Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stoney Clove Lane...what happened?

I first came across this band, Stoney Clove Lane, early last year, around the same time I first heard Alberta Cross. They're 2 Jewish guys (Jeremy Bernstein and Adam Widoff) from the Woodstock area, and they play with a mix of local musicians. I thought their music was a great mix of mellow jamband and Americana, with a little soul to it. Sort of like Loggins and Messina when they made records like "Angry Eyes", they have a rootsy-pop sound. I checked out SCL's website and was able to find their third album "Stay With Me" on some download site. I loved the album and waited to hear more from them....and waited. I couldn't find them listed as playing live anywhere except once in a while in and around Woodstock. They played Mountain Jam last year, and I was excited to see them, but they wound up playing a 3am set and only for the people who were camping. Not really a smart move when you're a new band trying to get heard, but then I was guessing that's what they wanted (to get heard)...until I went searching for them recently. I figured they must've recorded some new material or at least a song or two, but when I went to their site nothing had changed since the last time I visited, which was about a year ago. You could almost feel the cobwebs hanging off the HTML. I checked the "shows" link and the only show listed had already taken place in December. There was no new information, no link to take to me to anything having to do with the band or its' music. I then checked their MySpace page, thinking that maybe because they're from Woodstock and obviously don't get out much, that they think people still check MySpace. Nope, nothing there either. I certainly hope they still plan on making music, but they really need to find a better way to utilize the internet and keep in touch with potential and actual fans. Here's hoping to more music from these guys. I was able to find 2 videos of them on YouTube, this is the better of the 2:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bad Lieutentant

Bernard Sumner (New Order guitarist) has a new band that's going to be playing a few dates in the US in Spring.  They're called Bad Lieutenant and the album was released late last year.  I thought it had one of the better singles of last year ("Sink or Swim"), and it sounds like a poppier-New Order.  This band sounds a bit more consistent than the last New Order spinoff band, which was Monaco, formed in 1997 and led by Peter Hook, the bass player of New Order.  Monaco was a bit more dance oriented, but the styles of the 2 bands are very similar.  Sumner and Hook have said they won't work together again, so I guess this is as close as anyone will get to seeing New Order (what a great 80's band).  Here's some clips...the video of the single, and a live acoustic clip from a French newspaper interview they did -

Black Dub live

Went to see Daniel Lanois Black Dub at the Bowery Ballroom last night.  Great venue, and a perfect place for Lanois' atmospheric new rock songs.  This was the most crowded I'd ever seen the Bowery Ballroom, every available bit of standing room was taken, upstairs and down.  The band went on at 10pm...I was told it would be 9pm...for at least an hour they played audio of some Lanois instrumentals while projecting bizarre video images.  It reminded me of the days when I'd go see bands at the Ritz on 11th street (now Webster Hall) and they'd show old cartoons and freaky movies before the show.  Anyway, the band opened with "Nomad Knows" a good new tune from the supposedly forthcoming disc.  Lanois was wearing a wool hat on stage, it had to be 100 degrees up there.  Guess he was going for the "cool hat to cover up a balding head" effect.  The bass player was Christopher Thomas (?) not Daryl Johnson, who may or may not be with the band anymore.  Trixie Whitley's vocals sounded really great, and she also played some drums, guitar and keyboard.  Brian Blades on drums got the biggest ovation of the night when introduced, and he's a phenomenal drummer.  The music of Black Dub focuses strongly on the interplay between drums, which is at the forefront of the band, and Lanois' guitar, specifically his Les Paul.  The vocals seem secondary, although Whitley is a fine singer, and Lanois also sings, although as a compliment to Whitley.  The sound was good, but I thought they could've taken Lanois guitar down a notch.  Other songs they performed were "The Maker" and "The Messenger" both lead singles from his first 2 solo discs.  They also played all of the new tunes I'd heard ("Silverado", "Ring The Alarm", "I Believe In You", "Love Lives" and a very strong "I'd Rather Go Blind") which sounded very good.  I'd definitely see this band again, hopefully at a less packed show.  Here's a video someone took (standing upstairs obviously) of a few songs-

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Interesting Allmans quote

Talk about bad blood.  Don't think there's much chance of seeing Dickey Betts with the Allmans ever again.  Here's an excerpt from a new interview Butch Trucks did with Glide Magazine, regarding Dickey Betts:

Glide: How close was Dickey Betts to appearing with the band at the Beacon last year?

BT:  Eh. It wasn’t going to happen.

Glide:  But you did ask him and he turned you down?

BT: We asked him to. As a tribute to Duane we asked him to. Despite our differences – and as you know, our differences are very deep – we asked him to be part of it. There’s been a lot of name calling over the years, and to be honest with you, getting him out of the band was like getting an 800-pound gorilla off my back. The man has very serious issues and at times he has dealt with them. Other times he’d scream at us, as if in life he was supposed to get drunk and snort coke. We finally all said enough, and the last few years, without that dark cloud on stage night after night…well, we’ve got seven guys that respect each other. Every night is different and every night is fun.

Glide: How did he respond to your invitation?

BT: We asked him to come, because he was part of the band. We sent them an invitation, and at one point we actually heard from his manager there was a 50-50 chance of him joining us. But when push came to shove, he just decided not to. I can’t ever see a situation where we would even feel obligated to invite him again. It’s enough. That’s run its course. That’s not going to happen again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I love finding great regional bands.  Bands that are not (yet) on the national radar, but make great music nonetheless (mostly playing in and around their "hometown").  One such band is Nashville's The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker.  They sort of look like a wedding band with a James Brown impersonator....and they actually do sound like that, if the wedding band was a Caucasian version of the JB's.  Their music is classic r&b, soul and funk that could've been made 35 years ago.  These guys are right in the same niche as Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, who are probably the most well-known of the classic soul acts.  They don't break any new ground, but they continue to make great music of a kind that's very hard to find now.  And they smoke live.  Charles Walker has been performing since the 50's in places such as Nashville (where he actually started), New York, England and Spain.  He's opened for Wilson Pickett, James Brown and Etta James, and recorded for Chess and Decca records.  I got a chance to see The Dynamites in NYC a few years ago at a small club (Sullivan Hall) and they were excellent. 

It's great to hear new soul music that's not auto-tuned or smoothed out so much that to define it as "soul" is a long stretch.  I also like the fact that I don't always have to pull out the old Stax and Hi (and many more labels) songs from the 60's and 70's to listen to this type of music.  Below is a clip of a really good song off their most recent disc.