Thursday, June 30, 2005

Review of "Celtic Cuties" Latest CD

Celtic cuties "The Cottars" are coming to the Narrows July 29. Sorry about the "cutie" stuff, but they're just kids, and they look adorable in their photo, don't you think?

However, they put on a great show, which is why, of course, the Narrows booked them.

Here's a review of their latest recording from

The Cottars - On Fire! (review by Pete Fyfe)

My, what a difference a couple of years makes? From their precocious debut album to this far more mature recording, The Cottars have come a long way in that brief time. They’re now far more settled in their role as the successors to the Rankin Family crown as all round family entertainers and between them Ciaran & Fiona MacGillvray and Jimmy & Roseanne MacKenzie prove fine musicians as well as vocalists. Their choice of material is pretty spot on including Dougie MacLean’s ‘Ready For The Storm’ and Ron Kavana’s gorgeous ‘Reconciliation’ and whilst the songs will perhaps remain the most memorable tracks, their digital dexterity is nothing to be sniffed at. The ‘The Mabou Jig/Hare Slough Jig/The Advil Jig’ performed by Jimmy show a young man (he’s only 17) who knows how to control individual note picking with a precise and clean intonation buoyed by the old school piano accompaniment from Ciaran. It will be interesting to see if, in a few years time he will be able to utilise triplets to give a splash more colour - but then again, that’s from a guitarist’s point of view. Articulate is another way of looking at the band’s overall presentation in as much that Ciaran comes across as a young John Denver in his approach to singing whilst Fiona (and I still can’t believe she was only 14 when she recorded this album) has the maturity of one born for great things. As a reference I’d say that the group very much remind me of the Irish band Deanta but in the meantime, as a work in progress, The Cottars are steadily building on a reputation that hopefully, after they’ve all passed their exams will see them touring the world stages that await them. With youth so much on their side I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from them in the next few years.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Got Speakers? Dig this Podcast Site

I stumbled across a cool website for those of us interested in folk music, Americana or whatever.

It's called Down in the Flood, and it's the work of a music scholar, according to the website, who's written for prestigious publications.

If you have speakers on your computer, he has "podcasts"(essentially MP3 files) about subjects such as the history of the steel guitar, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and other rootsy topics.

So turn off the television tonight, as the Narrows takes a mid-year break for a few weeks, and tune in to these podcasts.

Three Shows in July

July will be a fairly quiet month at the Narrows--but with some great shows!

Tickets are still available!

Friday, July 15 ... Red Stick Ramblers

Saturday, July 23 ... Rosie Flores

Friday, July 29 ... The Cottars

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Voice of "Orleans" Coming to Narrows

Larry Hoppen, the voice on "Still the One," and other Orleans' hits is coming to the Narrows in November.

This will be a reunion of sorts--your humble blogger interviewed Larry back in the late 1970s when your blogger was working as music director at a radio station in Poughkeepsie, New York. Orleans had just released "Love Takes Time."

Robbie Dupree, who had several pop hits in the 1970s--remember "Steal Away," and "Hot Rod Hearts"?--will be joining Larry.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Rosie Flores--A Quick Look

While the Narrows takes an early summer break for a couple weeks, it's time to prep for shows coming up in the second half of 2005.

Rosie Flores will be visiting us July 23. Though she is well known, many may be unfamiliar with her work.

To remedy that, we grabbed this review of her latest CD off of Rik's reviews (excerpted):

Rosie Flores - Single Rose
So, you're in a smoky bar room on a Saturday night, the entertainment arrives and gets on the stage. You pay little attention as you think you've heard it all before. Maybe you have, but not as captivating as Rosie Flores. Standing alone on the stage armed with simply an acoustic Taylor guitar, on Single Rose, Rosie Flores proves that she doesn't need anyone else to put on an incredible show.

Shining throughout the CD, Rosie Flores lays out her brand of alt. country. If this CD were recorded in the 70s, it would have given Loretta Lynn a run for her money. The material is not dated, simply a roots feel that catches your attention with a stellar show, humor, and feeling.

Single Rose showcases the charismatic Rosie Flores in her natural environment. Stating "I'm having the time of my life" prior to "West Texas Plains," you can hear that Rosie Flores is truly having fun.

You'll find yourself playing this CD more and more as it seems to get better with each spin.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Bluegrass Reader

Your very humble blogger spends some of his down time reading about music.

Currently I'm reading The Bluegrass Reader, which was edited by Thomas Goldsmith and published by the University of Illinois Press as part of their music in American life series.

I picked it up at the Fall River Public Library and, though I'm not a huge bluegrass fan, I'm finding the book interesting and a lot of fun.

It features a collection of articles from across the decades by folk musician/producer/etc. Jim Rooney, country star Marty Stuart, folk guy Mike Seeger, archivist Alan Lomax, gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson, and many others.

Articles are about Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, the Stanley Brothers, the Osborne Brothers, women in bluegrass, and even Narrows alums Peter Rowan and Jerry Douglas.

I hope to finish the book over the next few days, so I might be returning the book to the library on North Main Street by this coming Saturday.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Hot Tuna Coming to Narrows!

We don't have the date yet, but the inside word is that the high muckety-mucks at the Narrows have been in top level discussions with the legendary Hot Tuna to play at the Narrows, possibly in late summer or early fall.

Hot Tuna, for those of you who are young or who just weren't paying attention, was founded by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Yes, they were in Jefferson Airplane, and yes I mispronounced Jorma Kaukonen's name when he played a solo gig at the Narrows. I still don't know how to say his name, and I've given up trying. I know his music; his name, though, is beyond my abilities.

Keep an eye on this blog for more details!

Friday, June 24, 2005

John Prine On TV Sunday Morning

Grabbed this off of :

John Prine To Appear On "CBS Sunday Morning" This Sunday

Contributed by Kissy
Friday, 24 June 2005

Nashville, Tenn.—On June 26, Grammy-winning songwriter John Prine shows a national audience how to get “Crazy As A Loon ” when he sings that song on CBS Sunday Morning. The song is vintage Prine—steeped in humanity and delivered with his trademark wit. The segment, hosted by Bill Flanagan, features Prine’s June 20 Austin City Limits performance of the song from his chart-topping latest album Fair & Square.

Fair & Square is Prine’s first album of original material in nine years and was released on his own Oh Boy record label. An interesting thing happened in the long span between albums—Prine transcended his “critically acclaimed songwriter” status and moved into the rarefied air that can only be described as “legendary.” Rave reviews in such esteemed publications as Rolling Stone, Harp, Paste, New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times just add to the Prine mystique.

The album, which features guest vocals from bluegrass nightingale Alison Krauss and Americana darling Mindy Smith, rang up the best first week sales of Prine’s career. It landed at No. 2 on Billboard’s Indie chart and No. 55 on the all genre Top 200 chart. Prine co-produced the album with world-renowned engineer Gary Paczosa, who has been awarded Grammys for his work with Krauss, Dolly Parton, the Dixie Chicks and Nickel Creek.

The response to Fair & Square was not unexpected. It was foreshadowed by one of the most distinguished honors in Prine’s long and illustrious career, an invitation to read and perform at the Library of Congress. The invitation came from Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser who calls Prine “a national treasure.”

Kooser was drawn to the same thing that so many of Prine’s admirers are drawn to—a compassionate humanity that lets the Chicago-born songwriter tackle difficult subjects with humor and grace. He writes from the heart to the heart with a plainspoken sincerity that resonates with people from all walks of life.

After his CBS Sunday Morning performance Prine returns to the road, touring in support of Fair & Square. He’ll travel the highways and byways of the U.S. and Canada through the summer and fall. He heads to Europe at the end of October with a tour that starts in England.

It’s been nine years since the legendary songwriter unleashed his prodigious talent with a new collection of original work. Fair & Square proves that Prine’s skills have only deepened in that time. He’s more insightful, funny, and heartbreakingly relevant than he’s ever been. And doesn’t that make the wait worthwhile?

For more information contact:Kissy BlackLotos Nile Media615-298.1144
kissyblack@lotosnile.comThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Say Goodbye to Narrows Thursday and Friday

The Narrows is about to go on a summer hiatus--until mid-July, which really ain't that long--after our shows tonight (Thursday) and Friday.

Tonight it's traditional folkies Fishken and Groves, along with Mark Brine.

Friday, it's the alternative country band the Drunk Stuntmen. With a name like Drunk Stuntmen, they've got to be good.

Plenty of tickets are available for both shows. And although we won't be having shows for a few weeks, we'll still be busy at the Narrows. So you can buy tickets for future shows, visit the art gallery, visit our resident artist studios etc. Your humble blogger, of course, refuses to take a break, so we hope you'll continue to visit this space on a regular basis.

Nonetheless, we will be taking a break.

Say goodbye to the Narrows by joining us this week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Narrows Alums Up For Awards

The Americana awards are coming up, and Narrows alums Mary Gauthier, Hayes Carll, Jerry Douglas, The Duhks, and Sonny Landreth are among the nominees.

Here's an article I grabbed from

Earle, Gauthier & Merritt Lead The Pack

Steve Earle, Mary Gauthier and Tift Merritt each have received three nominations for the fourth annual Americana Honors & Awards. Buddy Miller earned two nominations, and a track from Miller's nominated album Universal United House of Prayer, "Worry Too Much" by Mark Heard, is nominated for Song of the Year. Also scoring nominations in the five member-voted categories were (alphabetically) Alison Brown, Hayes Carll, Jerry Douglas, The Duhks, Tom Gillam, Sonny Landreth, Gurf Morlix, John Prine and Martha Wainwright.

The AMA will also present five additional awards during the Sept. 9 Honors & Awards ceremony: Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriter, Performer and Executive; the President's Award; and the First Amendment Center Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What They're Saying About Fishken and Groves

Thursday night we welcome for the first time Fishken and Groves.

Fish who and who?

I know. They may be new names for you. But that's why the Narrows Center for the Arts exists. We want to provide an opportunity to bring in new artists to enrich the lives of our audience.

So: Fishken and Groves. But we realize you need more info, and may not have time to search for it, so here are some testimonials from some music writers:

"Fishken and Groves hark back to a time when folk music was less about the stars and more about the songs. With front-porch conviviality, they sing folk classics and gems by contemporary songwiters in a style that puts all of the attention on the song; melodically pure, instrumentally unadorned, with harmonies as sweet and thick as home-baked cake."
-- Scott Alarik, Boston Globe 2/21/02
"In a sea of singer-songwriters, roots-savvy song interpreters such as Fishken & Groves are a relief. From 19th century cowboy ballads to Geoff Bartley, from the Sons of the Pioneers to Irving Berlin, John Prine to Vaughan Monroe, the duo's new CD, "Going to the West," has a range as wide as the harmonies are close. Fishken & Groves create a back porch feel..."
-- Dan Gewertz, Boston Herald 2/22/02

So Who Is Mark Brine?

Thursday night the opening act for Fishken and Groves is Mark Brine. Who is he? I'm still learning, but I grabbed the following off his website for a quick look: Carl Anders

There are probably more familiar names to most of you out there, but you've probably overlooked or ignored Mark Brine for far too long. Now's your chance to make amends.

Taking its title from the Ola Belle Reed track that opens the album, 'Fortunes' is a mix of a couple of rare and unreleased tracks along with some picked from Mark's more recent releases. Even though some of the tracks are as recent as 2001, probably the biggest compliment you can pay these songs is that they actually sound like lost classics from the 60's folk revival scene or of scratchy recordings from the 20's.

Its hard to think listening to these songs that most are from within a decade or so, you'd be forgiven for thinking that these were taken from albums from the era when Dylan, Townes and Clarke were first plying their trade. However, this isn't just a tribute to those times, Brine has set his career on continuing those traditions and on consistently writing country/folk/blues songs exactly how they were meant to sound.

Songs like Ukelele Yodelin' Blues prove the point. Simple, effective country blues of a traditional style that very few seem focused on keeping alive. But this has been Brine's trademark throughout his career. Leaving behind a career in Nashville as he grew increasingly frustrated with its commercialization and refusal to accept its own roots.

For some reason we lament that the likes of Townes and Clarke have never achieved a level of success befitting of their talents. But it's probably fair to say that as we roll our eyes at the uneducated masses who have never heard of either of them, we're as guilty for letting Brine pass us by.

Its quite right that Brine has a wealth of critical acclaim behind his recording career to date. Rather than being a standard best of, 'Fortunes' is more of a wake up call for us with the wallets and credit cards to finally take notice and timely reminder that Mark Brine is talent that we can no longer afford to ignore.

Finally in addition to gaining 17 songs that may take a long time to leave your stereo, a portion of the sale of every CD goes direct to benefit the children and their families of the Appalachia. Even more reason to buy 'Fortunes.'

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Drunk Stuntmen Coming Friday Night

With a name like the Drunk Stuntmen (some are shortening this to "The Stuntmen"), they've got to be good.

They're returning to the Narrows this Friday, as we wrap up the spring schedule and take a short break, resuming business-as-usual in mid-July with the Red Stick Ramblers and Rosie Flores.

Here's write-up on the Drunk Stuntmen, so you get to know these fellows before coming to the show. Click right here.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Sarah Borges Up to #4 on XM Radio

Sarah Borges' album Silver City continues to shake up the charts across the country.

XM radio has her at #4, up from #13. Take a look.

Sarah, from Taunton, opens, playing solo, for Rosie Flores on Saturday, July 23 at the Narrows. She and her band brought the house down recently when she opened for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Dies

Thanks to blogger Sheila Lennon for this one about the little girl who was "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

Click here for the story.

Fairport Convention Issues

The legendary British folk group, Fairport Convention, is facing a crisis within its ranks.

You may remember Fairport Convention played the Narrows not that long ago.

Came across this story at

Fairport Convention performs shortened US tour as a trio
June 17, 2005
When a band has been making music for over 35 years, members come and go. Fairport Convention’s recent tour of America was shortened as the band canceled the south-west and California dates during this acoustic tour. Unknown events caused bass player Dave Pegg, who joined the band in 1970, off the tour. Instead of canceling every show, the lads performed the remaining East Coast dates as a trio—featuring Simon Nicol, Ric Sanders, and Chris Leslie. Reports from those shows have been very positive and the trio setting was certainly a rare treat for the Fairport aficionado. If the past repeats itself, Fairport will certainly continue their legacy. This recent bump in the road has not affected Fairport’s annual Cropredy Festival—taking place this year August 11-13. As to who will be behind the bass is still a mystery. Dave Pegg is credited with keeping Fairport Convention alive and well during these later years and he’s been organizing and promoting Cropredy since the beginning of the event in the early '80s. Will Peggy return? Can they survive without Dave Pegg? And if so, who will be his replacement? Could we see Ashley Hutchings back in the mix—Fairport’s founding member and original bass player? The fans certainly want Dave Pegg but where the future lies for this seminal group is still up in the air. Were you at one of the trio gigs? Do you have any Fairport memories? If so, post a comment for all to read. For more on Fairport Convention—visit their web site. “It All Comes ‘Round Again.”

Tom Pacheco has New CD

International folk sensation, and local guy done good, Tom Pacheco has a new CD out, which was just added to WUMB radio's play list.

To learn more, click here.

We wish Tom well on this latest creation! If it's on WUMB, it must be great! We hope to hear it soon!

No Show on Saturday Night

The Otis Read show for Saturday has been cancelled, though there may still be advertisements and notices around. Sorry for any inconvenience. Here's a note in Philippe and Jorge's column in the latest Providence Phoenix about his health issues:

"We learned last week that Otis Reed, a stalwart on the Rhode Island’s music scene for more than 25 years (currently working in a primarily traditional folk and Celtic mode with the multi-instrumentalist Phil Edmunds), and also a longtime peace activist, suffered a stroke.

"Like many artists, Otis is not exactly strapped with health insurance coverage. Phil says there will almost certainly be a need to stage fundraising concerts and events to defray the huge bills. Our thoughts are with Otis for a full and swift recovery. He has performed gratis to raise funds for worthy causes hundreds and hundreds of times. Now he needs our help. So keep your eyes and ears open for coming events to give Otis a hand, and we’ll see you there."

Friday, June 17, 2005


Just wanted to thank all those who helped make the Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks show a smashing success!

It was a sell-out. So Dan and his crew are 3 for 3 at the Narrows.

As you may know, the Narrows is a non-profit that takes risks with various artists, booking them even though we might not fill the house. We do this because we're a "center for the arts," not a commercial venue, and we'd like to provide the opportunity for folks to see up-and-coming performers as well as the established ones with big followings.

Performers like Dan Hicks, Odetta, John Hammond, Graham Parker, Roger McGuinn, the Slip and several others who sell out help us do this.

Thanks to them and, most important, thanks to all who purchase tickets for our shows!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Dan Hicks Featured in Today's Projo

At this writing, it's not yet posted on the website, but if you check later or pick up a copy of today's Providence Journal's "Live" section you can read an interview with our guy Dan Hicks.

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks perform at the Narrows tonight (Thursday). Tickets were still available last I checked, but they're moving very fast, so don't wait to buy at the door if you can avoid it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dan Hicks Tickets Still Available But Moving Fast

As of this writing (1 p.m. Wednesday), there are dozens of Dan Hicks tickets available for tomorrow night's show.

But if you want to go, immediately go to and order your tickets online. You can also try calling 508-324-1926 and see if you can arrange to pick them up later today or sometime tomorrow.

Dan's got a great new CD out and a fun stage-show. If you're a Dan fan, don't miss this opportunity to see this American musical legend and "the only truly hip person there is."

Chip Taylor's Road Journal Covers Narrows Visit

Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez--the Americana power couple (though they're not a "couple" in that sense)--did a great show at the Narrows recently. Chip keeps a road journal at and here's his entry about their visit to our little venue (If you were at the show, your name might be in here!!).

JUNE 10 - Heading fo Boston live radio - WMBR. Carrie & I arrived in Boston at about 2:30, picked up our Nashville-based bass player (just ended a tour there) & headed for the station.

Our new friend Joan did a very nice interview and we played a few songs, ending up with a requested “Angel Of The Morning” - Look forward to coming back to this terrific station..


Left Boston during rush hour, Carrie at the helm... arrived in the Fall River area at 6:10, checked into our old but refurbished Quality Inn Hotel.. changed & headed for sound check. Met John Platania there - he had arrived early and had already sound checked.

One of the most artistic looking venues on the planet ... a big loft space in the old industrial area of Fall River ... low along the water - top floor of an old warehouse - as we face the audience, the 10 row deep old pew-like seeting stretches from 30 feet to the right of John Platania (on our far right) to 40 feet to the left of Carrie - oblong.. with the seats set in a half moon style, with the stage easily seen from any seat.note. behind the 10 foot long - 3 foot wide stage - there’s a 50 foot long span of windows giving a beautiful view of the river, old steel bridge &.. just at showtime... the setting sun..

Old friend Patrick met us and helped us load in. - after a quick sound check and some food delivered on site, we were on stage at 8:10.

dedicating all these shows to Joan, mother of my terrific children Kristian & Kelly... with positive thoughts for her upcoming operation.I LOVED THIS SHOW- very spontaneous & loose .. I’ll never forget our version of “Son Of Man” where as we were performing it I told Carrie (& the audience) of the experience John & I had recording the song a few months ago with THE BELLS OF JOY - ending up singing it as they did“The Lords ALWAYS LOOKIN’... So you CAN’T sneak in” !!!Too many highlights to remember... Carrie was so damned good... John & Kyle were magic - toatally ONE with this audience tonight - THANKS TO ALL WHO STOPPED BY... including:Carrie’s old school froend KARA & great new boyfriend, Theo - great to spend time with you bothPhilip & Karen who were there with us in Newport - great to see you again... hopefully Carrie & I can be part of your Connecticut benefit... let us know! - HI to old friend Mike from the North Lake days... all the best, Mike - Hi to John’s friiends John & Debbie... ED - Thanks for taking the time - those were special words... look forward to seeing you again... Hi to Tom, Lynne & Brad.. such nice thoughts! ... HI ASHLEY & Chris ... thanks for bringing “The Trouble With Humans” to work... special hi to you & other “Trouble.... “ fans Michel & Lindsay... Hi Joann & husband... sorry.. forgot your name - remember you liked the “Storybook Children” album - thanks for makling Joann aware... HI Kevin (Crime reporter from Pawtaukett)... so nice taliking with you.. thanks for the kind words...Hi Peter, Mike .. Peter (Jamaica Plains?) ... & Nancy... hi Chuck... hope you enjoyed the show... HI TOM... (The commercial fisherman) ... your kind words were so appreciated!HI TO DEB - GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN... Thanks for selling the CDs!! - you are so kind.. HI WENDY ... so nice to see you when we arrived.THANKS FOR THE INTRO AND THE KIND WORDS STEVEAGAIN PATRICK... GREAT TO SEE YOU .... BEJAMIN.. THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING THERE!!! Hi to bro Owen.. hope to see him next timethanks to all the others who said such kind words to Carrie, John, Kyle & me - look forward to seeing you soon again

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Red Stick Ramblers CD Zooming to the Top!

The Red Stick Ramblers, coming to the Narrows in July, have a CD zooming to the top of the Americana chart, coming in at #9 this week.

Our buddies Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez have a CD that's up to #3 in a matter of a few short weeks. I think Chip and Carrie's CD is a contender for top recording of 2005!

Haven't had a chance to listen to the Red Stick Ramblers CD yet.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Christina Aguilera Music to Torture Prisoners?

Did we hear on the Today show that they're using Christina Aguilera music as a means of allegedly torturing prisoners in Guantanamo Bay?

I'm not making this up!

Nothing against Ms. Aguilera (our philosophy is that you take the best gig you can get, and she's got hers), but that's got to be some sort of comment on her music. We'll leave it at that.


Dan Hicks Tickets Still Available

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks are coming to the Narrows this Thursday, and you can still purchase tickets, as of this writing.

This would be a great opportunity to introduce family and friends to Dan's music, which is more popular than ever!

He has a fun new CD out, and he's playing to packed rooms across the nation.

Dan has sold out in the past at the Narrows, so we expect to see a surge in ticket-buying over the next day or so.

Don't wait too much longer to get your tickets!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Dressing for Summer at the Narrows

We suggest you think of the Narrows during the summer as equivalent to an outdoor summer festival without the fear of rain.

In other words, it can get warm, particularly when temps are above 75 degrees.

We suggest you dress like you would if you're going to an outdoor summer festival. But no need for umbrellas or sunblock!

Hayes Carll Sets Record!!!!!!!!

Hayes Carll, who's playing the Narrows Sunday night (June 12), has a CD that just made history!

"Little Rock" is the first self-released CD to make it to #1 on the Americana charts!

Tickets are still available for the Sunday night show. See you there!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Jam Banders Take Note: Jerry Marotta and Tom Griesgraber Coming

It's not posted on the regular schedule yet, but coming September 8th to the Narrows is Marotta/Griesgraber, who are the extraordinary musicians Jerry Marotta and Tom Griesgraber.

They've played with, produced, or shared stages with, nearly everybody at one time or another: Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Hall & Oates, Elvis Costello, Al Dimeola, Bill Bruford, California Guitar Trio, Dixie Dregs, Rory Block, John Sebastian etc.

They're doing a progressive, instrumental sort of thing is what we've heard.

Check out Jerry's website:

Carll on Country Standard Time

Hayes Carll plays the Narrows for the first time Sunday night. His latest CD, Little Rock, is one of the hottest Americana CDs in the nation.

Here's a review from

Little Rock
Hayes Carll is an Arkansas native whose country-rock compositions recall the sounds of Steve Earle or Todd Snyder. His second album was produced by the legendary R.S. Field and features songs co-written by Guy Clark, John Evans and Ray Wylie Hubbard as well as several enjoyable original numbers from Carll's talented pen. The album contains some amazing moments, particularly "Down The Road Tonight," a countrified modernization of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues." Moreover, "Wish I Hadn't Stayed So Long" is another roots rock masterpiece worthy of Steve Earle and The Dukes. He adeptly shifts gears to Steve Goodman-style folk on "Good Friends," while showcasing guest harmonies from Allison Moorer. Throughout "Little Rock," Carll is at his best with his jaunty, up-tempo, rock-influenced numbers. Unfortunately, things falter a bit when things slow down. John Evans' "Take Me Away" is one such dull moment, and the Clark co-write "Rivertown" never really takes off. Fortunately, it is followed by the title track, which rocks like Georgia Satellites in their prime. Overall, Carll's superior lyrics and willingness to rock makes this disc a breath of fresh air warranting high regard in the world of country-infused rock and roll. - T.J. Simon

Friday, June 10, 2005

USA Today Gives Greg Trooper Thumbs Up

Greg Trooper plays the Narrows Saturday night. Here's what USA Today says about his latest CD:

Greg Trooper, Make It Through This World (* * *) A songwriter who would describe showing love to a hard-hearted girl as being "futile as a prayer" might not be a religious man, but Trooper's songs have the ring of gospel truth. Sure, the organ and the piano testify to each other on Dream Away the Blues, and the slide guitar sways and shouts like a Pentecostal preacher, but mostly it's in the care the Nashville singer/songwriter shows for even his least desirable characters, and in the way they all strive for meaning in their loves and lives. —Brian Mansfield

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Projo Write-Up on Graham Parker & The Figgs

Tonight (Thursday, June 9, 2005) Graham Parker returns to the Narrows with The Figgs. Tickets are still available!

In anticipation of the show, Rick Massimo of the Providence Journal did a great piece in today's paper.

Read it by clicking here.

See you tonight!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Listen and Learn About Chip and Carrie

This Friday, June 10th, we welcome back Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez to the Narrows. Tickets are still available to see this "power couple" of Americana music, who have one of the hottest CDs in the nation.

Speaking of which, here's an audio review of their new CD, so I hope your computer has speakers.

Also in the "podcast" is a review of the latest from Chatham County Line, who are coming to the Narrows in September.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Review of "Selected Shorts," Dan Hicks' Latest

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks return to the Narrows on Thursday, June 16. This will be Dan's 3rd visit; he sold out the first two, so if you're planning to attend, you should get your tickets soon.

Late last year, Dan released a new studio CD called "Selected Shorts." On the back of the CD case, Dan is quoted as saying (as only Dan can say), "No song too long!" How many musicians give that kind of guarantee? Dan continues to pioneer new concepts.

Of course, with Dan's dry sense of humor, the front of the CD has a drawing of a man in boxer "shorts," which is not what one would immediately think of upon hearing the title. But that's Dan. If you don't enjoy an extreeeemly dry sense of humor, you probably won't "get" Dan, which may be why he's not a household name. Still, he's probably selling out more concerts than he did in the 1960s and 1970s.

"Selected Shorts" has Dan putting on the "folk jazz" sound in a big way, with snappy numbers like "C-mon-A-My House," which I think was a hit for Rosemary Clooney fifty years back. But Dan promises more than "candy": he promises a laundry list of items such as a short-wave radio, wall-to-wall carpeting, some DVDs, some BVDs, your own sitcom, a backyard swingset, a deck of cards, a contract on your mother-in-law, a four-slice toaster and more!

Speaking of pioneering, Dan does a duet with the lead singer for the Butthole Surfers, Gibby Haynes. Maybe not a big deal at first blush, but this may be the first duet ever phoned in. Literally. In fact, the track is entitled "That Ain't Right" (Gibby Phones It In Mix).

By the way, Dan also duets, more conventionally, with Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet. But for the use of their names, there's really nothing special about what they do, though the one Jimmy Buffet sings on (he and Dan sound so much alike it's difficult to tell who's singing what), "Barstool Boogie," is destined to be a classic.

Perhaps the oddest track is called "First I Lost My Marbles," which features a spoken-word part between what sounds like cartoon characters. One of them wonders why the other doesn't call him anymore. "Is it because I have a mullet hairdo?" he inquires. "Well, I got one too," she replies. However, when he inquires whether he should change his brand of toothpaste, she replies "Maybe you should!"

My pick for a classic, along with "Barstool Boogie": "That's Where I Am," which has Dan deadpanning and proclaiming "wherever I go, that's where I am"--a kind of offshoot of "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away?" from decades back.

If you love Dan, you won't be disappointed with "Selected Shorts," particularly if you listen to it a few times. There are a lot of subtleties worth searching for. Just be patient and listen closely.

For another observation on the CD, click here.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Review of Graham Parker & Figgs New CD

Graham Parker in full-band, rocking mode, will return to the Narrows this Thursday, June 9th.

Last visit, he played solo, but this time he has The Figgs, and a brand new CD, "Songs of No Consequence," which is his first studio album with The Figgs.

The CD is Graham Parker being the rocking Graham Parker, with catchy melodies and lyrics worth paying attention to--not necessarily for any great insight to the universe, but because they're interesting.

Some excerpts:

--"We're all working for the Vanity Press. Leave your conscience on the editor's desk."

--"Has Rock N Roll just died, or does it just smell bad?"

--"That monkey who used to be so funky is now working for the Bureau of No Change. That swinger who used to be a gunslinger is now saying that his underwear was too strange. That editor who used to be a go-getter, now put a movie star on every magazine. That tripper who wore a psychedic zipper, is now hanging up pictures of the queen."

For a more comprehensive review of Graham's new stuff, click right here.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ask the Blogger Time

As I wait for my palatial abode to dry out from a busted pipe and subsequent flooding, I thought it would be fun to answer questions we often hear at the Narrows. Please feel free to post more questions.

Q. Why don't you book so-and-so. He/she is great!
A. Yes, so-and-so is great, but he/she is:

--Too expensive. We don't want to sell tickets for $100 apiece. Remember we have a few hundred or so seats. We have to cover the cost of the artist, remember.

--If we never heard of them, chances are a lot of people never heard of them, which means few people will show up. However, if they're really good and are working to build a career, we might be able to use them to open a show. But if we do, you've got to promise to attend and bring your friends and family!

--We have booked them and they'll be coming back next year, or they're booked later this year.

Q. Why don't you get an elevator? We're sure tired of walking up the steps.
A. We agree. Would you like to buy us one? It will cost about $100,000 to get it. And aside from your being tired, we want everybody to come to the Narrows. If you have walking issues, it can be a problem. We'd like to change that!

Q. Can I reserve a table in advance?
A. We're open seating. Occasionally we'll reserve a table for various reasons--perhaps the family of an artist--but usually it's first come, first served.

Q. Why don't you sell booze?
A. Because we don't have a license. We're not sure if we want one, anyway. We're an arts center, not a bar. We're more of a listening room, instead of social gathering spot--at least during our concerts.

Q. The guy nearby talked all through the show. It was irritating.
A. We try to keep people reasonably quiet. But let us know if someone is getting out of hand. Some people think we're a bar. We have to respectfully and lovingly educate them otherwise.

Q. Do you have paid staff?
A. No. We're an all-volunteer non-profit. We'd like to pay some staff eventually. But we can't right now.

Q. Why do you folks volunteer? It seems like a lot of work.
A. Volunteering is fun. We love music and the other arts, and it's fun to be part of a "scene," as they used to say in the 1960s.

Q. Is the Narrows part of the government?
A. We are totally independent. Occasionally we'll get a government grant.

Q. Are you just a bunch of lefty, folky radicals who can't get over that the 1960s are over?
A. No. We're not on any sort of mission. This is not some sort of "holy venture. " We just want to have fun! And as far as the 1960s are concerned, we're not a nostalgic showplace for old burnouts. Most of our performers are very young. The Duhks, the Slip, Grace Potter, Sarah Borges and many others probably aren't even 30 years old yet. We think the 1960s were great musically, but we like the current music heard at the Narrows best! We also consider it an honor to have Roger McGuinn, Graham Parker, Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, John Sebastian and others who have been around awhile--not to relive past glories, but because they are still vital artists who are still creating. We want to hear their new stuff!

Thanks for reading this. Please post your question!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band Member Opening for Carll

Shaun Hague, who plays guitar in the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, is the opening act for the Sunday, June 12, Hayes Carll show.

Learn more about Shaun by clicking here.

Even for opening acts, the Narrows brings you the best!

FolkWax Reviews Hayes Carll's "Little Rock"

On Sunday, June 12, the Narrows welcomes for the first time Hayes Carll, who has one of the hotter Americana CDs in the nation "Little Rock."

Residents of the Northeast probably don't know much about Hayes, so we wanted to help you get more familiar with his work by posting a thoughtful review of "Little Rock" by the folk webzine FolkWax. Hayes gets 8 out of 10 stars, but the reviewer makes some pointed observations as well, which makes it a more interesting write-up.

Click here for the review.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Special Thank You To Buckwheat Zydeco Audience

Just a note to thank all of those who attended the Buckwheat Zydeco show on Thursday night.

Buckwheat and his crew arrived late to the gig due to severe car trouble in Pennsylvania. He was extremely apologetic to the crowd, and couldn't stop apologizing back stage, even though it was Not his fault. In fact, they had been trying since 9:30 the previous evening to get to the Fall River show. Mechanical troubles during a tour can be a killer.

When we were helping Buckwheat and his group load up their equipment after the show, he again apologized.

Real class from a guy who has received accolades across the nation. And real class from the Narrows' audience, too. By the way, despite being extremely tired, the musicians put on a rollicking good party!

Thank you!!!!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Sarah Borges CD Review

Sarah Borges, out of Taunton and Boston, recently played the Narrows.

I was so knocked out by her performance I had to listen to her CD "Silver City" and write a review for the San Antonio-based website

You can read that review by clicking right here.

Be sure to see Sarah open for Rosie Flores in July!

Projo Plug for Tonight's Show

It's Buckwheat Zydeco at the Narrows tonight (Thursday, June 2). Tickets are still available. Projo music guy Rick Massimo has a blurb about the show in today's paper:

Buckwheat Zydeco is "one of the best party bands in America," says The New York Times, and they're right. Buckwheat can take classic zydeco and mash it up into a blues, a soul song or whatever he wants, with the indestructible groove that even gets me on the dance floor. Don't let that scare you away from the Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan St., Fall River, tonight at 8.

Tickets are $23; call (508) 324-1926. He's got a new album, too! Buckwheat Zydeco tonight (Thursday, June2)! Tickets are still available.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Dan Hicks in Dirty Linen Magazine

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks return to the Narrows on Thursday, June 16. The latest issue of Dirty Linen magazine has a profile on him.

You can read an excerpt by clicking right here. Also an excerpt of a story about our buddies Paul Rishell and Annie Raines, two wonderful blues artists who have graced the Narrows' stage a bunch of times.

Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez Zoom Up the Chart

Friday, June 10th we welcome back Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez to the Narrows, but this time they have a CD already near the top of the Americana chart! Their "Red Dog Tracks" CD may, in fact, be the album of the year.

Other Narrows' artists on the chart include Hayes Carll, due to visit us on Sunday, June 12. Our buddy Greg Trooper, playing the Narrows Saturday, June 11th continues to do well, as do Sarah Borges and The Duhks.

And there are many other Narrows alums doing well.