Frank Gutch Jr: Notes Are All I Have Left….

It has been another one of those days.  I struggled with what I thought was a good idea all day but it turned to dust in my hands.  Pure drivel.  Which leaves me with what I consider the best part of my column anyway— The Notes.  Feel free to take your time, enjoy the news and videos, maybe take it a step further if you have a mind to.  The artists I feature in my columns are always meant as a fingerpoint.  Seriously.  I am still searching for the music of Lisa LeBlanc, one of my discoveries from last week.  The good ones deserve the scrutiny.  For right now, I am going to take my tired carcass to bed.  It has been frustrating, to say the least.  I only wish my dog had eaten my homework.

Normally, I would not include a press release in the column )okay, I do it all the time, but only for the artists I believe deserve it), but Mysticeti is upon us.  Here is, in fact, their press release:

Mysticeti is musician/visual artist Dara Humniski (The Lad Mags) and Amy van Keeken (The Secretaries, The awesomeHots).  Their debut EP includes songs started in Edmonton and developed and refined in Paris during a three week Artist’s Residency at Break’Art Mix.  Part of that residency included installing tiny nature sculptures of Humniski’s in public spaces as well as taking many photos, videos and sound recordings of spaces, both public and private, natural and made by humans.  A select few of these field recordings are included on Awake Asleep and tie together the pieces creating one long cohesive sound experience.  Awake Asleep releases on August 29 on Scorpio 76 Records.

I make no secret of my love and support of van Keeken’s music.  She has carved out a segment of music all her own.  And here you thought Edmonton was known only for the Oilers and Eskimos.

Why has no major label signed Phoebe Bridgers?  She did get a deal with a subsidiary of New West, or did I just dream that?  I have been following her for years!  Wish I had a label.  I would sign her in a New York minute.  The good news is that Dead Oceans Records isn’t waiting for me.  Finally!  A label with ears!

Red House Records is known for its ability to separate wheat from chaff when it comes to musical artists, having signed the likes of Pieta Brown, Danny Schmidt, Carrie Elkins, and Meg Hutchinson over the years, and they continue their winning ways with a new project from Chastity Brown, whose new album, Silhouettes of Sirens, recently hit the streets.  Here is the new video from that album…

Every time I hear this song, I wonder why Kip Boardman is not a household name.  The guy puts to shame the vast majority of artists getting way more due and it does not seem fair at all.  Listen closely to the way the pedal steel supports the voice.  It is magical, to my ears anyway.  Boardman has created some outstanding music and will much into the future, I am sure.

Charlie Faye & The Fayettes are back in the studio, following up their excellent self-titled album.  If you like pop and sixties-leaning tunes, they have them.  Been following Faye since her knockout Wilson St. album (long before The Fayettes took root) and caught Betty Soo at the Sisters Folk Festival some years ago.  Working together seemed a natural back then and now that they have done it I am a very happy man… musically, anyway.  Check out this page:

The Two Tens impressed me with this video released last year.  Evidently they have now ended up on Bongo Boy Records, which has signed a few others artists of note such as Mark Lindsay, The Corridors and Zombie Garden Club, which put out a knockout first LP a couple of years ago.

Rob Martinez may be a power-popper, but I think of him more as a retro-popper.  Lots of sixties and seventies influences, especially vocal harmonies, dominate his songs.  Right down my alley.  And Adam Marsland, Karma Frog label head (and artist) has come up with a great way to introduce Martinez’s new album, Today My Mind, Tomorrow the World.  It covers the entire album in a minute and a half.  I’m impressed.

I am proud to call Sheldon Gomberg friend.  Here is a video he was involved with, recording and otherwise, from Lizzie Weber.  There are others I will be featuring from his studio and outside in the future.  Like myself, he is in it for the music.  I think he feels it has been time to give back for some time now.

It ain’t exactly new, but it is so cool it might as well be.  Cincinnati’s Mad Anthony celebrates the eclipse with Rocket To the Sun!”

NRBQ is back!  Or would that be “are” back!  Here’s proof!

Freddy Cannon is back, too!  Just came out of the studio with a new track— a tribute to Chuck Berry, with whom he shared stages many times.  No links to the music yet (though I can tell you it is rock ‘n’ roll music), but here is the pic which will accompany the tune.

There is also a rumor that Chip Kinman (The Dils, Rank and File, Ford Madox Ford, etc) has a new band and is recording.  Could be very interesting.  Them deep SoCal boys just don’t quit.

I never had a chance to see The Bumps but I got to hear them.  They were one of the harder edged bands which came on strong in Seattle during the Pac Northwest heydays, a couple of songs which had the bite of fuzzed out psych.  Turns out that a few people wanted to see one of their old singles reissued with an outstanding picture sleeve (I have not seen it but the picture itself is outstanding).  I have the original 45 and can attest to the authenticity of sound.  Please Come Down is among my top ten favorite 45s to come out of the sixties Pac NW era.  You can pick up the single by clicking here.

Mariana Bell is yet another favorite to come out of Charlottesville, which has been blessed with an amazing amount of musical talent.  She may dance around the peripheral edges of Americana but to my ears sounds more mainstream than most.  She has a flair for putting together complete songs in such a way which defies definitive genre, in fact.  Five outstanding tracks add to a library well worth searching out.

Green Monkey Records have become very well known for supporting music outside the label here and there.  This month, they are featuring a band out of the sixties, The Velvet Illusions.  Rather than plunk another track onto this page, I think it would be better if you visit the page GM set up to promote the band’s music.  Click here to read about the band and hear the music.

For my money, Rural Rhythm Records is one of the top real country/bluegrass labels going.  Take a listen to a new song from Billy Droze and you might be thinking the same way.

Not really sure what to make of Third Culture Kings yet, but I am intrigued.  Need to hear more, but like what this video is showing.

People are beginning to talk Anna Tivel lately.  I tracked down this live track on YouTube.  There are supposedly four more in this series and I noticed another handful of tracks besides.  I like this girl.  She attacks a song with conviction and a poetic soul.


Frank’s column appears every Tuesday

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dbawis-button7Frank 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 Frank bottle capone 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.”

One Response to “Frank Gutch Jr: Notes Are All I Have Left….”

  1. Thank you for the mention, Frank! We boys in the Velvet Illusions worked extremely hard to make our music. We did not fool around at all — just seven-days-a week of practice, songwriting, playing. We even worked at reupholstering furniture to pay for our Vox equipment. I hope you enjoyed my WordPress blog piece Green Monkey printed as part of their article. I’ve got more VI-related articles on my blog, including one about my starting a band with two members of The Flowers, aka Flower Traveling Band, of Japan. And stories about working with Willie Nelson, and Alice In Chains’ drummer, later in life. — Randy “Jimmie James” Bowles

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