Triple Header in Richmond( Electric Love Machine, Jazz Is Phish, Squaring The Circle
Baltimore’s, Electric Love Machine, opens up for my second Jazz is Phish performance in this JBP Triple Header. ELM has a unique vibe and sound with a lot of musical production onstage. Their songwriting is well done but their stage performance could be enhanced with less gear, or perhaps more room onstage to groove. ELM is still improvisationally vibrant, but perhaps a little heavy on the electric part for my tastes, but hey, it's in the name after all. Their new song, "Ultra-Marine" was a mix of Electro-Disco-Funk and I began to understand their sound a bit more, but only right before they finished their opening set. I will have to give ELM another chance when I can. No formal opinion made at this time.
Jazz is Phish begins with my all time favorite Phish song, "Carini. Since my first time hearing "Carini" live in Hampton at the famed Mothership, this song has stayed with me.
The steady rhythms from, Adam Chase, keep this band tight and ready to change and add improvisational elements on the spot. While his brother, Matt Chase, is a consummate guitarist and complements the rhythm section of this band perfectly. I am always impressed with the Chase brothers and the talent they seem to generate around them; always changing lineups and keeping a fresh perceptive on the arraignments and musical compositions. The band would rip into a very gospel sounding "Julius" and tight and groovy, " Gumbo" before morphing into an ecliptic jam that brought it all back around.
Jazz Is Phish is more that just a Jazz cover of Phish classics, its an all instrumental with a tinge of Jazz, Funk and every other genre mixed together to form something greater than its predecessor. This isn't as much as a cover band, as it is, an extension of the Phish cannon or catalogue. “46 Days” another favorite saw a different approach to this song. Improvising on the spot, Jazz is Phish, allows for fluid solos, transitions and changes; the band, working together as a cohesive unit with Matt calling out shots on the fly. Stand out performances included "NICU" very exploratory and reminded of Frank Zappa’s seminal album, ‘The Grand Wazoo.’ "Brother" and "Lawn Boy" were both bristling with energy and the “Stash” itself was masterful. One of the main reasons this band works so well is because the musicians are so talented. I caught “Maze” before I quickly headed over to Cary Street Cafe to see another Baltimore based band, Squaring the circle, who specilize in Jam Funk Prog-Rock. I had missed their show after MKB NYE and wanted to catch up with them while they were in Virginia.
Squaring The Circle was in full force at Cary Street Cafe, the only Grateful Dead themed bar in Richmond. I sat back and contemplated STC's sound and musical dynamics. I was instantaneously impressed with this forceful quintet, who put out a lot of sound and can round through a slew of classic and progressive rock covers including, but not limited to: Frank Zappa, Rush, Steve Kimock, The Grateful Dead and John Scofield. Before performing a special Zappa medley just for me, the band played some original music that I found highly progressive and creative. I picked up one of their free CDs with an eclectic mix of covers and would love to hear a full album of all originals. The Zappa medley was appropriated from The Mothers Fillmore East 71 Live album, which included; “Little House,” “Mud Shark,” “Latex Solar Beef,” and “Willy The Pimp.” STC’s would add a delightful “Pygmy Twylyte” that was totally on point that I couldn’t help but sing along. None of Frank Zappa’s music is easy to play, and Squaring The Circle did an excellent job, not only covering, but exploring these sonic masterpieces and raveling them together to form an outstanding medley. STC would go onto to Cover Soulive’s "Right On" with a sit in sax player but I was still reeling from those Zappa tunes. It is always a pleasure to hear Zappa played live and when it’s well done, even better. I look forward to catching Squaring The Circle as they grow and evolve in this music scene. Keep it improvisational.
Jam Band Purist
Photos from Ron AdelBerg Photography
Vieux Farka at 5 Points Music Sanctuary (Sounds From The Sahara)
Vieux Farka, Malian singer-songwriter, brings his African guitar styling’s to 5 Points Music Sanctuary in Roanoke. Known as the Hendrix of the Sahara, Vieux is truly original and has worked with many of the Jam world’s biggest guitar legends like, Eric Krasno, Jon Scofield and Derek Trucks. Although unknown to me before this show, I was instantly immersed in his guitar style, which is both unique and alluring. Mixing Blues and African scales, the sound is reminiscent of a vast desert; although desolate, travelers gravitate to it and make it their home. This spirit that can be felt from Vieux’s music; a nomadic sound that is truly vibrant and alive.
Vieux Farka Toure keeps the rhythms of the past within their sound; chaotic yet, simple at the same time. The overall sound and song selections keep the audience on its toes. The band, quickening their pace by the third song, went full force into Rock territory. This is the definition of Vieux’s style, very Hendrix-like but with a folk almost bluegrass tinge. There was no way of knowing the specific meaning behind the lyrics on the fly but they were emotionally evocative and I could feel what he was tying to tell us.
The second set was heavy and filled with improvisation. I was very impressed with the vocal qualities and amazing guitar solos. This band reminds me of an African Cream, psychedelic and heavy. Improvisation was used mostly during solos but they could totally add any number of jam segments into the mix and are very capable of doing anything onstage. Vieux’s guitar skills are reminiscent of fast Spanish flamenco guitar but with a different tone altogether. Taking riffs from Bob Marley’s "I Shot The Sheriff" and mixing them in “Homafu Wawa," my favorite performance of the evening, as well as, song off his recent album ‘Samba.'
It's easy to hear the history of this music, as it travels from Africa to the Caribbean and into America. Influencing every type of music: Blues, Country, Rockabilly and even Bluegrass. The roots of the Blues specifically can be heard within African music, and this blending of the two in a modern setting is just what the music scene needs. This music is influenced by western culture but begins in Africa. Having a Grammy award-winning artist as a father and performing for millions of people at the Olympics, Vieux Farka is not stranger to the spotlight; I hope he remains in it for quite some time. Let's hope that North America can catch on to this outstanding and unique style of music.
Ears Always Open,
Rooster Walk Music Festival 10 Full Lineup
I am proud to be covering Rooster Walk again, this coming May in Martinsville Virginia. Last year on Pop’s Farm was an amazing weekend filled with great music. I was even introduced to one of my new favorites, Marcus King and really enjoyed the festival grounds themselves. JBP hopes to see all of you out there for this event and a very special collaboration between, Marcus King and Billy Strings, two of this music scenes most talented performers. I had put the idea out there about these two collaborating after seeing a post between the two about “picking” together. Rooster Walk took this initiative further and have announced King And Strings, a once in a lifetime collaboration between these two guitar powerhouses. Here is the full lineup and more information about this great collaboration. Thanks again for your continued support and I look forward to seeing you all at Rooster Walk 10!
Marcus King, Billy Strings to combine for ‘King & Strings’ set at Rooster Walk 10
Martinsville, VA -- Marcus King and Billy Strings, two of the hottest names on today’s music scene, will join forces for a world-debut “King & Strings” set on May 25th at Rooster Walk, the festival announced today.
King will join Strings and his band for the duration of a late-night, 2-hour set at RW10, and iconic drummer Jeff Sipe will also sit in for the latter portion of the performance.
The two have never met, let alone played together, but each calls himself a fan of the other’s music. The current plan involves an unscripted jam that will begin in the bluegrass/acoustic world native to String, before evolving into something more electric and rock-based, with Sipe on the kit.
“I think that will be the most fun, if we showcase a little bit of both. We’ll get Marcus some on an acoustic and then get me on an electric with Marcus,” said the 25-year-old Strings. “We’ll kind of do both of our worlds and make them clash.”
Already a veteran of the special guest sit in, King has played with the likes of Widespread Panic, The Allman Brothers and Greensky Bluegrass, to name just a few. He said he’s looking forward to the improvisational set at Pop’s Farm, which will also feature Billy’s band (banjo, fiddle and bass.)
“I think it’s gonna be a hoot man. If I can be frank, I think it’s a great idea, and we’re gonna have a lot of fun with it,” said King, just 21 years old.
Festival organizer Johnny Buck did not try to hide his enthusiasm.
“The word ‘excited’ would be a gross understatement,” Buck said. “To think that these two musicians will meet and play together for the very first time at Rooster Walk 10? Man, we’re just honored to host ‘King & Strings,’ and I use that word literally. It’s an honor for Rooster Walk to host this very special collaboration.”
Rooster Walk 10 will take place May 24-27, 2018 at Pop’s Farm in Martinsville, Va. Headlining bands include The Wood Brothers, JJ Grey & Mofro and Robert Randolph and the Family Band. The festival’s full band lineup will be announced Thursday, March 8. To buy tickets or learn more information, visit www.RoosterWalk.com.
The dynamic instrumental quintet, Toubab Krewe, are excited to announce the upcoming release of their third studio album, ‘Stylo’, and coinciding tour. Their newest album ‘Stylo’ will be released tomorrow March 2nd 2018 and Jam Band Purist got to check it out in advance.
The originality and inventiveness of this band speaks volumes with the debut track, “That Damn Squash”, which seems to blend African and Funk vibes throughout. Watch Below. I can’t wait to check out this band on tour soon!
Toubab Krewe 2018 Tour Dates:
2/2 - Key Biscayne, FL - Fractal Beach Fest
2/14 - Frisco, CO - Barkley Ballroom
2/15 - Ft Collins, CO - The Aggie ^
2/16 - Denver, CO - Cervantes ^
2/17 - Winter Park, CO - Ullrs Tavern
3/8 - Baltimore MD - 8 x 10
3/9 - Philadelphia, PA - Ardmore Music Hall #
3/10 - Washington DC - Gypsy Sally’s
3/11 - New York, NY - American Beauty
4/11 - Charleston, SC - Pour House
4/12 - Greensboro, NC - The Blind Tiger
4/13 - Raleigh, NC - Pour House Music Hall
4/14 - Charlotte, NC - Visulite Theatre
4/18 - Nashville, TN - High Watt
4/19 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
4/20 - Asheville, NC - Ellington Underground
4/21 - Asheville, NC - Ellington Underground
6/21 - 24 - Rothbury, MI - Electric Forest Festival
6/28 - 7/1 - Rothbury, MI - Electric Forest Festival^ w/ Pimps of Joytime
# w/ Melvin Seals and JGB
Railroad Earth at The National (The Mighty River, Rolling Along)
Railroad Earth is a band beyond description, escaping every genre while still being grounded with reminiscent sounds from America's past. Railroad Earth is a reclamation of all things Americana. Gathering a devote following, myself included, I always leave their shows mind blown, ecstatic with energy and rearing for more. This would mark only my 4th time seeing RRE but this performance certainly left a lasting impression on me and the other members of the audience.
Railroad Earth began their set with a nod to The National, who was celebrating their 10th anniversary of re-opening in 2008. It was fitting that I would be at this anniversary show because I also attended that first show a decade ago. RRE opened with "Seven Story Mountain" and a heavy extended jam sequence into "Old Dangerfield." Their improvisational segments are on the verge of haunting, almost skin crawling but they always bring it back to their roots of Bluegrass and Folk. Roosevelt Collier joins the band adding yet another instrument to this sonic powerhouse. Roosevelt has been making his rounds with many big name acts in the Jam and Blues scene alike; his opening performance was riveting and high energy.
Introspective and refined, RRE continue their set, energy and ebullience never reseeding, always on the edge of improvisation and classic composition like a ship teetering at the ends of the earth but never tipping over. RRE defines Jam grass, the spirit of America runs through them from native roots to the Grateful Dead's American legacy. Like a hobo on an endless train waiting to return to some mythical Earth, filled with steam engines and cowboys, the band continues their musical journey down the rails of life. It's almost as if this band creates their own musical world every night.
Many of their songs on this set-list were unfamiliar to me and that's a great thing. One of the best things about live music is finding new songs and harmonies to obsess over, like "When The Sun Gets In Your Blood" or "Blazin’ A Trail," while still playing crowd favorites, "Like A Buddha" and "Mighty River." Morphing their sound effortlessly into something new and different at the drop of a hat, RRE ends with a jam into The Deads "The Wheel," which was a pleasant surprise, not many bands cover that song. “If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will."
Again, RRE astound and amaze with their originality and all around vibe. This band deserves top spots at all the major jam festivals out there. Lockn, Peach, take note.
Smiling like a Buddha,
Jam Band Purist
Set 1: Seven Story Mountain, Old Dangerfield, Lordy, Lordy, Blazin' a Trail, Addin' My Voice, Walk Beside Me, Magic Foot, Luxury Liner , Wayfaring Stranger
Set 2: Cold Water, Just So You Know, Bread and Water, Only by the Light , Raven's Child, When the Sun Gets in Your Blood, The Forecast , The Berkeley Flash, Like a Buddha, Cuckoo Medley
Encores: Mighty River, The Wheel
Jon Stickley Trio Birthday Event at 5 Points Music Sanctuary
Back at 5 Points Music Sanctuary in Roanoke, Virginia which has become JBP headquarters lately with all the amazing concerts and bands being booked here. I was introduced to Jon Stickley Trio this past summer at Rooster Walk Music Festival which I hope to attend and cover again this coming May in Martinsville, Virginia. Pops Farm is always a great place to experience new music and this is where I got my first experience with Marcus King.
Jon Stickley Trio is a unique blend of instrumental Jam, Traditional Irish-Folk songs, Hard Rock and Bluegrass. With razor sharp guitar riffs and outstanding fiddle work to match, their transitions are progressive and original; I've never really heard anything like them before. While personally, I'd love the addition of lyrical and vocal qualities, it really doesn't make a difference this trio is powerful and should have a much larger following. Covering Bill Monroe's “Jerusalem Ridge”, this is a great example of how The Jon Stickley Trio are turning traditional bluegrass music on its head and doing something innovative and contemporary.
It being Jon Stickley’s 36th birthday, the band would go on to play "The best set of music they have ever played" and they looked to be recording a video of some sorts. For a three-piece, this band makes a lot of noise and they communicate on stage very well together. This allows them to improvise and take their jams out into new unknown territory, every night. At many times, I would be lost in the music and completely forget what song they were playing or I found myself trying to think of a familiar riff or melody.
During the last few songs, which included a great medley with Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” mixed with “Ripple”, The Grateful Dead classic, Jon Stickley himself would try on the SubPac; one of the musical programs at 5 Points Music Sanctuary. The SubPac was developed to make the user feel the musical vibrations in their entire body, as opposed to hearing it. I thought it was super cool of Jon to try this on and he continued to wear it throughout the performance commenting on how it felt and the benefits of these musical programs. JS3 would end their outstanding performance with “Flight Of The Derby” a high energy and contemplative song, perfect for ending this wonderful night of music and celebration.
After seeing Jon Stickley Trio again for the second time, I am even more impressed by their unique sound and improvisational abilities. I would love to see a co-headlining tour with Railroad Earth or someone of that stature. More people need to see this band and experience their live performance. Thanks again to 5 Points for having me back and facilitating such outstanding shows here in Virginia.
Jam Band Purist
Photos By: Misti Walters Photography
The Infamous Stringdusters in Philadelphia
The Infamous Stringdusters, brought their electric, high-energy bluegrass to The City Of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia) on Saturday night, January 27th at the Union Transfer . The five piece was nominated for Bluegrass Album Of The Year for their latest studio effort on Compass Records, “Laws Of Gravity”.
Opening up the evening was Jamgrass group, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, who were just signed to The Infamous Stringdusters new record label, Tape Time Records. The group roused the crowd and got them warmed up for the main act.
With over a decade under their belt, The Infamous Stringdusters, have become one of the hottest bluegrass acts on the road today. You could tell from the opening number, “Once You’re Gone” written by fiddle wizard, Jeremy Garrett, the audience was engaged and excited to see where the evening was going to take them. The quintet is known for their high-energy bluegrass performances that turn into an all out dance party. Diving deep into their catalog, diehard fans were surprised when the band started into “Tears Of The Earth”, sung by dobro master Andy Hall, that flowed nicely into guitarist, Andy Falco’s, number, “Porcupine Cove”. Bringing the first set to a resounding close was the instrumental, “Moon Man” that showcased all five members of the group.
Starting out the second set, bassist Travis Book, took the microphone for fan favorite, “It'll Be Alright” that segued into a rip roaring rendition of “Machines” featuring, Andy Hall, on dobro and, Chris Pandolfi, on banjo. Falco, showed why he is considered one of the best flat-picking guitarists in the scene today during the twelve-plus-minute jam.
Paying homage to the late great, Merle Haggard, “Stay Here and Drink”, was the perfect tune for fiddle extraordinaire, Jeremy Garrett, to shine on vocals.
The tributes kept coming, as the five piece outfit pulled out all stops on “How Hard I Fall” (Galloway) right into “Midnight Moonlight” (Old & In The Way). The guys were on top of their game and loving every minute of the energy coming off the crowd on Saturday evening. One of the highlights of the extended second set was an oldie but goodie, “No More To Leave You Behind”.
After a short break, the band emerged with their friends, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, with a rousing rendition of “Harvest Moon” (Young) and “Love Please Come Home”.
The Infamous Stringdusters are on top of their game in 2018. Be sure to check out the Grammy winners for “Best Bluegrass Album Of The Year” when they come to your town.
Review Written By Christopher Snyder
Photo Credit: Ron Adelberg from LOCKN" 2017
Chris Eves and The New Normal ‘Find Your Way’ Album Review and Interview
Chris Eves and The New Normal are a Syracuse, New York based Rock-Jam act. I recently reviewed their debut album ‘Find Your Way.’ I was immediately impressed with this unique blend of Alternative-Rock, Jam and Pop and wanted to share with my readers. While most of Chris Eves and The New Normal fans are from the northeast, they are looking to broaden their audience. If you haven't heard of Chris Eves and The New Normal yet, check them out on Spotify or #1 on the Reverbnation International Jam Charts. https://open.spotify.com/artist/5cJA9GZa8d5yduDZ0dCxtu?autoplay=true&v=A
From the opening song “Remember To Forget,” I was intrigued at the depth and quality of this album and the band that recorded it. “Remember To Forget” has powerful vocal qualities from Chris Eves and a hard progressive riff that takes this song into Jam territory. I will say that this song is my favorite out of the entire album and makes for a great first track. This song captivates its listeners and draws them, inviting further exploration.
“Walking On Wire” keeps the great vocal qualities going; something that can be severely lacking, specifically in the Jam world. This songs approach is more alternative-rock based but is fun and catchy with lyrics like, "maybe you and me are always walking on a wire, and with every step it seems we are only getting higher.” This sentiment is heartfelt and a great example of the writing techniques used on this album. I could see this song being used in a larger capacity and it also has some viable commercial value.
Another song that caught my attention was the title track of this album ‘Find Your Way” that begins with a clear and precise guitar intro from Jay Lock, solo guitarist for The New Normal. This song would be a great live track and could allow for some extreme improvisation on stage; in the interview below we discuss walking the line between improv and structure. "You got to be just a little bit crazy to make it through another normal day," are some of the most poignant lyrics within this album and shows the open-minded feeling that this band represents.
Again, Chris Eves and The New Normal take a different approach to their sonic sound with “The Chains You Wear” and go more alt-country with a heavy slide riff laid over the track. The lyrical qualities remain remarkable, compared to today’s pop country landscape and make this song original and different than a lot of the Southern Rock-Country bands but still very reminiscent of the Black Crowes or even, The Zac Brown Band.
“Fall” is another song that gets stuck in my head and the driving guitar makes me want to hear an exploratory and long solo, the only thing I think is missing from this recording. Drummer Sean Benz, highlights this track with impressive musicianship and keyboardist Mike D’Ambrosia plays a pivotal role in not only this song but the entire album adding rousing piano licks wherever he can. “Fall” uses Classic Rock chord structures and melodies to make the sound relatable but still remains original and imaginative.
“The New Normal” and “Flown Away” accentuate the final tracks on this album and stay steady and slow throughout. They are both good choices and well recorded, something that stands out when listening to this album in my headphones. Mike Spadaro holds it down on bass throughout the entire length of this recording but can really be felt in the backbeat at the end of this album.
While the album ‘Find Your Way’ doesn't necessarily break any rules, it does find new and interesting ways to combine song structures and heartfelt lyrical connections. This album is very relatable to many musical listeners and Chris Eves and The New Normal seamlessly integrate many genres of music from Jam to Alt-Rock. I believe ‘Find Your Way’ is a great platform for this band to build upon and grow exponentially. Below is a short interview with Chris Eves himself where we discuss this latest album and the future evolution of The New Normal.
Interview with Chris Eves From Chris Eves and The New Normal:
JBP-Can you describe your sound, or what genres have influenced you as you wrote and recorded ‘Find Your Way’?
CE-Our sound is the sum total of the influences and personal style each member brings to the table. We all have very diverse influences and approach the music from unique vantage points. Everything from: Grateful Dead, Nine Inch Nails to Jazz greats like, John Coltrane and Miles Davis, have shaped our collective sound. One unifying band we all grew up listening to and seeing live is Phish. They were definitely the catalyst for us wanting to play improvised music. I think the five of us though, strive to go beyond our influences and are always trying to cultivate our own unique voice individually and collectively. Jay, for example, is a very different guitarist than I am and certainly has a very unique voice that’s all his own. A lot of times he’ll play something that inspires me to do something completely different than I would have otherwise. Especially in improvised music, each band member’s voice really comes through and steers the direction of the sound.
JBP-The transitions and song structures in songs like, “Remember To Forget” sounds very jammy, much like moe. or some of the other progressive Jam bands from the North East. Has this musical landscape shaped your musical evolution?
CE-Absolutely. I grew up in Central New York where moe. is from and we listened to them a lot. Chuck from moe.’s sister was our high school Spanish teacher. I’ve always been a fan of progressive music that has written out sections and jam sections, and that’s able to weave it all together into a story. The Dead tunes like, Terrapin or Help/Slipknot/Franklins, were always my favorite. moe. also inspired me to write in that direction for sure. It’s pretty cool to now be in the band Floodwood with Vinnie from moe. after listening to them for so many years.
JBP-What does the New Normal mean to you?
CE- I think it’s just a mantra to be yourself. It’s for anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t fit in or been a little left of center. Normal is just a point of view and just because you might be weird according to someone else, that shouldn’t stop you from being authentic and living the life that makes you happy. Weirdos are always welcome with us!
JBP-What have been some of your greatest musical accomplishments to date?
CE-I’ve been lucky to have a lot of musical accomplishments in my career. Some of the personal highlights are sitting in with the Zac Brown Band at SPAC and jamming with Jon Fishman live.
JBP-Any plans for summer festivals or tours?
CE-We are working on both right now and are looking forward to announcing some soon
JBP-While it is hard to add layers of improvisation to studio albums, does your band stick to the song structures or improvise live?
CE-We try to strike a balance between playing the song and jamming. In the studio, for this record, I was happy that we were able to capture a lot of our jams. “Remember to Forget”, “Find your Way”, and “Fall” were all one take. When we’re live every night is different and we’re still evolving in the way we improvise. Some nights we want to play “Green and Blue” completely structured as a stand-alone song, and some nights it turns into a 20 minute funk jam. I think we’ve just started scratching the surface of where our jams can go and that’s exciting.
JBP-Can you explain your lyrical process? Who writes the songs or is it a collective environment?
CE-For this record, I wrote all the Lyrics and it’s the toughest part for me. I just try to write down thoughts on a particular subject independently of the music so I’m not locked into a specific structure at first. When I’ve got a good amount of material, I start trying to play music that fits the ideas and hopefully get the puzzle pieces to fit. I try to be open to lyric ideas all the time so, I keep a bunch of notes in my phone just in case I think of something while I’m out for a run or grocery shopping or, whatever.
JBP-Many bands that relate themselves with Jam music walk the line between different genres. How do you see yourselves adding a unique aspect to the Jam world?
CE- I hope that even though we extend our songs live, that they are still relatable to everyone. The song always comes first for us and it should stand alone as catchy and meaningful. We also try to put a lot of attention into the vocals and harmonies. I think that emphasis on songwriting and vocals gives us a unique aspect.
JBP-What are your future goals and how do you think you will evolve to get there?
CE-Our short-term goals are to keep writing, recording, and evolving our live show. Playing for more people and extending our touring are also a priority. I think it just takes a lot of hard work and a high level of commitment. We live music 24/7 so it’s more a journey than a single goal we set for ourselves that’s off in the distance.
JBP-Any crazy band/road stories you would like to share with us? (Anything goes)
CE-Honestly we’re pretty chill and not too crazy. Our drummer Sean usually finds a casino after the show and we hear about how much money he won the next day. We never hear about how much money he loses though…
Thanks Again to Chris Eves and The New Normal,
Jam Band Purist
Kung Fu, the Connecticut based Funk-Rock band has been on my radar for quite some time now; I hadn't been able to catch a live show until recently and I'm really glad it was at 5 Points in Roanoke, Virginia. Having been quite familiar with their catalog of songs, I knew I was in for at the very least, a decent show. Opening up with “Scorpion” from their recent release ‘Ninja Cuts,’ Kung Fu came out swinging or karate chopping and I knew I was in for more than a “decent” show.
I was immediately reminded of Frank Zappa, with dissonant tonality in their transitions and tight mix of Prog-Rock, funk and even a little Jam. Guitarist, Tim Palmieri was a phenomenal soloist and knows his scale progressions backwards and forwards. Sax player, Robert Somerville had a perpetual smile that was infectious to the whole crowd.
Kung Fu would go on to cover, Steely Dan; I can't remember which song but you know “The Dan” when you hear it. After that short interlude into yacht rock territory, it was all business and there was no stopping Kung Fu, as they jammed out “Hollywood Kisses,” “Chin Music” and many more of their original songs that were filled with improvisational intros; flowering and evolving into full blast funk in your face. I'm most impressed with their transitions that seem to test of the bounds of Eectro-Jazz-Funk chord progressions and climactic crescendos.
5 Points Music Sanctuary again, comes through with an amazing act to celebrate and highlight their pursuit in the power of sound. I can't say enough about this venue and the programs they offer. https://5pointsmusic.com The show lineup is stacked and you will be hearing a lot more about this place. Roanoke seems to have a budding music scene and with the recent announcement that moe. will be playing a local festival, big things are in the works.
Kung Fu is a great name for this band and with musical chops and figurative kicks, this band is as good, as any of the hard-hitting acts in the Jam-Funk scene today; like Lettuce or Galactic. Kung Fu brings intense energy to the stage and the audience leaves it on the dance floor. I will be seeing more of Kung Fu whenever I can and you should too.
Jam Band Purist
After my recent visit to the magnificent 5 Points Music Sanctuary in Roanoke Virginia, I was graciously invited back and will hopefully be working with them in the future developing content. With a great lineup of Jam/Rock acts coming up, I know I will be spending a lot more time at 5 Points one way or another. In my recent Pink Talking Fish review, I touched on the Sanctuary and its Music Therapy, Music Education, and Hearing Loss Advocacy programs. As an advocate for Special Needs and former special-education teacher, these programs are close to my heart. I support this cause and want to inform my readers about these exclusive music therapy programs that benefit the local Virginia community. Passed around at the Yarn show was a backpack, called the Subpac, which allows the user to experience the music through vibrations. When the bass pounds on stage, you feel it in the backpack. This technology is one of the many examples of the opportunities Tyler Godsey and his team are bringing to 5 Points Music Sanctuary. The story of 5 Points is an amazing example of strength and opportunity. With these programs like the Subpac Initiative, the sanctuary is truly striving to keep the power of music alive for everyone. Much more to come on this venue and with shows like: Kung Fu, Feb 8th, Jon Stickley Trio, Feb 9th and 10th, Melvin Seals and JGB March 22nd, my friends Marbin, April 5th, and Ghost Light feat. Tom Hamilton and Holly Bowling on April 19th. To learn more about 5 Points and their live shows and music therapy programs, follow this link: https://5pointsmusic.com/programs/
I had never experienced Yarn, the Brooklyn Alt-Country band (wait... what Brooklyn? Country? Yes, that's right.) But I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the musicianship and songwriting originality. Yarn is a vibrant mix of country, rock, and rockabilly sprinkled with some bluegrass, folk, and stitched together with a touch of grunge. There were times when there was improvisation and the band started to jam, but Yarn stayed true to the standard old country feel. Song themes ranged from traveling down south, breaking up, and drug use; themes I think most of us relate to in one way or another. The crowd was with the band the entire time. Yarn is well beyond a bar act and something much more serious.
Tour seasoned, Yarn has been riding out troubled times and rolling with the changes, releasing a new album, 'This is The Year.' With the songs, "Carolina Heart" and "This Is The Year" highlighting the album. It does seem a different direction than the previous sound Yarn has cultivated. With lyrics like, “This is the year, we’re gonna make that change/this is the year, we start all over again/This is the year, we’re all gonna come out swingin’/we’re gonna raise a glass to a new beginning,” the band is obviously looking to change things up and push their music into high gear. The sound in the Sanctuary certainly complements this type of music and the band was tight and constructed while still remaining loose and fluid. Bass player and Dave Grohl look-alike Rick Bugal, drives the rhythm of this band forward, always in the groove and ready to take the music further. Lead guitarist Rod Hohl, reminds me of a hired gun, ready to unload when the time is right with a country and western picking style that is smooth and unstoppable. Always staying steady like a train engine, drummer Bobby Bonhomme, is the heartbeat of Yarn. While lead vocalist and guitarist Blake Christiana is the lifeblood, reminding me very much of Todd Snider, a vagabond storyteller with an old soul that leaves his heart written in the lyrics. I look forward to catching Yarn again this summer at Roosterwalk Music Festival and if you haven't listened to Yarn and you really like country–rock check them out.
~Jam Band Purist
I had been hearing about Pink-Talking-Fish for sometime; the mash-up of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish was quite appealing to me, as I am a huge fan of all three bands and know almost every song in each catalog. Cover shows can be disappointing but my anxious thoughts were replaced by hopeful anticipation of new, interesting combinations of songs from each band. Pink Talking Fish did not disappoint, delivering a unique blend of material. The real surprise of the night was arriving to 5 Points Music Sanctuary in Roanoke, Virginia.
This venue is one of the coolest I have been to in a long time. 5 Points is a renovated church, where the spirit of music can truly be felt. While it wasn't Sunday, it sure felt like it to me. The sound was crisp, clear and perfect; the light show illuminated the venue like an alter to the music gods themselves. The staff and security were all super friendly and helpful. I was interested to learn more about this music sanctuary. They offer outstanding music programs not only to the local Roanoke community, the local music scene, and the Virginia music scene as a whole. I fully support 5 Points in their endeavors and will gladly come back to one of their upcoming shows. If you are a Virginia resident or even a band looking for an awesome venue to play, 5 Points is a must see.
Pink Talking Fish opened up with a "Wedge" that had a lot of energy but was still a little rough around the edges. They quickly transitioned into "Have A Cigar" the Pink Floyd classic, which had the entire crowd on their feet. The solos and changes were all exact. A thread of originality ran throughout the entire set and into “Girlfriend Is Better," which is possibly my favorite Talking Heads song ever. The set list and play-by-play can be found below. The first set was good. I wasn't sure about "Famous Mockingbird" or "Colonel Forbin." Perhaps the Gamehenge canon is better left to the boys but I have no issues spreading the word of THE BOOK, especially in such a holy place. "Take Me To The River" felt very spiritual as the lights shone brilliantly throughout the sanctuary.
The second set was high powered with a significant boost in energy from the band. Their crescendos/build ups were bristling with raw energy and improvisation, taking PTF to the next level. "Run Like Hell" was jammed out beyond proportions and the rest of the set was a heady alchemical combination of classic Talking Heads and Pink Floyd songs, mixed professionally with Phish.
Setlist: Wedge, Have a Cigar, Girlfriend is Better, Col Forbin, Time>Fly Famous Mockinbird, Take Me To The River, Sheep>Down With Dieses>Sheep, Life During Wartime. Run Like Hell, Making Flippy FLoppy, Free>Us and Them, Pulled Up The Roots>Waves, What A Day That Was, First Tube.
I would love to see PTF expand their improvisational techniques and take this even further into unknown territory; developing their changes within each song to segue into each other is also a very important part in making this endeavor even more interesting. Great musicianship all around from guitarist, Dave Brunyak and keyboardist Richard James, keeping the backbeat is Zack Burwick and Eric Gould on bass. Let's be realistic, none of these songs are easy to play and PTF does a fine job presenting them in a fun and original way. I am sure I will be catching PTF again in the future and of course, I will be returning to 5 Points every chance I get.
Any time spent with music is time well spent,
Jam Band Purist
Carey Frank, interim keyboardist for Tedeschi Trucks Band and other various projects has released his album 'Something To Remember Him By.' I was recently sent a copy to review and was introduced to Carey's musical style and got to ask him some questions. From Tedeschi Trucks Band to playing at Disney, Carey is a rising talent not only in the Jam world but the music business, as a whole.
I had no idea what to expect when I put on 'Something To Remember Him By' and was surprised to hear Jazz standards and exceptionally skilled keyboard and guitar work. With guitarist Bruce Forman, Carey lays down, not only the melody but also the bass lines on the Hammond Organ. I had to think twice when I heard it at first to make sure that there wasn't a bassist sitting in.
Carey and Bruce work seamlessly together as a symbiotic team. Carey, much like an octopus behind the keys, leads the way while Bruce, sprinkles a mix of Jazz and Rock progressions with exceptional phrasing. This album is extremely listenable and expresses the eclectic style that Carey produces. We talked about improvisation, studio vs. live performance and various other experiences in the interview below.
JBP-What have been some of your most thrilling experiences working as a musician?
CF-Of course my work with Tedeschi Trucks Band has been one of the most thrilling experiences. I’ve been listening to Derek Trucks for years. One of the first albums I stole from my mom’s collection was actually a Derek Trucks Band album. Also getting to hang a lot with Dr. Lonnie Smith is pretty thrilling. Living in LA, I'm always running into musical idols. And before I moved to LA, I lived in Orlando, FL and worked at Walt Disney World theme parks and that was its own thrilling experience. I’m a huge Disney nut so I was in heaven.
JBP-In your personal music style, do you use a lot of improvisation?
CF-Totally! If I really need to, I can play specific parts the exact same way every time, like I did when I worked at Walt Disney World and the few other pop gigs I've done, but it's really hard for me to play the same thing twice. Even a familiar song/melody is played a bit different and improvised every time. It's like telling a story to someone...you never say it the same way. Even if you say the exact same words and sentences, you may phrase it differently, emphasize different words, use different dynamics...I love working off the audience. That always really influences the way I improvise from night to night.
JBP-What's it like working with some of the jam band world’s biggest acts? (TTB-Hot Tuna)
CF-Once you get over the star struck feeling, it's like playing with any other great band. It's so fun to play in bands that allow each member to do their own thing and take musical chances. And I really love the audiences! There is so much positive energy and all they want to do is hear good music and feel good energy which really makes any musician play his or her best.
JBP-I can tell from your album ‘Something To Remember Him By’ that you are influenced by jazz, but what other music has inspired you in your career?
CF-I grew up listening to jazz, of course, but also have always loved rock, movie soundtracks, classical music...I specifically listened to a lot of Billy Joel, Beatles, Disney movie soundtracks, John Williams, Queen, John Mayer, Debussy...
JBP-The album is just you and Bruce Forman on guitar, but it feels like there is a lot more going on. Did you play the bass lines and melody?
CF-I played bass using the Hammond organ. It's a mix of using foot pedals and my left hand. That's the great thing about that instrument. It can be so soft and subtle and fill in those nice spaces or it can be the big powerhouse showoff instrument taking the place of a full 12-piece horn section in addition to taking over the bassist’s spot. One of the many goals of this album was to fool the listener into forgetting there was no drummer or bassist.
JBP-Do you prefer studio work vs. live performances? How has each furthered your career as a musician?
CF-I'd love to do more studio work. Both are really different mindsets and I love both but, right now, the majority of my work is playing live which means a lot of late nights and hauling a lot of heavy organs and keyboards and amps all over town. A big thing that helped my career was when I started bringing a GoPro to a handful of my gigs and posting my solos on social media. That's how I've become more well known and how I've gotten some bigger gigs.
JBP-Any recent projects that you would like to promote besides the album? What's next?
CF-My band, Strangers On a Saturday Night, has a new album coming out on February 14th and we’re doing a show that night at The Blue Whale in Downtown LA. It's an organ trio featuring me, Will Brahm and Jamey Tate, and vocalist Jane Monheit sang on a few tracks. Another organ trio I'm in, The White Blinds, just got signed to F Spot Records and we will be in the studio next month and releasing our album over the summer. I'm part of many different groups around town and always posting about where I'm playing and any new music I'm releasing on my Website and Facebook!
JBP-Is there a story behind the album’s title?
CF-As you know, the album is dedicated to my grandfather and singer, Don Cornell. Bruce played his 1938 Gibson L5 on the album and all of the tracks (except for one original composition I dedicated to my grandmother Iris) were songs my grandfather used to sing and record regularly. Don had an album entitled "Something To Remember Me By" so I thought it best to title mine "Something To Remember Him By."
JBP-Being on the road, I'm sure you have seen some pretty wild stuff; any crazy experiences you’ve been dying to share?
CF-Honestly, I haven’t seen many crazy things on the road. It’s not usually what it’s like in the movies. There were a few times when I lived in Orlando that I played at a nudist colony, which was pretty crazy and what you might expect. Also, one time I was touring with Lucy Woodward and we had a night off so the band went to see a movie. At some point during the movie, I put my popcorn on the empty seat next to me then, 10 minutes later, the guy sitting on the next seat over started eating my popcorn. Lucy and I couldn’t stop laughing during the rest of the movie. Other than that, the crazy experiences are getting to perform with some of my longtime idols.
-Thanks to Carey for letting me into his musical world for a little bit and chatting about some of his experiences. You can check out Carey's newest album "Something To Remember Him By" at http://www.careyfrank.com/ and https://soundcloud.com/carey-frank/sets/something-to-remember-him-by/s-lOwHm or Spotify.
Jam Band Purist
I can still recall, sitting in my hotel room, singing Del McCoury‘s version of “Nashville Cats” last year when I visited Nashville for the first time. It is somewhat serendipitous that the next band I would see in Nashville was The Travelin’ McCourys. My last time in Music City I hung around Broadway and the tourist areas, which were filled with out-of-towners and pop-centric country music. This time I decide to take a more local approach and catch some live bluegrass at 3rd & Lindsley.
This evening’s performance would be The Travelin’ McCourys first show of 2018 and they seemed to dust their strings off quickly, opening with “Cumberland Blues,” which was authentic high-powered bluegrass, traditional but intense and always on the edge of a jam. This band is filled with fine musicians from Ronnie McCoury and brother, 2015 banjo player of the year, Rob McCoury to fiddler, Jason Carter and bassist, Alan Bartram.
The only noticeable difference in their stage presence is the lack of Del, and use of more than one mic. Ronnie takes over and does a fine job leading the band, while at the same time keeping the McCoury stage persona alive. There were moments on stage when I was reminded of his father.
The Travelin’ McCourys are a razor sharp bluegrass band; progressive yet, not extreme in the use of effects on their instruments; still hard-hitting bluegrass that leaves air to breathe. Mixing traditions like classical, jazz, blues, folk and rock aspects with bluegrass, following in the innovate tradition of their namesake.
The Travelin’ Mccourys would go on to cover David Grisman and a slew of Grateful Dead songs including: “Loser,” “Loose Lucy,” and “If I Had The World To Give,” with Ronnie’s son joining the band on guitar, truly making this a family affair. Vocally and musically, The McCourys make these songs their own; improvisational, tight, and impressive. Closing with “Freedom Blues” and back-to-back solos from all the members on stage.
The sound was immaculate inside 3rd & Lindsley, and it was easily one of the coolest venues I have been to in Nashville. This being only my second time in Nashville, I am so glad I had the opportunity to cover this show. I was happy to be reminded of how great bluegrass can be, especially in Music City, where one must cultivate their own musical experience.
Catch The Travelin’ McCourys on tour now.
When deciding what to do for New Year’s Eve, the choice was simple: Widespread Panic or The Marcus King Band. Having spent the last few years with WSP, it was time for a change. This year, I thought it would be fun to ring in 2018 with one of my new favorite bands.
The Marcus King Band blows me away every time I see them. If you haven’t seen them, make it your New Year’s resolution. I braved the frigid cold and headed to the Baltimore Soundstage for a New Year’s filled with amazing music and great friends.
I saw supporting act Peoples Blues of Richmond, for the first time, this summer at the Marcus King Family Reunion Festival. It was one of the best times I had all year. I was only able to catch a few songs then, so I wasn’t able to write a full review.
My first impression of PBR’s opening set was that they are very heavy and loud. (They make a lot of noise for a 3-piece.) Their sound is very much like the Black Angels at times, while integrating Grunge and Punk Rock aesthetics with Irish-Folk (like Flogging Molly). Wielding his Gibson SG like a primitive barbaric weapon, the guitar solos were impressive. Seeming to be straight out of the Jimi Hendrix songbook, they would even cover “Manic Depression,” solidifying this impression.
PBR is an eclectic and original band with comedic overtones and vagabond lyricism that accentuates the underbelly of American society itself. I preferred their high-energy, blues trio stuff: heavy, fast and to the point. The Baltimore Soundstage itself was an adequate venue for this performance with decent sound but the employees and staff were lacking in kindness and that goes a long way, especially on New Year's Eve.
As soon as The Marcus King Band took the stage, all of 2017’s troubles and worries seemed to melt away. I was completely lost in the music and from that point, had no sense of time or space. The band came out swinging with a high-energy live performance that included a genre shattering set list. “Good Man,” “Ain’t Nothing Wrong,” and “Dear Prudence” highlighted the beginning of the show. MKB is on-point in every aspect musically, each player bringing their best to the stage and leaving it in the audience’s memories. At one point, a gentleman beside me began to tear up because the music was so profound. This was his first MKB show, and this is the true power of music.
The Marcus King Band pushes the limits of improvisation with a ferocious intensity, like a lion released from its cage in the depths of some Gladiatorial arena. Accentuating every stop and break within each musical change, progression and divergence. Each member has grown closer together and as a musical unit. This band has matured exponentially since I first saw them at Rooster Walk Music Festival this past summer. Learning some great new tunes and the addition of keyboardist DeShawn (D’vibes) Alexander have pushed the intensity of this bands sound even further. I cannot think of a better musician to join this band. Marcus and DeShawn have a musical connection that is palpable and that juxtaposes each other’s unique musical abilities.
The Marcus King Band would cover numerous Allman Brothers songs including “Dreams” and “One Way Out.” The crescendos and build-ups are on par with any of the hard-hitting Jam bands in the scene today. They can take you to that moment where you feel like the roof could explode off the entire building. Marcus would serenade the audience with a few acoustic solo tunes, including a brand new song that I’d like to hear again. The band returned to the stage for “Rita Is Gone” and then began one of the greatest medleys I have ever heard in my entire life.
As many of you may know, I am an extreme Frank Zappa fan, and it just so happens, so is Marcus. When last we met, we discussed the possibility of MKB covering some Zappa, and I was pleasantly surprised when Marcus pointed my way and began this medley with Zappa’s “Eat That Question” from the seminal album, ‘The Grand Wazoo.’ Serendipitously, one of my favorite Zappa albums which I’ve had on heavy rotation for the past few months. This medley would go on to include Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick," Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs” and even the short hook from Salt-N-Pepa‘s “Push It.” I am still blown away by that Zappa cover and want to personally thank Marcus and the entire band for starting my 2018 off with such a perfect song selection. When I woke up New Year’s Day, I thought it was only proper that I pay my respects by visiting the Zappa statue/bust on Frank Zappa Way in Baltimore. I truly hope that MKB keeps “Eat That Question” in their repertoire from here on out.
The Marcus King Band would close out the night with “Virginia” bringing in 2018 with one of my favorite songs from this band. MKB has quickly climbed the Jam Band ladder for me and are competing with some of my favorites with raw, energetic, and pure improvisational live performances. In 2017, I made it my mission to see almost every up-and-coming Jam Band in the scene. Marcus King takes the number one spot easily; he and his band have more musical competency and improvisational qualities than any other band out there. I am extremely glad I decided to see them this New Year’s Eve. This may become an ongoing tradition, but let’s hope that MKB decides to play somewhere in the South next year. I’m already ready for warmer weather.
Happy New Year!
–Jam Band Purist
JBP here. I'm back from a long break, getting situated in my new house and spending time with loved ones especially my dog, Floyd. Anyway, it's my pleasure to give a short overview of Yellow Feathers newest studio album, “And Gold” before this year is up.
Yellow Feather is a band from North Carolina and this album was recorded in Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville; which has been doing great work in that local area. Yellow Feather also includes, Casey Kristofferson, daughter of legendary Kris Kristofferson and again, I am able to review the next generation of musically talented families. Included in Yellow Feather are guitarist/vocalist Hunter Begley, lap steel player Charlie Wills and the album features drummer Herschel VanDyke and bassist Robert Parks along with a number of special guests.
This strong and lyrically poignant album, hits you from the opening song “If You Ain't Cheatin’ a story about a relationship gone south. From the first listen, this album is fun and well recorded with various influences from many genres of musical history. I also enjoyed the album artwork and logo seen below. This album masterfully mixes beautiful harmonies and vocal structures from Casey and Hunter. Songs like "Blood and Bones" accentuate the classic country sound, while others inspire a more Folk-Americana arrangement but all seamlessly blending together to form a cohesive album structure.
All-around, Casey Kristofferson and Yellow Feather seem to be a very talented band, who can not only put on a great live performance, (which I have watched on YouTube) but also record a very well-done, thoughtful and creative studio album. "And Gold" is an album that any Country-Folk-Americana lover should listen to and add to their collection. While many of you may know, Country and Americana are not my favorite genre but what speaks to me or appeals to me is this revival of Classic Country vibes and bringing back the origins of this music and getting away from he Pop-Rap BS that is “Country Music” nowadays. Bands like Yellow Feather could lead the way into a new wave of real, thoughtful, intelligent and heartfelt music.
‘And Gold’ can be found anywhere you get your new music https://open.spotify.com/album/3pHGJZtbjtPfIdz436EIvY and https://www.yellowfeatherband.com/
Jam Band Purist
Widespread Panic-Halloween Run 2017- Las Vegas, Nevada: (Oh Yes, It's Ladies Night And The Feelings Right)
Last month, Widespread Panic made another historic Halloween run, this time in Sin City, Las Vegas, Nevada. This show was quite sometime ago but I've had many things going on this past month having moved into a new house and I am just now beginning to reflect on that weekend's events and reviewing my notes.
These shows would mark my 77th, 78th and 79th Widespread Panic shows and as this number increases, so does my need for greater, more thrilling experiences. Destination trips to see my favorite live band appear to be the perfect excuse to see the world/country and also experience great live music at the same time. Having never been to Vegas, I shipped out from Virginia and headed west on a nonstop flight to the biggest tourist trap known to man.
Las Vegas itself is an utter madhouse, a tourist trap of the greatest proportions. Everything here costs $50: food, gambling, entertainment, even women. Picturing the mafia running this place is easy; an oasis of sin in the middle of the desert, no rules, no laws, the real Wild West. Arriving at the airport, our Uber driver took us to an overpriced dispensary and from there, I would encounter all types of characters but not a single Elvis; the lack of Elvis's was concerning to me. Is the King truly dead? Anyway on with the show!
Night 1: (Steady and Strong)
I was very impressed by the youngest member in the band drummer, Duane Trucks. He has shown much improvement and is playing more jazz-based rhythms and accentuating the drum patterns we all have come to know and love. Overall, the band was steady, like a steam train engine on the plains of the great western expanse; chugging along until the very last note. The 'Ace Of Spades' was by far the highlight for me and there were times when JB was truly channeling the spirit of Lemmy himself. After the show, my friends and I visited Fremont Avenue or Old Vegas, where we witnessed all sorts of debaucheries including: a vagrant shooting up in the streets.
1: Heroes (DB), Love Tractor, Tall Boy, The Last Straw > Cotton Was King, Pickin' Up The Pieces, Send Your Mind, Pigeons, Holden Oversoul
2: All Time Low > Jam > Surprise Valley > Papa's Home > Surprise Valley > Stop Breakin' Down Blues, Thought Sausage, Saint Ex > Drums > Radio Child, Vacation, North
E: Blackout Blues, Ace of Spades
Night 2: (Ladies Night)
Saturday night would end up being one of the greatest themed nights, I have ever heard from this band. Every song referenced a woman in someway (Even if you have to stretch it a bit) and this would be my first time hearing 'Coconuts' live. This show was extremely improvisational and each transition saw new and different angles to these musical elements. It's hard to really explain the music from that Saturday night. I have re-listened to the show on numerous occasions via nugs.net and each time, I am more impressed. Widespread Panic was on point and this is a perfect example of why I still continue to travel across the country and see this band. I won't write anymore about this one, I'll just say, go check this show out either on nugs.net or panic stream because it's one of the best shows the boys have played in years; on par with any Milwaukee shows from the past few years.
1: Greta > Little Lilly, Arleen > Ophelia, Party At Your Mama's House > You Should Be Glad, Sharon, Ain't Life Grand
2: Flat Foot Flewzy, Diner > Rebirtha > Christmas Katie > Jam > Good Morning Little Schoolgirl > Aunt Avis, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Coconut, Honey Bee > Red Hot Mama
E: End Of The Show, Bowlegged Woman
Night 3: (The Main Event)
The stage was lit up and decorated with numerous Las Vegas themed paraphernalia, which included: cacti, giant playing cards, dice.
Jimmy Herring was in fine form and carried the band through much of this show with JOJO adding his signature clavi and organ licks, whenever possible. The boys were all dressed up in observance of Halloween that fine Sunday but almost all of them threw the costumes to the side. Stand out performances include: a wild and crazy ride of a 'Proving Ground,' 'Home On The Range' that had church-like influences. Sunday Service with Pastor JB and his band. 'Magic Carpet Ride' was explorative and far-out, taking the song out into the nether reaches of the Jam and back again. Stand out drums… naa just kidding, that shit happens every show now.
Las Vegas is truly a 'City Of Dreams' and its history proves it but all dreams too must die and how long can Vegas hold onto this reign of decadence? 'Mr Soul' was a good cover for this set and proved high energy. JB ditches the guitar for 'Alright Now.' While Sunday's show was the main event, it almost felt as though Sunday’s set-list was switched out for Saturday's and the old adage, "Never miss a Sunday show" did not hold up this time around. And I never even saw Carrot Top on stage either!
1: Home on the Range, Rumble > Henry Parsons Died, Vampire Blues, Don't Tell The Band, Use Me, Up All Night, Shut Up And Drive, Conrad
2: Chilly Water, Tail Dragger, Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys, Proving Ground > Home on the Range, Magic Carpet Ride* > Jam > Drums > Cease Fire > City of Dreams, Mr. Soul
E: House of the Rising Sun > Home on the Range, All Right Now
Looking into the future for Widespread Panic, I see this format of multi-night runs in various cities across the country, a more prominent fixture as the band continues touring and moving forward. I am already gearing up for the recent announcement of the three night run in the DC Harbor. I look forward to seeing the boys again as I get into my 80th show and thinking about what a wild ride it has been. Thanks for reading and again, I apologize about the lateness of this review sometimes, great things take longer to reflect upon.
Jam Band Purist
Greensky Bluegrass (Not Out Of Control In Richmond)
Right before I left for Las Vegas for three wonderful nights of Widespread Panic (Review Coming Soon) I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Greensky Bluegrass for the 3rd time this summer. Greensky has been a staple in my musical diet since Roosterwalk this past summer, with that amazing sit-in from the man himself, Marcus King.
Greensky’s songs are evocative, thought provoking and heartbreaking at times. They are the perfect band to uplift your spirits and cause you to reflect upon, not only your life but you inner self. With songs like ‘Old Barns’ ‘Windshield’ and ‘In Control’ that include lyrics like, “Everything around me now will be reduced to the ground, At the cost of my foolish nature, Consequence and conditioning, All weighing at me, To slow my patience.” and “Old barns don't tear down, Let 'em stand proud until they fall to the ground.” With these lyrics the listener can feel and hear the spiritual mantra that is Greensky Bluegrass.
While most of their songs are quite uplifting and happy, they can delve into the deeper side of not only Bluegrass but also the human psyche. There are moments within some of the Jams that feel almost dark and chaotic, they give me shivers up my spine. This is one of the reason I really enjoy this band but also one of the reasons many start talking during Greensky’s jam into progressive Bluegrass, which the name itself means to “move forward” and that's just what they do, innovating and keeping Bluegrass fresh. They seem to take influence from Arabic or Indian melodic structures, chord progressions and scales.
‘Headed for a breakdown’ was well done and jammed out beyond proportions. Included in this set list was ‘Old Barns’ and ‘In Control’ with a very special ‘When Doves Cry’ the classic Prince song. Greensky always seems to pull out a new and exciting cover every time I see them. Each show I have seen has included a new cover first-ABB at Roosterwalk , second-‘Atlantic City’ at Lockn' (The Band style not Springsteen) and finally Prince. This is one of the reasons I will continue to see Greensky Bluegrass every chance I get.
Listening back to this show on nugs.net, the rendition of ‘Broke Mountain Breakdown’ is fantastic and definitely one of the best I have heard. The encore ‘Demons’ was dark and ominous but uplifting and left the crowd satisfied.
Greensky has become one of my favorite live acts this past year they fill a niche that this genre of Progressive Bluegrass has needed since Bela Fleck and the Flecktones; extreme improvisation and dark transient compositions. Although Greensky’s music keeps reminding me of my past and brings out some heavy emotions, I continue to integrate their music into my daily life and can recall countless mornings waking up with ‘Old Barns’ or ‘In Control’ lodged inside my head, like some sort of burrowing creature. I'm sure if you give them a listen, you will find something there that is irresistible and undeniable.
Despite the fact that this show was performed a while ago, I still wanted to cover and touch on The Marcus King Band’s performance at Go Outside Festival in Roanoke, Virginia. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that MKB would be headlining the free outdoor festival right here in Virginia and having just had my mind blown from the MKB Family Reunion and still reeling from all the amazing music, I had to make the journey and check MKB out, again. I took some friends and MKB first timers; they were just as impressed and blown away by the versatility and musicianship of this band.
Having seen MKB six previous times this year, I have become fairly familiar with their catalog and compositional structures but MKB kept me on my toes all night; while I pulled out my hair in amazement, wide eyed with bewilderment, as this band turned everything on its head. Playing a fairly routine set list, MKB transformed many of these original songs including: 'Virginia' 'Sherry Berry' and 'Rita Is Gone,' into something new; adding many teases from Santana's 'Soul Sacrifice' to ABB 'Mountain Jam' and of course, the '25 or 6 to 4' breakdown from Chicago in 'Sherry Berry.' MKB seamlessly mixes these riffs and developments into their original Jams and songs, masterfully creating new sonic arrangements. Marcus is the consummate bandleader, calling out key changes and using visual and vocal cues to lead and conduct his band to his every whim. This level of band leading is difficult, like herding wild buffalo into a narrow pen but Marcus does it with style and intent; the Young Lion ready to roar and seize every opportunity.
This set would introduce a new instrumental that was extremely funky, yet added elements of Soul, Gospel and classic Motown transitions. The encore of the evening seemed to go on and on, everyone taking turns soloing and improvising. Standout solos from Justin Johnson/Trumpet and Dean Mitchell/Sax, and of course, DeShawn (Dvibes) on keys. Stephen Campbell is a solid bass player and Jack Ryan has been making a name for himself as of late, becoming a well-known drummer in the scene and leading his own band at the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam this coming month in Asheville, NC. I look for all the members of MKB to succeed in their endeavors, separately and together. While, my mind was still on the amazing sit-ins and performances at MKB Family Reunion Festival, this show stopped me in my tracks and was by far the best MKB performance I have seen all year. They were tight, solid and on-point. Marcus led his band to the far reaches of improvisation and then back again, never stopping until the very last moment. Intent and driven, this band hasn’t even reached its potential yet and it’s clear from this performance that they are beyond anything out there in this scene today.
I would like to take this time to thank everyone who made my recent MKB Family Reunion Festival the most successful review ever from Jam Band Purist with over 1,000 views in just two days! Thanks to MKB Lions Den for spreading the word and all of MKB’s advocates, including his amazing family, you know who you are! I am looking forward to possibly covering NYE in Baltimore and can't wait to get a copy of "Due North" on vinyl! Keep yours ears open.
Long Live MKB,
WARNING: The views and opinions expressed in this article may not be in conjecture with your own. Be Advised.
Well, what can I say... given a free ticket to see Twiddle at The National in Richmond VA, I couldn't resist. So, here I find myself again, wondering whether I actually like this band or not. I will admit that the crowd of beautiful women attending the show is quite appealing. Twiddle seems to know how to draw the ladies in but is this enough to keep my attention or let's be honest distract me for long enough?
After getting my thoughts together, I decided to keep my mind as open as possible and just let the music speak for itself, not let my preconceived notion's of Twiddle get in the way of actually hearing the compositions and the music itself. Twiddle just isn't my style. Mahali's vocals just don’t do it for me (It reminds me of Dave Matthews.) The island sound has been done before and frankly, better. I say all this not to bash Twiddle but to better understand my musical tastes.
I (100%) see the merit and musical talent of this band; I think I finally understand the uplifting message and positive vibes Twiddle relays to their audience and fans. I truly enjoyed and was impressed with, the improvisational and jam elements that Twiddle represents and I found myself dancing pretty hard at times but not enough to get past the cheesy essentials of their song writing or the elements that don't seem to fit well together. I can totally see and understand why so many people love this band and why many say they are the next big “thing.” Just not for me. I still don't think I would pay to see Twiddle but if they come around and someone offered me a free ticket or they are playing a festival that I am covering, I'll check them out again. I'm always willing to give bands like Twiddle another chance because I can see something in them, like a diamond in the rough, let's just see if they can polish it.
Honestly and Respectfully,
Jam Band Purist
Dopapod again, crushes The National in Richmond, Virginia but this time opening up for
The Motet, The Colorado-based funk act. I have been seeing Dopapod for the past year and I am always super impressed with their set-list, song structures, creativity and originality. Eli Winderman is one of the best keyboard players in the Jam scene today, period. No one can deny that. Rob Compa is a masterful guitar player, showing versatile musicianship and intriguing solos all throughout the evening. Rob brought out his PRS for this show; his Gibson tone is more pleasing to my ears but the PRS does the job. Chuck Jones, bass player for Dopapod, keeps this band in check during their Prog-Rock breakdowns and drummer Neal Evans, AKA “Fro” is unstoppable, pounding the drums, hair wild and untamed. Dopapod is sincerely one of the most impressive up-and-coming Jam bands/Prog-Rock bands in this scene and has always seemed to keep my attention. I heard that they are taking a year off from touring and this could be one of their last shows for a while. I was glad to catch them again for the 6th time this year before they take a much-needed break, if this is true.
The National itself, was far from sold out and the upstairs balcony was even closed off. The rival show at the Broadberry Leftover Salmon, had drawn a larger crowd than those that came to see Dopapod and The Motet but for 25$ I choose to see two bands instead of one. This smaller crowd gave an intimate atmosphere and it seemed only the really strange people in Richmond came out for the show. I have been to The National over 45 times and while it's not one of my favorite venues (Due to security and sound quality) it does the trick and I'm glad to have it in such close vicinity.
The Motet brought their Pop-Funk style to Richmond with wild legs Lyle Divinsky coming out and doing his thing, while the band, including amazing keyboardist Joey Porter, played traditional funk with no real surprises. I am much more into Dopapod but it was fun dancing to The Motet with fellow freaks and forgetting about examining and investigating every nuance of this bands sound. There were some moments within The Motet show that got dark and chaotic but mostly they played straightforward, Pop oriented funk, not much jamming but when they did, it was impressive. If I could impart my improvisational wisdom upon this band, I would only ask that they take more chances and try innovative sounds, integrating not only Pop-Funk but also taking a note from Dopapod and trying progressive scaling and attributes. I can see The Motet gaining national attention from the Pop music scene, given the right song and delivery. It all depends on what direction they want to take it and I think that is one of the novel things about this band.
All in all, it was a pretty good night in Richmond and I look forward to many more. If any of you have any upcoming shows that you would recommend to me feel free to contact me or comment on this post. See all of you out there for the last shows of 2017.
About a year ago, I met and interviewed the band Marbin, a high-energy Rock/Jazz hybrid that had impressed me with songs like, 'African Shabtay' and 'Redline' on their social media/YouTube video campaign the year before. Since my first Marbin show, I have been lucky enough to see them three more times and we have become fast friends; sharing many musical interests and debating the ins-and-outs of the music industry on various occasions.
As musicians, Marbin is growing exponentially; each member giving it they’re all on stage, every night, traveling the county and the world. Their musical influences and growth can be heard in their most recent compositions, which lean more into psychedelic and ballad like movements; leaving more room for improvisation and modulation within live performances. Marbin is constantly evolving, adding new intros, outros and transitions into their already solid repertoire.
Their newest unreleased album titled, "Israeli Jazz" seems to have woken more creativity inside this band, as they play these new songs with a raw and driving intensity. 'Israeli Jazz' the title track from the newest album, is hard and transient, smooth and razor sharp. I look forward to hearing the entire album and doing a full review when it is completed.
Dani Rabin shows exceptional guitar skills, on par, if not greater than, many guitarists in the progressive Jazz and Jam scene. Dani is always growing and expanding his musical education, incorporating those Gypsy Jazz scales he loves so much, into the music he constantly creates. Danny Markovitch is the backbone of this group and although he stands to the side during solos, he is always solemnly contemplating what comes next and critically evaluating every note. Jon Nadel is the perfect bass player for this band and although, he isn't an original member, he keeps both Danny and Dani in check while bringing a masterful bass technique and skill on his fret-to-fretless bass guitar. The heartbeat of Marbin is drummer Blake Jiracek, who is always in his own world, tirelessly keeping up with the other members and pushing the rhythmic structure further and further.
While Marbin, hasn't reached the peak of their success, little by little, they are gaining attention and amassing a loyal following just waiting for them to explode on to the scene but which scene? Finding that direction is highly important to what Marbin could become in the future. I am sure that they will succeed in any musical route/niche they decide to pursue and I will be along for the ride.
I am looking forward to another Marbin performance in Harrisonburg, Virginia on April 4 at the Golden Pony. If you live in or around the area, feel free to contact me and we can meet up! If not, check this band out when they come to you locally, I am always truly blown away.
A Fan and Friend,
Jam Band Purist
Over the years, I have found many new bands but none have been quite as impressive as the 5000-year-old funk band from beyond the tomb, Here Come The Mummies. Every member of this band has personality and amazing stage presence. Together they put on a performance that is riveting and dripping with sexuality.
HCTM is one of the funkiest bands I have ever seen in my entire life. They are the perfect blend of mythology and music, sex and funk. Some of the members are said to be, Grammy award-winning musicians and their identities are completely hidden from the public, under wraps, so to speak. This mysterious persona is only enhanced when you realize what a talented group of musicians these mummies are.
From on point-funky vocals, lead guitar and electric keyboard solos; too amazing saxophonists, Here Come The Mummies has it all. I was most impressed when the sax players wielded two saxophones each and at the same time, began soloing and dueling each other, in some otherworldly cataclysmic reaction. This band is no joke and even though all of their songs include some sort of sexual innuendo, they never come off as cheesy or overdone.
HCTM was one of the best performances I have seen all year. One of the mummies even came out into audience and was climbing all over everything, hitting on the girls, acting wild. I would totally pay the $50 price of admission again, because this band is well worth it. I would love to see HCTM added to more Jam festivals and larger venues. They recently played Hulaween this past month and have also joined moe. on stage at a past Gathering Of The Vibes festival. If you haven't heard of HCTM, I recommend checking out this video below.
Let Your Freak Flag Fly!
I have covered many festivals this year, big and small, from Lockn’ to 420Fest in Atlanta. The Marcus King Band Family Reunion Festival was like none I have ever been to. Thrown at the Pisgah Brewing and Venue deep within Black Mountain, North Carolina outside of Asheville; it is always a pleasure to see the Marcus King Band live but these performances were like nothing I have ever seen before. From massive sit-ins, covers and improvisational jams, here are all my highlights from the MKB Family
Pisgah Brewing Company is well hidden from the road; pulling into the open field/parking lot, I wasn't sure what to expect. I was greeted warmly and courteously and entered the venue easily. The outdoor stage at Pisgah is simply beautiful, made from thick timbered native lumber, this is one of the coolest outdoor stages that I have seen and the atmosphere of Pisgah is like a private party in someone's backyard. This was the perfect venue to hold the inaugural MKB Family Reunion, which truly felt like a real family reunion. Marcus took the helm with his entire entourage, friends and family by his side. I have seen MKB five times this year and truth be told, Marcus and his band only get better and better. Much more on this later…
The Big Something started off the festivities; they have been a new favorite of mine, having seen them several times this summer at numerous festivals. It was good to see Marcus representing the up-and-coming Jam bands. This is truly important to the continuing and the thriving of this scene. While, the Marcus King Band brings a soulful arrangement of Southern Rock and Blues, there is something more to it. There is almost certainly a Jam/Progressive Jazz quality to the Marcus King Band and that's what keeps me coming back for more. Marcus completely shreds and takes us all on a face melting improvisational roller coaster through many genres.
Opening with one of my favorite MKB songs, ‘Sharry Barry’ it has the perfect amount of Jazz breakdowns, including the classic Chicago riff from‘25 or 6 to 1’ and standard Jam technicality with a creative name and song structures. Marcus King Band Jams ‘Ain't Nothing Wrong With That’ with chaotic and beautiful transcendence. The potential of not only Marcus but also his entire band is outstanding. The addition of The Eric Krasno Bands keyboardist and JBP friend DeShawn Alexander brings original character and funky style to the band. I have seriously already forgotten about the other guy. DeShawn and Marcus have a musical connection that is visible, not only to me but to the entire audience. The use of stops and breaks within these transitional Jams should be accentuated more but the thought level of this band is so impressive, that I am blown away by how they can shift seamlessly back-and-forth between Jams and songs.
Marcus is a constant bandleader and rhythm guitarist, using body language and vocal cues to lead his band into new heights. ‘Fraudulent Waffle’ is another one of my favorite songs from Marcus King Band and it shows great Jazz work from all players, horns and drums included. Marcus's father joins him on stage and completes the family-like atmosphere of this festival and after this, there was an array of sit-ins and guest musicians including Jaimoe, drummer from the Allman Brothers Band for a rousing ‘Elizabeth Reed’
Seeing Blackberry Smoke for the second time this summer, I have finally begun to understand them as a band. I feel like they are basically a comedy act, with songs like ‘Six Ways To Sunday’ which is oozing sexual innuendos and ‘I Can Feel A Good One Coming On.’ I haven’t laughed so hard in awhile. Either way, it adds a twist to their music that I was missing out on; a southern fried comedy rock band.
Jaimoes Jasssz Band was last up on Friday night with DeShawn and many musicians coming together in the barn/garage of Pisgah for an intimate late night performance. Marcus would of course join them for an Allman Brothers Band medley and even take over on keys for DeShawn while he took a bathroom break and no surprise, Marcus can play the keys, as well. This truly felt like a family reunion when Marcus got up on stage and yelled for his mom and dad.
Saturday was jam-packed with music and special guest artist at large Brandon “TAZ” Neiderauer who is a 14-year-old powerhouse on guitar. I'm extremely impressed by TAZ’s virtuoso and genius playing, I daresay TAZ is already well beyond his years on guitar and moving up quickly, keeping up with Marcus and everyone around him. Showing great improvisational spirit and uplifting guitar solos that made me proud to be seeing the future of the Jam world. This music, this scene will not die and it is best exemplified through both TAZ and Marcus King. TAZ has the Blues, Rock, Pentatonic scales down, now it's time to work on Jazz and progressive scales perhaps, some Zappa when he is ready.
George Porter Jr's set was smooth and groovy and of course features sit-ins from the all-star cast of characters at this festival. Highlights of this performance were a ‘Love Light’ dedicated to Colonel Bruce Hampton, who we lost this past year. George Porter Jr is a must see if you love funk and anything from The Meters. A legend of the funk world, Porter would sit-in with many of the bands performing that evening.
I caught the Asheville Music Professional panel both evenings, which had various guest and professionals from the local music industry notably, Stef Scamardo, Warren Haynes wife and manager and Marcus King himself. Marcus discussed an array of topics from improvisation to musical tactics but what stood out to me was his attitude and personality, which seem wise beyond his years. I can recall Marcus saying this, "I've learned that people who talk the most are the ones that know the least." Very true brother Marcus, very true.
I had recently seen the revivalist at Lockn’ this summer but truly hadn’t paid much attention. It isn't my type of music, although I do appreciate some aspects and can see the merits of why many are fond of them; it's entertaining and high-energy. David Shaw's solo acoustic set was more storytelling and political/social commentary. TAZ would sit-in and David remarked, "He's never played the song, he doesn't even know what key it's in but he's going to play it anyway.” This quote right here shows the level of professionalism and virtuosity that TAZ is playing with already at 14.
I caught some of the Peoples Blues of Richmond or PBR, who will be joining The Marcus King Band for their upcoming New Year's Eve performance in Baltimore at the Soundstage. PBR is a raw, strange mix of Hard Rock, Irish folk and high-powered Blues. I'm not sure about these guys yet, more to come on them as I see them in the future.
The Marcus King All Star Band’s headlining performance was something very different than the previous night. It was much more explorative and improvisational. It included some amazing covers, sit-ins and guests from just about every band at the festival. This was truly an all-star band with highlights including ‘Sexy Ida’ ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’ ‘Compared To What’ and ‘Dreams.’ Add TAZ, Ron Holloway, George Porter Jr, David Shaw and the female vocalist from the Ron Holloway Band and you get one of the funkiest ‘Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley’ I have ever heard, ending with a powerful “Proud Mary” Ike and Tina style. Marcus would even play solo acoustic during the middle of this set, playing the bluegrass classic, “Rocky Top” and “Learning To Fly” for Tom Petty.
Marcus King is truly a young lion, prowling the stage with a glare of intent, head forward as he advances in his career and his musical prowess, finally pouncing when the time is right. I have no doubt Marcus will be the next big thing. What that thing is? I don't know but it will be big. The inaugural Marcus King Band Family Reunion festival in Black Mountain North Carolina was truly a success and I am sure it will not be the last. This is only the beginning of what Marcus is capable of achieving and I feel honored to be able to cover this festival and his band while they are still growing and evolving into something greater. This will not be the last time you will be hearing about MKB from me. I will continue to help spread the word about this band and their amazing music. As many of you may know, I have been trying to see all the up and coming Jam bands out there and Marcus King Band is at the top of that list and for a good reason. Do yourself a favor and see this band!
May The Jam Gods Be With You,
Jam Band Purist
The Disreputable Few are a psychedelic blues, rock band with four notable band members, Randy Ray Mitchell/Guitar, Dan Potruch/Drums, Mark Tremalgia/Guitar-vocals and Paul Ill/Bass-vocals, who have played with everyone from Bob Weir to the members of The Rolling Stones. I was recently sent their album, “Ain't Who I Was” and gave it a listen. I was immediately impressed with the recording quality itself and the southern rock feel from the opening song.
‘Ain’t Who I Was’ the self-titled track from this album, is blues and rock heavy with a southern drawl. The Disreputable Few are Southern Rock all the way but without being cheesy or overdone. ‘Ain't Who I Was’ exemplifies the lyrical qualities that come with traditional blues and rock. The lyrics themselves are uplifting and transient, taking the listener on an evolution of the self.
‘California Calling’ reminds me of Little Feat mixed with ZZ Top but with a contemporary twist. This song could be a pop-oriented radio hit; it is less emotionally evocative than ‘Ain’t Who I Was’ but with a more fun and free vibe. Great slide guitar work and transitional solos within this song. Hard powered blues, rock for sure, with a hint of psychedelia.
‘Peace Pipe’ takes the album to the slower side; a storytelling song with Native American imagery and the Western-American lifestyle. “The peace pipe saved my life.” This song feels very Jam worthy and even improvisational, although it is a studio recording, I can still hear those qualities within, just waiting to be explored. I am sure The Disreputable Few could really tear down the house with this song, live. This track includes, possibly my favorite guitar solo on the album but the lyrics can get a bit redundant. In all honesty, this song could have gone on for five more minutes with more Jams and transitions. I wouldn't have minded at all. Great Allman Brothers like structure, flowering and evolving: emotional and raw.
‘Hang On’ keeps this album on the slower, melodic side of things with a modern take on songwriting and lyrics. The song is heavy yet, filled with beautiful guitar riffs that laden this track with the perfect juxtaposition between hard and soft. The vocals and harmonizing in this song are well done and recorded to the utmost professionalism. This track features another ripping guitar solo and it seems that every member of The Disreputable Few are talented beyond measure. They play as a cohesive unit, tight and together.
‘Wait For You’ begins with lots of reverb and 70-80s light rock-sounding riffs. Harmonies and vocals again, are well done but this song feels more Reggae or Calypso inspired than psychedelic. Perhaps this song could be taken to another level during a live performance. The feeling brought forth from this song is much different than the other songs on this album but it shows the diversity of the band and the music they can make.
I expected ‘Groundhog Day’ to be based loosely around the Bill Murray movie with the same name but I was pleasantly surprised by the funky clavi and standard Funk/Soul rhythm that this song produces. This song definitely makes you want to get up and dance. Again, this track is much different than the blues, rock throughout this album but opens up the door for a whole new level of genre integration.
‘Farmer Brian’ instantaneously reminds me of many Allman Brothers riffs but immediately expands into a darker, melodic statement, forgetting the opening riff altogether. This composition is much more arranged on a classical level; thoroughly thought out and practiced to perfection. I would have to say that this is my favorite track off the entire album with great breakdowns, jams and obviously skilled musicianship. I would recommend ‘Farmer Brian’ to any and all, Jam band fans out there today. ‘Farmer Brian’ can go from 0 to 60 in seconds, with amazing instrumental qualities and solos. This song is the definition of what Jam music can generate.
The album culminates with an acoustic rendition of ‘Ain’t Who I Was’, which adds a classic blues element and brings us full circle, back to the original album opener. While, I had never heard of The Disreputable Few, this album is a great example of bands that fly under the radar and are not as well known, as they should be. With this level of musicianship and talent, The Disreputable Few could gain followers and fans alike, if people like you and me, only give up the time to open up ours ears and listen. I am not sure this album best represents this bands live sound but I can still hear the psychedelic elements that this band can produce. If I ever have the chance to catch this band live, I wouldn’t hesitate to give them a shot. The Disreputable Few’s album “Ain’t What I Was” can be found on Spotify and their website http://www.disreputablefewmusic.com/
Check It Out,
WARNING: The views and opinions expressed on this site may not be in conjecture with your own. Be Advised
Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.