The Taz Michaels Show 8/9/2011: The Burlington Maritime Festival; Rick Redington & The Luvs
Words and photos by John Powell.
Tonight, Tara Perkins goes by “Tara P”. That’s because she’s on The Taz Michaels Show-Wednesday Humpday Blues with Alex P, local musician, no relation except that they’re both heavily involved with the Burlington Maritime Festival on the waterfront, Thursday, August 11th through Sunday, August 13th. Tara is head of PR, and as Taz says, is quite “Bubbly.” She’s on her laptop, updating status every second, but she’s too enthusiastic about the event to get it all out. Who’s worth mentioning? “Oh, too many people,” she says, with a laugh.
Alex P, who’s taking a break from his group Tribe of Light to do the solo thing, brought in his guitar to play tunes off his forthcoming EP. “I did the church thing so my mom could pinch my cheek,” he explains about his start as a musician. “Then I got into rock n’ roll when I was 15.” The result is many heartfelt tunes with positive messages with lines like, “Open up/it’s a world that you’ll find/nevermind the rain.”
More than a musician, Alex P understand the power of music, and is utilizing the Maritime Festival for the “Ecozone”, which he calls a labor of love, a coming together of many eco-conscious organizations to be present and educate the public. This is all in an effort to create “A clean and healthy Lake Champlain,” so Tara and Alex, while ostensibly putting on a music weekend of such acts as OAR and Nas & Damian Marley, the truth is, it’s all super conscious, with super conscious musicians playing, including a strong local music presence. Alex P is kicking things off on Saturday, playing to a crowd much larger than the intimate Taz Michaels Show crew.
Heather Lynne wants to make sure her new Rigel acoustic bass is in the photo. It’s hollow and fat like an upright bass, but is slung over the shoulder and maneuvers like an electric bass. Tonight’s its premier performance on The Taz Michaels Show-Wednesday Humpday Blues. The bass isn’t the only unique instrument. Drummer Blake Gowan sits behind a hundred-year-old snare. Taz asks, “Is that a Revolution drum?”
It’s Rick Redington that responds: “It’s the Luvalution drum.” This is because it’s part of Rick Redington and the Luvs, complete with Rick himself, who brought in an old Guild guitar. “I was born in ’64,” he explains. “This guitar was made in ’64.” It just felt right. He also has a “banjouke” (a banjo/ukulele hybrid) and a 1911 mandolin. Needless to say, this group isn’t concerned with having the newest, high tech equipment. They just like stuff that sounds good.
That’s the intention behind their newest album, “The Circus”, somewhat of a concept album, or at least with tying threads. They play several songs off the album, including the title track, a song they’ve tagged “Rastabilly”, a reggae’d out country jaunt about feeling good, and an instrumental called “Mr. Bagley.”
While the in-studio interview and performance seems to cover a lot of ground historically and musically, Taz asks, “No cigar box?” which refers to Rick’s side project of making cigar box instruments, which he sells under the name Vermont Mojo Box.
Rick and the Luv take part in the August West Festival, a celebration of Jerry Garcia, and as it’s the anniversary of the legend’s passing, as soon as the festival is mentioned, came the lightning and sounded the thunder outside the studio. As it began to rain, the studio cooled down, but the music was just heating up.