Jon Fishman Joins The Mallett Brothers Band At Brooklyn Bowl: Review, Photos & Video
Words by: Dianna Hank
Images by: Jeremy Gordon
The Mallett Brothers Band Featuring Jon Fishman :: 4.12.18
Brooklyn Bowl :: New York City
Brooklyn Bowl :: New York City
View Jeremy’s photos following Dianna’s review.
Last Thursday night at Brooklyn Bowl, showgoers got some serious bang for their buck with the triple bill of Escaper, Parsonsfield and The Mallett Brothers Band featuring Phish drummer Jon Fishman.
Self-described Brooklyn-based, “post-rock/space-funk fusion quintet” Escaper opened the evening with a bunch of heavy hitters. After a few originals, lead guitarist Will Hanza declared, “This next song is not ours, but I think it still rings true 20 years later,” before the band broke into David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans.”
After the Starman cover, the band performed the aptly named original “Galaxies” followed by the title track of their new album, Edge Detection. With multifaceted, oftentimes soaring jams, Escaper’s opening set of tunes set a groovy and rocking vibe for the rest of the evening.
Next up, Parsonsfield switched gears to a more rootsy, folk-rock and bluegrass kind of sound. This incredibly talented group of five musicians explored a range of genres while boasting impressive versatility on their instruments. The band travels with about 25 instruments including (but not limited to): antique pump organs, banjos, synthesizers, drums, guitars, basses, harmonicas, and accordions — as well as their soulful, harmonious voices.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Max Shakun addressed the crowd mid-set, alluding to their rural roots by saying, “We are very excited to play Brooklyn Bowl. We’ve read about it in magazines. Just kidding, we don’t get magazines.” This high energy, upbeat group played tunes from throughout their entire catalog including the majority of songs off their newest EP, WE.
Finally, the headliners of the evening The Mallett Brothers Band were ready to take the stage. The set started with The Mallett Brothers Band’s drummer Chuck Gagne and Fishman on stage, playing in sync with one another. Slowly, the rest of the members took the stage as the two drummers continued to play, before the entire group broke into their 2017 single, “Long Black Braid.” Next, they reached back to their 2011 album Low Down for the faster paced “Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down.”
“This is an old Maine folk song here,” one of the Mallett brothers declared before starting up “The Falling of the Pine” from their 2017 album of the same name. The slower, more soulful “Gettin’ Back” became one of the many tunes from their upcoming LP Vive l’Acadie! set to be released in June that The Mallett Brothers Band would play throughout the evening.
Guitarist and vocalist Luke Mallett introduced the incredibly talented Andrew Martelle on fiddle and guitar before they began the driving “Blue Ridge Parkway” from their 2013 album Land. Next, guitarist and Dobro player Wally Wenzel brought some serious country rock grit with his slide guitar playing on “Broke n’ Driftin.” At the conclusion of this song, Luke joked, “This handsome fella back here over with the long hair there is Mr. Nick Leen on the bass guitar. He catches all of our dinners while we’re on tour.”
Guitarist Will Mallett took the lead on vocals for “Vive l’Acadie” which he later explained was “from a trip up to way Northern Maine near the Canadian border, where you turn on the AM radio and you hear pop-country songs being sung in French, which is kind of cool.”
Following that, “Onawa” was “another new tune that kind of came from a Maine thing” which had a real folksy Americana feel to it before “Losin’ Horses,” an upbeat song featuring Martelle on mandolin. Luke Mallett then took a moment to introduce the drummers of the band — “Mr. Charles Gagne… from Soldier Pond, Maine. Way up at the very top of the world. And then we have our dear friend Mr. Jon Fishman. Fellow Mainer and town selectman!”
“Headed Home” from their self-titled LP brought a darker, swampy sound before the slower, more delicately beautiful new tune from Vive l’Acadie! entitled “Too Much Trouble.” “Good With The Better” featuring Wenzel on Dobro brought back the boot-stomping country rock vibe before segueing into “Late Night In Austin,” the first song of the night off of their 2015 album Lights Along The River. A rousing cover of Neil Young’s “Powderfinger” had the crowd hooting and hollering before “another Maine folk song… sort of” named “Ye Roaring Falls at Kingsey.” To close the set, the band picked up the pace with the driving, rock ‘n’ roll of “No Rules.”
After a short exit from the stage, the group returned to encore with the intense “Rocking Chair” from Lights Along The River before bidding the audience goodnight. The Mallett Brothers Band’s uniquely rootsy, country rock sound is not one that comes through Brooklyn Bowl that often, so those of us in attendance that night were surely treated to something special.
Photos by Jeremy Gordon
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The Mallett Brothers Band
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