Kicking Harold is part of an elite group: It includes musicians from Tucson who actually released a record on a major label.
A move to Los Angeles in the early '90s was just what the doctor ordered for these three friends from Tucson, because what started as a "jam session" quickly turned into an indie record deal. After the band scored success with national touring and airplay, MCA Records came calling. In 1996, they transformed their indie release, Ugly and Festering, into a full-fledged major release complete with national press and tour support.
After the downfall of MCA, Kicking Harold continued to release albums independently. The single "Gasoline," from Space Age Breakdown, was featured as the theme song for the TLC automobile-makeover show Overhaulin'. That led to more than 500,000 views of their music video "Gasoline" on YouTube.
As bandleader Tim David Kelly was trying to concentrate on songwriting and producing (Shiny Toy Guns and Dokken), new interest in the band pulled him back into the fold. Last year, Kelly, along with the other two original members, recorded a new CD, Zombies, Cars, and Evil Guitars. And once again, they are hitting the road—and stopping in Tucson, almost 20 years after they left the first time. What's evident on their latest release is that these three friends are playing rock 'n' roll for the love of it—and on the night of Club Crawl®, we'll all get a chance to be part of their "jam session."
Harmonica player John "Luke" Logan has long been a go-to guy for both musicians and TV/film producers searching for that right harp sound. He has recorded with some of the best in the business, including Ry Cooder, Los Lobos, Etta James, John Lee Hooker, Lucinda Williams, Dave Alvin and Leon Russell. His harmonica-playing has been featured in the hit movies La Bamba, Crossroads and Midnight Run, and on several TV theme songs including those for Roseanne and Home Improvement.
Logan has also been a prolific songwriter, having penned tunes for fellow bluesmen John Mayall, Gary Primich and the Paladins. At Club Crawl®, he will be teaming up with former bandmate Danny Krieger from the Van Dykes (and of Grams and Krieger). Logan and Krieger were both longtime members of Sam Taylor and a Band Called Sam in the '70s and '80s before Sam Taylor relocated to Tucson. The two later formed their own band, the Mambo Gigolos. There is another connection with the Van Dykes—and that is bassist Larry Lee Lerma, with whom Logan has worked as part of Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts.
John "Juke" Logan has also released three critically acclaimed CDs: The Chill, The Truth Will Rock You and Twist-O-Lettz. This Tucson appearance will be special for Logan, because two years ago, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and his musical career—along with the ability to blow a harp—was in doubt. After successful surgery, Juke is feeling healthy and raring to go. He looks forward to playing Club Crawl® and knocking a little dust off the old pipes—and we're happy to have this world-class musician doing what he loves to do best.
The epicenter of Southern rock in the early '70s was Macon, Ga., and a little record company that burst into the scene called Capricorn Records. One of their house producers was a man named Johnny Sandlin, who worked with the A-list clients, including the Allman Brothers, Elvin Bishop, Wet Willie, Delbert McClinton, Bonnie Bramlett and Johnny Jenkins. Kenneth Brian is a Southern boy who grew up in that neck of the woods—in Gainesville, Fla., to be exact. He then took his rocking honky-tonk sound to the bigger markets of Austin and, later, Nashville. Feeling like he had to get back to his Southern roots, he moved to Decatur, Ala., in 2010—and that's where he met Johnny Sandlin. The veteran producer was immediately enthralled with Brian, his songs and his immense guitar talent. In Sandlin, Brian found the producer who could take his songs to the next level, and the result is a brand-new album titled Welcome to Alabama, slated for release on Oct. 18.
With nine out of 10 originals, it's a blistering collection of Southern rock, as showcased on the title track and in the Dickey Betts cover, "Nothing You Can Do." But the album is also laced with beautiful gems like "Last Call" and "Prayer for Love." Here's a guy who was the lead actor in the Hank Williams play Lost Highway—and who seems tortured by some of same demons. For Brian, much like Williams, the redemption is in the song and in the live performance. With his shirt off and tattoos blazing, Kenneth Brian is a real tour de force, because he can actually pull off a four-piece version of the Allman Brothers sound.
Vaudeville Cabaret will transform itself into a punk-rock mecca during Club Crawl®. Headlining the festivities will be Agression, from Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, Calif. That's where, in the early '80s, they helped found the nardcore sound of the punk-rock scene. They were also instrumental in perpetuating the skate-punk genre that melded the skateboarding lifestyle with punk-rock music. Songs about skating, such as "Intense Energy," and album covers featuring skater Arthur Lake grinding in a pool helped forge their popularity in that genre.
Also in the show will be Dirty Filthy Mugs, from Los Angeles. Their intense live shows are the band's trademark, but their studio recordings reflect the immense talent that lies within. As their bio reads, "They continue to bring their addictive punk-rock mayhem to as many punks, skins, skaters, psychos, mods, rockers, hooligans and outcasts as possible." Listen to their 2011 release, Up in the Downs, and immediately, you know it's a punk-rock masterpiece.
Rounding out the bill of headliners will be Asses of Evil from Phoenix, who feature drummer Bam Bam, formerly of JFA. Their genre of punk is downright scary, and with all-night binges of Schlitz and whisky, these "gutterpunks" intend to bring hard, fast, raw and obnoxious punk rock right to faces of concert-goers.
At the opposite end of Congress Street, crawlers will find a night of dance-music ecstasy at Club Congress. Three national touring acts are sandwiched between Congress' Bang! Bang! DJs Matt McCoy and Dewtron.
From El Paso, Texas, Bulletproof Tiger will display their instrumental live-electronic music all while donning plastic tiger masks. This duo formed after discovering their shared love of dance, electronic and hip-hop.
Up next, from Los Angeles, are Optimist Club favorites LexiconDon and Fabian. LexiconDon was in town back in July, and the energy at Club Congress that night was off the charts. LexiconDon's songs are full of catchy melodies and soulful lyrics, all backed by a powerful electronic mix.
Fabian's music reflects his extensive work as an electronic producer and his eclectic tastes, spanning hip-hop, electro, pop, French touch and filter house. His 2009 single "Heatwave" caught the attention of dance fans around the world. For 2011, Fabian has created his debut album, Say Goodbye. Just maybe he will have a brand-new box of records with him when he visits us for Club Crawl.®