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Bowlive IV #2 Recap w/ Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Lee Fields, Robert Randolph & More : Nigel Hall & DJ Logic Tonight

IMG_3535For those super-fans, like myself, who have never missed a Bowlive show, (that’d be 31 shows, counting last night), the epic musicianship of Eric Krasno (guitar) and brothers Neal Evans (Hammond B3 organ, bass keys, clavinet) and Alan Evans (drums) is what drives us to come each night. However, it’s the un-announced musicians that also fuel a real fire in our motivation. The surprise third set that gets announced at the start of the night begins driving the rumor mill and the audience wonders how our favorite jazz trio is going to deliver us their musical spread for the evening. Let’s be honest! If Soulive/Bowlive fans keep it real about one thing they have learned over the last three years, it’s that Soulive will always keep us guessing and they never fail to deliver. The second night of Bowlive IV was no different.

The eight-piece powerhouse, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, kept the energy going from the first night, opening to another packed house. The sexy, sultry voice of Arleigh Kincheloe led the group, consisting of brothers Jackson Kincheloe (harmonica) and Bram Kincheloe (drums), Sasha Brown (guitar), Josh Myers (bass), Phil Rodriguez (trumpet), Ryan Snow (trombone) and Brian Graham (baritone sax). They rocked through their originals tunes, “Freight Train,” “Too Much,” and “Dirt.” However, they brought down the house when they covered AC/DC’s “Back in Black.”

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IMG_3662 copySoulive blasted out of the gate with “El Ron,” showcasing the magnificent drumming skills of Alan Evans. After Alan removed his jacket and introduced the band, the trio took their time grinding into the melodic “DIG.” The first half of the first set contained jamming, old skool originals like “Uncle Junior” and “Azucar” before vocalist Lee Fields and the Expressions horns joined the stage. It was then that the audience was transported back to the 70’s, with the Brooklyn-based singer, wearing a killer silver suit, knocked the audience down with his powerful vocals.  Performing his famous “We Fought for Survival,” recorded in 1970, and “You’re My Weakness,” Lee Fields danced and grooved around on stage and into the audience’s hearts with his James Brown-style. The crowd was electrified.

IMG_3468 copySet II began with the jazz-funk trio performing “Aladdin” with Neal Evans standing out significantly on the bass keys. They brought the energy level right back to where they left off at the end of the first set when pedal steel slide guitarist Robert Randolph (Robert Randolph and the Family Band) walked out wearing a silver sequins mask. With Alan Evans on vocals, they crushed Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady.” Randolph sang his radio friendly tune, “It Don’t Matter,” breaking the first of three chairs that he would eventually bend due to his climbing and jumping upon them. Lee Fields joined the stage for a rousing improvisational jam entitled “C# Funk Blues.” Then, Randolph and the trio took a risk, slowing the pace down for the beautiful “She Feels So Good.” At first, the crowd was lost in conversation but Randolph and the guys quickly reeled them back. Randolph was on his knees while playing The Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and The Expressions’ saxophonist, Leon Michaels, delivered a long and majestic saxaphone solo to top it off. The set list called for Jimi Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic” to end the set. However, Randolph wasn’t done with the stage. Randolph drove past “Crosstown Traffic” into a five minute nameless jam to solidify his reign for this year’s Bowlive run.

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After Robert Randolph’s set, the venue emptied out a bit and many who remained had no idea that they were about to be rewarded with an amazing third set. Every year as the Brooklyn Bowl gets down to the Funky sounds of Soulive, there is always another residency raging in New York City at the Beacon Theater.  That would be the the Allman Brothers Band residency.  Many fans of both bands split their time between the two residencies during their annual extended March runs. There are also many who leave the Beacon and make a beeline to Brooklyn hoping to catch the end of the later running Bowlive performance.  And on a few evenings, they hope to see members of the Allman Brothers Band sit in with Soulive.  Earlier in the week, Eric Krasno was a guest of the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater.  But tonight, it would be Kraz’s turn to play musical host to two of the Jam universe’s biggest heroes, Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes.

IMG_3828 copyLong before the surprise guests took the stage, the buzz had flown around the Brooklyn Bowl that the possibility of a Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes appearance was eminent. Everyone waited in anticipation of the third set, which would surely bring together an epic combination of guitarists.  Krasno and the Evans brothers went right into a fast paced version of “One in 7.”  Kraz played a great solo, perhaps anticipating the push he would feel from the two greats appearing later in the song. Finally, we were delivered our present as Derek Trucks came out during the raging “One in 7” and within 120 seconds, he and Krasno were standing next to one another, trading off screeching leads and bringing the crowd into a state of blissful guitar heaven. The audience was going ballistic and became a sea of cameras and arms.

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IMG_4051 copyWarren Haynes came out as the band got ready to play their next song.  He stepped right up to the microphone for vocals on “The Thrill is Gone,” backed by Derek and Kraz joining in for a super jam near the end.  The rest of the set had the crowd mesmerized as three guitar legends traded licks. However, there was still one more guitarist who had to re-join the party before it was all over, Robert Randolph.  Robert came out and sat at his pedal steel as the band ripped into a mind-blowing version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Them Changes.”

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Seeing those four finger picking maestros on stage together will be a once-in-a-lifetime moment for many fans in the audience. Those are the moments that scream at the music-lover in all of us. Warning, or rather,TELLING us not to miss the next show. Another amazing Bowlive memory for the books. We should be thankful that, for now, it’s a never ending series!

Tonight, Soulive will host Nigel Hall, who opened all ten nights of Bowlive I and is a staple in the Royal Family projects. As well, be prepared to be awed by the powerful vocals of Alecia Chakour Band and the DJing talents of DJ Logic.

Written by Karen Dugan

Pictures by Allison Murphy

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Bowlive II: Night One – Soulive w/ Lettuce and Maceo Parker

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Photo by Allison Murphy)

Bowlive 2, a two week Soulive residency at the Brooklyn Bowl, kicked off yesterday firing on all cylinders.  For a Tuesday, the venue was packed! You could literally feel The Gods of Funk smiling down upon the Bowl’s stage the entire night as we were delivered one of the funkiest weeknights the Brooklyn Bowl has seen.

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Right off the bat it was evident that this year would be different. There were more cameras propped up around the venue to tape the magic that would take place over the ten day run.  There were three beautiful tapestries lining one of the walls with Eric Krasno‘s face shimmering in gold.  There was a Soulive backdrop on the wall across from the merchandise table set up for fans to take pictures in front of.  But the biggest difference this year…Bowlive 2 opening night sold more tickets than The Funky Meters did on their opening night.  That is crazy!!  Last year on opening night the venue was barely half full.  It was quite literally myself, my boys Rob and Russ and maybe 50 other people.  It was also the night that I met the wonderful musical blogger of ViewsSkewed.com, Meredith Berke.  I can safely say, without her assistance and guidance, Tinyrager.com may never have existed 🙂

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

The Nigel Hall Band

Nigel Hall – Keys, Vocals
Eric Krasno – Bass
Adam Deitch – Drums
Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff – Guitar
Alan Evans – Percussion
Neal Evans – Keys, bass
Tania Jones– Backup vocals
Mel Flannery – Backup vocals

Special Guest:
Ryan Zoidis – Alto Saxophone

Last year’s Bowlive saw Nigel Hall singing alone at his Rhodes until the ends of his set when members of Soulive and Lettuce would join in to help him close it out with major energy.  After a year of rotating back ground singers and putting together various combinations of musicians, The Nigel Hall Band has finally gotten it’s core group on lock down.

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

A little after 9pm, The Nigel Hall Band, consisting of Eric Krasno on bass, Adam Deitch on drums, Neal Evans on organ, Alan Evans on percussion, Mel Flannery and Tania Jones on backup vocals and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff on guitar, hit the stage filling the excessively packed venue with soulful songs layered with get-down funk.  It’s always awesome seeing Krasno on bass.  He is so smooth with his guitar and to see him with a bass while others fill the guitar spot,  well, it’s fun! The always soulful Hall, decked out in an orange and white argyle sweater and a baseball cap, geared us up in a way that only he could.  While most songs were sung seated at his Rhodes, Hall sang his way through fan favorites such as “Never Know” and “Gimmie A Sign.”

Engaging the audience with his expressive nature, Hall danced around the stage for “Never Gonna Let You Go” and “Too Sweet” during which Ryan Zoidis came out for an impromptu saxophone solo.   Nigel Hall’s undeniable energy is exactly why Soulive has slated him to open for the remainder of the Bowlive 2 run.

Set List: Baby We Could Have It All (end), Hang It Up,  Back Home, Give Me A Sign, Too Sweet, Never Know, Never Wanna Let You Go

Click here to download a copy of the performance for your enjoyment!

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Soulive

Eric Krasno – Guitar
Neal Evans – Keys, bass
Alan Evans – Drums

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

By the time the members of Soulive were set to hit the stage, the Brooklyn Bowl was a sardine can busting at the edges with excitement.  However, before the anticipated set could begin, Brooklyn Bowl owner Peter Shapiro came on stage to express his gratitude for this musical event and for the audience participation by offering 600 shots of Tequila which were delivered by the tray full throughout the venue.

The lucky residents of New York City recognized that even though this was a school night, nothing would keep them from enjoying the first night of what is expected to be a giant success of a musical run. Pete knew this and the turn out was jaw-dropping.  Perhaps everyone felt stupid for missing Lettuce and Maceo Parker playing Brooklyn Bowl together back in January.  Perhaps they just heard how good it was and needed to check these guys out for themselves.

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

Nigel Hall comes to the front of the stage and screams into the microphone, “Are you ready to Rage?”…a pitiful response follows.  He repeats himself and the venue caught on.  We were ready to rage.

Finally, the hosts for the night, guitarist Eric Krasno, drummer Alan Evans and organist Neal Evans, appropriately dressed in Royal Purple, entered on stage and the Brooklyn Bowl erupted.  Over the course of the next hour, the funky trio blasted through “El Ron” and releasing a fantastic “One in Seven” on us before offering us a few Beatles covers from their latest album, Rubber Soulive.

Set List: El Ron, Aladdin, One in Seven, Come Together, Eleanor Rigby—>I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

Click here to download a copy of the performance for your enjoyment!

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

Lettuce w/ Maceo Parker

Maceo Parker – Saxophone

Eric Krasno – Guitar
Neal Evans – Keys, bass
Adam Deitch – Drums
Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff – Guitar
Alan Evans – Percussion, Vocals
E.D. “Jesus” Coomes – Bass, Vocals
Ryan Zoidis – Alto Saxophone
Cheme Gastelum – Saxophone
Igmar Thomas – Trumpet
Brian Thomas – Trombone
Eric Bloom – Trumpet
Nigel Hall – Keys, Vocals

Special Guest:

Alecia Chakour – Vocals
James Hurt – Keys

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Lettuce came on stage raging full force into the appropriately named “Blast Off” with “Last Suppit” following. A few songs in, Maceo Parker, the leader of James Brown’s infamous horn section, joined the stage.  As he enters, he playfully goes for Nigel Hall‘s baseball cap and then drops his hand and they share a laugh.  Now it was time to dance your ass off as they raged right into several covers beginning with Parliament Funkadelic’s “Up for the Down Stroke.”

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

It was pretty sick to see Cheme join the horns even though Sam wasn’t there and how it was nice they gave him real room to solo during the encores, the same way they gave James Casey a long solo during “Get Back” last year. ~ Russ Agdern

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

The tidal wave of funk through the combination of Lettuce and Maceo continued to bring the fire with “Uptown Up” were Maceo rapped the Corey Parker verse.  “There Was a Time,” a James Brown favorite, saw Adam Deitch solo on the drums as Maceo Parker teased Brown’s “Cold Sweat” over top.  At one point Parker focuses on  It was then time to give Ray Charles a little love as Maceo and the gang brought it down nice and slow for “Night Time is the Right Time” where Alecia Chakour ripped a solo that had all eyes on her and people asking left and right, “Who was this phenomenal voice?”

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

The remainder of the set continued to up the heat with funky vibes and soulful solos. Alecia Chakour joined backup vocals as Maceo Parker exited the stage.  She is absolutely amazing.  Talk about attitude and vocal style. Straight soul sista right there.  An audience member got on a friend’s shoulder and screamed for her during her solo before being asked to get down. The energy in this place was killer.

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

There was a time where there were at least 8 people on stage and they were all just playing, improving beats. Nigel and Chakour inserting their voices in various places.  The focus was again on Nigel Hall as he busts out his vocals with “Making My Way Back Home.” Acclaimed Jazz pianist, James Hurt, popped in for a few minutes to tear up “Pass the Peas” and  again for the encore of “By Any Schmeans Necessary.” Somewhere in the middle of all of it, Maceo Parker returns to the stage in his long winter jacket, looking all ready to walk out the door, but not without one more goodbye!

Set List: Blast Off, Last Suppit, P-Funk Medley including: Up for the Down Stroke/Mothership Connection/Let’s Take It To The Stage/take Your Dead Ass Home, Uptown Up, There Was a Time, Night Time is the Right Time, Shake Everything U Got, Pass the Peas, Soul Power tease, Makin My Way Back Home.

Encore: Sam’s Flying Huff Machine, By Any Schmeans Necessary

Click here to download the Lettuce Set

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Tonight Soulive will take the stage with yet another serving of Lettuce along with a few sides of hip-hop MC Pharoahe Monch and WAX.  Be prepared to be blown away by their spittin’ lyrics and fresh beats.

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