Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Masters: Jimi Hendrix - 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 Jimi Hendrix.

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, Jimi Hendrix lived for the live moment. Everyone knows of his historic rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner", but Hendrix was so much more then that. Things could get messy, noisy, bluesy, beautiful and mind blowing. While Hendrix seemed to be opening up and exploring studio work before his death, the stage was always his home; the sound is what matters.

Just like our January focus in the is series Miles Davis, Hendrix was always shifting where he was heading and he unfortunately died at such a young age, it would have been amazing to see what he and Davis could have cooked up, or even to see him as a 70 year old Blues man playing small clubs. As it stands all of his three official studio work should be owned (and a few others) but the glory of live Jimi is something to behold.

Because he died so young, and the legal rambling over the musics rights, a lot of these concerts may never have been released, but as it stands, this is what we have to go with so here are our picks for his five best live records...

New Hold Steady Album Arriving This Summer

Just yesterday we posted our review and some pics of the recent Craig Finn show and today we got more Hold Steady news as the band has announced their newest album Thrashing Thru The Passion will be released on August 16th.

It has been over five years since the underwhelming Teeth Dreams and while half of the upcoming album has been released through the bands bandcamp page in the recent past, five of the tracks will be brand new.  Produced by Josh Kaufman who has worked with Finn on his last three solo records, RtBE are excited to see what style he brings to this albums final structure.

The band will also be touring this summer to support it so head over to their site for tickets pre-order info for Thrashing Thru The Passion and more info. Peep those tour dates and video for the new-ish tune "Denver Haircut" below:

SEATTLE, August 15-17


BOSTON, September 12-15




Saturday, December 7 sold out

Special Note: Brooklyn Bowl's website cannot process orders from outside North America. If you are outside North America and looking to purchase tickets for Brooklyn Bowl, please click here!

CHICAGO, August 22-24


NASHVILLE, September 5-7


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Live Review: Craig Finn @ Joe's Pub NYC 6/12/19

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of Craig Finn's recent set at Joe's Pub on Wednesday June 12th.

It was a solid set from Finn and his backing band The Uptown Controllers (Laura Stevenson also opened and helped out) as they spun through a wide range of his solo songs from his last three records, the latest which we reviewed for Glide as well.

For those new to the site, Finn is a personal favorite of this site and we love catching him anytime we can.  RtBE had literal front row sets for this one so peep some pictures, RtBE will also be catching this outfit open for the Drive-By Truckers this Friday night at Brooklyn Bowl.

Support the band, read the review, peep the pics and video below:
Laura Stevenson Opened the show

Monday, June 17, 2019

Dylan Cover #380 Jimi Hendrix Experience "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by Jimi Hendrix Experience performing "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" 

Thoughts on Original:
A rambling transitional tune from Dylan as he moved from folk to his rock phase backed by The Hawks as they push that wild thin mercury sound which Dylan was just starting to dabble with. Perhaps because of it's rarity, not appearing on any official album it is always a joy to listen to when it pops up, but there are better tracks in this vein such as the unfinished "She's Your Lover Now" but that is a whole separate for "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?" itself it is a fun jaunt through Dylan's playful, flirtatious and poetic mind.


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We are celebrating Jimi Hendrix all month in our Masters series. He is one of RtBE's all-time favorites.

Thoughts on Cover:
The bootleg style recording doesn't do this one justice, taken off of Live from the Fillmore Jimi is totally engaged with the lyrics and riffs combining for a powerful funky rhythm throughout. There is a better version captured on the BBC Sessions album but that's not currently on youtube. For this version if he had done a solo at the end instead of the Clapton/Girlfriend bit I would have dug it more. Fun to hear Hendrix and crew tackling it live no matter how rough the form.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Full Show Friday: Jimi Hendrix Live at the Newport Festival June 1969

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...Jimi Hendrix!

For March, The Masters Focuses on Jimi Hendrix

Jimi was a whirlwind of sight and sound when he took to the stage in the second half of the 1960's. There was literally no one like him before and many imitators since. Today we go to Newport June 22nd 1969. 

Hendrix had just been arrested for drug possession by Canadian Police right before the weekend so things started off poorly and got worse when The Experience headlined he fest Friday night. Mitch Mitchell thought it was one of the worst shows the band ever played, even insinuating Hendrix was drugged:
“I think someone spiked Jimi,” said Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell in Johnny Black’s Eyewitness Hendrix book. “Or maybe he’d taken something of his own and then someone had spiked him on top of that. It was a disaster. I kept thinking, ‘This is weird, all this money…’ One of the worst gigs we ever played.”
This lead to Hendrix coming back to jam on Sunday to close the festival and that is the video below as he plays with Buddy Miles on drums. This is rare footage of an impromptu outing, very cool. Enjoy:

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Album Review: Justin Townes Earle - The Saint of Lost Causes

Justin Townes Earle
The Saint of Lost Causes
***and1/2 out of *****

On Justin Townes Earle newest album he and his fellow musical travelers dig into Americana with confidence as The Saint of Lost Causes rolls into the ears with polish and charm. The folk singer uses a stout cast of supporters to craft his effecting songs with professional grit and a humanistic vibe. 

His ninth studio album finds JTE crafting a rich tapestry crisscrossing the country quite literally. There are styles and structures from the shuffling "Pacific Northwestern Blues" to the steel guitar tinged love song to "Mornings In Memphis" before heading north to deal with two songs about Flint, Michigan, "Don't Drink The Water" and "Flint City Shake It" a duel set of tunes that deal with that troubled towns exploitative history. 

The geographic patchwork quilt finds different sounds to paint their stories as Adam Bednarik - Upright Bass, Electric Bass Joe V. McMahan - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Celeste Paul Niehaus - Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Pedal Steel Jon Radford - Drums, Percussion Cory Younts - Harmonica, Wurlitzer, Piano, Fender Rhodes, Background Vocals all back up Earle. The true MVP's are the producers Earle and Bednarik who craft warm sounds throughout with vibrant production.

Where things shift is in the harrowing tale of drugs, cop killers and hopelessness contained in the haunting "Appalachian Nightmare" as the music pairs with the sad junkie/criminal tale using strings lightly distorted bass and big bass drums; a stunning track. Another album highlight is "Frightened By The Sound" which takes a slightly less final approach but still paints a gorgeous sonic picture.

The blues get spun for a whirl as the stripped down "Say Baby" goes for a direct approach while "Ain't Got No Money" pushes up the road house tempo and both infuse harmonica with damn fine results getting an earthy grim on the record that feels sprung from the soil as is.

Earle has produced a neat trick, making an album that speaks to current troubles, yet feels timeless in construction; The Saint of Lost Causes is the strongest album Earle has crafted in some time.
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below: 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Album Review: Mavis Staples - We Get By

Mavis Staples
We Get By
**** out of *****

Mavis Staples late career has been filled with excellent albums full of gospel soul and splashes of funky rock and roll. Having teamed with successful artists for her last two fantastic releases, 2016's Livin' On A High Note produced by M. Ward and 2017's If All I Was Was Black produced by Jeff Tweedy she continues the trend for We Get By as Ben Harper has written and produced the album; if the style ain't broke, don't fix it.  

What is broken is our current state of affairs in society and Staples is one of the few artists who was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and is still fighting for civil rights during these trying times. All of the lyrics on the record are rooted in fixing what is wrong today in general terms, calling for action to be taken. Even before the record spins the album art of Gordon Parks' photograph "Outside Looking In," show six black children look through a fence at a playground they can't enter where white children and families play; powerful.

"Change" sets the tone from the beginning as the fuzz rocked up guitar pairs with Staples soulful singing (and backing vocals from C. C. White Laura Mace) with direct lyrics and passion about our need to change the way we are living. Staples and crew are not afraid to get funky while she sings for change on "Anytime" or get slinky when directly addressing "Brothers and Sisters". The title track is a duet where Harper joins Staples and sounds like "Pops" Staples returning to vocalize with his daughter, eerie and affecting. 

While Harper and Staples are at the forefront, guitarist and band leader Rick Holmstrom should get immense credit as well. His guitar works wonders on the minimalist "Heavy On My Mind" as just Holmstrom and Staples powerful voice carry the day. The ringing lead lines he tosses out for tracks like the grooving "Stronger" and soulful closing pair "Hard To Leave" and "One More Change" find his unique riffs supporting staples vocals gloriously. 

The full band (Bass-Jeff Turmes, Drums-Stephen Hodges, Vocals-Donny Gerrard) get in gear for the gospel throwback "Sometime" complete with hand claps and bubbling bass line Mid album weeper/torch song "Never Needed Anyone" is a fine tune, but feels out of place in this collection, but that is really only one of the few negatives on We Get By

Staples, her band and any producer she seems to choose continue to make top notch music album after album. We Get By is just another solid brick in her career wall as she continues to try to break down other walls with her singing, her sound and her positive message.
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below: