Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Scribe Fire

I was using Internet Explorer mainly because I couldn't use my Yahoo toolbar with Firefox. Well, Firefox has remedied that situation and I've downloaded Firefox again. With Firefox I've also downloaded Scribe Fire, which is a program that allows me to write and edit to my blogs. It gives me more options than just blogger does, so if you start seeing posts in different fonts and colors you'll know why.

American Idol: Brooke White Leaves




I haven't talked about American Idol lately, mainly cause I haven't really had a chance to see it. I was able to see tonight and last night's show. Honestly I wasn't that thrilled with any of the final five as the did Neil Diamond. I think Brooke's first choice was not a good one, but I did enjoy her second song. I really have no strong choice for who I want to win. I liked Brooke, she seemed more real than a lot of the people that have come and gone on the show. When she was voted off her emotions ran strong. I was sorry to see her go.

My Concerts III

It's been awhile since I did this so I thought I'd update my list of concerts I've been to. My memory isn't what it used to be, so I have to struggle to remember some of these shows. The first two lists can be found at My Concerts and My Concerts II.

Ok, here's a list of some more people I've seen in concert:

  • Tim McGraw
  • Faith Hill
  • Alejandro Escovedo
  • Neville Brothers
  • Dr. John
  • Eddie Bo
  • Rockin' Charles
  • Kayla Woodsen
  • Alexa Ray Joel
  • Jeff Tweedy
  • Alice Cooper
  • Alison Krauss
  • Robert Plant
  • Theresa Anderson
  • Susan Cowsill
  • Little Freddie King
  • Trombone Shorty
  • Allman Brothers
  • Black Crowes
  • Amanda Shaw
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Ray LaMontage
  • Earl Scruggs
  • Lucinda Williams
  • John Thomas Griffith
  • Cowboy Mouth
  • Radiators
  • Meters
  • Brian Stotz
  • Paul Simon
  • Allen Tossiant
  • Monkees
  • Gary Puckett and the Union Gap
  • Old '97s
  • Norah Jones
  • Rod Stewart
  • Miranda Lambert
  • White Strips
  • Drive by Truckers
  • Keb' Mo'
  • Johnny Lang
  • John Boutte
  • Paul Sanchez

Ok, I'll stop there. The list is still far from being done I think. And as surprisinly many people I have seen there are still so many more that I want to see. I guess that's good, it gives me something to look forward to. And this weekend I'll be adding more people to the list.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Final Issue

I've talked about it before, but it's finally here. The 75th and final issue of No Depression. As far as I'm concerned this was the best magazine out there writing about music. It will be missed. The final issue's cover feature and Artist of the Decade is Buddy Miller. I was just mentioning Mr. Miller when I talked about Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' show at Jazz Fest. Buddy was in the band. He's a multi talented performer, playing in bands from Emmylou Harris' band to producing such singers as Allison Moorer and Solomon Burke to singing with his wife and on his own.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jazz Fest Day Two





Day Two: Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Kayla Woodson, Rockin' Charles, Eddie Bo all put on great shows. Dr. John isn't pictured, because by the time I saw him it was raining so hard I couldn't take a picture. I ended up leaving before Billy Joel, who I really wanted to see, but the weather beat me. I was soaked. Still a good day.



Friday, April 25, 2008

Brief Jazz Fest Day One Update








The first day of Jazz Fest is over and it was a great day, lots of great music. The day started off with Susan Cowsill opening. Her shows are always good, but this one was better because she had a lot of new music to debut this time. But the show to beat was Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. I have to admit up front that I've never been a big Led Zepplin fan. I like them and appreciate their music and realize their importance, but I've never been one of those fans that just go crazy over them. Still I have to admit that Robert Plant has a presence that you can almost feel. They put on an amazing show, with help from T Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller. They took a few Led Zepplin songs and made them into country blues. It was simply an amazing show. Alison Krauss, besides singing like an angel, has to be one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen.



Sunday, April 20, 2008

The LIttle Things

It's the little things. Time will go by and I won't think too much of him and than some little thing will make me think of him. Tonight after I was getting out of the shower I pushed the button for the cleaner that hangs on the shower, it's one of those things that hangs a bottle of some type of cleaning fluid upside down over the shower. When you finish your shower you push the button and it shoots the fluid out, helping to keep the shower clean. As I pushed the button I thought about telling my Dad about buying this thing. He'd get a kick out of it. That's one of the hard things, just calling to tell him the little things, the things that don't mean much, but in the telling mean so much.

Friday, April 18, 2008

E Streeter Danny Federici Dies

Danny Federici, keyboard player and an interegal member of the E Stree Band died yesterday at the age of 58 of melanoma. To most casual fans it's Bruce up there on stage and they probably couldn't name any of the musicians that Springsteen surrounds himself with. For a lot of musicians every tour is a new group of musicians to back them on stage. For Springsteen it is the same guys he started playing with before he was a Star.

Yes, there was a break there, where Springsteen performed with other musicians and the E Street Band each went their own seperate ways, but the Boss called them all back together. Very few "real" groups survive in the music business with the same members, for a person that is basically is solo like Bruce it's very rare to be playing with the same guys for this long. Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers are one of the few other bands in the same situation that has stayed together are one of the only other acts I can think of.

Back years ago I remember impressing some friends when they were looking at pictures from someone's tour, it might have been Stevie Nicks, and her backing band was made up of members of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen's bands and I named them all. They were astounded that someone would know the names of what they considered faceless musicians, people there to just help shine the light on the main attraction.

But to many of us people like Danny were far from faceless and they contributed more than just holding a spotlight on the main act. They were part of a band that helped to shape and make the music that so many of us love and listen to.

Rest in peace, Danny.

Kayla Woodson Singing Black Velvet

Earlier I mentioned seeing Kayla Woodson at French Quarter Fest and being blown away by her voice. Here's a video of her doing "Black Velvet" from a year ago.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Theresa Anderson




Rockin' Charles




Little Freddie King


Check out his shoes:




Rockin' Charles Getting A New Guitar




Kayla Woodson




French Quarter Fest


The day is over and I can honestly say it was a very good day. The weather started out looking overcast and chilly. The clouds stayed overhead for most of the morning, but by noon the sun was inching its way from behind them. As the day progressed it got warmer also. The first half of the day was pretty chilly for a day in April, by the end it was more in line for this time of the year.

Before we headed over to watch the live acts we ventured to the Louisiana Music Factory, one of the best local music stores around. While there I purcahsed a copy of "The Cosimo Matassi Story." Cosimo was a record producer from the early fifties and sixties in New Orleans, who produced such giants as Fats Domino, Little Richard, Smiley Lewis, Bobby Charles and many more. This four cd-set deserves its own post later, so I won't talk anymore about it.

The first act we saw was the Theolnius Monk Insitute of Jazz Ensemble. I'm not a big jazz fan, mainly because I really don't know much about Jazz. From what I heard of this group they were good, even if they didn't really move me.

After that we decided to head over to the US Mint and pick up our Brass Passes for Jazz Fest. Oh, I forgot, the we is me and my friend Larry. Our tastes in music are very similar and for the past few years we have went to Jazz Fest together and hit some of the other fests like the French Quarter.

On the way towards the Mint we were literally stopped in our tracks by a voice. It was coming from a 13 year old girl. My first impressions were of hearing a young LeAnn Rhimes. Her name is Kayla Woodson and we were both very impressed by this young lady. I can see very big things for her in the future. We stayed and listened to her set and even ended up buying her cd.

The Brass Passes for Jazz Fest are tickets that the local radio station WWOZ sells. The money goes to help a great radio station and it gives you a few extra perks for Jazz Fest. A win/win situation all around.

Going back to the Abita Stage we listened to a little of Gail Holiday, another talented singer. At the Abita Stage we heard Bob French and the original Tuxedo Jazz Band. Contrary to their name they played blues and pop material and were also good. Bob French has been around forever.

Next up was Little Freddie King, a blues singer. Freddie is from the Ninth Ward in New Orleans and has been singing the blues for decades. Before Little Freddie went on Offbeat Magazine and Gibson Guitar gave a guitar to Rockin' Charles, another New Orleans' native talent. Charles waited to the side of the stage for Freddie to take a break and than he came on stage to play his new guitar for the first time. The first song on his new guitar was Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode."

After this Theresa Anderson came on. I've talked about how much I like Theresa before and she did nothing to change my opinion of her. Her show was an excellent concert, even though they had some trouble at the beginning getting set up on time. She showcased mostly new tunes for her upcoming album. She had an ep of new songs on sale at the show, with each album art completely original and hand made by Theresa.

After Theresa we caught the end of Freddy Omar, a Latin band. Even though I couldn't understand a word he was singing, the music was infectous and moved.

And that was the end of the first day.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Interviews and more Interviews

Over at VOICES TO HEAR I have a feature called Simply Six. Pretty much it's a short interview I came up with to email various singers and songwriters. And like the name implies it consists of six questions. The questions are as follows:

1. For many artists, they cite a defining moment for themselves when they knew they wanted to be a singer. For many it was the appearance of Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show, to another generation it was the Beatles’ appearance on Sullivan half a decade later. Is there such a defining moment for you?
2. When you’re not creating music what are you listening to? Who are some of your favorites?
3. What would you say is your greatest moment so far as an artist, either on record or live?
4. Do you believe music can change the world or is just something to listen to? How much can music influence current events?
5. How has technology affected the music industry? How has technology affected your career as a musician?
6. Now for my Barbara Walters question: If you were a pair of shoes what type of shoes would you be?

I've sent these questions out to a bunch of artists over the last week. I've started getting back answers. My first interview that I posted was with one of my favorite performers, Shannon McNally. The next one I posted was with another local artist Maggie Brown.

I've got more in the can waiting, from Toby Lightman to promises of ones from Susan Cowsill and Lily Holbrook and more. I'll be posting them every week and hopefully continue to get more as I run through the ones I have.

Go check the answers out, I think the questions are pretty cool and the answers are even better.

French Quarter Fest This Weekend


A whole weekend of music, food and sunshine. What could be better? Two weeks before Jazz Fest is the French Quarter Fest. What is the French Quarter Fest? From their page:

The award-winning French Quarter Festival is Louisiana's largest free music
event, a three-day local music showcase scattered throughout the French Quarter
in New Orleans, Louisiana. There are music performances on 15 stages. The
community festival also features the "World's Largest Jazz Brunch," which are
the festival food booths operated by nearly 60 local chefs and restaurants
throughout the festival weekend.

You won't see any Billy Joels or Jimmy Buffets at the French Quarter Fest. But you will see some great musicians. Theresa Anderson will be there. Amanda Shaw will be there. Trombone Shorty will be there. I could go on and on, there will be a lot of great musicians. And unlike the Jazz Fest, all the music if free.

There will also be a lot of food. Now the food, unfortuanately is not free. Two things New Orleans is known for, music and food. Both will be at the French Quarter Fest.

Hopefully after the weekned is over I'll have some great pictures to post and some great memories to write about. I can't wait, this is going to be a good weekend.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I Pod Questions

Ok, I saw this over at Trav's site awhile back and have been meaning to do it, but lately just haven't had time to do much blogging at all. So I'm making some time now.

The rules:
1. Put your music player on Shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER WHAT. (This is in capital letters, so it is very serious.)

1. IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?

Hush by Maggie Brown.
Me being contrary I guess.

2. WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?

I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down by Elvis Costello
Kind of ironic since I don't drink at all and this makes me sound kinda...drunk maybe. Or maybe it's just means I'm not the most graceful person in the world.

3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?

War by Bruce Springsteen
Maybe this explains why I'm still single.

4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?

Brother (On the Line) by Dave Alvin
A story about racial relations. I was talking to my brother (real one) earlier tonight about the presidental election, which is bringing racial issues to the front more than normal.

5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?

Still Pretending by Tift Merritt
Wow, this one really does hit close to home. I've always thought I've been pretending to be an adult.

6. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Sandwiches For The Road by the Drive by Truckers
What could be more important?

7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?

Little Wild One (No. 5) by Marshall Crenshaw
Hmmmm, maybe.

8. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?

Tomorrow's Gonna Be A Better Day by the Continental Drifters
Very true, especially for my Mother after everything that's happened in the last year.

9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?

Dream Lover by Ricky Nelson
I won't say anything else.

10. WHAT IS 2+2?

Push It by Garbage
No matter what the song that came up with that question it wasn't going to make sense, unless Bob Seger's 2+2 had come up, which would have been really weird.

11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?

Motivation by Sheryl Crow
One of my best friends could use a little motivation for sure.

12. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?

The Outsider by Rodney Crowell
Why settle for someone ordinary?

13. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?

True Love Way by Kings of Leon
It would be nice.

14. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

When You're Young In The City by Patti Scialfa
I guess maybe I'm starting to feel old.

15. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE

Still Wonder by Johnny Lang
Nice.

16. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?

Just Enough To Keep Me Hanging On by Linda Thompson

17. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?

Come Home To Me by Steve Earle


18. WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?

Brothers Under the Bridge by Bruce Springsteen

19. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?

1974 by Ryan Adams
If it means history than it could be right, not completely but I love to read about history.

20. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?

He Thinks He'll Keep Her by Mary Chapin Carpenter

21. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?

Monkey's Paw by House of Freaks

22. WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?

Something I Can Feel by LeAnn Rimes

More West Wing

I'm into the second season of West Wing. Here's another wonderful clip, that highlights some of what I love best about this show. And the President brings up a good point, when did it become bad to be smart? Why shouldn't we want our President to be smarter than we are? I would love to have a President that knew as much as President Bartlett.

Walk The Line

Some singers become bigger than themselves. They mean more than just the songs they sing. In today's media saturated world the word Icon is used for entertainers a lot. Just because you only use one name for yourself, that doesn't make you an Icon. By all definitions of the word, Johnny Cash is an Icon. Johnny Cash represented more than the songs he sang, he represented a world view to many people.

When the movie WALK THE LINE first came out I made a point of seeing it in the theaters. It was one of my favorite movies of the year. Now I'm usually not a fan of musical bios where the actor sings instead of using the real music of the musician. There's a reason people are going to see the movie of the singer and it's because the people going to see it are fans of his singing, not the actors. But sometimes it works. THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY worked. And in WALK THE LINE it worked. Joaquin Phoenix isn't Johnny Cash (but than who is) but he pulls it off. And it made sense in the movie, with the songs being built around certain scenes it would have been hard to just splice in a song off an album.

WALK THE LINE was smart that it didn't try to showcase Johnny Cash's entire life. It focused on his relationship with the love of his life, June Carter. Ms. Carter is played quite well by Reese Witherspoon, well enough that she won an Oscar for her role.

When the movie came out on DVD I was first in line to purchase it. I wanted to own this movie so I could watch it again and again. Now the studio is releasing it again, as a two disc extended edition.

The first disc features an extended version of the movie with commentary with the Director and co-writer of the movie, James Marigold.

The second disc has mulitple features that add to the pleasure of watching this movie. My favorite are the historical featurettes such as "Sun Records and the Johnny Cash Sound" and "Folsom: Cash and the Comeback."

I'm not a big fan of movies (or cds) that come out after the first version with new extended features that try to get you to re-purchase what you've already bought once. And I have to be upfront here and admit that I didn't buy this disc, it was sent to me to review. But saying all this I have to say this is a great movie and I enjoyed the extras. Would I have bought it? I'm not sure, I would have liked to own the extras so it's very possible. If you're a big fan of the Man In Black it's worth buying this movie. And if you don't already own the movie, than by all means purcahse this version.

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