Monday, December 21, 2009

Frank Zappa's Birthday celebrated



Mayor Sheila Dixon issued a proclamation today declaring December 21, 2009, as "Frank Zappa Day" in Baltimore.

Meanwhile, Baltimore's Southeast Anchor Library has been designated as the installation site for a replica of the Vilnian bust of Frank Zappa, which will allow fans, residents, and visitors to pay tribute to him in the city of his birth. Vaulternative Records released Frank Zappa's 'Philly '76' today, a thrilling double CD concert recording.

Zappa was born in Baltimore on December 21, 1940.

For full text of the mayor's proclamation, please go to:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Landmark hosts Pranksters sendoff

The Landmark music bar in Yachats, Oregon will summon up the spirits of Kesey, Kerouac, Ginsberg and Leary in one final weekend blowout to end the Disaster Decade, as the OO's will come to be known.

From Thursday, Dec. 31 thru Saturday, Jan. 2 the Landmark will present the Merry Prankster New Year's Eve Party Weekend with the Rose Bowl Art Show, music Thursday and Saturday ay 9 p.m. Art at ll:30 a.m., football at 2 p.m. Friday




The Kesey Karnival comes to the Koast to kick 2009 out of town

For those who have forgotten the '60s, the Merry Pranksters were born on a bus trip from Eugene to New York in 1964, a ride intended to celebrate the publication of Ken Kesey's book "Sometimes a Great Notion" and to meet and greet the great Doctor Timothy Leary. The bus trip is the subject of Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," and led to the psychedelic scene and the rise of the Grateful Dead. Kesey, who had a summer home just outside Yachats, died in 2001 but his family and friends have kept his spirit and philosophy alive through (among other things) the replica bus FURTHUR 2 and the Normal Bean Show. We get the full-out, pranksterized version of the latter on the last day of 2009. On Friday, New Year's Day, the Poets, freaks and football fans mingle through the area of the stage and the Ducks vs. Buckeye mayhem. It's back to the music Saturday night, with a special edition of the Lost Creek Gang, including the horn playing of Ken Babbs, Kesey's longtime pal. Watch for Ginsberg in the crowd.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jazz Fest announces lineup

Pearl Jam, Aretha Franklin, Artist TBA, Van Morrison, Lionel Richie,
The Neville Brothers, Allman Brothers Band, Anita Baker,
My Morning Jacket, Darius Rucker, Widespread Panic
Among Hundreds Scheduled to Appear
at 41st Jazz & Heritage Festival

New Orleans, LA (December 15, 2009)—The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival announced the music lineup for the 2010 Festival scheduled for April 23-25 & April 29-May 2. A true heritage festival, Jazz Fest stands alone in presenting the highest caliber artists in such varied genres as gospel, blues, traditional and contemporary jazz, rock, R&B, Cajun, country, zydeco and much more.

Some of the many highlights of the 41st edition of the Jazz & Heritage Festival include Pearl Jam’s Jazz Fest debut, Aretha Franklin’s much-anticipated return, Louis Prima’s 100th anniversary celebration featuring Keely Smith, along with one major artist to be added to the lineup soon. First-time Festival appearances by My Morning Jacket, Anita Baker, Jeff Beck, Gipsy Kings, The Dead Weather, The Levon Helm Band, Drake, Johnny Lang and others are also set. Returning Fest favorites for 2010 include Van Morrison, Lionel Richie, Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, The Black Crowes, and B.B. King. Of course, legendary local Louisiana artists such as the Neville Brothers, Irma Thomas, Pete Fountain, Dr. John, Galactic, Juvenile & DJ Mannie Fresh, Trombone Shorty, Dixie Cups, Buckwheat Zydeco, Zion Harmonizers, Better Than Ezra, The Radiators and hundreds more round out the “Only at Jazz Fest” schedule:

The Neville Brothers, Pearl Jam, Artist TBA, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Lionel Richie, Allman Brothers Band, Anita Baker, My Morning Jacket, Widespread Panic, Imagination Movers, B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Darius Rucker, Irma Thomas, Gipsy Kings, The Dead Weather, Elvis Costello & the Sugarcanes, The Black Crowes, Drake, Teena Marie, Keely Smith, Johnny Lang, Allen Toussaint, Band of Horses, Jose Feliciano, The Levon Helm Band, Baaba Maal, George Clinton & Parliament / Funkadelic, Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers, Average White Band, Dr. John, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Pete Fountain, Kirk Franklin, Steel Pulse, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Gov’t Mule, Clarence Carter, Juvenile & DJ Mannie Fresh, King Sunny Ade & His African Beats, Ledisi, Take Six, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band, Sugarfoot’s Ohio Players, Marcia Ball, Galactic, Sax for Stax feat. Gerald Albright, Jeff Lorber, and Kirk Whalum, Gil Scott Heron, Shawn Colvin, Old Crow Medicine Show, Richie Havens, Pastor Smokie Norful, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Elvin Bishop, The Radiators, Chocolate Milk, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Cowboy Mouth, funky Meters, Anders Osborne, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Rebirth Brass Band, Blues Traveler, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Martin Sexton, Bernard Allison, Tye Tribbett, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke Band feat. Hiromi, Campbell Brothers, Better Than Ezra, Sam Bush, Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Voice of the Wetlands Allstars, Joe Lovano Us Five, Ruthie Foster, Jimmy Johnson, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Sonny Landreth, Preservation Hall Jazz Band with special guests, Dala, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Donald Harrison, Terence Blanchard, Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band, Dee Dee Bridgewater – A Celebration of Lady Day, Davell Crawford & One Foot in the Blues w/ special guests Jon Cleary and Dr. John, Tributes To Louis Prima feat. Louis Prima, Jr, Lena Prima, and Bobby Lonero, Jewel Brown and the Heritage Hall Band, Selvy Singers of Arkansas, The Inspirational Souls of Chicago, Aaron Neville, and hundreds more are scheduled to appear at the event.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Camile Baudoin at Snug Harbor tonight!

When I previewed this interesting performance for OffBeat magazine one of my favorite New Orleans musicians, trumpeter Charlie Miller, was scheduled to be part of the project. I was looking forward to hearing Miller play "Beer Barrel Polka" but with Harry Hardin replacing him on the gig the instrumentation reverts to a string format with percussion, which should work well on the acoustic material.

Radiators guitarist Camile Baudoin sets out to capture the relaxed music from his early years on Thursday, Dec. 10 at Snug Harbor. Camile will be accompanied by fellow axe-man John Rankin, violinist Harry Hardin and Michael Skinkus on percussion. The set list reflects the songs sung around the family’s living room as well as tunes he played with his uncles’ band, The Dufrene Brothers, in clubs along Bayou Lafourche.

The show, which will be recorded for Camile’s upcoming solo album, is dedicated to his paran Alton Dufrene, who taught Camile how to "play what you feel," and who turns 89 on December 18. The set list includes hit standards from the era, an original or two (test your Cajun French!), and the rare "Old Bayou Blues," penned by Baudoin's cousin Rosalie Toups. The recording project is supported in part by a grant from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.

Shows at 8 and 10 pm, $15 admission.

Call Snug Harbor at 504-949-0696 to reserve advance tickets or head to the club at 626 Frenchmen. Arrive early for best seating.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mississppi Sheiks Tribute announced

This is a show that should be at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. It will be held instead in Vancouver, British Columbia. I guess Jazzfest minds are too busy trying to find the successor to Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Bon Jovi.

VANCOUVER, BC – A host of major blues and roots music artists will gather to perform two nights of special tribute concerts saluting the music of the seminal American band, The Mississippi Sheiks, on March 13 and 14 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Presented by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad in partnership with Capilano University, the two nights will include already-confirmed performances by Grammy-nominee John Hammond, Van Dyke Parks, Geoff Muldaur, Danny Barnes, Jim Byrnes, Steve Dawson, Robin Holcomb, Oh Susanna and The Sojourners. Additional artists are expected to be announced. The all-star band backing up these artists for the shows will be Matt Chamberlain – drums; Keith Lowe – bass; Wayne Horvitz – keyboards; Steve Dawson – guitars; and Daniel Lapp – fiddle.

The Mississippi Sheiks Tribute Concerts will be the last event for the Cultural Olympiad, the arts festival that takes place in conjunction with the 2010 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Vancouver on February 12-28, and followed by the Paralympic Winter Games on March 12-21.

Black Hen Music president/producer/musician Steve Dawson is leading the charge to reintroduce the music of The Mississippi Sheiks to contemporary audiences. In October, the Juno Award-winning producer released Things About Comin’ My Way, the critically-acclaimed tribute album with recordings by 17 world-renowned artists, many of whom will play live at these world premiere events. Things About Comin’ My Way was just nominated for a Blues Music Award as “Acoustic Album of the Year” by the Blues Foundation in Memphis.

The Mississippi Sheiks, a country and blues string band, has been called the Radiohead of its era, recording over 60 hugely influential songs between 1930 and 1935. Walter Vinson and Sam Chatmon formed the core of the band, with Sam’s two brothers, Lonnie and Armenter “Bo Carter” Chatmon, dropping in when they were in town. The group had a blockbuster hit with “Sittin’ On Top of the World,” which has since been covered by Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Cream, The Grateful Dead and dozens of others.

The Sheiks practically invented the string band concept in blues and roots music, but when the group disbanded, the Chatmon brothers returned to farming. Bo Carter, for one, died blind and destitute in 1964. At the peak of their popularity, however, they were enormously popular and even received a personal invitation to perform for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More on Bon Jovi

Horseracing handicappers look at more than just past performances. Trainer patterns are particularly significant, and sometimes even owner patterns can tell an interesting story. Churchill Downs Inc., the owner of Fair Grounds Racecourse, delivered a particularly interesting "tell" last week by announcing that Bon Jovi would headline its coming music festival at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. In New Orleans the Fair Grounds has an extremely lucrative relationship with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, namely proceeds from the beer concession. Horsemen are ambivelant about the music fest -- training must be concluded immediately after the meet ends in late March as the track is prepared for the festival crowds. But Churchill Downs Inc. saw more than a horseracing facility and casino gambling palace when it bought Fair Grounds -- it had its eye on the success of Jazz Fest as well. Now it's running a competing festival at Churchill Downs, naming the festival after the racetrack's brand and apparently using Jazz Fest as advance billing for its headlining act. Bon Jovi's inclusion on the last Jazzfest lineup was a glaring red herring in the mix of acts -- a mainstream rock band with zero connection to New Orleans music or any of its tributaries -- and the group brought out a mass of fans that to put it mildly were unschooled in New Orleans music. The Bon Jovi crowd booed Dr. John during his Jazzfest set as fans pushed toward the stage for a good view of Mr. Bon. So now we have a better idea of how Bon Jovi became one of the headliners of the 40th anniversary of the New orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Nice to know we are now a subsidiary of the Churchill Downs Fesival season. I wonder what wonderful branding tie-ins we can expect at future Jazzfests?