Rita: The beginning of January is when I make my New Year’s resolutions. Lolita: It’s when I regret spending more money for holiday gifts on you than you do for me. After twelve months, you are always at the top of my list on spending reductions. Rita: Let’s ask our artists to give us a list of their top three anythings for the preceding year (2016). Lolita: That’s a great question from a person with an obsessive compulsive disorder, dear sister. Let’s start by asking one of the greatest guitarists we know – BARRY GOUDREAU (x-Boston/ RTZ): Here are the three things I am thankful for at the end of 2016: First, I am thankful for some of the things we may take for granted. That is, friends who have supported me through the most difficult of times, a long and successful marriage, and healthy and happy children. Second, I am thankful at the ripe old age of 65, I still have that “fire in the belly” that got me into music and continues to drive me forward. And last, I’m happy we have an active music community that let’s me and others do what we love to do. *** KATHEI LOGUE (Killer Children): My three favorite anythings this year would have to be (in no specific order): My new 65-inch television, so that I can now read all of the captions on the screen. Next would be all of the Bob Dylan material that has been released this year. And last would have to be California’s desire to secede from the Union now that Trump is in power. At least now I don’t have to move to Canada because I can just move to the left coast. *** CHRIS “STOVALL” BROWN (Stovall Brown Band): My three favorite record releases of the past year are: The Complete RPM – Kent recording B.B. King box set (1950-1965 Pvine Japanese 17 CD set) that’s now out of print. Then, William Bell – This Is Where I Live on Stax, and the third one is Roddie Romero & Hub City All-Stars’ Gulfstream. *** Grammy Award winner PAUL NELSON (The Paul Nelson Band/ x- Johnny Winter Band): The best three things that happened in my life in the past year are the release of my new album Badass Generation on Sony. Second, was performing at the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise with Los Lobos and Buddy Guy in Puerto Rico, Barbados,and Dominica and the third was performing with Warren Haynes, Sony Landreth and Gov’t Mule in Jamaica. *** PROFESSOR HARP (Professor Harp): In my humble opinion, the top three events of 2016 (at present) are: The U.S. Presidential election, The Brexit and the indigenous people’s victory at Standing Rock canceling the pipeline’s construction.
Rita: How about some fabulous factoids? Now is the perfect time to spread the word about what’s going on in the New England music scene. Lolita: I hate when you make sense. RICH GILBERT’s follow up to Stereo Action Music is called Son of S.A.M and is available now. Asymmetric music. Complex songs. *** The MORPHINE documentary Journey of Dreams has been released and is muy buena. *** The Celebrity Series of Boston has released their line up for The Third Annual Stave Sessions – a unique music series that showcases the innovative, the experimental and the collaborative approaches of emerging artists March 21-25 at Berklee and will include shows by YMUSIC, six musicians – a string trio – flute, clarinet and trumpet, rising tenor superstar MELISSA DANA TRIO, 18-piece big band DARCY JAMES ARGUE’s SECRET SECURITY, percussion trio TIGUE and INNOV GNAWA and indie music scene’s BLONDE REDHEAD featuring ACME. *** TCAN has installed a fantastic new digital cinema on the second floor of The Firehouse. The new TCAN Screening Room will be open for the public in the new year. Great music. Great movies. Right outside of Boston. *** Appalachian blues fiddler ILANA KATZ KATZ played before 450 teenagers at Bradington High School in Florida while she was also performing at the Bradington Blues Festival. At the school she shared blues songs while offering the historical context of the music. Keeping the blues alive while connecting with the students. *** SHAKE THE FAITH bassist TODD ERICKSON is in the studio with his son ELIOT ERICKSON‘s band WORK IN PROGRESS. The group also recently won the Maine High School Battle of the Bands state wide competition. They are now recording at Launch Pad Studios in Portland, ME. *** TOKYO TRAMPS have a rocking new song “Blue Bird” and it’s a hit. *** THE STOMPERS celebrating their 39th anniversary as a band. *** SARAH & THE WILD VERSATILE is releasing their new album Fall Into Grace January 13th at The Lizard Lounge. The album features ERIC REARDON, DEREK DUPUIS, DEREK HAYDEN, STEVE BURKE and SARAH SEMINSKI. Produced by AARON BELLAMY at A1 Produx Studio in Charlestown. *** JAMES TAYLOR has announced his 2017 Summer Tour schedule at four baseball parks including Fenway Park, August 11, with BONNIE RAITT playing at each show. *** RICK BARRY used to be in THE LIMIT. Now he is working with JAKE BAUTISTA and DICKY BUCK on the Cape and the South Shore. They are a finger picking electric folk band with a bit of Zep/ Foo/ Zappa in the mix. We dig their songs “Moments of Clarity,” “Crooked Foot,” and “Fear of Fear.” They are going in the studio with producer JON EVANS to do one song at a time and will be focusing on their live shows and webcasting content. *** Connecticut band BABY DYNAMITE has their self-titled debut album out. Shit stomping, thumpin’, funkin’, rock and roll. Soul and blues infused rock. CHRISTINE TAMBAKIS, RANDY FUNKE, BENJ LEFEURE, GARY COLLINS and MATT ZEINER kick ass on songs “Take Me Down,” “It’s All Good,” “Jenny,” and “Devotion.” It’s produced by JAY NEWLAND and BABY DYNAMITE and mixed by RANDY FUNKE at Carriage House Studios in Stamford, Connecticut with overdubs added at The Zone in Norwalk. *** Fun Fact: Boston’s RAY GREENE recently left TOWER OF POWER as their lead vocalist. They have a killer live show and another Boston vet ELLIS HALL also passed through their ranks. For almost a year, Ray has been with SANTANA. *** RAM is live every Tuesday at The Pond Pub in Coventry, R.I 8:00 p.m to midnight. Catch JOSEPH RYAN and ALICIA PARENTE CARLOS rocking with The Ram Man. *** ERICA MANTONE, ANDREA GILLIS and JENNIFER D’ANGORA performing as THE REVELATIONS at a gospel brunch at Atwood’s Tavern. Good Lord! Another great gig brought to you by Catalano Creative. *** Funny man BARRY CRIMMINS was on Conan’s show a few days before Christmas. No joke! *** PETER WOLF & THE MIDNIGHT TRAVELERS play The Cabot Theatre in Beverly on the North Shore April 8. Plan ahead. *** KAREN DIBIASSE and DAVID SIMMONS from GIRL ON TOP are proud to announce the opening of their new web site for their guitar repair and music school business called Axe Grinder – you play it we fix it. Local Boston luthier/ guitar repair/ music school. *** Sax man MARTY PHILLIPS recently had successful open heart surgery and transplant and had his first gig back at the end of last month. Great to see and hear him back. *** RICK HARTE sent us the following news from London. He is almost finished recording and mixing six or seven songs for a new EP to follow up THE REAL KIDS’ Shake…Outta Control LP and that there will be another more comprehensive European tour in late March promoted by Rage Tours. *** Connecticut guitar ace and Grammy award winning producer PAUL NELSON brings his great rocking blues band up to PAUL WILLIAM‘s residence club The Brickhouse in Scarborough, ME, April 29. *** Sax man MARIO PERRETT returns to Wally’s Cafe in the South End for a new residency on Monday nights. Blues/ r & b/ and funky soul. December’s line up included guitarist extraordinaire RICKY KING RUSSELL, BEN KNIGHT on keys, and MILT REDNER on guitar. *** Six stringer DANNY REYES from DEVIOUS INTENTIONS tells us about a great gig with his band and A TANGLED WEB, NAKED ON JAKE, SEPSISS, KELSEY, and THE SCREAMING HEARTS at Sammy’s Patio on Revere Beach. Brought to the cool club by LC Shows Booking and Management. You can still have fun at Revere Beach in the winter. *** ROSY ROSENBLATT from Vizztone Records and AMY BRAT from Brat Girl Media sent us Boston blues harp player TIM GARTLAND’s latest release If You Want A Good Woman. Tim was a long time vet on the local scene with his band THE PORCH ROCKERS and has recently re-located to Nashville. He also studied with local legend JERRY PORTNOY in the ’80’s. The album is due out this month and is Chicago blues at its best. *** Another Fun Fact: Knowing that money was tight during the holidays The Spotlight Tavern in Beverly cut their prices on food and appetizers until Christmas along with their great music. Pretty cool! *** Check out open mic nights at The Midway in Jamaica Plain hosted by ANGELA SAWYER and GABE STODDARD and sponsored by Harpoon Brewery. *** Jalapenos in Gloucester boasts 12 years of great music with THE WOOD PEPPERS including DAN KING, DAVID BROWN, WOLF GINANDES and DAVE MATTACKS. *** The Cantab on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge has something going on every night of the week. Mondays GEOFF BARTLEY hosts a singer/ songwriter open mic. Tuesdays showcase the best bluegrass. Thursday, Friday and Saturday hosts MICKEY BLISS‘s Club Bohemia downstairs and Sunday has an all-star music jam with LEE LUNDY, CANDY DELGADO, SIR CECIL (x- African Roots), and THE CHICKEN MAN.
MORE LUMINOUS AND LOFTY LISTS
Rita: Enough gossip! Let’s get back to asking another local legend about their lavish and laudatory roll of honor. JENN LOMBARI (Lucky United): Top three Rhode Island bands to watch in 2017: Lucky United, The Callouts and Waymet. *** DAN STYKLUNAS (Downbeat 5): My Top 3 Reissues for 2016 are: First, Van Morrison: It’s too Late to Stop Now, Volumes II-III-IV. This box set expands what may be the most underrated live recording of the last half-century. Van’s 1973 tour with the Caledonia Soul Orchestra finds the singer at his peak, and has been remastered with extra tracks, alternate takes, and a DVD of a show at the Rainbow in London. Pure gold. Second, The Beatles: Live at the Hollywood Bowl. Finally, the LP that Capitol released in 1977 of the Beatles 1965-66 shows is now available on CD. George Martin produced the initial LP release, and his son Giles Martin did a masterful job with this expanded edition. It is hard to believe there were so few professional live recordings done with The Beatles, making this all the more important. And third, XTC: Skylarking – 30th Anniversary Definitive Edition. XTC’s best album from 1986, originally produced by Todd Rundgren, has been remastered, and includes remixes by Steve Wilson, and includes a Blue-Ray Audio disc with surround sound mixes. A timeless record that still surprises. *** NEAL VITULLO (Neal & The Vipers): For me personally it was walking my daughter down the aisle. Businesses in our world seems to be doing a little better. 2016 was a terrible year due to the loss of so many legendary people and with the election results in I’m hard pressed to think of good things but the band has been working a lot and writing and getting ready for a new studio recording. *** MAIA KENNEDY (Maia Kennedy Photography): How’s this? Best Three Concerts: Dropkick Murphys 20th Anniversary show, The Neighborhoods and Lez Zeppelin Best Three New (to me) Bands: Slapshot, The Bruisers and Watts. Three Best Irish Bands: Dropkick Murphys, Boston Police Gaelic Column and The Fenian Sons. And Best Stage Performance: The Neighborhoods, Slapshot and Fitz and The Tantrums.
Lolita: Back to babbling! MATT LORENZ aka THE SUITCASE JUNKET has a Wednesday night residency at Atwood’s starting in February. His new album is due out in April. *** JOHNNY PRESS (x-Velocity) on new metal CD from JOE BLACK called Blackenstein due out very soon. “All Your Love” and “Care About You” are the hits. *** Congrats to Connecticut’s PAUL NELSON and nominees THE JOE LOUIS WALKER BAND with LENNY BRADFORD on bass for their 59th Grammy Award nomination for “Best Contemporary Blues Album.” Nelson produced this great release. *** How does a man become an esteemed Jewish novelty song purveyor? SEAN ALTMAN‘s Jewmungous just celebrated the release of his second album of original comedy songs The Least Jewy Jew in Jewville and had an ironically appropriate release party at Passim the day before Christmas. *** CHANDLER TRAVIS‘s 2016 edition of The Cape Cavalcade happened in a posh new location Ocean’s Edge in Brewster. Hosted by the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, THE TICKS, FRED FRIED, THE SPAMINATO BROTHERS, THE CATBIRDS (his other band), TRIPPING LILY, TOAST & JAM, CHRISTINE ERNST, THE RIP- IT- UPS, MONICA RIZZIO, CLA DA BOSSA NOVA, SUEDE, CRABGRASS, DAVID ROTH, TREVOR THEJUGGLER, THE CATIE FLYNN BAND, DIANE ANDERSON and THE DAUGHTERS OF MOONLIGHT BELLY DANCE TROUP, EARTH JR., JAY COURNOYER, BROADWAY CENTER, THE DING DONNELLY AND DANNY DEVEREAX SHOW and THE ATHOL THINGERTH were the acts involved. Then ten days later Travis hosted his annual 12th Boston Christmas Cavalcade for the Homeless at Once Ballroom in Somerville featuring THE STOMPERS, THE BOSTON TYPEWRITER ORCHESTRA, JENNIFER KIMBELL, THE SECOND LIVE SOCIAL AND PLEASURE SOCIETY BRASS BAND, AMY FAIRCHILD & CARLA RYDER, RAMONA SILVER, THE WEISSTRONAUTS, ERIN HARPE, SHAUN WORTIS, MERRIE AMSTERBURG, ROSE POLENZANI, THE DARLINGS, JEN D’ ANGORA, ALASTAIR MOOCK, THE CLASSIC RUINS, THE REVOLUTIONARY SNAKE ENSEMBLE, MIKE GENT, KIMON KIRK, THE BOOGALOO SWAMIS, THE ATHOL THINGERTH and THE PHILHARMONIC TROMBONE SHOUT BAND. Great music. A great cause. This cat sure gets around! *** DUKE ROBILLARD got a new BP ROSE guitar and he loves his new great-playing axe. *** GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER named 12/8/16 as CHUCK NOWLIN Day (WZLX) and Chuck took suggestions for new laws, forgiving tax bills and for the airing of grievances while on the air. Very cool. *** Check out blues/ rock band KB & THE STORM with singer/songwriter KIMBERLY BATTIS, VINCENT PAUL RIZZO on guitars, TIM RYAN on bass, and STEVE SASSO pounding. Their single “So Alive” will be done by February and the album will be done by the summer. Kim’s other band THE MANCINI SOUL PROJECT does covers and some originals and the group is named after a friend who recently passed. *** JAMIE SHALER released a mostly instrumental holiday tune he made with CHRIS YOUKEN a few years back called “Christmas Chills” that we still dig a lot. The video on Youken’s website ended up with about 59,000 views last year and has over 63,000 this year. It has been watched all over the world from Greece to The UAE to Singapore to Sweden to Quatar to England to Bulgaria! *** LACEY BERRIEN a p.r. person from independent ad agency Allen & Gerritsen informed us that Boston cops and kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester made a holiday video together called “I Saw Three Ships.” The music is the result of the Black With Blue campaign organized by MOBILE STU and MIKE BOSTON and is an effort to use music to create new respect and understanding between police officers and young people in the communities that need it most. Check it out online. All proceeds from downloads benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs. It’s an anthem song called “One Beat For Peace.” Sharing respect through music is always good. *** RUBY ROSE FOX named Singer/ Songwriter of the Year at the Boston Music Awards. AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER won for Best Video of the Year. Both bands were featured in The Noise in the past year. Look them up. *** BLOCKYARD guitarist and Berklee professor SAL DIFUSCO has new instructional clips up on YouTube’s guitar leading videos. This cat can play. Check them out. *** CHRIS PORTER booking agent at Once used to be a DJ at WUML (formerly WJUL) which is UMass Lowell’s station during his college years. Just before he started booking Bunratty’s and then The Middle East. He recently returned to his old gig for a few hours on a show featuring old dj alumni each week. *** Middle East bouncer fired after eating a cheese burger and fries next to the stage during a show with former Bauhaus front man PETER MURPHY who is a vegetarian and complained during the set before some of the security jumped onstage to try and corner Murphy. *** Guitar ace CHRIS STOVALL BROWN has a new Sunday late afternoon/ evening residency in Newton at Terry O’Reilly’s in the center of town. *** DAN and JOHN STYKLUNAS now in a classic soul/ r & b band called LOVE TRAIN. *** MAYOR MARTY WALSH and his office of Arts & Culture announced the opening of two art exhibits in City Hall. Art In Giving is a philanthropic art exhibit and the Fourth Annual Massachusetts College of Art & Design showcases student paintings, graphic designs, sculptures, and jewelry. Mayor Walsh: “I am proud we are able to display local artist’s work, showcasing the city’s talented art community for residents and visitors to enjoy.” Every month has a new exhibit at The Mayor’s Gallery in City Hall. Check it out. *** KEN FIELD (The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble) is back from gigging in Australia near Sydney in a town called Wollongong at the Illawarra Folk Fesival and then with KEN FIELD’S HOOT BAND at the Honk! Oz Festival and finally for a few shows with some incredible down under musicians at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania. No more complaining about how long your ride to the venue is. *** Bassist JESSE WILLIAMS‘s daughter ELLA is on a compilation album with DAR WILLIAMS, MARGARET GLASPY, JOHN C. REILLY and others called Tolkadelphia Sessions Volume IV by TOLKADELPHIA. *** Check out Lewiston, ME, guitar genius LENNY BREAU the next chance you get. *** Luthier STEVE BAXTER (x- Koodoo, Shyboy) owns Dudacus Basses and just got a great write up review of his hand made instruments in last month’s issue of Bass Player Magazine. Cool looking and great sounding. *** RUSS GERSHON (Either Orchestra) also plays in LOOKIE LOOKIE and will be playing their catchy and uplifting Latin bugalu music and blend of mambo, soul and rock ’n’ roll January 26 at The Regatta Bar. *** GEOFF PANGO and MR. CURT have a new four song acoustic pop maxi-single called Cap It Off on LowBudget Records. *** Young rapper and photographer extraordinaire JOHN MOONEY has started a T-shirt company called Trespassion featuring his own cool shots. Great looking tees – check out his website. We love his peeling paint shirt. *** BRUCE MARSHALL‘s wife MICHELLE has officially launched her own business. She’s been hard at work since leaving the corporate world in October and is now selling her own handmade guitar string jewelry and doing CD, web design and branding. Her new company is called Padruig which is Gaelic for Patrick, her maiden name. Look up her website. Great stuff! *** Early in 2017 BARRY GOUDREAU (x-Boston/ RTZ) will be releasing his first set of original material in many many moons. The band is called ENGINE ROOM and features his old RTZ band mates BRIAN MAES on keyboards and vocals, TIM ARCHIBALD on bass, and with MARY BETH MAES, TERRI O’SORO and JOANIE CICATELLI singing backup.
FINAL LUMINOUS AND LOFTY LISTS
Rita: And now for the last of our exceptional enumerations. DUKE ROBILLARD (Duke Robillard Band): This has been a busy year and we’ve had some great gigs. We have been on the road since mid-November. First in Spain, Germany, the Czech Rep and France. Then the next leg included Buffalo, New York, Kincardine, Chatham and Windsor, Ontario, Cleveland, Ohio, Evanston and Rockford, Illinois.We were at a great venue called Sandywoods Center for the Arts in Tiverton, Rhode Island a few weeks ago. And a December Knickerbocker Cafe show with original members of Roomful called The Founders. We were at the Iron Horse in Northampton and then The Knickerbocker for NYE and coming up at Natick Center for the Arts January 14. Then I head to the west coast mid January to be guitarist for Mark Hummel’s Harmonica Blowout before heading back to the west coast with the Duke Robillard Band in March for a tour. We will be at the Bull Run in Shirley March 5 and at the Katherine Hepburn Center for the Arts March 17. *** LANCE NORRIS (Dutchco Entertainment): We lost a lot of good men and women in 2016, but thinning the herd isn’t always a bad thing. Bad thing – take Castro, for instance. Although Castro didn’t even make my Top Ten of the Best Deaths this year. He did a lot of evil work. Don’t get me wrong but he turned everything over to his brother and was kind of a piker for the past decade. Here are my Top Three Deaths in 2016: Three, Bhumibol Adulyedej, King of Thailand. He was beloved by his people, but mostly because he enforced lese-majeste, which is a law that calls for critics of the King to be jailed for three to 15 years. In 2010 alone, he had 478 people jailed for criticizing him. Tell me Adulyadej isn’t Trump’s hero. Second, Robert E. Allen, the former head of AT&T who acquired NCR for $7.4 billion and then broke it up and laid off over 100,000 workers giving himself a huge raise for his efforts. Later he drove AT&T’s stock into the ground and was forced out in 1997. And number one is Guy Hamilton, the movie director who gave us Goldfinger and Force 10 From Navarone. What’s so bad about him? He never gave us a sequel to Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, killing off what could have been Hollywood’s greatest film franchise. I could never forgive him for that. *** DAVID BIEBER (Pop Culture Preservationist): Top Three Anything of 2016: Pop culture category only: Connecting with so many like-minded collectors, archivists and institutional gatekeepers who are celebrating Boston music… its colorful history and its current creativity… at places like the Verb Hotel, Boston Calling and the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair. Eye-witnessing so much vital music in the vibrant local venues. Memorable performances of 2016 included: Savages at the Paradise, David Thomas and Pere Ubu at Sinclair, Peter Wolf at the Somerville Theatre, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble at Once, Gracie and Rachel at the Red Room Café 939, Asa Brebner at Store 54 and Ani DiFranco at the Berklee Performance Center. And the continuing importance of Boston-area college radio stations, especially, WUMB, WMBR, WZBC and WHRB. Call the dj’s occasionally and tell them you appreciate what they play, say and do. *** SARA COLB (Sara Colb & the Sagamore James Band): I’ve got two lists for you! We lost so many giants this year, but the hardest for my band (and particularly my husband/ drummer, BJ, and me) was Prince. So the first is for him; my Top Three Prince Songs we discovered posthumously: “Xtraloveable,” “Lolita,” and “Black Muse.” The best part of this year was the birth of our daughter, Georgia, on April 1. So here are my Top Three Georgia Songs: “Georgia on My Mind” (Ray Charles), “Oh Atlanta” (Alison Krauss), and “Midnight Train to Georgia” (Gladys Knight and the Pips). *** JON POUSETTE- DART (Jon Pousette-Dart Band): Bright moments for me in 2016: One, releasing Talk cut at Ronnie’s Place Studios in Nashville, with a section of players I wanted to record with since the early ’70’s. Two, putting on the Centennial celebration of my father’s (born in 1916) work at PACE gallery in NYC, including a presentation at the Whitney Museum of Art. Three, playing our annual concert at Mitchell Farm in Salem, CT, sharing the event with Pure Prairie League, Jonathan Edwards, Aztech Two Step, and Al Anderson. Always a memorable engagement. And fourth, thankful to still be here making music, and having friends out there who stay with me as the clock turns. Rita: Great answers! Sounds like a good time to end the column. Lolita: Send in your band’s news and come back and see us again for our next column posted on February 1! Have fun folks and stay warm!
R.I.P MICHAEL CLEANTHES a.k.a. MICKEY CLEAN who’s band Mickey Clean & The Mezz ruled The Rat in the local first generation of punk music in the early to mid-’70s. Mickey played guitar, harp and sang with them. ASA BREBNER was also a member of the act and told us that HELANIE SAAD called him up with the news that Mickey had died in Ft. Lauderdale where he lived. The band’s droning and maudlin torch song “I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again” is a punk classic.