Reviews

Sexy jam rockers Ghost Light lit up the stage at the iconic Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, NY with their unique blend of acid and funk mixed with indie jam rock. The band is led by jam scene veteran and guitarist Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Brother’s Past, American Babies), as well as guitarist Raina Mullen (American Babies).

Can you call Billy Strings a newcomer? Maybe not anymore, seeing as how the twenty-something-year-old virtuoso bluegrass guitarist, along with his band of three other members, is now known for selling out large venues around the country. And yet, the word newcomer feels right in the context of making important notches.

Boston born indie-folk powerhouse Chadwick Stokes Urmston has made his impact on music over the last few decades. Known for fronting bands such as Dispatch and State Radio, his newest undertaking, touring with musical group “The Pintos” proves to have given his resume further depth and opens a new chapter in his life.

Sixty-seven years ago, on New Year’s Day, Hank Williams Sr., passed away. What he did for music in just a short amount of time (29 years) on this Earth is legendary. Talking about legends, every year on Third Street in Bethlehem, PA, at Godfrey Daniels, a group of local legend musicians gets together to pay homage to Williams Sr. 

For about 25 years now, “Phil & Friends” has constituted several combinations of like-minded players with extensive Grateful Dead music pedigrees and acumen. On New Year’s Day, 2020, Phil Lesh performed and led a high-spirited, two-set show in the Beach Park, the outdoor performance venue at his Terrapin Crossroads club and restaurant in San Rafael, Calif.

“This is for you, Dad.” Devon Allman said this around 8:30 PM last Saturday night, with his face and first finger pointed up toward the sky. It’s hard to imagine what he, as well as the other two Allman Brothers relatives in The Allman Betts Band, must have felt like getting to perform to a packed crowd in the historic and legendary hall that his dad’s original band championed so many countless times over. 

Hot Tuna brought the final show of their 50th Anniversary Tour to the Parker Playhouse in Ft Lauderdale, Florida for a special New Year’s Eve concert. The power-trio featured founding members Jorma Kaukonen on guitar and vocals, Jack Casady on bass as well as Justin Guip on drums. The veteran rockers delivered a two-set show of blues, traditional and psychedelic music.

A new, cavernous San Francisco concert venue was put to use by Dead & Company on Dec. 30, and while it is the biggest indoor venue in Grateful Dead-hometown history, the party was no less enthusiastic. On New Year’s Eve, balloons would drop and a vintage plane would fly through the arena at midnight, but here on the 30th, the penultimate night of the year, Dead & Company delivered a big, powerful show worthy of review.

It takes a hell of a lot to get me to brave the absolute sardine-pack that is a sold-out Ogden Theatre in Denver for 3 consecutive nights. There are very few bands that would warrant something like that but Billy Strings is up there at the top of the shortlist.  Over the course of a cold weekend in December, the city of Denver was lucky enough to get to take part in the only three-night run of Billy Strings’ fall tour.

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