Archive for November, 2016

cosmic charlie’s re-opens

cosmic-charlies-10Strike up the band. Actually, strike up several of them. Cosmic Charlie’s, the self-described “funky music club” has completed its move to a new neighborhood. The venue officially opens for business in its new location at 723 National Ave. on Thursday and will resume its regular schedule of live music this weekend.

“We’re still going to have a lot of the same format, a lot of jam bands, bluegrass on Sundays, things like that,” said co-owner and talent buyer Mark Evans. “I’m more of a rock ‘n’ roll fan, personally. So this time I’m going to try and do more stuff that I’m interested in, as well. I was just selling what was selling before, trying to cater to the neighborhood, because that’s who was coming. But that was never our goal.”

The “neighborhood,” as in the one they vacated earlier this fall, favored the student population of the University of Kentucky. The venue opened in 2009 in University Plaza at the corner Woodland and Euclid in the same space that housed the popular Lynagh’s Music Club during the 1990s.

“We had been open at Woodland Avenue for seven years,” Evans said. “Our lease was coming to a close and we were ready to move on from that location. So at the beginning of the summer we decided to start shopping.”

The move to National Ave. places the new Cosmic Charlie’s the heart of Warehouse Block, one of the more recent Lexington neighborhoods experiencing a retail and residential renaissance.

“Now that we’re in a neighborhood with families and a more mature audience, I hope to present a wider array of genres at the club,” Evans said.

The new Cosmic Charlie’s first live music performance with be a Friday tribute show to the Pixies and Weezer as performed by Halloweezer and Brenda. Saturday brings in Louisville jam band Vessel with Fatbox. A pair of 25th anniversary shows by local Grateful Dead cover band Born Cross Eyed is scheduled for next weekend (Dec. 9-10). For a full schedule of confirmed Cosmic Charlie’s shows, go to cosmic-charlies.com.

 

in performance: jim james

jim james.

jim james.

If Louisville audiences didn’t have the bearded, bushy haired visage of Jim James already imprinted on their collective rock ‘n’ roll psyches, they might have wondered exactly who the artist was onstage last night at the Louisville Palace.
For sure, it was James, back in his hometown for Thanksgiving. But this was very much a workingman’s holiday as the singer, guitarist and song stylist was in the midst of a tour away from his more familiar artistic enterprise, My Morning Jacket. That explains, to a degree, what might have thrown anyone not versed in the music he makes under his own name. In My Morning Jacket, James is a conjurer, a rock star of epic and very mobile design. With the five member band he assembled last night, which used the Louisville indie trio Twin Limb as its backbone (as well as the evening’s opening act), James largely unplugged from rock ‘n’ roll to become the psychedelic soul crooner that regularly sings with low, reflective fervor on his new solo album, “Eternally Even.”
James and his band played all of the record’s eight tunes (nine if you count the fuzzed out, keyboard/percussion dominate prelude to “We Ain’t Getting Any Younger”). The most immediate difference between these songs and MMJ music, outside of the new record’s very outward preference for lo-fi psychedelia and Shuggie Otis-style soul, was the heavy de-emphasis on guitar. While James tried to calm any game changing fears by prefacing the show-opening “Hide in Plain Sight” with a jagged electric guitar break, such moments were sporadic. The bulk of the evening’s guitar chores went to Twin Limb’s Kevin Ratterman, whose playing worked off more ambient waves of processed sound rather than organic leads, solos or hooks. As such, newer works like “Same Old Lie” and “True Nature” favored a denser melodic fabric than the familiar MMJ drive while slightly older works from James’ 2013 solo debut record, “Regions of Light and Sound of God” (in particular, “A New Life”) opted for a more vintage pop appeal that, at times, recalled the massive musical constructions of Phil Spector.
All of this was appealing enough even though James appeared, from a performance standpoint, a little stymied. Free of heavy guitar detail, be prowled across the stage empty handed as he sang. Sometimes, the effect allowed him to dig into the more spiritual, introspective vibe of the new material. In other instances, he just seemed uncomfortable and lost.
But the ace in the hole of this two hour show was an extended encore segment that served as a compact but riveting journey through James’ music outside of MMJ. It began with the solo acoustic “Changing World,” pulled from the 2012 album “New Multitudes” that pinned new music to unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics. That bled into perhaps the evening’s most moving and unexpected number, an a cappella turned sing-a-long version of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are-A Changin’” that sounded frighteningly topical. James then regathered his band to revisit Monsters of Folk’s “Dear God,” the New Basement Tapes’ “Down on the Bottom” and two more “Regions of Light” songs, “Of the Mother Again” and “State of the Art,” with a cover of the Velvet Underground’s emancipating “I’m Set Free” spliced in between. This was where folk, soul and, yes, blazing rock ‘n’ roll crashed into each other, creating a remarkably full artistic profile where a Jacket was clearly not required.

in performance: david crosby

david crosby.

david crosby.

David Crosby seemed to take delight last night at the Norton Center for the Arts in Danville at the notion high ranking politicos might be rankled by his 45 year old song “What Are Their Names,” a tune that lambasted corporate driven wars and the body counts they trigger.

“I’d like to think they don’t like me singing it,” he remarked before the work swelled into an incantation that had all the earmarks of a vintage protest tune. Here’s the thing, though. This actually proved to be a fish-out-of-water moment for a singer whose career began during the Vietnam era. The rest of the program centered far more on the contemplative music from Crosby’s just released “Lighthouse” album.

Aided by Snarky Puppy bandleader, bassist and guitarist Michael League, who co-wrote much of the new material and produced all of “Lighthouse,” Crosby performed seven of the record’s nine songs. Thematically, those works reached from the flight of global refugees (“Look in Their Eyes”) to more internalized meditations (“By the Light of Common Day”). Musically, their outlines were light in structure and folkish in design. But they were also poetically jazzy in execution, especially when you factored in contributions by keyboardist Michelle Willis and guitarist Becca Stevens, both accomplished songwriters whose primary function last night was to recreate the vocal stacks Crosby and League created for “Lighthouse” onstage. The resulting music was attractive enough though somewhat tentative sounding in spots (this was just the second performance of this quartet’s young existence) with little variance in tone and temperament from song to song, save for the more percussive syncopation of the New York ode “The City.”

There were also nods to the past, of course. “Laughing” and “Orleans” were resurrected from Crosby’s 1971 debut album “If I Could Only Remember My Name” with League summoning pedal steel-like ambience from electric guitar on the former. “Carry Me,” a 1975 work originally cut with Graham Nash, nicely retained its steadfast sense of hope in this drummer-less setting. Taking the most fluid advantage of the ensemble’s vocal possibilities, though, were “Déjà Vu” and “Guinnevere,” the latter of which gave Stevens and Willis the job of delivering the high harmonies supplied most often through the years by Nash.

Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” slowed with summery, pastoral grace, was saved for an encore, capping off a performance that made all the requisite stops in the past but was obviously built for maximum performance in the here and now.

 

sharon jones, 1956-2016

sharon jones.

sharon jones.

By contemporary music standards – meaning criteria that stressed image and appearance over artistic instinct and integrity – Sharon Jones was a success story that should have never happened. She possessed not the camera ready looks that sold most careers, nor did she cater to the commercial whims of artists that turned the soul music traditions she took to so naturally into shameless, retro-directed stabs at stardom. As the breakout artist of the heralded indie soul-roots label Daptone, Jones was never a revivalist, either. She simply embraced the emotive core of predominantly new songs and let her potent yet very elemental voice roar. Sure, her brass-savvy band, The Dap Kings, dressed her vocals with the kind of organic orchestration that helped define soul and R&B music during the ‘50s and ‘60s. But this particular pairing of singer and band never remotely sounded like a purposely retro driven enterprise. In terms of spirit and stamina, Jones and the Dap Kings created a soul sound that was never less than immediate and vital.

Jones died yesterday at age 60 after an extended battle with pancreatic cancer.

Jones’ Daptone records – especially, 2007’s “100 Days, 100 Nights,” 2010’s “I Learned the Hard Way” and 2011’s far more aggressive and funky “Soul Time!” were splendid documents of a vintage-flavored soul sound retooled with vitality for the present day. But it was onstage, where the full powers of Jones and the Dap Kings came into play.

I was lucky enough to see them in performance twice. The first, a 2008 concert in Louisville was surprisingly tentative. Jones sang great, but the show’s numerous quirks, including a faulty monitor mix, seemed to get the better of her to the point where she briefly left the stage. All in all, an accomplished evening that fell short of expectations.

The second was at the now defunct Buster’s in 2010 and the difference was astounding. The voice, the band, the audience and, most of all, the spirits, were all in peak form. The latter attribute sold the show. Having been introduced onstage as “the most brilliant star in the Daptone soul universe,” Jones gave a quick demonstration of the dance moves she grew up with – the Pony, the Funky Chicken, the Mashed Potato and the Swim – with the Dap Tones’ three man horn team at her side. Later, she triggered the volcanic vocal intensity of “When I Come Home” but chilled the festivities for the regal soul cool that sat at the heart of the title tune from “I Learned the Hard Way.” At every step, the singer looked to be having the time of her life. The singing was astounding, the music was arresting, but it was attitude that ignited this joyous, cross-generational soul celebration.

“Soul music ain’t something you can count off every few measures as you go,” Jones told me in an interview prior to the performance. “Oh no. You’ve got to feel it. It all comes from the heart. And that’s what you hear when we’re onstage – that presence, that happiness, that spirit. You’re feeling what we’re feeling.”

 

a new home for the moonshiner’s ball

Summer is a tough time to contemplate before winter even arrives. But the promoters behind The Moonshiner’s Ball have a big between-season announcement to share. When the festival convenes again in May, it will have a new home.

What that means is the Fourth Annual Moonshiner’s Ball will relocate from HomeGrown Hideaways, the “hundred acre holler” in Berea that helped host the event for the past three summers, to the 400 acre Jenkins Farm in the Red Lick Valley of Estill County.

“We have inched closer and closer to capacity for the last two years,” said festival organizer Travis Young. “Last year, I think we probably would have sold it out if it hadn’t been for really bad weather. So we’ve had our eye out for a place that would allow us to grow. This year, we’ll be pushing the lineup to where we’re going to need a little more space.

“It has some other perks, as well. It has a big, wide, flat campground where we can really spread it out and make it very easy for everyone to get in and out. We’ll have a lot of extra space to park cars for people who want to come in on day passes.”

Although a privately owned property, Jenkins Farm is no stranger to music gatherings. It was home to the Red Lick Valley Bluegrass Festival for 37 years.

An initial lineup of performers for next year’s Moonshiner’s Ball will likely be announced in January along with the start of ticket sales. The festival’s mix of national and regional acts in recent years have included The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Ben Sollee, Vandaveer, The Duhks, Tyler Childers and Daniel Martin Moore.

Performance dates for the 2017 Moonshiner’s Ball are May 19-21. That will again make it one of the first major Central Kentucky music festivals of the summer season.

For more information go to themoonshinersball.com.

 

mose allison, 1927-2016

mose allison.

mose allison.

A third giant has left us in just under a week. First, Leonard Cohen departed. Then went Leon Russell. This afternoon came word that Mose Allison has died, four days after his 89th birthday.

Allison’s visibility to the pop mainstream was modest compared to the legacies of Cohen and Russell. That’s largely because he wasn’t a pop artist, but rather a jazz and blues pianist who sang like an unassuming hipster elder, squeezing wry social commentary and pure acerbic whimsy into songs far too clever to be considered sarcastic but too worldly to be brushed off some kind of pseudo-pop novelty.

But make no mistake. Rock ‘n’ roll was plenty hip to what Allison was up to over the years. Among his most vocal champions was Van Morrison, who spearheaded an Allison tribute album, “Tell Me Something,” in 1996. Then there was The Who, who turned Allison’s shuck-and-jive meditation “Young Man Blues” into an atomic anthem on its landmark 1970 concert album “Live at Leeds.” A newer generation chimed in when Americana journeyman and noted song stylist Joe Henry served as producer for Allison’s final studio album, 2010’s “The Way of the World.”

But the beauty of Allison’s music sat in its simplicity. He was as basic, at least on the surface, as someone like John Prine was (and still is) to singer-songwriter based folk music. Like Prine, there was a tremendous narrative depth to Allison’s songs. But since the latter’s whispery, conversational singing was so summery, the potency of his music could often be disarming. There was an unforgiving nature to his lyrics, though, with song titles regularly serving as set ups for savage punch lines.

A few examples:

+ “Everybody’s Crying Mercy” (… “when they don’t know the meaning of the word.”)

+ “Your Mind is on Vacation” (… “and your mouth is working overtime.”)

+ “Ever Since the World Ended” (… “I don’t get out much anymore.”)

Allison would regularly mix jazz and blues standards in with his own songs during concerts – gems both familiar (the Willie Dixon staples “Seventh Son” and “I Live the Life I Love”) and comparatively obscure (the 1947 Nat King Cole hit “Meet Me at No Special Place”). It all became part of the Mose lexicon – a light, bluesy and imminently soulful sound that was immovably cool.

Allison played Lexington regularly during the ‘80s – at the now-demolished Breeding’s on Main and at the University of Kentucky’s Memorial Hall. Though nearing 60 at the time, his style was essentially unchanged since his first albums on the Prestige label were issued in the late ‘50s. When in town, Allison usually played with pickup bands of local musicians that quickly fell in sync with the swift, blues-savvy swing of his songs.

On record, there was a tendency, at times, for producers to gussy Allison’s music up with additional instrumentation, especially on his late ’60s and early ‘70s albums for Atlantic. His most recommended and enduring work was displayed on records built around unobtrusive piano trios. As such, the two volumes of “The Mose Chronicles: Live in London” (released in 2001 and 2002) are ideal for novice fans. But are trio sets and serve essentially as primers on Allison’s sardonic and soulful songs, all of which are sung with a casual performance ease that nonetheless packed a substantial emotive wallop.

In the end, Allison was perhaps the best judge of his own artistic dichotomy. In one of his most clever late career compositions, 1987’s “What’s Your Movie,” he seeks a means of defining a hapless profile. Maybe his motives were likely rooted elsewhere, but I’m guessing this enduring musical original was singing, with cool and elegance to spare, about himself.

“What’s your movie? Are you the artist who’s misunderstood? The bad guy trying to do good? The nicest damn fella in the neighborhood?”

 

in performance: jd mcpherson

jd mcpherson.

jd mcpherson.

It takes no small level of nerve to have one of your own compositions, much less your sophomore album, share its title with one of pop music’s most familiar vanguard songs. But when JD McPherson tore into the jubilant charge of “Let the Good Times Roll” last night at Willie’s Locally Known, you tended to place the classic jump blues tune of the same name on the back burner. McPherson used his song to ignite an unrelentingly potent 75 minute set where roots music styles and traditions were reassembled into a keenly crafted, sonically crisp and joyously executed sound of his own.

Some of the references were pretty exact, like the rockabilly strut that propelled “Crazy Horse” or the Coasters-meets-Beach Boys croon that warped around blasts of turbo charged guitar twang during “Bridgebuilder.” But there were also times when McPherson’s ultra-focused band zeroed in on second generation inspirations, such as the jittery chorus of “Firebug” that recalled some of Nick Lowe’s Rockpile-era music from the late ‘70s. Curiously, McPherson acknowledged the influence directly by following the tune with a cover of Lowe’s “Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day,” one of the first tunes in the set to decelerate into a cooler, more contemplative groove.

Mostly, though, it was McPherson’s total reinvention of the vintage sounds that made for the performance’s most arresting moments. To that end, the show’s entire pacing came into play. This wasn’t a performance that dwelled on small talk. One song seemed to incite the next, creating a domino effect of sorts that had you absorbing its impact through clusters of tunes rather than through individual ones.

An extraordinary case in point came when the buzzsaw guitar coda from “Bridgebuilder” gave way to a bossa nova-like interlude from keyboardist Ray Jacildo. That, in turn, crashed head on into cyclical guitar riffs from McPherson and Doug Corcoran that detonated “Head Over Heels,” the least roots-savvy song of the night. The guitar maelstrom was further agitated by waves of electric fuzz bass by Jimmy Sutton, who otherwise spend the majority of the evening adding to the set’s more organic, rustic stride on acoustic upright bass.

For sheer diversion, there was the encore version of “Oil in My Lamp,” which sent this Americanized roots and rock celebration down to Jamaica for a very cool and credible serving of ska.

Expertly paced and vigorously executed with a clean but still deeply soulful sound mix to cap it all off, this one the most authoritative, efficient and seriously fun rock outings of the fall.

 

leon russell, 1942-2016

leon russell.

leon russell.

We’ve lost another one. In a year that has seen the exit of far too many artistic elders (and a few younger ones, too), we now must add the name of Leon Russell, the piano-pounding Okie who was a living rock ‘n’ roll contradiction.
In performance, especially during his early ‘70s heyday, Russell was a Midwestern variation of Jerry Lee Lewis, blending blues and barrelhouse piano with a distinctive vocal howl that was as primal as it was celebratory. But the songs he will forever be best known for – “A Song for You” and “This Masquerade” – were ballads covered by scores of stylistic disparate artists. Likewise, the fearless, festive abandon of his early performance years was balanced by a scholarly music reputation, one forged by extensive studio session work behind artists as far ranging as The Monkees and Frank Sinatra.
I first became enamored of Russell’s music not through his own recordings or even his own songs. One of my first album purchases as pre-teen was Joe Cocker’s “Mad Dogs and Englishman,” a chronicle of a traveling rock and soul circus that, even with top-billing going to Cocker, was built around Russell’s direction and, more overtly, the joyous drive of his piano work. Listening to it again this morning, it was remarkable how fresh and vital the recording still sounds.
Russell’s first six studio albums, released yearly between 1970 and 1975 are classics. The first three, “Leon Russell” (1970), “Leon Russell and the Shelter People” (1971) and “Carny” (1972) should be considered essential listening. But the country covers collection “Hank Wilson’s Back, Vol. 1” (1973), the Mose Allison-inclined swing set “Stop All That Jazz” (1974) and the gloriously produced and engineered “Will o’ the Wisp” (1975) were royal sleepers that challenged audience perceptions of Russell by stretching his stylistic reach. He paid a price for the latter three records, though. By altering his musical course, Russell interrupted the commercial momentum of a career that never fully recovered.
Russell slipped into touring purgatory not long after that. It seemed like he was forever on the road, a fact reflected in his often perfunctory concerts. Every so often you would catch him on a good night, though. A 2012 concert here at Buster’s, done in the midst of a career renaissance triggered by the hit 2010 collaborative album “The Union” with Elton John was one of his stronger local outings.
But to experience Russell in his primal prime, search out his near show-stealing performance in George Harrison’s “The Concert for Bangla Desh.” Better yet, give a spin to the Okie soul that runs rampant through Russell’s early records – specifically songs like “Prince of Peace,” “Delta Lady” or “Crystal Closet Queen.” They contain a rock ‘n’ roll presence as jubilant as it was distinctive. No one, not even Russell himself in his later years, has been able to summon such a spirit since.

jd mcpherson keeps rolling with the times

jd mcpherson.

jd mcpherson.

There was a time when being labeled a revivalist might have gotten under the creative skin of JD McPherson.

Admittedly, it’s hard not to soak in the load of roots friendly accents that help the Oklahoma native’s 2015 sophomore album “Let the Good Times Roll” live up to its title. But the thrill of McPherson’s music has always been its ability to rewire those inspirations for a sound as organically modern and it is effortlessly vital.

“There probably was a time when the musicologist in me wanted to say, ‘Well, we’re not doing this or doing that.’ But that really doesn’t matter to me too much as long as people are talking about what we’re doing.”

In recent years, there has been considerable talk about McPherson’s roots conscious songs. It could be sparked by the sleek after hours feel of “Bridge Builder,” which balances a blues variation of Coasters-style crooning until riffs of Link Wray-friendly twang detonate the tune. Then again, the fuss might be stemming from “It’s All Over but the Shouting,” a party piece full of brassy cool that sounds like The Blasters had they worked out of Kansas City juke joints during the ‘50s instead of Los Angeles punk clubs in the ‘70s. But when McPherson whipped all those inspirations together during a downtown Lexington concert held outdoors as part of the Breeders’ Cup Festival in 2015, labels didn’t matter. What emerged was a full blown block party.

“I still get really excited by early expressions of rock ‘n’ roll,” said McPherson, who returns this weekend to Lexington for a performance at Willie’s Locally Known. (The show was initially booked for the new Cosmic Charlie’s location on National Ave., but  its reopening has been rescheduled to late November or December.)

“That stuff still rings true to me. There is something about swinging and rhythm that’s always going to be cooler than playing it straight. But how do you juxtapose something against it that makes it all swing? These weird push and pull things are fascinating to me. There are a lot of realms to be explored with that stuff.”

Though taken equally by punk and roots music in his teens, McPherson grew up without any exposure to live music. In the cattle ranching terrain of Southwestern Oklahoma, there wasn’t much of it to be found.

“When I became a teenager and was able to drive, I made trips to go see shows because there was literally nothing within a 2 ½ hour drive from where I grew up. So it was all about being in my room and just reading, listening and playing. It really was a kind of insular, sort of hermetic approach to music up until a certain point.

“There wasn’t any internet then. Instead, I would hear something from a radio station in Dallas on a rainy day, write the title down and call the music store in Fort Smith, Arkansas to order it. Two weeks later, when my family would go to Fort Smith, I would pick it up and grab magazines to read all I could about the music. I mean, that was all I cared about. That was all I did.”

Just before his debut album, “Signs and Signifiers” was re-released by Rounder Records in 2012, McPherson had been working as an arts and technology teacher. Through that, came an insight to the eagerness of young minds and the necessity to encourage whatever artistic pursuits they called out for.

“I learned that a young person’s mind is lot more voracious and a lot more open than those of most adults. Kids are always trying to figure things out. That’s the thing I remember from being that age. You want to be more comfortable. You want to find something that helps you figure out who and what you are. Any kid with any talent for something… you should really nurture that and help bring that out, whether that kid is a mathematician or painter or anything. It’s really important they are around supportive people.

“I didn’t have art or music classes as a kid. I went to a rural school that didn’t have the budget for that. I wonder what it would have been like if I could have learned to read music or had a band instrument to play or piano lessons. So it’s very important for me to make sure a young person is being helped to become a more fully realized adult.”

JD McPherson and Erica Blinn at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at Willie’s Locally Known, 286 Southland Dr. Tickets: $15. Call 859-281-1116 or go to willieslocallyknown.com.

leonard cohen, 1934-2016

leonard cohen.

leonard cohen.

My favorite parting shot of Leonard Cohen comes from, as far as I can tell, his only Kentucky concert – a 3 ½ hour poetic manifesto of sublime elegance performed at the Louisville Palace on the eve of Easter in 2013.

Instead of casually walking offstage before intermission or encores, he skipped. At 78, he skipped like a kid at a carnival, seemingly enraptured by the sounds and sights around him.

That image sticks with me this morning, the day after his passing at age 82. As a poet and pop stylist, his loss is incalculable. It is hard to imagine folk and pop music, especially work attributed to singer-songwriters of multiple generations, having its sense of narrative insight without artists like Cohen. Sure, he can be more properly viewed as a poet with his songs serving essentially as half-spoken recitations of spiritual reflection, unwavering romance and thinly veiled social discontent. While his stories usually didn’t end well, they seldom succumbed to despair. Even his darkest meditations like “The Future” (“I’ve seen the future, brother… it is murder”) were fueled by a proud, subdued defiance. But when his heart openly yearned, as it did on such early classics as “Bird on a Wire,” Cohen and his songs took flight. Maybe that’s why he skipped offstage with childlike animation in Louisville. Maybe he was trying to see if he had wings – or, at least, if they still worked.

I bought my first Cohen album in 1974. It was called “New Skin for the Old Ceremony.” Critics, for the most part, hated the record because it departed from the coarser folk sway of the initial Columbia releases that had already defined his career. I was especially taken with a song called “Field Commander Cohen,” a darkly orchestrated work filled with great love/war metaphors and a protagonist described as “some grateful, faithful woman’s favorite singing millionaire; the patron saint of envy and the grocer of despair.” Short of Bob Dylan, who could come up with a character profile like that?

Any summation of Cohen’s career, however, has to pay heavy respect to the last decade of his life. After returning to the stage following a 15 year absence that included time spent living in a California monastery as a Buddhist monk, Cohen dived into a period of extensive recording and touring that yielded three wonderful studio albums (the most recent of which, “You Want It Darker,” was released as recently as last month) and four live recordings. They presented Cohen as a fedora wearing sage, an artist that recited his songs in a deep, inviting whisper alongside contained orchestration that was almost noir-like in its mix of cool and contemplation.

There is a bit of the gentlemen monk within these remarkable victory lap recordings. The same held true for the Louisville concert, when Cohen sheepishly apologized for the fact his band didn’t include the then-hospitalized bassist/bandleader Roscoe Beck that evening.

“I hope you won’t feel any disgrace to the enterprise,” he remarked.

Quite the contrary. Thank you for your years of service, Field Commander Cohen. We salute you.

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