Artists

artists

Umphrey's McGee | The Bottom Half | Review

Normally I am a little skeptical of artists who release albums that are dubbed "B-sides" or "leftover recording material", because it usually is a feeble attempt to cash in on material that truly is b-grade.  However, this is not the case with the release of Umphreys McGee's The Bottom Half, which happens to boast some beautifully written and energetically recorded tracks from the Chicago-based rock outfit.

THE STRING CHEESE INCIDENT ANNOUNCES 2007 SUMMER TOUR

Billy Nershi @ 10KLF- for the Grateful Web

Today, independent music pioneers The String Cheese Incident announce their 2007 Summer Tour – which also marks the beginning of an end for the band and their community.  In the fall of 2006, The String Cheese Incident announced it would make no plans beyond summer 2007, as SCI guitarist Billy Nershi would be leaving the group to explore a different musical path.

Since the band's inception, The String Cheese Incident has emerged as one of today's most significant independent bands. Born in 1993 in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, SCI has since released 6 albums, 3 DVDs and countless live recordings from their relentless tour schedule. Their 14 year history is packed full of surreal experiences, epic moments, groundbreaking involvement and huge accomplishments. They have been recognized for their commitment to musical creativity and integrity, for their community spirit and philanthropic endeavors, and for their innovative approach to the business of music.

When The String Cheese Incident's growth first started gaining momentum over a decade ago, the landscape of the music industry was like the wild west from where the band came.  With the major-label business model failing and the age of the internet just dawning, The String Cheese Incident began to rethink the traditional rock-n-roll dream. Once the band decided to go for it and make music completely on their own terms, they never looked back.

The String Cheese Incident went on to carve out a completely different approach to the business of music; truly pioneers of a new way of "making a band."  With the World Wide Web as their tool, SCI was able to easily disseminate information such as tour dates, release information, and other news to their growing fan base.  Rather than doing business on such terms as "the bottom line," The String Cheese Incident opened companies, such as a ticketing and a gear company and a fan travel agency to truly cater to the audience and their needs.  Their record label, SCI Fidelity Records, operated on the same ideals; they embraced tape trading and downloadable music, eventually offering the SCI's "On the Road" series, where every show the band played was made available for download on the internet.  Whether they realized it at the time or not, The String Cheese Incident was inventing grassroots band development.  Today, literally hundreds of bands are using some version of this same approach to growing a band. 

The String Cheese Incident's commitment went well beyond their immediate community and even beyond the music community in general. Early on, the band took a serious interest in giving back to the communities that they visited, and they where among the first performers to encourage "Green" shows and tours.  SCI's support helped give rise to such not-for-profit organizations as Conscious Alliance, Rock the Earth, and Head Count. In 2002, when the band's right to sell tickets to their own shows became threatened by ticketing giant Ticketmaster, the band stood strong for the independent music community and filed a lawsuit against the company.  All the while, The String Cheese Incident stayed committed to music as a creative endeavor, not just in their recordings but also in their live performances.  The list of SCI's special guests and collaborators is long and diverse. Their annual events such as Horning's Hideout and holiday shows such as New Year's and Halloween helped redefine the concert experience and garnered the band a reputation as live music vibe innovators.

Now, on the heels of five sold-out, home-state shows for their annual "Winter Carnival," the band announces their 2007 Summer Tour, which stops in markets that hold plenty of SCI history (such as the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Colorado) and features some of the band's favorite kinds of shows - namely weekend camping events with plenty of musical friends in tow (a long weekend in Oregon and the "Big Summer Classic" festival at Camp Zoe).

Dates begin on July 12 with a three night run at the legendary Beacon Theatre in New York City. Then the band skips to the west coast for two nights in the Bay Area at Berkeley's Greek Theatre on July 21 & 22, with special guests Sound Tribe Sector 9 on Saturday and Railroad Earth on Sunday. The weekend of July 27-29 will include three nights in Oregon, at a venue still to be determined (visit the band's website for more information and details as they become available). Then, the "Big Summer Classic" will return in the form of a three-day camping festival on the weekend of August 3-5.  In the tradition of the inaugural BSC tour in summer of 2005, the weekend festival will feature a slew of SCI's musical friends.  Confirmed so far are Los Lobos, Yonder Mountain String Band, JJ Grey & MOFRO, The Wailers, EOTO and many others to be announced. The tour will end at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, where it all began. 

The String Cheese Incident Summer Tour list of dates is as follows:
June 15 Bonnaroo Manchester, TN
July 12 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
July 13 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
July 14 Beacon Theatre New York, NY
July 21 Greek Theatre Berkeley, CA with Sound Tribe Sector 9
July 22 Greek Theatre Berkeley, CA with Railroad Earth
July 27 Venue TBA Oregon
July 28 Venue TBA Oregon
July 29 Venue TBA Oregon
August 3 Big Summer Classic Camp Zoe Salem, MO
August 4 Big Summer Classic Camp Zoe Salem, MO
August 5 Big Summer Classic Camp Zoe Salem, MO
Produced with Peak Experience. Special guests include Los Lobos, The Wailers, Yonder Mountain String Band, JJ Grey & MOFRO, Greyboy Allstars, EOTO and many others TBA
August 10 Red Rocks Morrison, CO
August 11 Red Rocks Morrison, CO
August 12 Red Rocks Morrison, CO

Tickets on sale Tuesday, May 8 at 10 am MST at www.stringcheeseincident.com

Page McConnell's 1st Show: Coming Full Circle

The only conversation topic welcomed by Page in this era of moving forward was the acknowledgment of being a Philly boy and his birth at Chestnut Hill Hospital. Page carefully deflected every question about Phish and his college thesis writing days at Goddard.

Boulder's Performing Arts Collective Kan'Nal

Kan''Nal- for the Grateful Web

Boulder, CO – An international phenomenon and hometown favorite, Kan'Nal performs the Boulder Theater Friday, April 20 celebrating the release of Live at the Boulder Theater, its first ever Live DVD. In addition to the DVD, the band is also set to release its new studio album entitled A Myth Magik early this June.

A boundless canvas for its musicians, performers and artists, Live at the Boulder Theater is the first release from Kan'Nal to fully capture the entirety of its vigorous and hypnotic multi-sensual performance. The DVD is culled from live footage from last year's extensive global touring giving an understanding as to how Kan'Nal has been winning over audiences all across the western hemisphere.

Reaching out from a core of tribal psychedelia, Kan'Nal mixes the unconventional elements of Spanish gypsy, Bedouin rhythms and indigenous trance creating an enveloping sound.  Beyond the music, the band's live performance features spouting fire and tribal dancing enhanced through a dynamic multimedia presentation that has been winning over critics and fans all over the North American continent.

"Tribal-rock blasts plunge a hand into your chest and grab onto the part of your being that swung from trees a few million years ago. Find another band that does that."

Washington Post

"A spicy, groove-oriented acoustic fusion of Latin and Middle Eastern rhythms that combines elements of spoken word, electronica, new-age and soft metallic drone"

Westword

kannnalFormed through a natural evolution over the course of six years and thousands of miles traveled, the core members of Kan'Nal's tribe came together quite coincidentally through their individual backpacking trips through Central America. Originating in a small Guatemalan town in 2001, group songwriter Tzol met fellow wandering guitarist Tierro. Cut off from the outside world, Lake Atitlan in Guatemala was the perfect spot to work on what would become Kan'Nal's musical foundation.

Tzol and Tierro returned to the same small Guatemalan town almost a year later to the day and met another pair of musicians, bass player Rodolofo and singer Teresita. Developing the communal sound even further the quartet headed back to the states for a small tour where they rounded off the core of the tribe by adding Rodolfo's friend Gilly from San Antonio on drums and Arron from the Yucatan Peninsula as a didgeridoo player/percussionist.

To this day Kan'Nal has sold over 10,000 CDs and performed over 500 concerts including high profile music festivals across the US including Wakarusa, High Sierra, Earthdance, Burning Man and more. International performance highlights include playing the ancient Mayan city of Tikal in Guatemala, riverside at the jungle palace of Palenque in Mexico and numerous other gigs throughout the core of Central America.

Perform Live DVD Release Party at Boulder Theater Friday, April 20

2032 14th Street | 303-449-9830 | Ages 21+ | 8 PM | $15 | Special Guests TBA

* Every advance ticket purchased through KanNal.org receives one free copy of Live at the Boulder Theater and a free download of A Journey to the Underworld Recorded 10/20/06 In Boulder, CO *

10KLF Confirms The Tragically Hip, Zappa Plays Zappa

The fifth annual 10,000 Lakes Festival (10KLF) held July 18 – 21 at the Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, Minn. is quickly becoming the summer's must attend live music and camping event.  Adding artists to its growing lineup, 10KLF announces the confirmation of these groups:

The Raw Power of Rose Hill Drive

Tinnitus: the perception of sound in the ears or head where no external source is present. Someone with tinnitus often describes it as "ringing in the ears," but people report hearing all kinds of sounds: crickets, whooshing, pulsing, ocean waves, buzzing, even music.

Langerado Part I

It's interesting that when you ask anyone from south Florida what the local music scene is like, most locals will reply 'What music scene?". Now don't get me wrong, there is a music scene that really caters to the jazz, Latin and blues world but nothing alternative or rock that really stood out and connected south Florida to the rest of the world since the days of the Hollywood Sportatorium that is until now Langerado.

Turbine: Always Turning Out The Good Stuff

photo(s) by Kent Anderson- for the Grateful Web

In 2005, jammers at the 10,000 Lakes Festival were floored by the power duo from New York City, Turbine. Ryan Rightmire (harmonica, acoustic guitar, vocals) and Jeremy Hilliard (electric guitar, vocals) had audiences awe-struck when they launched into their set. "There was a moment after the first long jam of the set, and no one was making any noise during the song, " recalls Hilliard. "We finished and for a second, we were wondering what was going to happen. Then everyone sort of exploded."

"Everyone was such careful listeners," adds Rightmire. "A lot of times when you're playing at a bar, people are talking. But at a festival like this, everyone is so attentive, and it's just a pleasure to play in that environment."

The comment most people made, including myself, was: How can two people have such a full sound with only two guitars and a harmonica?!  There were bass parts and percussion parts that surprised everyone. But what drew me and others mostly was the variety and quality of the original songs they brought with them.

It was no surprise then that they were invited back last year. By this time, however, Turbine had expanded into a full four-piece band, adding Justin Kimmel on bass and Jason Nazary on drums.  Kimmel also fills in vocally for some really tight three-part harmonies and necessary vocal backup when Rightmire is playing harmonica.  Though the band had only been together a matter of months, they were right on. "They bring their personalities as well as just playing the songs we already had," says Hilliard. "The drummer, Jason Nazary, drives the improvisations a lot to new places. It's much more communicative than people just backing us."  And, Rightmire adds, "We just didn't want to find a couple of guys to back us. We were really looking for people to push us as well. I think we found that."

turbineThe addition of new band members has completely altered the way the band writes and arranges.  Though they had hammered bass and percussion into their duo arrangements, writing became even more creative.  "It's interesting that the more people you add, you think there's less space to work with because there are more instruments," says Rightmire. "We're kind of getting freed up to do other things because you don't need to worry about holding it down so to speak or trying to cover the drums and bass that aren't there. When they are there, you are kind of freed up to explore."

Hilliard adds, "With the new band, everyone wants to see where we're going to be in a year and what that's going to sound like." That's true. And, the proof is in the new album that will be coming out late this spring, just before festival season. The new album will be the first for the full band and will complement Turbine's duo album, Don't Mind If I Should.

This new album will be an opportunity to see the versatility of what Turbine can do. During the 2006 10,000 Lakes Festival, Turbine not only did a stint on opening night up in the Saloon Stage, but spend the rest of the weekend, playing during lunch in the VIP hospitality tent. The band spent two hours or more entertaining the other musicians, the staff, members of the press, and those fortunate enough to buy VIP tickets. It was a treat to hear their full original repertoire. They did jam rock songs, sea chanties, Irish drinking songs, folk tunes, ballads, spacey jams, Afro beat, and everything in between.

Most impressive was Rightmire's harmonica work.  Using wooden Horner Blues Harps that don't have that plastic sound, he puts them through a microphone with pedals that he helped develop with Frank Sternot, a Chicagoan who developed the traditional microphone most harpists buy.  "It was too bluesy for me," says Rightmire. "So, I sought him out and worked with him to create one that's more like my own sound. You can always add, but you can't take away. At the beginning, you kind of need like a pure tone."

With that pure tone, Rightmire is able to do blues, straight harp, and special effects like spacey electronic sounds. He is even able to make the harmonica sound like a Hammond organ and that a DJ turntablist.

turbineBut this isn't the only kind of versatility the band is able to produce. Hilliard and Rightmire recently surprised a bluegrass audience when they were asked to join the Del McCoury Band on stage. When Hilliard brought up his electric, everyone inwardly winced and he was even challenged by a band member. Hilliard then charmed the audience by producing a slick electric fiddle sound coming from his guitar, while Rightmire offered banjo sounds from his harmonica.

Musical skills like these, however, aren't limited to just the original duo. All of the band members have jazz and/or classical roots. Hilliard studied jazz guitar. Rightmire studied piano and French Horn, then moved to acoustic guitar and harmonica. Kimmel and Nazary are also jazz trained but are extremely versatile, even filling in on a reggae song or a country tune.

This year, Turbine will have a new album out, and will begin touring with a new drummer, Eric Johnson. They also will open festival season with a slot at Wakarusa in Kansas in June. Check out some song samples at www.myspace.com/turbine.

Leftover Salmon Ends Hiatus, Confirms Festival Appearances

Drew Emmitt @ The Fox in Boulder- for the Grateful Web

Colorado-based Leftover Salmon announces it will return to the stage later this year. Confirmed by a statement today from band manager John Joy the return will mark the end to the band's 27-month hiatus.

Following the band's last live performance on New Year's Eve 2004 in Boulder, audiences nationwide will once again hear the trademark polyethnic-cajun-slamgrass sound that propelled the group from its humble Rocky Mountain beginnings to international critical acclaim.

The returning lineup for Leftover Salmon features Vince Herman (acoustic guitar, vocals), Drew Emmitt (mandolin, guitar, vocals), Jeff Sipe (drums), Greg Garrison (bass, vocals), Bill McKay (keyboards, vocals), and Noam Pikelny (banjo).

The confirmed performances have the band making festival appearances on opposite coasts including the High Sierra Music Festival in Northern California and the All Good Music Festival in West Virginia's hills.

Confirmed 2007 Performances:

High Sierra Music Festival - Quincy, CA  2 performances: Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8

All Good Music Festival - Masontown, WV Sunday, July 15

Leftover Salmon was formed by accident in 1989, when a local band, the Salmon Heads, asked members of the Left Hand String Band to fill some missing spots in its lineup.  The synergy worked and the resulting quintet went on to pioneer its own genre.

 

After the independent release of Bridges to Bert in 1993 and the 1995 live follow-up Ask The Fish, Leftover Salmon gained a spot on the H.O.R.D.E. festival tour and a contract with Hollywood Records. Their Hollywood debut and second studio album, Euphoria, continued to define their eclectic sound and introduced many songs that would become classics for the band.

vinceOther releases include The Nashville Sessions (1999) featuring scores of famous Nashville artists and session musicians as collaborators; Live (2002) the first recording with the new rhythm section, O Cracker, Where Art Thou? (2003) featuring Cracker members David Lowery and Johnny Hickman with LS as the backing band, and Leftover Salmon (2004) first studio record since the loss of founding member, banjoist Mark Vann.

Each of the band's releases cements its contemporary sound with the solid genre-bending fusion of newgrass, folk and blues. Through the course of the initial 15 years of Leftover Salmon has performed music with such contemporaries as Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, David Grisman, Jerry Douglas, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Pete Wernick, Col. Bruce Hampton, Oteil Burbridge, Bill Payne, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Pete Sears, Todd Park Mohr, Tony Furtado, Theresa Anderson, along with members of the The String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, Yonder Mountain String Band and dozens of additional artists.

The band continues to break new ground with its highly energetic live performances and initiate new fans with each show.

Official Leftover Salmon website: www.leftoversalmon.com

Unity the band: Bringing the Love

Unity, a seven member reggae band, set the lovin' vibe on opening night at last year's 10,000 Lakes Festival. Touring throughout Wisconsin, they rarely make it west so it was a rare treat to hear this band.