With a temperature of 76 degrees at 8 pm, the sun was setting on the west side of Manhattan Island while the nightlife was picking up at the South Street Seaport on the east side. The Watermark Bar is set on a pier over the East River with a view of all three bridges that connect Manhattan and Brooklyn. As harbor cruise ships, water taxis and speed boats navigated the river, NOLAFUNK was underway in NYC, and it was almost time for The Revivalists to take the stage.
The Revivalists are a seven piece band out of New Orleans, throwing down funk and rock rhythms, creating an almost spiritual fusion of harmonies, horns and raising-a-little-hell vocals. Not a band to concern themselves with conforming to their own mold, The Revivalists are a free-form life force, ever creating and ever changing.
Why bother to slowly set the mood when pumping the crowd from the first song is such a better option. As David Shaw’s distinctive vocals began the set with “Stand Up,” the rest of the band immediately kicked into high gear as they drew the crowd into the music. Full of energy, and frenetic at times, Shaw is a mesmerizing frontman, with arms in constant motion and hair that moves to its own tempo.
Back in the day when rock was young and radio was filled with more than three songs over the course of a day, stations went from playing rock, to country, to old standards to what would be considered new standards. In the late 60s-early 70s, it seemed one composer was on the charts non-stop. His name was Jimmy Webb, and I first became aware of his brilliance through the songs of Glen Campbell.
We all know the hits of Glen Campbell: "Galveston," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," and "Wichita Lineman," all written by Webb. So was "Up, Up, And Away" by the 5th Dimension, "The Worst That Could Happen," by the Brooklyn Bridge, and we can't forget the WTF was he thinking hit for actor Richard Harris, "MacArthur Park," where we all learned to not leave the cake out in the rain.
Jimmy Webb has the ability to weave a story of loneliness with simple, heart-wrenching lyrics. My favorite? The story of a telephone line repairman. Just think about that, a guy traveling away from home, alone all day with only the memory of what you have left behind, to keep you company.
Now read these lines. So simple but achingly beautiful.
"And I need you more than want you
And I want you for all time
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line"
Jimmy Webb is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, has won Grammy Awards, and just about any other award a songwriter can.
Let's celebrate his birthday with a little of his music.
Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, recorded one of his songs which gave their group its name. It went to #1 on the Billboard Country chart.
Art Garfunkel version of "All I Know" was on top of the Easy Listening chart for four weeks and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
And a song which placed #43 on BMI's "Top 100 Songs of the Century," The 5th Dimension with "Up, Up and Away."
The date was entered into the iPhone calendar as soon as it was announced. The original subdudes were back together and would be playing BB King’s in NYC.
In March of 1987, three members of the Continental Drifters and another musical friend got together for an acoustic show in New Orleans. That for-one-night-only show started what has been an on and off partnership for over twenty-five years. Over that time the subdudes made a few changes in the band, have been on hiatus, have regrouped, and now are on tour with the original lineup.
Much like the blend of food their old hometown is known for, the music of the subdudes is a gumbo of zydeco, folk, roots, and a lot of swamp thrown in. It is based on sweet harmonies, lots of squeezebox melodies and, the absence of a drum kit. It is subdued… to a point.
For the rest of the review please jump over to onstagemagazine.com by clicking on this link:
He had a nondescript name. His work however, was anything but.
Today word came down of the death of Dick Wagner. Trying to place the name? A true rock & roll guitarist, Dick Wagner was first known for his Michigan based band The Frost. But it would be his collaborations with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed where Wagner would find lasting recognition.
Wagner and Cooper wrote a lot of songs together, and in 1975 Alice Cooper released a song which he co-wrote with Wagner, about a subject only talked about in quiet hushes at that time... domestic violence and living in an abusive marriage. "Only Women Bleed" went on to be covered by: Tina Turner, Tori Amos, Slash, Lita Ford, Etta James and Favorite Angel, to name a few.
Another Dick Wagner song, "Remember The Child," dealt with child abuse. But beyond the songwriting, mostly he let his guitar do the talking. His recording credits read like a Who's Who of the music industry. His musical accolades include his songs or guitar work included on over 350 albums, of which over 35 have been certified Gold or Platinum.
Heart attacks, a stroke, brain surgeries, diabetes, kidney failure, and other health issues plagued him for years. He worked back from a paralyzed arm and played guitar on the road until his most recent hospitalization a few weeks ago. Sadly, another recovery was not to be.
In 2013, Dick Wagner said "Love is in the air. Breathe deep." He did, and when he exhaled, music filled the air.