Tough Times For Musicians

On May 25, 2010, in Favorite Music, by admin

Seems that music is having a real tough go of it lately. Starting with the multiple illnesses of Poison frontman and 40 year type 1 diabetic, Brett Michaels to the deaths of Ronnie James Dio of Black Sabbath fame, and Paul Gray of the ever dark band Slipknot.

Brett Michaels

Michaels is a story all to himself. No one has done a better branding job than Michaels which has left him solidly in the spotlight for years after his initial popularity with ‘hair band’ Poison in the 80’s.  Of course a constant schedule of touring with Poison and his individual act has help keep him in front of the image curve.  But nothing has done more than to continue the image trend of the 80’s into this era…that of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, 2010 style.  In reality, I believe most of this  is just image.  Michaels is resilient, and my hats are off to him.  Even with his latest ‘hole in the heart’ medical issue discovered when entering the hospital for a mini stroke (now doesn’t that make a great title of a song he should write about), despite this was the final (hopefully) in the trifecta of medical issues for Michaels, he plows on with an attitude that just does not stall for any reason.  Again, I respect this one, it is his attitude, I am convinced, that completely transcends him beyond the many issues he has faced recently as well as being a diabetic for 40 years. I look forward to seeing him once again when Poison tours this summer.

Ronnie James Dio

Good god, the elf has left the house! Known primarily for his time in Black Sabbath following the departure way back when of Ozzy, I knew him more as a solo artist with some great material.  I have seen him in concert 7 times, enjoying each.  This guy stood about 5’1”, about 110 lbs, wiry hair that made him look like a mini-troll under the bridge.  But when he opened his mouth to sing, the pipes on this guy were amazing.  Truly one of the top 10 voices in music, ever, period. His passing from Stomach cancer set off a round of well wishers to the family that impressed. All stated that he was truly a kind and caring person, void of all that rock music bullshit that so many performers think they must be or deserve, somehow. Every concert I witnessed of him, he seemed truly appreciative of the fans.  Of course, not knowing personally, you never, know, and people tend to say the nice things when you croak…but on this one, I believe every kind thing that was said of him.  I will miss him and his performances; and that soaring voice that came from the little elf looking guy with a heart as big as his body

Paul Gray

Fresh on the death list, the cause of his death is still under investigation.  Gray was founding member of dark metal band Slipknot. Known for wearing hockey masks on stage and carrying simulated pig heads on stage, these guys try to portray the evil image.  Their true fans refer to themselves as “maggots” .  It will be interesting to see what took this one from this world. The band started in Iowa, and this is where he passed, as well. I have seen slipknot 4 times.  I must say, not a big fan  of the masks and think their image thing is a bunch of bullshit.  What I can say, is over the last several years, their music has gotten more mainstream, and in my opinion, quite likeable. Their last song “snuff”, I absolutely think is great stuff, although, one could argue that this songs format and type merely follow the successful songs from Corey Taylor (lead singer of Slipknot) with his side project that is now two CDs old, Stone Sour. I must say, I like them even more that Slipknot, and have seen them  3 times. Whatever the cause of death of Gray, yet another band must look for replacements.  Lets hope we see slipknot back out on tour again soon…

Peace

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Dave Mason Concert Review

On February 21, 2010, in Concert Reviews, by admin

One of these days I will actually click some pics at these concerts I go to. So Friday belonged to Dave Mason.  He was playing in the DFW, Texas, area at the Granada theater.  Mason is best known for his years in Traffic at a very young age.  He is also author of very recognizable songs…namely, “Feeling Allright” the Joe Cocker staple. I was not in to this concert much, rather, choosing to go to hang out with some good friends, since it had been awhile.  What I found was a quite a good time.

A local group, Tim Shuler and Monkey Beat opened.  Based on a lot of blues rifts, their music was driving and enjoyable.  They were known locally around here for doing covers, but alas, I did not recognize much more than straight up, good ole blues. Well, at one point, I was hearing a rift right out of the Doors “Roadhouse Blues” when they are singin “passionate lady, give up your charms” in the middle of the song.  Spot on copy of the rift…but did not care.  I like these guys.  Stong voice from the lead guy, although they were more blues rock jam than having to depend on any vocals. See them if you have a chance.

Dave Mason surprised me. Looming in his presence with a large frame and shining bald head…looking a  bit old, but man, when he opened his mouth, this dude had a voice.  I cling to good vocals, and he had them. The band was extremely tight, well orchestrated. This was a enjoyable concert.  He ran through a series of songs, most of which I did  not recognize. Then he included the few I did recognize.  No matter.  It was all enjoyable, listen able music.  A variety of guitars added to the show, as well as a black bassist who was clearly the electric personality to the rather dry but unpretentious Mason.  Glad I forced myself to go out for this one. Several beers did not hurt either.

The Granada is a venue that used to be a movie theater, one of those where you get served food with the movie.  They change many years ago to this smaller venue.  Always pleasurable to go there… there is the concerts, then the people watching on Greenville avenue, a sort of entertainment district in Dallas, much to the chagrin of local residents tired of having drunk people piss and have sex in their yards….never a dull time. I will mention on the venue, the lower floor used to be all GA.  Now it is mainly assigned seating.  Shitty. This is one of the reasons people like me come to venues like this, to get as close (or not) to the stage as I dare spear my way through.  To the management of the Granada, loose the floor seats….leave that for the balcony and the VIP….I will visit you more if you do.

Peace hippies

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OK, I Wussed Out…

On January 4, 2010, in Live Performance, by admin

My peeps tell me that the NYE event at Don Carlos Restaurant in Waco went very well. I would not know, as I wussed out due to weather conditions in my area.  OK. Slam me for this one, its OK. A Northerner like myself should not be concerned about rain at freezing conditions.  But in the end, the Southerners are concerned, and we Northerners end up being co-dependent (psych term, look it up) on their concern. Really, I got a late start, and as I returned from work, all southward outlets were jammed in traffic. I could have made it there, and in time, but would have been in horrible mood. Audiences or the DWF do not need soured redd…and thats it. Stayed home with a fire.

Looking ahead on the site, we will get back to top 10’s.  This time it will be of your top 10 favorite groups.  This time, however, we will put them in order from bottom to top.  Once again, there will be some explanations throughout, and this time, I plan to put 5 on each day covering two days.  Once again, comments or separate mails are welcome, you can post yours in comment section or mail me at jay@reddgranite.com. I will assure it get posted.

Later

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Rainy NYE. Don Carlos in Waco

On December 31, 2009, in Uncategorized, by admin

Taking a few minutes before heading out to hit the road for NYE festivities at Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant, I 35 South in Waco, Texas. Will join the Dazzling Weasel Faces www.dazzlingweaselfaces.com for a long night of sets and music and laughter. Any of you local peeps to Waco, come on out, we will  have you up in front of a microphone singing “Having My Baby” or some other whacked music. Anything for a quick laugh. Again, I will bring my sets….we will only have the Tak 12’er with me tonight.  Just feel like being laid back, so the full  array of guitars will not make the trip with me tonight. We play from 8-12 tonight….but my guess there is no way we knock off at 12, who is the stoner who set that schedule up? Again, we will have a few new things tonight, and I will mingle with the local peeps in the crowd tonight as well….forgot the  beads, anyone have beads?

I will be joining the Dazzling Weasel Faces www.dazzlingweaselfaces.com at Don Carlos Mexican restaurant, 4651 Interstate 35 South, Waco, Texas. This will be a show on New Year Eve, Thursday, December 31 from 8-12p. Yeah, like right, as if we will knock off at 12 on NYE.  Check out Don Carlos at http://www.doncarlosrestaurants.com. We will be in the mood to cut loose, and given the amount of time for this show, I will likely have an extended set to play from so Marty can rest…..he will need it, far past his bed time! With this set, we will perform more than the usual original music from redd and DWF, and we look forward to play them.

We look to see you there.  Even if you have a party elsewhere that evening, begin the evening with us.  Good food and drinks with our performance to warm you up for the New Year Festivities.  See you there.

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