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
The same day I saw Slash in Oakland, he tweeted “@slash: If u made the faces u make whilst playing lead guitar to people in everyday public life, they would have u committed. #fact iiii]; )'” That night he played a show at The Fox Theatre with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, and I saw those faces firsthand. He’s right.
Dr. Dog is one of those genre-defying bands whose sound is difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t heard them before. There is no other band that they can easily be compared to. It’s indie rock mixed with 60’s psychedelia, splashed with some punk and funk and soul. The result is a delicious musical cocktail, as anyone who attended their show Tuesday at the Boulder Theater can attest to.
Free Magic. Isn’t that what jazz-fusion is? Using a launch pad of some familiar melody, rhythmic riff, or instrumentation, and building it forward and outward until it gets really weird. That’s what Miles Davis realized about jazz music in the late 60s, that it was the root of all American music, and with that in mind any so-called style could be integrated into the so-called genre of jazz.
The Nederland, Colorado based indie acoustic quintet, Elephant Revival releases the staggeringly beautiful It’s Alive EP. This seven song collection comes with an illustrated hardcover songbook that contains lyrics from their first two albums. The complete package contains bonus digital downloads and a full color book with chord charts, notations, arrangements, and artwork by all the band members.It’s Alive is a strong showing of lyrical prowess, melodic melodies, and impressive instrumentation.
Fifty years ago Preservation Hall opened its doors in New Orleans, Louisiana with a mission to preserve, honor, and protect New Orleans Jazz. In celebration of turning a half century Preservation Hall Jazz Band is releasing: The Preservation Hall 50th Anniversary Box Set. This ear bud time capsule consists of specific tracks from recordings released between 1962 and 2010.