Dennis Dunaway – Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs!

I am eager to get an autographed copy of Dennis Dunaway‘s forthcoming book, Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! 

I’m trying to decide if I attend the official launch at the Strand Book Store in the East Village of New York City on June 9th. This event will feature co-author Chris Hodenfield, live music from Blue Coupe the angry orphans supergroup of Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper), Joe and Albert Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult) and Manic Panic, Tish and Snooky.

Or attend the July 16th book signing event in Westport, CT at the Barnes & Noble. The pros of the Westport event is it’s much closer, just a car ride of 30 mins without traffic, train and subway fare.. It appears there might be acoustic music that night but probably not the same order of magnitude of the Strand event.

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Whole Lotta Warren Haynes Going On!

Warren Haynes is one of the most versatile musicians in popular music today. He is equally at home playing with The Allman Bros., The Grateful Dead and his own band Gov’t. Mule. He excels at jamming in so many genres.

Warren Haynes is readying his third “solo” album for release on July 24th. I find the designation solo album misleading because the recording features Railroad Earth extensively throughout the tracks. I prefer to call Ashes and Dust a collaboration.

If you have ever seen Warren Haynes perform live you know he is open to many inputs.  He is inviting and inclusive with everyone he performs with.

Also bringing their talents to Ashes and Dust is the vibrant artist Grace Potter, who joins Haynes for the only duet on the album on “Gold Dust Woman”.  The album additionally features singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin and harmonica player Mickey Raphael who each make an appearance on “Wanderlust.” Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge and percussionist Marc Quinones play on “Spots of Time,” a song written by Haynes and Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead.

I am looking forward to owning this album and have included the first track featured on Sound Cloud, “Spots of Time”.

But wait to add icing to the cake, Warren Haynes and Railroad Earth were filmed performing on PBS Front and Center. Check your local PBS programming guides to catch this superb concert starting in June.

I am looking forward to Warren Haynes appearing at The Gathering of the Vibes 20th Anniversary Special this summer in my backyard here in Bridgeport, CT.

Love my Vibe Tribe can’t wait to hang with y’all again 🙂

PONORevealer

I was playing with my favorite toy, the Pono Music Player this morning. There’s a new app called PONORevealer. The PonoRevealer is a new feature on your PonoPlayer that will allow you to switch seamlessly between different audio resolutions to compare the differences in the sound quality.

I tested it with Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” which is the default demo file. The PonoPlayer hardware will make the compressed files sound better than you’ve likely ever heard a compressed file sound before.

I posted the tutorial if you want a more detailed explanation.

Our Memories of B.B. King

I was sad to learn from my wife when I awoke this morning that B.B. King had passed in the night. It was his wish that when he went he would die in his sleep.

We love B.B. King. We had seen him perform nine times in concert since 1997. No one epitomizes the blues as B. does. He was truly the King of the Blues.

The most special memory I have of B.B. King took place at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Uncasville, CT. B.B. King’s management had struck a multi-year partnership with Foxwoods. The agreement included annual appearances by B.B. King at the Fox Theatre, a B.B. Southern Cuisine Restaurant (great food by the way) and a B.B. King night club.

B.B. King 2004 Tour Poster
This poster was in my merchandise bag that night 😉

I purchased general admission tickets for B.B. King’s concert at the Fox Theatre, January 9th, 2004. While my wife and our friends gambled I stood first on line to get us the best seats. As it turned out I secured us front row seats. Our vantage point to B.B. King was incredible. He couldn’t have been more than 30 feet away.

I loved watching him play Lucille. His fingers flew along the neck of his guitar. About two-thirds of the way through the set I felt a connection with B.B. King.

What happened next I could never have predicted. I watched as B.B. King smiled at me. He finished “The Thrill Is Gone” and the next thing I see is that he flings his guitar pick directly at me. It sails through the air perfectly, no waffling. I try to catch it. But B.B. King is too quick for me.

The pick goes under my seat. I try to find it. I can’t. I start to get privately upset. I tell myself calm down when the show ends and the house lights come on you’ll find it.

Well the show ends and several people in the venue come by my chair to find that pick. I still can’t find it. I start to think maybe another patron scoffed it. I stop looking as do others. We get ready to leave the theatre and I pull my souvenir bag from under the seat. I decided to look in the bag at the merchandise I had purchased before the show. Don’t you know the pick B.B. King had sailed to me had hit the souvenir bag as it was open at the top. I was amazed at B.B. King’s aim. I thought what are the chances of that happening?

B.B. King Shadow Box
I had this shadow box made. The white pick in the lower right hand corner is the pick B.B. King sailed to me from the stage. The other pick and guitar pins were acquired at the end of other B.B. King concerts we have attended.

So as I sit here today and reflect on all the good times that rolled with B.B. King in concert, I am grateful for that special connection. B.B. King we love and miss you. Please make a place for us on the other side.

God Bless You B.B. King, the gift of the blues burns brightly in the music of our heart.

Made in Chicago – Jack Dejohnette, Muhal Richard Abrams, Larry Gray, Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill

I purchased this audio CD recording through an Amazon secondary supplier. It is an amazing concert with many unique textures of sound that envelop the listener.

The 50th anniversary celebration of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians continues to flourish with Made In Chicago, an exhilarating live album.

Henry Threadgill: alto saxophone, bass flute
Roscoe Mitchell: alto, soprano and sopranino saxophones, bass recorder, baroque flute
Muhal Richard Abrams: piano
Larry Gray: double bass, cello
Jack DeJohnette: drums

Jack DeJohnette celebrates a reunion with old friends. In 1962, DeJohnette, Roscoe Mitchell and Henry Threadgill were all classmates at Wilson Junior College on Chicago’s Southside, pooling energies and enthusiasms in jam sessions. Shortly thereafter Jack joined Muhal Richard Abrams’ Experimental Band, and Roscoe and Henry soon followed him. When Abrams cofounded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in 1965, DeJohnette, Mitchell and Threadgill were all deeply involved from the outset, presenting concerts and contributing to each other’s work under the AACM umbrella.

Jack brought them together again for a very special concert at Chicago’s Millenium Park in August 2013, completing the group with the addition of bassist/cellist Larry Gray. The concert recording featuring compositions by Roscoe, Henry, Muhal and Jack, plus group improvising was mixed by Manfred Eicher and Jack DeJohnette at New York’s Avatar Studio.