Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This is a thing I’ve never known before…

… it’s called easy livin’. Today in rock history, in 1970, Uriah Heep released their debut, “Very ‘eavy, Very ‘umble.” For you Hammond aficionados out there (and there’s got to be more than just me), this band was famous partly for doing ‘orrible (ok, that was a bad pun!) things to a Hammond. Keyboardist Ken Hensley was famous for overdriving the crap out his Hammond and Leslie, and for using tube amps for that naturally distorted tube sound. Check out the keyboard sound on “Easy Livin’,” from 1972’s “Demons and Wizards,” and keep on rockin’! (Thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uriah_Heep_ (band) for the info)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Ace is Wild"

Lately I’ve been asked to join a blues band to be led by Doug “Ace” Barton, saxophonist extraordinaire. Ace is just an amazing musician – I’ve jammed with him 8 or 10 times now and seen him play in lots of different settings and with a variety of musicians, and he has yet to be at a loss of what to play to fit the song’s mood and setting (not to mention knowing the right key, and being able to instantly transpose it to play on his tenor sax). So playing with him is going to be a blast – I’m looking forward to it! Here’s Ace in action with his last band, “Driveline.” Check it out, check out the “Aces Wild Blues Revue” when they come to your town, and keep on rockin’!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Would You Do...

... if her hair was black and her eyes were blue? Faith and Begorra, it's St. Paddy's Day, and here for your enjoyment are a couple of versions of the ol' Steve Earle song direct from County Cork (or whatever county it's in), "Galway Girl," first by my band the DOLI Llamas, and then by Mr. Earle himself. This kind of face-to-face comparison can be cruel to a novice bassist and singer like myself, so please be kind. Have a safe and happy holiday, and keep on rockin'!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Are You Ready for the Country...

... are you ready for me...Today in rock history, in 1972, Neil Young’s fourth solo album, 'Harvest,' tops the album charts for the first of two weeks. Having sold more than 4 million copies, it remains his best-selling album. I always thought the back cover photo on this album was pretty cool - Neil and the band set up in a rustic hayloft, pretending to be a bunch of hayseeds, while playing this incredible country-rock music. Well, sometimes art imitates life (or is it the other way around) - for a period of time in 1967-68, my band practiced in my friend Craig's hayloft, so Neil, we had the drop on you...nobody talks, however, of how you get all your gear up in the loft - and believe you me, that shit's heavy...let's celebrate with Neil on the continued success of this seminal album, and keep on rockin'! Thanks to http://www.rockhall.com/notes/today-in-rock/ for the info...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday Two-Fer

Today in rock history, in 1967, the Turtles reach #1 with "Happy Together. In 1968,'We’re Only in It for the Money,' by the Mothers of Invention, is released. Composed by bandleader Frank Zappa, it satirizes of hippie culture and the Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper. You may remember that the Turtles’ frontmen Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman were reincarnated in the late ‘60’s as “Flo and Eddie,” and fronted Zappa’s band for awhile, until Zappa injured himself in 1971 and the band was out of commission. They were also, for a time, one of the most obscene acts touring in the early ‘70’s. One of my favorite LP’s is “The Mothers Live at the Fillmore East 1971,” featuring such immortal (or should I say immoral) songs as “"The Mud Shark,” "What Kind of Girl Do You Think We Are?", "Bwana Dik,” and “Do You Like My New Car.” “The Mud Shark” is supposedly a recounting of a true story about when the Mothers stayed at the famous Edgewater Inn in Seattle, where, as Frank Zappa famously intoned in the song, “You can stick your little pole out the window and actually catch a fish of some sort.” This album is so “R-rated” that I’ve only recently been able to play it in front of my kids. So enjoy this vid as Flo and Eddie and Frank rip through "What Kind of a Girl..." circa 1974. Thanks to http://www.rockhall.com/notes/today-in-rock/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flo_%26_Eddie for the info, and keep on rockin’!