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Posts Tagged ‘The Banana Mafia’

Day I Review: Mountain Jam VI @ Hunter Mountain, NY (06.04.10)

Motto for the weekend:

Rage, Recover, Rinse, & Repeat.

 

I woke up around 11am, not necessarily wanting to get out of bed but knowing I had a day of music to fully ingest.  Right off the bat, I wake up, shower, and try to gather the troops.  The worst possible gathering movement ever.  Recovery was still in progress.  So, I sat on the porch, letting the sun hit my face.  I could hear Zach Deputy on the stage and I knew that it was time to start the day.  Eventually, the two and four legged animals from the house were moving towards Zach‘s cheery voice.

Zach Deputy @ Mountain Jam

Zach Deputy @ Mountain Jam

Zach Deputy

THE ONE MAN BAND OF AWESOME!!!  What can I say about him that I haven’t already said 100 times over in previous reviews.  Sadly I had arrived towards the end of his set but not before seeing Zach bring us the sun.  Plain and simple.  Utilizing his feet, hands, breath, hair, whatever…he manipulates all the gadgets on stage, all the instruments, the whole time piecing together a musical puzzle with the end result in making us smile so wide…literally calling out the sun.  And it worked as he played SunshineZach‘s beaming smile beamed down on us as bright as the sun did at that moment.

Banana Mafia @ Mountain Jam

Banana Mafia @ Mountain Jam

What a wonderful way to start the day.  This was good wake up music.  Not a lot of fan fare, not too loud.  Just one guy, his voice, and his imagination.  Slightly soothing for those recovering and just upbeat enough for those wanting to get the dance party started.  It was real cool to watch/listen Zach from far away.  It totally didn’t sound like one person was making all that fun time sound.  I laid on the blanket, gathering my mind.

Set : Butter You Up, Most People Never Heard Real Music, Lincoln Continental, Coconut, Chicken Pot Pie, Tubesteak, Little Bit of You, Freedom Out There, Make It Right, Jump Into The Water, Into the Morning Into The Night, Sunshine, Real

Download: Zach Deputy @ Mountain Jam (06.05.10)

The Karma Wash @ Mountain Jam

The Karma Wash @ Mountain Jam

I stepped closer for a few pictures and as I turned around to head back up the mountain to relax with the Karma Wash, I spot my Banana Mafia friend.  He just totally cracks me up and makes me smile.  I love his energy and his ability to rage full face at any minute.  We share similar taste in socks too.  🙂

During Zach Deputy, friends from all over had gathered at the Karma Wash for our good mornings, daily karma scrubbing, hugs and getting our daily plans straight.  Seeing how well rested and clean we were, a few friends took off to our house to utilize the showers.  And then it was time for the London Souls, a New York City based band, to rock our socks off.

The London Souls @ Mountain Jam

The London Souls @ Mountain Jam

The London Souls

Tash – Guitar, Vocals
Kiyoshi – Bass, Vocals
Chris – Drums, Vocals

Festival Friends!

Festival Friends!

It was SO HOT!  I was in a bikini and running shorts and I was still super hot.  I started The London Souls set dancing alone.  It didn’t take long for my buddies to hear the music and start appearing from various sides of the mountain.  I love my festival friends because the hugs and dancing once again commenced.

Rocking their shades and their poofy, out of control hair, the London Souls changed my opinion of them right on the spot.  I have always had my reservations about them since being introduced to them during Soulive‘s Bowlive run at Brooklyn Bowl.  They wail but I always  felt like they were screaming at me with their instruments when they played and for me that isn’t how I like to enjoy my music.  But now, I have figured out why it was overwhelming me.  By pulling away from the front of the stage and being able to watch them from a distance, the sound was raging but still softer and magnificent.  I was able to distinguish the sounds from all three players. They really killed it.  They truly are rock-and-roll ragers.

They also caught my ear with a song that rang: “Are you going to let your man push you around. You better stand up.”  Uplifting lyrics.  I love lyrics that empower women.

“Our songs are usually inspired by any kind of conflict,” says Kiyoshi.  “While they all mean something different, lots of our songs are about girls!”

The London Souls View from Karma Wash

The London Souls View from Karma Wash

The London Souls screamed like Van Halen and WAILED! I got locked into to Tash’s insane vocals and shredding of his guitar.  The stand out of the band, in my opinion.  Clearly, I do enjoy being FAR away from this band and listening rather then up front being raged at.  Probably one of the first times ever that this scenario has arisen.

The last song revolved around there being a “text-in” vote for a cover song that they were to perform at Mountain Jam.  The choice was AC/DC’s It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll)!  Seriously, every time I walk away from their sets, I am more and more impressed with their Jimi Hendrix style antics and full bodied rage.  Kickass LS!

The Drive By Truckers @ Mountain Jam

The Drive By Truckers @ Mountain Jam

Drive By Truckers

Patterson Hood ~ Lyrics, vocals, guitar
Mike Cooley ~ Guitar, vocals, bass
Shonna Tucker ~Bass, vocals, guitar
Brad Morgan ~ drums
John Neff ~ Pedal steel guitar
Jay Gonzalez ~Keys

Patterson Hood @ Mountain Jam

Patterson Hood @ Mountain Jam

Even though the Drive By Truckers are considered ragers by many people, in my opinion, they were a much more mellow change in music after The London Souls.  They started off with a song all about a good night of drinking called The Fourth Night Of My Drinking.  I figured they would just rage my face off with a song like that but the Drive By Truckers are hit or miss with me.  They border on a rocky country vibe and that is hard for me to love.  But the main reason is that the lead singer, Patterson Hood, has wretched voice.   I mean, I know his father is famous and all but that doesn’t mean it runs in the family all the time.  Sometimes Hood truly CAN NOT sing.

The Drive-By-Truckers @ Mountain Jam

The Drive By Truckers @ Mountain Jam

Drive By Truckers @ Mountain Jam

John Neff @ Mountain Jam

I have sobered up considerably in the past few years and I am finding that bands I used to think sounded great really don’t sound all that hot.  I was listening to the recording from Levon Helm’s Birthday set and it sounds horrible when Hood sings his part. Now, from a rager’s stand point he is awesome I suppose.  He can down a 5th of whiskey and still rage it on stage, though, not always in key, pitch or tone.  I rage, but no longer like him so alas, I guess that just standing and remembering the lyrics used to count for something to me.  Absolutely not good enough anymore.

FestivalFamily.com interviews The Karma Wash

FestivalFamily.com interviews The Karma Wash

The 5th song, Santa Fe, totally caught my ear.  It was here that Patterson Hood wished for Simone Felice to get better as he had recently fallen ill.  It was a pretty rad song but the vocals are still a little shot.  The band is ok if Hood just doesn’t sing.  It was also here that I took shots of a darling little family enjoying the Karma Wash.  As well, I noticed photographer Michael Patrick shooting & interviewing the Karma Wash.  It turned out he was covering Mountain Jam for FestivalFamily.com.  The Karma Wash is LEGIT!!!

Festivals = Fun for all ages

Festivals = Fun for all ages

David Hood, Patterson Hood’s bass-playing father, came out and joined the Truckers for Respect Yourself and I enjoyed David immensely.  However, during Mercy’s Bucket and I decided I had had enough.  There was no comparison to the raging between Patterson Hood and Tash from the London Souls.  The London Souls brought us a face melting rage and Drive By Truckers brought the vibe down for me rather unexpectedly.  But, in less then 30 minutes, we would be dropped a funk bomb by Lettuce who was about to rage on the West Stage at 3:30pm! OMG it was about to be SO ON!!

Set List: The Fourth Night Of My Drinking, Three Dimes Down, The Living Bubba, Carl Perkins Cadillac, Santa Fe, Birthday Boy, Sink Hole, Uncle Frank, Respect Yourself *,  Mercy Buckets, Get Downtown, (It’s Gonna Be) I Told You So, Lookout Mountain, Zip City,Let There Be Rock

Download: Drive By Truckers Live @ Mountain Jam (06.06.10)

Lettuce rages @ Mountain Jam

Lettuce @ Mountain Jam

LETTUCE

Erik “E.D.” Coomes ~ Bass
Adam Deitch ~ Drums
Neal Evans ~ Organ, clavinet
Sam Kininger ~ Alto sax
Eric Krasno ~ Guitar
Nigel Hall ~ Vocals, keys
Ryan Zoidis ~ Tenor sax

Guests:

Derek Trucks ~ Guitar
Susan Tedeschi ~ Vocals
Kofi Burbridge ~ Flute
Oteil Burbridge~ Bass

Eric Krasno @ Mountain Jam

Eric Krasno @ Mountain Jam

I was right up front on the gate ready to dance my tiny ragin’ ass off to Lettuce!! They are a die-hard favorite group of mine and it was time to FEEL the FUNK.  Lettuce flew right into Blast Off, with Krasno teasing his guitar before Deitch counted off into the FUNKY FUNK!!!

Jesus Coomes @ Mountain Jam

Jesus Coomes @ Mountain Jam

This was the first time I had ever seen Jesus Coomes (bass).  I had heard so much about him and was thrilled to finally be able to hear him wail live.  On his Yamaha 6-String (I think), Jesus truly does just bring it home.  He feels the music and , man, you can see it.  Having researched him heavily before seeing him, Coomes has dipped his talented fingers into all genres of music and has an ear for the bass and production that has allowed him to thrive in the music industry.

Adam Deitch @ Mountain Jam

Adam Deitch @ Mountain Jam

The second song was a personal favorite and the crowd went wild as Sam Huff’s Flying Ragin’ Machine raged the horns up to the highest points of the mountain where people could be seen dancing their asses off.  I encourage you all to just go buy Lettuce‘s Rage cd right now.  And I will let Jesus tell you why:

We named the CD Rage! because it’s a state of mind.  I don’t mean getting messed up, I mean opening up your whole soul to God and feeling the spirit move. ~ Jesus Coomes. (Amen Jesus, Amen!)

Lettuce @ Mountain Jam

Lettuce @ Mountain Jam

Neal Evans @ Mountain Jam

Neal Evans @ Mountain Jam

Kofi Burbridge joined in on The Last SuppitAdam Deitch stood out on drums as he smashed the rage out of his kit. Krasno then introduced the group on stage.  Neal Evans raged the MOOG synth bass and tappin his feet to bring in the familiar tune, Kings of the Burgs.   A few minutes in and the horns join!  Sam Kininger and Ryan Zoidis blasted their way in and out of the song as Kofi fluttered his flute into the mix.

Derek Trucks @ Susan Tedeschi join Lettuce @ Mountain Jam

Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi & Nigel Hall join Lettuce @ Mountain Jam

Half way through the song the crowd screams as I see Derek Trucks plugging in.  Krasno shouted, “We got a couple more people we got to bring up here, man.  There’s just some heavy shit going on around here.”  Oteil Burbridge and Nigel Hall joined the stage to complete a full round power house of talent and rage.  “Mountain Jam, Where ya at?” scream Nigel and they fly into Move On Up…(like Susan Tedeschi told you to).  Now, it goes from good to GREAT!

Oteil Burbridge, Derek Trucks and Eric Krasno @ Mountain Jam

Oteil Burbridge, Derek Trucks and Eric Krasno @ Mountain Jam

With Nigel Hall on vocals and Susan Tedeschi backing him on the chorus, Move On Up closed the funkified set.  Oteil Burbridge took a solo and scatted on the bass.  Deitch backing on the drums was perfection.  Kofi fluttered behind his brother, Oteil.  Finally, Derek raged a solo before Nigel sang the last verse adding his signature scream.  FULL FREAKING FUNKING RAGE! I had been fully melted into a puddle of happy.

Ragers @ Mountain Jam

Ragers @ Mountain Jam

Download: Lettuce (Afternoon set) @ Mountain Jam (06.06.10)

Yonder Mountain String Band @ Moutain Jam

Yonder Mountain String Band @ MJ ~ Photo by Doug Potoksky

Yonder Mountain String Band

Adam Aijala ~ Guitar, vocals
Ben Kaufmann ~ Bass, vocals
Jeff Austin ~ Mandolin, vocals
Dave Johnston ~ Banjo, vocals

“Every festival always needs a banjo!” shouts Jeff Austin (I think) and again, the sound over the mountain shifted into an entirely different vibe, an entirely different musical world.  It is always nice to hear Jeff Austin play his banjo.  He is just amazing even though he sometimes overpowers and over solos.  But still, one of the best in my opinion.

Warren Haynes and Jeff Austin @ Mountain Jam

Warren Haynes and Jeff Austin @ MJ ~ Photo by Doug Potoksky

The rain came during YMSB but we didn’t move.  They continued to play and we continued to dance.  It was almost fitting, to be dancing in the rain, with our shoes off, dancing like hillbillies on a mountain.  I love that I could rage with a funk band less than one hour earlier and now was LOVING the Bluegrass vibe.  There are so many people who just can’t understand it.  Like Fusion, they just don’t get it, they can’t wrap their heads around the sound, around the simple yet complicated way the notes are put together.  During the last song, Death Trip, Warren Haynes came out and assisted YMSB in playing one hell of a closing for their set.

Set List: If You’re Ever In Oklahoma, Don’t You Lean On Me, Rain Still Falls, How Bout You?, Steep Grade Sharp Curves, Casualty, Fingerprint>, Boatman, Idaho, Irondale, Blue Collar Blues, Snow On The Pines>, Death Trip

Download: Yonder Mountain String Band @ Mountain Jam (06.05.10)

THE MAZE, or THE STAR a.k.a

“THE SHAPE SHIFTING GRAFFITI COLLECTIVE”

Art Installation @ Mountain Jam

Art Installation @ Mountain Jam

 

Art Installation @ Mountain Jam

Art Installation @ Mountain Jam

During Dave Mason‘s set, my buddy and I decided to check out the lovely art installations at the top of the mountain.  Mountain Jam invited John (?) and Cappy Franti (Michael Franti’s son) from San Fransisco, as well as other artists, to create interactive works of art.

Art Installation @ Mountain Jam

Art Installation @ Mountain Jam

The installations began at the start of the festival and the creativity flowed throughout the three days. The end result being three pieces of interactive art work that created seating, beauty and imagination.  The collective artists inserted their visions through a spray paint medium (I think) onto the structures.  They were really gorgeous to look at.

Passed out Wook!! @ Mountain Jam

Passed out Wook!! @ Mountain Jam

Wookies were sprawled out all over the wooden structures.  Passed out or just relaxing watching the intense scene of people down the mountain.  Parents and their children were utilizing the space to save their children’s eardrums as the parents sat there without their own ear-protectors on.  I always wear earplugs, especially while up front at festivals. But just look at the scene from where Murray and I sat and listened to Dave Mason and make new friends.  GORGEOUS!

View from Art Installation @ Mountain Jam

View from Art Installation @ Mountain Jam

Dave Mason

The only thing I knew about Dave Mason was that he is an old member of Traffic. As soon as I was told that, the song Feelin’ Alright popped in my head.  It was the only one I could recall and at some point in the set, he played it.  Woot!  I didn’t really pay attention to Dave because I was raging all over the art installations with Murray, making new friends (Hi Carsten!) and getting lost inside the art maze.  We had WAAAAY to much fun in there posing for pictures, enjoying the colors and shapes. Simple pleasures, but our minds sets were prepared for exactly what we were doing.  From time to time, I would hear some intense raging coming from the stage.  As we left the Maze, I entered an entire dancing mountain.

Everyone had recovered and the evening’s party had commenced.  We hung out with our new friends for the rest of the set and knew that next time, I would sit and really pay attention to Dave Mason.  He was amazing from what I heard and I wish I had heard more.  And then front the top of the mountain, I heard Susan’s voice and flew past Murry to the front of the stage so fast that she hadn’t even hit the chorus of the song by the time I got to the center front. My second favorite group of the day was about to bring it.

The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band @ Mountain Jam

The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band @ Mountain Jam

The Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band

Derek Trucks – Guitar
Susan Tedeschi – Guitar & Vocals
Oteil Burbridge – Bass
Kofi Burbridge – Keys & Flute
Tyler Greenwell – Drums
Duane Trucks – Drums
Mike Mattison – Backing Vocals & Acoustic guitar
Nigel Hall – Backing Vocals & Keys

Guests:

Warren Haynes ~ Guitar

Susan Tedeschi @ Mountain Jam

Susan Tedeschi @ Mountain Jam

I had been waiting for this moment ALL YEAR!!!  I wasn’t able to go to Wanne Music Festival and they had yet to come to New York City.  This was a BIG deal to me.  Susan Tedeschi is my #1 favorite southern soul singer.  A singer who has touched my life in ways that no one would ever understand.  Then you have Derek Trucks, just the greatest guitarist on the planet. He too lifts my soul up when it’s on the ground.  In my Top 3 List for favorite living guitarists hands down.  Tyler Greenwell and Duane Trucks are out of this world.  The Burbridge Brothers, well, they just wail.  And, well, download the set or go see them!  If I was loaded like Donald Trump, I would pay to have this band play for me once a day.  Probably every morning, to wake me up with a soulful smile!

The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band @ Mountain Jam

The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band @ Mountain Jam

 

Derek Trucks @ Mountain Jam

Derek Trucks @ Mountain Jam

Love Has Something To Say started their set with Susan bringing me her soulful voice immediately. That voice. It hits your guts.  I feel a change in my mind and body WHENEVER her voice hits me.  I am not a fan, I am a freak. LOL!!   It’s so weird how she does that to me.  Then Mike Mattison sang out a chorus as well and I was thrown back to college when I first heard that scratchy voice. Finally, Nigel Hall rang out a bit and the group gathered back into a collective after a Derek solo.

Susan Tedeschi @ Mountain Jam

Susan Tedeschi @ Mountain Jam

I thought that song would be the song that started off the energy curve that would continue to rise with each song but Midnight in Harlem slowed the vibe down considerably.  Nothing wrong with that.  They had the mountain swaying in unison.  Even with it being a calm song, Derek made his guitar softly rage into his solo…making my face tighten, my eyes close and my head thrown back feeling like my body would melt into the earth as I swayed.

Oteil, Susan & Derek @ Mountain Jam

Oteil, Susan & Derek @ Mountain Jam

Otiel Burbridge @ Mountain Jam

Otiel Burbridge @ Mountain Jam

Susan’s voice was yet again showcased through  Love Was All In My Mind but it was her guitar playing that made me scream here. Not as good as her husband but one HELL OF A RAGER!!  It made me wonder if they sit together and just jam out in their living room while their kids run around playing.  How wonderful.  There was deliciously cute banter between Susan and Oteil.  There is friendship and love within those glances.  Such energy. I LOVE LOVE LOVE watching Oteil Burbridge play his bass.  The smile on that man is intoxicating. It’s honest and pure, just like his playing.  I’ve Got A Feeling was the same thing with excellent Susan vocals and I let me feelings take me over, dancing around in front with my fellow strangers, singing with their “Oh Yeahs!”

Husband and Wife (Hottest couple ever) @ Mountain Jam

Husband and Wife (Hottest couple ever) @ Mountain Jam

Derek Trucks @ Mountain Jam

Derek Trucks @ Mountain Jam

Derek played through Nobody’s Free, with not one, but two broken stings, waving away the stage tech to complete the song.  The mountain erupted in an applause after this song that kind of shook my core.  I was so happy I was not alone in ADORING this group.  Susan introduced the band after a few more songs, describing everyone with a little snippet of love before they went into Don’t Drift Away.  Derek pulled out a solo here that ripped out my heart.  And for the first time that weekend I was brought to tears.  Uncontrollable streams of happiness down my cheeks.  I held it in as best as I could but I sit here looking at my notes with dots of smeared ink and I smile.  I was surrounded by strangers who were all there for the same reason as I was.  And here was this magnificent guitarist doing something he does every single day, bringing people to the edge of emotion.  That thought alone made me shine.

 

Kofi Burbridge @ Mountain Jam

Kofi Burbridge @ Mountain Jam

It was a slow, soulful start with Standing on the Edge of Love with the end of the song consisting of Derek’s raging guitar bringing the mountain UP! UP! UP.  Oteil RIPPED the bass up during Serve It Up and then Susan’s adorable speaking voice asked us how we were and thanked Warren Haynes for having them at the Festival.  Next up, Blind Crippled and Crazy was a familiar tune that got people singing around me. Mike giving us his sexy, smooth falsetto and Kofi Burbridge soloing on the organ with a vibe that made you want to get DOWN.

Warren Haynes with Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band @ Mountain Jam

Warren Haynes with Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band @ Mountain Jam

Few more songs and then WE GOT A VISITOR!!!  Warren Haynes joined the stage during Comin’ Home.  Check out this GREAT video of the rage that occurred in front of my face.  MY GOD!!! YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!!!

Set List –> Intro, Love Has Something Else To Say, Midnight In Harlem, Love Was All In My Mind, I’ve Got a Feeling, Nobody’s Free, Band Intros, Don’t Drift Away, Standing On The Edge Of Love, Look Around, Serve It Up, I’d Rather Be Blind, Crippled And Crazy, All My Love,  Comin’ Home, Space Captain

The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band @ Mountain Jam

The Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band @ Mountain Jam

After the The Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band set, I received a call from Nigel Hall, a dear friend of mine since Jam Cruise, who I hadn’t seen in a minute.  We caught up about his tour with Derek and Susan while we walked around, finally unloading his bags from their tour bus.  After a minute, Nigel boarded the bus and popped his head out telling me to come on in.  That glorious man brought me on the tour bus and sitting there were Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.

I was momentarily speechless as Nigel introduced me.  Completely frozen as I bypassed Derek completely to shake Susan’s hand.  All I could utter was “Your music saved me last year.  You are a hero of mine.”  But before I could get it all out, my voice cracked at “hero” and my eyes watered up as I was completely overwhelmed in the moment.  It took all my might just to hold it together.  She noticed my emotion, smiled and gave me a hug, calling me a “sweet dear.”  I didn’t take pictures, I didn’t do anything.  I just silently lost my mind trying not to let me emotions over take me.  You have to remember that we are in Day II now of the festie which means little sleep and lots of raging has already takin place. I was in little control of my emotions but held it together.

So we sat, Derek, Susan, Nigel and I, chilling for about 20 minutes talking about the set, their tour, my NY stomping grounds, and much more.  At one point Derek turns to Susan and says, “You and Karen should exchange numbers.  We are always on the Upper East Side.”  Honestly, I don’t think I can describe in words my reaction to this statement.  First, I thought, what the HELL would she want with my number!  Then I thought, who cares, I love her and she can have anything of mine she wants.

It was at that moment that I realized that as much as I ADORE/LOVE/WORSHIP Derek Trucks and consider him one of the greatest guitar players in the world, it was Susan who truly was my passion on that bus.  It was her cover of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right that truly grounded me and kept me sane in one of the worst times of my life.  It’s why I broke down meeting her, all those feelings flooding back…knowing if all that evil hadn’t happened to me, I never would have made it on that bus to meet her.  And I healed, just a little bit more… my heart opened up a little bit wider.  And then finally we said our goodbyes.  *** NIGEL!  THANK YOU SO MUCH for knowing how important that was to me and for making it happen.  THANK YOU!!! ***

The Villa Vosilla

The Villa Vosilla

The Lettuce crew was staying off site and so we took a little ride through the mountain and raged at the Villa Vosilla for a bit.  Ate some dinner and relaxed in these ridiculous rooms that had me thinking I was in Alice in Wonderland.  Yeah!  Fully raged.  We didn’t get back to the Festival until 11pm, just in time for the beginning of the second Gov’t Mule set.   But missing the first Mule set was 110% worth it.  The laughter on the ride back from the hotel alone made up for missing the music.

Rage room! @ Villa Vosilla

Rage room! @ Villa Vosilla

When we stopped at a check point, the police officers heckled us a bit.  Our driver explained we needed to get to the festival and that this was a band.  Finally, the officer asked the name of the band.  Oh man. This was so good.  Neal Evans leans over and says, “Lettuce.”  The officer stared blankly for a minute and repeats “Lettuce” as if he must have misunderstood.  “Lettuce. Did you say Lettuce?”  “Yes,” says practically the whole van.  Inside my head, I was laughing my ever loving mind off.  The officer clearly thought we were herbs and finally let us pass.  If he only knew the talent that was in that van…

Gov't Mule (& Green light guy) @ Mountain Jam

Gov't Mule (& Green light guy) @ Mountain Jam

Gov’t Mule

Warren Haynes – Guitar & Vocals
Matt Abts – Drums
Danny Louis – Keyboards, Background Vocals and Other Goodies
Jorgen Carlsson – Bass

Another passed out Wookie! Makes me giggle!

Another passed out Wookie! Makes me giggle!

I got back to the festival in time to rage the second set with my friends.  However, I spent most of the first bit looking for them.  Everyone’s phones were dying and my friends were up front amongst the  masses.  It didn’t take long before they found ME wondering around.  I was pretty much in full face melting stance at this point and not taking notes.  Just thrashing around the mountain dancing with my friends.  All my favorite all stars joined the stage for this set and I was finally able to see Warren play with some favorites: The Shady Horns (Sam Kininger on Alto, Ryan Zoidis on Tenor Sax), Eric Krasno, and Jackie Green.  I am not going to break it all down, you can download the set.  But I will tell you that the encore of their set was a cover of Pearl Jam’s BLACK and it was awesome!!!

Set I: Railroad Boy >, Temporary Saint >, Gameface, Woodstock, Broke Down on the Brazos, Gordon James, Sad & Deep As You *, Kind Of Bird #, Blind Man in the Dark

Set II:  The Joker ^, Frozen Fear >, D’yer Mak’er > Frozen Fear >, Rockin’ In The Free World >, Machine Gun > Rockin’ In The Free World >
Drums,  Forevermore, The Spider & The Fly %$, Ventilator Blues !$, Monkey Man !, crowd, encore intro, Black, Train Kept A Rollin’

Download: Gov’t Mule @ Mountain Jam (06.05.10)

Krasno & Nigel Hall @ Mountain Jam

Krasno & Nigel Hall @ Mountain Jam

LETTUCE (late night set)

Erik “E.D.” Coomes ~ Bass
Adam Deitch ~ Drums
Neal Evans ~ Organ, clavinet
Sam Kininger ~ Alto sax
Eric Krasno ~ Guitar
Nigel Hall ~ Vocals, keys
Ryan Zoidis ~ Tenor sax

Adam Deitch @ Mountain Jam

Adam Deitch @ Mountain Jam

Lettuce brought the funk for the last time at 1m inside at the Colonel’s Stage while Dark Star Orchestra raged the Mainstage outside on the Mountain.  I never once left the front of the Colonel’s stage. I couldn’t as I was glued to their sound. I was glued to their energy.  I had absolutely no desire to see Dark Star even though I dig ’em.

The Shady Horns (Sam Kininger & Ryan Zoidis) @ Mountain Jam

The Shady Horns (Sam Kininger & Ryan Zoidis) @ Mountain Jam

Tonight we danced. We danced so hard.  I was barely wearing anything, just a bikini and shorts, and I was dripping in FUNK!  The good kind even though it was pretty hot! 🙂   Somewhere in the middle of the music, my buddy threw a head of Lettuce up on stage screaming, “We love You!”  And it was true. My friends and I, a group of people who’s musical opinions I greatly value, are smitten with the Royal Family. Didn’t you know?  😉

Warren Haynes and Eric Krasno @ Mountain Jam

Warren Haynes and Eric Krasno @ Mountain Jam

I could give you another run down on the Late night Lettuce rage but it would just be more of the same up from there.  Gushing over how much we danced, raged, melted, and smiled.   How amazing each player is and how TIGHT they all sound together.  The group is just TIGHT.  The Shady Horns play so impeccably in sync.  But I won’t.  I will stop right there and only say that Warren Haynes joined in towards the end of the set.  Song #15 as the recording places it but as I do not listen to the recordings or read the reviews for shows until I write my own articles, I don’t know if it’s correct.  And since I didn’t take note…

Download: Lettuce (Late night) @ Mountain Jam (06.05.10)

After the set, we walked up the mountain to the VIP tents and hung out for a few more hours with friends.  Winding down, playing guitars and with lights.  The sun started to come up and we knew it was time for bed.  It’s the WORST trying to fall sleep as the sun is coming up.  If you can get to bed before you see it, you are golden. Otherwise, it throws things completely off. My girl and I walked home in the misty rain and I hoped it would stop by afternoon when I awoke.  I wanted more then anything to make The Bridge the next morning at 12pm but it was never going to happen.  I finally fell asleep at 6am.  When my body hit the bed, it was probably the most comfortable bed in the world at that moment. I know yall feel me.  This festival was rockin’ our worlds.  However, I had to keep it together because I had one more day of insanity…are you having fun with me so far??

Stay Tuned for Day III Review: Mountain Jam VI @ Hunter Mountain, NY (06.06.10)

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Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

(179 McDougal Street)

(w/ Higher Nebulae, D.V.S., & Orchard Lounge)

Show Pamplet

Show Pamplet

In my mind, I consider myself just beginning to learn about (and possibly appreciate) these late night NYC music scenes.  A scene where the music doesn’t start until 11:00pm, maybe.  A scene where, unless you asked for help, you can’t find the door to the establishment, a scene hidden under the bowels of the city streets.   I normally rage a live concert where the doors open at 6pm and the show start at 8pm.  And THEN, if I have the energy (if?…who are we kidding?), I end up in a dark and grimy basement venue for the remainder of the night.  Most of the time it’s because a friend has talked me into raging harder and not because I feel as though there will be true talent on a stage.  To me, these are the times to mingle and dance till your a puddle of water on the floor.  I have no idea what is going on music wise as…how do I put this….it doesn’t register to me as live music.  It just doesn’t.

Rage Equipment!

Rage Equipment!

Dj-ing is clearly an art.  Sampling music, producing sounds, splicing tunes, putting them back together like a puzzle.  I get it.  I can see the DJs gears working in my mind’s eye when I hear some of the get-down beats we dance too.  And when they rage, I stop dancing and I embrace the lift in the room’s energy, nodding my head in recognition that they just mixed a dope track that got the floor jumpin’.  So, I love it, don’t get me wrong.  I do dance into a puddle and I have fun but it’s not the same thing if it’s just a person and their turntables.  It doesn’t drag me in and make my jaw drop.

Now, take that atmosphere, with that talented puzzle maker and throw in a live instrument.  Like Break Science who has Adam Deitch on the drums bringing forth that extra layer that makes it intoxicating, or The Sullivan Street Shakedown, which combines DJs with numerous live instruments rotated each month.  It lies in the fact that it’s alive to me at that moment.  It’s organic.  I can see it being created.  Tonight, I would be enjoying the performance of Jeff Bujak and he brought me exactly what I needed to have my jaw drop.

Rage equipment!

Rage equipment!

The show was held at Club Love.  Never having been before, I immediately was drawn to the name, wondering what it must look like.  I imagined it being dimly lit, a loungy-vibe with bright tones like purples, yellows and reds.  Slightly Disco-esque with plush couches and anything you would find in a Austin Powers movie.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

With no sign to the establishment and the entrance being a door hidden by on of those large gate walls that businesses pull down when they close up shop, I only knew I was in the right spot thanks to the store owners around the area.  The show was to start at 10pm but I don’t think the doors even opened until 11pm.  I went across the street for a beer with the three other people foolish enough to come so early…see, I am still learning.

Rage Equipment!

Rage Equipment!

Upon entering Love, you head down the stairs into a dark, concrete floored, cavern-like basement and are forced either left or right.  If you choose right, you are met with the room that would be throwing us the get down grinds.  Probably holds about 250 (??) comfortably, one wall had bench style seating but that was it.  This was a room for dancing.  Period. There was a bar set up with caution tape around it, I assumed to give the waitress some room?  Flat out, not cool waitress.  I bought a $7 beer, gave her a $10 and she just ran with it.  When I asked her for my change, she was like “What? You want me to give you back 2 bucks?”  First of all, take a math course and Poor Service!!!  Seriously? Does it matter?  I used to be a waitress and I was a friggen princess even when I wanted to kill someone.  I will NEVER get used to the poor customer service practices in New York City.  There is TRULY nothing comparable in terms of shitty attitude .  Needless to say,  I was not amused.

Dancing and Hula Hooping

Dancing and Hula Hooping

There was no “stage” per say, just a portion of the floor that had been utilized for the equipment.  As well, there was an elevated portion that held the DJs booth.  I got to be sadly honest and admit that the front of the DJ booth was so high, I could barely see the tops of the DJ’s heads, let alone see them do their thing.  That made me sad.  But I am sure the rest of the world saw the Dj’s as they are all over 5 foot zero!!

If you took a left from Love’s entrance, you are taken to the restrooms, another bar and a separate room that looks cave-ish, like the walls were made of crappy styrafrom, the other walls were glass so that the patrons in the room were viewable from the bar area.  This room was for those who might need to take a rest from the intensity in the other room.  It is small but with stadium seating, more like concrete stairs.  It’s always good to have one of these rooms to retreat into when you have partied to hard.

Higher Nebulae started the night off with some dirty dance beats. There was some gospel layers and rock layers all with some deep whoomping bass.  When the bass beats were dropped we were given some familiar rock favorites and unexpected old school gems such as Metallica‘s “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”

D.V.S.

D.V.S.

Like I said, it’s hard for me to focus on the music when it’s just the DJs so I was wondering around trying to catch a buzz with the $10 beer in hand and attempting to get in the right frame of mind to dance into that puddle I was talking about.  The Banana Mafia was out in full force greeting what appeared to be half the venue who had come under his list.  He brought the energy, he brought in the dancers.  I appreciated that!  However, this Mafia member was without his Banana Suit?  Is that even allowed?  Am I supposed to be outing him over the internet?  Opps.  Either way, he raged all over that dance floor, as well as his friends, and we all had a blast together!!

D.V.S. was up next, his real name being Derek VanScoten.  Where as Jeff Bujak uses a piano to layer on top of his electronic beats, D.V.S. uses a Telecaster guitar.  I stopped my mingling and started focusing on D.V.S..  His music mixed Hip-hop, Soul and even Motown.  He sampled Jimi Hendrix‘s “Foxy Lady” and raged a great guitar during his samples.  He has recently toured as a solo artist supporting Ana Sia, Big Gigantic, Beats Antique, Boombox, Lynx & Janover, JFJO, and M80 Dubstation.  Honestly, not sure if I cared for him that much.  It didn’t do anything for me.

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Let’s talk about Jeff Bujak, the man of the hour!  Duuuuude.  Having just discovered him earlier this summer at Rock The Resort, I was VERY eager to see him again live.  Jeff Bujak is a true musician.  A truly technically talented piano player who, from the moment I stepped foot into his performance at RTR, has had me hooked.  To me, when I listen to his music at home, Jeff reminds me of a mix between Tori Amos and Bruce Hornsby. I could come up with a ton of combination but seriously, his music is beautiful and quirky and demanding with organized chaos and it is all his own! He has coined his music “Intelligent Dance Music.”  Intriguing, no?

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff comes armed with everything needed to run his one-man show including light, sound, and smoke.  Cables and pedals everywhere, there is a laptop, a sound deck and his dual level keyboard at the helm of his personal electronic monster.  There is a row of lights above his left shoulder flashing us the light show in various colors and mixed to rage with the beat. His shoes were off and the show began.

The set list:

SET 1
Utopia > Kicker > Crowd > Machinist > Slimmy > Cascadation > Sunny’s Song* > PUTV > Mutator

* written by Benevento-Russo Duo (section of)

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Utopia got it started with a synthesizer drop and a deep beat. Very quickly the layering of faster beats were released and right away it was a dance party.  His songs have catchy samples, this one, sampling Cake’s The Distance by using the lyrics “Reluctantly crouched at the starting line…”  After a while, amid the heavy beat of smashing cymbals, I feel a reggae vibe that quickly turns back into a deep electronic beat.

Kicker into Crowd brought us the classical, straight out gorgeous technical chamber piano skills that I adore him for.  These gorgeous notes layer over the rest of the dance worthy beats.  They are hit hard, there are sounds of electric guitars playing but I know that is Bujak manipulating the keys.  The sequenced drum loops made it sound like the drummer was in the room with us at times.  Then we got a little more of the pure keys, nothing manipulated, just beautiful piano sounds.  It’s a gorgeous mixture of electronic and organic.  I mean, there is just GORGEOUS composition amongst his hectic beats.

So, being that I am a romantic female, I found it to be just lovely music and I was pleased to see mainly men in that basement dancing.  In reality, I wondered if these wookies heard what I heard.  They were certainly dancing to the beats but I wonder if they realized just how good he sounded in that basement.  Club Love is rumored as having one of the best sound systems, so perhaps that helped.  There are parts of the songs that got so slow and so sensual.  Preferring to be a stand alone dancer at most shows I attend, it was my pleasure to dance intelligently with some dudes that night to this intelligent music.  A real pleasure. 😉

The music pierced my ear drums and so my ear plugs remained in the entire night.  I love my ear plugs because they helps break down the sounds and I can hear the music very clearly.  I recognized that I was in a grimy basement but being raised on Broadway shows and Classical theater and concerts, I was able to close my eyes and get thrown into the plush seats I imagined earlier.   The raging beats faded away and all I could hear was the gorgeous classical technical training he was throwing at us.

The music sounded like this (around 5:15ish mins he busts out the chamber piano):

But my mind would shut out parts and I would just hear something that sounded like this, beats faded away…just gorgeous:

Machinist is a song that amuses me. I imagine being at an Insane Clown Posse  or 311 show raging out and then Jeff layers some beautiful unmanipulated organized piano playing over it.  That is what does it for me.  I know I always say I love my horns, but I grew up listening to my father plays his piano every night after dinner while I cleared the table and did the dishes.  This fact also makes me overly critical towards keys players and I don’t have a single negative thing to say about Jeff’s work. It was a complete package, a complete pleasure.

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Jeff Bujak @ Club Love

Slimmy was mainly a synthesizer song and pretty sure I heard some Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller” in the mix.  It was HEAVY, deep, and a raging dance song.  This producer/composer really does delivers a vibrant sound so full of melodic energy it stirs even the most timid of dancers. No one was sitting. I make my way up to Jeff’s side, watching him play…oh the essence of a musician when they are in the zone.  Sometimes I swear can feel their energy radiate off them.  It’s what brings tears to my eyes sometimes.  We stand in the audience in love with these musician’s music but what we have to remember is they either love or hate what they are playing as well and you can fell it, you can see it.  The lights and the music and the venue were helping big time.  It was so beautiful and overwhelming.  One man was making all this happen.

I stepped outside for an adventure during Cascadation so I can’t tell you anything about that song. That is one you will just have to go and see to experience 🙂  I came back in towards the end of Sunny’s Song, partially written by Benevento-Russo Duo. Pretty, melodic, slower then the rest.  PUTV gave us a manipulated synthed start to the song with samplings from Eric B. & Rakim’s “Pump Up The Volume” gently layered on top of the rest of the tune.  He goes back and forth between the manipulated sounds and the organic sound the ivories make.  Again, the looped drum beats are stellar and fast forcing Bujak’s fingers to go full blast.

Mutator was last for the evening. To be honest, I wasn’t sure when one song ended or began.  My notes are full of lines where I believe one ends and another beings, arrows shooting up the page because I felt as if he had gone from one song to another and back again, not sure.  Sometimes it was clear and other times it was so well-played that if the change occurred, I had no clue where it was.

Here is the video I took of Jeff @ Club Love…sorry for the sound quality. I had my ear plugs in and it sounded GORGEOUS and crisp in my ear…you get the point 🙂

Orchard Lounge raged our faces off for the rest of the evening but I will have to review them another time.  Jeff was what had brought me here tonight. I had come with the intentions of leaving after Jeff’s set but there was NO WAY. Not only was I one of the first people to arrive that night, I ended up being one of the last people to leave.  Jeff hung out a bit and, when we weren’t dancing, I wandered with my dance partner, getting in to trouble here and there, totally full of energy.  It was a great night and all thank to Jeff….thanks Buj 🙂  Be sure to check out Jeff Bujak’s newest full-length released on Harmonized Records:  “Alive Like the Spine

And as I hit PUBLISH, the irony is not lost on me as I listen to my neighbor begin giving one of her lovely piano lessons…..life is magnificent!

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Zach Deputy @ Sullivan Hall

Zach Deputy @ Sullivan Hall

1,000 miles away in Live Oak, Florida, an enormously large portion of my beautiful musical family were raging their faces off at the Wanee Musical Festival.  Knowing that neither of us could attend, my girl Jenn came for a visit so that we may have each others shoulder to lean upon for the weekend.  Being that Wanee is known as one of the “Land Cruises,” and having met Jen on last year’s Jam Cruise, we were both going through some serious withdrawal from our friends, or rather, our “Jamily.”

But a beautiful aspect of music is that it connects everything, through space and time.  Through the cosmos, through our minds, through the notes.  Zach Deputy performed on Jam Cruise 8 and both Jen and I learned of him for the first time on the boat.  I was DYING for him to come to the city since that time.  And what better a weekend to come!! Zach Deputy came and saved the day 🙂 I bet you one million dollars that Zach wanted to be at Wanee with everyone just as bad as we did.  And so we would all dance and smile and sing together in NYC, extending our energy to our friends at Wanee, and feeling their love in return.

We got to Sullivan Hall around 11pm.  Zach was slated to go on at 11:30pm but when I heard a band say, “We are just getting started to get ready to dance!,” I knew things were on “schedule.”

The Kinetixs, from Denver, Colorado, are composed of:

Adam Lufkin – Guitar/ Vocals
Eric Blumenfeld – Keyboards/ Vocals –
Jordan Linit – Guitar
Josh Fairman – Bass
Jack Gargan – Drums

Jack Gargan @ Sullivan Hall

Jack Gargan @ Sullivan Hall

They started out the set with Big Screen.  I was just arriving at this point and not paying attention at all.  I walked over to the coat check and then Jen and I made the first of many restroom pit stops of the night.  Again, Sullivan Hall was boiling hot so I would be pumping water into my system nonstop.   Adam Lufkin, on guitar and vocals, sounded like a mix between that guy from Maroon 5 and Jason Mraz.  While waiting in the long line for the rest room, because one of the stalls was not fixed and never got fixed, I started to fully pay attention and get hooked.  They were FUN.  They were FUNKY (at times).  They were SO full of energy! Bouncing all over the stage, jumping up and down, kicking their legs in the air in unison.  Smiles everywhere amongst the funk/rock/pop.

Josh Fairman @ Sullivan Hall

Josh Fairman @ Sullivan Hall

Sunshine followed.  A slow, pretty intro made way for Adam’s guitar to cry a little in the beginning of this jammy, slightly reggae tune.  I was immediately thrown back to my college days in the preppy KA frat house.  Not sure how I felt about that.  “What happened to all the birds I used to see fly.  It feels if they all feel down to the earth and died!”  What? The song was just a little too meant for a radio perhaps, for my taste.  There was not a lot of instrument play or rage.  It had a pretty message but it was too cookie cutter for me.  Next please!

Straight into the rockin’ guitar for a measure or two, then the rest of the group joins in, Own Mind got it kicking again.  I remember really diggin’ the keys player, Eric Blumenfeld, at this point.  All that energy was out on stage again and they were bouncing and jumping.  It was impossible to get great shots at ANY point do to the dancing.  A fantastic rage of a jam tune.  Much more up my alley.  Sure there were some lyrics: “filling up my soul with love and passion,”but when they finally got past the lyrics, they had time to let it RIP.  The guitars were rippin, the drums were keepin’ it up up up!

Eric Blumenfeld @ Sullivan Hall

Eric Blumenfeld @ Sullivan Hall

The keys started off Ruined It, another funky little jam. But, another song that seemed built for the radio.  It was catchy, simple; feels like its built off a formula. Eric really let loose during this song.  You know I enjoyed it….simple, funky, he definitely could have brought more but that is because I am a picky ass keys person.  But he raged it, he enjoyed it thus we enjoyed it.

Kinetix @ Sullivan Hall

Kinetix @ Sullivan Hall

Then, we have what was, by far, my favorite song of their set: People.  Adam screams: “People start hoppin'” over and over.  Under the rhythm of the vocal beat, the drums start joining in and escalated slowly until they blast out with the start of the song and then it was ON.   Everyone was hopping, jumping around, dancing, just like they were telling us to do.  “Get the show to start hopping, all when the beat start dropping….”   Adam has a yummy voice and this was just a fun jammy tune telling us to move and get ready to go! It might have been lyric heavy, but the chorus was infectious.  Another showcase for the guitars to rage, it is straight rock with some funky beats.

Finally, they threw in a cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.  This was actually really fun.  It sounded great but it was when people started putting their arms around their significant others, around their friends, huggin and swayin and just feeling the lyrics and music, that I truly felt a moment in the music.  It’s the wonderful part of performances like that…the times when the musicians touch the crowd and the energy grows…and you can feel it! And then it was over. Just like that.

Banana Mafia @ Sullivan Hall

Banana Mafia @ Sullivan Hall

Steppin’ outside for some fresh air, there was Zach Deputy! Why on EARTH I didn’t grab a picture with him is beyond me as he was there open and talking to everyone! Just like always.  I spoke to him a bit about Jam Cruise and gave him up to attend to other anxious fans.  I turn to my right and there is a giant banana hanging out with the crowd.  Apparently, this man meant business.

The "Don" of The Banana Mafia @ Sullivan Hall

The "Don" of The Banana Mafia @ Sullivan Hall

Part of The Banana Mafia, “The Don” was raging the show hard throughout the night.  I always saw him dancing ECSTATICALLY, banana hat flapping around and blinking glasses helping him stick out even further! I loved him and I can’t wait to SPOT him again.   The best part of the interaction was when a fellow musician who had come from his own gig to watch Zach, began peeling a banana.  Seriously?  And thus, the picture above was snapped.  I love when stuff like that happens!

Keep reading for Zach Deputy’s Review ….

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