Celebrating the Launch of the Grateful Dead Archive Online

Yesterday marked the grand opening of the Grateful Dead Archive Online. I am one excited Deadhead to be able to share this invaluable living historic site with you. I now have a new pilgrimage to make to the University of California Santa Cruz’s McHenry Library.

The real benefit of this archive is that I don’t have to get in the car tomorrow and head across country to visit the library. I can browse with my Google Chrome Internet browser extensive information about the Grateful Dead across the Web from my home office chair.

I learned about the treasures contained in the historic collection when my wife and I visited The Grateful Dead exhibit at the New York Historic Society on June 18, 2010. The exhibit was just a portion of the extensive Grateful Dead archive on loan from UC Santa Cruz. It was a special day for us as my blog post documents here.

What was even cooler yesterday was that a concert by famed Bay Area band Moonalice was performed in celebration on the lawn of UC Santa Cruz’s McHenry Library.

2012-06-29 @ Grand Opening of Dead Central and Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz

So c’mon fellow Deadheads and music lovers everywhere. Explore the archives and make a contribution online to the archive as we intend to do.


Rosanne Cash Headlines Final Evening of Festival

The International Festival of Arts and Ideas closes out tomorrow night on the New Haven Green with a headliner concert from Rosanne Cash and her band. Its been a fantastic festival this year.

Rosanne Cash will highlight music from her recording, The ListThe List is a deeply personal album: a peaen to her father, Johnny Cash. The selections and the album’s title derive from the list of 100 Essential Country Songs that her father had compiled for her and instructed her to learn when she joined his road show after high school graduation.

The American songwriter says The List is “imbued with tremendous life force.”

It bodes being a wonderful evening under the stars in New Haven with one our nation’s gifted singer/songwriters, Rosanne Cash. 🙂

Darling Be Home Soon Video – Tedeschi Trucks Band

We attended the Tedeschi Trucks Band concert at The Klein in Bridgeport, Ct. on October 29, 2011. It was an intimate, magical evening as this video dynamically captures 😉 TTB performs a tender recreation of Darling Be Home Soon by The Lovin’ Spoonful.

Led Zeppelin

There have been just a hand full of artists these past forty years that once I  heard them I was forever affected by their power and order of magnitude.

Led Zeppelin was the first English rock band, even more than Cream, to galvanize my interest in rock music, first as a blues rock band, then as progenitors of heavy metal. The first and second Led Zeppelin albums provided the strongest one-two punch I’ve ever heard from evolving rock musicians. There was no sophomore jinx with Led Zeppelin II, which shot to Number 1 on the album charts in 1969.



I was clued into Led Zeppelin early in the fall of 1968. I hung out with several music fanatics in high school. One of these guys had relatives in England who informed us of the sensation Led Zeppelin was causing with their initial British tour. By the time Led Zeppelin’s initial album, Led Zeppelin was released in January, 1969 we readied ourselves for the assault on our senses. We were quite unprepared for the onslaught Led Zep would have on us. They took America, particularly FM radio airplay and rock venues across the US by storm.

If you are passionate about Led Zeppelin I urge you to seek out Uncut Magazine‘s The Ultimate Music Guide, Led Zeppelin. It is a well curated collection of articles, insights about Led Zeppelin, their recordings, the band members and the rock and roll saga we love to hear told.

Music of the People: Artists Talk About Music Inspiring Change

As a music journalist I love to attend frank, open music dialogues. We decided to take in the International Festival of Arts & Ideas music talk, “Music of the People: Artists Talk About Music Inspiring Change” this evening at the Yale Center for British Art.

Click to Enlarge

It proved to be a very valuable discussion. I learned a great deal in 90 minutes and walked away with many more music resources than when I arrived. The event was moderated admirably by noted cultural critic, Siddhartha Mitter. Not only was he poised and polished but he effectively managed time, task and gave each participant equal air time to unfold their thoughts and impart their knowledge to us.

The participants were Sunny Jain, MC for Red Baraat, a Brooklyn, NY, Indian bhangra and funky New Orleans brass ensemble. He was warm, genuinely enthusiastic about the music he and his colleagues create. He stated that Red Baraat evidences a blended ideology when it comes to inspiring change.

The next artist was Jessica Schmitz, Co-Director of the group, Asphalt Orchestra. Jessica positioned Asphalt Orchestra as a group that busts barriers by challenging new listeners and passerby’s with spontaneous, guerrilla performances. This is how they inspire change through direct interaction and expanding a listeners music horizions.

The most humble yet most charismatic performer was Noori, represented by songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist, Ali Noor. They are from Pakistan and have achieved major artist recognition status in their country. Noori was formed to create music written to bring about change. Noori best fit the ideal profile of consummate activist and musicians affecting change. The very nature of their intellectual fabric has positioned them at the forefront to bring about social reform and change, which came across with a powerful immediacy.

The last panelist was Sujatha Fernandes, an academic and music author (I added her latest book, Close to the Edge: In Search of Global Hip-Hop to my must own and read list.) Sujatha was very in concert with the topic as she is an associate professor of sociology. She has written about black popular culture, global hip hop, and social movements in both academic journals and popular forums, including The New York TimesThe NationThe Huffington Post, and Colorlines.

Sujatha brought us two great music resources that we listened to and grooved with ;). One was Keurgui Crew, a Senegal Rap artist. We  heard their selection “Coup de Guele”. We also got to hear Magia MC, from Cuba, perform “La Llaman Puta”, a song about prostitution (an issue that doesn’t exist, according to the government).

Jeff Lorber Fusion at Studio 8

Imagine my joy to learn that I have a premier music performance space right around the corner from my house. Its called Studio 8 and its at 215 Pepe’s Farm Road in Milford, Ct. A friend of mine from my Digital Equipment Corporation days (1983-1992) Kat Sarracco and her brother, Frank own and manage this private party lounge. They have a music production and Web design company, Neko Productions.neko logo

This afternoon my wife and I get to witness the The Jeff Lorber Fusion at Studio 8. Cool.

It’s been 33 years since we last saw Jeff Lorber Fusion play live. We caught them at the early show in 1979 at The Bitter End in the Village. The album they were featuring in those days was Water Sign (their 3rd album). I had discovered them first on their second album, Soft Space in 1978. I later purchased Wizard Album, their next recording in 1980 and then lost touch with them. It will be nice to get reacquainted with Jeff Lorber Fusion and Kat Sarraco later today. 🙂

File:Jeff Lorber Water Sign album.jpg