Rita & Lolita

MEMORABLE MELODIES

Rita: Because of your tragic existence I always think of The Ides Of March when this month arrives. Lolita: Ha Ha. Because you are a Comedy of Errors I think for our monthly question it would be funny to ask our artists to correctly answer: What is your favorite local song (by someone other than you) and say something about the artist? Let’s ask a man who makes no mistakes behind his kit JOHN ANTHONY (Jon Butcher Axis, Anthony’s Planet):  I would have to say is a song called “Through The Pain” by Tomo Fujita . Which features Steve Jordon on drums, from the CD Pure ! I had the pleasure of playing with Tomo on stage with Jon Butcher Axis and it was great. Such a fabulous player. To play with both Jon Butcher and Tomo at the same time was transcendental. *** SCOTT MURAWSKI (Max Creek): Oh, that’s an easy one! “Everybody’s Running Away” by Dennis Brennan. I love the album track (Engagement) and I’ve seen the song played live a number of times. Besides the absolutely BLAZING guitar work done by Duke (Levine) and Kevin (Barry), the song itself is brilliant in it’s seeming simplicity, although it’s not that simple, having covered the song in a couple of projects. The melody is great, the lyrics are of the angry heartbreak type and of course Dennis’ voice is expressive and awesome. But what get’s me is the extra bars. I LOVE extra bars and they’re all over this song! It’s a quick one, a quick four, and then it just hangs on the five forever. And I love how the last word of the chorus extends over the chord change, sliding up. Killer. *** NATALIE JOLY (Natalie Joly): My favorite local song would probably be “Wouldn’t That Be Something” by Adam Hanna. He’s a 20 year old singer/ songwriter who is extremely talented. I’ve helped him out on some background vocals for other songs he’s working on and he’s just a pleasure to work with, and all of his songs are very well written and have lots of meaning. *** PAUL AHLSTRAND (Paul Ahlstrand): “Enough” by Tim Gearan. He has too many great songs to list, but this one feels like the right choice at this weird moment in human history. With all the injustices in the world, complaining about why his songs haven’t reached a wider audience seems petty, but damn it, more folks should be digging his bag. *** WILDCAT O’HALLORAN (Wildcat O’ Halloran): Since the untimely passing of local blues man Art Steele in a car accident a few weeks ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about him, and so I’m answering the favorite local song question with his version of Otis Rush’s “Cut You Loose,” a song we’ve often played together at my Sunday afternoon blues jam at City Sports Northampton. When I first met Art in about 1978, shortly after moving from Springfield to the Upper Valley, I remember debating the relative merits of Buddy Guy versus Magic Sam (both from the same wave of post- Muddy blues like Otis Rush), and wondered long after if it wouldn’t have been more appropriate if our positions had been reversed; since his high tenor voice and chunky blues chords always reminded me of Sam. I’m more the screaming electric guy with a lot of notes a la Buddy ! Some readers may recall a massive outpouring of love when we did a benefit for Arthur after a previous car wreck in 2010. He amazed the Doctors with a full recovery that time. Sadly, not so fortunate this January. Hopefully, we’ll have a tribute concert for Art in the Spring.

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NOTABLE NOTABLES

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. BARRY GOUDREAU, TIM ARCHIBALD, BRIAN MAES and ANTHONY DEPIETRO working the past eight months on BARRY GOUDREAU’S ENGINE ROOM a new record with all original songs coming out at the Lynn Auditorium CD release show on April 22 with JOHN CAFFERTY and THE BEAVER BROWN BAND and CHARLIE FARREN. The angelic vocal section at the show will be MARY BETH LINEHAN MAES, THERESA DI CHIARA O’SORO and JOANIE BROWN CICATELLI.  Congrats to Barry and CONNIE GOUDREAU  on the birth of their grandson future guitarist SAMUEL HENDRIX GOUDREAU.  With a name like that his future guitar playing days seem guaranteed ! And speaking of Charlie Farren JOE BLACK‘s new Blackenstein CD features a reunion on a record after thirty years. Charlie and Joe were in Balloon together and this new music is the first time they’ve recorded together since the eighties. With JOHNNY PRESS (Velocity) on guitar. KEN KALYJIAN who played lead guitar with Balloon also plays mandolin on two cuts. *** PIXIES new album Head Carrier out in a few months. The new song “Classic Masher” is classic Pixies. Some more great power pop with a new twist on their sound. More uptempo and it doesn’t sound like PEARL JAM. *** ERIN HARPE & THE DELTA SWINGERS’ second album coming out this Spring. *** BOBBY T. TORELLO from Connecticut’s THE JAY WILLIE BLUES BAND just named to the Classic Drummer Hall Of Fame. Bobby T also is a veteran of playing with the JOHNNY WINTER BAND and Maine’s growling guitarist ARLO WEST. *** What’s cooler than Brookline Blues Bigwig BOB MARGOLIN doing WARREN HAYNES’ star- studded Last Waltz 40th Anniversary Tour? Mr. Vizztone Records’ ROSY ROSENBLATT (Danny Klein’s Full House) sitting in blowing harp at The Orpheum. *** Singer/ songwriter PENN JOHNSON from Marion, Massachusetts  recently wrote “Give Yourself To Love” a country blues pop ballad with harp. He wrote this super song while sitting on a rock at Ned’s Point in Mattapoisett. He’s got a great voice and this spiritual and uplifting tune is nice easy listening. *** LINDA MARKS and KAORUKO PILKINGTON sing with a pianist every Monday in the new First Monday’s residency at Club Cafe in Boston with the area’s best theater pros and rising stars singing jazz, Broadway and cabaret tunes. I know a night of Carole King’s music is scheduled for May 2. *** CHRIS CARTER of Little Steven’s Underground Garage show on Sirius just sent a letter to TOM GUERRA of THE MAMBO SONS: “I’ll be closing my Sirius/ SM show “Chris Carter’s British Invasion” with your brilliant song “Overend Watts” about my friend Pete Overend Watts. This will air at approximately a quarter to one in the morning this Saturday and again on Sunday afternoon. You guys are a great band. Cheers, Chris Carter- Breakfast With The Beatles.” The Mambo Sons are named after a T.REX song. *** Speaking of residencies: Every Tuesday check out THE EVENFALL QUARTET for nice evening jazz at The Fairmount Grille in Hyde Park. MARK EARLY on tenor, SONNY BARBATO playing keys, JUREK GLOD pounding and BRAD HALLEN (The Duke Robillard Band) on upright. *** ENTRAIN is epic in sound and kaleidoscopic in vision. The eclectic Martha’s Vineyard six piece jam band has been thrilling audiences for decades and just did a big benefit for The Groton- Dunstable Regional High School Chamber Chorus to raise funds for their April 2017 trip to Italy and Croatia. *** ILANA KATZ KATZ  Appalachian blues fiddler just celebrated the eighth anniversary of bringing her music to the people “in the subway.” Catch her at Park Street on the Red Line. *** A great gig at Once’s in Somerville: Wolf’s 24th Annual Mardi Gras Ball. A classic night of New Orleans r & b featuring special guests: DENNIS BRENNANRICK BERLIN, AMBER CASARES, CHRIS COTE, AD FRANK, BO and RACHEL BARRINGER, JEN D’ANGORA, ANDREA GILLIS, ERICA MANTONE, THE REVELATIONS, JITTERY JACK and MISS AMY, MIKE GENT, MICHELLE PAULHUS, BERTRAND LAWRENCE, YOLANDA SCOTT, ANDY PLAISTED, ED VALAUSKAS and RUSS GERSHON (Either Orchestra) with the legendary VUDU KREWE including CHANDLER TRAVIS, PAUL AHLSTRAND, DUCKY CARLISLE, CLIFF SPENSER, MARC HICKOX and MARK CAUGHILL. This show benefited The New Orleans Musician’s Clinic. *** Acoustic act THE COFFIN SALESMAN has their debut EP Disappearing Acts out now. Americana/ punk/ folk music by ARIA RAD on guitars and vocals, RYAN COOMEY playing accordion, organ, and backing vocals. JAY THE MILKY spins the dials and knobs. “White Girl, Wasted” is the hit. *** JAY SCHEFFLER from the late great 10 FOOT POLECATS has a new band called THE ELECTRIC SINNERS. Sorta like BLACK SABBATH meets PINK FLOYD but slower and more bluesy. Lasers, fog machine, wah- wah pedals, the works. He invites us to Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge Saturday, March 11 for “A Blues Tribute To Bob Dylan.” Blues gems from all phases of his career with DANIELLE MIRAGLIA, JAY SCHEFFLER, BRENDA HOGAN, PATRICK COMAN and JEREMY VAN CLEAVE. The house band will include MARCO GIOVINO on drums and JOE KLOMPUS (Letters To Cleo) on bass. *** AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER has spent a lot of time on the road this year. Their new song “After Party” written by DAVE MUNRO is super sonic. *** The Pig in Salem, Massachusetts will now be called Mercy Tavern and is scheduled to open again for business April 1. *** Fun Sister Kate fact: KATE TAYLOR on Martha’s Vineyard has a friend DAVID GEIGER who grows orchids. He developed one fifteen years ago and it first bloomed in 2006. He named it Kate Taylor and registered it with The Royal Horticulture Society. It has been eleven years since its first and only bloom but it recently blossomed again. A beautiful orchid and honor for a great lady. *** KRISTA METTLER publicist for Skye Media and Rock Ridge Music tells us that Boston born and now based here and in Nashville country singer/ songwriter CHRIS “OZ” FERRARA will release his latest single “No Mercy” on March 20. He draws from country, gospel, Motown soul and rock. Listen for his upcoming debut EP Something To Prove. *** Every Monday at The Plough & Stars a new movement has begun. A collection of some of the city’s best musicians have come together to bring you an amazing night of deep, psychedelic funk and soul. Rich lush vocals over heavy vintage sounding guitars, thumpin’ bass and drums, and classic keyboards mastery with a great horn section and a whole lotta fun. Front man NEPHROK leads the charge of brothers and sisters to bring you the soundtrack of this new movement of love and awareness. Hot buttered Mondays at The Plough & Stars. No cover.

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MORE MEMORABLE MELODIES

Rita: Enough gossip! Let’s get back to asking another local legend about their most loved licks and tasteful tunes. PAUL KOCHANSKY (The Swinging Steaks): Because there are so many favorite local songs of mine, I choose the most recent:”Humble and Kind” by Lori McKenna. Not because it’s the 2016 Song of the Year (both CMAs, AMAs) or Grammy-nominated (Country Song), but because I cried the first time I heard it (and still do, sometimes). Now, more than ever, the world needs songs that inspire people to raise their kids to be humble and kind. I’ve been playing music with Lori for over twelve years and, in addition to being the best songwriter I’ve ever worked with, she has always been humble and kind. *** LAURA VECCHIONE (Laura Vecchione): My favorite local song, that is accessible to download is “The Morning After” by Danielle Miraglia. I was stunned by how clearly Danielle was able to articulate, so soon after these last election results, what so many of us women were feeling, but could not yet access the words for. In this song, Danielle is fearless in her imagery and word play.  Her response to having a bully, who bragged about coercing women sexually, win the highest seat in the nation, does not shy away from the difficult images of rape and coercion, or the crazy-making tactics of a gas-lighting, abusive partner. The whole song is a brilliant double entendre that expresses sorrow for not only how women are so often viewed in our culture, as having our worth be measured as purely sexual, but also, how so many of us feel this current President played the country. The words, “nation” and “country” are generally perceived as female. (Ex. God Bless America “Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with a light from above. “).  Danielle’s YouTube video is equally powerful in its bare simplicity. She lies on a bed, hiding herself, her depression, and shame, behind sunglasses, covering her head in a hoodie, as if to make herself invisible after an assault.  At the same time, she expresses compassion for her sisters who fell for and supported her metaphorical assailant.  So the song also incorporates true female sisterhood. She manages to make this statement without evoking pity and she also does not evoke what would be very justifiable female rage that might turn some listeners off. There is such an emotional bareness and honesty in the experience. She simply states, plainly, and truthfully the sorrow, the pain of the truth of her experience. She sings her truth to power.  And it is very cathartic and empowering to listen to. As an artist, Danielle can hold her own with the boys.  She is a bad ass blues and slide guitar player, who constantly challenges herself, and throws herself into what is often a male dominated world of instrumentalists. To see her as a writer, not only integrate intellect, clarity of vision, political commentary, and personal sorrow, but also allow herself to be fully female in both her vulnerability and strength, showed a courage I so deeply admired. My second favorite local song is also by a woman, and this woman will be opening for me at a benefit concert for Family Promise Metrowest at TCAN on Saturday, May 13. Jodi Heights  is a pianist and singer songwriter whose voice is one of the purest instruments you will ever hear. (She sang harmonies on two of my songs on my new album, Love Lead). While many of Jodi’s songs are available on line to hear, the most recent one that floors me is one I have only heard her play twice. Jodi was reading Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote on the white moderate in Letter From A Birmingham Jail as being the greatest obstacle to the progress of justice. “I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council- er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says” “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action'” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom’ who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a ‘more convenient season.” Having her finger on the pulse, Jodi wrote this song a few months ago.  The juxtaposition of Jodi’s beautiful, pure, sweet voice as she takes on the mantel of the white moderate who simply does not want his buzz killed by the inconvenience of other people’s suffering, is a powerful vehicle of delivery in and of itself.  Jodi has a sense of irony in her writing like nobody’s business, and I love that she has the courage to take this topic on in the first person voice. But – and here’s the spoiler alert – the coupe de gras of this song, is delivered through the vehicle of Jodi’s voice AND her knowledge of world music.  In addition to her singer songwriter career, Jodi is an NEC trained musician who sings in a World Music Trio. As she finishes her last chorus, “Don’t make me uncomfortable, don’t make me uncomfortable, I’d rather have order than justice,” her piano harmonies morph from a typical Western harmonic structure to a middle eastern raga and her voice follows suit as she sonically shape-shifts into singing a powerful female middle eastern cry from the heart. It’s staggering. My jaw dropped the first time I heard her do it. Such courage, such brilliance, and such a powerful statement made, with the music itself!  I feel deeply we are in a moment in history where those of us who were raised in the privilege of not having what we looked like or our religion questioned, marginalized, or looked upon with suspicion have to deal with the discomfort of listening to the true lived experience of people in our country who have been subject to either systemic racism, or cultural bias.  Jodi wrote this song before the president issued his travel ban.  If we are going to heal this place and make it stand for what it purports to, all of us have to get out of our comfort zones and listen and speak and be vulnerable in a new way. Thanks so much for the opportunity!  This was actually really fun!  Being artists, it is our job to remain open and empathetic, and to help others feel their own hearts through music.  I am so proud to live in New England, Boston in particular, where so many artists feel we have to respond to what many of us see as a dangerous lack of empathy in our current culture that does not speak to who we truly are. *** GRAHAM BRANLUND (Eva Braun Band): My fave tune by a local band would have to be hey “Jeannie” by Clutch Grabwell And The Lead Foot Horns. This is a punchy tune makes you wanna get up and dance kinda like what a Peter Wolf song does. Get’s the blood flowing. The other would be “On Borrowed Time” by Peter Wolf (The J.Geils Band). *** ANNA MADSEN (Anna Madsen): My favorite songs from  local artists are “Patiently” by Justin Cohn, and “Persephone” by Stephanie Tonneson. *** GARY HAGERTY (Spydr Entertainment, The Calamari Brothers): My all-time favorite song goes back a little while called “Lost Mind” by Duke Robillard and Roomful of Blues. I grew up listening to them andattending as many shows as possible at that time. They were a major influence in my life, and still are. I was very fortunate to be able to meet and develop friendships and also perform with past and present members and Mr. Duke Robillard is a very prolific singer, songwriter and entertainer whom I would like to thank for being such an influential person in my life.

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INSIGNIFICA

Lolita: Back to babbling ! MAYOR MARTY WALSH and the Mayor’s Office Of Arts and Culture (MOAC) announced artist CRISTINA PARRENO ALONSO was selected for the public art project in Hyde Square, Jamaica Plain. The office’s mission is to support artists, the cultural sector and to promote access to the arts for all. Cristina will work with the Hyde Park Square community to refine the design and further develop her initial proposal. All of this is planned for later this Fall. Mayor Walsh: “The Hyde Square Public Art Project will offer the J.P. community a place to meet and socialize with their fellow neighbors. We heard the community’s desire to have a gathering space for people in their neighborhood and I look forward to completing this project and fulfilling that wish, while also supporting talented artists in the community.”  Alonso’s recent work “Tectronics of Transparencies” explores the qualities of glass as a translucent and transparent material as well as a structural element. ***  Keep The Edge Studio in Quincy just had their Fifth Anniversary Party and a CD release celebration for KEITH ASACK and ShuffleThey had eight live bands play and  a couple of hundred people walk in. All groups played original music and the acts ranged from folk and Americana to classic rock. *** Check out LAURA VECCHIONE‘s new release Love Lead a soulful mix of gospel, blues, country, pop and rock. She’s a great singer/ songwriter. *** The New England Music Awards just dropped their blues category. How could they do that in this town? *** THE DRIVE doing an April 21 gig at The Jetty in Marshfield. The club is booking a series of bands that used to play at The Ranch House in Marshfield many moons ago. *** THE CALAMARI BROTHERS with RICHARD WILLNER have a blues jam feel and are at The Burger Bar in Pawtucket, Rhode Island every Wednesday. ***ANNA MADSEN has a new album out March 3 called Whisper. This talented singer/ songwriter is from New Hampshire and this woman can sing ! *** JESSE WILLIAMS and his MENOTOMY ALL- STARS always host local legends at the cool restaurant/club past Harvard Square on the Arlington/ Cambridge border. March 9 has SONYA RAE and RYAN TAYLOR, ED SCHEER sings The Band on March 23, DENNIS BRENNAN appears on March 30 and BARRENCE WHITFIELD brings the house down on April 6. Ow. Ow. Ow. *** Downstairs at The Cantab every Friday and Saturday night is MICKEY BLISS presents Club Bohemia. Magnificent music at a cool club. Mickey is the sad, depressed individual dancing around getting drunk and telling tales of unhappiness and woe. He also is the person having the most imperfect last name. *** Hippie Hour at The Midway in Jamaica Plain features the music of The Grateful Dead and others. UNCLE JOHNNY’S BAND, and MYSTICAL MISFITS usually fit the bill there. *** The Spotlight Tavern in Beverly just opened their newly renovated dinner bar with a new menu and still have great music at nine. *** Lenny’s in Westbrook, Maine is a great place to eat and hear some great music. Owner BILL UMBELL has done a great job of creating a music first restaurant featuring some of the best folk, Americana, blues and r & b acts in New England. The food is terrific, the staff is great and there’s interesting memorabilia from LENNY BREAU the legendary jazz guitarist who recorded in the building decades ago. *** SUGAR RAY AND THE BLUETONES invited vocalist/ guitarist RIHARDS KOLMANIS a Latvian student at Berklee up to sit in for a few tunes at Thunder Road in Somerville. *** JONATHAN CANNON from EZEKIEL’S WHEELS KLEZMER BAND just sent us some non– band info: he’s on the board of directors of New England’s Folk Festival Association (NEFFA) and they’re organizing their Third Annual NEFFA Preview Concert at Club Passim featuring  some of the finest traditional and folk music performers in April. The preview concert is Sunday, March 19 featuring THE VOX HUNTERS- celtic/Americana fiddle tunes, OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE- a jug band, and GOGOFSKI- playing songs from The Balkins. *** Speaking of Passim’s: AMBER BELHUMEUR let us know that March 5 they will host the CD release party for PAMELA MEANS who has been based in New England since the nineties and lives in the Western part of the state. She is a politically charged singer/ songwriter folkie whose songs focus on the softer matters of the heart but are often cries for justice and racial equality. “Color Of Skin” is a great song on her new ten song release Plainfield, her eighth album of solo acoustic music named after the town she lives in. Then two days later, on March 7, celebrate the release of JEWMONGOUS’ second album of original comedy songs The Least Jewy Jew In Jewville at the Harvard Square club.  Rockapella star SEAN ALTMAN’s unkosher comedy song concert is funny, very musical and should be seen by every heeb and goy in New England. *** GIRLS, GUNS AND GLORY just released Love And Protest on vinyl and had a great party at The Sinclair. They’re aiming to get back to the Boston area in the Spring possibly for an acoustic show. *** TOM APPLEMAN has a new band  with keyboardist BRIAN FRIEDLAND guitarist NICK GRONDIN and drummer DAVE SARDELLA. Tom sez he’s writing more rootsy music these days. A WARREN ZEVON vibe with tons of energy. *** SUSAN CATTANEO with THE BOXCAR LILIES have a great gig June 15 at Thunder Road for their record release party. Great harmonies. Great songs. *** PAUL KOCHANSKY (Swinging Steaks) sat in with RONNIE EARL AND THE BROADCASTERS with DIANE BLUE for the late JIM MOURADIAN. *** Teenage blues axeman BAXTER HALL (Monty’s Lobster, Clyde Brown) onstage with DUKE ROBILLARD for a killer version of his song “Mourning Dove” at Chan’s in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. *** Congrats to STEVE BERKOWITZ for winning a Grammy this year for being the Producer of The Best Historical Album The Cutting Edge (1965-1966) The Bootleg Series. Volume 12 (Collector’s Edition). *** Check out steampunk band TIMESHIP EVERMORE with MASON VINCENT on guitar and vocals, JEZEBEL GRACE on vocals, BOB SHANLEY on bass, TOM NEELAND pounding and AMANDA NEVE on violin. Progressive pop. Originals and covers. Their debut gig is April 22 at The Starlight in Southbridge.*** JOHN ANTHONY who pounds for the JON BUTCHER AXIS also has his own band ANTHONY’S PLANET. Expect a CD out this Summer. *** MAX CREEK is on a Caribbean Sounds Of The Sea Concert Cruse sailing from Miami March 25 till April 1. DONNA THE BUFFALO and THE ADAM EZRA GROUP are also on bill for this smoking fantasy trip to five rasta heavens. *** Bassist SPENCER HARGIS bassist from THE DOUG FLUTIE BAND, THE TRICK WALLACE TRIO and THE DARREN BESSETTE BAND just signed an endorsement deal with Ampeg. He’s now on their endorsed artists roster, *** Invasion of The Connolly’s. Last month, Boston singer/ songwriter KEVIN CONNOLLY was overheard saying “you really can’t have enough Connolly” about his shows with fellow singer/ songwriter NIALL CONNOLLY. Though unrelated, they both share a passion for songwriting. Kevin hails from the Irish Riviera town of Marshfield and Niall is the real deal- a Cork native living in the U.S. *** Save us seats at two great upcoming music festivals: DAVID P. RILEY gives us the scoop on The New England Blues Summit at the Hyannis Resort and Conference Center down on The Cape April 28- 30 with: ANTHONY GOMES, TOMMY CASTRO, MIKE ZITO, SHEMEKIA COPELAND, ANTHONY GERACI (Sugar Ray and The Blue Tones), JOHNNY HOY AND THE BLUEFISH, THE WILLIE J. LAWS BAND with DIANE BLUE and on Sunday a farewell blues jam featuring: SAM GENTILE, TONI LYNN WASHINGTON, BRUCE BEARS (The Duke Robillard Band), SONYA RAE and RYAN TAYLOR. THE BOSTON BLUES ALL- STARS includes: SUGAR RAY NORCIA, TONI LYNN WASHINGTON, ANTHONY GERACI, MICHELLE “EVIL GAL” WILLSON, MICHAEL “MUDCAT” WARD, MARTY RICHARDS and MONSTER MIKE WELCH. And FLORA REED from Signature Sounds tells us about The Green River Festival in Greenfield, Western Massachusetts on July 14- 16. NRBQ’s BIG AL ANDERSON and his band THE FLOOR MODELS will be there with fourteen other groups. This is their area’s biggest outdoor event with a wide array of kid’s activities, festival camping and hot air balloon rides !

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FINAL MEMORABLE MELODIES 

Rita: And now for the last of our sweetest songs. JESSE WILLIAMS (Berklee, Al Kooper, Jesse Williams Menotomy All- Stars): My fav local tune? How about “The Love That You Left Behind” by Lettuce? I love the combo of classic production, groove and soul. These guys tour all over but originated here in Beantown. Trumpeter, Eric Benny Bloom has been taking the soul/New Orleans world by storm. He was always a pleasure to share any stage with. Lucky if we get him in town these days. Btw, the band apparently got it’s name because they’d ask clubs to let-us play !! Lettuce is funckaay. *** WARD HAYDEN (Girls, Guns and Glory): My favorite local song is “Theresa” by Dennis Brennan. Not only does the song tell a fascinating story that evolves and plays out through the course of the song, but it’s got a great melody, great chorus and the musicianship is just killer. Plus, Dennis does a Wednesday night residency at the Lizard Lounge, so anytime I want to hear it played live all I have to do is go down the street and see him and his band crush the song, and a whole list of other great tunes, at one of my favorite venues. *** JOHNNY BEROSH (The Facc- Tones, Mailman Carl): My favorite local song is “Up in the Room” by Mr. Airplane Man.The first time I saw Mr. Airplane Man was in I think 1997, they were playing on the bench in front of the 1369 Coffeehouse in Inman Square, they came in first and asked for permission to play on the bench. Then they started getting gigs next door at The Druid, first as Whitey Ford, then as Mr. Airplane Man. Then Mark Sandman recorded them and took them on tour with Morphine. It all happened so fast and it was so great because Mr. Airplane Man is great.This song for me is them at their best, deep bluesy voodoo all yearning and churning. I ended up playing this song with Margaret Garrett at the 1369 Coffeehouse in Inman Square when she played there in 2016, I grabbed a bucket from the kitchen and played along with wooden spoons and nobody grooves deeper than Margaret, and I was just trying to play with the same voodoo swing that Tara (McManus) does, she’s such a great drummer. *** TOM APPLEMAN (The Tom Appleman Band): My favorite jam is “Church on Time” by The A-Beez. A-Beez plays at Bull McCabes every Wednesday in Somerville and every Tuesday at Wally’s in the South End. Nephtaliem McCrary (better known as “Nephrok”) fronts the band as well as the incredible keyboard/bass duo,  Amy and Aaron Bellamy. Pete MacLean is on drums (Maceo Parker’s drummer). Sick night of Funk! Funk is my go to for live music however I dig the Americana guitar stylings of Duke Levine and Kevin Barry at the Lizard Lounge on Wednesday nights as well. *** SUSAN CATTANEO (The Boxcar Lilies): My favorite song is “Netherlands” by Mark Erelli which you can find on his latest album: For A Song.  The melody is so wonderful and tender, and I love the lyrics: the detail of the cobblestone laid out in “herringbone” and the girl with the “jonquil hair” I love it! It gets me every time.The whole album is great actually.  I first met Mark when he sang on my duet “Get Back the Longing”.  We met through our shared producer, Lorne Entress, and from that moment on, I became a huge fan of his music.  We ended up writing a song together for my new album. The song’s called “The River Always Wins,” and it’s one of my favorites from this new project ! Rita: Great answers! Sounds like a great time to end the column. Lolita: Send in your band’s news and come back and see us again for our next column posted appropriately enough on April Fool’s Day on the first! Have fun folks!

R.I.P. ROBERT FISHER who recently died of cancer while working on the release of his latest WILLARD GRANT CONSPIRACY album Untethered. MR. CURT met him in the eighties when PASTICHE used to play in Portland, Maine. Fisher had just started his first group LAUGHING ACADEMY, and Mr. Curt became their producer and confidante for many years after Fisher moved to Boston and continued WGC on an international stage.

RIP: VINNY NATALE (Mung/ The Maggots)


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