Reviews

Umphrey's McGee | Indy | 8/8/15 | Review

Each year Umphrey’s McGee makes a point to stop in at their home town for a mid-summer throw down at the Lawn at White River in Indianapolis, Indiana. This show is never one you should miss.

Watkins Family Hour | Berkeley | Review

Sometimes a pet-project grows into a full concept far surpassing the inventor's original prospects. For veteran bluegrass siblings Sara and Sean Watkins, they likely began their musical Family Hour as a way to ease the strains of rigorous touring in their native Southern California. In their natural habitat of Americana, exploring favorite originals and classic canonical country brought them enough pleasure to make a regular occasion out of it.

Jackson Emmer | Last Known Photograph of Jackson Emmer | Review

A mark of continued captivating artistry is evolution. Multi string-slinger, vocalist and songwriter Jackson Emmer truthfully represents his musical identity on his upcoming solo album Last Known Photograph of Jackson Emmer. Many are familiar with Emmer through his phenomenal old-time fast grass outlet, The Howling Kettles. But his upcoming solo breakthrough grows all possibilities. In the vein of iconic artists like Wilco, The Band, and Randy Newman, Emmer offers his style, his way, in a celebration of life.

Umphrey's McGee: A Garden of Genres

Since the release of both their sophisticated Similar Skin album in 2014 and the elegant bonus album, London Sessions, which was produced at Abbey Road of last year, Umphrey’s McGee has begun to more frequently perform at up-scale venues across the Midwest. Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is among one of these venues. It was the band’s third time appearing. The intimate and limited seating of the location led to a sold out show.

Steely Dan | Ravinia Festival | Review

Steely Dan brought its “Rockabye Gollie Angel” summer tour to Ravinia in suburban Chicago, and it was a jazzy and classy affair. The two performances at the upscale open-air music venue featured a special set from Chicago-based jazz guitarist Bobby Broom instead of tour opener Elvis Costello and the Imposters. Broom’s Organi-Sation trio, initially formed at Steely Dan’s behest in 2014 to fill the opening slot on last year’s U.S. trek, did a fine job setting the mood for the evening.

The Aquarium Rescue Unit | Fox Theater

Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit’s reputation rests on freelance improvisation and artisanal jazz and blues, but twenty-five years of observational polish didn’t hurt the second of two nights at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. Like old friends shooting the breeze, they’d already revitalized their well-established familiarity. The sights and sounds were altered, but haven’t they always been?

String Cheese Incident | 7/26/15 | Review

Never miss a Sunday show is a phrase everyone should know. Celebrating their 31stRed Rocks show The String Cheese Incident finished off a great weekend with a Sunday night show. Joined by Nahko and Medicine for the People, Sunday was hot, bright and full of energy. The show was blessed by a traditional Native American prayer that simply reminded us to love the earth and love one another.

String Cheese Incident | 7/24/15 | Review

In French the phrase “Je ne sais quoi” means an inexpressible something, a little something extra or a quality that eludes description. With over 20 years of touring under their belt The String Cheese Incident brings that “je ne sais quoi” to their live shows. Whether it be a cover, a special jam or a sit-in, String Cheese always adds that little indescribable element to each show to ensure a unique experience.

Marco Benevento | 1up Colfax | Review

Marco Benevento returned to The 1Up-Colfax on 7/25 for a fun filled evening of Piano Rock. Having never seen either Marco Benevento or his opening act The Jaden Carlson Band I didn’t know what to expect.

Kate Pierson | City Winery | Review

It's been more than 20 years since "Candy," B-52s lead female vocalist Kate Pierson’s duet with Iggy Pop. Pierson has fulfilled the promise of that Top 40 hit with her first solo effort Guitars and Microphones released earlier this year. Finally, her voice is up front and center, with an overall sound that is heavily influenced by 1960s pop and girl groups. It compares favorably with her band’s later output, and comes closest to mainstream breakthrough Cosmic Thing.

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