June 24, 2008

"Weather forecast for tonight: Dark" - G. Carlin

May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008

In 1973, when I was 13, a friend of mine gave me a copy of George Carlin's "Class Clown" what a riot...we played that sucker over and over (in secret of course!). We knew George from TV a bit, but these albums hilarious! "AM/FM", "Occupation Fool", and "Toledo Window Box"...we loved them all.

Anyway, one day my Uncle came over, he seemed hip, so I asked him if he had heard George's albums yet, he said no, so I lent it to him. "Whatever you do, don't tell Mom, it's a little raunchy" I said.

Well, several months later I nearly got my ear yanked off, followed by a serious grounding. Seems good 'ol Uncle Tom had forgotten about the "don't tell Mom, it's a little raunchy" part. He was hosting a party at at the home of an old (old being the key word) family friend. At the pool party, after a few drinks, he remembered that he had a comedy record, hell, everybody loves a comedy record! The sad news was my Mom, step Dad, Grandma, and a hand-full of other bluehairs were at the party!! Mom trashed the record, and I never lent another to Uncle Tom!

Well, my love of George's work never waned, the old stuff was classic, but the stuff from the past two decades was biting, and I think spoke more to the state of humankind. George had an amazing insight, and was sometimes very caustic, but I believe underneath he had a heart of gold.

On February 5th 1997, George played here in town. We were busy building our coffeehouse, so I did not go to the show, but I did this piece of art and went to meet him backstage prior to the gig.
A very kind man, we chatted for a few minutes, he signed my work, then had to go inside.

I was very excited, and walked back to the front of the building when I saw a big bush of red hair in the crowd. Having a suspicion, I walked over, sure enough it was Carrot Top! (he grew up here in town). Anyway, he signed the art too adding "my hero", and asked if I'd do a portrait of him.

It was a very kool night even if I did never get to see George perform live.

RIP George...I'm forever a fan!

One of my favorite bits:

"Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck". - George Carlin


June 16, 2008

It's Only Rock 'n' Roll....But I like mine with a little Jam, Thank You Very Much!

And Jam They Do!
From Paonia Colorado -

I first met the Strolling Scones a year and a half ago while on my radio show I was featuring a segment called "YourSpace on the Acoustic Record". I reached out to the band via the wonders of the Internet, they sent a CD, then we had a nice live on air phone interview.

After we chatted I told them that I had a piece of art I created of a VW bus that had not been used, and I thought it might be perfect for them with a few modifications. They saw the work and agreed. A year later they contacted me to do the cover for their newest CD - kool! And that is what we are hear to talk about today, the new release: "INTRORETROSPECTIVE"

This disc KICKS off with the very kool, rockin'-funky, slightly psychedelic "One Way Seat", and jumps right into the poppy Byrds/Raspberries like "Anytime She Passes By". "Taken' Em On" starts with a wonderful wah-wah guitar, and continues to rock on. So one, two, three "Introretrospective" grabs you by the rock and roll heart, and spills it all over the stage.

I may be crazy, but when I listen to the Scones, I hear influences as diverse as The Kinks, Curtis Mayfield, Zombies, The Killers, Faces, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Dusty Springfield, The Strokes, and many others. Hearing Rick sing on sounds like Johnny Rivers meets Ian Anderson meets David LaFlamme....not bad company (maybe a little Bad Company too! - just kidding, well maybe not!) .

Though I love this disc all the way through on my first listen, there are a few other stand out tracks to me this second time around the turntable (so to speak). "Lifeguard at Bikini Beach", "Hard Times on Easy Street", "Trim Rigged Cat", "Gypsy Fever" and the obligatory Kinks cover "Phenomenal Cat".

Most of the tracks on this disc were written by the band's lead singer and lead guitarist Rick Stockton, who wears many hats in the band. Besides being a multi instrumentalist he's also co-producer and arranger. There are many flavors throughout "Introretrospective"...and they all come together (right now) on this contempo-retro journey that will appeal to all true music lovers.

A few questions with the Strolling Scones:

* How long has the band (or members of) been together?
About 3 & a half years. 1st gig was on New Years Eve 2004/2005.

* What might one expect when seeing the Scones in concert?
The Strolling Scones has an element of musical theater. While they aren't a tribute band, the audience is taken on a trip back to Swinging London in the 60's, or possibly the "Summer Of Love" with the lights, the costumes, the music. It's a bit of a circus because each of the musicians has an alternate persona that's pretty fun.

* Can you give a a little history on a few of the band mates "names"?
Yardley London's name came from the Yardley of London cosmetic line that was so hip back in the 60s .... and of course Yardley is very much in to that kind of thing.
T. Malcolm's character was raised by academic parents, hence forth the "Oxford". At first the band was going to be called "T. and the Electric Crumpets"... that's where the "T" came from.
Our latest member, "Rainbow Sunshine", the member with a penchant for mind expanding experimentation, is named after 2 popular types of acid from the bay area.
Sir Randy Scouse Git is the name of a Monkee's tune (minus the "Sir"). Each name is British slang. Randy = horny, Scouse = somebody from Liverpool, and Git = guy
Slide Clubblefield, the only Yank in the band, is a perversion of James Brown's drummer's name, Clyde Stubblefield.

* How long did it take you folks to record your new disc, and what do you consider to be the major differences between your last disc "Well thawed out" and this one?
Introretrospective took about 9 months (from July '07 to March '08) from the first tracks through mixing & mastering. It took longer than planned because we were so busy performing. Introretrospective is a bit edger and more psychedelic than "Well Thawed Out" but it still has some catchy little pop numbers.

* If you could pick one artist or band from the 60's/'70's, and one from the past two decades who may have been a major influence on the Scones, who might they be?
That is a tough one, since we were influenced by so many of the great artists of the 60's. If we had to pick one, I guess we'll pick Ray Davies & The Kinks. Actually, Ray's career is still going strong, so he spans all of the decades from the 60's to now. As far as the last 2 decades, well there are lots of new artists that we like to listen to, but as someone who really had a major influence on what we are doing with the Strolling Scones we'd say Neil Innes, who wrote all of the songs for The Rutles. The 1996 Rutles Archeology album is absolutely brilliant. We've listened to it over and over. Neil has actually been around since the 60's, but we were only peripherally aware of his work until we started doing research for the Scones.

* I'd like you to give a good musical trivia question....the first persons who answer correctly will get the free copies of "Introretrospective" that you all graciously sent in.
OK. Which American female pop vocalist from the 60's dated Elvis Presley and wrote songs with Jimmy Page before he formed Led Zeppelin.
Hint: Her first #1 hit (in 1965) was written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David

T. Malcolm Oxford (Rick Stockton ):

Lead vocals, harmony vocals, 6 string and 12 string guitars, songwriting, inspiration

Yardley London (Helen Highwater) :

Lead vocals, harmony vocals, bass guitar, almost unbelievable cool

Oedipus "Shinetop" Johnson (Jimmy Yozell):

Drums, funk

Rainbow Sunshine (Ellen Ensley):

Lead vocals, harmony vocals, flute, sax, unstoppable energy

Sir Randy Scouse Git (Scott Bennett):
Guitar, vocals, and an encyclopedic knowledge of all things 60's
Stewart Dewar (Justin Hess):
Drums, original drummer (frozen and thawed) still appears with the band when out of rehab

Slide Clubblefield (George Weber) :

Drums, keys (not at the same time), can play just about anything - sometimes even the glockenspiel

"Screamin'" Mimi Manchester (Caroline Ellis Townsend):

Vocals, sunniness, the wild blond

Chelsea Morning (Elliot Jackson):

Vocals, guitar, songwriting, flappability

G. Harrison Harper (Harry Harpoon):
Harmonica, baaad craziness




June 04, 2008

A Wallflower Steps Out

Jakob Dylan
& The Gold Mountain Rebels
at The Social, Orlando 6/3/08

Jakob and crew put on an amazing show, full of his new material last Tuesday night!

I've been a big fan of Jakob Dylan's music ever since my first hearing of the Wallflowers 12 years ago. I'd been a fan of his dad Bob since about the time Jakob was born, and even named my 10yr old son Dylan. I've seen the Senior Dylan live 4 times, (took my boy once), but until last night had never had the opportunity to see Jakob live. It was well worth the wait!

In support of his new solo release "Seeing Things" (produced by Rick Ruben, and due out June 9th), Jakob has kicked off a 'solo' tour with the help of his friends The Gold Mountain Rebels. The Orlando show focused largely on the material from the new disc (playing 8 of the disc's 10 songs). And I loved them all. I know many folks (including my self) were maybe expecting more Wallflowers songs, but in reality it was a real treat to be among the first people to hear these songs. I can't wait for the whole CD. I got the EP and singles off ITunes last week, so I was at least familiar with some of the new stuff.

Much of the music had a folky/acoustic/americana feel (if you want to name it...basically it's just good music!). A few of my favorite songs of the evening: "Something Good This Way Comes", the catchy "Evil Is Alive And Well", "Here He Comes (Confessions Of A Drunken Marionette)" (performed solo), "War Is Kind", my fave off the Bringing down the Horse disc - "Three Marlenas", and "On Up The Mountain".

photos and art by Java John

The Orlando set list:

* All Day And All Night
* Something Good This Way Comes
* Everybody Pays As They Go
* Evil Is Alive And Well
* This End Of The Telescope
* The Beautiful Side of Somewhere
* Here He Comes (Confessions Of A Drunken Marionette) [Jakob solo]

* War Is Kind [Jakob solo]
* Will It Grow
* From The Bottom Of My Heart
* I Wish I Felt Nothing
* Three Marlenas
* Empire In My Mind


* On Up The Mountain
* How Good It Can Get

After the show we waited around a bit to see if the band was going to come back for a meet and greet, in hope that they would sign the poster I designed (below). We met some very talented young artists who were getting ready for a special (weekly) art event, then someone said they were on the bus and might come out there.

So we headed to the bus and met about a dozen other fans. The band's sound guy Jimmy said they would come out after a short rest. Sure enough after about 15 minutes the band came out, and a few minutes later Jakob.

What a Gentleman. He (they all) were very gracious in shaking hands, taking pictures, and signing stuff. Jakob chatted with me for a few minutes, and seemed to truly enjoy my portrait of him, autographing a copy for myself, and one for my son.

poster I created to commemorate the show, signed by Jakob and the band!

I'm hoping to be able to do a short interview with Jakob Dylan in the near future, so please make sure to sign up for updates of this blog!

Have a great tour guys!

give some to the sound guy!


Jun 10 - Blender Theatre at Gramercy,New York, NY
Jun 11 - Late Show with David Letterman New York, NY
Jun 15 - Bonnaroo Music + Arts Festival Manchester, TN
Jun 16 - Workplay, Birmingham, AL
Jun 17 - Music Farm, Charleston, SC
Jun 18 - Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
Jun 27 - Metro,Chicago, Illinois
Jun 28 - St. Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI
Jun 29 - Mountain Stage Taping, Charleston, WV
Jun 30 - Wood Songs, Lexington, KY
Jul 1 - Kentucky Theatre, Lexington, KY
Jul 3 - Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY
Jul 4 - Rothbury Music Festival Rothbury, MI
Jul 5 - 80/35 - Western Gateway Park Des Moines, IO
Jul 6 - Summerfest, Milwaukee, WI
Jul 8 - Austin City Limits taping, Austin, TX
Jul 10 - Ottawa Bluesfest - Bank of America Stage, Ottawa, Ontario

Jul 13 - Winnipeg Folk Festival. Winnipeg, Manitoba
Jul 15 - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Los Angeles, CA
Aug 2 - Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI
Aug 9 - Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Edmonton, Alberta
Aug 17 - Folks Festival, Lyons, CO
Aug 30 - Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival, Seattle, WA
Sep 26 - Austin City Limits Festival, Austin, TX



HEY! Let's not forget:

These local favorites opened the show with a tight set, plenty of great original songs!
Take a listen to their MP3 "Paper Candy" below - Thanks Mike!


Jun 28 - 8:00P: The Backbooth (Headlining Show), Orlando, Florida
Jul 4 - 8:00P: Three Bears Cafe - 4th of July Bash!, Marietta, Georgia
Jul 11 - 8:00P: Paddy Cassidy’s, Cocoa Beach, Florida
Jul 12 - 8:00P: Paddy Cassidy’s, Cocoa Beach, Florida
Jul 19 - 8:00P: The Vinyl, Atlanta, Georgia


Mike Dunn and the Kings of New England

June 02, 2008

Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley where'd ya go?

R.I.P. Mr.D
Bo Diddley (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008)

Sad news today to hear that one of the architects of Rock and Roll has passed...but 15 years ago I was delighted when I heard that Mr. Bo Diddley, the man who put the beat in Rock N Roll, was going to play a Free Concert at the Cocoa Beach Pier on Easter in 1993.

As usual I prepared a portrait in hopes of getting an autograph. This time I thought I'd do one on scratch board.

When showtime came, and I was not having much luck with getting backstage, or any promises of maybe getting to meet the man, so I headed out front to enjoy the show. Once I made my way to the front of the stage, they were welcoming a guest sax player on stage - Kenny Cohen - a multi-talented local legend and friend of mine! So I held up the pix, made some autographing gestures and when the song ended Kenny pointed to the backstage.

So I met Kenny and he gave me a pass and asked if I'd like to sit on the rear of the stage - KOOL!

Bo put on a nice long show, with nice lengthy jams and many hits (his and others), and he told some great stories. After the gig Bo came by and I shook his bear size hand and said "Hey Bo Diddley!". He was a very nice man with kinds words about my artwork as he signed it.

It's always a pleasure to meet a legend, but this time it was extra special because Bo was one of the original rockers. I'll never forget that day or Bo Diddley. Rest In Peace Brother.

Diddley Time-line from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame page:

December 30, 1928:
Ellas Bates McDaniel - a.k.a. Bo Diddley - is born in McComb, Mississippi.

March 2, 1955:
Bo Diddley recorded his monumental first single, “Bo Diddley” b/w “I’m a Man,” on Checkers Records. It tops the R&B chart for two weeks.

November 20, 1955:
Bo Diddley makes his network TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show,

January 1956:
Bo Diddley’s “Pretty Thing” becomes a Top Forty hit. One of his best-known numbers, the song will inspire a British band to name itself the Pretty Things.

October 5, 1959:
Bo Diddley enters the pop Top Forty his one and only time with “Say Man,” a novelty number in which he and maracas player Jerome Green trade good-natured insults.

July 1964:
Two Great Guitars, credited to Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, is released. It includes two lengthy guitar jams between those rock and roll legends.

October 26, 1966:
Bo Diddley releases The Originator, an album whose title reflects his rightful conviction that he was a rock and roll pioneer.

The Super Blues Band, a collaboration between Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and Little Walter, is released on Checkers Records.

January 20, 1979:
Britain’s rising punk-rock stars The Clash kick off their first U.S. tour with rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley as their handpicked opening act.

January 21, 1987:
Bo Diddley is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the second annual induction dinner. The members of ZZ Top are his presenters.

November 25, 1987:
Bo Diddley and Ron Wood – a.k.a. the Gunslingers - finish a North American tour with a show in New York. A recording of that performance is released as Live at the Ritz.

July 1989:
Bo Diddley appears in a popular Nike commercial in which he tells baseball great Bo Jackson, “Bo, you don’t know Diddley.”

February 29, 1996:
Bo Diddley receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the seventh annual Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards in Los Angeles.

April 1996:
Bo Diddley’s A Man Among Man, his first major-label album in many years, is released on Code Blue/Atlantic. Renowned rockers, including Keith Richard and Ron Wood, contribute to it.




Rock and Roll Hall of Fame