The Review received an email from Dennis Beson of The Sinclairs, noting the group's original founder and bass player, Dr. Greg Bever, passed away at the age of 54. Bever's untimely death was the result of a rare neurological malady called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It struck suddenly and progressed rapidly.
I remember doing my first story with The Sinclairs six or seven years ago in Auburn, then writing for the Bay City Times, only to find a hilarious group of witty musicians that liked to have fun together. Bever's sense of humor made my photo shoot with them unforgettable. It is with great regret and heartfelt loss that we say goodbye to another wonderful local musician and human being. Please visit the web tribute from The Sinclairs at: thesinclairsband.com/original_sinclair.htm
Eric Clapton is at a Crossroads once again. This time he is serving the Mid-West as he lands his guitar super-hero gig close to the state of Michigan, on July 28 at Toyota Park, Chicago, IL. Profits from the sophomore version of the Festival will benefit The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a treatment and education facility founded by Clapton for chemically dependent persons.
The original show was at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX, June of 2004. Clapton then went on to reform Cream for shows in 2005 and 2006 and more recently toured with Derek Trucks (Allman Brothers Band) on co-guitar, re-hashing much of Clapton's Derek and The Dominoes material over the past year and a half.
To top all this off, at this Crossroads Festival in Chicago, Clapton will be reuniting with Steve Winwood for a run through of Blind Faith material, which was another apex in his outstanding career (as well as Winwood's).
No word yet on whether or not Ginger Baker will be in his Blind Faith drum stool, but with bassist Rick Gretch having passed away years ago, it will be interesting to see what a Blind Faith circa-2007 will be like, headlining the show. Go to www.ticketmaster.com to see if there is any of the $90 tickets left as well as to see the unbelievable line-up.
* Larry McCray's self-titled album was formally released at the State Theatre in Bay City on Saturday, March 31, as previously reported by Robert Martin in the last issue. Reportedly selling over 300 tickets for the extravaganza put on by the Kingfish Restaurant and Tiki Room, McCray featured the majority of his new album during his live set plus a few classics thrown in. Opening act Three Penny Revue kicked off the night with a wonderful set, full of rockabilly, and hip cat styles. Their vocal blend, along with a horn section, delivered an outstanding blend for the evening. McCray is preparing to go overseas for his first European tour in over 15 years, as well as other ventures this year, which will be forthcoming. He will be in Russia in November along with Saginaw's Sharrie Williams.
* When real alternative music was found rocking the underground in the mid-80s, there were a handful of genius groups to make the break for the top; Janes Addiction, Pixies, Replacements, and the kings of noise-melody, Dinosaur Jr. With almost all groups having reformed over the years (we await the possible Replacements venture!) Dinosaur Jr. was the most recent to jump on the bandwagon and get the original crew back on the road. From the laid-back vocals of J Mascis, to the intense time keeping of drummer Murph, bassist/vocalist Lou Barlow (who brought us the beautiful Sebadoh and Folk Implosion) tied the package together with his anxious wit and groove. Since they abandoned nearly 20 years ago (with Murph and Mascis making a few Dino albums with Mike Johnson on bass), the time has come for a real uplifting.
With their 2005 tour captured on film, the first ever Dinosaur Jr. DVD, Live From The Middle East will see the light of day on May 29. Interviews, 18 songs all originally recorded on the first three Dino Jr. albums, and a World Café appearance thrown in for good measure, the DVD is a raw and in-your-face close-up of a group that can still make ear drums bleed into their 40's. Top it all off with interview appearances by Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Mike Watt, mega-fan Matt Dillon and a cast of others, this DVD will re-acquaint long time fans of the real underground with reality. A brand new CD is also due out May 1, from the group titled Beyond.
Local percussionist Earl 'The Squirrel' has a new duo he is taking out live. After previously working with Dave Kellan over the past few years, Squirrel has been seen back in Bryan Rombalski's group as well has his most recent duo, Micah & The Squirrel.
"I was having lunch at Main St. Sports Pub, and a friend of mine walks in with a press kit," said the percussionist. "She and her husband Micah Read were moving back to Michigan from Atlanta, Ga. So I made plans to come out to his performance at Main St. Sports Pub. I thought this guy could really sing!!! I introduced myself and we talked after the show until they kicked us out. A couple of months later I walked into Main St. Sports Pub and he asked me if I happened to have any drums in the car. I did! I sat in and the next day we were doing gigs together!"
Having played six years as a professional solo artist, Read was a Top 60 finalist in Season 3 of America Idol. Micah & The Squirrel can be found every Saturday at Old City Hall in Bay City, among a list of other dates. Check out www.myspace.com/earlthesquerl for more details.