Tuesday, January 16, 2018

CALICO the band - California

The California band CALICO played to a packed house and dazzled everyone at The Sportmen's Tavern on the 14th. Outside the weather was cold but inside the music was hot! CALICO played their unique style of Americana music with plenty of pizzazz and polish. Any fan of folk, country, blues,  and rock and roll music will absolutely love CALICO. Their high energy performance was fantastic.
Singer and songwriter Manda Mosher was nice enough to write out their setlist for me to post.
Thank you Manda!
Here is a sample of the songs that CALICO is currently performing on their Cold Cold Love tour promoting their new album Under Blue Skies.
Fine Line
Cold Cold Love
The 405
Roll Away the Stone
The Leaving Kind
California Dreamin'
Free Man
Under Blue Skies
Love Gets In The Way
Come To Me
Into The Unknown
Ladies of the Canyon
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
Fly Me Away
Fools Gold
High Road
Dead Reckoning
Runaway Cowgirl
Break Your Heart
San Andreas Shake
Folsom Prison

1/14 - Sportsmen’s Tavern - 5pm / $10
326 Amherst St.
Buffalo, NY 14207

CALICO the band is a California band in the deepest, most natural sense of the term. Specifically, the moniker is shorthand for California country—as if that weren’t vividly apparent from the first moments of Under Blue Skies, the group’s resonant, accomplished sophomore album, with its musical intricacy, lyrical eloquence and timeless immediacy. The thought-provoking, tightly harmonized songs of founder/leaders Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit exist in a continuum with the seminal form Gram Parsons famously dubbed Cosmic American Music.

Kirsten and Manda had finished the record to their satisfaction when they came up with the entirely fitting idea of covering the Mamas & the Papas classic “California Dreamin’.” Just before Christmas 2016, they headed to Scott’s PLYRZ Studio in Santa Clarita with their rhythm section of Ted Russell Kamp and drummer Matt Lucich, augmented by a crew of all-star players including Greg Leisz on pedal steel, Neal Casal on 12-string electric, Patrick Warren on keys and Kaitlin Wolfberg. The partners dueted on the lead vocals, and the entire band provided lush, spirited backing harmonies. The track’s inclusion turns out to be an inspired idea—the performance is ecstatic and suffused with communal spirit, and Scott captured it with characteristic verve and skillfulness.

"To be sure, this album is as flawless as they come. There is not a word, melody or harmony wasted. Each moment of the album holds its own gem with the shine that comes through from these carefully crafted songs. The musical skills that flows like a stream through the album helps bring the songs to a full realization of what they were brought into the world to be; glimpses of soul and spirit moving through an impermeant journey at a particular place and time." - Terry Paul Roland - NO DEPRESSION

“This album is absolutely possessing; the siren-esq. vocals of Proffit and Mosher blend beautifully with the twangy and steel guitars, while the drums truly pull the bass, mandolin and strings into an entrapping display of true Californian geniality.”—Guitar Girl Magazine

“The band’s name is short for California Country, and that’s appropriate, given that the Southern California milieu of Manda Mosher and Kirsten Proffit clearly informs their music…there’s a certain feel to the music—especially in the jangling guitars—that recalls The Eagles and Firefall.”—Downbeat Magazine

“(The duet) have created a firm uprooted American rock & roll album. Albeit all press referring to them as “Americana” is stagnating, as it tis’ for any rock band. To me, Americana means music that emanates from America. It’s their ethos of rock and roll (there’s nothing more Americana than rock and roll) is what makes “Under Blue Skies” a great album.”—Rock Bands of LA

Current Events

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Jimi Hendrix appeared at The Buffalo Memorial Auditorium on 3/23/68

After Elvis appeared at The Aud in 1957... before the famed Buffalo Memorial Auditorium AKA "The Aud" was the home for The Buffalo Sabres starting in 1970, The Aud hosted basketball games and wrestling matches and in 1968 the Legendary Jimi Hendrix (AKA: The Greatest Guitarist of all time!) made a stop in Buffalo on his Axis: Bold As Love tour in March of 1968, the 3rd show on a 11 day consecutive stint of shows. Thanks to Bruce Eaton, impresario of the Albright-Knox Jazz concert series, we have a first hand account of the performance.
According to Bruce the stage was only about 4 feet high and the Aud was filled to 1/2 it's capacity, only about 6000 people were there.
This was when the cheap seats were colored grey and way before The Aud was renovated to accomodate more people after the Sabres moved in.
Hendrix rocked out on "Fire", "Manic Depression" and "Purple Haze" etc. etc. "blah blah woof woof ...only cowboys stay in tune anyway".
Those songs and many more were inlcuded in the set and Hendrix violently smashed his equipment at the end of his performance, a trademark for Hendrix early in his career.

Bruce still has a piece of a smashed amplifier, which he politely asked 1 of the roadies for, that Hendrix graciously sacrificed for the Buffalo audience.
Upon learning that the scheduled opening act "Jesse's First Carnival" was stranded in a Cleveland snowstorm the concert promoter, Jerry Nathan quickly recruited his sons local band. After a emergency afternoon rehearshal Buffalos own "The Sinnermen" opened the show.
Before reading the recent article in Buffalo Spree http://www.buffalospree.com/
I learned of this show from the book, "Jimi Hendrix, Experience The Music" written by Belmo and Steve Loveless.
I also heard another first hand account from Phil when I was a member of the local Buffalo band "Wanted By The FBI" http://www.fbibluesrock.com/. Phil was in attendance.

A Big Thank You to "Buffalo Spree", the "Jimi Henrix, Experience The Music"book, Ed Adamczyk, Bruce Eaton, Tony Markellis, Jay Weisbeck, Jerry and Steve Nathan and Phil for sharing their "Experiences" with everyone and last but not least, Jimi Hendrix.
Oh yeah and all the bands I witnessed @ The Aud in the 80's and 90's.

Hendrix giving oral to his guitar, AKA playing with his teeth, was always an exciting trick Hendrix enjoyed and employed during his improvisational soloing.
"The cat in the blue hat" looks really excited.
Check out the spare sunburst Strat standing up against the Sunn cabinets.

Before James Hendrix became "Jimi Hendrix" Jimi was a sideman to many R&B touring bands, here's a rare pic from '65 when Jimi played McVans in Buffalo New York with Joey Dee and the Starlighters.
Photo courtesy of the book "Becoming Jimi Hendrix" by Steven Roby & Brad Schreiber.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cassandra Kubinski "Holiday Magic"

"Cassandra Kubinski is very similar to the singer/songwriters of the late 70's...proves that the genre (singer/songwriter) can still be transcendent."  - Billy Joel
Cassandra’s last EP and 5th studio project ONWARD hit the Billboard Heatseekers Top 100 upon release in late 2016.  Her last song release, Autism anthem “Not So Different” was a collaboration with the Goo Goo Dolls and Mary Ramsey of 10,000 Maniacs, who recorded the song with Cassandra and released it via a sold out concert at Buffalo State University.   You’ve heard her music on Lifetime’s “Dance Moms” (9 song placements), ABC, NBC, Bravo, MTV and more, and you’ve heard her voice on commercials for Snickers, Plenti, Homegoods, Kohls, Maybelline, and more. She's performed internationally; opened for The Goo Goo Dolls, 10,000 Maniacs, Anna Nalick, Nelson, and Dickie Betts; and performs at colleges like UCONN, URI, and Albright. She also serves on the Board of Women In Music, The Institute of Audio Research Advisory Committee, and taught songwriting at NYU's summer intensive. www.CassandraKubinski.com

About Holiday Magic
Following up last year's Billboard-charting EP Onward, Holiday Magic is a 6-song EP with 3 originals and 3 holiday classics, including "Sleigh Ride" as a duet with award winning singer/songwriter Matt Cusson. Grammy-nominated producer Chris Sclafani (Ed Sheeran, Rixton, Selena Gomez, Gwen Stefani) produced the project. Holiday Magic is currently available to pre-order at PledgeMusic.com, where pledgers are receiving not only the music, but unique holiday gifts like crocheted hats, hot chocolate dates with Cassandra, and release concert tickets. A portion of all pledges and pre-orders is donated to hurricane relief efforts to assist those affected.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Fell

New Rock Super-Group's First Tour

The Fell

comprised of:
* Billy Sheehan (bassist known for his work with David Lee Roth, Stevie Vai, Mr. Big, Winery Dogs, Talas, etc.) 
* Mike Krompass (former guitarist of Smash Mouth)
* Toby Rand (singer of Supernova) 
* Randy Cooke (drummer of Smash Mouth / also known for his work with Dave Stewart, Ringo Starr, and Ian Gillian)

The Fell – is an exciting new band consisting of rockers Toby Rand (RAND, Juke Kartel and Rock Star: Supernova) on vocals, Guitar player Mike Krompass (multi-platinum music producer and session guitar player), Randy Cooke (notorious session drummer who has recorded/played with greats such as Dave Stewart, Ringo Starr and Ian Gillian) and last, but not least Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Winery Dogs) on bass, who needs no introduction. 

This is not your typical “classic rock band”. It's a new fresh direction from their other projects, but uses their influences to create a more modern sound, with heavy guitars, powerful riffs, crushing grooves and huge vocals that we have no doubt will leave listeners begging for more!

"The Fell is a collaboration of musicians who hail from rock'n'roll upbringings. We wrote this record with no filter, just the pure experience of playing music around the world. The four us met through rock'n'roll, and that is the language we are projecting in this project. Lyrically, we hope to inspire those in doubt and join those who reap. It’s a new world… a new fight". - The Fell

Friday, October 6, 2017

Interview with singer, Dan Manzella

This is my first attempt at a semi-serious interview using my new digital recorder.
Recording the interview is just the first step, after listening to the interview and deciding on whether or not the interview is OK to use I must type out the words while listening to the playback. This is a rather long and tedious process so I will continue listening and typing until the entire interview is complete.
Joe Tell (JT) attempts to interview local music singer and his Forever Green songwriting partner Dan Manzella (DM) with a special, rare guest appearance by Cheryl Manzella (CM) as "the ghost" .
Special thanks to Dan and Cheryl.

JT: Howdy folks, this is Joe. I am a local underground Buffalo music blogger and I'm here with Dan Manzella...
DM: (Sings) Hello, Hello, Hello...
JT: A fine local singer. Well Hello to you Dan, How are you today?
DM: I'm OK, How are you?
JT: Good. OK the reason why I'm interviewing Dan is because he's got a high profile with his Eminence Front band and he's got other stuff going on with 55 Main.

DM: I wouldn't call it a profile.
JT: Well that's what it says on your Facebook profile so I just copied it off there.
DM: Does it?
JT: Ya. I stalk you every other day don't you know? but anyway ya...
DM: Stalking is corny.
JT: Dan sings with Eminence Front...
DM: Get it corny?
JT: ...with Randy Barnard and Dave Nuemann...
DM: Did you say barnyard?
JT: ...barnyard
DM: No it's Barnard
JT: Barnard in the barnyard
DM: A ha ha ha...
JT: ...Bill Mason
DM: ( in Porky Pig voice) a ba de a be da a Bill
JT: We're just here hanging out trying to do a tryout for a interview here with my new digital recorder, we're trying to catch ghosts in Dan's basement now...
DM: Ya, there could be a couple down here who knows...
JT: So how would you...
DM: Ha ha ha ha ha!
JT: Dan tell us what's going on with all your projects after you stop laughing...
DM: I'm sorry, OK, well most recently we released a CD that's gone over pretty good on reverbnation, big thanks to Joe Militello who's doing this blog site right now...blogsite, I don't now if that's appropriate or not but the CD is called Repercussions it's a recent Forever Green, it's like the third in a series of three, Forever Green the trilogy...

JT: I'm just here as Joe Tell I'm not here to represent that project...
DM: OK so he's not Joe Militello at the moment, he's Joe Tell...ha ha
JT: Tell us about your other things Dan...
CM: I'm here as the ghost...
DM: Oh this is the ghost right here, the ghost of Mrs. Mwyer, it's Cheryl my wife, my lovely wife so...
CM: I wanna be the ghost.
DM: Oh maybe later...ha ha ha...
JT: Cheryl local photographer...
DM: Cheryl yes, local photog extraordinaire...
JT: What's your Facebook? facebook...cheryl joetell... cheryl photos dot com or something?...
CM: I have no idea what your talking about...ha ha ha
JT: ...photo page? facebook page?
CM: I actually don't have a photo page yet I'll work on that. You can promote it on your blog page when I do have a photography page set up. I'll work on that soon, thank you.
JT: ...cherylmanzellyphotos@aol.com
DM: Manzelly? what the?...
JT: cherylferrisphotos...
DM: cherylmanzellaphotos...I don't know what's wrong with Joe Tell but...plus we're also doing Eminence Front which is a Who, Bad Company tribute band with Bill Mason, Dave Nuemann, Randy Barnard. We're also doing 55 Main which is a ongoing thing that's been going on for 5 years now. A party rock band that is done pretty well for itself over the course of 5 years and people like us for whatever reason and I'm grateful to God for that blessing every time. That's 55 Main, Danny Gore on the drums, Tony Chimera on percussion, Dave Nuemann on bass, Randy Barnard on lead guitar and Danny Manzella, me on vocals.

JT: Dan it's weird because you've been together for 5 years and the name of the band is 55 is that kinda weird?
DM: You know what else is weird about that? That number comes up all the time, like registers, clocks
CM: At least twice a day on the clock...
JT: What would say are your 3 main singing influences?...
DM: Main ha ha ha...I have 55 main influences oh ha ha ha...
JT: When you go out in front of the people and sing, the 3 singers that influenced your style of singing and phrasing and lyrics the most...
DM: There's way too many to pick just three but I will pick three. Ronnie Van Zant, Paul Rodgers and Greg Allman. Those three guys the way they sing is what is I always dreamed about singing like as a kid. You know how a guitarist would maybe emulate Peter Frampton as a kid in the 70's growing up, wanna play guitar just like Frampton. Obviously you're not gonna be just like Frampton, you're gonna be your own Frampton, ya know? Capiche? You know what I mean? That would the thing, you'd be your own Frampton.
JT: When you're coming up trying to learn how to sing...
DM: Right, I'm not Ronnie Van Zant, I'm not Paul Rodgers. Remember that one drunken dude "You're not Paul Rodgers!" Me and Joe were doing a Forever Green show once way back when in Brant. This little burg of nothing south of Buffalo...
JT: It was a benefit show...
DM: It was a benefit, it was great. It was actually a really great time but, there was this one drunk dude whose old lady, I think, was liking us a little bit too much. Dancing around us and stuff. She was enjoying us so when we introduced "Wishing Well"...which is ironic because we do that now in Eminence Front with the full band but it was just me and Joe doing everything just acoustic guitar and singing and some percussion shaking. We introduced "Wishing Well" and we introduced the song talking about Paul Rodgers and Free before Bad Company this and that and this chick's husband whose was hammered and drinking all day yells out "You're no Bad Company!" ya know and as quickly as I could retort I said "We know we're not sir, thank you" ha ha ha...and he didn't know what to say to that so I still remember that, that's funny.
JT: That was the beginning of an interesting...
CM: Well, if you tell it a little different, I'm sorry for interrupting here but, the funny part is it started off as the guy yelling out stuff and heckling and then...
DM: No, no, nobody was heckling us...
CM: Well he was in that way by yelling out "You're no Bad Company" but then after that his girlfriend, wife whatever went up and was dancing all over while you're singing so was that an insult to him?...
DM: She was dancing like that before that too that's probably why he hollered that.
JT: Ya that was back in the day when we were playing for free before we actually started doing recordings. Before Dan was in full bands, that was fun. So we got the three best singers that influenced you what's your three favorite songs of all time?
DM: Believe it or not one of my all time, I think one the most beautifully written songs is "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams. Always has been since the first time I dropped the needle on the vinyl, if you ever listen to that song it's just beautiful.
JT: Ya he was awesome...
DM: Yes definitely, songwriter extraordinaire. I know I've already used the term extraordinaire describing Cheryl's photography but...two other songs as my favorite all time songs, boy that's just maybe too tough, how do you narrow it down? the song list goes on forever...
JT: There has to be at least three that come to mind right away...
DM: Well I love "Nantucket Sleighride", remember that song by Mountain?...
JT: I think you played it for me quite a few times.
DM: "Songs of Yesterday" by Free, a lot of Free songs. I love just about any southern rock song.
JT: When we do stuff as Forever Green how do you and how did you learn to improvise so well? How do the lyrics come to you from out of nowhere? Is that creative side influenced by what you're doing or who you're hanging out with at the time?
DM: Ya, that's a good way of describing it. My creativity is also inspired by what I'm thinking about at the time. A week's worth of thinking about something, it's been in your head and all of the sudden you get a chance to liberate those thoughts into a song. That has been the case when me and you get together, just like you when you're noodling around the guitar and you come up with something. Maybe we'll be down here with you on the guitar and me on the harp and I'm guilty of not working on the harp, like I should, at all. But as far as songs go you know alot of that comes from reading alot and creative writing as a kid. Listening to alot of music, obviously, and digging all kinds of media.
JM: The songs that you mentioned are really good so you get alot of ideas from your influences. 

to be continued...