They resurrected a spry Dead set from early ’87—April 7, Brendan Byrne Arena (NJ)—that again moved a crowd of hopeful dreamers and warmed yearning hearts with smiles, smiles, smiles.
Crowd-pleasing has never been any sort of issue for the Virginia Born prog-grass quintet Infamous Stringdusters. Every crowd seems simply enamored with their boisterous stage presence, aggressively cunning musicianship, and true accessibility. The Dusters use most tour dates as a catalyst to interact with fans through various environmentally geared cleanup projects. They’re wholesome yet mysterious. They’re seemingly traditional but stylistically inexplicable.
Upon entering George’s Majestic Lounge on Sunday night I noticed something in the air. It wasn’t smoke, because you can’t smoke in George’s. But there was something else hovering in the spaces between us humans. Music wafted from the back room – a folk duo picking at stringed instruments and harmonizing light Arkansas accents. The venue was buzzing with old friends and new faces, happy hearts and big smiles. Elephant Revival was in town – a cause for celebration. And a celebration it was.
Deborah Bonham is not only the sister of John Bonham (the late drummer for the band Led Zeppelin she’s also an accomplished blues based, 70s-style neo-classic rock singer/songwriter based out of England who just released her latest release “Spirit” in 2014 (Spectra Records). This is her fourth release to date.The CD kicks things off with “Fly” a bluesy.
The Raised By Wolves recently released the music video "Freddy Freaker" - a track from the band's debut album Sadie Hawkins (2013). As the band explains it, "The video is a surreal exploration of the inevitable and often dissonant evolution of friendships over time." The green triangle used in the video appears to represent the concept of how all relationships remain balanced over time. The bonds of friendships may strengthen or deteriorate, yet the amount of change is equal to amount of time explored.
There was a time when the singer/songwriter troubadour type of music seemed to be a dying breed. Then, somehow over the last couple decades it seems like there has been a resurgence of interest in just great songs, delivered with passion. That’s what this set really is. Sure, it has some range of musical style, but overall this is most like the great singer/songwriters of the 1970s, but with a modern sensibility.The opener “If I Can't Have You” has sort of a split personality. In some ways it feels like a folk rock, roots rock tune.
At the Fox Theatre, local bands have rocked the stage for twenty-two years, and they’re in good company. The Meters played the inaugural show back in 1992. Phish and the String Cheese Incident won over early crowds while jamming at The Fox. Snoop Dogg has a painting inside that’s nearly as tall as he is. I could go on and on, but just walk around the lobby full of photo memories and you’ll get it.
Commercial success is a tough concept to toy with for many bands in their breakthrough moment. How do you compromise your stylistic integrity and what you want to play versus what a major record label or mainstream audiences are thought to expect out of pop music? It ruins the authenticity of certain bands willing to make that sacrifice. The braver bands with stronger roots and integrity can withstand such temptations, doing things their own way, and still gaining mainstream popularity and success on their own terms.
The Grateful Dead were always an unnecessarily modest group of musicians. Milestones, anniversaries, career-spanning accomplishments were underplayed by guitarist and vocalist Jerry Garcia in particular, who always was hesitant to accept hype around the group’s resurgence in mainstream popularity in the mid-1980s.
I have been going to shows regularly for over 15 years. Somewhere along the line, I came to understand that live music is my adopted religion and venues of great renown are, collectively, my house of worship. Being a Deadhead, in particular, is a sect onto itself. Until recently, I only understood this spiritual manifestation in the abstract.