music

Music Doc Featuring Portland's Fritz Richmond Screens in Portland on 1/29

Fritz Richmond (1939-2005)- for the Grateful Web

Acclaimed jug band documentary "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" is set to screen at the 25th Reel Music Festival in Portland at the Whitsell Auditorium on January 29, 2008.  "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" has recently screened to sold-out crowds at the Woodstock Film Festival, Hartford International Film Festival and the San Francisco Jug Band Festival.  

The film, directed by Todd Kwait, is a labor-of-love documentary focused on one of America's most beloved forms of folk music, the jug band.  Featuring a who's-who of '60s folk artists like Rock and Roll Hall of Famers John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful) and Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), David Grisman, Geoff Muldaur, Maria Muldaur and Jim Kweskin, "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" explores the history of jug band music and the influence it had on these legendary musicians.  

Fritz Richmond, who made his home in Portland later in life and is widely considered to have been the finest jug and washtub bass player in the genre, is featured throughout the film.  Fritz passed away while "Chasin' Gus' Ghost" was being filmed, and in some ways the film became an ode to Fritz - to his talent and character.  He led an illustrious musical life, co-founding the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and performing with Jackson Browne, Ry Cooder and the Grateful Dead.  "Fritz was a cultural icon," says Sebastian in the film.   

Todd Kwait says, "One of the last things Fritz said to me was that if I wanted to tell the complete story we needed to go to Japan and the Yokohama Jug Band Festival."  Todd followed his advice, and filmed what became some of the documentary's most exciting and endearing scenes.   

What: Screening of "Chasin' Gus' Ghost"
Where: Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR
When: January 29, 2008 at 7PM
Tickets: $7 for adults, $6 for students and seniors

Folk music doc 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost' to screen in Indiana Dec. 1

Gun Cannon- for the Grateful Web

Following sold-out screenings at the San Francisco Jug Band Festival, the Woodstock Film Festival and the Hartford International Film Festival, jug band documentary 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost' will screen in Bloomington, IN on December 1st at the Monroe County Public Library Auditorium.  The film features music legends such as Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful), David Grisman, Maria Muldaur and Erik Darling (Rooftop Singers).

A must-see film for music lovers, 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost' is full of interviews, great live performances and archival film footage and newspaper clippings dating back as far as the 1920s.  The documentary traces the history of jug band music, with emphasis on the enigmatic Gus Cannon, who passed away virtually penniless at the age of 91 despite penning the tune "Walk Right In," which became a Number 1 hit for The Rooftop Singers in 1963.  

The Grateful Dead and Lovin' Spoonful also cite early jug band music as a main source of inspiration, and one of Bloomington native Hoagy Carmichael's first compositions, written when he was still an Indiana University student, refers to an "instrument" frequently used by jug band musicians (and visible in the film) in "Washboard Blues."

Here's what critics are saying about the film:

"An absorbing movie capable of inspiring a whole new generation of ghost-chasers."
AllAboutJazz.com - Sam Chell

"Pull out the banjos and Popcorn Sutton moonshine, for a jug band might just be coming to a theater near you soon."
PasteMagazine.com - Christina Martin

"If you are a fan of blues, jazz, and American roots - or jug - music, ['Chasin' Gus' Ghost'] is not to be missed."
Blogcritics.org- Connie Phillips  

Details:

What: 'Chasin' Gus' Ghost music documentary screening
When: Saturday December 1st at 1 and 3PM    
Where: Monroe County Public Library Auditorium
303 E. Kirkwood Ave Bloomington, IN 47408
http://www.monroe.lib.in.us/
Cost: FREE

The Music Never Stops - Ratdog, Little Feat & The Waybacks

Kenny Gradney-photo by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

The Rex Foundation will make a special stop along the Rex Community Caravan of events - Saturday, December 15th, Warfield Theatre, San Francisco:  The Music Never Stops - A Rex Foundation Black Tie-Dye Ball featuring Bob Weir and RatDog, Little Feat and The Waybacks.  Tickets for the concert go on sale November 4th.  You can order tickets now for the pre-concert reception with the artists that includes dinner, beverages and premium table seating, as well as the concert-only loge tickets by calling the Rex Foundation at 415-561-3135, downloading the special pre-sale order form, or contacting GDTS, TOO.  (This is a date change from the prior Save the Date.)

Be part of all the following great fall events and initiatives that support the Rex Foundation and further our efforts to nurture positive social change:

October 4th through November 3rd, The Ryan Montbleau Band's Patience on Friday CD Release Tour includes many shows with ticket sale contributions to the Rex Foundation.  Click here for details.

Saturday, November 17th, Donna the Buffalo, Ollabelle and special guest David Gans at the Highline Ballroom in New York City, where $5 per ticket sold will be contributed to the Rex Foundation.  Join us for a special pre-concert reception with the performers and great concert seats.  Click here for details.

Friday/Saturday, November 16 & 17, UMass Amherst Unbroken Chain Symposium that includes a panel presentation on Grateful Dead philanthropy featuring Carolyn Garcia and Sandy Sohcot.  Click here for details.

Underway: The World As It Could Be - Where There's A Will There's A Way, the unique creative endeavor commissioned by the Rex Foundation, with sponsor support, to have youth inspire their peers and adults to learn more about and work toward manifesting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Click here for the full program description and opportunity to be a sponsor of the dramatization and related initiatives.

We look forward to the fun, connections, and beneficial results of traveling with you on the philanthropic bus of the Rex Community Caravan.

STARS ALIGN IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR DOCUMENTARY FILM DEBUT AND CONCERT CELEBRATING ROOTS AND INFLUENCE OF JUG BAND MUSIC

David Grisman- for the Grateful Web

John Sebastian, Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur and More Come Together for the Debut of Chasin' Gus' Ghost on August 25, and "Extravaganza" Concert on August 26.

As part of this year's San Francisco Jug Band Festival, Ezzie Films will debut its documentary on the roots and influence of jug band music.  Chasin' Gus' Ghost, which features performances and commentary by many popular musicians including John Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful and the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, will premiere on August 25.  The "Chasin' Gus' Ghost Jug Band Extravaganza" concert will include many of the featured artists and take place on August 26.

What:  Chasin' Gus' Ghost documentary film debut and concert celebrating the history and influence of jug band music.  From 1920s genre innovators Gus Cannon and Cannon's Jug Stompers to the modern Jim Kweskin Jug Band, the film explores every aspect of this influential roots music. The film trailer is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsELhdJohkA

Who: Hosted by filmmaker Todd Kwait, the concert will showcase popular musicians featured in the film, including John Sebastian, Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur, David Grisman, Fritz Richmond's Barbecue Orchestra and special guests.

When and Where:
Screenings: There will be two screenings of Chasin' Gus' Ghost, at 7:00pm and 9:00pm, on Saturday, August 25 at the Roxie New College Film Center.  Tickets for the screening are $9 each.

The Roxie New College Film Center
3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
http://www.roxie.com

Concert: The Chasin' Gus' Ghost Jug Band Extravaganza takes place at 8:00pm on Sunday, August 26 at the Great American Music Hall.  Tickets are $28 and are available in advance.

The Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
http://www.gamh.com/artist_pages/jug_band_extravaganza_082607.htm

Hot Buttered Rum to Perform at 4 Peaks Music Festival

photo(s) by Michael Podrid- for the Grateful Web

In the Fall of 2006, itching to release their first live album, Hot Buttered Rum announced that it would be recording a handful of shows for official release.  Live in the Northeast (released May 2007) beautifully reveals the true core of live Butter: music that is forceful without being flashy, serious without being stuffy, intricate without being inaccessible, and diverse without being distracting.  The performances were professionally multi-tracked and later carefully mixed by Butter's long-time sound engineer, Josh Osmond. The result is striking, presenting the unique energy and improvisational spirit of a Hot Buttered Rum live performance in studio-quality sound.

Often described as a rock band playing bluegrass instruments, no prior Butter recording has so perfectly displayed the band's bolder and heavier side.  Their full sound permeates Live in the Northeast — from the reggae-tinged "Return Someday" and psychedelica of "Desert Rat" through definitive covers of the Grateful Dead's "Cumberland Blues" and Leo Sayer's "Feel Like Dancin'" — winding the listener through a robust and intense set of acoustic rock.

The band's current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:

July 05-07 High Sierra Music Festival Quincy CA

July 13 Mangy Moose Teton Village WY

July 15 Trancegression Festival Copper Mountain CO

July 18 Buckin' Bale Music Festival Bozeman MT

July 19 Other Side Missoula MT

July 20 Big Easy Boise ID

July 22 Greek Theater Berkeley CA with The String Cheese Incident and Railroad Earth

August 02 Mobius Ashland OR

August 03 4 Peaks Music Festival Bend OR

August 05 Caspar Inn Caspar CA

August 11 Dead on the Creek Willits CA

August 17 Mystic Theater Petaluma CA

August 18 Truckee Regional Park Truckee CA

August 19 Hidden Villa Community Programs Los Altos CA

September 09 Humboldt State University Arcata CA

September 16 River City Roots Festival Missoula MT

September 18 Red Oak High School Red Oak IA

September 20 Steifel Theatre for the Performing Arts Salina KS

September 22 Mulberry Mountain Harvest Music Festival Ozark AR

October 20 Joshua Tree Music Festival Joshua Tree CA

More dates to be announced. 

The widespread appeal of Hot Buttered Rum's music stems not only from the band's musical versatility and prolific songwriting, but also from the magnetic chemistry the group creates onstage together.  It is this chemistry that is propelling the band to ever greater success. The band has performed at festivals as diverse as the Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo, Grey Fox, High Sierra and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and has shared the stage with such artists as Phil Lesh, Bela Fleck, Ben Harper, Chris Thile, Mike Marshall and Peter Rowan, the last two of whom worked with the band on its critically-acclaimed studio release, Well-Oiled Machine.

RAQ Shines at the Green Apple Music Festival

"Conformity is nice but it will never tell you twice to live for fun!!!" - Stoops

Announcing The 9th Annual Taos Solar Music Festival

Todd Park Mohr- for the Grateful Web

Each year, through the universal language of music, the Taos Solar Music Festival celebrates sun and renewable energy, and continues to be the festival of choice for music fans around the country who share an environmental consciousness and zealousness about this community we call Earth.

Now in its ninth year, the Taos Solar Music Festival is quite likely one of the music industry's original Green events.  Hosting attendees from over 30 U.S. States and internationally reputed for blazing a trail in awareness for solar energy, the Taos Solar Music Festival honors the unparalleled contributive power of the sun with three days of eclectic music, interactive exhibits and activities, and much more.  Attracting over 5,000 people annually from all over the country, the festival's main stage is powered through the use of photovoltaic panels. As always, the Solar Village, located on Solar Fest grounds and free/open to the public, will feature booths and demonstrations designed to inform and expose alternative and renewable energy sources and solutions. Festival producer Dawn Richardson explains, "We're really proud of the Solar Village – and hope that it helps to inspire and nurture sustainable communities in the region and throughout the nation.  We think the Solar Village is what makes this festival stand out from so many others around the country." This year, the Solar Musical Festival's Solar Village will be one of only a handful of places to find Toyota's Mobile Hybrid Experience, which will be on site showcasing their Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive vehicles. Stay tuned at www.solarmusicfest.com for additional details on Solar Village specifics.

The festival's complete musical lineup will be revealed in the coming weeks.  For now, let it be known that Big Head Todd and the Monsters will kick off the weekend on Friday, June 29. Front man Todd Park Mohr, a long-time renewable energy advocate himself, says, "We always look forward to playing Solar Fest in Taos.  It is a beautiful setting with a great lineup of artists alongside a much needed plug for solar energy and environmental awareness.  It is always a raucous celebration!"  Also on the bill, Michael Franti & Spearhead and John Butler Trio. Additional artists TBA.

A premier vacation spot for the entire Four Corners region and beyond, Taos can be accessed through some of the most scenic and majestic highways and byways of America. A fun road trip and weekend getaway for family and friends, the festival is just a four to five hour drive from the Denver area, just over two hours from Albuquerque, or a day's jaunt from northern Texas.

Festival details are as follows:
9 th Annual Taos Solar Music Festival
June 29, 30 and July 1
Kit Carson Park in Downtown Taos
Tickets are on sale now.  Kids 10 and under free.

Inaugural Asheville Music Jamboree Announces Artists

Michael Franti - photo by P. Emma- for the Grateful Web

The inaugural Asheville Music Jamboree today announces the lineup for a music festival featuring more than thirty bands on two stages over three days June 1-3 at Deerfields Amphitheater. Located just outside of Asheville in Mills River, NC, the debut event features the musical talents of such noteworthy nationally-touring performers as Michael Franti & Spearhead, Keller Williams & the WMD's, The Avett Brothers, Donna the Buffalo, Acoustic Syndicate, Asheville's own Toubab Krewe along with dozens of additional acts.

Complementing its impressive headliners, the Asheville Music Jamboree also features appearances by Afromotive, The Booty Band, Barrel House Mamas, CX-1, Ménage, Jen & The Juice, Barefoot Manner, Ras Alan and The Lions, The Bridge, DJ Williams Projekt, Purple Schoolbus, Fifth House, Bombadil, Sol Driven Train, Artvandalay, Incognito Mosquito, Thacker Dairy Road, Possum Jenkins, The Lost Ridge Band and additional acts still to be added.

The climate, scenery and welcoming openness of the people of Asheville capture the hearts of poets, painters, princes and paupers alike.  Regardless of status or standing, people are drawn to the mountain community from across the nation, sharing their talents and ideas creating a cultural tapestry enormously rich in diversity and unrivaled beauty.

The Asheville Music Jamboree embraces that diversity and beauty inviting patrons from all walks of life to enjoy an eclectic mix of world-class musical entertainment while celebrating the unique sense of community among its intimate setting of rolling hills and bountiful apple orchards. Additionally, the event provides a wealth of interactive children's activities, varied cuisine alternatives, artistic crafts and wares, along with camping options in a subdued natural setting.

Music and dance devotees of all ages gather to make new friends and renew old relationships.  Children will laugh and sing and share and learn.  Couples will stroll by sparkling ponds as the festival's sounds and pageantry unfurl around them.  Families will tuck away their laptops and gaming systems to rediscover the simple pleasure of each other's company.

Everyone is invited to join the Jamboree and help create an event that mirrors the true attraction of Asheville: its picturesque scenery, unbridled talent, spirited discourse and limitless hospitality.

Gates open Friday, June 1 at 9 AM, and children 12 and under are free with paid parent admission. Tickets are available now via the festival website: www.amjam.net and are at the $95 level until April 8, the $110 level until May 15, and $125 at the gate. Tickets include primitive camping and vehicle camping is $35 in advance, $45 at the gate while RV camping is $75 in advance and $90 at the gate.

STAX RECORDS/CONCORD MUSIC GROUP TO ISSUE STAX 50

Deluxe 2-CD set, out March 13, 2007- for the Grateful Web

The 50th anniversary of the legendary soul label Stax Records will kick off with the release of a deluxe edition 50-song, 2-CD box set titled Stax 50: A 50th Anniversary Celebration. The most comprehensive Stax hits collection ever — featuring for the first time all major Stax hit singles — Stax 50 will formally inaugurate Concord Music's re-launch of Stax. The set is packaged in a hardcover box with lenticular cover art of the famous snapping finger logo. Street date is set for March 13, 2007.

Last month, Concord Music Group announced a year of activity that will include deluxe reissues, special events and the reactivation of the legendary label with a slate of new artist signings.

Stax 50 features hits from the Memphis label's heyday of the 1960s and '70s, including the many legendary artists who jointly created the "Stax sound," among them Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, The Dramatics, Little Milton, The Mar-Keys, Mel & Tim, Jean Knight, and The Emotions.

 
Stax Records holds a critical place in American music history as one of the most popular soul music record labels of all time — second only to Motown in sales and influence, but first in gritty, raw, Southern-steeped soul music. Stax placed more than 167 hit songs in Billboard's Hot 100 pop charts as well as a staggering 243 hits on the R&B charts. In addition to the "core" artists who appear on Stax 50, the label was also home to recordings by Albert King, Big Star, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Moms Mabley and even the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

 
As noted in Stax historian Rob Bowman's extensive liner notes for the box, "The story of Stax Records is about as improbable and unforeseeable as any tale could possibly be." The label was launched in Memphis by a white country fiddler named Jim Stewart and his sister, Estelle Axton. The name came from combining the first two letters of each of their last names. Originally known as Satellite Records, with a roster that spanned pop to blues to rockabilly, the label's 1960 name change to Stax cemented the label's commitment to R&B and soul, commencing with Rufus & Carla Thomas' "'Cause I Love You." Within a short time, Stax, based in a former movie theater on Memphis' McLemore Avenue, grew into a self-contained indie powerhouse with its own studio, A&R staff, writers, producers and house band.

 
Concord Music Group, which acquired the legendary Memphis label as part of its purchase of Fantasy Records in 2004, will also honor Stax's 50th year by releasing definitive collections, rare performances, unreleased tracks and more from the Memphis R&B imprint in deluxe new packages. Plans for digital releases, remixes and other projects are also in the works; the anniversary year's releases are slated to include more than 20 CDs and DVDs.

 
In addition, Concord Music Group will reactivate Stax this year as a dynamic new force in contemporary R&B music committed to the power and legacy of their forbearers. The first new Stax signings are Isaac Hayes and Angie Stone.

 
TRACK LIST

DISC ONE

1.  CARLA THOMAS – "Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)"
2.  THE MAR-KEYS – "Last Night"
3.  WILLIAM BELL – "You Don't Miss Your Water"         
4.  BOOKER T. & THE MGs – "Green Onions"                  
5.  RUFUS THOMAS – "Walking the Dog"         
6.  OTIS REDDING – "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)"
7.  THE ASTORS – "Candy"
8.  OTIS REDDING – "Respect"
9.  SAM & DAVE – "You Don't Know Like I Know"
10. THE MAD LADS – "I Want Someone"
11. SAM & DAVE – "Hold On I'm Comin'"
12. CARLA THOMAS – "Let Me Be Good To You"         
13. MABLE JOHN – "Your Good Thing (Is About To End)"
14. EDDIE FLOYD – "Knock on Wood"         
15. CARLA THOMAS – "B-A-B-Y"
16. OTIS & CARLA – "Tramp"         
17. THE BAR-KEYS – "Soul Finger"
18. ALBERT KING – "Born Under a Bad Sign"
19. SAM & DAVE – "Soul Man"
20. OTIS REDDING – "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay"
21. OLLIE & THE NIGHTINGALES – "I Got a Sure Thing"
22. BOOKER T. & THE MGs – "Soul Limbo"
23. EDDIE FLOYD – "I've Never Found a Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)"
24. LINDA LYNDELL – "What a Man"
25. WILLIAM BELL & JUDY CLAY – "Private Number"
26. JOHNNIE TAYLOR – "Who's Making Love"
27. WILLIAM BELL – "I Forgot To Be Your Lover"
28. CARLA THOMAS – "I Like What You're Doing (To Me)"
 
DISC TWO

1.  BOOKER T. & THE MGS – "Time Is Tight"
2.  THE EMOTIONS – "So I Can Love You"
3.  ISAAC HAYES – "Walk on By"
4.  RUFUS THOMAS – "Do the Funky Chicken"
5.  JOHNNIE TAYLOR – "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone"
6.  JEAN KNIGHT – "Mr. Big Stuff"
7.  ISAAC HAYES – "Never Can Say Goodbye"
8.  THE DRAMATICS – "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get"
9.  THE STAPLE SINGERS  – "Respect Yourself"
10. ISAAC HAYES – "Theme From Shaft"
11. THE BAR-KAYS – "Son of Shaft"
12. LITTLE MILTON – "That's What Love Will Make You Do"
13. FREDERICK KNIGHT – "I've Been Lonely for So Long"
14. SOUL CHILDREN – "Hearsay"
15. THE DRAMATICS – "In the Rain"
16. THE STAPLE SINGERS – "I'll Take You There"
17. MEL & TIM STARTING – "All Over Again"
18. THE TEMPREES – "Dedicated to the One I Love"
19. THE STAPLE SINGERS – "If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)"         
20. JOHNNIE TAYLOR – "Cheaper To Keep Her"
21. SOUL CHILDREN – "I'll Be the Other Woman"
22. SHIRLEY BROWN – "Woman to Woman"

Big Meat Music

- for the Grateful Web

What is the essence that is "Big Meat"?  The signature sound that originates from four close friends can only be described as improvisational Rock n' Roll.

In their rural hometown of Pomfret, CT, located in the northeast "Quiet Corner" of the state, we started to learn how to play our instruments together in 1995.  While most kids in Pomfret complained of boredom, we entertained ourselves with music.  By the year 2000, "Big Meat" had successfully taken the "Quiet" out of the "Corner" and replaced it with juicy grooves, high-intensity and climaxing improvisation, and completely original compositions.  They performed constantly in high school, producing their own shows from the lights to the sound.  On summer weekends they set up a shoddy PA system and threw a rug on the grass to play at local parties. They always had fun and established such a strong subconscious level of musical connection that they knew "Big Meat" was something special by the time they graduated high school in 2001.

"Big Meat" was separated during our college years because we attended different schools.  We dealt with our separation as best we could, coming together during the breaks and summer months to play clubs, festivals, bars, and parties throughout New England and Pennsylvania.  When school was in session we played occasional college gigs.

While most bands might break up in the midst of such adversity, our separation only improved our sound.  At our respective colleges, we all formed and lead our own musical side-projects that expanded our musical diversity and pushed our individual skills to the limit.  When playing in "Big Meat," any member can steal the show, but in these various side projects, we were each expected to carry the show on our shoulders.  Each time we reunited, our instinctual musical connection remained, and each member was more musically-capable, more confident, and more eclectic and versatile then ever before.  In college, our minds had matured, and we began to understand our roles in the band.  It became more and more evident that when our forces combined, we were "Big Meat."

It's the band that is the show, not any one individual.  It is the unique outcome of their jolly foursome's collaboration that makes them special.  The music is deep and often complex.  The lyrics are stories ranging from monsters invading the house to anecdotes about dreaming you're a golden retriever, taking you through adventures like getting sprayed by a skunk and running from the dog catcher.  We maintain a steady humor but also delve into the more serious inquiries of the human state, such as our own wish to make music for everybody's enjoyment, including ours.

Big meat has completed three albums of original material.  They are "It's What's for Dinner (copyright 2001)," "Bigger than the Bun (copyright 2002)," and "To Be Perfectly Frank (copyright 2005)." 

Big Meat is playing their last run of shows in Orlando before packing up and moving back to CT.  Their last show in Fla will take place on June 24th at the Rocket Pub in Orlanda, Fla.