Friday, November 30, 2012

Dave’s 40th feat. Brendan & Jake (Umphrey's McGee) 11.24.12


Dave’s Living Room
Erie, CO

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock


For some, turning forty is a day for celebration and remembrance, Dave marked his fortieth trip around the sun by lighting the fuse to a powder keg and blasting down the hill in style. Dave arranged for both Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger from Umphrey’s McGee to play a special two-set acoustic show in his living room. With both The Magic Beans and The Drunken Hearts supporting, the entire event promised to be one not easily forgotten. I headed up with a few friends from Denver and arrived at Dave’s north of Denver around 7:00 PM. There was already a decent crowd assembled mingling amongst the massive potluck spread complete with a keg of Ranger. It was obvious that this was going to be a stellar night and it was just starting.

We kicked off our shoes into the massive pile by the door and got to it. So many sock-footed friends and familiar faces dotted the room, as the birthday boy chatted with his guests. Bayliss and Jake were sitting on the couch watching their alma mater Notre Dame square off against USC to complete an unbeaten season. The house was perfectly set up for what was about to occur. The UM Duo would perform in the living room and downstairs there was a literally a stage on the carpeting complete with lights and a soundboard. The basement was basically a large L with plenty of room for everyone.

The Drunken Hearts got started a little after 8:00 PM and quickly warmed up the crowd. There was a party atmosphere so people seemed to float in and out the basement. They played a sweet variety of Americana cut with a bit of rock and roll. Hailing from Vail, Colorado and labeling themselves Alternative Grass Rock, The Drunken Hearts are a new force on the scene. Andrew McConathy’s deep and colorful voice resonated off the basement walls. His tone has a unique quality to it that makes it very versatile and well suited to the genres of music that they play. Early in their set there was a short power outage when the band blew the breaker. The Drunken Hearts very professionally continued to play in the dark. Towards the end of the song the room was again filled with the iridescent green light from the towers. They played a tight version of the Rolling Stones’ “Dead Flowers” and I was told that Bayliss sat in on kit for a song. Honestly they were a lot of fun and a very smooth way to ease into the night. They recently released Live for Today, which was produced by Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone, and features sit-ins from both Tim and Scott Law.

Everyone filed upstairs and quietly took their place throughout the kitchen and living room. The stage was simple, two chairs, a couple lights, a small plaque commemorating the life of Sarah Elizabeth Gewald, Brendan and Jake. Notre Dame had won and it was time to get down. Dave politely told everyone to be respectful and the show was on. They opened up with a fully developed “40’s Theme.”

Set One: 40's Theme, In the Kitchen> White Pickle> Den, Rocker Pt 1, Great American> Over the Hills and Far Away> Great American>The Girl is Mine> Jane Says> Great American, Hajimemashite> Glory> Hajimemashite, Dear Prudence, FF> Gulf Stream, Can't Find My Way Home, 2 dips, 1 bump, and a Fuckload of Pills

Set Two: Divisions> No Comment> Soul Food I^> In the Kitchen, Comfortably Numb, August> That's The Way> August, Bridgeless@, Jake Solo$, Morning Song, Thunderstruck, The Weight Around, Black Water*, Front Porch> Resolution> Goodbye Blue Sky> Divisions

Encore: Porch**, Night Moves

^Horse with no Name (America) and Run To You (Bryan Adams) verses

@ W/ Don't Stop Believing fake out

$ Dedicated to "all of our fallen friends"

* W/Clayton Halsey on vocals

** Pearl Jam, 1st time played

The audio stream is available for stream here: www.ustream.tv/recorded/.

The setlist was really good and the acoustic playing along with the myriad of covers set the scene for the night. The crowd would sporadically chime in to sing along with the band. Brendan and Jake are solid players; their acoustic performances really allow the listener to focus on their ability to pick. The incredible dynamic between Jake and Brendan was as substantial in front of the select gathering in Dave’s Living Room as it is in front of thousands of screaming fans at Red Rocks. They performed “In The Kitchen” to people who were literally in the kitchen. The entire two set show was playful in this way, with gentle ribbing given to Dave by the band between songs. The jam on “White Pickle” was engaging before they segued into a rare “Rocker Pt. 1”, which has only been played once by Umphrey’s in 2009 since it’s debut in 2006. They used their instrumental “Great American” as the double bookend Jam one of the most compelling runs of the night. ”Great American > Over the Hills and Far Away > Great American > The Girl is Mine > Jane Says > Great American.” I mean really? Weaving out of their own musical landscapes into Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson and Jane’s Addiction in a single strand of a performance is downright mystifying and exceptionally entertaining. Going back to the Umphrey’s songbook they played a nice sandwich of “Hajimemashite > Glory > Hajimemashite” before they went into a beautiful cover of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.”



A favorite moment of mine was the “FF” into “Gulf Stream.” This was just a good combo back to back and seemed to exemplify the feel of the first set; relaxed and celebratory.



They again wowed the attentive audience with a rendition of Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” before ending the set appropriately with “2 dips, 1 bump and a Fuckload of Pills.” (I had to check that was really the title of the song and not setlist notes for someone.)

Friends mingled about and eagerly awaited the return of Brendan and Jake. If the first set was a straightforward shot with a few surprises, then the second set was a field of land mines being traversed on a unicycle. They came out strong with a huge “Divisions” to start the set. Dave had been given a painting that was a live representation of this song earlier, so it made sense that they would use it as the bread for the second set sandwich. “No Comment” was a bit abrupt, but the funky “Soul Food 1” included “Horse with No Name” and “Run To You” verses. This was when things started getting weirder. From "SF1" they launched back into “In The Kitchen.” The first of two second set Pink Floyd covers came in the form of an excellently executed “Comfortably Numb.” They performed yet another back and forth with “August” into Led Zeppelin’s “That’s The Way” and back again. “Bridgeless” contained a massive Journey tease that made the whole crowd cheer. Jake played a stunning solo dedicated to, “all of our fallen friends.” Brendan and Jake played a dark “Morning Song,” which they followed up with AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.” They busted out a rare “The Weight Around” and the upped the ante with a version the Doobie Brothers’ “Black Water.” The playful “Front Porch” is an old track seeing less of the rotation in recent years. “Resolution” disintegrated into an absolutely awesome version of Pink Floyd’s “Good By Blue Sky” before they wrapped it up with the aforementioned “Divisions.” It was an unbelievable set of music.

Brendan and Jake encored with a first time ever played “Porch” by Pearl Jam as well as Bob Seger’s “Night Moves.” This was such an enjoyable time and a great way to spend a Saturday Night. Magic Beans took the stage downstairs as music fans basked in the afterglow of that acoustic set. The Beans are a talented group who continue to impress audiences all across Colorado and beyond. They played as the people mingled and slowly dribbled away into the darkness. Eventually, my ride indicated that it was time to hit the old dusty trail and we left as the Beans were still shredding. I want to extend a big thanks to Dave for even attempting, let alone pulling off the most incredible birthday party I’ve ever attended. Happy Birthday my friend.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

www.umphreys.com

www.facebook.com/thedrunkenhearts

www.magicbeansmusic.com

Thursday, November 29, 2012

MusicMarauders Presents: Head For The Hills & Iron Horse


Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO


Join MusicMarauders this Saturday December 1st at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom for Head For The Hills with very special guests, Iron Horse picking on Modest Mouse, Led Zeppelin & more!

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm (event ends at 2:00 am)

$15 Advance / $20 Day Of Show

Purchase Tickets Here: www.ticketfly.com/purchase/

www.cervantesmasterpiece.com

MusicMarauders Presents: Two Nights of Dirty Dawgs (Kang, Molitz, Gould, Draper) 11.16 & 11.17


Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis & J-man
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)


The grand opening weekend of the new location of Quixote's True Blue welcomed a fantastic assortment of talent, from local acts like Grant Farm & Jet Edison, to hard-hitters like Magic Gravy (Dan Lebowitz, Garrett Sayers & Dave Watts) and The Dirty Dawgs feat. Michael Kang (The String Cheese Incident), Steve Molitz (Particle), Eric Gould (Particle) & Brandon Draper! Walking into the new location at 13th & Grant was like a breath of fresh air and a collective exhale could be felt from the dedicated fans of Quixote's and the culture that it has bred in Colorado. What was noticeable immediately was the step up in appearance from the "worn in" feel of the Lawrence St. location. Colorful strings of lights were hung across the crowded room. The click, click, click of a ping-pong ball drew my attention to the front window where delighted folks competed... loosely. The bartenders were smiling and the drinks were flowing while a band played from the large stage in the corner of the room. The new spot felt right.

Heading back towards the front entrance and around a corner, one will find the main music room of the venue. Walking into the room we found several adoring fans speaking with some of their favorite musicians. Quixote's has always bridged the gap between fans and musicians and has created a level playing field for candid conversation with some of the fans favorites. Michael Kang and Steve Molitz stood at the front of the stage posing for pictures and shaking hands as Ray White wandered around the venue, greeting folks and creating smiles. The vibe was great and as more familiar faces poured through the door, it felt like home.


Grant Farm Live at Quixote's True Blue on November 16, 2012.



Friday night The Dirty Dawgs began their set easing in as a "band" and testing the waters. The haunting sounds of Steve's electro-noodling collided with Michael's heavy electric tone. With Brandon's straight ahead drumming and Eric's elevated bass playing, it quickly became clear that it was more than just a jam band show. The project sounded tight and directional, unlike some of the other projects containing similar member arrangements. This project included elements of jazz and fusion that intrigued me and kept the crowd moving. In between sets the front room welcomed The Grant Farm for a tweener that could have easily stole the show for many fans. The band sounded tight and more energetic than a couple of recent shows in Denver. The crowd was large and captivated by The Grant Farm as The Dirty Dawgs fired back up in the main room for their ripping closing set.

Dirty Dawgs Live at Quixote's True Blue on November 17, 2012.



Saturday night brought an even more refined Dirty Dawgs, with Ray White returning to the stage for a second night of guesting. The energy was just as high, the crowd just as excited and the band was firing on all cylinders! At one point in the show, Ray White expressed "Stevie's got some new shoes," which prompted Steve to remove his shoe to show to the crowd. He then began to use the shoes to create some screaming organ sounds. The mood was light and the vibe was great. Throughout the weekend I kept thinking to myself, "This will work..." and indeed it will. Head over to the new Quixote's True Blue and check out their new location!

Carly & J-man's Photo Gallery

www.quixotes.com

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

MusicMarauders Presents: Brothers Past, Tiger Party & Pan Astral


Cervantes Other Side
Denver, CO


Join us Friday November 30th at Cervantes Other Side in Denver for MusicMarauders Presents: Brothers Past, Pan Astral and Tiger Party feat. members of Signal Path, Octopus Nebula & The Malah!

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm (event ends at 2:00 am)

$10 Advance / $12 Day Of Show

Purchase Tickets Here: www.ticketfly.com/purchase/

www.cervantesmasterpiece.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

MusicMarauders Presents: The New Mastersounds 11.16.12


Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel


Cervantes was overflowing with funk as the New Mastersounds brought their international groove-making machine to Denver. Before the show, my friend Newman told me to bring ice for my feet... He said they'd be on fire from the dance party. Since this was my first time seeing the band, I took his advice and put on some running shoes before the show. I wasn't about to let my feet give up on me during the show.

I was standing in the bathroom when the drums of Simon Allen boomed to life with a beat tighter than jeggings. His piccolo snare drum had that super-taut snapping sound distinctive of nice clean funk and his high-hat sizzled in staccato syncopation. Throughout the night, his beats were infectious, inspired, lively and precise. Crisper than a PBR from the bottom of a hipster's cooler. I was reminded of Adam Deitch and that began a night of music that continuously brought me back to comparisons to Lettuce. While we are on that subject, Eric Krasno (Lettuce, Soulive) and Eddie Roberts, guitarist of the New Mastersounds seem like they have to be cousins, right? Aside from the jazz-funk guitar virtuosity, they seem to bear a slight resemblance in appearance as well. Maybe it is just because they both have style. Roberts' suit and tie set a sort of tone that matched the music… sly, sophisticated, hip and daring in a conservative sort of way. He looked like he may have been the Master of Ceremonies for a burlesque jazz cafe with his exaggerated English facial hair and snappy dressing and it all added to the flair.

Roberts' playing was sublime. It had a spotless tone with crisp effects and his advanced command of jazz fusion scales and rapid finger-work were truly remarkable. His speed was on pace with fast bluegrass at times and with the exception of a small reggae breakdown or two, the rest was pure reckless funk abandon. The smooth, full sounds that they created together were like the background music at a trendy restaurant, yet had such exquisite timing, musicality and creativity, that demanded our attention and became foreground music. It was entertaining music and it was also great music for entertaining.

Pete Shand, the bassist, hails from Majorca, Spain and brought a certain flavor to the funk that wasn't Latin in style, yet exhibited a free, fun, suave flare that jives with the Spanish lifestyle of afternoon naps, sangria sunsets and all night parties. He was fun to listen to and appeared to enjoy practicing his craft. His tone was round, thick and punchy with a svelte side that made it aerodynamic and swift. He glided beneath the guitar and organ like a stingray of stealthy, smooth motion you could hear. Breezy, fluid, casual, yet ambitious, energetic and vibrant. Work well done.

Joe Tatton, the group's key player had confidence and seamlessly alternated supportive rhythms and searing lead lines on organ. His work with Roberts showed a keen understanding between the two, and often lead to lofty musical peaks during the show. Tatton's playing conjured recollections of Galactic, Greyboy Allstars, and Nigel Hall. The aggressive tempo of the group's pieces were demanding musically and Tatton, Roberts, Shand and Allen were flawless throughout.

With such talent on display, it was easy to understand the wall to wall movement. Girls were shaking their asses, dudes, just trying to keep up. The stairs to the balcony were guarded as a VIP area. When I asked the bouncer what the VIP area was for, he said that the owners sometimes have a VIP area for when their favorite bands come to town... And NMS was apparently one of their favorites. The number of extended VIP wristbands continued to grow throughout the evening. As more and more cousins, homies, clients, associates and drinking buddies were brought to the gatekeeper, he graciously admitted almost all of them. Vouching was the word of the day, and I saw those who were vouched for return to vouch for others. It was a charade of exclusivity, but everyone was having a great time as the colorful crowd become a writhing organism of bobbing heads and swiveling hips.

Since I relocated to Denver, I have had a growing love for funk and this show was no exception. While I have been listening to funk regularly, my rotation has been dominated by Lettuce. Well Lettuce finally has some competition in my book and you can expect to hear some NMS if you go anywhere with me anytime soon. They played from 10:30 until 2:45am with a short set break and threw down intense dance party music with relentless authority the entire time. Simon Allen credited Roberts as musical director and you could tell that Roberts was the focus of the sound. If boogying down isn't your bag, you might want to leave the New Mastersounds to those who enjoy shaking their moneymakers. I left Cervantes with a giddiness and excitement about the future of funk. I was glad to hear exploratory, progressive, innovative and authentic grooves are not a thing of the past. They are a thing of the present and the future. They are a thing of the New Mastersounds. Now, back to icing my feet.

Brad's Photo Gallery

www.newmastersounds.com

Monday, November 26, 2012

Members of Frogs Gone Fishin' & The Drunken Hearts 11.21.12


Highland Tap & Burger
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By Carly Marthis


One never knows how the turnout will be at the Tap when a new project is brought in. Last Wednesday welcomed a mixed group of musicians including members of Frogs Gone Fishin' & The Drunken Hearts with special guests. The evening began with a moderate crowd that grew in size as the band played on. Rob Eaton Jr.'s influence on the project could be felt through various Grateful Dead covers and ripping acoustic guitar work. Next to Rob was Frogs Gone Fishin's Andrew Portwood, who lead several songs with his vocals and solid guitar playing. Rounding out the trio of guitars was Andrew McConathy of The Drunken Hearts, who brought a couple of tracks off of The Drunken Hearts' new album, "Live For Today." On bass, also of The Drunken Hearts, was Derek Shields who maintained the low end with his full sounding upright. Behind the front line was Jeff Jani of Frogs Gone Fishin' on drums, keeping the music together with fluid drumming.

For a group of musicians who have never collectively played together, the crowd was impressed. There were a lot of nods and eye contact to facilitate musical changes and stops on the drop of a dime. With the addition of the "Horny Toads," (The Frogs Gone Fishin' horn section) the music took on a party vibe. The room filled in, drinks were poured and good times were had by all. With the music coming to an end, the party continued. The vibe was different that night. New faces turned out to join the growing number of dedicated Wednesday music fans in Denver. Join us this and every Wednesday at The Highland Tap and Burger and stay tuned for some interesting artist announcements!

Carly's Photo Gallery

www.highlandtapdenver.com

www.frogsgonefishin.com

www.facebook.com/thedrunkenhearts

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

MusicMarauders Presents: MagicGravy 11.15.12


Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photos By Brad Hodge
Audio By Corey Sandoval (Kind Recordings)


magicgravy Live at Quixote's True Blue on November 15, 2012.



Flowing compositions, some with more organization than others, gripped the small but attentive crowd. MagicGravy took off pacing itself and building up momentum with every electric sounding strike on the acoustic guitar from Dan Lebowitz (ALO). Opposite Lebo was bass master and local favorite, Garrett Sayers (GS3), reading every move like a machine. To round out the rhythm section and the trio, Dave Watts (The Motet) beat the shit out of the drums with precision and groove. Together the trio explored the vastness of their blank canvas, as they slowly began to fill it with colors and shapes alike. The small crowd grew in size and seemed to correspond with the growth of the musical energy. Before long Quixote's was packed with folks in search if a some gravy.

Lebo thrives in MagicGravy. With seemingly limitless ability on the guitar, he tore through progression after progression, captivating the Denver crowd. Many of his licks sounded familiar, most notably "Tom's Diner," where as many sounded altogether unique. Garrett also seems to really enjoy MagicGravy and thrive in its possibilities. Two sets of ripping genre-bending music from the rare and special project highlighted the evening, while the new Quixote's set the perfect backdrop for a fantastic first night of the grand opening weekend. The icing on the cake was the welcoming of Ray White (Frank Zappa) to the stage to close the show with some energetic vocals and a excited response from the packed room.

Chalk it up for another night of magic in Denver, though this magic came with a side of gravy and a new location for Quixote's True Blue!

Brad's Photo Gallery

www.magicgravy.com

www.quixotes.com

HTB Presents: Vital Organ 11.14.12


Highland Tap & Burger
Denver, CO

Words By J-man
Photo By Paul Brown


If you read this website or follow MusicMarauders on Facebook, you know what Wednesdays mean for the Denver area music scene. We take our Wednesdays very seriously, as does Joey Porter's (Juno What) Vital Organ. The Highland Tap was busy that night with private parties, folks dining and fans arriving for the music. Just prior to the 10:00 hour, the band took the stage. On bass, the man for which our Wednesday residencies were created, Garrett Sayers (GS3). On guitar, Dan Schwindt (Kyle Hollingsworth Band)and on drums, Daren Hahn. As always the Tap filled in quickly with appreciative patrons and raging instrumentation!

The music was funky, danceable and ripping with each member of the project reflecting virtuoso type qualities on their instruments. That evening, the band welcomed special guest Steve Watkins (Juno What) for some tone-bending electro key work. He fit into the project well and added a unique layer to the jams. It was pretty special to have two thirds of Juno What in our little neighborhood bar. Two hours after it began, the evening wound down with a ton of cheering, excitement and downright begging for more music And more music is what we got as Joey announced that they would not go through the motions of stepping off stage, but instead would just play more music!

Wednesday November 21st, The Highland Tap welcomes members of Frogs Gone Fishin' & The Drunken Hearts with special guests! Free show, 9:00 pm!

www.highlandtapdenver.com

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Perpetual Groove 11.15.12


Georgia Theatre
Athens, Georgia

Words & Photos By Scott Shrader (Facebook.com/JScottShraderPhotography)


Seeing a favorite live band play in their hometown always adds a special something to the show experience. Perpetual Groove at The Georgia Theater was no exception. The show was my first trip to The Georgia Theater and I don’t think I could have picked a better time to become introduced to the venue. Before the show I stuffed my face at Chicago-based restaurant, Al’s Beef, with quite possibly the largest beef sandwich I’ve ever had (much thanks to Shawn). After the pre-show feast, we headed over to the theatre around 8:00 p.m. As it was almost empty, we made our way to the rooftop bar to have some drinks and kill some time. The combination of giant propane heaters and the view of downtown Athens made the sky bar quite cozy. After exploring the different levels of the venue we made our way to some stools on the second level and waited for the opening band to get things rolling. The opener was Eddie & The Public Speakers, a trio out of Athens formed in 2008, but on this night a guest keyboardist and percussionist accompanied them.

As the band started to find their groove, the balconies began to fill up and soon the floor was filling in. The band rolled out a few jazzy lounge-sounding tunes to start things off. Eddie Speaker (bass) and Stephen Taylor (guitar) both hold down the vocal parts and do quite nice. Meanwhile, Nic Wiles delivers almost an infectious funkadelic beat that keeps your attention from the get-go. The group showcased their blues/funk side of things and did it with some force. Taylor delivered some impressive slide work during a heavier more progressive rock jam that had the crowd bobbing their heads up and down. The technical changes from one section to another really caught my ear and the band covers a wide spectrum of genres within one song. I’d recommend checking out these guys if they come to a town near you.

Perpetual Groove Live at Georgia Theatre on November 15, 2012.



Set One: MOTA > All My Friends > MOTA, Stealy Man, Paper Dolls, Robot Waltz, Sweet Oblivious Antidote*

Set Two: Mayday, Sympathy for the Devil, Cairo, Mr Transistor > Echo > Mr Transistor, Walking in Place

Encore: God's Gonna Cut You Down > Space Paranoids

Perpetual Groove came out on stage around 10:45 to an eager crowd ready for whatever was about to come at them. The band crept into an ambient build up that lead into the instrumental piece “MOTA,” which took off and then there was no looking back. The song soon made way for a clean segue into LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends,” which seemed very appropriate for the hometown setting. The cover was executed with great care and definitely had that “P-Groove” spin to it. By this time the floor was packed with dancing fans of all ages. After the dance party sing-a-long, the song found itself back into “MOTA” and built up the finale with a solid finish. Brock greeted the crowd with a hello and seemed very appreciative of the turnout. Albert got down to business with a short drum solo that landed into the opening beat of “Stealy Man”. One thing that has always turned me onto P-Groove’s music is how well they blend their jam style with lyrical songwriting; this song seemed to showcase that trait very well. “Paperdolls” is another one that demonstrates Brock’s catchy lyrical and guitar hooks that was well received by the crowd. The first big jam of the night came with “Robot Waltz” the jam took off from the start. The subtle melodic synth licks from Matt McDonald created a soundscape during the jam that almost took you away from it all. Butler's guitar work has become much more focused and patient in the past year and this jam proved that point. The music moved into dance party territory before falling back into the song’s main riff. After the song came back to earth, Brock introduced the first guest of the night, Scott Baston of Moonshine Still, for “Sweet Oblivious Antidote.” He mentioned that it had been over ten years since they recorded the song with Scott for the album and the song ended up closing out the first set with a bang.

The guys took a quick ten minute break and came back to the stage with a roaring version of “Mayday” that set the tone for the rest of the second set. The tune featured an old-timey sounding sample referencing a crash landing that made way for a rocking intro. Halfway through the song the band started to enter a darker kind of jam which contained more bass tones and dreamy sounding keys that took the audience for a ride to space and back. Michael Blair joined the band for the next cover of the night, Rolling Stone's "Sympathy for the Devil." They played an interesting version of the classic with a heavy twist to the chorus; it was a nice surprise and breather for what was ahead. "Cairo" was the next heavy hitter served to the audience with its ambient and dream like intro. Everyone seemed to be hypnotized by the melodic soundscape the band was producing between the high energy but patient solos from both Matt and Brock. The jam found a unique groove that eventually morphed into a tease of "Hold on" by Alabama Shakes that turned out to be a launch pad for the climax and ending of the song.

"Mr. Transistor>Echo>Mr. Transistor" was the final sandwich of the night and ended up being a personal highlight of the show. The combo delivered a technical side of the band I had yet to witness. A very powerful interaction from the band and the light show made a perfect backdrop to the magic sounds coming from the stage. The build up after "Echo" offered a stop-n-go like jam that was heavily jazz influenced and very focused on creating a cosmic like musical journey. The jam found itself back into the second half of "Mr. Transistor." Perpetual Groove reached a climatic peak of energy that left jaws on the floors and a roaring applause once that piece of music came to an end. The final song of the closing set featured Gary Paulo on saxophone. A stand out version of "Walking in Place" was served up to the Athens crowd for one last bang before the encore. The guys delivered quite the encore with Johnny Cash's "God’s Gonna Cut You Down," and a face-rocking "Space Paranoids".

I rarely leave shows nowadays convinced that it was the best I'd seen the band perform, but this night in Athens is a different story. This was the second to last show of their fall tour and happened to be Joel's (the band's unofficial taper) 299th show and the following Saturday night would be his 300th. The band will be playing Center Stage in Atlanta, GA for New Years Eve and two dates in Charleston, SC and Macon, GA a couple days before. Be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming dates for in the following months, they are delivering shows right now that you're not going to want to miss.

Scott's Photo Gallery

www.pgroove.com

Monday, November 19, 2012

MusicMarauders Presents: Ultraviolet Hippopotamus 11.10.12


Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel


Like much of Denver, I was anxious to see the new location of Quixote's True Blue. I had my first opportunity when I went to see Ultraviolet Hippopotamus. Upon entering, I was greeted by a fresh incarnation of a Denver staple. The place displayed the same framed posters, courtyard art, and general psychedelia of the old stomping grounds, but with a new layout and some new features. The bar looked cleaner, easier to service, more open than Lawrence Street and the bartenders had smiling faces and good service. I was impressed. While the outside courtyard of Lawrence Street's location is likely un-matchable, this new venue will certainly be a viable alternative. It was actually really cool to see how the new Quixote's spin is being integrated into a long established bar. The bar stools were worn, torn, burnt and battered, but it made me feel like the place was already broken in. The front room had several TVs mounted over the bar and while the fact that they were built into the wall seems upscale and trendy, a closer look reveals they are all Sanyo TVs from the early '90s. Tacky, charming and a little bit like watching "Back to the Future" now.

Jet Edison was in the middle of their first set when I walked in and I was impressed with the Boulder based band's chops. I actually did not give these guys the attention they deserved because I was too excited to explore the new playground. I know they played "Fame" by David Bowie and it sounded pretty much on point to me.

After discovering the patio out back, I ventured to the back room where Ultraviolet Hippopotamus was getting started. The fog machine they had was working overtime, but they used the fog with black lights to create a radioactive glow that bled from the stage through the crowd and created an Ultraviolet dance party. I was trying to get photos and the wall of neon fog made for a challenging atmosphere, but the band was incredibly tight, extremely versatile and had an energy and dynamic that had the room rocking all night. They easily shifted from progressive rock to livetronica and beyond with seamless transitions and inspiring improvisation. Throughout the night I tried to place the similarities to other acts I have seen, and they defied comparison. When I did get a hint of something I could place, it passed quickly and continued to evolve in different ways. From southern rock to jazz funk, classical to electronica, disco to metal, prog to reggae... Their astounding talent not only comes from moving across the genre lines, but at times fusing, blending, and creating new genre's with nuances of several influences at once. And then there was the compositional aspect. Tight, purpose driven, intricate melodies wove throughout passages of improvisation that sounded like a jam until you realized the entire band was playing the same melodic line that stops on a dime, changes course and leaves the audience guessing at every turn. Some of their songs were epic with shades of metal, glam and classic rock, but even these songs were chocked full of danceable rhythms and invited a kinetic crowd response. With first set coming to a close, I could already tell that I'd be downloading some UV Hippo as soon as I got home.

Jet Edison's second set was timed to go in the front room during the Hippo's setbreak. The music had been phenomenal all night, so I decided I should go give them a listen. This set included more funk covers intermixed with their original tunes. Notable PFunk and MJ grooves seemed to peak around corners from inside their originals and the keyboard player busted out a trumpet for multiple songs... A talented multi instrumentalist. The guitar and bass had a nice balance and the drummer laid in the pocket like a wallet... Money. The bass player seemed to drive the groove forward and everyone else moved skillfully around him. The band was tight. The occasional progressive breaks reminded me of Zappa and I realized how much of an impact Frank has had on the improv and jam world. Passages that mimic Frank's eccentric, sporadic and intricate style of playing have come to denote players of skill, precision, and compositional excellence. While I can say this group of young guys is proficient, enjoyable and talented... They aren't something that is unique. The grooves they played were fun, energetic and well executed, but the innovation was limited and overall they were a funk leaning jam band with a talent that exceeds their current level of creativity. They were entertaining and I would go see them as a supporting act, but with something like UV Hippo in the same bar, the jams seemed typical of a generic jam funk band.

While the vibe at the new Quixote's was starting to appear in terms of quality music, the crowd had a timid trepidation about the rules. As we experienced a virtual partying free-for-all on Lawrence St... 13th Ave is still untested. UV Hippo returned to the stage and slowly the smell of familiarity began to emerge. It seemed it will be a gradual ascension to see what limits on partying may exist, if any.

The Hippo came out swinging for set two... their first song was an explosive instrumental about a baseball player who pitched back to back shutouts. The next song opened with a thick clavinova sound that reminded me of Page McConnell in Vida Blue. The funky ass bass-lines propelled the band into an aggressive groove that conjured nuances of Umphrey's McGee, Lettuce and instrumental Beastie Boys. The organ provided a complimentary and contrasting tone to the clavi and added a soul to the funk that smoothed out the chorus. I was once again contemplating this band and their many talents. Were they a heavy rock band, or electro-funk space disco? Their flawless incorporation was staggering. A space jam took a lap around the moons of Jupiter and returned to a crisp xylophone theme which added a grandeur and validity to a rather lengthy progressive composition. Several influences flirted with my mind as the Hippo triggered thoughts of STS9, Greyboy Allstars, Beck, Cream, Silverchair, Black Sabbath, Tool, Beethoven, The Allman Brothers, Scofield with MMW and a band from the Philadelphia area called, Psychedelphia. All of these thoughts came in the span of ten minutes. The drummer was immaculate, the guitar soared, the percussion served the music better than most, the bass was consistent, thick and accomplished, and the keys were a great balance of supporting rhythm and scorching leads. I was beyond impressed. The encore had to be squeezed into a short two minute time period, so the band played a frenzied circus theme and left us wanting more.

I went to Quixote's to find out if the move had bruised the baby and it looks like the new crib is gonna work out. There will always be a piece of me that will miss Lawrence Street, but UV Hippo was a great way to start the next chapter for me. With the grand opening rapidly approaching, and only a few days under the new roof, I feel the future of Quixote's will live up to our expectations... We're just easing into
it.

Brad's Photo Gallery

www.uvhippomusic.com

Friday, November 16, 2012

Head For The Hills 11.2.12


The Aggie Theatre
Fort Collins, CO

Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock


The Aggie; the site of my future nuptials, would also play host to the first part of my bachelor party. My best man Ben arrived early and after a nice day of disc golf we met up with a few friends and headed to Old Town. We arrived as Austin’s native sons MilkDrive were warming up the crowd. Touring in support of their recent sophomore release entitled Waves, which includes sit-ins from Noam Pikelny and Futureman. They had a subtle brand of bluegrass with a strong attention to detail. Comprised of Noah Jeffries on guitar, Dennis Ludiker on mandolin, Brian Beken on Fiddle and Met Mefford on double bass this group followed mostly traditional picking with some jazzy overtones. The highlight was a bluegrass breakdown of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” I honestly hope they make it back; they were a lot of fun. It’s nice to see bands from other regions making their way into the Colorado scene.

Local export Head For The Hills came back home for a night at the Aggie. They have been touring stalwarts, crisscrossing this country spreading their amazing strain of bluegrass far and wide. They definitely bring the heat whenever they perform back here, and this Friday night was no exception.

Set One: Goin’ Down> Wild Horse, Never Does, Take Me Back, Lost In Loop, Blue Orchid, Celtic> Nellie, ?, Dependency Co., Lonesome Pine, Little Sadie, Priscilla The Chinchilla, Scrap Metal, A Bowl of Bula, Hornet’s Nest> Lonesome Pine, ?, Brian, Spring

Set Two: Nooks and Crannies, Oxford Town, Blue Ruin, Chapchik, Love Come Home, Scribes Eye, Down River Road, Mockingbird, New Lee Highway Boogie> ?> Call Me The Breeze, Unchain My Heart, PBM, ?, My Angelia

Encore: One Foot In The Grave

These guys are just too good, however for some reason as the music started the venue seemed less crowded than usual. In fact the last few times I’ve seen Head For The Hills at The Aggie, they’ve sold out the room. This was definitely not the case for this show, which was really surprising. It seems lately that Fort Collins is seeing a reduction in concertgoers and I’m not exactly sure why. Head For The Hills has been steadily improving while widening their repertoire and adding new songs. Off of a banner performance at Telluride Bluegrass Festival I foresee them continuing their momentum nationally, but I worry that locals are finding other things to spend their ticket money on.

Their setlist was solid and I would have to say that is was an all-around excellent show. Mike, Matt, Joe, and Adam are stoically amazing as they play. It’s hard to think of another band that has the amount of focus they do while performing. They opened with a Colorado favorite “Goin’ Down.”



Additional highlights from the first set included a take on the White Stripes’ “Blue Orchid” and a ripping version of their instrumental “Priscilla The Chinchilla.” Head For The Hills opened the second set with a nice “Nooks and Crannies.” They also nailed their now classic version of Bobby Sharp’s “Unchain My Heart.” They encored with another fan favorite, “One Foot In The Grave.” It was another great show from a band that continues to impress audiences across the country. Head For The Hills is like a well-tuned Buick; they are never going to stop. Playing across this great land they have honed their skills and paid their dues. They never cease to impress me. Do yourself a favor and support this amazing bluegrass act and get out and see them live.

Nicholas' Photo Gallery

www.headforthehillsmusic.com

www.milkdrive.com

MusicMarauders Presents: The Infamous Stringdusters 11.10.12


Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Words By Kevin Hahn
Photos By Jon Prins


The crowd was buzzing, the beer was flowing and Cervantes was just downright packed. I have been to a multitude of shows at this venue known as the “Masterpiece” and the energy I felt waiting in line for this show was unexpected. People could be heard discussing setlists, prior shows and the new album, for which the Silver Sky tour was created and in support of. Gender defined conversations blended together ambiguously as the female attendees couldn’t stop gushing over how cute and adorable the Dusters were, while us men barely could restrain ourselves from knocking a hole in the floor with our best dancing boots on. But what was all the fuss about? Could the rumors really be true… Were we really about to witness the next “Big Thing” on the bluegrass scene? I stepped into Cervantes and the scents of stale pizza and un-showered concert patrons took over my senses, but nothing was going to stop me from experiencing my first true Infamous Stringdusters show. And goddamn what a good show it was!

I wrangled myself up to the front of the venue in order to get a perfect glimpse of these bluegrass bandits and pissed a couple people off along the way. I gave my quick “Sorry’s” and got ready to stomp my feet into the hardwood floor as loud as I could. The Dusters came on stage to a raucous ovation and went right into one of their more known songs, “In God’s Country." Even though atheism is my preferred religion I quickly became enamored with the lyrics within this piece, as I believe the band was truly talking about good ole Colorado. The first surprise of the night was "Free," a beautiful folksy version of the well-known Phish song. As the first set raged on it was quite evident that the Dusters came ready to blow us Denver-ites out of the water. Beautiful transitions, seamless playing/interaction and the biggest smiles on either side of the Mississippi really do make the Infamous Stringdusters a special band to watch and listen to. With the end of the first set approaching I realized how much I really did like this band and how in my opinion, they are going to surpass bands such as Yonder Mountain and Railroad Earth on the bluegrass hierarchy. But would the second set continue the trend of smiles and good times?

Of course, the second set was even hotter and more f*cking awesome than the first. The band powered through song after song not giving up one inch of the love they had gained throughout the first set from the adoring audience enjoying this magic known as bluegrass. "Rain Song" by the British rockers Led Zeppelin and "Walking to the Moon" by the Sting-led group The Police were two of the many highlights strung throughout the set and Cervantes was bouncing off the ground with epic banjo playing and some of the fastest/most proficient dobro playing I have seen/heard in a longtime. Chris Pandolfi, the next Bela Fleck on the banjo, brings a sense of joy and happiness to the stage unseen in any other member of the band. His smile was infectious and melted the hearts of girls/guys alike throughout the venue. The interaction between Chris and dobro-virtuoso Andy Hall is a match made in heaven, as their constant laughter and smiling quirks can bring any audience member to their knees. As the second set kept going and going and going, I didn’t know if I would be able to last until the that last note was strummed. eighteen songs later we finally were coming to the end of the set and by the looks on the crowd’s faces, severe MELTING had taken place.

Faces, brains, and other body parts were being picked up off the ground as the hundreds of concertgoers were quickly trying to regain their composure after the bluegrass beat down that just took place. What could the Dusters pull out in the encore to match or even blow by the epic-ness we just were lucky enough to witness? Well let me be the first one to tell you… hearing the Dusters sing/strum an amazing arrangement of the Beatles song "Here Comes the Sun" was life altering, mind blowing, and just f*cking awesome. The melodic harmony of the five voices on stage was perfect for the slow love ballad and tears could be seen rushing down the face of numerous patrons. The Dusters had done it… they had taken their encore to a whole new level and smacked us in the face with one of the most meaningful covers ever to be heard. But how are they so damn good? What makes them so musically attractive that both men/woman alike can’t help themselves but say, “I LOVE THOSE GUYS”?

In my opinion, the Dusters are one of those bands who care more about the audience experience than what they are feeling themselves on stage. It is because the Dusters travel around the country ripping up stage after stage, venue after venue, city after city, with smiles on their faces as wide as the sun itself. They have so much fun on stage it creates a real sense of jealously within me. How could five guys from Virginia be so talented, but yet so humble and respectful? After months of long/rigorous touring how were these guys so upbeat and happy to play night after night? It is because they love us (concert patrons) and we love them back just as much and probably more. They bring their “A” game every night without question and seem to really enjoy doing so. There are not many other bands on the scene right now that you can say this about and mean it. The Dusters are on a whole other level of perfection and musical continuity… one in which we might not see again for a long time. They’re fun to watch, great to dance to and just a party ready to be had. They are becoming Infamously amazing in my opinion and I truly hope they continue to impress.

Jon's Photo Gallery

www.thestringdusters.com

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Springdale Quartet wsg. Pete Wall & Lindsay French 11.9.12


Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man


Friday night in Denver, Colorado, brought the Springdale Quartet with special guests to Dazzle for an evening of first-rate music in the intimate Dizzy Room. The band, dawning suits, took the stage and came out of the corner swinging with musical fury, like a boxer shooting for the upper-hand in the first round. Their energy oozed from the stage as their chemistry created a captivating presence. A couple of songs into the set and Springdale welcomed saxophonist, Pete Wall (Textiles) to brighten up the already developed compositions. Collectively the group displayed great abilities and the cherry on top came in the form of Ms. Lindsay French (The Recovery Act)! After a few flats, Lindsay jumped into the mix with her soulful, at times, almost Joplin sounding vocals.

More than the overwhelming amount of talent from such an intimate show, the environment really helped to set the vibe. Shades of red back lit with yellow and vibrantly colorful artwork coated the front room of the jazz club. The seated space was packed with folks dining, drinking and enjoying the stimulating scene. Moments of the evening, though in a jazz environment, saw so many similarities to the tension and release of bands like Phish or moe. Funk intertwined with Soul, rock and jazz for this cross-genre adventure that extended into the early hours of Saturday morning. If you haven't check out Springdale Quartet, we recommend that you do so.

J-man's Photo Gallery

www.springdalequartet.net

MusicMarauders Presents: The New Mastersounds


Cervantes
Denver, CO


Join us this weekend at Cervantes Other Side for one of the funkiest bands on our scene, the New Mastersounds!

16+ show, $20.00 - $25.00
Doors: 8:00 PM
Show: 9:00 PM

Purchase Friday Tickets Here: www.ticketfly.com/purchase

Purchase Saturday Tickets Here: www.ticketfly.com/purchase

www.cervantesmasterpiece.com

MusicMarauders Presents: Papadosio & Octopus Nebula


Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO


MusicMarauders Presents Papadosio & Octopus Nebula this Saturday November 17th at Cervantes in Denver, CO! Join us for an evening of Electronica, Jamtronica & more from a couple of the scene's heavy hitters!

16+ show, $15.00 - $17.00
Doors: 8:00 PM
Show: 9:00 PM

Purchase Tickets Here: www.ticketfly.com/purchase

www.cervantesmasterpiece.com

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kyle Hollingsworth Band 11.3.12


Boulder Theater
Boulder, CO

Words By Kevin Hahn
Photos By C Alan Crandall


To say that I was “just excited” for this show could be the understatement of this decade. I was going to have the opportunity to see my favorite musician (Kyle Hollingsworth) in my favorite venue (Boulder Theater) and most of my funky friends were going to be by my side moving and grooving until those final notes had been played. The weeks before this concert went by with a “tortoise-like” speed, as my body itched and mind craved for some good ole-fashioned funky good times. Reviewing the previous shows set lists from Kyle’s recent tour through California with John Brown’s Body, I knew we were in for a treat as the band sounded confident in their abilities and the funk was flowing… hard. But this night was not all about Kyle and his Motet friends, as we had two opening bands that truly got the energy going and the crowd buzzing.

Our night started off with one of Boulder’s finest musicians and truly awesome person, Garrett Sayers, flaying his funky phalanges up on stage with none other than his brothers. Now, I am not talking about some friends that Garrett calls his “brothas," but these were his actual older (Brian) and younger (Drew) brothers who were born with that internal funk that Garrett has revealed to us numerous times over the years. The Brother’s Sayers group raged for a quick forty five minute jazzy funk set which was highlighted with some Garrett Sayers Trio covers and some stage-induced improved jams, which kept my knees buckling and moving for the entirety of their appearance. In retrospect, the music was awesome (as anything with GSayers usually is) but the smiles the three brothers had while playing with their true flesh and blood were contagious and the love shared on stage could be felt throughout the entire venue.

Up next was the energetic, dance-party
inducing, head bobbing, soulful Jam-Reggae band known as John Brown’s Body. Honestly, when I first saw this show’s headliner pairing I was disappointed as I had never listened to JBB before and I didn’t know if their funky-reggae would be enough to keep the crowd interested and more so myself. WOW WAS I WRONG! Not only did they raise the crowd’s energy level with their deep horn cuts and smooth song transitions, but they blew the roof off the Boulder Theater. Song after song Elliot Martin, the singer and leader of the band, dove headfirst into the soulful melodies and gave us a truly powerful vocal performance. From the bassist to the drummer to the full horn section, this band was on point from the start and I couldn't help myself from clinging to the stage at the front of the Boulder Theater hoping for some enlightenment through the beautiful sounds of reggae. Kyle made an appearance on the keys for a song or two, but this in no way over-shadowed the kings of “Future Roots Music” as their set was a perfect opening for the funk yet to come.

With my excitement increasing and general scene inside the Boulder Theater getting restless for some funk de Kyle, I decided to get as close to the stage as humanly possible in order to get the best view of my musical hero. What a good choice this was, as shortly thereafter the band took their places and the crowd was ready to go. "Peregrino," a Motet staple and just downright dance party number started off the show and from the get go it was evident that Kyle and his friends came ready to rage. Garrett Sayers, Dave Watts, and Dan Schwindt made up the rest of the band and our Kyle/Motet dance fest had begun in full swing. "Let’s Go Outside" and "Can’t Wait Another Day," two String Cheese Incident staples, rounded out the first three songs of the show in a happy/smile-inducing sort of way. Kyle’s raspy vocals were beautiful for these songs and whatever he was sipping on (Probably his new beer Hop Bam!) kept him smooth and silky for the entire night. One of my personal favorites "Too Young" came next and Kyle went to work with incredibly funky keyboard prowess and his band didn’t drop a beat. A new song, "World Girl" was introduced next and I will wait until the Cheese gets their hands on this one before making a true judgment. "Racer X" created crowd frenzy as Garrett kept increasing his bass pace to lightning-like speed and Dave Watts followed suit to perfection. The band was on fire!

What came next could probably be described as the most amazing segue way/grouping of songs I have ever heard the Kyle Hollingsworth Band put together. (I have been to approximately 20-25 Kyle Band shows) "Way That It Goes > Slipknot > Help on the Way > Franklin’s Tower" was just the beginning of the epic-ness! Garrett was able to emulate Phil Lesh’s thumping bass-lines to a level of pure perfection and Dan Schwindt took "Way that It Goes" to a whole new level of guitar-shredding goodness. When "Franklin’s Tower" ended I looked around at the stunned audience and knew that Kyle and his funktastic friends had just won over any non-believers with their perfect executions and downright silly transition jams. "Boo Boo’s Pik-a-Nik" got the crowd bouncing and yelling to the only bluegrassy song choice of the entire night, giving way to one of the best combinations ever created (in my opinion) with the String Cheese funk-filled "Galactic" transitioning into a much appreciated "Flashlight" (George Clinton) segment. WOW was this combo the heat! Kyle glanced at his band and a smile engulfed his face as he knew what they were doing was something special. But where does he take his talented band from here? Home! And with this notion, the bass line of the Talking Heads "Na├»ve Melody" went into full force.

Tears of joy could be seen throughout the crowd as the David Byrne staple has become a world-wide fan favorite (no matter who the band playing it is) and Kyle’s band does it better than most. After a beautiful ten minute version/jam, "Ordinary" came blasting into the Boulder Theater with a ferocious guitar solo sandwiched in between Dave Watt’s ever-changing tempos and Garrett’s just downright funktastic-ness. As 1:00 a.m. quickly approached, I feared the show was coming to an end, but we still had some time to finish off those Hop Bam!’s and give our dancing shoes one last workout. The crowd pleasing and favorite "Rosie" hit the speakers and again the audience went nutty. The Cheese-like sandwich of "Rosie > Bonafied Lovin > Rosie" was a great way to end their set and the band did not disappoint with their electro-funk beats and enthusiastic smiles beaming from the stage. But what would Kyle and his incredibly talented band give us for the encore? Going with the night’s theme of his new beer creation with Sierra Nevada, the Kyle Hollingsworth Band gave us a "Bam > Taxman" encore, which will go down in my mind as a perfect ending to a downright funktastically perfect night.

As I was ushered out of the Boulder
Theater all I could manage to do was smile and giggle at what I had just witnessed. Kyle’s first true show in Boulder in three years was funky, exciting and full of a joyous band and appreciative audience. His band members, whom he happily stole from The Motet, create a core group of funktastic all-stars and there are no substitutes or replacements necessary. Garrett, Dan and Dave bring a raucous energy level and immense talent to the stage each and every time they play and thankfully Kyle employed them to help him do the same. I mean, what can I say? My musical hero, playing with some of his best friends, absolutely killing it on stage… One might call it perfect, but I have come to know it as Super-Funk-a-Licious-Beat Dropping-Knee Buckling-Palms Sweating-Outrageously Good Times and I can’t fathom waiting a month or so until I get to see this project again. Kyle Band and Soulive…can anyone say a match made in funk heaven? Until then, I will make peace with my ever-wanting desire for some good ole fashioned funk and keep telling myself to be patient. Only a few more weeks until my heart is full again… and hopefully you will join me as this band is just one of those you don’t want to miss.

www.kylehollingsworth.com