Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Album Review: André 3000 - New Blue Sun

André 3000
New Blue Sun
** out of *****

The famous Atlanta based MC and hip hop legend André '3000' Benjamin has always been a bit of a free spirit/wildcard, but few could have foresaw that his first solo release, after a 17 year hiatus, would be an ambient, flute based work titled New Blue Sun.

Album Review: Keyon Harrold - Foreverland

Keyon Harrold
**** out of *****

The ten tunes on Keyon Harrold's double album Foreverland, gently glide without borders through jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and soul, as the confident artist releases his most self assured record of his career. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

New Video/Single from The Bankes Brothers "See Me Run"

The Victoria, BC based outfit The Bankes Brothers have a new single/video "See Me Run". 

Photo Credit: Brandon Fletcher

Check out the catchy indie rock tune below :

Album Review: Brent Amaker and the Rodeo - Philaphobia

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

It is of Brent Amaker and the Rodeo's newest offering, Philaphobia

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

Monday, January 29, 2024

Dylan Cover #616 Jim Condie's Distant Cousins "Po' Boy"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Jim Condie's Distant Cousins playing "Po' Boy"

Jazzy January has invade Mondays! All this month we will check out various artists covering Dylan with a jazz vibe.

Thoughts on Original:
There are many wonderful things about Dylan's late career masterpiece Love & Theft, and close to the top of the list is the humor and cheeseball lines he manages to pull off throughout the album. "Po' Boy" has quite a few of both and at first sounds tossed off and silly, and that is a good part of the songs charm. Feeling slight, but leaving a shuffling trail of smiles behind, the playful Dylan keep things light and funny; I mean he delivers a knock-knock joke in the song! "Po' Boy" is a tough one to dislike, but the songs combo of humor and hidden depth mean it is also quintessential Dylan, which makes it less than ideal to cover.  


Thoughts on artist:
This is RtBE's first time hearing Jim Condie's Distant Cousins. Jim is an artist based in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France.

Thoughts on the cover:
A very good take on the song that manages to stay fairly close to the vest while inserting a trumpet solo (I bet Bob would dig that) while also getting the vibe right. Nice work.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Full Show Friday: The Headhunters @ LEAF Global Arts Festival 5-13-2023

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 Headhunters

It's Jazzy January again here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2024 with some different styled shows every Friday. For this series we skew into new (or more recent) jazz lands. Keeping it current proves there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

We started off Jazz January with a review of the Headhunters (who we got to see live last year) recent live album and we will end the Full Show Friday's this month with their live set from LEAF Global Arts Festival last year. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Shaina Hayes Shares New Folk-Pop Single/Video "Sun and Time"

The Montreal-based folk singer Shaina Hayes shares a new folk-pop single + video "Sun and Time"

Credit Lawrence FaFard

Check it out below:

2023 Recap: Favorite Albums, Shows, etc.

With all the hectic happenings at the end of the year, things can be missed. This is a catch up post to point out a few of our favorite things from 2023 that shouldn't go unnoticed.

What a year! Lots of reviews and live shows attended as the world tries to spin again, resembling pre-Covid times. Thanks for reading and following along on Instagram

Also thanks to Shane and the whole Glide team for allowing me to continue to write for them, working on a wide variety of reviews. case you missed it here are our Best of 2023 series of posts:
If you are looking for more suggestions, we also have our list of the top fifty albums of the past decade which you can check out and yell at us about. 

Feel free to let us know your choices for all of the above in the comments and thanks as always for reading and the patron saint of this site stated:

What are those of the known, but to ascend and enter the Unknown? 

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Album Review: Selcouth Quartet - Selcouth Quartet

Selcouth Quartet
*** out of *****

The birth of the Selcouth Quartet was serendipitous as the foursome of Joe Russo (drums, keys) Stuart Bogie (saxophone, flute, clarinet, keys) Jon Shaw (upright & electric basses) and Jonathan Goldberger (acoustic & electric guitars) were supposed to play a show in Iceland that was canceled and the band were offered studio time at Floki Studios to record. The result is this 9 song collection of sonic soundscapes that ebbs and flows like the ice and glaciers that surrounded them while recording. 

Sometimes album artwork means nothing in connection to the music and sometimes it tells the full story. The barren shore pictured here tells the story of this album, as the icy waters and frozen climate are embedded in these sounds. Producer and engineer D James Goodwin captured the band over a few days as their environment clearly affected their musical output. 

Opener "100 Words For Wind" sets the tone it is meditative, ominous, slowly rumbling and building with bass and increasing drum tempo before Bogie's horns go weird along with Goldberger's guitars as the sounds recede back into the darkness, remining icy and distant. Squirrely guitar work enters at the six minute mark and the band then locks in more melodic to close. Listening while looking a the cover photo, you can almost feel the location feeding into the groups sound. 

Relaxed jazz with a sense of folk music colors "Smaller Horses" while Russo's deep drumming highlights the brief outing titled "The Hidden People". The idea of nature verse the digital world seems to be crucial to the quartet as "Gyr" colors things with digital sounds, while remaining at a cold distance, while "Unlimited Light" begins with natural oceanic sounds before using a very impressive groove from Russo to end.  

The standout effort arrives at the midway point as "Dragon, Bull, Vulture, Giant" is the best amalgamation of the groups talents. The song starts off with a cool groove, playing cinematic with warbling edges as Bogie and Goldberger run free with a strong base beneath them, before Russo and Shaw kick up the tempo for the second half of the track, with all the musicians coalescing around the upbeat tempo. "Before We're Sunken" is also a winner with mysterious vocals entering the first half of the song, while a dynamic closing is dramatic and well placed. 

While that would have been an excellent closing of the album, that idea of nature comes back one more time, and not for the better, as the group gives us random natural sounds for over ten minutes before coming in, wrapping up the record on an odd and ineffective note.    

The environment we are in certainly colors our life and Selcouth Quartet recording in Iceland certainly soaks through this debut. While Selcouth means peculiar, this album was fairly straight ahead, but for a first, unexpected recording, there is a lot to like from this quartet. 

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

Album Review: Dave McMurray - Grateful Deadication 2

Dave McMurray
Grateful Deadication 2 
**** out of *****

Here is the second collection of Grateful Dead covers from Detroit based saxophonist Dave McMurray as he and his band dip back into the San Francisco based legends catalog with Grateful Deadication 2. While the first collection veered into the light/easy/smooth jazz and poppy side of things, this album works much better overall, feeling more lived in and authentic, truly connecting with the Dead originals, while staking their own claim. 

With McMurray leading the charge on sax, the core band of: Wayne Gerard guitar, Maurice O’Neal keyboards, Luis Resto piano, Ibrahim Jones bass, Jeff Canady drums, Larry Fratangelo percussion, start things on a positive note as "Playing In The Band" begins with a smooth jazz/New Age vibe that gains in grit and determination throughout as the drumming of Canady is noticeable. 

"China Cat Sunflower" uses strong bass work and twinkling keys which pair together to establish a good groove as the song moves along becoming increasingly adventurous with odd sounds, while the slow rolling "Bird Song" deploys chimes/percussion, solid sax lines with the drumming moving into a funkier realm to close. The spirit of The Grateful Dead is coursing throughout this album as the players shift and experiment.  

One of the more straight ahead numbers is the eulogy-like "To Lay Me Down" which is smooth and has a host of guests helping out including Jamey Johnson vocals, Greg Leisz pedal steel, Larry Campbell guitar, Don Was bass. These aren't the only guests on the album as Oteil Burbridge sings on the most rocked up track here, "Fire On The Mountain" while Bob James adds silky piano to both the soft, yet delightfully weird, take on the "The Other One" and the pretty "If I Had The World To Give" which features some gorgeous lines from McMurray.      

The whole effort is commendable and shows that McMurray and company are willing to change up originals with success. "Truckin'" goes in a blues vamp direction with a bass line out of Pink Floyd's "Money" while album closer "Crazy Fingers" uses a reggae foundation before jumping off into a huge build with fiery sax work, closing the record on a triumphant note.   

Rarely does the sequel surpass the original, but that is the case here as all of these tracks are successes and a major improvement over the first installment. With Grateful Deadication, it felt as McMurray was just dipping his toes into the water of those hippies tunes, now with Grateful Deadication 2 things have truly clicked as it feels he has lived with the songs and injected this collection with his own feelings. 

Here's hoping he digs in even deeper with a Grateful Deadication 3 sometime in the near future as the songs keep on growin'. 

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

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Album Review: Sleater- Kinney - Little Rope

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

It is of Sleater-Kinney's newest release, Little Rope

SK are one of RtBE personal favorites, but the truth is they have not been the same since they tried pop on The Center Won't Hold and Janet Weiss left the group. It isn't as simple as Weiss leaving, but for a band who had zero misses in their career, they are only batting 1 for 3 with their comeback as No Cities To Love is amazing and Path to Wellness is a forgettable snooze. 

Little Rope is better than the two previous, but nowhere near No Cities to Love's level. A good, not great album from a great all-time outfit. 

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

Album Review: Butcher Brown - Solar Music

Butcher Brown
Solar Music
***and1/2 out of *****

The newest album from the Richmond, VA groove collective Butcher Brown is titled Solar Music as the group continue to weave their mix of jazz, funk, and hip-hop, with unique results.  

The group consists of producer / keyboardist DJ Harrison; drummer Corey Fonville; bassist Andrew Randazzo; trumpeter / saxophonist / MC Marcus “Tennishu” Tenney; and guitarist Morgan Burrs who all come together around the focal groove. Butcher Brown get their best results when all of their loves coalesce in one strong song. An effort like "If It Was Me (Car Chase)" finds stout lyrics being deployed over a killer bass line and jazzy accents, synching up in the best possible way. 

Other tracks that bring it all home are "Eye Never Knew" Feat Pink Siifu and Keyon Harrold which uses a hip hop foundation around twinkling horns, breathy vocals, swirling jazz synths and a head rocking/phasing finale while the Michael Jackson, EDM influenced "MOVE (RIDE)" is a ripping disco get down jam featuring Jay Prince. The band uses "Happy Hourrr" as a distorted launching pad to the hip hop beats of "Run It Up" once again featuring Pink Siifu before the tune closes with sticky sweet horn work that is simply tasty.    

Those combining of genres is where Butcher Brown work best, but when they stay in single lanes things can be rewarding as well. The group channel seventies soul in Earth Wind & Fire style for the excellent, deep funk of "No Way Around It" and the horn, synth, deep bass work of "This Side of Sunshine". 

When the group goes full hip-hop, like on the brief "Half of It" featuring Nappy Nina, or the easy rolling groove of "DYKWYD" featuring Braxton Cook things are fine but not particularly memorable. Better is the 90's tribute "Pink Fur" featuring Michael Millions which uses keys/synths, and huge drums to flush out the retro hip-hop sound.  

Butcher Brown never sit still, combining their loves in unique fashion as the group keeps things fresh yet remembers the past with ease throughout Solar Music
Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

Monday, January 22, 2024

New Single from The Miserable Rich "Probably Will"

The UK based outfit The Miserable Rich release their newest single "Probably Will".

Vocalist James de Malplaquet explains how this single almost never came to be:

“This was the last song written for the main album and nearly didn’t make it… the band agreed to ‘squeeze it in’ at the end of the day’s studio recording if we had time. I’ll admit that making a song about Murphy’s Law and giving it this title was a bit playful and I did quite like taking it to the band for that reason. Will has had quite a few accidents in his time, including losing his passport at the airport bar on the first day of a you. That sense of fun led me to putting the joke in the middle section, something I first thought about while listening to a Japanese Breakfast song. I realised on second listen, she hadn’t said what I thought she had - so I did. Sort of…. Overall – though it was almost an afterthought – I think the song fits very closely to the paradoxical and contranymic essence of the album.”

Check out the song:

RIP Mary Weiss

Mary Weiss has died. 

The lead singer of The Shangri-Las was reportedly 75. RtBE are big fans of Weiss and the band, having loved their tough girl group sounds, as well as Weiss' comeback album she recorded with The Reigning Sound.

My mother grew up with The Shangri-Las and has fond memories of the group so there is an added personal connection, but we can all experience her music. Listen to some of it below:


Dylan Cover #615 Emilie-Claire Barlow "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Emilie-Claire Barlow  playing "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright"

Jazzy January has invade Mondays! All this month we will check out various artists covering Dylan with a jazz vibe.

Thought's on Original:
This song is so iconic and flat out awesome, even people who dislike Dylan have to enjoy this tune right? Biting and yet not bitter, a toss off of the grandest proportions, "Don' Think Twice, It's All Right" is epic and yet so straight forwardly simple. It easily ranks as one of the bard's best works, truly a classic and has been covered by so many people in so many ways.


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
This is our first time hearing Emilie-Claire Barlow who is a Juno Award winning vocalist and voice actor from Canada. 

Thoughts on Cover:
Really great cover tune. Light, airy, acoustic strums, popping rhythm, smooth sax and Barlow's killer vocals make this version a must hear. 

Friday, January 19, 2024

Full Show Friday: Ron Carter Foursight Quartet - Getxo Jazz 2022

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...Ron Carter Foursight Quartet

It's Jazzy January again here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2024 with some different styled shows every Friday. For this series we skew into new (or more recent) jazz lands. Keeping it current proves there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

Here is Ron Carter's Foursight Quartet, who RtBE was lucky enough to catch last year. That show made out list of favorites of 2023 as well, today you get a set from the quartet from Getxo Jazz 2022.  Enjoy:

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Live Review: Joe Russo's Almost Dead - 1/12/24 @ Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY

Joe Russo's Almost Dead
Live @ 1/12/24
Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY

The first of three consecutive sold out shows over MLK weekend from Joe Russo's Almost Dead kicked off with fans filling in the venue on Friday night January 11th, as the group strolled onto one of their favorite stages to play, The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. 

JRAD are, Russo on drums, bassist Dave Dreiwitz, keyboardist Marco Benevento, Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton on guitar and vocals, and they wasted no time, diving into the high intensity interplay that has won them a legion of fans. The opening jamming coalesced into a version of Bob Dylan's classic, "Tangled Up In Blue" as Hamilton sung the lead while smiling and dancing as the outfit got loose behind him. 

One of the best played songs of the evening arrived next as the band dove deep into "Cumberland Blues". Benevento and Russo traded runs building up the energy, before spelunking the proverbial Mine with eerie musical lines. The excavation commenced around Hamilton and Metzger's glorious guitar crescendos bringing us all back to the surface as the band expertly toyed with sonic peaks and valleys. The following version of "Passenger" continued the majestic, upbeat playing as the slide guitar from Hamilton soared, while Russo and Dreiwitz used mega force to push the song to rock heights. 

After that burning three song opener the band finally took a pause and things mellowed with a lounge/jazz take on "New Speedway Boogie" which wandered aimlessly after some nice piano work from Marco. This group works much better with up beat tempos as opposed to space-like freestyle, but things improved as the band found their way into a soaring version of "Estimated Prophet" before closing the first set with a jubilant take on "Loose Lucy" which featured teases of The Beatles "Day Tripper" and Otis Redding's "Tramp".

The second set opened with a Russo led version of "Uncle John's Band" that ebbed and flowed in revved up JRAD style, while "Saint of Circumstance" was a beast. It seems the band always gives a bit extra to these 80's Dead tunes as they slammed to start, stretched out with focus and gravity before huge piano and guitar work to close; a great version of this song. 

"Help on the Way" found the crowd exploding as electro keys and especially deep bass from Dreiwitz anchored things. The band delivered an almost heavy metal version of the instrumental "Slipknot!" that used wah-wah and massive energy before the major surprise of the night as the group dropped into a cover of the Screaming Trees hit, "Nearly Lost You" that proved to be a singalong to the 40-50 somethings in the crowd.

A return to the country fried rock saw "Big River" get a very bubbling jam going, powered by the slamming drums of Russo whose energy never waned on the night. "Bird Song" took a long cosmic-spacey route to get going, building and morphing into a fun, ramshackle take on The Rolling Stones "Shattered" to close the excellent show. The group encored with a sedated "Ripple" as satiated fans exited into the Westchester night, concluding a fun evening of tunes as many got ready for nights two and three of this run.     
Support the band, check out the full show on archive, and peep some video below (Show starts at 7:00):

2024 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Artists Announced

We already knew The Rolling Stones were going to be there, now we know the rest of the lineup for the best festival in the country, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

RtBE predicted who would be playing yesterday, and we got a few right. Check out this great video to get you pumped:

Some highlights for RtBE:

Album Review: Clifton Chenier and his Red Hot Louisiana Band - Live at Tipitina's

Clifton Chenier and his Red Hot Louisiana Band
Live at Tipitina's
**** out of *****

The most recent release from the fantastic Tipitina's Record Club is this unique capturing of the legendary Clifton Chenier who played zydeco, R&B, and Cajun music in a distinct fashion; keeping dance floors throughout the south good and sweaty. This vinyl release is from a warm night in 1980 as his Red Hot Louisiana Band display their dynamic range. 

One of the interesting things about this capturing is the band Chenier plays with. His core partners of his son CJ on alto sax and Cleveland his older brother on Frottoir, had been playing with Clifton for years. They are here with longtime collaborators Robert St Julien on drums and Jumpin' Joe Morris on bass but this show also has featured the killer Sonny Landreth on guitar along with Jerry Conrad on B3.  

This impressive collection of musicians dive right in with the upbeat Cajun blues of the strolling "Calinda". Clifton sings in French as he commands the stage, vamping and moving with ease while the sax work and organ pair beautifully; a reoccurring theme throughout this show. The accordion great gets his full on zydeco pumping for  "Louisiana Two Step" before the blues pour out on the cooking "Everybody Calls Me Crazy" which finds emotive singing from Clifton. 

The bands first true cover pops up next with their take on Ray Charles' classic "What I'd Say" and they do not disappoint. The revved up take uses energetic singing, a smoking tempo, and hip shaking goodness all around as the full band hit their stride. 

Side two starts with Clifton's take on the Coasters "I'm A Hog For You Baby" as the Cajun blues gets some zydeco touches before "Party Down (At The Blue Angel Club)" once again goes full bore with zydeco letting Clifton, CJ, and Cleveland dominate the stage. While Landreth had impressive moments, he steals the spotlight on the hardcore "Three O'Clock Blues" as his lead slide runs and dynamite guitar playing shines bright, while Conrad's B3 work is also majestic. 

The album wraps up with Clifton's version of "Feelin' Happy" which pays tribute lyrically to Blind Lemon Jefferson and Big Joe Turner, pulling the blues into the swamps as the group gets down in 50's R&B style to close the night.  

Almost as impressive as the music is the detailed linear notes from Todd Mouton, author of the book Way Down in Louisiana: Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco, And Swamp Pop Music. The notes give historic context to the performance, as well as dive into this musical world with vigor. 

Another excellent release from Tipitina's Record Club, Clifton Chenier and his Red Hot Louisiana Band's Live at Tipitina's is recommended to those who are longtime fans of the artist and those who are brand new to his zydeco sounds as well. 
Join the record club and peep some video below from "Louisiana Two Step" live from 1982:

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

2024 New Orleans Jazzfest Artist Predictions

The lineup for the 2024 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will be announced tomorrow but RtBE got the early scoop...

Album Review: Mississippi Fred McDowell - Jesus On The Mainline

Mississippi Fred McDowell
Jesus On The Mainline
***and1/2 out of *****

A collection of two shows from the last year of Mississippi Fred McDowell's life prove that the artist was still on top of his game, even as cancer was going to claim his life in the following year. Jesus On The Mainline showcases two 1971 concerts: April 14th, 1971 in Tacoma, Washington, and November 5th, 1971 at the Gaslight In New York, the final show he would ever play. 

Presented in chronological order, McDowell mentions early on during the Tacoma concert that "he doesn't play no rock and roll", he plays "special songs and the blues". The bottle neck slide on his electric guitar rings out slow and true on the opening "Letter From Hot Springs" as McDowell is vocally in fine form. The gospel of the title track moves like a slow freight train as does the slow and hypnotic "Mercy" which sounds like it was written on and about trains as the tune chugs along. 

The hill country blues slide out with ease with the warbling solos and chugging rhythms of the classic "Shake 'Em On Down" and a tune McDowell doesn't seem fond of anymore "You Got To Move". The Tacoma show (and this release as a whole) reaches it's heights in the middle of the set as a run of the twangy and upbeat take on "Good Mornin' Little Schoolgirl" is played with energy before McDowell delivers one of his special songs on "When The Saints Go Marching In", a tune he clearly loves. 

Things stay strong with the confident guitar work and pleading vocals of "Louise" which morphs effortlessly into the revving and relaxing tempos shifts of "Baby Please Don't Go". These four tunes in a row showcase the fluidity, grace and strength that McDowell displays through the blues and his 'special songs'. 

Things move into the slower relaxed blues to end the Tacoma set with the drawn out "Levee Camp Blues" and a solid closer of "Get Right Church" as the show ends on a bright note. For the second show, November 5th, 1971 at the Gaslight In New York, things are different, starting with the sound quality. While Tacoma was bright and sounds professionally recorded, the Gaslight light show is on par with an audience bootleg, sound wise. 

While it is nice to have as a historic document of his last show, the sound makes it hard to truly dig into, especially following the great show presented before it. The tape hiss and sonic distance will be a hinderance, but McDowell's playing has not fallen off much at all. The slow stomping of "Oh That's Alright" slowly stomps out and strums for an extended work out of the down home blues, while "Lord I Wonder What I Have Done Wrong" shows McDowell's passionate gospel influenced vocals over his blues playing.  

The NYC village crowd supports the legend with cheers and clapping rhythm as he wraps up his set with the strong "Fred McDowell's Blues" and "Bye Bye Little Girl" which ease out and come alive with the soul of hill country blues as McDowell moans and yearns with decades of hardship in his voice. 

A solid combo of a top notch live show paired with a nice historical document, the two parts of  Jesus On The Mainline capture McDowell towards the end of his life in fine form.    

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

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Live Review: Donald Harrison's Music Omniverse - Town Hall, NYC 1/11/24

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

It is of Big Chief Donald Harrison's Music Omniverse Live at Town Hall, NYC, 1/11/24 

A fantastic show from beginning to end with a host of jazz, rock, and funk legends contributing to the goodness.

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

Album Review: London Brew - London Brew

London Brew
***and1/2 out of *****

Originally planned as a one night, live tribute to the great album Bitches Brew by Miles Davis, the scheduled event was canceled due to Covid. The large cast of players decided to capture this self-titled, double album inspired by the original, with their new found time.

Recorded in London by some of the best jazz artists the city has, the lineup is a powerful one as Benji B, Raven Bush, Theon Cross, Nubya Garcia, Tom Herbert, Shabaka Hutchings, Nikolaj Torp Larsen, Dave Okumu, Nick Ramm, Dan See, Tom Skinner and Martin Terefe all contribute to the sounds.   

The ambitious record opens up with two extended outings that both take quite a bit of time to truly get going. "London Brew" is up first with digital bleeps and low, deep, humming, but it doesn't kick up the energy until around nine minutes into the journey as things get spacey. More sonic freak-out occurs up until the fifteen minute but it is the finale from 17:30 on that is the high point as blissful drifting builds in super cool fashion to end the track. "London Brew Part 2 - Trainlines" is up next with positive drumming/percussion to start paired with wah-wah phasing mimicking the London Underground. Distortion, horns and controlled chaos arrives with DJ scratching at the 8 minute mark before things dissipate into spacey sounds before picking up the energy again to end.   

These two large entries to start are good, but never quite get to great, that is saved for the funky as hell to start "Miles Chases New Voodoo In The Church". The albums highpoint, it has an energetic beat and bass work that moves the hips while wah-wah and stuttering horns get the head bopping. The tune moves in an ominous direction to end with intensity. 

The African influenced "Nu Sha Ni Sha Nu Oss Ra" uses a low groove and smooth sax work while "It's One Of These" starts out funky and dance-laden before a killer clarinet solo highlights the effort. "Bassics" plays with free digital jazz as a short breather before the album wraps up with two very solid efforts. 

"Mor Ning Prayers" wakes up with a bunch of noise as guitars get a digital squealing effect with layers of sound while a pleasant piano line plucks away. About halfway through the tracks shifts as a dance beat evolves with the deep bass and drums delivering a very cool groove to close. The finale of "Raven Flies Low" is a relaxed, dreamy showcase for the strings to start before slowly building to free noise chaos and then releasing via vibrating strings. 

This unique and interesting collection of sounds takes inspiration from Miles Davis classic and delivers an experimental offering that is worth checking out as the players on London Brew all percolate together. 
Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

Monday, January 15, 2024

Happy MLK Day: March on Washington 1963

This is a tradition here at RtBE. While we are including this in our Monday Dylan series, this is a necessary break from the routine.

We here at RtBE have lots of heroes and most stem from America's hard fought bloody and disturbing past. We have talked about the godfather of this site, we will probably touch on Lincoln at some point, but the man who we celebrate today is right up there with both of them. Martin Luther King Jr. is an American who deserves to be honored right alongside the greatest our country has ever produced.

We are happy to dedicate this Monday to him. To help celebrate the day we will post Bob Dylan singing "Only A Pawn In Their Game" from the1963 March on Washington DC.

Have a great day and make sure to watch this, MLK's last prophetic public words:

It is still so incredibly moving.

The full speech is located here and worth listening to as well and you can read this amazing writing which unfortunately is still relevant today from King:

Friday, January 12, 2024

Full Show Friday: Herbie Hancock 08/10/08 - Newport Jazz Festival

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...Herbie Hancock!

It's Jazzy January again here at RtBE, so get ready to kick off 2024 with some different styled shows every Friday. For this series we skew into new (or more recent) jazz lands. Keeping it current proves there is amazing live jazz still being performed no matter what Ken Burns says.

We return to Newport this week, back in time to 2008 with Herbie Hancock

Pro shot, pro sound, setlist below. Enjoy:

Herbie Hancock - Full Concert Recorded Live: 8/10/2008 - Newport Jazz Festival (Newport, RI) More Herbie Hancock at Music Vault: Subscribe to Music Vault: Setlist: 0:00:00 - Introduction 0:02:16 - Actual Proof 0:10:03 - Banter 0:11:15 - River 0:18:54 - When Love Comes To Town 0:26:42 - A Song For You 0:34:21 - Canteloupe Island 0:45:03 - Banter 0:46:26 - Chameleon 0:55:47 - Chameleon Pt. 2 1:02:11 - Banter 1:04:18 - Seven-Teens

Thursday, January 11, 2024

New Single/Video from Mary Timony "Dominoes"

RtBE favorite Mary Timony is releasing her new album Unleash the Tiger on 2/23 on Merge Records. Her new single/video "Dominoes" is out now.

Check out the tune below:

Album Review: Brass Queens - Black & Gold

Brass Queens
Black & Gold 
***and1/2 out of *****

The nine piece, all-female horn outfit, Brass Queens hail from Brooklyn, NY, combining NYC's melting pot ways with New Orleans brass band tradition, along with a healthy dose of pop sensibilities throughout their debut full length release Black & Gold. Consisting of covers and originals the Brass Queens get the party moving with bright brass and funky rhythms. 

Consisting of Alex Harris (trumpet), Stephanie King (trumpet), Minerva Johnson (trumpet), Ally Chapel (alto sax), Jenna Murdoch (tenor sax), Elizabeth Arce (trombone), Stephanie Young (trombone) Nora Nalepka (sousaphone), Heather Ewer (sousaphone), Caitlin Cawley (percussion), Ashley Baier (drum kit), the outfit starts things out with some spoken word goodness before covering Doja Cat's "Kiss Me More" in light, floating fashion.   

Drums and percussion lead the charge during a take on Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next!" which also showcases dynamite trumpet work while the outfits spin on Bill Withers classic "Just The Two of Us" is less successful. The band works best when they are upbeat and moving such as on their original offerings, like the head bopping "Vision Quest" and the soaring "Just For Your Love" which displays dynamite brass work throughout. 

Another winner is the groups spin on "Lambada" that injects some Latin flair into the party sounds. The Brass Queens heated take on Bad Bunny's "Dákiti" uses lots of percussion and groove to also keep the dancefloor busy while Lizzo's "Good as Hell" opts for a smooth flowing approach. Some of the best percussion work can be found on the Brass Queens version of TLC's "Waterfalls" as the snapping drums pop, while the group dips into some reggae with a whirl through Gym Class Heroes "Cupid's Chokehold". 

The group confidently strolls out a swaggering rendition of "Lady Marmalade" that feels perfect for this outfits talents as the Brass Queens mix of originality and a revamping of pop songs in brass band fashion ends up a pleasurable listen on Black and Gold.  
Support the artists, buy the album and peep some video below:

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

New Single/Video from Solar Eyes for "Let's Run Away"

The Birmingham based psych/pop duo Solar Eyes have a new single/video out for their tune "Let's Run Away"

Frontman Glenn Smyth talks about writing the tune, being inspired by the American Southwest:

“‘Let’s Run Away’ was one of the last songs to be written on the album, it was written in Texas last March when we were out there playing south by. You can sort of hear it as well, there’s that Americana haze type sound. Spaghetti western vibe. I sort of had in my head – now this might sound a bit mad – Tracey Chapman ‘Fast Car’ – in essence. But with a brummie slant. A Bonnie and Clyde type thing.”
Check out the video below:

Album Review: Chief Adjuah - Bark Out Thunder Roar Out Lightning

Chief Adjuah
Bark Out Thunder Roar Out Lightning
***and1/2 out of *****

Chief Adjuah is constantly searching for sounds, inspiration, himself, cultural influences, the truth and on his latest offering, Bark Out Thunder Roar Out Lightning, his journey brought him to a new space where his trademark trumpet (which brought him to national jazz fame) stayed in it's case. This album is a percussive focused adventure that is rooted in Western African folk and New Orleans Second Line, his 14th studio album pushes him ever further away from contemporary jazz. 

This is not the first time Chief Adjuah has shifted gears, he evolved from Christian Scott and Stretch Music, to Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah for his fantastic Centennial Trilogythe modern sounding Ancestral Recall and the excellent live album Axiom. Now progressing once more, Chief Adjuah has tried to merge the electronic with natural sounds while continuing to explore his African roots, his hometown New Orleans, and music as a spiritual process.

Focused on new instrumentation, some of which he created himself, Adjuah plays the aptly named Chief Adjuah’s Bow, which blends the West African n’goni and kora with the European harp; a custom n’goni; and a Pan-African drum kit while also chanting, speaking and singing throughout. There are a host of other contributors including: Trail Chief Kiel Adrian Scott – Vocals, Percussion, Weedie Braimah – Djembe, Congas, Tambourine, Dun Duns, Percussion, Vocals, Luques Curtis – Bass, Guembri Vocals, Elé Howell - Pan African Kit, Drums, Bells, Tambourines, Vocals, Brian Richburg Jr. – Drums, SPDSX, Percussion, Tambourines, Vocals, Marcus Gillmore – Drums, Joe Dyson Jr. Pan African Kit, Corey Fonville - Drums, Alfred Jordan – Drums, Percussion, Tambourine, Vocals, Mizan Willis – Dun Duns, Bells, Shekere, Percussion, Vocals, Amyna Love – Vocals, Amina Scott – Vocals, Lioness Sia Fodey – Vocals.

The album is his most naturalistic sounding release in a longtime, opening with recorded wind, his bow, soft vocals, and just a few digital beats to mix things up on "Blood Calls Blood" while the percussion takes over on the swelling "Trouble That Mornin'" as Adjuah's singing sounds confident.  

The album centerpiece is the title track that uses skittering drums, hypnotic repetition, strings, and an extended spoken word section from Adjuah that praises feminine strength and preaches against the scared and fearful bigotry that has infected a large part of modern society. A conceptually admirable undertaking, but at it's length of over fifteen minutes and with minimalist musical changes, the effort drifts away from it's powerful message. Better is the album closing retake on the track, a duo effort with Adjuah and an explosive Howell on drums that ups the tempo and trims the run time, while the best out and out percussion on the album is "On To New Orleans [Runnin' in 7's Redux]" which is crazy in it's fierce, propulsive, percussive displays.

Like The Wild Magnolia's and The Wild Tchoupitoulas, in the 70's, Adjuah is bringing the sounds he grew up with on the streets of New Orleans to the world, but those albums moved in a funky/dance floor filling direction, Bark Out Thunder Roar Out Lightning is more contemplative and inward looking. 

The albums combining of Western African, naturalistic folk sounds and New Orleans street beats is unique and Adjuah takes from the past and those before him as he focuses on traditional Mardi Gras Indian songs yet still puts his own spin on them. The best of this bunch is "Xodokan Iko - Hu Na Ney" which has dueling vocals, African chants, yelps, and a familiar melody as the "Iko Iko" chants ring out, but Adjuah also makes the history personal  

The trio of "Shallow Water [Tribute Big Chief Donald Harrison Sr. - Guardians of the Flame]",  "Ashé Chief Donald [Tribute Big Chief Donald Harrison Jr. - Congo Square Nation]", and "Golden Crown [Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah – Xodokan Nation]" pass down his heritage from generation to generation. "Shallow Water" uses tambourines and shifting tempos to go along with the call and response chants, "Ashé Chief Donald" is a history lesson in musical form, and "Golden Crown" brings it all home to the recently crowned Big Chief himself.  

Along with those tributes to his uncles, Bark Out Thunder Roar Out Lightning shares a direct connection to Harrison Jr's Indian Blue in the idea of fusing worlds and genres. Indian Blue combined modern jazz with Mardi Gras masking tradition and while Chief Adjuah isn't as successful in melding West Africa, NOLA, and natural folk sounds, yet his journey is always exciting to follow. 

One of the most innovative artists in any genre, Chief Adjuah Bark Out Thunder Roar Out Lightning is just another step on his continual path. It is a pleasure to hear him grow and advance. 
Support the artists, buy the album, peep some video below:

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

New Tune From Princess Ella "Hennessy"

The new single from Nigerian artist Princess Ella is "Hennessy"

Check out the catchy dance track that mixes Afrobeats with sleek modern R&B and pop below:

Album Review: The Hypos -The Hypos

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

It is of The Hypos self-titled debut. This band is a mixture of RtBE favorites over the years as Scott McMicken (Dr. Dog) and Greg Cartwright (Reigning Sound) teamed up with other Asheville musicians and released this album.  

Their debut is very roots rock, an Americana album in the vein of The Band. Big fans of this one. 

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

Monday, January 8, 2024

Dylan Cover #614 Abbey Lincoln "Mr. Tambourine Man"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Abbey Lincoln  playing "Mr. Tambourine Man"

Jazzy January has invade Mondays! All this month we will check out various artists covering Dylan with a jazz vibe.

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
C'mon...really?  Iconic, one of his best known songs.  A poetic marvel, beautifully played etc etc...essays are written on this song.  I won't say much more, but will note that I read somewhere this is the one song Dylan actually tried to work with again and create another version; a part two so to speak, and it just didn't work.  Hard to recreate this gem. 


Thoughts on artist:
This is RtBE's first time hearing Abbey Lincoln which is amazing, and proves to us how little we still know about music. 

Thoughts on the cover:
Fantastic, one of the best jazz covers of Dylan we have ever heard and Lincoln and company deliver it on his biggest tune.