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Psychedelic Jam Rock Band moe. Is Back With a Vengeance

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After an almost three-year hiatus, acclaimed psych rock band moe. is back on the road and ready to rock.

The band is currently touring the United States through the end of the year and is absolutely stoked. “People are showing up, everybody’s psyched to see Chuck [Garvey] back and everybody’s psyched that we’re playing again,” said percussionist Jim Loughlin. “It’s been fantastic.”

When we connect by phone with Jim and moe.’s longtime drummer, Vinnie Amico, the guys are feeling revitalized and excited to reconnect with their fanbase. Among other topics discussed was the potential for new music being created sometime next year.

Over the course of our conversation, Jim and Vinnie share stories of their early days in music, finding success with moe., changes in what it means to be a touring artist today, and how weed impacts their creativity and paranoia on various different levels.

High Times: What were your first exposures to music and how did you each find it?

Vinnie Amico: It’s weird, I always knew I wanted to play but I went to college for something completely different and was planning to get a “real” job and all that, but all I ever worked on was playing drums [laughs]. Music was secondarily the first thing I was ever going to do.

Jim Loughlin: Ever since I was a little kid, I was always fascinated with music. I would listen to it constantly and in seventh grade started playing. By the time I was a freshman in high school I knew that I was going to go to school for music and it’s what I always wanted to do. I didn’t know what kind of music or if I was going to be in a band, or how it was going to work out, but I knew that path was what it was going to be in some way.

Vinnie Amico: Seventh grade is also around the time you get into the Van Halen records and all of this other music, you find your guitar player buddy, you set up in the garage and then you start working out all of that music. Basically when you’re twelve, all of that starts to happen and you really get “bit by the bug” right around then. Some people don’t go forward out of high school, while others take off. That’s when you kind of know.

High Times: So high school was the gear shift when you realized music was what you wanted to pursue full time.

Vinnie Amico: For me, I was just playing all of the time. Next thing you know, you go to college, and I’m playing gigs all the time there. It was just something I did, not something I was really pursuing professionally other than I was getting paid for it already.

I got out of school and got a job, but was playing more gigs than spending time trying to get better at my job. Eventually, everything just switched to where the job didn’t mean anything anymore. It became all about the music.

Jim Loughlin: We had a garage band in seventh grade that played together until ninth or tenth grade, and then in high school, I played in a bunch of different garage bands and then started seriously studying music. In eleventh grade, I went to a conservatory program, so I’d spend my mornings at a different school studying music, and then would come back to my regular high school and take of my English and social studies requirements.

When I got to Buffalo, New York and met the guys in moe.—I was a bass player at the time—but got a drumming gig with them because I played both. At that point, it went down the path of “Okay, you’re going to be in a band,” and it’s going to be all about live music.

High Times: Was there an initial moment or experience that reaffirmed for you that choosing music was the right decision?

Vinnie Amico: I had become a working drummer in Buffalo before getting the moe. gig. The validation came once moe. was touring and I got to play at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), which was the concert venue that I grew up seeing concerts at. When I played on that stage I was like, “This is it, I’ve made it. This is my career.” 

It was like, holy shit, the dream came true. When you’re sixteen and you’re high and watching a concert at SPAC, the big dream is to be up on that stage. To then be on the stage was the affirming moment for me.

Jim Loughlin: When I first started playing with moe., we were playing a lot of local Buffalo gigs and stuff. We then started branching out, making a couple of two-hour drives and doing weekends.

When we moved to Albany, New York, we decided “this is it,” quit our day jobs and moved into a house together. Our first two-week tour down South—we all piled in the van with the gear, did the whole driving thing, sleeping on floors—that was our first actual tour. It didn’t matter how many people showed up, it was just amazing that people in North Carolina and South Carolina showed up to see this band from Buffalo play. The tour was so much and was such a great time that it definitely solidified the thought, “I can do this for the rest of my life.”

Vinnie Amico: That was all pre-Internet. 

Jim Loughlin: No one knew who we were, and at the end of each show, we’d break down our gear and meet the five or six people who stuck around. They’d be like, “Hey, great show, need a place to crash?” They’d sign up on our mailing list, ask for a CD, all that stuff. It was so impactful because it was so far away from what we considered home.

It wasn’t like up in the Northeast, we were playing in front of 5,000 people already, we were still only doing a couple hundred people per show. To be able to go down South and know that a little bit of word had already spread and people were showing up was mind-blowing back then. And this was ‘92 or ‘93. It was a different time.

High Times: Is what went into preparing for your live shows then different from what a band needs to do today?

Jim Loughlin: It’s completely different. I don’t know what would have changed for us necessarily. Back then, you couldn’t record a record in your bedroom. You had to go somewhere where someone had a tape machine and had all the gear. It was so difficult to put out your own album. When we put out Headseed, we carried physical copies of the CD for years. It wasn’t just, “Here’s a link to our new album.”

Back then, what started for us was “tape trading.” People would trade Grateful Dead shows and Phish shows because those were two big bands in our scene who allowed taping at their concerts. When there was room at the end of one of those tapes—like a Phish show would take up X-amount of tape and there’d be 10 minutes at the end of dead space—someone would put a moe. song on it. You’d then trade a tape with a Phish fan and you’d get a Phish show, and then at the end, you’d hear a band you never heard before and now you’re like, “Oh, I like that song.”

You had to really dig back then. The fans had to do a ton of work, bands had to do a ton of work. If we knew somebody in a town that we were going to, we’d mail them a bunch of fliers. Back then, you’d pray that the club that you were going to would hang up fliers around town, too. Nothing was guaranteed.

Bands today have so much control over what they do, what’s going to happen and where their careers are going to go. Whereas, I feel like we had a lot less control back then. A lot of dice were rolled compared to now. You can make a post now on social media and then dig into the analytics and know in which city you’re getting a lot of hits. We were just flying in the dark, man.

It’s also a double-edged sword because these bands today do put in a different kind of work and a different kind of stress for them. When you post something and hope that it catches—that stuff wasn’t hanging over our heads back then, it was just playing in the band and seeing what happened.

Vinnie Amico: The hard part today is that there are so many bands out there and there’s so much content and the kids’ attention spans are a lot less. We were only competing with so many bands and so many markets and now there’s a gazillion bands and people’s attention spans are like two seconds, so if you’re not constantly putting out new content to keep somebody interested, you’re almost irrelevant.

High Times: Back then, the music had to drive the ship. Whereas today, maybe social media posts can lead to virality, which can then lead to someone to the music. There are more avenues today for people to find you other than coming to a live show or being at the end of a tape.

Jim Loughlin: There’s a band from Long Island, New York called Adam and the Metal Hawks, and they basically started on TikTok.

The singer has an amazing voice, they started this huge TikTok campaign, got huge on TikTok and got people like Jack Black to respond to a bunch of their videos. This was all really before they went out on tour or released a record. They built up a fanbase before ever doing a tour. Back in the day, you had to tour for years before your name got out. It’s definitely a different world. The other side of that though is you can fail now before you even get out the door.

Vinnie Amico: And can easily make a ton of money on that platform. If they had a million views on TikTok, then advertisers are going to pay them money—sometimes before they ever go out on the road.

Jim Loughlin: Growing up in the ’80s, you’d always hear the story of “demos.” You’d go and see a band that you really liked, and hopefully, you’d be able to get your demo into one of the guys’ hands and they could listen to it. And then the next thing you know, you’re living in Los Angeles and recording out there. Back then it was about getting your demo into someone’s hands, they decide to record your band, you make a record, and then that record sells a ton, and then you go out on the road to support the record.

Vinnie Amico: And you’d make an MTV music video.

Jim Loughlin: When moe. first started, the mentality was just play as much as possible. Play anywhere. If you play at some fucking parade on the side of the road, that’s a gig. Take the gig. We took everything, it didn’t matter.

It’s really interesting to see the Generation X guys who started thinking about music in the ’80s and then started playing in the ’90s and are still playing now. The landscape has changed so many times, it’s incredible.

For us, the bottom line has always been our live show. It’s been our bread and butter and it’s how we know how we’re doing—when we’re standing on stage looking out into the crowd. That’s always been our gauge for how things are going.

Vinnie Amico: It teaches you to be a good band to play every night in front of people. You’ll have shitty nights and you’ll have great nights, but that changes as you get better—you’ll only have one shitty night every once in a while, but most of the nights are good.

If you’re practicing in your garage and making videos and stuff and then you get in front of people and you can’t play, that’s a big freaking difference. Playing live and being a band night after night after night—it definitely trains you and teaches you to be good and to be out there hustling.

High Times: Creatively, where do you draw a lot of your inspiration from?

Jim Loughlin: Honestly, I draw from everything. I can find something interesting in just about any music that’s been released—from pop music to Indian music, everything across the board.

High Times: And how is cannabis part of that process?

Jim Loughlin: When I was younger, I smoked a lot of weed and all my friends did, too. That’s what we did. We sat in my room and got high and listened to music. When new albums would come out, we’d pass around the record cover so everybody could look at the liner notes and all of that stuff.

Looking at it from an outside perspective, it was just a bunch of kids getting high listening to music. But inside of it, it was an experience for us every single time and it made those moments a little bit more important and definitely a lot more fun to remember.

There’s definitely an element of loosening up the brain as it were, and just being able to accept this new thing and get so into it. When you’re a little high, music hits you differently sometimes—especially back when we were younger, and getting high was a new thing. Now when I smoke, it’s just to relax and make sure I can sleep through the night. Though when I’m writing songs and recording at home, I’ll take a couple hits—cause that’s all you need these days—and things just kind of flow a little bit better.

Vinnie Amico: In my case, getting high and listening to things over and over again is how I learned a lot when I was younger. I sit there stoned in my room and would listen to records with my headphones over and over and learn a lot of stuff.

When I became a working musician, I don’t remember ever getting on stage without being high. I always smoked pot before I played. It definitely loosened you up and also freed your mind so that you weren’t so uptight when you played and weren’t so hyperfocused on screwing up.

That being said, now in my 50s, I smoke a lot less, and more into the hobby of growing weed at this point and giving it all away. It’s still a big part of the creative aspect of life, now it’s just more in the “see what you create with the plant itself.”

High Times: Are you guys more Sativa or Indica guys?

Jim Loughlin: I’m Indica. I can’t smoke Sativa anymore. That’s the one that makes me paranoid and schizy and looking over my shoulder and stuff. I’d rather be mellow and “in the couch” as it were. I don’t know why, but Sativa just hits me wrong now. It still gives me that eighth-grade feeling of, “Everybody’s looking at you, man.”

Vinnie Amico: I would agree with Jim, though for me it’s just a matter of how much I smoke or if I take that gigantic hit and start coughing all over the place. If that happens, I know I need to hide from other people because I’m not going to be able to deal with much.

At night, Indica works much better for sure because you know you’re going to be able to sleep versus sitting in your bed thinking about what you said to some girl in eighth-grade that you’re still thinking about.

As part of my grow this summer, I had a Sativa and an Indica and the Sativa isn’t paranoid or freaky, it’s actually a nice clean high—and same with the Indica. It’s very middle of the spectrum.

Jim Loughlin: I can vouch for Vin’s Inica [laughs].

High Times: In terms of touring and recording, any plans for new music?

Jim Loughlin: First of all, the tour we’re on now is the first tour we’ve been on in close to three years. We have Chuck [Garvey] back, which is huge for us. Playing without him was good, it was just weird. I kept having these ghost feelings like I’d lost a limb but I could still feel it.

Now, playing again and playing a lot—the shows have been really good. People are showing up, everybody’s psyched to see Chuck back and everybody’s psyched that we’re playing again. It’s been fantastic.

We also now have Nate [Wilson], which is a whole new flavor for the band. After doing this for thirty years and having something new—almost a new direction and a new breath coming into the band, it’s been really cool. I’m really looking forward to where everything is going to go and how it’s all going to turn out.

Vinnie Amico: This next year is fully packed with shows, rehearsals and getting the band back in its groove and its feet, so next year, we’re planning on writing and recording new music.

Having Chuck back is amazing and the band feels whole again. Nate also adds another aspect of improvisation, so our ears have a new fresh sound we can jump onto and collaborate with. We’re having a great time.

Follow @moetheband and check out https://moe.org for tickets and tour dates.

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Go Behind The Scenes For Ben Burgess’ Grand Ole Opry Debut

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Ben Burgess has been around for awhile.

The Dallas, Texas native made quite an impact behind the scenes of the music industry, writing for some of the biggest pop and country stars since making music a fulltime job. During his stint in Los Angeles, he penned songs for the Jonas Brother and Lil Wayne, but even though he grew up in a city, the big lights of LA never felt right and he moved to Nashville in 2015.

That’s when things really took off.

He signed with Big Loud and began working with Morgan Wallen, Hardy, and Ernest, co-writing some of the biggest tunes in the genre’s history, but still, there was something missing.

He always had a dream of being onstage himself, so last year he took that leap, releasing his debut album Tears The Size Of Texas and hitting the road with Koe Wetzel.

To say it’s gone well is an understatement.

The album was fantastic, anchored by the title track and “Started A Band”, a true story of him losing a girlfriend to the lead singer of a band he took her to see.

He gained more fans each time he hit the stage, made an appearance on the Whiskey Riff Raff podcast, and then, at the end of February 2023, was called on to make his debut at the most iconic venue in Country Music, The Grand Ole Opry.

The Opry just shared some behind the scenes footage of his experience that day and it’s clear that the excitement and nerves he has are absolutely real and he’s just doing his best to fill the big shoes of those that came before him.

He spoke about what this meant to him during the video.

“It’s like I’m on a ride at Six Flags, but I had to pay for the ticket with 15 years of blood, sweat, and tears. It’s beautiful to be here… 

All the history of all the songs, musicians, artists, producers, managers, publishers, janitors… If you think about everybody and everything that’s a part of this, it’s like a million people. Probably the biggest stage I’ve ever stepped on.

When I came to Nashville, they welcomed me with open arms and this feels like an even bigger Nashville to me. I feel like I’ve been accepted as an artist and as a songwriter in the Country Music community, which, you know, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

He goes on to tell the story of how he grew up. His father was a fireman and local musician/songwriter and there was plenty of music around the house, from Frank Zappa to Willie Nelson, The Beatles to Al Green.

“Tears The Size Of Texas” was his song of choice for the performance and he also spoke on how it came to be during the video.

“That was the first song I wrote after I got offered the record deal… The young lady I was dating at the time, I think she knew it was going to keep me away from her, so there were some tears… It ended up being the first song we recorded in the studio.”

Chasing dreams is a tough line of work, but it’s easy to root for a guy like Ben Burgess.

Check out the video below and if you haven’t yet, get listening to Ben. You won’t regret it.

 

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Bill Janovitz goes deep to tell the story of Leon Russell, a rock showman teetering on a tightrope

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Now comes “Leon Russell: The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History” (Hachette), out Tuesday. In this, his first full-length single-subject biography, Janovitz traces the trajectory of the protean pianist/singer/songwriter/bandleader/arranger/producer through myriad musical highways and byways: from his formative years as a Tulsa teen playing with Jerry Lee Lewis to ace L.A. session man, a member of the legendary Wrecking Crew, on countless record dates with Phil Spector as well as the Beach Boys, Herb Alpert, Frank Sinatra, and scores of others. Then come Russell’s star turns as musical director of Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” tour and subsequent live album and film, two classic albums under his own name, the cofounding of Shelter Records, top-grossing tours, and an eventual fade from the spotlight until a duo album collaboration with Elton John, 2010′s “The Union,” and Elton’s campaign to elect him to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Bill Janovitz’s biography of musician Leon Russell comes out Tuesday.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Through it all, Janovitz shows all the strengths of his previous books: an insider’s understanding of how music is made and a literary flair for bringing that process to life on the page. Over 582 pages, he also manages to be a sure-footed guide through Russell’s extremely complicated personal and professional life.

That said, why Russell, who died in 2016 at 74? An agent had originally rejected the idea of a book on “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” as “too narrow,” Janovitz said when I talked to him at Caffè Nero in Arlington. But a couple of years later came word that the Russell estate was willing to cooperate on a biography.

Janovitz’s obsession with Russell and the “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” album goes back to his early teens, when he was just starting out as a musician. “I had a friend with a really esoteric record collection,” Janovitz said. “He had all this [jazz-rock] fusion stuff. He was really into the Dead and Zappa. He had ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen.’ … We used to listen to that record endlessly. The only record I think I’ve maybe bought more copies of is ‘Songs in the Key of Life.’ “

Leon Russell was also a way for Janovitz to take another deep dive into a seminal slice of rock ‘n’ roll history.

“That era of ‘69 to ‘72 is the most fascinating era of rock ‘n’ roll to me,” says Janovitz. In the “post-Dylan” era, Janovitz saw the music newly enriched with country and blues roots. “It was a zeitgeist. The Band, Eric Clapton coming to Laurel Canyon, Delaney & Bonnie, and white soul, and the gospel thing, which has always just floated my boat. So I thought Leon, if nothing else, would be a great way to discuss all of those things.”

He also knew the arc of Russell’s life, the triumphs of the early ‘70s, later collaborations with Willie Nelson and the New Grass Revival bluegrass band, and a steady commercial decline.

Leon Russell performs during the Songwriters Hall of Fame awards in New York in 2011.REUTERS

And he knew “the redemption story,” with Elton John inducting him into the Hall of Fame in 2011 and Russell famously saying, “Elton came and found me in a ditch by the side of the highway of life.”

“I remember seeing that Hall of Fame speech and going, ‘Oh my God, what a story!’ ” Janovitz recalls. “It’s rare that you find somebody so important who has not been written about [in depth].”

Janovitz conducted more than 130 interviews, with everyone from Clapton and Randy Newman to “20 Feet from Stardom” subject Claudia Lennear (who sang backup on the Mad Dogs tour), and Russell family members. In addition to reading widely among memoirs (including Russell’s own) and rock histories, he also dug into primary sources like studio contracts and real estate deals, in some cases having to sort out the conflicting accounts every biographer faces.

Janovitz also discovered the depth of insecurities harbored by this “master of space and time,” and his self-diagnosis as being on the autism spectrum. “[Russell] saw a documentary [about autism] and he said, ‘That’s me.’ ”

Despite having penned numerous songs that have become standards, including “A Song for You,” “Delta Lady,” and “This Masquerade,” Russell was often dismissive of his own work. “This Masquerade” became a smash hit for George Benson, but Russell assumed that it appealed to the jazz guitarist/turned vocal star because the harmonic structure was based on the chords of the Matt Dennis standard “Angel Eyes.”

“He would get really down on himself,” Janovitz says. Whatever the cause, Russell “couldn’t trust himself and his instincts.”

He could also be self-defeating. Despite the success of “The Union,” Russell turned down the opportunity for Elton John and his team to essentially take on a production and management role.

As Janovitz puts it, “It was right back into the ditch.”

There are few artists today who can claim the stature of Russell at his peak in every category: virtuoso instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, bandleader, producer, arranger, and stadium headliner.

Of the remaining giants, are there any who are comparable? In an exchange of e-mails, Janovitz and I ran down some names: Elton John, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Sly Stone. Of them all, you’d have to go back to someone like Russell’s prime inspiration, Ray Charles, as “one of those [who] clicked all the boxes,” writes Janovitz.

It’s a very short list.

BILL JANOVITZ

In conversation with Tom Perrotta. At Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, March 14 at 7 p.m. 617-661-1515, www.harvard.com/events

Jon Garelick can be reached at garelickjon@gmail.com.

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Travel with Ease: Obtain an International Driver’s License for Driving Overseas – World News Report

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Don’t travel with your IDP

simple as 1 . 2 . 3 .

International Drivers License

The Importance of Driving Overseas with an International Driving License

Drive the world with us”

— Mike

UNITED KINGDOM, April 6, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — Traveling abroad is an exciting and enriching experience but can also present unique challenges. One of the most significant obstacles for many international travelers is navigating unfamiliar roads and traffic laws. Fortunately, a simple solution is obtaining an international driver’s license.

An international driver’s license, also known as an international driving permit (IDP), is a document that allows drivers to operate a vehicle in a foreign country without having to take additional tests or meet other requirements. It is recognized in over 150 countries, including popular tourist destinations such as France, Italy, and Japan.

Driving Overseas with an International Driving License

For those looking to drive overseas, an international driving license can be a great way to unlock the freedom of exploring foreign destinations on their own terms. The permit allows individuals to rent a car, drive a personal vehicle, or even use public transportation in certain countries.

The process of obtaining an international driving permit is simple and straightforward. Applicants can apply online or in person at designated government agencies. The requirements for getting the permit may vary depending on the issuing country, but generally, applicants must have a valid domestic driver’s license, be over 18, and provide a passport-sized photo.

Benefits of Obtaining an International Driving Permit

One of the main benefits of obtaining an international driving permit is the ability to drive and rent a car anywhere in the world. This can allow travelers to explore destinations off the beaten path or take a spontaneous road trip.

An international driving permit can also be a form of identification while traveling overseas. The permit is recognized as an official government document and can be used to verify identity when required.

Why Do You Need an International Driver’s Licence?
An International Driver’s Licence is essential for anyone planning to drive abroad, and it provides a legal translation of your driver’s licence and serves as a form of identification. Car rental companies may require you to have an IDP before renting a car, and some countries may require it to drive legally. Driving without a valid licence can result in fines, penalties, or even imprisonment.

How to Get an International Driver’s Licence?

Getting an International Driver’s Licence is a straightforward process, and you must provide a copy of your driver’s license, passport-size photos, and a small fee. The process usually takes a few days, and you will receive your IDP by mail.

How to Obtain an International Driving Permit

To obtain an International Driving Permit, you must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driver’s license from your home country. You can apply for an IDP through your country’s national automobile association, and the application process usually takes only a few days. The cost of an IDP varies depending on the country you are applying from, but it is generally affordable.

Traveling with an IDP

Remember to always keep your IDP while driving abroad, along with your original driver’s license and other necessary documents, such as your passport. You can use your IDP to rent or drive your vehicle in a foreign country.

An International Driver’s License or International Driving Permit is a must-have document for anyone planning to drive overseas. It is a legal permit to operate in foreign countries, providing the translation of your driver’s license and serving as an identification document. Getting an IDP is a simple process, and it can make your driving experience abroad more enjoyable and stress-free. So, if you’re planning a road trip overseas, get your International Driver’s Licence before you go.

About InternationalDrivingPermit.uk:

InternationalDriverLicense.org is a leading provider of international driver’s licenses and other travel-related services. With over [number of years] experience, we have helped countless travelers navigate foreign roads with confidence and ease. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and ensuring that every customer receives the highest level of support and assistance.

Mike Jefferson
International License
email us here
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Steve Katz of Blood, Sweat & Tears coming to Zoetropolis for concert, documentary premiere | Entertainment

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Steve Katz has lived more than nine lives in the music industry. 

He’s a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears and The Blues Project. He was a “folkie” in Greenwich Village. He once backed up both Chuck Berry and Frank Zappa live. And he helped other bands get their start during his time as a record executive at Mercury Records in the early ‘80s.  

On Saturday, April 8, Katz’s illustrious musical legacy will be on full display in two events at Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse.  

Katz will perform a solo set at 8 p.m. with a setlist spanning his decades in the music business. Earlier in the day, at 3 p.m., Zoetropolis will host a screening of “What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears?” a new documentary highlighting a relatively unknown chapter in the Grammy-winning band’s history that involves the U.S. government and, of course, the funky horn stabs of BS&T.  

Katz will also host a post-film Q&A with audience members. 

The story goes that Blood, Sweat & Tears, fresh off the success of two high-selling albums and a headlining slot at Woodstock, found themselves in a standoff with the U.S. government due to then-lead singer David Clayton-Thomas’s Canadian criminal record. In exchange for a residency visa for Clayton-Thomas, the band embarked on a state-sponsored tour to countries such as Poland, Yugoslavia and Romania to promote democracy abroad. 

“Nobody really cared, so we never even really talked about it,” says Katz, 77, on the phone recently about the documentary. “It was us against the White House and the Justice department and the State department. John [Scheinfeld] the director came along and said, ‘There’s a story here. The government really screwed this up bad, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it,’ and he did.” 

Katz said the tour played a large part in killing the band’s popularity. Blood, Sweat & Tears won an “Album of the Year” Grammy in 1970 for the bands’ self-titled album, beating the likes of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and Johnny Cash’s “At San Quentin.” 

“The fact is that it really hurt us, and we sort of forgot about it after that,” Katz says. “Our popularity went downhill. We lost our base audience, which a lot of was counter-culture people, maybe a third of our audience. We were sworn to secrecy for a while, but then when we weren’t, nobody cared.” 

Katz’s notable musical journey is chronicled in his 2019 autobiography “Blood, Sweat and My Rock ‘n’ Roll Years: Is Steve Katz a Rock Star?” Naturally, he’s got stories galore – and isn’t afraid to intersperse them into his live show.  

In conversation, Katz can just as easily recall a weeklong Murray the K residency in 1965 or hanging out backstage with members of Cream and Wilson Pickett’s band as he does producing Lou Reed in the ‘70s. 

Katz’s solo concert will show his lifetime passion for music, supplemented by pictures on a slideshow behind Katz as he performs. He says that these pictures range from the obvious, like a picture of a specific kettle of fish from the titular song “Kettle of Fish,” which recounts his early days in music, to more fun, like one of his mom hanging out with Alice Cooper. 

“A lot of my show is kind of funny,” Katz says. “I look back on my time in the music business with a sense of humor. A quarter of the show is stand up … well … sitting-down stand up.” 

With hundreds, if not thousands of concerts under his belt, it is understandable that one might slip from memory after 54 years. 

“Well, people, I am really looking forward to returning to Lancaster,” Katz says with a laugh. “Now that I know that I played there before.” 

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Mohegan Pennsylvania announces Party on the Patio lineup

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Mohegan Pennsylvania’s Party on the Patio is back.

The free summer concert series kicks off Thursday, June 1, and every Thursday through Sept. 14 guests can gather at the outdoor concert venue for a party, hosted by DJ Tommy from The River 105.

This year’s lineup has been extended to 16 weeks of live tribute bands, and Completely Unchained (a tribute to Van Halen), Fooz Fighters (a tribute to the Foo Fighters), Idol Kings (a tribute to Journey/REO Speedwagon), and Country Legends (a tribute to Keith Urban and Garth Brooks) make their summer debut. Local fan favorites Philadelphia Freedom (a tribute to Elton John), Bon Poison (a tribute to Bon Jovi and Poison) and Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentleman (a tribute to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan) are just a few bands set to rock the stage. Doors open at 6:30pm and shows starts at 7:30pm. There is no cover for Party on the Patio. After the show, keep the party going with DJ Tommy at Breakers!

After dancing up an appetite, guests can stop by the Mohegan Pennsylvania food tent for freshly grilled burgers and hot dogs or visit a delectable local food truck each week. Coors Light, Blue Moon, Patio Punch and a variety of seltzer, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase.

Featured bands for Party on the Patio, hosted by The River 105 are as follows:

6/1/23: Stayin Alive, a tribute to the Bee Gees

6/8/23: Completely Unchained, a tribute to Van Halen

6/15/23: Back in Black, a tribute to AC/DC

6/22/23: Fooz Fighters, a tribute to the Foo Fighters

6/29/23: Philadelphia Freedom, a tribute to Elton John

7/6/23: Best of the Eagles, a tribute to the Eagles

7/13/23: Black Dog, a tribute to Led Zeppelin

7/20/23: Idol Kings, a tribute to Journey and REO Speedwagon

7/27/23: Red NOT Chili Peppers, a tribute to Red Hot Chili Peppers

8/3/23: Who’s Bad, a tribute to Michael Jackson

8/10/23: Rubix Kube, a tribute to the 80s

8/17/23: Country Legends, a tribute to Keith Urban and Garth Brooks

8/24/23: Full Moon Fever, a tribute to Tom Petty

8/31/23: Tusk, a tribute to Fleetwood Mac

9/7/23: Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentleman Present An Evening Of Jimi Hendrix & Stevie Ray Vaughan

9/14/23: Bon Poison, a tribute to Bon Jovi & Poison

*Lineup subject to change

For more details on the tribute bands and a full list of food truck participants, visit moheganpa.com/potp.

All guests must be 21+ to attend Party on the Patio. Additionally, most areas of Mohegan Pennsylvania are restricted to guests 21 years of age and older, including the hotel, gaming areas, and several restaurants. Valid, unexpired photo identification is required (driver’s license, passport, military ID). Expired identification will not be accepted. Wristbands issued for Party on the Patio are not valid for the gaming floor. All persons, bags and personal items are subject to inspection. No portable chairs are permitted.

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Storm crashes stage, Farhan Akhtar’s Indore concert now on Friday

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Storm crashes stage, Farhan Akhtar’s Indore concert now on Friday

Apr 06, 2023, 04:33 pm
2 min read


Farhan Akhtar’s Indore concert has now been rescheduled for Friday (April 7)

Actor-singer-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar was slated to perform in Indore, Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday (April 5). Akhtar arrived in the city on Wednesday morning to perform live at Sushila Devi Bansal College of Technology and Management.

However, hours before the concert, a storm hit the city, causing the stage to come crashing down which led the organizers to postpone the event.

Why does this story matter?

  • Apart from filmmaking and acting, Akhtar is also an established singer. He made his singing debut with his 2008 film Rock On!! Since then, Akhtar hasn’t only sung in films but also held music concerts across the country.
  • The actor is slated to perform again in Indore by the end of this month, on April 22, as per local reports.

No one was harmed in the incident

The stage was constructed a night prior, on Tuesday. The sound check was to begin in the afternoon. While the rest of the team was ready for the sound check, Akhtar was still at the hotel and hadn’t reached the venue when the stage came crashing before the event.

Per eyewitnesses and college officials, no person was injured during the incident.

Concert will now be held on Friday

As per the college officials, Akhtar’s concert has been rescheduled to Friday evening, April 7. The actor-singer left for Bhopal on Thursday, where he will be performing live at Bansal Group’s other college festival in the state capital.

He, and his team, including his sister-in-law and singer, Akanksha Dandekar, will return to Indore on Friday morning for the concert.

Upcoming projects of Akhtar

Akhtar will soon be jetting off for a countrywide tour where he will be performing numbers from his latest album Echoes. His shows are scheduled to take place in Jaipur, Bengaluru, Indore, Kolkata, and Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, Akhtar is also presently busy with the preparations for his much-awaited film Jee Le Zaraa starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Katrina Kaif, and Alia Bhatt.



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Sherine to perform live in Dubai on April 28

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Sherine Abdel Wahab, as one of the most influential and beloved artists in the Middle East, will make her debut performance at Dubai’s home of live entertainment on April 28 as part of Eid celebrations.

The singer has captivated audiences around the world with her powerful voice and charismatic stage presence.

The Egyptian superstar began singing at the age of nine as a young child in the chorus at the Cairo Opera House. She was quickly recognised and given the opportunity to perform as a solo singer, which led to tremendous success.

Sherine started her professional music career in 2002 with the release of her hugely successful album ‘Free Mix 3’, a collaborative project with Tamer Hosny. This album sold more than 20 million copies and gained her popularity in the GCC region. Her career has spanned over two decades with eight chart-topping albums each to critical acclaim with significant success across the Mena region.

The multi-talented artist is also an award-winning film and TV actor and has hosted her own show, ‘Sherry’s Studio’, on the Egyptian network, DMC.

Sherine Live In Concert promises to dazzle her fans at the Coca-Cola Arena this Eid, with her biggest hits and melodies. This event is brought to you by Best Moments Events and supported by Dubai Calendar as part of Eid in Dubai.

Tickets start from AED195 ($53) and are available on Coca-Cola Arena website. – TradeArabia News Service

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Easter weekend music | Music Features

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click to enlarge Easter weekend music

Damned Torpedoes play at Danenberger’s Family Vineyards this Saturday night.

Looks like we definitely have this, that and the other thing happening in our music scene this Easter weekend and throughout the week. All that’s missing is for you to agree to participate in the fun and excitement. Let’s take a look at the goings on you could be going on out to see.

First up on my list is the announcement by the Sangamon County Fair folks of popular country-rocking groups (sitting more in the Americana world than top 40 country) Blackberry Smoke and Stoney LaRue headlining the grandstand on Thursday, June 15. The fair, held in New Berlin, runs June 14-18 this year with all the concert tidbits on early bird tickets, VIP seating and more available at SangCoFair.com.

And while we’re announcing area concerts, the BOS Center hosts major pop rock stars Foreigner with special guests, rock heroes Head East, – who actually originated in central Illinois – coming up on May 16 with ticket info at theBoScenter.com.

For a Thursday night just right (for some) excitement, Danenberger’s hosts Australia’s Thunder from Down Under at the family vineyards concert stage. I was not familiar with the group, but a quick Google search identifies this bunch as “an Australian male revue who perform in Las Vegas and tour internationally” and whose “main competitor is Chippendales.” All the reviews say it’s a thrilling and exhilarating time, and I have no doubt it is, but I have to admit I first thought it was maybe an AC/DC tribute band, and that’s not poking fun. My second thought was I probably need to get out more, but probably not to this show. Have fun everyone, and enjoy the night. And if you were wondering, and according to the group’s website many people do, men are indeed welcome and often do attend Thunder from Down Under shows.

While perusing through our current music listings looking for subjects to write about, I was definitely struck by the increased number of karaoke nights in our fair city. I’m not sure of the catalyst behind the surge, if any, but there are two on Tuesday, four on Wednesday, two on Thursday, two on Friday and two more on Saturday, for a grand total of 12 nights of karaoke in the area this week. Maybe this isn’t surprising – and I really do need to get out more – but that’s a lot of karaoke, and I am not complaining either. I know plenty of folks who really enjoy the process and more power to ’em I say, because you can’t run from the fun, plus it helps out a bar’s bottom line with the increased attendance that leads to a healthier overall scene for music venues in general.

Often on Easter weekend the music action slows a bit, and it has this year too, but we do seem to be doing well enough, especially on Saturday with bands like Damned Torpedoes (Tom Petty tribute) at Danenbergers, Birds of a Feather (Phish tribute) at Amber’s Place (formerly Third Base, as I incorrectly reported the wrong name change a few weeks ago. It’s Amber, not Amy), Angel Brown’s Smooth N’ Blue (tribute to jazz standards and classics) and the Rick Mari Band (tribute to rock in general, including some of the best Led Zepp you’ll hear around here) at Mowie’s Cue.

Sunday does look a little slow, and not surprisingly so, with the Easter holiday grabbing the headlines for sure, but there’s still good stuff happening which you will discover when doing your own music listing perusal.

Enjoy the weekend, and I’ll be back next week.

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