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So much to be thankful for in city of live music


First things first. I wrote my last column more than a week and a half before Thanksgiving so I forgot to pass on my thanks to you, the readers.

You still pick up a print newspaper and read it, God bless you. Hopefully, you also give the advertisers your business so I can keep writing this thing. But seriously, thank you to the readers.

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Now please go out to a club, theater, coffee shop, restaurant or other venue where these wonderful people are performing for you. Thank you to my editor. And, of course, thank you to the bands that I have worked with and toured parts of the country with all the way out to NYC and CBGBs including Feet of Clay, NUNA and the Sandcarvers, as well as bands I am currently involved with (it’s a secret but they know who they are).

Now finish the column before going back to the mail.

Torn Soul has the old school funk

It’s always cool when I come across a new band to tell you about. This one won’t be completely new to you though. Most adept live music gourmands (see CBGBs) will be familiar with at least the front person of this new band.

Torn Soul is Kelli Gonzales’ new band. You may remember her from John Sieger’s band The Subcontinentals and local cajun sweethearts Big Nick & the Cydecos. She is supported by guitarist/vocalist John Graham from rockabilly band The Rock-a-Dials, bass guitarist/vocalist Tommy Tiedjens from Milwaukee band Those X-Cleavers, keyboardist/vocalist Ben Stuessi, drummer Rick Hagopian and the honking all female rhythm section of Cassandra Struve (tenor sax), Robin Graham (alto sax, bass clarinet) and Caitlin McKown (trumpet).

The first thing you need to know is that some band members may have to sit in your lap at the comfy TG’s. The next thing you should know is that Torn Soul has an amazing song list ( that pumps and throbs in the old school soul, funk and R&B mode of Stax/Volt Records along with some ska and reggae. Or, as the band puts it, “real music with real musicians.” Guaranteed, this show will make you smile and wiggle and shake and dance and whooee.

Torn Soul performs 9 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 24) at TG’s, 4120 Seventh Ave.

FoWlMoUth and Old Junk

Did you miss FoWlMoUth (not a misspelling) the last time they performed at Motor Alley Bar? These guys are kind of a local superband. Think I’m dabbling in hyperbole? Not so fast. The players in FoWlMoUth are Guy Crucianelli (guitar), Dave Aiello (bass guitar), Steve Smith (guitar), Tom Selear (drums) and Jeff Moody (“barking & howling”). Pretty super, huh?

Expect old school rock, some early punk years thrashing, dirty blues and whatever else they’ve thought up in practice. Since this show is at that dandy new rockabilly bar called Motor Alley Bar, FoWlMoUth has upped the cool factor for the night and tossed in Steve, Rick and Guy Crucianelli (from Brother6) aka Old Junk. Now it’s a Super Show.

FoWlMoUth and Old Junk perform 9 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 24) at Motor Alley Bar, 1402 52nd St.

Live music at its best

Jason Kent is live music. Sure, he has other talents, even to the point of being guest chef last year at a respected local eatery. But music is his thing.

He’s outspoken about his craft and his drive and sometimes catches some crap, but hey, the cat is always performing. Whether it’s in The Real Deal or solo or with Heather Montague as J&H Crossing, leading Jason Kent’s Flying Circus or hosting Open Mics or … You get the idea. This time Kent will be performing with another guy who has been awfully busy lately. Make that awfully good. Craig Stoneman is a rock ‘n’ roller who spends quite a bit of time as a modern day solo troubadour with songs flowing with fully realized stories and marvelous characters.

Together the two should be a great night for folks that love what live music can become. Jason Kent will be on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars and mandolin. Craig Stoneman will be on vocals and acoustic and electric guitars.

Craig Stoneman and Jason Kent perform Saturday at Mikey’s, 10936 Sheridan Road

That’s it for this week. Please send me your new songs, gig calendars or whatever you’ve got. That goes for the club owners as well. Email me at

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