With four years alongside one another on the road and in the studio, Hard Working Americans embody the grit, grind and salt of the earth vibe their name implies. Some call them a super group. I call them the sum of their parts, and hot damn do those parts work well together.
On a day when college football’s number one ranked Georgia Bulldogs collapsed in laughable fashion on the road against Auburn-that other team from Alabama-fellow sons of Athens’, Perpetual Groove found themselves in a completely different scenario.
The Newgrass style had come quite a way since the days when John Hartford and New Grass Revival began deviating from the technique and approach that had defined the bluegrass previously. The original bluegrass players such as Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were indeed innovators. As music is a reflection of times and the outlook of those playing, the late 1960s birthed ambitious and talented players who deviated from the rules. Still, their admiration and respect for the country greats before them was foundational.
While Quixote’s may have seen its last days, Jay Bianchi’s newest venue, Be On Key Psychedelic Ripple, has the streets of Denver buzzing with its historic artwork, friendly vibes and eclectic lineups ranging from modern-day Grateful Dead takes to bluegrass, funk and more. Located on 1700 Logan Street at the old Wrangler location, the Grateful Dead-themed venue boasts high ceilings, a video arcade, incredible art spanning back to the mid 60’s and plenty of room to boogie down.
This past week Johnny Clegg wrapped up a short 12 twelve-city North American tour bidding farewell, and retiring from the road.
In remission from an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer, Clegg decided to have his final tour while he has the strength to endure the road. This farewell is both a bitter-sweet celebration of his career, and an opportunity to say goodbye to so many devoted fans, whose hearts he has touched.
Have I ever told you guys about this place in Asheville called The Salvage Station? I feel like I have and, I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but man do those guys know how to throw a party.
I mean unless hanging out down by the French Broad River with a beer in your hand and the best music touring the country isn’t really your thing. In that case perhaps I could interest you in a board game or something.
Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain has done far more for the craft than any predecessor of the instrument. Hussain crossed over into experimental Western music with groups like Shakti (alongside John McLaughlin and L. Shankar) and with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart in the classic World percussion releases Rolling Thunder, Diga and later Planet Drum. Still nothing has prepared followers of Hussain’s illustrious career for his marvelous group Cross Currents.
The musicians that make up Phish are relentless students and teachers of musical prowess, theory, and expression. It seems as though they never rest and constantly create. After a powerful three nights at Dick’s Sporting Good Park in Colorado a month and a half ago, bassist Mike Gordon was back with his solo band to close his tour in the mountains at the elegant Boulder Theater.