blues

Collectors' Choice introduces CCM Live label: J. WInter, Hot Tuna, Poco. J. Denver

Collectors’ Choice Music, the label that’s come to be known for compelling and often unexpected CD reissues, has announced the launch of Collectors’ Choice Music Live, a new label devoted to releasing great live performances, most of which have never previously been commercially available.

The series will launch April 20 with the release of four CDs: Johnny Winter And’s Live at the Fillmore East 10/3/70; Poco’s Live at Columbia Studios, Hollywood 9/30/71; Hot Tuna’s Live at the New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA September 1969; and John Denver’s Live at Cedar Rapids, 12/10/87.

According to Collectors’ Choice Music GM Gordon Anderson, “After some 15 years of reissuing albums and compiling artists, we’re convinced that some of the biggest remaining veins of gold in the vaults are the live shows that a lot of labels recorded of their artists in their prime, particularly those who made their reputation with improvisational prowess and/or ever-changing set lists. These first four releases on our new Collectors’ Choice Music Live label certainly fit that description.”

Johnny Winter And — Live at the Fillmore East 10/3/70: To commemorate the release of his Johnny Winter And album, Texas blues guitarist/singer Johnny Winter played some shows at New York’s Fillmore East, some of which were compiled on 1971’s Live Johnny Winter And, a classic live album of the era to which this release makes a nice bookend. He had just formed a new band consisting of former member of the McCoys (“Hang on Sloopy”) including Rick Derringer on guitar, bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, and drummer Randy Zehringer. Although the McCoys were none too familiar with Winter’s work, they proved quick studies and entered the studio to make the album Johnny Winter And within three weeks. The New York Times reviewed the Fillmore show, citing “a considerable improvement over Winter’s previous band. Winter and [Derringer] played solos back at each other, simultaneously and in alternation.” The live album contains the Winter hit “Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo” and his take on Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61” alongside  blues classics “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” “It’s My Own Fault” and “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.”

•Poco —Live at Columbia Studios, Hollywood, 9/30/71: In the fall of ’71, Poco was arguably the most popular of the first generation country-rock bands. By then, their album Deliverin’ had cracked the Top 30 and Poco thanked its label, Epic Records, with a private showcase at the CBS Records’ Hollywood studio.  “We just set up as we would have for a small club,” recalls frontman Richie Furay, whose bandmates included guitarist/singer Paul Cotton (from the Illinois Speed Press), bassist Tim Schmidt (later of the Eagles), pedal steel player Rusty Young and drummer/vocalist George Grantham. By this time, Poco was evolving from country-rock towards an edgier rock sound. Says Furay, “Though we were innovators of the L.A. ‘country-rock’ sound, we weren’t going top be pigeonholed into being a one-sound band.” The 14 songs they performed for label employees that day were a solid cross-section of tunes that had appeared on its first four albums including the medley “Hard Luck Child/Child’s Claim to Fame/Pickin’ Up the Pieces,” plus “I Guess You Made It,” “A Man Like Me,” “Ol’ Forgiver,” “Heart That Music,” “Hurry Up,” “You Are the One” and more — an hour of music in all.

Hot Tuna: Live at the New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA September 1969: Hot Tuna was, of course, the blues band-within-a-band side project of Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady that outlasted the parent band and continues to this day. Interestingly, the duo’s first commercial album, which made it to #30 on the Billboard pop album chart, was recorded live at Berkeley’s New Orleans House, but a lot more material was taped than was released. Much of it is issued for the first time on this 68-minute CD, which consists entirely of previously unreleased recordings. Explaining why they recorded their debut album was recorded live, Kaukoken says, “We tend to go places . . . and you lose a bit of that when you work in the studio. And it was cheaper too!” Of the 13 songs on this CD, six — “Death Don’t Have No Mercy,” “Winin’ Boy Blues,” “Uncle Sam Blues,” “I Know You Rider,” “Don’t You Leave Me Here” and “How Long Blues” — were included on the first Hot Tuna album, though the versions here are selected from different performances than the ones used on that LP.  Other songs include Blind Boy Fuller’s “Keep On Truckin’,” Rev. Gary Davis’ “Keep Our Lamps Trimmed and Burning” and “Candy Man,” and Blind Blake’s “That’ll Never Happen No More.”

John Denver: Live at Cedar Rapids, December 10, 1987: What is the sound of an audience eating out of the palm of a performer’s hand? Utter silence. And that’s what was heard during the two-hour-plus Iowa concert that comprises this two-CD set.  By 1987, Denver’s days as a Top 40 hitmaker were a decade in the past, but he remained a solid concert draw as a beloved, thoroughly American artist with a permanent place in the history of pop. It says much about Denver’s songwriting that, with the exception of half a dozen songs on which he’s accompanied by string quartet, he delivers two hours of solo music just his voice and 12-string guitar. The hits are here but so are new songs, some early-repertoire nuggets and a well-chosen cover or two.  Included are “Farewell Andromeda (Welcome to My Morning,” ”Take Me Home Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High,” “Annie’s Song,” “Love Is the Master,” “Mother Nature’s Son,” “Blow Up Your TV (Spanish Pipe Dream),” “Shanghai Breezes,” “Ohio” and more.

STS9 Embark on Coast-to-Coast Tour in Support of AD EXPLORATA

Dubbed "one of the country's most intriguing, innovative outfits around" by XLR8R Magazine, STS9 announces the release of their brand new studio effort, Ad Explorata (December 8, 2009 /1320 Records).

Ad Explorata – the band’s third release of 2009 (following their iTunes LIVE Exclusive NYE.ATL.08 / May 2009 and Peaceblaster : The New Orleans Make It Right Remixes / June 2009) and tenth in their full discography - finds STS9 once again exploring new musical terrain never before heard.

As the band explains, “Ad Explorata was inspired by the idea that there is always more to be discovered, manifested by the belief that you can always push towards the unknown and unexplored, and created by the will and desire for constant artistic evolution, expression and change.”

Visit http://sts9.com/?p=2011 to read the full “Genesis of Ad Explorata”.

Ad Explorata Track List:

01. Phoneme

02. Heavy

03. Looking Back On Earth

04. Oil & Water

05. Crypto City

06. EHM

07. ATLAS

08. Ad Explorata

09. Re:Stereo

10. Central

11. Lion

12. Echoes

“Phoneme,” “ATLAS” AND “Oil and Water” were all released as singles earlier this fall; all charted at iTunes Electronic charts.

Live performance is the domain for which STS9 is well known for mastering. Consistently ranking in Pollstar’s Top 50 Pulse Chart for American touring acts, touring continues through 2009 and into the New Year

The current list of STS9 tour dates is as follows:

February 11 House of Blues San Diego CA

February 12 Wiltern Theatre Los Angeles CA

February 13 Fox Theatre Oakland CA

February 14 Grand Sierra Ballroom Reno NV

February 18-19 Crystal Ballroom Portland OR

February 20-21 Showbox (Market) Seattle WA

February 22 Wilma Theatre Missoula MT

February 25 The Depot Salt Lake City UT

February 26 House of Blues Las Vegas NV

February 27 Marquee Theater Tempe AZ

February 28 Rialto Theatre Tucson AZ

March 3 George's Majestic Fayetteville AR

March 4 The Lyric Theatre Oxford MS

March 5 Cains Ballroom Tulsa OK

March 6 House of Blues Dallas TX

March 7 House of Blues New Orleans LA

March 10 The Music Farm Charleston SC

March 11 Amos' Southend Charlotte NC

March 12 The Norva Norfolk VA

March 13-14 9:30 Club Washington DC

March 17 Mr. Small's Theatre Pittsburgh PA

March 18 Madison Theatre Covington KY

March 19-20 The Pageant St. Louis MO

Giving back to the communities they visit has always been a priority for STS9. For over a decade the band has rallied their community of fans around important causes, and to date has donated nearly $250,000.00 to a variety of causes including Rock Against Cancer, Make It Right Foundation, Yellow Ribbon Fund, Conscious Alliance, Global Education Fund, New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, Mariposa’s Art, Headcount, Samaritan House, and others. For 2009, 100% of STS9’s charity work benefits the Make It Right Foundation, including the release of Peaceblaster: The New Orleans Make It Right Remixes in June of this year. The album - of which 100% of the profits go to benefit Make It Right - features 30 artists including Pretty Lights, The Glitch Mob, Count Bass D, Richard Devine, Eskmo, Alex B., Ronald Jenkees and many others remixing original material from STS9’s 2008 release Peaceblaster. The release is available at www.1320records.com and at iTunes. Along with the sale of this release, and per ticket fees to shows that happened since the beginning of 2009 the band is happy to report they are nearing the $100,000 mark by the end of 2009 after less than a year of intention on this project.

1320 Records, STS9’s boutique digital record label, is STS9’s passion for music manifested, and has become the go-to digital delivery store for in-the-know music addicts in search of new listening, and for underground indie artists looking to be heard. Buzzed-about artist releases include STS9, Bassnectar, Big Gigantic, Calmer, Collective Efforts, Count Bass D, DubConscious, Eliot Lipp, Emancipator, Eskmo, FuzZ, The Glitch Mob, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Lowpro Lounge, Nalepa, Pnuma Trio, Prefuse 73, Pretty Lights, Rena Jones, St Andrew, sub-ID, Telepath, The Flying Skulls, Two Fresh, Virtual Boy and more.

Download these releases and others at www.1320Records.com. And while you are there, notice the sites brand new audio sample player, higher quality 320 kps MP3's, lossless files and more.

33rd Cape May Jazz Festival April 16-18, 2010

Immerse yourself in jazz vocals from ballads to low-down blues, mellow sax, high-pitch trumpet, Latin piano at the 33rd Cape May Jazz Festival April 16-18, 2010, presented by Bank of America and New Jersey Department of Travel and Tourism. Spyro Gyra opens up the festival Friday night with music that encompasses straight-ahead jazz, blues, Latin, Brazilian, instrumental pop, funk and fusion.  For more than 3 decades  Spyro Gyra has been dominating the contemporary jazz scene and still has a snap, originality and fresh sound which appeals to both old and new fans. Blues singer Shemekia Copeland opens up Saturday night with her huge, blast-furnace voice which gives her music a timeless power and heart-pounding urgency.  Her music comes from deep within her soul and from the streets where she grew up.

Friday night tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield, one of the most impressive young tenors around, will pay Tribute to Shirley Scott with his organ quintet. Warfield wanted to pay tribute to Shirley using the Hammond B-3 to relate his happy, soulful experiences with music they performed together, songs introduced by her or original compositions Warfield wrote with her in mind.  Continuing Friday night guitarist Monnette  Sudler will perform in Carneys Main Room with tenor Bootsie Barnes, trombonist Steve Turre and Aaron Graves on keys for a slamming hard-bop groove.  For a total change of pace vocalist Marta Topferova, who moved from Prague to New York City and immersed herself in the dynamic clusters of Latin American life, will entertain in Carneys Other Room with her elegant, low-key misty voice backed by stellar musicians who include Latin sounds from Cuban, Argentinian tango to Venezuelan rhythms. Mississippi Heat is one of Chicago’s hottest blues bands playing traditional Chicago blues with their  band leader’s golden tone on the harmonica and vocalist Inetta Visor permeating Cabanas  Friday night.

Saturday afternoon starts out with prejams  in both rooms at Carneys with the up-and-coming youth bands Tom Zmuda and Thursday Night Jazz and the Divine Jazz Combo followed by jam sessions.  Georgie Bonds, a world-class singer, songwriter and blues entertainer, will continue the blues tradition with Delta blues in Cabanas.

Saturday night continues with the exciting Cuban piano player Chuchito Valdes returning for 2 shows in the Grand Hotel Ballroom.  Chuchito raised a mountain of rhythmic intensity with power and passion at the April 2008 festival   following in the footsteps of his grandfather Bebo and father Chucho Valdes blending elements of Afro-Cuban music, jazz, bebop, mambo and cha-cha-cha.   Another jazz festival favorite vocalist Juanita Williams along with Fred Hughes on piano will perform at the Jazz Dinner and 11pm show in Aleathea’s Restaurant.  Juanita came up musically by way of gospel, was inspired  by  blues greats Etta James and Aretha Franklin and sings sweet soul music and gritty blues with originality, sass and flair.  Pianist Fred Hughes, another festival favorite, compliments Juanita playing dynamic piano solos.  Appearing in Carneys Main Room B. D. Lenz has been described as one of the hottest new contemporary jazz guitarists on the scene today fusing  jazz and rock complemented by warm chords of funk, soul, rhythm and blues to dance to.  Carneys Other Room presents The Shook-Russo Quartet who is composing their own original music within the jazz idiom honoring the masters by carrying on the mainstream tradition with the huge sound and driving groove of Amy Shook on bass and the incredibly skillful Frank Russo on drums.   Jesse Andrus, a favorite tenor/alto sax and flute player seen at the jams, will be in the Boiler Room with his group Absolute Truth Saturday night.  Absolute Truth weaves jazz with soul, R&B, African and Latin rhythms, gospel, blues and funk which creates a sound that is at once fresh and familiar honoring the masters who came before them while creating a sound all their own.   Performing in Cabanas the multi-talented  Ray  Schinnery  will stir the soul with his vocals, move you to hilarity with his lyrics and woo you with his guitar.
Pre-Jam Sunday opens up with the Little Jazz Giants and the Young Lions in 2 rooms at Carneys followed by 2 Jam Sessions along with the Charles Walker Blues Band in Cabanas.  Hailing from Wisconsin the 5-piece Walker band performs various styles of blues, R&B and funk with Walker’s expressive saxophone stealing the show along with Shanna Jackson’s  powerfully deep soulful voice.

The schedule, musician’s pictures, information and sounds bytes are found on the web at www.capemayjazz.org.  For more information on reduced price All Event Weekend Pass including reserved seating or to be put on the mailing list please call 609-884-7277.  An All Event Weekend Pass to attend 18 events beginning 8pm Friday through 4pm Sunday is $150 general admission. Individual Friday or Saturday Night All Event Wristbands are $55.  Saturday Afternoon Jam Wristbands are $35, Sunday Jams $25.  Reserved Seating is available at the Theatre at Lower Regional High School for an additional $25 per person. Complimentary Festival Transportation running every 10 minutes is available between venues all weekend.

The 33rd Cape May Jazz Festival is presented by New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism VisitNJ.Com and Bank of America and sponsored by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, Barefoot Wines, Jazz Times, WRTI Temple Public Radio, WBGO Jazz 88, WMGM  TV40, WCFA 101.5, WTTH the Touch, Cape May Star and Wave, Verizon Wireless with generous support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey Cultural Trust, local businesses and donors.

Cursive to Support Alkaline Trio on Spring Tour Dates

Cursive will support Alkaline Trio on their upcoming spring tour dates, which will take the band across the country and back beginning February 16th at the Glass House in Pomona, CA, and wrapping up April 2nd at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, CA.

Since the release of their sixth studio album Mama, I'm Swollen on Saddle Creek Records last March, Cursive has crisscrossed the country multiple times as a headliner. The band - long known for their indefatigable touring schedule as well as their incendiary, cathartic live show - completed their most recent tour in mid-December. Cursive's shows throughout 2009 drew acclaim, with Indianapolis, IN's Nuvo Weekly remarking, "Opening with 'Bloody Murderer' from their breakthrough album The Ugly Organ, the five-piece slashed through a near-perfect set of songs from their last nine years of albums" and Melophobe declaring, "Cursive has proved that they are not only solid musicians, but incredible performers with a stamina that can be matched by few."

Cursive also released videos for three songs off of Mama, I'm Swollen over the past ten months: "From The Hips" (here); "I Couldn't Love You" (here); and "Let Me Up" (here). The band also made their much-deserved network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman on March 13, 2009 (watch it here).

Cursive tour dates (all in support of Alkaline Trio):

FEB. 16 POMONA, CA GLASS HOUSE

FEB. 17 LOS ANGELES, CA HOUSE OF BLUES (SUNSET STRIP)

FEB. 18 SAN FRANCISCO, CA REGENCY BALLROOM

FEB. 19 PORTLAND, OR WONDER BALLROOM

FEB. 20 SEATTLE, WA NEUMO'S

FEB. 23 BOISE, ID KNITTING FACTORY

FEB. 24 SALT LAKE CITY, UT IN THE VENUE

FEB. 25 DENVER, CO GOTHIC THEATRE

FEB. 26 LAWRENCE, KS GRANADA THEATRE

FEB. 27 CHICAGO, IL METRO

FEB. 28 CHICAGO, IL METRO

MAR. 2 ROYAL OAK, MI ROYAL OAK MUSIC THEATRE

MAR. 3 COLUMBUS, OH NEWPORT MUSIC HALL

MAR. 4 CLEVELAND, OH HOUSE OF BLUES

MAR. 5 PITTSBURGH, PA CLUB ZOO

MAR. 6 TORONTO, ON PHOENIX CONCERT THEATRE

MAR. 8 CLIFTON PARK, NY NORTHERN LIGHTS

MAR. 9 HARTFORD, CT WEBSTER THEATRE

MAR. 11 PHILADELPHIA, PA TROCADERO

MAR. 12 NEW YORK, NY NOKIA THEATRE

MAR. 13 SAYREVILLE, NJ STARLAND BALLROOM

MAR. 14 PROVIDENCE, RI LUPO'S HEARTBREAK HOTEL

MAR. 16 TOWSON, MD RECHER THEATRE

MAR. 17 CHARLOTTE, NC AMOS' SOUTHEND

MAR. 18 CHARLESTON, SC MUSIC FARM

MAR. 19 ATLANTA, GA MASQUERADE

MAR. 20 JACKSONVILLE, FL FREEBIRD LIVE

MAR. 22 ORLANDO, FL HOUSE OF BLUES

MAR. 23 FT. LAUDERDALE, FL REVOLUTION

MAR. 25 NEW ORLEANS, LA HOUSE OF BLUES

MAR. 26 HOUSTON, TX WAREHOUSE LIVE

MAR. 27 DALLAS, TX PALLADIUM BALLROOM

MAR. 28 AUSTIN, TX EMO'S

MAR. 30 TEMPE, AZ THE MARQUEE

APR. 1 SAN DIEGO, CA HOUSE OF BLUES

APR. 2 LOS ANGELES, CA HOUSE OF BLUES (SUNSET STRIP)

DSO Spring Tour

New West Coast Dates

As the winter ice begins to melt, we will start our Spring Tour in April. Joining us on guitar and vocals for this tour will be Stu Allen of (JGB). With his eagerness to improvise and his commitment to making every performance unique, Stu has made extensive contributions to the jam music scene. In the early 1990's, he co-founded the Minnesota-based acoustic-electric jam band, Blue Man Jive. In addition, he is a founding member of The Jones Gang , Minneapolis' premier Grateful Dead tribute band. He can't wait to get out on the road and play for you folks.The tour will kick off with a run through the Colorado Rockies including stops in Aspen, Avon and 2 nights in Boulder at The Boulder Theater of all places! From there, it's westward bound to Portland, Seattle and Reno before another 2 night stand, this time in San Francisco at The Regency Ballroom. After San Fran it's on to LA for a show at the El Rey Theatre before closing out the tour in Solona Beach. Rocky Mountain High to California Sun. Hope to see you out there!

Visit our TOUR DATES PAGE for tickets, more info and additional show announcements this coming week.

A Cosmic Time Was Had By All

It seemed that everyone had a blast this year as we celebrated the New Year in Baltimore at Rams Head Live with 6 plus hours of music. The Bridge kicked off the night with a smokin' set with Rob Koritz sitting in for most of the show. We then rolled into our 2nd ever Acoustic Set on the east coast: Deep Elem, Monkey, Cold Jordan, You Ain't Woman Enough, Midnight Moonlight, Mountains of the Moon into Ripple. We took a short break and rocked right into our 1st Electric Set: Help>Slip>Franklin's, Cassidy (w/Donna), Next Time You See Me, Cumberland, Midnight Hour - into the countdown and back to Midnight Hour>China>Rider. At midnight, there was the thunder of confetti cannons, a shower of balloons and a return of Father Time as he welcomed in the New Year by shadowing the musicians and dancing his timeless freaky dance with Donna Jean. As the confetti settled and the balloons kept bouncing, we went into our 3rd Set Scarlet (w/Donna)>William Tell>The Eleven>Fire(w/Both ladies)>Drumz>Sp...anish jam>Alligator>Blues for Allah>St Stephen>Viola Lee. Encores w/ both ladies...I'll Be With Thee>Tangled Up in Blue. We hope that you all had as much fun as we did and we wish you all the happiest and healthiest of New Years.

The Boat Was A Rockin'

As the ship set sail, DSO launched their first set of the week on the Pool Deck with an original setlist packed with gems. A massive segway of Playin in the Band-> Cryptical->The Other One->Cryptical->Drums->Space->Playin in the Band->Eyes of the World->Sugar Magnolia sent the ship dancing into the high seas. A couple nights later the band held court in the Teatro Carlo Felice Theater closing out night 4 of the cruise. From the opening jam that led to Shakedown Street, the night was on. The sets highlight was the run of Alligator->St Stephen->William Tell Bridge->The Eleven->Drums->Space-> Truckin->Death Don't Have No Mercy->Lovelight.

In addition to the two formal sets, various DSO members were found all over the boat in different musical groupings. Both Rob Koritz and Rob Barraco were found in The Jam Room well past 5:00 am on more than one occasion. Rob Koritz joined The Everyone Orchestra for their improvised set. Dino joined the Rock Star Karaoke Band which included members of Hot Buttered Rum. As pictures and recordings surface we are sure to uncover other stories and will share them as they come to light.

DATE VENUE CITY DSO TICKETS
Winter Tour 2010
02/03 Varsity Theater Minneapolis, MN TICKETS
02/04 Pabst Theater Milwaukee, WI TICKETS
02/05+ Vic Theater Chicago, IL TICKETS
02/06+ Vic Theater Chicago, IL TICKETS
02/08 Englert Civic Theatre Iowa City, IA TICKETS
02/10 Barrymore Theatre Madison, WI
02/11 The Pageant St. Louis, MO TICKETS
02/12 Egyptian Room at Murat Center Indianapolis, IN TICKETS
02/13 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH TICKETS
02/14 House of Blues Cleveland Cleveland, OH TICKETS
02/16 Madison Theater Covington, KY TICKETS
02/18 Orange Peel Asheville, NC TICKETS
02/19+ Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC
02/20+ Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC
02/21 Lincoln Theatre Raleigh, NC TICKETS
02/24 Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL TICKETS
02/25 The Lyric Oxford Oxford, MS TICKETS
02/26+ Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA TICKETS
02/27+ Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA TICKETS
03/01 Soul Kitchen Mobile, AL TICKETS
03/03 House of Blues New Orleans New Orleans, LA TICKETS
03/04 House of Blues Houston, TX TICKETS
03/05 House of Blues Dallas, TX TICKETS
03/06 Stubb's Waller Creek Austin, TX TICKETS
Just Announced - Spring Tour
04/07 Belly Up Aspen, CO TICKETS
04/08 Vilar Center Avon, CO
04/09 Boulder Theater Denver, CO TICKETS
04/10 Boulder Theater Denver, CO TICKETS
04/16 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR TICKETS
04/17 The Showbox at the Market Seattle, WA TICKETS
04/19 Ashland Armory Ashland, OR
04/20 Eureka Theater Eureka, CA
04/22 Knitting Factory Reno, NV TICKETS
04/23 Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA TICKETS
04/24 Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA TICKETS
04/28 El Rey Theater Los Angeles, CA TICKETS
04/30 Belly Up Solona Beach, CA TICKETS
05/01 Belly Up Solona Beach, CA TICKETS
+ w/ Donna Jean Godchaux Band w. Jeff Mattson

Thanks to Jam Cruise for throwing a great party!

NJ Blues and Jazz Festival

New Jersey Blues and Jazz Festival @ the backstage JAZZ club will take place September 24-26, 2009.  Below is a list of performers, dates, times, and prices.

nj-bluesThu 9/24 – Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers (8pm)
Thu 9/24 – Rod Piazza and The Mighty Flyers (10pm)
--Table Seat:  $45
--Chair Seat:  $35

Fri 9/25 – Marcia Ball (8pm)
Fri 9/25 – Marcia Ball (10pm)
--Table Seat:  $50
--Chair Seat:  $40

Sat 9/26 – Yellowjackets (8pm)
Sat 9/26 – Yellowjackets (10pm)
--Table Seat:  $50
--Chair Seat:  $40

**All Access = 3-Set Pass (package)
8pm / 10pm Table Seat:  $130
8pm / 10 pm Chair Seat:  $100

State Theatre
15 Livingston Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Email: statetheatrenj@gmail.com
Phone:  732 246 SHOW (7469)

Old Man Winter Blues & Brew Fest Heats Up the Frozen North

After a month of 25 and 35 below temperatures, North Dakota was treated to a tropical warm up of monstrous musical proportions.  Last weekend, the Hub Entertainment Complex hosted an all day indoor festival on two stages: The intimate Cadillac Ranch stage and the bigger, more open Venue stage.

New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival at the Backstage Jazz Club

Rod Piazza - photo by Franky Bruneel- for the Grateful Web

The State Theatre presents the New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival at the Backstage Jazz Club, September 25-27. It's an all-star musical lineup in an intimate setting for serious and casual jazz and blues fans alike. Featured performances during the festival include Legend of Blues: Pinetop Perkins featuring Hubert Sumlin and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (9/25/08 at 8pm & 10:30pm); Ron Carter Quartet and vocalist Lisa Sokolov (9/26/08 at 8pm & 10:30pm); and Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers and John Hammond (9/27/08 at 8pm & 10:30pm).

All three sets take place in the exclusive 238-seat club-style venue on stage. Tickets range from $30-45 and are on sale now. The festival has been made possible by the generous support of The Karma Foundation and New Millennium Bank.

"We received so much great feedback from last year's Backstage Jazz Festival, we just had to bring it back… this time adding a little blues to the lineup," commented State Theatre President & CEO Wes Brustad.

The schedule for New Jersey Blues & Jazz Festival at the Backstage Jazz Club is as follows:

Set #1 "Legend of Blues"
Thu, September 25, 2008 at 8pm & 10:30pm at the Backstage Jazz Club
Pinetop Perkins featuring Hubert Sumlin and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith
The show boasts legendary pianist and Grammy® Award nominee Pinetop Perkins, who is best known for his piano playing in the Muddy Waters Band for 12 years; guitarist Hubert Sumlin, who has played with such names as Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon, and The Rolling Stones; and seven-time W.C. Handy Award winner/multiple Grammy® Award nominee harmonica player, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Smith played with Muddy Waters for many years, appearing on all of Muddy's Grammy®-winning albums.
Tickets: $45 Table Seat, $30 Chairs.

Set #2 "Ron Carter Quartet"
Fri, September 26 at 8pm & 10:30pm at the Backstage Jazz Club
Ron Carter Quartet with vocalist Lisa Sokolov
Two-time Grammy Award-winner Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. With more than 2,000 albums to his credit, he has recorded with many of music's greats including: Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, and B.B. King. From 1963 to 1968, he was a member of the acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. He was Artistic Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Studies while it was located in Boston and, after 18 years on the faculty of the Music Department of The City College of New York, he is now Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

Lisa Sokolov is a frontline New York jazz vocalist, improviser, and composer. Accompanying Lisa Sokolov will be Jazz bassist Cameron Brown. Brown anchored some of the most important groups of the '70s, '80s and '90s. The Don Pullen/George Adams Quartet, featuring Dannie Richmond, developed into a rewarding partnership which lasted nearly 10 years.
Tickets: $45 Table Seat, $30 Chairs.

Set #3 "Rod Piazza and Friends"
Sat, September 27 at 8pm & 10:30pm at the Backstage Jazz Club
Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers and John Hammond
From his first recordings as a leader in 1967 fronting The Dirty Blues Band, through his multiple W.C. Handy award-winning releases with his current band The Mighty Flyers, to his countless appearances both live and on record with the most revered names in the blues, Rod Piazza has established himself as one of the most influential living blues harp players.  

With a career that now spans in excess of three decades, John Hammond is one of handful of White blues musicians who was on the scene at the beginning of the first blues renaissance of the mid-'60s. He does justice to classic blues by combining powerful guitar and harmonica playing with expressive vocals and a dignified stage presence.
Tickets: $45 Table Seat, $30 Chairs.

On Stage Venue— Backstage Jazz Club
This 238-seat on stage venue is custom designed to give patrons an exclusive club-style experience just inches away from the artists. The Backstage Jazz Club provides a unique environment for patrons to relax on stage, face the beautiful interior of the magnificently renovated 1921 hall, and experience music from living jazz and blues greats up close and personal. The venue's entrance and all accommodations are backstage. There will be assigned table seating and general admission non-table seating, as well as light fare, and a fully-stocked bar.

Blues Traveler's New Album 'North Hollywood Shootout,' Streets 8/26

John Popper- for the Grateful Web

After selling ten million records worldwide, six gold or platinum albums, and 2,000 shows in front of three million fans, Grammy Award-winning Blues Traveler ventured out of its creative comfort zone to explore some adventurous new horizons for its new album (and Verve Forecast label debut). The resultant North Hollywood Shootout is a landmark in the quintet's large and widely loved body of work, demonstrating the enduring strengths of the band's songwriting while capturing the spontaneous spirit of their legendary live shows.
 
According to frontman and harmonica slinger John Popper, "We're still trying to cultivate what we're individually good at into something that's bigger than the sum of its parts. When we're all playing and it's working, it becomes this separate entity, and that's still the thing that we're chasing."

North Hollywood Shootout — produced by Grammy Award winner David Bianco, whose diverse resume includes work with the likes of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Ozzy Osbourne, Mick Jagger and Teenage Fanclub — draws its curious name from the fact that the band recorded the album in the NoHo district of Los Angeles. Street date is August 26, 2008.
 
Such memorable tunes as the uplifting road-trip anthem "You, Me and Everything," the playfully romantic "Love Does," and the elegant, evocative "Orange in the Sun" boast infectious melodic hooks while showcasing the interactive instrumental chemistry that originally endeared the band to its rabidly devoted fan base.
 
The new material also makes a strong case for the introspective side that's always been a key element of lyricist Popper's persona. The heart-tugging lyrics of the opening track, "Forever Owed," were inspired by the singer's recent USO trip to Afghanistan and Iraq, while the poignant "Borrowed Time" is a bittersweet meditation on mortality and transience, inspired both by the recent passing of bandmates Chan and Tad Kinchla's father and by Popper's feelings for his beloved and aging dog. The album's biggest sonic curveball is its closing track, "Free Willis, Ruminations from Behind Uncle Bob's Machine Shop." The six-minute spoken-word  sound collage finds the band jamming over an insistent drum beat, while actor Bruce Willis, a longtime friend and fan, delivers a colorful freeform monologue/rant.
 
As guitarist Chan Kinchla explains, "On the last few records, we concentrated so much on the crafting of the songwriting and arrangements that we started losing some of the live spontaneity that the five of us created onstage. So on this album, instead of doing the usual pre-production process, where we really worked out the songs before taking them into the studio, we decided to go straight into the studio and do songwriting there. We recorded all the parts as we were working them out, and then built the songs from there."
 
North Hollywood Shootout also found the band ceding more authority to Popper to create the melodies that carry his lyrics. "The main thing that we wanted to emphasize on this record was melody, and I think that aspect of it turned out very well," Popper states. "The guys took a real risk in trusting me to run with that."
 
"I think you have to be constantly reinventing things and discovering new aspects of what you do in order to keep things fresh," Kinchla adds. "This lineup (John Popper, Chan Kinchla, Brendan Hill, Tad Kinchla and Ben Wilson) has been together for eight years. We've spent a lot of time sorting out everyone's role and learning how to listen to each other and get out of each other's way. It's funny, but right now the band is feeling a lot like it did in the early days, when we were just playing for the sake of playing, and we were hitting on all cylinders and the communication was fresh and alive. The shows have been really kicking, and the new songs have been going over great."
 
And speaking of live dates, Blues Traveler is on the road now through the end of the year in support of the new album. The dates:
 
appearing with Live and Collective Soul:
Sun., July 13 LOS ANGELES, CA Greek Theater
Tue., July 15 MESA, AZ Mesa Amphitheatre

Blues Traveler:
Fri., July 18  MINNEAPOLIS, MN Aquatennial Block Party
Mon., July 21 VALPARAISO, IN Porter County Fair

appearing with Live and Collective Soul:
Tues., July 22 DULUTH, MN Bayfront Park  
Thu., July 24 ROCHESTER HILLS, MI Meadow Brook Music Festival  
Fri., July 25 WEST BEND, WI Washington County Fair  ("Mini Takes the States Festival")

Blues Traveler:
Sat., July 26 ELKHART LAKE, WI Road America Race Track

appearing with Live and Collective Soul:
Sun., July 27 FLORENCE, KY Turfway Park  
Tue., July 29 COLUMBUS, OH Lifestyle Communities Pavilion  
Fri., Aug. 1 HERSHEY, PA Hershey Park Pavilion

Blues Traveler:
Sat., Aug. 2 ELGIN, IL Elgin Festival Park  
Sun., Aug 3 CHICAGO, IL Grant Park - Lollapalooza

appearing with Live and Collective Soul:
Tue., Aug. 5 BALTIMORE, MD Pier Six Concert Pavilion  
Wed., Aug. 6 WALLINGFORD, CT Chevrolet Theatre  
Fri., Aug. 8 PHILADELPHIA, PA Festival Pier at Penn's Landing  
Sat., Aug. 9  GILFORD, NH Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion  
Tue., Aug. 12 LOWELL, MA Lowell Memorial Auditorium
Wed., Aug. 13 WESTBURY, NY Capital One Bank Theatre at Westbury  
Sat., Aug. 16 CARY, NC Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park
Sun., Aug. 17 ATLANTA, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Blues Traveler:
Thu., Aug 21  JACKSON, WY  Center for the Arts
Fri., Aug. 22  PARK CITY, UT  Jazz Festival at Deer Valley Resort
Sun., Sept. 28 AUSTIN, TX Austin City Limits Festival

Indigenous: A New Blues-Rock Incarnation

photos by Jeremy Cowart- for the Grateful Web

Bands evolve. Some for the better, and some not. South Dakota's Indigenous blues band has certainly moved into new, fresher territory with their new band lineup. The story of that band is quite unique.

Indigenous burst on the musical stage as youngsters, three siblings and a cousin. They were all members of the Nakota Nation and living on the Yanton Indian Reservation, located in the southeastern portion of South Dakota, along the Missouri River, close to Nebraska. (Those ethnic and geographic roots are important, so keep that location in mind)

Their father, Greg Zephier, a spokesperson for Native American rights had been a musician in the 60s and '70s, and he wanted to pass the legacy of classic rock artists that he admired and had learned from to his children. "Yeah, my dad was really into music," said Mato Nanji, the oldest of the siblings and the guitarist. "That was pretty much where I heard everything: the R&B, the blues, the rock. There was just all kinds of music. He and two of his brothers and a nephew used to have a band called the Vanishing Americans. They used to play all of the old rock stars, Santana, everything. That's kind of where I got my start. They were actually broke up before I was born. I found his guitars and his records."

Ptcecha, Mato's sister, took up the bass, and Wanbdi found drums to his liking. Their cousin, Horse, added percussion. First they learned a lot of blues and rock covers. Mato's strong voice was able to carry the weight of a Hendrix tune or an Eric Clapton song. Then Mato began to write originals.

"My dad always said from the start, 'You need to write your own songs,'" Mato remembered. "I've always tried to do that from the start. I think one of the first songs that I wrote was 'Things We Do.' We recorded it for a CD the Indigo Girls put together, a compilation of different artists. [Honor the Earth (1996)]."

At first, Zephier toured with them as a family, until the youngsters were discovered by the wider world.

When their debut album, Things We Do, (Pachyderm Records) in 1998, it hit Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, something that no Native American bands had ever done. Soon, they came to the notice of Bonnie Raitt and BB King. They had become another young blues phenomenon out of the Plains, like Fargo's Johnny Lang. BB King was so impressed with these young talents he invited them to join his Blues Festival Tour. A year later their father passed, but he had lived to see his children's success.

Indigenous continued to tour widely and record. But the siblings were growing up, having families, and some even growing away from the music of their youth. They recorded their last record together, Long Way Home, in 2005. "It was a lot of hard work over the years, touring non-stop, pretty much," Mato said. "I think everybody kind of sat back after the last record and just wanted to pursue different things, I guess. ....My sister hasn't really been playing that much. My brother wanted to start his own band.... Now, they're doing different styles of music than what I do....I just wanted to keep going and keep the name because it's always been about the music, and it always will be."

A year later, Mato decided to release a solo album. That record, Chasing the Sun, became a way to break out on his own while still maintaining amicable relations with his siblings. "My brother played bass on the last record," Mato said. "There were a couple of songs my sister wrote, and I think a couple of them ended up on the record. I kind of co-wrote some songs with her."

For the next year, though, Mato looked for a band to tour with to support this new album and to continue as a band entity known as Indigenous. Oddly enough, the band he found, the extremely talented Kris Lager Band from Lincoln, Nebraska, was one he came to know when Indigenous was first discovered. "I think we met probably in the late 90s. Off and on, we played together at shows." Then in the spring of 2007, the Kris Lager Band and Mato ended up getting together and doing a jam. "A mutual friend got us together, and we did an acoustic thing," Mato explained. "It was a little private show right in the studio there in Omaha. That was the first time we actually played together as a band. We did an acoustic set, and we came out and jammed together. I felt really good. I have always wanted to try having a full band with me, another guitar player and a keyboard player, as well as drums and bass. We have just been jamming together ever since."

The addition of keyboards was something the original Indigenous didn't have. "I think on each record we did, that's what you hear anyways. There are some keys on there and some other guitars. I've always wanted to take that, tour with that as a full band," he said.

But the Kris Lager band wasn't immediately folded into Indigenous. It was all part of the unique evolution of the band. "I've had different band members off and on for the past year, since the record came out. They were really good players, too."  But the Kris Lager Band had been opening for Indigenous. "I think after I saw these guys play, I really, really liked them and liked the music so I thought maybe we can kind of get together."

Kris Lager adds another strong lead guitar that many other blues guitarists would not have wanted. But Mato doesn't consider him competition, but assistance. "One of the big influences starting out at the beginning was still a lot of guitar playing," Mato said, "and I think that's what a lot of people were drawn to. A lot of guitar playing was part of the history of the band." And, Mato is amazing. He has been heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix in his attack on the guitar. Now, with Kris Lager taking the lead sometimes, Mato can concentrate on vocal delivery that is heavily influenced by Sam Cooke and other early R&B singers.

Mato and the Kris Lager band had been playing for only three months as Indigenous when I saw them last August at the Last Ride Bluesfest in Thief River Falls, MN. They were incredible together. Then, I saw them this past March at the Jackpot Junction Blues Fest, and they blew everybody off the map! "I think there was a pretty cool connection," Mato says. "It is at a point where it's kind of unexplainable when you play together as a band."

Phenomenal is more like it. The blues is still there, but there is a life in the music that comes from the vocals and the driving guitars. And Mato is extremely generous on stage with his bandmates. Everyone has a chance to shine. Though the songs are his, the vocal duties are mainly his, and most of the blazing guitar work is his, the band is exceptionally Indigenous, with each member sharing the burden and the glory on stage.

Though you try not to compare artists on the same bill, you do. At Jackpot Junction Blues Fest, I saw many other blues players. Some were old legends; some were young legends. But one thing was clear, though I saw a lot of flash and power noodling, especially among the younger players, none of that could compare with the technical skill and heart of the new Indigenous band. This was one blues band that made you feel so good after you heard them and, especially, when you saw the delighted interplay among the musicians. They were having a bang-up good time and the audience did, too.

Mato parted with Vanguard, his past label, in 2007 and is now looking to record a new CD with the exciting new Indigenous incarnation later this year. I can't wait!