This week’s Hippo

Livingston Taylor – Class is in session:

Livingston Taylor made his first album in 1970, a time when the future of music was still being written. Jon Landau, then a young rock critic whose passion for music led him to the studio, produced the record, and a follow-up, Liv, a year later.

In the introduction to his 1972 collection of essays, It’s Too Late to Stop Now, Landau said this about working with Taylor: “His insights into himself, his music and his relationships with others forced me to re-think, re-feel and re-learn most of what I thought about music and musicians.”

Truffle al fresco:

Not many bands have the staying power of Truffle, the roots rock quartet that, now in its 25th year, is as familiar to Seacoast music fans as lobster rolls and Smuttynose beer. You can catch the band in one configuration or another most every night of the week.

There’s Acoustic Truffle, a trio featuring bassist David Bailey, Ned Chase on multiple strings and Dave Gerard singing and playing guitar. The duo of Gerard and Bailey appears regularly at Fury’s Publick House in Dover, Hampton’s North Beach Bar and Grill and other Seacoast locations. Gerard plays solo at a number of venues, including York Harbor Inn, Epping’s Holy Grail, and every other Tuesday in the Dolphin Striker’s basement Spring Hill Tavern.

Above all, there’s Electric Truffle, formed as Savoy Truffle in 1986 by UNH pals Gerard, Bailey, Chase and a drummer, replaced by Mike Gendron in the mid-’90s. They’ve made five records, including their only major-label effort, Nervous Laughter in 1994.

This Week’s Hippo – Scorpions, John Waite

Scorpions call it a career with final album, world tour

Last January, with the release of their 17th album, Sting in the Tail, German rockers Scorpions decided to retire as a band. They are currently on a worldwide farewell tour that stops at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion on Wednesday, June 23. The final run of shows will likely stretch into 2012, the 40th anniversary of the band’s first record, Lonesome Crow.

Worth the Waite – 1980s “Missing You” songster returns

Some of John Waite’s best songs came after he quit playing. In the early 1980s, the former Babys front man went solo and then moved to the English countryside when his first record failed to dent the charts. After a two-year exile, Waite returned to music with No Brakes and the MTV smash hit “Missing You.”

And Nite Roundup

Roots on the River reaches across the spectrum

One of the things I miss about no longer corresponding for the Compass is covering Roots on the River, fondly known as Fred Fest to those in the know.  The weekend-long festival in Bellows Falls and Rockingham always features a melting pot of great music, and this year is no exception.

Things get underway tonight at 7:30 (Thursday, June 10) at the Bellows Falls Opera House with Cajun fiddler and Zydeco ambassador Michael Doucet avec Beausoleil, with the immensely talented folk group Joy Kills Sorrow opening.

Friday at the Everyday Inn in Rockingham, the smoking hot Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles open for Fred Eaglesmith, who is the reason this weekend is celebrating its 11th birthday.  If you haven’t seen Borges, get ready to be blown away as she rocks, rolls and makes love to her guitar. By the time she’s done, you’ll be out of breath.

Saturday’s all-day show at the Everyday Inn is a great compendium of old favorites and new faces, topped with Americana legend David Bromberg. Here’s the list:

The Ginn Sisters
Starline Rhythm Boys
Roger Marin Band
Audrey Auld
Gandalf Murphy & The Slamobvian Circus of Dreams
Angel Band
DADDY/Will Kimbrough & Tommy Womack

David Bromberg Quartet
Fred Eaglesmith

Sunday reprises a great show from two years ago at the Rockingham Meetinghouse – Mary Gauthier and Fred Eaglesmith, all acoustic. This one’s intimate and fills up fast.

For more information, go to the festival web site. Here’s a complete list of performers and times, including some free shows:

Thursday, June 10, 2010
Bellows Falls Opera House 7:40 PM

8:30 PM

Joy Kills Sorrow

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet

Friday, June 11, 2010
Green Mountain
Outlook Terrace (free)
12:00 PM Hot Mustard
Sovernet Terrace (free) 1:00 PM The Whoa Nelly Band
Bellows Falls Farmers Market (free) 4:00 PM

5:15 PM

The Johnson Boys


Festival Site –
Everyday Inn
7:35 PM

8:54 PM

9:50 PM

Joanne Shaw Taylor

Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles

Fred Eaglesmith

Saturday, June 12, 2010
Festival Site –
Everyday Inn
12:10 PM

1:10 PM

2:10 PM

3:25 PM

4:40 PM

5:55 PM

6:40 PM

8:10 PM

9:35 PM

The Ginn Sisters

Starline Rhythm Boys

Roger Marin Band

Audrey Auld

Gandalf Murphy &
The Slamobvian Circus of Dreams

Angel Band

Will Kimbrough & Tommy Womack

David Bromberg Quartet

Fred Eaglesmith

Sunday June 13, 2010
Rockingham Meeting House 12:00 PM

1:30 PM

Mary Gauthier

Fred Eaglesmith

This week’s Hippo – Two for the Cause

Johnny Winter and Big Head Todd and the Monsters each headline “Concert for the Cause”  benefits for  New Hampshire Child and Youth Services this weekend.

Johnny Winter lays it all out:

Raisin’ Cain – The Wild and Raucous Story of Johnny Winter is a rarity — an authorized biography that pulls no punches, leaves no stone unturned or tale untold. Mary Lou Sullivan’s well-researched book chronicles the guitarist’s rise from the Texas roadhouse circuit to stadium headlining tours, and his subsequent decision to forego the big stage of rock stardom to focus on the blues music that inspired him to play in the first place.

It also covers his excesses — sex, drugs, alcohol and career mismanagement that not only hurt him professionally but also nearly killed him. Why did he agree to lay it all out for the world to see?

“Well, if you’re gonna do it, you gotta talk about everything,” said Winter recently by telephone from his home in Connecticut. “You can’t just put in the good stuff … there was some bad stuff too, and we had to do that.”

Big Head Todd brings the islands back home:

He’s not running for mayor of Margaritaville, but Big Head Todd and the Monsters front man Todd Park Mohr says the band’s forthcoming album Rocksteady has a decidedly island vibe. The first single, “Beautiful,” flirts so much with Jack Johnson that you can practically smell the sea air.

According to Mohr, it’s also the most cohesive record the Denver, Colo., quartet has ever made.