Music Tonight: When CityBeat contributing writer Gregory Gaston was in New Orleans earlier this summer, while roaming around the city, he happened to overhear some people talking about how AltCountry/Roots Rock forefather and current Americana music adventurer and Renaissance man Steve Earle had been murdered. Greg was stunned — not only is he a fan of Earle’s music, he was also due to interview the singer/songwriter in advance of his concert tonight at Oakley’s 20th Century Theater. As Greg writes in his article on Earle for last week’s CityBeat, he was so taken aback that he approached the people who’d “reported” Earle’s unfortunate passing. Suffice to say, Earle’s not dead yet and will be performing in Cincy tonight with his band, The Dukes (and Duchesses). (The concert recently sold out, so good luck finding a spare ticket.) Earle’s character on the HBO series Treme won’t be making any public appearances anytime soon, though.
Earle played street musician Harley Watt on the HBO series and, fortunately, that was who those N’awlins gossipers were talking about. Earle’s Harley was gunned down during a mugging, brutally shot in the face in Treme’s June 19 episode. The Times-Picayune/NOLA.com did an interview with Earle just after the episode aired to get his take on the shocking twist for Harley (check it out here). And be sure to read Greg’s interview with Earle in full here. Here’s a recent clip of Earle chatting about his latest artistic endeavors and performing the song “Jerusalem” on KEXP.
Another CityBeat contributor, Amy Harris, has been doing more interviews than Charlie Rose lately. But Amy talks to mostly musicians and her interviews are rarely boring and often entertainingly salacious (would Charlie Rose ask Hillary Clinton about backstage groupies?).
Amy recently chatted up two artists from popular bands that are in Cincinnati for concerts tonight — contemporary Rock chartbusters Hinder (at Bogart’s for an all-ages show with guests My Darkest Days) and classic rockers Heart (at Riverbend for a rescheduled show with Def Leppard ). Check out the interview with the members of Hinder here. Amy’s chat with Heart’s Ann Wilson can be found here.
Leave your suggestions/promote yourself or your favorites by telling everyone about your favorite music event recommendations for the day in the comments below.)
Momentous Happenings in Music History for July 27
On July 27, 1970, music lovers riot in Chicago after Sly Stone fails to show up for a free Sly and the Family Stone concert in Grant Park. It was not the last time the words “Sly Stone fails to show up” were used in the same sentence — that incident and others helped shape the troubled genius’ legendary reputation for erratic behavior.
It was announced recently that Stone’s latest move towards a comeback will be a new album, his first in almost 30 years. A collection of reworkings of old favorites (and three previously unreleased tracks) with guests like Jeff Beck, Johnny Winter and Bootsy Collins, I’m Back! Family And Friends is due for release Aug. 16. Or maybe Christmastime. Or possibly next summer. With Sly, you never can be too sure.
Cincinnati’s favorite funky son Bootsy reportedly worked with Stone on a re-recording of “Hot Fun In The Summertime.” In honor of Sly’s comeback and our ongoing heatwave (most people’s hot fun in the summertime this year has involved indoor, AC-cooled activities, no doubt), here’s Sly and his Family Stone performing a version of the song on a TV program; in grand Sly fashion, the band slyly segues from the bouncy, happy-go-lucky tune into the way heavier and more provocative Family Stone song, “Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey.” (Because of "Whitey," the clip is a bit NSFW.)
Musical folks born on July 27 include one of the first female Country singers to write her own material, Bobbie Gentry (born in 1944), former Blake Baby and successful Pop Rock solo artist Juliana Hatfield (1967), Modern Rock hunk Pete Yorn (1974), Pantera bassist Rex Brown (1964) and Soul Asylum bassist Karl Mueller (1962).
Mueller passed away in 2005 after battling throat cancer. A benefit for his family featured an allstar lineup that included some of Soul Asylum’s musical Minneapolis peers, including The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg and Husker Du’s Grant Hart and Bob Mould, who temporarily buried the hatchet to perform together for the first time in 17 years. In an odd, incestuous twist, Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson (a bit of a musical slut — he’s performed with everyone from Puff Daddy to Guns ’N Roses) replaced Mueller in Soul Asylum.
Soul Asylum were kind of like The Goo Dolls — both had pretty big underground followings before going a more polished route and finding mainstream success (and both early on were very influenced — in different ways — by The Replacements). In honor of what would have been Mueller’s 49th birthday, here’s a clip from that first phase of Soul Asylum’s career — the music video for “Cartoon” off 1988’s Hangtime album.