Blue America Welcomes Sen. Regina Thomas

Today's Blue America candidate is Georgia state Senator Regina Thomas. She's taking on one of the very worst and most reactionary of all the congressional Blue Dogs, John Barrow, in a district that encompasses much of Savannah and Augusta. Barrow votes more frequently for the Bush agenda and with the GOP than any other Democrats, although he's sometimes tied with Nick Lampson and Jim Marshall. Regina will be blogging live at Firedoglake today at 2pm (Georgia Peach Time). Blue America worked with singer-songwriter Jason Joseph to put together a little music clip for Regina. If you'd like to help us get this spread around, please consider donating to Regina's campaign at our Blue America ActBlue page today.



Late Night Music Club with Jason Joseph

Last night, instead of sitting home and making a music clip for the Music Club, I ventured out into the world. I went to check out a scene at the best Irish bar in L.A., Molly Malone's on Fairfax. Every Monday chanteuse Adjoa Skinner

hosts an evening of cool and interesting new talent. She reminded me of a how I image Arianna Huffington must have been when she was in his 20s-- if Arianna was a brilliant singer and songwriter as well as... well, you know. Anyway, her first guest was Wainwright and he totally blew me away with his powerful and poignant alt/pop songs. Wainwright brought up another guy, Jason Joseph to play piano and sing with him and then Jason did his own set. I'll tell you how good Jason Joseph is-- I asked him to work on a song for the Blue America candidates. That good! Here's one he sang, "One Man," last night and dedicated to Barack Obama:



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes

I hope you had a chance to meet our newest Blue America candidate, Jim Neal, this morning; the transcript is here at FDL. A couple weeks ago he told me that when he made his final decision to take on Elizabeth Dole for a senate seat once held by Jesse Helms, he was listening to Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes. I put together a little clip with some random images and the music but it's really the music I wanted to talk about tonight. When the Philly dance sound hit in the 1970s this group, which had been around a long time, just took off like a rocket with... Teddy Pendergrass as the frontman. Their biggest hits were "If You Don't Know Me By Now," "The Love I Lost," "Don't Leave Me This Way," "Bad Luck," and, of course, "Wake Up Everybody." Harold Melvin, who was almost as old as John McCain-- but not that old-- died in 1997.



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Rickie Lee Jones

As you might have noticed, we're big Rickie Lee Jones fans here at C&L. She sang the Blue America theme song in 2006 and I worked with her for years at Reprise. Long after we had both left Reprise, she did an album Sermon on Exposition Boulevard that I am crazy about. Last week I saw her do the best live show I had ever seen her do, here in L.A. at a club on the East Side. While she was singing "Nobody Knows My Name" I was thinking, "wow I've got to do this one for the Music Club." Tonight's the night:



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with the Flaming Lips

Tomorrow our Blue America candidate is an extraordinary state senator from Oklahoma, Andrew Rice, a seminary school graduate who is firmly anchored in basic progressive values and principles. And he's taking on one of the most reactionary maniacs in the entire U.S. Senate, Jim "No Such Thing As Global Warming" Inhofe. Make your way over to Firedoglake tomorrow at 1pm Central Time (11am here on the West Coast) and get involved with the live chat between Andrew and members of the Blue America Community. You can also contribute to his campaign on our Blue America page.

We asked him what his favorite music is and he told us he's always singing Woody Guthrie's "Oklahoma Hills" to his kids but that among contemporary bands, he's got some constituents he's very gung-ho over: the Flaming Lips. In fact here's a live version of "She Don't Use Jelly" recorded right there in Oklahoma City.



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Woody Guthrie

Tomorrow's Blue America special guest is Sam Bennett from Pennsylvania's Leigh Valley (PA-15). When Darcy Burner said we need "more and better Democrats," she could have been talking about Sam. Come by and meet her tomorrow at Firedoglake, 2pm, EDT. When I asked her what music she likes, she went right to "This Land is Our Land" and specified her favorite version is the original by Woody Guthrie who wrote the song in 1940 as a kind of workingmen's answer to "God Bless America." It's based on an old Baptist hymn.

And of course Sam isn't the only fan of Woody's fantastic American anthem. Listen to his son Arlo do it-- along with Bruce Springsteen, Taj mahal, Emmylou Harris, Little Richard, Bono and John Mellancamp do it. There have been versions by Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, and... Bush's father used it as his campaign theme song.



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Simon & Garfunkel

(Guest blogged by Howie Klein)

As we sometimes do, we asked tomorrow's Blue America candidate to tell us about his favorite music. Tomorrow Rancho Cucamonga businessman Russ Warner will be over at Firedoglake at 11am (PT) explaining why he'd be a better bet to represent his L.A.-area congressional district than rubber stamp incumbent David Dreier.

But put politics aside for a moment and let's just get into Russ' head on a music level. I asked him to give us a song that has been a real inspiration in his life. He didn't hesitate for a moment. "I was driving in a car, maybe 1970 or so; someone had given me an 8-track," he recalled with a laugh. "The message was so powerful, I had to pull over so I could hear every word. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel describe who we are at our core of humanity. Everyone has problems and everyone needs a bridge and a helping hand at one time or another. It's something every one of us has in common regardless of political party." You've probably guessed Russ' favorite song by now:

If you'd like to win a beautifully embroidered "Impeach Cheney?" baseball cap tell us if there's a song that has meant something like this in your life and why. Entries to downwithtyranny@aol.com



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with the Dave Matthews Band

(guest blogged by Howie Klein) 

Jonathan Powers will be our special Blue America guest tomorrow afternoon (2pm, EST) at Firedoglake.

When I interviewed him, he was excited about a Roger Waters live concert he was going to. Turns out he goes to a lot of live shows. In fact, this former U.S. Army captain-- memorialized both in the movie Gunner Palace and the book What Was Asked Of Us-- An Oral History of the Iraq War by the Soldiers Who Fought It-- has just turned 29 this month and he's probably the most enthusiastic music fan I've talked to among anyone running for Congress... ever.

I asked him to suggest a song for the Late Night Music Club at Crooks & Liars. I saw it was hard for him to narrow it down, but he chose a great one. "Whether it's sung by Dylan or Hendrix or the Dave Matthews Band or anyone else," he told me, "All Along the Watchower is a song that can carry you away. I was at the Gorge in Washington State about a month after coming home from Iraq and DMB played one of the most wonderful versions of this. Stefan, the bassist, led in with a bass line that just rocked your soul... and to be honest, I did not even know what was coming. Once they broke into Watchtower I was just blown away. Anytime Dave and Trey are on stage together... I feel that those two are musical geniuses of our generation. Throw in Tim Reynolds and it can just get scary. Whether they are covering tunes, or mixing Everyday and Bathtub Gin... a great blend... they are magical." Here's a video of the actual show Jon was at:



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Los Lonely Boys

(guest blogged by Howie Klein)

Hilda Solis is one of the dozen most progressive members of Congress. She represents East L.A. and the burgeoning suburbs around it and she's as energetic and filled with verve as her revitalized district.

Tomorrow at 11am, PT, she's the Blue America guest at Firedoglake. Somehow while she was telling me about the work she had been doing to help put a stop to the systematic and brutal murders of women in Ciudad Juárez (just a couple blocks from El Paso) in her capacity as head of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, we got off on a tangent. We started talking about how music can be such an uplifting and healing part of life for people. She told me how early on Shakira's music had been such a big deal for her and how Los Lobos was something she still loves listening to.

But when I asked her to pick a song for the LNMC, she honed in on one she first heard when she was down in El Paso, a song that became an international smash by a Texas band from San Angelo: "Heaven" by Los Lonely Boys. (Note from Nicole: Our more astute C&L LNMClubbers will remember that we've featured this song before, but this was Rep. Solis's choice and we're so happy to have her working with Blue America, that we don't mind repeating it.)

Don't forget to go over to FDL and meet Congresswoman Solis tomorrow; she's the bomb!



C&L's Late Nite Music Club with Paul McCartney

(guest blogged by Howie Klein)

The first time I met David Kahne he was sweeping floors at a recording studio in San Francisco. At the time, I had a small indie label, 415 Records. A few weeks later he brought me a tape of a song he recorded with a local band, Pearl Harbor & the Explosions, when the studio had some down time. The song put my company-- and him -- on the map.

David, who is now a consistent Blue America supporter, went on to win grammies and produce records for lots of artists including The Bangles, Romeo Void, Sublime, Tony Bennett, Fishbone, Sugar Ray, Wilco, k.d. lang, 311, Regina Spektor, Orgy, The Strokes, and, finally, his musical hero: Paul McCartney. He's worked with Paul on Driving Rain, Freedom, From A Lover to a Friend, Back in the U.S., Back in the World, and, now the newest McCartney release, Memory Almost Full, Paul's first release that won't be on Capitol/EMI. Here's the debut single, "Dance Tonight:"

Cool, huh? If you're as excited about this release as we are, take a look at the EPK they put together. Our pals over at Concord have donated 5 Deluxe packages of the album to the Late Nite Music Club so tonight we're looking for five winners, not one. Just send us an e-mail telling us what you think the significance is of Paul McCartney, one of the best-known names in music anywhere, becoming an "indie artist," rather than recording for a major corporate label. Send it to downwithtyranny@aol.com




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