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Posts Tagged ‘Grace Potter’

Rage Mobile

Rage Mobile

As the eve before Mountain Jam arrived, I couldn’t sleep, no one could.    My phone was blowing up with text messages finalizing last minute plans, causing last minute mini-drama bombs that kept us on our toes.  It was like the day before Christmas, as it is before every festival.  It might as well be Christmas, right?  You know you are going to meet up with long lost phamily that is normally scattered across the nation and when you arrive you are given lots of goodies and presents 🙂  AM I RIGHT?  Oh, our world is so full of life and love.

Approaching Hunter Mountain

Approaching Hunter Mountain

Get ur tickets

Get ur tickets

The four of us piled into my buddy’s rage mobile and we took off down Highway 87.  Two and a half hours later we were taking Exit 20 and making our way through the windy roads to the top of Hunter Mountain, the site of Mountain Jam for the last six years.  The scenic drives through these mountains, or any mountains, are one of the perks of heading to any festival.  Once you exit the bustling city, it only takes about 20 minutes before you start hitting lush rolling green hills on either side.  My mind always gets thrown back to the Blue Ridge Mountains and it makes me miss Virgina, my home state, that much more.

The Weekend Rage Haven

The Weekend Rage Haven

I don’t do well with rain and this festival was notorious for it’s thunderstorms and drastic change of weather. After much debate and consideration, I decided to shack up with my buddy in his house for the weekend.   It was a lovely cottage type house with three bedrooms and a shower, which numerous friends used over the course of the weekend.  It’s always good to have a friend with a house! (MUCH LOVE FOR MURRAY! THANK YOU MY DEAR FRIEND!)

Welcome Center

Welcome Center (& my housemates)

Waiting to see the music and get into camping....

Waiting to see the music and get into camping....

With all my friends setting up their tent cities in Camping, I was free to roam the grounds.  As I walked up the hill, a lovely old deadhead stopped just to tell me I looked lovely.  I was wearing my favorite skirt I had bought at my first festival (All Good) over 11 years ago.  A wonderful skirt my mother has repaired numerous times over to allow it to continue to live.  It is the little moments like these that I never have to write down.  The little moments of joy that find their way to your ears and eyes because people are just KIND in these settings.  Hippies are the greatest people in the world.

Hunter Mountain (East Side)

Climbing up Hunter Mountain (East Side)

This venue was GORGEOUS.  I had never been to a venue with such a gorgeous backdrop.  The scene I was staring at behind the stage was magnificent.  Beautifully lush green mountains with white clouds floating above.  It truly was a sight to behold. Wait until you see the pictures of the sunset.

Look at the view behind stage!  WHAT?

Look at the view behind stage! WHAT?

Kofi Burbridge & TR

Kofi Burbridge & TR

My music karma followed me to Hunter Mountain.  The commute went smooth, the house was so close, the weather for the weekend was, for the most part, sunny and dry.  As well, within the first two hours of arriving, I had spotted and caught up with just about everyone I was hoping to see that weekend.  One of the first people I ran into was Kofi Burbridge.  He is always one to be found mingling among the crowd, getting into trouble.  Then came a string of friendly faces who just made the hug chain continue for a few hours.  This was going to be a GREAT weekend.

Elmwood in Colonel’s Hall

Elmwood in Colonel’s Hall

As I explored the grounds, the first drop of music I could hear was from the Colonel’s Hall, one of four stages set up at the venue.  I stepped in for a few seconds to hear Elmwood and was right back out.  There were three other stages: The East stage (Main stage), The West stage (side stage) and The Awareness Village stage.  The shows I wanted to see were going to be mainly on the East and West stages.

The Karma Wash @ Mountain Jam

The Karma Wash @ Mountain Jam

My home base for the festival was the Karma Wash.  From now on, if they are part of any  festival I am at, you can always find me there.  A wonderful group of people who have more fun then I can describe.  They have created a wonderful wonderland of playfulness for both adults and children.  Everyone always need a good Karma scrubbing and they provide the services!  Join their Facebook fanpage to see where you can get your Karma Washed next!

The Avett Brothers @ Mountain Jam (Main Stage)

The Avett Brothers @ Mountain Jam (Main Stage)

The Avett Brothers

Scott Avett – Vocals, Banjo, Kick Drum, Drums
Seth Avett – Vocals, Guitar, High-Hat, Keys, Drums
Bob Crawford – Vocals, Bass
Joe Kwon – Cello

I made my way to view the East stage where I could hear the folk/rock sound of The Avett Brothers tearing it up.  Ah, the banjo always makes me smile.  Their vibe was upbeat and feisty.  Scott Avett’s singing flowed over the mountain from the stage and was so lovely with his brother harmonizing.  When family members sing together there is a blend and a cohesiveness in the sound that is intangible to others.  I wish I could tell you who else is on stage with the Avett Brothers in the above picture but alas.  They rang out bluegrass into rock up the mountain until a piano was brought out for a few numbers which slowed down the vibe considerably.

As the piano accompanied, Scott sang I and Love and You, the title track off their newest cd.   A simple song with a powerful statement.   The only songs I recalled from quickly listening to their cd a few days prior.  It caught my ear when I heard the lyrics Brooklyn, Brooklyn, take me in and Three words that became hard to say, I and Love and You. This group is tangible and by that I mean that I felt something when they sang. They touched me.  I am not a fan of lyrics but coming from folk/bluegrass type music, I adore it.  They were solid in their delivery and emotional amongst their dancing jigs.  I loved them as they had help me toss my shoes off, hike my skirt up and dance in the dirt. Dancing with nature.

Download: The Avett Brothers @ Mountain Jam VI (06.04.10)

The Avett Brothers @ The Main Stage

The Avett Brothers @ The Main Stage

Now, Mountain Jam is the brain child of Warren Haynes, of The Allman Brothers Band and Gov’t Mule.  This meant that we would be blessed with two full nights of 2 sets of Gov’t Mule.  It meant that Warren Haynes would be sitting in with whatever group he felt drawn to join.  Get your party pants on…because once Mule started, there was no turning back.

Here's that sunset :) SO lovely!

Here's that sunset 🙂 SO lovely!

The rad ladies room

The rad ladies room

There was a 45 minute break before we were raging with Gov’t Mule!!! I completely shacked up by the Karma Wash for this set!  I had no intention of trying to fight the thousands of people cramming up to the stage.   Took off for what I heard was NICE bathroom in the ski lodge. ALWAYS a plus to have something other then a porta-potty.  I about died as I walked passed the men’s room that looked like just a bunch of high school stalls.  And then walking into the ladies room that had a lavish dressing room area, numerous sinks, mirrors, and couches.  LOL!!  Typical…

Gov’t Mule

Warren Haynes – Guitar & Vocals
Matt Abts – Drums
Danny Louis – Keyboards, Background Vocals
Jorgen Carlsson – Bass

Now THIS was how one should watch Gov’t Mule.  This was their festival, their time to shine.  They know just as well as we do that it is their set that first night that sets the mood for the rest of the weekend.  The energy and pure freaking rage of the first set was enough to cause a landslide…pun totally intended!

As World Gone Wild played, I totally realized that I was away from the city and I threw my head back to look at the stars.  In that moment, a shooting star crossed overhead and I totally had a moment with myself.  I shit you not.  I thanked the powers that be for making my life worth living.  And when the sun finally set, Hunter Mountain literally looked like it was on fire from the lights and the energy that was kicking off the weekend.  Look at the picture below.  Fire on the Mountain!

Gov't Mule @ Main Stage

Gov't Mule @ Main Stage

Thorzine Shuffle closed out the set.  Warren screamed “Till the damage is done!”over the mountain and everyone sang along.  I could hear the harmonica on stage as if it were right beside me.  The sound from the stage up that mountain was tremendous.  Warren’s solos were superb and he teased Eleanor Rigby.  I looked to see my friend dancing her heart out.  A fellow blogger, I actually had written in my notes to just link to her description of this set.  A COMPLETE MULEHEAD!!  She was so happy and at that moment I loved me some Warren just as much as she did.

Gov't Mule @ Main Stage

Gov't Mule @ Main Stage

For the second set of Mule we decided we needed to be closer.  The highlight of the set for me was when Les Claypool joined Warren on Greasy Granny’s Gopher Gravy. Such a combination of styles: Warren’s southern drawl against Claypool’s slapstick bass.  They TOTALLY jammed it out for a while.  Unfortunately, this would be the only guest appearance I would SEE.  I took a trip to the parking lot with a friend which caused me to miss seeing Kofi Burbridge sit in on Raven Black Night, Grace Potter sit in on Gold Dust Woman and Ray Lamontague join the stage but THANK GOD I was able to hear it all!!  Kofi’s flute reached my ears and I immediately lost focus on my parking lot mission.  Those conversations would have to wait.   I had to get back.

I about died when I thought I had missed the end of the last set but the encore followed.  Inside Outside Woman Blues was SOOO damn sexy!  I loved Warren’s guitar on this one the best.  Any Open Window and Steppin’ Lightly, where Jorgen Carlsson stood out on bass, closed it OUT!!! WHAT  WAY TO START YOUR FESTIVAL!!!!

Set 1: Intro, Stay With Me, New World Blues, World Gone Wild, Time To Confess, The Shape I’m In, Monkey Hill >, Monday Mourning Meltdown, Where Did You Sleep Last Night, Thorazine Shuffle

Set 2: One Of These Days >, Fearless, The Wind Cries Mary, Greasy Granny’s Gopher Gravy (Part 1 & 2) > (w/ Les Claypool), Drums, Wishing Well, Raven Black Night > (w/ Kofi Burbridge), Gold Dust Woman (w/ Grace Potter)

Encores: Inside Outside Woman Blues, Any Open Window >, Steppin’ Lightly

Download: Gov’t Mule @ Mountain Jam VI (06.04.10)

The New Mastersounds

Eddie Roberts – Guitar
Simon Allen – Drums
Pete Shand – Bass
Joe Tatton – Organ and Piano

New Mastersounds @ Colonel Hall

New Mastersounds @ Colonel Hall

After Mule, we geared up for the 1am late night sets.   Les Claypool (Main Stage) and The New Mastersounds (Colonel’s Hall) were performing at the same time.  This would be my first mental headache of the festival.  I adore Claypool, as he feeds into my tiny dark side.  However, I had tickets to see Claypool at the Brooklyn Bowl the following Tuesday in Manhattan so I decided to rage it with The New Mastersounds first.  Apparently, I was not alone. The venue was PACKED but we got our front row spots on lock down no matter where we roll.

The New Mastersounds @ Colonel Stage

The New Mastersounds @ Colonel Stage

Throughout the day, my friends and I had told everyone that The New Mastersounds were the band to watch that night.  Most definitely, one of the freshest acts to come out of England in the last few years.  They truly have skyrocketed up in public opinion and I had been looking forward to seeing them all year.    A friend spit out some interesting info the other day about NMS: “they’ll be the first to tell you they didn’t even think about “jamming” their tunes until they started touring the U.S. and learned that there were people that actually enjoyed that approach.”  So, having only heard their studio album, I was blown away by their live performance.

Kofi Burbridge joins The New Mastersounds

Kofi Burbridge joins The New Mastersounds

Eddie Roberts threw out so much energy from that stage that I felt involved. He got so into his vibe that it was flat out tangible.  Man, being so used to small club type settings or even large venues, on any given night, I felt closer to these bands at certain times on that Mountain amongst 15,000+ people then I ever did in NYC venues.  And The New Mastersounds has us sweating bullets on that dance floor.  A large portion of my friends said that they danced their hardest that first night at New Mastersounds.  I know in that first set, I lost a few pounds myself.  The heat was unbearable and I was dancing up front with my favorite people.  SO HARD!!!  Kofi Burbridge joined the stage during Fast Man and stayed for quite some time, adding his spectacular talent and sound to an already rocking performance.

Set I: Intro, Zambezi, Miracles, Dusty Groove, Thermal Bad, MRG, Fast Man -> Kofi Jam ->, Get On The Good Foot -> You Got It All, Six Underground, The Minx, 33 (A Good Year To Die), Carrot Juice, Make Me Proud!, One Note Brown ->, One Note Brown, Stage Banter, San Frantico, Idris, Nervous ->, Jam ->, Nervous

Download: The New Masterdounds @ Mountain Jam VI (06.04.10)

Les Claypool @ Mountain Jam

Les Claypool @ Mountain Jam

Les Claypool

Les Claypool – Basses
Mike Dillon – Percussion & Vibes
Sam Bass – Cello
Paulo Baldi – Drums

Les Claypool @ Mountain Jam (Main Stage)

Les Claypool @ Mountain Jam (Main Stage)

About half way through their set, I was dying of heat exhaustion and decided to take a walk outside and catch some Les Claypool.  As I walked up the side of the mountain I decided if I was going to watch some Les, I wanted to be in the front row. A friend had been in charge of designing the paramedic route to the stage so the set up was a little different then previous years I was told.  This new route allowed for me to walk right up the middle to the front and allowing me to access the stage very easily.  And by god, it took me sometime but I got to the dead center, front row just as Les was teasing Led Zepplin’s Kashmir.  We are in the second song of the second set at this point.  Times FLIES!  And then I couldn’t move!  Not because of the people, but because Les Claypool delivered a RIGHTEOUS set and a funky David Makalaster I sandwiched a kickass version of Southbound PachydermThe New Mastersounds had lost me.

The Utterly Amazing! Les Claypool

The Utterly Amazing! Les Claypool

If only you could have seen what my eyes saw...

If only you could have seen what my eyes saw...

My favorite part of Claypool’s performance was when he left the stage for the drummer rage.  Upon his return, he had put on his monkey mask and transformed into one of his many personas of strange.  Freaking Creepster.  I love him.  This was just FUN!!  The strobe lighting allowed for him to walk out stunted, as we only saw every other step.  In the frame of mind I was in, I could have easily freaked out.  He looked completely out of control to me.  It was creepy and wonderful at the same time.

Set I: Up On The Roof, Rumble Of The Diesel, Toys Go Winding Down tease->Amanitas, Buzzards Of Green Hill**, Red State Girl, Hendershot, Precipitation->Mr. Krinkle tease->Precipitation>, Drums->, Drums & Whamola Jam

Set II: Booneville Stomp, Cosmic Highway->Goodbye Blue Sky tease->Cosmic Highway->Kashmir tease->Cosmic Highway, David Makalaster I, Southbound Pachyderm, David Makalaster I, D’s Diner

Download: Les Claypool @ Mountain Jam (06.04.10)

During D’s Diner, I took off back towards The New Mastersounds hoping to catch the last few songs with my friends.  I didn’t even bother making my way to the front.  Remember how my friends said they might have danced their hardest to this set?  Well, as I entered Colonel Hall, everyone who I had lot track of, still wanted to see, or was looking for, was right there  in the back.  My friend “M” must have been introduced around 5 times but within a few minutes more glorious friend circles collided and the krewe grew exponentially right on the spot.  GOD, I LOVE THIS COMMUNITY!  My friends were flying all over the place.  Literally, arms flying, spinning in circles, twirling each other, dipping each other….we might have been dancing with the music but we were more dancing with each other at that moment.  This continued for the remaining songs.  And I found myself another few pounds lighter.

The music ended and we walked 20 feet outside to the picnic tables and I SANK into the chair that would remain my best friend for another 2-3 hours.  We literally raged there for the remaining time with new friends and old.  I sat back watching my friends click with each other.  The weather was gorgeous, the vibe was chill.  To me, these might be the greatest moments…when friends from different walks of life finally cross paths and everyone just chills and talks about the great music they saw…all connected through the music, the vibe, the atmosphere.  And it’s especially great when you get to say thank you to the band as they walk to their tour bus to go make more people in another location happy.  The New Mastersounds had blown their spot up at Mountain Jam.  Totally rocked the Mountain to a close.  And when they walked out, the cheer was probably heard in Camping.  They were so appreciated. I hope they knew that deep down in their souls!

We walked home as the sun came up and my head hit the pillow before 6am.  It was difficult to sleep with everything running through my head. What a night and with beautiful weather to boot.  I looked forward to doing it all again tomorrow.

Day II Review: Mountain Jam VI @ Hunter Mountain, NY (06.05.10)

Thorzine Shuffle closed out the set.  Warren screamed “Till the damage is done….”over the mountain and everyone sang along.  I could hear the harmonica on stage as if it were right beside me.  The sound from the stage up that mountain was tremendous.  Warren’s solos were superb and he teased Eleanor Rigby.  I looked to see my friend dancing her heart out.  She was so happy and at that moment I loved me some Warren just as much as my friend did.

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The Neville Brothers @ The Nokia Theater

The musical reawakening of New Orleans over the past five years has been something very exciting to watch.  After that bitch named Katrina, the appreciation for New Orleans and it’s musical community has become one of the most visible movements in musical history.  When I think of the face of that movement I think of The Neville Family.  The name epitomizes New Orleans, especially the music community.  Tonight, I would watch legends, survivors, mentors and men bring the essence of New Orleans to a New York City stage.  Aaron agrees…

“This is a strange moment in my career,” muses Aaron. “Since Katrina I’ve devoted months and months to benefit concerts—and that’s been a blessing. My profile and the profiles of my brothers have been raised by the storm. People all over the world see us as the face of New Orleans. They want to hear us play. They want to feel that we’ve survived the storm. They want to be assured that life goes on.” ~ Aaron Neville ~

Rubblebucket @ Nokie Theater

Rubblebucket @ Nokie Theater

I arrived to the Nokia Theater a little after 8:30 knowing I would be missing Rubblebucket for the 8th time.  A friend had snagged me a $10 ticket and I was in the door and down the escalator.  Rubblebucket, opener for the night, was performing their second to last song as I arrived. I didn’t pay attention on purpose because 1) the sax/lead singer girl wasn’t playing her horn, she was just singing and 2) I refuse to truly focus on Rubblebucket until I can listen to them completely in all their raging glory.  During the last song, the horn section and a few others from the stage paraded around the audience. Still didn’t focus, mingled, got my spot with the Funk Live Krewe…on with the show…

The Neville Brothers.  New Orleans Royalty. What else is there to say?  Whenever there is a Neville performing, in whatever project, you can bet that with that name comes talent and a great show 🙂  I will tell you dead ass upfront that I can’t really stand Aaron Neville‘s falsetto.  The radio played The Nevilles SO MUCH in the 80’s/90’s and there was something about his voice.  But then again, at times I find it hauntingly beautiful and distinct.  It’s a love/hate relationship.  We struggled, Aaron and I, throughout the night but the show over all was ON FIRE!! AWESOME!  And it made me love and appreciate Aaron a little more.

The Neville Brothers @ The Nokia Theater

The Neville Brothers @ The Nokia Theater

The heart and soul of New Orleans joined the stage…..

Art Neville (Keys/Piano/Organ/ Brother #1)

Charles Neville (Saxophone/Brother #2)

Aaron Neville – Vocals/ Brother #3

Cyril Neville – Percussion/Vocals/ Brother #4

“Mean” Willie Green – Drums

Chris Severin – Bass

Michael Goods – Keys

Makuni Fukuda- Guitar

The Neville Brothers @ Nokia Theater

The Neville Brothers @ Nokia Theater

Right off the bat they flew into some funky New Orleans love with Shake Your Tambourine!  Cyril was on percussion.  Aaron’s falsetto rang out into the audience.  It was kind of weak for the start.  This is a powerful song and if you are going to open with it, hit it HARD!  They still had a little warming up to do! Charles hitting the hand bell and they grew in front of us. The drums hit harder, the singing got crisper, the tambourine rang clearer.  “The music gonna move ya,” sang the Brothers Neville.  Yes sir, the music started to move us…without a doubt.

Aaron Neville @ The Nokia Theater

Aaron Neville @ The Nokia Theater

A little gospel funk kicked it up a notch with Africa.  This song gave the room just enough funk for us to shake our hips but slow enough to be full of soul.  Art gave it to us on the keys with a kickin’ solo.  You could see the brothers gaining energy. The crowd following suit.  Charles on cowbell, always my favorite haha.  I noticed saxophones at this point and wondered if anyone from Rubblebucket might be joining the stage later.

Brother Jake had Makuni pickin’ his strings givin’ off a rock vibe.  Aaron on tambourine, drums came in and then the funky horns and keys rounded it off.  This song was hot!!  A great intro before Cyril sang the crap out of the song.  The horns, the vocals, it all just sounded so perfect together.  Still cringe a little when I hear the high Aaron but I lose track of him watching Makuni rage a fat solo.  I looked around at this point and see people all over the venue dancing all over the place.  Couples swinging, individuals groovin.  The venue was on fire and it was only the third song. It had taken them less than a song to warm up and less then three to bring the house to a ragin’ dance party of funk goodness.  Charles Neville WAILED on his saxophone towards the end and it was AWESOME as he teased Here Comes The Hotstepper.

Time for the evening’s first recognizable cover as Peggy Lee‘s Fever lit up the stage.  This is such a sexy, sexy song to me.  I find that it should be exclusively left for women like Grace Potter to sing, dancing around men, snapping their fingers.  But, The Neville’s sang it.  Aaron sang and Charles killed it on the sax.  I did love Charles during this song.  It’s a sexy, sensual song and the horn was perfect in place of the vocals.

The Neville Brothers @ The Nokia Theater

The Neville Brothers @ The Nokia Theater

As someone screams One…TWO…ONE..TWO…THREE…the horns wail, the drums pound and the tambourine shakes as Aaron screams “It might be superstition/but some kind of somethin’ goin’ on down there.”  A fun, fun, horn laden song about voodoo and witnessing its practices, originally written by Sonny Landreth.

Charles Neville @ The Nokia Theater

Charles Neville @ The Nokia Theater

There is a distinct sound with The Neville Brothers, am I right? Is it their inherent New Orleans blood? Is it the specific falsetto of the Aaron? Is it the fact that they are family?  Something about them being related allows for the sounds to ring clearer, sharper, crisper.  It’s like the Beach Boy, you always know its them.   Voodoo, a slower song, opened with horns and reminded me of driving down the road with my mother listening to The Neville Brothers on the radio.  Aaron rang out his falsetto, “You must have put voodoo on me/Oh , you must have cast a spell.”  Art Neville raged on his keys, giving us a funky, sparkling solo scaling up and down his board.  “You must have cast a spell /the way you got me loving you girl.”  Charles picks up the smaller sax and goes to TOWN as shit hits the fan when Cyril started banging his drums, his hands flying.

Cyril Neville @ The Nokia Theater

Cyril Neville @ The Nokia Theater

Oh man, Art struck the keys, plinking along in the signature style of Professor Long Hair for Big Chief. Then the horns calls the rest of the instruments in, bongos hit hard by Cyril.  Oh man, the screaming of Cyril. He went ape crazy during this song.  I would venture to guess that this was his favorite song?  He put the most effort and RAGE into this song, into his singing, into his everything.  Just full of soul and fire. CYRIL IS THE MAN!  And, dare I say it, my favorite brother.  He was, by far, the most vibrant, dynamic and radiant on stage that night.  I was able to see him with Galactic earlier this year and was excited to be seeing him again tonight. He did not disappoint.

The lights changed, the horns were low, Art layered down some jazzy keys.  This song was mainly for Charles to show us his talented horn over an awesome bass rage.  it was time for CHARLIE to shine.  There was a gorgeous ending by Charles on the sax and then a huge applause

We can never go without a ballad or six now can we?   Here came Aaron Neville’s falsetto in all it’s glory and it’s definitely an acquired taste.  Here he was singing Sam Cooke’s A Change Gonna Come.  NO ONE can sing that song even close to the way Sam sang it.  I got hooked on the original years ago and had it on repeat for quite some time in college. But here is where I keep my mouth closed and just let you see the video.

Another New Orleans staple, Brother John threw us so hard back into NOLA based funk.  Everybody sang, “Hey now!!”  This weekend was apparently Fleet Week.  Two marine girls were running through the crowd and taking pictures.  They were having more fun then any of us drinking, making out with dudes..ahhhh, I miss spring breaks but glad I am not in the military.

Yellow Moon, a more then famous Neville’s song was next.  Aaron sang his  hip-shaking tambourine vibed song.  Charles picked up another saxophone solo and floored us.  This was such a sexy hip shaking song.  I love how they sped it up and slowed it down throughout the night.  Slowin’ it down, shakin’ it slow.  Aaron with his falsetto echoing off the walls, the bongos banged by Cyril, percussion by Charles all with the bass line popping through.

Henry Butler joined the stage!

Henry Butler joined the stage!

Here we come to my personal favorite songs of the night.  A staple that never gets old, the crowd cheered as Henry Butler was brought to the stage for Pocky Way.  This familiar tune, this staple of New Orleans, never gets old.  But if for any reason, this was leaving a stale taste in anyone’s mouth, when Henry Butler joined the stage it raised everything to a whole new level, if only for one song.

It is at this point that the set list and my notes do not match up.  It was clear that they moved away from the page and did their own thing.  Charles was given some time to just rage some funky tunes through his horn.  They certainly plowed into Come To New Orleans.  “You got to get to New Orleans/You gotta show me Mardi Gras.” And then into a lovely a-cappella Gospel song where there was no music, just singing with thier pretty voices. “When this life’s over/I’ll fly away…” This was definitely a mash up, the tambourine quietly shaken and cyrill screamed.  “WHO DAT”

They just raged the Who Dat Chant +  Saints Come Marching In 🙂  As always it gets EVERYONE ALL ROWLED UP!!!!  Just a full faced rage at this point.  People jumping all over.  Then into Amazing Grace with Art on keys and Aaron on vocals soloing but together.  And finally into Bob Marley’s One Love!!  That was the icing on the cake.  The crowd was swaying, arms were being placed over our neighbors shoulders, hugs were being passed out, the love was being felt.  “Let’s get together and feel alright” said The Neville Brothers.  I think they got their point across this night on the stage at The Nokia Theater.  I held on tight to that energy as it would carry me into the 7 Walkers show the following night…

Proposed Set List (off the stage):

Tambourine

Africa

Brother Jake

Fever

Congo Square

Voo Doo

Big CHeif

Charlie

Change Gonna Come

Brother John

Yellow Moon

Pocky Way

Charlie

Funksta

Fiyo / Come To New Orleans

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BATTLE OF THE JAMBANDS:

My Band Can Beat Up Your Band!

By: Brett B.

Brad Pitt in Fight Club

Brad Pitt in Fight Club

Recently while watching TMZ, they happened to show a “street brawl” between two LA hair bands outside of a club.  Now, by “street brawl” I mean 6 skinny guys with a combined weight of probably 400 pounds slapping at each other, so as to not mess up their hair and make-up.  Not exactly a scene from FIGHT CLUB, if you know what I mean.

So, this of course brought to mind the incident years ago when Jack White of The White Stripes beat up Jason Stollsteimer of The Von Bondies over Stollsteimer’s badmouthing Jack behind his back.  Who can forget the photos of the Von Bondie’s bloodied and bruised face posted next to a picture of a smirking Jack White.  Now you might say to yourself “Jack White?  That pale faced thin guy who looks like he can barely bench press the guitars he plays?”  Yes.  That Jack White.  But as anyone who has ever fought will tell you: It’s the little guy you have to worry about.  Small guys always have something to prove.  I would rather go up against someone bigger than me than someone smaller than me every time.  You ever see a little scrawny guy go off in a bar fight?  They look like spider monkeys on PCP.

A raged Jason Stollsteimer...ouch!

A raged Jason Stollsteimer...ouch!

Which makes me wonder, amongst the artists and bands in the jam scene ….  Who’s the toughest?  Now we all know that the jam band scene is the epitome of peace and love and good vibes but let’s just say hypothetically that someone really got pissed off at Bonnaroo and blows were thrown.  Who would be left standing when the dust settled?

Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic

Amongst the old school jammers (Or as I refer to them O.J.’s “Original Jammers”) my two favorite contenders would be Widespread Panic and Gov’t Mule.  To me there has always been something about John Bell that makes me feel that when goes off things could get ugly. There seems to be an underlying sense that he could put a real hurtin’ on someone if he took a mind to do so. And Dave Schools is the last person you would want to get you down on the ground in a full body press. I also have no doubt that Jimmy Herring and John ‘JoJo’ Hermann would be pretty decent back-up if the shit ever hit the fan, as well.

Gov't Mule

Gov't Mule

Now in Gov’t Mule you have a triple threat. (The jury is still out on Jorgen Carlsson).  In this corner you have Warren “Big Daddy” Haynes.  The Jerry Lawler of music. Don’t let Warren’s girth fool you.  The man is a solid barrel of guitar playing fury which would translate into some major damage in a brawl.  Not to mention the fact that he is a pretty tough cookie in real life.  Matt Abts, Mule’s drummer, has always reminded me of Mickey Rourke.  Kind of cool and dangerous.  You know he would be smiling serenely as he stomped you in an bar fight.  And Danny Louis?  There is just something about him that makes me feel he’d make a great hitman.

John Popper RAGE!

John Popper RAGE!

Honorable O.J. mention would have to go the boys in Blues Traveler. When John Popper got pulled over a few years ago in that SUV doing over a hundred miles per hour and the cops found hidden compartments with 4 rifles, 9 handguns, a switchblade knife and a Tazer, you just knew this guy was just praying for something to happen.

Now heading down South, you have some good ole boys who could put a major whoopin’ on your ass if’n they took a mind to do so.  Amongst my nominees would be The Black Crowes and The Drive-By Truckers.

The Black Crowes

The Black Crowes

The Black Crowes definitely would score high in the Potential To Kick Major Ass Department despite Mr. Robinson’s proclivity for smoking herb.  The tension that has existed between Chris and Rich would have no problem being vented against anyone dumb enough to mess with the Robinson brothers.  Nothing says “If I have no problem beating the shit out of a sibling, I will definitely enjoy kicking YOUR ass!” like the love between 2 brothers in the same band.  Just ask the Galaghers of Oasis and the Davies of The Kinks.

Patterson Hood of The Drive By Truckers

Patterson Hood of The Drive By Truckers

I once saw Patterson Hood of The Drive-By Truckers polish off close to 10 shots of Jack Daniels while onstage.  Trust me: If you can drink JD like that and still put on one of the best shows out there today, you will have no trouble getting into a back alley fight after the show.  Not to mention, the guys in DBT all look like they have a straight razor in their boots.  Hell, the female bass player in the Truckers could probably do some major damage, as well.

Grace Potter

Grace Potter

And speaking of women, and certainly not to be sexist, what woman out there in the scene is the biggest badass?  I’d put my money on Grace Potter.  Aside from the fact that she is a rock and roll party machine.  Aside from the fact that she is one of the most beautiful women in music today.  Grace P. is one tough cookie.  So, don’t let that sweet smile and gorgeous red hair fool you.  If there was any one female that could lay the smackdown on you, it’s her.

Alejandro Escovedo

Alejandro Escovedo

Finally, the two toughest individual artists out there playing great music that you would be a fool to cross?  Up first, Alejandro Escovedo.  Alejandro has the pedigree to be a dangerous mofo.  Started off in one of the first California punk bands, The Nuns.  Went on to play in some the coolest and down and dirty bar bands ever (Rank & File and True Believers).  And the final confirmation: He played in True Believers with his brother, Javier.  Two brothers of Mexican descent in the same bar band?  It is amazing that they are both still alive.

Karl Denson ~ Badest Cat Around

Karl Denson ~ Badest Cat Around

But without a doubt the toughest, baddest, man most likely to hurt you so bad even your mama wouldn’t recognize you afterwards would have to be one Mr. Karl Denson.  I had the pleasure of being in the ship gym a few years ago on Jam Cruise and let me tell you something.  The man works out like he plays the saxophone.  With a vengeance! Karl D is one of those guys that you would pray that the first blow would kill you or at least knock you out so you wouldn’t have to feel the following blows.

In closing, we all know fighting is bad. No one ever likes to see anyone get hit or hurt.  But on the off chance I am ever jumped out back of a club after a show, I just hope that it’s Grace Potter that leaps off that tour bus Flying V guitar a swingin’ to come to my defense.

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