Malo, Flaco and Earle

I love the Mavericks. Love the sound of lead singer Raul Malo’s voice. “All You Ever Do is Bring Me Down” rose out of my mp3 shuffle today. Tex-Mex superstar accordionist Flaco Jimenez adds his signature playing to the tune.

The Mavericks: All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down (mp3) – from The Definitive Collection

That led me to listen to Flaco’s early 90’s group the Texas Tornados. The group also consisted of Freddy Fender, Doug Sahm, and Augie Meyers.

Texas Tornados: Adios Mexico (mp3) – from The Best of the Texas Tornados

That song led me, for obvious reasons (you’ll know when you hear both tunes), to Steve Earle. If you take Adios Mexico’s traditional Tex-Mex accordion riff, strap a NASA booster rocker to it, and turn the amp up to 11, you get this:

Steve Earle: What’s a Simple Man To Do (mp3) – from Jerusalem

Sunday with The Stands

howie payne

I was watching the Isle of Wight Festival on INHD a few weeks ago, and stumbled upon a Liverpool-bred band that’s right up my alley: The Stands. Folky, Byrds – Beatles – Dylan influenced pop-rock. These guys are great live, has anyone out there seen them?

I got a hold of their second and latest album on the Liberation Music label, Horse Fabulous. Here are few selections:

The Stands: I Will Journey Home (mp3) | Mountains Blue And The World Through My Window (mp3) | Nearer Than Green (mp3)

UPDATE: Thanks to Bob in the first comment below who pointed out that the Stands exist no longer (bugger!). The band’s El Guapo, Howie Payne, decided to part ways. Here’s a little snippet from the Wikipedia entry:

On Thursday, 24 November, 2005 Howie Payne posted the following message on the band’s forum:

I thought I should be the one to break the news that after much thought I have decided to no longer continue with the stands, it has been a wonderfull few years or so but over the last months my heart has been slowly being drawn towards the idea of change and musical pastures new, there has been many changes leading to many reasons, recent times have been both creative and difficult in equal measure, I guess in order to seek clarity I want to now take the time to take some time to get some fresh air and move onto something new, we all thank each and every one of you all for all your support, taking the time to listen to our records and coming to see us play, it’s been a pleasure, thank you so much to you all. Howie.

Well son of a …. ah well, I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open for Howie’s next musical escapade. Someone track him down and tell him I need an update.

  • Buy Horse Fabulous on Amazon UK.
  • The Stands Official Web Site
  • The Stands used to be: Howie Payne: lead guitar/vocals; Luke Thomson: guitar, Dean Ravea: bass; and drummer Graeme Robinson)

See Marah Live

“It’s mind-boggling that here-today-gone-tomorrow bands with half as much talent have gone platinum, yet Marah’s crackers-for-dinner, starving-musician tale is still waiting for its happy ending. Radio success or not, the sold-out Iota crowd clearly knew what was up when the show was announced, and folks were being turned away at the door early in the evening. The lucky fans who arrived in time got everything they wanted and more: nearly two hours of sweaty, honest, heartfelt rock ‘n’ roll.”Washington Times review of last week’s show in Arlington, VA.

I am gearing up for this Monday’s duh – Tuesday Marah show at the Rhythm Room here in Phoenix. I haven’t seen them live since the summer of 2000, when they played the now paved-over Long Wong’s in Tempe. It was one of the finest, most exhilarating live performances I have ever witnessed. Dave and Serge Bielanko are something to see. Bare bones, spirited, genuine guys, they pour their heart and soul into their shows.

They just started out on a tour, so check out the dates below, and if they’re coming to your town, do yourself a HUGE favor, and go see them. If the Phoenix show is any indication ($9!), tickets are ridiculously cheap.

Here are a couple tunes from the 2000 Tempe show…

Faraway You (mp3)
Sleepwalk (Santo & Johnny Cover) / Reservation Girl (mp3)
Can’t Hardly Wait (Replacements cover) (mp3)
– Live from Long Wongs, Tempe, AZ – August 12, 2000

  • Check out their CD’s, including their latest, ‘If You Didn’t Laugh, You’d Cry’, on Amazon.
  • Marah’s Official Site
  • Factoid: Marah’s fans include Stephen King, Nick Hornby, and Bruce Springsteen. Bruce brought Dave & Serge on stage for an E Street Band encore, where they joined in on “Raise Your Hand”.

Tour Dates

Wed 01/18/06 Houston, TX Continental Club
Fri 01/20/06 Austin, TX Continental Club
Sat 01/21/06 Dallas, TX Sons Of Herman Hall
Tue 01/24/06 Phoenix, AZ Rhythm Room
Wed 01/25/06 San Diego, CA The Casbah
Thu 01/26/06 L.A. Echo
Sat 01/28/06 San Francisco Cafe Du Nord
Tue 01/31/06 Eugene, OR John Henry’s
Wed 02/01/06 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
Thu 02/02/06 Seattle, WA Crocodile Cafe
Fri 02/03/06 Vancouver, BC Richard’s On Richards
Sat 02/04/06 Bellingham, WA Night Light Lounge
Wed 02/08/06 Minneapolis 400 Bar
Thu 02/09/06 Milwaukee, WI Mad Planet
Fri 02/10/06 Lansing, MI Temple Club
Wed 02/15/06 Indianapolis Birdy’s
Thu 02/16/06 Lafayette, IN Lafayette Brewing Company
Fri 02/17/06 Chicago, IL Abbey Pub
Fri 03/17/06 Austin, TX Antone’s

State of Independence, I have a dream

Former Pretenders drummer James Hood and Grant Showbiz (who later produced the Smiths and Billy Bragg) formed Moodswings in 1989. Moodswings is electronic, chill, semi-ambient, kick back and relax music. All the songs on their albums basically blend together and make for a very satisfying listen. Their first release, Moodfood, was released in 1992. Tracks 8, 9 and 10 are the “Spiritual High” trio (parts 1, 2 and 3). Chrissie Hynde was recruited to sing Part 2 (State of Independence). Part 3 features an excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I’ve always found the King excerpt quite poignant and powerful. It really fits well into the song.

Moodswings w/ Chrissie Hynde: Spiritual High (Pts. 1, 2, 3) (mp3) | from Moodfood (1992)

Spiritual High, Part 1
Spiritual High (State of Independence), Part 2
Spiritual High, Part 3


It’s been an entertaining week as I’ve found myself sucked into Howard Stern’s debut on Sirius Satellite Radio. George Takei as the official show announcer? Brilliant! It’s great to hear Howard and his gang in their true element: relaxed, honest, and yes, uncensored.

In honor of the King of All Media, here’s another anti-authority figure who takes up a good chunk of my leisure time. It’s Steve Earle, and his not too subtle thoughts on the FCC, the FBI, and the CIA.

Steve Earle: F the CC (mp3) – from The Revolution Starts Now

Bonus: Steve Earle: Condi, Condi (mp3)

“People say you’re cold but I think you’re hot, Oh, Condi, Condi, Oh, Condi, Condi.”

Shake 4 Eddie Turner

Eddie Turner is a Colorado-based blues guitarist who I first heard & saw at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival last summer. I really enjoyed the whole vibe he, his band, and his music emitted. The whole set is available on his web site’s music page. I recommend checking out some of those tunes.

Here’s a sneak peek of a tune from his forthcoming CD, ‘The Turner Diaries’. With a cool guitar riff steering it, this is a really infectious and seductive tune.

Eddie Turner: Shake 4 Me (mp3)

  • Buy Eddie’s CD, ‘Shine’
  • Eddie’s Official Site
  • Factoid: Eddie’s bass player, Kenny Passarelli, has played bass for Elton John, Hall & Oates, and Joe Walsh, among many others. He shares a writing credit on “Rocky Mountain Way”.

Chillin in the Love Lounge

(tina graham of love lounge)

Love Lounge is a Minneapolis band formed by Mark Campbell and Tina Graham. They’re working on getting their demo available to the masses, and should have a MySpace page up & running soon. In the meantime, here is their song “The Doll”, a soft, introspective song that, as Mark says, “would make Norah Jones eat her heart out…..Tina’s voice is so beautiful on this one.”

The Lineup is:

Tina Graham….lead and backing vocals
Mark Campbell….rhythm guitar
Paul Bolin….bass, keyboards
Ian MacKay…lead guitar
Amy Brockman…backing vocals
Dave Hoon…drums

I’ll have more of their tracks available soon. If you like what you hear and yearn for more, contact Mark to get a hold of their demo. If you’re in the Minneapolis – St. Paul area, go check ‘em out live. I’ll have some live dates posted shortly.

Love Lounge: The Doll (mp3) – written by Graham / Campbell (as are all L.L. tunes).