Download the 01.27 New Monsoon show here.
Download the 01.27 Blue Turtle Seduction set here

Words by: Nick Boeka :: Images by: Susan J. Weiand

New Monsoon & Blue Turtle Seduction :: 01.27.07 :: Fillmore Auditorium :: San Francisco, CA

Ron Johnson - New Monsoon :: 01.27 :: San Francisco
Since the departure of bassist Ben Bernstein several months ago, and the free-agency acquisition of Ron Johnson (KDTU), New Monsoon has raised the level of their game. Not only has the rhythm section slimmed down and received a shot in the arm, the band as a whole has shown incredible determination to not allow structural changes to deter them from remaining one of the premiere bands in the jam scene. With relentless determination, they've hit the road hard in 2007. Ladies and gentlemen, meet New Monsoon 5.

NM5 is the band sans Rajiv Parikh and Brian Carey. Without the tabla and Latin percussion base that has been fundamental to the New Monsoon sound, the remaining members have more space to fill. With Johnson's power-in-the-pocket bass, New Monsoon has harnessed their core sound, making them tighter than ever, and getting better with every show. This Fillmore performance - their debut headlining spot at the legendary venue - revealed the awesome power of the new lineup, and offered sit-ins from Parikh and Carey throughout the show. As a special hometown treat, Dan Lebowitz (ALO), also sat in throughout the night.

Blue Turtle Seduction :: 01.27 :: San Francisco
South Lake Tahoe's Blue Turtle Seduction started the evening off with a high energy set of fierce new-grass, rock and reggae-funk. Blue Turtle Seduction's lyrics tend to cleverly focus on the positives and always push the good vibe. Guitarist Jay Seals offered a new original, "Go Big or Go Home," midway through their set, which was received well by the capacity Fillmore crowd. After dropping a huge cover of Outkast's "I'll Call Before I Come," the band finished with a massive jam that left the crowed buzzed, primed for the rest of the evening.

New Monsoon took the stage to a sold out Fillmore crowd which was decorated with an abundance of flowers. The band threw out flower buds from the stage and the ladies (and Ron Johnson!) were wearing them in their hair. The smell of gardenias blended with the organic sounds coming from the stage. Four songs in, "Greenhouse" showcased Johnson with an extended bass intro. His elevated level of playing has given the band new depth and potential.

Dan Lebowitz with New Monsoon :: 01.27 :: San Francisco
Guitarists Bo Carper and Jeff Miller have both shown an incredible amount of growth during the past year. Several times Miller could be seen offering face-melting electric guitar solos, falling to his knees or leaning out over the energetic crowd. Keyboardist Phil Ferlino also got a boost of energy at the Fillmore, as "Team Ferlino" gathered around his side of the stage all wearing tribute t-shirts during "Water Vein." The greatest improvement is with drummer Marty Ylitalo, who now provides the sole heartbeat for the band. He has synced up really well with Johnson, and judging by their interactions at this show they are clearly having a lot of fun.

At various points, Parikh and Carey took their stations to play on selected numbers. They have both been taking time off from the road but showed at the Fillmore they're still ready to play. The last song of the first set, a raging version of "Traveling Gypsies," brought out ALO's Dan Lebowitz.

New Monsoon :: 01.27 :: San Francisco
The second set featured more playing from Lebowitz, who offered concise solos on top of New Monsoon originals. Things started with a long jam before settling into "African Rain." After a well-placed and powerful "Alaska" featuring strong solos from both Lebowitz and Miller, the band paid tribute to Carey's new daughter, Isabella, with a solid cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic of the same name. A set closing "White Sky Rain" had the crowd applauding, cheering, almost begging for more.

New Monsoon returned with Lebowitz in tow for a two-song encore that capped a successful hometown evening for the band. First, Pink Floyd's "Fearless" then the Monsoon anthem "En Fuego" had the crowd screaming to the last notes. At evening's end there was a happy buzz to the people leaving the Fillmore. With Ron Johnson firmly in place and fans flocking like never before, New Monsoon may have shattered the glass ceiling.

Blue Turtle Seduction Setlist:
Vaudeville, Tiache, What You Want, Go Big or Go Home, Roll 99, I'll Call Before I Come, La Leona, La Nieve

New Monsoon Setlist:
Set 1: Song for Marie, On the Sun > Had to Cry Today%, Romp, Greenhouse#, Patato's Mission#, Water Vein, Double Clutch, Traveling Gypsies*$#
Set 2: Deluge Jam#$* > African Rain*$#, Gelstream#*$, Copper Mine, Daddy Longlegs, Alaska$, Isabella#, White Sky Rain$
Encore: Fearless#$*, En Fuego#$*

# with Brian Carey
* with Rajiv Parikh
$ with Dan Lebowitz
% First time played *Blind Faith Cover*, Instrumental version

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[Published on: 2/2/07]

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hoopinman starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/2/2007 05:02PM
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Nice work Nick...and as always great shots from one of the best photographers I know!

LisaB32 starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/2/2007 06:39PM
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Fantastic article & photos, they do justice to what was truly an incredible night of music...

QuantumTuba starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/2/2007 08:19PM
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I sure wish I had been at this show. Though one of my favorite things about New Monsoon has been their powerful percussion, I am interested to see what direction they go in. The most recent show I saw by them (Madison) had their slimmed down percussion section, and was amazing. Can anyone explain how their new bassist compares to Ben Bernstein? Looking forward to seeing some New Monsoon again!

kestrel starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/2/2007 09:21PM
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This was an AMAZING show. So happy I got to be there for this epic night.

androckguitar starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/2/2007 11:03PM
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I went to this show....New Monsoon rocks so much, the Fillmore show was incredible!
Ron Johnson is fantastic, really solid, nice sound.

bigfro Sat 2/3/2007 05:07AM
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Let's get these boys at Irving plaza here in NYC.

insignia starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/3/2007 06:24AM
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so does anyone know if nm is goint to summercammp. itsays on jb that they do, but not sc web or nm site hm
we is brian, and raj gone for good, or are they still just sittin out for a while. i would hope they would come back over the summer

SCIcane starstarstarstar Sat 2/3/2007 09:57AM
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I didn't know Raj & Brian were out of the band, short-term or otherwise. The percussion was what really got me into NM, & I thought differentiated them from a lot of other bands out there. I'll give the new lineup a listen, but this news is making me skeptical.

EVILFUNK starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/3/2007 11:39AM
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...aint nuttin' wrong with rock and roll music! I saw the band years past and thought there was a bit too mucth going on with the whole sound...great playing on the percussion and tablas but some times its good to keep it simple ~ i loved the stripped down improvisational rock and roll sound from this line up. good old fashoned smoulderin' lead guitaur! hints of 'Dan and FZ came off really classy up in my ear.

BTS seem like cool folks and im always psyched to see a band get ahead on the scene but some times, with jam bands esp, i feel like the apple could fall further from the Dead/Phish/(cant belive im saying)Cheese tree...there is a point where it all starts to sound like the music at the Southpark 'hippy jam festival'to me... OH MY! is this what happens when the artsy elements to rock and roll are not taken seriously enough?

"I take it seriously... real seriously." - trey anastasio, a man who sounds like no other.

It was verry cool to see an electric mando built by my old pal Ron-O (Ron Oats of Boulder), anyway...we have seen these in the hands of Drew Emmitt and Mike Kang. i wish i could find a link to his site to share...where did Ron-O go?

Joshtafari starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/3/2007 12:00PM
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Going to see New Monsoon tonight at The Tractor Taver in Seattle. CAn't wait to see them with Ron Johnson! Seen NM & Ron both before but never togehter, so this should be a treat. Looking forward to my first Blue Turtle Suduction show too. Great artical, got me even more stoked for tonight!
Peace, Love, Unity, Respect

RedHeaven starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/3/2007 12:01PM
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I had a great night. NM really rocked it more than Ive ever seen them.
Blue Turtle is an amazing up and coming band that strays from the generic ho hum of jamming brought by so many new bands these days. They have a really unique sound and I lvoe the fact that they do their own thing and dont follow the Dead/Cheese/Phish trail. Theyre more appealing to a Gen X feeling, have a little punk rock edge, and write really original songs and always lay out wierd covers. I lvoe a new band that doesnt stick to the same formulas, but still is bringing the high octane jam with that special iinstrument: the Violin. I see great things for these guys even if some dont jive with it. I'll be jiving with BTS for a long long time.
That La Leona was fabulous, you could feel the floor of the fillmore bounce like ive never felt before.

I loved the blend of BTS fun ska sounds and NM's serious rock vibe. Made for a great night of music!!

theivywall Sat 2/3/2007 12:37PM
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New Monsoon was one of the best sets of music I saw at Summercamp last year, looks like they brought it for their first big fillmore show. Rock those tablas!

trini. starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/4/2007 08:41AM
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Exactly! Wow. It was an amazing show. Your review gave me the chills ... just as I had all night. Perfect.

thesaxophonist starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/4/2007 02:41PM
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great pictures sue!

RedHeaven starstarstarstarstar Sun 2/4/2007 03:54PM
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Article packed a whollop with a few amount of words. Good job...and yes the photos are lovely Sueshi!!

zzach16 starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/5/2007 06:28AM
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Really is a good article--New Monsoon can obviously adapt to whatever odds that are put before them. I hope they come to the midwest more often this summer. I can't wait to see and hear the changes they've made.

sman starstarstarstar Mon 2/5/2007 12:40PM
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The two percussion players both recently had children, I was told they are still in the band but are just taking a little time off to spend with their newborns

ghilliesblunt starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/5/2007 11:40PM
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thanks for the info sman...was kind of disappointed when raj and carey werent with the band when they came back to chicago a few months ago, good to see they have priorities but hopefully theyre back soon

stringa starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/6/2007 08:37AM
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i went for NM, but the most pleasant surprise of the night was BTS. such a great groove, all those changes, and that violin. where did those cats come from?

thewormisgod starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/6/2007 09:29AM
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i believe they were forged of iron and mercury in the sun

RedHeaven Tue 2/6/2007 03:00PM
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at high altitude somewhere east of Tahoe in the briney deep


shimoner starstarstarstarstar Fri 2/9/2007 02:26PM
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Such an amazing show that was~!~ The band is on fire right now. Looking forward to their pre-Langerado set with Tea Leaf Green down in Florida~!~
-Seth (

johnnygoff Fri 2/9/2007 07:34PM
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Boeka wrote "At evening's end there was a happy buzz to the people leaving the Fillmore. With Ron Johnson firmly in place and fans flocking like never before, New Monsoon may have shattered the glass ceiling." very nice...great piece and great shots. This is the type of review that makes the east coasters jealous...I know you west coasters are lovin it! come east monsoon!

treemama starstarstarstar Sat 2/10/2007 08:57AM
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Nice write up of a really solid show. That Traveling Gypsies was one of the best ever. Ron is a welcomed addition to the band. Yeah Monsoon!

jenilyoness starstarstarstarstar Sat 2/10/2007 01:36PM
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Rockin Review & photos too! Thanks JB & Sue ;~) Y'all really know how to make a girl sorry she didn't hop on plane to be w/ the NM phamily @ the Fillmore.
En Fuego indeed! The NM5 is SMOKIN! Darwin would be proud of this band, every change takes them (& us ;~) to a higher place as they grow as musicians & their sound evolves.

DaveCat starstarstarstarstar Mon 2/19/2007 12:23PM
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Great article! Last saw them in Denver, and this article really has me excited for my next, their March run thru the Carolinas. Then today I find out they're playing Mountain Jam...the first time I get to see them without getting on a plane. Woo-Hoo!!!

kem starstarstarstarstar Tue 2/20/2007 09:03AM
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a little late getting on the jambus cooment thingy, but yes!! New Monsoon played to a sol out crowd at the Fillmore and it was certainly a night to behold! smiley, sparkley, happy people all around! It was a beautiful night and one I know I'll remember for a long time! Awesome review, wonderful pictures, great music and a groovy crowd of people!

misujerr Sat 6/16/2007 04:46PM
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Just re-visting this article and wanted to say that we had Kem to thanks for the Gardenias! Thanks Kem!