Monday, June 30, 2014

Dylan Cover #144 Weathermen- Romance In Durango Live

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 Weathermen playing "Romance In Durango"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover version of this song:
Containing the best opening line of any Dylan song (which places it high on the best opening line of any song ever) "Romance In Durango" is a movie played out over violins, words, dead bodies, love, adventure and life.  Since we are starting Travers week, why not pull out a western tinged Dylan tune that talks about a horse taking him to Durango?  A fantastic burst of creative songwriting and exhilarating playing it is a timelessly fantastic tune.    
Cover:

Thoughts On Cover Artist:
Have never heard of the Weathermen before but here is their lineup: Emanuele Mochi - voice, guitar, harmonica Yuri Bregoli - mandolin Michele Gasparini - bass Alessandro Pellegrini - accordion Jacopo Ausili - drums Francesco De Stefano - percussions Francesca Greco - violin Alessandra Pasqualini - choir
Thoughts On Cover:
A passable version that gets high marks for its full instrumentation: mandolin accordion and violin all ring excellently as do the bass and drums. The singer/frontman seems to have a bit of Dylan copycat going on in style and we can't get down with that but vocally he has his own sound. This is a fun live run through for this Monday....And I see The Bloody Face of Ramooooon!!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Full Show Friday: High On Fire 4-27-14

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...High On Fire!

We got a new metal review coming to you next week so we are in the head banging mood...hence this Full Show Friday, High On Fire Live April 27th 2014. It looks fan shot, sound is spotty, especially the vocals, but fans will dig it and others can just bask in the power. We like High On Fire a lot here at RTBE even giving them props in our year end review.

We hope to catch them live soon, but until then we will just turn this up and slam around. 

Enjoy:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Album Review: Dex Romweber Duo- Images 13

Dex Romweber Duo
Images 13
*** out of *****
A rock and roll lifer Dex Romweber is back again with his newest release Images 13. Previously of Flat Duo Jets, Dex currently plays with his sister Sara on drums in this stripped down garage rockin’ duo. An eerie vibe hangs over Images 13 with the spacey twang of “Long Battle Coming” being a perfect example of the clanging rockabilly Dex has worked hard to perfect.

The instrumental combo of “Prelude In G Minor” and “Blackout!” wordlessly continues that cinematic sense of dread. On the other side of the coin, Romweber’s vocals are perfect for those dramatic twists of phrase in a classic Elvis style as displayed on “Baby I Know What It’s Like To Be Left Alone”, “One Sided Love Affair”, “We’ll Be Together Again” and “I Don’t Want To Listen”.

“So Sad About Us” shows Dex’s pop influence as he takes on a Who song that adds some 60’s pop inspired sunshine to the disk. “Beyond The Moonlight” has a country swagger as “Blue Surf” does what it promises, revved up while catching waves.  

In a neat trick the album breeze’s by but the songs stick around feeling polished and engaging. The formula is simple for the 12 songs on Images 13 but this isn’t rocket science, just good bare bones rock and roll.
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A fun little ditty, support the artist here, grab the disk here and peep some video below:


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Album Review: Neil Young- A Letter Home

Neil Young
A Letter Home
**and1/2 out of *****
Pairing up two artists who follow the muse to the ends of the earth can yield wildly exciting results or burnout in a flaming ball of shit, so it is odd that A Letter Home cuts a middle of the road path from legend Neil Young.

While it is billed as a Neil Young solo album this couldn't have existed without Jack White who provided the unique Voice-O-Graph vinyl recording booth that inspired the album. White's label put out the disk and he also performs on piano and vocals during 2 of the best performances here. First a rambling off the tracks take of Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again" and then an album closing swaying spin of "I Wonder If I Care As Much" from The Everly Brothers.

The whole vinyl release is designed as it title suggests with Young talking to his deceased mother during the spoken word intro and playing her songs they both loved in the past. Like typical old Uncle Neil his brain wanders around requesting his mom to make up with his father before diving into Global Warming and Al Gore; the only thing ever consistent about Young is that nothing is ever consistent. 

The covers are standard fair with Young returning to his old folky days and not really stretching his range or palette. A lone acoustic guitar and high scratchy voice dig into the crackles of the recording booth on songs by Bob Dylan ("Girl From The North Country"), Bruce Springsteen ("My Hometown") and Phil Ochs ("Changes"). A nice surprise is returning Tim Hardin's "Reason To Believe" to it's folk roots with a piano/harmonica pairing and hearing Young cover his buddy Nelson a second time via the classic "Crazy".     

Like Nelson Gordon Lightfoot gets 2 nods on the album "If I Could Read Your Mind" and "Early Morning Rain" as Neil gives props to his fellow Canadian. More effecting though is the version of Scottish folk singer Burt Jansch's "Needle Of Death", putting the listener back into a Tonight's The Night state of mind.

There is a fine line between kitschy cool and cheese ball, A Letter Home manages to stay on the successful side of that divide, but it is close. While unessential, it is still a nice slice of audio history to play back every now and then for fans of Young or the folk songs he loves.
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We love Neil and Jack, no shock there, this is fun but breezy/tame, sounding like the one off record it was meant to be.

Support the artist here, buy the album here and peep some video below:
"Reason To Believe"

Live "Needle Of Death" from Carnegie Hall.

Free Summer Shows in NYC

Well it is officially Summer here in the Big Apple, while most people love to escape town on the weekends we kinda love the empty streets and heat. One of the pluses of the hotter weather is the insane amount of Free Concerts in NYC.
I am not going to list all of them, you can find many sites like My Free Concert here or check out NYC Parks site for more. Oh My Rockness also does a hell of a job compiling all of these. You can check out House of Vans or ilovefreeconcerts for more.
There are literally shows around every corner it seems like, whether the sun is shining or setting during June July and August in New York there will be free tunes. We will highlight a few we hope to check out (starting with some this week), just click that read more.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Album Review: Phish- Fuego

Phish
Fuego
*** out of *****
Every time the gods of the jamband scene put out a new studio album there is usually some distinct spin around it. Drummer Jon Fishman has been quoted that there is a more encompassing band approach when it comes to Fuego, but in a recent interview Anastasio revealed the process the band tested out for this release:    
Anastasio says the writing process behind the new songs almost resembles an academic exercise: The members would sit in a room with writing pads, all looking at a random photo they'd pulled from the Internet, and had five minutes to write down whatever came to them.

"And then a bell would go off," Anastasio explains. "Each person would read to the other three what they had written. If there were certain lines that really resonated with the other three, we would put them on a fifth pad — until they were all intermingled and we couldn't remember who had written what."
In the end, what is another odd experiment falls clearly into the category of just another Phish studio disk whose songs will probably work better live. Fans will find pulses and pluses to buzz around until the definitive version materializes on stage, while outsiders will simply shrug. 

The band goes through their normal steps which would seem bizarre or spastic for other groups, the title track is a perfect example. Oddball found-poem lyrics based on Vlad the Impaler, guilty people, angels blowing horns and coffee mugs that do nothing to link the various parts of the song. Two and half minutes in the track kicks into an upbeat disco/jazz break with keyboard layers and drum skittering, ebbing and flowing through various parts before ending on a unresolved note after 9 minutes.  

One thing that is resolved is the gorgeous production and sound on Fuego. Working with Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd) the band has gotten incredibly lush sounds and layers of instrumentation out of their Barn studio. The deep rhythms and melodic ooh's and ahh's on the Page McConnell written "Halfway to the Moon" sound gorgeously linked as are the funky horns and organ work on Mike Gordon's "555".

The Anastasio/Marshall numbers lyrically seem to deal with divorce or at least separation but in two different styles. "Devotion To A Dream" seems destined for a future Broadway play with its "Aquarius (Let The Sun Shine In)", sunshiny instrumentation that is custom made for the stage while "Sing Monica" has a stale put down feel to it telling the offending (presumed woman) to "go back where you belong". The pairs third offering is more in old school Phish mode as "Winterqueen" ambles dreamily around in front of excellently executed horns.  

Other offerings are a mid-tempo bland "The Line" a purely nonsensical perfectly Phish throwaway "Wombat" and a disk closing "Wingsuit" that seems lame at best before a soaring "Comfortably Numb"esque guitar solo rescues the track flashing Anastasio's best guitar work on the disk.

The most successful group effort here is the interlocking "Waiting All Night" featuring relationship regretful group vocals, a buzzing undercurrent of indie rock sounding layers and a pretty chorus. This seems to be a perfect studio-centric effort that the band could build upon live but then the track runs 5 minutes when 3 and a half would have sufficed; Phish over doing it (for both good and bad) since 1983!

Lets face it for a band who simply owns the live stage they have struggled mightily when recording studio albums and Fuego is pretty much par for that course. Containing odd to forgettable lyrics and  gorgeous instrumentation it is certainly enough to appease fans until the next live show or download arrives.
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Can write for days and days on the band I have seen live more then any other, but safe to say none of their studio disks are truly satisfying. Fuego is no different, hits and misses, would have given it 2 and 1/2 stars but the production is really world class bumping it up to three.

Support the band here, buy the album, go see them live here and peep some video below:

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dylan Cover #143 Chris Martin "A Simple Twist Of Fate" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Chris Martin and is a live cover of "Simple Twist of Fate"
Thoughts on Dylan's Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover version of this song:
Well the classics just keep coming in this series with "Simple Twist of Fate". What a gem of a song.  Impeccable lyrics gorgeous phrasing, just a great great song that is hard not to enjoy.
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist: 
Well this review, not written by me, sums it up perfectly. If you never read that you really should, some of the best music writing in recent years. 
Thoughts on Cover:
While I could give two shits for his real band, this cover is fine, straight ahead with some delicate if a bit Dylan-nasal singing. As the song progresses he seems to be more comfortable with his own voice rather then mimicking the original. A fine straight take. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Full Show Friday: Frightened Rabbit 3/8/13

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...Frightened Rabbit!
One of our favorites from last year goes live as Frightened Rabbit performs for KEXP while on tour for their excellent Pedestrian Verse. While we love the Scottish Rabbits on disk, yet we weren't sold when we caught them live way back when...We missed them on tour for this album but this proves things have gotten better, that said I think I still lean to their albums more which is a rarity when it comes to choice of album or live show... 

Highlight's are the vocal work to end "December's Tradition", a "Acts of Man" closer and the only tune off the bad-ass Midnight Organ Fight, "Old Old Fashion"

Enjoy:

Setlist:
Holy
Backyard Skulls
December's Tradition
State Hospital
The Wood Pile
Oil Slick
Old Old Fashioned
Living In Colour
Acts Of Man


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Album Review: Carsie Blanton- Not Old, Not New

Carsie Blanton
Not Old, Not New
**and1/2 out of *****
A collection of pre-bop Jazz standards that were mainstream way-back-when the Singer/Songwriter Carsie Blanton decided now was the right time to record these tracks by some of America's greatest songsters and do it down in her adopted New Orleans for Not Old, Not New.

Standard but fresh in this digital age Blanton puts a smile and soft voice on songs from the likes of Duke Ellington ("Azalea") and Irving Kahal/Sammy Fain ("I'll Be Seeing You"). Production is tight and brisk as all the instruments take a back seat to Blanton's singing. Her style stays away from the throaty desperation and instead stays sweet, which can both enhance or fall a bit short on the tracks here. 

Her baby-girl tone on "Two Sleepy People" makes the Hoagy Carmichael/Joe Young number seem more delicate and innocent then it has appeared before while things aren't as depressing because of her sound as they should be on "You Don't Know What Love Is" from Gene de Paul/Don Raye. While I am sure she's had them the dirty blues seem to be kept at a distant with her sparrow styled vocals making Julia Lee's saucy "Don't Come Too Soon" a stretch.
   
Better fits are the double dip from Cole Porter "Laziest Girl In Town" and "What Is This Thing Called Love", especially neat is the vibraphone run on the latter. A heart felt ode to her town on the classic piano based "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans" and the innocent "Sweet Lorraine" are also well matched and expertly done. An easy going retro sounding disk of a different era that proves great songs have no expiration date.
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Support the artist here, stream the album here for a limited time and peep some video below.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Album Review: Gary Clark Jr.- Blak and Blu The Mixtape

Gary Clark Jr. 
Blak and Blu The Mixtape
**and1/2 out of *****
Bursting on the scene playing electric blues made Gary Clark Jr. famous and a Grammy winner but from his very first interviews he tried not to pigeon hole himself as a one trick pony. He constantly  name dropped hip-hop, pop, soul and rock artists as influences. This remix album is a common extension of that, as well as one that he hopes expands his fan base.

Blak and Blu The Mixtape is to be listened to straight through with various producers and MC's contributing to Clark's tunes. The work is a presented by D-Nice and is a free download acting as a extension/placeholder between albums. Big KRIT comes out for a verse off of the relaxed title track and provides his remix skills to swamp up "When My Train Pulls In" winningly moving things into a different, intriguing, direction from the original.

The vibe gets deep and the voodoo shakes for "Numb" as Bilal helps out with some vocals/playing and the disk closer sees Alice Smith spice up "Please Come Home" with some incredibly sultry vocal work.

Talib Kweli returns the favor of Clark playing on his last release by stopping by and dropping the most energetic rhyme on this digital mixtape during Clark's "Bright Lights". A bonus track called "Soul" is a slow jam outtake strictly from Clark and it is a pleasant journey with some delicate bass work proving Clark has more to offer then just the blues.   
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When we posted a live show from Gary a few weeks ago we found out about this April release.

Support the Artist here, download this album here and peep some video below:


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Album Review: The Low Willows- The Low Willows EP

The Low Willows
S/T
**and 1/2 out of *****
This 5 piece retro-rocking outfit from Madrid, Spain have an ethereal spooky sound that conjures up lonely roads in the American west. Their simple and distinct style plays direct, coated like a lost highway with dense rhythms and ringing guitars.

There is an upbeat catchiness to "Big Black Evil"  with darkness lurking under the covers before "Kansas" struts a sexy vibe. The twang fueled instrumental "Charly Muchacho" amps the Mexican surf vibe while "World We Lost" plays the most mainstream of the bunch in a positive way. Ghosts seem to be swirling around the "Mountain of God" and their take on "Wayfaring Stranger" trots effortlessly on the back of a six-string shimmering horse into the sunset. 

The groups English as a second language only distracts minimally in the lyrics as the smokey vocal performance relays the theme even if the words or delivery can be slurred. The Low Willows are worth playing loud and rolling down the windows while drivin' to no place special. 
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A fun group who we stumbled upon earlier this month in our Dylan Cover Series. You can grab the full album here at their bandcamp page, download or stream. Peep some video below:


Monday, June 16, 2014

Dylan Cover #142 Connor Zwetsch "Knockin' On Heaven's Door"

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 Connor Zwetsch playing "Knockin' On Heavens Door"
Thoughts on Original:
The song that seems to have been covered by anyone, but when originally recorded it it was on one of Dylan's oddest releases yet. A straight ahead mournful number that just seems to work, it has invaded culture (possibly because of all the covers) and I would wager is one of Dylan's most widely known tunes... 
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I have never heard of Connor Zwetsch before but a quick search reveals that she is a singer Songwriter from Tampa, FL.
Thoughts on Cover:
A pretty straight ahead take on the song in acoustic solo fashion. Zwetsch has a powerful voice and my favorite part of the cover is the hard strumming during the musical break around the 2:20 mark. Fine stuff. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

New J Mascis Song, NYC Show Onsale Today

One of RTBE's Personal Favorites J Mascis has a new solo disk coming out titled Tied To A Star. You can hear the first song below:

We love J and dug his last disk, that review should be 7 stars as it is on Glide's old rating system. He is playing NYC in the Fall on this tour, Bowery Ballroom October 17th. You can grab tickets they went on sale today here

We love the man and the solo stuff is good, but Dino Jr. is the Thunder!  Peep some live Dinosaur, kick start your weekend with the gem "Thumb":



Full Show Friday: Jefferson Airplane 1969 Dick Cavett Show

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...Jefferson Airplane!
We got a short one today but it is of the highest quality as back in 1969 Dick Cavett let the Jefferson Airplane take over his television show for about 15 minutes playing 3 songs in their psychedelic SanFran fashion.

They were there to promote their Volunteers album and even slip a "Mother Fucker" past censors but they also include the biggest hit of their career. Sure it's cheating but this is technically a full show and it is spring time, so listen to this quick trip from the past in the sunshine and move on to the next thing!Or go back and check out this jam from earlier in the week if you want a full killer show...

Enjoy:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Game of Thrones Meets NOLA Jazz + World Cup

We have expressed our love for both NOLA and Game of Thrones here before but this is a pretty god damn cool combo of the two:


The Swamp Donkeys just jumped onto our radar big time. This is a geeky funky way to get after it. When we were in Toronto last year catching some baseball, we were pumped to hear RA Dickey use the original GoT Theme as his entrance music as we have written about that before as well.  


Pretty sweet all around. On a sporting note, today starts the World Cup...hope everyone stockpiled sick days....Let's get it started: We Bring The Noise, We Bring The Ruckus....USA AIN'T NUTIN' TA FUCK WIT!!!



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Live Review: Gov's Ball NY, NY, 6/6,7/14

Hey all got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
Took a few pics including that peach above. It was a hell of a festival and really surpassed my expectations for what a festival this size in NYC can truly be. It didn't hurt that the headliners of the event on the days I went were two acts I am dying to see. Having never seen Outkast this was a moment not to be missed and our man crush Jack White playing the second night was a hard rocking delight. Getting to and from the festival was a breeze with the Ferry Pass.
Ferry Ride out on Friday
While the staff working the lines were pretty idiotic the whole process was pretty smooth to get you back to midtown with relative ease especially considering the MASSIVE crowd on hand. I know I would not want to mess with the subway for that kind of event.

While we already mentioned the highlights and we talked about him in the full review, extra special love needs to go to Jason Isbell who we have been in love with ever since we heard Southeastern. While we rated that album highly and caught Jason and Amanda live at our pick for the show of 2013, this was our first time catching a set from him proper and it was amazing.
As you can see we got pretty close to the action and almost shed a tear during a heartbreaking version of "Elephant" which Isbell mentioned he never played in sunlight before. A killer early set that dwarfed quite a few others we saw.         

We will end with this last pic of the main stage during The Strokes set, which we just couldn't get into but everyone else seemed to...for some unknown reason.
We wrote a bunch in the review proper and took the survey from Gov's Ball post show, but if the lineup is half as good as this next year we will be there...actually we will probably be there no matter what. A few quick Vid's from Billboard that we have found from some of the artists:




Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Stream Tonight's Jack White Show

Thanks to Ed for pointing it out to us and NPR for doing it, because tonight you can Stream Jack White's Show from Hollywood.
We caught Jack on Saturday Night at Gov's Ball (full review coming) and will be seeing him again in July (twice!) but the more the merrier as we still hold he is THE rock star in a day when there are few to be found.



Jack and crew bring it every-damn-night so if you are on the East Coast stay up late. On the West Coast enjoy the prime time slot. In case you missed it our review of his newest album is here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Album Review: Jack White- Lazaretto

Got a new review up on @glidemag read it Right C'here!!!
It is a long review, but we got a lot to say about that man. Short version is we dig it, must confess though it took a few spins to really hit home. First few listens it seemed to manic and scattered but a few repeats and the beats got deeper and more fluid. Really good stuff and we will be anxiously awaiting our blue and white vinyl which is currently in the mail.
Support the artist here, grab the album here and peep some video below:


Dylan Cover #141 Turid Lundqvist "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by the Them of the Dylan tune "It's All Over, Now Baby Blue"
Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
It is still stunning that there are songs as great as this in the Bard's catalog that we haven't even touched on in the first 100 we have talked about...wild. Baby Blue is magical all around, from the pure asshole way he sung it to Donovan to put him in his place in Don't Look Back to the heart breaking recent live versions on the never ending tour. The song has a lot of what makes Dylan who he is; mystery but a sense of understanding somehow. Dominated by the amazing lyrics the song is a hard one not to like.
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Never heard of Turid Lundqvist before. Apparently she is a Swedish folk singer.
Thoughts on Cover:
I am not sure if it is the language difference or just the particular phrasing Turid uses but this cover really hit home. Unique and enchanting, we particularly love it when artists make the covers their own in this series and she has done that here.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Full Show Friday: John Lee Hooker- Live Montreal 1980

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...John Lee Hooker!
Well we mentioned him yesterday in a post, so we figured lets let the boogie-woogie blues flow for real today...Here is John Lee Hooker from back in 1980 in Montreal.

The super cool Hooker is the obvious star here but his backing musicians are pretty legit in their own right. Gary Alongi rips it up on guitar during the first two insturmentals, getting the crowd worked up for the blues to come. I think after some research the bass player is Steve Gomes, and I couldn't find the drummers name, a tight trio even if they are a bit energetic for Hooker here.

John Lee takes a few songs to really get into it but dives in at the end  and is cooking by the end of the short set. How can you not dig "Boom Boom"? Pro-shot Pro Sound, so get down.... 

Enjoy, Set list below:

Instrumental #1
Instrumental #2
"It Serves Me Right to Suffer"
"One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer"
"I'll Never Get Out of These Blues Alive"
"Roll Me Like You Roll a Wagon Wheel"
"Boom Boom Boom"
"I'm in the Mood"
"Look at What You Did to My Life"
"Chicken and Gravy"
"We're Gonna Do The Shout"

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Copyright Infringment or Just The Wrong Stairway?

Crazy that Business Week has an interesting music article. Vernon Silver talks about the copyright controversy surrounding "Stairway To Heaven".
Read it Right Here
This is just one more twist and turn in the ever changing music industry. In our younger days there are two main reasons we never really liked Led Zeppelin anymore than, Foghat.

One reason was that in my formidable years I had a co-worker at my first job who was a Jimmy Page fanboy to the umpteenth degree; he was insufferable with Page stories, legends and myths . He played Zep all the time in the break room and while they were fine (other tunes played there were worse) he never mentioned the band much, it was all about Page. I have always loved Hendrix and for some reason this becme an actual argument point...constantly.  This adversarial relationship with a co-worker turned into a pissing match about which guitarist was better...childish for sure, but forming and solidifying competitive feelings that still stick around today, and not just with us:
 
The second reason is in direct relation to the article linked here today. I may have said it before on the site but the first 2 CD's I ever bought were Storm Troopers Of Death and John Lee Hooker on the same trip (an odd combo, but aren't they all). Leaving the metal alone for now, we always have been drawn to the blues and after Hooker we got into all the greats, including Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. To this day "Whole Lotta Love" is easily our favorite Zep song, because it is a Willie Dixon cover, plain and simple.

It is not a direct lift, but it is clearly that song redone. Even the younger version of myself felt outraged that Zep never gave credit to Dixon until they were sued. It smacks of elitist entitlement and exploitation of the highest order. Even more bluntly put; it is a total racist dick move by Page and company because there is no denying the connection,

There are clear race issues here which are directly linked to money, respect/disrespect, greed,white privilege, etc etc. Obviously we are not the only ones who felt that way, having settled that case the article clearly mentions 3 other documented cases the band did this! Including "Whole Lotta Love" and if the Stairway case is found out that would make 5.



Of course ideas come from different places and inspiration can strike anywhere, I could even totally believe Page thought he invented the part when he wrote it. However once it is pointed out, proper credit is due, especially when art and commerce intersect to this great of an extent. Well, what do you think, are the songs the same? Should credit be given? Feel free to leave your comments below. 

Live Review: Phil & Friends 5/31/14 NYC, NY

Hey all got a live review up over @glidemag you can read it Right C'here!
It is of Phil Lesh and Friends live in Central Park on 5/31/14.

We have always dug Phil's music post Dead and his friends lineup (especially the PLQ era) were some of the best Grateful Dead related tunes since '91 at least, maybe '89. Phil treats the music with the fluid ever changing level of respect it deserves. Nothing is sacred, not tempo, structure or phrasing; the music lives and breathes in the moment. 

We have seen all this particular group of players before (minus Ross),  and while Medeski, Scofield brought the jazz, Haynes carried the soul and Russo the energy. While the band did a lot to showcase Haynes voice they seemed more natural at just wandering around with ease no real sense of pace. That worked real well under the summer sun in Central Park. Read the review here, will post the full show stream when we find it, and peep some video below:


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Album Review: The Nels Cline Singers- Macroscope

The Nels Cline Singers
Macroscope
*** out of *****
Free jazz and jamband influences run around with abandon on The Nels Cline Singers 5th album, Macroscope. The core of the group Cline, drummer Scott Amendola and bassist Trevor Dunn are augmented by Yuka C Honda on Keys, Zeena Parkins on electric harp with percussionists Josh Jones and Cyro Bapitista rounding things out.  

While there is no singing involved (there is moaning on the title track) the group does indeed bow to it's namesake as Clines guitar is the focal point of almost all the music here. A real mix of peaking jam exploration is felt on the opening "Companion Piece" as well as the "Canales' Cabeza". The group injects the avant-garde with some energy opening things up to sonic exploration.   

The rhythm work takes the forefront on the Latin tinged "Respira" while a crushing almost industrial fueled bass and kick drum dominate the scary-in-a-good-way "Climb Down". The longest outings find "The Wedding Band" exploring cosmic reaches via clicks and a swirling 6-string solo while "Seven Zed Heaven" feels more fusion 70's based moving along at over 10 minutes.

Things aren't all soaring space-scape of illuminating sound though, "Red Before Orange" slips into bland easy listening funk while the disk closing pairing of "Hairy Mother" with its blippy freakouts and "Sascha's Book of Frogs" both miss the mark more then they hit.  

The group seems to be primarily a creative rock band in the vein of the extremely exploratory passages of Phish and The Grateful Dead, more so then Mahavishnu Orchestra or Weather Report. The Nels Cline Singers do inhabit a space somewhere between fusion and rock making it accessible to more mainstream fans while still listenable for jazz lovers.    
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We are not huge fans of Nels guitar work, but a few tracks here got us, the first half of the disk is really solid.
Support the band here, grab the album here and peep some video below. You can also hear the album version of this track streaming here:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Album Review: Rich Robinson- The Ceaseless Sight

Rich Robinson
The Ceaseless Sight
*** out of *****
The solo Black Crowe teamed up a few friends (some new, some old) for this individual release, his 3rd such effort.  Solo disks from establish artists can be a tricky thing, sometimes people take on alter egos to slip into something totally different marking a 180 degree turn from their bread and butter or sometimes the artist just wants to put out more music then fellow band members are ready for. The Ceaseless Sight falls squarely into the second category; it is hard to hear these songs and not think, what would this sound like as a Black Crowes record?  

Roots rock with a flourish of the blues, folk and soul appear on all the songs as Rich takes center stage. Robinson has become much more confident in his singing/lyrics and that is evident throughout, however their are times where he still pushes the music towards the forefront and lowers the vocals. Opener "I Know You" is a stuttering blues jaunt in the vein of The Rolling Stones or  The Band with various sections that don't always flow so smoothly into each other while "I Remember" does things more direct and successfully. 

The album was written with drummer Joe Magistro who Robinson has worked with before but it is the newcomers who inject some of the disk highlights. Keyboardist Marco Benevento is a joy to listen to as he shines throughout but particularly during the piano break on "One Road Hill". Amy Helm also adds beautiful harmonies to "The Giving Key" while Robinson's own six strings take over for the Allman Brother influenced "In Comes The Night".   

The Black Crowes seem to go on hiatus every other year and the brothers Robinson have been notorious for their blow ups and internal band politics. While The Ceaseless Sight is a solid release it is hard to not wonder how brother Chris would attack a song like "The Unfortunate Show", with its strutting Stones-like vibe, or the funky "Inside". Even without the rest of the team Robinson has crafted a disk Crowe fans will enjoy because it is basically a Black Crowes disk minus a few parts. 
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Support the artist here, you can stream the album for a limited time at Rolling Stone here, buy the album here, and peep some video below:

Monday, June 2, 2014

Dylan Cover #140 The Low Willows "Love Sick"

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 The Low Willows playing "Love Sick"

Thoughts on Original:
From our first cover take on this song:
The opener on Dylan's 1997 classic Time Out Of Mind, signaled to the world, that the old bard had tons of great songs left in him.  Considered by some (not RTBE) his comeback album  Time Out Of Mind showcased stark songs with biting lyrics and most importantly lush sounding production; Dylan ditched modern sound for one he liked better.  The result was a true winner, no better seen then on this disk opener.  Dylan identified with every human via the lyric, "I'm sick of love/and I'm in the thick of it"  Who hasn't been there?  A great song that kicks off a great album, it would be nice if he played it live though...  
Cover:

Thoughts On Cover Artist:
Never heard of The Low Willows before, but after a quick search I found their bandcamp page. A surf rock band from Spain? May have to get to reviewing that in the near future...
Thoughts On Cover:
Full big bodied rock cover of a haunting song with Male and Female counter vocals. Really cool all around, powerful. The quality of vocals and filming could of course be better, but I love the idea, this tune just lends itself very well for cover versions this is the 4th time we tackled it in our series...some older ones here, here and of course the jam here.