Rita: It’s almost time for me to announce my candidacy to get elected Eternal Ruler of the Universe. Lolita: Since your universe consists of four walls and a bathroom you shouldn’t have any problem getting enough votes. But it gives me a better idea. Why don’t we ask this month’s artists a political question? If there was a Music Mayor of the Greater Boston area (New England) – who would it be and why did you vote for him/her? Rita: Let’s keep the gridlock to a minimum and ask our favorite former TV host and current folkie who he thinks should be honored? JOHN DAVIDSON (John Davidson): I would like to nominate singer/ songwriter/ storyteller Vance Gilbert for Music Mayor of the greater Boston area. He has the compassion to lift us all to the right key, and the scale of his talent inspires us to not B flat! *** NICOLE NELSON (Dwight and Nicole): Boston’s Music Mayor is Jesse Dee. Hands down. DWIGHT RITCHER (Dwight and Nicole): I also go with Dee. Great talent. Great suits. A mayor has to dress sharp. *** STICKINTOIT JOEY SCRIMA (The Joey Scrima Power Trio): Mayor of the Boston New England Music Scene? That has to go to Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. After watching him with Chris Botti singing “Smile” though your heart is aching at the Wang Center, he is truly the Mayor of music in New England. For jazz, it has to be Jerry Bergonzi; sax player extraordinaire. I chose Steven Tyler because he is such a well rounded musician/ singer on so many levels. He has been the main face and force of the most well known New England band for my adult life. Aerosmith. And he took it to international fame. Boston rock starts with Aerosmith and goes on from there. *** BEN DOBROWSKI (The DoBros): The Music Mayor of the Greater Boston music area would be the one and only Joey Pierog. Joey helped produce our album over the last year and we have really gotten to know him and his greater reach into the New England music scene. Besides helping produce albums with Rocking Horse Studios, Joey is a very talented multi-instrumentalist. He can slay guitar solos in Pat & The Hats or pluck funky jazz bass lines with The Four Legged Faithful and Brad Myrick Band on the upright. Joey is an all-around all-star in the New England music scene.
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. JAMES MONTGOMERY and BRUCE MARSHALL had a great gig celebrating their 23rd year together as an acoustic duo at Mast Cove Art Gallery in Kennebunkport, ME, an intimate setting in a beautiful antique home and at O. Dan’s Public House in Standish, ME. Dan’s a master chef and has a new location in Sebago. Bruce started the Tuesday open mic night at the club every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Three songs per player. Bruce opens up with a short set at seven and then he brings players up until ten. His band the BRUCE MARSHALL GROUP has four shows at the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Blues Barge this Summer on June 22, July 6, August 17 and September 7. *** Closer to home: Go to The Spotlight Tavern on the North Shore in Beverly, MA, every Tuesday night for their open mic showcase. Great talent. Great food and drinks. And you don’t have to wait for the weekend. *** Fun Montgomery Fact: James is also a dues paying member of the Newport, Rhode Island Elks Club. We think he still looks more like a moose. *** The NERVOUS EATERS have been in the studio the past few months recording their new CD. STEVE CATALDO says, “The weather has warmed up so expect us back out gigging with new songs in our set.” *** Plan ahead for the New England Songwriter’s Retreat hosted by ELLIS PAUL August 31 to September 4 at The Guest House Center in Chester, CT. *** HOLLY HARRIS (WUMB) is scheduling the memorial for club owner ED BURKE on June 3. *** GEORGE CLINTON & PFUNK with DANNY BEDROSIAN from the North Shore on keys will be at The Cabot in Beverly on June 10. Get up and dance! *** St. Patrick’s Day marked the opening night of the new Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, NH, with CHARLIE FARREN and ENTRAIN getting their Irish on and rocking out. *** BILLY CLAIRE (AKA Fay School of Visual Arts) and his wife NICOLE were vacationing in Amsterdam and they found the U.S. version of WILLIE ALEXANDER & THE BOOM BOOM BAND’s first album in a record store and bought it. Band guitarist BILLY LOOSIGIAN confirmed it wasn’t the European release after seeing it on Claire’s cell phone message. *** GARY SHEA and JIMMY WALDO from NEW ENGLAND just back from a tour of Japan with their other band ALCATRAZZ. Look for a Blue Ray DVD and Live CD coming out soon. *** Check out THE KOHAUG ALLSTARS from Rhode Island. JIM DEVORE is the singer/ songwriter/ guitarist, BRIAN BD RODRIGUES behind the kit and singing, JASON BORDEN playing bass and JOHN VENTURA on keys. They’re one of New England’s hottest up and coming rock and blues bands and they just had a killer show at The Stadium Pub in Cranston, MA. Check them out. *** MASON VINCENT (The Happy Campers) has a new band called TIMESHIP EVERMORE with THOMAS NEELAND, GABRIELLE JEZEBEL GRACE MURRAY, AMANDA NEVES and BOB SHANLEY. *** RAM SONGS from Rhode Island has a residency at AEROSMITH pounder JOEY KRAMER‘s Rockin’ And Roastin’ restaurant in North Attleboro. Great food. Great music by Ram and a ton of memorabilia from the rock star drummer. *** REGENT is an indie/ rock band from Southampton, MA, fronted by BEN ROOKE (The Gallery). Their song “All I Need Is Faith” is a hit. Great Brit rock ’n’ roll. *** CORIN ASHLEY and CLIFF HILLIS do a cool metal punk ballad called “Vulgar Stain.” Power chords and attitude and all the money is going to the A.C.L.U. *** CARTER ALAN (WZLX)’s new book is out. The Decibel Diaries is a journey through rock in fifty concerts and it’s a must read. *** Maine axeman ARLO WEST working on a new CD to be released sometime this year. It will be dedicated to the memory of the crew of the the Starbound fishing vessel that went down in a boating accident. Listen for the ballad “Greenfields.” *** Check out gloom pop band THE MILLING GOWNS with vocalist M, drummer ALLEN ESSER, guitarist KEVIN HEINOLD and BRAD EMERSON on bass. They will be at TheMiddle East opening for the CHAMELEONS VOX in September for their second tour with the group. They are currently getting recording dates lined up for the summer to have a release to coincide with the local appearance. *** Guitarists have you heard about a pick slinger? It’s worn like a ring and it slings your pick in and out of your grip as needed. BRINA HEALY from Whitman turned us on to it and you can check it out on Facebook. *** Singer/ songwriter VINNIE EARNSHAW from Lynn, MA, tells us about his band THE CHICAGO VIN COALITION and their new release American Dream. Vin on vocals, guitar, bass and keys, DON LARSEN on lead guitar and backing vocals, and LEO DUMAS and TOM GOODRICH on drums, MARK TABER on piano and BILLIE LACAILLE on keys, with DAWN FONTAINE, DON PHANEUF and ROGER DILLIE on bacing vocals. Special guests include CHRIS STOVALL BROWN beautifully blowing harp on “Ride Past Midnight” and KLEM KLIMMER (NRBQ) on tenor sax. We love “Hey Little Girl” for it’s psychedelic blast of garage rock. *** THE PILGRIMS are a garage punk band from Vermont and their bassist BRENDAN DANGELO tells us they have a new record out No Focus and they just ripped the roof off of Sally O’Brien’s at a recent gig. *** MATTHEW ZIMMERMAN from Maine gives us a heads up his band JOHN HUGHES RADIO has a new song “Fade Out” that has had over 128,000 views already. Check it out. He also tells us to expect new videos of new songs by the summer. *** Jazz every Tuesday night with THE EVENFALL QUARTET at The Fairmount Grille in Hyde Park, MA. Bassist BRAD HALLEN (Duke Robillard) knows how to swing. *** TED DROZDOWSKI‘s SCISSORMEN along with RYAN LEE CROSBY are at Thunder Road May 5. PETER PARCEK on growling blues guitar will be onstage too. *** BROOKS YOUNG and his band have a new single out “Drinking On Love” and it’s a great song. *** SAX GORDON BEADLE is happy to be featured on the new CD from well known European guitarist, singer/ songwriter KAI STRAUSS along with a horn section from Boston including ALEX LEE- CLARK on trumpet, BRIAN THOMAS on trombone, and MARTINO BONI BEADLE (Sax Gordon’s son) on tenor. *** LINDA VIENS band KINGDOM OF LOVE finished their five-song EP with art work done by ELEANOR RAMSEY. They’ve got JOHNNY BEROSH on drums and ZACHERY ROCHESTER from the Boston Rock Opera’s production of Hair on bass. They will be at The Lizard Lounge June 24 with LOST LAKE and PARLOUR BELLS headlining.
MORE MUSICAL MAYORS
Lolita: Enough gossip! Let’s get back to asking another local legend about his choice for Music Mayor. *** YURI ZBITNOFF (Axemunkee/ Mission Creep/Leap of Faith/ Metal Chaos Ensemble/ Mekaniks/ Chicxulub): First off, I’d vigorously oppose the creation of such a position. If it was a position with meaningful influence or power, everyone would just try to suck up to him or her. But if I have to make a choice, I nominate PEK of Evil Clown Records. He’s the hardest working man I know. *** JENNIFER TEFFT (The Jennifer Tefft Band): Mayor of the music scene? Me. Yes, me. I’m going to make the music scene great again. Bigly. But wait. It was already great, and I’m in no way qualified for the job. I can make a mean mudslide though, and cookies… everyone likes cookies, right? *** JOHN LAURENTI (WGIR/ WHEB/ HJY/ iHeartMedia, Inc.): This is a very tough question as there are SOOO many people involved with the music scene in the Boston/ New England region. From the numerous Sunday night music programs focused on local rock around New England. Like, Local Licks on the the two stations I program WGIR-FM (ROCK101) and WHEB-FM (100.3) to Soundcheck on 94 HJY in Providence. Also, Boston Emissions on WZLX, which still hosts the Rock ’n’ Roll Rumble and Bay State Rock on WAAF. I would say those programs are hosted by ambassadors of local music. But to pick just one, I would have to say Don Law. He’s been in the business for over 50 years! He is the East Coast’s Bill Graham! Look at all the shows and acts he’s brought to town over the decades? Still in the club scene with the Paradise and the great Brighton Music Hall! He’s seen it all, done it all and been in the thick of it for many years. He’s respected in the business and bands like coming to play in his venues. That’s a huge plus! Now if you want me to pick his staff… *** KEITH McDONALD (Keith McDonald Films): For Mayor I’d elect Jeremy Carter cause he could jam his speeches to guitar. He is the design engineer evangelist for Autodesk and he’s a luthier for over 30 years and combines music and design. He’s recorded with Doug Bell, and jammed with James Montgomery and Short’ ty Billups. *** JOE PET (x- Joe Perry Project): Ernie Boch. Why? He knows where his creative interests lie and how important it is for music to make its presence everywhere… anywhere, despite the political climate.
Lolita: Back to babbling! JOE PET the hard pounding drummer extraordinaire for THE JOE PERRY PROJECT is looking to get behind the kit full time with veterans of the music scene who are looking for thunder and lightning. Contact him on his Facebook page Joe Petruzzelli and file this under fire for hire. *** SUSAN CATTANEO had a great gig at The Lizard Lounge recently doing BONNIE RAITT songs exclusively. She was joined by three of the best singers in Boston: ERICA MARTONE, CARLA RYDER and ERICA RUDNOY. *** Stoughton singer/ songwriter LORI McKENNA made Academy of Country Music history when she won The ACM’s Songwriter of the Year. She is the first woman to ever win this in their fifty-two year history. “Humble And Kind” was made a huge hit by TIM MCGRAW. *** GIRL ON TOP has a new psychedelic version of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” with KAREN DIBIASSE, DAVE SIMMONS and JOHN FANNON from NEW ENGLAND. *** The HEAVY METAL HORNS are celebrating their twenty fifth anniversary together. HENLEY DOUGLAS on tenor and bass sax, JOHN VANDERPOOL on tenor sax and vocals, GARRET SAVLUK on trumpet and vocals, JOHN FERRY (Bim Skala Bim) playing trombone and singing, PETER CALO (Carly Simon Band) on guitar, FELIX RENTSCHLER on guitar and vocals, PENBLAN SANG on bass, JIM STURDIVANT (The Allston Brothers) drumming, BOBBY HICKMAN on keys and singing, and THADDEUS HOGARTH on lead vocals. Check them out June 2 at The Cabot in Beverly, MA. *** Congratulations to CARISSA JOHNSON for winning the 2017 Rock ’n’ Roll Rumble. *** THE UPPER CRUST has a new CD called Delusions of Grandeur. Catch it on their website. We love the clip on YouTube of their “Little Castrato” featuring the lovely HAYLEY THOMPSON KING as the castrato in question. Great care was taken to make this video look just like a real taped performance, with the actual castration scene rendered in glowing lifelike black and white. This info was provided to us by their most humble and obedient servant BUBBLES, Secretary and Manservant to their Lordships, The Upper Crust. *** Want your own custom made guitar? Need repairs or parts for your favorite axe? Put your trust in SIXX GUN MUSIC in Peobody, MA. DANIEL MARGASA has been building custom guitars for legends in the industry for a long time. Check out his new warehouse boutique offering custom guitars, vintage equipment and expert repairs. David also plays drums on the scene. *** Guitarist JOE MACK has had a four year residency at Celley’s Pub in Lynn, MA, on Sundays and you can catch him, bassist RON BELDEN and drummer MARK SPARKY SANDLER on Friday night’s at Brodie’s Seaport in Salem, MA. They play originals with a bit of JEFF BECK, JOE SATRIANI, SANTANA and THE ALLMAN BROTHERS. *** Check out MATTHEW STUBBS & THE ANTIGUAS at their Monday night residency at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA. *** The Worcester Music Awards took place at The Cove Music Hall last month with performances by JAMES KEYES, AMANDA COTE, ZACK SLIK, A TON OF BLUES, MICHAEL KAYNE & THE MORNING AFTERS and TEQUILA BONFIRE. *** GRATEFUL DEAD tribute band BEARLY DEAD celebrated their second anniversary with a great gig at Thunder Road. Guitarist MILT REDER also played in a recent XTC tribute at The Lizard Lounge. You can catch him all the time at JESSE WILLIAMS‘ Thursday night residency at The Menotomy on the Arlington, Cambridge line right outside of Harvard Square. Other Lizard Lounge news: The CARLY RYDER BAND is doing a Stevie Nicks tribute on June 20 and Carly tells us they are also recording a new album of her original material with THE BLUE RIBBONS as her backing band with DAVID GOODY GOODRICH producing. *** Don’t miss BROKEN BISCUIT May 4 at The Tavern at The End of the World in Charlesfown, MA, then May 11 at Luthier’s Co-Op in Easthampton, MA, and May 26 at The Plough & Stars in Cambridge, MA. *** Fun Fact: DAVID CARBONARA and his brother used to be in THE LIFTERS. He’s now the composer for the TV show Mad Men on AMC. *** HUMMINGBIRD SYNDICATE is JON MACEY on vocals and guitar, ANDY HOLLINGER on guitar and mandolo, LENNY SHEA (The Stompers) drumming, CHRIS MACLACHLAN playing four strings, JIM MELANSON on guitar and vocals, and LYNN SHIPLEY and JENNIFER LEWIS BENNETT singing. This is a good group – check them out. *** THE BLACK SOULS are psyched to haveBRIAN WOROBEY of ELECTROLUX join them on sax for Porchfest in Somerville May 13. The full band includes BILLY CONNORS as well. *** Copperfield’s near Fenway Park closed down to make way for the lovely lasses of The Tilted Kilt, a sports bar. *** Sent packing by Sculler’s, FRED TAYLOR is now booking a series of shows at the Cabot Theater in Beverly, MA. *** NATE COZZOLINO is based in E. Greewich, RI, after spending a decade honing his acoustic folk/pop craft in the smokey cocktail lounges and perpetually open bars in Japan. His new project is NATE COZZOLINO & THE LOST ARTS. We really dig the hauntingly beautiful and wispy vocals on his ballad “Legion.” Joining him are DAVID SCHNEIDER on guitar, GEORGE DUSSAULT on drums, bass, and lead guitar with backing vocals by THE FATES. The are sorta like DONOVAN meets TOM WAITS meets MARC BOLIN. *** Devolver is the title of the upcoming six song EP from FIRE FOR CAVEMAN that was recorded throughout the summer and fall of 2016 at Analog Divide Studio in Allston, MA. These six songs are a departure from their more straight ahead Bogata Blues 2014 EP release. Devolver is a varied assortment of twang, fuzz and thick bass heavily influenced by NICK CAVE, FUNKADELIC, THE PIXIES, THE VENTURES and ROY ORBISON. Band members are JULIAN CURE, DAN MACLARIELLO, and MATT NICHOLAS. *** KEITH MCDONALD FILMS is filming local band SOLD UNDER SIN this summer. They also plan to film an interview and set by NIKKI HILL when she plays at the Newport, RI, American Rhythm & Roots Festival on Labor Day weekend. *** DWIGHT RITCHER and NICOLE NELSON (Dwight & Nicole) recently opened up for the legendary MAVIS STAPLES. Nicole: “Mavis is pure love magic. Her voice is like a tuning fork for my heart.” Dwight: “She is so sweet and in the moment. A living legend with a great sense of humor.” *** On May 6 at the Midway Cafe there is a benefit for JAY HENDERSON longtime guitarist on the scene to help him in his fight against cancer. Scheduled to play are THE HENDERSONS, H.O STONE STILL HERE, THE GRAVEDANCERS, BILLY SQUIRE, THE WICKED PISSAH BAND, THE THIGH SCRAPERS and THE BURNY SANDERS FAKE NEWS JAM. Don’t miss it and help Jay out if you can. *** GERRY CALLAHAN on his Sports Radio show on WEEI said on the air one morning “The Real Kids are the greatest Boston band.” He went on to say THE NEIGHBORHOODS and LYRES are numbers two and three. He was talking about the death of J. Geils and said his favorite acts to make it big out of Boston were THE CARS, followed by BOSTON and then THE J. GEILS BAND. Noticeably absent was AEROSMITH. *** Plan ahead folks. JOHN DAVIDSON brings his stellar show to The Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport on July 2. What better way to start off the holiday weekend?
FINAL MUSICAL MAYORS
Rita: And now for the last of our Musical Mayors. CAM ACKLAND (Black Souls): So as for Musical Mayor of Boston, if he were still living here I would have to vote early and often for the one and only Dennis McCarthy (The Slaves) my old- school musical pal. If I were looking to the future I would have to consider the talented and personable Linda Shore (Muck & The Mires), the perfect 21st century candidate. No past- factual BS from her I’ll wager. But as a cranky old un-apologetic liberal, I think my choice is clear – Mr. Asa Brebner has my vote. I’m with him. *** MATT STUBBS (Matthew Stubbs & The Antiguas): If I was gonna name the Music Mayor of Boston it would be John Doherty. He’s a fan that comes to all our shows and he supports musicians and the music scene in Boston more than anyone I know. *** LORI ZUROFF (Lola Sweet Band): I’ve been thinking about your question a lot. I think I would vote for Ed Scheer. A super talented drummer, band leader with The Love Dogs, and all around nice guy. He brings great players together and whips the crowd up into a fun frenzy! Okay? *** CORIN ASHLEY (Broken Biscuit): There could only ever be one legit answer to this for me. Mikey Dee remains Mayor McCheese of the Boston music scene even in the afterlife. I guarantee, if there’s a heaven, he is handing out show flyers there right this very moment. *** CARLA RYDER (Carla Ryder Band): My choice for Music Mayor of Boston would be Brian Tiernan. This guy has been showing up to my (as well as all the other local artist’s) shows for over twenty years now! He is a staple of and a fixture on the Boston music scene. He is the most gracious, supportive, enthusiastic and consistent fan I know. And always with a kind word and a thumbs up. He documents, he promotes and he shows up. So grateful to have him around town.Rita: Great answers! Sounds like a good time to end the column. Lolita: Send us your band’s news and come see us again for our next column June first. Have fun folks!
R.I.P. J. GEILS – John Warren Geils, Jr., founder and lead guitarist of The J. Geils Band, 71 years old of natural causes at his home in Groton, MA.