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Archived Posts from "'Unique to Hoboken'"

Maxwell’s Memories: Alejandro Escovedo

[Continuing the ongoing Maxwell's Memories feature here on Hoboken411. Paying tribute to bands that came and played at the legendary Maxwell's at 1039 Washington Street - which is closing for good on July 31, 2013]

Maxwell’s Memories: Alejandro Escovedo

Maxwell's Memories in Hoboken NJ Alejandro Escovedo

On October 2, 2010, Alejandro Escovedo, who hails from Austin, Texas, was touring to promote his Street Songs of Love album released earlier in the year. He had such an incredibly tight band with him and was a real treat to see.

“Down in the Bowery” is just one of the many fantastic songs he played from the record. Good times.

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Maxwell’s Memories: Lynda Kay & Rob Gordon

[Continuing the ongoing Maxwell's Memories feature here on Hoboken411. Paying tribute to bands that came and played at the legendary Maxwell's at 1039 Washington Street - which is closing for good on July 31, 2013]

Maxwell’s Memories: Lynda Kay & Robert Gordon

On May 8, 2010 – Lynda Kay and Robert Gordon were the featured double-header at Maxwell’s.

Maxwell's Memories in Hoboken NJ Lynda Kay Robert Gordon

Lynda Kay, out of Los Angeles, who was touring to promote her debut album Dream My Darling,” looked and moved like a 1950′s country & western songbird, with the gold lame suit and beehive hair. The songs and her voice were surprisingly good. Really enjoyable. Reminiscent of Patsy Cline in some ways. She’s also appeared on an episode of the great TV program “Justified” on FX.

Robert Gordon, rockabilly powerhouse with the great baritone voice, was in good spirits, had a super tight band and gave a lively performance. Good times.

(Video starts off with Lynda Kay – Robert Gordon at about the 5 minute mark…)

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Maxwell’s Memories: Charlie Gracie

[Continuing the ongoing Maxwell's Memories feature here on Hoboken411. Paying tribute to bands that came and played at the legendary Maxwell's at 1039 Washington Street - which is closing for good on July 31, 2013]

Maxwell’s Memories: Charlie Gracie

On February 9, 2007 – Charlie Gracie, a superb guitarist who shot to fame in the early 1950’s, “graced” Maxwell’s with his presence. As you can see from the video below – Charlie was still tearing it up at age 70 (he’s 77 now)! Good times.

Charlie Gracie Maxwells Hoboken NJ

About Charlie Gracie

Charlie Gracie is one of a diminishing number of rock& roll innovators, who continues to actively perform. A native of South Philadelphia, he became the first successful recording star of the “Rock Era” to emerge from that neighborhood. In 1957, Charlie’s “Butterfly” topped the American and British music charts, selling over 3 million copies. His other late 50′s big sellers include: “Fabulous”, “Ninety-Nine Ways”, “Wanderin Eyes”, “I Love You So MuchIt Hurts” and “Cool Baby.” These hits bankrolled Philly’s famous Cameo-Parkway record label, making it a dominant force in the music industry for nearly a decade! At the height of his fame, Charlie frequently appeared on “Dick Clark’s American Bandstand”, “The Ed Sullivan Show”, and “Alan Freed’s TV Specials”. He headlined shows at the Brooklyn Paramount, the Casino Royale in Washington, the 500 Club in Atlantic City, the Opera House in Chicago and old Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia.

Charlie’s star burned even brighter in Great Britain where he became the first solo American artist to bring rock & roll to the English concert stage. Precededonly by Bill Haley and the Comets, Charlie headlined London’s Palladium and Hippodrome–receiving outstanding receptions from the press and public. To this day, Charlie Gracie, is a much loved and respected performer the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.

While Charlie has earned a place in rock music history, this is only one dimension to a career that spans 60-years. His versatility makes him the consummate music man! Even now, Charlie enjoys a strong following at clubs and resorts along the Northeast Corridor of the U.S. Twice, annually, he performs tolarge audiences in countries such as: England, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Finland and Holland. His superb guitar playing elicited the highest of praise from music legends like George Harrison. The late Beatle once referred to Charlie’s guitar technique as “brilliant” in a March 1996 interview with Billboard Magazine. Paul McCartney paid tribute to Charlie by recording an updated version of “Fabulous” in cd series entitled: “Run Devil Run”. McCartney honored Charlie again that fall by inviting him to the album’s premiere party in London.

The new Millenium found Charlie on the road with Irish blues rocker, Van Morrison. Van, another Charlie Gracie admirer, commissioned him to open several shows on a West Coast tour–including the Wiltern in Los Angeles the House of Blues in Las Vegas and the Hilton in Reno. In 2007 Charlie was the subject of amade for PBS-TV documentary: “Fabulous!” The program recounted the story of his influential career- from humble beginnings in his South Philadelphia row home (735 Pierce Street) to concert stages around the world! Today, Charlie is still doing what he loves best. His reputation among his peers as a stellar, multi-faceted singer and musician is such that world famous rock stars regularly pay him tribute and volunteer to work with him. In the fall of 2011, ABKCO Records released his latest CD: “FOR THE LOVE OF CHARLIE!” produced by Al Kooper, who has recorded and produced the likes of Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. Among the artists performing with Charlie on the CD are: Graham Nash, (Crosby, Stills Nash & Young), Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits), Jimmy Vivino (guitarist & music director; Conan O’Brien Show), Craig Ross (keyboards; Lenny Kravitz) and Dennis Diken (drummer; Smithereens), “What an honor to have these people on my album,” he says. “They don’t need Charlie Gracie, but they love what I put down as a foundation years ago, and I’m humbled that these artists would want to perform with me.”

It is obvious why Charlie Gracie has lasted the course longer than most. He is an accomplished musician and an exceptional talent – a devoted family man whoconducts himself as a gentleman both on stage and off. He is a credit to his industry. And what’s next for this Rockabilly Hall of Fame inducee? Is he readyto retire after more than six decades in the business? Hardly. “I’m getting started on my next album and I’m in the process of writing a book!” Charlie Gracie has only just begun to rock!

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Maxwell’s Memories: Bill Kirchen

[Continuing the ongoing Maxwell's Memories feature here on Hoboken411. Paying tribute to bands that came and played at the legendary Maxwell's at 1039 Washington Street - which is closing for good on July 31, 2013]

Maxwell’s Memories: Bill Kirchen and Los Straitjackets

On August 4, 2011 Bill Kirchen and Los Straitjackets. were the acts of the night at Maxwell’s.

Kirchen & Straitjackets: guitar virtuosos

Bill Kirchen, AKA “The Titan of the Telecaster,” former member of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, known by many for their song “Hot Rod Lincoln,” played a show that was absolutely incredible.

Kirchen’s “dieselbilly” sound incorporates elements of country, blues, rockabilly, western swing and boogie-woogie and includes many references of American truck driving music. In his extended version of Hot Rod Lincoln, he pays homage to more than 30 musicians in just several minutes. Downright amazing.

This was a tough act to follow, but Los Straitjackets put on a swell show. Due to health issues, original guitartist Daddy-O Grande (Danny Amis) did not perform with the band and guitarist Greg “Gregorio El Grande” Townson (also of the Hi-Risers) was recruited to fill Amis’ role during his absence. They did a mind blowing version of the Beach Boys “Warmth of the Sun.” Awesome. Good times.

Below are the songs mentioned above. Los Straitjackets start around the 9:55 mark.

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Maxwell’s Memories: Shames & Defibulators

[Continuing the ongoing Maxwell's Memories feature here on Hoboken411. Paying tribute to bands that came and played at the legendary Maxwell's at 1039 Washington Street - which is closing for good on July 31, 2013]

Maxwell’s Memories: Defibulators & Shames double-header

On December 2, 2007, The Shames, featuring Hoboken’s own legendary Reverend Jim D on bass, put on a great show performing songs from their record “The Transmigration of Timothy Archer.” Nobody does a “crowd point” better than D.

Maxwell's Memories in Hoboken NJ Shames Defibulators

The Defibulators, based out of Brooklyn, led by Bug Jennings and Erin Bru on vocals, with Hoboken’s own Chris “Roadblock” Hartway on Telecaster, Smitty the giant fiddler and Michael “Metalbelly” Ginsberg on percussion, are one of the best and most thoroughly entertaining bands to come around in quite some time.

They performed many songs from their upcoming record “Corn Money,” including the great “Go Go Truck” and “Your Hearty Laugh.”

Check ‘em out at thedefibulators.com. Mel Bay Publications has even published a Defibulators Songbook, that’s how good they are. Good times.

Below are a couple clips. The Shames start around the 3:30 mark.

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Maxwell’s Memories: Kill the Holidays

[Continuing the ongoing Maxwell's Memories feature here on Hoboken411. Paying tribute to bands that came and played at the legendary Maxwell's at 1039 Washington Street - which is closing for good on July 31, 2013]

Maxwell’s Memories: Kill the Holidays

WFMU’s legendary Sunday afternoon Glen Jones Radio Programme featuring X. Ray Burns, described as “The real life alternative radio show where a zonked pair of New Jersey fat boys mix Led Zeppelin with Sinatra while ranting about wrestling and the unmentionable,” broadcasting The International Brotherhood of Jonsey (IBJ) annual Kill The Holidays party live from Maxwell’s.

An annual tradition since 2008, these guys would pack the entire place (both front and back rooms) for an entire afternoon of entertainment and live music, from bands such as Holmes, Reno’s Men and The Skels.

The fun and antics were stuff of legend, particularly when X. Ray licked the Maxwell’s stage from one side to the other, just because it’s filled with so much rock and roll deliciousness.

I’ve heard that these shows were among some of the favorites of Maxwell’s staffers, too. People drank hard, paid cash and tipped the bartenders well. Always a good day to see old friends and familiar faces returning year after year.

You can listen to archives of these shows at wfmu.org. Thanks to all the staff and friends at Maxwell’s for all their hard work and friendship over the years! Good times.

Below is a brief clip from the very last show this past Christmas. Where will the party be in 2013? No one knows for sure yet.

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