Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Toubab Krewe 11.16.11

The Bling Pig
Ann Arbor, MI

Words & Photos By Greg Molitor
(ReMIND Photography)

Toubab Krewe’s become one of my favorite acts since I started catching shows frequently. Consistency is a crucial element when you start to see a band multiple times, and over the past five or so years, the Asheville quintet had always been reliable towards not only meeting my prior expectations but raising the bar after each performance. Offering music that’s beyond unique within the jam community, they’ve been a breath of fresh air in what’s become an oversaturated, musty market.

On November 16th, I made the trip from Lansing to The Blind Pig for one more dose of Toubab. This show, however, would be different than those previous. With the departure of drummer Teal Brown and consequent addition of Vic Stafford on the same, the band’s sound didn’t exude the organic magic that had appealed to me throughout their previous tenure. It’s amazing, for better and worse, how a one member swap can drastically affect a lineup’s output. I couldn’t help but think how much I missed Brown’s drumming throughout.

Toubab’s charm, as evident within the first few tunes, had unfortunately eroded. Sure, the show had its enjoyable moments. In fact, the group’s version of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” was so powerful that you could hear a pin drop between the notes. For four minutes, the captivated crowd stood mesmerized by their performance of the traditional American folk tune, but this was an outlier during a show that was too stiff, less relaxed, and a far cry from Toubab’s previous efforts.

As the band worked its way through its West African meets Southern jam meets World folk originals, the pace of the music was brisk. Kora player Justin Perkins rushed through his usually beautiful passages in order to keep the beat, and the result came across as unnatural. The crowd didn’t seem to mind as many danced insouciantly to the quicker tempo, but those I spoke with who had fallen in love with the former lineup could notice a vast difference. Changing perceptions are inevitable throughout life, and with any change in membership, the new collective just isn’t going to be the same. Yes, I was underwhelmed for the first time at one of their shows. A letdown, however, requires a lofty original position, and for that, I have Toubab Krewe to thank.

Greg’s Photo Gallery

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kyle Hollingsworth Band w/ Michael Kang 11.19.11

Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man
Audio By Ed Simon & Corey Sandoval
(Kind Recordings)

On the brink of the String Cheese Incident's "Roots Run Deep" tour, fans were given an opportunity to see a preview of what energy was to come! That night fans found themselves at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, CO for a sold out KHB show with Michael Kang. For a lucky few fans that saw the note on Kyle's website, they were treated to a free beer tasting from 8pm - 9pm prior to the show. After tasting his festival pale ale last spring, Hoopla, I wasn't going to miss out on a chance to sample some of his other selected beers. Outside of Cervantes we found a line of folks waiting to get in. We obtained our credentials and made our way through The Other Side (the small venue next door to the main room) into The Ballroom.

Cervantes was buzzing. Roster McCabe was sound checking on the stage as Dave Tash prepared the soundboard. Carly and I made our way to the bar to start the tasting before folks flooded into the building for free beer. I began with the spiced ale as did Carly. Mine was awful. It came off as flat and almost too malty. I glanced over at Carly and her face described a similar displeasure. On the second round, I went for a vanilla porter. It was not as bad as the spiced ale, but still near undrinkable. Eventually the doors opened and hippies poured into Cervantes. The beer tasting was in full swing. We made our way back to the bar and while the bar was doling out free beer, we made the difficult decision to purchase a duece duece of Hoopla. It was the right choice.

Roster McCabe took the stage as Cervantes filled in. They sounded good from the get go. High energy jams, coupled with some interesting dance breakdowns and instrumentation kept the bulk of the crowd focused on their output.

I glanced down at my phone to see a text from Dave Watts of The Motet, who would be on drums with KHB that evening. We headed backstage to meet up with Dave and to have a conversation for our new podcast, MusicMarauders Live! Steping out back of Cervantes for some peace and quiet we found a handful of fans who informed us that the show was sold out and they were looking for help getting into the show. We did our interview and headed back inside just in time to catch Kyle Hollingsworth with Roster McCabe.

You could tell that Roster McCabe was excited. The intensity peaked and the opening set wound down. If given the opportunity, be sure to check out Roster McCabe.

Kyle Hollingsworth Band Live at Cervantes Masterpiece on November 19, 2011.

Looking around Cervantes, it was hard to believe it was a sold out show based on the crowd size. I've attended sold out shows at Cervantes where it was so packed that one could barely move, but that night it was comfortably sold. Finally, The Kyle Hollingsworth Band hit the stage.

The crowd was overwhelmingly excited for the show and as it began, Cervantes broke into an all out dance-party get down. KHB (that night) was basically a combination of The String Cheese Incident and The Motet. The front line included Kyle Hollingsworth (keys), Michael Kang (mandolin) and Dan Schwindt (guitar). The rhythm section (which is by far my favorite in Colorado) included Garrett Sayers (bass) and Dave Watts (drums). Collectively, I'm not sure that there is a more coherent and enjoyable occasional project.

Kyle's leadership and ability on the organ and synth was fantastic. He would go from soulful to in-your-face-dance without hesitation. His command of the keys was impressive. At the back of the stage Dave held the band together with his characteristic chops on the kit. He quickly showed himself as the glue of the band through some intense jams. Standing between Kyle and Dave was my favorite bass player and yours, Garrett Sayers. Garrett blew minds that night, shredding the bass as tastefully as anyone had ever seen. Next to Garrett was Kang. His signature sound was so clean and really elevated the project as he does with most that he sits in with. He took a lot of the jams and compositions to a whole other level. Next to Michael was Schwindt on guitar. Dan's playing began subtle, leading to a total assault of jazz oriented instrumentation.

During the first set Kyle called Joey Porter (Motet, Juno What) to the stage for some additional funk. Joey tore it up and took the project even higher. Between songs Kyle announced he would be doing a brew fest in Chicago following the String Cheese run before launching back into a deep jam that ended with the announcement of set break.

The second set brought just as much energy and depth, if not more, than the first. The music blew me away. I was consistently impressed with how cohesive and flowing a lot of the songs were. The band did a great job of controlling the mood and the vibe with their peaks and lows. For me, what sets KHB apart from a lot of jam band "side projects" is their tendency to lean on jazz tones and scales through a decent portion of their compositions. It satisfied me to no end.

The end of the second set brought a roar from the crowd and the return of KHB to the stage. There were two encores that evening, the first of which was a spacey jam that ran all over the place. The second and final track of the evening was Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On." It seemed out of place from the rest of the set, but left the fulfilled audience with a sense of nostalgia and familiarity.

Ultimately, the show was incredible. There is no band on the scene that does what KHB does on such an elevated level. The addition of Michael Kang and Joey Porter brought an unimaginable amount of excitement. That night in Denver was one of the most enjoyable shows that I had seen in some time and was by far the best KHB show that I had ever witnessed.

The stage was set for The String Cheese Incident's Roots Run Deep tour...

J-man's Photo Gallery

Monday, November 28, 2011

Side Project Spotlight: Phish

Words By Nicholas Stock (
Photos By Daniel Talbot & Nicholas Stock

There are two kinds of side projects: one that is an ongoing passion for a member of the band, and another that is like a burning ember that flares up and is soon gone. Phish is the bright and shining center of the jam world, so it makes sense that its members would be involved in both of these types of groups.

The first originally began as a simple flare up under the name Eight Foot Fluorescent Tubes with Trey putting together a group of local Vermont musicians for a show at Higher Ground on April 17, 1998. Trey Anastasio Band, as it was referred to early on because it had never been given a proper name, is a passionate outlet for the man who gave his name for their moniker. For a short time, it was also known as The Two for Five Band. Trey Anastasio Band or TAB has taken on a ton of different lineups beginning as a trio and ending as a ten piece band. They reformed in 2006, officially adopting the TAB name. Some incredible musicians have performed in this band such as Jennifer Hartswick, Ray Paczkowski, Cyro Baptista. I’m not going to go through the individual lineups mainly because it’s been an ever-evolving organism of sound out of the mind of Trey. The last two years have seen a solidified lineup with Trey, Jennifer Hartswick, Russ Lawton, Tony Markellis, Ray Packzkowski, Natalie Cressman, and Russell Remington. Beginning last winter, they returned to the 1999 format of an acoustic first set and an electric full band second set. They just wrapped up a fall tour ending their run at The Bear Creek Music Festival. I got the chance to see them last year at The Ogden on March 2nd.

News of Trey playing a two-night stand at the 1,500 person capacity Ogden swept through the fan base like a wook’s body odor through a tightly packed crowd. It wasn’t long before people were devising their best plans to gain entrance. Amy and I did it the old fashioned way. We got in line in front of the venue early on a Saturday morning. We were able to easily procure two tickets to the Wednesday night show. Time flew by and the day finally arrived. Amy caught a ride down and we grabbed some dinner before making our way to the Ogden for the show. As we walked in, no one said anything about my camera but I realized in the hubbub I had not gotten a wristband. As I went back to acquire one, I was told by a man in black that my camera was not allowed inside. “But it’s already in,” I said. No dice. So he told me I could take it back to my car, but the nice officer there offered to stash it in the box office for me. I was not too happy to give it up but at least they were accommodating. We found a spot to the left of the soundboard on the guardrail. We were in place by 7:15 PM and just tried to hold our ground as the rest of the masses made their way inside. It was nice to mingle a bit while everyone was waiting for show to start. Trey made his way to the stage with only an acoustic guitar around 8:20 PM. He opened with a subdued “Sample In a Jar”; here is the rest of the setlist from PT:

Set I: Sample In a Jar, Mist, The Horse > Silent In The Morning, My Friend My Friend, Runaway Jim, Carini, Wilson, Shine a Light, Wading In The Velvet Sea, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Hey Ya, Push On Til the Day

Set II: Caymen Review, Done, Done It, Valentine, Money Love and Change, Drifting, Small Axe, Burn That Bridge, Mozambique, Simple Twist Up Dave, Windora Bug, Goodbye Head, Sand, Show of Life

Encore: Birdwatcher, Black Dog

Download is available on

CO Tapers is a bittorrent site that had a ton of great lives shows unavailable anywhere else, so take a moment and sign up. It is well worth your time.

The entire first set felt like a building wave that crashed over us about midway through. “Mist” was elegant but again very slow. The momentum began to shift with “Horse” into “Silent”. We ventured into the darkness with “My Friend” before “Runaway Jim” blew off the training wheels. “Carini” and “Wilson” were the peak of the wave for me. I just felt like the relatively quiet crowd that was easy grooving on the acoustic jam finally woke up. “Shine a Light” was awesome, and I will never get tired of Exile selections. For “STFTFP” Trey commented that he had been thinking backstage about what it would be like to have an acoustic guitar player with a horn section. He happened to have the tools at his disposal so he brought out Jen, Russell, and Natalie to join him. It honestly sounded pretty cool. There is nothing like filling out the sparse sound of an acoustic guitar with three horns. Trey brought out the rest of the band for a fun take on OutKast’s “Hey Ya” and a massive set ending “Push On Til the Day”.

The second set was very much a TAB show. They opened with the now pretty classic “Caymen Review”. By this time, the room was absolutely packed to the brim. I feel like there are certain songs by Trey that venture into an almost rockabilly sound, and “Done, Done” is one of those songs. “Valentine” was just okay but “Money Love and Change” was incredible, reaching into the Type II territory. It might have been the jam of the night. “Drifting” was pretty weak, but the instrumental “Small Axe” was cool. “Burn That Bridge” again was just okay and “Mozambique” pumped the crowd back up a bit. “Simple Twist Up Dave” truly got the juices flowing again. Given the debacle involving Ustreamer simpletwistup on night 1, this may have been a nod to him. “Windora Bug” was fun but not earth shattering, but “Goodbye Head” was solid. “Sand” was massive and really enjoyable when backed by a strong horn section. “Show of Life” was a questionable show closer, but I will say that Trey must have learned something from that Alpine Valley “Bug” last summer. It really doesn’t matter what song you choose to close with as long as you blast the backend out of it. And on “Show of Life”, TAB did just that. They encored with a lounge-y “Birdwatcher” and an amazing display of musical prowess with “Black Dog”. Jen belted out the lyrics on the Zeppelin classic and it was truly a huge punctuation mark for an all-around great show. We made our way back up to Fort Collins with visions of a ginger dancing in our heads.

The TAB show was a great night of music, a demonstration of the ever-evolving sound and vision from Trey. My next and final example is a one-off event from a much more subdued and quietly powerful member of Phish. Titled the Big Easy Blowout and called by some “Page McConnell and Friends”, it was a chance to see Page outside of the realm of Phish. His solo projects of Vida Blue and his self-titled solo project are his two most well known groups outside of Phish. This would be a different sonic journey. The Big Easy Blowout took place in January of 2008 as a three-night run put on by Symbiotic Music Production with the goal of raising funds for the Tipitina’s Foundation and the New Orleans Music Clinic. In the end, these events raised well-over $16,000 for these great New Orleans charities. Featuring Phish keyboardist Page McConnell, Russell Batiste, Papa Mali, Reed Mathis, and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, it was an eclectic group with a wide range of experience. John Bukaty was doing the live painting for the run and Euforquestra was opening up all three nights. I caught the two shows at The Boulder Theater and Cervantes. The music was stellar with an amazing rhythm section of Batiste and Mathis keeping it tight and the melody of Mali and McConnell creating a sweet dynamic. This impromptu super group with members of Euforquestra sitting in throughout both nights was a sight to behold.

Bringing the sound of NOLA and funky goodness to the Front Range began as a vision and ended as a musical experience that brings a smile to my face whenever I look back on it. The set lists were similar both nights but the jamming just kept getting better and better. The Cervantes’ show saw so much awesome it’s hard to narrow it all down. From the Bill Wither’s cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine” to the The Meters’ “Cissy Strut”, and that was just within the first three songs. Big Chief came on and off the stage like a NOLA version of Donna Jean singing “Fire Water” and “Early In the Morning”. They nailed Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” which showed how well these members of the jam community can come together for a great cause. The peak had to be the encore of the “Lovelight” into “Not Fade Away” into “Hey Pocky Way” and closing with “Iko Iko”. They came out sans Page for a super jam with all the members of Eufroquestra to wrap it all up. It was classic Mardi Gras music that gave me so much to be thankful for. It was impressive to see Page hop into this new group of musicians, all of which other than Batiste he had never played with live. Everything I heard from the Euforquestra boys led me to believe that he was genuine and incredibly nice throughout the run. He even took the time to sign my Pollock print at the Boulder show.

Take a look at the MoBoogie video of “Light Up or Leave Me Alone”:

So here we have two incredibly different side projects. One a road tested, ever shifting lineup out of the mind of Trey, and the other a one-off run of benefit shows lead by the Chairman of The Boards. Side projects are a funny concept sometimes. They are an outlet for something missing from their main group and sometimes they are a special event that may never happen again. Stay tuned as we continue to look as these various performances and how they come together.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Railroad Earth 11.13.11

Bell’s Eccentric CafĂ©
Kalamazoo, MI

Words & Photos By Greg Molitor
(ReMIND Photography)

Michigan’s surely been blessed with bluegrass this November. A few days after Yonder Mountain String Band and The Infamous Stringdusters in Grand Rapids, November 13th found Railroad Earth bringing their mellow style of bluegrass a few miles south at Bell’s in Kalamazoo. The New Jersey sextet’s work was largely unfamiliar to me before the show, and I was interested to see what all the hubbub was about. My friends’ excitement intrigued me even more during the days leading up. We’d chat, and when the topic would arise, a simple joyous exclamation of ”RAILROAD!” from them would spark my interest further and build the already peaking anticipation for the mysterious show that would hopefully expand upon my understanding of why this band is so sought after.

When I arrived to Bell’s with my good friends Keenan and Jackie, the venue was already near capacity. I tend to miss the bigger events there, but I can’t remember ever seeing Bell’s that full for any show I’d been to. The mood in the room was light with smiles abound in every directions I turned. The people were ready, and around 9:00 PM, Railroad hit the stage for their first of two sets. As he did most of the night, guitarist Todd Sheaffer took the lead vocals on the band’s first offering, “Long Way To Go”. It was clear from the onset that this band does something to people that goes far beyond the notes they produce. Perhaps it’s the casualness with which the band does their work, but even for a typically callous skeptic like myself, the music brought about a feeling of welcoming warmth that was uncanny yet incredibly well received among the Bell’s faithful.

Instrumentally, violinist / guitarist Tim Carbone was the one to watch. His use of melody never took the spotlight from other bandmates; instead, the band worked around his subtle lines, drawing in the audience with their relaxed style of jamming. Throughout the show, moments were never forced as Railroad time after time build their improvs through careful listening and use of restraint. This is what great bands do. The best musicians know when to sit back and let others take the lead, and when the time is right, spring into action themselves. Memorable highlights included a beautiful dueling violin segment during “Little Bit O‘ Me” with the help of Tim Weed, as well as “The Forecast -> Stillwater Getaway” that featured the show’s most energetic pickin’. There wasn’t a point throughout the show where I was completely blown away by Railroad’s playing, but over-the-top instrumentals aren’t their game. The show was highly successful on many levels, and I’m sure that I’ll find myself at one of their shows the next time they grace the Mitten with their Americana.

Railroad Earth Live at Bells Brewery on November 13, 2011.

Set 1: Long Way To Go, Lovin' You, RV, Mourning Flies, Little Bit O' Me, Gold Rush, The Forecast - > Stillwater Getaway

Set 2: Walk Beside Me, Mission Man, The Good Life, The Hunting Song, Potter's Field, Colorado, Hard Livin', Everything Comes Together

Encore: Ragtime Annie Lee

Greg’s Photo Gallery

Cornmeal 11.18.11

Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO

Words & Photos By Brandon Picard

Friday night the well oiled machine that is Cornmeal came rolling through Boulder, Colorado. The Fox Theatre was amped as the youthful crowd in Boulder turned out in roaring fashion. Having seen Cornmeal a few times in my home town of Detroit, they were on my radar since moving out to Colorado. My girlfriend and I took the short forty minute trek from Denver to Boulder ready for the night ahead.

We arrived to The Acoustic Mining Company out of Denver swaying the early arriving guests to some mountain bluegrass melodies. Featuring each member of the band individually, The Acoustic Mining Company led their set in a showcasing fashion. Passing solos like a hot potato, each instrument had its say in the song. We really enjoyed the mellow sounds of TAMC (maybe that’s why they had the hour and a half opening set). The crowd at the fox quickly filled in with Cornmealers as TAMC played their last tune. Well done guys!

Ready to slap some blue-green-red-orange-purple grass in the face of Boulder, Cornmeal took the stage. The amped crowd seemed to have tripled in size from just a short hour prior. An instant bluegrass breakdown ensued. The frantic singing crowd led me to believe the passion for Cornmeal isn’t just in the mid west. The Cornmeal epidemic has spread west. The high energy in the Fox that night was evident as the moving feet of dancers shuffled on the floor like penguins dancing to the beat. The young smiling faces in the room that first set gave way to some serious piss your pants kind of scary for the second set.

Having not had the exposure to Cornmeal like some others (Nicolas Stock), not to be specific, I wasn’t prepared for the up and down tempos that Cornmeal produced. What I remembered from the band two years ago when I saw them, was up-tempo, hoe-down dancing, flip the bird to your mother bluegrass. Instead, what I got, to me, was outside the realm of bluegrass or even jam-grass music. The unpredictability of the second set is what I really enjoyed. The variation from genre to genre kept my attention for the entire second set. It was mesmerizing. From rock and roll to Psychedelic and even some jazz littered in, Cornmeal is breaking the boundaries of what bluegrass music was. Bluegrass music has changed in way that allows for young folks who crave other genres to come to a show and allow their musical taste buds to be pleased with the sounds of string music. The new era of Jam-grass superstars has arrived.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Dead: Jamaica 1982

Bob Marley Performing Arts Center
Montego Bay, Jamaica

Words By J-man

On November 26th, 1982 The Grateful Dead brought their unique blend of rock, psychedelia and soul to Montego Bay, Jamaica for The Jamaica World Music Festival. The show took on a very soulful vibe from the start and progressed through some deep and impressive moments. Though it's rumored that the crowd was small, only around five hundred folks by the time the Dead took the stage, the show was energetic and provided an intimate experience for the true die-hard fans!

Grateful Dead Live at Bob Marley Performing Arts Center on November 26, 1982.

Sugaree, Minglewood Blues, Loser, Women Are Smarter, Althea, Let It Grow Samson & Delilah, Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain-> Drums-> Throwing Stones-> Not Fade Away-> Black Peter-> Good Lovin'

When listening through, I'd say listen all of the way through. If your looking for highlights, look no further than the "Sugaree" for some pure Garcia, "Scarlet Begonias>Fire on The Mountain" for the incredible jams and transitions, and the "Not Fade Away" towards the end of the set to wind things up.

All in all, mixed reviews of an interesting experience but well worth the listen. Sit back, grab a coffee or a beer and enjoy!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Dead: 11.24.79

Golden Hall, Community Concourse
San Diego, CA

Words By J-man

As I sit at my laptop in Denver, Colorado, the poor unfortunate turkey that we will inevitably consume sits in the oven. While I drink my coffee and listen to the Grateful Dead, the day takes on the vibe of a Saturday. That being said, here is a pick from "Today in Grateful Dead History": Thanksgiving 1979

Grateful Dead Live at Golden Hall, Community Concourse on November 24, 1979.

China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Mama Tried-> Mexicali Blues, Peggy-O, Cassidy, Easy To Love You-> Althea, Passenger Alabama Getaway-> Greatest Story Ever Told, Ship of Fools, Terrapin Station-> Playin' In The Band-> Drums-> Lost Sailor-> Saint Of Circumstance-> Wharf Rat-> Sugar Magnolia, E: One More Saturday Night

Keller Williams 11.10.11

The Blind Pig
Ann Arbor, MI

Words & Photos By Joe Le
(Joe Le FOTO)

Keller Williams recently played to a full house at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, MI, with the same wild energy he has become known for over the last 15 years. Performing as a one man band, Keller displayed a diverse catalog of covers, trance jams, and bluegrass rhythms. There was a unique crowd that night, with a few young kids crowding the front, guitar enthusiasts, hippies, hipsters and old fans. Only someone as talented and contrasted as Keller could draw such a crowd.

As the lights dimmed, Williams entered from the rear of the venue, shoeless, and playing a jam that turned into Nirvana’s “Lithium”. After some Keller classics, including “Breathe” and “Best Feeling”, both are songs that were recorded with The String Cheese Incident. He closed the first set with “Black Peter” into “Til the Morning Comes”. As I stepped outside at the beginning of set break, the alley next to the Blind Pig roared with people singing "make yourself easy." I even saw a few friends who couldn't afford the show, wrapped up in blankets singing with those as they exited.

The second set featured a few tunes from Keller's upcoming new album, Bass, which is set to hit stores on December 13th. Other highlights included Keller strutting around the stage while playing “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees, and a very electronic version of The Grateful Dead’s “Eyes of the World”. This Dead cover really got the crowd moving, just like the first set closer, the entire crowd was singing and bouncing. After a few more original tunes, the show ended the way it began, as Keller exited the stage still playing his guitar while walking barefoot through the crowd.

Joe’s Photo Gallery

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kyle Hollingsworth Band w/ Michael Kang

Hodi’s Half Note
Fort Collins, CO

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock

It was just a great decision to head out to Hodi’s on this particular Friday night in Fort Collins. The weather was nice and Amy and I rode our bikes down to Old Town for some Kyle-infused goodness. We had been waiting for well over a month for this show. It was the official kickoff of Kyle’s Hop On Tour 2011, which is a series of events throughout String Cheese Incident’s upcoming run and culminating with Kyle’s Brew Fest in Chicago. At Hodi’s, Kyle brought his collaboration with Odell’s Brewery titled “Thrilla in Vanilla”, a smoky but sweet vanilla porter. I found it to be quite clean and refreshing.

When we finally got inside, Roster McCabe was finishing up their opening set. They were like thrash jam juxtaposed against the harmonious vocals of Alex Steele. Roster McCabe hails from the frozen tundra of Minnesota. They are a diverse mix of reggae, funk and rock. Performing as a groove-oriented band with strong musicianship, they focused on the performance and brought a strong energy to their live experience. I was impressed with their sound and felt like they were a great choice for the opening slot.

Kyle Hollingsworth Band is perhaps my favorite String Cheese side project , and the addition of Michael Kang is like having your cake and eating it too. Kyle came out sans Kang and said to Watts, Sayers, and Schwindt, “We’re just gonna jam,” before ripping into a funky tune that quickly broke into “I Can’t Win”. Here is the rest of the setlist from Archive:

SET I: I Can’t Win, Latin Jam, Let’s Go Outside, Stay Through, Funk Jam, Boo Boo’s Pik-A-Nik

SET II: Rosie >Bonified Lovin’, Soul Revolution, Piece Of Mine, New Song, Ordinary, The Way That It Goes

ENCORE: Ramble On, I Can’t Win

(Setlist may be incorrect or incomplete)

Thanks to Eric Wilkens for posting the recoding which you can listen to here:

Kyle Hollingsworth Band Live at Hodi's Half Note on November 18, 2011.

Kang came out for the “Latin Jam” and quickly showed the audience why he is the gravy on the mashed potatoes that is Kyle Hollingsworth Band. The lowdown was that for the SCI upcoming tour, Kang really didn’t have much time to practice with Kyle. It didn’t matter. He jumped right in with both feet and nailed it. Bringing out a couple of SCI songs, this show did a lot to invigorate the crowd.“Boo Boo’s Pik-A-Nik” was a blast, but the highlight of the first set was the transcendental jamming that showed the extreme musical prowess of everyone on stage. The Motet rhythm section of Dave Watts and Garrett Sayers in combination with Dan Schwindt, Kyle and Kang was just a sight to behold.

The second set began with an explosion when Kyle ripped up his new tune “Rosie” then moved into Chromeo’s “Bonified Lovin’”. It was perhaps the high point of the show, but there was so much more music to see. Kang busted out some more lyrics on “Soul Revolution”. Kang’s singing is an acquired taste, but given my love of Cheese, he hits the notes and his vocal duties with KHB were spot on. “Ordinary”, which had a more electro-pop feel in the recently released recording, had a harder edge with a snappier beat. They ended the set with a nice “Way That It Goes”. The encore of Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On” was the unexpected treat of the evening. They just nailed it musically, and I was on Cloud 9 at this point. They bookended the show with “I Can’t Win” to wrap things up.

It was a great concert and a great way to start the Hop On Tour. With String Cheese Incident about to jump on the road for their first extended tour since their return from hiatus, this was a great way to get Kyle and Kang’s creative juice flowing. Stay tuned for J-man’s coverage of the run’s second night from Cervantes’.

Nicholas’s Photo Gallery

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Garrett Sayers Trio w/ Joey Porter 11.16.11

Highland Tap
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man
Video By Ryan Garrett
Audio By Ed Simon (edsi on

Wednesdays at The Highland Tap & Burger in Denver's Lower Highland (LoHi) district have become somewhat of weekly gathering of Motet fans, music fans in general and good friends. Walking through the door brings several smiles from many familiar faces from our wonderful scene. It's interesting the level of coverage that recent Wednesdays at The Highland Tap have drawn. In the front corner of the room videographer Ryan Garrett made minor adjustments to his fixed position camera. Also present was Colorado taper Ed Simon to capture audio of the evening's affairs. With the addition of my written and photo contributions, the event would be fully covered and would be made available to music fans all over the world in handful of mediums... for free.

Garrett Sayers Live at Highland Tap & Burger on November 16, 2011.

The previous week marked my first experience with the Garrett Sayers Trio's Wednesday residency. Then, last Wednesday we were given a special guest in the form of Mr. Juno What himself, Joey Porter. Not to take away from the Trio's normal keyboardist, but Joey really elevated the project. He brought a spacey vibe and some unique sounds outside of his characteristic funk chops. His material seemed to be a step in a jazzier direction delighting me to no end.

Early on in the evening we were joined by Motet Saxophonist Pete Wall, who had come from a rehearsal for the Last Waltz Revisited project that played the Boulder Theater last Friday. As the night progressed more friends and familiar faces came in out of the cold for a brew and some great music. We watched as Garrett did as he always does and blew our minds. This week I took notice to not only Garrett's perfect form on the bass, but his utilization of different effects and tones. I was also very impressed with the drum work of Jonny Jyemo. His style reminded me a bit of Billy Martin and at many points gave the jams a Medeski, Martin & Wood feel.

The Trio will be taking this Wednesday off. But fear not, they will be returning the following Wednesday November 30th to pick up where they left off...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cornmeal 11.17.11

The Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, Co
w/ The Magic Beans

Words, Photos & Video By Nicholas Stock

Cornmeal decided to make yet another pilgrimage to the great state of Colorado before 2011 wound its way down the drain of life. They were doing a two night run hitting The Aggie and The Fox before gearing up for their December run on the East Coast. I got a chance to sit down with Cornmeal’s Wavy Dave and Chris Gangi before the show. It was a great conversation about everything from their new release of Live In Chicago Volume 2 and their upcoming studio album to Summer Camp and New Year’s runs. It was an enlightening talk and we will be featuring some our conversation in video form as well as on our MusicMarauders Live podcast next month.

The Magic Beans, a group that currently calls Boulder their home, are an eclectic mix of all things jam. I listened to some of their tracks online before the show and I was struck by their prowess with acoustic songs. At the Aggie, it was immediately apparent that they were young. They had solid musicianship but other than their “Rocky Top” opener they seemed to stray away from the sound that had drawn me to them in the first place. I will say that their second song “Band Camp” was like a washing machine full of jam on the spin cycle. It was a fifteen-minute opus that showed the wide variety of their skills. They ended their set some Bisco- sounding playing that, given the fact that they were opening for Cornmeal, seemed a bit out of place. Considering their age, I was impressed with their musicianship, and I look forward to seeing them evolve as a group. With a little more focus, they could become powerful force on the jam circuit.

Cornmeal Live at Aggie Theatre on November 17, 2011.

Cornmeal took The Aggie’s stage around 10:45 PM and jumped into a high energy hoedown that was like watching a bluegrass volcano erupt before my eyes. Cornmeal always brings the heat in Colorado; something about the altitude or the water out here just inspires them musically. They have become so well known out here as a band that always delivers live that they usually draw quite the crowd. A decent audience was in attendance for a Thursday night show in Fort Collins. They opted for one long set, playing almost two and a half hours rather than breaking it up. Allie shredded the violin like a female bluegrass version of Hendrix. Wavy Davy showed some of his skills on the banjo and he nailed some back and fort between himself and Kris. Highlights from the show included a very nice “Out Here On My Own” and a “Magic Stone Mountain” that would get even the most jaded fan dancing in the aisle. As they were about to wrap up the set they surprised the crowd with a beautiful version of John Lennon’s “Watching The Wheels”.

They encored with a huge “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” by the Talking Heads and Townes Van Zandt’s “White Freight Liner Blues”. It was a great close to an amazing show from Cornmeal. They bring so much to the table when it comes to their live shows, creating a palpable energy in any room they play and upping the ante for any other jamgrass band touring today. They are a fearless group that through their 12+ years of playing together have become so comfortable in that they are willing to take chances and push it to the limit. Their show at the Aggie was no exception and I will continue to look forward to their regular visits to Colorado.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Leftover Salmon’s Thanksgiving 2011 Run at The Ogden

Words & Videos By Nicholas Stock (
Photo By Greg Molitor (ReMIND Photography)

This has been a year of redemption for Leftover Salmon, truly landing on the same page in a big way. With the addition of Andy Thorn on banjo and the recent inclusion of Wally Ingram on the kit, LoS has found new life and reinvigoration within their sound. I’ve caught them twice this year including a night at The Mish on their River Run, and they have continued to build musically since. I was extremely excited to hear them announce two nights with Head for the Hills at Denver’s Ogden Theatre to celebrate Thanksgiving. Here are the dates:

Friday, November 25 ~ Doors at 8:00 PM

Saturday, November 26 ~ Doors at 8:00 PM

Leftover Salmon is also hosting a food drive with Conscious Alliance. Bringing in ten cans of food or more will get you a commemorative event poster. This is sure to be a solid two-night run in Denver from the one and only Poly Ethnic Cajun Slamgrass band.

Tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them at , as well as the Ogden box office. MusicMarauders will be covering both nights, so stay tuned. See you at the shows!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Dead: 6.9.76

Words By J-man

Boston loves the Dead. Listen to the first couple of notes on the second set opener, "Saint Stephan" and listen to the response from the crowd. This is the stuff of dreams. Thirteen minutes later after a blissful set opener, the band transitions right into "Eyes of The World" into a classic jam, into "Let it Grow>Drums>Let it Grow" before taking a breather. What a fantastic second set with impeccable transitions and jams. I recognize that it's only the second set, but damn it's good.

Grateful Dead Live at Boston Music Hall on June 9, 1976.

Set One (Not Included): Cold Rain & Snow, Cassidy, Scarlet Begonias, The Music Never Stopped, Crazy Fingers, Big River, They Love Each Other, Looks Like Rain, Ship of Fools, Promised Land

Set Two: Saint Stephen-> Eyes Of The World-> Let It Grow-> Drums-> Let It Grow, Brown Eyed Women, Lazy Lightning-> Supplication, High Time, Samson & Delilah, It Must Have Been The Roses, Dancin' In The Streets-> Wharf Rat-> Around & Around

Encore: Franklin's Tower

The highlights from that point on include "Samson & Delilah," "It Must Have Been The Roses" and the encore, "Franklin's Tower." This show was not as much about the set list for me, but more so about the jams.

Enjoy this high energy show!

Friday, November 18, 2011

North Mississippi Allstars 11.13.11

Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, CO

Words, Photo & Video By Nicholas Stock

With some dear friends that we met in Telluride for Phish, it was time for a classic get down in Fort Collins. Ryan and Kelly came to town all the way from California for some sweet hill country music. We met up in the afternoon, and after a nice tour of the Budweiser brewery, we headed downtown for the North Mississippi Allstars. We arrived at The Aggie moments too late to check out Buffalo Killers, but we had plenty of time to see local group Musketeer Gripweed. I had been hearing about these guys for quite some time but seeing their opening performance was something I was totally unprepared for...

Seeing Musketeer Gripweed was like watching the fuse of a firecracker running towards ignition. Studying Jason Downing orchestrate his band through a series of musical high jumps was truly a mesmerizing feat. From start to end, they exuded pure energy in a way that is rarely possible when seeing local bands. Musketeer has been making splashes on the Front Range, but the power they brought to their live performance was something that I couldn’t possibly be ready for. Ripping through bluesy, rock-infused territory, they brought the house down. Stu Clark worked the rhythm as the rest of the band toiled relentlessly to keep up with Jason’s energy. He ran around stage like a man possessed by the music, jumping on chairs and ripping though the set. Here is the tape from Corey and Kind Recordings:

Musketeer Gripweed Live at Aggie Theatre on November 13, 2011.

I was enamored with the whole performance. I’ve seen so many bands and it takes a lot to get me shaking my ass, but Musketeer Gripweed certainly had me dancing. Between the keys of Ben Hockett and the lead guitar of Ehren Crumpler, this ensemble has all the tools to go very far in the scene. And not to mention the positivity that Jason radiates through the audience was something to behold. They were the perfect choice to open for the North Mississippi Allstars.

The North Mississippi Allstars have been a staple on my music plate going way back. I had the opportunity to see them in college playing to a small crowd when they still had a Burnside in the lineup. Their brand of gritty blues is something everyone should dip their spoon into. They played an incredible show at The Aggie on Sunday after their soon-to-be-famed Denver run. Here is the setlist from Kind Recordings:

SET I: Goin’ Down South, Shake (What Yo Mama Gave Ya), New Orleans Walkin’ Dead, Everything I Do Is Gonna Be Funky, Shake ‘Em On Down, Bang Bang Lulu, Mean Ol’ Wind Died Down, ML (Goin’ Home), Jumper Cable Blues, Meet Me In The City, Boogie > Po Black Maddie > Skinny Women > Drums/Washboard Solo > Ho Down, Let It Roll, The Meeting, Freedom Highway> Never In All My Days, K.C. Jones (On The Road Again), Sugartown, Rollin’ & Tumblin’

ENCORE: I’d Love To Be A Hippy, Write Me A Few Lines > Drop Down Mama > Someday Baby, Snake Dr.

North Mississippi Allstars Live at Aggie Theatre on November 13, 2011.

The show was not ridiculously packed which may have been expected given the fact that it was on a Sunday. NMA killed it; the combination of Luther’s guitar, Chris Chew’s bass, and Cody’s drums makes them one of the most incredible power trios playing live today. They have a sound that invigorates the soul. These guys are born and bred in a genre of music that is neglected like a lost child wandering around a crowded mall. Hill Country music is a mix of blues, slide, and experience. So much history from the juke joints and the older players works its ways into the sound of NMA that watching them play is like getting a potent chronicling of times gone by. Highlights from the set were disgusting versions of “Shake” and “Po Black Maddie”. It’s truly a sight to behold when these guys are shredding before your eyes. Cody is calm and collected as Chew just breaks down the bass giving Luther room to soar. He has often commented that his he loves playing with new people, but it is obvious that he is most comfortable playing with his brother and dear friend. He has so much skill on guitar that he almost seems to be in a harmonious trance as he is quite plainly melting faces. The show was incredible and reinvigorated my love for North Mississippi. They’ve been playing in the scene since the time that I got involved with jam, and they continue to tour relentlessly and impress people across the country.

They came back with a ridiculous five-song encore. The most remarkable of which was the straight snapping “Write Me A Few Lines” into “Drop Down Mama”. I’m glad I made it out on a school night to see NMA as it has been a number of years since our last rendezvous. They continue to be an incredible force in jam and play a brand of music that is rarely experienced live anymore.

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