Lost Video : Huey Lewis (circa 1984) solo with David Letterman’s orginal band

One of the lost little video nuggets of 80’s rock. Huey Lewis (with just one member of the News in tow) plays “Heart of Rock and Roll” with Paul Shaffer and the first Late Show band -back in 1984 –  with Matt “Guitar Murphy” in for Hiram Bullock on guitar. Love the raw look of the Letterman shows from the time.

Though the song is a piece of pop/rock that felt more like fluff than rock and roll from Lewis, this version is interesting for the setting, and the fact that the massive”Sports” album, which would be career-changer for the band, was just breaking out, and Lewis is essentially solo here.

VIDEO: The Lumineers breaking big (“Stubborn Love”)

The Lumineers have sold nearly 300,000 copies of their debut album.  They played a 200-person club in Indianapolis in May, and much like fellow Americana darlings The Civil Wars, are on the cusp of breaking really big.  Love their sound, and love the loose-limbed live performances.  Here’s one recorded in a radio studio of “Stubborn Love” – simultaneously  melancholy and uplifting…

HonkyTonk Prowler Reunion at the Melody Inn

Slim Hadley from The Punkin Holler Boys shot me an email about a Melody Inn show this Friday (Sept. 14) featuring a reunion of the Honky Tonk Prowlers (and a recreation of the Big Ol’ Cadillac album) plus the country rock of 19Clark25 and the Fabulous SlimTones.

So I found Slim, and we talked about the old band, what’s ahead for what he calls “real country music” and the inspiration for getting the bands together for one night of twangin’ and rowdy country music.

For a brief history lesson, we recall the Prowlers featured the singing and writing of Punkin Holler’s Ralph Ed Jeffers, and were an Americana/Roots/country and hillbilly punk-leaning band. The leader of the band, Jeffers, got the chance to work with another Indy legend, Frank Dean, on the Cadillac album.

“We took inspiration from Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins and Dwight Yoakam”, Hadley says of the HTP band.  “This will be an evening of music akin to the above-mentioned as we will perform the complete Big Ol’ Cadillac album live for the first time in 20 years, as recorded by Ralph Ed Jeffers all those years ago.”

Rob Nichols: What’s the story of the Big Ol’ Cadillac album?
Slim Hadley: Ralph and (local singer/songwriter) Frank Dean had been wanting to work together. Frank had access to Monday Morning Studios and they took Ralph’s songs and a couple from Frank and created a narrative of an aspiring country singer going through the process of trying to make it big.

It could’ve been from 1962 or 1992 or 2012. It’s a timeless story of passion for one’s craft and the trials of getting to where one can do it. Or not getting there.

Joe South – legendary songwriter (“Games People Play”, Rose Garden”, “Walk a Mile in My Shoes”) dies at 72

One of the great forgotten names in late 60’s rock/early 70’s country music songwriting –  Joe South – died last week a age 72.

The records he made were oddly compelling, full of vocal echo, strings and reverb-drenched guitar – and the others too – sound.  But his songwriting was killer.  I love the Geaorgia Satellites version of “Games People Play”, John Mellencamp did a down-and-dirty Joe South set during his “Scarecrow” tour encore when I saw him at Detroit’s Cobo Arena in 1985, and South freakin’ wrote “Rose Garden” for Lynn Anderson, a #1 for 16 (!) weeks.

from wikipedia: South was also a prominent sideman, playing guitar on Aretha Franklin‘s “Chain of Fools”,[1] Tommy Roe‘s “Sheila”, and Bob Dylan‘s Blonde on Blonde album…1969’s pungent, no-nonsense “Games People Play”  wasva hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Accompanied by a lush string sound, an organ, and brass, the production won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Song and the Grammy Award for Song of the Year. He wrote the back-to-nature “Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home” (also covered eight months later by Brook Benton With The Dixie Flyers) and the socially provocative “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” (also covered by Elvis Presley in a Las-Vegas era version.

Artists who had pop hits with South compositions include Billy Joe Royal’s songs “Down in the Boondocks“, “I Knew You When”, “Yo-Yo” (later a hit for the Osmonds), and “Hush” (later a hit for Deep Purple.

Indianapolis’ The Late Show regains power-pop mojo

This story was featured in NUVO in August.  Nice little interview piece I did with Don Main, who fronted The Late Show/Recordio/Rockhouse; essentially the same band, with different names.  He and the main lineup is back together and playing shows in Indianapolis.  I first saw them at a 150-person venue in Madison Indiana – I think it was 1989 or 1990 – so was nearing the end of their run.  Best band the club booked in the Electric Lady in the two or three years that I lived down there.  Also saw the Rockhouse version of the band, but my recollection was they were burned out by then, and the Rick Clayton Band (Late Show guitarist) was around in the ashes of the band separation, but not for long.  So it is good to hear they are back and power-popping…and working on a new album.

The Late Show had a shot at national success.

In 1974, the band went to New York City and worked with producer Jack Douglas — known for his work with John Lennon, Aerosmith and, appropriately, The Knack — at the Record Plant. Major labels CBS and Epic offered them record deals.

The band, who created a potent mix of power pop vocals, guitars and reverberating drums, said no. They thought there were better offers to come. But, none came.

So why is their independent debut album Portable Pop now getting acclaim, more than 30 years after its original 1980 release? The band can thank the record label Trashy Creatures Records. They re-released the record in late May, and it picked up airplay on more than 70 radio stations of varying formats and dial positions.

The Late Show is playing a number of Indianapolis shows in 2012 and according to leader Don Main, prepping a new record. NUVO caught up with Main — who went on to own the Puccini’s restaurant chain — to talk about the albums, his other band and how the hell this all happened 40 years after The Late Show got together.