Rita: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Lolita: Hey honey, we’re musicians not farmers. Rita: Okay, then how about which is the most important thing you bring to the beach, sun tan lotion or a radio? Lolita: That gives me a great idea for our July Question of the Month. Let’s ask everyone “Did music play a part in why you live where you live (or vise versa)? Explain.” Rita: Dear Sister, I think you should live in a barn because you are a chickenpoop. AD FRANK (semi- retired): Absolutely. I thought of moving to L.A. or New York. Boston has such a supportive network of radio and press and is only a four hour drive from New York when I needed to go. I never found a reason for me to leave. *** JULIE DOUGHERTY (Julie Dougherty): I’ve lived in Salem, MA, pretty much all my life. Music has always been my life (and living) but I’d probably still live here even if it wasn’t! I love this city and love being able to make a living playing music all around my hometown. I almost moved to Nashville in the late ’80s, I’d made about 23 trips back and forth but found that gigs are a’plenty here and not there. I did live in Southern California in my late 20s for a while singing and living in a camper but there’s no place like home. I guess I’m a homebody… just lucky that there are enough gigs in this area to sustain a life of music. *** RIKI ROCKSTEADY (Riki Rocksteady): Music played a huge role in not only where I live now but it was the very reason for my start in traveling. Music is why I would come here as a teenager and eventually me staying where I currently live, in Boston. I was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut and spent most of my youth traveling around the state with a guitar in my hand. Music always kept me moving.. It wasn’t until I was old enough, with a group of friends around ’96 or ’97, that I would make regular trips to Boston eventually deciding I wanted to move here. After meeting lots of good people who helped me, I joined bands gaining experience and getting lots of support from my new music community. It wasn’t until I met my long time friend and first manager Matt Maloney that I got the real boost I needed. I sent him my demo cassette and he instantly believed in me and had faith in me. He heard and saw something special and knew that he could help me grow and develop even more. At the time, Matt was the drummer for The Allstonians which was a band that not only had a huge influence on me but just knowing musicians as talented as them really helped my confidence. Matt had a reel to reel at home along with a full recording set up, so he helped direct and finance my original recordings including a couple of singles and my first official album. He created Spitshine Records which became my label and he booked my tours and played drums in my then band. This was at a time in our genre and area where everybody was leaving to either pursue their dreams and music careers out West or in New York. I chose Boston due to the musicians I met who ultimately turned into the people that would help me the most! I owe a lot to where I live now, not only Boston specifically but the incredible fan and friend base I have all over New England. I am truly blessed this is my home and I love it. *** AMANDA SALEMI (Consuelo’s Revenge): I have always wanted to be a musician but I never really had the support in becoming one. In 2008, I went to a place called The Spot On Thayer, where artists and musicians collaborated so beautifully. That was when I knew I wanted to be a part of this culture. Chelsy Lau, an award winning vocalist, sang at The Spot often and she inspired me to become what I am today. She gave me so much guidance and wisdom to follow my heart, my dreams, and most importantly, my voice. I have had nothing but support in Providence since then. Coming to this city was one of the best decisions I have made and I can’t even begin to imagine my life right now if I hadn’t. Providence and everyone in it saved the music within my soul! I love it here with all my heart. *** DENNIS OUELLETTE (Kindred): Unfortunately music did not play a part in our living in Northern Maine… we all grew up in Aroostook County. Conversely, we had to be a cover band to play out because there is no scene for original music where we’re from.
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 (Barry Goudreau’s Engine Room, x- Boston) and ELLIOT EASTON (The Empty Hearts/ The Cars) will be appearing with RICK DERRINGER and MARK FARNER (Grand Funk Railroad) at a great gig August 23 at The Melody Tent in Hyannis at The Hope Music Festival. Elliot is busy writing new songs for the second EH album in his home studio. Fifteen year old AARON NORCROSS JR. will be the featured emerging artist and his band is from The Berklee School Of Music. Aaron does a killer version of STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN‘s “The Sky Is Crying.” This cat can play. *** THE SUITCASE JUNKET has a new album Pile Driver and had a cool record release party at The Sinclair with CAROLINE ROSE opening. It was an eighteen plus show. Very creative. very good. *** Normandy Recording Studio’s PHIL GREENE just inducted into the 2017 Rhode Island Music Hall Of Fame for his legendary work in his studio. *** In a recent Guitar World issue, with Gov’t Mule on the cover, there is a full page Epiphone Guitar ad announcing the JOHNNY A Custom Guitar. Johnny used to play in THE STREETS, HIDDEN SECRETS, HEARTS ON FIRE, led bands with PETER WOLF and BOBBY WHITLOCK (DEREK & THE DOMINOS) and is now in THE YARDBIRDS. He recently sat in on the Monday night jam at The Sinclair with MATT STUBBS and his band THE ANTIGUAS. *** SARAH BORGES fronts A FEAST OF SNAKES and plays guitar and sings. ANDY PLAISTED on drums and arm ballet, and they are just back from touring with MARSHALL CRENSHAW and LOS STRAIGHT JACKETS. She’ll continue playing in THE BROKEN SINGLES too. *** CARLA RYDER has DAVID GOODRICH producing her new album and local cats THE BLUE RIBBONS will back her up. She says: “I’ve been stalking these guys for years- which is easy to do since we share a residency at Toad on Tuesday nights.” Check her out July 22 at the Kripalu Center in Southbridge for a solo acoustic Western MA. gig. *** JAY SCHEFFLER from the TEN FOOT POLECATS has a new band called GASOLINE VIRGINS. He still plays guitar and growls in THE ELECTRIC SINNERS too. *** THE STOMPERS celebrating their 40th anniversary together as a band just opened for HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS at Dirty Water T.V.’s 10th anniversary party at Boston’s House of Blues. JAMIE KENT opened up. *** Vizztone Records and owner ROSY ROSENBLATT (DK’s Full House) just had a bunch of winners at The Blues Music Awards in Memphis. Congrats to BOB MARGOLIN – Traditional Blues Artist, JOHN DEL TORO RICHARDSON – Best Emerging Artist Album, TERRY HANCK– Instrumentalist (horn), and the nominees LARA PRICE, PATRICK RYNN, NANCY WRIGHT, TONY BRAUNAGEL, DENNIS GRUENLING, TERRY HANCK and MONSTER MIKE WELCH. *** THE ADAM EZRA GROUP just released their fan produced and fan funded new album Hurricane Wind their 15th release. Recently, the group’s songwriting and activism caught the eye of JOHN OATES (Hall & Oates) and in the past year and a half Oates and ADAM EZRA have been regular writing partners, meeting up in Nashville between their separate tours. Three of their co-written tunes are featured on the new CD and Oates joined Ezra in the studio to sing and play on the new music. Their acoustic live in the studio duet “All I Am” is the hit. *** Check out THIRTY SILVER, a grunge/ garage/ punk band from Boston. Guitarist and singer DREW SMITH tells us they will have a CD titled Welcome Home on Tux Cat Records out any day now. He tells us the title track “dips into heavy blues with slide guitar with a swampy reverb laden intensity that snakes along and hypnotizes.” Check it out. *** BRUCE MARSHALL hosts the open mic at O.Dan’s in Standish, ME, on the second, fourth and fifth Tuesdays of each month. Acoustic based but electric instruments welcome. Just NO full drum kits. Great food and a friendly vibe. *** One More For The Veterans. “New Vietnam Blues” is a song from TED DROZDOWSKI and his band The Scissormen. He wrote it with RONNIE EARL (The Broadcasters) who has great compassion for veterans and plays for them as often as he can. The song explores the difficulties of veteran survivors of the Vietnam War. A great song and we love the improvised lyrics at the end of the tune by IRMA THOMAS. *** There’s a well done mini-documentary The Perceptionists by rappers MR. LIF and AKROBATIK. It would be real cool to see more media about other local underground hip-hop artists. “Perceptionists is to the Boston hip-hop scene as The Justice League of America is to superheros. The best of the best marshaling their powers for the collective good.” – Billboard magazine. *** PATRICK NORTON tells us it’s time for The Narrows Center in Fall River to stop renting and buy its own place. Go to his website and see how you can help. He plans to increase the seating in it’s third floor theatre from 280 to 430, the second floor will be developed into 10 artist studios and the first floor will remain as is for now. This year alone the club has sold out 20 shows. The Narrows will shut down in January to knock down walls and install more seats and their music shows will resume in February. *** AMANDA CARR just became a new executive director at WICN 90.5 FM, a national radio, jazz and news station in Worcester. She has twice been nominated for Jazz Artist of the Year by the Boston Music Awards and has performed with artists as diverse as JAMES MONTGOMERY and KEITH LOCKHART. *** Legendary booking agent FRED TAYLOR now doing shows at The Cabot in Beverly and just had young horn player GRACE KELLY and her band the GRACE KELLY QUARTET blow the roof off the theater. *** Martha’s Vineyard resident KATE TAYLOR is joining Newport, RI’s SUSAN COWSILL, JOAN JETT and TOMMY JAMES (The Shondells) to sing “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” *** THE SHODS are a great rock band from Lowell who have released five albums and an EP since forming in 1993. The Shods are SCOTT PITTMAN, ROY COSTA and local legend KEVIN STEVENSON (Formicide/ Only Living Witness/ Duck Duck) with F.J. VENTRE on bass, and DAVE AARNOFF on second guitar. Their new release Exarchia is based on an anarchist city within Athen’s Greece. Kevin Stevenson’s M.S. symptoms have subsided and he’s written new Shods’ songs. They are back and making a new record. Check out their website for news. *** Connecticut folkie band GOODNIGHT MOONSHINE features MOLLY VENTNER and her beautiful voice and her husband guitarist EBEN PARISER. Both are in other bands too. Molly is in RED MOLLY and Eben is in ROOSEVELT DIME. They tour as a trio with upright bassist ADAM CHILENSKI. *** Award winning Boston string band TWISTED PINE are releasing a self-titled debut CD on Signature Sounds on July 14. This all original album showcases a versatile new force in Americana. From Northampton, TWISTED PINE is like NICKEL CREEK meets THE PUNCH BROTHERS. *** JESSE WILLIAMS had a wild blues night at his residency at The Menotomy Grill. DUKE ROBILLARD, MICHAEL WILLIAMS, MARK EARLEY, BRUCE BEARS, MARK TEIXEIRA with CHERYL ARENA and JIMMY SCOPPA (The Roy Sludge Trio) sitting in. JIMMY VIVINO (The Conan O’Brien T.V. Show Band) also stopped by. *** Speaking of blues, check out the Third Annual Blues and Rock Summer Jam July 9 at the Providence, Rhode Island Yacht Club in East Providence. The great BABA JAMES on harp will be backed by JOE STANLEY JR. on bass, RON LEARY pounding, and RONNIE FRENCH on guitar. *** TSUNAMI OF SOUND playing Boston Pizza Festival July 8 at Boston’s City Hall Plaza. *** A guy looking a lot like NED BOLLE is now playing slide guitar for JESSE & THE HOGG BROTHERS. They have several local appearances this summer and a new release recorded at The Bridge in Cambridge is on its way. They always give you great bluegrass, southern rock and cowpunk. *** Guitarist CHUCK MCDERMOTT tuned up his Tele and had a real cool record release party for his Gin &Rosewater CD at The Lizard Lounge. They are a rocking band with MARCO GIOVINO, RICHARD GATES, THOMAS JULIANO, GABRIELA MARINA and JAY PSAROS. Fun Fact: drummer BILLY BEARD–BEARDO was the drummer for FACE TO FACE (“10,9,8”), now gigs with SESSION AMERICANA and also runs The Lizard Lounge.
MORE REASONS FOR LIVING
Lolita: Enough gossip! Let’s get back to asking another local legend why they are where they are. ED GOSS (Ed Goss Band): Music did not directly play a part in where I currently live. I was born in Connecticut and still live here, about twenty five miles from where I grew up. Music has, however, played a huge part in my life. I learned to play guitar by mimicking The Beatles, and joined a band at age fourteen. I worked in an under twenty one nightclub that featured the best local bands, and started working at a “real” bar that had great bands when I turned twenty one. Fast forward fifty years and I’m still heavily involved in music helping local bands promote their live events and creating demo CD’s and fan- appreciation CD’s for many local artists. I also created and maintain the Facebook Group “Pick A Show & Go! ” to help promote local bands and the venues that hire them. Might be too long an answer, but the amazingly active music scene in Connecticut has kept me from wanting to leave. *** CATHERINE CAPOZZI (Axemunkee): It was a NYC vs. Boston move decision – but ultimately I moved to Boston for the music. A college band friend was here, the scene was thriving at the time (BIG LABELS HAD OFFICES HERE), it is close to my family in CT and for me, Boston makes an o.k touring jump off place – Europe is an easy flight OR California (seven or eight hours and jet lag in opposite directions!) *** CHERYL MERCER (Double Entendre): I was in a metal band for over 25 years – we were based out of Memphis Tennessee – we played from Florida to Texas on a regular touring circuit. Suddenly the bass players stepfather (who happened to live in Maine)had a heart attack and died while building his dream home. My bass player (being a builder) felt it was his job to come up to Maine and complete the home for his widowed mother. Once he got here,he fell in love with the state and convinced me to move there as well and to reform the band in Maine. It worked out well for a few years but then everybody drifted apart – but he and I stayed in music and still perform in our own bands to this day. I think the music scene in Maine is much more appreciative than what you would call the music city such as Nashville or Memphis- where musicians are literally a dime a dozen. In Maine a good musician is appreciated and enjoyed. I now perform as part of Americana duo called Double Entendre. We play from Saco all the way up to Greenville! We figured we were sitting at home playing the same music on the couch why not go out get paid to do it and have fun! *** NATE COZZOLINO (Nate Cozzolino): 100%! When I first started hanging around the Providence music scene four years ago I was living a twenty minute drive South of the city and commuting back and forth constantly. But I fell so in love with what was going on here that I couldn’t stand to be even that far away! So I packed up, moved right into the belly of the beautiful beast that is Providence and I’ve never looked back!
Lolita: Back to babbling! BRAD WHITFORD (Aerosmith)’s son HARRISON WHITFORD recently let us know he traded his JEFF BECK Strat for a 1957 Tweed Vibration amp. He emphatically stated, “Fender amps from that day really rock!” *** Unconfirmed reports have MIKE QUIRK‘s band HIXX drinking so much alcohol at their gigs they are thinking of changing their name to HIXXX. “We may have to revert to the triple X name as there are a couple of wanna be bands calling themselves Hixx. Even I use HAXX,” says Mike. *** ALEX EGGLESTON from the independent artist collective Two Roads Agency told us about Boston based folk and rock artists DIETRICH STRAUSE a singer/ songwriter on acoustic guitar and THE BLUE RIBBONS. The two met many moons ago sharing back to back Tuesday night residencies at Toad. Now, with funding from Passim’s Iguana Grant, they recorded together last January in Maine and have been playing gigs together ever since. Check them out at The Green River Fest, in Greenfield, MA. July 15. Speaking of Passim’s, their Summer camp BCMP (Boston Celtic Music Fest) is on July 2 with free performances during the day inside and outside the Harvard Square club from DAYMARK, KELTIC KIDS, THE ROCKPORT CELTIC DUO and ALBA’S EDGE. A ticket evening performance inside the venue with DAYMARK and KATIE MCNALLY is also happening. *** Rhode Island artists JENN LOMBARI, JODIE TRELOAR and JARED KNAPIK opening for national artist JEFF CAUDILL at The News Cafe in Pawtucket, August 2. Caudell used to front ’90s emopunk band GAMEFACE. His new project is acoustic and reminds us a lot like THE GIN BLOSSOMS’ first album. *** DAVE BIRKIN‘s band DAVE B & THE HOT SHOTS had a great gig at Ryles last month. You gotta love this Inman Square club that’s been hosting bands since the early ’70s and has a well maintained grand piano and a good sound system. Dave also plays sax and sings in the HOT TAMALE BRASS BAND and CALYPSO HURRICANE. The Hot Shots are a Waltham band and include: MARK SHELFORD on guitar and vocals,TOM CURATOLO on acoustic bass, and RICHARD MALCOLM behind the kit. *** More news from MAYOR MARTY WALSH: The City of Boston has just announced Boston’s first ever Artist Fellowship Award. This program helps to advance the Boston Creates cultural plan goal of investing in local artists. There will be five fellowship awards in 2017, each worth $10,000. These awards are designed as a resource that will enable the artists to dedicate their time to continuing to create their high quality work. Artists must be residents of Boston and can’t be currently enrolled in a degree program. The awards will be given across a range of artistic disciplines. The application is available in six languages including: English, Cape Verdean Creole, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Spanish and Vietnamese. Check out more info online under boston.gov/ arts and culture/ artist fellowship award. *** Ex-SALLY & THE SOPHISTICATS keyboardist JOE KROWN was asked to join the incredible KENNY WAYNE SHEPERD‘s band. *** Photographer ANNIE REARICK aka Ms. WILLIE LOCO ALEXANDER feted in a recent Sunday edition of the newspaper Liberation, in Paris. *** Check out The Barnful of Blues Festival August 5 at The 4-H Youth Center in New Boston, NH. Produced by The Granite State Blues Society with ROOMFUL OF BLUES and THE DELTA GENERATION featuring BRIAN TEMPLETON. It’s a benefit for The Webster House, a safe haven in Manchester, NH, for the state’s children. Playing are THE CHRIS FRITZ BAND, THE MICHAEL VINCENT BAND, ERIN HARPE & THE DELTA SWINGERS and solo acts VERONICA LEWIS, ARTHUR JAMES and SKIP PHILBRICK. *** CONSUELO’S REVENGE has a July 15 show at The Parlour in Providence, RI. Plan ahead. *** Check out DEER TICK with special guest HOLLIS BROWN at Ocean Mist in Matunuck, RI, July 24. Lupo’s and The Met Cafe’s talent buyer MIKE DELEHANTY tells us not to miss this great gig. *** Steampunk TIMESHIP EVERMORE is x- HAPPY CAMPER MASON VINCENT‘s new band. Go see them July 21 at The Cove Music Hall in Worcester, MA, and wear lots of studded black leather, safari hats and googles if you want to fit in. *** Open mic at Train’s Tavern in Lebanon, ME, every Tuesday night. Bring an instrument or just bring your ears. *** TSUNAMI OF SOUND, TIGER BOMB, GREG ALLEN’S FRINGE RELIGION have a great gig August 18 at The C Note in Hull, MA. Don’t miss it. *** BRUCE MARSHALL is hosting the open mic series at The Farmer’s Market in Hudson, MA. July 18 and it’s being filmed for TV. *** The release date for CHELSEA BERRY‘s new record is September 1. Stay tuned. *** Bertucci’s in Medford, MA, has started doing live music from seven to ten. They have a great lineup of local singer/ songwriters scheduled. Go there for a pie, some suds and some music. *** DUKE ROBILLARD plays his monstrous JW Murphy custom arch top guitar on his upcoming Duke Robillard & His Dames of Rhythm CD due out late in September on MC Records. Recently he posed this interesting question on his FaceBook page: “If my next album is available on vinyl or CD which would you buy? And what if the vinyl came with a download card of the entire album? Would you be more interested if it was on 180 gram vinyl and more expensive? Or would regular vinyl at a lower price be more desirable? What a different era. Now Duke is in the catering business too. *** New live music clubs. The City Winery in Boston coming in September. The Jungle coming to Davis Square in Somerville, MA, that is being billed as “a community music club featuring live music.” Johnny D’s closed in July 2015 and this will be a welcome addition. So keep your fingers crossed. *** RIKI ROCKSTEADY at Once in Somerville on July 13. It’s the DESTROY BABYLON album release party with THE STRAY BULLETS also on the bill. *** Check out JULIE DOUGHERTY at Hawthorne Hotel’s Sunday brunch the first Sunday of each month. In July she will be accompanied by PETER FEDELE on guitar. She also hosts the monthly open mic up on the North Shore at Salem’s VFW Hall the final Wednesday each month (co-hosted by The Noise publisher – T MAX). In July, the night’s featured performer is THE MELODY MAKERS with BRIAN WARE on uke and RICK BROUGHTON on guitar. Two instrumentalists who play mostly Beatles songs and are truly unique and truly very good. *** JOHN DAVIDSON lives out in Western, MA, and frequently brings his acoustic show to local venues. This local folkie/ ex- Hollywood Squares panelist and host and That’s Incredible! m.c. just joined the Broadway touring cast of Finding Neverland – The New Musical. He will be with the show for almost a year playing Charles Frohman/ Captain James Hook touring the U.S. and Japan. File under “All the world is made of faith and trust and pixie dust.
FINAL REASONS FOR LIVING
Rita: And now for the last of our area attractions. Hal, did music play a part in why you live where you live (or vise versa)? Explain. HAL YORK (Nothing But Da Blues): I’ve been playing the blues for 50 years in Rhode Island. Started playing guitar at the ripe old age of ten. Around the age of 15, I got turned onto the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Electric Flag, John Mayall & The Blues Breakers,and B.B King. Once I heard “The Thrill Is Gone,” there was no turning back. I was hooked! I did the coffeehouse circuit for awhile, and was picking up gigs in bands playing bass. Cut my teeth in blues while playing bass. I’d still pick up my six string to do some writing during that time, but laying down the bottom was my main gig. I was always a singing bassist during the band years. My baritone gravel had a blues flavor that people wanted. It’s a damn good thing too! Because with a voice like mine, the opera just wasn’t calling me for gigs! I did a month long trip through Nashville, Memphis, Clarksdale, and New Orleans last year. I spent the bulk of that time traveling Highway 61. Playing at Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club was one of the highlights of that trip. Oddly enough, the night I was there the club was full of people from England. They thought I was a native Mississippian. When I explained that I was from Rhode Island, the people in the audience were shocked! The same thing happened when I sat trading licks with Pat Thomas at the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland, Mississippi. That room was full of Australians! *** CORINA MALBAURN (The CarLeans/ The Hoolios): I’ve actually grown up where I live now. I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2000 to go to music school and loved it out there. I live there for six years because the music scene was fantastic, but I missed my family, and the ocean, so I moved back to Connecticut. Being a bass player it’s usually easy to find a gig. It’s also much easier to tour the East Coast then the Midwest. Less distance between cities. *** ERIKA AUBUT (Muddy Ruckus): Thanks for reaching out to Muddy Ruckus! To answer your question: Yes, music is why Ryan and I live where we live. We left the city that we love, Portland, so that we could be free to play and develop our music as we please in Southern Maine. *** DERIC DYER (Deric Dyer): Here’s my answer. At 19 years old, I was living in Bermuda and Cliff Goodwin (Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez) from Connecticut, who played with Joe Cocker’s American Standard, asked me to join the band. I moved to Boston/ Worcester and the rest is history. Tina Turner, Joe Cocker and many more. What a life that can be had on one decision! And today, we are still together working dates for Cocker Rocks for August and beyond. *** JACQUELINE GABRIELA (All You Got Tour): On a personal level, music has been incredibly important in my life. At 23, I quit smoking cigarettes and began to sing in the car on the way to work. At this point in my life, I decided to leave my sales career and embrace music. I didn’t have any plans. I led with the mentality of “what you focus on will multiply” Long story short, I met my now fiance, father of my babies and band mate of nine years at an open mic. Together we wrote an album, four singles, began Next Generation Concerts, started our own open mics and are truly surrounded with wonderful musical people. When we decided to buy a house, we wanted to live further from the city, because of costs and the amount of house you can get for the money. But we are so connected to the Boston music scene that it was easy to make the decision to stay close. Our children are close to family and we are close to work. As much as I enjoy traveling and playing in different states. Boston will always be our home. I moved to Arizona when I was 20 and believed I was never coming back. All the sun and nice weather in the world, couldn’t take me away from my roots. There is something very special about being in New England. The same can be said for the music scene. I am so grateful to have met Patty Duffy of Young Performers Club. Together, I believe we have an understanding of the market in New England and are dedicated to opening doors for young musicians coming up. We came together to create the All You Got Tour. Rita: Great answers! Sounds like a good time to end the column. Lolita: Enjoy July and see you next month!
R.I.P. JOHN CLARK aka Dynamite Johnny, guitarist hit by a car in Boston. A founding member of THE ELEVATORS he also played for THE JAMES MONTGOMERY BAND and THE BAILEY BROTHERS.