On the Bus

On the Bus
by Jimbo Sage

“Jimbo, you’re gonna get your face melted off tonite, are you ready?” Thats what Brad O said to me as we loaded The Shed Party Bus and headed onward and ‘further’ to downtown Mobile to see the North Mississippi Allstars play the Soul Kitchen last Saturday night. “Was I ready?” I thought, hell, there’s no turning back now. “You’re either on the bus or you’re off the bus” Ken Casey reasoned 40 years before. Tonite Jimbo Sage was “on the bus!” With the cooler overflowing with spirits, the mirrored ball tripping the light fantastic and the pretty girls shaking to the righteous beat of Robert Randolph, our portable back-porch party arrived on time and in fashion. We were stylin alright, feeling good and anxiously excited, and it was only just beginning! Hanging out in the street for awhile along side the bus the buzz was getting buzzier, fellow freaks waved back and forth and giant smiles were exchanged. The North Mississippi Allstars bus pulled in just ahead in front of the Soul Kitchen and a standing crowd gave up a cheer, their show was about to begin, our little party from Ocean Springs was about to peak.

Inside the Soul Kitchen, I was instantly immersed, kinda like drowning like in a dream but breathing and exhaling the ageless memories that live and thrive in this historic dance hall room. I could only imagine to know the stories but I could feel their presence, and as I’d look up from street level below, or down from the balcony overhead, the vibe of an era long gone but not forgotten, remained. And so true to that parlor room etiquette the North Mississippi Allstars filled the evening vapors with their old timey hill country electrified blues. The brothers Luther and Cody Dickison along with bassist Chris Chew combined the best styles of delta blues, gospel, R&B and modern psychedelia that their namesake and native state could offer. What more to say,…. well their “shakin on down” two step numbers, RL Burnside covers, hypno-trance-dance and a wild solo excursion by percussionist Cody on the electric washboard left this old/young bluesman next ta dyin for more. It was after 3:00 am when the band called it a night to remember at The Soul Kitchen and we all fumbled out onto Dauphin street. “Well the clock says it’s time to close now,.. know I have to go now,… really want to stay here all night,…. all night,… all night!”…. No,.. not really but I had to throw in those mojo risen lyrics to end my story/journey. Special thanks go out to “Brian the bus driver” that got us all home safely (even with a broken water pump) and to Butch and Elsie Johnson my new friends. And of course thanks to Brad Orrison and all the fellow Shed Heads.

Analog Missionary Review

Analog Missionary
By Marc Ramey
www.gulfcoastbands.com

The ethereal music of Analog Missionary portrays the ectophilic (a wide subgenre of music featuring predominantly female vocals–) influences of this ambient-progressive, art-rock style band. The band consists of Anstrom, Tony, Kevin, and Mark. This band crosses a wide variety of genres throughout their music. Sometimes they can be calm and mind-blowing while pulling off a deceitfully earth-shattering, unpredictable style that leaves the listener begging for more.

Anstrom’s powerful voice can lead the imagination into a journey on one of her body language-based stage performances. One eye catching aspect of this singer is that she also plays a theremin. The theremin contributes to Analog Missionary’s unusual and often encircling sounds that grab the attention of their fans. Package her voice with the meshing feel of Tony’s magical surrounding transitions of the keyboard, and you have another portrayal of their unique sound along the Gulf Coast.

Tony plays both the keyboard and bass. Tony wields himself with quite an arsenal when it comes to his playing abilities. One of Tony’s focuses is his creative playing style on the Chapman Stick. This “stick” is a 12-string instrument that is played by tapping the strings with both hands. He uses his abilities with this Chapman Stick to simultaneously play bass lines, lead melodies, chords, and rhythm parts. He utilizes it in conjunction with bass guitar, keyboards, and bass peddles to produce a real presence in each song and to keep it fresh for those listening. His playing style is very adept while he adds his own unique touch to the ambient-progressive style of Analog Missionary.

Kevin seems to quietly sit back and deliver his powerful performance on guitar. While layering his style into their sound, Kevin is constantly complementing the tone and mood of the particular piece he is working on rather than trying to impose riffs and licks within the piece. Kevin looks for a subdued way to support the flow of the piece while adding his rhythmic and lethal style into their ambient-progressive sound.

Mark’s diverse playing style on drums kicks off the psychedelic feel which leads into a powerful transition of all band members. These transitions combined will give you that deceitfully earth-shattering, unpredictable style that will have you asking for a cd at the end of their show.

Analog Missionary has two great cd’s that you can purchase from www.analogmissionary.com. Transmitter and Voyage of the Demeter are some of the best examples of ambient-progressive style music. Both cd’s are self released at their own Mars Hill Recording studio. If you are an aspiring artist looking for a studio, this is one to check out. You can get more information on this studio at http://www.gulftel.com/marshill/studio.html.

Overall, Analog Missionary has developed a unique sound here on the Gulf Coast. Their ambient-progressive style is considered by many fans in the area to be one of the best kept secrets here on the coast. Analog Missionary will not be a secret for long as they are setting the stage for more fans to join the masses of this unpredictable style of ethereal music.

http://www.analogmissionary.com

Working boys: Gigolos release second album

Courtesy of the Mobile Register
Mobile Register

Working boys: Gigolos release second album
Friday, December 17, 2004
By LAWRENCE SPECKER
Entertainment Reporter
The Gigolos are making it look easy.

A year and a half ago, not long after releasing their debut CD, “25th and Holloway,” the Friday Night Gigolos already were talking about their plans for a more accomplished second album. And here it is.

The disc, “For a Good Time Call …”, should arrive any day now. The official CD release event is an open party Dec. 23 at Club Z in Biloxi’s Palace Casino Resort; band members say there’s “a good possibility” they’ll have copies in hand for tonight’s show at Soul Kitchen.

The group, which hails from “Pass-Point” area of the Mississippi Gulf Coast (that’s the Pascagoula-Pass Christian metropolitan statistical area, for those puzzling over maps), appears to have pulled off the kind of sophomore album bands dream of.

“For A Good Time” maintains the group’s strengths — a happy-go-lucky vibe, clear lyrics and accessible, straight-ahead rock arrangements in cluding saxophone — and wraps them in a tighter, better integrated, more professional package.

Any second album should sound like the work of a group that’s had more time to find its groove, get focused about what it’s trying to do, and apply its skills to that goal. This one does.

It’s hard to apply the word “mature” to a band that used to seem one fluke hit away from being the Gulf Coast’s answer to the Spin Doctors. And in fact, the Gigolos seem to be enjoying themselves as much as ever. They’ll only hint about the extracurricular goings-on at the Thunder Sound studio in Ocean Springs, where most of the disc was recorded.

But there’s plenty of reason to think that there’s a lot of hard work, and careful thought, behind the feel-good appearances. Perhaps most notably, “For a Good Time” never sounds like the work of a rock band with some saxophone tacked on, or a sax-driven band with a guitarist dueling for spotlight time.

Instead, saxophonist Damon Garcia’s playing is woven into the Gigolos sound. Sometimes he takes the lead, sometimes he adds color while the guitars come to the foreground with a bigger sound than on “25th and Holloway,” but either way, his instrument always is a fundamental part of the mix.

Lead guitarist Charley Cook is relatively new to the band; in February, with recording already begun, he replaced longtime member Joseph Felts, who now is attending the Mississippi College School of Law, band members said. Felts can be heard on four tracks, members said, with Cook on the rest.

The rest of the group, as before, consists of vocalist and rhythm guitarist David Lynn, bassist Jay McIlwain, drummer Benji Alford and Garcia. Cook said he didn’t come in cold, having known members of the group since their high school days.

One other significant change is that, one way or another, all the members of the group are done with college studies for the time being. In addition to giving them more time for the music, it’s allowed them to expand their touring range throughout the South. They’re playing as far away as Arkansas, North Carolina and Texas; they’ve played the House of Blues in New Orleans and done shows with Galactic.

Lynn and McIlwain both classed “For A Good Time” as being “a lot more personal” than their previous album.

“It’s still got a lot of fun stuff,” Lynn said. “But it touches on some serious topics.”

One example would be a song inspired by a friend’s drug overdose. But if the heavier material shows the band in a more serious mode, it’s still a long way from somber. The same with “Gold Digger,” a song that turns around some negative energy, putting it in a slinky, catchy number worthy of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Another hint that the band is approaching its job as a craft is that “For a Good Time” features two songs that appeared on the previous album, “She’s in My Head” and “25th and Holloway.” The new recordings compare so favorably with the old ones that there shouldn’t be any question about the group’s decision to repeat itself.

“We beefed ’em up a little,” said McIlwain.

Lynn is the principal writer, the Gigolos say. If pressed, he will use terms like the “craft” of songwriting, but he’s quick to say the songs are a band product.

“I just make the skeleton, you know,” he said.

The band appears to be capitalizing on its opportunities. After “25th and Holloway,” the group earned the attention of 3 Doors Down guitarist Chris Henderson. One song produced by Henderson, “Don’t Say,” yielded a video that played on College Television Network and MTV2 after making the Top 10 of a national contest.

The group seems to have no shortage of energy or material. In fact, McIlwain said the group already has enough material for its third album.

On Dec. 21 they’ll play a going-away concert for troops at Mississippi’s Camp Shelby. (Mobile’s Phar Fletcher also is on the bill for that show.)

It’s all part of keeping it rolling, Gigolo style, and keeping it building.

“We haven’t started going backward yet,” Lynn said. “We understand that we are entertainers. That’s what we do.”

GIGOLOS INFO

“For A Good Time Call …” can be ordered at www.awarestore.com. Band members said it should be available soon at Satori Coffee in Mobile. For more information on the band, visit www.fridaynightgigolos.com.