Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A New Guitar Hero For Your CD Collection

Big show Thursday night at the Narrows featuring guitar star Alvin Youngblood Hart.

Your humble blogger did a write up on his latest CD, and you can check that out by clicking right here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mystery Sculptures in the Berkshires

As part of your blogger's photo project focusing on public art, I came upon this scene on the Pittsfield, MA, common.

These are apparently wire mesh sculptures, but your humble blogger is unsure. The snow on the ground covered any explanation of this work, if there is one.

A Google search uncovered no info.

Anybody know the story about these sculptures?

If you do, please leave a comment.

Close-ups are down below.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ray Davies Release Helps New Orleans

Kinks kaptain Ray Davies ("You Really Got Me," "Sunny Afternoon," "Come Dancing" and a zillion more) has released an extended play (EP) CD. All net proceeds benefit New Orleans music education programs.

Ray took a bullet in the streets of the Big Easy awhile back after pursuing a mugger or somebody. He's okay.

The EP is entitled "Thanksgiving Day," and features the title track and 3 other Davies songs, along with an alternate mix of the title track. In February the songs will be absorbed into Ray's "Other People's Lives" CD, his first solo album.

As far as I can see, no other Kinks play on the recording. He does much of the recording, however, at the Kinks studios, Konk, in London.

The Kinks, featuring Ray and his guitarist brother Dave, were part of the British Invasion of the 1960s. The group's best known songs (in addition to the ones already mentioned) include "Where Have All The Good Times Gone," "All Day and All of the Night," "Lola," and "Waterloo Sunset."

For more information about the recording, which I bought at a Best Buy store in the Berkshires, click here.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Grace Potter & Nocturnals Rule!

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals wowed the crowd Saturday night at the Narrows with her R & B soaked take on rock 'n roll Vermont-style. She's normally playing the organ, but up above she shakes her moneymaker with her bandmates (the bass player was hurt earlier in the week and couldn't make the gig, so they played as a trio).

But down below she's clearly enjoying herself behind the keys.

Seth Richardson, who drove up from VA to do the gig, opened the show.

Thanks to all who attended! We had a great crowd, and were able to lower our $3,000 deficit by nearly $300, thanks to the generosity of attendees who contributed to our pass the hat.

Grace and the crew were planning to head back to Vermont after the show, a 5 hour drive or so. Ah, youth!

Before they left, though, your humble blogger apparently wowed them with the story of Lizzie Borden while munching on a cookie offered by Grace in the parking lot after the equipment load out.

One of the band members--who shall remain nameless--has a strong interest in serial killers. Of course, Lizzie was never convicted and even if she did the deeds she wouldn't be in the same league as Ted Bundy. But the mystery remains and still intrigues.

But your blogger digresseth....

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Cape Cod's Seth Richardson Opens for Grace Potter Saturday Night

Cape Cod's Seth Richardson opens for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (
Saturday night at the Narrows.

For more info about this dreadlocked dude, click on the link below:

Friday, November 25, 2005

Odds and Sods

Heard "City of New Orleans" sung by the late Steve Goodman, who wrote the song, on some folkie radio show during my day-before-Thanksgiving drive out to the Berkshires. Arlo Guthrie had a hit with the tune. Anyway, was inspired to take a picture of a train (which the song is about--except it's about a passenger train) while in an icy parking lot at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. The white stuff is snow, which was on the ground pre-Thanksgiving out there. The picture was shot not far from the legendary Hoosac Tunnel which some say is haunted, and may be even the most haunted place in New England! Nearly two hundred people died drilling the tunnel in the 1800's. For more scary stuff about it click here.

Now more odds and sods (with apologies to The Who):

  • Was just stumbling around the Internet and came across a review of Cynthia Lennon's new book "John" on As you probably know, Cynthia was John's first wife and is the mother of Julian Lennon. Cynthia was there at the beginning, long before the Beatles, long before Yoko. Read an excerpt:,,8802-1774227,00.html#
  • Wrote a little review of Livingston Taylor's new CD, which was available at his recent show at the Narrows. You can see that review by clicking here.
  • Barry Cowsill mystery continues. Now maybe his voice on a phone in Newport. NBC 10 has the story here.
  • Nice to see that comments on the blog are picking up! Maybe we're finally building an audience!
  • Case you don't receive the weekly email from the Narrows, here's the latest info regarding our deficit: Thanks to everybody who came out to the shows and all those who donated to the Narrows. We were able to raise another $700 through donations, thus reducing our deficit to $3,000.
  • See you at Grace Potter's show Saturday night? Going to be fab! Meet her and the band at She's very hot on the circuit, recently doing some gigs with Trey what's-his-name from the defunct Phish.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

New Shows

Going to take a very short Thanksgiving break from writing, so I left you these tasty bites to savor until I return.


Anyway, these are shows that haven't been put up on the official schedule yet, though they may be by the time you read this.

April 14
Pierre Bensusan

Pierre has built quite an international reputation as a fingerstyle virtuoso, starting in the streets of Paris and later sharing stages with the likes of George Winston, David Bromberg, Leo Kottke and Taj Mahal. For you guitar player out there, you may be interested to know that he tunes DADGAD--so don't even try to figure out his chords looking at his hands. Pierre, these days, regularly tours the states and teaches guitar. He's been at the Narrows several times, and always draws a good crowd. Meet him at, where you have the option of reading about him in English or Francais.

Doors 7:00 Show 8:00 Admission $20 advance, $23 Day of Show

May 11
Little Charlie and the Nightcats

Blues and a whole lot more. "Rollicking, super-cool, jazzy and hip...satirical, sharp lyrics and killer guitar and harp solos..." reports "Blues Revue." These Left-Coasters have been getting it done for decades, but this is their first visit to the Narrrows. Meet them at

Doors 7:00 Show 8:00 Admission $15 Advance, $17 Day of Show

May 13
The Mammals

We hosted the Mammals a couple years back before they became one of the hottest acts on the roots scene--in fact this young group just wrapped up a tour with Arlo Guthrie (not surprising since one of the members is Pete Seeger's grandson)."The Mammals play old-time string band music the way Jack Kerouac wrote novels--with an abandon born of a deep understanding of structure and form. Their sound is wild, mirthful, and masterful," says the Boston Globe. Here's their website:

Doors 7:00 Show 8:00 Admission $15 Advance, $17 Day of Show

Monday, November 21, 2005

Meet Artist Cindy-Lou Wandaschilde

Over the next several weeks in the art gallery section of the Narrows, the "resident" artists will be displaying their work.

One of them is Cindy-Lou Wandaschilde, standing next to a rather stern-looking version of herself.

Cindy-Lou is an award-winning multifaceted artist whose illustrations appear frequently in Sagewoman Magazine.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sarah Borges Kills 'Em At Narrows Saturday Night

Sarah Borges, whose Silver City CD has been one of the top recordings on the Americana charts across the country, tore off the rafters at a packed Narrows Saturday night with her energetic country punk. Hope these photos give a flavor of the night.

This is Sarah's 3rd visit to the Narrows, the 2nd with her full band. Last time she played with only guitarist/steel player Mike Castellana at her side. By the way, there's an underground fan club for Mike at the Narrows because of his wizardry at the frets and his always seeming to give Sarah's songs the appropriate dynamics.

Since Sarah is originally from nearby Taunton, MA, she usually brings a bunch of family and friends.

Opening the night were the The Heygoods, with their quirky songs and down-home folkiness. Their latest CD "Fleetwood Skynyrd" is one of your humble blogger's favorites of the year.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Good Times Roll At The Narrows

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band turned the normally staid Narrows into a slice of of the French Quarter Friday night, playing to the most enthusiastic crowd this side of Bourbon Street (or the Brown University campus--ouch!).

Toward the end of the night, some of the dancers hopped on stage and got down with the band!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Really Cool Group Opening for Sarah Borges Saturday Night

One of the coolest records of the year is "Fleetwood Skynyrd" by The Heygoods, out of the Boston area.

The Heygoods open for Sarah Borges, whose "Silver City" CD was one of the more popular Americana records in the nation this year, based on radio airplay. To our furry ears, "Silver City" was one of the greatest CDs I've ever heard. And I'm not kidding.

But back to The Heygoods. Here's an excerpt from something I wrote for

“Fleetwood Skynyrd” by the Heygoods (Hi-N-Dry)—Former Boston rockers Katie and David Champagne, along with their bass guy Kimon Kirk, have created what should be a contender for Americana record of the year, along with the likes of Sarah Borges and Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez. The songs on “Fleetwood Skynyrd” have a loose “I don’t give a damn” folk/country attitude brimming with good-natured, sexy, even infectious cynicism. (Is that possible?) All tunes were written by David Champagne, and feature words like: “Dazzling green eyes, I wish you kept your glasses on”; and “See how long her virtue keeps you warm.” If Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez’s “Red Dog Tracks” is the warm, romantic CD of the year from a duo, this one has to be the warm, cold, snotty, romantic CD of the year from a duo.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Narrows Making Progress--But Not Out of Woods

If you get the weekly Narrows email, you have probably read the following:

Special thanks to those who donated or attended a show last weekend. Attendance was good and we raised $750 through donations. We need to raise another $4,250 to end the year in the black. If you can help us out by donating or by attending a show we would appreciate it. The Narrows also has Gift Certificates available. Nothing like giving the gift of music while assisting your favorite venue.

To which I might add that even though we're making progress, if we miss a mark attendance-wise for even one show, we could be back over the $5,000-in-the-red mark.

Thank you for supporting the Narrows! For information on how to make a charitable donation, please email Deb at

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dirty Dozen Brass Band Write Up

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is coming to the Narrows this Friday. Tickets have been moving at a pretty good clip, too!

Here's a link to a little write-up I did on their latest CD. Click here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Think April, Think Bensusan

Just got word that April 14 sees the return of Pierre Bensusan, one of the world's greatest guitar players.

He's based in the Paris, France, area but is well known to the Narrows due to at least two previous appearances.

And--he's not only a performer, but he's a donor to the Narrows.

If you're interested in following in Pierre's footsteps, please email Deb at

As you may know, the Narrows is facing a $5,000 plus deficit this year and is barely hanging on. While we don't pay staff, we do pay rent, maintenance etc.

Turnout for several shows was not as high as expected, which contributed to the fiscal problems. A lot of venues, both non-profit and for-profit, face similar issues. But--the Narrows does NOT have a liquor license. So we can't make it up "at the bar."

Thanks for thinking Narrows when you're deciding your end-of-the-year charitable contributions!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sarah Borges Returns Saturday Night

Sarah Borges, who kicks butt on stage, returns Saturday night to the Narrows.

Sarah, originally from Taunton, MA, had one of the most popular CDs this year--called Silver City--on the nationwide Americana radio charts. Plus, to these furry ears, it was one of the best CDs I've ever heard. And I'm not kidding.

She sings with unbridled passion, making every note count, every phrase a knockout.

If you like alternative country--heck, if you like music with a kick--this is the show for you.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Passing the Hat

Thanks to all those who contributed to the "pass the hat" at Saturday night's Livingston Taylor show!

As you may be aware, the Narrows is facing a projected $5,000 plus deficit this year. Although we're entirely staffed by volunteers, the artists who perform their music do get paid. Even if, for some reason or another, a lot of people don't show up.

That's what's happening this year. And that's not good for the Narrows' longterm survival.

So, it's pass the hat time, we suppose.

Unless there's somebody who wants to make a $5,000+ grant or donation. Is that you? Contact and Deb will work out the details. The Narrows, by the way, is an official non-profit, so your grant or donation is tax deductible, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Songwriters Night Friday Night/Photos

Tom Pacheco and Tim Grimm showed what songwriting is all about Friday night at the Narrows. Above, Tim, who opened the show, pauses to pose with Narrows volunteer extraordinaire Marilyn Edge.
As your humble blogger writes this he is listening to Tim's new CD The Back Fields. Frankly, I was knocked over by his performance (I'd never heard of him) as were a lot of patrons, who eagerly lined up to purchase his CDs. I plan to write a review of The Back Fields for my Hugs and Misses column for Look for it a week from this coming Tuesday.

Tim, by the way, has had an extensive career in movies and TV. Click here to see his credits.

The headliner, Tom Pacheco, formerly of New Bedford, now of Woodstock, N.Y., brought his legendary bag of songs for--I believe--his 3rd appearance at the Narrows. Tom still has friends and family in the area, and many showed for the show.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Charlie Hunter Trio Photos

Ace eight-string guitar player Charlie Hunter and his mighty musical partners jazzed the Narrows Thursday night.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Songwriter Tom Pacheco Friday Night

Tom Pacheco, originally from New Bedford but now based in Woodstock, NY, returns Friday night after about a year and a half away.

If you enjoy singer/songwriters, this is your show, particularly since Tom's songs have been covered by Jefferson Starship, Richie Havens, The Band and others. This guy has got the goods!

If you're from the Fall River/New Bedford area, you may remember Tom from way back when.

Usually old friends and family come to his shows at the Narrows.

To meet Tom, click here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Charlie Hunter Trio Thursday Night

Tickets are still available for the Charlie Hunter Trio, who are making their first visit to the Narrows on Thursday night.

Charlie Hunter is a wonderfully inventive guitarist (Playing the 8-string guitar!) and plays what might be called jazz.

Learn more by clicking here. Info about tickets here.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Livingston Taylor Tickets Available--But For How Long?

Livingston Taylor (left, brother James right) makes his first trek to the Narrows Saturday night.

Last I heard, tickets were still available--but that situation may change over the next 48 hours.

So if you'd like to see this master songwriter, musician and all around entertainer, make your move.

He should be bringing with him his new CD, which, at this time, is only available through his website or at shows. It's called "There You Are Again" and features brother James, Carly Simon, Kate Taylor and Pam Tillis.

BTW, if you're a budding performer or a student of the performing arts, you might be interested to know that Liv has taught performance at Berklee College of Music. Therefore, come to the show and take notes!

Clicking here will lead you to where you can buy tickets.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Mark Twain of Kids Music

Last week, 2- time Grammy nominee Bill Harley attended the Tish Hinojosa show at the Narrows. That's him with your humble blogger. Bill is the one without glasses.

Although it was his first visit to the Narrows, he's been a huge presence in the Providence area music scene for decades, founding the legendary Stone Soup Coffeehouse.

He's also one of the first people to step forward to aid a good cause. Your humble blogger helped produce a couple of benefit CDs over the past decade and Bill was one of the easiest people to work with.

You may know Bill from his contributions to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," but he is best known for his high quality kids' recordings, which earned him a couple Grammy nominations.

Entertainment Weekly wrote "Harley might well be called the Mark Twain of contemporary kids' music."

Learn more about him by clicking here.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Photos

Jay Ungar and Molly Mason did the honors at the Narrows Saturday night. Some commemorative photos.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Hinojosa Photos/Ticket Winner for Hoppen

Texas-based singer/songwriter Tish Hinojosa played the Narrows Thursday night, and your humble blogger was their taking shots.

But before we get to those: Congrats to Joe G. for correctly answering that Lance Hoppen is Larry Hoppen's brother and played bass in Orleans. Joe G.--two tickets will be waiting for you tonight at the door for the Larry Hoppen/Robbie Dupree show.

Okay, more photos:

Over there is Tish with her sideguy, the magnificent Marvin.

And here's Barry Brown, who opened the show with some tasty instrumentals.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hoppin' With Larry Hoppen/Win Tickets

Larry Hoppen, playing the Narrows Friday night with Robbie Dupree, had a brother in Orleans during its heyday. That's Orleans up above. Larry's on the bottom right. John Hall is above him and Wells Kelly is the guy on the bottom left. The cat with the ugly mustache and glasses--that's Larry's brother the bass player.

For two tickets to Friday night's show, be the first to tell me his brother's name.

Email me at

If you've won recently, please let someone else have a shot!

In case you didn't know, Orleans is perhaps most famous for "Still The One."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

"A" is for Alpert/Musings on Kooper Etc.

Congrats to Frank O who correctly answered that trumpet dude Herb Alpert was the "A" in A & M Records.

Frank gets himself a pair of tickets to see Tish Hinojosa at the Narrows on Thursday night.


...Friday night Larry Hoppen of the group Orleans will make his first visit to the Narrows. This is a reunion of sorts between Mr. Hoppen and your lowly, humble blogger. Twenty-six years ago I interviewed Larry when I was a DJ at a radio station in Poughkeepsie, New York. Orleans' comeback record "Love Takes Time" had just been released.

...John R. dropped your humble blogger a note via email regarding the possibility of booking the legendary Al Kooper, the guy whose accidental organ became Bob Dylan's new sound back in the 1960s (that's Al sitting at the organ in the photo). Al, if memory serves, actually founded legendary jazz/rockers Blood, Sweat and Tears, singing for them before David Clayton Thomas came aboard and Al went bye bye. He later discovered Lynyrd Skynyrd and had many other projects. John R. says Al now lives in Somerville.

...John R. also suggested Jon Pousette-Dart. While your humble blogger never met Mr. Pousette-Dart, I used to play his music on my radio show on Boston College's radio station, WZBC. I also saw the Pousette-Dart Band at Boston College in the mid to late 1970s. Never could understood the hypen in his name, but loved his music anyhow.

...If you have a suggestion for a booking, leave a comment or you can email me at Remember, we can only hold a few hundred people, so we don't have the capacity to do a show with Emmylou Harris or the Dixie Chicks. Plus, frankly, we're more interested in up-and-coming artists than established superstars (though we, too, love it when Richie Havens, Livingston Taylor, Roger McGuinn and the like play the Narrows). Also, if your company would like to underwrite a show (i.e. put up a couple thousand to cover the nut), we'd be more than happy to talk. Remember, we're all volunteer and don't have a liquor license. Ticket sales and grants are pretty much our bread-and-butter.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Win Tickets to See Tish Hinojosa Thursday Night

Thursday night the Narrows Center for the Arts once again welcomes, out of San Antonio, Texas, songstress Tish Hinojosa.

Would you like to go to the show for free? Well, partner, you can win a pair of tickets to the show by being the first person to email me at with the correct answer to this question:

Tish Hinojosa was once signed to A & M Records, the same label as the Carpenters. Who is the "A" in A & M Records. Hint: He was a well known trumpet player who had a bunch of hits in the 1960s, including "The Lonely Bull."

If you have won in the past 30 days, please give others a chance!