On Stage: Reid brings soulful voice to The Flash

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By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times

Terry Reid

This weekend, two talented acts that date back to the late 1960s and early 1970s are playing shows in the area – Terry Reid and Foreigner.

On May 4, Terry Reid & The Cosmic American Derelicts will perform at Kennett Flash (102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, 484-732-8295, http://www.kennettflash.org).

Reid, who earned the nickname “Superlungs” for his vocal prowess, is one of the greatest rock/soul voices in the U.K. – and has been for more than 50 years.

In recent years, Reid has been touring with his band The Cosmic American Derelicts – George Kapitanelis (bass), Eddie Rainey (guitar) and Gary Schwartz (drums).

“This is a very good band,” said Reid, during a phone interview Friday afternoon from Bergenfield, New Jersey. “Eddie is a really talented guitar player. We call him the James Burton on New Jersey.”

Burton is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member who was the guitarist for such acts as Elvis, John Denver and Ricky Nelson.

Ever since the beginning, Reid has been a “musician’s musician.”

He was the opening act on two World Tours with The Rolling Stones, US tours with Cream, UK tours with Jethro Tull and Fleetwood Mac, The Isle of White Festival in 1969 and Glastonbury in 1970. He also played at Mick Jagger’s wedding.

His resume includes numerous collaborations with Graham Nash, covers of Reid songs by Marianne Faithfull, The Hollies, The Raconteurs (the hugely popular “Rich Kid Blues”), film soundtracks (including a song in George Clooney’s film “Up In The Air”), and a catalogue of six studio albums, including the seminal album “The River,” which was re-released to critical acclaim in 2002. He also released “The Other Side of the River” in 2016.

“With ‘The Other Side,’ Warner Bros was doing a box set of four albums including ‘The River,’” said Reid, who has been living for years in La Quinta, California. “They were looking for the masters.

“A friend of mine in London said there was a ton of reels of two-inch tape marked ‘Terry Reid.’ He pulled a couple of them down and played them. I vaguely remember a lot of things we did back then.

“When I got the tapes and listened to them, I remembered all of them. Nine were on the album and there were 24 altogether.”

Reid played sporadically over the years after relocating to the states. Following a Glastonbury return in 2009, he played a three-night residency at Ronnie Scott’s in London and was one of only a handful of non-jazz artists invited to help mark the legendary venue’s 50th Anniversary. He played to packed houses, critical acclaim, and returned in 2010 and 2011 to sell out three consecutive nights.

In May 2011, he toured Ireland for the first time in 30 years and released a new live album – “Live In London” — which included several previously-unreleased tracks.

In the early days, Reid was always busy with touring, recording his own music and playing on other musicians’ albums.

“I worked with the Stones a lot,” said Reid. “They were always totally fair with me. I was on the 1969 tour. After the tour ended, they did the show at Altamont that ended with a lot of violence from the Hell’s Angels, who had been hired to do security.

“I didn’t want to go to Altamont. We had just done a 40-city tour and that was great. They asked me to play Altamont, but I didn’t. That turned out to be a good decision.”

Reid has never been content to rest on his laurels.

“I’ve got all sorts of different things planned,” said Reid. “One is a country/R&B project – playing music that is old school country like George Jones.

“Another is a real R&B project. I’ve been working on it with James Gadson, who is a great drummer in the U.K. The third is a free-form thing. It’s coming from rock and roll but it’s still free-form.

“I’m looking for people to put up the budget to do it right – and to do it with the right people.”

Reid has also been involved in projects with very well-known rockers.

“Last year, I worked with Joe Perry on his solo album,” said Reid. “I’ve also worked with Rob Zombie. I did three songs for his movie ‘Devil’s Rejects’ and two songs for his new movie ‘Hell.’”

Video link for Terry Reid – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbTuOz0Rx7U.

The show at Kennett Flash will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30

Other upcoming shows at Kennett Flash are BLIND HOPE with Hive Mind, Strange Highways, and The Fainz on May 5, Open Mic with guest hosts Canadian Tuxedo on May 5, and We Kids Rock Guitar Showcase on May 8.

Foreigner

Foreigner, which performs locally on May 4 a show at the Xcite Center at Parx Casino (2999 Street Road, Bensalem, 888-588-7279, https://parxcasino.com), is actually a band that started with one foot in the U.K. and one in New York City.

Foreigner is an English-American band, originally formed in New York City in 1976 by veteran English musician and ex-Spooky Tooth member Mick Jones, and fellow Briton and ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald along with American vocalist Lou Gramm.

Jones came up with the band’s name as he, McDonald and Dennis Elliott were British, while Gramm, Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi were American. Foreigner is one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time with worldwide sales approaching 100 million records — including 37.5 million records in the US.

Foreigner is a band with a lot of relevant numbers – 76 (year Lou Gramm formed the band), 10 (multi-platinum albums), 90 (million records sold worldwide), 40 (current, former and touring members), 37 (million records sold in the U.S.), 9 (studio albums), 43 (years the band has been in existnce) and 16 (Top 30 hits).

The band’s current line-up features Mick Jones (lead and rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Tom Gimbel (saxophone, flute, keyboards, rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass, backing vocals), Kelly Hansen (lead vocals) Michael Bluestein – (keyboards, backing vocals), Bruce Watson (rhythm and lead guitar), Chris Frazier (drums).

“We tour constantly,” said Pilson, during a recent phone interview from a tour stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“We’re on the road all the time except for time off for the holidays. We’re in the states for the next one-and-a-half months and then we’ll be in Europe playing festivals in June and July.”

According to Pilson, the current edition of Foreigner – despite the paucity of original members in the line-up –is still the real deal.

“It depends on the quality of the music and the purity of its members,” said Pilson. “Mick Jones was the founder and leader of Foreigner. Any band he’s in is Foreigner.

“A difficult part of touring with this band is making the set list. We have 16 Top 30 songs, so the hard part is figuring out which songs to leave out.”

With 10 multi-platinum albums and 16 Top 30 hits, Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world with a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales.

The band, which has been around for more than four decades, has recorded some of rock’s most-enduring anthems including “Juke Box Hero,” “Cold As Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Urgent,” “Head Games,” “Say You Will,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Long, Long Way From Home” and, of course, the worldwide Number One hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is.”

“When we play live, the arrangements are important,” said Pilson. “We stay true to the original versions. When we play casinos, it’s about a 90-minute set. When we play public shows, it’s about 140 minutes and we get to do more jamming. Either way, we play the hits and Mick tells great stories.

“People know these songs. They react to them. That’s why it’s such a joy to be doing this every night.”

Video link for Foreigner – https://youtu.be/t6sYYkhW_OA.

Foreigner’s “The Hits on Tour” show at Parx Casino’s Xcite Center will start at 8 p.m. and will benefit Fox Chase Cancer Center.

On May 4, there will be a show at Anthorna Gallery (5214 Grays Avenue, Philadelphia, https://www.facebook.com/anthornaarts) featuring a band called Blush – which might be a little confusing.

Blush

The are several bands with the name Blush.

In the Orient, Blush is a Hong Kong-based Asian girl group originally composed of five members from the Philippines, India, China, Japan, and South Korea.

In Canada, Blush is an Ontario-based pop quartet that performs at weddings, dance clubs and corporate events.

The band named Blush that is playing a show in Philly Saturday night is a Brooklyn-based dream pop band featuring Maura M. Lynch: Vox, Guitar, Keys; Jonathan Campolo: Drums, Vox; Nicholas Campolo: Guitar, Keys, Vox; and Andrew Chugg: Bass, Keys.

Blush, which is Lynch’s project, is playing shows in support of the release of the deluxe version of the band’s 2017 self-titled album and the new double single, “Forever Is A Long Time” and “What Do I Have To Lose?”

“I was born in Jacksonville, Florida,” said Lynch, during a phone interview last week from her home in Brooklyn.

“I went to high school in four different places including Florida, Mississippi, and Santiago, Chile. I graduated high school in Suffern, New York. My dad worked for an energy company and they moved him around a lot.

“I was always interested in music. I had a keyboard when I was a kid and started guitar lessons when I was in fifth grade. I always played music on my own. I was never in a band until after I graduated from New York University.”

That band was Darlings.

According to Lynch, “I joined my first band, Darlings, just after graduating from college in New York. After years of playing to no one in my bedroom, I suddenly found myself figuring out how to perform onstage, learning how to write songs with other people, and relishing the comforting embrace of being in a band with my best friends.

“After eight years with Darlings, during which we released three albums and played everywhere from the Whitney Museum to Music Hall of Williamsburg to Brooklyn’s now-dead DIY monuments like Death by Audio and Shea Stadium. Then, we called it a day in 2015 with a final show.”

Blush was actually born during her time with Darlings.

“I joined Darlings with my three best friends,” said Lynch. “Even then, I was writing Blush songs — even though they didn’t fit with Darlings. We ended the band in 2015. Then, I played with Beverly for a few months and went on a national tour with them.”

But that was only temporary.

According to Lynch, “After a short stint playing with the ever-amazing Beverly, I began missing the act of making and sharing music with my friends. I turned to a cache of bedroom demos I had been recording sporadically under the name Blush — something I honestly came up with just as a way to organize them on my computer.

“Inspired by my love of straightforward pop songs, simple guitar playing, and layered vocals, the Blush demos became a diary of sorts of my late 20s — songs about loving people who didn’t deserve it, songs about loving people who did; making sense of the monotony of an office job; and finding my own steadier footing along the way. Last year, I felt ready to finally record them for real.

“I got together with my friends Andy Chugg and Nick and Jon Campolo to turn my demos into real songs. Over nights and weekends in 2016, we recorded at Andy’s Gilded Audio studio, in both its first location in Chinatown and, later, in Dumbo. Andy made the album sound better than I could have ever imagined. Nick brought his sparkling guitar tones and solos. Jon made everything sound lush with harmonies and warm synths. Working to together was one of the breeziest, most fun music-making experiences I’ve ever had.”

Then, Blush released its debut album.

“Our album came out at the end of 2017,” said Lynch. “In March this year, we released a two-song single. We also did a re-issue of the album with original mixes and some tracks that were not recorded. It was just about telling the story of what the songs were and what they became.”

Video link for Blush – https://www.facebook.com/blushtunes/videos/1394795727307778/.

The show at Anthorna Gallery, which also features Noera and Double Winter, will start at 8 p.m.

On May 5, another non-mainstream venue in Philadelphia will host another non-mainstream group from New York when Fire Museum presents thingNY at Vox Populi (319 North 11th Street, Philadelphia,

thingNY

thingNYis a quirky collective of New York composer-performers who fuse electronic and acoustic chamber music with new opera, improvisation, theater, text, song and installation. Founded in 2006 for an ad hoc festival in the historic Loew’s Jersey City Theater, thingNY performs experimental sound works created collaboratively by the core ensemble – Paul Pinto (percussion), Erin Rogers (tenor sax), Jeffrey Young (violin), Gelsey Bell (vocals), Dave Ruder (clarinet), and Andrew Livingston (cello).

“This is our 13th year,” said Ruder, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from his home in Brooklyn. “We started the project in 2006. The current line-up of six has been stable since 2012. I joined in 2011. We’re a collective of performers, composers and multi-instrumentalists.”

The musicians of thingNY are a prolific bunch.

They’ve collaboratively created three concert-length operas. Their latest, “This Takes Place Close By,” explores the reactions of isolated individuals in the wake of a devastating storm. Premiering September 2015, the opera toured to Philadelphia, Boston, New Haven, and Edmonton and Calgary during its production. 

ADDDDDDDDD,” premiered in 2009 and was released on CD in 2010 with a comic-book libretto, and “Time: A Complete Explanation in Three Parts,” a 2011 performance collaboration with Panoply Performance Laboratory, was accompanied by a 250-page hardcover book. Later in 2011, thingNY created “In House,” a sound installation with music created for each of the rooms commonly found in a home, to be played simultaneously.

thingNY is a driving force in the New York music community, working to bolster and support new music and experimental performance, curating the New Music Showdown (2013-2014) and the Immediacies Series (2012-2014), putting a swath of performers from NYC and beyond in conversation with one another and allowing them to perform anti-concert-hall, or difficult-to-program works.

thingNY has also performed important contemporary works such as Frederic Rzewski’s Attica (1971), the New York premiere of Vinko Globokar’s rarely staged opera Un Jour Comme Un Autre (1975) and played a large role in Varispeed’s acclaimed site-specific adaptation of Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives (1983).

The group frequently ventures down unmarked trails. Its “Patriots” album was released in 2018 – not on CD or vinyl but as a campaign button with a download code.
thingNY has produced some of their most interesting performances in underutilized spaces.

In 2014, with the teenage new music ensemble Face the Music, the ensemble created a spatial work on the walkway surrounding the Queens Museum’s 9335 square foot Panorama of New York City. The band’s mobile sound installation “In House” housed itself, among other places, in an abandoned Lower East Side apartment and an 18th-century house museum. And, in an industrious flurry, the group refitted an old taxi garage for a three-day festival of experimental opera in Long Island City in 2012.

This Sunday’s performance will feature Ruder’s sextet work “You Must Read a Lot of Jung” – a spacious, melodic chamber piece scored for voice, clarinet, violin, saxophone, cello, and percussion that grew out of materials created for thingNY’s 2015 opera “This Takes Place Close By.”

Ruder is a vocalist, clarinetist, guitarist, composer, songwriter, writer/librettist, and interdisciplinary collaborator. He is a key member of the band Why Lie?, the ensembles Varispeed and thingNY, and the storytelling project Dave & Woody’s Chicken Slaughtering LLC.

“thingNY has lived at the intersection of chamber music and opera,” said Ruder. “A lot of the music is text-driven. But, ‘You Must Read a Lot of Jung’ is less text and more on music.”

Video link for thingNY — https://youtu.be/nRs9sxTr2S4.

The show at Vox Populi, which also features Erik Ruin’s Ominous Cloud Ensemble, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8-$10.

Also, on May 5, two very individual – and very talented — female musicians will be performing in Philly – red steppes and Ruby Boots.

red steppes

red steppes, which is part of a triple-bill at Bourbon and Branch (705 North Second Street, Philadelphia, 215-238-0660, bourbonandbranchphilly.com), released its first full-length – “A Mouth May Grow” – in 2018. Its sophomore album, “Arcs,” will be released on May 31.

Helmed by songwriter and photographer Nika Aila States, recorded and mixed to tape at Tiny Telephone in Northern California, the songs on the first album are built from organic and felt performances, drawing their aesthetic language from the bounded period of long days and evenings in the studio, from the generous imitations of analog tape. Driving the album’s musical exploration is a deep respect for folk music, age-old melodic traditions, and for the experimental and irreverent.

The songs saunter through mapped points on the Western coast of the US, explore growth and decay, and interrogate narrative tropes surrounding love, gender, and industry. States’ wider artistic practice as a visual artist found its way into her musical work — yearning for a sense of place, the positioning of botany and landscape as teacher and translator, and the pregnant silence of uninhabited places.

“red steppes started in the (San Francisco) Bay Area as a duo with another guitarist – Owen Kelly,” said States, during a phone interview Wednesday afternoon from her home in Brooklyn.

“That was back in 2012. It was the two of us playing guitar. After a few years, I decided to go solo. It’s mostly just been me writing and going into the studio. On the road, it’s mostly just me.”

States currently lives in Brooklyn, where she is preparing her second full-length release, pursuing a Geography degree, and exploring a bridge between textile arts and photography.

“I’m really interested in geography,” said States. “Most of my work has been about places. The first was about California. The second is more about displacement in cities like Portland, Oregon, and Oakland.

“The songwriting for ‘Arcs’ took place from 2015-2017. I’m a pretty slow writer. I tracked it in 2018 at Tiny Telephone with the same core team I used before. Then, I moved to New York.”

States will get ready for the album release with this show in Philly followed by a few on the West Coast.

“I’m playing solo in these shows,” said States. “The show is 70 per cent ‘Arcs’ and 30 per cent the first album. I write sings that have room for musicians but can also stand alone. They always start off as a solo song.

“With what I’m doing now, I hope I’m a bridge between new music and pop music.”

Video link for red steppes —  https://youtu.be/tHYscwp1uHE.

The show at Bourbon and Branch, which also features The Early and Will Stratton, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Ruby Boots

On Sunday evening, the World Café Live (3025 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, 215-222-1400, www.worldcafelive.com) is presenting a show featuring Ruby Boots and Indianola.

“For my tour this May, I’m on the road with Owen and we’re sharing a band – INDIANOLA,” said Bex Chilcott, whose stage name is Ruby Boots.

The talented singer is a native of Perth, Australia – and a citizen of the world. She left a conflicted home at 14 years old, traveled and worked across the world, and followed her vision to be a songwriter all the way to Nashville.

“I moved to the states in 2016,” said Chilcott. “I’ve always had some kind of draw to music, but my life was rather tumultuous. I was working on pearling boats – out at sea for a couple weeks at a time. A friend on the boat played guitar on the deck and I’d sing with him. And, I learned guitar.

“I grew up in Perth and I was out of there at 19. It was a great place to develop where I wanted to go as an artist. Perth is a very isolated area. I was doing thing usually started as a teenager and I was doing it at age 26. That is typical of Perth which is the most isolated major city in the world.

“I had a lot of trauma from age 13-19 and I needed to get away from it. It was survival. I was definitely in survival mode. When I left Perth, I lived in Asia by myself. And, I lived in India.”

This latest venture brought Chilcott to America.

“My reason to leave this time was to come somewhere that I can get radio play and access people,” said Chilcott. “I felt America had this room for growth – that maybe I’d have more people that liked what I do. I broke my own glass ceiling.”

Ruby Boot’s new album, “Don’t Talk About It.”  charts this drifter’s odyssey, tattered passport in hand. Behind her commanding and versatile voice, sharp guitar playing, and adept songwriting, Ruby Boots confidently maneuvers past the challenges that life has tossed at her on her occasionally lost highway.

It’s an album of hope, breakthrough, and handling the unknown challenges around the next bend. Informed as much by the wide-open landscapes of her homeland as the intimate writing circles of Nashville, the album has a variety of moods.

“I get told that it’s country or Americana,” said Chilcott. “But, to me, it isn’t Americana or country. It’s rock-and-roll.”

Video link for Ruby Boots – https://youtu.be/8ecapGNfmhQ

Just as Ruby Boots is Bex Chilcott, INDIANOLA is Owen Beverly.

INDIANOLA

INDIANOLA is touring in support of its fresh, new debut album, “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye.”

“We’ve had a lot of shows without a day off,” said Beverly, during a phone interview Friday afternoon as he was experiencing some unexpected time off.

“We’re supposed to be in Indianapolis tonight but we’re sitting here with our van in the shop – waiting for it to get fixed. Nothing really bad – just a back door that wouldn’t unlock.

“The shows are going great. Crowds are liking it. And, the record is selling well.”

A native of Mississippi, Beverly has been living in Nashville for a while – as have his band members.

“We’re a mean, lean four-piece,” said Beverly. “I play guitar and we have a lead guitar, bass and drums. They’re all Nashville cats but, of course, none are from Nashville originally. They’re from South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia – a good swath of the Southeast.

“This line-up has been together for about a year so we’re getting pretty hard. We’ve been plying the album songs for a year. In pur live shows, we’re just burning down the new album top to bottom.

“We started recording it in October 2017 and we finished it last summer. I spent a good long while trying to find the right people to put it out. We signed with Handwritten Records, a label from Las Vegas. They’re small enough to focus on it. More importantly, they’re really pumped about it.”

INDIANOLA recorded the album at Shovels & Rope’s studio in Charleston, South Carolina.

According to Beverly, “There’s a duality present in a lot of these songs. There’s a push and a pull that’s constantly going on. The music is modern and retro and optimistic and bleak and carefree and apocalyptic all at once.
“I wanted to create my own universe with this album. I wanted the songs to sound like they came from a world where all these different influences from all these different times and places could exist simultaneously.”

 “There was all this folk and country and roots music going on, which I’m of course a big fan of, but I wanted to do something different. I liked the idea of something more rooted in rock and roll, something that had a throwback vibe but also felt ultramodern, like an old science fiction movie’s vision of the future.”

Video link for INDIANOLA — https://youtu.be/BRotHE0sSOo.

The show at the World Café Live, which also features Grace Vonderkuhn, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

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