Friday, December 30, 2005

Goodbye and good riddance

Happy new year!!! Yeah, as if.....
The Final Blueroom of the year 2005 provides a rich tapestry of deceit with a re-cap of G-Dubs year...whooo-boy!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The wait Is Over!!!

The Northern Blues Podcast is up and running! First up, an in depth interview with Northern Blues recording artist and 30 year overnight sensation, Watermelon Slim AKA Bill Homans.

Join Slim, Northern Blues owner Fred Litwin and myself for 45 minutes of insight and music from this multidimensional Blues man at:

I found Slim to be a 21st Century blues artist with strong convictions that may have hindered his musical career that is really just getting started thanks to years of tireless work by his manager Chris Hardwick at Southern Records and now with his affiliation with Fred at Northern Blues.

Slim's newest CD, Watermelon Slim and the Workers will be released Feruary 16th 2006 and available from Borders and Amazon in addition to the Northern Blues website.

I urge you to give this man's harmonica, slide guitar, and booming field holler voice a listen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Gizmo for Xmas

Gizmo is the way to go to contact me about, well....anything. Get it FREE here and give me a call or leave a voicemail.
Free calls Gizmo to Gizmo anywhere on the planet AND cheap-as-shit calls to landlines anywhere.
Tell'em Beardo Sent you!!!


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Flickr test

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Moochers

Here's the link to The Moochers I promised on The Show.

Bushler on Sandy Taint

On The Blueroom, we take a shot at Bush. If you think we are being un-patriotic, take a look at his report card?

The 9/11 Public Discourse Project — formerly known as the 9/11 Commission — just released an assessment of Bush’s progress on the issue. Despite his rhetoric, they aren’t impressed:

WMD grade

The 9/11 Commission concluded that the administration’s “current efforts fall far short of what we need to do” and recommends President Bush “request the personnel and resources, and provide the domestic and international leadership, to secure all weapons grade nuclear material as soon as possible.” Good idea. Schwall?

Corky Siegel was on NPR's Weekend Edition yesterday. Y'all know I'm a fan so I recommend giving it a listen.

When you get there, tell'em who sent ya'!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Yule Blog


   Xmas, Xmas, Xmas,

What's the big flap over? Consumerism at an all time low, or something? Just keep buying that Christmas ( and I had a meeting of minds with myself over whether or not to capitalize that) crap that's out there, and maybe a GM product and everything will be a-ok!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Donation Thank You

About the donations to our radio show equipment budget, thanks to the fine listeners that have contributed with cash, paypal transfers to the tip jar or the premium we offered of a buttload of archived shows not available for download anymore, I pulled the trigger on a new pair of cans. Headphones, you know .. not a breast transplant. The old ones had an intermittent short in the right can and a rubber band around the input jack for fuckin' MONTHS.

A new hard drive is next!!

Above is a card from a NYC blues fan that came with cash in it yesterday. I'm touched, thanks! I actually got the Xmas spirit, well for about five minutes.

I hope to have a couple more worthwhile premiums in the next few months to make it easier for y'all to pull out your wallets 'cause you'll get something worthwhile back. No PBS coffee mugs here, ... no, uh-uh.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Devil....

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War on Xmas redux

In addendum to Sandy Taint's rant last week about the Bush "Holiday" Card...ya' gotta check this out:

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Blueswax Senior Contributing Editor
Co-Host of Bandana Blues with Beardo & Spinner Weekly Podcast
Producer of The 16th Annual Bandana Blues BBQ
Bon Vivant
Bandana Blues

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Yee- fuckin'-haaaaaaaaaaa............
I know I shouldn't seem so excited about this... BUT.. after almost six months of frustration, Bandana Blues with Beardo & Spinner wil be listed in the iTunes Podcast Directory.
Let's spread the word of the blues, can I get an amen?



Watermelon Slim Interview....

.. was a friggin' blast!! it will take some days to edit and produce a cogent podcast out of the huge audio file of our conversation. I'll keep you posted on the show..... some of his comments will be used in The Blueroom with Sandy Taint, also.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

iTunes update

I think Bandana Blues with Beardo & Spinner may be listed in the iTunes Podcast directory very soon. I have been in both e-mail and phone conversation with Pete, their directory czar.
This would be delightful news as Spinner and I spread the gospel of the blues according to us.
Yee hah

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Xmas Spirit

Here's the audio link I spoke about on The Blueroom with Sandy Taint:
If you are overly stimulated about Xmas... this will throw some water on the fire.

some stuff...

 "To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public... Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."
-- Teddy Roosevelt, Kansas City Star, May 7, 1918



Saturday, December 03, 2005


Sorry about that! If you got a Gizmo e-mail from me yesterday.. believe me it was inadvertant. That being said, you can call me FOR FREE via Gizmo (also free) if you install it and call thebeardo, yep.. that's my number(?). Just type in thebeardo and talk to me or leave a message. Just know I might play it on the show.



Friday, December 02, 2005

Chris Whitley



9 April 2003: The Village Underground — New York

Chris Whitley is a real live fallen angel, and you'd do well to see him before they call him back to heaven.

— 29 April 2003



Thursday, December 01, 2005

What comes after Q?

Rrrr Matey!
looks like the blues pirate is heading back out on the high sea in January for the Legendary Blues Cruise. I'll be conducting some interviews with selected blues performers and when I have a confirmed list, I'll let you know. Then, if you have any questions for them... let me know!
Send me your Watermelon Slim questions in, the interview with him is just days away!



Monday, November 28, 2005

iTunes dilemma

Here's the poop. Since iTunes opened their podcast directory, Bandana Blues hasn't been able to get listed. That said, my other podcast ,The Blueroom, got on in a mere three days after its creation. I can't figure out the difference in the RSS feed that has gotten me this e-mail many times:
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2005 10:55 PM
Subject: Podcast Misuse

Dear Podcast Creator,

This is to inform you that your podcast has been removed from the iTunes Music Store because of a technical problem with your feed.

If your problem can be resolved, you can fix it in your RSS feed, and then re-submit your podcast to the Music Store.


The Music Store Team

Ok, a reply to this address has gotten me zero response. I tried a new feed with just the latest show and after hiting the submit button, the next screen said it was already submitted, which is impossible. I even used a new show file.

I'll keep you posted, but if anyone has a suggestion, please speak up. here is the new feed I tryed:

Here is the original feed:

If any of you have iTunes installed, please try submitting these feeds and let me know what happened.

Thanks for your support!


Donation news

We've offered a donation premium to enhance your response to the tip jar. To defray operating expenses we will send you 18 episodes of Bandana Blues with Beardo and Spinner that were pre-podcast.
In other words, shows that are unavailable for download. 24 hours of the boys on CD for a donation of $25 plus $3 shipping anywhere on the planet!!
It's just our way of giving you a tangible gift for you donation. Kinda like PBS in America, only not a coffee mug, but something you can listen to in your home, car or transfer to your iPod.
Thanks for listening,

Friday, November 25, 2005

RIP Chris Whitley

I am truly Bumming... it is so sad. An edgy, out on the fringe of celebrity, real human being, who profoundly touched me with his music.
We are deeply saddened to confirm the passing of singer-songwriter,
guitarist, and recording artist Chris Whitley. Chris was a kind man and
immensely talented artist whose music has become an intimate part of many of
our lives. We are pained to acknowledge this loss and we grieve along with
those who knew and loved him and his music.
Brandon Kessler, Messenger Records

Chris Whitley (1960-2005): Singer/songwriter and guitarist Chris Whitley
passed away of lung cancer on Sunday, Nov. 20, in Houston, Texas, at age 45.
Chris is survived by his daughter, Trixie Whitley, 18, of Belgium, whose
voice could occasionally be heard in the background of Chris's records over
the years, as well as on stage with him. He is also survived by his brother,
singer/guitarist Daniel Whitley (who contributed guitar to several of
Chris's albums); a sister Bridget, and his father, Jerry Whitley, of New

A man of rare poetic honesty, Chris maintained a resolute musical integrity
throughout his career. His 12 albums, ranging from raw-boned folk-rock to
lush electro-blues, had the thread of intense emotion and constant invention
running through them.

Chris's hit debut LP, Living With the Law, came out on Columbia in 1991. His
final album, Soft Dangerous Shores, came out in June 2005 via Messenger
Records, the independent label he worked with most. The discs now seem like
spiritual/aesthetic book-ends. Both mix roots-rock grit with heat-haze
atmospherics and were produced/engineered by Malcolm Burn. If his beloved
debut still contains some of his best-known songs, Soft Dangerous Shores has
the elusive intertwining of organic and synthetic that Chris often held as
an ideal.

Christopher Becker Whitley was born Aug. 31, 1960, in Houston, to a
restless, artistic couple: His mother was a sculptress and painter; his
father worked as an art director in a series of advertising jobs. As a
family, they traveled through the Southwest, with many of the images the
young boy absorbed finding their way later into songs. He once described his
parents' music taste as formed "by race radio in the South." The real deal
-- Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf -- seeped into their son's soul, eventually
leading to Bob Dylan and Hendrix.

Chris's parents divorced when he was 11 years old, and he moved with his
mother to a small cabin in Vermont. It was there that he learned to play
guitar. Hearing Johnny Winter's "Dallas" was the seed for what would develop
as Chris's keening instrumental style. Inspired by the naked, crying sound
of the acoustic dobro in "Dallas," Chris bought a National steel dobro and
taught himself how to play the blues with a bottleneck slide. He quit high
school not long after, moving to New York City.

In Manhattan, Chris worked odd jobs and played on street corners in the West
Village. Then, the owner of a travel agency who had long loved his playing
offered Chris a free ticket to Belgium. During his sojourn there, he scored
some minor success by playing dance music in a group called Oh No Rodeo,
(met his wife and had a daughter ...)

Returning to in New York, Whitley was working in a picture-frame factory
when a photographer friend invited him along for an outdoor shoot. It was in
a park that Chris was introduced to Daniel Lanois, producer of such top acts
as U2 and Peter Gabriel. Lanois was a fellow guitarist, and his eclectic
tastes mirrored Chris's own. Lanois helped Chris get his initial deal with
Columbia to record his debut in the producer's New Orleans studio with
Malcolm Burn (a Lanois protégé, who went on to work with Emmylou Harris and
the Neville Brothers).

One of the all-time classic debuts, Living With the Law mines romance and
regret, beauty and brooding in a vein of archetypal Americana. Cinematically
produced, the album features fine detail players from the Lanois circle, but
the focus rests firmly on Whitley's fallen-angel falsetto and his rustic
virtuosity on National steel. "I Forget You Every Day" and the title song
are aching dust-bowl ballads. "Make the Dirt Stick" whines and moans like a
forlorn train whistle through the dark woods. "Big Sky Country" is a
yearning plea for wider horizons, borne along by the virtual
call-and-response of gospel harmonies.

Chris once said: "The songs on Living With the Law were fatalistic,
hopeless. My
marriage was breaking up. I was working in a factory. But desperation can be
a good impetus for writing songs." Those songs struck a chord. Rolling Stone
magazine praised Chris as "a visionary. . . a bona-fide poet." Another
admirer described Chris's songs as "haunting, like a Robert Frank
photograph." Director Ridley Scott chose a song from the album, "Kick
the Stones," for the "Thelma and Louise" soundtrack.

The four-year gap between Living With the Law and his sophomore disc sounds
more like 40, as he sought to break free of any business-as-usual
restrictions. With a psychosexual caterwaul redolent of power trios from
Cream to Nirvana, Din of Ecstasy won Chris new hard-rock
fans -- even as its mix of existential pain and poetic noise put off some
listeners more attuned to the bucolic beauties of "Big Sky Country." The
album's brazen masterstroke was to drag urban blues screaming into the late
20th century, conflating the spirits of Elmore James and Kurt Cobain with
such riveting standouts as "Narcotic Prayer."

Chris's Sony swansong, Terra Incognita, saw his sound continuing to combust
at the crossroads of Hendrixian drama and Delta soul. The album's ghostly
psalm "Cool Wooden Crosses" would become a staple of his solo shows. Chris's
departure from Sony could've been a defeat, but it ended up the best sort of
medicine, as he stepped up to the indie challenge. The little New York label
Messenger ended up selling more copies of his next album, 1998's Dirt Floor,
than Sony had of Terra Incognita.

The folk-blues songs of Dirt Floor were recorded in a single day at his
father's Vermont barn-cum-bike shop with producer Craig Street (known for
his work with Cassandra Wilson, for whom Whitley provided studio guitar).
Such sepia-toned songs as the title lament and "Scrapyard Lullabies" were
powered by just the time-honored tools of voice, guitar, banjo and rhythmic
boot. Recorded the next year in Chicago, Live at Martyrs' documents a great
night of solo Whitley, including his sharp-edged cover of Kraftwerk's "The

Around the same period, Chris also covered "I Can't Stand Myself" for a
James Brown tribute disc, setting off sparks against a beat-box. But he
painted a fully evocative picture of his influences with the 2000 all-covers
set Perfect Day. Teamed with the earthy, empathetic rhythm duo from
groove-jazz trio Medeski, Martin & Wood, Chris not only beautifully
reanimated songs by Muddy Waters ("She's Alright"), Robert Johnson ("Stones
in My Pathway") and Bob Dylan ("Fourth Time Around"); he also cut to the
poetic heart of the Doors' "Crystal Ship" and Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" in a
way that rivals the originals.

Rocket House, a 2001 release on ATO, was perhaps the most ambitious of
Chris's career... from the buzzing electro-rock ... to the aching
dreamscape." A Sony Legacy compilation, Long Way Around: An Anthology
1991-2001, not only traces Chris's Columbia years; it includes the lyrical
Rocket House single "Say Goodbye" and highlights from Dirt Floor, as well as
previously unreleased demos and alternative mixes.

In recent years, Chris had found romance and inspiration in Dresden,
Germany. These days yielded some of his best work, with the albums Hotel
Vast Horizon and War Crime Blues, as well as Weed (a set of solo remakes of
early songs) and his only film score (for the German film Pigs Will Fly). In
particular, War Crime Blues is a solo electric masterpiece of sympathy and
antipathy by turns; such emotionally acute song suites are notably few and
far between in the post-Iraq invasion era. The heartbroken title track, the
raging desert storm of "God Left Town" and the Clash cover "The Call Up"
serve as both salt and salve for collective wounds.

Chris recorded Soft Dangerous Shores last year with a supple German rhythm
duo, bassist Heiko Schramm and drummer Matthias Macht. The album mixed
deep-blues feel and rich jazz harmonies with erotic rhythm beds and
electronic ambience. The idiom was the "universal blues," where the spirits
of Robert Johnson and Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards and Kraftwerk bond. "The
blues sound different in different places," Chris said just prior to
release. "But on a lonely, rainy night -- whether in New Orleans or New York
or Dresden -- they feel the same."

Like most bluesmen of any era, Chris had his share of hellhounds on his
trail. He chased a lot of them down in song and on stage; other times,
demons got the best of him. But whether up or down in his career, Chris's
sweet, generous nature and pure sensibility earned him lifelong friends and,
as he put it, "guardian angels."

Although fully aware of his capabilities as a musician, Chris was a humble
man, always cognizant of the standards set by his peers and predecessors. To
sit with him backstage at a club or at a street-side café in the West
Village, it was soon apparent that he considered each admirer and
well-wisher who came up, known or new, something of a gift.

Chris recorded an a cappella rendition of the pop/jazz standard "Nature Boy"
as the haunted close to War Crime Blues. The words may not be his, but his
voice reveals wisdom hard-won over his time here: "The greatest thing you'll
ever learn/Is just to love and be loved in return."
-- Bradley Bambarger


T-Givin' Aftermath

My day job is working at a white table cloth eatery that did about 700 Turkey day dinners yesterday. Today I am kickin' back with a noontime hockey game, a bottle of Cabernet and leftovers.
I'll probably kick out the majority of Bandana Blues today too.Speaking of which, our boy Spinner got a mention on Dave Raven's show last week via his doppelganger, Tilburg Slim. Pretty humerous, I think I'll put the clip on BB too.



Monday, November 21, 2005


I can be quite thick, sometimes. After numerous hassles over the playlist for Bandana Blues, I had the bright idea to include it in the ID3 tags inbedded in the actual show mp3 file.
Fuckin' DUH!!
So, just look in the tags every week on the Bandana Blues podcast your  podcatcher has automatically downloaded.
If this sounds like greek to you... e-mail me for clarification.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday Sunday Sunday

John Murtha, performing Iraqi Exorcism
The new shows for the week starting November 19th are uploaded and you can find them at the links to the right of this post. I had a beer today. This may not seem like big news to you, but it is my first one in 5 fuckin' weeks!!!
It was........... gooooooooooooood!


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Low approval?

Don't look now, but spin control is in high gear in D.C. as The Prez goes on the defensive about who knew what and when.
"Reasonable people can disagree about the conduct of the war -- but it is irresponsible for Democrats to now claim that we misled them and the American people," Bush said in a campaign-style speech accusing Democrats of playing politics with the issue and trying to rewrite the past.
Bush said the Democratic criticism sends "mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. And that's irresponsible." Bush, struggling to rebuild Americans' support for the Iraq war amid rising U.S. casualties, criticized Democrats on the intelligence manipulation charge for a second time, reflecting sensitivity on the issue as he tries to battle back from the lowest job approval ratings of his presidency.
How did you vote? Then shut the fuck up!

War Sucks!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

show #118


The show went way over our usual 78 minutes. I hope that didn't wang you guys out too much. There was just so much to include...and I still left some stuff out. Next week, Spinner comes home from Barcelona, with some stories of debauchery. We can only hope...

There are a few new things on my desk crying out to be played and we'd like some more listener comments. Send me an mp3 of you commenting on the show (or shows, if you also listen to Sandy Taints rants).

It seems Sandy scooped some networks by two days this past week!!


new blog design....

I am NOT a graphics whiz... in fact I'm graphics challenged. Let me know what you think of the new banner and give me some suggestions on how to make it better. I'm also looking for a B&W logo for the show... any suggestions?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

news from work..again

Wow, Although there are still some sonic glitches, this weeks show of
all cover tunes is not only xxtra long... it’s xxtra good. Spinner’s
section smokes!!

As I stated before, we have a world exclusive from Watermelon Slim,
courtesy of Northern Blues. I will have the opportunity to chat with
Slim shortly and would like to know if anyone has a question they’d like
to ask him? Send me an e-mail at or post your
question in the comments here. That way you may remain nameless if you wish.

Also, don't wimp out on me... send me a mp3 of your opinion of the show,
or suggestions... 30 seconds or less and we may put you on "the air"...


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Thursday, while at work


Hia kids! I'm just starting to realize the true potential of this blog
for communicating ideas, from all of us, to make the show better. This
week I'll be posting some questions here, instead of on the show, where
the time is best spent playing music.

Please feel free to post any question you might have or an observation
about the show, the state of the blues, or bitch about the sound (I'm
workin' on it, thanks to your donations... new equipment soon.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Watermelon Slim News

Hey, listen this week for an exclusive... Watermelon Slim and the Workers, soon to be released by Northern Blues.
Thanks to Fred Litwin for providing us with that track. More info on Slim coming up... I'll keep you posted.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Alligator & Podcasting

My first real post here at Bandana Blues will be a open letter to Bruce Iglauer, CEO of Alligator Records, concerning Podcasting in general and specifically, Bandana Blues with Beardo & Spinner. I encourage your comments. They will be periodically forwarded to Bruce at regular intervals.

In the past few months I've had a short conversation and e-mail correspondence with Bruce about Alligator material being used on podcasts and his take on the whole situation. Here is my e-mail to him:
Just checking to see what your current state of mind is regarding podcasting. Till there is a definite legal template to follow, podcasters are blazing their own trails. Bandana Blues has been broadcasting on the internet in one form or another since 1999 and now enjoying a substantial audience worldwide due to the creation of RSS feeds and XML. I have been promoting the blues as a vital living music, not a spent genre like it was my job for decades. Let me help bring new people into the fold.
If you care to give me some guidelines on using Alligator material, I'm all ears.
Here is his repeated stance:

Hi Beardo
Here are the problems I have with podcasting in a nutshell
--it isn't covered under any kind of royalties. Songwriters and publishers are not getting paid through BMI or ASCAP, and labels and artists are not getting paid through Sound Exchange.
--it's not very hard (and getting easier) for individuals to lift songs out of a podcast and store them, which makes it another way that the music is being given away against the wishes of the creators of the music.
If this is 'blazing their own trails,' it doesn't seem like anyone wins except the podcasters.
If there were a royalty scheme, I'd be interested. For now, the only way that I can see it benefiting anyone is if a podcaster is willing to play partial songs rather than full length. What do you think about that?


The solution is a complex issue that seems to need a mediator to digest and suggest solutions. Here is your chance people. What would be fair compensation to the artist, the author, the publisher and the record company? How would you determine the scale or % for each and what revenue do you base it?

Do you podcast in a reduced bitrate to lessen the quality thereby discouraging a napster-like situation, which is much more difficult as the podcast is a single file that would already discourage most would-be pirates, not a peer to peer file sharing environment. Add to that a monaural broadcast perhaps?
I would reluctantly agree to NOT play any Alligator material, if that is your wish. As Alligator is providing Cds to another blues podcast for "airplay", I would find that request to be a bit strange.

At Bandana Blues we try to overlap or talk over the beginning or end of a song much like the annoying DJ's of the sixties on AM. Are you old enough to remember waiting for the guitar solo by Jorma Kaukonen at the end of White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane only to have it buried by the big reverby voice telling you it was the psychedelic sounds from San Francisco and then the canned jingle with stations call letters in a sing songy style by a mostly female chorus? We try to be gentle and unobtrusive.
Finally, despite the wide variety of opinions on copyright infringement and the various definitions of podcasting, the consensus across the industry seems to be that there must be one set of rules that everyone can follow and enforce. Without that, and with the quick development and release of new technologies, the only thing we can be sure of is uncertainty and confusion.
So, where do we start?


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Blogs away


Bandana Blues Recent Podcasts The Blueroom with Sandy Taint

Blueswax Senior Contributing Editor
Co-Host of Bandana Blues with Beardo & Spinner Weekly Podcast
Producer of The 16th Annual Bandana Blues BBQ
Bon Vivant
Bandana Blues