Today’s Hippo – Rezidudes punk the covers

The Rezidudes don’t want to change music, just rearrange it. A cover band, but not the kind typically hired for weddings, they like to give familiar songs “a swift kick in the ass,” says the band’s rhythm guitarist, Kevin Cornish.

“If you’re 25 to 30 and on up, you inherently know all the words — we just do them Rezidudes style,” Cornish says.

The band is putting the finishing touches on A Beat Off, their second album. Among the songs receiving the double-timed drums and hyper-caffeinated guitar treatment are “Hotel California,” “My Favorite Things” and The Beatles’ “All My Loving.” Easy, fun targets all, but the album also includes selections that every rocker loves — “Fortunate Son,” “American Girl” — done straight up, albeit with the pedal pushed to the floor.


Today’s Hippo

Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s eternal story

Trans-Siberian Orchestra built a career from turning it up to eleven; this winter’s tour is no exception. “It’s God-like — bigger, with more toys,” said band creator recently Paul O’Neill during a break in rehearsals. The tour stops in Manchester for two shows on Sunday, Nov. 7.

Michael Franti showers sunshine

Listening to the cheery music of Michael Franti and Spearhead, it’s hard to fathom that he once brought a hard edge and angry attitude to just about every word he spoke or sang. Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Franti fronted the proto-punk/funk Beatnigs and the politically charged Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy.

And Nite Roundup

Today’s Hippo

Jandee Lee Porter – An old soul with new stories

When Jandee Lee Porter was a young girl in Charlestown, N.H., she’d sing along with her grandmother’s Patsy Cline records while the two baked cookies together. Porter insists her destiny became clear the first time she held a hairbrush and pretended it was a microphone.

“I have been on the stage since I was probably 3 or 4 years old,” she said recently from her new home in Boston, “and definitely it progressed to become something more substantial since I’ve gotten older.”

And Nite Roundup

This week’s Hippo – Vegas Temper, Lucid

Vegas Temper cashes in on “Money”

Vegas Temper wants the airwaves.

Earlier this summer, the Manchester rockers went into the studio to record a pair of songs. They put the finishing touches on one of them in early September and began shopping it to regional radio, which responded immediately. Stations in Boston and Maine, in addition to Rock 101, added “Money” to their playlists, and the list continues to grow.

Lucid expands its territory

The problem with any local music scene is the circuit’s only so big. Lucid, playing the Shaskeen on Friday, Oct. 15, has a large following in its home city of Plattsburgh, N.Y. The six-piece band’s music melds jazzy rock, blues and straight-up funk into a lively, dance floor-filling concoction. Between the college and townies, along with the many clubs that regularly book them in upstate New York, their schedule stays pretty full.

In Nite Roundup, there’s comedy, country, fright, jamming and dim sum with a side of metal.


This week’s Hippo

Maria Muldaur is no ordinary woman:

In his sweeping new biography, Bob Dylan in America, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz discusses one of Dylan’s key influences, Blind Willie McTell. “He was a sponge … who soaked up every kind of music he heard and then expressed it in his own way,” writes Wilentz — much like Dylan.

It’s also true of Dylan contemporary Maria Muldaur. In junior high school, she led two doo-wop groups and was offered a record contract, which her mother nixed.

“She put an abrupt end to my hopeful little rock and roll career, which in retrospect is probably a good thing,” said Muldaur recently from a tour stop in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “The really cool, hip funky music [was] co-opted … Elvis got drafted and replaced with Pat Boone.

Slutty Pete’s birthday blues:

When Wan-Tu Blues Band harp player Pete Zona first began performing live, he was constantly searching for an open jam session. In 2004, his girlfriend Brenda Cadieux decided to bring the music to the couple’s favorite bar, the Village Trestle in Goffstown. She organized a surprise birthday party and invited the many musicians Zona had sat in with. “Point being they all had to let Peter play with them,” explained Cadieux recently.

On that day, guitarist Tom Bellerini dubbed him Slutty Pete, because, says Cadieux, “he will play with anyone.” When the participants all agreed the experience was so much fun it should be repeated a week later, the gathering also marked the beginning of an enduring Sunday afternoon tradition. But while the weekly Wan-Tu Blues Band session is one of the most popular in the area, nothing draws a crowd like Slutty Pete’s annual Birthday Jam.

plus, the week’s Nite Roundup

This week’s Hippo

Roots of Creation goes back to their roots:

From its beginning as a Franklin Pierce College party band, Roots of Creation rose through the club scene to become a staple on the regional festival circuit. The four-piece band mixes improvisational island rhythms with electronic elements and loop treatments for a highly original sound they call “dubtronica.”

Drummer Mike Chadinha uses an electronic drum pad, while keyboard player Talmadge “Tal” Pearson also employs a full range of synthetic effects. Guitarist and lead singer Brett Wilson’s vocals are fed through a delay pedal.

It’s no ordinary reggae band.

“We have a lot of stuff going on,” Wilson said recently from his home in Milford.

This week’s Compass

Players – Local Music Spotlight
Who: Crashgirl
What: Alternative rock covers
Sounds Like: Post-millennial Heart
Crashgirl is a relative newcomer to the local music scene, but the band has built a steady following with frequent appearances at the Imperial Lounge in Claremont, along with other venues around the state, including their hometown of Keene.
Fronted by Kelly Darling-Snow on lead vocals, Crashgirl’s experienced musicians are well versed at making familiar material sound fresh. The band includes Neil Moxham on guitar, Roy Brown playing bass, drummer Jeff Costello and Paul Occhiaro on keyboards.  Each member also sings, and Occhiaro add another dimension with an occasional saxophone solo.
Crashgirl recasts classic rock songs with a modern sheen.  A good example of this is their cover of Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” which is much bluesier and decidedly more upbeat than the original. A typical Crashgirl set includes several modernized chart-toppers like this from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, along with revamped versions of today’s pop hits with a rock style.
Upcoming gigs:
Friday, Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. – Imperial Lounge, Washington Street, Claremont
Saturday, Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. – McCues Billiards and Sports Lounge, Keene
Friday, March 5 at 10 p.m. – Gusto’s in Barre, Vermont
Horizon – Mark your calendar
What: Hey Mama
Where: Salt hill Pub, Lebanon
When: Friday, February 19 at 9 p.m.
More: 448-0400 or go to
Among the many stellar performances at the recent Lebanon Opera House Local Legends, none excited the crowd quite like Avi and Celia, a young duo who met as freshmen at the University of Vermont, and have been performing rootsy Americana together for the past 7 years.  Celia Woodsmith’s raw, bluesy voice, reminiscent of Janis Joplin and Bonnie Raitt, rolled over the stunned audience like a tidal wave, and the pair sold out their merchandise in the lobby when their set ended.
Avi & Celia recently hooked up with bass player Ben Kogan and drummer Jared Seabrook to form Hey Mama.  As a duo, the pair (not romantically involved, in case you were wondering) relied on spare elements for their sound – acoustic guitar, washboard and hand percussion and, of course, Celia’s powerful pipes.  With a rhythm section, they chug along like a freight train, as evidenced on the band’s eponymous first album, made last fall with Grammy nominated producer Jack Gauthier.
This is the Hey Mama’s first Upper Valley club appearance, though it should be noted that Avi & Celia will be playing as a duo using the Hey Mama name.  There’s no cover charge, but it’s a good idea to bring an extra 10 or 20 bucks for a CD purchase.
Beyond – Worth driving out of town

What: Jeffrey Foucault & Anders Parker
Where: Hooker-Dunham Theatre, 139 Main St. in Brattleboro
When: Saturday, Feb 13, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15
Distance: 48 Miles
“Northbound 35,” a great tune about the end of love and how wearying it can be, is reason enough to pay attention to Jeffrey Foucault.  But that’s just one favorite among many. The Wisconsin-born singer/songwriter, who nowadays calls Western Massachusetts home, has a lot in common with John Prine.  Like Prine, Foucault’s songs often reveal flawed characters with human pain searching for redemption that’s not completely out of reach, but very close to it.
So it makes sense that Foucault made Shoot the Moon Between the Eyes, a loving tribute to Prine’s music released last year.  He’s currently working on a follow-up to his last studio album, 2006’s Ghost Repeater, with help from pal Peter Mulvey and longtime producer David “Goody” Goodrich, and will likely play a few new selections at the Brattleboro show.  Also appearing is Anders Parker, a talented songwriter who’s been making critically acclaimed music for the past 15 years.
The Hooker-Dunham is an intimate space that seats a little over 100 people; it’s the perfect venue for Foucault and Parker’s music.

Local Rhythms – Don’t get fooled at the Super Bowl

Pete Townshend once wrote, “I hope I die before I get old.”

I won’t go that far, but I wish he’d retired, sparing me the agony of having to watch him and Roger Daltrey perform Who songs at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.

It’s wrong on a few levels.

First, why has the Super Bowl become the venue of choice for every dinosaur rock star aching for a second look?  The game itself now seems to be just one ingredient in a bloated media stew, with every attention junkie in the world jockeying for screen time.

A better food analogy is a baked potato – fattening enough with butter and sour cream, loading it up with bacon, cheese, chili and anything else you think to chop up is overkill.

Why does this game have to be a conduit for a million other distractions? How about just 60 minutes of football and a few overpriced beer commercials?

Isn’t that enough?

There is true athletic drama on the field this year.   The city of New Orleans has never produced a world champion in professional sports, and it’s been just a few years since Hurricane Katrina. The whole world is pulling for the Saints.

The other Super Bowl team is led by Peyton Manning, one of the most gifted athletes in the world, who happens to be the son of the Saints’ former star quarterback.

How much more drama do you need?

Make no mistake – I love rock and roll as much as anyone. But what does the music of the Who have to do with any of that?  Besides, they’re English – when someone says football, Pete Townshend thinks of soccer.

In any case, the Who isn’t a band – it’s a brand name, now owned by two surviving members of the legendary group.  A case could be made that it ended when Keith Moon died in 1979; John Entwistle’s passing left no doubt.

If Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr tried to tour as the Beatles, would anyone believe them?

This whole mess began when Whitney Houston sang the National Anthem before the 1990 game and turned it into a hit record.  A few years later, Michael Jackson appeared with 3,500 kids (isn’t that ironic?) and three body doubles to sing “Heal the World.”

It’s been spinning out of control ever since. Let’s call an end to the ridiculous excess.

Just play the game – please.

On to the rest of the week:

Thursday, Feb 4: Lannen Fall, 802 Music – In a world of minimalist pop bands, Boston-based Lannen Fall bring a big sound to the stage, influenced by modern rockers like Blink-182, Fall Out Boy and A-list producer Butch Walker.  The five-piece band plays tuneful songs with memorable choruses, tight harmonies and solid instrumentation. This is a good excuse to hit an off-night show at the downtown Springfield venue.

Friday, Feb. 5: Saylyn, Salt hill Newport – Saylyn is the area’s hometown reggae band, an authentic sound that always makes me think of summer. The band is best enjoyed under the stars on a hot night, but since the elements have other plans, at least for the next few months, indoors at Newport’s most bustling nightspot will have to suffice. Fronted by two brothers born and raised in Jamaica, this band is the genuine article.

Saturday, Feb. 6: Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen, Plainfield Blow-Me-Down Grange – Folk music in Plainfield – what a treat.  Check out Gillette, a                terrific songwriter, performing “Darcy Farrow” on YouTube with Mangsen, and see if you don’t wonder like I did – where’s the other guitar?  When Gillette and Mangsen weave their tapestry of music, with deft playing and lovely harmonies, the result is spellbinding.

Sunday, Feb. 7: Celia Sings Sinatra, Canoe Club – The Super Bowl plays on a 91 inch high def screen in the bar, while one of the area’s most popular doppelgangers performs on the other – a pleasant schizophrenia, indeed, especially when factoring in the Chinese box effect of the game broadcast, with half of the viewers wondering how far the Go Daddy Internet ad will go and the other focused on Peyton Manning’s passes

Tuesday, Feb. 9: Open Mic, One Mile West – The Sunapee restaurant recently changed ownership, and plans to expand the music offerings are in the works.  The weekly open mic continues, hosted by a rotating crew of the Moore family, George Johnson and Steve Currier. The beer menu and the vibe of the room, covered with old concert posters, are both great.

Wednesday, Feb. 10: Jason Cann, Salt hill Pub Hanover (Grand Opening) – The Tuohy dynasty expands into downtown Hanover with a formula much like the Newport and Lebanon locations, comfort food, perfectly poured pints of Guinness and a great music lineup.  Opening night features one of the area’s best singer/songwriters – Cann, who will continue to appear every Wednesday.

This Week’s Compass

Beyond – Worth driving out of town

What: Slam Free or Die with feature poet Diane Haas

Where: Bridge Café, corner of Bridge and Elm Streets, Manchester

When: Friday, Feb 5, 7 p.m.

Tickets: $3


Distance: 70 Miles

There’s a growing poetry scene in New Hampshire, and not the kind that one time resident Robert Frost could have comprehended.  Every other week in downtown Manchester, poets gather to read, or rather perform, their work.  It’s slam poetry, where words and attitude receive equal emphasis.  This is also competitive verse – each month, poets vie for a chance to attend the national slam poetry event, to be held this August in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This week features a Valentine-themed erotic poetry open microphone, capped by a feature reading by Diane Haas, whose appearances are equal parts poetry, burlesque and rock show.  Haas is building a big regional buzz for her often-provocative work – double entendre laced poems like “Honey,” “Not the Girl Next Door” and “Jessica Rabbit.”  The Derry poet is a Lady Gaga of verse, too – wearing outfits to match her R-rated words. The Bridge Café is an intimate venue, so patrons are encouraged to arrive early – it fills up fast.

Players – Local Music Spotlight

Who:  Last Kid Picked

What:  Covers, with an emphasis on modern rock

Sounds Like: Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls


You have to love a band that owes its existence to a Warren Zevon song.  On Halloween night 1996, they played first show, performing as the Werewolves of London. The following year, the band became Last Kid Picked, building a steady following with a set list of classic and modern rock songs. In late summer 1997 they had a big night opening for Mountain and Blue Oyster Cult.

The band has had a few lineup changes over the years; original members Mark & Deb Bond met and married while in the band; Carey Lee Rush was also a founding member.  Last Kid Picked front man John DeGange is a LKP constant, bespectacled and given to occasional rubber chicken stunts.  Their set list ranges from Aerosmith to Buckcherry, with an odd Neil Diamond or Dixie Chicks song tossed in to mix things up.

The band’s crowd-pleasing antics make their annual hometown Halloween party at the Newport Opera House a certain sellout, and they have been the feature band at Winter Carnival for several years running.  Current band members include DeGange on lead vocals, guitar and harmonica, Kyle Flewelling playing drums, Jason Ricci on guitar and vocals and bass player Mike Sherman.

Upcoming gigs are:

Friday, Feb. 5 at Electra Nightclub in West Lebanon

Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Derryfield in Manchester

Saturday, Feb. 13 at Newport Winter Carnival

Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Rusty Nail in Stowe, VT

Horizon – Mark your calendar

What: Mike Gordon

Where: Lebanon Opera House, 51 North Park St. in Lebanon

When: Sunday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $35/$25

More: 448-0400 or go to

After a concluding a massive reunion tour, Phish bass player Mike Gordon embarks on a brief 8-date swing through the Northeast that includes a rare Lebanon appearance.  Gordon’s solo projects have been quite eclectic – a pair of duet albums with acoustic guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke, and a tour with the jazz-fusion Benevento/Russo Duo which yielded a 2-disc live set containing a few significantly rearranged Phish songs.

He also played for a while with the Dead spin-off Rhythm Devils; typically, when Gordon strikes out on his own, it’s a left turn into uncharted territory.

But Gordon’s Lebanon show will likely draw from his most recent release, The Green Sparrow.  The 2008 album is a more straightforward affair, with funk, groove and jam elements, along with guest help from Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones), Ivan Neville and fellow Phish member Trey Anastasio.

Gordon’s band includes Max Creek guitarist Scott Murawski, jazz drummer Todd Isler, UVM teacher and pianist Tom Cleary and percussionist Craig Myers.

This week’s Compass

Local Music Spotlight

Who: Reid Travaskis
What: Funk, Blues, Classic Rock, Oldies
Sounds like: Depends on the band

Reid is a Wednesday night fixture at Andre’s in Sunapee, where he’s led the open rehearsal since for  many years.  Most nights, singer Jan Bear and bassist Ben Butterworth join him for blues, oldies and whatever else he’s in the mood for.

Reid had a long career in New York City.  Look hard enough, and you’ll find YouTube videos of him onstage at CBGB with his prog-pop band Positron.  Billboard Magazine twice named his original band, The Funky Knights, as Best Unsigned Band.  They are at work on a new CD.

Since moving to New Hampshire, Reid has played as a sideman in many blues bands including several led by the late George Gibson and also fronted his own band, The 5 Woodies (their piano player, Travis Colby now plays with Roomful Of Blues).

This singer, musician and songwriter plays with several other New Hampshire bands, including the funk horn combo Manchuka, classic rockers Hurricane Alley, and with Nashua blues singer Lisa Marie, as either a duo or part of her band All Shook Up.

Upcoming gigs:

Friday, Dec. 11, Shenanigans in White River Junction (with Hurricane Alley)
Wednesday, Dec.16, Cafe Andre, Sunapee (special Christmas party – dinner & show for $17)
Friday, Dec. 18, Chandler’s, Manchester (with Manchuka)
Wednesday, Dec.23, Cafe Andre, Sunapee

Worth driving out of town

Winterbloom: Holiday Traditions Rearranged
The IMA Big Barn
Rte 112/165 Cape St., Goshen, Mass.
Tickets: $16
Distance: 90 Miles

Winterbloom, the seasonal side project of Antje Duvekot, Meg Hutchinson, Anne Heaton and Natalia Zukerman, doesn’t stick to standard holiday fare.  Their eponymous 8-song CD includes evergreens like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Silent Night” (the latter sung in Duvekot’s native German) alongside bittersweet, lovely originals.  Hutchinson’s “Of the Magi” laments love gone by in the context of the timeless O. Henry story, while Duvekot’s wry “Thanks for the Roses” is undoubtedly the first Christmas song containing the word ‘thong’.

Their overall mood is more December than Christmas, though Hanukah gets a nod in “The Riddle (Tumbalalaika),” a Yiddish folk song re-imagined by Zukerman. Best evoking this melding of secular and mystical is their cover of Greg Brown’s  “Rexroth’s Daughter,” a song about longing, coping and holding out hope.

The band grew out of an in-the-round show the four did in Cambridge, Mass., at the Club Passim Campfire Festival’s 10th anniversary in September 2008.  The one-time performance led to a short run of shows a few months later, where the group had a sudden realization – they were on tour in December without any holiday songs.   No such trouble now, though.

Mark your calendar

What: Cold River Ranters with Blackjack Crossing
Where: Mole Hill Theatre 789 Gilsum Mine Road, Alstead
When: Saturday, Dec. 19 7 p.m.
Admission: Donation at the door
More: or 352-0460

A little off the beaten path in Alstead sits a former industrial building that’s been transformed into a performance space. Metal Stamping was still using the space for manufacturing when occasional shows began in 2003. “It was a bit greasy then,” says owner/proprietor Dennis Molesky. Now it’s shined up, with the dormant machines painted bright primary colors, and hosting concerts in earnest.

The double bill on December 19 will features two of the area’s finest examples of American roots music – one a bit newfangled, the other so pure they could have been preserved in amber 60 years ago.

The Cold River Ranters call their music “hot gonzo primitive folk jive.”  If Leon Redbone shared a moonshine-soaked night with Daisy Dukes, their love child would sound like this.   With a repertoire that ranges from mountain music to sea chanteys, with the odd John Prine or Rolling Stones song, they’re a perfect fit for the era-spanning Mole Hill stage.

Joining them are old time pickers Blackjack Crossing.  Watch them play, and you’ll swear you’re in Nebraska circa 1950, listening to a tabletop radio broadcast of Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys.