Frank Gutch Jr: Picture The Ocean— What Portland Missed (including more views on venues and musicians)… The Positive Side of Bottomfeeding (Hits Most of Us Missed)… and Notes You Can Put in the Bank…..

With a nod to Neil Young:  “’Live music is better’ bumper stickers should be issued!”  God knows how few of us realize what we are missing out there these days.  The bars and taverns and music listening rooms are being stocked with an amazing array of excellent artists and we are either sitting at home with our fingers up our ass or hanging out in some bar with no music beyond that hooked up to stereo speakers on walls, bitching about there being no good music.  For all of you who do that (and you know you do), I have a finger for you and you can bet which one.

I drove somewhere close to ninety miles last Thursday to put things right with the music community— a little right, anyway.  I know I don’t support music like I should, at least on the live side, and when I posted my little rant about Picture The Ocean in a review and then found out that a few days later they would be rolling into Portland, Oregon’s Alberta Street Hub for a pit stop, I was stuck.  The words in my column were something like “if they ever come to your area, you have to check out this band.  I intend to.”  At first, I felt like I shot myself in the ass because a ninety mile drive (plus the ninety mile drive back) is not my idea of a good time, but I am always that way.  Yeah, I’ll go turns into I think I’ll go turns into I might go turns into that was last night?  Then again, something serious would have had to keep me away this time because PTO‘s new album (self-titled) had been getting an amazing amount of airplay at my house and I confess to being more than a bit smitten with the sound.  Ninety miles is ninety miles, but spewing words and not backing them up would be a blot on my record.  I drove.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon when I headed north and by the time I got to the pub, I was high as a kite and drugs had nothing to do with it.  It was a glad-to-be-alive day and the anticipation of PTO‘s show was palpable.  I was wired.  A musician named Ellis had booked an early show which had nothing to do with the PTO gig.  I watched through a double-door and heard very little, thanks to music in the lounge side of the venue (the building is split in two, a listening room on one side and the lounge on the other), but it must have been impressive judging by the crowd’s reaction.  The place was packed and I had no trouble hearing the applause after each song.

PTO showed and I flagged down Jacquie B, who had just entered with Jesse Dee and Matt Blackie.  After a quick introduction, we headed out the back door to the outside area to talk and so that they could order some food.  The talk was enlightening, to say the least.  Their show two days before in Seattle had been canceled due to a mix-up.  They were on their way to Spokane, Milwaukee and then Toronto, where they have a number of gigs scheduled at The Cameron House (6-8 PM on September 4th, 11th, and 18th— Aurora Jane will join them on bass).  They are frustrated but not as much as myself by the problem of getting their music heard.  And they live on the road.  If you ever thought being a musician was easy, you can forget that.  They spend so much time on the road that they no longer have a permanent abode, living instead out of their van and eating mostly fast food.  Yeah, it can be fun, but not as a primary lifestyle.

When it came time for them to set up, I headed into the listening room with them, flashing my “I’m with the band” smile and claiming the end of the table at the back of the room which was not all that far from the front.  I watched them pull out instruments and arrange them while talking with the opening act, Chris Bigley and Ben Cartwright, who play as a duo— acoustic guitar and pedal steel (which Cartwright exchanged for a resophonic guitar on the last track).  The stage looked empty, small as it was, Blackie’s trap set taking up most of the space, bookended by Jesse’s and Jacquie’s amps and Jacquie’s keyboard.  Cartwright set up his pedal steel in front of Jesse’s amp and Bigley sat just to the right of Blackie drums and in front.  They were set.

Bigley and Cartwright opened the show with a number of folk/country/blues numbers, all sang by Bigley but accentuated by Cartwright’s soft touch on the pedal steel.  Bigley falls somewhere between a country boy and Jackson Browne in his approach to his songwriting and his voice brought that approach home.  Later that night when I got home, I tracked down Bigley’s Myspace page and listened to a folkie version of what I had heard— good songs but with a voice lacking the depth and emotion I had witnessed on stage.  I have to admit to being impressed with his direction since then.  It was a very good set.

The room held a little over forty people, most friends of Bigley’s or Cartwright’s.  I don’t know if anyone was there for PTO but myself.  If there were, they were well-camouflaged.  The numbers had dropped to thirty or so between sets (it was a Thursday night, so I assume people had work the next day), but that didn’t stop the band.  From the first notes, as roughly mixed as the first couple of songs were, they cooked.  Jesse drove the band with his guitar, jangling with odd time changes and chord progressions.  Jacquie’s mic was mixed way too low and Matt Blackie, as solid as he was, needed to get in the flow.  By the end of the second song, they were on the same page and the real show started.

It never fails to amaze me when musicians become one with the music because that is when that “whole is greater than the sum” thing kicks in and, boy, was it whole!  With the mix down (much praise to the sound man who really nailed it), the three became one and the fun started.  I don’t know what it is that I love so much about PTO‘s sound, but it was overwhelming.  When I mentioned it to friend and music writer Mark Tucker, who has heard the album, he said “that was my reaction when I heard (their music on) the link you sent.  There is something indefinable in what they do.”  Needless to say, I was overwhelmed to the end of their set.  Shades of Alcoholic Faith Mission, not in the music or sound but in my reaction to it.  I liked it so much that I plunked down the money for a physical copy of their album.  Digital was just not going to suffice.

I had planned on listening to the album on the drive home, but I didn’t.  I didn’t play anything, in fact.  There was still music playing on my ears and it felt good toodling down the freeway with PTO in my head.  It was a night I am sooo glad I hadn’t missed.

I did mention that they will be at The Cameron House in Toronto three Tuesdays in September, right?  This band gets my highest recommendation, my friends, right up there with Jon Gomm and Alcoholic Faith Mission.  When these three (there will be all four in Toronto) cook, they cook with gas.  Here is what I suggest you do.  Go to their bandcamp page (click here), familiarize yourself with their music and then head to The Cameron House and buy their album from them.  Talk to them.  They are quality people, good people, and very accessible.  I don’t know how their music could possibly get any better, but you can bet it will after you’ve talked with them.  It’s psychological, I guess.

Miss it at your own risk.  Right after, they head to Europe for a bit of a go around.  With my luck, the Europeans will adopt them and I will never get the chance to see them live again unless it’s on the Net.  The hazards I face when I get invested in my music.  Well, technically, it’s their music, but you know what I mean.

On a related note, I spent the better part of the night talking with another musician, one Belinda Underwood, a very attractive lady who has been plying her music wares for some 18 or so years.  She plays with a variety of groups as well as performing solo and has a number of albums available.  I encourage you to check her out at as well as at Vessel is a bluegrass band, of sorts— actually, more newgrass— with which she plays upright bass.  From what I heard, she’s pretty damn good at it.  And so are they.

The Hits We Missed—

If you think I am going to let Bob Segarini and Jaimie Vernon get a leg up on me, you’re mistaken.  Last week, each put up a column chock full of tracks they deemed hits, and if you use charting as a criterion, they were right.  The thing is, for every chart success, there are hundreds of misses, but that doesn’t mean the music is not worthy.  I have my own criterion:  If I like it, it’s a hit (except in the days at Peaches Records when Howie played some things so much I thought they had to be hits because they got so much airplay in the ol’ workplace).  So let us go over some of the misses I attribute to a music industry which quickly dropped listening to the bottom of their criteria list.

Radio Van Gogh/I Hope I Get It All—  I’ve listed this before.  RVG was one of those groups I was lucky to hear at all and I give credit to Howie.  He always has had this thing about making sure I don’t miss the really good (and usually odd) stuff and he knew I would like this.  The track is very much Pop, the melody captivating and the harmonies over the top.  I’m pretty sure this got a small amount of airplay in Seattle, but only on one station (to my knowledge) and not one which could make a difference.  You know that song by Sheryl Crow which people who supposedly know music said was an anthem of the summer a few years ago?  This track kicks the shit out of that and then some.  Should this have been a hit?  Judge for yourself.  Listen here.

Tarney/Spencer Band/Capital Shame—  If there was anything I hated about the late-seventies and early-eighties, it was the incessant use of synthesizer.  It killed more great music (and movies, for that matter) than the atomic bomb.  But you know what?  Capital Shame (1978) is such a great song that it kicks that objection to the curb.  Not only does Alan Tarney have a voice perfect for the music, his teaming up with drummer Trevor Spencer made for some of the best music the seventies gave us.  It was a crapshoot as to which song to choose for inclusion here because both of their albums are stacked with outstanding tunes, but I’ve always had a real thing for the choral crescendo at the end of this one (listen here).  But, hey, it’s bonus time!  Their US label, A&M, actually had the chutzpah to release a single after both albums tanked.  Here is the best version of Cathy’s Clown I’ve heard outside of The Everly Brothers. 

Yipes!!/I Can See You’re In Love—  There is a lot of The Romantics in this track, completely overlooked by the label (Millennium Records) and radio alike.  It seemed like RCA, who distributed the label, was begging people to take promos to just get them out of the warehouse.  Nobody listened.  Nobody.  But I did.  This was AM Pop in a dying FM world.  It was rock-y, harmonious and made me want to dance.  Head Yipe Pat McCurdy is still around, wowing the crowds in Wisconsin and all those other midwestern states I never seem to get to.  He’s worth checking out.  If there was somewhere I could link to to let you hear I Can See You’re In Love, I would.  It’s a great track.  1980.

Barclay James Harvest/Titles—  This may have not been a hit but it wins the prize for having the most hits in it.  It was the mid-seventies and BJH, gaining huge followings everywhere but the States, decided to go commercial for a bit.  The result was an album titled Time Honoured Ghosts.  The single from that album, Titles, was mainly a collection of Beatles’ song titles strung together and connected enough to make a bit of sense.  (Here is the video)  “Lady Madonna, let it be,” the chorus goes, “something in the way you move me, yesterday, all you need is love, so they say.”  A few Beatles fans liked it.  Most ignored it (along with radio).  A few badmouthed it.  Musically it was solid.  It should have been a hit based upon just the idea, but it was not to be.  Not in the States.  Too bad. I loved these guys.  I bought everything they put out.  One of only a few artists/bands I did that with, in fact.

Lake/Time Bomb—  Don’t ask me how these guys failed.  This is a great commercial-side-of-Yes kind of song, steeped in high Jon Anderson-like voice and overproduced keyboard-oriented rock.  Perhaps it was too melodic or maybe it was just too late (1976).  Their first self-titled album in the States was packed with similar songs.  You wouldn’t know it by the resounding silence from radio.  Yep.  Radio sucked even back then.  That would be the mid-seventies, for those who want to know.  From Germany, I believeYou can hear the track here.

Mike Berry/Don’t Be Cruel—  Berry was one of those guys who, dipped in the fifties, brought that era of music into the present.  He put out a handful of albums and a ton of singles which did okay in the UK but failed to hit in the States.  This is a song which I thought should have received a lot of airplay, it being a cross between fifties’ Elvis (it is, after all, Don’t be Cruel) but cloaked in, say, David Essex‘s Rock On.  I loved this version of the song.  The 45 was released on MCA, as far as I know, only as a promo 45.  Sire Records would release a different version of this song on Berry’s 1976 album, Rock’s In My HeadThis was released in 1975.

Damnation/Back To the River—  No band I’ve ever heard has even approached the depth and sound of Gypsy besides The Damnation of Adam Blessing(later, Damnation), one of Cleveland’s entries into the early seventies rock sweepstakes.  They have been called everything from garage to psychedelic and acid rock and I suppose they deserve the descriptions because they were a relatively diverse band in terms of style.  Back To the River has a groove which has a bit more soul in it than garage or acid rock and was actually released on 45 by United Artists, the band’s label back in 1970.  As good as it was, it died on the vine.  AM wouldn’t touch it and serious FM underground was a year or two away.  The result was a missed opportunity.  FM underground might have hopped on this with both feet, in the Midwest at least.  These guys are legend.  Take a listen.  I assume they did fairly well in the Midwest, but West Coast radio tossed their records into the dumpster before they even listened.  The bastards!

Gypsy/Day After Day—  It was 1972 and Minneapolis’s Gypsy was then traveling back and forth between Minneapolis and Los Angeles, their home bases.  Texas bassist Randy Cates had taken over for Willie Weeks, who had moved onward and upward and drummer Bill Lordan was solidly in the drummer’s chair.  The core of the band— Enrico Rosenbaum, James C. Johnson and James Walsh— were better than ever.  The album was Antithesis, a killer of an album, and it had no real chance.  Radio ignored it and even touring with acts as big as Chicago and Guess Who, the band struggled for survival.  Day After Daymay not have been a good choice for a single what with it’s jazzy structure (assuming that they were aiming for AM radio), but it should have been an FM staple.  It wasn’t.  A great track destined to miss.  Hear it here.  Truth is, any of the tracks on the album were ready for airplay.  Like this classic rocker.  Play it loud.

Wayne Berry/Welcome Home—  Seriously.  Why did radio pass on this one?  Berry has a voice very similar to Jackson Browne, who sings backup on this song (listen here).  I mean, Browne was huge out of the box and yet no one even noticed he was on this.  A beautiful song recorded with some of the best players in the music biz.  Berry did have a hit in Aspen, Colorado (and maybe Steamboat Springs) with Snowbound, but that’s ski country and you know how those skiers are.  You can read the story behind Berry’s struggle for acceptance.  Just click on this.  1974.

Segarini/Goodbye L.A.—  I didn’t “meet” Bob Segarini until the spring of 2007 at which time I was assigned to interview him for the “Summer of Love” issue by Pop Culture Press magazine.  We struck up a relationship based upon radio and music over the years and have not looked back.  I think the most surprising thing to him was that I had all of the Segarini albums (he calls them The Segarini Band) and that my favorite was Goodbye L.A.  He had obviously been hounded by the Gotta Have Pop fans over the years and had answered at least one too many questions about the song Don’t Believe a Word I Say.  We took what little time we had outside of the confines of the interview to talk about that band and the sequence of albums and, boy, did I learn a lot.  It didn’t hurt that Bob and I got along famously, but I was a huge fan long before that.  In my mind, Segarini was treated poorly by the radio people and, indeed, the entire record industry, and deserved a hit.  When I mentioned that Goodbye L.A. should have been that hit, Bob seemed a bit taken aback.  It’s the groove, I explained, that driving but smooth bass line with the chorded organ over the top.  Plop Bob’s voice on top and you plain should have had a hit.  Hell, I think it could be a hit today.  It has that happy, pounding AM radio feel that Bob and I both love.  The only song I can think would be as good to truck down the road with on a beautiful summer day is The Five AmericansI See the Light.  Now, that one was a hit.  Goodbye L.A. is one too.  In my head.  The coolest thing about this album is the dedication.  “This album is dedicated to my father,” he wrote in the liner notes.  A man I would have liked to have known.  This video doesn’t have that screaming organ over the top, but it is live and shows you what those guys could do when they wanted to.  What year was this, Bob?  1979?  Ladies and Gentlemen, Segarini.  Live.  Goodbye L.A.!  Take it, Bob!

Terry Scott/She Don’t Belong To Me—  The eighties were not a happy time for me.  Well, they were, but not because of the charts.  Keyboards seemed to dominated everything and while I love keyboards when handled properly, it seemed like every wannabe had picked up a synthesizer and was pretending to be keyboard whizzes.  The vast majority didn’t even come lose.  In 1982, a guy named Terry Scott put out an album on Elektra that I thought had a good chance to break through but, as things were, both radio and the record label turned their backs.  She Don’t Belong To Me is a mid-tempo crunch-rocker and would have fit well between any of the crap-rockers most stations played back then— even the hard rockers.  Solid rhythm guitar with excellent lead guitar on the  break.  I searched the Net and could not find any links, but this guy is worth looking for, should you have the inkling.

Emitt Rhodes/Trust Once More—  Rhodes was another Big Star.  He had early success with his band The Merry-Go-Round only to turn solo to deaf ears.  He put out a number of albums and singles, all ignored by radio, and he faded from the scene, at least publicly.  My favorite of his solo tracks is Trust Once More from the Farewell To Paradise album.  It is a folk-rock ballad of intense beauty.  The only reason I picked this from the album is that I played it in periods of depression, usually brought on by a girl (or lack of one, more probably).  I have treasured every one of Rhodes’ solo albums over the years.  Trust me when I say that his music had much more to offer than some of the drivel stations were feeding us back in ’73.  Listen here.

Ian Matthews/Seven Bridges Road—  You know that Eagles‘ song you ate up back in the live album days?  Guess what?  They stole the arrangement from Ian Matthews!  Yup.  Whole damn thing.  Sure, they pulled it off okay, but when you hear what Ian did on it, there is no comparison.  This should have been the hit!  This should have been given blanket airplay.  Eagles?  Impostors!  To this day, I have not heard word one from that band even mentioning Matthews (though, to be honest, I have much paid attention to them after the Desperado album, the last one I really liked).  Produced in 1973 by Michael Nesmith with knockout pedal steel by O.J. “Red” Rhodes.  From the album Valley HiHere is a version I’ll bet you’ve never heard.

The Hounds/Bad Blood Between Us—  Detroit has cranked out a ton of hard rockin’ bands over the years and I like them all (though I’m having serious concern over the sanity of Nugent) but my favorite has turned out to be The Hounds.  They put out a fine rocker in 1978’s Unleashed and I expected to hear more, but it didn’t happen.  This track is one of those perfect for the classic rock stations— the ones which lean more toward the harder rock.  Good sound and not too hard.  Listen here.

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band/Look Around—  Before I heard the Earth Band’s Glorified Magnified, I thought Manfred Mann was all Do Wah Diddy Diddy and Pretty Flamingo.  As the seventies overtook me, I had written those guys off.  And then I heard Meat and Look Around!  Jesus, but what a change!  I have since become a consummate Manfred Mann fan, no matter which band he has.  Look Around is one of those crunchers which step outside of the norm.  The guitar break featuring Mick Rogers kills me every time.  Check it out.  If that isn’t an FM underground hit, I don’t know what is.  1972.

Providence/Fantasy Fugue—  Providence was an all-Portland band by way of Boise, a city which lost much of its artistry in the early seventies.  I can’t count the number of people who moved to Portland to tie up with musicians back then, but let us just say that there were more than a few.  By the time the band got a recording contract with new Moody Blues-owned label Threshold, they were Oregonians through and through.  The put out one album, 1972’s Ever Sense the Dawn, and had one chance to break through.  Fantasy Fugue looked like it was going to do it and then, nothing.  Let us just say that London Records, which distributed Threshold, had little sway over radio and radio refused.  That sucked because these guys were fairly unique, having more of an adventurous take on rock music of the day.  You could tell just from the instrumentation of the band which ranged from the standard guitar and keyboard to violin, cello, harpsichord and glockenspiel, quite an oddity in those days.  This is a knockout track and really should have been a hit.  Everyone I’ve played it for since has been impressed. It will probably impress you, too.  Take a listen.

The Records/I Don’t Remember Your Name—  Would someone please explain to me how The Records weren’t international superstars?  They embodied everything that was ever good about pop music— melody, harmonies and hooks— and their songs were classic, even when new.   This is only one of my favorites from Crashes, a 1980 album which should have made radio credible again.  Instead, it proved how inconsequential radio was to become to the fringe and, eventually, to the bottom line.  I give you The Records.  This really should have been a hit!

The Sights/So Much For Everlasting Love—  Talk about groove!  These guys popped out of nowhere with a four-song EP in 1982 and looked to be what The Romantics became, but what the hell do you do with a four-song EP, especially one independently distributed?  Nothing, evidently.  This is a classic example of how radio and records killed so many songs over the years they had a stranglehold on the business.  We sold a few in Seattle, thanks to either KJET or KYYX for airplay, but only a few.  This one dried up fast.  Still, it was a throwback to the days of AM.  Man, I miss radio.  Hear (and watch) it here.

Rick Nelson/Legacy—  Nelson had a bit of a hard time of it after he left television, most of it from naysayers who denied his talents.  His fans wanted him to stay pop but he wanted to stretch a little into country and backed The Stone Canyon Band to the hilt.  By the time of his Windfall album (1974), radio had pretty much deserted him and many of his fans too.  He loved what he was doing, though and it showed on this track, one written by long-time Stone Canyon member Dennis Larden, who was responsible for many of the songs of Every Mother’s Son (Come On Down To My Boat, etc).  Enjoy a bit of a slide show while listening to and watching this.

The Michael Stanley Band/Step the Way—  This track is from Stanley’s 1975 release You Break It…You Bought It!, produced by the legendary producer Bill Szymczyk.  It is as solid an album as Stanley has done over the years and he has done plenty.  This had to have sold in Cleveland, his home town, but when I talked with him back then, he seemed as frustrated as any struggling musician at the time.  This album is chock full of great tunes with solid melodies and topnotch harmonies.  The song Step Away was written by Jonah Koslen and features the voices of Stanley, Koslen and ex-Glass Harp bassist Dan Pecchio.  I would have loved to have heard this on the radio back thenYou can hear it now.  Click here.

If/I’m Reaching Out On All Sides—  These guys missed FM underground radio by a year, maybe.  You can bet AM wouldn’t touch anything this adventurous back in 1970, even after Capitol Records, their US label, edited down a 45 for airplay.  Hell, you could have gone back a couple of years and marketed this as psych, for chrissakes.  But success in the States was just not to be.  The track still has air under its wings, though, even after decades of being pretty much ignored by the general public.  Could this have been a hit?  I think so, but what the hell do I know?  Maybe if the right radio stations had found it.  Hear it here.

Hoodoo Gurus/Bittersweet— Okay, this was kind of a hit but radio in the States was so fucked up at the time that you couldn’t tell it.  The Mars Needs Guitars album was pretty much tossed against a wall to see if it would stick and mostly it didn’t.  What a monster song, though!  The production is immaculate!  I mean, I was a Gurus’ fan before, but this was the capper.  After hearing this, I was ready to fight anyone who said a bad things about these guys.  If you haven’t heard it (and I’m betting that most of you have), check it out.  1985.

Hydra/Goin’ Down—  There was a time that almost everyone had a version of Goin’ Down going, either on record or as a standard live track.  Always a crowd pleaser, Southern Rock bands would use it to get the crowd pumped and none did it as well as Hydra.  I got sooo tired of Southern Rock over the years, but I pull this one out every time I need me a little pump-me-up beyond coffee.  Take a listen.  1974.

Was that the class bell?  I guess we’ll have to continue this later.  I can see myself diving through my boxes of dusty 45s sometime soon.  Maybe that would be fun to share.  Then again, I’m never sure what will get my dander up.    In the meantime, though, here are a few more things you should know:

Notes…..  I may not talk much about Colorado’s Jeff Finlin, but that will stop— for awhile, at least.  He has just issued a music video of My Maybeline (watch it here) and not only is it a great track, it features one of my favorite guitarists, Eben Grace.  The song hails from Finlin’s outstanding album The Tao of Motor Oil, an album I gave a rave review when it was first released (read the review here).  If you read the review, pay special attention.    I found Finlin through Ash Ganley, another very talented Colorado rocker.  I also found Eben Grace through Ganley.  Grace was Ganley’s lead guitarist for a handful of years.  In fact, as I type this, I’m thinking maybe a special Colorado column might be in order.  There is a lot of indie talent in that state.  If you’re curious, start with Finlin and Ganley.  It won’t be hard to branch out from there…..  I haven’t mentioned Sydney Wayser for awhile, so here you go.  She is presently filming a new video for Dream It Up, a track from her recent Bell Choir Coast album and while the video has yet to be completed (though it will be very, very soon), she released a trailer, shall we say, on the making of the vid.  Bell Choir Coast has been bumping up against the best of the year, as far as I’m concerned.  Watch the video here….. I make no secrets about my appreciation for Charlottesville’s Keith Morris & The Crooked Numbers.  Well, he teamed up with Paul Curreri and Jacob Canon to put this video of Like a Haze on the market, if you will.  The song is spacey and reminiscent of early Peter Bardens (pre-Camel) to me.  Worth a look and a listen.  Watch it here…..  Would someone please tell me why I like the Poor Young Things so much?  I have no idea, but I do.  Here is their latest video of the new single The Low RoadWatch it.  I have been.  All this morning.  I had a buddy who used to say that he thought he was part African American because Motown and Chicago Soul was all he wanted to hear.  I think I might be part Canadian…..  Shade‘s Jane Gowan just put up a free download of her and Thomas Neville‘s version of John Prine‘s Paradise (for Dusty), a tribute to Dusty Rhodes.  I grab anything by Gowan I can get.  Her two Shade releases totally knock me out.  It is her no-frills approach, I think.  Download the song here…..  Charlottesville’s Sons of Bill are debuting their new video of Siren Song on baeblemusicClick here to watch…..  Chicago’s Braam Brothers are readying a new album for release.  Titled Hail Violet, songs from the album are being previewed on YouTube.  Just search Braam Brothers, click and listen…..I don’t talk enough about Ireland’s The Minnows as far as I’m concerned, and I talk about them a lot.  These guys are cool!  Vocalist Michael Rafferty has one of those voices with a texture that I like so much and it is sometimes offset by the smooth background vocals, as on Roonkin, their latest entry into the YouTube Olympics.  This is one of my favorite songs from their Leonard Cohen Is Happy Compared To Me album and they kill it, live!  Take a listen.  Now, if I can only figure out what a Roonkin is…..

Frank’s column appears every Wednesday

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Frank Gutch Jr. looks like Cary Grant, writes like Hemingway and smells like Pepe Le Pew. He has been thrown out of more hotels than Keith Moon, is only slightly less pompous than Garth Brooks and at one time got laid at least once a year (one year in a row). He has written for various publications, all of which have threatened to sue if mentioned in any of his columns, and takes pride in the fact that he has never been quoted. Read at your own peril.”





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