life

Iron & Wine @ the Boulder Theater | 06.04.11

97.3 KBCO & Z2 Entertainment are proud to present Iron & Wine at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, June 4th, 2011.

Over the course of his ten-year career, Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam has become one of today’s greatest story tellers, crafting meticulous tales full of forlorn love, religious imagery and wistful dreams.  It’s been more than three years since his last studio effort, The Shepherd’s Dog, which was widely praised by fans and critics alike. While Beam’s early albums were sparse, intimate solo affairs, Shepherd’s introduced layered textures and poly-rhythmic sounds that allowed his lyrics to spring to life. It’s only natural then, that Beam took this sonic collage and built upon it for his new album, Kiss Each Other Clean. The result is a brighter, more focused record that retains the idiosyncratic elements that make Iron & Wine such an engaging band.

Beam continued to mine folk, African, rock, country, and Jamaican musical traditions, but switched the focus of his studio lens to 60s and 70s pop influences for the Kiss Each Other Clean sessions. Mingling memories of his parents’ record collection and hits heard between the static of scanning the car radio on family drives for inspiration, Iron & Wine is once again pushed into new territory. Multi-part vocal arrangements reminiscent of Buckingham / Nicks era Fleetwood Mac albums and classic Motown singles permeate “Half Moon” and “Godless Brother.” Electronic synthesizer sounds percolate through “Monkeys Uptown” and “Glad Man Singing” recalling the adventures of Elton John and Stevie Wonder. The horn sections on “Big Burned Hand” and “Lazarus” match the confidence of Beam’s vocal delivery and bring an entirely new dimension to Iron & Wine. Kiss Each Other Clean’s dynamics and surprises are the latest chapter in Beam’s studio collaborations.

Producer Brian Deck returned for the Kiss Each Other Clean sessions, continuing the creative partnership that he and Beam have developed over the course of three albums. The comfort level and respect found between Deck and Beam allows for a unique working relationship where they push each other to experiment, while still letting the songs naturally evolve in the studio. The Shepherd’s touring rhythm section Matt Lux, Ben Massarella (Califone), and Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground Duo) arrived early for live recording of basic tracks at Chicago’s Engine Studios and overdubs continued for about a year. Joe Adamik (Califone), Jim Becker (Califone), Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), Stuart Bogie (Antibalas), Rob Burger and Sarah Simpson round out the other musicians brought into the sessions to complement and fully realize the songs on Kiss Each Other Clean.

Kiss Each Other Clean’s profound artistic statement continues to move the listener’s expectation forward with regard to what one can expect from Iron & Wine. Beam’s masterful storytelling and musical experimentation relies on the conflict from combining the happy and the sad, the heavy and the light, and creating an ongoing narrative between the artist and the listener. It’s the blending of all of these elements that allows Kiss Each Other Clean the versatility to paint a true portrait of life.

Kiss Each Other Clean was recently released on January 25th, 2011 on Warner Bros. Records.

For more information, visit www.ironandwine.com

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Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Friday March 4th!

$32.50 adv / $35.00 dos

Great American Taxi Shows canceled this weekend

Hey Folks-

We're sorry to inform the Colorado folks that our three shows in Fort Collins, Breckenridge and Durango are canceled.  Vince's father has been extremely ill and he needs to be there with him right now.  We are all supporting Vince through this difficult time.  We are planning to pick up the tour in Park City on Feb 16th.  We are bummed to be missing these home state shows and plan on rescheduling all of them in the next month or two, we hope you all understand and please keep Vince and his family in your thoughts and prayers.  There's tons of Taxi rides coming up so check the calendar and find out where we'll be.  We hope this finds you all happy and healthy, let all those people in your life know that you love them.  We'll see you soon, best wishes.

Great American Taxi

Former Thieves Announce Debut Album

Former Thieves have been a band characterized by their hard work and grueling tour regimens in their seemingly short life span. But, that's about to change with their debut full length on No Sleep Records.

Coming from the barren and simple fields of Iowa, Former Thieves have created a pummeling new record that personifies the feelings and emotions of coming from nothing and fighting the entire way to what they have created. "The Language That We Speak" takes the listener through a thorough commentary on the frustration of Midwestern life. Articulate, sharp, and sincerely pissed.

Recorded December 1st through 10th 2010 at The Red Room in Seattle, WA with Chris Common (Mastodon, The Sword) at the helm, No Sleep Records looks to release "The Language That We Speak" on Tuesday April 19th 2011. The record will be released on CD, vinyl, and digital formats and recalls the sounds made famous by the likes of Converge, Botch, Coalesce, and Modern Life Is War while maintaining its own unique formula.

Watch the first short video feat. studio footage of the band here!

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Former Thieves Live!

03/16/11 - Kansas City, MO @ Salt Walter Taffy House
03/18/11 - Austin, TX @ The Mellow Mushroom
03/19/11 - Austin, TX (SXSW)
03/20/11 - Austin, TX (SXSW)
03/23/11 - Hattiesburg, MS @ 1126 House
03/26/11 - Columbia, SC @ House of Hardcore
03/28/11 - Greensboro, NC @ Legitimate Business
03/29/11 - Richmond, VA @ The Barn
03/30/11 - State College, PA @ La Casa Blanca
04/01/11 - Louisville, KY @ Ear X-Tacy
04/02/11 - St. Louis, MO @ Lemp Arts

Wanda Jackson at the Boulder Theater | 4/1/11

When Wanda Jackson, the justly crowned Queen of Rockabilly, recorded “Let’s Have A Party,” a tune she made into a hit of her own in 1958 even after one-time boyfriend Elvis Presley had released a version of it, her delivery of the chorus wasn’t so much a suggestion as a command. As the title – and, more importantly, the contents -- of her latest album, The Party Ain’t Over, indicates, this feisty septuagenarian artist is as galvanizing as ever. Jackson was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, honored with a long-time-coming, Early Influence accolade for her pivotal role in the evolution of popular music, especially where female artists were concerned. As a teenager in the mid-50s, the diminutive Jackson was the first woman to perform unadulterated rock and roll – and she one-upped the boys defining this new genre, Presley included, with her exhilaratingly forthright approach. The young Jackson, an Oklahoma native, came across as both gritty and glamorous; a playfully suggestive growl to her voice matched the daring, handmade outfits she wore, short skirts and fringed dresses that have inspired would-be bad girls for decades to come. A tireless touring artist for more than 50 years, Jackson continues to win over new, young fans, including guitarist-vocalist-White Stripes founder Jack White.

On this debut for Third Man/Nonesuch Records, produced and arranged by White at his Nashville studio, the spirited Jackson proves that brash rock and roll attitude need not have an age limit. Her trademark growl remains intact on rockers like “Rip It Up” and “Nervous Breakdown;” she opens the set with an echo-laden sneer on a rollicking version of “Shakin’ All Over” and ends it ten songs later with a plaintive take on Jimmie Rodgers’ “Yodel #6,” along the way gamely tackling country, gospel, densely worded Bob Dylan, and a little bit of Tin Pan Alley. Jackson and White are a remarkably simpatico pairing; their collaboration came together quickly, serendipitously. One of Jackson’s colleagues had originally approached White about doing a duet with Jackson for a proposed “Wanda and Friends” disc, but White demurred. Instead, he offered something better, inviting Jackson to cut a single with him for his Third Man label, and that swiftly led this kindred spirits to put together an entire album.

Jackson admits, “I was scared at first because I didn’t know what this young rock star was going to expect of me or ask me to do. I kind of had shaky feet, deciding whether I wanted to do this or not. Of course I knew about him, I have to admit, from the album he did with Loretta Lynn and how successful that was. That certainly got my attention when he said he was interested in doing one with me. So we began sending material to each other; he sent me the things he thought I should do or he wanted me to do, and I sent him some ideas of things I had put aside for recording at a future date. When I finally got to Nashville, he put me at ease immediately. He’s just so laid back and such a cool guy that I found myself wanting to please him, I wanted to do it his way. My husband (Jackson’s manager of 40 years) and I told him, you do this. If you want a suggestion from me, feel free to ask. Otherwise, you make the decisions. That gave him a lot of freedom and I wanted him to have that freedom. And I think that’s what made it so good as an album. As I began singing these songs and listening to the playbacks he made, I realized he wasn’t wanting to change my style of singing at all. He just wanted me to have new, fresher material. And I said, hey I could do this. I can sing like Wanda Jackson. He just wanted more of Wanda than I was used to putting out. And apparently it worked.”

White and Jackson came up with inspired and wide-ranging song choices that reflect Jackson’s long history with country, gospel, and even the big-band music she remembers from her childhood as well as with rock and roll: Harlan Howard’s woozy lament “Busted”; the Andrew Sisters’ kitschy tropical travelogue, “Rum and Coca Cola”, a fitting companion to her own “Fujiyama Mama”; Dylan’s rockabilly fever dream, “Thunder On The Mountain”. They also recorded a cover of contemporary bad-girl Amy Winehouse’s “You Know That I’m No Good,” which White first released as a single in 2009, paired with “Shakin All Over.” The Winehouse song suits her, Jackson says, but she’s careful to draw the line between life and art: “On the one hand, I’m good, on the other hand, I’m bad. That seems to be the image this new generation of fans that I have has given me. It’s like the title of the documentary about my life that recently came out: The Sweet Lady With the Nasty Voice. Maybe that says that I become a different person, a different persona, when I sing those songs. I have a good reputation, always have had, and respect from everyone as a lady, and that pleases me very much. But the young girls think I’m this hard gal that gets her way and storms in. It’s just because of the material I’ve sung and the way I’ve sung it. And that’s okay. That’s cute.

White himself backs Jackson on lead guitar, cutting loose with solos that are as ferocious and fun as Jackson’s vocals; in fact, the entire band that White assembled – including pedal steel, a horn section and backing vocals from singers Ashley Monroe and Karen Elson –is similarly uninhibited, matching Jackson’s and White’s intensity and, just as often, their humor. Though the work is carefully arranged, the resulting tracks feel like one unforgettable after-hours session, with everyone in thrall to the woman at the heart of these tunes. The first song White suggested they cut was “Rip It Up,” one Jackson knows very well from her rockabilly days. As she explains, “It shocked me that he wanted me to do that but that was the first one I recorded. He loves that song and I do too. But I think he did that to put me at ease, let me do something that I’m real familiar with and real comfortable with, and he didn’t have to direct me or any of that. I just reared back and sang it. That got me loosened up and made me comfortable.” Not that White simply wanted to make things easy. On the sultry “You Know I’m No Good,” says Jackson, “We’d get through one take and he’d say, ‘Oh Wanda that was great.’ And I said, ‘Whew, I made it.’ Then he said, ‘Now let’s do one more and let’s push a little more.’ I was getting physically kind of tired and probably kind of got angry but he got the take he wanted. It’s funny how you can come up with what your producers want in the strangest ways.” A little bit of their repartee can be detected at the top of the track, just as the analog tape gets rolling.

The Party Ain’t Over is about stepping out, not summing up, but it does touch on important aspects of Jackson’s life and ever-evolving career. “Teach Me Tonight,” a country-inflected interpretation of the DeCastro Sisters’ hit, partly fulfills Jackson’s desire to cut a 40s-style big-band disc. “Like A Baby,” recorded live in the studio with the whole band, allowed Jackson to revive an obscure, bluesy number from her old buddy Elvis. The Jimmie Rodgers tune is the first song she ever learned as a child; her father taught her the chords on the guitar, she figured out how to sing along while she played, and, like any aspiring vocal star of the era, she taught herself how to yodel, a skill she has clearly maintained over the ensuing decades.

Jackson remains too busy to look back – her legend looms especially large now in Europe and Japan, where she is always in demand as a concert performer – but she does allow herself a moment to reflect: “I can’t think of anyone who could be any luckier or any happier than me. I think it’s a blessing from the Lord. I had wonderful parents who gave up so much so that I could have my dreams come true. I was an only child so I had all the love and attention that anyone could ask for. My mother made my stage clothes and a lot of my street clothes too. Dad traveled with me and drove me to all those early dates so I didn’t have to be alone. You couldn’t ask for more, to make your living doing what you love to do, to sing and travel and entertain people all your life. I can’t think of any life that could be better than that.”

And, as she notes, the party ain’t over.

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Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Friday February 11th!

$20 adv / $22.50 dos

North Mississippi Allstars @ the Boulder Theater | 02.25

In the beginning, a father passed away and a child was born. Luther and Cody Dickinson lost their father, Memphis music legend Jim Dickinson, only months before Luther became one. Jim had always told them, “You need to be playing music together. You are better together than you will ever be apart.” Coincidentally, the Dickinson brothers were not together when Jim passed. At that moment, they were both off on their own, Luther with The Black Crowes and Cody with the Hill Country Revue.

Tyler Ramsey: A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea

Tyler Ramsey's sophomore album A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea was re-released today, January 4th, 2011, via Brown Records/Fat Possum.

A well-established and praised figure in the burgeoning Asheville music scene, Ramsey - who joined Band Of Horses as guitarist in fall 2007 - wrote A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea while living in a log cabin in Swannanoa, NC, in late 2006-7. Recorded at Asheville's Echo Mountain Studios with the help of Bill Reynolds (also of Band Of Horses; who's worked with The Avett Brothers and Lissie) and Danny Kadar (My Morning Jacket, Band Of Horses, Grizzly Bear), the album is a collection of haunting and atmospheric songs that exude a markedly fluid, easy grace.

Ramsey's warm vocals and intricate finger-picked guitar playing lead the way throughout A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea, the expressive guitar lines often telling as much of a story as the lyrics. "A Long Dream" opens with a rolling and ruminative cadence, while the ethereal "Night Time" and the gorgeously languid "Once In Your Life" rise to gentle and varied crescendos. Other standout tracks include the bluesy waltz of "No One Goes Out," the elaborately layered instrumental "Birdwings," and the mesmerizing, strings-laced "When I Wake," each song reinforcing the album's fine, hypnotic brilliance. Championed by NPR (World Café - "Heartwarming, delicate, and comforting, Tyler Ramsey's music showcases a thoughtful approach to his craft."), Stereogum ('Artist To Watch'), WNYC's Soundcheck, and Popmatters, among others, A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea was originally released by Echo Mountain Records in 2008.

Ramsey is currently working on a follow-up album to be released later this year. He will also head overseas for a Band Of Horses tour at the end of the month that will run through February.

Track listing for A Long Dream About Swimming Across The Sea:


  1. A Long Dream
  2. Ships
  3. Night Time
  4. Once In Your Life
  5. Chinese New Year
  6. No One Goes Out
  7. Birdwings
  8. These Days
  9. When I Wake
  10. Iris
  11. Worried
  12. Please Stop Time
  13. Waves

Callers Announce US Tour / Premiere "Life Of Love"

Ryan and Sara met Don at a show at Melvin's, a bar on St. Claude in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. Ryan and Sara had just begun writing and recording songs together on an old 4-track with a mic hanging from the blade of a ceiling fan in the middle of that stifling sweaty summer, but they would soon part ways and leave New Orleans. Over the next couple of years they relocated to Providence together and later settled in Brooklyn where Don had also settled after Katrina.
Life of Love is the first collection of songs Callers wrote and recorded exclusively in New York as a three- piece. Naturally the band's sound grew in volume in response to the volume of the city; however, they held on to what makes them so consistently affecting: their raw spartan style, anchored by Sara's sensually tough vocals, and Ryan and Don's Southern-honed chops as multi-instrumentalists.
The album started with the band's cover of Wire's "Heartbeat", and the idea of creating something simple and cathartic. Using borrowed amps and mics, in bedrooms and in studios, and by the grace of their good friends, Callers recorded Life of Love in intense spurts over the course of a year. Unlike the experimental ballads on their debut Fortune, the new songs pulse with gritty urgency, colored by the sounds of damaged gear and the earnest spirit of a middle-school gospel choir. The result is an album stripped to the core, an expression of the inexpressible space between us and the places we inhabit and the people we share those places with.
Tour Dates
1/8 - Silent barn - Brooklyn, NY
1/27 - World Cafe Live - Philadelphia, PA
1/28 - Jammin Java - Vienna, VA
1/29 - Union Pool - Brooklyn, NY
3/13 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
3/21 - Solar Culture - Tucson, AZ
3/22 - Caasbah - San Diego, CA
3/24 - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA
3/25 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA
3/27 - Media Club - Vancouver, BC
3/29 - Mississippi Studios - Portland, OR
3/31 - Flying M Coffee - Nampa,  ID
4/1 - Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, UT
4/2 - Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO
4/3 - Slowdown Jr - Omaha, NE
4/4 - The Mill - Iowa City, IA
4/5 - Turf Club - St Paul, MN
4/6 - Lawrence University - Appleton, WI

Andy Friedman prepares 'Laserbeams And Dreams' CD

On April 5, 2011, artist and songwriter Andy Friedman will release his third studio album, Laserbeams and Dreams (City Salvage Records).  Produced by noted guitarist and producer David Goodrich (Chris Smither, Peter Mulvey), the album was recorded in Friedman’s Brooklyn neighborhood and cut in 24 hours with one overdub and mixed in the studio.  Complementing Friedman’s “art-damaged, ragged-but-right” (L.A. Weekly) approach and Goodrich’s restrained, atmospheric lead guitar and piano is rising-star upright bassist and composer Stephan Crump (Grammy®-nominated Vijay Iyer Trio, Jim Campilongo), whose latest album of “ingenious originals” (The New Yorker), Reclamation (recorded with his Rosetta Trio), NPR spotlighted among its top five jazz albums of 2010. The interplay of Friedman’s “engagingly singular” (Philadelphia Inquirer) songwriting and “slow, lugubrious, dipped in country heartache” (Hartford Advocate) strum with Crump’s “full, appealingly wooden sound” (The New York Times) calls to mind classic collaborations by Van Morrison with bassist Richard Davis on 1968’s Astral Weeks, or John Hartford and Dave Holland on 1972’s Morning Bugle Call — albums also recorded live in the studio without much pre-conceived musical planning.  “We captured the mood created,” says Friedman.  “It wasn’t our place to second-guess the results.”

Andy Friedman first hit the road as a self-described “Slideshow Poet” in 2002, leaving his day job as an office assistant in the Editorial Department at The New Yorker to accompany projections of his paintings, drawings, and Polaroids with readings of his poetry in dive bars and rock clubs around the nation.  The hybrid performance was applauded by journalists as “the coolest show to come around in a long time” (Good Times [Santa Cruz]), and introduced Friedman as “The King of Art Country” (City Pages [Minneapolis]).  The transition from traveling poet to rambling musician occurred when the “erudite redneck” (Boston Globe) picked up the guitar and sang for the first time in his life in 2005, shortly before recording his debut album, Taken Man (City Salvage Records), the title track of which landed at #30 on a New York Post “Best Songs” list that included over 200 hits by artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Andrew Bird, Amy Winehouse, and The National.

Friedman’s reputation as a “dusty, paint-splattered Americana sage” (Rochester News & Democrat) germinated with the release of the CD Weary Things (City Salvage Records) in 2009, garnering enthusiastic praise, a performance on NPR’s coveted Mountain Stage, a feature interview on XM’s Bob Edwards Show, and a growing audience.  The online cultural journal Slant hailed Friedman as “an arrival of one of the genre’s smartest and deepest talents.” His “hard-tack country originals” were described in The New Yorker as “the mark of a true artist,” while NoDepression.com called his songs “unforgettable.” Old Crow Medicine Show's Ketch Secor proffered the song “Weary Things” as a “certified, genuine American tune,” and Indie-icon Sufjan Stevens proclaimed, “I think the world of Andy Friedman. I’ve always wanted to be Andy Friedman.” Largely overlooked, Weary Things was highlighted alongside titles by Tom Waits and Chuck Prophet by the Associated Press among “The Best Overlooked Albums of 2009.” “Friedman can write a lyric, and he can deliver it,” declared Stephen Wine. “He is not to be overlooked, that’s for sure.”

Laserbeams and Dreams tackles themes of religion, aging, disillusionment, and family, but images of death prevail in all forms. The gospel dirge “Time for Church” is the album’s opener, and finds Friedman renouncing religion in favor of drink, music, and art.  “It’s time for church/It’s five o’clock,” he sings. “Pour a drink/let the record play.” Friedman’s vocals boom with an echo recalling the classic Nashville Sound recorded by Chet Atkins at RCA in the late ’50s and ’60s. The lilting “Motel on the Lake” presents death as the crumbling façade of a once vibrant Catskill Mountain summer resort community more famously referred to as the Borscht Belt, which the singer now reports “whips the children.” Goodrich brings haunting upright piano to “May I Rest When Death Approaches,” a song based on a series of poems written by Friedman’s father-in-law days before his passing.  “Roll On, John Herald” is at once a tribute to the late John Herald — a founding member of the seminal late-’50s bluegrass trio the Greenbriar Boys, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the summer of 2005 — and a humbling, dark portrayal of life as an obscure legend on the road. “When Vin played him on Idiot’s Delight/I knew John Herald had died,” growls Friedman, who befriended the singer when Herald invited the then “slideshow poet” to open a string of dates in 2003.  In “Quiet Blues,” recorded minutes after the ferocious “Roll On, John Herald,” Friedman laments with newfound vocal sensitivity the death of peace and quiet in the digital age.  “Hey, Command Z/bring the quiet blues back to me,” he warbles. “Recording those two songs without a break was like a biathlon,” says Friedman. Singer-songwriter Jen Chapin, who is married to Crump, lent the guitar played by her father — the late Harry Chapin — to Friedman for the recording of Laserbeams and Dreams.

It’s not all death and despair for Friedman, who approaches these themes with the acerbic wit and dark humor of a New Yorker gag cartoon — a pastime with which the singer has found past success under the pseudonym Larry Hat. With “Going Home (Drifter’s Blessing),” Friedman delivers an anthem for the little-known folksinger trying to make it out on the road, whose faith in himself is tested by long drives, missed family, and dismal turnouts, but can only wish the life on his children and theirs.  In “Down by the Willow,” the album’s closer, Friedman is seduced by the serenity of life in the country but is “shackled and chained” to the gritty confines of the city, revisiting the famous car wash scene from the 1967 Paul Newman classic Cool Hand Luke.

Friedman will perform the record in its entirety, accompanied by David Goodrich and Stephan Crump, on select dates during the Laserbeams and Dreams tour.

John McLaughlin @ The Boulder Theater

Available through Abstract Logix in USA on April 20, 2010, To The One is the result of a burst of inspiration that struck the legendary English guitarist and composer in summer of 2009. "This music started to come to me," McLaughlin explains, "without any call from my part. The sound and feel of this new music took me back to 1965, to when I first heard A Love Supreme. I was 23 years old at that time, and struggling with questions of existence that we all confront sooner or later. Some of us discard them or don't bother to delve deeper, but that's not my nature. I was asking big questions: What is the meaning of life? What is this word "god"? What is this spirit? It was then that Coltrane came along and single-handedly brought this dimension of spirituality into jazz"it was a pivotal experience to me. It was so encouraging to me in both my musical and spiritual quests. To The One, as an album, is about those two aspects of my life - music and spirituality - crystallized by this recording of Coltrane's, and how A Love Supreme coincided with my search for meaning in life.

Check out John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension at the Boulder Theater on December 4th, 2010.

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More Info | Buy Tickets.

John McLaughlin at the Boulder Theater - 12.04

Fiery yet disarmingly open-hearted, the new album from John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension, To The One, bravely takes on the artistic and spiritual challenges first offered by Coltrane’s jazz masterpiece A Love Supreme, while making extensive use of the pioneering musical and technical vocabulary that McLaughlin has honed since the beginning of his storied career.

Available via Abstract Logix on April 20, 2010, To The One is the result of a burst of inspiration that struck the legendary English guitarist and composer in summer of 2009. “This music started to come to me,” McLaughlin explains, “without any call from my part. The sound and feel of this new music took me back to 1965, to when I first heard A Love Supreme. I was 23 years old at that time, and struggling with questions of existence that we all confront sooner or later. Some of us discard them or don’t bother to delve deeper, but that’s not my nature. I was asking big questions: What is the meaning of life? What is this word ‘god’? What is this spirit? It was then that Coltrane came along and single-handedly brought this dimension of spirituality into jazz…it was a pivotal experience to me. It was so encouraging to me in both my musical and spiritual quests. To The One, as an album, is about those two aspects of my life – music and spirituality – crystallized by this recording of Coltrane’s, and how A Love Supreme coincided with my search for meaning in life.”

It is a search that he never surrendered, as McLaughlin’s musical journey took him from session work and jazz sessions in the UK to recording and performing in America with the likes of Tony Williams and Miles Davis, through to the founding of the incredibly influential exploratory fusion outfit the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti, his ensemble dedicated to exploring Indian music and spirituality. Over the past three decades, McLaughlin has continually sought out bold new contexts for his expressive and inventive playing.

The six original compositions on To The One were mostly written in July and August of 2009, and set down in the studio in November and December, with very few overdubs, by McLaughlin’s current performing outfit, the Fourth Dimension: Gary Husband (keyboards, drums), Etienne M’Bappe (electric bass), and Mark Mondesir (drums). Compositional devices clearly inspired by Coltrane are fused with elements of McLaughlin’s own multi-faceted approach, all delivered with a group empathy and shared vision that harkens back to Coltrane’s fearless mid-‘60s quartet of Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, and Jimmy Garrison. The effect of Jones’ kaleidoscopic approach to rhythm and drumming is especially felt, brilliantly recast and explored via McLaughlin’s gift for complex metrical structures.

From the surging opener “Discovery” to the gently propulsive title track which closes the compact, forty-minute program, McLaughlin’s own playing is at its very peak: emotional and probing, exploding into flourishes of rapid-fire sixteenth notes one moment, candid and unguardedly vulnerable the next. “For the band to play my tunes is a challenge,” McLaughlin explains, “and in return, I want them to challenge me. This is part of what jazz is – it’s very interactive. You play with the musicians. You’re not just playing the notes.

For updates and additions continue to check www.johnmclaughlin.com

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension

Boulder Theater

Saturday, Dec 4th

Doors: 7:00 pm

Show Time: 8:00 pm

All Ages