Host Mel Thiel and I talked the new CD, influences, and more. I even performed a swing version of Dylan’s Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, which I recorded on a Philly Dylan tribute compilation to celebrate his 70th birthday! You can purchase that album here.
I can’t wait for you to hear the first single from Jewels & Tinware!
Please download and share, share, share! It’s available from 95+ digital stores, including CDBaby, iTunes, and pretty much everywhere else. (If you want the money to go to the artist, buy it from CDBaby. If you want it to go to Apple, well, there’s iTunes).
And by the way, Dave Cahill absolutely crushes the guitar solos…
We Can’t Play Like Django has always been a crowd favorite. It’s a retro-swing tribute to Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappell’s famous Minor Swing.
Django (as the song is usually called) is a sort of like the backstory that begins all superhero movies. It’s a “creation myth” about how Django got his incredible powers on the guitar.
If you’re not familiar with Django Reinhardt, he’s arguably the best guitar player ever, and defined the quintessential sound of Gypsy Jazz. But one of the most amazing things about him is that his left hand was badly burned, leaving him with far less to work with than most guitar players. Still, he became the best.
Django tells the fictional story of Django’s grandfather, who is a famous Gypsy Jazz guitar player and is the best around. Everyone says he got his abilities from either an angel or a devil. The Grandfather takes his grandson (young Django) under his wing, but he just can’t teach him how to swing and, as the song points out – “that’s the most important thing!” When the Grandfather dies, his guitar is put on the funeral pyre. But the Grandfather had promised the guitar to young Django. So Django runs up to the fire and grabs the guitar, but burns his hand badly doing so.
Then comes the creation myth:
That young boy ran with all his might
Stuck his hand into the fire
Came back with a guitar and a burning sting
And they all said the devil’s sin or the angel’s blessing passed to him
Cause then they saw the most amazing thing
All of a sudden, little Django could swing!
I really hope you enjoy it and PLEASE – share it with everyone you know!
Alex Radus Trio at Pearly Bakers. Dan Manchester (double bass); Charlie Heim (drums). Photo by Maria Radus
It’s been a busy month for me musically, and now that the dust has settled I have some time to reflect and say thanks so much. I’m really blessed to get to play with such great musicians and for such wonderful audiences. Especially excited for my new project, Hot4Robot, which has been a ton of fun. Thanks to everyone who showed their support over the last month–really feeling the love. Now I’m very happy to spend a few quiet weeks with the family (and write some new tunes, of course).
Can’t wait to see you all at the upcoming shows: May 24 – Alex Radus Trio at Mayfair in Allentown & June 7 – Hot4Robotat One-11 Bar & Lounge in Clinton, NJ. Check the Calendar section for more details.
Last year, my song It Ain’t Good from the album Love Me Like You Hate Me was featured as a centerpiece of the beautiful short film By Tomorrow (Dacian Wolf Productions). Last night By Tomorrow debuted at the Montclair Film Festival, and the Alex Radus Trio played the afterparty. Such an amazing audience–thanks so much to everyone who came and congrats to the cast and crew!
My good friend Dave Cahill and I have been planning to start a band for, well, about 10 years. We finally did it: Hot4Robot is born. We’re playing our second show ever at Pearly Bakers Alehouse this Saturday night! 10-11pm.
Hot4Robot also stars the seriously talented Evan Straley (bass) and Andy Janowiak (drums).
Looking forward to playing for you at the afterparty for By Tomorrow next Thursday (May 1). Here’s a little sneak peak at the new album Jewels & Tinware–a song called Someday.
If you’re not sure what I’m on about…Last year my song It Ain’t Good was featured in the short film By Tomorrow. The Montclair Film Fest picked up By Tomorrow and we’re playing the afterparty in Montclair on May 1. The screening is sold out, but you can still get on the list for the afterparty–check the Calendar section for details!