Monday, July 12, 2010

Armadillos Acoustic Sunday's-Good Keene Music

Acoustic Sunday’s at Armadillo’s Burritos
Keene NH
July 11, 2010
Mike and Ruthy
Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hammer

When I heard that Anais Mitchell was playing in Keene NH I knew I had to make the hour drive down there. When I heard that the venue was a burrito joint, well let’s just say I was a little hesitant. But I made the call to Orange Earth Productions and reserved our seats.

Armadillo’s Burritos is a funky burrito place on Main Street in Keene NH. They are closed/slow on Sunday’s so it’s a perfect time/place to host acoustic music and that’s what Orange Earth Productions and Armadillo’s has done. Doors open at 5 pm and they serve good, inexpensive, well made food (HUGE burritos, nachos, chili, chips salsa guac) until 5:45 pm. Performances start at 6 pm. They have a nice selection of beer and wine which they serve until closing (a pitcher of Newcastle draft was $8!!!)

The show Sunday July 11, 2010 was a co-headliner of Mike and Ruthy and Anais Mitchell. Mitchell was accompanied by Jefferson Hammer (who will be recording a CD of traditional Ballads with her in August). All four musicians took the stage a little after 6 pm.

Mike and Ruthy are on the road promoting their new CD “Million To One” and Anais Mitchell is out promoting her CD “Hadestown” which is a folk opera; the CD is pure genius! This is the group’s fourth and final show together and the seemed to be really enjoying being on stage together. Mike Merenda, of Mike and Ruthy opened the show by asking the audience if “Keene likes the banjo, because Albany (previous night’s gig) just pretended to like the banjo but I’m not sure they did.” The audience at Armadillo's enthusiastically clapped their response.

The foursome played a couple together then alternated between Mike and Ruthy and Mitchell with Hamer’s electric guitar accompaniment. Mike and Ruthy played a few new ones: “Rise” and “Goodbye” while Mitchell and Hamer performed a few traditional ballads that will be featured on their new CD.

Mitchell and Hamer also did a little show and tell for the crowd—on the way from Albany, NY to Keene, NH they stopped in Stockbridge, MA to visit the grave of their hero Francis James Child, who was the first person to hold the title of Professor of English at Harvard University and collected and assembled, from a comparative study of manuscripts and printed sources, over 300 ballads that became known as the "Child Ballads". They presented to the crowd a crayon etching/rubbing they made of Child’s grave and Hamer reported on his twitter site that they sang “Geordie” for Child.

Mitchell highlighted two songs from “Hadestown”: “Why We Build The Wall” and a personal favorite of mine, “Wedding Song.” Mike and Ruthy performed a great rendition of Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning.” They closed the second set with a Pete Seeger song “Oh, Had I A Golden Thread” and even got the crowd to sing along.

Following a stand ovation by the sold-out crowd, the foursome chose a Bob Dylan song for the encore, “I’ll Keep It With Mine” that left the crowd reminiscing about the old days of coffeehouse performances.

Armadillo’s Burritos is a great place to time travel back to the days of coffeehouse folk music and Orange Earth Productions is booking some great music there. This is a great collaboration by these two businesses.

Please visit these sites for more information:
Armadillo’s Burritos
Orange Earth Productions

More information about the artists:
Mike and Ruthy
Anais Mitchell
Jefferson Hamer

More photos on: Photos By Nanci

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Melissa Etheridge Returns to Her Boston Roots

Melissa Etheridge
Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre
Boston MA July 10, 2010

Three dates into her ‘Fearless Love” tour, 49 year old Melissa Etheridge returns to her old haunts of Boston Massachusetts, and performed at the historic Wang Theatre in Boston MA (she opened the tour Wednesday, July 7 in Albany NY and played Friday night July 9 in Hyannis MA).
Etheridge entered the theater from the back, walked down the aisle, touching fingers with the adoring crowd then made her way to the stage for the beginning of her two and half hour show.

She opened with “We Are The Ones” followed by the title cut to her new CD “Fearless Love.”  Up next “Miss California” which will probably become one of her signature songs.

She paused to tell the audience she’s been hanging out in Boston, thinking about the one day she played at the Park Street T Station. She told the crowd she was a security guard at Deaconess Hospital and thought she’d open her guitar case to see if you could make some money, “I made $7, more than I made as a Security Guard!” this lead into “If I Only Wanted To.”

She talked about going to her first Gay Bar in Boston—Prelude and dove into “Silent Legacy.” Just before she played “Come To My Window” she told the crowd “You’re the longest relationship I’ve ever had…this one’s for you.” She thanked the crowd for spending money in the tough economy and coming out to see her. She talked about it being her last year in her 40s and how come she keeps making the same mistakes over and over and over again; she jumped into “I Want To Come Over.”

Etheridge is touring band with a whole new band (gone are Mark Brown, Phillip Sayce, and Fritz Lewak) which includes bassist (and pre-show photographer) Dan Rothchild, guitarist Peter Thorn, drummer Blair Sinta and keyboardist Chris Fowke. They seem to be enjoying themselves on stage and appear comfortable playing Etheridge's tunes.

Etheridge, who grew up in Leavenworth Kansas, started playing piano and guitar as a teenager and performed in various cover bands around Kansas; she received her formal training at the Berklee College of Music in Boston MA and she honed her live performances by playing the club circuit around Boston. Her career took off when she moved to Los Angeles, where she met Chris Blackwell of Island Records and was signed in 1986—she wrote the music for the movie “Weeds”.

Since her discovery Etheridge has been a very busy woman. Etheridge has received 15 Grammy nominations and won two in 1992 and 1994 for best female rock vocal performance. In 1996 she won the ASCAP songwriter of the year award and in 2006 she received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for her song “I Need to Wake Up” from the documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth”.

On April 15, 2010 Etheridge and wife Tammy Lynn Michaels announced they had separated. Papers were filed on July 2, 2010 to dissolve their domestic partnership in a Los Angeles court. The couple is seeking joint custody for their three year old twins.

Melissa and Band now heads north to the Hampton Beach Casino for a show Monday night July 12, 2010. A few tickets are still available for this show if you missed her other New England dates.

“Fearless Love” is Etheridge’s 10th album of her 20 year plus career.
Setlist from the Wang performance included:
We Are The Ones
Fearless Love
Miss California
If I Wanted To
Silent Legacy
I Want To Come Over
The Wanting Of You
Angels Would Fall
Come To My Window                                                                
You Used To Love To Dance
I Run For Life
Drag Me Away
Nervous (with a little “Fever”)
I’m The Only One
Bring Me Some Water
Like The Way I Do
Encore:  Gently We Row
More Photos By Nanci posted on Melissa2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

This Day in Rock History

1996 – For the first time, Deep Purple play “Smoke on the Water”in the Swiss city that inspired the tune. The band wrote “Smoke on the Water” after surviving a nightclub fire in Montreux. 

From Wikipedia  The lyrics of the song tell a true story: on 4 December 1971 Deep Purple had set up camp in Montreux, Switzerland to record an album using a mobile recording studio (rented from the Rolling Stones and known as the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio - referred to as the "Rolling truck Stones thing" and "the mobile" in the song lyrics) at the entertainment complex that was part of the Montreux Casino (referred to as "the gambling house" in the song lyric). On the eve of the recording session a Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention concert was held in the casino's theatre. In the middle of Don Preston's synthesizer solo on "King Kong", the place suddenly caught fire when somebody in the audience fired a flare gun into the rattan covered ceiling, as mentioned in the "some stupid with a flare gun" line.[3][4] The resulting fire destroyed the entire casino complex, along with all the Mothers' equipment. The "smoke on the water" that became the title of the song (credited to bass guitarist Roger Glover, who related how the title occurred to him when he suddenly woke from a dream a few days later) referred to the smoke from the fire spreading over Lake Geneva from the burning casino as the members of Deep Purple watched the fire from their hotel across the lake. The "Funky Claude" running in and out is referring to Claude Nobs, the director of the Montreux Jazz Festival who helped some of the audience escape the fire.
Claude Nobs (2006), the "Funky Claude" mentioned in the song
Left with an expensive mobile recording unit and no place to record, the band was forced to scout the town for another place to set up. One promising venue (found by Nobs) was a local theatre called The Pavilion, but soon after the band had loaded in and started working/recording, the nearby neighbours took offence at the noise, and the band was only able to lay down backing tracks for one song (based on Blackmore's riff and temporarily named Title nÂș1), before the local police shut them down.
Finally, after about a week of searching, the band rented out the nearly-empty Montreux Grand Hotel and converted its hallways and stairwells into a makeshift recording studio, where they laid down most of the tracks for what would become their most commercially successful album, Machine Head.
Like other Deep Purple's songs (such as Child in Time, Black Night or Burn), the main riff is similar to an existing tune. In the case of "Smoke on the Water", the riff is based on Carlos Lyra's song titled "Maria Moita" (Maria Quiet) performed by Astrud Gilberto (on the album Look at the Rainbow - 1965).[5]
Ironically, the only song from Machine Head not recorded in the Grand Hotel was "Smoke on the Water" itself, which had been recorded during the abortive Pavilion session. The lyrics of "Smoke on the Water" were composed later, and the vocals were recorded in the Grand Hotel.

"Smoke on the Water" was included on Machine Head, which was released in early 1972, but was not released as a single until a year later, in May 1973. The band members have said that they did not expect the song to be a hit, but the single reached number 4 on the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States during the summer of 1973, number 2 on the Canadian RPM charts, and it propelled the album to the top 10. Live performance of the tune, featuring extended interplay between Blackmore's guitar and Jon Lord's Hammond organ would become a centerpiece of "Deep Purple's" live shows, and a version of the song from the live album Made in Japan became a minor hit on its own later on in 1973.
The principal song-writers included the song within their subsequent solo ventures after Deep Purple had split up. Ian Gillan in particular performed a jazz-influenced version in early solo concerts. The band Gillan adopted a feedback-soaked approach, courtesy of Gillan guitarist Bernie Torme. This song was also featured live by Ritchie Blackmore's post-"Deep Purple" band Rainbow during their tours 1981-83, and again after the Rainbow was resurrected briefly in the mid 1990's.
During Ian Gillan's stint with Black Sabbath in 1983, they performed "Smoke on the Water" as a regular repertoire number on encores during their only tour together. It remains one of the few cover songs that Black Sabbath has ever played live.
The song is popular among beginner guitarists, but Blackmore himself has demonstrated that most who attempt to play it do so improperly.[6] Actually played using "all fourths" as specified by Blackmore (or double stops), a power chord-driven variation on the main recognizable riff is not difficult, and consequently it is constantly played by learners.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


From the Times Union Albany NY
by Michael Eck
Special to The Times Union

Photo by Nanci 2008 Meadowbrook Music  Gilford NH

ALBANY – Melissa Etheridge was in a giving mood Wednesday night.
The 49-year-old singer was opening her “Fearless Love” tour at The Palace Theater, and she rolled out songs old and new for over two and a half hours to a wildly enthusiastic crowd of dedicated fans.
For those not in the latter camp, Etheridge’s shows have become something of an endurance test. Truth be told, she hasn’t grown much as an artist over the years and her simplistic anthems can wear when delivered in bulk.
For proof that she mines the same vein over and over, how about these three tunes — “I Want To Come Over,” “Come To My Window” and “Heaven on Earth,” with its “come find me” chorus.
A new song sung on Wednesday was similarly redundant. When Bob Dylan divorced Sara Lowndes he came up with “Blood On The Tracks; when Etheridge split with her wife earlier this year, she came up with “Company” — “all I want is company, someone to understand this misery.”
That’s a 15-year-old’s diary entry, not a middle aged woman’s deepest thoughts.
Still, highlights for fans were plentiful. All of the above rocked, as did other new numbers like “Miss California,” “We Are The Ones” and “Nervous.”
The show began with a very curious sort of voodoo riff that found images of snakes on a screen while shamanic dancers moved murkily throughout the hall. Then, all of the sudden, Etheridge was in the crowd, chanting like a preacher as she moved down the aisle to the stage.
It was a very Bono moment.
What at all it had to do with the rest of the show was anyone’s guess.
The best stretch of the show came two-thirds in when Etheridge actually deigned to tell a tale rather than simply sing a hooky chorus over and over again.
“Indiana” was something of a masterpiece, and if she could make more of these she’d  be in league with Bruce Springsteen rather than aping him.
The song had a melodic and lyrical arc and Etheridge rode the dynamics instead of pushing them.
It was beautiful, and so was the follow-up, the cancer survivor’s creed, “I Run For Life.”
After that it was back to business, with an expected brace of overwrought concert staples.
“I’m The Only One” started the build-up and “Bring Me Some Water” and “Like The Way I Do” beat it to death.
She’s gotten a lot of mileage out of ”Water” and she makes sure she gets more out of it every night she plays. Wow, or whew, depending on your perspective.
One thing that no one could argue about is that Etheridge was genuinely elated to be back onstage and spending time with her fans. Her between song banter was chummy and nonchalant and when she shook hands with fans during her encore it was clear she was sharing the love.
And that can’t be a bad thing.
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Palace Theatre, 19 Clinton Avenue, Albany
Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Highlights: “Indiana” — write more like that one, Melissa.
The Crowd: Over 2,000 adoring fans.
Tour Dates
More Photos by Nanci photos of Melissa

Meatloaf Hang Cool Teddy Bear Tour Opens July 3 in NH

Meatloaf is BACK and he started his 2010 tour at the Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, NH Saturday July 3.

More Meatloaf Photos By Nanci at: