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Get People to Listen: Caroline Rose, July 30 at the River Music Experience PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Tuesday, 23 July 2013 08:13

Jer Coons and Caroline Rose

The pleasing Americana music and nimble, emotive vocals of Caroline Rose’s “America Religious” – the title track from her debut album – mask massive amounts of meaning. Perhaps more accurately, they mask a lot of words whose meaning you’re left to decipher for yourself.

Take this line, which Rose said she’s frequently asked about: “America religious, I eat slices of white privilege processed by agri-business.”

“What I want people to get out of that line and the song in general is discussion about what race relations are like, and what things like immigration reform mean today, and agribusiness,” she said in a recent phone interview promoting her July 30 performance at the River Music Experience.

That didn’t clear things up much, did it?

“I don’t really care what people think that it means,” she said. “As long as they’re talking about it, I think it’s great.”

Based on America Religious, Rose certainly bears discussion. The music is varied, compelling, and sharp in its genre, with “Here Come the Rain” a standout in texture, arrangement, and vocal performance.

But the lyrics are what leap out.

Jass It Up!: Dan Levinson’s Roof Garden Jass Band at the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, August 2 and 3 PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Mike Schulz   
Monday, 22 July 2013 06:00

Dan LevinsonHe’s performed alongside such talents as Wynton Marsalis and Mel Tormé, and worked as personal assistant to jazz great Dick Hyman. He’s toured nationally and internationally, landing everywhere from Paris’ Bilboquet Jazz Club to Los Angeles’ Playboy Mansion. He’s been featured on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, and the soundtracks for The Aviator, Ghost World, and Boardwalk Empire.

But in the early 1980s, says jazz aficionado Dan Levinson, he couldn’t even convince friends to listen to the music he loved.

“I was taking records out of a library in Santa Monica,” says the 48-year-old Levinson, “and landed on a record that RCA Victor had put out called The Best of Dixieland, and the last track on it was the Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s recording of ‘Livery Stable Blues.’ It was the first so-called ‘jazz record’ ever issued, in 1917, and I was absolutely blown away by it. I couldn’t get enough of it. And I just assumed that when I played it for all my friends, they would feel the same way I did.

“So I played it. I said, ‘Listen to them! Listen to that sound!’ And I remember them saying, ‘Oh, God, turn that off. What is that screeching noise?’ And I said, ‘That’s the clarinet ... .’

“These were the same people who went to rock concerts and had music blasting in their ears, but they couldn’t listen to 1917 jazz. They just looked at me. ‘What happened to Dan?’”

Photos from the Grace Potter & the Nocturnals Concert, July 13 at the Adler Theatre PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Matt Erickson   
Monday, 15 July 2013 12:02

Photos from the Grace Potter & the Nocturnals concert, July 13 at the Adler Theatre. For more work by Matt Erickson, visit

Photo by Matt Erickson,

Abby Normal: The Melvins, July 18 at RIBCO PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 05:33

The Melvins

Buzz Osborne said that some concepts for the Melvins’ 30th-anniversary tour – which stops at RIBCO on July 18 – got nixed.

“My idea at first was 30 songs in 30 minutes for 30 bucks,” the guitarist/singer/bandleader said in a phone interview last month. “That didn’t fly. Or one 30-year-long set.”

Those sound like jokes, but if you’re at all familiar with the highly influential and forcefully odd band, you’ll recognize that Osborne might have at least entertained them as real possibilities. Because – major-label or car-company deals be damned – the Melvins have done things their way for three decades.

Photos from the 2013 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, July 4-6 in Downtown Davenport PDF Print E-mail
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
Written by Matt Erickson and Steve France   
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 20:45

Photos from the 2013 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, held July 4 through 6 in downtown Davenport.

Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Photo by Matt Erickson,

Mighty Sam McClain. Photo by Matt Erickson,

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