Wednesday, July 29, 2015

TED DROZDOWSKI MAKES UNCONVENTIONAL PSYCH-ROCK WITH UNCONVENTIONAL GUITARS ON 'LOVE & LIFE'

MUSIC CITY ROOTS SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW CONFIRMED OCT 28 AS ALL MUSIC STREAMS FULL ALBUM

Ted Drozdowski knows his guitars.

A veteran rock musician and road warrior who doubles as a journalist for Guitar World and Premiere Guitar, he fills his newest album, 'Love & Life,' with more than a dozen acoustic and electric guitars. Also included on Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen’s ‘Love & Life’ record, which hits stores this Friday, are a handful of custom-made axes that are as unique as the music itself. The band plays NYC’s Shrine tomorrow and Brooklyn’s Grand Victory on Monday as All Music is streaming all of ‘Love & Life’: http://www.allmusic.com/blog/post/album-premiere-ted-drozdowskis-scissormen-love-life

"I like to play unconventional roots music on unconventional instruments," says Drozdowski, who has driven more than 1,000,000 miles during his tour dates with a series of bands, including his current project, Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen. Along the way, he's carved out a reputation as "both an innovator and interpreter all at the same time" (Pop Matters).

Rooted in electric blues and psychedelic music, 'Love & Life' features guitars like 'Jo Diddley,' a 1960s Eiphone Hollowbody that Drozdowski rescued by ripping off the headstock, securing it back onto the instrument "with industrial glue at a slight-yet-intonation-proof angle," and removed the pickups. The resulting instrument, whose name is a tip-of-the-hat to blues great Bo Diddley, can be heard on "Can't Be Satisfied."

Also along for the ride is Drozdowski's "signature model" Fender Esquire, which features the autographs of friends, tour mates and influences including Dick Dale, Ike Turner and Billy Gibbons. Drozdowski customized the guitar by adding jumbo frets and a pair of late '60s Les Paul pickups. It's heavy, like his music, and he's toured with it since the '80s. "I've even let somebody breathe fire across the neck while I was playing it — in Mississippi, of course," he adds.

And then there's the so-called "Lobster Pot" guitar, which was gifted to Drozdowski by East Nashville artist Mike Windy. Again, Drozdowski modified the guitar a bit, adding a Mexican single-coil pickup — "the cheaper and gnarlier, the better" — and securing it with electric tape. The result is an instrument with "a huge, cutting sound," making it the perfect ax for Drozdowski's arsenal. It also befits Drozdowski’s time spent in the Boston music scene before moving to Nashville.

All three of those guitars will hit the road with Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen this year. The band's upcoming tour includes a high-profile performance at the Music City Roots syndicated radio broadcast in Franklin, Tennessee October 28.

Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen Tour Dates

July 30 – New York, NY – Shrine World Music Venue
July 31 – Somerville, MA – Johnny D’s
August 1 – Lowell, MA – The Back Page Café
August 2 – Middletown, CT – The Cypress Restaurant
August 3 – Brooklyn, NY – Grand Victory
August 9 – Nashville, TN – The Bluebird Café
August 15 – E. Nashville, TN – The 5 Spot
August 28 – Winona, MN – Broken World Records
August 29 – Minneapolis, MN – Hell’s Kitchen Brunch
September 1 – Indianapolis, IN – The Slippery Noodle
September 2 – Kansas City, MO – B.B.’s Lawnside Barbecue
September 3 – Lincoln, NE – The Zoo Bar
September 4 – Fort Collins, CO – Avogadro’s Number
September 5-6 – Denver, CO – Ziggie’s Live Music
October 28 - Nashville, TN - Music City Roots

Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen’s Love & Life gear list

Dreaming on the Road — Guitar: Dean resonator, Amp: 1966 Fender Twin reverb. Note: two mikes on guitar, one on amp

R.L. Burnside (Sleight Return) — Guitars: 1970s Fender Stratocaster, 1968 Les Paul Standard, 2012 Les Paul Standard; Amps; 1966 Fender Twin Reverb, 1972 Marshall 50-watt Super Lead, 1996 Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier, Eminence Private Jack 1x12, Roland Cube 30; Effects: ZVex Fuzz Factory, Line 6 Digital Delay, PDS1000, E-Bow, Big Muff

Unwanted Man — Guitars:1970s Fender Stratocaster, 1968 Les Paul Standard, 1990 Les Paul 1960 Classic, Dean Resonator; Amps: Mesa-Boogie, 1972 Marshall 50-watt Super Lead, Private Jack 1x12; Effects: ZVex Fuzz Factory

Let’s Go To Memphis — Guitars: 1970s Stratocaster, 1967 Gibson ES-345, PDS1000, ES-150; Amps: 1966 Twin Reverb: Effects: phase shifter plug-in

Can’t Be Satisfied — Guitars: 1960s Epiphone hollowbody one-string; Amps: Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier, Eminence Private Jack 1x12

The River — Guitars: 1983 Fender Esquire reissue with Gibson humbuckers; Amps: Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Private Jack 1x12 cab; Effects: PDS1000, Boss VB-2, Ibanez Tube Screamer

Black Lung Fever — Guitars: 1967 Gibson ES-345, 1968 Les Paul Standard; 2014 McInturff Spitfire Amps: Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier, 1972 Marshall 50-watt Super Lead,  Private Jack 1x12; Effects: MW Fuzzytone pedal, Digitech PDS-1000

Beggin’ Jesus — Guitars: 1990 Gibson Les Paul, 1960 Les Paul Classic from 1990, Jeff “Skunk Baxter Epiphone acoustic; Amps; Amps: Mesa-Boogie Dual Rectifier, Private Jack 1x12; Effects: MW Fuzzytone

Watermelon Kid — Guitars:1958 Les Paul Special, 1983 Fender Esquire with two humbuckers, ’70s Fender Strat for slide accents; Amps: Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier with 1x12 Eminence cab, 1963 Supro Lightning Bolt

Letter From Hell — Guitars: 1968 Gibson Les Paul Standard; Amps: Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Eminence 1x12 cab, 1963 Supro Lightning Bolt; Effects: Digitech PDS-1000

Lived To Tell —1990 Gibson Les Paul Classic 1960 reissue, 1983 Fender Esquire with two humbuckers;  Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, Eminence 1x12 cabinet; Effects: PDS1000, Big Muff, Digitech Whammy II, Phase 90,

STRINGS: GHS Boomers .10 sets

SLIDES: Seymour Duncan Pinky Slides (no longer available) and Rocky Mountain Slides, Columbine and Salidin models

— END —



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

THE STONE FOXES SHINE A SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL ISSUES

NEW ALBUM 'TWELVE SPELLS' FINDS INSPIRATION IN PROTEST MOVEMENTS AS SF ROCK & ROLL BAND TAKES ACTION TO PROTECT THE MARGINALIZED
 
The Stone Foxes make music with a message, mixing raucous rock & roll with lyrics inspired by the Occupy movement, income inequality, gentrification and other social justice issues. On their fourth album, Twelve Spells the San Francisco-based musicians take a hard look at the world around them, creating the soundtrack for a city that's home to billionaires and a sprawling homeless population.
 
The new record, which hits stores September 4, 2015, includes anthems like "She Said Riot," which takes a look at the way San Francisco's soaring home prices have affected musicians and other artists. On "Greasin Up the Door Man," singer/drummer Shannon Koehler spins the story of four different characters: three who don't have enough money to bribe their way past a door man, and one who's wealthy enough to talk (or pay) his way out of most situations. It's a personification of income inequality, delivered with an appropriate mix of fury and melody. Finally, "Goodnight Moon" pays tribute to the homeless, humanizing a population that many people ignore.
 
Putting their money with their mouths are, the Stone Foxes also collect cans of food at every tour stop, which they then donate to local shelters and food pantries as part of their ongoing "Goodnight Moon Project." They encourage their audience to become involved with similar issues, too, creating not just a fanbase, but a genuine movement of socially-conscious people.
 
The Stone Foxes' objective is simple: Were six dudes who believe rock n' roll can move mountains, and were gonna play it until we move one. Since forming in 2005, they've have been making good on that promise, headlining their own sold-out shows on the West Coast (including legendary venues like the Fillmore) while also opening for national acts like the Black Keys and ZZ Top.

Monday, July 27, 2015

JUKE-JOINT SONGWRITER KEVIN GORDON TURNS TO FOLK ART FOR INSPIRATION, AS ON NPR'S WORLD CAFE SPINS NEW TUNES

DUE SEPTEMBER 4, 2015, GORDON'S SPLIT ACOUSTIC/ELECTRIC RECORD IMMERSED IN SOUTHERN CULTURE

Songwriter Kevin Gordon fills his newest album, 'Long Gone Time,' with the sounds and stories of the American South, pulling heavily from his own upbringing in Louisiana — as well as his acclaimed collection of folk art — for inspiration.

Called a "juke-joint professor emeritus" by Rolling Stone, Gordon has spent the past twenty years making swampy, bluesy music that bridges the gap between old and new, with one foot planted in his influences and the other inching toward something new. At the same time, he's also boosted his connection to the culture through his work as a folk art collector.

For Gordon, those two passions — making music and collecting folk art — have gone hand in hand. Released September 4th, 'Long Gone Time" continues his immersion in southern culture. The album was produced by Joe V. McMahan, features guitar by Bo Ramsey, and was recorded live, with Gordon splitting the album into an even mix of acoustic tracks and full-band performances.

Gordon has served as curator of the Nashville-based Gordon Gallery for years. Three months before the release of 'Long Gone Time,' he also staged an art show at the nearby Riverwood Mansion in Nashville. The exhibit, which was previewed in an article by 'Nashville Arts,' included selections from his folk art collection, as well as live performances from Gordon himself. "[I was reading] a survey of folk art from the South from 1930 to 1980, and I was fascinated. There were short biographies of all the artists, and I just got eaten up," Gordon says in the article, adding that he began cultivating personal relationships with a few of the folk artists who made appearances in the book.

Although folk art has always been a strong muse for the Americana/rock & roll songwriter, Gordon's own has inspired other artists, too, with musicians like Levon Helm, Keith Richards, Todd Snider, and Irma Thomas all recording his songs. Last week, NPR World Cafe broadcasted “GTO” and “Crowville” from the new album on its national show. Listen to it here.