DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

Rickey Godfrey Teams Up With Frank Wilkie, Jeff Sipe For Oct. 10 Show

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on September 27, 2010

The Nashville guitarist will be joined at Fall For Greenville Festival by former Marshall Tucker bassist Frank Wilkie and Jeff Sipe from Aquarium Rescue Unit

The Rickey Godfrey Trio will perform at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10 at Fall For Greenville in Greenville, S.C.  The festival offers three incredible days of wine and beer tastings, restaurant sampling, children’s events and entertainment by an exciting roster of nationally and regionally known entertainment acts.


Rickey Godfrey and his Telecaster.


Greenville native Rickey Godfrey brings an electrifying blend of hot rockin’ blues and hip-shakin’ soul to every performance. Blind since birth, he started studying classical piano and voice at the age of seven, while attending the South Carolina School for the Blind, and, at age 13, began playing guitar as well.

Godfrey is a founding member of Garfeel Ruff, one of the most beloved bands to come out of the Upstate. Since moving to Nashville, Tenn. in 1993, he has worked with a diverse group of artists including Rufus Thomas, Billy Preston, the Box Tops, Johnny Jones and Sam Moore, to name just a few. The Music City Blues Society has nominated this versatile musician as both Guitarist and Keyboard Player of the Year. Godfrey has just completed a new blues CD titled Nasty Man, which he also produced and expects to be available during the festival. “This CD defines who I am as a complete musician more than any record I’ve ever made,” Godfrey said. “I play all the guitar and keyboard parts on it, and I wrote or co-wrote ten out of the 12 songs on it. My vocals on it have an edge that I’ve never had on my other recordings. I think it’s me singing at my best.”


Bass player Franklin Wilkie


Bass guitarist Franklin Wilkie, who played with Godfrey in Garfeel Ruff, is probably best known for his eight years playing bass for the Marshall Tucker Band. He took on the difficult job of replacing Tommy Caldwell after his untimely death in an automobile accident. He recently played on and produced Ear Candy, the critically acclaimed 2009 recording by Chocolate Thunder. He and Godfrey, who played guitar and keyboards on the CD, both performed with the band at the 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival.

Drummer Jeff Sipe may well be the definitive “drummer’s drummer,” always challenging himself as he explores one musical style after another. He brought together bassist Oteil Burbridge and guitarist Jimmy Herring to form the wildly successful Aquarium Rescue Unit, which, until they disbanded in 1994, was considered one of the best jam bands in the country He has played with Col. Bruce Hampton, Steve Bailey, Chris Duarte, and players from the Derek Trucks Band, Phish, Widespread Panic and more.


Jeff Sipe (photo Michael Saba)


These three musicians coming together at Fall For Greenville is a rare opportunity to enjoy a level of musical talent not often experienced. The trio will play from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Brown Street Club Stage, which is located at Piazza Bergamo at the intersection of Main and Coffee Streets in downtown Greenville, S.C.

About Fall For Greenville

Some of the additional acts include blues legend Mac Arnold;  Cravin’ Melon; Angela Easterling and the Beguilers; Wanda Johnson; Chicago Joe Jones; San Francisco’s Gaylyn Arnold and Greenville’s own horn-driven funk band, The Work.

Over the past five years, Fall For Greenville has donated over $200,000 to local nonprofit organizations. This year’s targeted groups include Harvest Hope, Project Host, Loaves and Fishes, HandsOn Greenville, Greenville Rape Crisis, and St. Francis Foundation. Hours for Fall For Greenville are: Friday, Oct. 8, 5 – 11 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 9, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 10, noon to 7 p.m. is available and city and private lots as well as garages throughout the downtown area. The festival is free to the public. Tickets, which cost $5 per sheet of eight tickets, are used to purchase food, beverages and children’s activities.  Anyone wishing to drink beer and/or wine at the festival must have valid identification and buy a City of Greenville wristband for $1. No pets, coolers, bicycles, lawn chairs, inline skates or skateboards are permitted at the smoke-free festival. For more information, visit www.fallforgreenville.net.


Tellin’ It Like It Is ‘Down South’

Posted in CD Picks by darielb on September 24, 2010

Folks around here have been driving themselves pure crazy waiting for Jim Quick’s latest funked-up collection of melodic metaphors telling tales of heartache, woe, one-night stands and other intimate snapshots of his tumultuous life.

Well I’m happy to tell all ya’ll that there’s no need to get your panties in a wad, it’s finally here. Hot off the Music City presses, the CD titled Down South is here, but this time around, our hero is singing a whole different tune.

He’s left his Coastline band behind – for the moment – and teamed up with Nashville songwriter/producer Gary Nicholson. All 14 tracks on the CD are either written or co-written by Nicholson, who has brought together a colorful group of mostly southern songwriters to help him tell us how it is Down South.

I don’t mind telling you I was a little skeptical since Jim Quick, a fine songwriter himself, is pretty strong in the colorful department … sort of Cole Porter meets the Soggy Bottom Boys. But it appears to be a smart partnership.

“I’ve been wanting to work with Gary Nicholson since Nothing Personal [Delbert McClinton’s 2003 Grammy-winning album, which was produced by Nicholson]” Jim tells me. ‘A Little Bit of Money,’ ‘Buying This Beer,’ ‘Mississippi Mud’ … all were totally written with Gary Nicholson in mind. What would he do if he were writing this song?”

Quick’s vocals throughout Down South are some of his strongest to date – raw and emotional, with a little swamp funk around the edges.

Opening track is “Living On Love,” co-written with Craig Fuller of Little Feat and Pure Prairie League fame. It’s a fast-paced, high-energy piece that hints of what’s to come.

Track two, “Rewind,” is a sweet little tune, almost pop in nature, but soulful and fluid. Nicholson wrote it with N.C. native Seth Walker whose own music melds blues, jazz and soul with his recently adopted Nashville’s country sound. Carolina folks will love its shag beat.

Up next is “Stronger Than You Need To Be,” penned by Nicholson and Twin City players Bruce McCabe and David Z (You may know David Z for the distinctive snare drum on the 1989 hit single, “She Drives Me Crazy” by the Fine Young Cannibals). This is a tune about tenderness and surrender, accentuated by a spot-on vocal delivery from Quick.

Title track, “Down South,” follows and it’s a righteous romp through swamp living, downhome cooking and all things southern. Listen for some fine slide guitar here from Canadian Colin Linden. Southern Canadian.

“I’m a Dog,” a co-write with Delbert McClinton, is going to be a favorite at live shows. Listen closely, you’ll hear Delbert barking, too. Fun tune that I expect will become signature Coastline.

Bekka Bramlett, talented offspring of the California country-rock duo Delaney and Bonnie, is the husky, sultry female vocal on the fast moving country-edged “Deal With It.” Written by Nicholson and Billy Burnette, this tune was on Bekka and Billy, the duo’s 1997 pop rocka- billy recording, and now she adds her significant voice to Quick’s for another lively version of the tune.

She’s also one of the writers on “Strongest Weakness,” which has a rockin’ gospel sound that’ll get you out of your seat. Is that the McCrary Sisters I’m hearing?

Other tracks include “No Good Place To Cry,” a take-your-breath-away ballad written by Nicholson and Randy Houser, “Forever Man,” a Tyrone Davis-type tune, which was co-written with Billy Currington; and “It’s Too Late” from Alabama southern roots voice, Adam Hood.

“Hurt That Bad” (Gary Nicholson/Billy Currington/Paul Overstreet) will grab your heart, guaranteed. Vocals and horns are especially noteworthy here. The jumpin’ “It’s Always Something” was written by Gary Nicholson, guitar great Al Anderson, Tom Hambridge and Delbert McClinton. “Don’t Shoot the Snake” (Gary Nicholson/John Hadley/Kevin Welch) is a great blues-driven closer that brings us full circle back to the swamp.

Players on the CD include: Lynn Williams, drums, percussion; Steve Mackey, bass; Rob McNeely, electric and acoustic guitar; Gary Nicholson, electric and  Kevin McKendree, piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, Hammond B3 organ; Colin Linden, slide guitar; Al Anderson, guitar (“It’s Always Something”); Jim Hoke, saxophone, harmonica, Jew’s harp; Steve Herman, trumpet; Chris Charmichael, strings; Delbert McClinton, har- monica and barking (“I’m a Dog”); Jim Quick, lead vocals; background vocals, Bekka Bramlett, Perry Coleman, Regina McCrary, Ann McCrary and Frieda McCrary; producer, Gary Nicholson.

Apologies to Dan Tyminski, Harley Allen and Pat Enright. Soggy Bottom Boys is just way more poetic.

Last Waltz Ensemble: Not Your Off-the shelf Tribute Band

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on September 24, 2010

This Atlanta-based jam band pays tribute to Bob Dylan and The Band by playing their music, not duplicating it.

The Last Waltz Ensemble is billed as a tribute band, but the truth is they’re a rocking jam band playing the music of Bob Dylan and The Band. So when they roar into the Train Depot on Saturday for their South By Southeast Music Feast, don’t expect any mimicry. No one will be channeling Richard Manuel or copping licks from Robbie Robertson.

Founder Kris Gloer told me in a telephone interview last week, “We’re not like a wax museum. We’re a jam band. In fact, we’re two guitars instead of two keys.”

I wanted the backstory. How did this jam band wind up playing Bob Dylan tunes and The Band to packed houses all over the place? “It was 2004,” Kris began, “we had a group called Houndog in Marietta, Ga. and were playing at Fuzzy’s Place, Smith’s Olde Bar and other spots. We were all big Band and Dylan fans and decided to do a one-time tribute to The Last Waltz, the Scorcese film. So we did two nights at Fuzzy’s Place, and we packed 250 people in each night. After that, it became an annual thing and just kept growing.”

Guest performers for the initial event included Tommy Talton from Cowboy and Gregg Allman Band; the late blues great Sean Costello; and Jeff Mosier from Blueground Undergrass.

“I remember that first show,” Kris says, “Tommy Talton did ‘Caravan;’ Jeff Mosier did ‘Ophelia,’ with the banjo and Sean played ‘Mystery Train.’ Listening now to Sean’s set, it sounds like a damn release. He did ten shows with us. His last show with us was April 4, 2008.” Sadly, Sean Costello was found dead in his Atlanta hotel room a week and a half later.

The annual shows have now evolved into a regular gig. The ensemble tours throughout the southeast with a relentless schedule. Guest performers have included Oliver Wood, Susan Tedeschi, Col. Bruce Hampton, Ike Stubblefield, Rick Richards and many others.

The SxSE show will feature vocalist Jessica Sheridan along with drummer Jack Friel.

If you have any doubts that this is just another tribute band, google Last Waltz Ensemble and watch some of their stuff on YouTube. And then send an email to southxsoutheast @aol.com to reserve your spot for the show. Tickets are $25 and include dinner, wine, brew, sodas and bottled water. For more information, visit southbysoutheast.org.

Little Isidore Takes It to the Street In Ocean Drive

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on September 8, 2010

Little Isadore aka David Forman

I love a street party and we’re about to have the granddaddy of them all, a double shot of fun right here in the Ocean Drive section of North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Fun Sunday and Fun Monday are set for Sept. 19 – 20, and folks around here are gearing up for the kind of laughin’ and singin’ and music swingin’ that would give Martha Reeves goosebumps. This street party extraordinaire is part of the ten-day non-stop party better known as Fall Migration. Main Street in O.D. will once again be overtaken by shaggers and beach music buffs from all over the south- east … and then some. Bring your lawn chairs, your sunscreen and your booty to Ocean Drive and get ready to boogie. You gonna dance!

Fun Sunday

The Sunday schedule features two of the most innovative musicians in the area: Charleston’s Rick Strickland and Jim Quick from Wilmington, N.C.

Rick Strickland is probably best known for his mega-hit, “Something Smooth,” from the CD of the same name that earned him a Carolina Beach Music Academy (CBMA) award in 2007. “So Do I,” the ballad from his 2008 CD, Island Soul, is still requested at least once during every gig. His current CD, Seven, was released earlier this year and is continues to spit out singles.

Rick, who worked with Todd Rundgren earlier in his career, is a sought-after producer – in addition to writing, singing and performing with his own Rick Strickland Band.

He tells me he’s got two projects in the hopper right now: an album for band member Lesa Hudson and another for Miami artist, Billy Lee. Singles from both CDs are on Sisbro Records’ compilation Carolina Shag 2: “You Make the Good Times Better” and “Living For the Love of You.” The seven-piece Rick Strickland Band rocks with the best. You won’t want to miss it.

Jim Quick & Coastline are also slated for Sunday’s fun.

After opening for Montgomery Gentry last December, filling the house for Delbert McClinton at the Myrtle Beach House of Blues this past Spring and enticing Nashville producer Gary Nicholson to produce a solo effort for Jim Quick, these boys are riding a mighty big wave that shows no signs of stopping.

Quick’s new 14-track CD, titled Down South, is due out in time for Fall Migration, so I imagine the Fun Sunday show will feature some of the disc’s new tunes. Coastline is already performing the title track, and it’s a rockin’ tribute to southern life that drips with those funky bits of the swamp that we’ve come to love.

Fun Sunday is gonna rock, ya’ll. Don’t miss it!

Fun Monday

There are four acts scheduled for day two of the fun: DieDra, the Magnificents, Hip Pocket and Little Isidore & the Inquisitors with our old friend, Angel Rissoff, front and center.

I was lucky enough to see DieDra at the Spanish Galleon during Spring S.O.S. and I’m

here to tell you, this is another high-energy show. This mama rocks from the minute she hits the stage. DieDra’s five piece band is led by husband Keithen Ruff, a powerhouse on the gui- tar. Her single, “Hip-Swingin’ Blues” from the KHP compilation Let’s Dance Again … Can’t Get Enough is currently at No. 15 on the Beach Music 45 chart and her “Ready To Dance the Night Away” from KHP’s Coast To Coast: Let’s Dance the Night Away is at No. 19. Her current CD is Livin the Bluz (Ruff Pro Records).

The Magnificents will take the stage next. Originally formed back in the sixties, this incarnation came together in early 2006, and earned them- selves the 2007 CBMA award for New Artist of the Year. This classic soul group has four strong lead vocalists in Clinton Horton, Kim Todd, Jimmy Matherly and drummer Joey Barnes. The group’s single, “Never Know What’s On a Woman’s Mind” is simmerin’ on Beach Music 45.

Hip Pocket, the CBMA New Artist of the Year for 2009, is one of the best dance bands around. Their variety is their strength, so you can expect to hear soul music that will take you back to the sixties, some sizzlin’ hot country, party rock and everything in between. Their website says, “It’s like New Year’s Eve every night with the Hip Pocket Band! And they’re right!

Headlining Fun Monday this year is Little Isidore & the Inquisitors with blue-eyed soul meister Angel Rissoff featured in the show. Wowie zowie!

There’s so much to say about Little Isidore, I don’t know where to start. David Forman, as he is also known, has been in the biz since the early 70s. He’s currently working on his Off Off Broadway show called “Dollface.”

Forman began his career with Bell Records and signed with Arista Records in 1975, releasing his debut album David Forman in 1976 to inter- national acclaim. The Japanese import of this album still sells on the Internet today for about $95. His ballad from that recording, “If It Takes All Night,” has been covered by The Neville Brothers on their Fiyo On the Bayou CD and again by the Temptations’ Eddie Kendricks on his Vintage ‘78 recording.

In 1977, Forman released a second album, Bacon in the Sun/Moonlight Mayonnaise co- roduced with Jack Nitzsche. After Nitzsche introduced him to lyricist Gerry Goffin (Goffin- King), they worked together until Goffin relocated to Los Angeles.

During the 80s, our hero worked in advertising as a jin- gle writer and singer. He col- laborated with some of the best agencies in the country produc- ing work for McDonalds, Ford, Northwest Airlines, Skippy Peanut Butter and other nation- al brands.

He founded Little Isidore & the Inquisitors in the early 90s with Neil Posner (better known as bass guitarist Johnny Gale) as a classic rock group special- izing in and devoted to what he calls “the forgotten idiom of group harmony rock & roll.” (Inspiration for the name came via Damon Runyon, “Guys & Dolls,” and David’s two Uncle Isidores.)

Little Isidore & the Inquisitors have been on the beach charts since 1994 with their debut No One Gets Hurt. A follow-up album Inquisition of Love included the hit singles “All Night Long,” “You’re So Fine” and “Harlem Hit Parade.”

Speaking of which, Angel Rissoff aka Little Leopold, the original lead singer of “Harlem Hit Parade,” is joining the group for this show, as will femme fatale Kitten Kaboodle. The 12-piece ensemble is going to bring Main Street to its feet – and that’s exactly what David Forman wants.

“I expect dancing!” he told me. “I want to see people dancing in the street. Really!”

For some great insight into the man who is David Forman and Little Isidore, go to his MySpace page (MySpace.com/LittleIsidore) and read all about his me-o-myo- cardial infarction, his early experience in a documentary about Phillip Petit’s high wire stunt between the Wold Trade Center towers in 1974, his paper doll cutouts and his love of 50s rock & roll. Pony tail or no, Little Isidore is like crazy, man.

Angel’s website

NOTE: Lyrics borrowed from “Dancing in the Street,” written by William “Mickey” Stevenson and  Marvin Gayelaughin’ and singin’ and music swingin’.