Big Ten

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All new music from:
Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby, Peter Blegvad, Peter Holsapple, Dave Schramm, Freedy Johnston, Kate Jacobs, Robin Holcomb and special guests Susan Cowsill (and her band: Russ Broussard, Mary Lassaigne, Alexis Marceaux, and Sam and Jack Craft), and Alessi’s Ark

Presented by: Nicholas Hill

The Radio Free All Stars: Dave Schramm, JD Foster, Doug Wieselman, Russ Broussard and Susan Cowsill.

What a night! The Chop Shop was packed with players and friends. Susan Cowsill brought a new song and she and Russ joined Peter Holsapple and the All Stars on Peter’s big-hearted sentimental journey. Alessi of Alessi’s Ark from London started her first US tour by singing a wickedly charming song on our show. Good luck Alessi! Robin Holcomb stopped by after her gig and played a new song with her old friend Doug Wieselman on bass clarinet. Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby sent their first canned club submission—a piece of theater, with many voices. Dave Schramm had the All Stars plus Susan overdub on his already beautiful track, and Kate Jacobs brought another show tune, written with Ted Reichman via file server. The Susan Cowsill Band finished up with an old Continental Drifters favorite and by then it was really late.

Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby, Sombreros at the Airport (W. Eric & A. Rigby) performed and recorded by Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby; Grantland Music admin. by Bug Music

Peter Blegvad, Bug House Queen (Peter Blegvad) performed and recorded by Peter Blegvad; Copyright Control Peter Blegvad

Susan Cowsill, I Never Knew There Would Be You (Susan Cowsill) recorded live with the Radio Free All Stars; CoCo Bunny Music (BMI) admin. by Bug Music

Peter Holsapple, No Better (Peter Holsapple) performed and recorded by Peter with live overdubs from the Radio Free All Stars and Susan Cowsill; Hospital Music (BMI) admin Bug Music

Dave Schramm, Slip and a Fall (Dave Schramm) performed and recorded by Dave with live overdubs from the Radio Free All Stars and Susan Cowsill ; Hot Stove Music (BMI)

Freedy Johnston, Old Penny (Freedy Johnston) performed and recorded by Freedy; Trouble Tree Music (BMI)

Kate Jacobs, By the Duty Free (Kate Jacobs) piano arrangement by Ted Reichman, Doug Wieselman live bass clarinet overdub; Small Pond Music (BMI)

Alessi’s Ark, Hey Big Chicken (Alessi Laurent-Marke) Live with Alessi on vocal and guitar, The Radio Free All Stars plus Susan Cowsill and Alexis Marceau singing harmony; Copyright Control Alessi’s Ark

Robin Holcomb, Once (Robin Holcomb) Robin, piano and vocal; Doug Wieselman, clarinet; Dave Schramm, guitar; JD Foster, bass; Russ Broussard, drums; St. Rose Music (ASCAP)

The Susan Cowsill Band, Mississippi (Carlo Nuccio, Ray Ganucheau) Susan guitar, Mary Lasseigne bass and vocals, Alexis Marceau vocals, Jack Craft guitar, Sam Craft fiddle, Radio Free All Stars

Engineered and mixed by Gary Arnold assisted by Shane Steinhilber at Gary’s Chop Shop, NYC October 20, 2010

Songwriters’ comments:

Amy Rigby on Sombreros at the Airport:

Sometimes on tour we think up elaborate scenarios – film scripts, TV shows or just imagining ourselves in other peoples’ lives. One of our earliest inventions was a couple called Graham Critch and Hilary Pond – he’s an aging IT consultant from a place like Milton Keynes, she’s a high school art teacher in Cleveland Heights. They met on a reality show where two middle-aged people, he British she American, were put together on a transatlantic date to see if they hit it off. The type of show that would never actually get made because it would be either too boring or too depressing to watch.

“There’s no denying she’s a very attractive lady,” he says (in an English accent). He doesn’t get out much.

“He’s really interesting.” Neither does she. “And I love his accent.”

Time goes on and even after the show is over they continue to see each other once or twice a year. They take a holiday together in Spain.

Peter Blegvad on Bug House Queen:

These photos come from Bill Zavatsky’s article, RICHARD GRIFFIN, THE BUGHOUSE POET. Zavatsky describes finding copies of Griffin’s collection “Bug House Poetry” at Gotham Book Mart in the 1970s:

Bug House Poetry is dated 1917. All I had to do was open the cover and find the photograph of the author, playing a banjo, pipe in his mouth, wearing a golf cap, knickers, and knee socks, with two huge “vinegerones,” one crawling up his left leg, the other on the face of the banjo. A vinegerone, it didn’t take me long to find out, though I had to go to my unabridged dictionary to hunt down the word as “vinegarroon,” is “a large whip scorpion of the southern U.S. and Mexico that emits a vinegary odor when disturbed and is inaccurately held to be very venomous.” But Griffin’s “vinegerones” look like rubber or papier-mâché critters.

Peter Holsapple on No Better:

The song came pretty much all at once, usually the mark (in my book) that it’s probably going to be alright. Inspired by our special guests, Ms. Cowsill and Mr. Broussard, with whom I share a long, tangled and fortunately vital and happy relationship, I wrote this love song to our old band. They themselves may find this particularly humorous, knowing my penchant for dismissing our work with the sweep of a hand and a snort when I’m in that kind of mood. Well, suffice to say, there’s much love for the Continental Drifters in this outing, and I hope it shows and is taken the right way.

Kate Jacobs on By the Duty Free:

I fly in and out of Shannon Airport a lot and there are often platoons of American soldiers on their way to Iraq and Afghanistan. I wrote this song about them with just a vocal—since I wouldn’t know where to begin finding chords for it. I emailed the track to Ted Reichman who put together this arrangement in an hour or so. It was, as Dave said, like that game where you draw a picture and fold it over and pass it to someone else to finish.

Dave Schramm on Slip and a Fall:

I have tried to condense something of The Magic Mountain down to fill the soup can of the 3 minute song (err….5 minute?) I seem to have left out all the political discussion, but no matter.
And this is yet another languid melancholic waltz. I guess it’s the year of languid melancholy for me. And there are probably more coming.
I’ll try and work on something peppier for next year.