Wednesday, August 26, 2009

High kicks, benefits, webcasts and a farewell

Where to begin? Lots of little bits of news and not much time to write.

First let's give some credit where credit is due, like to Scott and Nan and the Bloodshot Records crew. Their 15th Anniversary Party event at the Cedar on Sunday was a really fun - if long- day. What other record companies throw such a party for their fans? Plus there's nothing like being the person serving the free food to make a gal feel really popular.

Re: the same event, I pretty much have to declare here that Jon Langford is The Man. The guy looks almost like a kindly grandpa, with his thinning silver hair and the twinkle in his eyes. But strap on that blue Stratocaster, and stand back folks! He's got stage kicks like Dobet Gnahore (well, almost), and the rockin' energy of an 18 year old. His set with the Waco Brothers provided a loud, late hour of delight to a couple hundred old punks and rockers at the Cedar Sunday. (Yes, I include myself in that old group.) Looking around, the crowd really looked like one at First Avenue 20 years ago. Even Cedar Operations Manager Dave P., a man whose rock credentials are right up there, turned to me and said, "Wow. Jon Langford on the Cedar stage!"

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Another guitar player with a twinkle in his eye who has graced the Cedar stage dozens (if not hundred) of times of the years is not doing so well this week. Local promiscuous (with his guitar, that is) jam/Celt/jazz/world guy Dean McGraw is having a bone marrow transplant. His numerous pals have begun to organize benefits and the first one is this Sunday, August 30 at the Celtic Junction in St. Paul. A website has been put together to keep people posted on how our man Dean is doing and what's going on with the benefits. It's called Do The Dean, so check it out. Dean has certainly donated his time to the Cedar over the years, and is a singular kind of personality with his stage antics, not to mention the aftershow goofiness. Ever seen his Geman television sex ad imitations or the way he tears off the outside of a samosa to eat only the filling? (Says it's greasy...) Anyway, send this important guy in the local music community some good vibes or a donation or hit the Junction Sunday. (I'm sure tempted to put in a comment about health care reform right here, but I won't.)
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What're you doing Friday night? If you're hanging around on the computer at some odd time in the wee hours you can can check out a free live webcast of our folk rockin' Swedish pals Hoven Droven streaming live from the Shrewsbury Folk Festival in England. Here's the link which explains the deal. Sax man Jens Comen will be back in the lineup after his summer break for paternity leave. Congrats to Jens and Sara on their new addition.
Team Hoven plus some pals on their way to watch the Twins at the Metrodome during last fall's Nordic Roots fest. Jens is waving the tickets, and there's Sara in the red scarf.
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It's a sad day for ethno-techno fans. Italian techno-folkers Fiamma Fumana, one of the standard bearers in the Martyn Bennett-style beats-n-folk music, have decided to pack it in. Co-founder and accordion/guitar player Alberto Cottica was the last member remaining after bass/flute/pipes gal Lady Jessica Lombardi decided not to return after her maternity leave. Programming and sampling wiz Medhin Paolos departed a few years ago, and the band had toured with several singers since Fiamma Orlandi herself left to do solo work. A new programmer and a drummer played on their last U.S. tour. Alas. It was a good run, gang, including several very fun nights at the Cedar over the years. Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

Here's a classic Fiamma Fumana vid from 1999, "Tres Sorelle." That's "Three Sisters" to you and me. Holy cow they look young!

I think that about does it for Mama E. this week. Except this little notice to that cowbell-hater. I have seven words to say to you. know the Low Rider.

1 comment:

Alberto said...

I am Alberto from Fiamma Fumana: Hey, thanks for the mention! We remember fondly Cedar, and wish you the best of the best. Keep up the good work!