This is a music blog, but not just any music. It's all about the roots of music. You will not find a lot of pop or mainstream music information here. You will learn about new artists, the up and comers. I want to help them to be heard.
I hope you enjoy the site....RR
I am constantly astounded at the pure junk people listen to today. Not just on the radio, but their CD players, their MP3 players, their iPods, and their computers.
For some reason people have programmed themselves into thinking that music is meant for background noise. Most of the crap the mainstream listens too, I wouldn't even want in the background of the background. It's either sugary-sweet canned "new-country" crud, or that so called alternative rock - most of the latter genre I would refuse to call alternative, unless you would alternatively like to throw it into a burning inferno!
Most of it has lost its punch and its uniqueness. It has lost its identity just like the mainstream Nashville canned country crap. It all sounds the same.
However, all is not lost. There is some dynamite new music out there being done by artists you will never hear on mainstream radio. Artists such as Broken Arrow, Oklahoma's own, J.D. McPherson. I was sent a link to his latest record "Signs & Signifiers" and let me tell you something friends, it is pure rockabilly genius! Every track on the record, all twelve of them, are tremendous.
Mr. McPherson has the traditional rockabilly band consisting of himself on vocals and guitars, producer Jimmy Sutton on bass, and engineer Alex Hall on drums. "Signs & Signifiers" is a tremendous record, and you can bet your sweet posterior you will hear some of this record from time to time on From Under the Basement, which airs every Saturday night on "The Real Deal"KOOK 93.5 in Junction, Texas and on KERV 1230 AM in Kerrville, Texas from 10pm until about 2am.
It is for records like Mr. McPherson's that From Under the Basement and The Real Deal exist! If it were not for us and a few other stations around the country, incredible roots music like this would never be heard.
In other music news -
There are some great records that will be released over the next couple months. Elvin Bishop's"Raisin' Hell Revue" recorded live on the Legendary Blues Cruise that contains an updated "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" with John Nemeth's outstanding vocals. As good as Mickey Thomas was on the original, Mr. Nemeth's soulful voice adds something to the tune, making it even more appealing than the chart topping 1976 original. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is the first time since the original, Mr. Bishop has re-recorded this one. Every tune on the record is spectacular. In fact it's so good, I immediately moved it to my top 5 favorite live recordings. It releases May 17 on Delta Groove Records.
Another one that I really got excited about is Blind Pig Records upcoming release the Ray Manzarek/Roy Rogers collaboration, "Translucent Blues". This is another one where literally every song on the record is unbelievably strong. It contains lyrical contributions from the likes of Warren Zevon, Jim Carroll, and poet Michael McClure. I've listened and was surprisingly blown away by it. I knew it was going to be good, how could it not be with these two legends on board? However, I was not prepared for how astoundingly good it is.
It releases May 24 on Blind Pig Records.
One more mention-
San Angelo's own Los Lonely Boys came out with a new one towards the end of March called "Rockpango". It is more of the trio's traditional Tex-Mex blues along with a few added attributes on this one that may surprise some. I mostly enjoyed it and it definitely passes muster, for the most part, for From Under the Basement material. For some reason, and I can only suspect, because it's a damn good song, I especially loved the tune "16 Monkeys". You will hear it tonight on my show.
...and last but not least -
Don't forget, tonight on the segment "After Midnight", I'll be playing Doug Sahm's 1974 release of "Groover's Paradise" uninterrupted and in its entirety. It all starts right after "Dixie" is played, right "after midnight". If you haven't heard this one, where the hell have you been.
The masterful solo artist, bandleader, and former session man assembles dream team of Americana artists to “use him” as frontman on new and handpicked songs. Album due on Appleseed Records on July 12
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — When David Bromberg, one of America’s finest roots musicians, emerged from a recording hiatus of 17 years with the solo, acoustic, traditional folk-blues album Try Me One More Time (Appleseed, 2007), fans and critics were thrilled, and the CD was rewarded with a Grammy nomination. For his follow-up album, Use Me, Bromberg chose a different approach: Why not ask some of his favorite singer-songwriters and musicians to write (or choose), produce, and perform on songs tailored to his versatile but distinctive skills as a guitarist and vocalist? Answering David’s call were well-known artists from the many genres comprising the amorphous “Americana” musical category. Representing contemporary rootsy singer-songwriters: John Hiatt,the first musician Bromberg approached, who penned the pensive “Ride On Out a Ways” for him; for New Orleans “fonk,” Dr. John; there’s three-guitar jam band interplay with Widespread Panic and jug band music with Levon Helm (the sprightly“Bring It With You When You Come,” produced by Grammy-winning Larry Campbell). Linda Ronstadt puts in a rare appearance on a soulful Brook Benton ballad, Los Lobos contribute a Mexican-flavored waltz, Vince Gill and Tim O’Brien take care of the country and bluegrass quotient, Keb’ Mo’ brings the blues, and the hitmaking Butcher Brothers, producers Phil and Joe Nicolo (Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Cypress Hill, Nine Inch Nails), provide the languid R&B groove for the title song, a cover of Bill Withers’ classic “Use Me.” The resultant album is due for July 12, 2011 release on Appleseed Records. A national tour will ensue. Standout tracks change with each listening, but some of the high points include the crisp blues shuffle “Tongue,” the album’s lone Bromberg original, with Levon Helm on drums; “You Don’t Wanna Make Me Mad,” featuring David on slide guitar and Dr. John on piano; the ominous slow blues “Diggin’ in the Deep Blue Sea,” updated by Keb’ Mo’ and Gary Nicholson from Larry Davis’ “Texas Flood” to address the dangers of offshore drilling, and the chipper Vince Gill — Guy Clark co-write “Lookout Mountain Girl,” the only song on which David cedes most of the lead guitar duties to Vince (although he splits the lead with Widespread Panic’s Jimmy Herring on “Old Neighborhood”). Rather than collating individual instrumental parts literally phoned in to a central location, the recording sessions for Use Me generally took place on each guest artist’s home turf — in Woodstock (Levon Helm), New Orleans (Dr. John), Nashville (John Hiatt, Tim O’Brien, Vince Gill), Los Angeles (Los Lobos), and so on, to retain their regional flavors. For Bromberg, who started his professional career as an accompanist for everyone from Dion and Jay and the Americans to Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, the sessions were simultaneously a throwback to his sideman days and a sidestep from his own recordings. “As artist and producer, I get to completely mold my vision of how the song should go,” he explains. “The drawback is that I don’t get many ideas that are not my own. It was fascinating for me to see the different approaches that everyone used in production.” No matter who the producers, songwriters or accompanying musicians are on Use Me, Bromberg’s expressive guitar-playing and “rippling Fred Neil-like baritone that . . . brings warm, reassuring comfort” (Rolling Stone) remain the centerpiece of the CD, diamonds in golden settings. Born in Philadelphia in 1945 and raised in Tarrytown, NY, “I listened to rock ’n’ roll and whatever else was on the radio,” says Bromberg. “I discovered Pete Seeger and The Weavers and, through them, Reverend Gary Davis. I then discovered Big Bill Broonzy, who led me to Muddy Waters and the Chicago blues. This was more or less the same time I discovered Flatt and Scruggs, which led to Bill Monroe and Doc Watson.” Bromberg began studying guitar when he was 13 and eventually enrolled in Columbia University as a musicology major. The call of the Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid-’60s drew David to the downtown clubs and coffeehouses, where he could watch and learn from the best performers, including primary sources such as his inspiration and teacher, the Reverend Gary Davis. Bromberg’s sensitive, blues-based approach to guitar-playing earned him jobs playing the Village “basket houses” for tips, the occasional paying gig, and lots of employment as a backing musician for Tom Paxton, Jerry Jeff Walker and Rosalie Sorrels, among others. He became a first-call, “hired gun” guitarist for recording sessions, playing on hundreds of records by artists including Bob Dylan (New Morning, Self Portrait, Dylan), Link Wray, The Eagles, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson and Carly Simon. In the early ’90s, David produced an as-yet-unreleased Dylan album, although two tracks have been issued as part of Dylan’s “Bootleg Series.” An unexpected and wildly successful solo spot at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival in Great Britain led to a solo deal with Columbia Records, for whom David recorded four albums. His eponymous 1971 debut included the mock-anguished “Suffer To Sing the Blues,” a Bromberg original that became an FM radio staple, and “The Holdup,” a songwriting collaboration with former Beatle George Harrison on which Harrison also played slide guitar. David, who had met the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia at the Woodstock Festival when they both took refugefrom the rainin a tepee, wound up with four Dead members, including Garcia, playing on his next two albums. Bromberg’s range of material, based in the folk and blues idioms, continually expanded with each new album to encompass bluegrass, ragtime, country and ethnic music, and his touring band grew apace. By the mid-’70s, the David Bromberg Big Band included horn-players, a fiddler, and several multi-instrumentalists, including David himself. Among the best-known Bromberg Band graduates: mandolinist Andy Statman, later a major figure in the Klezmer music movement in America, and fiddler Jay Ungar (who wrote the memorable “Ashokan Farewell” for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, “The Civil War”). Despite jubilant, loose-limbed concerts and a string of acclaimed albums on the Fantasy label, Bromberg found himself exhausted by the logistics of the music business. “I decided to change the direction of my life,” he explains. So David dissolved his band in 1980, and he and his artist/musician wife, Nancy Josephson, moved from Northern California to Chicago, where David attended the Kenneth Warren School of Violin Making. Though he still toured periodically, the recordings slowed to a trickle and then stopped. After “too many Chicago winters,” in 2002 David and Nancy moved to Wilmington, Del., where they currently serve as unofficial “artists in residence” and where David established David Bromberg Fine Violins, a retail store and repair shop for high quality instruments. Frequent participation in the city’s weekly jam sessions helped rekindle Bromberg’s desire to perform music “live” again, and the encouragement of fellow musicians Chris Hillman (The Byrds, Desert Rose Band, Flying Burrito Brothers) and bluegrass wizard Herb Pedersen helped nudge him back into the recording studio. The Wilmington jams also led to the formation of Angel Band, fronted by Nancy and two other female vocalists, with David frequently serving as an accompanist. Bromberg’s participation in his local and musical community has subsequently included a fund-raising music festival (Bromberg’s Big Noise in the Neighborhood) to help renovate a local theater, and a keynote address at this past spring’s Folk Alliance International convention, a non-profit organization of musicians, concert presenters and industry professionals. David continues his musical revitalization with projects like Use Me, playing solo shows or backed by his own bluegrass quartet and reunions of the David Bromberg Big Band. Use your ears and catch him when you can!
More Meat Puppets media and full tour dates below! ..
Photo by Jaime Butler
Meat Puppets Tour Dates
Apr 27 - Busters - Lexington, KY * Apr 28 - The Valarium - Knoxville, TN*
Apr 30 - Starship Records - Tulsa, OK Apr 30 - Cain's Ballroom - Tulsa, OK* May 1 - Liberty Hall - Lawrence, KS* May 3 - Simon Estes Amphitheater - Des Moines, IA* May 5 - The Venue - Fargo, ND* May 6 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN* May 7 - The Pageant - St. Louis, MO*
June 8 - The Blue Light - Lubbock, TX
June 9 - Santa Fe Brewing Co. - Santa Fe, NM
June 10 - Launchpad - Albuquerque, NM
June 11 - The Clubhouse - Phoenix, AZ
June 14 - Casbah - San Diego, CA
June 15 - Detroit Bar - Costa Mesa, CA
June 16 - Echo - Los Angeles, CA
June 17 - Independent - San Francisco, CA
June 18 - Humboldt Brews - Arcata, CA
June 20 - Wild Buffalo - Bellingham, WA
June 21 - Crocodile - Seattle, WA
June 22 - Doug Fir - Portland, OR
June 23 - Neurolux - Boise, ID
June 25 - Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City, UT
June 26 - Abbey Theater - Durango, CO
June 29 - Bluebird - Denver, CO
June 30 - Record Bar - Kansas City, MO
July 1 - The Waiting Room - Omaha, NE
July 9 - Summerfest - Milwaukee, WI
Aug 20 - Crispy Music Fest @ White's Bar - Saginaw, MI
Lollipop, is every bit as unique, diverse and melodically enchanted as their early stuff. With their vocal fans ranging from Howard Stern to Animal Collective, Meat Puppets are firing again.
The Meat Puppets' 13th album Lollilop continues the long-running psychedelic band's hot streak since returning from a hiatus…"Damn Thing," one of the new record's highlights, is a fine showcase for the trio's signature blend of crunchy guitars and laid back vocal harmonies.
Lollipop is Meat Puppets at their most talented. The distinct vocalizations, and rhythmic triads all bind together to aid Meat Puppets in retaining their own identity. There was not a single instance where I found myself making comparisons to anyone else. It is all Meat Puppets throughout.
"Town" is as achingly sad and good as this sort of thing gets. And for a band that once blasted its hooks to bits, the Puppets have embraced the stick-in-your-head tunefulness that always lurked under the skronk and blare.
Lollipop proves the trio is as relevant as ever.
“Damn Thing” is a sunny and subtly psychedelic number that’s a streamlined step apart from historical precedent, though it’s distinctly thick with that zesty genuine Kirkwood brother harmony and twang.
Consequence of Sound
Look up “successful reunion” in the dictionary and you won’t find anything because it’s two words, stupid. But if it were in the dictionary, you’d see a picture of Meat Puppets right next to the definition.
Such friction produces sparks, and those sparks illuminate a wonderfully weirded-out perspective that positions Meat Puppets as masters of surreality.
All Music Guide
The melodies are limber, and if they lean more to the pop end of the spectrum than usual, they suit Curt Kirkwood’s guitar work very well indeed, while the goofball surrealism of the lyrics is a hoot, alternating tall tales with weed-fueled philosophizing.
Lollipop is their 13th studio album, and one of their best. It’s less frenetic than the 80s albums that established their reputation, radiating an amiable aura of semi-stoned country rock, but it’s mighty pretty.
The bulk of Lollipop emphasizes the country portion of the band’s distinctive psychedelic sound…when it comes to aging gracefully, the Meat Puppets sound like they know what they’re doing.
The Meat Puppets’ buoyant, upbeat 13th album, Lollipop, is an excellent addition to their long and tumultuous career.
Death & Taxes
The Meat Puppetsseem hell-bent on disproving F. Scott Fitzgerald’s statement that “there are no second acts in American lives”…they still kinda rock for guys who started their band 31 years ago.
The important thing is Curt Kirkwood can still write songs that evoke all sorts of sunset-in-the-desert images; the only difference is his optimism -- a welcome development.
The vocal work on Lollipop is surprisingly clean and crisp, all the huskiness and rough edges scrubbed away. Curt sounds downright crooner-like at times on "Incomplete," using his voice as a warm blanket rather than a wedge to make the music seem even more diffuse.
Their thirteenth studio album, Lollipop, recreates the psychedelic sounds of their earliest work, better than many of their other later releases.
Lead single “Damn Thing” reverberates with echoes of the Velvet Underground and “Murmur”-era R.E.M.
The album is far more laid back than the Meat Puppets earlier days, only hinting at punk roots in guitar solos. While most songs lean closer to country, each is well-crafted and worth a listen.
Austin Town Hall
Admittedly, this new single is great, but it’s not one of those songs that is really going to blow your hair back; it’s just a steady song that eases its way into your life by way of simple melodies and warm vocals.
"Probably the best melody writer I can think of." –Bonnie Raitt.
"Some guys got it down, Leonard Cohen, Paul Brady, Lou Reed . . .secret heroes." –Bob Dylan
"The iron fist in the velvet glove of Irish music." –Bono
DUBLIN, Ireland — The career of Paul Brady — whose 12th solo album, the exuberantly titled Hooba Dooba, gets its U.S. release on May 24, 2011 via Proper American — is not that of your usual singer/songwriter. And the new record is the most wildly eclectic this man for all seasons has yet recorded. “I’m a marketing department’s nightmare,” he jokes, before discussing the confusion that has surrounded him for so long.
“I don’t really fit any of the recognized models for artists,” he acknowledges. “That has to do with my musical background, the variety of my tastes and the fact that I’ve jumped from place to place in my career. But at the same time, I’ve never found a compelling reason to narrow my perspective on the music I love by making a record that is only a small bit of what I am. I love big, romantic ballads, screamin’ blues songs, folk songs, country tunes. All these things have been hard to put into one box and say what it is, and I suppose I’ve suffered from that to a degree. But that’s what I am, and my fans are into me because of that — they’re the kind of people who resist marketing strategies, who like to discover things themselves. They respond to the sound of a voice, which says something to them on a subliminal level emotionally, rather than falling for some image.”
In 1963, five years after picking up his first guitar at age 11 and playing along with Shadows and Ventures records, the young Irishman snagged his first paying gig tinkling the ivories in a Donegal hotel, marking the beginning of 48 uninterrupted years of making music — all kinds of music. Like so many of his contemporaries on that side of the pond, he spent a chunk of the ’60s cranking up the volume in R&B bands before making a radical shift into Irish folk music, working with the Johnstons and Planxty, in collaboration with Andy Irvine and on his own, interpreting traditional songs. In the late ’70s, now married and with two kids on the way, he dedicated himself to writing his own material, inspired in part by the music of Gerry Rafferty, another folk artist who’d remade himself as an eloquent singer/songwriter. Hard Station, Brady’s 1981 solo debut album, containing the first fruit of his labors, returned him to the realm of rock and pop, and he scored his first big cover a year later when Hard Station’s“Night Hunting Time” wound up on Santana’s million-selling Shango, to its author’s surprise and delight.
Brady spent the next two decades leading a double life as a recording artist making a sustained effort to get on the radar and a much-covered songwriter, a number of his songs made famous by singers far better known than himself. These included such high-profile covers as Bonnie Raitt’s memorable, multiple-Grammy-winning rendition of “Luck of the Draw” (1991) and Brooks & Dunn’s chart-topping country single “The Long Goodbye” (2001). Around the turn of the century, the multitalented veteran once again reinvented himself, this time as a self-contained, truly independent artist. Since this latest metamorphosis, he’s been touring constantly in small-group settings on both sides of the Atlantic and making records whenever he felt inspired to do so. Which brings us back full circle to Hooba Dooba, its multiple facets glinting like an uncut diamond nestled in a field of shamrocks.
Brady describes “The Winners’ Ball,” propelled by a springy, soulful groove, as “a tongue-and-cheek look at the excesses of the modern end of music,” while “Rainbow” is a lush, widescreen ballad that begs for a country cover, though Brady insists that it’s closer to Memphis than Nashville. “The Price of Fame” builds to a string-laden crescendo in the grand manner of vintage Elton John, and the following “One More Today” sounds like some just-discovered Tin Pan Alley standard.
The album’s most dramatic segue takes the listener from the earthy, rollicking “Follow That Star” to the heart-wrenching “Mother and Son.” “I do like slapping people in the face, figuratively, with an emotional change,” Brady explains. “‘Follow That Star’ comes out of a genre that I have always loved, raw, acoustic blues — anything from Lead Belly to Mississippi John Hurt to ’60s British blues of Winwood, Beck and Clapton. ‘Mother and Son’ is a song about my relationship with my mother. It’s a song that I was trying to write for many years, but only managed to finish it after she passed on.”
The album also contains his first-ever recording of “Luck of the Draw,” the only song here not of recent vintage — apart, that is, from its lone non-original, a sublime, irresistible rendering of “You Won’t See Me” from Rubber Soul. “I wrote ‘Luck of the Draw’ when I was making the Trick or Treat album in L.A. back in 1990, and that’s when Bonnie Raitt picked up on it. I’d always wanted to record it because I had a very different take from the way Bonnie did it, but I decided to leave it alone for a respectable amount of time after hers was current. That was a long time ago, obviously, and it seemed like the right time to do it.” Good move — Brady’s take is so unlike Raitt’s familiar one as to be virtually unrecognizable, providing the song with an edgy, vital second life.
When asked why he decided to title the album Hooba Dooba, Brady replies, “It’s a phrase I’ve used many times in situations when something takes me by surprise that’s pleasurable. In this case, I was in the art department with the designer who was working on the cover looking through various ideas, and when he showed me the image that eventually became the cover, I looked at it and went, “Hooba dooba.” He said, ‘Is that the album title?’ and when I told him no, he said, ‘Well it should be.’ And I decided he was right. Nothing more profound than that.”
Given Brady’s back story, it’s hard to say whether Hooba Dooba — which features guests Jerry Douglas on lap steel and Sarah Siskind on backing vocals — will clear up the confusion about just who this multifaceted guy is or add to it, but one thing’s for sure: this record is a dead-honest picture of a one-of-a-kind artist who has always been absolutely true to himself.
“I’ve been in this business over 40 years, and I’m a survivor,” says Brady with unconcealed pride. “I’ve been through plenty of ups and downs, and I know what the business is. I have a broad enough base in terms of my activities to have survived for this long and to still be enjoying what I’m doing. Anything above and beyond that is icing on the cake.” He pauses for a moment, his face lighting up in a smile. “And the cake is okay.”