Boogie for the State – Online

Here’s a behind-the-scenes of John and Mike working on a new tune for this show. Check them out along with the other great artists we’ve been missing all year at a boogie for the State Theater!

Local musicians boogie for State Theatre fundraiser

By  Parker Schug

"Boogie for the State" is the name of this year
“Boogie for the State” is the name of this year’s virtual Boogie Shakedown concert and fundraiser for the State Theatre.

The annual Boogie Shakedown celebration is typically held during a chilly Ithaca Memorial Day weekend. However, this year, Boogie Shakedown is becoming Boogie for the State, a virtual event to celebrate local music and raise money for The State Theatre of Ithaca.

The Shakedown will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 and will showcase performances from over 10 local bands. Since 1998, Boogie Shakedown has been a backyard get-together for Ithaca musicians and their families. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, live performances have mostly been put on pause. The State Theatre has adapted to a virtual setting to maintain the tradition. The concert, which will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube, is free to watch, but donations will be encouraged throughout the event.

Viewers can expect performances from artists who have graced the Boogie Shakedown stage in the past, like Plastic Nebraska, Maddy Walsh & The Blind Spots, Sim Redmond Band, Johnny Dowd, Mary Lorson and Billy Cote of Madder Rose, Common Railers, The Small Kings, The Rungs, Janet Batch, The Sutras and Don Bazley and The Moles.

Brian Fiorello, manager of Plastic Nebraska, said it is important to keep the spirit of local music alive amid the pandemic.

“This area is big with original local music and music festivals, so [Boogie Shakedown] was kind of the first gathering of people, and you started to get that first taste of music and a little mini music festival,” Fiorello said.

Many in-person festivals in Ithaca last year were canceled or shifted to virtual programming because of the pandemic, including Ithaca Festival, Porchfest and the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance.

Maddy Walsh, lead singer of Maddy Walsh & The Blind Spots, said that for performers, this is an opportunity to reunite — even if it is over a screen.

“I remember when we first started playing, there were a few musicians who had babies, and now there’s this whole other part of the party,” Walsh said. “There’s a bunch of kids running around, and they all know each other from having been at this party for years and years.”

The State Theatre opened in 1928 and is located in Downtown Ithaca. It is the last historic theater in Tompkins County.

Doug Levine, executive director at the State Theatre, said many live event venues are struggling amid the pandemic. Nearly 90% of independent concert venues are at risk of closing their doors due to the pandemic, according to a June report from the National Independent Venue Association.

Boogie for the State is not the theater’s first effort to keep itself afloat. In November, the theater launched the Save Your Seat campaign. Supporters had the opportunity to purchase a customized plaque to be placed on one of the theater’s seats. With 1,600 seats in the theater, the goal was to raise $160,000 to cover the deficit from not hosting a show since March 2020. The theater also held a virtual concert as part of this effort Dec. 1. The State Theatre announced that it met its goal Dec. 30.

Prior to the pandemic, students from Ithaca College would attend concerts at local music venues like the State Theatre and The Haunt, located near the Ithaca Farmers Market. However, the local music scene has changed rapidly over the previous year. The Haunt was sold last year, and the demolition of the building began the week of Feb. 22.

Junior Brooke Bernhardt attended a Walk the Moon concert at the State Theatre in 2019 and said she would be sad if the theater had to close.

“It’s a beautiful old-fashioned theater and a nice concert space,” Bernhardt said. “I’d hate to see a space like that shut down.”

In an effort to make Boogie for the State run smoothly, each performer pre-recorded their performances. All of the performances will be edited together for the livestream.

“One thing that we learned is with true live streaming, there’s a lot of risk and a lot of stress involved because so much can go wrong, but when you have people recording them in advance, you get the good take,” Levine said. “Then you can put it all together, and the way we stream it out, we kind of ensure that it’s a smooth, good stream, so there’s no buffering, there’s no hiccups.”

Walsh said she is looking forward to not only participating in the concert but also watching other performances.

“We’re happy to submit a musical contribution from ourselves, but I love tuning into the other bands, and that’s sort of the joy of this particular festival, party, is that musicians get to watch other musicians bring their stuff to the stage,” Walsh said. “To see them and hear them again will be a total joy.”

BAND ORDER for Boogie for The State – A Virtual Shakedown!

Common Railers

Plastic Nebraska

Mike Ryan

The Rungs

JoJo

The Small Kings

Janet Batch

The Don Bazley Project

Johnny Dowd Trio

The Moles

Maddy & Suave

Mary Lorson and Billy Coté

Sim Redmond Band

Pandemic Productions Presents: Johnny and Friends

Looking back, it’s been kind of amazing seeing the plethora of collaborative stuff that’s appeared online in 2020, aka the year of stay-the-hell-away-from-me. Where there’s a will there’s an app, I guess.

Hopefully you all checked out the great Hideaway video Justin Asher put together showcasing former/current/future/past/ongoing members of the Johnny Dowd Band (Mike Edmondson, Anna Coogan, Brian “Willie B” Wilson, Matthew Saccuccimorano, Kim Sherwood Caso, Michael Stark, Justin himself, and special guest talent Sally Timms). It was followed in short order by Thanksgiving Day, same crew. Which do I like better? I can’t say, but if you haven’t seen TD yet, be prepared for some wacky guitar work and music video action. No lie.

Justin tells us:

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
I’ve been busy this quarantine putting together a virtual reunion with the past and present members of the Johnny Dowd Band. I spent much of the late 90s and early 00s touring and recording with them, and it’s been wonderful to reconnect and make noise together. This month we made a version of Johnny’s song “Thanksgiving Day“. May it bring you as much joy and introspection as it did for us putting it together. Check it out and spread the word. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Hope y’all have a relaxing and safe holiday!
-Justin
(P.S. I mixed and edited the audio as well as the video. Apparently I’m a video editor now.)
 

 

Another collaboration produced Fine Time, part of the Conductors Tale by Rik Van Iersel, with Johnny reciting his poetry to music by Senga Etna and Johnny Dowd.

 
Neither last nor least, Johnny and his family did what families should do, and worked together for a whole series of art projects. Continue experiencing this cornucopia with more art and music videos.
 
And so it goes, keeping on keeping on. Hope you are, too.

The Falcon and a Secret Show by the skin of their teeth

 

Whoa, just made it to these shows before NYS shutdown. None of us got sick afterwards, and we hope no one who came to the shows did, either. The rest of the house party tour got cancelled, and a couple of art shows in the making put on hold. May both these venues are up and running safely soon, because they were both most fun hangs.

The Falcon on March 6 was a major revelation. How did we not know about a venue as magnificent as this, and an owner/soundman as interesting as Tony Falco? Not only did Tony and his superhero wife (she’s a teacher) put us up, but he walked us through, yes, fixing another tour flat tire.

First off: location location location.

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The inimitable George Spafford opened for Johnny and Mike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next on March 7, skidding into MA broadside in a cloud of smoke, was what turned out to be the last show of the shortened tour. The Super Secret One that must have somehow leaked out, because not only packed house, but Brian and Kim!

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(Swag mucho appreciated, Jim!)

 

So sorry Lucky Penny and Roadmaster Stage. We missed you guys! If John comes your way someday, here’s my fav sign ever by the fans in MA-feel free to use!:

 

 

Live @ Super Secret Show Haverhill MA

Johnny Dowd: house concert in Haverhill, MA

By

Hans Werksman

werksman.blogspot.com

Live in vicinity of Haverhill, MA? On March 7 Americana outsider Johnny Dowd plays an intimate show in someone’s house. Inquiries via email. with any luck he might play some of the stuff he is working on for his next album.

Live dates:

  • 03/06 Marlboro, NY @ The Falcon & The Falcon Underground
  • 03/07 Haverhill, MA @ house concert

» johnnydowd.com

HCTF review of Family Picnic.

Johnny Dowd: working on a new album

 

photo: Andy Muscroft

Johnny Dowd is messng around in the studio, reinventing himself again for his next album, the follow-up for Family Picni. Technology and rock ‘will meet and weird and wonderful things could happen as part of the process:

Working on some new stuff — going in a whole new direction. Samples and heavy drum machine. Somewhere between brilliant and total self-indulgence. At the same time, I’m working with buddy Mike Edmondson on some straight-up rock songs. Can I put the two together? My point is, I’m still cranking it and chasing the dream — or my own ass. Whichever comes first.

Live @ The Falcon

“Imagine if Hank Williams had mutated into Captain Beefheart, acquiring a bunch of primitive electronic equipment along the way, and you’ll get some idea of where Johnny Dowd is at… Gloriously deviant.“ – The Independent (London)

 

“While most artists play it safe on stage and stick close to the studio versions, Dowd and his band love to turn things upside down and inside out. Warts and all is pretty much their modus operandi. He’s a music critics’ favourite, and a cult artist with a fervent and vocal fan base.” – Hans Werksman / werksman.blogspot.com

“Dowd has made a career of making music full of piercingly bleak, hard fought, gnarled dreamscapes that make David Lynch’s tales seem like those of a choir boy. But just when I thought I had him figured out, Dowd delivers a blues record so beautiful that I cannot stop playing it. It is also full of demons that live on a merry-go-round with feedback and distortion taking the places of the painted ponies going up and down. Paradoxically, it’s his most accessible music in quite a while, maybe ever.” – No Depression (US)

This is a man clearly in charge of his musical vision, and that vision includes a broad grasp of rock’s so-called rich tapestry. Dowd ekes out noir-ish psychedelic blues, takes old surf riffs and slows ’em down to a funeral procession trudge, and yelps his way through “trashabilly”.

Johnny Dowd is an American alternative country musician from Ithaca, New York. There’s a strong undercurrent of black humor and the absurd in his work.His song-style style comprises experimental, noisy breaks and strong gothic elements, lyrically and instrumentally.

Check out Johnny’s latest album, Family Picnic (2019)!

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