Archive for August, 2013

THE COVERAGE CONTINUES! A DAY FOR GRACE/SAM LLANAS TO GET NATIONAL/GLOBAL ATTENTION ON DAVE MARSH’S SIRIUS-FM SHOW, “SPECTRUM”!!!

August 24, 2013
Dynamo performer Llanas (left) belts-it-out at the Rockwood Music Hall, NYC, Sept. 2012.  Accompanied by long-time percussionist Ryan Schiedermayer (right).  Photo by Lynn Vala

Dynamo performer Llanas (left) belts-it-out at the Rockwood Music Hall, NYC, Sept. 2012. Accompanied by long-time percussionist Ryan Schiedermayer (right). Photo by Lynn Vala

As someone who has been on the bandwagon since the play A Day For Grace made its debut at Stage Left Studios in Manhattan last September, I have taken slack, I have taken criticism, I have steered through harsh criticisms leveled at me through this blog, Facebook and my business email.  One trick pony, in their pocket, too one-sided.

Now it’s time to share this coverage, and hope that others take up the crusade as I have.  This play has personal meaning to myself as well as the team behind the play.  All of us have been touched by topics within the play.

On Sunday, September 22, on the last day of the New York run, again at Stage Left Studios, at 11:00 a.m., Sam Llanas, Doug Vincent and Gary Tanin will be on the Dave Marsh “Kick Out The Jams” radio show on Sirius XM Radio, The Spectrum (Channel 28).

To the established readers of this blog, you already know the sensitive, real-life topics discussed in the play.  They are dark and sordid.  For those of you who are new to BouleBlog (and the demographics suggest readership has increased recently, THANK YOU) a brief sysnopsis: (more…)

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SAM LLANAS ASKS: IT’S 4AM, DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR LOVE IS?

August 23, 2013
The perfect album for an overnight of carousing, remorse and reflection.

The perfect album for an overnight of carousing, remorse and reflection.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: In light of the recent post by yours truly about the upcoming Sam Llanas Four/Five Live Volume 1 CD, we felt it would be appropriate to repost one of the last entries in our syndicated blog.  Many references were made to this album, 4A.M. in that review.  So we wanted to make it available again for review.  Another reason I wanted another crack at this disc is to right a wrong, and mention the crack staff that made this disc.  On vocals and acoustic guitar we have Sam Llanas.  Percussion is handled by Ryan Schiedermayer.  Guitars and harmonica by Terry Vittone.  Bass by Matt Turner.  Accordian by Bukka Allen.  String Sections by Gary Tanin.

There, I feel better about this.  Now, to our Friday Flashback!

If you follow this blog, last time we promoted Sam Llanas’ 4AM with a press release and some bio info.  This time, we take on the album itself.  Now the “concept”, if you will, of this album is the adventures that take place after hours.  Llanas claims to have written many of the tunes late at night.  I identify with that as I do my best work at night (post 11pm).  So I went out on a limb this time and gave it an initial listen after 1am.  I’m too old to make it to 4am without chemical stimulants, and I knock off the caffeine at 5pm.

Much less anything stronger.

But I felt it best to get the full effect of this disc’s concept, if it was listened to at the same time it was composed, performed, etc.  I was right.  This is late night listening at its best!

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A BOULEBLOG FIRST! TWO REVIEWS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE! SAM LLANAS BRINGS THE PASSION TO THE STAGE WITH 4/5 LIVE VOL. 1, AND A DAY FOR GRACE RETURNS TO THE STAGE TRIUMPHANT!

August 21, 2013
A personalized copy of Four/Five Live Volume 1! It doesn't get much better than that!

A personalized copy of Four/Five Live Volume 1! It doesn’t get much better than that!

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  We are embarking on something new here at the BouleBlog, a double review!!!  There is much going on in the Sam Llanas camp and we have little time to cover it.  So sit back in your favorite comfy chair, grab yourself a lovely beverage, turn your cell phone off and spend some time with Sam Llanas, as well as Doug Vincent in our first epic, single post two part review!  Two for the price of one, and cue that annoying little guy ‘the price is FREE!!!!’

When you see an emotive performer like Sam Llanas live, you get to witness the whole being.  Because when Llanas interprets his songs, time after time he put each and every atom of that being into every performance.  So to get this live disc from Llanas is thrilling because other than the visual of Llanas, you are still going to get powerhouse passion, as well as the full array of human emotions in song form.

For those of you who want to get a live load of Llanas, he will be performing sets in advance of the play A Day For Grace playing in various locations from Virginia, to Denver, to Milwaukee, to Chicago and culminating in a return to New York to play on the stage where it first came to being, Stage Left Studio.  Llanas has been reported to play a set then is joined for the play by Doug Vincent, star and playwright.

I find myself at a slight disadvantage as many of the songs were from Llanas’ BoDeans catalog.  I have not yet gotten myself up to speed on the BoDeans (regrettably).  So I will evaluate the songs I am unfamiliar with on their current merit, how they were performed on this disc, at that moment in time.  Actually, I think that’s fair.  There is no real point in comparison between what was and what is.  Llanas is solo now.  He lives and dies by the bits and bytes he puts on the disc.  But knowing Llanas, he’s not sweating it.  He is a consummate performer, and his backing band is a crew of highly skilled professionals (we’ll get to who plays what later on) who are totally capable of carrying out Llanas’ concentrated compositions.

In fact, here’s some of them now:

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JON ANDERSON AND RICK WAKEMAN AT THE SHERMAN THEATER, STROUDSBURG, 11-05-11. COME FOR THE MUSIC, STAY FOR THE COMEDY!

August 16, 2013
Jon Anderson (right) and Rick Wakeman (left) share the stage at the Sherman Theater, share some Yes songs, and share some laughs.  Photo by Lynn Vala

Jon Anderson (right) and Rick Wakeman (left) share the stage at the Sherman Theater, share some Yes songs, and share some laughs. Photo by Lynn Vala

FRIDAY FLASHBACK:  Seeing as Jon Anderson has taken his music to the sea with the recent launch of a prog cruise, BouleBlog felt this would make a good Friday Flashback.  Yes, this tour is long over, but, if you are fortunate enough, you can get tickets to see Anderson headline on the cruise.  Meanwhile, check out a show Anderson and Wakeman played just beyond my backyard in the Poconos.  Keep your eyes open for some hysterical lines from both of them!  Enjoy!

This blog has exposed me to a lot of new music.  It has also brought me close to many artists, opened many musical doors for me, and I learn something new every time I write something.  This review is unique in that while I was fortunate enough to work with the promoter for Jon Anderson, and his subsequent projects, I got to experience what many say is the heart and soul of progressive rock mainstays YES, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman live playing songs from the YES catalog that we all know and love, but also songs from Anderson/Wakeman’s new album The Living Tree.  While this is a review of the live act, I will make a quickie commentary on the album The Living Tree: I am going to get the disc based on the performances I saw at the Sherman Theater.

The Sherman Theater is an old venue in the heart of Stroudsburg, which is undergoing a touch of a renaissance lately.  The Sherman, I would say is undergoing it’s own renaissance, with some new elements and some signs of age.  Will call got our order confused, but such associations with promoters, press agents, etc., usually leads to snafu situations.  Unless person A talks directly to person B, and when I get there I talk to person B, then the situation usually devolves to Situation Normal, All Fouled Up.

While I most likely will recognize the YES tunes, the new pieces from The Living Tree and if Anderson does anything from his new disc Open, I may need help naming them.  Thanks to a cooperative soundman and an equally cooperative stage manager named Neil (if memory serves, no chance of that happening), we managed to take pictures of Jon’s personal set lists.

Ask and you shall receive…

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THE REVIEW WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR! MARK MULCAHY RESURFACES AFTER SOME HARD TIMES. DEAR MARK J. MULCAHY, WE ALL LOVE YOU!

August 14, 2013
This disc is one that has been long anticipated by the fans fellow recording artists, and perhaps more people we don't even realize… yet!

This disc is one that has been long anticipated by the fans, fellow recording artists, and perhaps more people we don’t even realize… yet!

Art is often born of tragedy.  War memorials, natural disaster memorials, Van Gogh…  But some tragedies are needless, senseless. In 2008, Mulcahy lost his wife Melissa, who left behind two daughters.  An all star tribute album Ciao My Shining Star, The Songs Of Mark Mulcahy was released featuring covers of Mulcahy tunes by such notables as Thom Yorke, Frank Black, The National, Dinosaur Jr., Michael Stipe, Juliana Hatfield, Mercury Rev, David Berkeley and Frank Turner, which served as a benefit album for Mulcahy.

Before you get all critical, no I was not waiting for this review because of Ms. Mulcahy’s passing, but rather, I have been aching to put Mr. Mulcahy’s music into your ears.  He is truly an amazing songwriter, singer and overall presence.

This hasn’t been the first bit of hard luck Mulcahy has faced.  His break-through band, Miracle Legion, couldn’t catch a break with the help of the entire Red Sox outfield roster.  They had signed to fledgling label Morgan Creek.  If you are asking why that name sounds familiar, it is because Morgan Creek also operated a movie distribution/production company.  As the band built up steam despite the exodus of various members of the rhythm section such as Jeff Wiederschall, Joel Potocsky, Steven West, final Miracle Legion players Scott Boutier and Dave McCaffrey went on to form Polaris with Mulcahy to be house band for the Nickelodeon show The Adventures Of Pete And Pete.  For one episode A Hard Day’s Pete, Ray Neal rejoined the band for a cameo appearance playing the Polaris tune “Summerbaby”.

But Neal departed the music business after getting a true spoonful of the corruption and deceit that were rampant in the final few years of the music industry’s hay day.  You see, Miracle Legion were the real deal, often compared to R.E.M., Mulcahy’s lyrics were far more impassioned, far more literate than anything Michael Stipe came up with.  The majority of you will disagree.  You may want to make an informed decision on that by getting any and all Miracle Legion, Polaris and Mark Mulcahy products, hearing them and THEN making your decision.

But let’s get back to the new music from Mark Mulcahy, Dear Mark J. Mulcahy, I Love You.

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