Big Head Todd & The Monsters

Big Head Todd & The Monsters

Anders Osborne

Fri, February 21, 2014

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

The Capitol Theatre

Port Chester, NY

$45.00 / $30.00

This event is 18 and over


SEATING INFORMATION: This event will have a general admission standing room only floor and a reserved seated Loge and Balcony. Reserved Loge and Balcony tickets will NOT have access to the general admission floor.

PRESIDENTIAL BOOTH: Package includes admission for 4 (four) in a presidential booth with floor access. Waitress service included.

Big Head Todd and The Monsters
Big Head Todd and The Monsters
Big Head Todd & the Monsters
Black Beehive Bio
Since their formation in the mid-’80s, Big Head Todd & the Monsters have continued to
evolve and explore, moving beyond their Colorado club circuit roots to become one of the most
adventurous, respected and durable bands in America. Through constant touring and a zeal to
travel down new musical avenues in the studio, BHTM (as their dedicated fans call them) have
honed their collective stew of influences into a trademark hybrid sound that’s immediately
recognizable. Now, with Black Beehive, their maiden release on Shout! Factory (February 4,
2014), the quartet has made its most personal and poignant album to date, a collection of new
studio tracks that, says co-founder and figurehead Todd Park Mohr, “allows us to truly reach our
audience through the language of the blues.”
Recorded at Butcher Boy Studios in Chicago, Mohr’s hometown of the past seven years, and
produced and mixed by Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist Steve Jordan (whose previous
production credits include John Mayer, Buddy Guy, Solomon Burke and Robert Cray), Black
Beehive arrives a quarter-century after the group’s debut album, Another Mayberry, first put
Big Head Todd & the Monsters on the map beyond their home base. Today, the original trio—
Mohr on guitar and vocals, Brian Nevin on drums and vocals and Rob Squires on bass and
vocals—along with keyboardist/pedal steel guitarist Jeremy Lawton, who joined in 2004, are
still opening themselves to new possibilities even as they further explore their roots. “It has some
contemporary elements that bridge a gap between alternative pop and traditional blues,” says
Mohr about Black Beehive, whose title refers to the late British soul singer Amy Winehouse, the
inspiration behind the album’s title track.
The band approached the recording in an old-school organic fashion, playing together in the
studio, which Mohr describes as “a big open space,” and sticking to the basics. “I played
resonator guitar on almost every song and most of the album is kind of simple: guitar, slide
guitar, drums and bass,” he says. “We only had two guests on the album. One was Eddie Shaw,
who was Howlin’ Wolf’s harmonica player for many years, and Ronnie Baker Brooks, who
played guitar. And Steve Jordan played on almost every track—various things, percussion,
rhythm guitar.”
Jordan, whose incredible career began when he joined Stevie Wonder’s band as a teenager, later
going on to perform in the Saturday Night Live band, Paul Shaffer's World's Most Dangerous
Band on Late Night with David Letterman, and backing John Belushi and Dan Akroyd when
they toured as The Blues Brothers, has an unbelievable production roster but is also well-known
as a drummer. A member of the John Mayer Trio, Jordan also toured and recorded with Keith
Richards and the X-pensive Winos, joined Eric Clapton for his 2006 European tour, and has also
worked with Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, James Brown and more.
Mohr first met Jordan through the legendary guitarist Hubert Sumlin, who died in 2011. “We
were planning to have an 80th birthday party for Hubert,” says Todd, “and Steve was the
musical director. When Hubert passed away it ended up being a tribute at the Apollo Theater:
Eric Clapton and Billy Gibbons and Keith Richards—there were probably 35 incredible
musicians at this thing. I was immediately awestruck by Steve’s command of the material and his
understanding of it and his ability to get it done on short notice with all these people. I thought
this guy would be an unbelievable producer for me to work with. I sent him some demos and he
was up for it.”As he began writing material for the album, Mohr drew from both his own life experiences and
events in the news. The title track was written following Winehouse’s death. “I love her voice
and her performances, and obviously her shenanigans were part of her persona,” says Mohr.
Several other songs were also ripped from the headlines, including “We Won’t Go Back,” which
Mohr penned about the 2010 Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East, and “Fear, Greed and
Ignorance,” whose topical lyrics declare that it’s those three dishonorable traits that are “driving
you America off the edge of the road.”
Not every track is quite so pointed, however. “Hubert’s Dream,” is a nod to the late Mr. Sumlin,
while album opener “Hey Delila” is Mohr’s tribute to another blues giant, Memphis Minnie.
“I happened to acquire a great example of her instrument, which was a 1941 Spanish National
resonator guitar. Plus, she has an incredible life story,” he says. “Everything About You” is
dedicated to NASA, who called upon BHTM to awaken the Discovery space shuttle crew with
their song “Blue Sky” in 2011, marking the first time live music was ever used for that purpose.
Among the album’s other tunes, “Josephina” and “Seven State Lines” are what Mohr describes
simply as “blues-based themes,” while “I Get Smooth” is “a comedy piece.” The cautionary tale
“Travelin’ Light” is the story of lovers who “threw away our hearts and fled” and the moving
“Forever Bonnie” is based on a true story of a “gentleman who got a love letter delivered to him
53 years later by the Postal Service.” Black Beehive also includes, as a bonus track, Big Head
Todd & the Monsters’ burning take on the Jimmy Reed blues classic “Baby What You Want Me
To Do,” a song that Jordan requested they cut.
For BHTM, Black Beehive serves as both a reaffirmation of the band’s roots and a step into the
next 25 years. Founded as a trio in Boulder, Colorado in 1986, Big Head Todd & the Monsters
quickly built a strong reputation on the local club circuit. As word of their soulful and intense
live show traveled around the nation they found themselves filling larger and larger venues.
BHTM have now played Denver’s historic Red Rocks Amphitheatre more than 20 times, and are
embedded in the fabric of Colorado’s music scene.
Beginning with Another Mayberry in 1989, critics noticed what audiences at BHTM live shows
already knew. The All Music Guide praised the “subtlety of Mohr’s lyrics” and his “individual
world view.” But it was the follow-up, 1990’s Midnight Radio, that truly established the band as
a creative force to be reckoned with. Its popularity led to a major label contract and the release of
the platinum-selling Sister Sweetly in 1993. With subsequent albums such as 1994’s Strategem
and 1997’s Beautiful World, the band earned a place among the top names on the jam band
circuit, solidified by 1998’s Live Monsters, the first official concert recording by Big Head Todd
& the Monsters. Riviera was released in 2002, followed by 2004’s Crimes of Passion, of which
The London Times stated "American rock doesn't get anymore classy than this." Later that year,
Live at the Fillmore was released to critical praise. All Music Guide called the release, the band’s
first with Jeremy Lawton, “loud, proud, and full of righteous raw ambience.”
The band, which has always proudly controlled its own business dealings and marketing, gave
away 2007’s All the Love You Need through their email list, radio stations, and magazines. Their
ninth studio album, Rocksteady, followed in 2010. Said, “With Rocksteady, the
Colorado boys prove they can sprinkle in a plethora of differing music styles and still rock.”
2011’s 100 Years of Robert Johnson, the album preceding Black Beehive, found the group
paying tribute to the pioneering bluesman while performing as Big Head Blues Club (along
with other notable blues legends, including B. B. King, Charlie Musselwhite, Cedric Burnside,
David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Sumlin, Ruthie Foster, and Lightnin’ Malcolm). The band toured
behind the album with a few of the guest artists, marking some of the final performances by both Edwards and Sumlin. Mohr paid tribute to Sumlin in 2012 when he served as a featured artist at
his tribute show at the Apollo Theatre.
With all of that history behind them, it would be easy for Big Head Todd & the Monsters to play
the nostalgia card and fall back on past glories, but that’s of no interest to them. BHTM still
performs, and devoutly loves, the material that first brought them to their fans – material they
now approach with a fresh, seasoned perspective. “As a writer and as a human being there’s a
big difference between being 21 and 47,” says Mohr. “Having said that, I think a lot of those
compositions are still lyrically sound, even though it’s hard for me to imagine that I would have
had the experience to write about the stuff I did. Obviously, I think the band has gotten better
over the years because when you develop yourself you continue to improve, and I think we have
improved musically. As a writer, I’m really pleased with where I’m at right now.”
“A lot of it had to do with my experience with the Robert Johnson project,” he adds. “That had
a large impact on how I looked at music. For a large portion of my career, I’ve been trying to
reproduce the success of Sister Sweetly, just as a touchstone of ‘this is a pop song, or rock-pop.’
Pop songs have pretty narrow rules when it comes down to it. Generally you need a chorus and
a bridge. The blues material from Robert Johnson’s day, the prewar blues, was so fascinating to
me because of the fact that it is pop music but there are no choruses. It’s a different way of having
repetition and themes and a different goal for a pop song. The music is shared by everybody
because it’s passed down through tradition. The whole spirit of what one is going for is radically
different than pop and that really became exciting for me because I could see a new way to reach
When Big Head Todd & the Monsters launch their extensive national tour behind Black Beehive
in January—which will continue through the summer and hit most major markets—they will
be honing the album’s ageless blues along the way, and simultaneously affirming their own
longevity. It’s clear that they possess a rare musical wholeness that has not only survived for 25
plus years, but still has them looking forward to creating music together night after night. “The
other guys have shown great support of my songwriting and what I’m able to do, and all of the
band members bring a lot to the plate, both musically and as a unit,” says Mohr. “No one ever
expects a band to last this long. We’re very, very lucky.”
Anders Osborne
Anders Osborne

Fiery anthems and tumultuous confessional songs punctuated with raw, inspired guitar.

Rich and glorious…Osborne possesses a voice that rises out of the darkness to the light of a soulful, tremulous wail. He is a consummate showman and shaman, bending successive moments to suit his majestic purposes. Osborne seeks an epic quality to much of his music, crafting layer upon layer of hugely scaled soundscapes.…never lazily derivative…every slashing guitar figure, every cry of a lyric, seems to come from an authentic place.
--New Orleans Times-Picayune

Between the potency of his richly detailed songwriting, his intensely emotional, soulful vocals and his piercing, expert guitar work, New Orleans' Anders Osborne is a true musical treasure. He is among the most original and visionary musicians writing and performing today. Guitar Player calls him "the poet laureate of Louisiana's fertile roots music scene." New Orleans' Gambit Weekly recently honored Osborne as the Entertainer Of The Year. OffBeat named him the Crescent City's Best Guitarist for the third year in a row, and the Best Songwriter for the second straight year. Osborne also won Song Of The Year for his composition, Louisiana Gold.

Since the release of his 2010 Alligator Records debut, American Patchwork, his 2012 follow-up, Black Eye Galaxy, and his critically acclaimed 2013 EP, Three Free Amigos, Osborne has earned hordes of new fans. He has toured virtually non-stop, either with his road-tested trio, as a solo artist, or as a guest with his countless musical admirers, including Toots and The Maytals, Stanton Moore, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Keb Mo, The Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. He's appeared on Galactic's Ya-Ka-May album, and in 2011 produced and played on critically acclaimed albums by Tab Benoit, Johnny Sansone and Mike Zito.

Now Osborne delivers the next chapter of his spiritual odyssey, Peace. With the new CD, Osborne continues the journey started by American Patchwork and Black Eye Galaxy, emerging from a whirlwind of emotional chaos and moving toward a sense of inner peace. Recorded at Dockside Studios in Louisiana and produced by Osborne and Warren Riker, Peace looks at the title subject from all angles. Drawing strength and inspiration from his family and friends, Osborne created the most observational record of his career. According to Osborne, "Peace is light from darkness. The songs are written from the outside looking in. They are not making any judgments. I'm just stating facts. I'm writing from a brighter perspective. There's less dusk and dark, and much more sunlight. The results are greater than I expected. The driving tones and sounds are free and natural. This is one of the coolest records I've ever made."

Since his recording debut in 1989, Osborne has written virtually all of his own material and contributed memorable songs to a wide variety of artists. Two tunes co-written by Osborne appear on Keb Mo's Grammy-winning 1999 release Slow Down. Country superstar Tim McGraw scored a #1 hit with Anders' song Watch The Wind Blow By. Osborne's compositions have been covered by artists as diverse as Brad Paisley, Tab Benoit, Jonny Lang and Kim Carnes. His songs have appeared in multiple feature films. He can also be seen performing in an episode of HBO's New Orleans-based drama, Treme.

2013 Peace (Alligator)
2013 Three Free Amigos (Alligator)
2012 Black Eye Galaxy (Alligator)
2010 American Patchwork (Alligator)
2007 Coming Down (MC)
2006 Tipitina's Live 2006 (Shanachie)
2002 Bury The Hatchet with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux (Shanachie)
2001 Ash Wednesday Blues (Shanachie)
1999 Living Room (Shanachie)
1998 Live At Tipitina's (Shanachie)
1995 Which Way To Here (Okeh)
1993 Break The Chain (Rabadash)
1989 Doin' Fine (Rabadash)
Venue Information:
The Capitol Theatre
149 Westchester Avenue
Port Chester, NY, 10573