BANDS in DRAG

On Saturday April 8th the Garrett Roy Jones Band, Haley Katrin, Big Jon & The Mattress Factory, and Wheels on Mars got together to perform at Club Bohemia. It was your standard 4 band bill but for one exception....all the band members dressed in DRAG. 

After the first two bands performed, the evening's best dressed were invited up on stage to strut their stuff for a chance to win a fabulous gift basket donated by DOROTHY'S Boutique and a pair of tickets to the 'Donkey Show' at OBERON. 

By popular demand, at the hands of our handsome emcee Jennifer Landi, our winner was all around good dude and Garrett Roy Jones Band bassist Tyler Last! The audience knows best and boy did they make the right call. Tyler LITERALLY shined on the stage in his glittertastic little black dress! 

Thank you for your magic eyes Kit Castagne. Check out Kit's work HERE

#FuckMonday's Show

#FuckMonday’s at The Plough and Stars in Cambridge, MA, a show that was lightly inspired by Ferris Bueller, The Breakfast Club, and 80’s punk, turned into a relaxed Sunday-night bar show with two great rock bands and a folk interlude. 

Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, you know?

The turn out wasn’t huge but the people that showed up were the good ones ~ while on stage, each band felt comfortable and supported by the room ~ which is the most important energy that an audience can give. The bartender was a sweetheart, she was English and her name was Sarah (please say hello if you meet her), she was so complimentary and treated all of the band-members really well. 

It was spectacular to see a group of people that hadn’t come to the show, who had been having dinner at the Plough and Stars, stay for an extra 2 1/2 hours to watch all of the performers shake their tails!

Many shout outs must be given for this show before I get to the incredible photos taken by one of my favorite live-music photographers in the area Maya Lassiter (@Mayalphotography)!

THANK YOU'S ~

Montana Gulbrand for the most beautiful punk poster. This is my favorite of any one I’ve ever had and shooting with you was a dream. Jennifer Landi who saved my a** and lent me the whole outfit I'm wearing in the photo on the poster the day before the shoot. Russell Johnson for doing one hell of a job trying to convince Rick Walker’s to lend me a suave leather biker jacket for the show. (We made do just fine! <3) Alyssa Spector for being a kick-ass lady player in the Boston music scene. So grateful that you do the work you do with Lysten Boston! The Dingo Babies, Scott Johnson (of White Veins), & Haley Katrin band-members Mike Cordon and Jono Salas for your enthusiasm in helping me promote the show and for playing so SUPERBLY. 

much love from the studio,

 

 

    

 

Fall Studio Recital & Potluck

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of hearing many of my students perform songs and pieces that they have been working on for the last several months at the Fall Studio Recital & Potluck. 

Students, families, and friends came together for a lovely evening meal with fantastic dishes and foods contributed by all. YUM! Filled to the brim, we sat together and listened to performances of original music, violin pieces from Suzuki Book 2, tunes from The Grateful Dead, Emilé Sande, and Halsey as well as renditions of Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová’s “Falling Slowly”, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”, and “Safer” from First Date the Musical.

Big thank you to all who cooked, performed, and came out to support! I’m dearly looking forward to another recital with all of you come springtime.

Special thanks to our photographer Maya Reddy.

Licks 4 Licks

This week saw the first ever coordinated open mic at the sweetest spot in Mission Hill, JP Licks OBC! Thanks to the efforts of the ice cream shop’s staff, led by passionate and imaginative Jackie Mader, and the connections of the Haley Katrin Studios team the event was a huge success. 

Jackie built a fabulous stage and turned the coffee shop into a theater which saw several brilliant performances from varied Massachusetts artists. 

Big thank you to the JP Licks staff, all of our wonderful performers, and of course our respectful audience members!  Check out performance clips and pics below. 

See you next time!

A #PaisleyShow

Early fall has been a busy time at the studio! Over the last couple of months we booked, planned, promoted, and executed a beautiful show at Club Bohemia in Cambridge, MA featuring local Boston acts Madeline Rae, In Ivy, The Josie Lowder Band, and my band Haley Katrin.

The summer saw an opportune meeting with Joe Viglione, the promoter for both The Cantab Lounge and Club Bohemia. He invited In Ivy onto his show, Joe Vig’s Pop Explosion, and later introduced me to Mickey Bliss, the club’s booking agent, to whom I expressed my interest in putting together a bill. When I asked if I could play a Friday or a Saturday show he told me that if I did a good job with a Thursday slot I could book a Friday or Saturday night early in 2017. 

Filling up the bill was more difficult than I anticipated. My band, a little pop, funk, and rock, is loud but not loud enough to headline a bill with a handful of rock artists. I booked In Ivy first, knowing the sound and liking the music. And later I settled on the other two acts, a brilliant local jazz artist, Josie Lowder, and a good friend of mine, Madeline Rae, who hadn’t played out with her band but had recently sung me a few beautiful acoustic tunes while we shared a bottle of wine.

To promote the show my roommates and I hosted a ‘Paisley Potluck’. We hired a photographer Lillian Seibert (@lsphotography802) and body artist Rae Rice (www.walkingart.co). Everyone was gung-ho, and many agreed to have their bodies painted and their photo taken while enjoying some early 2000’s rock and a carbohydrate feast of spaghetti and potato salad!

The show itself was a success too! We had a great turn-out due to the combined efforts of Madeline Rae and Bradford Beard (In Ivy) who co-led the street and PR teams. They spread the paisley word and it was really a treat to see all of the performers paisley outfits alongside many well-dressed paisley audience members! Photos from the evening were taken by two wonderful local photographers Atileo Tedoldi (@itsatileotee) and Sinnia Brown (@mayalphotography) and the documentary filmography is courtesy of my multi-talented friend Shade Tramp (@shadetramp).

PEN New England Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award

Last week PEN New England (a chapter of the PEN American center) gave out their Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence awards to John Prine and Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan. The ceremony, which took place at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, was well attended, bringing in special guests including John Cougar Mellencamp, Sturgill Simpson, Roseanne Cash, Elvis Costello, Colum McCann and Jim Jarmusch.

In a great stroke of luck, while printing posters for a show that I am playing in October, I met Karen Wulf, the Executive Director of PEN New England. She was there picking up programs for the ceremony and we chatted for a few minutes about the awards ceremony. She gave me her card and said that she would get seats for me and a couple of friends if we agreed to volunteer at the show. 

We put programs down on the chairs and checked in the VIP guests of PEN New England. I had the opportunity to walk Peter Guralnick and Salman Rushdie to the green room! It was raining all day and Mr. Guralnick kindly joked with me in the hallway that it could go on for 30 or 40 days. 

The presentation itself was tremendously classy and very well put together. The remarks were short and poignant and each guest spoke from the heart. I felt as if they were speaking to their friends as opposed to the media and it made all the difference. 

John Mellencamp, a longtime friend of John Prine, was the first to speak. He recounted a story about John Prine’s acting debut in the movie he directed, Falling from Grace. Prine was so nervous he said, that while filming a scene for the movie he slammed half of his hand in a car door without realizing what had happened. Mellencamp mimed Prine trying to walk with his hand in the door and laughed; Prine just took his hand out of the door, shook it off, and filmed the rest of the scene he said. Mellencamp then praised his friend’s songwriting, calling his songs, “sophisticated and simple” and closed out his remarks, nearly bringing himself to tears, by apologizing for losing touch with Prine when he had become ill with cancer. It was an affecting scene. 

Afterwards, Sturgill Simpson gave a short and heartfelt thank you to Prine telling him that he “had done more for [him] than [he] would ever know.” And Rosanne Cash sang a stunning rendition of “Hello in There”, her deep clear vocal tones reverberating out over the auditorium.

Prine accepted his award with a smile, kindly as ever, speaking briefly to convey his gratitude for the honor. He sang his tune, “Souvenirs” in his worn gravel voice to an appreciative audience and as he climbed down from the stage the audience stood in unison to acknowledge his life’s work.

Colum McCann, author of TransAtlantic and Let the Great World Spin, was the first to speak on the brilliant partnership that is Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. He began by recounting an evening he had spent with art critic John Berger in a pub, where Berger had coined the phrase “patriot of elsewhere”. This is how he described Waits and Brennan, “they catch the ordinary so that it can be sung” he said, offering that their lyrics give voice to the men and women who are not often heard or seen. The duo possess “a voice box that was somehow scratched by heaven” he followed.

Subsequently, Elvis Costello spoke on the influence of finding the right woman, what that meant for himself and for Waits. Without them, he said, “we would never have left that motel room”. Costello then proceeded to move the better half of the room to tears with his cover of Waits and Brennan’s “Take it With Me”, giving the music everything it asked for and more. As seasoned a performer as ever, he held each phrase appreciatively and brought the tune to life.

Jim Jarmusch, who cast Waits in the films Coffee and Cigarettes and Down By Law was the last guest to speak. Knowing what a difficult act he had to follow Jarmusch kept his sentiments brief and almost compelled Waits and Brennan to the stage to accept their medals. 

The moment Kathleen Brennan spoke, I realized what a vital part she played in the word-smithing that I have come to know and love. Her words were soft, but she danced with them effortlessly, speaking it seemed without rehearsal on the lyre, which had been emblazoned on her medal, the symbology chosen to represent her art. She said her thank you’s and commented on the way that events such as this one went against the privacy that she guarded dearly before passing the microphone on to her husband. 

Tom Waits seemed tired but put on a good face kissing Brennan on stage twice. He told a long-winded story about the catacombs. One skull he said, falling from its place among the others, had come to rest next to the tourist path. For years he said, people reached down to rub it as they walked by and it had become shiny. “People want to be distinguished even in death” he said, in such a way that by the time you knew whether or not he was commenting on the nature of awards, or fame, or his career, the moment had passed. “I just came from an awards show and I’m almost late to another awards show” he said smiling. And then he praised his wife, saying that there were, “a lot of questions” when they first started writing together. “We are different people” he said, not turning to glance at his wife, “but if two people know all of the same things then one of [them] is unnecessary.” 

The audience applauded as he and Kathleen moved to leave the stage, but you could almost hear the disappointment in the room; Tom Waits last tour was in 2008. Either sensing the change, however, or at the behest of one of the front row VIP’s, Waits turned around, sat down at the piano and sang perhaps the shortest tune in his repertoire, “You Can Never Hold Back Spring”. However short it was, it was beautiful, and undoubtedly worth the wait. 

#KeepFenwaySafe

On July 23rd of this year I was so fortunate to put together and play a show to #KeepFenwaySafe with Scott Johnson (@themusicmanscott), from the band White Veins, and Amanda Picicche & Bradford Beard with In Ivy (@inivymusic).  A crew of many dedicated local musicians and businesspeople supported the cause, donated their time and made this project into something meaningful for our community.

The show, a fundraiser for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, was intended to have taken place in the Fenway Gardens at evening-time to help build awareness around assault and safety issues in the area.  Due to high winds and predicted rainfall, the show was moved indoors (luckily for us, as I later found out that I would have needed permitting from the parks department). 

We were able to raise $86.40 for BARCC in addition to paying our artists! Woohoo! We very much hope to put together more shows and make #KeepFenwaySafe a tradition here in the heart of our home in Boston.

To those of you who recorded promotional videos for the show, I am very grateful to you. Dave Crespo (@davecresporules), you're the man for hosting Bradford and Scott on Supper with Nash & Spo Friday night! Clever Sangalaza (@clever_created_it), you have a keen eye, thank you taking these photographs, they are unique and classy and I feel extremely lucky to have found you. And Josh Parra (@jashporra), it wouldn't have been the same without our beautiful poster; my sincere thanks.

Lollapalooza 16'

Just back this week from Grant Park in Chicago, IL where I was lucky to work as a crew-member for Berklee-grown gem Honeysuckle (@honeysuckleband) through the college's student run record label Heavy Rotation Records (@heavyrotationrecords). 

The band, who plays frequently in the greater Boston area, and had their album-release show earlier this year at American folk venue Club Passim, played their usual modern bluegrass set with the addition of bass and a full drum-kit. This added a unique twist to their typically compact and fine-tuned performance, a weight that nicely balanced out the Lollapalooza Pepsi stage. 

A perk of the week was working as a staff-member at Kidzapalooza. Myself, several other crew-members and the band-members themselves all spent time working the Berklee tent which involved setting up kid-sized band instruments (guitar, bass, keys and drums), gear, and headphones so that kids could jam together. The gear was set up so that the kids could sit down, put on a pair of headphones and try each instrument while simultaneously hearing what the other kids were playing on their own.

Needless to say the kids were super cute! We taught them 12-bar blues, let their parents entertain us with stories, and received much gratitude for looking after their children for a few minutes. But, as with any hands-on job it was tiring. I would work the tent for several hours, slip out to see a show in the line-up I was excited about, and then come back and do it again. It rained off and on and by the end of the festival I had put more caffeine in my system in 96 hours than ever before in my life.

What a thrill the shows were though! My favorite, Kurt Vile and the Violators, played the Petrillo bandshell Thursday afternoon, it was a goony & entertaining original show. I pushed my way up into the crowd throughout their set, apologizing all the while and gesturing to my size (I'm just shy of 5'2'') and was able to get right up against the fence for the last 20 minutes. In between songs Kurt would go up to the microphone, utter a single wacky 'whoooop' and then begin his next song. Between the weird sounds, minimalistic stage banter, and tendency to blink every time he strummed a chord, I was relieved and inspired by his playfulness and authenticity. 

Other notable shows included, M83, Lana Del Rey, HAIM, Disclosure, & Radiohead, (and I didn't get to see it myself, but I heard that Jane's Addiction really put on a show for Lollapalooza's 25th anniversary). 

Happy 25th Lolla. Until next time.