Posts Tagged ‘blues’

Dust Radio – A Film About Chris Whitley

As a fan of the music of the late Chris Whitley, I was excited to learn that the documentary about his life and music, Dust Radio, had gone into post-production (view trailer above).
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Lady Bianca: Queen of The Blues, 2009

Frank Zappa on KPFA-FM, Los Angeles, circa 1970

I recently came into possession of an audio clip of Frank Zappa as special guest on “The Johnny Otis Show” which ran on KPFA-FM, Los Angeles, circa 1970. During most of hour they spun old records, yet in this clip, a live-in-the-studio performance, Ray Agee is backed by Frank Zappa and Shuggie Otis on guitars. Frank tells a little story to start, then Johnny Otis urges Shuggie to lend Frank a guitar and they launch into an impromptu blues piece. A nice bit of audio history.

Leave Me Alone – Ray Agee, Frank Zappa, Shuggie Otis

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I’d Love to Be a Hippy — North Mississippi Allstars

Founded in 1996, the North Mississippi Allstars is a southern rock/jam band from Hernando, Mississippi, composed of brothers Luther Dickinson (guitar, vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, keyboards, electric washboard) and Chris Chew (electric bass guitar). Their song, “I’d Love to Be a Hippy” is from their sixth studio album, Hernando. In the above clip, the song is performed live “in studio” of WBBB (better known as 96rock, a radio station out of Raleigh, North Carolina).

Incredible how little time it took for a band to mythologize hippies. Perhaps this was what Frank was ultimately getting at when he composed “We’re Turning Again”?

Fraternity Of Man — Oh No I Don’t Believe It

Fraternity Of Man” was released on Abc Records in 1968 and featured a cover of Frank Zappa’s “Oh No I Don’t Believe It” (which he had yet to release himself). Blues leads were handled by Elliot Ingber, and psychedelic leads were played by Warren Klein. The inclusion of this track on this Fraternity Of Man album is widely attributed to Elliot due to his association with the Mothers.

Frank Zappa as KPFA-FM Disc Jockey

Part 1:

In 1968, Tom Donahue interviews Frank Zappa about his life and work, while Zappa spins some of his favorite music ranging from surf music, doo-wop, jazz, the blues, to the works of Pierre Boulez.

The song selection is very informative for any fan of Zappa’s music, as one can easily trace the influence of all these styles on his own creative output, be it the cheesy harmonies of 1950s pop songs or the intricate percussive patterns of Boulez’s avant-garde classical compositions. The role that such songs had on Zappa’s own musical evolution is made all the more clear at the end of this hilarious program when a selection of satirical songs from the Mothers of Invention are also heard.

Zappa’s musical selection:

Agency ManThe Mothers of Invention
Handsome Cabin Boy [traditional] – A.L. Lloyd and Ewan MacColl
Grunion RunThe Hollywood Persuaders
Le Marteau Sans MaîtrePierre Boulez
When We Get MarriedThe Dream Lovers
Memories of El MonteThe Penguins
Goodbye Pork Pie HatCharlie Mingus
Lucy Mae BluesFrankie Lee Sims
The LetterVernon Green & the Medallions
Daddy Daddy – Richard Berry and the Dreamers
TwilightThe Paragons
FlorenceThe Paragons
Florence Don’t Leave Me – The Paragons
Later That Night – The Mothers of Invention
I’ll Be Forever Loving YouThe El Dorados
Cheap Thrills – The Mothers of Invention
Stuff Up The Cracks – The Mothers of Invention

Click here to listen to remaining three parts.

Bourbon Princess – The Waiting Noon

Deep-voiced lead singer/songwriter/bassist Monique Ortiz, who leads the group Bourbon Princess, with original Morphine drummer Jerome Deupree, Either Orchestra saxophonist/leader Russ Gershon and guitarist/pianist Jim Moran, describes their sound as “blue wave: new wave with a little bit of blues and jazz thrown in.”

At times jazzy, other times more rockin’ and hypnotic, this first video release from Dark of Days, the band’s third album (recorded at the legendary HI-N-DRY Studio) has been compared ” in spirit to The Doors, Patti Smith and Nico-era Velvet Underground, as well as the Boston band Morphine.”

Interviewed at Well-Rounded Radio by Charles McEnerney, Ortiz reveals the life of the contemporary working musician in the 21st Century.

Click here for that interview.

Dark of Days

Dark of Days

Holland Doc: Zappa Documentary

For those who missed the posting of this documentary the first time around, here’s it is again (in all it’s glory). Documentary by Roelof Kiers. Zappa talks about his youth, his interest in explosives, blues, guitars, non-Western music and the establishment of The Mothers of Invention. Also, about the unknown possibilities of the vacuum cleaner in family Zappa.

3 CDs From Crossfire Publications

What do you get a Zappa fan for Xmas who has everything (okay, well, mostly everything, then)? There’s always Freak Out ale, or a ZPZ DVD? Or perhaps even the latest offering of FZ-related merchadise from Barfko-Swill.

Myself, after enjoying my serving of Don Preston’s Vile Foamy Ectoplasm which I ordered from CD Baby earlier this year, along with Napoleon Murphy Brock’s After Frank: 1st Movement (featuring Gregarious Movement), and Jimmy Carl Black’s Where’s The $%&§#@’ Beer? I ordered three more Crossfire Publications titles from CD Baby:

Bunk Gardner — It’s All Bunk!

The first-ever Bunk Gardner solo album! It’s All Bunk! spans Bunk’s first sessions with Bud Wattles And His Orchestra (1959) to a live track with The Grandmothers in 1981. In between are post-Mothers improvised recordings done with his late brother Buzz and bassist John Balkin, and melodic pieces with the late Andy Cahan. More than half of these tracks have never been released in any form. In tribute to Buzz Gardner, Buzz’s My Love Has Gone is also included.

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B.E.P. (Jimmy Carl Black, Roy Estrada, Mick Pini) — Hamburger Midnight

Download-only release! In early 2002, former Mothers Of Invention drummer Jimmy Carl Black gave his old bandmate, bassist Roy Estrada, a call to find out if he was interested in recording an album of blues favorites and originals. Roy was completely into it and it was the first time they had recorded together since 1970. They were joined by UK guitarist Mick Pini, who had played with JCB in blues bands over the years. Recorded in Germany, the album contains the title track that Roy Estrada co-wrote and originally recorded with Little Feat. That song is presented as part of a medley and on its own for the first time. Roy also sings Little Richard’s “Directly From My Heart To You,” which Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention released on the album “Weasels Ripped My Flesh.”

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The Grandmothers — Dreams On Long Play (Revised Version)

Download-only release! This edition of The Grandmothers was assembled in Austin, Texas in 1988 by Jimmy Carl Black with guitarist/vocalist Roland St. Germain, violinist Linda Valdmets, woodwind player Gerald “Eli” Smith and bassist Ener Bladezipper. “Dreams On Long Play” appears in its revised version here. For some reason, the band was unhappy with it and re-recorded most of the album (the original version is available separately). Regardless, this edition also features the bonus tracks “Taco Soup In 7/4,” covers of Frank Zappa’s “Let’s Make The Water Turn Black” and “Lonesome Cowboy Burt,” the unedited version of “The,” an edit of “Waiting” and a brilliant cover of The Beatles’ “I Am The Walrus.”

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Check out these and other Crossfire CDs at CD Baby and, perhaps, bring a smile to that Zappa-fanatic near you (and, no, I’m not receiving payola…sniff, sniff…I just dig the Crossfire catalog). The three audio tracks offered as samples are: “Qualude To Chaos And Fine”, “Slinkin’ Around”, and “Lonesome Cowboy Burt (Live at KUT)” respectively.

Note: If anyone feels we are infringing their copyright, contact us and we will remove the item in question.

Monday Mix: Mothers of the Blues

All right, Summer is officially gone, and Fall is now into full swing. It’s Monday, and there’s probably not very much to celebrate. So, what better time to post another KUR Mixtape to start your week off with a bang, Monday Mix: Mothers of the Blues. I dove into my extensive collection of Mothers music over the weekend and picked out thirty tracks which I thought best exemplified their talent performing the blues (since the Mothers were basically a blues band when they they first formed). My choices weren’t limited to just the early Mothers, either, but also included tracks from solo work by various Mothers alumni, too. So, sit back, relax, and for goodness sakes, “Cheer up, things can’t be that bad…we’ve still got the music…and music is the best!”

Click here to listen to the mixtape.

Note: If anyone feels we are infringing their copyright, contact us and we will remove the item in question.