Welcome to the October 2015 edition of the SAMF Members’ Newsletter. This month we have a message from SAMF Chairman Dwane Hall on the recent Foundation purchase of video equipment. The newest Board member Angela Hastings has a message for you, Kenny’s Korner is back and Buffalo Bob returns with his thoughts on the power of music, what’s coming up this month, and free ticket opportunities.
1st Annual Awards Show
The SAMF Board Of Directors would like to thank the membership for attending and supporting our 1st Annual Sportsmens Americana Music Foundation Awards Night on September 21, 2015.
Message From The Chairman Of The Board
Hello, Members of the SAM Foundation. Dwane here, to thank you for your participation and support over this past year and fill you in on the purchase and use of the digital television station we now have in our possession.
One of the key points of our mission is to document Buffalo’s music history with audio and video captured at the highest level. This will ensure for ages that there will be a library of our musical past to be used for archiving and education. This equipment also allows the foundation to create a television show of network quality, to expand to the rest of the musical lovers around the world that Buffalo and Western New York is a destination for great live performances of music and the arts in general.
With the friends that we have made on the national level; with touring bands and inserting area talent as guests on the LIVE at the ROCK television show, we now have a national platform that is a win/win for everyone. Right now we are leaning on streaming the shows on the internet. We also are talking to other TV stations and networks like HBO. This is now going to happen after years of networking and having an idea that music lovers will seek out to see and hear.
We still have a lot of work to do. The next step is to create a formula or outline for the show that will be iconic. We have members like Jack Cummings, Jay Hall and me with years of experience; along with a cool cast of characters that will make this show be the main wheel that funds our foundation for years to come.
Also, I want to thank all of you who attended our 1st Annual Awards Show on Monday, September 21st. A big part of why it was such a great success is because of all of you who were there.
If anyone has any questions or connections please feel free to contact me. The support you all have shown has been the highlight and the motivation for me personally to keep moving forward.
Angela Hastings SAMF Board Member
As your newest board member, I want to tell you what a thrill it is to be on the journey of bringing awareness of the Americana Music genre to everyone out there!!! Of course most of you members have already been on this ride but for me it happened just recently. My parents were professional classical musicians – my mom an opera singer, my dad a violinist and my brothers and I were aficionados of the latest rock and folk (but had to have classical training or else). Jazz was in the mix but never any type of country. Classical Ballet and being a Teaching Artist became my gig.
It is a fact that if the musicians and the songs are good, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. The Sportsmen’s Tavern introduced me to the Americana music genre by showcasing the best of the best- from the house band, Stone Country, to Rodney Crowell and all the rest.
I’m embracing this as an education to a music genre that is so rich with history and passion, it fills me to the brim – hence the desire to cultivate this passion in others. “Drench me like the rain that falls” Buddy Miller
The vision of this foundation is to expand community appreciation through education, performance and broadcast. The foundation’s accomplishments to date prove that its mission is being realized and is only moving ahead. This summer’s Valley Community Center’s summer youth program with Katie Panfil introduced instruments to young children, planting their love of music. The purchase of new recording equipment to enable the foundation to produce professional quality broadcasts is happening right now! And what about our 1st Annual Awards Night? What a success (and a blast).
The board is working hard to present ourselves as virtuosos. We continue to grow our network by connecting with Americana Music affiliations across the globe. Raising money through grants, sponsorships and memberships are moving along.
We promise that you, as members, will be involved in this evolution, and we welcome any concerns, suggestions or questions that you may have. We are in the process of organizing and re-organizing the way we reach out to you. You see – you are the seeds of this organization and very important to us. New opportunities are on the horizon for you and more discounts are coming your way!
Peace & Love
I think we all can remember when we first started listening to the genre that is now referred to as Americana, of course, for many of us; it wasn’t called that back then. Maybe it was country, folk, country rock or even something else, but it is a time that we can think back & say, “That’s where it began”. Poco, Flying Burrito Brothers, New Riders of The Purple Sage were the first bands that converted me to the music that I love today. Bob Lefsetz is an American music industry analyst and critic, and author of the email newsletter and blog, the Lefsetz Letter. The newsletter has tens of thousands of subscribers. He writes this newsletter/commentary about music. It’s always well written and comes out as he sees fit. I included one that really struck a nerve with me, as the first recording from the New Riders of The Purple Sage was in my opinion a masterpiece and I love every track as much today as I did when I first heard it. Please read his thoughts and sign up for his newsletter if interested.
SAM Foundation Board Member
The Lefsetz Letter
FIRST in MUSIC ANALYSIS
NEW RIDERS of the PURPLE SAGE
The first album, not their whole oeuvre, because nothing thereafter was quite as good, and every Deadhead owned the initial LP. Jerry Garcia played with them, live and on record. He was into pedal steel. But the truth is the John “Marmaduke” Dawson-led New Riders opened the Dead gigs forty five years ago and it was like they were part of the same group, you expected to see them, and when they put out their first album you bought it. And it wasn’t as good as “Workingman’s Dead” and “American Beauty,” but it was accessible and the more you played it the more you came to like it.
That’s right, we paid for ’em and we played ’em. Everybody had a limited amount of music. And if an LP disappointed you and you stopped playing it, it was truly bad. I can only think of a couple in my collection. The second Vanilla Fudge LP, “The Beat Goes On,” and the second New Riders album, “Powerglide” come to mind. Oh, “Powerglide” was much better than “The Beat Goes On,” but it was such a come-down from the debut that I winced when I played it, and stopped buying New Riders albums thereafter. However, the fourth record, “The Adventures of Panama Red,” was a return to form. But at that point I was off them, I had limited cash, and I was limited to hearing it on the radio and at other people’s houses.
PORTLAND WOMAN: My favorite track on the LP. It’s always the slow stuff that grabs you after a few listens, that warms your heart that you sing in your head. When you drove south from Middlebury College, on Route 7, you go through Pittsford. I remember singing “I want to get me a Pittsford woman” over and over again, as a joke as we journeyed in search of the action. That’s what you did back then. No one was getting laid at Middlebury. There were only 1600 students and the girls were like your sisters, and everybody was so wrapped up in their studies they didn’t have time to party, nor did they have the inclination. So, we’d pile into Hughes’s ’66 Catalina and drive to all girl Green Mountain College and other locales. And we got high and we had some funny conversations, but that was about it. Wanna have a significant other? Move to the city, the odds are better, and no one knows who you are, and this is a relief after living in a small town.
I DON’T KNOW YOU: The opening cut, which everybody knew, you heard it pouring out of dorm rooms, it’s upbeat and catchy and was the most famous song on the debut.
HENRY: Dope-running. Back when that was still adventurous, back before it was dominated by the criminal element, at least north of the border. Marijuana was still cool. Before everybody turned to ‘ludes and then cocaine and found out you could mess up your life real bad. Also, it wasn’t until the middle of the seventies that sensimilla came on the scene. You could smoke a whole lid of dope with your friends and just get mildly high. Today a couple of hits will floor you. So, so much of music was caught up in the dope culture, because the establishment pooh- poohed it. Actually, more than that, the establishment CRACKED DOWN ON IT! The draft and dope. You had to worry about both. Getting your ass shot off in Vietnam and getting busted for a tiny amount of weed and going behind bars. So, when the New Riders played this in concert…, when you were high in your dorm room and it came on…you smiled.
GLENDALE TRAIN: A story song that was much closer to country than rock and roll. But at this point our minds were open, between the Byrds, CSN and the Dead themselves, we were becoming inured to the sound. “Glendale Train” is a classic that fits perfectly on Sirius XM’s bluegrass channel today. Used to be this music was more than niche, back before your image became more important than the music and pop was everything.
DIRTY BUSINESS: They still cut stuff like this today, yet few listen to it. But back when we had plenty of time, we enjoyed eight minute tracks like this. “Dirty Business” is hypnotic, play it now and you’ll find your mind set free, like you’re in the mountains and you’re high, whether naturally or substance-induced.
LAST LONELY EAGLE: Close your eyes and you almost think Jerry Garcia is singing. Well, at least in parts! Sure, there’s the ecological element, after Kent State so many retreated to the land, before they became narcissistic and went to EST and the Me Decade was hatched, but “Last Lonely Eagle” is nothing so much as the sound Garcia ended up pursuing on his solo efforts, when his music could be more personal, when he could follow his muse without worrying about what the committee had to say. You see Garcia had enough fans to keep him alive, to buy not only his solo work but his work with Merl Saunders and so much more. This is the career you want.
LOUISIANA LADY: The album closer, the kind of track that gets you up to the point where you’re let down when the album ends. You’ve got no option but to flip it over and play it once again.
Dawson is dead. The New Riders no longer open for the Dead; they stopped doing that long ago. The band is a period piece that everyone who was there knows and no one who wasn’t doesn’t seem to. But the truth is our less than superstar acts were so much better than so many hit acts of today. The New Riders of The Purple Sage were not formulaic, they had melody, Dawson could sing and they all could play.
What a concept!
— Visit the archive: http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/
— If you would like to subscribe to the Lefsetz Letter: http://www.lefsetz.com/lists/p=subscribe&id=1
BUFFALO BOB SEZ
Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Since you’re getting this newsletter every month as a member of the SAM Foundation, right off the bat, you’re a music fan. You’re one of approximately 350 Western New Yorkers who care so much about the music you love, you’re willing to pay dues to an organization that will further enhance and expand the music that’s important to you. I’m sure you’ve all experienced an emotional jolt from some of the music that moves you; like a certain song that fires you up on a summer day in the car with the windows down, a late night live jam from some of your favorite musicians, a song or an album about a political issue you care about or a heartfelt song that seems to speak to something difficult you’re going through in your life. Or maybe like the astronaut played by Jessica Chastain in “The Martian”, who loves disco and tortures Matt Damon with it, you just want to hear music that makes you move and feel good.
In the past few weeks, I spent a lot of time putting together some music for a celebration of my father’s life. He passed away in mid-September and a couple weeks later we had the service. Other than some wild bagpipe tunes and some beautiful Scottish fiddle ballads my father liked, I put together a song list that was for me and our family. And it was comforting to consider the songs that I chose and hear the music that meant so much to me. And it might not have been obvious but the songs all had some link to my father’s life. Dave Alvin’s “The Man in the Bed Isn’t Me”, “Harps and Angels” by Randy Newman, “Highways” by Joe Purdy, “Wide River to Cross” by Levon Helm and “Raise a Glass” from Jackdaw all hit the spot. And as the celebration went on we continued with, “Before the Devil Knows We’re Dead” by the Turnpike Troubadours, “Bump Wood” and “Rockabilly Funeral” by our own spokesman Bill Kirchen, and the most powerful of all, “The Last Hobo King” by Mary Gauthier, with its hobo refrain for passing away, “he took the westbound out of here.”
And then, five days after the celebration, my fifth granddaughter, Meadow Lorelai McLennan, was born and I was reminded of, and played, John Hiatt’s “Real Fine Love.”
“Well, the babies are all sleeping
And the twilights givin’ in
She looks like you, you look like her
And we all look like him
Well, maybe it’s just the little things
The way I feel tonight
A little joy, a little peace and a whole lotta light”
And the next day, my 7 and 4 your old granddaughters told me how much they liked the children’s’ CD I bought them with Sportsmen’s alumnae Lee Harvey Osmond and other Canadian artists, “A Mighty Tribe” with its excellent version of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
How about that, to paraphrase John Lennon, for watching life’s wheels go round and round?
1st Annual Awards Show
At the beginning of this newsletter, we thanked the members and published some photos from the big event on September 21st. In my view the event was a great success. The performances were outstanding especially seeing Jim Lauderdale and Bill Kirchen playing together with Stone Country. The award winners all gave great speeches and it was terrific seeing them all sit in with the night’s guests. The entire night felt like a really big deal and it was gratifying that so many members were there in attendance. We listed all the winners in last month’s newsletter and many photos are on the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundations Facebook page.
Last month’s free concert tickets went to Drew Quigley for Gurf Morlix, Rose McLennan for Appleseed Collective and JoAnn Cleary for Wayne Hancock, all at The Sportsmen’s Tavern. And Doris Jones and Joy McCarville won tickets for Leon Russell at Buffalo Ironworks.
There is a lot of great music all over WNY in the coming weeks. Some of the highlights are:
Devil Makes Three and Yonder Mountain String Band at The Town Ballroom.
Ray Bonneville, Fred Eaglesmith and The Howlin’ Brothers at 189 Public House in East Aurora.
And at The Sportsmen’s: Igor and the Red Elvis’, Kinky Friedman, Willie Nile, Savoy Brown, Jason Heath & The Greedy Souls, Delta Moon, The Joe Krown Trio presented by The Big Easy and The Nighthawks. Also, The Dave Rawlings Machine is coming to Babeville.
SAMF Board Member