Monthly Archives: June 2009

Tim Krekel 1950-2009: R.I.P.

Beloved
singer-songwriter dies on Wednesday from cancer.

 

By Rev. Keith A Gordon

 

Tim Krekel – singer, songwriter, and underrated guitarist –
passed away on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 from cancer in his Louisville, Kentucky
home. Krekel had been diagnosed with an abdominal tumor in March and subsequently
underwent surgery, returning home in early-April. He was expected to make a
full recovery, but his health took a turn for the worse over the past week.

 

Born and raised in Louisville
in 1950, Krekel first began playing the drums before picking up the guitar. By
high school, he was writing songs and performing in local bands, and during the
late-60s he was leading the popular Louisville
band Dusty. When two of Krekel’s friends, Steve Ferguson and Terry Adams, left
town to form N.R.B.Q. and scored a record contract, Krekel moved Dusty to New York City in search
of fame and fortune. After gigging around the big city for a while, Krekel and
Dusty returned to Louisville.

 

When Krekel performed with Dusty in Nashville, he landed a gig touring as the
guitarist in country musician Billy Swan’s band. Later Krekel came to the
attention of Jimmy Buffett’s manager and was hired on as Buffett’s guitarist.
Krekel toured and recorded with Buffett for a couple of years in the late-70s, appearing
on his Son Of A Son Of A Sailor album, and performing with the singer on Saturday
Night Live
. His work with Buffett, in turn, led to Krekel receiving his own
record deal.

 

Krekel’s solo debut, Crazy
Me
, was released in 1979 by Capricorn Records, unfortunately just a few
months before the label closed its doors. Krekel would remain in Nashville, forming the popular Music City
band the Sluggers with a couple veterans of Marshall Chapman’s band – hard-playing
Texans Willis Bailey and Tom Comet. The trio released a single album, Over The Fence, for Arista Records in
1986. A few years later, Krekel and the Sluggers would back up
singer/songwriter Mark Germino on his 1990 album Radartown.

 

The following year, Krekel’s second solo album, Out Of The Corner, was released by the
Italian label Appaloosa Records. Like his previous albums, it was widely
acclaimed but sold few copies. Disenchanted with the music business, Krekel
moved back to Louisville
in 1993, but with rock ‘n’ roll in his blood, he couldn’t stay away from the
music, forming the Groovebillys. During the ’90s, Tim Krekel and the
Groovebillys would tour frequently throughout the Southeast, and the band released
two albums, including Underground in
1999.

 

Krekel released a third solo album, Happy Town,
in 2002 and a fourth, World Keeps Turnin’,
in 2005. He would release his final effort, Soul
Season
, with the Tim Krekel Orchestra, in 2007. In between these
activities, Krekel toured again with Jimmy Buffett, and through the years he
performed alongside folks like Delbert McClinton, Lonnie Mack, Steve Forbert,
Marshall Chapman, Bo Diddley, and many others.

 

Although he is best remembered for his skills with a guitar,
Krekel also enjoyed moderate success as a songwriter. Country star Crystal
Gayle had a number one hit in 1984 with Krekel’s “Turning Away,” and
Patty Loveless hit number one in 1997 with “You Can Feel Bad,”
co-written by Krekel and Matraca Berg. Artists as diverse as Canned Heat, Rick
Nelson, Dr. Feelgood, Kim Ritchey, Martina McBride, and Jason & the
Scorchers have recorded Tim Krekel songs.

 

I personally had the good fortune to have met Tim Krekel in Nashville during the
mid-80s, when he was part of a group of like-minded artists that included Jason
& the Scorchers, Robert Jetton & the Rockin’ Rancheros, and Webb
Wilder. Tim was a nice guy, and although he never caught a break from the music
business, he never gave up making music. A roots-rock pioneer without realizing
what ground-breaking music he was creating, Krekel was an important influence
on a generation of alt-country artists.

 

A Louisville
music institution for over 30 years, Krekel’s voice and skilled guitarwork will
certainly be missed by fans in his hometown as well as throughout the
Southeast.

 

A small private funeral service
will be held Sunday, June 28th, 2:30 pm at
James Lee Presbyterian Church, 1741
Frankfort Avenue in Louisville. 

Everybody is
invited to take part in a public jazz funeral procession starting at the church
at 3:30 pm and walking to the memorial service being held at The Vernon
Club, 1575 Story Avenue
in Louisville. The family wishes that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to The KREK fund,
c/o ear X-tacy Records, 1534
Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40205

   

 

 

 

[BLURT contributor Gordon’s excellent, erudite blues blog
can be read at http://blues.about.com ]

 

 

 

 

Bishop Allen Dude Goes All Cinematic

 

Playing a depressed
lyricist… sounds like all the songwriters we know!

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Bishop Allen’s Justin Rice spends his spare time as an
actor, appearing in acclaimed indie films such as Mutual Appreciation and Alexander the Last. Currently, Harmony and Me (written and
directed by Bob Byington) starring Rice, as Harmony, a depressed lyricist
clinging to the memory of an ex-girlfriend, is gaining notoriety at film
festivals worldwide, screening at the likes of the Los Angeles Film Festival,
Edinburgh International Film Festival and Cine-Vegas Film Festival.

 

Harmony and Me also includes a supporting cast
including Kevin Corrigan (Pineapple Express, Superbad, The
Departed
), and Pat Healy (Rescue Dawn, Ghost World, Great
World of Sound
) as well as bandmate, Keith Poulson, who is currently
manning the bass in Bishop Allen.

Bob Byington, who directed Harmony and Me shot an off-the-cuff music
video for Bishop Allen for the song “Shanghaied” from their March release, Grrr…:

 

Check out the new video for Bishop Allen’s
“Shanghaied” HERE

 

Check out the trailer for Harmony and Me HERE

 

Meanwhile, if you happen to be in Europe
next month, the band will be too!

 

07/16/09 Guimaraes, Portugal – Manta Festival    
07/18/09 Dornstadt, Germany
– Obstwiesenfestival    
07/19/09 Nijmegen, Netherlands
– Volkhofaffaire    
07/20/09 Barcelona, Spain
– Be Cool    
07/21/09 Vic, Spain
– Jazz Cava
07/22/09 Sevilla, Spain
– Nocturama    
07/23/09 Son Servera, Spain
– S’Esglesia Nova
07/24/09 Sonneger See, Austria
– Acoustic Lakeside    

 

 

 

New Spoon Single Out Tuesday

They may say they got
nuffin’ but we bet it’s really somefin’…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Amid all the celebrity death spam we’ve been flooded with
today, at least a few beacons of brightness are peeking through. Among them,
word of the new SPOON record!

 

On Tuesday, June 30th, SPOON
will debut its first newly recorded material since 2007’s universally acclaimed
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga: Merge Records will
release the three-song “Got Nuffin” single on CD and digital download
beginning June 30, with  12″ vinyl version following in July, exact
date TBD.

“Got Nuffin” was recorded by Nicolas Vernhes at Rare Book Room.
B-sides “Tweakers” and “Stroke Their Brains” were recorded
by SPOON.

As previously announced SPOON will return to its birthplace to commandeer
Austin’s Stubbs Amphitheater July 9, 10 and 11 for SPOONX3, which will feature
the live debut of new material from the band’s forthcoming album as well as
different special guests nightly, all handpicked by SPOON.

The lineup for the shows at Stubbs is as follows:

July 9 – SPOON, Quasi, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears
July 10 – SPOON, Low, Dale Watson
July 11 – SPOON, Atlas Sound, the Strange Boys

For further information, check www.Spoontheband.com

 

 

 

 

Happy Transfigurations, Harvest Records!

Storied N.C. record
store celebrates its 5th with 3-day, 3-venue blowout in August. On
the bill: Akron/Family, Bonnie Prince Billy, Budos Band, Books, Mount Eerie,
Coathangers and more.

 

By Fred Mills

 

So, is everyone recovered from Record Store Day yet?
Everyone making their plans to hit Chapel Hill
next month for Merge Records’ 20th anniversary celebration? Gotcha –
so now, make sure you mark your calendars for August 13, 14 and 15. That’s when
Asheville, NC, indie record shop/label/concert promoter Harvest Records will be
celebrating their fifth year of existence with a three-day, three-venue
festival they’re calling “Transfigurations.”

 

Among the artists already signed up to perform:
Akron/Family, Bonnie Prince Billy, The Books, Budos Band, Circulatory System, Mount
Eerie, Espers, War on Drugs, Brightblack Morning Light, Kurt Vile, Ice Cream,
Jonathan Kane, Coathangers, Villages, and Steve Gunn. And in addition to live
music, we are advised by the organizers, the even “will present a panel
discussion and films from three record label heads who, through their own
unique methods, are at the forefront of documenting musics, new and old, from
the United States
& around the world.”

 

“The gathering,” says Harvest co-owner Mark Capon, “is a
culmination of our [his and the other owner, Matt Schnable] sharing a mutual
love for creating a space dedicated to the discovery of music in a supportive
community. Transfigurations brings together the spirits of the musicians that
we have brought to this city, the artists who have displayed on our walls, the
sounds people have found in our shop and the togetherness that we have
attempted to breathe into the community…hour by hour, day by day.”

 

In their five years as Asheville’s
premiere indie shop – and by any measure, one of the country’s finest (trust
me, I’ve seen plenty in my day, and worked in a few as well) – Harvest has
always found a way to champion the independent and underground music community.
“You may have been in a small, independent record store, but we feel Harvest Records
is unique and we want everyone who walks through the door to have a satisfying
exchange and an inclusive experience,” says Schnable. “That fresh perspective
has kept us going every day, and that same attitude of sharing a love of music
and creativity is what we are bringing to Transfigurations.”

 

Harvest has further supported the music community by promoting concerts,
some at local clubs, some at art galleries and in their own tiny-but-torrid retail
space, all with an eye (and ear) for cutting-edge sounds. And that’s what
you’ll get during that weekend in August. Tickets are on sale now: regular
weekend passes (“Regafigurations”) are limited, and special
weekend  passes (“Megafigurations” ) are extremely limited.

 

We can’t wait – you can bet your ass that the southern bureau of BLURT will
be on hand. Watch this space for further details later on, or for more
information: http://www.harvest-records.com/transfigurations.php (email: transfigurationsasheville@gmail.com).

 

[Pictured below: Akron/Family, Bonnie Prince Billy, Books,
Budos Band]

 

 

 

 

 

Stars’ Amy Millan Preps 2nd LP

All those
Canadian friends of hers are rootin’ for her…

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Amy Millan, of Stars fame, is set to release her
sophomore full-length, Masters Of The
Burial
, on September 8 through Arts & Crafts International.  The
follow up to her acclaimed 2006 debut, Honey
From The Tombs
, was recorded earlier this year with renowned producer/sound
technician Martin Davis Kinack (Apostle of Hustle/Sarah Harmer/Broken Social
Scene) in rural Ontario.  Joined by a group of long-time friends in an
intimate setting, the songs on Masters Of
The Burial
show yet another side to this immensely talented songwriter’s
abilities. A work of true love and devotion immediately apparent in the warmth
of Millan’s angelic vocals and the depth of each song as they unfold.

Fans of Millan’s in Toronto
can catch her live with her band, July 25 for a free show at the Harbourfront
Centre, with labelmate Gentleman Reg.  A fall tour is in the works and
will be announced shortly.

Masters Of The Burial tracklisting:

1.  Bruised Ghosts
2.  Low Sail
3.  Old Perfume
4.  Towers
5.  Day To Day
6.  Bury This
7.  Finish Line
8.  Run For Me
9.  I Will Follow You Into Dark
10.  Lost Compass
11.  Bound

 

 

 

 

Ex-Santana Gregg Rolie w/Ltd. Ed. CD

 

New live CD includes a
slew of Santana classics.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

As we lead-up to the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, word arrives that one of the stars of Woodstock, former Santana
keyboardist Gregg Rolie, is issuing a limited edition CD of his band in concert
in 2007. On the 12-track CD, the Gregg Rolie Band whip up a blistering performance
featuring all your fave Santana hits, as well as tracks from his 2001
critically acclaimed solo CD ‘Roots’ and a few new songs. Songs include “No One To Depend On”,
“Jingo”, “Evil Ways”.
“Black Magic Woman”, “Soul Sacrifice” and others.

 

Attendees at this year’s SXSW in Austin
who caught the special Woodstock
40th panel got to hear Rolie hold forth on his experiences with
Santana at the storied event. Held at the Austin Convention Center
on March 23rd, along with Santana alumni Michael Shr ieve, Gregg resided on a
discussion panel of performers, filmmakers and key technicians.

The final track on the CD, “Bailamos El Son”, was taken from Gregg
Rolie’s performance on the PBS special Trini
Lopez Presents The Legends of Latin Music
. Filmed at the Orpheum Theater in
Los Angeles
last October, the program will be aired in June 2009.

 

Also, the Gregg Rolie band recently performed at the Hard
Rock Cafe New York for the premier of the new ‘Woodstock‘ DVD / Blue-ray release. Audience members were treated to
a guest appearance by drummer Michael Shrieve during the set.

“The first time I played with Gregg
everything just clicked. In a humble way, it was very much like McCartney and
Lennon. You know when there’s chemistry there. Drummers came and went; congeros
came and went, but his feeling and my feeling… sometimes it was hard to tell
who was the needle and who was the thread.” – Carlos Santana

 

The Gregg Rolie Band consists of founding Santana member
Michael Carabello on Congas, Adrian Areas (son of original Santana percussionist
Jose Chepito Areas) on Timbales, drummer Ron Wikso,  Kurt Griffey on guitars, bassist, Chapman
Stick artist and Santana alumni Alphonso Johnson, and former Jean Luc Ponty
keyboardist Wally Minko.

 

“If you are having a good time at anything you do, you
are going to do a good job at what you do,” Rolie said in a statement. “That’s
really where the key to this band is. We really just enjoy each other a
tremendous amount and have a lot of fun with this. We will get up to playing
about 50 dates a year, and really that’s about all I want to do.”

 

For more information: www.GreggRolie.com  

 

 

 

Sonic Terrorists Stage Assault on JFK!

 

JetBlue Airwaves
mounts 6-month, 12-date concert series, actually. But the headline looks pretty
cool, don’t you think? Performing today: Nicole Atkins. Coming up: Justin
Townes Earle, Juliette Commagere, and others.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Jetblue Airways (in partnership with
Superfly Marketing Group) is launching Live from T5, a six-month, 12-date live
music concert series at the airline’s new Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy
International Airport (JFK).   The concert series, which takes place
on select Fridays throughout the year, will feature hand-picked emerging
artists from around the U.S.
as well as bands chosen based on public votes in a national online competition
hosted by OurStage.com.

From
now until July 22, aspiring artists can upload one original song to www.OurStage.com/go/jetblue  for a chance to win one of five acoustic gigs
at the JetBlue terminal in New York.
Winners will be announced during the first week of August.  In addition to
a show during Live at T5, the top artist as determined by JetBlue and Superfly
will also perform as the opening act for a headlining artist at Bowery
Presents’ Terminal 5 in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, or another
Bowery Presents show.  

“JetBlue
not only provides the most free live entertainment in the skies — we also seek
to provide unique entertainment experiences for our customers on the ground in
our brand new, state-of-the-art terminal,” said Kim Ruvolo, manager brand
for JetBlue Airways.  “Partnering with an innovative music and
lifestyle marketing company like Superfly adds more value for our customers,
gives them access to some of the most promising artists in the industry and
engages them through the online OurStage.com competition to create a music
event for customers, by customers.”

“We
are thrilled to partner with JetBlue – a brand committed to providing unique
customer experiences. With the ‘Live from T5’ program, we’ve helped JetBlue
elevate itself to a curator of those experiences,” said Chad Issaq, vice
president of business development for Superfly Marketing Group.

JetBlue’s
Live from T5 unofficially launched on Friday, May 22 with Austin’s own Dan Dyer performing on the south
grandstand in T5’s marketplace.   The remaining dates and artists
scheduled for Live at T5 include:

 

June 26      
       Nicole Atkins
July
3      
          American Princes
July
10               Alberta Cross
July
24               Justin
Townes Earle
July
31               Juliette
Commagere
August
14          Two contest winners
August
21          Two contest winners
August
28         Two contest winners
September
4     Superfly artist
October
30        Superfly artist
November
25    Superfly artist

    

To highlight the many talented artists at JetBlue, the airline has also
established an exclusive presence on OurStage.com for its crewmembers to upload
their music to be entered into the competition (a).  Fans will vote on the
music similar to the national competition and at least one JetBlue crewmember
will also be chosen to perform at JFK’s Terminal 5.

 

 

Seeds’ Sky Saxon 1946-2009 R.I.P

 

Garage legend passes
away in Austin
from undisclosed infection.

 

By Fred Mills

 

Early
this morning Sky Sunlight Saxon (real name: Richard Marsh) of garage legends
the Seeds died in an Austin
hospital. Depending on what source you consult, he was either born in 1937,
1945 or 1946 but most sources give the latter year. He’d been hospitalized in South Austin, Texas, on
Monday due to an undiagnosed condition and remained in critical condition in
the ICU in St. David’s South
Austin Hospital.
Doctors suspected an infection of the internal organs; further tests were to be
done upon stabilization and temporary dialysis of the kidneys was planned. The
official cause of death has not been yet released, according to a report at
Austin360.com
.

 
Saxon fell ill last Thursday in his new home of Austin. Despite feeling under the weather, on
Saturday he performed a short set of Seeds classics at the local nightclub
Antone’s. He’d relocated to Austin
not long ago and had been playing out backed by members of local band Shapes
Have Fangs.

 

His wife Sabrina Saxon posted the news on her Facebook page
today
, writing “Sky has passed over and YaHoWha is waiting for him at the gate.
He will soon be home with his Father. I’m so sorry I couldn’t keep him here
with us. More later. I’m sorry.”

 

This, of
course, will throw the future of a previously announced Seeds/Love/Electric
Prunes tour
into uncertainty. No announcements have been made regarding that
yet.

 
Saxon was a true rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, founding the Seeds in 1965 and having a
string of hits that would go on to be adjudged true garage classics, “Pushin’
Too Hard” and “Can’t Seem To Make You Mine” in particular. It’s arguable that
the band’s fuzzed-out, churning style, powered by Saxon’s snot-punk, sneer ‘n’
wail, fully epitomized the so-called Nuggets aesthetic, and echoes of the Seeds’ sound can be heard in virtually every garage
band operating today. Tune in to Little Steven’s Underground Garage radio show some weekend night for proof.

 

He later
became a member of the Source Family commune in the early ‘70s and played and
recorded with the Source house band, YaHoWha 13. Then in the ‘80s he resurfaced
under his own name (variously, as Sky Saxon & Firewall, the Starry Seeds
Band and simply Sky Saxon) to record a string of spotty but occasionally
inspired albums.

 

During
this period yours truly had an interesting encounter with Saxon on the phone
one evening. We’d arranged to do an interview about his latest record, but
about 5 minutes into the conversation he halted for a second then asked me, “Listen,
do you want to talk to Jesus? Because he’s right here.” Another voice came on
the line, and it turned out to be Saxon’s personal guru at the time – I don’t
think I ever got his name – and he proceeded to talk about spirituality and transcendence
and, if memory serves, LSD. This went on for about 15 minutes until things
reached a point when I could politely interject, “Could I talk to Sky some more
now?” Saxon, it turned out, had left to go to the store for cigarettes… And I
never did get to finish that interview.

 

I was
steamed at Saxon for a long time after that, partly for wasting my time and
partly because I’d been looking forward to talking at length to a bonafide
legend.

 

But I never stopped loving his music, and the
Seeds were one of the great proto-punk combos, without question. In recent
years he revived the Seeds brand and performed with different lineups. He also
did some recording last year with Billy Corgan and was in the video of the
Smashing Pumpkins’ song

 

Seeds doing “Pushin’ Too Hard” on TV in 1966:

 

Bloody Beetroots to Debut on Dim Mak

 

Pounding punkarama
meets dancefloor madness. And that album cover is gonna be contender for sleeve
of the year, too.

 

By Blurt Staff

Bloody Beetroots (aka Italian producer Bob Rifo) finally gets around to issuing
his debut long-player on August 25. Titled Romborama,
it arrives via Dim Mak and features guests Steve Aoki, The Cool Kids, Justin Pearson (The Locust, Head Wound City), Ed Banger artist Vicarious Bliss, and many more.

 

From to “ to the Aoki assisted “Warp 1.9” , the Beetroots have put out banger after banger in the past year,
dominating clubs and inspiring countless remixes.  These tracks, along
with new material, will comprise the album.

 

The backstory:

 

Since bursting onto the scene in 2007, The Bloody Beetroots, a.k.a. Italian
producer and polymath Bob Rifo,
has brought a sense of danger to dance floors across the globe. Rifo
injects his grooves with the chaos and larger-than-life persona of late 70’s
British punk and Oi!   The juxtaposition of seemingly incompatible styles
of music doesn’t end there;  Rifo studied classical composers for years.
But whether Rifo is channeling the spirit of Beethoven, The Misfits, or
something in between, The Beetroots’
primary objective is to incite a dancefloor riot, and each track is always
driven by addictive, pulsating beats.

In conjunction with a signature sound, Rifo has created a distinct visual
aesthetic as well.  Taking cues from comic books, Rifo and his onstage
partner, DJ Tommy Tea, wear
masks while performing to create alter-egos for themselves.   The
controlled chaos that defines The
Beetroots are embodied by the music videos for “Cornelius” and “‘Warp 1.9.”  The two clips shine a
light into a world where mosh pits and general punk rock revelry collide with
dance-all-night club culture. 

 

 

Wiretree: Blurt’s Best Kept Secret

 

 

Latest pick of cool
artist in our ongoing collaboration with Sonicbids. MP3 sample on the music
player.

 

By Fred Mills

 

The BLURT staff put our heads (and ears) together and we
have the May-June pick for our Blurt/Sonicbids “Best Kept Secret“: it’s Austin combo Wiretree.

 

Fronted
by Kevin Peroni, the quartet includes Joshua Kaplan, Rachel Peroni and Daniel
Blanchard. Their debut, a self-titled EP, was released in 2005 under their own
independent label, Cobaltworks Music. In January of 2007, Wiretree released
their first LP entitled Bouldin. A 2009
LP is due out later this year. They describe their music as being “largely
influenced by Britpop and musicians along the likes of George Harrison, Elliott
Smith and the La’s.”

 

But
there’s a lot more than those namechecks might suggest – echoes can be heard of
everything from vintage ‘60s pop-sike and Velvet Underground-esque choogle to paisley
underground-tinted ‘80s stylings and latterday indie rock with a distinctive
anthemic edge. There’s an urgency afoot in the Wiretree music, and a naked
honesty as well.

 

We’ll have an interview with the band posted to the site
shortly. Meanwhile, you can check our BLURT radio if you want to hear an MP3
(“Big Coat,” from Bouldin) by the
band – just click on the music player image on the right hand side of our
homepage and scroll down for the song. Also check out the band’s MySpace page for more song samples – they indicate a new album is about ready to drop – as
well as tour dates and more. And congratulations to Wiretree. They’re one of
the good ‘uns, trust us.

 

***

 

Bands, go to www.sonicbids.com/blurtonline to submit and have us review your materials for feature consideration.

 

 

>Our November Best Kept Secret: The Handcuffs, from Chicago.

 

>Our December Best Kept Secret: Black Swan Green, from Brooklyn

 

>Our January Best Kept Secret: stephaniesÄ­d, from Asheville

 

>Our March Best Kept Secret: Polly Mackey & the
Pleasure Principle, from England