Greetings, and welcome to this week’s Reservoir Music Notes. The great Johnny Otis (“Willie and the Hand Jive”) and the great Etta James passed away this week. Ironically, Etta was said to have been discovered by Johnny. Two more immortal legacies go into the history books!
This week I’m profiling one of the most exciting young guitarists around, Jon Klenck, AKA Jonny Monster, and it’s not hard to see where his name came from - He is a monster guitarist! I’ve already written about how the Jonny Monster Band blew my mind on New Year’s Eve at Backstage Productions in Kingston. In that article, I said that if you drew a line from Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn to Jonny Monster, you’d be overstating the case, but not by much! To those two illustrious axeslingers, let me also add Johnny Winter, because that influence is also there in Jonny Monster’s playing. But that’s the league this kid is playing in! He’s really that good!
And Jonny’s no Jonny Come Lately to the Blues music he plays so skillfully. He’s done his homework, as evidenced by his occasional solo acoustic shows where he goes back to the roots of the Blues, performing material by the likes of Robert Johnson and Leadbelly.
Based in New Paltz, the band consists of Jonny on guitar and vocals, Pete Newman on bass, and Roger LaRochelle on drums and vocals. They play all over the Hudson Valley and New York City, and last year opened for Johnny Winter at The Bearsville Theater. I wasn’t there, but I’m sure Jonny held his own in the showdown with Johnny, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the student bested the master! And now The Jonny Monster Band triumphantly returns to The Bearsville Theater this Friday night, January 27, for a free show in the Artist in Residence series. This show is on “Don’t Miss” status!
The band released their self titled CD last year which showcases Jonny’s high energy, aggressive guitar style. These guys are way beyond the average boring blues band. This is really exciting, rockin’ music! More info at www.jonnymonsterband.com and on Reverb Nation, My Space, and You Tube.
Other recommended shows this week are:
Thursday, January 26 – TODD RUNDGREN stops by the City Winery in Manhattan. Not a huge Todd fan, but he is good, always interesting, and this might make a good ending to the week in the city before heading to Woodstock for the weekend.
Friday, January 27 – Well, I’m gonna make THE JONNY MONSTER BAND one of my Picks of the Week, because he’s great, he’s young, he’s exciting, it’s close by, and it’s free, but there are three other shows tonight alone that could easily qualify for Pick of the Week status. Over at The Orient in Poughkeepsie, we have up and comers, THE RYAN MONTBLEAU BAND. Excellent band! Up at Club Helsinki in Hudson, THURSTON MOORE from Sonic Youth is in the house, and you know what? Game day decision! If you feel like driving, or live near Hudson, this has got to be a great show, so, Pick of the Week #2! And finally, BLUE CHICKEN is back at The Town Crier in Pauling. This band consists of Jim Weider and other members of Levon Helm’s Band, so you know what level of musicianship you’re getting with these guys – top notch! The Towne Crier is closing soon (hopefully reopening in another location) so this may be one of your last chances to hear some great music in the historical building.
Saturday, January 28 – Pick of the Week #3! LENNY KRAVITZ at Radio City Music Hall! Now I know many people are iffy about Lenny, for various reasons. Whatever! The first time I saw Lenny Kravitz, I only went because I was in the neighborhood with nothing to do, and I could get in free. I wasn’t a huge fan going in, but I was a huge fan coming out. Lenny is like a harder rockin’ Grateful Dead, in spirit. His music is all about recapturing the love from the 60’s, rock and roll, and more. He, too, has done his homework, he knows where the music came from, and he respects the old masters of all forms of music, from Rock to Jazz and beyond! Plus, the Hudson Valley’s own Gail Ann Dorsey is playing bass with Lenny on this tour!
If you are in the city tonight, and wanna rock harder than Lenny, there’s always Lemmy! As in MOTORHEAD and MEGADEATH at Madison Square Garden! Motorhead never fails to please! THE RYAN MONTBLEAU BAND continues their visit to New York with a show at Brooklyn Bowl. SLOAN WAINWRIGHT is at The Towne Crier. Not that familiar with Sloan’s music, but in my book, if your name’s Wainwright, you deserve a listen! Closer to home, THE WIYOS pull into Club Helsinki and UNCLE ROCK returns to Utopia Studios for another Kidtopia. This is a great event for the entire family.
Monday, January 30 – STEVE EARLE continues his residency at City Winery in Manhattan. Next week is the last week of Steve and Allison’s residency, so don’t wait until the last one and find something’s come up and you can’t make it! And slide guitarist par excellence, CHRIS DUARTE will be amazing patrons at BB King’s in Manhattan.
Got enough to do this week? Have a great one!
Fred Perry is the owner of Reservoir Music Center on Route 28 in Shokan, and founding member of Alt-Country supergroup, The Brooklyn Cowboys, is from a 3rd generation musical family and lives in the Hudson Valley, where he does what he can to promote live music.