Monday, July 22, 2019

Dylan Cover #385 The Grateful Dead "Ballad of a Thin Man" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is live a cover by The Grateful Dead of the Dylan tune "Ballad of a Thin Man"

Thoughts On Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Surprisingly we have not touched upon a cover of this track yet in the series, possibly because it has never been anywhere close to a favorite of ours. This tune seems to be a clear product of Dylan's time and space, hounded by media/fans/everyone and lashing out in a burnt out manner. Not containing his best lines or playing it has never really grabbed hold, except a few times in the live setting.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
RtBE loves the Grateful Dead. We have voted for them as the Best American Band in our favorite bar stool conversation and are showcasing them this month in our Master's Series.

Thoughts on Cover:
Last week we featured some strong Bobby on Bobby singing as Weir covered Dylan well and that streak continues this week as Bobby dominates this version of "Ballad of A Thin Man" the drummers do their part, and Jerry loves squirreling away behind Bobby, but Weir takes command. A solid cover.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Full Show Friday: The Grateful Dead 10/3/87 Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA

We search the murky back waters of youtube to find full concerts and post them to the site weekly, come back every seven days to help us celebrate Full Show Friday's. These shows are of varying quality and may not be here for long so enjoy them while you can...As always, please support the artist every which way, but especially by seeing them live (if they are still playing)...This week...Grateful Dead!

For July The Masters Focuses on The Grateful Dead

July finds RtBE mining familiar ground when it comes to our Masters Series, but there is just no better summer band, so enjoy The Grateful Dead in the sunshine to end the work week. This month we have four shows from the band and we will be using the four decades they were active for each week. This week the 80's get some love, 1987 in particular.

The eighties were tough on everyone, especially long touring musical bands as New Wave, Glam and Rap took hold of the pop charts. The decade was especially hard on Jerry Garcia who fell into a diabetic coma in 1986 and when he awakened he needed to relearn how to play guitar from scratch. 

The last few years of the decade however saw some really strong tours from the Dead, Summer '89 has a few great shows, Spring '88 was solid and Fall '87 was good as well. Today we are going to grab a show from that run, 10/3/87 at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. 

The key to late eighties is Brent Mydland's modern key's and Bob Weir singing strongly (in his Daisy Dukes)as they both had a few big songs to work with including "Throwing Stones" which anchors a really strong second set on this night. By this point in their career the group fell into a two set routine with "Drums and Space" every show, and on this evening they are worth a listen (not always the case). Brent's sound and singing may not be for all Dead fans, but it sounds proper to RtBE.  

First set highlights are the funky "Hey Pockey Way" with Mydland's electro keys and beautifully gruff voice leading the charge where as "Candyman" just oozes out of Garcia's guitar. "When I Paint My Masterpiece is a joy as well.

Pro shot, pro sound, full info below. Enjoy:

Grateful Dead October 3, 1987 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA A Peanut Production Field Recording: Don Pearson Tapes Provided By: Charlie Miller Capture, Edit, Encode, DVD Authoring: Markiki Audio Synchronization: Kevin Tobin Video: Pro Line Feed - Master Master: Pro Line Feed - Unknown Signal Chain - Unknown Beta Deck - Beta HiFi Master Transfer: Beta HiFi Master - Sony SL-HF900 - Canopus ADVC-300 - iMac i3 - Final Cut Pro 6 - Compressor 3 - MP4 - YouTube Audio: SBD - Cassette Master (Maxell MX90) Transfer Info: Cassette Master (Tascam 122mkII) - Apogee MiniMe (24bit/48k) - Samplitude Professional v9.02 - FLAC/16 Remastering Info: FLAC - Adobe Audition v3.0 - Samplitude Professional v11.2.1 - FLAC - (shnid=121961) All Transfers and Mastering By Charlie Miller - September 14, 2012 Set 1 Tuning Hey Pocky Way New Minglewood Blues Candyman The Addams Family Tuning When I Paint My Masterpiece West L.A. Fadeaway My Brother Esau Birdsong The Music Never Stopped Set 2 Maggie's Farm Cumberland Blues Looks Like Rain Terrapin Station Drums Space The Other One Stella Blue Throwing Stones Lovelight The Mighty Quinn Jerry Garcia - Guitar Mickey Hart - Drums Bill Kreutzmann - Drums Phil Lesh - Bass Brent Mydland - Keyboards Bob Weir - Guitar

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Album Review: Christone "Kingfish" Ingram - Kingfish

Christone "Kingfish" Ingram
**** out of *****

A few years back in 2010 a young guitar-slinger took his Austin, TX inspired electric blues to a national stage as a then 24 year old Gary Clark Jr. released his Bright Lights EP and started a meteoric rise. Now an even younger blues man, the 20 year old Christone "Kingfish" Ingram puts his modern stamp on the blues with his debut Kingfish. Coming from Clarksdale, MS his hometown pull of all the greats (Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson) is strong and he moves into southern blues instead of the Texas style; like BBQ all regional takes on the style are tasty.

Speaking of greats, it doesn't take long for one of them to show up as Buddy Guy straps in and plays with Ingram on the playfully great "Fresh Out" trading licks with a person 62 years his junior Guy sounds joyous as does Kingfish. Tracks like "It Ain't Right" and piano aided closer "That's Fine By Me" travel tried and true meaty electric guitar blues paths about wrong doin' women but Kingfish also shows range. The acoustically reflective "Been Here Before" ties his love of the old genre to his family heritage in close-up passionate fashion; even when the volume is stripped away Kingfish is affecting.

He brings in Keb Mo' and adds a pop sheen (while completely ripping off of the Talking Heads "Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town") for the lord loving "Listen" and channels BB King for the powerful "Love Ain't My Favorite Word". "Before I'm Old" is a blues standard that deals with his obvious age gap, but it is the strength of tunes like "Believe These Blues" and "Hard Times" which prove that Kingfish sounds ingrained in the blues well beyond his years.

The whole record is a solid arrival onto the scene but two stand out a bit higher than the rest. "Trouble" is an upbeat jaunt about being caught by another woman with a New Orleans rumba juiced blues to it, while "If You Love Me" takes warbling guitars and pumping lines and adds gorgeous harmonica to the blues cliched number, resulting in a fresh sounding jam. 

Going back to the beginning Clark sang "you're gonna know my name" and Ingram begins his full length debut by singing that he is sick of waiting around his town and is about to leave it behind for better things on the direct "Outside of This Town". With quality playing, blues song writing and singing this young buck will be touring the world from here on out.     
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Masters - The Grateful Dead - Best Live Albums

RtBE loves listening to new music and prides itself on keeping tabs on up and coming artists but in 2019 we are also going to have a monthly spotlight on legendary artists who we really love. We are calling this series The Masters. It will focus on the best albums, live records, transcendent shows and other odd ways we appreciate the artists and their contribution to music, culture and our formation.

For June The Masters focuses on the great The Grateful Dead.

Live music is the best thing out there. Being caught in the moment is religion. Palpable vibes of healing and energy are transmitted and shit...gets...real. For this month's focus, The Grateful Dead may be more tied to the live show than any other rock band in history. They developed a literal touring mini economy and because of the bands massive structure, had to be on the road almost constantly.

The group had many phases and multiple lineup shifts, but the stage is where they truly succeeded as a collective, playing in the moment and without net. The group soared more than non-fans give them credit for and that thrilling collective experience is what kept fans touring the country with their musical heroes.

For other entries in The Masters, when it comes to live albums there were some limits, with the Dead it is just the opposite, there have been so many live releases it is hard to limit this list to "official" releases as prolific taping, the Internet Archive and tons of other sites have made obtaining a certain night in the bands history incredibly easy.

However, since we have been using official releases for other entries of The Masters, we will stick with that for this post and move to personal "Go-To" shows at a later date. We know that times have changed and while One From the Vault and Hundred Year Hall were instrumental to our love of the Dead, these days people do not need official releases to get soundboard quality and are much more likely to just stream a solid show then purchase an "official release". 

With Dicks/Dave's Picks, the criminally underrated Road Trips series and various completest Box Sets being offered up seemingly every month (their whole history will be officially released soon) it is hard to keep track of which shows are officially out there and which are still in the hands of tapers, so for this list we are skipping all of those and just going with live albums released officially by the band. Going to be tough, but we will give this a shot, below are our top five live albums from the Grateful Dead.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Live Review: Roses Grove Band - 7/13/19 Connolly's Times Square NYC

Roses Grove Band
Live @ Connolly's Times Square
NYC, NY 7/13/19

While the Upper West Side of Manhattan was plunged into darkness via a fire resulting in a mass power outage, Times Square managed to stay lit up and allowed the Roses Grove Band to bring their interpretations of Grateful Dead tunes to the center of the city. 
The band got lucky as drummer Adrian Mullins was delayed by the power outage and barely got to the show in time, but things coalesced quickly as the band begin with "Feel Like A Stranger". The sound had a some issues as things were a bit dodgy to start but the band managed to drop into their groove with relative ease for an early "Shakedown Street" which got spacey fairly quickly and segued in and back out of "Playin' In The Band".
The group loves to use these pairings of songs that the Dead themselves would have never done, opening up the groups catalog even further with unique segues and jams as there are rarely ever any breaks in the set.

The groove laid down by Mullins and bassist Ben Chaleff anchored things as Nick Epstein took lead vocal duty on "West LA Fadeaway" which found things moving from laid back to fast as the band truly locked in and soared directly into "Estimated Prophet" with Matt Lasurdo's keys and Chuck Gallanti's Garcia like lead lines swimmingly floated through the air before the highlight of the night "Fire On The Mountain" (with lyrical nods from Chaleff to fire on the upper westside) closed the set.
The second set never reach the heights of he end of the first but the band got a bit looser as "Dark Star"got exploratory and out there before the rhythmic work of Mullins lead the charge into "St. Stephan" as the drums pumped heavy. The bands splashes of energy and upbeat rock and roll also colored "Cassidy" and is just one of the reasons RGB is a Dead cover band worth checking out.

The night closed with a stand alone "Franklin's Tower" as the crowd thinned out trying to find their way around a partially shut down city, a rare event in NYC, but the Roses Grove Band always delivers a good time while shining a light on the Dead's material.
Support the band, see them live and peep some video below: 

Album Review: Trojan Jamaica Compilation - Red, Gold, Green, Blue

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!

It is of Trojan Jamaica's first official release the compilation titled Red, Gold, Green, Blue.

Everyone from Toots to Sly & Robbie were on the album covering blues tunes in reggae style. It is alright, but more hit and miss than it probably should be.

Support the label, buy the album, read the review, and peep some video below:

Monday, July 15, 2019

Dylan Cover #384 The Grateful Dead "Desolation Row"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today is a live cover by The Grateful Dead of the Dylan tune "Desolation Row"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this track:
A magnum opus of early Dylan. A song that is mystical and heated, politically charged while never explicit. One of the more expansive songs he has written and an early indicator that Dylan was on another level lyrically. From Ezra Pound to Bette Davis there are literary references, pop culture bits and a complete fabled world that comes alive in the ears. A true high point when it comes to Bob Dylan songs.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
RtBE loves the Grateful Dead. We have voted for them as the Best American Band in our favorite bar stool conversation and are showcasing them this month in our Master's Series.
Thoughts on Cover:
A really solid version of this tune the Dead covered quite a few times. The bass lines from Lesh are really well placed, Brent's atmospheric keyboards and Jerry's vibrant guitar runs/backing vocals contain great flair, but it is Bobby Weir nailing the singing and lyrics on this Dylan tune which make it special. From 7/19/89 whose whole show is really top notch and forms the basis of Down Hill From Here.