Posts Tagged With: Deep South

False alarms

So yesterday, a friend of mind forwarded me the following alert from the online concert-tracker Songkick:


 

DRADeepSouth


“Ha!,” my friend noted in an accompanying one-word message. “Ha,” indeed.

Ryan doing a show anywhere in Raleigh would be enormous news, given that he’s not played his former hometown in close to a decade. But I fear I must burst that bubble, because it seems that Songkick assumed Ryan himself will be the bill for our April 11 tribute show, “Losering 2: The Songs of Ryan Adams.” As Deep South’s John Booker chided in a Facebook posting:

Losering2You’re going to give some nice Raleighites heart attacks. Get better at the internet, please. And to anyone that saw our event listing or [this] graphic and actually thought that to mean Ryan is coming to town (and playing our 100 cap room), bless your heart.  😉

John sent Songkick the requisite correction-request email on Saturday afternoon. Twenty-four hours later, however, Songkick’s erroneous listing is still up. I guess those folks must not work weekends. (NOTE: It finally got changed Monday afternoon.)

Anyway, I’d like to note for the record that Ryan would be more than welcome to attend. But let’s not go spreading rumors that aren’t going to pan out. Even if Ryan weren’t on a self-imposed Raleigh hiatus, he’s scheduled to be 2,500 miles away that weekend playing the Coachella Festival in California.

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“Losering: The Songs of Ryan Adams” — wish you were here

DMMCBack in Whiskeytown’s prime, I really wanted them to break through to widespread popularity, which seems a bit odd in retrospect. Sure, it would have been fun to watch from close range; but I can’t say why I was rooting for them beyond a vague belief that a large audience was going to provide some measure of validation. There was closure that only a large crowd singing along with “Sixteen Days” was going to provide.

Fittingly and belatedly, that happened last night, sort of. The fine folks at Deep South The Bar in Raleigh put together a tribute show inspired by my book, “Losering: The Songs of Ryan Adams,” and I got to emcee. And about halfway through the show, while members of the band Old Quarter were playing “Sixteen Days” — the song I thought was going to be Whiskeytown’s big breakout hit way back in 1997 — I was hollering along with everyone else in the soldout house and feeling chills about the experience.

Ghost has got me running
Away from you, away from you, awaaaaaay…

It was a truly wonderful night, very much a feeling of being among friends and fellow fans; as much a tribute to the milieu Ryan came out of as to Ryan himself. There were multiple highlights, some of which went like this:

Aaron Menconi, shortly before asking why he started that damn country band.

Aaron Menconi, shortly before asking why he started that damn country band.

The Equivocators — Featuring my dear friend Scott Huler, they kicked things off with three songs from Whiskeytown’s Faithless Street album; “Midway Park,” “Hard Luck Story” and the title track. When Scott got to the “started this damn country band” line, I coached my 18-year-old son Aaron to yell out, “Why’d you do that?”

David Teeter (from the band Martha Ann Motel) — He brought out a couple of more recent Ryan solo songs, “Shadowlands” and “Desire.” And to make the absent guest of honor seem more present, David also played the recording of the infamous Jim DeRogatis voicemail, a legendary moment in artist-critic relations. Guffaws all around.

Ryan Kennemur — Continuing in a humorous vein, Ryan gave a nod to Mr. Adams’ touchier side by belting out a bit of Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69.” Then he got down to business, and his versions of “Turn Around,” “Avenues” and especially “If He Can’t Have You” were outstanding.

John Booker and Rachel Hirsh (I Was Totally Destroying It) — Major props go to John, who did a fantastic job with booking the acts for this show. And he and his bandmate Rachel did great with four songs — “Everybody Knows,” “Call Me On Your Way Back Home,” “Don’t Be Sad” and “Firecracker.” There was an enthusiastic audience sing-along on the latter song, and John needled me a bit for not giving it and the rest of Ryan’s Gold album sufficient respect in the book. Touche! Danny Johnson, who plays in about a thousand other bands, sat in.

Bobby Bryson — I’d never heard Bobby before, and he might have played my favorite set of the night with stellar versions of “A Kiss Before I Go,” “Let It Ride” (also much audience singing along here) and “Carolina Rain.” He showed absolute command instrumentally as well as vocally, and I loved his stage presence. Afterward, he presented me with a business card carrying the slogan Songs that gently rip your heart out. I believe it.

DeepSouthCharles Marshall and Richard Bolton (Balsa Gliders) — They put a couple of Strangers Almanac-era Whiskeytown classics through some unusual paces, quieting down “Waiting to Derail” and rocking up “Avenues.” Very cool, inventive versions that they clearly put some thought into.

John Massengil, George Hage and Danny Johnson (Old Quarter) — The aforementioned “Sixteen Days” sing-along went over great. So did “Jacksonville Skyline” and a lovely reading of “Houses on the Hill.” Meg Johnson sat in on vocals (and also with Jack the Radio). Felt like being at the Brewery back in the day.

Jack the Radio — Speaking of sing-alongs, there was a raucous one on “Come Pick Me Up,” maybe the most exuberant of the night. “O My Sweet Carolina” and “Lucky Now” rounded it out.

Adam Lane and Jeff Mullins — Ryan Kennemur returned for an exceptionally sweet harmony vocal on “Desperate Ain’t Lonely” (which they rehearsed once, outside in the parking lot, and Ryan had to read the lyrics off his phone — perfect). They also offered up a couple of nice rarities, “Onslow County” and “Oh My Sweet Valentine,” which never fails to put a lump in my throat. Last night was no exception.

Ryan Mullaney and Ashley Gray — Two fine singers teamed up to harmonize on “Desire” and the Gold standard “When the Stars Go Blue” (take that, Tim McGraw).

Wylie Hunter (Wylie Hunter & the Cazadores) — Back to Whiskeytown days with “Dancing With the Women at the Bar,” and Heartbreaker‘s “Be My Winding Wheel.” Really glad to hear both.

ChipNYNYChip Robinson (Backsliders) — He sat at the piano and covered “New York, New York,” reading lyrics he’d scribbled out by hand. Fascinating, weird and pretty great, made even moreso because he was wearing a Wu-Tang Clan T-shirt. I snagged the hand-written lyrics for my archive.

Debonzo Brothers — Jeff and Keef with another long-lost favorite, “Hey There, Mrs. Lovely” (yay!), plus Heartbreaker‘s “In My Time of Need.”

Be The Moon — And in the closing slot, this trio from Burlington offered up the resurrected Whiskeytown song “Am I Unstable.” It was fantastic, featuring box drum and an arrangement that Peter Blackstock’s memory placed in the ballpark of the original (which Whiskeytown only played live once, nearly 13 years ago).

All told, the event raised $579 for the Future of Music Coalition. I could not be happier, and prouder of everyone involved. Thanks to all the musicians, and especially to Deep South impressario Dave Rose for making it happen.

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Another Ryan Adams tribute, this one across the pond

UKRyanTributeWell, it seems that our “Losering”-inspired May 9 Raleigh show is not the only Ryan Adams tribute event in the works. There’s also a Ryan Adams All Day Tribute Event happening Sunday (April 28) at a pub called The Musician in Leicester in the U.K. Looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I quite like their poster featuring the photo from Ryan’s 2002 Gap ad (even if I still like Dave Rose’s Raleigh show poster better). If anybody in the East Midlands vicinity of England is reading this, please do go to Sunday’s show and report back.

In other news, we have a charity designated for door proceeds from the Raleigh show, which happens two weeks from today at Deep South in Raleigh. The money will go to the Future of Music Coalition, a non-profit advocacy group for musicians. Advance tickets are available here; and Deep South is anticipating a sellout, so please get your tickets early!

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Come see me at Hopscotch this weekend

This weekend brings the big Hopscotch Music Festival to Raleigh, with 175 acts in 15 venues around downtown, and it promises to be a rousing good time. Thursday’s opening night sure went great — there’s a recap here, and a preview story in the paper here. I’ll be around and about both Friday and Saturday, as both an observer and low-impact participant.

My participatory part of it happens Friday afternoon at Deep South, where the Schoolkids Records/Blurt magazine day party happens with a fine lineup including Jenny Besetzt, Lazy Janes, Toddlers, Old Bricks and Gross Ghost. I’ll be serving as emcee; and they’ll be selling copies of “Losering” at the merch table. Buy one and I’ll throw in a signature gratis.

That’s noon to 5 p.m. Friday at Deep South, 430 S. Dawson St. in Raleigh. It’s even free. So for those in the Greater Raleigh vicinity: Y’all come.

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