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/

Gathering of the Vibes 2013 – Highlights – Friday/Saturday

This year started with me having my first ten day vacation since I don’t know when, and we began at The Vibes.  After the usual “get here, find the tickets there, park here, walk there, grab the cooler, don’t forget the tapestry, find some ice, text your friends, get to the stage, find your place” shenanigans, we finally settled in.   We got in on Friday, and saw John Scofield’s Überjam at the smaller Green Vibes stage.  We also said hello to about a gazillion friends.  This festival is held in the beautiful Seaside Park, Bridgeport CT – and since CT is my hometown state, this truly was a gathering of friends and family far and wide.  But, I digress.

photo by: Dino Perrucci

photo by: Dino Perrucci

Scofield is one of my favorites, and he jammed with Andy Hess, John Medeski, drummer Tony Mason, and Avi Bortnick. This was a heavy jam, filled with that roundabout guitar virtuosity that Sco is known for.  Scofield just released a new album, Scofield’s Überjam Deux I was thrilled to be standing infront of Sco, with the water behind me on a gorgeous Friday afternoon.  This was a beautiful entry into The Vibes.

photo by: Dino Perrucci

photo by: Dino Perrucci

Another highlight was Tedeschi Trucks Band.  TTB is touring to promote their latest album to be released on August 20 – Made Up Mind – and we were treated to a few new songs mixed in with their usual southern style bluesy Janis Joplin, slide guitar heaven. I realized that today I was being treated to two of my all time favorite guitar players, Scofield and Trucks, combined with Saturday’s Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule) and Steve Kimock which could easily put me in guitar hero overload.  This is what Vibes is for.

It is a curious thing when one of the hottest sets are so under the radar, you incredulously look around you to notice that there is not enough people around you to witness what is happening on the stage in front of you.  This was Steve Kimock/Bernie Worrell’s set.  It was a hot day, no doubt about it, and there is hardly any shade, but it didn’t matter.   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

Bowlive III starts tomorrow at Brooklyn Bowl, NYC 2/28-3/9/12

BOWLIVE III:

The chatter and anticipation is humming here in NYC with the return of the 3rd annual Bowlive, Soulive’s 10 day residency at The Brooklyn Bowl. 

Soulive has announced in drips and drabs the special guests, and to be honest with you, this year sounds like the best yet.  I am excited to get it on with my bad self, and the hundreds of other bad selves dancing to great music, incredible jams, loud horns and shredding guitars.  Ah, let Bowlive III begin.

www.royalfamilyrecords.com Continue reading

2010 Top Ten Shows

It was an exceptional year for live music. I am lucky enough to live in a city where music is a part of the lifeline, like matzoh ball soup and a good reuben, as much as we love to hate our mayor, and collective groans when the MTA hikes their fares. Here is to 2010. May we all have a healthy, prosperous and musically exceptional new year!

photo by: Karen Dugan

10.  Scofield, w/ Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Blue Note,  May 2010

9.  Jorma Kaukonen, Iridium, May 2010

8.  Wanee Funk Jam w/ Dumpstaphunk and The Funky Meters George Porter Jr, Russell Batiste, Cody and Luther Dickinson, Oteil and Kofi Burbridge, JoJo Herman, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Matt Grondin.

7.  Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble – birthday evening, August 2010

6.  Gov’t Mule, PC Richards Theater, August 2010

photo by: Robyn Gould

5.  Roger Waters, The Wall, MSG October 2010

4.  The Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band, Wanee April 2010

3.  Jimmy Herring, Lenny White, Richie Goods Iridium, August 2010

2.  Pat Metheny Orchestrion, May 2010

photo by: Allison Murphy

1.  Another One for Woody, November 2010

Runners Up (I couldn’t fit them all in the Top 10):

  1. Deep Banana Blackout, Late Night, Gathering of the Vibes 2010
  2. Phish, New Years Eve 2010, MSG
  3. Les Claypool, Vibes 2010
  4. New Mastersounds, Mountain Jam, June 2010
  5. Furthur, Radio City Music Hall, February 2010
  6. Xmas Jam:  Warren Hayne’s Band and John Bell Acoustic, December 2010