Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Good company

Crowd pleasers return to the valley

Express Staff Writer

Last time these characters were in town it was a raucous good time. Expect even better when the arrive March 13 as they’ve been touring a lot since then. Courtesy photo

If it's true that we're judged by the company we keep, then music lovers will want to associate with two musical acts coming to the valley in the coming week.

Returning to the Sun Valley Brewery with a blend of blues and just plain party music are The 44's.

The 44's drummer, Jason Lozano, is the son of Los Lobos guitarist Conrad Lozano. Harmonica player "Tex" Nakamura played with the band WAR for many years during its hits "Low Rider," "Cisco Kid" and "Why Can't We Be Friends."  Bassist Mike Turturro is a cousin of film actor and Coen brothers' favorite, John Turturro. 

All this genetic and social blending contributes to the band's dedication to American blues, surf rock and roots rock.  They have been mentored closely and toured with Los Lobos and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

The stop in Hailey will be the band's only Idaho show before it heads East to venues like The House of Blues Chicago, Muddy Waters Memphis and B.B. King's in Kansas City. 

Sun Valley Brewery's Sean Flynn promises that this is a show for all ages.

Karl Denson's prowess as a musician was recognized shortly after Lenny Kravitz debuted his first release, "Let Love Rule." Denson stayed on for the next five years as a jazz artist on Blue Note, with The Greyboy Allstars, while developing his own group.

He's one of the most traveled of musicians, having appeared at all the major music festivals. He explained to a reporter during a stop at Whiskey Jacques' as part of last year's Marley in the Mountains festival that after 35 years, it's what he does best.

Expect the unexpected when he takes over Whiskey's again on Wednesday, March 14.

He answered a few quick questions from the road this week.

Why tiny, why not global universe?

To loosely quote "Men in Black" referring to the universe on Orion's belt, "Just because it's small doesn't mean it's not powerful."

Where are you now?

At the moment, I'm in Brooklyn with Soulive on their annual Bowlive week at the Brooklyn Bowl.

What's the latest news?

Just finished the East Coast run of our Sticky Fingers tour with Anders Osborne. Working on the new KDTU record, a Greyboy Allstars record in the can and then on to Jazzfest. 

Your daughter Celia seems to have the traveling bug. As you proudly boasted on your website, she spent last spring break in Africa. What's she up to for this spring break?

Next week she's going to Valley Forge and Washington, D.C., with a group called The Freedom Foundation for an American history week. Then she goes back to Africa in June. She's a busy little beaver.

Do you have a musical gene you share with your kids?

The kids are all very musical. Celia plays guitar, Sadie plays piano and Louis makes beats on the computer.

What can you tell people about your music that they can't find out without hearing you live?

I don't know. I think it's all stuffed in there in some fashion or another.

Does the smoke-free environments of today's bars affect the ambiance of a jazz show?

I thought it would wreck the vibe but it really helps. People realize you can party without smoking indoors and no one has to smell like a cigarette butt in the morning.

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