Friday, December 7, 2018
Friday, November 23, 2018
Saturday night the Newton-based band headlines the Haymarket Lounge at City Winery in Boston.
Bees Deluxe delights in blurring any genres or categories people might want to assign to their music. They were in regular rotation at the Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, which closed last June, but most venues are not as familiar with the wide horizons of their music.
“When we play blues clubs they say, ’Hey you guys sound pretty jazzy,” noted keyboardist Carol Band. “Then when we play a jazz club, they’ll say, ‘Hey, you sound pretty bluesy.’ What we do is not easily defined, but blues can be sung or played in a lot of different ways, with many musical approaches. Of course we’ll get occasional requests to play “Johnny Be Goode” or ‘Mustang Sally’ or something like that, but we just say, ‘yeah sure, we’ll get to it,’ and then ignore them.”
A quick perusal of the material on the three previous Bees Deluxe albums shows how widely their music ranges, as they have covered a mind-boggling variety of tunes. There are traditional blues like J.B. Lenoir’s “Talk to Your Daughter,” treated respectfully but with guitarist Conrad Warre’s inventive use of Hendrixian effects. There’s sizzling rhythm and blues like the easy groove of Bobby Blue Bland’s “I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog the Way You Treat Me.” There’s a more subtle Crescent City feel to a dance-friendly take on The Meters’ “Jungle Man.” Conrad Warre’s guitar work is set in stark relief on a dazzling cover of jazz titan Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” showing the melodicism and sheer virtuosity that underlies everything the quartet tackles.
South Shore fans should check out the Youtube video of Bees Deluxe doing B.B. King’s “Downhearted (How Blue Can You Get?),” from the 2017 North River Blues Festival at the Marshfield Fair (as recorded in sterling video and sound by the ubiquitous MoeJoe Vision), where they preserve the character of the original while also artfully exploring new tangents.
Considering that’s the kind of stuff they covered, an album of all Bees Deluxe originals is really intriguing, to say the least. One tune “Industrial (Espionage)” has the surreal atmosphere of a film noir soundtrack, as Warre mysteriously intones “the spies look for me, and they look for you, at the end of the world...”
Probably the song on the new album that will get the most attention is “Imaginary Conversation Between Bjork and Buddy Guy,” since the Scandinavian folk-pop singer and the legendary Chicago guitarslinger seem to have little in common musically. But as Band creates an otherworldly framework of floating soundscapes, Warre crafts a marvelous guitar instrumental that is both concise and expressive, and you can almost imagine Guy and Bjork really jamming.
“What can we say about the components or that song?” Band, said laughing. “I’m playing a warped kind of keyboard progression, really a duet between my organ and synthesizer, all ethereal and a little bit whacked out. And then Conrad and his Buddy Guy solo comes along over the top of it.”
One can’t help but wonder how this quartet – with Allyn Dorr on bass, and Paul Giovine on drums – got its start and initially found an audience.
“We are not your average blues band, playing the classic 1-4-5 progression all night,” said Band. “It is challenging music to play, but we try to take the road less traveled. Even when we do covers we aim for the songs that are not expected. We might do a Billie Holliday song, for instance, and after we finish someone may request a Billie Holliday tune – well, we just did one, but it wasn’t one they expected. That kind of thing is a point of pride with us. We’ve covered all the Kings for guitar fans – B.B., Albert, Freddie – and we also even do Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog.” We just don’t do them like people might expect them.”
We mentioned that many of today’s younger and most exciting blues acts are actually rocking harder than most of today’s supposed rock bands, and noted Tinsley Ellis as a prime example.
“Oh sure, we are big fans of Tinsley Ellis, and sent him one of our previous CDs where we covered his song “A Quitter Never Wins,” said Band. “He gave us some really good feedback and liked it. But it is always a challenge to get young people to hear new music these days. There’s so much that is computer-generated, and it all seems to be about the beat, which is fine. I went to see Flying Lotus, which is John Coltrane’s nephew, and it was all electronics...just not my type of music.”
Bees Deluxe, despite their tendency to veer far afield, also generally keeps a solid groove underneath everything they play, so that audiences may not know what they’re hearing, but they like it and can usually dance to it.
“We’ve gained some fans around the area and around the country now,” said Band. “We have a lot that do come out to see all the time, a small but rabid following. Those who haven’t heard us before often come up to us afterwards and tell us we sounded amazing, so that’s gratifying. We play Grumpy’s in Falmouth a lot, and that’s more of a traditional blues and roadhouse rock place. But the last time we were there people were coming up and saying they felt our music was so cool. I think that the fact that most of it is very danceable is a good thing.”
“If people are up and dancing, they’re generally going to enjoy the music,” Band added. “We are careful not to alienate people by playing too much of any one thing, so if we play something that is very thought-provoking, we will follow it up with something more fun and danceable.”
There are also ways that even the Bees Deluxe originals can be accessible to new ears.
“With our originals, if the audience hears something that sounds comfortable, or seems somewhat familiar, they can become attuned to it very easily,” Band noted. “Even when we do something like the Bjork/Buddy Guy tune, fans can latch onto some of the parts of it. It may be strange, but we try to make sure it’s never off-putting, or too foreign for them.”
Bees Deluxe consists of musicians who’ve played in all sorts of styles. Warre is the conceptual leader, and his omnivorous musical tastes permeate their songbook. Bassist Dorr came from a similar variety, blues bands, country bands, and the reggae group Loose Caboose. Drummer Giovine studied at UConn and Berklee School of Music, and has played everything from heavy metal to wedding bands, and a stint with blues and soulman Keb Mo.
“I come from a more basic coffeehouse, and then jazz background,” said Band. “Blues was new to me when I started with these guys, but I had fun with it as a learning experience. We all have very varied musical backgrounds, and I think that comes through in our music with Bees Deluxe.”
Bees Deluxe bills itself as an “acid blues” band, but that’s a term that might, indeed, include almost anything and everything, but best of all, constant surprises.
By Jay N. Miller/For The Patriot Ledger
Posted Nov 22, 2018 at 6:10 PM
Original post: https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/entertainmentlife/20181122/music-lots-of-buzz-around-newtons-bees-deluxe
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
A quick visit to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and we were off to Columbus where Ann and Richard Levin opened their home to us and introduced their friends to acid blues. The Knight Ave 5 was a terrific venue. Candidate Danny O’Connor was dynamic and even brought his parents! It was a night of optimism and great music with Keith T-Bone Colbert and Bees Deluxe. We were sad to leave Columbus but piled into the van travelled to Pittsburgh where the Allegheny County Democrats packed the house with Congressman Mike Doyle who introduced candidates running for State Senate, State Rep and other positions. It was great to see so many young women on the ballot and so many Halloween costumes in the audience! Thank you The Monday Blues Review and Stone Throwers for playing sets that had all the bartenders singing along.
From Pittsburgh, we did a marathon drive to meet our friends in Brooklyn and wrap up the tour with a celebration at Rocky Sullivan’s. We were joined by Mike Kramer the Cornelia Street Band who’s lead singer, Jennifer Shane Colthart was simply on fire. Thanks to Joan McCabe for buying everyone pizza and to J.R. Rost for graciously hosting us while we were in Red Hook and for surprising us with his amazing voice and Orbison-esque set.
Then we zoomed to Albany the captial city New York, and discovered the Albany County Democratic Committee waiting for us at Pauly’s Hotel and on stage local legends Honey Suckle Vine and the Wildcat O’Halloran Band throwing their musical hats into the ring. We’re back in Boston now. We had a great time but more importantly, we raised more than $20,000 for the Democrats and met musicians and generous strangers who are now our new friends.
We couldn’t have done it without you. We love for you to join us for a homecoming concert at City Winery on Saturday, November 24th we hope that you’ll be with us this Tuesday at the polls. VOTE! We look forward to a bluer future. Advance reservations for the City Winery show are available here: https://goo.gl/YTBGB5
Sunday, October 28, 2018
The Albany County Democratic Committee came out in full force (many thanks Jack and Maureen) and people danced their way to the voting booths furiously. Thanks to everyone who made this tour possible from all of us at Bees Deluxe!
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Saturday, October 13, 2018
We left Boston this morning with a a Chevy Suburban from Enterprise Car Rental. It was huge. But it wasn't big enough. So we headed to Peter Fuller in Watertown and rented a Ford Transit wagon.
It is humongous. With gear loaded up, we headed out to Syracuse. We proudly decorated the van with our custom made "Flippin' for the Blues" magnetic signs. They blew off the sides of the van in Framingham. Six hours later
So we left and checked into a Super 8. This is the glamour of a band on tour. We're looking forward to the waffle bar in the morning.
Tomorrow, we'll be at the Empire Brewery for Dana Balter from 12:30-2:30pm. Joining us are Brian Brazil, savant harmonica player and Dana Gaynor who plays every instrument. Incredibly. Then, we're headed to Allentown and the Pig Pen Fun Bar. With a name like that, they better have T-shirts. We'll be playing to benefit Susan Wild, candidate for Congress.
For us, it's worth the drive. She's a fighter for workers, for affordable healthcare, for education and for people like us who are looking forward to taking back the country and to making America blue again.
Launched after the 2016 presidential election, Indivisible became a nationwide movement of thousands of volunteer-led local groups that engage in progressive advocacy and electoral work at the local, state, and national level. InvisibleCLE is part of that movement.
The event at the House of Blues Foundation Room is a chance to learn more about IndivisibleCLE and about the upcoming mid-term election and how to get involved to help support progressive candidates.
Bees Deluxe will perform their self-described “thinking person’s blues,” in a set that combines originals from their new CD Voice of Dog as well as innovative interpretations of tunes by B.B. King, Freddy King, the Meters, Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse and more. Members of Bees Deluxe are: Conrad Warre, lead guitar and vocals, Carol Band, keyboard, Allyn Dorr, bass and Paul Giovine, drums.
Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 at the door. For advance tickets, visit: http://universe.com
The event at Empire Brewing Company is a chance to learn more about Dana Balter’s candidacy. Dana Balter is a fighter and a community activist. A Ph.D candidate, and professor of policy, civics and democracy, she has earned endorsements from the NY Teacher’s Union, the AFSCME (Local 400), Emily’s List and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Meet Dana and hear great live music from local musicians and from Boston’s notorious acid blues ensemble. Bees Deluxe will perform their self-described “thinking person’s blues,” in a set that combines originals from their new CD Voice of Dog as well as innovative interpretations of tunes by B.B. King, Freddy King, the Meters, Billie Holiday, Amy Winehouse and more. Members of Bees Deluxe are: Conrad Warre, lead guitar and vocals, Carol Band, keyboard, Allyn Dorr, bass and Paul Giovine, drums.
The event goes from 12:30 - 2:30pm with tickets available in advance or at the door.
For advance tickets, please visit https://secure.actblue.com/donate/blueconcert#Deluxe.
Sunday, October 7, 2018
Thanks to James, Jonathan and Jeff for turning a quick visit into a cool video!
We love ACMI. Does this gang look capable of flippin' the entire mid-west?
We think so...
One Week 'Til We Hit The Road
We're going to be driving out through the Berkshires, hitting the hairpin turn and passing by Gould's Sugar House but we're not just leaf-peepers. We're headed to Syracuse and the Empire Brewery. Then to Allentown and the Pig Pen Fun Bar for Susan Wild. The message is simple. VOTE.The future is in your hands.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
"It's time to return government and politics to the hands of the people where it belongs."
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
The Friday October 19th "Flippin' for the Blues" tour stops at the Buckhead Saloon in beautiful downtown Pittsburgh PA and features the live music of The Monday Blues Review.
The Monday Blues Revue perform high-energy, eclectic mix of classic and modern blues music in all its forms: Chicago Blues, Texas Blues, Jump Blues, Blues Rock, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, and Southern Rock.
Their influences include Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bill Withers, The Allman Brothers Band, Jimi Hendrix, & Muddy Waters.
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Living Blues Magazine says of the band "The Wildcat O’Halloran Band have been a Massachusetts institution for over two decades. The band’s latest release, "Hot Pulldown" brims with tight musicianship and raucous energy. O’Halloran is an agile guitarist, and his backing musicians have the type of musical chemistry that only comes from sharing the stage for years." Video still photo by MoeJoe Vision.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Announcing the special appearance of Dana Gaynor to the October 15th show at the Pig Pen Fun Bar in Allentown PA, and to the Harrisburg PA show at the Midtown Arts Center on Tuesday October 16th. Dana Gaynor is an award winning guitarist, producer, singer/song writer from the Lehigh Valley, PA., born and raised in NY. and having lived for many years on the California coast. The list of musicians Dana has performed, recorded and/or toured with includes: Dan Hicks, Vassar Clements, John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service), Keith and Donna Godchaux (Grateful Dead), Greg Anton (Zero), JC Smith (Bill Withers, Ike and Tina Turner), Arkansas Larry Davis, Deacon Jones and Jim Guyette (John Lee Hooker Band), Jackie Payne, Norton Buffalo, Don Preston (Leon Russell Band), Buddy Miles, Buddy Cage (New Riders of the Purple Sage), Tommy Castro, Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult), Debbie Davies, Greg Smith (Ted Nugent band), Rodney Holmes, Jimmy Leheay and many more.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
I voted in the Massachusetts primary today.
I'm lucky that I vote in a beautiful wood-paneled Town Hall, where the poll workers are retired teachers who taught my kids. I'm lucky that we have good old-fashioned paper ballots that you fill out with a Sharpie and that I live in a state where all the names on the ballot—in all the parties—are good, intelligent people who, even though I may disagree with their methods, want to work to make my state a better place.
As Tip O'Neil said "All politics is local," and he's right. What happens at a local level—at the primaries, at the races for State Representative and Attorney General—affect the national political scene. Yet people don't vote. Today in Boston as of 3pm, voter turn out was at 12 percent. TWELVE PERCENT?! How can we complain about the outcome of our elections when only 12 percent of us vote?
So get out and cast your ballot. If you've already voted, call your neighbors and remind them that the polls are open 'til 8pm. If you haven't registered—register. Voting is your voice.
It's your patriotic duty and it's your privilege to raise it every chance you can.
Saturday, September 1, 2018
The evening was cool...the music was hot...Wow! Flippin' for the Blues officially launched last night with an event at Cisco Brewers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It couldn't have been more perfect. Jugghead Band set the mood with their feel good, front-porch style music. Young parents relaxed under umbrella-shaded tables, toddlers danced in front of the stage, dogs lounged in the sun. The food was terrific and the beer was crisp and cold.
For us, this was the first event of a tour that will take us from Maine to Ohio. If every stop is as powerful, inspiring and fun as last night, we'll never going to want to come home.
Saturday, August 25, 2018
We're getting excited about piling into the van and driving into deepest, reddest 'Merika.
Today, we'll be on WUML to talk about the tour, about why acid blues can save the world and about our new CD Voice of Dog.
Tune into 91.5 at 3pm and listen. Not only will you learn about what Flippin' for the Blues is up to, you'll discover your new favorite radio show—Blues Deluxe with host John Guregian.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
We 're Bees Deluxe. An acid blues band from the bright blue bubble of Boston. We play the blues and we got to thinking...Hmmmm...blues...blue..blue states..blues.
And an idea was born.
Hey! Let's take our music on the road and use it to flip red districts to blue. Let's try to save America.
So that's what we're doing...
Check out our route as we add destinations and details and follow along as we scrape together funding for our rental van, gas and day-old donuts.
Then, on October 13th, we'll hit the road in earnest. Stay tuned to see if Conrad's antique GPS will direct the band to Mexico and check back frequently to see updates from rest stops and roadside attractions.
Here we are before the tour:
left to right - Allyn "Aldo" Dorr Conrad Warre, Paul Giovine, Carol Band.
We'll post pics from the road so you can see what a diet of day-old donuts can do to mature, sedentary adults
Trump's mad about his buddies flipping? He ain't seen nothin' yet. Flippin' for the Blues is here.