Saturday, April 30, 2005

Kris Delmhorst CD Review

Kris Delmhorst is coming to the Narrows on Friday, May 13. She and some fellow Narrows alums Jeffrey Foucault and Peter Mulvey put together a collaborative effort called "Redbird."

Here's a review that I grabbed from Dirty Linen magazine. I'm sure Kris will be selling copies at her concert.

Signature Sounds SIG 1291 (2005)

Send three talented American solo performers off to tour Europe simultaneously and something special is bound to happen. Such was the case when Kris Delmhorst, Jeffrey Foucault, and Peter Mulvey found themselves far from familiar surroundings with time on their hands. The artists explored their common love for Americana music during daily informal song circles throughout the tour; the result, to no one's surprise, is an album. Redbird (which is also what the trio called itselves) is a diverse collection of songs ranging from the traditional to the contemporary.

Among the album's 17 tracks are songs from across the vast expanse of the American musical landscape. Greg Brown's "Ships," Bob Dylan's "Buckets of Rain," and (lest they take themselves too seriously) Willie Nelson's "I Gotta Get Drunk" are all covered on Redbird.

Highlights of the album include "You Are the Everything," sung by Foucault; "Patience," sung by Delmhorst; and "Lovely as the Day is Long," sung by Mulvey. Redbird is a folk album in the truest sense. It is inspired and heartfelt, genuine and undeniable, simple and free of clever trappings.
-- Annette C. Eshleman (Lancaster, PA)

Who is Chip Taylor and Why Should You Care?

Friday, June 10th marks the return to the Narrows of singer/songwriter Chip Tayor, with his partner, the beautiful and talented Carrie Rodriguez.

Chip who? you might ask. Besides being Angelina Jolie's uncle and actor John Voight's brother (they kinda look alike too), Chip may have written some of your favorites songs. For example:

--Wild Thing. That's right, "Wild thing, you make my heart sing." It was a big hit for the Troggs, and was recorded by Jimi Hendrix and others.

--Angel of the Morning. That's right. The one recorded by Merrilee Rush and Juice Newton. You know the song, don't you? "I'm just your angel of the morning..."

--Janis Joplin, Frank Sinatra, The Pretenders, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Fats Domino, Linda Rondstadt, Ike & Tina Turner, and Shaggy have recorded Chip Taylor songs.

This guy is a historical figure in the history of rock music, and he's still going strong with his new collaboration. Don't miss this show! And get him to autograph your Jimi Hendrix album, too!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Gram Parsons: Our Patron Saint

We unearthed a little nugget from the No Depression magazine archive that may be of interest to those who consider the late Gram Parsons the patron saint of Americana music (we also consider Parsons the patron saint of the Narrows).

This Gram is not to be confused with Graham Parker, who is British and very much alive. Gram Parsons was a rich kid out of Florida who went to Harvard but then threw it all away in the late 1960s and early 1970s to merge country and rock. He was a member of the Byrds for a few months, contributing to the "Sweethearts of the Rodeo" album, played a big role in discovering Emmylou Harris (though Narrows alum Chris Hillman actually saw her perform first, we understand), was a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers and paved the way for the Eagles, Pure Prarie League and others. Parsons died of a drug overdose out in the desert in California, and is buried at a lonely gravesite in New Orleans, we hear.

Anyway, if you dig Gram Parsons, or want to learn about him, click right here

Thursday, April 28, 2005

We Interview Graham Parker!!!!

Backstage at the Narrows now features ORIGINAL interviews, starting with this one.

Graham Parker is returning with his band The Figs to the Narrows on Thursday, June 9th. Get your tickets ASAP, because, particularly since this will feature a full band and Graham at his rocking best, we expect tickets to begin moving out the door quickly.

Here's our interview with the legendary Graham Parker:

BATN (Backstage at the Narrows): Graham, tell us how you hooked up with The Figgs.

GP (Graham Parker): I was in Atlanta in the early '90's, doing a sound check at a venue called the Point, when the Figgs came in and introduced themselves. They were due to play the graveyard shift at the same club later that evening. They seemed to be big fans of my work, especially guitarist Mike Gent. They gave me one of their CDs and finally, somewhere around 1996, after I'd made"Acid Bubblegum," I gave them a call and invited them to be my road band for a tour to promote the album. I've toured with them a few times since then, and now I've got them backing me on my new release, "Songs Of No Consequence."

BATN: Who are the players in The Figgs and how do they affect your music? How do they compare with The Rumour?

GP:The Figgs are: Mike Gent on guitar/backing vocals, Pete Donnelly on bass/backing vocals, and Pete Hayes on drums. We'll also be bringing a young guitarist named Brett something or other on tour with us so that I'm not nailed to the guitar for the entire show and will be free to shimmy around in a most provocative manner. I've used many different combinations of musicians since those Rumour days and I'd say that for sheer energy and gnarliness the Figgs come closest to that outfit.

BATN: When you play the Narrows in June, what kind of show should people expect? Do you plan to do the Ramones' "Sheena is a Punk Rocker" like on your official bootleg, and, if so, will Frank Black suddenly join you onstage?

GP:Right now, the songs we will rehearse are still being decided upon, and I rarely repeat cover tunes from tour to tour (on my last tour with the TwangThree, for instance, we covered the Stones number "Tell Me."). Now what are the chances of Frank Black being in the vicinity of Fall River on that particular day? One, two, three in a trillion? If he is, and happens to pop in at sound check time, we will most assuredly whip up a version of "Sheena" for your listening pleasure! All the best and see you at the Narrows.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dan Hicks Interview

As we await the triumphant return of Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks to the Narrows on Thursday, June 16, we'll have to satisfy our desires with Dan being interviewed.

Here's one from not too long ago on WNYC.

Dan's got a new CD out called "Selected Shorts," and he'll be revved up more than ever when he comes to the Narrows.

Get your tickets ASAP for this one. They sell fast!

Narrows Artists Top Americana Radio

Narrows' alums Mary Gauthier, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Duhks, Jimmy LaFave, and Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion continue to top the Americana radio chart.

Jphn Doe is hanging in there, and newcomer Sarah Borges, who is coming to the Narrows May 21, is doing alright.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Narrows Alum Jason Ringenberg's No Depression Article

Narrows alum Jason Ringenberg was featured in "No Depression" magazine, considered one of the finest Americana publications.

Very little of their content is on-line. However, they do occasionally post old articles. Here's one about Jason Ringenberg. Click right here.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Is This for Real?

Friday at the Narrows we'll have the group Dynasty, which promises to be a wildly different show for us.

But Dynasty may have a run for their money in the "out there" department.

The opening act is Heloise and the Savoir-Faire Dancers. Here's what the Boston Globe said about them:

"Sexier than Telly Savalas in a Speedo? Smoother than a shaker of Molly McButter? You may think such a combination is impossible (and highly unnecessary). But we have discovered an ensemble that manages to be both these things, and a bag of sour-cream-and-onion chips. It's the swinging Heloise and the Savoir-Faire Dancers... Heloise is a new wave New Yorker, and her dancers are members of Boston's hoi polloi dance company. (Who says we can't play nice with New York?) Two great tastes that taste great together? Indeed. Just like Telly Savalas coated in Molly McButter."

Saturday, April 23, 2005

NPR Reviews Greg Trooper CD

National Public Radio has weighed in on Greg Trooper's new CD, with sound samples. Greg is coming to the Narrows on Saturday, June 11th, and his CD is hot, hot, hot!

Here's the word from NPR.

Review of Professor Louie and the Crowmatix CD

Professor Louie and the Crowmatix has been a Narrows fave for a long time, and they're returning on Saturday, April 30th. For your reference here's a review of their latest CD "A Century of the Blues." The review was published on BluesBytes on-line magazine.

It's generally a positive review, but the writer offers some observations that we may or may not agree with:

The title of the 44-minute CD from Prof. Louie & the Crowmatix, Century Of The Blues (Woodstock Records), contains the word blues but its a stretch to classify the disc or the band as blues. According to bandleader Aaron L. Hurwitz (AKA Prof. Louie), "The theme (of this CD) is different styles of the blues and different influences on me." At the core, this Woodstock, New York-based band is made up of Prof. Louie (vocals, organ, piano, accordion, songwriter, producer), Miss Marie (vocals, percussion), Bobbie Van Detta (guitar), Gary Burke (drums) and Frank Campbell (bass). They are joined by eight additional musicians, including Tom "Bones" Malone (trombone, trumpet and saxes) from the original Saturday Night Live band and currently of the David Letterman band. You can’t help notice the similarities The Crowmatix have with The Band. Many of The Crowmatix worked with former members of The Band. Prof. Louie produced their three 1990s releases and also produced albums for Rick Danko and Garth Hudson. The title track of the Crowmatix fifth CD, deals with the history of the blues. Here, Lou’s robust vocals sound like a cross between Neil Young and Levon Helm. This is not a blues tune in the traditional sense. It is more complicated than that. The horns on this soul/rock number create a brass fiesta while Lou flies on the keys. Malone’s arrangements are impressive throughout, but they carry the most impact here and they absolutely shine on Al Green’s classic Memphis soul "Ain’t No Fun To Me." "Some Bad News" is soul/blues at its best and is the album’s highlight. With ultra-emotion, Lou delivers moving lyrics such as: "I see you sitting down and cryin’ but I can’t help you at all / I’m gonna find my way and disappear." Don’t be surprised if Bobby Bland or someone of his caliber covers the song in near future. The group delivers the most eclectic version of "Clouds In My Heart" you will ever hear. In fact, you’ll only recognize the words of this Muddy Waters song as the music has been completely re-arranged. Louie’s tasteful accordion and Dave Cook’s eccentric jaw harp give the song uniqueness and new life. Drunken sailors will be envisioned when you hear the music of the sea shanty called "One More Day." The chorus and main rhythm repeats a few times too many but the slide guitar is dazzling while the piano rocks like a storm tossed ship. "I wanted to do something that reflected the horrible thing that happened in Africa. About stealing people away to make them slaves," says Louie as to why he included the song. The group’s versatile ways continue on the rockin’ boogie "Sirens In The Night" which "is about the blues labels that started in the ‘40s and ‘50s from people who were originally not from this country." Compared with the other nine songs on the disc, it is too harsh and its 1970s-style rock opera organ seems out of place. "Sittin’ In My House" is an old Bessie Smith tune that features melancholic trumpet. Here, Miss Marie steps up from background vocals to the forefront but she sounds out of her comfort zone. "Out To Lunch Eyes" contains hints of Cajun and zydeco music set to Ed Sanders’ novelty lyrics. "Shake Your Money Maker" contains the blues of a master, rocked up like the bands of the late ‘60s. "Ballerina" is the sole ballad. It comes across as if they are trying too hard to make the song a hit. The sound on this track is hallow and the constant, crashing cymbals sound too tinny. The tune ends in a psychedelic rock haze reminiscent of Hendrix. Louie’s production is good but the sound quality isn’t always crisp. That’s just what he wants and it comes from using a spontaneous process to record. Louie told me, "Every time I try to make more sophisticated records, I don’t like it." This band does not perform the same old blues but rather focuses on roots Americana. They cover a lot of ground which was all inspired by roots music. This is a group of incredibly talented musicians. The deep, in-the-pocket drums and the richly-textured organ are exceptional. Best described as a party of musical mixology. For additional info, see

Friday, April 22, 2005

Jonathan Edwards Tickets Available But Going Fast

The inside word I've received is to stop by the Narrows between Noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday to make sure you get your Jonathan Edwards tickets. That is, if you don't like to buy on-line.

Tickets are moving swiftly, but are still available as of tonight (Friday night). You might want to call ahead between Noon and 5 p.m on Saturday: 508-324-1926 before stopping by.

JP Jones opens for Jonathan.

Learn more at

Theatre at The Narrows

As they say, "now for something completely different..."

Coming up Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7, the Narrows presents an exciting blend of theatre and rock & roll: "Growth."

The production follows two guys through a maze of sex, drugs and, of course, rock & roll and how they become better people because of it.

Huh? That's not supposed to happen! Or is it?

The show was developed by one of the Narrows' volunteers, David Splinter, a graduate of the UMASS Amherst theatre program. The book (Is that the right term?) was written by Duncan Sarkies of New Zealand.

Learn more at

Greg Trooper CD Review

Greg Trooper returns to the Narrows on Saturday, June 11th with a brand new CD that is creating a buzz across the country.

Your humble emcee penned a review for a new website for Americana music called

Click on the link above to get to the review.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Katahdin's Edge Profile

Katahdin's Edge plays the Narrows Friday night, and we thought you might want to learn more about them. Here's an article in today's Projo.

Jon Dee Graham Update.

Came across this update on Jon Dee Graham, a Narrows alum who's been away too long.
Check it out here.

News from the Record Companies & Artists

From the record companies & artists:

Signature Sounds: Narrows alums Kris Delmhorst, Lori McKenna and Amy Rigby to be on a special show on XM radio. For details, click here.

Donna the Buffalo: New CD out in a few days. Details here.

Deke Dickerson: The Dekester is putting the finishing touches on a new album!

Tom Russell: His Hotwalker album, released in March, is getting kudos!

Cheryl Wheeler: Hear an hour-long podcast featuring Cheryl. Click here!

Guy Clark: Hear a 10-minute podcast featuring Guy Clark. Click here!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Kris Delmhorst:DIY

One of the first shows I ever worked at the Narrows was the Kris Delmhorst show about three years back. I didn't know much about her at the time, but I had listened to her CD "Five Stories." It was outstanding, and I told her that I thought it could lead to a big record contract.

She didn't seemed interested.

Recently, I picked up Boston Globe folk writer Scott Alarik's book "Deep Community, Adventures in the Folk Underground," and found Kris saying pretty much the same thing.

"People think a record deal is everybody's goal...I just haven't seen any evidence that would make it an appealing thing for me to do. The number of nightmare record-company stories I've heard vastly outnumbers the happy stories of people actually having a career encouraged and maintained by a record company on any kind of long-term basis. What it comes down to is that I really can't imagine giving that much control of my music and my records, which matter so much to me, to a record company."

Be sure to catch this uncompromising, intelligent musician at the Narrows on Friday, May 13.

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who is, once again, hiding out in his CT retreat.

Jonathan Edwards Tickets Still Available For Saturday Night

Nothing better than hangin' round the Narrows on a Saturday night! Especially with Jonathan Edwards!

Tickets are moving at a good pace, but they're still available at this writing!

Visit for details!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Narrows Alums Dominate Americana Music Chart

Narrows alumni are dominating the latest Americana Music Chart, including Mary Gauthier, Ray Wylie Hubbard, the Duhks, Jimmy LaFave, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Greg Trooper, Tish Hinojosa, Tracy Grammer, Tony Furtado and John Doe.

Check it out here.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Hear Katahdin's Edge

This Friday, the Narrows presents jazz combo "Katahdin's Edge," which has been receiving some acclaim of late.

Want to hear some of their work? Click here.

Graham Parker Returns with The Figgs

Graham Parker's recent solo gig at the Narrows was such a success, we're bringing him back on Thursday, June 9th, this time with his band The Figgs!

By the way, June 9th happens to be a couple days after the release of his first studio album with The Figgs.

Haven't seen Graham with The Figgs? Here's a review for your reference.

Tickets will go on sale soon. Keep an eye on or ask about tickets if you go to a show.

Jonathan Edwards Tickets Still Available

This coming Saturday, April 23, Jonathan Edwards will make his second appearance at the Narrows. You may know Jonathan from his mainstream radio favorite "Sunshine," or his underground radio anthem "Shanty." Jonathan puts on a fun show, with great tunes, wonderful energy, and positive vibes.

While tickets have been moving, there are still plenty available at this writing. Visit for more details.

Opening the show will be JP Jones, whose latest CD got raves on this blog and is getting plenty of airplay across the nation.

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who is a big fan of both performers.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Roger McGuinn "Limited Edition" CD Fun Listen

Roger McGuinn recently did a wonderful show at the Narrows, the first of, we hope, many more for years to come.

At the concert, his new "Limited Edition" CD was the only item being sold. It's also available at this link.

It kicks off with almost a dead-on cover of George Harrison's "If I Needed Someone," which was on one of the Beatles' early albums. McGuinn acknowledges in the CD notes that, indeed, George was an inspiration; this recording demonstrates that. Of course, the word is that McGuinn picked up the 12-string Rickenbacker (or Rickenbacher) after seeing George strum one in "Hard Day's Night."

The next track is one co-written with his wife Camilla called "Parade of Lost Dreams," a tune that sounds like it could have been included on his CD "Back From Rio." Some of the lyrics:

Thousand dollar tables at the black tie dinner show
What's that got to do with music?
Fame's a fleeting vapor and the only thing they know
They know they're going to lose it

There are also rave ups of some traditional tunes as well, including "Shady Grove," which introduces a new style of music, "Pho-Kop," combining folk and hip-hop. Okay, Mr. McGuinn if you say so, but I'd say he's making this claim with a twinkle in his eye.

Nonetheless, if you like the jingle jangle of a 12-string Rickenbacker (Or is it Rickenbacher?) and the voice of the Byrds, you'll like this CD.

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who really likes the sound of a 12-string whatever-you-call-it and the voice of the Byrds.

Phoenix Best Music Poll

The 16th annual Providence Phoenix Best Music Poll features a number of Narrows alumni in various categories. We ask that you give them your most serious consideration:

Local Act
Barn Burning
Planet Groove
Sasquatch & the Sick-a-Billys

Breakthrough Act
Fungus Amungus

Male Vocalist
Dave Caetano (Sasquatch & the Sick-a-Billys)

Female Vocalist
Mary Ann Rossoni

No Longer Local Act

Roots Act
Barn Burning

Folk Act
Ryan Fitzsimmons
JP Jones

Jazz Act
Katahdin's Edge

Jam Act
Fungus Amungus

Why isn't The Slip on the list? Where's JJ Baron? Maybe it's time for some write-ins!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Bluegrass Fans Take Note

Coming in September, out of North Carolina, Chatham County Line!

Never heard of 'em? I thought that might be the case. So, here's a link to a review of their latest recording.

And here's a link to their website.

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who has found that life is a learning experience. Then you die.

Our Sweetheart of the Rodeo

As you know, Roger McGuinn recently played the Narrows (Ok, yes, I got to carry his 12-string Rickenbacher guitar during the load out. So there!). But what you didn't know is that Roger's wife, Camilla, knows how to get the job done behind the scenes.

And she does it with a smile and class. This is something you don't always see, especially when dealing with icons like Roger.

One more thing: she's one of Roger's co-writers. That's right. When he's not writing with the likes of Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Jules Shear, he's writing with her. And good stuff, too.

From one of my favorite recordings, Back from Rio (1991), she co-wrote "Somebody to Love," "The Trees are All Gone," and "Without You Love."

It was a pleasure working with her (and her husband) and proclaim her--in addition to the wonderful women who volunteer at the Narrows--our "Sweetheart of the Rodeo."

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who hasn't washed his hand since carrying the Rickenbacher. Of course, he never washed his hands before carrying the Rickenbacher, so there's really no big change.

Slaid Cleaves Interview

Came across this interview with our buddy Slaid Cleaves, courtesy of

Friday, April 15, 2005

Melanie Coming to the Narrows in September

"I got a brand new pair of rollerskates, you got a brand new key." Words that started my adolescent heart a beating way too fast. They were sung by Melanie, and, for the first time we'll be presenting her at the Narrows.

She's coming September 12th. Here's her website:

Dan Ferguson Reviews at WRIU, 90.3 FM

I was listening to "Boudin Barndance" on WRIU radio, 90.3 on your FM dial, and heard that the host, Dan Ferguson, writes CD reviews.

So, here's a link to 'em!

Dan and the "Boudin Barndance" are heard Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. Listen to him on the way to one of the Narrows' Thursday night shows!

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who is always looking for ways to serve the music consumer.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Thanks Rick Massimo at the Projo!

Providence Journal "Music Scene" reporter Rick Massimo has been diligently covering the Narrows' rise as an area cultural phenomenon.

We've seen him at shows, and appreciated his interest in telling the Narrows' story. His reporting before the Sister Rosetta Tharpe tribute show should be handed out in history courses. He, along with Projo blogger Sheila Lennon, really worked hard to make their coverage special.

Anyway, we grabbed something from today's column about Saturday's show with Jim Weider:

Jim Weider
still perkin'

Jim Weider's latest album, Percolator, continues his usual aesthetic: an instrumental, jam-band ethos, but with a little more old-school rock edge. Roots-prog? Sort of, with plenty of guitar virtuosity from the former Band member.
He's at the Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan St., Fall River, Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15; call (508) 324-1926.

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who plans to be wearing something special to the show since we hear that Jim will be recording the concert for a DVD.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Trooper Marches On!!

Saturday, June 11 marks the return of Greg Trooper, returning to the Narrows after a rapid spin through Europe.

Greg's new CD "Make It Through This World" is one of the top 5 most added CDs on the recent Americana radio chart.

His CD was produced by legendary songwriter, performer and producer Dan Penn, who wrote "Cry Like a Baby," a big hit for the Boxtops in the late 1960s and other classic tunes.

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, whose favorite Dan Penn tune is "Dark End of the Street," which was recorded by Gram Parsons (the patron saint of the Narrows), Aretha Franklin and probably others.

Fans of The Slip Comment

Recently, we did another incredible show with The Slip, which you might describe as a jam band, a jazz combo, a jazz-rock-jam combo, or--come to think of it, who cares? They are some of the best musicians who have performed at the Narrows, and nice young men as well.

Anyway, after their last show some of their fans left some comments on their website:

The show last night at narrows was so much fun! Wow Narrows is the coolest place I have ever seen a show. And it didn't hurt that in the gallery they had all Jerry Garcia Artwork.

Aww Pat you should make the trek to Narrow's. I will return to that place again and again. It has such a cool vibe and the people who volunteer there are very relaxed down to earth people.

It was one of my top few shows for sure. Unbelievable song bust outs and sick version of them taboot. Great people and vibe at the Narrows.

Thanks for the kind comments! Hope to see you soon at the Narrows!

Submitted by Steve the Emcee with help from Patrick, the man who made Fall River sing again.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Kris Delmhorst's "Song for a Hurricane"

Kris Delmhorst, who is coming to the Narrows only for the second time on Friday, May 12, released a CD a couple years back (she only releases them every now and then) called "Songs for a Hurricane." This is the follow up to her terrific "Five Stories" CD earlier this century, one that is still a favorite.

"Hurricane" is a change of pace: not as much instrumentation, and Kris' voice is way out front in the mix usually. This might be described as her "chanteuse" CD; her singing is a lot of the focus, which is fine because she does an outstanding job.

Since I'm not one for much song analysis, I will leave that to others. Click here for a review from "Roots Highway." Here's one from And one from

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who carried Kris Delmhorst's guitar from her car to the stage a couple "Fall River Festival of the Arts" ago.

A Good Read: John Hammond "On Record"

The father of bluesman, and Narrows fave, John Hammond, wrote a book back in the late 1970s about his life as a music producer and promoter in a lot of the first 80 years of the 20th century.

Called "John Hammond On Record," it starts in 1910 when he was born and takes us through the music he was involved with from the 1920s to the 1970s.

As you may know from my previous posts, the elder John Hammond signed Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen to Columbia Records. But his main involvement was primarily in the jazz scene with the likes of Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and, later, George Benson, as well as with blues legends Robert Johnson and Sonny Terry.

I borrowed the book from the Providence public library, so it should be readily available there if you're interested. It's such an old book that nobody takes it out anymore, I guess. But if you love to read about the history, production and promotion of music, this is for you.

Also, it's fun to read about our own John Hammond, nicknamed "Jeep."

Here's a quick hit: when John Hammond the younger was really young (about 19), he went down to Boca Grande, Florida to work as a handyman and to listen to music:

He bought a pair of blindman's glasses and a tin cup, and took to the streets to play and sing the blues. He felt that only by disguising himself would he be allowed to enter black taverns where he could learn more about singing the blues.

Sounds like the John Hammond who performs at the Narrows. He was passionate about music even back then!

Submitted by bookworm Steve the Emcee

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Narrows' Nuggets--Gossip and Other Musings

  • Graham Parker may be small in stature, but he's big in sales. His recent performance was an easy sell-out. And the audience loved him. We heard many, many compliments afterwards.
  • Roger McGuinn's concert sold out during Graham Parker's show.
  • Some people get extremely frustrated when they come to the Narrows and the show is sold out. Sometimes the show isn't sold out until the doors are open for a half hour or so. We never know if the remaining tickets will move. Most people, though, are pretty good sports.
  • We're starting to sell Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks tickets. They're coming in June.
  • One of Dan's backup singers, one of the Licketts, is an entertainment attorney in Mill Valley, California.
  • The men's room at the Narrows has been repaired! Unfortunately, our volunteers couldn't do it, so we had to pay somebody to come in and take care of it. Anybody want to donate $300 to help cover the cost?
  • I'm worried the audiences don't know who Kris Delmhorst is. She's coming to the Narrows in May. One of the best singer/songwriters you'll find.
  • Our buddy, singer/songwriter Ryan Fitzimmons, who opened for Graham Parker, uses a photograph of a Fall River landmark in his latest CD's jewel case--Al Mac's Diner on President Avenue. Several other pictures seem to have been taken at the diner. Ryan, out of Syracuse, New York, is an aficionado of diners.
  • Speaking of Ryan, his woman friend is not only beautiful, she's interesting and fun to talk to. He's a lucky guy!
  • I don't run the Narrows--Patrick Norton is the guy behind all of the musical events (and the Jerry Garcia art show). He's often the sound guy during the shows, and he helps set up and take down the equipment, he books the acts, handles promotion, etc. etc. etc. In other words, Patrick brings the music to Fall River--I just host the shows and get all the credit. Not a bad arrangement.
  • Did you go to the Kris Delmhorst link above? Please do and find out about this wonderful performer. Or why not just click here?
  • Peter Belanger and his wonderful wife are unsung heroes at the Narrows.
  • Okay, so are Deb, Marilyn, Mark and Kathleen. Don't forget THE MAN, Bert Harlow. And Patrick's wife Maggie and their two boys also help get the job done. I know I've forgotten somebody. I've forgotten a lot of somebody's!
  • Barnes Newberry, who does a Saturday morning show at WUMB, Boston, is a class act.
  • We love The Slip!
  • Bluesman extraordinaire John Hammond comes from music royalty. His late father, also named John Hammond, was involved in the careers of Bob Dylan Leonard Cohen, George Benson, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Robert Johnson, Sonny Terry, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, and others. He was also fighting for civil rights for African-Americans as far back as the 1930s, and got in trouble with the U.S. military for continuing to fight segregation during his time as a soldier during World War II. He was a writer, producer, concert promoter, talent scout and a semi-talented classical musician. He didn't like Frank Sinatra, hated the Benny Goodman movie starring Steve Allen, and never liked jazz's bebop phase, feeling it was too technical and complicated just for the sake of being technical and complicated. He also thought some modern recording techniques (such as studio wizardry to cover talent shortfalls) were fraudulent and probably deserved to be investigated. He was also very proud of his sons John, who was nicknamed "Jeep," and Jason, who apparently has not pursued a music career.
  • Please turn off your cell phones during the shows. I keep forgetting to mention that from the stage.
  • Please visit this blog several times a week. I update it a lot. And tell your friends!
  • That's all for now! Except, please click this to learn about Kris Delmhorst!

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, from his hideaway in Simsbury, CT.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

People Are Talking About Dan Hicks

The great Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks will be making their triumphant 3rd big appearance at the Narrows on Thursday, June 16. And people are talking about Dan, like

Jimmy Buffet: There is no doubt in my mind that watching Dan Hicks 30 years ago from the wings of the stage at the Quiet Knight in Chicago, I was watching a masterful showman with a unique style. It wasn't lost on me then or now. Dan Hicks' music still makes me feel good and I am honored to finally be a part of it.

Tom Waits: Dan Hicks is fly, sly, wily and dry!

Brian Setzer: Real instruments, real vocal harmonies, real guitar playing, real everything… COUNT ME IN! I'm a huge Dan fan!

Bette Midler: Dan Hicks is lightning in a bottle. I love him and thank God he's back to lift us out of our musical doldrums.

Elvis Costello: As a long-time Dan Hicks fan it was a real thrill to trade licks with Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks!

Dan Hicks: Later on, or in my youth, it's always the truth: wherever I go,that's where I am.

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who, along with Dan, believes he's really the only truly hip person there is.

Opener for Delmhorst Worth Coming Early For

Friday, May 13 brings Kris Delmhorst back to the Narrows. Her opener, while not getting the attention she deserves, promises to be a delight.

Sarah Siskind is her name, and she's a young woman (mid-20s) from the South, who's been winning praise from press and musicians alikes. For example:

"When Sarah opened for me, I thought I was hearing the perfect combination of Gillian Welch and Joni Mitchell. What a cool new voice!" - Jennifer Kimball

So get to the show early and see Sarah!

Posted by Steve the Emcee, who really wants you to get there early so you can see him!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Jonathan Edwards Brings "Sunshine" to the Narrows

Saturday, April 23 marks the 2nd show we've done with Jonathan Edwards, who had mainstream success with the song "Sunshine."

You know: "Sunshine go away today, don't feel much like dancin'" or some words to that effect. It's a short, peppy tune that never seems to get old, though it goes back to 1971. As is written on his website:

"Sunshine" was an energetic, happy-sounding statement of protest and independence. "It was just at the time of the Vietnam War and Nixon,"Jonathan recalls. "It was looking bad out there. That song meant a lot to a lot of people during that time--especially me." It started on a Boston radio station, and before long it hit the top five on the national charts. It earned him a gold record in 1971.

Last time he was here, we had a lot of fun. Don't miss him this time!

JP Jones Opening for Jonathan Edwards

Earlier in this blog, I gave a big thumbs up to JP Jones' latest CD "thugs and lovers."

See him open for Jonathan Edwards on Saturday, April 23. I'm sure he'll be playing selections from his new CD, which is him, a $200 guitar, a harmonica and a dandy batch of songs. Only one overdub on the whole CD.

It's getting a fair amount of airplay at WUMB up there in Boston, and I hear it's doing well across the country.

JP is an old friend, and I've had the pleasure of performing with him, performing a song or two of his, and even producing a couple CDs with JP's work on it.

See you April 23!

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who gave up a faltering career in music to follow other faltering careers.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Zox Coming to Narrows May 12

At this writing it's not on the official calendar, but the word we're getting is that Zox will be doing a show at the Narrows on Thursday, May 12.

Check the official calendar at for details.

Some Zox info we've copied from their website (

• ZOX has shared the stage with The Black Eyed Peas, The Roots, Dispatch, Guster, Rusted Root, O.A.R., Goldfinger, Cowboy Mouth, Common, The Starting Line, Further Seems Forever, Petey Pablo, The Sugar Hill Gang, and The Warped Tour 2004

• 2004 Best Local Act & Best Album, 2003 Best Breakthrough Act Providence Phoenix Best Music Poll (

• 7 songs featured on MTV's Real Word and Road Rules 2003-2004 episodes (

• Played on over 200 college radio stations around the country

• "Take Me Home" named Providence Journal top 12 of 2003 (

• Campus Activities Magazine 2004: Top 3 in Nation Best Musical

• 2003 WBRU Annual Rock Hunt Winners (

• 10,000 Soundscan verified copies of Take Me Home sold to date

Bring a Bit of Jerry Garcia Home with You

When you come to the Narrows in April, you might want to bring some extra cash with you to purchase some Jerry Garcia stuff, in celebration of his art show at the Narrows.

Specifically, we have Jerry Garcia dolls for sale for $15. What a nice present for the Deadhead you love!

Or how about a Jerry Garcia t-shirt? We have various styles, including "Jerry Garcia Guitar," "Cowboy Jerry," and "30th Anniversary." Prices range from $20 to $27.

For the early spring chill, how about a Jerry sweatshirt? $45.

Jerry greeting cards are available for $10. Designs include "Sunflower Terrapin," "Ship of Fools," "Seasons of the Dead," and others.

Posters for this tour of Jerry's art are available for $35. A Garcia/Wolman poster is availabe for the same price.

A portion of the sales go to the Narrows Center for the Arts, which, as you probably know, is a non-profit organization staffed entirely by volunteers.

So take a bit of Jerry home with you--and help a good cause!


Mary Ann Rossoni Opens for Michael Troy Friday Night

Songwriter extraordinaire Mary Ann Rossoni opens for Michael Troy at the Narrows on Friday night.

If you like well-written songs performed with charm and sometimes laugh-out-loud humor, get to know Mary Ann's work.

She's also a talented visual artist whose work has hung at the Narrows' Renaissance Gallery, which is currently showing a Jerry Garcia collection, by the way.

Mary Ann has performed her music a number of times at the Narrows, and at venues up and down the East Coast.

Learn more at her website:

Monday, April 04, 2005

Graham Parker Tickets Moving Quickly;McGuinn Nearly Gone

Saturday, April 9, the Narrows welcomes back our friend Graham Parker, who did a great job his last visit. Tickets are moving swiftly, but there are still a good number left, as I write this (late Monday afternoon). Don't wait much longer to buy, because they might be all gone by showtime Saturday. Visit

Tickets, however, for Roger McGuinn, making his first Narrows visit on Friday, April 15, are down to the last couple dozen. Make your move now, if you'd like to attend. Visit

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who plans to be at both shows.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

JJ Baron's CD Release Party June 3

A Narrows' adopted child, JJ Baron, is having his CD release party on June 3. We've heard three tracks off the CD, and they're great!

The record features Slaid Cleaves, Jim Weider (formerly of The Band) and another Narrows' adopted child, Ryan Fitzsimmons. Also Buddy Cage of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Stu Kimball (who's played guitar for Dylan and Peter Wolf) and Scott Murawski of Max Creek.

The song sampler CD that JJ has been sending around is impressive. It contains three songs: "Open Door," "Now I Know,"and "Chose to Lose You," all written by JJ.

First of all, the songs show that JJ is more than a pretty face and voice. He's a fine lyricist and has an ear for melody.

We're just two bad habits that can't resist
A taste of a kiss, the move of the mouth
I never meant to get ourselves into this
You're at the top of my list
After I throw you out

Those are the opening lines of "Open Door." Not bad for a youngster. Not bad for an oldster, either.

Other players on the disc are Tom Newman, Chris Brooks, Greg Deguglielmo and Steve Burke. It was produced by Tom Newman and recorded at Celebration Sound in Warren, RI by Dave Corriea. Production, arrangements and engineering sound first-rate.

Congrats to JJ and all involved in this project! (By the way, the CD's front cover is a photo of JJ in the Narrows' freight elevator!).

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who else?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Boston Globe Review of John Doe's Latest

In case you're coming to tonight's show (Saturday night) featuring John Doe, we thought you might want to check out the Boston Globe's review of his latest CD. This blog's review of the same CD was published a few days back. Hope to see you at tonight's show!

Okay, here's the review from the April 1, 2005, Boston Globe:

Rock-bruised and alt-country-sparkled, Doe's electric love letter to Muddy Waters is modern blues without the modern affectations, going places you wish White Stripes went more often. Cooked up in a small room over two weeks last April, the recording is brash, close, and clanging, with the songs slapping off the walls. It's as if Dave Alvin and Grant Lee Phillips plugged their nicely tortured guitars into the same overloaded amp in the corner along with the organ. Doe channels Jim Morrison's poetic alto for the psychedelic ''The Losing Kind" and sings us out of loneliness on the stark, reverberant ''Worried Brow." But even in solitary blues mode, Doe is still singing duets, reviving the trademark boy-girl harmonies of his old LA punk band X with Neko Case, daughter Veronica Jane, Cindy Lee Berryhill, and Kristin Hersh, who helps salute lost friends (including Elliot Smith) on the raucous and ragged ''Ready." Doe's sixth solo CD stumbles briefly in a few over-honeyed moments. Otherwise it's a dynamic example of how X might have sounded as a roots group from the Dust Bowl flatlands. Doe performs at T.T. the Bear's tonight.TRISTRAM LOZAW

Submitted by Steve the Emcee, who will be hauling a lot of equipment late tonight, no doubt.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Michael Troy Likes the Sunshine

Fall River native son Michael Troy digs the sunshine.

Over the past couple months he won two songwriter awards down in FLA. The word is that Michael has some kin in those parts so he's got a place to crash at night.

Michael returns to the north on Friday, April 8th for a homecoming show at the Narrows.

His website:

Tickets Still Available for LaFave & Doe

Tonight's show (Friday night) with Jimmy LaFave still has tickets available, so you should have no problem if you simply arrive at the door.

John Doe's show still has plenty of tickets left.

Both are going to be great events. For more info:

Hope to see you this weekend!