He Knows all the Chords

J. Geils

Just over two months ago J. (John Warren) Geils passed away at the age of 71.  He was best known as the lead guitarist in the eponymous J. Geils Band, a group that had their heyday in the 1970s and were last heard from, in recorded form, in the 1980’s.

In recent years,  Geils had reinvented himself in a way few aging members of Baby Continue reading


Chris Isaak at the State Theatre New Brunswick, NJ, November 5, 2012

It has to be the band uniforms.

That was, for a moment last evening, my reasoning for what is my fairly incongruous love of Chris Isaak and Silvertone. While my tastes are all over the map, Mr. I is more mainstream than a lot of  other folks I love. So I have some figuring out to do.

Uniforms are as plausible an explanation as any. In my youth, all the Motown Continue reading

Why Howe?

Giant Sand
Original Release: 1987

Howe Gelb is a genius. Why does it seem that so few have noticed?

Maybe they have. Or maybe the 25th-year reissues of the earliest Giant Sand records will change that. But I’m not holding my breath. What I am going to do is revisit the first Gelb/Sand record I ever heard in the hopes it piques some interest.

Let’ s start with a memory trick. I’m pretty good with when things happened so I’d swear to you that  Storm was released in 1986. But Gelb himself says it was 1987 and so I defer. My certainty is rooted in where I was–in limbo, basically, between Nassau County and Manhattan. You Continue reading