On New Year’s Eve Day, Leroy kicked off the Northeast tour here in NYC. Rico, his lap steel player since the early days, was not on this jaunt so I got to jump in the rental car and see what it’s like to be on the road for four shows. He’s known by many names and projects—Hellbound Glory, The eXcavators, Leon Virgil Bowers, and Leroy Virgil. I’ve created a Smart Playlist in iTunes to encompass all his work. Having listened to little else since Thanksgiving, I was ready to kick off 2016 with the chance to see things from his side of the stage.
That’s what you get when Wu-Tang raised you.
This video is 110%. Over the top, stoopid budget, win-win fearless fun. It broke YouTube with 1.4 million plays in 24 hours. I bemoan a lot of the modern pop, hip-hop, and country that’s being played on radio and sausaged through media. This is when it all works.
Fresh on their tour with Kid Rock, our very own Blake got to see Hellbound Glory play and got a backstage interview with Leroy. How cool is that? Better still? He asked all the questions we want answered:
Not only did Rachel Brooke come to NYC to sing with a full band, we got to spend time together. Rachel with a full band is the bee’s knees. On bass is Brooks Robbins and he is just the coolest cat. We sang Rocky Horror Picture Show songs in the van on the way to the gig. Her brother Andy is on drums and he is so good, and is a fellow sound aficionado. On guitar is Nick who gave me my perfect show moment when I heard him start up Serpentine Blues. During the show, Rachel sang a few songs with just her guitar, and there wasn’t a dry eye in Public Assembly during Life Sentence Blues.
In late 70s and through the 80s and 90s, there was a television show on local NYC Public Access called “The Coca Crystal Show“. Coca is my mother’s best friend, and she took me under her wing by appointing me cameraman for the show. By the power of YouTube, I get to watch one of the best shows on television again.
Rachel Brooke’s new album, “A Killer’s Dream” shows her progression as an artist, and it’s a joy to be a part of as a fan. I still think everyone needs to own her Demos. They are simply a woman and her guitar and it is perfection. With a base so strong, she can only go up. This album wonderfully showcases her progression as a songwriter, instrumentalist, and band member. She collaborates with Viva le Vox (love them!) and I get the feeling they were like kids in a candy store picking and choosing all the instruments heard on this album. It’s old blues and bobby socks.
LOVE THIS (and the entire album is worth the cash!)
“With a Possessed by Paul James song, the soul is where the song begins; soul is where it is built from.” – Saving Country Music
Recently, Possessed by Paul James unveiled his new website. The photo was taken at Muddy Roots 2011 during a set so powerful, the winds came and shook the entire tent.
And there’s an EPK. Nothing is cooler than an electronic press kit. He talks of community as we’re all over this. We’re the filmmakers, the audience, the interviewer, the trucker hat, and the t-shirt.
I can’t think of a better way to introduce someone who doesn’t know about Molly Gene other than this video. It was filmed by my friend, Nick Lindsay, and he has captured the hurricane that is her performance. Muddy Roots friends of ours are in the photo collage. I love it.
Again, I have receipts, notes, stickers, phone photos and videos, and somehow they tell the Muddy Roots story. The stink from my luggage of mud, sweat, and moonshine was enough to keep airport security from thoroughly searching my bag after they found my stash of Gatorade in the side pocket.
This year was about extremes. There were extremely high points and extremely low points. For instance, I, and everyone else, still have not recovered from Possessed by Paul James’s cancellation. I can only shudder to think what must have happened to keep him from us. I send him my best wishes and good luck. That said, DAMN! Eeeeveryone was looking forward to his set. And my personal loss on not seeing Black Eyed Vermillion on stage 3, or anywhere on the grounds. I’ve had a fan crush on Gary Lindsey since he bled and screamed for me back in the AssJack days. Plus, I want to hear his version of the Tom Waits interview.
There were many high points as well. There were sets that melted my face off. James Leg. Scissormen. Dad Horse Experience. Husky Burnette. Lone Wolf. They all KILLED it. But the man who gave me my Muddy Roots religious experience was Dr. Ralph Stanley. Holy moly. Not a dry eye under that tent. I’ll get to all this in a few…