Saturday, December 20, 2008

Can You Dig It? New CD Available Jan. 27


The new 13-track album from Boston's hardest-working funk and soul band hits stores on January 27th

BOSTON, Mass. - December 16, 2008. A year in the making, Can You Dig It? is the culmination of the latest chapter of the now seven-year 'Slacks saga, closing a year that could be considered one of their best. With the 3rd anniversary of their Thursday night residency at The Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, The Chicken Slacks also starred in a short "rockumentary" (available on their website), and will appear as the wedding band in the upcoming Hollywood film Bride Wars starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway.

"We worked very hard to make this record sound like us - with all the energy, humor, and groove that our fans have come to appreciate," says Justin Berthiaume, the band's drummer and manager (and only remaining founding member). "We've gone through a lot of personnel changes over the years, but this current lineup has a chemistry and comraderie that really shines. That's unusual in a band, and you can hear this on the CD."

Can You Dig It? mixes original songs penned by the band with their own take on several obscure covers, some of which you may not think of as classic soul or funk. The CD opens with a surprisingly soulful Captain Beefheart tune "Too Much Time", and track 9 has singer Diamond D crooning Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Long As I Can See The Light". Throughout the CD the band stays true to the classic themes of the soul and funk genre: love and heartbreak (Diamond D's "I'm In Love" and trumpeter and vocalist John Moriconi's "Only A Fool Gets To Heaven"), tongue-in-cheek sexual innuendo ("Going To The Shack" and Berthiaume's "I Wanna Take A Shower With You"), and social justice (Diamond D's "Tragedy") all get their due.

Even the CD artwork alludes to The Chicken Slacks long story. Inside, the 3-panel fold-out features a collage of 'Slacks fans boogying down against a backdrop silhouette of the Boston skyline. "It's a nod to our fans and to our city," explained Berthiaume. "We love them and we wanted them to feel a part of this CD."

Can You Dig It?
is now on sale at The Chicken Slacks shows, and will be available in stores and online January 27.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A HUGE Thank You to Scott Couper and Lenny Bradford. Oh yeah... Thank YOU, too!!!

If it weren't for these guys, we may have not had a night!

Last night at the Cantab you may have been wonderin', "Just, where in the heck are Rick "The Dapper" and Mike "The Hammer"?

As, Rick was in a far, off distant land and Mike was... well, "hammerin'" away with other obligations, we decided to call upon the talented efforts of Mr. Lenny Bradford and Mr. Scott Couper. Bass and guitar respectively.

Not only did these guys step up to the proverbial "musical plate", but boy could these cats sing, as well!

"Back In The USSR" is now one of my new favorites! Thanks, Scott. And, Lenny's "The Way You Do The Things You Do" was outta sight! Thanks for "passing it around". (That's Muso Slang for: Givin' each one of us a solo, for y'all hep cats)

If you'd like to hear more of these cats, visit: to check out Scott and his brother, Jay
and visit: to hear a little more of Lenny and Entrain.

Let's do this again sometime! I know I had a blast. I hope y'all did, too!

See ya next week when we'll be at the Cantab with OUR NEW ALBUM!!! Can You Dig It?

Peace Y'all

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We love New York!

"New York is definitely an adult portion, an adult dose. You go in, you get your ass kicked, you take off, and as soon as it heals up you come back again." - Levon Helm, The Band.

Truer words are seldom spoken, but the 'Slacks did their fair share of New York ass-kickin' during our debut in the Big Apple last weekend. Sure, we can rock the Boston scene, but New York City is a whole 'nuther beast. Would we be able to hang? Because, after all, "If we can make it there, we'll make it anywhere..."

Friday: 169 Bar, Lower East Side, Manhatthan: the mercury outside registering a mere 15 degrees, the club a small cozy place with a sensuous funky New Orleans vibe. Several drink-filled tables facing a small performance space, the bar featuring $5 Pabst/shot combos and a wide array of unusual voodoo elixers and adornments. The Slacks take the stage at 10:30 to a standing-room-only crowd. First song, instrumental feature, Curtis breaking fingernails on the house's upright honky-tonk piano, the audience's heads bobbing, unfamiliar smirks turning to full smiles. Second song, Diamond D introduced and a sense of wonder and uncertainty permeates the crowd, while they wait for this living spirit of cajun past to open his mouth and sing. And sing he does. Smiles now turn into dancing. Dancing turns into sweating. Sweating turns into swooning. And the spirits are alive and the groove is tight and the place is electric. 45 minutes and two encores later it's time to give up our post to the Love Man, and join the audience, who are now our bestest friends and confidantes in this small one-horse town.

Saturday: Black tie, beautifully ornate nuptual celebration at Battery Park, the sun setting behind the Statue of Liberty. Just as the Lady of the Harbor lit the beacon of freedom for millions of immigrants a century ago, the Slacks too felt warmed and welcomed by her grand presence. The staff the stuff of legend - courteous, helpful, with an air of nonchalance that is rarely encounted at these important events. The wedding couple completely giddy, more so for the band that anything else it seems, and the crowd soon loosens their bowties and kicks off their heels, and once again it's just the band and the crowd summoning the spirits of celebration and good will, with a cosmic trumpet solo thrown in here or there for good measure. It's now the witching hour and they don't want us to end. More? OK, more. And more? OK, more. Outside it's colder than the kitchen's walk-in freezer, but in our world at this moment it's hotter than the patissier's flambe torch.

Epilogue: Thanks to everyone who made our trip to New York so epic: The happy couple David and Elizabeth, Sarah and friends, Galin and friends, Jessica and friends, Aimee and friends, Alexis and friends, Matty, Joe, Charles from Slidell, the good people at Battery Gardens, Martha for the wonderful accommodations, the Green Kitchen 24 hour diner, Fontana's, the Blind Tiger, the FDR, our courteous drivers and the New York Police Department. Viva New York!

NYC Photos by Joe Russo

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Slaacckksss iiinnn ccyybbeerrssppaaaccceeee...

Hey all,

We here at Slacks headquarters are always reminiscing about the past. We like our music like we like our fashion: old school.

But, recently we've jumped aboard a new school train and signed up for MySpace and Facebook! Come be our friend, fan and cyberspace confidante!

The Chicken Slacks on MYSPACE!

The Chicken Slacks on FACEBOOK!

Happy Geekin,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hello out there in Cyberland! Another Public Service Announcement from the Chicken Slacks

Them seasons are a-changin' and so are we. We'll be hitting the rehearsal "warehouse" (Coop, if you will.) in the next few weeks. Very exciting!

We have some funky tunes that'll satisfy your needs for this holiday season. Which ya know is right around the corner!!
Whoever wants a Funky Christmas, raise their hands!

We want to give ya some new tunes to shake your booty to.
So listen up for some of your NEW favorites! And, hey! Ya never know if we'll be puttin' some of your old ones in the bag, too.

Peace and Chicken grease

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Jerkus Circus - a truly spooky burlesque world!!

Oh my gracious, if you didn't happen to make it out to Ralph's Diner in Worcester this past Halloween night, let me hip you to what you missed out on.

I walked up the stairs to the stage area and found two gorgeous young ladies (the Steamy Bohemians) performing a singing-comedy routine with acoustic guitar accompaniment to a rapt audience of finely costumed patrons. These gals were followed by:

a) a most bewitching witch doing a mesmerizing R-rated striptease,
b) a funny comedian,
c) more from the Steamy duo,
d) another funny comedian,
e) a troupe of gender-crossing hotties gyrating to the strains of "Transsexual Transylvania",
f) a fellow who laid down upon a platform of broken glass and actually had audience participants WALK ON HIM (this creeped me out, personally!),
g) Steamy Bohemians redux (boys, I'm tellin' ya - these ladies were SMOKIN'!!!),
h) a very funny routine where two people dressed in suits brought an uncostumed male from the crowd onstage and proceeded to dress him up as a baby doll while miming to the tune of "The Doggone Girl is Mine",
i) a naked - yes, as in fully unclothed - male comedian who was very self-depricatingly funny,
j) and yet another interjection of Steaminess before the stage was finally swept clear for the Chicken Slacks to do what we do, which in this case was to put a cap on a very fun, funny and titillating evening of frivolity.

In other word, babies - NEXT YEAR, COME OUT TO WORCESTER and see for yourselves what the Jerkus Circus has to offer. Perhaps we'll see you there!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Election Special: Ronald Reagan TONIGHT at the Cantab

Ronald Reagan makes a special appearance tonight at our weekly Cantab show, in celebration of the American spirit, and to urge you to GET OUT and VOTE. Come witness the excitement (and music) of trickle-down economics!

Below is the transcription of Reagan's press release regarding this historic moment.

We’re “Ronald Reagan”, Boston’s Premier 80’s Pop Saxophone Duo, and we approved this message:

It seems that with each passing decade, our country has faced increasingly difficult times. But everywhere we go, Kelly and I still hear optimism and hope and strength by focusing our attention exclusively on 80’s pop music. For the past 20 months, we’ve scoured the record bins of this city, and Kelly and I have found so many 80’s pop songs that had real and lasting effects - songs that made a difference in people’s lives. The stories in these songs are American stories, stories that reflected the state of our union in that bygone era. We’d like to introduce you to some of those songs tonight.

And that’s why we’ve paid to bring you a 30 minute set of 80’s pop music, faithful to the original recordings, arranged with attention to each specific detail, for two saxophones, to the Cantab Lounge this evening.

You can catch us at midnight (12:00!) tonight, a pre-election special feature in the Chicken Slacks weekly Thursday night r&b dance party.

So please join us and witness our infommercial-length midnight set, as well as dance the night away (9:30 -1:30!) with the Chicken Slacks Soul Revue

- Alec

Thursday, October 9, 2008

2008 Photo Shoot complete!

The guys all sacrificed a Sunday afternoon last week to complete a much-needed photo shoot. With the addition of Jeremy and Mike to our entourage, the band needed to update it's portfolio. Sunday is usually our designated "day of rest," and with the Patriots pounding the gridiron in San Francisco, and the Red Sox deep in the Division Playoff Series, getting seven guys together to "look pretty and smile" on our usual Sabbath was something of a challenge. But for the 'Slacks, it was just business as usual - get in there and get the job done right. And this time we didn't skimp...

We were lucky enough to retain the services of the great classic rock photographer Ron Pownall, who got his start shooting the Stones in '66 and has since shot everyone from Aerosmith to Dylan to Blondie. We met at his studio in Somerville, where our friends, the lovely Polina and Sara Joy, did their best "make-up artist" impressions and made sure we looked all hot and sexy for the camera. Then Ron started directing us, shuffling us around like a deck of cards, trying different poses and expressions and moods, all the while changing lenses and vantage points and clicking what seemed to be hundreds of shots per second. Then he packed us into several tinted limos (OK, that's not exactly true, we carpooled) and he led us to a few different outdoor locations in Cambridge and Boston, changing outfits in the car and on the sidewalk, and 4 hours and a billion shots later he set us free. By the end of it all we were pretty wiped - it was like a gig, but without the playing. But it was a fun day and it won't be long before we have our pretty powdered mugs and open collars all over billboards in Paris (or at least on our website!). Say CHEESE!

Friday, September 19, 2008

3rd Anniversay Circus

What did you guys think? Did everyone enjoy themselves?
Man it was crowded! It seemed like we were violating about 6 fire codes there, but hey, good times call for desperate measures. All are welcome! Actually, our apologies to those who had to wait in line or didn't get in at all. Luckily we do it all again next week (minus the belly dancer). Thanks to Boneparte the Magician, Jungle Jim with the crazy balloons, comic Andy Peters and our lovely belly-dancer-in-residence and sword-wielder Alicia. Thanks also to Claudette for the killer slide show, Brother Wayne for spinning his tunes during set break, and to Motorcycle Mike and Chris for the excellent and hilarious crowd control. And thank you fans! Another successful Circus!
If you were there, please let us know what you thought!
Photos coming soon!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hearing the music

By living in Concord, New Hampshire, I often have an hour more in my gig commutes than others in the band. An hour and a quarter to the Cantab every Thursday night, three and a half hours to our Newport, Rhode Island gig last Friday. I measure my trips by CD listenings—two, four, or six CDs per round trip, and I try to set myself up with a variety of choices to get me through all the usual early and late night moods of solitary travel.

I had the rare short ride last Saturday to our private gig in Readesboro, Vermont, just two beautiful hours of country driving from my Concord home. I started the trip under sunny skies with Elvis Costello’s “Get Happy,” but switched early to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” as the skies clouded up, and I soon replaced that one with “Hank Williams Alone with His Guitar,” as the clouds hung low and foggy in the mountains and the first rain started to fall.

The gig, a classy but relaxed wedding party, was held inside an enormous tent on the grounds of a country home, and we all loaded in before the rain got too bad. We parked in a fresh mowed field across the road that got more and more muddy as the rain settled in for the night.

I spent about half of each break in my car, listening to the rain on the roof, seat back in full recline, remembering how so often a musician will miss the music in a song by listening too intently to how the music has been written, performed, arranged and recorded. I’ll sometimes listen to a Jimmy Smith recording and hear nothing but reverb and organ riffs I should have learned by now. With the band’s current recording project, it seems that all I hear these days is studio technique-- mic placement, mix levels, stereo pans, drum sounds, horn voicings, all that, and I’ve been forgetting just to hear music.

That’s when the rain does me a lot of good. Rain, or the sound of city traffic, or even the hum of a neighbor’s air conditioner-- any ongoing noise that I can’t pull apart and figure out. Sound being what it is and nothing more. Something my ears can enjoy-- yes, even an air conditioner-- while my thoughts take a rest.

Returning to Concord after the Vermont gig, I chose not to play any CDs. I just listened to rain, tires and wind, and I remembered what Miles Davis used to say, that the space between the music is music, too. The drive home that night seemed a lot shorter than two hours, and upon pulling into my driveway, I turned the motor off and listened a bit more to the rain. “I think I liked it better with the tires in the mix,” I thought, and then I walked up the old creaky stairs to my second floor apartment and put on “Charlie Parker with Strings.”

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's Officially "Hammer Time!"

Folks, we want to officially introduce you to the latest member of the Slacks entourage, our new guitar player Mike "The Hammer" Null. Mike comes to us from San Francisco where he grew up singing in a world-class boys choir (no kidding!). He travelled extensively with the choir, performing for everyone from your grandmother to the Pope! That's right, Mike's larynx has been blessed by the holiest man on the planet. If it's good enough for God, it's good enough for the Slacks!

But of course Mr. Null (the name means "zero" or "absence of anything" which Mike tells us is a GOOD thing) can also play one mean guitar. One day a few years back he quit college to practice all day every day, and it certainly shows! The man has a great sense of rhythm and will tear your face off whenever we cut him loose with a solo! Those of you who have seen him in action will attest!

Of course the big question since Mike joined the group has been "What happened to Mighty Slim?" Well, it's a sordid, foggy story, one that will make a great network mini-series someday, but as far as we can put together, Slim blacked out one night after a particularly cosmic Cantab gig, woke up in the U.S. Navy, went AWOL because they wanted him to cut his hair, got marooned on the Ivory Coast and fell in love with a rebel leader's daughter. Soon after, she was killed in battle, and he was so heartbroken that he sought amnesty in China and is now studying Shaolin Kung Fu with Mongolian sheepherders on the outskirts of the Gobi desert. He now goes by Mighty Sahn. You just never know with that guy...

So let's all welcome Mike Null to the lineup - a great addition to the cause!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Locale, Same Great Flavor

Hello there everyone in Blog-vania!

I just moved to Central Square and BOY is my back a-hurtin'! First off...I wanna thank Mara, Amanda, and Brad for helping me with this move. THANKS!

I didn't want to head out "into it all" with the rest of the college folks on Sept. 1st. That day is the Day-of-ALL-Movin'-Days. So, I decided to get a jump on it and did it the week before. I feel like I can NOW catch up on my sleep. But, nuh-uh... not so fast...The Chickenslacks have some more amazing times to offer you! And I'll be danged if you catch Yours Truly sleepin' at the wheel!

I've just moved into this great place only a block away from the Cantab! (I'm already liking where THIS is goin'! tee-hee... No more cab rides, and I get to "stumble home"... ) But, I've FINALLY unpacked everything, and I'm ready to head out into Cambridge, my new home away from home.

Oh yeah... At least I know one person living here in my apartment. Mr. Lee Lundy. He is our resident go-to bass man when our main fella, the indelible Rick Roscoe, is away in some far off land. So, if you ever see me or my roommate Lee, don't hesitate to stop us and say HI.

One more thing....Any good places to eat and hang?!?!

Peace and Chicken grease!
Your Saxyman,
Jeremy D. Valadez

Thursday, August 28, 2008

3 Year Anniversary Circus set for Sept 18

For 156 Thursdays in a row, The Chicken Slacks have been pouring the best classic soul and funk onto a sweaty and eager Cantab Lounge crowd, creating a weekly juke joint dance party that has aptly become known as “Your Gateway to the Weekend.”

On Thursday, September 18, the Chicken Slacks host their annual Anniversary Circus to commemorate yet another year of “Every Damn Thursday.”

Besides the usual get-down music from the ‘Slacks, past Anniversary shows have included jugglers, caricature artists, belly dancers, balloon twisters, giveaways and raffles. What to expect this year? Expect to be wowed, in many ways.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Heating it up on the Vineyard

Hiya Slackers!

The Slacks are riding the high from two great shows on Martha's Vineyard! We packaged up the soul, threw it on a ferry, and bussed it over to Lola's in Oak Bluffs where we played two straight nights.

Friday's show appeared to be jam packed, but the staff kept apologizing for a small turnout! There were some fireworks going on nearby, and they promised us a full house the next night! Full house? The crowd we saw wasn't a full house? Oh boy..

Saturday.. was a full house. Felicia Taylor (daughter of the great Bird Taylor) kicked the night off with some beautiful soul singing that set the mood just right. When the Slacks hit, not only did we see a few people return from Friday's show, but we saw a slew of new faces all shakin' it out on the dance floor. We also saw some our fans from the Cantab travel all the way out to see us!

To all involved, we'd like to express our sincere thanks for the great hospitality. Here's to the opportunity for a return trip!

Signing off,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rave Review!

We've just discovered a nice review of the Chicken Slacks by a photographer who worked at a wedding where we were performing. It's great to hear such positive feedback! Check it out...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Diamond D and his Voodoo Tea

You'll see it at every Slacks gig - before the show and on the breaks, the consumate musician caring for his instrument. Diamond D screws open his little blue thermos and carefully pours out a few drams of hot tea. He sips it meticulously. "It's for my throat," he says softly. "I can't sing without it."
But this is no ordinary Oolong or English Breakfast. No no, it's homemade by Mr. Wilkerson himself, according to strict rules and ancient rituals. What's in it? I have no idea, but I know the recipe has changed - no, evolved - over the years. I know that D frequents a local Chinese market to obtain certain special leaves. I know he also travels to Salem, Massachusetts (home of all things wicken) to procure a special additive. I know it takes over 30 minutes to steep a small batch.
One night I asked him what was in it, and he gave me a pretty long (but clearly incomplete) list, including ginger, honey, and licorice. "Any voodoo?" I asked. "Not yet," he replied with his signature mysterious sneer. I guess it hasn't come to that yet. I was going to ask him for a sip, but I'm afraid.
So next time you see Diamond D sipping his tea, ask him what's in it, maybe he'll tell you. And then ask if you can have a taste. I dare you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hot Fun In The Summertime

So here we are, half way through the summer already - and man, it's been busy! The Cantab has been packed with new faces (and old), we've been killing them at the weddings (there has not been a dancefloor large enough...), the new CD is almost finished (and sounding great!), and the weather in Boston has been beautiful!

It's a nice time to sit back, work on our tans and pop a cold one, but we're also busy planning all the exciting stuff coming up in a couple of months - the release of the new CD, the 3-Year Anniversary Circus at the Cantab (Sep. 11) , The Halloween Masquerade Ball (Oct 31), and a few other fantastic unmentionables.

So stay tuned, and in the meantime, please, enjoy some Hot Fun In The Summertime. And drop us line sometime, if you had a good time! We love ya!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

See you all at Johnny D's!

A rare Boston-area weekend performance!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Johnny D's

17 Holland St. Davis Sq Somerville

The band is really pumped for this show, our first at this great Boston-area mainstay since..oh...2003 I think. "We've come a long way, baby!"
Please call Johnny D's for dinner reservations. The Slacks play two different sets (thats about 40 tunes!), but the price of admission gets you into both. 9:30 and 11:30.
Bring your Boogie Shoes!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Powerhouse soul CD from the Slacks!

You've all probably heard that we'd recently whisked ourselves away to Powerhouse Studios in central Massachusetts to lay tracks for our much-anticipated, and as-yet-unnamed, CD. Well, with the help of a wise technical wizard named Chris Lannon as our engineer, we've put down some slammin' grooves for this project. We anticiapte a final product of twelve tunes, including four Slacks originals. We still have some more work to do, but trust me, it's going to be some of the best soul sounds you'll hear in Boston! Ol' pal Alec "Big Al" Spiegelman has lent his talents on baritone sax and horn arrangements and I put my just-recently-purchased flugelhorn to the test on a few tunes as well. So hang in there, babies - the final product will be available to all in just a short time. Meanwhile, we'll keep honing our skills on the Cantab stage every Thursday night as always, so come on down and dance a while! You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Slacks play Fenway Park

The band played a very memorable gig last Saturday at one of Boston's most hallowed grounds - the jewel of America's favorite pastime - and the home of the World Champion Boston Red Sox - historic Fenway Park. Last Saturday The Red Sox were on the road in Baltimore, so Fenway opened it's gates to host the annual benefit ball of the Junior League of Boston. For those of you who don't know, the Junior League is a charitable organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities. We certainly have an affinity for women, and charitable women are even cooler!

We got the gig like we get so many gigs - people fall in love with the band at the Cantab and, when they need to plan their own party, they think of us. The night was a great success and the Junior League raised a lot of money through their auctions and raffles. The women running the show were very helpful and (may I say?) dressed to kill and looking fine. We've played plenty of clubs, lots of wedding, been on the set of a Hollywood movie, but nothing compares to the Junior League of Boston when it came down to a knock-out crowd.

It was great just relaxing in the open-air box seats when we took our breaks, listening to Johnny Blue Horn weave his tales of Red Sox lore and recounting stories of visiting the park as a youth.

And we even saw the 2004 and 2007 World Series trophies! Go Sox! Go Junior League!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


My name is Jeremy Valadez, and I'd like to thank each and everyone of y'all for the greatest of welcomes a Texan could've wished for. I will be your new auditory saxmaster for the duration of your ride with the Chickenslacks.
I hope I can fill the shoes of Mr. Alec "Chairman of the Board" Spiegelman. He is a good friend. And, I don't think that you've seen the last of him.
I am totally psyched out that I've been given this chance to play with the 'Slacks! These guys are awesome! I've enjoyed every downbeat and upstroke, and every Up for the Downstroke, so far. And, I plan on makin' you 'shake e'ry thang you've got'.
So, next time you see me, make sure to stop me and introduce yourself. I look forward to meeting and playing for "all y'all" (that means 'everyone' where I come from).
Catch y'all on the dance floor!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Film?

This Thursday there'll be a film crew at our gig shooting a mini-rockumentary about Thursday nights at the Cantab with The Chicken Slacks. We saw them in there last week filming some test shots, and we just heard that today they were in the Cantab having long discussions about lighting, using terms like "subtle diffusion" and "saturated contrast". Sounds like they know what they're doing! In any case, bring your best dance moves, gel that hair just right, and come down and party with us, because you might just see yourself on the big screen one day!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

T-Shirt Giveaway

Congratulations to our T-Shirt winners Dawn from Boston, Jeremy from Las Vegas, Lee and Maria from Worcester, and Grace from Rhode Island. Their brand new designer Chicken Slacks comfy Tees, in their favorite respective colors and proper sizes, are now being delivered First Class by a happy United Stated Postal Service mail carrier as we speak! Wear it every day with pride!
And if you missed your chance for a free T-Shirt, be sure to sign up on our Funky News email list so you can hear about all the giveaways and contests here in Slacksdom...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Kudos to Jeremy

Hey everybody, I just wanted to say that I am extremely pleased and delighted to perform with the newest Slacks member, saxman Jeremy Valadez. He's really committed himself to learning a lot of horn lines on a lot of tunes in short order and he's excelled at the task. He's also been an able and willing participant in all things Slacks with a cheerful disposition and ready smile. Glad to have you on board, Jeremy!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hollywood Swingin'

Apologies to the folks who came out to see us this past Thursday at the Cantab and found us noticeably absent. It is the first Thursday we've missed in 127 weeks. But there was good reason! The band got a last minute casting call to appear in the Hollywood blockbuster (ahem) film "Bridal Wars" starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway, and the shoot was Thursday. The Slacks were Kate's wedding band! Were on the set from 10:30am to 1am. Talk about a long gig! We hope your night wasn't totally ruined by our absence and we're sure Chris Waller and Candy's band put on a great show. We'll be back next week and every damn Thursday after that (barring any more calls from L.A.), and we'll see y'all on the big screen!

Bride Wars

Man what crazy work it is to make a real movie! The band got the call to appear in Bride Wars (starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway) on Sunday, with the shoot to take place Thursday night. By the time I got the band's OK and got the music to them, it was Monday night. Then they changed the shoot time from Thursday night to Thursday day! Needless to say we didn't have much time to prepare. But we're the Slacks, and we like a challenge.
We loaded in our gear to the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston at 10:30am Thursday, into the Venetian Room amid dozens of technical-looking men and women, some rushing around, some standing still looking bored. The place was completely decked out for a wedding, Hollywood-style. While we were setting up, some guy came over and covered up all the brand names on our instruments with tape. Apparently, if Fender wants their guitar in a movie, they have to pay for it.
After set-up, we were shuttled over to the "extras" holding area in the basement of Trinity Church, where 150 wedding extras were signing in, getting dressed, and standing in line for hair and makeup. I've never seen a more beautiful crowd (except for some Thursday nights at the Cantab).
About noontime, we were hustled back to the shoot and put in place on stage. They brought in the extras (wedding guests) onto the dancefloor and set up the shot. Eventually Kate and Anne and their leading men (didn't catch their names) showed up and got into position. Words like "cue playback" and "T-mark" and "Rolling" and "Action" started up and the Chicken Slacks officially began our acting careers.
The first thing I noticed was how incredibly slow the filming process takes. We were on the set for about 14 hours, and they must've shot about one minute of footage! I just kept thinking "Can't we just run this a few times and move on?" But of course I have no idea how it all works, I guess there's lighting and sound and foreground and background and all that cinematography stuff that needs to be considered. And this was just Bride Wars, can you imagine what filming Lord of the Rings must be like?
And acting it was! Did you know that all the music you hear in a movie is mimed? That's right, we set everything up as if we were about to play, and then mimed our way through the songs. Sound ridiculous, but I guess they have to do that in order for the microphones to pick up the actor's dialogue, although I hear 90% of that is overdubbed as well! I'm glad I spent all those hours when I was a little kid, before I had a drumset, sitting in my room playing air-drums to Rush and Van Halen. Who knew one day I would be paid so well for it!
They would have us play (or pretend to play) about 8 bars of the song. Then they'd take five minutes to adjust whatever they needed to adjust, and we'd do it again. At least Curtis and I got to sit down. The other guys had to stand, and the poor women on the dancefloor had to stand there in high heels for hours.
They had us work through lunch, and by the time we broke for dinner (about 7pm) they had shot about 30 seconds of footage. Curtis was pretty depressed because it was fairly obvious he did not get into any of the shots they took. By the end of the night he and his keyboards were surrounded by lighting equipment and baffles, so he was clearly out of the frame. We had fun teasing him about that. In the dinner line, the band broke out an impromptu acappella version of "Hollywood Swingin'". We were that desperate to play some real music.
But we had lots of fun. They had flown in a popular young singer named Ryan Shaw to be featured in the movie, so he sang (mimed) with the band as well.
By the end of the night the band was so anxious to just plug in and rip a few numbers for all these people - we all really needed it. But alas, they finally called it a wrap around midnight and we packed up our gear and headed home without ever even tuning up.
Not sure what will come of it, whether you'll even see us in the shots they took. But it was a great experience and they took care of us. I think the movie will come out at the end of the summer. We'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Section J at the Subtab

Sounds like a scene from Star Wars, but "Section J at the Subtab" was exactly what the Slacks encountered this past Monday. Some fans of the band (and graduate students at the Harvard Business School) hired us to perform for them and their classmates at a private party this past Monday, at a venue we know so well: The Cantab. But the twist was that the party was in the basement, where Mickey Bliss hosts his Club Bohemia local-band-extravaganza every Friday and Saturday. Diamond D was quick to dub this intimate low-ceilinged concrete salon the "SubTab". It's got a wider stage than upstairs and the place almost has a NYC jazz club vibe, without the pretention.
As you may well know, Harvard Business School puts a lot of careful time and thoughtful, creative effort into naming the different classes of the school something inspirational and descriptive of their nature. Thus, the students we played for were from the "Section J" class. Section J. Almost makes you feel like you're part of a family.
Anyways, we had a blast. It was fun to play on the stage downstairs, much more room and the sound was pretty good down there. The party-goers were a fun bunch and those that left early for that "other party" missed a rockin' second set and some great disco dancing with a random barstool.
We were asked to do this gig at the last minute, and as a result we had to get subs for Mighty Slim (who went to the DIO reunion) and Rick Rosco (who was still in Aruba, lucky dog). But Mike Null and Lee Lundy, our go-to fill-ins, filled-in seamlessly and added a nice "abnormal" element to the Slacks that was refreshing for us. Man, Lee can slap those bass strings, and Mike is just spewing with gritty funk. Thank you Section J, we wish you the best success!

The Slacks take it to the River!

The Chicken Slacks made their way down to the Lighthouse Bar at Twin River Casino in Rhode Island recently and we had a fun time playing on their BIG stage! Folks, this is a nice place - the bar is right smack in the middle of a sea of slot machines, but the sound system there makes the ringing din of the slots fade away. Everyone there was really nice to us and made sure we had what we needed. And the crowd! Booties were shaking a la Cantab on the wide dance floor. Made us feel right at home! The night was a complete success as the casino folks booked us to appear there again on June 13th, so if you weren't one of the familiar faces we saw there last week, come on down to Twin River and check out the Slacks in June. Maybe you'll get lucky while you're there, too - in more ways than one!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Slim's radio show featuring vintage Rick Rosco

From Mighty Slim:

Gents: I will be doing Lost and Found
(the show that Wayne does on Wednesdays)
tomorrow or today depending on when you receive this e-mail,
Thursday, that is, from 12pm-2pm.
You can stream at
I will be featuring or at least be playing vintage
Rick Rosco circa '70 from his band Gauze.
What a kick ass 4 piece horn section those cats had.
And Rosco's bass playing?....fugetaboutit....


Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Cajun expression meaning let the good times roll. And roll they did. The Slacks had the pleasure of playing not one, but two Mardi Gras parties. Fri. night 2/1 @ Ryles and Sat. night 2/2 @ Ralph's in Worcester. (The first appearance there for the Slacks). I especially enjoyed Ralph's. It was good to see some old friends, some I haven't seen in years. And coudos to the opening band Uncle Billy's Smokehouse. Check out the pics on our website. (a picture is worth a thousand words); the bands smoked, the burlesque dancers were amazing, and the crowd was awesome! The staff @ Ralph's was REALLY tremendous, they really appreciate the music there and moreover, THEY TAKE CARE OF THEIR BANDS!!! This was one of the best parties we have played. Being from N.O., Saturday's show was next best thing to being there. For me, I can't wait to return to Ralph's.
LAISSEZ BON TEMP ROULE! Let the good times roll.

Diamond D

Soul Mountain, NH

What a rush to play for you skiers at Cannon Mountain on a frosty Saturday afternoon where you showed your boogie shoes fit as well as those ski boots! The Sam Adams beer trivia questions and the fabulous staff at Cannon Mountain added to the fun. We were thrilled to see so many of our Granite State friends from our show last year along with the skiing soul crowd from Boston-Cambridge. After a quick pack up and short drive, we set up at the Cannon Mountain View Restaurant an Inn for a get-down evening of hot soul in the cold north woods. You guys really made it a fun time for us and we look forward to this mini road trip again soon!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Spamalot comes to the Cantab

The cast and crew of "Spamalot" filled the Cantab last night. Let no one say that theater people don't know how to have a good time! There was dancing, there was drinking ... and there was lot's of pizza.

I feel I learned a valuable lesson by example, and, henceforth, I will always look on the bright side of life.

Fittingly, Slim demonstrated his classic "silly walk". Though, come to think of it, he does that every week.

- "Big" Al, "Chairman of the Board", "Spiegelman"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Brother Wayne's funk radio show

You may have seen him at the Cantab gettin' his groove on, but on Wednesdays from 12pm-2pm Brother Wayne serves up some of the deepest classic funk and soul cuts you ever heard on the radio. Wayne has one of the largest collection of funk 45s this side of Memphis, and he digs deep each and every week. Nobody else plays this stuff!

The show is Lost and Found on WMBR 88.1 (MIT radio). Your Wednesday lunch break will never be the same! For those outside of the Boston area you can hear it on the web at

Keep those 45s spinnin' Wayne! We love it!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Years Eve at Mount Snow

Usually we like to ring in the New Year close to home, but this year the band traveled a few hours from Boston to the winter wonderland that is Wilmington, Vermont and the aptly-named Mount Snow. We performed to a sold-out lot of highly energetic and intoxicated ski bums at the Snow Barn. Luckily it really isn't a barn, and most of the snow stays outdoors. Inside, the big firepit was roaring, the drinks were flowing and the music was pumping from the stage. The folks up there were great and the staff treated us real well. I'm sure there'll be some more photos posted from the show.

Of course one of the fun things about the road gig is the after-gig hang. It's not like we're the Stones or Van Halen, but we do our best to carry on a certain tradition. The good folks at Mount Snow put us up in a nice ski condo with a big circular walk-around fireplace. I appointed myself the official "fire marshall" and set about starting a fire in the fireplace. (Ever note how interesting a word like "fireplace" is? A "place" for the "fire". Fireplace! Genius.) Anyway, without any kindling and some pretty wet wood I had my work cut out for me, but my backcountry skills came through once again. I earned my merit badge on that one!

We all gathered round the "fireplace" and passed around the guitar and the champagne, for a little impromtu late-night singalong. I think the highlights were Slim's version of "Ventura Highway" with Alec playing beer bottles (and you thought they were just for holding beer!) and Rosco's "Secret Agent Man". I pulled out a good "Tequila Sunrise" I thought.

The next morn Rosco cooked us up a great lumberjack breakfast with all the fixin's. The mimosas really hit the spot. Sure enough the snow started up, and didn't let up all day. When it was all over another foot had fallen. Most of us split for home after breakfast and ended up with an extra two hours tacked on to the drive from traffic and snow. I thought better of it and lit another fire, waiting 'til nightfall, driving back on gorgeous, freshly plowed roads with a luxurious coat of bright snow on all the trees, houses, and fences along the way. Damn but Vermont is beautiful in winter! Happy New Year!