Archive | October 2012

Monster Mash

October 31st!  Happy Halloween!

my backup singers

Kind of a crazy Halloween!

Traffic in New York City today was horrendous! Since there are no subways everyone took out their cars, and it was mayhem. By the time I got back home everyone was out in costume even my adult son and my adult niece (seen here making cameos in today’s video)!

Now they are out running the streets in those costumes!

I used to be so proud of how much candy I could hustle.  Halloween night  I would be sick to my stomach but still proud!

I hope my son and niece bring something home for poppa!

Although now that I  think of it, they were going bar hopping not trick or treating.  The least they can do is buy me a damn Hershey bar or sumthing!

Whatever!  Happy Halloween.  MONSTER MASH!

White Rabbit

October 30, 1939 Happy Birthday Grace Slick!

white dog

I went to my first Jefferson Airplane concert when I was 15. I wasn’t really into the psychedelic music but all my close friends were. I loved Hot Tuna (the band) because they played electric blues, and those guys were the rhythm section of Jefferson Airplane so basically I went to see them.

I can’t remember where the concert was but it was in the afternoon outside somewhere and it was pouring. So the band was delayed and they sent some naked woman out on stage who was clearly on LSD –  her name was Sunshine, which was the name of LSD at the time. Then Grace Slick came out and took her top off and told everyone in the audience to get naked for a raindance to stop the rain (it didn’t!) but it made for an interesting concert.

No, I did not get naked in the rain. I don’t like camping. I would rather a seat when I go to a concert and I would rather everyone be clothed. There was a hairy naked dude standing next to us the whole concert (it wasn’t pretty) and that’s all I remember of the concert!

Anyway, I do like White Rabbit now. It’s got a spanish flavor in the chords that I like.

Update on the hurricane. It’s gone but left a hell of a mess.

My in-laws are without power and the subways are gonna be out for a while.

My niece Heather is staying with us, and brought a dog that she’s dogsitting and the little thing is running around my house like a maniac, so since I didnt have a white rabbit to put in my picture today I got a white dog!

All cool.  Happy Birthday GS.  This one’s for you!


Autumn Leaves

October 29, 1955: Roger Williams’ “Autumn Leaves” hits #1!


Holy moly what a freakin hurricane. The East river is coming up the block as we speak. Dylan went out before to take a look and came back and said some crazy neighbors were out in their bathing suits drinking beer and smoking cigs at the new shoreline! Only in New York.

We still have power but buildings all around us have lost electricity. We got plenty of supplies. Our backyard is a mess!

So, Autumn Leaves is kinda appropiate since our entire yard has leaves, trees, branches, fencing and whatnot else all over it!

Will update on the situation tomorrow!


Foggy Mountain Top

October 28, 1939 Bill Monroe makes his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, performing “Foggy Mountain Top” and “Mule Skinner Blues” at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium.  (via

w/ Clive Davis & Jennifer Hudson

Last night was beautiful, insane, magical and on fire! The event was a tribute to Clive Davis – he was awarded the Spirit Award by MMRF at their Gala and I put together a night of music in honor of Clive and his artists & songs!

We opened with a burning 15 minute show with songs from Eurythmics, Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, Chicago, Janis Joplin & Aretha!  We blew the audience away and ended with an Aretha duel between Cheryl Pepsi Riley & Cookie Watkins singing Think and Respect! Oh My God!  Ezra Brown on sax, Robert Stringer on trombone and Jonathan Powell on trumpet and we had Oz Noy on guitar, Ronald Bos Bostick on bass, Jason Patterson on drums, Chris Fischer on keyboards and I was on the grand piano!  My singers were Ty StephensColin Smith, Stanley Hopkins, Keith Fluitt, Martha Redbone, Chandra Armstead, Cheryl Pepsi Reilly & Cookie Watkins!

Then Jermaine Paul, the winner of the Voice Season 2 came out and we did his hit song from The Voice, I Believe I Can Fly.  What a voice on that dude!  Pleasure working with him.  We did Santana’s Smooth also with Jermaine – Smooth was Clive’s baby — and Jermaine knocked it out of the park.

Next up was Earth Wind and Fire  – my favorite band in the world.  I took about 5 minutes to intro them and got carried away — hey EWF is where I learned about Funk — but i couldn’t help it, I was intro-ing my heroes!

Then Jennifer Hudson  blew the roof off the place with a Whitney tribute and I am Telling You!  I could listen to her all day.  Chills.  Chills.  And more chills.

I got Jennifer and Clive in a huddle to explain my surprise ending to Clive!  The plan was to have Clive come back on stage and we would dedicate our finale to him – “That’s What Friends are For.”  We had Clive, I invited Jennifer back onstage, Jermaine, EWF and all the Stingers and everyone’s backup singers came on — we had a star studded choir and everyone sang along – 1500 guests and it was a beautiful meaningful end that had everyone, including Clive, teary eyed!

I wouldn’t have thought we could top last year’s event with Stevie Wonder and Michael McDonald, but this might have done it!  I feel really lucky to have been involved with this and thank MMRF and Michael Reinert for including us again this year!

I think I lost 10 pounds with all the sweat and excitement.

I will need a week to recover.

But I always have enough juice to play a little bluegrass and for today in music here’s some Bill Monroe.

Foggy Mountain Top!

Midnight Train to Georgia

October 27, 1973 Gladys Knight & the Pips’ Midnight Train to Georgia topped the charts!


Just a quick note tonight as I’m about to take the stage.  I’ll report back tomorrow in more detail but let me just thank some of my band tonight for sitting in backstage for an impromptu Midnight Train to Georgia.  Thanks to Martha Redbone, Ty Stephens, Stanley Hopkins, & Keith Fluitt.  I’ll tell you more about them tomorrow, too!

Gotta run!