Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Marc Cohn Debuts

Marc "Walkin' in Memphis" Cohn made his long-awaited Narrows debut Tuesday night before a sold-out house. Not only did he perform, but he answered questions the audience submitted on paper dropped in a bucket before his performance.

Many new faces in the crowd, which always makes us happy at the Narrows as the word continues to spread about our ears friendly space.

Amy Correia, from Lakeville, MA, opened with an energetic set that won her new fans.

Monday, April 27, 2009

She Left Him for Jesus

Hayes Carll, who played the Narrows a few years back, is returning in mid-June, bearing a song that was the Americana's Music Association's Song of the Year in 2008.

It's called "She Left Me for Jesus" and the last time I checked there was a nifty video for the song at

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Although you can't tell it from the photo above, Eilen Jewell took her usually laid back approach up a couple notches Saturday night at the Narrows. For example, when she was doing her cover of the classic rocker "Shake It All Over" she set her guitar down and nearly shaked, rattled and rolled! The crowd loved it! (My photo of this rare event didn't come out terribly well, so I'm keeping it in my archives.)

Her band, particularly lead guitarist Jerry Miller, were hotter than ever.

Saturday night was the "record release" party for her new CD "Sea of Tears" and "Shake It All Over" is one of the tracks.

Boston area performer Sarah Levecque opened with a strong set. Although she's not signed to a label, your humble blogger thinks that Sarah is a real up-and-comer.

Our friends at streamed the concert live, which means it should be posted on their archives in a few days. Recommended listening.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fiddling Around

String striker extraordinaire Bruce Molsky (above center), with a little help from some friends, brought his fiddle, guitar and banjo to the Narrows for the very first time Friday nights.

Our cultural partners at streamed it live so the concert, which featured traditional string sounds, should be posted over the next few days. Look for it in the archives. It's a good 'un!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mussel Man

Your humble blogger reporting in on the road from the Cranston main public library. Thanks people of Cranston for the free WiFi!

Friday night at the Narrows it was a committed blues crowd to see harpist Charlie Musselwhite, above on the right with his knock-'em-dead guitarist who damn well nearly stole the show. When your humble blogger was dutifully doing his emcee duties--mentioning upcoming artists--the only concerts that drew a reaction were blues shows, particularly the Hubert Sumlin & the Nighthawks gig coming up. Put down your banjos, this was no folk crowd!

When Charlie wasn't gnawing on his harmonica, he was ear-to-ear grinnin', almost in disbelief, in the love he was getting from the audience. Narrows' patrons have to be some of the nicest this blogger has ever seen.

Below, local fave Mark T. Small proved he's more than a hometown hero, doing things with his guitar that may be against nature. A nice guy, too, whose latest recording, we hear, is getting laudits on blues shows across the country. Be sure to see Mark whenever you can to experience some blazing fast acoustic blues guitar scratching and wailing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Eilen Jewell Speaks!

Eilen Jewell (above at the Narrows' "green room" a year or so ago) is coming to the Narrows once again April 25th. And she has a brand new CD! Below is an interview I did with her via email.

I'm hearing that the new CD is a departure for you, in that it has more fast-paced material. Is that how you view it?

I've been having some difficulty describing the new record. It's not so much a departure as it is an elaboration of a few sounds we dabbled in with our last record, Letters from Sinners and Strangers. It definitely doesn't have more fast-paced material. Letters had more of that for sure. It sounds more like "Where They Never Say Your Name" and less like "Blue Highway." That's the best I can do to describe it. You'll just have to hear it and be the judge.

In the studio, how much stuff do you record live, how much overdubbing? Is there anything in the studio that you're doing that can't be reproduced on stage?

Almost all of what we do in the studio is live. I overdub my vocals sometimes, and we always overdub Jason's harmonies so they won't bleed into his drum mics. Other than that, there's very little overdubbing. I do play the organ on the new record, though. And Jerry played the steel. Those had to be overdubbed, since you can't do that and play the guitar at the same time. I'm sure I could reproduce the organ on stage, but so far we haven't tried it yet. Maybe we'll give it a whirl at some point this year. We sound like our records, almost to a tee.

How do you go about writing a tune?

I don't have a formula. Every song is different. Some of them write themselves, some of them are based on words that came to me while I was asleep or half asleep. Some of them live in the back of my head for years until I finally figure out how they want to sound. One thing I have noticed though is that I write best when there's a deadline.

What is the fun part of being on the road? What are the perils?

The fun part of being on the road is performing when the sound is good on stage and the audience is warm and receptive--especially when you're in a town you've never been to before. I love seeing new places. The perils...mostly other drivers are the bummer. I swear people drive so poorly they must be trying to kill us.

Saw you on a Boston television station playing solo at a senior citizen home. That was very nice of you! You seemed to be getting great reaction too.

You're probably thinking of a show I did at the Boston Home--a care center for people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis and similar conditions. People did seem to enjoy it, and I loved seeing that in their faces. Music can do so much to bring people out of their rut, even sad songs like mine are uplifting.

You're originally from the west--Idaho I think. But you're based on the East Coast. Do you miss the west?

I am from Idaho, and I do miss it terribly. I love the East Coast too though, and I do get homesick for Boston when we're away for long stretches. I think the key will be to have an Idaho home base and a Boston one...maybe one in Spain too someday.

People coming to the show at the Narrows--what should they expect?

They should expect to have a good time. That's what we're doing. And they can also plan on hearing a lot of new songs. Sea of Tears will be available for sale there, for the first time in world history!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rickie Lee Jones Likes the Narrows

"I really like it here," said Rickie Lee Jones Tuesday night at the Narrows. "I'm glad you know how to find it!"

It was Ms. Jones' debut at the Narrows, and she did it before a sold out crowd that brought a wide smile to her face as they went wild as she stepped into the spotlights.

Your humble blogger was up on stage making the usual pre-show announcements when I looked down and there was Rickie Lee standing in front in the darkness, smiling, accompanied by Kathleen, one of our stellar volunteers.

"Do you want to do your show?" I inquired. She nodded and off we went!

Special shout out to the guy who drove all the way from Oklahoma City to join us (and see his sisters)!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Levon Helm to Release New Album

Levon Helm, the Band's drummer and dad of Narrows alum Amy Helm, is releasing the follow up to his acclaimed "Dirt Farmer" recording in late June.

Yes, Amy is on this record too. (She's a member of Ollabelle.) has more here.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Murder Conviction for Wall of Sound Producer

Phil Spector, who produced The Righteous Brothers, the Ronettes, George Harrison, John Lennon and many others, has been convicted of murder.

Spector developed the "Wall of Sound" production approach, where he would literally have a number of pianos and guitars playing the same chord at the same time and classical-sounding string sections--all to provide a "thick" at times majestic sound to fairly simple songs.

His influence can be particularly heard on Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" album, although Spector didn't have the same technology available when he was making his recordings in the early and mid-1960s.

Some may say that his approach went overboard in his production of Tina Turner's "River Deep Mountain High," which American djs felt buried her vocals, while the record was celebrated in England. Spector was apparently bitter about the failure of this record stateside, since he considered it a masterpiece.

Spector's first success was in the early years of rock 'n' roll, with the Teddy Bears' "To Know Him Is To Love Him" a title Spector took from his father's gravestone. His father had committed suicide.

For more on the conviction, check out this report from the BBC here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Patriot Ledger Reviews

A newspaper in the Boston area wrote a review of the recent smokin' Coco Montoya show at the Narrows.

Read it here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Flatlanders Debut

The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll says that Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s first demo recordings, back in 1965, were paid for by Buddy Holly’s father. Whew! That’s the kind of Friday night it was at the Narrows as The Flatlanders, Joe Ely (below), Jimmie Dale and Butch Hancock (above, left to right), took our beloved stage.

A feeling of the historic, a feeling of dust, a feeling of Lubbock. The lines in the faces of guys who’ve been there and back and then there again.

Your humble blogger got himself in the mood in the afternoon by watching You Tube clips from the semi-cult film The Big Lebowski, in which Jimmie Dale makes an appearance. Then followed that up with a listen to The Flatlanders first recording in five years, Hills and Valleys.

Newcomer Joe Pug, the young guy down below, opened with a strong set.

The show was broadcast on Should be posted soon.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Sea of Tears

Eilen Jewell's new CD "Sea of Tears" is being released about the same time she and her fab band are playing the Narrows.

For more info visit

By the way Eilen--nice new 'do.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Coco Sells Out!

Coco Montoya and his fab band rocked the sold out Narrows with the electric blues Saturday night. It was loud, fast and soulful, just like we like it. Tall King Blues, below, opened.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Thunder Harp

Kim Wilson's Blues Revue rocked the Narrows Thursday night. Kim, of course, is in the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Recently his harp was heard in the movie Cadillac Records.

If you missed the show it will soon appear in the archives of