Monthly Archives: October 2011


What’s on your to-do list?
8 p.m. Nov. 10, Muse Arts Warehouse, 703 Louisville Road.Americana music legend Peter Case will perform songs from throughout his career as one of the most acclaimed songwriters of his generation, from traditional folk and blues to punk-infused roots-rock, on guitar and grand piano. His work has been praised by artists such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Doe of the band X, Joe Ely and John Prine, all of whom are fans or have recorded their own versions of his songs. The event is a CD release party for his latest album, “The Case Files,” which will be available for sale at the concert. Savannah’s own singer/songwriter Greg Williams will open the show. Tickets are $20 at the door. Go to for more info.

Case study
If Peter Case hadn’t done anything but contribute “A Million Miles Away” to the lexicon of perfect power–pop songs, it’d still be a pleasure to announce that he’s coming to do a show in Savannah Nov. 10.But Case, who wrote and sang “A Million Miles Away” as part of the sadly short–lived band the Plimsouls in 1983, had a prolific – and inspirational – career before that, as a member of the punk group the Nerves. And his solo journey, through such albums as the T–Bone Burnett–produced Peter Case and The Man With the Blue Post–Modern Fragmented Neo–Traditionalist Guitar, has revealed an intrinsically smart singer/songwriter. Since then he has explored various forms of folk/rock and Americana, pop and rock, and even reunited the Plimsouls more than once.Today, Case is one of indie music’s revered godfathers. You can catch up with him at 8 p.m. at Muse Arts Warehouse, courtesy of your friends at Knocked Out Loaded Concerts. He’s on the road behind his recent CD rarities collection, The Case Files.Advance tickets are $20 at Knocked Out Loaded’s Facebook page.

ISTHMTUS (Madison, WI weekly)
Saturday 10.22
Peter Case
Kiki’s House of Righteous Music, 9 pm
After stints in seminal 1970s power-pop bands like the Nerves and the Plimsouls, Case settled into a long, productive career playing eloquent, intimate folk-rock. If you ever saw the improbably good 1980s teen comedy Valley Girl, you’ve glimpsed Case. The Plimsouls were the movie’s house band. With Dietrich Gosser.

THE SPEC (Hamilton, ONT weekly)
Graham Rockingham’s best bets
Peter Case
Former member of The Nerves, The Plimsouls and the Breakaways brings his rootsy solo act back to Hamilton. Last time, Case played one of the best versions of Milk Cow Blues this town has ever seen. Who knows what he’ll do this time? With Hamilton’s own mad genius, Chris Houston, Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 p.m., at This Ain’t Hollywood, 345 James St.–graham-rockingham-s-best-bets

THE ONION’S A.V. CLUB (Rochester, NY daily)
Peter Case
A long, winding musical road brought singer-songwriter Peter Case to 2010’s Wig!, a route that travels through bar bands, new wave innovators, flirtations with folk-rock, a brief fling with a major, and a life-saving heart surgery. Not that the former leader of The Plimsouls hoped to capture all of that in Wig!’s 12 tracks. Instead, he turned out a dozen blood-simple blues-rock numbers recorded in quick-and-dirty fashion recorded with X drummer DJ Bonebrake and fuzzbox-stomper Ron Franklin. He’s now touring behind a recently released collection of rarities, The Case Files.,5163/

SINGER/SONGWRITER: Peter Case (10/13)
By Frank De Blase on October 12, 2011
The Plimsouls’ 1983 single “A Million Miles Away” is one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for decades (my head, anyway, along with “Jamie’s Cryin”). Well, it was penned by Buffalo-born Peter Case, who now crisscrosses the map as a solo act. Standing on stage a la carte, the impact of Case’s lyricism is truly felt. Sure, everybody perched on a stool with a dreadnought has some insight to share and wisdom to spill. Case is just simply better than most. Peter Case plays Thursday, October 13 at 8 p.m. at Lovin’ Cup, 300 Park Point Drive. $18-$20.

FREETIME MAGAZINE (Rochester, NY weekly)
Peter Case
Lovin’ Cup | October 13
petercase.jpgWith a career that spans well over 30 years as a street-singer, soul-punk bandleader, power-pop artist, acoustic “tribal-folk” legend and songwriter; Peter Case has seen it all. The Buffalo native’s work has been recorded by the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls and many others; and recently the three-time Grammy nominee found such artists as T-Bone Bennett and Loudon Wainwright III stepping up to raise funds to pay for his open heart surgery, attesting to his impact on the industry. His many albums include A Case for Case and Wig!.

BUFFALO NEWS (Buffalo, NY daily)
Hamburg-born singer-songwriter Peter Case is coming home with an appearance tonight in the Sportsmen’s Tavern, 325 Amherst St.It is the first of two performances to benefit Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. Case will reunite with old buddies Jim Whitford and Mark Winsick. Tonight’s show starts at 7 with a Peter Case tribute set by Dee Adams, Mark Norris and Dave Ruch. Tickets are $15. On Friday, Case will speak at the Buffalo International Film Festival world premiere of the film documentary “Troubadour Blues,” in which he appears.

BUFFABLOG (Buffalo, NY music blog)
Peter Case’s Homecoming tonight at Sportsman
Hamburg native and 3-time Grammy nominee Peter Case is coming home this weekend for two triumphant performances,  tonight at the Sportsmens Tavern and a Hamburg house concert on Sunday He will be backed by his childhood pals and garage bandmates Jim Whitford – a fellow Buffalo Music Hall of Famer – and just announced 2010 inductee Mark Winsick. Case filled out the Buffalo band by calling on drummer Rob Lynch, having jammed with him at a previous reunion gig at the Sportsmens. Pick up a copy of this weeks artvoice and read more about his career and the upcoming shows.

ARTVOICE (Buffalo, NY weekly)
Case in Point
by Kevin J. Hosey
Peter Case, the hamburg boy made good, returns to Western New York for two shows in three days

About a year and a half ago, Peter Case was in a hospital, canceling concerts and music classes he taught, while doctors saved his life through open-heart surgery. Now the Hamburg native is recovered, back on tour, and playing two shows in three days in Buffalo and Western New York as he supports his new Yep Roc Records CD, Wig!

Case will play a show as part of the Private Concert Series at 7pm on Friday, August 13, at the Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst Street near Grant Street), with a band made up of himself on guitar, vocals and harmonica; Mark Winsick on guitar; Jim Whitford on bass and vocals; and Rob Lynch on drums and vocals. (Case and Whitford are Buffalo Music Hall of Fame members, and Winsick will be inducted this year.) Tickets for the show cost $15 presale only, and have been moving very fast, with only a few left. Call 874-7734 or stop in at the Sportsmen’s for tickets to the show. The Dawg House Band, which previously was to headline at the club that night, will open the show.
Peter Case performs at the Sprtsmen’s Tavern, with guitarist Mark Winsick in the background. Photo by Val Dunne ( /

Case will also perform a house concert at the home of Marty Boratin and Susan Tanner (7341 Nelson Drive, Hamburg) on Sunday, August 15; doors open at 5pm and the show starts at 5:45pm, with Winsick and Grace Stumberg the opening acts. A potluck cookout will start at 4pm, and the suggested donation is $10-20. For directions or more information, contact or call 812-4671.

As readers might imagine, the first question one asks Case is about his health.

“I’m doing good, quite well, actually,” Case says. “I’ve been touring a while. I had a reckoning of sorts, with my dad and both of my grandfathers dying of heart-related disease, both of my grandfathers in their 60s. It’s a bit of a genetic thing.”

Case is 56. He notes that while he had health insurance when he was signed to a major label (formerly Geffen), he did not when the heart problems occurred.

“The doctors saved my life, then they sent me a bill,” he says. “There was no question of how I was going to pay for this. They did a great job and I am very appreciative.” His likewise appreciates the musicians and other industry people and fans who helped him when he needed it. “There were three nights of benefits and some fans started a fund drive, and Catholic Charities helped.”

If, after listening to it, you think that Case’s new CD, Wig! sounds like it was fun and relaxed to record, well, it was.

“The record was really fun to make; I really recommend it and feel it is a really good recording. Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John [Case’s previous, Grammy Award-nominated CD] may have sounded a bit depressing, but this one I was really happy to be alive. It really gave me a burst of energy,” Case says. “What I set out to do is play the kinds of music I like, from acoustic blues to electric blues and a little folk rock. It’s a good album; it starts off pretty driving and it pulls together everything I’ve done. The majority of the recording was done in one day, with one or two other shorter sessions. One idea was to strip everything down. It’s like groove music; it’s not supposed to be clever or intricate. It’s all about feeling.”

Wig! does indeed incorporate all of his stated musical influences and directions, mixing a nice amount of soul, 1960s rock and roll, and some power pop into an enjoyable, danceable recording while addressing serious topics such as healthcare, religion, hypocrisy, and mortality.

Case has always felt driven to write and record the music he feels, and to follow his muse, which may have led to the break up of the Plimsouls, the band with which he wrote and recorded the power pop classic “A Million Miles Away” in the 1980s. “I felt strongly about going in a certain direction, and that’s what really ended up breaking up the Plimsouls,” he says. “They didn’t really want to go in the acoustic direction, or maybe they couldn’t. I’ve always taken my direction from the songs and their energy. I really go by intuition and feel.”

Case sounds excited to be coming home to play and notes the number of talented musicians—Case, Whitford, Winsick, Gurf Morlix, Bob Kozak, Terry Sullivan, Scott Michaels—who came from the Hamburg/Blasdell area. “We all just got into the music,” Case says. “We hung around some people who taught music and we picked up some guitars. Remember, on one side of Hamburg was the city, and on the other was the country, so we had all of those influences. The first time I went to a dance, the Unclaimed was playing, with Gurf and Mark, at the Hamburg Community Center. I was 12 years old. I studied guitar with Pete Haskell, one of the original Stan and the Ravens. Garth Hudson [of the Band0 once told Pete that he learned to play rock and roll from Stan Szelest.

“There are some great musicians from Buffalo, including drummers like Gary Mallaber and Rob Lynch. I have friends and roots here, and I haven’t been back in town since my mother died, so I am glad to come back. I enjoy and appreciate the area.”

Though Case was laid up in 2009, he observes with a laugh that his music was very busy. “The year I was sick and didn’t work, I had four records that came out, including One Way Ticket (Dig), a Nerves compilation [the Nerves were a great mid-1970s power pop band Case was in with Paul Collins and Jack Lee, best known for “Hanging on the Telephone”], and a CD by the Breakaways [the Nerves without Lee and with other musicians]. I truly enjoyed those.

“There was also a live Plimsouls CD [One Night in America on Kool Kat Music]. I had been hauling around these live tapes from a show at the Whiskey a Go-Go for years and finally did something with them.”

On top of all this, Case has three songs on the new Robert Randolph CD and was the subject of a three-CD tribute, A Case for Case: A Tribute to the Songs of Peter Case, in 2006. “It’s always great when people dig your songs and cut your songs,” he says. “I was really proud of it and enjoyed hearing how people recorded my songs.”

Case says the full-band show at the Sportsmen’s and his solo turn at the Boratin/Tanner house present very different experiences. “The band tour has been great,” he says. “I’ve been working with an extended musical family and it’s been a pretty easy relationship. It costs too much to travel with a band. We’ll play some different arrangements, with similar and different songs, and we’ll stretch out in different directions. But the Sportsmen’s show will be a bit more song-focused than the last time I played with these guys, which was more of a jam. The house concert will basically be me and my guitar.”

Jam sessions featuring Case leading a band can be enjoyable; his last Sportsmen’s full-band show was not so loose as one might think, and neither are his rehearsals. Jim Whitford is our neighbor, and we got to hear an impromptu two- or three-hour rehearsal/jam session one night a few years ago. There’s little better than hearing Plimsouls, solo Peter Case, and some classic blues, soul, and rock-and-roll songs coming through your window after dinner.

On the Case: Four decades of stories from Peter Case, who plays Henrietta Oct. 13
By David Wheeler

Peter Case gets a bit bristly when you start talking about the variety of musical genres he’s employed through his long musical career, from driving rock and roll to acoustic folk rock to the blues.

“To me it’s always the same thing,” Case — who plays The Lovin’ Cup in Henrietta this Thursday, Oct. 13 — said by phone last week. “It is story-oriented: I tell stories and I sing songs. I tell stories about life and things I want to say.”

And he’s told plenty of those stories, in a musical career that’s spanned some four decades, including time spent in the Buffalo rock scene as a youth, a street musician in San Francisco, a member of The Nerves, a founder of the Plimsouls (who had a bit of a hit with “A Million Miles Away,” which was included with other Plimsouls tracks in the early Nicolas Cage movie “Valley Girl”) and a solo career that started in 1986 and has encompassed more than a dozen albums.

They’re stories of observation and impression; stories of identification with those for whom life has proven a toil and a trouble; stories of a society that’s gone off the rails with avarice, greed and lust for power. And they’re stories that have brought him the reputation of a songwriter’s songwriter: Such top-flight writers as John Prine, Hayes Carll, Joe Ely, Dave Snider, James McMurtry and Victoria Williams (Case’s ex-wife) paid him tribute a few years ago with the three-disc covers project “A Case For Case.”

Some examples of Case’s lyrical craftsmanship:

Who moved the furniture? Who hit the light?
Everything’s changing but nothing seems right.
I thought I was smart, but that was last night.
The world turns every 24 hours …
(“Every 24 Hours,” from “Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John)

He’s in his double breasted jacket and some cherry wing-tip shoes
Big ol’ hat with a feather high and a pocket flask of booze
But he can’t afford the treatments and there ain’t no other cure
Sad to say, without no pay, he won’t get well no more …
(“House Rent Party,” from “Wig”)

Trips to Western New York are a bit of a homecoming to Case, whose Lovin’ Cup show is sandwiched between Buffalo sets on Oct. 12 and 14. He grew up in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst and remembers the Buffalo area of the 1960s and ’70s as a healthy blues and rock scene, and mentions Stan Szelest — founder of Stan and the Ravens who played with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks and, later, the Hawks’ successor The Band — as particularly influential.

The blues — which underpins most American (and British, for that matter) rock  and roll — infuses Case’s work as well. Not just musically, although Case’s 2010 album “Wig,” his first studio disc since a 2009 heart surgery, was a collection of intense, driving, growling blues-rockers. But in Case’s entire catalog can be heard the emotional directness, the intensity and the identification with the downtrodden that’s a hallmark of the blues.

“You know, it’s about people with hope, and people without hope,” Case said. “A lot of my songs are about people who are in difficult situations, and have to get through it.

“You got to get through.”

Singer a hit with musical peers
Steve Penhollow | The Journal Gazette
On the Internet, you can find such lists as “The Best Movies You Never Heard Of” and “The Best Comedians You Never Heard Of.”

Peter Case may be the best singer-songwriter you have never heard of. And he will perform Sunday at Columbia Street West at 135 W. Columbia St.

Case’s biggest commercial splash came in 1983 when his band the Plimsouls scored a hit with “A Million Miles Away,” one of the finest odes to lost love produced in that decade (in this writer’s opinion).

But Case’s influence on popular music goes far beyond that hit single.

In 2005, the non-profit Hungry for Music solicited contributions for a Peter Case tribute album to benefit music programs in schools.

The resulting philanthropic project, “The Case for Case,” was expanded to three discs to accommodate all the artists who wanted to donate tracks.

In January 2009, Case underwent emergency heart surgery, which very likely saved his life but left the uninsured musician with enormous medical bills.

Musicians Stan Ridgeway, T-Bone Burnett, Loudon Wainwright and Dave Alvin subsequently organized benefit concerts to help Case defray some of the costs.

The fact that Case is loved by his fellow musicians but is virtually unknown to most listeners is a testament to his broad musical tastes and his disinterest in working an angle.

Case says that when he was a younger man, he chased success as hard as anybody.

“We (in the Plimsouls) wanted to be the biggest band, to make a million dollars, that sort of thing,” he says. “We wanted to be a great rock ’n’ roll band and get played on the radio.”

What led to the breakup of the Plimsouls was not infighting or ego trips, Case says. It is just that he had started to write new songs that were too dissimilar stylistically to the band’s music.

“I had a lot of different things on my mind,” he says. “I had started writing songs that the Plimsouls just weren’t going to do, so I felt I had to leave the Plimsouls. I thought I had to make a choice.”

Of course, Case could have tried to stay on top by remaking “A Million Miles Away” in various ways again and again.

But Case says none of the true legends of rock music could have survived by adopting such a strategy.

“I don’t know anybody who has lasted who did that,” he says. “You don’t see (Tom) Petty doing that.”

Case, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., says he inherited his love of music from his sister when he inherited her record collection.

He quit school at 15 and hitchhiked around the country, eventually deciding to settle on the West Coast. There, he formed the rock band the Nerves, which helped launch an L.A. punk scene that eventually led to the popularization of the music across the United States.

Which is ironic, Case says, because the Nerves wasn’t really a punk band.

“I guess we fit into that thing better than we fit into anything else,” he says.

And the Plimsouls, despite that hit single, wasn’t really a power pop band, Case says.

“ ‘A Million Miles Away’ was definitely power pop,” he says, “but it was real power pop like The Who, not that skinny-tie, mincing sort of thing.

“What we were was an aggressive rock ’n’ roll band,” Case says.

When he left the Plimsouls, Case says he was not turning his back on success; he was heading off in a direction where he thought he would achieve greater success.

For the next 20 years or so, Case pursued a critically acclaimed, if relatively obscure, solo career (with a few breaks for Plimsouls reunions).

Then heart problems looked for a time as if they might put a permanent end to his musical aspirations.

Case says the response of his fellow musicians to his financial problems made him “really happy to be part of music,” he says.

“People love music, and when you bring people something they love, that generates a lot of good will,” he says.

Case’s convalescence was long, he says, but after it was complete, he had “huge bursts of energy.”

“When you live through your worst nightmare, there had better not be much holding you back at that point.”

Case says he has no regrets about having followed such an idiosyncratic career path.

“I have made a lot of good music and made a lot of fans,” he says. “Getting into regrets is kind of fruitless.

“Now that doesn’t mean I haven’t had periods in my life when I’d wake up in the middle of the night screaming,” Case says, laughing.

A musician’s life is a weird one, Case says.

“There’s no security,” he says. “But then you look around and realize that nobody else has any security either.”

BUFFALO NEWS (Buffalo, NY daily)
Road warrior
Will the troubadour soon become nothing but a memory? Is there a place in our fast-moving, hyper-informational mess of a culture for the traveling singer-songwriter? Does that culture put any value on the independent, modern-day itinerant minstrel? If Woody Guthrie was alive and singing today, would anyone even notice?

These questions sit at the heart of “Troubadour Blues,” a new documentary that centers around the life and work of Hamburg native and revered DIY singer-songwriter Peter Case.

For nearly 40 years, Case has been touring the globe, guitar in hand, singing honest songs that document and universalize his experience. He’s been a road warrior since he left Buffalo for San Francisco in 1973. Along the way, he created influential art in the realms of garage rock (the Nerves) and power-pop (the Plimsouls). But at the heart of his art has always been the outsider status that is part and parcel of the wandering minstrel’s life.

Case — who comes to town for a flurry of performances surrounding the debut of “Troubadour Blues” as part of the Buffalo International Film Festival, including a show at the Sportsmen’s Tavern at 7 p. m. Wednesday — is revered by his peers, lauded by in-tune critics, and adored by a core group of followers. But major commercial success has long eluded him. The result of a personalized integrity that insists he do things his own way has been a marginalization of his art. This fact lends a bittersweetness to the case of Case, and in the film — produced and directed by another devout indie artist, filmmaker Tom Weber — several poignant scenes revolve around the notion of an against-the-odds survivalism.

As Weber writes in his press release for the film, “This is a story that needs to be told. In our media-saturated age of instant pop stardom, there is a real danger that the tradition of the itinerant working musician is being diluted or lost.” Artists like Case — and several similar troubadours featured in the film, among them Mary Gauthier, Chris Smither, Dave Alvin and Slaid Cleaves — occupy what Weber calls “the hidden corners of our culture,” areas where rugged lives are played out in song, and traveling is far from a luxury indulgence.

If you’ve ever been in a band, done a bit of out-of-town playing, then you know the drill — cram into the van, drive hundreds of miles between gigs, eat (badly) for sustenance not aesthetic enjoyment, sleep on the floors of fans and friends, get up and do it all over again. This can be fun when you’re in your 20s. But it becomes less so when you’ve been doing it for several decades, as Case has.

Yet, the music dictates that this be the lot in life of the men and women who channel it.

In one scene from “Troubadour Blues,” Case is seen revisiting some of the Hamburg haunts he played as a young man, fronting bands like Whaling Beamish and Pig Nation. In another, Case meets up with lifelong friends — and similarly revered Buffalo musicians — Mark Winsick and Jim Whitford, for a hang at the Sportsmen’s Tavern.

Gurf Morlix — another brilliant Hamburg-reared troubadour, who makes his home in Austin, Texas, these days — shows up in “Troubadour Blues” as well. What emerges from the film is the deep love these lifelong friends still have for the music itself. As difficult as the lifestyle can be, none has questioned his allegiance to the muse, and with it, his responsibility to document his times through song.

The implicit theme of the “Troubadour Blues” film — that we, as a culture, have undervalued the role of the storyteller and the authentic musician in our fascination with glittering, overproduced and largely disposable pop art — is rather difficult to dismiss. The folk tradition, which we can easily locate in the work of Woody Guthrie and his countless disciples — Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Case himself among them — is strongly tied to both “protest music” and activist traditions. Generally speaking, the lyrics are timely, and the melodies timeless. The music boasts a distinctly human element, and it needs the interaction between performer and listener in order to exist. Without anyone there to bear witness, the songwriter can testify until he’s blue in the face, and still end up much like the tree that falls in an empty forest.

The craft of the troubadour should not become a museum piece. Folk music is a vibrant form only when it reflects its immediate milieu, while recognizing the long tradition before it. Artists like Case have devoted their entire lives to holding up their end of the bargain. The rest is up to us. We can decide that the troubadour’s craft is a valuable part of our shared culture.

And we should. In a world where a T-Pain or a Katy Perry is rewarded in a manner not commensurate to their talent, it is a glaring injustice that an artist of Case’s quality is barely getting by.•
Visit for additional information and screening times.

Peter Case brings his sound to the Record Collector

Peter Case fans can expect songs from his recently released “Case Files” as well as a smattering of folk and blues standards.
Written by
Richard Skelly | For NJ Press Media

On a recent appearance and performance on National Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage” program, singer-songwriter Peter Case told the studio and radio audience the reason he wanted to sign his then-band, the Plimsouls, with Elektra Records, was because he would have access to free Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie boxed sets. Even though the Plimsouls weren’t exactly known as a roots-rock act, the Buffalo-raised Case told us recently he’s always been into the blues and traditional folk music. He used to frequent James Peterson’s club in Buffalo, the Governor’s Inn, and he saw child prodigy Lucky Peterson play piano when Peterson was just 5.

Tonight at the Record Collector, 358 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown, Case will perform a mix of his originals as well as some blues and traditional folk songs. Case is touring in support of his latest release, “Case Files,” a collection of out-takes and things that were recorded in Los Angeles during the last dozen or so years, in between regular recording sessions.

Interestingly, for such a literate songwriter, Case dropped out of high school and subsequently left home at 15, arriving in Los Angeles by the time he was 18.

“I got into classic R&B and rock ’n’ roll ’cause my older siblings were teenagers in the 1950s, and so I inherited a lot of singles when they went away to college,” he explains of his youth in Buffalo. “I had singles by Chuck Berry, Fats Domino 78’s, Link Wray and the Wray Men, Ritchie Valens, and all those early rock ’n’ roll singles. I grew up with all that stuff and when my older sister returned from college in the early ’60s, she turned me on to Bob Dylan and Joan Baez,” he recalls.

Although his decision to leave high school disappointed his dad, a jazz fan, and his mom, a Sinatra fan, at least they lived to see Case have some level of success in the music business.

“I used to go into New York City a lot to see musicians, but then I realized New York wasn’t far enough from Buffalo, so I went to California when I was 18. I had already decided by the time I was 14 that I wanted to be a musician,” Case explained.
Case tours mostly as a solo artist, and said patrons at the Record Collector tonight can expect songs from his recently released “Case Files” (Alive Records) as well as a smattering of folk and blues standards. Case will also perform songs from his two Yep-Roc releases, “Wig!” and “Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John.”

Case’s music is a delightful amalgam of all of his influences: Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Bert Jansch, Lightnin Hopkins and Sleepy John Estes, among others. Tickets to tonight’s show, which starts at 7:30, are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Also performing is Andy Shernoff of the Dictators. Call the Record Collector at 609-324-0880 for more information, or visit

TIME OFF MAGAZINE (Central NJ wekly)
MUSIC: Peter Case
Not playing what’s popular, but playing what he loves
By Keith Loria
Guitarist and singer Peter Case is known by different fans for different parts of his 30-year career. Punk rockers remember his years in The Nerves, rockers enjoy his Pimsouls’ years (especially the hit “A Million Miles Away,” which was featured on the “Valley Girl” soundtrack, and folk and blues lovers are big fans of his solo years.

”I’ve been solo for 17 years now, have played a couple thousand solo gigs, I’ve been Grammy nominated as a solo artist, had a solo record named album of the year in The New York Times, put out eight solo cds, compared to the Plimsouls’ three, won over audiences all around the world in places where the have never heard of, but people still refer to me as ‘of the Pimsouls,’” Mr. Case says. “I’m proud of the band, but I’ve done a lot more and a lot better since then.”

Case will be performing in Bordentown Friday, Sept. 30, at The Record Collector in support of “The Case Files,” a collection of unreleased tracks spanning most of his eclectic history.

”What I will be doing is playing solo stuff from different parts of my career, and this includes songs I haven’t recorded,” Mr. Case says. “It’s going to be pretty free-wheeling. I have 11 albums and I pull songs from all of these. My plan is to make a big sound acoustically. I just love playing live.”

The Buffalo native is proud of his new album and wanted to provide an outlet for some songs that he felt were strong, but just never made it on an album for whatever reason.
”What I really wanted to do was find things that were interesting musical journeys to take people down,” Mr. Case says. “To tell you the truth, I was just being intuitional and I put it together from the feeling of the songs together and what I wanted to get out.”

Even though he is a favorite of many top musicians, Case has never achieved the wide spread popularity that someone of his talent and caliber probably should have. The reason, most music critics agree, is because he never sold out his musical beliefs.

”I never played what was popular, I just followed what I loved,” he says. “When I came to California, I was into blues and rock and that’s always been my thing. I’ve always been into dynamic emotionally charged music you could use to tell a story or paint a picture.”

It’s thanks to his older sister that his musical identity was first established. Sort of like the opening scene of “Almost Famous,” Case learned about rock from the albums she let him listen to.

”My sister taught me rock and roll when I was 3 years old. Her singles collection—people like Chuck Berry Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino—became mine when she went to college,” Mr. Case says. “When she came back, I kind of became aware of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and stuff like that.”

At just 15, Case quit high school and pursued his dream, moving to California and playing on the street.

While playing in San Francisco, Case was discovered by an up-and-coming punk band, The Nerves and the band went on to early success, opening for the Ramones at the beginning of the punk movement in 1977.

”A lot of people still talk about The Nerves or the Plimsouls but I have moved on from that with my solo work,” Mr. Case says. “I’m not looking back, I am looking forward. I tell people now I play folk-rock and they seem to understand. I am very focused on my playing guitar and singing.”

In 1996, the Plimsouls reunited for the first of several reunions and they continued doing gigs sporadically over the next 10 years and put out one album. Paul Collins and Case are currently talking about reuniting The Nerves for a small tour next year, and that’s exciting news to many.

”If people are really into some of this music I am talking about, I think they will really enjoy this concert,” Mr. Case says. “I’ve taken all this music I love and taken it to a new place and try to tell stories about now with this honest music.”

The Record Collector is located 358 Farnworth Ave., Bordentown. Doorts open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20. On the Web:;

BROOKLYN ROCKS (Brooklyn online music site)
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Peter Case – “The Case Files” CD Review (Alive Records)
Bomp/Alive describes The Case Files as a collection of “demos, out-takes, one live shot & other rarities recorded between 1985 and 2010”. This description doesn’t do the disc justice as this is a pretty solid collection of tracks rather than the half-finished demos and cast-offs found in archival compilations by other artists (maybe Peter Case could give some pointers to whomever is managing the Marc Bolan/T Rex estate).

As this disc spans Case’s solo career post-The Plimsouls, there are some expected stylistic jumps. The music on The Case Files include: roots-rock, a heavy dose of blues, “Woody Guthrie style” social protest songs and a hint of the indie power-pop of The Plimsouls. The traditional blues number “Milk Cow Blues” was recorded live and the remaining tracks are a mix of full band studio performances and Case playing solo acoustic. The songs are a mixture of newly heard originals, early versions of songs that ended up on one of Case’s solo discs and covers of Alexandro Escovedo (“The End”), Bob Dylan (“Black Crow Blues”) and Rolling Stones (“Good Time Bad Times”) songs

The disc starts out strong with the upbeat root-rock tune “(Give Me) One More Mile” before heading into a social indictment of the past Republican administration with “Let’s Turn This Thing Around”. Musically, this later song is somewhat odd as it includes a host of sound effects (crowd noise, safety alarm noise, animal noises, etc.) along with some crazy synthesizer effects, courtesy of Stan Ridgeway. A chunk of the lyrics from this song are repeated on “The Ballad of the Minimum Wage” but on this later song, Case’s vocals are delivered beat-poetry style. Case also uses this spoken word delivery style on the other working class anthem on the disc “Kokomo Prayer Vigil”.

While there is nothing too ‘hard-edged’ on the disc, “Good Time, Bad Times” and “The End” are both bash ‘em out rock tunes. “Anything (Closing Credits)” (which sounds completely different than the version on Case’s 2006 release Torn Again) and “Trusted Friend” capture the pop sparkle of The Plimsouls and this first track features Eddie Munoz and the later was described by Case as a long lost track in between the Plimsouls and his solo career. Lastly, the disc also contains a stripped-down, melancholy version of “Steel Strings #1” (which features T. Bone Burnett) which was given a high-gloss sheen for Case’s first solo disc.

BEATROUTE MAGAZINE (Calgary monthly)
Miles to go before he sleeps
By Tim Horner

The singer/songwriter. The very term conjures steel guitars and open roads. Whitman and Twain. A life steeped in the folk of the Appalachian Mountains and the blues of the Mississippi Delta. The singer/songwriter is Americana.

Somehow, Peter Case transcends all of this. His 40-year career, which spans his formative work with The Nerves in the ’70s, the chart-topping success of The Plimsouls in the ’80s and the solo journey he has been on ever since, embodies the spirit of the troubadour without the trappings of the genre.

“Being an American musician – in the biggest sense of the word – means you incorporate all the music that you love,” Case says from his Los Angeles home, where he gears up for a fall tour schedule that brings him as far north as Alaska before a pair of dates in Lethbridge and Calgary.

“My thing is telling stories with songs. I use all the different kinds of music I love that mean so much to me to tell the story.”

The myriad of influences is evident on his latest release, The Case Files, a collection of previously unreleased demos, outtakes and live material from the past 25 years. The songs on the collection have an incredible sensibility of backbeat and percussion.

“I’ve always thought the marriage between different folk music and grooves to be an obvious thing,” says Case.

While obvious for someone with an equal passion for the ’60s pop form and the 12-bar blues, the insight is often lost on many of his singer/songwriter contemporaries, whose singularity with a lead instrument can forsake the power of a rhythmic bottom end.
Along with the latest album, Case’s tour will support the release of his second novel, Epistolary Rex. His creative writing is well documented on his blog, which hosts a cross section of poetry, politics and memoir. Among the memoirs is a piece about a teenage Case hitchhiking to catch hero Lightning Hopkins live in 1971, a travel bug that has lasted a lifetime.

“I jump around a lot. I’ve driven across Canada in the wintertime, across the continent, talking to people, and have gotten a sense of the whole country – yours and mine.”
With this sense comes recognition of the need to get off the road. When home, he divides his time on his writing, his family and teaching songwriting workshops at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in California.

“You can’t really teach songwriting. I teach people who write songs and get hung up on the process. I try to get their songs ‘hooked up,’ the game within the game. How things sound is more important that what you say; you can figure out what it means later. It’s about how things sound and timing and accent. The hard part today is finding examples of songs everyone in the class knows!”

Irony is not lost on Case.

“Today, we have total access to everything that ever existed, but no context. Hard drives with 30,000 songs. I’m teaching this music class and this kid is into this band, The Carbonas. I go, ‘Do you know why they’re called The Carbonas (in reference to the Ramones’ ‘Carbona Not Glue’)?’ He says, ‘Nope.’ He loves them but has no idea.”
The singer/songwriter. Case has spent a lifetime learning the craft of songwriting and sharing that knowledge on stage, on the road and in the classroom.

At the end of the day, the wisdom can be distilled down to what has truth, magic and meaning.

“Genre isn’t important. Style is important. That’s what makes an artist.”

LA BEAT (Lethridge, AB music magazine)
Peter Case plays the blues
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 11:15 Richard Amery

Buffalo born Los Angeles based folk musician Peter Case played the first show of the Geomatic Attic’s new season, Sept. 14. I arrived midway through the show in the middle of a poetry reading.
He alternated between a 12-string guitar and a battered electric as he worked through a career’s worth of songs, stories and jokes.
Peter Case opened the Geomatic Attic’s new season, Sept. 13. Photo by Richard Amery

Peter Case opened the Geomatic Attic’s new season, Sept. 13. Photo by Richard Amery

He seemed a little scattered in places, admitting he sometimes forgot how to play some of his songs unless he was actually playing them on stage. If he did forget how to play them, the audience didn’t seem to notice.

“If you want to take pictures, could you take them when I’m playing some really stupid fast songs,” he said.

And while I waited for the “stupid fast songs,” there weren’t any, though there were a lot of mid-tempo blues and folk with some pretty intricate finger-picking as Case played bass notes with his thumb.

The small but mighty audience of about 60 was familiar with his work, gasping in appreciation as he talked and played a variety of songs from his rock band days with the Plimsouls and a lot from his Grammy nominated  “Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John,” Cd from 2007  including  “Million Dollars Bail,” which was among several highlights of the show as well as a couple from his latest CD of obscurities “The Case Files.”
“House Rent Party,” was another uptempo highlight.

He talked about his time with the Plimsouls and how they smashed their equipment in front of about 50 people and spoke about being with the record label Elektra, prefacing a story about living in a dirty hotel across from his record label Elektra and saying getting the Leadbelly box set was the most valuable thing he got from them.

He played “30 Days In The Workhouse,” which Leadbelly made famous.

In addition to lots of his own songs, he played a lot of old blues on the 12-string including Blind Willie McTell’s “Broke Down Engine.”
—    By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Peter Case revisits rock, returns to Alaska

Several big-name and/or hipness-bolstering shows have been announced in the past couple weeks. There’s Ghostland Observatory making its third two-night stand in two years at Bear Tooth Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 28 and 29. The indie-rock one/two punch of the Antlers and Menomena takes place at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium Monday, Sept. 12. Then there’s the recently announced Andrew Bird show that sent Twitter and Facebook, um, atwitter the other day. The indie-folk violinist and whistle-meister plays Atwood Concert Hall on Nov. 15.

One that’s been a little under the radar is a return visit from Peter Case, who’s playing Vagabond Blues in Palmer on Friday, Sept. 9, and Out North on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Case played in the regrettably easy to overlook, mid-’70s power-pop group The Nerves. That band took ’60s garage rock and mod influences and molded them into taut, hook-laden rock songs (think Big Star, Cheap Trick or the Who’s early years). The group only lasted about three years and left a slim discography, but it did produce one bonafide classic – “Hanging on the Telephone.” But The Nerves’ original probably isn’t the one with which most people are familiar. Most remember it as a hit for Blondie.

Case later started the Plimsouls, which carried on the same power-pop sound, polishing it up a bit with New Wave. In the mid-‘80s, Case emerged as a solo artist, releasing mostly acoustic-guitar-based folk albums. Last year he released the blues-rock record “Wig!” This past May saw the odds-and-ends collection “The Case Files,” which covers Case’s solo career from his debut folky days to his more recent return to rock.

Click here to check out bluesy number “Round Trip Stranger Blues,” the closing track on “The Case Files.”

Tickets are $23 for the Palmer show, $23.50 for the Anchorage one, available at
–Matt Sullivan


The Bloody Hollies -Yours Until the Bitter End (Alive)

Raised in the upper Rust Belt region of Buffalo, NY, and polishing their chops in that struggling metropolis, the Bloody Hollies eventually moved westward about half a decade ago, (logistically, about as far as one can go continentally), to thaw out in San Diego. Their music is born of a head-banging fury so often found in bands that emerge from the Great Lake post-industrial cities like Detroit and Cleveland. It reaches a needle-pinning ferocity bred from ‘70s rock, punk, garage and blues crammed into a vessel and shaken viciously. Lead singer Wesley Doyle screams and yowls his vocals with a voice that might be described by invoking the names of several metal bands, a bit of Rod Stewart’s hoarse scream, or pitch-on Roky Erickson’s grating bawl about a “Two Headed Dog.”

On the first two numbers of this album, “So Grey, So Green” and “Dead Letter,” the guitar attack is as heavy and relentless as a terrier ripping ferociously into a large rat, with the organ grounding the music to keep one foot firmly planted in garage and blues. “Dirty Sex” involves Joseph Horgen’s versatile slide-guitar work, helping whip things into a more bluesy frenzy. Doyle’s vocals take over “Good Night, Sleep Tight” making for a metal-blues nut crusher, but makes room for a violin solo that follows a flashy guitar break. While much of the album hits the velocity of “Communication Breakdown,” the guys slow it down just a bit on “Leave That Woman Alone,” a tune that has an almost Baltic melody that recalls, in parts, Dave Edmunds’ famous cover of “Sabre Dance.” Again, their song structure changes for “Sticks and Stones,” sounding for all the world like Slim Cessna’s Auto Club in full gospel-rock mania mode. More intensity erupts on “You’re So Cold,” a solid, in-your-face song if there ever was one.  Expending all that energy to record this album must have worn them out a bit, as the last song, “John Wayne Brown” seems to settle down out on the back porch for a straight-ahead gospel blues number, a la Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs, handclaps, slippery slide-guitar and all. It even borrows a rustic riff from “Wildwood Flower” and inserts it for a little extra authenticity.

The Bloody Hollies may not be a household name yet, at least a rock household, like say, Dinosaur Jr but they’ve got a solid body of work behind them, even being invited at one point to do John Peel’s famous Peel Sessions radio show on BBC. Not too shabby for a rumpled pack of Rust Belt rockers! They’ve even managed to stand out from the myriad mob of bands at a SXSW appearance, no easy feat. Yours Until the Bitter End continues their blitz und donner power-surge legacy and shows no sign of letting up. Where some bands that I could name start off their recording career with fast and furious insanity, only to rein it in a few albums later, I trust the Bloody Hollies to stay true to their raucous tradition that embraces dense, brutal, gut-punching rock and roll until the bitter end.

DOWNLOAD: “Leave That Woman Alone,” “You’re So Cold ,” “John Wayne Brown.” BARRY ST. VITUS


Show preview: Gardens at the Smell on October 29
Kristen Lowman / LA Local Music Examiner

Who hasn’t wondered what the lovechild of Motown and Pure Punk would sound like? I for one can’t tell you how many nights of sleep I’ve lost in vain search of the answer to this ages-old sonic stumper. Finally, at long last, I ‘ve found the solution to the most enigmatic riddle in all of noise, and in my spam folder no less.  The noise has a noisemaker, and that noisemaker is rock’n’roll newcomer band Gardens.

Raised on a diet of Terrence Mckenna,The Beatles, Syd Barrett, Nirvana and Turkish psychedelic music, GARDENS is part of the new sound of Detroit. Formed by Matthew Mueller, Jeffrey Thomas, Julian Spradlin and Vincent Mazzola, they have already toured the country, sharing the stage with the likes of Brimstone Howl, Thee Oh Sees, Detroit Cobras, Akron Family and Tyvek, to name just a few. Their debut album, Gardens, was produced and engineered by Chris Koltay (Akron Family, Dirtbombs, SSM) at High Bias recordings. And while it certainly doesn’t hurt Gardens in the slightest that 25% of their founders happen to be Another Awesome Jeffrey, that is not the only reason I’m excited by what I heard.

But you really should hear for yourself, and what luck!…  Detroit’s avant-psych-garage band GARDENS are performing two L.A. area shows this month; first at Fullerton’s Burger Records on Oct. 28th and then at the legendary Angel City Club now known as The Smell on Oct. 29th.  The LA show sees them joined by indie heavies Warlocks, Strangers Family Bands and Black Apples. For my readers, these awesome guys are offering not one but two tracks to sample off the album, “IDEAS TO USE” & “MAZE TIME” absolutely no strings attached: no email required, no hoops to jump through, just right click, save, listen and enjoy.

These shows are of course part of a US tour the band is mounting in support of its recently released self-titled debut album, which is already raking in some enviable press.  Gardens is available in-stores now on CD, Ltd. Edition GREEN VINYL WITH DIGITAL DOWNLOAD and digital formats.


Arts & Entertainment : Picks – Sorrows at Quarry House Tavern Saturday, October 15
By Steve Kiviat

Sorrows is back. No, not the forgotten 1960s English band—this Sorrows is the forgotten late 1970s/early ’80s New York power-pop combo with no “the” in its name. The skinny tie-wearing, shaggy-haired outfit was led by Warsaw-born guitarist Arthur Alexander, who likened Sorrows’ sound to “Abba meets the Sex Pistols.” Thirty-some years later, Alexander and guitarist Joey Cola have reunited—without ties—and added a new bassist and drummer. But the band’s roughed-up British Invasion tunes remain just as timelessly catchy. On Bad Times Good Times, released last winter, “Teenage Heartbreak” delivers sped-up Chuck Berry riffs and a memorable chorus; the wistful “I Can’t Go Back” recalls The Hollies; and “Lonely Girl” melds punk propulsion with exuberant call- and-response vocals.

Sorrows plays at 10 p.m. with The Spectacles and Les Sans Culottes at Quarry House Tavern, 8401 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. Part of the Hail Hail Rock n Roll Festival. Free.

Hail Hail Rock ’n’ Roll Festival

This garage rock fest takes its name from a Chuck Berry song (it’s a line from “School Days”), and although none of the 10 acts playing over three nights sound particularly like the Father of Rock-and-Roll, they all adhere to no-frills, back-to-basic sounds. Acid Baby Jesus, Thursday’s headliner at Asefu’s, comes from Athens — the Greek Athens, not the college-rock hot spot in Georgia — and plays fuzzy psych-punk with the proper amount of swagger. New York’s Sorceress is all about big hair, big riffs and big solos, bringing some glam strut to the proceedings Friday at Comet Ping Pong. Saturday’s headliners at Quarry House Tavern, Sorrows, have been cult favorites on the power-pop circuit for three decades, playing sharp, concise and hook-filled songs that sound good no matter the decade.

Saturday at 10 p.m. Quarry House Tavern, 8401 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring. Free.

All Hail Garage Rock
By Christopher Porter

D.C.’s best garage-rock fest returns for its third year — and it’s now on its third name: Hail Hail Rock’N’Roll Fest. But much like the classic music it promotes, nothing else has changed.

Hail Hail closes Saturday at Silver Spring’s Quarry House Tavern with a free show featuring D.C. power-poppers the Spectacles, Brooklyn’s Les Sans Culottes (Francophone rock) and New York City’s Sorrows, pictured. The Sorrows formed in 1977 and sound like the Sex Pistols if they highlighted their early-Beatles side. The 2010 reissue collection “Bad Times Good Times” inspired bandleader Arthur Alexander to give performing another go — because garage rockers are always ready for one more round.

The Sorrows perform tonight in Wallingford
By Ashley Chin

WALLINGFORD – When the British power-pop band The Sorrows formed in 1977, they never thought their fan base would be as strong as it is today.

The band that originally formed in New York City consists of Arthur Alexander, Joey Cola, Ricky Street, and Jeff Harris. They will play a show at the Cherry Street Station, 491 N Cherry Street Ext., tonight at 8 p.m., one of the first stops on their East Coast tour to promote the release of their album, “Bad Times Good Times.”

“We just finished the West Coast tour, we took a two-week break,” said Alexander, front man of the band.

Alexander said that the band has played in Connecticut before, but this is the first time in many years, especially since the band has been inactive for years.

“The album came out last October, and we’re supporting it, this is our first full-fledged tour,” said Alexander.

The band’s sound can be compared to The Beatles and The Who, who Alexander said are two of their inspirations, and bands they grew up listening to.
The Sorrows have played with well-known bands and artists such as Blondie, the Talking Heads, the Ramones, and Crazy Squeeze back in the 1980s.
“We only wish we could have them here, they were a blast,” Alexander said.
The bands were a blast and the crowds were large, but the band never would have thought after all the years of being out of the spotlight that they would have appealed to not only a larger crowd, but younger.
“All the young kids are coming out and looking up to us, it’s been absolutely fantastic, and a big surprise to us,” Alexander said.


The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz – Radio Moscow
by Jason Lymangrover
Chaotic from start to finish, Radio Moscow’s third album Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz is all about playing vintage riffs as hard and fast as possible. The group takes the fundamentals of garage and blues-rock, and pushes them to the max with on-stage energy. The only thing is, they aren’t a group at all. With the exception of the bass parts handled by bassist Zack Anderson, Parker Griggs plays every instrument on the record. His hyperactive drumming and screaming, wah-wah fuzz guitar solos are beyond showy, and he’s a powerful singer to boot, with his beefy yet tuneful growl. The mood and tempo of Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz is relentless, which can be a plus, but because there isn’t much variety in Griggs and Anderson’s simple, blues-based musical vocabulary, the multi-sectioned songs sometimes run on and on, like aimless jams, until the intensity starts to become a blur. Still, the duo plays hard as hell, and emulate the early-‘70s revival to a ‘T’ (right down to the psychedelic production and crazy studio panning and echo tricks). Sure, “Turtle Back Rider” is derivative of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and “I Don’t Need Nobody” is a lift from the Allman Brothers Band all the way, but you can’t blame them. Radio Moscow’s just following in those bands’ footsteps of taking old Delta blues riffs and amping them up. In this case, way up.


Our rating: 9 stars (out of 10)
They’d never previously darkened my radar, but a quick bout of research proves THE BLOODY HOLLIES have quite a respected history behind them.

Founded in Buffalo, NY around the turn of Y2K, they’ve actually been honing their ferocious garage-rock assault over four albums, including one (2003’s sophomore effort ‘Fire at Will’) for the highly-regarded Sympathy for the Record Industry label. They re-located to California (San Diego) sometime along the way and have clearly found themselves another suitable home with the ever-vigilant Alive Naturalsound.

The ominously-titled ‘Yours until the Bitter End’ is their fifth LP and it finds them rocketing out of the traps sounding fully-formed and utterly fantastic. Initial salvoes ‘So Grey, So Green’ and ‘Dead Letter’ give you a good idea of the kind of high-octane thrills being meted out, with the former cutting a dramatic swathe and the latter coming on like an unholy alliance between The New Christs and The Dickies. However, while these tracks show how hard The Bloody Hollies rock, some unlikely textures – the whirring, sci-fi organs, the mellow reprise after ‘Dead Letter’ recalling Love’s ‘7 and 7 is’ – demonstrate that there’s a lot more invention and eccentricity going down here than yer average garage rock contenders would condone.

This feeling is borne out by the rest of the album as a whole. In the same way The Damned tempered their punky aggression with Prog and Goth elements, these guys also strive to fearlessly push their hard-hitting rifferama into fresh and exciting new areas. The lustful ‘Dirty Sex’, for example, swaggers along on a whiskey-soaked Southern groove and finds fork-tongued slide guitars coiled and waiting to strike in the shallows. The Freddy Kruger-strength nightmare scenario ‘Good Night, Sleep Tight’ (“Daddy, I was dreaming about a creature I’m certain came from Hell!”) makes room for a wonderfully-hot blooded gypsy violin solo, while the epic ‘Dress to Kill’ displays a breathtaking grasp of dynamics.

Thrillingly, The Bloody Hollies versatility never obscures their ability to rock like bastards either. Driven along by Matt Bennett’s animalistic drum clatter and Wesley Doyle’s Jeffrey Lee Pierce-esque howl, tracks like ‘Sticks & Stones’, ‘I Dream of Bees’ and ‘You’re So Cold’ are all brilliantly-executed, full-pelt anthems blending New Wave, ‘60s garage punk and grunge to something very close to perfection.

They’ve another surprise in reserve for the finale and ‘John Wayne Brown’: an Appalachian-style folk-blues lament concerning the death of a snake-handling preacher who was bitten to death by one of his own rattlesnakes during a sermon in Alabama.   The song’s acoustic approach (slide guitar, mandolin and lazy harmonica) is the album’s biggest departure and the congregational, sing-song vibe perfectly captures the bizarre subject matter.

‘Yours Until the Bitter End’ is a superb garage-rock album with twists, turns and a winning eccentricity that’s all too rare in Rock’n’Roll these days. I may have been shamefully ignorant of The Bloody Hollies for the past decade, but their darkly sarcastic name isn’t one I’ll forget in a hurry now. More please and make it quick.


On The Beat
Three Metre Day
By Kerry Doole
THREE METRE DAY: It is always exciting to come across a new group that emerges with a fully-formed and original sound and vision. That’s the case with this terrific Toronto trio. They’ve emerged from the much-loved THE HENRYS, with that group’s leader, slide guitarist/composer DON ROOKE, and violin virtuoso HUGH MARSH (BRUCE COCKBURN, LOREENA MCKENNITT) now joined by young vocalist/pump organist MICHELLE WILLIS. They’ve just released a superb debut CD, Coasting Notes, and its songs sounded even better at the Hugh’s Room launch performance. The group expanded to seven for the gig, and the backing vocals of JOANNA MOHAMMED and MARLA WALTERS helped add soulful depth to the material. Willis’ vocals occasionally recalled BETH ORTON in their purity, though she could also get sultry (as on “Honey Drip”). The beautifully poetic “Left At The Prairies” showcases Rooke’s real talent as a lyricist (The Henrys were primarily instrumental). No surprise to see plenty of musicians in the appreciative audience. Three Metre Day are now off on a California tour, and their next local gig is set for Fontana Swing (a loft space at 245 Carlaw) on Nov. 12. Highly recommended. Go to for more info.


AUSTIN EXAMINER (Austin online A&E site)
10 Questions – Gardens
Thomas McAleer

The band GARDENS is part of the new sound of Detroit. Formed by Matthew Mueller, Jeffrey Thomas, Julian Spradlin and Vincent Mazzola in 2007, they have already released a couple of singles and cassettes, and recently released their self-titled debut cd on Alive Naturalsound Records.  They have a local show coming up on October 23 at Beerland in Austin, and recently answered 10 questions for me.  PopMatters ( claims, “Although rooted in a post-punk hotbed of throbbing, thrashing bass, Gardens’s debut album blossoms over its 10 songs into an adrenaline rush of artful, angular garage-rock. Not unlike contemporary British bands Young Knives and Pete and the Pirates, the Detroit-based combo creates an original sound out of familiar elements.”

Who are your songwriting influences?
Matt: Neil Diamond, Vince Neal, Neil Young, Young MC
Jeffrey: Van Morrison, Life, 580am

When and where was your first public performance?
Gardens: Halloween 2007. Anton Art Center. Mt Clemens, MI
Matt: Eighth grade
Vince: Dec 1 2011
Jeffrey: L’Anse Creuse High talent show in a shitty pop punk band called Cause and Effect, with Vince.
Julian: 1995, playing saxophone in elementary school band recital. Or solo, 1997 playing a piano recital. Both in Royal Oak,Mi.
Or if you mean rock and roll, 2003 playing congas with an unnamed, early 70s miles davis style band ,at xhedos cafe in ferndale, mi
What was the first record or cd you purchased with your own money?
Julian: Green Day “Dookie” or Nirvana “In Utero” or Beach Boys “Greatest Hits” – listened to all of those around the same time.
Matt: George Harrison,  “I got my mind set on you” single
Jeffrey: Cranberries, because my dad recommended it, haha.
Vince: Mc Hammer “Can’t Touch This”

What was the first live concert you attended?
Matt: Spin Doctors, Cracker, and Gin Blossoms at Pine Knob haha
Julian: Either Bob Seger or The Association, when really young, age 5 or so.
Vince: Hole and Cypress Hill in 1994.  Cypress Hill had a 12 foot bong on stage.
Jeffrey: Bunch of hardcore and punk shows at this pretty lame coffee and soda place called Wired Frog. My mother wouldn’t let me go out to the big city to see big shows.
Which venue would you most like to play that you haven’t yet/ and which is your favorite venue to play?
Julian: — maybe Bowery Ballroom [NYC] or Not sure, since we haven’t been there. // ???
Matt: Those glass domes on the moon.  I don’t have a fave.
Jeffrey: Cydonia.
Corey: Royal Albert Hall!
What is the best career advice you’ve been given, and by whom?
“Learn every Beatles album up to The White Album, or go to college” – Joey Mazzola
“Never give a sucker an even break” – Michael Jackson

Who are you listening to now?
Julian: “Sorrow Come Pass Me Around: A Survey of Rural Black Religious Music” (Recorded 1969-70 / Released 1975 Advent Records) // Thee Oh Sees // Natural Child
Matt: Shannon blathering about computer viruses
Jeffrey: Detroit Tigers fans, Rolling Stones, Brian Eno, this one particular song by this early 70s psyche band called Electronic Hole, Bob Dylan Rolling Thunder Review
Vince: Beatles in my life and big country big country!

What is your best story about life on the road?
Jeffrey: One time this cop pulled us over, because our break light was flickering on and off. He saw that we had a Keith Richards biography on the dashboard and commented on it. Turns out he was a huge fan and named his car Blue Lena as well, not that his car was blue, but because of cop blue. He told us to follow him to this watering hole called Primal Mechanisms. We didn’t have to be to our destination any time soon, so we thought why not? Upon pulling up, our van got shot at by this bald bearded man with a giant scorpion tattooed on his head who was yelling something incoherently about has-beens. We got out anyway, and sifted inside. This bar was the weirdest mix of sleazy night club and children’s play adventure. There were women doing topless dance routines with half working animatronic figures. Our new cop friend.. err.. escort.. bought us a round of some mysterious drink called Comanche Moon. Then he proceeded to call the bar tender over and whisper some shit into his ear and before we know it a big highly sedated black bear with a muzzle on it’s face is being brought to a stage-like area. He started to fight the bear and it gets a bit blurry at that point, because whatever was in that drink wasn’t just alcohol. Luckily Julian didn’t have much and got us out of there, because who knows what would of became of us.

What recordings are available to the public and where can they be purchased?
All releases still in print are available at shows. Our first single is available on iTunes. Debut Record is available at independent record stores around the US and parts of Canada. Also, Alive Natural sound website []

When and where are you playing next?
The United States. US Tour starts 18 October in Columbus, OH. West Coast and elsewhere, mainly West of the Mississippi.
For full listings and all future shows, see []
Sun. Oct. 23 GARDENS w/ The Act Rights 9:00pm at Beerland, 711 Red River St., Austin, TX (512) 479-7625

THE LANTERN  (OSU Columbus college weekly)
Detroit rock group Gardens ready to plant itself in Columbus
By Katie Howard

Detroit rock group Gardens is scheduled to perform at The Summit Oct. 18, 2011.

From an ad-hoc performance on a baseball field to meeting the president, Gardens took the long way around to their debut album and performance in Columbus.

Members Matthew Mueller, Jeffrey Thomas, Julian Spradlin and Vincent Mazzola will be starting their tour for their self-titled debut at The Summit on Tuesday.

The band began without guitars and microphones. Thomas explained that they formed in 2007 on a baseball field. On that day, he said somehow everything just fell into place.

“It’s a funny story how we got together,” Thomas said. “We are big baseball fans and we were all out on the diamond playing a game. Somehow guitars were nearby and we took a break and started to play.”

Since that game in 2007, the guys have been recording with Alive Naturalsounds Records and working on their debut album.

The members say they embody the sounds from the ‘60s and ‘70s, but still want to bring a new sound for the hardcore rock fans.

“We like to see what new sounds we can make,” Spradlin said. “That way we can entertain fans and attract new listeners.”

The group travels around the U.S., getting its music out to the people. They have played at numerous community and charity events. Through these experiences, Mueller said he senses the group is making more than just music.

“At these events, we’re helping people,” Mueller said. “We are using our name to raise money for them. Everyone wins.”

Through its travels to promote the music, the band has had several encounters with notable people. However, they all agreed that being stopped by the president’s motorcade in Washington, D.C., was at the top of the list.

“After the show, we were driving and were stopped behind President Obama’s motorcade as he stepped out to get a cup of coffee,” Thomas said. “Of course, we jumped out of our car and went in for a chat. He said he liked our music.”

They went their separate ways, but not without handing over an album to the president.

Thomas is excited to be performing in Columbus near campus. By being close to Ohio State, he hopes that students come out and see what they have to offer.

However, for some students, it isn’t the band as much as it is the rock sound. For Ryan Teng, a third-year in economics, it comes down to the music.

“It’s just not my thing,” Teng said. “Rock music just isn’t my kind of sound.”

Kate Larrimer, a first-year in health sciences, said that going to see Gardens would be a stress relief.

“I’ve never heard their music,” Larrimer said. “I’d go to let off some anxiety from classes. It would be good to socialize.”

EVERTHING BUT URBAN  (Toronto music blog)
Gardens Live at the Silver Dollar (Toronto)
Despite what anyone might think or say about Motor City Detroit, that city is without a doubt a trend zone in the remaking. Yes the city looks in rough shape, but if you have your doubts do yourself a favor and check out Johnny Knoxville’s documentary Detroit Lives. This city has a history in pop culture, especially when it comes to the realm of music (ahem, Motown).

Detroit’s own Gardens recently kicked-off their Canadian tour in support and promotion of their self-title debut album. On behalf of eBurban I was able to catch their show in Toronto this past Friday (August 26th) at the Silver Dollar.

For those who are not familiar with the Silver Dollar it’s a wee bit of dive bar with all the basic ingredients; dim lighting, cheap beer, and loads of hipsters. The bar even offers Swedish Snus for sale (think of it as an alternative to chewing tobacco) and there’s an alarming amount of men with mustaches in the crowd. Amps border the stage angled in various ways. Two red lights point down on the drum kit while a “classy” Silver Dollar signs dangles above. The rest of the stage is lit with a blue hue that paints over the members of Gardens with the drummer being the exception.

Gardens was formed by four members; Jeffrey Thomas (vocals/guitar), Matthew Mueller (keys/guitar), Julian Spradlin (drums), and Vincent Mazzola (bass). What I can gather from my “Google” web-browsing research tactics is that Mueller is a fairly new member to the ensemble.

The vocals that night were a cross between lazy-surfer-rock vocals and neck-vein-rocking-popping vocals (all very technical terms). From the get-go the young twenty-going-on-thirty something crowd was digging the show the Gardens were putting on for them. The fans exhibited this captivation with an awkward ambition to move along with the music as their heads swayed almost in unison in a half-ass “worm” motion.

Gardens allowed the power and emotions of their songs dictate their movement and stage presence throughout their set. Even with that in mind I almost want to classify their sound as “background” music. Before you get all hot and bothered, “background” music isn’t necessarily an insult. I consider some of my favorite bands “background” music. I’ll try and redeem myself by saying Gardens put on a solid show that will no doubt have the hipsters coming back for more.

Let’s face it, Detroit’s Gardens is a trendy band with a complimentary fan base. Enough said.

DETROIT BLACKOUT  (Detroit music blog)
Get Ready for the best Detroit freak-out you’ve seen in years.

Gardens S/T Album Review
Okay here it is. First, a bit of explaining. This is the long awaited debut album of Gardens from Detroit, MI. I first interviewed them back in 2010 when I started this blog. I spoke with a band member about this album at a show and he told me it was already released at that time. I was giddy as hell and ordered it. The record was great and I listened to it many times but didn’t feel I could do an accurate album review of it until now. I didn’t want to sell the band or myself short. So here it is.

Gardens have put out a couple 7inches one being on Italy Records another one Just for the hell of it Records. They also have a cassette release on Telephone Explosion Records. To my knowledge, they released the two 7inches first and then Debute album followed by the cassette release. ( feel free to put these guys on with an accurrate discography.) They also had burned cds floating around at some point in time. The self titled Gardens album was released on ALIVE NATURAL SOUND Records. It is sold through the BOMP store online. It’s a Green Vinyl with album art of the band members.

The Original Gardens lineup consisted of:
Jeffrey Thomas-vocals/guitar
Julian Spradlin-precussion
Vincent Mazzola-vocals/bass guitar

Gardens added Matthew Mueller to the lineup after the Album tracks were recorded and that is why you do not see him on the album artwork.

Gardens consider themselves part of the new sound of Detroit. Gardens told me in an interview maybe more than a year ago that this album was due to be released. They had the master tracks for quite some time but it wasn’t released until, May 10th-2010. Almost 9months after I spoke with them. Needless to say, I was in anticipation. The original tracks we’re remastered. Their debut album was produced and engineered by Chris Koltay (Akron Family, Dirtbombs, SSM) at High Bias recordings, with Warren Defever of His Name Is Alive. After hearing the opening track I knew I was going to like this album, the guitars are loud and in your face when you listen to this record. They added more reverb on the vocals but not to the point where it sounds like Jesus & Mary Chain or the Raveonettes.

As soon as I got to the second track I could hear piano. Later in the record you will hear some organ. It was great. When I interviewed them earlier in the year I saw that very piano in Jeffrey’s house. The record itself has a hint blues mixed with rockn’roll. The guitar is loud and the bass is bumping. You get the feeling of the Kinks meets the Booker T & the Mg’s. While some tracks are heavy on piano/organ there are other tracks that are more primitive 3 piece rock songs. The whole album will get you singing and dancing by yourself.

The album itself sounds louder and a bit more crisper sounding than the 7inch releases but don’t be discouraged because this is the same Gardens you know and love. The album was still recorded in lo-fidelity to my knowledge. Chris Koltay and Warren Defever did a really well job on engineering this album. While on some Gardens releases Jeffrey’s voice may be a little more unclear you can make out exactly what he is trying to get across in this release. Keeping that in mind, there are no lyrics inside the album when you buy this. The majority of this album brought me back to when I first saw the band unsuspectingly. Discovering a great band is always a good reason to be excited. A few of the tracks on this release I hadn’t heard to my knowledge but they were a pleasant surprise. Pick up a copy if you haven’t already!
+plus factors in buying this release include:
Green vinyl with Free Mp3 download.
Cool artwork on back of release.
It’s affordable.
where to buy:

WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY  (online music blog)
REVIEW: Gardens – Gardens
Gardens is a punk/garage rock band from Detroit. They’ve recently released their self-titled debut album on Alive/Naturalsound and are embarking on a tour beginning October 18.

What they’ve got is talent and some intriguing song ideas: the opener, “Teachers”, is vintage Detroit garage punk… the guitars are pretty primal, vocals snotty and the song really moves along. Here’s the video:

Second song, “Ideas to Use”, while still nostalgically primal and lo-fi, really slows down the tempo until it picks up about 4:00 in. The longer pieces on this record sound like Gardens has combined several song ideas into one song… a pretty sure way to hook a GbV fan like yours truly.

Download “Ideas to Use”, here.

Some of the songs just move along on a true punk backbeat/bassline combination… check out “Alive in 5D” with its Stooges guitar lines (and some catchy, simple guitar solos), or this one, “Staring at a Line”:

There are some goofily arty moments, like the spoken word/a capella intro to “Living American”… with echoes of some of George Clinton’s proto-raps on old Parliament records. Then, after about a minute and a half of this, it turns into a garage rock raver. Here’s a video of the song in live performance:

And just for a little more variety, the record closes out on a 4:14 keyboard-based bluesy number, “Morning Refresher”. All in all, a very engaging debut. Not to make too much of the “retro” aspects, because there’s plenty of variety in the tempos and sound levels, but the best moments on this record will definitely put you in mind of your garage/punk favorites.
by John Hyland


DES MOINES CITYVIEW (weekly alternative)
Radio Moscow
“The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz”
Alive Records
By Chad Taylor
Radio Moscow is as close as you can get to the dirty, growling and honest heart of power trio rock without a DeLorean. “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz” is a victory for Radio Moscow in general and Parker Griggs in particular. The Story City front man is possibly the most singularly gifted guitarist working today. In this latest album, Griggs channels everything from Hendrix to Jeff Beck. Griggs’ guitar work is feverishly creative, unapologetically old school and fraught with pissed off riffs that bring to mind Blue Cheer and the Yardbirds. Indicative of the vintage sound are tracks like the trippy, bass-heavy “Speed Freak” as well as “I Don’t Need Nobody,” a punishing five-minute reminder of the glory days of rock that shifts the spotlight between Griggs, bassist Zach Anderson and drummer Cory Berry with manic alacrity. This is your father’s rock, in all the best ways. CV

DES MOINES IS NOT BORING (Des Moines, IA music blog)
Radio Moscow
“The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz”
Alive Records
My father was my first exposure to music.  I remember thumbing through his album collection as a toddler/preschooler and seeing names like Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller, Bob Seger and Eric Clapton.  I remember staring at the cover of the Blind Faith album trying to figure out if I was staring at a naked lady or just a shirtless hippie.  I also remember the guy with forks in his eyes from the cover of The Scorpions’ Blackout and being absolutely petrified of it (to this day I have a recurring nightmare where Fork Eyes chases me around the skywalk).

The funny thing about all those albums is that is pretty much where he left off, musically.  Its like he found musical perfection in Great White’s …Twice Shy and he just decided to call it.  It’s too bad really.  I mean, I guess, if he’s happy, I’m happy.  It just seems like he’s missing out on some wonderful things that he would like; Radio Moscow, for example.

It is hard for me to know where to start with a band like Radio Moscow.  On one hand, they are loud and heavy.  They carry with them the Zeppelin swagger and blues guitar riffs that would fit in on the Dazed and Confused soundtrack without missing a beat.  The music is a heavy mix of loud and fuzzy riffs and psychedelic effects to time travel back to a time where your guitar was more than just a musical instrument.  It was a weapon and a lectern and a way to express yourself without using lyrics; as well as an occasional phallic representation (okay, a pretty much constant phallic representation).

Radio Moscow is a tribute of sorts to the classic rock I grew up with, but it is also a modern day auteur project that you wouldn’t expect right away.  The bulk of the songwriting is done by Parker Griggs, who is also the vocalist, guitar player and studio drummer.  He also produced the most recent album The Great Escape or Leslie Magnafuzz.  The analog sound they used to produced this album, as well as the effects of the vocals seem like a very conscious use of their studio space, but also an intimate and wide-eyed understanding of their sound and what it’s supposed to be.  The understanding and knowledge of the studio equipment and how they want their sound presented is an art in and of itself and seems far removed from sex drugs and rock and roll the sound implies.

These two dynamics come together to create both a hard rocking, blues heavy, growling rock masterpiece and a modern rock art project.  It is a fusion that many have tried, but few have ever achieved.  This is the third Radio Moscow album and it is easily their most adventurous, most precise and most unique album.  It is also their best.  I would recommend this album to people who haven’t changed their radio dial from 94.9 in thirty years to people who don’t even know that over the air radio still exists.  I may even try to get my dad to listen, but I won’t go to his house until he removes his copy of Blackout. Fork eyes, man.  Scary stuff.


Radio Moscow have been receiving a wealth of accolades from a number of regional weeklies, online A&E magazines and music blogs. Here are but a few of the praises….

GOOD TIMES (Santa Cruz, CA weekly)
Radio Moscow cranks up the fuzz, channels old garage tunes
The Lone Wolf
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 10:28 Nick Veronin
At times it is difficult to follow what Parker Griggs is saying—and not only because of the patchy cell phone reception he gets at his remote Northern California hideout.
It is entirely possible that Griggs, front man and lead songwriter for garage-psych revivalists Radio Moscow, is extremely baked as he mumbles on, sometimes inaudibly, about The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz—a piping hot batch of overdriven, wah-wah-, and THC-soaked jams that his trio will kick out at the Blue Lagoon on Oct. 14.
The new record, Magnafuzz, which drops Oct. 11 on Alive Naturalsound Records, is Griggs’ third such homage to the heavier sounds of the Age of Aquarius.
His father introduced him to early garage music while in middle school, playing old vinyl, like Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac records. He says he’s been hooked on bands like Blue Cheer, Free, and Black Sabbath ever since.
“It speaks to me more than most [other genres],” Griggs explains in a laconic drawl, noting that he especially enjoys the mixture of bluesy guitars and cranked tube amps. “I just kind of got used to the way that the old bands play.”
With his long, straight hair, Griggs resembles a dirty blonde Ozzy Osbourne circa Paranoid. It is fitting, seeing how the fuzzy riffs and Hendrix-ian pentatonic solos he conjures on Magnafuzz wouldn’t seem out of place on an early Sabbath album.
Radio Moscow’s music is a bottom-heavy blues-bomb, with grooves that recall MC 5 and the contemporary Black Mountain, and shredding like a more structurally minded Jack White, with each note bleeding into the next under a sea of overdrive, yet not entirely off the wall as the “Icky Thump” solo.
Griggs would also fit right in at the studios where most of his favorite acts recorded their best music. With the exception of a few ProTools shortcuts, which Griggs admits taking with a hint of resignation in his voice, Magnafuzz was recorded on tape and using analog equipment.
“It ended up taking a lot more time and probably money,” Griggs says of the record, “but I think what we ended up with was a lot more fitting for the sound we’re doing.”
That sound got an early push from Black Keys guitarist, front man and songwriter Dan Auerbach, who was slipped one of Griggs’ early CD-R demos after a show the band played in Denver. The disc appealed to Auerbach, who hails from Akron, Ohio, a town located about 700 miles east of Griggs’ native Story City, Iowa.
But more likely, it was Griggs’ early work that Auerbach was interested in. In 2006, when Griggs passed his demo to Auerbach, the Keys weren’t the hit they are today, and with the exception of the White Stripes, there were no blues punk bands on mainstream radio.
Whatever the reason, Auerbach called the phone number scrawled on Griggs’ demo, signed the band to his Alive imprint, and produced the first self-titled Radio Moscow LP.
Griggs picked up a few tricks from Auerbach on the first record, but true to his lone wolf nature, the Radio Moscow leader has produced their two follow-up albums himself. It makes sense, considering his affinity for guitar heroics. It’s hard to imagine that any hit-driven producer would allow all of the minutes-long squealing and squirming, fuzzed-out guitar solos on Magnafuzz.
But, Griggs wouldn’t stand for that. He acknowledges, for the most part, that his guitar style is “different than people do nowadays,” but he is all right with that.
The concise songwriting and absence of solos that are so ubiquitous in pop songwriting today seem to indicate that the zeitgeist has little tolerance for flashy demonstrations of musical prowess. For Griggs, on the other hand, that whole scene “never seemed to grow old.”
Radio Moscow plays at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at The Blue Lagoon, 923 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $5. 423-7117.

LOS GRILLOS (online music blog)
Radio Moscow ‘The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz’
Radio Moscow’s The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz is a solid collection of bluesmetalpsychboogie for your buck. Not much for pondering their navels or gazing at their shoelaces, Parker Griggs and company pound out rock and roll with chops, foot firmly on the fuzz/wah pedal and stop on a dime dynamics.   Initially introduced to Alive Naturalsound Records through the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who produced the band’s first release, singer/multi-instrumentalist Griggs has taken over the helm of the band’s sound for this latest creation, unleashing his inner Hendrix, keeping studio theatrics to a minimum, and letting the music and vibe dominate.
I was recently lamenting the soullessness of many home studio recordings with a fellow musician.   Though the price of entry for quality studio sound is within reach of the masses nowadays, the tools are often abused by micromanaging sound clips or ostentatiously dense multi-tracking, resulting in flat and ultimately souless production.   Radio Moscow made their latest batch of recordings at Prairie Sun Studios in Northern California on vintage gear to tape.  I think the emphasis shifts away from studio gimmickry to musicianship and spontaneity in this kind of scenario, and the results are gratifying.
The full album becomes available on October 11 on Alive Records, and they follow it up with a West Coast tour.
10/14 Blue Lagoon, Santa Cruz, CA
10/15 One Eyed Gypsy, Los Angeles, CA
10/16 Shakedown, San Diego, CA
10/20 Sol, Sante Fe, NM
10/21 3 Kings Tavern, Denver, CO
10/22 Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City, UT
10/24 Comet Tavern, Seattle, WA
10/25 East End, Portland, OR
(more dates to be announced)

SANTA FE REPORTER (Santa Fe, NM weekly alt)
Radio Moscow
by Alex De Vore
8pm, Oct 20, 2011 | $7
Sol Santa Fe Stage & Grill
Northern California garage/psych act Radio Moscow can boast one of the coolest discovery stories in the music biz. Here’s frontman Parker Griggs: “I went to a Black Keys show and handed the demo to their T-shirt guy…thank God he gave it to Dan [Auerbach] because he really has made everything happen quite fast.” Inspired by the Nuggets series of psychedelic rock compilations, Griggs self-recorded Radio Moscow’s entire debut album (sans bass), and has continued his foray into intricate and fuzzy guitar riffage for two subsequent albums and several US tours. The band has a style and rhythm reminiscent of Blue Cheer and MC5, but with—believe it or not—more impressive guitar work. For those desiring music with layers, Radio Moscow is every bit as bluesy as it is early garage, and Griggs cites Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green as a massive influence. “He was the guitarist that got me interested in musical styles beyond my high-school punk bands,” Griggs says. Radio Moscow comes to Santa Fe alongside Maryland psych trio The Flying Eyes and beloved local prog/metal band As In We.
Where: Sol Santa Fe Stage & Grill
Address: 27 Fire Place

THE HIGHLANDER (Riverside, CA college paper)
Radio Moscow , “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz” Album Review
By Chad Bertrand, Contributing Writer
Iowa rock trio Radio Moscow released their third studio album, “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz” on Oct. 11, 2011. Radio Moscow has experienced enormous success from their 2007 debut album, produced by guitarist Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, and appearances of their music in mainstream television and cinema. Their new album encloses music of unabashed retro-rock that evokes the late ‘60s era of Jimmy Hendrix and psychedelic blues-rock.
The band’s use of gritty and shredded guitar riffs create a high-energy tempo that enlivens the rhythm of the album. The band strongly channels their musical creativity through fuzz guitar effects and roars of drums and bass, which add a garage rock element to the sound of Radio Moscow. The implemented qualities of sludge blues and harmonica tunes with songs such as “Creepin” and “Deep Down Below” provide impressions of southern-swamp rock that is rarely seen in music.
Radio Moscow’s new album provides a musical renaissance in today’s rock music dominated by indie and alternative bands. Their powerful vocals on the album summon the era when rock and roll music was a symbol of loudness and rebellion. However, Radio Moscow is able to incorporate their contemporary uniqueness onto retro rock in creating an album that can be appreciated by modern day listeners.
Overall, the album is very musically unique with the collaboration of diverse genres and sounds of music into one album. Radio Moscow’s creation of textual assortment and vibrant guitar solos give the album a natural flow in the progression of each track. The general vibe and aura of the album will make listeners feel as though they traveled in time to the summer of 1969 in Woodstock. I highly recommend this album to blues enthusiasts and fans of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, The Black Keys or The White Stripes. The album is a rocker’s fantasy as several styles of rock and roll music unite together to form “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz.”
4 stars

SURROPA (music blog)
5 Bands That Should Be Heard More
The “If You Like The Black Keys” Edition
It’s very difficult for a band with indie roots to achieve wide success (particularly in the American market) while still keeping their integrity intact. This is specially the case in the organic rock n’ roll genre. It’s why whenever I’m looking to get a proper electric fix I seek those great unknowns that make music out of love and not out of contracts. Below are 5 of my go-to’s, and they should be heard more.
Radio Moscow – You know when you discover a band and you kick yourself for going years without knowing them? This is such case. Dan Auberbach (from The Black Keys) actually produced their eponymous debut album back in 2006, and for being incredible they’ve gotten very little recognition. They have the perfect chemistry between percussion, vocals, and guitar…oh the guitar. It just shreds. I don’t even know how to begin to explain. Their fourth album (yes 4th! how did I go this long without knowing them?!) comes out October 11th. Expect a review for The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz from us.

THE STRANGER (Seattle weekly)
Radio Moscow, Hobosexual, the Flying Eyes, Mystery Ship
(Comet) Do you pine for psychedelic blues rock in the vein of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Blue Cheer, and the MC5? Ames, Iowa’s Radio Moscow possess big, fuzzy riffs, a drummer who makes the full use of his toms, and a vocalist who may or may not have time traveled here from the Summer of Love. This is some sprawling stuff, and while it’s all expertly executed, Radio Moscow’s songwriting could use some editing. Still, this should be a rock blowout. You might as well go for Hobosexual anyway. GRANT BRISSEY

Radio Moscow
Many fans and critics believe a band’s sophomore album is its make-or-break effort—a defining moment. But I think the third album is more telling. With the pressure somewhat subdued, they can fully hone in on their musical sensibility. If true, The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz demonstrates that Iowa-based power trio Radio Moscow is a bona fide blues-meets-psych-rock staple. Eliciting the sounds of early-’70s-era rock—think Blue Cheer and Cream—the album will help shake the first album’s found-by-Dan-Auerbach label and the second album’s 40-years-too-late stigma. Flying Eyes and Max Pain & The Groovies are also on the bill. The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $10

DAGGERZINE (online music magazine)
Radio Moscow
THE GREAT ESCAPE OF LESLIE MAGNAFUZZ -(ALIVE NATURALSOUNDS)-The term “psychedelic” gets thrown around a fair amount. I’m in agreement with its usage about half the time, if that. This time, the label fits. Radio Moscow is seriously committed to a muscular combination of effects, feedback, and sound-towers that makes for a bracing listen next to Hendrix, Blue Cheer, and Robin Trower. And I agree with those who’ve noted the powerful trio’s liking for trippy effects Whether or not that goes with a herbally-enhanced experience, I’ll leave up to you. We’re anxious to hear your reports… uh, what’s that you say? Can’t hear ya; got my old-school headphones up too loud, playing “Creepin’” for the third time in a row, after which I’m going to throw on some Free, whose “I’ll be Creepin’” would kill, after this. MARY LEARY

Four Things You Should Do This Weekend
Submitted by Michael Deeds
Bluesy Iowa psychedelic rockers Radio Moscow will perform a free, gut-rattling show Sunday at Tom Grainey’s in Downtown Boise at 6th and Main Streets. These guys are definitely worth checking out if you’re fond of classic grooves from acts like 10 Years After, Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It’s a 10 p.m. gig with opening act The Flying Eyes.

WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY (online music blog)
Radio Moscow – The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
Radio Moscow, for those not already acquainted, is a heavy, heavy psychedelic blues rock band from Iowa (now California) whose first, self-titled album was produced by kindred spirit Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) in 2007. They released a second album, Brain Cycles, in 2009 and they’re back with more – The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz will be out October 11 on Alive Naturalsound Records.
This is a classic heavy rock power trio: Parker Griggs on guitar and vocals, Zach Anderson on bass and Cory Berry on drums… although Griggs plays them on the record, and very well. Griggs apparently plays everything but bass at some point, including the keyboards. I could throw enticing influences (Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath) at you all day, and continue to play the Black Keys card, if that would induce you to give a listen.
The record starts out in medias res, truly in mid-jam with the drums pounding and guitars wailing on “Little Eyes” (available for download here). It’s a spectacular 4:46 of brain-melting heavy guitar, drums and bass with strong rock vocals and some tasty keyboard licks thrown in for good measure. Second song, “No Time”, has some classic boogie a la The Allman Brothers with more heavy guitar solos throughout – one thing I like about this band is that while they definitely take advantage of the length of their songs to play plenty of solos, there’s not any noodling. It does not feel like time’s being wasted – they fit a lot of sound in a relatively compact space. Half the songs clock in under 4:00 but are still filled with delicious, heavy and spacy guitar solos. It rocks, hard, but is plenty psychedelic.
These guys are completely and unapologetically committed to a heavy rock sound. If you’re not familiar with their previous records, and you like this sound at all, you are in for a treat.

ACRN (Ohio U’s All Campus Radio Network’s online music blog)
Radio Moscow – The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
[Alive Records; 2011]
Rating: 7.5/10
By Ben Haager,
Key Tracks: “Creepin’,” “Densaflorativa,” “Deep Down Below”
With the emergence of The Black Keys as a chart-topping band, blues rock has regained the spotlight. Despite having their 2007 self-titled debut produced by Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys), and refining their sound with their psychedelic sophomore album Brain Cycles, Radio Moscow still remains relatively unknown.
Their lack of public recognition might be because they sound like the Black Keys on drugs. Distortion, gritty vocals, and tribal beats run rampant on their pivotal third release The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz.
The opening and closing tracks, “Little Eyes” and “Open Your Eyes,” make it clear that Leslie Magnafuzz will not stray from their previous work. The hoarse vocals merely an accent to the rolling bass lines, crashing symbols and layer upon layer of wailing guitars.
In between Parker Griggs (vocals, guitars, drums), Zach Anderson (bass) and Cory Berry (percussion and live drums) lay down tracks blending groovy Chicago-style electric blues with complete psychedelic madness.
“Creepin’” is straight electric blues. Harmonicas, short lyrical phrases centered upon, “You been creepin’ baby / you been creepin’ baby,” and guitar solos featuring long bends and a series of hammer-ons make “Creepin’” an early favorite.
The instrumental “Densaflorativa” is a turning point. It begins with pounding African percussion behind Griggs’ flawless guitar work. The last thirty seconds get weird. Clocks, vocals, and extremely distorted guitars utilize stereo sound to its full capacity, echoing from ear to ear.
“I Don’t Need Nobody” and “Misleading Me” start to show signs that a musical trip is about to begin. Guitar solos fly in and out, bringing the tempo up and down, and dragging the listener into a complete Jimi Hendrix guitargasm.
The psychedelic blues trip is in full effect upon reaching “Summer of 1942.” Somehow, sounds resembling UFOs taking off leak from Griggs’ amps and multi-tracked guitars battle for the limelight as a disjointed drum and bass beat pushes forward.
Following an utterly odd intro, “Deep Down Below” strips away effects pedals, drums and vocal distortion. In their place are a shaker, electric slide guitar and pure blues vocals. Griggs’ vocals emit the most emotion on the album, crackling as he sings, “Baby take me down / Baby take me down / Baby you take me now / Ooooohh deep down below.”
Radio Moscow bleeds Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. They are not a normal blues group. They are not a normal psychedelic stoner-rock group. They are Radio Moscow, and this album cements their sound and place as an eclectic group in today’s music scene. Cream, and Blue Cheer had a baby this would be it.

FABRIKA (online music site)
Radio Moscow – The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
A brilliant love child.
Have you noticed that for the most part it’s usually the sports school teams from middle-of-no-where cities that get ranked #1? Well, when the coolest spot near you is the 24 hour Wal-Mart there ain’t much to do but practice your craft. I supposed that is the case for Story City, Iowa trio Radio Moscow who were spotted as long-haired tripping instrumental golden children by Dan Auberbach of The Black Keys some years ago. (They’re still long-haired tripping instrumental golden children).  For a band that’s had over 3 decades worth of sub-genres to get influences from (and lots of drugs too, I’m sure) their sound remains true to their late-60s/mid-70s core, but Radio Moscow is just so damn good that they manage to sound refreshing. The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz is their third studio album and they’ve added a lot more psychedelia and taken out some of the blues. If Hendrix, Cream, and Blue Cheer had a baby this would be it.
3 Songs Worth Listening:
1. “Speed Freak” – Its one of those songs that if I were to see live I’d just be staring with my mouth-open. It’s an instrumentally brilliant song, and the drums are impeccable.
2. “I Don’t Need Nobody” – freaking great soundtrack for a midnight joy-ride.
3. “Creepin” – The chillest song of the album. Gives a nice pause from the rest of the mind-bending songs. Blues-induced harmonica and all.
This Album Makes Me Want To: Air to the throne

THE WASTER (online music site)
Radio Moscow
“Great Escape of Leslie…”
Alive Records
If you’re into electric riffs that make you want to restring your air guitar, Radio Moscow has got the goods! Their newest album The Great Escape Of Leslie Magnafuzz is an eclectic mix of head-banging hard rock and psychedelic soulful vocals that with will creep through your headphones to your earholes’ delight.
The first song on their album, ‘Little Eyes’, hits you hard as a moshpit punch to the face! You may hear this and think you’ve got these guys figured out – until the track ‘Creepin’ begins. Subtle melodies and the bluesy crooning voice of lead singer/guitarist Parker Griggs slows down the pace of the album, making their sound more reminiscent of The Black Keys on a heavy dose of acid.
Reviving the spirit of reverb pioneers Jimi Hendrix and Cream, The Great Escape… seamlessly interweaves classic rock and blues that experiments with both vocal and sound distortion. Griggs, Zach Anderson (bass), and Cory Berry (drums) carry their predecessors’ torch into 2011 with songs that simultaneously make your heart swoon while melting your face off. Near the end you’ll reach the track ‘Deep Down Below’, which best exhibits the true mojo of this power trio’s music.
With The Great Escape…, Radio Moscow wishes to take you on an ever changing journey that displays the best of a talented young band on the rise.
Words by Brittany Norvell

SSG (Seattle online music blog)
Tonight in Seattle: Miyavi, Radio Moscow, Mariachi El Bronx, and more
Radio Moscow, Hobosexual, The Flying Eyes, Mystery Ship @ The Comet Tavern | 10/24 | Doors 9pm | $8 | 21+
Almost certainly the heaviest show this Monday night is at the Comet. Radio Moscow has released 3 albums blending blues and hard stoner rock on Alive/Natural Sound Records, but in contrast with label-mates The Black Keys and Left Lane Cruiser, they add a potent psychedelic sound to the mix, bringing to mind late 60s/early 70s bands such as Blue Cheer, Hawkwind, Flower Travellin’ Band, and Cream.

MANUAL MAGAZINE (NZ music magazine)
Music Haze: Radio Moscow—The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz is the third release from Radio Moscow. The band, originally formed in 2003 by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Parker Griggs, are signed to the well-respected roots rock label Alive Naturalsound Records. Discovered by none other than Black Keys’ frontman Dan Auerbach—a gentleman who steadfastly supports such vintage pursuits—Radio Moscow deliver tripped out, weed-fuelled guitar frenzies that contain a fair degree of Hendrix-worshipping riffs and plenty of steamrolling solos.
In an age where vintage jams are frequently dismissed off-hand as uninspired, or even worse, end up being produced by jaded hipsters, it’s heartening to discover a band that’s unashamedly retrogressive. Radio Moscow are aficionados of the golden age of dusty rock, and clearly proud to admit it. There’s no hint of any of that sad-sack ‘ironic’ nostalgia at work here; this is the real deal, delivered with due reverence and plenty of enthusiasm.
There’s no mistaking the band’s influences. Blue Cheer, Sir Lord Baltimore, Third Power, Dust, Bang and a whole swag of early ’70s proto-metal, garage-punk, heavy-psych and boogie bands are all represented on the new album.  And there’s also a thread of soured hippy idealism as work too. A touch of the same murky spirit that took a hold of American heavy rock in the early ’70s is present, when the peace and love climate turned in on itself, and many a joyful psych band was infused with darker undercurrents.
I have to admit I’d never heard a note from these guys before I pressed play on this album—and that’s a serious deficiency on my part, because I’m a complete freak for proto-metal acts. Still, better late than never because the band tick all the boxes for that authentic old school Sabbath meets Robert Johnson vibe. I’m also curious why they’ve not made a bigger impression in NZ. We lap this stuff up—the Little Bushman have sold plenty of albums off the back of just this sort of psychedelic rock—and the Black Keys have been massively successful down here. The band’s lack of visibility certainly isn’t due to a dearth of muscle because Radio Moscow have authenticity and aptitude by the bucket load.
You only need to listen to the wah-wah and organ frenzy of opener “Little Eyes” to sense the genuine love for stripped down stoner rock. And unlike some other retro-inclined bands they don’t forsake the funkiness or the blues that was at the core of many of the greatest ’70s rock acts. “Speed Freak”, which sounds exactly like its title suggests, reeks of backwoods naughtiness, and “Deep Down Below” has a ragged blues harp that kicks things up to a whole other level. “Turtle Back Rider” has a distorting R&B riff that is funky as all hell, and “Creepin” brings in the soulful and the mournful blues.
Packed with voodoo drum patterns and a swaggering riff, the album’s best track, “Densaflorativa”, oozes the sort of Southern flavour Primal Scream were aiming for (and missing) in their own ’90s cock-rock years. But you could really pluck any song off the album and find the same murky spirit lurking within. Every tune is soaked in whiskey and weed atmospherics.
As great as the tunes are—and they are fantastically potent slices of primitive rock—the album’s most impressive feature is the fact that Parker Griggs was solely responsible for the majority of the instrumentation (along with bass support from Zack Anderson). It’s a pretty cool feat he’s pulled off, because the band has all the attributes of a powerhouse trio. Griggs has also captured the mood of the times superbly with a grubby, fuzzy production that speaks of analogue gear and tube amps—it’s exceptional really, you’d swear it was recorded in 1972.
The album starts off with a hiss and a roar and never really lets up. It reverberates with stacks of thunderous fundamental riffs that have been twisted into some hard-rockin’, good-times, prehistoric metal. Do yourself a big favour and seek this one out immediately. I’m off to invest in their first few albums; you best do the same, brother.

DR. DOOM’S LAIR (online stoner rock blog)
Radio Moscow – The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz(2011)
Radio Moscow are back! The third release, already for this little band from Iowa. Their name seems to be quite a hot topic in the conversations of rock fans lately. This is not without a good reason of course. If you are into blues, classic rock, Led Zeppelin or Jimmi Hendrix then this record is about to send you to heaven. “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz” is just another gem to the amazing collection of this band.
The first thing you’ll notice in this album is that the production is of lower fidelity (not quality) comparing to their two previous releases. I don’t think this will bother anyone. On the contrary, this achieves a better connection with the past…which is really what the band is after. Indeed, “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz” is blessed with the most successful emulation of the vintage sound on a Radio Moscow album to date. Since the solos have always been the trademark of this band you’ll be happy to find out that there are more in number and longer in duration. I may add that the jamming feeling is the dominant element of this release. Speeds are generally higher too. This gives the record the extra energy “Brain Circles” (their previous album) lacked.
The album is pushing 50 minutes which qualifies “The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz” as the lengthier album Radio Moscow have done so far. Personally, I am not a huge fan of long albums when it comes vintage-like releases. I prefer them short but this gives me the right to pick favorites here! “Little Eyes” is my personal favorite of this disk…and probably the band’s entire anthology! Really, if I had to choose a single song to describe what Radio Moscow is all about it would be “Little Eyes”. “I Don’t Need Nobody” along with “Speedfreak” and “Misleading Me” are some cases where the band’s talent really shines.
For those who come from a Heavy Metal background rather than a Rock ‘n Roll background the disk may sound a bit too light and full of weird solos and improvisations. For me, the I felt something similar to the “flat-tire syndrome” somewhere near the end of the album but I take it on the fact that the album is huge.
“The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz” is a back-to-the-future/evolution-in-reverse album. Sounds as if it’s crafted from the hands of legends of the past, this is JUST a lethal dose of pure rawk.

THE SODA SHOP (online music site)
Review – Radio Moscow – The Great Escape Of Leslie Magnafuzz
To quote Thin Lizzy, “The boys are back in town.” Radio Moscow are back with their 3rd album titled The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz. Like past releases, The Great Escape Of Leslie Magnafuzz features guitar prodigy Parker Griggs playing Hendrix inspired blues rock. This is their best release to date and they’ve had some great material with their last 2 releases.
Once the lead track “Little Eyes” kicks in, you’re in for the long haul. 50 minutes of pure unadulterated blues rock. Some of the more interesting and good tracks are “Densaflorativa,” an instrumental song that has a tribal feeling to it due to the drum beating. “I Don’t Need Nobody” has a distinct mid 70′s sound going for it. Songs like “Speedfreak” and “No Time” have a bit of a psychedelic feel to it. The cell phone ringing will certainly mess with you the first time around. This album is so good, it’s hard to pick a clear cut favorite, they’re all good in their own right.
This may be the best album released this year. Years from now, if the whole playing a complete album on tour is still the “in” thing to do, this is the album I’d want Radio Moscow to play. You can stream the entire album and hear for yourself over at Rdio. The album is out now on Alive Naturalsound Records.

MUSIC THAT ISN’T BAD (online music blog)
Radio Moscow’s “Speedfreak”
FUZZ is probably the best way to describe band Radio Moscow, and fuzz is what you get. Coming from their just released album (amazingly) titled The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz, the song “Speedfreak” is a great example of how far you can go with FUZZ. If you don’t find yourself banging your head at the 2:00 minute mark, I’m fairly certain you’re clinically dead.
With wailing guitars, a funky drum beat, and a singer with a voice that must come with a giant mustache, “Speedfreak” will transport you back to the sounds of Cream and Hendrix. Lucky for us it’s aught-eleven and you can get a taste of fuzz for free:
For more fuzz, check out Radio Moscow on the web. They just started up on tour, so be sure to check if they’re coming your way! –daneGER

MUSIC SAVAGE (online music magazine)
New Music | Radio Moscow – Speedfreak
Check out the second cut from Radio Moscow’s new album, THE GREAT ESCAPE OF LESLIE MAGNAFUZZ. As usual its a psych rock exploration of Parker Griggs’ amazing guitar skills. The fuzzy, screeching, hard rock is so well done, and these guys are really putting out some truly amazing sounds. Its a retro foray into the psychedelic, acid laced guitar based rock that will shake you to your soul.
The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
released yesterday, and I recommend picking this one up.

HYPERBOLIUM (online music site)
Radio Moscow: The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz
‘70s-styled power-trio monster riffage
Parker Griggs and his band take it to the next level of power-trio psychedelic blues-rock with their third album. Griggs is possessed by the metal, blues-rock, boogie and prog-rock greats of the early ‘70s as he unleashes monster guitar riffage astride the slugfest of his rhythm section. One can only dream that Radio Moscow could be sent back in time to tread the stage of Winterland on a bill with Hendrix, Sabbath, Crimson, Ten Years After or Humble Pie. The album opens in full hypersonic stride, with the bass and drums threatening to run away from the ear-clearing wails of Parker’s fuzzed guitar, and the bombast doesn’t let up until disc’s end. There are a few production touches – stereo pans, phase effects and feedback – but the bulk of the album is straightforward, take-no-prisoners hard rock. Drop the needle on your Thorens turntable, turn up the volume on your Marantz receiver and let your Advent loudspeakers sing. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]


Buffalo Killers
With their heavy metal Jesus appearance, one wouldn’t expect Buffalo Killers to sound like a chilled out band of Heartbreakers fronted by Tom Petty twins. But that’s not an illusion; those twins are actually Andrew and Zachary Gabbard, whose semi-hearty voices lead this band of brothers. They are, in fact, peaceful musicians who enjoy the feeling of lap steel against Zeppelin constructed riffs, but you won’t catch these tunes hanging around icy peaks and wizards. They remain very down-to-earth, unashamed to jamboree with a banjo and sax in one record. “Thuma Bird” goes down easy like a classic slice of American pie while Kelley Deal, sister of Pixies bassist Kim Deal, joins the revelry in “Could Never Be,” the closest to an epic journey that 3 can offer. In the spirit of electric kool-aid and acid exams, they jaunt happily to winds of fuzzy Americana with airy guitar more fit for the open road, and probably a couple scenes in The Big Chill. — Lara Kinne


Buffalo Killers Gear Up for Fall Tour
By Mike Breen

Local Psych Pop/Rock trio Buffalo Killers are set to hit the road this fall for a tour with another crtitically-beloved trio — bluesy rockers North Mississippi Allstars. The BKs will be traveling from Colorado to Minneapolis (plus several dates in between) before returning to Cincinnati on Nov. 19 for a free show at MOTR Pub with Seattle’s Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, Psych faves who’ve worked with two acts that show the extremes of modern psychedelia — Black Mountain and Earth — and feature guitarist Phil Wandscher, the co-founder of Whiskeytown with Ryan Adams. The Buffalo Killers’ 3 has received some wildly impressive press so far, with stamps of approval from outlets like Uncut and The Seattle Times. Check out a sampling of the group’s recent press praise below, as well as the video for the title track off the group’s last album, Let It Ride. Click here to listen to the great 3 track, “Love Is Gold,” which sounds like a lost Big Star/Neil Young collaboration. Read (and hear) more from the BKs here.
Press for Buffalo Killers’ 3 (courtesy Alive Records):

“A seductive listen and a real contender for album of the year.” – Alan Brown / SHINDIG!

“Buffalo Killers take aim at garage, swamp blues, ’60s psych, Canyon harmonies and Southern roots and land their prey every time. 3 is the third – and best – album from this beardy Cincinnati trio.” – Nigel Williamson   / UNCUT

“Golden nostalgic bliss…Cincinnati’s incredible Buffalo Killers will show you exactly where Kings of Leon went wrong.” – Chris Deville / THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

“Buffalo Killers’ 3 suggests a meeting of the minds between Crazy Horse and the James Gang during a few mellow days in Laurel Canyon. Joining the Killers on their journey through the past are Kelley Deal, Brian Olive and James Leg, but even if this is a very Ohio-centric cast of characters, this music has a rich West Coast feel, and in this case, that’s a good thing. Buffalo Killers’ 3 finds this band easing into an comfortable but deep groove, and not many bands have mined a late hippie-era approach with more satisfying results.” – Mark Deming / ALL MUSIC

“Twelve tracks of melancholic psych rock with twists of folk, 3 is perfect summer music.” – VIVE LE ROCK

“On the trio’s third album, 3, Buffalo Killers pick up on the swampy pop promise of their eponymous 2006 debut and take it to the next level. Influences are still all over 3, but a confident, engaged pop sensibility is fully in charge. Abundant with short gems, 3 unabashedly embraces added colors of steel guitar, banjo, saxophone, trippy keyboards and Kelley Deal’s voice (on the plaintive track “Could Never Be,” which sounds like an outtake from Neil Young’s After the Gold Rush).” – Tom Keogh / SEATTLE TIMES

Cincinnati’s Buffalo Killers evoke the blurry Polaroid sounds of those years, grooving like Foghat one minute, recalling the melodic gold of Badfinger another, and utterly, unironically rocking like ZZ Top. There’s nothing quite as simple and effective as a “’power trio.’ The three were members of the dearly departed garage rock outfit Thee Shams, but Buffalo Killers isn’t three chord frat rock at all. The songs are thick and greasy, and listening to the trio live, you can see why they’ve made fans of The Black Keys and The Black Crows.” – Jason Woodbury / PHOENIX NEW TIMES

“Buffalo Killers successfully bridge the rock eras here with 3 and place a modern indie spin on a style of music that has been with us for a very long time.“  – Christopher Anthony / THE FIRE NOTE

“3 is at times graceful and serene, beautiful and calm, but the obvious power behind this beast is never for a moment forgotten. Truly some of the Buffalo Killers finest work.” – Brian F. Johnson / MARQUEE MAGAZINE

“Buffalo Killers definitely have a cool Joe Walsh/James Gang influence in their sound. I dig ‘em.” – Alice Cooper  / NIGHTS WITH ALICE COOPER

“For those expecting another disc’s worth of psychedelic smoke and thunder from the Killers, 3 offers more than a few surprises (including cameo appearances by Brian Olive and the Breeders’ Kelley Deal). This time out, the trio exudes a sweeter Pop vibe, as though they’re channeling their inner Joe Walsh. A world-class album that exudes summer warmth and a sunshine bright charm, while still maintaining the band’s signature sonic presence if at a slightly less dense level. 3 could easily push Buffalo Killers to the next tier of Rock stardom.” – Brian Baker / CINCINNATI CITY BEAT

“…steeped in swampy psychedelic blues-rock.” – Dave Gil de Rubio / EAST BAY EXPRESS

“If you’re looking for a new outlet to connect with your inner hippie, then you have to check out Cincinnati’s Buffalo Killers. And when we say hippie, we’re not talking about the current trustafarian, patchouli stank, jam-band variety. These guys are the real thing, steeped in ‘60s garage rock psychedelia and swampy southern rock; authentic enough for The Black Crowes to drag them out on tour in 2007 and Dan Auerbach to not only produce the Buffalo Killers’ 2008 CD, Let It Ride, but also drag the band back out on the road opening for Black Keys.” – TULSA MUSIC NEWS

“Buffalo Killers have created a distinctive brand of guitar-based rock that harkens back to the late 1960s and early ’70s. With their new full-length, 3, out Aug. 2 on Alive Records, Zach Gabbard (vocals, bass), brother Andy (vocals, guitar) and Joey Sebaali (drums) have crafted a batch of retro tunes that are more expansive and detailed than their first two albums.” – Don Thrasher / DAYTON DAILY NEWS

“I feel duty-bound to throw something new at you because it needs sayin’, it’s these bearded, denim-clad souls that call themselves the Buffalo Killers. They kill all right. They’re a rock trio from Cincinnati, Ohio but they lay down some hazy, fuzzed out bits of psychedelic sunshine that spill straight from the hills of Southern California circa 1972. I just slapped their third long player, a purple polyvinyl disc aptly titled 3, onto my turntable and it instantly takes me for a ride – a ride with Crazy Horse and The James Gang, Buffalo Springfield and Canned Heat – back to a time when I lay perched on my elbows on the living room floor of my childhood home, LP collection scattered about the room and dreaming, devouring every word, every note. This album takes you back to that place (if you’re old enough to have experienced your teenage years during vinyl’s heyday). There are no riffs to speak of here just catchy hooks and sublime melodies. These hairy retro-rockers cling to their denim roots like they depend on it. That’s a good thing. And as much as I use comparisons to bands like Big Star, James Gang, Buffalo Springfield, and others, they have their own distinctive sound that imparts fresh interpretations of some time-honored styles.” – Jim Nieves / VINYL HOUNDS

“Dan Auerbach loves it. Chris Robinson loves it. Daniele Cusentino loves it. I can’t believe I just had the audacity to put my opinion on par with those dudes, but so be it. Their new track ‘Circle Day’ rules, as does the new album” – Daniele Cusentino / CINCINNATI METROMIX

“Forget a throwback sound, these guys rock a grow-back sound. This trio out of Ohio isn’t bringing back an old genre, they’re embellishing a genre that should have never been left behind. Mixing together brotherly vocal harmonies, psychedelic guitar riffs, jam-band drums and Zeppelin-esque bass lines. In addition to the more clear and crisp production on 3, Buffalo Killers have also clearly moved from stoner-rock toward a more laid-back psych-rock sound, even utilizing a tiny bit of steel guitar, saxophone and quite a lot more acoustic vibes. While the riff-centric aspect of the band has slightly faded, the band has developed more of a chord-progression approach on this record. Vocally, the harmonies of Zachary and Andrew Gabbard resonate well over their instruments bringing to mind the singing talents of both Neil Young and Layne Stanley.” – Myles Cochrane / TRI-CITY WEEKLY

“Cincinnati trio Buffalo Killers find that drawing from ‘60s and ‘70s rock icons continues to provide fresh ideas filled with a tunefulness and musical vocabulary that is indebted to rock’s golden era with a refreshing vibrancy.” – Kyle Melton / DAYTON CITY PAPER

“Cincy rawk behemoths and long-time MOKB faves Buffalo Killers will be back in the bins on August 2nd with their new self-produced full-length, 3. Always good to hear new material from these cats, and lead single ‘Circle Day’ is no exception. A Creamy, heady brew, it’s just the thing for a sweltering Midwestern afternoon.” –  Richard ‘Luftmensch’ Morgan / MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG

“Circle Day is an excellent taste of the straight ahead, no nonsense, classic rock ‘n’ roll these heavily bearded boys deliver, a propulsive rhythm, proper guitars and a killer riff soaked in a tight-fitting seventies sheen…” – MAD MACKEREL UK

“I read somewhere that Buffalo Killers sound as if they fell asleep 35 years ago, woke up, and missed all the changes in the musical landscape that happened while they slumbered. That’s a pretty good description. I love this band.” – Ben Opipari / WRITERS ON PROCESS

“I have been into those guys for a long time. Back when they were in Thee Shams I brought them on the road with The Black Keys. I didn’t hear anything from them for a while after Thee Shams disbanded until the next thing I know the Buffalo Killers first record is coming out. I bought a copy of it and was stunned, like ‘Holy shit.’ They transformed from a good garage rock band to light years ahead of what they were doing in terms of songwriting, arrangement and harmonies.” – DAN AUERBACH IN JAMBASE

“There’s another band like that I really love, from Cincinnati, the Buffalo Killers. They’re a three-piece Midwestern rock’n’roll band – really f**king good songs.” – CHRIS ROBINSON IN MOJO


Singer a hit with musical peers
Steve Penhollow | The Journal Gazette
On the Internet, you can find such lists as “The Best Movies You Never Heard Of” and “The Best Comedians You Never Heard Of.”

Peter Case may be the best singer-songwriter you have never heard of. And he will perform Sunday at Columbia Street West at 135 W. Columbia St.

Case’s biggest commercial splash came in 1983 when his band the Plimsouls scored a hit with “A Million Miles Away,” one of the finest odes to lost love produced in that decade (in this writer’s opinion).

But Case’s influence on popular music goes far beyond that hit single.

In 2005, the non-profit Hungry for Music solicited contributions for a Peter Case tribute album to benefit music programs in schools.

The resulting philanthropic project, “The Case for Case,” was expanded to three discs to accommodate all the artists who wanted to donate tracks.

In January 2009, Case underwent emergency heart surgery, which very likely saved his life but left the uninsured musician with enormous medical bills.

Musicians Stan Ridgeway, T-Bone Burnett, Loudon Wainwright and Dave Alvin subsequently organized benefit concerts to help Case defray some of the costs.

The fact that Case is loved by his fellow musicians but is virtually unknown to most listeners is a testament to his broad musical tastes and his disinterest in working an angle.

Case says that when he was a younger man, he chased success as hard as anybody.

“We (in the Plimsouls) wanted to be the biggest band, to make a million dollars, that sort of thing,” he says. “We wanted to be a great rock ’n’ roll band and get played on the radio.”

What led to the breakup of the Plimsouls was not infighting or ego trips, Case says. It is just that he had started to write new songs that were too dissimilar stylistically to the band’s music.

“I had a lot of different things on my mind,” he says. “I had started writing songs that the Plimsouls just weren’t going to do, so I felt I had to leave the Plimsouls. I thought I had to make a choice.”

Of course, Case could have tried to stay on top by remaking “A Million Miles Away” in various ways again and again.

But Case says none of the true legends of rock music could have survived by adopting such a strategy.

“I don’t know anybody who has lasted who did that,” he says. “You don’t see (Tom) Petty doing that.”

Case, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., says he inherited his love of music from his sister when he inherited her record collection.

He quit school at 15 and hitchhiked around the country, eventually deciding to settle on the West Coast. There, he formed the rock band the Nerves, which helped launch an L.A. punk scene that eventually led to the popularization of the music across the United States.

Which is ironic, Case says, because the Nerves wasn’t really a punk band.

“I guess we fit into that thing better than we fit into anything else,” he says.

And the Plimsouls, despite that hit single, wasn’t really a power pop band, Case says.

“ ‘A Million Miles Away’ was definitely power pop,” he says, “but it was real power pop like The Who, not that skinny-tie, mincing sort of thing.

“What we were was an aggressive rock ’n’ roll band,” Case says.

When he left the Plimsouls, Case says he was not turning his back on success; he was heading off in a direction where he thought he would achieve greater success.

For the next 20 years or so, Case pursued a critically acclaimed, if relatively obscure, solo career (with a few breaks for Plimsouls reunions).

Then heart problems looked for a time as if they might put a permanent end to his musical aspirations.

Case says the response of his fellow musicians to his financial problems made him “really happy to be part of music,” he says.

“People love music, and when you bring people something they love, that generates a lot of good will,” he says.

Case’s convalescence was long, he says, but after it was complete, he had “huge bursts of energy.”

“When you live through your worst nightmare, there had better not be much holding you back at that point.”

Case says he has no regrets about having followed such an idiosyncratic career path.

“I have made a lot of good music and made a lot of fans,” he says. “Getting into regrets is kind of fruitless.

“Now that doesn’t mean I haven’t had periods in my life when I’d wake up in the middle of the night screaming,” Case says, laughing.

A musician’s life is a weird one, Case says.

“There’s no security,” he says. “But then you look around and realize that nobody else has any security either.”


Preview: Ohio Film + Music Festival music lineup
By Chris Deville
DON’T MISS: 12 a.m. Buffalo Killers — The path to retro rock glory is treacherous; one false step will send you plummeting into the depths of tired mimicry, but for those who can hack it, golden nostalgic bliss awaits at the summit. In this case, it literally awaits at The Summit, where Cincinnati’s incredible Buffalo Killers will show you exactly where Kings of Leon went wrong.–music-festival-music-lineup.html


It’s Gotta Be Pop
With Kurt Baker

Hey folks! Welcome back to “It’s Got To Be Pop!” with yours truly! Normally, the idea for this little bloggy type thing is to post some great old rock n’ roll videos with a little commentary here and there (and who knows where we might run with this??), but for this second installment the wonderful folks over at AMP were gracious enough to give me a chance to interview Arthur Alexander of SORROWS. Although, I learned in doing this interview that there is definitely no “THE” in Sorrows, it was quite a pleasure to pick the brain of a long time rock n’ roller, who continues to tour and release records! I first heard about Sorrows through my pal Fletcher from the Copyrights. I was at his old place in Oak Park one evening after a show, drinking beers and listening to records. He has a great collection of vinyl. I was in a stoned haze but he busted out this piece o’ wax.. “You ever hear of Sorrows, man?” I hadn’t! The back of the album had the group with all their guitars and skinny ties.. I knew just by looking at them that this record would be great. It’s funny, but after diggin’ deep to find as much quality power pop music as I can, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you were in a group between 1978-1981 and wore a skinny tie it was pretty much guaranteed you’d get a record deal! Where the F was I 30 or so years ago? Dammit. ANYWAY, back to Sorrows.. Once Fletcher let the needle hit the grooves I was sure in for a treat! Their debut record Teenage Heartbreak was soon one of my favorite albums of the genre, and I even enjoyed their second album Love to Late (Arthur.. maybe not so much).. but you’ll read all about that! SO here ya go..

“It’s Gotta Be Pop!” Interviews Arthur Alexander of SORROWS!

Hey Arthur! How are you? Right now the Sorrows are out touring the West Coast in support of the latest BOMP! reissue Bad Times, Good Times. How have the shows been?
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me! Things have been going very well. The Bad Times Good Times release has been getting a pretty amazing reception and reviews. We just did our last show of the West Coast leg of the tour. It’s been a total blast, seeing so many old fans come out, and the most gratifying part discovering that so many young kids are into our band and getting so into our music… what a great feeling! Playing all these West coast shows has allowed the band to really jell and come together as a musical unit so we’ve been kickin’ some serious ass! Now we’re getting ready for the East Coast leg of the tour, starting the end of September and we’re really psyched about it.

Your readers can check our pages on Reverbnation ( or Facebook (, if they just want to check us out, or get info on our shows…

Let’s bring it back to the beginning. Originally you were in a group called The Poppees, and were one of the first bands on the N.Y.C club scene in the 70’s to play a throwback 60’s styled Mersey Beat/Beatles type sound. What was it like in the early days playing a stripped down rock n’ roll/pop music when the grittier punk rock movement was beginning to take root in clubs like C.B.G.B’s and Max’s Kansas City?

It was like a breath of fresh air, to be able to do pretty much anything you liked while the rest of the world was still in the throes of disco, and corporate, assembly line and arena rock! Of course, we had NO IDEA how much more corporate and assembly line it was all gonna get 30 years later!

The best part of that scene was a sense of it being a SCENE, all the bands hangin’ out and people coming to the clubs not just to see a band of their boyfriend and split after the set, but to simply be there, be a part of what was happening.

Growing up, what were some of the records and bands you loved and influenced by that eventually lead you to start playing catchy rock n’ roll music?

Oh boy, you’re gonna have a good laugh with this one… I grew up in communist Poland, so everything and anything we managed to get from “the West” was sacred! The first rock ‘n roll (or so I thought!) I heard was stuff like Pat Boone signing “Tutti Frutti” or Connie Francis’ “Where The Boys Are,” or Paul Anka’s “Diana,” and of course there was Bill Haley and Elvis!!! I went crazy… man, this shit is awesome, I wanna be like Pat Boone: white loafers, skinny tie… how cool is that?! Of course I had no clue we were like 10 years behind with all that stuff, so to me, all of this was a total revelation! But then I started digging deeper… Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Gene Vincent, Johnny Burnette… you know, all the true American icons. Of course, there was also Cliff Richard and The Shadows over in the UK. The Shadows definitely made me pick up the guitar! And then came The Beatles, Stones and the whole British rock n’ roll armada… and that was it, I was hooked; the 9 to 5 world lost me for good!!!

BOMP! Records, who released your current album, also put out the early Poppees singles back in the day. How did you end up connecting with Greg Shaw and the legendary rock n’ roll record label?

The Poppees had broken up by that time. It was around 1974, early ‘75? I then got together with Paddy, our bass player, and produced and recorded a demo tape in my apartment, mainly of his and my songs, and a couple of songs we used to do with The Poppees. Shopping this tape around in New York to record labels, publishers and managers led me to Greg Shaw, who had just launched Bomp Records in Burbank, California. Greg heard the tape and immediately signed us to his new label. The Poppees were reborn and started playing on what was then just starting out to be the whole punk/new wave scene in New York.

When the Poppees split, you went on to form the Sorrows with Jett Harris, while other members went on to form the Boyfriends. How did the Sorrows come together as a group and what did you and Jett want to do differently than the Poppees with the new group?

This would be as good a moment as any to bring to your attention the fact that there is no ‘THE’ in Sorrows, it’s just SORROWS, ok?! A battle I have been successfully losing from the day I came up with this damn stupid idea that I can get people to say Sorrows without saying “The”! lol… Ok, now that we got that cleared up… By the time I left The Poppees, Jett was already gone and playing with Wayne (Jane) County & The Backstreet Boys. The main reason we both left was the Poppees was over the proverbial “creative differences.” Jett and I both enjoyed the whole slavish Merseybeat thing we were doing, and we did it quite well, but it was time to move on, expand and grow musically, while staying true to ourselves, to our roots and our music. The other guys had immersed themselves in the whole punk scene a little too much and the band started to sound like The Heartbreakers… ummm, thanks, but no thanks! I mean, I LOVED the Heartbreakers and still think that if they could have held their shit together they would have become one of the greatest bands EVER, but that wasn’t my scene and I was not about to start sucking up and paying homage to my beer drinking buddies just to try and become a scene darling like they were!
I wanted to do the music that would retain the core of what I was about, my pop and rock n’ roll sensibilities, a well crafted songs, strong melodies, hooks left and right, harmonies, and all that played with a kick ass ferocity! Something I said to Jett to describe the musical concept I had in mind of the band: “ABBA meets The Sex Pistols.” That’s pretty descriptive, isn’t it?!

For those who are unfamiliar with the group, who made up the original Sorrows line up, and who do you have playing with you today?

I actually started Sorrows with a bunch of different people, but dissolved that lineup after a few months. I just wasn’t happy where it was all going. Then I split for Europe to see what’s up there and when I came back I called Jett and asked him to join me. We started looking for people, and along came Joey Cola on guitar, and after a long succession of fill-in bass players, Ricky Street.

Sorrows debut “Teenage Heartbreak” is considered a classic Power Pop album to many (including myself!). Many of the songs on that original album are featured on the new record. Are these tracks different re-recordings or re-mixed from “Teenage Heartbreak?” Tell us a bit about how that original first record came into formation.

No, none of the original “Teenage Heartbreak” masters were used on the Bomp release. For reasons I will never understand, after years of trying, we couldn’t get CBS/SONY to be bothered with releasing our records. Even though over the years seemingly every piece of dreck from their vaults had been dredged out and released in one form or another, SORROWS albums have never even been re-released in a CD format, till now. Frankly, no great loss, if you ask me, since we always felt the original mixes on the record didn’t do our music much justice. We always knew that Mark Milchaman, our co-producer and the recording engineer on “Teenage Heartbreak” cut great tracks, but the mixes and mastering were thin and puny sounding, or as I used to say, “we got the ABBA part, but The Sex Pistols didn’t get their Wheaties that day!” Or to put it differently: we were a power pop band and we got the pop part alright, but the power must have been out that day.

For this release I used outtakes, demos and did all kinds of crazy stuff using the tools I have my studio, plus additional recording of exacting overdubs to give me some control over balances of guitars and vocals, and how they should sit and sound in the mix. I was hell bent on making sure that, THIS TIME, by the time I get thought with it, this record is gonna kick ass to kingdom come!

When I first heard “Teenage Heartbreak,” one of the songs that stood out to me right off the bat was “She Comes and Goes,” and I think that the new version on “Good Times, Bad Times” truly reveals the songs brilliance. This track is so interesting to me. It pre-dates 90’s grunge but tone- wise the intro has this almost Nirvana-ish feel to it, yet all of a sudden it breaks into a epic Phil Spector/Brill Building Wall of Sound bridge.

Yeah, a lot of people seem to say, this song’s the magnum opus on this album. (I’m) definitely very proud of that one. As for your observation about the middle break… yes, you nailed it, and it goes back to exactly what I said about how we felt about the original mixes… when I wrote the song, my whole idea of the middle part was to go from this small, intimate ballad to a “rip your fucking head off” middle part, sounding like “Phil Spector meets Nirvana/Foo Fighters,” only 30 years ahead of them. Well, what we got was the Phil Spector looking for his balls… the girls sounded terrific, but the band was nowhere to be found!
I heard that Ellie Greenwich is actually on that recording? What was it like working with her?

Yes, for that middle part we assembled our super girl group – “The Sorrowettes”… Ellie Grenwich, Mikey Harris, Ellen Foley and Karla Devito. It was an absolute blast working with these ladies. Also kinda funny and humbling to have this “backup” group of superstars on a record by a bunch of upstarts. They were an absolute delight to be around: funny, down to earth, no diva bullshit, and they worked their asses off. And not only were they fantastic in the studio, but what a bunch of hot looking chicks! Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, what were some of your favorite bands to play with? Ramones, Heartbreakers, Dead Boys, Tuff Darts, Cramps, Laughing Dogs, Mink DeVille… I’m sure I’m forgetting some.
Any wild tour stories?

When do you want this interview back… this year?

The members of Sorrows all took turns taking lead vocals. Were songs written together as a band or did each musician bring a song to the table and sing lead for it?

From the get-go, it was part of the concept I had for Sorrows that we would have three lead singers. Though I wrote most of the band’s material, I either spread the songs among us based on the fit, or actually wrote them specifically with Joey or Ricky in mind. But aside of that, both Joey and Ricky also wrote some truly great stuff.

The second Sorrows record “Love Too Late” was a bit different sounding than your debut. Produced by Shel Talmy (the Who, The Kinks, Easybeats), this record focuses more on a Pop Studio sound rather than the raw live sound of “Teenage Heartbreak.” What was it like working with Shel on this album? I also read once that ABBA was influence on this group.. I definitely hear that on some of the piano driven tracks, and the wonderful ballad “Breaking My Heart”. What are your thoughts on this record?

Ummm… now you’ve pushed some dangerous buttons! “Different sounding?” Here, the word “shite” comes to mind. I really need to contain myself, for now anyway, so let me just say this: that record was a total cluster fuck. It destroyed this band and became one big lesson I’ve carried with me all my life: “a producer does not a band make.”

We are already in the process of working on our next album, which will include most, if not all the songs from “Love Too Late”, and when that comes out, check in with me, and make sure you got a big shovel handy, for all the dirt I’m gonna give you then.

After “Love Too Late” Sorrows split. How had the musical climate for pop music changed since you had originally formed the Poppees and Sorrows? What did you and the rest of the members do after the band broke up?

Yes, “Love Too Late” album was the beginning of the end for the band. Personnel changes, acrimony with the label, it just wasn’t fun anymore. One day I showed up at the rehearsal and said, “this band is over, I quit,” and that was that. The whole scene was changing too, or more like falling apart. All the better bands either got signed and moved on, others either gave up, broke up or self-destructed, like The Heartbreakers did. Max’s got sold, CBGB was fast becoming a tourist trap… Grunge and speed metal seemed to be taking over the scene. Not my cup of tea, I’ve lost interest, the fire just wasn’t there, I stopped hanging out. It also corresponded to the time I started putting together my own studio and concentrating more on producing my own music and other artists, so my own musical focus was also shifting.
After many years Sorrows got back together. How did the reunion come about?

I’ve been living in LA and in 2009 I was coming to NY for a family visit. Joey had the idea to reach out to Jett and Ricky to see if they would like to get together and just play. So we did that, and everyone had a blast! Then when “Bad Times Good Times” was coming out, we did several shows in NY and it just felt fantastic to be playing in the band again. I was really hoping we could keep the original lineup, but it didn’t work out that way. I guess it’s for the better, if your heart’s not in it anymore, you shouldn’t be doing it. The new SORROWS lineup consists of Joey and me, Robbie Rist on bass and Luis “Weedge” Herrera on drums. Great guys, superb musicians, and it feels like a band again.

Well, thanks so much Arthur! I really appreciate it, and hope to catch you at a show on the East Coast soon!
You’re welcome, Kurt, thanks for taking the time to talk with me, and looking forward to the next one…and yes, we hope you can catch one of our East Coat shows next month.


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The Bloody Hollies – Yours Until The Bitter End

First off, I’d like to say, “Any band that’s influenced by AC/DC, the Devil Dogs and the Stooges is likely to be a friend of mine.” Still, tons of bands cite tons of cool influences. My reaction can still end up being “Meh.”

I’ll leave questions like where Bloody Holllies‘ fifth release, Yours Until the Bitter End, could be filed (Punk/Metal? Garage? Hard-drinking music?) to you. In any case, there’s little in the way of excess here, and nothing in the way of catering to trends. There’s lots in the way of digging sharpened fangs into classic forms (see filing possibilities above) for sounds that would go great with glasses being slammed back down onto bars. Blasting it while stuck in gridlock could start something dangerous.


Sorrows rejoices in Clifton

A fusion of pop-punk and new wave sounds will grace the stage tonight when a battle-tested, New York City-founded rock band comes to Clifton during its comeback tour.

As part of a series of East Coast dates and recent record release, Sorrows, an influential punk group formed nearly 35 years ago, will first perform tonight at the Clash Bar on Harding Avenue.

The concert will mark the first time the band members have been on stage together since they stopped touring in the 1980s.

The band’s ascension and recent reemergence has taken Arthur Alexander, the group’s frontman, on quite a journey.

Alexander, who was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland, came to the United States as an inspired teenager obsessed with music.

“From early childhood I’ve been banging on something, beginning with piano, drums and then came the guitar,” Alexander said. “I will never forget my first rock n’ roll concert. I was just a kid and I sneaked in to see Big Bill Broonzy. I was totally freaked out by the experience and it changed my life. I thought ‘this is rock n’ roll’ and I was ready to die for it.”

In 1974, Alexander and three other musicians forged the Poppees, a band defined by a punk-like sound infused with British Pop tones which would later become known as “power pop.”

Over the next several months, the band tirelessly pursued a record deal and were on the verge of calling it quits when they were forwarded to a startup label – Bomp Records – which ultimately recorded and distributed two of their singles. The producer, Craig Leon, went on to record tracks for Blondie as well as the self-titled debut album for the Ramones, who would proceed to become one of the legendary bands of the punk rock era which dominated New York City during the late 1970s and early 80s.

Although they left their mark on the scene, the Poppees experienced internal squabbles regarding the musical direction of the band, and ultimately disbanded in 1976.

The following year, Alexander called up Jett Harris, another former member of the Poppees, with the idea of creating a new band with a new sound.

Harris asked for the concept.

“ABBA meets the Sex Pistols,” Alexander told him.

Within seconds, Harris was in. After recruiting guitarist Joey Cola and bassist Ricky Street, the new act, Sorrows, came to fruition.

A smorgasbord of sound, which included early 1960s rhythm and blues, the hard edge of New York’s punk rock as well as inspired rockabilly riffs, Sorrows’ distinct style and powerful backbeat earned them a major record label deal.

Alexander noted the new wave sound which permeated clubs at the time was incorporated into other unique musical influences such as Little Richard, John Lee Hooker and the Beach Boys.

Over the next decade, the band recorded two critically acclaimed albums, several singles and toured with some of the genre’s biggest acts like the Dead Boys, the Ramones, the Heartbreakers and Blondie.

“I still get goose bumps thinking about it,” Alexander said, three decades later.

The group ultimately dissolved in the mid-1980s, but today, the band is back riding the critical success of their newly released album “Good Times Bad Times,” which marks the its first recorded material available on compact disc as well as vinyl.

Tony Bonyata, head of Pavement PR, the publicity firm which represents Sorrows, as well as popular artists like Iggy Pop, said he is a huge fan of their music.

“Their recently released album is a prime example of high-energy, post-punk, power-pop,” Bonyata said. “For my money, this record is about as close as you can get to pop-rock perfection. And, on a personal note, [it] served as my own summer soundtrack this year.”

Bonyata, as many have before him, struggled to provide a clear-cut comparison of the Sorrows sound.

“That’s a tough one,” he said. “While they may share some similar elements of early power-pop acts as, say, The Nerves, Flamin’ Groovies, The Beat and even The Beatles in their early days, there’s an underlying punk edge that I feel lends more of a sense of danger to Sorrows’ music.”

To the band’s delight, the record and their recent live performances have been met with overwhelming support.

“It’s been incredible,” Alexander said. “It’s truly remarkable and gratifying to not only discover how many people were, and have remained our fans from that time, but to see kids today going nuts over our music and looking up to us. It feels great that every venue we play we make new friends and new fans.”

The band hopes to reel in some Clifton fans on Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. when they will take the Clash Bar stage for the first time.

“I’ve heard about the place over the years, but this will be the first ever show for Sorrows at the club and we’re really stoked about it,” Alexander said. “When this tour started taking shape we made sure the Clash Bar was on the short list of the venues we’d play. We just love to play and are passionate about rock n’ roll so we know that if we do it from our heart and soul, the rest will follow.”


Even prior to last week’s release of 3MD’s debut album, Coasting Notes,  the Toronto-based trio have been receiving healthy national airplay on CBC Radio in Canada (Deep Roots with Tom Power, Here and Now with Laura Di Battasta and The Signal with Laurie Brown, the latter who enthusiastically stated, “Three Metre Day are an exciting new group that have just released their first album, though you may know the group better by their former name: The Henrys. ‘Coasting Notes’ is a heartfelt album that has you leaning in closer to the music, as the voice of Michelle Willis warms you by the fire.”)

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