut, released in 1971. It was received with near-unanimous raves: “… absolutely one of the greatest albums ever made,” wrote a hometown paper, “by one of the most creative and evocative songwriters of our time.” There was the recognition then, which has been confirmed by the passage of time, that even among the best, he stood out. “Good songwriters are on the rise,” wrote Rolling Stone, “but John is differently good.”

Fans hungry for meaningful new music discovered him, unconcerned if he was the “new Dylan” or not, as he was often labeled, but drawn to the complex simplicity of his songs, the heady amalgam of sorrow and whimsy. Always seeking to strike a balance in his work, Prine said he wrote funny songs so as to get back to the tragic ones.

He made eight albums on two major labels, including Sweet Revenge, Common Sense, and Bruised Orange. In 1980 he moved to Nashville, and with longtime manager Al Bunetta, formed his own label, Oh Boy Records in 1981. They’ve since released a chain of great records, including 1991’s Grammy-winning The Missing Years, which featured cameos by Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. In 2000 he recaptured his own legacy by recording Souvenirs, new recordings of many of his classic songs.

In 1998 he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer centered in his neck. The removal of a tumor and subsequent radiation seems to have eradicated it completely. Although his singing voice was lowered significantly, he faced his illness with the same blend of wistful humor he instills in his songs. In a post-surgery letter to his fans, he wrote, “Hopefully my neck is looking forward to its job of holding my head up above my shoulders.”

Now he’s back with a brand new live album, John Prine: In Person & On Stage, which contains both solo and duet renditions of some of early songs such as “Angel From Montgomery” (here in a breathtaking duet with Emmylou Harris) as well as later classics such as “Unwed Fathers” (with Iris DeMent) and one of the most poignant songs ever from a husband to a wife, “She Is My Everything.”

“If he’s this good this young,” wrote Rolling Stone in 1971, “time should be on his side.” Truer words have rarely been written. Some four decades since his remarkable debut, Prine has stayed at the top of his game, both as a performer and songwriter. Recently honored at the Library of Congress, he has been elevated from the annals of songwriters into the realm of bonafide American treasures.  Poet Laureate Ted Kooser introduced him at the Library of Congress by likening him to Raymond Carver for making “monuments of ordinary lives.” But the greatest testaments to his lasting legacy are the songs themselves. Unlike so many which belong only to the time in which they emerged, his, like the old trees in “Hello In There,” seem to just grow stronger with the passing years.

--

Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Saturday, February 5th!

$40 GA / $48.50 Res / $65 Gold Circle

Emmitt-Nershi Band Announces New Bassist

With Tyler Grant recently announcing his departure from the Emmitt-Nershi Band fans have been anxiously awaiting the announcement of the new bass player for the band.  Today the Emmitt-Nershi Band website and facebook will be making the announcement that Johnny Grubb of Railroad Earth will be filling the spot.  Throughout Johnny's 7 years with Railroad Earth he had played with Billy Nershi on many occasions opening up the doors for this opportunity.  The bands lineup change is effective as of now and all upcoming dates will be played with Drew Emmitt (mandolin/vocals), Billy Nershi (guitar/vocals), Andy Torn (banjo) and Johnny Grubb (bass).  Below is the official announcement that will be posted on the webpage and facebook from Johnny.

--

Hello, World!  Rather than make someone else come up with an announcement for who the new bassist will be, I thought I'd try to follow in Tyler's gracious footsteps and do it myself.

My name is Johnny Grubb.  I went to school at Appalachian State University and saw Leftover Salmon many, many times my first couple of years there.  After ASU, I spent a good year rolling burritos, washing dishes and playing bluegrass in my hometown of Atlanta before serendipitously running into John Skehan of Railroad Earth one night at a gig of ours.  They just happened to be on the lookout for a new bassist and long story short, I spent 7 years in that band, playing several metric tons of great music and meeting lots of great folks all over the country.

One of the folks I met and had the good fortune of playing with on many occasions was Mr. Billy Nershi.  RRE was signed to SCI Fidelity Records for a number of years and we got to be friends with a bunch of the SCI/Mad House folks in time.  RRE always was and still is a full-time commitment. I just couldn't keep it up with the birth of my second boy last January, so I bowed out a year ago and spent this past year getting a web development consultancy off the ground, getting to know the virtues and vices of the various open source software scenes out there and being home with my wife and boys for the first time ever.  The itch to play some bass didn't come back until just a few months ago after getting into the most recent Larry Keel and Stringduster's CDs.

In any event, I cruised by this website last month to see what they were working with from a technical standpoint.  The meaning of Tyler's announcement that he was leaving didn't really hit me until the next day, at least not the part where I should give Billy a call and see who they have lined up.  I wasn't looking for another full-time gig, nor to be in another rock band per se, so after speaking with Billy and Drew it seemed like the parameters were pretty well lined up for everybody and here I am!

Just to put a bow on top of everything, I met Andy years ago when he was with Larry Keel and didn't find out until the last few weeks that he was a member of the Broke Mountain Bluegrass band with Travis from the Infamous Stringdusters and my good friend Anders from Greensky Bluegrass.  It's nice to be a part of this small world and I want to thank my new bandmates for having me aboard.  I will see you all soon.

DEAD CENTER at THE BROOKLYN BOWL

The Jam Stampede will perform at their ongoing Dead Center event at Brooklyn Bowl on January 25, 2011.  Michael Falzarano (New Riders, Hot Tuna) and Barry Mitterhoff (Hot Tuna) will join us again after having such a good time last August at the very well received Jerry Garcia Retrospective.

With the help of our good friends Michael and Barry we will again revisit some of the Grateful Dead lore. On this date January 25, 1971, 40 years ago, a very propitious year for the Dead, The NRPS and the Grateful Dead performed at the Seattle Center, Seattle Wash. This was a very common occurrence back at that time and sadly short lived.

In homage to that time and place, Jam Stampede will again mine the Grateful Dead and New Riders catalogue for yet another great Dead Center Show at the Brooklyn Bowl.

Brooklyn Bowl 61 Wythe Avenue Williamsburg Brooklyn NY | Show Date: January 25, 2011

Charmaine Clamor Delivers Something Good to NYC

Celebrated by The New York Times as “a gifted vocalist” and by The Los Angeles Times as “one of the important and original new jazz singers of the decade,” Pinay Pride Charmaine Clamor, the Queen of Jazzipino, returns to New York for a special CD Release concert on JANUARY 8, Saturday, 7PM at the TRIAD THEATER on 72nd and Broadway. The Triad hosted last year’s successful New York City Fil-Am JazzFest, headlined by Ms. Clamor.

General Admission ($27) and a limited number of VIP Tickets are available online through BrownPaperTickets here.

Ms. Clamor, the 2009 Filipinas Magazine Entertainer of the Year, brings her 6-piece “Killin’ Sweehearts” band in support of their 4th U.S. album, Something Good. The album, heard locally on WKCR, WBAI, and WNYC is on the JazzWeek World Music radio chart – Clamor’s third straight album in the World Music Top-20.

Recognized by Jazz Times as the reigning Queen of Filipino Jazz, Ms. Clamor blends jazz with music of her beloved home country, the Philippines. She sings in both her adopted tongue of English and her native language, Tagalog, creating new (and swinging!) arrangements of beloved Filipino love songs such as “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” “Ikaw,” and “Dahil Sa Yo.”

Born in a developing country where accessible clean water is scarce, Charmaine has fostered a passion for the planet, focused on clean water conservation. In the 3-song Mother Nature Suite on Something Good, Charmaine pays respect to the planet. Charmaine’s devotion to a cleaner, healthier earth extends to her work with the Sierra Club Water Committee and Food & Water Watch. Clamor does not stop there, though. With the CD tray for Something Good manufactured from potato, the packaging for the album is 100% recyclable!

Finding harmonic similarities between the traditional spiritual song “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” and the traditional Filipina Visayan folk lullaby “Ili-Ili,” Clamor combined the two to create the haunting and stirring “Motherless Ili-Ili.” She will unveil the song on January 8 and will be available for autograph signing and photographs immediately after the concert.

Charmaine’s musical journey began at age 3, entertaining passengers in the back of buses traveling to Manila, in her homeland of the Philippines. A licensed physical therapist for 6 years, performing music whenever she could, Clamor soon realized she had to follow her artistic calling. But creating, developing and mastering one musical genre has never been enough for the brilliantly eclectic Clamor. Her global recognition reached new heights in 2010 when Charmaine was the only Filipina to appear on the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim concept album, “Here Lies Love” (Nonesuch), about the life of Imelda Marcos, the eccentric former First Lady of the Phillipines.

Charmaine’s previous releases include Searching for the Soul, Flippin’ Out, and My Harana: A Filipino Serenade. Whether it’s jazz, world, soul, funk, pop, swing, blues, folk or jazzipino, Charmaine Clamor always delivers Something Good. In New York on January 8, she intends on proving it.

WHAT: Charmaine Clamor, Queen of Jazzipino in Concert
WHEN: January 8th (Saturday), 7PM sharp; Doors open at 6:30PM
WHERE: Triad Theatre, 158 W. 72nd Street (at Broadway)
TICKETS: $27 available at: www.Brownpapertickets.com/event/135499
MORE INFO: http://www.CharmaineClamor.com

Fleck, Harrison, Wooten Adore Jake Shimabukuro

Critics have raved about the artistry Jake Shimabukuro displays on 'Peace Love Ukulele' (out January 4th from Hitchhike Records). The New Yorker said that "in his hands... the ukulele becomes a source of beauty, power, and inspiration."

Jake's fellow musicians agree. Here's what some of them had to say:

"The way Jake plays the 'ukulele is amazing and beautiful... he's a special musician." - Bela Fleck

"To say that Jake is incredible is not enough. He is much more than that. His music takes you on a journey. He plays with so much expression, feeling, and soul; it's like he's an old man in a young man's body. It only takes one listen to understand exactly what I'm saying." - Victor Wooten

"George felt liberated playing the uke and loved it because it made everyone smile. I especially love Jake's versions of George's songs." - Olivia Harrison

"It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to know that I was able to contribute in some way to the rest of the world hearing Jake play. From the moment I first heard his amazing style and watched the audience reaction in a club on the waterfront in Honolulu, I knew he was a unique and universal talent. We all at Mailboat Records are proud and excited to be distributing his latest release, and it gives me another good excuse to get back to Hawaii for 'business' - work, work, work..." - Jimmy Buffett

“Instrumentalists with a truly unique voice on their instrument come around very rarely. It was such a welcome gift to the world when Jake came on the scene... someone whose mastery of the ukulele is eclipsed only by the sheer joy he spreads in playing it. Jake Shimabukuro is without a doubt, one of a kind!” - Dave Koz

Listen to the hard driving "Bring Your Adz" from 'Peace Love Ukulele' here.

Greensky Bluegrass CD Release

The music that Greensky Bluegrass performs can best be described as a breath of fresh air, relaxing, invigorating and a welcomed change from the current climate.  The Kalamazoo, MI based quintet uses traditional bluegrass instruments – dobro, banjo, guitar, upright bass and mandolin – to create original songs that are unique, yet familiar and cover songs unconventional to their roots (The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan).

The Midwestern boys had an incredible 2010, touring nationally, performing alongside Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead and featured at the Rockygrass Festival in Lyons, CO, on the main stage at the Grey Fox Festival in upstate New York and in front of an audience of thousands at the All Good Festival in West Virginia. Additionally, the quintet delighted campers at the All Good Festival by performing a surprise midnight to sunrise ‘Guerilla Grass’ jam session that was captured by CNN and featured here.

Greensky Bluegrass has quickly become one of the most exciting touring acts on the road today, performing their trademark sound nationwide at over 160 spirited shows a year. This energy is captured perfectly on their live double-CD releases, All Access: Volume One and Volume Two. All Access is a series of recordings of select shows from the road, Volume One was released and subsequently sold-out in 2010 and Volume Two was released later in that same year.  Each installment offers nearly 30 songs, originals and covers.

Since winning the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest, Greensky has been touring constantly and all the hard work is certainly paying off. Recent highlights are too many to list, but include selling out venues in many parts of the country, sharing the stage with musical heroes, getting asked to play shows with the likes of Tony Rice and Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth. Greensky Bluegrass is Anders Beck (dobro), Michael Arlen Bont (banjo), Dave Bruzza (guitar), Mike Devol (upright bass) and Paul Hoffman (mandolin).

Check out Greensky Bluegrass at Sullivan Hall in NYC on February 10th.

--

Union Street Preservation Society:

USPS is a collective that is a link in the lineage of folk and blues musicians such as Robert Johnson, Duane Allman, Steve Earl, Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt. Our goal is to educate people through music and by talking about the history of the music. This generation is spiritual bankrupt (and increasingly financially so) and in need of something authentic. We seek to provide that communal experience. Join in on the project, sing along, learn some history and contribute any way you can. The society is always accepting new, honorary members who are willing to delve deeper into the music, both intellectually and spiritually and physically.

Citizen Cope at the Fox Theatre - January 1, 2011

"Something is great about this one." The phrase buzzed around in my head, mixing with the endorphins that cracked and snapped about their different relays, telling me that I liked this music. This music is good. The beer in your hand is good.* You are loving this, aren't you? Aren't you?

Singer/Song Writer, Citizen Cope recently headlined in Towson's Recher Theatre, a large dimly lit room washed in blood red drapes. Two bars, bouncers at the door who think they're funny, an entrance covered in music posters: enough ambiance to make you dream of owning rooms filled with nothing but silk pillows and feathery boas. Brilliance -- all of it.

His music is simple to the point of being stripped down, as if bearing it all was the only way to get our attention. The Spartan band behind him was made up of a drummer, a bassist, two keyboardists, and Cope on guitar. A mix of hip-hop, folk, and blues his songs are mostly beats - mix bass drum, high hat, snare, clap track and repeat - buffed smooth by a haggard, road-weary voice. Uncommon chords for texture and keyboards for lift.

One Rolling Stone critic called him "a modern day bluesman who paints a plaintive portrait of the human condition." Another, not-so-friendly critic from music and culture website, SoundtheSirens said: "I'm sure there's some soulful guy with a guitar who can write better songs sitting in some coffee shop somewhere who deserves the exposure more than he does." This may be warranted, I just happen to disagree.

Good artists can recreate the high people get from good music -- that electricity that makes the crowd sway. After all, that heightened sense, so amazingly replicable across cultures, is what makes music a universal human constant. But the excitement that surrounds great artists -- painters, musicians, writers, and doers alike -- is that you as if you are in the presence of someone who is saying what no else is able to or willing to say. I felt the unsettling electricity in Cope's performance -- the feeling that I could not do this, nor would I ever want to. Who could bear being the only one for long? There's something great about this one.

This line of thinking is flawed. I argue that Citizen Cope is great, but that just makes him great to me. To you he could be anything or nothing. But he got a reaction out of me, a departure from normalcy that left me buzzing afterwards, and it's hard to find words that aren't useless contemplation. Words that avoid shameless worship to someone who does not want to be worshipped. But I knew I was doomed to fail when I started this.

Tickets are on sale at Fox Theatre Box Office. Call (303) 443-3399 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.foxtheatre.com.

$25 adv / $25 dos

Tickets On Sale – Friday December 17th!