The third Crawford County Music Festival, sponsored by WQLN, arrives on June 29 and I’m getting excited.
Headlining will be Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, who are goosebumpingly good. The trio plays foot-stomping blues, laced with a lot of slide guitar, that cuts to the bone. It’s honest, rootsy music, inspired by originators such as Charley Patton, but played with an urgency and infectious enthusiasm that’ll make sitting still or sitting down absolutely impossible.
If you want a good sample of what they sound like, click here
The fest also features the Folkadelics, who puts a fresh spin on roots music; they use beatboxing and even a hip hop influence on some songs. Can one band possibly be influenced by such disparate artists as Nickle Creek, Sublime and Metallica? Uh, yeah. Their four-part harmonies blew away everyone so much at the 2012 Crawford fest that organizers felt compelled to bring them back.
Tiger Maple String Band, Nashville’s Nancy Deckant and Tom Stine also play at the event, which starts at noon at Sprague Farm and Brew Works in Venango. For ticket details, visit www.wqln.org.
I’m hoping the fest wraps up early enough for me to race back to Erie and catch Start Making Sense at Crooked I. They’re a terrific Talking Heads’ tribute that cover all phases of the band’s career, from their nerdy New Wave beginning through their Afro-funk phase with an extended lineup until the end, when they featured a Latin and Brazilian flair on “Naked.” Start Making Sense added some new songs since we last saw them, including a couple from “Fear of Music.”
We’ll have extensive previews of the Crawford festival (including interviews with Reverend Peyton and Folkadelics), plus Start Making Sense, in the June 27 issue of Showcase.
I consider “The Sopranos” one the best, if not the best, drama in TV history, and the heart of it all was James Gandolfini superb work as complex mobster Tony Soprano. Gandolfini somehow made a ruthless killer a three-dimensional human being — terribly flawed, of course, yet one who was also a family man and struggled to redeem himself. I held out hope that David Chase might revisit “The Sopranos down the road, maybe pick up the story a decade or so later. But now that’s impossible. Gandolifini died at the way-too-young age of 51 on Wednesday.
Blondie and X will co-headline a fall tour. Sadly, the closest area show is in Niagara Falls, N.Y., on Sept. 6 at the Rapids Theatre. Tickets go on sale Friday. I saw X in their prime years ago in Chicago. The last time I saw them, they shockingly opened for Warren Zevon at the long-gone Front Row Theatre near Cleveland. What a show that was. Never caught Blondie, unfortunately, but I did see Deobrah Harry play a crazy-good show in Cleveland that also featured the Ramones and Tom Tom Club. She did all the Blondie stuff, and it was sublime.
Reminder: the downtown Block Party rolls tonight with Jackson Station and the M-80s outside the U Pick 6 Tap House from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Tonight’s designated charity is the American Red Cross.