The Word
Saturday, August 4, 2001
Lost Horizon | Syracuse, NY

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The club/bar/dive was without a doubt the nastiest place I have ever seen a show. The odor of must, stale beer and cigarette smoke was enough to gag a rhino. Tarps covered one of the walls and the ceiling. The people at the door were rude and obnoxious. Next door was The Wild Rose, an all nude club. The Word bus was parked behind The Horizon and right in front of The Rose's door. Quite a funny sight. The club itself is host to many hardcore shows, as evidenced by the graffitti, bouncers and the pit in front of the stage.

The general back alley ambiance of the joint and the small number of people attending (no more than a couple hundred) tipped off those who came expecting musical magic that they would not be disappointed. We knew how lucky we were. I don't know the names of any of the songs and I'm not going to say anything more than this: The Word is the epitome of BluesGospelJamRock!!! Robert Randolph is as amazing to watch as he is to hear and his contagious personality, constant smiling, and pointing to the audience created maximum interaction the entire night.

As always, Mr. John Medeski was mind boggling with his insane style on the keys. Though Medeski had his share of lead parts, there is no doubt that Randolph is the focus of this five piece Orchestra of God. This unlikely group of musicians is also thrusting the North Mississippi All-Stars into the forefront as Luther and Big Daddy and crew round out the wholesome blues oriented sound with the guitar, drums and bass. This was my first experience with NMAS and I was impressed with all their chops! On this day, The Lost Horizon was transformed into The Promised Land!

See The Word! Spread The Word!

Words and Photos by John Smrtic

[Published on: 8/7/01]

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