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Low Cut Connie: Dirty Pictures (Part 1)

Low Cut Connie: Dirty Pictures (Part 1) (Contender Records)

Philadelphia quintet Low Cut Connie is pretty much the brainchild of singer/songwriter/piano pounder Adam Weiner and if its’ latest album is any indication of their future musical trajectory then this is a band to watch. “DPP1” is bursting with irreverent rock‘n’roll and cannily introspective tunes that most bands just can’t seem to wrap themselves around effectively for a full album anymore. Opening track “Revolution Rock‘n’Roll” sets the scene with flair using Weiner’s languid boogie-woogie piano figure and solid vocals as an underlay for a story of night club rebellion where he chides “Come on children rip it up, let the jerk offs clean it up, touch my body touch my soul, revolution rock and roll”. When these guys are firing on all cylinders they sound like a less drunken Replacements if led by Jerry Lee Lewis in his prime. Covering Prince’s “Controversy” is one thing but they get even funkier on the buzzing soul/rock of “Love Life” and the tough “Death and Destruction”. Weiner speaks to his romantic inadequacies and admits them in “Angela” where he proclaims “You’re just to hot to date me… you should move to L.A…. you should be with a gorgeous guy, I know I’m a real far cry”.

As the album progresses it reveals deeper layers of this bands’ ability to sound like they only want to party yet are keen to deliver another side to the bar tab. “Montreal” is a lovely and heart warming story of the gentle passing of social diseases amongst friends while the sweet “Forever” and album closer “What Size Shoe” are romantic enablers that will bring a tear to even the hardest, beer addled heart. While ostensibly sounding like they don’t want to prove anything-here Low Cut Connie actually do. Their talent lies is being able to raise the roof while giving you songs that actually grab your attention for more than the length of their running time. That in itself is a colossal achievement. Bring on Part 2!

(10 tracks – 33 minutes)

Jeff Monk
-30-

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Jeff Monk

Long serving music writer and hermit from the frozen center of Canada JM spends his days creating a pleasant environment for world class ballet dancers while a looping soundtrack of loud rock and roll music boils continuously in his head. This is something that can't be fixed. At your service. Now buy him a cigar and exit.

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May 8, 2017 By : Category : Blues Cult Dark Eyeplugs Garage Reviews Tags:,
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DozenQ – Darren Deicide

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series DozenQ5

Darren Deicide was born on Halloween in the rhythm and blues filled environment of Chicago. Colorful reviews describe his playing style as ‘blending the best aspects of blues, rock n’ roll, and punk!’ We recently caught up with Darren and here’s what he had to testify…

01 How did you get started?

One day Satan said ‘Give them hell’, so I did.

02 Where did your name come from, being based on the IOW how does that influence things?

‘Deicide’ was a nickname I was given from old friends, and it has stuck since childhood. I think a combination of alliteration and my natural disposition named me.

03 Who are your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

I think any artist that is genuinely engaged in their process absorbs influences from every angle, like a sponge. I couldn’t exactly point to everything that makes each one of my songs what it is. I’m simply a byproduct of Americana, a mutt living against the grain of an empire in decline. So I consider my music a return of sorts. It’s a return to the aesthetic trends that existed before we bred a certain type of pretension into American culture, and I despise all the forces that are driving this decline. The complacent, the obedient, the fake, and the willfully ignorant are all at the top of my shit list at the moment.

04 What drives you to make music?

I wake up and ask myself that question all the time. I think this goes back again to the difference between a genuine artist and someone just repeating a schtick. I make music because, for whatever reason, I was hardwired to do so. To not, would be a life bereft of something. There are a lot of musicians like that right now, who exist in the undergrounds of America, and regardless of whatever the zeitgeist, they will continue doing what they do simply because they are compelled to push the aethers in one direction or another. Musicians are explorers who just can’t not take the muse into new and strange places.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live show?

They can expect to boil a hell-broth with me. They can expect to be taken to an unholy church of drunkenness and rage. They can expect to hear the primal call of shamanistic blues. They can expect an infernal juke house. Don’t be surprised if I wind up stomping on your coffee table.

06 Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

I write all of my songs. Inspiration comes from many different directions, but I consider my music a type of playful terrorism. To me, that has been the tradition of the blues, from its roots to all of its mischievous children that have been spawned through the decades. The blues is a subtle rebellion, an innuendo of that which dare not be spoken. In this day and age, there is no shortage of subjects that need to be mocked and ridiculed with the prod of surrealism, eros, and fantasy. I am merely assuming the mantle.

07 How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

I think it has gone a number of different directions. It began as a sort of amateurish and crude version of what I do now, as I started in a bunch of punk bands. I still was working that energy out, until I started exploring some conceptual angles with Temptation and the Taboo, Part 1 and The Jersey Devil is Here. The Blues Non Est Mortuum really feels like a finished product to me, the culmination of everything that I’ve been doing with equal parts of everything and nothing overstated.

08 What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

I think the biggest challenge I, and most musicians face, is to overcome the invasive presence of media. Just about every venue, especially in America, has televisions up and an audience with their eyes glued to cell phones. It has created a horde of people that just aren’t present and it is sapping energy from the value of musical performance. On a great night, that is overcome, smothered by hand claps and a singing audience that have given themselves to the rapture. How else can we overcome it? Might I suggest smacking cell phones out of people’s hands and leaving its fate to the mosh pit?

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

I have covers up my sleeve, but I generally don’t play them live. I do like the idea of taking ‘traditionals’ and reinventing them, as what had been common practice in the folk tradition. I’ve always liked to see the evolution of Americana classics in that process, which somewhat mimics ‘The Telephone Game’. My contribution was to take Skip James’ ‘Devil Got My Woman’ and transform it into ‘Devil is my Woman’. I was nudged by Rev. Adam Campbell to do it. Don’t worry, buddy. I didn’t forget you. I played it for Back from the Dead: The Harsimus Sessions, my live video series, and it’s on The Blues Non Est Mortuum. But I don’t get into covers as a matter of course. The bar cover band is a useless, old charade. It’s time to get relevant and original, people.

10 Where do you envisage being in five years time?

I don’t know. Predictability is overrated.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

My partner in crime, Ethel Lynn Oxide. Soon she will be evoked from the fog.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

See question 11. There will be no spoilers yet, but don’t expect me to disappear anytime soon. There will definitely be more touring in the works if I don’t wind up in a place like jail. You’re all going to have a hard time shaking this guy.
 

Web Links

Facebook: facebook.com/darrendeicide
Twitter: twitter.com/darrendeicide
Instagram: instagram.com/darrendeicide

Tour dates:
Shows can be found at darrendeicide.com

Link to buy the current LP:
The Blues Non Est Mortuum, the latest vinyl release, can be found RIGHT HERE

 

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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April 3, 2017 By : Category : Blues Dark DozenQ Folk Interviews Music RnB Tags:, , , ,
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DozenQ – Christopher Bell

Cellist and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Bell blends the classical and pop worlds. Clarinet, acoustic guitar, beat boxing and cello recorded live into dense soundscapes. Hip hop beats, gentle fugues, jazz and blues all wrapped up into his own brand of Quirky Pop. For fans of Paul Simon and Andrew Bird.

01. How did you get started in music?

I started as a drummer 20 years ago and switched over to cello.

02 .Where did your direction come from?

Checking out all sorts of different music and seeing how they could fit together.

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Andrew Bird.

04. What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

I’ve started studying eastern classical music as well as getting more into jazz
as well.

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your shows?

Having a lot of fun, maybe learning something, and seeing that classical instruments can be cool.

06. How do you begin writing your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Usually i just take something that happened in my own life and exaggerate it out, make it happen to someone dumber.

07. How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

Even though the songs can be based off real life, they’re less about me, and more about characters.

08. What has been your biggest challenge? How were you able to overcome this?

My biggest challenge was learning how to put in the work to achieve this, I just had to canoe 550 miles! Really taught me how to do something big its just a day
at a time.

09. If you could pick any song, what would you like to cover most and why?

There’s too many to count.

10. Where do you envisage being in five years time?

Hopefully still playing.

11. Who would you most like to record with?

I would have loved to sit in on a session with Louis Armstrong, even if I was just playing the tambourine.

12. What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

New music in within the next year, after I finish the next semester back at college, excited to put all this new knowledge to work.

Web Links:

www.thechrisbell.com
christopherbell.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/thechrisbellcello
twitter.com/thechrisbell
www.youtube.com/user/silenthomerecords
soundcloud.com/thechrisbell/sets/rust

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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April 10, 2016 By : Category : Beats Blues DozenQ Front page Interviews Jazz Music Pop Tags:,
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DozenQ – Daniel Bennett Group

This entry is part 16 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

Manhattan-based saxophonist Daniel Bennett has been hailed as one of the most original and unpredictable musical voices of his generation. Daniel Bennett can be heard throughout the world performing his award-winning compositions on saxophone, flute, clarinet, and oboe. Daniel Bennett is currently touring the United States with renowned guitarist Nat Janoff, bassist Eddy Khaimovich, and master percussionist Matthew Feick. The Boston Globe describes Bennett’s music as “a mix of jazz, folk, and minimalism.” The Daniel Bennett Group was recently voted “Best New Jazz Group” in the Hot House Magazine NYC Jazz Contest. The Daniel Bennett Group has been featured in the Boston Globe, NPR, First Coast Living (NBC), Indianapolis Public Radio, St. Louis Public Radio and the Village Voice. Daniel Bennett is also very active in the New York City musical theater scene. He recently composed the musical score for stage adaptations of “Frankenstein” and “Brave Smiles” at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Manhattan. Daniel Bennett recently played woodwinds in “Blank! The Musical,” the first fully improvised Off-Broadway musical to launch on a national stage. The New York Times called the show, “Witty, Likable and Ludicrous!” Daniel Bennett’s theatrical works have strongly influenced his eclectic sound and musical storytelling abilities as a bandleader. We caught up with him recently…

01 How did you get started in music?

I live in Manhattan, but the Daniel Bennett Group actually formed in Boston in 2004. I had just finished my masters degree in saxophone performance from the New England Conservatory. I was also doubling on flute, clarinet, and oboe quite regularly. I was composing music that blended modern jazz with American Folk music and elements of experimental classical music. My musical journey began when I was ten years old. My older sister took me to the high school jazz band Christmas concert. I’ll never forget it. I heard the jazz band play a rendition of “The Pink Panther.” I knew at a young age that I wanted to be a full time musician, and it’s hard to imagine I have been leading a band for over 10 years. The Daniel Bennett Group has toured extensively and recently shared concert billings with Bill Frisell, Charlie Hunter Trio, Steve Kuhn, Greg Osby Duo, James Carter Organ Trio, Joy Electric, and Billy Martin. In addition to leading the band, I recently toured Italy and Switzerland with world music ensemble, Musaner. I have performed with the Portland Symphony, the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, and other symphonic groups. I am very active as a pit orchestra musician in Manhattan. I composed and performed the original score for the stage adaptations of “Frankenstein” and “Brave Smiles” at the Hudson Guild Theatre in Manhattan. I also recently performed in the off-Broadway show, “Blank! The Musical.” The show was produced by the insanely gifted comedians at Second City, Improv Boston, and Upright Citizens Brigade. It was the first fully improvised musical to launch on a national stage. My work in the theater world has strongly influenced my eclectic “storytelling” approach to musical performance. I would say that the Daniel Bennett Group is very “theatrical” in our performance aesthetic and stage presence.

02 Where did your direction come from?

My direction is fueled by the energy and musical output of the people whom I perform with. Daniel Bennett Group just released our 6th full length album, “The Mystery At Clown Castle,” on the Manhattan Daylight Media label. The album was produced by MP Kuo at Lofish Studio in Manhattan. I play alto saxophone, flute, piccolo, clarinet, and oboe on the album. I am joined by guitarist Nat Janoff, Eddy Khaimovich on bass, and Matthew Feick on drums. Nat Janoff has performed with artists like Michael Brecker, Matt Garrison, Kenny Burrell and Dave Samuels. He also leads his own band at the 55 Bar in Manhattan every month. Matthew Feick is very active in the musical theater scene. I met Matthew when we were in the pit orchestra for “Urinetown” at the Secret Theatre in New York City.

03 Who are your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

I love the music of Ornette Coleman, Paul Desmond, The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. I generally love any music that has a great melody and displays a vibrant sense of honesty. I despise any music that lacks integrity or soul.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound

I am inspired by my surroundings. I am always trying to evolve and grow as an artist. “The Mystery at Clown Castle” is a bold departure from anything we have done in the past. I threw away all conventional “rules” in the production process and really did this record my way. Surprisingly, this album features electric bass prominently. Eddy Khaimovich plays fretted and fretless electric bass brilliantly on the album. This album also features special guest poet, Britt Melewski. I first read Britt’s poetry in the Philadelphia Review of Books. I was so honored to have Britt contribute two poems on The Mystery at Clown Castle. Our producer, MP Kuo, auto-tuned Britt’s voice to increase the intensity and creepiness of the poem. We also feature pianist Jason Yeager on a few tracks. Jason is a very prolific sideman and bandleader on the Inner Circle record label. I have known Jason for many years. Jason performs frequently with Ran Blake, Greg Osby, and John McNeil. Jason has a sound and feel that is perfect for this music. The Daniel Bennett Group has released six albums in the last ten years: A Nation of Bears, The Legend of Bear Thompson, Peace and Stability Among Bears, Live at the Theatre, Clockhead Goes to Camp, and The Mystery At Clown Castle. Each album is a very honest snapshot of who I am in that moment in time.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Expect the unexpected! I am currently touring with guitarist Nat Janoff and Matthew Feick on the drums. I am playing alto saxophone, flute, piccolo, and oboe on this tour. We have been performing most of the songs from “The Mystery At Clown Castle.” You will hear original melodies, as well as American folk music references and elements of Celtic music. Our live concerts take many creative detours and spontaneous turns. We love to engage the audience. Every night can be so different!

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

I am a saxophonist, but I actually write all of my songs from the guitar. The process is somewhat simple in many ways. I only writes songs that I can easily sing. I don’t restrict myself to any time signature or key signature. The composition goes wherever the melody is leading it. I have studied the music of Steve Reich and Philip Glass extensively. I am drawn towards repetition of phrases, gradual shifting of melodic shapes, and slightly free-form improvisation. I am a classically trained, even though I make my living as a jazz player. I have a masters degree in Saxophone Performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston. While studying at NEC, I performed music by contemporary classical composers like Ingolf Dahl, Paul Creston, Eugene Bozza, Pierre Max Dubois, and Alfred Desenclos (to name a few). I also performed numerous transcriptions of pieces by Rachmaninoff, Bach, and Mozart. In 2002, I performed the Concertino da Camera by Jacques Ibert as a soloist with the Roberts Wesleyan College Orchestra. All of these experiences have shaped who I am as a composer. I love any song with a great melody. I am equally influenced by Steve Reich’s “New York Counterpoint,” Ornette Coleman’s “Skies of America,” and the Smiths “There is a Light That Never Goes Out.” All are masterpieces. I grew up playing in the church, so I love hymns like “It is Well with My Soul” and “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” I see no boundary line between any genre of music. I transcribe Paul Desmond saxophone solos every week. I just transcribed his solo on “Out of Nowhere.” Some of his lines could have been pulled from a Bach invention. No joke. Some would say that I have a slightly twisted mind when it comes to my conceptual approach to music. The Daniel Bennett Group recently released a “trilogy” of albums based on a fictional bear named Bear Thompson. I’m a big fan of cartoon animation, storytelling, and programmatic music. The albums were entitled, A Nation of Bears, The Legend of Bear Thompson, and Peace and Stability Among Bears. I frequently collaborate with visual artists who design our album artwork. I have been very fortunate to have Timothy Banks design most of our album covers. Banks has done a lot of work for Paste Magazine and Cartoon Network and is a real super talent!

07 How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

Our earlier musical material was more influenced by American folk music. I grew up listening to Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Peter Paul & Mary, and Simon & Garfunkel. After moving to New York City, my music has taken on a more “back-beat” driven vibe. There is almost a pop aesthetic to our new songs.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Have you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

My worst moments happen when I am too focused on myself. Every day I wake up and try to think of ten people I can help. This takes the attention off myself and focuses my heart and mind for the day. It’s not always easy. I pray a lot! The music industry requires us to basically “sell ourselves” every single day. There is nothing wrong with our desire to make money. My wife and I just welcomed our second child in September. And it’s not cheap to live on the upper east side of Manhattan! So I need to find balance in everything that I do. A wise man once told me, “worship God and serve the people.” That is something I strive towards. It’s a tough challenge, but so rewarding!

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

We do play covers occasionally. We just played a concert at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Club in Maryland. We spontaneously played “Daniel” by Elton John as an encore. It actually sounds quite nice on the flute. It’s a beautiful melody. We also mix jazz standards into our repertoire frequently. People don’t know that I actually spent a decade playing mostly straight-ahead jazz all over the world. I love the music of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Cole Porter.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

I envision myself meeting many new people. Music is about relationships and love. We just returned from a tour in Kansas. We met so many great people that we now consider to be our friends. It’s a great thing!

11 Who would you most like to record with?

I would love to record a saxophone and vocal duet with Morrisey. Maybe I could even convince Johnny Marr to burry the hatchet and reunite with Morrissey for one song!

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

Daniel Bennett Group is touring on the west coast, Midwest, and parts of Florida this year. We also perform every month at Tomi Jazz in midtown Manhattan. We are recording the next album in December. Stay tuned!

Weblinks
Homepage: danielbennettgroup.com
Facebook: facebook.com/danielbennettgroup
Twitter: twitter.com/dbennettgroup
Instagram: instagram.com/danielbennettgroup

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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September 30, 2015 By : Category : Blues Eyeplugs Folk Front page Jazz Modernist Pop Tags:, , , , , , ,
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The Montecristos: LP Review by Colin Bryce

The Montecristos: Born to Rock‘n’Roll (Easy Action)

Its rock‘n’roll fetish time! Big ‘ol guitars! A blazing (all gal) horn section with a stand-up bass pumping the bottom of that primitive rockin’ rhythm to get ‘em out on the floor. Add a pile of peroxide and pomade, a little bit of leopard on your strides and some suggestive late-night ideas from vocalist/guitarist and front man Neal X and you’ll have a pretty good idea where London’s Montecristos are coming from. Fronted by former Sigue Sigue Sputnick and Marc Almond guitarist Neal X this six piece outfit has got the show going. Plenty of 50s glitz and gonzo with the occasional nod to the swingin’ 60s (the Rascal’s “Good Lovin’”) and with Marc Almond as featured guest vocalist on Vince Taylor’s well-known classic “Brand New Cadillac”. Like “Good Lovin’” it could probably have been swapped out for one of the band’s originals or something a little more uncommon but they may very well help with getting some friendly radio play. I was very pleased to see the great rock writer Nina Antonia listed as co-writer on the title track “Born to Rock’n’Roll”. No doubts here – the Montecristos are rockin’ it. (14 tracks.)

GRAB A COPY HERE!

Web Links
themontecristos.com

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Blues Eyeplugs Front page Garage Modernist Music Picks Reviews Soul Tags:, , , , ,
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Mohair Sweets reviewed by Scenester

Mohair Sweets

You Better Read Before You Sign (CD Mohair #01)

Sandwiched in between the wheezy grind of the hurdy-gurdy, an unsettling narrative about a vicious murderer,  and peppered with piano tinkling and ghostly skip-rope whipping, we’re treated to two slices of dirty, fuzzy blues of a distinctly late 60’s strain in ‘You Better Read Before You Sign’ and ‘The Green Light’. With a voice that’s sounds like it’s had more than its fair share of trouble, the title track’s sage advice is laid down over a classic supporting cast of troubled keyboard wash, subtle drum and sweet and sour lead guitar, the latter supplying a lead out solo that wrenches out every fibre of resentment and regret it can find. Close on this track’s worn down heels, ‘The Green Light’ leaps in, a full throated vocal declaiming over an 18-wheeler of a riff that doesn’t let up, even in the mean-faced lead breaks.

Scenester

Scenester lives in London and Brighton, as time allows. Enjoys music, film, television, books, design and anything else which won’t leave well alone. Old enough to know better.

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February 2, 2015 By : Category : Blues Front page Music Punk Reviews Rock Tags:, , ,
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Showplug: Black Kat Boppers @The Legion

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Showplugs

Black Kat Boppers hail from down on the South Coast Water Way in Southampton and are 4 fellas who love to play hard boppin’, jump up, rockin’ blues, dance music. They formed In Dec 2009 after some chance meetings, speculative phone calls and a little bit of fate. A shared love for rockin’ roots music was clear and they haven’t looked back since. There’s been triumphant performances at Glastonbury, Port Eliot, Bestival & Hyde Park (with Blur & The Specials).

Dave Showplug Taylor recently caught up with the band prior to their Showplug show in Swanage at the Legion, Saturday the 5th of April 2014 – get your tickets here folks!

Black Kat Boppers are:

Roy Phillips – Vocals
Jon Best – Guitars, Harmonica & Vocals
Colin Owens – Drums & Vocals
Dylan Clarke – Stand Up Bass & Vocals

01. How did your band get together?

Played together when we were teenagers, busking all over the place, playing rockabilly. Fast forward many years, Jon and Roy were playing together, I had a message from a friend saying Jon had asked if I was around and fancied drumming, I said yea, we knew Dylan as he’s been to see us play so when we needed a bass player, he got the nod.

02. Where did your name come from?

Roy came up with the band name.

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

Mid 50s Rocknroll & R&B music! We had our individual slant on that.

04. What drove you to make music together?

It just feels good and sounds good when we’re doing it. No other reason needed. I think playing together when we were young means it’s ingrained in you somewhere.

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your shows?

Full, 100% rockin’ commitment! Plenty of dancing. We don’t hold back. We show off and have a good time ha. Some pretty fine tunes too.

06. Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Roy and Jon write the songs then maybe we’ll work through them as a band, make em work! We’ve got songs about love, loss, being up, being down, dancing, fighting haha…

07. How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?

We’re pretty tight, intuitive, things come together quick. We love what we are and what we do so we try to keep on getting better.

08. What has been your biggest challenge as a band? How were you able to overcome this?

Recording can be hard work, but we pushed through and got some good results. We worked with Damon Albarn and Paul Simonon in the studio and they pushed us til our fingers bled and our heads were exploding but it was a good education from a couple of masters.

09. Does the band play covers? If so, do you argue over the choice of songs? Who usually gets his own way?

We play some covers, tunes we like, that we think we can do well. I cannot recall any arguments over that. A few crowd pleasers never go a miss.

10. What do you love and hate outside of music?

Hate? That’s a bit strong! I’m sure we all have stuff we don’t like? I hate cauliflower? I guess we love our kids and our favourite jackets, that kind of stuff!

11. Who would you most like to record with?

We’ve been pretty lucky with the people we’ve met and worked with. We recently did some songs live with Daisy from kitty, daisy & lewis. It sounded pretty damn good, we may record with her some time.

12. What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

We’re doing some festivals, we’re getting some offers for some good shows abroad, maybe some tv stuff, maybe working with some interesting people. Hopefully having a great time and just keep on keepin on!

Web Links:

blackkatboppers.com
facebook.com/BlackKatBoppers
twitter.com/blackkatboppers
soundcloud.com/the-black-kat-boppers

Dave Showplug Taylor

Dave Showplug Taylor is owner of Showplug Promotions, a man who makes things happen, loves providing great affordable quality Events, Gigs, Shows, Comedy Plugs and great all around Entertainment. Works closely alongside Eyeplug Media and lives by the Sea with his Family. Loves the MC5 and Cold Beer.

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March 31, 2014 By : Category : Blues Front page Interviews Rock Rockabilly Showplug Tags:, ,
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DozenQ – John Cee Stannard

)
This entry is part 7 of 19 in the series DozenQ 4

John Cee Stannard has been a singer-songwriter for more than fifty years and during that time has been privileged to work with lots of talented musicians. Before releasing his first solo blues based album he was a founder member of the folk group Tudor Lodge which was originally formed in 1968. We started playing at the White Horse in Reading, England and later we made appearances at other clubs on the folk circuit. In 1970 Lyndon Green and John were joined by American singer and flautist, Ann Steuart.

Tudor Lodge then toured the English folk circuit for over two years, teaming up with manager Karl Blore towards the end of 1970, and releasing our first album in 1971: “Tudor Lodge” (Vertigo 6360043). Later that year, we appeared at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival and also at Weeley Festival in Essex.

In January 2011, I wrote half a dozen songs. One of them was a bluesy number; five of those songs fell by the way side, but the blues number had struck a chord. Over the next few months, a couple of dozen blues based songs had joined the growing list of songs which took me in a completely new direction. It was as if I had found his voice. By the summer I knew that these songs had to be the basis of a solo project. It took until August of 2012 for recording to start, and by December it was done. Mixing took a further three months. In May 2013, the John Cee Stannard Blues Orchestra CD, the “Doob Doo” album, was launched.

01. How did you get started in music?

My introduction to pop music was the late 50’s, the days of Radio Luxemburg, Perry Como still at the top of the charts, then along came rock ‘n’roll. Elvis, Cliff, Tommy Steel, Marty Wilde, and the list goes on. I got my first guitar around 1958 for seven guineas. I started strumming chords to “When The Saints Go Marching In”. Got a lot of help from Bert Weedon’s “Play In A Day”, and concentrated on learning all those Shadows tunes. Hank Marvin was a hero then. Maybe still is. The first group I was in was called (don’t laugh) Jonny Ringo And The Rustlers. OK, you can laugh. This was around 1959 and I played lead guitar a la Hank Marvin, and of course we played Apache, as well as many non shadows instrumentals of the time such as “Walk Don’t Run” and “Perfidia” by the Ventures. Great days. Then the 60’s came and the Beatles influenced the future of pop in a big way.

02 .Where did your direction come from?

Much of my direction over the years has come from what I can and can’t do. I found picking out simple melodies very easy. So the early pop, Hank Marvin direction was clear. I could never play big, fast and furious solos, or be a fast and furious rock person, so that direction was blocked. The mid 60’s saw many brilliant Hammond based RnB outfits burst onto the scene. Zoot Money is still at it, as is Georgie Fame. So I fancied a go at keyboard no, unfortunately I couldn’t really play, but I didn’t see why that should stop me. So I bought a farfisa compact organ and learned to play Green Onions. That tune got me into a local pop group, The Mackandas. The next change of direction came when I gave my sister a lift to the Albert Hall to see Bob Dylan’s first concert there. I knew nothing of this music, but when the Mackandas split, the lead singer (John) his girlfriend and I formed a trio, called The Trio, and we started with some Dylan material. That partnership was short lived, but it led me to the local folk club, the White Horse in Reading (Run by a chap named Sid who refused to advertise in case the government paid him a visit). That of course led to Tudor Lodge and the next 47 years of music. The new change of direction came purely by chance after writing a few blues songs. I did not decide to do that they just came that way. So the change of direction to blues was drivel solely by the songs. This was then reinforced by an absolute love for what I was doing.

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

I honestly believe that everyone I see influences me, even if only in a minute way. Mike Cooper was a major influence. I’m talking about his work in the late 60’s, up to maybe 71′. But strangely, it is only now that it is influencing some of my musical style. Paul Mills has also been an influence on this new musical path. He contributed some great piano work to “The Doob Doo Album”. Whilst Hugh Laurie has not influenced the musical style and delivery, his albums, particularly his first album, were quite an influence on the approach to album production.

04. What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

The one fact that inspires to to continue on the path I seem to be treading, is quite simply, that I am having so much fun. It is satisfying and rewarding in so many ways. I’m having the time of my life so of course I want that to continue. What greater motivation or inspiration could there be to continue this current song writing and performance style?

If you are asking what inspires the individual songs, the answer is, almost exclusively nothing. Other than the huge musical heritage of the blues. Outside of that, it is fiction, and I don’t decide to sit down and write a song about this or that. They are never about me (with one very small exception.)

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your shows?

I find this one hard. Luckily at a show last week, a superb local singer named Richard Cox-Smith came up with quite a good genre title Easy Blues. Although amplified of course, it is essentially acoustic blues tho I prefer to say blues based. It is not hard, full on blues. There is some country blues. Some with a slight rag-time feel, some with a slightly jazzy feel. Rock’n’Reel said the album was “…a very English nod to the blues.” I can’t argue with that. American singer songwriter rock and amazing guitar player Janet Robin said the album is like Doctor John, I don’t really see that, maybe a bit on the album.

06. How do you begin writing your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

I guess we’ve already covered this to some extent. To answer the first part I doodle. I pick up the guitar and just play around. If a riff or phrase sounds good I repeat it over and over and see if it takes me anywhere. At the same time I will doodle with words anything random. If I’ve been listening to an album by someone else, then a continuation of their theme may come into it. Once I have a verse of words, I look at it to see if it contains a theme I can carry forward and develop. Often I have no idea what a song is about as I write verse 1. A case in point is “Hid Behind The Door”. This is about domestic violence. When I was doodling the first verse, I was drawing on a song I wrote in 1972 which never went anywhere but I remembered the first few lines. It started random, but the last line of the first verse when it came seemed to be about an abusive situation – so I simply followed the theme for the rest of the song. It was an afterthought for the album – but some people say it’s their favourite track. So I don’t pick a subject or theme equally, I won’t shy away from a theme if it presents itself. For example, I was doodling a tune which wasn’t bluesy at all but I followed it through to see where it would go. As it developed, so the words for the first verse came along when I looked back at it, it seemed rather dark, maybe about someone who had had enough of life and wanted to move on. I thought of people who are terminally ill and desperate to be allowed to pass but medical science, coupled with (possibly misplaced) ethics, force us to keep them here for as long as possible so I had a song about euthanasia and suicide. It was far too dark for the album, and the wrong style of music, so I put it out there as a single called “Let Me Go”. A lovely video by Badger Music Media, see it HERE!.

07. How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

Firstly, with respect to the playing, very little in the way of gradual evolution just the occasional huge mutation. 10 years of flat-picking melodies and strumming fairly rigidly. Then along came the finger picking style (largely claw hammer) for Tudor Lodge, which remained almost unchanged for 47 years, and remains so. But then alongside that three years ago in 2011, the blues/rag whatever it is came along and is now an established line running along side the Tudor Lodge line. During this last three years though, the more bluesy style of playing has continued to evolve and develop. Starting with fairly straight forward songs and becoming a bit more interesting and varied. Learning how what you don’t play can be as important as what you do play. And last year, after over 50 years of guitar playing, I decided I could not put it off any longer, and I started having lessons. Thankfully my teacher is not trying to make me unlearn all I’m doing wrong, but is helping me to stretch my ideas and my playing good move. Secondly the music almost exactly the same pattern of development. 10 years of pop. 47 years of folk starting with the songs I wrote 1968 – 1971, and continuing with the songs Lynne has been writing for Tudor Lodge. Then three years of writing my own blues based material and mixing that with standard covers of people like Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, and one or two surprises in a blues style such as “Raining In My Heart”

08. What has been your biggest challenge? How were you able to overcome this?

Ok objectively standing back from it all trying to be honest, lack of confidence. I never really thought of my music was good enough to stand on it’s own. With Tudor Lodge, I have always admired Lynne’s writing and playing, so I could hide behind that. With my own music, yes I was having fun, then making the album was really for me, I found it hard to take it that seriously. But then everyone who contributed, all these fine musicians who did sessions for me, they all found it credible, the feedback was quite astonishing, that in itself was a learning curve for me. How did I overcome it? Well thankfully it was the process that helped me overcome it. I am now feeling really quite confident with it.

09. If you could pick any song, what would you like to cover most and why?

I always though I should never do a song like ‘Georgia’ because the definitive versions have been done. I recently learned it as an exercise. I was persuaded to try it live. It wend down surprisingly well. My teacher recently gave me “God Bless The Child” as an exercise. I just might try that sometime soon. If I thought a could do them justice, then to cover a classic like one of those would be one hell of a thing. Why would I want to attempt that?  because it would be one hell of a thing.

10. Where do you envisage being in five years time?

Hopefully still making music. Hopefully still running Tudor Lodge alongside John Cee Stannard and Blue Horizon. We have been so lucky to get the number of gigs that we have since putting the Blue Horizon trio together last autumn. But to get ourselves on the Blues Festival circuit would be a dream. To get a small tour of the UK, or even the continent would be wonderful. To get, even just a handful of gigs in the states would be slightly WOW. Yes of course big gigs and tours would be great, but to make a living at it would be wonderful.

11. Who would you most like to record with?

I’ve had a few dreams here. For some reason, Sandi Thom was one of them. Karla Bonnof is one, though that wouldn’t work well with the blues. Someone I would love to have guesting on an album of mine would be Beverley Skeete. Yes I do day dream of other collaborations, but these are largely completely unattainable. But then what’s wrong with the occasional fantasy.

12. What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

I have just started work on the next album. This will not be the full Blues Orchestra as on “The Doob Doo Album”. It will be just me and Blue Horizon, (Mike Baker on Guitar and Howard Birchmore on harmonica) with added bass and drum. I hope to get that completed and launched by the end of summer 2014. Then I would like to do an album with a jazz band. The material is more or less sorted, and I have had initial chats with potential collaborators. It would be nice to get that done before the end of 2014. I will definitely want to do another Blue Horizon one after that as well as a couple of other album projects I am still developing. Plus, I spent 5 years writing a novel, and if there is no traditional publishing deal in the next few months, I plan to e-publish it myself. My objective is to achieve that before 2014 is done. I’ve recently started writing the occasional blog, which is fun, so will develop that. I also present an on line radio show most weeks and plan to continue with that. It goes out on Blast1386 Thursdays 1:00 to 3:00pm UK time.

Web Links:

johnceestannard.co.uk
facebook.com/johncee.stannard
twitter.com/JohnStannard46

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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March 12, 2014 By : Category : Blues DozenQ Folk Interviews Music Tags:, , , ,
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Ace Album Reviews – Aug 2013 by Colin Bryce

new breed

New Breed Blues

New Breed Blues with Black Popcorn (Kent/Ace)

This is volume number five in the New Breed R&B series that began way back in 2001. The series was originally inspired by the likes of the influential (then current) Hideaway Club in Manchester and original mod /soul DJs like Roger Eagle, as well as the European Popcorn scene. Five volumes later and the righteous R&B keeps comin’. It’s rockin’, soulful, groovy, bluesy and dance-floor friendly. This ain’t the incessant Motown/Northern sound but rather the rompin’ period where doo-wop, blues, R&B and early rock’n’roll sounds met to get the kids and club goers sweaty, tuned in and turned out. Essential stuff. (24 tracks.)
BUY HERE!

chiswick story

The Chiswick Story

The Chiswick Story (Chiswick/Ace)

Back when the world was dark and everything seemed either grey, moustachioed, progressive or just plain old full of shit, an upstart independent label based out of a couple of record stalls and a, soon to be, HQ in Camden Town signed up a few unusual acts that loved their rock’n’roll raw, exciting and energetic. The Count Bishops, the 101’ers and the (Hammersmith) Gorillas made newly christened Chiswick Record label their home and the rock’n’roll world fell to its knees. Well, some of it anyway. I certainly did and I’m sure many of you did as well.

At this point (late ‘75 into 1976) safety pins were not yet required to hold ones band together and the black leather jacket so common place nowadays was still the sign of a either a bad-ass motorcyclist or an old school rocker. The Count Bishops – Chiswick’s first signing – were old school leather jacketed rock’n’rollers and the Speedball EP (released late ’75) – made up of great rockin’ covers – was a rip roarin’ success and helped pave the way for more of the same. Great releases by the likes of the Gorillas, Little Bob Story (France), Rocky Sharpe and the Razors, Radio Stars, Johnny Moped, the Radiators from Space followed and by the end of 1977 Chiswick had even unleashed the mighty Motorhead on the record buying public. More great releases were to follow and

Chiswick’s main men, Ted Carroll, Roger Armstrong and Trevor Churchill, being the men of vision that they are, continued on their merry way and by the end of the 70s had signed the re-vamped Damned (Machine Gun Etiquette anyone?), introduced the world to “world music” through the likes of Albania, had smashes with Sniff and the Tears and had even given a number of artists their first shots at the bigs – Billy Bragg, Shane McGowan, Kirsty McColl anyone?

This double disc contains fifty-one selections from the Chiswick catalogue; a two volume set of liners and is essential to any fan of that fertile and exciting period of late seventies music. BUY HERE!

romark

Romark Records

Romark Records, Kent Harris’ Soul Sides (Kent/Ace)

Great compilation of Los Angeles based soul label run by Kent Harris that features a large selection of tracks released from the early/mid 60s through to the early 1970s. Genre fans will certainly recognise the likes of Mighty Hannibal, Ty Karim and Ray Agee but the rest of the crew is largely obscure and unless you’re soul detective number one will be both in for a treat and wondering where you can find another track or two! You don’t need me to tell you that Ace is unlikely to disappoint and that both the track info and sound quality is as good as it is gonna ever get. (25 tracks.) BUY HERE!

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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August 16, 2015 By : Category : Blues Front page Music Rock Soul Tags:, , , ,
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Eight Rounds Rapid – Writeabout / Steve – reviewed by LongJohn

Eight Rounds RapidWriteabout / Steve (Podrophenia Records)

‘Window-licking, channel-flicking, TV dinners, sniffing thinners, lotto playing, fare-evading, shoplifting, jumble sifting’. These were the words that greeted me after 25 seconds of a mind shatteringly and latently violent twin assault of lead guitar and crashing drums from Southend’s ‘Eight Rounds Rapid’. This month sees them unleash the blistering and swaggeringly catchy double A sider ‘Writeabout/Steve’. This is the bands first ever release on vinyl and is limited to 500 hand numbered copies, and they claim that this is the only format that ‘Writeabout’ will be available on. ‘Eight Rounds Rapid’ have brought Thames Deltaesque rock n roll kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

‘Writeabout’ comes at you with both barrels well and truly blazing. This is a venomous slice of back to basics rock n roll, coupled with socially observant lyrics that sum up in a few neat sentences the current sense of apathy in that seems to have gripped many in Britain, but clearly not this lot. The flipside and fans favourite ‘Steve’ has an infectious ‘Dr Feelgood’ type groove with catchy guitar hooks and lyrics. This is a distinctively English sounding record, which is further emphasized by vocalist David Alexander who delivers lyrics like ‘I don’t know what to believe, so I am going round to talk to Steve’ in his own regional dialect.

2013 has proved to be an exciting year for the band after supporting the legendary Wilko Johnson on his recent farewell tour and rumours of an album are in the pipeline. ‘Eight Rounds Rapid’ have recently caught the attention of BBC Radio London and BBC Radio 6. Songs such as ‘Dostoyevsky’ and ‘Channel Swimmer’ have been wafting from the airwaves of the ‘Gary Crowley Show’ on BBC Radio London and from BBC 6 Music, with Mark Radcliffe, Gideon Coe and Steve Lamaq finding enough room on their play lists to give this band some well deserved airtime. If these plaudits are not enough then Tom Robinson has also added their track ‘Channel Swimmer’ to his latest Radio 6 Mixtape.

I have heard that ‘Eight Rounds Rapid’ are influenced by their Thames Estuary forebears ‘Dr Feelgood’ and with Wilko Johnson’s son Simon on lead guitar, complimentary comparisons like this are going to be made. However, let’s sweep these generalizations to one side for a moment, as ‘Eight Rounds Rapid’ is no ‘pastiche’ to a bygone era. Their music is very contemporary sounding, tough, gutsy, passionate and belongs firmly in the moment, if you need evidence of this then you must listen to songs like ‘Dostoyevsky’, ‘Stalker’, ‘Kix’, ‘Dirty’ and ‘Ryder’.

‘Eight Rounds Rapid’ are playing at the ‘Spice of Life’ on 27th September 2013.

Long John

Charming Chap and a new sharp force for Eyeplug, being a toppermost writer with a keen appreciation for things of quality and distinction. A well known face on the London ‘Mod’ Scene but with an open mind and heart. Got a strange interest in Pirates? One to watch out for!

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August 16, 2015 By : Category : Blues Features Front page Music Post-punk Reviews Tags:,
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