November 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

Bliss.

Intermission by Phil LehanOne thing my band and I talk about often it how lucky we are. How much we appreciate the effort our fans make, show after show, time and time again. The word of mouth. The cookies you bring us or the unseen emails post show. The time you take to get there and that passion you bring. Year after year. Every night. Every single time we play.  I would like to think you feel it too, that when we step on the stage you know we are going to give you everything we’ve got. That it’s always a new experience and that you don’t want to miss it. It’s what we do and we never underestimate that or take it for granted. So let me start off by saying THANK YOU for such a stellar year so far. Another one coming to an end and oh what a year it was… (see photos below).

So yes my friend, we have been busy and because of that I have never been happier to see barren trees in my life. The sun is setting at 4pm you say? BRING IT ON. Our band is officially in studio mode of late and enjoying a little downtime after a never ending string of live shows that started this past January. This year has been another whopper. 2016 has been good to us for sure. It sprinkled down some Rock and Roll magic pixie dust at Levon Helms Barn this fall, Chad Smith (RHCP) & Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters) face melting drum off with our band this summer, non stop Stephen Talkhouse, Surf Lodge,  Barons Cove gigs… Wyoming’s tour this past spring with Inda Eaton and starting it all off  with five for five sold out shows at Baystreet.  When you see it on paper, in a condensed form, it all seems like a dream but my calloused fingers assure me it is not. That shit went down and it went down hard week after week. I love it but it is time to put the antenna up and start writing.

So that is why our shows have come to a bit of a halt. If momma doesn’t pull the chord every now and then well, we just keep rolling through. I promise you that we are taking the break to finish up our next disc, “Cut and Run” which is slated to be out in the Spring of 2017 and I am also chipping away at a few new tunes.

Until things pick back up in the spring here are a few photos, videos and articles from the last 12 months.:

The version of Jolene at Levon’s Barn is a bit shaky as it was taken from the mangers phone but you get the gist. It was a live feed so it’s fun to see people that have never heard us before chime in.  It’s a tick sloppy and raw but Clark chomps down and Klyph does a nice job filling in for a flu ridden Johnny Blood that night:

“Jolene” live at Levon Helm’s Barn in Woodstock, Oct 1st, 2016

Original “Lost Highway” at Talkhouse featuring Skip Krevens

Original, “My Love” at Guild Hall

 Our original “Last Call for Alcohol” with the Uptown Horns at Baystreet. (the horn part was written by the amazing Arno Hecht on Sax. unexpected treat and so fun although looking at this video we are all hanging on by our teeth as it’s the first time playing it!)

If you want a little something to read here is a good one:

ARTICLE:    Art for Art’s Sake at Levon’s Barn in Woodstock

It’s not everyday that a newspaper sends staff and photographers up to follow a local band so this article is greatly appreciated with a big shout out to Michael Heller, Gavin and Kathy Menu.

Wishing you all peace, love and broken guitar strings.

See you in the front lines. Wear your waterproof mascara.

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PS… one last thought: A heads up that our Fireside Sessions Series at Baystreet Theater, sponsored by the amazing Dan’s Papers… is almost half way sold out and we announced the guest’s YESTERDAY so if you want in … now would be a good time to buy tickets. 300 seats and they all will sell out. Like … soon. (I’m not being a cocky dick – I am just stating the obvious… since our last 15 shows have all sold out there. I am really being more of a cocky dick friend, which we all need one of and tonight I’m yours. ha ha ha. Anyway… we hope to see you there sucka).

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Crazy shit. I got two dozen roses after this show from Chad and Taylor (or more likely their wives! ha ha). So much fun. Illegal obscene fun. We all stepped into the tunnel that night. What made this show extra special is that it all came together in five days. When Chad Smith calls you – you make it happen. My set list was called, DRUM PORN. (appropriately so).

Taylor Hawkins of the Foo FIghters and I getting the job done. Even the overhead pipes were sweating that night.

Taylor Hawkins of the Foo FIghters and I getting the job done. Even the overhead pipes were sweating that night.

Upstairs at The Stephen Talkhouse Post show.

Upstairs at The Stephen Talkhouse Post show. Post show glow.

Levon Helms Barn Oct 1st, 2016. Barbara OBrien, long time house manager, gave us one of our highest compliments saying, "This band reminded me of Levon's Ramble so much. He would have absolutely loved this show. We can't wait to do it again."

Levon Helms Barn Oct 1st, 2016. Barbara OBrien, long time house manager, gave us one of our highest compliments saying, “This band reminded me of Levon’s Ramble so much. He would have absolutely loved this show. We can’t wait to do it again.” Photo by Micheal Heller, Sag Harbor Press

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We love the Surf Lodge and the Surf Lodge loves us. Nine years running on our Summer Sunset Wednesdays. It’s a thang baby. It’s a thang. Here is JB pouring on the sonic love.

Surf Lodge with Winston Irie and Chad sitting in. Let the good times roll. X

Surf Lodge with Winston Irie and Chad sitting in. Let the good times roll. X

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Karma works in mysterious ways. After the Surf Lodge unexpectedly had to shut down music for a month they graciously sponsored us at Barons Cove. When SL got up and running again Barons wanted the turnout. Thus a new weekly series. Thursday nights in Sag Harbor. Photo by Daniel Gonzalez.

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Thank you Southampton Cultural Arts Center for creating our own night! Their summer series is typically on Wednesdays but since we are booked out they made an exception to do a Tuesday, the first one of the series! Here is Richard Rosch doing his thing and another beautiful photo by Ken Grille.

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Chris Clemence of RapScallions sitting in this summer. Leonardo Dicaprio was kicking around. Not a shitty way to spend a Wednesday in Montauk.

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Rain or Shine. Here we are with Trombone Monster Clark Gayton (Springsteen, Sting, Prince).getting funky on a rainy day. Anybody that has followed us for a while knows that when the chips are down we tend to play harder. Always a true throw down with Clark in the mix.

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Screw Waldo. Where’s Neil? Talkhouse July 2016

Hey Y'all Look at us! A very cool compliment to be the first music ever played at a long standing institution, which is what happened this summer at The Oar in Block Island. It's always a good sign when they book you that night for next year! whoop whoop. So much fun. We had a blast and Jettykoon was super rocking to boot!

Hey Y’all Look at us! A very cool compliment to be the first music ever played at a long standing institution, which is what happened this summer at The Oar Inn on Block Island. It’s always a good sign when they book you that night for next year! whoop whoop. So much fun. We had a blast and Jettykoon was super rocking to boot!

 

June 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

Release the Kraken

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CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO HEAR SONG

Our Band gave birth this morning to a female Kracken of a song. I am so very happy to annouce that The Tale of Johnny Load is now officially available for downloading on CD BABY today, June 26th, exactly one year to the day that I finished writing it. The entire process took the better part of the last year and has been quite a journey. Co-producer and drummer extraodinaire, Chad Smith of the RHCP, is truly at the helm of this version. He sat with me and really tightened up the tune which originally had six more verses. SIX. It was wayyyyyy longer then just the seven minutes we got it down to. His suggestions were a vital part to the creation of how the song flows and I would also like to add that his drum track is from the FIRST TAKE. We did several others but it was very obvious that we had hit something magical on the first few minutes of the session which is very rare. When it breaks down to just drums he goes to a higher ground people. It gives me goosebumps every time (at “Mark!” )
This song is dedicated to John Aldridge and Little Anthony whose courage and friendship brought out the best in all of us.
 
If you would like to get a copy please download from CDBABY if you can. It is the most artisit friendly, although the tune will be up on iTunes and various other sites this week.
 
If you like the song please consider leaving a review on the Site where you bought it from! It truly helps people decide if they want it.
 
Thanks everyone! Hope you enjoy it and wishing you all a happy and safe summer. Can’t wait to be standing with the Montauk air blowing through my sea soaked hair and singing this ditty soon.
 
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Credits: Nancy Atlas on Vox and Guitar, Johnny Blood-John Leitch on Guitar, Brett King on Bass, Neil Thomas Surreal on Keys, Richard Rosch on Percussion, Chad Smith on Drums, recorded, mixed and mastered at Monk Music by the one and only Grammy Award Winning, Kracken Godmother Cynthia Daniels.
 
 
May 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

And so it begins.

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Hope everyone is out there doing their thing and enjoying the sunshine today. We are gearing up for a weekend of gigs and happy to be playing the East End this weekend. If you really want to know my current mood you can check out this little video I posted of an unreleased song from our last album. It’s called, “Don’t Fuck with Me”. I think that is pretty much sums up my current mood. Ha ha ha. I really have to learn to express myself better. I didn’t add it to my last album because it truly didn’t fit. It’s an aggressive tune and everytime I tried to find a slot it just sounded out of place. So for the past few years it just sat on my computer. Fully mixed, clipping it’s nails and picking it’s teeth in boredom. “Unleash me Mom!” it would say from time to time. But it never felt right. So today… I threw a few pictures together and put it up on YouTube. Here is the link :  https://youtu.be/M1RjOhyTu9M .   Feels good to let my music speak my mind and although it was the first song I wrote as a new mom, when everyone was telling me my career was over and that I had a good run, well… it still holds up for many other reasons. Hope you enjoy it.

For the next four weekends we will be playing at Barons Cove in Sag Harbor for Sunset Wednesdays from 6-8pm. As most of you that follow the band already know… Wednesdays in the summer are really a Surf Lodge thing but they are working on some issues with the town right now so while they do that they have been kind enough to sponsor us at another location. Which is unheard of but there you have it. So May 25th, June 1, 8 and 15th we will be playing there with hopes of returning to our lovely town of Montauk after that. Thank you Jayma for keeping us working and thank you Barons Cove for taking us in on such short notice (5 days ago).

Friday night we will crunch down at the Stephen Talkhouse… which is… I believe… the only venue at this point where you can turn it up loud and sweat. THANK THE LORD. Everyone is joking about this town becoming like some Footloose Movie  but it is not. As long as we have the Talkhouse. We were asked to cover Steve Earles slot as he had to cancelled and are honored to do so. I’m not Steve Earle but I will do my best to keep everyone Sa-Tis-Fied sonically.  I can’t wait. Really truly.

Sunday Navy Beach will host us for a subdued set from 5-7pm. Completely chill, outdoor, on the beach and really good food. What is not to love! Should be fun for all and I love the entire staff there. Total sweethearts. Parking is a bear so if you can carpool then definitely consider it.

I will keep this post short. I am knee deep into our next album, Cut and Run, and using every spare moment I have these days to hole down in my studio and get my hands dirty. It is coming along for sure and may take a bit more time but the bus is moving which is half the battle.

As is custom: May you look down at your feet and find them dancing your ass off and pointed straight ahead because Eddie Vedder and the entire Pearl Jam band is standing behind you and you know if you turn around you will either say something stupid or hug him and get thrown out so instead you just keep looking ahead and dance, dance, dance. In that moment you are truly alive.

Keep it real folks and be safe this weekend.

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March 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

Before the rush there is always a stillness.

The Birth Of Venus

Botticelli The Birth of Venus… Spring winds blowing Venus into the cape of summer.

There is a magical quality to March wind. At times it can scream right through you and then at the flip of a switch it can be light and forgiving, bathing the naked trees with it’s lamby glow.  Mercurial, relentless and divine, March in NY is always like experiencing natures purest form of caffeine. The earth is literally quaking with the energy of a double mocha latte frappuccino. I dig it.

For me it has  always been a time of production. If it’s not taking shape in March then its probably not happening till the fall.  A show, an album, tee shirts,  writing a song… you name it.  The clock is ticking and I can feel it.  Angry empty wires on a stripped winter sailboat flay about slapping  into each other. They clap briskly like an old Russian dance instructor who has lost his patience and has no more time for your shitty plie´.  “Clap. Clap!” they crack in the grey sky. ‘Get to it. The March Winds are calling!’

So to it I get. I am fresh off of a two week media detox. I have to be careful using that word as everyone thinks ‘detox’ connotes drugs and alcohol but let me tell you that email, texts and phone messages feel just as insidious to me these days. Almost impossible to escape and there is always a price to pay for ignoring instant communication. A job or two lost. Personally I can live with it.

So away I went to the outskirts of my little finca in Ecuador, complete with my family and a good book in tow. It served me well and I truly feel recharged.  While in Ecuador I bought my son two goats for his birthday, saved a few puppies that had been cast on the road to die and drank really good coffee every morning whilst listening to the wild birds in the still morning light.  I have learned that it doesn’t take much to clear the slate but that the slate must indeed be wiped clean before new thoughts can begin. I have also learned that before the rush there needs to be stillness or else your just running in circles half the time. So ring the bell and let the pixie dust twirl for another year or making music.

January 15, 2016 in Atlas Ramble

Sitting Fireside 2016 – Something from Nothing.

BowieRIckmanThe winter of 2013 was a particularly brutal one. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe our first snowfall descended in a gusty, pissed off state a day before Halloween that year. Nobody likes it when it snows in October unless you own a ski lift. Most of us don’t own a ski lift so there was a lot of groaning and stiff collars up around town. A New York resignation and ultimately indifference to what was coming.

Mother Nature did not disappoint. There was snow storm after snowstorm. Blistering winds. Ice that you cursed at and then skittishly walked over like some co-dependent lover. That winter was not kind and loving. She was cruel and unrelenting and the kind of winter that makes you celebrate spring a wee tick more until she covers your blooming crocuses in yet another storm just to remind you that she is still in charge.

September 14, 2015 in Atlas Ramble

Epic Summer Lovin’ 2015

Get Adobe Flash player There are some years that glow musically and if I don’t play one more damn note for the rest of 2015, this year will already  rank among one of my favorites. We started out with a bang for New Years, then sold out a bunch of shows at Baystreet Theater from Jan-March. Took a small break and then headed to Wyoming  in April with The Inda Eaton Band for what can only be described as a Sonic Bliss Tour. Lots of four part singing and hearing old original songs in a whole new light. Then came this luscious summer complete with rolling, undulating days of sunshine back to back with light winds and heavy crowds. Yes, 2015 has been a keeper. Off the hook. The brass ring. The blue ribboned pig.

Musical Summer Highlights include:

Writing a song called  “The Tale of Johnny Load”  and finishing it one June morning then playing it, unexpectedly, that very night to the men who inspired it (John Aldridge and Little Anthony). By the first verse  the entire packed out crowd at The Surf Lodge just kind of stopped talking. A stillness swept over the place. Will not forget that for a long time. Any gigging musician has to learn how to work with and turn the volume of a room but when you have a raucous crowd that falls silent due to a song… for many of us that is as good as it gets.

Summer at it's finest at The Surf Lodge every Wednesday.More highlights? How about every time Chad Smith came to sit in with us which was about 4 times? (Good times for us.. not so good for Rich’s snare). Or how about Surf Lodge Wednesdays in general?  It was a bit of a love fest this year. Our June shows were packed out like August. People getting there an hour early to stake out their chairs and tables. We got to play our original tunes, the sun got to set, special guests just kept dropping in. It became like a weekly block party with really good margaritas. It was a slam dunk of a season there. Truly. Thanks for supporting the arts  if you came down and partook!

June 11, 2015 in Atlas Ramble

Songwriting

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June 11th, 2015

This won’t be my funniest blog and that is ok.  I am in a little point of bliss these days and, as Billy Joel so eloquently once noted, happiness can sometimes kill creativity.  I think he was on to something but I am not afraid oh William Joel, I am not afraid.  Things are good,  I am happy, writing and the band has been kicking it into fifth gear of late.  Leonardo DiCaprio is making out at my shows and  people are still passionate about our original music and that is enough for me.  It doesn’t always work this way so I’m just trying to let it roll baby. Let it roll.