Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Day at Boston's On the Beach

This Saturday we stopped by Boston’s on the Beach in order to purchase the early bird tickets for their Red, White & Blues Festival. We also wanted to get our first look at Amber Leigh, who plays regularly at the restaurant on Saturday afternoons and who we will see this Wednesday evening at City Place with Craig Morgan. And she is entertaining with a nice backing band. Loved their cover of Jackson. Although not indicated in the photo, Ms. Leigh is noted for her fiddle, although don't ignore the mandolin. She's been playing both at patrons at Boston's for the past decade. Not bad for a 23-year old. Her style is labled country, but expect a lot of Celtic and Bluegrass crossovers. We will have more about Ms Leigh later this week discussing her City Place show, but she can always be found Saturdays at Bostons from 2:00 to 5:00.

During her break we headed out back to the Tiki bar in order to hear the acoustic sounds from The acoustic duo associated with the Justin Enco Duo, a subset of the Justin Enco Band. Enco is a Canadian transplant who has found a home in south Florida. We were only able to listen to a couple songs - but from what we heard, we will return.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Back to the Palm Beach Zoo

On June 25th we headed back to the Palm Beach Zoo for another Safari Nights encounter- with this evening the opening of their new Koala exhibit. This time the sun shone throughout - no rain clouds in site. And once again the best part of the evening was letting the kids run through the Interactive Fountain while we listened George Manosis. He is really good - played the best covers from Buffet to James Taylor, CCR to Johnny Cash. I can't wait to hear him at a tiki bar - that would make for a fun afternoon or evening. Listen below.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Greencards at Jammin Java - Friday, July 23rd

The Greencards will perform at Jammin' Java, 227 Maple Ave East in Vienna, Virginia on Friday, July 23rd, and we hope you can come to the show. Click here for advance tickets information.

================ About The Greencards ============

This critically acclaimed Austin-formed / Nashville-based band’s love and respect for Americana, bluegrass and country brought them together in 2003. The Greencards have:

  • Toured multiple dates with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Rosanne Cash, Kasey Chambers and Tim O'Brien just to name a few;
  • Earned the Americana Music Association Award in 2006 for “Emerging Artist of the Year”; and
  • Landed Grammy nominations in 2007 and December 2009.
Their urge to challenge themselves and test the limits of any established genre has guided singer / bassist Carol Young, and mandolin master Kym Warner (accompanied by fiddle and guitar) on their first three albums.

The Greencards released their fourth album in April 2009. Fascination is the band’s most daring project to date. Meticulously crafted arrangements serve as springboards for exhilarating improvisations. While technically breathtaking and acoustically driven, The Greencards have consistently moved towards a sound of their own.

The Greencards appeared at several festivals in 2009 such as Austin City Limits, Telluride, Walnut Valley (Winfield), Merlefest, Lollapalooza and the Cayamo Cruise. They will be performing at Grey Fox this July.

Visit The Greencards' CD Baby page to hear samples from of their various projects. You can also join them on Facebook at

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nora Jane Struthers & The Bootleggers Take 1st Place at the 2010 Telluride Band Competition

A few weeks back we enthusiastically reviewed Nora Jane Struthers' self-titled CD Nora Jane Struthers and today is release day. You can read our original review here. And if you don't believe our opinion, maybe you will believe the judges at Telluride, where Struthers took top honors in this weekend’s Telluride Band Competition. She is in good company as past winners include the Dixie Chicks, Nickel Creek, Ryan Shupe & the Rubberband, the Pagosa Hot Strings, The Badly Bent, Greensky Bluegrass, Spring Creek, Blue Canyon Boys, and 2009 winners The Hillbenders.

Monday, June 21, 2010

MyJoog Venue: Pontunes; Key Largo, Florida

While heading down to Key Large, Graham Wood Drout of IKO-IKO recommended that we visit Pontunes for two reasons. One the tiki bar provides live music on the weekends in which IKO-IKO is a regular participant, and two, the venue provides a free ride on a replica pirate ship. With a 5 year old in tow - that was all we needed to hear. Unfortunately while making an online reservation we learned that the Coast Guard was not allowing the pirate ship to carry passengers - all necessary permits were not on file. Shades of the Coast Guard banning the barges in Louisiana trying to stop the oil from creeping to the shore. Anyhow, the Captain and crew allowed us to board the vessel before they set sail with just the crew in order to maintain seaworthiness.

As the pirate ship left, our attention turned to The Bird Street Players and their funky sound which quickly distracted the little boy. Even with a slow night, these guys were fun - even heard the same Jimi Hendricks tune that IKO-IKO played the previous night - same song - completely different tune. They even covered Johnny Cash - wonder if they share the same set list? But I definitely want to hear these guys again, without the boy and with more than one Pirate Punch.

For those heading to the Keys for the July 4th weekend, checkout 18 Wheelers on July 4th. Maybe the ship will be sailing with passengers that evening.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

IKO-IKO @ Schnebly Redland's Winery

South Florida has a rather dynamic blues scene with several artists and bands playing nightly from Jupiter to the Keys. One of these is IKO-IKO, a band that has built a stellar reputation and fan base for the past 27 years by playing a distinctive brand of swamp blues-americana. Their sound incorporates a little of everything; from the Louisiana gumbo through the Delta, and back down to the Gulf Coast rock n' roll. The Louisiana influence is a bit obvious considering their namesake, the song Iko Iko made famous by the The Dixie Cups. We have enjoyed this sound for several years by downloading their music from their internet presence. But it wasn't until Friday June 18th that we finally had a chance to witness a live show during a performance at Schnebly Redland's Winery. To learn more about the winery take a look at the review on the WineCompass Blog; this is an impressive facility.

IKO-IKO is fronted by Graham Wood Drout, who provides whatever the song entails: vocals, guitar, bass, percussion. Plus he is a respected songwriter whose material have been covered by Albert Castiglia and IBC Blues winner Joey Gilmore. "Good Rockin' Johnny Wenzel has been playing lead guitar with Drout for thirty years starting with their days with The Fat Chance Blues Band. Mitch Mestel (bass), Daniel East (drums and percussion) and Ron Taylor (keyboards) round out the band; and all have impressive personal resumes. Although this evening, Taylor was sidelined due to medical reasons and Jack Bluni joined in on harp. We wish Taylor well.

They started playing to a sparse audience and even without feedback, the band was immediately rockn'. They have the full package with each member contributing their part. But I particularly liked Wenzel's lead - he can play. And the addition of the harp really gave the band a more Chicago feel. I also enjoyed their takes on Johnny Cash and Jimi Hendrix, but this isn't a cover band. They have plenty of original material that showcase their unique style of music. As the set progressed more people filtered in and by the end of the first set, their was a line to enter. Seeing late arrivals was not unexpected, since the venue is out there, I mean, pack you lunch before you drive out their. But people do - coming from as far as Ft. Lauderdale and even West Palm Beach.

We had to leave after this initial set in order to embark to the Keys, but not to worry. We will see plenty more of IKO-IKO at Boston’s Red, White & Blues Festival July 2nd in Delray Beach.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Boston’s on the Beach - Red, White & Blues Festival

We were planning on leaving South Florida the last weekend in June, until I read about a blues festival being held at my favorite music venue: Boston’s on the Beach in Delray Beach. Starting Friday June 2nd through Sunday June 4th, they are hosting their Red, White & Blues Festival, presenting national and regional blues acts. In fact, it was the selection of regional artists which were enough of a draw to extend our stay. Yes Tinsley Ellis, Nicole Hart, and Elvin Bishop are awesome; but the local blues talent in south Florida is strong. I'm talking about IKO IKO, Jeff Prine Group, Damon Fowler, Albert Castiglia, etc. And then the bonus is one man band Ben Prestage performing for most of the evening Friday night. I've been trying to see him again since Merlefest - this is one talented dude. Finally, ticket prices for this event is extremely affordable. Sunday is free, Friday is $12 and Saturday is $18. Buy now and a two day package is only $20. $20 for that talent. Oh yea.

Red, White & Blues Festival - Friday, July 02, 2010
Ben Prestage 6:00 PM
Piano Bob 6:00 PM
Nicole Hart & The Nucklebusters Blues Band 6:30 PM
Tinsley Ellis 8:30 PM

Red, White & Blues Festival - Saturday, July 03, 2010
Blues Dragon 12:30 PM
Big Popa E 1:30 PM
Jeff Prine Group 2:00 PM
Bill Wharton 3:30 PM
ShackDaddies 5:00 PM
Albert Castiglia 5:30 PM
Joey Gilmore 7:00 PM
Elvin Bishop 8:00 PM
Damon Fowler 10:00 PM
The Fabulous Fleetwoods 10:00 PM

Red, White & Blues Festival - Sunday, July 04, 2010
Captain Reese 1:00 PM
David Shelley 2:00 PM
The Funkabilly Playboys 2:30 PM
The Nouveaux Honkies 6:00 PM
JP Soars 9:30 PM
The Nucklebusters Blues Band 9:30 PM

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friday Night Live Music in the Palm Beaches

There's not telling where you might find good live music. Case in point, on Friday nights during the summer the Palm Beach Zoo hosts Safari Nights. Each Friday night the zoo opens from 5:30pm to 8:00pm and offers children's games and crafts in their Nature Workshops, special up-close animal encounters, interactive wildlife shows, and most importantly, live entertainment. This evening George Manosis sang covers next to the Interactive Fountain. Until the rain washed everything out, it was a nice evening - the boy playing in the fountain while I listened to good music. Only thing missing was an alcoholic beverage. I'll also have to catch Manosis somewhere around town.

To satisfy that need we ventured to the Old Key Lime House, where the Mighty Quinn was rocking a packed house. It was quite a crowd considering the monsoon that was raining down. The Old Key Lime House has really developed a nice live music schedule - ten years ago it was virtually non-existent, but now, expect to hear good music Thursday-Sunday. We might be back tonight for the Midlife Crysis Band.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

MyJoog Venue: Boston's on the Beach

One of my favorite beaches in Florida is Delray Beach - not only does the actual beach contain flat, hard sand and clear water - but there are plenty of restaurants and parks within walking distance. One of these is Boston’s on the Beach; which provides live music every night except Wednesdays. And even better; they provide live music throughout the day on Saturdays and Sundays. And they have some pretty talented regulars performing during these shows and in the evening: Amber Leigh, Crazy Fingers, The Hep Cat Boo Daddies, Rythmation, and Midlife Crysis Band to name a few.

But my favorite night is Tuesday, when the venue hosts Blue Tuesdays with Famous Frank Ward and a special guests. This guests range from local Florida blues acts to regional and national headliners. This Tuesday we heard Philadelphia based the Deb Callahan Band. What a treat. And what a band: Allen James, Gerry Lee, and Tom Walling. They can smoke up a room - and along with Callahan's soulful vocals - make for an entertaining show. Wish I could follow them to Pineapple Willys. For the remainder of June Bostons has scheduled Terry Hanck, The Nouveaux Honkies, and Jeff Prine Group. See you then.