Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Playlist: June 30, 2010

John Németh, Heartbreak With A Hammer
     Wed 6/30 @ Montreal Jazz Festival
     Wed 7/28 on Fog City Blues
California Honeydrops, Judgment Day
     Sat 7/03 on West Coast Live
     Wed 7/07 on Fog City Blues
Cake, End Of The Movie
     Thu 7/01 @ The Independent
Chris Thomas King, California Letter
     Thu 7/01 @ Yoshi's Oakland
Kim Nalley, Too Close For Comfort
     Thu-Sun 7/01-04 @ The Rrazz Room
     Sun 7/04 @ Fillmore Jazz Festival

Willie Dixon, The Little Red Rooster
Big Three Trio, If The See Was Whiskey
Muddy Waters, My Captain
Sonny Boy Williamson, Bring It On Home
James Cotton, Nine Below Zero
James Cotton, Two Trains Runnin'
     Fri-Sat 7/02-03 @ Yoshi's Oakland
David 'Honeyboy' Edwards, Roamin' And Ramblin' Blues
Mississippi John Hurt, Candy Man Blues
Blues Brothers Band, Red, White & Blues

Special guest: Her Majesty's Dominion of Canada

Downchild, You Don't Love Me (feat. Colin Linden & Dan Aykroyd)
Northern Pikes, She Ain't Pretty
Cowboy Junkies, Shining Moon
Jeff Healey, I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter

Colin Linden, From The Water
Colin James, Please Baby
Steve Dawson, Somebody's Got To Help You
Ndidi Onukwulu, Move Together
The Duhks, Death Came a Knockin'
Po' Girl, Abilene

Fathead, Where's The Blues Taking Me
Long John Baldry, Don't Try To Lay No Boogie-Woogie On The King of Rock and Roll
Neil Young, This Note's for You
Oscar Peterson Trio, Blues of the Prairies

And now for something completely different

In 2008 I took two semesters of Ron Galen's guitar class at Laney College in Oakland (I started a third semester in 2009, but life took over). I hadn't played much fingerstyle to that point ("Blackbird singing in the dead of the night..."), but a little half-size nylon-string guitar I bought in Lima, Peru that spring helped ease me further in to the repertoire. Ron supplied us with a ton of classical études and what not, but his real passion was the Brazilian choro. I recently rediscovered the videos shot of the class playing each of the pieces we worked on over the course of the semester:

Actually, truth be told, what I really rediscovered was the montage that Fer produced from the end-of-semester revelry at the Pacific Coast Brewing Company in Oakland...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Erev Canada

This Wednesday's show will air the night before Canada Day. Growing up in Montreal in the 1970s, I can still remember referring to it as Confederation or Dominion Day (the country didn't get its own flag or national anthem until the mid-60s...). But Canada's identity issues notwithstanding, last year July 1 fell on a Wednesday, and toward the end of the one-hour show we paid brief hommage to blues of a Canadian persuasion. This year, however, we'll righteously begin observing Canada Day at sundown on June 30 and spend part of the two-hour show listening to the past, present, and future of blues-y music out of Canada. Start with this article from the Canadian Encyclopedia (uh huh), then tune in Wednesday night.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Playlist: June 23, 2010

Click to listen

The Waifs, London Still
     Thu 6/24 @ The Independent
Carolina Chocolate Drops, Snowden's Jig (Genuine Negro Jig)
     Thu 6/24 @ The Fillmore 
     Fri 6/25 @ Kuumbwa Jazz
     Sat 6/26 @ Mystic Theatre
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Mama Don't Like My Man
     Fri 6/25 @ The Warfield
Quinn Deveaux & The Blue Beat Review, What Kind of Man Are You
     Sat 6/26 @ Revolution Cafe
Tin Cup Serenade, Is It Love
     Fri 6/25 @ Revolution Cafe
     Sun 6/27 @ "B" Restaurant

Monterey Bay Blues Festival: June 25-27

Ruthie Foster, People Grinnin' In Your Face
Rory Block, Death Letter
Candye Kane, Don't Cry For Me New Jersey
Teeny Tucker, I Live Alone
Laurie Morvan, Livin' In A Man's World
Deanna Bogart, Eleventh Hour Blues

Jimi Hendrix Experience, Killing Floor (live)
The Electric Flag, Wine (live)

Blue Rodeo, Sheba
Blue Rodeo, 3 Hours Away (in-studio)
Blue Rodeo, Palace Of Gold (in-studio)
Blue Rodeo, Joker's Wild (in-studio)
Blue Rodeo, Together (in-studio)
Blue Rodeo, Are You Ready For The Country (in-studio)
Blue Rodeo, The Days In Between

Tommy Castro, I Wants To Be Loved
     Thu 6/24 @ Ashkenaz
Mark Hummel, I Want To Be Loved
     Wed 6/30 @ Ashkenaz
Muddy Waters, Hard Day Blues
Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup, That's All Right
Clifton Chenier, Eh Petite Fille
Skip James, Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues
Helen Humes, Cross-Eyed Blues

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rodeo Blues

Lost TogetherThis Wednesday will be the third time in my (nearly) five years living in the Bay Area that a certain Canadian band I've been following for most of my adult life will be coming to town. I first saw Blue Rodeo in 1991 (I think), when they played the Shatner Ballroom (yup) in McGill University's Shatner Building (uh-huh) in Montreal. Since then, a festival up north, a couple more shows at Theatre St. Denis, but never in the U.S. until I came to California. That said, theirs have long been my go-to albums for extended head-phoned guitar playing, even though since the mid-90s there's been a bothersome trend of some undisciplined music and wandering lyrics. Their most recent CD, The Things We Left Behind, is a double album in the truest sense, constrained sprawling as is their wont of late.

Small Miracles (Dig)Now unlike the Tragically Hip, who are reasonably popular just south of the Canadian border, Blue Rodeo has never quite caught fire in the States. Which is just as well, since that may have made it easier to avoid having to justify featuring them on my blues show when the came to town in 2008 on the Small Miracles tour. They were playing at Cafe du Nord, which is not only a tremendously smaller venue than they normally play in Canada, but a place I've played at, for crying out loud. At the time, though it was just a matter of balancing the fact that a little over two years into being a radio professional I was now interviewing people whose career I'd actually been tracking for a (relatively) long time, and what I needed to get from them for the radio show. There we were, Jim and Greg with guitars in hand, and Devon asking if they knew any blues tunes. Seems these singer-songwriter types like to play their own stuff.

Things We Left BehindThe interview certainly went (mostly) fine, though it seemed Jim gradually yielded to Greg in talkativeness. Along with some tunes from the then-new album, I put in a couple of requests from their back catalogue, and they came up with a bluesy Neil Young cover to end the session. You can hear the results on this week's show, where we'll be re-broadcasting most of the interview so that I can make their show at The Independent -- why do they only seem to play San Francisco on Wednesdays?

In the meantime, here's a "web exclusive" for ya, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor live and unplugged in the Fog City Blues studio: