Rickie Lee Jones – The Other Side of Desire

I have enjoyed Rickie Lee Jones updates as a Pledge Music crowd fund supporter. She is doing an superb job of keeping us informed about her forthcoming album, The Other Side of Desire.

I was acknowledged today of the first trailer for her new album which releases on June 23rd, 2015. The album was recorded in Rickie Lee Jones hometown of New Orleans.

I can only imagine the emotional rollercoaster it has been for Rickie Lee Jones as she fights to perpetuate her art in this digital music age. This is particularly clear when the video juxtaposes her first hit single, “Chuck E.’s In Love” with her present life. I respect her anger with a music industry that attempts to limit her role as a vital American musician.

Thank God we can elevate her by funding this valuable recording project. I hope you will share in my enthusiasm for Rickie Lee Jones compositions. Her contributions as a singer/songwriter merit our respect and admiration.

I noticed that Rickie Lee Jones will be touring in support of The Other Side of Desire. She is slated to perform at Infinity Hall in Hartford, Connecticut on August 27th, 2015. We have not been to the new Infinity Hartford yet. This looks like the event that will get us there.

Moonalice, 420 Gathering of the Tribe 2014

I want to share some vital information with my readers about a band I really care about and have always felt a close synergy with, Moonalice

Moonalice plays psychedelic roots-rock. They have a tremendous command of technology especially with how they use the Web to give interactive concert experiences.

Their single “It’s 4:20 Somewhere” has been downloaded over 4.6 million times!!! http://www.moonalice.com/song/its-420-somewhere.

What I love the most about Moonalice is how they mesh poster art with their shows. I belong to TRPS, The Rock Poster Society and I have several rock posters that adorn my walls at home. I even have a Moonalice poster in my collection from The Gathering of The Vibes.

Moonalice published on YouTube last week a very cool video that gives you a tremendous sense of how Moonalice publishes art and music for everyone’s appreciation. ‘Moonalice 420 Gathering of the Tribe 2014’ is a short film by the inimitable Jay Blakesberg and Alex Fischer featuring Moonalice posters, select artists and their inspiration.

As luck would have it Moonalice is going to be in my neck of the woods, Connecticut. They will be appearing at one of our favorite venues Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Ct. on July 31st.

I urge you to come out and see them perform. You can always count on a free poster of the event by the end of the evening 🙂

Moonalice - Bottlerock 5/30/14

Moonalice Is:

John Molo: Drums, Vocals. (Bruce Hornsby & The Range, John Fogerty, Phil Lesh & Friends, The Other Ones, David Nelson Band).

Barry Sless: Lead Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Bass. (Phil Lesh & Friends, David Nelson Band, Kingfish, Cowboy Jazz).

Roger McNamee: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Bass. (Guff, The Engineers, Random Axes, Flying Other Brothers)

Pete Sears: Bass, Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals (Sam Gopal Dream, Rod Stewart, Jefferson Starship, Jerry Garcia, Hot Tuna, John Lee Hooker, David Nelson Band, Phil Lesh & Friends).

Big Steve Parish: Road Scholar/Medicine Man/Storyteller. (Grateful Dead crew for 26 years, co-founder of Jerry Garcia Band)

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Let’s Help Kickstart Renaissance’s Next Studio Album, Grandine il Vento

Renaissance, 1979. Clockwise from upper left: ...

The Renaissance momentum took hold for us last year when we attended their live concert at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Ct.  Renaissance built upon the success of that innovative Northeast tour by filming and releasing a multimedia DVD/CD of their live concert.

The energy surrounding the progressive rock group Renaissance is building and here is how you can make a contribution to the mutual success of their next studio album, Grandine il Vento.

Grandine il Vento

Renaissance is taking the next step in their rich legacy by recording, Grandine il Vento in the studio. They are projecting  it will be ready and released by September, 2012. They need our help to finance their initiative. It’s unfortunate that the major record labels no longer care about the music Renaissance makes nor most of the music we love. It’s yet another example why major labels are such dinosaurs in the digital age. Here’s your chance to prove the labels how wrong they are and to support the new music business economy model that is happening on a major scale with Kickstarter.

If you are a grass-roots activist, someone who believes in the artist and their art coming to market join with us Renaissance enthusiasts and make a contribution to the Kickstarter project. Its titled the New Renaissance Studio Album: Grandine il Vento, a Rock project in Philadelphia, PA by Renaissance. I mean after all doesn’t music belong to the people, the artists and those of us who embrace its value.

You will find a vast array of pledge opportunities with rewards ranging from advance copies of the album to VIP tickets to concerts, original paintings, executive producer credits, home concerts, plus special items from their private memorabilia collections including two historic guitars and the dress Annie Haslam wore on BBC’s Top Of The Pops.

In Pursuit of More Jazz

One of my 2012 New Year’s resolutions is to include more jazz in my life. In pursuit of more jazz the first two concerts of 2012 were jazz events. We saw Tim Berne‘s quartet at the Rubin Museum in the Chelsea district in New York City and the Lionel Loueke Trio at Wesleyan University (for free) in February.

I am hemming and hawing about catching Vijay Iyer at Birdland and Wayne Escoffery at the Smoke Jazz & Supper Club in NYC in April. We have decided to pass on the Newport Jazz Festival 2012 due to the cost of a hotel stay being out of our price range.

A jazz festival I want to attend instead is the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Goshen, Connecticut. I received e-mail notification that tickets are now on sale for the 17th Annual Litchfield Jazz Festival to be held August 10-12. We’ve been spending more time in Litchfield County the past few years as patrons of Infinity Hall. The Litchfield County environs offer a picturesque setting with a rolling pastures set against the Connecticut hills.

Saturday August 11th looks like the best day of events. I am very interested in seeing the Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet play.

2012 Festival Line-Up

Renaissance – Concert Review, Infinity Music Hall, September 16, 2011


We couldn’t ask for a more beautiful evening midst the rolling hills of Connecticut for Renaissance in concert at Infinity Music Hall.

Infinity Music Hall has such superb acoustics. The hall is an architectural wonder, a visual treat for the eyes and senses. We usually get our seats in the mezzanine, overlooking the main floor. This provides us with a great vantage point to watch the musicians as well as the entire stage.

Renaissance designed a unique concert experience in performing two of their best albums, Turn of the Cards (1974) and Scheherazade and Other Stories (1975) back to back, playing every track in logical sequence. These two albums actually follow each other in the Renaissance discography forming the heart of their catalog.  It made perfect sense to witness their music performed in concert as we listen to it on the recording. I long for the days when WNEW-FM, 102.7 NY City featured progressive album rock.

The band was in top form initiating “Running Hard”, as Annie Haslam joined the stage to enthusiastic applause. Annie Haslam acknowledged her fans with equal gusto. Turn of the Cards unfolded quickly before us as Michael Dunford pointed out. “Black Flame” and “Mother Russia” were my favorite songs of the first set.

Scheherazade and Other Stories, the second set, took us in a whole different magical direction. I found myself  thoroughly intrigued with this series of songs. “Trip to the Fair” opens the album, taking us to a fair in the renaissance age. “Ocean Gypsy” took us to the water’s edge, a  place of utter tranquility.

“Song of Scheherazade” which is performed in 9 movements was happily beyond the masterpiece I envisioned it might be live. My music appreciation was enhanced with new found dimensional harmonies, richly accented by the dual keyboard interplay.  The band worked in collaborative splendor to create elegant music baroque. I was ecstatic to float in dream  sequence on the puffy clouds Renaissance formed all around us.

The evening ended with a single encore (I must admit I felt guilty after listening to two full recordings of great music requesting more…). “Mystic and the Muse” failed to disappoint. It was yet another high point of the evening as Annie Haslam reached her highest arias to our blissful astonishment.

Renaissance was very accommodating to their fans. We love that Infinity Music Hall has a designated area for merchandise sales, meet and greet/ autograph sessions. We purchased the 2011 Tour Poster and had it signed by all the members of the group. It was such a thrill to meet Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford at the autograph table. It means a lot when you can exchange a few words with people you admire.

Set 1 – Turn of the Cards

Image via Wikipedia
  1. Running Hard
  2. I Think of You
  3. Things I Don’t Understand
  4. Black Flame
  5. Cold Is Being
  6. Mother Russia

Intermission (15 minutes)

Set 2 – Scheherazade and Other Stories

  1. Trip to the Fair
  2. The Vultures Fly High
  3. Ocean Gypsy
  4. Song of Scheherazade
  1. i. Fanfare
  2. ii. The Betrayal
  3. iii. The Sultan
  4. iv. Love Theme
  5. v. The Young Prince and Princess as told by Scheherazade
    Scheherazade and Other Stories
    Image via Wikipedia
  6. vi. Festival Preparations
  7. vii. Fugue for the Sultan
  8. viii. The Festival
  9. ix. Finale
Encore
  1. Mystic and the Muse

The Nighthawks – World’s Greatest Bar Band

Here are some pictures taken with my Apple iPhone 3GS from the fourth row at Infinity Hall last night, August 20th, 2011.

The rest of the photos are available here on Flickr.

Thank you Infinity Hall for honoring us Infinity Stars members with drinks, hor d’oeuvres and a wonderful evening of music by The Nighthawks.

The Meet & Greet was appreciated!

Infinity Stars Party – Featuring The Nighthawks

Infinity Stars Membership Club

We belong to the Infinity Stars Membership Club. This is our second year in that club. We have been to Infinity Hall 13 times since May 24, 2009.

We love the staff and the way we are treated at this club. We especially enjoy the Infinity Bistro right next door. We have had many a fine meals there before a live performance.

Tonight we are invited to attend the Infinity Stars Party. We are new to the music of The Nighthawks, so we are excited to experience this group’s music live.

MerchTop

My wife and I attend 25+ concerts a year. We’re honored that Infinity Hall values our patronage and is reciprocating with us by holding a party for Infinity Stars members.

Gonna rock with fellow Infinity Stars members and The Nighthawks tonight!

Todd Rundgren – ‘Classic’ Todd Rundgren Todd Tour Sun. 6/26/11

 It was a privilege to witness Todd Rundgren and his band live in concert last night at Infinity Hall in the beautiful hills of Northwestern Connecticut. The mountain night air was a pleasurably cool 65 degrees added to with a slight breeze.

Rosemary and I had another marvelous meal at the Infinity Bistro. You owe it to yourself to dine there before the show, the food is top notch. We took our usual seats in the mezzanine overlooking the concert hall and stage.

This 300 seat venue has great acoustics. The sold out audience was filled with devout Todd Rundgren fans, many of whom knew each other, which added to the ambiance of the evening

Todd suffered from a head cold due to air conditioning exposure but like the wizard and true star he is he soldiered on admirably with a well structured two hour performance.

Todd was very animated, dancing and jumping about. I enjoyed his guitar work.

You will find more Todd Rundgren concert photos here on Flickr.

Todd’s Band

Bass:  Kasim Sultan
Drums: Prarie Prince
Guitar: Jesse Gress
Keyboards: John Ferenzik

SetList  – To the best of my ability as I don’t know Todd’s catalog as well as I should….yet…;)

1. Real Man
2. Love of the Common Man
3. Buffalo Grass
4. Robert Johnson song…
5. Determination
6. Lucky Guy
7. Can We Still Be Friends?
8. Love Is the Answer

9. Espresso (All Jacked Up) – Thank you @NearlyHuman

10.It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference
11. Drive
12.Flaw
13. Whatever Happened
14. Medley: 1)I’m So Proud
15. 2)Ooh  baby, baby
16. 3) Sha la la Means I Love you
17. I Want You
18. When the Shit Hits the Fan/Sunset Blvd
19. I Saw the Light

Encore
20. Hello It’s Me
21. A Dream Goes on Forever

Merchandise – ToddStore

1) 2011 Todd Tour Shirt

2) Todd Rundgren – For Lack of Honest Work, Three CD set of Live Rarities


Pat Metheny – Cherish from What’s It All About

1995–present
Image via Wikipedia

What's It All About cover artNonesuch Records, Pat Metheny‘s record label is hosting video updates this week for Pat’s new album, What’s It All About. Thus far there are four of the 10 tracks from the CD listed on the Nonesuch Media page.

My current favorite on What’s It All About is Pat Metheny’s cover of The Association‘s “Cherish”. Like many of you we have heard this song played many times on the radio over the decades and it never really gets old. I saw The Association perform it live in 2009 at Infinity Hall. I feel Pat’s rendition adds new life and added dimensionality to this song. He plays it on the baritone guitar superbly.

Renaissance 2011 U.S. Fall Tour

Renaissance To Perform Two Of Their Most Successful Albums in Their Entirety

Progressive British rock band, Renaissance announced that they will be performing two of their most successful albums, ‘Turn Of The Cards’ and ‘Scheherazade’ in their entirety on a Northeast US tour this Fall.

Band principles Annie Haslam and Michael Dunford noted, “When our agent Wayne Forte (Entourage Talent Associates) and new manager Bruce Garfield suggested that we present to fans the ‘evening with’ and two complete albums concept, we loved it immediately and picked two of our favorites. Fan reaction has been great as are early ticket sales”.

The band recently enlisted manager and former label executive Bruce Garfield of MonsterWorks, Inc. to take over guidance of their career. “I love the musical elegance of Renaissance and have always enjoyed taking on clients with established track records with whom I can work closely and maximize the full potential of their career.”

We’re ticketed to see Renaissance at one of our favorite venues on September 16, Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Ct. Infinity Hall seats 300 people.

Here is a YouTube video from Renaissance’s sold out concert last year at Infinity Hall on July 14, 2010.  “Carpet of the Sun”, is my hands-down favorite song 🙂