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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Mountain Jam VI, Day 2 – Saturday, June 5

photo by: Ross McKillop

I woke up to the most glorious, beautiful day.  The sun was shining, the sky was that perfect not-a-cloud-in-the-sky blue, the lush green off the mountains were vibrating.  I was ready to shake on the mountain, and I was able to find iced-coffee to boot.  Fabulous!  I was in for 8 sets of music today.  That ice coffee would help.

Weather: Beautiful.  Sunny, warm, a bit sweaty.  I kept saying all day, “I can’t believe the weather is so gorgeous.”  Last year’s Mountain Jam was cold.  I was in flip flops the last night, it was 37 degrees cold.  This Saturday it was bikini weather.

The day started off with a bit of London Souls.  These guys are incredible.  They have a shredding, Led Zeppelin sorta, old school rock n’ roll thing going for them.  They rocked out, and dancing has commenced.  Again, if they’re in your area, be sure to catch them.

photo by: M Berke

Drive By Truckers: They were a nice warm up to Yonder Mtn. String Band.  I’ve never seen them before, and that was my first impression, with their rockin’ guitar riffs.  They were solid.  I was wandering through the vendor area while they were on stage,

Lettuce is probably my first personal highlight of the day.  Because of the schedule change with Dr. Dog, we were blessed with 2 sets of Lettuce on Sat.  Lettuce’s core members are Eric Krasno, guitar, Neal Evans, keys; Adam Deitch, drums; Jesus Coomes, bass and The Shady Horns, Sam Kininger and Ryan Zoidis.

photo by: M Berke

Kofi Burbridge comes on and plays pretty much for the full set on his flute.  Eric shreds his guitar, Adam Deitch going all Animal on the drums, and Jesus Coomes on the bass, yeah… these guys are really tight.  Then there is Neal Evans.  I don’t know what to say about this guy except he is amazing, I always become absolutely blown away. I remember thinking, “oh yeah…I know that nasty key playing sound.  Oh yeah, silly me, how could I have forgotten.”   Then, one by one, in this short 1 hour set, on the small stage on Hunter Mountain… well, it got kinda craaazy.  Nigel Hall walks in and starts wailing soulfully into the microphone, like only Nigel does.  Oteil Burbridge comes on stage with that beautiful bass of his.  Derek Trucks comes on to shred a bit with Eric.  Susan Tedeschi comes on stage to sing along with Nigel.  By the end of it there were about a dozen people on the stage, raging out, people on the mountain were bouncin their heads to the same beat at the same time, we all got all sorts of funked up, and it got hot and steamy.  The heat had nothing to do with the sunshine.  The heat was radiating from the stage.  Oh my my my.

photo by: Ross McKillop

To slow down the pace a half a beat (or more), Yonder Mountain String Band, joins the main stage for some bouncy bluegrass string ‘ole time plucking.  I do love the Yonder, and if you like bluegrass at all, I’m sure you’ll like them too.

Dave Mason: No recollection at all.  Unknown.

Photo by: Ross McKillop

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band:  So excited to hear these guys.  Between Derek’s shredding of the guitar and Susan’s incredible voice, the Brothers Burbridge and Brothers Trucks on the stage… yeah.  No words. The talent in this band is palpable, it kind of oozes off the stage into the crowd.  They have so much fun playing together you can feel it and the crowd’s energy bounces off the band.  A wonderful cycle.

The band: Derek Trucks – Guitar, Susan Tedeschi – Guitar & Vocals, Oteil Burbridge – Bass Guitar, Kofi Burbridge – Keys & Flute, Tyler Greenwell – Drums, Duane Trucks- Drums & Percussion, Mike Mattison – Backing Vocals, Nigel Hall – Backing Vocals

photo by: Ross McKillop

Highlights: Love Has Something Else to Say (Susan belts it) into Midnight in Harlem (my newest favorite song, getting good rotation in my iPod lately…gosh I love that song) into Susan screamin her way through Love Was All in My Mind.  I’ve never heard this song before, but the jist of it was this woman loved this guy, stood by all his crap then she finds him hangin w/ another chick.  Susan belts this song like Etta James and Aretha put together.  Incredible power.  Mike Mattison and Nigel Hall on background vocals turn this into a hard core blues explosion.  I laughed, I danced, I stood and just watched her.  I need the lyrics to this song.  Loved it.  Good lord almighty. Check the video below.

Photo by: Ross McKillop

During Nobody’s Free, Derek literally destroys his guitar.  3 strings, gone.  He keeps playing though, odd sounds bouncing around, the band keeps up with him… kinda.  Finally Derek just goes off and hits those strings in “Trucks’ Time” and phewwww.  Susan says, “I don’t know how he did that with 3 strings, or something…. destroy that guitar, honey.”  She’s a great front woman for this band.  Look Around was another highlight, Derek shredding, Susan wailing, Oteil getting really low with his bass, a great blues song.  These guys are a great blues band, but then they go funky with Serve it Up. Insane keyboard playing by Kofi Burbridge, jammin out with the great beats from the drummers and his brother Oteil, then Derek goes off, whooo boy.  Hot stuff.

At one point in I’d Rather be Blind, Crippled and Crazy, I believe the mountain went silent.  I’ve been at DTB shows where the audience literally goes silent before, and it happened during this song.  I love that stuff.  Warren joins the stage and sings with Susan on Comin’ Home, the whole stage, the whole mountain… bounces.  Into Drums.  Yeah, Derek’s little brother Duane can play is an understatement.  Tyler Greenwell is a force to be reckoned with as well  They end the 90 minute set with Joe Cocker’s Space Captain. And I floated away…

Set Break: I had lost my posse during Derek and Susan, and I was on a mission afterwards to make sure I had a beer for Mule.  As I settled into our homebase near the Karma Wash I see one of my buddies from Boston just standing there.  Alone.  I ended up hanging with him the rest of the set and enjoyed every moment of it.  I also found my long lost cousin whom I only happen to see at shows.  Fellow music lovers unite!

Mule: Did I gush about Mule in Day 1 enough?  No.  No, I did not.  3 hours of Mule.   Mostly crazy cover set with incredible special guests sitting in.  Derek Trucks, Eric Krazno, Matisyahu, Kofi Burbridge, Sam Kininger, Ryan Zoidis, Jackie Greene.  Uh huh.

Woodstock, played near Woodstock.  Yep, it felt right.  Broke down on the Brazos ROCKED. That song gets better and better every time I hear it.  Sad & Deep as You with Kofi.  This rendition was not quite as drippingly sad as it was at Wanee, and yet was so

photo by: Ross McKillop

beautiful.  Kofi’s flute makes it all that more tender, he makes the flute flutter… damn. Flute + Mule = Sweetness.  Kind of Bird with Derek.  They shredded guitars in pure Allman Brothers style.  Fast, loud, yes please. Blind Man in the Dark, I love this song because of its slow rolling nature to crazy riff endings.  The Mule was on fire.

photo by: Ross McKillop

The Joker what? really?  Yeah, Steve Miller with a reggae beat.  Warren began the sway, singing as he told us that we were going back to Jamaica. Matisyahu comes out and taunts the crowd with this one, schooling us for what was to come with his Day 3 set.  I laughed my butt off as I shook my hips and tried to bounce on the mountain.  10 something pm on a sloped hill, 2 days into a festival, yes, this takes skill by this point.  Zeppelin’s D’yer Maker – no need for words, just amazing.  Rockin’ in the Free World, Neil Young cover.  If you know anything about me, you know my love of Neil so, you could imagine my happiness.  Hendrix’s Machine Gun rocked me away, total instrumental guitar insanity riffs holy hell.

photo by: Ross McKillop

These guys were relaxed, enjoying themselves, and the Mountain once again was bouncing and swaying then we went back to Rockin’.  Um, wow, a 15 minute Rockin with Machine Gun thrown in there.  Amazing.  Warren says “ohhh, it’s about to go down.”  And Eric Krasno comes out with the Lettuce Horns for the Stones’ The Spider and the Fly.  Sam Kininger and Ryan Zoidis show us how they throw down those saxophones while Krasno decides to shred his guitar up there with Warren.  “my, my, my, don’t ya tell lies…”  yeahhhh…. beautiful.

photo by: Ross McKillop

Things get fuzzy by this point – Jackie Greene comes up and plays 2 songs and then for encore Mule throws out Pearl Jam’s Black. The posse had come back to the Karma Wash by this point and we all raged to the Pearl Mule Jam that was going down. Aerosmith’s Train Kept A Rollin’ kept us rollin’ on.  Yeah.  MULE.  See ya next year, on the mountain.

Lettuce/DSO (late night set) I have to admit, Mule blew my face off my head so I have no set list.  I have nothing except the Lettuce was crisp, and by the end of late night, about 2 hours later, the Lettuce was Shredded.  God these guys were so damn hot, the place was packed, I was dancing, laughing, my buddies were all around me, the posse went up right to the front and I stayed back.  I needed my space to groove.  And then I went into music schizophrenia mode because I really wanted to see a bit of Dark Star Orchestra.

I ran up the mountain to hear Goin Down The Road Feelin Bad. Then I ran back for Lettuce, looked for my friends-couldn’t find them, closed my eyes and shook my ass to the rage that was Lettuce.  Gosh, it was going DOWN in the Colonel’s Hall.  I must have ran back up the hill to catch DSO again, because the notes say I was there for The Eleven>Shakedown Street>Tangled Up In Blue.  I guess I couldn’t leave DSO while they were playing Dylan.

Evening into Morning: As I said, it gets very fuzzy around this time.  I do know I ended back down at the Hall because I ended up with the posse, walking back to the campsite, and then hanging out in one of the VIP tents on the mountain until the sun came up.  It was nice in that VIP tent, they had couches to relax on.  And we were hanging with the Karma Wash Crew. It is nice to make sure your Karma is clean, and it is nice to have people to clean it for you. As the Tiny Rager and I walked back to the house it started to rain.  Which was fine.  We had beds, which were waiting for us all warm and dry.  I slept like a baby for about 5 hours.

Ed note:  I am grateful that Ross McKillop let me use his pictures, instead of my grainy whacked out photos.  He reminded me to shout out to two great photographers who have incredible photos and prints, and capture the most amazing musical moments:  Dino Perrucci and Allison Murphy.  Check ’em out, check their work, and pay respects. Thanks Ross!

Wanee Festival, Day 3 – Saturday, April 16

Ed note:  If you haven’t read Day 1 or Day 2 before Day 3, you should start there.


Lost Vortex #3: You knew it was coming, right?  Things happen in threes.  Sunglasses.  Gone.  Sheesh.

Back to camp, hangin’ with the camp family with coffee in hand, we hear flute sounds coming from the Peach Stage.  10:30 am, it was time to boogie.  I went down to see the goings on with my girl.  Her brother was playing with the Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio this morning, and we wanted to get up there and see the music.  The Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio was lovely morning music, nice and jazzy with shredding rock, a flute here and there, keys, killer.  Yep, just beautiful.  After the show, we were told that Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were stranded in Iceland because of the volcanic ash, so they were gonna re-jigger the schedule around and there would be a jam session before Johnny Winter.  I laughed out loud, I love Wanee impromptu jams, they are so sweet… heh, we are in for a treat later today.

Spirit of the Suwanee Magical Moment: I asked my friend to call my phone, one last time, maybe someone will pick up?  She looked at me crazy but appeased me.  The next thing I know she’s saying “Hello?  Hello?”  The person on the other side says, “Wow, I just turned the phone on this second and it rang.”  Yes, that is what I’m saying…magical.  He found it in another campsite, in the dirt, two days ago.  Wow.

Went back to the campsite, chilled with my camp family and waited for Dr. John. The Peach Stage and the Mushroom Stage’s schedules had slipped because Sharon Jones couldn’t make it, and my timing was getting off.  The dilemma:  Dr. John vs. Robert Randolph vs. Dumpstaphunk.  I decided to go see a bit of Dr. John, then go see Dumpsta, then go see Robert Randolph and the Word.  I was feeling a bit schizophrenic, to be honest.  I had total “I’m gonna miss a really great set” anxiety going on.  I had camera, notebook and earplugs.  I left the camp and started on my journey.

A Family Affair with Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk is on stage.  Wow.  Good lord they threw down.  A Sly set, holy schmoley.  It was a breezy hot afternoon, people were raging out, the sax and the trumpet were loud and strong. Ivan’s keys were screaming, bass low and groovy.  Whooo, out of control funky, and now I can hear The Word with John Medeski, Robert Randolph and the North Mississippi Allstars from the other stage.  So, I decide to run over to the Peach Stage after Everyday People to see Robert and the Word, but still can hear Dumpsta and want to get back there to that crazy rage.  See, schizophrenic.

I did run back to the Dumpsta craziness.  Danced hard, my legs now were beginning to ache, serious ache in my calves, but it didn’t matter, I can’t stand still.  Legs and hips had a mind of their own, cuz this was going DOWN.  One of my personal highlights of the festival.  Phewwwwww.

I went back to my camp for hydration purposes, and could still hear The Word featuring John Medeski, Robert Randolph and North Mississippi Allstars playing from the other stage.  They sounded so sweet, Funk + Southern Rock… Rage.  Yes, it was raging.

So now, the next dilemma I had was The Black Keys vs. The Funky Meters.  Yes, it was getting insane.  So, I decide to get to the hammock and listen to the Funky Groove of the Funky Meters before the Wanee Family Funk Jam that was going on.  And, wow, did it go on.

Wanee Family Funk Jam: If I thought Dumpsta and the Funky Meters brought it in….I was wrong.  I mean, Dumpsta was way insane, way amazing, way fun, but this Funk Jam stuff.  Hot.  Way hot.  Way deep.  Damnnnn.  Let’s see – Dumpstaphunk and The Funky Meters, Cody and Luther Dickinson, Oteil and Kofi Burbridge, JoJo Herman, Bobby Lee Rodgers, Matt Grondin.  Yep, that’s what I’m talking about.

Continue reading

Bowlive, Soulive with special guests, Marco Benevento, Kofi Burbridge, Oteil Burbridge, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, 3.12.10

Preshow: I was drenched.  Standing outside, in the cold rain, on the tickets bought line.  Yes, yet another line.  After about 10 minutes on line I breezed in.  The security guards and the ticket guy know my face by now.  They told me “When you’re in, your in-don’t come out.”  Killer.

The Bowl was packed.  I mean packed.  As I’ve said before, The Bowl has been buzzing with electricity while Bowlive has been going on, and tonight you felt it oozing out of the walls…it has stunk of funk for the past 5 nights.

Set 1: I finally made it past the bar area onto the floor.  Six Figures were on stage when I walked in.  They warmed up the crowd with those brass horns and raging guitar riffs.  There was a bit of room up front so there I was, earplugs in tact.

Marco Benevento and Nigel Hall, on keys

Set 2: Soulive with Marco Benevento.  Now, I have heard of Marco, but have never listened to a recording.  I was excited to hear what the buzz was about him, I have never been steered wrong by friends in the know.  Marco plays keyboard, with a mixer on it or something and he rocks.  Really rocks.  Between the drowning of the keys, with Neal Evans blasting once again with his constant deep beat, and brother Alan nailing those drums in syncopation.  Kofi Burbridge was cutting through that with his twinkly flute, notes bouncing off the room and its occupants.  Kraz was shredding, he is so good, so fast on that guitar, it’s a little mind blowing, I have to admit.

Marco was rocking, he was standing up, head shaking back and forth.  We then sailed into a Led Zeppelin tune, now there are 3 sets of keys and my notes say, “Sounds like horns.  But there are no horns.” Yeppers…. this is what I have been telling you all week long.  Insane.

The London Souls

Set 3: The London Souls come on in all their shredding glory.  This was old school headbanging rock and roll Led Zep style, with a lot of crazy riffs going on.  (I need to find another word for “insane”, insert your adjective <here>.) Soulive then comes out and gives their props to the 3 crazy rockers.  We got another taste of the Beatles, Marco comes back on stage and for the next while we Ring-Around-The- Eleanor Rigby>I Want You>Eleanor Rigby -Rosey.  Whoo, boys, the heat just went up another 10 degrees.  The next thing I know, there are 12 people on stage, with Nigel, the London Souls, Alan is playing conga, at least 5 horns and Neal, Marco and Nigel going insane (ah, there’s that word), on the keys.  The crowd was rowdy, dancing, smiling, aware of what we were witnessing.  Brooklyn Bowl, kinda like the Mothership, yet with a bowling alley, and we were floating up into new lands filled with music.  Beautiful.

Alan Evans and Kofi Burbridge

More Pictures from the professionals:  Dino Perrucci, and Soulive’s blog

I notice that everyone was about to leave the stage when Oteil Burbridge shows up again with his bass, and bam, we are deep back into that low bassy groove.  Kofi and Oteil rage on while it gets crazy on stage before Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi followed suit.  Oh. My. God. So, yeah, what to say about that?  Continue reading

Bowlive, Finale Weekend, Brooklyn Bowl

Processing.  I’m still processing what went down at Brooklyn Bowl.

Nigel Hall, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Eric Krasno (photo by: Karen Dugan)

Derek Trucks guitar; Allman Brothers Band, Susan Tedeschi, guitar and vocals, Oteil Burbridge, bass; Allman Brothers Band Kofi Burbridge, flute and keys; Derek Trucks Band; stopped by on Friday.

Lookie, Derek smiling! (photo by: Karen Dugan)

Warren Haynes, guitar; Allman Brothers Band, drops by on Saturday night.

The house falls apart.  The walls of the Brooklyn Bowl were dripping in a bluesy kind of souly funk, and as Peter Shapiro, Brooklyn Bowl owner said, “These walls needed some soul.”  Indeed, they now have been inducted.

Full update to come later today.

Check out the pictures…  From Soulive’s site. Scroll down for pics.