This is shaping up to be a great summer for music! Touring this Spring and Summer are Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, The Black Crowes, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Further, and The Eagles. I’m sure we’ll hear more announcements, but I’d say that’s pretty impressive, so far!
Also impressive, is the talent of a young guitarslinger whom I recently mentioned here, one Michael Johnson, of Grahamsville, NY! Michael is 17 now, and has been playing guitar since he was 9! Michael’s father has been taking him to open mics since he was 12, where he’s impressed the likes of Slam Allen, John and Chris Reddan, and just about everyone who’s heard him play! Slam Allen said Michael plays better than most adult guitarists!
Michael loves the Blues, and his strongest influences are Jimi, Stevie Ray, Vernon Reid, and similar like-minded players. He can play anything he puts his mind to, and this week performed an acoustic version of Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” with his school orchestra, at the orchestra leader’s request! The electric Blues is where Michael shines though, and where he gets to really wail and put his heart and soul into his playing. It’s where he gets to really cut loose and play from the heart!
Michael has won Battles of the Bands with throw together rhythm sections and no rehearsing! That’s how good he is! His classmates at Tri-Valley High School voted him “Most Musical” and he’s performed with the school jazz band and orchestra many times.
Now, I have been playing with Michael myself a bit lately, and I’ve stretched his limits by making him play Rockabilly, Country, and roots Rock n Roll, and he’s stepped up and played those styles beautifully, even though his heart longs for the Blues!
Michael is currently working on developing his vocal style so he’ll be in a position to lead his own band soon! Keep an eye out for this youngster. He just might be the next young guitar star to bend his way into your consciousness, and you will sit up and take notice! Michael graduates from Tri-Valley this year, and after graduation, will have the time to fully devote himself to his music career. I expect you’ll be hearing from him soon.
Now for this week’s live music picks.
Wednesday, March 27 – We start the week with a couple of Americana biggies. First, at The Beacon Theater in Manhattan, an all star bill with EMMYLOU HARRIS, RODNEY CROWELL, and RICHARD THOMPSON! These three together bring quite a bit of star power to the Beacon. I wonder if they’ll play together. My guess is yes! At Joe’s Pub downtown, we find one of the Masters of the Telecaster, former Commander Cody guitarist, BILL KIRCHEN, holding court.
Thursday, March 28 – The critically acclaimed NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS will bring their huge cult following with them to The Beacon Theater tonight, and again on Friday and Saturday. Their music has been described by New Musical Express as “gothic psycho-sexual apocalypse” music, so if that sounds good to you, go check them out!
Friday, March 29 – Former Pixie, Kim Deal, has re-united her spin off band, THE BREEDERS, for a 20th anniversary tour commemorating their album, “Last Splash”. Called LSXX, for obvious reasons, the original line up has come together and will be performing that album in it’s entirety on this tour, which arrives at The Bell House in Brooklyn, tonight!
Saturday, March 30 – Two very important shows tonight, one upstate, one downstate. At BB King’s in Manhattan, the reunited MOVING SIDEWALKS, Billy Gibbons’ band before ZZ Top, will be playing one show, and upstate, at Club Helsinki in Hudson, one of our finest singer/songwriters, TODD SNIDER, pulls into town. Both these shows are highly recommended!
Sunday, March 31 – Former Texas gubernatorial candidate, and leader of The Texas Jewboys, KINKY FRIEDMAN, will bring his cigar smokin’, foot stompin’, sarcastic but hilarious music into City Winery in Manhattan tonight.
Monday, April 1 – THE ROLLING STONES will be playing a double bill with the re-united BEATLES at The Bearsville Theater in Woodstock tonight. PSYCH! April Fool! We can dream, can we not? Don’t forget to tune in to John Madeo’s Little Delaware Jamboree tonight at 8:30 for my regular radio segment on WIOX, 91.3 FM, or online at www.wioxradio.org.
Tuesday, April 2 – Pick of the Week! THE BLACK CROWES return from hiatus with two shows at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, tonight and Wednesday. These guys have become one of America’s best rock bands, and the only band to utilize open tunings as well as The Stones’ Keith Richards. Well, maybe not as well, but close, very, very close! If you can’t make it to The Crowes, console yourself with Old 97’s frontman, RHETT MILLER, at City Winery in Manhattan!
Wednesday, April 3 – More CROWES at The Cap, and a very unusual show at The Cutting Room in Manhattan. Original Sex Pistols’ bassist, GLEN MATLOCK, has teamed up with original Ramones’ drummer, Tommy Erdelyi/ Ramone (who has been playing Bluegrass music in recent years) for who knows what kind of music! Any way you look at it, this should be an interesting night. Recommended. Also recommended, extremely influential Arizona band, THE MEAT PUPPETS, who counted Kurt Cobain, Soundgarden, Pavement, and Dinosaur Jr. as fans, start a two day run at The Mercury Lounge in Manhattan. Tonight’s show is an early one, starting at 6:30. Tomorrow at 9:30.
Thursday, April 4 – In Woodstock, THE LINDSEY WEBSTER BAND begins a month long Thursday night residency at The Bearsville Theater. Their shows here in the past have become a fun night with friends and good music, and April’s shows should continue this tradition.
Have a great week!
Fred Perry is the owner of Reservoir Music Center on Route 28 in Kingston, and founding member of Alt-Country supergroup, The Brooklyn Cowboys, is from a 3rd generation musical family and lives in the Hudson Valley, where he does what he can to promote live music.