Australian blues musician C.W. Stoneking already had two solid albums behind him by the time he released Gon’ Boogaloo (stream it below) in 2014, the record that revealed the deeper, darker mojo of his sound that the first two only nodded toward. Undoubtedly it felt heavier. Stoneking went toward an electric six-string approach—favoring a Fender Jazzmaster—rather than the National steel and banjo formats from earlier. But he framed those gnarlier guitar sonics still in the gospel, ragtime and swaggering Delta blues he loves, and sweetened it a bit with backup singers. Stoneking is pure old-timey mojo. It takes a certain someone with a certain something to acquit numbers like “The Zombie” (performed live, above) or lines like “Down where the drums go boom, baba-boom, baba-boom, mm-mm/ Anybody see me, sure ’bout to meet their doom” and not have it sound like some kind of Cab Calloway–aping approximation of bullshit hoodoo or junior-league Tom Waits. Instead, thanks to Stoneking’s style and distinctive voice, it’s awesome, haunting and thick with tension, while not so self-serious that it loses the entertainment value—Stoneking once admitted that his song “Jungle Blues” was inspired as much by the keyboard in 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” as it was 1920 and 1930s hellhound-on-trail stuff—or devolves into lo-fi howling just ’cause there might be a full moon tonight. “I take inspiration from all sorts of music, from locations all around the world and different time periods,” he told PopMatters in 2016. “I make my own thing, which, depending on your frame of reference might sound like any one of those but to me, knowing my process, it’s a different thing altogether.” Stoneking plays the early show at Mercury Lounge on Thursday. Get there early for Moist Paula’s Bliss Station, featuring bari saxophonist extraordinare Moist Paula (Moisturizer, Rev. Vince Anderson, Binky Griptite and many more) in a sax-bass-drums format. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson
Tag Archives: Binky Griptite
From rock to free jazz to fusion to soundtracks to avant-garde to Cuban music, eclectic, genre-hopping guitarist Marc Ribot has been a vital cog in New York City’s downtown music scene for decades—performing and recording with the likes of Wilson Pickett, Elvis Costello, Elton John, the Black Keys and Tom Waits just to name a few (it’s a really long list) along the way. And even when recording his own albums, Ribot doesn’t go it alone. He performs “the mind-blowing harmolodic punk-funk of Ornette Coleman’s first Prime Time band and the sweet, optimistic pulse of 1970s Philly Soul” alongside Jamaaladeen Tacuma (bass), G. Calvin Weston (drums) and Mary Halvorson (guitar) as the Young Philadelphians. Their newest album, The Young Philadelphians Live in Tokyo, comes out on Friday, and Marc Ribot & the Young Philadelphians celebrate its release tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom. A pair of Brooklyn musicians—singer-songwriter Inyang Bassey and soul-and-funk man (and Dap-King) Binky Griptite—open the show.
Tags: Binky Griptite, Bowery Ballroom, Dap-Kings, Elton John, Elvis Costello, G. Calvin Weston, Inyang Bassey, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Live Music, Lower East Side, Marc Ribot, Marc Ribot & the Young Philadelphians, Mary Halvorson, Music, New York City, Ornette Coleman, Preview, the Black Keys, Tom Waits, Wilson Pickett
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Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – The Bowery Ballroom – December 13, 2011
We waited together, packed shoulder to shoulder. The band was onstage but its fundamental element was missing, the SJ to the backdrop’s SJDK—because, quite simply, Sharon Jones makes Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. It’s her presence and voice that give the band an identity. Without her, the Dap-Kings are a talented nine-piece band in similar suits. So when Jones finally appeared, wearing a golden brown ruffled sequin dress, the collective mood noticeably shifted. We finally saw whom we came to see.
For her part, Jones performed with abundant focus and energy, harkening back to soul singer/performer extraordinaire James Brown. Even before the music started, guitarist Binky Griptite announced each of Jones’s notable songs to a short band review, identical to the sequence of a Brown show. And, like Brown, Jones sings, dances and emotes herself to the point of exhaustion. After a performance of the ancestry dance song, a long narrative explanation of her dance style, she huffed and paced. But like Muhammad Ali in the ring, her display seemed as such a part of the performance as it was a breather. She quickly recovered. —Jared Levy
Photos courtesy of Alexis Maindrault | rockinpix.com
(Tonight’s Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings show at The Bowery Ballroom is sold out.)