(Upcoming Show) Bo Ramsey Adds 2018 Tour Dates– Des Moines 3/9, Cedar Rapids 3/10, Fairfield 3/23 and more


Bo Ramsey has started adding dates to his 2018 tour calendar.

Which is good news for the many fans in Iowa who have been following his career. He wrapped up 2017 with a couple of shows: one at the Mill in November with a lineup that included new sidemen Matthew Bernemann on drums and Randal Davis on guitar in addition to original 90’s Backsliders band member Marty Christensen on bass. A late December show at The Octopus in Cedar Falls replaced Bernemann with longtime drummer Steve Hayes. These were both amazing shows with Bo in excellent form and clearly really enjoying himself.

Bo is playing with different band lineups and he also pulled in some deeper catalog songs for those shows, and it will be interesting to see if they stay in. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard songs like “On The Range” (from 1988’s Either Way). These have been the first shows that Bo has brought out the songs from his 2016 album Wildwood Calling. These instrumental tracks have been used to open the sets and do a fantastic job of adding some mood and atmospherics to the show.

Bo is playing two shows this week. Friday will be at the Kum & Go Theater (at The Des Moines Social Club) in Des Moines with Erik Koskinen. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show. Saturday will be at CSPS in Cedar Rapids. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door.

Later this month Bo will be playing the very cool Cafe Paradiso in Fairfield on 3/23 and supporting Greg Brown at the Englert on 3/30 (no solo set).

The next show on his calendar is at The Shitty Barn in Spring Green on Saturday, June 16th.




Upcoming Shows: Pezzettino Swings Through Iowa On Her Way East

Pezzettino at CSPS in Cedar Rapids, IA

The constant storm of activity that is Pezzettino is kicking off a tour this week that will take her through Minnesota and Iowa on her way west wrapping up at the end of February on the East Coast. This tour hits a lot of the same stops she made in October of last year, which is a smart move to build her fanbase in some of these cities. When she stopped in Cedar Rapids in October, she played a house show at my home. This was a new experience for me, and it was a lot of fun and she quickly made fans of everyone who attended. She also threatened to kidnap my dachshund, but I’m not going to hold that against her! She also performed a very cool show at CSPS opening for another singer-songwriter named Melissa Greener.

This time she’s playing some key stops in Iowa including an interview and performance at the main Java House location in Iowa City on Washington for Ben Kieffer’s Java Blend radio show on Iowa Public Radio which will air on Friday 2/19 and Saturday 2/20. She’s also performing at the very cool Vaudeville Mews venue in Des Moines and two coffee house shows– Roaster’s Coffee House in Hiawatha, IA (near Cedar Rapids) and Monk’s Kaffee Pub in Dubuque. Roaster’s, incidentally, is where I buy all of my coffee. They roast on site some of the best coffee I’ve ever had and includes Free Trade and Organic coffees.

She announced today via twitter, that all proceeds of teeshirt sales will be donated to benefit Haiti!

While you have your wallet out, I suggest you get the ultra-cool colored 7″ vinyl for “You Never Know” with hand-painted sleeves!!!

Click Here to visit her website, which is pretty much the launching point for all of her online shenanigans.

Tour Dates: (from MySpace)

Jan 27 2010  10:00P  Bedlam Theater  Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jan 28 2010  8:00P  Ed’s  Winona, Minnesota
Jan 29 2010  2:00P  Java Blend Iowa Public Radio  Iowa City, Iowa (Facebook Event)
Jan 29 2010  8:00P  Ames Progressive  Ames, Iowa
Jan 30 2010  8:00P  Vaudeville Mews  Des Moines, Iowa
Jan 31 2010  1:00P  Roaster’s Coffee House  Hiawatha, Iowa (Facebook Event)
Feb 1 2010  8:00P  Monks  Dubuque, Iowa
Feb 2 2010  8:00P  Elbo Room Lounge  Chicago, Illinois
Feb 3 2010  8:00P  Earth House  Indianapolis, Indiana
Feb 4 2010  8:00P  House Show  Bloomington, Indiana
Feb 5 2010  8:00P  House Show  South Bend, Indiana
Feb 6 2010  8:00P  Cole’s  Chicago, Illinois
Feb 11 2010  8:00P  High Noon Saloon opening for Gene  Ween Madison, Wisconsin
Feb 13 2010  8:00P  Arts Council  Racine, Wisconsin
Feb 19 2010  10:00P  Hank’s Saloon  Brooklyn, New York
Feb 22 2010  5:00P  Sonicbids Office  Boston, Massachusetts
Feb 24 2010  8:00P  Parkside Lounge  New York, New York
Feb 27 2010  10:00P  VoxPop Cafe  Brooklyn, New York

Upcoming Show: Santigold in Des Moines @ People’s Court 5/29; First Ave. 5/28

Santi White aka Santigold formerly Santogold is kicking off her first North American tour on May 21st in San Francisco according to New Music Express.

 The 20-date tour makes a stop at Bonnaroo on June 20th, and the Roots Picnic in Philly on June 6th as well as some key stops in the Middle-west– a surprising Des Moines stop at People’s Court in Des Moines on 5/29 (yay!) and First Ave in Minneapolis on 5/28 and a stop on June 6th in St. Louis.

I’m not sure why the Windy City didn’t get invited to the party, but them’s the breaks, I guess!

Santigold’s eponymous debut album came out in 2008 and blew up all over the place with no less than five singles including the “L.E.S. Artistes” which seemed to be on every TV show and commercial as a soundtrack. The album is genre-jumping, but fits comfortably next to bands like The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and M.I.A. (the latter sharing some tweaking from Diplo). The 80’s New Wavish anthems and forays into Ska were a permanent part of the greatest hits at our house last year.

Santigold will be joined on this tour by DJ Trouble Andrew who worked with her on the Pixies-divining “I’m A Lady” as well as Philly MC Amanda Blank. Check her MySpace to hear her flow over a Diplo remix of “I’m A Lady.”

Click Here for Santigold’s MySpace Page

Click Here for Amanda Blank’s Website

Click Here for Trouble Andew’s Website here’s his MySpace Joint

Click Here for IowaTix, to order the tickets for the People’s Court show. Click Here for the People’s Court MySpace page.

Click Here for the First Ave Event Calendar

Mar 27 2009 8:00P
Ultra Music Festival Miami, Florida
Mar 28 2009 8:00P
Roxy’s Chicken Jam Mammoth, California
May 21 2009 8:00P
The Warfield w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew San Francisco, California
May 22 2009 8:00P
Empire w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew   Sacramento, California
May 24 2009 8:00P
Cuthbert Amphitheatre Eugene, Oregon
May 25 2009 8:00P
Sasquatch! Festival @ The Gorge George, Washington
May 28 2009 8:00P
First Avenue w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 29 2009 8:00P
Peoples Court w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew   Des Moines, Iowa
May 31 2009 8:00P
Rams Head Live w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Baltimore, Maryland
Jun 1 2009 8:00P
House of Blues w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Boston, Massachusetts
Jun 3 2009 8:00P
Phoenix Concert Theatre w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Toronto, Ontario
Jun 4 2009 8:00P
Metropolis w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Montreal, Quebec
Jun 6 2009 8:00P
The Roots Picnic @ Festival Pier Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jun 7 2009 8:00P
The Norva w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Norfolk, Virginia
Jun 9 2009 8:00P
Terminal 5 w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew New York, New York
Jun 10 2009 8:00P
9:30 Club w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Washington DC, Washington DC
Jun 12 2009 8:00P
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival Manchester, Tennessee
Jun 13 2009 8:00P
Barcardi B Live @ The Pageant w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew St. Louis, Missouri
Jun 15 2009 8:00P
Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Austin, Texas
Jun 17 2009 8:00P
House of Blues w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Houston, Texas
Jun 18 2009 8:00P
House of Blues w/ Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew Dallas, Texas
Jun 21 2009 8:00P
Hollywood Bowl / KCRW World Festival Series Hollywood, California

Upcoming Show: Marco Benevento in Iowa 4/10 & 4/12/09

I had the opportunity to hear a unique album this week. Marco Benevento’s second solo album Me Not Me (The Royal Potato Family, 2009). Me Not Me is an inspired collection of original compositions and covers all interpreted largely with the acoustic piano carrying the melodies and layers of drums, bass, and effects coming from Farfisa, Optigan, Mellotron, and circuit bent toys filling out the tonal landscape of each song.

What struck me immediately was the beautiful piano parts rising out of each of the songs. I’m a sucker for piano parts and passages of this album remind me of some of my favorite piano jazz.

Of course, some of this is because of the strong melodies in the songs he chose. Me Not Me is an interesting, if obscurish collection of covers. Other than the cover of “Golden” by My Morning Jacket and the cover of “Friends” off of Led Zeppelin III, I wasn’t familiar with even the songs from the more famous artists like Beck (“Sing It Again”), George Harrison (“Run of the Mill”) and Leonard Cohen (“Seems So Long Ago Nancy”) but each seem to be strong choices. The choice of modern buzzworthy bands like Deerhoof (“Twin Killer”) and The Knife (“Heartbeat”) seems to provide and intersting juxtiposition of old and new. The three original Benevento compositions on the CD fit right in with the other songs giving a consistent sound and feel. I’ve only had the CD a couple of days and I’m already finding myself returning to it repeatedly!

So, I was pretty excited to hear that Marco Benevento and his trio (with Matt Chamberlain and Reed Mathis from the album) would be stopping in Iowa for two dates in April– Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines on Friday, April 10th (6:30PM: $10 in advance, $12 at the door), and at CSPS in Cedar Rapids on Sunday, April 12th after a show in Minneapolis at the Dakota (8PM: $20 cover).

Upcoming Shows:

Yoshi’s Oakland
Oakland, CA
with Joe Russo, Peter Alpfelbaum and Josh Roseman – “Quartet the Killer” – featuring the music of Neil Young

River St. Jazz Cafe
Wilkes-Barre, PA
with Marc Friedman (bass) and Andrew Barr (drums)

Deer Head Inn
Del Wtr Gap, PA
with Marc Friedman (bass) and Andrew Barr (drums)

The Bell House
Brooklyn, NY
with Marc Friedman and Andrew Barr
click here for tickets

The Elephant Room
Austin, TX
CD Release Show

Louisville, KY

Jazz Kitchen
Indianapolis, IN

The Space @ Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

04.10.09 Fri
Vaudeville Mews
Des Moines, IA

Minneapolis, MN

Cedar Rapids, IA

Le Divan Orange
Montreal, Canada
with Reed Mathis and Andrew Barr

The Wescott Theatre
Syracuse, NY
with Reed Mathis and Andrew Barr

The Iron Horse
Northampton, MA
with Reed Mathis and Andrew Barr

Merkin Concert Hall
New York, NY
with Reed Mathis and Andrew Barr

Click Here to visit Marco’s Website (totally check out their version of “She’s Not There” by the Zombies!)

Click Here to visit Marco’s MySpace page which has tracks streaming from Me Not Me.

B-Sides in the Bins #33 – Zzz Records – Des Moines, IA 10/18/08

Sherry and I were in Des Moines to talk to an Espresso Machine distributor about a machine for her cafe/bakery that she is planning. While were were there, I got to make a quick visit to Zzz Records. Apparently this would be my last trip to their old location as they have moved. I quickly thumbed through the new vinyl and then made my way back to the 80’s/New Wave/Alternative section. It was an 80’s day…

Simple Minds – Once Upon A Time (LP, A&M/Virgin SP-5092, 1985) ($4.25) I’m getting pretty close to having all of the Simple Minds I want. If there are any other period 12″es maybe I’ll pick those up. I want to get Live in the City of Light, which was recorded during the tour of this album.

The Fixx – Reach the Beach (LP, MCA Records MCA-5419, 1982) ($3.50) Possibly one of my favorite albums. I can put this on and listen to it at any time. I got this on cassette from the Kennedy Mall Wards in Dubuque along with U2’s Live Under a Blood Red Sky on the same day. I remember seeing footage on TV of U2 at Red Rocks and knew I wanted that. I distinctly remember being sick with the flu at home in bed with the vaporizer running listening to those two cassettes back-to-back all day long.

B-Sides in the Bins #31 – Zzz Records – Des Moines, IA 9/23/08

Sherry was attending a skin care conference in Des Moines, so I took the day off and drove her there. While she was in the class I visted Zzz Records (424 E. Locust Street, Downtown Des Moines), I’d been meaning to get to that store for a while, so I was pleased to have the opportunity. Zzz Records has been in existence since 2000 and is in its second location. Apparently it will be moving again on November 1st to 2200 Ingersoll. Zzz Records, also hosts a record show that I’ve been meaning to get to. The next one is December 7th, so mark your calendars.

As far as record stores go, Zzz is one of the better ones I’ve been to. They have a decent-sized used CD area at the front of the store that unfortunately on a warm afternoon seems like a greenhouse. They carry a good selection of new CD’s and LP’s as well. The used selection is pretty amazing. They split the record bins into sections by genre, with a very impressive New Wave/Alternative/Punk section towards the back of the store. I spent two hours there and came out with some cool pieces. Not as much used as I had expected, but I was keeping myself to a budget and the new LP’s ate into my ability to load up on used.

The Tourists – Luminous Basement (LP, Epic NJE 36757, 1980)($4.00) Promo-stamped by CBS. This one kind of took me by surprise. They also had Reality Effect which was a compilation of the Tourists’ first two albums. The Tourists are notable as being the pre-Eurythmics band for Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. My friend Michelle’s brother Lynn had this LP as well as the posthumous Should Have Been Greatest Hits. A cassette of these two records used to be a staple in my car in high school. The Tourists existed from 1977 – 1980 and had a number of minor hits in the UK and a very low charting (#83) single of their cover of “I Only Want To Be With You” originally recorded by Dusty Springfield. Luminous Basement was their last proper album and shows Lennox and Stewart stepping into writing their own material. Lennox’s “One Step Nearer the Edge” is one of the best tracks on the record. The Stewart-penned “Let’s Take A Walk” and the Lennox/Stewart “From the Middle Room” are pretty good as well. Amazon has some really questionable pricing on this from some resellers starting at $48 and going to $72.95 for one that still has the cellophane on it. A cool record that reminds me of hanging out at Michelle’s listening to records.

Simple Minds – “Promised You A Miracle”/”The Miracle (Dub Version)”/”The American” 3 Tune EP (12″, A&M SP-12057, 1982)($3.00) I’ve sort of become a collector of Simple Minds vinyl from this period. BJ’s Music World in Dubuque had a bunch of import Simple Minds in a closeout bin that I purchased one day in the 80’s that included a number of 12″es. Ever since then when I spot a really nice piece, I buy it. Last December I picked up New Gold Dream at Reckless in Chicago, which I consider to pretty much be their pinnacle release. I know that 1985’s Once Upon A Time was really the one that pushed them into the charts with the singles “All The Things She Said,” “Alive and Kicking,” and “Sanctify Yourself,” but I really like the stripped down version of Simple Minds on this album (minus the female member of the band). This record is the A&M pressing of the “Promised You A Miracle” 12″ from Virgin. Super clean copy.

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Easy Tiger (LP, Lost Highway 34410, 2007)($11.34) When I saw the price on this one, I needed to buy it. I’d seen this at other record stores for over $15. This is the interesting orange vinyl record in the plastic sleeve with the picture of Ryan in a lion mask. Cool pressing, great album. Much more focused than the three releases from the previous year, in my opinion. The vinyl pressing– which came out after the CD release– credits the album to Ryan Adams & The Cardinals rather than just Ryan Adams. I’m not sure why the CD release ended up not crediting the rest of the band.

Ryan Adams – Rock N Roll (LP, Lost Highway 61004, 2003) ($11.34) Another one that seemed like a good price. This is really the album that got me into Ryan Adams to begin with. I know that most of the Ryan Adams fans don’t like this album– and there’s the whole Courtney Love accusing Ryan of stealing money from Frances Bean to make the album and the whole drug use. Apparently he was influenced by the Strokes and he even has a song called “This Is It” on it (which might be a flip on the Strokes album Is This It). Apparently, he has in recent years said that he made the worst record he could in Rock N Roll. Well, I really like it, and it seems to be the only Ryan Adams album my wife will listen to other than parts of Love is Hell (which was recorded around the same time. I guess this is the beginning of my Ryan Adams on vinyl collection.

Zzz Records also sells record flats for $1 apiece. I picked up a record flat for Beck’s Modern Guilt. (actually, I picked up two of them). I also bought some LP mailers.

What I didn’t buy: I almost picked up a fricken MINT copy Suitcase Full of Blues by the Blues Brothers. In fact, I’m still kind of kicking myself for not picking this up. I also considered the Smithereens rare Live EP that is on Enigma on CD.

Upcoming Show: Glen Phillips at the Hub in Cedar Falls, IA 4/16/08

Glen PhillipsGlen Phillips is the frontman for the 90’s alt-pop group Toad the Wet Sprocket. Since the group’s split in 1998, Glen has participated in the occasional Toad gig, but has recorded four albums– the most recent being 2006’s Mr. Lemons— and two EP’s.

Last night Glen kicked off a run of solo acoustic dates that wrap up at the end of May and include a substantial number of Midwestern dates and two in Iowa! I had a chance to see him last night at World Cafe Live in Philly and it was great! I’ll collect my thoughts on this show and post a review later. The majority of the songs come from his solo catalog but include the occasional Toad cover and an inspired cover song or two. Glen Phillips in a live solo setting is typically a pretty intimate engagement and well worth seeing.

If, like me you hadn’t been following Mr. Phillips’s solo career I recommend signing up for MyTracks if only for a month so you can download all of his solo albums and EP’s except for his 2004 effort on Lost Highway that unfortunately seems to be a sore point for him. MyTracks is a subscription download service like eMusic is. For $7.95 you can download as much as you want for a month. Unfortunately Glen Phillips likely the most recognizable artist in their growing catalog. I’ll check some other tracks out before I cancel. The live acoustic album SOhO Live is an exclusive to MyTracks. Recorded last Fall it is fairly representative of what his set is like. Another unfortunate thing about MyTracks in general is that all of the tracks are encoded at 128 Kbps. I guess with unlimited downloads one shouldn’t complain, but I might have paid more for at least SOhO Live to get a higher bitrate. The other albums are available for download at higher bitrates from Glen’s site. While you’re there take a listen to his new EP Secrets of the New Explorers— fantastic stuff!

Glen will be in Des Moines at The Temple Theatre on Monday, April 14th, followed by a show at The Hub Live on Wednesday March 16th. The Hub is a new venue to me, so it would be cool to see it– however, I’m out of town on the 16th. As I was informed last night at Glen’s show in Philadelphia by a friendly fan (thanks, Heather!), Toad the Wet Sprocket will be touring this summer and will be hitting Philly again– June 11th at the Trocadero as confirmed by their MySpace Page. My friend Andrew and I saw Calexico a couple of years ago at the Troc, and it is another fantastic Philly music venue in addition to World Cafe Live and TLA now rebranded “The Fillmore at TLA.”

Click Here to see all of the dates Glen is playing this summer.

Click Here to visit Glen’s Website
Click Here to visit Glen’s MySpace Page
Click Here to visit Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Website (which includes their live dates)
Click Here to visit Toad the Wet Sprocket’s MySpace Page

Upcoming Show: Woven Hand at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines 4/19/08

Back in 1996, when I was living in Minneapolis I was really into this band called 16 Horsepower. The alternative radio single “Black Soul Choir” was all over Rev105 and Sherry and I saw them play the Fine Line on 6/8/96 (according to the ticket stub I tucked into the CD sleeve of their first release on A&M Sackcloth ‘n’ Ashes. At the time, I hadn’t heard anything like the hellfire and brimstone approach that lead singer David Eugene Edwards brought. The only band that had a similar sound was Miami Gun Club. These days, there are a few more bands that take the “graveyard folk” route like Devil Makes Three (previously reviewed here).

I found out from a friend of a friend that David Eugene Edwards is bringing his post-16 Horsepower band Woven Hand to Des Moines on April 19th at the hip Vaudeville Mews venue (that I still haven’t been to!). Woven Hand is still pretty similar to the sound of 16 Horsepower but it has a slightly updated sound. I’m catching up… Edwards seemed to command the stage when I saw him in 1996, so I can only assume he’ll put on a great show these days. Only $8!

Visit the Woven Hand MySpace Page
Visit the Woven Hand website
Visit the 16 Horsepower website

Listen to “Black Soul Choir” Live