Rita & Lolita


Rita: September is a cool month for many reasons. It’s the ninth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the third month to have the length of 30 days. It is also the month with the longest name with nine letters and in the Northern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent of March in the Southern Hemisphere.  Lolita: Dear sister, you remind me of a paper tiger. Something that seems threatening but is ineffectual and unable to withstand challenge. Let’s talk about famous musicians who were born in this month instead. Hank Ballard, Ray Charles and Buddy Holly. Rita: dead, dead and DEAD. Lolita: How about Meatloaf, Bruce Springsteen and Joan Jett? Rita: Nearly dead, nearly dead and nearly DEAD. Lolita: Okay. Lil Wayne, Pink and Ludacris. And let’s try to keep the focus on relevancy with our question of the month about rising stars. “What up and coming artist has caught your eye? Let us know what they do and what you think could be in their future? GARY SHANE (Great Detour): John E. Funk & The Skunks. Funky rock ’n’ roll dude like Johnny’s Coaltrain. They’re from Connecticut and met in college in Hartford. *** CHRIS PORTER (Once): Carissa Johnson really impressed me at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Rumble this year.  I also have to give props to Salem Wolves as well as Audrey Harrer (both have had great recent shows at ONCE).  And lastly I have to say that Corin Ashley’s new album is brilliant. *** LIZ BILLS (Analog Heart): Ruby Rose Fox. She is a queen, a force to be reckoned with and I look up to her as a women in the music industry. She is fearless, intense and throws it all out there for everyone to see! I aspire to be like Ruby and I see some of myself in her. She isn’t afraid to break down social barriers and be a true female leader and role model for women like myself. Ruby is real and honest and bares her heart for the world and this is exactly what I want to do. Another person is Hayley Jane. I see a lot of myself in Hayley Jane as well and when I finally met and performed with her last year, we were surprised as to how much we have in common! Hayley Jane is also fierce and empowering to young women everywhere. She is living my dream and she is one of my biggest influences in the local music scene. One of my goals is to become more of a full time performer like Hayley and it is incredible to see a woman like myself living the dream. It is very inspiring and makes me believe I can reach my dreams as well. *** JOHN MOONEY (Trespassion): I’m so out of the loop when it comes to local acts but I caught a set by Hybrid Thoughts at the Middle East and it was one of the best sets I’ve ever seen upstairs. Their first album is available on all platforms. As for a younger photographer my man @hotpocketsfam (Jovahn Dumont) is an amazing portrait photographer. Incredibly talented and still in high school. *** BILLY CONNORS (The Billy Connors Project): We recently did a show with Carissa Johnson. I was very impressed with her performance and how she presented herself. She plays guitar aggressively and writes autobiographic songs. The thing that impressed me was how hard she works at getting her songs heard and that she believes in the dream and does the work to achieve it.


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. PETER WOLF and his band THE MIDNIGHT TRAVELERS are back from a tour opening for TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS. Check them out at The Somerville Theatre October 19. *** KEN SCALES and ADVENTURE SET just released a new song “Ghost Seller” with songwriter MARK POTHIER on keys, programming and background vocals. Ken is credited with vocals and spirit. *** JAY LENO at The Hanover Theatre in Worcester on October 12. Jay was raised in Andover and we can’t wait to welcome him back! *** Film producer DAN VITALE (Bim Skala Bim) is all set to release his killer documentary about Chet’s Last Call. It’s a story of rock and redemption about the legendary North End punk bar and its owner. Go to his FB page to see teasers and go to GO FUND ME to see how you can help. *** September 12 is the all-star benefit concert for FRED TAYLOR‘s scholarship fund at the Berklee School of Music Performance Center to establish an endowed scholarship for students of Berklee in his name. KURT ELLING, DANILO PEREZ, TERRY LYNE CARRINGTON, GRACE KELLY, CATHERINE RUSSELL, KAT EDMONSON, JOHN PATITUCCI, JASON PALMER, JAMES MONTGOMERY and BO WINIKER will be performing with a special appearance by PAT METHENY. *** Have you seen DWIGHT & NICOLE’s new video for their song “Wait” from their new album Electric Lights coming out this fall? Don’t wait. *** LISA MARIE’s band JUKE JOINT 5 has a new CD Use That Spot on Black Rose Records. Great stuff from a great band. *** Sound shaman BILL T. MILLER (Orgy of Noise) is bringing his synth sound show to the streets. We just caught him in Harvard Square. *** MEREDITH BABE BORDEN from Sterling and now in Quincy, used to sing for blues band WILLIE McBRIDE with guitarist JON CATLER. Check them out now in the 13 O’CLOCK BLUES BAND with SKIP FISCHER pounding and TIMO SHANKO on bass. Their debut album Devil’s Dance,  produced by JOHN WESTON at Futura Productions in Roslindale, will be released January 1.  You can catch them playing Thunder Road in Somerville, on Babe’s birthday, October 20. *** The Cabot in Beverly is proud to announce their new membership program. Become a member of this great North Shore venue and receive special discounts and V.I.P. benefits.  ARLO GUTHRIE will be there doing his Alice’s Restaurant Thanksgiving set November 17. *** In addition to being a fantastic violin teacher at Mass. Ave. Music, MORGAN EVANS-WEILER is also an accomplished artist and had a recent show of his drawings at The Oliver Art Center in Frankfort, MI. His drawings explore process oriented concepts of space and time and he uses repeated pen, pencil and marker strokes to create unexpected textures. *** The Jamaica Plain Music Festival was real cool again this year. One special night included HARRY & THE HOT FLASHES, SO SOL, FERRIS MUELLER, and THE NICKEL & DIME BAND featuring RICK BERLIN at The Midway Cafe. *** Legendary producer PHIL GREENE, TONY RICCI, LINDA RICCI, BIG NOISE, AL GOMES and CONNIE WATROUS had a prestigious private party celebrating the grand re-opening of Triad Normandy Sound in Warren, RI.  Newly renovated and reinvigorated they have a proud legacy of producing, recording and mixing output that has resulted in sales in the excess of 70 million dollars, six Grammy nominated albums, 27 gold and platinum albums, 67 Billboard chart albums, three number one Billboard albums, and 10 Top Ten Hot One Hundred singles. *** ASA BREBNER is gigging with ASA & THE NAKED EYES. He is also busy taking care of his six-yearol-d pirate twins. *** JACK JENNINGS (JACK DARLING) still on the scene and we just saw him at a great gig at Crowther’s in Little Compton, RI. *** Professor DANNY MO at Berklee tells us about his Professional Development class and discovering the artistry and brilliance of talented singer DANIEL CAESAR. Check out his tune “Japanese Denim” on YouTube. *** THE BROOKS YOUNG BAND opened for GEORGE THOROGOOD and his band THE DESTROYERS up in Lynn, MA. Brooks played his new A559 Marques Signature guitar and it sounded amazing. *** Fun times on Monday nights at The Hungry Tiger Blues Jam in Manchester, CT, with vocalist/ rhythm guitarist KRISTIE DIX-KATAVICH (Kristie Dix & The Fat Kats)singer BONNIE JACOBSON, GINA GUNN, ABE PURITZ, RON PINNEY, TONY DELISIO and MIKE RISLEY. They played “Creeper Man” and “Groove With Me,” two originals, and also covered The Stone’s “Miss You” and Seger’s “Fire Down Below.” Another great gig. *** TSUNAMI OF SOUND drummer RICK SANGER tells us the band is on a new surf/ rock compilation album Gnarly Wave Volume 2 and they do “Blue Fonda.” *** BEST NOT BROKEN from Manchester, NH, has a red hot new CD Flight of Fantasy. “What The Night Has Left” is the alt/ pop hit. The band won the New England Music Award for Best Band In NH Recently, they were selected by Live Nation to support THE GIN BLOSSOMS on the road and just played at the North Shore’s Blue Ocean Music Hall in Salisbury, MA, Whiskey Barrel in Laconia, NH, and Aura in Portland, ME. *** TWISTED PINE’s new self titled CD has a great song “Hold On Me.” The band is upbeat, poppy with a driving rhythm and spectacular solos. This quartet has two women and they play Americana and bluegrass. Sorta like NICKEL CREEK meets the PUNCH BROTHERS. *** Vocalist KAT WRIGHT is playing the Festival At The Farm in Canton September 16 and 17. Don’t miss her! ***  ALEXANDRIA FUNK BIANCO recently released her Alexandria’s Funk CD at El Mariachi in Framingham, MA. JIM TAFT (D.K’S FULL HOUSE) is behind the kit and MIKE KALENDERIAN on six strings. *** BILLY CONNORS (The Boize/ Third Rail) on guitar, RAY FERNANDES (The Atlantics, Primary Colors, Third Rail, Cadillac Heart) drumming, ADAM SHERMAN (Private Lightning/ The Souls) singing and on guitar and MIKE Q (Club Linehan A Go Go/ Hixx) on bass have a new CD out The Billy Connors Project. “I Know My Place” is the hit. Loud lead guitars, and a pounding beat. Just the way we like it. See them rock The Tavern At The End Of The World in Charlestown, MA, on September 30. *** The Dirty Thirty Party at The Midway Cafe had GENE DANTE, WATTS, MUCK & THE MIRES and THE REAL KIDS rocking. *** The Bellflower Outdoor Concert Series in Billerica run by JAMIE SHALER (Angry Young Bees/ Jamie Shaler On Vacation) started out with CAROLYN WATERSSTEVE GILLIGAN (The Stompers/ Hummingbird Syndicate), P.J. ROGUE and Jamie. Look on his FaceBook page to see when the next one is scheduled. *** Drummer TOM AREY of J. Geils Band and Peter Wolf & The Midnight Travelers is also in GHOSTS OF JUPITER a psychedelic rock group. *** Led by one of bluegrass’ great young genre-bending pioneers Boston-bred STASH WYSLOUCH (Molsky’s Mountain Drifters/ The Deadly Gentlemen), THE STASH BAND features elements of RALPH STANLEY‘s high lonesome sound with the riffs and energy of BLACK SABBATH and MEGADETH. Sorta like Zappa meets Queen meets Ricky Skaggs. They recently released The Faucet Of Love and had a great record release party at The Lizard Lounge. STASH WYSLOUCH is on guitar, SEAN TRISCHKA pounds, DUNCAN WICKEL fiddles around and BRITTANY KARLSON plays the four fat strings. *** Check out CHANDLER TRAVIS on September 3 and 10 at The Harvest Gallery Wine Bar in Dennis, MA, on the Cape with special guest KAMI LYLE. He will be there every Sunday in October except for the first. *** ROUBEN BALAGIAN has a project coming out called Throwaways which is a prequel to his first mix tape. It’s his first full project and the concept behind it is these tracks are the ones not making the final cut. They may lack a central theme, may not be worthy of his first official release, but they are still too good just to leave in the vault forever. *** FOUR PIECE SUIT has a killer version of “Girl From Outer Space” a 30 year old chestnut from BARRENCE WHITFIELD & THE SAVAGES. The new version features NICOLE NELSON (Dwight & Nicole) singing with JOHNNY ARUDA on sax, SETH PAPPAS drumming, DEAN CASSELL (Hearts On Fire) on bass, JUSTIN LOPES on keys, and MILT REDER on guitar. Milt originally wrote the song. *** KEITH JORGENSEN let us know about his Fillmore Seats group’s mission statement. He helps promote yourself with speed set videos. He helps you get your word out. Go to Keith’s FaceBook page and see examples that have been posted and send him a message with any questions. This is pretty cool folks.


Lolita: Enough gossip! Let’s get back to asking another local legend who the most ambitious artists are. JOEY MARS (Joey Mars Paintings): The duo DUMP BETTY perform/ create a punkish, comedic, distorted noise reggae, hiphop sound. Jessica Teffer as Dump Betty on guitar, sax and lead vocals and Greta Ribb as Backfill Debby on keyboards, samples and vocals. The two of them channel these grungy rural characters who work at a local bottle dump with visions of Hoss love, break dancing and tourist knick knacks. Think John Waters meets early, early GoGo’s.  They have a small cult following who know all the words to their songs. They both are members of the outer Cape Cod art collective known as Big Collage.  Jessica has a knack for sewing and creates some wild embroidered art pieces while Greta creates floral arrangements and loves welding her family’s patented clam rakes. *** BARRY MARSHALL (The Marshalls): The up and coming artist is Gringo Da Viola aka Joe Nicholson. A talented singer who is doing samba. He is married to a Brazilian woman and sings in Portuguese. *** LINDA APSEY (Brian Serpone Productions): Singer/ songwriter Jenn Bostic from Waconia, MN, has an amazing voice. I love her song “Jealous Of The Angels.” Very powerful lyrics and fabulous voice. The lyrics are about the musician’s father who died from a drug overdose at 50 years old. The lyrics offer comfort to families struggling with the loss of a loved one to opioids. I believe the timing of this single could launch her career. *** GEORGE BELLI (George Belli & The Retroactivists): When asked about up and coming artists in New Hampshire I think the father/ daughter combo Pete Peterson and Yamica Peterson-Cain are the King and Queen of Soul. For my money, they are two of the best vocalists in the state. The work together in the bands Family Affair and Rhythm Method and individually in solo projects that include the Mica-Sev Project and Mica’s Groove Train. On any given night they are performing all over Portsmouth, NH, and the surrounding seacoast area.


Lolita: Back to babbling! HIRSH GARDNER (New England) has a new CD out called My Brain Needs A Holiday. Released worldwide on GB Music in the U.S., Japan and Escape Music in Europe. The mind reels. *** Funnyman STEVE SWEENEY is now filming his upcoming feature film Sweeney Killing Sweeney. We’re laughing already. *** Seen on FaceBook – EMILY GROGAN wrote a post “any bands want a gig with THE EMILY GROGAN BAND at Sally O’Brien’s in Somerville? Just had a cancellation.” Out of the many responses jazz man RUSS GERSHON (Either Orchestra) asked “what time would the set be?” It figures that Mr. Avant asks that. The obvious answer? The set would be in 4/4 time, Russ.  Gershon was recently overheard quoting ORCHESTRA MORPHINE band mate MARK SANDMAN with “man who wears many hats has many headaches.” *** Political satirist BARRY CRIMMINS married photographer/ font designer HELEN LYSEN in Chicago and his pal BOBCAT GOLDWAIT served as best man. *** GARY SHANE (Grand Detour) has a new documentary out on YouTube  Boston To Athens: The Gary Shane Story. We dig his 2016 CD Destiny with it’s two great songs “Destiny” and “Higher Ground.” The tracks were started in Athens and finished up at Rockpile Studios in Rockport, MA, with JAMES GAIR on bass, WILL HUNT and BILL MULL on saxes and flute, KYLE KNIPE on vocals, DAVID ZITZOW, GARY BARBATI and BRICE BUCHANAN on guitar, with GREG DANN at the board. *** Berklee grad JOHN VANDEN HEUVEL started teaching guitar at Brian’s Guitar in Cheshire, CT, just minutes away from Waterbury. He tells us “there’s lots of boutique goodies at the store too.” His guitar instruction DVD, Fingering Archetypes For The Progressing Guitarist is a two CD ROM set full of a unique approach to learning scales and arpeggios/ chords while inventing one’s own guitar and bass licks and riffs. From ripping shreds to elegant jazz, it’s all in there. Go to his FaceBook page and check it out. *** JIM COUNTRYMAN of ERIN HARPE & THE DELTA SWINGERS ruptured his intestine right as the band returned home from their Texas tour. Jim is healing well and will be back on stage for the release of their sophomore album, Big Road, at the swanky Haymarket Lounge of City Winery in Boston, MA, on Saturday, November 11.  And the album is great! *** NICK MINI (Roots Of Creation) has a new project doing all Dead songs in his own style. The band is called THE GRATEFUL DUB and we dig “They Love Each Other” done in a reggae dub style. ROC bandmates ANDREW RIORDEN and BRETT WILSON are in the group too and the music was recorded in their hometown Brookline, NH, with five time Grammy Award winning producer/ engineer ERROL BROWN (Marley/ Tosh/ Rebelution). *** Go see RAM live every Saturday at Muldowney’s Pub in downtown Providence, RI, Rock the bar. Stop in and do some singing with The Ram Man. *** Nightclub Hinge in Northampton, MA, closed following a drug arrest of the owner. Thirty five pounds of pot stuffed into two audio speakers in a Subaru outback. It is set to re-open as a French cafe. *** How’s this for a blues super group? Piano – ANTHONY GERACI (Sugar Ray & The Bluetones). Guitar – WILLIE J. LAWS.  Bass – MICHAEL MUDCAT WARD. Vocals and guitar – DENNIS BRENNAN. Drums – OSI BRATHWAITE. ANTHONY GERACI & THE HIP NOTICS. *** DUKE ROBILLARD is releasing Duke Robillard & His Dames of Rhythm on October 13. *** September 29 at Thunder Road in Somerville, check out GRACIE DAY– 2017 New England Music Award winner for Best New Act Of The Year, THREE DAY THRESHOLD, DR. KIER BYRNES‘ red hot band. Fun Dr. Byrnes fact: when he plays acoustically he’s billed as TWO DAY THRESHOLD.  KINGSLY FLOOD and HARSH ARMADILLO  – 2017 New England Music Award winners for Best Band In The State of NH. All gigging at the 10 Anniversary of Virgo A Go Go Music Fest. This year’s ticket sales go to support local music programs for special needs and underprivileged children. Sorta like The Muse Foundation and Zumix. *** CONRAD WARRE from BEE’S DELUXE sent us “Industrial (Espionage)” the great new psychedelic blues cut from his upcoming release. The band is hot off a cool performance at The North River Blues Festival in Marshfield, MA, on the South Shore. *** BLOCKYARD guitarist and Berklee Professor SAL DIFUSCO has a new jazz band called THE SAL DIFUSCO PROJECT with him on guitar, LINCOLN GOINES on bass and HENRIQUE DE ALMEIDA  drumming. No vocals. Just passion. *** BARRENCE WHITFIELD (The Savages) has a new band BARRENCE WHITFIELD & THE MESSENGERS. On guitars are JOHNNY TRAMA and JEFFREY LOCKHART with sax man JOHN ARUDA. It’s ’60s psychedelia mixed with ’70s Sly Stone funk. *** HUMMINGBIRD SYNDICATE play the Dedham Square Coffeehouse on September 16 and again at The Rat Beach Party on Nantasket Beach at The C Note on September 23. *** JON BUTCHER founded EFX, a multi-dimensional music production company on the left coast in 2005. He recently expanded to Boston with partner LEIGHTON WOLFFE and they provide targeted and artist centric management for young artists. For more info on EFX and see their artist roster visit them online at Electric FactoryX. *** Prog leaning alt/ power pop/ new wave trio ELSEWHERE is finishing up their five-song EP Multi-Man set to be released in the fall. We heard a single “Don’t You Believe Me Baby” which was a discarded POLICE demo. A great cover and it’s already attracted more than 117 thousand views on You Tube. Check them out the next time they invade your territory. *** Haverhill band ANALOG HEART is JESSE COHEN lead guitar, ERIC SIMPSON drums, AUSTIN MAGNANT bass, and LIZ BILLS vocals, rhythm guitar and keys. Liz also gigs in LIZ BILLS & FRIENDS with BENJAMIN GOLDBAUM on lead guitar and mandolin and LETRIAH MASTERS on djembe and backing vocals. They are currently in the process of electrifying the band so by this Winter they may be known as THE LIZ BILLS BAND. ANALOG HEART is having their EP free show release party November 18 at The Chit Chat in Haverhill, MA. Their first single “Not Good Enough” is the hit and you can go to their video release party for the song September 29 at the same club for the same price. *** Who is Che-Val?  MARC ALAN (The Factory Underground) tells us they are a unique Connecticut husband and wife Indie music group that blends live orchestration and electronic synths with well-crafted, smash-worthy melodic hooks. LAURA CASH is the sultry and striking singer, songwriter, lyricist and science professor! KENNY CASH the musical genius and producer, engineer, Berklee grad, multi-instrumentalist, composer and recording engineer. Waterproof is their debut album fuses edgy alt pop with a classic throwback and multi-genre vibe. Check out “Oh Darling” and “My Beat” recorded at Cash’s bat cave The Factory Underground Studio in Norwalk, CT. He also told us to be on the lookout for Bridgeport, CT’s alt artist BRIAN LARNEY‘s band THE TOWN HALL and their new song “Backlash” with ADAM MATLOCK, KENNY CASH and JEFF HATCHER. We did and we love it and so will you. *** JOEY MARS had a two week exhibit last month of his paintings and collages in Provincetown, MA, at the Woodman Shimko Gallery. He also creates a daily art piece for a series called Cash Money Aliens seen on the internet on the Motherlode TV site. *** BARRY MARSHALL busy producing records for PETE MONTGOMERY, TONY SAVARINO and a great Cape Verdean artist DANY SILVA who has an album coming out in Portugal next January. *** GEORGE BELLI & THE RETROACTIVISTS are at The Topsfield Fair September 30. George used to be in THE REAL and MAELSTROM. Now he plays BEATLES, KINKS and BOWIE tunes with his wife LOUISE BELLI who tells us to “come and get your British rock on.” *** The Spotlight in Beverly, MA, has closed its doors for good. *** The ARCHBISHOP’S ENEMA FETISH currently working on a musical version of Betrayal: The Crisis In The Catholic Church which documented clerical sexual abuse. They have called BONO several times about performing the role of BERNARD LAW. His people keep telling them that AEF completely misunderstands why the first U2 album was called Boy. ART BISHOP aka TIM HALLE tells us they expect better success with their first choice for the female role of ELVIRA PIXIE PALLADINO who is of course, as in all things AEF, AIMEE MANN. In his spare time Tim directed all the live music portions in producer DAN VITALE (Bim Skala Bim)’s Chet’s Last Call documentary.


Rita: And now for the last of our latest wrinklesNICK MINI (Roots Of Creation): I’d say two up and coming bands I’ve played with recently and am fond of are The Elovaters, great overall sound and catchy tunes. And Joe Sambo. Great singing voice. You can catch both of these artists at Summer in the 603 at Bernies in Hampton Beach, NH, on September 10. The lineup was recently announced and also includes The Alchemystics, Organically Good Trio, The Aggrolites, Ballyhoo!, and Roots of Creation. *** BUTCH BAZILLION (The Bazillion Band): Jamie Lynn Hart. Local artist who has had two CDs out; great voice great look lots of attitude and style. *** NANCY NEON (Nancy Neon): The Downtowners is a great garage band. Mike Garcia and Matt Burns. Jeff Kabot is from the Boston area and had a great garage band The Venusians you might have seen at Chet’s or The Rat circa 1987. He was in L.A. for 25 years. That’s not Lower Allston.  Also check out The Thigh Scrapers starring Brian Young of WMFO (Tuft’s University). With The Downtowners, I only play tambourine on one song, “The Other Night,” but I do my psychodaisies trip, you know, fringed dress, boots light up, tambourine, Texas Chain Saw Massacre scream. Help us get a bass player and Neon will sing your praises from sea to shining sea. *** LARRY WHITTEMORE (B4US): There is an artist that is from Portland, ME, that used to be in Wicked Woods and her last name is Silver but her new band named after her is a great band and she is a great singer that writes and plays guitar. *** TIM HALLE (Art Bishop of The Archbishop’s Enema Fetish): Witchtrail out of DC is some of the best thrash stuff Ive heard in years (seriously, even if my daughter is the bass player). Locally,  Birnam Wood is killing it in an old school Sabbath kind of way. On the non-metal side, out in Western MA Sodada doing some quality stuff which is hard to classify, post fusion maybe? I have advised them to drink harder, rock harder, and to say “fuck” more. But some seriously talented kids.The band is from Northampton, MA. They are much more towards your kind of thing than mine, kind of Steely Dan-ish or the cooler parts of what we called fusion back in the ’80s. They’re insanely talented and I’d like to do ’em a good turn if I can. Rita: Great answers! Sounds like a good time to end the column. Lolita: Enjoy September and see you next month!

R.I.P. Phil Beach Wandell – drummer for The Wandells, husband of Nikki Jerret, and into music production at Punxink, Ministry of Music and publishing and production organization.

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