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Dick's Den Residency: Jimmy Castoe

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by Andrew Patton on October 29, 2014

For the month of November, Dicks Den is bringing in another multi-dimensional talent to host the next volume of its Wednesday Residency series. Drummer Jimmy Castoe is a Columbus legend and has played professionally since 1971 in most genres that you can think of. Castoe will use this background to present a varied lineup of acts for his four Wednesday gigs. Shows will start by 10pm each week, and the cover is $4. Castoe was very kind to give me some detailed resumes on his collaborators and insights into the bands, and Columbus music in general. Keep reading for Castoe’s words on this month’s residency:

November 5th will be The Old Norths with David Martinez and Steven Fox. David was a luthier’s assistant at Fifth Ave. Fret Shoppe under Phil Maneri for a few years. He plays in some cover bands and he has an ongoing project named Midwest Dissenters featuring James Daniels (son of Jazz Mary Daniels) in which he is one of the principal writers. Steve Fox plays bass for, and is a founding member of, the Columbus-based band The Spikedrivers. He is a founder of The Fox and Hounds bluegrass act, and has made many appearances at the Tuesday night Bluegrass Night at Dick’s Den. He plays for The Ramshacklers with Phil Clark and John Boerstler as well. We do a mixed bag of covers from Howlin’ Wolf (w/yours truly on vocals) to Richard Thompson. We do a few tunes written by Steve, and a few written by David.” [The Old Norths will also play Dick’s on Saturday, November 22nd.]

November 12th is the Blue Cats (also playing this weekend on Saturday, November 1st at Dick’s Den). This is a band of veteran Columbus musicians: Rick Collura on guitar (The Alligators, The C-bus Jets, Willie Pooch and the Upsetters, Dave Workman Blues Band, and nationally with organist Charles Earland {famous for his version of “Killer Joe” on the album Living Black}), Yorkie Proctor on bass (Dick Mackey and the Jewels, The Alligators, Willie Pooch and the Upsetters), Terry Finneran on keyboards (Tyler, a mid-70s band with Dick Mackey and Frank Pierce). Rick currently hosts the blues jam on Wednesdays at The Hey Hey on Whittier in German Village. Terry is a multi-instrumentalist, playing the harmonica and the flute as well as the keyboards, and he is the voice of the band. He borrows from a Mose Allison bag of back phrasing, and he comps like Donald Fagen playing the blues. Definitely a West coast type of flavor. We will play a lot of C-bus club standards, as well as some Herbie Mann and Cannonball Adderley covers. There is also a certain British influence on Terry that comes out in his treatment of some Steve Winwood and Cream covers.

November 19th will be with Brett Burleson and Roger Hines on guitar and bass [respectively]. Brett is a versatile guitarist and electric bassist. He is a fantastic composer, which you can check out on Youtube from the Mug and Brush Sessions accompanied by Roger, drummer Ryan Jewell, and saxophonist Eddie Bayard. He has played with many artists from Columbus, such as Megan Palmer, The Bygones, Surf’s Up Hose Down (surf band with Larry Marotta), The One and Only Joe Diamond, and Randy Mather. He also did some playing with the national act supporting Michelle Shocked. Larry Cook and I joined up to play a small junket through Chicago and Wisconsin in 2009. Roger has played with Ray Charles and Dianne Schurr. He has played locally with Stan Smith, Sanctuary, and Madrugada, and with Stan alongside Danny Aguiar (Brazilian drummer, and winner of a Brazilian Grammy). We will play compositions of Brett’s and Roger’s as well as some standards from the set list of Joe Diamond.

November 26th, Thanksgiving Eve, will bring Adam’s Ale to Dick’s for a celebratory night of rock and roll. This is a band of musicians from all over Ohio. We have the vocalist and guitarist John Welton from Canton, Ohio. He was a founding member of the popular jam band from Northeast Ohio named The Waterband. He is the principal songwriter and frontman of the band. With him is the soloist Brad Kepperley from Cleveland, Ohio playing the unlikely featured instrument: The slide trombone. He is fantastic. From Columbus, on bass and vocals is Cliff Starbuck, a founding member of the popular jam band Ekoostik Hookah, and from Cleveland we have Ryan Mitiska on Keyboards and vocals. From Columbus we have in the band a multi-instrumentalist named Jeremy Canonico. He sings and plays guitar, mandolin, percussion, and drums. Most of the material for this band comes from John and Ryan, both from The Waterband, while Cliff and I sing some carefully selected covers. It promises to be a great night, and a lot of fun for all. I am trying to get Jim Maneri in line to do a short set of Ned Wreckman on this night. It is the biggest night of the year for Dick’s Den, and an appearance by Ned would be only too fitting. Ned is a character that I dreamed up while on the road in the South with the Great Plains. A wannabe, never was, washout of a lounge singer with a huge chip on his shoulder, accompanied by his metro-sexual extrovert of a son Roddy Wreckman (Jim Maneri).

“I am also trying to get a 45-spinning party going on for one of these Wednesdays. I may do it on the last one, especially if I can’t get the Wreckman thing to happen. Tim Ackerman, one of the bartenders at Dick’s Den, has a DJ turntable set-up. I may be able to get a bunch of folks to bring in a few of their favorite 45s so we can have a dance party in between sets.

“I thought it would be best for the club if I were to diversify. If you don’t know much about my own history, I can say that I have been a very busy boy over the years, playing with all manner of musical groups. I have been a member of as many as fifteen bands at once during my life. I played in that many acts during one Comfest in Columbus (1988), and that was when they only had one stage. I have played with a few national acts, like a stint with Junior Brown, and a small jump with Michelle Shocked. I have recorded with many acts, most recently I have been on two of Megan Palmer’s releases, and I am currently involved with a new release from Adam’s Ale. The list of acts I have played with is too long to go into, and would be somewhat pointless, as it would appear to be braggadocious, as if it isn’t that way already. I have played professionally since 1971, and I have loved this life.”

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