Sunday, March 30, 2014

Andy Irvine Diggin' That Funky Blues CD Review

Andy Irvine Diggin' that Funky Blues CD Review

Joseph Militello, Yahoo Contributor Network
Before I begin this review I must thank world renowned bassist and recording artist Andy Irvine for graciously donating his newest CD to me to review. Andy is a Rochester, N.Y. native who recently gave a great in-house bass guitar clinic at Music City in Buffalo, N.Y. Warwick bass guitars sponsored the clinic.
For those of you unfamiliar with Andy Irvine here's a brief history of his music career. Andy played on punk rock legend G.G. Allin's last recording and Andy has recorded with an impressive list of recording artists' including Eden Brent, Pee Wee Ellis, Eddie Turner, John Wesley, Lucky Peterson, Tiny Tim, and the bands Beanstalk and Clang.
Andy displayed his exceptional bass playing techniques on his favorite fret-less and fretted Warwick electric basses at the informative bass clinic. Andy also offered some unique insight on the manufacturing of Warwick bass guitars. Andy closed out the clinic with a very interesting and informative question and answer session.

Special thanks also goes out to Vincent James from Music City for providing tickets to the in-store Andy Irvine bass guitar clinic. Music City is located on 3236 Main Street in Buffalo NY. Visit Music City online at You can see, hear and read more about all of the great instruments and upcoming in-store music clinics Music City on the store's website.

On with the review, Andy Irvines second CD release is titled Diggin' That funky Blues. Andy released his first solo effort entitled Soul Clap in 2009. Diggin' That Funky Blues features 10 rocking songs that combines elements of soul, funk, rock and low down, dirty blues. He composed, arranged, and produced, the album himself. In addition, Andy played many of the instruments and sang on 4 of the tracks. Lead vocalists' Johnny O and Lionel Young handled vocal duties as well.

The first track, Them Nasty Blues features vocalist Johnny O singing on top of a low down, dirty, nasty, blues track that features some excellent, blues, guitar, playing.
Andy takes over on vocal duties for Call Me Cornbread. This track is a funky, rhythm and blues romp that would make even James Brown proud.
Can't Slow Down is an uptempo, blues rock, number that will get your feet tapping along with the rocking beat. This song features some rocking Tenor Sax played by Toby Hopper and great backing vocals provided by Kay Irvine.
The 4th song is a very cool instrumental that kicks off with some melodic bass soloing by Andy, the song then switches gears into an uptempo rocker, Andy continues soloing throughout, showing off his excellent soloing skills on the 5 - string bass. When I See You - In The Twilight is my favorite song on Diggin' That Funky Blues.
The title track is a great, funky, blues, song that will be sure to get your booty shaking to the beat. Andy takes a ferocious popping and slapping solo on the bass, showing his versatility and skill on the bass.
The slow rocker, I Awoke From A Dream, features an excellent bass solo. Andy's ripping and aggressive solo playing proves that the bass can carry a solo just as well as a guitar can, especially when Andy's soloing! Great Job Andy!
The closing track, One More Show, features some great harmonica playing by Al Chesis. This song reminds me of a classic, blues, roadhouse song with it's hard driving tempo, killer, blues rock, feel and rocking bass groove. Great closing track!

Joe Pinnavaia, Guitarist Extraordinaire

20% Discounts for Online Lessons and Workshops.

Hope this update finds you well and enjoying the start of Spring. The time has come to offer up a 20% discount to new students for the next 4 weeks for my Online Classroom at 
Use these codes below at checkout: 
JF7EZ4ZI Fretboard Powerup Workshop
WPN37AL4  Online Classroom Enrollment 
H7ZD911V  Guitar Soloing Essentials Workshop
A new Workshop that will be an addition to the Fretboard Powerup Series will be coming soon so stay tuned. 
Hope you enjoy and as always Stay True Stay on Fire

Joe Pinnavaia is a Guitarist, Composer and Instructor from the Western New York area whose musical style ranges from progressive rock with elements of orchestration and electronica to melodic instrumental rock. Joe completed his musical education at Villa Maria College of Buffalo and at the University at Buffalo where he studied with Joanne Castellani from the world renowned Castellani/Andriaccio Duo and also studied locally with guitar virtuoso Tony Scozzaro. He has also performed with James Kurzdorfer (original bassist for Spyro Gyra) as well as Cosmic Stepping Stones and the duo BREAKERBOX who have worked with Corey Lowery of Dark New Day, as producer, releasing the single "Soul to Life". After being in mostly vocal orientated projects Joe decided to go into a new direction and focus more on his composition and released his first solo effort entitled "InVitro" under the name Test Tune Rhino. This experimental project has now turned into a fulfilling venture and the follow up release "Fragile X" is to be released early 2010. A track from this upcoming release titled "Night at the Carnival" will feature a guest performance by Art Kalenda of Soul Release - Joe's first guitar instructor that inspired him to become the guitar player that he is today.
Check Joe out online @

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Local H Announces Second Leg of Spring Tour

Local H (left to right): Scott Lucas, Ryan Harding
Local H Announces 2nd Leg of Spring Tour
First West Coast Dates with New Drummer Ryan Harding
Band In the Studio This Week at Electrical Audio With Producer Andy Gerber

Scott Lucas To Score "Battleship Potemkin" Live at CIMM on May 2nd with Jimmy Chamberlin and Matt Ulery. Two-man Chicago band Local H announced the second leg of their spring tour today. The dates, which take them out to the West Coast for the first time since drummer Ryan Harding joined the band, include a stop at The Waiting Room in Buffalo NY on April 28th. The band previously announced an East Coast tour that begins next month. 

Local H Spring Tour:
3/29    Forest Park, IL    Chalk - Scott Lucas solo acoustic show
4/16    Indianapolis, IN    Radio Radio
4/18    Richmond, VA    Canal Club
4/19    Washington, DC    DC9
4/20    Baltimore, MD    Metro Gallery
4/21    New York, NY    Mercury Lounge
4/23    Hamden, CT        The Ballroom at The Outer Space
4/24    Allston, MA        Great Scott
4/25    Portland, ME        Asylum
4/26    Burlington, VT    Signal Kitchen

4/28    Buffalo, NY   Waiting Room

4/29    Cleveland, OH    Grog Shop
4/30    Detroit, MI        Magic Stick
5/2    Chicago, IL         CIMM Fest - Scott Lucas, Jimmy Chamberlin, Matt Ulery play as Mary Shelley - live film scoring of "Battleship Potemkin"
5/3    Bolingbrook, IL    Tailgaters
5/17     Chicago, IL        Double Door - The M@ Show - Benefit with Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket and others 

5/23    Waterloo, IA        Spicoli's Grill
5/24    Denver, CO        Larimer Lounge
5/25    Albuquerque, NM    Launchpad
5/27    Scottsdale, AZ    Pub Rock Live
5/28    San Diego, CA    The Hideout
5/29    Los Angeles, CA    The Satellite
5/30    Santa Ana, CA    Constellation Room
5/31    San Francisco, CA    Hemlock Tavern
6/2    Portland, OR        Hawthorne Theatre
6/3    Seattle, WA        El Corazon
6/4    Missoula, MT        The Palace Lounge
6/6    Minneapolis, MN    Triple Rock Social Club
6/7    Des Moines, IA    Wooly's

Harding, who had been playing in Minneapolis bands Left Brain Heart and Bruder, relocated to Chicago and joined Local H late last year. Harding's first official tour with Local H, which covered Texas, Florida and parts of the Midwest, wrapped up earlier this month.

On this tour, fans can expect to hear a couple of new songs, some interesting covers and the revamped line-up's take on Local H classics like "Bound for the Floor" and "All the Kids Are Right" and on deeper cuts from their considerable catalog, as well as songs from the band's most recent releases -- Hallelujah! I'm a Bum (2012) and The Another February EP (2013).

Before they hit the road this spring, Local H will record the two new songs they debuted during their winter tour, as well as some covers they have been playing live. They began recording at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio this week with longtime producer Andy Gerber. These will be the band's first recordings with Harding.

"Rather than wait until we have enough songs for a full length, we just wanna record the songs as they come to try and capture that energy when it's new and exciting," explains Local H frontman Scott Lucas. "We also want to record the odd cover here and there for our next 'Awesome Mix Tape' EP." 

On May 2nd, Lucas will team up with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (formerly of The Smashing Pumpkins) and bassist Matt Ulery under the band name Mary Shelley for a unique live performance during CIMM (Chicago International Music & Movies Fest). The trio will score Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 silent film masterpiece "Battleship Potemkin" at 1st Ward (2033 W. North Ave.). More information about CIMM here:  

Lucas, a film buff who also writes about movies for Chicagoist (see his work here: , jumped at the chance to combine two of his biggest passions.

"I played with Jimmy last summer for this thing at the Metro, and I couldn't believe how natural and comfortable it was to play with him. And, it was fucking fun, too," says Lucas. "So we'd been looking for something to do together. And, it was at one of Matt's shows with his band where it hit me that I should get those two together. If for no other reason, just so I could watch what would happen."

Local H Discography:
Ham Fisted (Island) 1995
As Good As Dead (Island) 1996
Pack Up the Cats (Island) 1998
Half-Life EP (Palm Pictures) 2001
Here Comes the Zoo (Palm Pictures) 2002
No Fun EP (Thick) 2003
Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles? (Studio E Records) 2004
Alive '05 (Cleopatra) 2006
12 Angry Months (Shout Factory)
Local H's Awesome Mix-Tape #1 (G&P) 2010
Local H: The Island Years (Universal) 2011
Hallelujah! I'm A Bum (Slimstyle) 2012
The Another February EP (Slimstyle) 2013

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Avengers - Comics Buyer's Guide

New Comic Buyer's Guide cover.
Check out my Comic Book Blog, Free Comic Book Day is coming up in May, Find out where you can get your Free Comics!

1968 Avengers King Size Special Ad, 1 of the 10 best Avengers comic covers of all-time per Comic Buyers Guide.

Free Avengers comic from Queen City Bookstore. Yes, Spider Man and Wolverine are now full time Avengers.

Here's the lineup for the Avengers movie clockwise from top left clockwise, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans) and last but not least Hawkeye. Also featuring Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Other Marvel Comic movies in the works, Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy and Inhumans.

Maggie - “Tidal Waves and Hurricanes"

Pop songwriter, Maggie, debuts a beautifully cinematic video for her new single "Tidal Waves And Hurricanes" this month.  A tried and true performer that counts Bonnie Raitt and Carole King as influences, Maggie has spent most of her life writing songs and performing in venues across the United States and Canada. Her time on the Nashville songwriting circuit  garnered the attention of Canadian label Linus Entertainment, who promoted and released her debut album "Now Hear Me Out" in 2012. Her soulful, vocally infused pop immediately captured the attention of the masses that saw her on tour with The Bangles and Carly Rae Jepsen. Her experience on the pop scene eventually landed her in Los Angeles, where she dove deeper into the art of songwriting and focused her efforts on a more personal introspective brand of pop music that is both inspiring and uplifting. On her new single, "Tidal Waves And Hurricanes" she battles her insecurities by facing them down head first and demanding that they take a backseat to her dreams. The dynamic video for the track is no different.

Official video Tidal Waves and Hurricanes -

The scenic video for "Tidal Waves and Hurricanes" takes the listener on a visual journey that captures the free spirit of the track itself. It affirms the belief that in new places and discoveries you uncover truths within yourself, and that every step we take, is taking us down the path that we were meant to follow. From the rolling coastal waves crashing on the sand to the parched deserts that disappear into the blue skies, it's a stunning glimpse of nature that inspires exploration. With lyrics that are about exploring your fears and allowing yourself to face down your demons, director Mobi captures the essence of the story, developing it beautifully within the folds of the visual story. It is a flawless companion to the soulful music and heartfelt story, a beautifully artistic work that you have to watch again and again.

Thank you Austin.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Vincent Gallo

I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting briefly with Vincent Gallo recently (1/31/14) at The Salvation Army location in Williamsville. The above picture is how Vincent looked when I met him.

Vincent Gallo is a local actor, director, musician and painter.
I was searching through the cassette tapes looking for something good to listen to when I heard a pair of boots come up from behind me. The boots stopped at the vinyl section to my left. I was curious as to who was inside the boots that walked with such purpose to the record section.
Turning around I almost immediately recognized Vincent from Buffalo '66 fame but I wasn't 100% sure if it really was him. I decided to walk around the store and turn back around toward the vinyl section.
After being sure it was Vincent I decided I would try to overcome my shyness and introduce myself and ask Vincent if he really was Vincent Gallo.
He said Yes I am Vincent and we talked very briefly about Buffalo '66, the Goo Goo Dolls and Mark Freeland while he thumbed through the old records. He told me he had bought alot of the clothes for Buffalo '66 from The Salvation Army.
After getting comfortable with Vincent I asked him what he was up to lately.
After volunteering my assistance as a movie extra he told me he was just enjoying living his life.
I remember him saying, but don't quote me on this, he had given up movies...and music...
Vincent was very nice to me and seemed honest about his future intentions.
Vincent's wikipedia page states that he is working with Chris Squire, of Yes Fame, on his autobiography.
I admire and respect Vincent Gallo as an local actor, director and musician.
I enjoy watching his films and I honestly enjoyed meeting him.
Vincent Gallo appeared briefly in Goodfellas and if you haven't seen Buffalo '66 yet  I would highly recommend it to any Buffalo Bills fan.
Buffalo '66 should be required viewing for anybody who claims to be a true Buffalonian.
After you watch Buffalo '66 check out the controversial The Brown Bunny.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Billy Sheehan, Buffalo NY

OK bass players out there, do you want to know how to go from this pic...

to this pic?...

Well first you get your hands a Fender P-bass like this...

customize the pickups, the neck and the electronics of the bass like this...

and then simply plug the bass into this system of effects and amplifiers...

after you've mastered that amp system, play the bass night and day and day and night in a working band. You must continue playing the bass until the entire finish wears off and even wear off part of the upper pickguard and then maybe someday you'll turn out like this...

Do you think you can do it? Not likely. The point I'm trying to make is Billy Sheehan is one of a kind, they'll never be another like him. You really want to learn how to play bass? Listen to any record Billy has played on and learn the notes. Be true to yourself, keep playing and maybe you'll end up on a magazine cover playing your very own custom made guitar, like Billy.

Billy Sheehan magazine covers from my own personal collection.

Niacin was Billy's venture into jazz-fusion that featured Billy, John Novello & Dennis Chambers. Any fan of jazz-fusion, acid-jazz, progressive rock, jazz, rock and Billy's agressive bass playing should enjoy Niacin.

I believe this pic is from Billy's tenure with David Lee Roth's band. David Lee Roth was the original singer from Van Halen.

Jack Bruce and Billy Sheehan.

Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert.

For those of you out there who don't know who Billy Sheehan is, he's from Kenmore, a suburb of Buffalo, New York. Mr. Big scored a #1 hit in 1992 with "To Be With You". Cool double neck bass, Billy!