Thursday, March 27, 2008

Drive-By Truckers and their connection to Richmond

There is an article in Style (this is the link to the full online version) about the Drive-By Truckers. Patterson Hood is interviewed by their friend, the owner of Plan 9.

The first song on their new album is about the Harvey family and they talk about the song a bit. The lyrics are at the end of the article. Quite moving. As a father, I very much related to when Patterson says "Being a father, there’s that extra reaction to something like that. Becoming a father made me more emotional anyway, harder to hold back the tears."

You can catch their performance of the song on Conan here: Fast forward to the 36:00 mark. Yes, you have to watch a couple commercials but the quality of audio and video is worth it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Friday Cheers (so far), Ticketmaster losing customers, Green Apple, Kenny G

A partial line-up for Friday Cheers from Pollstar and it looks pretty good so far:

Carbon Leaf
Sam Bush
Dr. Dog
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Jason Isbell (formerly of the Drive-By Truckers)

Found this article through the Crawdaddy web site. I love when the Ticketmaster weasel won't answer the reporter's questions about the ticket fees.,SHO-Sunday-dero23.article

The Green Apple Music Festival for Earth Day will be in DC this year (and seven other cities) on the National Mall. Date is April 20 and its free. Bands include The Roots & Friends, Gov’t Mule, Toots and the Maytals, Thievery Corp - DJ set, Warren Haynes, Umphreys McGee, DC Boys Choir, and City Dance .

A true test of whether the National Theater will be able to draw soccer moms from the West End into the wild and wooly downtown: Kenny G will play there on Sunday, June 8.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Drive-By Truckers 2X, The Machine, Irish Fest and more

Another week, another bunch of bands to see.

I'm going to start with the National and one of my favorite bands, Drive-By Truckers. I've raved about these guys a few times before. I've posted articles (here's another one: Their last four albums have received 4, 3.5, 3, and 4 stars respectively in Rolling Stone. If Bruce Springsteen had grown up in Alabama instead of NJ and listened to Skynyrd, Neil Young, Suicidal Tendencies, The Stones, AC/DC, R.E.M. and The Replacements, he would be the Drive-By Truckers. If you want passionate, epic, rowdy rock n' roll on Friday night, join me at the Truckers show on Friday night at The National. Doors open at 8, the show starts at 9 with opening act The Whigs, tickets are $20. If you are going to the show, let me know.

If you want a preview of the Drive-By Truckers, they'll be doing a free in-store performance at Plan 9 Records in Carytown on Friday @ 1:30pm. I know where I'll be spending my lunch hour. I don't know if it will live up to one of my favorite shows of all time, the Plan 9 30th (?) anniversary show that was also a benefit for the Bryan and Kathryn Harvey Family Memorial Endowment. The band is friends with Plan 9's owner and this was an emotional, rousing, invigorating show. But being that the band has a history with Plan 9, even the in-store performance should be exciting.

On Saturday at the National, is Pink Floyd tribute band, The Machine. Considering that Floyd shows no signs of ever getting back together and even if they did, you'd have to put a mortgage on your house to buy tickets, this is as close as you'll get to a Floyd show. A friend saw The Machine and said they have a spectacular light show and sounded great, so if you are into Floyd, you might want to check this out. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door.

If you're looking for something to do in the daylight and/or with the kids, the Irish Festival of St. Patrick Parish in Church Hill takes place on Saturday from 10 AM - 7 PM and Sunday from 10 AM - 6 PM. This is at Broad & 25th in Church Hill and they block off about six blocks for this festival. We've gone almost every year since we lived in Richmond (it was much easier and drunker when we were childless and lived down the street in Tobacco Row). They have the obligatory moon bounce, face painting and giant slide for the kids, jugglers, bagpipers (aren't they Scottish?), fife and drum corps, great food, beer (natch), Irish-themed crafts and great local music of the blues/Americana variety. If you didn't air yourself out this past weekend at the Easter Parade, the Irish Fest is a great place to get out and enjoy the spring weather.

At Toad's Place on Wednesday night, Rusted Root will be playing their rhythmic music. Doors open at 8 and tickets are $25.

Blues legend Johnny Winter is at Toad's on Thursday night. Doors at 7, show at 8, tix are $20 in advance, $25 day of show.

The BoDeans will be at Toad's on Monday, 3/31. Doors at 7, tix are $20.

Blues band, The Nighthawks, play at the Capital Ale House Downtown on Friday night. The Capital Ale House says: "For more than 30 years, The Nighthawks have entertained audiences all over the world with their unique blend of blues, rock, soul, R&B, rockabilly and swing. Their hard driving, soulful, and sometimes raucous live performances earned them a reputation as "the world’s best bar band." They've played along side legends that include Muddy Waters, BB King, Gregg Allman, Pinetop Perkins, John Lee Hooker (and more) and have helped launch the careers of numerous blues artists."

Have a great week and let me know if you'll be at the Truckers show!

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Listen: Little Feat, 3/10/08, The National, Richmond VA

If you missed the Little Feat show at the National or were there and want to relive the memory, you can find the show online streaming at:


Tony Jordan

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shamrocks, Satellites, Bluegrass, Willie, Loose Ends

Let's jump right in. Saturday, you can party like the Irish at the Shamrock on the Block party, a free bash in Shockoe Bottom. Kids are welcome though there will be beer. It is a St. Pat's day fest. The party goes from noon to 6 PM. There are a number of local bands playing and the Georgia Satellites are the headliner, coming on at 4:45. The Satellites were one of the great, underrated bands of the 80s, an island of straight forward rock in a land of synth pop. They had a few big hits on their self-titled album in '86 including "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" and "Battleship Chains". I also really enjoyed their '89 album, Land of Salvation and Sin. Note that the lead singer from that period is no longer with the band. But if you only know "Keep Your Hands to Yourself", you probably won't notice and I'm sure these guys can still rock n' roll. Hopefully, the weather will hold out for this event. I have never been because I think every year it is cold and/or rainy and the forecast isn't looking too good this year either.

Saturday, great bluegrass act, the Del McCoury Band come into the National. Show time is at 8 PM and tickets are $17.50 in advance, $20 the day of show. These guys are one of the greatest bluegrass bands ever.

You can keep getting your Americana groove on Tuesday at the National when American icon and legend and your favorite 70+ year old pot head, Willie Nelson, is here. Show time is at 8 PM and tickets are $55.

R&B queen Jill Scott comes to the Landmark Theater on Sunday night. Show starts at 7 PM and tickets are $48. Jill Scott mixes old soul with hip-hop and I like everything she's done. Even if you can't get to the show, check out some of her tunes on her web site.

Finally, at Toad's Place on Wednesday, its a Richmond music showcase with DJ Williams Projekt (not a DJ, that's his name), Oregon Hill Funk All-Stars, The Silo Effect, and Aparallax. Tickets are just $5 in advance and $10 the day of show. Doors open at 7 PM.

A few loose ends:

One of the greatest shows in the history of TV wrapped up on Sunday night. That would be HBO's The Wire. This show took us inside the drug gangs of inner city Baltimore and the police who tried to catch them. It showed us the unions, the politicians and the schools in a city eating itself alive with corruption. I will miss my look into that world even though it was gut wrenching at times. If you didn't see it, check it out on DVD. Two of my favorite characters were the drunk, womanizing McNulty and the drunk Bunk. These two guys were the good guys, believe it or not. In one of my favorite scenes, McNulty & Bunk investigate a crime scene. This scene displays some of the black humor they would use to lighten the shows cynical feel. Its amazing the different ways they can say the f-word. Its almost poetic. Watch out if you're watching this at work.

Because nothing is funnier than a monkey with a gun. (Again, watch the language):

The Marvelous Crooning Child. Disturbing yet strangely entertaining:

And just because it is a strange and beautiful song and video, Mexican Radio.

Have a great weekend. Happy St. Pat's Day!

Tony Jordan

SXSW Everywhere

The SXSW (that's South By Southwest) Conference has begun in Austin TX. This is the biggest music conference of the year, when dozens of bands and hundreds of music industry types and some regular fans too, head to Austin to find the "next big thing" and discover the new band who we'll be reading about for the next six months.

You can listen to a tiny chunk of SXSW on the NPR Music site (a great site for listening to performances of rock, jazz and classical music). The site is You can listen in from 1:30 - 6 PM today, then again from 9:15 PM - 1 AM today, then tomorrow from 2 PM - 7 PM. The full schedule is here: I'm sure they NPR will post all these performances on their site later so you can check them out at your convenience also.

If you have DirecTV you can check SXSW out on The 101 (that's channel 101) from March 13 to March 15 to catch eight hours of daily live coverage starting at 5 pm ET. Their schedule is here.

You can also find SXSW on XM radio on XM 52 - The Verge, and XM2 - XMX.

Check it out. You may just see your new favorite band.

Tony Jordan

Monday, March 10, 2008

Review: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - 11/5/08 - Toad's Place, Richmond VA

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals came into Toad's Place on Wednesday night and made believers out of all who saw them. They opened with 'Mastermind', the same song they opened with when I saw them at the All Good Festival last year, but they stretched this one out the slower passages a little more this time.

The band really clicked in for the first time on the third song of the night "Treat Me Right" (note: song titles or placement in the set may be off a little as I couldn't find a set list online so I'm going off of memory). Grace left the organ, showing off her tight white jeans and AC/DC 'Back In Black' t-shirt, strapped on the guitar and built the midsection of the song up into a blazing crescendo led by Scott Tournet on lead guitar. Scott plays a great bottleneck slide and is one of those guitarists (ala Mike Campbell of the Hearbreakers) who really looks to serve the song. He's not jumping out front to do a flashy solo but when its time to open up, he comes in rocking. The rhythm section of Bryan Dondero (bass) and Matt Burr (drums) provided the bedrock all night. Our vantage point ten feet in front of Matt (he was positioned front right of stage) gave us a great glimpse of him pounding the skins hard all night.

Grace showed off the elegant side of her voice when she took center stage for the acappella "Nothing But The Water Part 1". The crowd fell silent as she carried us through the gospel lyrics, feeling her way through the words with eyes closed in concentration and tapping out the rhythm on her tambourine. That led right into "Nothing But The Water Part 2" (natch) which led into a full band drum solo(?) with each band taking a part of the drum kit. Very cool to watch them interact with each other on that.

Grace can belt out the rockin' blues better than anyone but the highlight for me came on two slower tracks. The first was the country blues of "Big White Gate", in which the protagonist asks St. Peter to open up the gates of heaven for her because even though she was a "no good mother" and a "no good wife" she knows that all the "folks up in Heaven might like to hear me sing". Grace sang this one with a world weariness that belied her young age and Grace certainly made a case for herself to St. Peter. The next tune was a song made famous by Otis Redding, The Stones and The Dead, "Pain In My Heart". Grace and the band showed that they could give an old R&B number all the emotion and nuance it needed and made the song their own.

Next up was a surprise, The Who classic, "Gettin' In Tune", one of my favorite Who songs. They made the verses just a little slower and drawn out then the original, through the use of Grace's organ and blues drawl, to great effect, enough to put their own stamp on the song. When it came time to bang out the chorus, the whole band whipped it up, with Matt really banging on the drums in his best Keith Moon imitation.

Finally, for the encore, the funked through a version of "If I Was From Paris", which has grown funkier since I saw them play this last year at All Good. The crowd boogied down and sang along with the "ooh la la and la la la la"s. I can't wait until Grace and the Nocturnals get back to Richmond. They are definitely a band to watch.

Since it was a weeknight and we have babies in the house, I was unfortunately unable to stay for the Benevento-Russo Duo. I hope to catch them some other time. I did get into Toad's in time for the last song from the opener, The Atkinsons. Though they play mostly originals, the last song of the set was an all-time favorite of mine from The Waterboys, the title track from their album "Fisherman's Blues". When that album came out in 1988, I played the hell out of it and I played something from it on my college radio show every week for about a year. The Atkinsons really nailed it, especially Mike Ferry on the fiddle. You can catch the Atkinsons next at the St. Patrick's Church Irish Festival in Church Hill which takes place this year on March 29-30. More on that festival here in the blog the week before.

Tony Jordan

Little Feat, Van Halen, Kid Rock

Still haven't been able to get to my Grace Potter review. I'm having some problems with my Norton Internet Security on my home PC. It turns off on its own or doesn't come on when the PC boots up and then it won't let me onto any secure sites., which is keeping from being able to post a blog. The problem is intermittent and very strange but I need to do more research because calling Norton, who charge $10 for calling them, is my last resort.

Anyway, tonight at the National is Little Feat. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Tickets are $23. Little Feat has been one of my favorite bands ever since I was introduced to the classic "Waiting For Columbus" live album in college. I'd like to see them at the National too, because they would have more time to play then they do at Innsbrook, with its curfew. I don't know if they will play longer than 90 mins. since the last few times I have seen them have been at Innsbrook. However, I will reluctantly have to pass on the Feat this time because....

I am going to see Van Halen on Tuesday at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. There are still tickets available. Show starts at 8 and there is an opener. It looks like Eddie will be out of his week long reup in rehab and he'll be clean, mean and ready to rock.

At JPJ Arena on Wednesday, Kid Rock brings his Rock & Roll Revival tour in. This will feature guests Dickey Betts from the Allman Brother Band and Rev. Run from Run DMC. Show starts at 7:30 and tickets are cheap, with a top price of $45. This sounds like it would be a cool show, interesting at least, and I've always liked Kid. I figure with his love of rock, country and rap this would be quite an eclectic show.

Gotta run.

Tony Jordan

Friday, March 7, 2008

Neville Brothers, Chris Smither, Langerado webcast, Go Fly a Kite

I was going to have a longer post today, but the Blogger site wasn't working last night around 9:15 when I tried to go on, so I'm just going to bang the weekend's highlights out real quick and get to another blog this weekend that will include my review of the Grace Potter show.

At the National Theater tonight, the godfathers of New Orleans funk, The Neville Brothers play. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 (w/opener Jesse Chong Band) and tickets are $20. The Neville Bros always put on a fun show and if you want to dance and have a good time and ignore tonight's crappy weather, check 'em out.

Folk-blues singer-songwriter Chris Smither will be at The Cultural Arts Center of Glen Allen tonight. The show starts at 7 PM and tickets are $20. The blurb on the Arts Center web page says: "Chris Smither is an American original, a product of the musical melting pot, and one of the absolute best singer songwriters in the world. The masterful combination of pure folk songwriting and intricate guitar blues are tangible signs of the singer-songwriter's vigorous genius. Smither's singing sounds like a distillation of the folk and blues heroes he grew up listening to in New Orleans. A megawatt solo performer!"

Festival season begins this weekend with the Langerado Music Festival down in Florida. That also means the beginning of festival webcast season. Almost every festival does webcasts now and its a wonderful way to check out a bunch of bands live without having to stand in the hot sun, or the pouring rain, or be kept up all night by a bunch of burned-out Wookies in the next camp over who keep playing the same damn Bob Marley CD.

The Langerado webcast is on Here is the lineup, which is always subject to change.
Friday, 3/7
12:30pm - 2:30pm - Dark Star Orchestra 2:30pm - 3:30pm - Indigenous 3:30pm - 4:30pm - Brett Dennen 4:30pm - 5:30pm - The Wailers 5:30pm - 6:30pm - Ozomatli 6:30pm - 8:00pm - 311 8:00pm - 10:00pm - Les Claypool 10:00pm - 11:00pm - Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars 11:00pm - 12:30am - Mickey Hart Band 12:30am - 2:00am - Perpetual Groove
Saturday, 3/8
12:30pm - 1:30pm - Sam Bush 1:30pm - 2:00pm - Umphrey's McGee 2:30pm - 3:30pm - State Radio 3:30pm - 4:30pm - Railroad Earth 4:30pm - 5:30pm - Citizen Cope 5:30pm - 6:30pm - Arrested Development 6:30pm - 8:00pm - Thievery Corporation 8:00pm - 9:30pm - Umphrey's McGee 9:30pm - 12:30am - STS9 12:30am - 2:00am - TBA
Sunday, 3/9
12:30pm - 1:30pm - Avett Brothers 1:30pm - 2:30pm - The Disco Biscuits 2:30pm - 3:45pm - The Funky Meters 3:45pm - 4:45pm - Martin Sexton 5:00pm - 6:30pm - Gov't Mule 6:30pm - 8:00pm - Keller Williams 8:00pm - 12:00am - Phil Lesh & Friends 12:00am - 1:30am - Ani DiFranco 1:30am - 3:00am - The Disco Biscuits

Finally, if your looking for some casual family fun check out the Kite Festival at Dorey Park in Henrico County. Its nothing fancy, but its nice to get outside and check out the dozens of kites, big and small, flying. They also have some kite trick teams doing demonstrations. Here is the info:
Tenth Annual Kite Festival at Dorey ParkFor the entire family! Join us for a day of kite flying, kite demonstrations, contests and games, and more hosted by the Richmond Air Force Kite Club in cooperation with Henrico County Division of Recreation and Parks. You won’t want to miss this spectacular display of kite flying! Concessions will be available for purchase.
Sat, Mar 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Rain date: Sun, Mar 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dorey Park. Free.

Now go fly a kite. Have a good one.

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Meet the Smithereens... Again!

Good article on what the Smithereens have been up to lately. From the online magazine, "Crawdaddy".

Grace Potter tonight, Blind Melon, The Slits

Grace Potter is playing tonight at Toad's Place with Benevento/Russo Duo and The Atkinsons. The doors open at 7:30, The Atkinsons (Local Americana band. Saw them once and they were pretty good.) will start around 8:30. Tickets are $15. This is a co-headlining tour and the Benevento/Russo Duo site reports that Grace will play first and then the Duo. Which should be good for those of us who want to see Grace but may not want to stay up too late because we have to mudlle through work the next day. The Duo is good but I won't feel guilty if I leave a little early.

I highly recommend seeing Grace. The NY Times said "Ms. Potter, the band’s 24-year-old lead singer and songwriter, played a Hammond B-3 organ (one of three keyboards on the stage) as well as guitar. The organ is the most the distinctive element in an instrumental sound that suggests a composite of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Band, Crazy Horse and almost any other meat-and-potatoes rock outfit from the early and mid-1970s. The music defines what is meant by the term classic rock." Here is the article from Style Weekly. Grace is a great blues singer and she's sexy enough so all the boys want to be with her but cool enough that all the girls want to be her friend.

I'll be there tonight. I would gladly have paid to see her but I was lucky enough to win tickets from the Weekly Rant web site. This site tells you everything thats going on in Richmond in music, museums, sports, stage, etc. Its a great site to help you plan your weekend after you read my music picks, of course. The Rant also gives away tickets to Richmond events every week, and not just rock concerts. This week, you can win tickets to The Richmond Jazz Society show on 3/11 at Capital Ale House or the Richmond Symphony. Also, be sure to check out the links to the site owner's blog, River City Rapids.

Blind Melon will be playing tonight at the National. Most of us remember them from their early 90s hit "No Rain" and the video with the Bee Girl. That album was a pretty good album, if I remember. Their lead singer, Shannon Hoon, died in 1995. They stuck together until '99 then called it quits. Then they got themselves a new lead singer in 2006 and have been back ever since. You can check out some of their music on their myspace page, which I linked to above.

Seminal punk band, The Slits, will be at Toad's on Thursday night. Doors open at 8, and tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. The all-female Slits were part of the 70's punk scene in London with The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, etc.

I'll be back with a blog later on the rest of the weekend.

Tony Jordan