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A note from JFJO's Reed Mathis

A note from Reed Mathis about "the controversy" of his joining Tea Leaf Green for a string of shows...


Here's a few things i'd like to say:

First, Jacob Fred is the greatest band in the history of the universe. i just got word that we are actually Beethoven's favorite band of all time. Hendrix, too. and Bird. they all like JacobFred almost as much as I do. We just confirmed a 20-night run at Carnegie Hall in 2010, and I'm pretty sure the record we're working on is going to go triple-platinum. for real.

I hear you, though. it is, possibly confusing.

I listen to as much late coltrane as hotchkiss does, and as much ornette as eric dundee. that music is my church and scripture.

Jazz didn't start out elitist. originally, it was FOLK music. made by semi-illiterate accidental-scholars who simply wanted to party and let people party. the fact that the opera houses of 1890's New Orleans could only afford a single pianist (rather than a full orchestra), who coincidentally had a night gig at a brothel and a buddy in a brass band is a happy accident in the culture, and the upside of the karma of slavery. we are so fortunate that this happened.

Bird grew up playing in big bands for dancers. the music he accidently invented was still heavy on melody, and he often still played for dancers. his followers didn't, but they still played melody. THEIR followers didn't play for dancers, and rarely played literal melody, instead becoming true impressionists of the internal realms. those listeners who had bumped into their own internal realms heard evidence of the common struggle, and called this music "higher." Elvis, Dylan, and the Beatles were created by SOCIETY to fill the gap that Bird opened. young people need to dance and get laid, and sing along. jazz once provided this service. then it became "higher music."

Is ornette "deeper" than louis armstrong? is the coltrane quartet "higher" than fletcher henderson? are church-goers catagorically better people than non-chuch goers? does cab calloway belong in the jazz cannon?

This is an important conversation, i think.

Music CAN be a force for unification and community. why are the differences between us our favorite thing about ourselves?

Why do we want coltrane INSTEAD of the rolling stones. why not coltrane AND the rolling stones?

Is there really more heart in charles mingus than there is in neil young? or phish, for that matter?

Why assume that the inward-pointing music is greater than the outward-pointing music? is this the grandchild of the Biblical "you are not of this world" hogwash? why should we be so proud of our divorce from earth? because we'll die here? is that why the inward-pointing music is greater than the outward-pointing music? because we wish we didn't have to die?

Are we trying to make the world in our own image? it cannot be done.

Musicians can be prophets and heralds, it's true. thank god. musicians can also be a loving friend to a people in need. and people don't always need to be taught. sometimes they need to be hugged and listened to. just ask my wife. :) we musicians are in a state of RELATIONSHIP to the listener. doesn't a healthy relationship take the needs of the Other into account? doesn't a loving partner try to affirm and please the Other? you can't tell.

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Mon 11/19/2007 9:16 AM
Buy Seth Walker at HYENA Records



Guitarist-vocalist-songwriter Seth Walker, raised in rural Altamahaw-Ossipee, North Carolina and an Austin resident since 1995, comes from a long line of talented musicians and began training on classical violin and cello at the age of four. On Seth Walker, his fifth album originally released on Jerry Hall’s Pacific Blues label and now recently reissued on Hyena Records, Walker treats listeners to a "different point of blue." This record is a delightful tour of the blues that encompasses soul, swing, R&B, and a handful of jaw-dropping slow ballads.

One of the first things that impresses is Walker’s vocals. Much like the voice of the late Portland harmonica player and vocalist Paul DeLay, Walker’s conveys a wisdom and honesty beyond its years, so much so that Taj Mahal once called him a "little, white Ray Charles." That description couldn’t be more appropriate, as Walker proves on his deeply soulful cover of "By the Water," originally written by New Orleans legend Dave Bartholomew. I’ve had the chance to see Walker perform that song many times at the Continental Club and in juke joints on Austin’s East side, and this studio recording captures the magic of those live shows (no small feat, mind you). Mark Hays’ drumming is right in the pocket, accented with beautiful reserved B3 organ from Italian expatriate Stefano Intelisano.

Walker takes a trip down to the Delta on Jimmy Reed’s "I Know It’s a Sin," accompanied by guests Mike Keller (currently a member of Marcia Ball’s touring band) and Fabulous Thunderbirds front man Kim Wilson, whose reserved harmonica riffs follow Walker’s leads hand-in-glove. "Miss Ann" is a fine swinging jump blues, and Walker even channels a bit of John Lee Hooker on the intro to "Change My Way". One of the album’s finer moments happens on "2’ Left to the Ceiling," a heart-wrenching number co-written with Hays that tells the story of a Katrina victim, trapped in his or her home in the lower Ninth Ward. Lines like "the G.I. Bill and Jesus both split for higher ground, and I can’t find my way to the door" deliver the message as the flood waters slowly rise through the song’s end. Powerful stuff.

Walker’s confidence, versatility, and artistry offer a refreshing perspective on the blues genre, and no doubt the Seth Walker reissue on Hyena is going to propel Austin’s best kept secret from the Lone Star State to a town near you. When it happens, don’t miss the chance to catch him live.

- Roger Gatchet

Click here to full article at AustinSound.net...

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 11/9/2007 10:42 AM
CONCERT REVIEW: BLOOD in the Miami New Times

Last Night: James "Blood" Ulmer at the Colony Theatre

Mon Oct 22, 2007 at 01:17:33 PM

James Blood Ulmer

James Blood Ulmer
October 20, 2007
The Colony Theatre, Miami Beach

Better Than: A back alley brawl between jazz and blues.

The Review: Back when I first moved in New York, one of the greatest musical pleasures I had was catching James Blood Ulmer get all "avant-gutbucket" at a dingy little Theatre called Squat. The cat, interminably regal even then, had been first among royals such as Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey, and Ronald Shannon Jackson, and would weave some of the most cacophonic stringwork in the kingdom of free jazz. It was adroit, it was possessed, and it was surprising – and it opened my ears to a whole new way of listening to the world.

So it was with great anticipation – and even greater pleasure – that I got to catch the cat last night at The Colony in Tigertail Productions' latest booking coup.

But though the master remains immensely free-wheeling on the fretboard, his flurry is now steeped in another even older tradition: the blues.

Seated on a low-slung stool all by his lonesome, Blood began the evening with a triptych about Katrina and the hole it tore in the soul of the Big Easy – and in our hearts. Here we heard the wind rip, felt the rain bruise, and touched the pain. But Ulmer wasn’t crying the blues on behalf of a catastrophe; he was using the blues to represent the mad he feels in catastrophe’s aftermath.

And to be sure his is some stirful, mournful, meaningful mad. Ulmer’s voice dips from low growl to high holler, while his fingers flay a sermon of surge, even in the wake of weep. In just three songs the man managed to encompass both a terrible storm, and a terrible storming.

When he was joined onstage by bassist Mark Peterson and drummer Aubrey Dayle, Blood’s mad got boiling – then it got even. Working from a repertoire that stretched from Son House to John Lee Hooker, “Hey Joe” to “Little Red Rooster,” Ulmer and his trio drove the blues down the dirty back crossroad that leads straight to our secret spot, the place where all we have hidden becomes revealed.

And unburdened. Blues at its root is about unburdening the soul from the trials and tribulations of a hard life, Ulmer knows this, and he uses the tradition to his great good advantage. But it was when he stood and faced off against the band during “Babytalk” that the true transformation took place, for it was then that Blood unburdened the blues.

- John Hood

Personal Bias: I was raised between the city and the swamp, so urban muggy suits me fine.

Random Detail: Blood sports a very fine pair of snakeskin cowboy boots.

By the Way: Ulmer’s latest Bad Blood In The City: The Piety Street Sessions is out now from HYENA.

Click here to read full concert review at MiamiNewTimes.com

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 10/23/2007 9:27 AM
LIVE SHOW REVIEW: Mike Dillon / Skerik / JFJO

Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle, the Dead Kenny Gs,
and Jacob Fred Jazz @ Fox Theatre

Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle, the Dead Kenny Gs, and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
October 17, 2007
Fox Theatre
Better than:
Doing bong hits and listening to Sailing the Seas of Cheese

As I entered Boulder’s landmark Fox Theatre for last night’s jazz jam extravaganza, two visibly inebriated sorority sisters stumbled out of the venue. One turned to the other and said, "I need you to sober up right now." I later found out that she had just thrown up on another fan in the women’s restroom. Later, as the Dead Kenny Gs played, these two women returned, approached the stage, and began to hoot and holler drunken come-ons at DKGs sax man and leader, Skerik, who only responded with a perplexed, "I didn’t even do my hair."

When you attend a show with a lineup like this in Boulder, you expect to see dreadlocks, peasant dresses, hash pipes and spinning dancers. All were present, but that was not the dominant element at last night’s packed show. Girls like these and their backward-baseball-cap-wearing male counterparts filled the theater, bumping and grinding as if at an R. Kelly show. This was not a bad thing, but was certainly a surprise. I suppose jammin’ jazz is the new booty call soundtrack.

The rump shaking began with Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle, a relatively new trio consisting of longtime progressive jam scenester Dillon on vibraphone and assorted percussion, bassist Brad Houser and drummer Go-Go Ray. With tongue in cheek, the titular leader announced that the band was started so that the three friends could go snowboarding. When Dillon stuck to the vibes and the trio mined some funky jazz ore, the party really went off. However, when things got a little, um, jammy, and the percussionist gave himself over to extended timbale-and-agogo-bell solos, my attention wandered to the drinkers, dopers and dancers.

The Dead Kenny Gs comprised two-thirds of the previous act, with Dillon moving to a trap set and keeping his vibraphone, Houser staying on his bass, and saxophonist Skerik taking center stage. The leap in professionalism from the opening act to this one was both visible and audible. Skerik’s effects-drenched sax lines met Dillon’s equally-drenched vibes to create a sound that, for a rock guy like me, combined the best of Morphine and Tortoise. While it’s clear that these guys know their traditional jazz, the Dead Kenny Gs smoke a particularly funky strain that appeals to fans of Steve Kimock and Galactic, but also to hip-hop and post-rock fans.

For the last song of the DKGs set, Brian Haas of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey came on stage to rock the Melodica and the Rhodes. His virtuosity matched by his joie-de-vivre, Haas further elevated and energized the DKGs. After several minutes, JFJO drummer Josh Raymer took a seat behind his kit and began drumming with Dillon. Finally, by the end of the tune, it was clear that, without fanfare, the DKGs’ set had ended and the JFJO’s set had begun. JFJO guitarist Reed Mathis, who provides a key component for JFJO’s experimental, improvisational jazz sound, was unable to make it to Colorado, so Houser returned to the stage to play baritone sax, as well as electric and upright bass. When Dillon decided to share his drummer’s throne with Go-Go Ray, all six of the evening’s performers were playing at once.

A JFJO show in name only, last night’s headliner was really an all-star jazz jam session, representing a fertile, fraternal and incestuous scene of remarkably talented players. Wandering from jazz standards to funky grooves to rock interludes, the ensemble kept the energy high and the audience moving. At one point, the pit was filled with a motley crew of swirling hippies and dirty-dancing couples who were equally swept away by the tasty licks of JFJO Plus. With the musical telepathy characteristic of the genre, all six musicians exhibited the stamina of tri-athletes and the egos of monks as each added his unique phrase to several breathtaking spontaneous compositions, playing together as if they’d been doing so for decades. When the encore evolved into a complicated interplay among the members of the Dead Kenny Gs, with the other three looking on in awe, the night ultimately seemed like one expert, extended, ecstatic jam.
-- Eryc Eyl
Photos by Doug Beam

Click here to read full article @ WestWord.com

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 10/19/2007 1:54 PM
THE BRIDGE / 1st 100 Pre-orders see them LIVE! / FREE MP3

Click here to tell a friend about The Bridge.


The first 100 pre-orders for ‘The Bridge’ CD direct from HYENA Records
will receive one guest list spot for a headline Bridge show of his or her choice

...You will receive an email with instructions on how to request your entry upon purchase...

***Only 10 individual requests per show can be honored.
Shows at which ‘The Bridge’ is not the headlining artist are exempt.


Buy self-titled HYENA Records release by The Bridge


The Bridge's Self-Titled Album
Available October 23 on HYENA Records

Click here and Listen to or Download the FREE MP3 of "Get Back Up"

Baltimore-based grassroots phenoms The Bridge have signed with HYENA Records. The band's self-titled studio album will be released on October 23 in the midst of a coast to coast U.S. Fall tour. Forming out of Baltimore, The Bridge's roots date back to 2001 when guitarist, vocalist and principle songwriter Cris Jacobs decided to forego the traditional expectations of his University of Amherst degree and pursue music full time. Upon reuniting with high school friend Kenny Liner (who'd recently returned from a stint living in Hawaii where he learned mandolin), the two found an immediate chemistry playing music together. They'd solidify the band's core line-up with the addition of saxophonist Patrick Rainey, bassist Dave Markowitz and drummer Mike Gambone. The Bridge has since blossomed into a national touring act with a devoted fan-base, veteran status on the Summer festival circuit and a steadily growing buzz around the U.S.

On The Bridge's self-titled new album, their freewheeling, adventurous and deeply soulful vision finds them weaving a new thread into the rich tapestry of American rock music. Their songs evoke the spirit of influences like Little Feat, The Subdudes and Los Lobos, while drawing on a broad palette of tried-and-true American roots styles. The Bridge equally honor their own generation by infusing that foundation with beat-boxing, modern soul and New Orleans funk concepts. Special guests include Russell Batiste, Jr. (The Funky Meters), John Ginty (Citizen Cope) and Mookie Siegel among others.

Opening the long-player with the steady-rolling, California-country groove of "Get Back Up," Jacobs and Rainey punctuate the tale of perseverance with crisp, glistening licks, while the band's radiant harmonies add a distinct flavor that proves a vital element throughout the album. The following cut "Angelina" is Dixie soul personified, serving as a firm reminder that Baltimore falls South of the Mason-Dixon line.

As The Bridge proceeds, songs like "14 Days," "Easy Jane" and "Further To Roam" deliver on the glory that rock music once promised in simpler times. On the Dobro-laced stand-out "Country Mile," Jacobs revels in enigmatic darkness with lyrics like, "Oh Maddie Lee, oh Maddie Lee, tell me why does our heart bleed so? I would pawn my steel for an answer why your seasons come and go." The song's haunted refrain is the clincher: "Left her on a country mile, sleep lay sleeping girl to rest awhile." By the time The Bridge come around to the gorgeous alt-country ballad "Flats Of The Old Avenue," it's clear they hold the keys necessary to join the esteemed ranks of the artists from whose lineage they emerge.

The Bridge's Fall tour will find them hitting a large swath of the U.S. In addition to headline dates, they'll join Lotus for a string of shows in the Northwest and Dark Star Orchestra for a run of theater shows on the East Coast. As per tradition, The Bridge will play the night before Thanksgiving in Baltimore. This November 21 show will be at The Ram's Head Tavern for the second year running.

The Bridge Fall Tour Dates are:

October 18 / Wow Hall / Eugene, OR (w/ Lotus)
- Click here to tell a friend
October 19 / Hawthorne Theatre / Portland, OR (w/ Lotus)
- Click here to tell a friend
October 20 / Tractor Tavern / Seattle, WA (w/ Lotus)
- Click here to tell a friend
October 22 / Top Hat / Missoula, MT
- Click here to tell a friend
October 24 / Hodi’s Half Note / Fort Collins, CO
- Click here to tell a friend
October 25 / Trilogy / Boulder, CO
- Click here to tell a friend
October 26 / Tugboat / Steamboat Springs, CO
- Click here to tell a friend
October 27 / Tugboat / Steamboat Springs, CO
- Click here to tell a friend
October 28 / Dulcinea’s / Denver, CO
- Click here to tell a friend
October 30 / Uncle Fester’s / Bloomington, IN
- Click here to tell a friend
October 31 / The Tonic Room / Chicago, IL
- Click here to tell a friend
November 1 / Grog Shop / Cleveland, OH
- Click here to tell a friend
November 2 / Blue Gator / Athens, OH
- Click here to tell a friend
November 3 / Club Cafe / Pittsburgh, PA
- Click here to tell a friend
November 6 / Santa Fe Cafe / College Park, MD
- Click here to tell a friend
November 7 / Rocktown / Harrisonburg, VA (w/ SOJA)
- Click here to tell a friend
November 8 / Outback Lodge / Charlottesville, VA (w/ SOJA)
- Click here to tell a friend
November 9 / 123 Pleasant Street / Morgantown, WV
- Click here to tell a friend
November 10 / Headerliners / Bridgeport, WV
- Click here to tell a friend
November 21 / Rams Head Live / Baltimore, MD
- Click here to tell a friend
November 27 / Lupos / Providence, RI (with Dark Star Orchestra)
- Click here to tell a friend
November 28 / Revolution Hall / Troy, NY
- Click here to tell a friend
November 29 / The Lion's Den / New York, NY
- Click here to tell a friend
November 30 / 9:30 Club / Washington, DC (with Dark Star Orchestra)
- Click here to tell a friend
December 1 / Whiskey 1803 / Annapolis, MD
- Click here to tell a friend
December 2 / The Norva / Norfolk, VA (with Dark Star Orchestra)
- Click here to tell a friend
December 20 / River Street Jazz Café / Plains, PA
- Click here to tell a friend
December 21 / Shawbucks / Jamestown, NY
- Click here to tell a friend
December 22 / The Docksider / Erie, PA
- Click here to tell a friend
January 4-9 / The High Seas JAMCRUISE
January 10 / City Limits / Del Ray Beach, FL
- Click here to tell a friend
January 12 / Open Grass Festival / Lake Worth, FL
- Click here to tell a friend
January 15 / Smith's Olde Bar / Atlanta, GA
- Click here to tell a friend
January 16 / Tastyworld / Athens, GA
- Click here to tell a friend
January 17 / The Pour House / Charleston, SC
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January 18 / Soapbox / Wilmington, NC
- Click here to tell a friend
January 19 / Jewish Mother / Virginia Beach, VA
- Click here to tell a friend
January 25 / Dr. Unks / Greenville, NC
- Click here to tell a friend
January 26 / The Pour House / Raleigh, NC
- Click here to tell a friend



Click here to tell a friend about The Bridge.

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Thu 10/18/2007 9:53 AM
REVIEW: James Blood Ulmer (Albany Metroland)

Buy James Blood Ulmer Bad Blood in the City @ HYENA Records

(Albany, NY)
OCTOBER 10, 2007
James "Blood" Ulmer
Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions (Hyena)

With assistance from producer, acolyte and fellow guitar firebrand Vernon Reid, singer-guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer has spent most of the last decade revisiting his blues roots, and in the process has garnered many of the mainstream accolades (Grammy nominations, Downbeat poll wins) that his early Ornette Coleman-inspired funk-jazz records held at bay. Not that Ulmer is ever going to do anything totally by the book: His latest blues bulletin is no good-time jamboree, but a spirited (and spiritual) rejoinder to Hurricane Katrina and the government's response to the disaster. Recorded in New Orleans about a year after Katrina overran the levees, the disc features Ulmer and his tour-tightened six-piece band running through originals like "Survivors of the Hurricane," where he fingers bureaucratic "Johnny come lately" types, "call[ing] themselves heroes/For doing their jobs." The mood here is mournful but never morose. On "Katrina," Ulmer wails that nature is not to blame, instead giving the strident suggestion, "Talk to the president!"

Interspersed throughout are classic blues songs handpicked by Reid for the occasion, and musically, this is where the band get to dig deepest into what George Clinton once called that "way-back yonder funk." Junior Kimbrough's "Sad Days, Lonely Nights" comes up from the ground like a swamp wraith, Ulmer singing with a bad case of soul congestion; Howlin' Wolf's "Commit a Crime" probably is the album's shining moment, an ass-shaker that has "steamy roadhouse" written all over it, taking to heart the quintessential blues maxim that we're going to have to make good times out of the hard times too. Along with Ulmer's epochal 2005 Birthright album, Bad Blood in the City is quintessential American music for the ages, all protest, blues and fury.

-Mike Hotter


Buy James Blood Ulmer Bad Blood in the City @ HYENA Records

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Wed 10/10/2007 10:33 AM
BLOOD on the Cover of LIVING BLUES Magazine


Featured on the October Cover of

James Blood Ulmer on cover of LIVING  BLUES MAGAZINE (October 2007)

Legendary American music maverick James Blood Ulmer is featured on the cover of October's Living Blues Magazine. Writer Marc Camarigg caught up with Ulmer during his trip to Bonnaroo earlier this year where he performed a crushing set of guitar freak-out blues. Their following in-depth conversation explores Ulmer's life in music.

Starting in gospel groups in his native South Carolina, James Blood Ulmer later moved to Pittsburgh to play R&B. He then went to Detroit and played jazz. During the 1970s, Ulmer played guitar with Ornette Coleman in New York City and released a string of groundbreaking albums, including Black Rock, Freelancing and Odyssey. In 2001, Ulmer was coaxed into the studio by friend and Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid for what has turned out to be a four album journey into the blues, culminating with the critically-acclaimed 2007 HYENA Records' release Bad Blood In The City: The Piety Street Sessions. The album, which was recorded in New Orleans, speaks truth to power in the light of the fallout from Hurricane Katrina and the devastation it brought to the city. It won raves from critics, including the following:

"James Blood Ulmer's contributions to the blues, in the short time he's been gracing it with his artistry, are already irreplaceable and, with this disc, approach the monumental. He is a major 21st century blues artist who transcends category, and this disc is a major work."
- David Whiteis, Living Blues
"This disc is filled with remarkable moments from an artist whose intensity, spirit, and undiluted passion make him one of the blues' most haunting modern masters."
- Hal Horowitz, Blues Revue
"This, his third album with his Memphis Blood Blues Band, is an ornery, pissed-off gem."
- Steve Klinge, Harp Magazine
"...with Ulmer's murky drawl and plangent electric guitar, Bad Blood achieves a humid immediacy."
- Nate Chinen, Vibe Magazine
"Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions continues Ulmer's electric odyssey with a handful of original compositions supplementing some choice covers, simultaneously platforms for social criticism and launching pads for some colliding guitar duels."
- Joshua Klein, PitchforkMedia.com
"...the blues album of the decade."
- Bill White, Seattle Post Intelligencer
"Packed with detail, a defiant spirit and often riveting performances, 'Bad Blood' delivers both darkness and dawn."
- Joe Gross, Austin American Statesman
"Ulmer still sings as if 20 miles of bad road lie ahead, and Vernon Reid's raw production gives this new disc an eerie, moonless-after-midnight ambiance."
- Mark Keresman, Miami New Times
"With its raw emotion, haunting sounds, and biting lyrics, 'Bad Blood,' recorded in New Orleans over three days, proves instantly infectious and thoroughly timeless. Mr. Ulmer has taken all of his anguish over the city's destruction, and conveyed urgency not heard in any recording out of the Big Easy since the hurricane hit."
- Andrew Schwartz, Washington Times
"Bad Blood in the City is a modern day blues masterpiece."
- Troy Collins, AllAboutJazz.com
"...pure, raw emotion, fueled by Ulmer's deep, rich voice."
- John Eyles, Dusted.com

James Blood Ulmer's other HYENA Records' releases are Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions, No Escape From The Blues: The Electric Lady Session and Birthright.

The Living Blues' cover story is available now on newsstands or by ordering direct from www.livingblues.com

Bad Blood In The City: The Piety Street Sessions is available here.

James Blood Ulmer's upcoming performances include:

Saturday, October 20 / Colony Theater / Miami, FL

Sunday, October 21 / The Shed / Ocean Springs, MS


0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 10/9/2007 12:16 PM