Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Dead (Zimmer's Picks) 9.15.85

Words By Andy Zimmer

This week we are dipping back into the 80’s for our taste of the Dead. When folks talk about the Dead’s “best years” or “best tours”, it seems like ’69, ’72, and ’77 are the consensus winners among many fans. I would never argue against any of those suggestions, as loads of inspired music came out of all those years. However, there is plenty of material from the remaining 27-ish years, and several very strong tours that do not get their deserved recognition. For my money some of the best stuff that the boys ever did was during 1985... Gasp!!! Yes, I said it... the 80’s.

Throughout 1985, the band was performing at their highest level in several years. Specifically, the summer tour is jam-packed with unbelievable shows. For today’s pick I have chosen the tour closer from the summer 85' run. This show gets overlooked, probably due to several other “epic” shows from the preceding months stealing headlines, but it’s a helluva fine performance.

The Dead closed the summer 85' tour in So-Cal at Southwestern University. The band played the football stadium which was small, and only 5,000 lucky fans were in attendance. The boys started the show off with “Alabama Getaway”; an unusual choice for a show opener, but it set the tone for the rest of the show. The first set also contains such 80’s rarities as “Smokestack Lightning” and ”Dupree’s Diamond Blues”.

The second set is a little bizarre. After a nice “Scarlet/Fire”, and the Garcia-sung ballad of “She Belongs To Me”, the band heads into a rocking version of “Truckin’”. Typically, this would send the show into the deep-space portion of the event. However, such was not the case on this occasion. From “Truckin’” the band segued into “Comes A Time” and ”Around & Around” before dropping into “Drums/Space”. These songs were almost always saved for the last quarter of the show and their positioning adds a strange and unique feel to the set.

The boys finished off the show with some good-time rockers and encored with one of my favorite Dead tunes, “Brokedown Palace”. I hope you give the 80’s some love and enjoy this show as much as I do.

Grateful Dead Live at Devore Field, Southwestern U on September 15, 1985.

Alabama Getaway-> Promised Land, West L.A. Fadeaway, Mama Tried-> Big River, Dupree's Diamond Blues, Smokestack Lightning-> Deal Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain, Samson & Delilah, She Belongs To Me, Truckin'-> Comes A Time-> Around & Around-> Drums-> U.S. Blues-> Satisfaction, E: Brokedown Palace

Friday, April 29, 2011

Greyboy Allstars in Denver 4.16.11

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis

Karl Denson, Robert Walter.... Does anything else need to be said? For me this show has been about ten years in the making. Since first hearing about The Greyboy Allstars in 2001, I have been intrigued. Their combination of Jazz and Funk mixed with solid musicianship and production pushes them to the forefront of the jam/funk scene.

Entering the Bluebird Theatre, high energy could be felt. To me, this was a super group, to others it was just another band. Universally there was excitement and the communal vibe of a funk party.

With the show in full swing, the realization that the wait was worth it overcame me. The production and instrumentation was top notch. Karl Denson's sax playing is some of the cleanest that I have ever heard. Perfection is very rarely so evident in music. On the keys, Robert Walter stole large portions of the show as well as my focus. He called the shots and "conducted" the majority of the show. The chemistry and mastery between Karl and Robert was incredible.

Elgin Park's guitar playing was perfect for the music and reflected a level of musicianship on par with the bigger names in the project. On Bass was Chris Stillwell. His playing was solid and fitting but didn't stand out. Aaron Redfield was the man on drums. His playing was solid and fitting but again, didn't really catch my attention. The focus of the show was clearly the front line arsenal.

Two sets of fantastic funk, interwoven with jazz and jam had me in my glory. The instrumentation was top notch, the jams were tight, well approached and raging! The turn out was fantastic and the evening, overall, was a success for a band that has limited name recognition.

Ten years was well worth the wait. The Greyboy Allstars are a band at the top of their scene musically. With stepped up promotions (which seem to be in the works), and continued touring and performing, The GBA have almost unlimited potential. We had the opportunity to speak with Robert Walter following the show, and his enthusiasm and direction seemed unwavering.

Check out the Greyboy Allstars. It'll only take one track and you'll be hooked...

Photo Gallery From The Show

Friday Funk: Mandrill

Words By Karen Dugan (Tiny Rager)

When asked to think about musical groups who laid the fundamental foundation for Funk, the same names tend to pop up in people's minds. George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, James Brown, Maceo Parker & Fred Wesley, Sly and The Family Stone, Graham Central Station, and Earth Wind and Fire. However, one of the most underrated groups to have played a roll in defining the funk genre emerged from Brooklyn, NY in 1968. Calling themselves Mandrill, a trio of brothers, Carlos Wilson (trombone, vocals), Lou Wilson (trumpet, vocals) and Ric Wilson (sax, vocals), would join their collective multi-instrumental forces to make up the backbone of the group that would come to be one of the most important pioneers of World Music and one of Funk and R&B’s most progressive bands.

Over the years Mandrill has rotated through members included Bundy Cenas (bass), Neftali Santiago (drums, percussion, vocals), Juaquin Jessup (lead guitar, percussion, vocals), Charles Padro (drums), Claude 'Coffee' Cave II (keyboards, percussion, vocals) and Fudgie Kae Solomon (bass) and Omar Mesa (Guitar).
Still touring the U.S. and abroad, the Wilson Brothers remain the driving force behind Mandrill. Their current band is fueled by a new generation of multi-talented musicians including Marc Rey, Arlan Schierbaum, Keith Barry, Michael Beholden, Gemi Taylor and Stacey Lamont Sydnor. However, it was the first generation of musicians that made the greatest impact on what Mandrill stood for and how it helped shape our musical culture.

Mandrill's reputation as a World Music group began with their self-title debut album. This first record is considered one of the truly great opuses of the late 60's hippie scene recorded at the then brand new Electric Lady studios in New York. Containing the raging composition titled Peace and Love, it would eventually be sampled on Kanye West's Two Words with Mos Def, Eminem's On Fire, and Vinni Paz's No Spiritual Surrender.

The Wilson brothers, whose melting-pot background of Caribbean culture blended with the sound and heart of urban America, would make up the brass section while they found their groove with drummer and percussionist Neftali Santiago, keyboardist Claude 'Coffee' Cave II, guitarist Omar Mesa and legendary bassist Fudgie Kae Solomon. These seven players played over 20 instruments and would fuse their Latin and jazz roots with gospel, blues, soul, salsa, psychedelia, straight up rock and funk. Tackling every genre with ease and combining them seamlessly, by their third album, Composite Truth, Mandrill's focused combination of percussive instruments and funk had defined their trademark sound.

Many argue that Mandrill was actually the first funk band to actually make an impact on the charts, beating out Kool and the Gang by a year or so. Over the years, they performed on Don Kirshner’s In Concert and the Rock Concert television series. On numerous occasions they appeared on Soul Train with Don Cornelius and Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack. They were also featured on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television program Soul!

Neftali says; “I remember playing drums, and it used to make me uncomfortable (with) George Clinton and Maurice White sitting right in back of me taking notes! Then all of a sudden Earth, Wind and Fire gets a horn section, and Funkadelic starts adding horns, percussion and become Parliament, and it’s like hmmm that’s interesting.”

As one of the most sampled groups of this generation, Mandrill's songs have been wide used by hip-hop acts such as Johnny D, Public Enemy, Shawty Lo, Big L, Kanye West, Jin, Eminem, and 9th Wonder. You can hear their worldly funky sound on Brandy’s single Talk About Our Love, Shawty Lo’s’ Dey Know, KRS One’s For Example, Black Eyed Peas Weekends, Floetry’s Have Faith, Wyclef Jean’s You Say Keep It Gangsta, Tweet and Missy Elliot’s We Don’t Need No Water, Kindred’s If I, Public Enemy's By the Time I Get to Arizona, and Nas’ U Gotta Love It. As well, some of their songs have been used in the soundtracks of movies: The Greatest (1977), The Warriors (1979), a personal cult favorite of mine, and Mandrill covered the entire score for wasCivil Brand (2002).

Mandrill is not only an underrated group, they are practically impossible to duplicate and hardly anyone has come close. Today, it's virtually impossible to pick an entire group that embodies what Mandrill embodied in their prime. California's Breakstra is one group that comes close as well as the wonderful Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings. The Mighty Imperials, actually under the Daptones Record label, is another group who attempt to reach the amazing levels that Mandrill reached. Toubab Krewe must also be mentioned for their fusion of of rock and African rhythmic patterns.

Mandrill is one of those groups who plowed their way through numerous genres, seamlessly flowing through one into another in a single song. Their music has been sampled by numerous musicians yet hardly anyone has come close to fully duplicating their energy and sound. Mandrill was a group who let it all hang out and stood out as a pioneer in all of music, yet hardly anyone has heard of them. It is our job to spread the word!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday Jazz: John McLaughlin & Carlos Santana

Words By Zach Zeidner

In honor of the Montreux Jazz Festival 2011's announcement of the John McLaughlin/Carlos Santana set, I felt it would be refreshing to reminisce of the beautiful album the two made together. A Love Supreme: Devotion is a powerful album that brings guitar heroes from the rock and jazz world together to explore the beauty behind the spirituality that can lie within music.

As it is well known, A Love Supreme by John Coltrane is the foundation of spiritual Jazz and created a whirlwind of response by critics and musicians alike. John McLaughlin, specifically, indulged highly in this concept of spiritual Jazz. From his early post-bop work, to his intense project Emergency!, and well into the Mahavishnu Orchestra years, John McLaughlin always forced an undertone of spiritual enlightenment. Enjoy this album and listen to the subtly perfect and engaging guitar work between these two legends.

To those of you who will be in attendance at the Montreux show, I salute you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Great American Taxi in Denver 4.15.11

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis
Audio Recording By Corey Sandoval

I had been waiting a long time for this one. I had seen Vince Herman and Great American Taxi a few times at festivals across the country. However, I had never had the pleasure of seeing them in Colorado, their home turf. What's better than a Friday night in Denver with Taxi?!?

We turned out to Cervantes shortly after dinner just in time for sound check. They sifted through equipment/level issues until everything was dialed-in. Following the sound check, Vince Herman joined us in the alley behind the venue for a conversation and some laughs...

Following the interview, I ducked next door for some pizza and a soda before heading out to charge my equipment. Upon returning to Cervantes a couple of hours later, we found it to be hopping. There was a decent turnout and we were right on time, with Taxi hitting the stage within minutes of our arrival. Per usual, the vibe was great at Cervantes. Folks were smiling, laughing, drinking, smoking and enjoying the brighter side of life.

Great American Taxi Live at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom on April 15, 2011.

In typical Vince Herman fashion, the set began with hootin' and hollerin'. We all boarded the Taxi, and on it went with its Americana engine. With Jim Lewin on guitar, the Americana vibe was taken to another level with his rock lead-style playing. Vince watched and smiled as Jim took over Cervantes.

The first set included songs like "Liza Jane", "Fuzzy Little Hippie Girl", "420 Long Years", "420 Special" and "Whiskey Before Breakfast", creating the standard Taxi party vibe. Vince yelled and made noises with the crowd responding. It wasn't the tightest, most musically trained instrumentation, but it was fun and folks were eating it up!

The second set started fast with "Sailing Shoes" > "Sneakin Sally Through The Alley" > "I Walk on Guilded Splinters" > "Two Trains" > "Sailing Shoes". I was impressed with the smooth transitions and flowing instrumentation. Vince's mandolin playing caught my attention and once again... I was impressed. The second set also brought an enjoyable version of "Wagon Wheel" that lead into "Straw Man".

As the show went on, the vibe got better and better. They closed out the second set and returned to the stage for a four song encore! Taxi closed the evening with a ten minute "Do What You Wanna" > "Turn on Your Lovelight". There were so many smiling faces as the evening came to a close. Great American Taxi came to throw a party and they did just that.

Set One

New Millennium Blues, Liza Jane, Boo Boo, Albuquerque, Big Sandy River, Fuzzy Little Hippie Girl, American Beauty, Cold Lonely Town, 420 Long Years -> 420 Special, High on a Mountain Top, I'm Still Here, Unpromised Land -> Whiskey Before Breakfast -> Unpromised Land

Set Two

Sailin' Shoes -> Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley -> I Walk On Guilded Splinters -> Two Trains -> Sailin' Shoes, Penny Arcade, Maude, Twilight, The Swamp, Wagon Wheel -> Straw Man, Coming Home To You -> Jack London


Homegrown, Everything Is Round, Do What You Wanna -> Turn On Your Lovelight

Photo Gallery From The Show

Sometimes One Head is Better Than Two

Club d’Elf - Electric Moroccoland / So Below

Words By Ben Solis

World music hasn’t been this psychedelic since Indian music guru Ravi Shankar taught George Harrison, of The Beatles, how to play the sitar.

And it seems that no matter which side of the album you are listening to, the psychedelic aesthetic is exactly what Club d’Elf is going for. Sure the elements of jazz and native music take the center stage as the band, comprised of world-renowned musicians from both genres, weaves their indigenous percussive blasts around hypnotic, funky rhythms.

But d’Elf sounds very little like the stereotypical jazz or world group trying to experiment its way into a rock template, and is more akin to a rock group trying to expand their musical horizons.

Is this what we should expect from musicians of this caliber?

Well, yes. That is, if you are talking about a mutually exclusive double album, like Electric Moroccoland / So Below.

Both albums are astonishing, but they leave the listener taking sides.

On “Electric Moroccoland,” d’Elf tries to mix elements of electric-era Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock with Moroccan instruments and beats, and they do it well. Even for those who find world music completely unstimulating, the disc rocks when it needs to, and then mellows out when it knows you’ve had enough.

Yet no matter how powerful the first side may be, the second disc, titled “So Below,” is a completely different and less aggressive animal.

“So Below” does away with the North African rhythms found explicitly on “Moroccoland” and touches base on headier ground.

These changes, including contributions from DJ Logic, make “Moroccoland” more appealing. “So Below” just doesn’t rise to the expectations set up before by the first disc.

The extended jams, like “Middle Pillar” and “Instar,” are more inclined to exist on a Pink Floyd album than a world-jazz fusion album.

Give the band credit for reaching for a completely different sound on each disc. If alone, each would be an astounding achievement.

But the line has been drawn in the sand, so to speak: “Moroccoland” is the better album.

New Artist Feature: Sarah Jarosz

Words By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

Multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz isn’t a household name yet, but this young roots music phenom has been wowing audiences for longer than you might expect. Jarosz, only 19-years-old, graced the stage with bluegrass legends Ricky Skaggs and David Grisman during her early teens and signed her first record deal with Sugar Hill Records at the age of 16...

A singer / songwriter beyond her years, the talented Jarosz already has multiple festival performances under her belt as well as a 2010 Grammy nomination in the Country Instrumental Performance category. Check out the archived show of Jarosz’s performance from Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival 2009. If you get a chance, make sure you catch Sarah Jarosz this spring or summer as she tours the United States for both festival and club performances.

Sarah Jarosz Trio Live at Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival on July 18, 2009.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jamtronica Sampler: STS9 & Digital Tape Machine

Words By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

Sound Tribe Sector 9:

For STS9, the festival season starts this weekend at the Nocturnal Festival in Rockdale, Texas. Check out this fun show from Milwaukee’s Summerfest 2010 as well the bass-heavy video of the band crushing “EMH” at Red Rocks in August 2009...

Sound Tribe Sector 9 Live at Summerfest on June 29, 2010.

Digital Tape Machine:

Digital Tape Machine is a side project featuring members of Umphrey’s McGee, Strange Arrangement, Liquid Soul, Land of Atlantis, and the Hue. Formed in 2010, the band throws down a unique mix of trance rock and jamtronica during its rare yet highly acclaimed performances. Here is a video of Digital Tape Machine performing at Martyr’s on April 9th, 2011, and also an archived performance from The Kinetic Playground on December 30th, 2010...

Digital Tape Machine live at the Kinetic Playground Chicago, IL December 30, 2010.

Trentemøller - 4.21.11

The Mid - Chicago, IL

Words By Stevie Tee
Photos By Gerardo Antunez

After years of drooling over live clips on youtube or sets on soundcloud, it was finally time for me to catch a live performance from Danish producer Trentemøller. We've talked him up quite a bit through our coverage of Ultra Music Festival and his group was fresh from their Coachella performance the weekend prior. His appearance on this particular night was a part of MUTEK's Avant-MUTEK events. The Canadian promoter's main platform event is MUTEK festival in Montreal every year, but the Avant-MUTEK events were a series of one-off shows in few different cities such as Appleblim in Toronto, Theo Parrish in Vancouver and a full weekend of events in Chicago.

We were treated very well by the people working the door of Chicago's newest high-profile nightclub, The Mid, but I really wasn't crazy about the venue, at least not for this kind of a performance. There were some feng shui issues with regards to placement of furniture. There were booth couches, tables and chairs on the dance floor which really destroyed the flow of the back half of the dance floor. It created an atmosphere for sitting around and socializing rather truly taking in the music. This is perfectly reasonable for an average night at a club, but this environment made it difficult at times to connect with the music being performed. While the sound in the venue was fine and the lighting matched the music, the furniture would've been better suited around the perimeter of the dance floor to give more space for people to dance or watch the music. Let's turn our attention to the music which would have been just as well suited in a theater with seats as a club with a dance floor.

Dorit Chrysler

Dorit Chryler was playing when we first entered the club and we only caught the last few songs of her set. She's a solo artist and her entire performance rig consisted of a laptop computer, a Moog Theremin and a microphone for her vocals. The computer seemed to have her bed tracks laid out where all she had to do was press play and then perform her vocals and theremin techniques. The music was what I'd consider electronic music, but it was far from dance music you'd normally hear in a club.

Some of her songs were based more in ambiance to allow room for lots of captivating oscillation work on her Theremin, and the others were more lyrical-based indie electronica from a song writing perspective. We didn't quite catch enough of the set to render a solid opinion, her songs and sense of musical drama captured my attention. Dorit Chrysler would also appear with her Theremin as a part of Trentemøller's rotating ensemble after her own set.


After some brief intermission music, a large wooden gate raised in front of the stage and Trentemøller 's band entered. They opened with "The Mash and The Fury", the first track from Trentemøller 's newest album "Into The Great Wide Yonder." It set the night off with a very dark, heavy downtempo groove that reminded me more of seeing Nine Inch Nails than seeing most DJs or electronic music producers. The gate lowered as they continued the dark, eerie vibe with instrumentals like "Past the Beginning of the End," complete with Dorit Chrysler's cinematic sounding Theremin playing and distorted twanging guitars.

While a lot of the show was based around the most recent LP, he dipped into some of his earlier higher tempo, more minimal techno tracks like Vamp and an encore of his biggest single, "Moan". These provided some of the better dance floor moments of the night, though most of the crowd was still very responsive to the slower, heavier grooves. This performance was also carried on much like a typical rock concert with clear breaks between each song and different members of the band rotating on and offstage.

Trentemøller had 2 tables of equipment that included 3 different full keyboards including a Moog and a Korg, a laptop computer, a few other hard to recognize samplers, sequencers, drum pads and big crash cymbal. He played with back up singers and occasionally lead singers for songs like "Sycamore Feeling" and "Even Though You're With Another Girl." Throughout most of the show, there was also a drummer, rotating guitar and bass playing based upon what was called for in the song. The show was very precisely orchestrated with Trentemøller as the composer and conductor.

It was a fantastic set with stirring peaks and climaxes in the last few songs before the encore break. This included the triumphant, gradually building crescendos of "Take Me into Your Skin" and the faster Tarentino-esque break beat madness of "Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go." It's not the type of show that would be good to follow around on tour as there are only a couple older songs varying from each night's set list, but I'd love to catch him again for his next tour or a DJ oriented performance.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Wanee Music Festival April 12th-16th, 2011

Words & Photos By Ananda Atmore & Jenn Lutke

Nestled away along the red waters of the Suwanee River...among the mighty oaks and cypress swamps resides a place where the land and music meet. A place where melodies whisper among the trees, tribal rhythms feed the soul and songs fill the air that IS the spirit of Suwanee. Welcome to Wanee!

This year marked the 7th anniversary of Wanee Music Festival that once again proved itself as a festival of talented musicians willing to create and explore the musical realms and depths of their art. The line up of artists was vast and diverse as reflected in the generations of folks who travel near and far to come be a part of the magic. Four nights of camping lends itself to become a place of community, campfire jams, strangers helping strangers and friendships formed in the strangest of places. Children dance alongside parents, LED hoops spin and twirl to the music and people boogie and smile as they make their way to stages where the music comes alive. 

The festival started with a campground pre-Wanee jam on Tuesday evening that featured three local Florida artists that had all of the early arrivals dancing and setting the tone for the entire weekend. Opening the pre-jam on the barn stage was The Standback Band followed by the funkadelic and danceable rhythms of the band Cope that featured an equally amazing light show. Closing down that first evening, the band Crazy Fingers awakened the improvisational music of the Grateful Dead playing crowd favorites like “Bertha” and “Let it Grow”. The music soon faded into the night...

Wednesday afternoon was the official kickoff party featuring both new and returning artists to the line up on the Mushroom Stage, a jewel of a natural amphitheater draped by a canopy of trees dotted with colorful hammocks, camp chairs and people dancing. Singer songwriter Griffin Anthony was a true delight as he shared his Jack Johnson-like style and upbeat songs with us all. Bobby Lee Rogers Trio then rocked the place alive with their soulful performance. Melvin Seals & JGB with Stu Allen and Jimmy Trebeau brought back the legacy of Jerry Garcia, playing a set featuring "That's What Love Will Make You Do" and "Sisters and Brothers" among other long- time favorites.

JGB was followed by the 33-year veterans from New Orleans, The Radiators,  playing their 4,434th show featuring their unique and legendary sound. As if that isn't enough solid music for one night, Dumpstaphunk, also hailing from New Orleans, brought the funk from right out of the gate, playing “Deeper”, “Meanwhile”, and a few other funky tunes of their own. With a short pause, they switched gears and slipped into the highly anticipated tribute to James Brown! Ivan Neville and the boys surely brought on the funk, the dance party and closed the kickoff party with an amazing good time.

Thursday morning came...the sun peaked through the trees once again warmed the campground from the cool night.  The smell of Bacon and coffee filled the air.  Across the campground, Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio took their place on the Peach Stage for a grand Wanee wake up - rock n roll style!  Highlights of Thursday included Devon Allman's Honeytribe who graced us with Devon's soulful guitar rifts and strong performance of songs from their recently released album, Space Age Blues. John Popper joined in the fun playing harmonica alongside Devon to close the set making for a great segue into his band, The Duskray Troubadours, a blend of his new project and songs from Blues Traveler.  On the Peach Stage was Wanda Jackson who brought a blend of her rockabilly style and witty stories of her days of Elvis!

The Dickinson brothers from North Mississippi Allstars rocked their soulful blues tunes over the field of the Peach Stage while Big Gigantic on the Mushroom stage had full crowd enjoying their jazz-infused electronic music.  Steve Marley and band performed some of their own tunes while mixing in some Bob Marley classics such as “Buffalo Soldier”, “Jammin”, “Could You Be Loved”, and “One Love”. The crowd was enthralled as it jumped, danced and felt the infectious smile that Stephen Marley radiated, reminiscent of his father.  

The Thursday main act at the Peach Stage was the undeniably talented Widespread Panic who was greeted by their devoted following.  A few song highlights included “Imitation Leather Shoes”, “Chilly Water”, “Stop Breakin' Down Blues” (w/ Luther Dickinson) and “Climb to Safety”. Next up...Lotus. Late night set! The light show, the fog machines and full-swing electronic dance party ensued closing the day of music. 

Friday morning arrived starting with Honey Island Swamp Band, a hometown favorite of New Orleans that brought funky swamp rock with a full horn section. They had a short set that was followed by the Soul Rebels Brass Band, high energy music to start a very high energy day. Up next was Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. Brian Jordan's plane was late so filling-in until he arrived was Matt Grondin and Chris Mulé. The sun was bright, and the soulful sounds of saxophone and soft sounds of flute filled the air.  Other daytime highlights included the funk gospel of Oteil Burbridge & the Lee Boys, a crowd favorite. Sharon Jones lit up the Peach Stage with her authentic soul music with a touch of Motown as she exuded her high energy. Her performance was absolutely fantastic!

Up next was the performance so many had been looking forward to the most...the NEW Warren Haynes Band!  Warren took stage with a line up that included Ron Holloway, Alfreda Gerald, Terence Higgins, Ron Johnson and Nigel Hall. It was a definite detour from the hard rock-driven sounds of Gov't Mule. Warren seems to be an endless well of talent and inspiration, and his new band tapped into a more intimate, soulful side of himself.

Hitting the stage next was Robert Plant and Band of Joy, playing his own music as well as a different take on some Led Zeppelin tunes.  Next it was on to the main course, the Allman Brothers Band. With so much music leading up to their set, the crowd was thick and their energy was high. Songs from their set include “Come and Go Blues”, “Preachin’ Blues”, “Melissa” and “One Way Out” featuring Kofi Burbridge, Ron Holloway, Roosevelt Collier, and Luther and Cody Dickinson. The band was having fun, smiling and happy to be back at Wanee! Another late night treat on the Mushroom stage was 7 Walkers. Bill Kreutzmann lead the helm on drums, proving once again his timeless talent alongside Papa Mali. Filling-in for George Porter Jr. on bass was Kirk Joseph on the tuba. A perfect mix of Grateful Dead songs and originals had the crowd dancing under the trees, smiling and getting down to another late night success!

Saturday...another morning waking up to the sounds of the Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio from the Peach Stage signaled that it was time to get moving once again for the last day of music. Guitar Shorty, Taj Mahal, and Jaimoe's Jasssz Band started the day off with just the right blend of blues, soul and jazz.  Adding to the delicious blend of music, Ween rocked the Peach Stage with some witty music to the delight of fans.  The highlight of Saturday was the talented all-star lineup of the Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks Band. Susan's strong and powerful vocals, Derek's smooth guitar expertise, Oteil holding down the bass, Kofi on keys and an entire horns section made for a soul-filling set that rocked Wanee Peach Stage.

Meanwhile on the Mushroom Stage, the talented Tea Leaf Green rocked the amphitheater followed by the funky bass action of Mike Gordon.  Steve Miller performed later on the Peach Stage opening with crowd favorite "Jet Airliner".  Allman Brothers were once again the main act on Saturday night, gracing the crowd with favorites such as “Rockin Horse”, “Statesboro Blues” with Taj Mahal, “Mountain Jam” with Scott Murawski and “Whipping Post”.  Galactic’s late night performance closed out the festival with some in-your-face funk that featured Corey Glover on vocals. The whole place exploded into 2 hours of a massive funk party!

A new addition to Wanee this year was the Traveling Stage on which Bobby Lee Rogers Trio, Griffin Anthony and North Mississippi Allstars Duo played various sets. The stage moved around camp and along the cypress-lined campground lake for up-close and personal performances at a unique traveling setting!  This year’s changes to the festival as well as the extended days for Wanee Music Festival were successful.  The main acts throughout the week were solid, the late night sets were mind blowing and once again, the spirit of Suwanee filled the grounds making for an amazing 7th Wanee Festival.  See you again in 2012!

Ananda and Jenn’s Photo Gallery

Jam Band Spotlight: North Mississippi Allstars

Words By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

Death has an interesting way of creating life. For North Mississippi Allstars cofounders Luther and Cody Dickinson, this was the case after their father passed away in August 2009. Jim Dickinson, a Memphis music icon, had always told his sons that they were better together than they were apart, and although the brothers were doing their own thing at the time of his death, his passing brought the duo back together to reform the North Mississippi Allstars...

Along with bassist Chris Chew, the Dickinson brothers created the North Mississippi Allstars in 1996. The band has been an in-demand act on the jam band festival scene ever since, masterfully recreating the Mississippi Country Blues sound with its unique sense of passion, grit, and improvisational knowhow. This week, I’ve selected two shows for your listening pleasure. The first is a fantastic full band performance by NMAS from March 2010, and the second is a recent performance by the brothers Dickinson at this year’s Wanee Festival. Luther and Cody Dickinson are currently touring NMAS as a duo throughout the South and have multiple festival dates lined up for the spring and summer including Wakarusa, Mountain Jam, and FloydFest.

North Mississippi Allstars Live at The Pour House on March 2, 2010.

North Mississippi Allstars Live at Wanee Music Festival on April 14, 2011.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday Bluegrass: Phish

Words By Andy Zimmer

To attend a Phish show is to witness a four-headed musical chameleon of genre-bending audio assault. The guys from Vermont have drawn from an incredibly broad spectrum of the musical palate over the course of their career. Perhaps the only thing more eclectic than the influences that Phish draw from is how they package those influences in their music in a live setting. It’s not unusual to hear Phish seamlessly transition from calypso, to funk, to reggae, to psychedelic freak-out all within the same song. To try and pigeonhole Phish within one vein along the continuum of music is laughable... these guys have defined themselves by being indefinable.

Phish truly uses their live show as a platform to explore all of what moves them in the world of music. After one show, it would be evident to anyone in the audience that the band has a great love for bluegrass. While the bulk of the “Phish sound” is far removed from the world of banjos and flat-picking, Phish has put their own spin on bluegrass and showcase a Phishgrass number or two at every show. Whether they come in the form of a traditional bluegrass number or a quirky Phishgrass original, Phish routinely embraces the influences of old time music.

Bassist Mike Gordon may be the prime driving force behind Phish’s bluegrass adventures. Gordon has been a banjo player for nearly two decades and adds the lead vocals to a number of the bluegrass tunes in Phish’s repertoire. In fact, in 1992 Gordon began taking banjo lessons from fellow musician and Vermont resident Gordon Stone. Since then, Stone has made numerous on-stage appearances with the band, and has contributed to several albums. As a band, Phish went a step further in honing their bluegrass chops. In the middle of their fall 1994 tour, the band flew Jeff Mosier (an accomplished musician of Blueground Undergrass fame) out to jump on tour with the band and help teach them the finer points of bluegrass. Mosier had sat-in on banjo with the band as early as 1990 (during his days playing with the Aquarium Rescue Unit). During his time on tour, Mosier definitely aided the band in upping their bluegrass competency, and sat-in at each show.

Over the years, Phish has continued to incorporate elements of bluegrass into their shows and has welcomed numerous guests from the bluegrass-world to join them on stage. The band has been fortunate enough to share the spotlight with such talented artists as Bela Fleck, Del McCoury, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and Tim O’Brien. Hopefully the band continues to embrace the high and lonesome sound well into the future, because there are few things that are quite as enjoyable as a bluegrass breakdown in the middle of a Phish show.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

moe. in Breckenridge 4.16.11

Words By Nicholas Stock (Phat Phlog Blog)
Photos By Carly Marthis

After an amazing show by Euforquestra and Chicago Afrobeat Project at the Aggie, I got home a little after 1 A.M. I ended up working through most of the night finishing my video for the Summer Camp Counselor contest. It was a rough morning, but Amy, Jess, Chaya Bear were able to get on the road around 8 A.M. It was Amy's and my 2-year anniversary, so I was actually pretty excited for the trip. We stopped at my brother’s shop to grab a key so I could drop off the dog, and that’s when things took a rotten turn. The car began overheating, and sure enough, there was a crack in the radiator. Luckily, there was a parts store right there, and $163 later, I had the pieces to the puzzle but we were running short on time for moe. We picked up a rental, dropped off the dog as well as the car, and hit I-70. We made good time and were in line for the Gondola by 2 P.M.

The concert was part of Breckenridge Spring Fever going on until closing weekend. We found drinks and made our way up the slope to check out the second half of The Congress’s set. The Congress is a local Denver band and I really enjoyed their sound. The raw grittiness of their sound blasting against the almost melodic voice of Johnathan Meadows was amazing to watch. They ended their set with a funked out version of "This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)". I will definitely keep my eye on these guys; they were a great choice to open.

The snow began swirling and falling in small, soft clumps as the members of moe. made their way to the stage. They opened up with
"She Sends Me", which was a sweet moment for Amy and me on our special day. Here is the rest of the setlist from PT.

SET I: She Sends Me, All Roads Lead to Home, Skrunk > It, Spine Of A Dog > Haze > Four, Shoot First > Head

ENCORE: Seat Of My Pants, Akimbo

The recording of the show is up on Archive, and you can download it below. Thanks to Chuck Miller for posting.

moe. Live at Bud Light stage - Peak 8 on April 16, 2011.

The crowd was informed that Rob was not feeling well and would not be singing; the result was a back and forth between Al and Chuck, which was actually pretty solid. Chuck took the reigns on "All Roads" before the shinning gem of the set. "Skrunk > It" was a barnburner and featured Al stepping out and jamming in the snow. This was just a very Colorado experience. Taking a gondola up to 10,000 feet to see a band play on the side of a mountain was something I have not experienced before. If you’ve never watched a festival set in a snowstorm, I highly recommend it. "SOAD" started typically but got going pretty quickly. The song included some sick drum work from Jim Loughlin. "Haze" was a nice cool down but quickly built back up to a tight jam before moe. busted into a tremendous "Four". I love this song and was stoked to hear it played on Peak 8. Around the time when Chuck started into "Shoot First", the kids towards the back began tossing snowballs. What started as simple fun soon escalated and ended with the people in the first ten rows getting relentlessly pummeled. They ended the set amidst a snowball rain with a massive "Head".

The encore was a satisfying "Seat Of My Pants" followed by an energetic "Akimbo". It was a solid 2-hour jam session with Rob in the backseat. I did miss his vocals in the mix a bit but was happy that moe. didn’t have to cancel the show due to his illness. It was a fantastic way to celebrate something that began at a moe. show just two years prior. Thanks for raging with me, Amy.

Saturday Dead (Zimmer's Picks): 4.16.72 & 4.17.72

Words By Andy Zimmer

This week I’d like to offer up another double-feature of quality Dead shows. It occurred to me that over the course of my many picks I haven’t highlighted any shows from the Europe ’72 tour... at least I don’t think I have. It seems as though now is a fitting time to put an end to this oversight. Especially since we a smack-dab in the middle of the 39th anniversary of that tour (the Dead played venues across Europe throughout April and May of 1972).

In many ways, the Europe ’72 tour is like the spring tour of 1977... it’s virtually impossible to find a bad show. Both these periods found the band playing some of their most inspired music in a live setting. The “Europe ‘72” double-album, released in November 1972 and comprised of live cuts from the tour is unquestionably one of the finest records put out under the Grateful Dead name. The tour was also the last tour that the band did with Pigpen before his passing in early 73'.

The first show, from April 16th was played at Aarhus University in Aarhus Denmark. The band actually played in the cafeteria of the university (called the Stakladen) for a crowd of 600-700. Those fortunate enough to get a ticket were treated to a superb show. The first set is full of the standard short-but-sweet Dead tunes. The “Tennessee Jed” and “China/Rider” are probably the standout tracks from the set. The second set really cuts loose and the band delivers wave after wave of energetic jamming, starting with a 20 minute version of “Good Lovin’” with Pigpen giving a fantastic vocal performance. Also, the version of “Truckin’” is definitely one of the finest of the tour. The band plays a unique, and interesting, version of “The Other One” that slides into “Me and My Uncle” before returning home. And the “Not Fade Away”>”Going Down the Road Feeling Bad”>”Not Fade Away” is always a fitting way to end the show. The sound quality of the first set is lacking, but the performance makes up for it.

Oh yeah, check out the venue... pretty neat if you ask me.

Grateful Dead Live at Stakladen, Aarhus University on April 16, 1972.

The following night the Dead traveled to Copenhagen to play the Tivoli Gardens. This specific performance was unique because it was filmed by a French television crew for broadcast on European television. The concert was split into three sets, with only the first two sets airing on television. Consequently, these numbers are less jammed-out; but are all fantastic, in-the-pocket versions of classic Dead tunes. The versions of “China/Rider”, “Big Railroad Blues”, “Ramble on Rose”, and “He’s Gone” make this show worth your time. Of course, if you are looking for some tune with a little more “mind expanding” potential, the 30-minute “Dark Star” may be just what you are looking for. And the incendiary version of “Caution (Do Not Step On Tracks)” is one of the best that I can think of. Much of the portion of this show that was filmed for television can be found on the internet. Here’s a taste to wet your appetite...

Grateful Dead Live at Tivolis Koncertsal on April 17, 1972.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Malah in Denver 4.14.11

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis

Friday, April 15th, would mark the Malah's first "hometown" show since two-thirds of the band relocated to Denver. It would be a very telling evening for the band. What would be the turnout? What would the Colorado folks think of The Malah? That night at Cervantes, there were four bands on the bill, and although we normally don't turn out until the headliner, we came out early out of a lack of anything else going on. An empty venue, tasteless electronica and amateur hour became themes of the evening until the Malah came in for the save.


The first DJ of the evening played to about ten people and was one of the least talented and least entertaining acts that I have ever seen. His shitty beats, off-color samples and horrible transitions left me scratching my head as to how he could be getting down so hard to his own garbage.

Human Agency:

When I thought "It couldn't get any worse...", it didn't, but it was close. Human Agency's beats and grooves were a little bit better, but not much. Their music was sample filled and involved very limited musical "talent". It was a button pressing, Facebook checking and a complete waste of my time. The constant smiles, drinking and getting down to their "own" "music" as apposed to actually creating something unique or interesting made me think the night was going to be a complete bust.


EP3 was the first band of the evening that showed any sort of promise. Their dubstep-esqe start transitioned into some interesting melodies, progressions and jams. The drummer was really solid, as was every member of the band. I danced a little bit, enjoyed the fire-dancers and began to get into the music. Their sound was sort of Disco Biscuits-sounding, down to the production and the crowd seemed responsive for the first time that evening.

The Malah:

The Malah's entrance to the stage was like a breath of fresh air. Immediately, the production, instrumentation and song structure stood out from the other bands on the bill that evening. The lights came to life and Cervantes was in full swing. The Malah put out some really good energy as the venue began to fill in. I was impressed by the turnout. Though Cervantes wasn't packed, it was a weeknight and they were still able to muster up a decent crowd.

Brandon Maynard's guitar/synth & Elliott Vaughn's bass/synth work showed solid talent and musical direction. Their chemistry was smooth. Seth Fankhauser's drumming was really enjoyable and fitting. His time changes, fills and progressions were controlled and consistent. My favorite aspect of The Malah is their tasteful utilization of samples and electronic effects. Their samples are fitting, and they don't overuse glitchy/dubstep sounds.

Together, they make a well-produced band that will fit right in here in Colorado. It may be a good idea for the band to piggyback some locals bands with a following within the same genre to open themselves up to the Colorado market. This spring/summer will be very important and telling for the band with regards to building their fanbase and progressing. With some hard-work, solid booking and aggressive promoting, The Malah could easily become an established band on the scene.