In his autobiography, Sam Cutler—tour manager for The Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead in their raucous heydays—seems coy about the path his life took after splitting with the Dead about 35 years ago. But it’s obvious that a lengthy hangover must’ve ensued. From snorting cocaine with Janis Joplin to dropping acid with Jimi Hendrix to chugging Southern Comfort with the Dead’s Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Cutler spent his time as “rock ‘n’ roll nanny” in the company of some seriously self-centered and out-of-control stars, nearly matching their risky behavior and living to tell the tale. Just be careful—you may not be a fan of some of your favorite classic rockers after reading this.
Garden is a three chapter series of performances, incorporating live music and video projection, exploring themes of night, place and the intersection of humans with their environment. Albuquerque music lovers can catch chapter one, “Night,” this weekend. Chris Jonas, the Santa Fe-based composer and multimedia artist behind Garden, hopes to give audiences a richer, more layered experience than a standard concert would. Meshing music with art installation, he’s working with different musicians and artists for each piece of his trilogy.
Years ago Kate Mann traded her New Mexico home for Portland, Ore. She’s just returned to Taos, guitar in hand, packing a songbook full of brilliant lyrics and discreet melody. Often backed by a rotating cast of musicians known as the Calamities, this week Kate plays her welcome-home set as a solo.
Listening to the variety of compositions penned by guitarist Ila Cantor, you get the sense that she is as comfortable in Brooklyn’s new music scene as she would have been filling in for Charlie Christian at Minton’s, that Manhattan crucible of bebop, in the ’40s. Then again, she might have been equally at home subbing for Barry Melton, Country Joe and the Fish’s lead guitarist, at San Francisco’s Fillmore in ’67.
Despite having a name that might suggest Americana, Willy J and the Storytellers plays lively and cathartic alternative rock, and the members cite acts like Pearl Jam, Incubus, Rage Against the Machine and Oasis as influences—smells like '90s revival. The band’s front man, a shaggy-haired painter from Montana by way of Tennessee, says the name suits the quartet. "Our songs are stories,” says Willy J, “and the songs I like the most are the ones that do have a story behind them." Find out what it's all about on Friday, May 7, at Low Spirits when the band releases its first album, Chopping Trees. Listen and find out more on alibi.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
David Hevener is a preschool teacher and the guitarist, vocalist and mystic rattle player for Santa Fe’s Gnossurrus. The robe-cloaked mystic-prophecy metal band is releasing its first album, Beast of Destiny, this Saturday at Burt’s. To get a feel for some of Gnossurrus’ inspiration, take a look-see at five random tracks from Hevener’s collection.