with Ken Shane
100% of proceeds benefit the RI Community Food Bank.
Channing Memorial Church
135 Pelham Street
Portsmouth Book and Bar
with The Stone Unturned
No. Main Street
Please bring a non-perishable food item!
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Homegrown East Bay imprint 75orLess Records continues to crank out noteworthy product on a regular basis, including new records from two of the finest singer-songwriters Lil Rhody has to offer in Bob Kendall and Allysen Callery. Kendall follows up 2012’s Midnight Flower with a self-titled full-length, while Callery just released (by popular demand) a four-song session for Folk Radio UK, with production help from Kendall. To celebrate, the pair will team up at the Channing Memorial Church in Newport on Tuesday (the 29th), with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
Aquidneck resident Kendall has a long New England rock pedigree which dates back to the early ’80s. He was born in Huntsville, Alabama (aka “Rocket City”), where his father “somehow” scored a job at IBM working on NASA’s Apollo Rocket systems (Kendall: “He didn’t go to college and barely made it through high school, but clearly he was a smart bastard”). The family was transferred to Rhode Island during his teen years and Kendall moved to Boston following high school in 1981 with his brother Greg, and eventually became a staple of the city’s burgeoning indie/college rock scene with the bands Lifeboat and the Blood Oranges, opened for the likes of R.E.M., the Replacements, and Gang of Four (he also had a day job at the legendary Fort Apache studios in Cambridge). Kendall garnered acclaim with his 2002 solo debut Enough Is Enough and landed a spot the Newport Folk Fest that year, sharing the same stage as Bob Dylan.
Around that time, Kendall also became focused on his career, writing and developing curriculum for programs to prevent violence, and worked in various school districts throughout the state.
“I had been working with men and women who were arrested for domestic violence, as well as victims of domestic violence, and I began to focus on ways to get the word out to younger people so that they wouldn’t fall into the same patterns,” Kendall said when I dropped him a line earlier this week. “The work was sometimes pretty emotionally taxing and required an enormous amount of focus and energy.”
He had been jamming out material with longtime friend and Throwing Muses drummer Dave Narcizo, and brought some tracks to Kraig Jordan at his Plan of a Boy studio, which has developed into the go-to production homebase for 75orLess musicmakers. Kendall released Midnight Flower via 75orLess, an earnest display of Americana and roots-rock songwriting (listen up, fans of Wilco and Buffalo Tom). Tanya Donelly (who has been recording new stuff with Jordan at POAB) joined Kendall on the title track, and released her own rendition on her latest EP, Swan Songs III.
While gathering material for his next solo album, Kendall performed with Jordan as “Stan Sobczak,” a multi-media project that accompanied Jordan’s space-age, ambient music score Stanatron (get it at 75orlessrecords.com).
“Bob is probably best known for the Americana material, but that really is just one piece of what he does,” said Jordan. “He is truly a multi-dimensional artist and a master of textures.”
Kendall’s strong songwriting and penchant for slow-burning melodies are on full display across the new solo album. “New Day” addresses his father’s longtime bout with dementia. His vocals ride squelches of reverb on “WAISTD” and coasts into the standout, smoldering cut “Rage” (with Narcizo’s cymbals crashing through) where he croons, “If you’re bored with me, baby, just rest me up on the shelf/If you’re bored with, bored with me baby, I’m a good read for somebody else.” The band is in full swing on “Dazed” (“a true collaboration,” said Kendall), and the acoustic folk cuts “Dead End Dream” and “Pall Mall Days” are nice changes of pace. The album was produced by the revered Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Pixies, Warren Zevon), and Kendall said they will also work together on his next album.
Kendall recently worked the boards for Bristol’s favorite songbird, Allysen Callery, who remains on the international radar following a few European tours. On her latest release we are treated to another stunning session for UK Folk Radio. The four songs include a traditional British Isles cover (“Blackwaterside”), a gorgeous unreleased track titled “All In the Morning” (Callery’s vocals and finger-picking guitar skills are second to none here), and two re-recorded songs, “The Huntsman” (originally found on her Summer Place EP) and the precious “Spare Parts” from Mumblin’ Sue. Callery’s subtle delivery is pure gold on lines here like “I’m pretty good with my hands, and I need a man who’ll whir and purr, stir at my command” and “I’ll build a man with a gold heart out of those spare parts.”
Kendall and Callery met last summer and the chemistry immediately clicked. They recorded the sessions in Kendall’s “shed” during one wintry evening (with help from Don Julio tequila, reportedly). The disc has sold out, but her Folk Radio UK Session 2014 download is still available at allysencallery.bandcamp.com. Kendall also worked the boards for a Callery cover of Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s “I Gave You” for a Will Oldham tribute compilation, and will produce Callery’s next album.
“Bob is able to produce exactly the sound I want, without me explaining or saying anything — I love it,” Callery gushed. “I feel like I discovered a hidden treasure over there in Middletown, but lots of people have known and loved him for a long time.”
opening up for Barenaked Ladies
Newport Yachting Center
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Bob Kendall knows a great tune when he writes one. “Most of the songs I write are about an idea, and my job is to get that idea into words.” His resumé of original music is a testament to his powers of songwriting and its incredibly visceral human connection. Since the 80s, he has been very active in the New England music scene. From the underground Boston band Lifeboat to his solo work today, Kendall, 52, has never put music on the back burner. This year is bringing him some well-deserved satisfaction. With a brand new album and a spectacular release show to support it, he is enjoying a new phase in his musical career.
Kendall isn’t afraid to wear his influences on his sleeve. He worships The Velvet Underground, but also looks to catalogs of artists such as Gram Parsons and Steve Earle for inspiration. His new record is a steadfast tribute to the styles that shape his musical identity, a reflection of the iconic rock ‘n roll/Americana crossover. The albumn’s opener “Stay,” is a bouncy and infectiously catchy power-pop track with adamant and resolute lyrics. Other songs like “Long Road” and “Dazed” highlight an extensive love of Brit pop heroes The Kinks and The Beatles. The lead guitar in each emulates a crisp and honorable interpretation of some of George Harrison’s best moments.
The record’s masterpiece comes five songs in – “Rage” is a cry of emotion. It was partially inspired by past social work Kendall has done with men and women arrested for domestic violence. “I have always been fascinated by rage, by both the ability and inability of people to control it.” The interlocking of multiple guitar parts combined with blasts of trumpet, keyboards, and drums captures this idea and explores the boundaries of this complex human emotion.
Kendall recalls some of the struggles in making this soundtrack versus his previous one, “Midnight Flower.” Instead of recording in his backyard like before, he brought in longtime friend Paul Kolderie to produce it, and the band went to Steve Rizzo’s Stable Sound Studios in Portsmouth to record.
At Fall River’s Narrows Center for the Arts, Kendall and his band presented the new songs last month at a record release show, which was a perfect live execution of the new material. The band consisted of Newporters Kevin Zahm on bass, Chuck Ciany on guitar, and Dave Narcizzo from Throwing Muses on drums, as well as Dan Wright from Jamestown on keyboards and Rafael Attias from North Kingstown on guitar.
Kendall is opening for The Barenaked Ladies at the Newport Yachting Center on Friday, July 18 then later that night he will be playing at Jimmy’s Salon. He will also be performing during BridgeFest on July 29 at Channing Church as part of the songwriters’ round table.
75OL-186 Lloyd’s Llamas – Cool the Burn CD
$7.00 S&H Included
$7.00 S&H Included
1. The Barker (2:54) video
2. Worn Out Welcome (2:43)
3. Whiskey (3:21)
4. Midnight Clover (2:17)
5. Mysterious Wisteria Hysteria (4:23)
6. Dabbler (6:02)
Lloyd’s Llamas are back with a 6-song CD! An interesting and varied piece of work, the Rhode Island animal rock quartet meld the sounds of country, psychedelia, power punk pop, and dinge on their second release, Cool the Burn, on 75orless Records. The Llamas explore themes of the circus, co-habitation, homelessness, rampant vegetation, the occult, and degeneracy. Lloyd’s Llamas are Kraig Jordan (Masons, Plan of a Boy), Bruce Moravec (Medicine Ball, Porno Sponges), Eric Moberg and Tom Cummins. Mixed by Tom Buckland. Cover Art by Peet Tamburino.
“Synth-laden quasi-country instrumental, pleasantly reminiscent of both the Meat Puppets and Wendy Carlos, snotty power pop with a good-time psychedelic guitar, snazzy (and bluesy) shuffle with elements of prog rock, thrash metal; epic drum and synth confection with a strangely resonant guitar line and cab-mike distorted vocals.” – The Noise Boston Nov 2014
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