Posts Tagged ‘Absinthe’

SAM LLANAS IS BACK WITH A SURPRISE CALLED “RETURN OF THE GOYA, PART 1”

March 30, 2018

You can’t beat a personalized copy of the new Sam Llanas CD Return Of The Goya, Part 1. In the name of political correctness, no international grocery aisle comments please. Photo courtesy Sam Llanas

It’s great to have Sam Llanas back on the blog! We’ve covered Sam since his debut solo album 4a.m. which remains one of my favorite pieces of work to date. I think I need to break it out again as I need to get a lot of things in the studio done (midi up live tracks, finish writing the last song on my last album…) and I LOVE to work late at night.

Llanas first came to my attention through Gary Tanin, whom I became associated with through the Roger Powell album Blue Note Ridge and then again with Fossil Poets. (Don’t go on your anti-Utopia 2018 reunion tour, Jeff, we know Powell isn’t participating and you doubt replacement Ralph Schuckett, while an extraordinary player with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, this tour promotes the newly released box set of material with Powell, NOT Schuckett, the harmonic sensibilities employed by Powell will be long lost and they are an integral charm with the REAL Utopia. Don’t be fooled by imitations! Save it for another blog…) Then Tanin had the idea of getting me involved with both Llanas and a project Llanas became involved in, a two man show with Doug Vincent detailing Vincent’s own tragic encounter with addiction and suicide, punctuated by profound performances by Llanas from his solo works.

I identified with the author of the show, Doug Vincent, so much, it became a labor of love to promote his show A Day For Grace. Check the blog search field to see if I migrated them from the syndication to the new site. I am pretty sure they are there. You can also search Sam Llanas, and see all the reviews in our history. Needless to say, Llanas is a favorite here. A particular favorite of ours here at the blog is the Absinthe album. Those songs are so dark, they immediately draw in a death hag like me (even learned a couple of tunes on guitar, fun stuff!).

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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…)

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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A RETURN TO A DAY FOR GRACE FINDS VINCENT AND LLANAS AIMING FOR THE HEART, THROUGH THE EYES!

June 5, 2013
The Cliff Notes version of A Day For Grace.  The perfect primer for the new-to-the-pathos that is A Day For Grace.

The Cliff Notes version of A Day For Grace. The perfect primer for the new-to-the-pathos that is A Day For Grace.

So far, I have reviewed the play itself, in its formative state being honed on the stage of Stage Left Studio in NYC.  Then came the audio preview of the DVD soundtrack.  This time we are sent a tease of what is to come.

What is to come will be truly extraordinary.

For the main entry on this DVD is a teaser of the forthcoming, full length DVD.  I was hesitant to want to give this any attention once I saw the “abridged” notation on the disc label.  But after watching this sampler, I have changed my opinion.  If this disc can get people hooked on the message Vincent and Llanas deliver, it is a means to a worthy end.

For those not familiar with that message, A Day For Grace is about suicide prevention, dealing with alcoholic family, bullying, and the daunting task of coming face to face with new fatherhood and fearing the repetition of patterns within one’s upbringing.

The secondary entry on this disc is the trailer for the campaign to Send Sammy to Broadway.  An Indiegogo campaign that was set up to raise money to help finance the costs associated with bringing the show to NYC, Milwaukee, Chicago, and other venues such as the newly explored option called The Barn in Virginia.  This is still in the works as of press date.

I find myself a bit bashful about promoting the trailer as, at a certain point, my name is brandished on the screen with a pull quote from my original show review.  This is one project I feel no shame being associated with.  Many of the show’s topics (or messages) are in fact societal situations I have found myself having to deal with.  If blathering on about A Day For Grace helps one person discover it, helps one person through some troubling times, I can take the heat for being “repetitive, one-trick pony, boring and uninteresting” for covering this show and its efforts and progress.

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UNFETTERED BY OPPRESSIVE BANDMATES, SAM LLANAS IS BURNING UP THE SOLO CIRCUIT, BRINGING HIS SPIRITED, SOULFUL AND EARNEST STYLE OF MUSIC TO MILWAUKEE’S LINNEMAN’S, FEBRUARY 9TH!!!

February 7, 2013
Sam Llanas and his faithful Taylor guitar will be bringing his quality style of balladeering to Linneman's in Milwaukee February 9th.

Sam Llanas and his faithful Taylor guitar will be bringing his quality style of balladeering to Linneman’s in Milwaukee February 9th.

Not often in music today are there artists who have not only a natural gift for presenting music, but present it with honest, pure emotion.  If you think what you see in today’s popular artists is raw emotion, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you have been mislead.  Artists like Lady Gaga, Katie Perry, One Direction, Justin Beiber, and the all-time prat Taylor Swift (no, that’s not a misspelling, it is an English term, look it up, it fits) put on a good show, but they’re emotions are fraudulent at best.  For example, Taylor Swift is 23 years old (or 24, or 22, who cares what the exact number is), she wouldn’t know TRUE heartbreak if it bit her on the bum.

You wanna hear a piece about actual heart destruction?  Then give Gary Tanin’s Love Changes a listen.

Like Tanin’s real emotional album, Sam Llanas is no stranger to putting true feeling into song.  I was lucky enough to get a close-up view of Mr. Llanas in action last September at the Rockwood Music Hall in New York City.  This was my first exposure to Llanas live.  In no uncertain terms, I was blown away.

Llans keeps his chord structures simple, but what he does with those chord structures is nothing less than brilliant.  To squeeze such emotions out of a few open chords equals genius.  I usually review progressive acts.  Music comprised of augmented/diminished chords, alternate bass notes not supporting the root chords, odd time signatures, completed with verbose, madrigal lyrical composition.  It is refreshing to hear stripped down structures supporting words one doesn’t need either a Queen’s English dictionary or a thesaurus to understand.

It makes my job much easier as well.

What makes Llanas so great?  OK, so he uses simple structures and working class lyrics.  If that isn’t enough for you, read on and we will gladly explore more…

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MEGA-MAN GARY TANIN COVERS ALL THE BASES AND GETS DOWN TO BASICS WITH HIS NEW/OLD RELEASE “LOVE CHANGES”.

December 12, 2012
Gary Tanin enjoying some rare down time playing a communal piano in Denver CO during a recent run of "A Day For Grace" featuring Sam Llanas and Doug Vincent.

Gary Tanin enjoying some rare down time playing a communal piano in Denver CO during a recent run of “A Day For Grace” featuring Sam Llanas and Doug Vincent.

Dr. Who, South Park, Robot Chicken, all mention it (among others).  But it’s not just a concept in fiction or animation…  It’s real!  What’s that?  Cloning.  Remember Dolly the sheep?  If there was ever someone who could benefit from cloning, it has to be Gary Tanin.  It is amazing to see this person’s body of work as it is, but when you get down to digging into this man’s history, you realize he surpasses the definition of multi-faceted.

Many of you may not have even heard of him, but I would bet the farm you’ve heard his work.  From national JC Penney ads to a Wisconsin based “Who’s Who” of musicians. However I know that won’t satiate you, you still want to know why I am dedicating this column space to someone you consider a virtual unknown.  Yeah, he’s so unknown, my best thing to ever happen to me studied telecommunications, and Gary Tanin was mentioned as part of the curriculum of study.

You don’t get to be part of a major East coast college curriculum by being a nothing.

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A FIRST FOR BOULEBLOG!!! VIDEO!!! JEFF BOULE INTERVIEWS “A DAY FOR GRACE” STAR DOUG VINCENT!!!

October 25, 2012

While the video itself lacks technical quality, what you are about to witness is a one-of-a-kind, exclusive interview with the gripping two-man show co-star Doug Vincent.  The other co-star, none other than the extraordinary Sam Llanas!!!  Follow the technical advisements attached to the video, and more importantly pay attention to the discourse, the dialog, the message!  I want to thank Mr. Vincent for his kindness, patience and indulgence in our first ever video interview.

I can promise that as we go along the video quality will get better as, with your understand and encouragement, we would relish the chance to grow and expand our capabilities.

In the meanwhile I hope you will enjoy our first video interview with the incomparable Mr. Doug Vincent.

Special thanks to all who helped make this happen, Mr. Douglas Vincent, Mr. Samuel Llanas, Mr. Gary Tanin, Ms. Jessica Belf-Vincent, and any and all who I may have forgotten to list.  We have not forgotten about the Killing Joke MMXII review, but this was too exciting to let slide.

LIFE IS NOT ALL FUN AND GAMES. A DAY FOR GRACE DEMONSTRATES JUST HOW MUCH AT THE STAGE LEFT STUDIO, 9-13-12

September 24, 2012

Sam Llanas (left) and Doug Vincent (right); co-performers of A Day For Grace. Photo by Matthew Staver

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  The themes and language contained in the following play review are best suited towards a mature audience.  We at BouleBlog strongly suggest that readers under the age of 16 please consult your parents or guardian adults regarding the content and if it is proper for the viewing of minors in the household.  Thank you.

We are spreading our wings here at BouleBlog.  This is our first play review!!!  I can hear the nay-sayers now…  “What does he know about plays?  He’s JUST a musician…”  Yeah, just a musician.  The first flaw in that thinking is, I have spent some (academic) time doing theater.  So I can actually speak some of the lingo, blocking, direction, lighting, cues, etc.  Annette Palutis, you should be proud…

From the pre-show buzz, this promises to be interesting.  The basics of the story are, it is about the son of an alcoholic who is expecting the birth of his first child.  Touchy subject, alcoholism.  It hits close to home.  My best thing to ever happen to me did not see her mother for the last 18 years of her mom’s life as her mother preferred drinking over the company of the woman who was ostensibly her only surviving child.  My best thing has issues with abandonment.  This may be out-of-line, but part of the reason I separated from the syndication was to get down in the trenches.  If getting in those trenches means telling the story of my best thing and how she, as a five year old girl, watched her father suffer a cerebral hemorrhage and drop in front of her eyes only a to die a few days later, so be it.

My personal experience with alcoholism brings me back to the last time I saw my father in the house I grew up in New Jersey.  Ah, fond memories of Muzz (that’s what we called him, not dad, not father, but a nickname given to him by his friends because of his stylish upper lip warmer) gripping me by the collar of my shirt on either side of my neck, slamming me against the double door refrigerator DEMANDING that I tell him I loved him.

I can assure you I didn’t.

But as most victims of alcohol abuse can tell you, I did what was demanded of me (self preservation).  I saw my father once more before alcohol consumption took him at age 55.  At my brother’s wedding.  My brother’s wife was smart, she saw him going down the same road, so she left him!  My brother would drown shortly later in an alcohol-related boating accident.  So I am not unfamiliar with the irreversible damage alcohol abuse can do.

But A Day For Grace is also a comedy!  Huh???

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