Nightcrawler: Cool Customer

Stone Coyotes lament loss of friend Elmore Leonard; Donais more than a hired gun for Anthrax?

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
photo courtesy of Steve Dixon
Valley soundman Chris Dixon steps out from behind the knobs to play with Danyelle Devino as Intonition at the Keene, N.H. Music Festival ( this Sat., Aug. 31.

The recent passing of literary legend Elmore Leonard has very local implications.

The famed author of such gritty crime novels cum silver screen features as Get Shorty and Be Cool had actually worked with—and befriended—the Valley’s own Stone Coyotes in recent years.

As the story goes, Leonard was looking for a musical muse to kickstart Be Cool, the sequel to Get Shorty, when he happened upon the Coyotes performing at L.A.’s Troubador circa 1988. Several of the band’s song titles and stories ended up being including in the published product, and the family-based trio even accompanied Leonard on a spoken word mini-tour at the time to promote the book’s release.

“Elmore was the real thing—a straight-shooter without even a whiff of ‘the biz’ in his personality,” the band featuring the husband and wife team of Barbara Keith and Doug Tibbles and Tibbles’ son, John, reported to Crawler in a joint statement. “We had a great time with him always, whether on our Words and Music tours for Be Cool, in correspondence, or just hanging out. He never lost his zeal for his work, a great example to the rest of us marching on through the decades.

“Our flag flies at half mast for our friend.”

In other news from the Coyote camp, the bandmembers sat they are returning to Los Angeles for a September 20 at the Hotel Cafe, then it’s back to Greenfield to finish up work on a new CD they hope to have completed just in time for stocking-stuffing.

To monitor progress on said studio effort and more, kindly point your browser to


Meanwhile, while it may be rooted in both fun and fundraising, the 22nd annual Transperformance concert at the Pines Theater in Look Park Aug. 27 actually proved a bittersweet affair for at least one member of the Northampton Arts Council it will benefit.

“I will miss everything about producing it, except worrying about the weather,” notes Executive Director Bob Cilman, who retires from the from his post at the council since 1989 just two weeks after the show. “It’s the last show I will produce, but definitely not the last show I will be in or enjoy from the audience.”

In a fitting tribute to the man instrumental in forming the series some 22 years ago, Transperformance 2013 was themed “Beyond Bob” —featuring local notables ranging from Drunk Stuntmen, King Radio, Phillip Price and more taking turns at famous Bobs and Roberts ranging from Dylan, Marley and Plant.

“This year’s theme was tricky for me to accept until I started thinking about all the great Bob derivatives,” Cilman concludes. “It’s not easy to come up with themes year in and year out, so it was great to be able to take advantage of this one.”



Last but not least, congrats to Shadows Fall founding member Jon Donais on what has apparently turned into a full-fledged gig with one of his childhood heroes.

The Valley-based axe man had been filling in for Anthrax’s Rob Caggiano during the band’s current tour.

During a recent interview with Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas, Anthrax founding member Scott Ian revealed that the local notable is more than just a hired gun in his mind.

“Jon’s been with us since February, and I think I can safely say he’s passed the audition… [laughs],” Ian said. “I know we haven’t said anything official yet, but in my mind, he’s the guy. I’m sure some type of official announcement… because in this world, people apparently need that kind of information so they can sleep well at night. But as far as I’m concerned, Jon is the guitar player in Anthrax.”•

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email

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