Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Troy Walker Halloween Show at Viva Cantina - 10.26.11

Wednesday evening my son and I headed over to Viva Cantina in Burbank to catch Troy Walker and his Halloween show. Troy performs every Wednesday, but neither of us had ever seen him before. We discovered when we got there that we were in the minority. The crowd was mostly made up of regulars who come to see Troy every week. We also discovered that we were considered you amongst this crowd. Don't lat that statement mislead you. The folks may have been older, but they knew how to get up, shake it and have a good time.

Check out this article on Troy from 1999. It gives you some history and a flavor of the man that is Troy Walker. He's got an amazing story. It was written by Jonny Whiteside for LA Weekly. Whiteside has been a fan for ages and is a Wednesday regular at Troy's shows.

Here are a few photos from the evening. A fuller photo album can be found on my Flickr account here. You probably need a little context to understand the photos. As mentioned earlier it was a Halloween show which is why Troy and the patrons are dressed in costume. You'll notice flapper, sailors, Little Orphan Annie and King Arthur (Or some knight) in the photos. The guy in the cowboy hat, though I don't believe was in costume. Viva Cantina is in the equestrian district of Burbank and so the bar is basically a country bar and attracts a lot of the local cowboys. So I think that guy was just being himself. Also you'll notice that Troy is in two outfits. He began the evening in the sunglasses and turban and performed for about an hour. He then took a break and came back dressed with the fedora and mustache. He then gave us another hour. It was a full evening of pure entertainment.

And the baby doll? What is up with that? Well when Troy first came out in the turban outfit he had a big pregnant belly and then at a couple points in the show he gave birth. First he birthed the little doll and then later on he revealed a stuffed monkey. The monkey ended up being pretty funny because the monkey got stuck on his belt or something and it took about five minutes of Troy bantering and joking with the audience before he got the thing out.

Also I shot a little video which captures the spirit of the performance and the evening.

Troy performs "My Girl" and "Annie Had A Baby" in this clip.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Leadbelly - The Legend Of Leadbelly

In the mood for some old time blues? This record will fit the bill. Anyone familiar with any sort of blues history knows the name Leadbelly. He holds a place next to Robert Johnson as far as being a legendary blues man. This record is a collection of songs he recorded for Alan Lomax. The record jacket says 8 of the recordings were made in New York in 1939, but it doesn't say which 8. I'm guessing the remaining couple songs were recorded around the same time. Leadbelly died in 1949 according to quite a few sources on the internet. The funny thing is that on the back of this record it says he dies a pauper in 1941. Makes me wonder why the date is so off.

Many of these songs you may recognize. A song like "In New Orleans" you may recognize as "House Of The Rising Son" which The Animals made hugely popular. "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" you will recognize as a song Nirvana covered on their Unplugged record.

Every track is great on this record is great. Each one is filled with heart and soul. Each oozes the blues.

I like playing this album loud in the house. The songs echoing through the hallway are kind of haunting. You can feel the sense of time because of the aged quality of the recordings, and yet they feel very live. It is like a ghost voice from the past echoing through the house. I love it. Maybe you will to.


01 In New Orleans
02 Goodnight Irene
03 Where Did You Sleep Last Night
04 How Long (With Sonny Terry)
05 John Hardy
06 When The Boys Were On The Western Plains
07 Pretty Flower In Your Backyard
08 Roberta
09 I've A Pretty Flower (With Josh White)
10 Yellow Gal

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lock/Jaw at Guitar Merchant with Fallujah 71 - 09.30.11

This post is quite late in coming. As you can see by the date in the title, this show was weeks ago. It happened to be in a week where I wasn't feeling great and so I didn't end up processing the photos until last week and then I just never got around to posting them. Just yesterday I realized that I never put the photos up. So better late than never.

This was a show at Guitar Merchant with my son's band Lock/Jaw. Fallujah 71 also played and I took some photos of them. The Peeks and another band played, but I didn't get any photos of them. The venue was cool. It is this little backroom to a music store. It wasn't too crowded and the crowd was basically friends and family from what I could gather. It made for a fun evening. Several times people from the crowd came up to sing with the band. My son join Fallujah for a song and some kids came up to sing with Lock/Jaw as well. It was just that kind of friendly atmosphere. I had a great time.

The entire photo album is here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oscar Peterson - In Tune - 1973

The other night I was looking through records and came across this record. I don't think I had ever listened to it before. Sad I know, but there have been times where I buy a bunch of records and then I never get a chance to listen to them all until much later. This was one of those cases. The reason the album made it from just being browsed to being put on the turn table was the first track "Sesame Street." Could it be the actual song from "Sesame Street?" I had to know. And if it was, was it some cool jazzy version. So I put it on and it was even better than anything I could have expected. It was jazzy, but it had these crazy harmonized voices singing the song. There were parts where they hit these minor chords that were a surprising delight. After just 30 seconds or so I had to call my wife into the room to listen to it as well. It was a hit.

We listened to the rest of the record, which had the very 70's harmonized voices. Some songs were a bit bland and dentist office like, but others had more soul to them. Overall the record was quite good and so I digitized it.

So here is my run down track by track.

01 "Sesame Street" - Best track on the record and a must listen. It's like no version you've heard before.
02 "It Never Entered My Mind" - An uneven song that is good when Oscar is playing, but the vocals are a bit cheeseball.
03 "Children's Game" - Reminds me of an 70's Italian soundtrack. That's good in my book.
04 "The Gentle Rain" - I like this one quite a bit. Moody and I like the rain theme.
05 "A Child Is Born" - Very slow and mellow. Not a stand out, but OK.
06 "The Shadow Of You Smile" - A little too cheeseball. Carpenters-esque vocals without the magic of Karen Carpenter.
07 "Catherine" - I think this is my second favorite on the record. Has a sanitized bluesy quality that is interesting and weird that I like.
08 "Once Upon A Summertime" - Okay again. Would be better if Karen Carpenter had sung it.
09 "Here's That Rainy Day" - Third favorite song. I could see this song making it onto a rain mix some day. Great piano work from Oscar on this track especially in the middle section. Very cool harmonies and the lyrics are solid as well. More minor key goodness. Give it a listen.

So that's the run down.

Enjoy !

Oscar Peterson - Tune

Saturday, October 1, 2011

SAP Music Halloween Mix 2011

Here it is the full thing for download. It seems like the number of tracks increases every year. The thing is that the overall mix is shorter this year. It runs about 61 minutes which means that on average each track is shorter. Sometimes I think it is great that I jump from track to track, but then sometimes I wonder if it is a bit schizophrenic. I'd love any feedback you have on this.

This year's mix also has a couple slightly original mash-ups or mixes if you will. By that I mean I took existing tracks and made loops and put dialogue over it to make something new. Tracks 5 and 8 have quite a bit of work in them. I don't know if they are as good as last year's mash-ups, but I think there are decent. Also track 38 is a bit of a mash-up, but with much less work. I just took an instrumental track and laid over a story basically untouched. I think it worked out pretty well.

As per usual check the images for all the tracks. If you have any questions about the tracks and what all is in the mix feel free to inquire.

So give it a listen. Let me know what you think. Hopefully you'll enjoy it and you can throw it on at your Halloween parties.


Below is an image that can be printed up for a CD case.