Category Archives: Music News

Todd Rundgren Takes Down Fox News on… Fox News?!?

Hilarious new video rounds up all the usual Trump-centric suspects, takes ’em out back, and gives ’em a good olf-fashioned whuppin’...

By Barbi Martinez

The other night we were treated to the very odd notion of Todd Rundgren’s showing his new video, the politically-scathing “Tin Foil Hat,” on Fox show Watters’ World. Fair enough; Todd has often dipped into politics and satire, often simultaneously. What is truly mind-blowing, however, is that Fox would sanction the airing of content clearly disdainful of the Fox and Trump universes. Everyone from Bill O’Reilly (aka “Bill Orangutang”), Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Reince Priebus, and President Trump gets needled – in a couple of instances, completely skewered. The video was co-created with Donald Fagen and the song will appear on Todd’s new album White Knight.

Bono & George W. Bush — BFFs?!?

This is what the term “strange bedfellow” was coined for…

By Barbi Martinez

We do love our U2 around the BLURT pontoon boat, but we also periodically find ourselves scratching our heads following some new report of Bono having a good hang with unlikely suspects. To wit: he recently dropped in on former President George W. Bush at Bush’s Prairie Chapel Ranch (near Waco, Texas). Bush later took to Instagram – which seems unlikely enough in and of itself – to post a photo of the two arm in arm and write, “Bono is the real deal. He has a huge heart and a selfless soul, not to mention a decent voice. @laurawbush and I are grateful he came to the ranch to talk about the work of @thebushcenter, @onecampaign, @PEPFAR, and our shared commitment to saving lives in Africa.”

Yep. The only thing that would be more unexpected would, oh, maybe Bono palling around with Veep Mike Pence, and… wait, you say he already DID pal around with Pence? Indeed. In February at the Munich Security Conference, Bono – who was there to give a speech –  had a photo op with the second most powerful man in America, apparently wanting to thank Pence for his help in 2003 and 2008 with the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. Sure enough, Pence tweeted it out…

What is it about politicians and social media, anyway? Oh well. At least the current President is smarter than to fall into that digital trap…

Incoming: Jimmy Herring’s New Band For Summer/Fall Shows

From Widespread Panic and much more – any questions?

Guitarist Jimmy Herring embarks on the next chapter of his storied career with the debut of the new band, The Invisible Whip. As a founding member of The Aquarium Rescue Unit, Project Z, and Jazz is Dead – in addition to playing with everyone from The Allman Brothers Band to The Dead to Phil Lesh and Friends – Herring made an indelible impact on improvised music. He currently serves as the lead guitarist for Widespread Panic – you may have heard of ’em.

In fact, Jimmy has been touring consistently with Widespread Panic over the past decade, along with short tours with Aquarium Rescue Unit (Col. Bruce Hampton, R.I.P.), Phil Lesh, and The Ringers, but his 2017 dates with The Invisible Whip mark the first performances of his own music, with his own band, in nearly five years. The upcoming dates will include new music Herring is currently working on, plus material from his last two albums, Lifeboat (2008) and Subject to Change Without Notice (2012). Among the concerts include appearances with John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension, whose leader is one of Herring’s musical inspirations and, uniquely, also one of Herring’s most prominent champions.

Composed of longtime friends and musical collaborators, The Invisible Whip, named for the intangible musical force that fuels them, is a nod to their time spent playing with Col. Bruce Hampton – who has made a lifelong impact on the members of the band. Members of The Invisible Whip are drummer Jeff Sipe (aka Apt Q258), Matt Slocum on B3 organ and clavinet, bassist Kevin Scott and multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby on Fender Rhodes, piano and violin.

 

Jimmy Herring and The Invisible Whip on Tour:

July 19                                   Minglewood Hall                                          Memphis, TN

July 20                                   Duling Hall                                                     Jackson, MS

July 21                                   Duling Hall                                                     Jackson, MS

July 22                                   Workplay Theatre                                         Birmingham, AL

July 23                                   Revelry Room                                                 Chattanooga, TN

July 25                                   Terminal West                                                Atlanta, GA

July 26                                   Georgia Theatre                                            Athens, GA

July 27                                   Cox Capitol Theatre                                       Macon, GA

July 28                                   Isis Music Hall                                                 Asheville, NC

July 29                                   Isis Music Hall                                                 Asheville, NC

July 30                                   Neighborhood Theatre                                 Charlotte, NC

August 1                              Headliners Music Hall                                     Louisville, KY

August 2                              Park Street Saloon                                           Columbus, OH

August 3                              Kent Stage                                                         Kent, OH

August 4                              Mr Smalls Theatre                                           Pittsburgh, PA

August 5                              Jefferson Center                                               Roanoke, VA

August 31                            Carlos Alverez Theater at Tobin Center       San Antonio, TX

September 1                      Trees                                                                   Dallas, TX

September 2                      George’s Majestic Lounge                               Fayetteville, AR

September 3                      2720 Cherokee PAC                                          St. Louis, MO

September 7                      Gothic Theatre                                                  Englewood, CO

September 8                      Fox Theatre                                                        Boulder, CO

September 9                      Fox Theatre                                                        Boulder, CO

September 10                   Aggie Theatre                                                     Fort Collins, CO

Track Premiere: American Professionals “Guide to the Perplexed”

Awesome new album drops June 23.

By Blurt Staff

They’re called American Professionals, they hail from San Francisco, and they have a new album, Sympathetic Overdrive, out June 23 via Charlie In The Box. (Great label name, that.) We here at BLURT are happy to serve up an advance preview via the horns-and-guitars, hi-nrg pop of “Guide to the Perplexed.” Check it out:

The group is built around the nucleus of guitarist Chuck Lindo and bassist/vocalist Cheryl Hendrickson, with Adam White on drums plus, on horns, saxman Daniel Casares and trumpet/trombone player Rich Armstrong. Over the years, Lindo has played with numerous San Francisco bands on projects including Jumbo Shrimp (w/ Dead Kennedys East Bay Ray & Klaus Fluoride), noise-pop pioneers Actionslacks, and collaborations with both Dryspell and The Mr. T. Experience. He also continues to write and compose for radio and television advertising and perform with bands Wizard Van, The Real Numbers and Tom Jonesing. Meanwhile, Hendrickson composed and recorded her synth pop single, “Diamonds in the Rough,” with her Los Angeles singer/songwriter friends, Little Lonely (aka Julie Cain) and Arrica Rose (Arrica Rose and the …, Dear County). She also created the concept and directed the video for the “Diamonds” single that was released in mid-May.

Stay tuned for tour dates, and meanwhile, you can check ‘em out at their Facebook page and their Bandcamp page.

Gregg Allman 1947-2017 R.I.P.; Bandmembers Pay Tribute

An era is truly finished.

By Blurt Staff

And then there were none—Allman brothers, that is. Though the spirit of the Allman Brothers Band will no doubt endure for decades to come, given the influential legacy that the Southern rock legends forged over the years, starting in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, without the group’s actual namesakes—brothers Duane who passed long ago, and Gregg, who we lost on May 27, just as the Memorial Day weekend was in full swing, it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to lay credible claim to “owning” or “perpetuating” that legacy.

This publication’s editor, Fred Mills, offered a personal remembrance of Gregg and his band of musical brothers upon receiving news of the death, writing, “R.I.P. Gregg Allman. This wasn’t altogether unexpected, but it’s still a shock, like part of my teenage self disappearing. I first saw the band touring behind their second album, in a small Charlotte venue, en route to the career defining Fillmore East album – still quite possibly the greatest concert album ever. Several years ago I got to see him up close and personal at the Warren Haynes Xmas Jam here in AVL, and I will never forget the sight of him backstage down below the Civic Center stage, chilling out in the hospitality area and watching the TV screen with the action onstage. I started to approach him, just his cowboy boots poking out from the big stuffed chair as he stared at the screen, not moving. I realized no one dared interrupt him, as there was no one else in proximity to his seat. I sure wasn’t going to be a fanboy at that moment. It was as if a deity was among us, seated on a throne, imperious but impossibly calm. He’d be onstage in another couple of hours, doing “Midnight Rider” and more…”

The tributes, of course, have been pouring forth following the official announcement of Gregg’s passing, from liver cancer:

Gregory LeNoir Allman
December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017

It is with deep sadness we announce that Gregg Allman, a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia.

Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times. Gregg’s long time manager and close friend, Michael Lehman said, “I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”

Gregg is survived by his wife, Shannon Allman, his children, Devon, Elijah Blue, Delilah Island Kurtom and Layla Brooklyn Allman; 3 grandchildren, his niece, Galadrielle Allman, lifelong friend Chank Middleton, and a large extended family.  The family will release a statement soon, but for now ask for privacy during this very difficult time.

The family suggests that tributes to Gregg can be made to the Gregg Allman Scholarship Fund at The University of Georgia or the Allman/Lehman Endowed Scholarship at Syracuse University.

Latter-day Allmans guitarist Warren Haynes wrote on Facebook this weekend, “I am truly honored to have been fortunate enough to have written many songs with him and equally honored to have traveled the world with him while making the best music the world has ever known… Traveling – like life – is so much better when you’ve got friends to share the experience with. I’ve lost too many lately and this one is gonna be hard to get past.

“Here was this group of Southern hippies with an integrated band coming out of the Deepest South with equally deep music on the heels of some extremely deep changes. We didn’t realize how heavy that was at the time but we sure realized how heavy the music was… Gregg wrote these amazing songs that were as natural as his voice was. The words and melodies felt so perfectly unpretentious and, when delivered by him, made an emotional connection that only happens when music is genuine and honest. I learned an enormous amount about singing and songwriting from him—most of it before we ever met.”

Keyboard player Chuck Leavell also put his thoughts down to digital paper, posting at his website, “Gregg Allman was not only a friend and brother, but he was a strong inspiration to me very early on in my career…. I was so fortunate to get the call to play on [Gregg’s Laid Back solo album], and as a then 19-year old keyboard player trying to find his way, it was the dream offer of a lifetime. Playing on “Laid Back” was a life changing experience for me, but even more was to come, when the jam sessions after hours with the other members of the ABB resulted in me being asked to join the band.

“Thank you, Gregg…for your inspiration, for your talent, for your loyal friendship and for the amazing human being you are. I am forever grateful for my relationship with you, for sharing the stage with you so many times, for the honor of recording with you on some records that have stood the test of time. You will always be my hero and I am your biggest fan. Rest easy, my Brother.”

***

At this stage in the game, what can a media outlet possibly publish that might adequately contextualize the contribution Gregg Allman, along with brother Duane and the rest of the Allmans extended musical family, contributed to rock ‘n’ roll? Their place in the pantheon transcends simple matters of Grammys and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame status—they moved the dial in immeasurable ways.

How to count them? Here’s a modest start…

 

 

Track Premiere: Ghost Wolves “Shouldn’t Have Lied”

Killer tune from brand new album frontloaded with fuzz/slide-guit-and-drums fury. (Photo credit: David Brendan Hall)

By Blurt Staff

They’re not only one of most exciting bands the BLURT braintrust has ever heard outta Austin, the Ghost Wolves are one of the most exciting bands we’ve ever experienced, period. Indeed, just the recorded evidence alone is impressive—of their 2014 album Man, Woman, Beast, our reviewer, Michael Toland, noted, “Outside of a marvelously stripped-down sound featuring Jonathan Wolf on rhythm pound and Carley Wolf on bare-bones riffery and teasing, pouting vocal, the Wolves burst with sheer attitude, the kind of moxie that comes from being young, hungry and not giving a shit whether or not they see the inside of an arena… Carley’s frazzled bottleneck and aggressive assertion rides Jonathan’s surging drum kit like a surfer on a shark.” (Magazine editor Fred Mills was pretty damn impressed with their 2011 release, In Ya Neck, as well.)

So now they have a new ‘un about to drop, TEXA$ PLATINUM, via Hound Gawd, and we are privileged to unveil a track from it just in time for the group’s kicking off its US tour. Check out “Shouldn’t Have Lied”:

Notes Carley, “This song was based on an experience I witnessed where one lie led to so many more and to a path of misery for a while for that person. It all could have been avoided with simple honesty, but ego and pride got in the way. That’s dangerous stuff.”

The band formed in Austin, Texas in 2010, and Wolf’s guitar playing has been featured in Premiere Guitar, SheShreds, and Guitar Girl Magazine and has performed live on NPR stations like WBEZ in Chicago. (Wolf Endorses Silvertone Guitars and Eminence Speakers.) Several tracks from their previous record got prominent TV and film placements, including on the hit TV series Shameless; several programs on the Oxygen channel (Bad Girl’s Club, Funny Girls, Best Ink); and an over-the-top trailer for Japanese martial arts film called, Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Not to mention MTV’s Real World: Explosion and for Perry Ellis at Fashion week in New York.

They will be touring heavily behind the new album, so you don’t have no excuse for not checking ‘em out, kids. Some early tour dates are below. (Photo credit: Steven Alcala)

Saturday, May 27th at Swan Dive in Austin, TX

Wednesday, June 7th at Blue Canoe in Tupelo, MS

Thursday, June 8th at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta, GA

Saturday, June 10th at The Cave in Chapel Hill, NC

Sunday, June 11th at Bandito’s in Richmond, VA

Thursday, June 15th at 10th Ave Burrito in Belmar, NJ

Friday, June 16th at Firehouse 13 in Providence, RI

Saturday, June 17th at The Press Room in Portsmouth, NH

Tuesday, June 20th at Brillobox in Pittsburgh, PA

Wednesday, June 21st Beachland Tavern in Cleveland, OH

Thursday, June 22nd at Marble Bar  in Detroit, MI

Friday, June 23rd at Brass Rail in Fort Wayne, IN

Saturday, June 24th at Fountain Brewing Co. in Indianapolis, IN

Sunday, June 25th at MOTR in Cincinnati, OH

***

Visit The Ghost Wolves online at:

theghostwolves.com

facebook.com/TheGhostWolves

twitter.com/TheGhostWolves

instagram.com/theghostwolves

youtube.com/user/TheGhostWolves

 

 

John Cale to Perform 1st Velvet Underground in Brooklyn in Nov.

By Blurt Staff

It is to be titled John Cale: The Velvet Underground & Nico (Program A), and it will take place Nov. 16-17 at the storied Brooklyn Academy of Music: that would be a special set of shows in which VU co-founder Cale performs the iconic ’67 album in its entirety. He has already done this once, in Paris in 2016, featuring guests such as Animal Collective, Pete Doherty, and Mark Lanegan; for the Brooklyn concerts he’ll be accompanied by the Wordless Music Orchestra and others to be announced. Velvets drummer Moe Tucker will probably not be on hand, for as Rolling Stone reports, Cale indicated that Tucker’s fear of flying precluded her going to the Paris event. (But hey, there’s always the reliable Trailways bus line or an Econoline van, eh?)

On Nov. 18 Cale will also do a (Program B) featuring his solo material alongside selected Velvets songs. Below, watch some clips from the Paris concert.

Photo credit: Shawn Brackbill

 

MP3: Download Midnight Oil’s 5/18 Chicago Show

Power and passion par excellence…

By Uncle Blurt

There are a lot of us here at BLURT who are big fans of Australian rock bands, and Midnight Oil is near the top of the list. So your ol’ Uncle was mighty chuffed when news arrived that Peter Garrett & Co. would be barnstorming across North America throughout May for their “Great Circle 2017 Tour.” Last week they performed in Chicago, and now an audience recording of the show has surfaced on Dime A Dozen, with Big O zine picking up the ball and posting the MP3s, along with downloadable artwork, at their site.

MP3: Midnight Oil – The Vic Theatre, Chicago, IL; May 18, 2017.

Worth noting: the Oils performed their fourth album, 1982’s 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 , in its entirety during the first set, then plenty more fan favorites and politically-charged hits. The full tracklisting is below.

Disc 1

      Track 101
. Intro 2:32
      Track 102
. Outside World 4:50
      Track 103
. Only The Strong 5:14
      Track 104
. Short Memory 5:41
      Track 105
. Read About It 5:01
      Track 106
. Scream In Blue 5:33
      Track 107
. US Forces 4:11
      Track 108
. Power And The Passion 9:01
      Track 109
. Maralinga 4:58
      Track 110
. Tin Legs And Tin Mines 4:46
      Track 111
. Somebody’s Trying To Tell Me Something 4:10
      Track 112
. Peter’s Band Introductions 1:44
      Track 113
. My Country 3:53
Disc 2
      Track 201
. When The Generals Talk 4:03
      Track 202
. Spirit of the Age 3:02
      Track 203
. Ships of Freedom 4:46
      Track 204
. Kosciusko 4:55
      Track 205
. The Dead Heart 6:40
      Track 206
. Beds Are Burning 4:17
      Track 207
. Blue Sky Mine 4:35
      Track 208
. Dreamworld 6:03
      Track 209
. Put Down That Weapon 4:39
      Track 210
. Truganini 4:44
      Track 211
. Forgotten Years 6:45
      Track 212
. Sometimes 5:03

2017 Lockn’ Festival Set for August

More Dead per capita than any festival on the planet!

By Blurt Staff

One of the best annual summer festivals has to be the jamband-centric Arrington, Virginia-based Lockn’, and while the likes of Bonnaroo and Coachella get the lion’s share of attention, this event has gradually risen to the top among true devotees of live music. (Go HERE and HERE to see some of our past coverage.)

This time around the lineup is even more impressive than usual, with top-of-the-bill artists including the Avett Brothers w/Bob Weir, phil.moe (the Dead’s Phil Lesh & Friends with moe.), Widespread Panic, John Fogerty, Gov’t Mule (w/guest Ann Wilson, no less), the String Cheese Incident, and—speaking of Lesh and Weir—Phil Lesh / Bob Weir & the Terrapin Family Band doing the iconic Terrapin Station album. Meanwhile, among the must-see acts further down on the bill are Afro-beat kings Antibalas, swamp rockers JJ Grey & Mofro, North Carolina’s own Hiss Golden Messenger, and blazing Southern/roots rocker the Marcus King Band.

It all happens August 24-27, and there will be plenty going on all around the festival grounds, like the Terrapin Station Porch. For details on ticketing, area lodging, directions for travelers and a map of the grounds, go to the Lockn’ Festival website.

Jimmy LaFave 1955-2017 R.I.P.

Austin singer-songwriter was only 61. Watch some incredibly moving live clips, below.

By Fred Mills

Beloved Americana artist Jimmy LaFave passed away earlier this week (May 21) at his home in Austin following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 61. According to the Austin Chronicle, the illness was “a type of sarcoma that primarily affected his lungs [which] was largely kept secret until recently… Last month, news broke that LaFave’s family had finally engaged hospice care.”

Yet just a few days before his death, LaFave appeared at a sold-out concert at Austin’s Paramount Theatre that featured his music done by Christine Albert, Sarah Lee Guthrie, John Fullbright, Shinyribs, Butch Hancock, and Ruthie Foster, among others. LaFave himself came out for part of the finale in a wheelchair and hooked up to oxygen.

LaFave grew up in Texas, later moving to Oklahoma where he pioneered a regional sound dubbed “red dirt music.” Following a relocation to Austin, he became a prolific songwriter and performer, touring frequently issuing numerous critically acclaimed albums. Among his key influences were Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan (he even put together a touring Guthrie tribute show in 2003).

Anyone who ever saw LaFave in concert came away deeply moved, not only by his inherent tunefulness and ability to conjure lyrical images frequently as vivid as those by his influences, but by the otherworldly aura he projected, one that reassured and brought comfort to the human spirit.

I’ll never forget seeing him live in Tucson and getting to meet him after the show: He seemed humbled by the fans’ adulation and adoration, yet relaxed and genial, ready to engage. Below, watch some choice LaFave clips – including a version of Prince’s “Purple Rain” as well as a somewhat shaky audience recording  fo the Left Banke’s “Walk Away Renee” that still somehow seems… perfectly appropriate. Also included is a clip from one of his final concerts, this past April at Threadgills in Austin, in which he does Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Miss Me When You Go” that reportedlybrought the audience – which knew he only had a little time left – to tears. R.I.P., Jimmy.