PGS’ BEAUTY — Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam, who release their fifth album The PGS Experience on June 30, held court Friday night at American Beauty in NYC. We’ve been tub thumping the band and their new record, which we feel is their strongest effort yet, drove right into the new album, starting with the vibrant “Metro Suffle,” then into “Gorilla” which remains a powerful track and then Miller’s re-imagined version of The Kinks “You Really Got Me,” with Ziarra Washington. The outfit, who were at the Ocho Rios Jazz Festival in Jamaica last weekend, is a tight, knit ensemble that simmers and burns with noted precision. Miller’s bass playing remains simply superb and the interplay between him and saxophonist Mario Castro is most striking. The band also has released as their initial single from the new album, a version of Phish’s “Free,” again with Washington on vocals and it proves a terrific live track. We also enjoyed “The Queen’s Carnival” and a stunning version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire.” Seen in the crowd were CEN’s Adam Pollock, POP Entertainment’s Brad Balfour and the Miller’s PR-team Gwen Toline and David Salidor. A superb show. Thanks to John Wisdom for the photos.
WHITLOCK’S DOMINOS — Tuesday at B. B. King’s is a show that I’ve waited quite some time to see, singer/songwriter Bobby Whitlock; the heart and soul of the group Derek and the Dominos. Eric Clapton was Derek, but he and Whitlock wrote some of the most amazing songs … ever, in their classic double-album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970); including “Anyday,” “Tell The Truth” and “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?” Clapton still performs “Sad” to this day. The last time Bobby performed in NYC, I was due to begin a holiday; and, I would gladly have changed my plans if I could have. These days Whitlock tours with his wife CoCo Carmel, often adding a guitarist from the town they’re performing in.
Robert Stanley “Bobby” Whitlock (born March 18, 1948 in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American singer, songwriter and musician. He is best known for being a member of blues-rock band Derek and the Dominos with Eric Clapton in 1970–71. Whitlock’s musical career began with Memphis soul acts such as Sam & Dave and Booker T. & the MG’s before he joined Delaney & Bonnie and Friends in 1968. His association with Delaney & Bonnie bandmate Clapton led to Whitlock participating in sessions for George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass triple album (1970), in London, and the formation of Derek and the Dominos that year. On the band’s sole studio album, the critically acclaimed Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, Whitlock wrote or co-wrote seven of the album’s fourteen tracks, including “Tell the Truth”, “Anyday” and “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?”
Whitlock recorded four solo albums during the 1970’s, among them Bobby Whitlock and Raw Velvet (both 1972), and contributed to albums by Clapton, John Lennon, Dr. John and the Rolling Stones. He then retired from music until releasing It’s About Time in 1999. Following his return, Whitlock has recorded and performed with wife CoCo Carmel and, since 2006, with other musicians based in Austin, Texas. Among his and Carmel’s projects, the well-received Other Assorted Love Songs: Live from Whitney Chapel (2003) contains acoustic interpretations of songs originally recorded by Derek and the Dominos.
Can’t wait for this one.
SHORT CUTS — Though Showtime’s Twin Peaks re-boot has proved somewhat of a commercial disappointment, David Lynch’s direction has been like a master class. Some of his photography; be it the vista of Las Vegas, or the juxtaposition of the stars in the sky… just amazing. When the first two episodes were screened in Cannes; it received a momentous
standing ovation. The always dependable Kyle McLachlan is just nailing his scenes … and, he’s playing three separate characters! We’re six episodes in and Agent Dale Copper still hasn’t returned to Twin Peaks. It’ll all come together for sure, and that’s the tease. I am
loving it … I intermittently watched The Tonys last night, but kudos to Ben Platt and Dear Evan Hansen for winning Best Actorin a musical and Best Musical. I’ve seen it, tremendous play for sure. Also, Kevin Spacey was hilarious as the show’s host … At Saturday’s CARE Concert in L. A., more than one relayed to me that Micky Dolenz and his sister Coco were the stars of the event. The two performed “I’m A Believer” and “Daydream Believer” … Best headline of the week from Deadline: Mummy Crummy. Pretty funny … Happy Birthday to one of our faves: Roger Friedman … I tried to watch some of the Comey hearings, but was it as exciting as the