FRANK FAiRFiELD's music is not long for this world.

I'm listening to the new Frank Fairfield album tonite (more on that later after i've spent proper time becoming better aquainted with it) and thought I'd give you just a taste of his natural olde sound:


---> BUY THiS NOW @ OnLine //  Facebook  // Amazon mp3  // iTunes   <--
Press the buttons ^ and get the new CD GOOD THANG 
by The Soul Of John Black
Do it. Seriously. 
You'll thank me. 
It's shooting up the blues charts, but it's so much more than blues. 
Formerly of ska-funk masters Fishbone, John Bigham dba The Soul Of John Black manages to combine the delicious hybrid grooves that I dig from Little Axe, with a deep knowledge of the essence of serious blues and pop history.  

It's like Al Green fronting Parliament covering Beatles songs with a  jam-up of the Isley Bros and CCR . It's like Tony Joe White gettin' down on the porch with Cee-Lo. The music Bigham makes on Good Thang is a  sinuous and very sexy jam that will probably end up getting you in a lot of trouble. .

This album is so dirty sexy good it should be sold at the checkout at Walmart, Johnny's Corner Truck Stop BBQ, and Starbucks.  Don't matter how you get it. Just get it.
Give this dude your money. Get his album Good Girl Blues while yr at it.  Go! Get it!

Please leave a comment if you know 
the straight coolness of The Soul Of John Black

The vids below are worthy but barely begin to do justice:

OK Go show All Is Not Lost...

The latest epic video from Pop Combo OK Go who pretty much came to fame because of their energetic treadmill routine for the song 'Here It Goes Again', one of my all time favourite pop videos. Since then there visual creativity blossomed with the creation of a 'Rube Goldberg Machine' for 'This Too Shall Pass'.

A bonus in the latest creation is you can have your own message included as part of the end sequence:

Try it out for yourself right here!



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Smoke Fairies are heading to the U.S. (tho' of course no where near me. Grrrr). Be sure and grab their new 5 song ep Live from iTunes Festival.

Fri 29-Jul Los Angeles, CA / Key Club - w: Rasputina

sat 30-Jul San Luis Obispo, CA / SLO Brewing Company - w: Rasputina
Sun 31-Jul San Francisco, CA / Great American Music Hall - w: Rasputina

Thu 4-Aug Eugene, OR / Wow's Hall - w: Rasputina

Fri 5-Aug Portland, OR / Doug Fir - w: Rasputina

Sat 6-Aug Seattle, WA / Tractor Tavern - w: Rasputina

Mon 8-Aug Billings, MT / The Railyard - w: Rasputina

Thu 11-Aug Lincoln, NE / Bourbon Theater - w: Rasputina

Fri 12-Aug Iowa City, IA / Blue Moose w: - Rasputina

Sat 13-Aug Minneapolis, MN / 7th Street Entry - w: Rasputina

Sun 14-Aug Milwaukee, WI / Shank Hall - w: Rasputina

Mon 15-Aug Chicago, IL / Schubas

Tue 16-Aug Sandusky, OH / The Underground - w: Rasputina

Thu 18-Aug Washington, DC / The Red Palace

Fri 19-Aug Philadelphia, PA / First Unitarian Church Side Chapel

Mon 22-Aug New York, NY / Rockwood Music Hall

Wed 24-Aug Nashville, TN / The Basement

Full listing of all tour dates and festivals can be found on the myspace & facebook sites.

If I ever lose my faith in you...

Sounds like Sting was on a mission penning this highly prophetic masterpiece way back in 1993...
You could say I lost my faith in science and progress
You could say I lost my belief in the holy church
You could say I lost my sense of direction
You could say all of this and worse but

If I ever lose my faith in you
There'd be nothing left for me to do...
(great song, shame about the video...)


JUNiOR KiMBROUGH's BiRTHDAY PARTY: Austin, TX - Sat. July 30th 2011

If I could be anywhere this saturday it'd be here:

WE JUKE UP iN HERE! - Jeff and Roger's Excellent Adventure in Mississippi Continues...

Jeff Konkel of Broke and Hungry Records and Roger Stolle of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art are joining forces again to film another documentary on the Mississippi blues scene, this one titled We Juke Up In Here. After the great job they did on M For Mississippi 2008's documentary and soundtrack  I can't wait to see it.
For more information, contact:

Jeff Konkel at
Roger Stolle at

(CLARKSDALE, MS) – The creative team behind the award-winning 2008 blues movie M For Mississippi have reunited for a new film celebrating the Delta’s down-home blues tradition. The new film, We Juke Up In Here: Mississippi’s Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads, is slated for an April 2012 release but is now available for pre-order at the film’s official web site:

We Juke Up In Here follows producers Jeff Konkel of Broke & Hungry Records and Roger Stolle of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art as they explore what remains of Mississippi’s once-thriving juke joint culture. The film is told largely from the vantage point of Red Paden, proprietor of the legendary Red’s Lounge in historic Clarksdale, Mississippi. Paden, a true Delta character and jack-of-all-trades, has been running his blues and beer joint for more than 30 years – providing one of the region’s most reliable live blues venues and an authentic stage for a cavalcade of veteran blues performers, both legendary and obscure.

Told through live music performances, character-driven interviews and rare on-camera blues experiences, viewers will be taken below the surface of the quasi-legal world of real Delta jukes while it’s still living and breathing.

The project reunites Konkel and Stolle with cinematographer Damien Blaylock and sound engineer Bill Abel who were instrumental in the success of the earlier film, M For Mississippi. Rounding out the production team is Lou Bopp who is providing both video and still photography.

We Juke Up In Here will be released as a deluxe box set featuring a DVD, a CD soundtrack and a glossy pullout booklet with multiple essays, notes and color photos. The DVD will include the feature-length documentary along with a treasure trove of bonus features including unreleased scenes, production stills, a promotional trailer, closed captioning, French and Italian subtitles and more. The DVD will be region-free and playable on DVD players worldwide. The box set will retail for $25 (US).

Customers who pre-order the film will receive the product weeks before its official release and will pay no shipping fee.

Pre-orders also provide the filmmakers with access to additional cash resources during the movie’s crucial production phase. “The early support of blues fans and documentary lovers allows us to make an even better film,” Konkel said. “Pre-order dollars enable us to involve even more blues artists in the movie and to incorporate additional shoots into our production schedule.”

The filmmakers also are benefiting from the invaluable financial support of several marketing sponsors.

The filmmakers’ principal sponsor and European partner is the Rootsway Roots & Blues Association (, a nonprofit organization from Parma, Italy. Founded in 2004, the group is dedicated to promoting rural and indigenous American and African-American musical art forms throughout northern Italy. Rootsway has brought several Mississippi blues performers to Italy in recent years.

Other sponsors include:

- Cat Head Vodka, Mississippi’s first legal distillery and a committed supporter of live music in general and blues music in particular.

- Lemuria Books, a Jackson, Mississippi-based institution and one of the finest independent bookstores in America. Lemuria houses thousands of literary titles and an impressive selection of Mississippi blues CDs .

- Nayati Dreams, a French company promoting American roots, folk and blues music in France and throughout Europe. Nayati Dreams partners with blues labels and also works to organize concerts and promote roots music through print and radio outreach.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that we simply couldn’t make this movie without the generous contribution of our sponsors,” Stolle said. “We’re incredibly grateful to the many individuals and organizations around the world who recognize the importance of Mississippi’s amazing blues heritage through their support of projects like this.”

Additional sponsorship opportunities remain for We Juke Up In Here. The film’s producers have developed numerous sponsorship levels, each with a corresponding marketing and product premiums. To inquire about sponsorships, e-mail the filmmakers at

We Juke Up In Here is a joint production of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art and Broke & Hungry Records.

Last Nights Presents: MV & EE / Amen Dunes / Eleven Twenty-Nine

Last Nights Presents:

Thursday, August 11th
20 Meadow St., Brooklyn, NY
Doors 8:30pm
Tickets: $8

Last Nights is excited to continue or relationship with the mighty force that is MV & EE. This time joined by Amen Dunes, who himself is preparing to release his second full length LP "Though Donkey Jaw" via Sacred Bones August 16th. Tom Carter (Charamlabides) & Marc Orleans (Sunburned Hand of the Man) will be filling out the evening with performing in their ongoing collaboration as Eleven Twenty-Nine. An exciting night that promises to be full of some hooks & some six string skill.


- recently released "Country Stash" (Three Lobed) & "What I Became" (Woodsist)

Praise for "Country Stash" & "What I Became":

"Country Stash must stand as one of this artist’s most definitive and important releases to date, a release which seems to combine all those elements of psychedelic spectrasound, carefully-crafted real songs and the influence of those extended live jams all into a single album." -Andrew Ross (Volcanic Tongue)

Since what seems like the dawn of time, Matt "MV" Valentine has been cranking out (and cranking out) albums[…] Normally, such obsessive ejaculating of music eventually paralyzes creativity and castrates consumer interest, but with MV each sweet release is always a fresh endeavor. We can't help it; those irresistible rural psych nuggets make us weak[…] the best time to get into MV may have been years ago but don't fret… the nth best time is right now because he is to release his latest record, What I Became[…] - Tiny Mix Tapes

Amen Dunes

- 2nd full-length LP "Through Donkey Jaw" (Sacred Bones) out August 16th

Praise for previous full-length DIA:

"I expected the cleverly-named Amen Dunes album entitled Dia to either serve more triple-layer lo-fi baked goods or some "freaky" (if unthreatening) country folk, but not both. Of course, it sounds natural, and effortless, and happens to be a scruffy, acoustic contribution to the lo-fi brigade, but sounds like dude isn't platting an overthrow, just making really good music." - Jeremy Krinsley, Impose Magazine

"As McMahon's tunes sharpen and deepen, he becomes like an American cousin to Kiwi songsmiths Alastair Galbraith, Chris Knox, and brothers Graeme and Peter Jefferies [...] The key to how McMahon can evoke those greats and still bring some of himself to the mix is his voice. On the surface his singing sounds raw and monotone, pitched in a droning hum and distorted at the edges. But listen closely and you can hear subtl changes that give DIA a surprising diversity. On "White Lace", his singing rises sharly, pulling his guitar along with it. He alternates tough moans and eerie falsettos in a Barrett-ish "Castles", and ghosts of know and Galbraith emerge via his openly earnest croons in "No Shot". By album's end, McMahon's meditative hums are pratically all that's left, like shells on a beaten shore glistening in the sunset. " - Marc Masters, Pitchfork

Eleven Twenty-Nine

- S/T debut (Northern-Spy) out now

Praise for Eleven Twenty-Nine:

“…zenith-ascension & raga blend(ing)s of clark hutchinson band & even the more guitar-centric bits in the popol vuh canon … no doubt in my mind that these are visionary players both, equally at ease pealing off “travelogue” lineage modal / pedal-point interplay, acoustic lap-steel / resonator glissandi, and even some heavy, amp-worship zones that point towards a blend of loren mazzacane connor’s bedroom confessionals & hendrix’ octaviated space-madrigals…” - Mimaroglu

“Tom and Marc have metabolized the folk, blues and rock forms to create a whole new dialect for guitar” - Jeff Conklin, East Village Radio

Interview with Hasil Adkins fiancee Crazy Amy Kruger

Outtakes From The Forthcoming Hasil Adkins Documentary Film My Blue Star :

Rupert Murdoch and the Bible...

The Bible Industry. From Geez magazine, Fall 2009. Credit: Darryl Brown and Aiden Enns.

Seems some Christibods are in a bit of a panic as this article by Canadian author Will Braun first published in Geez Magazine receives greater coverage having been re-run in Not only are Zondervan the biggest publishers of the Holy Bible they also carry books by leading authors like Rob Bell and Shane Claiborne, who will both speak at the Greenbelt Festival this year. It is Shane Claiborne's wisdom that puts things in candid perspective in these couple of paragraphs:
The Zondervan advantage
'I want to have the broadest readership possible,' Claiborne says by phone, 'I don’t want to be someone who just speaks to the choir.' He says smaller publishers have their advantages but the books he has written for them cost 'two or three times' more than what they would if Zondervan published them.
To judge, or not to judge
The ongoing News Corp scandal concerns him. 'The current issues ... in England raise all kinds of ethical questions,' he tells me, 'and I would hope that a company whose mission is explicitly Christian, as Zondervan’s is, would take the opportunity to bear witness and to speak into the culture which is so terribly fallen.'

Claiborne is not sure if he will write for Zondervan again. He doesn’t rule it out.
There’s good and bad in each of us, he says, 'we are called to work on the log in our own eye, and I’m sure as heck trying to work on the compromises that I make so that those are minimal when it comes to integrity.'
Whilst this must be a dilemma for Claiborne, he is a great voice in the very media everyone is apoplectic about, for example, I blogged about his article in lads mag Esquire here. To conclude buying from Zondervan is contributing directly to the devil incarnate, we'd should also stop using the Interweb, oh yes, and stop going to church!


DEEP BLUES FESTiVAL 2011: The First Video is Rollin' in!

For you poor bastards that didn't make The Deep Blues Festival,  here's the first taste i've seen. I'll add more as they show up. Watch and weep:

THX to Chris and April!


@ Facebook // OnLine // Label // AMAZN mp3 - vinyl // iTunes

I've been listening to the new Rev. Peyton album Peyton On Patton.  Mostly a solo affair, Peyton pays true tribute to his hero, and the true King of Delta blues, Peyton's hero, Charlie Patton.  I could go on but, honestly, the etymology of old school Blues is not my baileywick. 

However, it is that of our friend Jeff Konkel, the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer (CCBW) at Broken and Hungry Records. Our man in charge of the only blues label that still matters had this to say about Rev. Peyton's Peyton On Patton

A lot of folks will tell you that Robert Johnson was the King of the Delta Blues. But for god’s sake don’t say it in front of Reverend Peyton.

The guitar-wielding leader of The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band has no problem praising Johnson and his incredible body of work. “But there’s only one King of the Delta Blues, and his name was Charley Patton,” Peyton said. “I’ll go toe-to-toe with anyone who says different.” This summer Peyton and his band will release a powerful tribute to their hero in the form of Peyton on Patton. The 13-track CD will exclusively feature songs written and recorded by Patton during his brief recording career, which came to an end upon his premature death in 1934. Peyton on Patton will be released July 19 by SideOneDummy Records.

During his lifetime and for nearly a quarter of a century afterward, Charley Patton was regarded almost universally as the preeminent Delta bluesman. He spent his formative years at Dockery Plantation near Ruleville, Mississippi, where he influenced future blues and gospel stars including the aforementioned Robert Johnson, as well as Son House, Willie Brown, Pops Staples, John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf. His flamboyant performance style was widely emulated and his songs frequently covered. During a five-year period, Patton recorded nearly 60 songs for Paramount Records.

The new CD Peyton on Patton features a number of Patton’s best-loved blues songs including “A Spoonful Blues,” “Mississippi Boweavil Blues” and “Tom Rushen Blues,” as well as Patton-penned spirituals like “Jesus Is A Dying Bed Maker,” “Prayer of Death, Part 1” and “You’re Gonna Need Someone (When You Come to Die)”. The CD also includes three radically different versions of “Some of These Days I’ll Be Gone” featuring varying instrumentation and recorded in different keys and arrangements.

“We set out to do this as right as we could,” Peyton said. “I am a songwriter and an artist, but for this I wanted to stay as true to Charley's music as I could. We recorded the entire record in one day with one microphone in the great state of Indiana, the same way Charley's first recordings were done.”

Although Patton sometimes recorded with other musicians, Rev. Peyton regards his hero’s solo recordings as his best. For that reason, the Peyton on Patton CD is a largely solo affair with Reverend Peyton’s growling vocals and searing guitar work placed front and center. But while the rest of the Big Damn Band are used sparingly, they make a number of crucial contributions to the record. Washboard Breezy – wife of Reverend Peyton – contributes washboard percussion on just a couple of tracks, but her vocals on “Elder Greene Blues” are a highlight of the disc. Aaron “Cuz” Persinger, whose thundering drums are a mainstay of the band’s live shows, here plays in a starkly different manner, drumming with just his hands on a century-old tobacco barrel.

The starkness of the record may come as a surprise to some of the band’s more casual fans who know them only from their high-octane live shows, particularly their Warped Tour performances where they shared bills with some of today’s top punk acts.

But longtime fans of Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band are well aware of their profound devotion to rural blues in general and Charley Patton in particular. “When I first heard Charley Patton, my life was changed forever. I was hooked,” Peyton said. “I have spent a lifetime admiring and studying his music. I have mentioned his name in interviews and I always have credited him as a big influence on my music.”
Over the years, Peyton and his band have become mainstays in the Mississippi Delta, performing frequently at festivals and clubs in the region and visiting the historic sites associated with Patton and his peers. Those experiences have only served to enhance Peyton’s desire to pay tribute to the true King of the Delta Blues.

“This is a very personal record for me. Most of the songs are just me and a guitar, paying tribute to a hero,” Peyton concluded. “It’s as it should be: Just Peyton on Patton.”

Peyton on Patton
is the sixth release from The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and their third for SideOneDummy Records.

Fri/Sep-09 Columbia, MO Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival
Sat/Sep-10 Omaha, NE Slowdown Junior
Sun/Sep-11 Colorado Springs, CO Black Sheep
Wed/Sep-14 Denver, CO Bluebird Theatre
Thu/Sep-15 Telluride, CO Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
Fri/Sep-16 Telluride, CO Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
Sat/Sep-17 Salt Lake City, UT The State Room
Mon/Sep-19 Seattle, WA Tractor Tavern
Tue/Sep-20 Portland, OR Dantes
Thu/Sep-22 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
Fri/Sep-23 Hermosa Beach, CA Saint Rocke
Sat/Sep-24 Los Angeles, CA The Mint
Mon/Sep-26 San Diego, CA Soda Bar
Tue/Sep-27 Tempe, AZ The Sail Inn
Wed/Sep-28 Albuquerque, NM Low Spirits
Fri/Sep-30 Austin, TX Emos
Sun/Oct-02 Dallas, TX House of Blues - Cambridge Room
Tue/Oct-04 St. Louis, MO Cicero's
Wed/Oct-05 Carbondale, IL The Hangar
Thu/Oct-06 Chicago, IL The Congress Theatre
Fri/Oct-07 Springfield, IL Marly's
Sat/Oct-08 Columbus, IN Ethnic Expo Festival
Tue/Oct-11 Nashville, TN Exit/In
Thu/Oct-13 Ozark, AR Harvest Festival
Fri/Oct-14 Ozark, AR Harvest Festival
Thu/Oct-20 Brussels, BEL Trefcentrum
Sat/Oct-22 Wortel, BEL Slot Club
Mon/Oct-24 Sheffield, UK The Greystones
Tue/Oct-25 Bristol, UK The Tunnels
Thu/Oct-27 London, UK Cargo
Sat/Oct-29 Kilkenny, IRE Cleeres Theatre
Sun/Oct-30 West Cork, IRE De Barras
Tue/Nov-01 Wolverhampton, UK The Robin
Thu/Nov-03 Newcastle, UK The Cluny
Fri/Nov-04 Worthenbury UK Goin Up The Country
Sat/Nov-05 Newbury, UK Arlington Arts
Mon/Nov-07 Berlin, GER Bassy Club
Fri/Nov-11 Munich, GER 59:1 Club
Sat/Nov-12 Ljubjana, SLO MENZA PRI KORITU
Mon/Nov-14 Sofia, BUL Sofia Live Music Club
Wed/Nov-16 Vienna, AUS Chelsea Music Place
Thu/Nov-17 Wels, AUS The Sound Theatre
Fri/Nov-18 Tullen, AUS Mojo Music Club
Sat/Nov-19 Saalfelden, AUS Nexus

There are still plenty of shows and festivals left this summer though! Check these out...
Tuesday July 19th -Indianapolis, IN -Indy CD & Vinyl - IN STORE PERFORMANCE
Thu/July 21st - Sat/July 23rd -Calgary, AB -Calgary Folk Fest
Fri/July 29th - Sat/July 30th -Floyd, VA -Floyd Fest (Blue Cow Pavilion)
Mon/August 1st -Cincinnati, OH -Shake It Records - FREE IN STORE PERFORMANCE
Sat/August 6th -Casper, WY -BearTrap Summer Festival
Sun/August 7th - Thur/August 11th -Sturgis, SD- Full Throttle Saloon
Fri/August 12th -Billings, MT -Magic City Blues Fest
Sat/August 13th -Snowbird, UT -Cool Air Concert Series
Sat/August 27th --Morning View, KY -Licking River Music Festival

MV & EE "Suub Duub" tour

Hey MV & EE have announce a summer US tour making rounds across the north-east & a couple stops in Canada. The aptly titled the "Suub Duub Tour" sees the duos second outing this year & Last Nights couldn't be happier.

Some people may remember the duo's last trip out with Mick Flower this past spring on the "April Flower" tour, as Last Nights put on a show or two with them including one at Death By Audio in Brooklyn, NY of which you can see below. That night saw Jefferson High, Images, Spectre Folk, and MV & EE w/ Mick Flower all hit the stage, with a specoal guest appearance by Jeremy Earl of Woods. While emailing wiht MV, he informed me that this tour is being released as part of the duo own Heroine label.

We're stoked to also be hitting back up with Matt & Erika for another night in Brooklyn. This August 10th at Shea Stadium Last Nights will be presenting MV & EE along with Amen Dunes and Eleven Twenty-Nine. This night will also be special as Amen Dunes gets set to release his 2nd full-length album "Through Donkey Jaw" via Sacred Bones records. While not forgetting Elven Twenty-Nine, aka Tom Carter (Charalambides etc.) & Marc Orleans (Sunburned Hand of the Man) who recently released their S/T debut on Northern-Spy records. WE'll soon be providing more info on the event soon so keep your eyes peeled.

MV & EE "Suub Duub" tour dates

July 27th - Greenfield, MA The People & Pine
July 28h - New Brunswick, NJ: Tumulty's Pub
July 29th - Philadelphia, PA: Highwire Gallery
July 30th - Easthampton, MA: Dubios Liftings Festival
August - 11th Brooklyn, NY: Shea Stadium *
August - 12th Washington, D.C.: The Church
August - 20th Montreal, Canada: La Brique
August - 21st Toronto, Canada: Placebo Space
August - 27th Hudson, NY: Spotty Dog

* Last Nights Presents w/ Amen Dunes & Eleven Twenty-Nine

Wellington Bomber raid October 1941

Oh God our help in ages past, Our hope - this unfinished line of the popular hymn is written in pencil in the back of my dad's journal which he kept when starting training with Bomber Command early in World War Two. Despite his deep concern about the political decisions being taken and pacifist leanings this account of one of his first ever raids, pretty much written in real time, is most revealing. I have only edited some spelling and minor grammatical errors.

Feltwell – Harwell 10-10-1941

It is just past midnight. We are droning away towards the East. Behind us, slightly to starboard, small spasmodic pin-points of light denote the bursting of flak over Heligoland. But we are not looking back, we are looking ahead. Already the front gunner has remarked on the presence of a huge red glow ahead to which we seem to get no nearer.

I return to the set (radio) and see if the generator is still charging. Then I switch the set off and, for something to do, earth the aerials. The navigator taps me on the shoulder, he jerks his thumb backwards in a suggestive manner. Automatically my left hand jerks away my helmet plug whilst my right twists off the oxygen connection and, hardly pausing, I plunge back over the navigator's back. I charge at the main spar and sweep past the 2nd pilot who's in the astrodome. At the 'K' guns, although barely 15 feet away, I am breathing heavily, owing to my exertions.

I plug in and a babel of voices greets my ears. '500 yards, Starboard quarter, own level' raps out the rear gunner. 'I've got him' yells the 2nd stooge. The oxygen plug must have moved, for my fingers, gloved and clumsy, can't find it. Ah, here it is, in goes the bayonet joint and turn on the juice. I grasp the gun firmly and rest my chin on my left hand. The draught whips at my face. It is icy cold and seems to pry open my eyes as I sweep the moonlit sky.

We appear to be suspended in space, away down is a bank of clouds, above, the stars. Just behind us is a dim, unrecognisable shape, oscillating up and down and forging slowly ahead. I swing the gun onto this shape and yell 'I can see him, slightly below'. It drifts nearer and as I glimpse the shark like tail the 2nd pilot and rear gunner both yell 'it's a Wimp'... The tension is broken. Our comrade loses height and drifts away below us and is soon swallowed up in the mist.

We have crossed the coast now, I am back in the astrodome resting on the arms of the supports. The 2nd pilot is pumping oil. Behind us some searchlights are wavering over the sky. Ahead there is a gigantic fire on our port bow. Searchlights are coning and heavy flak is bursting lavishly and vehemently around the cones. The light flak coming up in a shoal of multi-coloured trace: Red, Green, Yellow, a fascinating sight.

We are turning in, running North. The fires have split into three distinct groups. The largest and most savage on the East side, two smaller but, nevertheless still very large, on the West. A heavy pall of black smoke is seeping up and drifting North East, covering the inlet. There are three cones now, one is following a kite out to the west. Heavy flak is bursting with horrible accuracy, bang in the cone. The cone gets lower. It is further away still from the target. There is a brilliant flash, a slight trail of flame. The searchlights douse suddenly, as an object, like a comet, blazes a trail to earth. The searchlights come up over the town again.

Will we never reach the target? It seems ages...

Away on the right is another cone. Going up very, very slowly is a faint red trace. It reaches the centre of the cone and bursts. Queer, fascinating. I watch it again, very, very slow – then, poof! I must tell 'Steady, Graham, running up to the target now!' There is a steady tension, the kite steadies, the throttles are cut right back, we drift in, slower still.

Momentarily there is a blinding white light inside the aircraft. 'Searchlights dead on the tail'; 'Light flak, port quarter below'; 'Searchlights on starboard beam'; 'Heavy flak just ahead'. Crump! - 'Jack, that was close!'; 'Slightly above, heavy'. Crump... Crump! The kite shudders.

I see a flah of reddish light, from which chases away pin-points of red light in all directions. 'Just above us'; 'Left, Left'. My knees are knocking together. It's strange, I can't stop them. I'm quite ok. 'Right a bit'; 'Steady, steady'; 'Bomb doors open?'; 'Bomb doors open'. Clunk – time seems to stop still. There is a jerk and a movement under my feet. 'Bombs gone!'

We jerk around in a split turn to port. Below I see a raging inferno. Yet another stick of incendiaries are growing up into an angry red bunch of flashes on the ground guns. We are bathed in brilliant light. They are coning us... Crump, Crump, Crump! The flak is coming up pretty thick. The kite goes mad. It plunges down and turns to port, it sweeps up and over to starboard with a sudden jerk. The engines cut off, we glide. Away down we go again. I seem to be suspended in air. As the nose goes up I am pressed hard down on the floor. 'There they go'. Yellow, red flashes split the ruddy glow behind, six of them, we have left our mark. We are still weaving violently, but our cone has left us. There is still plenty of scope for them over the target. Only the outlying guns are now taking sporting pots at us.

We can see the coast ahead. The whole peninsula lies behind, dull, murky, grey-green, shrouded slightly with a faint mist. The moon on our port shows up a thin silvery trace below. The canal. A bevy of searchlights below spring and waver towards us. A light flak gun opens up. His red trace, which he splashes in all directions, is well wide of us. We laugh at his impotency. We feel supreme, masters of ourselves and sole rulers of our new sphere.

The coast has been crossed. I return to the set to send 'Operation successfully completed, returning to base'

Douglas George Banks 1920-1989 (back row - left)

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Love In Vain - A Vision Of Robert Johnson

I'm not much of a fan of Pitchfork.  I find a fair amount of what Pitchfork writers like to be pretentious, weak, and suffering from Hipsteria.  This review of Scott H Biram's Dirty Old One-Man Band by Stephen M. Duesner to be a perfect example of my gripe.  Google his name. I'm not the only one who thinks he's a dick.  But I digress.

Pitchfork recently posted a list of their writers favorite books about music and they did a decent job. I was particularly delighted to see Love In Vain - A Vision Of Robert Johnson listed.  I read this book years ago and found it to be a unique take on the Johnson story.  I'll let Pitchfork' Brandon Soderburg tell you about it:

Love in Vain: A Vision of Robert Johnson by Alan Greenberg 

Alan Greenberg's Robert Johnson screenplay has never been made into a film, though people have certainly tried. In the late 70s, Mick Jagger backed the project. Throughout the 90s, Martin Scorsese was gonna direct, and in the early 2000s, Diddy was to star in a version. But Love In Vain the film still hasn't happened, leaving only a stand-alone biopic script that reads like a great American novel.
Instead of conveniently conflating history like most dramatized musical biographies, the book focuses on milieu and mood. Greenberg, who went to the Mississippi Delta and chased down friends and enemies of Johnson for research, is very sensitive to the contingencies of vagabond living as he conveys the feeling of what it was like to drunkenly shuffle from one dirty and dangerous jook joint to the next each night. There's a tragic inevitability to the script that's hard to shake.
For cold hard facts about Johnson, there are 50 pages of end notes, wherein Greenberg cites sources, explicates screenwriting decisions (taking note of where he's played with the truth or created composite characters), obsessively breaks down blues traditions, and provides prospective directors some cinematic advice (apparently, Ethiopian tribal music should score Johnson's death). This well-researched, brashly impressionistic screenplay is haunting, but it also happens to be the definitive book of any kind on the gifted, eccentric blues legend. --Brandon Soderberg

Last Nights Presents:

Poster by Andrew Brown

Last Nights & Weird Forest Present:

Friday July 15th
20 Meadow St.
8pm // $7
All Ages

For more info & to RVSP click here

Help for Heroes... Mersea style

There was a bit of excitement on our fair Isle this afternoon as the British Army managed to get one of their trucks seriously stuck in the Mersea Island mud! In the true spirit of Island community the farmers and fishermen rallied round and assisted with tractor and knowledge to extricate...

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ROAD TRIP!       
Two words that surely thrill most any human. 
My summer road trip will be to The Deep Blues Festival, July 15th at the world famous Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio. Though technically I suppose one could say that I’m cheating as I'm not driving driving the whole distance. I’ll be flying to D.C. to meet up with a friend and then driving six hours to beautiful downtown Cleveland. 
The Deep Blues Festival started as the artistic vision of retired insurance salesman / Wisconsonite /all around good dude and friend to bands everywhere, Chris Johnson. Mr. Johnson and I had been online friends for several years, frequenting the same alt-blues Yahoo group called Too Bad Jim ( the title comes from a Fat Possum Records album by north Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside ). One day in 2007 I get a call from Mr. Johnson. He’d been to the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic, put together by Kenny Brown, Burnside’s long-time guitarist (and “adopted white son”) and had decided to do a similar festival near his hometown and name it The Deep Blues Festival, in-part after my website as well as after the documentary film Deep Blues by Robert Mugge and the essential blues history book of the same name written by critic Robert Palmer. 
I was reading an article recently in the New York Times about music critic Robert Palmer, author of the seminal blues history book Deep Blues. In the article Anthony DeCurtis, editor of a new anthology of Palmer's writing entitled Blues and Chaos, says that in his view: "Palmer had no interest in pop spectacle and craved music that had deep emotional power and broad ambitions. “Bob was all about essences,”.     
I am sure that all those associated with The Deep Blues Festival, from the musicians to the fans would agree that that is what DBF is about as well. It is a fest for those not interested in blues as something your step-mom listens to when she drinks white wine alone, or for those interested in what strings Robert Johnson used and whether or not Clapton used those same strings when he copied Johnson. It’s a festival for those who are interested in not only moving the genre forward but kicking holes in the precious envelope it’s been carefully stored in.
This will be the fourth year The Deep Blues Festival (DBF) has been held, though the years have not been consecutive. The first DBF was held in August 2007 under a freak cold snap and near-torrential rain, on a golf course somewhere outside of Hudson,Wisconsin, not far from Minneapolis. Nineteen bands, essentially a whos-who of the alt-blues scene at the time. Artists like Mississippi’s Robert “Wolfman” Belfour, Scott H. Biram and fellow Texan Reverend K.M. Williams, William Elliot Whitmore from somewhere long the Mississippi River, The Black Diamond Heavies from Tennessee, Portland, Oregon’s Hillstomp, Tennessee's Elam McKnight, and northern California's Chris Cotton, to name a few. All alternating sets via Johnson’s ingenious use of two side-by-side stages which virtually eliminated down time between bands.

It was cold, rainy, and muddy but a couple hundred folks from around the country and a couple from the U.K. braved the weather for a thrilling though soggy day of dancing in the rain and mud under occasional slips of sunlight to blues infected music. Chris Johnson lost a fair bit of coin that weekend but was inspired none the less, to make DBF bigger and better in 2008. And he did.

Moving to a local fair grounds ( after winning a battle with local neighbors and the town council ), Johnson added two additional days of music in July 2008 and the weather cooperated this time around! New that year was a Deep Blues Film Festival premiering such films as The Hand of Fatima, a documentary film about musician and music critic Robert Palmer put together by his daughter, Augusta Palmer. My Blue Star, a documentary about the late psychobilly wild man Hasil Adkins, and a film about Jack White’s favorite artists Dexter Romweber and his seminal two-man band Flat Duo Jets titled Two-Headed Cow. The festival itself featured some forty bands from eighteen states, Italy, Canada, and the U.K.

Ya know folks, generally speaking, about the last thing I give a good G.D. about is a music festival. I suffered through enough years at Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival to know better. The Deep Blues Festival is different. Any other fest I'd have to pick and choose who I really really want to see then moo and low with the rest of the cattle from stage to stage praying to get there on time to see whoever it was I drove four hours to see. With The Deep Blues Fest of ‘08 you got 40 some odd bands all of which fall into a somewhat similar genre of vibe and all of which I either totally dig and can't believe I get to see alongside all these other bands I love or bands i've wanted to see for ages but who never come near where I live. The other really sweet deal clincher about the DBF is that the music was virtually non-stop. 
Again you had two side-by-side stages so as one band is playing the next is setting up. No trying to run through the crowd and tripping over baby strollers or a dog that some crazy hippie brought, being as dogs just loooove loud music. It was all right there in front of you at the DBF. You could stand in the same spot for the whole weekend and not miss a band. And for the most part I did. I saw Elmo Williams and Hezekiah Early, T-Model Ford, Dexter Romweber of The Flat Duo Jets, Bob Log III, Left Lane Cruiser, Mudlow, Scissormen, Tarbox Ramblers, and thirty or so other amazing artists. The crowds were larger than the year before, not large enough to make money, but large enough to inspire Chris Johnson’s artistic vision once more.

2009 would be the mutha of all Deep Blues Festivals...and like a complete Mo-Ron, I missed it. Due to personal obligations (which I should have bailed on) I passed up on seventy-plus bands and four days of music. Bands from all over the U.S. and around the world converged on Minneapolis and hundreds of folks from all over the place shakin’ it to the raw boogie sounds of alt-punkass blues. Sigh. I still kick myself anytime I think about it. Some small changes were made for the ‘09 fest: No film fest but in it’s place a gospel brunch let by the Reverend K.M. Williams.

But all good things must come to end. Especially when one’s pockets only go so deep. Mr. Johnson put an end to his Deep Blues love fest, layed the ol’ gal to rest and opened Bayport BBQ, which is now considered the best BBQ joint in Minneapolis. He now hosts his favorite bands in his own juke joint where friends dine on Texas style Q and sip from their choice of variety of legal white whiskeys.

2010 was lost and lonely. No DBF to unite the tribe. The tribe became restless. Inspite of the lack of a unifying fest the Deep Blues/alt-blues/punkblues/call it yr momma if you want to/ scene continued to grow and expand around the world. By the start of two-thousand-ought-eleven, Ted Drozdowski ( guitarist for Nashville’s by way of Boston’s Scissormen and noted writer for ) and Jim Chilson ( of Boston’s wicked Ten Foot Pole Cats ) had had enough and teamed up with the fool idea in their heads to start the DBF anew. To bring it to Cleveland this time around.

Starting out on the small side, make it 100% musician driven so that if profits are realized that goes back to the bands. That gives the bands a little inspiration to help hump the load as well. They are carrying on the DBF tradition. A nice little commie-for-mommie set up that just might work. 
One of the things that has amazed me about this festival, and its something that haven't found at other festivals let alone within other genres, is the camaraderie between bands and fans. The bands are as big of fans of each other as the fans are of the bands. That makes for a very inclusive scene. Everyone wants to see everyone else succeed and does what they can to make it happen. Renowned blues photographer Stephen “Muttbucket” Davidson once wrote,
"...the epitome of Deep Blues for me is the legendary 'unknown convict'. It's all about the open doorway to the's not polished and's dirty and open wound covered with wagon wheel's pain and ecstasy, it sounds like a tornado, the rainbow after the storm... ".

Indeed there will be what most would call traditional blues artists performing. But there will also be artists there that would not call themselves blues artists but would certainly admit to the deep influence their search for true blues has had on them and their music. And there will be artists there that are deeply moved by their love of old timey country and rural country blues but would not hold either title out of respect. Some more punk than blues. Others more blues than punk. Others just some sort of plain ol' punk blues hybrid. But what unites the whole thing for every artist playing this festival is a soul felt passion for a kind of music that moves them deeply. Music that makes them, like the artists that came before them, have to play this music as if their lives depended on it- and for most of them it does. And it's that same insatiable passion to hear real true honest soulful expression that unites fans of this music to support these artists.  
Look out Cleveland!

Let’s take a look at who’s playing the 2011 Deep Blues Festival:

Boom Chick: Frank Hoier and drummer Moselle comprise this electric guitar and drums rock ‘n’ roll duo out of Brooklyn, NY, who mix surf music, ’50s ballads and slide guitar blues to make good on all the things rock ‘n’ roll promised us so long ago. They recently recorded and album titled Show Pony.

Cashman: Led by Houston raised singer-guitarist Ray Cashman, the Nashville-based group that bears his name weaves the sound of Mississippi hill country juke joint blues ala R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough into a powerful stew captured on two riveting, raucous albums. Cashman’s album is Black and Blues.

Left Lane Cruiser: The pride of Fort Wayne, Indiana’s garage roots scene, this duo blend the authority and soul of Muddy Waters and R.L. Burnside into their own bone-crunching sound. As their name implies, they are road warriors extraordinaire, touring widely in the U.S. and Europe. Their music appeared in the 2010 season of TV’s Breaking Bad. Their fourth and latest album Junkyard Speedball has just been released.

Mark “Porkchop” Holder: One of the true pioneers of the modern Deep Blues scene thanks to his earlier role as guitarist in the Black Diamond Heavies, Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Mark Holder puts his own spin on country blues, writing songs and delivering them in a solo performing style that’s an perfect mix of truth and virtuosity. His latest disc is Fry Pharmacy.

Misery Jackals: This Akron, OH, quintet bust out their special blend of old school punk rock on acoustic instruments. They wail on banjo, accordion, guitar, bass, drums and whatever else they can find to produce a one of a kind experience of “Pillbilly Browngrass.” One time a patron at a music venue asked “The Misery Jackals? What kind of music do they play?” The bartender replied “I don’t know man, they’re just flt;#ing awesome!” They’ve got an ep on

“Mississippi” Gabe Carter: Solo dirty blues with a Mississippi regional flavor is this Chicagoan’s specialty, reminiscent of the MS hill country’s Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside, and his Bentonia mentors Jack Owens and Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. His latest album is Until They Drag Me Down.

Molly Gene One Whoaman Band: True to her name, Warrensburg, Missouri’s Molly Gene cuts her music to the bone, playing guitar, harmonica and foot drum while singing like a ghost from the Delta flatlands out for vengeance. She tours extensively and had a wildly successful tour with Bob Log III in 2010. Molly Gene is rapidly earning a reputation for her high-powered performances. Her latest album is Hillbilly Love.

Old Gray Mule featuring C.W. Ayon: Juke joint blues is this Austin band’s specialty — once again echoing, in particular, the electric blues sounds of the Mississippi hills as minted by the Burnside and Kimbrough families. For the Deep Blues Festival 2011 they’ll be joined by Las Cruses, New Mexico’s C.W. Ayon, who usually performs as a foot stompin’, guitar slingin’ one-man band. Old Gray Mule’s new album is titled 40 Nickles For A Bag Of Chips.

Scissormen: This Nashville-based guitar and drums duo carry a style straddling the oldest blues traditions and modernist turns like daring improvisation and sonic experimentation, without betraying the music’s lowdown, dirty roots. With four albums and a new Robert Mugge directed movie starring Scissormen called BIG SHOES: Walking and Talking the Blues now playing at festivals, they are earning a reputation for high-energy live concerts in the US and Europe. Their latest album is Luck In A Hurry

Ten Foot Polecats: This blazing trio is from the Boston-area, but they sound like hard-bred juke joint dogs from the Mississippi hills. Nonetheless, their appeal is wide and their churning, psychedelic-yet-downhome sound is gaining them fans in the rock, punk and psychobilly circuits along with the traditional blues scene. Their latest album is I Get Blamed For Everything I Do.

HERE'S A LOOK BACK AT DEEP BLUES FESTiVAL NUMERO UNO via my crappy early video editing skills:

This piece originally appeared in the July issue of IGNiTiON Magazine. Long time readers here will notice I pretty much plagiarized myself, but whatever gets the message out,right? I hope/look forward to seeing you at the fest. -r