Monday, May 31, 2010

DJ Logic: Miles Davis

Miles has influenced music in many ways. He opens up people to being creative and not having boundaries. He has influenced me musically, by pushing me to have no boundaries, to be experimental and to try new things, like different collaborations. He taught me to be open-minded musically and to take elements from here and there, and to experiment with. When I mix his music, it adds a certain element of expression and I try to engage in something that’s unique. I listen to the record and try to add little loops and work it how I hear it.

I’m actually about to do a tour called “Miles Davis Bitches Brew” where we play selected tracks off of “Bitches Brew“. I’m doing that with Graham Haynes, Lonnie Plaxico, James Blood Ulmer, Cindy Blackman, Marco Benevento, and Antoine Rooney. We’re doing some jazz festivals in the States, a free show in Brooklyn, Montreal Jazz Festival, and the New Mexico Jazz Festival. We’re hitting all of the jazz festivals and hopefully heading over to Europe as well. I’m looking forward to playing with those musicians in the spirit of Miles.

He influenced a lot of people and his music and albums always came out at the right time. They felt a certain way, at that right time. Like with what’s going on right now in the world with politics, racism, the economy, and the oil spill; there’s a whole lot of stuff going on. You look back at certain records like “Kind of Blue”, that came out at the right time. His records have so many different feels to them. It’s not just jazz, it has a rock vibe to it, a classical vibe to it. It all has a type of feeling that you can relate to, with the certain situations of that time. My favorite of his records are “Kind of Blue” and “Bitches Brew”. I listen to them a lot. “Sketches of Spain” is another one he did it when he was in Europe. He’s created some amazing music just from being in certain places and getting a feel or a certain vibe.

The time was right to talk about this, It’s his birthday and he’s looking over everybody who is associated with his life. Patting everybody on their backs, and it feels good. I knew his birthday was this month, but it hadn’t dawned on me until Justin said it. But, I’ve worked with a lot of people who worked with Miles, from Marcus Miller to Pete Cosy, Teo Macero who produced the majority of Miles’ records. Just to be able to be a part of working with those guys feels good.

-DJ Logic

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jam of The Day: Del McCoury Band

Del McCoury Band Live at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park on April 12, 2008.

01. Hillcrest Drive
02. Hard on My Heart (But Easy on My Eyes)
04. Nashville Cats
06. Rocky Road Blues
07. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
08. I Feel the Blues Moving In
09. Blackjack County Chain
10. Bluegrass Breakdown
11. She's Left Me Again
12. Traveling Teardrop Blues
13. The Bluest Man in Town
14. Orange Blossom Special
15. Beauty of My Dreams
16. Cold Rain and Snow
17. Get Down on Your Knees and Pray
19. Rain Please Go Away
20. How Long Blues
21. Train Wreck of Emotion
22. Henry Walker
23. My Love Will Not Change

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jam of The Day: Willie Waldman Project

Willie Waldman Project Live at The Red Devil Lounge on May 13, 2009.

Featured artists:Willie Waldman, Trumpet.
John Molo, drums.
John Avila, bass.
Josh Clark, guitar.
Steve Molitz, keys.
Steve Mac Kay, sax.

Sitting in:Jerry Hannan, vocals.
Camille O Grady, vocals.
Trevor Garrod, keys.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jam Cruise Vault: Jam Room

Jam Cruise Jam Room Live at Cotton Club - MSC Opera on January 5, 2007.


Frank Goodman
Billy Goodman
Steve Kimock
John Morgan Kimock
Greg Anton
Robert Walter
Martin Fierro
George Porter Jr.
DJ Logic
Steve Adams
Karl Denson
Liam Hanrahan
Ivan Neville
Otiel Burbridge
Will Bernard

Plus many many more.....

Coming Up: Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend MusicMarauders will be covering both Summer Camp and Delfest!

Who: Moe., Umphrey's McGee, STS9, Gov't Mule, Yonder Mountain String Band & More...

What: Three days of music, camping & fun; celebrating moe. and friends...

Where: Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL.

Summer Camp will be streaming live (Starting Friday) at

Who: Del McCoury Band, Younder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, David Grisman, Larry Keel & more...

What: Three days of music, camping & fun; celebrating Del McCoury & bluegrass music...

Where: Allegany County Fairgrounds, Cumberland, MD.

Stay tuned for full coverage, reviews, photos, interviews and more!

A Review: Signal Path

Signal Path wsg Inkface and Innerphonic

The Blind Pig – Ann Arbor, Michigan

May 22nd, 2010

Review By Greg Molitor
Photos By Tim Ramirez

Often in life, events take place that break our preconceived notions. Over the past few years, my love for live-performance electronic music has faded significantly. In 2006, I became a passionate STS9 fan, but each passing minute since has produced more cynicism for artists who drop their instruments for laptops. However, I unabashedly respect every musician, regardless of genre, who is willing to create for our enjoyment instead of a heavier paycheck. This respect led me to my first Signal Path concert, performed May 22nd at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor. I will admit I was not overly excited for this show. I have enjoyed listening to Signal Path over the years on the Internet Archive, but attending recent electronic shows has produced serious doubts regarding the future of the live music scene as a whole. Thankfully, I view our world differently after Saturday night.

Around 10:30 P.M., I arrived alone to The Blind Pig to catch the beginning of Inkface. Inkface is a spacey, texture-driven progressive rock outfit from Inkster, Michigan, who recently went through a lineup change. This was my first opportunity to see the newly reformed band and was intrigued to see what the band had to offer. As the group began their set, their sound was not leveled properly and had some equalization issues. As the set progressed, these kinks were worked out as best as they could be. With that being said, the performance was both unique and interesting, containing moments of pure brilliance and bliss for the audience.

Inkface music cannot be described by conventional methods due to its originality; I have never heard anyone make music like this before. What can be said about the music, in turn, is that it creates a duality of emotions: excitement and terror, joy and pain, happiness and sorrow….The band has sufficient technical ability to reach their creative vision, but until Inkface takes an all-encompassing professional approach to their music, the band will not overcome the small elements which keep them from taking the next step. I personally know some of the band and how dedicated they are to their music, so I fully expect them to continue to work on developing a rich blend of sound that represents their love and passion for creatively pushing the boundaries of what is considered art.

After a short break between sets, Signal Path took the stage to a decently-sized Blind Pig crowd. Members Ryan Burnett (Laptop and Guitar) and Damon Metzner (Drums) were greeted by a warm ovation from the eager crowd. As Burnett dropped the first bass note from his laptop, I was instantly enthralled. Electronic music rarely captivates me in the live setting due to the lack of spontaneity which stems from the use of inorganic, pre-recorded tracks. Signal Path was an entirely different vibe which I attribute to their use of live drums and guitar. The music never became stale or watered-down and provided a fresh view of what is possible with laptop-produced sounds.

Signal Path played one extended set of funky electronica that lasted nearly ninety minutes. What I enjoyed most was the fiery ferocity of drummer Damon Metzner’s playing. Not only was his timing spot-on throughout most of the evening, his drumming was incredibly forceful and emotional. Both members were having a party on stage the entire show, clearly appreciating what their own performance was bringing to the audience. The crowd’s reactions to their offerings pushed Signal Path to create larger moments as the show continued until its eventual end.

I wish I could be more of a help with regards to what songs were played, but unfortunately, I am not familiar with their tunes and could not get my hands on a set list. Regardless, the show was refreshing in a number of ways. Not once during the evening did I get the dirty feeling I get at electronic music shows. Beyond that, this was the best electronic music concert I have seen in years. I danced my ass off the entire show and was sad to see it end when it was closing time. With about ten minutes left in their set, Burnett thanked the crowd for attending and showed his appreciation for Michigan with a few heartfelt compliments. The biggest compliment to the band was the size of the crowd when the show ended. Many times and more often than not, a Blind Pig crowd is about half the size at a show’s end compared to the beginning. Not this night. Almost everyone stayed until the very end, and I cannot blame them. It was a funky good time.

I can’t say that Signal Path single-handedly rejuvenated my interest in live electronic music, but I certainly will be more open to seeing more shows of that nature. It’s humbling when one realizes they don’t have everything figured out; for me, it can be hard to admit. As a society, once each of us can unmask and admit to our own shortsightedness and preconceived opinions, the true beauty of life emerges through the channel of endless possibilities. This is why events such as this concert can be so instrumental to our personal growth. I now know there is much more to my future than once believed. Thank you, Signal Path.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jam of The Day: Keller Williams

Keller Williams Live at All Good Music Festival, Marvin's Mountaintop on July 13, 2007.

01. Big Crater In The Backyard
02. Faster Horses (The Cowboy And The Poet)
03. Last Dance With Mary Jane -> Breakdown -> Last Dance With Mary Jane
04. Take Me Home, Country Roads
05. Kidney In a Cooler
06. Mountain Song
07. Doobie In My Pocket
08. New Horizons (With Jeff Austin of YMSB on Mandolin)
09. Local Outdoor Organic
10Freeker By The Speaker
11. Breathe ->
12. Another Brick In The Wall ->
13. Breathe
14. Inside Out (Eve 6)
15. All Fall Down -> Culpeper Woodchuck
16. Loser (Beck) -> Loser (Grateful Dead) (With Bob Weir)
17. Dupree's Diamond Blues (With Bob Weir)

An Interview: Larry Keel

As the release of the new album "Thief" by Keller and the Keels approached, I had the pleasure of speaking with guitar slinger Larry Keel. Leading up to it, I was really excited about this interview as I am a big fan of Larry’s music. Our conversation started out as casual as if I were talking to an old friend...

J-man: Hey Larry, is now a good time?

Larry: Oh yeah! Wonderful, wonderful. How’s everything going with you?

J-man: Things are great; I have the day off and the sun is shinning!

Larry: Oh maaan! Lucky man.

J-man: How are things on that end?

Larry: Doin’ good. Same thing here; the sun is shinning after… I don’t know, six or seven days of rainy, rainy, rainy. So it’s really nice now.

J-man: I love the sun.

Larry: Absolutely.

J-man: So, Growing up and what led you to mountain music?

Larry: When I was growing up, my father was a banjo player and my brother is a guitar player. We always had friends playing music around us. They came from the mountains of southwest Virginia, so they sort of brought it to the Northern Virginia area with them.

J-man: How do you approach your shows night after night?

Larry: I approach them as, I want to give the crowd the very best of me that I can give them. And that I arrange my sets so that it’s the absolute funnest time that can be had that night.

J-man: Right on. How does it feel when a bluegrass icon like Del McCoury takes and covers one of your songs, also featuring it on one of his albums “The Company We Keep“?

Larry: Oh, it’s totally amazing. It’s like a dream come true. It really is. They are so good at what they do, it’s just nice to hear my idea come to such fruition.

J-man: You’ve had a chance to play with them several times. What’s that like?

Larry: Yeah, we’re really good friends. We’ve been running into each other for many years. I guess twenty years or more. I love playing with him. I think they’re the greatest bluegrass band in the world today.

J-man: I agree… I’m a huge fan.

Larry: (Laughs) Me too.

J-man: (Laughs) When I listened to the new album “Thief” it has an almost sitting around the campfire feel to it…

Larry: Yeah, for the feel; we wanted it to feel real natural. It’s a lot of Keller’s ideas. He has boundless ideas of songs to play. Whether I know them or not, I’ll learn them and we rehearse them and go out and play them. It seems like everybody else knows them (Laughs).

J-man: (Laughs)How did you get involved with Keller Williams and what are your thoughts on what he does musically?

Larry: Oh, man. How did I get involved with Keller? I think it was a while back… I’d say almost twenty years. We were playing a lot of the same clubs, around the Fredericksburg area. I forget what his band was called. I think it was the All Natural Band. We just liked what he did, the band I was in. We hit it off right away, pretty much and just began playing music all over the country together in different places. I’ll tell you; he’s one of the most creative people that I’ve met… He really is.

J-man: I have to say, of all of the Keller projects/bands; the project he does with you guys is by far my favorite.

Larry: Well thank you, thank you. We just really get along great and we hope that translates to the music.

J-man: I think it does.

Larry: Wonderful.

J-man: The Riverboat Record Release Party, sounds like a pretty unique happening. What prompted that event and what are your thoughts on releasing the new album to one hundred diehard fans, on a boat?

Larry: Well it is a totally unique.. I’ll say “show”, for a lack of a better word at that point. It came about because Keller lives on or near the Rappahannock River and he sees that riverboat going up and down. He and his team worked it out with the coast guard and everybody to where we could have a hundred people on there. I feel it’s a really excellent way to release the cd. It’s special, it’s very special.

J-man: Some of my friends and staff are going to be on board and they are really looking forward to it.

Larry: (Laughs) Well, tell them to come up and say hello. I’d love to meet them

J-man: Will do. What are you thoughts on Jamgrass music and what it provides or takes away from traditional bluegrass music?

Larry: Jamgrass music, it seems; sort of exploded out of the Colorado area. With Leftover Salmon, and later; Yonder Mountain… I guess you could put String Cheese in that area, but they’re not grassy.

J-man: Right.

Larry: I feel it’s sort of the western take on bluegrass music. Coming from a younger audience and bluegrass music sort of started from all of the Irish music and a lot of swing and blues. It’s a big hodge-podge of music that created bluegrass and it seemed like it was launched and founded in the Blue Ridge Mountains out here. A lot of great players came from southwest Virginia; Ralph Stanley and Don Reno and Kentucky with Bill Monroe of course.

I see Jamgrass as a young persons take on bluegrass. Where bluegrass, was and sort of still is liked by an older generation. It’s good in a way, because that’s continuing on, preserving bluegrass. Jamgrass is helping to preserve bluegrass.

J-man: I agree with that. It’s not very typical to hear folks say that. A lot of bluegrass musicians have come to shun jamgrass music.

Larry: Yeah, I know… and I don’t feel that should be done. If someone is really putting their heart and energy into the music, how can you judge them?

J-man: Right. Speaking of jamgrass, you have a project with Adam Aijala from Yonder. Can you talk about how your project with Adam came about and the full sound that the two of you create?

Larry: I guess it was probably ten years ago, I was doing a big run of shows with Yonder Mountain String Band and I was sort of the supporting act, doing a solo guitar act. At the end of my sets, Adam would come up and play two or three guitar tunes with me, before they came on. So it was a special sort of thing.

We, throughout the years we honed it in to playing some music that we want to play. Adam has such a diverse repertoire. I mean he listens to punk music, and heavy metal… All kinds of different influences. He’ll bring a song to the table that you wouldn’t figure would be a song that would sound good with two guitars. But, by the time we work it out and get our own feel on it, it’s cool stuff and I think, there again; that’s the kind of stuff that turns the heads of a lot of young people towards bluegrass. Because it’s something they know, or like. Like I said, I don’t know a lot of these songs. I had sort of a strict bluegrass raisin’ you know? It’s interesting for me to learn all of this diverse material and it’s a royal blast.

J-man: Additionally, your playing translates well to that sort of style. The full sound being created by the two guitars, immediately draws folks attention.

Larry: Well, thank you. He is an incredible player (Laughs) and every time I pick with him it seems like he’s gone steps and steps beyond what he was the last time; and that was incredible, so…

J-man: Yeah, absolutely. It must be a really special thing, playing and sharing the music you love with your wife, Jenny. Can you talk about what playing music with her means to you?

Larry: Yeah, you know; it really is special. We decided long ago that we wanted to melt our career together to where we could be together all of the time, because that’s what we wanted. We have a happy time… I can say we never fight or any of that, but you know how that goes… That would only be good press (Laughs).

J-man: (Laughs)

Larry: It’s a great time and it’s awesome having someone on the same page.

J-man: The year 2009 hits and I see your music was featured in a documentary film about promoting environmental protection in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. As well, you hosted a “Bass & Grass” fishing technique camp in southern Georgia, also hosting a camp in Ohio at Jorma’s guitar camp. What prompted your directional and conscious shift towards other means of sharing music?

Larry: You know… I’m not the type that just wants to have an extremely laid out perfect course for myself. I like to keep all of my avenues open, just seein’ what’s out there because it’s so enriching when you actually open you eyes and see what’s going on. A lot of the teaching events are so worth while. It is, it’s like giving back in a way, but it gives back to me to be able to see someone getting better at being a musician and finding happiness in that. Or getting out and forgetting about their troubles for a bit and grabbing a fishing pole. Or like you said with the mountaintop removal… that’s just, in my opinion; a heinous crime. If I can let people know about it any way I can, I’ll do so.

J-man: I’m not a fan of gear/equipment questions…

Larry: (Laughs)

J-man: (Laughs) … But what kind of strings are you using, Larry?

Larry: I use D’Addario Strings…

J-man: Great. Well, I’m a huge fan so this meant a lot to me to be able to have this conversation with you. I greatly appreciate it.

Larry: Well, I do too and I appreciate your time. I hope to see you somewhere, sometime. Are you in the New York?

J-man: Yeah, I’m in Upstate New York. By the way, you are badly needed up here (Laughs).

Larry: (Laughs) We will definitely work on coming up there to see you. It’d be nice to put a face with the name.

J-man: You guys are doing Delfest, correct?

Larry: Yeah, my band will be there; are you going to be there?

J-man: Yeah, I’ll probably run into you at Delfest.

Larry: Alright, wonderful. Please introduce yourself and it would be great to meet you.

J-man: Will do. Thank you very much, Larry. Enjoy the sunshine.

Larry: Alright, you too.

Rex Thomson of MusicMarauders Review of "Thief".

Jam of The Day: Particle

Particle Live at Miramar Theatre on May 14, 2010.

01 Intro > California Love > Launchpad
02 Golden Gator > Vocoder/Beatbox Jam > Golden Gator
03 Axel F > Elevator
04 Metropolis
05 Superstition
06 IFE > Below Radar
07 Sun Mar 11
08 Truth Don Die

Chicago Jam Scene: Particle

Article & Photos by Frazier


Bringing in the 2nd night of awesome music this weekend was a band I have liked for a long time. I first saw Particle at Dunegrass Festival in Empire, Michigan in 2007. I thought the show was pretty amazing, but apparently not many other people did. It seemed that Particle had fallen off after the introduction of lyrics and the revolving door at the lead guitar position seemed to be crippling the band. They stopped touring altogether not long after that and I hadn't heard anything from them in a couple years. Enter 2010 and Particle has come back with a vengeance. I saw them recently at the Muncie Springfest and they eviscerated my skull with the intense jamtronica I've come to love. This time they were at one of my favorite smaller venues, the Double Door, so I knew I was in for one hell of a show. Not only was I going to see Particle indoors for the first time ever but they brought along trumpet killer & loose cannon Willie Waldman for added entertainment value. Yessir, it was going to be a wild night of music.

We usually try to take the train or walk to shows, but when it comes to Wicker Park we always take the easy way out. A taxi is much quicker and seems to be totally worth the $13 to avoid the hour-plus train ride from Lakeview to hipster heaven. Amy and I hopped out at the Double Door to find a group of our friends also arriving-- it was great timing. We soon met up with some other friends who had arrived earlier confirming our perfect timing. Indeed, we avoided the "meh" opening band and only waited about 15 minutes before Particle hit the stage. The first thing I noticed before they ripped into "Launchpad" was that Ben Combe was mysteriously absent. I knew this dude was totally fucking kooked, but I definitely expected him to follow through with Particle's first tour in a while. I guess this partially explains that revolving door... I thought Combe was awesome at Springfest but I don't think they missed him at all on this night. The 2 guitarists they featured in his stead, Mark Grundhoefer and the Unknown Assailant (pictured above), were bayonet sharp and left no shred unturned.

I was definitely expecting some sweet covers but I didn't expect it to be the second song in. Nonetheless, they busted out a wild version of Pink Floyd's "Young Lust" and got the crowd locked into the show. It had a super funky bass line from Eric Gould and spot-on guitar sections from the two shredders. The song was pretty much a straight-forward cover... that was until Steve Molitz got his claws into it and meandered away from the script with some fiery & filthy synths. When this song finally ended Molitz introduced the Corona-toting trumpeter Willie Waldman to the stage. The first song with Waldman was a classic blast of Particle, "Triple Threat", and kicked up the intensity of the show to a splitskull pace. Molitz drove the energy of this expansive jam with thick synths that played amazingly with the looming wall of sound that Waldman was building. Willie's distorted, laser-beam sounding trumpet laid the perfect backdrop for another extremely heavy bassline from Gould. This song has always been one of my favorites and this version was radioactive. Molitz then introduced another guest, Stephen Cook, who was a violinist sporting the jam attitude. "Below Radar" was amazing with the added trumpet & violin and kept this intense show running at top speed. Waldman would be jumping and pumping his fist when others were playing and I could tell he was having a shitshow time. When he was playing he was making some wild sounds using echo effects and other various modulation pedals & dials. It was like a tumultuous ocean of trumpet goodness. At this point there was 8 people on stage and the Particle Orchestra was in full force. They eventually segued into "Equator" where Molitz stood out as the set came to a close. There was a wailing cry from Cook's violin and yet another ominous bassline from Gould, however Molitz dominated this song and played with a torrential downpour of emotion like I've rarely seen. His body writhes & spasms in response to his sounds and his face contorts into expressions of pure, orgasmic joy. I can tell he is having an absolute blast on stage and is engulfed in the energy of the crowd. He appears to truly love melting faces, so much so in fact that he can't help but melt his own.

Setbreak was long and I started to get pretty antsy. I hopped up on stage and sat on the edge to make the wait easier. As I was chilling, Waldman walked up behind me and started setting up his gear for the second set. He mumbled something about "being with these guys from the beginning" and I nodded in bewildered agreement. This was my cue to hop down and prepare for more savagery. I popped my new (and fucking lifesaving) noise-reducing ear plugs in as they plunged into an unexpected cover of 2Pac & Dr. Dre's "California Love". Waldman held down that trademark melody with his trumpet while a guest MC was on stage belting out the lyrics. This song again wandered wildly off course and ended up as a dense funk jam. During this jam I went to take a photo of Amy and her friend Ania when Molitz surprised us and jumped off the stage. He squeezed between them just as I was about to snap the photo and it turned out amazingly. Molitz climbed back on the stage and lead a segue from the the heavy funk of "Cali Love" into a smooth, gliding funk. This segue was almost a song in itself as it also featured another sledgehammer bassline to underscore this soft & greasy funk interlude. The segue morphed into "Gator", a tune with some spaaaaaaaaaace lyrics & beatboxing from Molitz that was modulated somehow through his synth.

Once again I got lost in the milieu of a segue as "Gator" somehow became "The Other One". I'm not sure where the change over occurred as this was basically a 30 minute block of insane jam... a.k.a. the place I always want to be. My eyes were primarily closed, dancing around the inside of my eyelids as Particle created a neural synesthetic playland. This period was highlighted by some sick percussion battling from Darren Pujalet and yet another guest in the back hammering on djembes while Molitz laid back in the cut on his tambourine. There was a very cheery interlude in there somewhere that shifted the mood for a quick minute before the intensity picked back up with more spaced out Molitz vocals and Waldman stomping out some of his most passionate work of the evening. Willie was absolutely pouring sweat (as was I) as he kept bouncing through this set. He was on what must have been his 8th beer of the night and was still kicking serious ass. This wild span of music is quite scrambled in my memory as I was truly lost in that jammy place in my head where I always wish I was while I'm sitting in school. It was awesome.

They finally wrapped up "The Other One" and Molitz gave the stage to Grundhoefer to play a song that he wrote. Mark stepped up and gave a powerful performance of "It's My Life". Despite the fact that it shares its title with that terrible Bon Jovi song, this song is actually awesome and Grundhoefer showcases his musical talent. His guitar work in this song was Warren-esque and absolutely bone-shattering. This incredible shredding was matched by an unexpectedly strong voice that was filled with passion & soul. This song had a structure that felt a little out of place in the grand scheme of the concert, but I felt like it was well-placed. It served as a nice palate cleanser as they immediately after started building for one of their cornerstone songs, a magnum opus of sorts called "Ed + Molly". This song was like cranking a giant trebuchet-- a rising energy all stored for one massive explosion. The energy built slowly, in layers of sound, and retained an extreme tension. This electricity in the air was palpable as I could sense the jam growing & swelling like a boiling vat. The runway for this flight was miles long as Molitz was visibly enjoying just teasing the crowd. When this thing finally came down and that Great Sonic Hammer finally dropped, it was a tempest. Like a tidal wave crashing into the mouth of a volcano. Unbridled shred ecstasy. When the song ended, I felt like I just ran a 10k. It took me a second to realize where I was as I shook the cobwebs and just kept saying, "that was awesome, that was awesome." I looked at my friend Casey and I could tell he said the same thing running through his head. The band left the stage so Amy and I exhaustedly aimed for the door. We had just about reached the door when we heard a cheer. The band was back on stage so I stopped on a dime. I wasn't going to risk missing an "Eye of the Storm" (one of my favorite songs ever). They started up a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" and although I had wanted to hear them play this, we continued our momentum out the door. If it wasn't "Eye" then we didn't need to chase the night any longer-- our minds had been sufficiently blown.

This show was absolutely amazing and is instantly at the top of my favorite shows of 2010 list. I don't know what happened to Ben Combe but they didn't need him. I guess that revolving door can keep spinning as long as Molitz, Gould, and Pujalet keep surrounding themselves with rabid musical animals. Particle is seriously amazing and I really hope they continue to tour & make incredible music. The world of jamtronica is much better with Particle in it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Jam of The Day: Blues Traveler

Blues Traveler Live at North Hall, Eastern Market on May 19, 2010.

Back In The Day
Mulling It Over>
Carolina Blues
How You Remember It>
I Want You To Want Me
But Anyway
The Mountains Win Again

What I Got
Crash Burn

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jam of The Day: Railroad Earth

Railroad Earth Live at Justison Landing Park on May 15, 2010.

1. Intro/tuning
2. Lovin' You
3. Dandelion Wine
4. Old Man and the Land
5. Like a Buddha
6. Seven Story Mountain
7. New Lee Highway Blues * -->
8. Fiddlee

* with David Bromberg on guitar and vocals

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Keller & The Keels: Thief

Review By Rex Thomson

Keller Williams releases his new album of cover songs on the 25th of May, and joined in the venture at hand to have point of reference to work from. There were a few I did by the Keel Family duo of Larry and Jenny on Guitar and Bass respectively. The art of the cover song is a tricky thing. Properly utilized, it can help an act connect with an audience quickly, using a familiar piece of music, but in a way that shows the dynamics of the differences between the originals and the voice of the band covering it. Sparsely used, it can bring a welcome change of song structure to a bands catalog, and afford the covering artist a chance to express themselves by contrast. Overusing the cover, however, can lead one to think of the old adage “The quotaitional mentality is the sign of a juvenile intellect.” To my mind, it shows a lack of faith in their songwriting abilities. But, when the artists are anywhere near as prolific as Keller Williams and the Keels, these cover album projects become pure fun, a ripping good time for all involved, having a go at some of the material that inspires them from the pens of others. Fearless, Keller has taken the stage as part of dozens of different configurations of bands, and brought to all of them his trademark wit and whimsical playing style. Add to that Larry Keel and Jenny Keel‘s mountaintop brand of picking and plucking, and you’re bound to have a good time!

The disc opener, “Don’t cuss that fiddle” is by artist Kris Kristoferson, whose catalog gets a second visit before this set of songs is concluded. The counter play between the two guitarists style is the first thing that hits you upon hitting play. Keller’s expressive style of play a fine counter point to Larry Keel’s forceful strum, and hard pluck. The voices reflect the differences, as they trade the lyrics between them, Keel’s throaty growl a counterpoint to Keller’s sing song light hearted manner. When the chorus comes round, Jenny joins the fray, adding a sweetness that only a woman’s voice can. The blend of voices brings a welcome depth to the goings on, and makes a truly pleasing blend. The songs themes of regret and envy are countered the wry wink towards thievery, for which the album is itself titled.

The Drive By Truckers tune “Uncle Disney” A light hearted romp, poking metaphorical fun at the Disney legend, and the mass marketing and homogenization of society is paralleled in the harmony vocals of all three players. Featuring some of Larry Keel’s finest picking, and a thumping bass, holding down the rhythm fine and dandy! The spread of the sound was what caught me most, as the playing seemed to roll out away from the center of the speakers, given weight by the resonate voices. A melancholy look at seeing things with old eyes, viewing the future.

Seriously, after the bleakness of the previous subject matter, it’s time for Keller to do what he does best, make you dance and grin. Amy Winehouse seems to be a bit of a train wreck, and the fact that so many people were urging her to get help that she wrote a song about it gives William’s mischievous streak all the push it needs to take Winehouse’s overblown self involvement, and turn it into a foot stomping good time for the whole family. The tune turns into a boot scootin’ number, and features a good old fashioned old timey feel to the piece. The tempo stays an unrelentingly cheerful speed, and Keller let’s his voice do his best mountain man impression. A annoying song, given punchy new life by those involved!

A dark intro to the Danny Barnes tune “Get it while you can” follows on the heels of the grin, taking the proceedings straight back into serious territory, as again, the two guitarists show what happens when styles don’t compete, but compliment. A long intro finally settles down to a bouncing piece, with a counterpoint percussive slap of the bass by Jenny for depth. A tale of hunger and lust, and the urgency of life, the reworking brings the same sense of urgency of the first, and succeeds in capturing the spirit intended.

Seriously, I hand it to Keller for making The Ryan Adams tune palatable to me. A rare instance of the artist’s non musical activities coloring his actions musically causes me to be leery of Adams. I have had friends who have seen him report terrible shenanigans personality and behaviorally. Seriously if you can’t take people making fun of your name, you don’t belong on a stage. The sad point of the tale of abuse and regret is lifted by Keller and Larry’s smoothness together, as if to illustrate to the heroine of the song that there was a way for people to work in harmony. Stirring.

Trying to be a responsible reviewer, I went and listened to the original versions of the songs I did not recognize, to give myself a point of reference to go from in analyzing these songs. Not so much an issue here, in the case of the Grateful Dead tune “Mountains of the Moon”. There is even a friend of mine who loves this song beyond all others. Kinda looking forward to hearing his reaction to hearing this song! Keller is known to be fond of his covers live, and for taking the silliest of songs and bring his vision to them. Here, using some of the finest materials ever made, the fertile minds of Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia, Phil is replaced with the deep true sound of the stand up, while Keller and Larry trade vocals and lead lines, again using the dichotomy of their voices and styles to great effect. In fact, it seems an either accidental or tres’ cunning homage to the different voices within the Dead, as all three players had an equal responsibility. As the seasons pass the songs of the Dead grow their roots deep, and from those original seeds so many blossoms of a wide variety of concepts and sounds. In fact, they trio even exits the tune thru the door marked ~SPACE~ with a wink and a smile.

The most clearly, joyously Keller tune of the album, the track Teen Angst (What the world needs now) by Cracker is his trademark! A sing song vocal, a bouncy guitar line deftly picked by Mr. Keel, push the piece forward with a breakneck pace. As if to make up for the musically lightness of the original, a wonderful duet sits squarely in the center of the piece. Add to that a chance for Keller to break out his “Sexy Bitch” lothario voice, for even just a minute makes me grin!

Contemporaries the Yonder Mountain String Band write songs in the traditional bluegrass form, but through a prism of passion and energy, a mad abandon and honesty that stir the spirit. A meditation on hope, and trying on in bad times, “The Winds on Fire” gives Us a chance to enjoy the warmth that the comedian Keller can surprise you with. A sign of his range, though he does tend to stay towards the happy end of the scale, he occasionally drops down to the somber, or even soulful range of singing, and surprises you with what he can do!

How can you not love a full acoustic Tex-Mex out of a Racontuers burst of rock, the song “Switch and Spur” Accompanied by a little of the classic ”Keller mouthing a trumpet” bidness? The south-western flair of the original is toned down and embraced as a near bandelero strum fest, and the tones of Keel’s guitar serve especially well here, giving it an almost cowboy camp out flavor. The tale itself of a no man’s land, deadly to all who visit, and the drive to cross it failing it, is a doomed one as we root for a dying mine to make it through his ordeal, know he will not. Visit a dark unknown land unprepared and be ready to pay the price. A powerful message, and one retold here with a personality well defined.

Another 90’s romp “Sex and Candy” from the where are they now Marcy’s Playground takes the song that seemed to haunt it’s place and time, and adds to Kellers track list of taking songs that once annoyed, and turning them into crowd pleasers! Short and sweet, a good cleanser from the last tracks heavy themes of death and isolation.

The much beloved Butthole Surfer’s closest thing to a radio hit “Pepper” was a welcome return to what is obviously an important period in Keller’s personal music formation. Having heard him perform this solo before, I was pleased to hear him do this with Jenny’s lilting voice backing his on the chorus. A near straight one-two, and Keller’s obvious enjoyment at doing the piece made this an instant win for me!

A final nod to the songs of the nineties, the Presidents of the United States ditty “Bath of fire” gives Larry Keel a chance to have the songs strongest lines and the Bottom of a pit vocals that seem to have the weight if the world with them. Throughout this set, you are reminded of the real dealishness of all three players, as Jenny Keel’s playing strong and timely. The best word I can use to describe Mr.Keel’s playing is simply Strong. His picking, strumming and voice all seem to come from a center that is overflowing with inner strength. And our host for these proceeding, Mr. Keller Williams himself has earned ever accolade given him, and since my first encounter more than a decade ago, I have been a devoted follower. Sadly, at the end of this tune, I realized we were nearly at the end of the whole shebang.

The last track featured the same originator as the first, Kris Krisofferson. “The Year 2003 Minus 25” opens with a strong, but brief moment of the duality of styles for one last time. All three voices give rise to imaging’s of them gathered around a single microphone, all playing as a unit, forged by love and focus. A lamentation of war and the carelessness of life, the hope is implied by the lifting of the vocals and ascendancy of the playing. In the end, Keller and the Keels exhort us all to keep our spirits high, through words and melody. To their credit, they don’t just sing of it, their passion infects you as it does this body of music, and does not let up!

A truly pleasing slice of musicosity, and one that has earned a solid place in my summer playlist, for those moments when I need to know the music will make me smile.

Pre-order the New Album "Thief" Here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

An Interview: George Porter Jr.

Photos by J-man

J-man: What drew you to funk music? Why funk?

George: There wasn’t anything that drew me to it, I think I was born into it. My answer to things about funk and what is funk? It has always been. Pretty much before funk it was just called “R& B”. It’s something I have been playing all of my life. The titled and name of it just changed somewhere in the seventies. It had nothing to do with us putting a label on it. It was someone else who labeled our music, you know?

J-man: Right. Looking over the long list of musicians you have played with, I see, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffet, David Byrne, Tori Amos, Warren Haynes to name a few. How is it that you got involved in making music with such a diverse mix of talent?

George: Well, I believe that my history in the early recording years with the Meters, opened, I would say pretty much all of those doors. People liked the band, the Meters. But, I found that they actually loved some of the individuals a lot more than they liked the band.

J-man: I see…

George: So there were a few of us, out of the band that were able to move on in to a more diverse recording industry… Recording with other artists and stuff. The band itself, started off as a band backing Allen Toussaint sessions. But I think that the music that the band did has outlived the band. The music still exists… But the band doesn’t (Laughs).

J-man: In the 70’s the Meters played with McCartney, toured with the Stones and performed on Saturday Night Live; What were your thoughts at that time about what was going on around you?

George: Let me clear something up. One, the Meters never performed with McCartney.

J-man: What was the situation then?

George: There was a recording session that was going on in New Orleans during… Well I guess I could take that back…

J-man: (Laughs)

George: … Because… Ok, but it was a jam session, on a boat, that could go under the circumstance of performing with. It was a party that Marshall Sehorn and Allen Toussaint threw for McCartney, after they did the session “Venus & Mars” at Toussaint Studios. The Meters were sort of like the house band and all of the local New Orleans artists all came. From; Jessie Hill to Benny Spellman. Everybody was on that boat and we kind of played behind everybody.

Well, the Meters had a version that we had been playing around with, of “Come Together”. We played that song during the coarse of that little jam session on the boat that day. Paul and Linda both came up on stage and sang the song with us. So, that’s the only playing that the Meters ever did with Paul McCartney.

Also, during the McCartney Sessions he recorded a Mardi Gras song… I can’t remember the name of it. I believe it may have only been released locally in New Orleans during Mardi Gras time. Just myself… I’m thinking it was just me in the studio at the time when it happened. Myself Earl King and some of the other New Orleans artists that used to hang around Toussaint Studios on any given day. We were brought into the studio and played cowbells, tambourines and made street noises and stuff like that.

That was the only recording that I did with McCartney and the Meters only time was when McCartney was on stage with us playing or singing… Well, just singing; he wasn’t playing. It was “Come Together” on the boat. So, let’s make sure that your article gets this right.

J-man: I will set the record straight. Why do you think it is that the Meters never really achieved mainstream success?

George: We had lousy management. The management didn’t want us to be successful, he was more interested in keeping a band in house to do the work that Allen needed done. After the players of the band had their falling out with Allen, then there was no need to pursue this anymore. So at that point we were kind of left to our own devises.

J-man: Hmmm. Can you talk about how the 7 Walkers came to be, and what your thoughts are on playing “Dead music”, with Billy K and Papa Mali?

George: Well, I was on stage during Mardi Gras with Papa Mali. I think it was “Papa Mali’s Supernatural Ball” or something like that. We were playing a gig and I think someone else was taking a solo and Malcolm walked over and kind of leaned over towards me on the stage and I leaned back. He said, “Can you make a run of dates out in California with us?” I said “Well, I’ll have to check the calendar and get back to you.” A couple of days later I get an e-mail from him, pretty much saying when the dates were. My dates were open and I said “Ok, I can do this.” That’s how that came about.

J-man: What are your thoughts on playing “Dead” music, Grateful Dead music?

George: It’s music. If it’s music, I don’t have a problem with playing it. Umm… I mean, is there supposed to be like taboos? Can’t I play Dead music (Laughs)?

J-man: No, I’m not attaching a stigma to it. Rather I’m curious more so, what Dead music means to you and what your playing lends to the music. Also I’m curious as to your thoughts on the improvisation aspect of the music.

George: Well, I am very much open to playing free. I mean, as I recall; I kinda think the Meters was the first “jamband”. When we went out on the road in the sixties, we had an album out that almost every song was only two minutes long… And we got to play four hour gigs (Laughs).

J-man: (Laughs)

George: So, every song that we played, back in those days; we had to take them and do something with them. Being freeform and jamming, I have been doing that all my life so, I don’t believe that when I got into playing Dead songs… It wasn’t until Mickey Hart, because all before that I can’t say that I ever played Dead music at all. I knew a few of the songs that had gotten to be popular in Louisiana. But other than that, I never went to a Dead show, I’ve never seen a Dead show.

All I knew about the Dead was that they were a band… In fact I didn’t know how many members was in the band. I knew that they was a band that was kind of like the kings of the hippie crowd. And all of the kids that actually were starting to become Meter fans, were Dead Heads. You know, the tie-dye kids and stuff. So, I kind of believe that, that fanbase came our way because we were some what of a “jamband” as well. Freeform, stuff getting made up on the spot, that’s one thing that we were good at. We would get into groovin’ next thing you know Zigaboo was doing something off his head. A lot of that stuff went to record, but most of it didn’t. A lot of it should have (Laughs).

J-man: (Laughs) I see you have a tour coming up with John Scofield, that takes you through; Sweden, Mexico, Canada… How is the international response to your music in regards to turnout and fanbase?

George: (Laughs) Again, Scofield is another one of those kind of players who’s music has been on the edge. It’s out there, in a key… He plays a tune, and then in the middle, the middle section, the solo section is absolutely outside of any realm of what’s written.

J-man: Absolutely.

George: So, he’s a jammer. He does that really good and people come out to see him because they know, it’s not going to be the same every night (Laughs). Every night, you know every solo is going to be different; every night. You go listen to Scofield for twenty nights in a row, you might hear the same twenty songs, But, the solo sections of the songs are going to be totally different. They are going to be outside and different, which I believe is what the Dead did. I think that’s exactly the same thing that the Meters did when we were doing what we did together… Playin’.

Music has always been a very easy thing to do, the only complicated part about music is the business. Once the musicians get involved with the business part of music, then all of a sudden they find out that “We have been buying swimming pools and Cadillac’s for people, (Laughs) and we’re just driving Fords.

J-man: Right. How did you get involved with Jam Cruise and can you talk a little bit about your experience on the boat over the years?

George: (Laughs) We’ve done four, so far. We already booked for five. My wife and I have already made plans for six. This is something that me and my wife plan on doing for as long as the boat is available and as long as we can climb up the ramp to get on it (Laughs).

J-man: (Laughs)

George: That’s our little vacation, for us. This year it will be forty three years of marriage, and over the years we never really done something for ourselves, so… Jam Cruise has allowed us that space for ourselves. At the same time; I go there and I work a lot (Laughs). I do a lot of playing, but I mean at the same time, my wife enjoys it and all of the people; young and old just love her(Laughs). She is one of the favorite women on the boat, next to Annabelle I guess(Laughs). Maybe Annabelle might be next to her, I don’t know (Laughs). Everybody knows her… She don’t get corralled or anything, but everybody just treats her wonderful and she loves it.

J-man: That’s cool. I’ve heard time and time again from artists that, along with it being a gig, they look at it as a vacation. I think that’s pretty unique.

George: Yeah, and then you’ve got a captive audience (Laughs).

J-man: (Laughs) True. I also appreciate what the “Jam Room” allows for, in terms of musicians jamming and exploration.

George: Yeah, I have a great deal of fun in the “Jam Room”, myself.

J-man: So I’ve heard.

George: I probably spend two thirds of my time on that boat, in the “Jam Room”.

J-man: (Laughs) That speaks to who you are as a musician. I saw you down at Wanee about a month ago, what are thoughts on the Spirit of Suwanee Music Park and what it has to offer?

George: Oh, I love that little festival. I absolutely love that festival. I’m hoping that I’ll get to go back next year with Running Pardners.

J-man: Are you doing Bear Creek?

George: Yes, Running Pardners is doing Bear Creek. Now, will Bear Creek be on that same site?

J-man: Yes, the same site.

George: Yeah, I like that little stage back in the jungle, man (Laughs).

J-man: Yeah, it provides a great environment.

George: Yeah, I love that little stage… I like that little area back there. But I mean, playing on the big stage is what you reach for.

J-man: Absolutely. Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the fans/readers?

George: Well, you can mention to the world that I am pretty much rebuilding my music life, right now. I’ve just recorded sixteen of my favorite Meter songs that was never played by any of the Meter bands. As well, those sixteen songs that nobody else ever touched. So, I am really pleased with them. I put two of the songs up the second weekend of Jazz Fest, on my website for free download. Just to let people know that I am still alive and that I am planning on going out with Running Pardners, the five piece version of the eight piece band that’s going to be on the road. The reason is just because I am not able to financially take and put and eight piece band on the road. So we’re going out, and we’re going out with five musicians.

J-man: You used the term “rebuild”, what does that refer to?

George: Well, because Running Pardners was an eight piece band and so basically, we had to take that music and this is the second time I have taken and eight piece band down to five. The first time we did it, it was a two keyboard band, and we had to restructure the music because it was a horn band. This time we decided to keep a horn player involved with the band and so we are redirecting the big horn section part down to being a single horn player. I guess that every band cuts an album and maybe six of the twelve songs on the album get played. So, I’ve taken those other six songs that have never been played and put them back in.

So it’s kind of reorganizing what I want to say musically. The rebuilding thing is just basically, since PBS disbanded it’s been like “Whoa, what am I going to do now?” And the thing that came to mind is that I should go back to playing my music, and that was pretty much what I decided to do… And also the Funky Meters are playing. Not as much as they have played, ten years ago. Because Art isn’t as mobile as he would like to be, and so that effects what we do and don’t do. And that’s understandable, he’s seventy three years old. The man should be able to pick and choose when he wants to work and when he doesn’t.

J-man: That’s a good point. Well, I appreciate your time today, George. It means a lot to me. Again, thank you.

George: Absolutely, get the McCartney thing right now (Laughs).

J-man: Will do. Thanks, George.

George: Alright.

Jam of The Day: Garage A Trois

Garage A Trois Live at New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack's - 11pm on April 30, 2010.

1. Electric Doorbell Machine >
2. Fragile
3. Power Patriot
4. Rescue Spreaders
5. Dory's Day Out
6. Dugout
7. Dwarf
8. "Jazz Jesus" interlude
9. Punk Rock Guilt
10. Fat Redneck Gangster >
11. The Real Morning Party (James Booker style)
12. Big Whopper
13. Computer Crimes
14. 1969 (Stooges cover)
15. Encore:
16. Twin Killers (Deerhoof cover) >
17. ???? >
18. ????

Garage A Trois:
Stanton Moore: drums
Skerik: sax
Mike Dillon: percussion, vibraphones
Marco Benevento: keys

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jam of The Day: JFJO

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Live at The Deli on March 14, 2003.

Set I
Three Splattered Eggs
Son Of Jah
Fourth Eye
Jah Smart Drum Solo
Calm Before The Storm
Calm Before The Storm (Cont.)
Band Intros & Banter (End of Set I)

Set II
The Slip (With Richard Hass On Drums)
Slow Breath Silent Mind
Johnny B Goode
Thelonius Monk Is My Grandmother
Improv (With Scott Howard)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jam of The Day: Great American Taxi

Great American Taxi Live at Saxon Pub on May 6, 2010.

Great American Taxi
The Saxon Pub
Austin, TX

One set
01 One of These Days
02 Honky Tonk Saloon
03 Fuzzy Little Hippie Girl
04 Big Sandy River
05 River Cantina
06 Gone So Long ????
07 Fun By The Ton
08 Swamp SOng
09 Drinking In The Morning
10 Make Ends Meet
11 Made By Hand
12 It's a Good Night to Boogie
13 It Must've Been The Wine
14 Jack London
15 Whiskey Before Breakfast
16 Instant Armadillo Blues