Friday, January 30, 2009

Ponderosa Stomp Lineup Announced - Make Plans For April

Okay, you think you've seen your share of music festivals, but you haven't seen a line-up this cool thrown together over three days in the Louisiana State Museum of the Cabildo down in New Orleans:

Wanda Jackson, Roddy Jackson, Alton Lott, Carl Mann, Johnny Powers, Jack Earls, Dale Hawkins, James Burton, Dan Penn and Bobby Emmons, Howard Tate, Otis Clay, The Hi Rhythm Section, The Remains, Question Mark and the Mysterians, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Bobby Patterson, Wiley and the Checkmates, The Bo-Keys, Lil Buck Senegal and The Top Cats Featuring Stanley "Buckwheat Zydeco" Dural, Dennis Coffey, Robert Parker, Jivin Gene, Ray Sharpe, Long John Hunter, Texas Johnny Brown, Little Joe Washington, James Blood Ulmer Trio, L.C. Ulmer, Little Willie Littlefield, Lil Greenwood, Jerry McCain, Kenny And The Kasuals, Classie Ballou, Deke Dickerson And The Eccofonics, Stomp's All Star New Orleans Revue (Eddie Bo, Jean Knight, Zigaboo Modeliste, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, Tony Owens, Rockie Charles, Little Freddie King, Guitar Lightnin Lee, Skip Easterling, Earl Stanley, Joe Clay, Ernie Vincent, and Jay Chevalier), Roy Loney and Cyril Jordan Of The Flamin Groovies backed by The A-Bones, and Lazy Lester.

Do we need to remind you why a trip down the Mississippi for the eight annual Ponderosa Stomp Apr. 27, 28, and 29 might just be the best idea you've had in ages?

Check out these clips:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

R.I.P. John Martyn

We just found this out, and thought we'd share a video of the late great John Martyn, accompanied by the equally great Danny Thompson.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pictures For Your Exhibition - Miles Davis in the Lincoln High School Band

by Joe Schwab

With special thanks to The Jazz Crusader Richard Henderson I present one of the rarest and most historic photo from our archives. This is the Lincoln High School Band from 1944. If you look very carefully you'll see a very young Senior trumpet player, Miles Davis seated in the back row in front of the Tubas. This of course is before he went to New York to study at Julliard, although we know he actually studied at the feet of Charlie Parker.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cover Me - Tubby Boots

by Joe Schwab

Every once in awhile I run into this record by comedian Tubby Boots. I don't recall Tubby's antics, apparently they were too blue for a youngster of the 60's and 70's to see or hear. I've yet to find a copy (yes, I buy 'em every time I see 'em) that wasn't autographed, so they must have only been available at Tubby gigs. From the liner notes I've found out these Tubby facts. His folks were Vaudevillians, he played Vegas warming up for the Divine Sarah Vaughan, he was fat, liked to dress up as a woman and loved to go streaking. If you have the desire to find out more about Mr. Boots, check out the excellent blog spot Classic Television Showbiz. You'll find out all you need about Tubbs, along with a wonderful photo of our man and the late Bettie Page.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pictures For Your Exhibition - Benny Golson and Lee Morgan

by Joe Schwab

In 1957, Dizzy Gillespie's Big Band made it through to St. Louis for a one nighter as they traveled cross country from New York to L.A.. I was told they performed at a theater in East St. Louis, maybe someone can clue me into the name of the venue. Here we have photos taken that night of arranger and alto man Benny Golson working up his charts for the band. Also Lee Morgan, the lead trumpeter, is shown back stage with his Dizzy style tilted bell trumpet. This is the same horn shown on the cover of Blue Note LP 1538 "Indeed". Again photos taken Bernie Thrasher.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cover Me - One Way

by Joe Schwab

Not weird or wacky, just curious. This cover from the late 70's early 80's funksters One Way in an obvious pose job but it's a long time favorite of mine. Singers Al Hudson & Alicia Myers seem particularly into the concept as they lead the way down a one way alley (get it?). Unfortunately the rest of the band doesn't seem to fall in line. Despite the odd cover, this is a pretty good Disco/Funk record featuring the single "You Can Do It". Not quite up to the standards of their biggest hits such as "Cutie Pie" or "Push", but worth the money for the cover alone.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday - Cedar Walton

Often underrated but none the less one of the most respected Jazz pianist of the last 50 years, Cedar Wlaton celebrates his 75th Birthday today. Below is an amzing clip from 1970 with Roy Haynes, Jimmy Owens, Larry Ridley, Joe Henderson and Gary Burton doing Joe Henderson's Mode For Joe.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Euclid Sessions - Troubadour Dali Feb. 7

Troubadour Dali, one of many up and coming young St. Louis rock bands that are capturing our ears these days, will perform a set of raw rock at Euclid Records as part of the Euclid Sessions series. The band will perform at 3 pm Saturday, Feb. 7. Euclid Records is located at 601 East Lockwood in Webster Groves, Missouri.

Troubadour Dali is a band that stands ready for big things, foot poised and ready over the effects pedal. Taking cues from old masters such as the Rolling Stones, the Velvet Underground, and Bob Dylan, as well as 90s acts such as Sonic Youth, Spacemen 3, and the Dandy Warhols, they wrap solid rock melodies in layers of guitar gauze and are prepared to wrap this psychedelic care package through the window of the national scene. They’ve got a world class CD in the works – what we’ve heard is phenomenal – and it will be racing their Euclid Sessions 45 to the shelves.

This will be the fifth in a series of live in-store performances to be followed up by the release of limited-edition 45 rpm singles recorded in the store. Each release will be strictly limited to 300 copies, and $1 for each one pressed will be donated to the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund (NOMRF) to benefit musicians displaced or suffering loss of equipment in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The performance will be recorded live, and the members of Troubadour Dali will choose one or two songs to be released on the 7” single.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pictures For Your Exhibition - Hank Mobley and Kenny Dorham

by Joe Schwab

From late 1957, more pictures from the Bernie Thrasher file. It was right around New Years heading into 1958 when the Max Roach band featring Kenny Dorham and Hank Mobley (pictured below) made there way to the Glass Bar (Peacock Alley) here in St. Louis. Also perforning on the bill was the wonderful and VERY underrated singer Lurlean Hunter. I'll try and post some New Years photos of Max, Lurlean and Max's beautiful wife Abbey Lincoln in the near future.

Monday, January 12, 2009

In Memoriam - Claude Jeter

For 94 years, the planet was a little bit richer because it had the voice of Claude Jeter. In the 1940s and 1950s, during the golden age of gospel recordings, Jeter led the Swan Silvertones, which he founded, in a series of classics that still get the blood pumping today. This is the only live video we could find of the group, from sometime in the mid to late 60s.

You Say It's Your Birthday - Ray Price

Still going strong at 83 years of age today, Ray Price has been there for pretty much the entire history of country music recordings. He may be the greatest of the countrypolitan vocalists. Here's a nice clip of him singing his buddy Willie Nelson's "Night Life."

Cover Me - The Mask Man

by Joe Schwab

In another of this series of wild, weird and insane cover art, this is an all time top 5. I don't remember where this came from, all I know is that someone ripped it off from me (you know who you are, sneak it back). This is a record by The Masked Man, the record was too chewed up to listen to it, soI can't really tell you what it is or what it sounds like. All I can say is that we have a cat beating the shit out of a dog with a brick. Need I say more?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday - Vicki Peterson

The most talented of the Bangles is the most elusive on video, for some strange reason. She turns 51 today, and in this 1986 live clip, her hair is the least embarrassing:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pictures For Your Exhibition - Miles and Coltrane

by Joe Schwab

I've got a pretty cool job, at least to some people anyway. I buy and sell cool records, travel the country looking for nice Jazz collections, often times purchasing Jazz related goods such as magazines, autographs, programs and photos; lots of photos. One such collection yielded a treasure trove of photos taken mostly in the 1950's here in St. Louis by a photographer named Bernie Thrasher. Bernie was a Jazz fan and amateur photographer who never went to a show without his trusty camera. I'll be featuring some of Bernie's photos as well as others I've acquired over the years.

The first three photos I'll be showing off are from the now infamous Miles Davis Peacock Alley dates. Miles had just put together his new quintet with Philly Joe Jones, Paul Chambers, Red Garland and John Coltrane and took up residence in St. Louis for a week before recording there first session with Prestige Records. This engagement has been well documented on the VJM recording Miles Davis at Peacock Alley as well as Quincy Troupe's book Miles and Me. Here for the first time are photos from those dates. The first photo is of Philly Joe Jones, note the saxophone on the floor in front of the bass drum, belonging to Mr. Coltrane. The second shot is Miles and Paul Chambers. Dig the glasses on Miles! The third is Coltrane himself with Chambers, Miles and Red Garland in the background.

An interesting story was told to me by KWMU jock and Jazz historian Dennis Owsley. In 1955 the band (other than Miles) all had drug issues. Dennis was at the club for the first night of the engagement. Garland, Chambers and Philly Joe were nowhere to be found, so Miles played drums for Coltrane and Coltrane for Miles doing duets for the first set of the night. Unfortunately Spider Burke and his crew were not there to broadcast that night. Too bad, it would have been quite possibly the most historic recordings of Miles and Coltrane.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Euclid Sessions - Holsapple and Stamey Feb. 1

Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, two founding members of the much beloved 80s pop/rock band the dB’s, will be making their first St. Louis appearance together since 1991 at 1 pm Sunday, Feb. 1. What better way to kick off Super Bowl Sunday than a live performance by the masterminds behind such should-have-been monster smash hits as “Ask For Jill,” “Amplifier,” “Living a Lie” and “I Want to Break Your Heart”?

Stamey and Holsapple formed the dB’s in the late 1970s, and released two classic albums, “Stands For Decibels” and “Repercussion” with the original line-up before Stamey left the band behind for a solo career. Holsapple soldiered on for two more dB’s albums. In 1991, the pair reunited for an album, “Mavericks,” which led to their one and only St. Louis appearance together at Mississippi Nights. In the 90s, Holsapple was a member of the acclaimed Continental Drifters, and in recent years, the dB’s have been working on a reunion album in between other gigs. Holsapple also writes his own blog, “Does This Band Make Me Look Fat” and contributes to the New York Times exceptional music blog, “Measure For Measure.” Stamey has released several solo albums, and produced work by Whiskeytown and Alejandro Escovedo among others.

This will be the fourth in a series of live in-store performances to be followed up by the release of limited-edition 45 rpm singles recorded in the store. Each release will be strictly limited to 300 copies, and $1 for each one pressed will be donated to the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund (NOMRF) to benefit musicians displaced or suffering loss of equipment in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The performance will be recorded live, and Holsapple and Stamey will choose one or two songs to be released on the 7” single.

Euclid Records has just launched a website devoted to the series. Here you can find out about upcoming in-store events, read up on past events, subscribe to the series or order/pre-order upcoming 45's.

We couldn't be more excited about an event, so we hope to see you and everybody who loves pop music. And, don't worry, you'll be home in plenty of time for the game.

You Say It's Your Birthday - Syd Barrett & Sandy Denny

The man who made Pink Floyd's first two albums essential listening would have turned 63 today. Here's a clip of Syd Barrett and the Floyd cavorting about to promote their classic "Arnold Layne":

One of the most beautiful voices of all time belonged to Fairport Convention's Sandy Denny, who would have turned 62 today. Here's a rare solo acoustic version of "Who Knows Where the Time Goes":

Monday, January 5, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday - Sam Phillips and Marilyn Manson

Legendary record producer, owner and founder of Sun Records, the man who brought Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Junior Parker, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins to the ears of music fans everywhere, would have been 86 today. Check out this little bit of history talking to you:

Shock-rocker (and occasional glam pop genius) Marilyn Manson turns 40 today. Here he is going toe to toe with Bill O'Reilly:

Cover Me - Dig the Wig

by Joe Schwab

I'm a digger, that's what I do. I dig through musty basements, crowded closets, cold warehouses anywhere that I can dig up rare and unique vinyl. People always assume that after 30 years in the biz, I've seen everything but the truth is, I see something new every day. Sometime lurking In between those copies of Styx Grand Illusion and Billy Joel's The Stranger are unique little gems that sold in the dozens. Some are forgotten or neglected musical gems and others are just flat out bizarre. This will be the first in a weekly series of album covers designed to blow your collective minds. Maybe not, but I can assure you they'll be unique, funny, bizarre and sometimes just downright scary.

Our first example is a rare LP from Johnny Otis' Dig label. This is the first U.S. recording of the great L.A. based pianist Gerald Wiggins. Gerry's recorded dozens of records since this LP was produced and all are tasteful, swinging and often beautiful piano trio or solo sets. Gerry Wiggins, often known as Wig, became easy prey to incorporate his nick name in a title. This is the best one and the accompanying cover is the proof. On the front we get Wig with band mates Joe Comfort and Bill Douglas wearing not just wigs, but barrister wigs! The back cover features wigged engineer John Kraus with producers Johnny Otis and Sleep Stein (no, not Groucho). The cut out faces (I love that) on the front almost detract from the illustration below, drawn by the multi-faceted Mr. Otis in a style that invokes David Stone Martin with a Salvador Dali slant. This record came out in the late 50's, I only wish they had waited a few more years before incorporating this concept. Imagine Gerry and company with Beatle wigs! In this world that now includes photoshop, maybe this strange little fantasy could in fact become reality.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday - Michael Stipe

Michael Stipe, the singer of R.E.M. turns 49 years old today. How many of you used to see him in drag at the Rocky Horror Picture Show showings at the Varsity Theatre back in the late 70s?

Friday, January 2, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday - John Paul Jones, Stephen Stills, Van Dyke Parks

NOTE: This should have been posted tomorrow, but I hit the button too quick.

John Paul Jones, the rumbling roar at the bottom of Led Zeppelin's sound, turns 63 years old today. Here's a little clip from "The Song Remains The Same" to remind you of his significance:

Stephen Stills
turns 64 today. He may have had the least hip hair of anybody in the late 60s, but he could sing and he could play guitar and he could write with the best of them. Here's a clip of Stills fronting Manassas in 1972:

Van Dyke Parks, who wrote lyrics for the Beach Boys, who recorded some of the most obvious loss leaders in Warner Brothers history, and who continues to lend intriguing orchestrations to music of all kinds, turns 66 today. We can't find any clips, but we figured you should check him out.

You Say It's Your Birthday - Roger Miller

The great lyrical poet - hey, he wrote "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd" and "Dang Me," dangit - would have been 72 today. Here he is playing and singing with Johnny Cash.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday - Country Joe McDonald & Grandmaster Flash

Country Joe McDonald turns 67 today.

Grandmaster Flash turns 51 today.