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Mostly Reviews of stuff you may or may not give a damn about...

Harry's Razors

The commercial is correct, why pay such high prices for razor blades. For me it became a totally loathsome task, so much so, that I shaved with a dull blade until I finally had cut up my face so badly I was forced to once again make the investment.

To the store i would go and invariably forget which razor I was using....Schick 5 blade retractable anal itcher or the Gillette 18 blade commando with ear wax remover? I would end up buying a new razor that would come with a couple of cartridges and a month later I would go through the same shit all over again.

Enter Harry's. Great razor, feels good in your hand, 4 German blade cartridges, the best smelling shave gel I have ever come across and after shve balm....all for a reasonable price, PLUS you can get on auto ship every month or so and take the brain work right out. Thanks Harry's!

Click here for Harry's

Warby Parker Glasses
Extremely affordable, smart looking frames. Ship 5 pairs to try on free! Postage supplied to and back!


The epic 1969/1970 recording : Junior Wells Southside Blues Jam, will be re-released by Delmark Records on 14 November. Featuring the top session men in Chicago at the time, this album is 2nd only to "HooDoo Man Blues" in importance tops any list in pure satisfaction. Re-released in digipak expanded Deluxe Edition it contains unissued performances from the session and a 16 page booklet.

Living Blues Magazine

I have been a subscriber, off and on, for years. I'll let it lapse every so often and then will receive an off to re-subscribe which is too good to pass. The latest issue (6 yearly issues) for the Fall of 2014 is a special double issue dedicated to traveling to all the hot blues spots in Mississippi following the "Blues Trail".  To be sure, it's on my Bucket List. Check it out and pick up a copy, great reading even if you never go.
Living Blues Magazine

Tasty Cooking Tidbits From the Kitchen of Muddy Waters

Yes, you heard it right. An old chum of Muddy's has compiled a short web page of some of Muddy's more favorite "Shotgun Shack" dishes including "Fried Bologna Snack", "Collard Greens", "Wine Chicken" and others. Check it out. As Andy Griffith would say "MMMMmmmmmmmmmm Goooooooooood"

Muddy Waters Recipes
** Unfortunately, the website is down, however, when you click there is a recipe for "Fried Bologna Snack"

New Book by Eric Wittenberg Coming this Fall 2014!

Eric is an astoundingly great author who has many books under his belt, mostly dealing with the Federal Cavalry during the Civil War. This new book is a that has been on his list to write since he first became an author and should be an excellent read. I also particularly love "walking tour" books because you can obviously use them when on tour but also serve well to put me on the field when I peruse them. Published by Savas Beatie and will be available through their site as well as Click here for Savas Beatie catalog

Best Seat in the House - Jerry Shirley

An absolutely fabulous read if you have any affection for the late 60's/ early 70's hard rock ala the UK (and I have TONS of affection). Jerry was the youngest in the band and was able to drink this amazing experience of playing with a world touring rock outfit in and lived to tell about it and the story is great! click here to order Jerry's book

What in the World was I waiting for?

I guess I was waiting for a sign from God. Well, that never came but I FINALLY picked it up today.

I first saw this LP in a store I was running back in the early/mid 80's. I always remembered the cover because 1) I had no idea who Furry Lewis was and 2) The picture on the jacket made him look like a Baptist getting struck by the Holy Ghost.

Fast forward quite a few years. I know who Furry Lewis is and I have several albums by him. He was a slide player born in Greenwood, Mississippi but moved to Memphis at a young age. He traveled around in his teen years playing parties etc. In 1922, he decided to settle down and becam a street sweeper in Memphis, a position he held until he retired in 1966. The folk craze and the early rock n' rollers searching out their idols brought about his return to playing and recording. He was very active until his passing in 1981.

A strong singer ( in my opinion) and an absolute gem of a picker and slide player, this album is quintessential Furry and he does, indeed, Shakes It On Down!

Write Your Own Blues Lyrics!

James Cotton at the City Winery on Monday the 30th of September!

The "Cotton Mouth Man" himself will be passing through NYC and I'm making sure to catch him. It's been a long time since I've seen James and it is possibly close to  the last chance to do so. He's one of the last of the "old guard" of Chicago blues men from the 50's and 60's. Gonna be rockin!

Chancellorsville's Second Front ~The Battles of 2nd Fredricksburg and Salem Church May 3, 1863
From the publisher,  Savas Beatie:

"By May of 1863, the Stone Wall at the base of Marye's Heights above Fredericksburg loomed large over the Army of the Potomac, haunting its men with memories of slaughter from their crushing defeat there the previous December. They would assault it again with a very different result the following spring when General Joe Hooker, bogged down in bloody battle with the Army of Northern Virginia around the crossroads of Chancellorsville, ordered John Sedgwick's Sixth Corps to assault the heights and move to his assistance. This time the Union troops wrested the wall and high ground from the Confederates and drove west into the enemy's rear. The inland drive stalled in heavy fighting at Salem Church. Chancellorsville's Forgotten Front: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church, May 3, 1863 is the first book-length study of these overlooked engagements and the central roles they played in the final Southern victory.
Once Hooker opened the campaign with a brilliant march around General Lee's left flank, the Confederate commander violated military principles by dividing his under-strength army in the face of superior numbers. He shuttled most of his men west from around Fredericksburg under Stonewall Jackson to meet Hooker in the tangles of the Wilderness, leaving behind a small portion to watch Sedgwick's Sixth Corps. Jackson's devastating attack against Hooker's exposed right flank on May 2, however, convinced the Union army commander to order Sedgwick's large, unused corps to break through and march against Lee's rear. From that point on, Chancellorsville's Forgotten Front tightens the lens for a thorough examination of the decision-making, movements, and fighting that led to the breakthrough, inland thrust, and ultimate bloody stalemate at Salem Church.
Authors Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White have long appreciated the pivotal roles Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church played in the campaign, and just how close the Southern army came to grief—and the Union army to stunning success. Together they seamlessly weave their extensive newspaper, archival, and firsthand research into a compelling narrative to better understand these combats, which usually garner little more than a footnote to the larger story of Jackson's march and tragic fatal wounding.
The success at Second Fredericksburg was one of the Union army's few bright spots in the campaign, while the setback at Salem Church stands as its most devastating lost opportunity. Instead of being trapped between the Sixth Corps' hammer and "Fighting Joe" Hooker's anvil, Lee overcame long odds to achieve what is widely recognized as his greatest victory. But Lee's triumph played out as it did because of the pivotal events at Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church—Chancellorsville's forgotten front—where Union soldiers once more faced the horror of an indomitable wall of stone, and an undersized Confederate division stood up to a Union juggernaut."
Having reenacted in the re-activated 3rd Regiment Infantry New Jersey Volunteers, this book makes me sit up and take notice. The 3rd was front and center in the actions of these battles, which have been totally ignored when writing about the Chancellorsville campaign. What IS written about is Jackson's brilliant flank march and surprise attack. However, just as devastating was the attack of Sedgwick's 6th Corps on the Confederate rear that, if successful, would have been Lee's demise.

New Jerry Garcia Band ~ Garcia Live Volume 1 ~ Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ March 1, 1980
Released Feb.19th, this show was originally simulcast on WNEW FM, New York!

Early Show:
Catfish John
How Sweet It Is
Simple Twist of Fate
Sitting in Limbo >
That’s All Right
Late Show:
Mission in the Rain
That’s What Love Will Make You Do
Russian Lullaby
Tiger Rose (w/ Robert Hunter)
Promontory Rider (w/ Robert Hunter)
Midnight Moonlight
E: Dear Prudence
I picked up this 3CD set today. Somehow, listening to Jerry with his own band sans The Dead is really satisfying. This particular collection is well mixed and produced, Jerry's guitar is rings like a bell and the back up band is awesome. Bob Weir once said that he would be exhausted after coming off tour and needed the time off to recharge. He marveled at the fact that Jerry kept going when everyone else was relaxing, making albums, doing other tours etc. It is hard to imagine, Jerry packed a boat load of living into his life, that's for sure.

Cowboy Joe
Spring 2012 I received my most anticipated purchase in quite some time. I bought it from "Sheplers" in Wichita, Kansas. Its a beautiful spanking new straw cowboy hat and I'm all a-tizzy with excitement.
Ever since the early 70's I have loved dressing Western, it just seemed to suit my personality. I used to tuck my jeans into my Fry boots, wear snap style cowboy shirts and many times a vest with a black tie. Even as I slid into the depths of Blues Mania, I kept my "Jersey Cowboy" identity.

Black Peter

All of my friends come to see me last night
I was laying in my bed and dying
Annie Beauneu from Saint Angel 
Say "the weather down here so fine"
Just then the wind came squalling through the door 
But who can the weather command
Just want to have a little peace to die
And a friend or two I love at hand
Fever roll up to a hundred and five
Roll on up, gonna roll back down
One more day I find myself alive
Tomorrow maybe go beneath the ground
See here how everything
Lead up to this day
And it's just like any other day
That's ever been
Sun going up and then
The sun going down
Shine through my window
And my friends they come around
Come around, come around
The people might know, but the people don't care
That a man can be as poor as me 
Take a look at poor Peter, he's lying in pain
Now let's come run and see
Run and see
Run and see
Run, run and see, and see

Magic Slim & the Teardrops 7/12/11

It was by sheer coincidence that I discovered that my absolute favorite Blues Man was playing on Tuesday night. I just happened to go on his site, hadn't been on in months, and saw he was in town that very night. I was hoping that my car would be out of service that day, I received my box from Sheplers (above post). Along with my new hat I had acquired a couple o new short sleeve cowboy shirts, standard white with snaps, but cool and 5 o'clock my car was ready, the deal was sealed.

Slim didn't go on til 10:30 so I had plenty of time to cruise on in, good thing too, cuz as soon as I got off the GW I wrong turned onto Riverside I had to go all the way down to 97th to get back on the Henry Hudson. Riverside drive was amazing at that time of night...wide open and no cars at all, anywhere! Totally deserted, I cruised all the way down and got back on the Hudson. Pulled into Bleeker at 10:30 on the nose and parked less than a block away from Terra Blues.
Went on in and the band hadn't even started. The joint is tiny, I've played bigger places than this, I took a seat at the bar and had a Rolling Rock on tap...nice and cold. I didn't look too out of place with my cowboy hat on...yea, right, but NY is filled with all kinds, so I didn't feel weird, actually I felt damn good. I like going out by the Dead say in Trucking "One of these days, you know you gotta get going, out of the door and to the street all alone".
The Teardrops took the stage a bit after 11:00 and got right into that sweet Blues Chicago shuffle, I was in fucking heaven! Slim then took the stage. I hadn't seen him in awhile, still big as ever but he had to be helped onto the tiny stage where he sat in a chair and the guitar was strapped on him...another Blues great going...shit!
He hadn't lost any of his power, just as raw and as full of life as when I first saw him 26 years ago. I was prayin he would launch into "Goin to Mississippi", a real Slim tune if there ever was one. By the time I had my 2nd beer and a shot of jack Daniels I was on my feet and starting to sweat in the tiny, packed room.
Then he rolled on into it!

I was drenched and the 2nd show was still looming! Between shows I talked to the bass player, Andre, and then rapped with Slim's handler. He was none other than Jr. Wells cousin! Jr. had taught me most of my harp licks and had passed quite some time ago. We spent the next hour talking about Jr, Slim, Chicago, harps, and boat loads of other stuff...he said that if I had my harps I could get up and play during the 2nd set. I told him I was not foolish enough to get on stage with a master and hadn't even thought about bringing em. He gave me his card and said we should hook up next time they were in town, maybe I'll have the balls to bring my harps next time!

Rory Block
Her new album is out and is a tribute to one of my all time favorite Delta bluesman, Mississippi Fred McDowell. You may have heard the Stones do a cover of his song "You Got To Move". Fred was the real deal and produced a sound that could make your bones turn to jello.
Rory, in her own right is an accomplished slide player and has done numerous tribute albums recently giving the nod to the likes of Robert Johnson and Son House to name two. There is no way you can go wrong by picking up any of her numerous albums.
As Fred was heard to say "I Don't Play No Rock n' Roll, well, maybe so but his music stirs my soul and scratches an itch deep inside. Here is the late Mississippi Fred doing "Shake 'Em On Down"


New Release - Grateful Dead - Live at the Mosque

The year 1977 spring tour is considered by many "Dead Heads" to be one of the finest tours of their long career. The mid 70's found them in hiatus, working mostly on individual projects, and just taking a break from the road and from each other. Enter Clive Davis with the newly formed Arista Record Label. The Dead, tired of running their own label make the jump to Arista. Clive talks them into using a mid stream style producer who is a real task master at getting the right sound, the right take etc. The Dead take to it, tighten their licks and the result is "Terrapin Station", an awesome studio album. Fresh from the studio and their time off, the band hits the road for some of the greatest shows they ever played. This is evidenced superbly on the new release "Live at the Mosque - Richmond, VA 5/25/77"

From 1993 - 2005, Dick Latvala, the Dead's archivist, put together 36 live show multi CD packages called "Dick's Picks", these were shows that stood out as far as Dick was concerned (and he was in a position to know). Upon his passing the torch has been taken up by new archive master Dave Lemieux and this CD is his first entry. The band is tight, Jerry's voice is great and his guitar work is awesome. Phil Lesh's bass sings out well too and is integral to the overall enjoyment of this show. The recording is crisp, clean and sounds like you are in the arena. I cannot recommend this album enough to old Dead heads and new listeners alike.

Disc 1
1. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
2. Jack Straw
3. They Love Each Other
4. Mexicali Blues
5. Peggy-O
6. Cassidy
7. Loser
8. Lazy Lightning>
9. Supplication
10. Brown-Eyed Women
11. Promised Land
Disc 2
1. Scarlet Begonias>
2. Fire On The Mountain
3. Estimated Prophet>
4. He's Gone>
5. Drums
Disc 3
1. The Other One>
2. Wharf Rat>
3. The Other One>
4. The Wheel>
5. Around And Around
6. Johnny B. Goode

This album was sold as part of a yearly subscription of 4 releases for 2012 plus one bonus disc. The subscription offer is over on Feb.7. You can still buy the album ala carte but there will only be 12,000 pressed. Available at

NJ Ink

Since my late teens I have thought every now and again about getting a tattoo. Nothing crazy, but I just could never make up my mind what I wanted enshrined forever on my bod.
I pulled up in front of a new parlor I had seen which was just down the street from one of my doctors. I sat in the car for about 20 minutes. I got out, walked inside and put my money down:

Furthur / Coney Island / 7/14/12

Since the death of Jerry Garcia I had not given the "carry on" band, Furthur, much attention. This was a major mistake I shall always regret.
At about 2PM I made my way to Coney Island and MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones. Arriving more than 5 hours before show time, the area was already mobbed, not with only the usual beach goers but with the gathering of the "tribes" as well. Flea Market tie dye stands were numerous as was the wafting of the fragrant odor of cannabis. 
After taking in the sites I felt somewhat hungry and went to a neighborhood bar to watch the afternoon Mets game, have something to eat and whet my whistle:
Lobster roll, fried clams and Brooklyn Lager, even though the Mets lost I was feeling full and content...ready for the 1st Dead experience in a long, long time.
The place was packed when I walked in, a full 1 1/2 hours before the show, I was already pouring sweat and the breeze off the ocean only dented it a bit, the evening would promise to be a lot cooler though. I had a General Admission ticket for the seats and found a nice one in a bit of shade with a good view of the stage.
I had a great time all evening, the music was awesome, the band tight, the folks in the stands were friendly and shared what they had quite liberally. The music did not die with Jerry, the folks that Bob and Phil assembled fill his shoes well and the songs were true to form.

Playing in the Band>The Wheel>I Know you Rider>One More Saturday Night was an epic end for a satisfying evening by the beach.

Dave's Picks 2013
I got the notice today that Volume 5, the 1st of 4 for 2013, has shipped and it's on the way. Exhilaration!
Pauley Pavilion, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 11/17/1973

Disc 1 
1 Me And My Uncle [3:18] 
2 Here Comes Sunshine [11:53]
3 Looks Like Rain [7:24]
4 Deal [5:08]
5 Mexicali Blues [3:39] 
6 Tennessee Jed [7:58] 
7 The Race Is On [3:27] 
8 China Cat Sunflower> [9:10] 
9 I Know You Rider [5:44]
10 Big River [5:22]
11 Brown-Eyed Women [5:27]
12 Around And Around [5:10] 

Disc 2 
1 Row Jimmy [9:39]
2 Jack Straw [5:18]
3 Ramble On Rose [6:37]
4 Playing In The Band> [15:02] 
5 Uncle John's Band> [7:29] 
6 Morning Dew [13:54]
7 Uncle John's Band> [1:44]
8 Playing In The Band [11:37]

Disc 3 
1 Stella Blue [7:29] 
2 El Paso [4:29]
3 Eyes Of The World> [14:18]
4 Sugar Magnolia [9:52]
5 Casey Jones [6:54] 

The subscription for Dave Picks 5 thru 8 is over and Vol.5 ala carte is already sold out. The next Volume (6) is due out May 1, 2013. It is best to get on the stick early and order as the limited pressings sell out quickly (whatever remains that wasn't claimed by subscription). The next Volume is from the Fox Theatre in St. Louis 2/2/70, it promises to be awesome!