Thursday, May 23, 2019

Live Review: The Hold Steady @ The White Eagle, Jersey City 5/16/19

The Hold Steady 
Live @ The White Eagle 
Jersey City, NJ 5/16/19

Beginning a spring time mini Northeast Weekend run, the Hold Steady kicked things off at The White Eagle in Jersey City New Jersey to a sold out house for a Thursday night show.

Opening things was John K Samson, frontman from The Weakerthans who did a solo acoustic set of some of that bands tunes and a few newer solo numbers mixed in. Samson stated he was amazed he gets paid to play and see one of his favorite bands in the world it was clear Samson new the crowd and was at ease throughout (Craig Finn later told a great story of playing Samson's hometown of Winnipeg and meeting him years ago).

His set started with "One Great City!" he proclaimed how much he hated his hometown and sang with confidence on tunes like "Reconstruction Site", "Pamphleteer" and "Plea From a Cat Named Virtute", before ending his set on a high note with the title track from his solo album Winter Wheat

The Hold Steady came out and kicked started their long set of tunes with "Hornets! Hornets!" as the bands meaty riffs and full band swell with piano and thundering low end got the small club bouncing up and down while singing along.

The three guitars were mixed a bit oddly as the sound took a few tunes to settle in but things leveled off nicely. Having recently caught the band in London this setlist was a bit more up and down and the band wasn't as locked in during this nights set, but the fans were singing strongly throughout to tunes like "Barfruit Blues", "Banging Camp", "Stuck Between Stations" and "Massive Nights" which received one of the best ovations on the night. 

Some individual highlights were "You Can Make You Like Him" which packed a punk rock punch as the band seemed especially locked in on the low end. The sweeping guitar solos in "Stevie Nix" were a joy as confetti flew for "First Night" and the newer "Entitlement Crew" proved it's worth among the old warhorses.

Other newer tunes like "T-Shirt Tux" and the debut of "Traditional Village" went as immediately loved but "Denver Haircut" another new tune shows lots of promise from the band. The fact that Craig Finn, Tad Kubler, Galen Polivka, Steve Selvidge, Franz Nicolay, and Bobby Drake are still crafting new tunes will playing the old favorites for fans means this periodic weekend cruising will hopefully continue as the band always deliver the happy to be alive and in the live rock moment goods. 
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Support the artists, see them live and peep some video below: 
    

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Masters: James Brown - Best Live Albums

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

For May The Masters focuses on James Brown.

The Godfather himself, James Brown. He is the visionary artist who helped invent funk and hip-hop as he floated through the amazingly influential waters of time and his mind. Mr. Please Please Me is iconic and moved from The Famous Flames to Soul Brother #1 to the Godfather with ease as he aged.

He however joins the likes of Miles when RtBE is conflicted about the art and the artist. Longform collected just a few pieces on him, but it is safe to say we are confused with our love for the mans music and thoughts on his personal life. That said, we wrote about our feelings on the man when he passed away for Glide as he had a huge influence on our musical ears.  

Today we focus on his live albums, and while we ranked his studio recordings already this month, this is where he really butters the biscuits. When RtBE goes to the James Brown collection nine times out of ten it is for one of these records. That said there is always a bit of controversy with Brown, were all of these actually recorded live?  Hmmm... 

Any which way let's get to it, below we rank the top five James Brown live records. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Album Review: Czarface & Ghostface Killah - Czarface Meets Ghostface

Czarface & Ghostface Killah
Czarface Meets Ghostface
*** out of *****

The previous album from Czarface was a collaboration with MF Doom, titled Czarface Meets Metal Face and for their follow up they kept the style (even the "face") as they partner with Ghostface Killah for the unimaginatively titled Czarface Meets Ghostface.

However, the talent on the record is palpable as Czarface includes 7L & Esoteric from Boston and Inspectah Deck from NYC and by adding Shaolin running partner Ghostface to the mix the rhyme talent is exceptionable as the music lingers with ominous beats, flowing as a complete listen over it's forty minute run time.

The grimy sound from 7L links all of the tracks and obviously owes to the Wu-Tang style, but also modernizes it for 2019. After a Macho Man Randy Savage impersonator gets things started, the warbling sound thinner beats color "Face Off". "Iron Claw" is the first single from the outfit and starts a pairing of the best efforts on the record with a head bopping beat that flashes in splashes of static, full on drop outs and futuristic phasers.

Following it up is "Czarrcade '87" with deep beats and all three MC's blending seamlessly together as if they have been doing this forever. While this number finds just Esoteric and Inspectah Deck on it, the trio combine for "Super Solider Serum" which bleeps, buzzes and ends with eastern flute in exiting fashion. Skittering beats and strings color the cinematic, horror movie sounding"Listen To The Color" while "Mongolian Beef" finds Ghost taking lines from Liquid Swords and blares through bars of rhymes while the fuzz beat bounces around him. 

The dramatic sounds and overarching feeling makes for a good full listen, but there isn't a stand out must hear. The outfit is going more for thematic listening and they succeed. Kendra Morris shows up to provide a few choruses, perhaps most oddly and engagingly on "The King Heard Voices" while Esoteric at times reminds of Jay-Z and Ghostface is more relaxed, fitting in with the group than an album altering guest, the overall results are a good listen.     
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Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

Monday, May 20, 2019

Dylan Cover #376 Haley Heynderickx "It Ain't Me Babe" 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 Haley Heynderickx playing "It Ain't Me, Babe"

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
One of the best Dylan songs because it is universal, to the point, lyrical, smirking, self-centered and a perfect statement. Dylan has written lots of songs that can be covered well (as evident by this series) but "It Ain't Me, Babe" fits perhaps better then almost any other one into a huge variety of styles. That is because we have all been in the singers position one time or another...and it is a damn good song.

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
This is the first time we are coming across Haley Heynderickx.

Thoughts on Cover:
The delicate live cover is a sweet tune. The true star is Heynderickx voice which is ethereal and enchanting.  Fun stuff.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Full Show Friday: James Brown Live @ The Boston Garden 1968

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...James Brown!

Our focus this month in our ongoing Masters series is James Brown.

Here we go, the Godfather of Soul where he belongs, live and on stage. This week we proudly present one of the most historic sets of his career, the Boston Garden show after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

The show begins with a comedy set from none other than Maceo Parker, before the Soul Brother #1 takes the stage. Historical, funky, amazing, Enjoy:



Thursday, May 16, 2019

Album Review: Show Me The Body - Dog Whistle

Show Me The Body
Dog Whistle
*** out of *****

Show Me The Body are a lot of things as a band, but where many "new" hardcore punk outfits strive to be like legends past, coping styles and songs note for note, this New York City based trio are trying to carve their new path, beholden to no one person place or political party.

The band (Julian Cashwan Pratt, Harlan Steed, Noah Cohen-Corbett) are firebrands who play more of a mix of sludge industrial rock with punk, hip-hop and art rock influences. Opener "Camp Orchestra" was inspired by a visit to Poland’s Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum and is a tribute to the Jewish orchestra groups formed in concentration camps during World War II. The tune opens with an instrumental around distorted bass and soothing classical guitar lines for two minutes before turning on the chugging, snarling electric guitars, and tight drums, complete with breakdowns and slam dance ready rev ups to close.   

The group is it's most typical punkish and hardcore on tracks like "Not For Love", the pummeling "Drought" and the skate rock ready "Madonna Love" which is their best in the more straight ahead style, but the band never seems to want to do things normally. The have spoken word poetry in the form of "Animal In A Dream" or "Die For the Earth to Live" which both obsess about the business of death, or the performance art of "Now I Know" dealing with oncoming plagues. Even quirky instrumentation of plunking strings slowly builds on "Arcanum" but for a band who is willing to throw everything into the mix this track ends oddly restrained. These experiments aren't all successful, and the tunes, will not be for everyone, but the young trio is certainly never dull. 

The group seems to really dig into their industrial hip-hop style the most though as "Fork and Knives" screeches and bumps with sludge beats and metallic screeches of metal on metal train tracks. Closer "Lullaby" also floats in these industrial waters while a track like "Badge Grabber" seems to combine everything the group does best. The tune slathers on screeching guitars, yelling lyrics about death and family and friends, distorted almost dance beats complete with many odd stop starts.

The group never lets the listener feel comfortable and that is the point, they are here to fuck things up and by bringing new ideas to a genre which usually just recycles it's best parts Show The Body is fresh, while still experimenting, growing and finding their sound.
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Thanks to Billy for pointing these guys out to RtBE.
Support the band, buy the album, listen on bandcamp or below and peep some video:


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Sazerwrap Part 2: The Music

The Sazerwrap has been the @RockBodyElec way of rounding up all the amazing things that happen down at our annual trip to Jazzfest in New Orleans.  We will breaking the review up into two parts, Food and Music, today is the Music.  Only 11 Months until next years festival!

It has been a few years, but RtBE is bringing back the Sazerwrap for the 50th Anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This is our 11th straight year of catching the fest and needless to say each year is magic. The trips keep evolving as does the festival and city which hosts it. Today we will chat about the tunes we heard and shows we saw.

Album Review: Daniel Norgren - Wooh Dang

Daniel Norgren
Wooh Dang
*** out of *****

The Swedish singer/songwriter Daniel Norgren's newest release Wooh Dang, is continuation of his earthy folksier mix of blues and roots music.

Opening with the warbling notes, ambient noise and bird chirps the instrumental "Blue Sky Moon" sets the rustic tone. Norgren recorded the record in a nineteenth century farmhouse after writing the tunes deep in the woods of his native Sweden. The piano lead of "The Flow" is a touch distorted, as is his whistling, singing and cymbal hits as the singer keeps things just weird enough to keep the tempo from putting you to sleep. 

The easy folk waltzing of "The Power" is a great capturing of his talent; a road song, a mediation, an organic coming together of sounds of voices which feels as if it is has always been floating around the either. This is laid back stuff however, things are stripped down to their essence and warble with roadhouse appeal on the blues shaker, "Dandelion Time" while "Rolling Rolling Rolling" finds Norgren stretching his voice during some gospel inspired stripped down soul.

The vocal effort and immediacy is a large part of Norgrens appeal and whether it is the lone buzzing of "So Glad" or the Beatles-esque lo-fi pop of album highlight "Let Love Run The Game" there is no denying Daniel's emotions are true and vocally identifiable. 

The intimate love songs "The Day That's Just Begun" with it's piano, harmonica and sweet lyrics, as well as the calypso tinged "When I Hold You In My Arms" bring a joyous loving feeling to the overall bright record. The album wraps up with the title track, just a little piano ditty which fits this record; Wooh Dang is just a little slice of organic pleasantry in a large world where that is increasingly rare.
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Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video:

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Sazerwrap Part 1: The Food

The Sazerwrap has been the @RockBodyElec way of rounding up all the amazing things that happen down at our annual trip to Jazzfest in New Orleans.  We will breaking the review up into two parts, Food and Music, today is the Music.  Only 11 Months until next years festival!

It has been a few years, but RtBE is bringing back the Sazerwrap for the 50th Anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This is our 11th straight year of catching the fest and needless to say each year is magic. The trips keep evolving as does the festival and city which hosts it. Today we will chat about the food we sampled and tomorrow the tunes we heard.

Album Review: Tacocat - This Mess Is a Place

Tacocat
This Mess Is a Place
***and1/2 out of *****

The fourth full length from Tacocat is their first for Sub-Pop and it is a evolution in the bands song writing as they pull off a great trick of making poppy bubblegum punk tackle tough modern day political issues in engaging and fun fashion. This Mess Is a Place is a testament to the bands growth, sound and bright vision in these sometimes dark times ending up as their most complete and best record.

The Seattle four piece,  singer Emily Nokes, drummer Lelah Maupin, bassist Bree McKenna and guitarist Eric Randall keep get things off to a shining start with the symbol rich "Hologram" which reminds power is a hologram while directly addressing today's societal feelings, beaded curtains and the smallness of us all before the pumping "New World" amps up the hope and the dance floor ready "Grain of Salt" slams home the point that you should never forget who the fuck you are; the main flagpole of This Mess Is A Place.

The group plays with 50's doo-wop influences on the dark humor filled "The Joke of Life" and while it might sound odd dealing with nightmares and getting swallowed up by thinking to hard over and around such pretty sounding tunes that juxtaposition is the charm of Tacocat. One issue however is the playing can become too sugary and light at times but then things dig down and grip tightly on the break filled "Little Friend" which pushes big drums and crunching riffs to the forefront in almost Veruca Salt fashion.

The banging mixes with more swinging hip shaking tambourines for the bands take on the obviously fortunate few via "Rose-Colored Sky", a catchy screed while the pop punk of "The Problem" motors along while the simple day drunk swaying of "Meet Me at La Palma" is a nice break from the conscientious lyrics. "Crystal Ball" talks about the American cultural malaise and computer stupor with excellent results, proclaiming it is a great time to barely be alive before the record closes with the fuzz laden warbling of "Miles and Miles" wrapping up a rock solid release.   

While there isn't a must hear track on the record the complete work of up beat guitar rock with purpose is catchy, exciting and proof that this style can still sound fresh. This Mess Is a Place, but tomorrow it could always get messier or perhaps even better.           
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A really great bandcamp find. Support the artist, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:



Monday, May 13, 2019

Dylan Cover #375 Joe Paulik "Not Dark Yet" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. This week we have Joe Paulik, doing a live cover of "Not Dark Yet".

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
A excellent Dylan tune from any era but one that in particular screamed "I'm Still Alive And Kickin'!" on Time Out Of Mind at a time when Dylan was simply an after thought in current popular music scene. One of Dylan's most haunting tracks; it is hard not to feel his emotions and finality of the coming darkness as Dylan sings this lyric set.  An all-time great that is mysterious, foreboding, honest and powerful. 1st class Bob.
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
First time coming across Joe Paulik. Good stuff.

Thoughts on Cover:
Really cool concept to recorded with Lake Superior providing texture and sound. Great singing and strumming as well. Hell of a cover.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Full Show Friday: James Brown - North Sea Jazz Festival July 11th, 1981

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...James Brown!

Our focus this month in our ongoing Masters series is James Brown.

For this installment of Full Show Friday we find he Godfather of Soul ushering in that dark period known as the 80's. Live from the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1981 comes Brown and his band. James has got some look going on this night, "Gonna Have A Funky Good Time" indeed...Pro shot pro sound full set list and information below.

Enjoy:


From the Youtube Description:
James Brown was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and bandleader. He was the creator of funk music and a major figure of 20th century popular music and dance. He is known as the ""Godfather of Soul”. In a career that spanned six decades, he influenced the development of several music genres. In 1981 he performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival with his band. Tracklisting a.o.: - We Are The Funky Men - It’s Too Funky In Here - Gonna Have A Funky Good Time - Try Me - Get On The Good Foot - Georgia On My Mind - I Got The Feeling - Please Please Please - Jam - Sex Machine Also watch the 2nd concert James Brown did that same day, 11 July 1981. He really brings the audience to their feet. Also it is a different tracklisting, including ''Its' a man's world'! We will upload this concert on 17 august 2018. Watch more World of Jazz videos ► https://goo.gl/Z28cxv Join us. Subscribe now! ► https://goo.gl/n2FHaL Thanks for all your support, rating the video and leaving a comment is always appreciated! Please: respect each other in the comments. This is the official YouTube channel of World of Jazz.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Album Review: Blood Red Shoes - Get Tragic

Blood Red Shoes
Get Tragic
***and1/2 out of *****

The fifth album from guitarist Laura-Mary Carter and drummer Steven Ansell, the English duo known as Blood Red Shoes, finds them giving their band a fresh start as the band was put on hiatus with Carter heading to LA after 2014's self titled. Get Tragic shifts their sound, pumping up the electro jams with brooding electronic keyboards, bass heavy pop rock perfect for late night dance floors or hip dark smokey laser light lit club scenes on movie soundtracks. 

The first noticeable adjustment is the increased the work load of keyboards, moving away from garage rock roots into a more dance laden fully bloated dark rock sound. The pulsating electro bass dominates the record opener "Eye To Eye" setting the stage before the first single "Mexican Dress" takes over. An album highlight the lyrics call to mind a vapid generation doing things for the clicks which Carter describes as "small hits of validation and the feeling of having all eyes on you have become our generation’s biggest drug problem!”.

Musically the track delivers different driving drums and percussion with repetitive riffs and swirling keyboard sounds/effects melding into a dance ready groove. That dirty rock groove gets an industrial injection on the clanging "Bangsar" and the experimental "Anxeity" both which find Ansell on lead vocal duty, but it is the singing on "Howl" from Carter which dominates. On a majority of the offerings her vocals remain more spoken word and aloof , but "Howl" finds Carter in strong form and everything clicking with disenchanted samples, electronic keyboard lines, crunchy riffs and driving drums; aside from a bizarre abrupt ending it is a standout number.

The whole record keeps the motif industrial pop rock dance party flowing though even when guests arrive like Ed Harcourt on the Depeche Mode influenced "Beverly" or The Wytches for the "Hold Me, Thirll Me Kiss Me Kill Me" inspired "Nearer" which juxtaposes sludgy electronic bass with shimmering big breaks in massive over driven style.

Producer Nick Launay (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lou Reed, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) also deserves credit for stringing these sounds together so successfully. The one song which breaks this style and doesn't work is the odd off kilter folk of "Find My Own Remorse" which has Clarence Clarity assisting, but the shift in album ascetic is a strange stylistic choice.   

Album closer however "Elijah" pulls things back into the underground chic framework with a huge cinematic riffs and rising crescendo, tailor made to close out festival sets as splashes of recent Jack White efforts ("Connected By Love") flow through it. Wrapping up on a high note Get Tragic finds Carter and Ansell in strong form, increasing their electronic output, and also stridently moving Blood Red Shoes forward in overloaded fashion.
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Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

Album Review: Kevin Morby - Oh My God

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

It is of Kevin Morby's newest double album, Oh My God.

Kind of split on this record and glad that Glide eliminated their star system because I am not sure where I would land on this record. Read the review but if you are too lazy...TL:DR - cool idea, not the the best execution to these ears.

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


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Masters- James Brown - Best Studio Albums

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

The Godfather himself, James Brown joins The Masters series here on RtBE. He is the visionary artist who helped invent funk and hip-hop as he moved through the amazing funky waters of time and his mind. Mr. Please Please Me is iconic and moved from The Famous Flames to Soul Brother #1 to the Godfather with ease as he aged.
He however joins the likes of Miles when RtBE is conflicted about the art and the artist. Longform collected just a few pieces on him, but it is safe to say that Brown's actions makes it tough with our love for the mans music. That said, we wrote about our feelings on Brown when he passed away for Glide as he had a huge influence on our musical ears and he won't be the first or last artist we are conflicted about loving.   

Today we are going to dive into his studio output and rank our favorite studio albums by Brown. Perhaps not shockingly, but like Elvis Presley, Brown is a mega artist who does not have definitive studio albums. His early albums were almost random collections of singles, his later albums were scattered, many didn't even have the title songs on them or were mixes of live/studio/overdub Frankenstein's (looking at you Sex Machine).

Some of these actual records are out of print and honestly people aren't losing much because of that. Live albums, box sets, greatest hits, he checks all those boxes, but a definitive studio effort is hard to find...let's give it a go anyways...  

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Album Review: Kel Assouf - Black Tenere

Kel Assouf
Black Tenere
*** out of *****

The first time I became aware of what is apparently being called the 'Tuareg Sound'  or Ishumar music was through the fantastic guitarist Bombino and his Group Bombino's participation in Guitars from Agadez Vol 2. While Bombino may be the most world known name working in this African rock style, other bands are breaking out and Kel Assouf is one of them with their most recent release Black Tenere.

Singing for the Kel Tamashek people front man and guitarist Anana Ag Haroun’s poetically relates his peoples struggles and while this American can not understand the lyrics without translation, the sound and passion are evident as is struggle and modern day tough times linked to his culture. Kel Assouf are a trio with drummer Oliver Penu and keyboardist/producer Sofyann Ben Youssef (AMMAR 808) along to help fill out the sound.

Opener "Fransa" deals with his peoples struggles with colonization over blues rock mixed with North African sounds while "Alyochan" is a showcase for Youssef as the digital bleeps and keyboards take center stage. "Tenere" is a banging track which takes liberally from Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsy's era heavy blues/psych rock with it's sound, which may be the most familiar for Western ears first experiencing this style.

The meditative "Tamatant" is stripped down and acoustically based, the most meditative track here running five and half minutes while the other long runner "Ariyal" is squarely in the experimental jazz zone for the four minute intro before clapping into the club ready beat for the remainder of the run time. The repetitiveness of this style may not be for everyone as the sound is based on reinforcing the hypnotic groove on songs like "Taddout" are a long journey.

When styles clash, like on the scattered groove of "America" or the blues based desert style with deep bass drumming from Penu on "Amghar" which booms ominously, the best results are found. Banging rock closer with snake like riffs from Haroun is also a highlight ending the fun mix of styles, sounds and cultures which Black Tenere  offers up; using it's repetitive rock nature to enchant the listener proving the more cultures mix the merrier.
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Support the artists, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:


Monday, May 6, 2019

Dylan Cover #374 Rita Coolidge "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, Rita Coolidge performing a cover of "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" 
In April (and first week in May)we have a special focus on Artists who will be playing the 2019 Jazzfest in New Orleans. Today we highlight, Rita Coolidge who played Thursday, May 2nd.

Thoughts on Dylan Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
A simple little number coming off of John Wesley Harding it discards the lyrical wizardry for a down home spin.  We are rewarded with easy bliss, not often found in Dylan tunes. The emotions displayed by the singer here are heartfelt, hearty and easy going, just like the tune as a whole. Always a pleasant ride, bring that bottle over here...   

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Rita Coolidge has been around for a long time, have highlighted her ex-husband in this series, but RtBE has not had any contact with her before today. Wild as she was so instrumental to Mad Dog's and Englishmen and other things we love.

Thoughts on Cover:
Taken from her second studio album, 1972's The Lady's Not For Sale comes this country-fied version with easy rambling music and strong, direct singing from Coolidge. This is a nice cover which mixes that freewheeling style with a more passionate lyric, and while the song might work better tossed off this stout singing shows Rita's power.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Angels & Vagabonds EP Anyways... Released Four Years Ago Today

We are proud that Angels & Vagabonds acoustic EP titled Anyways... Turns four years old today.
The album is important because, well, RtBE is in the band and it is exciting to go from critic/reviewer of music to creator of tunes. Special thanks also go to our friends who helped out and while it has been a few years since a release, more are on the way...

You can stream the album below and you can also go here and download the album for free (or any donation you would like). The album is also available on Spotify, Itunes AMI Jukeboxes and elsewhere. Thanks for listening and reading.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Full Show Friday: Jupiter & Okwess of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Live 1/12/18

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...Jupiter & Okwess of the Democratic Republic of the Congo!
Every April (and first week in May) we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Jupiter & Okwess of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who will be playing Saturday May 4th on the Congo Square Stage.

For our final Jazzfest 2019 showcase we go back to the Congo stage for Jupiter & Okwess of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who will be playing tomorrow.This hour long set comes from The Millennium Stage early last year and is a doozy of afro-funk/rock/grooving mix of styles. This is same damn good stuff and worth catching tomorrow at the Fair Grounds. 

Pro-Shot, Pro-Sound, Enjoy:
    

Thursday, May 2, 2019

NOLA Jazzfest 2nd Weekend Starts Today!

The best festival in America kicks off's it's second weekend today and hopefully you are attending. If you can not get to the Big Easy for The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage FestivalWWOZ has the answer.
You can stream the festival through their website. This is one of the best radio channels in the country, so you should pop in and stream them regularly, but this weekend is a must if you can't be there.

You can stream the festival through their website. This is one of the best radio channels in the country, so you should pop in and stream them regularly, but these next two weekends are a must if you can't be there.

Also Leslie Michelle Derrough put together a great rundown of both weekends over on Glide which is totally worth checking out as she highlighted artists for each day and captured some quotes from people playing the fest:

RtBE will be partying down at the fairgrounds, and we can not wait, even without The Rolling Stones it is going to be a blast. Here are a few videos of non headlining acts playing this weekend worth checking out:

Dwight James & The Royals "Missandei" (Inspired by Game of Thrones!) Play Thursday.


Nathan & The Zydeco Cha-Cha's Play Friday:


Orange Kellin’s New Orleans Deluxe Orchestra Play Saturday:


Little Freddie King Blues Band Play Sunday:

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Album Review: Craig Finn - I Need a New War

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

It is of Craig Finn's most recent solo album I Need A New War.

It is no surprise that RtBE loves Finn from his work with The Hold Steady to his solo stuff. While this may be Finns most complete solo effort, not sure if it is going to grow into our personal favorite. All of his last three records seem to blend into one long effort and in retrospect our favorite tune was an outtake...

That said, Finn is one of the best songwriters going in RtBE's book and partnering with Kaufman and Russo make for great musical pairing...but nothing will beat him going on over the ripping riffs of Tad Kubler and tHS crew.

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



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Album Review: Yak - Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

Yak
Pursuit of Momentary Happiness
*** out of *****

The second full length release from the English trio Yak is a mashed up mix of experimental rockers which collide in angular fashions. The group, singer-guitarist Oliver Henry Burslem, bassist Vincent Davies and drummer Elliot Rawson have crafted an engaging mix of heavy oddball rock as sounds and stories whirl around the speakers. 

The band can get delicate or slam clumsily, and this is not your typical power trio rock and roll, the album incorporates layers of sounds, from huge horns to digital keyboards; everything is in play for this future looking studio release. This is an album whose cover art, a painting of mixing strong line colors, running over each other perfectly captures the tunes contained within.

Opening with a stomp/flute combo, the hip swaying retro funky rock of "Bellyache" delivers vocals which don't fit in stanza's proving things will not digested easily while "Fried" begins as acoustic strum session before a full tilt glam rock influenced effort takes root. The title track finds band leader Burslem passionately pleading "I'm tired/I just wanna feel good", after declaring:
Do you remember when we said it would be easier if
Nobody felt a thing
No love, no loss, nothing
If nobody felt any pain
But that just ain't livin'
There is a poetic sense to Burslem's madness but the pieces don't always fit snugly together as an overall album. The screeching feedback laden "Blinded By The Lies" is heavy metallic blast, literally screaming "kick him in the face", before unceremoniously jarringly seguing into "Interlude" a peaceful instrumental number. 

The album ends with two spaced numbers, the excellently grooving languid "Layin' It On The Line" and the freak folk of "This House Has No Living Room", both of which are cool rides, but would have worked better sequenced earlier on the album.    

The closest comparison for those new to Yak would be the Arctic Monkeys especially as that band continues to evolve and experiment. The song "Pay Off Vs The Struggle" begins with a dance laden electro beat and instantly recalls the Monkeys during their Favourite Worst Nightmare era, while the already mentioned title track, the smooth "Encore" or "Words Fail Me" is more reminiscent of their recent offerings; warped modern day power ballads, aggression mixing with lounge tendencies. 

Yak is definitely living in the moment though as the first single "White Male Carnivore" takes on the current cultural climate. It is growling and scratching with beefy guitars all the time a never ending over driven bass pulse pushes the track into almost annoying territory before a hardcore slamming ending over the refrain "He's got the whole world in his hands/he has us in his hands".

The overall effects of Pursuit of Momentary Happiness is scattered messy affair, but one that somehow winds up successful after it's ride is over. It is a neat trick on an album that doesn't flow as an overall effort but hits varied targets with bulls-eye precision. Hard to pin down, Yak wants it that way as the careen into forward with their first Third Man Records release.
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Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

Monday, April 29, 2019

Dylan Cover #373 Samantha Fish "In My Time Of Dyin'" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, Samantha Fish performing a live cover of "In My Time Of Dyin'" 
This month we have a special focus on Artists who will be playing the 2019 Jazzfest in New Orleans. Today we highlight, Samantha Fish who plays this Thursday, on the Main Stage May 2nd.

Thoughts on Dylan Original
Technically this is cheating as it is not a Dylan original, however he recorded it on his debut album, 1962's Bob Dylan. Originals and variations of the lyrics/singing seem to date back to the 1920's but those are only recordings or transcriptions, odds are the song was handed down much earlier then that. On Dylan's studio version there is this great quote:
Dylan had never sung 'In My Time of Dyin' ' prior to this recording session. He does not recall where he first heard it. The guitar is fretted with the lipstick holder [ makeshift slide ] he borrowed from his girl, Suze Rotolo, who sat devotedly and wide-eyed through the recording session
Wide eyed indeed. He titled his version of this tune "In My Time of Dyin'" so today we are going to go with this one.

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
This is RtBE's first exposure to Samantha Fish and this is just example 1,383 of why we love doing this series, finding amazing guitarists/singers/performers like Ms. Fish who are supremely talented.

Thoughts on Cover:
A powerful moving cover of this deeply passionate song finds Fish singing and playing her cigar box guitar with gusto. Fishes slide playing is dynamite, as is her singing RtBE will need to dive more into her. Thankfully her schedule is chock full when it comes to playing all this week in New Orleans around Jazzfest, and we hope to catch her, can't wait to see her perform.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Flaming Lips and Lennon Claypool Delirium Tour Announced

There is going to be a lot of psychedelics ingested when the just announced Flaming Lips and Lennon Claypool Delirium tour hits your city.

These proud freaks are hitting the road and will be altering minds in every which way. RtBE recently reviewed the newest LCD record and enjoyed it, we have the new Flaming Lips disk coming in July as well ready for review, will get to it soon.

Until then check out the tour dates below and some video from both bands to get you excited for this upcoming run of summer shows.



The Flaming Lips/The Claypool Lennon Delirium and Particle Kid Summer 2019 Tour:
July 23            Wichita, KS                             Wave
July 24            Des Moines, IA                       Water Works Park Amphitheater
July 26            Indianapolis, IN                       Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn @ White River State Park
July 27            Lewiston, NY (Niagara Falls)  Artpark Amphitheater
July 28            Asbury Park, NJ                       Stone Pony Summer Stage
July 30            Port Chester, NY                      Capitol Theatre
July 31            New Haven, CT                       College Street Music Hall
(w/o The Claypool Lennon Delirium)
Aug 02            Utica, NY                                 Saranac Brewery
Aug 03            Worcester, MA                         The Palladium Outdoors
Aug 05            Charlotte, NC                           Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
Aug 06            Charlottesville, VA                   Sprint Pavilion
Aug 07            Raleigh, NC                             Red Hat Amphitheater

Full Show Friday: The Rolling Stones in Atlantic City, NJ 12/19/89 Steel Wheels Tour

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 Rolling Stones!

For April The Masters focuses on The Rolling Stones.

Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on The Rolling Stones who will be playing Thursday May 2nd under a tent (we shall see what that means).

The Stones were supposed to be the special guest for the 50th Anniversary of Jazzfest and for the first time ever Jazzfest actually sold out the day they will be playing. Pretty unreal, as it is a special moment but also kind of the opposite of what Jazzfest does best. Either which way it will be exciting to see them down there. (Update: Due to Mick Jagger's health issues the Stones have canceled their 2019 North American tour including Jazzfest)

Ahh what could have been...it is so close...in less then one week they were supposed to be playing the Fair Grounds. RtBE were giddy with anticipation. How about a concert from 1989 Steel Wheels tour, Atlantic City Convention Hall stop instead? Pro-shot, pro sound, full setlist, ENJOY: 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Album Review: Rodrigo y Gabriela - Mettavolution

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

It is of Rodrigo y Gabriela's newest album Mettavolution.

It is always fun to hear what these two are up to and Mettavolution ha some inspired playing and accompanying production from David Sardy which spices up the formula a bit.  The album art fits the tunes as the record ends with a cover of Pink Floyd's "Echoes" and while not a must hear version the other efforts make up for it.

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


The 50th NOLA Jazz & Heritage Festival Starts Today!

The best festival in America kicks off today and hopefully you are attending. If you can not get to the Big Easy for The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage FestivalWWOZ has the answer.
You can stream the festival through their website. This is one of the best radio channels in the country, so you should pop in and stream them regularly, but these next two weekends are a must if you can't be there.

Also Leslie Michelle Derrough put together a great rundown of both weekends over on Glide which is totally worth checking out as she highlighted artists for each day and captured some quotes from people playing the fest:

We will be down next week, and can not wait. Oh yeah and peep a few videos of non headlining acts playing this weekend, how have we never heard of Luther Kent and Trickbag before!??!:



Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Album Review: Dennis Coffey - Live at Baker's

Dennis Coffey
Live at Baker's
***and1/2 out of *****

You have heard Dennis Coffey play even if you do not recognize the name. Coffey was the guitar player in the Funk Brothers, the famed Detroit session musicians who were the backbone of Motown. Coffey has played with Edwin Star, The Supreme's and RtBE's favorite contribution from him, the killer funked up wah-wah funk guitar on "Cloud 9" by the Temptations, as well as countless other tunes. This live album captures he and his band back in 2006 and is a collection of jazzy/funky instrumentals.

This is the third vault release from Coffey (the first two being Hot Coffey in the D: Burnin' at Morey Baker's Showplace Lounge and One Night at Morey's: 1968) and the first of his to showcase himself as a band leader. Coffey still has the skills even in old(er) age and while he shines on Live at Baker's his supporting cast is pretty top notch as well.  Gayelynn McKinney on drums, Demetrius Nabors on keys, Damon Warmick on bass round out his quartet and allow Coffey to run off-kilter or funky at his choosing.

The setlist from this instrumental live set focuses mostly on jazz and soul covers, kicking off with the quartet's take on Freddie Hubbard's "Little Sunflower" and "Chicago Song" by Marcus Miller. The bands sound dips into smooth jazz adult contemporary at times, but the exciting playing, lead by Coffey manages to mix things up at the right times.

Never afraid to stretch out the group takes their own unique approach to the jazz standard "Moonlight In Vermont" with some warbling lead lines from Coffey which are skittering and experimental. The group drop into a famous tune the front-man originally recorded for Hitsville, USA, "Just My Imagination" letting it flow for over ten minutes weaving in and out of funky soul and experimental jazz.

The highlight of this release hands down is the quartets take on the Coffey original, and his only hit, "Scorpio". This tune which reached the top ten in 1971 and has been sampled by tons of artists, is hot during this rendition, blazing from the get up. The funky riffing and angular playing from Coffey leads the charge as McKinney drum fills, push things along; a brilliant live rendition captured for posterity. 

Other highlights are the groups tasty take on the Miles Davis "All Blues" which allows Warmick to lay down a robust bass line while the band swirls in Grateful Dead psychedelic fashion before album closer "Dinks Blues" briefly allows Coffey one final toying with his pedals as the band rolls along proving this crew can keep this funky/jazzy style up all night long.
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Support the artist, buy the record and peep some video below:

Live Review: Dumpstaphunk - Brooklyn Bowl 4/20/19

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
 It is of Dumpstaphunk's 4/20/19 set at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY.
These guys are one of our favorite live acts and one of the best funk collective's going. Three great vocalists, all amazing players, killer covers, funky originals. Definitely check them out when you can. We plan on seeing them in just over a week when the take the main stage on May 2nd at the 50th Annual Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans.

Until then, support the artist, read the review, and listen to this exact set for yourself below as Eric McRoberts tapped the show and posted it to the Internet Archive Live Music Archive



Also, extra thanks to the people at Brooklyn Bowl and the Band for the amazing tickets, RtBE normally don't take pictures at shows, but tough not to when you are this close.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Album Review: The Abyssmals - Gospels, Hymns and Other Trash!

The Abyssmals
Gospels, Hymns and Other Trash!
***and1/2 out of *****

Schenectady, NY based retro rockers The Abyssmals first proper full length release Gospels, Hymns and Other Trash! is a winning combo of surf influenced garage rock and psychedelic stoner impulses.

Even before the record spins the cover arts is straight out of the mid-sixties as the five piece; vocalist/guitarist Jarpon Reyes, drummer Nick Nigro, bassist, Boris Cahrenger Multi-instrumentalist/percussionist, Muffy Reyes and guitarist Bob Forget, play with those early rock styles over the ten tracks on the record, moving from dirty low down hip-shakers to cosmic journeys into the unknown.

Opening with a brief introductory surf rock instrumental the outfit announce their retro love before the marching beat and trippy strumming of "Sleepwalker". Gospels, Hymns and Other Trash! moves between upbeat and spaced out, but the band works best when they let the hallucinogenics kick in and get out of their heads, a highlight being the psychedelic swirling of "Mansion of Happening". The dreamy closer "Kiss, Kiss Abyss" and the droning groove workout "Good Faith" which warbles and tambourine shakes its way out into the unknown are two other slower joints which burn down with shimmering trails.   

The quartets more upbeat numbers like squawking echo driven "For All of Time", the bass driving Nuggets ready "Death Row Messiah" and groove based "No Sleep 'Til Low Beat" are all solid examples of overloaded garage rock, the best of these being the motoring diesel of "See You Go" which cooks with slamming snares, a ripping guitar solo, keyboard popping and vocal "Woah!" punctuation, but the group seem to be expanding it's horizons. A track like "Nobody Cool" finds the band combining heavy metal ready riffs with softer tranquil passages resulting in an interesting grimy/heavy/outer space jam; a direction worth exploring further.

Like The Black Angels the group are taking their sonic palette cues from an era past, but shaking them out into a modern days with success. Already having a few tunes in Netflix The Punisher this group is making waves from Upstate, NY, as a complete record Gospels, Hymns and Other Trash! should be listened to at three in the morning with a good buzzing light show as the strobe lights and psychedelics both shine their high beams.
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Support the band (from Schenectady no less!), buy the album and peep some video: