New Heathens

Zevonathon, what a cool night

Friends, I want to share some pictures with you from the Zevonathon show we did last week. I thought the whole thing was stellar. All the musicians turned out wonderful performances, the house was packed and I got to have a birthday party of sorts listening to my music cranked loud by my favorite songwriter guy, Warren Zevon. What a cool thing to call on all this NYC talent to share it with me.

This was the setlist:

Lawyers, Guns & Money - Nate
Excitable Boy - Aaron Lee Tasjan
Disorder In The House - Mary Lamont & Jim Marchese
Play It All Night Long - John "Chico" Finn
Mutineer - Chip Robinson
My Shit's Fucked Up - Eric "Roscoe" Ambel
Desperadoes Under the Eaves - Mary Lee Kortes
I'll Sleep When I'm Dead - Jesse Bates
Hasten Down the Wind - Charlene McPherson
Mohammed's Radio - Nate & Charlene
The Indifference of Heaven - Emory Joseph
The Hula-Hula Boys - Randy Lee & Tony Graci

Frank & Jesse James - Nate
Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Mike Storey
Carmelita - Eleanor Whitmore
Mr. Bad Example - Steve Strunsky
My Dirty Life and Times - Joe Cassady
I Was In The House When The House Burned Down - Steve Welner
Splendid Isolation - Sharon & Kim
The French Inhaler - Andy Mullen
Keep Me In Your Heart - Li'l Mo & Drina
Poor Poor Pitiful Me - Serena Jean
Werewolves - Everybody
Lawyers, Guns & Money (encore) - Nate

Here are some photos, courtesy of Heidi Welner, Dave Seay, Kori Burkholder and Kristen Couchot.

Here we are, firing it off.
Aaron Lee Tasjan rocked, "Excitable Boy."
My buddy John "Chico" Finn, from Bovina, NY (of Livestock notoriety) gave a perfect rendition of the Zevon's twisted ode to rural life, "Play It All Night Long."
My friends Randy Lee and Tony Graci turned in one of the coolest performances of the night, a tune Warren wrote about Hawaii called, "The Hula Hula" boys. Not only did Randy trick the tune out by speaking Hawaiian during the intro, but Tony played slack-steel guitar. Too cool.
Tony Graci (who in addition to playing Hawaiian guitar is one of the best drummers I know)
Charlene McPherson, of Spanking Charlene, is one of my real good musician friends in New York. I always love to hear her sing, and I really love to sing with her. She was awesome by herself on "Hasten Down The Wind," and it was a blast singing "Mohammed's Radio" with her.
Eleanor Whitmore was just a knockout singing and playing violin on "Carmelita." She really dazzled.
My man Jesse Bates went berzerko on, "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," complete with a sung harmonica solo. Totally awesome.
One of the night's highlights' for me was Mary Lee Kortes singing, "Desperados Under The Eaves." It was really cool singing harmony on the song's coda with her.
Eric "Roscoe" Ambel did a dark, bluesy version of "My Shit's Fucked Up," that was really, really cool.
Chip Robinson stunned the room to silence with a gorgeous version of "Mutineer." The place was packed, and you couldn't hear a sound except Chip playing.
Serena Jean Southam was energetic and pitch-perfect on "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me."
In the middle of the show my Smurfette, Kristen, brought out ridiculously good cupcakes for everyone and led the crowd in singing happy birthday to me. A happy one indeed. Thanks baby.
My buddy Steve Strunsky, a loud & proud member of the Rockin' Reporters club (his band is called The Lonesome Prairie Dogs), channeled his inner robber-baron for, "Mr. Bad Example."
My friend Mike Storey of The Izzys did a great job on the crazy tune, "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner."
I couldn't have pulled off the show without some top-notch musicians. The Piano Fighter for the night was Andy Mullen, who not only transcribed and transposed several songs, he also turned out a beautiful solo piano version of "The French Inhaler."
On bass was the lovely, rock-solid Alison Jones.
Rich Hinman, from the Madison Square Gardners, played guitar and he was dazzling. It was a little intimidating to play with cats this good. Here's a photo of Rich looking astounded at my choice of chords.
Sadly, I didn't get a pic of drummerman extraordinaire (and Mr. Bad Influence) J.D. "Doggie" Hughes, but if you watch the video up at the top you can see him kicking ass.

Joe Cassady sounded superb on "My Dirty Life & Times."
This lady, Sharon, contacted the club and asked to be on the bill because she was actually a friend of Warren Zevon's. It was really cool to talk to her at the end of the night and hear some of her stories about hanging out with Warren. She also gave me a snapshot she took of the man, which I was really knocked out by.

Monica "Li'l Mo" Passion and "Banjo" Drina Seay just about made everybody cry with a shimmering version of the last song Zevon ever recorded, "Keep Me In Your Heart."

Emory Joseph did a poignant rendition of, "The Indifference of Heaven."
Steve Welner from Fourteen Feet was great on "I Was In The House When The House Burned Down."
Mary Lamont and her beau Jim Marchese rocked out on "Disorder in the House."
During the last song, "Werewolves of London," my friend Alex Battles walked in just in time for me to sing, "He was looking for a man named Alex Battles." Many days find Battles and I talking online about music for hours and he was real helpful with advice and support as I put together the Zevonathon. It was he who insisted that we do a proper Italian encore at the end of the evening and replay the opening song, "Lawyers, Guns & Money." He also sang the final verse of "Werewolves."

At the end of the night Sharon gave me this photograph that she took of Warren Zevon. It was really a special thing to get. I love Zevon, obviously, and though I didn't do the gig out of any "be closer to the man" or "be more like the man," sense, it was neat to see a candid photo of him taken by someone who knew him. Kinda' made for a poetic end to a fantastic night. Thanks to everyone who shared it with me.

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Kick ass Nate – I really wish I could have been there.

  2. Great night Nate. Thanks to all the band members.

  3. Where is our jet when we need it? Would have loved to have been there. You really do rock and hello to Kristen.
    Merle and Jack
    By the way, I shared this link on my Facebook page. It is too good, gotta share it! Merle

  4. WOW! Thanks for the great account of what was undoubtedly a fantastic night. With these photos and great captions, you made me feel like I was there. Well done, my friend, and congratulations.

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