Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tunesday with George: CMJ Recap

Only a few days removed from the whirlwind that was Americana week in Nashville last week, we were immersed in yet another music festival/conference, this time CMJ in New York. Here's a little wrap-up of the week, and the music involved.
My first destination of the adventure was a trip to Brooklyn, where two of our bands, Buxton and the Wild Moccasins, were playing a showcase put on the radio stations KSXC from LA (Univ. of Southern California) and KTRU from Houston (Rice University). I took the wrong train, and ended up having to walk about a mile and a half in the rain, and subsequently missed our first band Buxton's set. The "venue" is called "Shea Stadium", and when I arrive I discover it's not much more than a loft in a warehouse district with a plastic table as a bar. But despite that, and the nasty weather, there was a great crowd in the room. And I arrived in time to see our second band, Wild Moccasins, get the house dancing.

After a much quicker and simpler trip back to Manhattan, involving the proper trains, I decide to check out another showcase before turning in. Not recognizing many of the names anyway, I go with with what sounds interesting....Global Noize featuring DJ Logic and Jason Miles at the Bowery Electric. Logic I was familiar with, Miles I was not. But turns out he's a world famous jazz keyboardist who has worked with everyone from Miles Davis to Luther Vandross. The group is sort of a global jazz funk fusion thing with a touch of hip-hop.

Thursday begins with our artist Robert Ellis doing a roof-top boiler room session for RELIX magazine around 11am. The setting was quite unique, and the videos of Robert's songs will be up on their website shortly.
Robert Ellis
Then came the Paste party Thursday afternoon at The Living Room. First of four bands was Nikki Lane, the intriguing and raspy-voiced up-and-comer from Nashville. I particularly love her songs "Look Away" and "Gone, Gone, Gone." Following Nikki, our band Buxton really got the place stirring, and set the stage nicely for a home-run set by Robert Ellis & The Boys. Then as an added bonus to top it off, I got to see an acoustic set by Jason Isbell, one of my favorite singer/songwriter/musicians.
Jason Isbell
No time to waste, we had to rush over to the City Winery, where un-related to CMJ we also had John Hiatt playing a sold-out two night stand. His daughter Lilly opened the show, and proved to the crowd that she has some singing and song-writing chops of her own. When it was her father's turn he and his band, like the pros that they are, owned the room for a solid two-hour set.

The next blurry four hours were spent being drank under the table by a certain tv terrorist terrorizer, who happens to be best friends with one of my co-workers. But that's another story for another time.

After an un-inspiring trip down to Occupy Wall Street, Friday afternoon was spent in the studios of SiriusXM, where Robert taped an interview and he and his band recorded a blistering live session. It should be airing on Outlaw Country and a couple other channels in the near future.
Robert Ellis
Friday night was our big New West showcase, back again at The Living Room. Wild Moccasins were the perfect kickoff to the party, and by the time Buxton took the stage and blew the house down the room was at capacity. Robert Ellis & The Boys capped the night off with their best performance of the week....everyone's mark having successfully been left on NYC.

to be continued next week...

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