Monthly Archives: November 2013

NEW RELEASES 12/03/13

There are some interesting releases this week. Some of the artists are recognizable, but there are some I hadn’t heard of before that seem like good prospects.

  1. Bamboo Trading Company- ‘From Kitty Hawk To Surf City’
  2. Black Flag- ‘What The’    (first album in 28 yrs.)
  3. Glen Hansard- ‘Drive All Night’   ep
  4. The Hip Abduction- ‘The Hip Abduction’
  5. John Zorn- ‘Shir Hashirim’
  6. Johnny Winter- ‘Live Bootleg Series Vol. 10’
  7. Lee Perry- presents various artists ‘Roaring Lion’
  8. Mercy Brothers- ‘Holy Ghost Power’
  9. Muse- ‘Live At Rome Olympic Stadium’   (Blu-Ray/CD)
  10. Mutual Benefit- ‘Love’s Crushing Diamond’  (re-release on new label)
  11. Paul Oakenfold- ‘Oakenfold Cream 21’   (2 CD mix of 40 tracks from 21 years of clubland dominance)

So I will make a choice and will have a review of one of these albums, posted on Wednesday.

NICKI BLUHM & THE GRAMBLERS’ “Van Sessions Live”!!!!

So I have already kicked myself for waiting so long to take a listen to Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, but I have moved past it. I was fortunate to catch them last week on Conan doing ‘Little Too Late’. Then, I saw a youtube video of them doing their “Van Sessions Live” and was blown away by just how immersed in music they really are. Some of the covers they do during these sessions are true throw-backs, some to the 70’s and others to the 80’s. All are done with a sense of fun but serious enough to be impressive, especially considering they are travelling in a cramped van while they do them. Just a reminder Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers will be at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver with Keller Williams & More Than A Little on February 21st. I definitely suggest checking out their original work, but to start I have added a couple of the “Van Sessions” from YouTube, as a sample.

Denise Williams ‘Let’s Hear It For The Boy’ covered by Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers

Steve Miller Band ‘Take The Money And Run’ covered by Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers

Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! 😉

COMING ATTRACTIONS!!!!

There are more than a few shows coming up in the next couple months, that I have found out about in the last week.

12/14- Danielle Ate The Sandwich w/ Poet’s Row @ the Walnut Room   $10-15

12/20- Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue feat. Rob Eaton @ Cervante’s Masterpiece Ballroom

12/21- Public Enemy @ Summit Music Hall        $32.50- 35

2014

1/16- Yamn + UV Hippo w/ Genetics @ Hodi’s Halfnote     $5-12

1/29- Dopapod + Kung Fu @ Fox Theatre

1/31- Dopapod + Kung Fu @ The 1UP    (STS9 after party)

2/1- Dopapod + Kung Fu @ The 1UP    (STS9 after party)

2/7- The Funky Meters w/ special guests @ Cervante’s Masterpiece Ballroom     $20-30

2/8- The Funky Meters w/ special guests  @ Cervante’s Masterpiece Ballroom    $20-30

2/8- North Mississippi Allstars @ The Gothic Theatre        $25-27

Danielle Ate The Sandwich is basically just a girl and her ukelele with her brother on upright bass. She is like a 60’s folk singer with Ani DiFranco’s sense of humor. I haven’t seen her perform for awhile but was quite impressed with what I heard, including an unplugged performance of TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’.

I have seen the Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue once, several years ago. Rob Eaton of Dark Star Orchestra fame, can probably be called the focal point of the band, but I recall just having a helluva good time. What can I say? If the band is tight and they are playing the music of the Dead, I’m a happy man!!

Rap music’s true revolutionaries, Public Enemy, have been a part of my musical soundtrack for over 20 years. I have not seen them, but some friends said that their set at the Riot Fest in Sept. was great. Yeah Boiiii!!

It seems to me that the pairing of UV Hippo and Yamn has happened more than once before. I couldn’t think of two bands that are more complimentary of each others sounds than these two. They are both drenched in the jam sounds that bring to mind Phish, Moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. UV Hippo does mix this style with a sound that is more similar to Little Feat and The Big Wu, while Yamn has some more livetronica leanings.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t heard more than a little of Dopapod’s music, but am quite familiar with Kung Fu. I think this is another great pairing that even do great sit-ins with each other. I think it is safe to say that Dopapod is a little more of a jamtronica band, something along the lines of the Disco Biscuits. Kung Fu includes members of the east-coastish bands RAQ and The Breakfast. This project has a jam sound with a tendency to go avant-garde jazz and funk.

What can be said about the Funky Meters, except that it is one half of the 70’s New Orleans funk pioneers The Meters. They play  The Meters material with great precession. I have seen these guys a few times and have heard much more live material. They are an awesome band with amazing music, that has no problem showing off the skills that made songs like ‘Fire On The Bayou’, ‘Hey, Pockey Way, and ‘Cissy Strutt’ classic New Orleans staples.

I have seen the North Mississippi All Stars a couple of times and have heard tons of their music. They often consider their sound to be Hill Country music, but I tend to simplify and say they are a southern blues-rock power trio. No matter how you describe it, they play like a band twice the size and with an unmistakable style that is ever-evolving.

Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! 😉

A WIDESPREAD GIVING OF THANKS!!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!! Just thought I’d share some youtube clips that might strike a cord on this holiday!!

WIDESPREAD PANIC ‘Pilgrims’

THE GRATEFUL DEAD ‘Memphis Blues’

WILLIE NELSON ‘On The Road Again’

JOHNNY CASH ‘Big River’

SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS ‘This Land Is Your Land’

ARLO GUTHERIE ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ from Farm Aid 2005

SIMON & GARFUNKEL ‘America’ from Central Park’

Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! 😉

 

Album Review: THE LIBERATORS ‘POWER STRUGGLE’ 11/27/13

So, after making the list of new releases for this week, I decided to sample some of the existing music of a couple of the acts I wasn’t familiar with. I found quickly, that I really enjoyed the afrobeat stylings of The Liberators from their previous release, so I decided to pick up the new album from this Australian act. Unfortunately, none of the big box stores could even order this one, so I had to use itunes, so credits aren’t readily available.

The first track, ‘Cairo Rising’, starts organ heavy with an edge that is rounded out nicely by the horns. It sounds dark with a danceable beat, that is slightly reminiscent of Galactic.

‘Soul Dive’ walks right down the middle of a dark city street with a group of friends while the steam rises and parts to let them through. A cool vibe, like it’s a commercial for a top shelf liquor. I definitely hear a sample beat befitting any self-respecting DJ or hip-hop producer.

African music is definitely at the core of The Liberators music, but a tune like ‘Dark River’ certainly unveils its darker side. This is not the afrobeat that the general public would recognize if they even knew the term. It is a cerebral cut in the way that it stretches the realms of possibility with it’s deep exploration into what afrobeat is and can be.

‘Red Green Live Die’ has a little more of an identifiable afrobeat sound with some great drumming and percussion. This track feels exceptionally complex, especially with some of the beats the drummer lays down. It has a sound that is similar to the Motet.

‘Dos Caras’ is a cut that seems to be touched with a little middle-east meets latin jazz groove, until the percussion and guitar reveal the African based rhythms that come naturally to this 9 piece. The trumpet sounds fabulous on this one and has some nice back and fourth with the sax.

The title-track, ‘Power Struggle’, starts out with some serious tension. It has a fairly quick tempo with a looming presence leaving every instrument to channel its inner demons, except the keys which seem to shine a little light on the darkness.

‘No Friend Of Mine’ has some funky guitar and bass work, which makes the hips sway uncontrollably. The sax is very prominent and exceptional on this song, as well.

‘Epicoso’ has a night-life in Capetown vibe. The organ is prevalent on much of the album, but it really comes into its own on this cut.

The final tune is ‘Water Somewhere’, which takes this instrumental juggernaut and adds some smokey vocals in the form of Roxy Ray. It is a seriously funky beat with soul lyrics and a pinch of Orgone. Ending the album with this cut was particularly clever, because it shouts at the listener that this group is more eclectic than the ear realizes.

Overall, I couldn’t be much happier with this weeks album for review. It is a great piece of afrobeat and I discovered another band that I didn’t know about previously. ‘Power Struggle’ was recorded in Australia with no over-dubs, so it would more closely embody their live setting. Though the band bases its sound in African music and especially afrobeat, there are plenty of other sounds that make their way into the mix. The trouble is that these different types of music have been swallowed by The Liberators and digested so well that it is hard to pick them out, however this is not a bad problem to have created. I would definitely suggest this album to anyone who likes jazz, funk or world music. I only hope these guys can bring their live show to the U.S. soon!! Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! 😉

 

YET, ANOTHER HELPING OF NEW YEAR’S SHOWS!!

Eventhough I thought I was done with  the New Year’s Eve festivity information, but a couple more were recently discovered. I felt responsible to give you this info, before all plans are made for December 31st.

12/31- “A New Year’s Solution” w/ Jantsen, Omega, Atomic Reactor + Tribes Eyes @ Hodi’s Halfnote      $10-20

12/31- Blue Grama @ Swing Station        9:30 p.m.          $5

12/31- Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School Of Medicine w/ Joy Subtraction @ Summit Music Hall          $25-30

I think this is really it this time!!

MUSIC TO HEAR 11/25-12/01

DENVER AREA 11/25/13

Bluebird Theatre- Black Joe Lewis w/ Radkey + Think No Think    $20-25

Quixote’s True Blue- Blake’s Tiger Party    $5

BOULDER AREA 11/25/13

Homemade Liquids & Solids (Longmont)- Electric Blues Jam   7-10 p.m.

Tasty Weasel (Longmont)- Open Stage w/ The Prarie Scholars   6-8 p.m.

DENVER AREA 11/26/13

Quixote’s True Blue- Open Stage      8 p.m.

BOULDER AREA 11/26/13

Dickens Opera House (Longmont)- The Prarie Scholars     6 p.m.    $??

Fox Theatre- Black Uhuru w/ Mike Pinto      $22-27

Laughing Goat Coffee House- Soul Explosion   8 p.m.     $??

Oskar Blues Grill & Brew (Lyons)- Bluegrass Pick      8-11 p.m.

Pioneer Inn (Nederland)- Open Mic w/ Maus      10 p.m.

FORT COLLINS AREA 11/27/13

Hodi’s Halfnote- Pipin’ Hot Ghost Peppers (Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute)  $5-10

DENVER AREA 11/27/13

Bluebird Theatre- Tennis w/ South Of France        $12.50-15

Cervante’s Masterpiece Ballroom- Barrington Levy w/ DJ Uplifter   $20-25

Dazzle Jazz- Adam Bodine Trio      7-9 p.m.      $??

Fillmore Auditorium- Rusko     $31-56

Ogden Theatre*- The Last Waltz Revisited w/ Buck Perigo performing ‘Alice’s Restaurant’        $23.50- 25

Oriental Theatre- The Drunken Hearts, Potcheen, James & The Devil   $8

Quixote’s True Blue- J.E. P.H.      $5

Soiled Dove- Johnette Napolitano (of Concrete Blonde) w/ Eric Halborg (of Swayback + Dragondeer)       8 p.m.       $20

BOULDER AREA 11/27/13

Dickens Opera House (Longmont)- Danny Shafer      6 p.m.    $??

Nissi’s (Lafayette)- Nelson Rangell       7:30- 10 p.m.       $10-12

Pioneer Inn (Nederland)- Blues Jam       10 p.m.

DENVER AREA 11/28/13

Quixote’s True Blue– Soul Explosion       $5

FORT COLLINS AREA 11/29/13

Avogadro’s Number- Old Town Players         $??

DENVER AREA 11/29/13

Armoury- Supercollider        10 p.m.        $??

Gothic Theatre- Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats       $15

Quixote’s True Blue- “Quixote’s 17th Year Anniversary: Farmstival” feat. Grant Farm & Chris Pandophi (of Infamous Stringdusters) w/ Tyler Grant’s Jerry Jam + Duck Pond       $10

BOULDER AREA 11/29/13

Boulder Theatre*- Leftover Salmon         $29.50

Homemade Liquids & Solids (Longmont)- Roots & Rhythm Blues Band    8- 11:30 p.m.

FORT COLLINS AREA 11/30/13

Aggie Theatre- The Yawpers w/ Chad Price (of Drag The River), Electric Shoes, Shelby Griffs      $7

Hodi’s Halfnote- “Funksgiving” w/ Yoo , Red Room Rendezvous + Drinking With Charlie        $5-10

Swing Station (LaPorte)- Von Stomper            $5

DENVER AREA 11/30/13

Armoury- Rastasaurus         10 p.m.        $??

Cervante’s Otherside- Sam Holt Band w/ The Robby Wicks + Dan Walker    $8-10

Gothic Theatre- The Mowgli’s w/ Hunter Hunted + The Epilogues          $15.75

Oriental Theatre- Gypsy Soul feat. Leon Hendrix (Jimi’s brother) w/ 3 Leg Dog        $8-15

Quixote’s True Blue- “Quixote’s 17th Year Anniversary: Farmstival” feat.  Grant Farm & Billy Nershi w/ Railsplitters + Jonah & The Whale        $15

Soiled Dove-Matthew Moon w/ Jeff Brinkman         8 p.m.        $10-15

Summit Music Hall*- An Evening with  Wish We Were Floyd (Pink Floyd tribute)          $12

BOULDER AREA 11/30/13

Boulder Theatre*- Leftover Salmon         $29.50

Dickens Opera House (Longmont)- Rush Archives (tribute to Rush) 8p.m.

Oskar Blues Grill & Brew (Lyons)- Bonnie & The Clydes    8-11:30 p.m.

Nissi’s (Lafayette)- Citizen Dan (straight-up Steely Dan)       7:30- 11 p.m.     $12-14

Tasty Weasel (Longmont)- Danny Shafer solo     4:30-6:30 p.m.

FORT COLLINS AREA 12/1/13

Aggie Theatre- One More Time (Daft Punk tribute)   w/ Ill Mannered   $12

DENVER AREA 12/1/13

Bluebird Theatre- The Lone Bellow w/ Ivan & Alyosha         $16.50-18

BOULDER AREA 12/1/13

Dickens Opera House (Longmont)- Sunday Open Mic        7 p.m.

Not quite as much with the holiday and Black Friday this week, but still some good music coming to the area. This may be a good week to catch some of the great local acts that are always here like a safety net. I marked shows I suggest with an * behind the venue name. HOPE EVERYONE HAS A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!    Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! 😉

 

NEW RELEASES 11/26/13

It was a little trickier than usual to find eleven new albums that I felt were worth a listen. This is the eclectic list that I came up with.

  1. Billy Joe & Norah- ‘Foreverly’
  2. Brian Jonestown Massacre- Revolution # Zero (ep w/ 3 exclusive cuts)
  3. Dido- ‘Greatest Hits’
  4. Nofx- ‘Stoke Extinguisher’   (ep)
  5. Odetta- ‘Sings Ballads & Blues/ At Carnegie Hall
  6. The Alabama State Troupers- ‘Road Show’
  7. The Liberators- ‘Power Struggle’
  8. Tower Of Power- ‘Hipper Than Hip (Yesterday, Today, Toworrow)’
  9. Troubadours- Du Roi Baudouin- ‘Christmas In The Congo’
  10. Tweaker- ‘And Then There’s Nothing’
  11. Various- ‘Lennon Bermuda’ (tribute to John Lennon)

There is a little of everything in this weeks list of new releases. I have a good idea of what I am going to review, but check-in on Wednesday to find out.

Album Review: ERIC CLAPTON ‘CROSSROADS GUITAR FESTIVAL’ (2013)

Eric Clapton’s ‘Crossroads Guitar Festival’ is not an annual gig but instead  happens every three years. It is a who’s who of rock, jazz and especially, blues talent. April 12th & 13th were no exception with some big names like The Allman Brothers, John Mayer, Keith Urban, Keith Richards, and Vince Gill. Though it is a double-disk, I felt compelled to check out this elusive festival via the 29 tracks before me.

‘Tears In Heaven’ started the first disk, much the way it sounded over 20 years ago, but after being on the shelf for about 9 years, Clapton breathed new life into this one through his acoustic guitar, his delivery and the reggae vibe that brightened this tune about death into a song that is so full of life.

The second cut, also featuring Eric, as well as Vince Gill gave a honky tonk feel to ‘Lay Down Sally’. It sure sounds like there is some sharp slide work on this one, but not sure if it is Clapton or not.

Booker T Jones’ “Green Onions” was full of star power with Keb’ Mo, Steve Cropper, Albert Lee and more. The spotlight still fell firmly on Booker, who shared it with his guests. There was some searing guitar on this one.

I did not know who Kurt Rosenwinkel was, but quickly found him to be an outstanding jazz guitarist on ‘Heavenly Bodies’. The piano was perfectly subtle and helped to soften the tune.

I am not familiar with Earl Klugh’s music but have certainly seen his name before  and was quite impressed with ‘This Time’. Earl is considered by many to be one of the best acoustic players in the world. This song is beautiful with a feeling of the sun setting over the ocean.

‘Mirabella’ is a shorter more challenging Klugh number that had him almost playing flamenco style.

The Robert Cray Band performed ‘Great Big Old House’, which showcased Robert’s brand of soulful blues. It is nice that between Cray’s songwriting, singing, and guitar playing he doesn’t seem to feel the need to show-off a lot. He lets his songs speak for themselves, as this one does.

‘She’s Alright’ featured Doyle Bramhall II and Gary Clark Jr. playing some filthy-dirty electric blues. This track had a serious Hendrix vibe.

Doyle Bramhall II also played with Citizen Cope on ‘Bullet & A Target’. I’m not that knowledgeable about either act, but I like the reggae blues sound that this mixture pulled-off.

‘Queen Of California’ is probably my favorite John Mayer song tune, because of its Allmans meet the Grateful Dead feel and this version even more so. The jam is a bit of the Grateful Dead’s ‘Dark Star’ and the Allman’s ‘Midnight Rider’ all tossed together. Though, John’s voice isn’t album quality on this one, between the piano and guitar, there is nothing missing.

John Mayer was joined by Keith Urban to cover the Beatles’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’. Urban didn’t sound as comfortable as Mayer, but he didn’t let that stop him from trying to eclipse John in the vocal department. As much as I am not a huge John Mayer fan, I can’t deny his ability on guitar and this live setting is great for showing that skill off.

I have only heard one Gary Clark Jr. song on the radio and it sounded nothing like ‘Next Door Neighbor Blues’. This song is a jangley acoustic blues number that elicits thought of southern back porches. I’m not positive, but it sounds like Clark Jr. was solo on this one with a stomp box and a high-hat. I really like this track.

Robert Randolph joined Buddy Guy on ‘Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues’, which started with a scorching intro before becoming a Chicago blues song. The guitar work was incredible and the singing was impressive as well.

‘Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad’ saw Eric join the Allman Brothers, which brought back memories of the famous session with Eric and Duanne from over 40 years ago. Having Eric, Warren and Derek on stage at the same time is like making a poster for the past, present and future of the guitar. This one was phenomenal with the three guitars playing around each other well.

Disk 2

The second disc starts with Sonny Landreth’s bayou flavored ‘Congo Square’. Sonny has Derek Trucks with him which is a welcome addition to any set. This one had some excellent jamming, which isn’t surprising considering the co-pilots.

John Mayer and Doyle Bramhall II return together for ‘Change It’. They played acoustic, but ripped it up.

‘Ooh- Ooh- Ooh’ is Jimmy Vaughn trying to channel the spirit of the soul blues legend Bobby “Blue” Bland. His playing sounded great and the horns were a nice touch.

Blake Mills performed the Drifter’s ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’ with Derek Trucks on guitar. This version was a little slower than the original, but had more of a country western vibe than too.

‘Don’t Worry Baby’ starts off quickly with Los Lobos showing off the talent that has kept them together and touring for 40 years.

‘I Ain’t Living Long Like This’ with Vince Gill and Albert Lee sounds like a southern rocker, until Vince starts singing and then it seems more outlaw country. Kind of has an Eagles vibe to it.

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ tackled the blues classic ‘Diving Duck Blues’ that sounded great with the guys on acoustic guitars and Taj doing the singing, sometimes sounding like Wolfman Jack. The song seems to be made up of some classic blues lyric, that has become the backbone for other blues tunes.

Gary Clark Jr. has an R&B vibe with the emphasis on the Blues and the rockin’ kind on ‘When My Train Pulls In’. This one kind of feels like Ben Harper doing ‘Voodoo Chile (Slight Return). Way better than the tune the radio put out for him.

Jeff Beck’s ‘Mna Na Heireann’ is a slightly mellow possibly middle-eastern blues with violin. Beck’s work on this one is often in the background, but is beautiful in its minimalism.

Neil Young’s ‘The Needle And The Damage Done’ done by Allman, Haynes and Trucks was glorious. These three together with Greg singing the pained lyrics about heroin addiction on “every junkie’s like the setting sun” was nothing short of magical.

Greg, Warren, and Derek also did the Allman Brothers’ classic ‘Midnight Rider’. Again, with the acoustic set-up and some amazing harmonies between Greg and Warren. Better than the acoustic version that sometimes gets played on the radio.

‘Key To The Highway’ is a barroom blues tune with Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. It was a great vehicle for some traditional blues riffs. These guys sounded great together.

Andy Fairweather Low joined Clapton on ‘Gin House Blues’. This is a slow blues number that hardly gets to a trot, which works for a soulful tune that is serious about pointing out the woes of alcohol.

‘Got To Get Better In A Little While’ has a heavy groove immediately, like a locomotive of rock energy. There is some great jamming on this song. The drumming is tight and the organ takes this one to church. Eric Clapton doesn’t miss a beat.

‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ by Clapton’s old band Cream was a perfect way to end the album. It is a rocker from way back. The set of music on the two disks ends totally opposite of how it first began with Clapton acoustic.

So after a few listens, I can say I wish that Clapton would bring his Crossroads Fest closer to Colorado, but until that day, I will cherish the two disks from Eric and his abundance of friends who performed this year. These are 29 songs from various artists that played with only 7 tracks of Clapton himself. Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, Keb’ Mo’, Robert Randolph and Booker T. Jones were among the incredible artists that made the 2013 Guitar Festival a must hear. Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! 😉

100th POST: THANKS FOR FOLLOWING!!!!!

Yesterday, I published my 100th post on this site and just wanted to thank everyone who has been on it. I am also very grateful to those who have commented, complimented and shared my site with others. I am thrilled that some of you are following the site regularly!! I am working on replying to all comments, so if you haven’t heard from me yet, just know you will. I love music and there is nothing better than being able to share something you love with others!! Thanks, Again!!

Keep Reading & Always Keep Listening!!!! 😉