Roger Lewis of DDBB

This morning I was chattin’ it up with Roger Lewis of Dirty Dozen Brass Band on the phone. He had some great stories to tell me about…

Are you on the road? Where are you guys now?
I’m doing alright, on my way to a gig, you know. With the band? No, I leave on Tuesday with Dirty Dozen, I play with other bands other than Dirty Dozen. I stay busy when I’m at home.

25 years as the Dirty Dozen, looking back… what are some of your first memories with the band?
Ha! I got a lot of memories man. I guess some of earliest memories were playing at a place called Glasshouse and a place called Daryl’s. We started out at Daryl’s then moved onto the Glasshouse, what was so special about these places was that there were so many neighborhood people. It’s not on Bourbon Street, so for a tourist to find it you had to venture out into the community. So we happen to be playing over there, and what was so incredible was the dancers… they would do some incredible things!! It was the music and the dancing.

Your Anniversary tour is called “My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now”… which is also the name of your first release. What does this saying mean to you?
Well, actually our first record was on our own label, in our own house studio. This was our first Major Label release, and everything took off from there. Well, the feet is what you stand on. So you don’t want your feet to fail you. When you’re in a situation where you got to run… you gunna say I hope my feet don’t fail me now. Haha, you know? You gotta stay in shape! I remember when I was a kid, about 20, I was going by a guy named Edwin Bocage’s house better known as ‘Eddy Bo’, he lived like 4 or 5 blocks from my house when Little Richard was recording his album… I was on my way by his house one night, and the neighborhood where I lived people was jumping out of bushes and beat you up. So, about 10 guys hoped out of the bushes to beat me up. It is always better the day you going then the day you leave. So I ran sayin’ I hope my feet don’t fail me now!!

How did you adopt the name, Dirty Old Man?
Aw man, well… that came about when we were doing a gig somewhere. We played, everyone but me had left the stage… and the audience wanted to hear one more song. Everyone was shouting one more, one more song, one more song!! And I said, well… I started playing this rhythm on my baritone, and they started dancing…” I’m a dirty old man, dirty old man, dirty old man, I’m going to spank somebody!” I started sayin’. People would then just keep dancing and I’d just start rapping over it. Then a guitar hopped in! It got wild! Then the drummer hopped in. Then the bass. Then Kevin with the sax. A dirty old man is like a kick off from dirty dozen, I’m the oldest face in the band 68 years old… it’s not like DIRTY old man, It’s like DIRTY old man!! Haha!

Are people going to have to bring their dancin’ shoes to Infinity Hall?
OF COURSE MAN!! You know what time it is!??! That’s how we roll! You gotta get up and do what you do! Jazz music is dance music, you know?! It’s something that gives you 3-for-1… your body, your mind and your soul. We got some time for you to dissect, feel, and get your body movin’!

Roger and the band are going to make this show a ton of fun for you. So, grab your tickets now!! Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s 25th Anniversary Concert @Infinity Hall — Sunday, November 8th @8:00pm–

On tour with Sarah B.

Sarah Borges and The Broken Singles are on tour right now, and they posted this cool video of their tour thus far. Slowly making their way to Norfolk, CT while they conquer one city at a time. Good-real people these guys are, hop in their van and hit the road with them (for about 10 minutes)…

You got to love how well they get along. Not easy to do with people you spend every waking hour with in and out of the van, hotels, shows, diners… A sure sign of a great band!! Check Sarah Borges and The Broken Singles w/ Jim Boggia out on Saturday, December 12th!! –Take me to the show–

And yes, there will be dancing!!

Brian Buchanan of ETH

I had a chance to ask Brian Buchanan a few questions before he makes the trip out to Infinity Hall with his band, Enter The Haggis. Enter The Haggis w/ opener “Adam Ezra” will be performing @Infinity Hall on Sunday, Nov. 22nd!! Get your tickets now!!

Your new album is called “Gutter Anthems”… what does that mean?
Well, the song that the title comes from (The Litter and The Leaves) is about the frustration of the huddled masses in the face of all the inequalities and inconsistencies of life in our society. I actually wrote the song before the whole economic collapse and subsequent bailouts, but it’s pretty appropriate – the “Gutter Anthem” is the song of the people crying out for change from the streets and the bars. It’s really a song about pent-up indignation and anger, and how we all look around and know that everyone is feeling it, but we don’t have an outlet – until we realize that our strength is in our numbers. 

It seems like your sound keeps evolving.  What direction do you see the next album going in?
Absolutely no idea. It’s never a conscious process for us – sometimes we’ll hear songs by other artists and think “wow, there are elements there that I really like” and that sort of guides our evolution, but most of the time we just write and see what comes out. I think personally I’d always push for heavier and louder, but on the other hand some of my favorite songs on Gutter Anthems are the quieter ones like Suburban Plains and Sea of Crutches. So who knows. 

What was your first instrument, and when/how did it become clear that playing would become your life path?
I started playing piano when I was 3 – I still remember a song I wrote before my 4th birthday, believe it or not. It was pretty obvious where my talents and interests were going to lead me from really early on. I started violin lessons when I was 5 and taught myself guitar by the time I started high school. 

I don’t think there was ever a day when I decided to be a professional musician – it was just always the thing I knew I’d do with my life. There was never any question, really. It drove my friends crazy that they were all obsessing about their education and career paths, while I had this certainty. I’d have been in real trouble if I’d been wrong; you’d find me slugging lattes at Starbucks or something now. 

Have you ever eaten “Haggis”?  Is it a pre-requisite for all members?
Well, it’s not like a hazing ritual or anything, but I don’t think you can play in a band called Enter The Haggis for 10 years and not at least try it. Last time I had haggis I was in Antioch, CA, and the owner of the bar had made us haggis-stuffed mushrooms. They were delicious. 

Who are your top three favorite bands from the 60’s and 70’s?

Oooo…. hmm. Well, definitely Pink Floyd and The Doors – the first because of their incredible diversity and the second because of Jim Morrisson’s lyrics. To pick a third is really tough though. PROBABLY Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Or Zeppelin. Or Leonard Cohen, if I’m allowed to pick solo artists. 

I definitely have love for The Who though… and The Band wrote some amazing songs. This is a completely unfair question.

Brian, I hear you’re having a Birthday in May 2010… what are your plans for it?
I’m throwing a party in Galway, Ireland! 

We’ve done a few “fan trips” overseas over the last few years – we sell tickets to our fans and everyone flies to Europe together, then we spend a week traveling around and getting into trouble. When we decided to return to Ireland in the Spring of 2010, it just so happened that the dates we chose encompassed my birthday. I’m turning 28 on the 28th of May, so I think they call that my “champagne birthday” – guess it’ll have to be my Guinness birthday instead.

–Take me to the show!–

Who is WPA?

WPA (Works Progress Administration) consists of some of the most accomplished and legendary musicians in today’s American music scene.

Founding members Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket), Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), and Luke Bulla (Jerry Douglas Band, Ricky Skaggs, Lyle Lovett) have teamed up with Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Greg Leisz (Bill Frisell, Joni Mitchell), Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Randy Newman), and Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Cracker), and long-time acclaimed producer Jim Scott (Wilco, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Rolling Stones).

Once they entered Scott’s studio, the group was able to collaborate and record the entire album plus a number of bonus tracks in only five days.

Ever wanted to see a HUGE band in an intimate venue before they blew up!? Well here is your chance. Don’t miss your chance to see this ALL-STAR band in such an intimate venue!! Click here for your tickets now!!
Above, WPA is streaming their whole album just for you! Check it out… the stuff is great.

"My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now"

On Sunday, November 25th Infinity Hall has the privilege of hosting the “My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now” Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s 25th Anniversary Concert!

The Dirty Dozen revolutionized the New Orleans brass band style by incorporating funk and bebop into the traditional New Orleans style, and has been a major influence on the majority of New Orleans brass bands since.

Just check out this video below with Gov’t Mule backing them up, these guys can blow!!!

As an anniversary gift to you, they are giving the title track away for free!(click below)

Dirty Dozen Brass Band is here Sunday, Nov 8th. Don’t miss your chance to celebrate 25 years of music with DDBB!! Their enegry will be exuberant!!

Johnny Winter WILL ROCK THE HALL!!

To me, there’s nothing like a sold out show to truly experience the energy and vibe of Infinity Hall. Johnny Winter is coming Friday night and the Hall will be jumping. Johnny is one of my favorite all time blues guitarists, with that distinctive sound, high energy, and raucous attitude guarenteed to rock us to our souls. Believe it or not, I’ve never seen Johnny perform live and that’s what I love about Infinity – another chance to cross a true legend of must see artists off my list. I can already hear the opening notes and lyrics to Dylan’s Highway 61 – “God said to Abraham kill me a son, God said man you must be putting me on….” – finally seeing the legend in the most intimate setting in the northeast will make my “Rocktober”!. I hope to see you there…

If you didn’t get a chance to grab your Johnny Winter tickets before it sold out, make sure you don’t make the same mistake for The Edgar Winter Band coming on Friday, Nov 6th!! There are still some tickets available, click here!!

Under The Floorboards Music Reviews

Ever wondered about the shows you didn’t see at Infinity Music Hall & Bistro? Well, AM1020 WHDD 91.9FM has been doing reviews of some of our live performances.

Some performances they have covered are Gin Blossoms at Infinity Hall on July 28th, Young Dubliners at Infinity Hall on August 13th, The Smithereens at Infinity Hall on August 29th, Living Colour at Infinity Hall on September 6th, and Nick Lowe at Infinity Hall on October 16th!!

These should give you a good feel of what you missed, and an idea of what you’ll see next time you enter the hall. Click here to listen!!