Last year during Widespread Panic’s annual June pilgrimage to Red Rocks, I bore witness to a natural phenomenon so sublime, it will be emblazoned in my memory until my dying breath. An awe-inspiring lightning shower accompanied nearly the entirety of Saturday’s second set.
It was an illustrious night to be in the mountains of Bellvue, CO at one of the most beautiful venues in the country, Mishawaka Amphitheatre. How much more perfect could the setting be? It was a full moon on Friday the 13th, and the magic in the air was palpable. Every band loves to play at this venue that was recently reinvented, and moe.
When Dave Rawlings hits his stride, the genius of his improvisation seems to stop time. All other distractions fade away and one can focus on his confident, driving guitar playing that is both discrete in melody and fluid within the larger harmony. Mr. Rawling’s is like a chess Grandmaster, able to play 20 moves ahead. This is an incredible strength because as you begin to realize the beauty of what he has just played – a reward to those listening closely – Mr.
It has been eight months since Phish debuted their new album in its entirety on stage at the Halloween show in Atlantic City, much to the surprise of fans who assumed (quite wrongly) the band would instead cover a classic album as they have done in the past. Reviews of that performance and the songs have been mixed among their fan base, and now with the album release of Fuego fans can finally hear the finished product that began that fateful night. And once again, fans are going to be quite surprised.
It is quite rare for album art to get noticed in the age of iTunes and Mp3 players. But I found myself captivated by the cover of Analog Son’s eponymously titled debut album when it arrived in the mail. I couldn’t help but notice a distinct similarity to one of funk’s most celebrated records. On the cover of Maggot Brain, Funkadelic’s ‘71 masterpiece, a woman is buried neck deep in the dirt, her licorice-colored Afro almost camouflaged by the soil that surrounds it.
You can tell by listening to real rock music by the impression it makes on the world and by the footprint it leaves behind. Sometimes it can come out in a passionate vocal line, a social movement, or a song that is sung with emotional bewilderment. The new EP/album that bears the same name as the band is a non-stop presentation of all-out rock n’ roll as described above. Making use of every rock trick in the book, it’s hard not to find something you’ll like on this 5 track collection.
If performing with a band isn’t pressure enough, imagine a one-man act with nobody to fall back on. Relying on crowd dialogue and a hefty dose of humor is necessary to counteract any hesitation or nervousness, helping to fill the void between clapping and the next song. A couple of Texans recently made their way to The Fox Theatre to perform solo sets that relied on lyrical depth and a good sense of humor.
Chatham County Line’s new album 'Tightrope' debuted at #3 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart. North Carolina funambulists Dave Wilson, (Guitar, Harmonica, Vocal) John Teer, (Mandolin, Fiddle, Vocal) Chandler Holt (Banjo, Guitar, Vocal) and Greg Readling (Bass, Pedal Steel, Piano, Vocal) return to Colorado promoting their sixth studio album on Yep Roc. For over a decade, Chatham County Line has remained the same four members.
New Zealand was representing in Boulder on this night in a big way, and I was very happy to be part of it. I got the opportunity to meet and interview one of the nicest bands that I have ever met. Sam McCarthy and Lucas Ventura from Strange Babes were the ultimate hosts for me, and I had yet another magical evening of music and community. The night started with a terrific opening set by Strange Babes.