Low Cut Connie

Low Cut Connie & Opinions on Billy Gibbons

Inspired by the artists of the 1950s, Low Cut Connie has dedicated itself to bringing the upright piano back to rock ‘n’ roll. The band (a favorite of President Obama) joins Jim and Greg for a conversation and performance. Then a review of the debut solo album by ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons.

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Music News

Unless you‘ve been hiding in a cave, it’s been impossible to escape "Hello," the new single from British singer Adele. It sold 1.11 million copies in its first week – only Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" has ever sold more in a single week span. Adele is basically a music industry unto herself. In recent years, only Taylor Swift has come close in terms of sales.“Hello,”a 5-minute piano ballad, features production by Greg Kurstin, who has also worked with big names like Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson. It remains to be seen if Adele's new album takes her into uncharted territory, or is just a continuation of her previous work.

Tragedy struck a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania on October 30 when the metal band Goodbye to Gravity's stage pyrotechnics started a fire. 32 people died and hundreds were injured. This launched an unprecedented wave of protests against the perceived lax enforcement of laws, culminating in the resignation of Romanian Prime Minster Vincent Porta. This kind of tragedy has happened too frequently, including the deadly 2003 fire at a Great White concert in Rhode Island. Jim is dumbfounded that any band would still use fireworks at an indoor concert.

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Low Cut Connie

Philadelphia rock ‘n’ rollers Low Cut Connie was founded in 2010 by lead singer and pianist Adam Weiner and drummer and guitarist Dan Finnemore. They later added musicians James Everhart, Will Donnelly and Larry Scotton to round out their 1950s-influenced, signature sound. A key element of their music is the use of a piano to pound out some raunchy, rock tunes and make people get up and dance. They've released three albums so far: Get Out the Lotion, Call Me Sylvia and Hi Honey. Even President Obama is a fan, he put the group's song "Boozophilia" on his summertime Spotify playlist alongside artists like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. The band visited our studio a few weeks ago where Greg and Jim asked them about how they first formed, their career ups-and-downs and singer Adam Weiner's experience with the TV show The Voice.

reviewPerfectamundoPerfectamundo available on iTunes

Billy Gibbons Perfectamundo

If your only knowledge of Billy Gibbons is through his band ZZ Top's cartoonish videos, you may be surprised to find he is a gentleman, scholar, and connoisseur. He was also one of the first guests ever on Sound Opinions. Through his father, a bandleader in the Houston area, Gibbons was able to meet and apprentice under the famed Latin percussionist Tito Puente. On his first solo album Perfectamundo, the Texas guitarist is exploring those Afro-Cuban roots. Jim admits that Gibbons doesn't have much to say lyrically, but finds the record deep culturally. Gibbons manages to unite the blues and Latin music and has a great time doing it. For Jim, the album is a complete and utter joy – it gets a Buy It. Greg, however, disagrees. He likes the combination of the Hammond B3 organ with the Afro-Cuban polyrhythms, but finds there are too few of those moments. Gibbons makes a failed attempt to update his sound with guest spots from Houston rapper Garza, and his songwriting is underdeveloped with inane lyrics. Greg is forced to give Perfectamundo a Trash It.

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“Jane September”Red Buckets

Jim was saddened by the loss last week of Michael Carlucci, a guitarist and fixture of the 1980s Hoboken, New Jersey scene where Jim cut his teeth. Carlucci was best known for leading his own band Winter Hours, but was also a member of Red Buckets, playing behind singer/songwriter Richard Mason. Red Buckets was beloved in Hoboken – Yo La Tengo has recorded two tribute songs to the band – but never achieved national success. In memory of Michael Carlucci, Jim nominates "Jane September" by Red Buckets to the Desert Island Jukebox.

Featured Songs

  1. Adele, Hello, 25, XL, 2015
  2. Goodbye to Gravity, Atonement, Atonement, Universal Music Digital Services, 2015, 1. Low Cut Connie,“Back In School,”Hi Honey, Contender, 2015
  3. Little Richard, A Whole Lotta Shakin‘ Goin’ On, Little Richard Is Back (And There's a Whole Lotta Shakin‘ Goin’ On!), Vee-Jay, 1964
  4. Low Cut Connie, Shake It Little Tina (Live on Sound Opinions), Hi Honey, Contender, 2015
  5. Low Cut Connie, Diane (Don't Point That Thing At Me), Hi Honey, Contender, 2015
  6. Low Cut Connie, Tastes So Good, Hi Honey, Contender, 2015 (0:20)
  7. Jerry Lee Lewis, Great Balls of Fire, Live at the Star Club, Hamburg, Philips, 1964
  8. Low Cut Connie, Little Queen of New Orleans, Hi Honey, Contender, 2015
  9. Low Cut Connie, Boozophilia (Live on Sound Opinions), Call Me Sylvia, SideOneDummy, 2012
  10. Low Cut Connie, Danny's Outta Money, Hi Honey, Contender, 2015
  11. Jordan Smith,“Chandelier (The Voice Performance) (live),”NBC, 2015
  12. Low Cut Connie (covering The Gories), I Think I've Had It (Live on Sound Opinions), N/A, N/A, 2015
  13. Low Cut Connie, Dickie's Bringin Me Down, Hi Honey, Contender, 2015
  14. Billy Gibbons and The BFG's, You're What's Happenin', Baby, Perfectamundo, Concord, 2015
  15. Billy Gibbons and The BFG's, Got Love If You Want It, Perfectamundo, Concord, 2015
  16. Red Buckets, "Jane September (Demo)", Jane September, N/A, N/A
  17. Freddy Martin (feat. Jack Fina), Bumble Boogie, Melody Time, RCA Victor, 1948
  18. The Sylvers, Hot Line, Something Special, Capitol, 1976
  19. Guided by Voices, Marchers in Orange, Vampire on Titus, Scat, 1993
  20. Pink Floyd, Another Brick In the Wall, The Wall, EMI, 1979
  21. Patti Smith, Free Money, Horses, Arista, 1975
  22. Public Enemy, Rebel Without a Pause, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Columbia, 1988

Footnotes

billboard.com Adele's huge sales numbers nytimes.com Romanian nightclub fire nytimes.com Victor Ponta resigns lowcutconnie.com Low Cut Connie whitehouse.gov President Obama's Spotify playlist phillymag.com Adam Weiner and The Voice soundopinions.org Billy Gibbons on SO zztop.com ZZ Top chicagotribune.com Greg's Billy Gibbons review billboard.com Michael Carlucci obit blogspot.com Red Buckets history