Donna the Buffalo has been touring for the past 20 years and has deservedly built up its own fan collective known as The Herd. That’s why I was initially mystified at the barren nature of The Dirty Bourbon in Albuquerque on Monday. In retrospect, I really should not have been too surprised. After all, how many shows have you seen on a Monday?
Ryan Adams played a free show last night at the Boulder Theater in support of Barack Obama's re-election campaign. The packed Boulder house was politely quiet throughout the entire hour and a half solo acoustic set. Nowadays Adams likes his shows intimate and free of distraction and the crowd respectfully abided, for the most part. "Thanks for choosing Boulder," a fan yelled.
The only detractor to using the word jazz to describe a genre of music that is too many different progressions have made it useless as an adjective. What does it mean when something is “jazzy”? Many would here a walking bass line accompanied by swinging guitar licks and a brass section leading a melody. Others might think of Flamenco, Indian sitar styling, or Bluegrass. Many fans prefer the Modal or Cool sound and the artists of that classic period.
Last night at George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, AR, a large crowd filtered into the bar to see an energetic, eclectic, graceful, bass-heavy show. As the night progressed, so did the crowd; as Beats Antique took the stage, a shoulder-to-shoulder audience cheered and roared.
The Trey Anastasio Band, or TAB as it is affectionately called by many, breezed into Columbus, OH on Saturday for the third show on the tour and the third in consecutive nights for the Phish frontman and his 7-piece band, and if anyone thought there would be a fatigue factor from three days of travel and shows, TAB would put them to rest quickly and decisively. Heck, the tour is in support of TAB's new album, aptly named Traveler, and Trey has been on the road
Since I started reviewing shows, I have taken great care to listen not only to the music made on stage, but also to those who bring live improvisation to climactic heights with their ears and energy: the crowd. At any show, the canvas is always painted by the musicians, yet concomitantly framed by the listeners. Two crowd members, in particular, helped me frame Dark Star Orchestra’s superb tour closer at the Boulder Theater last Saturday.
How many Grateful Dead tribute bands does the scene need? The answer could be endlessly debated each way forever. I suppose it’s fair to say that since Dead music is a rolling snowball of endless genres, sporting both originals and reinvented covers with thirty years of varying performances where supposedly “no show was ever the same twice,” that room for countless cover acts isn’t unfound. After all, people still want to listen to their music, obsessively, even though they haven’t been around for seventeen years.
Of all the great cities in the U.S. nothing can compare culturally to New Orleans. It seems all of the hardships endured have only strengthened and secured its identity as one of the best places to see impromptu jams or the biggest names in music and party down. Their Jazz Festival thrown every April sees the best touring musicians sitting down for uncommon collaborations, partying and playing all night.
Throughout much of its history, bluegrass music has been lumped into the category of Country music; however, the last two decades have brought bluegrass out of the shadow of Country with bands like Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, Infamous Stringdusters and The Avett Brothers, and in the process has won over throngs of younger fans with a sort of “New Grass Revival.” You can now officially add another band to that list – Cincinnati, OH’s Rumpke Mountain Boys. With their first new release since the departure of bassist Travi