From the new Poe Mack CD, “Poe Mack on D.R.U.G.S,” here’s a new video, “Tragedy or Triumph,” featuring the reliably goofy Stevie D. and the bemused-acting Sierra Wofford. And of course, Stevie can’t go without some salty language, so if your children try to watch this, smack them and send them to their rooms.
The band is in Austria, playing Donaufestival today, then moving to several gigs in the UK before heading back here.
April 25 – Donaufestival – Krems, AT
April 27 – The Green Door Store – Brighton, UK
April 28 – The Undertone – Cardiff, Wales
April 29 – The Mello Mello – Liverpool, UK
May 1 – Wharf Chambers – Leeds, UK
May 2 – The Chameleon -Nottingham, UK
May 3 – The Buffalo – London, UK
Click here to see the video, and be sure to catch this band when it returns home. They’ll be part of the big Blowfly bill at Martin’s on June 9. These Bastards deserve your love.
Miss Tess & The Talkbacks | Courtesy Brian Geltner
Some of you will remember the retro swing of Miss Tess & the Bon Ton Parade, from FloydFests past. These days, Miss Tess has a new act together, The Talkbacks, and the band brings her new album, “Sweet Talk,” to Kirk Avenue Music Hall on Wednesday.
I just got a copy of the disc, and I like it as well if not better than anything I’ve heard from this woman who so carefully guards her real name that I gave up trying to google it. Her Brooklyn, N.Y.-based band is killing, and she lets the players loose on a couple of numbers, particularly “Adeline,” which gives the drummer plenty to do with an uptempo second-line groove, and a darkly mysterious upright bass solo to introduce the bossa-tinged “This Affair.”
Tess’ voice is a great match for the honky-tonk, torch songs, old-school pop and jazz that give this record and her live show real vintage variety.
And check out the rock ‘n’ roll vibe the band conjures up on the video for “People Come Here for Gold,” where once again Tess exploits a smart lyrical sensibility. See more of her videos.
Turns out that in the Roanoke Valley, some songwriters have been paying attention. In the video below, members of the Southwest Virginia Songwriters Association — Larry Sakayama, Greg Trafidlo and Barbara Martin — perform a song they wrote with Nashville, Tenn.’s Darrell Brown. The song, “Copy-Right, Copy-Wrong,” calls the Yankee-born Goodlatte a man delivered to be the “guardian of the muses,” coming down the mountain “with the law in his hand to slay the piracy giants.”
“To those who made the music, he’s our Moses, better than Charlton Heston … Chairman Bob,” they sing on this video, shot Thursday morning.
The trio went up to the Capital Hill Club to sing it, and much mirthful Beltway laughter ensued.
Sitting behind his drum set with Flannel Church at Growler’s American Grill on Wednesday night, Duane Trucks was a rock with soul. His time was fantastic, his ears were wide open and his playing was supportive where it needed to be and sympathetically chaotic when the Atlanta-based band took it there.
What else could a listener expect from Derek Trucks’ younger brother and fellow Col. Bruce Hampton acolyte? Well, wicked solo work, that’s what. And Duane Trucks delivered that, too, at the very end of a long set in front of, oh, maybe 30 people. Wednesdays in Roanoke. Ack!
I came a bit unprepared, as I had my own band rehearsal earlier last night. But when Trucks started riffing through this funky band figure, I had to whip out the Galaxy, as poor as it is for this kind of thing, and commit it to the zeros and ones. So here it is. Pardon the sound and picture and just get into this guy’s playing.
Marvel at the way he displaces time. Enjoy the humanity as he drops a stick but keeps something strong going on with the other hand while he reaches to pick it up. Savor the improvisational skills. He goes for a bunch of stuff. And when he makes a couple of mistakes, he turns them in his favor. Impressive.
And while this is a drum-centric post, let it be known that Flannel Church, soon to be known as King Lincoln, is a force. Three of these guys — bassist Kevin Scott, Trucks and guitarist/singer Lawson Feltman — played with Hampton’s band The Pharaoh Gummitt, and they sound like it, which is a great thing. And lead singer Marshall Ruffin has great range, tone and control over a variety of styles. Here’s hoping the band returns on a weekend.
Coincidentally, two of the Sipe trio — drummer Sipe himself and guitarist Mike Seal ( shown in the publicity photo) — were with Coffin when he brought the Mu’tet to the Coffee Pot in June 2011. That show was poorly attended, possibly in part because Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe was playing the same night at Awful’s Towers, which is now Growler’s.
This time around, Coffin came to Growler’s and had another ace drummer, Roy “Future Man” Wooten of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, as Sipe and Seal were out with the trio. And instead of playing the Drumitar that he pioneered, Wooten played an actual drum set. And good lord, can he play it. Coffin has said that Wooten plays like a tai chi master, like water. He is correct.
Wooten plays an astounding solo on this number, “L’Esperance.” But the most amazing solo fireworks come from bassist Felix Pastorius, who co-wrote this number with Coffin. Pastorius, a son of jazz bass legend Jaco Pastorius, is an absolute freak of nature. The speed. The dexterity. The chops. The taste. It’s all there, without the personal demons that led his father to an early grave. Pastorius, whose regular gig these days is with Yellowjackets, shows here why he should be held in the same regard as his father.
He is no clone, but he is definitely carrying on the DNA. Watch and be amazed.
Jeff Sipe Trio live on Saturday at Martin’s Downtown
Jeff Sipe Trio hit Martin’s Downtown on Saturday night, and the show was as expected — three monster musicians, including young bassist Taylor Lee, who blew many minds — playing high end jazz, rock, funk, Afro-Cuban, even country music with feel that kept people moving. Some even danced, which is not the norm at a show like this.
But Sipe grooves, making all kind of odd times and layered rhythms feel bouncy. With Lee and Knoxville-Tenn.-via-Harrisonburg guitar master Mike Seal floating killer melodies and leads, it was bounce-worthy, even as intense as the music was.
The trio kicked it off with the Jaco Pastorius/Weather Report classic, “Teen Town,” with Sipe and Lee nailing the iconic parts while adding flair of their own. Later, the band would play another Weather Report number, “Havona,” with special guest Jay Starling (The Transmitters, Keller Williams), a Charlottesville-based keyboardist and lap steel player. Starling added authentic steel licks and great intonation to a Chet Atkins-style country-grass number, and honking organ sounds to a cover of Ray Charles’ “Busted.”
Seal is an under-the-radar player who should be getting a lot more love. He showed great chops and taste during a 2011 show that he and Sipe played with Jeff Coffin’s Mu’tet. In last night’s mostly trio format, where he had more freedom to solo, he showed just what a player he can be. He plays with no pick, just fingers, yet with blazing speed uncommon to such a style.
Little about this show was common, from the covers — including a sweetly sad version of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” — to the originals. Posted below is one of Lee’s originals, “Lightening.” Hear Seal and Lee just tear it up here, with the ego-free Sipe grooving hard behind them. Sipe soloed a lot last night, as he should, and it was always in the context of a groove the other players were setting up for him, with shout parts that he nailed in between his riffage. Here’s a link to one from early in the show. Note how he drops a stick at the top of it but keeps the solo grooving. He’s human!
A Brief View of the Hudson was booked for Sunday at Kirk Avenue Music Hall. But Kirk Ave. canceled the show. That didn’t faze this traveling trio, which immediately set to finding a new spot to play.
Today, a gig came through. The band will play Awful Arthur’s, downtown Roanoke, on Sunday. It probably wouldn’t have mattered if it had scored that slot, because the band told me via its twitter account that it would play a street corner or a house. Busking fools! Glad they’ve got a warm joint in which to set up.
Check out the A Brief View of the Hudson’s album, “Querencia,” via bandcamp.com. Good acoustic stuff with strong vocals from Ann Enzminger, nice harmony, violin melodies, accordion chug and a bit of a country feel. Absolutely worthwhile 9 p.m. Sunday listening. Will update with cover charge. UPDATE 3:30 p.m. 2.14.13: Cover will be no more than $2 and might be free, according to the band.
Roanoke-based pop, soul and R&B singer Amanda Stathos has just released a video of her original song, “Running Out of Time.” It features her strong, tuneful voice, plus the musical backing of The Collective, as fine a rhythm section as you can find in the valleys.
I have heard Stathos perform a few times around Roanoke, and I am floored every time by her range and control. Even when she has been under the weather, she can deliver quality vocal goods. She does lots of popular covers, but these days has been recording a lot of original material with Skip Brown. The Collective — keyboardist Keith Thomas, bassist Cameron McLaughlin and drummer Carlos Aranguren — typically backs her in the studio, as well.
Here, the Stathos and the band perform “Running Out of Time” on the Shaftman Hall stage at Jefferson Center. The act is starting to book more work, and that means things can only improve with an already tight outfit.
cutNscratch is The Roanoke Times music blog. Music reporter Tad Dickens enjoys pickin' and grinnin' and drummin', and he likes to write about music, too. He'll post plenty about local, regional and national music, but it won't be any fun at all if you don't jump in and have your say. So do it!