We don't get to choose when tragedy strikes. In a rough week for rock n roll, a reprieve sweet spot can be found in Old Shoe’s Country Home. They play songs that would make Mr. Tom Petty proud with local hero flavor and solid licks to back it up. They have the willingness to not back down from playing the rock n roll that they appreciate, not just the trendy over-produced pop that is sure to sell records. The members of Old Shoe are not just respectful musicians but respectful fans of the music as well.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, not only are they full of funk and spunk, but they are also one of the fastest growing Jam Bands today. Promoting their new album “Pizazz”, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong kicked off their rather large tour at the Boulder Theater last night, October 6th. All of their fans, or as they like to call, their “Flock”, migrated into the theater for what they didn’t know was going to be one epic dance party.
There may be no band that has been more critically analyzed song by song and show by show than Phish. Phish phans are some of the most attuned and astute musical analysts in the music scene. Since my first show in December of 1996 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia to my 197th show at the closing of this summer tour at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, I have seen and heard such vastly differing opinions about nearly every show.
Langhorne Slim is one of those artists that really deserves to be bigger than he is. Everything about his show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom served as proof of that; he’s got the songs, he’s got the charisma, he’s got the sound, and god dammit does he have the stage presence. Granted, selling out the Bowery is no small feat, and it was more than apparent that his fans knew exactly what kind of musical force of nature they were witnessing.
Few bands have a reputation for making music as original as Gov’t Mule. The group, fronted by singer-guitarist Warren Haynes (with drummer/co-founder Matt Abts, keyboardist-guitarist Danny Louis and bassist Jorgen Carlsson) has delivered once again with their 10th studio album, Revolution Come...Revolution Go, on Fantasy Records.
Thursday night in Stamford, CT on a mild late September evening, brought fun and great music to The City That Works. JD & the Straight Shot played an opening hour long set of mostly original compositions that ranged from Country to Americana inspired songs. Influences by Jay Ungar, David Bromberg, Larry Campbell and The Band can be heard in many of the songs.
During northwest Arkansas’ annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ festival near the end of September, fans of sultry Southern rock – of which there were many – enjoyed a lively set from JJ Grey & Mofro. A fairly frequent performer at George’s Majestic Lounge, lead singer JJ Grey was comfortable as ever with the variety of audience members. Bikers, bluegrass, and rock fans alike found themselves grooving along with Grey’s smooth performance.
Kansas, one of the most successful American rock bands to come out of the 1970's, brought their progressive rock jam sounds to the opulent Thousand Oaks Civic Center, Wednesday, September, 13th. The marathon performance featured no less than 24 songs in a nonstop show that stretched nearly three hours into the late summer evening.
The Bluegrass scene has been exploding over the past few years, and since the Bill Monroe days, south-central PA has been at the heart of it. In the middle of this hotspot of up and coming bluegrass bands, is Mountain Ride, an original bluegrass band that seamlessly comingles both traditional and progressive bluegrass styles. Lead singer and songwriter Eric Avey has assembled an amazingly talented group of musicians to go along with some very well written original lyrics.
On September 15th The Lil Smokies graced the world with their sophomore studio album, "Changing Shades." For anyone unfamiliar with the Lil Smokies, they are certainly a band on the move. Winners or the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition, they have catapulted themselves into the spotlight amongst some of the bluegrass greats. Hailing from Missoula, MT, the Lil Smokies played over 175 shows in 2016 alone.