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Bowlive III: Night Nine – Soulive w/ George Porter Jr., Ledisi and Skerik ~ Extended Review + Media (03.09.12): Bowlive Finale White Party Ledisi, The London Souls, and The Royal Family All-Stars TONIGHT!

Fire! Fire! Fire! These three little words are the simplest yet perfect definition of what occurred on the Brooklyn Bowl‘s stage last night for the ninth night of Soulive’s third annual ten night residency, Bowlive. So far, nine epically diverse nights of music have now been devoured by sold-out crowds of rabid NY music fans. The members of Soulive, the amazing Neal Evans on organ and bass keys, Eric Krasno, and the backbone of it all, Alan Evans on drums, were back at it for the last weekend of this fantastic run. After eight nights of raging musical collaborations, Soulive continued to deliver with an onslaught of some of America’s most influential musicians. The members of Soulive, The Bowlive Horns, George Porter, Jr., Eldar, Ledisi, Mark Whitfield, Nigel Hall and Alecia Chakour invested all their energy into making last night’s audience react just as powerfully as these musicians performed.

Last night’s opening act is one of the newest musical collaborations within the Royal Family. Nigel Hall and Alecia Chakour took to the stage with a “little help from their friends” to deliver a set of beautifully arranged classics.  These soul-filled vocalists are being compared to some of the greatest soul singing duos of our era and deserve all the love and recognition that comes their way. Supporting their slow, soulful vibe was drummer Adam Deitch (Break Science), trumpeter Eric Bloom (Diana Birch), guitarist Adam Smirnoff (Lettuce), saxophonist James Casey (6figures), Ryan Zoidis (Lettuce), and Alecia Chakour’s brother, bassist Alex Chakour. Nigel Hall sat behind his Rhodes keyboard while Alecia dominated the crowds command from the front of the stage. Performing such classics as Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” Hall and Chakour made the music their own with beautifully blended voices and arrangements of the songs. These two voices were meant to find each other and the audience couldn’t have been more invested in the harmonies and beauty resonating between them. Pure soul perfection. Keeping with the “Family Affair,” Mitch Chakour, Alecia and Alex’s father, was invited on stage to play keys for Joe Cocker’s “With a Little Help From my Friends!” When Nigel Hall and Alecia Chakour join forces on stage, their bond through music and their passion for soul pours out of them. This was only the second time the duo had performed as an organized set all their own and fans can be sure that it will not be their last. There is magic in this musical union that doesn’t come around often.

After such an touching set, NY-bsed DJ, Wyllys, spun on the 1’s and 2’s to keep the crowds elevated before Soulive took to the stage. When Soulive finally hit, they came out blasting with “Steppin.” This was the final weekend of Bowlive and the trio, who have been delivering us powerful sets for two weeks, raised their own bar a little higher.  After the short set with George Porter Jr. (The Meters) the previous night, Soulive jumped right into the second song by inviting New Orleans funkiest bassist back out on stage for “Pungee” and “Need More Time.” There is an energy that George Porter, Jr. brings to a stage that is tangible. Nigel Hall was back to join Porter for “Leave Me Alone,” but not before Nigel bowed at Porter’s feet letting the crowd know that this “was the funkiest black man in the universe!”

When special guest New Orleans singer-songwriter Ledisi was announced, the venue erupted. This portion of the set was so smokin’ that heat was rising from the stage. Performing “Knocking,” with Adam Deitch now on drums, Ledisi wowed the crowd with her powerful, demanding vocals and sensual style. There is no doubt that she deserves the multiple Grammy nominations that have come her way in the past few years as this was the definition of pure entertainment. “Chain of Fools” followed with The Bowlive Horns, Porter, and a surprise sit-in by Eldar, a fellow Grammy nominated pianist and composer. Surely one of the hottest portion of the night, confirmed by the buzz heard through the audience, Eldar delivered a complex piano solo while Ledisi scatted atop his gorgeous improvisational composition.  George Porter Jr. and the remaining musicians on stage supported this musical bliss to end one of the most magnificent sets of the run. Ledisi’s vocals supported by George Porter Jr. funky bass and combined with the jazzy vibe from Soulive and surprise guest Eldar was truly inspirational, uplifting and touched the audience’s soul. This is what Bowlive is all about, the deliverance of truly developed artists who are masters at their craft!!

Wyllys was spinning again for set break. Never using a set list, Wyllys kept the energy UP with choice selections of funk, R&B, and soul tunes. He kept the crowd dancing before Soulive came back for “Cannonball” supported by the Bowlive Horns. Always ready for something special and new, Soulive invited hard bop jazz guitarist Mark Whitfield on stage next for an electric rendition of George Benson’s “World is a Ghetto.” Following this amazing sit-in, George Porter, Jr. came back on stage and took the lead for the rest of the night performing multiple tunes from The Meters catalog, “Funky Miracle,” “The Dragon,” “People Say,” and “Ain’t No Use.”  The consistent funky bass lines and powerful, invested vocals coming from Porter during these selections fueled the set as well as the musicians sharing the stage. They were long arrangements making room for each artist to share their talent with rousing solos and epic extended jams. Tears were in the eyes of their audience as Eric Krasno and friends ended the set with a stunning, gorgeous arrangement of “Out in the Country.”


There are some music performances that are simply impossible to describe with words. Last night was one of those nights and any attempt at doing justice through written word seems unfulfilling after witnessing the magic of last night. The musical genius that poured off the stage resulted in emotional ballads and extended improvisational jams that expanded on the already amazing two weeks that Soulive has provided it’s audience. It’s painful to even imagine that this adventure is coming to an end. However, we still have one night!  A single night to enjoy one of the sickest musical residencies to happen to our musical community. Every night Soulive has stepped up their game, tightened their sound, and put together an arsenal of talented musicians to play some of the greatest songs ever written.  Tonight, Soulive invites Ledisi, The London Souls, and the Royal Family All-Stars to close out the residency. You can expect nothing but pure gold this evening as these boys will surely be going out with a bang! 

 Karen E. Dugan

– Photo courtesy of Marc Millman

*To see photos of these musicians and lots of other live music, please check out: http://www.marcmillmanphotos.com/music

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Bowlive III: Night Seven – Soulive w/ Skerik, Kofi Burbridge & Lettuce ~ Extended Review + Media (03.07.12)

Zach Deputy opened night seven of Bowlive III with his Caribbean Ninja Soul flavor. His one-man-band sets always seem to force happiness out of the audience.  He is the purest definition of jolly as he sits behind a massive rig of equipment, creating and layering every element of his songs. Over the past two nights, Deputy has been throwing us all new tunes except for two different versions of “Lincoln Continental.” This would set a theme for a night of new tunes to be delivered by the members of Souilve, Lettuce and Alecia Chakour!

Experimental “saxophonic” saxophonist Skerik and the NY’s premiere urban funk band Lettuce continued into second night as special guests. However, following their formula of the previous week, Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno, organist Neal Evans and drummer Alan Evans initially hit the stage solo. Alan Evans dominated “Rudy’s Way” with his best drum solo of the run sending the audience UP!  A fixture of Bowlive since its inception, Kofi Burbridge of the Derek Trucks Band surprised the audience when he walked out on stage with his flute for “Cash’s Dream,” a warm, softening addition to such an organ-heavy song.

The Bowlive Horns, consisting of saxophonist James Casey (6figures), tenor saxophonist Ryan Zoidis (Lettuce), and trumpeters Eric Bloom (Diane Birch) and Rashawn Ross (The Dave Matthews Band) were next to join Soulive. Special guest Skerik completed the brass entourage and “Upright,” “Vapor” and “Flurries” delivered us a massively long horn-heavy rage. The various musicians on stage rotated solos starting with Skerik who inserted his wild element of experimental jazz while Rashawn Ross’s melting-pot experience defined his style per song. Everyone continued through the trio of songs jumping from tambourines to maracas and other various percussion instruments filling all voids with extremely tight and organized sound.  Special guest and opener Zach Deputy lead the stage for his original, “Thrill is Gone.” To see Deputy explore his guitar talents with a full band is quite a different experience. His sound completely changes because he isn’t worrying about layering the beats, the bass or the horns. The massive crew on stage closed the set with “Aladdin” and the always funky “El Ron.”

The entire Lettuce ensemble (The Bowlive Horns including Skerik, guitarists Eric Krasno and Adam Smirnoff, bassist ED “Jesus” Coomes, and drummer Adam Deitch) raged the stage for the second set kicking it off with “King of the Burgs.” Rashawn Ross lead with a killer trumpet solo while drummer Adam Deitch made his presence known after Alan Evan’s domination of the kit in the earlier set. Last night was an amazing night for drumming fans, to be sure. The funkiest band on the planet followed last night’s rage by releasing more new songs off their upcoming album to an eager, elevated crowd. On Tuesday night, we heard “Mean Fonk,” “Lettuce Play,” and the jokingly named tune “Brooklyn Bowler,” a word play on the wonderful venue housing Soulive’s ten-night residency and actually titled”Bowler,” reflecting organist Neal Evan’s signature hat. Last night the explosive audience members (and iClips.net online viewers) jumped and danced their bodies weary to new tunes, “Bump Tubby,” “Fast Kraz,” “Ghost of Jupiter,” and “New GoGo.” Alecia Chakour joined the stage for to sing the sultry “Do Ya Thing,” a first time cover for both Chakour and Lettuce. Flautist Kofi Burbridge played throughout the entire set while Skerik could be seen enjoying the set by the sound board. ED “Jesus” Coomes’ bass playing was a crucial element to the entire set as his glasses literally fogged up from the heat coming off his playing. Toubab Krewe’s Luke Quartana was back for a second night front and center on stage with his Djembe drum for “New GoGo,” while saxophonist James Caseyplayed the congas with drum sticks. Krasno was nowhere to be seen for this tune while the stage exploded into one of the sickest 11-piece percussion rages this super fan has had the privilege of watching. The amazing, soulful voice of Nigel Hall helped close the set with “Making my Way,” into a Curtis Mayfield medley of “We’re a Winner” and “Move on Up!”


Two nights into the second week and already we have had two surprise guests, Oteil and Kofi Burbridge, on top of the amazing special guests, Zach Deputy, Skierk and Lettuce. Soulive changes things up tonight with the invitation extended to Citizen Cope & Alice Smith, the legendary funk bassist George Porter, Jr. (The Meters), drummer Billy Martin (Martin, Medeski and Wood), Alecia Chakour Band, and ?uestlove (The Roots) on the 1’s and 2’s. RAGE!!

BUY SINGLE DAY TICKETS NOW!
Can’t make the LIVE RAGE? Stream It on iClips.net!

 Karen E. Dugan

YouTube Videos

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Night 6 Recap with Lettuce, Zach Deputy, Skerik, and Allen Stone :: Lettuce, Zach Deputy, and Skerik Tonight!

We have reached the second week of Soulive’s electric ten night Brooklyn Bowl Residency, Bowlive III. After two days of rest, drummer Alan Evans, organist Neal Evans and guitarist Eric Krasno were back for their sixth night, enlisting the help of guitarist Zach Deputy, vocalist Allen Stone, saxophonist Skerik and the funkiet group on the planet, Lettuce. There were also surprise sit-ins by percussionist Luke Quaranata (Toubab Krewe) and bassist Oteil Burbridge (The Allman Brothers Band). Whoa….

Last week, Soulive took on the responsibility of ripping open the stage themselves, proving that they don’t need anyone to help them stir the fire in our bellies. However, after a week of exhaustive musical deliverance, Soulive opted to let another wonderful musician lead the way with their first mid-week opener by way of Zach Deputy. Deputy describes his style as “Gospel, Ninja Soul.” He is a one-man band who sits behind a custom-made rig of electronics, computers, pedals, mics and various instruments to create a song which he delivers to the audience one layer at a time, looping his sounds to reach the end result.  The result being a complete song with beats, bass, lyrics, harmonies, and instrumental backups.  Aside from being fully invested in all aspects of his creativity, Zach Deputy is one of the kindest, accessible musicians on our scene. He adores his fans to a point that a lot of musicians do not.  Deputy spent the entire Soulive/Lettuce performance in the audience smiling and dancing away with the rest of us.

Soulive hit the stage to a sold-out venue warming up with “One in Seven” into “So Live.” Since Lettuce was in the house, Soulive invited out the horn section out for “Get Back.”  Saxophonist James Casey, tenor saxophonist Ryan “Zwad” Zoidis, and trumpeters Eric Bloom (Diane Birch) and Rashawn Ross (The Dave Matthews Band) lined up behind the trio, creating an intimidating wall of brass.  However, the audience erupted into frenzy when one of the sickest bassists on the planet, Oteil Bubridge, walked out to join the tune.  Oteil Burbridge is best known for his work with The Allman Brothers Band and his phenomenal scatting ability he delivers while playing some of the sickest bass lines you will ever hear. The addition of Oteil’s bass to the trio was a special treat. The Allman Brothers Band starts their ten-night residency at The Beacon Theater on March 9, 2012.

The deep and dirty “Hat Trick” continued with Oteil Burbridge on bass. The tight horn section became even more ridiculous with the addition of Seattle-based improvisational jazz saxophonist Skerik on “PJs”.  One name is all Skerik needs.  A founding member of such quirky jazz projects as Critters Buggin, Garage a Trois and Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet, his unique and wildly pioneering sound has been dubbed “saxophonics,” Skerik brought an element to the brass wall of horns that gave East Coasters a taste of that West Coast flavor.

For Granted” followed with a trumpet solo from Eric Bloom that stopped conversations and had eyes focused on the stage. Soulive then shifted gears by introducing the second Seattle-based special guest of the night, soul vocalist Allen Stone.  Our favorite trio was alone on stage to back Stone on his original “Unaware” Bowlive III audience members had not yet seen a voice of this nature on stage. Even though the energy lowered due to the softness of the song, Stone’s smooth falsetto was absolutely captivating and all eyes were on him by the time he belted out “Mary” and “Love and Happiness” to end the diverse and fulfilling musical set.

The second set was just a full rage by Lettuce, the greatest urban-flavored funk band in America.  The stage swelled as Lettuce’s horn section, comprised of saxophonist James Casey, tenor saxophonist Ryan “Zwad” Zoidis, and trumpeters Eric Bloom (Diane Birch) and Rashawn Ross (The Dave Matthews Band) came back on.  Alan Evans, who had held down the dirty drums all night, was replaced by Adam Deitch (Break Science). Krasno was joined on rhythm guitar by Adam “DJ Schmeeans” Smirnoff and energetic bassist ED “Jesus” Coomes set up center stage. Vocalist Nigel Hall grabbed the microphone and they kicked off the hot set with some love to Bootsy Collins as he shouted “We Like To Party!”  Lettuce performed tunes off their old catalog but it was when new song “Bowler” and “Madison Square” that the audience gave the most love to the artists on stage.  “Madison Square” is currently the song the NY Knicks are using as their theme song. The Brooklyn Bowl went wild as Skerik jumped in and out of songs with his wild musical antics and Luke Quaranata (Toubab Krewe) ending the set with a killer rendition of “Squad Live.”


The party continues tonight with the same special guests. And who knows, with the energy rising each night and more and more musical guests seen wandering the bowling lanes, you can be sure that more artists will be gracing the Bowlive stage then are billed.

 Karen E. Dugan

Youtube Videos

Soulive w/ Allen Stone – “Love And Happiness” : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9n8k0vkPNc

Soulive w/Allen Stone – “Mary” : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B45uPhn_oo

Lettuce – Ryan Zoidis sax solo : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa1i-ZUjo_g

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I had the pleasure of writing for Royal Family Records website for all ten nights for Bowlive III. So, if you care for the shorter, not so critical and emotional charged recaps, head over to RoyalFamilyRecords.com and read up there as you all know the following post will be full of extra details and a much longer recap. Available videos are linked to the song titles! With that said:

HAPPY BOWLIVE NEW YORK CITY!!

BOWLIVE RAGERS!!!  (Photo by Phrazz)

BOWLIVE RAGERS!!! (Photo by Phrazz)

I must start this recap by giving mad love to the Brooklyn Bowl.  If you have never been, what are you waiting for? Their food is killer, their big, leather couches lining the bowling lanes and open feel makes it one of the best venues in Brooklyn, if not all of NYC.  Owner, Pete Shapiro, is one of the most humble, caring, proprietors of an establishment that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. His connections and passion to the music scene are evident as he joins the audience when amazing performances are taking place.  For an example of his kindness, Josh (My Mega Rager) and I got engaged last week in Mexico and are frequent attendees at Brooklyn Bowl performances. It is our favorite venue in the city and not just because Josh and I met there at a Karl Denson show two years ago.

Josh and I thanked Pete last night for providing us with such a great platform to meet. He bought us a bottle of champagne and we all shared a celebratory “Cheers.”  Josh and I are not drinkers but that didn’t stop the toast because when Pete Shapiro buys you a drink, you take it 🙂 I have now only seen Josh take a shot of tequila (a gift from the Brooklyn Bowl on his birthday) and now a glass of champagne.  Thanks again Pete and all the staff who run the Brooklyn Bowl for providing us such a wonderful place to engage in our musical passions, to engage with our musical family and friends and for your killer fried chicken.  As well, the addition of the hooks under the bar and upper level viewing deck did not go unnoticed and had both male and females singing the praises of having their purses and jackets now off the sticky ground 🙂  Quality upgrade!!! Now, on to the real magic.

Bowlive III – Night 1 Recap

Faithful fans of Soulive descend upon the Brooklyn Bowl, one of Brooklyn’s premier music venues, on February 28, 2012 for the first night of the highly anticipated ten-night residency, BOWLIVE III.

Faithful Fans (minus a few) (Photo by Phrazz)

Faithful Fans (minus a few) (Photo by Phrazz)

Alan Evans (Photo by Phrazz)

Alan Evans (Photo by Phrazz)

In previous years, Bowlive audiences have had the pleasure of witnessing diverse line-ups of well-known (Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Maceo Parker) and up and coming musicians (The London Souls, Alecia Chakour and Mel Flannery), taking their turn on stage with guitarist Eric Krasno, organist and bass keys player  Neal Evans and drummer Alan Evans, the soulful trio who inspire these ten nights of musical magic. Bowlive III was no different with scheduled collaborations by Zach Deputy, Big Sam, Karl Denson, Questlove, Lettuce, Rahzel, Allen Stone, Jennifer Hartswick, and the Alecia Chakour Band. More additions were added continuously over the run so I keep my eyes (and ears) open.

Mike Gibney, The Royal Family’s announcer or HYPE BOY, if you will, came out on stage to announce the band. He is a hilarious, happy, charming, funny man who never fails to pump up the crowd with his wit and humor or hilarious Cosby Sweater-styled outfits.  Tonight, pimpin’ a nice suit, he would scream out how proud he was of himself for being “undefeated in Bowlive History!”  I had to scream “ME TOO!” as loud as I could as there are literally a handful of fans AND staff who have actually attended all ten nights the previous years. I have gone to 29 out of 30 Bowlive shows.

Straying from the formula of the past two years, Soulive hit the stage early, opting out of an opening band until the weekend performances.  The trio stated slow with the appropriate “So Live.” Their energy was calm and they warmed up nicely into the explosive “Hat Trick,” which would set the tone for the rest of the night. Opting out of an opener really placed full responsibility on the trio to ensure the energy was up, to ensure that we stayed engaged, and to ensure that they made the point that they were back!!!  Having seen these three musicians grow since 2000, there was nothing standing in their way last night.

Neal Evans (Photo by Phrazz)

Neal Evans (Photo by Phrazz)

You know when you see the same band over and over and it sometimes appears that they are going through the motions?  I have seen Soulive and its members in their various projects for over a decade now. I hold them to a very high standard as the point of all of this is growth. Growth as a band and as individual musicians.  Bowlive provides a platform for these men to expand their musical catalog by infusing their material with the styles of the special guests that join them.  Because of all these collaborations, it could be easy as the hosts to, perhaps, not invest as much power and passion into the solo songs where the trio played alone.  Of course, this is something that SHOULDN’T happen, and on this first night, it didn’t. I looked forward to watching this monster of a musical run grow beneath our feet and in front of our eyes and to watch the exposure of stamina and talent of these three musical masters were going to have to project as time goes on.

Eric Krasno (Photo by Phrazz)

Eric Krasno (Photo by Phrazz)

The Legendary John Scofield (Photo By Phrazz)

The Legendary John Scofield (Photo By Phrazz)

John “Sco” Scofield, one of America’s greatest Jazz guitarists and composers, was the first guest to appear on stage this year. I absolutely adore seeing Sco and Krasno collaborate.  Joining the trio on the third song, “Tabasco”, a Sco original, Krazno and Sco immediately engaged in each other. Coming ever so close to each other, face to face on stage, they played off each others rifts with the Evan brothers blasting their rhythms.  A Billy Cobham cover, “Red Baron,” followed allowing for each musician on stage to throw down some lightening rod solos.  Sco’s time on stage brought a range of psychedelic jamming and jazz infusion to the trio’s sound that only Sco can help create. This was an exciting show simply because of the fact that John Scofield, Eric Krasno and Luther Dickinson would all be performing together in various combinations throughout the night. For guitar loving rockers like me and every other male that was in that audience, this was FIRE!!! What a great way to start it off.

Nigel Hall (Photo by Phrazz)

Nigel Hall (Photo by Phrazz)

Nigel Hall joins Neal Evans on Keys (Photo by Phrazz)

Nigel Hall joins Neal Evans on Keys (Photo by Phrazz)

Nigel Hall (The Warren Haynes Band, Dr. Klaw) was next to join the stage, initially jumping in on the keyboards with Alan Evan during “What You See Is What You Get.”  The Nigel Hall Band actually opened almost every night during the first Bowlive in 2012. This run, however, Hall took to the microphone only once with his band to deliver the sultry, sexy Donny Hathaway cover “More Then You’ll Ever Know.” Hall’s emotional connection to this powerful ballad was evident as he melted the hearts in front of him. I watched men kiss their girls passionately, I watched bros hug it out on the main floor and I felt my own heart melt.  Hall left immediately for home after the song and I texted him to let him know that his connection was so clear to those who were paying attention.  His response: “Thank you! When you’ve been in love, you can relate.” I hoped that we would get to experience more of him during this run but at the time, nothing was scheduled. We kept those fingers crossed.

John Scofield and Soulive (Photo by Phrazz)

John Scofield and Soulive (Photo by Phrazz)

“Boozer,” another Sco original, end the KILLER first set with Sco thanking Soulive for allowing him to join the party and calling Nigel Hall a “genius.” That statement is powerful and honest and to hear it ring from Sco’s lips, I know for a fact that Nigel’s heart swelled. Mine certainly did.

Nigel Hall connecting with John Scofield (Photo by Phrazz)

Nigel Hall connecting with John Scofield (Photo by Phrazz)

After a short intermission, the Evans brothers and Krasno were back on stage, alone, performing the beautifully composed “El Ron,”  followed by a raging “One in Seven.” No special guests needed to be on stage to ensure that fire was coming off it.  The trio was living up to their responsibilities and taking the songs we have seen them play a million times and breathing fresh life and RAGE into them.

Luther and Soulive - Outstanding Performance

Luther and Soulive  (Photo by Phrazz)

Luther Dickinson (Photo by Phrazz)

Luther Dickinson (Photo by Phrazz)

When southern-style slide guitarist Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi AllStars) joined the stage, all hell broke loose.  Literally, broke shit up all over our brains and faces.  Booker T. and the MG’s cover “Hip Hug Her” started slow and simple, a playing quality that Luther Dickinson has perfected with his understated simplicity and lightening fast fingers.  Initially, after the great versions of Soulive’s original songs had just brought the energy up, Dickinson’s simplistic playing and calm warm-up seemed to bring the energy down but only for that first song. The set continued with Dickinson, Krasno and the Evan brothers elevating their quality of playing to the peak of high energy for the evening, downright melting the audience’s faces with solo after solo after solo.

Dickinson and Krasno (Photo by Phrazz)

Dickinson and Krasno (Photo by Phrazz)

At one point, the wonderful Alan Evans was left alone the stage for an isolated drum solo lit by a single house light. His serious composure throughout the evening provided the foundation for all this musical majesty to take place. Neal Evans’ organ play was deep, intense, raw and when paired with the slide guitar of Dickinson, brought Soulive’s sound to new heights. It is collaborations like these that make Bowlive so special.  How can we watch the same group for ten nights in a row and not get bored? Well, that is their job and they do their job RIGHT!

Luther and Soulive - Outstanding Performance

Luther and Soulive (Photo by Phrazz)

At times when a song is taking off, I like to take a walk through the audience and listen to them, their comments, their critics (if they know what they are talking about) and just engage in the energy around me.  When they broke into “Hear My Train” by Jimi Hendrix, the rage that ensued both on stage and in the audience was palpable. “Holy Shit” and “Do you see what is happening on stage?” were common statement that could be heard throughout the sea of heady heads. People hushed those around them talking too loud and eyes were transfixed on the stage ~ (Some might say STFUAD – Shut The F*&K Up And Dance). The foursome encored with another Hendrix song, “Stone Free,” a tight, jamming song that cemented the power of the evening and left the audience screaming with thunderous applause.

WINNING!!!!

WINNING!!!! (Photo by Phrazz)

Bowlive III had begun in New York City!!  We only prayed that we could handle it because after the freight train of rage that was released that night; there would be no stopping it. The power that slides off of these performances are unlike any regular 2-set performances you attend. The energy and collaborations that I would enjoy in the coming weeks would far surpass many musical runs I might experience.  TEN NIGHTS!!!!  That is a superb feat for any musician of ANY age to accomplish. For those of us with day jobs and for those of us expected to process material by the next morning, it’s even more of a feat. One that I have been proud to be a part of for the last two years.

Setlist Rage!

The Initial Setlist!

Download Night 1 Sound Board Audio Here!

Pictures by Phrazz

Videos by Marc Millman and mkdevo

Words by The Tiny Rager

Check out some amazing Bowlive Shots by Michael Jurick here!

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FEEL THAT RAGE!!!! SEE THAT RAGE!!! Pic by Josh Raskin

FEEL THAT RAGE! SEE THAT RAGE! ~ Pic by Josh Raskin

Blast Off: Lettuce’s new material leaves Rage in the dust…

Eric Krasno – Guitar
Adam Deitch – Drums
Neal Evans – Organ/keys
E.D. Coomes – Bass
Adam “Shmeens” Smirnoff – Guitar
James Casey – Alto Sax
Ryan Zoidis – Tenor Sax
Eric Bloom – Trumpet
Rashawn Ross – Trumpet
Nigel Hall – vocals/keys
Mel Flannery – Vocals
Alicia Chakour – Vocals
Happy Holiday Rage! Pic: by Josh Raskin

Happy Holiday Rage! Pic by Josh Raskin

As the funk super group Lettuce began the familiar strains of Curtis Mayfield‘s “We’re a Winner,” which morphed, as it usually does, into Mayfield’s “Move on Up” to close out Wednesday Night’s Royal Family Holiday Party at the Brooklyn Bowl,  I couldn’t help but laugh because it was a perfect bookend to a new chapter in the life of this fantastic band. This dynamic tune, with Nigel Hall jumping up to deliver some soul shaking melodies on vocals, has been one of the band’s most consistent the last couple years, and it made me think about how far this band has come.

THE MAN! Pic: by Josh Raskin

THE MAN! Pic by Josh Raskin

Rewind three and a half years! I’ve returned home from my first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and was itching for great live music to stem the withdrawal tide. I headed to the Bowery Ballroom to see this band I had skipped at Fest because I knew they were playing at home later…and I dug it.  Great band, busy, Rube Goldberg type funk (you know, lots of moving parts coming together to make awesome, think of the Charles Mingus track “Moanin'” and you’ll see what I mean), high energy, great musicians, even had this awesome dude come up and sing a few classics, including a great Curtis Mayfield cover.  Nice stuff, liked it a lot.  Snagged the new (at the time) album, Rage and really liked most of the tracks. It actually spent a lot of time in rotation in the car and the Ipod.

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Get Some Jesus ~ Pic: by Josh Raskin

Get Some Jesus ~ Pic by Josh Raskin

But here is the thing, if you don’t know the Lettuce story, then you don’t get the power of the whole picture.  Unlike bands who stay together and tour often like Galactic, the members of Lettuce only gather for small periods of time throughout the year. When you are Lettuce, you record a quick album, maybe you see each other a couple times a year for a few gigs, but that’s largely it, you’re not necessary wood-shedding together a whole lot.

Case in point: On archive.org, Lettuce has eight recorded sets in 2002, one recorded set in 2003, no recorded sets from 2004-2007.  None!  Then, moved by the passing of James Brown and J-Dilla, the fellas recorded Rage and started out on the road again in 2008. This is not to say these guys aren’t monster players on their own, because they are. But there’s a difference between rocking out with old friends and playing sets with increased regularity, rehearsing and getting into the groove, finding and exploring new places. You gotta know who else is there to really get there! That’s why I like seeing shows at the end of the long run instead of beginning, because players will have gotten a little more comfortable, a little more familiar, and will be able to stretch out. That’s the band we saw on Wednesday night.

James Casey and Ryan Zoidois kilin it! ~ Pic: by Josh Raskin

James Casey and Ryan Zoidois kilin it! ~ Pic by Josh Raskin

A couple Royal Family Ball throwdowns in New York and New Orleans, a Royal Family Ball tour, two Bowlive runs, the first ever Royal Family Affair (which I sadly missed), two Royal Family holiday concerts, Bear Creek Arts and Music Festival, Jam Cruise, prep for the CRAZY set with Dr. John and Maceo that kicked off this year… it’s been a big couple years for Lettuce.  Each performance felt a little stronger, a little tighter, a little more impressive.

With Nigel Hall and Alecia Chakour in the mix, Lettuce can grow to as many as twelve or thirteen folks on stage at a time, and making that sound tight ain’t easy. Some of the fellas putting down roots in Brooklyn really allowed for a base of operations for the group, particularly at the Brooklyn Bowl, and it shows.  Lettuce has done more gigging, rehearsal, and playing together than they have done in a while. As 2011 winds down, they’ve started dropping new tunes in shows, tunes that feel deeper and stronger than any of their previous material. Again, I dig Rage, a lot. However, this is no longer old friends putting together some real solid grooves and giving props to the giants who’s shoulders they stand on. Lettuce is now a fearsome unit ready to flex their own muscles.

Mel Flannery and Alicia Chakour ~ Pic by Josh Raskin
Mel Flannery and Alicia Chakour ~ Pic by Josh Raskin

The band is tight as hell.  Everybody sounds awesome. I was loving Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff leading a couple tunes and laying out a great solo.  Adam Deitch is locked in on the drum kit and he and E.D “Jesus” Coomes combine to make one killer rhythm section! The Shmeeans/Deitch beatboxing was HOT as well!  Eric Krasno keeps growing, which seems preposterous for someone as good as he is. Neal Evans always brings that extra something to kick the songs up (though as much as I love Neal, the clavinet was a little up in the mix, and I had to abandon my normal front right spot to make sure I could hear the horns).  And while Sam Kinninger was missed, the horns did sound awesome, with Ryan Zoidis leading the pack, Rashawn Ross and Eric Bloom on trumpet, and sentimental favorite James Casey (see: ridiculous solo on “Get Back” from Bowlive 1) on tenor.  In fact, due to Kinninger’s absence, Casey could be seen upstairs with headphones on learning Kinninger’s parts right up until the show began. True dedication! I would have loved for the band to give the horns some more spotlight. Either way, they were solid as always.  Vocalists Nigel Hall  impressed the most this night having grown so much as an artist and a dude in the last two years.  Alecia Chakour and Mel Flannery are also great additions to the krewe.

I’ve seen these musicians before, but not like this.  I kept turning to people and saying, “What?!” The new grooves are chest-thumping, gut-busting, smack the person next to you and say “Damn, that shit is dope!” kind of tracks. “If I Was Jack Spade That Would Be My Theme Music” kind of tracks. KILLIN!! I can’t say it any plainer than this: the new material Lettuce is playing is FIRE!  Nasty, literally jaw-dropping funk not to be messed with. Of the five or six songs I heard Wednesday night, four of them would be my favorite track on Rage! right now, and that’s an album I really like!

My advice to other amazing funk/soul/jam bands I know and love, especially when playing anywhere near Lettuce, STEP YA GAME UP!  2012 is a year of a lot of eagerly awaited album releases: Galactic, Antibalas, Soulive Karl Denson EP, even hip hop legends Black Star are getting into it.  But if Eric Coomes’ warning to me on my walk out of the Brooklyn Bowl holds true: “Dude. Wait till you hear the other shit, you don’t even know.” The best one of all could be coming from the Royal Family straight out of Brooklyn.

At last, that blessed day has come.

Set-List: Madison Square, Fast Kraz, Play, By Any Shmeeans Necessary, Last Suppit, Slow Zap, Mean Funk, Slippin’, Dilla, Let it Ride, Kings of the Bergs, GoGo and Makin’ My Way Back Home (w/ Nigel Hall), Blast Off

Words by Russ Agdern
Pictures by Josh Raskin
Video by Bill Giordano

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October 2011 Music Calendar

October 2011 Music Calendar

Calendar updated daily!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

  • (Free) American Babies @ Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2
  • (Free) John Hammond @ Madison Square Park (Madison Square Music: Studio Series)
  • ($10) Asobi Seksu @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($10) Free Form Funky Freqs: Vernon Reid (guitars) Jamaaladeen Tacuma (bass) G. Calvin Weston (drums) @ The Stone
  • ($20-$25) Imelda May @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($80-$140) Elvis Costello @ United Palace Theatre

Sunday, October 2, 2011

  • ($15) Conspirator Featuring Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner from The Disco Biscuits, Beem and Deem, Horizon Wireless, Alpha Data (DJ Set) @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($22-$28) Sean McCann of Great Big Sea @ City Winery

Monday, October 3, 2011

  • ($5-$8) A Residency With: The London Souls @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($30-$41) The Psychedelic Furs featuring Tom Tom Club @ Irving Plaza

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

  • ($5-$8) Kung Fu @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($10) Mark Guiliana @ 55 Bar
  • ($35-$45) David Sanborn @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($55-$120) Deadmau5 @ Roseland Ballroom
  • ($60-$90) Portishead @ Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

  • ($5) Tall Tall Trees @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($14) Toubab Krewe and Zongo Junction @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($15) The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band @ Birdland NYC
  • ($15) Austra @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($35-$45) David Sanborn @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($40-$55) Guerilla Union & House of Blues Presents Black Star with Mos Def and Talib Kweli @ Irving Plaza
  • ($50-$65) Bebel Gilberto – Make-up Show @ City Winery
  • ($55-$120) Deadmau5 @ Roseland Ballroom
  • ($65-$90) Portishead @ Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom
  • ($100) Up From The Bayou: A Benefit for New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation @ Dave Malone and Camile Baudoin (of the Radiators), Ivan Neville and Tony Hall (of Dumpstaphunk), and Adam Dietch (of Lettuce)
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Thursday, October 6, 2011

  • ($10) Mark Guiliana @ 55 Bar
  • ($25-$30) James Blake & Austra @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($35-$45) David Sanborn @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($55-$120) Deadmau5 @ Roseland Ballroom
  • ($75-$90) Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley, and Maceo Parker @ Town Hall
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Friday, October 7, 2011

  • (Free) Tall Tall Trees ACOUSTIC SHOW @ Postcrypt Coffeehouse
  • (Free) Mark Guiliana @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($10) FiKus @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($12) Melvin Seals and JGB @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20) Ollabelle @ The Bowery Ballroom
  • ($26-$38) NOFX & Anti-Flag with Old Man Markley @ Irving Plaza
  • ($35-$45) David Sanborn @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($50-$55) An Intimate Acoustic Evening with Natalie Merchant @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($50-$125) Deadmau5 @ Roseland Ballroom
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Saturday, October 8, 2011

  • ($10) O’Death @ The Bell House
  • ($10) Reckoning: Performing The Music of the Dead, Phish, and more @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($12) Roots of Creation @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($26-$38) NOFX @ Irving Plaza
  • ($50-$125) Deadmau5 @ Roseland Ballroom
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Sunday, October 9, 2011

  • ($18-$28) Beats Antique @ Irving Plaza
  • ($22-$27) The Lemonheads performing “It’s A Shame About Ray” @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($50-$125) Deadmau5 @ Roseland Ballroom

Monday, October 10, 2011

  • ($5-$8) A Residency With: The London Souls @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($22-$27) The Lemonheads performing “It’s A Shame About Ray” @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

  • (Free) Fundimensionals @ The Bitter End
  • ($7) Bernie Worrell Orchestra (of original Parliament-Funkadelic / Talking Heads) with Wolf!, The Statesmen & The Erik Deutch Band @ The Bowery Electric
  • ($15) RJD2 @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15-$25) Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes @ City Winery (2 sets, seperastely priced)
  • ($25) Jason Crosby & Dark Loft CD Release Concert (w/ special guests!) @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($45-$65) An Evening with Pat Metheny ft. Larry Grenadier @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($60-$107) Steve Miller Band @ Beacon Theater
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

  • (Free) Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” + The Wizard of Oz = Dark Side of the Rainbow @ The Brooklyn Bowl
    • “WE DON’T HAVE A SHOW SO WE’RE PLAYING DARK SIDE OF THE MOON TO THE WIZARD OF OZ AND BOWLING IS FREE” BOWL ~ plus free shoe rental & Pink Floyd video mixed by Brooklyn Bowl’s own VJ Emmtea
  • ($15) The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band @ Birdland NYC
  • ($25-$30) Jars of Clay w/ special guest Dave Barnes @ B.B. Kings
  • ($35-$42) Iron & Wine @ Terminal 5
  • ($45-$65) An Evening with Pat Metheny ft. Larry Grenadier @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Thursday, October 13, 2011

  • ($5-$8) Biz Markie (DJ Set) @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20) Spin Doctors performing “Pocket Full Of Kryptonite” @ The Bowery Ballroom
  • ($30-$64) Indigo Girls @ Beacon Theater
  • ($35-$42) Iron & Wine @ Terminal 5
  • ($45-$65) An Evening with Pat Metheny ft. Larry Grenadier @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Friday, October 14, 2011

  • ($12-$15) EOTO Featuring Michael Travis and Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident, Billi Shakes @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($13) These Darlins @ The Bell House
  • ($16-$18) Jackie Greene @ The Bowery Ballroom
  • ($20-$25) Jay Farrar (of Son Volt) & Anna Ternheim @ City Winery
  • ($45-$65) An Evening with Pat Metheny ft. Larry Grenadier @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Saturday, October 15, 2011

  • ($5) New York Funk Exchange @ Club Groove
  • ($10) Bonerama @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($10-$12) Leroy Justice @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($16-$18) Jackie Greene @ The Bowery Ballroom
  • ($20-$25) Jay Farrar (of Son Volt) & Anna Ternheim @ City Winery
  • ($25-$30) The Royal Family Ball feat. Soulive @ Terminal 5
  • ($45-$65) An Evening with Pat Metheny ft. Larry Grenadier @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($45-$400) Paul Kantner 70th Birthday All-Star Gala w/ Jefferson Starship, Hot Buttered Rum, Moon Alice, Nona Hendryx & Sp. Guests: Pete Sears, John Molo, Prarie Prince, Barry Sless + a Special Tribute to Papa Jonh Creach @ B.B. Kings
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Sunday, October 16, 2011

  • (Free) Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey @ Upper West Side Apple Store (7pm)
    • Live at the Apple Store: Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey On their 21st album, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey reaches into the depths of their hometown’s history and emerges with a masterwork. Stop by to hear tracks from the band’s new album, “Race Riot Suite.”
  • ($20-$25) Damn Right! ft. Marco Benevento! w. Billy Martin, DVS*, Mun, more @ The House of Yes, Bklyn
  • ($20-$25) Jay Farrar (of Son Volt) & Anna Ternheim @ City Winery
  • ($45-$65) An Evening with Pat Metheny ft. Larry Grenadier @ Blue Note (2 sets)

Monday, October 17, 2011

  • ($5-$8) A Residency With: The London Souls @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($16-$18) Jackie Greene @ The Bowery Ballroom
  • ($20-$35) Dizzy Gillespie™ Alumni All-Stars ft Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath & More! @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($40-$53) Jane’s Addiction @ Irving Plaza
  • ($100-$5,000) “Rock & Wrap It Up” Charity Concert feat. Jackie Greene @ Brooklyn Bowl

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

  • ($6-$8) American Babies @ Spike Hill
  • ($15) Lisa Hannigan @ The Bell House
  • ($20) Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Plays “The Race Riot Suite” with special guests Peter Apfelbaum, Steven Bernstein, Mark Southerland @ The Jazz Standard (2 sets)
  • ($25-$30) Minus the Bear @ Webster Hall
  • ($35-$40) Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers Brother Joscephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra @ Hiro Ballroom
  • ($35-$116) Open Door: India Arie & Idan Raichel @ Beacon Theater
  • ($55-$65) Smashing Pumpkins @ Terminal 5
  • ($40-$53) Jane’s Addiction @ Irving Plaza
  • ($20-$35) Dizzy Gillespie™ Alumni All-Stars ft Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath & More! @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

  • ($10) Charlie Hunter Solo Residency @ Sycamore
  • ($15) The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band @ Birdland NYC
  • ($20) Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Plays “The Race Riot Suite” with special guests Peter Apfelbaum, Steven Bernstein, Mark Southerland @ The Jazz Standard (2 sets)
  • ($20-$35) Dizzy Gillespie™ Alumni All-Stars ft Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath & More! @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($30) Stanley Jordan feat. Bucky Pizzarelli / Sharon Ibsen / Special Guests – CD Release Party @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($37-$45) Arctic Monkeys @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Thursday, October 20, 2011

  • (Free) Tall Tall Trees @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($20-$35) Dizzy Gillespie™ Alumni All-Stars ft Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath & More! @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($30) Stanley Jordan feat. Bucky Pizzarelli / Sharon Ibsen / Special Guests – CD Release Party @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40-$52) Dierks Bentley @ Irving Plaza powered by Klipsch
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Friday, October 21, 2011

  • (Free) Coldplay @ The Today Show
  • (Free) Cabinet @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (Free) Eric McFadden @ The National Underground
  • ($15) Lisa Hannigan @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($20-$35) Dizzy Gillespie™ Alumni All-Stars ft Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath & More! @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($25) The Birdland Big Band directed by Tommy Igoe @ Birdland
  • ($25-$30) Rusted Root @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($25-$30) Tales from the Sahel: An Evening with Baaba Maal @ The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts (Pace University)
  • ($30) Ziggy Marley @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($30) Stanley Jordan Band ft. Bucky Pizzarelli / Kenny Garrett / Special Guests – CD Release Party @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($35) En Vouge @ B.B. Kings
  • ($35-$65) The Jayhawks & Rosanne Cash @ Beacon Theatre
  • ($40-$52) Dierks Bentley @ Irving Plaza
  • ($75-$85) The Blue Note Presents Guitar Man George Benson @ Town Hall
  • ($70-$90-$250) Clearwater, founded by Pete Seeger, presents a benefit concert for their Environmental Education Programs.
    • Performers include Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Suzanne Vega, Loudon Wainwright III, Guy Davis, David Amram, Toshi Reagon, Lucy Kaplansky, Tom Paxton and others to be announced soon. @ Symphony Space
  • ($70-$110) Betty Buckley: Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency
  • ($75-$100) The Blue Note Presents Guitar Man George Benson @ Town Hall

Saturday, October 22, 2011

  • ($15) Yarn with special guests The Hollows and The Tension @ Hiro Ballroom
  • ($20-$35) Dizzy Gillespie™ Alumni All-Stars ft Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath & More! @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($25-$30) Duck Down VS Blacksmith CMJ Showcase: Talib Kweli / Pharoahe Monch @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($27.50) STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9) @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($30) Stanley Jordan Band featuring Bucky Pizzarelli / Kenny Garrett / Special Guests – CD Release Party @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($35-$65) An Evening With Gillian Welch @ Beacon Theater
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Sunday, October 23, 2011

  • ($10-$15) Spin Doctor’s performing “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30) Stanley Jordan Band featuring Bucky Pizzarelli / Kenny Garrett / Special Guests – CD Release Party @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($35-$45) Ed Roland (collective soul) & Kevin Griffin (Better Than Ezra) @ City Winery
  • ($45, $55, $65, & $75) Ledisi @ Apollo Theater
  • ($44-$107) Weird Al Yankovic @ Beacon Theater

Monday, October 24, 2011

  • ($5-$8) A Residency With: The London Souls @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($15) The Secret Sisters @ The Bell House
  • ($22-$25) Goapele ~ Break of Dawn Album Release Concert @ B.B. Kings
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

  • ($25-$35) Jimmy Heath 85th Birthday Celebration with special guest Bill Cosby @ Blue Note (2 sets)
  • ($27.50-$35) AMON TOBIN, ISAM Live Audio/Visual Show @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple Brooklyn, NY
  • ($30, $53.50, $78.50, $93.50) Absolute Funk: Honoring George Clinton @ The Apollo Theater
  • ($35-$50) Moby Live Acoustic & Ambient @ Angel Orensanz Foundation
  • ($40-$50) Insane Clown Posse @ Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom
  • ($40-$90) Duran Duran @ Madison Square Garden
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

  • ($7) Reggie Watts @ Littlefield, BK
  • ($10) Charlie Hunter Solo Residency @ Sycamore
  • ($15) North Mississippi Allstars @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band @ Birdland NYC
  • ($25-$35) Jimmy Heath 85th Birthday Celebration with special guest Bill Cosby @ Blue Note
  • ($27.50-$35) AMON TOBIN, ISAM Live Audio/Visual Show @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple Brooklyn, NY
  • ($34.50) Hubert Sumlin and the Nighthawks @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Thursday, October 27, 2011

  • ($20-$30) Boris w/ Asobi Seksu @ Irving Plaza powered by Klipsch
  • ($25) Steve Kuhn Trio @ Jazz Standard
  • ($25) Bernie Worrell @ The Bitter End
  • ($25-$30) Average White Band @ B.B. Kings
  • ($25-$35) Jimmy Heath 85th Birthday Celebration @ Blue Note
  • ($27.50-$35) AMON TOBIN, ISAM Live Audio/Visual Show @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple Brooklyn, NY
    ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Lowes Regency

Friday, October 28, 2011

  • (Free) Juan Maclean (DJ Set) & Rok One @ Le Baine
  • ($5-$8) The Stooges Brass Band @ The Brooklyn Bowl (late night set)
  • ($10) Universal Funk Order @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($15) North Mississippi Allstars @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($22-$35) John Wesley Harding’s Cabinet of Wonders
    • Feat. John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats), Craig Finn (The Hold Steady), Paul Harding, John Hodgman, Hamilton Leithauser (The Walkmen), Eugene Mirman, Emma Straub  @ City Winery
  • ($22.50) New Found Glory @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($25-$35) Jimmy Heath 85th Birthday Celebration @ Blue Note
  • ($30) Steve Kuhn Trio @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($48-$55) David Cassidy @ B.B. Kings
  • ($50-$60) Shpongle LIVE @ Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Saturday, October 29, 2011

  • ($10) Jesse Dee @ The Blue Note
  • ($10) Arooj Aftab and Grey play Songs on Earth w/ Meshell Ndegeocello @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($10-$15) John Brown’s Body @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20) A Haunted Hot Tub Halloween: Kristen Schaal, Kurt Braunohler, John Darnielle (of The Mountain Goats), Wyatt Cenac, Andres du Bouchet, Found Footage Festival, + more! @ Littlefield, BKLYN
  • ($25) Yonder Mountain String Band & The Infamous String Dusters @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($25-$35) Jimmy Heath 85th Birthday Celebration @ Blue Note
  • ($25-$35) Medeski, Martin & Wood @ Terminal 5
  • ($25-$35) The Grand Slambovian Halloween Ball Hosted By Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams @ Gramercy Theater
  • ($30) Steve Kuhn Trio @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($30) The Music of Frank Zappa: Project Object w/ Ike Willis + Ray White @ B.B. Kings Blues Club
  • ($50-$145) The Fab Faux performing Magical Mystery Tour in its entirety @ Beacon Theater
  • ($63-$112) Danzig – The Legacy Tour @ Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom
  • ($110) Betty Buckley : Ah Men! The Boys of Broadway @ Feinstein’s at Loews Regency

Sunday, October 30, 2011

  • ($25-$35) Jimmy Heath 85th Birthday Celebration @ Blue Note
  • ($30) Steve Kuhn Trio @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($35) The Little Willies feat. Lee Alexander, Jim Campilongo, Norah Jones, Richard Julian and Dan Rieser @ The Bell House

Monday, October 31, 2011

  • ($5-$8) A Residency With: The London Souls @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($35-$42) Matthew Sweet/”Girlfriend” anniversary shows w/ The Shadowboxers @ City Winery
  • ($63-$78) Ween @ Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom

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The Rock & Roll Resort kicked off the NY festival season in Kerhonkson, NY on April 1, 2011.  It was my birthday weekend and I raged my face off.  I covered this fun-filled weekend for Music Marauders.  If you want the in-depth overview you can read about the music filled weekend here!

I found a few other reviews along the way as well:

I also covered the sets for Royal Family Records to include Lettuce, Sam Kininger Band, Break Science, Chapter 2 and The Nigel Hall Band.  For an in-depth overview of each of these acts, please check out my article for The Royal Family Records website.

I actually met the creator of Music Marauders at Rock The Resort around the same time last year.  We clicked immediately and I have supported his site ever since.  If you haven’t checked out Music Marauders, just go ahead right now and do it!  There is so much info about music from our scene being pumped continuously through the site.

What separates Music Marauders from other music news websites is that they don’t place restrictions on their writers.  We are allowed to write in our own voice, evoke emotions and be as opinionated as we like.   The backbone of Music Marauders lies on true music fans who run it out of love and passion for the scene.  They want nothing more then to bring our scene to you, in all it’s music-saturated glory.  They expose the good, the bad and the groovy and it’s a pleasure working with them.

Event though I wrote an overview for Music Marauders, there is some more information that I want to blast out to yall that would have just made the MM article too long.  This isn’t so much an article as a collection of media from the weekend for your enjoyment and perusal.

Who: Rock & Roll Resort

What: Billed on their website as “the ultimate, high-end music destination event.”

When:  April 1st – 3rd 2011

WhereHudson Valley Resort and Spa in Kerhonkson, NY.

Ran ByTeam NorthEast and Wicked Cool Productions

Line UpLettuce Deep Banana BlackoutThe New Riders of the Purple Sage (2 Sets) • Max Creek (2 Sets) • G.F.E. (Granola Funk Express) Eric Krasno & Chapter 2RubblebucketSpiritual Rez The Pimps of JoytimeThe Nigel Hall BandThe BreakfastBreak ScienceCaravan of ThievesSam Kininger BandKung FuJeff BujakMark Mercier ProjectNephrok! AllstarsThe Alchemystics NutritiousSauce Holy Water UndertoeDarian Cunning BandDomino TheoryThe Rev Tor BandThe Tony Lee Thomas BandFever TrainThe Primate Fiasco Lespecial The ProblemaddictsSister Sparrow & The Dirty BirdsSophistafunk CoppertonicKONGNardy BoyI AnbassaSushi Grade PandaThe KingsKevin Crane & Co. • DJ TheoryMichael Greenberg

#15 Heart and Soul at Sauce

This is the piece Josh purchased on site for my birthday present!! Heart, Soul and Sauce: Painted live to Sauce at the Rock N Roll Resort on 04/0/211 in Kerhonkson, New York by Jonathon "CrazyRedBeard" Blake

One of the greatest elements of our scene are the tapers.  Name another scene that has free trade in music the way our Jam Band community does!!  A taper by the name Corey (The Groundhog) was good enough to tape a good number of the best sets that took place over the weekend.  Enjoy!!

DOWNLOADABLE SETS

Friday 4/01:

Saturday 4/02:

Sunday 4/03:

#17 Lettuce

Lettuce: Painted live to Lettuce and the Super Jam at the Rock N Roll Resort on 04/02/11 in Kerhonkson, New York by Jonathon "CrazyRedBeard" Blake

Throughout this media bundle you are seeing wonderful paintings by Jonathon “CrazyRedBeard” Blake.  During music performances, Jonathon sets up his canvas on sides of stages and proceeds to paint what he feels as the musical reaches through him.  Over the course of the Rock & Roll Resort weekend, Jonathon painted numerous canvases with images derived from the feelings evoked from the music he encountered.  He is available for hire for weddings as well as all events that might spark creativity through music, love or spirituality. I most certainly will have him at my wedding when the day finally comes.

Kinds Suds Soap  is a product that I first learned about while on Jam Cruise. Cruisers received them in our gift bags and I have been a fan ever since. Upon entering R&R, laid out across the check-in table was a colorful pile of soap offered to festival goers as a free gift.  The psychedelic wrapper draws the eye immediately and the smell and quality of the product are just as stimulating! I encourage you all to grab a few bars off their website.

Visual stimulation

Visual stimulation performed by Oh My Goddess Entertainment

Music is not the only form of entertainment found at these wonderful festivals.  Those of us who embrace our musical culture know that visual stimulation is just as important as what stimulates our ears.  The lights, the projection screens and the other elements that go into supplementing these musical sets are just as important as the music itself.

For Rock & Roll Resort, Oh My Goddess Entertainment was hired to provide outstanding visual performances through dance to enhance the environment and the stages.  I was able to sit and speak with Michelle Sarah, owner and head choreographer of Oh My Goddess Entertainment, during a brief meal over the weekend.  This kind spirit is also the lead singer of CopperTonic which I will speak of later in this article.

Visual Stimulation!

Visual Stimulation!

Over the weekend, Oh My Goddess Entertainers performed fire dancing outside in the court yard, two aerial silks artists, Kate Brown and Sarah Kaye, performed with Break Science (as seen in the picture above) and…

“…in case that wasn’t enough sexy for the stage, the guys had me bring on my burlesque performer, Donell Wicklund, to do that cabaret style Ohh La La-ness you hopefully didn’t miss 😉  ~ Michelle Sarah “

#14 All The King's Horses

All The King's Horses: Painted live to the New Riders of the Purple Sage at the Rock N Roll Resort on 04/02/11 for the NRPS Brunch by Jonathon "CrazyRedBeard" Blake

Strangers Helping Strangers

Strangers Helping Strangers

Strangers Helping Strangersis a non-profit organization based in Massachusetts and operating throughout the country conducting food drives at concerts and music festivals, and delivering the items collected to a local food bank near the point of collection.  It’s another amazing way of giving back to the communities where these concerts and music festivals take place.

#16 The Theory of Relativity

The Theory of Relativity: Painted live to Kung Fu, Deep Banana Blackout and Break Science at the Rock N Roll Resort on 04/02/11 in Kerhonkson, New York by Jonathon "CrazyRedBeard" Blake

Last Fair Deal glassblowers was on sight as well.  The Last Fair Deal is an artisan vending co-operative. Some of the finest glass artists in New England team up to demonstrate their skills with live glassblowing performances at events over the summer! Setting up shop in the outside courtyard, glass blowing artisans could be seen through the windows as we made our way between the stages.  There was something very cool about this set-up and you were able to purchase things blow only a few hours later once it was dry.  I ended up purchasing numerous pairs of earrings from their booth later in the weekend, greeted warmly and had a fantastic time checking out their intricate pipes and jewelry.

#13 Moving the Elephant

Moving the Elephant: Painted live to Max Creek at the Rock and Roll Resort by Jonathon "CrazyRedBeard" Blake

And finally, I leave you with an excerpt from the Music Marauders Overview. One of the beautiful things about these smaller, regional musical events, is the ability for up and coming musical acts to be recognized, realized and, by music lovers like myself, dissected.  There are a few new acts that need some special recognition.

Caravan of Thieves

Caravan of Thieves

Caravan of Thieves: Fuzz Fuzzman (Deep Banana Blackout), his wife Carrie Sangiovanni and their band mates kicked off the festival Friday afternoon bringing the unique sound of Django Reinhardt to the ears of our community. No one in our scene has even attempted to modernize acoustic gypsy swing, let alone sound so great doing it.  This group is an absolute gem and is delivering this antique sound to our scene with a twist as they cover modern songs amongst their new compositions.

Coppertonic

Coppertonic

Copper Tonic: Looks like we have another female voice to start paying attention to ladies and gentlemen.  For a jamming scene cluttered with male musicians and rough voices, this group of musicians fires on all cylinders and is led by vocalist Michelle Sarah, the owner/head choreographers of Oh My Goddess Entertainment.  Her soulful range drew to mind SusanTedeschi and Grace Potter but her dance moves and connection with the audience made her more accessible.  The guitarist, Andy Mowatt, was on fire and was easily my favorite new guitarist who hooked many over the weekend with his talent.

Jeff Bujak!

Jeff Bujak!

Jeff Bujak: Having first experienced Jeff Bujak at last year’s resort, I have watched him closely over the year and grown more fond of him with every performance.  This classically trained keyboardist/producer/composer has no boundaries for his act and is invested in every aspect of it.  From creating and maintaining his own beats, manipulating multiple contraptions with his hands on top of playing, working the lights and smoke effects with his feet and using every inch of his body to create a one-man full on solid electronic performance, Bujak is someone who is going to go far in our scene and is creating something our scene hasn’t seen before.  He is the kind of artist that people find themselves stopping in their dancing tracks to watch perform.  As my fellow Jam Cruise buddy said “I’ve never been interested in watching someone perform electronica, with this guy, I am entranced”

Nephrox! Allstars: With a wild lead singer named Nephtaliem McCrary at the helm, this vocal heavy Funk band is a real treat.  Comprised of some of Boston’s most well-known musicians, such as Aaron Bellamy on bass and renown legend Jeff Lockhart on guitar, they touch on multiple genres always falling back on James Brown for guidance.  And with Amy Bowells (The Sam Kinninger Band) on keyboards, all is right with the world.

Dixie FUNK!

Dixie FUNK!

Primate Fiasco: I was checking out a handmade beaded purse in the lobby when my ear was caught by what sounded like a New Orleans second line with it’s instruments dipped in Texas.  Psychedelic Dixieland or Dixie Funk.  Which ever way you slice it, this was my favorite new act of the weekend.  The could be seen jumping on and off stages throughout the weekend in second line form with a tuba, clarinet, trumpet, and drums all being led by a banjo! Excellent collection of instruments being played by a very happy group of musicians.

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds

Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds: The only thing about Arleigh Kincheloe that is small is her figure. Her powerful, seductive vocals, backed by an even better band has placed this group in the forefront of soul/funk bands to be recognized.  Housing a powerhouse horn section, rocking harmonica and shredding guitar, The Dirty Birds are a tight Brooklyn-based group that is plowing it’s way through our scene.

Thank you Hudson Valley Resort and Spa as well as A Wicked Cool Productions for taking a broken musical streak and fixing it.  Thank you for listening to your guests and taking the time to support their concerns and helping grow this musical event for us to enjoy.  You will most certainly be seeing this eager music fan again next year!

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