From the Drag City description of their album NEVERENDLESS:
“Thicker, denser, warbling and crunching in time — a motorik masterwork! The new CAVE is roller-rinkin’ rock for the next generation! Jamz from humans being for you to put into/onto your machine.”
Cave started in Columbia, MO then moved to Chicago. NEVERENDLESS is one of my all-time favorite albums to put on while I’m exercising. Also while I’m driving. And while I’m writing. And while I’m paying bills. And while I…
They’re also my current favorite almost-all-instrumental band to see live.
I could bore you with ten pages on my friendship with Sean “Langhorne Slim” Scolnick and how it came about, but I’ll keep it brief and let you check him out.
In 2004 I saw an ad in Maximum Rock’N’Roll for an ep on Narnack with this cover.
Not sure what is says about me that I was so intrigued with this image of a naked young man in a rocking chair, but I like to think the design had more to do with it. Anyway, I knew it was for me so I sought it out. Sure enough, it remains one of my favorite records.
Slim’s email address was listed in the liner notes of this cd. I emailed him to tell him how much I liked it, and he emailed me back. This started a correspondence. Then he came to L.A. with Eugene Mirman and a bunch of stand ups that were doing a tour, and I met him at Spaceland. We chatted before the show. Then he played an amazing, all-too-short set in between all of the comedians on the bill. This was the night I introduced Ben Barnes to Langhorne’s music. He was on board, too.
The next time I went to New York I emailed him to tell him I’d be in town and to see if he was playing while I was there. The brief opening slot at Spaceland was not enough. He invited me to a party in a building in Williamsburg, saying, “I’m playing tomorrow.” He gave me the address. The thing about the word tomorrow is that if you don’t read the email on the day it was sent, it doesn’t mean the same thing. I dragged my wife and our two friends to a weird apartment building in NYC’s city of lost trust fund children. We knocked on the door, and a confused guy we’d woken from a nap answered the door.
“Is there a party tonight?” I asked. “Is Langhorne Slim playing here tonight?” The guy looked confused. “There was a party last night. Some guy with a guitar was playing on the roof. He was pretty good.”
From then on, whenever he came to town I came to the show, and we hung out. Over the years we’ve become friends and I almost never miss it when he comes to town. I’ve seen him so many times now that I usually watch the crowd watching him during his shows. The way he puts smiles on people’s faces is incredible. He’s truly one of the most dynamic performers I’ve ever seen with an amazingly powerful and unique voice.
Here are some videos Ben Barnes shot of him singing in the alley behind The Troubadour on one of his trips through town. The “Whoo!” you hear at the end of Nobody But Me (the song is actually called Boots Boy, but it was brand new then) is me, Langhorne Slim’s Number One Fan.
I am lucky to know some people. One of those people is Allen “Charmin” Larman, who hosts a weekly internet radio show, Thee Charm School (you know it’s good on account of the second “e”) at luxuriamusic.com on Thursdays from 6-8pm pst. Although I was already somewhat familiar with the genius of Marvin Sease, it was Allen who took me to see the late great “Candylicker” live for the first (and only) time down at Prince Hall at Figueroa and 90th. So when Allen posted something on his facebook page about a couple of great Monday night residencies in South Central, I jumped on board and was not disappointed.
So last Monday night, I texted Allen to see if he was going down there. He replied that he wasn’t because an old juke joint legend named Robert “Bilbo” Walker was playing at the Maui Sugar Mill in Tarzana. I knew I had to go. I’m so glad I did.
Robert “Bilbo” Walker was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, lived in Chicago for 17 years, and now resides in Bakersfield. You can learn more about him here. All I know is that the man is 74 years old and put on one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen. Luckily I brought my flip cam and captured some of it. Due to low lighting, the picture isn’t that great, but you definitely get a sense of how fun it was to be there that night. If you are fortunate enough to have the chance to catch Robert live do not pass it up!
I apologize for the weird camera work, but I had to get a better angle of the sexy dancers (Robert’s daughters, by the way).
Robert’s take on Johnny B. Goode
One of Robert’s daughters takes the mic for a song.
Watch this one for Robert’s patented one-handed guitar solo!
Besides tearing up the blues and rock’n’roll, Robert also did an abbreviated version of “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”. He closed with an awesome version of “Stagger Lee” but I ran out of battery before it was over and felt it would be wrong to post an incomplete song.
Hope you enjoyed it 1/100th as much as I did! BIG thanks to Allen for letting me know about it and for Cadillac Zack at the Maui Sugar Mill for making it happen (Zack mentioned that it took him seven years to finally get Robert down to play). From what I understand, Zack’s band plays every Monday at the Maui Sugar Mill, often with guests dropping in. They played a little before bringing up Robert (they also backed him) and it kinda reminded me of the band that played at Wild Bill’s in Memphis the time I went. Good Staxy blues. Check it out!
So, I was cleaning out my hard drive and I realized I have a bunch of videos from Budget Rock 8 that I never posted. Here are four tunes from Memphis’s The Box Elders. The drummer plays keyboards at the same time! Enjoy!