Freaks Ball XV, Brooklyn Bowl Jan 23 & 24, 2015

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Photo by: Scott Harris

Set lists and taper links are below.

There has been much chatter about the incredulous 2015 Freaks Ball JRAD shows.  Two sold out shows at The Brooklyn Bowl.  Lines around the corner. Chicken, pizza and beer freely flowing. Here is my take on what went down this weekend in Brooklyn.

Metzger, Hamilton, Dreiwitz, Benevento and Russo are monsters in their own right.  Metzger and Hamilton were switching the Jerry part (playing and singing) all night, in a tight succession.  This is not FURTHUR, which (to me) seems about a half step slower than needed.  This is not Phil and Friends, which again, seems a bit slowed down for me.  This is JRAD, a bunch of hot musicians playing an upbeat, quick paced Grateful Dead. Their energy sounds reminiscent of the cassettes I used to listen to, of the early day GD shows.  JRAD’s pace blew me away the first time I saw them, years ago at another Freaks Ball.  This is also why I continue to see JRAD again.

Night One of The Freaks Ball was the first time the band played all those tunes, and it is safe to say that for the rest of the JRAD tour, these songs will be in the rotation.  I particularly loved the Iko Iko > Mississippi Half Step > Sugar Mag.  It reminded me of a GD show in the late 80s.

All of these songs were executed perfectly.  They certainly didn’t sound like it was a first time performance. However, the audio is up on archive.org – you can decide for yourself.

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Photo by: Scott Harris

Second night, there seemed to be a shimmer in the room.  Electricity was bouncing before the band even hit the stage.  From the moment they hit the first note of Alligator, The Bowl was in blast off mode.  Jack-a-Roe was a super tune – need to go back to listen to that as well as Ophelia (what? Ophelia?)  Yes, Ophelia.

Second set though, I wanted a fancy Help>Slip>Terrapin (hey, one could wish right?)  Much to my surprise and chagrin, I got my Help>Slip.  Help was perfect, and then there was this riff, this jam, this hard squealing guitar before Slip that I still can’t get out of my brain.  It certainly wasn’t Slipknot, because they only did a few repetitions of Slip.  Metzger was crushing his guitar, and I have itched to hear it again since Saturday night.  This was one of the highlights for me.  Then Shakedown quite literally may have shaken down The Brooklyn Bowl. The crowd was loving it.

Then there was the closer, Mountain Dew.  The house was quiet and attentive on the musicians on the stage.  I was mesmerized, as were most of the crowd.  Hamilton on vocals was spot on.  Goosebumps type of spot on.

This weekend’s music bliss was palpable for everyone involved.  The Freaks, the audience, JRAD.  Wow.  Freaks Ball throws another amazing weekend.  Thank you Freaks.  Thank you Mr. Shapiro. Thank you Mr. Costello.  Thank you…goodnight.

Night One: Set List and Taper Link:

Taper link: Archive.org

Set 1:
01. intro/crowd
02. Alabama Getaway
03. Alice D. Millionaire ->
04. Greatest Story Ever Told
05. Black Peter ->
06. Lost Sailor ->
07. Saint Of Circumstance
08. banter – band intros
09. Big Railroad Blues
10. outro/crowd

Set 2:
01. intro/crowd
02. Feel Like A Stranger
03. Stagger Lee ->
04. Iko Iko ->
05. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo ->
06. Sugar Magnolia
07. Mission In The Rain
08. encore break/crowd
Encore:
09. They Love Each Other

Night Two: Set List 

Set 1
01. Alligator (SM) >
02. Caution Jam >
03. Liz Reed Jam >
04. Jack A Roe # (TH) >
05. Uncle John’s Band >
06. Ophelia $ (SM)
07. Ramble On Rose (TH)
08. Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line ## (SM)>
09. Bertha (TH)

Set 2
01. Music Never Stopped (SM) >
02. Cumberland Blues & (A)
03. Help On The Way (TH) >
04. Slipknot!>
05. Shakedown Street (TH)
06. Truckin (SM) >
07. Space>
08. Morning Dew (TH)

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09. Brown Eyed Women (TH)

 

Ed note:  Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015.  It seems/feels like I’ve been away from View Skewed for a long time.  In 2014,  I was writing for other outlets – The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, as well as Jambands.com.  I also had my first article published in Jambase and finally had my first review PRINTED in Relix Magazine for my coverage of the Bear Creek Arts & Music Festival.  Overall, it was a good year for writing, but probably not my best.  Perhaps in 2015, I can change this trend.  As always, thank you for reading my words.

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/

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

Lockn’ Festival – September 5-8, Arrington VA

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File this under RADAR ALERT: “Brand New Festival”  

What do you get when you cross the one of the Northeast’s biggest promoters, Peter Shapiro (Brooklyn Bowl, The Capitol Theater, Wetlands) with H.O.R.D.E’s co-founder and longtime Blues Traveler manager Dave Frey?

They call it The Interlocken Festival.  The Lockn’ Festival Relix Magazine alerted me to Interlocken’s  Lockn’s Facebook page where I found this:

“When something ends, another begins”… Interlocken’s  Lockn’s two main stages will feature full (2-hour) sets and run seamlessly from one into another without breaks between performances, giving the audience a unique and singular experience. This passing of the baton will ensure that music on the two main states will be continuous or “interlocked” throughout the weekend.

The town of Arrington in Nelson County, VA , is 35 miles south of Charlottesville on Highway 29, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The area is known for its local wineries, some dating back to Thomas Jefferson’s day, along with craft breweries and two new hard cider distilleries.

Oak Ridge is a 4,800 acre private estate, originally deeded to two Bristol merchants by the King of England. The concert area will feature food and vendor villages, maintaining an emphasis on locally sourced, sustainable fare. In addition to on-site camping options, we will offer packages at Charlottesville & Lynchburg hotels, local B&Bs, and the neighboring ski resort, Wintergreen Mountain Resort.

I look forward to the press release and finding out who is on the bill.  In the meantime, we can sit quietly and wait for them to figure out all the details, including an arrangement with Amtrak to bring festival goers into town.

“Hopefully, this will become the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival of Central Virginia,” Frey said. “That’s our goal.”

Jazz Fest in Virginia?  If there is a crawfish monica there, I’m so there….

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Dumpstaphunk, Brooklyn Bowl, March 23, 2013

579796_10151421223611575_2065743179_nHigh level notes:

  • The Bowl was packed – sold out, line out the door and holding because they were at capacity.
  • I did not have the fried chicken this time – I had the BBQ Wings. Still just as delicious.
  • I did not bowl this time. Last time I bowled a 43. I will not bowl there until I have practiced sufficiently to bowl over 43!
  • There was a bachelorette party in the crowd, I saw a blowup penis, bouncing up and down in the crowd. I tried to see if there was a reaction from Dumpstaphunk, but I think these guys have seen it all. No blow up penis is gonna change Dumpsta’s funk factor. Continue reading

Bowlive IV: Night 4, Brooklyn Bowl

Pre-show/During-show/Overall Bowling Notes:  I made it out on a Tuesday, even though I was quite spent from the work day, I went to see Bowlive IV with Booker T. and special unannounced guest David Hildago.

Since I was spent, I decided to get a cup of coffee from the restaurant. I saw a bunch of friends I knew including Eric Kalb (drummer, Deep Banana Blackout/Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings), and he called me a music addict.  “This girl sees a lot, I mean a lot of music.”  I laughed and acknowledged my addiction… and gave him props for the sick, sick DBB set last weekend at The Capitol Theatre.

We bowled, and I threw a horrendous score of 43.  Don’t judge. I am a better Wii bowler than a real bowler. Yes, I know, the amount of time I am at The Bowl does not equal my bowling score. I go to dance and hear music, not bowl.  I am glad all eyes were on the stage, some of my throws down the bowling alley caught air.  Whoops.

So, with the bowling, and the very mellow mood I was in, I relaxed on the couch and listened sidebar…till the end of the show.

Opener:  Have to say, it was a pretty incredible set from Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum (Dap Kings) with about 1,000,000,000 players on the stage (ok, it was 9 players on the stage, but still pretty incredible.) There was Cheme alternating with a sax and flute and his band playing The Electric Sound of Johnny Arrow, which sounded amazing to my ears. It was a mix of jazz/world beat music and it was such a great large sound to my ears.  The world beat brought in a new element from the inundation of funk/jazz we’ve been treated to.  Take my word, if you like horns and you like great percussion (2 percussionists and a drummer) and you like a mix of jazz/reggae/afrobeats, you’d love Cheme’s band.

photo by: Allison Murphy

photo by: Allison Murphy

Set 1 (and only 1, for a full 2+ hours)  I had seen a set list from the Beacon Allman shows, and Hildago was supposed to be there, but instead he showed up at The Brooklyn Bowl.  Lucky for us! Continue reading

Bowlive IV: Night 3, Brooklyn Bowl

I covered Bowlive IV, night 3 for The Royal Family Records.  My recap was on Brooklyn Bowl’s site and The Royal Family’s site, so that was cool.  Here’s the words below.  -M

Bowlive IV #3 Recap w/ Nigel Hall, James Casey, Igmar Thomas, and More : Tuesday’s 3/12 show w/ Booker T Jones & More

Bowlive alum Alecia Chakour Band opened the evening on this Bowlive Night 3.  Chakour had her own special guests, the stage was filled with musicians including Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum (sax, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings) and Igmar Thomas (trumpet.)  Chakour’s vocals got the crowd ready for what was about to happen this evening.

By the time Soulive took the stage, it was a little after 10pm, the sold out crowd  loosened up with a funky, ten minute “Steppin.”  Kraz starts to soulfully play The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” before the stage erupts from Neal Evans’ keyboards.  During Kraz’s shredding solo, the audience were singing “All the lonely people” to the band.  What a moment!

Special guests James Casey (sax, Lettuce/Trey Anastasio Band), and Igmar Thomas, (trumpet) both from Bowlive’s past, joined the stage for “Lenny” and “Vapor”, where on Thomas was literally smoking his trumpet.  No Joke.

DJ Logic then joined the stage and spinned with Soulive on “Tuesday.”  Nigel Hall then came out to end the set, and played keys with Neal.  It was more like a Nigel/Neal keyboard showdown.  At first there were three hands on the keys, and that went into a dance, where Nigel and Neal switch sides with each other at the keyboard.  I thought I saw Nikki Glaspie (drums, Dumpstaphunk) peeking behind James Casey and Igmar Thomas with a tambourine in her hand.  The whole band was smiling, the crowd was smiling, it felt like family.  Someone told me it felt like home.  It was certainly beginning to feel that way.

Just when you thought it was setbreak, Alecia Chakour comes back on the stage to sing duet with Nigel.  If you haven’t seen them before, Alecia can sing exactly, on Nigel’s level with her heavy duty pipes and her vixen voice. At one point, Nigel gets on his knees and sings to Alecia, like he’s begging, the crowd goes nuts, the moment had finally arrived at the Bowl.  This was the quintessential Royal Family Records/Bowlive magic that has become commonplace here in Brooklyn in March. Continue reading