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Big Blue Sky

Dirty Knobs Spring tour 2020

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9 hours ago, Afaceinthecrowd said:

Even more puzzling, is why a half-baked Heartbreakers reunion idea is being discussed in the DK forum. New music, tour dates...and yet?

Right now, aside from some off topic discussions, this seems to be the most life in the forum till another TPATH release, so I think that's why there's a bit of a bleed-over between groups, for the most part I think this has stayed pretty much on topic.

 

9 hours ago, Afaceinthecrowd said:

Exactly my thoughts. Mike’s a very limited singer, lacking the range of TP, Eddie Vedder, Stevie Nicks, and basically every frontman out there

For me, it's less about the range of the frontman and does he fit the band; in my opinion, he completely fits the Dirty Knobs. No one's going to think of him as some excellent singer, not even Mike but he fits his band. And I really get the feeling that while I'm sure Mike is excited to share lyrics he's written and his (and his bandmates's songs) on album, the band seems more like playing live is the priority, jamming and such.

cheers

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2 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

If given a choice of seeing Mike, or anyone else in this post,

 I understand though don't share your perspective except when it comes to Mike and TDK.

1 hour ago, TomFest said:

Sorry, The Dirty Knobs definitely need a lead singer - and Mike is not that.

 I disagree, I think his voice is fine for the band.

1 hour ago, TomFest said:

But I would love to hear him play "I Don't Wanna Fight"

That would be fun.

1 hour ago, TomFest said:

He is distracted with his pedal board, late on the vocals, completely missing some of the words, and just does not have the range or quality in his voice. 

Some of that I'd put to nerves and inexperience at being a frontman. As for the rest of it, Mike is not a good singer. He's adequate I guess. No one's following thi band for hte vocals...well...I shouldn't assume, maybe some poeple are but he doesnt' have a memorable frontman voice. Any of the above singers Hoodoo mentioned, at the peak of their capabilities are better singers than Mike. One may not like the quality of the voice, song sytliings etc. but they can sing far beyond whatever Mike can do. 

But yet, Mike's grizzled sounding, coutnry kind of hoarse voice fits TDK, I don't know if the band would be improved with a typical frontman up there. I think part of the charm of the band is Mike's vocals but I can see how it could be a sticking point for some.

cheers

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On 1/27/2020 at 6:18 AM, Shelter said:

vocals slightly better than CSTS

Regardless, who knew they'd pull this song out. Not played 18 years give or take. That's crazy. The good kind. Same with Makin' Some Noise though it wasn't played as much. I think fans of the band and fans of garage/blues/bar band rock are in for a treat with the shows.

cheers

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10 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

But Keep in mind, I am a blues fan. For me it's not about vocal prowess, this is not a Celine Dion or Ariana Grande forum.  For me it's the authenticity of delivery.

Second that. 

Anyway, whatever brings Mike & Bemmont joy, right? Though also, agree, a bit tricky being vocalist as well as being legendary lead guitarist. 

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9 hours ago, TomFest said:

Sorry, The Dirty Knobs definitely need a lead singer - and Mike is not that.  But I would love to hear him play "I Don't Wanna Fight" - the one song he actually sang on with the Heartbreakers.  "Can't Stop The Sun" and "You Got Lucky" - sorry, no.   Just no.  He is distracted with his pedal board, late on the vocals, completely missing some of the words, and just does not have the range or quality in his voice.  I know we have a ton of Mike cheerleaders around here, and I'm one of them.  But take off the rose-colored glasses, people.

but if you compare the nasal whine of IDWF to say Wreckless Abandon you surely see improvement in delivery. he has a lot of confidence in the music video too.  He has only done a few DK shows lately (even though they have been together for years.) There is now a larger spot light and he is not flying under the radar playing only in front of firneds that know what to expect at the Troubadour.   I feel Mike will hit a groove on this tour and continue to develop and improve. He is no Buckingham or Finn with vocals and he is not Tom and never will be,  but he is not only the singer the DK need, as its his band its the  singer we deserve. 

 I think he can more than fit the bill and the last thing I want to see is Mike in a Kenny Wayne Shepherd band where Kenny Wayne is not the lead singer and people not familiar with the band are confused by this amazing guitarist that is stealing the show that occasionally sings.  KWS opened for Buddy Guy and I had not seen or heard anything form him since Blue on Black so I was confused for the first few songs. KWS also has an OK voice but the swagger of a front man. 

I think Stevie Ray Vaughan is a great analog for Mike, SRV was a limited singer but sang with heart and soul, and he could play guitar like few others before or since. SRV also had a personable wit about him as seen in his videos and that made up part of his allure. he was no looker and would not have been a front man if he could not play like Hendrix or Buddy Guy who he more closely emulates than Jimi. 

Hendrix is another example of a decent but not amazing voice with a passion for his music that elevated him beyond his range as a vocalist.  Some of his songs become sublime when sung by say Concrete Blondes, Johnette Napolitano who has a phenomenal voice (or at least she did) and her vocal phrasing on Little Wing go far beyond what Jimi did singing it. Hell, she in my opinion out does Dylan wit Simple Twist of Fate and she can also write a hell of a song but I would not pay to see her play guitar. 

Mike is not setting out to be Dylan or Petty. He is singing songs he wrote and doing a good enough job at it and most importantly he is having a damn good time. He seems less sad than he was in losing Tom and needs to fill a void and an itch that TPHB didn't fill even when Tom was around.  this was a creative outlet as one of the finer garage bands, all these guys as you know are pros and top notch players. They are having a hell of a time from the few videos.  Mike is no spring chicken even as one of the new members of FM he has been at this for over 40 years, he deserves a moment in the sun doing Mike things he has earned a victory lap and he's doing this not for the money but for the love of the art.. :D 

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Mike’s had some voice lessons recently and has definitely improved since he first sang on Echo 20 years ago. Ultimately, his voice isn’t the main attraction here. It’s the musicianship, those guitars, and live, that’s what you feel and remember. Jason is a far better singer but I doubt he’ll ever sing a TPATH song with DK.

I loved hearing You Got Lucky. It was rarely played live and was a huge surprise. I’m digging Mike’s approach to choosing which TPATH songs to play. I think his timing will get better once they get into the groove of playing a few times a week.

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One aspect ignored here, that I've been on about for years.. well.. months.. is that MC gaines quite a bit stability when singing with other voices. This is very noticable to me. 

Sure, the FM experience, as well as  training no doubt, and even the Mudcrutch experience, all have meant tremendous vocal improvement since IDWF. And sure, he "fits the bill" in TDK. Hard to deny this. Sometimes, singing "rough" with tone and credibility is actually more difficult than singing "nice".

Now, to me comparisons to various blues guys, Jimi and what have you are just somewhat apt, I think. Even if most blues men lack technical vocal briliance, pitch or tone, the way MC does, they usually have both force and tons of "soul" to go with the telling of stories. They can "carry it" even when shouting. Which takes a bit tone and lots of confidence. Even a "bad" singer, like Hendrix, was brilliant that way.

Personally I don't think MC is there.. yet.. (I really see what Tomfest is saying.. some of the live recording vocals grind my ears a bit, always did) Even when he cuts a line short and "talks" it, it's less than stable at times, lacks a certain swagger. But with time, granted that he pens the right type of songs.. he might eventually do really well, develop his tone and character in a more powerful fashion. This is much needed, sure.

But, again.. as showcased in many bathroom jams.. when MC doesn't have to reach too far, doesn't have to strain or force it too much vocally, like on some of them BRJ "folkier" stuff, and with the ladies backing him up closely, he actually sings quite well. Even great at times. And that tells me something.

What do I suggest? That he aim for mellower vocals in general, and especially for close harmony arrangements with other singers backing him. This may not be the hardest rocking or even bluesiest way ahead. But I think it is what would save the quality of TDK, entering a bigger league of the game as they are about to do. TDK is MC, but he will need support to sound his best. Is what I think.

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@shelter I think we are in agreement.  Mike is better and improving but not "there".  Most blues guys started out singing and worked at it steadily and for little return on investment for ages before their sound was put onto vinyl and mainly fading back into obscurity.  Mike is on the fast track with vocals.  From hardly even doing backing vocals with Tom to front and center for a song or two with FM.

He has also steadily produced hundreds of songs and dozens of artists on the 'down low' while most people kept full eyes on Tom. Mike was Co captain and very chill about that role.  With Tom gone and proverbial shackles off he is now Front and center of the DK again. this time for real and nearly for free. He is living the new song in real time and in real life. 

I bet you if we compare the audio for Santa Barbara to the last show on the DK tour before the stadium or even the Jazz fest we will see a far more confident voice from Mike.  This is not just a victory lap, this is cramming for finals before going back to the stadium and retaking what is rightfully his; center stage in the spotlight. 

I don't want to psychoanalyze Toms motives in Keeping Mike the co-captain but rarely giving him vocal spotlight. Tom was a keen observer and clearly saw the prowess Mike could carry.  Perhaps he was afraid of losing his driving wheel as he saw where Mile could go on his own. Don't get me wrong, One hundred percent, Tom loved Mike like a brother or son and wanted the best for Mike but its widely known Tom didn't want the DK to get in the way...so where does that lead us?

Also interesting that Jason can sing lead but chooses not to.  I think it's the opposite of Tom in that regard. Jason knows he can do it himself and wants to see Mike progress to his level then think of how much better they can be together. They wont be the Bryds or Beatles, but they can be Mudcrutch and that's pretty Epic. ;) 

 

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22 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

compare the nasal whine

you say that like it's a bad thing!! I speak here as a Dylan fan😎 (though tbh I do actually prefer some of his vocals to others).  

In all seriousness, I think it's Tomfest above (?) who mentions how when Mike's singing within his range, he sounds good.  I'm not a singer (I scare cats), but I definitely agree.  

Part of when a singer "finds their voice" is surely when they figure what their limits are & concentrate on how to get the best from within their range.  Maybe vocal techniques to improve their range as well.  Anyway, big difference between what someone can do once in a while and what they can sustain night after night when touring. (While also playing killer guitar, we're looking at you Mike Campbell to keep your guitar magic going too, so no pressure.)  I guess even TP was learning that principle with Refugee. Great song.  Hard to sing in studio and during their all-important Damn The Torpedoes tour. Apparently, he struggled with demands of Refugee, with earlier smoke damage (from music videos filmed before the tour), lost his voice at times, voice is good but hoarse in the Houston recording (December) & he ended up having tonsils out ... It wasn't easy for him to keep his voice alive on that tour (from what we can read about the Damn The Torpedoes tour). I guess he learnt there were smarter ways to go that will still keep the possibility of musical magic alive and well.

Even with someone at the other extreme - let's say Mariah Carey, who has this undeniably fabulous voice.  Well, to me it is just annoying in some songs where (instead of singing a song & emotionally connecting with her listeners), she's showing-off by ranging across a thousand notes & octaves... just because she can.  Even Joan Baez, love her, stunning soprano.  But she famously screwed up The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down  by arranging it in a way that was too cheerful for Levon Helm, according to what Garth Hudson allegedly said (so it must be true). Anyway, she's retired now, as she's not happy with how her voice sounds now by comparison to what she could do back in the day.  

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12 hours ago, Big Blue Sky said:

you say that like it's a bad thing!! I speak here as a Dylan fan😎 (though tbh I do actually prefer some of his vocals to others).  

In all seriousness, I think it's Tomfest above (?) who mentions how when Mike's singing within his range, he sounds good.  I'm not a singer (I scare cats), but I definitely agree.  

Part of when a singer "finds their voice" is surely when they figure what their limits are & concentrate on how to get the best from within their range.  Maybe vocal techniques to improve their range as well.  Anyway, big difference between what someone can do once in a while and what they can sustain night after night when touring. (While also playing killer guitar, we're looking at you Mike Campbell to keep your guitar magic going too, so no pressure.)  I guess even TP was learning that principle with Refugee. Great song.  Hard to sing in studio and during their all-important Damn The Torpedoes tour. Apparently, he struggled with demands of Refugee, with earlier smoke damage (from music videos filmed before the tour), lost his voice at times, voice is good but hoarse in the Houston recording (December) & he ended up having tonsils out ... It wasn't easy for him to keep his voice alive on that tour (from what we can read about the Damn The Torpedoes tour). I guess he learnt there were smarter ways to go that will still keep the possibility of musical magic alive and well.

Even with someone at the other extreme - let's say Mariah Carey, who has this undeniably fabulous voice.  Well, to me it is just annoying in some songs where (instead of singing a song & emotionally connecting with her listeners), she's showing-off by ranging across a thousand notes & octaves... just because she can.  Even Joan Baez, love her, stunning soprano.  But she famously screwed up The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down  by arranging it in a way that was too cheerful for Levon Helm, according to what Garth Hudson allegedly said (so it must be true). Anyway, she's retired now, as she's not happy with how her voice sounds now by comparison to what she could do back in the day.  

I think you are going into the weeds  a bit there myfriendned... :) 

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18 hours ago, Shelter said:

@Hoodoo Man ok then.

So no thoughts on the arrangement dimension still? 

I think I shared some of my thoughts on FB and privately here but I had thought I'd mentioned this here already, so here goes.  I forget the track but it was one of the covers TPHB songs Mike had put on Instagram:  It felt like Mike had fully deconstructed the track (you got lucky perhaps?) and had a completely new take, esp comparatived to when TPHB had played the track live.  It was to the point that I felt perhaps it was elevated beyond the old arrangement and was played with a vibrance akin to one of the worlds best Garage bands was covering it and got a "magical take" then shared it to YouTube  

Im extremely impressed ((I do impress rather easily when it comes to this band, so there is surely observer bias in all my thoughts on Mike and I fail to be objective; he is my favorite Child after Tom followed closely by Bennmont) Steve is also well up there while Stan and Scott are somewhat red headed step children as I don't love them like the rest of the band and Howie.... Breaks my heart. Ron is also a forgotten man but I digress hard.) 

As I was saying I'm very impressed the title track Wreckless Abandon has the flair of a late 70s Petty track, I expected more of the same for the rest if the album. Garage feel take on old Heartbreakers stuff with original songs overlayed from the familiar sound...  

Before it was 'heard by my ears,' I expected F** that guy to be a rough rocker like Forgotten Man or American Plan B: what we got, was lovely nearly a ballad. Something bright, the opposite of my expectation, so I was very impressed there.

I've heard early 2018 takes of Little Irish girl for Dolores O who we also tragically lost so given the arrangement of his Henley tunes I'm not surprised he can draw from those wells but have not listened to that recently.  At the moment I am really torn on listening to more of the stuff from the Santa Barbara shows especially the newer tracks. I don't have two tickets to Paradise, I've got seven and tix for 4 shows. 

I'm forewarned about the "we love you Tom" which might have been too much for me. but beyond that I don't plan to dive too deep so I can live in the moment of the show without expectations around the nights set list. I expect a similar but varied set that will evolve over time as the tour gets rolling. I expect quite a lot form Mike and expect he and the guys that are all really pros in a semi superband to deliver a great fun evening.  More a Dylan show with Mike doing MIke / Knobs things while Tom did a Tom thing with a very safe and stable set list.  I will be stunned and disappointed if I DO hear Free Falling. 

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^ Not sure how to file this, in terms of the MC vocals quality/strength discussion at hand, the aspect of shared vocals and what have we, but thanks for expanding a bit never the less.. Perhaps just me thinking we were talking about something else :D

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2 hours ago, Shelter said:

^ Not sure how to file this, in terms of the MC vocals quality/strength discussion at hand, the aspect of shared vocals and what have we, but thanks for expanding a bit never the less.. Perhaps just me thinking we were talking about something else :D

when you said arrangements I assumed you meant the songs.  if not what are you talking about? which hotels they will stay in? The tazzy fund aspect of the tour? ;)  inquiring minds want to know....  

I can say so far what I have heard of the one track released his vocals were spot on for W.A. and he shows lots of growth as a lead singer compared to the one Petty track. I can't recall Mike taking lead vocals on any of the Mudcrutch tracks but he sounds enough like Tom sometimes I may have mistaken him for Tom....  they are distinct but there is a lot of vocal styling that can be overlooked if you are not focused. 

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3 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

when you said arrangements I assumed you meant the songs.  if not what are you talking about? which hotels they will stay in? The tazzy fund aspect of the tour? ;)  inquiring minds want to know....  

Sure do :)

Haha. Confusing, hu! I just thought that you @ed me a few posts back to comment on what I was talking about. The way these things normally work. And since I was talking about MC's vocals specifically (and how I think they'd be better off if/when sharing the lead, so to speak.. when given something to hold on to), I naturally expected your comment to be about that, in the direction of vocal arrangements (both live and studio, by all means). But what you wanted to talk about was fine too, though, so don't mind me. :)

(Come to think of it.... How DO they arrange for dogs on this tour? I know, back in the 95 TPATH tour Howard Norman used to carry his dog around the country - and not the Paris Hilton/Annakim way either, since Dingo was a huge german shepherd. I also know that that whole tour was themed in honor of dogs, in a way, as was several of TPATH songs in general... But now what.. right. Surely, the Tazzy crew oughta throw ol' Spike a bone. Thanks for considering this very canine aspect of music arrangement.)

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How transport dogs, you wonder? Surely... dogs on the run 😉

18 hours ago, Hoodoo Man said:

. I can't recall Mike taking lead vocals on any of the Mudcrutch tracks but

Mudcrutch 2 album & tour...

Victim Of Circumstance

(Mike Campbell)

Lead vocal: Mike Campbell with TP, Tom Leadon and Benmont Tench

Here's one audience recording. :-)

 

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On 1/27/2020 at 8:28 AM, Big Blue Sky said:

 

 

this song is unrealistically pretty given the title.  Jason's slide work is nearly ethereal and I really can not wait to see these guys live. But Mike "ain't no friend of mine" for delaying the album. I've now listiend to most of these tracks while I revise a paper due in class today and all I can say is F that teacher for giving shite directions for the paper. ;) 

Milke came up with a really nice album from what I can tell. I really expected a different tone based on the title track having an early heartbreakers sound and vibe but its really more eclectic than that with the collection being fairly diverse.  Hopefully we all survive the pandemic and hear the album in full and I can tell you which set and show was the best. Only six months or so until the album drops and my shows start a little after that... :(  so much for days away!   🙇‍♂️

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