Saturday, September 14, 2019

PREMIERE: Alice Limoges “YellowStone” Video, Album Review: SickWalt "Shove n' Love"

Two distinct musical styles get the feature treatment here this time around, showcasing a wide spectrum that inhabits this genre we define as “rock music.” Alice Limoges is a musical storyteller combining pop, jazz, rhythm and blues with rock and a healthy dose of soul, while the hard rocking SickWalt pushes the boundaries of rock and punk, both creating their own unique hybrid sound.

Presented here on DaveCromwellWrites is the premiere of Alice Limoges brand new video for her latest single “Yellowstone.” Released today Saturday September 14, 2019, the song and video rolls out a gorgeous blend of dazzling sight and sound wrapped around a strong lyrical message of setting yourself free. Initially inspired by the bold adventure taken via a Himalayan mountain expedition in India last year, the enlightenment gained from that extreme and difficult undertaking served to inspire this song and video's creation.

Originally hailing from the Northeast coastal state of Maine, Alice now calls New York City home. While the city that never sleeps might be the place to further your musical career, there's something to be said for the wide open spaces and natural beauty of places outside busy urban centers. Disconnecting from electronic communication devices and focusing on our planet's undeveloped beauty is an important message in these high tech times.

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Recorded at Right Angle Studios in NYC, the song (and videos initial imagery) focuses on Alice's piano chords and melody, immediately creating the sensation of an unfolding journey. The destination of Yellowstone Park is quickly shown, followed by quick cuts of car travel and then Alice herself singing the song in recording studio style. “Lets go out to Yellowstone - Drop it all and drive tonight and on through the morning” she sings as her accompanying musicians on drums, bass and guitar are shown in quick succession.

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Those three instruments provide a solid underpinning combining a light-touch indie-rock backbeat to the softer feel jazzy guitar and piano chords. As for the vocals and lyrical content – while recent comparisons to Fiona Apple and Sarah McLachlan are certainly in the ballpark, Alice's hybrid sound of pop, jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and soul bring to mind the talents (and vocal tone stylings) of legendary New York “folk singer” Laura Nyro.

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Like most quality songs residing in the pop realm, the track gets to it's dominant earworm hook in under a minute with the dramatic statement “If we leave right now - by what hour - Will they notice we went - That I didn't pay my rent - I've got these city blues - Got myself to lose - And I'll get lost soon” resolved by the lovely turn-around (and back into the verses groove) “If I stay.” The video enhances all of this further with the most stunning natural images that is the everyday majesty happening outside of city life in big sky country USA.

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Check out this inspired song and breathtaking new video from Alice Limoges here:

Follow Alice on her Official Website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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New York City's SickWalt delivers a heavy, hard rock sound that fuses a similar energy and lyrical ethos found in the most influential punk bands. With WaltSick Walt” on vocals, and Matt Middleton on guitar, the band’s current lineup includes legendary drummer Eric Arce (who has played with notable punk bands The Misfits and Murphy’s Law) and bassist Rob Buckley (previously with the equally illustrious Cro-Mags). With two EP's under their belt, a full-length album “Shove n' Love” will be released on September 20th.

Opening track “Demand The Stage” comes out blazing from the very first note, with slashing power chords, locked-in bass guitar and drums, a riff straight out of the Angus Young playbook drives everything forward. “You're always whining on and on,” Walt sings - “yeah who you were and now you're gone.” Delivered in a vocal style that draws from dynamic front-men like Rollins, Danzig, Bon Scott and Brian Johnson, the lyrics burn at those unwilling to seize the day. “You're talkin' trash like you mean it – the saddest part is you dream it – when no one listens you scream it – and you don't know.” Key Hook Line : “You don't know – you're a know it all” - which is repeated right through the end-out.

Check out this killer track right here

An aggressive syncopated drum pattern and searing precision guitar riffs kick off the barely over two minute “Die Like Belushi.” With those riffs initially placed between the vocals lines guitars are soon run continuously throughout. This early Stooges vibe takes a sharp turn midway with a slowed-down tempo change enhances by thundering drum fills and momentary bass guitar emphasis. While that heavy progression stomps along, quick-stop space is provided for Walt to drop in lines like “meet me on the corner of 8th and Avenue D.” The opening maniacal progression returns full throttle with the ultimate, sobering statement “when I die like Belushi, excess is what I bleed.”
Song For Johnny” introduces a slightly western, cow-punk feel and lyrical content that brings to mind the work of a band like Social Distortion. It's still very much in the rock genre, while hinting at the twangy undercurrent often found in the now classic recordings of X and The Gun Club. An impressive chugging guitar and rolling drum mid-section eventually bursts into a searing guitar solo that would not sound out of place with any big time southern rock band. It ends on a triumphant note with the lyric “that train is mighty.”
Other cuts like “Million Dollar Man” chug and stomp like the best of AC/DC. There's that Bon Scott/Brian Johnson hybrid level again in the way Walt's vocals drop between crunching Angus Young style chords. Straight ahead 4-on-the-floor drumming on the verses gives way to slithering bass, leading into a sinewy guitar solo. “My strength come from the inside” Walt sings, indicating the necessary component for the confidence needed to “strut like a peacock.”

Tapping into the aggression that served The Sex Pistols so well on their “Never mind The Bollocks” debut album, “Punk Almighty” is unleashed with similar force.  “Rebellion is your nature. Attitude is the norm," Walt sings.  "Adolescent uprising. Spitting in the face of danger. . . . now a poster on my wall. Wasn't always clear. The truth hurts sometimes.  DIY is the mantra – violence is the guise. Anarchy the common theme, a wicked mind arise. So much more than the music, we keep a state of mind."   The Chorus delivers a triumphant statement:  “All hail the punk almighty, you gave us a place to stand. Turning children in to men. All hail the punk almighty, you took me to the promised land. All hail the punk almighty, you gave us everything you can.” A roll call of influential artists get name checked with Joe Strummer, Wayne Kramer and Iggy Pop earning special mention.

Ten songs in all, the full-length long-player comes out on September 20th.

SickWalt will play an album release show on the 20th at The VNYL- Vintage New York Lifestyle 100 Third Avenue New York, NY 10003.  Find out all the details about it HERE.

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Janet Devlin Interview – Catching Up + What's Coming

Returning to New York City and it's surrounding ocean-side locales for what now has become an annual late summer visit, noted UK pop singer Janet Devlin graciously took time out on Thursday afternoon, August 15 for a catch-up interview. Nearly three years had passed since initial contact was made with the Northern Irish singer-songwriter, and a number of questions had been developing in that time, just waiting to be asked.

While details on the follow-up to her highly acclaimed debut record “Running With Scissors” have been scare (with only snippets of info emerging), she has confirmed it will be a full-length concept album called “Confessional.” Meeting up with Janet in the midtown Manhattan office of her US Publicist Reybee (with OK! Good Records represented as well) Janet and I sat down for a Q and A covering a wide variety of topics.

After our initial pleasantries I remark on how well she edits her videos, whereby she reveals all of that is self-taught through studying YouTube tutorials.

D: That's interesting and a good point. If you want to learn something (these days) all you have to do is “google” it.

J: It's just my personality, because asking for help was one of the biggest complaints from my teachers in school - “refuses to ask for help.” Whereas now I'm living in the age of [makes typing motion on computer search engine] how do I . . . ?

D: Exactly. As a writer, the second I'm not sure of the spelling of a word . . . the info is right there.

J: I use Siri for that, where I'll say 'hey Siri and say the word, and that will google it straight away.

D: I haven't mastered Siri yet, that's how behind I am.

J: That's only on my laptop, not my phone. My phone Siri hates me – hasn't a clue – doesn't understand me at all.

D: I accidentally put it on sometimes and then yell at it 'I don't want to talk to you' – and it almost says 'you don't have to be so rude.'

J: Ha, ha.

[Update:  I've now started using Siri for these searches as a result of this interview and have found it quite useful - so, thank you Janet!]

D: So - You -  Janet Devlin – on the internet – through OK Good Records and Reybee PR made me aware of your existence, 'cause I confess I was not aware of the whole X-Factor thing.

J: Yes, sure – that is a UK thing.

D: You are a professional that has grown up over the last 8 years in the public eye [at which point Janet leans her head back and makes one of those cartoon faces of woe and we laugh] - It's good too, though.

J: It's cool. All my awkward moments are on the internet, I love that.

D: It has to be wonderful to be 24 years of age and still at the beginning of your musical career that includes a film out now as well called “Songbird.”

J: Yeah, that has won awards now, which is really random. I never thought I'd be acting and never thought I'd win music awards for the movie either, so yeah that's insane. Good fun as a project. I didn't obviously do it for any lacking of stuff, I just did it because I had seen an independent crew that had the same passion for making things as I did.

D: That would be the team of Tommy Draper and Sophie Black?

J: Yes. So I think my background in independent music – it's that thing that if you're not doing it for the money, you're actually doing it because you really, really want to. So you're willing to give up more time per actual reward – so they're exactly the same with that mentality in the movie world. It was a fun experience and getting to write songs in character was really fun as well.

D: You say now that you listen to a lot of Podcasts.

J:  Yes, I do.

D: They are a Zeitgeist of our present time. There are new one's popping up daily and have gone a long way in replacing what radio once meant to us. It's the * new * radio.

J: For sure. What I like about them is the same as how YouTube has replaced television for a lot of people. That is, you as the consumer get to choose get to choose who your host is. Instead of a big corporation saying 'here's your host,' just deal with it. We get to pick and that's one of the reasons I like them.

D: It's definitely created a new golden age of having everything out there at your fingertips, and you can pull from so many different sources. You do have companies driving many of these podcasts now.  iheartRadio is a big one. I understand that you enjoy listening to the Joe Rogan Experience.

J: I do indeed, I am very much a big Joe Rogan fan.

D: His is the No. 1 Podcast out there right now.

J: I think it's the biggest and I would say the most influential as well.

D: He is just a relentless ball of energy.

J: I get a lot of stick for being a fan of his from some of my, shall we say over-intellectual friends who dismiss what he does.

D: Is this because he had guests from both sides of the political spectrum on his show? That he won't censor who he has in this regard (even though he himself identifies with the left)?

J: No it's not really the political issues, they just don't get it and think he's kind of stupid. I like that he asks questions that are sometimes silly but other times you think 'that's so simple it's genius.' Especially when he has really intellectual people on, sometimes he has to ask really easy questions for everyone else listening and I really appreciate that. I also like him as somebody to look up to in regards to – I'm a mad lover of a schedule – and I love working out – and I like that he's also someone who works out and still has a creative existence.

D: He is very well known for both of those things.

J: Back in the day there was this weird divide between creative and athletic types. You had to be one or the other. I quit all of my sports teams back in school because I was going to pursue the creative world – which is so dumb.

We moved on to discussing the challenges of being an artist while still addressing necessary business and commercial aspects.

J: Like not getting paid, working a regular 9-5 job, still create enough music to make an album, make an EP, make merchandise – all that kinds of stuff – but you're not reaping the rewards of it. That is way purer than someone who is like a commodity.

D: You wouldn't trade what you have now for that purity? Because the goal is to break through. You want to be heard by more people.

J: As human beings we always want the next thing. We're always in constant pursuit of more and bigger and greater – and we forget to go 'although what I'm doing right now is pretty darn cool.'

D: I'll tell my local musician friends [who are playing small shows at ground floor level clubs] that it's no knock on their ability. Often times I'll say the bigger act with the better equipment that comes in and plays on the bigger stage with the nicer lights – they're actually not as good as you are, but it comes across as 'better' because of all those other things involved in it.

J: Size of audience and listenership has no correlation to how good you are. Some of the best musicians I have ever met in my life have been friends of mine in-the-middle-of-nowhere Ireland who don't even play gigs – and they're like the best musicians I've ever met. We talk about it in regards to like – 'you need to play this song – you need to do this – it's a great song – and they're like 'I don't wanna' – and I used to be like 'that's insane!' But now I'm on a different appreciation for them. I'm like 'you are making art for you, and that is cool.'

D: It is cool. But – Janet Devlin – the . . . YouTube Creator, celebrity [she laughs] – she's on a different path. She's on a path to . . .

J: Whatever this is.

D: OK, so you are here in America, and OK Good Records has turned their attention to you. I understand there is an album slated for 2020 – in the spring?

J: Looking like it.

D: Is it complete? Is the record done? Or do you have to write another song for it?

J: No, all the writing is done, and all the songs are at a level now where it would take a producer about a week to get everything for mastering.

D: After the release of your debut album “Running With Scissors” and this present moment in time, there was a period where you indicated you were going to call follow-up album “Holy Water.” What made you veer away from that.

J: I always toyed with the idea if it was going to be the actual name of the album or it was just going to be my working title. A lot of my fans know me as someone who loves a good working title. “Outernet song” was “Size Zero” until the day of release. What people don't see is the thousand and one emails that go back and forth for any single song or any single album or any single artwork, so you're very bored of the name of the something before it even comes out. It was just a working title, and also I got some feedback friends of mine who said 'it sounds very religious.'

D: Well, it seems like you haven't really lost that theme much at all.

J: True, going from 'Holy Water' to the album being called “Confessional” is similar. There's something about the phrase 'holy water' is a loaded one for me. It's not for anyone else, but for me it's the idea of cleansing.

D: Did you have the album completed at any point and then decided to scrap the whole thing and start over? Declaring 'I'm different now – this is 4 years in the making – I'm not that person anymore – I must write all new songs.

J: Oh, my God imagine – no my team would murder me. No, no – I was very, very, very set on what this album was and what it's supposed to be – the concept – all these things. It's a weird one, when you make a concept album, you're the only one accountable for all the questions that need to be answered. But yeah, nothing was changed. It's not a modern sounding record. It has contemporary elements, but hopefully it shouldn't date. Because I'm an independent artist I don't have the luxury of making contemporary pop music.

D: You don't really want to.

J: But even if I felt like I wanted to – because sometimes it's good fun to write pop music.

D: I thought “Running With Scissors” had many pop elements in it.

J: Gosh yeah. But without the contemporary sounds, the current sound that is in all the pop songs at the moment.

D: You never autotuned your voice, which would be a horrible thing.

J: Oh, God yeah. Actually, there is one bit on the song “Wonderful.”

D: Which part? Not the “doo doo doo's?”

J: No, “I want to let you in” I think.

D: Well that's probably the most pop song on that record.

J: Gosh, yeah. It's not a deep track.

D: Yeah, but it immediately follows my favorite song on the record - “Things We Lost In The Fire” which is a piano ballad and to me it's lyrically the best composition.

J: Thank you! They're very opposite.

D: Exactly. Which is why I thought you put them in the order they run on the album. Thinking, 'we've got everybody crying here, we better lift the mood!'

J: You do that, really yeah – you try and give albums journeys.

Moving on to other topics, my own recent studies into the evolution of language – and specifically the languages of areas that make up the present United Kingdom – lead this this next line of questioning.

D: How similar is the 8th, 9th and 10th Century Celtic language to the Welsh language. It comes from the same source, right?

J: I know nothing of Welsh. I know that the Irish language and Scottish are pretty close. Irish language is so bizarre in the sense of – you think that vernacular and dialect change a lot for, say – England. You go to different parts of England and they have lots of different accents and words for things. But, in Irish language, there are so many different variations of words just going five minutes down the road – it's ridiculous.

D: [I attempt to retell from memory an anecdote to Janet - from the book on language I'm reading and it's reference to what some call “Irish logic.” The clearer version goes as follows:] The story is told of the raiway station at Ballyhough. It had two clocks which disagreed by some six minutes. When an irate traveller asked a porter what was the use of having two clocks if they didn't tell the same time, the porter replied, “and what would be wanting with two clocks if they told the same time?”

J: [rolling her head back and grinning], she simply states “I love it.”

D: What we always thought were the English literary giants are actually Irish. James Joyce, Spenser, Swift, Wilde, Yeats and one named Synge who I'm not sure the correct pronunciation of that name. Is is like “siiiinge?

J: That's how I would pronounce it. I haven't heard of them. That's terrible – shame on me.

D: Everybody can't know everything, and besides you are busy writing songs and things. We can't spend all our time studying history, although honestly, there is a part of me that would love to.

J: I spent a month at this time last year trying to read James Joyce's collection of work. I took a trip home and just bought his entire body of work. I got stuck on one of his books that are notoriously hard to read.

D: Because it's written in the language of the way he wrote at the time, which is English, but Irish-English.

J: Yes. So I understand why my American and English friends really struggle to read it. The book is Finnegan's Wake. But when my Irish mates and I are struggling, we just read it out loud and we're like ah yes of course.

Serving as a reference source for some of the questions in this interview (and an overall enlightening dive into the subject) is the first edition of The Story Of English by Robert McCrum, William Cran and Robert MacNeil.

Additionally motivated by my own Irish ancestry, the meticulously researched and entertainingly told information therein delivers a goldmine of knowledge. The story of English in Ireland throws up many questions: what is the source of our fascination with the Irish voice? Why is Irish literature in English so impressive? And, most elusive of all, what has been the exact influence of the Irish on the English language itself?

The marriage of Gaelic and English constructions is the chief characteristic of Irish speech. It is well illustrated by a conversational sentence describing the marriage of a young couple who had courted each other at the church gate: “Tis an aise to the gate they to be married,” which could be translated into “did you know that for years before they were married, they used to meet at the wooden gate?” The Hiberno-English sentence is a more or less direct translation of the Irish “Is mor an suaimhneas don gheata iad a bheith posta,” which rendered literally in Standard English comes out as a wooden and almost meaningless, “It's a relief to the gate that they're married.”

Janet's own County Tyrone (itself an anglicization of Tir Eoghain, Land of Owen), exemplifies the collision of the two languages. There are Gaelic words which are quite widely used in Tyrone. One that we are all familiar with is banshee. This has no English equivalent. Literally, it means 'fairy woman' – bean (woman) si (fairy). In one area of Tyrone banshee is associated with a little white-haired woman who has the ability to transform herself into a white cat. Another Tyrone word is keeny, meaning 'to cry, in a wailing way.' It comes from caoine, 'wail' . . . and is associated with the idea of death.

Tyrone English has many of the other typical marks of the Gaelic influence. There are local construction like sevendable for “wonderful” (literally, “seven-double, meaning doubly lucky). Unlike the Scots and the English, the Irish have never had a dictionary of Hiberno-English. Many words and phrases commonly used in Ireland are not to be found in any Standard English or American lexicon. The Elizabethans were eloquent before they were grammatical and the same is true of the Irish. Their English lives on the lips of ordinary people and in the minds of the Irish writers who can use it and play upon it without hindrance. Other areas, like for instance the Wexford region sustains an extraordinarily rich vocabulary, part Anglo-Norman English, part Gaelic. A “parsnip” is a neape, an Old English word that would not be strange to a Scotsman today.

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While waiting for Janet's new music to arrive, be sure to check out her previous single release "I Lied To You."  The song emerged from a poem she wrote a few years ago, serving as an apology to the ones she loves. Recorded at Metropolis Studios London and mastered at Abbey Road, Janet combined her long term musicians with a lush string orchestra to deliver her personal vision of the song.

Check it out right here:

Get the song here:

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Previous features about Janet on this site can be found here and here.

Keep up to date with everything Janet Devlin related via her official website:

UPDATE:  Janet has now revealed significant info regarding her new album!  Janet states:

Hello friends! At LAST, the time has come for me to unveil the big news about what I’ve been working on for the longest time!! I’m very proud and extremely excited to announce details of my upcoming album, Confessional, and all the wonderful elements that make up this project. I’ll let you watch the video to find out more, but needless to say I’ve put my heart and soul into this and I hope you’ll come with me on the journey. Consider this to be the first piece of a much larger puzzle - so stay tuned to this channel and my socials and hold on tight as the next six months are going to be full of surprises and somewhat revealing!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Robert Gordon, Electrajets, The Trash Bags, Beechwood, Hannah Cohen, Foxwarren

With the rising temperatures and associated humidity making air conditioning and frequent trips to the beach a necessity in this the mid-point summer month of July, evening live shows in airy venues become choice entertainment locales. While one noteworthy NYC venue threw a party for music fans before it shut down for renovations, most others continued to roll out that nightly flow of performances we know will go on ad infinitum. The occasional collaborative partnership has been known to develop at some of the more celebrated events, with one of those perfect storm shows meticulously captured below.

In anticipation of an eight-month shut down for renovations, Irving Plaza hosted an Appreciation Night for all the fans that have attended shows at this storied venue since it was converted to a rock music house in 1978. The amount of shows this writer has been at (and a part of) this space are far too numerous to mention, but it spans all the decades that follow that very New York City Punk Rock (and New Wave) year of '78.

Robert Gordon is one of those artists that came to recognition for many of us (who were young and coming of age at that time in NYC) through the 1976Live At CBGB's” album as the lead singer of the band Tuff Darts. After making everyone aware of his distinctive vocal style and frontman presence (including influential songwriter and record producer Richard Gottehrer), RG quickly moved on to a solo career and pairing with rockabilly guitar extraordinaire Link Wray. They did two critically acclaimed albums together in 77 and 78 that produced early hits, including the first (and best) Springsteen cover of “Fire.”

After parting ways with Link Wray in 78, a British guitarist of near equal acclaim in Chris Spedding joined Robert for a series of albums on the prestigious RCA label. That pairing produced a prolific run of records including “Rock Billy Boogie,” “Bad Boy,” and “Are You Gonna Be the One.” In the time passed since then, RG has continued to tour and put out an assortment of live albums as well as a collection of new studio work titled “Satisfied Mind.”

Warming the audience up for Robert's imminent arrival, Rob Stoner lead the three-piece band through a raucous introductory rocker before the man himself took the stage for a classic rendition of his 1981 (Marshall Crenshaw penned) hit “Someday Someway.”

Re-connecting with previously-established mutual professional-admiration friends, emerging live show photographer Clutterhead contributes a number of compelling shots from her manically enthusiastic lens (like the one above) here, adding close-up portrait-like detail.

Moving right on to “Lover Boy” (from 1981's “Are You Gonna Be The One”) the spirit of “Sun SessionsElvis Presley chugged along like a train out of Memphis.

A brilliant rendition of the Graham Gouldman penned, 1965 Yardbirds hit “Heart Full of Soul” followed that. Along with RG's uniquely faithful rendition of that classic, Rob Stoner's background vocals single-handedly carried the weight of those counter-melodies.

Photo by @Clutterhead

Something of a legend in his own right, multi-instrumentalist Rob Stoner also enjoyed feature artist notoriety with two solo albums in the early 1980's. His debut “Patriotic Duty” was released on MCA Records in 1980, with 1983's “If You Want It Enough” on the iconic Sun Records label. That noted, his value as the perfect bandleader, backing vocalist and side-man foil is unparalleled. Among all the big name artists he's provided this support for, working as Bob Dylan's right-hand man (bandleader, opening act and bass player) for his Rolling Thunder Review tour from 1975-78 bears this out.

Kicking in to one of his more recent recordings, RG and his band delivered a low-down chugging version of the title track from his 2014 album “I'm Coming Home.”  That particular song (and especially it's arrangement) embodies the spirit of what original country-roots rockers like Jimmie Rodgers were doing in 1957.

Introducing the band's new guitarist Jason Green (his first show with them on this very night) they launched into the mid-tempo chugger “Hello Walls” before stopping after a few bars. When Robert asked “is that really the key?” Rob replied with an emphatic “for sure, bro!” It was hard to tell if this was a-pre-planned part of the show, or just more of the joking around they did throughout the entire evening. The rendition was otherwise seamless, and no one sounded out of key or sync with each other.

Photo by @Clutterhead

Speaking of the band, RG's introduction of drummer Thommy Price had the audience chuckling when he said "We go way back.  You know, Thommy and me - we got into a lot of trouble back in the day.  In this very joint!"  A prolific and in-demand session drummer, his rock solid beats have also provided support for a number of big time rock and pop acts.

Asking Rob if he'd like to do a duet, RG and band delivered that easy '50's-60's style stroll on the 1963 Dale and Grace hit (first written and recorded by Don and Dewey in 1957) "I'm Leaving It Up To You."

Engaging with the audience and chatting between songs, classic cuts like "Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache," Johnny Burnette's "Dreamin,'" and The Everly Brothers "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)" were all played with the ease and precision of someone said right from the stage "has been doing this since I was 15 years old."

Photo by @Clutterhead

Re-introducing new guitarist Jason Green once again, RG complimented him on his ability to quickly learn the admittedly large amount of material so quickly.  A 25 year professional musician, he specializes in blues, western swing, bluegrass, jazz and latin styles (and surely others).  He nailed each and every song on this evening.

Holding up the set-list for the audience (and RG himself) to peruse.

And someone in the front row there taking that shot.

Other highlights included the shame-if-he-didn't-play-it "Way I Walk" (done to "shooby dooby" perfection), the Bruce classic "Fire" (Thommy gets a deserved hand-slap from RG at the end of that one) and "Walk On By."

While all-access revelers enjoyed the show from side stage (a point-of-view this writer had previously experienced, covered in this feature) the show continued to pick up steam with classic renditions of "Little Sister" and Gene Vincent's "I Sure Miss You."

Additional highlights included the Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman penned for Elvis (but was a hit for Terry Stafford in 1964) "Suspicion."  At this point the pre-encore portion of the show ended and the band headed off for a quick break.

There's no way the audience wasn't bringing him back, and on return (and a few practice "brrrrr's") launched into his own classic tune "Black Slacks."

Sticking with that influential 1979 album,title track "Rock Billy Boogie" closed out the night on a rockabilly high-note and expected raucous fashion.

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Keep up to date on all of Robert Gordon's upcoming live dates via his active
International Fan Club Facebook Group

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Taking command of the big stage spotlight just before the headliner, New York City's ElectraJets dazzled the audience with an inspired set of their forward-looking hybrid of early 70's glam and late-70's punk sound.

Built around the songwriting of literary musician Jeff Ward (who in addition to making music has published three novels), the overall feel coming from the stage updates the early glam-rock of Bolan, Bowie and even Nick Drake with an edgier NYC street sensibility.

Photo by @Clutterhead

That NYC street vibe can attributed in large part to the sonic contributions from Cynthia “B-Girl” Ross on bass, backing vocals and overall stage-front visual counterpart.

Photo by @Clutterhead

Sitting in with the band on drums for this show was veteran New York percussionist Bob Bert.

Much of the rock music ElectraJets makes has angular rhythms with rough-edged guitar punctuation's that tend to avoid more straight-forward chugging rock and roll.  Poetic lyrical lines emerge providing glimmers of introspective thought.  "Any day when the sun's out - try to make sense of our dark side - though it's better inside."

Coming together in NYC from two separate eras and regions saw the continuous lines between glam and punk draw Jeff and Cynthia together.  Jeff initially came over from England in the 90's while touring with his band Gunfire Dance.  Cynthia followed a similar route out of Toronto in the late 70's with her pioneering all-female punk band The B Girls.

Photo by @Clutterhead

With the downtown New York City music scene never really ever letting go of the spirit of CBGB's (even John Varvatos clothing store has tried to maintain some kind of respect for it) those still connected to it all have simply moved up the street a few blocks to The Bowery Electric, and over to similarly like-minded venues like Coney Island Baby and Berlin.

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Featured tracks from the coming album "Transatlantic Tales" like the T-Rex inspired "4.A.M. Strangeways" emphasize a descending melodic progression with locked-in chugging guitar chords, bass notes and rolling tom toms.  While Cynthia holds down the rhythm, Jeff let's loose with some tasty high-register riffs in-between chunky chords and vocal lines.

Check it out here:

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Photos by @Clutterhead

Bomb Bomb Bomb” comes on like an easy rolling, in-the-pocket groove, wrapped in chunky guitar chords shot through with acid-electric riffs. “Shoo wop and shooby doo's” serve as introduction to the songs vocals that carry a lyrical message on the dangers of war. The conversational style is fascinating, with lines like “I go to work I'm an honest man. I come home . . . play with the kids I'm uncle Jeff. I'm from a family that has right and left.

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There's an element of Daniel Ash/Love and Rockets playfulness (who also admired the T-Rex model) on the poppy “Morphic Resonance.” With concise and clever rhymes like “elevation through electric skies, makes my heart go my oh my!” ultimately leads to the catchy payoff “you're morphic resonance, breaks down on my defense.”

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Photos by @Clutterhead

ElectraJets will be hosting a NYC Record Release Party for their upcoming album "Transatlantic Tales" (to be released on Walter Stewart's Tarbeach Records label) on Saturday, September 7th at Berlin - Under AUK Record Release Parties are set for November 8th in Birmingham and Saturday, November 9th at The Unicorn in London.

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A wild and furious trashy-glam punk-rock show throttled the stage just prior to the above as New York City's The Trash Bags got down and dirty with multiple forays over the railing and into the audience by front-man Chuck Bones.

Seemingly conceived in the mold of The Cramps, a similarly styled edgy guitarist evoked memories of Poison Ivy, while the leather-clad lead vocalist channeled Lux Interior energy throughout much of his performance.

 Photo by @Clutterhead

Fleshed out with bassist Tito E and drummer Lyla T, the band ripped through a hyper-charged set that had the audience hanging on to their every move.

There is also an element of the Stooges in the way front-man Chuck Bones physically throws himself around. Like a taller, lanky version of Iggy Pop, a similar level of reckless menace keeps the audience in a 'what's-he-going-to-do-next' state of anticipation.

Photo by @Clutterhead

Within the first :40 seconds of “Hot Mess” Chuck has already dropped to his knees once and fallen on his back in a heap on the floor. The rhythm is closer to Ramones style with the rest of the band delivering tight “hot mess” backing vocals in a similar “hey ho” manner. Shrieking like a banshee as the band throttles along, Chuck ultimately winds up (where else?) writhing on the floor. On getting back to the mic stand he tenderly states “love you Grandma.” While still adjusting the mic on the stand adds “not really my grandma, but she's pretty good.”

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Photo by @Clutterhead

An Ennio Morricone Spaghetti Western rhythm serves as the basis for another reflection on the edgier side rock and roll with “Trash.” “Who's making that noise – who's making that racket? Black leather boots – black leather jackeeeeeeet” (elongating out that last word). Growling and pointing an accusatory finger to the crowd, the declaration “we're all trash!” is made abundantly clear. With Chuck wading deep into the audience, the band morphs over into a more B-52s-like groove before the final verse is delivered from deep inside the crowd.

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Photos by @Clutterhead

Other Trash Bag ditties came in rapid fire succession, including one one about "a pocket full of illegal white stuff."   Call and response vocals between Chuck and Elisa - "Johnny, Johnny, Johnny" provided just enough diversion inside the forward driving, four-on-the-floor punk rocker.

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Photos by @Clutterhead

Coming closest to the downward driving amusement park horror of The Cramps on “Too Bad,” Chuck sings: “Walk down the street – I got this feeling inside. I'm feelin' kid of weak. I got nowhere to hide. Too bad – too late – tonight You're gonna cry – you're gonna die!” Special props to drummer Lyla who's backround vocals on the chorus completes the carnival ride sensation.

Check out that performance right here:

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Photos by @Clutterhead

The Trash Bags play next on July 28 as part of the Sally Can't Dance Presents Stiv Bators, Celebrating The Life of a Dead Boy.

Among many others (including The B Girls).

       The Trash Bags also have a show at Rippers in Rockaway on August 4.

Between set conversation with poet, author, performer, producer and all around creative person Puma Perl (always a pleasure) and caught live getting an earful from Chuck Bones.

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Arriving at the venue just in time to catch a full set from the young and exciting Beechwood saw this still emerging band exhibiting a more experienced and confident stage presence.

Having previously caught a most impressive live show by this relatively new on the scene band (covered here) as well as review writing done on both this site and The Deli Mag (both on the Web and in Print) an even more dynamic show was expected in this larger room.

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Photos by @Clutterhead

Those expectations were met and surpassed as the band made the most out of the big concert lighting, sound and additional space to move around in.  Playing tracks from their recorded works on Alive Natural Sound Records, an expected emphasis was placed on latest album "Inside The Flesh Hotel."

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Photos by @Clutterhead

Flesh Hotel” chugs along bold power chords, matched bass root-notes, whispery-to-shout vocals and guitar counter-melodies galore. Encompassing a blend of dinosaur stomp and Raveonettes-style twang, there's even a tempo change midway through that packs a lot into a three minute song.

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Photos by @Clutterhead

A more anthemic vibe emerges on Daniel Ash inspired, breathy tandem vocal “Boy Before.” An appealing call-and-response vocal segment that goes “I used to hang out in the sun – and keep away from everyone” leads into bold rhythmic strokes and triumphant melody lines.

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Photos by @Clutterhead

Elements of gazey psych-pop can be felt in the dreamy “Over on Everyone.” Amid the noisey backing haze, ear-pleasing melodies emerge through seemingly both descending and ascending figures. The nihilism contained in lyrics stating “let's try to get over on everyone. That's why you'll always be the one,” point to an opportunistic level of survival skills.

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Photos by @Clutterhead

Beechwood is currently on a European Summer Tour, and all dates can be found here.

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A few days earlier The Bowery Ballroom featured an enticing show pairing two distinctly different, yet ultimately complimentary touring partners.  New York folk chanteuse Hannah Cohen and Canadian storytellers Foxwarren made a stop at that popular Delancey Street concert venue.

Touring in support of her third album "Welcome Home," Hannah Cohen presented her light and airy acoustic guitar driven music supported by a combo of guitar, bass and drums.

With Woodstock, NY serving as her actual home base, most of the album's tracks came to fruition in Brooklyn (just across the bridge from where she was performing on this evening).

Additional motivation to experience how this singer had evolved both on record and live came from catching her a few years back when she was touring her second record "Pleasure Boy" (a review of that live show can be found here).

Her onstage banter and interaction with both her fellow musicians and the audience was cheerful and endearing, like when she decided to start over centerpiece song "This Is Your Life" because she wasn't happy with the initial notes and because (as she said) "it's cool like that."

That elicited a loud, positive response from the audience, which also served to bring those listeners in closer to the musical world she's created.

That world is calm, dreamy and intimate.  With lyrics that question at first, provide answers next, before describing the state of flux it all seems to be.  "This is your life . . what's your move?  I'll telly you what it is - the moment you see it, you want it, take the risk. You're out of your mind and that's alright. Out of your mind, it is what it is or it is not."

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Other highlight numbers like the gently R and B soul-tinged “All I Want” explore levels of intimacy (“you're all I see – don't look at me like that. Right from the start, you were playing with a broken heart”) while establishing a big enough hook for anyone to latch onto: “All I really want is you – play your records all the time.”

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"Welcome Home" is a gorgeous album that combines lyrical introspection with just enough auditory ambiance to satisfy anyone looking for something new to dig into.  All of that was on full display in this live setting.

Check out the whole album on your streaming service of choice here.

Hannah will play Brooklyn next with Sam Evian on August 18th at Union Pool for a Summer Thunder show.  That will be followed by a European Tour together that will take them into early September.

Mirror selfies wearing the T-Shirt of a band you love are always acceptable.

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Formed more than a decade ago, headliners Foxwarren brought their Canadian prairie manner and thoughtful collaborative music to an eagerly anticipating downtown New York City audience.

Centered around singer/songwriter Andy Shauf (who has enjoyed success as a solo artist for a number years now), the band served to support that storytelling with spacious arrangements on electric guitar, bass, drums and pedal steel guitar.

For his part, Shauf employs a unique vocal style, where his pronunciation and diction on the words he sings is like no one else.  It's singularly unique and serves in part for his appeal.  Having recently cut his hair (all the promo photos show very long hair) one audience member shouted out "nice haircut!" whereby Andy quietly replied "yeah, I threw all that in the trash."

With the band comprised of childhood friends (two who are brothers) guitarist/backing vocalist Dallas Bryson and especially bassist Darryl Kissick (who's brother Avery plays the drums) lead the band through a number of tracks from their long-awaited, self-titled debut album.  A pedal steel guitarist also provided an important level of textures in this live setting.

The band's name comes from the Kissick brothers' family home in Foxwarren, Manitoba.  However, most of the album was recorded in Regina, Saskatchewan in a rented house where the members all roomed together.

Everything Apart” builds off of an angular bass-line with syncopated percussion and a singular humming note running through it. “Everything would be exactly according to plan, if I could find someone who canShauf sings as a vocal mantra in his uncommon vocal phrasing style.

To Be” comes on at a measured pace, with it's acoustic guitar and sturdy drum pattern rhythm enhanced by searing lead guitar interludes. While his phrasing is like no one else, the tonal register of Shauf's voice is similar to Paul Simon.

Stunning imagery can be found in the video created for “Lost on You,” a song that emphasizes two distinct progressions. While the views bring together footage from Nevada's Death Valley to the Pacific Coast of California (enhanced by creatively placed LED tube lights) the song moves from dreamlike ambiance to a descending beat driven rhythm, before giving way to Shauf's ruminations on our nightly dreams. “Oh patient day, bring the idle night/Do we live with it if we close our eyes.”

Check out that video here:

Items to acquire at the show

The Foxwarren tour continues with these shows still to come:

July 25 - Salt Lake City, UT // Gallivan Center 
July 27 - Squamish, BC // Constellation Festival 
August 14 - Luxembourg, LU - Rotondes 
Aug 16 - St. Malo, FR // La Route Du Rock 
Aug 18 - Brecon Beacons, UK // Greenman Festival 
Aug 21 - Hamburg, DE // Molotow 
Aug 22 - Erfurt, DE // Franz Mehlhose 
Aug 23 - Munich, DE // Hauskonzerte Series 
Aug 24 - Storkow, DE // Alínæ Lumr

Keep up with the bands activities here on their official site.

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