Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Local, Regional, National Music Gossip

Because it's true...

The economic downturn has hit even the most supposedly "immune areas" - on eastern Long Island, the East Hampton food pantry has been stretched to the limit, and local residents (who are local business owners and fishermen, not hedge fund managers) will now be charged $25 to park at their own beaches).

Right after you digest John Mellencamp's manifesto on the state of the music business, go straight to Trader Joe's, do your food shopping there, and never go back to your existing supermarket. T-Joe's is cheaper, the food is better (often organic), and they don't pass on "Food Payola" stocking charges to the customer the way all the über-markets do They even have a cool promo flyer online। And while we're at it, will someone please build one near me, so I don't have to go up-island all the time?


Iowa City left-of-of-center alt dot country pop punks Matthew Grimm & The Red Smear have wrapped up their new album, and tracks are starting to appear on their MySpace page. Former Star City helmsman Jason T. Lewis helped out with the recording, and has reportedly been gigging with the band. Not much otherwise, but you just KNOW their publicity lackey Ed Genaro will be sending stuff out soon. You'll see.

My dear "Bible Belt Noir Bluegrass" friends the Dixie Beeliners (Abington VA) are in the studio with producer Bill VornDick (Bob Dylan, Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, Jim Lauderdale) making their second effort for Pinecastle Records. I hear it's going very well... they also have a TON of live dates on the dance card. GO.

NY folk singer songwriter Caroline Doctorow continues to do extensive area radio shows in the area supporting her "Another Country: The Songs of Richard and Mimi Fariña" CD. This week sees her at on the Harry Waring Morning Show, WEHM-FM 92.9/96.9 (10 am Thurs 3/25). Yes, I'm playing acoustic bass and singing backups (along with Andrew Carillo on guitar, mandolin and electric sitar), and yes, she is also at the Stephen Talkhouse on Saturday March 28th at 8pm, and yes, there's a few gigs down Nashville way in April 2009. Love the folks in the band that I get to play with... and there ARE photos of last week's radio appearances at WHPC and Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" (WFUV) on the way.

Libby Johnson, who really sings like a bird, has just wrapped up her new CD "Perfect View" which is the follow-up to her great CD "Annabella". Mastering is reportedly done, and I've heard it's a real treat. (Of course I have - I played electric bass on it, so I HAVE heard it.) Not at liberty to say much yet, but, it WILL be worth the wait.
She's next playing in NYC at the Living Room, April 23rd 2009.

Bar-rockers The Blaggards (surprise, MH on bass) head into the studio starting this week for something that we'll certainly talk about later, and it will be magna cum loud. Promise. In the meantime, the summer leg of their "Ever Ending Tour" is being booked. For starters, there's a monthly Saturday residency at Nick's (Montauk), featuring things you can't get ANYWHERE ELSE: 3-7pm performance time, FREE admission, cheap pints at the bar, literally 50 feet from the beach. The staff is nice, and the crowd is often lively! See you there, this summer... and pray for NO TORNADOS, like the one at the Blaggards show July 18 of last year.

My own upcoming single (produced by Skip English) progresses. Mastering will be done soon - A-side is "Bridget" composed by the late great Gary Jude Anderson, B-Side is "Can't Keep Track of You Blues" featuring not only Matty Liot (who recently laid down five basic tracks at Sonic Youth's Hoboken studio) but ALSO Gene Casey (Lone Sharks) on guitar acrobatics. And lastly, my solo CD "Redemption Center" (2001) is now available on iTunes, with more back-catalogue stuff on the way.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Radio, Radio

A great couple of days to ring in spring. Friday afternoon 3/20, played bass with Caroline Doctorow on WHPC's "American Hit Radio" program (Nassau County, NY - the studio is located near the old Mitchell Field airplane hangars ) in a live performance/interview with hosts Tom Ryan (who also drums for The Blaggards) and Heidy Morales-Ryan. Andrew Carillo played awesome electric guitar, mandolin, and electric sitar, as usual. A great show, our appearance can be heard and downloaded here.

That very night, The Blaggards performed at the Stephen Talkhouse (Amagansett, NY), then the following morning (Sat March 21) it was right back to radioland, when Caroline and band trekked to WFUV (Fordham University, The Bronx) for the taping of Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight", for broadcast the same evening at 8pm. I'll post a link to the archived show when it's uploaded. Happy spring...

(Photo: Paula Donnelly, MH @ Stephen Talkhouse 3/20/09)

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Gentle on My Mind" Caroline Doctorow LIVE

Caroline just added "Gentle on My Mind" at her reverbnation page, recorded live at the "Bound For Glory" folk radio show, WVBR-FM Ithaca NY, on March 8th 2009. Caroline Doctorow, vocals and guitar; Andrew Carillo, electric six string guitar; Gary Olayer, fiddle; Mick Hargreaves, acoustic bass. Also there is a video of "Someday Never Comes", recorded live at the Living Room NYC, Feb 2009.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Lakland Bass

"Blood River" Film Features MH-Penned song "Haunted"

"Haunted" written by MH and recorded/released by the Grip Weeds on their 2007 CD "House of Vibes Revisited", appears on the soundtrack of Leonidas Films Inc.'s latest feature film Blood River. Directed by Adam Mason (The Devil's Chair), the film is a psychological thriller, which explores the destruction of a young couple's seemingly perfect marriage. See the Trailer at IMDB.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Instrument Alert

I bought a Lakland Donald "Duck" Dunn model. Candy Apple Red P-Bass body with hand-wound pickups, J-Bass neck with big fat bar shaped fret markers, rosewood fingerboard, white side binding, extra thick headstock, Hipshot tuners, Schaller straplocks. Strings can be routed thru-bridge or thru-body. I'll be slapping on a set of flatwound strings and she'll be ready to go.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

w/ Caroline Doctorow - Bound For Glory

Sunday, March 8 2009 - WVBR-FM, Ithaca NY
Top: Andrew Carillo on mandolin; Middle: Mick at sound check;
Bottom: Gary Olayer's fiddle. Photo: Gwen Curtis

Performed on the "Bound For Glory" radio show (now 40 years old and running, originating from WVBR-FM, associated with Cornell University), playing in Caroline Doctorow's band along with Gary Olayer on fiddle, and Andrew Carillo on guitar, mandolin and electric sitar.

The radio show itself is a true throwback, broadcast live on the FM frequency on WVBR and on CJAI (Kingston, ON), with the modern additions of an ISDN link from the campus cafe performance room back to the radio station, and the additional small fact that it goes out worldwide live on an internet stream.

The program staff, headed by Phil Shapiro (M.A., '69), has things wired fairly tight - they get there around 6 pm, the gear comes out of the closet, gets placed, and after sound check and the requisite "speech", everything is ready to go live at 8pm. The lights come up and the band performs the first of three sets at 8:30pm.

The entire show was recorded, and there will be some songs posted in the Caroline Docotorow web-realm soon.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Blaggards play LI Music Hall of Fame event; Brooklyn singers moving to Iowa City?

Performed with The Blaggards at a private event for the Long Island Music Hall of Fame last night at Light House Harley Davidson (Huntington NY), at the invitation of LIMHOF board member Joe Rock. Joe set us up with a great PA, was gracious and even scored us some extra AC power drops even though he was being pulled in seven directions at once. Some great bikes were on display as part of the "Music and Motorcycles" exhibit, which was there for several days. I liked the non-Harley Davidson bikes, especially the ones with the boss daddy cool retro-logos. The Blaggards turned in two great sets, spotted Gary U.S. Bonds (who actually looked so young that we didn't recognize him immediately) and got to meet Bill from Paradiddle Records. The Blaggards are talking about some projects with Bill, that's all we'll say at this point...

In other news... first it was former Hangdogs lead singer Matthew Grimm who migrated from Brooklyn back to his home turf of Iowa City to launch his new band The Red Smear, then it was Star City singer Jason Lewis who did the same, enrolling in Iowa City University's Writer's Workshop... now there's word of the Damnwells lead singer Alex Dezen following suit. With Jason Lewis joining the Red Smear on stage at some local gigs, can some sort of supergroup teaming-up be too far off? Oh, to play bass in THAT act...

Getting ready to kick off shooting of a film for the "Bridget" single...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Redemption Center CD @ New uploaded song at MySpace

The entire 2001 "Redemption Center" CD is listenable at iLike and

New upload at Mick Hargreaves Myspace, a solo acoustic recording of the song "Liberty Tree" by Frank Tovey, aka Fad Gadget.


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