Tuesday, January 31, 2006

New One From Railroad Earth Charts

Narrows alums Railroad Earth debut on the Americana chart this week. They have a double live CD that just came out called Elko.

These jam-banders have some ardent fans in the Narrows crew and beyond.

To see the chart, click here.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Help Your Humble Blogger

Your very humble blogger was trying to write a blurb about Cajun guy Jesse Lege, but couldn't find a homepage or a good biography on him.

It's not posted yet, but he's coming to the Narrows on March 3.

Anybody got any info? Please post it below.



Details On Barry Cowsill Memorial

Details on a memorial to the late Barry Cowsill in Newport in mid-February are available by clicking here.

Barry visited the Narrows at least once. His sister, Susan, played the Narrows a couple times, both as a solo and as a member of the legendary Continental Drifters.

Barry was also friendly with a number of musicians who have played the Narrows.

Barry died in New Orleans as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Our condolences to his friends and family.

In case you didn't know, Barry was a member of the Cowsills, who had a bunch of hits in the 1960s. The Patridge Family television show was based on them.

Photos from a Frosty Friday--But the Narrows was WARM

Back Eddy Bluegrass brought the feel of a summer festival to a cold January Friday night at the Narrows! (Although, we must add, the Narrows was nice and cozy warm.)

The Reunion Band also helped warm up the night. They were backstage (actually in the office) planning their set when your humble blogger asked them to pose for what some call in the photo business the "firing squad" shot.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

More Tim O'Brien Photos: This Time from Someone Else

A Tim O'Brien fan emailed these photos taken at the Narrows Saturday night. Thanks!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tim O'Brien at the Narrows: Photos

Grammy-nominee Tim O'Brien performed to a filled house Saturday night at the Narrows, backed by the legendary Danny Barnes on electric guitar (left) and a stand-up bass player.

Tim, as usual, played with a sunny, let's-not-take-this-too-seriously manner, despite some complicated licks, particularly when he played mandolin.

"We'd be doing this anyway," he said to the crowd breezily, "but it's nice to have you here."

Tim is also a fine singer, although it's easy not to notice since he does it so casually.

Afterwards, he met the fans and posed for photos with 'em, like the one down below.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Tim O'Brien Band Features Danny Barnes Tonight

Tickets are still available for tonight's show (Saturday night) at the Narrows for Tim O'Brien and his band, which features banjo iconoclast Danny Barnes, who is a headliner on his own.

Learn more about him by clicking on this link:


Tickets have been selling well, and this is a possible sell-out, so get to the door early to make sure you don't miss this one.

Tim is a Narrows fave who is a musician's musician. He has a bluegrassy sound, but dabbles in Celtic and even rock and pop. His version of Dylan's "Everything is Broken" is one of your blogger's favorite cover songs. If you are an Americana fan, you need at least one or two Tim O'Brien CDs in your collection.

I also like Tim's work with another Narrows fave, Darrell Scott, one of the most multi-talented musicians on the planet.

Paul Rishell and Annie Raines Smokin' at the Narrows

Blues masters Paul Rishell and Annie Raines smoked 'em at the Narrows on Friday night, doing the country and electric blues. They kept it low key through much of the evening, but got hot 'n nasty toward the end, when Annie started her voodoo harmonica wailing.

They've got a few more shows in this area, then they head south and then over to Europe.

The Eilen Jewell Band kicked off the evening with their laid back, smoky, sexy sound.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Wicked Pickett Exits

Soul great Wilson Pickett has taken his final bow.

Rollingstone.com has more right here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rhode Island Songwriters Project

The Rhode Island Songwriters Association and our buddy Ryan Fitzsimmons have a nifty little CD and project I scribbled about for americanaroots.com.

You can read about it and a little review I wrote about BR-549's latest CD by clicking here.

New Additions to the Schedule

Not posted yet:

April 7: Drunk Stuntmen

May 20: Otis Taylor

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Leon Russell at the Narrows: The Photos

Leon Russell and his band did the Wall of Sound thing, rocking the Narrows Saturday night with a pedal-to-the-metal show that only paused for a ballad here and there.

He kicked off the night with a song he wrote that was a hit for Joe Cocker, Delta Lady, and finished up with a song--Great Balls of Fire--made famous by a guy Leon toured with when he was but 17: Jerry Lee Lewis.

Leon didn't say much off-stage, though your humble blogger was in the welcoming party escorting Leon from the bus and spoke very briefly with him. "Welcome to Fall River," I said. "Thank you," he replied.

He's an imposing figure, what with the flowing hair and beard, and, more importantly, his musical resume which includes playing on, producing, or writing the songs for a hellava lot of important records in the 1960s and 1970s, including stuff from Joe Cocker, the Byrds etc. You can go to www.leonrussellrecords.com and get the story.

Your humble blogger caught some of the action on camera. Hope you enjoy!

By the way, though I forgot to take a picture, Louie Leeman did an outstanding opening set. Sorry Louie for not catching you this time out. But your blogger was a bit rusty after a couple weeks off. Louie not only showed stellar musicianship, but had a winning rapport with the crowd that warmed them up nicely for Leon and his crew.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Lennon Videos

Required: go to www.johnlennon.com and watch the videos, particularly Cold Turkey and Mother.

Nothing better.

Friday, January 13, 2006

C'Mon A Dan's House

I was listening to my copy of Dan Hicks' latest CD the other day when I realized that Dan and the Hot Licks are coming in the spring this year.

Normally Dan plays in the dead of winter at the Narrows, but in 2006 he's coming on May 4.

Anyway, his latest is called "Selected Shorts" and features a humdinger of a version of Rosemary Clooney's "C'mon a My House." It's guaranteed to make you chortle and guffaw as Dan puts down some sassy and saucy folk jazz chords designed to make us finger pop and break out a scattin'!

By the way, Dan is a greatly underappreciated guitar player. Above, he shows that he not only can play his axe with his hands, but also with that smooth talkin', jive slingin' tongue of his!

Get your tickets ASAP, because this show will probably sell out before you can whistle "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away" ten thousand times.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Tulips Anyone?

The beautiful Rory Block, who is one of the best damn blues players around, has a claim to fame that probably no one else who's played the Narrows has.

Yes, yes she's got all those blues awards. Yes, yes, Bonnie Raitt calls her an "inspiration to me."

Impressive. Yes.

But here's the thing no one else has: A Gold Record in Holland. Her 1987 album, "Best Blues and Originals." She had two hit singles off that record, including one with Stevie Wonder.

See her Friday, February 3 at the Narrows. Go to www.ncfta.org for tickets.

By the way, she's played the Narrows once before. And the Narrows crew gives her their seal of approval for class.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tim O'Brien Up For A Grammy

Tim O'Brien, coming to the Narrows Saturday, January 21, has been nominated for a Grammy!

Congrats to Tim, a great musician and gentleman.

For more info on the Grammy nomination, click here.

A Bigger Bang A Bust?

Finally listened to the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang CD. Did a song-by-song analysis for americanaroots.com.

The Stones remain a tremendous influence on what some folks call Americana music. The more-or-less founder of Americana, Gram Parsons, dug the Stones, apparently inspiring their song Wild Horses.

For what they're worth, you can read my furry and fuzzy thoughts by clicking here.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Newport Daily News: Barry Cowsill Drowned After Katrina Hit

The Newport Daily News is reporting that Barry Cowsill drowned.

For details, click here.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Lovely Article on Late Barry Cowsill

Came across this lovely piece written by Rick Massimo of the Providence Journal.

To view the article, click here.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Johnny A Interviewed by Boston Globe

The guy who did the honors at the Narrows New Year's Eve, Johnny A, was recently interviewed by the Boston Globe.

He admits that he wasn't the best student while at Berklee College of Music. As everybody knows who went to the show, he has overcome his learning issues.

For those of us who saw his soundcheck before the show, he does a pretty mean instrumental version of Aerosmith's "Walk this Way." Joe Perry would have been proud.

If the link works, you can go to the interview by clicking right here.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Barry Cowsill: RIP

In case you haven't heard, Barry Cowsill, missing since Hurricane Katrina, was found dead in New Orleans.

Barry was seen at the Narrows on at least one occasion and perhaps others. His sister, Susan, performed at the Narrows.

The Cowsill family website seems to be down at this writing. Maybe it will work when you try:

Rolling Stone, however, has a nice write up, which you can access by clicking here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

"And now a couple of numbers from Leon..."

Sorry folks who don't already have tickets--the Leon Russell (www.leonrussellrecords.com) show is sold out! You snooze, you lose.

That said, I was digging Leon in the Concert for Bangladesh the other day--and noticed that not only does he do his show-grabbin' rendition of Jumpin' Jack Flash & Young Blood (introduced by George Harrison with "And now a couple of numbers from Leon," or words to that effect), but he plays bass backing Bob Dylan during his set. The other supporting player during Bob's time is the Silent Beatle. So it was Bobby, George and Leon. Well, alright!

Leon also sings a line in George Harrison's Beware of Darkness tune, and generally is on the screen about 80% of the time.

The Concert for Bangladesh, as you may know, was recently released in DVD format--and my good friend and Narrows' president Patrick Norton graciously loaned me his copy. Although I had heard the record, I've never seen the movie. So the DVD was an eye-opener for your humble blogger.

By the way, Ringo Starr looks great during the concert--but clearly forgets the lyrics during It Don't Come Easy. The 5th Beatle, Billy Preston, seems damn happy during the show; too bad the next 35 years would be chock full of hassles for him. A couple of guys in Badfinger, part of the backing group of musicians, committed suicide. Ravi Shankar had a daughter, the chanteuse Norah Jones. The smirking Eric Clapton, who looks like he's phoning in his performance, of course went on to even greater heights--though he lost a young son through a terrible accident. Interesting side-note: Klaus Voorman, who designed the Beatles' Revolver album cover, plays bass during much of the concert. Klaus goes back to the Fab 4's Hamburg days. He's getting close to 70 now. Even Leon isn't that old!

If you're coming to the Leon Russell show at the Narrows you might want to pick up the Concert for Bangladesh first. You'll be reminded, like I was, how fortunate we are to have him come and play.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Photos from New Year's Eve at the Narrows: Part Trois

Let's download the digital! Random shots at the event. The good ones by guest blog photog B. Shea. The rest by your number one music photographer (by volume), your humble blogger.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Photos from the New Year's Eve Show: Part Deux

Up above, Ryan Fitzimmons (www.ryanfitzsimmons.com) opens the New Year's Eve show with his impassioned take on the singer/songwriter thing.

He closed his set with a creatively arranged interpretation of Stevie Wonder's masterpiece Higher Ground.

Stevie Ray Vaughn and the Red Hot Chili Peppers also have versions of the song. Apparently you can't keep a great tune down!

Congratulations to Ryan on the release of the RISA Round 3 CD, which is the result of a songwriters' series he created at AS220 (www.as220.org) in Providence and the fine work of the Rhode Island Songwriters' Association (www.risongwriters.com) a group with whom your humble blogger has been involved. Artists on the recording include Eric Fontana, Jan Luby, Marjorie Thompson, Ed McGuirl and our old buddy John Fuzek. The recordings were done live at AS220. Ryan shows that not only is he a fine musician and songwriter, but he is a visionary. Again, congrats, Ryan, and thank you for this contribution to the community, which will enrich the lives of many for years to come.

Now, back to the photos of guitarist Johnny A (www.johnnya.com) and his band New Year's Eve at the Narrows!

Photo left and right, B. Shea.

Photos from the Johnny A Show New Year's Eve

Guitar whiz Johnny A and his band helped the Narrows ring in the new year in a hot 'n rock'n way.

While it gently snowed upon the mills and hills, Johnny partied the fretboard like it was 1999.

And, for the first time in Narrows' history, a female undergarment was tossed on the stage, much like when Tom Jones pounded the boards howling about Delilah. Although we took a photo, we decided that this was a family blog and thus, perhaps, should avoid publishing it.

Some of these shots were taken by guest photographer B. Shea, who gives her photojournalistic perspective on the evening.

More photos from the show will be available in the next blog entry. It's almost 4 a.m. and the blogging software is fighting me right now. Good night and happy new year!

Photo by B. Shea