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Good Time on Stage Shows Head East Slowing Down No Time Fast

Just looking at them, the five members making up the current line up of 1970's band Head East may look like a bunch of older guys with long hair and guitars. Get them plugged in and playing though, and they give a performance just as impressive and rocking as ever before.

New Little Steven 'Coolest Songs' Collection Brings Good Luck

Little Steven ''Coolest Songs''- for the Grateful Web

On November 25, Wicked Cool Records released the latest installment of Steven Van Zandt's irresistibly eclectic collection of rock music, 'Little Steven's Underground Garage Presents the Coolest Songs in the World Vol. 7,' this time featuring songs by Elvis Costello and The Imposters, Flogging Molly, John Fogerty, Kaiser Chiefs and R.E.M.

"You can try having a party without this album blasting your bad luck into oblivion," cautions Van Zandt"but I wouldn't recommend it." As he did for the previous volumes in the 'Coolest Songs in the World' series, Little Steven studiously scoured the world for the best music, picking tracks that give this new compilation "a little bit of everything that's cool." 

Here's what Little Steven has to say about 'Coolest Songs in the World Vol. 7':

"We start with Swedish Surf Rock (Hawaii Mud Bombers) and Mother Truck ("Streets of Atlanta") right through R.E.M.'s neighborhood ("All The Right Friends") all the way to a "Shady Grove" (Mudcrutch) where we get the singular pleasure of Flogging Molly ("Requiem For A Dying Song"). We've got the Dead But Never Better (Rocket From The Crypt) and Born Again But Never Nastier (The Doughboys) and you want born again? We've got nothing less than "Mother Mary" herself (Foxboro Hot Tubs) and she brought along her own Catholic Girls ("Rock'n America"), we've got Guys (Big Midnight), "Dolls" (Primal Scream), "Gangsters" (Elvis Costello), Pigeons ("I Found Out"), a "Riot" goin' on (Kaiser Chiefs) and a "Longshot" you'd bet on every time (John Fogerty)."

'Coolest Songs in the World Vol. 7' Track List:

1. "Dolls" - PRIMAL SCREAM
2. "All The Right Friends" - R.E.M.
3. "Black Sheep" - THE DOUGHBOYS
4. "Mother Mary" - FOXBORO HOT TUBS
5. "Doin' All Right" - BIG MIDNIGHT
6. "Longshot" - JOHN FOGERTY
7. "I Predict A Riot" - KAISER CHIEFS
8. "Johanna Beach" - HAWAII MUD BOMBERS
9. "American Gangster Time" - ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE IMPOSTERS
10. "I Found Out" - THE PIGEON DETECTIVES
11. "Heart Of A Rat" - ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT
12. "Rock'n America" - THE CATHOLIC GIRLS
13. "Streets Of Atlanta" - THE MOTHER TRUCKERS
14. "Requiem For A Dying Song" - FLOGGING MOLLY 
15. "Shady Grove" - MUDCRUTCH

And while 'Coolest Songs in the World Vol. 7' is out just in time to be the soundtrack to your most rockin' Thanksgiving yet, Steven's also making sure that you'll be rockin' around the Christmas tree, too: his rarities-packed 'Little Steven's Underground Garage Presents Christmas A Go-Go' is out now (also from Wicked Cool Records), featuring the coolest from Keith Richards (available for the FIRST time on CD), The Kinks, The Ramones, Bob Seger, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Darlene Love, and even Joe Pesci. The album also includes a bunch of superb, newly recorded songs from Wicked Cool artists like The Chesterfield Kings, Cocktail Slippers, and Len Price 3. 20 tracks total!

About Little Steven Van Zandt and Wicked Cool Records:

Host of Little Steven's Underground Garage, the most successful syndicated rock radio show in the country, Steven Van Zandt is also known for his role as Silvio Dante in the Sopranos and as a founding member of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. LSUG is now in over 200 markets and has surpassed 1 million weekly listeners. An extension of the weekly show, the Underground Garage Channel 25 on SIRIUS Satellite Radio plays the best of all 60 years of Rock and Roll 24 hours a day featuring the best new Rock and Roll worldwide. Steven is also the creator and executive producer of the Outlaw Country Channel 63 and The Wiseguy Show on SIRIUS.

Wicked Cool Records is distributed by RED Distribution and is featured in endcaps at FYE stores across the country.

All Good Music Festival Recap

At the All Good Music Festival held this past weekend in Masontown WV, the motto by which attendees live by is also the name.  How convenient.  Despite the mantra that anything goes, the festival has been noted as one of the better organized, least problematic, and most entertaining of the summer.

All Good Music Festival Partners With HeadCount

Walther Productions and the All Good Music Festival are proud to become the largest event to pledge support to HeadCount by donating $.50 from every ticket sold to support the organization's "Cents for Sense" campaign.  The partnership serves to introduce this new campaign set to be a significant industry-wide program to fund HeadCount's voter registration efforts at over 1,000 concerts and festivals nationwide before the 2008 election.

State of the Scene: Where Have All the Good Bands Gone?

Festival season!  I love it, and it is almost upon us.  After viewing the initial lineups for some of the big music festivals I couldn't help but notice the large number of indie rock bands that are sneaking their way into what are usually very jam-heavy celebrations.

Turbine: Always Turning Out The Good Stuff

photo(s) by Kent Anderson- for the Grateful Web

In 2005, jammers at the 10,000 Lakes Festival were floored by the power duo from New York City, Turbine. Ryan Rightmire (harmonica, acoustic guitar, vocals) and Jeremy Hilliard (electric guitar, vocals) had audiences awe-struck when they launched into their set. "There was a moment after the first long jam of the set, and no one was making any noise during the song, " recalls Hilliard. "We finished and for a second, we were wondering what was going to happen. Then everyone sort of exploded."

"Everyone was such careful listeners," adds Rightmire. "A lot of times when you're playing at a bar, people are talking. But at a festival like this, everyone is so attentive, and it's just a pleasure to play in that environment."

The comment most people made, including myself, was: How can two people have such a full sound with only two guitars and a harmonica?!  There were bass parts and percussion parts that surprised everyone. But what drew me and others mostly was the variety and quality of the original songs they brought with them.

It was no surprise then that they were invited back last year. By this time, however, Turbine had expanded into a full four-piece band, adding Justin Kimmel on bass and Jason Nazary on drums.  Kimmel also fills in vocally for some really tight three-part harmonies and necessary vocal backup when Rightmire is playing harmonica.  Though the band had only been together a matter of months, they were right on. "They bring their personalities as well as just playing the songs we already had," says Hilliard. "The drummer, Jason Nazary, drives the improvisations a lot to new places. It's much more communicative than people just backing us."  And, Rightmire adds, "We just didn't want to find a couple of guys to back us. We were really looking for people to push us as well. I think we found that."

turbineThe addition of new band members has completely altered the way the band writes and arranges.  Though they had hammered bass and percussion into their duo arrangements, writing became even more creative.  "It's interesting that the more people you add, you think there's less space to work with because there are more instruments," says Rightmire. "We're kind of getting freed up to do other things because you don't need to worry about holding it down so to speak or trying to cover the drums and bass that aren't there. When they are there, you are kind of freed up to explore."

Hilliard adds, "With the new band, everyone wants to see where we're going to be in a year and what that's going to sound like." That's true. And, the proof is in the new album that will be coming out late this spring, just before festival season. The new album will be the first for the full band and will complement Turbine's duo album, Don't Mind If I Should.

This new album will be an opportunity to see the versatility of what Turbine can do. During the 2006 10,000 Lakes Festival, Turbine not only did a stint on opening night up in the Saloon Stage, but spend the rest of the weekend, playing during lunch in the VIP hospitality tent. The band spent two hours or more entertaining the other musicians, the staff, members of the press, and those fortunate enough to buy VIP tickets. It was a treat to hear their full original repertoire. They did jam rock songs, sea chanties, Irish drinking songs, folk tunes, ballads, spacey jams, Afro beat, and everything in between.

Most impressive was Rightmire's harmonica work.  Using wooden Horner Blues Harps that don't have that plastic sound, he puts them through a microphone with pedals that he helped develop with Frank Sternot, a Chicagoan who developed the traditional microphone most harpists buy.  "It was too bluesy for me," says Rightmire. "So, I sought him out and worked with him to create one that's more like my own sound. You can always add, but you can't take away. At the beginning, you kind of need like a pure tone."

With that pure tone, Rightmire is able to do blues, straight harp, and special effects like spacey electronic sounds. He is even able to make the harmonica sound like a Hammond organ and that a DJ turntablist.

turbineBut this isn't the only kind of versatility the band is able to produce. Hilliard and Rightmire recently surprised a bluegrass audience when they were asked to join the Del McCoury Band on stage. When Hilliard brought up his electric, everyone inwardly winced and he was even challenged by a band member. Hilliard then charmed the audience by producing a slick electric fiddle sound coming from his guitar, while Rightmire offered banjo sounds from his harmonica.

Musical skills like these, however, aren't limited to just the original duo. All of the band members have jazz and/or classical roots. Hilliard studied jazz guitar. Rightmire studied piano and French Horn, then moved to acoustic guitar and harmonica. Kimmel and Nazary are also jazz trained but are extremely versatile, even filling in on a reggae song or a country tune.

This year, Turbine will have a new album out, and will begin touring with a new drummer, Eric Johnson. They also will open festival season with a slot at Wakarusa in Kansas in June. Check out some song samples at www.myspace.com/turbine.

Good Times Bad Times: Rose Hill Drive Does Zeppelin I

As I walked up to the Boulder Theater on Friday night there were a ton of people standing out side. Normally these are fans having their last cigarette before heading into the venue for the show. But tonight all of these people were looking for anyone with an extra ticket. I grabbed my ticket from will call and headed in to the all ages show. The place was packed! I heard there were 115 people on the guest list, not to mention the fact the place was sold out by Friday morning.