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:

Monday, April 22, 2019

Dylan Cover #372 The Rolling Stones "Like A Rolling Stone" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, The Rolling Stones performing a live cover of "Like A Rolling Stone" 

This month we have a special focus on Artists who will be playing the 2019 Jazzfest in New Orleans. Today we highlight the legendary, Rolling Stones who play on the Main Stage Thursday, May 2nd. Update: Due to Mick Jagger's health issues the Stone's have canceled their '19 North American tour dates. 

The Stones are doing double duty this month as they are also the focus of our Masters series.

Thoughts on Original:
The song that launched a true revolution, with an opening snare drum like a dead man's last pistol shot baby. "Like A Rolling Stone" is mega in all fashions, Dylan is accusatory, mad, feed up, zoned out, poetic, rambling and always moving with he sound as the track is large and in charge even today. One of the Bard's top 3 songs any which way you break them down, Like A Rolling Stone has been covered

Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We have been chatting about The Rolling Stones all month here at RtBE. They are one of the quintessential rock and roll bands and we dig on them hard.

Thoughts on Cover:
A fun cover and not something normally associated with this group. Sure, they make break out a blues cover or one of their deeper cuts, but most of the time this group sticks to the hits and making the fans happy.

While Mick cheekily says the song was written for them, their performance is fun if not earth shattering. Such a great song, even a standard run through is exhilarating...and a standard run through from one of the best bands in the world helps.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Full Show Friday: Leyla McCalla @ Festival Worldstock 11/12/16

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...Leyla McCalla!

Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Leyla McCalla who will be playing Friday May 3rd on the Fais Do-Do Stage.

RtBE has only recently became aware of Leyla McCalla, but in that short time have been super impressed. From her amazing newest solo album Capitalist Blues to the powerful Our Native Daughters release Songs Of Our Native Daughters the former Carolina Chocolate Drop has already had an active 2019 and she still gets to play at Jazzfest in a few weeks.  

Pro-shot with pro-sound from Festival Worldstock 11/12/16. Enjoy:
  

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Album Review: The Yawpers - Human Question

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

It is of The Yawpers newest release, Human Question.

This is a really cool album for Rock and Roll fans. Hell, it is a cool album for anyone. The Yawpers mix up some heady ideas with some raw energy and bluesy playing. RtBE had not been familiar with this trio prior to this release but will have to dig into their back catalog.

There is a clear Replacements connection, and turns out that Tommy Stinson actually produced their last album., which makes sense. Bloodshot Records is a damn good label and this is a dman good release.

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


Kurt Vile, Dinosaur Jr. Cate Le Bon to Play Summer Stage

It is going to get loud in Central Park on July 25th as a trio of bands are taking to Summer Stage on that Thursday Night.
Kurt Vile, Dinosaur Jr. and Cate Le Bon will be playing on that night in the heart of Manhattan. Tickets go on-sale tomorrow (or today if you are fancy club member) for the show.

RtBE plans to be there as Dinosaur Jr. or one of our favorites. To get in the mood here are a few videos from the bands involved:




Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Phil & Phriends Part 3: 4/17/99

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of Phil & Phriends Show from April '99 were the first true coming together of the Grateful Dead and Phish worlds. For those of use who remember the show announcements, the importance can not be overstated, this was going to be monumental, Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell would head west to join Phil Lesh along with Steve Kimock and John Molo at The Fillmore in San Francisco. These were the hottest tickets around and even more exciting the shows outshine the immense hype.
They remain some of the best live music produced by either outfits illustrious careers and deserve a revisit on their twentieth birthday. (Part 1, Part 2)
Today we look at the mid show of the run: 4/17/99:


(Listen through archive.org or watch through the youtube link above)




If the previous night was the Phish lead party night for this outfit, the closing night was highlighted by Kimock and Molo as the band got spacey, jazz directed and worked out some of the more intricate Dead tunes in relaxed, confident and down right jaw dropping fashion.
The opening huge tune/segue fest continued for night three and if asked what is the supreme highlight of this run, I would have to pick the opening segue magic of this show as the "Dark Star">"It's Up To You" "Days Between"> "Dark Star" > "My Favorite Things" is simply glorious. The playing in and out of "Dark Star" would be another trait Lesh would take with him moving forward but on this night Kimock shines bright as his tune "It's Up To You" blends wonderfully with the Grateful Dead old jam war horse, and the most underrated song in the band's catalog "Day's Between". Always a personal favorite, this version is magical and we haven't even dipped back into "Dark Star" and the instrumental take on the Coltrane classic.

The whole thing is moved along so swimmingly by Lesh and particularly Molo as the band just seems in total command over the opening hour of music. Donna Jean rejoins the boys to help out as "Bird Song" has flashes of that Dark Star jazz flowing through it as Page lead the singing way, his vocal highlight of the run, to close out the magical set of music even though not everyone will dig Phil's backup vocals.

Here is where I will put a caveat, if you don't like Phil's style of singing these shows may not take on the legendary status they have achieved in the RtBE clubhouse. Sure there is enough music (as well as vocals from Trey and Page) but Phil is the main vocalist and his singing just fine for us, but he is clearly not for everyone.


The second set opens with "Terrapin Station" as the band goes big and while not an all-time must hear it is a respectable version (with some vocal flubs but excellent jamming roaming over twenty minutes) but the set shifts into a higher gear with "Down with Disease" acting as a rev up before the band melds back seamlessly into Dark Star's sung second verse; simply gorgeous.

The group moves into some fan favorites mid second set and while perhaps a killer "Eyes of The World" jam would have seemed a perfect fit, they went with "Friend of the Devil" and "Casey Jones" both solid if not world beating. Things are soaring again though for "Morning Dew" and the raging running of "Going Down The Road Feeling Bad"

This particular group of players seem like they could have kept it going forever, but they never played together again, and that is OK as these shows captured a truly magical coming together of musical worlds and connected generations through music, love and pure joy. RtBE makes it a habit to listen to these shows often, you should do the same.
 

The Masters: The Rolling Stones - 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 April The Masters focuses on The Rolling Stones.

Live music is the best thing out there. Being caught in the moment is religion. Palpable vibes of healing and energy are transmitted and shit...gets...real. For this month's focus, The Rolling Stones are one of the best live bands in the world, but their studio albums get more respect than any live records and with reason.

While the the group has released a bunch of live records, throughout their career they acted more as stop gaps and contract fillers than devastating/must hear shows. Moments may feel transcendent but this is a group who managed to get the most out of their premier studio work and a lot of their live albums fall into the "release so we can stave off a studio record" category.  

However, things have been changing over the last ten years as their archives have opened up and some great sets/shows/performances have been officially released to the world through the vault series and other venues. Longtime fans have had bootlegs of these for years, but now they get better quality and blessings from the band.

Below RtBE ranks their best five live albums, so let's get to it.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Phil & Phriends Part 2: 4/16/99

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of Phil & Phriends Show from April '99 which were the first true coming together of the Grateful Dead and Phish worlds. For those of use who remember the show announcements, the importance can not be overstated, this was going to be monumental, Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell would head west to join Phil Lesh along with Steve Kimock and John Molo at The Fillmore in San Francisco. These were the hottest tickets around and even more exciting the shows outshine the immense hype.
They remain some of the best live music produced by either outfits illustrious careers and deserve a revisit on their twentieth birthday. (Part 1Part 3)

Today we look at the mid show of the run: 4/16/99:

(Listen through the Internet Archives streaming below and watch the youtube clips throughout)





With the mega opening and the huge closing yet to come the middle night of this run doesn't always get the love it should, but the show is straight up fun from the opening "Help On the Way" notes to the acoustic "Ripple" encore. If anything this night feels the most Phish lead with Trey and Page singing and playing in the forefront for the majority of the set.

This is the epitome of a Friday Night show as the band and crowd are in high spirits and the matrix mix captures that joy. The huge "Help>Slip Franks" continues the trend of historic jamming to open as the trio clocks in at forty minutes and while Trey gets the vocals going for "Help", it is the "Slipknot!" section which pays the best dividends with the group interlocking and weaving as if they had been playing together their whole careers; it is a snake sifting through the underbrush with slinky grooving ease. The wrap up of "Franklin's Tower" is joyful but surprisingly Page hits a few false notes with his vocals.   

Unlike post Viola Lee from the first night there is no exhale to end the first set, the immensely apropos Phil lead vocals of  "Wish You Were Here"...Here is where I will put a caveat, if you don't like Phil's style of singing these shows may not take on the legendary status they have achieved in the RtBE clubhouse. Sure there is enough music (as well as vocals from Trey and Page) but Phil is the main vocalist and his singing just fine for us, but he is clearly not for everyone. 


You don't need singing to be moved towards tears during the instrumental Kimock led "Stella Blue" which weeps with majestic beauty; The ghost of Garcia is in those notes. "Tennessee Jed" is a blast of fun release while the players then throw down the most Phish sounding jam, and one of the individual highlights of the full run with a funk laden "Alligator" to close this set. This version was so well received fans were convinced Phish would pull it out at Big Cypress when the band rang in the millennium, but that wasn't to be.

Second set Donna Jean Godchaux joined and the fellas instantly fell into lock step with Trey leading the way on a spritely "Bertha":
  
The group segued into the twinkling sea song of "Prince Caspian" which found Molo hitting big drum fills as Phil played his relaxed style adding fluid, melodic bass lines underneath as the jam stroll out to fifteen minutes with Kimock feeling right at home in a Phish tune as he and Trey worked together to raise the tune to soaring heights. The middle of set was a Lesh spotlight as "St. Stephan" > "The Eleven" and "Unbroken Chain" all received huge shouts from the crowd.

The quintet's take on "Chalkdust Torture" is fine, with more excellent interplay with Kimock and Trey, if a bit wandering and the relaxed, "Mountains of the Moon" is a breather before the set closing double headed joyous jaunt through the beloved "Scarlet Begonias" > "Fire On the Mountain" pairing.


A "Ripple" encore wrapped up the night with excellent supporting vocals from Page and Trey. A crowd pleasing set which still brings smiles to the faces of those listening twenty years on down the road. 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Dylan Cover #371 Ani DiFranco "Most of the Time" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, Ani DiFranco performing a live cover of "Most of the Time" 
This month we have a special focus on Artists who will be playing the 2019 Jazzfest in New Orleans. Today we highlight the legendary, Ani DiFranco who plays the Fais Do-Do Stage Friday, May 3rd.

Thoughts on Dylan Original
From our first cover take on this tune:
One of the best songs in Dylan's repertoire from any of his era's and also one of the most important, "Most Of The Time" proved Dylan was far from done as an artist.  Showing up on the return to form album Oh Mercy, "Most Of The Time" is a revelation with it's descending bass line and powerfully stark lyrics.  There is a palpable sense of desperation, longing,  sadness, a nervous sense of things are falling apart around me; this tune touches a nerve and makes you stand up and take notice.
Cover:

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Ani DiFranco has always been on the periphery of our musical tastes, but has never came front and center.
Thoughts on Cover:
An excellent reworking, putting the banjo front and center is a bold choice and works well. DiFranco also pays tribute to the original with the bass player working in that gorgeous line as the song progresses. DiFranco's voice is in fine form even if the audio is a bit choppy. Great cover.

Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Phil & Phriends Part 1: 4/15/99

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the first Phil & Phriends Show from April '99. These were the first true coming together of the Grateful Dead and Phish worlds. For those of use who remember the show announcements, the importance can't be overstated, this was going to be monumental, Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell would head west to join Phil Lesh along with Steve Kimock and John Molo at The Fillmore in San Francisco. These were the hottest tickets around and even more exciting the shows outshine the immense hype.

They remain some of the best live music produced by either outfits illustrious careers and deserve a revisit on their twentieth birthday. (Part 2, Part 3)

Today we look at the opener: 4/15/99 


(Listen through archive.org or watch through the youtube link above)




Sometimes things take a minute to really sink in, not this show. Phil brought out his sons Graham and Brian with Steve Kimock on guitar to sing "Hello Old Friends" before the curtain even rose to show how happy he was to be back performing after his liver transplant in 1998. There had been a smattering of other Phil and Friends shows in the past but this run cemented Phil's post Dead career by using the songs as merely a template for the music to springboard off of...and if there was ever an example of this it was the 4/15/99 opener; "Viola Lee Blues".

There are so many highlights from this three night run RtBE will probably not get to them all, but the first stinkin' song is so huge and contains so many musical paths it is cosmic that THIS run is special from the first group notes. Apparently when Phil first met with Trey and Page it was their idea to dig waaaaay back into the early days of the Dead and play tunes like this one and "Cosmic Charlie".
Whether you see them in the audio up above or are just listening, that smile at the end of the thirty four plus minute opener is shining bright. The group are completely locked in and can't contain themselves, this is music in the moment, this is generations meeting on equal turf and blowing it the fuck out.

After the firs tsong on this night it was all gravy, however it could be argued that this version propelled "Wolfman's Brother" into the top tier of Phish songs (along with it's Slip Stitch and Pass version) as it was the first song of the Vermont crews which Phil wanted to play on. Trey had previously made a tape of songs he sent to Phil pre-show. The band proved all songs were game and ended the set with what I believe was the first "calypso" inspired "Uncle John's Band" which would become a highlight in the powerful Phil Lesh Quintet during upcoming tours. 

Even listening with a critical ear twenty years removed there are only some draw backs to this run, "Cosmic Charlie" never shuffles like it wants to and should, and if one set out of the set is the weakest, the second set on this first night is it.

However, there are also glorious musical moments, such as the transitions from "Like A Rolling Stone's" killer jam seamlessly into "I Know You Rider" or the flow from the funky as hell Trey led "Shakedown Street" into a soaring version of the "The Wheel", the minor quibbles can be forgiven.

Here is where I will put a caveat, if you don't like Phil's style of singing these shows may not take on the legendary status they have achieved in the RtBE clubhouse. Sure there is enough music (as well as vocals from Trey and Page) but Phil is the main vocalist and his singing just fine for, us but he is clearly not for everyone.

The second Dylan cover of the night "Mr. Tambourine Man" wraps up the successful first night with the historic "Viola Lee Blues" opener setting the tone for the whole magical run; something special was certainly in the air.       

Friday, April 12, 2019

Full Show Friday: The Rolling Stones @ MSG, NYC 2003 Licks 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). Get well soon Mick

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, it is going to be 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)

Here they are from 2003 playing a small venue called Madison Square Garden (no plural, no matter what the title says). This was broadcast on HBO so it is pro-shot, with pro-sound. Enjoy:

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Album Review: Ty Segall & Freedom Band - Deforming Lobes

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

It is of Ty Segall and Freedom Bands newest live album Deforming Lobes.

The prolific artist just keeps it coming as he delivers another solid release. Last year we reviewed his cover record, we skipped his Joy release and we absolutely loved Freedom's Goblin, ranking it in our year end top five.

This is a damn good hard rock record for fans of Segall and lovers of fuzzy, meaty, rock and roll. Support the artist, read the review, buy the record and peep some video below:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Album Review: Leyla McCalla - The Capitalist Blues

Leyla McCalla
The Capitalist Blues
****and1/2 out of *****

There are albums that are absolutely about their time and place and then there are timeless albums, Leyla McCalla's newest release The Capitalist Blues does the neat trick of sounding both of the immediate moment and as if it has always existed.

The former member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops, McCalla's solo records have been successful but now she pulls all of her talents together with an anything goes attitude; a celloist by trade, McCalla wanted to expand her musical pallet and step away from the instrument this time out. Working with producer Jimmy Horn and his full King James and The Special Men band her touring trio and a host of others, Leyla increases the instrumentation and embraces the diverse musical styles of New Orleans and beyond to craft a warm, alive in the moment sound throughout.

The title track starts the record with a slice of gorgeous old-timey blues/jazz straight from Storyville as banjos strum, warbling trumpets and sultry singing lament the current state of affairs over timeless playing; the tune could have been written in 1919 or 2019. The protest Caribbean sounding anthem "Money Is King" is another track which sounds from another era, but written by McCalla to deal with the current cultural issue; dancing is encouraged while the brain works over the lyrics.

McCalla sings in French on the songs "Lavi Vye Nag", "Penha" and "Miz Pa Dous" as her Haitian Creole heritage swirls, but no matter the language her vocals are gorgeous; earthy to soaring from moment to moment. While her vocals are fine on their own she gets some excellent support on "Heavy As Lead". The tune is slow blues number led by a soothing B3 organ as it swells increasing backing vocals, chimes and love over it's six minutes run time.   

The album isn't all slow by any stretch, "Me and My Baby" proves Leyla can sing just as enchantingly in a playful mood over a rolling New Orleans strolling tune while "Oh My Love" pulls in the Zydeco for a party on the bayou. The one outlier on the record is "Aleppo" which deals with war violence in spooky shades, of angular electric noise rock guitar riffs and a deep bass before a feedback ending. The track is incredibly effective, if slightly out of step with the overall feel of the album.

The percussive led vivacious closer "Settle Down" finds the Haitian band Lakou Mizik helping out with poly-rhythmic force. McCalla manages to blend history, world music, protest, true emotions in a way that could keep going through partying night and reflective mornings.  Also a major player involved in Our Native Daughters excellent first release McCalla has already had a breakout year and her star is only shining brighter with The Capitalist Blues; a captivating collection of tunes from any political tilt, place, or era.
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Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:




Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Live Review: Ex Hex @ Bowery Ballroom NYC 4/4/19

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

It is of Ex Hex's recent set at Bowery Ballroom on Thursday April 4th, 2019.

RtBE likes this band, while we weren't super high on their newest record, their first is one of favorite of the last decade. RtBE loves live music which is adventurous and takes chances. Ex Hex's show on Thursday was not that. If you like the tunes, you will like them live, if you want more oomph, solos, jams, covers, that will not be found. Odds are we will give them another shot live, but for now we will go back to Rips when we want our fix.

Support the band, read the review and peep some video below: