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Rex Grants, Musical Caravan Events and The World As It Could Be

August began with our 2nd 3-day Institute on The World As It Could Be curriculum, presented in collaboration with the University of San Francisco. A filled class of 25 avidly took in the presented material to lea rn about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and experience applying music, visual arts,  spoken word, performance arts and movement to express their personal connection to human rights issues.  The photo here shows the class members rehearsing for their culminating presentation.  The video of the culminating presentation helps demonstrate the intensely moving experience of working with the curriculum.  We are excited to know that the work done August 2-3 is now being applied in classrooms and communities in the Bay Area, as well as Milwaukee, WI!

On August 10th, we were privileged to experience a very special night of story telling by Bob Weir, Carolyn Garcia, John Perry Barlow, and Mickey Hart about Rex and other reflections, led by Bill Walton, and held at Bob's new TRI Studios. We'll soon have the video of the evening available.

As to Rex Musical Caravan events, the SF Giants made August 9th another great tribute to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, and once again generously included the Rex Foundation as a recipient of charitable proceeds.   Adding to this already positive energy is the enthusiastic support reflected in the following upcoming Caravan events:

  • Be part of the special project by Fan Mosaics, LLC, where 2,500 Jerry Garcia fans have the opportunity to include their photos in an officially licensed mosaic print of the Grateful Dead legend based on the noted photo taken by world-famous photographer Herb Greene. Here are the participation details.
  • Blair Babcock and the Blurry Pickers are donating half the proceeds of the download sales of their song "Fairlee Well" to Rex. Click here to read Blair Babcock's story about the song and hear "Fairlee Well."
  • On Saturday, September 10th, the Kind Buds once again perform in support of Rex at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northhampton, MA, as described in more detail here.
  • The Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson of Dark Star Orchestra, along with Particle, headline the Third Annual Pink Moon Music and Arts Festival September 15-18, 2011 in Rock Camp WV.  We were very pleased to learn that the impetus to support local area schools came from the Rex Jam at the All Good Festival. Check out the details of the festival and how Rex is generously supported.
  • Ann Arbor's own Macpodz are heading East and hopping on board the Rex Musical Caravan with a concert at the Brooklyn Bowl September 27. Here are the details.

Thanks to contributors like you who donate $5 or more, initiate Caravan events, support our program work, and take part in Rex benefits, we are able to carry out The World As It Could Be initiative, keep making our grants and generate positive community connections along the way.  Check out the list of outstanding 2011 beneficiaries so far, and see, as you explore our website, everything else that your support makes possible

Umphrey's McGee 2011 New Years Eve in St. Louis!

Umphrey's McGee is thrilled to announce their much-anticipated return to the Pageant in St. Louis. In true Umphrey's tradition,  they will serve up seven rocking sets throughout the weekend. If you've done a New Year's Run with UM in the past, you know not to miss this annual celebration.

To make your evening as easy and awesome as possible, we're also offering Gulfstream VIP packages with the following ammenities:

  • Acommodations at the Moonrise Hotel, adjacent to The Pageant
  • Early entry and tickets to all three shows
  • Private cocktail service, pre-show happy hour
  • Post-show meet and greet with the band
  • Signed event poster, exclusive merch items
  • Private roped-off viewing area, VIP laminate

Pre-sale of VIP packages with hotel and non-hotel options, as well as three-show GA tickets go on sale Wednesday, August 24th at Noon CDT via Umphrey's Ticketing. General on-sale of three show ticket packages as well as single day tickets go on sale Friday September 9th at 5:00 pm CDT. Full NYE details can be found HERE.

UM NYE – it's on.

BoomBox NEW Album "downriverelectric" out NOW

Once again, the otherwise understated area of Muscle Shoals, Alabama finds itself in the limelight. Recognized for inspiring legendary recordings from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, The Rolling Stones and The Allman Brothers, Muscle Shoals has played host to some of the most creative music in popular culture. The town is so legendary that even current platinum selling artists such as The Black Keys have recently have made it a point to record recent releases there.  This leaves no doubt that a musical revival is imminent and the locally bred electronic duo BoomBox is leading the charge.

“I do believe that music is genetic—it’s a family thing. Whatever was magical about Muscle Shoals is still there.” Dan Auerbach, The Black Keys

BoomBox was born in Muscle Shoals, AL. Not just figuratively, but literally. The duo grew up just a few short blocks from the famous “Muscle Shoals Sound Studio” where legend claims the most famous recordings in history have been inspired. As luck would have it, the two met in 2004 during a recording session, and haven’t looked back since. In recent years, BoomBox, in addition to the likes of the Drive By Truckers, have become one of a few acts that are being recognized for their unique take on “the Shoal’s” musical history.

Featuring Producer/Engineer/Drummer Russ Randolph and Producer/Vocalist/Instrumentalist Zion Rock Godchaux, BoomBox draws their inspiration from the roots of the region including elements of Motown, Folk and Vintage Rock while infusing modern elements of IDM, Disco and Funky House. Add layers of raw guitar riffs, catchy songwriting and signature psychedelia poetry lyrics and the result is like nothing else on the scene today.

As thousands of units of their debut release Visions of Backbeat continue to move and tracks like Stereo hit dancefloors worldwide, BoomBox releases their sophomore album, downriverelectric on Wednesday, June 30, 2010.

While many electronic acts typically record within digital production formats, it happens the very same organic setting that was the impetus in the create the movement of BoomBox ultimately became the final inspirations for the completion of downriverelectric. Through tapping some of the same vintage gear of their Muscle Shoal predecessors, the duo pays respect to the musical memoirs of Muscle Shoals’ as well as the rhythms of the Tennessee River with a different, yet familiar, flavor.

From new cuts such as Dungeons and Watergun to live favorites Headchange and Mr. Boogieman, downriverelectric deliberately weaves a variety of dance frenzy beats filled with catchy songwriting and soul shuttering lowend.  While the album took a bit longer than expected, the final product foretells yet another groundbreaking release from the area worth recognition.  What’s yet to come from the Muscle Shoals music scene is hard to tell, but one thing is for certain, with acts like BoomBox infusing the rich lore of the area into their current sound, history is guaranteed to repeat itself.

To celebrate the release of downriverelectric the group currently has 2 tracks for free download at www.music.thisisboombox.com and on Wednesday, June 30 will make the first 1000 downloads of entire album available free!  Listen to Boombox's 'Watergun' {play}images/mp3/watergun.mp3{/play}


downriverlectric track list:
1. dungeons
2. headchange
3. showboat
4. cool aide smile
5. watergun
6. round & round
7. shakedown street
8. mr boogie man
9. watergun (reprise)

MUSHROOM | Naked, Stoned & Stabbed

MUSHROOM, a musicians' collective based in the San Francisco Bay area, return with their first album in three years, NAKED, STONED, & STABBED, to be released April 27 through 4 Zero Records/Royal Potato Family. A new phase for Mushroom, the project was conceived as a cross-continental Cinema Verite travelogue of time and space. Acoustic, ambient and blending eastern and western hemispheres, its music floats on an ethereal blanket of sitar, violin, pump organ, celesta, vibraharp, dulcimer and flutophone, while African, Latin and Indian percussion replace a conventional drum set. Enigmatic song titles include "Celebration At Big Sur (The Sound Of The Gulls Outside Of Room 124)," "Though You're Where You Want To Be, You're Not Where You Belong," "Tariq Ali" and the only outside composition, a remake of the Syd Barrett/Kevin Ayers' collaboration, "Singing A Song In The Morning."

Recorded over a weekend at The Wally Sound in Oakland, CA, the sessions were both planned and spontaneous with producer and percussionist Pat Thomas often adding and subtracting instrumentalists on the fly. Configurations range from a duo to a trio to an octet, and thus give each song a varied approach. At the time of the recording, the band had just come off a multi-night run of performances interpreting Pete Townshend's 1971 rock opera Lifehouse. The vulnerable and dynamic music of that experience provided a catalyst that resulted in the album's final 13 tracks. Mushroom also cite influences like Sandy Bull, Alice Coltrane, Davy Graham, Brian Eno and Fela Kuti as having played a roll in the sounds found on Naked, Stoned, & Stabbed.

Mushroom first formed in the mid-'90s and have since amassed a 12-album discography. A loose and rotating cast of Bay area musicians, its members include guitarist/knob twiddler Josh Pollock (a member of Citay, and collaborator with Gong, Acid Mothers Temple, Ruins, John Cale, and Damo Suzuki), vintage keyboard guru Matt Cunitz (Brightblack Morning Light, Hiss Golden Messenger), multi-instrumentalist Erik Pearson (Daevid Allen, Irene Sazer, Crooked Jades, Billy Talbot/Crazy Horse), bassist Ned Doherty, drummer/bandleader Pat Thomas(renowned reissue producer of recordings by Judee Sill, Ruthann Friedman, Pearls Before Swine, Terry Reid, Cluster & Eno), and Mushroom's newest member, percussionist David Brandt (his adventures include a European tour with the Kologbo Afrobeat Academy [Oghene Kologbo was the guitarist in Fela Kuti's Africa 70 band], and performances with Conduction maestro Butch Morris' New York Skyscraper).

Steve Kimock & Friends Plan String of Bay Area Dates

photo by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

Legendary guitarist Steve Kimock returns to his northern California roots for a run of mid-March dates with a line-up featuring several longtime friends and as well as a few fresh faces. Boasting an All-Star cast, with Melvin Seals (JGB) on the B-3 and keyboards, Steve's prodigal son John Morgan Kimock on drums, veteran bassist Hutch Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt), and Billy Goodman (Goodman Brothers) handling vocal duties, the latest incarnation of SK&F marks a first of firsts. Not only will this be the first time Hutchinson has participated in SK&F, but this is also the first time a Goodman has joined Kimock onstage under SK&F moniker.

It was 1974 when The Goodman Brothers plucked Steve Kimock out of his native Pennsylvania to handle axe-work for their folk rock outfit. Impressed by his uncanny guitar prowess, Frank and Billy tabbed Kimock to round out their Goodman sound and headed to California. Kimock enjoyed stints in the salsa band the Underdogs as well as the Heart of Gold Band, before forming the psychedelic rock ensemble, Zero, in 1984, and was later touted as Jerry Garcia's "favorite unknown guitar player," Now, Billy Goodman and Steve Kimock's journey comes full circle as the two are united onstage once again in this ever-evolving project.

With over three decades of touring under his belt, Steve Kimock amassed a strong national audience through his blistering guitar runs and inspired lyrical improvisations. Following five focused years of composing, recording and touring with the Steve Kimock Band, Kimock spent the last two years working on new projects. Collaborating with such artists such as Mickey Hart and Bill Kreuztmann of the Grateful Dead (for the Rhythm Devils) and Keller Williams for his recent title Dream, Kimock has remained a rather busy musician. After a successful reformation of the band Zero which included Melvin Seals, Kimock toured with Bob Weir's Ratdog through 2007 and also had the chance to join the Allman Brothers on stage for a few memorable performances during their summer tour.

In 2002, Steve Kimock returned to his home state of Pennsylvania with his family, where he is now preparing new songs and arrangements with this year's incarnation of SK&F. With Spring rapidly approaching, fans old and new can anticipate the group dusting off traditional Kimock standards and covers, as well as a full recipe of brand new collaborations and arrangements.

Mar 11- Red Fox Tavern: Eureka, CA
Mar 13- Great American Music Hall: San Francisco, CA
Mar 14- Great American Music Hall: San Francisco, CA
Mar 15- Forestville Club: Forestville, CA
Mar 16- Forestville Club: Forestville, CA