Lofgrin Makes Me Smile


I have a nice collections of lps by Nils Lofgrin – some are lp to cd transfers & others downloaded. In the 70s he made some of the sweetest pop/rock around but never hit superstardom – perhaps by choice. I have Nils; Cry Tough; I Came To Dance; No Mercy; Night Fades Away; The Loner. Rounding out one of the mp3 collections is Al Kooper: I Stand Alone; Steve Miller Band: Your Saving Grace, The Joker; Johnny Winter: Second Winter; Matt Hryhorsky: Hardest Last Name.

Nils has a pleasant voice, great song writing & a likeable springing bouncy guitar style that makes me want to dance. This is happy music without being corny or cloying. He’s played with Neil Young, he was a Bruce Springsteen Band member for decades too. The lps are full of great originals & lots of sweet covers of unexpected songs. The Loner are all covers of Neil Young songs. If you are unfamiliar start with I Came To Dance.

 

Al Kooper’s I Stand Alone is his first lp after leaving Blood, Sweat & Tears. It could be an extension of that lp in fact – similar experimental sound less horns. It was a disappointment at the time as fans expected it to duplicate BS&T. Steve Miller Band: Your Saving Grace, The Joker – lps from different decades of the band. Grace is more soulful while Joker is out & out commercial brilliance. Miller’s guitar work drives both but on Grace has more laidback context.

Now for some local CanCon Matt Hryhorsky: Hardest Last Name. This is an ep I bought years ago at some place like The Central of the Supermarket when Matt featured at an event. The sound quality is excellent, the songs are good & his guitar playing is superb. Finally here is the amazing Johnny Winter’s Second Winter – I remember think – three sides! when this lp was first released. Winter is a guitar genius blues & rock with a touch of soul. This is a stunning set that is merciless in energy & attack. If you haven’t heard it do so asap.

The Bill

Joe was feeling pretty good. Better than he had felt in several weeks. Better than he had felt when he finally broke off with the guy he’d met on line who turned out to be a physically abusive drunk. Better no love than a bruise he had to explain.

Today he felt specially good because he had gotten through to his cable provider on the first phone call. No waiting and waiting and even better the service representative spoke without an accent. Not that he was racist but sometimes side had to know what was exactly being said. Joe felt good about that and also because the cable provider upgraded his cell phone for free with no activation charge just to get him to renew his contract. It was always good to know who to ask for someone in customer retention. So simple.

Yes, Joe was feeling very good as he entered his favorite restaurant. His favorite booth was free – one of the few that only sat two people. He had a book he was enjoying and he couldn’t wait to tell his favorite waiter about his success with the cable company.

Joe sat at the booth. Ken came over and put a bill on the table and walked away.

Joe looked at the bill. It was over two hundred dollars with several entrees. He figured Ken had made a mistake.

“Ken!” he waved the waiter over. “This isn’t my bill. I haven’t even ordered anything yet.”

“Are you refusing to pay?” Ken glared him.

“This isn’t my bill.” Loe’s heart began to beat faster. “I just got here. I haven’t had time to order anything. See the table is clear.”

Ken glanced at the table. “The table looks clean to me. Even if it wasn’t that’s no reason not to pay your bill. We get enough assholes in here.”

“But … but …”

“Young man,” an older lady at a nearby table glared at him. “Don’t give the waiter such a hard time. Pay him so we can get some service too.”

“But I haven’t ordered anything. I certainly didn’t order all this or have time to order it. Fried chicken, roast beef dinner,’ He began to read the items off the bill.

“Let me see that,” the maître d’ snapped the bill out of his hand. “What seems to be the problem Ken.”

“This guy refused to pay his bill.”

“This isn’t my bill.” Joe took a deep breath and kept his hands relaxed. 

The maître d’ glanced at the bill. “Of course if sir is contesting the total, we will add it up again.”

“I am not contesting the total …”

“He said his table wasn’t clean enough so he’s not paying it.’ Someone from another table added their two cents worth. “The tables here are always spotless.”

“Oh, we get your type in here far too often. Order a meal eat it then find some petty thing to complain about.” The maître d’ sneered.

“I have been coming in here for year and have never complained about anything.” Joe’s voice rose.

“No need to shout, sir.” The owner came from behind the front counter. “This is a respectable family restaurant. We can’t have that kind of language.”

“Here! Here!” Cheered the old lady from the nearby table. “Let me eat in peace.”

“But I didn’t say anything offensive.”

“Then just pay up like a good guy.” The owner patted Joe on the shoulder.

“But this isn’t my bill. I didn’t order any of this. I didn’t have any of these drinks. Apple screwdriver. Kafka flip. What ever that is.”

“Oh so your are saying this isn’t your bill. Is that what you are saying.” One of the cooks had come out of the kitchen and picked up the bill.”

“Yes that’s what I’m saying.”

“He’s right. Ken this isn’t this man’s bill. He is at table 12 the bill is for table 21.”

They all looked over to table 21 and a large gentleman grinned and waved at them. “I say, can we pay up and get out of here. I’m in a frightful hurry.”

Nils, Lofgrin, Al Kooper, Steve Miller Band, Johnny Winter, Matt Hryhorsky

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

April
– April 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales – online

https://www.facebook.com/events/529712257592790/

June

travel restrictions means no 😦

Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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Blundstone and The Blues

Colin Blundstone with One Year (71)/Ennismore (72) is on a mp3 compilation ‘voices’ – his being the distinctive voice of The Zombies – a band I love – I found Ennismore on lp remaindered at Zeller’s while I was living in Cape Breton – I knew who he was but didn’t realize he’d gone solo after the Zombies broke up. Apparently he had a career in England but never got into the American market. These two lps are solid but it’s the voice that carries them. The material isn’t pop, isn’t teen fodder but more early emo. Thoughtful, reflective with moody orchestration and minor chords. If you are a Zombies fan you’ll love these.

burnt

blues burn out

When Gregg Allman released Low Country Blues (2011) a few years ago I downloaded it to see how he sounded, played – this is solid blues with a tinge of rock and country. His voice is fine. His guitar work is classic, laid back and the songs are comforting as opposed to challenging. Adult contemporary. Searching For Simplicity (97) is an earlier solo lp of his with more of his solid singing & playing & yet another take on the Brother’s Whipping Post.

castoff

trashed

Eric Anderson: Eric (70) – another voice I loved – I had this lp on the east coast. Country rock with heterosexual yearning for the right woman, the right moment that doesn’t get cloying. I always enjoy listening to him even if his music isn’t particularly original.

Ron Elliot is another of those guys who spun off from a major success to obscurity. See my post about the Beau Brummels for more. Candlestick Maker (70) is his only solo lp after that band broke up. Folksy and nicely recorded, easy to hear but impossible to categorize. But that voice is fine.

bottles

empty bottles

Pete Townsend: Empty Glass (80)- Pete gets sober and wants to kiss the Rough Boys, even though he’s caught between two female, sort of trampy, angels on the cover of this. He recorded loads of solo lps but this is one of the better. Rough boys I want to kiss you.

Bloomfield Kooper: Live Adventures (69) – this is a classic live lp that was all the rage when it was released – a sort of super group duo of these two momentary stars – Kooper fresh from Blood Sweat & Tears. Bloomfield fresh from Butterfield Blues Band. The material covers tunes from Green Onions to Dear Mr Fantasy.

sample

The Promised One 2

The two men could only exchange monosyllabic greetings due to the over amplified music in the densely populated drinking establishment.

Paul, as one of them was named, allowed the other gentleman to purchase him a carbonated non-alcohol beverage. During their conversation the others present were inspected as possible more rewarding conversationalists.

The proffered refreshment was an indictor of  a commitment to pursue this particular conversation over others that might be presented by others at this occasion. The exchange could result in immediate or future benefits for either party. Of immediate benefit was the regard of others who observed them in conversation.

While awaiting the beverages a discussion ensued about work and places of residences. The paying gentlemen mused on his own less than perfect living accommodations, speculating that a change in same could result in a betterment of his opportunities in attracting a life partner.

This leads to a general talk about the locations of said accommodations. The gentlemen feels positive in this exchange with Paul and notes that each time they have conversed they have gradually learned more about each other. As neither alluded to sexual acts each felt there was something deeper than that possible.

The  gentlemen was of the opinion that a the inadequacies of his life would be best fulfilled by a relationship with someone.He’d been seeking a partner for some time and although unsuccessful and after several past conversations with Paul, felt Paul could be a suitable candidate.

To facilitate further conversation the gentleman invited Paul to accompany him to a quiet location. Paul accepted and the gentleman followed him with a renewed sense of soon to be fulfilled promise.

soon

June 5-7 – attending – Capturing Fire – Washington DC

fire

http://www.thedccenter.org/capturingfire/

( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop: The Novelist’s Selfie – Loyalist – Belleville https://www.facebook.com/events/965611026782246/

( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

loyrocket

register now while there is room at the table

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

https://www.loyalistbanner.com/ceweb/doc/LoyalistSummerArts2015.pdf

June 26, Friday, 10:00 pm – feature – Pride 2015 Erotic Cabaret – Glad Day Bookstore, 598a Yonge St., Toronto

glad

June 27, Saturday – 7:00-  Feature: Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto

summer15

September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo

Expo15

( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

http://fanexpocanada.com

October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice

noiroc

 

trash

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Cafe Au-Go-Go

Moving slowly but surely through ‘B’ I come next to an mp3 collection of The Blues Project –  Live at Cafe au-go-go/Projections /Live at the Town Hall/Planned Obsolescence. The first two lps include Al Kooper & a supposedly Mike Bloomfield (uncredited). The band presented an odd mix of blues, psychedelia, jazz with longish jam tracks.

purplebeads

fallen gems

I remember the first three as drinking music with friends of my mine who were big blues fans but who hated the jazzy bits. Flute Thing is weetntjrough & the blues stuff is good but not as pure as Paul Butterfield. Kooper was fresh from his Dylan sessions when he joined the band & left to start Blood, Sweat & Tears. I listen to these with affection.

writecat

shadow of the cat

When Project called it quits some of the members went on to form Seatrain. Their first release was called Sea Train, while the 2nd was called Seatrain. For the second they landed George Martin as producer – but they never took off, so their third Marblehead Messenger sank fast. The music is okay but nothing that calls me back. I added these a few tears ago jus tot round out the Blue Project history.

greybird

your bird has flown

To fill in the cd I added some John Hammond’s The Best Of: this guy is the real deal a fine blues guitarist, almost an archivist in the polity of his material. Also add some Oscar Brand: Bawdy Hootenanny – an lp my partner had – it reflects what else was going on at the same time as the early Blues Project in New York. Funny & slightly raunchy. Tom Waits owes Oscar Brand a debt of gratitude.

sample

The Promised One

‘Hi.’

‘Hi.’

The music was too loud for conversation. I spoke directly into Paul’s ear. He spoke directly into mine.

‘Keeping well?’

‘Not too bad.’

We spoke in short sentences. Even while we spoke our eyes searched the crowded bar for other welcome faces. Not that we wouldn’t be satisfied with each other’s company but there might be an even better opportunity somewhere else.

‘Buy you a drink?’

‘Yeah. Coke’ll be fine. Thanks.’

A little exchange, the initial barter after the invitation of eye contact had been followed up. The investment into where things might lead next. Even if it lead nowhere this time, something could be harvested in the future. Just to been seen talking would plant its own seeds in the minds of others.

‘How’s the job.’

‘The same as any job. Pays the rent.’

‘Buys decent clothes.’

‘Ha right and gets me out of the house.’

‘House?’

‘Just a phrase. Apartment.’

Drinks arrive. A house would be nice. My bachelor apartment was getting to feel smaller and smaller even for the one of me. If I had more space it would easier to find someone to fill it. Then I could stop this search for someone with a space for me to fill.

‘Around here?’

‘Not too far and you.’

‘Still at the same place.’

‘Really. You must like it.’

It felt good to talk to Paul again. We’d met several months ago and each time we ran into each other more information was revealed. Small bits, just enough to keep each other talking, interested, but never enough to lead to some sort of consummation. I was no longer looking for the quick flash of flesh that lead to nothing.

I somehow suspected the same of him because he never offered that quick flesh just more hints, hooks, lures that I couldn’t resist.

A relationship was the one thing I hadn’t attained and I knew that it was the one thing I needed to complete the picture of a happy life. I had my job, success, money in the bank, a good gym body, lots of good friends but none of these really made me feel whole, complete. I knew getting the right someone to share my life with was all I needed now.

I’d been on this hunt for the last several years. A few had been drawn into my realm but for one reason or another things had never worked out. I had become discouraged till I meet Paul.

I’d run into him more frequently and gradually allowed my interest to become more direct, more obvious. I didn’t want to jump too soon, to reveal too much too soon. Now after a few months of this I felt the time was right to push for more than these sound bites grunted into each other’s ears here.

‘Want to get out of here?’

‘Your place or mine?’

‘I thought maybe that coffee shop up the street. Should be quieter.’

‘Sounds good.’

I followed him out into the night air. As I watched him walk ahead of me I hoped that this time I had found the promised one.

soon

May 7 – Thursday – 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn It’s A Queer Slam Finals Featuring d’bi.young anitafrika – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – 12 Alexander St., Toronto –

dhot

https://www.facebook.com/events/726986450755918/permalink/726987687422461/

June 5-7 – attending – Capturing Fire – Washington DC

fire

http://www.thedccenter.org/capturingfire/

( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop: The Novelist’s Selfie – Loyalist – Belleville https://www.facebook.com/events/965611026782246/

( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

loyrocket

register now while there is room at the table

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

https://www.loyalistbanner.com/ceweb/doc/LoyalistSummerArts2015.pdf

June 27, Saturday – 7:00-  Feature: Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto

summer15

September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo

Expo15

( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

http://fanexpocanada.com

October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice

noiroc

 

bluefloor

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

thanks