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Stockholm Syndrome finds time to tour

Singer-songwriter Jerry Joseph leads the rock quintet Stockholm Syndrome to a show this week at Belly Up. (Stewart Oksenhorn/Aspen Times Weekly)
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Keyboardist Danny Louis is part of Govt Mule, one of the hardest-working bands in rock n roll history. Bassist Dave Schools is a member of Widespread Panic, which not only keeps a busy touring schedule, but released a new CD, Free Somehow, late last month. Drummer Wally Ingram has a new gig (with Sheryl Crow, who has her own new album out) and a new family daughter, and last year completed chemotherapy and radiation treatment for a life-threatening cancer in his throat and neck. Guitarist Eric McFadden performs in a variety of configurations, including an eponymous trio, and collaborates with keyboardist Bernie Worrell and others.So the question for Jerry Joseph, the principal singer and songwriter for Stockholm Syndrome, which includes all the aforementioned, isnt why he doesnt tour and record more with the quintet. Its how does he manage to keep the band active at all?I dont pull a lot of those triggers, said the 46-year-old Joseph, who has a busy schedule of his own touring as a solo act; in the duo the Denmark Veseys, with drummer Steve Drizos (they have a new self-titled album); and as leader of the Jackmormons. Because I wouldnt want to affect the other guys schedules.So a new record for the Stockholm Syndrome is, at least for the moment, out of the question. That leaves the bands discography with just one entry: 2004s Holy Happy Hour, a pleasing, eclectic recording featuring mostly songs credited to Joseph alone or the team of Joseph and Schools, plus a cover of the Climax Blues Bands 1976 radio hit, Couldnt Get It Right. (The album featured a different Danny Danny Dziuk, from Germany on keyboards.) Joseph says hes got the desire, and more than enough songs, to make a follow-up to Holy Happy Hour, but not the ability to suspend the realities of time and space to coordinate recording sessions.So instead of recording, Stockholm Syndromes continuing existence will have to be in the flesh. The band reconvened for a pair of shows last week in San Francisco, and the short tour finishes with a sweep through the mountains, stopping at Belly Up for their Aspen debut, on Tuesday, Feb. 19.The Stockholm Syndrome may be ephemeral, but the bands core relationship is a solid one. Joseph met Schools when Little Women, Josephs Colorado-based band through the 80s, shared a bill with Widespread Panic in 1986. Josephs strongest initial bond was with John Bell, Panics singer-songwriter; Bell contributed to an early-90s album by Joseph. The friendship led to Widespread Panic covering a handful of Josephs songs, including the Spreadhead favorite Climb to Safety, recorded on the bands 1999 album, Til the Medicine Takes. Joseph has contributed a total of five songs to Panics last two albums, including Boom Boom Boom, the opening track on the new Free Somehow. When the band last appeared in the Aspen area, at the 2005 Jazz Aspen Labor Day Festival, Joseph was the opening act.By the late 90s, the relationship between Joseph (bald, small) and Schools (hairy, massive) had begun to blossom, with the two spending time together writing songs. Schools produced Conscious Contact, the 2002 CD by the Jackmormons which featured most of the members of Widespread Panic. During the recording, the two contemplated who they would invite to join a hypothetical band that they would co-lead. But their first collaboration as bandmates featured no bandmates; they toured as a duo in Europe. The band concept took flight in 2004, when Widespread Panic was on an extended hiatus.Joseph says the partnership between him and Schools is rooted in their musical tastes. Theres a lot for us to draw on, he said from Harlem, where he has lived for two years. When he produced the Jackmormons CD, wed talk a lot of music, and found we had similar, broad interests.Sharing the leadership in Stockholm Syndrome has given him the chance to bounce his songs off other musicians before putting them down on CD.Im singing the stuff. I still have to deliver it, he said, emphasizing his central role in the band. The difference is, you write sketches of songs, like demos. You send it out to the other guys. So its about the identity of the other musicians.Its good for me to do, because it makes me work on my diplomacy skills, thats for sure.Even if Joseph cant find a way to get five constantly moving parts coordinated for a full-length album, he says the Stockholm Syndrome material might still make it beyond the stage.We dont necessarily have to do records, he said. We can do songs for download, or seven-inch [vinyl]. Thats probably what a lot of the conversation will be about next week.Stockholm Syndrome, with Dead Confederate opening, plays Belly Up Aspen on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 10 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $27 the day of the show.

Also coming upIts a real good week to be a rock n roll fan in Aspen. The Aspen Skiing Companys Hi-Fi Concert Series hits a high point on Sunday, Feb. 17 in Snowmass Village, as the North Mississippi Allstars play a free outdoors gig at 6:30 p.m. The band has a new CD, Hernando, with a sound that reaches back to the trios early, no-frills blues-rock.Neil Young isnt in town, but the presence of ol Neil is in the air. Marlon Brando, Pocahontas, and Me, British artist Jeremy Dellers installation at the Aspen Art Museum, riffs on the theme of American violence that Young brought up in his 1979 song, Pocahontas. Most alluring for the music lover is Dave Mullers An Up-and-Down Arc w/Whited Noise, a wall painting that charts rocks major hitmakers into the 70s in the format of a landscape.Darryl McDaniels better known as DMC, rapper of the pioneering group Run-DMC brings hip-hop to the Wheeler Opera House for what might be the first time in the venues 120-year history. The concert, a benefit for the Aspen High School club Action in Africa, follows an Aspen Writers Foundation event featuring Sierra Leone writer Ishmael Baeh.Belly Up Aspen chips in with what might be its finest week of the season. The week opens Sunday, Feb. 17 with DJ Z-Trip, a record spinner with a heavy dose of rock in his collection. Funk founders George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic follow on Monday, Feb. 18, with Stockholm Syndrome and Southern psychedelic band Dead Confederate opening on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The good times roll on as Georgia rockers Drive-by Truckers play a plugged-in show Thursday, Feb. 21, on the heels of releasing their stellar country-edged CD, Brighter Thans Creations Dark. Opening are the promising Felice Brothers, with their take on Band-style country-rock. The volume comes down, but the musical excellence remains, as soul singer Martin Sexton does a solo acoustic show on Friday, Feb. 22. The week closes Saturday, Feb. 23 with more hip-hop, as Oakland collective Heiroglyphics celebrate their 10-year anniversary.The icing on the cake is the good news that the Del McCoury Band is a late addition to the Wheeler schedule, with a performance on March 6. No one does traditional bluegrass better than the silver-haired, 69-year-old McCoury and his band, featuring Dels sons, mandolinist Ronnie and banjoist Robbie. And the Wheeler might be the ultimate venue for their picking; the bands last show there, in 2002, was a memorable one for Aspens Opry House.stewart@aspentimes.com


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