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Posts Tagged ‘Raymond Weber’

Thank you Cloud 9 Adeventures and MSC Crusies!!

Thank you Cloud 9 Adventures and MSC Cruises!!

There are music festivals and then there is Jam Cruise!!  A musical festival on a cruise ship that travels international seas for 5 to 6 days.  I said it last year and I will say it again now.  IT IS THE GREATEST MUSICAL ADVENTURE anyone can take.

Last year, I was at a complete loss for words.  It was my Virgin Cruise and I was awestruck by the magnitude of what I had just experienced.  Considering this was my second year, I thought the hype would be just a bit dimmer, I figured I would be a little less anxious and calm.  Nope!

Even now, while I could burst at the seams ATTEMPTING to explain these EPIC musical journeys, I find it so hard figuring out where to start. It’s all so unbelievable.  I could tackle these articles by day, or perhaps by subject regarding the atmosphere, the music or the people and so much more. I could write a five page article just on the relationship cultivations that took place this year.  There is just so much!!! And the fact that I only slept about 10-12 hours over the span of 5 days gives me an arsenal of memories to pull from.

Jam Cruise 9 Website Banner

Jam Cruise 9 Website Banner

Last year Tinyrager.com didn’t exist as it’s own site.  I wrote for other sites but mainly for my own personal cataloging of memories and would just save the documents on my computer.  So, after last year’s Jam Cruise, I began writing out my adventure and I never made it past the Sail Away Party.

My life took off before I could finish my personal Jam Cruise manifesto.  But I did make an attempt and the end result was all the glorious details about the embarkation line to the ship, the embarkation process, what happened when I explored the boat stumbling across the various venues and checking into my room with the gift bags and what not.  I wrote about everything I could remember up until the Sail Away Party….and then I stopped.

This year, I am going to continue where I left off at the Sail Away Party with a few backtracking steps.  There is no need for me to re-write the exact same information about the boat for this article. If you would like to know about all the things listed above then CLICK HERE!  The article is totally relevant to this one and worth the read and would help cement your mind if you are still debating on getting on the boat.  Jam Cruise staff actually found it last year and blasted it over their page a few times due to the comprehensive nature of the article.  So, enjoy that! It’s got great pictures too!

Now, let’s get this party started!!!

Hello Pretty Ship!! (Photo by Murray)

Hello Pretty Ship (Photo by Murray)

~ Boarding & Pre-Sail Away ~

Within MINUTES, sooooo much can happen to you on Jam Cruise.  This year, I boarded the boat in what felt like 15 minutes but was really a little over/under an hour.  As we get our room keys and begin the walk into the ship, I gaze to my right and Bob Weir is standing next to me. He pulled himself from the line and leans against the wall looking dazed, confused and very skinny. Had he been standing by us the whole time and we been too excited to notice?  He didn’t have an entourage and he looked so frail I guess it’s possible.  As my friends and I realized the magnitude of this moment, we all said “Hello Bob!” and he flashed us a forced smile.  I couldn’t tell if he was happy or sad but I knew how we felt! FREAKING STOKED!!!

A few more feet through the line and we were shuffled into the section where you get your boarding pictures taken. You could purchase the pictures for $30 if you wanted, but whoa that is a lot.  However, in the group behind us, Steve Kimock jumped into the picture.  Now THAT is a $30 moment worth purchasing!!  And there you had another group of people whose minds were just blown and we hadn’t even made it on the boat yet.  Sadly, my hunt for these pictures has come to a dead end. They are gone once you leave the ship.

Before all hell broke loose :) (Photo By Murray)
The NYC Krewe + some before all hell broke loose 🙂 (Photo By Murray)

I was in line with two of my best friends from NYC and we were in different rooms. Once we boarded the boat we separated so I could take my luggage to my room and unpack as fast as possible as not to miss a moment.  I was wearing my Big Sam’s Funky Nation tee-shirt, READY for the Sail Away Party. READY to see my main man Big Sam.  As I step into the mirrored elevator with my luggage, I was covered by this giant shadow of a man who had followed behind me.  And as I turn around, I am embraced by none other than Big Sam. Having reached out to me after he saw one of my reviews of his show, he flashed a smile that melted me as I got a huge hug! What a super duper dude! I will have TONS to say about him later in these articles.

(Photo by Jeffery Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffery Dupuis)

Last year I was in the Singles Program.  The layout of my room this year was exactly like last year except that I was now with two friends I had met on my virgin cruise: Aaron and Victoria, a super cute Jam Cruise couple who completely enhanced my journey. Thank you both for being such wonderful roommates.    I entered an empty room and unpacked as fast as I could. When I walked out of my room, I just didn’t know which way to turn. There were SO many people I wanted to see who I hadn’t seen since last year’s journey and whose relationship was cultivated through Facebook over the year as we waited patiently to all be together again.  There was so much I wanted to do all in one moment but I knew where I needed to be.    This year, I had a krewe from NYC on the boat and one of them was a virgin, my dear sweet friend Jessica.  I wanted to see their room and be with her.  I just wanted to watch her take it all in because that must have been what I was like last year with my jaw on the ground.

Jam Cruise is over but we know that time will last forever. From the minute I walked into 10242 there was nothing but LOVE. Jessica who I’vereally never met treated me (and everyone) like I was a saint or angel or something. We constructed the door decor (bonding) and the RAGE was on ! Off to Eric’s to gather the troops and start the search for the bottom of the tequilla bottle. A short time later we were off to the pool deck to find the angel Karen has been talking about: Hillary! ~ Murray Ballz

~ Door Décor Competition ~

Sharon & Said's Decor!!  (Photo by Richmand Images)

Sharon & Said's Decor!! (Photo by Richmand Images)

As I entered their room, the faces looking at me were already more shiny and sparkly then when we had left in line.  The Jam Cruise blood was flowing through their veins. Their room was bigger with a balcony.  It’s always good for SOMEONE in your rage krewe to have a balcony! They had taken out all the makings for their door décor and were attempting to assemble it.  Their concept was beautiful.  Using pictures of multiple artists and groups that inspired them, along with artists that couldn’t make it on the boat as well as pictures of allllllll our friends and families who couldn’t make it on the boat, we were to create a collage covering the door and then we placed a mirror in the middle.  On the mirror’s top it read: “We are all on board together.”  On the mirror’s bottom: “And so are you!” So, that when you look into the mirror, everyone is together, connected somehow on board together.  I loved it!

A typical hallway on Jam Cruise (Photo by Chad Smith)

A typical hallway on Jam Cruise (Photo by Chad Smith)

(Photo by Murray)

(Photo by Murray)

We spent a few hours cutting pictures, tapping things.  The rest of our NY posse rolling through the room to say Hi and get the best hugs in the world.  This also began the utilization of the deck for party breaks which, as time passed, began making it hard for us to focus and use tape correctly HAHAHA!!  The mirror began messing with my head; Rob couldn’t roll a piece of tape to save his life! It was awesome! Oh, you should have seen it.

During this time, the magic of the boat presented itself to us with the introduction of Rob and Jess’s neighbors.  When we ran out of tape, they came right in for the rescue. When we needed writing done for the mirror, they were right there with a solution and Maker’s Mark on the rocks. No matter what you want, you get what you NEED on Jam Cruise! From masking tape to enlightenment.

Putting "our" door decor!! (Photo by Murray)

Putting "our" door decor!! (Photo by Murray)

The final product was perfect. A door COVERED with people and musicians we love that couldn’t be on the boat with us, yet they were, even if it was only in this small way.  Throughout the week, any number of our NYC posse could be found sitting on the floor starting at our door. Staring at our loved ones, staring at Jerry and Janis.  Personally, I was found passed out with my hand on the picture of myself and my boyfriend on the first night and was guided back to bed for what would be the only night I would sleep in my cabin!!!

And in terms of what door enhanced my JC experience the most??   Door number #9211.  This door was covered in 3D pictures from last year’s Jam Cruise.  There were numerous 3D glasses attached to the wall by string so you could see the pictures.  It just got cooler every time I saw it. And at one point, I didn’t even NEED the glasses to see it in 3D.  So, anyway, TINYRAGER award to Room #9211 for making us go OUT of our way at least 2 times a day to check out your door!

Forum Party/ Sharon's Birthday Rage! (Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

Forum Party/ Sharon's Birthday Rage! (Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

Once we finished the door we  realized that we missed the forum party on the pool deck.  They had gathered to give Sharon R. a proper Happy Birthday.  I am so sorry I missed this Sharon!  Love you! And now…it was time for the Sail Away Party!!!

Jam Cruise Day One Schedule!!

Jam Cruise Day One Schedule!!

~ Big Sam’s Funky Nation / Sail Away Party ~ Pool Deck ~

Photo By Rex-A-Vision

Photo By Rex-A-Vision

The wonderful Julie McCoy (Photo by Chad Smith)

The wonderful Julie McCoy (Photo by Chad Smith)

The Sail Away Party is phenomenal and truly defines the rest of the voyage.  Julie McCoy, the ship’s activities coordinator/manager/queen bee, comes on to the stage.  Free champagne is distributed amongst the cruisers lining the pool deck and The Captain and Julie McCoy toast us off on our journey.  Then the horns blow and you now know…the party has OFFICIALLY begun. As well, Sweet Water Brewery gives out free beer at during this set, wonderful news for the alcohol drinkers, if you like their flavors!

Photo by Rex-A-Vision

Photo by Rex-A-Vision

I walked to the front row with my friends, toasted, and then stepped away for a moment alone. I was alone on the top level of the Pool deck last year for the beginning of Trombone Shorty’s Sail Away Party and I wanted to be in the similar location and just be alone, connecting with the ship, for a few moments.  If you read my post from last year, you know the turmoil I was in before I boarded this magical vessel that changed my world.  So, I walked up to my sacred spot, snapped a picture of the amazing sight I was staring at and took one giant breath. Upon exhaling that breath came SO MANY tears, I almost collapsed.  The flood gates opened upon the realization that I was back. I was back in this music world; this musical WONDERLAND that completely CHANGED MY LIFE! And this year was going to be SO different than last year.

~ Big Sam Sail Away Party~ Raging Audience Shot from Stage ~

Photo By Rex-A-Vision

Photo By Rex-A-Vision

After letting the tears flow for 2 songs, I gathered myself, with the help of a few people around me, and went back down to the front row, puffy faced and all smiles.  For those of you who don’t know much about the boat or who are not large into the music scene, the front row is where it’s at.  I was greeted into the front row where all the best people reside in most musical scenes, let alone Jam Cruise. But I suppose I need to talk about music here at some point right?  Wasn’t this a music festival on a ship?

THE FUNKY NATION:

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

Not so great mobile pic of the View from my "alone" spot (Photo by TinyRager)

Not so great mobile pic of the View from my "alone" spot (Photo by TinyRager)

I have seen Big Sam numerous times throughout the year. I was worried that his Sail Away party would be the same formulaic shows that I had seen him perform over the year.  But that wasn’t the case.  Where there was a similar flow to it all, Big Sam covered some great songs, added some new dance moves…they just brought us a new show and the audience ate it right up.

Photo by Rex-A-Vision

Photo by Rex-A-Vision

During the fourth song, the ship’s debarking horn blew, the pool deck erupted with cheers and we started moving.   Immediately, the heavy hitters started joining the party.  If nothing else, Jam Cruise is about the various musical combination of artists you can find  performing on the boat. You NEVER know who is going to sit in with whom.  In this case, Leo Nocentelli (The Meters) joined Big Sam for “Gonna Get Funked Up Tonight” and Fred Wesley (JB Horns) followed for “See Me Dance”.

~ Big Sam Sail Away Party~ Top of Pool Deck Perspective ~

Now, The Funky Nation is know for their ability to rage cover songs as well as create new edgy music. Throughout the set he blew some heat into Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy”, The Black Crowes/Otis Redding‘s “Hard To Handle”  and their final song of the set was a mash up of Cee Lo Green‘s “Fuck You” and Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Religion”.  This moment was special for me because when the song first came out, Josh and I literally blasted that Cee Lo Green song for a month straight every morning while getting ready for work.  The song is hilarious and the video is even more so.  In this moment, I looked around the pool deck and saw people kinda staring blankly.  Except for a few people, they didn’t recognize the song.  The entire set lived up to it’s expectations.  It was high energy, full of flare and raging rock funk.

Set List:

01. Intro
02. ?? (jam/instrumental)
03. Feelin’
04. King of the Party
05. ?? (instrumental)
06. Gonna Get Funked Up Tonight
07. See Me Dance
08. Big Ole Booty
09. Hard to Handle
10. Do Watcha Wanna > Everybody Needs Someone to Love > You Are My Sunshine tease > ??
11. Dance Floor
12. Up In Here >
13. jam >
14. ?? >
15. Crazy > Get Low >
16. band intros/banter >
17. Fuck You > Bad Romance tease

Download Big Sam’s Funky Nation Set

At this point we had half an hour until any music started. Being that this was the first night, I can’t believe they had lulls but this year’s scheduling seemed to be staggered differently so whatever. Gave us time to debate!  The options were:

1) Bob Weir‘s Scaring The Children on the Pool Deck (9:30pm-11:30pm)

2) Greensky Bluegrass in the Zebra Bar (9:15pm-10:45pm)

3) Robert Randolph and the Family Band in Teatro Carlos Felice (9pm-11pm)

Already, my heart was racing with the fact that I knew I would be missing things I didn’t want to miss.  This year, I knew I would be spending a significant amount of time the first few days cultivating relationships and so I made a point to schedule the music I loved but also plan to hang out where a large percentage of my Jamily might be.

Most of the performers have two sets over the course of the week so I was ok with missing things here and there and catching them later.  In general, the inner turmoil for me over what music to see is the most stress I feel on that ship.

Carlos Felice Theater! (Photo by TinyRager)

Carlos Felice Theater! (Photo by TinyRager)

I took off for Robert Randolph and the Family Band, riding on a cloud.  When I got there, the theater greeted me with all its purple and gold majesty.  This is my favorite venue on the ship. Again, you can learn about the ship from last year’s posts.  But I will tell ya that the purple and gold colors are beautiful and remind me of my college, there are two levels to rage on, the elevated steps in front of the stage are perfect for our drinks, extra costume accessories like boas, hats and what not.  The stairs are also rounded and this allows for a much larger front row throwdown.

I got to the theater and no one was really even in there and the roadies were still setting up.  Speaking of cultivating relationships, I met a lovely twin set named Cindy and Mindy, who inevitably raged the front row with the best of us the whole cruise. Rage on ragers. Big hugs to you both!

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)
(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

~ Robert Randolph and the  Family Band ~ Theatro Carlo Felice ~

Robert Randolph – Pedal Steel, Guitar and Vocals

The Family Band:

Danyel Morgan – Bass and Vocals
Marcus Randolph – Drummer
Adam Smirnoff – Rhythm Guitar
Lenesha Randolph -Vocals
Brett Haas – Keyboards and Guitar

Special Geusts:

Eric Krasno – Guitar
Big Sam – Trombone
Ivan Neville – Keys
Taylor Hicks -Vocals & Harmonica

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)
(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

As I sat there, making new friends, old ones started arriving.  Said and Sharon’s smiling face made their way to our side of the theater. (Thanks to Said for the RR&TFB set-list below).  Then one by one the Jamily krewe gathered until we were 25+ deep on the left side of the stage. Oh, how I just want to talk about all these lovely people, not the music. It’s insane.  But that is not the purpose of this so…

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

Having seen Robert Randolph and the Family Band a few times this year and being disappointed in the performances, I was PRAYING that he would kick it back to his roots and focus on older songs, perhaps melt our faces without playing Lady Gaga tunes to fill time.  Perhaps give us some great covers; perhaps show us some great collaborations.  And that is exactly what they did.

Blasting off his set with “Ted’s Jam,” he shot me right back to ten years ago when I first found Robert and Danyel at Star Hill in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The newest addition to the clan, Lenesha Randolph, was on stage, backing up her brother.  I am still weary on her talent.  I won’t say anymore regarding that topic.

“The March” is one of my all time favorites Robert debuted years ago.  I was right up front with my musical posse and when Robert got off his seat and started dancing for us, we all knew the dance and joined along.  He asked us to teach those around us but he was doing a fine job wiggling his body for us….mmmmmm. And Danyel‘s bass thumped away. I am absolutely IN LOVE with Danyel and his voice.   Always have been!

A re-worked “Thriller” cover saw Eric Krasno and Big Sam join the stage and over the remainder of the set Ivan Neville and American Idol’s Taylor Hicks, yup Taylor Hicks, also joined the stage.


“Tears of Joy” brought the blues to an otherwise raging set and my faith in Robert Randolph and his family, however swaying it may have been hours earlier, was restored and his #1 fan was back on top, in the front row, loosing her mind!

Set List:

01. Ted’s Jam
02. ?
03. ?
04. The March
05. ?
06. If I Had My Way
07. Deliver Me
08. I Miss My Girlfriend (Her Name is Molly)
09. Thriller Jam
10. I Need More Love
11. Voodoo Chile
12. Tears of Joy
13. Traveling Shoes

Download Robert Randolph and the Family Band Theater Set

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

As soon as set ended, I hightailed it to the Pool Deck to check out the remainder of Bob Weir‘s Scaring The Children.  I ended up on the upper deck looking down at the sea of Dead heads who were staring doe-eyed at Bobby and Co. The wind was blowing warmly over my body as I realized we were so far from land now I couldn’t see lights.

I gave Bobby as much time as I could before wanting to leave.  Personally, I thought it sounded pretty slow and that is not a bad thing, I just needed something more to move to.  I wish I could recall the song that was playing.  Even though it was tough for me to look at Bobby, as all I could imagine was the scene from Indiana Jones where the guy takes the sip from the wrong chalice and his skin melts off,  it appeared that he was giving the people what they wanted.  Smiles abounded on the faces below me and I just knew that Jerry was smiling down upon the ship.

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

(Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

So, after Robert Randolph‘s set, we were faced with more difficult choices.

1) Pimps of Joytime in the Zebra Bar (11:00pm-1:00am)

2) Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe on the Pool Deck (12:30am-3:00am)

  • Sadly, I can not find a link for this set. If anyone finds one, please pass it along to me.

3) Anders Osborne with Stanton Moore and Carl Dufrene in the Teatro Carlos Felice (11:45pm-1:15am)

Having just seen Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe numerous time over the past year and just a few days earlier as the Phish After Party on New Years Eve, I decided to skip KDTU on the Pool Deck and focus on the Anders Osborne set.

Performing on same stage as Robert Randolph, the Anders set was going to take a little time to prepare as they transferred over the equipment.  I used this time to gather my thoughts, fill up my water bottle and grab a bite to eat. I don’t want to go into the food just yet…too stressful.

(Photo by Michael Weiss)

(Photo by Michael Weiss)

~ Anders Osborne with Stanton Moore and Carl Dufrene ~ Teatro Carlo Felice ~

(Photo by Dave Vann)

(Photo by Dave Vann)

I had missed Anders Osbourne the few times he made his way through NYC the past year and having seen him in the past, I KNEW he would rip up whatever stage he was on with his rouge, wild, rockin’ New Orleans vibe.  That is exactly what I was looking for at this time in the evening.

His back up band was a force to be reckoned with.  Joining  the stage this set was:

Anders Osbourne – Guitar and Vocals
Robert Walter – B3 Organ
Carl Dufrene – Bass
Stanton Moore -Drums

Special Guests:

Scott Metzger – Guitar
Will Bernard – Guitar
Skerik – Saxaphone

(Photo by Michael Weiss)

(Photo by Michael Weiss)

This set was complete fire!!!  I mean absolutely out of control, rock-laced guitar shredding jams, backed by outrageous solos by Skerik and added guitar layers by way of Scott Metzger and Will Bernard.  At the time, it was my favorite set of the night and in hindsight, it is in my top five sets of the week.  The inclusion of Skerik‘s hyper-driven saxophone layered upon Anders songs was, well……take a look at this….seriously.

Set List:

1. Tuning
2. Love Is Taking Its Toll
3. Echoes Of My Sins
4. Darkness At The Bottom
5. Burning On The Inside
6. Got Your Heart
7. Me Donkey Want Water

Download Anders Osborne Theater Set

(Photo by Dave Vann)

(Photo by Dave Vann)

And here we were back having to make decisions!!

1) Papadosio in the Zebra Bar (1:45am-3:15am)

Set List:
1. Utopiate
2. Unparalyzer
3. Magreenery
4. Bionic Man
5. All I Knew
6. Method Of Control
7. Cue
8. Polygons
9. Eyes Have Eyes

2) Stockholm Syndrome in the Teatro Carlos Felice (2:00am-4:00am)

3) Nutritious in the Disco (2:00am-6:00am)

4) AND THE LAST CHOICE!!!!  The Jam Room: Hosted by Tony Hall (12:00am – 6:00am)

Now we come to the greatest and grandest part of the Jam Cruise experience. THE JAM ROOM!! Each night, a different musician (generally a guitar player, keys player or bass player) hosts The Jam Room.  The Jam Room is a entertainment space located in the rear of the ship where these musicians play host to who ever wants to join them on stage.  Sometimes, there are pre-arranged gatherings or sometimes a musician just jumps up for a song and adds to the insanity.  Always, there are free jams, group rages and it’s all off the cuff improvisational jamming.

~ The Jam Room with Host Tony Hall ~

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

Tonight’s Jam Room host was Tony Hall, New Orlean’s Dumpstaphunk bass player. Tony is one of the most charismatic musicians around.  He is always invested in engaging with his audiences, making faces, pulling girls on stage, dancing with the audience.  He is one of my favorites in that aspect.

Sadly there is not a lot of footage from the Jam Room to show you.  Many Cruisers had already gone to bed to save their strength while others were raging so hard they couldn’t manipulate a camera or video device to save their life.  But I can tell you that it was a RIPPING good Jam Room.

It was an epic moment lost on the winds of the ocean and remembered only by those that were present… ~ Ananda Atmore

Tony Hall was backed by many of his bands mates from Dumpstaphunk to include:

Ivan Neville – Keys
Nick Daniels III – Bass
Raymond Weber – Drums
Ian Neville – Guitar

Other Guests:

Big Sam – Trombone
Nigel Hall (Lettuce/SCFJ)- Keys
Danny Louis (Gov’t Mule/Stockholm Syndrome) – Keys
Eric Krasno (Lettuce) – Guitar
Adam Deitch (Lettuce) – Drums
Ron Johnson (SCFJ) – Bass
Zach Deputy – Guitar
Roosevelt Collier (The Lee Boys) – Pedal Steel Guitar

There was so much happening on stage there is no way to recall it all.  One of the last songs played in the jam room that night was Jimi Hendrix‘s “Hey Joe”. The Lee BoysRoosevelt Collier jumped up on stage and confused the hell out of us as he was only a passenger on the ship thus year!  SO FUN when things like that happen.  You know it’s a good time when other musicians pay to get on board.

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

(Photo by Rex-A-Vision)

Tonight would be the only night that I came back to my room to sleep.  The theme one must know and get to embrace on Jam Cruise is: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint!” It appeared that everyone had taken that creed to heart as I wondered around the pool deck wondering where everyone was.  Where were the late night jam sessions and/or drum circles on the pool decks?  Where was Brock Butler playing his acoustic guitar to the people watching the sunrise.I am sure that they were somewhere, I just never stumbled upon them. It was destiny, however, because after raging the Unofficial Pre-Jam Cruise party at the Days Inn Bahia Cabana Beach Resort the night prior, I was exhausted.  I decided to watch the sunrise with my NYC crew and hear how our virgin cruiser Jessica B. had enjoyed her first night.

As I looked over the balcony, lost in the wake of the ship, my friends and I smiled at each other.  We watched the wake of the ship hit the tip of the horizon and we knew there was no turning back. We were together on this epic musical journey and there were so many adventures to be had.  I took myself to bed around 7am but not before touching the faces of all our family and friends that lined the door decor, wishing they were with us.  Sleep was needed as we had a full day at sea tomorrow.  I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for us when we final rose again.

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The 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:

An “Easy D” Perspective: Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

(Read Easy D’s “Prologue” here)

(Read Easy D’s “Wednesday, April 28, 2010” here)

The weather for Thursday looked like it would be the best of the entire weekend.  Partly cloudy, breezy, high in low 80s.  Nice!  We arrived in time to see the first act of the day:  Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians at the Jazz & Heritage stage.  Some of the Madi Gras Indian acts are a blast.  This act was one of the better ones I’ve seen over the years.

Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians at the Jazz & Heritage stage

Chief Iron Horse & the Black Seminoles Mardi Gras Indians at the Jazz & Heritage stage

Crawfish Monica

Crawfish Monica

Next it was a quick stroll through the food area en route to the Acura stage.  One of the benefits of Thursday is that the festival is less crowded, hence the lines for the popular food items are nonexistent.   The most popular item is Crawfish Monica, a delicious combination of crawfish, pasta, and a nicely spicy creamy sauce!

Next up:   Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove at the Acura stage.  Kirk is a sousaphone player and original member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.  He has also collaborated with Anders Osborne among others over the years.  The current Backyard Groove lineup also features CR Gruver, a master keyboardist.  Very entertaining set featuring a versatile horn section and nice backup vocals.  I had learned from Kirk that he was having gall bladder issues a few weeks prior to the festival.  He decided to try to deal with it nutritionally so that he could get through the festival gigs.  He did not disappoint with this set.  Stay well Kirk!

Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove

Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove @ Jazz Fest 2010

CR Gruver of Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove @ Jazz Fest 2010

CR Gruver of Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove @ Jazz Fest 2010

The ‘scenery’ around the stages was starting to build on this slow day.  Let’s just say that some folks put together fest wardrobes and devised ways to be comfortable at the festival:

Jazz Fest 2010 Scenery

Jazz Fest 2010 Scenery

Jazz Fest 2010 Scenery

Jazz Fest 2010 Scenery

Next up:  Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk at the Acura stage.  Dumpstaphunk is by far one of my favorite bands.  The funksters played the now familiar favorites such as Meanwhile, Turn This Thing Around, Shake It Off, Creedence Clearwater’s Fortunate Son.  Music with a message.  I know I put my troubles in the Dumpsta!  Plus the crowds are starting to build.  Dumpstaphunk lineup:

Ivan Neville – Keyboards and Vocals

Ian Neville – Guitar

Nick Daniels – Bass and Vocals

Tony Hall – Bass, Guitar and Vocals

Raymond Weber – Drums and Vocals

Dumpstaphunk crowd shot @ Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Dumpstaphunk crowd shot @ Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

As the crowds build, the large video screens enhance the experience:

Raymond Weber @ Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010
Raymond Weber @ Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

By this time, more of my extended entourage appeared including my Uptown New Orleans friends who traditionally stake out an area to the right of the Acura stage soundboard they call The Condo.

Easy D and friends @ Jazz Fest 2010

Easy D and friends @ Jazz Fest 2010

Amanda Shaw @ Gentilly Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Amanda Shaw @ Gentilly Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Next up: A quick stroll over the the Gentilly stage to catch the end of Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys.  Amanda Shaw is a 19 year old fiddle and vocal phenom who has been playing professionally for several years.  I think the first time I saw her play at the festival,  Amanda was 13.  While she is building a catalog of original songs, she also plays fun covers such as Charlie Daniel’s The Devil Went Down to Georgia and The Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go.  By the way, several years ago,  Amanda turned down Disney’s offer of the title Hannah Montana role to sign with Rounder Records and pursue a serious music career.

Amanda Shaw @ Gentilly Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Amanda Shaw @ Gentilly Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

And then, stroll back toward the Acura stage for some of Gov’t Mule.  There’s something about strolling around the Fairgrounds while Warren Haynes sings Thorazine Shuffle.  The Gov’t Mule Setlist:

Blind Man In The Dark
Steppin’ Lightly
Broke Down on The Brazos
Railroad Boy->
Beautifully Broken
I’ll Be The One
Thorazine Shuffle
Soulshine

Warren Haynes @ The Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Warren Haynes @ The Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

At this point, I wanted to catch a little bit of Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers at the Gentilly stage.  En route, paused at the Congo stage where the Soul Rebels Brass Band were playing:

Soul Rebel Brass Band @ Gentilly stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Soul Rebel Brass Band @ Gentilly stage, Jazz Fest 2010

While walking by the Fais Do Do stage, I ran into more of my Krewe who were watching Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, an excellent zydeco band.  Decided to stay here for a while; it was so good.  Plus the dancers to the right of the Fais Do Do stage are always very entertaining:

Geno Delaflose & French Rockin’ Boogie @ Fais Do Do Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Geno Delaflose & French Rockin’ Boogie @ Fais Do Do Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Dancin' @ Jazz Fest 2010

Dancin' @ Jazz Fest 2010

Once arriving at the Gentilly stage, after listening to Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers for a few minutes, I quickly decided that the energy level was not up to the Jazz Fest scene.  I am a fan of the Steep Canyon Rangers having seen them at the Delfest Bluegrass Festival last May.  On this day, they just didn’t work for me.  So it was back to the Acura stage to close the day with Widespread Panic.   The band consists of :

JOHN BELLguitars, vocals

JOHN “JOJO” HERMANNkeyboards, vocals

JIMMY HERRINGguitars

TODD NANCEdrums, vocals

DOMINGO S. ORTIZpercussion, vocals

DAVE SCHOOLSbass, vocals

John Bell @ The Acura Stage, Jezz Fest 2010

John Bell @ The Acura Stage, Jezz Fest 2010

This was the 3rd time that I have seen Widespread Panic at Jazz Fest.   They always play on Thursday so that they can play a full 2 and a half hour set.  This is the 2nd time I have seen the Panic since the death of guitarist Mikey Houser.  While I miss Houser, the supremely skilled Jimmy Herring is a terrific replacement.  Bandleader John Bell was in very fine voice, better than recent shows I have attended.  They performed a couple of my favorites including Imitation Leather Shoes, Ophelia, and the excellent Mikey Houser tune This Part of Town.  Here is a snippet of lyrics from This Part of Town, music with a message IMHO:

I was walkin’ the other day with my head down,
When I met a man who had his hand out.
So I gave him, gave him a dollar,
But as I walked away I heard him call out,

“Tell me Brother, can you see the sun
From where you’re standin’ now?
I’ve been up and I’ve been down,
But I’ve never been to this part of town.”

David Schools @ The Acura Stage, Jezz Fest 2010

David Schools @ The Acura Stage, Jezz Fest 2010

Here is the Widespread Panic set list:

Love Tractor, Pigeons, Space Wrangler, Walkin’ (For Your Love) > Blight, Thought Sausage, Imitation Leather Shoes > Jam > Proving Ground, Down*, Walk On The Flood > North, Up All Night** >Tall Boy**, Good People (w/Dark Bar Rap)**, On Your Way Down**> Bust It Big**,Ophelia** > You Should Be Glad**,This Part Of Town, Aint Life Grand*

Comment: *w/John Keane on Pedal Steel — **w/The Megablasters

Oh by the way, it was a party at The Condo:

Acura Stage @ Jazz Fest 2010

Widespread Panic @ Acura Stage, Jazz Fest 2010

Mikey Houser (yes, even Mikey, may he RIP, was at the fest!)

Mikey Houser (yes, even Mikey, may he RIP, was at the fest!)

Widepread Panic - painting started and completed during the set.

Widepread Panic - painting started and completed during the set.

Well, after this glorious day, we worked our way back to the hotel.  While working our way through the cab line, I tripped on an uneven sidewalk and fell on my right hip.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I broke the fall with my camera pouch.  I was uninjured, but my camera was a casualty.  I will have to depend on others in my Krewe for the remaining installments.

After returning to the hotel, I was tired and in need of a shower and nap.  My ‘power nap’ ended up lasting 10 hours.  Best sleep I’ve had in years.  So, no club show report for Thursday evening.  Next installment: Friday.

~ Continue to the Friday installment of Easy D’s Jazz Fest 2010 adventure~

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The 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:

An “Easy D” Perspective: Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

(Read Easy D’s “Prologue” here)

The Easy D Krewe got off to a shaky start even before I arrived in New Orleans.  One of our Krewe threw his back out the weekend prior to the trip and had to withdraw.   I can sympathize.  I was struggling with back discomfort a couple of years ago.  Not fun.  Then another member of our Krewe had to return home early to deal with an issue back home.   At least he was able to enjoy the club show on Wednesday night and the festival on Thursday. Yet another guy had airline travel issues and was delayed by a day.  The rest of the Krewe arrived on schedule on either Wednesday or Thursday.

Chickie Wah Wah

Chickie Wah Wah

For Wednesday night, there were 5 of us trying to decide where to go.  I was wavering between seeing Papa Mali and Friends at Chickie Wah Wah in the Mid City neighborhood or The Junco Partners at the Maple Leaf Bar in the Carrollton neighborhood in Uptown New Orleans.  Both of these shows are typical of the club shows on Jazz Fest weekend in that they are an opportunity for artists from various bands to collaborate on a special show.

Maple Leaf Bar Stage

Maple Leaf Bar Stage

The lineup for the Papa Mali show was billed as “The Amalgamation” featuring Papa Mali with Helen Gillet, Harry Hardin, Evan Christopher, Chris Spies, Kirk Joseph, and other very special guests.On the other hand, The Junco Partners show listed John Gros, Brian Stoltz, June Yamagishi, Tony Hall and Raymond Weber. As much as I love Papa Mali (Malcolm Welbourne), so this was a relatively easy decision. The Maple Leaf Bar would be our destination.

I have been to New Orleans many times, but for some unknown reason, I have never attended a show at the iconic Maple Leaf Bar! I have walked by the Bar.  I even have friends that live several blocks away.    This stop was long overdue.   The Maple Leaf Bar has been open since 1974 with music and special events held 7 days a week.  It should be noted that the club was the first music club to reopen after Hurricane Katrina operating the band’s equipment on generators and keeping the beer cold with ice in coolers.

John Gros of Papa Grows Funk at the Maple Leaf

John Gros of Papa Grows Funk at the Maple Leaf

I arrived to see John Gros (Papa Grows Funk) unloading his Hammond B3 organ out of a truck.  I have met John on several occasions.   We chatted for a minute and I pointed out that this was our first stop of the weekend.  The club is a neighborhood bar with a small, narrow performance room adjacent to the room where the bar area is located.  There is also a very nice patio area in the backyard if you want to get some air, grab a smoke or hang out between sets.

Getting there before the show started afforded the Wednesday Krewe the opportunity to reconnect as friends while watching the band members and stage crew set up for the show.  Three of us were from Pittsburgh, one from Frederick, MD, and one from Denver, CO.  After he set up his drum kit, I noticed that Raymond Weber (Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk) standing next to me.  I introduced myself and we talked about the upcoming weekend.

The lineup for The Junco Partners:

John ‘Papa’ Gros (Papa Grows Funk) – Keyboards and Vocals

June Yamagishi (Papa Grows Funk) – Guitar

Brian Stoltz (Brian Stoltz Band formerly of Porter Batiste & Stoltz and others) – Guitar and Vocals

Tony Hall (Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk) – Bass and Vocals

Raymond Weber (Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk) – Drums and Vocals

Unfortunately, your scribe did not bring his camera to the show. It was a great rockin’ funk show.   Great vocals, great musicianship.  This was five of my favorite musicians that are obviously very comfortable playing with each other.  Both John Gros and Raymond Weber mentioned how much fun they had practicing for this show.  It showed in their performance.  A great start to a great weekend!

~Continue to the Thursday installment of Easy D’s Jazz Fest 2010 adventure~

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The 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:

An “Easy D” Perspective: Friday, April 30, 2010

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

Mike "Easy D" Deasy

(Read Easy D’s “Prologue” here)

(Read Easy D’s “Wednesday, April 28, 2010” here)

(Read Easy D’s “Thursday, April 29, 2010” here)

Canal Street (Photo by Jon Weber)

Canal Street (Photo by Jon Weber)

Although I was extremely well rested from the mega-sleep Thursday night, I did not make it out to the fairgrounds early.  We waited while one of our Krewe finally made it to the hotel after a very bad Air Tran experience.  Hey, more time to party…works for me!

Photo by Lynn Lesh

Photo by Lynn Lesh

The weather forecast for the rest of the weekend was cloudy, windy, with the chance of rain getting worse as the weekend wore on.  The storm that ravaged Nashville, Tennesse and many other places looked like it would stay north of New Orleans; Sunday might be the worst rain day.  We made allowances for the weather by throwing raincoats and ponchos into a backpack.

The Chateau Bourbon Hotel portion of my Krewe turned me on to the school bus shuttle to the Fest.  For a $17 round trip, you get door to door service to the fest in an air-conditioned school bus.  It was like being in the HOV lane!  So much better than taking a taxi.  Take note you future festers!

Photo by Derek B.

Big Chief Victor Harris the 2nd Friday @ Jazz Fest, Jazz & Heritage Stage (Photo by Derek B.)

Once out to the fairgrounds, we paused at the Jazz & Heritage stage for the Fi Yi Yi & the Mandingo Warriors.  Not the best of Indian shows.  We didn’t stay long since we were on our way to Gentilly stage anyway for the subdudes.

The Subdudes (Photo by Adam McCullough)

The Subdudes' John Magnie (Photo by Adam McCullough)

The subdudes are a great roots rock band that has been around on and off since 1987.  They are known for their sparse instrumentation with a strong emphasis on songwriting and vocal harmonies.  The current lineup consists of:

Tommy Malone – lead vocals, electric and acoustic guitars

John Magnie –  vocals, organ, keyboards, accordion

Steve Amedée – vocals, tambourine, drums, percussion, electric mandolin

Tim Cook – harmony vocals, bass, percussion

Jimmy Messa – bass, guitar, vocals

Look for a club show action shots of the subdudes in a future installment.  The dudes set was excellent, left me wanting more…I knew I would see them again soon…

Steve Riley And The Mamou Playboy (Photo by Tamara Grayson)

Steve Riley And The Mamou Playboy (Photo by Tamara Grayson)

Next up: A stroll by the Sheraton New Orleans Fais Do Do stage for Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, a great Cajun band.  This is an act I have been meaning to check out for years. A special treat: three trombonists from Bonerama joined the stage during their performance!

Steve Riley’s 2008 performance at Jazz Fest earned him a Grammy Award nomination. Though he lost out to Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience Band, Riley is a musician worthy of local support and national acclaim. Zydeco music is mostly heard a little further west, but Jazz Fest is a great opportunity to check out some great local music. ~The Daily Reveille~

The Trio (Photo by David Grunfeld)

The Trio (Photo by David Grunfeld)

Time for some food!  I chose another one of my all time favorites.  My friends and I call it the Trio, but it is identified as a platter.  The Trio consists of Alligator Pie, a large Shrimp Stuffed with Crabmeat, and Fried Green Tomatoes.  Mmmm…and all for $10.

Next up: The set that I have been looking forward to for weeks: The New Orleans Social Club in the Blues tent.  This is an all-star band consisting of:

Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk) – Keyboards and Vocals

Henry Butler – Piano and Vocals

George Porter, Jr. (The Meters, etc) – Bass and Vocals

Leo Nocentelli (The Meters) – Guitar and Vocals

Raymond Weber (Dumpstaphunk) – Drums and Vocals

At the fairgrounds, in the below video, the New Orleans Social Club burns through the end of the Wild Tchopitoulas classic “Indian Red.”


If you ever get a chance to see Henry Butler perform, I urge not to walk, but run to see him.  He is a national treasure.  To give you an idea, check out this video about the recording of Honeybee for Papa Mali’s Do Your Thing album:

There was no reason to leave the Blues tent since The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band were up next.   This husband and wife team were excellent as usual.  The band also included a couple of Burbridges:  Oteil, the bassist from The Allman Brothers Band and Kofi, keys, flute, etc. from The Derek Trucks Band.

It was very hot and extremely humid in the tent so my gang moved on.  Earlier in the day, we received word that Aretha Franklin had canceled for some undisclosed diva reason.  Late replacement:  Earth, Wind and Fire at the Acura stage!  Very nice!  After a couple of sexy soulful  tunes, my Krewe (of guys) all started looking at each other kinda funny.  We realized that we better head for the school bus and head back to the French Quarter.  A very nice day indeed.  And the weather held up!!!

Earth, Wind and Fire @ Jazz Fest 2010

Earth, Wind and Fire @ Jazz Fest 2010

Friday Evening at the Rock ‘N’ Bowl

Rock 'N' Bowl

Rock 'N' Bowl

There were lots of great music choices for Friday night club shows.  I really wanted to see 7 Walkers featuring Papa Mali and Bill Kreutzman.  They were playing a theater show opening for Gov’t Mule as well as a later show at Mardi Gras World. When I’m in New Orleans, I much prefer to go to the clubs instead of a theater.  There are so many fun clubs in New Orleans in so many different neighborhoods.  Much of the time, magical things happen when musicians go from club to club to sit in on other artist’s sets.

John Mooney at the Rock 'N' Bowl

John Mooney at the Rock 'N' Bowl

We decided to go to The Rock ‘N’ Bowl, a great music venue and bowling alley in the Mid City neighborhood.   A couple of years ago, The Rock ‘N’ Bowl moved from one location to more spacious quarters on Carrollton Ave.  The new place is much nicer for music, much more spacious and comfortable.  The lineup for the evening:  John Mooney and Bluesiana, Sonny Landreth, and Bonerama.

John Mooney is a delta, swamp, slide, Louisiana blues guitarist and singer who has called New Orleans home since 1976.  John’s trio put on a great performance while enduring the chatter that opening acts inevitably have to deal with.

Sonny Landreth @ Jazzfest 2010

Sonny Landreth @ Jazzfest 2010

Next up Lafayette Louisiana’s own Sonny Landreth, another Louisiana slide master.  I am a longtime fan of Sonny.  How big a fan?  My 12 year old Nissan Sentra sports a Sonny Landreth bumper sticker that reads ‘My Other Car is a Zydecoldsmobile’ which references Sonny’s rockin’ tune USS Zydecoldsmobile.  Sonny has a long career of collaborations with the likes of John Hiatt and the Goners (along with Sonny’s bassist David Ranson), Bonnie Raitt, Buckwheat Zydeco, Jimmy Buffett, and many others.

Grant Street Album

Grant Street Album

For this show, Sonny had his usual power trio setup with David Ranson on bass, and a drummer du jour.  Tunes in the set included Native Stepson, Port of Calling, All About You, and USS Zydecoldsmobile.  To get a sense of Sonny live, I recommend Sonny’s Grant Street live album.

Bonerama:

Lastly we all had to get ‘boned’.   Bonerama is a rock band fronted by several trombones/horns.   In addition to playing killer covers, Bonerama featured three songs in the set from their excellent recently released Hard Times EP.   Later in the show, the Bones brought up to the stage guitarist Jimmy Robinson (Woodenhead, Twangorama) for the end of the set and the encore.  Bones and guitar for Whipping Post and War Pigs!  Yeah you right!

Bonerama set list:

Bayou Betty
Cabbage Alley
Lost My House
The Ocean
Hard Times
I Got Loaded
Close The Door
Whipping Post *
Folly *

Encore: War Pigs *

Note: * w/ Jimmy Robinson on Guitar

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….continued from previous Rebirth Brass Band review

Dumpstaphunk @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Dumpstaphunk @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

“Dumpstaphunk is the best funk band from New Orleans right now.”

~New York Times~

The Show Karma continued as 3/4 of the venue stepped outside during intermission for their various smokey treats.  When we went back in, it was clear that 1/2 the venue had left for good. Giving us PLENTY of room to dance, but seriously confusing me. Prior to the show that night, while standing in the Will Call line, I overheard a clearly misguided music lover state: “I don’t even know what this Dumpsta stuff is!”  Yall think I held my tongue? Those who know me well know I did not. He was schooled real quick…

Nick Daniels III & Tony Hall @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Nick Daniels III & Tony Hall @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

What was wrong with these people?  I mean come on!!  It was a sold out show, so they spent $35.00 and left after the first band?  Granted, Rebirth Brass Band was an amazing show by itself but…HELLO!! Add in Dumpstaphunk and you got gold baby!!  What was going on?  Those of us smart enough to stick around claimed our rightful place back up front!

Dumpstaphunk was founded by members of the legendary Neville family, Ivan and Ian. Seriously, if you ever see a band containing a member or special guest with the last name Neville, you know it’s worth seeing! Go see it!  Completing this amazing group is Tony Hall, Raymond Weber and Nick Daniels III.  A stage dripping in pure talent. Perhaps if you didn’t understand before, now you may understand my jaw dropping astonishment that people left the venue.

The line up on stage went:

Ivan Neville – Keys
Tony Hall – Bass & vocals
Nick Daniels III – Bass
Raymond Weber – Drums
Ian Neville – Guitar

Ian Neville & Raymond Weber @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Ian Neville & Raymond Weber @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

First of all, I don’t think I can ever meet Ian Neville without drooling all over him. HOT DAMN! He is 2 years younger then me and he is dangerously good looking. That smile is infectious and made me all tingly inside 🙂 On the other hand, Tony Hall, probably 20 years my senior, was dripping with stage presence and sexual energy. He just entered my Sean Connery category. Those older men who you just can’t say “NO” to if ever they were to approach you.  Flirting with those of us in the front row, with our cameras, with our videos, Tony is a giver and receiver of energy and we fed off each other all night.

Set List:

  • Ian Neville, Ivan Neville & Tony Hall @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

    Ian Neville, Ivan Neville & Tony Hall @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

    Shake it Off

  • Neutra Rat
  • No More Okey Doke
  • Lt. Dan
  • Just the Two of Us
  • Everybody Wants Somebody
  • Meanwhile…
  • Jam
  • She’s Music
  • Deeper
  • Put It In The Dumpsta
  • Gasman
  • Nick Daniels Bass Solo
  • Standing in Yo Stuff  (Girls on stage)
  • Unknown Song with Nikki Glaspie on Drums & Maurice Brown on trumpet

Shake It Off started us off with a bass heavy beginning bringing forth some uplifting lyrics where each member sang a portion of the song telling us to shake off all our worries in various ways. “Don’t waste your time and energy. What will be will be.”  So we did what they said. We shook them out right then and there all over the dance floor.  Ps…love the bass in this song. 🙂

Tony Hall @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Tony Hall @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

So, in parts of America there are these semi aquatic rat/beaver hybrid looking things that apparently sparks creativity in Dumpstaphunk because their next song was Nuetra-Rat. It’s here I begin to notice Tony Hall’s energy play with the crowd. I just LOVED him. Many times, some of the greatest parts of a live show experience isn’t the music at all. I heard every note he played but I focused more on him. That smile, that flirty energy! Tony Hall is super fun and proves that live music is so worth paying to see and going up front to watch.

No More Okey Doke, a Meter’s cover, raged next!  This song gets everyone moving. It’s one of the songs that mostly everyone knows as it is covered so often.  It’s a crowd pleasure for sure. Half way into the song, Tony Hall gave us a funky charged bass rage! (I was lucky enough to capture a little bit on video & 35 seconds in he notices!)

Nick Daniels III @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Nick Daniels III @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Lt. Dan, a Dumpstaphunk staple, brought us into Everybody Needs Somebody.  Ivan mentioned the Super Bowl win, stating that “we still aren’t over it.” And the Who Dat chants being.  However, a certain member of the audience didn’t feel the chant needed to end when Ivan did.  Rolling up to the front in a Saints tee shirt, a big drunk tank of a man screamed The “Who Dat” chant probably 8-10 times until his voice died forcing him to stop. That man LOVED his Saints and Ivan’s smile was appreciative. The venue laughed as one and Ivan took  back control of the performance.

Into the funky bass heavy jam, Meanwhile.., Ivan’s signature deep, growly voice delivers us another song asserting that it’s best to just relax and let loose. “Meanwhile…Go and have yourself a good time. Go shake your pretty booty baby! Because there might not be a next time….” The vocals on this song are repetitive but allow for a lot of solos and rages! I missed the horns from the studio album but it still rocked as Ivan was off the keys and onto his guitar slamming out a jam that wouldn’t quit for a good 5 minutes. Enjoy Raymon Webber’s full drum solo!

Ivan Neville & Nick Daniels III @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Ivan Neville & Nick Daniels III @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Now, in the funk world there are romantic songs also: deep, heavy and full of love!  She’s Music! is one of those songs! Without ever hearing the song, lyrics or anything, I can imagine such beautiful things with a title like that.  I imagine a sick love song about a old lover or possibly a new infatuation.  Coming from a musician and having them tell you you are music? I would melt. It might just be my favorite song title right now! “She’s funky like the Family Stone, smooth like Marvin Gay,” sings Nick Daniels III as Ian Neville grabs a funky guitar solo. The whole time, I am drippin’ in sweat as the venue is so hot and I am just laughing at the people who left this amazing performance. DAMN! Dumpstaphunk delivers.

Tony Hall is total hotness.  Always going to be here to see us through, his love for his audience goes…Deeper! Ok, yes that was cheesy but I know I am right! Tony got the vocal party started as Ivan threw his voice into the mix with the smooth backup of the other members. Ian’s guitar strumming in the lighter tunes and Ivan slams down onto his keys given us a solo! This song was a little too slow for the moment…we slowed down the energy a little bit with this one. However, it was perfect for the build up into the next song….they knew what they were doing!

Ivan Neville @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Ivan Neville @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Put It In The Dumpsta, a personal favorite, a majorly funk heavy tune introduced with Ivan talkin’, “We need to get rid of the bullshit that we walk around carrying on a day to day basis And he is right.  It’s apparent these guys have a theme through their lyrics. Basically they are saying RAGE FULLY and dump the CRAP out your life! I can handle that vibe! I can totally hook into that method of living! I do it everyday!  So, they got a nice jam going during this song. Great excitement! Basically just hollering Put It in a Dumpsta and the crowd joins in.  What you gonna do???

Eric Krano w/ Dumpstaphunk @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Eric Krano w/ Dumpstaphunk @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Ivan’s nose gets all scrunched up and he says, “Smells like somebody farted.”  Of course, I giggle and write it in my notes.  My buddy leans over and says, “That’s a segway into the next song, silly.”  Gasman was next on the lineup and quickly became my favorite song and it’s very clear in 5…4….3….2….Eric Krasno stepped out on to stage with his guitar! Oh yes sir! He didn’t even have to play for it to be my favorite. Just stand there and look awesome. Eric ripped through his solo, bringing his signature sound and crying guitar to the fold that evening.  Special guests are always a welcomed part of any show! It’s when the history gets made! When the magic moments happen!

Tiny Rager dancing with Dumpstaphunk @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Tiny Rager dancing with Dumpstaphunk @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

As Nick Daniels III gave us a tasty bass solo, you hear Tony say: Ok, Security. Now don’t get excited but we need to add a few more people to this stage!”  A tradition when the song is played, during “Standing in Yo Stuff,” girls are asked to join the stage and shake their groove thang. After the play between Tony and I the whole night he pointed at me to join the stage. I shook my head.  There was no way, NO WAY, I was going on that stage.  After a few measures of the song, he practically demanded it by leaning over and stinking his yummy strummin’ finger in my face haha.  SCREW IT! They had just sung an entire night of uplifting songs telling us to relax and life life to the fullest!!!!

Tiny Rager dancing with Dumpstaphunk @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

Tiny Rager dancing with Dumpstaphunk @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

I made my way over to the side stage and Security wouldn’t let me in.  Pointing to Tony, the security guy follows my finger to see the funky bassist on stage hollering at him over the mic. Classic! An image I will never forget. But Securities hands were tied.  Show Karma strikes again as at that moment three girls walked off the stage.  And there  I was standing on a stage for the first time in my life shaking like a leaf, looking Ivan Neville in the eye and trying not to throw up!

Ian Neville, Nikie Glaspie, Maurice Brown @ Highline Ballroom   (04.01.10)

Ian Neville, Nikie Glaspie, Maurice Brown @ Highline Ballroom (04.01.10)

All I can remember while I was up there was that I was supposed to be dancing so DON’T STOP MOVING!  Hahah! I caught myself standing still, jaw open as a horn finally made its way on stage.  I was missing the horns the whole set! I was very surprised that members of Rebirth Brass Band hadn’t flooded the stage much earlier.  That would have been AWESOME!  I kept getting lost in Maurice’s sound, his hair and his blazer.  Handsome + Horn = Awesome!

And I got to be honest with you, I have NO CLUE about the last song. I was so hyped up on energy and excitement from doing what I had just done that it took me quite some time to even realize another song was even playing let alone that Nikki Glaspie was now on drums while Raymond stood behind her singing and Maurice Brown was on trumpet.

I left the venue that night energized beyond belief.  The Members of the NYC Funk Live group had raged so hard that night. So proud! Some of us got up on stage! Some of us got their wish for more space when the venue cleared out at intermission…ALL of us were up front raging!   And we couldn’t have chosen a better show to see.  In hindsight, I have little pangs of regret for having missed the South Memphis String Band with Luther Dickinson show but in all honesty, nothing tops funk (except fusion) and nothing could top this night!

NYC Funk Live Meetup Group = Full Rage!

NYC Funk Live Meetup Group = Full Rage!

All I can say is this: NEVER EVER MISS A CHANCE TO SEE DUMPTAPHUNK!!!


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