Posts Tagged ‘Doug Vincent’

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 END OF THE SILENCE, THE END OF THE IGNORANCE

December 10, 2014
Sometimes, the life of a blogger can be hazardous to that blogger's health. Photo by Lynn Vala

Sometimes, the life of a blogger can be hazardous to that blogger’s health. Photo by Lynn Vala

My WordPress screen prompts me by asking ‘what’s on your mind’? I guess I need to vent, come clean, explain why I have been absent from this blog for months now. Also to explain why a story was posted and then pulled almost in the same day. The story is long and convoluted so I will try to explain why I took a self-imposed sabbatical from this page.

But first, a bit of background on why this is personal to me.

Integrity has always been important to me. I have been asked to leave many bands because my integrity prevented me from playing over-exposed bands/songs such as Creedence Clearwater, or other bands I felt were not challenging enough to my ability as a player or were too commonplace for my liking. The more popular a musical genre, the less I find it appealing other than the finely crafted pop pieces from acts such as Hall & Oates, Foster The People, etc.

As I became older I found that bands who challenged the perceived norm of popular music or who went against the 4/4 popular time signatures lead to new vistas and horizons for me as a musician. Masters such as Frank Zappa, King Crimson and mid to latter era Todd Rundgren and or Utopia. Acts that really had musical meat for me, something I could dig my teeth into both as a listener and a musician.

So when I begin this blog I’ve virtually went into it with little to no restriction other than those imposed upon me by the webmasters. Limitations such as no obscenities, formatting, no artist bashing, promoting record sales… you can see how this would get tedious. Sad to say, one of the better things to ever happen to me might have been when Princeton Record Exchange dissolved it’s blog.  At that point I had to make a decision: Shit or get off the pot. I guess I shit because I am still on the pot!

The decision was made, I would start my own blog, go my own way and blaze my own path. Or so I thought. With this freedom also came a certain perverted perk. People would approach me and ask if I would want to promote either their own disc or an artist they represented. This is where things started to go downhill…

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Doug Vincent’s Play A Day for Grace Returns to Stage Left Studio September 19 thru 22 Sam Llanas and Doug Vincent Co-Star; Llanas to Open with Solo Acoustic Set

September 17, 2013
Doug Vincent (foreground) re-enacts his infamous run-in with his childhood nemesis while Sam Llanas (background) accompanies him with songs written in 1998 and 2011.  Photo by Gary Dineen courtesy Daystorm Music and Gary Tanin

Doug Vincent (foreground) re-enacts his infamous run-in with his childhood nemesis while Sam Llanas (background) accompanies him with songs written in 1998 and 2011. Photo by Gary Dineen courtesy Daystorm Music and Gary Tanin

New York, NY, August 19Doug Vincent’s autobiographical play, A Day For Grace will return to New York City on September 19th for a four-night engagement from September 19 thru 22  at Stage Left Studio, 214 W 30thStreet, 6th floor Roots rock legend Sam Llanas (formerly of BoDeans) and playwright Doug Vincent share the stage in the heartwarming play of hope and triumph over adversity. Set to original music by Llanas, A Day for Grace recounts Vincent’s emotional roller-coaster journey into first-time fatherhood as he chases parental shadows and the demons of his turbulent youth in small town Virginia to find the light for his unborn child. Llanas will also open each show with an intimate solo acoustic set of old favorites, new and unreleased music. All performances are at 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at www.stageleftstudio.net or by calling the box office at 212.838.2134.    

The play unfolds when unforeseen complications during his daughter’s birth propel Vincent’s emotions to pour out of him to confront the demons of his past – shifting back and forth between little league angst and the relationship with his alcoholic and suicidal father to present day events.

Lanas performs the soulful music from his 1998 solo album A Good Day to Die, which underscores Vincent’s 10 different character portrayals and serves as the drama’s emotional touchstones and enthralling Greek Chorus. Although he wrote the lyrics 15 years earlier and long before the play was created, nearly every song matches a scene from the play.

“It’s almost impossible to watch the show without marveling at the obvious synchronicity inherent in this collaboration. The unique interplay between the music and monologue is mesmerizing,” says director Gary Tanin.

Both Vincent and Llanas used their creative talents as a way to heal from the tragic loss of a family member to suicide.  At their first meeting, both men were shocked to learn how serendipitously the two art forms blended together to create the compelling musical drama.  A Day for Grace touches on many contemporary social issues –- bullying, alcoholism, dysfunctional families and mental illness — all leading risk factors for suicide, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

 “We hope that our play will continue to not only entertain, but convey its message of hope, healing, and triumph over adversity to the widest audience possible,” says Vincent.

A Day for Grace had its initial limited engagement run in 2012, where it played to sold-out audiences.  The play was first introduced to New York audiences last year at Stage Left Studio, where it was developed.  This year, a re-tooled A Day for Grace, which began a multi-city national tour in August, will visit Berryville, VA, Denver, CO, Milwaukee, WI  and Chicago, IL before returning to New York City, where it will complete its tour at Stage Left Studio for multiple performances plus a producers’ showcase.

A co-production of Stage Left Studio and Boulder StoryHealers, ‘A Day for Grace’ was developed at Stage Left Studio in New York City. Boulder StoryHealers is a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, a nonprofit charity under Section 501c3 .

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AUTHOR’S NOTE:  I was slated to give this production personal coverage for the Friday and Saturday night shows during this run.  Unfortunately, the fates have conspired to keep me away from this production.  Faithful readers would wonder why I am interested in going to see this show again.  I have it on good authority that changes have been made to both the script and the music for this tour of the show.  Additionally, Llanas will do a solo acoustic set before the play begins.  That is always worth the price of admission!  So even for you folks who caught this last time, I urge you to go see it again.

This time, the topics of the show are even more poignant and personal to me.  I did just recently lose three family members and a pet, albeit none by suicide, but loss is loss.  All three family members lived at the same residence, which is the ultimate definition of an empty nest.  The pet, succumbed to hyperthyroidism in my hands this past Saturday the 14th.  I would be an emotional casualty if I were to attend this show.  Sometimes people like to cry at highly emotional art.  If you are this kind of person who rejuvenates themselves at the hand of highly personal artistic endeavors, this is again, a must-see show for you to cleanse your soul, refresh your spirit and laugh at life’s foibles.

Tell them Queeten sent you…

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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THE SOCIAL DRAMA ‘A DAY FOR GRACE’ TO KICK-OFF NATIONAL TOUR IN AUGUST WITH DOUG VINCENT AND SAM LLANAS TO REPRISE THEIR ROLES

June 17, 2013
Doug Vincent (foreground right) and his altruistic co-hort Sam Llanas (background left) are at it again with a new run of A Day For Grace. Photo by Matthew Staver

Doug Vincent (foreground right) and his altruistic co-hort Sam Llanas (background left) are at it again with a new run of A Day For Grace. Photo by Matthew Staver

Boulder, CO, June 17 — Boulder StoryHealers has confirmed that A Day for Grace (ADFG), the social drama written and performed by Doug Vincent with music by rock icon Sam Llanas (formerly of BoDeans) will kick-off its National Tour in August 2013 with stops in Berryville, VA, August 18; Denver, CO, August 29; Milwaukee, WI, September 5-8, and Chicago, IL, September 11-13, before its return to New York City’s Stage Left Studio, September 19-22. Tickets can be purchased through each venue’s website or at http://www.adayforgraceshow.com.

Infused with humor, A Day for Grace is a heartwarming story of hope and triumph over adversity. The play recounts the emotional roller-coaster true journey of playwright Doug Vincent — a father-to-be — as he chases parental shadows from his tumultuous youth in small town Virginia to find the light for his unborn child.

Llanas shares the stage with Vincent, performing his soulful music that underscores the 10 different characters Vincent portrays and serves as the drama’s emotional touchstones and enthralling Greek Chorus. “It’s almost impossible to watch the play without marveling at the obvious synchronicity inherent in this collaboration,” says director Gary Tanin. “The unique mechanism of interplay between the songs and monologue is mesmerizing.”

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THE LONG AWAITED SHOWDOWN IS NOW!!! TODD RUNDGREN’S STATE HAS A LOT RIDING ON IT…

June 10, 2013
DJ Odd dons his ski mask to navigate the slopes of technopia.  Will he make the mark or be shanghaied by his own fans?

DJ Odd dons his ski mask to navigate the slopes of technopia. Will he make the mark or be shanghaied by his own fans?

Ok, here’s the back story.  I was pissed as hell when, after the brilliant Todd Rundgren release of 2004’s Liars, and then the ‘ok’ release of Arena, I was ok with his concept of bringing albums like A Wizard A True Star, Todd, and Healing to the live stage.  What pissed me off was his insistence on releasing two discs (one E.P. and one L.P.) of Robert Johnson material (hey, cheap, no royalty payments, that crap is so old it’s out of public domain by now) then, further pissing me off was having ‘fans’ (read: well-to-do sycophants with $5,000 to burn) pay him to appear on his re[Productions] album where he would secure the rights to record songs from acts he had produced in the past (horrific versions of Bourgeois Tagg’s “Out Of My Mind” and XTC’s “Dear God”) but then what bitchfest about Todd Rundgren from this reviewer would be complete without my reflecting back to the “event” at the Keswick Theater.  You want the deets on that, you can search for the review on this page.  I’ve spent enough column space and bandwidth on that issue.

So I sorta feel like the gunslinger in the center of town in the Wild West ready to draw pistols.   Me, the nearly lifelong Todd fan (let’s face it, I have been into him since 1974, I was 11/12, I am 50 now, been listening/buying/attending all these years and for you ‘Todd was better without Utopia’ types, piss off!  I LOVED UTOPIA!!!) and Rundgren, the now 65 year old ‘aging rocker’ with a voice in a lower register so he has to effect, process and lower his keys for older songs (I’ve seen live clips on YouTube for this current tour where he suspends the microphone over his head like at a prize fight, that’s not a clever visual gimmick for his techno ‘D.J. Odd’ (Techno Todd?) persona, that is to assist his aging vocal chords have projection and hit some of the notes he couldn’t with his head down).  Although, it is not unusual for Rundgren to assign himself monikers to reflect the new style of music he is brandishing.  Reference the No World Order and Individualist era, when he billed himself as TR-i (Todd Rundgren interactive).

So in my Wild West daydream, Rundgren dressed in white as he will no doubt be the people’s favorite, and I, opposite Rundgren, dressed in black as I have already proven to be the people’s favorite… to HATE (ask any King Crimson fan).  He has his Mac and Foamy (his favorite sea foam green P-Project Stratocaster copy guitar) ready to draw, I have my pencils, pad and angry disposition ready to pull.

Three, two, one, DRAW!

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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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A DAY FOR GRACE CONTINUES TO DO GOOD WORK FOR THOSE IN NEED. SEND SAMMY TO BROADWAY KICKS OFF TODAY!!!

April 5, 2013
A Day For Grace playwright and actor Doug Vincent.  Vincent tackles topics of societal taboo usually not considered fodder for a play.  Photo by Matthew Staver

A Day For Grace playwright and actor Doug Vincent. Vincent and musical contributor Sam Llanas are gearing up for a second run of A Day For Grace, read on about how you can bring this remarkably moving play to a city near you! Photo by Matthew Staver

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  We are eschewing our Friday Flashback schedule as we are pleased to be one of the few outlets that have the resources to bring you this advance notice of a campaign that launched this morning in Milwaukee, on NBC affiliate TMJ4’s The Morning Blend show.  The campaign is called “Send Sammy To Broadway” and it is slightly misleading because the campaign is not only sending singer/songwriter extraordinaire Sam Llanas to Broadway, but also playwright/actor/comedian Doug Vincent to Broadway to put his play, A Day For Grace in front of more eyes.  Why it belongs in front of more eyes follows…

Many people feel alone.  Some feel ostracized in a room crowded with people.  Often times, people suffering with depression feel nothing.  They may be loved, cared for, even needed by family members and friends.  But once that chemical imbalance claims the pleasure centers of the brain, no amount of love, caring and company can overcome it.

Unfortunately, and often times, there is an ugly force that DOES overcome this chemical imbalance:  The desire to contemplate or commit suicide.

While it is not often discussed, depression, addiction, and suicide touch many, many lives.  I hate to nick from Reefer Madness, but it could touch yours, or yours, OR YOURS!!!  It might surprise you to know that these issues have touched most of the principle players involved with A Day For Grace.  These issues have touched the author of what you are reading.  Directly.  I have dealt with addicted parents.  I have dealt with my own depression.  I have contemplated suicide myself.  Maybe now it will be more apparent as to WHY this project takes up frequent residence on BouleBlog.

THIS PROJECT SPEAKS TO ME.

The original review was one of the most trying events I have ever covered.  Half of me was trying to deal with the emotions that were being so expertly laid down on the stage, half of me was trying to communicate those emotions in a review.  Divide those halves into half was trying to make sure these emotions weren’t too much for my best thing to ever happen to me (whose Grandmother committed suicide by hanging) and then further divide the review half into trying not to bawl my eyes out at Sam Llanas’ acutely ironic, fourteen year old songs bringing that extra punch to the play.

Would Doug Vincent’s words be as emotive without Llanas’ music?  Fortunately, we don’t have to consider this.  The duo are bringing back this amazing, touching, revealing play to the stages again, but the ‘Send Sammy To Broadway’ campaign has loftier goals.

While the campaign title suggests that the goal is to land Llanas and A Day For Grace on Broadway, the ultimate goal is to find stages in as many major cities that will have it.  Granted, this is not a play for every town.  Smaller, rural communities may have a problem with some of the subject matter.  Less cosmopolitan areas may also have issue with some of the language.

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SAM LLANAS (FORMERLY OF BODEANS) JOINS NATIONAL TOUR

March 10, 2013

Hit play signs Llanas for second play theatrical tour to Milwaukee, Chicago and New York City

Sam Llanas (left) and Doug Vincent (right); Llanas and Vincent bring the touching play "A Day For Grace" back to fortunate audiences in Milwaukee, Chicago and New York City for another run.  Do not miss this most  poignant performance!  Photo by Matthew Staver

Sam Llanas (left) and Doug Vincent (right); Llanas and Vincent bring the touching play “A Day For Grace” back to fortunate audiences in Milwaukee, Chicago and New York City for another run. Do not miss this most poignant performance! Photo by Matthew Staver

Milwaukee – In a career move that belies his time opening for everyone from Bob Dylan to U2, former BoDeans rock legend Sam Llanas has joined the cast of the critically acclaimed drama Day for Grace.

The play, which weaves the true-life tale of playwright and lead actor Doug Vincent’s
tumultuous youth, features Llanas in live nightly performances of music from his 1998 album A Good Day To Die.

“Every issue addressed in the play – from bullying and mental illness to alcoholism and suicide – is
also addressed on Sam’s album” said Llanas’ manager Gary Tanin in a recent interview. “What’s
even more astonishing is that the playwright had never even heard of this album before writing
the play.”

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