Puscifer: Dates confirmed for third US tour

In support of their second full album ‘Conditions of My Parole’, Puscifer have announced a string of US live dates. It will be the third time Tool man Maynard Keenan has toured the US with his side project.

Those confirmed dates in full:
June 09 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Festival
June 11 – Tampa, FL – Ferguson Hall – Tampa Performing Arts Center
June 12 – Miami, FL – Olympia Theatre – Gusman Performing Arts Center
June 13 – Orlando, FL – Hard Rock Live
June 15 – Baltimore, MD – Lyric Opera House
June 16 – Asbury Park, NJ – Paramount Theatre
June 17 – Reading, PA – Soverign Performing Arts Center
June 18 – Richmond, VA – The National
June 20 – Buffalo, NY – Riviera Theatre
June 21 – Columbus, OH – LC Indoor Pavilion
June 24 – St. Paul, MN – River’s Edge Festival
June 27 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
June 28 – San Antonio, TX – Lila Cockrell Theatre
June 30 – Prescott, AZ – Yavapai College Performance Arts Center

As before, Keenan has no current plans to take Puscifer on the road outside the US.

New video interview with Trixter posted online

As part of a recent edition of WHDA’s ‘Box of Rock’ Terrie Carr caught up with Trixter guitarist Steve Brown and drummer Gus Scott of Trixter. You can watch the resulting chat (as posted on YouTube) below.

The reformed band recently released their comeback album, ‘New Audio Machine’ via Frontiers Records. It marks the band’s first studio record since the mid 1990s.

First G3 South American tour dates announced for 2012

Two South American dates for the upcoming G3 tour have been announced.

Two shows in Brazil have been confirmed, with more shows to be added at a later date.

The two confirmed shows are as follows:
Oct. 11- Citibank Hall – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Oct. 12 – Credicard Hall – Sao Paulo, Brazil

The upcoming G3 live shows will feature G£ mainstay Joe Satriani performing alongside Dixie Dregs/Deep Purple axeman Steve Morse and Dream Theater’s John Petrucci.

Wishbone Ash: US tour dates

Veteran rockers Wishbone Ash kick of the US leg of their current tour tomorrow. In support of the band’s current album ‘Elehant Stealth’ (released in November 2011), Stateside fans can catch Wishbone at the following venues:

April 24 Bridge Street Live Collinsville, CT
April 25 Ramshead Annapolis, MD
April 26 Sellersville Theater Sellersville, PA
April 27 Tupelo Music Hall Londonderry, NH
April 28 Mauch Chunk Opera House Jim Thorpe, PA
April 29 Ukrainian American Cultural Center Whippany, NJ
April 30 BB Kings New York, NY

May 1 The Winchester Music Hall Lakewood/Cleveland, OH
May 2 Callahan’s Auburn Hills, MI
May 3 Midway Tavern Mishawaka, IN
May 4 Fitzgerald’s Berwyn, IL
May 6 Shank Hall Milwaukee, WI
May 7 Wildey Theatre Edwardsville, IL
May 8 Knuckleheads Kansas City, MO

Levon Helm: May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012

Way back in the late 80s, as an impressionable fifteen year old, I saw Martin Scorsese’s movie ‘The Last Waltz’ for the first time.  The film documented the star-studded final fling for The Band, showing them playing alongside a whole bunch of famous friends.  I have to be honest, initially I only recorded it since Eric Clapton was featured and I was a huge fan at that time.

I enjoyed the previously unseen Clapton footage, but as the years passed, I began to enjoy other aspects of the movie far more, opening my ears to the work of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan – all of whom I knew before, but never really knew.  And then there was the wonderfully eccentric Dr John, Mac Rebennack, bringing New Orleans style to the stage as only he can.  Yes, this was a wonderful movie indeed.

Between the guest stars, that movie bought The Band into my teenage world.  For that, I’m eternally grateful.  In the late 1960’s, as their closest contemporaries were experimenting with mind bending sounds and substances, The Band were different: at a life-changing time, as other musicians pushed forward, The Band donned facial hair and great coats and made music that, too, harked back to the past: music with strong elements of folk, of country and of blues; music which often had strong story-telling elements at its core.

While The Band’s chief songwriter, Jaime ‘Robbie’ Robertson has often been praised for his gift as both song writer and arranger, in terms of stage presence and performance, The Band had a stronger figure.  Drummer Levon Helm just oozed charm.  He may not have written much material – contributing just three numbers to The Band’s 1970s catalogue – but his laid back drumming style, and equally laid back voice were absolutely essential to what made The Band’s sound so captivating.  Helm knew he didn’t need to be flashy to create magic behind the kit – his solid grooves and Southern vocals were just perfect.

While later incarnations of The Band during the 90s never quite captured the gloriousness of the original line up, Helm could always be relied upon for his unmatchable style to hold everything together, like a true professional.  His solo works in the late 2000’s and beyond have been critically acclaimed, with his 2009 release ‘Electric Dirt’ winning a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album in 2010.  Despite high praise, it will always be for The Band he’ll be best remembered.  Scorsese’s ‘The Last Waltz’ is a near perfect representation of the man’s charm, talent and his love of playing music. While he’ll never be replaced, let’s be thankful he left so many great recordings behind, and   thanks to having an old heart when they were first recorded, most of The Band’s recordings are truly timeless.   Just as I embraced the music Levon Helm helped make for the generation before mine, let us hope that future generations will also understand what made it – and continues to make it – so special.

Goodbye Levon.  Wherever you are, may Spike Jones be on the box.