Cape Ann Big Band Christmas concert in the mood big time at O’Maley

All the Cape Ann Big Band Holiday Swing concert musicians, the special guest vocalists, and the O’Maley school Band students were remarkable. And that cheery festive set was amazing– great job setting the vibe: Doreen Wonson, Kim Sayess, AnnaLee Meezes, True Sayess, and Carlos Menenzes Sr! Little sound snippet video captured below.

Cape Ann Big Band at O'Maley Gloucester MA holiday stage

Bang Bang bar

Twin Peaks The Return - Lissie Wild West.jpg

Twin Peaks: The Return– the roadhouse closing credits at the Bang Bang Club were excuse me damn fine music, chimed with each episode, transcending. (Maybe David Lynch can check out the Gloucester music scene and vocalists. Who should he listen to?)

From the series-  “No Stars” vocals REBECKAH DEL RIO, Moby (guitar) Nick Launay (keyboard), Mick Flowers (drums) co-written by David Lynch, John Neff and Del Rio

“Wild West” LISSIE Twin Peaks closing credits

Twin Peaks The Return songs are for sale – here’s the Amazon link with the two above and Chromatics Shadow, Au Revoir Simone, Eddie Vedder, Julie Cruise…

Son of a Gun We Had Big Fun | scenes from #CapeAnnBigBand summer concert at Gloucester’s famous UU Church

WOW! Son of a gun we had big fun on Middle Street Friday September 8, 2017.




There was an ensemble mix from Cape Ann Big Band self dubbed ‘Jambalaya Horns’ at Gloucester’s famous UU Church for the last Friday Night concert of this popular summer series.  “Music on Meetinghouse Green” passed the hat for the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation (GMF) fire sprinkler project, part of the UU restoration efforts.


Middle Street was alive with the sounds of New Orleans thanks to the Cape Ann Big Band players: 
Gary Wolsieffer – Tuba/bass
Carlos Menezes Jr. – Saxes/Vocals

Zach Gorrell – Keys/Saxes
Rick Geraghty – Drums/Vocals
Jon Persson – Trumpet
Tom Bones – Trombone
Joe Wilkins – Guitar/Vocals

Anthony Rocco – Trumpet/Vocals

sound snippet solos:

Jon Persson trumpet (9 sec)


Zach Gorrell sax (19 sec)


Joe Wilkins guitar (13 secs)


I missed hearing the students from Gloucester’s O’Maley Innovation Middle School jamming with the Cape Ann Big Band. Carlos Menezes has to be among the coolest school music directors in the country.



There was a soccer game at Gloucester High School, a short walk and many pleasant route options away. I marvel at Gloucester’s amazing public spaces.


About the concert series
FREE! “Nine Friday Nights. Nine Great Outdoor Concerts to benefit nine local non-profits.” 
Mayor Romeo Theken likes to remind everyone that “There’s always something going on in Gloucester!” including all the free performances for most every Gloucester Summer NightGloucester MA Free Outdoor Performances Daily…

Kate and the Nouveau Groove at Mile Marker One Monday 6-9PM

Stunning local musicians, Kate and the Nouveau Groove, a 7 piece funk/pop/soul band playing covers and originals, will be soaring at Mile Marker One Monday, from 6-9pm.

Boy can Kate Barry sing! And fantastic musicians!

Zach Gorrell – Keys
Tug Boat – Bass
David Andrew Moore – Drums
Jon Persson – Trumpet
Carlos Menezes Jr. – Tenor Sax
Jason Miele – Bari Sax

Facebook page for the event at Mile Marker One

You tube video from the band with selection of audio clips

Kate Barry

Wednesdays with Fly Amero ~ Tonight’s special guest: Ron Schrank 7pm 7.29.2015

This week only…
Fresh Grilled Salmon – $13.95

Wednesday, July 29th – 7pm
Special Guests: RON SCHRANK!

ron schrank

Ron Schrank is among our all-time favorites at the Rhumb.
Garanteed to be an evening of feel-good music! 7pm! ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
Dave Trooper’s Kitchen…
Prepared fresh weekly by “Troop”… always good!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!
Aug. 5
Fozzie Hill

Looking forward…
…to seeing you there 🙂

Chris Stovall Brown joins the Dave Sag’s Blues Party @ The Rhumb Line. Tonight 8:30pm 7.23.2015

dave-sag-rl-4-3-2014-1 (2)

We’ll provide a musical haymaker this Thursday with the delivery of Mr. Chris “Stovall” Brown to our shores. It’s been a while since Chris has been here and we welcome his string-biting analgesic style as we cavort thru the entire teenage canon of pimply blues and other sordid recollections of days gone by. A blast to play with! Not only that, but the Atomic Clock hisself, Mr. Dave Mattacks, supplies the heartbeat. Expect to hear a lot of bad jokes, rampant diatribes and plenty of whining about the Republicans or the tip jar. I’ll be on base, too, with my newly freed right hand out of the cast (of thousands!) and into a free-range productive baby button, held up by a strong belt of vodka. hit at 8:30 at the Rhoomba Line.

courtesy photo
courtesy photo

Wednesdays with Fly Amero ~ This weeks special guests Annette Dion @ The Rhumb Line 6.17.2015

This week only…
Grilled Salmon – $13.95

Wednesday, June 17th – 7pm
Special Guest: ANNETTE DION!

annette dion

It’s been many years since Annette Dion graced the Rhumb
Line stage. We’d have to go back to the Open Mic days prior
to the dinner format which began in 2009. She’s a songwriter
in the pure sense of the word, putting herself and her music
up on the block, having dogged the streets of Nashville like
so many artists and poets have done before her. I’m happy
to be hosting her awaited return! It all starts early… 7pm! ~ Fly
Dinner with great music!
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
Dave Trooper’s Kitchen…
Prepared fresh weekly by “Troop”… always good!
Plus a fine, affordable wine menu!
6/24 Brian King

7/01 Charlee Bianchini

7/08 Marina Evans
Coming Soon… Fozzie-kins

Looking forward……to seeing you there 🙂
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After 37 years, Gloucester Music is going out of business.

We wish you the very best Susan, but you will be sorely missed.

 6944842501_02577afbe9Matthew Green Photo of Mr. Pumpkin

Promoting one of my Fellow Iowans ~ Patty Larkin at Shalin Liu on May 5th

Patty  Larkin is playing Shalin Liu on Sunday May 5th.  Patty was born in Iowa, grew up in Milwaukee went to college in Oregon and then arrived at Berklee College of Music in the mid 1980’s but Patty Larkin calls Cape Cod home, so Patty Larkin is a Boston area musician.  Patty Larkin is a self-described “guitar driven songwriter” with an impressive 25 year career as one of the great voices of the contemporary urban folk scene. A winner of an unprecedented 11 Boston Music Awards.  Check her out and go see her.

Check out the full week of music and plan your week – some amazing music this week here are some highlights:

  • Tonight – Boston Benefit at Espresso’s 
  • Tuesday – Always great the Woodpeppers with special guest Dennis Brennan (one of my favs) at Jalapenos
  • Wednesday – Dennis Monagle with Julie Dougherty & Dave Brown at Minglewood
  • Thursday – Singer-Songwriter Shuffle at Giuseppe’s
  • Friday – Megan McKenzie Band at Minglewood
  • Saturday – Garnet Rogers & Chris Pahud at Old Sloop Coffeehouse or Jay Geils at Shalin Liu
  • Sunday – Patty Larkin at Shilin Liu

Gloucester Music has Mardi Gras Tickets

Henri Smith featuring Charles NevilleSusan Emerson, owner of Gloucester Music at 210 Main Street has generously agreed to help promote the Y TEENS REBUILD NEW ORLEANS Benefit Concert on Fri 8 Feb by selling tickets in her excellent music store.  This is one of those concerts that is definitely worth crossing the bridge for.  You get to see Grammy-winning Charles Neville with one of our top local performers and support local teens on their service learning trip to New Orleans.

Just a chance to see the historic Larcom Theatre is worth the trip — it’s only 15 miles from downtown Gloucester and there’s plenty of free parking after 5pm (see directions & parking details here).  Check out the video for a taste of what you can expect.

Taking some of Gloucester’s best music to Iowa on a cloud ~ and a prediction for 2020

We may be somewhat old-fashioned, but we still listen to CDs for 3 major reasons:

  1. We prefer the superior sound quality
  2. We have a lot of them that we bought before MP3s were available
  3. The only iPod in our house belongs to John (I can’t stand putting anything in my ear!)

But when Vickie had to jump on a plane to Iowa suddenly last Saturday to deal with a family emergency, she felt the need to bring a taste of Gloucester with her.  So she ripped our copy of Chelsea Berry‘s CD Live in the Moment (one of Vickie’s favorites) and put it in our cloud (the Amazon cloud, that is) so she could listen to it on the plane and while in Iowa — along with lots of other music from Gloucester (see list below) and elsewhere that is already stored there.

Although we’re fans of the Joey Approved Product series, those of you who read our posts regularly know that we’ve never even mentioned a product or service that we use — until now.  This is different.  Why?  Because the cloud is changing the way we buy, store and listen to our music more than any other technology since Edison invented the phonograph.

Here’s why we like the Amazon Cloud Service:

  1. We can access our music using devices we already own, including our desktop PCs, laptop, droid phones and John’s Kindle Fire.
  2. It’s free.  Amazon has a free cloud player for the phone and a free interface for the PC.  There is a a limit to the amount of music you can store for free, but we haven’t hit that limit (remember, we still listen to CDs a lot) and music we buy from Amazon (mostly for John) doesn’t count toward that limit.
  3. All music we buy from Amazon automatically shows up in the cloud and is IMMEDIATELY accessible on all of our devices.  Here’s an example.  John and I are big Bruce Springsteen fans — and Vickie knows that.  On the day Wrecking Ball came out, she was sitting on the couch with John’s Kindle fire and said, “I just got it.” (Wrecking Ball, that is) at which point, I plugged my phone into the stereo (because I don’t put anything in my ear) and began playing it!
  4. All of us in the family can play all of the music at any time without restriction.  For example, while Vickie’s in Iowa, she can play Chelsea’s I Wonder on her phone or her mother’s computer while John plays the same song on his Kindle Fire and I play that same song on my phone hooked up to the stereo (because I don’t put anything in my ear) — all at the same time.
  5. It’s easy to rip our CDs and add them to the cloud (it took Vickie only a couple of minutes to add Chelsea’s CD to our cloud before we took her to the airport).

Some of you may know that I’ve made a number of predictions that have come to pass relative to the Internet, music, etc.  (for example, in 1998 I predicted that by 2003 every business will either have a website or wish they did).  Here’s another one: By 2020, the most common way to listen to recorded music will be to access it from a cloud server.

And here’s a partial list of local artists, whose music Vickie is playing for her family in Iowa from our cloud (in alpha order by artist last name or band name):

Fly AmeroBandit Kings, Inge Berge, Chelsea Berry, Dennis BrennanCape Ann Big BandAllen Estes, Marina Evans, Elle GalloOrville GiddingsTom HauckWill HuntKBMG, Satch KeransPete Lindberg, Michael O’LearyT MaxDennis Monagle, Ned and the Big Babies, Gary ShaneHenri Smith

Cross the bridge INTO GLOUCESTER and catch over 50 live shows this weekend

Oh, you live here?  Aren’t you lucky — all the live music you could ever want is right at your doorstep.  So, how do you decide what do to?  We’ll help you.

Start by checking the full weekend live music lineup here.

And don’t forget The Cowsills at Cape Ann Community Cinema TONIGHT.  You aren’t likely to catch this 1960s phenomenon again any time soon.

Here are links to videos of some of this weekend’s performers:

See you around town!

Alice Cooper complains that pop music is getting sadder. Really? Musicians & Fans: please weigh in on this.

This morning’s Studio 360 radio program had a piece called Why is Pop Music So Sad (listen here) in which Alice Cooper, of all people, complains that modern pop music has gotten sadder since 1965 — and he’s backed up by so-called research.

There’s a simplistic notion among some musicians that major keys and up tempo music is happy, while minor keys and slower tempos are sad.  This notion seems to have been taken inordinately seriously by some academics, who have produced the following chart to make their point (see below).

“Bands that want to sound deep and mysterious cannot play in major keys,” says Alice Cooper.  “I think that we’ve gotten away from the fun in pop music.”

SOOOoooo what do you think?  Shall we have our own local study?

MUSICIANS: Leave a comment with the number of major key songs vs minor key songs and up-tempo vs. slower songs in your repertoire.

LISTENERS: When you go out this weekend (see live music lineup here), listen carefully.  Do you hear more happy or sad songs?  Leave a comment and let us know.

BOTH MUSICIANS & LISTENERS: Is Alice Cooper right?  Is pop music no longer fun?

JOEY: Should we create a poll?

To cross or not to cross ~ the bridge, that is.

Believe it or not, it’s still not too late to get your tickets to see two home-town legends in a once-in-a-lifetime performance tonight at the North Shore Music Theatre.  See yesterday’s post for details — remember 2 years ago this weekend? See video below:

Well, there are literally a dozen live music choices on Cape Ann tonight starting at 6pm.  See full live music lineup here.

Win 2 Killer Mason Jar Iced Teas and 2 Tickets to see ORLEANS 40th Anniversary Concert

Look for the GMG booth at the Waterfront Festival on Saturday and get your Killer Mason Jar Iced Teas.  While you’re there, be sure to enter to win 2 more iced tea jars, plus 2 tickets to the once-in-a-lifetime concert at North Shore Music Theatre on August 31 starring Gloucester legend, Fly Amero‘s touring band ORLEANS featuring the band’s founding songwriter/guitarist John Hall with John Cafferty (of the Beaver Brown band and cult film classic, Eddie & the Cruisers).  Award-winning Gloucester singer/songwriter Allen Estes opens the show.

GMG Iced Tea Jars by Sista Felicia and The Mrs at the Sidewalk Bazaar ~ photo by Donna Ardizzoni

Speaking of Allen Estes, he’s also opening the Harbor Loop concert tonight and has a great new song that needs a name (click here if you want to try to name it).  He’ll most likely play it tonight.  Dan King follows and then Safety rocks the night away.  And that’s just the tip of the entertainment iceberg tonight.  See the full live music lineup here.

Save $12 by getting your Blues Festival tickets before midnight tonight

“GMG readers deserve the best price available!”  That’s what Bob Hastings said in an email to me this morning.  And he’s right.  Click here to get your tickets for $28 on-line by midnight tonight or pay $40 (cash or check) at the gate on Saturday.

Gate opens at 9am on Saturday.

Weather looks good.

And so do Shemekia Copeland and Kenny Neal, two of the big stars you’ll see at the show.

You really don’t want to bemoan the fact that you missed Gloucester’s first-ever Blues Festival do you?

Be smart, click now and save 12 bucks.

Now, there’s no reason to wait until Saturday for great music.  In fact there’s even more music this week than there was last week — and last week may have been a record-breaking week of music on Cape Ann.  See this week’s full music lineup here.

Joey may wanna kill me, but . . .

I have to say that, certainly from musical perspective, today’s Festival By The Sea in Manchester is the place to be.  [just a little back-peddling, here] Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to the Sidewalk Bazaar in the morning.  And if you’ve taken my advice (given here) you went on Thursday too.  But I gotta hand it to Festival By The Sea Music Director Chris Langathianos.  He put together a DYNAMITE LINEUP headlined by one of my favorite artists: Chelsea Berry with her HOT new band!  Just in case you missed them at North Shore Music Theatre, watch the video below and then tell me you’d rather be anywhere other than Masconomo Park at 6 tonight — REALLY?

And for later tonight you’ve got another 15 artists and Cape Ann venues to choose from.  WOW! See the full live music lineup here.

BREAKING NEWS: Fly Amero’s touring band, Orleans, welcomes co-founder/songwriter/guitarist John Hall for a 40th Anniversary Concert in honor of Larry Hoppen at NORTH SHORE MUSIC THEATRE ON AUGUST 31

You saw it on GMG FIRST.  Just like you heard about the sudden, tragic death of Fly’s longtime friend and band-mate Larry Hoppen last week (see post here).

The next day, Fly demonstrated the healing power of music (see that story here) and on August 31, the healing continues as the show goes on (see details here).

All of us who know Fly are celebrating the band’s commitment to music in honor of their friend and brother by inviting John Hall, who wrote the multi-platinum #1 hits Dance With Me and Still the One to join them for this very special 40th anniversary concert (get tickets here).  Here’s a video of John making a special appearance with the band last year.

Now I hope you’re reading this on your phone because that means you’ve taken the day off and are out at the Sidewalk Bazaar and planning to visit the Farmers Market and take in some music this evening.  See today’s AMAZING live music lineup here.

(There may even be tickets left to see Fly and Allen Estes on The Lannon at 6:30 — and, finally, the weather looks good.  Call 978-281-6634 to find out).