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

Family Picnic review by Festivalinfo.nl

Recensie Johnny Dowd : Family Picnic

Al ruim dertig jaar behoort Johnny Dowd tot de gevestigde orde van de rootsmuziek, van de alternatieve country of dat wat wij tegenwoordig beter kennen als Americana. Maar ondanks de prachtige loftuitingen die er zoal over hem zijn geschreven, heeft Dowd nog nooit een groot publiek voor zijn muziek weten te bereiken. Niet vreemd als je bedenkt dat de eigenzinnige muzikant er werkelijk alles aan doet om maar niet de reeds geplaveide wegen te bewandelen. Geniale maar dikwijls bizarre spitsvondigheden en wereldvreemde avonturen in tekst en muziek maken het de luisteraars nu niet gemakkelijk. Vooral op het vorig jaar verschenen Twinkle, Twinkle leek Dowd behoorlijk de weg kwijt te zijn. Al eerder werden door hem de scherpe randjes en de viezige kantjes van de rootsmuziek opgezocht. Dat de drank en drugs daarbij een rol speelden lijkt waarschijnlijk. De vertroebelde blik maakte zijn muziek en zijn teksten echter echter altijd fascinerend. Om de sfeer te optimaliseren zocht hij regelmatig een inspirerende omgeving op. Zo begon hij ooit met schrijven in het kantoor van zijn verhuisbedrijfje, maar maakte hij later ook eens gebruik van een studio waarvan de muren volledig waren voorzien van overlijdensberichten. Maffe onderwerpen en thema’s als ‘moord’, ‘dood’ en ook de trieste kanten van de liefde werden altijd al graag bezongen door de ooit in Texas geboren, maar tegenwoordig in New York woonachtige muzikant. Wie dacht dat Dowd zijn wilde haren inmiddels wel kwijt zou zijn geraakt in de loop van de tijd, en zo’n vijftien studioalbums later, komt bedrogen uit.

Op het eerder dit jaar verschenen Family Picnic horen we hem namelijk weer op de zijn zo bekende zwartgallige wijze. Na eerst de luisteraar op het verkeerde been te hebben gezet met de vreemde instrumentale opener ‘Hoodoo’, volgt een even zo merkwaardige wals, waarin Johnny stoeit met distortion en andere gruizige tonen die je uit een elektrische gitaar kunt toveren. ”I was never the man of your dreams” klinkt het vals, maar zeer gemeend gezongen. In het donkere ‘Vicksburg’ lijkt het zelfs of Tom Waits tijdens het opnemen de studio is komen binnensluipen. De Amerikaanse Burgeroorlog wordt hier op wel heel bijzondere wijze beschreven. Angstaanjagend is het, zonder enige remming. Het is typerend voor Dowd waarvan je je nauwelijks kunt voorstellen dat hij inmiddels de zeventig jaar is gepasseerd. Met puntig gitaarwerk en elektronische beats rapt hij zich door ‘Shameless’ en begeeft hij zich tijdens ‘Walking The Floor’ in een vreemde duistere wereld. Met vocale hulp van Kim Sherwood-Caso en ondersteund door Michael Edmondson op gitaar en xylorimba, een bijzonder slaginstrument, neemt Dowd de luisteraar mee in normale, alledaagse gebeurtenissen zoals een familie-picknick, maar is niets zoals het lijkt dat het is. Vrijwel alles ontaardt in een surrealistische toestand en lijkt genialiteit en waanzin heel nauw met elkaar verwant. Hartstochtelijk gezongen is de lieve ode aan gospelzanger Thomas Dorsey door Dowd die, hoe tegenstrijdig ook, zich altijd voornamelijk met Duivelse muziek heeft ingelaten. Ondanks de goede bedoelingen klinkt ‘Let’s Have A Party’ weliswaar uitnodigend, maar wij slaan deze uitnodiging liever af en genieten op afstand van de muzikale capriolen van deze bijzondere veteraan op deze zeer interessante Family Picnic.

Recensent:Jeroen Bakker      Artiest:Johnny Dowd        Label:Mother Jinx Records
                                                                                   – Original Article

 

For more than thirty years, Johnny Dowd has been part of the established order of roots music, of the alternative country or what we now know better as Americana. But despite the wonderful lofting that has been written about him, Dowd has never managed to reach a large audience for his music. Not surprising when you consider that the idiosyncratic musician really does everything he can to not walk the paved roads. Ingenious, but often bizarre, quirks and worldly adventures in text and music do not make it easy for listeners. Especially on the last year, Twinkle, Twinkle Dowd seemed to be pretty lost. Earlier, he looked up the sharp edges and the filthy edges of the roots music. It seems likely that alcohol and drinks played a role in this. However, the blurred look always made his music and lyrics fascinating. To optimize the atmosphere, he regularly sought out an inspiring environment. For example, he once started writing in the office of his removal company, but later he also used a studio whose walls were completely covered with obituaries. Stupid subjects and themes such as ‘murder’, ‘death’ and also the sad sides of love have always been liked by the musician who was once born in Texas, but now lives in New York.On the Family Picnic , which was published earlier this year, we can hear it again in its well-known black-and-white manner. After having misled the listener with the strange instrumental opener ‘Hoodoo’, an equally remarkable waltz follows, in which Johnny plays with distortion and other gritty tones that you can conjure from an electric guitar. “I was never the man of your dreams”it sounds fake, but sincerely sung. In the dark ‘Vicksburg’ it even seems as if Tom Waits came sneaking into the studio during the recording. The American Civil War is described here in a very special way. It is frightening, without any inhibition. It is typical of Dowd that you can hardly imagine that he has now passed the seventy years. With pointed guitar work and electronic beats, he raps through ‘Shameless’ and enters a strange dark world during ‘Walking The Floor’. With vocal help from Kim Sherwood-Caso and supported by Michael Edmondson on guitar and xylorimba, a special percussion instrument, Dowd takes the listener into normal, everyday events such as a family picnic, but is nothing as it seems. Almost everything degenerates into a surrealistic situation and genius and madness seem very closely related. Sung passionately is the sweet ode to gospel singer Thomas Dorsey by Dowd, who, however contradictory, has always been mainly involved with Devil’s music. Despite the good intentions, ‘Let’s Have A Party’ sounds inviting, but we prefer to decline this invitation and enjoy the musical antics of this special veteran from a very interesting distance.Family Picnic .
                                                                        – Translation by Google

Live @Newfield Music Series (and Bonus Casita Gig Gallery)

•Wednesday, the Newfield Music Series at Mill Park closes out with the double bill of Anna Coogan and Johnny Dowd, occasional bandmates as well as outstanding songwriters in their own right. The show runs from 6 to 8 p.m.
Jim Catalano,Ithaca Journal

 

This poster by John Driscoll is most awesome. We dig the sketch version, cuz,well, more realistic…. .

 

And for reading till the end, here’s the bonus feature-photos from the Casita show in July:

 

See ya there, JT!

JT and John, brothers from another mother

Live @ Grassroots – In the Cabaret Sat. 9pm One Show Only

“Country-soul rejects no useful tool in its arsenal of dark expression – in the house of Johnny Dowd, drum machines and punk guitar tear the place apart, and story puts things back together, even if there are cracks left in the walls from all the ruckus. Find Johnny in the Cabaret Hall on Saturday at 9pm.”

 

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 9, 2017: Johnny Dowd performs at Hill Country Live in Washington, DC opening for Pere Ubu. (Photo by Richie Downs)

 

Grassroots interview 2015

 

UPDATE FROM JOHNNY’S SITE (www.johnnydowd.com):

The new record is coming along swimmingly. I guess if I were to put it in a genre, it would be Alt Country/Roots Rock/Americana, etc. They’re the kind of tunes I was writing 20 years ago. Mike Edmondson plays some great rock and roll guitar, and the icing on the cake is the return of Kim Sherwood Caso, singing better than ever. Still some work to do, but this may be a breakthrough album. Grammys, here I come. 

 

Grassroots 2016 with The Sex Robots

Live @ The Silver Line Tap Room

 

                     C’mon out to the Silver Line to see Johnny tonight…

                                      …maybe he’ll draw you a picture!

UPDATED:

Awesome show!

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