Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

The Diablo Blues Band, Mark Bates and The Vacancies Plus A Drunk Robot: Behind The Scenes At RFC 47

The latest episode of Radio Free Charleston, “Ted Petty Shirt” is online now! This edition brings you music from The Diablo Blues Band and Mark Bates and The Vacancies. We also have a taste of next week’s tribute to Quick And Dirty’s late lead singer, Randy Lee Walden, animation from Frank Panucci, and a look at what’s going on at The Blue Parrot this weekend.

This is another music-packed show, shot on location at The Empty Glass and The Blue Parrot, two of the best rock n’ roll bars in Charleston. A trivia note for those of you following on your scorecards at home: Both performances on this show were shot on July 11, shortly after we shot the host segments at The Hansford Art House for our previous episode! That was a busy and productive night for the RFC crew.

Host segments this time were shot around our State Capitol last Saturday. I’m wearing a shirt from the Ted Petty Invitational 2006 Wrestling Tournament, which was put on by IWA Mid-South. Petty was better known as “Flyboy” Rocco Rock, half of the tag-team, Public Enemy. Petty trained a number of wrestlers, and after his death his old friend Ian Rotten started the tourney in his memory.  We bought this shirt from Mickie Knuckles (right), who recently debuted on TNA Wrestling on Spike TV as “Moose.”  Mickie also sold me the Ian Rotten shirt that I wore back on episode 16 of RFC (coming soon to the RFC TV Archive). Mickie also recently broke her leg, and will be out of action for several months.  So we’re sending out “get well soon, Mickie” wishes with this show.

The Diablo Blues Band consists of  Johnny “Hurricane” Compton/Lead Vocals and Guitar; Kevin Kidd/Bass; Tommy Fountaine/Drums and vocals; and John Chick/Harmonica.  This hard-rocking blues quartet has earned a place at the forefront of the Charleston blues scene with their mix of classic blues and straight-ahead rock and roll.  They put on a killer show, and you should make every effort to get out and hear them play live.

“The Price Of A Broken Heart” written by Johnny on the anniversary of his mother’s death. We recorded this at The Empty Glass July 11 during the Blues Summit, but last week we played an excerpt of this song from a July 3 performance at the Glass.  This is a moving blues jam that kicks all kinds of major buttocks.  You can see Johnny singing solo at the Randy Walden memorial jam right here.

Mark Bates and The Vacancies are Mark Bates: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Harmonica;  Aaron Fisher: Drums, Percussion, Back-Up Vocals;  Bill Dean:Lead Guitar; and  Jamie Skeen: Bass.  You can hear a song by them here, and check out their starring role in Monday Morning Art here.  We had Mark on the show as a solo act last fall.  In fact, we’d asked him on the show a year earlier, but it took months to get our schedules together.  Since that performance last year, Mark has rounded up some incredible backing musicians and he’s mining a rich new musical vein.  In September, Mark and the gang are heading to Athens Georgia to record their first CD with Producer/Engineer Dave Barbe (Drive By Truckers/REM/and many others).  We can’t wait to hear the results.

“The Shell” was written by Mark Bates. We recorded it at The Blue Parrot July 11, earlier in the evening than we recorded The Diablo Blues Band (But after we recorded last week’s host segments. Confusing enough for you?).

“Drunk Toy Robot” is the first in the “LAX” series of calming, meditation cartoons by my brother Frank. It’s like NyQuil, without the yucky aftertaste. We would like to point out that this carefully-choreographed morality play has deep philosophical meaning, and is not simply a test to see how an animated object slides around in a virtual environment with ramps and counterweights.

We close the show with a short clip of Quick And Dirty.  Next week’s show will be dedicated to the music of Q&D’s late lead singer, Randy Lee Walden.  It’s going to be a different kind of RFC. but the music will fill you with a sense of life…..and loss.


  1. Elvis Capone

    …but the music will fill you with a sense of life…..and loss

    You mean in the same way as a Hardee’s Monster Thickburger?

  2. Mexican Romeo

    Two phenomenal bands this time. Mark Bates is an amazing songwriter. Johnny Compton’s tune is awesome, too. Very emotional, cool stuff.

    I like the cartoon. Gotta say I’m digging the monster truck-style commercials for shows in town, too. Funny stuff. It’s great that you obviously put so much work into this show,but you refuse to take yourselves too seriously.

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