New Years 2011: Everyone Orchestra 1.1.11
Words & Photos By J-man
Videos By Carly Marthis
Recording by Deadhead Corey
Everyone Orchestra Live at Quixote's True Blue on January 1, 2011. <--- Direct Archive Link
The previous evening being New Years Eve, it needs not be said but it was a long action packed night in Denver. There were lots of shows, lots of jamming/sit-ins, lots of partying and very little time to rest. I knew I would be able to make it to the Everyone Orchestra show in reasonable shape, but I wasn't sure about the musicians themselves. With good reason, a lot of them busted their asses on New Years Eve, one of the biggest nights on the jam calendar.
We arrived at Quixote's in Denver. The day prior marked my first time there and the Everyone Orchestra would mark my second show at the venue in twenty four hours. I loved Quixote's from the minute I stepped into the venue. The walls were covered in Grateful Dead memorabilia, and the vibe is second to none, in my humble opinion. There was no "security" and it was clear from the get go that there was a mutual respect between the patrons and venue.
Entering the venue we found a high top table towards the back of the main room. I sat down, took a deep breath, checked my equipment, bought a beer and finished my questions for the evening's interviews. Slowly the musicians and gear came in through the front door of the venue. I turned towards the stage to see Anders Beck of Greensky Bluegrass setting up, Matt Butler sorting out some of the logistics and a few folks whom I didn't recognize setting up gear. I became excited as I thought about the possibilities, while explaining to Carly Marthis (Photographer/Videographer) the concept of the Everyone Orchestra. I could tell that she too was excited.
I headed to the dressing room to make the initial arrangements for the interviews. Matt told me he'd be ready to go in fifteen minutes. I then turned to Anders...
"Want to do an interview?" I said.
"Sure." Anders said without hesitation.
"Can we do this before the show so that I can space out?" I asked with a smile.
"Yeah, of course." Anders said, laughing.
"I'm in the back of the venue. Just come find me when you're ready." I said.
I headed back to our table, noticing a gentleman setting up some recording gear. "Yes! A taper!" I thought to myself, as I knew this show had the potential to be incredible. I wondered if this was the gentleman that I had heard about; Deadhead Corey? Sure enough it was. I introduced myself, told him that I dug his recordings and asked if he would be interested in doing some work with MusicMarauders. A quick round of drinks and I was headed back to the table.
As I arrived back to the table Carly was getting things ready with the video camera and over walked Matt who was trying to sort out some confusion with the start time of the set. After that was sorted out, there was a short sound check. I was blown away! The chemistry and dynamics of what I heard in the sound check had me craving more. When they were dialed in Matt came over, I introduced him to Carly and on we went with the interview...
A few minute later I noticed Pete Wall and Steve Molitz walk through the door. I said hello to Pete and told him to let me know when he and Steve were ready.
"We're going out to eat just around the block. You should come with us and we can do the interview there."
Just then Anders wandered over...
Following our interview with Anders, we collected our gear and loaded everything up to head over to the bar/restaurant. We got a table near the front window looking out onto the street, ordered some wine and set up our gear...
That would conclude our interviews for the evening. That meant it was now time to achieve liftoff and space out. When the camera was turned off, Carly and I had some really good conversation with Pete and Steve. They headed back to their table and we sat and enjoyed our drinks. At one point Pete came back over:
"Do you guys like football?" He said with a smile.
"We do." I said.
"Do you guys want tickets to tomorrow's Broncos game? You know Patrick from Whitewater Ramble. They're his and..."
"Actually we were just given tickets about twenty minutes ago. But thank you very much" I said interrupting.
"No problem! I'll see you over at the show." Pete said.
As Pete wandered off Carly turned to me and said "I really like Pete."
"I do too. He's a good guy." I replied.
The band began to file out of the bar and we headed back to the venue. The turn out was lower than I had expected, but it was understandable. Folks had blown their stack the previous evening/morning. However, those in attendance were noticeably excited. There were girls hula hooping as well as dancing on the counters to the house music, which of course was the Grateful Dead. The Everyone Orchestra took the stage and with that, the musical experience began.
Like most EO shows, it was a progression. They started off slowly to find the groove. Once the groove was established, it was time to explore, and explore they did. The first prominent segments came with a slide of the dobro guitar and the beginning of the evenings peaks came shortly to follow.
To Matt Butler's left was Steve Molitz (Keys). Steve's contribution to that evenings project was one of the greatest. His ability to read the jam and contribute a jamtronic sounding vibe is uncanny. He effortlessly rolled his fingers across the keys creating the dirtiest groovetones. In front of Steve, also to Matt's left was Pete Wall (Sax). Since my move to Denver, Pete has quickly become one of my favorite sax players. That evening with EO, Pete dropped some of the spaciest and most fluid musical lines that I have ever heard. Not only was his tone as solid as possible, but the effects he was utilizing created an incredible vibe.
Straight out in front of Matt Butler was Mike Montrey (Guitar). Mike's funky fills, and riffs with Steve were an essential part of the evenings project. I went into the evening unfamiliar with Mike's work, and left with curiosity regarding his musical projects. Also out in front of Matt was Kim Dawson (Vocals). The strength of her vocals took me back. The power and intensity were reminiscent of some of the Pink Floyd female vocal phrasings. Needless to say, I was impressed.
At the back of the stage, holding down the beats were Dave Watts (Drums) and Wally Ingram (Percussion). The range of rhythms that I heard coming from the percussion section that evening pleased me to no end. They went from spacey drums, to complete destruction, to dance-party and back, not once missing a beat. The seamless transitions helped to provide some really amazing peaks.
To Matt Butler's right was Garrett Sayers (Bass) and Anders Beck (Dobro). First off, Garrett is one of the most bad ass bass players I have ever seen. That being said, his skill had me focused. I would hear incredibly complex notation coming from the bass section, only to turn and see Garrett with his eyes closed. "What the fuck? Who is this guy?" I thought. To the right of Garrett was Anders. I really enjoy what Anders does within' the bluegrass/string realm, but I had never heard him play "freeform jam". Anders slid right outside of the bluegrass vibe and into full on jam mode, absolutely stealing portions of the show. His leads and melodies were unique and varied on anything that I had ever heard come out of a dobro.
Led by Matt Butler, together the Everyone Orchestra tapped into their improv/free form intuition and constructed one of the most coherent and innovate EO shows that I have ever heard. Their is no denying Matt's musical intuition. His guidance and direction create some incredible moments and challenge the very core relationship between varying musicians as well as musicians and their individual instruments. I was literally taken back by what I had seen that night. The photos, videos and recording speaks for itself...
J-man's Photo Gallery From The Show