Thursday, March 7, 2013

Remembrances, Recommendations, and Reactors

Hi again, all. Seemed like it was time to send out another one of these, a few things have bubbled up. Some of this I posted on Facebook, so if you saw it there I apologize for repeating myself.

Firstly, a remembrance. One of my favorite drummers, Tommy Ardolino from the band NRBQ, died last month, but I just found out a few days ago. He was one of the more versatile drummers out there, it didn't seem to matter what genre he needed to support, and whichever one it was he always did it with taste and a not a little bit of spice. They were one of those bands I love where they can't be pigeonholed musically and there are multiple lead singers and songwriters. NRBQ were pretty terrific with covers as well, used to pass around a hat for folks to put in song titles -- typically songs they had never performed before -- and they'd draw one out and have to do it on the spot (one particular recording I have somewhere has them just butchering "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat & Tears). Their live shows were really what they were all about, and they were funny as hell, too, but, as a recommendation, my favorite LP of theirs is Tiddlywinks, a studio recording which is still available on CD which doesn't have a clunker on it. Here's a little Tommy Ardolino tribute someone put together:

Speaking of recommendations, and being out of the loop, there's a band that I just discovered that has already broken up, a Philly area band with a couple of national releases that didn't do anything: Huffamoose. Another hard-to-categorize group, I heard one song on the radio and gave them a shot, and was not disappointed. The CD I bought is called We've Been Had Again, and I'm about to buy another. A little grunge-y, but then there'll be what could be considered a country ballad, and then some sort of Steely Dan-ish stuff. I'm having trouble not listening to this everyday. These guys should have been more successful.

Back to the Remembrance Department: I'm going to be a part of a memorial event on Thursday March 14th for local poet Chris Toll, who died last year. He was a huge Dylan fan, so the tribute is to be some Dylan songs interspersed with poetry readings. Starts at 8PM, at the Windup Space on North Ave. I'll be doing some songs with my cohort Matt Douglass along with two other new friends (and great players) Davis Shingleton and Patrick Sheridan. Lots of other folks are part of this, should be a great evening.  Here's a (somewhat doctored) recording of one of our practices: Too Much Of Nothing

Finally, the big news in my own music world is that my friends and get-together-periodically-to-see-if-we-can-still-play band mates The Reactors (well, we now refer to ourselves as The Reactors Mid-Life Crisis Edition) will be having a reunion concert on Saturday May 11th, at the Fells Point bar 1919. We've got some new material and of course will be playing lots of the old stuff. I'm sure I'll be sending out another mailing as it gets closer, but if you think you can make it that would be great, please put it on your calendar. In advance of that I've been lately redesigning and updating the website that we've had for years,, so it now has a plethora of old and new recordings and videos (embarrassing as some of them may be) with still more to come -- please check it out.

OK, that's it for now.