Friday, March 24, 2017

Live Ledge #279: Chuck Berry RIP

It was in the middle of the afternnon this past Saturday when a tweet appeared in my timeline stating that Chuck Berry had died. After verifying that was the case, I went into a deep period of mourning. I pulled out my Great 28 compilation and played it on repeat all day long. I wrote a little column about his death, and then spent the weekend reading story after story.

I'm still pretty shook up about it.

It's not so much Chuck's death that has me rattled. He was 90, after all. He lived a full life. This wasn't a sudden death like Prince or Bowie last year (yes, I know Bowie had been ill for quite some time but that was kept secret).

I was upset because in my mind Chuck Berry is the true father of rock and roll. Sure, there were people that came before him, and Elvis was surely a bigger star. But the vast majority of music I love and listen to every day originated with Chuck's prime of 1955-1960. Every guitarist I love was a son of Berry, whether they knew it (or admitted it). He wrote his own material, and somehow this 30 year-old African American was able to tap into the angst of teenage America (and beyond). It's impossible to downplay his role in the rise of the musical movement that has shaped my life.

Proof of how influential he was is the ease in putting this show together. I started off by simply typing each and every song title from the Great 28 into my iTunes and choosing which version I wanted to air. This was augmented by doing the same thing with other important songs from Chuck's career. A couple of websites devoted to cover versions then helped plug a couple of holes.

What you're going to hear tonight is not necessarily the "best" Chuck Berry covers. In fact, you're not necessarily going to hear an individual band's best Berry tunes. Case in point is the Rolling Stones. It would have been really easy to play the two essential live cuts included on Get Your Ya Ya's Out (Carol and Little Queenie). But those are songs that have been covered by so many others, so later on you'll hear some lesser known tracks played by the "greatest rock and roll band in the world".

This almost 2 1/2 marathon turned into a show I'm immensely proud to have put together. I firmly believe it shows how Berry impacted multiple generations of musicians, and will continue to be a well that guitarists and songwriters will use as a template for future rock classics.

Like every other episode of Live Ledge, you can grab this at iTunes or Stitcher, or...


1. Keith Richards Inducts Chuck Berry to RRHOF
2. Chuck Berry & Keith Richards, Roll Over Beethoven
3. Chuck Berry, Big Boys
4. Chuck Berry & Keith Richards, Oh Carol
5. Chuck Berry, Bio
6. The Rolling Stones, Around And Around
7. The Rolling Stones, Sweet Little Sixteen
8. The Rolling Stones, Let It Rock
9. Rod Stewart, Sweet Little Rock 'N Roller
10. Faces, Memphis
11. John Lennon, You Can't Catch Me
12. The Kinks, Beautiful Delilah
13. Downliners Sect, Too Much Monkey Business
14. The Pretty Things, Oh Baby Doll
15. The Troggs, Little Queenie
16. Linda Ronstadt, Back In The U.S.A.
17. The Liverbirds, Talking About You
18. Wanda Jackson, Brown Eyed Handsome Man
19. Jerry Lee Lewis, Maybellene
20. MC5, Back In The U.S.A.
21. Sonic's Rendezvous Band, Promised Land
22. The Sonics, Roll Over Beethoven
23. The Master's Apprentices, Johnny B Goode
24. The Nomads, Downbound Train
25. Joe Jackson, Come On
26. David Bowie, Almost Grown
27. Shakin' Stevens, School Days
28. Rockpile, Oh What A Thrill
29. The Crawdaddys, Thirty Days
30. The A-Bones, Tulane
31. Thee Headcoats, Jaguar and Thunderbird
32. The Kaisers, I Want To Be Your Driver
33. Groovie Ghoulies, Betty Jean
34. The Neatbeats, Reelin' and Rockin'
35. Cannibals, Nadine
36. The Replacements, Love You Till Friday/Maybelline
37. Paul Westerberg, Bye Bye Johnny
38. Chuck Berry & Keith Richards, Rock And Roll Music

Friday, March 17, 2017

Live Ledge #278: Cory Branan

Cory Branan's official bio at Bloodshot Records calls him "too punk for country, too country for punk, too Memphis for Nashville, and probably a little too much Cory Branan for anyone's own damned good". Is this a fair assessment? Take a listen to tonight's show to see if you agree.

Branan chatted with Live Ledge to help promote his March 24 appearance at The Orpheum in Sioux Falls, SD. Two weeks later sees the release of his new album, "Adios", a sprawling record of varying styles of influences.

Tonight's chat is dominated by Branan's story of how the songs on this album were created, with more than a few sidebars of other topics. It's an intriguing chat and is accompanied not only by tracks from the album but new Americana-ish tunes by the likes of Dave Hause, Greg Graffin, Ray Davies, John Wesley Harding, and much more.

Grab this from the usual sources, including iTunes or Stitcher. While you're there, why not leave a little review? We'd love some feedback on what we do. For instant access, you can also...


1. Cory Branan, Yeah, So What
2. Cory Branan, Another Nightmare in America
3. Cory Branan, Visiting Hours
4. Dave Hause, With You
5. Greg Graffin, Lincoln's Funeral Train
6. Scott H. Biram, Set Me Free
7. Ha Ha Tonka, Race to the Bottom
8. Ray Davies, Poetry
9. John Wesley Harding, Better Tell No One Your Dreams
10. Mark Eitzel, The Last Ten Years
11. Conor Oberst, Napalm
12. Hurray For The Riff Raff, Living In The City
13. Old 97's, I Don't Wanna Die In This Town
14. The Sadies, God Bless the Infidels
15. Craig Finn, Ninety Bucks
16. Dan Baird, Gotta Get a Move On
17. Son Volt, Sinking Down
18. The Feelies, In Between (Reprise)
19. Bash & Pop, Jesus Loves You

Friday, March 10, 2017

Live Ledge #277: Thee Bands

A great musical analyst once emphatically stated that any band that replace "The" with "Thee" is a band worth checking out.

Is that the case? I've wondered about that for over five years, and it was during a recent iTunes cleanup that I discovered the multitude of "Thee" bands in my library. So why not do a show based around those types of bands?

In doing so, I have decided that the world needs yet one more rock and roll sub-genre. No matter where they originated "thee" bands tend to be loud, lo-fi, witty, and lovers of the British Invasion of the mid-'60's.

The true guru of "Thee" bands is certainly Billy Childish. After the demise of The Pop Rivets, the poet/filmmaker/songwriter/photographer started a run of "Thee" bands with the 1981 creation of Thee Milkshakes. Over the next two decades, he led or was a part of another half dozen or so of these types of acts, including The Mighty Caesars, Thee Headcoats, and Thee Stash.

Tonight also includes some news on future plans for Live Ledge and other Hudson ventures. Check out what I have to say and let me know your thoughts.

As always, grab this all of the usual podcast locations, including iTunes and Stitcher, or...


1. Thee Midniters, Jump Jive And Harmonize
2. Thee Oh Sees, I Need Seed
3. Thee Oh Sees, Toe Cutter - Thumb Buster
4. Thee Oh Sees, Dead Man's Gun
5. Thee Milkshakes, Who'll Be Next in Line
6. Thee Milkshakes, She'll Be Mine Talking
7. Thee Milkshakes, I'll Use Evil
8. Thee Milkshakes, Let Me Love You
9. Thee Mighty Caesars, Beat On The Brat
10. Thee Mighty Caesars, Career Opportunities
11. Thee Mighty Caesars, Headcoats On
12. Thee Headcoats, Girl from '62
13. Thee Headcoats, We Hate The Fuckin' NME
14. Thee Headcoats Sect, Strychnine
15. Thee Headcoats Sect, A Certain Girl
16. Thee Headcoatees, Don't Wanna Hold Your Hand
17. Thee Headcoatees, Teenage Kicks
18. Thee Stash, (We're) Selling Jeans for the U.S.A.
19. Thee Stash, Should I Stay or Should I Go?
20. Thee Stash, 48 Thrills
21. Thee Stash, What's My Name
22. Thee Shams, Under My Thumb
23. Thee Shams, If You Gotta Go
24. Thee Wylde Oscars, White Light White Heat
25. Thee Cybermen, Don't Ask My Name
26. Thee Cybermen, Borderbeat
27. Thee Exciters, Guts For Garters
28. Thee Makeout Party, Wreckless Epic
29. Thee Makeout Party, Pauline
30. Thee Sgt. Major III, (Do As I Say And) As I Do
31. Thee Spivs, Radio
32. Thee Tsunamis, Female Trouble
33. Thee Vicars, I Wanna Be Your Vicar
34. Thee Holy Ghosts, Ghetto Pop Song
35. Thee Mightees, Pop Culture Icon Eyes
36. Thee Pickles, White Ceiling Blues
37. Thee Attacks, Baby Baby

Friday, March 03, 2017

Live Ledge #276: New Releases

What a great world we live in these days!
Wait, what did I just say??? Ok, in most respects the world is a mess. We have horrendous race relations these days. We have a questionable President surrounded by even worse advisors and cabinet members. Politics are causing divisions not just between parties but between friends, lovers, and family members.
Yet so far this is the best year in quite some time in one regard - rock and roll.
From the first week of the year with the release of a new Dropkick Murphys album, there have been so many great records hitting the stores in 2017. Tonight's new release episode gathers many of these releases, from Americana-related returns by John Wesley Harding, Son Volt, and Cory Branana to straight-ahead rock and roll from Danko Jones and The Routes.
Tonight's episode also showcases a rising tide of psych-rock. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Meatbodies, Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel. Those are just some of the heavy sounds present tonight.
Grab this via the usual sources I babble about every week, including iTunes and Stitcher, or...


1. John Wesley Harding, I Don't Wanna Rock n Roll
2. Cory Branan, I Only Know
3. Cory Branan, Visiting Hours
4. Old 97's, Jesus Loves You
5. Old 97's, Irish Whiskey Pretty Girls
6. Son Volt, Back Against the Wall
7. The Feelies, In Between
8. Conor Oberst, Next of Kin
9. Strand of Oaks, Radio Kids
10. Trunkweed, Wish List
11. Trunkweed, Windows 95
12. Tim Darcy, Joan Pt. 1 2
13. NE-HI, Palm of Hand
14. Moving Units, Shadow Play
15. Wire, Short Elevated Period
16. POW!, Castle of Faith
17. Midnite Snaxxx, Just What I Need
18. J.D. Buhl, Do Ya Blame Me
19. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Rattlesnake
20. Mr. Elevator & the Brain Hotel, Fuzz Phantom
21. Meatbodies, Kings
22. Mind Meld, The Blizzard
23. Bleached, Can You Deal?
24. Bleached, Turn To Rage
25. The Courtneys, Silver Velvet
26. The Courtneys, Minnesota
27. Danko Jones, You Are My Woman
28. The Routes, Make You Hate Me More
29. Moondogs, When Sixteen Wasn't So Sweet
30. Tom Baker and the Snakes, Gotta Find Her
31. Jim and the French Vanilla, When You're Down
32. Jim and the French Vanilla, Back Home
33. Mark Sultan, Broken Arms
34. Meat Wave, To Be Swayed
35. The Cavemen, Satan Is Her Name