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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Randolph & The Family Band’

Bowlive IV Night 4 Recap w/ Booker T, David Hidalgo & The Shady Horns | Tonight Hidalgo Returns, Marco & The Shady Horns

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Dedicated music lovers brought themselves out to the Brooklyn Bowl for the start of Soulive’s second week of the Bowlive IV residency. Guitarist Eric Krasno, bass keyboardist Neal Evans and drummer Alan Evans are back with a new week and new musical adventures.

_DSC4418Last week’s roster was packed with sit-ins by southern blues rock guitarist Luther and percussionist Cody Dickinson (The North Mississippi Allstars), the fierce harmonica playing of John Popper (The Blues Travelers), the 70’s flare of vocalist Lee Fields and his Expression Horns, the pedal steel slide guitar styling of Robert Randolph (Robert Randolph and the Family Band), the soul-filled flavor of vocalist Nigel Hall and the spinning talents of DJ Logic. Surprise guests included the amazing Allman Brothers Band guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks and trombonist Sanders Sermon (Tedeschi/Trucks Band).

One of the highlights of Bowlive this year has been the killer opening bands kicking off every night. Kung Fu absolutely blew the roof off the first night, setting a pace of rage for the rest of the week. The second night followed with the powerful 8-piece Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds who kept the energy high and the Alecia Chakour Band delivered their sultry sounds on Saturday. You can read about those shows in earlier posts here on TinyRager.com.

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Following one of the best first weeks in Bowlive history, the formula would to remain the same. The high powered, high energy, talented horn-crunching musicianship of saxophonist Cochemea Gastulem (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings) and his band, The Electric Sounds of Johnny Arrow, showcased a different style of music to Soulive fans. The sounds of Africa’s Fela Kuti and 70’s baritone player Lekan Animashanu provided influence to the tunes. One’s hips couldn’t help but begin to grind to the pulsating percussion infused music. After the opening set, there were members of the audience who could be overheard discussing these new sounds that Soulive had introduced to their Bowlive roster.

Set List:

Dark City
Carlito
Impala 73
You’re So Good To Me
Heleyos
Lluva Con Nieve
Fathom 5
No Goodbyes

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The theme for the rest of the night was simple. Play one strong, satisfying Tribute to Stax Records with one of the coolest, hippest, electric blues keyboardist of all time, Booker T. Jones (Booker T. and the MG’s.) However, the audience had to be patient. Soulive purists still needed to see their favorite trio stand alone. Alan, Neal and Eric performed “Outrage” and “Dig” before the Shady Horns joined the stage. Baritone saxophonist Ryan Zoidis and trumpeter Eric Bloom (Lettuce) and James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band) brought another layer of funk to the vibe with “Hatrick” and even more horns joined when Cochemea’s baritone saxophonist Freddy Deboe and Lee Fields band’s saxophonist Mike Buckley sat in on “For Granted.”  Their powerful horn solos overwhelmed the speakers causing feedback that took a minute to control and it was back into full funky rage.

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When Booker T. Jones came on stage, the crowd went wild. To experience an entire set with Booker T. and Soulive was liberating. However, to see how excited Soulive was, well, that was just icing on the cake of what was a delicious remaining night of music. Krasno put it best as he spoke to the audience, explaining that as much fun as it is for the fans, it’s equally as fun for Soulive, as they are fans themselves. Fans that have the distinct pleasure and honor of inviting their mentors and influences on stage to join them. The passion for Booker T. was also evident as you looked around the audience and saw other famous Jam-world faces such as Erik Kalb (Deep Banana Blackout), David Bailis (Pimps of Joytime), and Alecia Chakour (Alecia Chakour Band).

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Booker T. and Soulive crushed out iconic Booker T. and the MGs hits “Hip Hug Her,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “Time is Tight,” and more. They then played “Born Under A Bad Sign,” which Albert King made famous but was written by Booker who along with the MG’s and The Memphis horns appear on that studio version. There was the catchy instrumental versions of Cee Lo Green’s “Crazy,” and Lauryn Hill’s “Everything is Everything,” with each instrument on stage taking the lead on each song.  It was sharp, stunning and solid. The Booker T’s Memphis Soul Sound was supported wonderfully by Soulive, all three of whom were grinning from ear to ear throughout the entire set. Finally, it wouldn’t be Bowlive without a surprise special guest. Guitarist David Hidalgo (Los Lobos), in town a night early for his Wednesday night Bowlive appearance, would pop out halfway in the middle of tunes then disappear again. This would continue through the set, teasing us with what would be seen on night five.

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The Booker T. encore was the most recognizable tune of all, the instrumental classic, “Green Onions,” with its ripping Hammond Organ line were both Neal and Booker T. enjoyed trading licks on their keys. That song threw everyone, of all ages, back into the soundtrack of 1993’s The Sandlot, back riding around in their 1962 Chevy Impala Convertible with the top down. It is a song that defined the ages and every one of all ages was invested.

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Capping off the night, the trio stood alone on stage for “Tuesday Night Squad,” a nod to the night and perhaps Soulive’s way of naming the dedicated tribe who supported them on such an early weeknight.  The Tuesday Night Squad we became and Bowlive fanatics should hold that badge with honor, the same way Soulive was visibly honored to perform for us last night with such an amazing icon of music.

Last night’s tribute to Stax Records was a pleasure.  Tonight get there on time for another stunner of an opener with the ever-rocking London Souls and guests Marco Benevento (keys) and guitarist David Hidalgo (Los Lobos).

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Set List:
Hip Hug Her
Hang ‘Em High
Born Under A Bad Sign
Crazy
Time is Tight
Something
Everything is A Everything

Encore:
Green Onions
Tuesday Night Squad

Written by Karen Dugan
Tinyrager.com

Photos By Andrew Blackstein & Allison Murphy

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Soulive members, the rhythmic Evans brothers Neal and Alan and guitarist Eric Krasno transformed The Brooklyn Bowl from a guitar god’s wet dream to a world of funk and Beatle Mania on the third night of Bowlive III.

However, before the show could start, there were a few adventures I went on that I would like to share.  The most silly adventure was first. On Jam Cruise this year, a girl named Harmony held a pet adoption with stuffed animals (mostly sheep) of varying styles and sizes. What first occurred at The Catskill Chill Music Festival on a small scale last summer had now made it’s way to the Jam Cruise world on a large scale. As a result, musicians and their children, like New Orleans trombonist Big Sam (Big Sam’s Funky Nation) and Marco Benevento‘s daughter Ruby, adopted animals. Big Sam adopted a sheep and named her…what else? Harmony!

What's with the stuffed animals, you ask?

What’s with the stuffed animals, you ask?

Front row rage with Jessica, Laurie and LUCY!

Front row rage with Jessica, Laurie and LUCY!

Jam Cruisers and their animals were all over the Bowlive scene during the ten day residency but Big Sam is the only artists who engaged in the enjoyment of his adopted pet publicly. Before the show, I was with a friend who had brought her lamb, Lucy. We ran into Big Sam and asked about Harmony. He had her in a plastic bag in his hand. Right then and there, Harmony was brought out and Lucy and she “played” and “danced” a bit together before Big Sam took Harmony backstage! Over the run, Lucy (NY), Smiley-Face (MD), Harmony (NOLA), Fluffy (VA) and Jimmy (NJ) would make their way from various parts of America with their adoptive parents to enjoy Bowlive shows from the front row.  Big Sam’s Harmony, however, was the only one who engaged in the back stage rage and got to dance on stage. Enjoy the clip:


At the end of the day, this new vein within our scene is representative of the curiosity and connection that we all posses and/or seek. Just as The Karma Wash and Fan Club Headquarters are relevant, so is this fun idea. Amazingly, lots of people have mascots and the addition of this adoption program has spawned multiple mascot meetups and adoptive front row rages around our scene. Be sure to look for a stuffed sheep or mascot near you and share a dance 🙂

Neal Evans (Photo by Phrazz)

Neal Evans (Photo by Phrazz)

The previous two evenings, the trio infused their sounds with special guest southern slide guitarist Luther Dickinson and jazz great John Scofield. On this night, Karl Denson (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe), Sam Williams (Big Sam’s Funky Nation), and Rahzel (The Roots) graced the stage with their flute and saxophone, trombone and beat boxing, respectively.

The organ-based jazz trio kicked off their set with “Steppin,” off their 2010 Live at the Blue Note Tokyo album and “Uncle Junior,” 2007 Get Down album. As the three core leaders of Bowlive, they immediately established that there would be no slowing down. By the middle of “Aladdin,” all three men on stage were fully invested.  Krasno was taking his solos at the edge of the stage, sometimes rising onto his toes, while Neal Evans dominated the song with his bass keys and organ play and Alan Evans slammed his drums with ferocity.

Karl Denson (Photo by Phrazz)

Karl Denson (Photo by Phrazz)

Karl Denson was announced as the audience was told that he “just got off a plane and walked on this stage.”  Karl Denson is one of the hardest working musicians in the business and his passion for his craft drips off every note he plays. He is a fast, funky band leader who is always consistent in his delivery.  “The Swamp” and “Rudy’s Way” followed with Denson choosing to add his flute to the beautifully composed songs.  The addition of Karl’s flute to the sound of our favorite trio added another dimension of emotion to the songs.  They continued with “Shaheed,” off their 2001 album Doin’ Something where Karl’s flute provided a softness to the hard-edged song. Krasno raged his guitar till the strings broke and had to change to a new guitar and Neal Evans kicked a drum solo into the audience’s guts.

Alan Evans, Karl Denson, Big Sam, and Eric Krasno (Photo by Phrazz)

Alan Evans, Karl Denson, Big Sam, Eric Krasno & Nigel Hall (Photo by Phrazz)

Joining the foursome on stage next was Nigel Hall (The Warren Haynes Band) and Sam Williams (Big Sam’s Funky Nation). There can be no doubt that the danceable and excitable energy that Big Sam brings is something you can’t find in many artists. The New Orleans native, formerly the trombonist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, danced out on stage with his horn, picked up a stage prop that he had brought (his stuffed sheep named Harmony) and began to dance all around the stage. Nigel and Big Sam began grooving it together and the entire audience couldn’t help but beam over the energy of it all.  These are serious performances but it’s ALWAYS appropriate to have a good time and with just his presence; Big Sam will lift any crowd. The powerhouse of funk on stage slowed the rage down for the soulful, “Leave Me Alone,” sung by Hall. Karl Denson changed to his saxophone and kicked us a lightning fast solo to end the set.

Rage (Photo by Phrazz)

Rage (Photo by Phrazz)

Rahzel Set Break Set (Photo by Phrazz)

Rahzel Set Break Set (Photo by Phrazz)

Straying from the formula of the first two nights, during this set break the audience would not be staring at an empty stage waiting for the first set to start. Instead, Beat Boxer Rahzel, the “Godfather of Noyze,” came out to keep them engaged.  Watching the audience react to this amazing addition to the night was almost as exciting as watching Rahzel. Specialize in the “fifth element of hip-hop,” Rahzel’s instrument is himself and a microphone.  He is a vocal percussionist who uses his breath, mouth and body to imitate sounds, instruments and voices.  He projected unmistakable beats from the Wu-Tang Clan and Run DMC. He became a DJ scratching records, created a buzzing insect around his head and brought Optimus Prime (Transforms) to life on stage with his robotic sounds. His signature song, “If Your Mother Only Knew” is always the highlight of a Rahzel performance. Rahzel simultaneously sings the lyrics and works the beats. It is quite difficult to even comprehend how Rahzel does what he does!  AMAZING!

Rubber Soulive Album

Rubber Soulive Album

Before Beatle Mania could kick off the first set, Soulive joined Rahzel on stage and performed “I Am the Magnificent” and it was just that, magnificent.  The entire first half of the second set consisting of songs chosen off Soulive’s latest album, Rubber Soulive.  “Come Together,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” The audience sang along to the first song while the psychedelic lights and trippy sounds emanating off stage for “She’s So Heavy” was reinvented through the jazz trio.

Karl Denson, Big Sam, Nigel Hall and Lenesha Randolph (Photo by Phrazz)

Karl Denson, Big Sam, Nigel Hall and Lenesha Randolph (Photo by Phrazz)

Questlove (Photo by Phrazz)

Questlove (Photo by Phrazz)

Big Sam, Karl Denson, Nigel Hall and now, Lenesha Randolph (Robert Randolph and the Family Band) joined the stage for “Too Much.” Randolph and Hall sang the up-beat tune while Karl and Big Sam took their turn at the mic delivering some of the hardest, funkiest horn solos that Bowlive audiences will experience this run.  They kept up the pace with Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and Questlove (The Roots) replacing Alan Evans, who picked up a guitar.

Full Stage Rage (Photo by Phrazz)

Full Stage Rage (Photo by Phrazz)

The entire crew of Soulive and their special guests kicked off the end of the set with “Tuesday Night Squad.”  Big Sam dominated a 3 minute long trombone rage, Alan was back on killin it on the drums, Nigel was on the Bongos before heading over to Neal where the pair did a little dance, if you will, shifting back and forth past each other to manipulate the various levels of keys that Neal’s kit provides.  Hall sang James Brown’s “Beweildered,” a deep, soulful song that required Nigel to reach the top of his range, and then he walked off stage.  It was back into “Tuesday Night Squad” to close the set.

Nigel and Neal Rage the Boards (Photo by Phrazz)

Nigel and Neal Rage the Boards (Photo by Phrazz)

There was never really an encore because every musician on stage was so into the music and feeling the audience’s energy that they chose to just play through and give their fans that extra five minutes of music that every audience desires.

Download Night 3 Sound Board Audio Here!

In three days Bowlive III had now brought us jazz, soul, psychedelic rock, New Orleans funk, hip-hop and southern-style blues in only three nights. The following evening, the party continued with Karl Denson sticking around for a second night and Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band) joining with her funky trumpet and soulful voice.

Pictures by Phrazz

Videos by: I can’t believe there are no videos for this entire night. If anyone finds some, send them my way

Words by The Tiny Rager

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Last Saturday, The Brooklyn Bowl played host to the 12th Annual Freaks Ball, a high-energy party hosted by the deeply-rooted, music-loving Yahoo! Group the NYC Freaks. With access to so much music, New Yorkers are privileged to see any act of their choice. In some cases, multiple times a year. However, it’s a show like The Freaks Ball that we wait for as music lovers in New York City.

A wonderful part of NYC’s underground musical culture, the NYC Freaks have been around as long as anyone can remember. After inquiring to a few members, many couldn’t recall when they were invited to join NYC’s hottest music list, but noted that they were happy members and the list was their main access to music knowledge and insight. This party would be for the Freaks. Seeing the collection of hugging friends as the city’s heaviest music-loving hitters entered the Brooklyn Bowl was inspirational. The pockets of positivity around me were wonderful. This wasn’t your typical gathering for a concert at Brooklyn Bowl. Freaks had taken over.

Over the years, this friendly, musical party has included musicians and projects that eventually went on to hit the national jam-band scene, including The Duo (Marco Benevento and Joe Russo), Robert Randolph, Apollo Sunshine, RANA, Bustle in Your Hedgerow, New Mastersounds and members of the extended Daptone family.

Opening the show was a quartet consisting of Eric Deutsch on keys, Joe Russo on drums, Scott Metzger (Wolf!) on guitar and Hagar Ben-Ari (Dap Kings) on bass. They played a tight set consisting of the Beatle’s “Day Tripper,” Grateful Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie,” a ‘Wolf!’ tune called “Get in The Van,” Erik Deutsch’s original “Funky Digits,” Neil Young’s “Don’t Let it Bring You Down” and an Ike Willis tune to close the set called “Funky Mule.” If one didn’t know any better, one might have thought that this was a polished group who rehearsed regularly. In reality, the set exposed four accomplished musicians with great talent coming together for a unique super jam that was solid, full of varying styles of music and fully preparing us for the main event that was about to hit the stage.

After a short intermission, we were delivered a Super Jam of E-P-I-C proportions with the Freaks Ball AllStars that included Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers), Eric Krasno (Soulive), Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds), Joe Russo (Furthur), Marco Benevento (Surprise Me Mr. Davis), Ron Johnson and Alecia Chakour (Warren Haynes Band).

The collection of musical talent on stage was staggering. Over the course of the night, each musician rotated on and off the stage providing for a rare night of music. Each guitarist was distinctly different in sound covering songs like Sly Stone’s “Sing a Simple Song,” Howard Tate’s “You Don’t Know Nothing About Love” and The Meter’s “Funky Miracle.” Bassist Ron Johnson held it down for the entire set with the biggest smile, killing it during “Windjammer.”

The Brooklyn Bowl audience stood in a pile of their own tears as the super group displayed their love for the magnificent Etta James, who died just days earlier. Alecia Chakour’s voice shook the rafter’s as she and Warren Haynes shared a duet on “Little Wings” while Eric Krasno’s guitar gently wept through “I’d Rather Go Blind.”

 

The lights this evening were above par, complimenting Marco Benevento’s unique sound as he performed his original “Mephisto” and the Benevento/Russo Duo’s “Scratchitti.” Everyone joined the stage to close with “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” A completely wonderful, ripping spectacle.

The Freaks Ball kicked off a trend of many more magical nights at the Brooklyn Bowl and raised the bar so high that it will be a long time before this night of music is topped. I look forward to running into more Freaks when that time comes.

www.brooklynbowl.com

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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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November 2010 Music Calendar

November 2010 Potential Show Run Down

Calendar updated daily!

Monday, Novemeber 1st, 2010

  • ($12-$18) Marco Benevento (Solo Piano) @ City Winery
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (Midnight set)
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

  • ($10) The Headhunters @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) Bedouin Soundclash @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($34-$45) Preservation Hall @ City Winery
  • ($36.75) Boys Like Girls @ Irving Plaza
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square
  • ($70-$270) Robert Water’s The Wall @ Izod Center, NJ

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

  • ($14) Daedelus & Gaslamp Killer @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($30-$45) Bob Mould @ City Winery
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square
  • ($70-$270) Robert Water’s The Wall @ Izod Center, NJ

Friday, November 5th, 2010

  • ($10) Rubblebucket, Pimps of Joytime, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($10-$12) BR and Timebomb @ Canal Room
  • ($15) Tristan Prettyman @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($15) Blues Traveler & The Cringe @Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20) Shawn Mullins & Daniel Wayne @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($20) Bonerama Residency with John Kimock
  • ($30-$45) Bob Mould @ City Winery
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square
  • ($51) Interpol @ United Palace Theater

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (late night)
  • ($10) Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($15) Blues Traveler & The Cringe @Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15 – $20) Son Of Bill @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($20) Bob Mould @ The Rock Shop
  • ($27.50 – $35) Bassnectar @ Terminal 5
  • ($40) Patti Smith: Khubilai Khan @ Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium / MMOA
  • ($50) The Black Crowes @ Nokia Theater Times Square
  • ($92 – $278) Robert Water’s The Wall @ Izod Center, NJ

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

  • ($30) Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys @ B.B. Kings

Monday, November 8th, 2010

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard
  • ($31) Bonobo @ Webster Hall

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (Midnight set)
  • ($15) One Eskimo @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($20) The London Souls @ Rocks Off Cruise
  • ($48 – $56) Joshua Redman w/ Brad Mehldau & The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra @ Zankel Hall

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

  • (?$$?) Bon Jovi @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($10) Scrapomatic @ Southpaw
  • ($14) Anat Cohen Quartet @ Littlefield
  • ($30) Sara Bareilles @ Webster Hall
  • ($46-$115) Experience Hendrix @ Beacon Theater

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

  • ($10-$15) Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds Record Release Party w/ Special Guests @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($10-$15) Trouble & Bass @ Santos House Party
  • ($15) Toots and the Maytals @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($19) The Infamous Stringdusters and Trampled By Turtles @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($38.75) Robert Earl Keen @ Terminal 5

Friday, November 12th, 2010

  • (FREE) Mark Guiliana @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (FREE) Dynamo & Badnutbeats w/ Higher Nebulae & MUN @ Spike Hill
  • ($10) Melvin Sparks @ Blue Note (12:30 late night slot)
  • ($20) Autumn Defense and Johnny Irion & Sarah Guthrie @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($20) Bonerama w/ Terence Higgins (Dirty Doz Brass Band) & Jonathan Batiste @ Sullivan Hall
    • w/ opening acts: Ikebe Shakedown/ Timbre Coup/ Bearquarium
  • ($22.50) Rusted Root w/ Assembly of Dust @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($25) ASIA Featuring JOHN PAYNE – Unplugged @ B.B. Kings
  • ($20- $116) New York Philharmonic @ Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage)
  • ($30-$40) Slick Rick @ B.B. Kings
  • ($87-$100) Dave Matthews Band w/ John Butler Trio @ Madison Square Garden
  • ($91 – $328) 30th John Lennon Tribute: A Benefit For Playing For Change @ Beacon Theater

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem
  • ($7) Afro Funky Party w/ Zongo Junction, Top Shotta & DJ Offbeat @ Cameo Gallery
  • ($10) Greensky Bluegrass @ Southpaw
  • ($10-$12) The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($20- $116) New York Philharmonic @ Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage)
  • ($30) Robert Randolph & the Family Band @ Terminal 5
  • ($76) John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension @ Town Hall
  • ($87-$100) Dave Matthews Band w/ John Butler Trio @ Madison Square Garden

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

  • ($10) Marcus Randolph & The In Crowd (Mbrs of Robert Randolph & Family Band) @ Europa
  • ($20- $116) New York Philharmonic @ Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage)
  • ($28-$40) Medeski Martin & Wood @ Tarrytown Music Hall
  • ($25-$35) Allen Toussaint, Nicholas Payton & The Joe Krown Trio @ Lehman College, CUNY: Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
  • ($46) Sufjan Stevens @ Beacon Theater

Monday, November 15th, 2010

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($15) Jimmy Herring of Widespread Panic & Jamie McLean @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($15) Undead Jazz: Charlier Hunter Trio / Mark Guiliana’s Beat Music @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($25) Jay-Z @ New York Public Library (A Forum)??
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard
  • ($46) Sufjan Stevens @ Beacon Theater

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (Midnight set)
  • (Free) Mark Guiliana @ Fordham University
  • ($25) Sheila Jordan’s 82nd Birthday Celebration with Steve Kuhn @ Jazz Standard
  • ($72) Kings of Leon @ Madison Square Garden

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

  • ($25) Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) Sheila Jordan’s 82nd Birthday Celebration with Steve Kuhn @ Jazz Standard
  • ($26) Peter Rowan + The Steep Canyon Rangers @ B.B. Kings
  • ($30) John Brown’s Body & The Expendables @ Gramercy Theater
  • ($35) Radiators @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($30-$48) Cassandra Wilson with special guest Ravi Coltrane @ Blue Note (2 seperate sets)

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

  • (??) Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings @ Brooklyn Bowl (as per Jambase)
  • ($35) Radiators @ Sullivan Hall

Friday, November 19th, 2010

  • (Free until midnight then $15) Dj Nutritious @ Cielo
  • ($12-$15) Eoto and D.V.S. @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20) Bonerama w/ Steve Kimock & Kyle Hollingsworth @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($57) Ani Defranco @ Townhall

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem
  • ($10) Reflections: Late Night FURTHUR Aftershow – PURE JERRY GARCIA TRIBUTE (11:59pm set)
  • ($10-$12) The New Mastersounds @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($25-$45) ROSWELL RUDD’s Trombone Tribe with Steve Swell, Deborah Weisz, Bob Stewart, Ken Filiano and Barry Altschul @ City Winery
  • ($36.50) Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes @ B.B. Kings
  • ($40) Revolution of Soul Feat. Maceo Parker and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe @ Irving Plaza
  • ($50) Bill Frisell’s Disfarmer Project @ The Concert Hall
  • ($57) Ani Difranco @ Townhall
  • ($60-$70) Futhur @ Radio City Music Hall

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

  • (Free) McLovins @ Brooklyn Bowl
    • Second Set Features Tom Marshall (writer/lyricist for Phish) and Anthony Krizan
  • ($10-$12) The New Mastersounds @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($10-$12) American Babies @ Ace of Clubs (Late night show @ 11:30)
  • ($60-$70) Futhur @ Radio City Music Hall

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($8-$10) Talib Kweli @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard
  • ($40) Aimee Mann @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($65) Bob Dylan @ Terminal 5
  • ($117)Another One For Woody Featuring The Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule & The North Mississippi Allstars @ Roseland Ballroom ~ WE GOT OUR TICKETS!!!

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (Midnight set)
  • (Free) Jason Linder Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($30-$40) Joanna Newsom @ Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage (Carnigie Hall)
  • ($65) Bob Dylan @ Terminal 5

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

  • ($65) Bob Dylan @ Terminal 5
  • ($43-$90) Paul Oakenfold / Roger Sanchez / Sidney Samson @ Roseland Ballroom

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

  • ($15-$20) U-Melt Final Show @ Highline Ballroom
    • w/ The Heavy Pets and more

Friday, November 26th, 2010

  • ($12.25) Turbine @ Mercury Lounge
  • ($15) JJ Grey & Mofro Ryan Montbleau Band @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($33) State Radio and The London Souls @ Terminal 5
  • ($50 – $100) Levon Helm Band with special guest Steve Earle @ Beacon Theater

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem
  • ($12.50-$70) Arlo Guthrie @ Carnegie Hall
  • ($15) JJ Grey & Mofro Ryan Montbleau Band @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20) Ben Kweller @ The Rock Shop
  • ($37-$87) New York Philharmonic: Mozart, Haydn, and Tchaikovsky@ Avery Fisher Hall (Saturday Matinee)
  • ($50 – $100) Levon Helm Band with special guest Steve Earle @ Beacon Theater

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

  • ($107-$145) Michael Bublé @ Radio City Music Hall

Monday, November 29th, 2010

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ Jazz Standard
  • ($25) Matisyahu @ Brooklyn Bowl

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

  • ($20-$35) John Scofield and Rooben Ford @ The Blue Note
  • ($27.50) Leon Russel @ B.B. Kings – CANCELED!!!
  • ($28-$40) John Hammond @ City Winery
  • ($30) Gil-Scott Heron @ B.B Kings
  • ($40) Matisyahu @ Williamsburg Music Hall

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www.gatheringofthevibes.comGathering of the Vibes Music Festival: Friday (07.30.10)

Day I Review: Gathering of the Vibes VX @ Bridgeport, CT (07.29.10)

The Cosmic Casbah...

The Cosmic Casbah...

Jesus, my spoiled ass forgot what a hot tent feels like in the morning when the sun finally seeks you out.  MY GOODNESS!!  But considering the stormy conditions we had to endure at last year’s Vibes, the sun was completely welcoming.

VIP Perk #1: You have sectioned camping in the section of the park that has the most tree canopy coverage.  The general camping is located in mainly open fields and parking lots.

The Casbah...

The Casbah...

Quote of the morning: *With a mischievous look** “Are you trying to tempting me with a good time??”

We woke up to a gorgeous day.  We spent the morning relaxing, waking up slowly with our friends at the Cosmic Casbah.  We were greeted with friends of ours who were only just now passing out, a table full of breakfast foods like bacon and eggs, muffins and fruit, and music.  I crashed onto the mats with my plate of food, listening to the music, letting it breath life into me to start my day.

We knew that for breakfast we were being dished some New Orleans ROCK by way of  The Radiators so we hit the field pretty early, only missing Billy Simons Band on the Green Vibes stage. You know, it’s almost impossible to catch all the music at a festival if you are solo but with a running crew it takes that much more time to settle.

VIP TENT! (Night shot!)

VIP TENT! (Night shot!)

Eat me!VIP Perk #2: During this time, we utilized the free food in the VIP tent where they had wonderful selection of snacks and beverages to sustain us ALL DAY.  At $6-$10 for a single meal or $4 for a water in general vending, these 24-hour snacks of fruit, pretzels, chips and salsa, candies, sodas, water, juices, milk, coffees and teas were BEYOND welcoming, sustaining and economical.  It’s possible to spend $60 on water before even considering food at a festival.  And that is just the 24-hour spread. From 11am-3pm you are offered a buffet of hot meats, salads, pastas, and desserts to chose from.  And generally, if you are starving and want another half of a turkey wrap, you could easily ask for one.  We made our rounds of good mornings and set up shop by the Karma Wash. It was time to focus on the music.

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

The Radiators

Dave Malone – guitar, vocals
Ed Volker – keyboards, vocals
Camile Baudoin – guitar
Reggie Scanlan – bass
Frank Bua Jr. – drums

I danced into the field listening to The Radiators.  Their bluesy-rocky vibe catching my feet and ears completely off guard.  Being a huge fan of New Orleans Funk, I knew anything coming from NOLA would be better then good.  I was excited to hear some NOLA ROCK from the band considered the #1 Rock band on the NOLA scene!!!  They didn’t disappoint.

They came out blasting with rock -n-roll.  For all you Phish heads out there, Phish opened for this band back in the 90’s.  So did Widespread Panic.  Where as both of those bands have now reached high commercial success, The Radiators have always been a deeply respective, yet decisively underground group on the scene.

Ragers!

Ragers!

An unavoidable NOLA signature, their funk layer was evident in the music immediately, coming from Ed Volker on keys.  There was also that grungy swamp rock layer by way of Camile Baudoin on guitar.  It was rough and rugged.  The keys sounded almost out of tune but on purpose reminiscent of Professor Longhair in sound, not style.  They were a tight group, the guitar players really made some hot sounds with their axes, with twang here, rock there, and smooth swamp grunge in the middle.  It was fun music to dance too, sway too, but really it was something to slither too.

Setlist: I Like It Like That, Lets Radiate, Hard Rock Kid >, Lost Highway, Sitting on Top of the World, Crazy Mona, River Run, Soul on Fire, The Death Of The Blues, Junco Partner, You Ain’t Going Nowhere, Rosie

Download: The Radiators @ Gathering of the Vibes (07.30.10)

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

 

Kung Fu

Dave Livolsi – Bass
Kris Jensen – Sax
Todd Stoops – Keyboards
Tim Palmieri – Guitar
Adrian Tramontano – Drums

Kung Fu @ GOTV 2010

Kung Fu @ GOTV 2010

 

Kung Fu @ GOTV 2010

Kung Fu's Todd Stoops @ GOTV 2010

 

We needed to charge our phones so headed over towards the Green Vibe stage and that is where I heard the  funky, odd sounding keys reminiscent of Alan Evans.  But maybe a bit too much guitar.  It was not as solid as it could be.  It sounded choppy at times.  Definitely took some getting used too. So, since they confused me, yet, intrigued me…of course, I had to check them out.

Kung Fu's Kris Jensen @ GOTV 2010

Kung Fu's Kris Jensen @ GOTV 2010

When I approached the stage, I recognized Kris Jensen right away from Dickey Betts.  His horn brought a delicious element to an otherwise decent band.  I wasn’t a big fan of Todd Stoops singing, or any of the singing really, but he knew his way around that keyboard.   Tim Palmieri looked familiar as well and I realized later he has played with numerous artists I knew.  He was great.  Ultimately, the band itself was comprised of some talented musicians who tore up their solos but sometimes they fell off the page when they were playing as a group.  The following video will show you what I mean…not bad their at the end, huh?

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Jackie Greene

Jackie Greene – Guitar
Nathan Dale – Sax
Jeremy Plog – Keyboards
John Hofer – Guitar

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

I was soooo ready to get down to Jackie Greene‘s set that when I heard him start during the Kung Fu set, I took off running.  Jackie Greene is a wonderful artist who has an old soul sound and a yung sexy body 😉  Young and talented, open and warm, HOT!!!  A rocker, a funker, a jammer, a rager on top of being a keys player, songwriter and a guitarist., electric, acoustic, loungy, rock, whatever…he does it all.

I made it front row for Jackie Greene where I ran into a few of my favorite Jam Cruisers.  He came out rocking right off the bat.  The second song was a new rock tune, Medicine. And I love a good harmonica. He slowed it down with a beautiful Shaken. Jut an upbeat rock vibe from Jackie all the way through.  Perfect set for that perfect sunny afternoon.

Another Tiny Rager!

Another Tiny Rager!

He blew me away.  Tight, on point, smooth and simple.  Jackie Greene isn’t someone who needs lights and fluff.  He is just talent.  He had the whole field dancing and I noticed that the ladies were ogling over him as much as I was.  I try not to but sometimes, just DAYUM! Animal was just sexy and finally I was enjoying a singer for the first time that day.  And finally, inviting drummer John Molo (Phil & Friends) to the stage,  showing love to Jerry, he raged the hell out of his encore covering Scarlet Begonias, one of my favorite Jerry songs that houses one of my favorite Grateful Dead lyrics:

Once in a while you get shown the light/In the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Setlist: I’m So Gone, Medicine, Farewell, So Long, Goodbye, A Moment of Temporary Color, Gone Wanderin’, Shakey Ground, Animal, Spooky Tina, Shaken, Tell Me Mama, Tell Me Right, Hollywood ->, Tomorrow Never Knows >, Taxman ->, Tomorrow Never Knows, Scarlet Begonias *, Like A Ball And Chain

Download: Jackie Greene Live at Gathering of the Vibes; Seaside Park on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

MacPodz

Nick Ayers – Percussion, Flute and Vox
Brennan Andes – Bass and Vox
Jesse Clayton – Keys
Griffin Bastian – Drums
Ross Huff – Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Vox

The Macpodz @ GOTV 2010

The Macpodz @ GOTV 2010

Surrounded by creativity!

Surrounded by creativity!

Another cell phone charger exchange. We wanted to make sure that we could always get in touch with Issac so Jay and I would alternate charging our phones making sure one of us had a functioning one at all times.  Where I generally might have left my phone to die in my tent since I was actually camping and not in a house, this couldn’t be the case this festival.  I, of course, ended up using it much more by having it on my person.  Alas, I am addicted to technology 🙂 Because of this, I also was able to check out the side stage performances and here we were with The Macpodz.

Just like Kung Fu, I was drawn towards the stage because of what I heard coming from the keyboardist, Jesse Clayton. Sounded GOOD! Their image immediately stood out to me, not that it matters but it was like a warped frat house up there. I enjoyed the trumpet as well.  Other then that, meh! Nothing would hae sounded good to me at time, knowing who was coming on the Main stage next.

Steve Kimock Crazy Engine

Steve Kimock – Guitars
John Morgan Kimock – Drums
Bernie Worrell – Keys
Bobby Vega – bass

Steve Kimonk Crazy Engine @ GOTV 2010

Steve Kimonk Crazy Engine @ GOTV 2010

One of my favorite sets of the day.  When is Steve Kimock not good?  When does he never just sound so perfect and beautiful and full of rage at the same time making you dance to PRETTY music.  And here we had the debut of a NEW CRAZY ENGINE!

Such a signature sound with Kimock, that guitar. So light, airy, happy, funky and jammy.  He always has such lovely melodies throughout his music. His songs engage different emotions with every measure.  I love him.  The addition of keyboard legend, Bernie Worrell was a treat for all of us.  He threw in Row Row Row Your Boat, The Star- Spangled Banner and all kinds of silly licks from nostalgic tunes throughout his solos.

Steve Kimock and son, John Morgan @ GOTV 2010

Steve Kimock and son, John Morgan @ GOTV 2010

Wavy Gravy - blowing bubbles during Kimock set

Wavy Gravy - blowing bubbles during Kimock set

Bobby Vega bassed us out on Funky B4 Five, a lovely melodic jam where a fun response comes from the crowd at the end of the chorus.  Everything is Everything brought out a rapping Chris Burger (Alphabet Soup, Band of Brotherz) who began with the band introductions. Bernie funked out the keys and it was just a funk fest in the field.  Closing with Parliament Funkadelic‘s Red Hot Mama, the guitar just sounded so hot and Bernie Worrell was in his element.  John Kimock never stood out to me during this set but I do know he is a wonderful fresh drummer who I hope hits our scene with a tornado like force one of these days.

Setlist: A New Africa, Five B4 Funk, Crazy Engine, Everything is Everything, Red Hot Mama

Download: Steve Kimock Crazy Engine Live at Gathering of the Vibes on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

We again made our way to the Silver Lining booth where we were charging our phones with our friend, Thud.  Once again, a decent sounding song caught my ear.  Quinn Sullivan was playing but I didn’t have time to stop and pay attention.  I had a 15 year old to check in with and feed and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were up next on stage.

Sahron Jones and the Dap Kings - Promo shot

Sahron Jones and the Dap Kings - Promo shot

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

Sharon Jones – Vocals

THE DAP-KINGS are:
Homer Steinweiss – Drums
Binky Griptite – Guitar
Boogaloo Valez – Congas
Dave Guy – Trumpet
Tommy TNT Brenneck – Guitar
Bosco Mann – Bass
Neal Sugarman – Tenor
Ian Jendrickson – Smith – Baritone

There are certain bands where words never do it justice, and sometimes, they don’t even do themselves justice, because they are just THAT good.  Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings have consistently performed, blowing the ears and minds of millions of people with every performance. This performance was no exception.   Just stop the program.  Just end it all right here.  No one can touch this woman.  She is FIRE.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings @ GOTV 2010

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings @ GOTV 2010

Sharon Jones (Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

Sharon Jones (Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

Sharon Jones didn’t join the stage immediately.  First, the stage just filled with DAPPER looking men and their instruments.   The first song consisted of the horns blasting, the funk machine igniting and it was POPPIN’.   After the first few songs, Sharon Jones joined the stage and well…I just really don’t know how to describe her.  She is like a bolt of lightning.  Her pores OOZE soul.  Her dance moves are spirited and it was as if the music inside her was controlling her like a puppet with strings.  Her eyes closing and opening as the passion in the music gained momentum.  She kicked her shoes off at one point and just brought down the house with every single word and note.  Just watch this woman perform.

Check out this video of The Vibes performance:

Check out the video for the title track from the 2007 album “100 Days, 100 Nights.” in it’s entirety.


Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Robert Randolph – Pedal Steel, Guitar
Danyel Morgan – Bass
Marcus Randolph – drums
Adam Smirnoff – Guitar
Lenesha Randolph – Backup Vocals
Brett Haas – Keyboardist

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

THANK GOD!!!!  I was not sure what to expect from this set.  I had seen Robert Randolph a few weeks earlier in New York City and had witnessed one of the worst Randolph performances I had ever seen.  I almost cried because my heart hurt from thinking such bad thoughts of the show.  It wasn’t because he didn’t play his songs well but because his new songs are just not of the caliber of AWESOMENESS that they were in his early years.

My Tribe had to be up front for this performance and so we were, dead center.  As I approached the front row, it looked as if Robert had found his roots again.  Where a tie had been worn at the previous show, Robert was now wearing a liberating bandanna with a long tail.  Where the white guy behind the mic were doing most of the singing at the previous show, Robert was now throwing us the licks and doin’ the spittin’ on the mic.  Where as Robert was on his guitar most of the time at the previous show, today, he gave an amazing chance to a few lucky guys in the audience and stuck mainly to his pedal steel where his fingers knew no boundaries. His energy was contagious…

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

He brought the stage to fire with an old song right out of the hatch: Ted’s Jam, one of my top three favorite Randolph’s tunes. With this song, it just escalated into one of my favorite, hottest Robert Randolph performances.  I could write pages about it but I will write about my favorite memory of the set.

Towards the end of the set, Robert Randolph said he needed some help from and audience member to rage a song.  The first guy got on stage and immediately proved he had no chops. This happened with 2 other men before Frederick Aidan Pagnani from Freddy and the Yeti’s jumped on stage to Robert’s delight.  Once he started playing, this 19 year old (we found that out talking to him in the VIP then) held his own against Robert Randolph and The Family Band.  Check it out:

Setlist: Ted’s Jam, Back to Wall, Travel Shoes, Them Bones, Untitled, I’m Not Listening, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Deliver Me, If I Had My Way, E, It Don’t Matter

Download: Robert Randolph [and the Family Band] Live at Gathering of the Vibes on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

Furthur @ GOTV 07.30.10

Furthur @ GOTV 07.30.10 (Photo by Jeff Dupuis)

Furthur

Phil Lesh – Bass
Bob Weir – Guitar
Jeff Chimenti – Keyboards
John Kadlecik – Guitar
Joe Russo – Drums
Jeff Pearson – Vocals
Sunshine Becker – Vocals

The headliner for the evening was Furthur.  Just like the Randolph set, here was another group that I was hoping was going do a better then job then I had seen them last.  If you might recall, there was giant whirlwind chatter about the Furthur show, specifically Bob Weir’s performance, at Nokia Theatre in Times Square last Wednesday. What a difference.

“Seal your face right off your head

Between Dark Star Orchestra and Furthur, it was arguable who had performed a better set.  Both nights were magical recreations of some tightly played nostalgic tunes.  Where as Dark Star seemed to be more of stand out performance by Jeff Mattson, Furthur’s performance felt like more of a cohesive group effort and Bobby was on point.  The set list contained a plethora of sing along tunes and provided platforms for intense jams during the 4 hours slot.

There was a gorgeous glow worm that was walked through the 15,000 person audience which  I was able to catch on film!

Now, here is the song in it’s entirety with the appearance of the glow worm 🙂

Furthur @ GOTV 2010

Furthur @ GOTV 2010 (Photo by Jeff Dupuis)

Set I: The Golden Road, Jack Straw, Ramble On Rose, Dupree’s Diamond Blues, Friend of The Devil, Estimated Prophet> , Eyes of The World>, Not Fade Away,

Set II: Playing In The Band, Althea, Wharf Rat>, He’s Gone>, Scarlet Begonias>, The Wheel, Standing On The Moon, Help On The Way>, Slipknot!>, Franklin’s Tower, crowd/donor rap/tuning,

Encore: Terrapin Station Suite

Download: Furthur Live at Gathering of the Vibes; Seaside Park on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

——————–

Move on to: Day III Review: Gathering of the Vibes VX @ Bridgeport, CT (07.31.10)

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www.gatheringofthevibes.com

Thanks Jerry!

Thanks Jerry!

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

My lil VibeTribe

My lil VibeTribe

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

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

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

The Lead Heads w/ Issac on the right :)

The Lead Heads w/ Issac on the right!

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

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

Ready for Full rage!

Ready for Full rage!

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

Wook stop!

Wook stop!

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

Shuttle to Vibes

Shuttle to Vibes

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

The Festival Grounds @ Seaside Park, Bridgeport, Ct.

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

Welcome To VIBES!

Welcome To VIBES!

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

Pretty Lamanant!

Pretty Lamanant!

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

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

VIP Check-in

VIP Check-in

Settin' up camp...

Settin' up camp...

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

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

DARK STAR ORCHESTRA

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

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

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

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

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

Full Moon 4 DSO!

Full Moon 4 DSO!

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

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

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

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

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

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

Dark Star Orchestra @ GOTV 2010

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

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

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

Encore: Don’t Ease Me In

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

Big Sam’s Funky Nation

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

BSFN @ GOTV 2010

BSFN @ GOTV 2010

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

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

Milk Williams @ GOTV 2010

Milk Williams @ GOTV 2010

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

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

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

Big Sam's Funky Nation @ GOTV 2010

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

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

Bum rushin' the stage...

Bum rushin' the stage...

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

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

Peace out Vibes...

Peace out Vibes...

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

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

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

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