Bowlive V, Brooklyn Bowl 2014

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Photo by: Dino Perrucci

Bowlive, Soulive’s two week residency, is ending it’s fifth year tonight at the infamous Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY.  I have been lucky enough to be able to catch all five years, and incredibly witness how each year seemingly gets better over the last year.

This year’s special guests have ranged from Warren Haynes, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi and New Orleans’ legends George Porter Jr. and  Jon Cleary, to lesser known 11 year old savant’s from Brendan “TAZ” Neidermeyer, Eddie Roberts, Joe Russo, DMC and Talib Kweli, Marco Benevento, Scott Metzger, Sonya Kitchell, and Nigel Hall.

Photo courtesy of: Alan Evans

Photo courtesy of: Alan Evans

The Shows: Admittedly, I have not been able to hit all the shows as I have in years past.  However, I can tell the nature of the Bowlive residency has mellowed into a well-known two weeks of throwdown funk, with surprise guests galore.  I use the word “mellowed” because the players (Neal Evans, keys; Eric Krasno, guitar; Alan Evans, drums) have seemingly settled into the pace of this particular run.  I am certainly not saying these shows are mellow, they are anything but mellow.  From the opening night two weeks ago, you can sense the excitement, the high energy building in the club.  The second night was frenzied, but no one seemed to realize that the show was going long to allow Warren Haynes to come from the Upper West Side where  the Allman’s were playing.  Those who either knew what was happening, or those who just hung out, were treated to a 4 song set that lasted well past 2am.

For me, my personal highlight were the ones I have attended.  First night (Thurs), vocalist and keyboardist Nigel Hall brought us back to the first few years of Bowlive where he was a nightly staple to the Soulive trio.

Third night (Sat), I was grateful to see George Porter Jr., bring his personal brand of funkiness to the stage, and the Soulive men tweak a little to the NOLA side of funk.  Add Eddie Roberts, from the New Mastersounds and The London Souls and this night was way up on the face melting scale. Here is a clip of the night before, when Warren Haynes stopped by:

Highlights: Night 4:  Jon Cleary & John Scofield John Scofield needs no introduction. He also has played with the Soulive trio for years, and the chemistry between the four men is palpable.  You can tell the Soulive men adore Scofield, and this bounces back from Sco to the Soulive guys.  The riffs that Krasno and Scofield throw at each other are mesmorizing.  I am not sure if I danced or just stood there with my mouth open.  I wish there was video to share with you.

John «Sco» Scofield  (Foto: Vidar Ruud, ANB)

John «Sco» Scofield (Foto: Vidar Ruud, ANB)

Highlights: Night 5: Susan Tedeschi, Joe Russo, John Cleary.  “Turn on Your Lovelight”

THROWDOWN

The Food:  I ate the addictively delicious Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, but have to admit my new favorite is the Rock n Roll Fries.  I’ll let ya’ll in on a secret – it is fries and gravy with cheese on the bottom of the plate.  Fattening and delicious for sure.  With all the dancing I’ve done the past two weeks, I have no guilt at all.

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Tonight is the last night to catch BOWLIVE V.  Will you be there?  Hope to see you.  http://www.brooklynbowl.com/event/470695-bowlive-v-soulive-brooklyn/

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Galactic – Night 1 of 4, Brooklyn Bowl

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Galactic stopped by Brooklyn NY for a four night run at the Brooklyn Bowl earlier this month.  Each night was sold out.  Each night was better than the night before.  Each night there were special guests including Corey Glover (Living Colour), David Shaw (The Revivalists), High & Mighty Brass Band,  Jon Gutwillig ( The Disco Biscuits), Kalmia Traver (of Rubblebucket), and The Mike Dillon Band.

To say this was a New Orleans party up north in NYC would be an understatement.  Every time I have seen Galactic, they always bring down the house and this run was no exception.  With eighteen years behind them, they have become a powerhouse from NOLA like no other.  Their power is unmistakenable, their groove is funk in your face, and their songs run from lyrical to twenty minute jams.  Galactic is made up of such talent as: Ben Ellman, harps and horns; Robert Mercurio, bass; Stanton Moore, drums and percussion; Jeff Raines, guitar; Rich Vogel, keyboards. Continue reading

REPOST: Deep Banana Blackout, Brooklyn Bowl 7/5 & 7/6

Reposted from Jambands.com

photo by: Allison Murphy

photo by: Allison Murphy

While most of the NYC crowd was out of town on this steamy 4th of July weekend, at BBQ’s with the family, or spending three nights atSPAC with Phish, there was another type of party going on at The Brooklyn Bowl.

Twenty years ago, a band called Tongue–n-Groove played in and around Hartford CT and Port Chester NY. A singer by the name of Andrew Gromiller was the front man, and vocalist Jen Durkin was the female lead. This band played funk and soul staples, namely James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, Lyn Collins and Maceo Parker, just to name a few. At the time, Gromiller’s singing with Durkin’s signature sound was akin to a James Brown/Aretha throwdown. Eric Kalb, drums, schooled us on the relentless “One” beat, Benji LeFerve’s bass line was steady and strong, and Rob Somerville’s saxophone and Rob Volo’s trombone tickled the space in between the beats with their horns.

Somewhere along the way Gromiller decided to go on the open road, as some creative souls do, to follow on his journey away from T&G. He went out west, and the band was left to meet another band of brethren, Long Island musicians James “Fuzz” Sangiovanni, Cyrus Madan, and Jen’s brother Johnny Durkin.

This was the beginning of Deep Banana Blackout.

Twenty years later, most of the members of the original Tongue-n-Groove were on the stage of The Brooklyn Bowl, treating the crowd to two sweltering shows, while celebrating Andrew Gromiller’s newest CD, Organic Bananas, an obvious nod to Deep Banana Blackout.

Friday night, Deep Banana Blackout was beginning to get their groove on. Continue reading

Dragon Smoke – Monday, June 24, Brooklyn Bowl

She’d say, “Baby Grandma understands,
That you really loved that man,
Put yourself in Jesus’ hands.”
–Grandma’s Hands

photo by: Dino Perrucci

photo by: Dino Perrucci

It was a random muggy Monday evening in Brooklyn this night when four of New Orleans hottest musicians graced the stage at The Bowl to a grateful crowd.

I knew the night was going to be a good one, when I walked in and heard Billy Iuso’s band play (one of my personal favorites) Red Hot Mama, into the Dead’s The Other One. Hook Herrara joined the band for some serious harmonica ripping against Iuso’s shredding guitar.  The audience slowly started to stream in from the heat outside.  A nice crowd was settling in.

Continue reading

Orgone, 5/31/13 Brooklyn Bowl

Orgone-Logo

(Or’gōne) noun

1. A universal life force, a cosmic unit of energy, the creative force in nature.

2. Eight souls from Los Angeles who will move your ass and melt your face.

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photo by: Vernon Webb

Orgone, hailing from the streets of Los Angeles, hit the The Brooklyn Bowl for the third time, spring tour on Friday.  The band self-describes themselves as “heavy, raw, adrenaline-fueled funk and sweat-dripping soul.”  Agreed 100%. Continue reading

The Revivalists, Brooklyn Bowl, March 28, 2013

I didn’t know what I was in for. -Ed.

Pre-show: The Wythe Hotel/Reynard Restaurant

Wythe_Hotel_SignIt was me and a stool at the bar, at The Wythe Hotel’s Reynard restaurant, which is directly across the street from The Brooklyn Bowl.  I had a cocktail, and after looking over the menu, I decided to nosh on some delish french fries while checking out the decor.  The Reynard has a very hipster, ‘Brooklyn-esque’ feel to it. Exposed brick, tiled floors, dark woods, large windows.  Gorgeous.

The Wythe Hotel is partly owned by Marlow & Sons owner, Andrew Tarlow.  I personally love Marlow & Sons, Marlow & Daughters, and DINER and their whole holisitic stance on food and clothing – it is not a wonder that I loved the vibe in Reynard.  The other two owners are Jed Walentas and Peter Lawrence, a real estate man and a restaurant/hotel guy.  Put these two guys alongside a Brooklyn restaurant guy, and voila! You have an amazingly hip hotel, conveniently located across the street, to rest your weary bones after shaking them hard at The Brooklyn Bowl. Seriously – check this place out at least once on your way to The Bowl.

Opener: The Alecia Chakour Band

photo by: MarcMillman Photography

photo by: MarcMillman Photography

As I listened to the beautiful Alecia Chakour (Warren Haynes Band) sing with her band – including a three piece horn section – I was, with conviction, convinced that Ms. Chakour is a blues singer.  A sultry, heavy blues singer.  I was pleased with myself and my new found adjective to describe her.  Until she switched to a jazz song, where she sounded more like Etta James or Ella Fitzgerald.  So, there goes my new adjective – she just sings so strong, so tough, she leaves goosebumps upon your arms and neck.  Yes.  She’s that good. Continue reading

Bowlive IV: Night 8 and other random Bowlive thoughts, Brooklyn Bowl

Bowlive 4- Nite 8 feat. George Porter, London Souls & Shady Horns (Sat 3 16 13)_March 17, 20130452-Edit-600x

photo by: Marc Millman

Preshow: Got to the Bowl a little late – it was a snowy day in NYC, perfect for lounging, horrible for motivation. I had also been out late the night before, seeing the Drive By Truckers at The Capitol Theater, and then late night at B. B. King’s to see Berry Oakley Jr.  Tired indeed – yet one happy lady.

Opener – Alecia Chakour Band: I missed the whole set except the last song.  She blows me away everytime I see her. Continue reading