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Posts Tagged ‘Oasis’

The Funky Meters (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

The Funky Meters (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Three Nights of The Funky Meters @ The Brooklyn Bowl (01.15-17.11)

This was an event!  In the same spirit as Phanatics travel to Coventry for three nights of Phish, died hard Meters fans traveled far and wide to witness The Funky Meters magic occur over a span of three nights at the beloved Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY.

For having never been to New York, I have never felt more at home in a brand new place. I can’t help but compare the room to the Rock N Bowl in New Orleans, a similar venue with a bowling alley and large stage for music, but this room has a great layout. A bar in the back, with a large dance floor area, the stage straight ahead. And to the side, a few steps up, rows of bowling lanes, with a walkway in front, providing a side stage vantage that lets one really feel like part of the performance. Everywhere you stand, there is a great vantage point of the stage, the lighting is good and the sound quality anywhere in the room was great too. ~ NOLA resident, Ananda Atmore

George Porter Jr. (Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

George Porter Jr. (Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

Back in 1967, Art “Poppa Funk” Neville collected a funky gang of New Orleans musicians who would come to be known as The Meters, .  George Porter Jr. played bass, Art “Poppa Funk” Neville played keys, Joseph (Zigaboo) Modeliste on drums and Leo Nocentelli on guitar! In 1977, they called it quits, leaving behind a musical legacy cementing them as Funk pioneers.

Russel Batiste (Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

Once the group disbanded, Art “Poppa Funk” Neville joined with his brothers performing as The Neville Brothers while George Porter Jr. founded PBS, or Porter, Batiste and Stolz.  Since The Neville Brothers were not touring this season, Art Neville was openly available to hit the road with The Funky Meters, who are the members of PBS with the addition of Art “Poppa Funk” Neville.

Art “Poppa Funk” Neville – Keys
George Porter, Jr. – Bass
Brian Stoltz – Guitar
Russell Batiste, Jr. – Drums

Brian Stolz (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

Brian Stoltz (Photo by Dino Perrucci)

It had been three years since The Funky Meters last played together. When Brian Stoltz isn’t wowing the audience with his shredding guitar style with The Funky Meters, Ian Neville holds the guitar spot. Essentially, in the middle of all these Meters heads were PBS fans and EVERYONE was a George Porter Jr. fan! But, honestly, who doesn’t love George Porter Jr.?  Go check my facebook info under “religion”, you’ll find George Porter Jr.‘s name stands alone!

(Photo by Dino Perrucci)

(Photo by Dino Perrucci)

The Funky Meters (02.15.11)

Art “Poppa Funk” Neville – Keys
George Porter, Jr. – Bass
Brian Stoltz – Guitar
Russell Batiste, Jr. – Drums

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

I was lucky enough to have the wonderful New Orleans photographer Jeffrey Dupuis (Jeffrey Dupuis Photography) as a house guest for the three night run.  We arrived in Brooklyn just in time to grab something to eat some scrumptious $3.50 falafel sandwiches at Oasis, one of my favorite spots to hit before heading to The Brooklyn Bowl.

The turn out for a Tuesday night was exactly what we thought it would be. The venue was no where near sold out but the place was full of people who knew what was going to take place on stage that night. And what a great warm-up performance it was.

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

As they took the stage, each member had a blazing smile on their face and the audience was wild with applause. George Porter Jr. notices a couple in the audience wearing a “George Matters” tie-dyed tee shirt, the same shirt they had personally created and gifted to him many moons ago.  “I recognize that shirt,” he states as he starts the first jam, which was so unbelievably funky.

The following four songs were from The Meters catalog.  “The World” brought the funk full throttle as Brian Stoltz reminded me how much I had missed seeing him perform.  He is truly superb with his rock-driven funk guitar styling. “Fire on The Bayou” and “Change/Reform”  had the entire audience singing as they were the most recognizable Meters songs performed that night.  Porter growled deeply into the microphone as they pounded out a wonderful “Here Comes the Jungle Man” that book-ended a “They Don’t Know” tease.

The noticeable covers of the night were Lee Dorsey‘s “Get Out of My Life, Woman”, Professor Longhair‘s “Going to Mardi Gras” and Tom Waits‘s “Way Down in the Hole”. Porter and Russell Batiste, Jr. both pulled out solos that earned their own spot in the set list! Art showed his age but with a smile on his face, he played through with energy and had a few golden moments himself.

Best reason to do three nights: Rare Songs ~ NOLA Photographer Jeffrey Dupuis

In the end, we were given almost two hours of pure Funky Meters gold and we all walked out of The Brooklyn Bowl terribly excited and putting together our wish list for tomorrow night’s set list!

Set List – Night I
A Jam*
The World Is A Little Under The Weather >
Chicken Strut >
…Fire On The Bayou >
Cardova >
Get Out Of My Life Woman >
Here Come’s The Jungle Man >
They Don’t Know (tease) >
Here Come’s The Jungle Man >
Change/Reform >
Hang ‘Em High >
Africa >
Going To Mardi Gras >
Cabbage Alley >
Going To Mardi Gras >
Porter’s bass solo >
Way Down in The Hole >
Russel Drum Clinic>
Just Kissed My Baby
Porter’s bass solo >
Just Kissed My Baby >
It Ain’t No Use

* Art sings Billy Jean (Michael Jackson)

(Photo by Dino Perrucci)

(Photo by Dino Perrucci)

The Funky Meters (02.16.11)

Art “Poppa Funk” Neville – Keys
George Porter, Jr. – Bass
Brian Stoltz – Guitar
Russell Batiste, Jr. – Drums

Special Guests:
Nigel Hall– Vocals/Keys
Eric Krasno – Guitar
Adam Deitch – Drums

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

The second night had more of a turn out.  People had heard the buzz about the previous night and the venue was now 60-70% full.  My girlfriend, Ananda, was flying in from NOLA directly to the show.  As she flew towards us to the airport, my NYC crew and I hightailed it from Rockwood Music Hall after watching Nigel Hall Band perform on their quaint stage.  We all had our rage faces on as there would also be a third show we would be hitting after The Funky Meters.  As well, we had the knowledge of knowing that the Nigel Hall Band would be joining The Funky Meters on stage later that night. The excitement was never ending.

I had flown in straight from New Orleans, made my way through the crowd of smiling faces. Instant reunion with Jam Cruisers, NOLA to NY music lovers and friends old and new. It was my turn to come to their town. Love was everywhere, and the hugs and smiles were abundant, on stage and off. ~ NOLA Resident, Ananda Atmore

Porter was wearing yet another form of tie-dye shirt and Batiste was in another sports jersey, this time white.  The boys don’t stray too much from their signature styles.  Just like their first night, they started off with songs from The Meters catalog with favorites like “Here Come The Meter Man” and “Look-Ka Py Py.”

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

The covers of the evening were Roger Miller‘s “Chug-A-Lug,” Professor Longhair‘s “Tipitinas” and “Big Chief.”  The encore gave us “Higher” and “Sing A Simple Song,” both  Sly and The Family Stone covers while “Them Changes” was a Buddy Miles tune made popular by Jimi Hendrix and Band of Gypsies. “Peace Pipe” has me a bit confused. A friend suggested it might be a Mardi Gras Indian song.

“Love Slip Up on Ya” is a song specific to The Funky Meters catalog and Brian Stoltz once again blasted us with his masterful guitar. “Ride Me Dunky,” also a Funky Meters tune, saw Porter giving us his deep bass lines.

Stepping off stage for only a few moments, the fellas came on stage to perform “Be My Lady.”  However, as amazing as they were alone, The Funky Meters show blasted out of  control when the Nigel Hall Band took the stage for the remainder of the three-part encore.  Nigel grabbed the microphone, Adam Deitch sat in on drums and Eric Krasno played a second guitar for Sly Stone’s “Sing A Simple Song” and “Higher.”

I heard the first few notes of a familiar song, and thought “could it be?”. Are they really going to play it? YES! It was “Be my Lady”! This is an old Meters song that I haven’t heard performed in several years now, and a long time favorite of mine. This was my golden musical moment, and hearing them perform this song made the whole trip worth it in one moment. ~ NOLA Resident Ananda Atmore

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

The energy on stage was palpable. Watching Eric Krasno play across from Brian Stoltz was magnificent.  Two of my favorite guitarists having so much fun with each other on stage. Russell Batiste, Jr. banging on a cowbell, dancing all over the stage as he helped knock the energy up to another level. Art “Poppa Funk” Neville needed key changes shouted out a few times and then he left Nigel Hall to take over as he walked away for a breather and took the time to dance around to the music.

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

The Royal Family remained on the stage with the The Funky Meters to close out the show! And what a show this was.  The second night had been pure fire!! It was off to the third show of the night: DJ Nutritious‘s Bembe rage with Nigel Hall and Stephen Chopek.

Download Link To The Funky Meters @ The Brooklyn Bowl (02.16.11)

Set list – Night II
Here Comes The Meter Man >
Look-Ka Py Py >
Too Funky >
Bass intro Too >
Chug A Lug
Love Slip Up On Ya
Keep on Marching (Funky Soldier)
That Ain’t The Way to Carry On
Funkify Your Life
My Baby
Tipitina’
Hoo Chie Coo
Ride Me Dunky/Soul Island
Message From The Meters
People Say
Bass Intro too >
Big Chief>
Peace Pipe

Encore
Be My Lady
Sing A Simple Song*
Higher*
Them Changes*
Cissy Strut – tease*

*w/guest Nigel Hall, Eric Krasno & Adam Deitch

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

The Funky Meters (02.17.11)

Art “Poppa Funk” Neville – Keys
George Porter, Jr. – Bass
Brian Stoltz – Guitar
Russell Batiste, Jr. – Drums

Special Guests:
Eric Krasno – Guitar
?uestlove – Drums
Nikie Glaspie – Drums

(Photo by Alison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Here we were, the third night of The Funky Meters.  The house was packed and this time, I was going to rage front row, right under George Porter, Jr.. I had taken myself from the front of the stage the previous nights to write on the elevated side of The Brooklyn Bowl because I knew I would dance away from my responsibility of writing if I was up front. Again, he is my religion after all.

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

As I walked around the venue throughout the show, I ran into musicians like Nikie Glaspie who was utilizing a bowling with her friends.  Henry Butler was standing amongst the crowd with a huge smile on his face.  Joe Russo and Eric Krasno were watching from backstage while the owner himself, Pete Shapiro, positioned himself atop a speaker right on the side stage sucking the entire thing in with a beaming persona.

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

It started off the same as the nights previous.  Batiste was wearing another green jersey, Porter was in yet another tie-die, Stoltz was in a button up with a few hipped out accessories. I forgot to mention his Kenny Rogers look he’s raging this tour.  He pulls it off nicely! The tapers were out in full force.  Sadly, even though I saw tapers each night, the third night was the only recording that could be found. Enjoy!

Download Link To The Funky Meters @ The Brooklyn Bowl (02.17.11)

The funky foursome brought the heat immediately after a funky, funky warm-up jam got the night started right.  Porter had his feet firmly planted into the ground as he put the bass in our face front row.

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

The night was full of amazing, jamming covers.  We got “Rainy Day Women” by Bob Dylan, “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton and “Love the One Your With” by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

(Photo by Alison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

There was a KILLER Rock-a-billy vibe during “Big Boss Man”, a Luther Dixon song made famous by Jimmy Reed.  They ran through “Simple Song” again, the Sly cover from the previous night.  The crowd was on fire, singing along to everything, filling in the lyrics when Art couldn’t remember them as they barely got through The Allman Brothers‘ “Midnight Rider” where Stoltz saved the day with a ripping guitar solo.

We had a few repeats with “Funkify Your Life”, “Hoochie Coo”, “Fiyo On The Bayo”, “Junko Partner” and “Cabbage Alley” among others. All audience favorites that we didn’t mind hearing over and over again.  “Aiko Aiko,” a James Crawford song made famous by the one and only Dr. John had the place erupting with dancing feet.


(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

The entire night was so high energy and the event was capping off such a full week of funky New Orleans Love, it was just outstanding. Towards the end of the night, Eric Krasno, Nikie Glaspie and ?uestlove joined the stage for a percussion driven rage. Batiste, Glaspie and ?uestlove took turns beating the drums, the cowbell and just about anything else they could find to hit within their reach.  Krasno was back on guitar facing off across Stoltz.

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

The encore saw Krasno leave the stage and then jump back on as they weren’t done with him yet. The wicked funky “Keep on Stretching Your Rubber Band” and “Audubon Zoo”, originally titled “All Asked For You” and changed by their manager, closed the three night run.

The 3rd night didn’t disappoint either. The set list speaks for itself really. They played again Sing a Simple Song, which had me on the front row jumping and smiling even more enthusiastically than before. And the encore of Keep on Stretching your rubber band. Pure Funky Meters magic. ~ NOLA Resident Ananda Atmore

The Funk Meter was off the charts this last night.  Even though watching The Funky Meters is similar to watching Furthur, in the respect that they aren’t spring chickens anymore, they brought the FIYO to the Brooklyn Bowl the past three nights.

(Photo by Alison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

I watched as all the men got up, gathered in the center of the stage and bowed before us.  Porter walked to the front of the stage and I got a smile and handshake from him as he continued down the line of people in the front row shaking hands and thanking the audience for coming. I might never wash this hand.

Alison Murphy caught Porter shaking my hand! (Photo by Alison Murphy)

Allison Murphy caught Porter shaking my hand! (Photo by Alison Murphy)

The final part of this musical adventure placed me upstairs in the backstage area, shaking hands, hugging and taking pictures with George Porter Jr.  It was a trio of nights that I will NEVER forget. I hope you enjoy(ed) the shows!!

Setlist: Night III
Jam >
Funky Miracle >
Funkify Your Life >
Rainy Day Women >
9 to 5
Hey Pocky Way >Cissy Strutt >
Love the one you’re with >
Hoochie Coo
He Bite Me (the Dragon) >
Voodoo Child* >
Fiyo on the Bayou >
Big Boss Man >
Aiko Aiko ^ >
Junko Partner >Midnight Rider >
Simple Song #  >
Cabbage Alley >
Baby What you want me to do >
Hey Pocky Way

Encore
(Keep on Stretching) your Rubber Band
Audubon Zoo (All asked for you)
* w/ Billy Jean (Michael Jackson) tease
^ w/ She’ll be coming round the mountain
# w/ Krasno, ?uestlove, Nikki Galaspie
(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

Me and my Religion :) GPJR!!  (Photo by Ananda)

Me and my religion 🙂 GPJR!! (Photo by Ananda)

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BATTLE OF THE JAMBANDS:

My Band Can Beat Up Your Band!

By: Brett B.

Brad Pitt in Fight Club

Brad Pitt in Fight Club

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

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

A raged Jason Stollsteimer...ouch!

A raged Jason Stollsteimer...ouch!

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

Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic

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

Gov't Mule

Gov't Mule

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

John Popper RAGE!

John Popper RAGE!

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

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

The Black Crowes

The Black Crowes

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

Patterson Hood of The Drive By Truckers

Patterson Hood of The Drive By Truckers

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

Grace Potter

Grace Potter

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

Alejandro Escovedo

Alejandro Escovedo

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

Karl Denson ~ Badest Cat Around

Karl Denson ~ Badest Cat Around

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

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

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Front of a great shirt!

Front of a great shirt!

…….continued from Night  1 of Karl Denson @ The Brooklyn Bowl (04.23.10)

Before I knew it, my head had hit the pillow in my bed the night before and just like that, my feet were back to hitting the pavement to the Brooklyn Bowl.  The NY Funk Live group was gathering tonight to make sure the dance floor was packed and the energy was high.  Such a genuinely good group of people.  I encourage all funk friendly followers to look into the group and see if it’s for you.  A fellow funksters shirt caught my eye and made me giggle. I hope you get a kick out of it also.

Back of a great shirt!

Back of a great shirt!

It was the second night of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at the Brooklyn Bowl.  I was arriving a bit early to meet my buddy who was going to introduce me to just the best damn falafel I have ever eaten.  The place is called Oasis and it is right at the L train Bedford stop, first stop into Brooklyn from Manhattan.  Oh my goodness, it was just so good! Not oily, the extras: the red cabbage, the pickles, the hot sauce, were all so different yet all worked so well together.  SICK! And it was $3.50.  No lie, it is now what I plan on eating every time I head to the Brooklyn Bowl now. Yup! Yup! Light yet filling and $3.50…Word!

John Staten @ The Brooklyn Bowl

John Staten @ The Brooklyn Bowl

We arrived again before 9pm and there is only a slight line at the ID check this time. Once inside, it’s right to the front, makin’ my way to my regular spot to lay down my things.  A few buddies are already marking their territories at the front of the stage.  After chatting with them, I turn around to get my little notebook out and there is a NYC condom laying on my purse.  I look to the guys elevated above me in the bowling section and they just smile with their smirky grins and raise their glasses.  Seriously?  Looks like someone else was marking his territory.  I place the love token in my purse and turned around to the men in the joint that had some class…my friends 🙂

Karl Denson @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Karl Denson @ The Brooklyn Bowl

I was not on point for this show.  Because I was so focused during the first show, I felt like I wanted to just melt my face off and dance tonight.  This review won’t be nearly as long as Night I.  I seemed to focus more on taking pictures then notes.  Karl and his Universe took the stage around 9:45pm this time.  Hell of a lot earlier then the previous night of an hour later.  Right into a full out saxophone rage from Karl Denson.  I am not sure if they really played The Bridge or not.  I don’t recall that song being played but the set list says otherwise…  Either way, the first song was a HUGE rage fest and a great way to open.  EVERYONE was focused, attentive and dancing.  The stage was set up as follows, from left to right:

David Veith (keyboards)

Chris Littlefield (trumpet)

John Staten (drums)

Karl Denson (saxophone/flute)

Chris Stillwell (bass)

Brian Jordan (guitar)

Chris Littlefield & David Veith @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Chris Littlefield & David Veith @ The Brooklyn Bowl

The first song I recall is Kool Is Back.  I love this song.  The horn bring you right in with a catchy tune.  Karl picked up the tambourine and everything got really funky.  Brian gave us a guitar solo created off of his rift that is the background of the song.    The banging of the cowbell, John Staten just ripping apart the drums.  He was always inserting extra smack downs in the lulls of the other instruments which I appreciate.    This song reminded me of a 60’s game show for some reason.  Again, I think that if each of these artists had a band of their own, I would go see them all.  This song is so full of yummy jazz flute I can’t stand it.  FAST jazz flute.  Karl’s fingers were moving so fast and he was bouncing to the rhythm of his fingers.  My friend SCREAMS his monstrous scream in recognition of the slaughter that is taking place with the flute.  And Karl KILLS it.  Both horns are picked back up and they blast out the ending with Brian leading the way with the funky rift.

Brian Jordan @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Brian Jordan @ The Brooklyn Bowl

At this point, Karl’s horn insanity is taking down to a medium slow growl, a really jazzy sound emits and the song changes.  Galaxy!! “On a rocket ship /No time to wait /I just want to gravitate!” sings Karl.  They hit the lyrics pretty hard in this song, little play from the instruments.  At least for a little bit!  We got some interpretive jazz sax from Karl and people screamed.  The drums got louder and Karl got faster.  My friend tapped me on the shoulder to hand me some love.  We danced around.  I heard the tambourine.   As I look at my notes, I see where my friend wrote PEACE + LOVE = FUNK!!  I think he might be on to something. 🙂  So, there is a part in this song where they kind of let the slow, low, minimalist movement take over and not much happens.  He lost me.  I started thinking of a friends who weren’t there and and texted them pictures.  It was just a really jammy sloooow background for some chatting to commence for a few good measures.  But the nice part about these lulls, they pick up fast and just intensify and makes your head EXPLODE.  Yeah, Karl knew what he was doing.  And no pun intended but SPAAAACE!!!  I couldn’t figure out where some of the sounds were coming from, finally figuring out the horn sounds were coming from the keys? Shoot, I still may be wrong. I was loosing my mind waiting for the song to explode in my face.  My notes mention something about there being wasted time pickin’ and that is because I just wanted Brian to rip my face off with his fingers on the guitar.    He stands there with such a darling smile on his face and its like he is busting to blow out the guitar but he doesn’t.  Honestly, I can’t tell who I want to hear more. Who did I come to see?  They were all so great. “Outta Sight, Outta Sight” sings Karl twice.  Honestly, this Tiny Rager was in the middle of a Tiny Universe but I was entirely in my own world.

David Veith @ The Brooklyn Bowl

David Veith @ The Brooklyn Bowl

YES!!  YES!!!  YES!!  I heard the Reggae beat, the dance in my legs shifted immediately.  It moved up to my hips and the salsa vibe was pumping.  Might Rebel was serve up so nicely.  I longed for Debrissa McKinney’s voice immediately as she sings with them on their latest album, Brother’s Keeper.  This is easily one of my top five KDTU songs.  JUST LOVE THIS SONG! Gypsy rage!  Russ ask to borrow a lighter, confusing me because he doesn’t smoke, and holds it in the air swaying it back and forth. We giggle.  It was definitely a moment for that.  Karl looked directly at him, because you just cant miss this guy standing out with his red hair and giant stature holding a lit lighter, and with a beaming smile, nods in recognition of the act.  Russ adds some reggae beats with his mouth in the crowd and its hilarious.  It fits.  This is such a different song from the others being played that night.  It was so very Reggae and it was a nice change.  All the musicians soloed and just killed it.  Coming together at the end, it was just a pure hippie rage in depth.  Very heady and it was over just like that.

Karl Denson @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Karl Denson @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Shake It Out was next and it was the same as the night previously. I just set everything out and shook it out.  No notes, no recollection of anything fantastic happening.  Just dancing machine!  Hands in the air, spinning, knocking into my pal who was trying to contain himself but I could see in his eyes that he wanted to freaking flip out 🙂 Ah, reservation, I know you not.

And honestly, the set list said “Elephant” was next but it wasn’t. It made it’s way into the second set.  New York City was to rage the closer. And I mean RAGE!  It was a slow start at first and then it was a shit show of EXPLOSIVE funk all over that stage.  The ending of that set was one of the most intense endings of a set I have seen since Bowlive.  It was off the charts funky fantastic.  The energy was palpable, the place was packed.  And with that, they walked off the stage.  It was time to rage the bench and discuss…I was so high from all the goodness of that night that my vision was literally like a rippling pond at one point. Out of control. Damn, what a closer.

Set I: The Bridge, Kool Is Back, Galaxy, Mighty Rebel, Shake It Out, New York City

Karl Denson @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Karl Denson @ The Brooklyn Bowl

For the first time,we were not allowed outside of the front to walk around, smoke, get some fresh air .  We were confined to an area outside the front door, slightly herded. I am still wondering what that was all about.  After the insanity of amazingness that was Bowlive, these Karl Denson shows were definitely some of the the most amazing/fun shows I have seen at the Brooklyn Bowl to date.  Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe has a ridiculously ginormous amounts of soul.  It’s endless, full of funk, jazz, blues, and rage.  A GREAT team.

RAGE!

RAGE!

At this point, I just have my dancing shoes on and am not thinking of much else.  Steamed Water was awesome and I danced so very hard during that song.  David Veith really stood out on the keys during this set.  I had been hearing what I thought was a flute all weekend and it was his sound.  I don’t know if it was where I was standing.  But he always sounded like a flute.  I remember thinking that at that point I would just be happy to have the horns surrounding me on all side just blowing my head off.  I was so needy for them it was ridiculous.  I remember distinctly wanting crawl inside one of the horns and live in it.  Definitely out of control.

Chris Littlefield @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Trampled Underfoot, a Led Zepplin Cover, was “all about the love.”  Brian  worked his magic on the guitar once again. I just love his smile.  Chris Littlefield in tempo with the shaker as Karls on the mic, for like 7 measures, a lot of time on the cowbell.  I remember specifically texting that to a friend haha.  But again Karl ransacked the stage with his horn and the biggest cheer of the night came blasting out of the crowd.  I mean how do you not scream when guitars are jamming, horns are IN YOUR FACE NASTY, the drummer is basically on his feet, breaking his bloody sticks in half with each beat.  The crowd goes ape shit and Karl extends his arm in recognition of the cheer – the place erupts once again.  Back on the cowbell, Karl mentions his anniversary again. So special, it made my heart yearn.  “I cant stop talking about love,” says Karl.  How very special.  Another dance in unison between Chris Littlefield and Karl.

John Staten @ THe Brooklyn Bowl

John Staten @ The Brooklyn Bowl

And the shit just kept hitting the fan.  Karl blew me away in The Grunt. I know I am talking about him a lot but he was the main reason I went to the show.  How many time can I say he blew that horn, raged that horn, he was was awesome.  He brought a little jazz back into the otherwise funky song.  A few blats of improve was nice, a 3 minute jazz solo, real nice.   I remember there was chanting at one point, “NYC, NYC NYC!!!”  I completely spaced out for a while dancing around my little area, it had gotten a bit tight up front at this point, some odd photographers were bouncing around. I don’t know if they changed songs or were in the same one but we got a taste of Brian’s funky guitar and that cute smile.  Wearing a vest over a white shirt with jeans, he was lookin’ adorable that night.  Everyone looked sharp!  God, I love good music. “Make some noise in here,” shout’s Karl.  The venue screams in unison.  There were sooooo many people there compared to the night before.  It was shocking. Where had they all been Friday night?  I was very glad they were there. I wanted Karl and his Tiny Universe to know how much NYC loves them:)

Karl Denson and Chris Littlefield @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Karl Denson and Chris Littlefield @ The Brooklyn Bowl

An introduction to the next song, still unsure of the name.  Karl says, “Everything we do is for the ladies!  Am I right?”  Everyone screamed.  “You know it, they know it…..but just this once, we got a little something for the fellas.  This song is for the fellas.”  There is a little instrument banter and he continues, “Why are you scared?  You know there is always someone out there uglier then you so don’t be afraid, do it – go after it – you have nothing to fear but fear itself”  The song was beautiful.  For some reason, I have “Animal Kingdom” in my notes??  And that I wanted more flute. I was becoming oblivious. Perhaps the song was Groove On, I think it was, the set list says so but I still can’t recall.  See, this is why I have to write the set list down as the show progresses or I just forget everything.

Karl Denson & Jessica Lurie @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Karl Denson & Jessica Lurie @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Elephant was DEFINITELY next with Karl on the shaker and Chris Littlefield on the cowbell.  See, lots of time spent on these funny side instruments, but it was all part of the sound 🙂 What a great song. So heavy, so funky. The title evokes visions of elephants walking in a pack as soon as the tune begins.  Brian lays down the melody of the tune with his strings and Karl laces it out on the flute. Yes, a heady, herdy elephant song with flute!   There was major mouth action this time as he purposefully added in the sounds from his mouth as he blow the flute.  The sound emitted takes on an entirely different texture when the artists allow their mouth sounds to dominate the sounds of the instruments they are playing.  Some folks don’t care for it, but I do!!

Jessica Lurie @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Jessica Lurie @ The Brooklyn Bowl

Here we got our first and only guest treat for the evening. Out walks this lovely female, in a black vest, black tee, black jeans, and boots that looks liked they were broken in years ago, the “oh so comfortable” kind.  Jessica Lurie, a female saxophone player currently transplanted from Seattle to Brooklyn was the special guest for the evening.  I bet she played with Skerik all the time while in Seattle. I would love to see that duo.  SHE RAGED IT!!   I actually would have liked to have seen her perform more but he song didn’t allow for it as Karl was on his sax having to lead the herd through the song.    At one point both saxophone payers were not playing, but instead using the shakers and graters to back up Brian on the guitar.  I wanted more from Lurie. I was intrigued. She is definitely on my radar and I hope to see her again soon!  Karl belts a solo on the flute and Jessica is on various percussion instruments. She definitely didn’t just stand there, which was great.  At the end, they were all on the horns, everyone was jamming but not melting our faces. I was longing for that energy from the last song of the first set.  And then Brian’s guitar was crying as Karl interjected with hoots and yelps reminiscent of tribal banter, spiritual chanting if you will.  HE SCREAMS! And the energy rose, oh so high.  Russ screamed back, completely overcome with emotion from the song, he just couldn’t help it.  Karl stomped this herd into the ground with Lurie at the end. Brian brought the funk and it was just killer.  And then everyone exits the stage except for John Staten who has picked up the song, and taken it as his own…it was his time to shine! Enjoy the video! I personally like Karl’s little jig at the end of the clip!  RAGE JOHN RAGE!

Might Mouse was slated on the set list but they choose to rage another.  At this point a fan had come up to Karl and shouted something, He said, “OK! SO then we will play that song next for you, Happy Birthday!”  So kind, so genuine Such a good man, on top of being a good musician.    Soul Drifting would be the song of choice and it was full of just more funk and fun. David Veith mouthing the “sounds” he was making on the keys.  I was so focused on the horns and the guitars that I lost track of the keys and for that I apologize.  The keys were light, shifty, breezy.  Everyone was smiling. Karl places the mouth piece on his sax again and it creates the low growl.  “I feel like talking tonight.” says Karl.  He doesn’t talk so much as he gives us such a pretty jazzy flute, like a humming birds wings, his fingers were flying.  I closed my eyes as the song willed me to.  It was such a slow jam at first and then he screamed so soulfully, so fast.  Brian picked up his pace and just let loose on the strings, Karl picks up percussion instruments, I danced so hard I fell over.  Yup!  Just fell over…I was out of my mind, as were the people surrounding me; the people up front, paying attention to the slaughter that was taking place.  “Thank you New York!  Thank You New York,” screams Karl to the beat of the song.  And that feeling of dread that floods over you when you know a show is ending immediately flooded in.  Had two nights of Karl Denson really just come and gone just like that?  Perhaps for many, if not most people, they can just go home having enjoyed the night, being able to move forward and immediately think of things on their to do lists the following day….moving forward.  Not me, I get stuck in the moments and I truly dislike being pulled out of them.  I truly is an addiction.  It makes me tankful for these opportunities to write for yall, and for myself, to relive the memories and have a record of them.  It allows me to release and move forward like the “regular” folks 🙂

Karl Denson and Jessica Lurie @ The Broooklyn Bowl

Karl Denson and Jessica Lurie @ The Broooklyn Bowl

The stage was empty, no one moved, and everyone was screaming at the top of their lungs.  Of course, we all wanted more.  Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe to the the stage of the Brooklyn Bowl one more time that weekend and gave us a hell of an encore: Bougainvillea! Of and older CD, The D Stands for Diesel, Karl says, I got an old skool song for ya.”  The flute goes right into it, light, jammy guitar, interesting sounds with the keys. I was really too busy dancing to worry about much else.  Then the flute is put down and replaced by the saxophone.  Jessica Lurie came out and joined the session.  “I’ll sing you a song all night long,” shout’s Karl.  And the horns ended the evening blasting into the night and off the stage.  You know how I said this wouldn’t be a long review? I lied 🙂  It was too good to summarize.  And  when this review completed….it’s off to the next adventure 🙂 because I have just released!!! 🙂

Set II: Steamed Water, Trampled Under Foot (Led Zeppelin Cover), The Grunt, Groove On, Elephants, Soul Drifting, Bougainvillea

Download: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Live at Brooklyn Bowl (04.23.10)

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