Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: River Music Experience

River Music Experience “Live” Sessions Continue on December 8th

xmasbooksigningslivemusic-0081Another of the Quad City Times’ “live” music sessions went down at the River Music Experience’s Mojo Café on Monday, December 8th, 2008, kicking off at 5 p.m. with The Kaps, moving on to “Keep Off the Grass” from 6:40 to 6:20 p.m. and, at 6:20 p.m., the band Hugh Hefner.

The introduction that “Times” Arts & Entertainment editor David Burke gave the group pronounced their name as “huge,” not “Hugh.” They have been together a year and a half and covered groups like the Bangles “Walk Like an Egyptian” and “We Got the Beat,” which certainly had the volume. Hugh Hefner had a full-bodied rock sound and a female vocalist with a country twang. The drummer was on the money and the bass guitar support was full throttle full speed ahead.

Following Hugh Hefner was “Cosmic” from 7 to 7:40 p.m. There were 2 female vocalists who sang harmony well and whose voices meshed together well. “Cosmic” has been playing as a group for 6 years and, this night, they played (among others) “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” and “A Bad Case of Lovin’ You.”

xmasbooksigningslivemusic-0111“Head Held High” played last from 7:40 to 8:20 p.m. They were very loud, flat, at times, and, although the drummer did yeoman’s work keeping the group on tempo, it was really more noise than music. At the risk of having the lead singer send hate mail, I have to say that there is a difference between screaming as loudly as you can and singing. The band literally emptied the joint. It was painful to listen to and each song ended with an off-key twanging sound from the guitarist. The lead singer attempted to make up for tonal quality by volume and by thrashing around onstage, neither one of which worked well. At the end of the set, there were only about 3 people left in the entire place, and I had moved as far away from the noise as possible and was still getting a headache.

There is no charge for listening to the five bands, however, so the price was right, and all bands are being filmed for later enjoyment at qctimes.com/goanddo. The “live” sessions continue on Tuesday, December 8th, and, again, in January, on the 12th and 13th (Monday and Tuesday.) I plan to be there with books from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on those nights.

Live Music from the River Music Experience on Veterans’ Day

The second night of “live” bands performing took place at the River Music Experience’s Mojo Coffee House on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 (Veteran’s Day). The weather was horrible outside, so this may have had an effect on the crowd that was smaller than it had been on Monday night.

The first band (which I missed) was Fire Sale. I did meet a very cute young blonde person who told me this was his band. I’m sure they were awesome.

livemusic2-0061The second band, a heavy metal group called “Through Terror,” were the showmen of the night. Lead vocalist Mike Saviano has been doing his study of classic heavy metal rock showmen. Other members of the band were Brooks Swanson on lead guitar; Chris Kostielney on drums; Jsin Grievous (lead guitar); and Sean Deppe on Bass. The group has played together for about 2 years.

I asked the group if they had day jobs. Jsin works at a guitar center and O’Tool Design; Sean (Deppe) works at Honda; Mike Saviano works at a metal shop (appropriate); Chris Kostielney plays drums; and Brooks Swanson (lead guitar) is working on an engineering degree to help implement solar panel technology as an alternative energy source.

danilynn-howeThe Dani Lynn Howe Band featured lead singer Dani Lynn Howe (from near Cedar Falls, IA) who has been singing since she was 13. The group has been named favorite C&W group for the past 5 years by the “River City Reader” and Dani Lynne’s alto was very pleasant, with excellent back-up from her band.

“Tapped out!” was a more mature group with Brandon Brown on lead vocals. Brandon had one of the better voices of the night and was ably backed by Kirk Wood on guitar and vocals; Tim Olson on bass guitar; Tom Zick on drums; Steve Svec on guitar and vocals; and Rich Kraves handling sound. “Tapped Out,” which has been together since 2006, played “Just Got Back from Baby’s,” “Smokin in the Boys Room,” “Rebel Yell,” “The Other Side” (by the Red Hot Chili Peppers); and “China Grove.” A very enjoyable group.

livemusic2-012The last group of the night, The Ron LaPuma Band, have opened for Blues Traveller, Corey Stevens and Foghat. The group plays a lot of biker gigs and will soon appear (January 31) at McCormick Place at the Chicago Bike & Parts Expo. They will also appear at the Iron Horse Music and Bike Fest in Sabula, Iowa. LaPuma grew up in Chicago at Clark & Diversey and has worked with B.B. King (Ron says he has a guitar signed by B.B. King). Certainly Ron was a guitar virtuouso. The other two members of the band were Steve Hintze and Jimmy VanHyfte. The group played “Choo Choo Mama,” “You Got Me Runnin'”; “I Just Want to Make Love to You,”; “Voodoo Child” and a tribute of “All Along the Watchtower” (Neil Young), which I think they dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan. The lead guitar was fantastic and had a great voice. Both of the other 2 backing musicians were very good.

For sheer thrashing showmanship, the young charismatic heavy metal dudes (especially Mike Saviano) scored big, but for musicianship, Ron LaPuma and “Tapped Out” get my vote, with a nod to the pleasant voice of Dani Lynne Howe and her band.

River Music Experience Hosts and Films Local Bands “Live” (Monday, Nov. 10 and Tuesday, Nov. 11)

The UnforgivenThe River Music Experience hosted “live” sessions of five bands on Monday, November 10, 2008 and the sessions were filmed by the Quad City Times for online posting. Arts and entertainment editor David Burke was there to cover the event, which promises to become even better on Tuesday, when the live sessions continue.

I missed the very first band because of an accident on the bridge and the slow traffic on the one-lane River Drive. They were listed as Sinjo Thraw Mash (noise).

Next up were The Unforgiven, consisting of Emily Majetic on guitar and vocals, Paige Kakert on bass guitar, Kayline Malzewski, and Austin Drake on drums. Austin is an 8th grader at Wilson Junior High School in Moline, and both Emily and Kayline are also Wilson Junior High School students. Paige attends Wood Intermediate School in Davenport. All very cute kids. Lots of chutzpah to get up there and sing when they are so young.

livebands-004Second band was “Bumper Crop,” featuring Craig Smith on vocals and guitar, Justin Moulton on guitar and backing vocals; Dustin Roelle on bass guitar, Joe Hale on drums and Adam Smith on samples and turntables. One of the band members was holding an ice pack to his face moments before showtime and said he’d shut the car door on his head. The drummer for this group was especially good.

livebands-005“40 Minute Detour” played next, featuring lead singer Chad Clarke, drummer Josh Morrissey and bass player Josh Elmer (AKA, “the new guy”). Josh Morrissey graduated from Wethersfield High School in Kewanee. He spent some time at Augustana before moving to DeKalb and attending Northern Illinois University, majoring in audio engineering. He has a physics degree in that field. When I said I didn’t know that Northern Illinois had an engineering program, he said he had constructed a contract major field where you write up your own major and submit it to the Powers-that-Be and that the field was mostly a physics degree. What does Josh do now for a day job? He works as a metal artist in Bishop Hill, Illinois. Josh is 30 years old, is very cute, and is unmarried.

I asked if he might not find that he has to move to a larger city to pursue his field and he did acknowledge, “I might have to move somewhere else.” One of the band members lives in Port Byron and they practice there “one to two times a week.” When asked what gigs they have played, Josh mentioned the River Music Experience and (in days of yore) the Brew ‘N View (Rock Island.) Both “Bumper Crop” and “40 Minute Detour” (so named because lead singer and songwriter Chad Clarke gets lost a lot and may suffer from “directional dyslexia”) were very good bands.

Also excellent was the evening’s closing act, Tennessee Tony Cavett and Greg Wilde on harmonica. Tennessee Tony has only been in the area about 4 years but that was long enough for him to meet and marry Connie, who works as a surgical nurse at the River Bend Animal Clinic. Born in Chattanooga, Tony said he had been playing music “since I was about 10.”

Tony’s grandmother was the bartender at the only bar at the Nashville airport and, as such, she met a lot of famous singers. She used to take pity on the struggling singers and songwriters she met and she ended up handling all RCA parties for FanFair. “One morning I came downstairs and there was Kris Kristofferson, passed out on our pool table,” said Tony, adding that this was before Kristofferson had made it big. He also reminisced about the time that Brenda Lee sang “Happy Birthday” to him on his 13th birthday.  He has met many of the greats in Tennessee, such as Willie Nelson and Ray Charles.

livebands-012How, exactly, did Tennessee Tony end up in Moline, Illinois?

It’s a long story that involves Hurricane Ike, the Rick Etheridge Tree Service in Moline, Tony’s being out of work and heading to the storm-ravaged area seeking employment. He didn’t find much work, but he met Rick and Rick invited him to come visit in Moline, Illinois if he ever got up here. (Tony was heading to Chicago at the time). One thing led to another and Tony spent the summer in Moline before meeting the lovely Connie and finding employment with a Wisconsin-based telecommunications firm called Network Engineering Techniques, which does all the telecommunications work for Sam’s Club and Walmarts in the Midwest. Tony mentioned “Jason and the Scorchers,” a band that was big in the seventies, and now is in to alternative C&W rock. The “Times” just did a story on them recently.

Tony’s set list, before he left with his lovely bride, included covers of “Midnight Special,” “Singin’ the Blues,” “Talk to Your Daughter,” “Ever Seen the Rain,” “Long Gone Loves Blues,” “You Ain’t Goin Nowhere,” “Hopelessly Hoping” and “Can’t Find My Way Home.” Two original songs that he and his partner sang were entitled “Surrender’s Ferry Lane” and “Painkillers.”

If you read this on Tuesday, stop on down to the River Music Experience where there will be another set of 4 to 5 bands playing “live” and being filmed for the internet. The price was right (i.e., FREE.)

Another attraction will be co-author Mike McCarty (Bram Stoker Finalist, 2005, and Midwest Writing Center Writer of the Year) and me selling and signing copies of our two new books: Ghostly Tales of Route 66 and the sci-fi thriller/romance/adventure novel Out of Time. (For more information on us, go to www.outoftimethenovel.com.) These will make great gifts for those hard-to-buy-for friends, are only $10 and $15 (respectively) and we’ll sign them. (Heck! I’ll even draw a picture of Snoopy on the inside cover if you ask me nicely!) How many other local authors with 80,000 word novels in print can you find while listening to at least five bands absolutely free. With the money you save on a cover charge, BUY A BOOK! (You KNOW you want to!!!)

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