Friday, November 7, 2014

Counting Crows - 2014-05-15 - NonCOMM vention, Philadelphia, PA

Counting Crows
May 15, 2014
14th Annual NonCOMM vention, World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA

Recorded from live webstream broadcast, very good quality
mp3 @ 128 kbps

OK, so now moving from bands and artists that I saw live last summer to the band I most WANTED to see live in 2014, but didn't get the chance - Counting Crows. This was a tour that I particularly wanted to see, as they were previewing new songs from their upcoming album, but it just didn't work out for me. When they came to the east coast, I was away on the west coast, and when they came to the west coast, I was back on the east coast. Oh well, but it would've been great to see them. But the big news for Counting Crows fans is, of course, that their new album, Somewhere Under Wonderland, which is their first new studio album of original music in over 6 years, was finally released in September 2014. It's not like they haven't been busy, with touring yearly, and releasing live albums in 2011 and 2013, and a unique covers album Underwater Sunshine (which is very good) in 2012, but it has been quite awhile since we heard any new original songs from the band (last original studio album was the good, but somewhat uneven concept album, Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings (2008). And the even better news is that the new album is absolutely excellent, certainly one of their best, and probably their best album since This Desert Life (1999), which is my personal favorite. It is just a great album, not a weak track on it. Overall, it's a diverse album, a great sound and feel, with several great rockers and pop gems, but also some more subdued, emotional, and reflective tracks, as well as a country-rock gem (that takes its cue from the country-rock focus of their last covers album). Some of Adam's best songwriting and vocals, and superb band playing and arrangements. The only complaint might be that it is a bit short, with only 9 songs and 41 min. long (whereas most Crows albums have 13-15 songs and are around an hour long), but that is minor considering that every song that is here is a gem (no filler or dull spots at all). I highly recommend the album. For me, certainly the best album of 2014 (although admittedly, I don't listen to a whole lot of new albums each year anymore), well worth checking out.  Anyway, so what I have here is a performance from early in the summer, at the NonComm vention, a yearly convention for non-commercial, alternative radio stations, which was particularly notable because it was here that they first debuted several of the new songs from the new album. It is a short set, but 5 of the 7 songs played were brand new songs never heard before, and thus is a good intro to hear some of the new songs before getting the album. And as good as these new songs are here (especially 'Elvis...', 'God of Ocean Tides', and the epic 'Palisades Park'), they did not even include 2 of my favorite songs from the album, 'Dislocation', a driving rocker with an irresistible hook, and 'Possibility Days', the evocative album closer. Although the mix of this recording is not great (vocals are way upfront and the band seems way in the background), and since it comes from streaming audio source has a low bitrate, it is still fine to hear and get the idea about the new songs. So, check out Counting Crows, and by all means, go out and buy their new album, Somewhere Under Wonderland.

01. Elvis went to Hollywood (new)
02. Scarecrow (new)
03. Omaha
04. God of Ocean Tides (new)
05. Earthquake Driver (new)
06. Long December
07. Palisades Park (new)

Counting Crows_ 2014-05-15_NonCOMMvention_PA.rar

For some more live Counting Crows from the 2014 tour, I have also included info and a link to get a free download of a live compilation (mp3, 256 kbps) that is being offered directly by the Counting Crows through their live show website, This has been available all summer, and is still available. It is a compilation of individual tracks from several different shows from early on in their 2014 tour, exclusively available through their website for free, and was billed as their 4th of July Spectacular. Of course, the site also contains numerous soundboard recordings of shows from this and previous Counting Crows tours, available for purchase (as mp3, FLAC, or CD).

Counting Crows
4th of July Spectacular - 2014

(Live compilation - available as free download from official website)
Soundboard recording, excellent quality
mp3 @ 256 kbps

01. Omaha - 6/25/14 Raleigh, NC
02. Cover Up The Sun - 6/17/14 Nashville, TN
03. Miami - 6/20/14 Robinsonville, MS
04. Speedway - 6/25/14 Raleigh, NC
05. Good Time - 6/24/14 Charlotte, NC
06. Ballad Of El Goodo - 6/24/14 Charlotte, NC
07. Mr. Jones - 6/25/14 Raleigh, NC
08. Start Again - 6/17/14 Nashville, TN
09. Le Ballet D'or - 6/25/14 Raleigh, NC
10. Hard Candy - 6/14/14 St. Augustine, FL

Available as free download exclusively through the Counting Crows official live recording website:,11075/Counting-Crows-mp3-flac-download-4th-of-July-Spectacular.html

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bill Kirchen - 2014-03-21 - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA

Bill Kirchen - 2014-08-24 at American Folk Festival, Bangor, ME
Bill Kirchen
Freight & Salvage,  Berkeley, CA

Audience recording, good quality
mp3 @ 160 kbps

Here's more (two full sets!) from the legendary guitarist Bill Kirchen (Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, 'King of Dieselbilly', 'Titan of the Telecaster'), this one a recent show from earlier this year. And this show is special because ot not only features Bill with a a full band (rather than the trio format he often tours with), which includes long-time collaborator (and former pub-rocker with Eggs Over Easy), keybordist Austin de Lone, but also serves as a partial reunion with a couple of his old Lost Planet Airmen bandmates, bassist Buffalo Bruce Barlow, and pedal steel guitarist Bobby Black. In addition, long-time collaborator, singer-songwriter Kevin 'Blackie' Farrell (who wrote several of the old Commander Cody songs) also joins them on a hand-full of songs. Bill has certainly kept busy in recent years. His 2010 album, Word to the Wise, features duets with several of his friends and musicians he admires, including Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Dan Hicks, Maria Muldaur, and Commander Cody. His most recent album, Seeds and Stems (2013), is a live-in-the-studio recording featuring new versions of many of his favorite and most requested songs, sort of a best of - live, without the annoyances of a live concert recording, and both are excellent. Although well into his sixties now, Bill still tours regularly and does >200 shows a year, dazzling and delighting audiences with his unique style and performances. Bill's shows are just a joy to watch and listen to, as it is obvious that he genuinely just loves to perform, sing and play his guitar, and he is brilliant at it, and he has just as much or more fun than anyone there. Although he is not as well-known as he should be, he is definitely a national treasure. In this show, we get a fuller band sound, closer to the old Commander Cody days, with the added keyboards and pedal steel. The first set features more of the old CC songs, whereas the second set features more of his solo career songs, but both are wonderful. He also gives up the lead vocals to his bandmates for a few songs, letting Austin and Bruce sing some, as well as guest Blackie Farrell. Although this is an audience recording, and the only available version I could find is a low bitrate (from Sugarmegs), it is nonetheless a great show (good audience recording) and worth checking out. So, here's more from the great Bill Kirchen.

 Set 1
 01. Intro
 02. Looking at the World Through a Windshield
 03. Tell Me the Reason
 04. Rocks into Sand
 05. Heart of Gold
 06. Losing Hand (Austin de Lone vocal)
 07.  talk (old days - intro)
 08. Wine, Wine, Wine
 09. Down to Seeds and Stems Again Blues
 10. Semi-Truck
 11. Mama Hated Diesels*
 12. I'm Coming Home*
 13. Hot Rod Lincoln

 Set 2
 14. Intro
 15. Get a Little Goner
 16. Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods
 17. Time Will Tell the Story
 18. C'mon Everybody (Bruce Barlow vocal)
 19. Let's Rock (Austin de Lone vocal)
 20. All Tore Up
 21. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
 22. My Window Faces the South
 23. talk (Blackie Farrell)
 24. Rockabilly Funeral*
 25. talk - 'Chicken' Intro
 26. Talkin' About Chicken
 27. Band Intros
 28. The Times They Are A-Changin'
 29. Crowd noise - Encore Intro
 30. Truckstop at the End of the World*
 31. Riot in Cell Block #9*

 Bill Kirchen - guitar, vocals
 Austin de Lone - keyboards, vocals
 Buffalo Bruce Barlow - bass, vocals
 Paul Revelli - drums
 Bobby Black - Pedal Steel Guitar
 *Kevin 'Blackie' Farrell - guitar, vocals

Bill Kirchen_2014-03-21_Berkeley CA.rar

Note: Picture included is not from the Berkeley show, but is a picture I took from his show at the American Folk Festival, Bangor, Maine, 8-24-14, which I attended. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bill Kirchen - 2008-08-29 - Rhythm & Roots Festival, Charlestown, RI

Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun
August 29, 2008
Rhythm & Roots Festival, Ninigret Park
Charlestown, R.I. 

In House-FM recording, very good quality
mp3 @ 192 kbps

When the original Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen broke up around 1976, ace guitarist Bill Kirchen already had another band going, called the Moonlighters, which started as a sort of 'swing orchestra', but over the next several years were stripped down to become more of a pub rock-new wave band (and also included former pub-rock pioneer, keyboardist Austin de Lone, from Eggs Over Easy). They released 2 albums and lasted through the early eighties. After which Bill moved to the Wash. D.C. area and formed his trio-based band, Too Much Fun (named after his classic CC-era song). In addition to Too Much Fun, through the eighties and nineties, Bill played, recorded, collaborated, and sometimes even toured with such artists as Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Gene Vincent, Link Wray, Doug Sahm, Emmylou Harris, and others, as well as occasional Commander Cody reunions and incarnations, establishing himself as a great guitarist, the originator of his classic style and sound, and all-around great guy. In 1994, Bill released his first solo album, Tombstone Every Mile, followed by Have Love, Will Travel (1996) and Raise a Ruckus (1999). He has continued playing and releasing both old and new new music through the years, with a total of 10 solo albums. His music has been called Roots, Americana, etc., it is a unique mix of rockabilly, country, blues, rock, swing, boogie-woogie, and truck driving songs, which he has dubbed 'Dieselbilly' (commemorated in his 2005 album, King of Dieselbilly). He is known for his mastery of his favorite instrument, the Fender Telecaster guitar (although he originally started out as a trombone player), and has been named the "Titan of the Telecaster" by Guitar Player Magazine for his unique contributions and abilities. Bill has even recorded a musical tribute to the Telecaster, the title cut of his 2006 album, Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods, in which he describes the axe as 'born at the junction of form and function, the hammer of the honky tonk gods'.  I first saw Bill live about a dozen years ago, with his Too Much Fun trio, and I was just blown away by him, his style, his performance, and his easy-going charm. I saw him again this summer, and was awestruck and delighted all over again. He continues to play a mix of the old Commander Cody songs and his own catalog of songs from his many albums, of which he has many that have also become classics. However, his signature song at his shows remains his epic live version of  'Hot Rod Lincoln', an extended gem that contains an encyclopedic rundown of classic and iconic guitar riffs from all the great country, blues, and rock artists, from Johnny Cash to BB King to The Beatles, Stones, Clapton, and Hendrix, to the Sex Pistols, in one non-stop torrent of great guitar-playing fun (check out his extended 'Hot Rod Lincon' on YouTube, cause you gotta SEE him playing it too). Just a joy to hear and see, and such a nice guy, too. So, here today, I have a show from his Too Much Fun trio configuration from several years back, a nice recording that features a good mix of his solo songs (such as 'Get a Little Goner', 'Rocks in the Sand', 'Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods', etc.), covers, and Commander Cody oldies, including his inimitable epic 'Hot Rod Lincoln'. So check it out. As Nick Lowe himself said about Bill Kirchen, "A devastating culmination of the elegant and the funky, a really sensational musician with enormous depth." 

1. Intro
2. Get a Little Goner
3. Rocks In The Sand
4. One More Day
5. There’s A Man At the Bottom Of The Well
6. talk (Newport Folk fest-guitar heroes)
7. Catch You On The Flip Flop
8. The Times They Are A Changin’
9. Band Intros
10. I Might Have Been a Lawyer (But I Couldn't Pass the Bar) - (Jack O'Dell vocal)
11. The Hammer Of The Honky Tonk Gods
12. Truck Stop at the End of the World
13. Seeds And Stems
14. Semi-Truck
15. Hot Rod Lincoln
Bonus Track
16. Encore - Too Much Fun (2010-12-16 - Northampton, MA) )

Bill Kirchen – Guitar, Vocals
Claude Arthur – Bass
Jack O’Dell – Drums

Bill Kirchen_2008-08-29_Charlestown RI.rar

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen - 1975-02-18-Record Plant, Sausalito, CA

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
Record Plant, Sausalito, California

FM Broadcast Recording (WLIR-FM), very good quality
Mp3 @ 224 kbps

Here's one more show from the original Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. This very good quality radio broadcast recording, from a couple years later, in 1975, once again features mostly different songs from the previously posted shows. This show features some of their newer (at that time) songs, and some of their very best, including 'Don't Let Go' and 'Too Much Fun', a couple of all-time classics. Although this was near the end of the original run of the band, they were a really sharp, polished, and ultra-hot band by this time, putting on some of their best performances. Commander Cody tried to continue and/or reassemble the band in various incarnations and multiple reunions over the years, with various degrees of success, but this would mark the final days of the original, true CC and HLPA. But then, guitarist Bill Kirchen would also go on to his own level of success and acclaim as the 'Titan of the Telecaster' in the coming years. More on Bill coming up. For now, enjoy this final gem from the incomparable Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. 
01. Lost in the Ozone Again
02. Don't Let Go
03. Give Tennessee Credit For Music
04. Willin'
05. Four or Five Times
06. Southbound
07. House Of Blue Lights
08. Kentucky Hills of Tennessee
09. Cajun Baby
10. Keep On Lovin' Her
11. Hawaii Blues
12. California Okie
13. That's What I Like About The South
14. Gypsy Fiddle
15. Big River
16. Too Much Fun
17. The Boogie Man Boogie

Commander Cody_1975-02-18_Sausalito.rar

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen - 1973-08-11 - Denver, CO

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
Ebbets Field, Denver, CO 

FM Broadcast recording, very good quality
mp3 @ 192 kbps

Here's more from the one and only Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, from around the same time period as the previous post (August 1973), but this show features a completely different setlist from the previous one (only 2 repeated songs), showing more of the unique honky tonk style of the band. And this is a very good quality FM recording. Unfortunately, I have only been able to find it in lower bitrate versions (got this from Sugarmegs), but it is a fine show that sounds very good, and adds many of their signature songs to those already featured, thus making an excellent companion set to the Rotterdam show. 

1. Instrumental Intro
2. Good Rockin' Tonight
3. What's the Matter Now?
4. Truck Driving Man
5. Four or Five Times
6. Down and Out
7. Mama Hated Diesels
8. Little Sally Walker
9. Ain't Nothin' Shakin'
10. Daddy's Drinkin' Up Our Christmas
11. Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar
12. Hot Rod Lincoln Intro>
13. Hot Rod Lincoln
14. Rave On
15. Rock That Boogie
16. Jailhouse Rock
17. Mean Woman Blues
18. Lost In the Ozone Again

Bruce Barlow - Bass, Vocals
Bobby Black - Pedal Steel Guitar, Vocals
Commander Cody - Piano, Vocals
Lance Dickerson - Drums, Vocals
Billy C Farlow - Harmonica, Vocals
Bill Kirchen - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Andy Stein - Violin, Saxophone
John Tichy - Guitar

Commander Cody_1973-08-11_Denver.rar

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen - 1973-08-28 - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
August 28, 1973
Rotterdam, The Netherlands 

FM Broadcast recording, good quality
mp3 @ 320 kbps

Another artist I saw this summer was legendary guitarist Bill Kirchen. If you're not familiar with Bill Kirchen, and have any interest at all in country-rock, swing, rockabilly, and just good ol' honky-tonk rock, I strongly suggest you check him out, he is just wonderful. Bill got his start as the original guitarist for Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen in the late sixties. CC-LPA was a wild, eclectic band that featured a unique mix of country, rock, Western swing, rockabilly, and barroom blues, as well as a dose of hippy drug culture weirdness. With the exception of one breakthrough hit single (Hot Rod Lincoln, 1971), the band had an exclusively cult following, as they were not generally accepted by either the rock or country mainstream at the time. Always known as a great live band, their reputation and popularity actually soared only after they split-up in the mid-seventies, as more people became exposed to and began to accept and enjoy their style and sound. This resulted in numerous releases of live recordings from their classic period (1969-1975) over the ensuing years (At least 10 live albums released!). The Commander (real name George Frayne) tried to re-capture the spirit with a new incarnation, known just as The Commander Cody Band in the late seventies to early eighties, but it was never quite the same. After Cody, Bill Kirchen went on to various other bands, projects, and solo recordings (as well as several different short-lived Commander Cody reunions), and I'll talk more about Bill's subsequent career in a later post. Today I'm focusing on those early days with Commander Cody. Although it is hard to find many high quality unofficial recordings of the original band (almost everything decent has been released in some form or another), here is an incomplete show from the Netherlands in 1973, a very good quality radio broadcast recording. From this you can get a good idea about what they were all about, but this only scratches the surface of their wild, vast repertoire, and many of their best songs didn't make it on this recording (remember, this is not a complete show). But please, check out Commander Cody, Bill Kirchen, and the rest of the Airmen in this spirited show recording from 1973. 

01. Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)
02. (instrumental)
03. Boppin' The Blues
04. Everybody's Doing It
05. Wine Do Yer Stuff
06. Honeysuckle Honey
07. Mama Tried
08. Mama Hated Diesels
09. Shall We Meet (Beyond The River)
10. Kentucky Hills Of Tennessee
11. What's The Matter Now?
12. My Semi Truck Won't Start
13. Milk Cow Blues
14. Looking At The World Through A Windshield
15. Down To Seeds & Stems Again Blues
16. Beat Me Daddy, Eight To The Bar (excerpt, fade in and fade out)    
Bruce Barlow: Bass, Vocals
Bobby Black: Pedal Steel Guitar, Vocals
Commander Cody: Piano, Vocals
Lance Dickerson:  Drums, Vocals
Billy C Farlow: Harmonica, Vocals 
Bill Kirchen: Guitar, Vocals 
Andy Stein: Violin, Saxophone
John Tichy: Guitar

Commander Cody_1973-08-28_Rotterdam.rar

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Steely Dan - 2014-08-19 - Appleton, WI

Steely Dan
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton, WI 

Audience recording, very good quality
Mp3 @ 320 kbps

Another excellent show I saw this summer was Steely Dan, on their 2014 Jamalot Ever After Tour. They sounded great, with a fantastic backing band and singers (stand-outs were drummer Keith Carlock and guitarist Jon Herington). They did a nice selection of songs from throughout their career, some with updated arrangements. They've been doing this sort of 'Big Band' version of their songs for quite awhile now, but they have really manged to perfect it now and still keep things fresh and exciting. So, in honor of that show (which I don't have a recording of), here is a good quality recording from another show on the same tour from a couple weeks earlier, with a very similar setlist (only songs different were that the show I saw included 'Rikki Don't Lose That Number' and 'Godwhacker' instead of 'Two Against Nature' and 'Green Earrings'). A fine show, and one that enables me to update the Steely Dan included here to the current year and tour.

Pictures included are not from the posted Appleton show, but are my own pics from the show I saw (2014-08-29 - Bangor, ME).

1. Cubano Chant (Ray Bryant cover [Instr.] - Band only)
2. Black Cow
3. Aja
4. Hey Nineteen
5. Black Friday
6. Show Biz Kids
7. Two Against Nature
8. Time Out of Mind
9. Green Earrings
10. Razor Boy (Female vocals)
11. Bodhisattva
12. Everyone's Gone to the Movies
13. Daddy Don't Live in That New York City No More (Becker vocals)
14. I Want To (Do Everything for You) (Joe Tex cover) (Female vocals - w/Band Introductions)
15. Josie
16. Peg
17. My Old School
18. Reelin' in the Years
19. Kid Charlemagne
20. The Untouchables (Nelson Riddle cover [Instr.] - Band only)

The Band:
Donald Fagen: Keyboards, Vocals
Walter Becker: Electric guitar, talk

Carolyn Leonhart-Escoffery: Vocals
Cindy Mizelle: Vocals
La Tanya Hall: Vocals
Freddie Washington: Electric bass (finger)
Jim Beard: Keyboards
Jim Pugh: Trombone
Jon Herington: Electric guitar
Keith Carlock: Drums
Michael Leonhart: Trumpet
Roger Rosenberg: Baritone saxophone
Walt Weiskopf: Saxophone

Steely Dan_2014-08-19_Appleton.part1.rar
Steely Dan_2014-08-19_Appleton.part2.rar