Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Sights and Sounds: Ringo Starr, Sonny Vincent & Rocket From The Crypt, The Green River Festival

Happy Wednesday everybody. A pretty good mix of music-minded news and notes to share...

Ringo: With a Little Help

by Michael Seth Starr

July 7, 2015
$32.99 (US)
ISBN: 9781617131202
6.0" x 9.0"
256 pages
Backbeat Books, an imprint of
Hal Leonard Performing
Arts Publishing Group
The book Ringo: With a Little Help to be published on the Beatles drummer's 75th birthday, is the first in-depth biography of Ringo Starr, who kept the beat for an entire generation and who remains a rock icon over fifty years since the Beatles took the world by storm.

Born in 1940 as Richard Starkey in the Dingle, one of Liverpool's most gritty, rough-and-tumble neighborhoods, he rose from a hardscrabble childhood - marked by serious illnesses, long hospital stays, and little schooling - to emerge, against all odds, as a locally renowned drummer. Taking the stage name Ringo Starr, his big break with the Beatles rocketed him to the pinnacle of worldwide acclaim in a remarkably short time. He was the last member of the Beatles to join the group but also the most vulnerable, and his post-Beatles career was marked by chart-topping successes, a jet-setting life of excess and alcohol abuse, and, ultimately, his rebirth as a clean-living children's television star and one of rock's most revered elder statesman.

Featuring extensive interviews with such drumming icons as Phil Collins, John Densmore, and Kenny AranoffRingo: With a Little Help traces the entire arc of Ringo's remarkable life and career and paints the most vivid picture yet of the most famous drummer the world has ever known.

Sonny Vincent & Rocket From The Crypt to release 'Vintage Piss' on April 28, 2015

Vintage Piss is the baby whose seed was planted on the 2003 Rocket From The Crypt U.S. tour, which also paired some members of RFTC with legendary New York, 1970's outta control Rock n Roller, Sonny Vincent. After the Swami release of Sonny's previous band Testors "Complete Discography", Speedo (John Reis), Ruby Mars (Mario Rubalcaba) and The Notorious ND (Andy Stamets) served as Sonny's backing band and slashed through his Testors repertoire resulting in a primo, barrage of 1970's neo-proto-punk. After one particularly meaty performance in Chicago amidst high fives and ass slaps signifying a job well done, the inspiration to write and record new songs struck. Back in San Diego late 2003, the group would incubate in Drag Racist Studio (where RFTC had just recorded "Live From Camp X-Ray" and Hot Snakes "Suicide Invoice").  There they approached a steam of consciousness approach to making noise by recording songs and ideas live in the studio without rehearsal. With Sonny's voice and blazing James Williamson-esque Les Paul attack leading the way, the band followed him into the punk abyss emerging with a record that is both Sonny Vincent and Rocket From The Crypt. Unfortunately, the studio and Swami Records became buried by transition. This was to be the last thing recorded at Drag Racist before the studio shut its doors. The record lay dormant, unmixed and unfinished. With The 2013 reformation of Rocket From the Crypt and the continued re-release of Sonny Vincent and Testors recordings, a rekindled interest in the lost art of Rock N Roll has led to the revisiting of these never-lost masters 11 years later. Tapes in various state of degradation were baked and restored to playability resulting in the unearthing of a true forgotten gem. Produced and recorded by John Reis, mixed by Ben Moore, mastered by Dave Gardner at Magneto Mastering and artwork by savage visionary Chris WeThreeClub, Vintage Piss greatly benefits from a renewed perspective. Every aspect of this release is sonically and aesthetically significantly improved beyond what would have been previously offered as a record. Vintage Piss is essential for fans of Rocket From The Crypt, Sonny Vincent, Testors and those attracted to the maverick yet Cro-Magnon spirit of punk rock's beginnings.  

Track List:

Side A
1. Unlock
2. Through My Head
3. Pieces
4. Pick Up The Slack
5.It's Not Your Fault
6. Her Hand

Side B
1. Talking Trash
2. Dream
3. They Say You Are Crazy
4. Sharp Knife
5. Daily Procedure
6. Something I Gotta Do
7. Vintage Piss

Steve Earle, The Punch Brothers, Tune-Yards, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Milk Carton Kids and more to perform at 29th annual Green River Festival, July 10-12, 2015

Music and Hot Air Balloon fest expands to three days following 2014 Sell-Out

The Green River Festival will expand to three days for its 2015 annual installment—held July 10-12 in Greenfield, MA—with a star-studded and eclectic lineup featuring Steve Earle & The Dukes, Punch Brothers, tUnE-yArDs, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Milk Carton kids, J. Mascis, and more. Bringing together elder statesmen like Booker T. Jones and Tony Joe White on a bill with acclaimed rising acts like Valerie June, Langhorne Slim & The Law, and Joe Pug among others, the festival is establishing itself as one of Massachusetts' premiere events. Early bird single day and weekend tickets go on sale today via

Green River Fest, which sold out in 2014, will kick off with a special Friday night concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of acclaimed New England-based record label Signature Sounds. The label, which has served as home to everyone from Josh Ritter and Lake Street Dive to Crooked Still and Chris Smither, released a special 20th anniversary collection last month, and will present rising acts with new 2015 albums, including Eilen Jewell and Heather Maloney.

In addition to the stellar music lineup and in keeping with its origins, the festival will also feature an incredible array of hot air balloons launching Saturday evening and Sunday morning. The public can watch the early morning launch free of charge or purchase tickets for a ride originating at the Greenfield Community College grounds. A special Balloon Glow, featured illuminated balloons in the night sky, will be held Saturday night. For more information on the balloons or to make reservations for a ride, please visit

Stay tuned for full schedule to be announced.


Steve Earle & The Dukes
Punch Brothers
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
J. Mascis
Milk Carton Kids
Booker T. Jones
Valerie June
The Wood Brothers
Langhorne Slim & The Law
Tony Joe White
Eilen Jewell
Elephant Revival
Parker Millsap
Red Baraat
Lydia Loveless
Pine Hill Project
Joe Pug
The Revelers
Heather Maloney
Sean Rowe
MAKU Sound System
Chuchito Valdes
Suitcase Junket
Arc Iris
Charlie Parr
Marco Benevento
Jose Gonzalez and Criollo Clasico
Bela's Bartok
The Lonesome Brothers
Twisted Pine

No comments: