Erika Wennerstrom, lead vocalist and guitarist for the smashing rock band Heartless Bastards, spoke to Billboard Magazine this past November to promote the February release of the group’s new album, Arrow. She said, “I feel like this is the strongest record I’ve ever done. I’m really, really happy with it.” She made a damn good point.
The biggest sham perpetuated by mainstream rock and pop music magazines is the narrow “greatest guitarists of all time” annual issue. In the editor’s defense, it’s probably a dreaded task. Most of these sorts of publications (none specific come to mind, of course) tend to focus their top picks on the straightforward rock guitar heroes. Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Duane Allman.
If you are a Deadhead living in SFO, PDX, PHL, BWI, or NYC, I need to talk to you about time and energy. But not in the “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” tradition of “Practice, Practice, Practice”. Instead, I need to talk to you about the temporal evolution and aggregate electrical output that are quickly molding The Motet’s funkified adaptations of the Grateful Dead songbook into an instant must-see classic.
What happens when you take little pieces of bluegrass, surf rock, Afro-pop, Spanish flamenco, hip-hop, and blues, and then shake them up in the “Boggle cube” of these North Carolina based artists? Well, you’ll get ONE of The Toubab Krewe’s songs. Shake it again, and these same pieces of musical inspiration will form a totally different song, while retaining their distinctive sound. This outside-the-box approach, combined with creative song writing and a slew of skillfully played instruments, has given them a rep
2012 offers us a lot of mystery, wonder, and spirituality. It induces the end of a great cycle, which brings upon the rebirth of the world to a higher level of consciousness, according to the Maya. Great cycle changes can cause a huge amount of turmoil and change. But, it is all for our greater good.
Chances are if you’re a Dead Head you’re already well-versed in the glorious spring of 1977. Back a year since their mid-’70s performing hiatus, and fresh from recording their Terrapin Station album in L.A. with producer Keith Olsen, the Dead returned to the road invigorated and excited that spring. There were fantastic new songs (including the “Terrapin Station” suite, “Estimated Prophet” and “Fire on the Mountain”) and their older tunes seemed imbued with new vigor and vitality.
With the release of his fifth album, Jackie Greene said in an interview that he was tired of being labeled as the “new Dylan.” Now almost four years later with another record under his belt, Greene’s live performance has placed him in a realm outside of the more simple acoustic guitar and harmonica playing solo artist that gave Greene his start.