Frank Gutch Jr: Part 1 of 2 Starting with Notes!
Frank Gutch Jr: Due to circumstances beyond our control, you will be getting my column in two segments this week. I had the Notes ready to go but last night had to deal with a kidney stone the size and shape of the original Batmobile, and I am not talking the model. I was just about to take a sharp spoon and attempt to dig it out, kidney and all, when the pain slowly subsided and I was allowed some rest.
About four in the afternoon, I awoke, realizing that there was no way I could finish the main section of the column by deadline, so I opted to slip in the Notes and have the meat of this week’s column posted separately. It bums me out a bit because I have some pretty cool music stocking stuffer suggestions, some od which are original and authentic pressings of a few items from the vaults of the Bolo-Seafair record label out of Seattle. It will hopefully be completed soon and we can get it online so you can scan what cool items the label has to offer. In the meantime, you can scan these items which I posted for their coolness factor. Ladies and Gentlemen, the…
I was ready to sit down and write about Ireland’s The Minnows and it occurred to me that I don’t remember exactly how I found these guys. I do know it was a handful of years ago and they had one album which I played incessantly and still do when I find the time. They are just a mainstream rock band, I guess, but there is something about them which got under my skin and gave me a rash of the worst kind and I find myself scratching that itch when it gets bad enough.
Seriously, you gotta love a band which correlates forgetting your pants in high school to forgetting your guitar, though to fully understand it, you might have to know what the hell “Roonkin” is. I don’t much care. This song got the loop treatment when I first got the album. I love the hook. BTW, they just sent me a clip of a song to be included on their new album and it’s freaking killer with the harmonies stacked high enough to reach the attic and beyond. Be on the lookout. Hopefully, they will be streaming the track before long. Like I said, it’s a killer!
Sometimes a song is made so much better by the message. John Flanagan knows.
All of the Courtney Barnett and Patti Smith fans out there will more than likely enjoy this video, filmed at an Aussie concert in which Barnett and some of her cohorts at Australia’s Milk Records perform Smith’s Horses album live. Don’t say I never gave you anything.
Speaking of down under, I just heard this absolutely beautiful song by one Liz Stringer. Man, Australia is hiding some excellent musicians from us!
Sometimes I wonder about The Green Pajamas‘ Jeff Kelly. Maybe it’s wife Susanne‘s influence. Shudder. Here they both are in the form of Fur For Fairies. I will say no more because Jeff has been known to turn people into pillars of salt. Except that Fairies album is out there. In a good way.
How people feel about rain after a long absence. Especially Californians. And Texans. Performance by Richard Byford. I miss the whole idea of performance art as art. Two of my good friends do it— Gary Heffern and Jim Call. Guys, say hello to Richard.
Here’s one for you. You remember Merrilee Rush, who fronted Merrilee & The Turnabouts before going national as Merrilee Rush with Angel of the Morning? Here is a promo shot of her and probably what turned into The Turnabouts in the early days. Meet Merrilee (nee Gunst) & Her Men, circa 1962. And, no, until tonight I had never seen this photo, or any other of Merrilee in her early stages. Thanks to Sammy Carlson who posts on Facebook under pnwbands. You da man, Sammy!
I can thank Paul Curreri for turning me on to one super-talented and all-around nice guy Drew Gibson. Gibson’s new album 1532 is better than even his last (The Southern Draw) which I thought was excellent! This song is a tribute to his father, who passed close to the time of the recording of the album, an attempt to reach through the ether to a man who loved music as music as he did. A beautiful tune, it strikes deep for me, too, because one thing my father and I shared was love of music. Dad would have loved this.
This, from Arthur Barnes, regarding The Cobblestone, an old Quaker meeting house he is hoping to restore as a meeting place for artists and their art. Last year, Arthur says, he was only able to have one show at the building— Tom House. This year, only Brock Zeman. Watch the video and hear what he would like to do. The music in the background is provided by House.
Ry Cooder and Van Dyke Parks were two names relatively unknown back in 1970 when this mini-documentary was made by “the audio-visual arm of Warner Bros. Records.” By that time, Cooder had gained himself a reputation among musicians as a sideman and Warners was trying to break him out via any means possible. Parks was then the WB “Director of Audio Visual Services” and saw film as one possible way. Cooder’s comments are fascinating in relations to the times, which were seeing a real boom for the major labels and a real surge by WB to the top of the pack. In terms of what we know now, historically, it seems a bit disjointed, but it shows an artistic edge which was largely kicked to the curb by marketing over the next few years, almost as if the Board of Directors was trying to figure out if they could sell real music or whether they would have to continue relying on trends. This is a little over 14 minutes long and there is a short problem with the audio from about 10:40 until 12:20, but it struck me as a must watch for people who look back on the record business and think it was all sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
Good news and bad news for us fans of UK vocalist Maxine Dunn. Hew new album, Operation Bubble, is being delayed until February of 2016. The good news is that the extra time will allow a better rollout (meaning she will have more time to market correctly and to have a baby— yes, she is with child). It seems like forever since she release the most excellent Edmund & Leo which broke into my Top Albums list the day it hit the streets. You can hear a track from the new album by clicking here.
The UK’s Jon Gomm must have been a bit nervous when he played a music fest in Hong Kong. The stands you see in the background were practically empty two minutes before showtime. If you get a chance to see Gomm, I suggest you take it. This guy is like few other guitarists on the market these days.
I am a real Jason Tyler Burton fan because of things like this. Burton uncovered a story about a lady named Sally Moore whose story was pure tragedy. I won’t let the cat out of the bag, but let me tell you that this is the first of three volleys, the story from the standpoint of Sally Moore’s husband. Watch the video and see if you can guess where this is going. Then plug yourself into Tyler’s bandcamp page to listen to all three songs, front-to-back. Click here. It will be worth it. He’s onto something.
Here is something very, very cool that my old friend Joe Lee just passed along to me. A documentary about early rock ‘n’ roll in Tacoma. I have met and even know most of the people in this film. Like I said. Very, very cool.
Want to know why I love being in touch with Joe Nick Patoski, one of the guys behind the recent Doug Sahm documentary, Doug Sahm and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove? Because he makes sure I don’t miss gems like this one. Listen and read the notes below the vid. Fascinating stuff.
Here is the trailer for that film. It is one of the best films I have seen about the early days of rock & roll and its aftermath:
Nashville session man and producer Thomm Jutz posted this video this weekend, saying that this was one outstanding session. Of course, he says that about every session. I have to admit, Peter Cooper is damn impressive and this song is outstanding.
I had forgotten about this gem of a video posted last year by one of my favorite bands, The Lonely Wild, but don’t freak out.
My good friend Tom Mank, a class musician in his own right, has been selling me on The Burns Sisters and everything related for some time now. I thought I knew something about them, but the more I hear, the more there is to hear. Here is a bit of a holiday song written by sister Marie, with accompanying slide show. I’m assuming that the pictures are all Burns. Good song, very cool pics. Merry Christmas!
I think I’m going down under for a bit. Them Aussies know how to party. This is Shannon Bourne, who produced and played on Bill Jackson‘s The Wayside Ballads Vol. 1, but who lives quite another life in the outback pubs that keep music alive. I have always been fascinated by how far musicians have come— how yesterdays impossibilities are standard issue today. From what I’ve heard Bourne play, he can do just about anything on the guitar. This video via Jackson, who appreciates the guy even more than myself (that only because he gets to see/hear/play with him on a regular basis). I think The States is just about ready.
Speaking of Bill Jackson (he gets a lot of attention in my corner of the world), he just released a new video which captures Ned Kelly’s sister Kate in song and art renderings, courtesy of Gria Shead. Had it not been for Mick Jagger, the vast majority of us in The States would not know much about ol’ Ned, but Jackson takes it a step further, keying in on a figure not really part of the criminal but the relative— Kate Kelly. Jackson does this all the time, wrapping his songs up in a blanket of history which, if you listen closely, tells of a different time and a far away place. From the album mentioned above in the short paragraph about Mr. Bourne.
Music f**king history! Our fearless leader, Bobert Segarini, made mention long ago about sessions he did with Rita Coolidge back in the day. Here is a track from those sessions. The song, for those who are Pac NW afficianados, was written by Steve Lalor of The Daily Flash, who are back together in some form (I have not yet gotten the exact info except that they are playing around Seattle and Lalor is with them). I like this track. Very early seventies feel— dual leads, harmonies, everything I needed back then. Unreleased, by the way.
(Editor’s Note: This is not the Daily Flash version that Randy, Rita, and I sang backup voices on. Will have to ask Steve to make a video for the original version. This is The Wackers version, recorded in Montreal long after we left L.A. Still…it’s a great version of a wonderful song.)
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.”