Friday, August 31, 2018

Mastodon Tour Canceled, Dinosaur Jr. Touring Solo @ Small Venues

Unfortunately the co-headlining tour between Mastodon and Dinosaur Jr. has been canceled as there is a "critical situation with a member of the Mastodon family.

Dinosaur Jr. though has decided to go ahead with a tour playing much smaller venues then normal. All the tour dates can be seen above and tickets will be on sale ASAP.

While it is certainly a shitty situation, this allows for some unique viewing experiences for fans (RtBE very much included) of the noise rock titans. This is a super cool opportunity to catch the loud band in tiny, ear blistering locations...RtBE can not wait. Until then, some live Dino for your Friday afternoon.




Full Show Friday: Dave Matthews Band SPAC 7/14/18

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...Dave Matthews Band!




Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on summer concert standby's who always played the picturesque Saratoga Performing Arts Center over the years. 

August always makes RtBE think of upstate New York, specifically the town of Saratoga. Going to high school just a few miles from the town, we would spend many August days at the beautiful horse track and hot nights in the state park watching bands from all over. A few years back we presented shows from the venue itself This month we will highlight some bands who always seemed to roll through and we (mostly) got to see live.

Last time we did this series focused on SPAC we started with DMB and as much as it pains us, we need to end with him this month. Perhaps no one seems to typify SPAC summer shows more than Dave Matthews Band over the last 25+ years.

That said, I could care less about the band....So I will leave it up to RtBE's editor to write a bit about DMB at SPAC (and other places) in 1997 (and 1994). You can to read it below while listening to a more recent set from the band. Just click that Read more buton to get started.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Frightened Rabbit Announce First Show Since Scott Hutchison Passing

Our friends over at Brooklyn Vegan have pointed out that Frightened Rabbit will play their first show since the death of founding front-man Scott Hutchison.

RtBE wrote about Scott's passing and honestly did not think the band would ever play again so this is good news. Various friends will be on hand to help out the group.

The concert is in Glasgow and titled Sleep In the Park. The show is a part of a nationwide sleep out to help end homelessness in Scotland. Below is some video of Scott and Frightened Rabbit from their Live on KEXP Session from 2016:



Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Album Review: Jason Eady - I Travel On

Jason Eady
I Travel On
**and1/2 out of *****

Jason Eady has been at this a long time. The Mississippi born but now Texas living country song writer and singer has been putting out rootsy albums since 2005 and for the first time on I Travel On he brings his acoustic touring band into the studio to record live and fresh.

The normal country touch points are eased into as the players relax with the sounds around them. The albums standout arrives early as "Now or Never" begins with a silky groove pushed to the front before each player gets a spin while Eady sings with back porch ease. Dobro player Rob Ickes also helps out and his contributions add layers as the road tested players drop into tracks like the easy rolling "That's Alright" with confidence and strutting style while the marital bliss of "Happy Man" even proclaims he is blessed to be playing with the band and singing with his wife.

That singing voice is a big plus on the album as the duo pair well on "She Had To Run" before Eady's warm rich vocals are pushed to the forefront on the slow title track album closer. The tempo picks up a bit for "Calaveras County" which shouts out to wide open spaces in typical country fashion before "The Climb" deals expertly with aging and the dull pains and small victories that come with it. "Pretty When I Die" gets the fiery picking flying showcasing the talent of Ickes as the strings, snares and fiddles keep pushing things forward causing boots to stomp and kick up dust. 

Not everything is peaches and cream though as opener "I Lost My Mind In Carolina" feels completely out of place with it's modern country sheen, custom made for a single release on an album that really doesn't cry out for one. "Always A Woman" is cliche slow dirge that deals with advice in tame/dull/outdated ways while "Below The Waterline" deals with flooding (specifically in New Orleans) in a straight ahead manner. 

Eady and company have produced a no nonsense country singer songwriter record and while none of the tracks are jump out, must hear, the overall quality carries the day.
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Support the artist, buy the album, peep some video below:


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Album Review: Brian Owens - Soul of Cash

Brian Owens
Soul of Cash
**** out of *****

The Ferguson, Missouri singer Brian Owens decided to interpret Johnny Cash's songs in a rhythm and soul review style on the aptly titled Soul of Cash release.

The production, supporting crew and Owens vocals are all ear opening as the genre sift on Cashes music may look odd at first, but rings out gloriously in headphones as rich bass, drums, horns and singing soar. Opening with Cashes best known song "Ring of Fire" the ease and confidence that Owens and band display are masterful, allowing the horns to seep in after a setting the grooving scene; a sensual track.

The tempo and energy gets a nitro boost as "Folsom Prison Blues" pumps from the get go and Owens asks for forgiveness from his mamma. "Walk The Line" is excellently pushed forward by an intoxicating bass run which controls the opening as strings slowly enter before the full band release.

"Cry, Cry Cry" is the most retro soul standard on the album but this is no way a let down as the crisp guitar runs, backing vocals and horns are note perfect, allowing Owens to sing passionately to his cheating lover. The groove and drums of Daru Jones take the lead on "Sunday Morning Coming Down" which builds in funky procession to a call and response vocal to wrap up in hip shaking fashion.

Dylan McDonald joins on vocals for "Long Black Veil" and it is the one song that really doesn't change all that much from other versions of the old weeper, adding just a minimal organ to the vocals while "The Man In Black" is a hell of a revved up, funky fresh full on soul review; Cash may have never envisioned his tune interpreted like this, but he would damn sure approve of this cooking take.

The lone original track closes the album acting as Owens mission statement. "Soul In My Country" has Rissi Palmer on board for vocal support but the direction is clear as he calls out to country legends explaining how their songs have affected his life and spiritually. A perfect statement track to close out a musical experiment that succeeds on all fronts.         
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Support the artist, buy the album on vinyl, stream it, and peep some video below:

Monday, August 27, 2018

Dylan Cover #339 Rob Paynter "Tempest"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is by Rob Paynter doing a cover of "Tempest"

Thoughts on Original:
We wrote this when reviewed the album by the same name back in Nov 2012:

"Tempest" deals with the Titanic and manages to bore almost from the get go becoming a weight around the neck of the album.  It never develops any real energy in the lyrics or the playing, which itself becomes a major issue with the album.

We still feel that way, I think this track is a stinker but I came across this version on youtube and gave it a spin, probably because I am impressed anyone took the time to learn all the words...

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Rob Paynter is a guitarist who was born in South Africa, moved to England and now lives in Australia. He makes videos of his playing, both guitar and Ukulele, of originals and covers.

Thoughts on Cover:
This is a hoot! Rob gives you the closeup strums for Ukulele for the Dylan cover as well as the chords so you can play along. He also adds guitar flourishes behind the educational video so the track is listenable on it's own with added accompaniment. While "Tempest" is one of our least favorite Dylan tunes here at RtBE, we love a good Uke cover and may have to try to play this one tonight. Educational and inspirational as we come to the end of summer.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Full Show Friday: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 3/8/95 @ United Center, Chicago

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...Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!
Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on summer concert standby's who always played the picturesque Saratoga Performing Arts Center over the years. 

August always makes RtBE think of upstate New York, specifically the town of Saratoga. Going to high school just a few miles from the town, we would spend many August days at the beautiful horse track and hot nights in the state park watching bands from all over. A few years back we presented shows from the venue itself This month we will highlight some bands who always seemed to roll through and we (mostly) got to see live. 

Ahh, Tom Petty. While we could have picked other years and other shows, this was when RtBE felt Petty & The Heartbreakers was riding highest, right around the release of Wildflowers. We already went deep on that record so we will talk about catching them live the summer of '95 on outdoor leg of this exact Dogs Have Wings Tour surrounded by the warm woods of SPAC.

It was a great night, our first seeing the group, as well as catching up with tons of old friends who weren't into the music as much as the party, but the sounds and set list were a joy. For this show there is a distinct memory of being pressed up against the barricade between the lawn seats and the amphitheater bowl seats.

It was a fun as hell night and one we wanted to showcase on this Friday in particular with The Travers tomorrow. RtBE is back in town for Pints, Ponies and Post Time at the Spaaaaaaa! 

Pro-Shot, Pro-slightly warped VHS tape sound, full setlist below. Enjoy:


Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Chicago, United Center March 03, 1995
Love Is A Long Road You Don't Know How It Feels 4:52 Listen To Her Heart I Won't Back Down 15:03 Free Fallin' 18:24 You Wreck Me Diamond Head Mary Jane's Last Dance 32:05 Into The Great Wide Open 42:03 Learning To Fly 47:15 Don't Fade On Me 51:46 Girl On LSD I Just Wanna Make Love To You Wildflowers 1:06:46 Yer So Bad It's Good Too Be King Breakdown 1:23:06 Driving Down To Georgia Refugee Runnin' Down A Dream 1:39:00 encore: Honey Bee 1:48:30 American Girl 1:55:02

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Live Review: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah @ Blute Note, NYC 8/22/18

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


It was of Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah's early set on Tuesday night August 22nd at the Blue Note Jazz Club in Greenwich Village, NYC.

RtBE has been big fans of CSaA since we first found him through bandcamp with his Stretch Music release release. It was great to find a new NOLA jazz artist who was pushing boundaries in all directions. Then came The Centennial Trilogy and we were amazed, reviewing each of the individual releases (part 1, part 2, part 3) and ranking the overall project high on our year end review for 2017

Tuesday was the first chance we have had to catch him and his band live and when they were playing we were not disappointed. They can cook. He is a very personable band leader, on this night a bit too personable with the constricted set times, but otherwise it was a success. He will be back at the Blue Note in the beginning of 2019 and hope to catch him again.

Support the artist, read the review, catch him live and peep some video below:
 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Album Review: The Milk Carton Kids - All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn't Do

The Milk Carton Kids
All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn't Do
***and1/2 out of *****

There has been a lot of change in the lives of the Milk Carton Kids. The duo of Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale have been making excellent acoustic music for years now but with Ryan having children and Pattengale surviving Cancer and ending a long term relationship, upheaval is at the center of their newest record, All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn't Do.

Even with that sense of change, fear and some sadness (as well as increasing instrumentation on certain songs) it is impossible to hear the duo and not immediately think of classic Simon and Garfunkel. The acoustic strumming and particularly the sweet harmonies recall the great 60's duo as the younger California players bring much of the same talents that the New York City folkies did decades ago.

Tracks like "A Sea of Roses" and "Younger Years" in particular sound like they could have been outtakes of S&G's as the Pattengale and Ryan reflect on life. Things get updated for "Nothing Is Real", an interesting take on our digital society wrapped in bitterness which actually works well with the Milk Carton Kids gorgeous sound while "Blindness" just pairs the groups magical vocals with haunting melloncholy.

Drums, violins and flutes are added to the politically tinged "Mourning in America" and while it isn't the most successful track here the extra instrumentation works, strongly supporting the singers. A style that doesn't fit as well is the weepy steel guitar accented country tearjerker "You Break My Heart" which finds the vocals going falsetto but the end result feels more parody than tribute.

The centerpiece of the bands newest release is the nearly ten and half minute "One More For The Road" which again incorporates a full band sound as the group jams out and lingers over lost loves, all lead by excellently searching acoustic guitar work . Other winning efforts are the rootsy-rolling "Big Time", the swirling "Unwinnable War" and the intimately confessional disk closing title track.

Overall, the record is an enjoyable journey as The Milk Carton Kids grow, hurt, love, lose and persevere on their retrospective sounding All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn't Do.   
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Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Album Review: Luluc - Sculptor

Luluc
Sculptor
***and1/2 out of *****

The first thing that hits you on any Luluc release is the gorgeous melding of the duos vocals. ZoĆ« Randell and Steve Hassett are the Australian artists and their newest release, Sculptor keeps the singing as intriguing as ever, but have broaden their instrumentation (with the help of  some friends) releasing the strongest album of their career. 

Opener "Spring" brings a Band of Horses soaring vibe to the forefront while Randall takes over the vocals for "Heist" which is as about as confrontational as the outfit has ever been around light horns and an an organ buzz while the folky "Cambridge" softly swells on the breeze. The National's Aaron Dessner co-produced the disk and there are lots of parallels with the slightly off but restrained sound of Sculptor and National releases. 

Other guests arrive to help out as drummer Jim White adds some scattered percussion to "Genius" giving the folk track a jazz flair while J Mascis arrives for a brief guitar solo which sounds like it was recorded in an adjacent studio on the best overall track "Me and Jasper" dealing with small town talk as Randell and Hassett meld beautifully. 

Less successful offerings are "Kids" which laments growing up as different sounds float in and out yet becomes dull during it's extended run time, never paying off while "Controversy" has it's heart in the right place, but crams too many thoughts into the brief tune, feeling more like a demo or outtake.

Even when the Randell and Hassett miss the mark, the results aren't skippable. The outfit can make almost all songs sound pretty with fluttering singing and tempered music to fit the mood. Sculptor is a clear step up as Luluc seem ready to rise to the next level. 
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Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video:




Monday, August 20, 2018

Dylan Cover #338 Joey Vaughan "Thunder On the Mountain" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from Joey Vaughan and is a live cover of "Thunder On The Mountain 

Thoughts on Dylan Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
The opening track on Dylan's 2006 album Modern Times, "Thunder On The Mountain" has all the ingredients of a classic; ingenious word play, a rhythmic backbone and some sweet fret work.  In my original review of Modern Times I quoted three sets of lyrics from this tune.  It is epic and fits in with the heavyweights of Dylan's past.
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Had not heard of Mr. Vaughan before this week. He is a blues artist, Joey Vaughan has a youtube page with covers and originals.

Thoughts on Cover:
Not the easiest track to take on solo, but Vaughan does a stand up job. With a full band he could take this cover to the live stage, but as it stands it is a passionate attack on the Modern Times number. Vaughn sings and plays with style and accentuates things with a smile, appropriate for this song. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

Full Show Friday: Santana 8/18/70 Tanglewood Lenox, MA

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...Santana!
Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on summer concert standby's who always played the picturesque Saratoga Performing Arts Center over the years. 

August always makes RtBE think of upstate New York, specifically the town of Saratoga. Going to high school just a few miles from the town, we would spend many August days at the beautiful horse track and hot nights in the state park watching bands from all over. A few years back we presented shows from the venue itself This month we will highlight some bands who always seemed to roll through and we (mostly) got to see live. 

There are few bands that evoke outdoor summer sunshine fun better than Santana. Almost on this exact day 48 years ago this killer concert went down in Tanglewood. Holy Moley, this is a gem.

Santana is another one who whenever he toured seemed to play SPAC in the summer, so much so that our first time catching him was when we got a $10 ticket because he couldn't put asses in the seats anymore!

It certainly didn't effect his playing from the stage. It was early 2000's and his band mixed his Supernatural comeback (blah) with old warhorses (yeah!) so he was well worth checking out...we still have hte poster and ticket from this night framed in RtBE HQ. 

Full setlist and info regarding the show below. Pro-Shot, Pro-Sound this one is a summer highlight for sure, Enjoy:


Santana - Full Concert Recorded Live: 8/18/1970 - Tanglewood (Lenox, MA) More Santana at Music Vault: http://www.musicvault.com Subscribe to Music Vault: http://goo.gl/DUzpUF Setlist: 0:00:00 - Batuka / Se A Cabo 0:07:38 - Black Magic Woman 0:13:19 - Oye Como Va 0:17:51 - Incident At Neshabur 0:23:25 - Toussaint L'Overture 0:28:25 - Evil Ways 0:32:53 - Hope You're Feeling Better 0:37:31 - Treat 0:44:04 - Savor / Jingo 0:53:42 - Soul Sacrifice 1:06:53 - Gumbo 1:11:34 - Persuasion

Personnel: Carlos Santana - guitar, vocals Gregg Rolie - keyboards, piano, lead vocals David Brown - bass Michael Shrieve - drums Jose "Chepito" Areas - percussion, conga, timbales Mike Carabello - percussion, conga, vocals

Summary: Recorded just over a year after Santana played its historic Woodstock Music & Art Fair performance, the band was fast becoming one of the biggest in the world. They were about to release their second album, Abraxas, and were riding high on the heels of three hit songs from their debut album and a new Top 10 hit, a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Black Magic Woman."

A year earlier - in fact only a few days before the Woodstock Festival - Bill Graham staged the first of several concerts billed as "The Fillmore at Tanglewood." Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the storied venue had just begun to experiment with staging contemporary concerts on their grounds. Staging a rock concert in a classical venue had yet to be done, so of course the concept of doing so excited Graham. He brought the full-scale Fillmore East production team in, including the Joshua Light Show, and booked a great lineup. This first concert featured B.B King, Jefferson Airplane and The Who, and drew the largest crowd that Tanglewood had ever seen by far. 

Buoyed by the event's success, Tanglewood and Graham agreed to stage three similar dates in 1970. The last of these is this show, when Santana headlined after The Voices of East Harlem and the legendary Miles Davis had played. This historic and beautifully recorded performance features a smoking performance by Santana in the last year of their classic lineup, before a young Neal Schon joined the band. We think you'll agree it's an incredible performance by a great band in their prime.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Album Review: Beach Rats - Wasted Time EP

Beach Rats
Wasted Time EP
*** out of *****

When members of Minor Threat/Bad Religion, Lifetime and The Bouncing Souls come together to put out an EP of quick punchy punk rock it is most certainly worth a listen. The first release from Beach Rats comprised of Brian Baker, Ari Katz, Danny Windas, Pete Steinkopf and Brian Kielen, is a doozy titled Wasted Time.

The brief release manages to hit upon pop-punk, anthems, noise flourishes, heavy stomping and bouncing bass grooves all over it's brief run time. None of the efforts reach the two minute mark, but the vitality is evident. Opener "Lonely For the Night" screeches the fret boards while slamming ahead with mosh pit intensity before a grooving mid song change of pace.

The distorted bass and positively blazing guitars scream throughout "Stay All Night" as the constructed drum slams keep pace while "Sports Stink" and "Skins Brains and Dubs" cook slamming forward. Title track and disk closer "Wasted Time" uses solos and a slapping drum opening to set the tone around patented punk/whining style singing. 

The only detriment to the EP is the singing of Katz which seems intentionally low in the mix, keeping lyrics hidden for the most part. Outside of the style of vocal recording Beach Rats have the foundation of a successful outfit but as with all of these pairings enjoy what you have and always hope for more as Wasted Time on Bridge 9 Records scratches that summer punk itch.
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Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:




RIP Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin has passed away, she was 76. For a well done obituary, as always, check out The NY TIMES.  When she first fell ill some NYC artists decided to turn the Franklin St Subway into a impromptu tribute to Aretha.

The site Bowery Boogie pointed this out and while the MTA will surely take all of this down ASAP (because the MTA is evil), it is a nice moment for commuters and tourists alike to take Franklin into their thoughts.

RtBE was lucky to have caught The Queen of Soul live twice, and were frustrated when she always canceled on Jazzfest, but her music will live on forever as she is a force of nature when she steps up to the microphone. As Billy Preston put it:

“She can be hiding out in her house in Detroit for years. She can go decades without taking a plane or flying off to Europe. She can cancel half her gigs and infuriate every producer and promoter in the country. She can sing all kinds of jive-ass songs that are beneath her. She can go into her diva act and turn off the world. But on any given night, when that lady sits down at the piano and gets her body and soul all over some righteous song, she’ll scare the shit out of you. And you’ll know—you’ll swear—that she’s still the best fuckin’ singer this fucked-up country has ever produced.”


Also our friends over at Brooklyn Vegan has posted about an Aretha Franklin tribute concert to take place at MSG on November 14th so RtBE will be keeping an eye on those developments as it is sure to be a star studded show.

To remember the all-time great today here are a few of RtBE's favorite songs Aretha performed and we will take a suggestion from none other than President Obama, "Here’s a tip: when you’re deejaying a party, open with ‘Rock Steady.’ :










Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Album Review Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light

Skeletonwitch
Devouring Radiant Light
***out of *****

The veteran Athens, Ohio based metal band Skeletonwitch's sixth full length album Devouring Radiant Light also happens to be the first with their new front man Adam Cleman's (Veil of Maya). While the shifting vocals and styles may be jarring for long time fans, the variety and energy makes for a hell of a heavy ride.

The album switches between long black metal epics and shorter more punk/thrash metal leaning tracks. The group is comfortable with either style, and the first two songs are prime examples of this. "Fen of Shadows" starts the album with sweeping grandeur, epic in scope and sound while "When Paradise Fades" blasts out directly and ends with some soaring melodic guitar solos over the fury.

"Temple of the Sun" is a monster and the highlight here with slamming drums, scorching guitars and layered vocals that pairs screams with even deeper screams. The track catapults ahead with all players (Nate "N8 Feet Under" Garnette – guitars, Scott "Scunty D." Hedrick – guitars,  Evan "Loosh" Linger – bass, Adam Clemans – vocals, Jon "The Charn" Rice – drums) clicking and melding their metal sub-genres into a propulsive winner.

Produced by Kurt Ballou the record is crisp, layers of instrumentation are separated and each sound can breath even during the most chaotic of passages. The title track amps the level of drama with a gorgeous intro before the gut wrenching screams and thunderous playing dominates while "The Vault" is another long player that winds throughout the darkened forest before galloping into the ether. "Carnarium Eternal" gets the thrash levels raised by maintaining a sick groove with blast beats before "Sacred Soil" ends the solid record on black metal note.

Experiencing lineup upheaval, Skeletonwitch has taken the change in stride, shifting their sounds and still producing a well rounded metal album on Devouring Radiant Light.   
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Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peeps some video:




The Hold Steady Return to Brooklyn Bowl for Massive Nights 3

In what is becoming a fantastic tradition The Hold Steady will return to Brooklyn Bowl this fall/winter to celebrate with their fans once again for Massive Nights III.

The band will play four nights in a row November 28th through December 1st. The group will be welcoming different (excellent) openers each of the nights and mixing up their set lists so multiple nights in attendance are in order (at least for RtBE).

Last year we loved their set and even ranked it high in our year end review and this summer catching the band for the Tenth Anniversary of Stay Positive was great; RtBE can not wait to see them play Williamsburg in a few months. Tickets are on sale now for the fan club and go on sale to the general public this Friday so make sure to grab some as it is a hell of a lot of fun to see the band on their home turf.

To get in the mood here are a few videos of the band playing live, Stay Positive:




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Album Review: Jim James - Uniform Distortion

Jim James
Uniform Distortion
**** out of *****
The title of Jim James most recent solo album is a good indication of the sound contained within, as Uniform Distortion is filled with guitar/bass feedback on all of the tracks. Perhaps more accurate though is a title of the fourth song on the album, "Throwback". While James solo records of original material have found him playing with digital loops, retro-soul, and futuristic Marvin Gaye topical/political screeds, Uniformed Distortion returns him to his early My Morning Jacket era with screeching solos, rock and roll cliches, soaring songs and heavy drumming.

Recorded at Louisville, KY’s La La Land with production from Kevin Ratterman and James himself, the album vibrates in a retro confident way. Opening with two excellently swaggering fuzzed up rockers with in your face riffs, "Just a Fool" and "You Get To Rome" are the double barrel openers. Instantly engaging with gorgeous backing vocals (Dear Lemon Trees’ Leslie Stevens, Jamie Drake and Kathleen Grace) the ripping guitar runs somehow managing to both be reminiscent of Cheap Trick's best and LA's country rock scene from the 70's.

"Out of Time" appears to be treading that same path but drops into a deep groove around fiery soloing and layers of sound which call to mind "Another Brick in the Wall" Pink Floyd; James gets a ton of mileage out of a song that runs just under three minutes, just one highlight among many on the album.
    
The two tracks most reminiscent of James early My Morning Jacket period are "Throwback" and "No Secrets" while "All In Your Head" has a modern Phish taste, each will be huge live. Stout drumming (from Dave Givan), clean and distorted guitars, positive sounding arena ready formulas, with seize the moment lyrics, cycle through all of these tunes. His spin on the modern day cultural climate takes a back seat to his fuzz tone and guitar work on this record, but he still manages to proclaim we better get together on "No Use Waiting" and a spin on why can't we simply all be friends for "Over and Over Again".

In fact James talked about the record:
“My head feels like it is exploding with the amount of information we are forced to consume on a daily basis, and how that information is so DISTORTED there is almost no longer any tangible truth. The name of my new record is UNIFORM DISTORTION because I feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/media and the way we gather our news and important information. More and more of us are feeling lost and looking for new ways out of this distortion and back to the truth… and finding hope in places like the desert where I write this now... finding hope in the land and in the water and in old books offering new ideas and most importantly in each other and love.”
Hearing him discuss this, doesn't sound as good as his six string on the record, but it shines a light on the artist and elevates the cover art, The Illuminated Man from photographer Duane Michaels. While James grapples with too much in his head, he certainly seems happy on Uniform Distortion as he is actually laughing on at least three songs here, some of which may be laughs of exasperation, but the humor and human feeling is palpable.

There is a looseness that hasn't been present in his solo work as well, album closer "Too Good To Be True" sounds like a successful first take from the players. While James is always searching, finding sonic inspiration from his past has served him well in these modern times.
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RtBE has reviewed all of Jim James solo albums of original material and while Regions of Light and Sound and God and Eternally Even both were OK-to-Good, Uniform Distortion is our favorite from James.

Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:


Monday, August 13, 2018

Dylan Cover #337 Barkin' Iron Band "What Was It You Wanted?"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Barkin' Iron Band of the Dylan tune "What Was It You Wanted?"

Thoughts On Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
Oh Mercy brought Dylan back in from the creative wasteland that was his 1980's. It had an eerie sense of foreboding, helped by producer Daniel Lanois and the ghosts of New Orleans. The irritable old man in Dylan came out a bit here as well, and "What Was It You Wanted" is a good example of that, a confused searching that colors the lyrics as the protagonist just can't seem to get it right.
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Have not heard of Barkin' Iron Band before. They are an Americana group from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Thoughts on Cover:
Musically the track is spooky and rolling. The production is a bit tight and the singer has a bit of Dylan put on which we don't care for but the track moves along nicely with a well played guitar solos highlighting things.    

Friday, August 10, 2018

Full Show Friday: Steve Miller Band 10/10/92 - Shoreline Amphitheatre

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...Steve Miller Band!
Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on summer concert standby's who always played the picturesque Saratoga Performing Arts Center over the years. 

August always makes RtBE think of upstate New York, specifically the town of Saratoga. Going to high school just a few miles from the town, we would spend many August days at the beautiful horse track and hot nights in the state park watching bands from all over. A few years back we presented shows from the venue itself. This month we will highlight some bands who always seemed to roll through and we (mostly) got to see live.  

This week we showcase the Steve Miller Band set from 1992 at Shoreline Amphitheatre. In the early 90's Miller was a touring powerhouse, every summer he would sell out SPAC and for some reason it would be THE summer concert until Dave Matthews somehow took over.

Kind of surprising but also kind of obvious as both are lighthearted, middle of the road, semi-fun nights out for the middle aged upstate (white) fan.

Here is where that caveat mostly from above comes into play; we never went to Saratoga to catch Steve Miller, but I will guarantee he rolled through their in 92 and we passed...weren't into his style, but can't bag on his professionalism.

Pro Shot, Pro Sound, Full Setlist and LOTS of Info Below. Enjoy:


Steve Miller Band - Full Concert Recorded Live: 10/10/1992 - Shoreline Amphitheatre (Mountain View, CA)

Setlist: 0:00:00 - Fly Like An Eagle 0:04:51 - Seasons 0:08:33 - You're So Fine 0:12:09 - Mercury Blues 0:15:36 - I'm Tore Down 0:18:38 - Gangster Of Love 0:20:53 - Livin' In The USA 0:25:15 - Dance, Dance, Dance 0:28:16 - Rock'n Me 0:33:41 - Take The Money And Run 0:37:21 - Jet Airliner 0:42:14 - Monologue 0:44:23 - The Joker Personnel: Steve Miller - guitar, lead vocals Norton Buffalo - harmonica Keith Allen - guitar Byron Allred - keyboards Summary:

Steve Miller was among the major artists who lined up on this 1992 weekend to pay homage to indigenous peoples for an event billed as "All Our Colors: The Good Road Concert, A Benefit for the Traditional Circle of Elders and Youth." Held over two days at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, the concerts commemorated 500 years of survival of the native peoples of the western hemisphere, with appearances by Ry Cooder, Jackson Browne and Santana presented alongside a traditional pow-wow and music from indigenous artists.

Miller used his set to highlight his blues roots: after all, he'd spent his early years on the Chicago club scene, learning the music from the masters. Eventually, he headed to San Francisco where he formed the Steve Miller Band in 1967 and explored the blues within the context of the city's vibrant music scene. Their debut, Children of the Future, received little commercial notice upon its release in 1968. Over the course of continued recordings however, the Miller Band and its leader honed their guitar jam and riff style, and eventually lost the psychedelic tones; by 1973, they'd found themselves a hit with the The Joker. He followed up that album with an even bigger hit, Fly Like An Eagle in 1976, a multi-platinum rock standard, and its companion, Book of Dreams, in 1977.

For much of the '80s and '90s, Miller largely worked as a road dog, touring behind greatest hits collections. For this set, he turned in fresh, acoustic rearrangements of the catalog material on which he'd made his name. A fairly sparse "Fly Like An Eagle," mingled with "par-tay" tunes, as he called them, like "You're So Fine" and K.C. Douglas' "Mercury Blues," which he dedicates to John Lee Hooker, also featured on the bill that day. He dedicated Freddie King's "I'm Tore Down," to Ry Cooder, while throughout his set, Miller was accompanied by his trusty sideman Norton Buffalo, on harmonica. They turn out "Gangster of Love," Miller's own homage to the old time blues styles that inspired him, and "Living in the U.S.A.," his high-energy jam about the American dream, as it was once known. Saving the crowd-pleaser for last, the self-referential "The Joker" can still bring a crowd to its feet, no matter when or where Miller performs it.

Miller would soon record new material on Wide River (1993); in 2010 he finally cut another studio album, Bingo!, to add to his catalog, but the mid-to-late '70s were truly his most prolific years. And yet, this '90s set finds "The Gangster of Love" and the "Space Cowboy" finding new ways to perform old tricks: "The Joker" rides again...

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Shannon & The Clams to Tour This Fall, Playing Brooklyn

Our friends over at Brooklyn Vegan rounded up some recently announced tour dates for the Fall. While their headline is for the Yeah Yeah Yeah's and others, RtBE is most interested in Shannon & The Clams shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg this November.

Having completely enjoyed their newest release, dug catching them live, so another round of tunes are in order for early November.

Feel free to grab tickets for any of the bands in BV's post, and peep some video of Shannon and The Clams below.







Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Album Review: Father John Misty - God's Favorite Customer

Father John Misty
God's Favorite Customer
****and1/2 out of *****

On Father John Misty's last album Pure Comedy, the bleakness and stark/dull instrumentation was part of the overall aesthetic, now he returns with God's Favorite Customer and while the music is clearly more rich (like on his breakthrough I Love You, Honeybear) he has returned to his best subject, himself. Things are incredibly fragile and raw as God's Favorite Customer is the true relationship followup record to the madly in love Honeybear as things age, change and fall the fuck apart.

In the past Josh Tillman's Father John Misty character had very easy comparable in Harry Nilsson with his grandiose barque pop, cutting lyrics and humor mixed with brutal honesty. Now on God's Favorite Customer the comparison lies closer with Nilsson's partner in crime John Lennon and his solo records.

Misty wrote much of God's Favorite Customer while sequestered in a hotel room for two months "on the straits"  after misadventures and a life altering event blew up his life. The parallel with Lennon's "lost weekend" phase is direct, but it is not just the personal/honest songwriting about chaos, morality and heartache, but also evident in self producing and working with Josh Rado as the instrumentation and production has a warm Beatles like vibe from the start.

Opening with "Hangout at the Gallows" the rich bass and drums roll out instantly more inviting than anything on Pure Comedy; even though the specter of death is near at hand as politics and religion stab at a drowning man. There are strings, glockenspiels and dramatic swells but the core of the album is a 70's rock and roll confidence. "Just Dumb Enough To Try" injects a saxophone solo that is distorted, crackling through the speaker, foreboding cracks in his relationship.

The first world paranoia hotel blues of "Mr. Tillman" is illuminating to his frail mental state during the writing of this record, while also including his dark wit. Unfortunately death, suicide and mortality seem to be heavy on his mind as the hangover come down lonesomeness of "The Palace" (or "I Love You But No, You're Not") is cold, naked and piercing while closer "We're Only People (And There's Not Much Anyone Can Do About That)" imagines death a lot like birth and finishes the album with dynamic flair, singing in the face of the eternal unknown. Misty always closes his records with some take on the frailty of man and relationships between us all and this one is another great addition to his catalog.

The best overall song, and toughest to reconcile, is the gorgeous "Please Don't Die". The track uses an easy strum and folk rock framework to tackle relationship fears in devastating fashion, falsetto singing and an honest yearning that is wrenching. The beautiful sounds, surround suicidal thoughts, promises to "quit the morbid stuff" before asking who will handle the funeral arraignments for the singers target (very possibly himself). It is one of the best tracks of Misty's career and while the line between Tillman and his character is always blurred it is hard not to want to reach out and ask both if they are OK?       

Even when not trying to make a theme album Misty falls into one with a broken heart that is dripping over and around every song. He delivers on a break up tune that flips the songwriter microphone around to his lost love (conveniently titled "The Songwriter") while questioning if love that lives for ever is really all that special on the upbeat banging "Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All" which has bass slides, sax work, fuzzed guitars and expert singing with the only downside is that it ends too early.

The title track is a great example of this using electric keyboards and expert backing vocals from Natalie Mering while dropping, "I'm in the business of living. Yeah, that's something I'd say" which again blurs the artistic line, but let's hope he keeps living and things get better as God's Favorite Customer proves that Tillman can craft beauty out of personal pain and depression.

Tillman hasn't mentioned the exact cause of his hotel experience and the album is better for it. When the focus is on Tillman's life, with expert musicality surrounding his confessional lyrics things are extremely affecting. Pure Comedy tried to tackle humanity as a whole, Tillman was forced this outing deal with his more personal world (as performance and reality collides) and shows that however painful, he has enough material on his own.
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Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Album Review: Jon Cleary - Dyna-Mite

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

It is of Jon Cleary's newest release, Dyna-Mite.

Having recently reviewed his live solo record from Chickee Wah-Wah's it is good to hear Cleary switch it up a bit to releasing more band focused music.

Not to say his solo piano stuff is bad by any stretch, but he captured some magic with the title track. The tune should be a staple for the Crescent City as it is dynamic...err or just "Dyna-Mite".

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

Monday, August 6, 2018

Dylan Cover #336 Tyler Hilton "Boots Of Spanish Leather" 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 Tyler Hilton of the Dylan tune "Boots Of Spanish Leather"


Thoughts On Original:
From the first time we highlighted someone covering this tune:
One of the first Dylan songs that really bowled me over. I know on the Times They Are a-Changin' there are a ton of epic songs but this was the track that stayed with me the longest. It is ghostly in it's presentation and still just as dynamic now as when he wrote it back in 1963. My favorite show I have seen Dylan play live was back in 1999 at the RPI Fieldhouse. The whole night was great, my favorite backing band of his since The Band, a tiny venue and a setlist that was magical. One of the major highlights was "Boots of Spanish Leather", I need to break out that bootleg this week and re-live that great night.
Cover


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We had not heard of Tyler Hilton before, but realized we have actually seen his work, he plays Elvis Presley in Walk The Line. Pretty cool.
Thoughts on Cover:
A duet with Alexa (from the band Chic Gamine) the two singers work beautifully together. The simple strumming and closeness perfectly accentuates their voices. A really pretty cover. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Full Show Friday: The Allman Brothers Woodstock 1994

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...The Allman Brothers Band!
Some months our Full Show Friday's will focus on specific artistsyearsvenues, festivals or some combo of it all. This month we focus on summer concert standby's who always played the picturesque Saratoga Performing Arts Center over the years. 

August always makes RtBE think of upstate New York, specifically the town of Saratoga. Going to high school just a few miles from the town, we would spend many August days at the beautiful horse track and hot nights in the state park watching bands from all over. A few years back we presented shows from the venue itself This month we will highlight some bands who always seemed to roll through and we (mostly) got to see live.  

Well we will start this loose Full Show Friday concept month with one of the all time great live acts who seem to get better and better when the sun was shinning on them. Maybe it was their southern roots, or the blue skies but the cosmic energy seeped into things; no one can ever say this band wasn't a joy when they were hittin' the note.

We caught them once at SPAC in their latter day lineup with Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks dueling on guitars, but here in their '94 version you get Dickie Betts and the thunderous Allen Woody on bass (along with the always amazing Haynes). Just a few ours south of Saratoga in the odd, revamped, Woodstock '94, which our friend Clancy worked at...strange days indeed.

Pro shot with pro muddy sound (typical for Woodstock) which gets a little better after the opening "Statesboro Blues" and "Blue Skies", if you want to skip ahead do not pass "Jessica" which is the clear highlight of this set. Enjoy:


The Allman Brothers Band - Full Concert Recorded Live: 8/14/1994 - Woodstock 94 (Saugerties, NY) More The Allman Brothers Band at Music Vault: http://www.musicvault.com Subscribe to Music Vault: http://goo.gl/DUzpUF Setlist: 0:00:00 - Statesboro Blues 0:05:40 - Blue Sky 0:12:34 - The Same Thing 0:20:32 - Soulshine 0:27:29 - Midnight Rider 0:31:38 - Jessica 0:42:32 - No One To Run With 0:48:08 - Back Where It All Begins 0:57:41 - One Way Out 1:07:45 - Whipping Post

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Album Review: Welles - Red Trees and White Trashes

Welles
Red Trees and White Trashes 
***and1/2 out of *****

The debut release from Welles is a fuzzy throw back to when grunge dominated the pop charts in the mid nineties. Red Trees and White Trashes touches on lots of rock and roll touch points over it's 13 tracks succeeding immensely for a first effort. 

Front man Jesse Welles is from Arkansas but recently relocated to Nashville to work with a bigger band and better producers. While the town is awash in good folk/country these days, the rock scene added a big plus with Welles.

On the opener "How Sweet It Is To Love" Welles instantly calls to mind one of his heroes Kurt Cobain, singing with that tortured howl, but the vocals and music do not stay one note, and while the Cobain influence is always present, there are other more wide ranging influences that reveal themselves.

"Hold Me Like I'm Leaving" smashes together chunky Beatles inspired riffs with the best bass groove on the record while "Do You Know How To Fuck" feels directly out of the late 70's and the Peter Frampton playbook. "Codeine" is a monster with great arena ready riffs huge drum breaks and bass slides before dissolving into a swirling psychedelic ending which drips into the single ready "Rock N Roll". 

"Into Ashes" is a dynamite mix of styles beginning slowly with a head bobbing blues inspired beat and piano work before transforming into a huge fuzz laden beast for it's finish. The production on this record is pristine as all instrumentation is woolly and alive. Producers Beau Boggs, Bobby Emmett and Dave Cobb all contribute to the proceedings in excellent fashion. "Seasons" and "Crush 19" swagger with a T-Rex bombast while crunchy closer "9.8" gets a bit digital as Welles screeches out the vocals. 

"Life Like Mine" is a galloping number that deals with crazy living and "Seventeen" is an acoustic twist on the age old young love from the male point of view, with a dramatic chorus that like a bunch of songs here morphs into something grander than it's form and lyrics. One of the detriments to Red Trees and White Trashes, is the lyrical cliches it brings up but for a first album relying on tried and true rock and roll standards isn't the worst route to take for Welles.
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Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Remembering Jerry Garcia

On this day way back in 1942 Jerome Garcia was born and as we have done in the past we wanted to take a second to remember Jerry in the best possible way, by listening to his music.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brentdpayne
To kick things off how about an interview with Branford Marsalis (Go Mets!) Scott Poulson-Bryant and Anthony Decurtis and others on what it was like to play with Jerry and the Grateful Dead.


In past years we have focused on full shows from The Grateful Dead, but this year we wanted to post a few Jerry Garcia Band songs.

Enjoy them on this great day...oh and also, Happy Birthday Meg!

Live Review: The Hold Steady @ White Eagle Hall 7/25/18

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

Last week we got the pleasure to catch one of RtBE's Favorites, The Hold Steady celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Stay Positive.

While Stay Positive was never our favorite record the show delivered on all fronts. The new venue is excellent with great site lines, bars, catching up with family and friends (Happy Birthday Meg) and easy access to the city. The band was on point having clearly practiced some of their lesser played numbers from that album.

The group is embarking on a mini tour centered around the album this summer playing some great venues so support the band, read the review, go see them live and peep some video from the show below: