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Posts Tagged ‘Rubber Soulive’

Bowlive IV Night 6 Recap w/ John Medeski, Bill Evans, George Porter Jr & Shady Horns : Tonight Porter, Leo Nocentelli & Shady Horns

To many New Yorkers, Thursday signifies the start of the weekend. Music venues bulk up their staff and bands slated to perform anticipate an audience that is ready for a party.  Last night was the sixth night of Soulive’s Brooklyn Bowl residency, Bowlive IV. The foundation was set for a rocking night of music with the Brooklyn Bowl stocked with staff and Soulive ready to throw it down.

With so many amazing musicians sitting in with Soulive over the past six nights, it has been challenging to ensure proper love is given to everyone. Especially during residencies, focus on special guests and their performances become the unexpected highlights of the articles and sometimes people forget to focus on the core members of the residency themselves. Credit must be given where credit is due.

Guitarist Eric Krasno, drummer Alan Evans and Neal Evans, along with the Brooklyn Bowl, have created something extremely special and unique for the New York music community. Since it’s inception in 2010, Bowlive has turned into a musical Superbowl that pushes the skills of the best of the best. For eight to ten nights, these three rock stars provide a fusion of styles that showcase numerous artist and instruments with Soulive’s distinct sound providing the base. The shared respect between musicians to musicians, and musicians to fans amps the frenetic creative energy that flows from the first downbeat to the final bow. Eric, Alan, and Neal are all at the top of their game and are now standing out among the greats, using the glory of Bowlive to cement their place as a musical dynasty. A dynasty that began in 1999.  It speaks volumes that the trio can support an eight to ten night residency that packs the house every night and attracts some of the biggest names in live music. Last night continued the tradition of amazing collaborations with keyboardist John Medeski and saxophonist Bill Evans.

The power trio had to make a few changes to the musical formula last night. Due to a benefit concert earlier in the day, last night was the first and only night of the run where the power trio did not have a rocking opening band to set pace. Without an opening band, Soulive was tasked with pumping up the eager crowd that was filled up with party animals, packing the dance floor to the brim. By doing so, they completely reinforced to the fans why any of us were there in the first place. Soulive original, “Aladdin,” began the set, providing the first platform for Krasno to open up and slay his guitar.  Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” followed, a song that everyone can geek out on, especially the musicians playing the tune. After six nights, the guys were thoroughly warmed up and just crushing solos left and right on The Beatles tune, “I Want You.”

Enter The Shady Horns, consisting of trumpeter Eric Bloom, saxophonist James Casey, and baritone saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, for “Backwards Jack.” These three horn players provide a platform for the trio to open up and rage. Over the run, Eric Bloom has been experimenting with a guitar Wa Wa pedal during his trumpet solos, while James Casey has broken out the flute and provided percussion on many songs.

Continuing his guest appearance from the fifth night, London Souls guitarist Tash O’Neal joined the stage for the Beatles, “Get Back” and a slow “PJs.” Quality choices off their 2010 album, Rubber Soulive, made up the bulk of the first set before the audience was hit with a special unannounced guest.  Alan spoke to the crowd, “I am sorry for those of you who can’t come tomorrow night. You know, it’s a real shame that you won’t see George Porter, Jr. tomorrow. But it’s ok! Because you can see him now!!!” This was special.

Bassist George Porter, Jr. is an icon, legend and mentor, not only to the members of Soulive, but any true musician or music lover who loves funky, deep, in-the-pocket bass lines. A member of the legendary group, The Meters, Porter’s unique sound can be heard on recordings for Warren Haynes, Patti Labelle, Jimmy Buffett, David Byrne, Johnny Adams, Harry Connick Jr., Earl King, and Tori Amos, to name a few. Soulive is so well-versed on Porter’s catalog that the end of the set list simply read, “Whatever GPJ Wants!”  They cranked out Meter’s covers “Check Your Mind” right into “Funky Bitch,” without missing a beat.

Soulive continued to descend upon us with new musicians, adding keyboardist John Medeski (Medeski, Martin and Wood) and saxophonist Bill Evans to their Bowlive IV roster for the second set. A set that is hard to describe in words. Let’s just start with knowing the fact that Bill Evans was in Miles Davis’s band at the age of 22 and John Medeski was asked to perform on Jaco Pastorius’s 1981 tour while still a teenager. Along with Soulive and the Shady Horns, Medeski and Evans played a mind-blowing set.  Medeski’s avant-garde jazz quality added an incredible layer of sound to the stage, either filling every empty space with a melodic note, or simply striking one key and locking eyes with Neal. The set was filled with songs from Spark, a collaborative album with Karl Denson, released in March 2012. “Spark!,” the title track, kicked it off with Bill Evans crushing a sick solo on his soprano sax. Trombonist Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band) was the next unannounced sit-in who lent her sound on “Povo.”  “Nubian Lady” and “Liquid” followed, sounding exactly like the names suggest. The musicians were so tight, fluid, and everyone on stage was cranking out their notes in improvisational ways, yet sounded as if they had been rehearsing the same songs for years.  Unannounced drummer ?uestlove, who holds a standing DJ set on Thursdays for the Brooklyn Bowl, snuck in for “Nautilus” and proceeded to slam our heads into the beat of the song.  It was inspiring. Soulive encored with an extended, jamming “Tuesday Night Squad.”

Tonight’s jam sessions will start at 8:30 with Leroy Justice opening. Special guests will include bassist George Porter, Jr., guitarist Leo Nocentelli and The Shady Horns will be back in full effect to give their fans one extreme night of funk and fury.

Karen E. Dugan

http://tinyrager.com

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Bowlive II: Night One – Soulive w/ Lettuce and Maceo Parker

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Photo by Allison Murphy)

Bowlive 2, a two week Soulive residency at the Brooklyn Bowl, kicked off yesterday firing on all cylinders.  For a Tuesday, the venue was packed! You could literally feel The Gods of Funk smiling down upon the Bowl’s stage the entire night as we were delivered one of the funkiest weeknights the Brooklyn Bowl has seen.

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Right off the bat it was evident that this year would be different. There were more cameras propped up around the venue to tape the magic that would take place over the ten day run.  There were three beautiful tapestries lining one of the walls with Eric Krasno‘s face shimmering in gold.  There was a Soulive backdrop on the wall across from the merchandise table set up for fans to take pictures in front of.  But the biggest difference this year…Bowlive 2 opening night sold more tickets than The Funky Meters did on their opening night.  That is crazy!!  Last year on opening night the venue was barely half full.  It was quite literally myself, my boys Rob and Russ and maybe 50 other people.  It was also the night that I met the wonderful musical blogger of ViewsSkewed.com, Meredith Berke.  I can safely say, without her assistance and guidance, Tinyrager.com may never have existed 🙂

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

The Nigel Hall Band

Nigel Hall – Keys, Vocals
Eric Krasno – Bass
Adam Deitch – Drums
Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff – Guitar
Alan Evans – Percussion
Neal Evans – Keys, bass
Tania Jones– Backup vocals
Mel Flannery – Backup vocals

Special Guest:
Ryan Zoidis – Alto Saxophone

Last year’s Bowlive saw Nigel Hall singing alone at his Rhodes until the ends of his set when members of Soulive and Lettuce would join in to help him close it out with major energy.  After a year of rotating back ground singers and putting together various combinations of musicians, The Nigel Hall Band has finally gotten it’s core group on lock down.

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

A little after 9pm, The Nigel Hall Band, consisting of Eric Krasno on bass, Adam Deitch on drums, Neal Evans on organ, Alan Evans on percussion, Mel Flannery and Tania Jones on backup vocals and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff on guitar, hit the stage filling the excessively packed venue with soulful songs layered with get-down funk.  It’s always awesome seeing Krasno on bass.  He is so smooth with his guitar and to see him with a bass while others fill the guitar spot,  well, it’s fun! The always soulful Hall, decked out in an orange and white argyle sweater and a baseball cap, geared us up in a way that only he could.  While most songs were sung seated at his Rhodes, Hall sang his way through fan favorites such as “Never Know” and “Gimmie A Sign.”

Engaging the audience with his expressive nature, Hall danced around the stage for “Never Gonna Let You Go” and “Too Sweet” during which Ryan Zoidis came out for an impromptu saxophone solo.   Nigel Hall’s undeniable energy is exactly why Soulive has slated him to open for the remainder of the Bowlive 2 run.

Set List: Baby We Could Have It All (end), Hang It Up,  Back Home, Give Me A Sign, Too Sweet, Never Know, Never Wanna Let You Go

Click here to download a copy of the performance for your enjoyment!

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Soulive

Eric Krasno – Guitar
Neal Evans – Keys, bass
Alan Evans – Drums

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

By the time the members of Soulive were set to hit the stage, the Brooklyn Bowl was a sardine can busting at the edges with excitement.  However, before the anticipated set could begin, Brooklyn Bowl owner Peter Shapiro came on stage to express his gratitude for this musical event and for the audience participation by offering 600 shots of Tequila which were delivered by the tray full throughout the venue.

The lucky residents of New York City recognized that even though this was a school night, nothing would keep them from enjoying the first night of what is expected to be a giant success of a musical run. Pete knew this and the turn out was jaw-dropping.  Perhaps everyone felt stupid for missing Lettuce and Maceo Parker playing Brooklyn Bowl together back in January.  Perhaps they just heard how good it was and needed to check these guys out for themselves.

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

Nigel Hall comes to the front of the stage and screams into the microphone, “Are you ready to Rage?”…a pitiful response follows.  He repeats himself and the venue caught on.  We were ready to rage.

Finally, the hosts for the night, guitarist Eric Krasno, drummer Alan Evans and organist Neal Evans, appropriately dressed in Royal Purple, entered on stage and the Brooklyn Bowl erupted.  Over the course of the next hour, the funky trio blasted through “El Ron” and releasing a fantastic “One in Seven” on us before offering us a few Beatles covers from their latest album, Rubber Soulive.

Set List: El Ron, Aladdin, One in Seven, Come Together, Eleanor Rigby—>I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

Click here to download a copy of the performance for your enjoyment!

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

Lettuce w/ Maceo Parker

Maceo Parker – Saxophone

Eric Krasno – Guitar
Neal Evans – Keys, bass
Adam Deitch – Drums
Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff – Guitar
Alan Evans – Percussion, Vocals
E.D. “Jesus” Coomes – Bass, Vocals
Ryan Zoidis – Alto Saxophone
Cheme Gastelum – Saxophone
Igmar Thomas – Trumpet
Brian Thomas – Trombone
Eric Bloom – Trumpet
Nigel Hall – Keys, Vocals

Special Guest:

Alecia Chakour – Vocals
James Hurt – Keys

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Lettuce came on stage raging full force into the appropriately named “Blast Off” with “Last Suppit” following. A few songs in, Maceo Parker, the leader of James Brown’s infamous horn section, joined the stage.  As he enters, he playfully goes for Nigel Hall‘s baseball cap and then drops his hand and they share a laugh.  Now it was time to dance your ass off as they raged right into several covers beginning with Parliament Funkadelic’s “Up for the Down Stroke.”

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

It was pretty sick to see Cheme join the horns even though Sam wasn’t there and how it was nice they gave him real room to solo during the encores, the same way they gave James Casey a long solo during “Get Back” last year. ~ Russ Agdern

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

The tidal wave of funk through the combination of Lettuce and Maceo continued to bring the fire with “Uptown Up” were Maceo rapped the Corey Parker verse.  “There Was a Time,” a James Brown favorite, saw Adam Deitch solo on the drums as Maceo Parker teased Brown’s “Cold Sweat” over top.  At one point Parker focuses on  It was then time to give Ray Charles a little love as Maceo and the gang brought it down nice and slow for “Night Time is the Right Time” where Alecia Chakour ripped a solo that had all eyes on her and people asking left and right, “Who was this phenomenal voice?”

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

The remainder of the set continued to up the heat with funky vibes and soulful solos. Alecia Chakour joined backup vocals as Maceo Parker exited the stage.  She is absolutely amazing.  Talk about attitude and vocal style. Straight soul sista right there.  An audience member got on a friend’s shoulder and screamed for her during her solo before being asked to get down. The energy in this place was killer.

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

(Photo by Michael Jurick)

There was a time where there were at least 8 people on stage and they were all just playing, improving beats. Nigel and Chakour inserting their voices in various places.  The focus was again on Nigel Hall as he busts out his vocals with “Making My Way Back Home.” Acclaimed Jazz pianist, James Hurt, popped in for a few minutes to tear up “Pass the Peas” and  again for the encore of “By Any Schmeans Necessary.” Somewhere in the middle of all of it, Maceo Parker returns to the stage in his long winter jacket, looking all ready to walk out the door, but not without one more goodbye!

Set List: Blast Off, Last Suppit, P-Funk Medley including: Up for the Down Stroke/Mothership Connection/Let’s Take It To The Stage/take Your Dead Ass Home, Uptown Up, There Was a Time, Night Time is the Right Time, Shake Everything U Got, Pass the Peas, Soul Power tease, Makin My Way Back Home.

Encore: Sam’s Flying Huff Machine, By Any Schmeans Necessary

Click here to download the Lettuce Set

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

(Photo by Allison Murphy)

Tonight Soulive will take the stage with yet another serving of Lettuce along with a few sides of hip-hop MC Pharoahe Monch and WAX.  Be prepared to be blown away by their spittin’ lyrics and fresh beats.

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The 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival:

An “Easy D” Perspective: Saturday, May 1, 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)

(Read Easy D’s “Friday, April 30, 2010” here)

Moving slow this morning.  Quick check of the weather forecast reveals no change.   Total cloud cover, breezy, chance of rain.  This is great.  No need to continuously apply SPF 30!  Time to get on the school bus!  Unfortunately, we missed the first period of classes.  However, we arrive in time to catch the end of the Henry Butler & the Game Band set at the Gentilly stage.  This band had much more of a gospel feel than New Orleans Social Club showcasing Henry Butler’s great voice as well as his piano playing prowess.

Henry Butler @ Jazz Fest 2010

Henry Butler @ Jazz Fest 2010

We were focused.  It was time to hoof it over quickly to the Acura stage for Anders Osborne.  During the trek,we loved listening to snippets of Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band at the Fais Do Do stage and Rebirth Brass Band at Congo Square.

Rebirth Brass Band @ Jazz Fest 2010

Rebirth Brass Band @ Jazz Fest 2010

Saturday at Jazz Fest gets extremely crowded.  It’s good to have a strategy so that you can enjoy viewing the performers without having to battle the crowds.  This is especially true as one gets older and perhaps less slim (like me).  Over the last couple of years, our Krewe has adopted the following strategy for the Acura stage once the crowds build: position ourselves in front of the big screen to the left of the stage near the Grand Marshall entrance.  This is where we went next.

As with the jazzfest set last year, Anders Osborne played with the Stanton Moore Trio.  What a powerful group!

Anders Osborne – Guitar and Vocals

Stanton Moore –  Drums

Robert Walter – Organ

Will Bernard – Guitar

Anders Osborne @ Jazz Fest 2010

Anders Osborne @ Jazz Fest 2010

It has been a year since I have seen Anders Osborne live, but I have been following his career closely and could not help but notice that his appearance has taken a turn to say the least.  When viewed on the big screen, Anders’ appearance is, how can I say this tactfully, even more disconcerting.

Anders Osbourne @ Jazz Fet 2010
Anders Osbourne @ Jazz Fet 2010

However, there was nothing disconcerting about the performance or the great songs from Anders’ brand new album American Patchwork.  Most notable was the killer tune ‘On the Road to Charlie Parker’ as well as another gem ‘Acapulco’.  During the set, Anders thanked the Stanton Moore Trio for helping to ‘get my shit together.’  It’s easy to see why with such great collaborators providing the right mood for Anders’ introspective lyrics.

Anders Osbourne @ Jazz Fet 2010

Anders Osbourne @ Jazz Fet 2010

Later in the set, Anders brought another collaborator, guitarist Pepper Keenan (Corrosion of Conformity, Down) for a couple of tunes, including the haunting dual lead guitar laced ‘Darkness at the Bottom’.

Pepper Keenan w/ Anders Osborne & the Stanton Moore Trio @ Jazz Fest 2010

Pepper Keenan w/ Anders Osborne & the Stanton Moore Trio @ Jazz Fest 2010

Afterwards, Anders quipped about starting a ZZ Top cover band with Pepper.  I found Anders set to be quite powerful and emotional, certainly destined to be one of my highlights of Jazzfest 2010.  Anders is currently touring with the Trio on the west coast promoting the new album.  Go see them if you can!

After that set, I was spent.  Seems like just the right time to head to the Blues tent and grab a seat for Chris Thomas King.  You may remember Chris from his co-starring role in the Coen Brothers film O Brother Where Art Thou.  I learned several years ago that Chris is a great singer and delta blues guitarist when I caught him at a blues festival in Wheeling, WV.  His Jazz Fest set featured Chris playing mostly acoustic instruments with a couple of tunes on electric.  My guitar playing buddy was impressed.

Chris Thomas King @ Jazz Fest 2010

Chris Thomas King @ Jazz Fest 2010

Crawfish Strudel

Crawfish Strudel

Time for some food!  I was ‘beered out’ by Saturday, decided I should look for a different beverage.  I selected the Rosemint Iced Tea (unsweetened).  Delicious.  At this point I was looking for something I had not tried for and saw a sign for something called a Crawfish Strudel.  Hmmm.  Better check that out.  What I saw was a small rectangular flaky bread loaf with a slit through the top stuffed with a soupy concoction with chunks of crawfish.  Kinda like a small bread bowl, if you will, but very delicate.  A very nice surprise!  While I was working through the food lines, I could see the big Acura screen between the booths.  I noticed that Irma Thomas was sitting in with Galactic!  I guess I picked the wrong time to get hungry!

Band of Horses @ Jazz Fest 2010

Band of Horses @ Jazz Fest 2010

By this time, our dogs were barking (it’s hell growing old), so we worked our way over to the Fais Do Do stage.  Got there in time to see BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet finish their set.  Excellent.  Most of my Krewe ended up randomly gathering as the Honey Island Swamp Band set up for their set.  One brought a chair and set it up toward the back of the crowd.  Some friends and I parked on the bleachers to the left of the stage.  Some were in the standing area in front of the stage.  It’s great to have a group split during a day at the fest then randomly meet near the end of the day.  Some of my group reported that the Band of Horses set at Gentilly was killer.  Others reported that Galactic had many special guests throughout their set, not just Irma.

Then the Honey Island Swamp Band tore into their set.  The Honey Island Swamp Band is:

Chris Mulé – guitar, vocals

Aaron Wilkinson – mandolin, guitar,harmonica, vocals

Sam Price – bass, vocals

Garland Paul – drums, vocals

Honey Island Swamp Band @ Jazz Fest 2010

Honey Island Swamp Band @ Jazz Fest 2010

I have been following Chris Mulé and Aaron Wilkinson for years, since their days as part of Eric Lindell’s band.  Both are great players and singers.  In addition to the band, the stage was filled with a keyboard player, backing vocalists, and a horn section, quite a departure from the spare traveling band I saw just a few weeks ago at a small club in my hometown.  But what a dancin’ party it was at Fais Do Do!

I knew that the crowds for Pearl Jam at Acura would be impossible.  I made the decision long before coming to New Orleans that I would end Saturday at the Gentilly stage for guitar god Jeff Beck.  It has been about a decade since I last saw Mr. Beck.   I am happy to report that he is getting better with age if that is possible.  His very tight band consisted of a phenomenal female bass player and singer, drummer, and a keyboardist.  Most tunes were instrumentals, but hey, that’s OK, Jeff makes the guitar sing like no one can.  Also, gotta love a guy that is comfortable in his wardrobe.  Great ending to yet another great day.  Heavy clouds, no rain!  I like this trend!

Jeff Beck @ Jazz Fest 2010

Jeff Beck @ Jazz Fest 2010

Saturday Night, 5/1

Some of our Krewe were talking about going to see Anders Osborne and the Stanton Moore Trio again at The Rock ‘N’ Bowl on Saturday night.  I wasn’t wild about going to the same venue two nights in a row and I wasn’t wild about seeing Anders again on the same day after that draining (in a good way) set at the fairgrounds.  Last year, I did not make it to the Frenchman Street area in Marigny, an area just east of the French Quarter.  Frenchman Street is a street lined with music clubs and restaurants that is more of a scene, hip, vibrant, bohemian, you name it area than the much more touristy Bourbon Street.

Soulive @ Jazz Fest 2010

Soulive @ Jazz Fest 2010

We decided to go see Soulive at The Blue Nile.  Upon arriving on the scene, the streets and sidewalks are literally jammed with people.  Most I have ever seen on Frenchman Street.  When we approach The Blue Nile, we land in a block long admission line.  We finally make it in to the club just before the show starts.  There was a large deep crowd of people in front of the stage.  We positioned ourselves just to the right of the stage.  While not the best vantage point, at least we can clearly see the keys.

Soulive @ Jazz Fest 2010

Soulive @ Jazz Fest 2010

Soulive is Eric Krasno (guitar), Alan Evans (drums) and his brother Neal Evans (keyboards).  What a pleasure to see this band in such a small venue!  I have always loved Kras’ guitar playing, but from our vantage point, we had a bird’s eye view of Neal’s thumping left hand bass line playing coupled with his right hand organ playing.  How does he do that?

Soulive @ Jazzfest 2010

Soulive @ Jazzfest 2010

As the set progressed, the crowd got much larger and our bird’s eye view became less ideal.  There was nowhere to move or breathe for that matter, so we moved a little further back.  By this time, Nigel Hall joined the band to sing a few tunes, some of which were James Brown-like.  At least we had a little more space to shake our bones!   Several minutes later, the long set ended.  Terrific performance!  We decided to get some air and check out the street scene.

Across the street in front of the now closed Café Brasil, there was a blues band (electric) playing.  What fun!  Not 30 feet from the blues band, a brass band was holding court in the middle of the intersection.  All the while, people were stopping to listen, dancing, and strolling by.  We continued walking up the street taking in all of the sights and sounds.  Most of us decided that we weren’t going to fight the crowds and return to the Blue Nile for the 2nd set.  The one guy that did stay behind later reported that the second set was all Beatles tunes. RUBBER SOULIVE! Darn!

There were no cabs to be had on Frenchman Street, so we decided a stroll through the neighborhoods was in order.  It was a very pleasant evening and the walk did us good.  Once we were back in the French Quarter, we happened to stroll by the Co Co Club on Bourbon Street and saw the most excellent blind blues guitarist, Bryan Lee, playing.  What a bonus!  Even though there was no cover and we could have gone inside, we had a great view of Bryan and the sound was great out on the street.  We paused for about 10 minutes enjoying the band.

What a great night!  And back to the hotel just before 2:00?  I love it!

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