Friday, March 31, 2017

Late Night Radio, Maddy O'Neal & Pandasaywhat 3.25.17 (Photos)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Yonder Mountain String Band & The Lil Smokies 3.24.17 (Photos)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Victor Wooten, The Drunken Hearts, Drew Emmit & Andy Thorn 3.24.17 (Photos)

MusicMarauders Spotify Playlist - Volume 22 (3.29.17)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Crow and The Canyon 3.23.17 (Photos)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Chicago and JD & The Straight Shot 3.18.17 (Photos)

The Funky Meters feat. John Medeski & Analog Son 3.23.17

The Fox Theatre
Boulder, CO

Words & photo by Kevin Hahn (Split Open & Shoot Photography)

Anytime I see a legend in the flesh, whether it’s a famous actor or sports athlete, I tend to experience feelings of nostalgia, great amazement, and sometimes shock/awe. But witnessing a living legend doing what they have been known for (in this case for over fifty years) is truly on a whole different level. George Porter Jr. is this exact person I am speaking of. The man is a monster on the bass, and is still touring quite hard at the ripe old age of 69 with a variety of acts.

Us Coloradans are very lucky to be able to see George numerous times a year whether it’s with The Foundation of Funk, The Meter Men, his own The Runnin Pardner’s, or the annual Mt. Sun’s Funky Good Times event. This time around he was at The Fox Theatre celebrating the 25th anniversary of one of the more respected music clubs in the Western United States. Ironically, George and this very group opened The Fox back in 1992 and still can bring the heat just like they did back in the days before Z2 Entertainment owned The Fox and the CU football team had more than one great season to hang their hat on. Opening the night for George and his funky friends was the Denver-based Analog Son who can hold their on when it comes to the necessities of a good funk band. Armed with two great female singers, Devon Parker and Ashley Niven and the founding guitar/bass duo of Jordan Linit and Josh Fairman, Analog brought some great energy to open the night and had the entire crowd dancing from start to finish.

Our main act, the 2017 version of the “Funky Meters” has original guitarist Brian Stoltz, NOLA-based drummer Terrence Houston, and original Meter’s keyboardist Art Neville. Unfortunately Mr. Neville fell ill this past week and had to be substituted with none other than John Medeski. I can’t say I was disappointed to have John sitting in for Art, as Medeski is truly a genius on the organ/keyboard and just so happens to be my musical hero. Starting off the show with an at least twelve minute version of one of the Meter’s most famous hits “Cissy Strut” The Fox was raging from the very beginning Houston started off with a drum-influence opening segment. Other Original Meter hits such as “People Say,” “Africa," “Cardova," “Pungee," and “Hey Pocky Way” were played with funky bass lines, Medeski-only type of piano riffs, and some great guitar playing from Brian Stoltz. I couldn’t help but notice how happy the entire band looked at all times on stage, with Porter Jr.’s infectious smile brimming ear to ear for two straight hours.

For the first encore Stoltz fired up the Meter engine with the very distinctive notes of “Ain’t No Use” which provided the largest crowd reaction of the night by far. I had a hard time controlling my own enjoyment; as for all the Meter side-projects I have seen this could have been one of my most favorite live experiences. Other than seeing Phish pianist Page McConnell with the Meter Men, having John Medeski sitting in for the legend Art Neville was more than enjoyable, and Houston is fantastic on his massive drum-kit. After crushing “Ain’t No Use,” the Funky Meter’s came back for a second encore of “You Just Kissed My Baby” which provided us with a funky end to an amazing evening of live music in Boulder. I highly recommend going to see Porter Jr. in any project he visits here with, as you never know when the legend will hang up his infamous tie-dye and large funk medallion’s. The funk lives on, and we must thank the Meter’s for all they provided us with over the past fifty or so years!

Kevin's Photo Gallery

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Conor Oberst & Felice Brothers 3.21.17 (Photos)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Werks 3.18.17 (Photos)

Friday, March 24, 2017

From Good Homes 3.20.17 (Photos)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Genetics ' Beast Mountain'

Words by Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)

The opening track drops the listener at a campsite. The sound of matches being struck eventually gives way to radio snippets before landing on Genetics prog-rock transmission.

“Creeper” was a multi-faceted rocker with multiple influences showcased, most prominently Midwest rawk royalty, Umphrey’s McGee. To deny the connection would be ignoring a fairly prominent part of their style and tone, but to pigeon-hole them as “trying to be Umphrey’s” would be an exaggeration. What they do have in common is edgy guitar tone, complicated compositions, and soaring lead lines that drive faster than Jeff Gordon on meth.

“Conscious Conscience” reminded me of a mix between Moe. and UM both vocally and instrumentally. The instrumental phrase in the middle was as tight as hipster jeans and the melodic element was almost as impressive as the execution. The harmonic lead guitar lines lead the song through a sonic exploration ala Pink Floyd.

“Something’s Lurking,” returned us to the campsite where bird calls and running water are interrupted by inhuman sounds.

“Periscope” was an aptly named song. The groove had a stealthy, predatory energy that definitely made me feel like I was scanning the horizon for any threats or prey. This helped to close the concept of the album. With such varied energetic waves, this tune married the peaceful camp site and the “beast” element. Gliding between sly, aggressive, smooth, and cunning, I began to feel connected to the album as a whole rather than the individual tracks.

“The Chase” may have been taken from the bear scene of the Revenant, but I’m not alerting Hollywood to it. It’s resolution to a heartbeat bled into the next tune.

“Quamn,” brought the dance party into the mix as the album’s story line hit it’s pinnacle. I thought the song may have also fit nicely on a The New Deal album. Something about the fidelity had a space-infused electro-funk element to it that really drew me in.

Gently landing on a cascading groove, “Winter Winds,” toured the mountainside with the calm ferocity of a seasoned hunter tracking his dinner. It was intense, articulate, coy, and ultimately forceful. The beast was certainly dead.

“Out of the Woods” was another skit-like interlude as our camping trip comes to an end and the truck is started for the long journey home.

“Air Force” provided a satisfying drive home as the band took a turn towards jazz fusion. As imprints of Al DiMeola mingled with blistering tone like some sort of Steve Vai piece, I realized how truly impressive Genetics latest effort really is.

Genetics is the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics. Genetics latest album showcases the heredity and inherited characteristics of a mighty strong lineage of musical pioneers… beasts. Coupled with their brand consistency, their album had a continuity and flow that may have been more impressive than any other single element of the whole.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

MusicMarauders Spotify Playlist - Volume 21 (3.22.17)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

John Craigie & Kat Fountain 3.19.17 (Photos)

Monday, March 20, 2017

St. Pat's in Five Points 3.18.17 (Photos)

Friday, March 17, 2017

The String Cheese Incident (Ski Show) 3.12.17 (Photos)

The String Cheese Incident 3.12.17 (Photos)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Leftover Salmon 3.10 - 3.12.17 (Photos)

The String Cheese Incident 3.11.17 (Photos)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

MusicMarauders Spotify Playlist - Volume Twenty (3.15.17)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hops + Handrails: Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Jeff Austin 3.11.17 (Photos)

The Wood Brothers & Shook Twins 3.11.17 (Photos)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Greensky Bluegrass & Larry Keel Experience 3.9.17 (Photos)

Umphrey's McGee & Polecat 3.3 - 3.4.17

The Wilma
Missoula, MT

Words by Mitch Melheim
Photos by Coleman Schwartz Media

Somewhere in between the realms of groove and shred lies Umphrey’s McGee, vigorously straddling each side. They’re closer to Rush than Phish, but ostensibly cater to the jam band world through deep connections with festivals such as Summer Camp and Dominican Holidaze. Their flawless segues sound as if they’ve been crafted in a recording studio, but often times only stem from their unique style of communicative jamming. It is when these lines are blurred that Umphrey’s McGee is at their best. Such was the case this past weekend in Missoula, Montana as they weaved seamlessly between vulnerability and technical prowess for two nights in Big Sky Country.

Friday March 3, 2017

Bellingham, Washington’s Polecat opened the night up. Their unique blend of bluegrass, reggae, and celtic is something that needs to be heard rather than explained, but they can play the hell out of their instruments, I can tell you that much. The main highlight to me was without a doubt watching guitarist Jeremy Elliott and drummer Karl Olson play off one another. It seems weird to say that about a drummer and a guitarist in a five-piece band, especially when there’s two guitarists, but I implore you to focus in on these two if you ever get the chance to see Polecat.

Umphrey’s began with their recorded introduction “You’ve Got The Wrong Guy” which turned into a heavy guitar riff that slid out into the funky, almost salsa-like “Speak Up.” “Mantis” opened the show up a little bit and provided the night’s first glimpse of improv, building to an intense peak before exploding into “Room To Breathe.”

Stopping to say hello to the crowd, guitarist Brendan Bayliss made note of the fact that Missoula was one of their favorite crowds last year. Something I would typically write off as eager hyperbole if I hadn’t also heard it from two different people before the show. People tend to do things with a bit more intent in Montana. A friend on our trip referred to them as “Montanimals.” Nothing is half-assed and it is perhaps the real reason why Missoula is referred to as “the Zoo,” not because of a slightly clever pun.

“The Bottom Half” threw some meat into the middle of the set, followed by the almost punk rock (until Bayliss starts singing) “Make It Right.” Some Joel Cummins G-funk poked its head out for a pleasantly meandering “Yoga Pants” that led back into “Mantis” to finish the set.

Prog powerhouse “1348” opened the second set and broke into an abnormally groovy jam for such a technical song. Cummins then worked his way over to his synthesizer and the transition into “Day Nurse” had begun before the previous song had finished. An unexpected cover of the Beatles “I Am The Walrus” followed and kicked off the finest segment of the night.

“Walrus” segued directly into the spazzmatic and funky “Tribute To The Spinal Shaft” which includes a jam that seems to be based around David Bowie’s “Fame.” The funk transformed into “Much Obliged” and kept the groove going until the emotional “Hajimemashite” brought the segment to an end.

The best segment of the night was immediately followed by the best jam of the night, a patient and well-developed “Intentions Clear” led by the type of spacey guitar I often yearn to hear Jake Cinninger play. The space, of course, then disappeared into the final segment of the raging “1348,” capping off the set before an eventual “40’s Theme” encore.

Coleman's Friday Photo Gallery

Set One: You’ve Got The Wrong Guy > Speak Up, Mantis > Room To Breathe, The Borrom Half, Make It Right, Yoga Pants > Mantis

Set Two: 1348 > Day Nurse, I Am The Walrus > Tribute To The Spinal Shaft > Much Obliged > Hajimemashite, Intentions Clear > 1348

Encore: 40’s Theme

Saturday March 4, 2017

The Wilma was packed tight with 1,400 Umphreaks for night two, most of which had traveled from far away because let’s face it, there aren’t too many things close to Montana. Don’t count them out though. The Wilma is one of the more impressive venues I’ve ever seen a show at and as mentioned earlier, those guys know how to get down. Missoula possesses the buck wild feel of the mountain and college town that it is, but with the quaint vibe you would normally expect from Montana.

Nothing was quaint about this night’s show though. Opening up with a scorching segment of “All In Time” > “Anchor Drops” > “2x2,” it became apparent that my expectations of a night of “big-hitters” would be met. After a well-balanced, if not Cummins-leaning first night, Cinninger had recaptured his throne early on with rapid-fire guitar work that culminated in the sludgy riff of “2x2.”

The acoustic guitars came out for Bayliss and Cinninger and it was time for “Uncle Wally.” Probably my favorite song that they play acoustically, it was a treat to hear this pretty and groovy tune live. Just Bayliss kept his acoustic out for what was by far the rarest setlist choice of the night, a cover of Tenacious D’s expectedly goofy and outrageous “Kielbasa Sausage,” performed for the first time in fifteen years.

The creeping “Draconian” broke into a decidedly funky jam that segued into a set-closing “Partyin’ Peeps” nearly twenty minutes later. A rock & roll first set was in the books and had left a lot of the dancier tunes still to be played.

The band was apparently on the same page as us, opening with the 80’s dance rock excursion “Wappy Sprayberry,” segueing directly into the hanging and exaggeratingly funky “Ringo.” Always a pleasure to get a Cinninger song, this may be my favorite one. The contorted riff acts mainly as a vehicle for Cinninger to play around on, extorting some very interesting rhythms.

After a peaking “Out Of Order” jam came “Bridgeless,” a song that never fails to jack me up. A brief, but beautiful section followed the typically in-your-face introduction, segueing into “Bad Friday” before finishing the song. Accented with funk stabs on guitar and an arpeggiated synthesizer melody, “Bad Friday” will put a smile on my face more often than not, especially once the unfortunately catchy chorus rolls around.

The remainder of the show involved a great deal of circling around back to what had been started, with a soaring cover of Derek and the Dominoes “Layla” leading back into the rest of “Bridgeless” and a “Booth Love” > “All In Time” encore. The encore segue was well-executed and even brought upon a “Den” tease that had us wondering if they may squeeze a third song in for good measure.

Coleman's Saturday Photo Gallery

Set One: All In Time > Anchor Drops > 2x2, Uncle Wally*, Kielbasa^, Draconian > Partyin’ Peeps

Set Two: Wappy Sprayberry > Ringo, Out Of Order > Bridgeless > Bad Friday, Layla > Bridgeless

Encore: Booth Love > All In Time


* Jake and Brendan acoustic
^ Brendan acoustic

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Garrett, Falco & Barnes 3.9.17 (Photos)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Valerie June 3.6.17 (Photos)

Friday, March 10, 2017

The String Cheese Incident 3.4.17 (Photos)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Umphrey's McGee 3.1 - 3.2.17

The Hive
Sandpoint, ID

Words by Brandt McDonough
Photos by Coleman Schwartz Media

Wednesday March 1, 2017:

Sandpoint Idaho is a gem of the Northern Rockies. With Schweitzer Mountain a mere thirty minutes away, this small ski town has the charm of its old timey fur trapping roots, and yet contains a venue that presents some of the best live music in the region. The Hive is an up and coming club in the region. Two years after opening its doors in 2013, it’s gotten off the ground by bringing in some big shows. The bumble bee décor is done with wit and imagination. The bathrooms are done in a hexagon hive pattern tiled in yellow, brown and black. In the main stage area three bee hive shaped disco balls hang over the crowd. An intimate venue capping out at about five hundred persons, it buzzes with energy for the band as well as the lucky attendees. Surprisingly it was not packed with Umphreaks. I grabbed a place about three rows back center only fifteen minutes before show time. Needless to say this four night trek through the inland Pacific Northwest would be special to say the least.

One thing I noticed was how stripped down their light rig was just to fit into this venue, adding certain distinction to this run. Things started off the “Evening With” building very “improggy” with the title track off of their most recent album Similar Skin. It’s a very King Crimson-esque track with lots of progression through key and time signatures. Jake Cinninger threw out some uber industrial metal riffs with excellent syncopation, with the two guitarists layering riffs in different time signature on top of each other. They then moved into a nice jazzy anchor drops era jam accompanied by “whooos” from the crowd. Slowly the musical excursion turned to a funky hip-hop realm that put out vibes reminiscent of J Dilla. One phrase that came to mind during this movement was “ambient drip,” interpret that as you will. The band dug deep in this one with a heavy back beat from Kris Meyers and Andy Farag augmented with patient guitar work from Jake and Brendan, along with some stand out synth brocades from Joel’s end.

Next we moved into the catchy original from late 2000 recorded on disc two of The Bottom Half, “Alex’s House” which saw Jake Cinnenger whip out the slide for some great noodling. Following that nice romp they unleashed "Der Bluten Kat" (aka DBK) a twenty plus minute composed original and old school Umphrey’s classic that oddly has yet to get the definitive studio performance it deserves. This song, which contains multiple sections/stanzas was wrapped around a new track that nearly came across as a Brendan and Joel duet until it expanded and brought in the whole band. This originated out of a “Jimmy Stewart” and showcased the unique song writing process this band loves to utilize. They are literally writing new songs live on stage through a series of hand signals. Watching a new song develop live on stage is one thing that drew me to these guys in the first place back in 2005.

They returned back to "DBK" to close out the set. In the second half, Jake displayed some notably low register finger tapping on his guitar, sounding gritty yet sharp at the same time. He flirted increasingly with some jazz phrasings until plunging into an avant-garde free jazz section. Set one fixed a high bar for what was sure to be an epic four night romp through the inland Pacific Northwest.

The band sprang out of the gates in the second set where we were treated to the always epic "Miss Tinkles Overture." Taken out of a mid-1990’s super Nintendo Mega Man soundtrack, it’s always a treat when Jake steps down and lets Bayliss take a solo. Though Jake is clearly the “shredder”/”face melter” of the band, Brendan’s guitar chops should not be disregarded. Early in this rendition we were reminded of that via some finger tapping on his guitar. Things turned a bit EDM-y as they moved into a jam reminiscent of STS9 and EOTO. It’s clear that Chicago influenced their sound over the years considering Chi-town is the birth place of modern “house music.” This “four on the floor” jam got the crowd good and sweaty just in time for Jake to switch guitars and perform some guitar hero riffs illuminating his affinity for Sammy Hagar and 80’s metal in general.

Next was the classic fan favorite, "Syncopated Strangers." The first half was fairly standard. Just as the band was approaching the “churchy” second half of the song, Joel began experimenting on his Moog synthesizer. Then Jake picked up on the spaceyness, and began doing what I can only describe as “space-scatting.” There was some sort of effect on his voice, similar to the demon voice in "Resolution." Needless to say this little improvisational flourish grabbed attention. Then they dropped into the beginning of the Zeppelin Middle Eastern tinged classic, "Kashmir." They jammed on those classic lines for a bit then turned into a Rage Against the Machine jam, specifically "Killing in the Name." This was a musical tease as they went back into the latter half of "Syncopated." This has always held a soft spot in my heart. Its gospel/churchy vibe cuts deep and features some patient and soulful playing from Jake.

Next, the first actual cover of the night with "Girlfriend is Better" (Stop Making Sense) by the Talking Heads. The heat was spiked from the first bar. Again, feeling their Chi town roots in house music they delved into a nice trance jam coming out of the beloved 80’s funk classic. Coming out of that sultry groove we returned to an earlier period in Umphrey’s career with (one of my personal favorites) "The Fussy Dutchman." The cascading guitar work accompanied with Stasik’s chugging bass groove sent smiles all around The Hive. Also notable, some incredibly passionate playing from Brendan Bayliss. Once again, Jake deferred to Bayliss’ lead. When it happens it sends shivers down my spine, which is why I feel Brendan’s playing more than Jake’s face melting, almost mathematical approach to guitar playing. It’s like comparing pro vert skateboarders Christian Hasoi to Tony Hawk. One is about style and emotion; the other about athletics and pushing the envelope beyond the laws of physics.

After “Fussy Dutchman” the band took a minute to swig their respective beverages. Bayliss seems to be on a wine kick, whereas Stasik was sticking to the Non-Alcoholic St Paulie Girl. A dozen years back I remember they proudly and exclusively downed Budweiser. Hey, that was fifteen years ago and people get married and have kids and I am glad to see that family/drugs have not slowed this band down in the least bit. Towards the end, Jake threw out some rowdy bluegrass tinged riffs, possibly as a nod to the musical climate of the inland PNW. But they turned out to be a feint as they pivoted into a 2008 original, "The Floor." Honestly, I have never been the biggest fan of this track, but I smiled and enjoyed it nonetheless.

The encore was special. The set list called for “Conduit,” but in a last minute audible call the band decided on “Hangover,” hands down my absolute favorite Umph tune. I edged to the front to fully enjoy this personal favorite I had not heard live since Columbus, Ohio in 2011. The song features slow, slinky, funky guitar work along with some great chanting i.e. “ALL NIGHT LONG” after every measure. Tonight they did not break out the booty wax chant for it was not Saturday night. On that note, let’s hope they bring it out for Saturday in Missoula. The funky syncopated jazzy break down, reminiscent of Shakedown Street, never fails to get me dancing. As this scorcher wound down to the end right around 12:30 AM the band bid the crowd good night, wishing people fun on the slopes tomorrow, sending people out into the streets of Sandpoint grinning ear to ear. That was that for night one.

Coleman's Wednesday Photo Gallery

Set One: Similar Skin > Educated Guess, Sociable Jimmy > Mad Love, Alex's House > Der Bluten Kat > Final Word > Der Bluten Kat

Set two: Miss Tinkle's Overture, Hourglass > Domino Theory, Syncopated Strangers[1],Girlfriend is Better > The Fussy Dutchman, The Floor

Encore: Hangover

[1] with Kashmir (Led Zeppelin) jam

Thursday March 2, 2017:

Day two in Sandpoint got off to a delicious start, waking up in our crew’s beautiful Lake Side rental cabin and cooking a feast of breakfast. Some went up to Schweitzer Mountain get some turns in, and possibly see Joel and Jake on the slopes. Others decided to relax at the epic crib and later explore downtown Sandpoint. With a population of about seven thousand, this is a small town for such a big band. I heard through the grapevine that the owner of The Hive is a friend of the band. Maybe this explains the attraction. Or perhaps it’s the jaw dropping beauty of the backdrop.

As I walked into The Hive that evening, I was surprised at the light crowd. That would change later. Milling around and talking to some fellow Umphreaks, I heard that the band opted out of a set list for this evening’s performance. Instead they would pick from a grab bag of about twenty-five tunes in no particular order. Anything could happen in this remote Idaho panhandle town.

First up, some old business. The band opened with an expansive “Conduit,” the song they were planning on encoring the previous night. The original Um song began appearing in rotation circa 2011, Death By Stereo era. This track sums up their signature “improg” sound very well. Full of progressions through time signatures and keys, the song progressed into a nice uplifting “Jimmy Stewart.” Up next was the newer track, “Loose Ends,” which gave off a pop-grunge vibe and featured ample use of the “Jake Blade,” a custom whammy device.

“Hurt Bird Bath” hit The Hive like an imperial asteroid from some far off galaxy, then spread its smoke and fire out across more than 20 minutes of the first set. Things got pretty dancey during the middle stew section. The room was filling up now and the energy was reaching a boiling point. The jam moved through some interesting regions entering a Pink Floyd-tinged section and into jamtronica synth work from Joel’s Moog. From there, we landed back into "HBB" and a roar from the crowd. “Wife Soup” featured a passionate solo from Brendan towards the end. Bayliss tends to be more patient and more soulful than Jake, yet he still has the chops that allow him to keep up with Jake’s blistering style. Listen to “Nachos for Two” from before Jake joined the band if you do not believe me.

Next on the agenda (or lack thereof) was the jazzy, but dark “Dump City.” A track from early in the band’s career, the self-coined term “improg,” rings true here as well. I was feeling flavors of metal, of the Anthrax variety, during the jam section. The band then moved into a “Soul Sacrifice” style jam, heavy on syncopation from Kris Meyers and Andy Farag. The furious tempo along with some first class face melting from Jake sent the happy crowd into a frenzy as the first set ended after five songs and seventy-five minutes. By now the crowd, which seemed larger that last night, was at critical mass. The outdoor balcony was jammed and the bouncers were letting one in and one out. It turned out to be a blessing. When I made it back in to find a good spot on the floor, I happened in through the VIP door and found myself on the small balcony. I mingled and watched the opening five minutes of "Triple Wide" before I was lured down to the rowdy dance party below. This was a stellar rendition of the trance classic and I cannot emphasize enough how hyped the crowd became during this tune. Kris Meyers was on point as he wove in some electronic drumming patterns complete with hip hop style snare “claps.” A few of the wilder folks riding the rail front and center began jumping up and down flailing their arms through the air in blissful abandon. Soon the energy slowed for some of the most beautifully tactful improvisation, reminiscent of the good ol’ Grateful Dead.

From there the boys landed on the opening lounge reggae guitar part of the beloved song “Higgins” off of their phenomenal B-side album The Bottom Half. It moves between cool reggae and hard driving 80’s arena rock. For me this is a song I love to wag my index finger to. Next was “Search 4,” an original that debuted during their Aragon NYE run ten years ago. I heard it then and heard it now.

The opening riffs of the Chicago themed classic “In the Kitchen” sent the crowd into a fury. Needless to say, being from Chicago myself, I love this song and have since I first picked up a copy of Anchor Drops back in high school. The lyrics talk about the brutal winters that wrap around the Mid-Western metropolis. It’s a beautiful piece that touches on philosophical topics such as altruism, technophobia, and finding happiness. It was well received back in 2004, won Best New Song at Peter Shapiro’s now defunct Jammy Awards, and still carries weight 13 years later. The middle jam section coming out of "Kitchen" got funky fast, then very jazzy. They landed on an “island groove,” reminiscent of the Ali Baba’s Tahini track “Kabump” and featured some excellent face melting from Jake.

The sole cover of the night was The Clash’s definitive new wave/dance-punk, "Rock the Casbah." A surprise guest dropped in on Andy’s percussion rig, and it turned out to be Hive owner Jeff Grady, reinforcing the fact that this venue and band enjoy a personal bond. Jake took the vocals on this one and summoned his inner David Lee Roth for some aggressive metal-tinged crooning. The second set ended in a sweaty borderline mosh pit of a crowd.

The encore began with the famous guitar riff that launches Anchor Drops, then fan favorite, “Plunger.” I love that guitar riff so much. It reminds me of toppling Jenga pieces. They then segued into the second half of “In the Kitchen,” complete with the lyrics from Brendan, “I hope you’ll f-cking be here tomorrow,” in lieu of the middle stew. Finally, they u-turned back into “Plunger” to close out the show.

Hopefully, some more good shows will be coming this way in the future. Both Sandpoint and The Hive are something of a hidden treasure, a cozy intimacy wrapped in scenic splendor. And there’s that ingenious bee hive décor with the hexagonal bathrooms too. It’s well worth the extra traveling time.

Coleman's Thursday Photo Gallery

Set One: Conduit -> Loose Ends, Hurt Bird Bath, Wife Soup, Dump City[1]

Set Two: The Triple Wide -> Cut Off > Higgins, Search 4, In The Kitchen -> No Comment > Rock the Casbah[2]

Encore: Plunger > In The Kitchen > Plunger

[1] with It's About That Time (Miles Davis) teases
[2] with Jeff Grady on percussion

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Jazz is Phish 3.4.17 (Photos)

MusicMarauders Spotify Playlist - Volume Nineteen (3.8.17)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

WinterWonderGrass 2.24 - 2.26.17 (Photos)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Leftover Salmon 2.19.17

Wonder Ballroom
Portland, OR

Words & Photos by Mitch Melheim

Very few bands can encapsulate the feel-good energy that Leftover Salmon consistently brings to the table. Throughout numerous lineup changes, the band’s founding core of Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt have provided a steady backbone that has managed to keep fans smiling and dancing for over 25 years. The tradition continued on a rainy Sunday night at Portland’s Wonder Ballroom as Salmon provided a ray of sunshine amidst the gloomy Oregon winter.

Wasting no time, the dance party had begun with a jammed out “Keep Driving” opener that led into “Lonesome Road.” The band displayed their versatility as they branched away from their bluegrass start towards an island-sounding “Jokester.” The set eventually found its way back to bluegrass for “Light In The Woods,” but was followed by the twangy and explosive “Funky Mountain Fogdown.” Two horn players, Mark D’Angelo on trumpet and Nick La Rivere on trombone, then joined the stage for a cover of The Band’s “Ophelia” that ended the first set.

The appropriately-named “Euphoria” kicked off the next set of music with more help from the horns, this time replacing D’Angelo’s trumpet with Sean McClean’s (World’s Finest) saxophone. The horns stayed up for the playful segment of “Boo Boo” > “Gimme Da ’Ting” > “Boo Boo” before leaving the stage to the six members of Leftover Salmon to dive into some deep improvisation.

The first of which was the funkiest jam of the night, a ten minute “Wild Bill Jones” fully-equipped with scratchy guitar from Herman and Greg Garrison’s gurgly bass. “Playing In The Band” followed and segued into the ominous “Ask The Fish,” eventually leading back into the Grateful Dead cover before a soaring and uplifting “Breakin’ Thru” worked fans into a frenzy fueled by Emmitt’s mandolin.

The band seems to have found their groove with new keyboardist Erik Deutsch, who has done an admirable job of replacing Bill Payne after his departure to the Doobie Brothers. He deploys a significantly different style than Payne (or Bill McKay before him, for that matter) in that he often chooses to provide an atmospheric texture to jams, allowing a platform for the rest of the band to improvise over. This combined with the spacey effects that Andy Thorn often applies to his banjo makes for the most psychedelic Leftover Salmon lineup yet.

Once the psychedelia had subsided, La Rivere and McLean made their ways back to the stage for a fun set-closing cover of Zachary Richard’s “Who Stole My Monkey,” which was followed by two more covers in the encore, John Hartford’s “Up On The Hill Where They Do The Boogie” and Bob Marley’s “One Love.”

Set One: Keep Driving, Lonesome Road, Jokester, Reach, Winter’s Gone Today, Light In The Woods > Funky Mountain Fogdown, Ophelia*^

Set Two: Euphoria^+, Boo Boo^+ > Gimme Da ‘Ting^+ > Boo Boo^+, Wild Bill Jones, Playing In The Band > Ask The Fish > Playing In The Band > Breakin’ Thru, Who Stole My Monkey^+

Encore: Up On The Hill Where They Do The Boogie^+, One Love^+#


* with Mark D’Angelo (trumpet)
^ with Nick La Rivere (trombone)
+ with Sean McClean (saxophone)
# with Tom and Kalissa Landa (vocals)