2016 was a big year for psychedelic rock pioneer David Nelson and his longtime David Nelson Band. Nelson alongside veteran members Barry Sless (guitars, Pedal Steel Guitar), Mookie Siegel (keyboard, organ, vocals), Pete Sears (Modulus bass, vocals), and John Molo (drums) had their biggest tour in at least a decade, hitting the East Coast and Colorado for the first time in a long time.
Grammy-Award Winning String Wizard, producer, and songwriter John McEuen possesses a keen knack for multitasking. He’s both a renowned picker and anthropological force in roots music. His biweekly syndicated Sirius XM Radio Program; Acoustic Traveler has further uncovered his pursuit of tracing the origins of country, blues, folk, and bluegrass. He rose to prominence as a member of the treasured Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
There is only one band in today’s musical landscape with the audacity, creativity, and all around brass balls to pull off such a unique and totally off-the-wall project, and that group is Umphrey’s McGee. The sextet have never been shy about performing outside the box and this month will be releasing their newest studio album called Zonkey, a collection of mixed up cover songs intertwined within each other.
Jazz music in always inherently evolving, while some players possess the sheer talent to spontaneously create dynamic music, less often does an artist utilize their abilities as a vessel to express emotions beyond their own familiarity. One could see pianist Hiromi Uehara and value her shear musical talent alone. More avid listeners know there’s more to it than that. Her music truly transcends emotion. The Japanese pianist began training at age six and by the time Hiromi moved to the U.S.
Back in 1990, three former YES band members, vocalist Jon Anderson, guitarist Trevor Rabin and keyboardist Rick Wakeman rejoined forces for the successful YES ‘Union Tour’. In 2010, the three talents decided to create their own band, which they named ARW (Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman). As their 2016 tour promised, their aim was to play YES hits and more. YES was formed originally in 1968 by Anderson and the late bassist Chris Squire.
In a surprisingly absent addition to the Jerry Garcia canon, Round Records/ATO Records are releasing the earliest known recording from the beloved multi-instrumentalist on November 11th. Three years before Garcia cofounded the American Psychedelic Rock group the Grateful Dead, the twenty-year old was exploring the American folk and roots music tradition. He had learned to play guitar and banjo in his teens and was beginning to refine his skill set as a self-taught multi-instrumentalist.
Few musicians completely transcend cultural barriers while keeping their craft authentic to their origins. One of the few percussionists to achieve this feat in the 20th century is tabla legend Zakir Hussain. Traditionally in Indian culture, one carries on their family’s craft. Zakir is son of iconic table master Alla Rakha, who frequently collaborated with Ravi Shankar. Both masters were pivotal in exposing the music of North India to the Americas.
Jackson Browne on October 26 headlined a rousing and inspiring benefit in Sacramento, in support of California’s Yes on Prop. 62 / Repeal the Death Penalty election effort. The legendary singer/songwriter has advocated musically for positive social change initiatives since the 1970s. During the course of the entire show, Browne was as affable and funny as he was skillful, performing each tune with great dedication and reverence.
On a paradisiacal Denver day for a special concert celebration, John Denver’s former band mates and his friends gathered along with the versatile Colorado Symphony to pay tribute to the Poet Laureate of the state at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver. There was a large screen visible with John Denver often singing to an enduring older crowd often singing along.