Archive for the ‘ Music ’ Category

Elvis is King!

Elvis Costello and the Imposters

Elvis Costello and the Imposters

Unbelievable show this evening by Elvis Costello at Taste of Minnesota. He dug deep into his archive for hits from just about every album. Highlights were “Radio Sweetheart” (with Van Morrison’s “Jackie Wilson Says” thrown into the middle), “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea,” “Monkey to Man,” a hopping new tune called “Sulphur To Sugarcane” a truly amazing “Watching the Detectives,” and the phenomenal encore of “Alison” and “What’s So Funny (‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding)?”

elvis-1We got to the festival early in the afternoon to watch The Vogues, which got rained out halfway through. Walked around looking at junk for sale, checked out Uncle Chunk’s show, then settled in for a short set by new talent Kate Voegele. Nice voice and easy on the eyes. Not a bad combination. Ate some overpriced fair food at the booths before the big event. Had a pretty good vantage point right in the center, just outside the paid seats. Elvis kept beckoning the crowd to come inside the barricades and sit in the paid seats, but the security bruisers kept taking ’em down and hauling ’em out when they tried.

While Elvis played, I kept remembering Mary Kay Lambert’s pool party in Virginia Beach back in 1978. I went into her house and took the record that was playing off the turntable (I think it was Frampton Comes Alive) and I put on My Aim is True, which I had just plunked own a cool $4.99 for at the record store. There were many shouts of protests, until Elvis revved into “Welcome to the Working Week,” followed by “Miracle Man.” By the time we got to the end of side 1, people were jumping. They had to hear side 2 of this record that sounded like nothing we had ever heard before. As you can see, Elvis and I go back a ways.

Tonight, Elvis was in fine form, both in voice and guitar-playing. He rocked for close to two hours, barely pausing between songs. When you have more than three decades of hits and you’re still making new, relevant music, it’s a real race to get through your catalog in one two-hour show.

This will have to go down as one of my top 10 concerts of all time. Yes, I enjoyed it that much. Sorry, Jeni, you missed a great one.

Kate Voegele, my new favorite singer.

Kate Voegele, my new favorite singer.

More Joanne Shenandoah Video Goodness

Jo, Di and Leah perform Riding Free from Joanne’s new album, Bitter Tears Sacred Ground, a tribute to Johnny Cash, Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman, and Peter LaFarge, at the Fond du Lac Reservation on June 28:

Joanne Shenandoah Video Goodness

Here it is, as promised, the world premier of Joanne Shenandoah‘s live video of “I May Want a Man,” a song made famous in the show “Northern Exposure” and my favorite song by Jo. Note the crappy weather at Fond du Lac — the rain really started to pour shortly after this song was over. Enjoy:

Fond du Lac Visit

Jesse, Diane, Joanne and Leah Shenandoah at the Fond du Lac reservation on Sunday.

Jesse, Diane, Joanne and Leah Shenandoah at the Fond du Lac reservation on Sunday.

Keith Secola also performed at the band member days concert.

Keith Secola

We spent three days up at the Fond du Lac rez, visiting my good friend and former Pioneer Press colleague, Deb Locke, who now edits the tribal paper there. Deb invited us to her tribe’s band members day to hear our old friend Joanne Shenandoah and her sister and daughter perform at the all-day outdoor concert. Joanne, a Grammy-winning singer who has recorded with Neil Young, Robbie Robertson and Bruce Cockburn, is married to Doug George, a former columnist for the Syracuse newspapers and a founder of the Native American Journalists Association. Doug and I have been hanging out together and causing trouble for going on two decades.

Unfortunately, Jo, Diane and Leah were delayed for nearly two days when their flight into Duluth was cancelled, stranding them in Detroit. When they finally got to town, we had a nice visit at the Black Bear Casino‘s buffet before show time.


Joanne Shenandoah

At the concert, Jesse got a chance to sell CDs at Jo’s “booth”and to visit with everyone backstage. It was a really nice, informal concert. We kept hoping that the weather would cooperate, but it was cold, windy and raining lightly for most of the day.

The rain held off for the first half of Joanne’s show, but really started blowing in when Leah took to the mike to sing one of her own songs. After a brief pause, Jo, Diane and Leah returned to the stage for several more songs.

The Shenandoahs were followed by popular Ojibwe rocker Keith Secola, who led off with his best known song, “NDN Car.” Keith is a perennial presence at the state fair and always puts on a rockin’ show.

After the concert, we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hotel to dry off and warm up in the hot tub.

All in all, a great trip and a nice visit with some old friends. We’ll post a video tomorrow of Jo singing my favorite song (I requested it while we were eating dinner, and Jo did not disappoint).


Jesse hangs out at the Keith Secola concert during a brief break in the rain.

Katie in Concert

Eastview High School Concert Band plays a Sousa march in its final concert of the 2009 school year.

Jesse’s Percussion Ensemble

Here is the seventh- and eighth-grade percussion ensemble from Falcon Ridge Middle School performing their last concert of the year.

New Video From Litefoot

Here’s the new video from Litefoot, a singer from my tribe in Oklahoma. You might know him as the star of The Indian in the Cupboard, but Litefoot is a well-known singer in Indian Country and the owner, with his wife, Carmen, of the Native Style Clothing company. Litefoot is a frequent visitor to the Shakopee Wacipi in August, so if you’re out that way powwow weekend this year, swing by his booth and say “Osiyo.” And be sure to check out the stylin’ clothes he and Carmen are selling.

Help me. Please.

Help me. Please.

Jesse Asked Me to Post This…

Singer Neko Case has posted her new single, “People Got A Lotta Nerve,” online for a free download and promises to donate $5 to Best Friends Animal Society for everyone who posts a link to the song on their web site or blog.

From the antilabelblog:

Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009, Best Friends Animal Society is one of America’s foremost animal rescue organizations. Founded in 1984, Best Friends advances nationwide animal welfare initiatives by working with shelter and rescue groups around the country. On any given day Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the nation’s largest facility for abused, abandoned and special needs companion animals located in southwestern Utah, is home to approximately 2,000 dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds, and other animals. The society also publishes Best Friends magazine, the nation’s largest general interest, pet-related magazine with approximately 300,000 subscribers. …

How do I post on my blog?
Every time a blog reposts “People Got A Lotta Nerve” by Neko Case, we will donate five dollars to the Best Friends Foundation. Here’s how to participate:

There are two ways ANTI will know you reposted the track. If your blog is currently being registered in Google Blog Search, Technorati, The Hype Machine or, we will automatically be able to find it. If not, please email with your blog post information and we will be sure to add you to the list of participating donors.

Download the song here

Joanne Shenandoah’s New Album

Joanne and Katie from a few years back

Joanne and Katie from a few years back

Our friend Joanne Shenandoah, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, actress and all around good person, tells us that she has a new album about to drop on Jan. 20. We can’t wait to hear it! Joanne has one of the greatest voices in contemporary music today (and I’m not saying that just because she’s married to my buddy, Doug George, and lets me sleep on their couch when I’m visiting central New York). She has recorded with Neil Young, Robbie Robertson and Bruce Cockburn — or, I should say, they have recorded with her. She and her sister, Diane, were the opening performers at Woodstock II back in the early ’90s. They were also asked to perform at the White House for the unveiling of the Sacagawea dollar coin. Check out her songs (and download them) on iTunes.

The picture above was taken a few years ago at Ganondagan State Historic Site in New York (as you can tell from how young Katie is in the photo), where Joanne sang and Katie performed with the Young Spirit Dancers. (Yes, I did the beadwork on Katie’s crown and dress).

A Story About Our Friend, Joanne

Here is an online interview with our friend, Joanne Shenandoah. Joanne is a Grammy-nominated singer from Oneida Territory in New York and pretty well-known in native music circles. We got a chance to visit with Joanne and her sister Diane during their two recent concert tour stops in the Twin Cities.

Posted by Art