Friday | 09.13.02 | Slim's
Saturday | 09.14.02 | Great American Music Hall

Les Claypool has assembled a rogues gallery of legends for a couple of exclusive Bay Area club dates featuring: Les Claypool on bass, Buckethead on guitar, Brain (drums), and the one and only Bernie Worrell on keyboards (of Bernie Worrell and the Woo Warriors, former member of the original Parliament/Funkadelic, Talking Heads, and Praxis). This band, appropriately titled, Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains debuted at the epic Bonnaroo Festival on June 22 in Tennessee to major acclaim. These are the only scheduled performances.

On September 24, Claypool's own Prawn Song Records will release The Les Claypool Frog Brigade-Purple Onion. This is the first solo studio project for Les since Primus's 1999 cd Antipop. He was one-third of Oysterhead (along with Phish's Trey Anastasio and Stewart Copeland of the Police) who released The Grand Pecking Order on Elektra last year.

"Primus fans will dig it because it harkens aback to the band's early material. But it is also very eclectic, reminiscent of old Peter Gabriel, Tom Waits and Pink Floyd," describes Les. “This is my first real attempt at a solo record” adds Claypool, who enlisted the members of his Frog Brigade - Jay Lane, Skerik, Eenor, and Mike Dillon - as well as several special guests. “It’s also the first time I’ve written music without any specific musicians in mind,” he continues. “It’s been about coming up with ideas and then finding the right people and instruments to flesh them out.”

The album’s twelve all-new songs display the wide variety of influences "D’s Diner” features sitar player Gabby Lang in addition to the triple-bass onslaught of Claypool, Norwood Fisher (Fishbone) and Lonnie Marshall (Weapon of Choice). Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Phil Lesh) handles guitar on the twangy country-tinged stomp of “Buzzards of Green Hill” and Fish Fisher (Fishbone drummer) guests on “Whamola,” a live show staple named after the unique instrument Les employs -- a one-string bass played with a drumstick. Those in the know will recognize the references in “Barrington Hall,” named after a Berkeley dorm and series of parties immortalized on Primus' Frizzle Fry, which was reissued earlier this year.

The only previous Frog Brigade recordings were Live Frogs-Set 1 and Set 2, both recorded at the Great American Music Hall in October, 2000.

Bernie Worrell is one of the most influential keyboardists in modern music. As a primary collaborator of George Clinton in both Parliament and Funkadelic throughout the 70's, he co wrote many of those groups' biggest hits. His unique innovation on the earliest synthesizers influenced not only other R&B/soul artists but also many rap groups, who continue to sample his work in their own songs. In the 80's, he was best known for his recordings and tours in Talking Heads, as well as session work with Bill Laswell's many diverse projects. Today, he can regularly be seen leading his own Bernie Worrell and the Woo Warriors.

(From All Music Guide): Buckethead is one of the most bizarre and enigmatic figures in American underground and experimental music since Parliament-Funkadelic birthed their bevy of cosmic characters in the mid-'70s. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist best known for his virtuosic command of the electric guitar, Buckethead is one of the instrument's most recognizable contemporary innovators, his rapid-fire riffing, near-robotic fretwork, and idiosyncratic lead lines combining elements of Yngwie Malmsteen, Adrian Belew, Slayer's Kerry King, P-Funk's Eddie Hazel, and avant-improv artist John Zorn's Scud-attack sax abuse.

Brain has worked with Les over the years in various projects including Primus (which he joined in 1996), as well as touring in both Sausage and Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel. In 1992, he joined Buckethead in Praxis, a project assembled by studio wizard Bill Laswell, which also included Bootsy Collins and Bernie Worrell. He has also recorded and toured with Tom Waits, Godflesh and the Limbomaniacs, and recorded with electronic artist BT.

[Published on: 8/20/02]

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