A ridiculously spirited, lovingly raucous tribute to Merle Haggard from saxophonist Bryan Murray's eccentric band with Jon Irabagon (sax), Jon Lundbom (guitar), Moppa Elliott (bass) and Danny Fischer (drums), with Doc Chadbourne on vocals, banjo and dobro.
Bryan and the Haggards featuring Dr. Eugene Chadbourne
Merles Just Want To Have Fun
Label: Northern Spy
Released in: USA
"Merles Just Wanna Have Fun is a ridiculous spirited, lovingly raucous tribute to one of country's greats, Merle Haggard. As with Willie Nelson, there's a bit of jazzy sensibility toHaggard's music. The tunes aren't mere three-chord rockers, giving a sextet of exceptional musicians like Bryan and the Haggards featuring Dr. Eugene Chadbourne plenty to work with. And as with Nelson (Poncho to his Lefty, or the other way around), Haggard's songs are full of character, or rebels and patriots and world-weary travelers."-Northern Spy
"This was what I was trying to do in 1980, get a jazz band to play country and western and get a record label to pay to record it and put it out. The closest I could get to that was Shockabilly and obviously that was a sidetrack. So listening to this is really gratifying! Let's see if anybody else likes it!" - Dr. Eugene Chadbourne
"Saxophonist Bryan Murray's wonderful quintet cast an outside-jazz eye on Bakersfield country legend Merle Haggard, and their bodacious results do justice to both camps. The Hag's heartbreaking melodies become fodder for genre-slipping arrangements that take the long way home...The band is recording with Chadbourne, who splays country, rock, and bluegrass with feckless hyperactive humor."-Richard Gehr, Village Voice
• Show Bio for Eugene Chadbourne
"A seemingly endless -- and endlessly eclectic -- series of releases made the innovative guitarist Eugene Chadbourne one of the underground community's most well-known and well-regarded eccentrics. Born January 4, 1954 in Mount Vernon, NY, Chadbourne was raised in Boulder, CO, by his mother, a refugee of the Nazi death camps. At the age of 11, the Beatles inspired him to learn guitar; later exposure to Jimi Hendrix prompted him to begin experimenting with distortion pedals and fuzzboxes. Ultimately, however, he became dissatisfied with the conventions of rock and pop, and traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic one, on which he began to learn to play bottleneck blues.
Perhaps Chadbourne's most significant formative discovery was jazz; initially drawn to John Coltrane and Roland Kirk, he later became an acolyte of the avant excursions of Derek Bailey and Anthony Braxton. Despite the huge influence music exerted over his life, however, Chadbourne first studied to become a journalist, but his career was derailed when he fled to Canada rather than fight in Vietnam; only President Jimmy Carter's declaration of amnesty for conscientious objectors allowed the vociferously left-wing Chadbourne to return to the U.S. in 1976, at which time he plunged headlong into the New York downtown music scene. After releasing his 1976 debut, Solo Acoustic Guitar, he began collaborating on purely improvisational music with the visionary saxophonist John Zorn and the acclaimed guitarist Henry Kaiser.
Quickly, Chadbourne carved out a singular style, comprised of equal parts protest music, free improvisation, and avant-garde jazz, topped off with his absurd, squeaky vocals. A complete list of Chadbourne's countless subsequent collaborations and genre workouts is far too lengthy and detailed to exhaustively document, although in the early '80s he garnered some of his first significant attention as the frontman of Shockabilly, a demented rockabilly revisionist outfit which also featured the well-known producer Kramer. Following the group's breakup, Chadbourne turned to his own idiosyncratic brand of country and folk, accurately dubbed LSD C&W on a 1987 release, the same year he joined the members of Camper Van Beethoven for a one-off covers project. In addition, he recorded with artists ranging from Fred Frith and Elliott Sharp to Evan Johns and Jimmy Carl Black, the original drummer in the Mothers of Invention; in between, he continued exploring unique styles inspired by music from the four corners of the globe, all the while issuing a seemingly innumerable string of records, most of them on his own Parachute label."-All Music (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/eugene-chadbourne-mn0000172925/biography)
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• Show Bio for Jon Irabagon
"The winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, Irabagon has since topped both the Rising Star Alto Saxophone and the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone categories in the DownBeat Magazine Critics' Poll and been named one of Time Out New York's 25 New York City Jazz Icons. Jon was also named 2012 Musician of the Year in The New York City Jazz Record and is an integral member of such high-profile ensembles as the Mary Halvorson Quintet, the Dave Douglas Quintet and Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor, as well as an established bandleader in his own right.
For Perpetual Motion, a project of Moondog arrangements, Jon (along with French saxophonist/clarinetist/composer Sylvain Rifflet) has been awarded a French-American Cultural Exchange grant from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, with generous funding from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Florence Gould Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Institut Français, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, and Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique ("SACEM"). In addition, Jon has received a 2012 Mabuhay Award by the National Association of Filipino-Americans and a 2014 Philippine Presidential Award.
Jon's own record label, Irabbagast Records, has currently released five of his efforts, including I Don't Hear Nothin' but the Blues Volume 2: Appalachian Haze (with Mike Pride and Mick Barr), Outright! Unhinged (with Ralph Alessi, Jacob Sacks, John Hebert and Tom Rainey) and It Takes All Kinds (featuring Mark Helias and Barry Altschul), and most recently, the dual release of Behind the Sky (featuring Tom Harrell, Luis Perdomo, Yasushi Nakamura and Rudy Royston) as well as Jon's first solo saxophone recording, Inaction is an Action."-Jon Irabagon Website (http://www.jonirabagon.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Moppa Elliott
"A short biography from the artist:
I was born on September 13, 1978, the first son of David and Carolyn Elliott in Scranton, Pa. Incidentally, they named me Matthew Thomas Elliott, not Moppa. My parents are both college instructors and intense music lovers, so I was able to hear a lot of music growing up. After a brief introduction to the piano, I started to play the trombone in the sixth grade, and after deciding a few years later that I wanted to also play an instrument with strings, I was given an electric bass. When I was about 17, I fixed up my father's old acoustic bass in order to audition for a summer program. I then began to study the bass seriously with Pocono resident Tony Marino. In the fall of 1997, I enrolled in both Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music majoring in biology and Jazz bass performance in Oberlin's double-degree program. While there I was able to record my first CD, Pinpoint and to gain some experience playing in Cleveland OH for about 3 years. I was also fortunate enough to teach at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts for four summers. I finished school in the winter of 2001, and moved to New York City the following summer. Here in New York, I have been able to play and record with some great musicians and to continue teaching at St. Mary's High School."-Moppa Elliott Website (http://www.moppaelliott.com/who.html)
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At The Squid's Ear!
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Song Based Music
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Shipping Weight: 2.00 units
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Label: Northern Spy
Catalog ID: NCSD 046
Squidco Product Code: 18126
Recorded at Seizures Palace on July 4th, 2012.
Eugene Chadbourne-vocals, banjo, dobro
Bryan Murray-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, balto! saxophone, talzmer, nose whistle, recorder, ocarina, vocals
Jon Irabagon-C melody saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, penny whistle
Jon Lundbom-guitar, banjo, vocals
Moppa Elliott-bass, vocals
Danny Fischer-drums, vocals
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1. Fightin' Side Of Me 4:36
2. Old Man From The Mountain 3:20
3. Mama Tried 3:34
4. I Take A Lot Of Pride In What I Am 4:14
5. Bob Wills Medley 8:39
6. Listening To The Wind 5:56
7. Stay Here And Drink 2:39
8. If We Make It Through December 4:34
9. Working Man Medley 5:57
10. Okie From Muskogee 5:09
11. The Way I Am 4:10
12. That's The News 3:04