Thursday, November 29, 2007

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 4. no 24

Originally published in the Broad Ripple Gazette

Greetings from sunny Sanibel Island, Florida. Wish you were here, seriously. It has been a great week of swimming, eating, sleeping and hanging out with my ever-adorable niece and nephew.
Tonic Ball
Friday, November 16, 2007
Radio Radio and Fountain Square Theatre

I’m not exaggerating when I say this is my favorite day of the year. I get to soak in all of the bigheartedness from the musicians and fans. It just blows me away that over 30 bands donate their time and talent on a Friday night.

Tonic Week started off in a great way with the Barfly cartoon in NUVO. The cartoon featured Queen Bee Nora and the Tonic Ball. A cartoon of a caricature, as it were.

On Tonic Ball morning WTTS arraigned to have Mick Jones of the Clash give a message to the Tonic Ball musicians, “don’t murder his songs.” It was really cool and he talked about Second Helpings and how great he thought the Tonic Ball is.

The Tonic Ball was a blast. Over 600 people poured in to the two venues. The enthusiasm was palatable. I got to be in my best “Nora” mode – project management. Making sure bands were in the right place, volunteers were doing their thing and everything was relatively on time. I got to run around like a nut for a good cause.

The music was amazing. Thirty different bands played that night. Special thanks to Jonee Quest for running sound in Radio Radio. Half of the bands played Clash tunes (and one of their own) and the other half played Madonna songs. As hard as I tried I did not get to see all of the bands. Even the Queen Bee had to wait in line. I think I did see at least one song of about 20 bands. I won’t go through them all, but each one did a great job. Everyone took it seriously and learned their songs.

For the fifth year in a row I missed founder Ken Honeywell’s band Yoko Moment. I loved the Lovemeknots version of Tommy Gun. The Common ruled the stage with London Calling. Bigger Than Elvis closed the night in great form.

Over in Madonnaland the Benders rocked Live To Tell, Stasia Demos played a clever version of La Island Bonita on her accordion. Cara Wahlers and her Susan and the Desperate Seekers bandmates Jon Martin and Gary Wasson did lovely renditions of True Blue and Rain. Cara also gets the best dressed award. She wore and amazing crinoline skirt and had her hair teased to resplendent 80s style.

My heartfelt thanks go out everyone for making this event such a success and helping to feed the hungry children and adults in Indianapolis each and every day.

Monday, November 19, 2007
Soul Bus
Daddy Jack’s (every Monday)

I sabotage myself every time I go on vacation and go out the night before I leave, when I should be packing and stuff – like figuring out who is going to feed my cat.

Seeing Soul Bus is always worth the lack of sleep and panic packing. As it turned out, my luggage did not make it until the next day anyway. It is amazing how far you can stretch the dress you wore to travel in and a Mucky Duck tee shirt and shorts, especially if you share a shoe size with your niece.

Soul Bus is made up of a group of All-Star MVPs. All of the musicians are amazing. I’ll start with the one I’ve known the longest. Drummer Jeff Chapin and I played together as tots in Beech Grove and wound up at Lebanon High School together. I wish I could tell you more about Jeff in high-school, but I was too shy to hang out with him – he was one of the cool marching band kids after all. And now he’s an even cooler drummer. Jeff is plays with several bands including the Gordon Bonham Blues Band.

Bluesman extraordinaire Gordon Bonham has been a fixture in the blues scene for over 25 years. He sings and plays makes-me-giddy guitar for Soul Bus. I have a little crush on his Gretsch guitar.

Bass player David Murray makes it all look easy. Along with the rest of the guys in the band, music is his career. Dave studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and Indiana University. He’s also a damn fine baker.

Jes Richmond sings and plays guitar. His great folk music sensibilities shine though. You can find also him playing solo shows and with his lovely wife Vicky.

Okay, before I talk about vocalist and harmonica player Tad Robinson I need to make a few confessions. I never considered myself a fan of soul music and I’ve made some pretty public admissions of my dislike of harmonica. Through Tad I’ve realized that I am a soul fan and that I do like harmonica, thanks to his excellent talents. I’ve also realized that there are a lot of bad harmonica players out there. Tad released his latest album A New Point of View to international acclaim and invitations to Blues and Jazz Festivals are starting to pour in.

I can’t tell you how tremendous this band is. I think a true measure of how good a band is the number of musicians there are in the audience, and there are often musicians in the crowd soaking it all in. Soul Bus has a regular Monday gig at Daddy Jack’s (in the Apres Jack’s lounge). The bar is non-smoking and there is no cover charge. I’ll see you there!

Saturday, December 1, 2007
Cara Jean Wahlers
Cliff Snyder
CD release show
Indy Hostel
4903 Winthrop Ave
7:00 pm, all ages, non-smoking, $5 suggested donation
Cliff Snyder is celebrating the release of his first CD, Fools Highway with an acoustic show at Indy Hostel. He’ll be joined by Hawaiian slide player Pat Brearton for his set. His music is steeped in the straight forward American singer-songwriter tradition. Cara Jean Wahlers will play a solo acoustic set to open the show. I’ve heard Cara perform with a band, but never by herself. This will be a great show.
If you never been to a show at Indy Hostel, you’re missing out. It is like having a musician play in your living room. Intimate, cozy and plenty of room for everyone. No smoke, cappuccino machines or bar noise to distract you from the music.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

tonic ball photographs

You can see them here and then clicking on Tonic Ball VI.

I'm still too overwhelmed to write a proper review, I promise one soon - after I take a nap!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 4. no 23

originally published in the Broad Ripple Gazette, Buzzing Around Town.

I try not to use this column for personal reasons, you know, let’s say, to promote a show that I’m involved in or to find my Old Navy denim jacket with the Neko Case and Amy Lashley buttons on the pocket (if you’ve seen it, email please). But I must tell you about the Tonic Ball on Friday, November 16 at Radio Radio and Fountain Square Theatre. First of all it’s not a traditional ball – no white gloves or formal dresses please. It is a whoo hoo, fun night of music kind of ball. The kind where 31 bands gather to play the songs of The Clash and Madonna. The kind where all of those bands donate their time so the whole $20 cover charge goes to Second Helpings to help feed the hungry people of greater Indianapolis. The kind that makes you feel really good about Indianapolis and the generous music community.

The artists of the community are equally generous. The Tonic Gallery will feature 100 works of art. Friday, November 16. Wheeler Arts Community in Fountain Square. The Gallery is free and open to all ages.

I’ll see you there; I’ll be the one running around like a nut with a huge smile of gratitude on my face.

Tickets are available at Future Shock and Luna Music.
For more information:


The ReachArounds
Daddy Jack’s
Halloween Night

I stopped in to see The ReachArounds after a wholesome night of hanging out with my cheerleader costumed niece, soldier camouflage wearing nephew and eating my weight in Tootsie Rolls and Twizzlers.

The ReachArounds were in rare form and dressed for Halloween. Randy King sat in for Keith Carey and the devilish John Byrne took over Scott Ballantine’s guitar spot. I not-so-subtlety sat in front of John and looked longingly at his pedal steel until he played it. Scott Sanders (vocals and guitar), BenWah Salami (vocals and percussion) and drummer Robin Reuter rounded out the lineup. They had the costumed crowd on their feet and dancing.

CD release party
November 10, 2007

Tim Considine (chief Derelick) had a party to celebrate the release of his newest album, Trouble at the Circus. And for a fun twist he had the Spud Puppies play. Several members of the Spud Puppies play on the Derelicks record. I have a huge confession. I had never heard the Spud Puppies live. I’ve heard all of the musicians play in other bands and solo projects, and I’ve listened to their CD Off The Leash a whole bunch, but never saw the band. I’m glad that I finally did. They are incredible. You can see their newgrass goodness for yourself on Saturday, November 17 at Local’s Only.

Tim played a solo set, I only got to hear a few songs before I had to run back to work at the Red Key (I was feeling very Cinderella-ish, only my glass slippers were a pair of cowboy boots). I have been listening to the CD for the last few days. Tim’s lyrics are very clever and he used first-rate musicians. I’m also loving the short instrumental tunes between the songs.

Friday, November 16, 2007
Edie Carey and Emily White
Boulevard Place Café
4155 Boulevard Place317.283..22337 pm, all-ages, non-smoking, $10

Edie Carey sings like a dream, her songs are incredible and she’s an amazing person. You can’t go wrong with this show, I promise. Edie is touring with Emily White. I met Emily when she spent a summer as Edie’s tour manager. She got to see the touring musician world up close - including the glamour of sleeping on an air-mattress on my dining room floor. Even so, she embraced the life style of an independent musician and is setting the indie music scene on fire.

Boulevard Place has excellent food and a great vibe. Have dinner and be enveloped in the goodness that is Edie Carey. You won’t be disappointed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Terrance Blanchard
The Jazz Kitchen
5377 N. College Ave
Two shows: 7:00 and 9:00, doors open at 5:00 for dinner.
21 and over, non-smoking, $25

New Orleans native Terrance Blanchard’s last two records have been a response to Hurricane Katrina. The ideas for these songs were jump started by Spike Lee and his documentary on the aftermath of the hurricane. Terrance has scored several of Lee’s films including Mo’BetterBlues, MalcolmX, The25thHour and InsideMan.

Trumpeter Terrance will by joined by an all-star lineup of Brice Winston on saxophone, Derrick Hodge playing bass, drummer Kendrick Scott and Aaron Scott playing piano.

Be sure and call ahead for reservations, I have a feeling this show will sell out.

Group Show
G.C. Lucas Gallery
Thursday, November 29, 2007
4930 N. Pennsylvania St.

The theme of this show is “Through a keyhole not a picture window.” Gallery owner, Greg Lucas asked ten artists for their artistic thoughts on the theme. I can’t wait to see what they come up with. 5% percent of the sales that night will benefit Second Helpings.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tonic Ball 2007 line up

Fountain Square Theater
Madonna Stage

8:10 Turnipseeds
8:30 Squibnocket
8:50 Bars and Tone
9:10 Buckdancer's Choice
9:30 Wolfy
9:50 Benders
10:10 Jon Strahl
10:30 Susan and the Desperate Seekers
10:50 Stasia & The Shanghai Surprise
11:10 Yoko Moment
11:30 Jennie Devoe
11:50 CW and the Working Class Trio
12:10 Everthus the Deadbeats
12:30 Dark House Sweet
12:50 Jason Hathaway

Radio Radio
The Clash Stage

8:00 Groove Box
8:20 Odyssey Favor
8:40 Fair and Square
9:00 Chad Mills
9:20 Everything Now!
9:40 Squibnocket
10:00 Yoko Moment
10:20 Born Again Floozies
10:40 Jeff Byrd and the Wingmen
11:00 Retromeo
11:20 The Common
11:40 Red Light Driver
mid Otis Gibbs
12:20 lovemeknots
12:40 Mandy Marie and the Cool Hand Lukes
1:00 Vess Ruthenberg
1:20 Bigger Than Elvis

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Broad Ripple Gazette vol 4, number 22.

This column is devoted to the Broad Ripple Music Festival. I will review the Shake Go Home and Beth Amsel shows, a great band that I saw in Nashville, TN and some tidbits of Otis and Amy’s move in the next issue.

For the Broad Ripple Music Festival I thought I’d try something new – write about the bands as I’m listening to them, real time reviewing –instead of just taking notes and trying to sort it out the next day. I spent a good chunk of time at Luna Music. Donations from the Luna venue benefit Second Helpings. Thanks to everyone who threw money in the box.

So here I am at the side counter of Luna Music with my laptop wedged between the display of Teaberry gum (yummy) and a listening post. I’m always amazed by the hip factor of Luna, and that they are always so nice to me whether I’m buying music from them, be it a singer/songwriter, punk-rock band or ordering the latest Hannah Montana – for my niece of course. I had an “a ha moment” in Luna last year. I’d purchased a Neil Young CD set and could not get one of the discs to play. I took it back to Luna and the hip young man behind the counter very nicely explained to me that it was a DVD, not a CD. I realized that I’ve officially become my dear mother (and I mean that in the nicest possible way, if I were half as talented and compassionate as my mom I’d be in good shape).

Okay, on to the music, reviewed stream-of-conscience style. I will throw in a disclaimer. I usually spend hours writing the column and a good chuck of that is spent checking band member names and confirming song titles and doing some research. I’ll make sure that I add links to musicians Web sites and I’m hoping that I goof up names or songs too much.

(3:30) Serebro was playing as I walked in, so I’m writing this a few minutes after they ended. The three guys were acoustic fun. I love in-store performances. You get to see a stripped down version of the band, up close and personal. The band originally started in Australia. Paul R. Smith, lead singer lived there for a year and founded the band. When he moved back here he re-formed the band with local musicians.

(4:15) Rodeo Ruby Love is made up of a combination of Indianapolis and Marion folks. I hate to do band comparisons, that’s why you don’t often hear me make statements like “he sounds like the love child of Jim Nabors and Shirley Jones mixed in with a little Eddie Haskel.” As you can see, I’m not good at it and I’m never sure if I’m right. Anyway that was a round about way of me saying that I think Rodeo Ruby Love sounds like Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s in the big lush music way. There are only five people on the stage/corner of the store, but it sounds like a lot more. This is their stripped down version, they are playing a big rock show at the Emerson later tonight. I’m looking forward to hearing more of them.

I’m enjoying hanging out with Ray Mills who booked the show. Ray is truly the nicest guy in show business. And is dinner-fetching sister Sarah is just as nice and an amazing photographer.

(5:10) blackSoil Project played an experimental set. Rahlo and Rob are going back to the roots of Hip Hop when the kids made rhymes in the lunchroom and several people chimed in. I’m in awe of musicians that can make it up as they go and not only make it sound good, but thoughtful and pertinent. After the free style songs Rahlo is going to play a song that was inspired by the birth of his now four-year old son. Rahlo has seven children, but said he was really inspired when this child was born to look at his life and how to be a better man and teacher to his children. The song is starting out with the birth of the child. I really like the chorus “it ain’t the shadow, but the substance that I’m after.” The song is introspective and spiritual and full of hope. Amazing. The crowd is in to it. Rahlo and Rob are introducing T.J. Reynolds from The Philosophy. T.J. is one of my absolute favorite people, its always a happy moment when I see him. T.J. and Rahlo are trading rhymes; T.J. is telling us that he’s getting ready to be a papa also. They are likening the trading of rhymes to Colts plays. T.J. just used the phrase “H.E. double hockey sticks” in his rhyme. That makes me love him even more. The last song is called “Ebb and Flow” and is words that Rahlo wishes that he could say to his pops. It’s a beautiful tribute. I really enjoyed their set. Rahlo is giving big props to the next band Chasing Elvis.

So far this stream-of-consciousness stuff is fun. I wonder how it will feel at the Mudkids show at 1:00 am?

(6:10) Chasing Elvis
I ran across the street to the Red Key to use the bathroom and see what was happening during my regular shift. I brought some folks back with me. All I had to say to Jim was “the next band has a woman bass player.” In fact half of the band is women, the bass player is a woman also.
Singer/guitar player Jimmy declared it player’s choice and asked the band to throw out song suggestions. A Herbie Hancock song is next and they did it beautifully. The next song “Imagine This” is his first attempt at spoken word music. It is spoken word with beautifully sung melodies. Great song and a crowd pleaser. The band considers themselves “anti-isolationists,” they love to create community. The next song “Anyway” is dedicated to people who ask big questions. The song is making Mr. Waving Arms Jumping Around Guy very happy. I love seeing that enthusiasm. Of course this guys happiness might be a little beer fueled. I go to way too many shows where the fans don’t show any emotion and stand in the back of the room. That dark corner is my stop anyway!
This is the bands last local show, in fact one of their last shows. They have toured extensively, including Serbia and Hertizgovia. They were amazing, I’m sorry that I won’t have another chance to see them.

I’ve had the chance to get up and speak about Second Helpings during the band changeovers. I love it when all my worlds collide. I got to cover the shows and talk about Second Helpings. Want to hear my talk? Second Helpings rescues over produced and perishable foods and utilizes it to feed hungry children and adults here in our community. We have a free culinary job training programs that teaches adults culinary skills. In the last eight years we have rescued over eight million pounds of food, feed over 3.5 million people and trained almost 300 adults to help them get meaningful jobs in the culinary industry. The Tonic Ball, a music show celebrating the songs of The Clash and Madonna is November 16 in Fountain Square and will feature 30 bands.

Okay, back to the program.

(7:15) Wolfy is playing with a string trio tonight and it is just stunning. It is the kind of music that makes your heart swell. Wolfy sings and plays piano. He is playing an Emery Salem song called “Sooner Than Later” and doing knocking it out of the park. Sorry, I usually don’t use baseball metaphors when I’m describing music, but it is October. The string trio is incredible, two violins and a viola – maybe, don’t hold me to that. Three terrific people (two of them Carmel High School students) making impossible music sound easy from instruments that use bows. The stage banter is fun. The album will be done soon. He spent time in Venice last year and was lost and in an alley way and heard piano music coming from a window. That inspired him to write the saddest song he plays– Venice. It is sad, in a beautiful heart wrenching unrequited love kind of way. The next song is called Twirl and he made everyone stand up. He’s teaching us the bridge “bop did a bop bop da da.” He views us (the audience) as another instrument, and he needs us to clap. I can’t clap and type, not that I can ever clap in time anyway. There are now at least two dozen people in the store clapping, mostly in time to “Out of Sight and Out of Mind.” He ended with an elegant song “Raise Your Hands Up Tonight”.
Wolfy has drawn the drawn the biggest crowd so far. Bottom line, Wolfy is amazing – oh and he’s playing at the Tonic Ball.

(8:15) The Last Domino aka John is a solo singer/songwriter, which is in my comfort zone. He’s a great storyteller. This song “You don’t know the Half” is about a schizophrenic on trial for murder. The next song is the title track from his new album “Seconds.” Oh-- very impressive, he just pulled out a saxophone to accompany himself. At least I hope it’s a saxophone. I was so nerdy in high school that the band kids were too cool to hang out with me. Another new song called “Let’s Try this Again,” so far it sounds like a break-up song. Oh, wait it’s a get back together song. John is going to hit the road to tour soon and has buttons and CD’s for sale, check them out – gas to New York will be expensive. John is now accompanying himself by recording and looping his guitar playing and now playing jimbe drum and some other instrument that I missed because a cute little kid was asking me about Second Helpings (his mom gave him a dollar to put in our bucket, he wanted to make sure that we would use it wisely. I assured him that I was going to a good cause, that the dollar would allow us to prepare and deliver two meals to kids his age). Great conversation, but I missed a bit of John’s show. The next song is one of the prettiest songs he’s heard in his whole life. Jeff Buckley’s “Grace.” He’s right, it is a lovely song. His last song is very appropriately called “Last Call.” Catchy and fun. I really enjoyed his set.

(9:15) My original plan was to head to Indy Hostel from here, then to the Upper Room to hear Chad Mills. Then to 1051, and from there to the Melody Inn to hear the Peggy Sues and to meet Alan Hague. At one point I had the pie-in-the-sky plan to end the night at Spin with the Mudkids. Hum, five hours on my feet so far and limited computer battery power is making me is making me rethink my plan. I’m going to pack my stuff up, drop the Second Helpings donation box off at home and see where the wind blows me. I’m packing up my stuff and heading off to the Hostel.

(9:55) As you can I made a detour. I ran in to the Red Key with the big Lucite cube that we were collecting money in for Second Helpings, Inc. This stop produced more money in the cube and a Guinness in Nora. Thanks Matt Elliott for making me sit down for a bit. I ran by home, ditched the cube, fed the cat, brushed my teeth and ran back out the door.
I’m now at Indy Hostel listening to:

Robert Bruce Scott of il Troubadore fame. He is playing guitar and harp – a real harp, not a harmonica. I moved to a room beside where he is playing. I can see him, but I’m not sure that he can see me. I figured that me pecking away on my computer might be distracting. I’ve heard him play an original song about taproot piercing his skull. It’s much prettier than it sounds, really. He’s now playing a beautiful instrumental song. I think it is his last. It’s so pretty and I’m sitting in the dark with my feet up, it’s probably good it’s the last song. I could see me stretching out on this sofa and drifting off to his soothing music.

(10:20) Mandy Miller is tuning her guitar for her set. Her first song is called “Grandma.” It really shows off her powerful gritty voice. She says that she’s going to play a lot of new songs. Mandy is a guitar playing singer-songwriter. She’s very intense and bluesy. She has a great audience. She’s telling us that she’d rather that we draw our own conclusions to what the song is about. This song is called “This is My Life.” I’m going to go out on a limb on this one – I think the song is about her. Mandy used to play in the band Kindred. She wrote this song about her great-aunt Mary. Great-aunt Mary sounds like she was an amazing woman. She (Mandy, not great-aunt Mary) has a great rapport with the audience and you can tell that she has several fans in the audience. She just told us that this is her first solo show; she’s always been party of a duo or trio. I think she’s doing a lovely job. Oh, she’s channeling the King and singing “Burning Love,” Fun. Mandy is adorable and has a stream-of-conscience thing going on also. She’s played several more original songs, including one that she played slide guitar. Maybe sitting in the side room was not such a good idea. I should be at the Melody Inn by now, but I cannot get out of the room with out having to jump over a guitar and step right in front of the microphone. So far Mandy has called out anyone who has left or gone to the restroom. I’m feeling a little stuck. Okay, she’s closing with a Melissa Ferrick song. Robin Coleman who booked the show must be thrilled. Its 11:30 and I’m headed out to the Melody Inn.

(2:05 am) I took the computer in to the Historic Melody Inn with me, but didn’t have enough nerve to pull it out. The logistics were daunting in the packed room full of people looking like they were ready to slam dance. I’d just missed the Peggy Sues, which was too bad. I heard it was a great show. Everyone was taking about it, including the other bands. Between sets Sid Yiddish from Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine entertained us with wacky stunts and short plays. My natural habit of migrating to the back of the room took me way back to the outdoor beer garden. I ran in to a pocket of fun and randomness back there. A little back-story – I have huge gaps in my TV watching history. I seriously know nothing about the show Star Trek. Wait, I take that back. I know that William Shatner was on the show and that he married Elizabeth that I was in German Club with at Lebanon High School. So, when the conversation centered on making a spacecraft from the show with four tampons and an eraser, I was fascinated but totally lost. I wanted to pull out my notebook, but I didn’t want to seem uncool in front of the science fiction/science kids. I ran it to some boys closer to my age, grabbed a Guinness (I can’t do the cool kid tall-boy PBR) and hung out by the Ms. Pac Man machine.

The band Atomic Bombay started around midnight. I loved them – fun, energetic surf-rock and new-wavy stuff. The crowd obviously adored them as much as I did.

I wandered back to the wall behind the pool table and soaked in the scene. Even more folks streamed in to the Mel in anticipation of the Acid Green re-union show. Acid Greener Jon Zeps walked by with his new haircut. I had to grab him to ask how the shows at his new venue, 1051 went. He’d also played at Spin earlier, so he hadn’t been around 1051 much, but said it was great. Acid Green started in 1988 and broke up in 2001.

The Acid Green set was intense and loud and off-the-charts. I ditched my bag with the computer and stood front and center of a good bit of the show. For this first time tonight I wished that I had my earplugs with me. The fans were singing and dancing along. I would describe Acid Green as a punk/metal band.

I’m not sure how late they played. I scooted out at 2:00. 11 hours, 10 bands, and 2900 words later I’m happy to be sitting on my own sofa. Thanks for spending the day with me. I’m off to bed.

moving from

I'm slowly moving the content from to here.

Tonic Ball 11.16.2007

For details and to purchase tickets click here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Robyn Hitchcock preview

I've been a Robyn Hitchcock fan since his days in the Soft Boys. I love the song "Ugly Nora"
When I was a kid I could never find a bicycle licence plate, key chain or sparkly pencil with my name on it.

As a young punk-rocker the "Ugly Nora" song gave me some street cred.

I jumped on the chance to write the preview for NUVO and sent a list of generic questions to his publicist, never dreaming the man himself would respond.

I would have thanked him for the song...and asked him what the hell it was about.

You can read the preview here.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Broad Ripple Gazette, vol 4. no 22

This was originally published in the Broad Ripple Gazette, Buzzing Around Town.

Thanks for all of your great feedback about my on-the-spot review of the Broad Ripple Fall Music Festival. I’ll try to do that more often, in the mean time here are some written-way-after-the-event reviews. Enjoy!

Shake Go Home
October 4, 2007

Nashville, Tennessee’s Shake Go Home features Lilly Hiatt, daughter of favorite neighborhood son, John Hiatt. Lilly’s aunts and friends were there to cheer her on. All four musicians are great. Guitar player Eric Knutson, drummer John Arrotti, Jeff Montoya is the bass player and Lilly is the lead singer. The young twenty-something’s met in college in Denver and started playing together in the summer of 2005. They relocated to Lilly’s hometown earlier this year. They grabbed everyone’s attention at Birdy’s with their hard to pigeonhole folk funk-bluesy sound. And I’m sure glad to see that Lilly is following her papa in to the family business – and doing it well.

The Timejumpers
October 8, 2007
Station Inn
Nashville, TN

I went to visit Broad Ripple expatriates Amy Lashley, Otis Gibbs and Scott Ballantine in their new hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. One of the reasons I timed my Nashville visit around a Monday was to see the Western Swing Band Time Jumpers at The Station Inn. Scott says they are one of the main reasons that he moved to Nashville and I believe it. All ten musicians were just amazing.The band is made up of a core group of studio and touring musicians. As you know, I'm a big fan of the pedal steel guitar -- it does make me swoon. I was lucky enough to hear one of the best session players in the business. Paul Frankin was sitting in for the regular player. You can hear Paul on everything from Barbara Mandrell to Megadeth.
As much as I loved the Time Jumpers, I adored the crowd. There were 200-ish people there on a Monday night at 10 pm. And I was one of the younger ones.

Beth Amsel
October 12, 2007
Indy Hostel

Beth Amsel packed CATH coffeehouse the last time she was in town, in 2004. In the meantime she married the love of her life, finished work on their mountain cabin home and regrouped after years of living on the road. She opened her show at Indy Hostel with an a cappella version of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire. When she was eight years old she sent a note to Bruce offering to be a back-up singer. She didn’t ever hear from him, but it was clearly his loss. I never know where to listen when Beth is singing - her large, expansive, exquisite voice or her thoughtful lyrics.

Tim Flannery
Steve Poltz
October 21, 2007
Local’s Only

Tim Flannery is a singer/songwriter and baseball guy. He was with the Padres for 25 years as a player, coach, manager and announcer. He's now the third base coach for the Giants, and chasing the dream of a World Series ring. He spends the off-season playing his music.I really enjoyed talking to Tim before the show. Baseball and music are two of my favorite things, so I was a little star-struck.

Tim's songs are rooted in bluegrass and Gospel and are heartbreakingly beautiful. The harmonies with his brother, Tom were amazing. I'm a real sucker for songs about family and the land, Tim's music is right up my alley. I had a blast at this show, and it had nothing to do with the Flannery brothers Uncle Max’s fruitcake.The brothers were touring with Steve Poltz .

Steve played for years in the punk-pop-folk band The Rugburns. He's been touring for a couple of years as a solo act. If you've seen the new Jeep sandbox commercial, you've heard Steve's music. He co-wrote the longest running Billboard hit "You Were Meant For Me" with then girlfriend Jewel. I'm fascinated by his early life. He trick-or-treated at Liberace’s house and was Bob Hope’s favorite altar boy. He's very clever and charming. It’s not often (okay almost never) that a touring musician greets you with a big hug.

Steve is also poster child for ADD. He jumps around even more than I do. At one point in the show he did something that reminded me of when I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Patio 25-ish years ago. I’m just happy that he was wearing socks, if you know what I mean.


Robyn Hitchcock
In-store Luna Music
November 9, 6pm
52nd Street and College Ave

Yes, the legendary rock icon Robyn Hitchcock will be playing an in-store concert just a few blocks from my home. I’ll be the one clutching my copy of the Soft Boys CD A Can of Bee’s…or I’ll be working at Marigold for the Broad Ripple Holiday Tour benefiting Second Helpings – bring your pasta. But I’ll be there in spirit. Someone request the song Ugly Nora for me. I’d get there early if I were you.

Everthus the Deadbeats (Indianapolis)
Exit Clov (Washington DC)
Cabin (Louisville, KY)
Le Concorde (Chicago)
Lord of the Yum Yum (Chicago)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Birdy’s 9 pm

Just looking at this lineup makes me smile. That’s all you need to know, really.
Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
I promise.