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My 1992 Sony CD Player :)

My 1992 Sony CD Player 🙂

I got my first CD player during Christmas 1995. I was 13. Up until this time, music to me had been limited to whatever I could find on the radio (which I couldn’t rewind), Disney princess movies, other fluffy movie and show soundtracks.

My grandmother had season tickets to Broadway musicals and Classical Series and so I drowned in those, willingly. That music also made up the majority of my tape collection. On the way to school I was able to hear the radio but my mother preferred country against our “harder” choices. We would bond over many of the bands from her time but I still never had what I considered true musical freedom until Christmas 1993 with the arrival of my first CD player.

Mariah Carey's Music Box Album Cover

Mariah Carey's Music Box Album Cover

I see this as a definitive moment in my musical development and the start of a major addiction. I was 15, had allowance and I needed things to spend my money on.  I would eventually join Columbia House, BMG Music (both no longer in existence as CD selling companies)and all the other companies that gave me music on the cheap.  I would scam them using multiple names, ending up with tons of CDs and not enough time to devour them all.  It was the start of my searching; searching for music that filled a hole.

I was given two CDs with my new CD player.  My parents, knowing my love for singing and pop culture, gave me Mariah Carey‘s Music Box.   My Uncle John (unsure of his motivation) gave me Simon and Garfunkel‘s Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water

Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water

Simon & Garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel

I would come to memorize every one of the songs on both CDs within days.  I fell IN LOVE with Simon and Garfunkel while Mariah Carey disappeared in the back of my CD case after a few months and eventually from my memory.

I was immediately turned on emotionally and spiritually by Bridge Over Troubled Waters.  I was 13.  I struggled with anger and teenage angst and this CD connected with me on so many levels. The voices, the lyrics, the music.  A simply stunning CD. More importantly, it opened me up to a time period in music that I had missed…the 70’s. A  few months later, I would find Jerry and the musical hole within me would be filled.

There is so much to say about it but I won’t bore you with my run-on stories.  My point is that my connection with Simon and Garfunkel runs deep.  Paul Simon is sort of my Bob Dylan.  I can hear you all screaming now but it’s true.  He may not win in your books for the highest award of lyrical and/or song construction but in my book, he is #1.

The Auditorium Stravinsky stage, described in full in my Overview of Montreux Jazz Festival Post, was littered with musicians. I noticed an accordion, a xylophone, a piano, three guitars, a percussion section, one bass, two drummers, a piano and keyboard, horns, and a violin (I think).

Paul Simon’s desire to incorporate multiple multi-cultural instruments is a huge selling point for me being someone who likes to see change and diversity in her musicians.  Simon ranks up there with Bela Fleck for going out in to the world to be the hungry learner, the constant musical hunter. I find so much beauty in musicians like that. We need more musicians like that.

Paul Simon @ Montreux Jazz Festival

This would be my first time seeing Paul Simon live.  This was an epic moment  for me. I felt giddy, like a school girl (pun intended) going to see her first musical crush.  I imagined seeing Paul Simon many times in my life but I never thought the first time would be in this amazing auditorium in Switzerland.   I had to cross the world to make it happen and I couldn’t be happier.

The show was in The Auditorium Stravinsky and we were in the #3 box seats instead of #4 from the night previous. I wondered if any stars would surround me again.  Esperanza Spalding and Paul Simon had been my box neighbors just a night earlier as I watched The Miles Davis Tribute.

Tonight’s show would consist of multiples titles off Simon’s latest CD, So Beautiful or So What.   The CD is built around his acoustic guitar and as the title suggests, the songs consist of views on extremes. However, his projections find themselves somewhere in the middle. His songs lie between the worlds of love and indifference, good and evil, hope and heartbreak.  He speaks on everything from Christmas shopping to suicide bombers to Global warming.  It speaks of his nephew, who has been on multiple tours of duty to Iraq to Jay-Z and Jesus.

The Making of So Beautiful, So What

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon was listening to a box set of old American recordings one day. Among the songs, he found a Christmas sermon bearing the voice of Atlanta’s Rev. J.M. Gates, a hugely popular preacher in the 1930s and ’40s. That sermon stayed with Simon, who turned it into a song.

“It really struck me, not only because it was really an unusual way of having a Christmas sermon, because it’s very dark, it’s like a warning,” Simon tells Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, “but also … there was a real rhythmic pulse to it … it sounded so natural. I lived with that for a while, and then I thought, ‘I could write a song called “Getting Ready for Christmas Day,” and find a way of making verses that lead up to the sermon and then follow the sermon.’ “

~ Excerpt from NPR’s interview with Paul Simon (04/12/11)

Setlist:
Boy in the Bubble
Dazzling Blue
Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover
So Beautiful or So What
Slip Sliding Away
Peace like a River
The Obvious Child
Only Living Boy in New York
Learn To Fall
Questions for the Angels
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
Gumboots
Sounds of Silence

Encore:
Kodachrome from 1973
Here Comes the Sun
Still Crazy After All These Years
Call Me Al

Simon started his set with “Boy In The Bubble,” the opening song on his 1986 album Graceland. Simon’s lyrics deal with the complex human consequences of modern technology. Do you recall the Boy In The Bubble from the 1980s?  Ironically, this was a perfect start to a show that would continue on with songs highlighting intense issues.

Dazzling Blue” followed and was the first song performed off Simon’s latest album.  The song has a heavy African vibe; the stage was cast in a blue curtain of light with the majority of light on Simon alone.  Beginning with a talking drum from India, the audience was immediately given access to the love that Simon has for different styles and texture of sound found in various cultures around the globe.

Miles apart, though the miles can’t measure distance
Worlds apart on a rainy afternoon
But the road gets dirty and it offers no resistance
So turn your amp up and play your lonesome tune

Maybe love’s an accident, or destiny is true
But you and I were born beneath a star of dazzling blue

~ Lyrics from “Dazzling Blue”

American rock drumming initiated the beginning to “Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover,” a 1975 hit song from his album Still Crazy After All These Years.  The stage was filled with green light and Simon sang about the song’s mistress and her humorous advice to a husband on ways to end a relationship.

Fun Fact: G. Love covered the song on his album Fixin’ To Die (2011) which he recorded with the folk-rock band The Avett Brothers. ~ Thanks Wikipedia

And then Paul spoke…

“Hello my friends. I am so happy to be here.  This is my fourth or fifth time here.” ~ Paul Simon to his audience

The bluesy title track, “So Beautiful or So What,off Paul Simon’s latest album, began with two wooden bars being clapped together. The song verbalizes a lesson about life being what you make of it.

Bemoaning human frailty:

Ain’t it strange the way we’re ignorant
how we seek out bad advice
How we jigger it and figure it
mistaking value for the price
And play a game with time and love
like a pair of rolling dice.”~ Lyrics from “So Beautiful or So What”

I swear I heard a telephone ringing as part of the chorus. It was totally prevalent but I am not sure it was part of the song.  At the time, it didn’t surprise me but it made me curious. I loved this song, with its full sound and rock sensibilities.  There was a spoon on metal solo, accordion overlay, beaded shakers kept the beat and Paul showed his picking skills. One thing about Paul’s music, the sounds he conjures out of the various worldly instruments he employs in his music is what truly sets each song apart from the next.

Using his mouth in an unusual way to intro the song, Paul Simon chose another oldie, “Slip Sliding Away.” The best way I can describe these mouth sounds would be like when the drawings in the cartoons would take two coconuts to make the sound of a horse walking.  It was gorgeous…until there was an equipment malfunction.  Paul paused, tapping his fingers on his guitar until his other guitarist strapped in.  Flutes and harpsichords were being played but I couldn’t figure out who was playing the beautiful sounds. Simon accompanied the beauty with whistles and the song ended with acoustic scaling and whistling by Simon.

Peace like a River,” the 7th song of his 2nd studio album, highlighted the piano.  Paul’s voice cut right through me.  There is something so calming and soothing about his sound. The softness is romantic yet there is fierceness in his delivery that comes off as pure professionalism and eagerness to be different.

I found an eight minute video of the performance which shows nothing, but you can hear Simon on stage clearly and that is what matters:

Four drumsticks counted off as both drummers began the lead into “The Obvious Child.” This song is defined by it’s Latin-inspired rhythms and is off The Rhythm and Saints album released in 1990.  Reminiscent of a Big Band feel, we started moving in our seats.  Paul Simon knows what I like, he truly does.  Bright red lights blew up the stage as Josh was so moved he got up to dance.

Did Paul know his favorite fans were in the audience from NYC? Did he know that the NYCers who were there loved this next song? Perhaps not! But I like to think he did as he broke into “The Only Living Boy in New York.” This song touched me deeply as it was the only song sung off  Simon and Garfunkel’s 1970 release, Bridge Over Troubled Water, one of the greatest albums to ever grace this planet.

The irony was not lost on me that on the album it is Art Garfunkel who sings the song while Simon takes a secondary position in the delivery. Not this time.  Not tonight.

Bridge Over Troubled Water fun facts:

  • Fifth and final studio album by Simon & Garfunkel
  • Reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 28, 1970
  • Won 1971 Grammy Award for Album of the Year
  • Won 1971 Grammy award for Best Engineered Recording
  • Title track won the 1971 Grammy Award for Record of the Year
  • Title track won the 1971 Grammy Award for Song of the Year
  • Won Best International Album at the first Brit Awards in 1977
  • #51 on The Rollings Stones ‘Greatest Album of all Time’ List

The tears trickled down my cheeks freely now. It had only been a matter of time before I knew this would happen and I did think it was going to happen sooner then it did.  It took eight songs to rip into my heartstrings.  I was immediately transported back to being 12 and hearing his voice for the first time and I prayed that he would sing more songs from this album but it never happened.

Learn How To Fall” was full of horns and fierceness. It was jubilant yet with a serious message of needing to “Learn How to Fall” before you can “Learn How to Fly.”

Then perhaps my favorite song of the performance was next, a song I had never heard before. A song off the new album called “Questions for the Angels.”

On “Questions For The Angels,” a middle-aged man strolls across the Brooklyn Bridge searching for heavenly help, only to be confronted with a Jay-Z billboard for a reply.

A pilgrim on a pilgrimage
Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge
His sneakers torn
In the hour when the homeless move their cardboard blankets
And the new day is born….

…..Downtown Brooklyn
The pilgrim is passing a billboard
That catches his eye
It’s Jay-Z
He’s got a kid on each knee
He’s wearing clothes that he wants us to try

~ Lyrics from Questions for Angels

Can I just give props to Paul Simon for picking on Jay-Z?  I don’t want to condone any negative tension but I find it hilarious, although not surprising,  that Paul Simon chose these lyrics. It makes me recall the feud between NAS (who I am seeing tonight with Damien Marley) and Jay-Z.  Would this bring Jay-Z down on Simon? Will there be retaliation through lyrics? Can you imagine that going down? Now, that is some musical drama that I would be interested in seeing take place…just saying.

Speaking on religious material making it’s way into the album:

“It’s not so much that it pops out in a larger way … it’s more frequent. I really had no plan to do that,” Simon says. “They begin as stories, and where they go is just a path I follow. Sometimes spiritual or religious imagery will be part of the story. It’s seldom the point of the story, but it’s a presence that lingers.”

~ Excerpt from NPR’s interview with Paul Simon (04/12/11)

It was back to the old school, this time with songs from Simon’s most famous album, Graceland. At this point I just couldn’t take notes anymore. I had to dance this out.  Other members of the audience felt the same way as they were lifted out of their seats during the dueling drummers solos during “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes.”  The song is a pure classic about a short relationship Paul Simon had with a diamond mine owner’s daughter, while recording in South Africa. She was very rich and privileged, yet she acted very down to earth, like a poor girl. The drummers were amazing playing off each other and I longed for a concert of just drummers.  Can you imagine? I can.

The Lady Smith Black Mombazo inspired song “Gumboots” kept the dance party going.  This song reminded me String Cheese meeting Bela Fleck.   There was picking on the guitars and a violin entered the mix.  The piano player got up and played the inside of his piano. There was such a wonderful mixture of sound and it kept us all on our feet.  It’s a beautiful song inspired by The Gumboot Dance which is an African dance that is performed by dancers wearing Wellington boots. In South Africa these boots are more commonly called gumboots.

The rest of the band joined the stage for “Kodachrome from 1973”   This song left the hall so full of sound. Great sound. My friends and I were all up dancing in our box. There was no calming us down.

There you have it 🙂 The end of the set. Exiting the stage to monstrous applause, the entire band left. The entire audience began clapping in unison without letting up.  Shortly after, Paul came out alone on his acoustic guitar.

!!!!!!!!!!ENCORE!!!!!!!!!!

When the notes trickled from the stage and the audience heard “Sounds of Silence,” the Auditorium went silent.  You could hear a pin drop. “Hello darkness my old friend”…and with that, the tears flowed freely again.

This was definitely the most intimate song of the night.  It tore at the heart strings, it made people smile, scream and feel something inside of them stir.  Paul’s music does that to you.  It’s such a classic song that everyone on the planet knows and is touched by it.

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

~ Lyrics from “Sounds of Silence”

Then the audience joined in by humming the lyrics. A single man and his guitar was standing alone on one of the world’s most famous stages and had the entire placed entranced. It was magic.  It was awesome. It was music at its simplest. Music at its best.

Here Comes The Sun” was the second choice with accordions and two guitars with Simon backing the melody.  And with that, the stage emptied again.

The following video has “Sounds of Silence” into “Here Come The Sun.” Enjoy!

!!!!!!!!!! ENCORE #2 !!!!!!!!!!

Everyone walked off stage and for a few minutes the audience just chanted in unison. Paul Simon came out yet again for a second encore. There was no end in sight and that was awesome.

I took out Josh’s Iphone and video taped “Crazy Love” in it’s entirety with GREAT quality.  Enjoy!

“Still Crazy After All These Years” was next. Paul didn’t have an instrument for these songs. Just his voice.

“We’re living in a certain time, and we’re aware of it. And that’s part of what we’re aware of, along with our own personal aches and pains,” Simon says. “The dialogue between what’s going on in the world and what’s going on internally seems to be a natural thing — well, it’s natural to me, anyway, to have these thoughts.” ~ Excerpt from NPR’s interview with Paul Simon (04/12/11)

Call Me Al” ended the set.  Everyone was finally up dancing now. Dancing down below me and clapping. The flute player moved to the  keys. There was a major bass rage. Only a few seconds but so funky! You know the bass line I’m speaking of??

“One of my favorite poets is Philip Larkin,” Simon says. “Philip Larkin didn’t write for several years before his life ended. And when he was asked why he didn’t write, he said the muse deserted him. It sort of scared me. That’s why I think I have no right to assume that some thought is going to come. … But I think, in my imagination, if it is it, there will probably be something else I’m interested in.”

At 70 years old, Paul Simon shows no signs of slowing down.  He is a master of his art, with a soft, intelligent voice, that attains an unmatchable sense of melancholy and tenderness. Regarding his latest cd, anyone who can take a sermon and build an entirely new outlook on life through it by music is stellar.  I was moved  and inspired by this show and I hope that this article touches you in some way that makes you go out and purchase the new album or perhaps invest in seeing him live. Simply Phenomenal.

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www.gatheringofthevibes.com

Thanks Jerry!

Thanks Jerry!

I must immediately say THANK YOU GATHERING OF THE VIBES!!!  WHAT A GREAT, WONDERFUL, CLEAN, HAPPY MUSIC FESTIVAL!!!!  I don’t even know where to begin this weekend.  So much happened!

My lil VibeTribe

My lil VibeTribe

It was a weekend of firsts for sure!  I would be camping for the first time this year and we were taking the train with all our gear from Manhattan.  HAHA!! I was stoked to see how we would make that happen.  I was co-chaperoning a 15 year old rager this weekend so now I was responsible for another life other then my own for the first time.  This was my first time with a VIP ticket and being able to utilize VIP amenities at a festival.  First time seeing numerous bands like Primus and The Rhythm Devils…and so much more.

This was, however, my SECOND Gathering of the Vibes. My first one was a little bit of a train wreck.  This go-round, it was heaven on earth and down as one of my top five festival experiences.

The people who we spend these magical weekends with are called our Tribe and effect our experiences considerably.  I got off work around 5pm Thursday afternoon and immediately met up with my mini-Vibe Tribe at the 125th street Metro Station to catch the train to Seaside Park, Bridgeport, Ct..

The Lead Heads w/ Issac on the right :)

The Lead Heads w/ Issac on the right!

Let me tell you a little something about our teenage charge for the weekend.  Issac Slone.  One of the most smart, well-mannered, self-aware, gorgeous young human beings you will ever meet.  From a musical standpoint, he is the bass player for The Lead Heads, the Nation’s only teen-age Grateful  Dead cover band.  And they are no joke.  Issac also writes his own blog and I will be sure to post his GOTV  entries once they are posted……

(Check out The Lead Heads show this weekend @ B.B. Kings on Sunday, August 8, 2010 ~ JERRY GARCIA MEMORIAL TRIBUTE SHOW Featuring: REFLECTIONS – Celebrating and Jamming the music of the Grateful Dead  and  Jerry Garcia)

Ready for Full rage!

Ready for Full rage!

I would be chaperoning our little rager with my favorite person on  earth, Jay.  The dear man had carted all the gear to the station by  himself.  God Bless him.  I smiled as I saw Issac’s mother had come to see him off .  I immediately felt an immense warmth and sense of maternal instinct kick in.  I was not one to babysit when I was a kid, never one to seek children out.  I was always the person who said they would adopt or just not have children.

Wook stop!

Wook stop!

Recently, in the past year that has all changed.  This was going to create an entirely different festival going experience for me.  I was looking forward to finding that balance between raging and responsibility.  I knew I would take the best care of her precious treasure.  I would kill for that kid. And at the end of the day, Issac is possibly more mature and grown up at 15 then some of my friends in their 40’s.  He’s simply a pure ray of wholesome sunshine.

Shuttle to Vibes

Shuttle to Vibes

With two tents, bedding, bags and chairs, we did remarkable lugging the gear around.  It’s also nice Jay is 6’2 and strong.  Upon arriving in Bridgeport, we joined some wooks who were waiting for the shuttle bus and as we boarded it, we all got giddy.  Everyone was fully charged.  Issac’s excitement only fueled my own.   I spent the 10 minute shuttle ride thinking back on my first music festival and how excited I was.

The Festival Grounds @ Seaside Park, Bridgeport, Ct.

The Festival Grounds @ Seaside Park, Bridgeport, Ct. (Similar Set up this year)

Welcome To VIBES!

Welcome To VIBES!

The festival was held on the University of Bridgeport‘s campus grounds.  It was lovely but terribly run down with dilapidated buildings and trash that the earth had eaten over time of neglect.  From the drop off point, we took a fun little ride on a golf cart through the camp grounds and past the stage to the VIP check-in.  You can hear New Rider’s of the Purple Sage playing in the background as we pass the stage in the video below.

Pretty Lamanant!

Pretty Lamanant!

VIP.  Another first for me and absolutely worth every  penny.  One barely needs to spend a penny outside the ticket price.   I  will go into the amenities as they arise along our path but in the mean  time The Vibes 2010 VIP Pass  Includes:

•VIP Entrance
• VIP Camping Area conveniently located near the concert field
• Admittance to the park on Thursday, July 29th at no extra charge
• Hospitality Tent with plenty of room to spread out, relax and chill
• Your choice of water, soda, juices and snacks throughout the weekend
• Catered lunch on Friday and Saturday, with brunch served on Sunday
• VIP bathroom facilities and showers
• Commemorative 15th Annual Gathering of the Vibes Laminate
• Gathering of the Vibes 2010 Event Poster
• Gathering of the Vibes 2010 Event T-Shirt

VIP Check-in

VIP Check-in

Settin' up camp...

Settin' up camp...

First thing we did was establish our camp.  I am a Virginian tomboy who spent her summer youth in the mountains camping, spelunking, climbing, and hiking among other things.  Then I moved to The Blue Ridge Mountains for college for 6 years.   I may be a spoiled city girl now but I know how to get dirty, boi!!  So, here I was with two New Yorkers from the Upper West/East who live in door man buildings and have relied on a superintendent when things needed fixing.  Needless to say, it was amusing to say the least.  Inside my head, I was dying hysterical.  It was at this point we made friends with all our neighbors as many got involved when our “Hit-a-button-and-it’s-magically-a-tent” tent didn’t work.  Whole damn thing was smack-you-in-the-head fantastic.  I will just hope that Issac writes about his experience putting up the  tents in his blog and you can read it there! It was hilarious and fun and in the end  we all helped to get the two tents up in time for Dark Star Orchestra (DSO)  to begin.

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

DARK STAR ORCHESTRA

Rob Barraco- keyboards, vocals
Rob Eaton – rhythm guitar, vocals
Dino  English – drums, percussion
Rob Koritz – drums, percussion
Lisa  Mackey – vocals
Jeff Mattson – lead guitar, vocals
Kevin Rosen –  bass, vocals

Oh man, Oh man!!  Right off the bat the music started with a fury.  I have skipped over seeing DSO at every festival this year and I got smacked dead in the face by them tonight.  They were on fire.

Celebrating Jerry Garcia’s Birthday week, I actually didn’t want to see anything but Dark Star at that moment.  This week was all about Jerry and his music, his legacy.  The thing I love about Dark Star, aside from my personal favorite Fake Jerry: Jeff Mattson, is how they present their shows.  Picking a Grateful Dead show from their many decades of touring, DSO recreates the show song for song.  They bring their own vibe, interpretation and sound to the sets and it’s truly the greatest cover band of all time IMO.

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

We made it to the field while Candyman was playing.  Issac was hungry so we grubbed down some fries and pancakes.  Dinner of festival champions.  And the fries were miracled, haha.  After the food, we made our way over to the Karma Wash to establish our base-camp for the rest of the weekend.  The Karma Wash crew were our close friends and this was always our spot to meet between sets with whoever wanted to find us.  Having Issac this weekend made this an even more crucial location then normal.

Full Moon 4 DSO!

Full Moon 4 DSO!

A really special thing happened during this set, during this time of setting up at the Karma Wash.  First, a little back story….

During Mountain Jam, a lost soul had made his way to the Karma Wash and had been touched in a positive way through the entire vibe of the set up.  He thought I was the one who “washed him” and finding me through facebook, we became friends.  Over time I noticed that his status’s were dark, deeply sad and made me straight up nervous for his safety.  Not really knowing him or what he was going through, I reached out to him anyway.

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

We began communication and over time I learned that he was suicidal, hurt, lonely, broken…all for the same reasons I had been in 2009.  I knew all too well how he felt and I just hoped he would see light.  Through our communications, I shared things with him I wouldn’t share with anyone and he thanked me for helping him see hope when even those closest to him were not able to reach him.  We casually spoke about meeting up at Gathering of the Vibes but I didn’t know if I would really see him.  And, so now, here we were.

Walking right up to the Karma Wash, I sw a few familiar faces and hugged it out and right off the bat, this person turns around and there was his face.  Smiling SO bright.  I wanted to cry but I kept it together.  I was so happy to see him standing there…SMILING!!!  There were no words, we just walked directly into each other’s arms and hugged for a long time.  It was awkward and wonderful at the same time.  How does one react in these moments?  This entire fantasy world was surrounding me and here was this super intense, real moment…at least for me.  There are no words for these kinds of moments.  Later, he would tell me that “Your hug released my soul.”  What a way to start off a weekend fueled by the power of music and kindness.  You can’t make this stuff up…nor can you do it justice in words…not when emotion is such a huge player in the equation.

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

DSO really got the festival started off right.  The dance party was bouncing and I knew it would seamlessly roll right into Big Sam’s arms, ready to RAGE late night…

Set One:   Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo > Franklin’s Tower > New  Minglewood Blues, Candyman,Me And My Uncle > Mexicali Blues,  Althea, Man Smart (Woman Smarter, Ramble On Rose, Let It Grow >  Deal

Set Two: Shakedown Street > Samson And Delilah, Never Trust A Woman, Estimated Prophet > He’s Gone > Drums > Space > Throwing  Stones > Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad > The Wheel > The  Other One > Wharf Rat > Good Lovin’

Encore: Don’t Ease Me In

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

Big Sam’s Funky Nation

Danny Abel – Guitar
Eric Vogel – Bass
Drummer Boy Milk  Williams – Drums
Da Phessah Drew Baham – Vocal/Trumpet

BSFN @ GOTV 2010

BSFN @ GOTV 2010

Big Sam…The King of the Party!  This performance was our underlying reason to coming to Vibes Thursday night instead of Friday.  I had told Jay about BSFN a while ago and prepared him for total late night domination by way of some contemporary, funky-ass, bass-filled, horn rage. Having seen Big Sam earlier in the year, I expected the same assortment of choices in set list and was eagerly awaiting to break my legs dancing.

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

Milk Williams @ GOTV 2010

Milk Williams @ GOTV 2010

Formerly the trombonist for the  Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Big Sam Williams, put on an indisputably raging dance party and I dare anyone to tell me they didn’t move during this performance.   This New Orleans-based group is modern funk at it’s best combining today’s popular pop songs with an MC attitude and some nasty NOLA swagger.  If you need more reason to go see them, in 2009, BSFN was awarded Best Funk Group  at the Big Easy Music Awards.  Look! An award…ohhh…ahhhh.  Just go see them.

Danny Abel is one HELL of a guitar player, bringing a sense of rock to the group, shredding his guitar in between Big Sam and Baham‘s horn heavy funk plays.  And Eric Vogel on bass is sharp and bumpy, standing out on his own throughout many of the songs during his solos.  A few songs in particular had me transfixed on him completely.  At times, the horns would leave the stage and allow the other three to jam out.  Drummer Boy Milk  Williams raging a vibrant drum solo, flanked by the guitars.

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

During the encore, Big Sam reiterated the importance of “family” and then he open the flood gates:

“Normally, we just want the ladies up here.  But tonight…it’s family, right?  We are family!  So, let’s have the guys up here too.  Bring it up here.”

Bum rushin' the stage...

Bum rushin' the stage...

I was probably the first girl on stage as I was directly up front on the railing for the show anyway.  But by the time I even turned around it was full of dudes.  Now, where some women are still crazy scrambling fanatics to get to the stage, knocking people over, they are still dainty right?  Most times? Try telling a group of male ragers they should join the stage? When I turned around, after being helped on stage by security…it was as if a heard of spider monkeys were coming at me.  By the time they cut off the surge, it was almost all men.

We raged the stage for the entire song.  After the song I got off the stage and most people stayed on.  I was now alone in the pit and danced around in circles until the end of the performance in front of the stage in my own little world.

Peace out Vibes...

Peace out Vibes...

(Check  out Big Sam’s Funky Nation show this weekend on the Rocks Off Cruise Series this Wednesday, August 11,  2010)

We concluded the evening/early morning by hitting up the Casbah, a dope set up our friends had in Family camping.  I immediately collapsed down on the mats in the middle of a group of my friends.   The cuddle puddle had commenced and I was utterly raged.  You wanna know how hard tonight raged???   I passed out before almost all my friends.  That NEVER EVER happens.

Move on to Day II: Gathering of the Vibes: Friday (07.30.10)

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