DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

Are You Ready For Quick’s Shtick Thing?

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on October 20, 2010

Mark your calendars for Oct. 24 because it’s time for the fourth annual Big Fish Shtick, Jim Quick’s close-to-the-heart fundraiser for United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Wilmington. Once again, it’s being held in the back lot of the Triangle Lounge in Wilmington.

The fun starts at 1 p.m. and will keep going until about 7 o’clock. Your $20 donation will net you a pile o’ free grub: fish and fixin’ from Jones Fish Camp, plus Boom Boom’s BBQ, fried shrimp, steamed oysters and what else, oh, Captain Crain’s World Famous Shrimp Stew! A full cash bar will be available to help you wash down the super eats.

There will be plenty of live entertainment, too. Kicking off the party at 1 p.m. is Southern Ryder. I’m hoping to hear some great fiddle from this southern rockin’ group. Taking the stage about 2 p.m. will be the Tim Clark Band, and whether you want to dance or just groove to the music, you won’t want to miss this show.

Jim Quick & Coastline are bringing their Nashville-ized swamp-funk sound back to the Port City! My guess is we’ll be hearing a lot of how they do it Down South. YAY! Personally, I can’t wait to hear  what Casey Meyer does with the new stuff.

Spinning tunes in between shows will be one of my favorite local deejays, Joey Warren, so be sure to tell him I said so!

Don’t forget to bring some extra moola with you, because this is a fundraiser, remember. You need to get you a ticket for the 50/50. Someone’s going to win a pile of money, and if it’s not me, then it might as well be you. So far, items for the raffle and auction include a booze cruise from Pole Position Boat Tours (Must be a real estate guy with a boat); handmade pottery pieces; a gift certificate from Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash (Have you been to this place? It’s wonderful!); a couple of Rickey Godfrey’s new kick-ass blues CDs; one of Babs Ludwick’s hugely popular prints in her Local Watering Hole series; plus, more items are being added every day. And what Big Fish Shtick would be complete without Jim Quick’s own art offering? This is your chance to own a Jim Quick original. Zowee!!

This is going to be a great day, and it’s for a great cause, so I hope you can be there. UCP is one of the largest health nonprofits in the country. Founded over 60 years ago by parents of children with the disease, it has evolved into a committed advocate for folks with disabilities.  Their goal is to ensure a life without limits even if you’ve got disabilities. You can see the group’s work everywhere –  on the Internet, in the workplace, in classrooms and throughout the local community.

Join me and Jim Quick in supporting this group. You’ll have a rockin’ good time while you do something nice for someone. Don’t forget your lawn chairs!

For tix & info, call 910-799-6253.


Directions to Triangle Lounge:

• From S.C. and southeastern Brunswick County, take 17 N towards Wilmington.

• Once you cross the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge into town (You’ll be on Dawson St.) go straight to Oleander.

• Turn right on Oleander Dr., which you’ll follow for about two and a half miles.

• Turn left on S. College and then take your third right onto Wrightsville Ave. Triangle Lounge (5920 Wrightsville Ave.) will be on your right. There should be plenty of parking in the field up the street.




South By Southeast Update

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on October 20, 2010

The big news, boys and girls, is that SxSE – my favorite nonprofit music organization – has finally received their 501 (c) (3) status. That means the I.R.S. formally recognizes them as a nonprofit organization and when you join or make a donation, you can declare it on your taxes. (Hey Jeff, we’re legal!)

Upcoming Shows (These will be SRO, so order your tickets yesterday!)

Mike Farris . (Photo Ed Rode)

Dec. 4. The amazing Mike Farris brings his rockin’ gospel back to the Train Depot. Mike Farris has been part of the Delbert McClinton Cruise (and will again for 2011). He’s played Bonnaroo, SxSW, Austin City Limits. I’m here to tell you, he’ll take your breath away.







Guitarist Rev. Johnny Mac

Jan. 15, 2011. Johnny Mac & the BootyRanch. You may know the Rev. Dr. Johnny Mac from the Jumper Cables. Well the Booty Ranch – made up of Johnny on guitar and vocals, Chris “Mega” Watts on bass and vocals, and Stevie “Fatback” Kent on percussion and vocals – have been burning it up in Charleston since about 1998. The genre-jumping trio covers electric blues, R&B, funk, rock and swamp. Exciting stuff!






Randall Bramblett (Photo Jeff Jeffares)

March 5, 2011. Randall Bramblett Band. Can you hear me shouting my excitement?  Randall is one of my favorite songwriters ever, and his band blows the roof off the Depot every time. If this is a name you don’t know, Google it and see what you’ve been missing. Randall Bramblett brings together blues, jazz and rock like no one else does.

Visit  the South By Southeast website  for more information on these shows, and then shoot an email to southxsoutheast@aol.com to reserve your spot. You can always Trust the Frog.

Chainsaws Still Carving Out Their Place In Myrtle Beach

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on October 20, 2010

The Chainsaws - tuned and lubed for your listening pleasure!

How can you not love a group that bills themselves as “tuned and lubed for your listening pleasure”? The Chainsaws have been playing around Myrtle Beach since 1995. The band includes Charlie Newell on bass, Sam Hannaford on percussion and vocals, Michael Perrucci on guitar, Nell Ciaccio on vocals, Keith Thompson on harp and vocals,  Jim Thomas on guitar and Curtis Richardson on drums. Craig Ciaccio is the group’s sound guy.

They’re gearing up for their tenth annual Scorpio Birthday Bash, which takes place at Bimini’s Oyster Bar and Seafood Café on Nov. 6. If classic rock, big lovable guys and birthday parties are your thing, you won’t want to miss this shindig. It’s gonna be a blast. 
The Chainsaws, who individually serve as volunteers and board members of local music organization South By Southeast, cover a wide range of musical genres. Sam Hannaford tells me, “We really like to massage some of these old tunes our own way.”
“The Ocean,” by Led Zeppelin is one of those tunes.  Willie Dixon’s “Good Mornin’ Little School Girl” is another. You can also expect to hear some  Van Morrison, Spencer Davis Group, Curtis Mayfield, Joe Cocker and Atlanta Rhythm Section.

For you lucky Scorpios, there will be a free raffle for birthday gifts. Happy birthday, Saul! Par-tay!

Bimini’s Oyster Bar is located at 930 Lake Arrowhead Rd., Myrtle Beach, S.C. If you need directions, call 843-449-5549.

Who Says You Can’t Go Home Again?

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on October 6, 2010


Ronnie Godfrey


Ronnie Godfrey Concert at School For Blind

It’s about 250 miles from where I am in coastal North Carolina to the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind in Spartanburg … kind of a long way to go for a piano recital. But I’m thinking about making the trip.

I mean, how often do I get to hear freakin’ Ronnie Godfrey?

In case you’re one of those folks who never ventures far from the Top 40, let me tell you about Ronnie Godfrey – singer, songwriter, composer, producer and piano man – who’s well worth breaking out the Garmin.

During the early eighties, he was  the keyboard player for Marshall Tucker Band, playing on three of the group’s Warner Brothers albums. He was a driving force behind the S.C. Upstate powerhouse, Garfeel Ruff. He’s written over 2,000 songs with recordings by  Marshall Tucker Band, Billy Joe Royal, Sonny Turner, Damon Gray, Rob Crosby, Johnny Lee and others.

He’s played piano for Crystal Gayle, Charlie Daniels and David Allen Coe – among others. His list of credits is a mile long.

“Hat Full of Rain,” which Ronnie co-wrote with wife Kim Morrison, was recorded by Ty Herndon for his highly acclaimed 1995 debut album, What Matters Most on Epic Records. In 2004, Ronnie co-wrote, co-produced, played keys and sang background on Johnny Lee’s “Santa Claus Is Lookin’ For Love.”

Ronnie also produced Cole Porter’s indie-country release, Poetic Justice, which climbed to the  indie top ten charts and featured two singles that reached number one spots on the indie charts.

In 2007, Ronnie brought soulful background vocals  to Leon Russell’s Angel In Disguise release.

Born completely blind in Greenville, S.C., Ronnie was introduced to music at the S.C. School for the Deaf and Blind. On Oct. 30, he will return to present a special concert celebrating the school’s 155th anniversary.

Last week, I talked to him about his music, his family, his experiences at the blind school and about going back to where it all began. As you’ll see, it was classic Ronnie Godfrey. He tells it like he sees it.

“When I started playing in 1964, I was eight. I didn’t like it. At the school, they forced us to play … If you’re talented they make you play. For first five years, I tried to quit. All my friends were out of it and I was a little bit of a problem child anyway. I went to Dr. Walker, but he wouldn’t let me quit. Now I’m grateful. It’s a really good lesson. Don’t expect to like everything.

“When I was 15 my parents bought me a piano so I could play over the summer and I fell in love with it. Now at this 50-year mark, I want to go back to where it started and feel it …. sort of absorb and connect to where it started … be in that room again.”

Ronnie Godfrey is very matter-of-fact about his childhood. He states the facts, but doesn’t dwell on the difficulties.

“I was so troubled, ran away from school three times. My dad was in prison: he robbed a bank, and everyone knew it. I had bedwetting problems.

“The school had that 19th century parochial school, sort of Dickensonian quality to it. The housefather and his wife at the dormitory  made me wash my sheets if I wet.

“The teachers at the school were wonderful, but the dormitory was abusive.”

“One time this housefather, he was going to show me he could control me. He said I was an instigator. He put me in a room with the deaf kids.

“But, I think those things mold you if you let them.”

He doesn’t seem to have hard feelings about his father either, who shares his first name, Virgil.

About Music City, Ronnie says, “Nashville has become a cesspool. Once Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks and the others made it big, there was suddenly a lot of money. Then the lawyers showed up. Now the radio is packed with bad songs. “Somewhere Between Old and New York” by Dave Loggins? It’s about a shoe shine guy at Yankee Stadium. You couldn’t write that song now. Now it’s crappy ass songs.

“There are two ways to make money: sales money and play money. Some bribe the radio stations. You can make money without even selling records.

‘It’s not depressing to me. I’m not a typical human being. I never did fit in with the good old boy set. I didn’t hold my mouth right. I’m not even normal for blind people.”

Songwriting is clearly a great love for Ronnie Godfrey. “It’s got to have a combination of being honest and conversational, yet also a sense of imagery. Convince the listener that it’s real … like the opening to “Hotel California” … On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air . They made you know … in a very few words.”

In 1998, Ronnie began to jam  with Casey Lutton (guitar and vocals), Steve Johnson (drums and vocals) and Michael Thorn (bass). In 2000, they formed Virgil, a genre-resistant jam band. The group recorded Standin’ In a Circle, which, you can hear on the group’s MySpace page at the previous link.

“My philosophy of life is in Virgil. I believe people should be free with each other – spiritual and free and open. The church has done more to screw up manhood. People don’t believe they have the right to feel that good. If people would learn to be free and love, people wouldn’t have to fight wars.

“I see Virgil as my alter ego. Why the name for the band? We didn’t want just my name on it, but it was my concept, so it was a way to name the band.”

If there’s a single song that reveals who Ronnie Godfrey is, it’s “The Man In the Glass,” and he’s happy to talk about it.

“I did a bad thing. I knew it wasn’t right. I was drunk. I had this old pendant metronome … well, I stumbled into the piano, activating the metronome. It was telling me sit down and work this thing out. For two days … I wouldn’t eat until it was done. I couldn’t sleep.

“I had one guy , an alcoholic, it made him quit drinking. That song is my benchmark, my anthem, my way of facing up to myself.  It’s like it was meant to be. That metronome told me. That song was in my soul.”

Ronnie’s currently working on a project with Kim, his wife of ten years, also a singer/songwriter/musician. “It’s the best stuff I‘vet ever done. I’m playing all the parts. She’s singing it all. We’ve co-written it all. It’s a CD for her, Therapy.”

When will it be done, I wanted to know?

“Probably two years. I’m a guy who needs time. Virgil took five years.”

I’ve heard three rough tracks from Therapy. It will be worth the wait. In the meantime, visit the website for more info.

The South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind is located at 355 Cedar Springs Road in Spartanburg, S.C. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $7 and proceeds will benefit the School for the Blind Alumni Association. For details call 864-285-2921 or email: barbieann519@charter.net.

This Flying Under the Radar post has also been published in Coast magazine and Alternatives NewsMagazine, Myrtle Beach, S.C.