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Ryan Montbleau Band on All Things Considered

The Ryan Montbleau Band went to NPR's national headquarters in Washington, DC this week to record a live performance and interview for All Things Considered. The show will air on Thanksgiving Day. (Please check your local NPR affiliate's schedule for All Things Considered.)

Also, the band began a run of shows with JJ Grey & Mofro this week that will take us all over the northeast, including a Thanksgiving sandwich on Boston-and-Brooklyn bread. So far the shows have been a blast!

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Upcoming Tour Dates:

Wed. Nov. 24  BOSTON, MA Paradise Rock Club *

Fri.-Sat., Nov. 26-27  BROOKLYN, NY Brooklyn Bowl *

Fri., Dec. 3  SYRACUSE, NY Wescott Theater
Sat., Dec. 4  NORTHAMPTON, MA Pearl Street
Sun., Dec. 5  FAIRFIELD, CT Fairfield Theatre - Stage One
Fri., Dec. 10  SARASOTA SPRINGS, NY Putnam Den
Sat., Dec. 11   UTICA, NY The Electric Company
Sun., Dec. 19  WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT Tupelo Music Hall
Fri., Dec. 31  FOXBOROUGH, MA Showcase Live
Sat., Jan. 1  FRYEBURG, ME Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center
Sat., Jan. 8  NEW YORK, NY City Winery
* denotes dates with JJ Grey & MOFRO

Marco Benevento | U.S./Canada Fall Tour

Marco Benevento will tour the U.S. and Canada this Fall in support of his latest release, Between The Needles & Nightfall. The run begins with four nights in Canada and five nights in New England. The stretch includes a stop at the Massachusetts Museum Of Contemporary Art where Benevento will reprise his new score to the '60s cult film House Of Usher that he debuted in August at Celebrate Brooklyn. He'll also play two rare solo piano shows in Asbury Park and New York City. Benevento rejoins his band in November, heading to North Carolina and Virginia for three shows, including his first headline appearance in Asheville at The Grey Eagle. The tour wraps with five nights on the West Coast, returning to Doug Fir Lounge in Portland for the second time this year, as well as a Saturday night at The Independent in San Francisco.

The Brooklyn-based pianist and "sound sculptor" is coming off a busy summer that found him on the road with his own trio in addition to touring as a full-time member of Garage A Trois and Surprise Me Mr. Davis. Highlights included a solo piano set at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, a co-bill with The Books at Rhode Island School of Design and a hometown album release show at Bowery Ballroom in New York City. He is also featured on the new Manimal Vinyl release We Were So Turned On: A Tribute To David Bowie with his interpretation of "Art Decade."

Upcoming Marco Benevento tour dates are:

October 14 | Divan Orange | Montreal, Quebec, Canada
October 15 | Elmdale House | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
October 16 | Casbah | Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
October 17 | El Mocambo | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
October 20 | Stone Church | Newmarket, NH
October 21 | Middle East Upstairs | Cambridge, MA
October 22 | Mass Moca | North Adams, MA (House Of Usher)
October 23 | Black Eyed Sallies | Hartford, CT
October 24 | Fairfield Theatre | Fairfield, CT
October 26 | Chico's House Of Jazz | Asbury Park, NJ (Solo Piano)
November 1 | City Winery | New York, NY (Solo Piano)
November 4 | The Grey Eagle | Asheville, NC
November 5 | Double Door Inn | Charlotte, NC
November 6 | Capital Ale House | Richmond, VA
November 30 | Doug Fir Lounge | Portland, OR
December 1 | Axe & Fiddle | Cottage Grove, OR
December 2 | The Depot at HSU | Arcata, CA
December 3 | Don Quixote's | Felton, CA
December 4 | The Independent | San Francisco, CA
December 5 | The Mint | Los Angeles, CA

JJ Grey & Mofro in Denver w/ Special Guest Luther Dickinson

photos by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

Known for southern, funky soul music, JJ Grey & Mofro have set out on an ambitious national fall tour in support of their just released studio album, ORANGE BLOSSOMS.  Supporting a number of shows on the tour are southern rockers Hill Country Revue, who hail from the fertile soil of North Mississippi and include two of the three musicians in North Mississippi Allstars.  JJ Grey & Mofro are pleased to announce that good friend and guitar player Luther Dickinson (also NMA's third member) will join them at The Ogden Theatre on September 27.  As if a night of music by JJ Grey & Mofro and Hill Country Revue weren't enough, fans will also be treated to a special mini-set by the blues-rock trio North Mississippi Allstars.  For more information and to buy tickets to the show, please visit www.mofro.net.

ORANGE BLOSSOMS, the new studio album from Jacksonville, Florida-based guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist/songwriter JJ Grey and his band Mofro, is a masterpiece of down-home, soul-shaking music. From raw, swampy funk to deep soul, blues and rock, JJ Grey and Mofro deliver devastating live and recorded performances. JJ comes from a long tradition of Southern storytellers, and his songs often use the loss of his natural surroundings and the marginalization of Southern culture as a metaphor for universal truths. His multi-textured music overflows with dynamic rhythms and thought-provoking lyrics. Debuting in 2001 with BLACKWATER, following up in 2004 with LOCHLOOSA (both albums reissued by Alligator in 2007), Grey steadily built an intensely loyal following through constant touring. In 2007, with his first Alligator release, COUNTRY GHETTO, Grey reached an even larger audience, doubling both his album sales and his concert attendance. Now, with his new album, ORANGE BLOSSOMS, JJ Grey takes another giant step forward (August 26 on Alligator Records).

Saturday, September 27th @ 9:00pm
The Ogden Theatre
With Hill Country Revue supporting
935 East Colfax Avenue, Denver
Tickets $20.00 adv $25.00 dos / Ages 16+ Welcome
For more information, please contact 303-830-8421

JJ Grey & Mofro Announce Second Annual Blackwater Sol Revue

photos by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

Hailing from North Florida and known for their raw and swampy funk rock, JJ Grey & Mofro announce their second annual Blackwater Sol Revue at The Saint Augustine Amphitheatre on August 30th. JJ Grey, who comes from a long tradition of Southern storytellers, created the one-day festival to help promote roots and southern music and culture. In addition, this year's Blackwater Sol Revue is the Florida album release party for his brand new studio album, Orange Blossoms, his second release on Alligator Records, which hits stores nationwide on August 26.

This year's Blackwater Sol Revue, which in addition to JJ Grey & Mofro features reggae legends Toots & the Maytals, Hill Country Revue (featuring members of North Mississippi Allstars), The Lee Boys and Nervous Turkey, will also host Pre and Post-Festival shows at a local venue.

Festival information is as follows:
Blackwater Sol Revue
Saturday, August 30th from 2:00pm - 10:00pm (Doors @ 1:00pm)
The Saint Augustine Amphitheatre

1340 A1A South, St. Augustine
Tickets $35.00 Limited Early Bird, $40.00 Adv, $45.00 Dos, $100.00 VIP / All Ages Welcome
For more information please visit www.blackwatersolrevue.com or www.mofro.net

Pre-Show Party:
Hill Country Revue
Friday, August 29th @ 8:30pm (Doors @ 7:30pm)
Café 11

501 A1A Beach Boulevard, St. Augustine Beach
Tickets $10 adv $12 dos
For more information please contact 904-460-9311

After-Show Party:
The Lee Boys
Saturday, August 30th @ 10:30pm
Café 11

501 A1A Beach Boulevard, St. Augustine Beach
After-Show ticket included in VIP event ticket
For more information please contact 904-460-9311

Following the enormous success of 2007's Country Ghetto, JJ Grey & Mofro hit the studio this summer and have emerged with a new album proving to be an instant classic.  ORANGE BLOSSOMS (August 26, Alligator Records) is a collection of down-home, soul-shaking music produced by long-time cohort Dan Prothero.  The album features 12 songs (including 11 Grey originals) inspired by Grey's life experiences and visionary observations. With long-time friend and guitarist Daryl Hance, bassist/organist Adam Scone, drummer Anthony Cole, and the Hercules Horns of saxophonist Art Edmaiston and trumpeter Dennis Marion, Grey moves effortlessly from gospel-tent fervor to Southern-fried rockers to deeply emotional soul. ORANGE BLOSSOMS is a groove-driven masterpiece fueled by JJ's gritty, smoldering vocals and intense, funk-infused guitar and keyboard work.

JJ Grey: Still Culture Rich

photos by Kent Anderson & Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

There's nobody who can speak about the land as a Southerner can.

Art Space Talk: Alex Grey

artwork by Alex Grey- for the Grateful Web

Alex Grey is an artist specializing in spiritual and psychedelic art (or visionary art) that is sometimes associated with the New Age movement.

Net of Being – Alex Grey Exhibit in NYC

Alex Grey - for the Grateful Web

I went to NYC on November 10, 2007 to see Phil Lesh and Friends at the Nokia Theater in Times Square – in and of itself quite an event.  I had taken a train from Philadelphia late, on a whim and with just my black zip up hoodie on my back.   When I got to the show, some friends of mine handed me a flyer for the Net of Being opening party.

"Alex Grey's painting, 'Net of Being,' has been introduced to millions of people by the rock band TOOL.  After years of labor this epic work is now on view along with numerous new artworks depicting Grey's mystic visions and an architectural model of the future Chapel of Sacred Mirrors."  In addition to that wall sized painting; nineteen other new works were on display.

At the entrance to 542 W. 27th in Chelsea, NYC – we were greeted by a line of people waiting to get in the building.  The bouncers looked at us, guided us around the ropes and told us to proceed to the 4th floor.  Evidently there is an unrelated club on the second floor of the building, but being let into a club around a velvet rope based on looks was still an amusing experience.

Once upstairs and we forked over our $20 we entered CosMosis, the dance floor area of the space, where Schism, a Tool cover band was just starting. I have been a sometimes fan of TOOL, having seen them in 1993 with Lollapalooza, as well as having seen Adam Jones guest with Melvins – however had not been following their work recently.  Schism sounded great and the space was decorated with Alex Grey wall sized prints, a video display and a generous littering of bean bag chairs.  Alex Grey was painting live and grooving along to the band.

We headed next past the gift shop – which was closed – down a hall filled with people – to the entrance of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors gallery.  COSM had unfortunately closed when the party portion of the evening – however there was a DJ in the darkened room in front of the entrance – which was fairly packed with people dancing.

Past this was the MicroCosm gallery which contained the Net of Being piece as well as other new pieces.  Unfortunately the gallery did not have the glasses that come with the tool album to view the pictures.

When we returned to the other room, I noticed John Barlow attended by several people – watching Alex paint – with a big smile on his face.

The whole experience seemed very familiar as I am fortunate to be able to regularly visit Fenario Gallery in Eugene, OR which boasts similar artists and friends – Martina Hoffman had exhibited in Eugene was purportedly about and at a benefit dinner for CoSM the previous evening.

At the same time I wish I was better prepared to identify celebrities in the middle of the night as I would have done a better job hob-knobbing – and maybe retrieved some interviews in the process.

Go see Tool on tour now – and buy their new album before you go – experience visionary art and music at the cutting edge of psychedelia.