Cozmo’s Blog: Knoxville Recap

the last few days i’ve possessed a feeling of chill that’s so chill, that i can’t do anything else but chill…the chill that follows something victorious…this feeling stems from our recent back to back hometown rock shows…nothing excites us more than playing our hometown, so we decided to do a two night rock and roll binge in our wondrous ecosystem, knoxville, tn…we haven’t played the motherland in a while, so we greatly anticipated our return…the pressure was heavy on us to put together a rockin weekend for our knoxville family, so we bounced around a lot of questions/ideas for each show…what covers should we learn?? how should we construct our encores each night?? who should we ask to open for us?? what about special guests?? what should we wear?? we wanted the party to be just right, so we started hashing through ideas to create a weekend of great jubilation…

friday:
i woke up friday morning feeling easy…i got up and took a walkabout around the neighborhood to calm my already calm brain…the weather was beautiful and i ran into a couple of deer, who are now my friends…one i named reginald veljohnson and the other is named carl winslow…unfortunately, i didn’t have any good leaves or carrots on me to give to them so i had to continue on my journey…i finished my walk and it was time to meet up with the rest of the guvs…we arrived at the venue to be surprised by an amazing light rig that was set up by michael brammer of SES…immediately, we started getting excited…we were back home and it felt buttery…we had an incredible horn section (chuck mulligan, tyler “the gold” bullion, and kyle bothof) for one of our musical surprises…we ran through the tunes and it sounded magnificent, the ground was fertile…in addition to the horn section we also had chris doody and mitch stewart join us for some perfectly seasoned bee gee vee’s (background vocals)…chris and mitch, who are former members of the guvs, played a huge role in propelling us to where we are today…it was a special moment to have them with us, and we are grateful they are on this earth…as game time approached, our focus sharpened on what we came to do that evening…we walked down to watch elenowen play a flawless set…the crowd, as well as us, loved their music and they’re all super chill…we hope to collaborate with them at some point in the future…the guvs seemed calm, granted we had a super intense cram session the two days preceding the show…the lights went down, and we walked out on stage…the crowd made a joyful noise and we began our set…songs were tight, vocals were potent, and the rippers were rippin…everyone knows that we’re huge fans of “the band” so we decided to work up some fresh encore covers to capture the essence of one of our favorite concerts, “the last waltz.” we played “it makes no difference” by the band, which ended with dual guitar rippers over the foundation of a beefy horn section, that climbed to the apex of a sonic mountain of righteousness…following that was “caravan” by van morrison (of course we did the last waltz version)…james administered 9 ninja kicks and a knee slide on the back half of the song when the horn hits came in…ol kev sang a couple of verses that sounded like rod “the bod” stewart himself was up in there, onesie leotard and all…it was so hype…we were connected with the audience from the first note…freedom and fellowship were present and near in that blessed space…it was really difficult to fall asleep that night so i ended up watching napoleon dynamite from start to finish

saturday1

saturday:
the morning sun rays came busting through my window telling me that i needed to eat some brunch because i’m kinda brunchy these days…i can’t help it, sometimes your body just evolves and there’s nothing you can do about it…my body has evolved into a machine that crushes brunches all across the nation…it was me, an ol dayve, and a bettianne that embarked towards the bistro, land of poachers, gravies, tatoes, and big meaties…i wanted to get as full as possible because i knew i had a big day ahead of me…after i crushed, i came back home to figure out my outfit for the evening…the outfit came together quickly so i decided to check my chi levels…they were reading at 100%…i arrived for soundcheck number two and our musical guests were already there tuning up…we decided to do something we have never done before, bring in a string section…the string section was headed up by my boy “neon” gideon klein who composed all the arrangements and recruited all the jedi’s…the strings included (gideon klein and matt nelson on cello, douglas temples on viola, carlos hdz, yu-ting huang, caroline farmer, and lora doherty on the violins)…vocalists tomi robb (free agent) and tyler anthony (cereus bright) were also in attendance to push the set to the next level…the soundcheck was unreal, it was like we had 30 people up there with us…we rehearsed the tunes a couple of times with the strings to get everything dialed in…it was over the top…knoxville band, william wild, opened for us that night…again, another amazing group that we had the pleasure to collaborate with…their soundcheck was great and their set was even greater…super cool dudes, im hoping we cross paths again soonly…the time had come once again and we felt good…we kicked off night two smooth and creamy…halfway through the set, tyler anthony came out and sang (alongside james) a stripped down version of song for my beloved…their voices sounded like angels with wings of solid gold…the full band took the stage once again to bring the energy back up…a few songs later, we brought out tomi robb who hit some high notes that would shatter all the windows in your sun room and maybe make you wet your pants…the crowd was feelin it in their bones…we finished the regular set on a high note leaving the crowd chanting for the encore…it was time to unveil the ultimate surprise…the strings took the stage and opened up the encore with an emotionally absorbing version of canyons…they added many flavorful layers to our cake of sadness (canyons is a sad song)…from there, we took a creative turn and played an arrangement by radiohead called “karma police”…the song climbed to an explosive ending full of total rock and roll carnage…i believe that this was our first time ever attempting a radiohead song and it felt liberating…on the last note of karma police, the string section droned for a few seconds and then it began…cruel intentions, ut football jumbotron video montage in the early 2000’s, seattle seahawks still use it for their entrance music, the one and only, bittersweet symphony…the strings played it perfectly and peoples heads were exploding from excitement…me, kev, james, justin, tyler, and jenks were all lined up laterally across the front of the stage just rockin our faces off of our skulls…this was our best hometown weekend yet and we are extremely thankful for everyone of you that made it happen for us…please, help spread the word about the guvs, cuz we’re not plannin on slowin down anytime soon…

make the dangle easy,
cozmo

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he’s cruisin’

so ol’cozmo’s been hibernatin’ from the blog scene and i recently got called back up to the big leagues to deliver some truth…for those of you that pay attention to our whereabouts and wanderings, you would know that we’ve been recording new music, cruisin’ high seas, crushin’ burgs with double cheese, and rockin’ peoples’ ear bones…the boys are back in town, boys will be boys, who let the dogs out…

this is the third cruise that we’ve done in our career and it was amazing…the cruises that we perform on are put together by a company called sixthman and we love them…they are some of the coolest people we’ve ever met and they have really helped us gain a plethora of fans…the cruise was hosted by the band “train” and had many great acts on board so you better believe ol’cozmo cut a rug or two with that south knoxville butterfoot technique and that greasy granny shuffle bug…

the mule provided us with a smooth trip down to atlanta last thursday eve so we could catch our early flight to miami…after a day of walking through metal detectors and taking stuff out of our pockets then putting that stuff back in our pockets, purchasing average bagels, and drinking a sierra mist, we finally arrived to the port…the weather was perfect and we were ready to assemble the chill…

our bellies were grumbling and all i could think about was pepperoni zaaaa with the fiery passion of a thousand suns…we boarded the ship and immediately went to the cafeteria where i constructed a food mountain, then i destroyed it…u can’t eat like me…we talked and laughed for the duration of our meal like old friends do, then went and checked into our rooms…i took a nap for a minute and woke up to ol’james, the preying hyfantis, and mcjenkerstein as they were waving some skee bob (whiskey) and ginger ales in my face…we took a walk around the cruiser to see what we were dealing with, and it was good…

that night, we kicked it off with some high energy rockers to fuel the crowd for what was to come…it was loud and delicious…there was a great turnout for our set so that helped us rock even harder…we also showcased some new tunage that got a really great response, so that was an added bonus…after our first set, we knew that the vibes were there and that set the tone for a memorable adventure…to wrap up the night, we went to the charlie hunter show to get our minds blown and to make us feel like we suck as musicians…he’s a jedi

the next show (on the next day) was pretty amazing as well because we were on the big boy outdoor stage…we looked like jc penney magazine models as the wind blew through our hairs…it was purely majestic…people were boozin’ hard and huffin’ cigs all through the crowd while we were applying rock n’ roll rippers on their facial skins…fistpumps were thrown to the heavens as the sun shone down upon us…’twas fantastico…we stuck around after the show to check out ben rector’s set…it was awesome….great voice, great songs, great stage presence, great haircuts…he’s also one of the nicest dudes we’ve ever met…from there, we took a break for some calories and to rejuvenate for the michael franti show…franti is the king of the positive vibration…we were all looking forward to his set because we knew it would be full of “boooom baps!!!, raaaastafariiiiis!!!!, bom bom boms!!!, and blooooood clots!!!! i was late getting back down cuz i took a 45 minute therapeutic shower so i had to kick it solo for a while…franti was killin it on the pool deck stage so i decided to purchase me a foo foo frulatta…i was in such a good mood that i said “yiooooo, i bet you won’t gimme an umbrella in my drink big baaaabay” then my boy alejandro gave me two of ‘em…i did the reggae bounce for about 25 minutes by myself…i was throwin knucks (fistbumps) and high fives to all my neighbors while i did the solo weeble wobble in my 6 foot radius requirements…boozy fandango i was…finally, i linked up with the rest of the crew towards the end of the show, and we had all worked up quite the appetite…we ate a family dinner together full of meats and pies then some of us went to check out the brett dennen set…another great show to top off a full day of activities…

we ported in the grand caymans the next day to do some beachin’, bronzin’, boozin’ and floatin’…we laid around all day drinkin cold coolees and peein in the ocean…ol’cozmo’s said it before and he’ll say it again, the water in the grand caymans is so blue that it looks like mountain blast powerade, and if thats not refreshing to you then you’re just a butt-head and you can eat a whole can of worms…jenkers, hypanties, and i took a long walk down the beach to check out some sea urchins and such while the rest of the crew held down our spot…then some of them partook in some beach volleyball that was nothing short of olympic tier athleticism…precision setting and thunderous spikes ensued kinda like the beach volleyball scene in the 1986 hit movie top gun..

after our amazing day on the beach, we boarded the ship because we had to help host trivia that night…top chef competitor and culinary warrior ryan scott was hosting along side us guv’nahs…a new friendship developed as hijinx and hilarity spun out of control during our co-hosting extravaganza…he even invited us to do some timeless acoustic yams during his mixology class the next day…he made all sorts of stuff, muddy blerries, creamsickle creamies, and then just straight up poured tequila in people’s mouth holes…it was an incredible workshop and he is excellent at what he does…he also has a set of perfect teeth…we look forward to growing our friendship with ryan in the near future…immediately after mixology, we headed over to check out matt pinfield interviewing john oates because we love oates…oates is amazing…cover me in oates all day every day…it’s great for the skin, especially if you have chicken pox…later that evening, we built us some bacon/burger/dogs from the endless supply of big meaties that they have on deck at all times…we needed fuel for the train show that was about to start on the outdoor stage…they delivered all the hits and closed out with “dream on” by aerosmith where pat hit them high boys at the end…it gave me the stanky leg foshoooo…killer voice and super tight band…from there we rolled over to the ben rector set where he called up james to sing alongside him on one of his hit jams…james went up on stage, grabbed the tambo, and killed it…again, we can’t thank you enough ben rector…

time passed, many snacks were gobbled, i watched the hunger games for the first time, and it was time to give our last performance which happened to be the last show on the cruise…we asked jamie mclean (brett dennen’s guitarist) to sit in and play some rippers with us and he agreed…the show was a 10 out of 10 on the energy scale…the crowd was hype and it was packed…chef ryan scott sent us a bucket of brewsers on stage and we started to rock…it was a sweaty, thrashing around stage kinda vibe so it was a great note to end on…we really appreciate all the people that came out to our sets…it was a great cruise and we met a lot of great people…we are very excited about this year and about the release of our new music…thanx for all your love and support…hyaw naw, shimmy shamm, don’t put your hand anywhere you wouldn’t put your face…

Cozmo

Hot and Sweaty Rock and Roll

So we packed up last Thursday and began our journey toward Charlotte, North Carolina. We met up at Summertown about 1pm and the heat outside was starting to peak for the day. As we entered the blue bullet (our van) it felt as if it had been preheating to bake a casserole for the last 4 days. In addition, our air conditioner does not work so add about 15 degrees or so when you pack in 8 sweaty humans. It’s also starting to smell like beef stew inside but I don’t mind because I love beef stew. Anyway, the heat was intense but not enough to stop the guvs from rockin. The trip went pretty smoothly and about 4 to 5 hours later we arrived at our bed and breakfast, casa de Hicks. The Hicks family had a soul food dinner waiting on us when we got there so we stuffed our faces and got a chill in before we headed to the venue. We played at a place called the Evening Muse which is located in a pretty cool area of Charlotte called the NoDa district. We were the second band on a three band bill so we got to play for a good hour or so. After rockin the beautiful people of Charlotte we hopped in the bullet to head back to casa de Hicks fer some late night buffalo dip and nanner puddin….oh yeah and some chocolate chip cookies and maybe some sweet tea…durdy deed. I also had a dream that I was a covert FBI agent that did nothing but beat the crap out of evil doers. Once finished, I would hop in the passenger seat of a Ferrari with a driver that looked like Carl Winslow from the famous 90’s situational comedy called “Family Matters.” (wordy sentence). Rockin Night.

We arise the next morning to some coffee, bagels, and a cornucopia of various pieces of fruit, thank you Hicks family. Once we recharge it is time to hop back in the van and sweat out some more miles on our way down to Atlanta Georgia. We were on the road for about 5 and a half hours in the van so again we are covered in sweat and exhausted. We were performing at Smiths Olde Bar which is an awesome venue with tons of history. Check it out if your ever in Atlanta. The load in is an equivalent to a navy seals survival drill….so many stairs….so many stairs. After conquering that hurdle we go down ta get some hot ham and chee to replenish our energy…. deep fried tots were also involved. We finished our dinner and went backstage to center our chill. Thank you to the openers Blue Remedy and No Parachute who rocked out as well. Now it was our turn to rock. We dug deep into our souls so we could give Atlanta a good show. So rockin, so raw, so durdy. Happy Birthday to Eric Savage, aka “Pepper jack Pete”. I love it.

– Cozmo

Welcome Aboard Cozmo

Hello everybody.

November is here and we are only a month away from heading up to Woodstock.  We are in the midst of a very exciting and chaotic month of final preparation for this album and have a whole lot to catch you up on.

First, we need to let you know about an addition to our band.  Cozmo Holloway, a great friend of ours and an incredible guitarist, has officially joined us full time.  We first crossed paths with Coz about three or four years ago when we were playing a show with his band Dishwater Blonde on Market Square in Knoxville.  He had come up to the stage to tell us we had five minutes left in our set.  Idiots that we were, we thought he was coming to see if he could sit in with us.  We told him to get on stage and we handed him a guitar.  We were not necessarily the tightest band in the world in our early days, and I am not sure what Coz thought about that particular performance, but he absolutely tore it up.  We were grinning from ear to ear watching this guy with a fro completely destroy a guitar solo in our cover of Cocker’s “Feelin Alright”.

As time passed on, Dishwater Blonde was kind enough to have us open some more shows for them, and we continued our relationship with those guys and always invited Cozmo to sit in on some songs.  When we started playing more headlining shows around our hometown, Coz would come down if he was around and sometimes play a full set with us.  Things just clicked and we always seemed to have a great time.

Last year about this time, we were preparing to go down to Athens, GA to record our first full length record and asked Cozmo if he would be interested in laying down some nasty guitar on a few tracks.  Luckily, he said yes.  We spent five days together working in the studio and had the time of our lives.  We began to mesh together more musically, and more importantly became closer friends.

In April, we released our record with a show at the Bijou Theatre.  Coz joined us for about half the set, along with several other great guests.  It was still to this day one of the most fun shows of our lives.

So here we are, getting ready to head up to Woodstock to make this new album, and the time is right to have Coz jump on board full time.  We are incredibly grateful that he has decided to join us and are extremely thankful to Dishwater Blonde for their support.

Secondly, we need to give you an update on Mitch Stewart.  You all know Mitch, you all love Mitch.  Mitch has been an integral part of this band from day one.  Maybe even before day one. He has been a steady rock for us, whether it’s playing percussion or playing bass, singing backup or occasionally lead if the mood is right.  Well, Mitch is a very talented person on many levels and has some incredible things going on in some other areas of his life.  Starting in the new year, he might not be at every show we have going on.  We are going to be amping up our touring quite a bit, and Mitch has some other things that are progressing at the same time.  So, if you come to a show and Mitch is not there, do not be alarmed.  He is not leaving our band.  He just might be on a more limited touring schedule at least for the time being.  He is absolutely going up to Woodstock with us to help us create this new album and will still be playing shows as much as he can in 2010.

So, with the addition of Cozmo, he and Jenkins will be manning the dueling guitars, and I will be focusing more on bass.  Mitch will be sticking more to percussion, and the other guys will keep rocking right where they were.

We couldn’t be more exited about everything that’s going on with us collectively as a group, and individually as well.  We are more focused that ever about the future of The Dirty Guv’nahs and this crazy dream of playing rock and roll for the masses.  Getting to record up at Levon Helm Studios is going to be a dream come true and something we think about constantly.  We have alot of songs in the works and we can’t wait for you all to hear them in due time.  We are going to be out and about a whole lot more and just might be coming to your town, so please tell your friends.  We can’t do this without you all and are thankful beyond words for your support.

Justin