LAST CHANCE TO COVER UP
Hey, local bands and musicians! Do you want to perform at this year's Great Cover-Up? If so, and if you haven't sent in your submission yet, do it. Like, right now.
The deadline to let the organizers (of which I'm one) know your top three choices of who you'd like to cover is 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14.
You should know what the deal is by now, but in case you don't: The Great Cover-Up is a Tucson music institution for which local bands that normally perform original music instead perform a 20-minute set of covers by a particular artist. All the money goes to charity, specifically the Tucson Artists and Musicians Healthcare Alliance.
This year's event will be held over three nights, at three different venues: Thursday, Dec. 15, at Plush; Friday, Dec. 16, at Club Congress; and Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Rialto Theatre.
If you'd like to submit your ideas, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday at 5 p.m. Thank you.
"I must have been through about a million girls / I love 'em and I leave 'em alone."
Anyone who was born before the '80s, or at least frequents the oldies station, knows those opening lines. They come from Elvin Bishop's 1975 song "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," easily his biggest hit. But here's a bit of trivia for you: While Bishop plays the bluesy guitar on the track, the person singing the blue-eyed soul song wasn't Bishop, but future Starship commander Mickey Thomas. That's right: The guy who also sang "We Built This City."
Ever since I heard Bishop would be headlining this year's Blues and Heritage Festival, which is put on each year by the Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation (SABHF), I've been walking around singing "Fooled Around and Fell in Love." Sure, it annoys my friends, but it's one of those songs that's nigh impossible to dislodge from your brain once it burrows in.
The song is simultaneously a pop anomaly in Bishop's career, and representative of its diversity. Bishop, who attended college in the early 1960s amid the electric-blues scene in Chicago, cut his teeth playing blues guitar in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He then went solo, earning a reputation as a hot-shit guitar player who could move effortlessly among the blues, Southern rock, R&B, country and gospel. His latest album, 2010's Red Dog Speaks (Delta Grooves), was widely acclaimed as a neat career summary, featuring five original tunes and a bunch of well-chosen covers that move through those aforementioned genres. And to further the point of Bishop's diversity, the album featured guest spots from both Tommy Castro and Buckwheat Zydeco, and included a cover of Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers to Cross."
Bishop will take the stage at the Blues and Heritage Festival at 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 16. Here's a schedule of the (mostly) local performers who will precede him: 11 a.m.: Danny Krieger, Steve Grams, Ed DeLucia, John Strasser and Ralph Gilmore; 12:10 p.m.: Heather Hardy, Bryan Dean and Larry Lee Lerma; 1:20 p.m.: Hans Olson, Steve Willis, Scotty Spenner, Rochelle Raya, Jimmy Mack and Jim Dorholt; 2:30 p.m.: Induction of new Arizona Blues Hall of Fame members; 2:35 p.m.: Mike Blommer, Alex Flores, Carla Brownlee, Larry Diehl and John Strasser; 3:45 p.m.: Stefan George, Tom Walbank, Arthur Migliazza, George Howard, Gary Mackender, Ralph Gilmore and Larry Lee Lerma.
The SABHF's Blues and Heritage Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 16, at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center in Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way. Admission is $10, and those 18 and younger will be admitted for free. For more information, head to azblues.org.
If the festival itself doesn't provide enough blues for you, the folks at the Boondocks Lounge are teaming up with the Wayback Machine for a pair of events that bookend the festival proper.
At 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15, the Wayback Machine hosts Bluesapalooza. Following an opening acoustic set by Stefan George and Lavinia White, George will join the Wayback Machine as the first guest in a series. Essentially, the Waybacks will serve as the house band for the likes of Arthur Migliazza, Amochip Dabney, Mitzi Cowell, Gary Mackender and many others. Admission is $8.
Then, right after the festival, at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 16, the Boondocks will feature a Post-Fest Blues Jam, again hosted by the Wayback Machine. Festival performers will join the Waybacks for a big ol' jam until the wee hours. Admission to this one is free.
Boondocks Lounge is located at 3306 N. First Ave., and you can head to boondockslounge.com or call 690-0991 for more information.
FAREWELL TO JUDAS PRIEST?
Few bands in any genre are as influential as Judas Priest has been in the metal world over the last 40 years. Starting in 1970, in Birmingham, England, Priest spearheaded the exploding British heavy-metal movement, which has since come to be known as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWBHM). If bands like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple were somewhat gloomy and rooted in the blues, NWBHM bands like Motörhead and Iron Maiden dropped the blues influences and played a faster, tougher version of metal. As such, Priest and the other NWBHM bands can claim responsibility for countless subgenres that formed in their tracks. Metallica, anyone?
While founding guitarist K.K. Downing left the band earlier this year, Judas Priest still counts singer Rob Halford, guitarist and keyboardist Glenn Tipton, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis (who joined in 1989) as members—but for how long is anyone's guess.
Judas Priest have announced that the current tour, called the Epitaph World Tour, will be the band's final outing, despite the fact that they have been working on material for a new album scheduled for release in 2012. What happens next is anyone's guess. But we should consider ourselves lucky that Tucson gets one last chance to hear those classic tunes—"Living After Midnight," "Breaking the Law," "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," "Turbo Lover," and on and on—performed live one more time.
Since it's Pride Week in Tucson, a side note: Rob Halford, who took a hiatus from the band from 1992 to 2003, announced in 1998 that he was gay, a risky thing to do in the metal world, even if you're Rob Halford. Somewhat surprisingly and awfully reassuringly, Priest fans didn't seem to give a damn. And in doing so, Halford became an instant gay icon.
Judas Priest performs in Tucson for what is expected to be the last time on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at AVA at Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road. Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society and a version of Thin Lizzy open the show at 5 p.m. Tickets are $35 to $90, available for purchase at casinodelsol.com or by calling (800) 344-9435, the same number to call for more information.
ON THE BANDWAGON
GSol CD-release at La Cocina tonight, Thursday, Oct. 13; Lethal Dosage and We Killed the Union dual album-release show at The Rock on Saturday, Oct. 15; All Souls Procession Fundraiser and Silent Auction featuring The Mission Creeps, Black Cherry Burlesque and others at Surly Wench Pub next Thursday, Oct. 20; Thrones and Danava at Solar Culture Gallery on Sunday, Oct. 16; duo night featuring Acorn Bcorn, Tumbleweed and Jackalope (featuring Logan Greene), Joey Kendall and Kendle Kendall, and Run-On Sunshine at Skrappy's on Friday, Oct. 14; k.d. lang and Teddy Thompson at UA Centennial Hall on Saturday, Oct. 15; Kim Richey at Club Congress on Friday, Oct. 14; Holy Rolling Empire, Transfer and Church Key at Plush on Friday, Oct. 14; the Together/Apart Tour featuring Grieves and Budo, Prof and The MC Type at Club Congress on Tuesday, Oct. 18; Andre Nickatina at the Rialto Theatre on Friday, Oct. 14; Cuckoo Chaos, Rescue Lights and Logan Greene and the Players at Plush on Saturday, Oct. 15; Mombasa, Yeah Right Fine and John Gimmler at the Red Room at Grill on Sunday, Oct. 16; the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and others at The Rock on Monday, Oct. 17; Godsmack at AVA at Casino del Sol on Friday, Oct. 14; the Second Annual Tucson Zombie Prom with The Rocketz, Cold Blue Rebels and The Independents at The Rock on Friday, Oct. 14; Colbie Caillat at the Fox Tucson Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 18; Evanescence, The Pretty Reckless and Rival Sons at AVA at Casino del Sol on Saturday, Oct. 15; Tyga at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 19.