billy

Marianne Faithful to Release Horses and High Heels

Marianne Faithful will release her 23rd album, Horse and High Heels, in the US  on June 28th via Naïve Records.  The collection of songs consists of four originals and eight covers ranging from Carol King’s “Going Back” to Greg Dulli & Mark Lanegan’s “The Stations.”  Four of the tracks feature virtuosic guitarist John Porter (Eric Clapton, The Smiths) while Lou Reed and Dr. John/MC5’s Wayne Kramer each make cameos on multiple songs.

Iconic, influential, and inimitable, Marianne has been an entrancing and creative musical presence for the past 47 years.  Beginning with her debut single, “As Tears Go By” (1964, the first song ever written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards), Marianne has created an enduring legacy with her distinct, emotive, and truly haunting voice.   She has also established herself as a powerful songwriter with a gift for crafting visceral melodies and deeply resonant lyrics.  Her artistic fearlessness has led her to sing with legends like David Bowie and Metallica, and collaborate with a younger generation of musicians she influenced such as Beck, Morrissey, Billy Corgan and Blur.

Horses and High Heels was recorded in New Orleans and features a core of masterful local musicians.  It was produced by Hal Willner (Laurie Anderson, Allen Ginsberg), who also helmed Marianne’s critically-acclaimed 2009 collection of covers and duets: Easy Come, Easy Go. The songs touch on everything from soul, blues, folk, country, jazz-pop perkiness, and beguiling guitar-rock.  Much like the rest of her career, the only consistent theme or style of the album is Marianne herself.  Click HERE to listen to the original new song, “Why Did We Have To Part?”

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.

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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.

Billy Taylor - July 24, 1921 - December 28, 2010

Dr. Billy Taylor, a Jazz pianist, composer, educator and broadcaster who encompassed that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that made him one of our most cherished national treasures, died in New York on December 28, 2010.  He was 89 and lived in Riverdale, New York.

The cause was heart failure, according to his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.

The distinguished ambassador of the jazz community to the world-at-large, Dr. Billy Taylor's recording career spanned over six decades. He also composed over three hundred and fifty songs, as well as works for theatre, dance and symphony orchestras.

Among his most notable works is "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free", achieving great popularity with Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Nina Simone covered the song in her 1967 album Silk and Soul, and the song continues to be recorded by many artists worldwide, most recently by Levon Helm.

Playing the piano professionally since 1944, he got his start with Ben Webster's Quartet on New York's famed 52nd Street. He then served as the house pianist at Birdland, the legendary jazz club where he performed with such celebrated masters as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Starting in the 1950s, Billy Taylor ked his own Trio, as well as performed with the most influential jazz musicians of the twentieth century.

After many years of recording for leading record labels, in 1989, Taylor started his own "Taylor Made" record label to document his own music, releasing four albums, and in the late 90s, "Soundpost Records," releasing his two final recordings.

Dr. Taylor was not only been an influential musician, but a highly regarded teacher as well, receiving his Masters and Doctorate in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and serving as a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University.

He also hosted and programmed such radio stations WLIB and WNEW in New York, and several  award winning series for National Public Radio. In the early 1980s, Taylor became the arts correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning.

Dr. Billy Taylor was one of only three jazz musicians appointed to the National Council of the Arts, and also served as the Artistic Advisor for Jazz to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he developed one acclaimed concert series after another including the Louis Armstrong Legacy series, and the annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

With over twenty three honorary doctoral degrees, Dr. Billy Taylor was also the recipient of two Peabody Awards, an Emmy, a Grammy and a host of prestigious and highly coveted prizes, such as the National Medal of Arts, the Tiffany Award, a Lifetime achievement Award from Downbeat Magazine, and, election to the Hall of Fame for the International Association for Jazz Education.

Dr. Taylor's survivors include his wife, Theodora and his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.  A son, Duane, passed away in 1988.

Eric Comstock & Randy Napoleon Release Bittersweet

The pianist & vocalist Eric Comstock, a star of the Off-Broadway hit OUR SINATRA known for his pop and jazz interpretations, and guitarist Randy Napoleon, currently of the Freddy Cole Quartet, have collaborated on a uniquely intimate voice/guitar CD, "Bitter/Sweet", on Harbinger Records.

Co-produced by Comstock and Katherine Miller, "Bitter/Sweet" features songs by Rodgers & Hart, Jobim (with a lyric by the late Susannah McCorkle), Lane and Lerner, Billy Strayhorn, Henry Mancini, Billy May, Paul Weston and others from the American, Brazilian and English songbooks, all arranged by Comstock and Napoleon. Standards such as "I Have Dreamed," "This Can't Be Love," "Gone With the Wind," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," and "If I Had You" are joined by such rarities as Roger Schore's lyric to Strayhorn's "Ballad for Very Tired and Very Sad Lotus-Eaters". The album also includes "Two for the Road," on which Comstock is joined by his wife, celebrated vocalist Barbara Fasano. Comstock’s other CDs include “No One Knows”, “Young Man of Manhattan” and “All Hart”, and he is profiled in Will Friedwald's new book "The Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers" (Pantheon, 2010). Napoleon's arrangements are heard on Cole's Grammy-nominated salute to Billy Eckstine, "Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B."

Comstock and Napoleon first worked together at a concert for Lincoln Center's American Songbook in 2003, and felt it was time to record the duets they have performed in concert halls and festivals around the country in the years since. Napoleon says, "This is one of my favorite musical combinations. Whoever first carved a guitar out of a block of wood must have had a singer in mind -- guitar and voice are that natural together. Eric is also a first-rate pianist and accompanist, so I was particularly honored when he asked me to record with guitar and voice alone."

Comstock adds, "We live in a noisy world, and Randy and I are trying to show that whatever is worth saying musically can be said softly and slowly. This album is an antidote to stress, and Randy and I are extremely proud of it."

Comstock returns to the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room with Barbara Fasano on January 4th in a new show entitled, "HELLUVA TOWN: A  New York Soundtrack", featuring an idiosyncratic  mix of songs from Broadway and Hollywood, the pop singer-songwriters, and the jazz songbook.  Performances of "HELLUVA TOWN", which continue through January 15th, 2011, are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 8:30pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 and 11pm.

Medeski, Martin & Wood @ the Boulder Theater

97.3 KBCO & Boulder Weekly are proud to present Medeski, Martin & Wood at the Boulder Theater on Friday, March 4th, 2011.

Somewhere, someplace, someone is debating the future of live and recorded music, speaking in somber tones of changes that have made it difficult to reach consumers, of technologies that have changed society, and of the lack of creativity found in the arts. But in a small but impressive microcosm of the universe known as Medeski Martin & Wood, creativity is alive, flourishing, and filled with outlets for growth and expansion. And somewhere, whatever gods of music there might be are smiling.

Medeski Martin and Wood's story is - like most great stories - one of humble beginnings, friendship, determination, a happy ending and a very bright future.

The trio of keyboard/organ/piano player John Medeski, drummer/percussionist Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood formed not in some vastly creative alternate universe, but rather in the neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, known as D.U.M.B.O. (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) in 1991. Medeski and Wood, students at Boston's prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, decided to move to New York City, with intent to explore the late-night underworld of the city's burgeoning jazz scene.


John Medeski, Billy Martin, and Chris Wood were looking to create music that reflected who they were, individually and collectively. The trio began experimenting with contemporary hip-hop beats that could swing as hard as jazz rhythms, yet remained essentially simple and propulsive, giving the musicians ample room to create hypnotic textures and sounds that were brimming with both improvisation and harmony. "In the beginning, as it is now, we went by gut instinct," says Wood. "We have a natural connection between us, as people and as musicians, and we just let things flow in whatever direction they went."

Gigs turned into multiple engagements, dates at small clubs led to performances at legendary New York City downtown hotspots like the Village Gate and the Knitting Factory, and soon the band was packed into Billy's van, traveling up and down the North Eastern United States. The next step was a natural one for any band - capture the music for posterity - and so MMW recorded their debut, "Notes From The Underground," which they released independently on hap-jones records in early 1991.

More gigs followed, and soon it was time for another release. This time, Medeski Martin & Wood inked a deal with Gramavision, a larger but still independent label that afforded them substantial freedom to create music the way they felt it should be played. In the summer of 1993 they released "It's A Jungle In Here," purchased an R/V, and hit the road for nearly half a year.

Communal, on-the-road living has broken up many bands, but true-to-form, MMW thrived in this potentially treacherous situation. Their secret was a unique combination of individual personalities, with each band member taking on additional roles that suited their own aptitudes and interests. As always, nothing was planned out; it just happened.

John, with his love for cooking, was the band's chef, preparing incredible meals that made life on the road more bearable. Billy, who worked well with his hands, could fix anything up to and including the band's RV. And Chris, with his head for business, took care of the group's accounting. As it was with the music, Medeski Martin & Wood balanced each other out perfectly.

"We have a certain chemistry between us, musically," says Martin, "and in addition to that we have a strong friendship that goes beyond the music. Even when we have ups and downs, the music and our friendship carries us through."

1994 saw the release of "Friday Afternoon in the Universe," and by 1995 it seemed like MMW was truly touring the universe, as their concert itinerary spread out and around the entire United States, and into Europe and Japan. In 1996, the band released their final Gramavision disc, "Shack-Man," which they celebrated with an 8-week Monday night residency at New York's Knitting Factory.

With much fanfare, the band then signed with another record label - the legendary jazz imprint Blue Note Records. At the turn of the new millennium, they released their all-acoustic album "Tonic," named for the Lower East Side club (and former kosher winery) where it was recorded. The band's affiliation with Blue Note resulted in three discs (plus a best-of set), and found them again pushing their sonic boundaries, incorporating percussionists, horn sections, and turntables into their already potent sound.

Which brings us to the here-and-now. Medeski Martin & Wood are no longer signed to anyone else's record label; they have come full circle by establishing their own label, Indirecto Records, as an outlet for their music. Which, quite happily, brings them neatly back to the way they did things in their formative years. Releasing their own music, their own way, in its own time.

The trio's first Indirecto release, "Out Louder," is a four-way collaboration with guitarist John Scofield, which true-to-form is heavy on group improvisation, irresistible grooves, rich harmonies, and strong melodies. While nothing definite is planned - as always, the band are taking each day and each opportunity as they come - it is possible that "Out Louder" could be the first in a series of independently-released projects that Medeski Martin & Wood will do in collaboration with other artists.

"By having our own label, we can make music however we want, and make as much as we want," explains Medeski. "In the history of man, recorded music is just a blink of the eye, just a small part of that vast history. The real thing is playing music live, and that is what we do. Beyond that, we'll be putting out recordings as often or as infrequently as we want."

The band also plan another first - a disc of children's music titled "Let's Go Everywhere" - set for release in early 2007 on the Little Monster/V2 label that promises to be as engaging for their established fan base as it is for the kids. "It's got everything, instrumentals, vocal songs, our kids are singing on it" says Wood.

Plus, there are the usual side projects going on, creative outlets which all three band members say serve to strengthen and add to the sound of the trio when they converge. Chris Wood plays frequently with his brother Oliver in The Wood Brothers, a rootsy, folk-and-blues, guitar and bass duo that serves as an outlet for both brothers' songwriting and vocal skills.

Billy Martin runs his own record label, releasing new and vintage recordings with a focus on percussion-based music. Amongst his releases is a three volume set of his own drum beats, and a percussion instruction book, focusing on bell and clave patterns found in Afro-Caribbean music, and featuring musical notation that Martin designed himself.

John Medeski, well, he is involved in a multitude of musical projects, from solo piano recitals to sideman gigs to leading or co-leading large and small bands. John has also lent his production skills to recordings by musical associates and friends, and has become involved in scoring films, including the acclaimed film Day on Fire which he scored and has a cameo appearance in.

A happy ending and a bright future, indeed. Medeski Martin and Wood live in our world, playing music that reflects their surroundings and communities. At the same time, they are a small world unto themselves, where creativity and spontaneity are honored, revered, and encouraged. And the world-at-large is a much better place for it

Read Grateful Web's interview with the Wood Brothers.

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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 December 3rd!

$32 adv / $34 dos / + $2.00 for under 21+ ticket buyers

Billy Crockett To Release 'Wishing Sky' November 3

Veteran singer-songwriter-producer-master guitarist Billy Crockett will release on November 3 his new record, the artful and melodic WISHING SKY (Blue Rock Artists), with its smart and insightful lyrics and virtuoso instrumentation.

Crockett’s one-of-a-kind sound — fresh, thought-through lyrics included — is exemplified by WISHING SKY and its authentic songs of love and life and the handling of both from what the writer describes as a new point of view that crystallized during a respite from touring and the planning and building of Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio in Wimberley, Texas.

With cameo appearances by Jon Dee Graham, Ray Bonneville, Paul English and Lloyd Maines, Crockett’s WISHING SKY features “Feel It,” about how thinking too much can get in the way of good stuff (the tango, for instance, he says); “Meant That,” about longing for authenticity and finding it in a word, guitar solo, a dog howling at the moon or in the way she walks; and “Long Live This Love,” an audacious appeal for lasting love.

“After nine years, I wrote and recorded the album, songs of independent observation, free of institutional ties. In a way, I’m starting over,” he says. “I have tried to strip down my own language and ideas to something essential, tell my story, and maybe ours, to anyone. No proclamations, no codes and credos. Now it seems more about the simple story.”

Another cut from the album, “Ticking of Her Heart,” about how fear, alienation and depression consume a self, is a co-write with the great Pierce Pettis. The recording also includes a timely pep talk to Americans, “Back on the Horse”: “… the only chance we have, of course, is to get our asses back on the horse. …”

And there is a horse named WISHING SKY: a 2-year-old thoroughbred, black with a white comet streak across his forehead, that is named for the album and title track (about two people listening to ancient voices under the night sky) that lives and trains in Louisiana and will start racing next month.

In 1999, Crockett dedicated the album SIMPLE PLANS and a yearlong 40-stop tour to efforts by Habitat for Humanity and the communities it serves. He’s also written and recorded PASSAGES, an album of classical guitar pieces. In 2006, he and his wife, Dodee, founded Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio, where he is creative director and has produced albums for Cliff Eberhardt, Grace Pettis and others in its state-of-art recording facility there.

Crockett will play a special album release show at Austin’s famed Cactus Cafe on November 18.

For more information, visit www.billycrocket.com and www.bluerocktexas.com.

PREZ FEST 2009 CELEBRATING BILLY STRAYHORN

Legendary Composer, Arranger, Pianist March 14 and 15, 2009 At Saint Peter’s Church, 54th and Lexington, New York City

Billy Strayhorn… the biggest human being who ever lived, a man with the greatest courage, the most majestic stature, a highly skilled musician whose impeccable taste commanded the respect of all musicians and the admiration of all listeners. —Duke Ellington
 
Saturday, March 14

3:00 PM Two-hour listening session of Billy Strayhorn recordings
Free

Sunday, March 15

 

4:00 PM   David Hajdu, author of Lush Life, presents
                                             “Dancing Without Duke: Strayhorn’s Work Away from Ellington”
Free

5:00 PM Jazz Vespers with Junior Mance / Hide Tanaka Duo
Freewill Offering

7:00 PM CONCERT with Randy Weston, Billy Taylor, Jeb Patton, David Wong, Winard Harper, Valerie Capers, John Robinson, Earl Williams, Aaron Diehl, Gene Bertoncini, Sara Caswell, Alan Ferber, Dan Pratt, Nate Radley, Gary Wang, Jimmy Owens, Mike Howell, Mike Hashim, Ehud Asherie, Darius deHaas, 18-piece Jazz Band Classic directed by Chris Winans, The Ellington Legacy Band (with Edward Ellington, Norman Simmons, Virginia Mayhew, Nancy Reed, Jami Dauber, Paul Wells, Tom DiCarlo, Noah Bless) and Jimmy Owens will be the emcee
$20 Suggested Donation-- tickets at http://www.saintpeters.org/jazz

An exhibit of Billy Strayhorn memorabilia will be an important part of the tribute.

 
Produced by the Jazz Ministry at Saint Peter’s Church and The Duke Ellington Society, TDES, Inc.
More information at http://www.saintpeters.org/jazz or 212 935 2200
 
Take the “E” train to Lexington Avenue or “#6” to 51st Street

Prez Fest 2009 | Celebrating Billy Strayhorn | March 14 & 15

Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn- for the Grateful Web

Saint Peter's Church, known worldwide as the "Jazz Church," will present "Prez Fest 2009 — Celebrating Billy Strayhorn."  The festival begins with a listening session of Billy Strayhorn recordings on Saturday, March 14 at 3:00 PM and continues on Sunday with a lecture on Billy Strayhorn at 4:00 PM, Jazz Vespers at 5:00 PM and a Concert at 7:00 PM.  A variety of groups will perform the music of Billy Strayhorn.  Billy Strayhorn's piano was gifted to the church years ago and its refurbishing will be celebrated.

Billy Strayhorn (1915–1967), composer, arranger and pianist, was born in Dayton, Ohio, and raised in Hillsborough, N.C. and Pittsburgh, Pa. where he received his musical training.  He first met Duke Ellington in 1938 and worked in close collaboration with him for three decades.  Some of the world's great compositions were written by Billy Strayhorn:  Take the A Train, Lush Life, Chelsea Bridge, Something to Live For, Day Dream, Rain Check, Passion Flower, Midriff, Rain Check and Johnny Come Lately. In collaboration with Duke Ellington, he produced many concert works including: Perfume Suite, Such Sweet Thunder and A Drum is a Woman.

"Billy Strayhorn… the biggest human being who ever lived, a man with the greatest courage, the most majestic stature, a highly skilled musician whose impeccable taste commanded the respect of all musicians and the admiration of all listeners."  —Duke Ellington

David Hajdu, scholar and author of Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn, will speak about Billy Strayhorn on Sunday at 4:00 PM with recorded music.  Junior Mance and Hide Tanako (piano/bass duo) will lead the music at Jazz Vespers at 5:00 PM.

Musicians who are already confirmed to perform at the Sunday evening concert include Randy Weston, Jimmy Heath, Billy Taylor, Jeb Patton, David Wong, Valerie Capers, John Robinson, Earl Williams, Aaron Diehl, Gene Bertoncini, Sara Caswell, Kenny Davis, Mike Howell, and The Ellington Legacy Band with Edward Ellington, Norman Simmons, Virginia Mayhew, Nancy Reed, Jami Dauber, Paul Wells, Tom DiCarlo, Noah Bless, and the Jazz Band Classic (18-pieces), and others.  Jimmy Owens will be the emcee and will also perform.
 
"Prez Fest" is a jazz festival created to celebrate the talents of jazz legends who are no longer with us and about whom people should learn more.  Last year Billie Holiday was honored.  In the future, the plan is to honor a different jazz legend each year.  The name "Prez Fest" has blossomed out of the "To Prez with Love," a tribute to Lester Young which had been held at Saint Peter's for over 30 years.  By using Prez in the name of the festival we continue to honor Lester Young and his music.

The Jazz Ministry of Saint Peter's Church is "a home for diverse individuals and communities which celebrates the dignity and vitality of Jazz, provides vibrant liturgy and pastoral care, and through intersecting partnerships, offers jazz programs, education and services."  An outreach program of Saint Peter's Lutheran Church in New York City, The Jazz Ministry was founded in 1965 by the late Reverend John Garcia Gensel who created Jazz Vespers, a worship service featuring a wide range of jazz musicians that is held each Sunday at 5:00 PM.  Our pastors include Amandus Derr, Jared Stahler, Bill Eschen and Héctor Ribone.  The Jazz Ministry thrives today with many events and programs such as All Nite Soul, Prez Fest, Jazz on the Plaza, Women in Jazz Festival, Seminars for Musicians, Midtown Jazz at Midday, memorials, tributes, concerts, and others yet to be developed, to serve the jazz community.

The Duke Ellington Society (TDES, Inc.) is an organization dedicated to celebrating the life, music and legacy of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.  TDES, Inc. was incorporated in 1992 as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization in the state of New York.  Founded during Duke's lifetime in 1959, it will observe its 50th anniversary in 2009 and it has grown to over 450 members representing 25 countries.  Members meet once a month, usually on the third Wednesday, at Saint Peter's Church for a variety of listening sessions, concerts, lectures and parties.  Meetings begin at 7:30 PM and all are welcome.

"Prez Fest 2009—Celebrating Billy Strayhorn" takes place on March 14 and 15, 2009 at Saint Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Avenue (at 54th Street).
Saturday, March 14: 3:00 PM  Two-hour listening session of well-known and rare Billy Strayhorn recordings. Free  
Sunday, March 15: 4:00 PM  Presentation by David Hajdu, author of Lush Life.  Free
5;00 PM: Jazz Vespers with Junior Mance / Hide Tanako Duo Free Will Offering
7:00 PM: Concert — $20 Suggested Donation — Tickets available at the door.
212 935 2200 ● "E" train to Lexington Avenue or "#6" to 51st Street

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's BEWARE Streets 3/17/09

Bonnie

Breaking through the dirt and shooting upward into our atmosphere is a new variety of exotic Bonnie 'Prince' Billy plant. Stronger. Stinkier. It blooms in low light and cold but thrives in the sun as well, showing enticing spots and eating small creatures as they wander into its jaws. They had it coming, they were weak…and you're next! Beware.   
 
Though Beware shares spit with its immediate predecessor released this past summer, Lie Down in the Light, it's reach is longer and stronger, more grandiose. Where fiddle and steel contribute their rustic timbre alongside guitars and voices, a thickening thud of low tone rolls beneath, giving the record a bottom that's fun to watch bounce in new clothes. This indensifies the air and heralds Beware as Bonny's biggest, most ambitious record to date – yea, bigger and more ambitious than even The Letting Go! A listen or two through and you too may conclude that this could also be the great Bonnie 'Prince' Billy contempo-country record – though, as always, the 'Prince' goes his own special way, even when climbing the charts with brawny arms and classic titles like "I Don't Belong to Anyone," "You Can't Hurt Me Now," and "I Am Goodbye."
 
Though the title (and catalog number - DC666!) portends horror, Beware is a much more measured exploration of the soul's frailty and the sorry state of human relationships than your typical, everyday, bleaked-out, all-and-nothing roots rock platter. Song titles suggest half of a heated dialogue, perhaps just one side of a super-apocalypto phone call. Yet, there's humor here as well, some of it too cute to call black. Lyrically, domestic ripostes are mixed with I-thou asides, statements of lusty selfhood and subtlety in between the lines, examining culpability and the need for release and rebellion, if you must know. Basically, if you haven't learned already, love goes down mazy, anfractuous paths, on some days giving rise to irritations (both spiritual and physical) and the difficult consideration of an alternative fate. Sometimes all you want to do is f**k. Then there's the times of fun, laughter and learning, and the sudden appreciation of your partner, your only friend. And with all these things in hand, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy says Beware.

Joining Bonny deep in the mix of Beware, the roll-call of top players include the band (Josh Abrams, Jennifer Hutt, Emmett Kelly and Michael Zerang) and special guests (Dee Alexander, Leroy Bach, Jim Becker, Robert Cruz, DV DeVincentis, Jon Langford, Greg Leisez, Rob Mazurek, Nicole Mitchell and Azita Youseffi)!

Beware will be released on Drag City on March 17, 2009. Bonny does not tour in support of records, however he will tour simultaneous with the record release, even in major markets. Beware!
 
Beware Tracklisting:
 1. Beware Your Only Friend
 2. You Can't Hurt Me Now
 3. My Life's Work
 4. Death Final
 5. Heart's Arms
 6. You Don't Love Me
 7. You Are Lost
 8. I Won't Ask Again
 9. I Don't Belong to Anyone
10. There Is Something I Have To Say
11. I Am Goodbye
12. Without Work, You Have Nothing
13. Untitled

Bye-bye Billy

photos by Mike Moran- for the Grateful Web

The Nebraska Cornhuskers just finished their worst season in more than 50 years.  It's widely expected newly appointed Athletic Director, Dr. Tom Osborne, will fire Nebraska's coach, Bill Callahan tomorrow morning at a press conference at 10:00 AM.  There has been plenty of speculation on who will take the new reigns, but many on the internet have penciled in Bo Pelini.   Bo is currently the defensive coordinator at LSU, whose defense ranks among the nation's best.  Bo was passed over for the head coaching job before by previous Athletic Director, Steve Pederson, but rumor has it Pelini's family prefers Lincoln over Baton Rouge and Bo would love to take the helm at NU.

Check out photos from today's game.