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Good Rockin: The McDaniels on DBX

19 Feb



Dorothy and I returned to our favorite radio station WDBX for an hour set back in December. It was just the two of us, playinga mix of blues, country, jazz, and folk, but I’m gonna tell you, we were rocking pretty nice. There’s a recording of the set, below. I hope you give it a listen and use some headphones when you do. It’ll be worth it.


loy addington

Loy Addington

We want to thank WDBX for having us on. And especially Loy Addington, host of Lonesome Roy’s Country Hoedown. Every time  we get together with him, it feels like a
party to us.



IMG_0204 (1)

WDBX in Carbondale, IL





Ghost SFPAns in The Sky

15 Feb

I’m posting audio below of a filk song Toni Weisskopf wrote to be sung to the tune of “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” The lyrics are below the audio icon, and below them a glossary to the various jargon from sci-fi fandom contained in the song.

I told Toni that I’d have it recorded by last May. The good news is that I’m not quite a year behind schedule.

Ghost SFPAns in the Sky

By T.K.F. Weisskopf Reinhardt

(after Stan Jones, 1948)


At DSC a fine young fan got on
the waitlist today
Upon a couch he rested as
He went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd
Of old SFPAns he saw
Plowing through the lobby
And some of them could draw.

[Verse 2]
Their hands were still on fire and
Their stencils made of steel
Their glasses black and shiny and
Their hot breath he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as
Their comments made him sigh
For he saw the SFPAns drinking hard
And he heard their mournful cry

Minac I owe! Minac aiee!
Ghost SFPAns in the sky

[Verse 3]
Their eyes were blurred, their faces gaunt
Their shirts all soaked with sweat
They’re writing hard to match page count
But they ain’t caught Lon yet
Cause they’ve got to write forever at
That con up in the sky
Al’s typer snorting fire
As they write on, hear their cry

Minac I owe! Minac aiee!
Ghost SFPAns in the sky

[Verse 4]
As the SFPAns rumbled by him
He heard Ned call his name
If you want to save your soul from hell
From page counts in our range
Then Jophan change your ways today
Or with us you will write
Trying to match Hank’s golden wit!
And with Dolbear an Ignite!

Minac I owe! Don’t make me OE!
Ghost SFPAns in the sky
Ghost SFPAns in the sky




DSC – Deep South Con. One of the oldest science fiction conventions that happens in the southern U.S. Been going fifty-four years now.

SFPA – Southern Fandom Press Alliance. SFPA is a science-fiction apa (amateur press alliance) founded circa 1962. Members all send fanzines into the Official Editor (OE), who assembles them into packages called “mailings” containing one copy of every zine and sends them out to each member. Apas used to be the heart of much of the most exciting activity in sci-fi fandom. Mailings could run close to a thousand pages. Membership rosters were limited, and fans often spent years and years on a waitlist before gaining entrance into to the more respected apas. With the advent of the internet, apas have generally experienced dwindling memberships. And though most of the great apas continue, few if any have a full roster these days. In its day SFPA was one of the great ones, and many sci-fi professionals and well-known fans got their start in SFPA.

SFPAn – A member of SFPA. Pronounced Seffpan.

stencils– Mimeograph stencils. Before photocopiers and home computers, most fanzines were printed on mimeographs. The text would be cut into a stencil using a typewriter with the ribbon removed. The stencils would them be attached to a large curved ink pad, which could be turned by hand to print the individual letter sized pages that were fed one by one into an open ended tray that the ink pad would run over.

Minac – Minimum activity. In order to stay in good standing, apa members have to contribute a certain amount of pages. (Often six pages every other time a mailing is sent out.)

page count– the number of pages in an entire mailing or the number of pages contributed by a member to a mailing or over a period of time.

Lon – Lon Atkins, a long time member and OE of SFPA, who contributed prolifically, perhaps more so than any other member in SFPA’s history.

Con – Convention, in particular a sci-fi convention.

Al  – Al Andrews, a founding member of SFPA, good guy, and co-editor of a respected fanzine called Iscariot. Late in life he was gifted an electric typewriter by some of his fellow SFPAns.

Ned–  Ned Brooks, a SFPA member for over forty years, who was also SFPA’s official archivist. Over the course of his fannish life, Ned assemble a collection of tens of thousands of fanzines, which included a complete run of SFPA’s mailings. The collection is now housed at the University of Georgia.

Hank – Legendary sci-fi Fan Hank Reinhardt, a collector, editor, writer, active member of SFPA and The Society for Creative Anachronisms, and all around wild man.

Dolbear –  Dennis Dolbear, a fan whom I never knew, but who I know was loved throughout sci-fi fandom.

OE – Official Editor. See SFPA, above.



Midwest Action! reviews He Flies

12 Nov

midwestaxn_logo_200x200pxMidwest Action!, a site with some street cred around the heartland, recently reviewed my He Flies album. I probably won’t destroy any suspense by saying they liked it. Otherwise, why would I be putting up a link to the review  here? But I did think the reviewer had an interesting take on He Flies, and the site imbedded mp3s of of four of the He Flies package v4.2.inddalbum’s songs. I was also surprised to see which four they chose to imbed. Anyhow, the review’s at: Midwest Action!

True Colors by Gina Clowes

29 Oct

The following review originally appeared as a Facebook post by Lew Hendrix. An accomplished player of the banjo (among other instruments), Lew gets just a little technical here and there for a non-banjoist such as myself, but I found the review a pleasure to read and interesting enough that I downloaded the album in question. (Of which I’m glad.)


True Colors, a review

Lew Hendrix


51GutcoITeL._AC_US200_I want my music friends to take note of Gina Clowes‘s first album True Colors. It amazes me, for there is something highly original here, something that I can’t see where it comes from, or just how it’s done. I knew Gina was a fine banjo picker before I got this CD, but it still astounded me.

When you hear True Colors, don’t expect traditional bluegrass banjo consisting of 3-finger rolls, flattened 3rds and 7ths, interspersed with a crop of standard licks. Don’t expect newgrass either. Of course, Gina uses banjo rolls, but also novel licks, pinches, chokes, and full chords whapped hard or expressed subtly where you don’t expect them. Still, these novel, unexpected, sounds seem just right in context. Gina’s vocals are interesting too. Her voice often sounds quiet, but she alters it to sound sarcastic, wistful, and the like, to fit the mood of the song. I find the music so interesting that I keep playing certain cuts over and over to catch a certain phrase, vocal intonation, or a gob of banjo notes and chords.

All but one of the songs and tunes are original. Some shade wonderfully into a different

Gina Clowes

Gina Clowes

genre, such as gypsy jazz, western swing, or baroque, becoming musical fusions. The lyrical songs are just as diverse in their topics and moods. The lack of traditional cabin-in-the-hills songs and only one love-lost song makes room for songs of positive love (“True Colors”), personal strength (“Puppet Show”), wife abuse (“For Better or for Worse”), finding God (“Looking for Sunshine”), and a bittersweet song of temporary separation (“I’ll Stay Home”).

Technically, the recording of the songs is great: Each instrument and voice comes through clearly and with much better tone than most bluegrass CDs have. Mark Stoffel is one of three people listed in the recording and mixing, and this sounds like his work.

If you don’t want to take my word on True Colors, you can listen to snippets on Amazon.
P.S. A caveat: I’m biased toward this sort of “bluegrass from a different mother.” My attention span usually ends in the middle of a traditional bluegrass album.


Reviewer Lew Hendrix plays a pretty mean banjo himself. Based in the Carbondale, Illinois area, he performs and teaches in that locale.



Hash’s Faves: “Deserted Cities of the Heart”

14 May

Wheels_Of_FireThis week’s pick is more goddam hippie music; it’s the song “Deserted Cities of the Heart”performed by Cream, written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, from the band’s 1968 album Wheels Of Fire. The basic band of Bruce, Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker were augmented on the studio disc (it was a double album, one disc recorded in the studio and the other live) by producer/multi-instrumentalist Felix Pappalardi. On this particular song Bruce plays bass, acoustic guitar, cello and sings; Clapton plays electric guitar; Baker plays drums and tambourine; and Pappalardi plays the viola.

I’ve been keeping this under my hat for awhile, but for the last year I’ve been rehearsing with a new band (our maiden voyage will be on July 21) called Medicated Goo. It’s led by guitarist/vocalist John Kimsey, and is kind of an offshoot project of his Art Thieves and Twisted Roots Ensemble bands, both of which I’ve been a part of. We’re joined by John’s longtime musical partner-in-crime Dr. Brad Newton on drums; I’m playing bass and a little bit of guitar (!). The band is a cover band, with our repertoire limited (kind of) to the music of Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Traffic, although that allows us a certain amount of leeway (we play a couple of Blind Faith tunes and various other miscellanea). So what I’m trying to say here is that I’ve been immersing myself in the music of Cream.

This is the music that I grew up with, and with rare exceptions I’ve been finding that every song we add to the repertoire, I know in my bones. Maybe I’ve never played it before, on either instrument, but in my head I know how the song goes. But the really cool thing is that now that I’m way older and hopefully have a little more knowledge, I can really appreciate what made this group so special. The particular combination of personalities and musical backgrounds combined perfectly, as far as I’m concerned. In the great John McLaughlin biography Bathed In Lightning there’s talk that he was approached to be part of the band that Bruce and Baker were forming, but for whatever reason he declined. As much as I love McLaughlin, and as intriguing a band that that would have been, it wouldn’t have been the same; John was too much of a jazz player, and would have tipped the scales of the band’s chemistry too far in that direction, I think. Clapton’s background, personality, and his love for the blues helped to ground the band; Clapton himself would never describe himself as a jazz player, but he was sufficiently open-minded to be able to fit in with what the other two guys brought to the table. Baker really was a jazz drummer, while Bruce brought this whole other thing. Besides being a pretty good, and experienced jazz musician, he also had some folky leanings, and had some classical aspirations as well.

This song highlights all of these things; it has a rockin’, bluesy solo by Clapton, and the instrumental interludes sound like a combination of Baker’s jazz background and Bruce’s classicism. I wonder who came up with those bars of 3/4 in the verses, Baker or Bruce? And Jack’s bass playing is just beautiful, driving yet lyrical. The lyrics, by poet Pete Brown, are sufficiently surrealistic to accompany whatever trip you might have been on (I always pictured this song accompanying a painting by de Chirico).

Much like the Beatles, the personalities had quite a lot to do with the band’s creativity. Say what you will about Ringo’s drumming (personally, I think he’s a great drummer), but the Beatles simply would not have been as great with any other drummer. And although they started out as chums, I think that their last few albums, when personalities started to clash, were arguably their finest. And so it was with Cream; Baker and Bruce cordially (and sometimes not-so-cordially) hated each other, and I think that accounts for quite a bit of the fire, and certainly the tension, in their music. Clapton would eventually opt out of the drama, choosing the laid-back vibe of Bonnie and Delaney Bramlett’s band, and a long period of heroin and alcohol addiction. Cream’s career only lasted 2 years, with 4 studio albums, but they helped to change the face of rock music. I’d be willing to bet that quite a few rock musicians of my generation had their eyes and ears opened to the possibilities of jazz by their extended jamming, and for better or for worse the long, extended jam became a staple of rock music; punk and grunge music (again, for better or for worse) arose as a reaction against those excesses.

You can listen to it here:

This post is reprinted from News From The Trenches, a weekly newsletter of commentary from the viewpoint of a working musician published by Chicago bassist Steve Hashimoto. If you’d like to start receiving it, just let him know by emailing him at


Steve Hashimoto

He Flies: Some Info

3 Apr

We just finished a CD called He Flies, and it’s streaming free at BandCamp:

The CD is also available at CD Baby and digital downloads are available there, too. Digital downloads are also available at Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, and everywhere else you can download music. (At iTunes just get into the store & search for “He Flies by Kent McDaniel.”)

The lyrics to all the songs are up at BandCamp, too.

And here are the people who played on the album:


Alpha Stewart plays percussion and/or drum kit on “May You Still Believe,” “He Flies,” and “Big Jim.” He’s who we count on for drums when we play out.


Robert Marshall plays drums on “Zombies Stink (& Vampires Suck),” “May Third,” & “Your Love Set Me Free.” He also mixed and mastered the album, at The Cave Recording in Evanston, Illinois.


Dorothy McDaniel, plays bass and flute.

andrew mac

Andy MacCrimmon plays drums on “Over Yonder & Round The Bend,” “Cards on the Table,” and “Dance Till Morning Light.”


Nicki Broeker sings harmony on “Cards on the Table.”


John Temmerman plays sax and saxello on “May You Still Believe” and “Cards on the Table.”


Gus Friedlander plays banjo on “over Yonder & round the Bend.”


Kent McDaniel is on vocals, acoustic and electric guitar. And wrote the ten originals on the album.

Playlist: Live at Custer Street

3 Apr

Here’s a playlist of the songs we recorded for our Live At Custer Street Album, recorded a few summRecorded at Custer Street Fair in Evanston, Illinoisers ago at Evanston’s Custer Street Fair. Originally we were only recording the songs to use with a video of the show we were making. After we listened to the set, though, we decided we had to do an album with it; it’d come off too nice not to. I’m playing guitar, Dorothy McDaniel’s playing bass, and Vic Varjan’s on drums. Dorothy and I are both singing, but I imagine you’ll be able to hear who is who.

If you really go for any of the tunes, you’re in luck: They’re all available just about anywhere music downloads are sold.