Nearly 60 years after forming a legendary rock band, with such a famous alum, the original drummer embarks on a new tour with the Yardbirds, and begins right here on Cape Cod. See Jim McCarty’s story below.
Plus, there are five other gigs you might want to consider for weekend entertainment. Looked:
► The Cotuit Arts Center has planned a weekend full of music at the John Weltman Outdoor Performance Pavilion (4404 Falmouth Road, Route 28). At 7:30 p.m. Friday, local singer-songwriters Schuyler Grant and Brian Sances will give a concert of blues, rock, soul and folk. So Dawn Derow and Peter Calo will present “Backyard Troubadours” concerts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 17 and at 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 18. Derow is an award-winning vocalist and Calo is Carly Simon’s former guitarist and producer. They will perform with Joe Santerre on bass and Marty Richards on drums in a show that celebrates West Hollywood’s Troubadour concert hall and the artists who have performed there for six decades – including Linda Ronstadt, Shawn Colvin, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joel , the Eagles and Guns N’ Roses. All shows are $35, with discounts available; 508-428-0669 ext 0, https://artsonthecape.org/. Sunday’s performance will feature a pre-show bourbon tasting courtesy of Cape Cod Package Store. If rain cancels a show, the center tries to reschedule it to the following Monday.
► Payomet Performing Arts Center calls it the “Endless Summer Concert”, bringing together local bands Chandler Travis Philharmonic (playing alternative Dixieland and omnipop)the Cyclones (described as psychedelic reggae garage rockers) and the funky sounds of the GroovaLottos for a show from 6-9pm on Saturday September 17 at his tent at 29 Old Dewline Road, North Truro. Tickets are 415 and the show is a benefit for Cape Town nonprofits HOW, which supports women’s health, and WE CAN, which supports women’s entrepreneurship. Tickets and information: https://payomet.org/.
► Seven Grammy-nominated musicians New Jazz Band Black Eagle will return to the Cape Cod Cultural Center (307 Old Main St., South Yarmouth) with a show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday featuring traditional New Orleans jazz. The concert will pay homage to the greatest musicians of the early jazz era – Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington – and showcase the band’s eclectic sound, incorporating spirituals, popular music from the 1920s and 30s, and even some songs recorded by Elvis and Bob Dylan. $30; https://www.cultural-center.org/508-394-7100.
► Bluesman James Montgomery will return to Cape Town with a show at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Music Room, 541 Main St., West Yarmouth. For over 40 years, Montgomery has performed as a blues harpist, singer, bandleader and bandleader with the James Montgomery Band and on other sessions and tours, including with Gregg Allman, Johnny Winter, BB King , Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Aerosmith. , the Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, James Brown and many more. https://musicroomcapecodtickets.com/.
Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll
Almost 60 years later, Yardbirds and McCarty are back on tour
When Jim McCarty was a teenager, he formed a band that would change the rock music scene forever. Fast forward to today and McCarty, now 79, still plays in the same band as the last original member.
As drummer for the Yardbirds, McCarty was in the middle of it all – the British invasion, bold experimentation with psychedelic rock, and the very first beginnings of one of the most revered hard rock bands of all time. To him, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page are all former bandmates and friends, not untouchable guitar gods.
It’s with that same laid-back attitude that McCarty talks about his experiences and what it was like to be in a pioneering band whose influence still reverberates in music today.
Audiences will get a chance to hear where it all began when McCarty and the current Yardbirds roster perform at the Music Room on Saturday, September 17.
A beginning of blues
McCarty and the current incarnation of the Yardbirds – vocalist/rhythm guitarist John Idan, lead guitarist Godfrey Townsend, bassist Kenny Aaronson and harmonica player Myke Scavone – carry on a legacy that dates back to 1963 when the band formed for the first time in London as a blues band. .
“It all fell together very organically and they’re all huge Yardbirds fans and know the songs really well – probably better than me,” McCarty said of the 2022 Yardbirds in a phone call from the France. “These guys lived through those days. They’ve played Yardbirds stuff before and they really have it in their blood.
The members of the original Yardbirds started out playing mostly covers of what they liked – blues music from America, which McCarty described as “underground” at the time. Bluesmen like Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry impressed them all, leading McCarty and his bandmates to play the same songs and “develop (their) own versions of those songs”.
McCarty says he and his bandmates used to listen to the ‘rock ‘n roll’ of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, sometimes playing those songs with school bands, but the blues music was ‘different’ .
“It was more courageous, it was more emotional and there was a kind of upside and excitement, and I think that’s what we loved,” he explains. “We loved the excitement of this music and tried to make it even more exciting.”
Because blues music was played by predominantly black artists, McCarty was shocked when the Yardbirds first arrived in the United States and white audiences reacted to the music as if they were listening to it for the whole time. first time.
“The interesting thing for us was that when we came to the United States a lot of white audiences hadn’t heard it and they thought it was our music, but of course it wasn’t” , he said. “Then you saw artists like Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry become more popular themselves, which was great to see.”
Since the band’s inception, many other artists have taken inspiration from the Yardbirds, cementing the band as one of rock’s most influential bands. As for current artists who remind McCarty of the Yardbirds and who he says share that connection, the drummer points to vocalist/guitarist Jack White.
Lighting strikes three times and opens new doors
The Yardbirds are just as well known for their music as they are for the three legendary guitarists who were once part of the band, all of whom brought something new to the band.
The first of those six strings was Clapton, which fit well into the blues mold from which the Yardbirds were formed.
“Eric got off to a great start early on because he was a blues purist,” McCarty explains. “He loved blues music and he was really good at it and he was determined to improve his style.”
Clapton left the band in 1965 and was replaced by Beck. Suddenly the Yardbirds weren’t just playing blues music, they were coming out of the blues box and experimenting with different sounds.
“Once Jeff came in, it turned into something (closer) to what the Yardbirds are famous for, kind of experimental – psychedelic if you like – blues music,” McCarty explains. “With Jeff on guitar adding all the different sounds, all the weird and wonderful sounds, that’s how we got this idea of being a psychedelic band and we didn’t really know what psychedelic was. People who came to us were like, ‘Oh, that’s good drug-induced music.’ We just wanted to do something different with it. »
For a brief period, future Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and Beck overlapped in the Yardbirds as co-guitarists when Page joined in 1966. Beck eventually left the band the same year, leaving Page as the sole guitarist in the band. band. This final lineup did not last long, however, and the Yardbirds broke up in 1968, leaving Page to form Led Zeppelin.
“We’re keeping in touch,” McCarty says, noting the recent release of a 1968 Yardbirds live broadcast that Page remastered. “Not so much Eric, but Jeff and Jimmy. Jeff and Jimmy have always been very close. So we are still all friends together.
The Yardbirds fly to Cape Cod
The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, reformed in 1997, and have played to some degree since with various lineup changes. One thing that hasn’t changed is the song catalog. At the Music Room show, McCarty says the band will play a medley of Yardbird hits like “For Your Love” and “Heart Full of Soul,” as well as blues classics.
The West Yarmouth show is also the first date of the band’s current tour. McCarty therefore says that the show at the Music Room will not only be exciting for the fans, but also for the band – the Yardbirds have not played a live show for two and a half years because of the pandemic.
“It’s been going on for almost 60 years now,” McCarty said of the Yardbirds. “It’s incredible.”
To see the Yardbirds
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, September 17
Where: The Music Room, 541 Main Street, West Yarmouth
Tickets: $100 to $150
Reservations and information: https://musicroomcapecodtickets.com/events/the-yardbirds-09172022/