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big sam and chapter 2 2/4/11 wescott
Local trio sophistafunk opened. A phenomenally talented keyboard player, a solid drummer, and a singer/rapper who I couldn't stand played some moody funk rap. They keyboardist had maybe 7 keyboards and was doing a lot.

Big Sam Williams brought out his quintent Funky Nation. Is Bassist Eric Vogle any relation to Rich Vogle of Galactic? These guys compare to Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Both young trombonists from New Orleans, both kicked off Jam Cruise the past two years, both party music, funkifying pop music songs among other. If I had to say based on the one time I saw each, this was a much better performance, but I'd give Andrews the nod in terms of musicianship. Along with Big Sam, the trumpeter andrew bahan is always dancing. The two also sing and have a great back and forth. The word I would use to describe their hour and a half set would be fun.

Eric Krasno, along with one of my favorites Nigel Hall, Chris Loftlon on Bass and a chick Nicki Galespie on drums. The set was not nearly as fun but musically more sophisticated. It bears mentioning that Nigel Hall came out in a Wescott sweatshirt which he removed to show a sophistafunk t-shirt, as was donned by Big Sam during his guest turns. On one of the first songs, Loftlin had some trouble with his bass amp, and while the techs took care of it, he went over to Nigel and played the bottom end  on the keys. Very cool to see. The set started out funkier but became mellow and more soul tinged as it progressed. Krasno, who I think just about anybody whose seen him would agree is in the shortlist for best guitarists in the scene, seemed to play reserved melting into the ensemble rather than leading an all out chops assault. Top 30 maybe? The group seemed more of a project than a band, with a rotating group of players and a setlist that includes tracks from other royal family groups soulive, lettuce and the nigel hall band. I was expecting Adam Deitch on drums and although Nicki Galespie did a servicable job, it's not even a fair comparison.

Enjoyable night
1 Comment :: Permalink :: Mon 2/7/2011 9:01 AM
Yonrico Scott Dinosaur BBQ 2/3/11
I had been drumming less than two months when I heard the Derek Trucks Band for the first time. Aside from genius of Derek and the remarkable chemistry, I was blown away watching Yonrico behind the hit. He's a big dude who has a lot of fun playing. Watching him I learned to play the highhats with my left foot, freeing up my right arm. It's such an obvious thing, but before seeing him, my right arm had stayed on the highhat only using my left foot to fizz.

I showed up and saw my neighboor Josh, who plays drums and percussion with a few local groups and is an adjunct professor at SU. He has always been very supportive of me and when we talked during the set break he continued to be. I also met their tour manaer, A kid my age named Dan, from Oneonta. He runs a company out of there and plays guitar. Because DTB was so much bigger than this group, playing much larger venues for way more people I asked him if the drummer was annoyed, something I've always kind of wondered. His response was No, Rico was the man. He did tons of stuff before Derek including playing with the Atlanta symphony and playing with Stevie Wonder. Although the Derek Trucks Band was a 16 year gig, it was just one part of his life. As long as the music is good, the young tour manager told me, Yonrico Scott is happy.

I parked myself in a chair right by the drums and zoned in. I've gone to plenty of shows for fun; this time I went to school. The Slide guitar player a guy named Jeff based out of New York was really good both as a player and singer, but I didn't pay him too much attention. The sticks look so small in Rico's hands, which he holds so loosely and naturally almost like water. He had a few amazing solos where the bass continued playing. Rather than just rhythmically astounding, his solos were incredibly melodic, played to the tune of the song he had just been playing. And he's just having a blast, shaking his big old head, making faces at people, getting them into it. On one occasion, after hitting every surface of the set, he drummed on the wall. At the end of their last song he did that James Brown hit me one time, hit me two times, all the way up to 8, 1 a few more and then he called out 18.

You hear it from guitar players most, who influenced them, who they listened to and stole rifs from, who they aspired to be. I don't think I'd rather emulate anybody more than Rico. There are drummers who are too choppy, doing too much. Rico can, but doesn't very often. He provides a backbone of more than rhythm, but also joy.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 2/4/2011 10:05 AM
spiritual rez dinosaur bbq 1-26-11
For my first show of 2011 I caught the first set of Spiritual Rez with my folks at the dinosaur bbq. This place as much as any other is responsible for my love of music. Every monday night in elementary school my dad used to see a sax player by the name of Paulie Cerra. The two shared a teacher who sometimes went with us along with Paulie's parents. We would dip french fries in barbeque sauce and eat key lime pie. This was before that idiotic smoking ban, and because of it cigarette smoke brings up happy memories. Paulie played a mix of jazz and blues, songs like greasy spoon, at night in the city, maputo, and the funky chicken. You can catch a vid of paulie here

Spiritual rez, out of Boston, is a 6 piece ensemble with sax, trombone, two guitars, base and drums. Both the bass player and rhythm guitar player are rather tall and the lead guitar player is quite short, with long dreads. The short one is much better than the tall one and the sax player surpasses the trombonist. I listened to a concert of theirs from 5 years ago earlier in the day, and they have supplemented their listenable but non distinct reggae with some energetic groovy funk (as opposed to dirty funk). These guys definitely get down, moving and dancing along with their fans, many of whom also rock dreads. I sat at a booth with my parents, had a few beers and some french fries. A good time. A band worth seeing, worth paying to see, but in my mind not worth traveling to see.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Wed 1/26/2011 9:24 PM
i love tapers
I thought I might try to keep track of shows I've listened to. I have so much appreciation for tapers that make this possible.

Furthur 12/31/10
Gov't Mule 12/31/10
Umphrey's 12/31/10
Willie Nelson 4/27/00
Great American Taxi 1/1/11
Trucks and Tedeschi 12/29/10
7 walkers 12/31/10 (most)
Dresden Dolls 12/31/10 (most)
Scaring the Children 1/3/11
Robert Randolph and FB 12/31/10
jgb 3/1/91
George Porter Jr. and friends 12/26/10
Greensky Bluegrass 6/4/10
North Mississippi Allstars 12/30/10
Porter/Neville/Vidacovich/Mali 2/11/10
Merl Saunders + rainforest allstars 10-1-97
Project Logic 5/17/99
warren zevon 5-8-77
Mule 11-9-03
sister sparrow and the dirty birds 9-5-2010
swampadelica 8-20-10
ALO 10-29-10
Jack Johnson 8-5-05
Franti/Spearhead 3-17-10
portugal the man 6-11-10
The New Deal 1-21-10
Tim Reynolds 4-21-06
Flectones 11-4-09
dawes 11-20-10
Dead 1-13-80
Dead 1-13-78
Stockholm syndrome 1-6-11
dead 9-17-73
jojo's mardi gras band 1-5-11
Philharmonia phil and friends 12-12-10
Anders Osbourne 1-8-11
Scaring the Children 1-5-11
some cat from japan 1-5-11
big sam's funky nation 1-4-10
the brew 9-5-10
jojo's mardi gras band 1-6-10
dead 1-16-70
robert randolph and the family band 1-4-11
Mule (w/dead) 4-16-04
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe 1-7-11
Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars 1-7-11
Roy Jay Band 1-14-11
Lettuce 1-6-11
dumpstaphunk 1-7-11
Anders Osbourne and Stanton Moore trio 1-4-11
galactic 1-5-11
the dead 6-24-03
David Allen Coe 2-5-84
galactic 1-8-11
david nelson band 7-24-05
The Funky Meters 1-14-11
Pimps of Joytime 1-8-11
Scrapomatic 12-29-10
Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons 12-30-10
30 db 1-22-11
The Rhythm Devils 1-8-11
Bonobo 11-22-10
Umphrey's Mcgee 1-23-11
Donna the Buffalo 1-20-11
The Heavy Pets 11-26-10
bonobo dj set 10-31-2010
lotus 1-6-11
sts9 1-23-11
spiritual rez 9-15-05
widespread panic 4-17-10
max creek 1-21-11
Disco Biscuits 1-23-11
yonrico scott band 6-19-09
big gigantic 1-7-11
truth and salvage company 1-28-11
radiators 1-22-11
David Nelson Band 1-28-11
blue chicken 1-28-11
yarn 1-27-11


Vertigo Jazz Project 1-27-11
Professor Louie and the Cromatix 1-29-11
Jaimoe's Jasz Band 1-12-11
The Bridge 2-1-11
yellow dubmarine 1-29-11
Big Sam's Funky Nation 1-23-11
David Grisman quintet 4-3-98
Rebirth Brass Band 1-22-11
Gov't Mule 11-24-96
Tea Leaf Green 1-29-11
Karma to Burn 6-30-09
Krasno and Chapter 2 2-3-11
Yonder Mountain 1-28-11
Mule 1-27-11
moe. 1-27-11

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 1/7/2011 6:04 PM
7 Walkers at The Wescott 12/30
Right now I am listening to Bruce Hornsby, who I kind of realize Ryan Montbleau reminds me of. I'm not sure if its a direct influence.

No opener tonight. My father, brother, and brother's little not yet legal woman were all there. I spent the afternoon drinking wine and watching Syracuse beat Kansas State in the poorly officiated Pinstripe Bowl. The proximity of the Wescott means I can walk, which means I don't have to drive, which means that this show I was drunk. Hadn't been drunk at a show in a while, usually because I'm too into the music and want to remember it clearly and soberly, or logistic vehicular or expense related reasons. I had seen these guys at Wannee, a show I mistakenly believed was their first time playing together as 7 Walkers. (After the show I told Papa how much the band had gelled since their first time playing together at Wannee and he corrected me.) It was a big enough show worth imbibing for, but nothing on a pedestal, and without a new years even concert, I was raging hard. It was in the cards.

A gooey jam led into birdsong, followed by death don't have no mercy. Overall, these guys are playing pretty tight together. When I first saw them they were 4 guys alternating between playing some Dead stuff and some New Orleans stuff. They turned into a band with its own sound, living up to the promise and potential of the merging of great influences and individuals. This is the dirtiest, most legendary rhythm section around. Billy seemed to be playing a lot more creatively. I think the kit might even be different, with china and splash cymbals and I don't think he had a crash at all. The unsung hero of the group is multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard who owns on keys, trombone and harmonica. He plays very intelligently, I think the glue that holds the group together. Pappa's guitar and voice fit really well with the other guys, but I think of the group he would be the least worth hearing of his own accord, although I do like his songwriting quite a bit.

My biggest issue with the group is it's personality, which seems close to that of its frontman. Considering that he's a round mound of dreads in a silly hate and thick rimmed glasses who calls himself Pappa Mali, once would expect a bit more of a sense of humor. But Pappa Mali is a serious guy, and Billy, one of the more stoic members of the dead to begin with, has certainly been something of a downer since Jerry's passing. George Porter Jr. played from a stool towards behind the keyboards. Whether his placement is just to have him closer to the drums, the effect is that he along with his exuberance and warmth is relegated to the back. The music is fun, the guys should be too.

 Some of this is based on shaking the guys hands after the show and talking with them a little bit. As I mentioned earlier, I made an ass out of myself to Pappa Mali when I tried to congratulate him on the group's growth. I was pretty drunk at the time. I haven't yet drummed after hearing, watching, and meeting Billy. Granted everybody was nice, taking the time to meet and talk to people, but the two founders were not warm. Is it wrong for the way you feel about a band to have to do with its personality? I think Jerry is loved and missed for Jerry as he is for his playing. But if he weren't Jerry he could have never played like that.You only make your best music if you put your whole self into it.

An interesting thought, but a moot point. I would hear these guys again in a heartbeat. I had a blast. Hearing music with my dad continues to be a really special experience. He got me into Jazz, preparing me to fall in love with the grateful dead, although I got it on my own. I would have loved to have been brought up on it like some people, including my future kids if I make the boneheaded decision to have them, but discovering them my self, listening to skeletons from the closet the first time and having that moment of what is this? was pretty incredible and even more meaningful.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 12/31/2010 7:10 AM
Year in Review
It was a good year for music. I averaged about a show a week. I got my groove on in North Carolina, Florida, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Ohio and New York in Buffalo, Lewiston, Canandaigua, Rochester, Utica, Ithaca, Syracuse, Albany, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Manhattan.

Venue of the Year. You can't really compare hearing music indoors and outdoors, so I'll break it up. Indoors I'm grateful to have the Wescott so close and I like its intimacy and informality that induces sincere performances. I haven't had much fun, because a few blocks away is hardly an adventure and I rarely go there with other peoples. The Higherground in Burlington has great pull in terms of artists and its location and two seperate stages, allowing smaller bands to still play packed rooms, avoiding that painful empty feeling. But It's just a little too sterile, located on a boulevard just off the highway. The winner here is The Lincoln Theater in Raliegh, North Carolina. The Venue is downtown so you can eat and drink at your choices of joints within walking distance, yet there's still plenty of free parking. I heard Zappa Plays Zappa and Galactic, and both nights the energy was great. There are tiers and a balcony, making a real dynamic environment.

Outdoors I need to give an honorable mention to Nelson Ledges. I only went there once, so it isn't even eligible by my critieria, and its really a resort or park first and place to hear music second. Still, Dancing to Tea Leaf Green then diving in the quarry and coming back while Josh Clarke was still shredding was a highlight. Honorable honorable mention to koko booth ampitheater in Cary NC, a gorgeous little place, but too quiet. I loved hearing Roots of Creation and Assembly of Dust at Mids Park in Lake Placid. The crowd is small and relaxed and very family friendly, but certainly a pleasant environment. Art Park, overlooking the niagra gorge in lewiston, ny gets a nod. The free tuesday night concert series where i saw creedence clearwater revisited packs the park with locals, but trombone shorty the following night played to next to nobody. Hearing Further from outside the gate, muffled slightly through the trees with the woman was a special evening. The Buffalo Place Rocks the harbor series where I saw Moe, Herbie Hancock, Mule, Jackie, Jonny Lang and Keller should be mentioned in the same breath. Also on the water, and also extremely well attended my experience was very much affected by the company. But the Winner here is the CMAC In Canandaigua, Where I heard Phish, My Morning Jacket and Procol Harem and Jethro Tull. It's all about that fingerlake air. A dramatic rolling hill overlooking the lake on a summer night is a magical combination, which ought to be paired with a wine tasting or two earlier in the day. The energy at that Phish concert, along with the phriendlieness of the phans was something else, and MMJ was MMJ.

New Band of the Year- to the band i heard the first time in '10 and saw live.
nods go to the felice brothers, the ryan montbleau band and any combination you want of Luther and Cody Dickinson. This category really isn't close though, It's My Morning Jacket by a landslide. I payed 40 dollars to see them not really knowing what they were all about, on the reccomendation of this site in particular, and left a complete convert. When I saw them 4 months later, my expectations were astronomical and they were easily met. If a show is good enough you leave a diferent person than you came. MMJ can do that

Band of the Year
Gov't Mule who I caught 4 times and Jackie, who I saw 5 times make this list, but I'll happily throw a little love in the way of Furthur. What started as a project turned into a band as the group went from smaller and out of the way venues to the garden, which I wish I went to. I caught bobby and Phil and their pals 5 times in 4 states. Charlotte was fun on a cold night, Utica with my dad really rocked, including a cover of satisfaction that i called and he said no way.  Nateva was not their best, but Lewiston more than made up for it, with its deep setlist. Nothing too crazy at Gathering of the Vibes, but their set with its terapin encore honored jerrys memory beautifully.

Set of the Year
The second set of the Rhythm Devils when  Mike Gordon guested on Mickey's birthday was memorable. The allstar Jam at wannee scheduled when sharon jones couldnt get a flight out of europe represented spontanaity the joy of music When I heard the first performance of the Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi band I found myself wondering how it was that anything could sound so good. Zappa Plays Zappa at the Lincoln completly blew my mind. Without too much competition though, I have to give it to Gov't Mule's parade of guest set at another one for woody. This isn't really fair. it was an emotional night to begin with and the talent assembled was super high. Sometimes guys play their hearts out and frequently collaboraters make each other better, but both was happening at the same time.

Biggest dissapointment
While I didn't enjoy myself the most recent time I heard the felice brothers and Ekoostic Hookah wasn't quite everything I hoped they would be, the experience was more than I could have hoped for. Drive By Truckers at Nateva really was a let down.

Best Day of Music
Radiators-Jackie-Crazy Engine-Sharon Jones-Robert Randolph-Furthur at Gathering of the Vibes was stellar but day 2 of Wanee was better. 2 stages vs. 1. Bobby Lee Rodgers-Hill Country Revue- Dr John-Dumpstaphunk-The Word-The Funk Meters-AllStar Funk Jam- Widespread Panic- Jonny Winter- Allman Bros-Derk and Susan. And I didn't even hear the black keys. Again, unfair.

I Finally saw Clapton and The Radiators, and went to my first camping festival. (and my second, third and one day of my fourth)

At the top of my list who I would love to see is Taj Mahal. I should also see BB King probably. Yonder Mountain String Band tops the list of bluegrass acts I havent seen yet and would like to. Donna the Buffalo, Grace Potter, Lettuce and Soulive ALO and Dr. Dog are other acts on the scene I haven't heard yet and wouldn't mind checking out in '011. I'd also like to see some of Garcia's buddies like Grisman, Hornsby, etc.I don't know what the year has in store of me in terms of where I'll be. I may work in Florida this winter which would allow for another Wannee. I dont know where I'll be next fall or this summer, although I might try to work for Iclips which would send me basically anywhere. I doubt I'll be able to reach 52 days of music again, but who knows.

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Wed 12/29/2010 4:02 PM
Felice Brothers at the Wescott 12/2
No opener which was unique for the Wescott, and the door ticket price was more than most shows at the Wescott, including Jackie. Decent sized, mostly younger crowd. Somebody said that the Felice brother always start late, that they play when they want to play. This night they wanted to play fifteen minutes after their scheduled start time, which really isn't terrible. They led off with a trio of familiar songs, the only one I remember now being Cincinnati queen. After this they played some semi electronic stuff with fidler Grey Farley playing some type of electronic drum machine toy mounted on a christmas light adorned bass drum. The bass player, a gaunt individual called Christmas played a small synthisizer. What initially attracted me to these guys was their no fuss approach to music, certainly not the can you turn the bass up in my mix, type of artist. The electronic toys struck me as a direct opposition to their organic neo folk image at first. But, I realized it was just the boys having fun, which is what these guys are mostly about. Lead singer and guitarist Ian Felice, who I have in the past described as singing like a prophet told us they had been on the road for two monthes and didn't know why this show had been booked. He tried to follow this by saying that playing music was what they loved to do, so it was all good, but his attitude didn't leave me convinced.

These guys have two modes, throwdown and mellow, or music to get drunk to and music to nurse a hangover to. They were in the first mode. The brothers have very devoted fans, for having a relative few- 4,000 on facebook, 800 on this very site. The crowd, like the band was young, and some girls swooned. There seemed to be no objection to deification, the camera phones were out in force. For the encore the crowd stormed the stage, climbing over a barricade I hadn't seen in a half dozen or so other shows at the Wescott. I came in a fan, but really wasn't in the mood for the show, in part because I wasn't really vibing the energy in the room, at no fault of the rooms energy. The combination of ticket price, late start, short set, electronica elements and Ian's comments made me like the band somewhat less than I did before going in.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Mon 12/6/2010 12:21 PM
allmans at the palace one for woody
On November 15th I went to my first concert in over a month, the longest such stretch since before the summer, and made the two and a half hour drive to Albany. The Palace, located just off the highway welcomed me with a rainbow lighted marquee. The show started with pretty standard takes on Statesboro Blues, and Midnight Rider. Woman Across the River heated things up in the gorgeous and ornate theater built originally in 1931. Mark Quinones really brought the energy, with
Funky syncopations interspersed in toxic solos from Warren and Derek. Highlight of the night. The insanity continued with Dreams inducing great jams as the song has the habit of doing.

Melissa precipitated a second set which was a little bit more somber including Blind Willie McTell and It Stoned Me. After Les Brers, The Bass and Drum solo gave way to a Drum quartet with Oteil on Butch's kit, and Butch melting face on the typani. A sweltering Southbound ended the night. I would be remiss to not mention how good Greggs voice and playing sounded just months after his transplant. 

Set I
: Statesboro Blues, Midnight Rider, Come on In My Kitchen, Woman Across The River, Dreams, Every Hungry Woman, The Sky Is Crying, No One To Run With

Set II: Melissa, Trouble No More, Only You Know And I Know, Blind Willie McTell, Stand Back, And It Stoned Me, Les Brers in A Minor > Bass > Drums> Les Brers in A Minor

Enc: Southbound

Another One for Woody gave me the kick in the pants I needed to visit my best friends from college in new york, although they didn't go to the show with me. You'd have to be a pretty big Allmans/Mule fan to be there with tickets costing as much as they did, the result was an appropriate feeling of family in the crowd. I never had the opportunity to hear Allan, but I've heard recordings and definitely feel like he's still part of Gov't Mule. It was kind of like attending calling hours of your coworker's husband you never met. You know how much they were loved and are missed, and you support the people you love. After listening to the original One for Woody, not going wasn't much of an option.

The show kicked off with an accoustic trio of Warren and his old NC friends Edwin Mcain and Kevin Kinny. These two southern songwriters didn't do any other guesting, and were strangely not really a part of the party.

Cody and Luther Dickinson took the stage as the North Mississippi Allstars Duo. These two brothers represent just about everything that is good about music. They have a great respect for traditional music but are innovative. They are talented hard workers, and most importantly get so much joy from playing music. After playing a bunch of songs together, Gordie Johnson  joined for a song on bass, and after a Cody drum solo Luther moved to Bass and Gordie played guitar. They brought on a  slue of guests for a rollicking Whiskey Rock N Rolla. It was on.

Government Mule started with railroad boy and blind man in the dark. Two things were clear. Danny was having a blast. While playing guitar on Steppin Lightly, he traveled the stage, making warren look like Derek Trucks in comparison, at one point executing a synchronized guitar and bass lift with Jorgen. Along with sitting in with all three bands, he did a bit of dancing and played a little valve trombone.  Secondly, Warren was playing furiously. Now he always plays hard and great, but he was playing angy, punishing his guitar because he was pissed as hell that Allen wasn't beside him. Warren displayed a range of emotion, from anger to sadness, to something that was pretty close to joy. The last song Mule played sans guests was the banks of the deep end, warrens eulogy for Woody. Everybody knew the final lyric of the song 'on the banks of the deep end where i lost my best friend' was coming and that anticipation was painful. When the lyrics came, warren took his time with them, lamenting rather than reciting.

Then the guest train came and reminded warren that this was a party and he started to have a good time. The drummers from moe. played some percussion, with Gordie Johnson on guitar for the best version of im a ram im ever heard. Chuck Garvey traded places with Gordie for a fairly trippy Dear Prudence. When the boys from moe. left, the dickinsons, and hook herrera played 32/20, mule's standard sit in tune for blues players. Original Skynard drummer Artemis Pyle played some percussion, which he did for the rest of the set, with the exception of simple man in which he sat behind the kit. When you think percussionist you think Mark Quinones, or a bro like Vinnie Amico of moe. Pyle is as Southern Rock as it comes, and makes a hell of a lot more sense next to a bottle of whiskey than a conga, but he was relatively competant and just kind of hung out doing whatever. That dude's had a rough deal. He survived the plane crash that killed his Lynard Skynard bandmates, only to deal with legal issues and allegations from his family and then lose Woody. He's a character, for sure, whose drumming makes up for with enthusiasm what it lacks in nuance. I had heard Hook Herrera on recordings, but live he has amazing charisma, and like the dickinsons, he can't play without smiling. I found Rich Robinson a little underwhelming, although when he returned with the Allmans, I was more impressed.

We only have time for one more song and one more guest. Phil Lesh? Further was in town the night before. Soulshine started and after the first verse, a pretty teenage girl came to a mic at center stage.  Savannah Woody sang

I grew up thinkin' that I had it made,
Gonna make it on my own.
Life can take the strongest man,
Make him feel so alone.
Now and then I feel a cold wind,
Blowin' through my achin' bones,
I think back to what my daddy said,
He said ";Girl, in the darkness before the dawn:"

When she sang the daddy said part she pointed her towards the heavens and it brought tears to everybody there man enough to cry. Watching her was pretty emotional, for everyone including Warren, Matt and Artimis, and watching them watch her, how proud they are of her, how much they love her was really just amazing. Warren hugged her mid-song and Artemis brought her a tambourine. She could have been terrible and it wouldn't have mattered, but that girls has got some pipes. 1400 people celebrating the life of your father, not to mention some of the biggest names in blues rock is a pretty tough debut gig, but Savannah absolutly nailed it, and I'm optimistic it won't be her last time performing with Gov't Mule.

After the display of energy, emotion, jams, joy, love sincerity and spontinaity it seemed doubtful that the Allmans had any chance of topping them, especially since this was the last night of their mini tour. Their half dozen or so songs without guests didn't live up to what we had just participated in. I'll take slightly subpar Allman Bros over just about anything, but they failed to match the intensity and passion of the previous set. Hook was the first guest. I had thought that a harmonica playing with guitars was like bringing a knife to a gun fight, but Hook Herrera handles his harp like a semi automatic assault rifle. Danny Luis and Audley Freed guested on the dirtiest blusiest Weight I've ever heard, that warren sung. Oteil took a rare lead vocals turn on Franklin's Tower with the moe. boys. Garvey can shred, man. After a whipping post encore, a treat since i didn't get it in albany, warren, Matt, Danny, Oteil, berry oakley jr, and artemis lead a singalong of pink floyd's wish you were hear, which couldn't have been a more appropriate end.

I wish that I had gotten a chance to see Allen Woody in person. But I feel very fortunate to have been touched by his music. Its easy to get caught up on the people we wish we had seen: Allen, Jerry, Janis and Ray Charles who played in Syracuse just months before dying, but i missed the show at a wedding in michigain. With Thanksgiving just starting I want to take the opportunity to be grateful for the wonderful musicians I have had the opportunity to see. There is music and love in my life and I am truly blessed.

Warren, Kevin Kinney, Edwin McCain
just outside of heaven
lucky one
i shall be released

01 Tuning/Introduction By Warren Haynes
02 Sittin' On Top Of The World >
03 Station Blues >
04 Preachin' Blues
05 Glory Glory Hallelujah
06 Po Black Maddie/ skinny woman >
07 Straight To Hell (With Gordie Johnson)
08 Whiskey Rock N Rolla (With Artemis Pyle, Audley Freed, Robert Kearns, Danny Louis, and Gordie Johnson)

Gov’t Mule
Another One For Woody Roseland Ballroom New York, NY

Railroad Boy >
Blind Man In The Dark
Steppin’ Lightly
Banks Of The Deep End
I’m A Ram (with Gordie Johnson, Jim Loughlin & Vinnie Amico)
Dear Prudence (with Chuck Garvey, Jim Loughlin & Vinnie Amico)
32/20 Blues (with Hook Herrera, Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson & Artemis Pyle)
Stay With Me (with Rich Robinson & Artemis Pyle
Sometimes Salvation with Rich Robinson, Robert Kearns & Artemis Pyle, without Jorgen Carlsson)
Simple Man (with Artemis Pyle, Audley Freed & Robert Kearns, without Matt Abts & Jorgen Carlsson)
Wishing Well (with Artemis Pyle & Audley Freed)
Soulshine (with Savannah Woody & Artemis Pyle)

Allman Brothers Band
Another One For Woody Roseland Ballroom New York, NY

Don’t Want You No More>
Ain’t My Cross To Bear
End Of The Line
No One Left To Run With
Black Hearted Woman>
Other One Jam>
Who’s Been Talking (with Hook Herrera)
Midnight Rider
One Way Out (with Rich Robinson & Berry Oakley Jr.)
Statesboro Blues (with Berry Oakley Jr.)
The Weight (with Audley Freed & Danny Louis)
Franklin’s Tower (with Chuck Garvey, Vinnie and Jim from moe.)
Southbound (with Hook Herrera, Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson)

Enc: Whipping Post

2nd Encore Wish you were here

Warren, Matt, Oteil, Barry Oakley Jr. Matt Abts, Gordie, Artimis

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Wed 11/24/2010 7:35 PM
end of summer and fall
8-10 assembly of dust mids park lake placid. same series as roots of creation. gorgeous, went with my sister and a highlight may have been when my 21 year old brother came with his 16 year old girlfriend and got real uncomfortable. rootsy and decent music. gorgeous place.

8-13 the mclovins, jackie greene, gov't mule. waterfront park burlington. maritime festival. The mclovins put on a free show. In my opinion they didnt bring me into the song enough before losing me with the jam. Still fun and exciting young group with a mother as manager selling merch. Chop City. Caught Mule's 4 song sound check. about 30 or less people with warren joking around with us. before the last song he asked jorgen whether he'd rather play something loud or soft. he said soft. jackie was amazing, converting fans as he always does although the setlist was very predictable for 45 minutes. Mule seemed a bit lacking in energy. I observed the show from outside, on the beach for a part, on the pier for a part until finally security let everybody in halfway through the second set. at the act break jackie and jeremy his basist played catch. at one point the ball went under a fence by a train check. jeremy commented it was a very sandlot moment and he boosted jackie over who got the ball.

5-28 my morning jacket, cmac, canandaigua. I reviewed this one on Before the show i had no ticket and was sitting behind the fence behind the lawn. some dudes kicked me out and i chilled with the valets until a lady came in offering a free ticket. i bought her and her friend beers. if you remember my phish experience it was definately a karmic occurence.

9-11 rhythm devils, burlington, higher ground ballroom. Also reviewed this one on jambands. saw mike gordon in the parking lot beforehand. flashed him a thumbs up and he smiled. a very good night on mickey's 67th birthday.

9-13 carolina chocolate drops higher ground lounge burlington, vt. These three embrace their opportunity to not just play great tunes but also teach and share cultural history with a touch of race relations. constantly trading instruments and vocals, with guitars, banjos, fiddles, and jugs.

9-23 Ryan Montbleau Band with Jesse Dee opening. same place. I had seen RMB twice before and saw them as much out of homesickness, in the sense that i was longing for familiarity, as anything else. The music lacks edge, but makes up for it in wholseome sweetness and pleasant grooves. His percussionist and keyboard player are the musical heart and soul of the band with ryan bringing the personality through his distinctive songwriting and vocal stylings. On one occasion The real treat of the night, though, was Jesse Dee with mustache, coat and tie, and mop of hair that looks like a wig. At first I thought he was a joke, but than he started to sing and exposed himself as a charismatic and genuine soul singer. He sat in with RMB for about 3 songs, mostly motown covers in which he sang Ryan under the table. RMB went on with their set which included an enjoyable they loved each other. I left before the precedings concluded, tired and a little lonly and had to work the next day.

10-1 zach deputy and yarn higher ground burlington
Zach deputy played an "accoustical" set which i found great. before being joined by yarn on the last song, and yarn played a set. The best country band out of Manhattan started out pretty routine just playing their songs, but the intensity picked up over the 75 minute set and included a sort of amazing drum solo. i came to the show just to hear yarn. Deputy's second set was with his looping. i stood right in front of him to try to watch everything happen and could only partly keep up. Fun music, if you are in a dancing mood especially. Overall burlington was a lonly experience and this particular night i was particularly preoccupied with a bad landlord/ roomate situation. I couldn't really get into it and the songs sounded pretty much the same. beatboxing also is pretty annoying most of the time. I left at his set break getting a call from my one friend in burlington to go to:

10-1 Cats Under the Stars Nectars, Burlington.
My friend Lauren is a deadhead who left home when she was 15 and went on tour. she seems to have a neverending supply of stories. She lived in Burlington in the past but came back the time i did to work the grape harvest i came to town to work. she reconnected with a bunch of old friends and they were all out at this show, friends with the chick backup singer. Cats under the stars are the DSO of JGB. There are a million dead cover bands but this is the first JGB one I know of (other than JGB). I arrived in time for the second set. Lauren's roomate soon got me out of the mood I was in by telling me to be grateful, and being in a room dancing with a bunch of people, it wasn't too hard. CATS are so good. the lead singer is 22 and does Jerry's voice (particularly later years jerry) better than Matson, Kadlecik, or Stu Allen. These guys have been around for less than a year, I believe, and are already at a place many bands dont get to: they dont just make music, they make magic. After staying up most of the night and hanging out most of the next day with my new friends, we went to

10-2 Cats Under the Stars the Matterhorn, Stowe VT
Their friend Gretta couldn't find a babysitter so the boys made do with no backup singer. She was missed but the show was still fun. We thought that more of their friends would show up, but it was just 4 of us to hear the band, one guy taping the show, the guitar player's girlfriend, and everybody else was just at the bar and just happened to hear the music. this band might be local right now, but they are so far beyond bar level cover band. I would be surprised if nobody takes notice. The song choices were more or less the same as the previous night- cats under the stars, second that emotion, the way you do the things you do, dont let go. we ended up getting kicked out of the bar before the second set was over, a member of our party being rather intoxicated. this was my last night in burlington. I crashed at my friends house and then brought the 3 with me to evict myself from my awful house the next day. the landlord ended up screaming at me as i expected he would, validating one of my reasons for leaving. i worked one more day and was soon back in syracuse in time to see:

10-6 Jackie Greene at The Wescott, Syracuse NY
What a great place to see Jackie! My 6th time seeing him in under a year, 5th time since july. I wrote a review that jambands may or may not post. his first set was accoustic and solo and had the informality of a friend busting out a guitar at a party, taking requests, joking back and forth, and even not knowing the words to one of the songs. After the show Jackie was on the marquee smoking as people smoked below him. So he comes down and joins everybody, and is not just polite, but conversational and seemingly enjoying himself. Sombody asked if he had seen the last waltz and his reply was does the pop shit in the woods. Originally I planned on seing Jackie in Burlington, in fact I had my ticket and gave it to my friend lauren. Originally I wanted my mom to give jackie cookies to give me the next night in burlington, but since i was in syracuse, I gave him cookies to give to my friends. he seemed amused. I havent found out from my friend if she got them, and a piece of me thinks my best chance of finding out is the next time I see Jackie.

10-7 JGB with Melvin Seals The Waterhole Upstairs Music Lounge Saranac Lake
In 14 or so years in the Adirondacks, this was my first trip to the waterhole, a great bar and very intimate little venue. I went with my dad, and a highlight of the night was how much he enjoyed it. Desolation Angels opened and were a very decent time. I shook Melvin Seals hands. He's look a bit big. He and Jerry must have had a similar diet. there was a  little balcony where my dad sat where you could watch melvin's hands on the keys. I spent some time down there and some time downstairs further back, behind a set of speakers that had the best accoustics in the room. Stu Allen flirted with a lady all night. I think he came with her, but either way there was no doubt in whose pants he was ending the night. He was good. I think I'd take the kid from Cats Under the Stars over him, but he's good. Also the bass player with dreads and the wierd base was super cool. He sang one song very nicely looking kind of like a cat.

That pretty much gets us caught up. There's a lot of pretty good looking stuff coming to the wescott and I'm seing the allmans nov 15th in albany, something i'm real excited about. X-mas jam is very much on my radar too.

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 10/19/2010 3:55 PM
Last night, I had a dream that Warren and Trey had a light saber battle.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Thu 9/9/2010 3:03 PM
Govt Mule with Jackie Greene Buffalo Rocks the Harbor 8-7
I had been looking forward to seeing the Mule all summer, and looking forward to seeing Jackie Greene again since I saw him the week before at Gathering of the Vibes. The evening rain of the past couple of days was nowhere to be seen and we were treated to a beautiful warm night. Although totally predictable, Jackie played a fantastic set with a couple of his new songs, a couple of his older ones, and his exquisite take on Taxman and Scarlet Begonias. It was the third time I've heard his Begonias, and while the element of surprise which caused me to jump out of my chair and rush the stage at Nateva isn't there anymore, I wouldn't mind hearing it every time I see him play. Hell, I wouldn't mind hearing it any time I hear anybody play. I like his vest and straw hat Prince of Americana look, but seeing him rock it every time lacks a certain sincerity. Our vibe embraces spontaneity, and although his set list isn't the most variant around, It wouldn't kill him to put a different colored vest or perhaps a bowler hat from time to time.

Forty five excruciatingly impatient minutes later, a bearded Brian Farmer put up the Mule Crossing sign and it was go time. The last two times I saw Warren and co. were in one set festival appearances in which they leaned towards covers and collaborations, but this night on the Erie Canal Harbor showed Mule at their muliest: gritty, powerful, and just a little bit tender. The first set kicked off with a strong Bad Little Doggie and the muscles stayed flexed until they eased up a touch for a beautifully evocative Million Miles, the first song I ever heard Gov't Mule play last July 24 at the Fillmore Charlotte. They brought it right back up with Jezebel and stayed up in a run which included a little Allman's Jam and ended with a fun Thorazine Shuffle.

The set break wasn't so hard as the previous act break. The ears and the mind and the heart benifit from a little time to process, appreciate, and reset. While my woman, who had never seen Gov't Mule before was initially most excited about Danny Louis' orange wayfarer sunglasses, after an hour and a half or so of music, she was a convert. Although more Caucasian than Herbie Hancock the previous night, the crowd was of a similar age and there was a similar abundance of lawn chairs. I love mule fans, but don't get why more younger people aren't among their ranks. Not a complaint just a query.

The next set opened with a cover of Pink Floyd's Fearless, which set the tone for a slightly more subdued and mysteriously beautiful although certainly no less pungent second half of music. Mule played three songs from By a Thread, which they are still touring to promote, along with sing a longs Beautifully Broken and I'm a Ram. Matt Abts' drum solo donkey kicked it into a higher gear where it stayed until a blazing Mule would have set the roof on fire had we been indoors. Jackie came back on for the encore as he has all tour long and traded vocals and guitar licks with Warren on the Bonnie Dobson penned tune Morning Dew, usually associated with the Dead. It was a thing of pure sonic aestheticism, ending the tasty evening with a melt in your mouth sweetness.

Gov’t Mule
Buffalo Place: Rocks The Harbor, Buffalo, NY

Set I: Bad Little Doggie, Mr. High & Mighty, Brand New Angel, Broke Down On The Brazos, Million Miles From Yesterday, Slackjaw Jezebel, Lazy, I’ll Be The One > Blue Sky Jam (with I’ll Take You There Lyrics), I’ll Be The One > Thorazine Shuffle

Set II: Fearless > Railroad Boy > Beautifully Broken > I’m A Ram > Drums, Inside Outside Woman Blues, Steppin’ Lightly > Mule

Enc: Morning Dew*

Notes: *with Jackie Greene


1 Comment :: Permalink :: Mon 8/9/2010 7:35 AM
list of dead songs Ive seen

Just for myself I thought it would be interesting to compile a list of songs I have heard played by at least 1 former members of the dead.

The Dead 4/12

The music never stopped
Jack Straw (F 7/30, 7/4
Estimated Prophet (F 7/30,
He's Gone (F 7/30, 7W 12/30
Touch of Grey (F 2/20
I need a Miracle
Shakedown Street
All Along the Watchtower
Caution (Do not step on the tracks) (F 2/10)
Cosmic Charlie (F 7/8, 2/10
New Potato Caboose (F 2/10
Help on the Way (F 7/30,
Slipknot! (F 7/30, 7/4
Franklin's Tower
(F 7/30, 7/4
Samson and Delilah (F 7/4


The Golden Road (7/30
Ramble on Rose
(7/30, 7/4, 2/20
Dupree's Diamond Blues (7/30
Friend of the Devil (7/30 STC 4/16
Eyes of the World (7/30, 7/4
Not Fade Away (7/30 STC 4/16
Playing in the Band (7/30
Althea (7/30
Wharf Rat (7/30 7w 4/16
Scarlet Begonias (7/30
The Wheel (7/30, 2/20
Standing on the Moon (7/30
Terrapin Station Suite (7/30
Operator (7/8
Crazy Fingers
(7/8, 2/10
West L.A. Fadeaway
They Love Each Other
Big River
Women are Smarter
Bird Song
(7/8, 7W 12/30
Ashes & Glass
Doin' that Rag
(7/8, 2/10
Hard to Handle
(7/8 7w 4/16 7W 12/30
Dear Prudence
(7/8, 2/20
Cryptical Envelopment
Dark Star
The Other One
King Solomon's Marbles
Mason's Children
Johnny B. Goode
Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo (7/4
Cold Rain and Snow
(7/4, 2/10 RD 9/11
When I Paint my Masterpiece
(7/4 STC 4/16
Cumberland Blues
(7/4, 2/20 RD 9/11
Casey Jones
St. Stephen
Dear Mr. Fantasy
Days Between
Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad
(7/4, 2/20
And We Bid You Goodnight
(7/4, 2/20
U.S. Blues (7/4, RD 9/11

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (2/20
Promised Land (2/20
Foolish Heart (2/20, 2/10
Reuben and Cherise (2/20
Satisfaction (2/20
China Cat Sunflower
I know you Rider (2/20, 7W 12/30
Magnolia Mountain (2/20
Unbroken Chain
Comes a Time
One More Saturday Night (2/20
Here Comes Sunshine (2/10
Me and My Uncle (2/10 STC 4/16
Maggie's Farm
(2/10 STC 4/16
Minglewood Blues
Lost Sailor (2/10
Saint of Circumstance
Nobody Girl
China Doll (2/10
Box of Rain

Rhythm Devils 9/11/10
Strange World
Uncle John's Band
Fountains of Wood
Mountains of the Moon
you Remind Me
Good Lovin
The wrecking Crew
Hey Bo Diddly
New Speedway Boogie 7w 12/30
Voodoo Zombies
So Many Roads

Scaring the Children 4/16/10
A Hard Rain's Gunna Fall
Loose Lucy
Days Between
Tomorrow Never Knows
Even So
October Queen
7 Walkers 4/16/10
Sugaree 4/16, 12/30
Bottle Up and Go 4/16, 12/20
7 Walkers 4/16, 12/30
Junco Partner 4/16, 12/30
Sue From Bogaloosa 4/16, 12/30
Bertha 4/16, 12/30
Death Don't Have no Mercy 12/30
Just Kissed My Baby 12/30
 Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues 12/30
(For The Love Of) Mr. Okra
 King Cotton Blues



1 Comment :: Permalink :: Sun 8/8/2010 8:22 PM
Jonny Lang and Herbie Hancock Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor 8/6
Inclement whether delayed the start of the evening, but unlike the ground, our spirits were not dampened. Jonny Lang played for about an hour and a half filled with mean guitar licks and soulful bluesy crooning. At one point he said are you having a good time can we keep playing will you keep having a good time? And I joked that I was having a good time and I would keep having a good time as long as they kept playing blues and didn't start playing reggae. At one point they started singing "everything's gunna be alright" and we laughed. Great opening set.

Herbie Hancock is legendary and I'm pretty sure I played songs he wrote back when I played the trumpet. He also looks about 40, 30 years younger than he really is and has more fun when he plays than most 30 year-olds. His playing, it goes with out saying is amazing, but there is something about his aura that far surpasses his eminent playing ability. Hancock played one long set, and we stood to the side of the stage, with a perfect view of Hancock at his keyboard and piano, but not a great view of the gorgeous and talented female singer. He played songs from his Imagine project, including imagine along with The Times they are a changing by Dylan followed with Change is gunna come by Sam Cooke. The group played Space Traveler, which features Derek and Susan on the album, and although Hancock's Guitar player fell far short or Derek, The singer did justice to Susan's raspy vocals so much so that I stood up to see what was going on when the song started. They played a watermelon man with Herbie enjoying himself on the keytar. When they played Jaco Pastorius' funky chicken as an encore I got up and danced as hard as I could. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 8/8/2010 6:21 PM
Gathering of the Vibes 7-30
I've been wanting to see the radiators for 10 years. My dad is a fan and has never seen them. When I was 17 we went to New Orleans with my dad and was unable to see them at the house of blues since I wasn't old enough. We also were unable to see them at a 75$ a head benefit the following day. My senior year I was going to see them in New York, but couldn't find anyone to go with and skipped it, in the days before I learned to go to concerts alone. When I saw that the radiators were playing on the same day of Vibes as Further along with Jackie Greene, Steve Kimock, Robert Randolph and Sharon Jones all for 65$ I was all in, especially since I was looking for an excuse to return to New Haven.

After partying with a former frat buddy and his friends rolling on E in the house I lived in for two years, I was sufficiently in the mood to gather some vibes in Bridgeport. Although I was down for a day, I was reluctant to go to the festival because I thought it would be seedy. Bridgeport is known to some as Gunsmoke City and the nitrous element has been pretty sketch in years past. But I was thrilled when I arrived. The vibes were indeed positive, the scene mellow, and the site right one the long island sound beautiful.

The radiators played a set of music I was familiar with and typified everything I love about them. Jackie Greene took in part of their set from the back of the stage, and just like at Nateva when I first saw him I felt excited. His set was pretty similar to Nateva including his superb cover of scarlet begonias which featured a John Molo sit in. I though Steve Kimock's Crazy engine would feature Melvin Seals of JGB on hammond, but Bernie Worrels of P funk played the keys instead. In terms of musical ability nothing was lost, but I was really looking forward to seing Melvin for the first time, and especially intrigued by collaboration possibilities. Sharon Jones really impressed me with her live performance. A lot of energy and charisma from a rather small woman with a rather large voice. The highlight of her set for me was when she took off her heels and danced around the stage barefoot. Robert Randolph played furious steel guitar with a scarf around his head ala Hendrix. At one point he held up an electric guitar and invited audience members to jam. Three mediocre ones tried until a young kid held his own, trading licks with Randolph.

And then it was time for Further. I was up close maybe15 people back for a first set filled with great sing alongs including Ramble on Rose which Bobby flubbed the lyrics of before making a great Bobby grimace which I would rather see than a perfectly executed set any day of the week. A couple middle aged men beside me who enjoyed shouting out "Jonny D" had hoped before the set to here eyes of the world and were in luck. Eyes was great and energetic and I happily threw the handful of 30 or so glowsticks I had accumulated during the first half of the set.

The boys took their time on the set break, 45 or so minutes before beginning what many agreed was a very Jerry second set. I had walked around some and parked my lawnchair further back to soak up as much atmosphere as I could. By Scarlett Begonias I was up dancing. An older man behind me new most of the words to most of the songs and happily sung them with little regard for pitch or key. When the first notes of the Wheel started he shouted out with joy like a kid "The wheel! It's the Wheel!" to his wife. When I thought the encore was halfway over I headed towards the gate to catch the bus back to my car, but it didn't end. They played the entire terrapin suite which lasted maybe 20 minutes. I'll take that encore any day. A wonderful end to a wonderful day.

01.  The Golden Road
02.  Jack Straw
03.  Ramble On Rose
04.  Dupree's Diamond Blues
05.  Friend of The Devil
06.  Estimated Prophet>
07.  Eyes of The World>
08.  Not Fade Away

 (set 2):
01.  Playing In The Band
02.  Althea
03.  Wharf Rat>
04.  He's Gone>
05.  Scarlet Begonias>
06.  The Wheel
07.  Standing On The Moon
08.  Help On The Way>
09.  Slipknot!>
10.  Franklin's Tower
E:  Terrapin Station Suite
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 8/8/2010 3:14 PM
Summer Hookah weekend Nelson Ledges 7-23/24
We showed up a little past 6:00, not feeling great, but certainly excited. After through woods filled with kind people we pitched our tent, grabbed a few beers and headed towards the stage to catch the end of Zach Deputy's set. A live looper, Deputy is larger, hairier and reggaer than Keller Williams. He also sits and plays and does his one man thing with everything in front of him, negating the magic of Keller's voyeuristic creation. The stage is smaller than most festival's second stage, and the sand in front of it begs to be danced in barefoot. To the left of the stage was the old quarry now a lake.

Ekoostik Hookah came on around 7:30. I wish I could provide a setlist, but I don't have it. I don't think the show was taped. I remembered why the first time I heard them I had to see them. In my head, the spirit of the dead came through their music more than any other band I've heard. After experiencing them, I'll step back a bit from that bold claim, but they handle psychedelic country blues rock as well as anybody with a real appealing mix of keyboard and guitar. Steve Sweney on lead guitar is really what makes the band worth listening to, as Dave Katz distinctive voice has a quality which could be offputting if one weren't already in love with Hookah.

It started to rain during the set break, and the rain prolonged the break as the members of the band sat in a row on the lip of the stage, chatting with hookah heads not seeking refuge from the weather. The second set started with a blues song referencing the rain and went from there. My woman and I made our way back to the tent to call it a night since neither of us felt well enough to party. After a few hours I woke up (she had never fallen asleep) to the sounds of revelry including chants of HOOOOKAH and a drum set at a nearby campsite. Going back to sleep was unlikely so we walked around. Like the Spirit of the Suwanee music park in Florida, nelson ledges has camping in the woods, a much better experience than a bunch of tents and cars in a field. My head was aching pretty bad and this point and my throat was kinda dry, but we observed the humans all around us, the glow sticks and the drum circles around campfires. Through the woods we came to the lake, walked on the still not empty beach and continued past the front gate where a few employees were hanging out and back to our tents.

We slept a bit, but were woken up around 4:00 when a vehicle parked next to us and a drunk girl stepped out shouting "wake up you fucking pussys your at Nelson's" At first I was pissed off, but listening to the intoxicated ramblings outside the tent soon became amusing, easily preferable to sleeping. The main girl along with a friend made a comment volunteering sexual services and several male voices joined the conversation. A kid on our other side, named by queen of the drunks Mini Frodo was locked out of his car since "the fucking asshole of a person" he went with had his key. Someone expressed a particular desire and a male voice replied "I have a tattoo that says Mom, but you can't get everything you want"

The day was spent in the lake, swimming, cliff jumping, and people watching, letting early morning music do its ambiotic job. One band ended their set by proclaiming "we are Willy Mac Music and so are you" and the played a cover of two joints. The whole while we heard many people exclaim that the ledges weren't the same as they once were, usually in relation to lifeguards enforcing certain rules. Whether these comments were just nostalgia for the past, what is certain is that the place must have been something truly remarkable. If somebody had argued that NLQP was the most laid back place on earth on the day I visited, I would be hardpressed to disagree.

The music I cared about started some time in the afternoon with Tea Leaf Green, who I would see outdoor instead of indoor any day, followed by Cornmeal who I would see anyday. The two had toured together and collaborated quite a bit. "We went through the trenches together and now we're storming the beach" a propeller hatted Josh Clarke said before bringing out Allie Kraal. To see Allie Kraal play the violin is to fall in love with her. After playing a brutal solo which led the guy standing in front of us to ponder "people where ask where were you on the day that happened," Allie Kraal bowed and left the stage only to be called back for an encore by the crowd. Never even heard of something like that happening, but the ledges are like that. It was still hot so mid jam I went over to the lake, dove into the water and rolled back much cooler. Wavy Dave Burlingame, in a mumu sat in on banjo, as did Kris Nowak on guitar for Shel Silverstine's "I got stoned and I missed it," which fit in aptly with the drug friendly tone of the day.

Cornmeal played a set most notable for the rain which disrupted it. We took refuge in an arcade along with about 20 others. Josh Clarke joined wearing a mumu and the propeller hat. Preferred seeing them at the Xmas Jam by day, but it was the day that mattered, not the elements which made it, and cornmeal contributed to make the day the joy it was.

We returned to our tent to stay dry and freshen up a bit and then returned for the second night of Hookah. Although I was feeling better, my woman felt sick so we got some distance from the crowd and sat on a rock on the shore of the lake. A couple people sitting nearby got up to return the stage, leaving their phone behind. We only found it when they were gone, but texted recent contacts and were able to return it. I was unable to solve the mystery of why this band isn't bigger. They have an amazingly devoted following in a remarkably small area. As they finished their encore, I accepted the fact that It might be the last time I heard them. I can accept that as long as I return to the ledges.

7/23 Set 1: 01. Arctic Song-> 02. Somewhere Down the Line 03. Rest 04. Dumpster 05. Faces in the Crowd 06. El Bandito 07. My Own Way 08. Utopia 09. Way of the World Set 2: 01. Ridgway Sky-> 02. Deep River Blues 03. D'Artagnon 04. How Mountain Girls Can Love 05. Ol' Montana Red Dog 06. Indica and Sativa-> Bottle of Wine-> Indica and Sativa 07. Don't Change Horses (In the Middle Of A Stream) 08. E: Ecstasy 7/24 (Set 1): 01. Black Mamba* 02. Good Time (Merry-Go-Round) 03. My Sweet Own 04. Slipjig Through the Poppy Fields 05. Green 06. When the Sun Goes Down (Set 2): 01. Sister Sugar 02. It's All Right Now 03. Ethereal Passage 04. Walkin' Down the Road 05. Serpentine-> 06. Find Out 07. Sheepdog-> 08. Keepin' Time 09. Babble 10. Late Great Steven Abbott Sweney Sr. Toast 11. E: Echoes 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 8/8/2010 12:49 PM
Trombone Shorty 7-21 Artpark
two freeshows at artpark two days in a row. I had a bit of a sore throat which affected my experience. The place had maybe 1/6 of the crowd of the previous night, which also affected the experience. I've listened to a decent amount of Troy Andrews, including literally dancing through the atlanta airport while having him in my cd player. Maybe having heard almost all the songs and knowing what he did ruined the surprise, but my parents who saw him at the wescott the night before said it was one of the best concerts they had been to. Nothing about the experience really enhanced the music for me I guess. I left before the second set ended since I had the key to my friend's apartment and she was getting out of work. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 7/27/2010 1:28 PM
Creedance Clearwater Revisited 7-20 artpark
Maria Auriegma opened and rocked an ill tempered blues guitar. the place was bumping. huge crowds, many of whom had sightlines only of jumbotrons but didnt care. Creedence Revisited features original bass and drum players with new pieces everywhere else. Great songs, but too much talking. The lead singer had fogerty's swampy voice and his own stage presence. I didnt stay till the end, but got to hear plenty of great songs. also artpark is beautiful still 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 7/27/2010 1:17 PM
Jimmy Cliff withTrevor Hall Rochester Party in the Park 7/15/10
After missing the opportunity to see Ray Charles, I take every chance to see a legend I get. If it's free, with an opening act I'd been meaning to see so much the better. So I headed to Rochester for the Party in the Park, although calling it the Party in the Parking Lot would be more accurate. As parking lots go, this was a pretty nice one located on the river or canal, under a beautiful bridge with skyline all around.

It was hot and I stayed in the shade by a vendor's tent during the opening set from a local group fronted by a smoking hot brunette. Trevor Hall took the stage at 6:45, with a bass player, drummer, and Aaron Dugan, who plays guitar with Matisyahu. Somebody help me describe him as something besides white boy reggae. The music was pleasant, but stupid. Two of his songs had lyrics which rhymed mountain with fountain, as in climb the mountain drink from the fountain. I was reminded of the blonde environmentalist on one episode of the simpsons on whom lissa has a crush, who cuts off one of his dreads and gives it to her. I was also reminded of why people hate white dudes with dreads. After introducing the players at the end of the set, he said "the name of the band is Trevor Hall." Jimmy Cliff couldn't come on soon enough.

Jimmy Cliff took his time to come on, which he did at 8:15. His backup band, 9 dudes and one chick strong all wore bright orange Jimmy Cliff shirts, two thirds of whom had dreads. I don't know of any other bands wearing their own T-shirts, but I absolutly loved it. They looked slick but still casual. I had a Jimmy Cliff album when I was in high school, and was happy to recognize about a half dozen of his songs. Although he is 62, he still has pipes, and still dances, one of his moves being the always fashionable highkick. At one point in fact, Jimmy flanked by three of his younger band mates introduced the crowd to several dance moves. Everyone was right there with him, trying the moves they couldn't do, singing along, and waving their hands whenever instructed. A wonderful evening.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 7/16/2010 8:15 PM
Tea Leaf Green The Wescott 7/14
I don't even remember the name of the opening band, a local three piece funk band that got me moving. They invited the lead singer of Sophistafunk, another local group to join them on a couple songs in her blue cotton dress. I like what the Wescott does by having local opening acts at every show. I've been consistantly impressed with their music and its great for developing the music scene here. While going to the same venue three nights in four days takes away some of the excitement that accompanies discovery of new venues, there is something to be said for familiarity. Also having a music hall that brings acts I would see anyway a few blocks away totally rocks. I have seen the same girl there three of my four shows. She has blue eyes and a kinda hunched over posture and I think she works at Aunt Josie's. She's on good terms with the employees, and I'd like to know her story. In my head I'm spending the summer in Syracuse, not living here. I haven't unpacked and almost deliberately haven't made new friends. Some of this is shyness, but only some of it. I have never had friends into the same music as me since I was in high school and listened to crap. Having a girl more than happy to come to any show with me, although wonderful, is not the same.

Tea Leaf Green is a rock band that jams, a high octane antithesis to the Bridge's little bit of everything approach. Keyboardist Trevor and to a lessor extent guitarist Josh Clark give off a very indie affectation, making me like them just a little bit less. Reed Mathis really impressed me, living up to his reputation as one of the best young bass players. His hands moved all over the place sometimes thrashing heavy lines sometimes crooning sweetly. All the while a gentle smile peers from under a mess of brown red hair and beard. Two dudes played drums in the place of the apparently injured Scott Rager, introduced to us as Charlie Hustle and Johnny Bongo. The latter had no bass on his kit, using a floortom in its place. The first set I wasn't totally able to get into the music. I was a little tired and had drank a little before I came. Between sets I went to acropolis for a slice and was able to get more into the second set, by standing in the front row on Reed's side and focusing on the bottom end. I left before the encore, cause I was tired and not ever that into the music and cause I really hate encores. These guys delivered two long sets, which didn't let up in energy or intensity. I'm looking forward to seeing these guys this coming weekend in Ohio, partly to see if I like them more, and partly because they have a great. They feel like true descendants of San Francisco Psychedelic Rock, not by recreating old sounds, but by taking a philosophy and attitude and combining it with modern and current music.
Set 1 Intro Emma Lee Freedom Georgie P Las Vegas Devil's Pay Jackson Hole Drink of Streams Incandescent Devil Bouncin' Betty Set 2 Intro Can't Get High Kali Yuga Training a Cloud Bastard Brother Forgiven Let Us Go Keeping the Faith > Zoom Zoom > Drum Solo > Keeping the Faith > Zoom Zoom Looking West ---------------------- For Every Lonely Lady Garden III 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Fri 7/16/2010 6:46 PM
Greensky Bluegrass The Wescott 7/13
Engroovement, a 2 guitar 1 fiddle, 1 percussionist/harmonica player kicked things off with a money money version of going down the road feeling better. I'm starting to really like bands with multiple vocalists, and all 4 of these guys (inclusive of the chick on the violin) had gorgeous pipes. Not traditional bluegrass with a dose of the blues, these guys were responsible for some beautiful string music that started the evening off right.

Boots and Shorts, an established local bluegrass ensemble took the stage next. I think they had four pieces as well, a double bass, two guitars, and a mandolin/ banjo. They were solid, in that no complaints but nothing memorable kinda way. The crowd wanted them to play for longer than the Wescott staff did.

At some point this evening, it struck me what a great place the Wescott is to hear string music. More than a venue its a hall. One old room with the bar in one corner and a merch stand in the other and a sound board and a stage. There are no tiers or risers or tables even. Its an honest and uncomplicated space, and honest uncomplicated music fits perfectly. Also I kinda love bluegrass, and all the subgenres and varients thereof.

Greensky were great at Nateva, and me closing my eyes listening to them and possibly drifting off is a compliment. I only fall asleep listening to great music. What separates this group to me is their dobro player in addition to banjo, mandolin, accoustic bass and guitar. Their songwriting also puts them on another level. They occupy the second tier of jam grass, peers to cornmeal, not quite on the level of yonder and railroad earth. I don't really know what I'm talking about here. About halfway through their set, an audience member shouted out a song, and the guys said they'd play it. Somebody shouted out another song, and the guys said they'd play that one too, but after they played the first, since they couldn't play them both at once. Actually, they wondered, could they? The band split in half with the banjo and mandolin counting off one tune while the two guitars counted off the other. The base player looked confused. After about 15 seconds or so, they deemed their experiment a failure and played the first song, Reverend, the crowd completely won over if they weren't already.

I drank some beers. At some point I decided I should write a memoir with the first line being "the second time i did acid i cried because i was alone." I got pretty manic thinking about my ode to narcissism, an honest look at how 24 years led to me at home for the summer with no friends and no direction in my life, but a love for great music. I kept drinking beers and listening to green sky pluck and strum. My idea was to go home and stay up all night writing.

They played two sets, with an encore. Their music picked up as the night went on. Their jams got a little longer, the playing a little more furious, the revelry a little more raucous. After over 4 hours of music, I went home and went to bed, but only after downloading about 4 of their shows.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Thu 7/15/2010 10:39 AM
The Bridge The Wescott 7-11
As Promised, I walked the six or so blocks to make it in time for Lee Terrace's opening set. A local, progressive rock power Jam trio, these highschoolers had great chops and even better instruments. The drummer, for example had 8 zildjian cymbals, the same as Vinnie Amico of moe., who these guys clearly listen to moe. On the last song the base player teased a few bars of a moe. tune, and I know it was a tease because after he played it, he stopped and said "just kidding." The shaggy haired kid playing guitar could absolutely shred. And he solos were scorching. Heres the problem. The band did too much. The drummer insisted on using all 8 of his cymbals and laid down complicated and frenetic beats. The wonder kid on guitar maybe shredded too much. The bass player couldn't keep up with the others, and played pretty much the same several lines on his expensive five string as the other two flailed around him. The creativity of the bass player is a quality present in the best improvisational music. Listening to them, It didn't seem like they were really listening to each other, overeager to display their individual musical skills. They should take a page from moe.'s book and start with good catchy songs. I'm not going to begrudge three kids for not being great songwriters, but if you can jam like these guys can, there's no shame in playing covers. The listener can't lose themselves in songs they weren't brought into first. Overall I found their set disorienting, although impressive. I don't know if the band has much of a future, but the guitarist is going places.

After a short break in which most of Lee Terrace's crowd left, The Bridge took the stage to play for under 30 people. These guys embody the spirit of fusion that makes jam music worth listening to, and separates it from improvisational music. No other band in the world has a mandolin player who also plays hand drums and beatboxes. The constant in their blues, bluegrass, jazz, reggae, rock, country, and hippity hoppity influences is elegant instrumentation, fine vocals, and a wht of fun. Two dudes collectively known as Vorcan, painted a canvas to the front left of the stage. These guys go around the country painting live music. Not a bad gig. Watching them paint while listening to the music actually proved enjoyable.

Jamboozlefest, headlined by Umphrey's played not too far away maybe taking local live music fans with it. The Bridge isn't a huge act, but they're reputable and for damn good reason. Its a shame the crowd was so small and not radiating much energy. The band played one set, which featured a number of new songs they were trying out, almost like a comedian experimenting with new material at an open mic night. For a band that is known for creative covers, none stuck out. They didn't do an encore.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Thu 7/15/2010 9:52 AM
Furthur Lewiston ArtPark 7-8-10
Rather than hear the free Cornmeal/Umphrey's concert in Rochester on the way back home, I waited for my woman to get out of work and went from lockport to lewiston in the hopes of finding a way into this sold out show. When we showed up, it was quickly clear that we wouldn't be able to get tickets in the parking lot ArtPark is a cool facility, though, and you can be in the park without being in the main stage venue. Behind the lawn is some greenery and a fence, resulting in no sightlines, but perfect hearing. After about 45 minutes of people trying to and sometimes succeeding in jumping the fence, we were banished to the other side of a barricade about ten feet from where we were. The park is located on the bluff above the Niagara river. We lay in the grass staring at Canada, experiencing the music in an organic way.

The boys dug pretty deep into the catalogue playing a number of songs I hadn't heard played before. I don't know if it was just where we were, but John's voice sounded just like Jerry's. I loved Jay Lane, but they really aren't missing him at all. Joe Russo is doing wonderful things. I think that Jeff Chimenti doesn't really get enough credit in the equation. He can get pretty funky at times and pretty poetic at others, and to my ears at least, his role is more significant than any dead keys player since PigPen. Although in the winter, there was something special about leaving the grime and cold outside to go into an auditorium or coliseum to enter a magical realm for 4 hours, I think this band might be better outside. On a summer night  in a picturesque location, the beauty of the music is free to come out and do wonderful intoxicating things to you. I don't ever want to hear Furthur for the last time.

Set I: Sitting On Top of the World, Operator, Crazy Fingers, West LA Fadeaway, They Love Each Other, Big River, Man Smart/Woman Smarter, Bird Song

Set II: Ashes and Glass, Cosmic Charlie, Doin’ That Rag, Hard to Handle, Deal, Dear Prudence, Cryptical Envelopment > Dark Star > The Other One > King Solomon’s Marbles > Mason’s Childrens

Enc: Johnny B. Goode

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 7/10/2010 5:42 PM
Roots of Creation Lake Placid 7-6
On my way back from Nateva I decided to go to the adirondacks instead of syracuse, so I reprogrammed the Garmin and headed west through vermont. My brother had the 6th off,  the day after his birthday and the evening the roots of creation a reggae jam group were playing in mids park on mirror lake as part of an impressive summer series. My brother loved these guys and i appreciated them. Pretty mellow reggae with some excellent jams. The short redheaded and bearded guitarist was a lot better singer than I expected him to be. After I bought my bro his first beer as a legal drinker, we talked to the bass player and my brother asked him some decent questions as if he were writing an article, including his influences as a musician, the difference between bass in reggae and rock, and what happens when bands break up. The crowd was made of families mostly. With the lake and the mountains behind it, probably the most beautiful place I've heard music.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 7/10/2010 5:30 PM
Nateva July 4
Hippie Day

Mark Karan and Jemimah Puddle duck might have been the surprise of the weekend for me. John Molo played drums and between him and Karan, there were some serious chops on stage. I planned on leaving to hear the Nate Wilson Group, but stayed for the whole set. Ed and Tom, the two brothers who took my chair at Wannee in an intoxicated misunderstanding sat behind me and called the group poodle dick. They didnt recognize me. I did hear some of Nate Wilson, and they were great. A group I would love to see when I could give them my full attention and really get into the music. I can't identify what I dont like about moonalice, but I dont like them. Molo played drums and I like him a lot. Max Creek played next and I liked them. Old school roots jam sound executed to perfection after a couple decades together. zappa plays zappa or zappa meets zappa, as they were introduced, was another group that i prefer out of a festival setting, and only an hour wasn't enough. I regret not seeing them monday june 28th at turning stone... would have made for 10 days of music in 11 days, although since june 25th, its been 11 in 15 so no complaints really. George Clinton really brought the funk. At wannee they were really a low light, coming on late and being more show than showstopper. Here, confined to an hour and fifteen minutes, it was about the music. The dude who used to dress in a diaper and sing recently passed and the ensemble of 22 or so dedicated the heartfelt performance to him. Pfun exceeded their time and even when their sound was cut off his set wasn't quite finnished, with Clinton shouting without the help of a mic leading chants of tear the roof off the sucker. Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi worked their magic. A fairly prevalent opinion is that they are better separate than together, but regardless they work some real magic with their supergroup.

And just like that it was time for further. they started a bit late and played a pretty short first set at only an hour, but no complaints. They closed the set with an uptempo casey jones that was a lot of fun. the second set was longer and stronger in my opinion. They played a lot of favorites and the crowd really got into it. singing with all those people, dancing and smiling with them was a really wonderful celebration. great end to a great weekend. not sure how nateva will follow it up next year, but it was really great.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 7/10/2010 4:57 PM
Nateva July 3
I want to talk briefly about drugs. There were a lot of them. Call me old fashioned, but all I really want to see at a hippy gathering is weed, acid, and shrooms. These were there, but also Molli is the rage, along with Ketamine. The websites for the festival along with those of all the festivals I've looked at have been way against nitrous and I didn't see any. Last Night I read the village voice's article on the nitrous mafia and it was just fascinating stuff. The irony of my covenant coming less than a year before 4-12-09, when I saw the dead show and when I'll consider I first got into the Jam scene is kind of a doozy. I don't really mind because while I'm not enhancing the music chemically, I'm not distracted. It seems to me, that many use music to enhance the drugs and not vice versa, but I'm not judging.

Saturday the heat combined with a great Friday, meant that I had very little energy. I parked my chair in the same spot and stayed at the mainstage allday, with the exception of halfway through grizzly bear, which I dozed off during, when I woke up and walked around to buy ice cream with maple syrup for two dollars from a farmers market, a permanent establishment at the fairgrounds. It was delicious and soothing and a great deal. During this walk moonalice was playing a surprise set in the barn. Ryan Montbleau delivered a great morning set. His music is very generous in that it demands so little of the listener that it is ideal mood music. I almost want to say the less attention you pay to it the more you get out of it, but this is doing a disservice to the clever lyrics. This is a group that I will never love, but will always love to listen to. The reggae sounds of John Browns Body brought the hippies out who danced and then left. Crash Kings were good, and not given the reception they deserved. The wammy bar keyboard is pretty sweet. It was way too hot to get into something this rocky, but the quality was all there. I'm not gunna say the Drive By Truckers dissapointed me, but they were not the best I've ever heard them. I'll chalk it up to the heat. I still love this band, and am glad I finally saw them. I had heard pretty great things about she and him, and was actually impressed by them. I stayed at the front of the stage for the first several songs before returning to my chair. Pleasant and poppy without being trite, this was a great band with a rich sound. The next three hour stretch was my least favorite of the weekend. both grizzly bear and sts9 did nothing for me, although by many accounts sts9 was a weekend highlight. The crowd definitely had an electronic bias. I enjoyed their enjoyment of the set as much as I enjoyed the music itself. Sitting out in the sun all day with a baseball cap, a bandana, sunscreen, and water, My lack of energy really took me out of it. The flaming lips closed out the night, as awesome as ever. They band members emerged from a door in a  psychedelic vagina and Wayne Coyne crowd surfed in a bubble. The confetti and balloons and streamers are so great, and Wayne lifted two large hands with embedded lasers towards two giant mirrorsballs sending green lines in all directions. One pretty amazing song was a sing along of sorts in which Wayne would name something and the crowd would make the sound that thing made. 14,000 people are so sounding like monkeys for half a minute is a festival memory I'll be keeping for a while.

I had no energy for the late night stuff, a shame because I wanted to see some of the groups and heard Eoto, who i don't love, put on a great show, So I went back to the car, called my woman and went to bed. That morning somebody was complaining about how the previous night somebody had called security because he was being too loud. "This is a festival." he complained in his defense. I heard Somebody at Wannee make the same argument when I was trying to sleep. "This is a fucking festival. why are people sleeping. this is a festival." I'm a libertarian at heart so do your thing. Maybe someday down the line I wont be as obsessed really with the music as I am now and I'll stay up all night partying and show up to hear the music at 4. I wouldn't have a problem with that, but its not where I am now. Also I want to go to a festival with friends.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 7/10/2010 4:22 PM
Nateva July 2
On paper this days was pretty stacked. I had seen four of these groups before. Magic Magic was the local band to kick off the main stage, just as good and non memorable as the local bands to kick off Saturday and Sunday, although Sunday's band had a pretty hot chick lead singer. Greensky Bluegrass followed and gave the crowd the first warning that the sound system would be treating us real well that weekend. I closed my eyes for part of their set, and their warm stringy sound married with the sun on my face and a gentle breeze. The Felice Brothers played an early set. They had drove all night and were not at their most energetic. The crowd, still sparse, tired from the night before and drive didn't bring up the energy, but fortunately the boys from the catskills don't have a problem with mellow. I had wanted to see Umphrey's Mcgee since I got into the Jam scene. The crowd showed up for them, but in my lawnchair directly behind Iclips' crane camera, I experienced parts of their set in a half conscious state which did nothing to diminish their music. Al Schnier from moe. watched from the wings getting into the music, but not joining. He waited until Keller's set on the other mainstage to guest for a cover of Birds of a Feather. Keller did his thing. Later that weekend his music blasted from a car at the campsite and I heard somebody say they didn't know anyone listened to Keller when he wasn't playing at festivals. Jacob Dylan played with Three Legs. I never listened to the wallflowers, so only knowing who his father was, what struck me most was the quality of Dylan's voice. His music was pleasant and with the presence of a pedal steel guitar, had a slightly country tinge. I left the concert grounds to hear the heavy pets play in one of the barns called the Portsmouth music hall stage. Good and Jammy, I would love to see them in another context. I had planned on catching their whole set, but after seeing Jackie Greene set up (he set up not only his instruments, but most of his bands) I was pretty excited to see him. After hearing Greene at X'mas jam i was a fan and actually bought his cd on itunes. I showed up to hear animal, and by the time his scarlet begonias cover started I was out of my seat and dancing. I look forward to hearing him play for the next 30 years. Passion Pit played next, the first indie group to play to Nateva's predominantly hippie crowd. The result was a pretty cool one. Passion Pit, at the tail end of their tour, broke out a new set list for the occasion, something just about every other group present at the festival does on the daily. "We are used to fans jumping around, you guys are so mellow. This is stress free," Michael the lead singer proclaimed. "Anybody know where I can get a good hemp Necklace? My brother told me to get him one." Someone threw one on stage several songs later. Michael also announced that the bassist was playing his last show with a hat the rest of the band had tried to make him get rid of all tour. Seconds after throwing his hat into the crowd somebody threw another hat right back to him, and the band cringed. Ghostland Observitory got freaky on stage two. After reading up on these guys I was really excited and got out of my chair and worked my way to the second row while Passion Pit played. The great thing about having two side to side mainstages and no overlapping sets is that you can be in front for nearly any set you want, without much work, and without missing any music. In their description in the program the, Aaron, leadsinger of Ghostland is compared to both Prince and Freddy Mercury. He dances, coos, and supplements vocal talent with enough emotion and energy to get the crowd into it. On top of this, the beats are kinda awesome, and the lazers projected through smoke are crazy in the best possible way. The set of the day for me and definitely one of the best of the weekend. moe. headlined. I didn't save a ton of energy for them and stayed by my chair, dancing most of the set. I prefer them in a two set format, but there is something really contagious about this band. If I'm still in the area for moe.down I'm there. Keller, decked out in a suit, joined them to cover the dead's deal. He is a very short man and laid down a rocking solo. After the mainstage ended I went back to the barn for a late night set of the Felice Brothers followed by big gigantic. In my opinion, The Felice brothers are at their best in a rowdy drunken setting. I think I may have tried a little too hard in terms of jumping and thrashing rather than just swaying, but I had to. If only everybody else did too. That was kind of like the Rochester show. I talked to Jake Felice earlier in the day. He told me he wouldn't be sitting in with moe. even though i insisted they could use an accordian. Big Gigantic maintained my attention throughout. The drummer and sax player in addition to the music that comes out of a machine made for a lively performace. I danced next to a guy with 1,400 glow sticks who let me toss several large handfuls. lightsicks look coolest in the air and it dissapoints me that people don't just catch and throw, catch and throw so there is always something in the air. Great set great crowd great night great day.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 7/10/2010 3:14 PM
Nateva July 1
Since I elected to get off 90 as soon as possible, the drive from Syracuse to Maine was gorgeous. After winding through the White Mountains, I stopped for Mexican, my last real food before the festival. As a result, I showed up to the Oxford Speedway in the dark. I made my way to the fairgrounds, just to see what I could see. The night before the first time festival, excitement and anticipation were in the air. I walked around the perimeter, letting the pre-party sounds of Lotus waft towards me. I would have loved to hear them, but I was camping off property and the event was only open to those with camping wristbands. I decided to get my band and call it a night. The scanner didn't read my printed out ticket, but a guy took the ticket anyway and handed me a wristband. Rather than head back, I followed the music and checked out Lotus and the freaks grooving in the barn. Since people were camping literally 20 feet from the barn, many wandered in with beers and coolers and it felt as much like a late night block party as anything else. Lettuce had went on right before Lotus and one of the musicians had half the crowd shout Lettuce and the other shout Lotus. It may be the first time the two jam mainstays have played back to back and the  It was crowded and hot, and electronic music doesn't sustain my interest so I went back. The Satellite campground didn't officially open until the next morning at 9, so we were told to set up for the night in the day parking lot after security checked our cars. "If you show me your weed I'll let you keep it, but if we find it, we're taking it." I parked next to Gage, Jenny, and Jason from South Florida and two college chicks from Mass. This was the only night I really hung out and made the most of it, I had a few beers and smoked hookah while the others blazed, amused at my covenant story. Jenny took out fire poi and started spinning. Security told her it constituted an open flame, but after she explained the only way to extinguish the fires were to spin, the security guards watched her, as awestruck and delighted as the rest of us.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 7/10/2010 2:40 PM
PHISH CMAC Canandaigua 6-29-10
 I took my first trip in my re-registered, reinspected, freshly serviced Subaru about an hour away to Canandaigua. I parked in the Walmart lot to avoid paying and made my way through the VIP lot. Although Ticketmaster refunded my money, I still possessed the ticket for the Raleigh show, and was intent on finding someone to give it to. I couldn't find anybody in the brotactular lot with plenty of tailgating and a group of drunk buddies playing soccer. I made my way inside the beautiful grounds and located my seat. I bought a restricted view ticket when I heard Jethro Tull, but when I saw O521 I was happy that my view of the stage, 15 rows away, was perfect. I walked to the portapotties and briefly chatted up a security guard by where I was at last time, who said he had no problem with people in the college courtyard as long as they stayed where they were. In the bathroom I turned my shirt inside out. On the inside I had with sharpie written "My Phirst time" and the date of the concert on the back.

In the phirst row of the lawn, stood a tall skinny girl, who looked like she had been on the road phor a spell. Turned out Noel, originally phrom  New York but now living in California, had only missed one show on this tour, and was heading down to Raleigh. I gave her my ticket, explaining my story, and she gave me about three hugs. Her boyfriend also hugged me, and like me had crashed his car while listening to Phish. I was fascinated by the idea of phollowing a band on tour. They usually bought cheaper tickets in the lot, and sold beers or quesadillas when they needed to make money. They also bought posters at every stop, which apparently can make a lot when resold as collectibles. They were excited when they phound out it was my phirst also told me about gamehendge, apparently the 'gem' of live shows. Lizard, one of the songs from the album or whatever, hadn't been played yet this tour and they were hoping tonight it would be broken out. Noel made the distinction of her family and her phamily, and I certainly phelt the warmth.

Back under the shell I talked to a man who had been to a show 10 years earlier, gotten wasted, puked and slept through the second set.  He envied my opportunity to experience phish with virgin ears, without having to hope for or expect certain songs and just be able to get into the music. He also spoke longingly about days when he was able to hear more music, before his family, You have to make sacrifices, he said. Before changing his mind. "actually no you dont." The story wasn't over he told me. After the show, at the very location, he had spun out at a country road and completely lost control of his vehicle. The dude, who recently got divorced, had his cousin with him as he was 10 years ago, and still wasn't able to live it all down. The evening was about redemption for him.

The first set was fun. I'm not going to talk about the music because there are plenty better suited to do that than me, and I don't need to describe the sound of Phish.Trey smiles a lot. He also does this thing where he leans forward when he plays. I like being close enough to see the bands facial expressions and watch them interact with each other.  A few songs into the set, turned on by the mass of 14,000 or so  dancing bodies, I made my way up through the seating. A few people saw my shirt and high-fived me and one guy gave me a drink of his vodka in an ice tea bottle. Walking through the lawn was incredible.  I used a portapotty made it back to my seat while the jam was still jammin.

 The second set was awesome and featured a first time cover of I am the Walrus. People were really dancing and the light show was incredible. While grooving out, I made eye contacts with others and we smiled at each other enjoying the music and enjoying each other enjoying the music. Even though security pulled and kicked out anybody they caught smoking pot, that didn't really deter the determined. I had talked to one of the guys kicked out at intermission, chilling at the fence behind the lawn after wandering through the woods almost getting jumped by highschoolers. You can still see the jumbotron, and bring a cooler of beers, and you dont need to pay. Next time I go to Canandaigua this is where Ill do my thing. The quantity of lightsticks thrown over the crowd was amazing. At the encore break I made my way through the crowd up on the lawn again. People were having a great time, and there were so many doing it. I felt part of something, and it felt great. This must be what those be-ins were like.

I've never got into  Phish, not because of aversion to their music, which I liked from the moment I heard, but because I didn't like the idea of them. I had a discomfort with the fanbase, in my head the preppy hippy in makeup and sundress or dreads and Birkenstocks. I take it all back. As a music going experience, this nears the top along with the first time I saw the Neville Brothers and surpasses my experiences with the Dead and Furthur. The crowd made it for me. Their kindness and approachability before the show matches the passion and intensity they bring when the music plays. I look forward to considering myself one of their number. I went to the show looking for an amazing one time experience, but I think I'm hooked. And what they say is true. You always remember your phirst time.

Set 1: The Connection, Down with Disease, Sample in a Jar, Ocelot, Reba, Horn, Funky Bitch, Undermind, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, David Bowie

Set 2: Possum, Mike's Song > Simple > I am the Walrus* > Weekapaug Groove, Limb by Limb, Joy, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus, E: First Tube

*first time played 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Wed 6/30/2010 7:07 PM
Syracuse Jazz Fest 6/26-27/10
Syracuse Jaazz Fest 5/26-5/27

Richie Havens
Magic energy. “Our generation is special. We are the best looking generation” gentle but powerful accoustic strum while walter parkes floated around in on a sweet toned electric guitar. Played Here comes the sun and freedom.

Gil Scott Heron
This guy thought he was funny. He took the mic and talked for about 3 minutes before starting music. He was late and got a police escort, leading to lines like “The police were behind me when I left Montreal and in front of me in Syracuse.” And “usually I’m in the backseat.” He sat at a keyboard and said “for those of you who don’t know I play the piano, you may be right.” The music was old school R and B for the most part, and Gil’s voice was gone. A fun performance, but nothing spectacular musically.

Boz Scaggs
Boz played smooth blues. The guitar work was good at times, but the performance was boring. There really was no edge. I think I didn’t get into the music mostly because I was tired from my trip to Buffalo. After about 3 songs my dad asked if I was ready to leave and I was.


Michael Kaeshammer
A great young pianist and singer from Canada. We showed up for the second half of his truly enjoyable performance. Strokes the keys with a lot of energy. I didn’t know anything about this guy, but sat down, tapped my foot to the beat, and remembered why I love Jazz fest.

Toph-E and the Pussycats.
With Will Lee on bass, Ralph MacDonald of the Coral Reefers and Grover Washington collaborator on percussion, and Chris Toph-E Parker on drums playing with a pianist and sax player, this was the set of the weekend for me.

Natalie Cole
Natalie came on stage about 15 minutes late and my thoughts were who is this bitch that thinks she’s a diva. Then she came on and started singing from the Classic American Songbook, and took a little piece of my heart. Her divaness really is just part of her act, a reflection of the humility with which she channels, honors, and does justice to the likes of Ella, Etta, and the rest. Dressed in a backless white gown with sparkly shoes and a matching bedazzled microphone, even her mannerisms were glamorous. I thought she was 35 and hot. Natalie Cole was born in 1950. The most well received numbers of the set were “duets” were her late great father, the second of which featured a video projection alternating between old family photographs and him footage of him crooning.  Then Natalie let loose, leaving the classics on the shelf and belted out more up tempo soulful tunes, displaying that the power in her voice matches its grace.

A few notes:
I probably first went to the Syracuse Jazz fest in ‘95 when it was still in Clinton Square downtown. ThNot only did Jazz fest turn me onto Jazz, I would say it bares responsibility for my love of music. The list of performers I have seen is long, and my memories are fond, almost all of which involve my father sitting next to me. Due to space or money or whatever else it moved to the OCC Campus, which changed the experience. In recent years financial constrains have affected the lineup. Whereas there used to be 6-8 national acts a day, this year there were 3-4. I used to plan my summer around the event, getting as excited for it as I was this year for Wannee. This marked my first Jazz Fest since 2005, and it was great to be back with my dad. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 6/29/2010 10:48 PM
moe. with Keller Williams Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor 6-25-10
With any band, there are certain places you want to hear them. Any form of the Dead in San Fransisco,  The Allman's Beacon run,Widespread in Red Rocks. In my mind, there are five ideal places to see moe: Summer Camp, moe.down, Utica, where they're from, Buffalo, where they formed, and the x-mas jam. The last one is not unique and really applies to all bands. There are a number of acts I have no interest in seing, but would love to see rock the Asheville Civic center. The backstreet boys for example. After thoroughly enjoying moe. do their thing in Utica it was all on to see them at the Erie Canal Harbor in downtown Buffalo, for Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor.

We parked under the highway, a pay by the month day time lot with nobody attending it at night with the exception of signs telling us we get towed. A few other cars were parked there, whose drivers all asked each other the deal. A few men were in a car drinking and smoking and we agreed that if we were going down, we'd go down together.

The concert grounds were a few blocks away at the Erie Canal Harbor, unless you trust the authority of an etree poster who called the location the Erie Basin Marina. In either case, the location is really stunning. After getting your tickets scanned you cross a small bridge to get ID'd for your beer bracelet. In front of the stage a good sized crowed danced on the grass to the music of Keller Williams. As you walk in a concrete path works its way past ticket booths and concession stands on the left. On the right a wooden boardwalk overlooks the harbor where the Erie Canal meets the Lake Erie. A handful of boats floated on the channel, some Kayaks, some motorboats. One yacht moored to the dock had a hammock hanging from a crossbar. I wouldn't change my experience that evening for the world, but taking it the concert from that hammock would have been pretty sweet.

I've listened to Keller a few times and watched streams of his performances, but he's somebody you got to see live. Not only is it great to experience him along with a bobbing swaying mass of hippies, but his live looping can be pretty awe inspiring. On more than one occasion me and my indie friend couldn't help but smile. Among the many positive attributes about the looping is the fact that once his loop is set, Keller doesn't have to do anything at all. He'll take breaks mid song, grooving to his own music while drinking water, talking with his techs or whatever else he wants. This simultaneous role of performer and spectator creates a closer bond with his audience. He closed predictably with celebrate youth, which was made all the more appealing with Al Schier playing with him. Playing, really is the perfect word because he was having a great time. With Keller getting funky on the bass, Al grooved at first, than laid down a dirty solo, and then turned his attention to the electronic drum machine, which he fooled around with. Keller seemed almost annoyed at times that Al was playing with the toys and had to just about grab his arm to get him to stop playing at the end of the song.

moe. came on a good spell of time later. During the act break I listened to a voicemail from the Montgomery County Sheriff's office. My former boss encouraged me to press assault charges on one of my favorite campers, and I missed her court date the first week in June,being back home in New York. I planned on calling back monday, worried that I would be held in contempt of court or get slapped with failure to appear. After I got another call from him during moe.'s first set, I called back and got the number of the D.A.'s office to drop the charges in the workweek. Crisis averted. I bought tickets to see Herbie Hancock and Gov't Mule Rock the Harbor for two consecutive nights in August. With Johnny Lang and Jackie Greene opening, and Mofro and Los Lobos playing in the square the night before, it promises to be a great weekend of music.

Like Keller Williams, I would rather see moe. live than listen to them. Again clad in suits, they embody bandness. They have been playing together 20 years and have such a wonderful symbiotic thing going on. For the first set we took our places in the middle maybe 30 feet back. I'm confidant that not only does dancing make a concert more fun, but moving around makes the music actually sound better. My friend was unconvinced. A number of favorites found their way in the first set including Okay Alright and Captain America. For the second set we sat in the back in the grass, certainly a no less enjoyable experience. Towards the end of the set, we were up dancing. Not only does moe. tear it up with their music, but the accompanying light show was particularly spectacular. I can see why many choose to take in the experience in an altered state of mind.

I love hearing music alone and recently I engaged in a conversation comparing the experience to going with others. I concluded that alone, it was all about the music, and with others it was about the experience. While Buffalo is an ideal place to hear the music of moe., the waterfront setting and company made for an ideal experience.

Keller Williams
04) Stayin' Alive
05) Born to Run
06) Kidney in a Cooler
07) More Than a Little
08) To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is To Be High)
10) Don't Stop Til You Get Enough >
11) Best Feeling >
12) Uncle Disney
13) Celebrate Your Youth

Set I: Not Coming Down > Wormwood, Okayalright, Akimbo, Sticks & Stones, Captain America > Mexico

Set II: Darkness > Tailspin, Where Does The Time Go? > Taxman Jam > Spaz Medicine, Big World > Ricky Marten, Crab Eyes, Meat

Enc: Moth

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 6/27/2010 9:55 AM
Ryan Montbleau Band and Martin Sexton Buffalo NY 6-24-10
I was planning my trip to Buffalo to visit my lady friend and hear moe. and Keller rock the Harbor when I discovered the pairing of Sexton and the Ryan Montbleau Band playing the night before. The event was part of Buffalo's Thursday's in the Square free concert series, rivaled by Rochester's Thursdays in the Park and not contested by anything from Syracuse. I still love you, Syracuse.

As I approached LaFayette Square around 6:00, the music of The Ryan Montbleau Band bounced from skyscraper to skyscraper, enveloping me in a uniquely urban way.  Insider the well secured gates the vibe was pretty close to perfect. People were hanging out after work on this gorgeous night. Unlike other shows where people go together, friends meet up with each other here. I saw lots of handshakes, lots of people calling and texting others to come to the party, lots of conversations, lots of beers, and a few passed joints. People were more interested in each other than they were in the music, and there is nothing wrong with that.

The Ryan Montbleau Band did their part to add to the vibe by making a pleasant sound that was easy joyous listening. Montbleau, perched on a stool throughout his set, sings with a heartfelt tenor, articulating his cute and clever if not particularly earth shatering lyrics. The bands namesake alternated between acoustic and electric guitars along with a bass player who did the same thing, and fiddle player who would run distort his violin to shred some nasty solos when the occasion called for it. These three were joined by a keys player, drummer and percussionist, producing a jazz, reggae, and roots tinged whimsical sound.

After a half hour or so break, Martin Sexton took the stage backed up by his support act. As the radio personality emceeing the event described it, this evening was the cream filling in the oreo sandwhich of opening for the Dave Matthews Band the night before and night after. Sexton has a truly remarkable voice and a genuinely happy stage persona. He strums and plucks his guitar while rocking side to side surveying and smiling at his audience. Between songs he'll make comments he'll sing some of his comments and even say some pretty amusing things. At one point he said he just spoke to God and said he had good news because he was told the sun was about to set and therefore get out of everybody's eyes. What Sexton lacks is substance. His songs are pretty much all about being happy living life and playing the guitar. His musicianship delights but doesn't awe. All this makes him ideal either as a support act, or as tone setting background music, which is more or less what he was here. Without a bunch of friends, or even a book, I ended up getting kind of bored.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sun 6/27/2010 8:43 AM
truth and salvage co. @ the Wescott 6/22

After my time in North Carolina, I associate going to concerts with traveling some distance. Its an ideal marriage, really. Great music should be adventurous, and the best experiences result in memories of far more than the set list. A night of music is an excuse for a day of wineries, parks, and exploration and an evening at a new restaurant, favorite out of town bar or just chilling in the parking lot.

And with that in mind I hopped in my car and went three blocks to the Wescott theatre. I could have easily walked there, and I should have, but it was raining. To the environmentalists: sorry, also it was only three blocks worth of greenhouse gasses. I had grown up going to the Wescott when it was an independent cinema. The theater seemed smaller without the seats. My nostalgia soon was replaced with joy and maybe even relief to see the hall used at all, and used as an entertainment venue.

Unfortunately, not many people showed up. Probably less than 30, one of whom was a taper. and one of whom was my mom, the one patron sitting in a folding chair the staff provided when we asked. The first band, had a keys player, long haired drummer and guitarist, and skirt and sandals clad chick tearing it up on the base. The two string players trade lead vocals, with some backup and harmonies provided from the kit in the back. They had a very laid back vibe without playing mellow music. The guitarist had a nice solo or two and the basist threw it down with a couple slap base groves and a voice i had no problem listening to. These guys had the audience into it. Before their last song the guitarist let us all know that we may recognize it, but it damn sure wasn't written by them. They then played Frankie's Gun, by the Felice Brothers, for whom they will be opening in a month or so at the Ommegang Brewery. They played a great energetic rocky version of the song, much harder and brawnier than the Felice Brothers. The song did justice to both bands, the mark of a great cover. And since when are the Felice Brothers being covered?

The next group was called Paleface a ginger singer on acoustic guitar and harmonica, and his adorable girlfriend named Mo singing and playing drums with wire brushes. It was Mo's birthday. This group played mellow music, but was not laid back. They were pretty great entertainers and played uncomplicated music, which I think could maybe be called Indie pop. Highlights of the set were the guitarist shuffling across the stage while sing a song with the lyrics "little by little by little by little" and several occasion when the two musicians had a rhythmical dialogue back and forth while playing chords and a simple beat. I liked these guys, but after about 15 minutes I was tired of them and their 45 minute set was trying.

At 10:00 Truth & Salvage Co. took the stage. Two guitars, two keyboardists, a base player and a drummer, with only the bassist and one keyboard player not singing. The four singers all share songwriting duties. It is the combination of high quality musicianship, ensemble mentality, and country, blues, and rock influences that have garnered the group comparisons to The Band. When I first listened to a  downloaded concert of theirs my impression was that they played free your soul kind of music that makes me love the Drive By Truckers. After seeing them live I felt reminded a little of counting crows minus Adam Duritz's ego. The tragedy of the performance was that there were so few people on hand to attend it. The band didn't have energy to feed off, but this is a group that loves to play with each other, and I'm not sure that a packed house would have changed the music. With attendance ewhat it was I felt like more of the music was mine in a way. The ratio of great music to people had never been higher for me, and might not ever be. Of course this is a backwards way to look at things. Short of an intimate experience, one in which low turnout enhances the experience based on interaction between the audience and performers, the more people to experience the music with, the greater the experience. These guys are really good. Their songs are really, but not in a bad way. As usual I wanted more jamming, but on the occasion that they did it worked. My mother loved them. With their relationship with Chris Robinson and a couple festival appearances this summer, the signs indicate that this is a group going somewhere. And when they do I'll be more than happy to take a roadtrip to see them 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Tue 6/22/2010 10:32 PM
Jethro Tull and Procol Harum CMAC 6-17-10
I first heard a whiter shade of pale my sophomore year of college, during a funeral procession in the Italian film I Cento Passi.  I found the song haunting and beautiful and wanted to learn more about the band. Procol Harum came from England in the golden age of real decent music, the late 60’s and early 70’s. I listened to as much of their stuff as I could get my hands on, and loved their use of organ and keys and intriguing orchestrations.  Sadly, they no longer actively performed or recorded.

So when I found out Procol Harum was in tour in New York I was pretty happy. They had several dates downstate and in the tri state area, performing solo, but the tastiest show I found was as support for Jethro Tull at the Canandaigua Performing Arts Center, in the neighborhood of an hour away from my house. Like any good trip to the Finger Lake region, I took advantage of the opportunities to visit two wineries. The first was the Montezuma Winery, which did not grow their own grapes and made several meads. The winner in my book though, was a sparkling rhubarb wine, off-dry with tremendous crispness. Next I went to Ventosa vineyards on Seneca Lake. I sampled 4 red wines, my favorite being a Cabernet Franc, and had lunch on a deck overlooking the water.

I showed up to the box office two hours before door. I purchased a ticket to the Phish concert at the venue on the 29th, but was annoyed to find out that there were no advertised 20$ lawn seats for sale, the cheapest available costing $40. I spend a lot of money on music, and would happily spend 40$ to hear plenty of concerts. But two classic rock bands far passed their relevancy? I considered going to Rochester, not too far away, to try to check out a free show (War was playing) but since the sound check sounded pretty good from where I was sitting, I opted instead to park a lawn chair outside the venue and not pay  a thing.

I got back in my car, planning on visiting another vineyard, but first wanted to explore the CMAC as its called, to find the most choice location to take in the show. The amphitheatre edges up to the Finger Lakes Community College, and I think technically speaking it is considered to be on campus. I walked around the outside of a college building and turned the corner found myself in position to watch Jethro Tull’s sound check. Once the sound men got the flute levels right, they played a few songs. I entered the library with the intention of finding a bathroom and maybe even a vending machine if I was lucky. I found both along with a spectrumy Janitor or Custodian (which is the PC term again?) who was annoyed that the machine was sold out of code red and still hadn’t been restocked. I tried to get an orange soda and a code red came out. I sold it to him, bought a sprite, and made a friend for life. I went out to a courtyard, separated only by CMAC’s lawn by a post-hatch fence. The view of the stage was a good enough. I sat at a picnic table  for Harum’s sound check. They played about three songs, after each of which the lead singer and keyboard player Gary Brooker would ask in his charming British accent “how’s that, boys?”

I stayed where I was for the next hour and a half until the concert started. Procol Harum’s set was wonderful, but not surprising. I have a greatest hits CD of theirs, and with the exception of a new song entitles ‘stock market blues’ their set was familiar songs. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t play  ‘the wee small hours of sixpence,’ my second favorite recording of theirs. ‘Whiter Shade’ closed out their hour long time slot. On the album this song fades out and the ending the played I found a little clumsy. These guys really weren’t one hit wonders; they achieved a certain degree of popularity at the time, but only one sung has made it nearly half a century. If you have to be known for just one song, you could hardly be known for a better one. (Sorry Chumbawumba)

I am familiar with none of Jethro Tull’s music, but I like what they do. After playing a song from one of their first albums, lead singer and flautist Ian Anderson said most of their music wouldn’t be from that era, and the next song would be from earlier. They then played a song written by Henry IIX a bouncy madrigal type thing adorned with synthesized harpsichord, flute, rock drums and wailing guitar of Martin Barre, who compares favorably to just about any guitar god of your choosing. Their next number was a similarly rockified British folk song, and later they would also play a song composed for sitar and another composed by Bach.  Some songs didn’t stray far from conventional blues, but the flute prevents Jethro Tull from ever being just rock or just blues. After a day of  wine, the music was full bodied and complex, surprising without being confusing, and pleasantly intoxicating. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 6/19/2010 11:46 AM
Taylor Hicks 6-13 baloonfest jamessville
I had been to the balloonfest at least twice before seeing Bowling for soup, five for fighting, and one of my personal goddesses whose talent outshined her career. The laid back family crowd enjoys themselves on the beautiful banks of the Jamesville Reservoir. Accompanied by a lady friend, watching the 20 or so baloons take off just before sunset was all the more pleasant.

I know it sounds lame to see an American Idol winner, but Taylor Hicks is a great singer with loads of soul in his voice, more JJ Grey than Justin Timberlake. On several of the songs he played rhythm guitar accompanied by 6 other musicians. He opened with a fun and clean Hey Pocky Way, and worked his way through a variety of blues, jazz, and country influenced songs. The lowlight musically was a song called 19 about a football star cum war hero. At least three time Hicks dedicated the song to the servicemen and women serving around the world; If I were a serviceman, and thank the Lord that I’m not, I would prefer just about anything else to this clichéd patriotic dribble. Hicks is a great performer who caters to his audience. With the exception of saying Hell and Shit once, his set was totally family friendly, for better or for worse. For my taste their was too much showmanship. Taylor had a dance move that looked like half grapevine and half duck walk. On occasion he would say shhhh and ball up his fist, bringing the band to a decrescendo. He also talked way too much for my liking, although he deserves a certain amount of credit for making an effort to educate and expose his audience to music with which they may not otherwise be familiar. I would have liked to see the band open things up more. The short solos I heard were great and there was no question about the quality of musicianship on display. In an ideal world, Hicks would abandon his less than thriving solo pop career and use what left of his star power and clout to bring up a band with a name like Taylor Hicks and the dock hounds. For the most part the crowd came to see him rather than great music, and Hicks made an effort to provide both. He is a performer who gives his audience exactly what they want, and that’s about all you can really ask for. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Wed 6/16/2010 9:29 AM
free energy castaways ithaca 6-11-10
So my brother saw Free Energy, a young group based in Philly at Bates, and convinced them to play at a house party. I had checked out their music on you tube, and while I didn't love it, it was listenable and I was looking for an excuse to go to Ithaca.

I started my evening at a restaurant called dock sides just down the road, on the same river or canal or whatever as Castaways. I got a golf cart ride to the restaurant.which might have been the highlight. After dinner I stopped by downtown for a bit of a ramble. There was a park with a waterfall right by a residential area which led right to the Commons,  a pedestrian street with I hate to stay it, but almost Parisian outdoor dining, as well as two head shops. I stopped by a pizza place for a slice and equally immportantly a bathroom. Great New York style that has to be folded over, although maybe a little undercooked.  A beautiful little town; still not asheville but I'd love to live there if they opportunity presented itself.

I showed up at the bar a little after 8 and spent two hours waiting for the opening band, a local group called hubcap. It was a boring wait, but spending it on the deck overlooking the water was pleasant. I have made a bad habit of showing up to concerts too early. It feels great to say this, and exposes how fortunate I have been from a music listening perspective, but after listening to so many improvisational groups, it was strange and unpleasant to listen to songs that only occasionally reached five minutes. Hub Cap's songs weren't good enough on their own accord. They had a great lead guitar player and I really would have loved for them to open things up a little and let him wail, because the short solos that he got were the definite highlight of the set. The group also had a great drummer and base player and I would have preferred seeing them play as a trio, without their keyboard player who didn't do much of anything, and without their lead singer and guitar player, who I wish didn't do much of anything.

Free Energy set up their gear in a reasonable amount of time, and by their second song I got out of the green pleather armchair that for some reason was to the left of the stage. I didn't dance because I was so into the music that I couldn't help it. I danced because I thought it might get me into the music, and because I might as well have a good time, and the music alone wasn't about to do that for me. In total there were maybe 10 of us dancing and thrashing and jumping. I don't know who was really into the music, who was just messed up, and who was shaking what their daddy gave them in an ironic sense. In any case, it worked and I had a great time, but I left wanting to play some real good music on the ride home, and George Porter Jr's superjam from Jam Cruise did the trick.

Free Energy play simple music which could be described as pop punk rock with a whole lot more pop than punk. Their songs make use of the eighth notes and major keys, making them very singable if you knew the words. Just about every tune has a "ahhh ah ahhhhhhhhh" as a lyric, with the exceptions of those which include "oooooooh eeh ohhh". The five guys in the band get along and enjoy each other and that gets you into it, and there were a few nice occasions in which both guitarists played harmonizing leads with their matching orange and red les pauls. Perhaps the single greatest strength of this band is their lack of musical ambition. They aren't trying to do anything more than they are doing, and they don't take their music or themselves too seriously. Four of them had long hair. Three hand tank tops. One had a moustache. I wouldn't really reccomend you listen to these guys, but I wouldn't be surprised if you heard them on the radio or saw them on MTV. I could see teenage girls with no taste loving these guys. Bates college kids without taste already love them.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 6/12/2010 8:39 AM
moe. june 4th Saranac Brewery Utica, NY
I keep writing posts that get deleted. moe. in a brewery in their hometown was a great time. I had been to Utica in February for Furthur, taking a tour of the brewery beforehand. I only have positive memories associated with Utica, and from the instant we stepped out of the car, Varyk St. was throwing it down. My father, brother, and I stopped on the porch of a bar for a Sarana Pale Ale and a Pizzeria for sketchy looking, but real tasty slices. The ticket price at the gate was $32, a little steep but worth it.

After a 2.50 beer, i met a dude named jay and his girlfriend who were at their 50th moe. concert. They met at a concert and call their relationship the moe.mance. Jay convinced me to stay to the left of the stage, Chuck's side, rather than go to Al's right side. I thought the two split lead parts pretty much equally, but this night was definitely Chuck's. I heard moe. at X-mas jam and love their sound. The Saranac parking lot was a pretty ideal place to play happy hour hero, although I don't think that song will ever be played as epically as it was in the Asheville Civic Center with Jimmy Hearing sitting in. They also played Zed Naught Z at X-mas jam, and it was nice to recognize at least two songs in their set. The crowd went nuts for second set opening Lazarus. Although they played 6 songs in each set, the second set seemed way more open than the first, with jams you could lose yourself in, find yourself,  and then lose yourself all over again. They have pretty clear traces of Zappa in the prog-rock party they throw and are celebrating their 20th anniversary by performing in 3 piece suits ala the Del McCoury band.

Set I: Zed Naught Z, Happy Hour Hero, Bring It Back Home > Lost Along The Way, Blue Jeans Pizza > Waiting For The Punchline

Set II: Lazarus, McBain, Daydreaming, Rise > Puebla > Brent Black

Enc: Buster

0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 6/5/2010 4:37 PM
felice brothers 6-3-10
water st. music hall rochester, ny I wrote an entry about this concert, but i don't know where it went and I dont want to rewrite it. This show turned the small hot venue into a decent party. nuff said. 0 Comments :: Permalink :: Sat 6/5/2010 4:04 PM
list of my nc concerts
4/12 the dead greensboro
7/24 gov't mule charlotte
8/15 heroes of woodstock bethel
10/5 widespread panic and abb charlotte
10/30 Derek trucks band durham
11 donna jean godchaux band raleigh
12 xmas jam asheville
1 zappa plays zappa raliegh
2 galactic raliegh
furthur charlotte
furthur utica
3.9 clapton raliegh
south memphis string band raliegh
4/16-17 wanee
5 my morning jacket and preservation hall jazz band cary

3/11/09- 5/29/10 not a bad year and change in nc. time to go back up north and see how it all works out.
0 Comments :: Permalink :: Thu 5/20/2010 7:13 PM