What is fair to say and what is hyperbole? Is it overstating things to say the Grateful Dead have become so much more than just their music? They define pieces of us. Times with friends. Discovery. They have become an institution reaching further than just recordings of their shows. But no matter what, for all of us, it still starts there; with the music. The music was and is a driving force in us. But since it has ended, and it has ended, what we are left with are new branches growing from roots sewn in the 60’s.
“Tennessee Jed” was a raucous riot, as it indubitably should be. The instrumental breaks showcased JRAD’s proclivity for shaking fresh ideas out of well-worn material. Benevento dropped a stanky, Dr. John crossed with Dave Brubeck piano piece. Metzger and Dreiwitz slipped into a parallel, Bizarro “Jed.” The entire unit tilted and started to spin ecstatically. It was like putting a Ferris wheel on top of a roller coaster. JRAD increasingly infused the Dead’s material with their own creative energy. They weren’t out to simply play these cherished songs; they sought to possess them and make them their own.
The music began early on the final day of the Skull and Roses Festival in Ventura. A hot offshore wind heated up the day by the time the drum circle started at 10 am. Overhead waves from a late spring storm exploded across Ventura point buffeted by the strong sideshow winds sending long plumes of salt spray high int the air. The strong winds stirred up a cloud of dust that helped turn the sunny day into an eerie orange haze.
Downtown New York City saw the return of an amazing yearly musical event this past weekend, The Tree of Life Benefit. Created by music lover and activist Robert S. Rosman and his family, Tree of Life gathers big names of the metro jam scene and beyond to deliver memorable nights of collaborative music in an intimate setting. It all raises funds for Ferncliff Manor, a school specializing in the care and treatment of individuals with disabilities.
Today Reid Genauer lead singer-songwriter of Strangefolk and Assembly of Dust announces release of a new album, Reid Genauer & Folks “Conspire to Smile" on digital music retail, CD and Smule, social singing app. Spearheaded by Genauer “Conspire to Smile” features more than two dozen critically acclaimed musicians all of whom donated their time and talent towards a communal illustration of power of collaboration and in support a simple call to action for music fans - #ConspireToSmile.
This past Saturday, the Williamsburg area in downtown New York City returned with one of its most anticipated musical events of the year, Brooklyn Comes Alive. Across three music venues, The Brooklyn Bowl, Rough Trade, and Music Hall of Williamsburg, over fifty musicians jammed, sang, and tributed together in fifteen sets of unique, supergroup type fashion.
A collective of two dozen musicians from the Jamband universe today announced a joint New Year’s Resolution to “Conspire to Smile” in 2018.
The project includes a studio album, social media thought experiment and Kickstarter campaign under the moniker “Conspire to Smile” with the intent of kickstarting compassion, smiles and communal strength through song.
For more than a decade pianist Marco Benevento has been amassing an extensive resume of composition and collaboration. His albums set forth a vision that connects the dots between MGMT and Tortoise on one side, Brian Eno and Brad Mehldau on the other. In the live setting, his performances reverberate with pulsating dance rock energy, which has led to numerous high profile appearances, ranging from Carnegie Hall to Celebrate Brooklyn, Newport Jazz to Bonnaroo.