OUT OF LITTLE SILVER: A COUNTRY TROOPER

Singer, songwriter and Little Silver native Greg Trooper opens for Clint Black at The Y’s Goin’ Country for Kids benefit concert Saturday night at the Count Basie.

By TOM CHESEK

While he doesn’t usually make the short list of well-known musicians who’ve called the Jersey Shore their home, Little Silver native Greg Trooper has an uncanny knack for being on the scene wherever music happens — or is just about to happen.

The 56-year-old singer and songwriter was present and accounted for when the NYC folk clubs summoned forth a bold new crop of performers in the 1970s and ’80s. He was at large in Austin when that Texas town was tearing up the country music rulebook — and in Nashville when a next-generation Music City began to attract veteran Shorecats like John Eddie and Garry Tallent.

On Saturday, Trooper returns to Red Bank — the setting of many an after-school hangout back in the day — for a major benefit concert presented under the name Goin’ Country for Kids. A fundraiser for the Strong Kids Program at THE Community YMCA, the 8 pm show at the Count Basie Theatre finds Trooper appearing in support of country superstar Clint Black — himself a momentary son of the greater Red Bank green (and if you don’t believe us, check the NJ Wall of Fame at Murphy’s on Broad Street).

The solo acoustic set is expected to draw from his 25-year catalog of recorded work — a discography that includes 2011’s Upside Down Town, in which the darker vocal tones of the mature Trooper make a gritty but satisfying fit with a lyrical style that was always world-weary and wise beyond the composer’s years. The acclaimed songwriter’s songwriter would see his vivid vignettes interpreted by performers from Steve Earle (“Little Sister”) and Vince Gill (“We Won’t Dance”) to Lucy Kaplansky (“The Heart”) and Billy Bragg (“Everywhere”).

Working with such sought-after producers as Buddy Miller, Dan Penn and Tallent, Trooper has employed sensibly spare arrangements (spotlighting fiddles, pedal steel, accordion and some quietly intense guitar) in a way that presaged what we now call Americana — even as it avoided the potential embarrassments of Opryland fad and fashion.

redbankgreen has some Q’s and A’s with Trooper below. If you missed the Clint Black interview earlier this week, thumb it over to here.

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SEA BRIGHTER DISSED OVER GRAMMY NOD

Linda Chorney — seen here playing Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California” last July at the Count Basie — scored herself a Grammy nomination in what could prove to be the award ceremony’s biggest kerfuffle since Milli met Vanilli.

By TOM CHESEK

Last time redbankgreen looked in on Linda Chorney, the Beantown-bred, Sea Bright-seasoned singer and songwriter was conducting a public-welcome video shoot at the now-defunct NovelTeas in Red Bank — a call keyed to her playfully provocative tune “Tea Bag Party People” and a happening that drew a spirited response from the redder banks of the greater Green.

Although it’s posted for perusal online, the finished track wasn’t included On Emotional Jukebox, Chorney’s self-released, self-distributed release of 2011, and a project that, as its title suggests, mood-swings its way through pop, folk, country, R&B, a fully arranged chamber symphony, classic rock covers — and Americana.

Which may have been a wise choice, too, because when the 54th Grammy Award nominations were announced recently by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Chorney was right there on the list alongside Kanye, Katy and Kid Cudi.

How the record — which, despite the contributions of people like Letterman bassist Will Lee remains an obscurity with no in-store distribution — came to be a candidate for Best Americana Album is one of the most fascinating stories ever to emerge from Grammyland, in part because it appears to have put a bee in the bonnet of the Americana music establishment.

“I am Occupying the Grammys — I am the 99%,” Linda Chorney told Christopher Morris in a story that currently appears on Variety.com. “I’m the middle-class that got a friggin’ shot, and I got in there.”

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A SPOT OF SUNDAY TEA

chorney1Linda Chorney professed her love for Tea Party tweaker Jon Stewart Sunday during the making of a music video for her tune, “The Teabag Party.” (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Red Bank had a tea party of its own on Sunday, although it was far from the pot-banging, Palin-esque affairs of recent vintage.

This one was a retort to the Tea Party movement, and leading the party was Linda Chorney, a politically involved Bostonian who assembled some of her closest friends and strangers to shoot a video for her song, “The Teabag Party,” at NovelTeas on Bridge Avenue Sunday.

Rather than scathing political criticism, this party took a lighthearted tone, with song lyrics such as, “Socialist/Communist/ We’re gonna teabag you while we do the twist.” Read More »

SHAKING UP THE TEA PARTY

lindachorneyBoth sides of the issue: Singer-songwriter Linda Chorney invites the public to take part in a bit of absurdi-tea during a video shoot in Red Bank this Sunday morning.

From NovelTeas Authors Aromas & Gifts comes word that the Bridge Avenue book salon/ tea room/ gift boutique established by Kim Widener will be playing host to a tunefully tea-zing reaction to a much-discussed political movement this weekend.

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