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 then 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 then 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:
 

Album Review: Townes Van Zandt - Sky Blue

Townes Van Zandt
Sky Blue
**** out of *****

Townes Van Zandt is an undisputed songwriting legend, however his studio recordings are a bit of a mess. Producers, record companies, and maybe the artist himself, didn't know what they wanted out the records, adding odd styles/instrumentation and going for a "hit". The truth is Van Zandt is at his best with his voice, humor and an acoustic guitar in a small bar, see Live At The Old Quarter House for RtBE's choice as the definitive Van Zandt release. 

Sky Blue is a capturing of just his voice and acoustic guitar. The story goes (from NPR):
In early '73..Van Zandt paid a visit to his friend Bill Hedgepeth in Atlanta, Georgia. Hedgepeth was a journalist with whom Van Zandt felt a strong connection. As the itinerant musician would do many times in the years to come, he availed himself of Hedgepeth's surprisingly high-tech home studio (the writer was a musician, too) to lay down rough recordings of whatever songs were bouncing around his brainpan at the time. During this particular visit, those songs included a couple of brand-new tunes he would never release, a few covers that would likewise never see daylight, demos of songs he'd record that year and a couple of songs from his previous album. Recorded in the simplest of circumstances with only Van Zandt's plaintive croon and acoustic guitar.
These demo quality tracks are an excellent capturing of the moment, but are elevated even higher because of the intimacy and the strong playing from the mercurial artist. Van Zandt is the rare talent who can make deep classic murder ballads, on this release "The Hills of Roane County" sound just as affecting as tossed off light love covers, here it is "Forever, For Always, For Certain" originally written by Richard Dobson.   

The two new/unearthed originals from Van Zandt are the opening "All I Need" and the title track, both showcase Townes range. "All I Need" is deeply searching/wandering as the restless soul strums and plucks with forward/retreating pace, spinning his wheels while stunning with different lyrical twists. "Sky Blue" is just picture pretty, straight ahead folk floating along.

Classic "Pancho and Lefty" is excellently presented with a calm demeanor and perfect sound while the chilling "Snake Song" and "Silver Ships of Andilar" are distant with echoes which only enhance their hypnotic, eerie effect. The minimalist recording style and unprofessional production do not diminish things much at all if you understand the story and situation going in. Old favorite "Rex Blues" has a pleasant run through and the album closer is a easy flowing rendition of Tom Paxton's "Last Thing on My Mind" with what sounds like some banjo accompaniment from perhaps Mr. Hedgepeth himself. 

The beauty of a record like Sky Blue is that it is a great place for new fans to start and it is a must for any long time fan of Townes to own. For a true American troubadour the more releases the better and the intimacy of the singing and the songs trumps any minor quibbles with the recording quality. 
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Support the artist, buy the record, peep some video below:


Monday, April 8, 2019

New Raconteurs Album and Tour Dates

One of the all-time RtBE Personal Favorites The Raconteurs have returned with a new album and a full North American Summer tour which will see them play Woodstock 50 and a few blocks away from the RtBE clubhouse at Hammerstein Ballroom. 
Great set at Jazzfest, RtBE was there
The new album is titled Help Us Stranger and will be released on June 21st this year. There will also be a Third Man Vault edition of the release with unique vinyl and bells and whistles.

The group is one of the best rock and roll acts when they are playing and while Jack White is the headline, the rhythm section of Patrick Keller and Jack Lawrence from The Greenhornes and co-writer Brendan Benson all bring vital parts to this outfit making it a true group, not just a White side project. We rated their last album Consolers of the Lonely third overall when we ranked albums from the last decade for Glide Magazine. 

Needless to say we can not wait to see them live and listen to the album. Tickets are onsale tomorrow to Vault members and Friday to the general public, see full dates and links for more details. The group is pumped for the new album, already releasing two singles "Now that Your Gone" and "Sunday Driver", also a cool video on how they are mixed, check it out below:


Dylan Cover #370 Boz Scaggs "Visions of Johanna" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, Boz Scaggs performing a live cover of "Visions of Johanna" 

This month we have a special focus on Artists who will be playing the 2019 Jazzfest in New Orleans. Today we highlight the legendary, Boz Scaggs who headlines the Blues Tent, Saturday, April 27th.

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
One of the clear high points in Dylan's poetic songwriting, "Visions of Johanna" is a complete stunner, especially the first time you encounter it. Now (on a personal note) if that first encounter just happens to be a hot sweaty night, in the heart of the urban village which Dylan roamed about 30 years before and you happened to be doing the same god damn thing, then so be it. Even if your personal take is different it is hard to wrap your brain around the lyrics and the more you listen the more the mystery deepens. It is elusive, bright, cunning, dismissive, iconic, ironic and tossed off all at once. It is mega and it is nothing...and I can't be more vague than that. Musically he couldn't get it right until he went down to Nashville and it says something that he stuck with this song (unlike say..."She Belongs To Me") and got a version that is magical musically as well, just listen to that bass line throughout from Joe South...a crowning success all around.
The closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind was on individual bands in the Blonde on Blonde album. It's that thin, that wild mercury sound. It's metallic and bright gold, with whatever that conjures up.
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We have never really dug too deep into Boz Scaggs as an artist. In fact when RtBE thinks of Boz the first thing that comes to mind is Duane Allman because Boz's cover of "Loan Me A Dime" with Duane on guitar is our personal highlight when it comes to Mr. Scaggs. He is one we should take future time to listen to. The fact that he is playing the first weekend of Jazzfest and we will be there the second doesn't help things.

Thoughts on Cover:
A pretty powerfully sung live version of Scaggs singing one of Dylan's best tunes at a birthday tribute to the Bard at the Ryman in Nashville. Scaggs playing is nuanced and rings out sweetly in the old venue. A nice cover on this Monday, it would be pretty proper if he busted it out in a few weeks when he headlines the Blues Tent.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Full Show Friday: Rebirth Brass Band - Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival 2017

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...Rebirth Brass Band!
Every April we have a special showcase for bands who are playing this years Jazzfest in NOLA. Today we will focus on Rebirth Brass Band who will be playing Saturday April 27th on the Congo Square Stage.

Last year RtBE came down with a rough as fuck sinus infection at Jazzfest proper making even seeing our favorite Jack White a chore, however Rebirth Brass Band under the blazing sun burned away any pain with their funky as all hell set on the Congo Square Stage. 

While breathing was a chore, dancing came naturally as we grooved with friends. We wanted to kick off our April showcase of Full Show Friday's highlighting bands who will playing at Jazzfest with them this year as a small thank you.

 This set comes from the Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival in 2017. The group is dynamite so turn it up loud and let Rebirth do their thing while you "Do Whatcha Wanna".  Pro-shot, pro-sound, Enjoy:

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Album Review: Benny Bassett - Words For Yesterday EP

Benny Bassett
Words For Yesterday EP
**and a 1/2 out of *****

The newest release from Singer/Songwriter Benny Bassett is a collection of tunes he crafted while ditching his day job and taking up becoming a full time musician. The Words For Yesterday EP has the wind of traveling in it's hair and the road under it's feet as it traverses six songs.

Bassett's back story finds him, in his own words: "Chicago lawyer who gave it all up to live a life on the road, creating music and discovering what it means to be truly living. Three years, 450+ shows, and 200,000 solo driving miles later, my story, and my music are still going."

The tracks here each have their own sub genre and flair, moving from heavy rock to pop as Bassett looks to cover all of his bases; the artist is still searching and experimenting with different sounds. Opener "Window To Forever" is a acoustic track with piano lines, slowly growing into a pulsing pop number and album highlight with it's delicate instrumentation and singing. The inspirational "Live Where You Love The Sky" is a fun pop-folk ramble with soothing supporting vocals, a shaking beat, piano and electro-keyboards fluttering in and out.

Less successful is the rocked up "Down Below" which Bassett tries to move into hard/heavy territory but is clipped and not fully invested in it's heavy/sexy urges.  "Find A Way" work better as more mid tempo grooving effort with an effect driven solo while "Building A Future" moves directly into the dance pop rock vein with an electronic bass pulse pushing for commercial appeal.

EP closer "From You" gets personal as Bassett goes into his origin story as an artist while dramatic piano and simple acoustic guitars play behind him in cinematic fashion. Words For Yesterday is a solid effort from a committed artist who, like us all, is still searching for his own path in the world.

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

Album Review: Mekons - Deserted

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

It is of the Mekons newest album Deserted.

This group has been dong it proper for a long time. Their newest is a proud addition to their catalog and a cool meditation on the desert.

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



Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Drive-By Truckers Touring, Six Night Brooklyn Bowl Run

Since we talked about the Glimmer Twins this morning how about an update on the Dimmer Twins.

Last year one of RtBE's favorite shows was catching the Drive-By Truckers at Brooklyn Bowl. Now comes the announcement that they will be returning to that venue to hold a mini stand over two separate weekends.

The group will set up shop June 20-22 and then again June 27-29. More tour dates are available on their site. If you haven't seen the band yet, they are fantastic live, so grab tickets today.

Here are a few live videos from the band to get you in the mood:










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

A few months ago we focused on The Beatles and when you think of best rock and roll bands of all time, they and the Stones are usually somewhere near the top of the list. What is truly amazing is that the Rolling Stones are STILL getting after it. You can buy tickets to see them in 2019 and RtBE will be catching them twice, once in Jersey and once at NOLA Jazzfest in just over a month! (Update: With Mick Jagger's Health Issues, the Stones have canceled their tour with the hopes to reschedule). With the Stones set to tour we figured April would be a good time to focus on them for The Masters series. 

Unlike The Beatles, who I loved upon first listen, I was a late bloomer to The Stones. I knew the hits (they were impossible to miss) but never dove into any of their records with much passion. During the early 00's when I was downloading a lot of live recordings from bands like Phish, Gov't Mule and The Grateful Dead, I stumbled upon a bootleg called A Few Hearts Broken, A Few Strings Busted,  I downloaded, burned it and put it in the case with other live shows. 

When I listened to it a few weeks later I was blown away by the power of the group. This was the high point of the Stones to these ears (and continues to be years later). The band officially released parts of these shows as Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones on DVD. When I next saw my Uncle who is a massive Stones fan, and played him this bootleg he turned to me and said this is the best Stones he had ever heard. I was hooked and dove in, hard. In fact, when it came time to personally play and write music in my own band, Angels & Vagabonds, The Stones were our collective rallying point, covering their songs live and writing a bit in their style. 

The group has had many eras and a few lineup changes, but the core and their overall sound has remained pretty solidly intact. They are a great bar band who just happened to become one of the biggest and best bands in the world. Today lets go to what RtBE considers their top five studio albums:

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Album Review: The Claypool Lennon Delirium - South of Reality

The Claypool Lennon Delirium
South of Reality 
**** out of *****

On the debut record from The Claypool Lennon Delirium the duo locked in and crafted some exciting space rock as their different styles slowly formed a fully functioning record. Their follow-up is more of the same weirdness as the duo push and pull each other into the unknown.

The album is book ended with tunes whose lyrical focuses are one the destruction of our planet while the musical sound is rooted in galaxies far away. Opening with "Little Fishes" the track actually reminds of another Claypool project, Oysterhead as chimes and rumblings mix over Claypool's lyrics about mercury poisoning our soft minds. Closer "Like Fleas" puts a different spin on things treating humanity as fleas on the back of the dog of Mother Earth; she will just shake us off when we become too annoying.

The briefly titled "Blood and Rockets: Movement I/Saga of Jack Parsons/Movement II/Too the Moon" focuses more on Sean Lennon's outer space fuzz floating style with his melodic vocals narrating what could be an episode of "Tripped Out History" before descending to the more earth bound rumblings of Claypool's bass on the title track. 

The two main members of the outfit have always had their own distinct style and the album moves from one to the other but these collaborators work best when the styles meld on a single effort. The gorgeous "Amethyst Realm" may be the best of the bunch as Lennon's sonic warbling and Claypools stout bass work meld into hypnotic flowing rhythms. "Boriska" also hits high notes while Lennon sings a lot like his father telling the tale of a Russian boy born on Mars while the bass gorgeously moves the proceedings before a cinematic finale complete with layers of strings.

Quirky oddballs clearly inspire this duo (Jack Parsons, Boriska) but when Claypool resorts to his old man/get off my lawn ways on "Easily Charmed By Fools", the dull "Toady Man's Hour" or the rambling side effects warning which closes out "Cricket Chronicles Revisited: Pt. 1, Ask Your Doctor/Pt. 2, Psyde Effects", the results aren't as charming.

Both artists have their own careers but the follow up to Monolith of Phobos, South of Reality solidifies the duo as a band that needs to be watched/listened/freaked out to no matter where they travel as the sum is more than the individual parts for the majority of the record. Here is hoping more cosmic journeys are on the horizon from the searching pair of musicians.     
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Support the band, buy the record, peep some video below:

Live Review: Soul Rebels Brass Band 3/29/19 @ Brooklyn Bowl

Hey all, got a new review up @glidemag which you can read Right C'here!!!
It is of The Soul Rebels Brass Band's recent set at Brooklyn Bowl on Friday March 29th.

RtBE has covered the New Orleans based Soul Rebels a ton having seen them down south and many times up at Brooklyn Bowl. This set wasn't our favorite from them (2016 was pretty damn solid) but DMX truly spiced up the night. It is just a shame he only did one song with the band.

Odds are we will catch them down at Jazzfest again this year as they are constantly touring and playing. Catch them when they come to your next of the woods.

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


Monday, April 1, 2019

Rolling Stones Cancel North America Tour, Jazzfest Slot Empty

Unfortunately due to Mick Jagger's health issues, The Rolling Stones have had to cancel their upcoming North American tour.



While the band are telling fans to hold tickets as they hope to rescheduled the tour in the near future, certain dates can not be rescheduled including New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The Festival, for their first time ever, limited their daily ticket sales, jacked up prices to cover the Stones fees and scheduled every other act to be done before the Stones would start to play on May 2nd.

With this cancellation there are lots of questions to be answered. Who will fill the headlining slot on Thursday May 2nd? Will there be a refund? Will more acts be added to fill all the other stage times? There are lots of issues to work out and only one months time, here's hoping things work out as RtBE has tickets to this show. 

Also RtBE had a ton of Jazzfest/Stones material prepared for this month and while we wish Mick the best, the posts must go on but it will be bittersweet. RtBE will still be highlighting the band in our Masters series this month. Ahhh what could have been....

Dylan Cover #369 Diana Ross "Forever Young" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, Diana Ross performing a live cover of "Forever Young" 
This month we have a special focus on Artists who will be playing the 2019 Jazzfest in New Orleans. Today we highlight the legendary, Diana Ross who plays on the Gentilly Stage Saturday, May 4th.
   
Thoughts on Original:
"Forever Young" is a classic. A track that Dylan released two different versions of on Planet Waves, and a song tons of artists use to close out sets or play encores. Without doing research it has to be one of the top 5 most covered songs of his, and yet it was never one of RtBE's favorites. It is a great song, Bob has always treated it a bit sterile though and this is a flaw in Dylan; artists would give their whole careers to write a song like this and he treats it like an out take, Last Waltz not withstanding.
Cover:


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
The Supremes were mega and Ross was a major part of why. While she is an icon, her solo career never came into RtBE's path and we have never been huge fans. That said, she is an icon and a legend.

Thoughts on Cover:
This song is made for this kind of cover. In fact, Diane Ross covering "Forever Young" for Jerry Lewis's telethon to help out his long running charity is pretty perfect; Bob couldn't have scripted it any better. That said, it isn't RtBE's favorite Dylan song for precisely this reason.