Hullabalou webcast this weekend; Cara Jean Wahlers releases Indiana music, Squidbillies welcome Americana

→ A couple hours south of Indianapolis, at the historic Churchill Downs, this weekend’s HullabaLOU Music Festival three-day concert begins Friday, and runs through Sunday. Since I’m not going, it affords the opportunity to watch a little of their live webcast. For me, a live music webcast is very nearly as good as finding treasure chest full of Coors Light and beef jerky. I like to geek-out and see how they handle the technical parts (audio, camerawork, etc…) of the webcast. Most of the time, I end up entranced at the coolness of watching it live, paired with being pissed because I would have done it differently. But that’s a “me” problem, right? Continue reading “Hullabalou webcast this weekend; Cara Jean Wahlers releases Indiana music, Squidbillies welcome Americana”

Roots Rock: Shooter Jennings, Rob’s Shuffle and Pete Seeger

metallica_sxswROOTS ROCK TWANG NEWS:  No, I’m not live from SXSW. Would be cool, I’m sure.  Austin is righteous.  But get this: Metallica played a show at Stubbs BBQ Friday night.  Metallica at SXSW?  That ain’t right.  The word that they were going to play the festival even reached Indy before the show. Still, what was billed as a secret gig at South By Southwest on Friday night (March 20) had the band buzzing through a 13-song set. And the tie in?  It was part of the Guitar Hero: Metallica showcase. Just over 2,000 fans were allowed in.  Reports had the joint guarded by a dozen police officers and 75 security guards.  Yep. Secret gig….

THREE  MORE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:  Nickel Creek’s singer-songwriter and fiddler Sara Watkins is releasing self-titled debut. It is interesting for the wide range of collaborators for its 14 tracks, among them Elvis Costello drummer Pete Thomas, Tom Petty keyboardist Benmont Tench, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Led Zep’s John Paul Jones produced the album  in L.A. and Nashville. Sara Watkins hits stores April 7.

pete-seegerDave Matthews, Eddie Vedder, John Mellencamp, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen are among the dozens of musicians who will celebrate American folk music legend  Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday with a gala concert at Madison Square Garden on May 3.  Other performers will include Kris Kirstofferson, Tom Morello, Billy Bragg and Ben Harper.

Max Weinberg’s 19 year-old son Jay will fill in on a “small number” of Bruce shows, replacing his Dad, who has a new old gig as the Conan O’Brien “Tonight Show” bandleader when Conan debuts in his new time slot. This will no doubt see a continuing “the world is ending” frenzy among Springsteen fans with too little other stuff, like real life, to do. Our lesson?  That’s just the way life is; you make decisions based on what you can do and make the best of situations that will never be perfect.  It’s only rock and roll, for goodness sakes. It’s the Hippy Hippy Shake.
Inside the randomness that is my digital library. It put the ipod on shuffle and the first five songs that come up each week I share.  Comments always welcome between friends…


revolver1.  “For No One” -Beatles
Not a hit, right?  Yep.  Just another Beatles song, right?  Well, this one little song makes me remember just how freakin’ brilliant these guys were.  I really think nearly every song off of every album (exception? “Revolution #9”) was worthy of being a hit song, or played on the radio or said something profound.  Many times, it did all three.  This song, from Revolver, speaks of lost love and failed opportunity more accurately than nearly all the 2,369,000 songs on the same subject that have come since it was originally put on vinyl.

jethro_piano12. “Open Cages” – Jethro Easyfields
From his Elixir album, I put this on the ipod as I was getting ready to write the story on him for NUVO.  I have come to relish the slow build and the delayed gratification of his songs.  I haven’t a problem with the live feel of the recording and the non-slickness (OK, roughness) of the phrasing. But his writing says something about people who live in Indiana.  To me, it says we are not too city and not too country.  We are Midwesterners.  Like us or move along.

georgia_satellites13.  Battleship Chains” – Georgia Satellites
While “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” was the well-deserved money song from the band’s self-titled debut album, it was “Battleship Chains”  that was the record’s secret bubble gum pop song, rolled in raunchy rock dirt, a little too loud for radio.  But I think it has always sounded good loud. And elicits a volume knob clockwise turn when it comes on. Rick Richards, not Dan Baird, on lead vocal.

john_cougar4. ”Welcome to Chinatown” (Live)” – John Mellencamp
Johnny Cougar playing at a club called Four Acres from a bootleg version that refers to a radio broadcast. The song would appear on his John Cougar album. BONUS: This is shortly before he formed the complete, most important band of his career – the one that would tour and record for the Scarecrow and Lonesome Jubilee records.  DOUBLE BONUS: The Little Bastard dumps in parts of “My Sharona”, “It’s Only Rock and Roll” and tries to get the audience to yell something dirty on the radio.   Power chords, Larry Crane’s rock and roll guitar and even a piano solo paired with that classic Mellencamp “screw you” attitude.  A mediocre song given new life live.  A gem of a bootleg.

recklesskelly_washere5.  “Wicked, Twisted Road” – Reckless Kelly
One of the very best of the Red Dirt genre – bands mainly from of Texas and Oklahoma that are Americana and alt-country with even more twang and in-your-ear guitars.  This one is one of the more intimate numbers.  From the Reckless Kelly Was Here live album.  Think Steve Earle, if he was 30 years old and off of heroin.
Here’s what it all looks like…


In a previous blog. we told you about Neil Young’s new album Fork in the Road, due April 7. 
Watch great interview with Letterman about the car:

Neil now has a bunch of videos related to the record’s release.  And Neil’s weird, man.  A good weird.  Like the “I don’t give a shit,  I’m right” dude who really is right…

Watch the “Johnny Magic” video here in all its lo-fi brilliance. Neil in a car…singing.

shooter_bwAND FINALLY…
CMT Crossroads featuring Shooter Jennings and Jamey Johnson premieres Monday, March 23) at 10pm on CMT.   I saw Shooter at the Music Mill a couple years ago.  He rawks…
Shooter listed his top 10 songs and albums on  

1. “Seed of Memory,” Terry Reid
2. “Belle of the Ball,” Waylon Jennings
3. “The Writ,” Black Sabbath
4. “She Shook Me Cold,” David Bowie
5. “Sea of Japan,” Earl Greyhound
6. “Astronomy,” Blue Oyster Cult
7. “Feelin’ Better,” Hank Williams Jr.
8. “Wild and Blue,” Jessi Colter
9. “Don’t Run Our Hearts Around,” Black Mountain
10. “Black Helicopter,” Matthew Good

1. White Mansions, Various Artists
2. The Downward Spiral, Nine Inch Nails
3. The Man Who Sold the World, David Bowie
4. Ol Waylon, Waylon Jennings
5. White Album, the Beatles
6. Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd
7. Seed of Memory, Terry Reid
8. Phases and Stages, Willie Nelson
9. The New South, Hank Williams Jr.
10. Consolers of the Lonely, the Raconteurs

Bonus Shooter: country-frying the Dire Straits…

Roots Rock: U2, Jack Black, Little Steven, Mat Kearney

u2nolineonthehorizon250U2 is currently streaming their new album, “No Line on the Horizon”, on their MySpace page ( more than a week before its March 3 release. The band will play five consecutive nights on Late Night With David Letterman starting March 2. No word on if this is in response to staffers at Universal Music Australia inadvertently mading the new album available digitally more than a week before release. According to reports, high-quality downloads of the album were briefly made available earlier this week on, a digital store operated by Universal Music’s Australian affiliate. “Horizon” is also now understood to be widely distributed via peer-to-peer file sharing networks. They ended up selling the nine-million copies of 2004’s”How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb”, which was also leaked, so this may be a case study in “Leaking an album just doesn’t matter if you are U2”

School of Rock star Jack Black married into a pretty impressive musical pedigree when he wed singer Tanya Haden. Haden is one of the triplet daughters of legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden–best known for his work with Ornette Coleman. Her sisters Petra plays in the Decemberists, and Rachel is a founding member of The Rentals. Last year, the entire family, under the moniker Charlie Haden Family & Friends, collaborated on the American roots album “Rambling Boy”. They are all playing the Opry at the Ryman this weekend. Ricky Skaggs (also a guest on Rambling Boy), Del McCoury, Hal Ketchum & The Infamous Stringdusters will also be appearing.
Click on links below to listen
Opry on GAC
Opry on WSM Radio (online)

Originally expected in April, Dave Matthews Band’s as-yet-untitled new RCA album will now arrive June 2. The group has also announced its annual summer tour, beginning May 27 in Darien Center, N.Y. – They come to Indy for two nights at Verizon Wireless Music Center on Friday, July 31, and Saturday, August 1.

Mat Kearney is set to release his new album, City of Black & White, on May 19, a followup to his major label debut, “Nothing Left To Lose”, Mat recorded in his new hometown of Nashville, TN,

justin_townes_earle150CHOOSE ONLY ONE? This Week’s Indianapolis Live Show Pick: Justin Townes Earle – Saturday February 21 at Spencer’s Stadium Tavern. Earle, son of singer/songwriter Steve Earle, releases his second album, ‘Midnight at the Movies,’ in early March. He proved he has the talent to stand on his own, with or without the legendary roots-rock name. LISTEN HERE

ALBUM CHART: Taylor Swift’s album “Fearless” returns to the top of The Billboard 200. The set moved 92,000 copies on a 44% salesjump, resulting in its nine non-consecutive weeks at No. 1. The last album spend more time at the top was Santana’s “Supernatural,” which was #1 for 12 weeks in 1999 and 2000. Selling 77,000 on a whopping 715% increase, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ “Raising Sand”zoomed from 69 to 2 following its album of the year win at the Grammys. The set debuted at No. 2 in late 2007 with 112,000 and has now sold 1.26 million to date. Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends”rebounds 31-8 with 62,000 sold (+271%); the album generated three Grammys, including song of the year for “Viva La Vida.” Bruce Springsteen’s “Working on a Dream” falls from 2 to 6 with 65,000 sold.

Springsteen guitarist Steve Van Zandt is about to launch a new hard rock label, Lost Cathedral, with the May 14 release of Crown Of Thorns’ “Faith.” Van Zandt’s garage rock label, Wicked Cool will continue to exist. We basically decided to keep Wicked Cool identifiable as a garage rock label, at least for now,” he told Billboard this week. “In the last couple of years, we’ve gotten a lot of hard rock things submitted to us. A lot of it is quite good — a little bit punkier or hard rock than we do with Wicked Cool.”

bunecarlosTHE REALLY ODD PAIRINGS DEPT.: Ex-Smashing Pumpkin James Iha, Fountains Of Wayne co-founder Adam Schlesinger, Taylor Hanson of Hanson and Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos have formed a supergroup named Tinted Windows. Billboard reports the band has recorded their debut album, set for a spring release, with a SXSW showcase set on tap next month.