Thursday, June 18, 2009

Adrian Belew Power Trio/Julie and Eric Slick: Gigs, gigs, and more gigs

If you've already been here before 11:25 a.m., scroll down check out the ETA under the California Guitar Trio mention. Bet you didn't know Julie and Eric were members of King Crimson! Ha ha, neither did I...

So as I've been shouting all over cyberworld, "e" is coming, and I am pleased to show you the cover artwork for the CD by the brilliant Mark Colman.

And yes, this will be the logo of the new ABPT t-shirt, arriving in a city near you next month, along with the band and their new, first ever studio CD! Now I know I already told you about these upcoming shows:

Fri 17 Jul 09
Canal Street Tavern
Dayton, OH

Sat 18 Jul 09
Indianapolis IN 46220
Radio Radio

Mon 20 Jul 09
Ann Arbor, MI
The Ark

Tue 21 Jul 09
Cleveland, OH
The Grog Shop

Wed 22 Jul 09
Chicago IL 60610

Fri 24 Jul 09
Kansas City, MO
The Beaumont

But hurrah! Here's some new dates you probably didn't know about...

fri 8/21 knoxville, TN @ bijou theatre
sat 8/22 atlanta, GA @ smith's old bar
mon 8/24 asheville NC @ orange peel
tues 8/25 vienna, VA @ jammin' java
wed 8/26 sellersville, PA @ sellersville theatre
fri 8/28 new york, NY @ bb kings
sat 8/29 hoboken NJ @ maxwell's
sun 8/30 annapolis, MD @ ram's head
mon 8/31 philadelphia, PA @ world cafe live
tues 9/1 northhampton, MA @ iron horse
wed 9/2 t/b/a massachusetts
thur 9/3 boston, MA @ harper's ferry
fri 9/4 wellfleet, MA @ beachcomber
sat 9/5 fall river, MA @ narrows center for the arts

Then on to canada, oh, canada

Yes, on to Canada. Details to follow but how cool is that. And I believe, possibly, the Ukraine and Turkey in October. Shh....

The gig on September 4, which is the Friday night of Labor Day weekend, looks freaking amazing. It's at a beachfront establishment on Cape Cod. Link! Hey, I just noticed they have a live stream so for those of us unable to spend Labor Day weekend on Cape Cod, we'll be able to watch from the comfort of our own homes. Oh joy!

One more reminder - well, no sense promoting NEARfest because it's sold out, but if you do have a ticket, come over and say Hi this Saturday, June 20 at 1:30 p.m. when Eric Slick will be on the drums with Oblivion Sun. But as soon as he's done playing at 3:00 p.m., we have to hightail it out of there twenty miles down the road to the Sellersville Theater where Julie and Eric will be performing with the California Guitar Trio. It looks like there are still tickets available so grab them while you can...they are selling out, I'll make it easy and give you a link.

ETA: Here's an article about the California Guitar Trio in today's Montgomery News!

"Experience California Guitar Trio’s musical synergy at ST94
By Julia Fisichella

The California Guitar Trio is excited to return to the Sellersville Theater 1894, Saturday, June 20.

“The Sellersville Theater has become one of our favorite venues to play at,” says Paul Richards, one of the three acoustic guitar wizards. “There’s not a bad seat in the place and the sound system is great. We’ve played consistently good shows there and have a strong following in the area.”

Last year’s performance at the theater was recently featured on WHYY’s TV12 program “On Canvas.” This episode can be viewed online here, which includes insightful interviews with each of the members.

The trio formed from the friendship of Richards, who hails from Utah, Bert Lams (from Belgium) and Hideyo Moriya (from Japan). They first met in 1987 as participants in Robert Fripp’s (of renowned progressive rock group King Crimson) Guitar Craft Courses in England.

“On one day off [from the courses], I heard Bert playing some of Bach’s cello suites and was really impressed by his musicality and approach to this complex, deep music,” says Richards. Moriya was a little on the quiet side, but Richards’ interest in Japanese culture allowed him to form a friendship with him. The three soon developed a strong musical connection.

“Things flow and happen when we sit down and play together. Music keeps things alive for us,” says Richards.

After touring internationally with Fripp’s League of Crafty Guitarists, the three friends moved to Los Angeles and formed the California Guitar Trio in 1991. They have been going strong ever since, inventing original compositions and creative acoustical re-workings of songs ranging from classical, rock, blues, folk and jazz to country and surf-rock.

Their last album, “Echoes,” recorded in May of last year, earned them a Top 10 spot in’s Best New Age of 2008 category.

The album includes a swirling cover of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes.”

“We choose songs that inspired us when we were younger, or based on suggestions from friends,” explains Richards. “Often, we try something and see if it works. There’s a challenge in re-creating a song on guitar, and making it make sense musically. We have to bring the piece alive in an original way.”

Their cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in which the group re-created a mainly vocal piece, is a perfect example of this challenge.

Another interesting re-make on this album is Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells,” made popular as the opening music for the movie “The Exorcist.” Richards explains how the group decided to cover this piece.

“This song became a landmark instrumental rock piece. It incorporated a new and different minimalist approach, unlike what was heard in the early ’70s. The introductory line lent itself very well to our playing style.”

In addition to putting a new spin on old classics, the California Guitar Trio puts together intricate original arrangements infused with feeling.

“Writing pieces is one of the most challenging things a musician does,” says Richards. “Since what we do has no vocals, the challenge is to create something musically interesting that people can emotionally connect with — we have to reach people in a different way.”

The trio typically introduces its new arrangements on tour before recording, to gauge the audience’s reaction. Keeping with this tradition, guests at the June 20 show will get a sneak peek at what the trio has recently been putting together for their new recording.

This show will include an unusual creative expansion from the group’s traditional three-acoustic guitar lineup. Special guests Eric and Julie Slick of the Adrian Belew (also of King Crimson) Power Trio will add new elements of drums and bass to the mix.

Richards raves, “They’re young prodigies of the [Paul Green] School of Rock who have an amazing ability to learn and play. At the end of the tour, we will record half of the new album, and we’ve invited Eric and Julie to play on those pieces.”

Electronic violinist Caryn Lin will open for the show.

In addition to the performance, the trio will be holding a guitar workshop from 2:30 to 4 p.m. that afternoon. Richards says this is something the group really enjoys doing.

“Educating is a big part of our background; we came together studying music.”

The trio has held similar workshops at the Sellersville Theater in the past. Richards explains, “[Participants] bring their guitars and we focus on playing together as a group.” The Trio will introduce techniques, and according to Richards, “It doesn’t matter what your skill level is.”

For the full California Guitar Trio experience, Richards says it’s all about seeing them in action. He likens playing acoustic guitar to “a dance of the fingers. Some rock bands perform with 10 dancers onstage. We have 30 dancers — our fingers!"

So yeah, I think Julie and Eric will be surprised to learn they are also in King Crimson...too funny.

But wait a second. I just read this article over thoroughly again. Julie and Eric are going to record a new CD with the California Guitar Trio? Oh wow, it's the first I'm hearing about this! How freaking cool is that?! And actually, as I do re-read the article, it's Adrian to whom the reporter is referring when mentioning King Crimson but having read it quickly the first time...and if you weren't a King Crimson fan and didn't know might misunderstand.

Or, I'm just dyslexic.

Erm...ETA 2: I just spoke on the phone with Eric and apparently that bit about recording a new CD with the California Guitar Trio is another misquote or misinterpretation. What Paul really said is that "Julie and Eric will be performing half of the songs on our latest CD, Echoes, at the Sellersville Theater this Saturday night."

So that explains why neither kiddie told me...

Getting back to touring news...

The following week, Eric returns to his "roots" with a very cool Project Object tour which kicks off July 1 at Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey and those of you living there, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Annapolis will be treated to a double dose of Slick when he returns with Mr. Belew later that month and in August. Too cool!

WED 1 - NJ hoboken maxwells
THU 2 - NY peekskill 12 grapes
FRI 3 - PA phila world cafe live
SAT 4 - PA acme love&peace festival
SUN 5 - OH cleveland beachland ballroom
MON 6 - PA pittsburgh club cafe'
TUE 7 - MD annapolis ram's head live
THU 9 - PA wilkes barre jazz cafe

This line-up of Project Object will also be touring Europe at the beginning of August and features original Zappa alumni Ike Willis and Don Preston, with special guest appearances at some shows by Ray White and Robert Martin. Actually, Ray will be at the July 4 show and I teased Eric not to drink the Kool-Aid there but all kidding aside, the Love and Peace Festival seems very interesting - it's actually "The Church of Universal Love and Music" and you can read all about it here.

So basically in July, Eric tours with Project Object, has a few days off, then flies off to tour with the Adrian Belew Power Trio and if that isn't crazy enough, he's flying home right after the final show in Kansas on July 24 because he's playing the XPonential Music Festival Saturday night, July 25 with Tom Hamilton's American Babies. Eric is filling in for legendary drummer Joe Russo. Or, would that be Sir Joe Russo? Ha! That is a "must click" link.

As for me, I am busy writing my first column for The Nervous Breakdown and normally I would be done by now but I'm extremely intimidated by the brilliant authors over there and every time a new piece pops up (daily, and I get Twitter updates) and I rush over to read the latest, I get a little more scared yet thrilled to be in such stellar company. To give you a hint on what I'm writing about...well, it's about my experience staying in a youth hostel in a place where no one spoke English (God forbid I should have brought a translation book with me) combined with the fact that I am not a "youth" and more accustomed to staying at hotels where they offer fluffy robes and leave imported chocolate on the pillow. So yes, I am definitely having some fun with that and hope to have it finished by the end of today or tomorrow.

Trust me, I will be twittering and posting billboards all over the internet when it's published so you'll all have a heads up.

In the meantime, I figured I'd put up this blog post, do some wash (yeah, as glamorous as my life might seem, I have a feeling dirty wash will always be a part of my routine), and return to "real writing". Ms. Julie will be over here later in the afternoon and then we're headed out to dinner. I'm trying to talk her into this cool Venezuelan restaurant but even though I see she's on line right now, she has failed to respond to my email which means she either wants to eat somewhere else or hasn't had her coffee yet.

I'll let you know and maybe this time I'll remember to bring the camera. I feel like it's been ages since I posted food porn!

So I think that's a wrap. I'm really hoping to meet many of you at NEARfest on Saturday and also saying Hi at the California Guitar Trio on Saturday night at the Sellersville Theater. Seriously, for those of you attending NEARfest, Sellersville is only 20 minutes away and you can definitely make both gigs. What a cool Fathers' Day present, eh?

Now. If only this rain would stop. Holy cow, I haven't had to water the flowers/herbs for the past two weeks. If it wasn't pouring out now, I'd go out and take some photographs. The "garden" (downtown Philadelphia word for "flower boxes and plants around the tree outside") has never been more beautiful. It's an explosion of color and lots of fresh basil and rosemary (already used in an amazing homemade vegetarian chili and quite a few salads)...yeah, if it does ever stop raining, I will definitely snap some pics...