Monday, June 27, 2011

Buy This Now

KMAG YOYO--Hayes Carll--Narrows alum Hayes Carll's latest is one of the funnest recordings you'll hear, somewhere between a John Prine and a John Anderson record--twangy, goofy, poignant, and thought-provoking.

First, the name of the project: KMAG YOYO, which, I learned, is military slang for "Kiss My Ass Guys, You're On Your Own." It's the title of a stream-of-consciousness tune a la Dylan about...well, let Hayes tell it:

Put me in the Army on the day that I turned seventeen
Here I am standin' in the desert with a gun
Thought of going AWOL but I'm too afraid to run

But it's the song "Another Like You," a duet with Cary Ann Hearst, that may be up there with Mr. Carll's previous "hit" "She Left Me for Jesus." Check out this video, featuring a cameo from political couple James Carville (operative for the Democrats) and his wife, conservative icon Mary Matalin.

Another fab outing for Hayes, who last played the Narrows in 2009. Hope we get him back soon.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Day After Opening for Michael McDonald

This is the biggest crowd we played for this tour, said Zoe Muth at the Narrows Saturday night, noting, however, they somehow ended up opening for former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald the previous night in New Jersey. Fourteen hundred people.

Washington State's Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers are driving around the country making themselves and their pedal-steel music known.

It's working. Spoke to a guy in the crowd of about 100 before the show. He saw 'em a few days ago in his hometown of Amherst, MA. He wants to see them as much as possible, he said. A little obsessive, I pointed out, thinking maybe I needed to back off a few steps. Aw, he's alright. Just feeling what the Narrows crew has felt for months as we listened to Ms. Muth (pronounced like "ruth") and her twangsters coming out of the venue speakers before shows.

Keep an eye on this one. As opener Bob Kendall said after his set: She's going to be huge.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

You Had to be Here

Christine Olhman, who is the longtime singer for the Saturday Night Live Band--currently on summer hiatus--showed how straight ahead rock and blues gets played on a Friday night. She's known as the "Beehive Queen." Guess why.

She and her band, Rebel Montez, kicked off a night that also included the Swinging Steaks, playing cool 70s-sounding rock, country rock etc. Narrows patron saint Gram Parsons could have sat in.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Brass Attack

The Soul Rebels Brass Band flew into NYC Thursday and drove to Fall River, climbed up onto the stage without missing a beat or catching their breath, and proceeded to groove the house!

Whew! A mix of traditional New Orleans with a flavoring of hip hop--all in an energetic "let's keep the party moving" flow.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You've Heard Him

Maybe you don't know the name, but if you've heard Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" you've heard Ian McLagan.

If you've heard one of my faves from Rod Stewart and the Faces, "Stay with Me," or, from The Rolling Stones, "Miss You." The hands of Ian McLagan on the keys.

And we hosted this member of British rock royalty--who will be touring with the Faces this summer (no Rod, but Ronnie Wood will be playing)--at the Narrows Wednesday night.

It all started way back when, as Narrows honcho Patrick Norton wrote in his blog recently, "when he joined a scruffy group from East London called The Small Faces...Steve Marriot on guitar and vocals, Kenny Jones (Keith Moon's replacement in The Who) on drums, Ronnie Lane on bass and vocals, and Ian McLagan, keyboard and vocals."

You can look the rest of it up. Suffice it to say that Mr. McLagan is doing well, these days based in Austin, Texas, even as Ronnie Lane (of whom he spoke often during the show) and Steve Marriot are gone.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Remember When Rock 'n' Roll Stood for Something?

Streetwise New York rock 'n' roll at the Narrows Friday night as Garland Jeffreys made his Narrows' debut.

Lou Reed, John Cale, John Peel, the Brecker Brothers, Dr. John, some of his early colleagues. Gerde's Folk City, the Bitter End, some of the venues.

"Wild in the Streets" his best known track.

Remember when it all meant something? Maybe it still does.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Two, Count 'Em, Two in a Row

Wow, the line-up of shows is amazing. Go to to see everything, but just a few new ones that that particularly caught my eye:
  • In January--I know that's a long way off--Americana star (and Narrows discovery we like to think) Eilen Jewell will be performing for 2 nights in a row. Who else has done this in Narrows history? Maybe Richard Thompson? She's become a Narrows sell-out, so we're going for two to warm up one of the most depressing times of year.
  • One of my faves Karla Bonoff has had a rough couple years--colleagues Kenny Edwards and Andrew Gold passed away. She's put on several fabulous shows at the Narrows, and she'll be on-deck in September, this time without Kenny, who performed with her last time. Great songwriter and performer.
  • Her last album was fab, she's got a book out, and she likes to Twitter--Rosanne Cash makes her Narrows' debut in November as part of our 10th anniversary celebration.
Gotta run. Writing this just before the Garland Jeffreys show and it's almost time to hit the stage.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Sometimes Cutting Your Hair Like Keith Richards Helps

Just Kids (book)--Patti Smith--Poet/rocker Patti Smith's book Just Kids had been sitting on the shelf at the Seekonk public library just waiting for somebody to read it. Not me, I thought. I liked some of her work, but figured I wasn't interested. I caved, and I'm glad I did.

Just Kids--which doesn't need my approval since it has already won a National Book Award--is one of the more enjoyable books I've read. First, it's well written and the story is paced nicely, not getting bogged down. Second, it's a compelling tale of Ms. Smith's years getting to know, live with, leave, and then mourn controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe, who died of AIDS in 1989.

But it's about rock 'n' roll too--mid-to-late 1960s into the 1970s. She's hanging out with Janis Joplin, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Paxton, Todd Rundgren and Narrows alums Roger McGuinn and Eric Andersen. She tells of watching Kris Kristofferson playing 'Me and Bobby McGee' for Janis Joplin, apparently for the first time. Ms. Joplin went on to have a hit with the song after her untimely death.

A big career breakthrough, though, happened when she cut her hair like Keith Richards. She heads to a favorite club, Max's Kansas City, where people go wild. Suddenly, she's offered new career possibilities. Figure that!

Don't pass Just Kids by if you're a music fan. And the next time you get your hair trimmed, maybe you should think about Keith...or maybe, since it's 2011, Lady Gaga...hmmm.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Tie-Dye Thursday

Possibly the most colorful show we've seen in a long time at the Narrows Thursday night as the 7 Walkers brought their Grateful-Dead-meets-New-Orleans vibe.

The backdrop and the fans were tie-dye, and the music was "swampadelic," a description drummer Bill Kreutzmann uses on their website.

As you may know, Mr. Kreutmann was the Grateful Dead's drummer from the beginning until their end in 1995. That's him in the photo along with guitarist Papi Mali.

A bit oomp-pa-pa, a bit jam band.

The Dead's wordsmith Robert Hunter, by the way, contributed lyrics to the 7 Walkers' first recording, released last fall.

During the show's break I chatted with a guy who came down from the Burlington, VT, area specifically for the show. Wow.