John Kribs Music/News
The S.A.M. Fund
Almost 10 years ago
the music community here in the southeastern Adirondacks was
devastated by the death of our friend Chan Goodnow. Chan was an amazing player
whose contributions to local/regional music will long be missed.
Dedicated to his memory, The Southern Adirondack Musicians Fund was formed in 2001.
The purpose of this not for profit organization is to raise funds to help local musicians and their families
who may fall on hard times do to health, accidents, death and other "acts of god". We have raised and given away thousands of dollars in this endeavor and seen the good to come of it. Still it is the proverbial drop in the bucket. Please help us continue this work and support these local artists who give our region so much through music.
To those of you who have already contributed we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Watch for upcoming fundraising concerts. This has been too long
Johnny & the Triumphs first LP is now available on CD!
This debut album was originally released in 1986 and received great reviews even hitting the top of the American play charts in France!
This from Rambles: an on line Cultural Arts magazine (www.Rambles.net)
written by Amanda Fisher
(This is reprinted in its entirety though you will see that Amanda has real problems with Wild Indians Near.It would be easier/look better for me if I had just canned the last paragraph and used the old ...trick but Wild Indians Near is a disturbing piece, was meant to provoke thought and I expected that it would upset some people. Amanda and I have actually discussed it via email since the review and I feel that her comments here attest to the power of the piece. I like her writing and think she is quite remarkable. Check out her other reviews at Rambles. JK)
is a talented singer-songwriter, and Vibratile is a solid album
showcasing his abilities. Most of the
songs focus on the darker aspects of life -- a little sad, a little bitter, a little depressed. Still, it's not a
depressing album as a whole; Kribs' use of poetic imagery and metaphor transforms the songs into a way of
coming to terms with the bleaker parts of life, not wallowing in them.
It's not entirely focused on the melancholy, though. One of the nicest songs is a meditation on fatherhood, "Days Like Today." While there are bittersweet aspects of watching a boy grow up, and reflecting on himself as both a boy and a father, in the end he "...wouldn't trade this for heaven."
"Where's Alice" is a catchy tune in which the singer is obsessed with a woman who may or may not be a
figment of his dreams. This is one I find myself humming at odd hours, as is "Bridges to Burn," although
otherwise they're quite dissimilar. "Bridges" depicts the singer's realization that he is, in fact, completely
recovered from a former love -- although there is a bit of an undercurrent that he might be fooling himself, just a
bit. It's very well written and nicely layered.
Most of the songs use concrete, physical metaphors and illustrations, and these ground the subjects in the world
effectively. For me this is one of the strongest aspects of the album.
The music is also well done; the arrangements are varied and appropriate to the songs, and the album as a
whole well-paced from the bluesy first song "A Little Insane" (a dark but light-hearted look at infatuation with
someone inappropriate) to "Fading Out," an ambiguously optimistic look at engaging in life. The liner is
attractive and contains the full lyrics to all the songs -- a nice touch, and important to my enjoyment of a
songwriter's work. The back cover is difficult to read -- white text on a color photo -- which is a shame since
the musicians are credited there and it's hard to decipher some of their names. Still, it's one of the nicer CD
packages that I've seen of late.
said, this has been a difficult review for me to write because of
one of the album's tracks. "Wild Indians
Near" is a spoken piece in which a boy "borrows" his father's bow and arrow and goes into the woods to play
Indians. In so doing he shoots a doe, seriously enough to kill her eventually but not quickly, and her "bloated
carcass" is found later by a fifth-grade class. I think I am missing the point of this piece. I am deeply disturbed
each time I hear it. The boy played a game ... yet it was a horribly agonizing and very real for the doe, and this
is referred to only glancingly, as not the real issue compared to the fifth-graders thinking Indians roamed the
woods. The piece is well-done, and reminds me somewhat of Barry Lopez, who also writes beautifully about
nature and his interactions with it -- and who also, ultimately, seems to miss the point for me. In any case, this
piece is distasteful enough to me that I will not listen to the album again because of it, in spite of liking several
of the songs. I put this last, because it's an idiosyncratic reaction and ought not in fairness be the focus; it's a
This from Peter Hanson/Metroland 4/6/00
ACE GUITARIST JOHN KRIBS familiar to area concertgoers for his affiliations with the Racquette River Rounders, Johnny and the Triumphs, and most recently, the McKrells steps into the spotlight on Vibratile, his first solo disc. Backed by a handful of local notables and abetted by co producer Jeff Townsend, Kribs rips through 14 eclectic tracks that are rooted in folk and bluegrass but span spoken-word, up tempo pop and solo intimacy. Kribs, who wrote all of the albums songs, shows off a clean, muscular singing style thats flexible enough to thrive in low-key tracks and rollicking ones alike. Its a tribute to his focus that he keeps his fret board grandstanding to a minimum, instead accentuation the content of his alternately soulful and playful tunes. The discs best track an evocative ballad called The Bus to Las Vegas merely uses guitar as a gentle bed over which Kribs observant lyrics are laid. The tune, sung from the perspective of a veteran bus driver commenting on his passengers, is subtle, supple and haunting.
Kribs rips it up on the jaunty Wheres Alice which has a near-reggae feel complemented by the interplay of his spidery guitar work and Kevin Mauls liquid dobro lines and throws listeners a curve with Wild Indians Near. A short, spoken-word track about hunting a deer, Wild Indians Near has a compelling vibe but seems strangely out of step with the rest of the disc. Kribs joviality gets the best of him during parts of Days Like Today, but he and his cohorts mostly explore interesting emotional and musical terrain. The moody Chasing Thunder soars with intense percussion figures provided by Kribs McKrell band mate, Brian Melick; In My Book displays the romantic side of Kribs deep voice and contains his most melodic soloing. Filled with mellow music for grownups, Vibratile is a fine debut by a personable entertainer.
and this from Greg Haymes. The Times Union 1/27/00
And now John Kribs has released his solo album, Vibratile. Actually, Kribs has been working on his album a long, long time--- even before he joined The McKrells. When I started working on Vibratile I thought it would be my swan song recalls Kribs who was a member of The Racquette River Rounders and Johnny & The Triumphs before hooking up with the McKrells. At the time I was playing 200 nights a year, most of them rock n roll trio gigs. My health wasnt too good, my hands were a mess and I felt too old at 43. The other thing about that time was that I wasnt playing my own songs anymore, so I started Vibratile to say goodbye. Well, its not goodbye now. Its more of a hello. I realize how important it is for me to get back to the source.If you dont know Kribs music beyond his work with The McKrells, then youre in for a treat. As much as I enjoy playing with The McKrells, there is a big part of my music that is not a part of that band, He explains.Kribs has garnered together a wonderful collection of musicians to help him out. In addition to members of his past and present bands, hes also joined by members of Doc Scanlons Rhythm Boys, The Zucchini Brothers, The Stony Creek Band and more.
Thanks to these great radio stations and DJs:
WRFG,Atanta Ga. Foxs Minsrell Show, Harlon Joye
9050 FUNCHAL Danca do Lobo Portugal, Nuno Morna
WCVE 88.9fm The Electric Croude, Richmond Va., John McLaughlin
CKLN 88.1 Toronto, Acoustic Routes, Joel Wortzman
CKUT90.3, Montreal, FolkRoots/Folk Branches,Mike Regenstreif
KEOS89.1,College Station Tx. John B. Roths
WRBC Lewiston Maine,Folk Beat
WDBX91.1,Carbondale,Il.,On the Back Road,Thomas Hopkins
KOPN89.5Colombia MO., Sunday Morning Coffeehouse, Steven Jarrett
WRUR,Rochester, NY Tom Bohan
WJFF, Jeffersonville, NY,Angela Page
WRJT, Montpelier VT,Crossroads, Mark Hauser
WYRS,Manahawkin NJ, Aiun't Misbehavin',Terrance W Sikoryak
KASU,Jonesboro AR, Marty Scarbrough
WRPI, Troy NY
WSLU, Canton NY, String Fever, Barbara Heller Burns