Just as we were going to press I got the news that Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Honoree, Donald “Duck” Dunn, had passed away in his sleep after a double show at Tokyo’s Blue Note night club. Duck, as he was known to all, (including his teachers back in school), was best known as a member of Booker T and The M.G.s, the house band at Stax Records, who backed every artist on the label, live and in the recording studio! Stax artists included Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett (technically on Atlantic, the parent label), Rufus and Carla Thomas, and Albert King, and Booker T and The M.G.s (which was short for “Memphis Group”), also had several hits under their own name and others.
After The MGs broke up in the early 1970’s, Dunn went on to record with Muddy Waters, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Willie Dixon, Freddie King, John Fogerty, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Rod Stewart, Tom Petty, and Woodstock’s own Levon Helm (in The RCO All Stars)! And that’s just a partial list! In 1980, he joined The Blues Brothers, touring, recording, and playing himself in both films, where he delivered the memorable line, “We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline”!
Dunn was in Japan touring with his old bandmate, guitarist Steve Cropper, and label mate, Eddie Floyd (“Knock on Wood”). He was 70. The world has lost one of the real all time greats! More info at www.duckdunn.com.
The Rolling Stones are reportedly rehearsing in New Jersey for their 50th anniversary tour. Mick is hosting Saturday Night Live this week, and rumours are flying about the band joining him, but my guess is they are just that – rumours! Still, it should be better than the average SNL, which is to say it might not suck, but it probably won’t be very funny. “Oh yeah, life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone”!
Here are my live music picks for this week.
Thursday, May 17 – The week starts with a bang with three great shows, all in the city. JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE, Steve’s son, and a fine artist in his own right, is at Webster Hall. RAY WYLIE HUBBARD, best known for his song, “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mothers”, is at Joe’s Pub. And LEE “SCRATCH” PERRY, legendary Reggae producer and artist, who has worked with Bob Marley, Max Romeo, Junior Murvin, The Heptones, Keith Richards, The Beastie Boys, The Clash, and many more, is at The Gramercy Theater. Perry produced almost all of The Wailers and Bob Marley’s albums, and is probably the most prolific Reggae producer who ever lived!
Friday, May 18 – My friend, GARY LUCAS, whom The Village Voice calls a “monster guitarist”, is at The Bell House in Brooklyn. Gary was the guitarist with Captain Beefheart and has worked with just about everyone in the business. I’ve brought him to the Hudson Valley three times, including the grand opening of my original store in Shokan, and a memorable show at The Bearsville Theater with Talking Head, Jerry Harrison. Info at www.garylucas.com. COLLECTIVE SOUL, a band I’ve always kind of liked without getting real into, is at Irving Plaza in Manhattan, and up in Woodstock, The Bearsville Theater celebrates Bob Dylan’s birthday with a SOUNDOUT FOR THE WOODSTOCK DAY SCHOOL. Hosted by Happy Traum, booked artists include Donald Fagen, Larry Campbell, Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, Aaron Freeman (Ween), and more. Info at www.bearsvilletheater.com.
Saturday, May 19 – Three great shows tonight! JOEY RAMONE’S BIRTHDAY BASH, an annual event that’s always great, where you never know who might show up, is at Webster Hall this year. PAUL WELLER, the force behind The Jam, and one of our finest songwriters and artists, is at the Best Buy Theater. And multi-instrumentalist DAVID LINDLEY, best known as Jackson Browne’s guitarist for many years, is at The Towne Crier in Pauling
Sunday, May 20 – The great DARLENE LOVE, who sang on just about every Phil Spector production during Phil’s golden years, is at Joe’s Pub tonight.
Monday, May 21 – CHICKENFOOT, the supergroup made up of the guitarist’s guitarist, Joe Satriani, former Van Halen bassist and singer Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer, Chad Smith, pulls into the Beacon Theater in Manhattan. This is a particularly stand out week, with just about every show a great one, but this is my Pick of the Week! However, JACK WHITE is also at Roseland Ballroom tonight and tomorrow. Jack is sometimes inconsistent, but also sometimes great!
Tuesday, May 22 – The great and vastly underrated guitarist, SLASH, is at Irving Plaza. If you like your Rock n Roll hard and fast, this is a must see! Also tonight, alt-rock band, GARBAGE is at Webster Hall, and JACK WHITE concludes his dates at Roseland Ballroom.
Wednesday, May 23 – STEVIE WINWOOD closes out the week at The Beacon Theater, prior to next week’s headlining appearance at Mountain Jam.
Wow! What a week! This is the most exciting week in music that I can remember for a very long time. Enjoy yourselves. After all, “life is like a beanstalk, isn’t it?”.
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.