America’s Got Talent
It was pouring last night but felt cosy to be in the car driving over to my old town, Westport CT., centre of so many Ash activities and songs from back in the 70’s. We used to live there and would hang out at the beach and the Players Tavern watching artists like Patty Smith and the like.
These days, there’s a place in Main Street called Bobby Q’s for the best rack of baby pork ribs around. Of course, we ate there and afterwards there was live music upstairs on the covered patio, courtesy of Slo’Leak. I’d met singer / guitarist, Charlie Carp, a local legend, some weeks earlier at his house where he’d turned me on to the band’s new CD. The connection was via José Feliciano’s one time bassist, Kenny Owens. I’ve played many a jam session with Kenny at the infamous Georgetown Saloon, as people probably know.
Pre - show, Kenny introduced me to another legend and now, So’Leak guitarist and producer, Danny Kortchmar. Danny has had an illustrious career, first with the King Bees and with a young James Taylor in The Flying Machine, then the Fugs, and later as a top L.A. session player. You know that line in James’ Fire & Rain about 'sweet dreams and flying machines?' That catalogs the break up of that band (interestingly). Then he was the producer for the likes of Carol King, James Taylor, Don Henley. He wrote music for the Cheech & Chong film Up in Smoke and he has also produced and played on recordings by Don Henley, Neil Young, Jon Bon Jovi and Stevie Nicks. He produced one of my favorites, Billy Joel’s River of Dreams album, then later Hanson, Tracy Chapman and others. He had a cameo as Ronnie Pudding (Spinal Tap's bass player in their early years) in the "Gimme Some Money" video segment of the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap.
Talk about a resumé!!!
The band played great, by the way, featuring some modern stylings on their blues tinged music along with micro beats and funk grooves.
Anyway, this morning I’m catching up by e mail, with our USA based publicist, Billy James of Glass Onyon Publicity, and after I make mention of Steve Vai, he lets slip that as a drummer, he’d played on Vai’s first album, Flex-Able! Not only that, but as a diehard Ash fan from the age of 14 he’d become a drummer in the first place and later, attended Berklee, the same school my son went to. He‘d later scored stuff for Zappa as well as writing 8 music books! I was pretty humbled to hear all that.
So, you just never know who you’ll bump into and what hidden talents some people have - folks you may have been working with for years.
Respect ~ A.P.