Thursday, May 5, 2016

Desert Trip Festival: Classic Rock Fans & Money Makers Dream Come True

By now it's been announced for a few days but if you haven't seen it, there is a new festival called the Desert Trip Festival.

You can read all about it from the NY Times, but the crux is the biggest names in rock and roll history (who are still playing) are coming together for a three day festival in Indio, California outside of Palm Springs and also the site of Coachella.

Beatles and Stones and Dylan Oh My! 

This will be an epic show on many fronts, boomers will find it hard to pass up. There will be huge dollars for scalpers but there will probably never be a lineup like this ever again.Something about it doesn't sit right with us though and we can't put our finger on it?

Maybe it is because we just got back from Jazzfest and are festival'ed out, but we are not chomping at the bit to grab tickets and we can't figure out why? Granted are all time favorites are playing, but we are not super excited by it and are a bit confused by that. Feel free to post your thoughts below some recent live video from the big name fest players.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Free Central Park Summerstage Shows for 2016

With summer on the horizon one of the best aspects of nice weather in this great city is free outdoor shows all around town, including the grand Central Park. Summerstage is a fantastic program and there are shows almost every night for free come the summer in the city.
There are already some shows we are circling here at RtBE including the very first. "The Legends Honor McCoy" finds some all-time Jazz greats playing with and honoring piano hero McCoy Tyner. Ron Carter will be on bass for this one honoring the legend and it should be a hell of night June 4th.

Other highlights include a new jazz player Kamasi Washington on Sax for a June 18th show, King Sunny Ade on Sunday July 3rd and The Feelies on (unfortunately) a Monday July 18th.

Here is the full schedule of all the shows, get out and see some:
Saturday Jun 4 – 6:00 PM – The Legends Honor McCoy: McCoy Tyner Quartet / Ron Carter / Roy Haynes
Saturday – Jun 11 – 3:00 PM – Cymande / KING / Deva Mahal / DJ Parlerr
Wednesday – Jun 15 – 7:00 PM – Yiddish Soul: A Concert of Cantorial and Chassidic Superstars
Saturday – Jun 18 – 6:00 PM – Kamasi Washington
Tuesday – Jun 21 – 6:00 PM – Fête de la Musique: CharlElie Couture / Yael Naim / General Elektriks / La Femme
Wednesday – Jun 22 – 8:00 PM – Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series featuring Angel Blue, Ben Bliss, Alexey Lavrov, and Dan Saunders
Saturday – Jun 25 – 3:00 PM – Butler, Bernstein, and the Hot 9 / The Hot Sardines / Bria Skonberg and the New York Hot Jazz Festival All-Stars featuring Anat Cohen, Vince Giordano, Wycliffe Gordon, Joe Saylor and Dalton Ridenhour
Sunday – Jun 26 – 8:00 PM – Comedy Central Presents: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Stand-Up in the Park
Monday – Jun 27 – 7:00 PM – Indigo Girls
Wednesday – Jun 29 – 8:00 PM – Screening: A Ballerina’s Tale / Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris Project / Pre-Show Panel
Saturday – Jul 2 – 7:00 PM – Freedom Party® 13th Anniversary
Sunday – Jul 3 – 3:00 PM – King Sunny Adé / Orlando Julius and the Afro Soundz / DJ Rich Medina
Wednesday – Jul 6 – 6:00 PM – Mexrrissey / Los Cafres / La Dame Blanche
Friday – Jul 8 – 6:00 PM – Leon Larregui / Rodrigo Amarante / Grenda
Sunday – Jul 10 – 3:00 PM – Justin Roberts & the Not Ready For Naptime Players / Mister G / Excerpts from Finding Neverland / Gizmo Guys
Saturday – Jul 16 – 6:00 PM – Taiwanese Waves: Anpu / Wonfu / Sunset Rollercoaster
Sunday – Jul 17 – 3:00 PM – Paulo Flores / Herencia de Timbiquí / Monsieur Periné / DJ Greg Caz / DJ Manny
Monday – Jul 18 – 7:00 PM – The Feelies / Beach Fossils
Wednesday – Jul 27 – 8:00 PM – Complexions Contemporary Ballet / Carolyn Dorfman
Saturday – Jul 30 – 7:00 PM – Unknown Mortal Orchestra / Empress Of
Sunday – Jul 31 – 7:00 PM – Rock Steady Crew 39th Anniversary with Nice & Smooth / Bahamadia and more
Saturday – Aug 6 – 6:00 PM – Monobloco / Cabruêra / Boogarins / DJ Luiz Santos
Sunday – Aug 7 – 7:00 PM – Igmar Thomas & the Revive Big Band present: A Journey Through the Legacy of Black Culture, produced by Revive Music / Pre-Show Panel
Wednesday – Aug 10 – 8:00 PM – Tamar-kali with ASE Dance Theatre Collective / Nathan Trice Rituals
Sunday – Aug 14 – 6:00 PM – Mbongwana Star / Batida / Young Paris / Okayafrica Electrafrique feat. DJ Underdog / Pre-Show Panel
Wednesday – Aug 17 – 8:00 PM – DJ KS 360 & Full Circle Souljahs Presents: Behind The Groove / Soul Connected / Raphael Xavier
Sunday – Aug 21 – 3:00 PM – Sweet Micky / MHD / DJ Erick La Peau
Sunday – Aug 28 – 3:00 PM – GoldLink / Backyard Band / DJ Spicoli
Wednesday – Aug 31 – 8:00 PM – Chicago The Musical: 20th Anniversary Concert

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Album Review: Charles Bradley- Changes

Charles Bradley
**** out of *****

The third release for the retro soul crooner Charles Bradley is his best yet as Daptone Records and the collective surrounding it continues their trend of classic sounding R&B that scratches that deep itch. Titled Changes the disk finds Bradley sounding his most assured and wide ranging as the Menahan Street Band, Budos Band and others back him up with easy rolling grooves.

Opening with a spoken word tribute and take on "God Bless America" which rolls into "Good To Be Back Home" the self assured tone is set. There is nothing earth shattering here, just rock solid soul played with confidence and power. "Ain't Gonna Give You Up" allows for Bradley to show off his vocal range as the passion flows in front of trumpets and well manicured snare hits.

The title track could have been a train wreck as Bradley and the players decided to cover Black Sabbath, but picking "Changes" works better than possibly could have been expected. It casts the song in a new bass driven light, while keeping the feelings and pain of the original, just filtering it successfully through a different lens.

"Ain't It A Sin" picks up the energy as the players and Bradley is particular gets fired up while the Gospel Queens join for some backing vocals on a pair of slow burners with "You Think I Don't Know (But I Know)" and "Change For The World". "Slow Love" closes out the album and outside of the genre crossing cover there isn't anything ear-popping, but that is not the goal of Changes. The collective contributors involved just want to put out good old fashion soul music that could stand up with the classics; mission accomplished.
Support the artist, buy the album, peep some video below:

Monday, May 2, 2016

Dylan Cover #232 Jack Green "Desolation Row"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today is a cover by Jack Green 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:
I am thinking this is Jack Green from The Pretty Things doing a solo acoustic take on the Dylan tune...I could be wrong though as there are a few Jack Green's out there.
Thoughts on Cover:
A straight ahead acoustic cover. Just a retelling in Jack's voice makes it an easy choice for a recovery Monday after Jazzfest.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Full Show Friday: Ms. Lauryn Hill 2014 Rototom SunSplash

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...Ms. Lauryn Hill!

Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Ms. Lauryn Hill who will be headlining the Congo Square Stage TODAY!  

Ms. Lauryn Hill brings her set to New Orleans today in what is sure to be a well attended closing set on the Congo Square Stage at the Fairgrounds. Today's Full Show Friday comes from her 2014 tour, and her show at the Rototom Sunsplash festival, a reggae fest that takes place in Spain.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Second Weekend of NOLA Jazzfest Starts Today

Today marks the start of the second weekend of America's Best Festival as New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival adds an extra day with Thursday Performances.  

We mentioned it last week, but you can stream the concert and highlights from WWOZ if you can't be there. RtBE will be partaking like always and are excited to see many local and touring artists. 

Here are a few youtube clips from last weekend:
Janelle Monae doing one of the many Prince Tributes-

Michael McDonald doing "I Keep Forgetting":

Van Morrison 

And Pearl Jam, who was introduced by Steve Gleason. playing "State Of Love and Trust" we still can't believe we missed this....oh well:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Live Review: Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band 4/23/16 Brooklyn, NY

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band
4/23/16 Barclay's Center
Brooklyn, NY

With the American section of Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band’s tour coming to an end tickets for Saturday Night's Brooklyn Show were in high demand as fans of multiple generations were in attendance to sing and dance along with the energy-abundant rockstar. This tour is celebrating 1980’s double album The River as the group plays all 20 tracks as well as Springsteen classics.
The real treat came right away however as the band strolled out on stage, under purple lights, and after a brief discussion went directly into “Purple Rain” paying musical tribute to the recently departed Prince. From one showman to another, Springsteen mentioned that Prince “was the best” and that he was “humbled” whenever he saw him live. Nils Lofgren’s solo was an excellent combo of tribute/inspired by and the whole group (clad in various levels of purple) truly nailed a rock and roll moment.

After playing the outtake “Meet Me In The City”, which was written and recorded during the same sessions, The River rolled out. Bruce mentioned that this album was crafted during a time that he was trying to find out who he was and would be going forward. It is a mix of deep reflective ballads and Jersey Shore party rockers that don’t always mesh perfectly, but that juxtaposition is what makes for an engaging listen and live show. 

Sonically the highs of Springsteen's vocals and Jake Clemons saxophone along with the low bass of Garry Tallent and drums of Max Weinberg were clear all night but mid level guitars got a bit muddy when Lofgren, Steven Van Zandt, Soozie Tyrell, and Springsteen (along with the keys of Roy Bittan and Charles Giordano) all were attacking the tracks. 

Highlights from The River were, the upbeat “Hungry Heart” (complete with Boss Crowd Surfing) a dramatic “Fade Away”, the Weinberg led power of “Crush on You”, a slow dance fueled “I Want To Marry You” and the epic title track. The crowd may have wandered a bit during songs like “Point Blank” and “Jackson Cage” but for the most part the sold out house were note for note with the band. While performing this album with grace and spirit would be more than enough for 95% of touring performers, this is Springsteen we are talking about and that was just the appetizer.

After mentioning Brooklyn was his mom’s hometown the Boss dove into his classic tracks with the crowd singing to “Badlands” “Because The Night” and “Thunder Road” with wild abandon. The house lights came on and the band kept it rolling with one of the best arena rock songs ever written as “Born To Run” reverberated around Barclay Center. It still wasn’t over as the legendary front-man pumped out an energetic “Rosalita” a soulful “10th Ave Freeze Out” and crowd participation favorites “Dancing In The Dark” and a cover of The Isley Brothers “Shout” which concluded the over three and a half hour show.
Simply a mammoth set from a world class performer and band, dedicated to a recently deceased peer and a magical night of revisiting the past and being more than prepared for the current and future of rock and roll.