Killin’ It with “Say Darling”

By on Aug 31, 2017 in Uncategorized |

One must come out of the gate hot when presenting a body of work that you’ve been cursing, sweating and grinding over for months in a studio, living with the thing, breeding it till that thing becomes an opening riff that kills on impact.   Not “kill” as in kill, like dead kill.  More like:  Bam!  I just got slapped in the face with the sweetest of cold waters, all in the name of music. That kind of kill.    Song one, line one, joke one – they all need to land right with the audience at the git-go.  And that’s what “Say Darling” did on their new self titled EP. They crushed it, right from the git-go.     A fierce finger roll of the Hammond organ, then crashing drums bleeding into a blazing guitar riff born out of the stylings of Chris Hersch and that, my friends, is the way to open up a song.   And that’s just the first twenty seconds of...

By on Aug 8, 2017 in Reviews |

Being raised by a fiery tongued Irish woman who weighed no more than a 100-pounds but carried herself as if she was Josey Wales in a housecoat, you never quite knew what kind of mood my mother would be in any given morning. On those unpredictable dawns when the mood of the day hung in the balance, there were two thing I could always count on: If the house was quiet, well, we were all screwed. That only meant that my mother was marinating somewhere about something — a light left on in the basement, an unzipped bag of cold cuts wasting away in the crisper, sneaker marks on the hallway rugs lined tighter than the outfield grass at Fenway Park. You know, the big stuff. Sometimes during those early hours, my mother would launch into a fit of rage, never quite knowing what she was raging against, but rage she would with the thunderous clap of a thousand lightening storms. It was an...

She Is Free

By on Jul 24, 2017 in Reviews, Uncategorized |

The first few lines of Katie Dobbins new CD, “She is Free,” pretty much sums up the existence of many of us, where the expectations are high — professionally, personally or both — and it’s very easy to lose direction when you’re busy trying to make things look perfect. “Something To Be Found,” the first single, shines a light on a 25-year old woman with two degrees, a busy job, a loving family and the weight of the world on her shoulders. Something is missing, some crucial element of fulfillment has been neglected for much too long. Ah, the music. “She’s begging me to come back home.” Dobbins comes from the Lakes Region but lives and teaches in the Boston area. She writes about the little things, those rare “Post It Notes” left on the refrigerator in the early morning hours, that, until I heard heard her sing...

Buy the ticket, take the ride.

By on Jul 13, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized |

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.” So, we did. All the way to Woody Creek, Colorado on the weekend of Independence Day. Myself, my brother and a good friend flew to Denver, then drove three and a half hours through the Rockies, not in search of a parade, or a mountain, or even to witness a single firework flash through the star-studded skies. No, sir. Instead, we opted to stand in the kitchen of the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s home at “Owl Farm” and drink good whisky while listening to his wife, Anita, and longtime friend, former Pitkin County Sheriff, Bob Braudis, tell hilarious and frightening tales of the famous writer’s fondness for firearms, how he loved to see his own byline, his struggles with aging and his fierce devotion to his readers. All this as we wandered his home freely, bathing in the spirit of the Good Doctor. If you’ve...

By on Jun 28, 2017 in Blog, Uncategorized |

This years Market Days Festival is going to roar. Likely the biggest and best yet, for many reasons. Driving down Main Street these days, with the project complete, wherever my head turns, I’m looking at something new — a curb, a bench, a strip of paint, patch of grass, a store, a gleaming awning. All the colors blending perfectly downtown, day or night, without any modern gawkiness or traditional New England doom and gloom. Dare I say it? Concord is sexy again, shining from all points. Speaking of sexy, today I get to spend the day with Dusty Gray, the country rocker turned radio talker. Dusty and his good buddy, Brian O’Reilly, started a weekly radio show on WKXL about a year ago and called it “Strictly Local.” It airs Thursday nights at 6 pm. It’s a great show and Dusty puts as much into preparing a good segment as he does turning one of his songs...

Searching With The King

By on Jun 16, 2017 in Blog |

In August 1977,  things changed. The King died.  Elvis Presley himself.  And at seven years old, I had no clue who Elvis Presley was.  But when the Boston Sunday Globe arrived to our home the week he died, I remember picking through the remains of the paper after my father and older brother, Mike, tore through the metro region, sports, travel and editorial sections like two animals tugging at the same side of beef.     Somewhere inside the cartoons and mixed in with a hundred coupon cutouts from various grocery stores, I came across a 11×17 inch picture of this guy from Memphis named Elvis.  He was sweaty, jowly, tanned and, flippin’ marvelous.  My God, he was magnetic, a cannon of light sent to me by, yes, the Gods. Who else could it have been that tapped me on the shoulder with this vision and said, “Don’t let this moment get away, little buddy. Grab it.  It just might be...

Showdown In Exeter

By on Jun 13, 2017 in Interviews, Uncategorized |

I do love me a good fight. And there is one brewing out in Exeter between the artists and the old guard. Progress vs. Standard. You know the deal. It’s an old tale, one retold more times than Othello. I’ve read an article on seacoastonline.com about the conflict. The Exeter Arts Committee decided to not reappoint Scott Ruffner, who was the director of TEAM, a group of volunteers that love the arts (visual, music, theater) and want to share more of it with the community. My guess is Mr. Ruffner, who served the post for three years, is new blood in town, someone that represents change, a different outlook on the direction the arts community in Exeter should be going. Ruffer and his crew have likely presented some ideas to the committee that makes them terribly nervous, makes them feel like their maybe losing a grip on something they’ve always possessed: power of...

MAG-A-PALOOZA 2017

By on Jun 1, 2017 in Blog |

Sunday at Veterans Park in Manchester, Mag-a-Palooza 2017 kicks off at 11 a.m. Like the past three years, the day long festival is filled with music, some tasty beer, wish lists and puppies. Now, seriously? Who could ask for more? Okay, we would, of course! So, this year, beyond the crazy – and I mean crazy! — fantastic Boston-based “Pat and The Hats” who are true rock and roll titans eager for take off, you have “Gretchen and the Pickpockets,” and they go toe-for-toe with the Hats. These two blazing bands of sunshine will be topped off with the jazzy, soulful winds of “Kali and Ancestors in Training.” That’s a real good thing right there. Again, who could ask for more? Heathens like us would beg for more! So, when “Granite State of Mind” was approached to showcase some of its favorites artists that have performed on the...