Stook's The Soundtrack To My Minneapolis is a diamond of a disc for those of you who like their Americana with a twist of northern air. Perfectly produced by Caleb Garn and wryly performed by Stook, Garn, Jordan Carlson and Christopher Becknell, Stook's piano playing is reminiscent of the late, great Nicky Hopkins. Catch them Mar. 10 at Coffee Grounds in St. Paul.
The Tubes Project: Original Tubes synthesizer player Michael Cotten is currently in production on a feature length documentary about the musically nimble and theatrically inclined band that brought the world White Punks On Dope back in 1975. Their surreal live shows have never been surpassed. If you don't believe me, check out the official Tubes Project web site if you want to see just how wild The Tubes shows were.
Seventeen Evergreen's Life Embarrasses Me On Planet Earth is one of the best releases that I've heard in a couple of years. Imagine Pink Floyd's A Saucer Full Of Secrets with Robert Fripp playing guitar over modern rhythms. An ethereal electronic masterpiece for the ages.
At the age when most people retire, Eric Burdon is still out there playing hundreds of shows a year. The 65-year-old blues rocker and founder of The Animals and War does not appear to be hanging it up soon, either. Like the original bluesmen that he emulated in his youth, Eric Burdon has aged into the elder statesman of British blues. A crack band, most of who could be his grandchildren, backs his latest release, Soul Of A Man.
RIP - Could 2006 be the worst year for musician deaths? It doesn't get any more horrific than this month.
DAVE LEPARD (David Hellman) Found dead on Jan. 20 at the age of 25. The singer/guitarist was a member of the Swedish sleaze rock band Crashdiet.
REID MENZER Died Jan. 22. Hit by a car while riding a skateboard in York, UK. The singer/bassist was 14 and a member of Autumn's Rising.
JON GEORGE Died Jan. 24 of a heart attack (Rock) He was 23, played guitar and harmonica, and was a member of Twist & Shout and The Rivals.
BRENT DOWE Died Jan. 29 of a heart attack. (Reggae) Born June 29, 1946, the singer was a member of The Melodians (“Rivers Of Babylon” and “Swing And Dine”).
PIG CHAMPION Died Jan. 31. He had been suffering from an untreated kidney infection and the flu. (Punk) Born Nov. 4, 1958, the guitarist was a member of Poison Idea.
RON CAPONE Died Feb. 1 in Shreveport, LA, after a long illness. He was 72, and a sound engineer and drummer who worked with Dan Garner, Isaac Hayes (“Theme From Shaft”), Otis Redding (“Dock Of The Bay”), Booker T. And The MGs, Cheap Trick and Elvis Presley.
BOBBY MOORE Died Feb. 1 in Montgomery, AL, of kidney failure. (R&B) Born 1931 in New Orleans, LA, the singer led Bobby Moore And The Rhythm Aces (“Searching For My Love,” “Try My Love Again”)
JASON SEARS (Jason Kemper Sears) Died Feb. 2 in Tijuana, Mexico, of pulmonary thrombosis. (Rock) Born Jan. 23, 1968, the singer was a member of RKL (Rich Kids On LSD)
PAT JOHNSON (Samuel Joseph Johnson IV) Died Feb. 3 in Blue Ash, OH. (Jazz) Born Mar.17, 1924 in Cincinnati, he played saxophone and piano and worked with Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong and Johnny Hodges.
RICHARD GRIBBLE Died Feb. 4 in Fuzhou, Taiwan, after being stabbed in an attack by five people after a dice game went bad. (Rock) He was 23 and the singer/guitarist of the band Dot.
SLINKY SHARP (Jermaine Cole) Died Feb. 4, at the age of 30, in a car accident in North Carolina. (Reggae/Caribbean) Born in Kingston, Jamaica, the singer did “Woman Don't Worry” and “Change Your Wicked Ways.”
CHRISTOPHER D. RILEY (aka 747) Murdered Feb. 7 in De Soto, KS, at the age of 26. (Rap)
GERALD GEORGETTIS Died Feb. 8. Hanged himself aboard an airplane. He was 56, and tour manager and sound engineer who worked with The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction, Henry Rollins and Pink Floyd.