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Articles | Featured | Future


Skip Heller, Birdie Jones, and Carnival of Soul

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“I have a bluegrass gig tomorrow am. Playing a Link Wray Tribute tomorrow night...seeing the Dead Milkmen tonight." --My most recent text message from Fred “Skip" Heller. For all of the recently revealed foibles of Social Media, perhaps the best thing about it is how it makes a really big world smaller. I do not remember how I originally met Skip Heller (well, I do, it was reviewing his album Homegoing (Innova Records, 2002), but that ...


Notable and Nearly Missed 2017

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I am winding down the twentieth year contributing to All About Jazz. I have never had a year where there wasn't too much good music to review (or it got to me too late). This is my attempt to make good before '17 becomes '18. Skip Heller That was Then: Collected Recordings 2008- 2017 Self Produced 2017 In addition to his being a restless music provocateur surveying the landscape of Americana, Skip Heller ...


Skip Heller: For EP Fans Only

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Fred “Skip" Heller is, in my estimate, a most undervalued cultural mind. Musically restless by nature, Heller is a two-million candle light, illuminating whatever musical style is intriguing him at the moment. This restlessness has led to Heller's exploration of the organ trio on It's Like That: The organ Trio Anthology 1998--2004 (Jewbilee, 2004) and Fakebook (Hyena, 2004) and a deep descent into the Heart of America. Heller began to sharpen his focus with specialized projects like 2012's ...


Skip Heller: San Fernando Valley Blues and The Hollywood Blues Destroyers

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Fred “Skip" Heller. Now there is a rara avis. A musical omnivore as drawn to Glenn Gould as to Roger Miller, Heller's talent and dedication to music and its history deserves so much more than local notoriety in the jny: Los Angeles and jny: Philadelphia areas it enjoys. Then, if I were LA, I would not share him either...he is that special of a person and musician. Heller's personal sound has matured and quickened over his most ...


The Hollywood Blues Destroyers: Singles Drinking Doubles

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Avoid the intended seduction of the sexy and dangerous collective called The Hollywood Blues Destroyers for the Oz behind the curtain with his merry band of friends is one Fred Steven “Skip" Heller. AllMusic's Jana Pendragon calls Heller, “America's most confusing country singer." Whatever Heller might be, he is a defender of American Music...all of it. For Heller, music is mot the disposable commodity it has become since 2000. It remains that spiritual idea given life by those special people ...


Skip Heller: Songs With Memories: Skip Heller and Friends Play Floyd Tillman

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It would be oh so tempting to say the music impresario Skip Heller has found his niche with Songs With Memories: Skip Heller and Friends Play Floyd Tillman but with his next recording, more likely than not, he would prove that statement ludicrous. Heller's 2012 Fakebook II: That's Entertainment (Weatherbird) was a sequel to his 2004 recording of “standards" Fakebook (Hyena Records), the two bookending a number of recordings documenting Heller's curious musical evolution to where we are now.


Skip Heller: Fakebook II - That’s Entertainment

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Skip HellerFakebook II: That's EntertainmentWeatherbird Records2012 Fred Steven “Skip" Heller is one of those musicians with a gravity great enough to create his own universe. He is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, bandleader, producer and writer with an all-encompassing musical knowledge, interest and vision that is readily witnessed in his All About Jazz column Hardly Strictly Jazz. He is a stylistic moving target playing guitar- organ trio before moving on to Americana ...


Take Five With Skip Heller

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Meet Skip Heller: Grew up in Philly, enticed by all kinds of improvised music--jazz, bluegrass, blues, rockabilly. Played with Yma Sumac, Phil Alvin, Les Baxter, Wanda Jackson, DJ Bonbrake, Cannibal and the Headhunters, NRBQ, Karen Mantler... get the idea?Instrument(s): Guitar.Teachers and/or influences? Mose Allison, Willie Nelson, Bill Evans, John Hartford, Roger Miller, Bacharach/David, Doug Sahm, Hank Jones, The Beatles, Ahmad Jamal, Johnny Mercer, Merle Haggard, War, Bob Wills, Jethro Burns, ...


Skip Heller: Foolish Me

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Fred “Skip" Heller is a hip musical polymath from Philadelphia, living on the West Coast, where he burns through musical styles like there is no definition. He has a major, and unapologetic, jones for John Hartford and Roger Miller and an encyclopedic knowledge of American music, of which he continues to be a student, teacher, shaman. Mention any name from anywhere in the history of New World music and Heller will have something to say about it. His personal discography ...


The State of Skip Heller 2009

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Guitarist Fred “Skip" Heller has spent much of 2004 to 2009 burning through the American soundscape searching for the the heart of these United States. In 2004, Heller released Fakebook (Hyena). Considered the pinnacle of the guitarist's organ trio period, Fakebook sheltered hints of Heller's musical restlessness in his inspired readings of Grant Green's “The Yodel" and Eddie Harris' “Cold Duck Time."

Already back to basics, Heller was to distill his vision of American music further with Mean Things Happening ...