Posts Tagged ‘the muffin men’

Tunes, Treats & Torrents – The Muffin Men

Anyone who has followed my posts knows that I’m a avid downloader of torrents from Zappateers (and a fantastic bunch of freaks they are – I tip my hat to them for all the excellent Zappa torrents I’ve downloaded through the years). That said, I am also an avid collector of many exceptional Zappa tribute bands (far too numerous to name here, though). Periodically, though, I come across a particular group of musicians that I feel I just have to share. For that purpose, I’ve begun an irregular series entitled, “Tunes, Treats & Torrents” to highlight these groups and their exceptional covers of Zappa compositions.

The first of those bands in this series are The Muffin Men, an incredible group of musicians from Liverpool, UK. When I recently downloaded a torrent of an excerpt of their Kirchheim Tech, Germany show on April 24th, 1993 featuring guests Don Preston, Bunk Gardner, and Jimmy Carl Black I knew I had to share it (especially since live recordings of Bunk Gardner are so incredibly rare anyway). Give these covers a listen and decide what you think:

King Kong – The Muffin Men (Kirchheim Teck, Germany, 24 Apr 1993)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Don Whanks It Out – The Muffin Men (Kirchheim Teck, Germany, 24 Apr 1993)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Son of Mr Green Genes – The Muffin Men (Kirchheim Teck, Germany, 24 Apr 1993)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Willie the Pimp – The Muffin Men (Kirchheim Teck, Germany, 24 Apr 1993)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Muffin Men (circa Spring/Summer 1993):

Roddie Gilliard: guitar, vocals
Ian Jump: stunt guitar
Andy Jacobson: keyboard
Mike Kidson: sax, toys, vocals
Andy Frizell: bass, vocals
Steve Belger: drums

Download torrent from Zappateers here.

P.S. Denny Walley has confirmed he is joining The Muffin Men for their performance at Zappanale in August, 2010.

The Muffin Men @ Fairport & Elsewhere

In 2008, The Muffin Men – a British band, based in Liverpool, England which primarily plays the music of Frank Zappa – performed at Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, performing such Zappa classics as “Zoot Allures”, “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” and “Black Napkins” (above) as well as “Road Ladies“, “San Ber’dino“, and “My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama“.
(more…)

When Do We Get Paid? – Jimmy Carl Black

Since Jimmy Carl Black‘s passing, I have had the great opportunity to listen to much of the man’s post-Mothers of Invention recordings. Agree with me or not, JCB was a very unique musician in his own right. Many of his talents, I fear, were unfairly overlooked by a Frank Zappa wishing to distance himself from the original Mothers. Whether they are blues standards, or eclectic cover versions of Mothers of Invention or Zappa songs, JCB stamped them with his own unique identity. Along the way, he played with some of the greatest musicians you’ve probably never heard of (yet should). Now’s your chance (for at least a taste).
(more…)

The Indian of the Group – Jimmy Carl Black

It was a year ago today (well, okay, a year and a month less two days)…

Born in El Paso, Texas, of Cheyenne heritage, Jimmy Carl Black‘s trademark line, “Hi Boys and Girls, I’m Jimmy Carl Black, and I’m the Indian of the group” followed him throughout his music career. On several Mothers albums he was credited as playing “drums, vocals, and poverty”. The last credit, “poverty” seemed to follow Black’s career as it did many bluesmen of his day like a curse.
(more…)

Jimmy’s Last Tour — Jimmy Carl Black & The Muffin Men

After stumbling across this 1993 promo video of Frank Zappa’s “Willie the Pimp” featuring Jimmy Carl Black and The Muffin Men (live with studio footage), I found the following Podcast on The Muffin Men homepage. The band reminisces about Jimmy’s last tour (gigs he had to cancel due to increasing ill health), his friends attempts to help (including old friend Arthur Brown), and the benefit gigs. The podcast also includes an extended live version of Jimmy Carl Black‘s “Great White Buffalo”.

Click here to listen to horn and guitar solos from “Great White Buffalo” recorded in Aschaffenburg entitled, “Aschbuff”.

Let’s Help Out A Mother

Help Jimmy Carl Black

Last week, Jimmy Carl Black had an operation to remove a tumour on his lung. Now, the tumour has turned out to be cancerous. Idiot Bastard Son, who spoke with Jimmy last Thursday writes:

He sounded fairly chipper, but they say they can now only treat him with more chemotherapy. He comes out of hospital on Monday (1 September) and will soon start his treatment as an out patient. To help Jimmy pay his mounting medical bills, there’s a special limited edition CD (Stick Man For Ever!) and some nifty apparel and other stuff available to buy here. Please do what you can to help the dear old Mother.

Cancer is a treacherous bitch. Do place an order if you can…

Picture courtesy of antaladriaanse

Interview With Jimmy Carl Black

A few months back Just a week ago, Andrew Greenaway did an interview with Jimmy Carl Black. Despite health problems, Jimmy’s in good spirits, performing with The Muffin Men and recording with various other artists across Europe. Just one project he’s worked on:

The CD is called The Jimmy Carl Black Story. It is due out anytime. I basically went into the studio one night and told my life story. It took me about one and a half hours to do it. He [Jon Larsen – ed.] then used some blues players from Oslo and also some of the guys from the Strange News CD for the background music.

Jimmy won’t make it to Zappanale this year, but has already set his mind on next year’s edition. Which is cool, since Sharl and I won’t be able to make it there either this year, for reasons that we may well expound upon at a later date. Read the whole article here.