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Bowlive V: Night II – Soulive feat. Nicki Bluhm, George Porter Jr., Warren Haynes, and the Shady Horns, Leroy Justice Opener @ The Brooklyn Bowl (03.14.14)

“Beware the Ides of March!” Julius Caesar was warned by a soothsayer of the impending doom that would come to him on March 15 and his response to the soothsayer was, “He is a dreamer, let us leave him!” Perhaps, if Caesar had listened to the soothsayer, had he had more faith believing that dreams can become reality, then he would not have been slain. I reference this famous tale not only because of the date, but because believing in dreams is what has gotten us to this point. And I do mean the collective us: you, me, Soulive, the Brooklyn Bowl…all of us.  

“A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists.”~ L. Ron. Hubbard

Photo Courtesy of -------

Photo Courtesy of Jay Blakesberg

Leroy Justice Set
Evil K
Light Cig
Lovin Cup
16 Tons
Reverend Son
Tears of a Clown
Temp Cure
A Little More Conversation
(Las Vegas)

Leroy Justice opened Night II of Soulive‘s Bowlive V last night at the Brooklyn Bowl. This hard-driving rock-n-roll band consists of the charismatic Jason Gallagher (guitar/vocals), Sloan Marshall (keys), Bradley Wegner (bass), Josh Karis (drummer) and Justin Mazer (guitarist). Playing a wide range of styles, they power through original tunes like “Evil K” and “Light Cig,” sprinkled with covers such as the Rolling Stone‘s “Loving Cup” and Smokey Robinson‘s “Tears of  A Clown.” Everyone loves a well-played cover and this band has got it all. The maneuver through rock, country or sometimes just jam out on other songs. With a hearty spirit, they got the Bowl up and ready to dance. 

“Let’s hear it for Bradley’s chin!” ~ Jason Gallagher, referencing Bradley Wegner’s shaved signature beard.

Soulive: Photograph Courtesy of Calabro Music

Soulive: Photograph Courtesy of Calabro Music

Set I – 10pm
Outrage
DIG
Eleanor Rigby –> 3rd Stone –> Lenny
El Ron
Too Much
Never Gonna Let You Go
Every Body Wants to Rule The World

Soulive came out the gate last night with guns a-blazing.  “Outrage” was the song that kicked off an evening of music that was, literally, outrageous!! Last night was a special night indeed, with three sets of music and a special guest who helped put the “RAGE” in “OUTRAGEOUS!!” Eric Krasno was shredding his guitar within a few measures. Bass keys player, Neal Evans, had his head down and his arms bent, tuned into his boards. All the while, the wildly talented drummer, Alan Evans, ancorhed the trio. For die-hard Soulive fans, this is as good as it gets for many. They don’t need anything or anyone tainting the sound of their favorite jazz/funk trio.

“Observing that her friends had not yet arrived: “Everyone is missing the best part…right here…when it’s just the three of them.” ~ Nameless Diehard Fan

“What is that smell?” ~ P.S.P.  “That would be hippies and chicken” ~ K.D.

Set List for Bowlive V, Night II

Proposed Set List for Bowlive V, Night II

“DIG” is a personal favorite and sounds just like the title suggests. It’s as if the boys are digging for the best groove. Deep, consistent drumming by Alan Evans and Neal Evans‘ bass keys drive the song home. Then, they hit us with a super psychedelic run of songs beginning with The Beatles‘ “Eleanor Rigby,” into Jimi Hendrix‘s “3rd Stone From the Sun,” into Stevie Ray Vaughan‘s “Lenny.” ENDLESS FACE-MELT! When Eric Krasno plays this run of songs, he channels every single vetran guitarist that made the song popular in the first place. From beautiful melodic embelishments, to improvisational rock to the sensual blues, it’s an absolute showcase of his instrument and talent.

“That’s the blues, y’all” ~ Alan Evans

“Eleanor Rigby made me just straight up yell, f&%king Bowlive!!”~ B.M., who’s been front row for the last three years! #superfan #superfunky

The Shady Horns, Soulive‘s house band, joined the stage for a fantastic rendition of “El Ron.” Saxophonist, Ryan Zoidis crushed the song as the only horn to play, while saxophonist James Casey hit the cowbell and trumpeter Eric Bloom shook the tambourine. Ryan Zoidis took this song to another level as he blew us away for what felt like an eternity. Had we been sitting, a standing ovation would have been in order. Instead, everyone just screamed and threw their fists in the air at the end of his extended solo.

“I saw the tapers there and was so thankful for them. I wish they were at every night of Bowlive. These musical treasures should all be on archive.org for the public to enjoy.” ~ K.D.

And now ladies and gentleman, Mr. Nigel Hall.  The tenured Bowlive alum grabbed the microphone for “Too Much” and Eric Bloom delivered a tasty trumpet solo. There was some call and response with the audience and Nigel waxed poetic, “If you are in tune with the whole lot, that’s why ya do it.” “Never Gonna Let You Go” had everyone dancing and they ended the set with their amazing arrangement of the Tears For Fears tune, “Everybody Wants To Rule The World,” mashed up with Bobby Caldwell‘s, “Open Your Eyes.”

Photo Courtesy of Dino Perrucci

Photo Courtesy of Dino Perrucci

Set II
Upright
Little Too Late
Nothing
Piece of My Heart
Check Out Your Mind
Need More Time
Pungee
Out In the Country
What Cha Say (not played)

The trio played a tight “Upright” alone on stage before welcoming vocalist and Bowlive first timer, Nicki Bluhm, to join them. She sang her original tune, “Little Too Late.” The energy deflated, as it does in all moments when the audience doesn’t know what is going on. However, as Bluhm warmed up her vocals, the crowd warmed up too and by the time she finished slaying Janis Joplin‘s, “Piece of My Heart,” everyone was shouting her praises.

“To be honest, all my judgement on Nicki was boiling down to how she was gonna handle “Piece Of My Heart.”  When she went for the high note at the end, instead of hitting the easier low note, that solidified her presence for me. That tiny little lady has soul. So happy to finally get to see her live.” ~ K.D.

Nicki Bluhm is not messing around. Huge talent who’s hustling right now. Here crushing it with Soulive tonight, rocking with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe in San Francisco Sunday.” ~ R.A.

Special guest, Mr. George Porter, Jr., was up next. The legendary bass player from The Meters brings with him a vibe that envelops the band when he joins in. Neal Evans, normally playing bass keys, graduates all his attention to the clavinet and just smoked the ivories during the rest of the blues-turned- funk set. A set that included Meters originals, “Check Out Your Mind,” “Need More Time,” and “Pungee.” These songs were released in the 70’s and this performance proved that they were just as relevant now and will be forever. Timeless music performed by an acclaimed bassist. They finished off the set with Sly and The Family Stone’s “Take You Higher.” All the while, Porter sang his heart out. He was straight up howling on the tips of his toes.

“Last night was just a funky marathon.” ~ B.M.

Set III – 1:45pm
Manic Depression
The Dragon
Sugaree
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
Ain’t No Use

The venue must have lost two third of it’s customers after the second set. That would make it that much sweeter for those who remained after Krasno told them to “stay for a big surprise.” Warren Haynes, guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, in town for their annual residency at the Beacon Theatre, would be the icing on the cake for another fantastic evening of music.

“Every year, Bowlivers assume Haynes will perform due to the residencies overlapping and you should cross your fingers in hopes that we might get Oteil Burbridge and Derek Trucks one night. That is the thing about Bowlive, you never know what you are going to really get by way of surprise musicians.” ~ K.D. 

Soulive performed “Manic Depression” before Warren Haynes was announced. All of a sudden, the Brooklyn Bowl stage held Neal Evans, Alan Evans, Eric Krasno, George Porter, Jr., The Shady Horns and Warren Haynes. What musical power squad. We can all a free on the name, I assume? Yes.  Team Ragers, it is!

Warren Haynes and Porter embrace in musical friendship

Warren Haynes and Porter embrace in musical friendship

Warren stumbled with the tuning of his guitar at first but was given a second one a few minutes later. That’s when it really took off. They started with the Meter’s staple, “The Dragon,” sung by George Porter, Jr. Having never seen these two performers on the same stage together, I was completely enthralled. Grateful Dead’s “Sugaree” was next with  Nicki Bluhm invited back to the stage for the vocals. Warren, Nicki and Porter took turns singing the verses while every musicians took a turn crushing a solo.

“The third set was one of the most amazing sets of music I have ever seen. Watching Warren, Kras and Porter stand side by side crushing one endless solo after the next was epic. It felt like each one of them pushed the other to the next level of insane Jamming. Neal Evans also crushed a solo during this set that blew my mind. Warren should mix “He Bite Me” (“The Dragon”) into the Mule sets forever. EPIC… “~ J.R.

Photo Courtesy of Marc Millman

Photo Courtesy of Marc Millman

Nicki Bluhm‘s vocals were a beautiful addition to Warren Haynes‘ southern drawl on “Sugaree.”  Her voice stood out and made the song sound closer to a 70’s version by the Grateful Dead, featuring Donna Jean Godchaux.

Hearing a female voice in Grateful Dead music is a very familiar and joyous thing for many fans at Bowlive. Nicki’s voice brought me back to a happy place where Jerry resides.” ~ J.R.

Nicki Bluhm‘s vocals were blasting out again for “How Sweet It Is,” a 1964 song written by the Motown songwriting team of Holland–Dozier–Holland and first recorded by American soul singer, Marvin Gaye. This was  an extreme highlight as everyone was so pumped up. The audience was singing along, friends were hugging, lovers were embracing.

This incredible night of music was capped off with a wonderful rendition of another Meter’s song, “Ain’t No Use.” Check out the video below for the straight fire. Now, go purchase your tickets for the rest of BOWLIVE V.

I freaked the f*&k out when they started playing “Ain’t No Use!” I sprinted over to Marc Millman when they started, so fired up.” ~ R.A.

——————————-

Tonight’s special guest, returning for his second night, is the famous funky bassist from The Meters, Mr. George Porter, Jr. However, The London Souls are opening at 8:30 pm and continuing on to play with Soulive for a newly coined LondonSouLive performance. Be prepared to have your faces melted with shredding, ripping guitars and so much more….

——————————-

List of Special Guests and Openers

THURSDAY, MARCH 13 – Special Guests: NIGEL HALL, EDDIE ROBERTS, more TBA

FRIDAY, MARCH 14 – Special Guests: GEORGE PORTER JR. and SPECIAL GUESTS TBA
Opener: LEROY JUSTICE

SATURDAY, MARCH 15 – Special Guests: GEORGE PORTER JR. feat. a special #LONDONSOULIVE joint set
Opener: THE LONDON SOULS

TUESDAY, MARCH 18 – Special Guest: JOHN SCOFIELD
Opener and Special Guest: JON CLEARY

WEDNESAY, MARCH 19 – Special Guests: JOE RUSSO and SUSAN TEDESCHI
Opener & Special Guest: JON CLEARY

THURSDAY, MARCH 20 – Special Guest: DMC (of RUN DMC)
Opener: ALAN EVANS TRIO

FRIDAY, MARCH 21 – Special Guests: MARCO BENEVENTO, ROOSEVELT COLLIER, OTEIL and KOFI BURBRIDGE, FELIX PASTORIUS, and BRANDON “TAZ” IEDERAUER
Opener: SONYA KITCHELL

SATURDAY, MARCH 22 – Special Guest: BILL EVANS,
Opener: WOLF! Featuring Scott Metzger

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Soulive: Photograph Courtesy of Calabro Music

Soulive: Photograph Courtesy of Calabro Music

Bowlive V: Night I – Soulive feat. DJ Logic, Nigel Hall, The Shady Horns, Eddie Roberts, Adam Smirnoff and Questlove (03.13.14)

Hitting a milestone fifth year, Soulive is back for their annual “Bowlive” residency at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, New York.

This is an outstanding achievement for Eric Krasno (guitar), Neal Evans (drums), and Alan Evans (Hammond B3 organ, bass keys, clavinet), who, over the past four years, have performed 40 nights of strong, energetic, exciting shows including musical collaborations with artists from all genres.  The jazz/funk trio’s “Bowlive” event is now  solidified as a staple in the land of famous musical NYC residencies. You can be certain that this year will not disappoint.

For a recording of the evening’s music, click here!

Photo Courtesy of Andrew H. WalkerNeilson BarnardRick Diamond, Getty Images

DMC, Talib Kweli, George Porter, Jr.: Photo Courtesy of Andrew H. Walker/Neilson Barnard/Rick Diamond, Getty Images

DJ Logic, Leroy Justice, Jon Cleary, Alan Evans Trio, The London Souls, WOLF! and Sonya Kitchell will open for Soulive over the eight night run. Special guests include Bowlive DMC (of Run DMC), Susan Tedeschi, John Scofield, Talib Kweli, Joe Russo, Marco Benevento, George Porter Jr., Bill Evans and more. All the while, the Shady Horns will be on point each night rounding out Soulive’s house band.

“Thank you Soulive. Thank you Brooklyn Bowl. Thank you Madison House. Thank you Peter Shapiro. Thank you Royal Family Records. Thank you. Thank you. Thank You.”  ~ K.D.

“There’s just something about Soulive at the Bowl that is so amazing. It’s like the old school Knicks at the Garden, with Nigel playing, John Starks firing up the crowd, and everyone just relaxed and amped at the same time.” ~ B.M.

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Opener

For the opening night of Bowlive V, turntablist DJ Logic (Project Logic, Zen of Logic, For No One in Particular, The Anomaly), was on hand spinning upbeat grooving, funky, soulful tunes. Logic is a standout DJ in the jam band scene and electronic jazz community. Working with latter-day jazz saints such as Vernon Reid and Medeski, Martin and Wood, Logic shares the same musical passion as the jamming musicians that he began performing with many moons ago. He relishes in the improvisational spirit of jazz and makes you want to shake your ass.

Set  1
So Live
Uncle Junior
Rudy’s Way
Cash’s Dream
Turn It Out
Brother Soul
Right On

Neal Evans: Photo Courtesy of Dani Barbieri

Neal Evans: Photo Courtesy of Dani Barbieri

Our favorite power trio took the stage at 9:30 pm. In previous years, there have been Mod dancers in the bowling lanes and other visually stimulating nuggets to aid the group in the residency kick-off. This year, there was no fanfare; nothing to distract the audience from what was truly important: the music.  The members of Soulive, dressed in their signature black suits, simply walked out on stage, smiles on their faces and after a few seconds of checking their instruments, went right into “SO LIVE!”

While at The Allman Brothers Band residency the previous night, Eric Krasno shared with me that they would be playing their first album, “Get Down” in its entirety. It took everything in my power not to blast this news out over the world wide web at that moment. However, yesterday, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and spread the word to as many friends as I could because I knew that dropping this knowledge on them would draw those who were on the fence to the venue.

"Get Down!" Album Cover

“Get Down!” Album Cover

“Get Down” was recorded in 1998-99 and released in 2002. For many of us in the audience, we were transported to a time in our own musical history, when this CD was instrumental and meaningful in our daily lives. I was surrounded by friends and Soulive enthusiasts who couldn’t stop commenting on the power this album had on them when it was released. Having listened to the album for over a decade myself, nothing compared to the live musical experience we were about to be delivered.

The trio finished their first tune and Krasno took to the microphone. “We truly appreciate you guys being here,” he proclaimed as he began clapping, getting the audience involved. As we all clapped along to the beat, Alan Evan gave his first drum solo of the night, leading the boys into “Uncle Junior,” a major staple and fan favorite of the Soulive catalog. Neal Evans was on fire during this organ-driven tune.

“Cliff Robinson turned to me as Neal was grooving and said, “No matter how many times I hear these guys, it feels like the first time.” ~ G.F.

Only two songs into the set and it was outstanding. The animation of the guys on stage was infectious and it was evident that they were feeling great and on point. We would have been satisfied if it had remained just the three of them on stage but it wouldn’t be BOWLIVE without a certain someone. That someone was Mr. Nigel Hall, soul singer and keyboardist extraordinaire.

Alan Evans and Nigel Hall: Photo Courtesy of Mark Dershowitz

Alan Evans and Nigel Hall: Photo Courtesy of Mark Dershowitz

During the first Bowlive in 2010, The Nigel Hall Band opened for Soulive every single night. He is the one Bowlive veteran to play as a guest every year.  As the audience hollered, Alan Evans introduced Nigel Hall and shouted excitedly, “Get Down, Brother Nigel! Get Down!” It was now Nigel’s turn to shine, and while Krasno was twinkling away at the strings,  Nigel grabbed the microphone and said, “You guys just keep doing that while I tell a story.”  And with that he recalled his childhood memories of listening to “Get Down!” with his mother, while sitting on their porch in Washington DC, smoking weed. He continued on:

“The song I am about to play on has meant something to me for many years. I used to live in Bangor, Maine and I played in a band there. One time, we had a gig in Portland and while we drove from Bangor to Portland, we listened to this one song the entire two hour trip. When the gig was over, we drove back, listening to the same song for another two hours. We listened to that song for four hours. I have asked the guys (Soulive) to let me play it with them and they said, “No! No! No!,” until now. Do you know what this means to me, to my soul?” ~ Nigel Hall

Soulive & Nigel Hall: Photo Courtesy of Dani Barbieri

Soulive & Nigel Hall: Photo Courtesy of Dani Barbieri

And with that, Nigel Hall put his hand over his heart and then crushed “Cash’s Dream.” I don’t know where to begin praising Nigel Hall for his performance during this song. Having transplanted to New Orleans from New York City since Bowlive IV, Nigel Hall has clearly fine-tuned his talent on the keyboards. The speed at which he played; the precision on his runs over the keys. It was an outstanding solo and performance. The camaraderie on stage was ignited.

“The musical moment I enjoyed most was Soulive playing Cash’s Dream. Nigel sat in on this tune and told a touching introduction about listening to this tune in 1999 with his since deceased mother. They went on to play an amazing rendition of this song which I have never heard live with an awesome piano solo by Nigel.” ~ A.S.

“Five years ago when we saw Nigel Hall playing, he was good. He has always been good. But this performance…something has changed. He is AMAZING now.” ~ R.A.

After the song, Nigel high-fived his way off the stage as Alan spoke on how it was true that Soulive hasn’t played that song in a while and how playing these songs now brought back cherished memories.

My favorite part…is that they’re playing 15 year old songs for the nth time and Kraz is still marveling at how Neal is crushing the hand bass and Hammond. I just fucking love Bowlive. ~ B.M.

“Brother Soul” was next, bringing out DJ Logic and The Shady Horns, consisting of Eric Bloom (trumpet), Ryan Zoidis (saxophone) and James Casey (saxophone/percussion). Each of the horns took their turn soloing while DJ Logic scratched his turn tables, adding a great texture to the remaining songs.

Eddie Roberts and Eric Krasno: Photo Courtesy of TinyRager's phone!

Eddie Roberts and Eric Krasno: Photo Courtesy of TinyRager’s phone!

The big surprise for the end of the first set was the arrival of Eddie Roberts, guitarist for the supremely funky British band The New Mastersounds. His soaring hard-bop guitar playing complemented Soulive’s final tune of the set and the last track off the album, “Right On.”

The Shady Horns never seize to amaze me. I think this trio of Zoidis, Bloom and Casey may be my favorite. Special love for James because he was at our wedding and seems to be blowing up!!! ~ R.G.

“My favorite moment and also one of my favorite 2 Soulive songs ever is “Right On,” which I’m not sure I’ve ever heard them play. We watched Eddie staring at Krasno’s fingers for the first part of the song, and then both followed with dueling solos that crushed the crowd. As good as all that is, I’m reminded if what a genius Neal is holding bass line down with the left (hand) while soloing or laying down melodies with his right (hand).” ~ R.G.

Eddie Roberts: Photo Courtesy of Dani Barbieri

Eddie Roberts: Photo Courtesy of Dani Barbieri

The only song that wasn’t played from the album was Track 6, titled “Bitch-Ass Ho.” Considering that it’s a 23 minute track, that is probably why it was left off the first set.

“Bowlive kinda kicks of the festival season and spring off for us for the past 5 years. Watching them, I’m reminded of what truly gifted musicians they all are. The choice to play their first album was perfect and a punctuation to the obvious synergy these guys must have had since day one.” ~ R.G.

 Set Break

DJ Logic returned to the tables during set break and kept the energy level high for the audience. During this time, I generally like to take a walk around the venue and listen to the reactions of the audience. The buzz over the album was prevalent while many people were speaking individually about each artist or their favorite song. The Eddie Roberts sit-in had some audience members inquiring about the New Mastersounds. It was clear to me that the people in the audience were true fans, Soulive lovers and most of them men with bro-crushes on the band. Jen Durkin from Deep Banana Blackout was standing 20 feet away from me on the right while Basketball All-Star Cliff Robinson towered behind me most of the evening.

 Set II
Tuesday Night Squad
Don’t Change For Me
Gimmie A Sign
Layaway
Leave Me Alone

The second set started as simply as the first and with just as much energy. Eric, Neal and Alan took to the stage, joined by the Shady Horns and Nigel Hall for a fantastic rendition of “Tuesday Night Squad.” At one point during the song, Nigel got up from his keyboards, ran across the stage and jumped on the Clavinet with Neal Evans for a good 20 measures of excellent showmanship and musicianship. Talk about a highlight of the evening. The crowd went wild.

“I was mesmerized watching Neal and Nigel play the Hammond/bass keys together last night…they were having so much fun!! and the antics/keyboard trickery it was like a choreographed dance between two ridiculously amazing boards men – ducking under each other’s arm, jumping back and forth with their hands. Yeah, it was something fierce.” ~ A.R.

“Nigel getting up from the keyboard second set to lead the crowd was awesome.” ~ L.H.

“The hottest moment if the night was Neal and Nigel switching positions on the keys while never missing a note in the bass line!!! SUPER HOT AND ENTERTAINING!!!!” ~ R.G.

Eddie Roberts: Photo Courtesy of Dani Barbieri

Eddie Roberts: Photo Courtesy of Dani Barbieri

Nigel’s smooth voice overtook us with “Don’t Change For Me,” a bluesy tune that had Krasno’s guitar strumming along sweetly in our ears. At one point, Nigel was on the ground, on his knees, singing directly to the lucky folks in the front row. His signature soulful scream resonating throughout the crowd, as we all melted into his vibe.

Nigel Hall’s original tune, “Gimmie A Sign” was next. He spoke about the new Brooklyn Bowl Vegas and how much he loved it there but how the original Brooklyn Bowl will always be home. This proclamation extended to Soulive as they have played The Brooklyn Bowl more times then any other group, while Krasno has played the Bowl more then any other artist.

When The Root’s drummer, Questlove, walked on stage for “Layaway,” Nigel’s latest musical creation, the audience went wild. Alan Evans moved to vocals while Questlove added his signature groove to the song. Questlove has a standing DJ gig every Thursday at the Brooklyn Bowl. If you are ever in the area, bring your dancing shoes because his long-standing set is one of the hottest dance parties in the city.

The entire night, Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff (Lettuce) had been hanging in the wings, looking sharp in his suit. We all wondered when we would get a chance to hear this amazing guitarist and “Leave Me Alone” gave us that chance. We now had a slew of amazing musicians on stage and the sound was so tight. Nigel asked Shmeens to “tell us a little bit about yourself” and with that, Schmeens went into a disgustingly rich, hearty guitar solo. Eric Krasno beamed at Schmeens as he played, recognizing the hotness we were being delivered through his strings.

“Any night that you get to see Shmeeans, Kraz and Eddie Roberts play together in a show is funk guitar at its best. All three are so amazing in their own way. Kras crushing leads, Shmeeans playing rhythm guitar timed to the perfection of a Swiss watch, and Eddie Roberts who swings back and forth between amazing leads and perfect rhythm. For us guitar heads, it was a night to remember.” ~ J.R.

Encore: James Brown Medley
Lickin Stick
There Was A Time

For the encore, Soulive, Nigel Hall, The Shady Horns and DJ Logic delivered a rousing James Brown medley of “Lickin Stick” into “There Was A Time.” Alan Evans continued holding down the beat on the drums while his brother, Neal, slayed the keys. This brotherly duo demonstrates quality, seasoned musicianship with every note they drop.

“The James Brown Medley was this band at its finest. So good, so tight and they played so well with each other.” ~ G.F.

“Last night was one of my most favorite Bowlive ever. The vibe in the bowl was magical and everybody was really into it. I can’t wait for tonight!! Always great to hang! George matters and bring Nigel back on stage!! He was so happy last night!” ~ L.H.

With out a doubt, Neal Evans, Alan Evans and Eric Krasno enjoyed the first night of their milestone fifth year of Bowlive. We all did. I pray every year that they will come out with a DVD of these adventurous nights of music simply because no words do justice to the energy and animation of these three wonderful men. Three wonderful men who have created a treasured event based around love, music and friendship.

Tonight’s Special Guests will be the famous funky bassist from The Meters, Mr. George Porter, Jr. and Leroy Justice will open at 8:30 pm

On to the next one….. 🙂

List of Special Guests and Openers:

THURSDAY MARCH 13 – Special Guest: NIGEL HALL

FRIDAY MARCH 14 – Special Guests: GEORGE PORTER JR. & SPECIAL GUESTS TBA
Opener: LEROY JUSTICE

SATURDAY MARCH 15 – Special Guest: GEORGE PORTER JR. feat. a special LONDON SOULIVE joint set
Opener: THE LONDON SOULS

TUESDAY MARCH 18 – Special Guest: JOHN SCOFIELD
Opener: & Special Guest: JON CLEARY

WEDNESAY MARCH 19 – Special Guests: JOE RUSSO & BILL EVANS
Opener & Special Guest: JON CLEARY

THURSDAY MARCH 20 – Special Guest: DMC (of RUN DMC)
Opener: ALAN EVANS TRIO

FRIDAY MARCH 21 – Special Guest: MARCO BENEVENTO
Opener: SONYA KITCHELL

SATURDAY MARCH 22 – Special Guest: BILL EVANS
Opener: WOLF! Featuring Scott Metzger

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Bowlive IV Recap Including Day & Night 8 Reviews

We’ve officially been “Bowlived” for the fourth year as Soulive reached the finish line of their 4th Annual residency, Bowlive, on Saturday night. It’s a bittersweet feeling; similar to the feelings you get when you have to leave an amazing few weeks at summer camp. For the members of Soulive, seeing the regular faces and New York City fan dedication is a wonderful energy for them to play off of throughout the run. In turn, fans get to see their favorite artists night after night, performing exquisitely executed originals and crushing covers with spectacular guests. All the while, both fans and band dance around with each other, their friends, and other musicians in the audience who are there just to bare witness. Everyone smiles and engages each other, soaking up every glorious note. It’s a symbiotic relationship that is hard to fall away from after being dipped so deeply for eight nights. So, when the end comes, we must remind ourselves that these residencies are special because they only happen once a year! Soulive reminds themselves that they have something special to look forward to as much as the audience does. And each year, the audience witnesses the unfolding of a beautiful musical dynasty that Eric Krasno and brothers Neal and Alan Evans have created.

 Unlike the three previous year’s run, Soulive chose to focus their energy into eight shows instead of ten. This choice applies great pressure to any band who chooses to change the formula of a well-established and respected event. Bowlive fans expect a certain caliber of guests, a high level of surprise sit-ins, and some spectacular musical experiences that sometimes end up being a once-in-a-lifetime moment.  Soulive knows this to be true and always takes the time to consider such factors. How about having Mod dancers bust out into the bowling lanes during the second set of Night I?! It was just go time at that point!

Over the course of eight nights, guitarist Eric Krasno, bass keyboardist Neal Evans and drummer Alan Evans provided a stage and support for fantastic and exciting artists. They played endless jams in multiple styles across the musical spectrum, which is an important goal of the residency every year. Special guests included rocking Southern Blues brothers, guitarist Luther Dickinson and his brother, drummer Cody Dickinson, the 1970’s soul vocalist, Lee Fields and his modern day counterpart, Nigel Hall. There was the unmatched pedal steel slide guitarist Robert Randolph, legendary jam scene DJ, DJ Logic, and The Shady Horns lent their wall of sound during the second week with the help of crushing saxophonist Bill Evans one night. Some of America’s most outstanding keyboardists, 1970’s Memphis blues keyboardist, Booker T. Jones, mad scientist and keyboard wizard, John Medeski, and the ever experimental Marco Benevento, dominated their time on stage. Stepping in to melt faces on guitar was the astonishing Los Lobos’s David Hildago and The Meter’s Leo Nocentell. Soulive closed out their epic week playing with America’s most famous funk bassist, George Porter. Jr.

Another exciting element of Bowlive each year is the choice opening bands Soulive picks to set the audience’s mood each night. Due to a benefit at the Brooklyn Bowl on Night Six, there were only seven opening groups, all delivering a variety of musical power. The ridiculous ragers who make up Kung-Fu opened the run with so much fury. It was a perfect choice. The rocking Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, The London Souls and Leroy Justice got the dance floor grooving. It was also a great pleasure to see two powerful females amongst the male-dominated residency by way of Alecia Chakour (The Alecia Chakour Band) and Arleigh Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow). The soul and flavor of love got shot to our hearts with The Nigel Hall Band, the Alecia Chakour Band and Cocheme Gastulum’s The Electric Sound of Johnny Arrow. You’re encouraged to read about them all in the previous night’s posts.

Then, you have the unannounced guests who are a separate list of continual, crushing talent. The Allman Brother’s southern rock guitarist Warren Haynes and slide guitarist Derek Trucks surprised the audience with a secret full third set on Night Two. Trombonists Sanders Sermon (Tedeschi/Trucks Band) and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastatio Band) and trumpeters Maurice Brown and Igmar Thomas, and saxophonist Cocheme Gastulum (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings), enhanced the wall of horns over the run on various nights. Behind everything, the chemistry and talents of Eric Krasno, Neal Evans and Alan Evans, are what make Bowlive possible.

Perhaps the most special show for many Soulive fans is the Kids show. Soulive held another KidsBowl performance early Saturday afternoon from 2pm to 3pm. These specific types of shows bring Soulive’s music to both the fans children and the unknowing adults who bring their kids to bowl on a Saturday, not knowing what a treat they are in for.  For dedicated Bowlive fans, the kids show is a wonderful way for the individual dancing alone at night to bring his or her family to meet one another.  The reality of life becomes evident as the adults were in “parent” mode, not “party” mode. Babies were crawling on the dance floor and children of all ages were running around in bowling shoes. The lights were on and bumpers were out. In their hour, they performed a few Soulive originals and brought Meter’s bassist, George Porter, Jr. It was when the set was over that the real raging began, however, when the children were allowed on stage to play with instruments and dance.

KidsBowl Set:

Uncle Jr.

Vapor

Hat  Trick

Turn It Out

Hey Pockey Way (w/ George Porter, Jr.)

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

 It was back to party time with the evening show and The Alecia Chakour Band opening. Her blues siren vocals backed by Neal Evans on keys, bassist Alex Chakour, drummer Caito Sanchez, saxophonist Cocheme Gastulum, and trombonist Dave “Smoota” Smith, were perfection.  After a lovely instrumental intro, Chakour sang seven band originals, including “Runaway,” “Over Again,” “You Didn’t Tell Me,” and “The Sun.” Each member of her band taking solos and leads amongst her sweet sounding vocals. This was a fantastic group of soulful musicians and a perfect choice to transition into the funk-filled evening.

Opening Set:

1. Instrumental

2. Runaway

3. Over Again

4. You Didn’t Tell Me

5. The Sun

6.Ghost

7. Shirley

8. Everything Time I See You (Stevie Wonder Cover)

The important point of all of this, simply, was the music. Music that creates a passion within Soulive and luckily, that passion is extended to the fans. For the final evening of their amazing residency Soulive would play host to their mentor in funk, Meter’s bassist, George Porter Jr. But not before bringing it home for the Soulive purists, proving once again what a sick power trio they truly are.  The first set was pure fire, and with help from the Shady Horns, there was nothing to divert our thoughts from what was most important.  The set was full of sick Soulive originals, “Uncle Jr.,” “Aladdin,” and “One in Seven.” “Lenny,” a Stevie Ray Vaughn cover and highlight of any set, allows Krasno to open up a can of whoop ass upon your ears. He broke his string during his ripping solo. Enough said. The London Souls’ Tash O’Neal (guitar and vocals) and Chris St. Hilaire (drums) joined for the a “cover” of their own “Steady Are You Ready” then stayed on to help deliver a crushing version of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killin’ Floor” in the vein of Electric Flag’s version. Remember, as we learned on Night Four, Krasno is a huge Tash O’Neal fan, so you can imagine the chemistry.

Set I:

Uncle Jr. (w/ Shady Horns)

Aladdin (w/ Shady Horns)

Come Together (Beatles cover)

Lenny (Stevie Ray Vaughn cover)

One In Seven

Steady Are you Ready (London Souls cover w/ Tash O’Neal & Chris St. Hilaire)

Killin Floor (Howlin’ Wolf Cover…Electric Flag Version w/ w/ Tash O’Neal & Chris St. Hilaire)

 Soulive performed a beautiful rendition of “El Ron,” before George Porter, Jr. was introduced for Set II, continuing on as one of Bowlive’s greatest musical mainstays.  During this tune, the Shady Horns, with the help of guest saxophonist Cocheme Gastulum, broke off into an extended improvisational blowing session with Alan supporting on drums. For lack of better words, it could best be described as a drum line for horns. A Hornline, if you will?! The entire second set evolved into of slew of classics from The Meter’s catalog.

“People Say,” kicked off a funk-fueled set with James Casey delivering a rousing solo. Casey has carried a saxophone around his next all week and when he plays, it’s clear that he was meant to blow a horn.  However, it must be mentioned that over the run, Casey provided grooving percussion on the congas for many songs. It was a dance party for “Hey Pockey Way,” as Porter announced that, “Everyday should be Mardi Gras!!!”  Then, audience participation time for the fun tune, “Hand Clapping Song.”  The next Meter’s original, “Out in the Country,” was performed in the style of Porter’s slow emotional arrangement from his It’s Life album. This was a gorgeously played ballad that tugged at the heartstrings of the crowd in a deep way. From a personal perspective, it brought tears to my eyes, almost opening the floodgates until I reeled it back in.  I wasn’t alone in this outpour of emotions. Again, acknowledging that this super-stimulating, night time version of summer camp, full of friendly faces, is like ending an addiction cold-turkey. Bowlive is an institution in the Jam Band universe at this point, it lasts longer than many music festivals, and it’s not easy for the die-hards when it ends.

The set ended and no one moved.  There was just endless screaming and shouting of Krasno and the Evans brother’s names. Then, Brooklyn Bowl owner, Peter Shapiro, stepped onto the stage. On the last night of every Bowlive, right before the final encore of the run, Peter Sharpio does something special for Bowlive’s loyal audience in an effort to show his gratitude for their support of live music.  At the end of the first Bowlive, 700 shots of tequila were handed out from the stage.  He kept it entirely mellow last year by passing around Aromatherapy plants: Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, asking that the audience to grab sprigs of each plant and inhale. This was to encourage a revitalization within our body, mind and soul for the energy to dance on for one more song. Not missing a creative beat, Peter Shapiro took the mic on this final night and thanked us for our loyalty in proper rockstar fashion. He alerted the audience that this was a milestone 40th show for Bowlive and that the he had had made t-shirts with “40” on the back and “BOWLIVE” on the front. XL shirts went flying around the venue and Shapiro asked that the audience put them on right away before Soulive would deliver us our double encore of “He Bite Me (The Dragon)” and “Ain’t No Use.” The gifting of the shirts was a smart and fun way to end this year’s Bowlive.

Set II:

El Ron (w/ Shady Horns and Cocheme Gastulum)

People Say

Take A Chance

Hey Pockey Way

Jezebel

Hand Clapping Song

Out In the Country

Encore:

He Bite Me (The Dragon)

Ain’t No Use

Soulive has truly cemented their reign as a musical dynasty. A talented trio on top of their game in this unforgiving musical bastion of NYC. The magnitude of music overheard during the last two weeks was dynamic and inspiring.  The guests and the musicians solos were magnificent, diverse and captivating. Soulive always gives us something to look forward to every single night of Bowlive and this year was nothing less.

On personal note, I hope these reviews have helped supplement the wealth of musical knowledge that Soulive bequeathed upon us during Bowlive IV.  It is a delight and a  privilege to witness Bowlive every year and count Soulive and the Brooklyn Bowl as part of my local music scene. It also goes without saying that it is an honor and a true highlight of my career to be blessed to write for this amazing phenomenon called Bowlive. Thank you to Peter Shapiro, the Brooklyn Bowl, all the staff and production crew. Thank you to Royal Family Records for the opportunity to cover such a delightful event. A giant thank you to all the guests who lent their sound to the stage. Finally, the biggest congratulations and thank you to Alan Evans, Neal Evans and Eric Krasno for making it all possible. Your fans eagerly await to see what you have in store for Bowlive V!

Karen Dugan

tinyrager.com

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Bowlive IV Night 7 Recap w/ George Porter Jr., Leo Nocentelli & The Shady Horns : Next Up Kids Bowl / George Porter Jr. + The Shady Horns

Friday nights are always fun at the Brooklyn Bowl.  There is a relaxed weekend vibe. Everyone is ready to dance, eat Blue Ribbon fried chicken and enjoy a rich Brooklyn brewed lager. We had hit night seven of eight of Soulive’s Brooklyn Bowl residency and Soulive was prepped for the beginning of the end. I wish I could say the same for the audience. Understanding that the band must be weary, there are those fans who just simply can’t ever get enough of virtuoso guitarist Eric Krasno, soul drummer Alan Evans and one of the unique keyboardists of our generation, Neal Evans. As these three musical wizards warmed up over the week, the energy has radiated to an outstanding level. The boundaries of their musical talents have been pushed to the limits by the guests that have graced the stage with them.

Leroy Justice set the pace tonight with their garage rock sound. Leroy Justice is a legitimate rock n roll band consisting of the charismatic Jason Gallagher (guitar/vocals), Sloan Marshall (keys), Bradley Wegner (bass), Josh Karis (drummer), Justin Mazer (guitarist). Their eclectic, southern, hard-rocking sound and on stage presence taps into The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers and The Black Crowes. The keyboard was covered in an American flag and Pennsylvania license plates decorated the amps. The slamming rhythm section drove the songs that varied in styles from hard rock to southern blues with harmonica and got the crowd in dancing mode.

Over the seven nights of Bowlive IV’s run, Soulive has delivered the audience a Stax appreciation night with Memphis blues keyboardist Booker T. Jones, a southern rock throw down with guitarist Luther Dickinsion and drummer Cody Dickinson and a psychedelic jazz night with experimental jazz keyboardist John Medeski and saxophonist Bill Evans. Last night, Soulive brought it back to their roots; back to their initial passion of soul and funk, with special guests bassist George Porter, Jr. and guitarist Leo Nocentelli, of the legendary 1970’s funk band, The Meters. Soulive opened their set, just the three of them, with an amazing rendition of “Steppin” and “Eleanor Rigby.” The trio was on fire, each taking a little time to shine through the tune. Wasting no time at all, Alan Evans introduced “a first in Bowlive History, y’all!” Guitarist Leo Nocentelli, one of the original forming members of the greatest New Orleans funk band ever, was up on deck for the rest of the set. With the help of The Sandy Horns, Nocentelli , “Rudy’s Way” and “Hat Trick.” It was nice to see Nocentelli and Krasno trading funky licks amongst the traditionally jazzy tunes. Neal’s hands were pounding away at the bass keys and his legs were constantly in motion, dancing behind his kit. Everyone was pumped up as bassist George Porter, Jr. was invited out for “Come Back Jack” and “Cissy Strut,” the songs that made the Meter’s a household name, was supported by Porter’s funky bass riffs.  Porter exited and Nocentelli continued on vocals for Stevie Wonder’s “Jesus Children on America” into “Want Me To Stay.” To say that the band was excited was a gross understatement. The energy flowing between the musicians and through the audience was like a supernova, with screaming fans and our Royal Family musicians ecstatic to be on stage with their own musical heroes.

Set I:
Steppin
Eleanor Rigby (Beatles cover)
Rudy’s Way (w/ Leo Nocentelli)
Hat Trick (w/ Leo Nocentelli)
Come Back Jack (The Meters cover w/ Leo Nocentelli and GPJ)
Cissy Strut (The Meters cover w/ Leo Nocentelli and GPJ)
Jesus Children of America > (Stevie Wonder cover w/ Leo Nocentelli)
If You Want Me to Stay (Sly and the Family Stone cover w/ Leo Nocentelli)

A slow, sexy, melodic version of The Meter’s “Pungee” began with Krasno and the Evans brothers for the second set and George Porter snuck out in the middle of it. It would be Porter’s time to shine after Leo Nocentelli dominated the first set. “No More Okey Doke,” showcased the baritone sax talents of Ryan Zoidis, who traded licks against Porter’s bass lines. Krasno then took what could arguably be the sickest solo of the run.  As if under a trance, his face began a series of contortions that resulted from the severe intensity at which he was focused on delivering the notes. His passionate playing lifted him onto his toes and his body undulated back and forth. It was epic. All the while, the remaining musicians on stage provided a solid foundation for his shredding guitar playing.  “No More Time,” “Jezebel,” and “Stop That Train,” were amazing, different and it was wonderful to hear a bass player with our favorite power trio. It must be mentioned that Neal Evan’s technique of playing the bass line on his clavinet is one of the most defining aspects of Soulive’s sound. So, the addition of one of the sickest bass players to the already magnificent power of Alan, Neal and Krasno projected and supported their expansive sound. When “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” began to play, the same energy that comes from an audience hearing, “With A Little Help From My Friends,” came from this audience. The crowd went wild, couples turned to one another and kissed, and friends placed their arms around each others shoulders. It was friendly, loving and high-energy, creating a smile on every face. With happiness dripping from the rafters, “Them Changes,” a famous Band of Gypsy’s tune written by Buddy Miles, was loud and vibrant with Ryan Zoidis taking another bone-crushing baritone sax solo.

The jams that occurred throughout both sets were fantastic. Everyone felt at home, whether on stage or in the audience. Those comfortable, jamming encounters are what fan our passion for the funk. The funkiest encore of the run, “Afrika,” included a never-ending, thumping rage as Lettuce and Break Science drummer Adam Deitch, finally graced us with his presence. This was not to be taken lightly as Deitch is arguably one of the best drummers of our generation and a Bowlive mainstay in the previous years. As well, unannounced trumpeter Maurice Brown (Tedeschi Trucks Band) and Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band) ran out into the horn section during the first measures of the song.  At this point, Leo Nocentelli was on guitar along with ten other musicians on stage while Porter sang the tune, “Just Kissed My Baby!” POrter danced around on stage, would turn around to direct the horns and even ran over to Neal’s keyboards and played with him. It was madness, super genius madness and the crowd soaked it up like a sponge.

Set II:
Pungee (Meters cover w/ GPJ)
No More Okey Doke (Meters cover w/ GPJ)
Need More Time (w/ GPJ)
Jezebel (w/ GPJ)
Stop That Train (Bob Marley & Wailers cover w/ GPJ)
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) (Marvin Gaye cover w/ Leo and GPJ)
Them Changes (Buddy Miles cover w/ Leo and GPJ)
Encore: Africa (w/ Adam Deitch, Leo and GPJ)
Encore: Just Kissed My Baby (w/ Adam Deitch, Leo and GPJ)

The quality of music that came from the Brooklyn Bowl stage the past two weeks has ignited fires in our musical souls. Why would we want it to stop now? To the chagrin of those Soulive fans who couldn’t make it to as many shows they would like this year, there is only one night left of the Fourth Annual Bowlive residency. However, like every closing night of Bowlive, Soulive promises to make it best.  Last night’s guest, bassist George Porter Jr. will continuing his reign tonight as Bowlive’s #1 special guest.

Karen Dugan

TinyRager.com

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Bowlive IV Night 6 Recap w/ John Medeski, Bill Evans, George Porter Jr & Shady Horns : Tonight Porter, Leo Nocentelli & Shady Horns

To many New Yorkers, Thursday signifies the start of the weekend. Music venues bulk up their staff and bands slated to perform anticipate an audience that is ready for a party.  Last night was the sixth night of Soulive’s Brooklyn Bowl residency, Bowlive IV. The foundation was set for a rocking night of music with the Brooklyn Bowl stocked with staff and Soulive ready to throw it down.

With so many amazing musicians sitting in with Soulive over the past six nights, it has been challenging to ensure proper love is given to everyone. Especially during residencies, focus on special guests and their performances become the unexpected highlights of the articles and sometimes people forget to focus on the core members of the residency themselves. Credit must be given where credit is due.

Guitarist Eric Krasno, drummer Alan Evans and Neal Evans, along with the Brooklyn Bowl, have created something extremely special and unique for the New York music community. Since it’s inception in 2010, Bowlive has turned into a musical Superbowl that pushes the skills of the best of the best. For eight to ten nights, these three rock stars provide a fusion of styles that showcase numerous artist and instruments with Soulive’s distinct sound providing the base. The shared respect between musicians to musicians, and musicians to fans amps the frenetic creative energy that flows from the first downbeat to the final bow. Eric, Alan, and Neal are all at the top of their game and are now standing out among the greats, using the glory of Bowlive to cement their place as a musical dynasty. A dynasty that began in 1999.  It speaks volumes that the trio can support an eight to ten night residency that packs the house every night and attracts some of the biggest names in live music. Last night continued the tradition of amazing collaborations with keyboardist John Medeski and saxophonist Bill Evans.

The power trio had to make a few changes to the musical formula last night. Due to a benefit concert earlier in the day, last night was the first and only night of the run where the power trio did not have a rocking opening band to set pace. Without an opening band, Soulive was tasked with pumping up the eager crowd that was filled up with party animals, packing the dance floor to the brim. By doing so, they completely reinforced to the fans why any of us were there in the first place. Soulive original, “Aladdin,” began the set, providing the first platform for Krasno to open up and slay his guitar.  Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” followed, a song that everyone can geek out on, especially the musicians playing the tune. After six nights, the guys were thoroughly warmed up and just crushing solos left and right on The Beatles tune, “I Want You.”

Enter The Shady Horns, consisting of trumpeter Eric Bloom, saxophonist James Casey, and baritone saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, for “Backwards Jack.” These three horn players provide a platform for the trio to open up and rage. Over the run, Eric Bloom has been experimenting with a guitar Wa Wa pedal during his trumpet solos, while James Casey has broken out the flute and provided percussion on many songs.

Continuing his guest appearance from the fifth night, London Souls guitarist Tash O’Neal joined the stage for the Beatles, “Get Back” and a slow “PJs.” Quality choices off their 2010 album, Rubber Soulive, made up the bulk of the first set before the audience was hit with a special unannounced guest.  Alan spoke to the crowd, “I am sorry for those of you who can’t come tomorrow night. You know, it’s a real shame that you won’t see George Porter, Jr. tomorrow. But it’s ok! Because you can see him now!!!” This was special.

Bassist George Porter, Jr. is an icon, legend and mentor, not only to the members of Soulive, but any true musician or music lover who loves funky, deep, in-the-pocket bass lines. A member of the legendary group, The Meters, Porter’s unique sound can be heard on recordings for Warren Haynes, Patti Labelle, Jimmy Buffett, David Byrne, Johnny Adams, Harry Connick Jr., Earl King, and Tori Amos, to name a few. Soulive is so well-versed on Porter’s catalog that the end of the set list simply read, “Whatever GPJ Wants!”  They cranked out Meter’s covers “Check Your Mind” right into “Funky Bitch,” without missing a beat.

Soulive continued to descend upon us with new musicians, adding keyboardist John Medeski (Medeski, Martin and Wood) and saxophonist Bill Evans to their Bowlive IV roster for the second set. A set that is hard to describe in words. Let’s just start with knowing the fact that Bill Evans was in Miles Davis’s band at the age of 22 and John Medeski was asked to perform on Jaco Pastorius’s 1981 tour while still a teenager. Along with Soulive and the Shady Horns, Medeski and Evans played a mind-blowing set.  Medeski’s avant-garde jazz quality added an incredible layer of sound to the stage, either filling every empty space with a melodic note, or simply striking one key and locking eyes with Neal. The set was filled with songs from Spark, a collaborative album with Karl Denson, released in March 2012. “Spark!,” the title track, kicked it off with Bill Evans crushing a sick solo on his soprano sax. Trombonist Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band) was the next unannounced sit-in who lent her sound on “Povo.”  “Nubian Lady” and “Liquid” followed, sounding exactly like the names suggest. The musicians were so tight, fluid, and everyone on stage was cranking out their notes in improvisational ways, yet sounded as if they had been rehearsing the same songs for years.  Unannounced drummer ?uestlove, who holds a standing DJ set on Thursdays for the Brooklyn Bowl, snuck in for “Nautilus” and proceeded to slam our heads into the beat of the song.  It was inspiring. Soulive encored with an extended, jamming “Tuesday Night Squad.”

Tonight’s jam sessions will start at 8:30 with Leroy Justice opening. Special guests will include bassist George Porter, Jr., guitarist Leo Nocentelli and The Shady Horns will be back in full effect to give their fans one extreme night of funk and fury.

Karen E. Dugan

http://tinyrager.com

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Bowlive IV Night 5 Recap w/ Marco Benevento, David Hidalgo & The Shady Horns : John Medeski, Bill Evans & The Shady Horns

Soulive’s Brooklyn Bowl residency, Bowlive IV, reached it’s fifth night last night.  In past years, this would signify the middle of the run and the end of the residency’s first week. However, Soulive has chosen to pack more talent into eight days this year and continue to impress upon us just how talented they truly are. As if we didn’t know already.

The equally impressive power trio and Bowlive alumi, The London Souls, opened with a fury that paralleled Bowlive IV’s previous night openers. Eric Krasno made a point to remind the audience that this is one of his “favorite bands!” That was a powerful statement from a powerful guitarist who sees and appreciates the talent in his peers and a clear invitation to Soulive fans to pay attention. The London Souls are a classic rock band consisting of shredding guitarist Tash O’Neal, drummer Chris St. Hilaire and bassist Stu Mahan.  Tash’s sound is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix; the comparisons are just inevitable. However, as a group, they seamlessly flow from multiple styles while improvising styles all with undertones of pure Rock ‘n Roll! Their wickedly expansive sound, something every power trio hopes to accomplish, shone through vibrantly in their performance of originals “Old Country Road,” “Easier Said Than Done,” and the old-timey tune “Bobby James.” The audience rocked out to AC/DC’s “Long Way To The Top” and The Souls closed their set with a rousing cover of Frank Zappa’s “Apostrophe.” So much to say, so little time.

The London Souls Set List:
Lucille Cover
Under Control
All Tied Down
Old Country Road
Honey → Long Way To The Top (AC/DC)
Bobby James
Some Day
Easier Said Than Done
I Think I Like It
Apostrophe (Frank Zappa)

Many times, the relationship between Soulive and their guests is one that has been cultivated in New York City, in front of Soulive fans who get to witness local musical guest sit-ins during local shows.  Last night’s first guest, avant-garde pianist and organist Marco Benevento, a long-time NYC resident now living in Woodstock, is a Bowlive alum that fit this category. Benevento adds an element of improvisational psychedelia and locks right into the groove of every tune he touches with a specific experimental jazzy sound that defines his music. Soulive, with the help of the Shady Horns, churned out “El Ron” and teased Bob Marley’s “WAR” before a crushing “Reverb.” Saxophonist James Casey, Baritone saxophonist Ryan Zoidis and trumpeter Eric Bloom went into a hot, circular jam session, just the three of them, before Benevento joined the stage for another Soulive original “Upright.” Benevento made his presence known with an extended face-melting solo of his own. He remained on stage for the rest of the set, seamlessly layering his sound amongst the trio’s for “Swamp E” and The Beatles cover, “Revolution.”  As much as Benevento is known for his own amazing techniques and stand alone performances, he is also part of a wonderful Led Zeppelin tribute band, Bustle In Your Hedgerow, which New York jam band music fans fawn over. So, when Zeppelin’s “The Ocean” began, Benevento fans and beyond went ballistic and everyone’s musical taste buds were satisfied.

Set I:
El Ron
Reverb
Upright (w/ Marco)
Swamp E (w/ Marco)
Revolution (Beatles cover w/ Marco)
The Ocean (Led Zeppelin cover w/ Marco)

The second set came quick as the excitement of the next guest was something that could hardly be contained by the members of Soulive. Los Lobos guitarist David Hildalgo came out on stage and became the newest musician to join the Bowlive roster. Granted, he snuck into a few tunes the previous night but now was his time to shine.  For those of you who don’t know, Hildalgo is a world renowned guitarist who has played on albums of Buckwheat Zydeco, Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Gov’t Mule, and even G. Love and Special Sauce. The list of collaborations goes on as does Hildalgo’s ability to play multiple instruments and styles. However, tonight, his vocals and guitar skills would be the highlight of the second set.  Soulive performed “Shaheed” alone before Hildalgo picked up his guitar and walked out to a screaming audience.  He veered completely off the setlist and performed a fantastic version of Traffic’s “Who Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring.” The energy on stage was magnetic and the foursome pushed the boundaries of memorable Bowlive collaborations to the limit with Hendrix’s “3rd Stone From the Sun,” and Los Lobo’s tunes, “Dream in Blue” and “Chains of Love.” The Shady Horns threw out killer solos amongst the jams and a highlight of the evening was watching Hildalgo and Krasno trade licks off each other for Jerry Garcia’s “West LA Fade Away.” The tie between Garcia comes from Hildalgo writing “Evangeline,” which the Jerry Garcia Band covered regularly.  Hildalgo and Jerry  played together on numerous occasions and had a huge respect for one another’s playing.  The musicianship on stage was outstanding and the set was pure fire. It’s impossible to replay into words sometimes and for those who were present, they know what I am talking about!

Finally, last evening’s encore could easily rank high in Bowlive History as one of the best. It wasn’t just an encore…It was a “Neil-Core”:  Soulive ended the night with a Neil Young medley for the ages, touching on three distinctly different parts of Neil Young’s career. There could not have had a better supporting cast of guitarists to bring the screeching Neil Young chords to life with David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) and Tash Neil (The London Souls) on stage alongside Eric Kranso.  The first song in the Neil medley was “Ohio,” a political song written by Neil Young about the 1970 Kent State shootings and the protest movement that it helped shape. “Ohio” was followed up by a spirited version of “Down by the River,” a tune Neil Young and Crazy Horse played on the album Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.  Alan Evans, who was lending his drum kit to The London Souls’ Chris St. Hilaire, shared the vocals on that tune with Tash O’Neal. Seeing Alan in the middle of the stage with a microphone in his hand was new and fun. He seemed to be having a blast.  Soulive went even deeper into the Neil Young catalog by playing “For What It’s Worth,”  another powerful protest song written by Neil’s band mate in the Buffalo Springfield, Stephen Stills. These three songs forced those remaining at the Brooklyn Bowl into a dancing frenzy of happiness.

Set II:
Shaheed
Who Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring (Traffic cover)
Dream of Love (Los Lobos Cover) >
3rd Stone From the Sun (Jimi Hendrix cover)
Chains of Love (Los Lobos cover)
Revolution (The Beatles cover)
West LA Fade Away (Grateful Dead cover)
Stone Free (Jimi Hendrix cover)
-Encore-
Ohio (CSNY)
Down By the River (Neil Young and Crazy Horse)
For What it’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield)

Sure, it was Wednesday night and the audience was weary from dancing their legs off the previous nights, but true music fans love hearing famous covers performed by their favorite bands. Soulive has been consistently banging out tight versions of their own originals but it’s the rousing covers of popular classic rock songs that brought the jam band crowd of the Brooklyn Bowl to their Nirvana last night. These collaborations also feed the members of Soulive. Marco Benevento and David Hildalgo expanded the consciousness of Soulive last night and the audience was just in awe.

Tonight’s guests will include organ wizard (and possibly a regular wizard as well) John Medeski and saxophonist Bill Evans along w/The Shady Horns. Because Brooklyn Bowl is hosting a fundraiser for The Brooklyn Nets this afternoon, so there isn’t an opener tonight.  Doors will open at 8p with Soulive on close to 9p.  On to the next one……

Written by Karen Dugan
Www.TinyRager.com

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Bowlive IV Night 4 Recap w/ Booker T, David Hidalgo & The Shady Horns | Tonight Hidalgo Returns, Marco & The Shady Horns

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Dedicated music lovers brought themselves out to the Brooklyn Bowl for the start of Soulive’s second week of the Bowlive IV residency. Guitarist Eric Krasno, bass keyboardist Neal Evans and drummer Alan Evans are back with a new week and new musical adventures.

_DSC4418Last week’s roster was packed with sit-ins by southern blues rock guitarist Luther and percussionist Cody Dickinson (The North Mississippi Allstars), the fierce harmonica playing of John Popper (The Blues Travelers), the 70’s flare of vocalist Lee Fields and his Expression Horns, the pedal steel slide guitar styling of Robert Randolph (Robert Randolph and the Family Band), the soul-filled flavor of vocalist Nigel Hall and the spinning talents of DJ Logic. Surprise guests included the amazing Allman Brothers Band guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks and trombonist Sanders Sermon (Tedeschi/Trucks Band).

One of the highlights of Bowlive this year has been the killer opening bands kicking off every night. Kung Fu absolutely blew the roof off the first night, setting a pace of rage for the rest of the week. The second night followed with the powerful 8-piece Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds who kept the energy high and the Alecia Chakour Band delivered their sultry sounds on Saturday. You can read about those shows in earlier posts here on TinyRager.com.

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Following one of the best first weeks in Bowlive history, the formula would to remain the same. The high powered, high energy, talented horn-crunching musicianship of saxophonist Cochemea Gastulem (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings) and his band, The Electric Sounds of Johnny Arrow, showcased a different style of music to Soulive fans. The sounds of Africa’s Fela Kuti and 70’s baritone player Lekan Animashanu provided influence to the tunes. One’s hips couldn’t help but begin to grind to the pulsating percussion infused music. After the opening set, there were members of the audience who could be overheard discussing these new sounds that Soulive had introduced to their Bowlive roster.

Set List:

Dark City
Carlito
Impala 73
You’re So Good To Me
Heleyos
Lluva Con Nieve
Fathom 5
No Goodbyes

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The theme for the rest of the night was simple. Play one strong, satisfying Tribute to Stax Records with one of the coolest, hippest, electric blues keyboardist of all time, Booker T. Jones (Booker T. and the MG’s.) However, the audience had to be patient. Soulive purists still needed to see their favorite trio stand alone. Alan, Neal and Eric performed “Outrage” and “Dig” before the Shady Horns joined the stage. Baritone saxophonist Ryan Zoidis and trumpeter Eric Bloom (Lettuce) and James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band) brought another layer of funk to the vibe with “Hatrick” and even more horns joined when Cochemea’s baritone saxophonist Freddy Deboe and Lee Fields band’s saxophonist Mike Buckley sat in on “For Granted.”  Their powerful horn solos overwhelmed the speakers causing feedback that took a minute to control and it was back into full funky rage.

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When Booker T. Jones came on stage, the crowd went wild. To experience an entire set with Booker T. and Soulive was liberating. However, to see how excited Soulive was, well, that was just icing on the cake of what was a delicious remaining night of music. Krasno put it best as he spoke to the audience, explaining that as much fun as it is for the fans, it’s equally as fun for Soulive, as they are fans themselves. Fans that have the distinct pleasure and honor of inviting their mentors and influences on stage to join them. The passion for Booker T. was also evident as you looked around the audience and saw other famous Jam-world faces such as Erik Kalb (Deep Banana Blackout), David Bailis (Pimps of Joytime), and Alecia Chakour (Alecia Chakour Band).

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Booker T. and Soulive crushed out iconic Booker T. and the MGs hits “Hip Hug Her,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “Time is Tight,” and more. They then played “Born Under A Bad Sign,” which Albert King made famous but was written by Booker who along with the MG’s and The Memphis horns appear on that studio version. There was the catchy instrumental versions of Cee Lo Green’s “Crazy,” and Lauryn Hill’s “Everything is Everything,” with each instrument on stage taking the lead on each song.  It was sharp, stunning and solid. The Booker T’s Memphis Soul Sound was supported wonderfully by Soulive, all three of whom were grinning from ear to ear throughout the entire set. Finally, it wouldn’t be Bowlive without a surprise special guest. Guitarist David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), in town a night early for his Wednesday night Bowlive appearance, would pop out halfway in the middle of tunes then disappear again. This would continue through the set, teasing us with what would be seen on night five.

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The Booker T. encore was the most recognizable tune of all, the instrumental classic, “Green Onions,” with its ripping Hammond Organ line were both Neal and Booker T. enjoyed trading licks on their keys. That song threw everyone, of all ages, back into the soundtrack of 1993’s The Sandlot, back riding around in their 1962 Chevy Impala Convertible with the top down. It is a song that defined the ages and every one of all ages was invested.

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Capping off the night, the trio stood alone on stage for “Tuesday Night Squad,” a nod to the night and perhaps Soulive’s way of naming the dedicated tribe who supported them on such an early weeknight.  The Tuesday Night Squad we became and Bowlive fanatics should hold that badge with honor, the same way Soulive was visibly honored to perform for us last night with such an amazing icon of music.

Last night’s tribute to Stax Records was a pleasure.  Tonight get there on time for another stunner of an opener with the ever-rocking London Souls and guests Marco Benevento (keys) and guitarist David Hidalgo (Los Lobos).

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Set List:
Hip Hug Her
Hang ‘Em High
Born Under A Bad Sign
Crazy
Time is Tight
Something
Everything is A Everything

Encore:
Green Onions
Tuesday Night Squad

Written by Karen Dugan
Tinyrager.com

Photos By Andrew Blackstein & Allison Murphy

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