WUMB August Program Guide

The Local Music Corner

As life starts oh so slowly to open up, I’d like to offer thanks to those musicians who have decided to do a show or two outside on their (or a friend’s) porch. Perhaps you have also been to one of these, as I have in Medford and Roslindale. I guess a few e-mails go out to people who might be interested, rather than a full ad campaign. No doubt the theory is that this would keep the crowd numbers reasonable, with the attendees wearing face masks and keeping their distance from one another. Obviously we can’t have a full on Porchfest just yet. The first time I heard live music down the street as I got out of the car, I felt like I was drinking the sounds in after being parched in the desert. It was so goooood to hear live music. You’d wave to actual people, with muffled greetings through your facemasks. Your friend would return your greeting with “what, I couldn’t understand you.” But you wouldn’t care.

So a thank you to those musicians. But also a plea to all who attend this opportunity to please be responsible and keep space between you. And yes of course, wear a mask. Let’s appreciate the progress we’ve made in these COVID days. But let’s also do what we can to not regress.

It’s nice when your previous associations bear fruit into the future, like where the ripples go beyond the point where the stone you throw falls into the pond. Boston area drummer/producer Marco Giovino seems to be living an example. You may remember that in 2009, Marco was the drummer for Robert Plant and his Band of Joy project. Also in that band were Patty Griffin, Darrell Scott, and Buddy Miller. Let’s cue the time machine sound effects and fast forward to the present time.

Or close to the present time. Let’s actually start with one year ago, as we look at some of Marco’s projects.
Marco drummed on the title track of 2019’s Buddy & Julie Miller album Breakdown on 20th Avenue South.
Darrell Scott used Marco as the drummer for his Sings The Blues of Hank Williams album, released at the end of last April.
And there’s that Robert Plant fellow. According to Marco, there is an upcoming Robert Plant project down the road – no release date as of yet – two tracks on which Marco played drums. He also did some co-songwriting work.

You may remember that in April of 2019, Marco was involved in bringing Rodney Crowell, Brandy Clarke, Cody & Luther Dickinson (of the North Mississippi Allstars), and Chuck McDermott to the Folk Americana Roots Music Series at the Schubert Theatre. Luther Dickinson is currently working on a film soundtrack project, with Marco playing drums. Marco is producing the new Chuck McDermott album due in September. Among the guest performers…Luther Dickinson (as well as the McRary Sisters and Allison Russell of both Birds of Chicago and Our Native Daughters).
The North Mississippi Allstars are also helping out on the forthcoming Giovino-produced album by Joe Lilly & The Mystix, expected out in August or September.

Marco had a few album releases from February to May, including the new Vance Gilbert (drummer) and the Danberrys (producer/drummer) to go with Darrell Scott’s that I’d mentioned before. Look for an album by producer Crit Harmon to arrive July 1st…with Marco Giovino on drums for the project.

Sam Margolis of the band Comanchero is a also a producer in his own right. He did some engineering and editing work for Marco on the Darrell Scott, Mystix, Chuck McDermott, and Danberrys albums. He and Marco are also part of an upcoming solo album by…are you ready…Kip Winger (yes, of the ‘80’s metal band Winger).

So perhaps multiple examples of benefitting from “what goes around comes around.”

How many times have you yelled out a request at a concert, only to have the performer say, “ahhh, no I don’t think so, sorry”? Me, neither. But we’ve all heard or seen others do it, either in person or on occasional live recordings. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an album of those requests? Greg Klyma has stepped up to the plate for you. His new release is By Request-Vol 1. It is mostly a new album of old favorites, with a couple of new songs dropped in to boot. How were the songs chosen? From requests sent in for Greg’s live stream shows. Look for new versions of songs like “Bean Bag Chair,” “Two Degrees in Buffalo,” “Novocain” and others.

On the one hand, the pandemic makes things very rough for artists trying to release new music. On the other hand…there are loads of new releases anyway.

Not too long after the latest solo release by Winter Pills lead singer Phillip B. Price, the Winter Pills have a new album. This is the duo version of the Northampton band, being Phillip and Flora Reed.

Twisted Pine are about to unleash a new album, set for proper release on August 14th. Called Right Now, it is available for pre-order RIGHT NOW (I couldn’t resist…). The band has been on a steady course of blurring the lines from Bluegrass and Folk to jazz and pop related sounds. Bassist Chris Sartori gives it the following theoretical description: “neo-folk indie soul avant jazz jam grass-icana.” I like it – even though I must also agree that, as Chris says, this description does not exactly fall trippingly off the tongue. Twisted Pine carry on without a drummer. And they are carrying on in the post-Rachel Sumner era (Rachel left about a year ago to start a solo career) with a flute player. The band welcomes their newest member, flutist Anh Phung.

The wait is over for a new album from Medway, MA songbird Sarah Levecque. Moments of Silver has a somewhat subdued energy…which is where it’s interesting subtleties lay. As usual, she is joined by Peter Zarkadas on guitar. Among those joining the company are blues/roots luminaries of the upright bass Johnny Sciascia and Michael “Mudcat” Ward.

Congratulations to Russell Chudnofsky. The versatile string-bending guitarist – a veteran member of Tim Gearan’s band and formerly with Amelia White’s band back before she left New Hampshire for Nashville many years ago – has just released a 2-song solo instrumental project under the band name Big Sky Sounds. “Melancholy Dawn” and “Celestial” are both terrific tracks for a drive on a warm summer starry night, or for lying down with the headphones on while your imagination does the driving. Whatever you pay (you name the price) benefits St. Francis House in Boston, which provides basic, rehabilitative, and housing services to 500 men and women every day. For more details go to RussellChud.com or https://bigskysounds.bandcamp.com/album/celestial.

In the last few weeks, we’ve all gotten to learn more – or just learn at all – about “Juneteenth.” Kudo’s to Bandcamp. In light of the history of Juneteenth and of recent events, on June 19th the streaming/music hosting website donated all of its shares of sales for that full day to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Bandcamp has also been trying to help artists recover from not being able to tour due to COVID concerns. So for the first Friday of the months of May, June, and July, Bandcamp is forgoing its usual share of online music sales. All proceeds from their #Bandcamp Friday sales go straight to the artists. The last #Bandcamp Friday will be July 3 from Midnight to Midnight Pacific Time. That’s 3am to 3am Eastern Time.

Thanks for your interest in the local music scene and the performers. There’s always more going on than what comes across my eyes and ears. So whatever community you live in, check into what may be going on there in music. And remember to check on your favorite artists’ and venues’ websites to see some livestreaming shows.

Until next time, be safe/sane/smart/kind and, whenever possible, humorous.

See you next time,

~ Perry

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