The Rambles at Levon’s Barn continue and everyone in attendance on Saturday night was enthralled by the musical creativity, the intimacy of the venue and the homey comfort of seeing a show that feels like you’re in your friend’s living room. Levon Helm Studios are in the Mid-Hudson Valley in Woodstock, NY. The audience is a mix of weekend visitors and locals. The atmosphere is friendly & relaxed.
Some people attend church on Sunday. My church on Sunday was Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The pastor: Phish. Sixteen years Uniondale, New York, has been waiting for the boys from Vermont to make a triumphant return to the arena. “Phans” braved the elements outside to see what the guys had in store for this Sunday evening in Long Island.
I was ten years old when the boys from Vermont unleashed what we know it as today…Island Tour ’98. Four shows spanning two states in the northeast. Long Island in New York and Providence in Rhode Island. But I’m sure many of you already know that. As Phish wrapped up a raging summer tour, everyone was already in full throttle with New Year’s rumors and possible fall tour plans. As the time got near, my mission was clear, and a 6-night run of shows was announced. A 3.0 island tour if you will.
The final show of 'The Last Waltz Tour' was held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 and featured special guest Robbie Robertson sans Turkey dinner for all. The 2019 tour honored The Band's iconic 1976 Thanksgiving Day farewell concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Robertson, the lead guitarist for The Band, was also the organizer of the original concert.
Last weekend, the legendary jam band Zero concluded a prolific 35th anniversary run aptly named “Back to Zero.” Core members Steve Kimock, Greg Anton, Pete Sears, Melvin Seals, and Hadi Al-Saddoon were joined by friends and family for an invigorating reunion that pleased newer fans and decade-spanning devotees alike.
This incarnation of the band, which was established in the early 1980s, included Melvin Seals (keyboards), Pete Sears (bass, backing vocals), Hadi Al-Saadoon (trumpet, backing vocals), and Sebastian Saint James (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), with Miles Kimock contributing additional guitar passages in the second set. Steve Kimock had worked with Seals and Sears in the recent past, and with Al-Saadoon in Zero’s early days. Saint James, who was new to the Zero fold, gelled well with the group.
Let’s rewind to November 25, 1976, on Thanksgiving Eve. The iconic group, The Band, were joined by Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Dr. John, to name a few. This was going to be the official “Farewell Show” in San Francisco (Winterland Ballroom) for the Canadian/American quintet: Helm/Danko/Robertson/Hudson/Manuel.
On Sunday, November 3, 2019, Tom Constanten, Grateful Dead keys player from late 1968- early 1970, brought his Live Dead ’69 celebration to the Ardmore Music Hall just outside of Philadelphia. Comprised of Slick Aguilar (Jefferson Starship/David Crosby Band) and Mark Karan (RatDog/Other Ones) trading spots on lead and rhythm guitar, Robin Sylvester (RatDog) on bass and long-time Dead collaborator Ezra Lipp on drums.
The Infamous Stringdusters have had quite the substantial last week or so, starting off with their Halloween escapades at the beginning of last weekend in which they were able to jam with none other than G. Love of Special Sauce. This past Monday night, the band was featured as part of the incredible celebration What The Night Brings, the musical tribute to the late mandolin master Jeff Austin, with whom of course The Stringdusters had befriended and performed beside many times.