Pearl Street Allstars 1.29.11
Words, Photos & Video By J-man
From the second that I heard George Porter mention that he would be playing with the Pearl Street Allstars in Boulder, I was curious and wanted to be in attendance. Upon further inquiry I found out that the show was sold out. Of course it was, Kyle Hollingsworth, George Porter Jr., Karl Denson, Davey Knowles and Alan Evans together in Boulder. Luckily for us, George was able to assist us with credentials. For that we were extremely grateful! Going into the evening we were feeling great and ready to rage.
We arrived at the packed Boulder Theatre to an excited crowd. Folks were dressed for the occasion sporting colorful afros, leisure suits and other flashy/fancy attire. It created a very euphoric vibe. Entering the floor level of the theatre it was clear that it was a sold out show. We made our way upstairs for more space and a better view.
Boulder was getting down to the heavy funk/jazz that was being created piece by piece on stage. Karl Denson is a madman on the saxophone. His tone, range, musical direction and all around style make him one of the best on our scene. Additionally his vocal contributions were strong and impressive. That night in Boulder, was a pure reflection of what Karl is capable of. Next to Karl was funk legend George Porter Jr. He was the specific ingredient of this line-up that contributed the funk vibe. His playing is so fluid and in appearance, effortless. I love watching George smile as ha plays, the whole time directing with his eyes or subtle motion. His bass lines had me groovin' the whole evening. George's vocals also encouraged the funk vibe.
On the drums was Alan Evans of Soulive. I love Alan's heavy, jazz driven playing. His direction reflects experience and intensity. As soon as I heard that Alan would be a part of the project, I knew it would be heavy. To Alan's right was String Cheese organ/keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth. Kyle brings a wide range of talent to the table. His playing that evening included a lot of heavy organ and quick chops. It's always exciting to watch Kyle breeze across the keys with skill and an extensive knowledge of the instrument. He has been called a virtuoso, I'm not sure if that's accurate, but I'm not going to question it. What I saw from him that evening was nothing short of great.
On the right side of the stage was guitarist Davey Knowles. I went into the evening not being familiar with Davy, and was very impressed. He tore the guitar apart going up and down the neck with precision and accuracy. His playing contributed largely to a really raging vibe and I thought at points he stole the show. All together the band went through funk covers, traditionals, and covers of some more recent radio songs. Their chemistry was tight and felt as if this group of talent had performed together before.
Early on in the evening we headed backstage for some free beer as the event was put on by The Mountain Sun, a local Denver brewery located in Boulder. We got to the taps to find that the kegs were empty. There was a collective vibe of disappointment backstage. We headed side stage for some photographs and video...
We headed back to the kegs about forty five minutes later to find the same scenario. This time at the keg we ran into Keith Mosely the bass player for the String Cheese Incident.
"Is it out?" I asked Keith.
"Yeah, bummer" Keith said with a smile.
I thought to myself, "If Keith Mosely can't get a beer, we're probably not getting beer..."
However, on our third return to the tap... There was beer! It was a very tasty amber, and we were just in time for some sort of company party/gathering. Folks, who I assumed worked for or were associated with the Mountain Sun gave a couple of short words of encouragement and the drinking commenced.
Looking out over the crowd from the stage, I could see that folks were enjoying themselves. The evening was one of the most successful and enjoyable events that I had attended in some time. If there is one thing that I love about Colorado it's the musical melting pot that it's turned out to be. It seems to be a mecca of so called super groups. It's thrilling to see spontaneous creation.
J-man's Photo Gallery From The Show
Special thanks to George Porter Jr.