Yippee ti yi yo yo yo yo yo whattsup? That was one of the introductions we used to use for The Brooklyn Cowboys. Another one I used to like was, “And now, from Nashville, The Brooklyn Cowboys”. I had a lot of fun with that band. We made three great CD’s and a cool video, toured the US and Europe, made the charts, got airplay in 50 countries, and are still getting played today, all over the world. Y’all should check us out at www.brooklyncowboys.com, where this column is posted as Fredro’s Blog. There’s not a music player on the site, but there’s lots of video, and links to our Reverb Nation (#1 for over 3 years), My Space, Facebook, and other pages where there are music players. If you like Gram Parsons style Cosmic American Music AKA Country-Rock, you’ll like The Brooklyn Cowboys. In fact, my partner in the band, Walter Egan, wrote the Gram classic, “Hearts on Fire”, which we also recorded on our first CD, “Doin’ Time on Planet Earth”, now out of print, and there is also a Gram/ Walter co-write on that CD that has never been released anywhere except on our record.
The Brooklyn Cowboys was kind of like if Marmaduke from The New Riders stayed cool, Gram didn’t die, and they started a band, according to John Arnold, a fan and friend of Buddy Cage, our pedal steel guitarist, who held that seat in The New Riders for their entire career, ever since he replaced Jerry Garcia early on.
You can find the CD’s online, they’re also available through the website, and I have them at Reservoir Music. Stop by, pick one up, and buy a guitar while you’re there. LOL.
Last week, I went down to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, thanks to the hospitality of Julie Goodman, Public Relations Director at Bethel Woods, to see Stone Temple Pilots. Now, as I mentioned in my last two columns, STP lead singer, Scott Weiland, is one of the most exciting, dynamic, electric performers ever. I based this opinion on his time with Velvet Revolver, who I saw when they first came around at Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan. Scott was amazing with them, moving non-stop like a serpent around the stage! With STP Wednesday night, Scott toned it down a little bit, but you could tell the serpent was there, coiled inside him, waiting to explode! And the band did not disappoint, rolling through all their hits in record perfect form! The only negative was that this band could really benefit from a second guitar player to keep the rhythm going while Dean DeLeo solos, but that was not enough to take the shine off their performance.
Scott Weiland and guitarist Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots rock out at Bethel Woods, 8/22/12.
Photo by C3 Photography Catharina Christiana
Lead vocalist Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots onstage with his bullhorn at Bethel Woods, 8/22/12.
Photo by C3 Photography Catharina Christiana
Stone Temple Pilots showed why they were one of the most successful rock bands of the 90’s, winning a GRAMMY, and selling 40 million records worldwide, with 16 top ten singles, half of which reached number one! They’ve got the songs, they’ve got the moves, and they’ve got the chops! A great band, and a splendid time was had by all in attendance! My thanks again to Julie Goodman from Bethel Woods for making it possible.
Moving on to Friday night, I stopped by The Bearsville Theater for Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes. Now, I was looking forward to this for months, and I made it last week’s Pick of the Week. I love The Black Crowes, but they are inconsistent, probably based on whether or not the two brothers, Chris and Rich, are fighting that day or not. (What is it about brothers in a rock and roll band? They all seem to hate each other. Well, not all maybe, but a lot. The Kinks, The Crowes, Oasis, Screaming Trees. I suppose, on the other side of that coin, you’ve got Van Halen, Stone Temple Pilots, and The Beach Boys (although the cousins in The Beach Boys battled), but in the large majority, brothers in rock bands seem to be at odds with each other. Or maybe they’re just the ones who get the notoriety and the press coverage. But I digress.). The Crowes, when they are on, are one of the hottest rock bands on the planet, but at the last minute, I remembered that Chris Robinson has a hippy dippy side (kind of like Robert Plant used to), and I worried that this would be showcased in his solo project, rather than The Crowes Stones’ influenced, rockin’ style of music. So I went online and listened to some of Chris’ solo work with his new band, Brotherhood, which kind of sounds like a dig at his brother. I was horrified to find the Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s record is unlistenable! But, I thought, he’s GOT to do Some Black Crowes’ music live, right? Wrong! Not one Crowes’ song was heard. Expecting The Black Crowes, I got instead, The Grateful Dead! (Chris has played with Phil Lesh, and apparently has been hanging out at Terrapin Crossroads a little too much. LOL). Opening with the Hank Ballard classic, “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go”, it was all downhill from there, until I went through the five stages of grief and accepted that I wasn’t gonna hear anything rockin’. Once I got that out of my mind, it got a little better, but overall, this show was one of the biggest disappointments ever, and made me realize, that, just as Keith is with The Stones, Rich Robinson, not Chris, is the power behind The Black Crowes! When Rich played Club Helsinki a few months ago, I missed it, which now seems to have been a big mistake! Next time, I’ll skip Chris and catch Rich. My guess is that’s where the rockin’ is with the Robinson brothers!
And speaking of The Grateful Dead, I recently tried to listen to some live Dead CD’s, and had an interesting experience. The CD started off with “Dancin’ in the Street”, and it was killer, but suddenly, the music degenerated to the most unlistenable, boring crap I’ve ever heard! Now, I dig The Dead. I’ve been to hundreds of shows, almost always had a great time, and they partially changed my life, but after my recent attempts at playing their music at home, not in a live situation, I realized what The Grateful Dead are, is flashes of brilliance and genius, mixed with unlistenable, boring garbage. Now, oddly enough, this works in a live setting, because when they go into it, it’s time to get a drink, use the head, or socialize with your friends! Then they start rockin’, and it’s back to the music, which is great! Very strange juxtaposition, but that’s what they do to get from one musical section to the next. And, I was listening to live performances, and everybody always says The Dead have to be seen live, but I guess that’s it! They have to be seen live, not listened to. If I had played one of their albums that people say is not representative of what they do live, I would have heard a great collection of songs, and loved it! I just don’t need John Cage mixed with my Rock & Roll!
In other news, there will be a big concert honoring our dear, departed friend, Levon Helm, on October 3rd at IZOD Center in New Jersey. The line up is huge, extensive, all star, and too large to list everyone (Google it!), but a partial list includes John Mayer, John Hiatt, Jorma, My Morning Jacket, Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Bruce Hornsby, Robert Randolph, Mavis Staples, Joe Walsh, and The Levon Helm Band, with, undoubtedly, more to be added! I can feel a good one comin’ on!
And finally, one of the greatest musical outfits of all time, local resident, Graham Parker, and his former band, The Rumour, will be reuniting after three decades, for a new album, “Three Chords Good”, to be released on November 20, 2012. Hopefully, a tour will follow. In other GP news, a documentary film on Parker and The Rumour is being prepped for release this year. Sounds like there’s gonna be a Graham Parker revival!
Now for this week’s live music picks.
My promised profile of the band, Love, will have to wait until next week. There was just too much going on this week to fit that in.
Have a great one!
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.