Rita: I love when winter turns into spring. It inspires me to think of rejuvenation and new beginnings. Lolita: When I think of April I think of April Fool’s Day and you are a fool! Rita: Well fool rhymes with jewel. Lolita: It also rhymes with tool. And you are a tool. You’re always hammered. Suddenly, I am inspired to nail down Aerosmith’s original second guitarist, Crazy Ray, to answer our question of the month – Who in the local music scene inspires you and why: CRAZY RAY TABANO: My long time guitar hero has always been Joe Perry, this guy was, is and will always be what a rock star is supposed to look, act and live like, simply put, HE’S DA MAN. But, let’s not forget about me ole bud Steven Tyler – to this day I still am in awe over the depth of his talent, what he has done in his life time is beyond words. Looking back at when we were snot nosed punks spitting on car windshields, and snatching stuff that didn’t belong to us along with a bunch of other crazy things we did, to where he has taken himself today is sorta like a Hollywood movie script. Being part of the original Aerosmith line-up, leaving, coming back as a roadie then as marketing director and studio manager (the infamous The Wherehouse in Waltham MA) was an amazing time in my life. Still don’t know how I made it through alive. Many, many totally insane situations happened on a constant basis – too many! Still keeping in touch with Steven, Joe and my good friend drummer extraordinaire, Mr. Joey Kramer. I’m always ready to travel most anywhere when they’re on tour, to sit at their campfire and warm my spirit with them. I’m still going at it, writing, recording, playing and generally being a P.I.T.A., however, it’s always done in the spirit of LOVE. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Stay well all. Down the road we go, Oh Yeah. *** SHANTY DAN VITALE (Bim Skala Bim): What inspires me these days is the amazingly dedicated and hard working people behind the scenes. Like Tim McKenna (LiveNation Productions) who really cares after all these years about musicians and is such a wonderful host. He makes bands really look forward to play. I recently heard a really inspiring story from JJ, owner of ONCE in Somerville, and all the bands I’ve repeated it to have been truly humbled and moved. JJ told me when Bonney Bouley closed T.T.’s for good she gave the entire P.A., snakes, mic, etc. to JJ and ONCE free of charge. One historic supporter of live music to another. A really cool passing of the torch move. Bonney helped a lot of us struggling bands and she knew JJ would be doing the same. That is inspiring for the future of Boston music. *** KATHY SANDS–BOEHMER (Me & Thee Coffeehouse): Bill Staines has been a folk road warrior for many decades and has played at the Me & Thee in Marblehead every year since we opened in 1970. He’s the only artist who can claim that distinction. He has racked up hundreds of thousands of miles on his vehicle and has spread his songs and stories from one end of the country to the other. He is an inspiration to me and to many others. On the other end of the spectrum, I’d say that Hayley Reardon is an inspiration as well. She started writing songs while in middle school and went on to produce several albums; she continues to motivate both young and old with her wise beyond her years lyrics and gentle melodies. Now a freshman at Belmont University in Nashville, we’re expecting to hear more and more of her for many years to come. *** DENNIS BRENNAN (Dennis Brennan): Randy Black. When I was a young man, fresh off the turnip truck, I went to a Limbo Race show at Storyville, in Kenmore Square and was blown away by Randy’s power and showmanship. He was fresh off winning the Rumble and was at the top of his game. After the show, I introduced myself and Randy was gracious and kind to me. It was a welcome to the Boston scene that I had not been offered before. Randy is still at the top of his game and writing great songs.
Rita: Now is the perfect time to spread the word about what’s going on in the New England music scene. Lolita: That’s an uplifting idea Rita, ‘one in a row’ for you. Onward and upward. *** DAVID P. RILEY (New England Blues Summit) tells us to plan ahead for three days of blues on The Cape. A mid-May weekend in Hyannis for the New England Blues Summit with local Massachusetts acts SUGAR RAY & THE BLUETONES, THE LOVE DOGS, STEVE MORGAN & THE KINGFISH, THE RACKY THOMAS BAND, Connecticut’s MIGHTY SOUL DRIVERS, New Hampshire’s DOWNTOWN DAVE & THE DEEP POCKETS and JUKE ROCKETS BLUES BAND from Maine. The headlining national acts include SAMANTHA FISH, JOE LEWIS WALKER (with local legend LENNY BRADFORD on bass) and THE JOHN NEMETH BAND. *** The world famous Johnny D’s Sunday Jam has found a new home. Starting in mid-March DR.GRANT KELLY + THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA BAND kicked off the first night of the Johnny D’s Legacy Blues Jam upstairs at The Causeway Restaurant + Bar in The North End. A great little joint similar to The Cantab. Great food and underage musicians are welcome! A cool club run by cool people. *** HEAVY METAL HORNS had a 25th Anniversary reunion gig at Johnny D’s. *** LIZ BORDEN producing FLIGHT OF FIRE in the studio. *** TYLER & THE NAMES debuted their new song “Nancy Neon” at Obrien’s in Allston. Nancy is the widow of Billy Borgioli from THE REAL KIDS and THE VARMINTS. *** DRIVE SOUTH from Gardner added a new male singer SCOTT LORANGE and had their first gig at Kasbar in Worcester where their performance registered nine on the Richter scale. *** RICK PORTER (Pr esto Porter) has a very talented daughter who was competing in this year’s season of The Voice. *** TERRY KITCHEN‘s new release The Post American Century nominated for Limelight Magazine’s album of the year for a solo artist. *** JAMIE SHALER is on a big solo spring tour. He tells us he recently had the pleasure of rocking with STEVE CLEMENTS and PAUL ORTOLANO doing Jimi and Carl Perkins tunes at a show. *** SUGAR RAY & THE BLUETONES were elected into the R.I. Music Hall of Fame. *** The rocking REVEREND KERRY KEEFE brings his Firebird guitar and collar to his new band GOOD NEWZ BLUEZ. He is also working on his CD tribute to his blues roots. *** BRETT MILANO has a new book Don’t All Thank Me At Once. The music guests at the release party included JOHN POWHIDA, TANYA DONELLY accompanied by RUSSELL CHUDNOFSKY and SCOTT JANOVITZ. *** WOODY GIESSMANN (The Del Fuegos), the head of RIGHT TURN charity, just sworn in by Gov. Charlie Baker for The Massachusetts Board of Registration of Medicine at the Watertown Public Library as an addiction specialist.*** Northampton band BELLA’S BARTOK releasing a new album soon. They just had a great gig with ROUGH FRANCIS and everybody danced the night away to their unique extravaganza. *** R.I.P. LENNY BAKER of SHA-NA-NA originally in THE PILGRIMS. Back in the ’60’s this South Shore band dressed up as Pilgrims. Lenny was from Whitman and died at 69 in the South Shore Hospital. SHA-NA-NA’s drummer Jocko Marcellino was also in The Pilgrims and suggested his saxophone friend join the oldies band. The rest is history. *** JAMES MONTGOMERY from Rhode Island and PAUL NELSON from Connecticut are members of THE JOHNNY WINTER ALL-STAR BAND now touring the country playing after the the screening of Down and Dirty the great new documentary of the guitar legend’s life The band recently played at The Regency Theatre in Arlington which is celebrating their 100th Anniversary in business. *** KEVIN BARRY (The J.Geils Band) recently backed Roseanne Cash at Carnegie Hall then he was back at The Lizard Lounge backing up Dennis Brennan as usual. Also in the band is BILLY BEARD from Face to Face.***Acclaimed Northampton quintet WINTERPILLS celebrated the release of their new and seventh album Love Songs at Great Scott’s with special guests ARC IRIS. We love FLORA REED and PHILLIP PRICE’s great harmonies. An indy band with dark chamber pop influences. Recorded and co-produced by JUSTIN PIZZOFERRATO (Dinosaur Jr., The Pixies, Lou Barlow, Speedy Ortiz). *** HONEYSUCKLE just had their CD release party at Passim’s. This folk/rock trio is led by singer/songwriter JON COX. Opening the show was MOTHER MOSES with Jon, ELLEN SCHULTZ, STEVE BUNCE, and VADA KIM. *** GRETCHEN BOSTROM is leaving JUKE JOINT 5 after helping found the band eight years ago. The band will continue with LISA MARIE fronting. Gretchen will be doing work under her own name. Stay tuned. *** B11′s fourth release Vitamin For The Soul was released in March. Surf rocking at it’s finest.***Boston songwriter MARK ERELLI releasing For A Song in April. From introspective ballads to celebrations of love. *** Ever heard of pop duo KARMIN? AMY RENEE HEINEANN and NICK NOONAN. Check out “Crash Your Party.” *** DAVID ALVES tells us his band NO EXIT are planning a reunion gig in September or October. *** MATTHEW ZIMMERMAN (x-The Marvels) is now in the new band JOHN HUGHES RADIO. Their first single “Fade Out” really rocks.
MORE UPLIFTING ANSWERS
Rita: Enough gossip. Let’s get back to our question of the month. I’m gonna ask my favorite drummer, Woody, what pounds HIM into shape. WOODY GIESSMANN (The Del Fuegos/ Right Turn): David Minehan (The Neighborhoods/ Woolly Mammoth Sound) is the person on the music scene who inspires me. He continues to rock and help artists young and old. He is one of my favorite people from the Boston music scene that I have worked with in the studio. *** CINDY DALEY (Cindy Daley): When I was in LOVELACE we opened the doors of The Rat and played for six weeks to get it up and running. Steven Tyler and Jon Butcher used to come in and see us a lot. Three beautiful women, why not? Every memory really inspires me to this day! *** JOHN IPPOLITO (Blue Umbrella Entertainment): The local musician who inspires me the most is Erin Harpe. She is a funky musician that is becoming a road warrior reminiscent of Boston female musicians that paved the way like Lizzie Borden, Robin Lane, and Bonnie Raitt. Erin was recognized along with Bonnie Raitt and Susan Tedeschi in 2013’s “30 Women Burning Up The Blues” in The Alternate Route Magazine. Her core band ERIN HARPE & THE DELTA SWINGERS plays Charles River delta blues and her alter-ego band LOVEWHIP plays punk/disco dance music. Erin is the local musician who inspires me the most as she performs and tours constantly and in my opinion as a fanatic live music lover delivers night in and night out in character with a distinct signature style. She’s destined for stardom. *** MASON VINCENT (Wicked Men): My current rhythm section of Jason Sumrall on bass, and Ben Northup on drums is my inspiration. We are the driving force of the central Mass band known as WICKED MEN and for the last year we’ve been playing in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Look for us at a club or festival near you this spring and summer.
Lolita: Alright everybody we’re back with more gossip. Rita: I wanted a fresh bottle of Jack and you bring trash talk. *** THE PAJAMA SLAVE DANCERS are back with their first release in decades. The cats have fifteen or more new tunes and have started writing and rehearsing again. Look for new music coming out soon. *** Guitarist OWEN KENNET is a manager at The Middle East and also in the band COASTAL FLUX a Top 40 pop/rock band. They do cool covers of “When You Were Young” by THE KILLERS and a mash-up of two PARAMORE classics. Owen and owner NABIL SATER took us next door to the former T.T. the Bear’s to see how the renovation is doing. The new club will be called Sophia’s Place (named after Joseph and Nabil’s sister) and is one big room with double the capacity that it used to have. 350 people. Wow! We can’t wait. *** DENNIS BRENNAN has a new CD coming out called Into This World. Stay tuned. *** The Me & Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead is celebrating it’s 46th year presenting live music! LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III, DAVID MALLETT and STEPHEN KELLOGG are all coming to share their music there in the next few weeks. *** Great gig last month in MICKEY BLISS’s Club Bohemia at The Cantab with THE GRAVEDANCERS and CLUB LINEHAN A GO GO. *** Another great gig last month on The North Shore at The Spotlight Tavern in Beverly with the jam/rock of SKYFOOT and the weird fusion and twisted blues of THE CHRISTOPHER JACQUES TRIO consisting of CHRISTOPHER JACQUES, BENJAMIN SIWAK (The Romano Project) and CHRIS SAMUEL BELANGER (Cyborg Trio, Gorilla Finger). Tuesday night is open mic/chicken wings night but you can go there anytime for their burgers, burgers. *** VASCO DA GAMA is releasing their latest Motorcycle Police to Bloody Mary. Thirteen new politically tuneful lyrical artsy edgy drastic alienated and cuddly music for your brains and feet to meet in the middle. Funky rock for the cerebral cortex. PAT DAUGHERTY, brother TOMMY DAUGHERTY, NIK GERBOTH, DAN KELLAR, LOU CATALDO and LAURIE GELTMAN all contribute. *** BARRY and CONNIE GOUDREAU (Boston) busy planning their daughter’s wedding in The Berkshires at the end of May. Congratulations! *** BLEU and ALEXZ JOHNSON in a new band called JOHNSON & MCAULEY. *** MARIACHI INTERNACIONAL is at Casa Vallarta in Northborough and now in Saugus every Thursday and Sunday nights. *** EITHER ORCHESTRA will have two CDs out this summer. The CollectiveUnconscious and an Ethiopian jazz release that is still untitled. It will feature music from 1930’s composer NERSES NALBANDIAN who was the band master for Haile Selassie and taught Ethiopians how to play western instruments. *** DEAD POET SOCIETY is releasing Dempsey an EP of new music at the end of May. Check out “Lo-Air” an indie hard rocking song featuring lead singer/songwriter JACK UNDERKOFLER. Sorta like Jeff Buckley meets Muse. *** DAVE BARTON from THE OUTLETS is in a new band called TATTOO COWBOYS. *** PAUL WILLIAMS up in Buxton, Maine, runs The Brickhouse right out of his own domicile. Limited seating and it’s not a public venue so you really have to know somebody that knows somebody to get an invite to these super secret blues shows. Check out THE NICK MOSS BAND for a pre-CD release party in the middle of this month and THE MALLET BROTHERS BAND at the end if you keep your ears to the ground and can get in. *** Don’t miss THE FOOLS’ annual April Fools Day bash at The Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury on Saturday, April 2, and make sure you don’t miss MIKE GIRARD’s new 21 piece rocking band MIKE GIRARD’S SWINGING THING at The Palace Theater in Manchester, N.H. in the middle of May. *** DUKE ROBILLARD had a killer gig at the Parrish Center for the Arts in Chelmsford. SUNNY CROWNOVER fronted the band for a couple of sets of swinging blues and rocking blues including tunes from her recent release Right Here Right Now. *** THE HOT TAMALE BAND is playing their seventeenth opening day at Fenway Park on Yawkey Way. *** DAVE MINEHAN tells us THE NEIGHBORHOODS are working in “Woolly’s B Room” (Woolly Mammoth Sound) and that we can expect new HOODS in 2016. *** In 2013 JENNY DEE and TOWNSHIP swapped songs for the Boston Does Boston Benefit Series. Jenny loved their version of her song “Getaway.” She’s been seen recently joining THE FAMILY TOWNSHIP’s residency at The Lizard Lounge in Cambridge. Other special guests you might catch there are CHRIS ANZALONE, ANDREA GILLIS and ERIC SALT. *** SUSAN TEDESCHI and her TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND have a new release Let Me Get By with a great song “Anyhow.” *** Happy 70th to PETER WOLF who is celebrating with a new CD out in April A Cure For Loneliness. We just love the rocking/ country/ blues ballad “Wastin’ My Time.”
LAST MOTIVATING ANSWERS
Rita: Step back and take a few deep breaths and lets get back to our last question of the month answers about individuals’ inspirations. Lolita: Anything to keep you occupied my dear. Let’s ask Reno what his whims of fancy are. *** RENO (The Gravedancers): Swine, a.k.a. Stefan Lovelace, was Scott Baerenwald’s brother (Robin Lane, Reddy Teddy). He did sound for everyone back in the day, house sound man at Spit. I’m pretty sure he was in the first lineup of Willie’s Boom Boom Band too. *** WILLIE LAWS JR. (The Willie Laws Band): John Moriconi and Sam Gentile. Why? Because they are examples of transforming the power of music into medicine. *** JIMMY COYLE (Jimmy Coyle): I am inspired by my friend “Fingers Flyin” Jimmy Ryan. I met him back in the day when I was tending bar at Nightstage and he was ripping it up with the seminal Boston band Blood Oranges. Since then I have played literally hundreds of gigs with him (most with the Irish band Sundays Well). Aside from being a rare player, a deep and tricky virtuoso on mandolin, he writes authentic and sturdy songs. You can’t fool him. He is not afraid of polkas or diminished arpeggios. He is a gig dog and a bar room gentleman with an unflappable attitude I strive for. He can hit your knuckleball, and I’ll bet he could drive blindfolded for a super long time without anything bad happening. *** MICKEY BONES (The Hot Tamale Band): Does Sleepy LaBeef count? He lives in Arkansas now but he made a home in Amesbury for many years. He hired me and my guys for a back up band at Johnny Ds in January. He is 80 years old and still up to his old tricks. What a chaotic hayride! Rita: Great answers. Sounds like a good time to end the column. Lolita: See you again in May!