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?

THE GOSSIP

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.

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