Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Mike Campbell

 Marc Ford

 Jeremy White
of The Blessings

11.24.15 emerged as Night of the Blues/Rock Guitar Heroes at the Echoplex (Silverlake, L.A.) and proved a great night of music with its ultra-strong triple bill of Tom Petty Heartbreaker Mike Campbell in his solo band The Dirty Knobs, Marc Ford (onetime guitarist of The Black Crowes and Burning Tree) and The Blessings (Jeremy White and compatriots' vision of the early to mid-1970s Rolling Stones' ragged glory come to life again.)

Knobs' lead guitarist Mike Campbell remains a great frontman, is an expressive singer with simultaneously flawless fretwork, and is very aware of his audience. He interacts one on one, singling out individuals by name or other distinctions. F'rinstance, onstage he noted that my hairstyle reminded him of Pattie Boyd (an easy mistake since there's always a camera covering my face which otherwise would have spoiled the illusion.) 

Mike Campbell striking a pose familiar to fans of Iggy and The Stooges' Raw Power guitarist

The Dirty Knobs -- guitarists Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay, drummer Matt Lang and bassist Lance Morrison--ensemble really put on a cool  show, a little dirtier, swampier, eclectic-ier than your Petty fare, with a plethora of selections you just might not have anticipated-- oldskool blues, a ditty from The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus, some Grateful Dead, and a Beatles cover from Revolver which you might not have thought duplicatable live.

Dirty Knobs' set list: Shake These Blues Up, She Got The Sugar, Poor Boy Makes Good, Easy Wind, (Grateful Dead cover,) She Said She Said (Beatles cover,) El Chapo, Humdinger (J.J.Cale cover, prompting a "she likes to lick my fingers" chorus singalong with the audience,) Wreckless Abandon, Victim Of Circumstance, Yer Blues (Dirty Mac, Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus) Still  I Love You, RoadRunner (the original Bo Diddley one, not the Modern Lovers' future Massachusetts' State Song.)


Mike made sure that his favorite animal rescue charities TAZZY FUND (LINK*) and ROCK THE DOGS (LINK**) were given shout outs onstage as well.

drummer Matt Laug→ 

onstage Bloodhound caddy for guitar picks, towels
 guitarist Jason Sinay→

Known for his rapidfire licks which never sacrifice soul, Marc Ford and his power-blues compadres inclusive of standup bass, impressed both the audience and the headliners, who invited him to jam their encore. No wonder Ford was "poached" away to The Black Crowes from one of my favorite L.A. bands of the 1980s, Burning Tree (they also had a real, live Keith Moon-style drummer  [inventive, 100 mph but accurate]) all those decades ago...

 Marc Ford Band drummer     

Marc Ford stylin' in looks and licks

 Well written songs with a blues-rock groove and the two guitars, rhythm section, keyboards, backup singer template prompt the early to mid-1970s Stone's comparisons The Blessings inspire, reminiscent of Sticky Fingers/Exile on Main Street with an entirely different vocalist. Always a fun show by this troupe who are great local favorites. 
 The Blessings are: Jeremy White, lead vocals, guitar; Mike Gavigan, lead guitar; Jeffrey Howell, keyboards; Jason Upright, drummer; Lavone Barnett, vocals; Duffy Snowhill, bass. Look for their latest EP Shipwrecked with irrepressibly catchy choruses, and Tomahawk Inn full album.

Jeremy White's Keith Richards' look emerges when the chapeau is


Colleague Donna Balancia, Editor of California Rocker photographed the sets as well.

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