Don't Blame Jack
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Don't Blame Jack

Providence, Rhode Island, United States | INDIE

Providence, Rhode Island, United States | INDIE
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"Young voice, old souls"

Young people singing the blues?

The very mention is usually greeted with cynicism and scorn. The party line says you have to live the blues to play them, and that means living a long time — at least hit 30.

Last month, legendary bluesman Pinetop Perkins passed away at age 97. And while he outlasted all of his contemporaries, blues fans are accustomed to regularly losing their aging, but venerated, heroes.

Tomorrow night's show at the Bull Run Restaurant holds the tantalizing promise of a shot of new blood into the genre, without changing it, according to organizer Steve Gaetz.

The “Brothers and Sisters Blues Tour” comprises guitarist-singer Lydia Warren, one of the “elders” at the ripe old age of 27 (Mr. Gaetz joked that the others call her the “mom” of the tour); Fitchburg native Jack Babineau, 20; Ryan Brooks Kelly, 19, of Hudson, N.H.; and Danielle Miraglia, 27, of Cambridge.

The show will consist of five sets, with each performer backed by their own band, and a final set combining the musicians.

“They all have their own unique, individual sounds, but they are not re-inventing the blues. They are mixing it with their own sound,” Mr. Gaetz said.

A longtime music promoter from Leominster, he met the four musicians in different places and found them all to be talented in various ways. All are songwriters, and all sing and play guitar.

“I saw that before they even met each other, they had blues in their hearts and souls, so I said, ‘let's try this.' And they just meshed so well, and are so supportive of one another, that I decided to call them brothers and sisters of the blues,” Mr. Gaetz said.

Ms. Warren, a Franklin native, is an established blues guitarist, singer and songwriter who recently competed in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. She has toured all over the world, and knew Mr. Gaetz from her solo performances at the Bull Run.

“He really wanted to put something together where local acts came together,” she said in an email. “Since we're all local, we'd all heard of each other, or seen each other a time or two, but hadn't played together. We all got together a few weeks ago to play and hang. It was a total blast! We are all really, really looking forward to these shows.”

Mr. Babineau, who hopes to become a police officer, said he picked up a guitar at age 15, and was initially interested in classic rock.

“But then I realized that all music gravitates toward blues. It's timeless and everyone can recognize that,” he said, naming Freddie King, Big Maybelle, Stevie Ray Vaughn and B. B. King as influences.

Mr. Babineau's band, Don't Blame Jack, features his older brother, Joe Babineau, 22, on bass.

“He is actually the more talented musician,” the younger Mr. Babineau said.

Ms. Miraglia, a singer, songwriter and guitarist, cut her chops on the folk-blues circuit, giving it sort of an edge. This will be her first tour with an electric blues band, called My God Man. Mr. Gaetz ran into her at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge.

“Danielle was a solid folk singer for years. She is an entertainer with a lot of cool songs, and her act just lends itself to trying out electric blues,” Mr. Gaetz said.

Mr. Kelly starting playing guitar when he was just 6 years old, and was performing with local bands by 14. He has opened for blues great Sugar Blue, along with Joan Jett, Chicago and Lynyrd Sknyrd. He formerly fronted the band Smokehouse Lightning. His new, three-piece band is simply called RBK.

“He is so talented that his father actually encouraged him to pursue a music career rather than college,” Mr. Gaetz said.
- The Worcester Telegram


"Danielle Miraglia"


Danielle Miraglia's country/folk/blues sound descends in large part from Mississippi John Hurt, and she is a worthy carrier of that guitar-picking tradition. Her voice, reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt's, is strong but vulnerable, feminine but never precious, with a gutwrenching catch to it. Her guitar playing is both accomplished and soulful, and her songs tap into the ur-melodies and fundamental chord changes that form the essence of western music, while still saying something in a distinct and original voice.

Both as a writer and as a musician Miraglia maintains a deep connection to traditional styles of playing and singing. The folky "Snow Globe," with only her guitar-picking as accompaniment, may be the saddest and best song about self-imposed isolation since Simon and Garfunkel's "I am a Rock." From its sparse beauty Miraglia segues into the draggy blues of "Sell My Soul," the obligatory "I wanna be a star" confessional every highly talented, unjustly obscure singer-songwriter has to write. It has the kind of dirty-blues feel John Hiatt mined a few years ago on his masterful Crossing Muddy Waters album.

Normally I'm not much for feel-good folk weepies, but it's hard to resist "Moment By Moment" with its earworm of a chorus and Kevin So lending backing vocal and keyboard support. "Say One Thing" is yet another winner, a harshly funny indictment of hypocrisies large and small:

Said the blind man, This is how I see it
Said the stalker, If you love that bird then free it
Said the white-hooded man, Love your brother
Say one thing and do another

Miraglia's lyrics are full of such pithiness. "Better," a clever and bouncy country-folk love song, leads into her masterpiece, "You Don't Know Nothin'," one of the best new folk songs I've heard in years. Its depiction and dissection of human misunderstanding is both sharp and tender. All you need to know about what drives people apart and what draws them together can be witnessed in a few hours spent in a bar. Many of us feel something along those lines, but Danielle Miraglia is that rare songwriter who can put it into words.

Returning to the country-blues groove, but in a minor key, "Cry" is literally about the grim frustration of being an infant who can't communicate her feelings. Perhaps metaphorically it's about artistic expression, but the lyrics draw such vivid pictures there's no need to reach for meaning. It's a fitting subject for a songwriter who's so good at getting to the roots of things: what could be more rootsy than infancy?

The title track sounds like a traditional country shuffle about life on the road, and for the most part it is, but it turns the cliched American "romance of the highway" on its head: "There nothing romantic about a highway/No big revelations, nothing new/And I can write a road song any day/There's nothing romantic about missing you." Then, in "The Only Way to Win," the protagonist pleads amusingly for misfortune and heartache so she can write great songs, sing the blues with authenticity and become a star.


In the pretty closer, "The Wind," Miraglia sings folk with authenticity. But it's the kind of song any reasonably talented folkie could have come up with. Danielle Miraglia's talents go far beyond that modest level. This CD kicks Americana ass.
- Blogcritics.com


"Danielle Miraglia"

Somerville artist Danielle Miraglia's got it going on with her re-release of Nothing Romantic on local indie label 7not. On April 13th, the Revere Mass. native played her second release party at Club Passim to a welcoming crowd of fans. For the past four years, Miraglia's music could be experienced weekly on Sundays at The Burren, where she hosts the Singer-Songwriter Series. She's also playing Toad May 24th with local artists Lisa Bastoni and Nashville's Mare Wakefield .

"I love being part of the scene here, having access to a stage where I can bring people up and have them perform." says Miraglia. She adds, "Sometimes it feels like we musicians spend so much time over our own goals, and it's nice to be able to have something to offer back." Also, "I feel at home in this community of people." Since coming to the area to her first open mic at The Kendall Cafe in 1998, Miraglia has become an integral part of the Somerville music scene. About four and half years ago, Miraglia took over the Burren's Sunday Night Singer-Songwriter Series, which had been hosted by her friend, Melissa Morris.

Miraglia's been performing music since a young age. When she was ten years old, she started her first band. At the age of thirteen, she began playing an electric guitar under the tutelage of friends, books and by ear. She has a panoply of influences -- "classic rock, some heavy metal --Janis Joplin, Paul Simon, Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell...." She views Mississippi John Hurt as the man whose work has taught her about "feeling it" on "bluesy picking style" --"I don't think he was thinking about every note he was playing and I don't think any great blues player does." Of Tom Waits, she said, "Anything clever I ever thought Tom Waits has already said...." Miraglia ruefully smiled and disclosed her first band name, "Lindsay and the Nifty Can-Openers." She considers Prince (by whatever name he does or does not have) "the last living artist that can turn me to jelly."

"The 7not Records concept is really cool." According to Miraglia, the label is "really about the independent artists --- not about trying to be flashy -- Jason Kitayama [Somerville's 7not founder] wants to help artists that deserve a bit of a push." She is especially excited about her re-release because of the vitality of the 7not support under it.

For Miraglia, who has released three albums, Nothing Romantic is the first one that she is "really happy with." It is the product of "lots of great friends coming in and contributing their art and personality to it" -- Tom Bianchi (bass, harmonica, vocals), Kevin So (piano, organ, vocals) , Paul Chiasson (percussion), Ruth Peterson (vocals), Lloyd Thayer (dobro, lap steel), Dana Colley (baritone saxophone), Chris Harris (drums) John Kleber (lead guitar) and Trevor Mills (mandolin). "I don't consider myself a producer," said Miraglia, yet that is just what she did in putting this work together, for the right sound and feel. She said "The making of it [the cd] just flowed...."

Miraglia's voice is husky and sweet, coming across as emanating directly from an inner warmth -- like smoke swirling from hot incense embers. The delicate guitar pickings of "Snow Globe," and Miraglia's striking lyrics and vocals strewn across them with (deceptively loose) precision hits the listener first. Next comes "Sell My Soul," with Miraglia's incisive pop culture imagery and music message. This is followed by a gentle dance, "Moment by Moment," that includes the subtle shades of So's piano, organ and vocals and mandolin accents by Mills. "Say One Thing" has a fun, gritty feel -- Chiasson's apt percussion punctuation with the wrappings of Bianchi's lively harmonica licks and bass strokes. "Better" then smoothens the mood. "You Don't Know Nothin'" moves the listener to a conversation touching on Vietnam, feminism and the question of what credentials or experiences should or could enable folks to opine on certain topics. "Cry" is my favorite, with the aching clarity of Miraglia's lyrics and guitar line. The start of the song depicts like a seemingly dingy sapphire that the listener strains to see and understand while it casts sparks. It is polished with every measure until it shines a pure blue light by the final note. In the title track, "Nothing Romantic," Miraglia talks about a non-glamorous side to life on the road. One can get lost in the details of her descriptions, Bianchi's vocals and bass flourishes and Thayer's tender dobro, lap steel.... "The Only Way to Win" exhibits a meld of clever words, truism and vocal harmonies with Peterson. Finally, "The Wind," ends the cd softly. There is a wistful bent, but always with a bit of interesting edge, which seems to be a core component of Miraglia's special style. - The Somerville News


"Lydia Warren - Queen of the Barefoot Blues"

Queen of the Barefoot Blues
Lowell Sun
By Rachel R. Briere

WHO: The Lydia Warren Band

AKA: Lydia Warren, guitar and vocals; Matt Malikowski, bass; and Warren Grant, drums.

VISIT: www.LydiaWarren.com and www.myspace.com/thelydiawarrenband

DOWNLOAD: "Any Different"

BACKSTORY: A suburban girl from Franklin, who took opera voice lessons at eight-years-old and played bass in a punk band is far from your typical blues babe. But at 24, Lydia Warren has graced the stage with The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Buckwheat Zydeco, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and sordid blues greats that will knock your socks off -- or shoes in Warren's case.

How did your musical career begin?

When I was 13, I played bass in a punk rock band covering Nine Inch Nails songs and some of that stuff. Then my dad put on this video with Albert King, I said 'This is what I want to do.'

Do you play the bass anymore?

Sometimes I will pick up my bass players and fool around for awhile, but I don't write on that.

So your father is the one who turned you on to the blues?

Both of my parents were really into music. My dad plays guitar a little, not professionally, but there was always a guitar in the living room. He was more into the classic rock stuff growing up -- Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, never any farther back than the 1960s. When he put on the video of this older blues guy, I asked my dad to take me to see him. He laughed and said he was long gone, but he took me to see Monster Mike Welch instead. It was awesome to see young people are into this too. I asked Mike all kinds of questions. Then I started to look stuff up online tracing back the blues as far as I could. By far my favorite is 1950s Chicago blues.

Who are some of your favorite musicians?

My favorite, favorite, favorites are Otis Rush, Magic Sam and B.B. King.

You have been called the B.B. Queen by Boston Magazine. Is that a title that is hard to live up to or did you take it as a compliment?

I took it as flattering. When I read that I was like, oh my gosh --what a cool little quote.

You got to meet B.B. King, what was that like?

We actually got the chance to open up for him. He called me up on the stage to thank me for being the opening act.

Was that the most amazing moment so far of your career?

Yes and this summer I was in Chicago at a club that Buddy Guy owns. They kept telling us to stick around and maybe he will show up. We stayed another day and he did. He invited me to play a song with him.

What song did you guys play?

Um, I don't even know (laughs). I do this thing when I play with my band where I take my heels off during the set, he handed me his guitar and started improvising singing about how this is a girl who takes off her shoes. It was so much fun. My friends were all there and video taped it. It's on You Tube.

You have appeared with some blues legends. Is there anyone else that you would love to perform with?

There are so many bands out there I would love to play with. Obviously the classic people, like Led Zeppelin I heard was reuniting -- that would be the thrill of my lifetime. Or Cream -- that would be insane to open for them or even see them.

If you could resurrect one musician to play with, who would that be?

Magic Sam -- definitely.

You toured in Lebanon? What was that like? Did they receive the blues well?

They didn't have a firm grasp on where the blues came from. I would play something and they would say 'Oh that sounded like Eric Clapton,' instead of B.B. King. I would play a song then explain where it originated to the audience. It was really a amazing trip the audiences were really cool.

So how did this kicking off your shoes ritual during your show come to be?

I did a show years ago down at the Cape and my shoes broke before I went on. I didn't want to go on barefoot, so I went up the street to a store that was a joke-novelty gift shop. The only heels they had were these cheap, black, very high patent leather platforms. Halfway through the show they just were not working, so I took them off and everyone started going nuts. I continued to do it every show after that.

I know you are a serious blues musician, but do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Oh yeah. It is so bad, but I love Britney Spears. She can do no wrong. A couple of weeks ago I scoured the Internet for her new stuff and found five songs that were leaked. They're OK, I am not sure this is her comeback.

Will we hear a Britney Spears cover by The Lydia Warren Band ever?

I would love to, but my bandmates would probably throw me off a bridge.
- Lowell Sun


"Lydia Warren"

"BB Queen" - Boston Magazine


"Jack Babineau"

The greatest challenge in the life of any young, budding musician is always the same ~ carving out a niche and distinguishing his or her unique, individual talent. Although Jack Babineau, an 18 year old singer/song-writer/reincarnated blues belter FEELS that’s a challenge, one listen and you’ll be convinced otherwise.

“The most challenging part for me is trying to get away from my influences and really finding myself,” says Babineau, who just released his first effort through Satellite Studios, aptly titledGeneration of Need. To really distinguish himself from comparisons to the likes of Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer, Babineau channels years of listening to The Beatles, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Ray Charles and other greats and puts his own spin on the classics. “I like to distinguish myself by incorporating so many styles that you can’t find one; I like to throw in some jazz, blues, and even hip hop.”

Having only been playing guitar for four and a half years, Babineau displays a talent and a passion beyond his years, and much of that natural insight and energy shines through in Generation of Need, a collection of eight tracks recorded over two years. “The title of the album is the underlying factor. The whole album is about society, everything going on in the world and how we should stop pointing fingers and just try to better ourselves,” Babineau explains. His point is driven home with smooth, blues-infused pop riffs supported by his strikingly deep, shockingly soulful vocals.
-Jillian Locke, Pulse Magazine - Pulse Magazine


"Jack Babineau"

Worcester Magazine
CATCH & RELEASE
Written by staff
Wednesday, 07 April 2010
Jack Babineau

Jack Babineau is a Smithfield, Rhode Island blues-rock veteran with multiple shows at the Gardner Ale House and the Bull Run in Shirley under his belt. At least I thought this until I read he hasn’t even graduated high school yet. Babineau’s age is irrelevant on his debut release, Generation of Need. He jams with New England blues dinosaur James Montgomery on one track, trading guitar licks with Montgomery’s sweet blues harpmelodies like he’d been doing it for decades. Not bad for someone who learned to play five years ago. But the album really gains momentum during the title track. Babineau gets philosophical, asking what the human race did to “make it go so wrong.” He answers his own question seconds later in a burst of clavinet and electric guitar riffs: “money, lust and power, greed…create another generation of need.” Babineau is wise beyond his years on Generation of Need. - Worcester Magazine


"Ryan Kelly"

“They were so good that we had to bring them back..They have a fabulous following, too.” "
-Jessica Clegg - Nashua Telegraph


"Jack Babineau's Generation of Need"

"...it's a promising beginning" - Providence Journal


Discography


Jack Babineau - Generation of Need (released 2010)
*Available on itunes, CDBaby and Amazon
-Currently recording first Don't Blame Jack record
at Satellite Studios

Photos

Bio


Jack Babineau

At the age of 14, Jack picked up the acousitc guitar - his natural talent and unrestrained energy paving the way for him to perform professionally throughout the New England area just two years later. By the age of 17, he was recording his first CD of original music, Generation of Need. His performances thoroughout the New England area garnered attention - why else would legendary bluesman James Montgomery agree to play blues harp on Jack’s debut record? The recording process became a magnet for the future band members and their musical chemistry was obvious in the studio. Don’t Blame Jack made their debut at the Generation of Need CD release party in March, 2010. The band burned down the house, the buzz began, and just six weeks later, they opened for Blues Traveler at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel, Providence’s epic rock and roll club.
Relative newcomers to the scene, their passion and respect for the foundations of good music are evident. Coming to the blues much the way the young Rolling Stones did, they bring a rock energy that only comes from being at an age when anything is still possible. Fueled by Jack’s rich, soulful vocals these guys deliver the goods with a stunning mix of maturity and hunger.