The Newgrass style had come quite a way since the days when John Hartford and New Grass Revival began deviating from the technique and approach that had defined the bluegrass previously. The original bluegrass players such as Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were indeed innovators. As music is a reflection of times and the outlook of those playing, the late 1960s birthed ambitious and talented players who deviated from the rules. Still, their admiration and respect for the country greats before them was foundational.
While Quixote’s may have seen its last days, Jay Bianchi’s newest venue, Be On Key Psychedelic Ripple, has the streets of Denver buzzing with its historic artwork, friendly vibes and eclectic lineups ranging from modern-day Grateful Dead takes to bluegrass, funk and more. Located on 1700 Logan Street at the old Wrangler location, the Grateful Dead-themed venue boasts high ceilings, a video arcade, incredible art spanning back to the mid 60’s and plenty of room to boogie down.
This past week Johnny Clegg wrapped up a short 12 twelve-city North American tour bidding farewell, and retiring from the road.
In remission from an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer, Clegg decided to have his final tour while he has the strength to endure the road. This farewell is both a bitter-sweet celebration of his career, and an opportunity to say goodbye to so many devoted fans, whose hearts he has touched.
Have I ever told you guys about this place in Asheville called The Salvage Station? I feel like I have and, I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but man do those guys know how to throw a party.
I mean unless hanging out down by the French Broad River with a beer in your hand and the best music touring the country isn’t really your thing. In that case perhaps I could interest you in a board game or something.
Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain has done far more for the craft than any predecessor of the instrument. Hussain crossed over into experimental Western music with groups like Shakti (alongside John McLaughlin and L. Shankar) and with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart in the classic World percussion releases Rolling Thunder, Diga and later Planet Drum. Still nothing has prepared followers of Hussain’s illustrious career for his marvelous group Cross Currents.
The musicians that make up Phish are relentless students and teachers of musical prowess, theory, and expression. It seems as though they never rest and constantly create. After a powerful three nights at Dick’s Sporting Good Park in Colorado a month and a half ago, bassist Mike Gordon was back with his solo band to close his tour in the mountains at the elegant Boulder Theater.
The Los Angeles-formed Vintage Trouble consists of vocalist Ty Taylor, guitarist Nalle Colt, bassist Rick Barrio Dill, drummer Richard Danielson and newcomer extraordinaire Brian London on keys. Their youthful flair for performance was immediately apparent on their 2011 debut, “The ‘Bomb Shelter Sessions’ and then peaked on ‘The Swing Acoustic Sessions’ (2014) and most recent chestnut ‘1 Hopeful Road’ (2015). It’s hard to believe that it was only a decade ago that they first performed live.
Guitarist, bandleader, and composer Steve Kimock already had an impressively diverse backdrop of music before co-founding KIMOCK, taking a notion from a creative apex following his previous album, the deeply personal and experimental Last Danger of Frost. The veteran multi-genre improvisor admitted in an interview with Grateful Web that he wanted to explore a side his musical self that was lesser seen onstage. His potently cascading compositions have always taken focus, each song is a journey, and the payoff is blissful yet unpredictable.