Roots Rock Update: BoDeans, Old 97’s, Free Music

Great bit of info to pass to my friends this week: two free audio downloads, some excellent  roots-rock videos from the old Letterman show, Rob’s Top 5 Shuffle and a whole bunch of stuff that you (exhibiting behavior – reading this – that shows you are either really smart or really buzzed) are going to be glad to know…


Rhino is releasing the Collector’s Edition of Indianapolis faves and the roots rock pride of Waukesha, Wisconsin’s BoDeans first album – “Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams”. It includes a remastered and expanded version of the original CD and an unreleased 1985 performance filmed in Minneapolis on the DVD. Captured on July 15, 1985, the video is from the legendary First Avenue. During the hour-long show, the band played 17 songs, previewing several tracks that would appear on the group’s debut almost a year later.
1. “She’s A Runaway”
2. “Fadeaway”
3. “Still The Night”
4. “Rickshaw Riding”
5. “Angels”
6. “Misery”
7. “The Strangest Kind”
8. “Say You Will”
9. “Ultimately Fine”
10. “That’s All”
11. “Lookin’ For Me Somewhere”
12. “Try And Try”
13. “Sail Away” -Demo
14. “Amen” – Demo
15. “Small Town Ways” – Demo
16. “Janey” -New Recording
17. “Turn Your Radio On” – Demo


VIDEO: BoDeans on Letterman back in 1987


MORE ROOTS NEWS: After appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman back in January, the Randy Rogers Band hits The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Monday March 16.


Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller is planning a June 9 release for his fourth solo album, a self-titled affair on Shout! Factory that he recorded during January and February in Dallas. Miller — whose last solo album, “The Believer,” came out in 2006 — worked on “Rhett Miller” with Salim Nourallah, who produced the Old 97’s 2008 release, “Blame it on Gravity”


Miller told Billboard Magazine that he “plans to tour in support of “Rhett Miller,” both on his own and with Old 97’s. In fact, he says, the band, which will be on the road this summer, is thinking about incorporating solo sets by Miller and bassist Murry Hammond as part of an ‘evening with’ concept.”

Interesting interview with MySpace Music President Courtney Holt on the website –
A peek into stuff that is worth reading if you are a musician or a music fan.

“What we can expect down the road: a do-it-yourself tool for small-time artists to add their content to MySpace Music, perhaps. More music videos, and more music-centric video programming. And more revenue streams, including merchandise and ticketing. ‘We’re going to be doing that in a big way in the near future,’ Holt said. But the real nemesis would be a music offering from Facebook, the social network that snuck up from behind to surpass MySpace in global traffic. That’s a rumor that’s arisen from time to time and refuses to go away. ‘I don’t know what they’re doing,’ Holt said on the prospect of a Facebook music service, ‘and I don’t have a comment on it.’

DOWNLOAD A FREE SONG Here’s one that popped up on one of the blogs I read. Worth passing along…
Click here to check Dave Alvin (of The Blasters) covering Jackson Browne’s “Redneck Friend”.


Big Rock Candy Mountain is a Chicago roots/trucker/rocker blog. Finally updated for the first time since late January – they have just posted a quirky-yet-killer downloadable mp3. Just wanted to spread the word.
The Big Rock Candy Greasy Fingers Mix
(mp3 link follows track listings)
1. Rock Bottom (Wheels On Fire)
2. Lookin’ For A Thrill (John Paul Keith and the 145’s)
3. If I Get Low Enough (Johnny Dollar)
4. The Good Times (The Chatham Singers)
5. Downtown (Mott The Hoople)
6. My Own Kick Going (Ronnie Self)
7. Wild West (Quintron)
8. Blue Train Station (The Cynics)
9. Party Dolls And Wine (Red Steagall)
10. Veronica Lake (New Bomb Turks)
11. The Lord Is Coming Back (Reverend Beat Man)
12. Every Goddam Thing To Hell (Rev. Frost)
13. There’s A Higher Power (Brother Claude Ely)
14. Relief Is Just A Swallow Away (Eddie Noack)
15. The World’s Greatest Sinner (The A-Bones)
16. Swing Low Sweet Truth (The Mustang)
17. Dirty Nails (Tennessee Tearjerkers)
18. Get It (Scat Rag Boosters)
19. Back Door Man (Black Oak Arkansas)
20. It’s The Law (Bob Log III)
21 Daddy Wants A Cold Beer (Menster Phips and the Phipsters)
22. If You Don’t Like My Apples (Gentleman Jim)
23. Truck Stop Girl (Little Feat)
24. Atom Bomb Baby (Carlos and the Banditos)
25. One More Beer (Big Bill Lister)
26. Satisfied (Elder Charles D. Beck)
Download “The Big Rock Candy Greasy Fingers Mix” (mp3)


Inside the randomness that is my digital library. We put the ipod on shuffle and the first five songs that come up each week I share. Comments always welcome between friends…


1. When The Love is Good” – BoDeans
Hey, we just talked about these guys! I have been seeing Sammy and Kurt and the BoDeans for more than 20 years. Damn. A great, great live show (always best at the Vogue) and one of the bands that stayed together, held pretty true to their roots, and can still get after it live. The “Home” album was recorded following a tour where they opened for U2 in 1989. Some of the Edge and Bono influence here. But that’s OK.


2. “Darkness on the Edge of Town” – Martin Zeller
Anyone remember the Gear Daddies? Zeller was the leader of the late 80’s band out of Minnesota. Raspy, Springsteen-esque rock, both on their albums and on this cut. Sung with more a sense of resignation (and with a pedal steel) than the subtle hope in Bruce’s original. From an album of Springsteen tunes called “One Step Up, Two Steps Back”.


3. Cold & Empty” – Kid Rock
At this point, everyone realizes Kid Rock just want to be Bob Seger, right? Because this cut has 70’s production all over it, and this was before he put out that “Night Moves” rewrite featuring the Skynyrd and Warran Zevon hooks. And I defend Kid Rock. He’s maintained a (good) career when many, many others from 15 years ago have not. And he rocks live. Still probably the dirtiest, drunkest, party-crazy audience I’ve ever been a part of was for his show in the infield at the Speedway a couple years ago for Carb Day.


4. ”Lookin’ For Job” – Todd Snider
This stoner boy has become an Americana music hero. This one is from “The Devil You Know” from 2006. More of a band album than recent releases, though a bit more loosely played than his old band used to be. He’s smart (one of the wittiest and strongest lyric writers in the genre) and has a need to play live. Tours mostly solo now, but his show with three other instrumentalists at the Egyptian Room at the Murat last November was cool. And about 1,500 watched the show that night, 12 years removed from from the smoky, sweaty, rowdy shows at the Patio with his band the Nervous Wrecks.


5. ”The Indifference of Heaven” (Live) – Warren Zevon
From the the “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” complilation. Warren and acoustic guitar. A hard strumming acoustic. Another guy who had the gift of writing genius lyrics. And any song that references Springsteen (“ruce and Patti don’t live around here”) is extra cool.


VIDEO: Martin Zeller of the Gear Daddies doing “Stupid Boy” on Letterman

ONE MORE STORY: R.E.M. made a surprise appearance March 11 at Carnegie Hall. It was a concert/tribute show that featured 20 different performers playing R.E.M. tunes. The band came on for the last song, and played “E-Bow The Letter” off of 1996’s “New Adventures in Hi-Fi.” Patti Smith accompanied Stipe on vocals. What? No “The One I Love”? Sheesh.


Long-time Athens resident Vic Chesnutt and Elf Power did team up for a version of “Everybody Hurts” and Apples in Stereo rocked “South Central Rain”.


Set and performer list for the R.E.M. tribute:
“Fall On Me” (the dB’s)
“The Apologist” (Fink)
“Man on the Moon” (Keren Ann with Calexico)
“Wendell Gee” (Calexico)
“The Great Beyond” (Rachael Yamagata with Calexico)
“Sitting Still” (Bob Mould with Calexico)
“Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)” (The Feelies)
“Nightswimming” (Ingrid Michaelson)
“Hairshirt” (Glen Hansard)
“South Central Rain” (Apples in Stereo)
“Shaking Through” (Guster)
“Supernatural Superserious” (Marshall Crenshaw with Calexico)
“Driver 8” (Rhett Miller with Calexico)
“World Leader Pretend” (Kimya Dawson)
“Everybody Hurts” (Vic Chesnutt with Elf Power)
“Perfect Circles” (Kristin Hersh and the Throwing Muses)
“At My Most Beautiful” (Dar Williams)
“(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville” (Jolie Holland with Calexico)
“I Believe” (Darius Rucker with Calexico)
“New Test Leper” (Patti Smith)
“E-Bow The Letter” (R.E.M.)

One thought on “Roots Rock Update: BoDeans, Old 97’s, Free Music

  1. You are either my new best friend or a long lost twin. I thought I was the only one in this town that still remembers and loves the Gear Daddies. Del Fuegos, Gaslight Anthem, Replacements, Springsteen…is this site heaven? My band and I, Jeff Byrd & The Wingmen have been rocking this style of music in Indy for awhile now to little fanfare or hype, so I’m glad to see there are others out there who want this beautiful music. Picked up the reissue of the Bodeans, “Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams” on your recommendation. The DVD concert is a treasure to behold. Please keep up the great work. Maybe you can make it out to a show or we will just see you at the family reunion! Jeff Byrd

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