Last year, my friend Ryan dragged me out to see Poor Man's Whiskey at The Fox Theater in Boulder. Let me take this opportunity to thank him for that. As a huge SCI fan, his mention that Kang would be sitting in for their rendition of "Dark Side of the Moonshine," a bluegrass cover of the iconic Floyd album, helped motivate me. Their lead guitarist at the time was a man by the name of Sean Lehe, and this guy absolutely ripped! Unfortunately he had to take a break from the band due to an inner ear disorder. While everyone hopes to see his return to the stage soon, the band chose to move on for now. Chris Haugen played well with sizzling tone and softened the blow that Lehe would no longer be on stage. The rest of the band seemed to fall into their familiar roles, and got the ballroom heated up like the night's first shot of whiskey. Their bluegrass basics took several turns as they played a number of originals along with covers like Tom Petty's "American Girl" and Stephen Stills' "Love the One Your With." Josh Brough was the architect behind the band, and you could tell that Poor Man's Whiskey was his baby. His smooth vocals, timely banjo, and comfy keys made me feel right at home as he proved his songwriting was worth a listen and told tales of moving to San Francisco, Humboldt Hoedowns, run-ins with the law, and being weekend rock stars. As I contemplated PMW, I was filled with hope to see Sean Lehe again soon, and joy that Poor Man's Whiskey would be able to continue creating beautiful music in his absence. My recommendation, if you like good ol' whiskey drinking music, give Poor Man's Whiskey a shot.
As Great American Taxi pulled up, I expected a show dominated by Vince Herman's absurdly happy newgrass (see Leftover Salmon). While Vince's personality still shined a joyous light on the music, each member of his band contributed to the songwriting, singing, and jovial sound in entertaining and creative ways. The crowd became noticeably rowdy, and the Taxi's funk-grass opener was better than a ride in the Cash Cab. For starters, no one grilled me with trivia, threatening to leave me by the side of the road if I didn't get the questions right. Also, I didn't have one in a million odds of getting in (figure is speculative). That's right... Great American Taxi was a sure thing, it was on time, it took me places, and it required no more of me than the fare known as a ticket. With a driver like Vince Herman, who wouldn't want to go for a ride? The band smiled often as they skillfully ran through songs spanning genres yet maintaining a good-natured vibe throughout. I was reminded of String Cheese Incident before the electronica influence, and smiled at the memories of the organic sound. From bluegrass to funk, rock and roll to reggae, calypso to country they bounced between and blended them all. When I was in college I covered a Leftover Salmon show for my school paper, and had the pleasure of interviewing Vince after their set. I asked him if he had any advice for aspiring musicians. He said, "don't build walls around your music... Play everything at once." Over ten years later, Vince still seemed to feel the same way.
Vince began the show on mandolin, and reminded me of Jeff Austin with his first enthusiastic solo. It was relentless, rapid-fire, speed picking of astonishing energy and vibrancy. His switch to guitar mid show also featured some impressive pick work as he sang anthems like "For Twenty." But what really had the crowd smiling was a brief stint on keys while Poor Man's Whiskey and the Taxi shared the stage for a collaboration/ handoff jam. Vince played a keyboard solo that was better than Jack Black's Tenacious D guitar solos, but had a similar comedy to it. Taxi keyboard player, Chad Staehly jokingly tried to come in and save the solo, but Vince boxed out and laughed as he defended his keyboard throne from it's rightful king. Staehly shared vocal duties and played his keyboards with style and flair. Lead guitarist, Jim Lewin played edgy riffs with a tone that reminded me of Chuck Berry. His leads brought the image of Marty McFly ripping up Johnny B. Goode in Back to the Future to mind. Drummer, Chris Sheldon, kept the kit popping throughout, and bassist Brian Adams laid down lines with a casual, concise vibe that served the music perfectly. The entire show was reason to smile, and I hadn't seen a band enjoy their work so much in quite some time. That is what made it even more exciting to hear that they planned to use the show for a live album. I had an incredibly fun night at the Masterpiece Ballroom, and look forward to hearing the eventual release. Can't wait to catch this cab the next time it rolls through town.
Words by Greg Molitor ( ReMIND Photography ) Ozric Tentacles This British group has proven innovative throughout the years offering a space-rock meets psytrance sound that remains alive to this day. Though never having a major record label, Ozric Tentacles has produced 28 albums of diverse psychedelia throughout its career. The band met at the Stonehenge Free Festival in 1983 and truly fathered livetronica music with its use of sequencers and synthesizers. Simply put, there would be no livetronica without Ozric Tentacles. www.ozrics.com Octopus Nebula Colorado’s Octopus Nebula has certainly hit its stride as of late with its constant touring and increased festival interest. The group expands on the deep sounds of highly regarded acts such as STS9 and Shpongle but also carves a path of its own with its fresh takes on synthesizer tones and sampling in the live setting. Octopus Nebula Live at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom on March 26, 2010. <--- Direct Archive Link www.octopus
Words By J-man "What should I name this fucking thing?" I asked myself in the midst of a joint in my Upstate, NY apartment. "It's got to be something with just 'Music'in the title. Nothing more specific than that, as we'll be covering a wide variety of genres." One more drag on the joint yielded the memory of driving down Woodward Ave. in Detroit, listening to Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders. "MusicMarauders! That's it... It completely encompasses what we do in the sense the we are 'maraudering' or 'pillaging' for music," I thought as I stared out of the window at about three and a half feet of fresh Upstate snow. First things first, the domain had to be registered. "Do I have ten dollars in my account?" I thought to myself from a position of just scraping by. Pulling out my shiny, rarely used debit card, I put it to the test and was able to secure MusicMarauders.com. "What's next?" I
DTE Energy Music Theatre Clarkston, MI Words By J. Picard Photos By Jessica Pace & J. Picard The summer schedule was quickly filling up leaving us with just a few options to see Phish. As dates fell into place, it seemed only fitting that we would head back to my home town of Detroit, MI to enjoy Phish among friends and family. A lengthy drive through the ruins and returns of Detroit with my folks took us across the Ambassador Bridge to Canada and back before heading down to Mexican Village to meet up with some of our best friends; Matt, Teri, Andy and Zach. That night over copious amounts of queso and tortillas, we monitored the live setlist updates out of CMAC and discussed the following night's potential. The conversation of "parents night" came up and to my surprise, Tom (my father) joined the scenario. That night we rode out to the farm with Matt and Teri knowing full well the glory the following day would bring. Brilliant sunlight cast over the green gr
Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock ( phatphlogblog.blogspot.com ) At what point does the gimmick overshadow the performance? The obvious answer is Buckethead. The man is an amazing guitarist but something is not right in this world. The idea a performer who dons a KFC chicken bucket on his head for a concert has always intrigued me, and some of his side projects such as Colonel Claypool’s Bernie Bucket of Brains have been huge successes. However his performance last weekend in Fort Collins simply left me perplexed. From his robotic dancing, to his nunchuck display, to the fact the he performed with an iPod rather than a band all added to my confusion. Going into the show I was ready to be blown away, despite rumblings of disgruntled fans from the previous night’s show at The Gothic. Buckethead had had some sound issues and some missed cues in Denver but I was still trying to be positive for the show in Fort Collins. It did go off without a hitch technically but that was the least