Tag Archives: Music

Michael “Supe” Granda: Still a Daredevil

By Barry Gilbert

Michael “Supe” Granda, St. Louis native and bassist for the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, has added a new series of gigs to his parallel solo career: “Supe’s On: An Evening of Songs, Stories & Serious Silliness.” The show, which debuts this weekend in St. Louis, features Supe singing songs from his Daredevils and solo catalogues, and telling stories drawn from his book on the band.

We had a very enjoyable chat last week, and my story from that interview appeared in Go! magazine (EDIT: The link is apparently permanently broken; ) in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Also, here are some links to some earlier Supe/Daredevils stories

–A review of Supe Granda’s bandography, “It Shined: The Saga of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils”

— A review of the Daredevils’ CD “Rhythm and Joy: The 1980 Reunion Concert”

— A story from 2004, “Old stunts are new again”

— A story from 1999, “Band keeps on strummin’ ”

For fans of the Daredevils, Supe and the Sandwiches, Supe de Jour and the Garbonzos, here’s the interview Q&A, edited a bit for length and clarity.

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BG: I see by your area code that you’re still down in Nashville.

Supe: I’ve been in Nashville 19 years. Almost as long as I lived in Springfield. I love it down here. I got access to the greatest musicians in the world. For a musician and writer, it’s like being a kid in a candy store.

Continue reading Michael “Supe” Granda: Still a Daredevil

Blues from the Crescent City

david egan cd cover

David Egan
“You Don’t Know Your Mind”
Out of the Past/Rhonda Sue Records
**** (out of five)

By Barry Gilbert

Pianist David Egan, who stepped out of the songwriter/sidemen shadows four years ago at the age of 54, is back with his sophomore release, a tasty stew of New Orleans sounds called “You Don’t Know Your Mind.”

Egan conjures up the likes of Doctor John, Professor Longhair and Huey “Piano” Smith over 11 tracks of blues, R&B, rock and roll, zydeco and even some cool 1 a.m. lounge music. He is once again aided by producer/guitarist Joe McMahan, a St. Louis favorite after visits with, among others, Kevin Gordon, who also gives Egan a hand.

Standout tracks include the sultry “If It Is What It Is (It’s Love)” with Jennifer Nicely; “Proud Dog,” in which Egan writes a manifesto for survivors (“well the cat gets nine and you only got one/so you better just have a little doggone fun”); and the funny and touching “Small Fry,” in which Egan sings a love song to his “darling son” — and “blue-eyed beast.”

Egan paid his dues, writing for Joe Cocker and Percy Sledge, and playing in bands such as Lil’ Band o’ Gold with Cajun guitarist C.C. Adcock. Now it’s Egan’s time, and he’s making the most of it.

Twangfest 12 wrapup

The Waco Brothers
The Waco Brothers perform at Twangfest

The following post is an unedited version of my report for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which ran in a shorter form on Monday, June 9, 2008.

June 15, 2008

By Barry Gilbert

The Waco Brothers, an irreverent band of post-punk, country-leaning Brits from Chicago, and Ha Ha Tonka, young tradition-minded rockers from the Ozarks, closed out the four-night Twangfest 12 in style Saturday [June 7, 2008] at Off Broadway.

St. Louis’ not-for-profit, roots music festival came full circle with the Wacos, who inaugurated the series at Off Broadway in 1997.

Review of Day 1: Chuck Prophet, Centro-Matic, the Butchers and the Builders
Review of Day 2: The Gourds, the Dynamites featuring Charles Walker, the Deadstring Brothers
Review of Day 3: The Old 97’s, Hayes Carll, Miles of Wire, I Love Math
Review of Day 4: The Waco Brothers, Ha Ha Tonka, the everybodyfields, Caleb Travers

Clad in a variety of black Western shirts, the Wacos played for an hour and 45 minutes and tore through 20 songs, a set list that would have been longer if not for the Wacos’ nonstop onstage banter that ranged from British sexual practices to U.S. politics, with numerous checkpoints in between.

Continue reading Twangfest 12 wrapup

Grand (well, pretty good) Ole Opry

See photos from the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Marty Stuart’s “Sparkle & Twang: An American Musical Odyssey”
By Barry Gilbert

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 1, 2007) “May the bird of paradise fly up your nose.”And welcome to the Grand Ole Opry, theme-park version. Little Jimmy Dickens was the host for the first segment of Saturday’s late show at Opryland USA, and his crossover novelty hit from 1966 set the tone for the night.

What was the tone? Kind of laid-back. Folks laughed politely at the moldy, cornpone jokes, and Dickens seemed to get a bigger hand for being 86 years old than for anything else.

Loudest cheers of the night went to the exciting gospel quartet Legacy 5 — No. 5 plays the piano — but they cheated, bringing in a busload of fans.

Perhaps I’m feeling ambivalent about this experience because it came only a few hours after I toured the “church of country music” and the Opry’s original home, the Ryman Auditorium. And perhaps no first-time trip to the Opry can meet expectations fueled by years of reading stories and books about it, seeing it on TV and hearing it, ableit rarely, on the radio. Because it is a radio show, broadcast still over WSM in Nashville, complete with live scripted ads for Martha White Flour.

Then there’s this whole Opryland USA thing, this monster created in the middle of nowhere 20 minutes out of downtown Nashville by Gaylord Entertainment, which saved the Ryman from the wrecking ball 20 years ago and rehabbed the old church, but not before moving the show out of downtown.

Continue reading Grand (well, pretty good) Ole Opry