Compass Preview – 10 September 2009

We’re talking about…

Re-meet the Beatles

Leave it to the biggest musical group in history to whip up the masses without a single new song. On Wednesday, Sept 9, the faithful lined up to purchase the Beatles catalog yet again – and again.  New stereo versions of the band’s 13 studio albums, and a Past Masters disk of non-album tracks, are now available.  The reissues, available in a box set and as single discs, represent a huge sonic upgrade from the first CD releases of 1987.

Purists are excited about the release of an 11-disc mono box set.  The only Beatles studio albums actually recorded in stereo were Let It Be, Abbey Road and Yellow Submarine (and it only had four new songs).  The rest were made for single channel sound – even Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

There is some new material here – each disc includes a mini-documentary video, along with clips of the band’s in-studio chatter.  Whether that’s worth the $18.98 list price depends on how much you love the Beatles.  Some apparently do – a lot.  Pre-orders ate up all of Amazon’s allotment for both the stereo and mono box sets, though more are expected in a few weeks.Horizon

Mark your calendar

Who: Jonatha Brooke
Where: Lebanon Opera House
When: Thursday, Sept. 24, 7:30pm

After finding a cache of lost Woody Guthrie lyrics a few years back, the folksinger’s family scouted about for players who might do them justice.  The first effort, two albums’ worth of a Billy Bragg/Wilco collaboration, felt like something Woody himself might have done were he alive for the roots-rock Americana wave of the late 1990s.

Enter Jonatha Brooke.  She mixed Woody’s words with much jazzier elements, bringing in everyone from Keb’ Mo’ to Joe Sample to contribute to the project. The result, The Works, served as a reminder that folk music has evolved considerably since the days when Bob Dylan imagined himself a one-man Guthrie tribute band.
Brooke has a deep catalog – everything from the edgy folk she made with Jennifer Kimball as the Story, to the psychedelic flourishes on her last album of original material, Careful What You Wish For.  Her live shows, which tend to rock a bit harder than her recorded work, are always a treat.

Worth driving out of town

Palace Theatre,
Manchester, NH

Distance: 50 miles
Why: Chuck Wicks
When: Tonight, September 10 at 7:30 PM
Tickets: $29.50 – $39.50

It won’t be long before this country rocker is headlining bigger places like Meadowbrook, so this intimate show is a real opportunity.  Wicks sold out the Claremont Opera House earlier this year, and repeated the feat at Keene’s Colonial Theater a couple of months ago.  He and girlfriend Julianne Hough finished high in “Dancing With the Stars” competition.  Hough’s country music career is also taking off, so the pair could become another Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

Wicks’ song “Stealing Cinderella” is fast becoming a wedding standard, and revved-up numbers like “She’s Gonna Hurt Somebody” are the sort that get fans dancing in the aisles (along with screaming girls rushing the stage, which happened, to the horror of some board members, at the Claremont Opera House).  Manchester hometown girl Ashley Alexander opens.

Places to go

This week we check out the Sunapee area

One Mile West
Brook Rd and Route 103
Open: Tuesday through Sunday at 4 PM

A nicely varied menu complemented by a great beer selection – 20 drafts from around the world.  The walls are covered with concert posters from the classic rock era.  They do a Tuesday open mike night, with hosting duties split between George Johnson and the Moores.

1403 Route 103, Newbury
Open: 7 days

This steakhouse and pub, once known as the Shanty, hosts a Monday open mike night with Terry Ray Gould, and presents live music on the weekends when ski season ramps up.  During the summer months, the deck is alive with music.

Goosefeathers Pub
Spruce Lodge, Mt. Sunapee Resort
Open: 7 days (seasonal)

The hottest pub on the mountain, when ski season starts there’s music from people like Jason Cann and Pete Merrigan, along with one or two big national events.  There’s a full bar and food menu.

71 Main Street, Sunapee
Open: Thursday through Sunday until October 12

In the summer months, this restaurant/bar has live music most Fridays and Saturdays.

Rt. 103 Newbury (on the harbor)
Open: 7 days

Bob “Bubba” Williams and his wife Robin ran the Gray House in New London for many years before opening in Newbury, where their chowder is the bowl to beat at the annual Sunapee Chowder Challenge (Sunday, Sept. 27)

Café Andre
699 Route 103
Open: Wednesday through Monday

Fine dining, with dishes like Tournedos Royale and Escargot Provencal.  There’s music Wednesday nights, with Reid Trevaskis and an accompanist hosting an open mike.

Local Music Spotlight

Who: Dave Clark
What: One-man musical vertical integration chain
Sounds like: Depends on the band, but his singing voice suggests Tim Hardin or Bob Weir

Dave Clark is a bit like the Michael Keaton character in Multiplicity – it seems impossible that there’s only one of him. He can be heard playing jam band favorites with the Gully Boys, original roots rock with Juke Joynt, or solo folk music at places like Canoe Club, Elixir or lately, Silver Fern Grille and Bar in Claremont.  He also pops up in loose configurations like the open mike Acoustic Coalition, and he’ll sit in with any number of other performers.

As if he didn’t have enough on his plate already, Clark also runs the Yellow House Media web site, one of the most valuable local music resources anywhere.  He produces the public access Homegrown music series in his hometown of Woodstock, and provides booking guidance to several area music venues.

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