To pass the time this morning whilst the rain & snow once again descends on Manhattan, I put on an old Luka Bloom album and let the mournful wailings of a homesick Irishman wash over me, when outta nowhere I get an email from Francesco Ferorelli. He’s played drums for a bunch of punk and metal bands over the past decade and regularly sends me what he’s doing…most of it totally unsuitable for human consumption, or at least the delicate flowers that frequent The List…but now he tells me that during his head-bangin’ period he was actually a closet Kris Kristofferson fan and was writing his own songs…FOLK SONGS…and recorded them on an LP under the name The Heaven’s Jail Band. Making up the band are Ethan Schmid (Glory Girls) on drums, James Preston (The Americans, Alana Amrama and the Rough Gems) on Bass, John Hunter (Lower Dens, Glory Girls) on lead guitar, and guest Scott Stapleton (Phosphorescent, Virgin Forest) on keys. Now maybe it’s simply because I still had residual Luka swirling around in my earholes, but listen to ‘Mary Watches Everything’ off of 1992’s ‘The Acoustic Motorbike’ and then tell me if there isn’t an eerie similarity.
One of the perks of being in New York is being able to listen to new music every single night and last night Vienna Teng was doing her Farewell Tour at the Highline Ballroom and I was there…front row & center! Vienna is truly one of the most gifted artists I’ve heard in years and it rips my heart out to think she’s packing up her piano (at least until she gets her Masters from the University of Michigan) because even as talented as she is, it’s damned near impossible to survive in the music business…unless you shake your ass around like GaGa or Beyoncé! But this isn’t about Vienna…it’s about the guy who opened for her, a darkly funny Angeleno named Joey Ryan. Joey took the stage wearing a slightly ill-fitting tweedy suit, carrying nothing but a guitar that was ‘older than his parents’…and he went on to totally win over the crowd, most of whom had probably never heard of him! His folksy, self-deprecating banter between songs has a real Luka Bloom quality about it, except that where Luka would typically be moaning about how horrible life on the road is and that he misses Ireland terribly, Joey lamented about how life on road sucked and he missed the lack of weather back home in L.A.!!!
Joey’s gonna be playing a solo gig at the small room at Rockwood Music Hall this Friday and will back in New York on September 22nd, this time playing Stage 2 at Rockwood with Amber Rubarth. ‘Broken Headlights’ is off of his new EP, Kenter Canyon, and I strongly advise you all to head on over to his MySpace page and give him a look!