This week’s mix features artists who are friends of ours. Marti and I have many musician pals, so if you’re among them and are not included here, stay tuned. I’m already working on Volume 2.
For a limited time you can download a free mp3 file set of this mixtape HERE (Click me).Enjoy!
01 So Far Away
- Marc Black & The Funky Sex Gods
02 Patchwork - Nikki Matheson
03 Train To Salvation - Eric McFadden
04 April In Paris
- John Sinclair & His Motor City Blues Scholars
05 Roughneck Blues
- Damon Brown & Killer Shrimp
06 Beslan - Christian Brenner
07 To Lay Me Down
- Richard Shindell & Nikki Matheson
08 Forevermore - Gov't Mule
09 Fallen Angel - Moonray & The Bitch
10 Come Back To Me - Paula O'Rourke
11 Deja Morts - Red-Lemons
12 Combination Of The Two
- Big Brother & The Holding Co.
13 Chainsaw City - Jerry Joseph
14 All Time Low - Widespread Panic
15 How Many More Years
- Kane Bros. Blues Band
16 Electric Blue – Cactus
17 Breathe On Me - Alan Merrill
This mixtape by Phil Demetrion.
Compiled June 9, 2011 – Paris.
NOTES ON THESE ARTISTS
• Marc Black is a longtime friend from Woodstock NY in the 1970s. Marc is a truly dedicated and committed performer. Marti and I love him to death. It’s always a special moment when we get together. I’m like a groupie when it comes to Marc’s music. He marries the folk, jazz, jam genres effortlessly, winding up with a style that is uniquely his own. Marc has worked with his extraordinary krew of Woodstock musician friends for years. Their blend is seamless. Marc’s voice, phrasing, elastic rhythms and brilliant songwriting are simply unparalleled.
• I met Nikki Matheson here in Paris in the mid-1990s, when she was singing with the local Parisian Grateful Dead tribute band. I’ve always loved the earthy fullness of her vocals and the power of her songwriting. We wrote the song “Patchwork” together; it appears on her new album INVISIBLE ANGEL.
• Marti and I first saw Eric McFadden perform with George Clinton’s P-Funk All-Stars. Then later in Stockholm Syndrome. He’s a remarkable guitarist, highly original songwriter and singer. And a fun hang whenever he visits Paris.
• John Sinclair is a legendary activist, poet, journalist and the hippest dude on the planet. I met him for a moment backstage in Amsterdam after he’d appeared with The Black Crowes, then a while later we spent some quality time at his “office,” the 420 Café in the ‘Dam. We hit it off immediately. John later commented that we were “old friends who just met.” Gotta love the guy.
• Damon Brown is a killer cornet player from London whom Marti and I met when he guested with our pianist friend Christian Brenner at the Café Laurent here in the City of Light. He’s SO talented.
• If you asked which artist Marti and I hear most often here in town, we’d reply Christian Brenner, hands down. There’s nothing more rewarding than to fall by the Café Laurent – the last vestige of the historic Saint-Germain des Prés jazz scene – to listen to our dear friend Christian in his various trio and quartet incarnations. He’s an inspired pianist, always inventive, consistently tasteful.
• Here’s Nikki again, this time providing lovely harmonies to Richard Shindell’s poignant rendition of the Robert Hunter-Jerry Garcia classic “To Lay Me Down.” Also from her outstanding new CD.
• I encountered Warren Haynes through my work as Europe correspondent for RELIX Magazine. Whether in Amsterdam, Paris or Cleveland, Warren always greets Marti and me with a warm smile and a hospitable welcome. He’s such a marvelous musician, humanitarian and down-home no-nonsense kinda guy. We’re looking forward to seeing him here next month with his new band.
• Chris Kenna (Moonray & The Bitch) is one of our favorite fellow Parisians. He has a one-of-a-kind blues voice and writes compelling songs. I included his song “New York” a while back in my ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK mixtape. I always dug that tune because Chris wrote it without ever having visited NYC. “Fallen Angel” is here for my friend Noah, who loves it.
• Paula O’Rourke is a Barcelona-based gal pal who crafts highly individual songs and plays a monster bass guitar. Marti and I met Paula through her gigging with Eric McFadden. In recent years she’s toured in Eric Burdon’s band. Working that “Eric” section of her Rolodex! We have such a fun, zany time whenever we get together here in Paris. What can I say? Like me, Paula hails from Massachusetts. We’re all crazy. And proud of it.
• Marti and I know the young guys in the French band Red-Lemons through McFadden and Paula. Brothers Vincent and Adrien Di Bona and their bandmates Erwan Gourlay and Jeremy Norris are the hottest new rock band in town. This cut is from their brand-new EP.
• My bride and I met Sam Andrew, Dave Getz and Peter Albin of Big Brother & The Holding Co. at various times during the 1990s. They are salt-of-the-earth, warm-hearted San Francisco rock pioneers. It’s always a treat to spend an evening or two with them when they come to Paris. I’ve been a lifelong admirer of Sam Andrews’ song “Combination Of The Two,” which first appeared on the 1968 classic CHEAP THRILLS. Here are the guys back in the day, with their renowned lead singer Janis Joplin, kicking it down at Bill Graham’s Winterland.
• Jerry Joseph is a prolific balls-to-the-wall singer-songwriter I initially encountered backstage at a Widespread Panic Halloween run in New Orleans. My friend Pat in Colorado had sent me a live solo recording and I loved Jerry’s stuff immediately. Since then we’ve become friends. He’s a great guy. Jerry never fails to astonish me with the sheer force of his songwriting skills. “Chainsaw” is a song he performs periodically with Panic.
• Widespread Panic came to Paris in the spring of 1998 for a ten-night stand at the Chesterfield Café. I covered the entire run for RELIX. We became friends, have run into each other many times on the road. The band members are all genuine, straightforward cats. And their music is nothing if not infectious.
• The Kane Bros. Blues Band is another group I’ve known for decades. Back in Woodstock in the mid-‘70s my pal Richard and I served as their booking agents for about five minutes. The brothers have since pursued highly distinct musical paths: Anthony developed his vocal and blues harp chops while Jonathan took his drums-percussion thing deep into the Manhattan new music scene. In recent years they’ve regrouped and released a gem of an eponymous album.
• Jimmy Kunes, current lead singer of the great early-‘70s blues rock band Cactus, was a surprise guest at MARTIPALOOZA, my lovely wife’s milestone birthday bash in New York a couple of years back. Jimmy has a quintessential rocker’s vocal style. He worked with the Savoy Brown Blues Band before joining Carmine Appice, Jim McCarty and Tim Bogert in Cactus. I love what he’s doing with this modern edition of the band. Awesome dude.
• I call him Glitter Boy. In 1975 our dear bud Alan Merrill wrote a little number called “I Love Rock N Roll,” which has made him – and everyone from Joan Jett to Britney Spears – berry berry happy. We started hanging out here in Paris in the late ‘90s, early ‘00s, then later in Maximum City, after Alan moved back to New York. He’s a wonderful singer, guitar and bass player, and clearly an outstanding writer. Alan is a big-hearted, generous friend. He’s responsible for Marti’s and my recording debut: we’re in the gang chorus on his re-recording of “I Love Rock N Roll!” On this track, he sings one of my favorite Ron Wood songs. It’s an outtake from a Ronnie tribute album. In addition to all his own fab tunes, Alan does the best covers: Otis Blackwell, Albert King, Arthur Alexander, Meat Loaf, The Left Banke. Put another dime in the jukebox, baby . . .
. . . AND BE SURE TO VISIT THESE ARTISTS’ WEBSITES TO PURCHASE CDS AND CHECK TOURDATES.
Download a free mp3 file set of this mixtape HERE (Click me).