Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Townedger Radio 6 and Sold Out Miranda Lambert

And the world continues to lose rockers of varying degree. Mike Porcaro bass player for Toto lost his battle with ALS at age 59.  And Billy Davis (of Foghat and The Outlaws) passed away from a brain tumor.  Davis was part of Roger Earl's Foghat band of the early 90s but later would join The Outlaws for a spell and then became a part of Joey Molland's Badfinger. He also had his own band The Cats, featuring another Earl's Foghat member Jeff Howell before the tumor wiped out his musical abilities. Clive Burr, former Iron Maiden drummer passed away from MS on Monday at age 56.

Thom Wilson passed away on Feb. 8th. Best known for producing The Offspring 1994 classic album Smash.  He also produced Face To Face Big Choice in 1995 and Shocprock (sic) America's Dirty Little Secret for Warner Brothers in 1996.

Bruce Crump passed away on Monday.  He was 57.  Bruce was the drummer on most of Molly Hatchet classic albums for Epic in the 70s and 80s and was part of the Dixie Jam Band and later Gator Country, which comprised of former Molly Hatchet members and Paul Chapman of UFO fame.  2015 shaping up to be a banner year in people dying it seems.  And I'm sure more will be coming as the days gone by.

Andy Fraser, best known as the bass player in Free succumbed to cancer and AIDS. He was 62.  His funky basslines on All Right Now and Stealer are classic rock moments.  And late to press, Michael Brown of The Left Banke fame passed away at age 65 and AJ Pero, drummer for Twisted Sister dead at 55.  Grand total of 9 people passing away this week.  Not a good time to be a musician over 50 it seems.  I better watch myself.

It's country time here in Cowpie Iowa and Miranda Lambert came through on a sold out and wild show Saturday Night at the Five.   I mince no words about Miranda, she is the best out there in country rock and everytime she comes into town it's guaranteed to sell out and fans leaving home happy.  Of course Diana Nollen, long time CR reviewer puts out a thumbs up review.  Newcomer Justin Moore and Sunny Sweeney opened up to which Sunny would join Miranda on Cowboy Take Me Away before ending the show with ZZ Top Tush.  BTW Diana newcomer Sweeney has been around for about 5 years and had a decent album on Republic three or four years ago called Concrete.  http://hooplanow.com/review-miranda-lambert-fastest-girl-in-town-20150316

Speaking of country girls, Loretta Lynn is slated for the third time's a charm showing at the Paramount on March 26th.  Lynn canceled a couple times last year, one for health issues, another on conflict of live dates but here's hoping she'll make it here this time.  We're all getting up in years.

On the other side of the country, we have Alison Moorer, the former wife to Steve Earle who managed to hang with him for almost 9 years. She has a new album coming out and it's the most personal and perhaps most engaging record to date and honest to the point. Like the good woman she is, she doesn't talk much about Earle and the impending divorce, she really doesn't care much to hear Steve's latest and her concert shows are kept to a handful due to being mommy to a autistic child to which I have seen up close in a friend that does have a autistic boy himself.  A full time job, that only gets paid off in love.  The folks at No depression took time out to interview Moorer on her latest album and what's it like to have a son with special needs. http://nodepression.com/interview/allison-moorer-interview-new-music-men-and-little-boy-her-life

The ratings this month are down, and I doubt if I'll make 2,000 despite adding content and getting 10 views per blog.  Interesting to note that the Review Consortium has not had any new entries since October and two days outperformed the Record World blog.  The Brian Howe Bad Company blog is still beating the original Paul Rodgers Blog  by about a 100 to 1.  Which leaves the archival stuff still most read with surprise of Sick Of Rain Period with 13 views.  Probably from those in waterlogged Texas.  Forthcoming blogs will include yet another Mad City visit and reported findings, whoever dies and maybe something from Singles Going Steady or an ICON feature.  I figure with warmer weather people are out and about and not spending time reading Record World.  But then again the Google meter points that I only had one 100 plus view day this month and 2 in the past thirty days.   Maybe I should go rattle Bob Lefsetz cage to lively up the ratings.

On the subject of Tony Robinson, the ersatz black kid that was shot and killed by a white Madison Police officer.  I don't comment on it since I don't know the fact and trying to put them together would base an opinion.  I met the kid once maybe, the crazy skateboarder weaving in the middle of the road in downtown Madison that wouldn't get over.  And had he been white the story wouldn't be national news.  I don't know if calling attention to yourself was the right thing to do, or Tony decided he wasn't going to cooperate with a white policeman.  We'll never know but what I do know  that had Tony would have listen to the officer perhaps he might be alive today.   Not all cops are racists, not all blacks are thugs or gangstas, troublemakers are of different colors but again since Robinson was black and the officer right, the media is blowing things out of whack.   I've been to Ferguson, it's a powerkeg waiting to explode even driving down there, the police and black folk don't get along very well.  Years of racial profiling has made blacks very suspicious of the cops.  Madison is no Ferguson,  it's a college town, it's the state capital but yet there's a diversity that people do get along fairly well be it the whites, blacks, Hispanics and Oriental.   But being a cop is a very tough job and I commend them for tying to hold the law while dealing with those that do hate cops or have attitudes or bias towards them.  Whatever Tony Robinson had for feelings of them he took them to his grave. And I'll leave it at that. http://timmorrissey.blogspot.com/2015/03/being-safe-out-there.html

It seemed that Mr. Robinson ate some magic mushrooms before freaking out on the confrontation with the people office and meeting his doom as well.  Nothing more to comment.

Same old shit different day, Benjamin Netanyahu  the renegade P.M. was elected to a 4th term in Israel. People don't want change for the better, Bibi's fear mongering speech at the UN may have had something to do with him getting elected again, but this is getting old.  What it means is that they'll continue to build more settlements and squeeze folks in Gaza even more so.  Not that Humas is any help but more years of Yayhoo at the helm will lead the world down to a more destructive path.   And we continue to wait for Jesus to descend from Heaven which doesn't seem to be soon.   In the meantime this fucked up state continues to build more roundabouts, Joni Ernst and Steve King continues to make idiots of themselves and nothing ever going to come giving  the 1 percent more tax cuts.  We've seen the results, they're buying out the elections en masse.  And the meantime Bob Lefsetz continues to bitch about us folks buying CDs and albums.  In other words Bob, WGAF what you think?   On the positive, Chris Borland, after one year in the NFL decides to hang it up and not risk getting brain damage in the future.  For too long some of our NFL stars stayed too long and ended up paying the ultimate price, Junior Seau comes to mind.  Congrats Mr Borland for your life changing and saving decision and all the best to you in the future.

And now this: The Dwarves website got hacked by Islamic extremists, and the lead singer isn't happy.  I wouldn't be either: http://newnoisemagazine.com/dwarves-website-hacked-jihadist-hackers-frontman-blag-dahlia-pens-response/

Time for Rod's Wonderful Record Review:

Nigel Olsson's Drum Orchestra And Chorus (Uni 1971)

Best known for being the long time drummer for Elton John (off and on) but in the late 70s, Nigel had a couple of easy listening singles that Paul Davis produced that managed to reach the charts, that Nigel Olsson is far different than the guy that put this record out in the early 70s.  At one time he was part of Uriah Heep (a couple recordings with him are on the first Uriah Heep S/T album) but the early Elton John years he was a hard banging drummer with a Keith Moon type of bash and crash, very interesting to hear on the 1970 live album featuring just Elton, Nigel and the late Dee Murray, who plays on the Drum Orchestra.  In fact this record is no different than say, Tumbleweed Connection except it's Nigel doing the lead singing.  B J Cole and Caleb Quaye, also part of Elton John albums help out and Quaye has been largely forgotten over the year but he was a very capable guitar player in his own right, he'd later formed Hookfoot.  To throw some variety, Janis Joplin clone singer Kathi McDonald screeches on Hummingbird (the Leon Russell song) and Spooky Tooth's I Can't Go Home Again which turns out into a 7 minute jam.  Trying to have that hippie vibe Nigel covers Spirit's Nature Way which goes on a bit too long at the end or country rocker We're Got A Long Way To Go.  I mentioned this album after another blogger wrote about Nigel's pop albums of the late 70s but while Dancing Shoes or Little Bit Of Soap was a failed effort for music acceptance, The Drum Orchestra And Chorus album does suggest that Nigel and friends could have made a decent although not as memorable career as the being the drummer for the best selling artist of the 1970s.  Basically Nigel's best moments are with the diva at the piano.
Grade B

Vanity Fare-Early In The Morning (Page One/Bell Records 1970)

I look at these guys in the same manner as I do with The Foundations, a band best known for two songs even though both bands did make a an album or two.  Whereas The Foundations blue eyed soul didn't do much for me (and still don't) Vanity Fare's two songs Early In The Morning and Hitching A Ride are easier on the ears and easy to sing along to.  I suppose the use of the Harpsichord on Early In The Morning had the hook that made it stand out, or the flute beginning of Hitching A Ride or the piano boogie at the end of the song that made it classic rock gold.  Alas, there would be no more hits, Page One Records ran out of steam and Vanity Fare became one of those what ever happened to bands out there. Of course, the rest of the songs don't grab you like their hits but they do have a charm of their own,  Barry Landemann trying for another Early In The Morning hit with You Made Me Love You, a decent cover of Four Strong Winds, and a hippie vibe in the old standard Music Music Music and faithful but pointless covers of I Live For The Sun and Hey Baby.  Perhaps Keith Skues, former BBC DJ best sums their music up as original as Abe Lincoln borrowing books from the NY Public Library after Vanity Fare based their music as happy and tunefully style on the West Coast sound.  Professionalism done right so to speak and sometimes you can get a hit out of it too. And with Early In The Morning and Hitching A Ride, a permanent place on oldies radio too.
Grade B+

The Jones Gang-Any Day Now  (AAO 2005)

Upon revisiting the Bad Company catalog up to the point on the third straight time of hearing Sliver Blue And Gold on the third straight Bad Company album, I decided to revisit the Jones Gang, which is three parts of the Bad Company mark 3 lineup (Robert Hart, Rick Willis and Bucket Cowell) and Kenny Jones, who was the wild drummer for Faces but then lost himself by being Keith Moon's replacement in The Who.  Hart, managed to carbon copy Rodgers' vocals in the Bad Company era but on this record that's more The Law than Bad Company 3, he turns into a Richard Marx clone. Originally I gave this is B plus grade 10 years ago but a decade later, even with the help of Ronnie Wood, still comes across as The Law light.  Kenny Jones barely breaks out in a sweat, except perhaps on  Where Are You that he trots out the vintage drum rolls that Roger Daltrey hated when he was playing them in The Who.  There's a stab of Kashmir on lead off The Time Of Your Life and the lite MOR pop of Angel.  But if there's any thing related to Bad Company, it's more toward the Brian Howe era rather than Hart's own Badco 3.  Basically the record flopped (I recall AAO had a straight deal with FYE to issue the album in their own stores only), not because they didn't try but rather of the fact that it was 2005 and the world didn't need a update of Richard Marx or Badco 2 or 3. And like The Law's album it put people to sleep.
Grade C+

Delta Rebels-Down In The Dirt (Polydor 1989)

One of those two dollar Cd's that I found at Half Priced Books and bought on the idea that this was southern rock done 80s style.  Upon further research,  it was revealed that Eddy Shaver (son of Billy Joe Shaver), future Creed player Steve Ingle and future Brother Cane guitarist Damon Johnson was in this band.  Kinda cool if you think about it.  The music itself is a bit uneven that the Rebels came across like Little Caesar or a lesser metallic Circus Of Power.  A bit of bro country type of lyrics can be found in stuff like Kickin Down The Night or The Girl's Gone Western (don't tell Florida Georgia Line this song exists or they will cover it).  But they get to their boogie best on Darlene, an ode to a strip dancer or Used Tires, the highlights of this album. On the downside, we get yet another don't yell at me female on the title track and the rapping to Rock-And-Roll Women (S N D) is just plain silly.  However the guitar work of Johnson, Shaver and Rocky Atlas (credited in the thank you section) almost makes up for the nonsense of that song.  Being on Polydor didn't help and the band broke up soon after, Shaver, Ingle and Johnson moving on to better bands.  Down In The Dirt is merely a good bar band playing so so original material.
Grade B-

Townedger Radio 6 Playlist 3-18-15
(broadcast on Lucky Star Radio)

What A Girl Wants:Ace Frehley
Head Over Heels-The Yo Yos
I See Sound-Moth
If It Takes You There-Idlewild
I Don't Care About You-Fear
Ohio-Paraphernalia Tyrus Band
Oh My Surprise-Batdorf & Rodney
Slumville Sunrise-Jake Bugg
51st Anniversary-Jimi Hendrix
Walk A Thin Line-Route 66 (The Townedgers)
Turn It Up-Texas Hippie Coalition
Helen Says-Hank
Go West Young Man-EIEIO
Ever So Much-The Townedgers
Love's Closing In On Me-Tommy James & The Shondells
Don't Deserve You-Randy Rogers Band
I Wish You Were A Beer-Cycle Sluts From Hell
Deep Six Saturday-Tommy Keene

(Encore Shows are sometimes heard on Friday Nights at 11 PM CST on Lucky Star Radio)

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