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Duane Allman @ 70

6 Nov


This month marks Duane Allman’s 70th birthday. If you are a fan be sure to check out Photo tab on Talking2musicians with lots of b/w photos brought to life with color  There’s also my epic Duane Allman profile piece on the web most popular jazz website, AllAboutJazz.

Duane Allman Solos brought to life by Billionaire Music Lover

8 Jan

Forgive the headline hook, but that’s my own personal fantasy.  Before going to sleep last night, I listened to a recording of the Allman Brothers Band from January 23, 1971.  They were opening for Delaney and Bonnie at the Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY.

If you’re a serious Allman Brothers fan, you recall the laid back crowd reactions on the Fillmore recordings. Without even hearing any music, this crowd reaction will give you an indication of just how smoking hot Duane Allman and the band were that night in 1971.

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The Beatles Final Tour & Paul McCartney’s First — Being there

12 Oct

beatles stadium

It is difficult to impart to young people today what a phenomenon the Beatles were in the 1960s.  Imagine, when the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, 73 million people were watching, and in 1964 the US population was only 192 million!

American Debut

Sullivan’s failure to scoop the TV industry with[Elvis] Presley made him determined to get the next big sensation first. In 1964, he achieved that with the first live American appearance of The Beatles, on February 9, 1964, the most-watched program in TV history to that point and still one of the most-watched programs of all time. (Wikipedia)

At 8 o’clock on February 9th 1964, America tuned in to CBS and The Ed Sullivan Show. But this night was different. 73 million people gathered in front their TV sets to see The Beatles’ first live performance on U.S. soil. The television rating was a record-setting 45.3, meaning that 45.3% of households with televisions were watching. That figure reflected a total of 23,240,000 American homes. The show garnered a 60 share, meaning 60% of the television’s turned on were tuned in to Ed Sullivan and The Beatles. Source

Their appearance on Ed Sullivan took place exactly 80 days after the funeral of John F. Kennedy, which was another event whose impact on the American public is impossible to convey to anyone who didn’t live through it.  You will often hear it said that we were in a collective state of mourning, and the Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan was something that allowed the nation to come together with a sense of relief. Having lived through it, I agree.

Beginning of a universal youth culture

In many ways the Beatles were the beginning of a universal youth culture, and they were at the center of the spirit of the 60s.

Up until this point, the world was much less interconnected.  Prior to the Beatles, with the exception of a fluke, or one-hit-wonder, it would have been unthinkable to have a British artist at the top of the US pop charts.  Our pop stars tended to have slick hair, and suddenly here were these guys from the North of England with (what was then considered) unbelievably long hair.  Consider this quote from Elvis Presley while visiting the White House in 1970:

“The Beatles laid the groundwork for many of the problems we are having with young people by their filthy unkempt appearances and suggestive music while entertaining in this country during the early and middle 1960s.”

Elvis Presley, recorded during a 1970 visit to Richard Nixon at the White House

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Keith Carlock, Wayne Krantz, Michael Landau, Jimmy Herring & Etienne Mbappe Are The Ringers

20 Feb


Listen to my extended interview with The Ringers, the first interview of the band. Jimmy Herring is of course known from Widespread Panic, Aquarium Rescue Unit, the Allman Brothers Band, Keith Carlock and Wayne Krantz from Steely Dan and their work with Tal Wilkenfeld, and Michael Landau from his work with people like Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell a.m.m.

They are just about to start their first tour, listen in here

UPDATE  Feb, 20th, 2013

I noticed a bunch of traffic to coming from   Wasn’t familiar with the site so I checked it out and found myself watching and listening to The Ringers first concert via Ustream.  They now have audio files (MP3 & FLAC) posted for download. Or you can stream online here.

Hard to imagine these guys only had a couple of days to rehearse.  Essentially this should be considered a jam session, but what I heard gave every indication that this could indeed be something grand.  Keith Carlock was spectacular, as was Etienne Mbappe.  If they were doing straight ahead blues, or standards something like this would be a snap, but that’s not who these guys are.  It’s scary to think how good this could get if, given their busy schedules, they have a chance to play together often.

If you’re on the East Coast you don’t want to miss this — amazing.

West Coast “Cool Jazz” – Whites Guys Can Jump

7 Dec




Time Cover - Dave Brubeck

There is no denying it, without Africans jazz, blues, and rock & roll would not exist. Given the history of racism in America it’s easy to understand why some black musicians resented whites playing jazz.

Although Louis Armstrong was the first jazz musician to make the cover of Time, the choice of Dave Brubeck as the next jazz musician to receive this honor certainly bruised some feelings. Continue reading

Talkin’ Blues, Bluegrass & More with Jimmy Herring

14 Nov

Check out my interview with Jimmy Herring in All About Jazz and also my First Impressions look at his latest album Subject To Change Without Notice (Abstract Logix, 2012)

Cool Tool for Musicians, Writers, Music Fans

23 Aug

I was reading about Google’s new Drive service and in the article they mentioned that unlike Google,  DropBox doesn’t “use” your files or information. So thanks to that I found Dropbox, it’s so practical and I’m really glad I found it.

Need to share some very large files with friends? Drop them in your “Public” folder on DropBox and send an invite to your friends. No more huge emails, CDs, or DVDs.

Make sure you don’t lose important files or photos.

There are so many possibilites, and of course if you have a laptop, PC, and a smart phone — no problem, you can access the same files from any of your devices — it’s great.

For me it is a great tool when I interview musicians and need to get music samples or photos.

Here’s their pitch – I give it a big thumbs up!

Your files, anywhere
Any file you save to Dropbox also instantly saves to your computers, phones, and the Dropbox website.

2GB of Dropbox for free, with subscriptions up to 100GB available.
Your files are always available from the secure Dropbox website.
Dropbox works with Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
Works even when offline. You always have your files, whether or not you have a connection.
Dropbox transfers just the parts of a file that change (not the whole thing).
Manually set bandwidth limits — Dropbox won’t hog your connection.

Simple sharing
Shared folders allow people to work together on the same projects and documents.

Invite friends, family or teammates to a folder. It’ll be as if you saved the folder to their computers.
See other people’s changes instantly.
Create photo galleries viewable by anyone you choose.
Send a link to any file in your Dropbox using your Public folder.

Dropbox mobile
Apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry keep your Dropbox at hand, even on the go.

Bring your files with you when you’re on the go.
Edit files in your Dropbox from your phone.
Easily upload your photos and videos to Dropbox.
Share freely with family and friends.

Your stuff is safe
Dropbox protects your files without you needing to think about it.

Dropbox keeps a one-month history of your work.
Any changes can be undone, and files can be undeleted.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and AES-256 bit encryption.

Watch Allman Brothers @ the Grammy Awards

14 Feb

Duane Allman’s daugher Galadrielle accepting the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement for her father.  Watch the 20+ minute ceremony here.

Tedeschi Trucks Band: So what does Revelator reveal?

19 Jun

Two wings of equal strength endow a bird with the capacity to truly soar. This principle also helps to explain why Revelator (Sony, 2011), the debut album of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, has soared to #1 for blues releases on Amazon, #2 in rock, and #3 in all of music. This band brings together vocalist Susan Tedeschi, whose previous release in 2009 earned her a Grammy nomination, with slide guitarist Derek Trucks, who won the Grammy for his 2009 release. What’s particularly striking in this pairing is how evenly matched these exceptional talents are. Continue reading

Left-Handed Blues

22 Apr

When it comes to the blues, that lonesome road takes a sharp left turn.

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Allman Brothers Band 2010 NYC Run – Ongoing Update

14 Mar

The Allman Brothers 2010 NYC run was not as exciting as last year’s 40th anniversary celebration, but I got the sense that there was a new and improved group dynamic.  If you watch the ABB 2004 commercial DVD and compare it to this 2010 run, you’ll notice a shift in leadership.  Warren, Derek and Oteil are now on much more of an equal footing.  Otiel in particular has really emerged as an important force.

Otiel is a musician’s musician, musically on top of his game, appreciative of others’ playing, enthusiastic and supportive, and now ready to take his rightful place on stage.  I was really surprised by his voice when he sang Anyday, he has a strong voice and creative phrasing, and his bass playing is simply great.  He’s a joy to watch on stage, he’s all about the music.

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The 60s – Men on the Moon & Teens with Cellphones

16 Jan
Wally Cleaver on a 60s Cell

Can you hear me now?

Indaba Music – Changes Everything

29 Aug

Every so often something comes along on the Internet and it hits you that “this is big.” Amazon, YouTube, Google, and podcasting are cases in point. Recently I had the same sensation when I happened upon INDABA MUSIC. Continue reading

Women in Jazz – a sampling

20 Dec

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Derek Trucks in Japan

5 Apr

In late November 2007 the Derek Trucks Band did a tour in Japan. These shows haven’t received the attention they deserve on, so I thought I’d present some of my favorite moments.

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My Jimi Hendrix Experience 2008 – 40 = 1968

1 Apr

copyright Rolling Stone

In 2007 Jimi Hendrix was voted the number 1 guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone. Without question such polls are silly enough anyway, but at a minimum this should have been The Top 100 Blues/Rock Guitarists of all Time. Continue reading

Jeff Healey, an extraordinary guitarist, dies at age 41

3 Mar

Very sad news today, the Canadian blues/rock guitarist Jeff Healey lost his battle with cancer. Continue reading


19 Dec

Sheryl Crow & Eric Clapton – Merry Christmas Baby (1999)

In my mind, Ray Charles and Eric Clapton have much in common. Two absolute music legends who transcend labels. They both shared the stage with an extraordinary array of performers, often adding an unforgettable quality to much of what they did on stage. Next year I’ll do a Ray retrospective, but this year have a look at Clapton’s incredible career – arguably the best all-around white blues musician of all time. Continue reading