Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Downtown Sculpture: "DIAPHANOUS YES - VISIONARY YEP"

Kim Moody and Alwun House have done so much to support those of us who are involved with this blog...lets all try to support this cause. Kim doesn't ask for much. And he gives an awful lot to the community. Without Kim Moody's efforts to keep Alwun House alive, Phoenix's arts culture would have burned out a long time ago.

Most unforgettable works of art and architecture are ridiculed until people give it a chance (think I.M. Pei's Louvre Pyramid, The Eiffel Tower, The Pompidou Center-which features outdoor changing exhibitions of sculpture that parents bring their kids to see!) Even if your sole motive is to stick it to the French, lets open our minds and move our feet to put Arizona on the arts map.

Here's Kim's message:

"Act now in your own creative way, or don't complain if Phoenix is just a 'backwater hick-town'; we're better than that!

One way or another, please voice your displeasure with select city staffers cutting off at the knees, our first biggest chance to have an image-able 21st Century City Center; with an art project at our municipal heart that speaks to our progressive energetic creative core! (our Mayor already gave away Patriots Square Park to City-scrape).

Phoenix is at a crossroad - do we step up and/or speak-up in defense of an exciting work by an International artist? (what a giant step backwards we'll all take as the bright new leading city, if bureaucratic twits arbitrarily succeed and STOP this project already in progress and budgeted)

There's a public hearing on Friday (below) and Council Meeting next week (watch the news for date and time - prepare to bring friends - come early to get a seat!!!)


Special Arts, Culture & Historic Preservation Subcommittee
Time: 1:30pm.
Date: Friday December 14th Phoenix City Hall: 200 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ. on the 12th Floor.

"ALL WE ARE SAYING IS GIVE ART A CHANCE!!"
- Mariah

Barenda Sperduti, ED, AZ Action for the Arts wrote:
As you may know, the City of Phoenix recently decided to cancel a planned public art project by artist Janet Echelman, selected for the Phoenix Civic Space, citing various issues. After the response from concerned citizens, the City has agreed to refer the issue to the sub-committee of the City Arts, Culture & Historic Preservation. The committee will review the issue and make a recommendation to the City Council. This is a public meeting that will give you the opportunity to let the City of Phoenix know that you value public art. Please cut and paste the following links for more information about the issue.

azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/1209art1209-ON.html">
azcentral/com/news/article/1210publicart1211/html">

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Support Live Local Music!

There's a good article by Larry Rodgers in today's Arizona Republic about the Hacienda Brothers, a fine "western soul" group with Tucson roots. They will be playing at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix this Wednesday night, December 12th. Anybody who likes the music of the Flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons should be there! I've seen these guys twice before at the RR, and they are awesome live performers.

Also - Andy Hersey will be playing an acoustic "Happy Hour" gig at Club Mardis Gras in Scottsdale (8040 E. McDowell) this Thursday from 4:30 to 6:00 PM. Not the most convenient hours, but a good chance to see him in a more intimate setting.

Finally - the Breadwinners, a terrific local bluegrass group, plays every Tuesday evening at the Red Owl, 2155 E. University in Tempe (at the southwest corner of University and Loop 101).

Take time out from the hectic Christmas season to attend one of more of these shows - you won't regret it!

Tom

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New sources of online music

The AMEHOF fundraiser was great fun. Thanks to all those who put it together, the folks at the Rhythm Room, and the artists who played there!

I thought you all might like to know about a few online sources for music that recalls the salad days of KCAC and KDKB.

Wolfgang's Vault contains the audio archives of Bill Graham. Apparently, he recorded nearly every concert he ever presented - at the Fillmores East and West and many other venues - and, incredibly, those are being offered as FREE streaming audio! We're talking about hundreds of previously unreleased concert recordings from the late 1960s through the 1980s, by artists such as the Who, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue, the Allman Brothers Band (with and without Duane), the Electric Flag, Jimi Hendrix, Ry Cooder, Warren Zevon, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen (a legendary 1978 show, in its 3-hour entirety!), U2, Fleetwood Mac (the Peter Green era as well as the Stevie Nicks era), and Arizona's own Tubes in a pair of 1974 shows. Selected concerts are also available as MP3 downloads for $9.98 per show, regardless of length. This is a truly remarkable site! It contains a searchable database to find whatever artist you're interested in, including many lesser-known artists such as Tracy Nelson and the Incredible String Band. Finally, the site has a link to an online edition of Crawdaddy Magazine, which offers extensive and intelligent discussion of music past and present. The current issue has articles on Nick Drake, the Replacements, and Wilco, to name a few.

Also check out Rhino Handmade , which sells limited-edition reissues of classic albums, box sets, and previously unreleased material, all with top-notch sound quality and packaging, and often with bonus tracks. Their latest offering is a 2-disc reissue of Lee Hazelwood's 1960s Warner/Reprise solo albums. Only 5000 copies are being manufactured, and when they're sold out, they're off the market for good (except at inflated prices on EBay). This is a legitimate, label-sponsored site - no bootlegs or inferior quality! Accordingly, the discs are not cheap. The Lee Hazelwood set goes for $39.98 plus shipping and handling. Single-disc items are usually about $20. But where else are you going to find an entire, unreleased 1972 concert by Aretha Franklin, or studio outtakes and alternates by Tim Buckley, or a 1962 session by bluesman Mance Lipscomb? Again, there is a searchable database on this site that allows you to look up a particular artist, or to browse through the entire list.

There's also a rival site, , that offers similar deluxe treatments of material from other labels. I got a box set containing all of the Sir Douglas Quintet and Doug Sahm solo LPs from the 1960s, with extensive notes and numerous bonus tracks; and another box set of every recording made by Muddy Waters between 1952 and 1958; but many other titles are available. They are still in the process of a massive Motown reissue campaign that will include virtually everything recorded by that label in the 1960s. These limited-edition items are not cheap, but the quality is impeccable and much of this material is impossible to find in decent sound quality elsewhere.

Keep the for-profit sites in mind for Christmas gifts to your music-loving friends (or for yourself), but enjoy the incredible Wolfgang's Vault recordings FOR FREE anytime!

Tom

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

AZ Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame Fund Raiser Brought Out the Best in Us All!

The Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame fund raiser held Sunday at Bob Corritore's Rhythm Room was an outstanding night. Arizona's appreciation of its own arts and entertainment 'stars' was shining brightly from beginning to end! The event got off to a fabulous start thanks in great measure to the AZ Republic's Larry Rodgers.

Rodgers did a fabulous article (front page of The Arizona Republic Newspaper's Arts and Entertainment Section!) about one of the performers, (Andy Hersey, an acoustic singer/songwriter with a country bent, whose talent and attitude knocked everyone out!) Rodgers highlighted all the performers at the event in a front page inset to the story on Hersey.

Rodger's
has been a vocal supporter of the Az Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame. It is journalists like Larry Rodgers who help the Arizona arts scene thrive. Without local media support, our own talent (in every creative genre) is left to languish. Thank goodness Arizona is finally getting over its decades old tendency to revere non-Arizona talent while ignoring our own.

KMLE's Jim West
did a bang up job emceeing the event and the auction. Before the music began, the tireless volunteers who worked so long and hard to make the September 23rd AMEHOF Induction Ceremony happen were acknowledged by name to enthusiastic applause. The title sponsor, Bob Ramsey's Glass Garden Lights was acknowledged and Ramsey was thanked for the memories Ramsey's Glass Garden Lights left with so many who embraced the hey day of 1960's music boom. Proud to admit they were part of the vibrant 1960's scene in Arizona, audience members hollered in thanks for Arizona's musical legacy.

The long running and busy Arizona Songwriter's Association was represented by its founder, Jon Iger (also on the AMEHOF Board of Directors) who did a splendid job assisting with the emcee duties and garnering support for the event. Many members of Iger's Arizona Songwriter's Association were there to cheer AMEHOF on.

An overflowing parking lot complete with a KPHO TV 5 van greeted event attendees. For a modest donation, people were entertained by Idle Abbey, a new band that we're sure to be hearing a lot more from, who opened the night. Performances by Walt Richardson (he is not only always sensational to listen to, but he suggested the idea of the fund raiser and offered to play! Way to go Walt!) Hans Olson, Marty Mitchell and the long beloved blues band the Rocket 88's were wonderful.

The Gin Blossom's Robin Wilson and Scotty Johnson who did a goose-bump making acoustic set that night deserve special mention. In spite of having to leave early the next morning to go on tour with the the Gin Blossoms they arrived at the fund raiser enthusiastically and characteristically humble. The Gin Blossoms are the perfect example of uniquely talented Arizona musicians who made it big and haven't forgotten their roots.

The Gin Blossoms have always actively supported Arizona music. When they're in town, Scotty Johnson hosts an open mic in Tempe and teaches guitar to the lucky few who get him as a teacher. Robin Wilson opened his own Tempe studio, Uranus Recording, which recruits new Az musical talent and has a coveted internship program for student recording engineers. Robin Wilson's hands on involvement with his studio is evident in the quality of the studio's work. George Keller, a very gifted studio engineer who worked for the late, masterful jazz talent Geordie Hormel, is in command of the board.

The Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame was well represented on Sunday and the big turn out is testament to the community's support for AMEHOF. Among those who came by to show their support were AMEHOF Inductees Ray Herndon (2007) and Danny Zelsiko (2005) The video of AMEHOF's Sept 23rd Induction Ceremony at the Dodge Theatre played prior to the music and during the breaks. Spectacular videos about each inductee that were videotaped and flawlessly edited (by Ken Beals and Channel 12's Keith Ritchie respectively) awed viewers once more.

Those who were unlucky enough to miss the Sept 23rd Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony got a glimpse at why they should not miss any Az Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame event. AMEHOF continues to succeed in its mission of "Inspiring the Future by Remembering the Past."

The non profit organization relies soley on its all-volunteer board of directors, advisory board members, committees and community volunteers. To volunteer. comment or make a donation to the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame check out the informative website or click the link to AMEHOF's website on the KCAC Lives! Blog.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

AZ Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame Fund Raiser & Memorabilia Auction 11/25

Here's a great way to work off those Thanksgiving calories, score some cool collectible memorabilia and show your support for the ARIZONA MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT HALL OF FAME.

Phoenix's legendary RHYTHM ROOM at 10th St. and Indian School is host to a benefit fund raiser in honor of the ARIZONA MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT HALL OF FAME, the non-profit organization dedicated to "Inspiring the Future by Remembering the Past!" On
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 25th from 7PM to MIDNIGHT, a minimum $10 donation gets you an exciting lineup of talent, an AUCTION and RAFFLE featuring UNIQUE MEMORABILIA ITEMS, DOOR PRIZES and VIDEO CLIPS FROM AMEHOF'S SEPT 23, 2007 INDUCTION CEREMONY.

Among items up for bid: A GUITAR SIGNED BY 2007 AMEHOF INDUCTEES INCLUDING:

Rockabilly Legend: SANFORD CLARK

Arizona's Favorite: JERRY RIOPELLE

Arizona Bred Punk Legends: THE TUBES

Arizona's Beloved: REX ALLEN JR and BUDDY ALLEN OWENS (who accepted on behalf of their fathers) and other greats!



PERFORMERS INCLUDE
:

WALT RICHARDSON

HANS OLSON

MARTY MITCHELL

ROBIN WILSON & SCOTTY JOHNSON
of the GIN BLOSSOMS

THE ROCKET 88's
ANDY HERSEY

THE BLUES DINOSAURS


IDLE ABBEY



SPACE IS LIMITED!

Click LInk at left to reserve tickets with Pay Pal or credit card at azmusichalloffame.org
Tickets are also available at the Rhythm Room
More Info:
www.azmusichalloffame.org www.myspace.com/amehof 480-214-5522.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

KCAC Tape Update

Hi Folks -

After a long delay due to several factors (including a major computer crash and loss of software), I'm back working on the KCAC tapes provided by Jeff and Jennifer Crawford. Specifically, I've just digitized "Tape 5, Side 1", containing about 3 hours of audio recorded in late July 1971. The sound quality is rough to say the least, and the speed remains problematic. I tried synching up three different music tracks on the tape with modern CDs of the same recordings. Guess what - if I get one song matched up just right, the next one is noticeably off. My theory is that one of the turntables at KCAC ran slower than the other. I am not a technician, but using the software that I now have available (a shareware program called Audacity), I will do my best to clean up the audio, find an acceptable middle ground on the speed, and make it as listenable as possible.

Content-wise, the tape starts off with a half-hour of Bill Compton interviewing a guy from "Country Comfort Natural Foods" - does anybody remember anything about them? (I don't.) Hank Cookenboo and Eric Harris appear later on the tape, and Marty Manning makes a cameo as well. The music includes Jethro Tull, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, and Elton John - but most of the songs are just fragments, with the taper starting and stopping to concentrate on spoken-word material. Fortunately, this includes a number of staff-produced ads for the Valley Art Theater and various other local hippie-friendly businesses.

The tape also includes a number of "Life Line" segments; this was a right-wing syndicated radio show from Dallas that was broadcast locally on KPHO-AM. I'm editing out those segments as I encounter them, keeping only the KCAC material. (Editing in the digital domain, I mean. The tapes themselves are not being tampered with.) As much as half, but probably a third or less, of the tape is devoted to "Life Line" but that will still leave us with a lot of KCAC material.

Now: what about that KCAC reunion?

Tom

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Two completely unrelated posts at once!

(1) By all means, let's have another annual KCAC reunion while the weather is agreeable! There's been a good string of blog entries lately (scroll down through the last few items to see them), so let's go with the momentum and have a party! Mariah is the organization genius here, but I for one publicly volunteer to help in whatever way I can to make it happen.



(2) Andy Hersey is the finest singer/songwriter to emerge from the Grand Canyon State in several decades. There's a terrific interview with him online at http://www.songfacts.com/int/2007/09/andy-hersey.html, in which he talks about his life and his music and his love for Arizona. If the above link doesn't work, just go to his website at http://www.andyhersey.com/ and you can access it from there. Remember John Stewart's "California Bloodlines" album, a KCAC/KDKB favorite? Andy is our modern, home-grown equivalent to John Stewart, with the same sort of range and depth as a songwriter. He's a fine live performer as well. He'll break your heart with a slow sad ballad, kick-start it with a rocker, and send it soaring with his epic tributes to the land and the people of the American Southwest. Please follow the link to the interview and read it all the way through; I think you'll be glad that you did, and please post your response on the blog! Thanks,



Tom

Monday, October 15, 2007

Photos referred to in Marty's previous post in reunion string

Here's a shot of Steve Zind and myself in the studio on 24th St. The carts I referred to in a previous post about the theft on Camelback can be seen in the background. They were about 8" wide, made of wooden sides and plastic top & bottom. They were originally used by Channel 12, who donated them to Charles Buzzard at Phx College, who headed up a fledgling program that featured station KFCA, which later became KMCR, and is now KJZZ. They were primitive (or should we say, prototypes) but they worked! And note to Cammie Noel: We used them to play commercials!
One of Mariah's favorite albums that she referred to in that string was The Point" by Harry Nillson, in which he tells the story of a little boy name Oblio, and his dog Arrow "Me & My Arrow". Everyone in the land has a pointed head except for Oblio, so being different he is banished to the Pointless Forest. It was actually the first feature length animated cartoon for television and was an ABC Movie of the Week in 1971.
The Point! is a fable by American songwriter and musician Harry Nilsson about a boy named Oblio, the only round-headed person in the Land of Point, where by law everyone and everything had to have a point.
"I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points, and the little branches came to points, and the houses came to point. I thought, 'Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn't, then there's a point to it.'" -- Harry Nilsson



This is the cover art which features a needlepoint done by ????? I can't remember! maybe somebody knows.
Marty


Dig It.... Blues For The City


A cool new event,
Blues for the City
ä, will be held in downtown Phoenix on Saturday, October 20th and Sunday, October 21st. The Saturday block party will be held on Jackson Street just south of USAirways Arena, with the Sunday show taking place in the courtyard at Alice Cooperstown
101 E. Jackson Street, Phoenix, AZ. View Map
This event is "Help for its Kids" and will benefit Rosie's House, the Arizona School for the Arts, Young Sounds of Arizona and the Phoenix Youth Symphony.
Saturday's show, which will run from 11:00 am until 11:00 pm, will feature Kal David & the Real Deal, Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy, Eddie Turner, Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns with Jerry Lawson, Big Nick & the Gila Monsters, The Rocket 88s, The Chuck Hall Band, Jimmy Peyton's Midnite Blues, Sir Harrison & the Blues Kings, Honeyboy Dupree & the Smokehouse Players, and Nina Curri with Charles Bond.
Sunday's show, running from noon until 9:00 pm, will feature Zac Harmon, Hans Olson, Big Daddy D and the Dynamites, Lisa Otey & Diane van Deurzen, Scotty Spenner, Jim Glass Band, Mikel Lander, KC Blues Band, Soulcatcher, and The Top Cats.
Check the special PBS Blues for the City page for Schedule and Artist Bio’s.
Co-Producers:
· Phoenix Blues Society www.phoenixblues.org
· Alice CoopersTown www.alicecooperstown.com
· Independent Events www.ietickets.com

Friday, October 05, 2007

KCAC Reunion Fever!

Just got an newcomer email from the blog (will post below this) thought it was time to put THE LIST up again. Anyone who wants to see THE LIST with pictures from the KCAC days go to the archives May 22, 2007.

We are gearing up for another KCAC LIVES REUNION at Alwun House!!! "You're Either On the Bus or Off the Bus" to quote Tom Wolfe's cult classic "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test" Grab a seat!


C'MON 'N GET SOME BUZZ GOING! IT'S GOING TO BE ANOTHER BLAST! LAST TIME WAS EXPENSIVE AND KIM AND DANA KNOCKED THEMSELVES OUT FOR US. THIS TIME WE NEED TO ALL CONTRIBUTE SOME MOOLA FOR THE CAUSE. I'VE ALREADY STARTED STASHING MY LATTE MONEY IN A JAR (NOT STARBUCK'S JAR!) LETS MAKE THIS HAPPEN. THE WEATHER'S FINE. Kim Moody called me last week. We are working on a date in November or possibly late October (not as likely just coming off the AMEHOF event) Pass the word and send suggestions!!

Adams, Lynne
Alves, Jack
Apicella, John
Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall Of Fame
Arnold, Linda
Bailey, Jim
Baldwin, Mike
Baldwin, Russ
Beals,Ken (AMEHOF)
Bell, Bob Boze
Bennett, Fran
Bentley, Connie
Bethancourt, Joe
Botkin, Jim
Bowen, Ray
Boyle, Liz (AMEHOF/Radio Free Phoenix)
Bradychocks, Julie
Brazil, Susie (contact Mariah Fleming)
Brown, Rob (www.mdgaz.com)
Cahal, John (REBIRTH) (private - contact vagabondvet)
Carroll, Todd
Carter, Marsha
Carver, Sue
Clark, Doug
Collins, Michael
Compton, Bill (R.I.P.)
Compton-Glenn, Carole
Cookenboo, Hank (R.I.P.)
Covington, Dan
Crazy (Jan Isbell)(R.I.P.)
Curry. Robert S.
Curtis, Mike
Davis, Marc (TERROS)
DeGray, Helen
Deerhake, David
Dickinson, Ted
Dixon, John [Johnny D[\] (AMEHOF; KCAC; KDKB)
Drake, George F. (Springfield/Amherst Mass)
Dunn, Bob
Emery, Vince
English, Alton
English, Jerry "Magic"
Fendelman, Jane
Fenimore, David
Flannigan, Julie
Fleming, Mariah (AMEHOF/RADIO FREE PHX)
Frank, Bruce (REBIRTH FOUNDER)
Frank, Raman (REBIRTH)
Frank, Gregg (REBIRTH - Contact Bruce Frank)
Friedman, Barry
Frieflander, Karen
Galindo, Alicia
Gant, Pegi {Cookenboo} (KDKB)
Garneau, Joe (REBIRTH FOUNDER.)
Garneau, Larry (REBIRTH)
Garneau, Michelle (REBIRTH) (private - contact vagabondvet)
Gately, Bill (R.I.P.)
Gately, Bob cowboysonmars.com
Geist, Barry (REBIRTH)
Goodman, Mike
Grieger, Kathy (contact through Bruce Frank)
Griffin, Dan
Harris, Ron (Eric) 'Pappa'
Harshberger, Dan
Herbert, Kimmer
Holmes, Chuck
Hoyle, Rich
Johnson, Don
Johnson, June
Johnson, Mike (REBIRTH)
Jones, Scott
Kerr, Jon (KCAC/KDKB) (contact Mariah Fleming)
Kinsey, Gary "Toad Hall" KCAC; KDKB (R.I.P.)
Kinsey, Filipa
Kitchell, Nancy
Kollassa, Mike
Koors, Tim
Kothrade, Michael (REBIRTH)
Lange, Patrick
Lederman, Cindy
Lehr, Bob
Magahern, Jimmy (KCAC LIVES!)
Manning, Marty (KCAC/KDKB)
Martin, Peter
McBroom, Dennis (KDKB)
McCarty, Chris
McCarty, Steve
Meighan, Bob
Mell, Ed
Migdoll, Susan
Moody, Kim (ALWUN HOUSE)
Morrison, Barbara
Murray, Jim
Nadworney, Nina "Nina Joy"
Niccolson, Scott (KCAC/KDKB)
Norton, Virginia
Nussbaum,Belle "Belle Starr"
Nykanan, Mark
Olson, Andy (RADIO FREE PHOENIX FOUNDER)
Olson, Hans (AMEHOF)
P.J.
Paceley, Ken
Page, Daniel "vagabondvet" (REBIRTH)
Peterson, Linda (REBIRTH)
Peterson, Marsha
Porter, Sharon Elaine
Powell, Lee
Price, Bill
Pyle, Slagge T. (KDKB)
Radina, Kathy
Rameesh
Robb, Gary (R.I.P.)
Robertson, John (KDKB)
Robinson, Duane (REBIRTH)
Rogers, Bob
Rogers, Rich
Roland. Ed
Schneider, Sue
Shaw, Russell "Wonderful Russ"
Schecter, Eric
Skaggs, Ken - (AMEHOF)
Slagle, Bonnie
Smith, Doug
Smith, Erica
Soderquist, George (R.I.P.)
Soderquist, Skio
Stratton, Ted
Sussman, Terri (AMEHOF)
Sweet, Cheryl
Thomson, Betty
Thomson, Ray (Private - see Freespeak@gmai.com )
Thompson, Linda
Thrift, Bill (TERROS)
Tindle, Dwight www.dwightindle.com (KDKB FOUNDER) (R.I.P.)
Usry, Kent
Vascocu, Tommy
Wakefield, Ken
Wales, Lissa www.drumpics.com (R.I.P.)
Webb, Kevin (DO IT NOW FOUNDATION) (R.I.P.)
Whitener, Kasey
Wortham, Ron (KCAC/KDKB)
Wright, Tom
Zelisko, Dan

Please leave a comment to kcaclives@gmail.com to have information added, updated, edited or deleted. Clicking hyperlinked (underlined) names will launch an email to that person. Have a great day!

If you are an anonymous [new] poster or reader with memories, tapes, pictures, wine, food, love and would like to be added to The List, please drop a line to kcaclives@gmail.com kcaclives@gmail.com to be added. You can email your contribution or inquiry the first time and we will send you an invitation to join the conversation with our merry band of regular posters. All you need is a memory, picture, tape or hug - to share.

The List has become a reference point for memories and emails to old friends. It also has become kind of a Social Register and will be something of a reference list for reunions and such in the future. Not only that, SOMEONE - maybe someone special from the old days, MAY be trying to find YOU.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

RADIO FREE PHOENIX NAILS IT!!!

Andy, Cheryl, Llz, Dave, Miss Holley King, Paul Riopelle and the gang (too numerous for my brain to hold on to at the moment!) congrats on being voted the NEW TIMES BEST INTERNET STATION! IT"S WELL DESERVED AND LONG OVERDUE!

ANDY OLSON'S A VALLEY TREASURE & IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF ANDY, HIS WONDERFUL, DEDICATED AIR STAFF AND SUCH VAST KNOWLEDGE AND LOVE FOR MUSIC THAT THE MAGIC OF RADIO FREE PHOENIX HAPPENS AT ALL!

MUCHO LOVE TO Y'ALL!! LET'S KEEP ON ROCKIN' IN THE FREE WORLD!
SUPPORT RADIO FREE PHOENIX!! The Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame does! www.azmusichalloffame.org

BEST INTERNET RADIO STATION (2007)
RADIO FREE PHOENIX
www.radiofreephoenix.com
928-402-1590
You know a radio station is free from crappy, corporate play lists when it airs a weekly show called "Zappa Universe," honoring the music of Frank Zappa. Or when it plays The Earps, an abrasive, local cowpunk band, right after classic-rock fogies like The Marshall Tucker Band. Or when listeners play DJ and pick a pile of weekend songs (and the station actually plays them).

Welcome to RADIO FREE PHOENIX, an Internet station that plays everything from New Wave to blues to folk to psychedelic jams (and a bunch of amalgamations in between), spanning the '60s through today. Where corporate-owned radio stations use a computer program called Selector to determine their playlists (based on time, genre, and even gender limitations), RADIO FREE PHOENIX'S DJs actually choose the music they play.

So instead of hearing "hit singles" all day, listeners get gems like the new song "I Think I See the Light" by Yusef Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) — which will never ride a Clear Channel frequency — along with special programs like "Rock-A-Billy & Beyond," hosted by former AZ resident Miss Holley King. There's also "Jukebox Cantina," which dishes out ditties by the likes of locals Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, Truckers on Speed, and The Pistoleros. With programs like these, and on-air personalities like Liz Boyle (also on-air at KOOL FM) and Andy Olson (formerly of defunct PHX stations KRIZ and KRUX), RADIO FREE PHOENIX has truly Net-ed a winner.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

AMEHOF Induction Ceremony - tomorrow night! (Sun., 9-23)


Don't forget! The 2007 AMEHOF Induction Ceremony is tomorrow night (Sunday, Sept. 23)! Click here for the evite plus links to everything you need to know about the night (including how to get there).

Here's the word from Danny Zelisko,:

"to ALL:

this will be a wonderful event, and i hope you can join us. tickets are pretty cheap. ... and i will be inducting Dwight. i am sure it will be a bittersweet moment, as we all wish Dwight was here with us.

he will be in spirit, i am sure.

regardless if you can make it, i wish all a great day...

Cisco"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wonderful Russ Interview


Derrick Bostrom did an interview with Wonderful Russ and got him reminiscing about all kinds of stuff. Click here to read. Here's Derrick's summary:

"In this exclusive interview, Phoenix broadcasting legend and real estate celebrity “Wonderful” Russ Shaw reminisces about “Love Workshop,” the comedy show he co-created in 1976 with Tod Carroll for the progressive rock station KDKB-FM. He also shares stories about the early days of free-form radio in Phoenix and the various local luminaries he met along the way. he also talks about pirate radio, doing stand-up and selling houses.

Non-Phoenicians who maintain enough interest to keep reading this rather long interview to the end might gain context from this article about KDKB radio, as well as the KCAC Lives! blog, where surviving staff and fans share their memories of KDKB’s predecessor, the short-lived KCAC-AM. Honorable mention must also be made of the online station Radio Free Phoenix, Andy Olson’s tribute to the classic progressive radio format of the seventies, and KDIL-FM 666, the home of Phoenix’s infamous pirate station. Meanwhile, you can dig Russ firsthand on the Bloodhound Blog, which is predominantly - but not solely — about his adventures in the real estate trade.

And don’t forget Bostworld’s own “Love Workshop” page, which collects all of our content about this historic and awesome program, including rare scans and many hours of audio."

Thanks, Derrick!

Friday, September 07, 2007

AMEHOF Induction Ceremony - Sept. 23


Pat McMahon welcomes all you "white punks on dope" to the 2007 AMEHOF Induction Ceremony! Click here for your personal evite from Pat to the Sept. 23 induction ceremony at the Dodge, this year honoring The Tubes, Stevie Nicks, Buck Owens and others. Besides the video, the evite includes links to everything you need to know about the night (including how to get there).
As much as we hear Pat talk in this city, there's just something about his delivery that remains perpetually cool. Apparently he's also MC-ing the event. Should be a good 'un!
Michael Dunn, owner of the Rock Star Gallery, is also doing a benefit silent auction for the event and has some really cool stuff. Stay tuned for pictures of some of the stuff to be featured in that.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Edge of Sixty


In honor of Arizona's own Stevie Nicks turning 60 next May, why not enjoy some Fleetwood Mac tunes as played by a classical string quartet? Usually these "classical tributes" to various rock bands don't work, but these arrangements from the Vitamin String Quartet, who've apparently done 232 such albums, somehow do. (I think these particular tracks are all Lindsey Buckingham compositions, but of course, they're all about Stevie.)

While you're listening, check out the "My Stevie Room" gallery on Stevie's own Website, where the Gold Dust Woman's most crazed fans have erected elaborate Stevie shrines (see above sample). I'm sure many of these fans are hitting the big 6-0 themselves. Stand back!

“The Chain” (mp3)


“Secondhand News” (mp3)


“Go Your Own Way” (mp3)



(Thanks to the music blog, “This Recording”)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Report from the field

Hello fellow bloggers. I keep meaning to post something profound and eloquent, but working overtime in 110+ degree heat outside of Gila Bend kinda saps my energy. So I'm just saying hi, and letting you all know that I may yet survive the summer and get back to digitizing the KCAC tapes. In the meantime, please do yourselves the following musical favors: (1) buy the new Linda Thompson album, "Versatile Heart"; (2) ditto for Andy Hersey's "Between God and Country" (I've blogged about this one previously); and (3) check out some kick-ass honkytonk music on the new live album by the Tucson-based Hacienda Brothers (www.haciendabrothers.com). And remember that Richard Thompson is playing at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix on September 26th (this time it's a full-band, electric show). And by the way, Teddy Thompson - Richard and Linda's proverbial chip off the old block - has a wonderful new country album of his own, "Up Front and Down Low". Quite a summer for the Thompson family!

Thank you, Jimmy, for keeping the blog alive during the seasonal doldrums. Let's all get talking again once the thermometer dips to tolerable levels.

Tom

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Scorsese's Stones flick

Trailer for "Shine A Light," the upcoming concert film of the Rolling Stones' most recent tour by director Martin Scorsese.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Marty Manning, Simpsonized!


Since activity on this blog has been light this month (I know, too hot outside to think), I decided to check out the other blogs of some of our contributors and found this gem on Marty's KEZ blog. Not a bad likeness! Go there to find out how you can Simpsonize yourself, too!
Marty's blog also includes a video clip of Marvin Gaye's matchless rendition of the National Anthem at the NBA All Star game in 1983 (more on that here). "Pretty special, maybe the best ever," Manning writes. Amen!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

WE SAY GOODBYE TO LEE HAZLEWOOD

Miss Holly King, host of Rockabilly and Beyond, on Radio Free Phoenix sent this to us from Lee Hazlewood's MySpace page:

It is with great sadness that we announce that LEE HAZLEWOOD has died peacefully at his home outside Las Vegas, USA, after a three year struggle with cancer. He celebrated his 78th birthday earlier this month surrounded by family and friends from around the world. He passed away on August 4th, 2007, in Henderson, Nevada, and is survived by his son Mark, his daughters Debbie and Samantha, and his devoted wife Jeane.

For over half a century, LEE HAZLEWOOD proved himself to be one of the most ingenious, inspired and impressively stubborn sons-of-a-bitch the music industry ever saw. His career – a word that HAZLEWOOD himself scorned – saw him take on almost every aspect of the music industry – a word that HAZLEWOOD himself was equally dismissive of – and come out on top every time. Most famous for his work with Nancy Sinatra – he wrote and produced many of Nancy Sinatra's biggest hits, including "These Boots Were Made For Walking," "Sugartown" and the unforgettable "Some Velvet Morning."

HAZLEWOOD in fact started his musical career as a DJ in Coolidge, Arizona. It was here he first met Duane Eddy, with whom he began to flesh out and record some of his songs. In 1955 he set up Viv Records and in 1956 hit paydirt with Sanford Clark's legendary "The Fool." The following year he gave up his work as a dj to focus on production and writing. In the early 1960s he established the LHI Label (which is best known for having released the debut album by Gram Parson’s first group, The International Submarine Band) and began releasing his own solo albums, including the extraordinary "Trouble Is A Lonesome Town."

In the mid sixties, in the face of The British Invasion (led by the likes of The Beatles), HAZLEWOOD retired to the shadows (where he was always most comfortable) only to be reluctantly dragged out to work with Nancy Sinatra. Their work together – including the iconic "Boots" – was an overnight success and saw her become a star in her own right worldwide, but she also insisted that HAZLEWOOD step out in front of the microphone himself, leading to the release of three "Nancy & Lee" albums.In the early 1970s HAZLEWOOD moved to Sweden to ensure his son was not drafted by the US military. He recorded a series of solo albums there as well as collaborating with film director Torbjörn Axelman, but then ‘retired’ again, working only occasionally over the next two decades.

Instead he began to follow an itinerant lifestyle which he pursued until very recently, living in Ireland, Germany, Spain and of course America. However it was the rediscovery of this work two decades later by a new generation of musicians including the likes of Sonic Youth, whose drummer Steve Shelley tracked HAZLEWOOD down and reissued a number of his solo albums on his Smells Like Records imprint. That led to a resurgence of interest in his work as a performer.

In the late 1990s he returned to the studio to record a typically cryptically titled standards album "Farmisht, Flatulence, Origami, ARF!!! and Me", and in 1999 he returned to the stage at the invitation of Nick Cave who was curating that year’s Meltdown Festival in London.

Following a sold out show at the Royal Festival Hall he sanctioned the release of two albums of unreleased material, most notably "For Every Solution There’s A Problem," toured Europe, and then returned to the studio to record his final album "Cake Or Death" which was released to worldwide acclaim in 2006.

HAZLEWOOD’s music has always been a staple of movie soundtracks, but it has continued to become more and more fashionable, regularly turning up in films as diverse as The Dukes Of Hazzard – which saw Jessica Simpson perform 'These Boots Were Made For Walking' for the title track – and the arthouse flick 'Morvern Callar' – which used "Some Velvet Morning" to great effect.

The family have requested that those wishing to honor LEE HAZLEWOOD should make donations to the Salvation Army

"Kiss all the pretty ones goodbye,

Give everyone a penny that cry;

You can throw all my 'tranquil' pills away,

Let my blood pressure go on its way,

For my autumn's done come,
My autumn’s done come."

by,
Lee Hazlewood from "My Autumn’s Done Come"

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Love Workshop on KDKB (circa 1974-1976)

The Love Workshop tracks linked in the preceding post are now available in handy-dandy playlist form. Click any track below to play (if you dare!).




In the near future, we'll be working on an audio page where all the archived recordings can be found, played and downloaded without a lot of searching around.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vern and Craig, Ho!


From Russ:
I can't seem to log in to the KCAC Blog correctly but for a change DO have a post that may be interesting. Almost all of the Love Workshop shows are now available for downloading at this URL:
http://derrickbostrom.com/bostrom/2007/07/03/love-workshop-redux/

If you could post that for me, I would really appreciate it.
Thanks,
Russ

WHY, THANK YOU RUSS! Great link. Here's to when 'cutting edge' humor meant twisting the knife deep into the "sacred cows" of the decade. "Vern and Craig - Craig and Vern" Between them, two minds that expanded WAY over the edge. I vividly recall marveling at Russ's unabashed hilarity while doing "Snacks." It was something to behold.

I was an unwitting passenger on their runaway train and participating in the bit was equal parts appalling and funny. Mostly I remember saying to myself "Oh My God, these guys are going to have us eat the baby!! What have I gotten myself into?!"

Well, whatever it was, I'm all the crazier for it and will always be glad that I was there to share the moment.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

KCAC Farewell Broadcast

Listen to the KCAC Farewell Broadcast, from August 14, 1971:



To download, click here.
To open player in a new, tiny window, click here.

Here's a link to Tom Wright's original post on receiving the collection of tapes from Jeff and Jennifer Crawford featuring this broadcast, and here are some informal comments from Tom about the particular recording featured here:

"It runs about 26 minutes. The sound quality is not very good but it's amazing that this tape exists at all. It seems to run a bit slow but I'm not proficient enough yet on the gadgetry to fix it. When I tried to speed it up just the tiniest bit, it sounded like everybody was on helium, so I decided that a little slow is better than a lot fast.

It was really a trip to hear this tape 36 years after listening to the original broadcast. I remembered certain things precisely but had totally forgotten about others - like how Bill stops in the middle of his big, emotional farewell to plug a garage sale because he'd promised to do it earlier but had forgotten.

You'll hear a couple of glitches, or things that sound like glitches. The tape starts with Hank Cookenboo (at least I think it's Hank, maybe it's Marty slowed down by the tape) giving his own farewell speech, and at one point he just stops and there's dead air for 12 or 13 seconds - I think he got too choked up to go on. After some commercials, Compton comes on and starts to play a Moody Blues track, but the taper stopped part way through and then started again with Bill's farewell address. I don't know how much time elapsed while the tape recorder was turned off, but after that it runs uninterrupted though the end of the very last song. Everything that I remember from the original broadcast is on the tape, so I don't think the edit actually eliminated anything more than the Moody Blues song and whatever music came after it.

In the final fade, the last few seconds of KCAC's existence, you can hear someone yelling 'Tom! Tom!' That wasn't part of the broadcast - it was background noise picked up on the mic being used by the taper. The 'Tom' in question, according to Jeff Crawford, was the boyfriend of Lawrence Richardson's sister; she was the taper. Jeff and Lawrence were friends at the time. The sister's name seems to be lost to history (at least I don't recall Jeff ever mentioning it to me), as is her reason for recording so many hours of KCAC in the first place - but I'm sure glad that she did."

Comments? Please add below.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Valley's Tubes to be Inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame-Share Your Local Tubes/Beans Stories


The Valley's own The Tubes will reunite September 23rd at the Dodge Theatre for their induction into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.
Although oftentimes referred to as a band with it's origins in San Francisco, Phoenix fans know the Tubes originated from the Valley based band, The Beans.


The Tubes will not only be reuniting on the evening of September 23, but AMEHOF President, Terri Sussman hints at a rare grand finale which will hearken back to the band's most glam and theatrical.

A three minute video presentation, concentrating on the band's start here in the Phoenix area will be shown at the event.

We ask all of you who were there to please take a moment share your local memories, history, etc, for possible inclusion into the video script.
(Pictures of Beans 1970 flyer and Vince Welnick's 1967 Bourgade High School photo)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

From The Bone Mama!

This comes from longtime AZ radio treasure and Internet broadcaster Mary McCann:

Thank you friends and family for keeping the Internet radio business going! This Sunday, July 15 threatened to be the day the music died when the bill would come due for outrageous copyright fees but because of the pressure on Congress, pressure from your phone calls and emails, SoundExchange appeared in front of the House Commerce committee yesterday and said that webcasters can keep streaming while negotiations are being hammered out. They will not enforce the new rates, at least not yet. We’re not out of the woods but at least the woods are no longer on fire. You did it with your calls and letters. Thank you.

Sound Exchange exposed their hand this week when they made a small business offer that was good for a mere 18 months and had the stipulation that we not seek redress in Congress. They are afraid of you. They want to shut down the small guys and let the big 4 record companies make private deals for this rate with the RIAA. When they make private deals the 50% of the money that goes to the aritst goes out the window and 100% goes to the record companies. Sick shit. The issue will continue to haunt this industry until they change the law that is why the Internet Radio Equality Act is crucial so please continue to call your congress people especially your senators.

We stood up together and made a difference. Your calls and mail made a difference. Thank you!

Yes, God IS Alive. Magic IS Afoot

Mary McCann, "The Bone Mama" is (naturally) doing some really cool stuff. Here's some info: Mary's BOOK, "Noisy by Nature" has been added to Scripps College, Denison Library Special Collection, Claremont, CA; University of New Mexico Special Collections; The Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry, Miami Beach, FL.

Mary McCann, "The Bone Mama"
"Ad astra per aspera"
poet/performer
podcast:
www.radioangels.com/users/bone


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Good News Tonight Show!

Well, the Tonight Show question was answered by the scads of responses I got on my other web page. Score one for the Tonight Show! Every response about them was positive! Good to know! Now lets encourage them to have more songwriters like Bright Eyes on to perform 'controversial' music. Richard Thompson's new one "Dad's Gonna Kill Me" is an outstanding example of great music that needs to be heard.

Did Neil Young ever do his anti Iraq song on any late night show? Anyone know of any performers who have done controversial songs on tv? Or for that matter, of any that are heard anywhere except on internet radio?

It would be interesting to keep track of how the climate is changing politically. People are speaking out a lot more now on the news. Maybe it will spill over into the entertainment area of tv and radio? Lets face it, the news is not very damned entertaining no matter how hard they try to make it so.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Latest KCAC Tape News

I finally got the hardware and the software to deal with the tapes Jeff and Jennifer Crawford provided to me earlier this year. Many thanks to Andy Olson for the technical advice! Anyway, I experimented yesterday by grabbing a random tape (from the box of 20-or-so that were provided by the Crawfords), setting up the gadgetry, and seeing what might happen.

The first hour or so of this particular side of this particular tape is mostly public-affairs programming with Bill Compton interviewing peace activists and so forth. But then, lo and behold, the tape also contains BILL COMPTON'S FAREWELL ON KCAC'S LAST DAY OF BROADCAST, AUGUST 14, 1971! This has been a sort of Holy Grail for me, as I remember that broadcast very well but nobody seemed to have recorded it. Well, it turns out that somebody did! Bill talks in very personal terms about what KCAC tried to do, and what it meant to him. Here (in condensed form) is some of what he says:

It's sort of been my wife and my enemy and everything all rolled into one... it's been something that meant a lot to me and something I felt strongly about. I've kind of grown to regard the station as a person rather than a lot of machinery lying around, because it has definitely had a mind of its own throughout the years. In fact, if the old radio station can do something besides broadcast, it can receive a little bit, too.

Then he plays the farewell set of music that has been burned into my brain these last 36 years, even if there was no tape to play it back: "Dear Mary" by the Steve Miller Band, "Slim Slow Slider" by Van Morrison, "Restless Farewell" by Bob Dylan, "A Very Cellular Song" by the Incredible String Band, and finally "Bookends" by Simon and Garfunkle with its very last line: preserve your memories, they're all that's left you. Then it was 7:15 PM, sign-off time, so the music faded into silence, and KCAC was history.

Magic. Pure magic, showing Bill's genius at its brightest. It's a miracle that this tape exists at all, so Jeff and Jennifer Crawford, THANK YOU for preserving it and making it available to the KCAC Lives! community.

I haven't even listened to this side of this particular tape in its entirely (it's 3 hours long) so God only knows what other treasures are on it, or on any of the other 20 or so tapes from the Crawford Collection. Jeff says they were recorded by his friend Lawrence Richardson, and by Lawrence's sister. Lawrence gave the tapes to Jeff in 1983, but his whereabouts are currently unknown, so we can't find out anything more about the tapes except by listening.

(Incidentally, if each of the 20 or so tapes runs 3 hours per side at the slow speed, that's 120 hours of KCAC! That may be too optimistic a prediction, but even if we cut it in half, that's 60 hours of historic Phoenix radio.)

The tapes are not state-of-the-art digital quality, to say the least. They were apparently recorded by placing a microphone in front of a radio speaker, and the tape deck was set to the lowest-fidelity recording speed possible (1 7/8 IPS). But, again, the miracle is that these tapes exist at all. They are perfectly listenable once your ears adjust to the rough sound. Most importantly, based on this one random sample, the tapes convey the essence of KCAC loud and clear. I'll consult with Andy Olson about the best way to clean up the audio and get the recordings preserved on disc in a format that can be made readily available to everyone. Rumor is that another KCAC gathering may happen in September, so hopefully I'll have a BUNCH of the tapes digitized by then. Watch the blog for more news as it develops.


Tom Wright
7/9/07

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth today - tune in!


More than 100 artists are performing on 7 continents today to boost awareness of the climate crisis. The NBC stations are broadcasting parts of it all day, and Bravo is broadcasting 17 hours straight beginning at 9 this morning. In addition, you can hear it on XM Satellite radio (free through the AOL Radio player), and watch streaming video on MSN.com (http://liveearth.msn.com).
I was in Philadelphia at Live Aid back in the mid-80's, and this event reminds me of that, only bigger. There's something about tuning in to a live music event the world is sharing that's pretty energizing - tapping into that whole global consciousness thing. Be a part of it - right now!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Our "Whoosh" Girl Needs A "Mega-Whoosh"

Poet Sharon Porter, old friend of the blog, wrote that her husband Ken is having unexpected open heart surgery on July 5th. She asked for prayers and good thoughts...passing it on to our community...I know we'll all be rooting for him. Godspeed, Sharon and Ken.

God is Alive, Magic is Afoot.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Radio Free Phoenix Radiothon in progress now!

Radio Free Phoenix needs your help now more then ever. As an all volunteer organization dedicated to remaining commercial free, we needs your support in the form of cash donations to help pay for the basic operating cost of the station. With the looming royalty rate increases from the RIAA and rising streaming cost, RFP is now hosting a 3 day Radiothon to draw attention to the cause. If RFP is something you don't want to see disappear, please donate to help keep this great music station on the air.

Click here to find out how.

http://radiofreephoenix.com/donation.html


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Love Workshop ad 1974

I had already posted 3 other KDKB items from 1974 when I ran across this ad from Flash magazine, 1974, touting the Love Workshop comedy show from KDKB. Love Workshop was the second effort from Tod Carroll, who teamed with Barry Friedman to create Bunkhouse Capers featuring Buck & Barry. After Barry left, moving to L.A. to become a TV writer, Tod teamed up with Wonderful Russ for another exercise in tasteless excess .. which was of course very funny! Tod later became an editor for National Lampoon, working as a writer on National Lampoon Goes to the Movies. He also wrote Clean & Sober, starring Michael Keaton in 1988. Wonderful Russ will still sell your house in 30 days or less, or you can fire him.

KDKB Ad 1974

This is the first of 3 posts of KDKB items from some old Razz Revue & Flash magazines from 1974. I love the Captain Beefheart quote.
Marty

Mr & Mrs Hall(!)


Toad Hall (Gary Kinsey) used to play a song for Phillipa every morning at 9am on KDKB. He got pretty flowery talking about her each morning, to the point where some beagn to doubt her existence (see photo caption)
Phillipa was indeed quite real, and they had 3 very real children (Ted came later)
I haven't seen Phillipa in quite a while, and last I heard the kids were living in San Diego, where they loved living with Gary when they were teenagers. Jerome taught himself to play guitar and one of my favorite memories is of him playing guitar while Gary sang at one of our Papago Park reunions. And not just any guitar .. it was Jack Alves' guitar! Thanks again to Tom Story, this is another photo from the Razz Revue "103 Irregular Arizonans" issue.
Marty

KDKB staff 1974


Recently I ran across photog Tom Story who passed on a couple of old Razz Revues, and 2 issues of Flash from 1974. The Razz issue "103 Irregular Arizonans" featured the staff of KDKB among those 103. Thought you might enjoy seeing it.
Marty



Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dance to the music!


If you're ever in need of some good old school funk music, this blog features plenty of great downloads and instant streams. Here's the blogger's tribute to Sly & The Family Stone, featuring originals as well as some cool covers by everyone from Gladys Knight to Woody Herman to Brian Auger & the Trinity:



Stand!

Another good funk blog, with a sample:


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Andy Hersey: Somewhere Between God and Country

Tom Wright says:

KCAC/KDKB listeners will recall that one of Bill Compton’s favorite records was John Stewart’s California Bloodlines, with songs that expressed love and hope for America without mindless flag-waving or political posturing. It was a love based on the land and the people, and on the rich traditions of freedom, equality, and opportunity that reflected the best of what America had to offer. Amidst the anguish of Vietnam and the national doubts about what we stood for, John Stewart quietly reminded us of who we were and where we came from.

Andy Hersey, a real, honest-to-God working cowboy from southeastern Arizona, has just released his second CD, Between God and Country. It is not only the finest music to come out of Arizona in the last several years, it is also a worthy successor to California Bloodlines as a statement about America during troubled times. As the title suggests, faith is also addressed, but in terms outside of and completely beyond any religious dogma. "Somewhere between God and country, I am a patriot, I’m a believer," he sings. Not unlike John Stewart’s heartfelt "Oh mother country, I do love you."

Andy was born in Tucson 40 years ago and paid his dues as a cowboy on various ranches in southeast Arizona, including the beautiful and historic San Rafael Ranch (now a State Park). He played guitar and sang old cowboy and folk songs, just for fun, ever since he was a kid; then he started covering the likes of Robert Earl Keen and Kris Kristofferson; finally he started writing and performing his own songs. A serious injury a few years ago prompted him to retire from the more physically-demanding aspects of his work. He bought a few acres of land east of Sonoita, where he now boards horses and raises a few cows and chickens. His neighbor there (and one of Andy’s former employers) is Doc Clyne, father of Roger Clyne (former leader of the Refreshments, now of Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers). Doc introduced Andy to Roger, they formed a fast friendship, and Roger - blown away by Andy’s original songs - encouraged him to "go professional."

Andy’s first CD was Compañero Blanco, released independently in 2002. It’s a flat-out masterpiece. The title song describes his time on the San Rafael Ranch: the beauty of the land, the rewards of hard work, and the friendship that grew between Andy and Reuben Cebellos, the ranch foreman who spoke only Spanish and described the San Rafael as "occupied Mexico." This is strong, vivid, writing that says our common humanity and love of the land outshines the differences imposed by borders and fences and political rhetoric. There are several more cowboy-oriented songs on the album, along with a series of love-gone-wrong tunes that look back on failed relationships sometimes with regret, sometimes with bitterness, but often with humor. The music is a hybrid of country, rock, and folk - not a slick Nashville sound, or some market-driven fakery, but an honest, no-bullshit blend of American roots music with a strong Southwestern accent.

The new CD, Between God and Country, goes even farther. I’m tempted to just reprint the lyrics to the title song in their entirety here, but I won’t... I’ll just say it’s a meditation on those two topics, framed by a story about a blacksmith hammering out a new shoe for a lame horse, swearing that "by God she’ll walk away sound" as he looks up to the nearby Mustang Mountains, where he’s found a spirit that "brought me closer to God than a pulpit." All through the song are images of smoke and flame, sparks shooting out "like agave leaves" as the hammer strikes the red-hot iron, and a hand-forged cross hanging on the wall beneath the tin roof. Then there’s a final, spine-tingling line that fuses the themes and the imagery in a way that will leave you breathless (if you have ears, and a heart). As if that weren’t enough, the CD also contains another group of rueful lost-love songs, the rollicking "Mexican Moonshine" (co-written with Roger Clyne); a Marty Robbins-style western story with an Ennio Morricone-like arrangement ("Roughshod Range"), a stomping rocker ("Burning Georgia Down" [more fire imagery]), and a cheerful statement that he intends to go his own damn way - in life and in the music business - no matter what his critics might say ("Smile and Wave").

So there you have it: two self-released albums by a nearly-unknown singer-songwriter from the ranching country of southeastern Arizona. Both of them put most current, nationally-known artists’ work to shame.

Andy will be having a CD release party at the Last Exit in Tempe (southwestern corner of Southern and Priest) on Saturday, June 30th, around 10:30 P.M. Be there! Buy his CDs! He always puts on a fine show: all original music, all performed with energy and passion and total commitment, usually lasting 2 hours or more. Visit his website (www.andyhersey.com) for more information. He even has his new CD posted there as streaming audio so you can check it out for free.

Finally: no, I’m not his agent or publicist or any sort of a relative. I’m just someone who happened to see him at the Yucca Tap Room a few years ago and, after scraping myself off the ceiling, set out to spread the word about this major, home-grown, uniquely Arizona artist. I wouldn’t steer you wrong - this Sonoita rancher/singer/songwriter is our John Stewart, our Townes Van Zandt, our Guy Clark and John Prine and Robert Earl Keen. Yes, he’s really that good.

Tom

Monday, June 11, 2007

Movie Alert!

A few months ago there was a flurry of blog postings about movies filmed in Arizona. An obscure, older Arizona film will be on TV this week:

Lust for Gold (1949) with Glenn Ford and Ida Lupino, searching for the Lost Dutchman Mine; filmed along the Apache Trail.

Watch for it on Turner Classic Movies (TCM, Channel 42 on Cox), very early Wednesday morning (3 to 4:30 A.M.). The time is rather inconvenient but that's why God made Tivo. Or VCR's, if you haven't made that technological leap yet.

Tom

Friday, June 08, 2007

NO REGRETS


COMES A TIME
When the applause is too polite.
When the words don't quite fit the song.
When you realize you will never really know the people you've been drinking with.
When the next Love or Life Experience calls out to you.
When you know you must empty yourself and make the space.

Even trees move as they grow.

And that as they say, is that.


Artist: Tom Rush
Song: No Regrets


I know your leavin's too long overdue
For far too long I've had nothin' new to show to you
Goodbye dry eyes I watched your plane
Fade off west of the moon
And it felt so strange to walk away alone

No regrets, no tears goodbye
Don't want you back, we'd only cry, again
Say goodbye, again

The hours that were yours, echo like empty rooms
The thoughts we used to share, I now keep alone
I woke last night and spoke to you,
not thinking you were gone
It felt so strange to lie awake, alone

No regrets, no tears goodbye
Don't want you back, we'd only cry, again
Say goodbye, again

Our friends have tried to turn my nights to day
Strange faces in your place can't keep the ghosts away
Just beyond the darkest hour, just behind the dawn
Still feels so strange to lead my life, alone

I've no regrets, no tears goodbye
Don't want you back, we'd only cry, again
Say goodbye, again

Monday, June 04, 2007

No Joke


Dear Friends, Allies and Associates

Sometimes there seems an awkward silence on the blog after postings… especially after some of my awkward written attempts at humor, which I do often… and find useful and effective sometimes in live situations…

It may be me but… it seems something gets lost in the ebb and flow when this stuff is written out and analyzed out of live context. Maybe it’s the nature of the medium, or the nature of the blogger…

I want to apologize to any and all of the people I respect so much on this blog if anyone was offended by any of my posting.

I don’t know if I’ll ever change and I already hate “political correctness” and “people doing the worst things for the best reasons”… but I fight for and respect you and your rights…

I do love you all…

Yours Truly

Bruce Frank