Chris Cornell and the Death of a Musical Legacy

In the fall of 1990 I bought a cassette tape of Louder Than Love by Soundgarden. I admit that I was confused by its sludgy guitars, odd time signatures and dark subject matter. Their music was a big departure from the popular hair metal bands that ruled the airwaves in the 80s. I think I ultimately gave that cassette tape away.

Then in 1991, my brother Nick and I were shopping for some forgettable prog metal in Sam Goody, I think. Our friend John Lewis worked there and was raving about this new stuff coming out of Seattle. He almost forced us to buy this new CD by a supergroup called Temple of the Dog. That was life changing, the scales fell away and much of the music from the past ten years was suddenly irrelevant. It’s a cruel irony that this seminal work came about as a tribute to someone who died too young and from utterly tragic circumstances.

Chris Cornell, you will be sorely missed. I’m sad for all of music and those of you who weren’t around to witness the last great era of rock music.

New Year, New Projects

My gig shcedule is light in January and February which almost never happens, so I thought it would be cool to put an update about my various musical side projects that I have in the works.

I’m going to be working with a drummer named Oliver Twisted on a cool metal version and video for a cover of a Lady Gaga song.  While I’ve done a ton of straight performance videos I’ve never done anything high concept so I’m really looking forward to that.

I’m also starting to get a recording project off the ground producing R&B and dance tracks using a combination of drum loops and live bass to provide an alternative to all of recent trend of using keyboard bass.  I’m imagining something of a cross between Parliament and Bruno Mars.  We’ll see where it goes, it will be fun anyway.

BomberJam 2015

Every year for the past three years I along with my family and my neighbors put on a big Musicians’ BBQ and fundraiser to benefit the National Brain Tumor Society and the Philadelphia Race For Hope. To date we’ve raised over $10,000 and have had a great time in the process.

Last year’s even was attended by over 400 musicians from South Jersey and Philadelphia for a day of jamming and camaraderie, but my backyard was slammed and the parking situation was dire.  This year we’ve decided to go a little bigger and hold the event at an outdoor venue called Indian Acres.   We expect at least as many people as last year and could easily have 500 people in attendance.

We feature many great local bands as part of the event and this year is no exception.  The band lineup for this year is:

Jersey Peaches
Greenwood Blues Band
Quixote Project
Reggie Wu & Mark Evans
Black Cherry
Fuzzy Paradise
Deck Band
Pool of Thorns
23 North
Whiskey Grin
We’re also going to have acoustic acts that play two songs in between the bands on a second stage, appearing so far this year are:
Taylor Lanahan
Jakki Roberts
Native Riff

Nick Greely
Jack Callahan

Moot Davis Gets Two TV Placements

Two songs from Moot Davis‘ album Goin’ In Hot that I played bass on and executive producer on have found some placement success with some pretty heavy shows.

The first placement of the year is for the final season of F/X’s critically acclaimed show Justified, which features one of Moot’s most introspective song, Wanna Go Back.

The second placement of the year comes in the hit ABC show Nashville.  The show’s music director Buddy Miller chose Moot’s duet Hurtin’ For Real which features rising star Nikki Lane.

Greetings from East Nashville

Michael Mean
Michael Mean in East Nashville

My first week in Music City was very enjoyable making new  friends and contacts and of course hearing great music at all the usual spots, as if anything less is even possible in a city full of badasses.

The Family Wash had an amazing holiday show  featuring the Vince Guaraldi Christmas spectacular performed by stalwart musicians Jen Gunderman on piano, James Haggerty on Bass and Jim Hoke on sax/flute.

I attended a holiday party thrown by the Sugar Hill Records and Americana Association at RCA Studio A, the home of much drama and community anxiety earlier this year.  Now that I’ve been there I know why it was such a hot button issue, it really is one of the more unique spaces and soaked in history.

The ultimate so far has been Steve Cropper performing a set at Acme Feed and Seed, where he received an award from BMI for achieving 10 million individual plays which totals about 60 years of music.  I cut my teeth on the Stax Volt songbook so this was a real treat for me personally.

Nashville here I come!

I’ll be setting up camp in East Nashville starting in January of 2015.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time on Music City over the years with Moot Davis but I really want to be more involved in the local music scene there.

I’m also interested in more of the business side of things for Crow Town Records, and where better to learn and network?  Looking forward to throwing down with the big boys!