Ray Lamontgne: Till The Sun Turns Black

Ray Lamontagne is just too darn good to be true.

Rugged good lookin’ cat from Maine who has that classic Van Morrison-meets-Joe Cocker smoky, impassioned tenor, and a keen eye for a good tune and lyric.  Singers and songwriters of Lamontagne’s stature don’t come around very often and the ones that do don’t seem to screw it up some how.

Lamontagne’s latest effort, Till The Sun Turns Black, picks up where right where his debut, Trouble, left off – it's a stark, cinematic, soulful effort that shows no signs of major label confinement or sophomoric slumps.

Here in eleven wonderful tracks Lamontagne runs the gamut from straight Stax-era soul  (complete with horns) to lush, symphonic arrangements that make rich canvases for Lamontange’s hushed tales of love and loss.  With efforts like these first two, Lamontagne could be in for a monumental career.

Old Crow Medicine Show: Big Iron World

It must have seemed like a big iron world to the members of the Old Crow Medicine Show when they spent the first months of their existence in a cramped van, honing their skills on the street corners and alleys of what must have seemed like every town in Canada all those year ago.

The work paid dividends though, and now, with two records out on Nettwerk Record and infinite critical acclaim, the world is simply theirs for the taking – and they show no signs of letting up. Their latest, Big Iron World, is another in what hopefully is a long line of great neo-old-time/stringband/folk/bluegrass records.

Once again featuring a handful of well-penned originals along with some dusty old tunes they’ve spit-shined to a high gloss sheen, Big Iron World is O.C.M.S. at their infectious best singing good time songs of wine, women, and well, cocaine….again.

Phish 2.0 at the Ryman

The Duo/ Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon with the Duo


Nashville, TN




I was pretty excited to find out that Marco Benevento and Joe Russo would be touring alongside old friends and bandmates Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon.  Then came the announcement that they would not only be playing in Nashville on July 16, but at the Ryman. 


All of a sudden it became some of the most exciting news of the summer.

Continue reading Phish 2.0 at the Ryman

moe. to open for the Who

moe. has been tapped toopen on select dates of The Who's first world tour in 20 years. The upstate New York quintet joins together with the rock legends for the following concerts:

9/25/06 Chicago, IL, United Center
9/26/06 Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
9/29/06 Auburn Hills, MI, Palace Of Auburn Hills
9/30/06 London, ON, John Labatt Centre
moe., known for well-crafted songwriting and dynamic jam explorations, is gearing up for moe.down 2006 – the band's annual Labor Day Weekend event at Turin, NY's Snow Ridge Ski Area. The band will release moe. Live from the Fillmore, its first DVD, October 3.
They will also tour this summer and fall, performing new songs from their first album in four years, which will be released January 23, 2007. Both will be released on moe.'s Fatboy Records.
The Who will perform songs from their new mini rock opera, Wire & Glass, material from their upcoming studio album along with their greatest hits and rarities, certain to please long time fans. The new album, provisionally called Who 2, and the band's first since 1982's It's Hard, is scheduled for an October 23 release.
"We're looking forward to reconnecting with our American fans and hopefully seeing some new ones coming along too," said The Who frontman Roger Daltry.
And speaking on the topic of fans, moe. guitarist Al Schnier fondly recalls his own musical coming-of-age with the legendary band:
"I remember as a kid playing my tennis racket, way before I ever played guitar, and jamming to The Who… and listening to Townsend's Empty Glass in our family room over and over again… seeing The Who when they were touring for It's Hard. The Clash were opening – who are also heroes of ours – and we're worthy?! This is a BIG deal for us."
This is not the first time moe. has toured with their heroes. The Further Festival, which consisted of Grateful Dead alumni: Bob Weir's Ratdog and Mickey Hart's Planet Drum, tapped the band in 1997. In 2002, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant had moe. on his Strange Sensation tour. The Allman Brothers Band had moe. as opener in 2005.

Jerry v. Barney – musical options for parents

It’s hard to type with one hand, but I’m holding about ten pounds of baby boy in my left arm.  While I’m sure it’s nothing like what Def Leppard’s drummer goes through each time he takes the stage, it’s still proving to be quite the daunting task.


Learning to do things while holding a baby is one of the many life changes I’ve had to make since my son was born.  I’m learning to get by on less sleep.  I’m also coming to grips with the fact that I’m going to be subjected to countless TV shows, movies, and music that I’m going to hate.


Fortunately, there are options out there for us parents that don’t want to listen to the Wiggles and Barney.  I never really thought about it, because frankly, until about four weeks ago, it just wasn’t the issue for me that it is now.

Continue reading Jerry v. Barney – musical options for parents

Old Union welcomes back 12th and Porter

Old Union

12th and Porter

Nashville, TN



Welcome back, 12th and Porter – Old Union has been waiting.


12th and Porter once was one of Nashville’s live music hot spots before the taxman came and took it away.  However, Old Union sent the place out in style, performing a smoking hot last show there over a year ago. 


Thanks to new owners, 12th and Porter has hung its shingle once again, and Old Union still seems to like hanging around.


 Old Union


Chuck Foster’s “1000 New Ways to Fly” greeted the honey hole with perfect sound and a little extra grit.  In fact, the energy bursting out at the opening of the show was only minutely stifled by the pause of David Bryndal’s blown snare head being replaced before ripping into “Jericho”.  There is no doubt that Old Union’s two guitarists cannot possibly make it through a night of playing without pushing things to blisteringly loud levels.  However, the instrumentation of the band has begun to evolve in different layers, and everyone seemed to be playing with a greater level of confidence while riding shotgun alongside new bassist Jason Williams’ dead-on hooks.  Williams added a new dimension to the band with his inventive play, and that freshness led to the retooling of some of the Old Union catalog.


Jason Williams “Message to the Maker” continued to showcase a more rounded Old Union as Foster’s barreling boogie-woogie piano strutted around in front of the boisterous and easily provoked guitars.  The band segued nicely into “Deadline”, joined by percussionist Andrew Swift from Ballhog!.  Swift stayed on stage with them for the remainder of the first set.


The second set started off to the liking of all in attendance with “J-Dubb” Williams on the doghouse bass and the electric guitars laid down to rest, acoustics armed and ready.  It was an MTV Unplugged version of an acoustic set if you will.  The set started off with a great “Drifter’s Prayer,” followed by a great “Motels and Highways” that took on a new persona as a stripped-away acoustic offering.  Both of these songs underwent a little retooling for the acoustic versions, lending an exciting new outlook on two great songs from the bands’ vast arsenal.  Spotty’s ability on the dobro alone is reason enough to start incorporating more of these acoustic sections to the traveling show.  Then, joined by Randy Russell on background vocals and the band’s talented manager Chris Bledsoe on acoustic guitar and lead vocals, they nailed Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Going Nowhere”.


A perfect waterfall of notes rang out from a guitar and landed atop the dancing keys of Foster as the intro to “Last Chance” got the electricity flowing once again.  One of the Old Union songs that seemingly received a makeover was “Working.”  Again the presence of Williams on bass helped to show great promise, with innovative takes on their own material.  Old Union has quite a few Rolling Stones songs in the bag, but the most recent cover “Rain Fell Down” is a scorcher.  A good Stones cover can ignite a crowd, and the band nailed this one, then immediately fell into “What’s Going Around,” one of Old Union’s oldest songs.


The night ended with a take on JJ Cale’s “Ride Me High”, a song that Old Union covers fairly often.  The crowd’s participation on the last song showed their approval of the night’s performance.


With that, another night of rock and roll was finished.  A few cars were towed and a few shots were bellied, all in celebration of the return of 12th and Porter to the Nashville nightscape.    

Black Crowes, Drive-By Truckers, Robert Randolph serve up guitarfest in Nashville

There was no doubt that a night filled with music by southern rock icons the Black Crowes and the Drive-By Truckers would deliver.  In fact, this tour throughout the early summer has been lighting fires to venues across America.  Robert Randolph and the Family Band have also played on most of the dates as the third band on the monstrous bill.

Continue reading Black Crowes, Drive-By Truckers, Robert Randolph serve up guitarfest in Nashville

Vegoose news

Lots of news regarding Vegoose, Superfly Entertainment's Las Vegas-based festival, taking place October 27-31:


New artist additions:
The following additional artists have been announced:

Phil & Trey…
Ben Folds
Mike Patton's Peeping Tom
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
The Yard Dogs Road Show


Vegoose at Night lineup announcement on 8/23: 

Vegoose at Night is a series of nighttime concerts presenting a variety of artists at marquee venues throughout the city starting on Friday, October 27th and running through Halloween night, Tuesday, October 31st.

An initial listing of the Vegoose at Night Concert Series will be available this Wednesday, August 23rd.