22 December 2001
"Phi sub E? Uh, which fraternity is that?"
Presents! We've got presents!
Happy holidays! As usual, it seems to have taken us a long time to get the good news out the door - it's been a while since the last update. Hopefully, after you read this, you'll think it was worth the wait.
The top story is that we just recorded a special concert, which will soon become our first-ever live album! We played three sets at the Allens Lane Arts Center in Philadelphia on December 16, and the best stuff from that will be turned into a spiffy new CD, hopefully hitting the streets in the spring of 2002. We've only just started going through the tapes, so I can't tell you yet what the track list will be, but it should be a nice mixture of newer material and reinvented classics. Many thanks to everyone who turned out to hear us and help with the logistics.
I'll also mention that the documentary film "When the Forest Ran Red," which describes the events of the French and Indian War in and around western Pennsylvania in 1754-55, debuted on WQED-Pittsburgh back in September. We performed the majority of the music heard in the soundtrack, so we were happy to see the finished product.
Finally, we debuted a couple of new pieces of music at the Minstrel Coffeehouse back in September. One is a boppy little song about electromagnetism entitled "Ampere's Law," and the title pretty much tells you what it's about. It was written by our friend Walter Smith, who's a physics professor in real life, and one of the people who got me (Tom) interested in shape note music. You can see more of Walter's work at www.physicssongs.org, including his version of "Ampere's Law" (hint: our version sounds different...). The other new piece is a set of three reels, all from North American sources. We had the Minstrel audience suggest titles for it - which is how it got to be called "Lawn Darts at the Court of the Earl of Granby." (Thanks to Greg Henderson for the winning title!) It's slated for inclusion on the projected "next Broadside album" (after the live album, that is), but since that album is still in the planning stage, I can't tell you any more about it at this point.
We've got shows coming up this winter and spring in lots of places, so check the gig page and come see us when you get the chance!
26 October 2001
"Sunday, Monday, Happy Days!"
A Double Whammy
First of all, there's a surprise for you if you read this all the way through. (There, extra incentive hereby planted.)
Right. Let's just skip the opening patter and get it out in the open. (We'll throw the patter in as we go instead, kinda like this here parenthetical remark that we'll interrupt now to inform you that ...)
We've begun working on a new CD (WHAM!).
It's currently in the planning and discussion stages, but it's quite real. A whole bunch of goodies planned for this one. Even some that we aren't sure of yet. But then we're still planning it. (These things take some serious up-front care and feeding, you know.)
Anticipating your next question: Yes, there's a working title, but then it depends on who you ask.
Next question: We anticipate there being tracks no-one has ever heard in concert, yes. Same as we did for With Teeth.
... as to your next question: It's a studio album, most definitely.
Next question: For the uninitiated, "studio" basically refers to the album being recorded "in a recording studio" of some sort. Now, with "today's technology" that could be just about anywhere you can put a recording device and a microphone. Joe's master bathroom, for instance. Talk about well-tuned tile, oh, wait'll you hear it. Magnifique!
Sorry, that wasn't your question? Oh, that question. R.U. Sirius? Umm, the answer to that one might be in a back issue of Mondo 2000 - who knows, maybe issue #11, on page 23, lower left column.
The thing is, it's probably out of print by now. That and it has precious little (indeed, nothing) to do with our new CD. So, unless it's archived on the web somewhere with printed page cross-references (or if you can grab it off of eBay) you are so out-of-luck. Bummer.
And it's back to the present we go ...
We've begun working on another new CD (WHAM!).
But wait! This is not deja vu. In fact, this is a different new CD vs. the aforementioned new CD. Two CDs. See?
R.U. Sirius? You bet we are.
We told you it was A Double Whammy from the start, but did you listen? Nooooo. Why didn't you listen? It was in the title. Like right in your face. You thought we were repeating ourselves? Perish the thought.
It's OK, we'll let it slide, but we sure hope you learned something.
So - this "another new CD" is the one due out first (early 2002 we reckon, if all goes according to plan). It's also a CD with a twist, you see. Here comes the payoff.
Check out the concert calendar, friends, because you get the chance to witness the actual recording session from the comfort of your own chair or patch of floor.
(Can it be ... ? Yes, it can be! Are you jumping up and down yet?)
4 June 2001
"All Your Bronson Are Belong To Us"
Summer Breeze ...
"... makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my miiiiiind ..." Ahh, those fabulous '70s. Yours for only $9.95. Order now and receive a very special "Seals & Crofts: The Musical!" original cast recording as our gift.
Suuuure. Meanwhile, we've got something more relevant: some June and July concerts on deck at B.E. Central. Here's the deal: The June venues (Godfrey Daniels and Longwood Gardens) are brand-spanking new for us. We'd love nothing more than to pack these venues in big-time (barring any fire hazards, most certainly). Did you get that? PACK! IN! BIG- TIME! :-)
So please - help us spread the word far and wide and let's go crazy. "Let's get nuts. Let's look 4 the purple banana 'til they put us in the truck, let's go!" Ahh, those fabulous '80s ...
In other news, some of you have asked us "Hey us, whatever happened with that music B.E. was working on for the film "When the Forest Ran Red?" Good question, some of you.
My sources inform me that "Forest" is in the proverbial can (for those who don't know the lingo, that's a good thing!) and will reportedly make a debut on PBS sometime this fall. No date has been set yet, but as always we'll be sure to keep you posted. After PBS, who knows what adventures lie ahead? (Ohhhh, History Channel, we're a-knockin' ...)
4 December 2000
Special 10th Anniversary Edition
We Came. We Saw. We Played Our Guts Out.
I mean wow! What a rush. What an incredible time we had. What an incredible time the audience had! Five B.E. bands, five musical guests, free food, t-shirts, an abundance of chocolate, and did we mention all the music and good cheer?
This was certainly one for the history books. Good thing we had the foresight to have it professionally recorded! You never know when it will come in handy ... ;-)
Aye, the 10th Anniversary Concert succeeded beyond our wildest dreams (and they were pretty wild, let me tell you). So wild, that a lot of you MUST have stories or accounts of your own to tell. We'll surely post our own stories for others to read, HOWEVER ...
... while everything is fresh in your mind, we'd like to get YOU in on the act too. More of that "breaking down the fourth wall" stuff. Sure, we're all for breaking down the fourth wall. Down with sheetrock! Just say no to gypsum, blah blah blah.
But seriously, in a lot of ways (actually in all ways), this was really YOUR concert. This was our little-big way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported us over the years. We really do hope it was memorable for each and every one who witnessed it. I think I speak for all Broadside alums and members when I say this will never be forgotten, not by a longshot.
For those who didn't or couldn't be there, we still want to share the experience with you. You certainly deserve it! So here's what we're gonna do:
Wanted: Your Stories, Reviews and Photos
Effective immediately we are accepting any and all of the following, to be assembled for "a very special 10th Anniversary section" of www.broadside.org:
We've even set up a special e-mail address where you can send it all:
If you have especially large size files to send us, and you have a web site of your own, consider posting them privately and sending us a hyperlink to your stash of goodies. Otherwise, use the "10th" e-mail address above.
We'll start posting stuff as we receive it, so hey! Don't delay! 'kay?
Meanwhile, may your holidays be festive and filled with lots of Vitamin C. We'll see YOU in 2001 (or perhaps sooner - we may be posting yet another update if we manage to book a late-breaking gig in 2000 <!>).
15 November 2000
Broadside Invades The Folk Show with Gene Shay
On Sunday, 19 November, the whole five-fifths <!> of Broadside Electric will perform live in the XPN studios and be interviewed by Gene Shay. "If memory serves me correctly," this is, hey, checkitout, this is the first time all of the current lineup has performed at XPN. <!!>
At press time, we're not 100% sure what time this will be, so you know the drill. Tune in to 88.5 FM or listen online from 4-8pm.
"And, but also" - please don't hesitate to call in and request songs from "With Teeth" during the broadcast. It's a fact: we support any and all grass-roots initiatives in the "radio request department." Call any radio station. Call any vegetable if you want, but do call the radio station first. WXPN's request line is +1 (215) 573-9976. (Kids, get your parents permission before you dial.)
UPDATE - 10th Anniversary Concert
Hear ye, hear ye: Our 10th Anniversary Concert is still official! If there was ever an event not to be missed, THIS IS THE ONE NOT TO MISS.
Here's a recap of the vital stats:
Also scheduled to perform:
What you'll see/hear:
The program (B.E. sets are 30 minutes; guest sets are 20 minutes):
T-Shirt Design Contest Winnahs
Hey, thanks so much to everyone who participated in our super-big-deal T-Shirt contest. So many entries, so little time, and such variety. We appreciate your efforts, gosh do we ever.
In response to some recent e-mail concerns over the vote, though it's never any small task to choose a favorite, we at Broadside Electric want to let you know that at no time did we even consider using those doomed-from-the-start holepunch butterfly ballot thingies. That's right, no manual recounts in this election, no way no how.
(You see, friends, we're all about "no muss, no fuss" around here.)
'kay ... the winners:
We have ordered shirts incorporating Paul's design. As promised, they'll be unveiled at the 10th anniversary concert for your purchasing and wearing pleasure. As for Nick, well, we plan to use his most excellent designs for other nefarious purposes. Bwa-haa indeed. Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, Paul has chosen that Broadside perform a song of his choosing at the anniversary show. Though we can't tell you what song he chose, rest assured it is shaping up to be ... well ... it's very different. (Is there ever any other way to be?)
Say, here's something different for the next election ... let's issue all registered voters Scratch-n-Win Election Ballots!
"Lessee, <scratch> Gore <scrrratch> A Large Diet Soda <scratchity-scratch> Bush <scritch-scratch> Nader <scrrrrratch, pause> aww, no, Large Diet Soda won again. <whines> I don't wanna carbonated beverage for president!"
It could work. Right?
Recently, when no-one was looking, Broadside contributed music for a new documentary about British Major General Edward Braddock and his failed attempt at seizing Fort Duquesne. Hmm, mortal combat and a body count. Oh yeah, just the sort of thing we're up for! :-D
Read more about the film, "When the Forest Ran Red," courtesy of the Post Gazette.
More Band News
Let's go straight to the collaborations:
14 July 2000
Broadside Featured in Dirty Linen #89
Not too long ago, Broadside Electric held court with Dirty Linen's very own self-proclaimed Celtonerd, Steve Winick. We're proud to announce that the best bits of that conversation can now be enjoyed as a feature in the August/September issue of Dirty Linen (#89)!
For those not in the know, Dirty Linen is one of the very best magazines available about folk and world music. In fact, by the time you read this, Issue #89 will be on newsstands and at fine booksellers in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere ... before you can pronounce "Xcgfjwbq."
Steve has put forth such a well-crafted three-page article, why we're sure it is destined to become a B.E. collector's item. (At the very least a copy will land in Joe's hermetically sealed archive vault.)
For those who like to read articles online, www.dirtylinen.com will soon carry it as well. If you don't get a printed copy in time, not to worry. They also sell back issues ... while they last.
OK, have we plugged this enough yet? :-)
10th Anniversary Concert Announced
Hear ye, hear ye: Our 10th Anniversary Concert is now official! Mark those calendars down with permanent marker or something, got it?
Also scheduled to perform (at press time):
We're also working hard to get others in on the fun, including Other Broadside Alum Melissa Demian. We'll keep you in the loop as things develop.
What you'll see/hear:
T-Shirt Design Contest Begins
Our financial advisers inform us that it's time to offer a new Broadside Electric Souvenir T-Shirt. We believe our tenth anniversary marks the perfect occasion.
We also know there is untapped artistic potential lurking out there. What to do? Ultimately, we decided to sit back and let you do all the hard work. :-)
Oh, but we'll make it worth your while. How? With a T-Shirt Design Contest, of course. Ready? Here's all you do.
"Look at all these fabulous prizes!"
Here is a list (current at press time):
How to Enter
Deadline for submissions is Saturday, 2 September 2000.
The Fine Print:
* Instructions adapted from the UVA Comp. Sci. Design Contest
New www.broadside.org Unveiled
In tandem with the Dirty Linen feature, we have altered our web site somewhat. Those who have seen our 1998 CD-ROM Demo will be familiar with the changes, and now there's still more to chew on.
We've added a search engine, the table of contents offers a birds-eye view of everything on the site, we even dropped a quick recruitment - er, um, mailing list subscription form on every page. A brief summary on the contents page rounds things out, keeping you up-to-date on what's happening in B.E.-land. You've even got the lyrics. Wow. You are all soooo spoiled.
Still more changes are forthcoming. Keep your eyes peeled, 'cause the web elves are going to be biz-zay this summer.
More Band News
As you sit poolside this summer, basking in the sunlight (with sunscreen at the ready, or a shade), sipping pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain ... if you're not into yoga, if you're into champagne ... you might wish to see a specialist 'cause you're channeling Rupert Holmes.
It also means, of course, that John Malkovich has company.
If, on the other hand, you're only doing the sunlight basking bit, or whatever aquatic, summer, hiking, nature-walk, boardwalk, theme-park, movie recreation suits your fancy, then good for you! You're enjoying these summer months in grand style. And well you should. It is, after all, the last one of the millennium (right? - well, no, let's not get into that argument now, we could go on for days).
Broadside is also quite busy and having tons of fun. Aside from all the aforementioned madness (Dirty Linen, 10th Anniversary preparations, etc.) here's "what we did on our summer vacation" thus far (or, for the Fairport-inclined, "what we did on our holidays"):
5 May 2000
Well, well. We certainly are in festival-hoppping mode now, aren't we?
Quite frankly, we couldn't be happier about it. Festivals are well attended and well promoted, plus they often have a theme that runs through everything, including the music (like the Philly and Baltimore Folk Festivals). Bottom line: We get to play the music we enjoy and reach a wider audience, many hearing us for the very first time.
To those who have come out to see us in the past, a heartfelt thank you. To everyone else, hey - get some fresh air - it's good for you! :-) We encourage everyone to set aside some time and enjoy everything these community festivals have to offer. It's time well spent.
Reaching a wider audience is also what our June 9th appearance at DeBaun Auditorium is all about. ("Ho-BO-ken?! Oooh, I'm a-DYYYYin'!) But seriously folks, Hoboken is quite an eclectic town, abuzz with music, theater, art and activities of every sort. We've had our eye (and ear) on Hoboken for a few years now searching for just the right opportunity. Thanks to the folks at DeBaun we have finally found it!
Now we're aiming to conquer the home of Frank Sinatra the only way we know how: staging a double-bill concert with Margo Hennebach in a newly renovated 500 seat auditorium and spreading the word to everyone within earshot (and then some).
Are we crazy? Of course! You have to be crazy to try a stunt like this, but then we wouldn't have it any other way. We'll be making an audio (and, as of right now) video recording of this concert for posterity (or who-knows-what?). So, if you ever wanted to be part of a recorded concert event, here's your big chance! Definitely mark this one down.
In the coming weeks, we'll be launching a new section of www.broadside.org where folks can get involved in promoting Broadside concerts in their own home town. We'll provide all kinds of downloadable stuff: cover letters, info sheets, posters, postcards and who knows what else, all in one place, with super-easy step-by-step instructions.
So if you know of a place you think we should be playing in the NY/NJ/PA area (or, yes even DE, MD, VA, MA, VT, ME - do we have to spell 'em all out?), don't be shy! Write and tell us why you think it would be a good pick. If we book it, you'll get the opportunity to be our venue liaison and even introduce us on-stage (unless the venue already has an emcee ... but that's OK, we can think of other ways to thank you publicly for all your help!).
14 April 2000
We've been very hard at work broadening our internet horizons! To that end, we are pleased to share with you several sites where uninitiated folks the world over may be introduced to all things Broadside. Treasures abound: MP3s, bios, photos, discussion forums, chances to write reviews and rate tunes and so on. (This is in addition to listings already on the likes of Excite, Yahoo and such. We're mighty pleased.)
Of course we realize, dear reader, that you might have seen bits of this before ... on a site called, umm ... www.broadside.org . But you knew where to look, see (or you saw us live, or found us through an internet search). In that case, just consider this more info for all the Broadside completists out there. Let us know what you think, and Bon Appetit!
Some additional thoughts (again, for the completists). Sites with the most complete info at e-press-time are IUMA and Rolling Stone. Everyone else is playing catch-up, having already been sent the most current info. Stay tuned, they'll get around to it. (Others like musicsearch.com and BandLink.Net are either swamped or revamping their submission process so they'll have to wait a bit.)
Let's see, what else. The IUMA site has an interesting deal. We're supposed to get something like a zillionth of a cent from IUMA for every B.E. page visit (a piece of the banner ad action) so make every page load count when you visit. (Watch - IUMA gets a run on Broadside Electric MP3 downloads. I can see it now. Yes, visualize it. Now go, go forth, yea, verily, press thy mouse buttons multiple times!)
A word about the MP3 files. The MP3s we have posted (one from each Broadside album) were all carefully considered and approved by the band once upon a time. They are of very high quality and are full- length tracks to boot (128-bit, 44.1, Stereo for you MP3 die-hards). Which tracks? Ahh, you'll have to visit the sites above to find out. Our aim is to give folks a taste of Broadside through the years by giving away one (and only one) sanctioned track from each album and making them as widely available as possible. We encourage everyone to point folks to these MP3s, often. Spread the word, why dontcha. In fact, if you want to broadcast these files over Napster, SHOUTcast or Live365 go nuts. Just don't shut any college campus computer networks down in the process, OK?
1 March 2000
Huh? What? Are you serious? You're kidding! No, friends, we are NOT kidding. It is, at long last, Broadside Electric's 10th Anniversary Year! That can only mean one thing ... and when we figure out what that one thing is you'll be the first to know. After we tell each other, that is. You know how it works. If you know before we know then the space-time continuum is just toast. Don't go messing with that. You should know better. HANDS OFF. OK? Fine. Good. Quite right! You better you bet. Sit down, you're rockin' the boat. Let it be. And so on. Right back atcha. Alrighty then. Yup.
21 November 1999
We've had a fine fall indeed, with several wonderful gigs, including an "I-80 Tour" of back-to-back shows in Stroudsburg and State College, PA. We finally threw our album release celebration for With Teeth, which was held at MilkBoy Recording studio where most of the album was recorded. We ate the food, drank the drinks, and played to a nice crowd of friends and fans. Thanks to Mike Agranoff, Ray Ashley and Michael Toal for their musical contributions to the evening, and to Tommy Joyner for making the studio available and helping to organize the event.
One more show to go before the year 2000... Mermaid Inn on December 4, be there or be non-compliant!
31 August 1999
Two big topics for this news report.
First, our new CD, With Teeth is back from the plant! It looks great, it sounds great, and it's selling like hotcakes at our gigs. Not only that, but it was the "Philly Local Pick of the Day" on WXPN (88.5 FM in Philadelphia) every day for a week the week after it came out. Thanks are due to Tommy Joyner (our producer) and everyone else at MilkBoy Recording who helped us turn out a new album to be proud of. There will be wads more info about With Teeth on this site soon. (For those who may have been holding their breath since Jim's news report in February, it can now be revealed that the album does include saxophones.)
Second, we had a fantastic time this past weekend at the 1999 Philadelphia Folk Festival. We played four sets (main stage and three workshops) and got to rub shoulders, sometimes literally (as when we were crammed onto the small Tank Stage with the eleven-piece Old World Folk Band), with great musicians of every stripe. Being on the big stage was a great rush - probably the biggest crowd we have ever played to. Other highlights:
15 August 1999
The secret is out! As promised, we are letting you in on something special. Well, two something specials:
The montage can be obtained by pointing your web browser to one of:
29 July 1999
Now we know you're all waiting to hear about the album. "Is it finished?"
Yes, friends, it really is finished! It's "in the can" as they say in the biz ... wait, that's motion pictures. Well you know what we mean. We can hardly believe it ourselves, but after six months it is finally, really, truly, madly, deeply complete. Huzzah!
"What's it called?" Ohh, I'm afraid that is still a closely guarded secret <!!!>. But we won't let you Faithful More Band News Readers down, oh no. We'll let you in on a li'l sneak peek when the time is right, plus first word on celebratory proceedings and whatnot. All in good time! And that time is rapidly approaching, much like those really fast trains in Europe. Or is it Japan? Can't recall, might be both, whatever.
Meanwhile, the current August gig lineup is simply amazing. We're very pleased to be playing all of these spots and, with the new CD upon us, the timing couldn't be better. Attendees to these shows will be in for quite a surprise. We don't actually know what the surprise is but, when we find out, so will you! Promise.
28 May 1999
Well, after long months of labor, we are approaching the completion of our new album. The schedule was set back when we paused in April to catch our breath and play some gigs, but now we're sprinting to the finish. We plan to mix the album in mid-June and with any luck we'll have those shiny discs in hand by the end of the summer. Much of the album will be new material, most of which has never performed on stage - although a "sneak preview," the song "Royal Oak," has been aired at some recent shows.
The other big news is that we'll be playing the Philadelphia Folk Festival again this year! Right now it looks like we will do a main stage set on Friday afternoon, plus (we hope) a workshop (TBA) sometime over the weekend. Be there and soak it up!
15 April 1999
Work on the new Broadside Electric CD continues unabated, as we finish up tracking through the end of May. It's amazing just how much music we have managed (or is it dared?) to record. The really fun part is yet to come: mixing the thing and getting the booklet ready! Just like a magazine, really ... only a lot smaller ... and very shiny on at least one side.
In fact, you can reflect light off a CD surface extremely well. Careful, though, 'cause you can go blind if you try that stunt in broad daylight. PLEASE use caution. Ahh, the mighty CD. Reflects light with the greatest of ease. Ever stop to think about that? Can your fancy-schmancy magazine with its ad-funded high-gloss finish do THAT?! Hmph. Didn't think so.
19 February 1999
We're pleased to report that we're now right smack in the middle of our latest project, which is currently only known as the fourth Broadside Electric CD!
Yes, that's right. This CD promises to be the biggest, loudest, longest, (and many other superlatively phrased adjectives) of the lot. Right now there are nothing but secrets about the form, content, and degree of difficulty -- but we swear you'll love it!
Most of the material is brand new. "Ahh," you say, "but will there be saxophones?" This, too, is a secret. Don't start holding your breath until about mid-May, after which we'll hopefully be able to accomodate you with commercial product.
If you want to be among the first to be notified please make sure you're on our mailing list, and we'll let you know within mere moments of receiving into our own hot little hands.
7 February 1999
There is nothing new under the sun.
Thanks to all who came out to support us at the Mermaid Inn this past Saturday, February 6th. We hope you had a grand old time. We sure did!
If you missed us, that's OK, because in just one week (Valentine's Day, February 14th) we'll be live in the WXPN studios with Gene Shay. Yow! One week after (February 21st) we return to The Cherry Tree Music Co-Op. Needless to say, we're really looking forward to both engagements. Check our concert calendar for complete details, as always.
Now it's time to get very serious. Read carefully.
We announced this at the Mermaid this past Saturday, and we wanted to run through it once again for the record. Let it be known that Broadside Electric is committed to being a Y2K compliant musical ensemble. Now, we can already hear you exclaiming: "You must be kidding!" Friends, we assure you, we are not kidding. Each and every musical instrument played by the band is 100% certified Y2K compliant ...
... well, OK, except for the crumhorn, that umbrella-shaped thing Jim plays. Some of you have attempted to console Jim by suggesting that the majestic crumhorn "doesn't count as a musical instrument." That's not consolation. Hmph. That's sacrilege! How dare anyone even postulate such nonsense. We won't stand for it. Besides, everyone knows it's the drumkit that doesn't count <snicker>.
In fact, did you know that the crumhorn is actually Y1K compliant?
It's true! We know because we heard it from an audience member. Besides, the Y1K-compliant crumhorn poses no threat to livelihood or personal safety whatsoever.
Come to think of it, neither do any of our instruments ... unless you count violin bows which, we admit, could poke an eye out if we aren't careful (especially Joe, he can be klutzy) ... but THAT'S NOT THE POINT.
What we're trying to say here, if only in a roundabout way, is RELAX. Rest assured, Broadside Electric is hard at work: on Y2K compliance, on the new full-length album, even on overflowing the "More Band News" section of our web site with insane drivel about crumhorns and computer science.
Other than that, there really is nothing new under the sun.
15 January 1999
The rumors are true! Broadside Electric is actually in the studio working on their fourth (as yet untitled) album. No, they're not in there this very minute, but for all intents and purposes they are there, no joking.
Details on the recording, the song titles and all those juicy tidbits are being kept a closely guarded secret. Despite all this, sources close to the band report that progress so far has been excellent. As more is revealed in the coming weeks, we'll dutifully report it right here.
17 November 1998
We've just gotten back from a wonderful weekend at the Northeast Regional conference of the North American FolkAlliance. We performed in the Friday night formal showcase and the late-night "Celtic/British/Canadian" showcase and were well received. We handed out dozens of demo CD's, attended some great workshops, and jammed well into the small hours... all in all, it was terrific.
It's been quite a while since the last news update - we went through a period of sort of daring each other to write one. What's been happening? Well, we played a busy spring and fall schedule and took most of the summer off, with only scattered gigs. We played a great double bill in June for the Philadelphia Folksong Society with Einstein's Little Homunculus - it went so well we did it again in September at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA. Both shows concluded with all 10 of us jammed onto the stage, cranking out jigs and reels, our "As I Roved Out" and ELH's "Disobedience." Another highlight was the Folk Project Fall Festival in northern New Jersey - one of the ultimate folk music immersion experiences.
We've been slowly pulling material together for a new album, which we plan to record early next year. Some of it will be songs we have been playing for a while, and some will be new pieces (which may stay under wraps until the album comes out).
15 September 1998
The Boston Trip (as opposed to the Linda Tripp): Our trek to Boston and Waltham was a smashing success, and we made many new friends and gladly parted with a ton of CDs and cassettes. Thanks to all who made the trek out to offer their support! You have our sincerest gratitude and thanks ... both of which may be construed as similar forms of kudos, but you get the idea nonetheless.
Broadside Electric is now on the digitalphono.com web site! Check it out for the full scoop. In short, you can now listen to clips of our music (and even listen to our new demo tracks) right over the web, using technology that gives amazing CD-quality audio in a fraction of the disk space (and we do mean FRACTION). Players for Windows and Macintosh are available for download. Do try it and then write us to let us know what you think. Thanks!
31 June 1998
The mega-weekend with Einstein's Little Homunculus was mega-amazing. Or is that mecha-amazing? BE and ELH jammed on a cover of Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla" at Fergie's Pub, and then -- AND THEN ... AND THEN:
We all went full tilt during the Battle of the Bands at the Philadelphia Folksong Society's season-ending concert. Picture ten crazy people (us) on stage, cruising through Broadside's "As I Roved Out," across a barrage of tunes, and crossing the finish line with Einstein's "Disobedience."
In the end, it was Einstein's very own Rob Rudin who made the boldest move of the evening. During the requisite "closing number" Rob actually donned the PFS banner (which we understand has been with the organization for quite some time now), employing it as a multicolor cape! BE's Joe D'Andrea could only describe the spectacle as "The finest George Clinton impression I've ever seen or heard. Man, I've gotta get out my P-Funk albums again." Then he mumbled something about 'rhythm and rhymes' and wandered off aimlessly.
Thanks to all of you who joined in the fun! We couldn't play it for you without you.
3 June 1998
I'm happy to report an astoundingly wonderful concert at the Mermaid this past Saturday! We were joined by ex-BE vocalist Melissa Demian for a number of songs, including several real old ones, like "Henry Martin." As always, absolutely wonderful to have Melissa as the 6th wheel in the new band! Those of you in England should make an effort to see her play in Cambridge when you can. Also that night we were opened up for by the excellent Ray Ashley, doing a mostly-solo Stick set. Yes, that's right, "excellent." Ray, are you reading? You should just change your name to "Excellent Ray Ashley" and be done with it. "Excellent Ray Ashley and the Three Hour Detour" -- they'll go far. Uhh, anyway, BE also performed some exciting new material, including the long-awaited "Wir Fahren mit der SBB," a Swiss train song by Walter Wild, and "Nonesuch/An Dro," a coupling of an English country dance with a Breton tune we don't know the name of.
1 April 1998
Well, it's sad to say, but the band has agreed to all go our separate ways. Lately we've had some musical differences, the most destructive being a feud between the wind and violin sections, involving constant arguing over the superiority of blown reeds vs. bowed strings. I think we'll all be glad for the change, and for a chance to pursue our separate interests. Joe auditioned successfully and has been cast as the voice of Kenny on "South Park". Tom has been developing some skill as an Elvis impersonator and says he's "considering a move to Memphis." Helene will have more time to devote to sword swallowing, and Jim will be working towards his Glue Gun II proficiency certificate. Amy has been drafted by the Chicago Bulls. Thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years, and we'll stay in touch.
31 January 1998
Our show at the Minstrel Coffeehouse on the 16th was a big success by just about any measure - the place was packed, the music was great (the second set went especially well), and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. We've also finished mixing our new demo (for radio and publicity purposes), which now awaits the mastering process... and we are starting to lay plans for a new album.
29 December 1997
Good grief, it's been a long gap there in between news flashes, eh? That's particularly inappropriate because these have been just the months where possibly the most news has occured. As you will see elsewhere on these pages, we are now very happy to be a five-person outfit. We've been playing some wonderful gigs, including the Philadelphia Folk Festival 1997, the Cherry Tree Music Co-op, and more. We've been in the recording studio at all hours doing god-knows-what... Someday there will be some results on that front. Those of you who always ask me whether there's ever going to be a fourth B.E. CD, I can tell you now that I'm almost certain that we will sometime next year. At any rate, we have new members and, since the summer, we have a huge boatload of new material which you can hear at the shows now. We still do a lot of the near-old stuff, albeit in various states of revision.
That's the short story. More timely news soon, I hope.
1 December 1997
This news page was pretty much dormant in 1997 because I was too busy with my "real life" to work on it, but to make a long story short:
1 February 1997
A good time was had by all at the Philadelphia/Mid-Atlantic Loop Show which Jim organized.
1 January 1997
Happy New Year! We've been semi-dormant over the last month or so, and I've been too busy to keep the Web site "pumped up," but now there's light at the end of the tunnel. We're finally getting new material out of rehearsal and onto the stage--we've already premiered a revamped "Blackleg Miner" and we hope to bring two other new pieces (surprise covers!) to the Mermaid on Feb. 1. A new ballad, "New York Trader," is also nearing readiness, and a few other pieces are in various states of preparation. It is possible that some of this material will form the nucleus of a new recording project...but it's too soon to talk about that.
5 November 1996
Our autumn season is just about wrapped up at this point, and we've had some real highlights - opening up for Ralph McTell at Philly's Tin Angel was the high-water mark, in my opinion. Our double bill with Stick wizard Greg Howard at the LionFish was another great night. The only thing left is our trip to Charlottesville, VA for our show at the Prism (thanks Greg!).
I'm hoping that we can start to roll out some more new material soon; it has been a start-and-stop process over the last few months. Our rehearsal time has been limited, and we've been playing a lot of shorter sets, at which we tend to focus on older parts of the repertoire. However, some good ideas are flowing now, so with luck and a little effort we should be able to bring some new music out of the shed soon.
3 August 1996
Our big summer rush is just about over - only one show left, and then we're off until the end of August. We're sure glad to have Mike back on the soundboard. We've been bringing new material to the stage, most recently "Clyde's Water" at Cafe Procopio. The two outdoor shows in New Jersey were especially fun and we may play those venues again in the future. Our appearance on WHYY's "Radio Times" went well too.
15 July 1996
Well, we tried out the new live version of "Sheath and Knife" at the Mermaid on Saturday night. Some people seemed to like it. Others were outraged. Come check it out and see what you think!
9 July 1996
The debut of the newly revamped and super-heavy "Mose Salio de Misrayim" at the LionFish came off really well, I think. We'll be playing it regularly from now on, and it will only get better.
Mike Ciul, our soundman, is off in Paris studying computer music. Things had become so worry-free since he's settled into the job that we really miss his skills when he's gone. We've been mixing ourselves from the stage to the best of our ability, but certain things are just too difficult to contemplate right now. I'm not even going to touch the crumhorn until Mike gets back to adjust my volume.
Speaking of wind instruments: I've been shopping around for some sort of shawm, possibly of Turkish or North African origin. I'd like to have such a thing to belt out reels and to take on the Klezmer tunes as well. It would also be a natural fit for out Bulgarian and Macedonian music. Ideally, I'd like to phase out use of the clarinet; I'm unhappy with my playing and my instrument needs an expensive re-pad job.
4 June 1996
Hello, this is Jim writing now. I'll second Tom's carefully restrained enthusiasm about our new CD. The months of recording were a bit strenuous, but well worth it! I got to arrange the horn sections to include my new rauschpfiefe, a 17th c. capped double-reed instrument from Germany, similar to the bombarde. Tom and Helene were very gracious about letting me write just about any wind parts that I wanted, a move that often distorts the original harmonic intent of the song a bit. I gotta tell you, one of the most fun things that can be done is to watch Tom's expression when he hears the wind parts for the first time... But I believe he's either quickly warmed up to them, or he doesn't want to hurt my feelings.
Touring in New England was great fun, especially towing Melissa around with us for a bit. Melissa may believe that she's successfully left the band, but, in fact, she's only on loan to the real world. :)
We've got lots of exciting new material in rehearsal, poised on the edge of performability! For those of you who have been attending just about every show listening to us play selections from our long standing repertoire over and over, I feel like we owe you a whole bunch of new songs. Don't give up hope! "Magellan" and "Bruton Town" were only the early harvests of what should be a nice crop of fresh arrangements. I'm secretly hoping for our "Derry Gaol" to be titled "Hangman," after Led Zeppelin's version of the Child ballad. By the way, it's also the lead track of a fantastic new CD from Steeleye Span, called Time.
I don't know who's reading this, but if you've got this far, I appreciate your thinking this is worthwhile! Hope to see you at the shows.
1 June 1996
It's been a busy spring for us, with the two high points being the release of our third album (and first as a trio), More Bad News, and our tour of New England (the last two weekends of April). Around these events, we have been playing out locally here in southeast Pennsylvania.
More Bad News came back from DiscMakers in the first week of March, and the response to the new album has been just terrific. Gene Shay has been playing it regularly on WXPN and WHYY and we've had lots of positive feedback on it.
The big trip to New England was divided into two long weekends (in between, we came back to Philly to work and study and otherwise keep our real lives moving). We played a string of scattered venues from the Boston area northward, including the Portland (ME) Folk Club, the Inn at Long Trail (Killington, VT), a living-room set at MIT, the Blacksmith House in Cambridge, MA, the Quarter Note Coffehouse in Plymouth, NH, the Luthiers' concert series in Waltham, MA and a short "getaway set" at Overall Music in Lexington, MA on the last day of the trip. This was our longest road trip ever, and it was tiring, but also very enjoyable and rewarding. Former bandmember Melissa Demian came to several of the shows and we dragged her up on stage to sing "Por La Tu Puerta" - with three part harmonies! - and a few other things. Our show in Killington also included the first (and so far only) live performance of "Sheath and Knife."
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