Blues Hippy and the Soul Underground featuring Willie Phoenix, The Jimmy Clinton Band, The Remnants and a special solo appearance by Michael Lutz are scheduled for the second show of the PM Beat Music 2013 Concert Series. The concert will be held Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the historic Worthington Ballroom in Parkersburg.
Starting back in Camden, Alabama as a youth brought up around the famous blues musicians his father performed with, Willie Phoenix was immersed in great music but it still played second fiddle to his dreams of playing second base in the big leagues. His love of classic British Invasion rock and roll, a solid reggae groove and a touch of soul all add flavor the Blues Hippy groove.
While others may more clearly recollect his more recent Parkersburg shows at The Front Row throughout the 2000′s. Those performances reintroduced area music fans to Phoenix after to long of a hiatus. The Front Row shows were still just has energetic with Phoenix often bringing varied lineups of the band under the Willie Phoenix band name. There was always Phoenix on guitar, a bass player and a drummer but sometimes there was a percussionist playing an array of Latin flavored instrument to keyboards with that big sound.
However one of the more memorable performances by Phoenix took place on a wintry December just before Christmas back in the 2000′s. Due to the holiday grind some of Phoenix’s band mates were unable to commit to the Friday night show due to expanded work obligations. “Willie called me and explained some of his band members were tied up at work and with the bad winter weather being forecast for the area weren’t going to be comfortable with making the trip to Parkersburg either,” Front Row owner Bill Poole said. “But Willie offered me the option of just coming down and playing solo for a reduced price and I said sure,” Poole said. Phoenix took the stage and what happened next was pure magic. The prolific songwriter took the nice sized crowd on a musical history lesson of Willie Phoenix original songs as well as many of the songs that influenced him to become a musician. All told Willie Phoenix played a non-stop three and a half hour set of music … on an acoustic guitar! Guitar players will understand the sheer brutality that something like that can entail.
Moments like this were exactly why the music business had taken note so many years before. Phoenix’s great songwriting and energetic performances helped garner a major record label deal with A&M Records in 1982. It was a wonderful collection of straight ahead rock and roll songs in an era when rude showmanship and illegal off stage activities where often the keys to success for major rock bands. Even though A&M Records are long gone, Phoenix is still busy writing great music as evidenced by his thirteen+ albums, but more importantly his love and respect of music and his fans. No gimmicks, no drama, just a musician giving his all.
Another wonderful facet of Phoenix has always been his readiness to try new musical projects featuring interesting lineups and instrumentation. His current band, Blues Hippy and the Soul Underground, features longtime collaborator from the Shadowlord days Jim Johnson on drums, Myke Rock on bass and backing vocals and Dan-Ro James on guitar and backing vocals. Together they create an eclectic mix of danceable rock and roll which combines musical elements of Phoenix’s journey. There’s nothing like a reggae groove to get folks on the dance floor.
The Jimmy Clinton Band will also be performing their original brand of Americana flavored, danceable rock and roll sound. Clinton brings some great original songs from days gone past, a love of blues and roots music and mixes it with some classic 80’s cool which area music fans have been enjoying since his days in The Larries and later with Jimmy Clinton and the Mean Red Spiders.
Clinton is backed by the super solid and often funky rhythm section of Vincenzo Mele on the electric bass guitar and Jeremy Harman on drums. The trio of accomplished area musicians share their excitement of live performance with the crowd as well as a joke or two along the way!
The Remnants are straight ahead rock and roll at its finest. The four piece group features Bob Hall on vocals and guitar, Kevin McGinnis on lead guitar, Jeff Kidwiler on bass and Randy McClung on drums.
The trio of Hall, McGinnis and Kidwiler has been playing together for over thirty years and McClung has been contributing for the past five years. This allows The Remnants to craft great pop rock songs with clockwork perfection. Touches of 60’s classic rock, 70’s punk, 80’s power blues and 90’s alternative all blend together for a great sound.
Parkersburg native Michael Lutz will bring his energetic roots blues acoustic performance to the show. Lutz’s love of all types of music is evident as he mixes powerful acoustic guitar playing and lyrics for some foot stomping musical bliss. Lutz has been entertaining throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley both as a solo artist and as a member of his latest band Nemean Lion.
Doors will open at 7pm with music beginning around 8pm with The Remnants taking the stage. Tickets are available at the door and are only $10 for this great night full of energetic original rock and roll. There will be over three and a half hours of truly wonderful music. Plus this lineup of musicians is sure to span a extra wide swath of musical influences from blues to reggae, folk to punk, soul to British invasion, all part of the melting pot of styles called rock and roll! This show is 21 and Up with domestic canned beer and some great local microbrews from the North End Tavern being on tap.
Between songs Kevin Gordon is a man of few words, one might even say shy as he thumbs through his small booklet of songs. But once the music starts, one can drop that description as Gordon poetically weaves his lyrics into a gripping story of the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly. Absent of fluff and glam, his songs are a musical snapshot of both good and bad memories, but also a brighter future. One can enjoy Gordon’s musical portrait painting along with Angela Perley & Chris Connor and Michael Iafrate on Friday February 15th at the historic Worthington Ballroom. (See Paypal link below to pre-order tickets.)
In 2012, Gordon released the album Gloryland to wide critical acclaim. Rolling Stone magazine writer Wil Hermes anointed Gordon a “juke-joint professor emeritus” and handed a 3.5 star rating to his latest release. The praise didn’t stop there as both the USA Today and American Songwriter magazine each awarded Gloryland 4 out of 4 stars, otherwise known as an excellent rating.
“Four stars… The sheer brilliance of the lyrics to Colfax/Step in Time alone justifies a top rating for the first album in seven years from this Southern-raised poet/rocker. Gordon sketches a not-so-simple portrait of a junior-high marching band on a bus trip, and every single image feels, tastes, smells and sounds absolutely true” said USA Today reviewer Jerry Shriver.
And it’s that realism which makes Gordon’s music so refreshing in this day of samples, overdubs and a sometimes more glitter than substance recording world. His finely crafted compositions have been recorded by Rolling Stone Keith Richards, the late Levon Helm and others but the real treat is hearing Gordon’s earnest voice paint the picture and put the listener right in the middle of the action.
Sure all these words of adulation are meant to convince, but for the the handful of music lovers that were lucky enough to catch Gordon’s April 2012 Children’s Home Society of WV show, they understand praise. And others can as well. On Friday, February 15th PM Beat Music is proud to welcome Kevin Gordon back to Parkersburg. Gordon will headline an evening of Americana themed songwriters at the historic Worthington Ballroom located at 3414 Roseland Avenue in North Parkersburg, WV. This show will also kick off the 2013 PM Beat Music Series at the Ballroom.
The show will be opened by some very special guests. Angela Perley has been seen singing and playing multiple instruments within several performance configurations. Sometimes solo, at times with The Salty Caramels, but more notably with Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons. Their music blends elements of folk, country, pure Americana, bluegrass, rock & roll and a trip to the county fair thrown in for good measure.
In her younger years, Perley was intrigued by the legendary female voices of other generations. Patsy’s and Loretta’s soft to powerful range infused with a sprinkling of Billie Holiday’s soul can be heard as Perley delivers a song. The Ohio University alumnus (Go Cats!) also dove ear’s first into the extensive OU music library, as well as, the Library of Congress’s online archives as she researched the roots of much of the music we listen to today … without evening giving two thoughts about it’s origins.
Well known throughout the central Ohio region, Perley and the Howlin’ Moons are quickly gaining recognition not only throughout the Midwest but in Europe as well. ”Tune into (Pure 107.8FM’s stream) today around 5 pm Eastern Time to hear the Howlin’ Moons on Roots & Fusion program in Stockport, England (22:00 the show starts)” posted Perley on social media. Enthusiastically adding, “They just played Brooklyn Girls and made a shout out because the program director knew we’d be listening! Really special!”
On this special night Perley will be joined by the Howlin’ Moon’s lead picker, Chris Connor. Sporting his trusty G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy Semi-Hollow guitar, Connor delivers rhythms riffs and leads with the class, timing and finesse of a fine watchmaker. And yes he can bust out the lowdown twang when the need arises. Folks may also be lucky enough to see Connor strap on his trusty Gibson acoustic for a song or two as well.
Opening this great evening of music will be singer/songwriter Michael Iafrate. Like most musicians, Iafrate has enjoyed time playing in duo’s and with his most recent band Michael Iafrate & The Priesthood but be onstage solo for this show. Here’s truth that one must watch what they post on social media … well maybe just what they wear. An absolutely wonderful, impromptu version of the Louvin Brother’s If I Could Only Win Her Love by Michael and his brother Andrew Iafrate, complete with pajamas!
The Parkersburg area native, currently residing in Wheeling, proved to be the consummate performer at a PM Beat show late last year, as he worked through a singers nightmare, aka head-cold and sore throat. But out of that adversity came a wonderful set of music that literally had the audience silently awaiting the next lyric.
Doors will open at 7 pm for this extraordinary show with music beginning around 8 pm. As usual the Ballroom will be serving a lite fair and of course micro brew from the North End Tavern, as well as, domestic flavors in aluminum cans.
Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Paypal link below and also at the Worthington Golf Course snack bar/pro shop. Due to the travel involved for the artists all tickets will be $10, a small price for a full evening of excellent music. Tickets will be available at the door the night of the show, while they last! Don’t be fooled at all by a preconceived notion of an “acoustic show” … this show will be as powerful, poignant and entertaining as any “electric” show one has seen in awhile!
On Friday November 23rd, AC30 will be making the drive north from Huntington to play the Worthington Ballroom. The show will also feature Cadillac Lester, Haggard Wulf and a special performance from Todd Burge & Jimmy Clinton. The show will also help Old Man Rivers Mission by collecting canned goods for a reduced at the door ticket price. Bring 3 cans get in for $8!
PM Beat: How long have you all been playing together?
Ian: “We began playing around in the studio late 2009 and played our first live show with (Alex, Bud, Ryan and myself) New Year’s Eve 2010.”
PM Beat: Is AC30 a creation from any former bands, or did everybody start as new performers/first band?
Ian: “Ryan and I were originally in a short lived band together called Whirling Dervish. Around the middle of 2009 we lost our lead guitarist and Bud, having heard us at a local venue previously, was down to fill the spot. That band shortly faded out and we began hanging out and recording some tracks at Bud’s Trackside Studios. This material eventually turned into the early makings of AC30. Most of that album was done with only Ryan, Bud and me. Alex came along during the process, as well as Doug who had recently moved back from Atlanta. Then, PJ was the last to come on board. Our good buddy, Rod Elkins, also played a couple of shows with us.”
PM Beat: I know the Vox AC30 amp … and you don’t see many bands playing Rickenbacker guitars … was there a focused effort to gravitate toward the equipment based on any particular influencing artists?
Ian: “Well, not really I don’t think … ha-ha. Bud came up with the name and we all really dug it. I suppose it kind of gives you a glimpse of what to expect from us, but since everyone in the band writes, I feel like we’re really across the board stylistically. And no one actually plays an AC30. As for the Ric’s, both Ryan and I have had ours for years, happy coincidence I suppose. Who doesn’t like a Ric?”
PM Beat: I appreciate you guys playing on Nov. 23rd at the historic Worthington Ballroom and you seem to be open to gigs … how many shows do you normally like to play a month?
Ian: “We appreciate the offer to play that room! When it comes to shows, I suppose it depends on what else is going on. If we’re trying to record, our focus is mostly on that. But when we’re playing we like to play about 6-8 times a month. Given that everyone has a day job, we’re pretty much restricted to Thurs-Sat for shows. So we focus on short weekend runs around the region.”
PM Beat: Can you think of any one show in particular, where everything just seemed to align and flow, and when you looked out to the audience the band was shocked by the sheer number of people and the amount of fun they were having?
Ian: “We’re still a relatively new band, so as of yet we haven’t played any enormous shows really. But this past Halloween show in Huntington might have been just about our best show yet. All the elements were there for that one. The band was playing very well, the sound was tight and there were a couple hundred people in the audience just eating up everything we threw at them. Everything just seemed to click and it was a blast on our end.”
PM Beat: It is show business, with the duty of the band to both play and entertain … who are some artists, which you may have seen live or via media, which have a performance style which AC30 enjoys/incorporates?
Ian: “That’s one of the aspects I believe we’re still getting comfortable with, stage presence. I think we put on pretty good show, but granted, we’re no KISS … ha-ha. Everyone adds their own element and stage persona. We don’t really think about that in terms of emulating any one. We all like the Who, those guys definitely had presence.”
PM Beat: I’m a firm believer that egos are destructive in the music business and that bands need a thick skin and calm demeanor to get through the unhappy things that pop up from time to time … what is the smallest crowd you have ever played before that really made you scratch your head and wonder “what happened?”
Ian: “Yea, one of the strongest things about our band is the fact that egos are left at the door. So many times you can get all the best players together, but they’ll form the worst band. The camaraderie of our band is one of my favorite aspects of AC30. We’re all in it for the same reason, to make music we love and to have fun doing it. You can’t take this stuff too seriously or you’ll drive yourself crazy. Shitty shows happen, that’s just the nature of the beast. Sometimes the smallest crowd can be one of the funnest shows. For instance, we played in Knoxville to about 7-10 people. Drove 5+ hours to get there and was a little beat but I felt that it was one of our best shows because those 7 people really dug what we were doing.”
PM Beat: Every bands has different aspirations and realities due to day to day life … if you could add something (a tour with a well- known band, chance to record with a well-known producer, increased media recognition of your work so far, adding another talented musician to bring a new angle to the bands sound, etc…) to the world of AC30 what do you think the band would enjoy gaining?
Ian: “Like you said, we’re realistic. We don’t really have aspirations to be as big as the Beatles or anything. Personally, I really like the chemistry of our band. I think we all come together and work really well as a group. We all have our own strengths that contribute to our sound and overall workings as a band. Having Bud and Ryan in the band especially helps out with our recording process. It’s not like we have to shell out tons of money and desperately try to knock out X amount of songs in a weekend. We can focus on making great records. Though, we do enjoy getting out of our normal confines to do a little work elsewhere as with Eddie Ashworth (Athens) or Roger Nichols (Nashville). I think our main focus at this point is making the best records we can and gaining as many fans as possible to share them with. So yea, if Petty needs an opener anytime soon I’m sure we’d be more than happy to oblige.”
PM Beat: Fans, other bands, maybe even some band mates do some hysterical things from time to time while you are performing … does any event spring to mind where AC30 just had to step back and get a good laugh out of their system before starting or finishing a live song?
Ian: “Our Huntington shows always come with some nice banter both from the crowd and from us as well. So you never know what you’re going to hear, but it can get pretty comical at times. One of the things that comes to mind would be when we were covering “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin” with PJ singing and as opposed to the song’s normal city shout outs, PJ decided to add WV towns on the fly instead and it worked out incredibly well. We all about lost it on that one. Maybe you had to be there.. lol.”
PM Beat: I’m sure everyone in the band loves creating music … but when you step away from the band what are some of the non-musical things that you enjoy or are a little fanatical about?
Ian: “I think we all have our own things we do outside the band. Granted we’re not necessarily a “young” band so we all definitely have our responsibilities to take care of. I’m still cutting my teeth as a promoter here in Huntington, founding the Huntington Music & Arts Festival back in 2010. Bud just keeps getting better with his recording craft and taking part in starting the ‘Live at Trackside’ video series. The rest of the fellas all have day jobs/girlfriends…etc as well. So sometimes when we’re not making music, we’re still doing music stuff I suppose.”
If there’s one thing that can be said about Thanksgiving, it is consistent. Always falling on the fourth Thursday of November and generally providing a day of feasting, lounging and snoozing for most people. The next day takes on a whole meaning, as folks are ready to get out of the house and socialize. There’s no better place to do it than with a line up of hot bands! Plus also donating non perishable canned goods (13-17oz. cans) to benefit Parkersburg area food banks is a wonderful thing.
On Friday November 23rd, Huntington rockers AC30 will make their way to the historic Worthington Ballroom in North Parkersburg. Uniquely named after the historic Vox guitar amplifier of the same designation, one could also view historic Vox AC30 amp users as influences for the power pop band. Pete Townsend, Peter Buck, Keith Richards, Brian May, the Edge and many more have crafted some of rock catchiest riffs through the amps speakers … and one can ad AC30 (the band) to that list as well!
AC30 features Bud Carroll – Guitar/Vox, Alex Mccoy – Drums/Vox, Ian Thornton – Bass/Vox, Ryan Weaver – Guitar/Vox, Doug Woodard – Acoustic Guitar/Vox, Rod Elkins – Guitar/Percussion/Aux Man and P.J. Woodard – Organ/Keys. Yes you read it right, seven performers focused on creating one, big lush sound.
While AC30 is fast approching their two year birthday as a band, the group continues to work hard at numerous live shows throughout the tri-state area bringing their music to the people. All this adds up to crisp, clean, tight and powerful music for the masses!
Also joining AC30 on the ballroom stage will be Marietta’s Cadillac Lester. The power rockabilly trio have been jamming it old school in the Mid Ohio Valley playing a unique brand of 50′s & 60′s physco-rockabilly. The trio consists of Jesse Forrest singing and strumming a big ole hollowbody electric, Tom Trout providing vocals and laying it down on the skins and David McIntyre slapping an upright bass until it pops some low end groove!
Folks who have been listening to live music in the Parkersburg area for the past 30 years understand the Todd Burge and Jimmy Clinton musical relationship. They’ve been working together since the early 80′s on all types of musical projects. Of course, both are also well known for their solo accomplishments. Burge as one of WV’s hardest working acoustic songwriters and Clinton as the Americana rocker with diverse musical influences. Mix the two together and the result is some mighty fine pickin’ and storytellin’!
Doors will open at 7pm and it is advised to get there on time. The Worthington Ballroom is a great venue, but it does have occupancy regulations (first 200 people) and we are expecting a huge show! Tickets at the door will be $10 however … a person bringing 3 cans (approx. 13-17 oz.) of non perishable food items to the door and can get in for $8 at the door, while tickets last. Food collected will benefit Old Man River’s Mission pantry.
The show is 21 and up. Also featured will be microbrew from the North End Tavern.
The Worthington Ballroom is located at 3414 Roseland Avenue in Parkersburg, WV. It is located at the corner of Roseland and Fairview avenues and across the street from Parkersburg Catholic High School.
You know the night … the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. November 21st this year to be exact. Friends from out-of-town visiting, or maybe just some local friends with a rare Thursday holiday and a day off from work. Sure you could hang out at home or you could go to a crowded bar and fight your way through the boredom … or you could come out and get rocked by Jesse Smith and the Holy Ghost at the historic Worthington Ballroom in North Parkersburg!
For those of you who don’t know, the former Zao rocker and founder, has assembled a new project that needs to be seen and heard! Sure one could look back at Smith’s many past successes, but as they say the future is now. And now means new songs and a new band!
“Over the years I have struggled to find my niche as a songwriter,” Smith said. “I’m a huge fan of heavy music, but I’ve always been into all types of stuff. When I began writing these songs, I just wrote from the heart, with no preconceived notions of what they would turn out to be.” And yes it rocks!
The show will also feature the power duo Farnsworth from Charleston, WV. Farnsworth is composed of drummer Jason Reese and guitarist/vocalist Chris Vance. Influenced by listening to many classic rock albums from the 70′s, the duo packs a ton of punch into their retro flavored power groove. If you dig a good riff, and like to feel it too, Farnsworth will not disappoint!
Returning to the Worthington Ballroom for this show will also be Parkersburg rockers, The Remnants. The four piece group relies on influences from a wide range of rock and roll from the 60′s to present. But don’t think for a moment that this is “classic rock” … it is original rock! The Remnants are masterful in putting together 4 minute long blasts of power pop, a trademark signature sound and just simply great songs!
As if three bands weren’t enough for one evening the show will kick off with a special performance by area songwriters Michael J. Iafrate and Mike Lutz. The two songwriters will open the show by trading off one song at a time, certain to keep the first slot very interesting. Deep, dark, joyous, failure, love, hate, promise, kindness and the weight of the world will likely be debated.
Doors will open at 7pm and it is advised to get there on time. The Worthington Ballroom is a great venue, but it does have occupancy regulations and we are expecting a huge show! Tickets are $7 in advance by using the PayPal link below. You will receive a confirmation email from email@example.com a little while after you have completed the checkout. Your name will be added to the will call list as well. Tickets at the door will be $10.
The show is 21 and up. Also featured will be microbrew from the North End Tavern.
The Worthington Ballroom is located at 3414 Roseland Avenue in Parkersburg, WV. It is located at the corner of Roseland and Fairview avenues and across the street from Parkersburg Catholic High School.
Folks and fellow citizens of our great country, I come here with a promise, one which you can count on, one which to look to the future, Friday November 9th to be exact. My promise is simple, a great night of rock and roll. In fact, since we will be at the Worthington Ballroom (3414 Roseland Ave.,Parkersburg), we can even call it a celebration as we move our rock and roll agenda forward! But don’t worry, there’s no votes to cast or commercials to watch … just fun to be had as The Jimmy Clinton Band, Haggard Wulf (from Morgantown) and Ben Davis Jr. (from the great town of Pomeroy, Ohio).
Jimmy Clinton (guitar and vocals), Vincenzo Mele (bass and Townsend-esque jumping splits) and Jeremy Harman (drums and facial expressions) will be sharing their platform of kick-ass, original roots rock and roll. Drawing on blues masters, folk legends and new south rockers, the Jimmy Clinton Band provides powerful blasts of original rock and roll guaranteed to move your booty!
What do Johnny Cash, The Misfits, Slayer, Molly Hatchet, Robert Johnson and Hank Williams have in common? Nope … they’re not all dead but they do all reside in Haggard Wulf’s musical influences! Make no mistake, the Morgantown duo of guitarist Frank Gunner and drummer/vocalist Lee Roy Jenkins mash all those influences up and distill them down to some mighty unique tunes. Haggard Wulf claims to be “hellbent for haggardness” which translates to raw energy. Gunner and his Gretsch hollowbody provide the groove while Jenkins adds the exclamation points from his Neil Peart-esque (not) drum kit while delivering quirky lyrics about the good, the bad and the ugly while living a haggard-ass life.
Ben Davis Jr. is a young man of several beliefs. “I’ve learned that if you really want to change the world you need to base your lifestyle on the principle of love,” Davis Jr. exclaims. That, and several others, are the foundation on which his lyrics are built. As a fan of Todd Snider, The Avett Brothers, Butch Walker, Ryan Adams and more, his music falls solidly into the Americana/Folk genre. Armed with steady acoustic guitar strumming, a smattering of harmonica and his honest voice, Davis Jr. opens up a little window into his personal feelings of finding happiness, bittersweet reality and the spirit which drives on to look to the future … some things of which we all can relate or at least use a reminder. http://
Tickets for the 21 & up event will be available for $5 the night of the show. Doors will open at 7pm with music starting around 8pm. As usual libations from the North End Tavern will be available for purchase, as well as other canned goods. My fellow Americans, I’ll see you Friday night!
(On this rainy Wednesday, I decided to reprint a story I had posted about a couple years ago on Facebook. Myself and several Willie Phoenix fans who were there at the start attended the show and had a great time. It’s also a little bit of an original Parkersburg rock and roll history lesson over the past 30 years. Enjoy!)
It was almost 28 years ago when I first saw Willie Phoenix perform live…way back in the “Shadowlords” days. The venue was the old Sly Fox…and I mean…OLD…Sly Fox. The year was 1983 and the late Fred Starkey was having a few small music shows in the bar, with performers tucked in the corner of the room. I recall Mike Morningstar, Liz Pennock and some other long forgotten performers (sorry…we had too much fun sometimes), playing some great solo gigs. The small shows were pretty well recieved and Fred decided to open a music room in a vacant building next door to the bar (up Market St).( Unfortunately the venue burned down in fall of 1984, and the bar moved into the building on the corner of 13th and Market Street until another untimely fire occured in spring of 2009.)
But when the music room opened, that’s when things really started rocking! At the time, there weren’t a lot of venues committed to having live music (yes…just like today!), but Fred was committed to havin a good time, and the Sly Fox shows were definitely a good time! A few blocks up the street, Dan Kucera and Brad Upchurch were running Current Records and Tapes, plus Brad was singing in a band called The Waves. The Waves were comprised of Brad on vocals, Kevin McGinnis and Bob Hall on guitar, Jeff Kidwiler on bass, and Stew Shaw on drums. They played 3 to 4 minute little blasts of refreshing, original rock n’ roll, dare I say with a lil’ prog punk influence. Current Records became the impromtu stomping ground for live music info in the area, and many area musicians could be found buying a LP(they were made out of vinyl, and played on a turn….table…) ”on sale” for $4.99, and bullshitting about local shows and concerts.
Parkersburg was beginning to grow a nice little “underground” music scene. Several area bands were beginning to spring up and make a statement. The aforementioned Waves, The Planetonics, The Larries, Smut…and last but not least, Ethiopia. They were tired of being subjected to the worn out musical ideals that plagued the few, available Parkersburg area music venues…”play 4 sets with a 15 minute break”…”play a lot of country music”…”play songs that people know”…”don’t play any of that weird shit”, were some of the favorite phrases used by area bar owners back in those days. Well the bands of Underground Parkersburg, said what the hell, and started doing things their way! The old Sly fox was instrumental in providing a venue for these bands to perform. Thank you Fred!
Willie Phoenix and the Shadowlords were instrumental in helping to bring out huge crowds to those early shows. Just how Willie ended up in Parkersburg is a little hazy, but I believe it was through a former Parkersburg resident, who was active in the Columbus area music scene, and told Brad about this performer he had to see…Willie Phoenix! Next thing you know Willie is in town, fresh off his 1982 national release on A&M Records, but now out backing the independently released Willie Phoenix and the Shadowlords LP “We Love Noise”. (The Waves competently held down opening act duties.) Willie brought the hard blues to Parkerburg…(sure we all knew that Led Zeppelin were some English dudes cranking up old blues riff’s through Marshall stacks, and we loved it)…but here was Willie, with a long family history in the blues music scene, playing it loud and proud, directly from the heart! The energy level was off the charts, and Willie was off the stage and onto the tables…the chairs…the floor…all over the house!(Think of Prince in Purple Rain, but Willie was doin’ it before the movie was ever made…)
Well folks I know it all sounds like ancient history…but you’re in luck…Willie is still jammin! And Saturday night you can see this man lay down the gospel about love, peace, and rock and roll blues at the Marietta Brewing Company! The show starts at 10pm (dinners over it’s time to rock) and there is NO COVER. If you’re feelin’ cold and got the winter blues…this show is exactly the remedy you need!
PM Beat Music is excited to announce an upcoming concert which spans a 30 year history of original Parkersburg rock and roll. While many fine original area bands have come and gone, several are still actively making music in our region. And often like fine wine, the artist only get better or should one say more focused with age!
The histroic Worthington Ballroom (3414 Roseland Avenue, Parkersburg WV – the corner of Fairview Ave. & Roseland Ave. across from Parkersburg Catholic High School) will be the site for the Saturday October 13th show. The doors will open at 6pm and music will start shortly thereafter. All the food and libations of a rocking Octoberfest celebration will be available (ages 21 and up), including refreshments from Parkersburg’s only brewpub, the North End Tavern.
Now the fun stuff! The show will feature The Greens, The Jimmy Clinton Band, The Remnants and Nick Barry, all of which have had an interesting impact on the Parkersburg area live music scene over the past 30 years.
What can one say about Nick Barry that hasn’t already been said? Barry rose to prominence as a Mean Red Spider in the early Nineties, but went on to write many of his own songs. Mixing modern social dialog with classic protest flair, Barry offers an interesting and satirical viewpoint on the many aspects of common day to day events in Mid Ohio Valley life!
The Remnants may be the most steadily rehearsing band in Parkersburg history. All based on the joy of playing music and writing songs. If one has not have heard of The Remnants, it’s ok, they play only a handful of live shows each year, but therein lies the beauty. Four guys making music because they love to play and then delivering it on their own terms. Guitarist/vocalist Bob Hall, guitarist Kevin McGinnis and bassist Jeff Kidwiler have been playing together since their early Eighties days in The Waves. Drummer Randy McClung joined the band a litle over five years ago and provides the punchy backbeat to Hall’s 45rpm length blasts of pure guitar pop!
The Jimmy Clinton Band is rapidly approaching its one year anniversary, but Jimmy Clinton has been making music since the early Eighties. The Larries, Jimmy Clinton & The Mean Red Spiders, Clinton & Burge and Jimmy Clinton Solo have been a few of the guitatist/songwriters musical forays. Clinton is now joined by bassist Vincenzo Mele and drummer Jeremy Harmon and together the power trio revisit some old Clinton songs and some new ones, all befitting the category of kick ass Americana rock!
Last but not least we welcome The Greens! Guitarist/vocalist Andy Tuck, drummer/vocalist Nathan Yoke and bassist/vocalist Ben Sweeney have been working hard at entertaining folks throughout the Appalachian hills and beyond. Playing over a hundred shows a year has allowed the trio to form a powerful bond and energy which it transfers directly to the fans. Rock and soul, folk and funk are all brewed together for a tasty musical elixir for the mind and the feet!
Entry can be purchased in advance at the Worthington Golf Course Snack Bar (lower level facing the golf course) for $7 until 4pm Saturday. Your “name and shipping info” from Paypal will be on the “will call” list at the door and used for your admittance into the show. Entry will be $10 a person the night of the show. This show is for a 21 and up audience.
Are you a worker? Have you been a worker? If so, then today is your holiday, Labor Day. Historians generally cite that the Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea of a holiday for labor spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers across America.
Throughout the years Labor Day celebrations began to grow and several municipal ordinances were passed during 1885 and 1886 to recognize the holiday. Not surprisingly the first state to introduce Labor Day legislation was New York, but the first state to pass a Labor Day law was Oregon on February 21, 1887. As the year progressed, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York all created a Labor Day holiday by legislative means. Soon Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania would enact Labor Day legislation. By 1894, 30 states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and then all the states.
But just exactly what is Labor Day? The Department of Labor describes Labor Day as follows, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” As one can see, Labor Day is one of our few all inclusive holiday’s which sets no boundaries based upon a person’s religion or country of origin or involvement in any specific organization.
Some are fortunate enough to grow up in a home where their mother and father were part of our countries workforce in the 1940’s. While many of our men and women served around the world as World War II raged, many other men and women labored tirelessly at home to help guarantee us victory in this horrific conflict. Not only did the war force domestic workers into improbable careers for that era, often symbolized by the well-known depiction of “Rosie the Riveter,” but our domestic workforce also met the demands of wartime rationing and all the stresses placed upon the traditional family. Not only did workers help build our country, but they also helped our country to survive. Certainly many brave men and women have died valiantly defending our great nation, but also remember that many hardworking men and women perished while building a nation worth defending.
The great unified workforces of the 1900’s also stood together and addressed a long list of issues important to all the workers in our great country. They negotiated with employers and spoke with local, state and federal elected officials about the importance of weekends for rest and family time, overtime pay, an 8-hour workday, a guarantee of a minimum wage for their work, paid vacation days, sick days, health benefits, retirement benefits and compensation when a worker loses their job through no fault of their own.
But workers also made great strides in a couple other areas, strides that are often forgotten and taken for granted or worse yet, scoffed at today by some ungrateful citizens. Workers demanded safer working conditions. Employers often forced workers to work in overcrowded and outdated structures which faced huge risks from fire. These conditions also forced workers to endure extreme conditions such has heat, cold, improper ventilation, biological hazards and more. As America began to further industrialize, workers were faced with even greater risks from all the things listed earlier plus, dangerous machinery, toxic fumes and gases, chemicals and carcinogens, highly flammable and explosive work environments and other factors created during the boom in manufacturing after World War II. Look around the Mid-Ohio Valley and you can see many of the facilities, or their successors, in operation today. Chemical plants, steel mills, power plants, coal mines and many other workplaces where workers rallied together to not only create a safer work environment but a safer community as well.
One other important area of labor’s influence is in the creation of child labor laws. As America industrialized, many families moved from rural to urban communities. The rapid expansion of American industry, not unlike that seen in many Asian countries today, led to an extreme demand of workers. Children were often employed because they could fit into and access areas which were difficult for adults, but probably the two main reasons were children were easy to control and they could be paid less than an adult worker. At one time nearly 25% of the American workforce was under the age of sixteen, often working in very dangerous conditions. Eventually the Fair Labor Standards Act and other state and federal laws began to address the problem child labor. These conditions are often difficult for Americans to visualize today, but one must imagine that parents today would not want their children to be excluded from an education, the sports team, music lessons, dance class or any family activity because they were working in a factory as an 11 year old.
Many battles have been fought by the men and women of labor since the beginning of our country. There have been wins and losses along the way, but also an ongoing desire to raise everyone’s standard of living, not just a few. Does anyone truly believe that the raises given by an employer 100 years ago or today are given out of the goodness of the employer’s heart? The answer is a resounding no for the majority of employers. As you listen to the many political speeches to be delivered this election season, pay attention to those who lean towards the working class of America and keep both a wary eye and mind focused on those who believe that unions and worker groups have outlived their usefulness and that corporate well-being is the key to our countries future. Every day unions are fighting so that all workers, both organized and unorganized, can raise their standard of living, build a strong, community engaged middle class and provide a little nicer opportunity for our next generation.
It is your Labor Day. Relax, remember and enjoy!
When one thinks of Chicago several thoughts immediately come to mind … Cubs, Bears and Bulls … “the Windy City” … Sears Tower … and the epicenter of much of America’s great blues music history. And on Friday evening a true living blues legend will visit the Court Street Grill in Pomeroy, OH.
Possibly no other scene has quite a historic family tree like the blues and John Primer occupies several branches. Primer was born in Camden, MS in 1945 and the aspiring guitarist made his way to Chicago in the early 1960’s, answering to the call of the great bluesmen of the day. Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, B.B. King, Albert King and Elmore James would all be major influences to the young Primer.
At the age of 18, Primer began seriously paying his dues in the Chicago blues scene. He found a gig in the house band at the legendary Southside blues venue, Theresa’s Lounge, and his nine-year run allowed him to meet and play with many blues greats.
In 1979, Primer joined the Willie Dixon All-Stars but soon left to join Muddy Water’s band. Primer was with Water’s until his death in 1983. Primer’s talents were no longer a secret and he was soon hired by Magic Slim to become one of the Teardrops. Primer and Slim formed a daunting guitar partnership which lasted until the early 1990’s when Primer began to move from sideman to main event.
Primer would return to the roots of the classic ’50s Chicago blues sound. Primer’s precise guitar work and husky vocals would soon be backed by The Real Deal, an all-star backing band featuring harpist Billy Branch, pianist David Maxwell, and bassist Johnny B. Gayden. When not fronting the Real Deal, Primer also keeps himself busy performing with the critically acclaimed Chicago Blues: A Living History Band with many of his contemporaries.
So know that one knows some blues history, the next step is to see Primer live, and frankly there is no better venue that I know of (literally speaking) than the Court Street Grill to witness a true blues legend at work. The show starts at 8pm and promises to be one of the hottest tickets of the year! For more info visit www.courtstreetgrill.com or call 740-992-6524 … or else you’ll be dealing with your own blues.