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Doomtree drops a "leaker" track from new all-crew sessions

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music, Minnesota musicians Updated: July 29, 2014 - 9:26 AM
P.O.S., left, Sims and Lazerbeak during Doomtree's set last year at the Summer Set Music & Camping Fest. / Anna Reed, Star Tribune

P.O.S., left, Sims and Lazerbeak during Doomtree's set last year at the Summer Set Music & Camping Fest. / Anna Reed, Star Tribune

Good news/bad news for Doomtree lovers: The Twin Cities hip-hop septet issued its first new all-crew track in nearly two years this morning, a jittery electronic romp titled “.38 Airweight,” which comes from this summer's recording sessions. However, the group is not calling this the first song off its new record, and in fact the new record isn’t entirely finished and thus has no set release date yet.

Posting the song as one of his Tuesdays With Lazerbeak entries at Doomtree.net, producer/beatmaker Lazerbeak described the song as a “leaker.” He wrote:

“We've been in the studio making a ton of songs with a new album in mind and are super pumped with how things are turning out. Wanted to drop this leaker track off early while it's still fresh to let people know we're getting back at it."

The track -- available for download via iTunes -- boasts verses from four of the group’s five rappers (all but Dessa). P.O.S. starts it off, referencing controversial NYC subway shooter Bernie Goetz. Mike Mictlan comes in towards the end with a whack flurry of evocative lines, including the soda-generation shout-out to “children of the corn syrup.”

Introducing the song on 89.3  the Current's morning show today, Sims did spill news at least one other album: His latest solo effort is due to drop in September, he said. More info on that to come, no doubt.

Perhaps we'll hear ".38 Airwave" and a new Sims song or two might be on tap when Doomtree hits the Minnesota State Fair grandstand on Aug. 30 as part of the MN-Music-on-a-Stick concert. That’s also the week that the group’s limited-edition, 500-page book “Every Single Day” officially lands. It’s being sold with a “Best of False Hopes” compilation album.

And lest Dessa lovers feel left out by the new song, she dropped another wowza music video just yesterday for the song “Fighting Fish.” You can check it out here.

Marty Stuart puts the 'Superlative' in country music at the Dakota

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music, Minnesota musicians Updated: July 29, 2014 - 1:46 AM

A few thoughts about the performance of Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives Monday night at the Dakota Jazz Club:

  • Stuart is a first-rate picker on guitar and mandolin. And his aptly named backup band has some top-notch players, too, especially drummer Harry Stinson and guitarist Kenny Vaughan, two of Nashville’s finest. The Superlatives are also fine harmonies singers, which was best demonstrated on their yodeling in harmony on the end of “In the Pines.”
  • Their 95-minute set covered bluegrass, gospel, hillbilly rock and all kinds of classic-sounding country, including Stuart’s biggest hit “Whiskey Ain’t Working,” a version of “Long Black Veil” and requested covers of George Jones (“Old Old House”) and Dave Dudley (Stuart didn’t know all the words to “Six Days on the Road” but he improvised lyrics in perfect cadence to the tune including this couplet: “I had a big time at the Dakota tonight/ if you think I’m happy, you’re right”) 
  • If I had to pick one highlight, it would be “Tempted,” which suggested Buddy Holly-meets-the Mavericks, with some dark, almost surf guitar.
  • Stuart truly knows country music, which is no surprise to any of his fans who watch his eponymous TV show on cable’s RFD-TV. But he is a historian of all music. He knew that Dudley cut “Six Days on the Road” in Minneapolis and that “Surfin' Bird” was recorded here, too. As for the Trashmen’s hit, he joked: “That’s what taking a bunch of pills and going to the studio will do for you.”  Actually, the trick was using a pencil to warble the recording tape to manipulate the voice of singer/drummer Steve Wahrer.
  • Speaking of history, the customized Telecaster guitar that Stuart was playing belonged to the late Clarence White of the Byrds.
  • Stuart let each of the Superlatives sing a number or two, and, during his turn at the micr, guitarist Vaughan reminisced about playing at the Longhorn punk bar in ‘70s. Afterward, he told me he’d met the Suicide Commandos in Denver, his hometown, and then his band, Jonny 3, opened for the Commandos and the Suburbs at the Longhorn. And he even remembered the name of the club’s proprietor, Hartley Frank. Talk about serious memory.
  • The Cactus Blossoms, a Twin Cities duo, opened with some priceless brotherly harmonies on original material that sounded like the kind of vintage country that Stuart would appreciate.  

McCartney, Bonham track to be heard on Wings' reissue

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music, Celebrities Updated: July 28, 2014 - 4:13 PM

Paul McCartney with Wings in St. Paul, 1976/ Star Tribune photo by Jim McTaggart

Paul McCartney with Wings in St. Paul, 1976/ Star Tribune photo by Jim McTaggart

Paul McCartney is reissuing another batch of Wings albums – including an outtake number featuring Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

This fall’s “The Wings at the Speed of Sound” reissue includes an alternative version of “Beware My Love” with Bonham.

Of course, Bonham also played on two tracks on Wings’ final album, 1979’s “Back to the Egg.”

In case you don’t get enough Wings live this weekend when Sir Paul plays at Target Field, “Venus and Mars” and “Wings at the Speed of Sound” will be reissued Sept. 23 with demos, previously unreleased tracks and, on the 3-disc edition, an interview with McCartney and a booklet of photographs..

Gary Louris, Davina Sowers share their recovery stories ahead of Saturday's HazelFest

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music, Concert news, Minnesota musicians Updated: July 28, 2014 - 11:28 AM
Gary Louris at South by Southwest in 2013. / Photo by Tony Nelson

Gary Louris at South by Southwest in 2013. / Photo by Tony Nelson

Further proof it’s not your average outdoor summer music bash, HazelFest has issued a series of promotional video clips that show its performers talking about their very personal addiction recovery stories.

The second annual concert takes place again Saturday on the grounds of the famed Hazelden treatment facility in Center City, about 50 minutes north of Minneapolis. As in prior years, the family-friendly festival – whose slogan is “Recovery rocks” -- will feature recovery meetings and guest speakers alongside the musical performances.

This year’s lineup includes the newly reformed ’97-’00-era lineup of the Jayhawks, whose frontman Gary Louris opened up to Hazelden’s Jeremiah Gardner about his recovery experience in a Skype interview made public in three split clips. Davina Sowers of the barreling boogie-woogie band Davina & the Vagabonds did the same in another touching clip issued online. Both interviews (posted below) show a new level of bravery beyond the hard task of achieving sobriety.

“It didn’t just happen,” Louris says about “the miracle of my recovery,” detailing the work put in going to meetings and meditating to stay straight in the second clip. The first clip talks about his painkiller abuse and how easy it is to devolve into alcoholism being a musician. “You’re almost expected to drink before you go to work,” he notes.

Davina Sowers

Davina Sowers

Sowers details her addictions going back to her teens, including what she called a “do-or-die” split from heroin. “I can just not express to you how lucky I am, and how the brilliance of sobriety has brought me to where I am today,” she says.

Louris and Sowers both will return home from European tours in time for HazelFest. The middle-era Jayhawks reunited to promote new reissues of their three 1997-2003 albums, “Sound of Lies,” “Smile” and “Rainy Day Music,” all of which featured Louris as the band’s frontman (following the departure of co-founder Mark Olson). Sowers’ band has a strong new record to promote, “Sunshine,” a playful mish-mash of New Orleans-blown party songs and more tender, jazzy ballads.

Johnny Solomon of Communist Daughter – also scheduled to perform Saturday, as is Milwaukee's Trapper Schoepp & the Shades – has similarly been open about his recovery experience in the past. Tickets to the festival can be bought here for $20 in advance through Thursday, or they will be $30 at the door. Kids 12 and under can get in free. Hazelden’s scenic, lakeside grounds are at 15251 Pleasant Valley Rd in Center City (click here for directions).

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