Bowlive V, Brooklyn Bowl 2014

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Photo by: Dino Perrucci

Bowlive, Soulive’s two week residency, is ending it’s fifth year tonight at the infamous Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY.  I have been lucky enough to be able to catch all five years, and incredibly witness how each year seemingly gets better over the last year.

This year’s special guests have ranged from Warren Haynes, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi and New Orleans’ legends George Porter Jr. and  Jon Cleary, to lesser known 11 year old savant’s from Brendan “TAZ” Neidermeyer, Eddie Roberts, Joe Russo, DMC and Talib Kweli, Marco Benevento, Scott Metzger, Sonya Kitchell, and Nigel Hall.

Photo courtesy of: Alan Evans

Photo courtesy of: Alan Evans

The Shows: Admittedly, I have not been able to hit all the shows as I have in years past.  However, I can tell the nature of the Bowlive residency has mellowed into a well-known two weeks of throwdown funk, with surprise guests galore.  I use the word “mellowed” because the players (Neal Evans, keys; Eric Krasno, guitar; Alan Evans, drums) have seemingly settled into the pace of this particular run.  I am certainly not saying these shows are mellow, they are anything but mellow.  From the opening night two weeks ago, you can sense the excitement, the high energy building in the club.  The second night was frenzied, but no one seemed to realize that the show was going long to allow Warren Haynes to come from the Upper West Side where  the Allman’s were playing.  Those who either knew what was happening, or those who just hung out, were treated to a 4 song set that lasted well past 2am.

For me, my personal highlight were the ones I have attended.  First night (Thurs), vocalist and keyboardist Nigel Hall brought us back to the first few years of Bowlive where he was a nightly staple to the Soulive trio.

Third night (Sat), I was grateful to see George Porter Jr., bring his personal brand of funkiness to the stage, and the Soulive men tweak a little to the NOLA side of funk.  Add Eddie Roberts, from the New Mastersounds and The London Souls and this night was way up on the face melting scale. Here is a clip of the night before, when Warren Haynes stopped by:

Highlights: Night 4:  Jon Cleary & John Scofield John Scofield needs no introduction. He also has played with the Soulive trio for years, and the chemistry between the four men is palpable.  You can tell the Soulive men adore Scofield, and this bounces back from Sco to the Soulive guys.  The riffs that Krasno and Scofield throw at each other are mesmorizing.  I am not sure if I danced or just stood there with my mouth open.  I wish there was video to share with you.

John «Sco» Scofield  (Foto: Vidar Ruud, ANB)

John «Sco» Scofield (Foto: Vidar Ruud, ANB)

Highlights: Night 5: Susan Tedeschi, Joe Russo, John Cleary.  “Turn on Your Lovelight”

THROWDOWN

The Food:  I ate the addictively delicious Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, but have to admit my new favorite is the Rock n Roll Fries.  I’ll let ya’ll in on a secret – it is fries and gravy with cheese on the bottom of the plate.  Fattening and delicious for sure.  With all the dancing I’ve done the past two weeks, I have no guilt at all.

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Tonight is the last night to catch BOWLIVE V.  Will you be there?  Hope to see you.  http://www.brooklynbowl.com/event/470695-bowlive-v-soulive-brooklyn/

Allman Brothers Beacon Theatre Run, 2013

photo by: Allison Murphy

photo by: Allison Murphy

Once a year, NYC’s Upper West Side is graced with the pleasure to host The Allman Brothers Band at The Beacon Theatre, for about 2-3 weeks.  10 nights of the Allman’s.  Southern twang, slide guitars, songs that break your heart and songs that transport you to another place.  Well, for me anyways……….

March Madness.  And, on a side note.  Soulive‘s residency at the Brooklyn Bowl, Bowlive, usually overlaps the Beacon run.  ABB seems to be at the Beacon a little earlier than last year, so the urge to be at both places at the same time will be tough to handle.

Luckily, they like to jam with each other.  Grab your tickets!

Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Fri, 03/01/13
08:00 PM
Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Sat, 03/02/13
08:00 PM
Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Tue, 03/05/13
08:00 PM
Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Wed, 03/06/13
08:00 PM
Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Fri, 03/08/13
08:00 PM
Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Sat, 03/09/13
08:00 PM
Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Tue, 03/12/13
08:00 PM
Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Wed, 03/13/13
08:00 PM
Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Fri, 03/15/13
08:00 PM
Beacon Theatre New York, NY
Sat, 03/16/13
08:00 PM

Nigel Hall & Alecia Chakour, Rockwood Music Hall 2.13.12

photo by: View Skewed

The Royal Family warms up a random February Monday Evening

Jazzy, harmonic sexy duets in honor of St. Valentine, warmed the crowd’s bodies and souls for one hour on a cold Monday evening.

Nigel Hall, keyboards, and Alecia Chakour, vocals, both from the Warren Haynes Band sang a sexy little set in honor of St. Valentine’s, with nine love songs which spanned the spectrum from fusion jazz to rhythm & blues, song by song.  The room was intimate, the stage was intimate and the vibe was laid back.  By the last song, people were dancing, and everyone was smiling.  We became a very happy room.

photo by: View Skewed

My favorite song was Lauryn Hill’s Nothing Even Matters, … the sweet, happy banter between these two… so nice.  Now, just because I’m calling it sweet does not mean that it’s soft.  No, both Hall and Chakour have powerful, soulful voices that kinda swirl around each other in harmonies, making it hard to not sway, smile and be….happy.

Members of The Royal Family Records were the backup band members with Adam Deitch, drums, and Adam “Schmeeans” Smirnoff, guitar, from Lettuce.  Eric Krasno, (Soulive, Lettuce, Chapter 2) came eventually replacing Chakour’s brother, Alex on bass.  Alex Chakour played most of the set, with Krasno playing the last song.

I wonder if this could be the warmup to the Brooklyn Bowl’s  Bowlive.


Bowlive Final Night; Soulive with special guests: DJ Logic, Kofi Burbridge and Warren Haynes 3.13.10 – updated

photo by: Karen Dugan

OK. So, I lost my pen around 11pm, so let’s see how I can recount this.

Pre-show: Breezed in.  They know me now, I mean, I’ve hit 8 of the 10 shows.  I couldn’t help myself.  Really.

Set 1: Nigel Hall band with Nikki G. on drums, Tash on sax, Alan on drums, Neal and Nigel on keys.  There were 2 sax players and Eric Krasno on bass.  Yes.  Bass.  Oh boy, what the hell is going on??

Set 2: Pure Soulive only set.  Kofi Burbridge saunters on stage around the second or third song.  Then the Shady Horns joins.  Alan is the MC Extraordinaire of the whole run, and he is doing a great job of it.  Krasno decided to do a little plucking on his guitar, along with Neal’s deep bass groove, which then explodes into shredding.  The horns accentuate the beat, the flute cuts the groove with a sparkle making this whole thing seem like fireworks on stage.  Indeed, I believe it was.  Nigel shows up on stage midsong and we get all down and dirty.  It looks like a lovefest up there.

Set 3: DJ Logic turns some great funky jams.  That was nice.  Really nice.  Funky and low, great to dance to.  Yep.  Nice.

Notes: The Brooklyn Bowl was buzzing when I first walked in.  It seemed like people knew it was gonna be a great night.  The rumor mill was swirling, with a name “Warren”.  Really?  Warren?  Actually yes, Warren Haynes showed up around 12:30 and played for about 30-45 minutes.  It was sweet.  Warren on guitar, Alan on drums, Nikki G. on congas, a bazillion horn players, Kofi on keys, Alan on keys, I think Nigel was on keys.

And this is why I need to write this stuff down immediately.  And I also need a better camera.

Thanks for the Bowlive Blues Festival at Brooklyn Bowl.  Hope y’all come back real soon!

Bowlive, Soulive with special guests, Marco Benevento, Kofi Burbridge, Oteil Burbridge, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, 3.12.10

Preshow: I was drenched.  Standing outside, in the cold rain, on the tickets bought line.  Yes, yet another line.  After about 10 minutes on line I breezed in.  The security guards and the ticket guy know my face by now.  They told me “When you’re in, your in-don’t come out.”  Killer.

The Bowl was packed.  I mean packed.  As I’ve said before, The Bowl has been buzzing with electricity while Bowlive has been going on, and tonight you felt it oozing out of the walls…it has stunk of funk for the past 5 nights.

Set 1: I finally made it past the bar area onto the floor.  Six Figures were on stage when I walked in.  They warmed up the crowd with those brass horns and raging guitar riffs.  There was a bit of room up front so there I was, earplugs in tact.

Marco Benevento and Nigel Hall, on keys

Set 2: Soulive with Marco Benevento.  Now, I have heard of Marco, but have never listened to a recording.  I was excited to hear what the buzz was about him, I have never been steered wrong by friends in the know.  Marco plays keyboard, with a mixer on it or something and he rocks.  Really rocks.  Between the drowning of the keys, with Neal Evans blasting once again with his constant deep beat, and brother Alan nailing those drums in syncopation.  Kofi Burbridge was cutting through that with his twinkly flute, notes bouncing off the room and its occupants.  Kraz was shredding, he is so good, so fast on that guitar, it’s a little mind blowing, I have to admit.

Marco was rocking, he was standing up, head shaking back and forth.  We then sailed into a Led Zeppelin tune, now there are 3 sets of keys and my notes say, “Sounds like horns.  But there are no horns.” Yeppers…. this is what I have been telling you all week long.  Insane.

The London Souls

Set 3: The London Souls come on in all their shredding glory.  This was old school headbanging rock and roll Led Zep style, with a lot of crazy riffs going on.  (I need to find another word for “insane”, insert your adjective <here>.) Soulive then comes out and gives their props to the 3 crazy rockers.  We got another taste of the Beatles, Marco comes back on stage and for the next while we Ring-Around-The- Eleanor Rigby>I Want You>Eleanor Rigby -Rosey.  Whoo, boys, the heat just went up another 10 degrees.  The next thing I know, there are 12 people on stage, with Nigel, the London Souls, Alan is playing conga, at least 5 horns and Neal, Marco and Nigel going insane (ah, there’s that word), on the keys.  The crowd was rowdy, dancing, smiling, aware of what we were witnessing.  Brooklyn Bowl, kinda like the Mothership, yet with a bowling alley, and we were floating up into new lands filled with music.  Beautiful.

Alan Evans and Kofi Burbridge

More Pictures from the professionals:  Dino Perrucci, and Soulive’s blog

I notice that everyone was about to leave the stage when Oteil Burbridge shows up again with his bass, and bam, we are deep back into that low bassy groove.  Kofi and Oteil rage on while it gets crazy on stage before Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi followed suit.  Oh. My. God. So, yeah, what to say about that?  Continue reading

Bowlive, Finale Weekend, Brooklyn Bowl

Processing.  I’m still processing what went down at Brooklyn Bowl.

Nigel Hall, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Eric Krasno (photo by: Karen Dugan)

Derek Trucks guitar; Allman Brothers Band, Susan Tedeschi, guitar and vocals, Oteil Burbridge, bass; Allman Brothers Band Kofi Burbridge, flute and keys; Derek Trucks Band; stopped by on Friday.

Lookie, Derek smiling! (photo by: Karen Dugan)

Warren Haynes, guitar; Allman Brothers Band, drops by on Saturday night.

The house falls apart.  The walls of the Brooklyn Bowl were dripping in a bluesy kind of souly funk, and as Peter Shapiro, Brooklyn Bowl owner said, “These walls needed some soul.”  Indeed, they now have been inducted.

Full update to come later today.

Check out the pictures…  From Soulive’s site. Scroll down for pics.

Bowlive, w/ Kofi + Oteil Burbridge, Soulive, Talib Kweli, Brooklyn Bowl, 3.10.10

Ok, Derek did not show up.  But, that doesn’t mean that show 7 of Bowlive didn’t rock out.  I remember Alan saying at the beginning of the night, “It’s Wednesday.  It’s only Wednesday.”  Yeah, here we go.

Preshow: Place was buzzing but at this point it was quiet in the house.  Probably only 150 people or so.  There was room to walk, room to dance.  It was nice.  I was secretly hoping it would be this small all night.  (yeah, right.)

Set 1: Nigel Hall singing, playing those keys, starting nice and slow. By 9:30, Alan on drums, Neal on keys and Kofi, flute were all on stage, playing nice and slow, soft, pretty jazzy riffs.

Set 2: Soulive, just Alan, Neal and Eric alone for a while.  Solid bassy key jams come out of Neal’s left hand and they rock.  Kofi joins again, and they sail into a nice jazzy groove.  The addition of Kofi’s flute blasts us into another level, on this 7th night of Bowlive.  The brass wind from the Shady Horns, and Kofi’s crystal clear notes cutting the groove, Neal’s bass keys pounding, Alan’s banging beat, Eric’s lightening riffs on the guitar.  Down to the ground.  Soul.  Beautiful.

Set 3: Nigel comes back on stage, (I can’t remember if Oteil was up already) and the crew rocks out to Stevie Wonder’s, Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours into Movin’ on Up.  At this point, I believed Mr. Trucks would walk on stage, but to no avail.  Almost immediately, Oteil starts scatting while plucking his bass.  You could tell he was having a blast playing with his brother and jamming with Neal.  Neal blasts those bass keys, naw, blasts the whole keyboard crazy system he has like none other.  Towards the end of the set, Oteil just stopped playing and eyed up Neal, smile wide, dancin on stage.  He was eyeing up his brother Kofi as well, watching the two of them jam together was a great thing to see.

Encore: Talib Kweli.  Yeah.  Really.  He and Nigel play together, and the house starts jumping.  Earlier in the night I thought I had heard music reminiscient of a Pat Metheny type of groove, jazzy and bluesy and technically perfect.  By the end of the night it was bass groove, hard beats, fast riffs, shredding and rapping.  Wow.  It was a holy smack it down into the ground eruption ensues.  The bass reverberates, flute crisply cuts the air, and a jazzy, bluesy, kinda funk thing happens again at Brooklyn Bowl.

I guess that’s how Bowlive rolls in Brooklyn.  More great insights from Soulive’s blog.


Bowlive, Rubber Soulive with Charlie Hunter, Kofi Burbridge and Nikki G., Brooklyn Bowl 3.9.10

Oh good lord.  I can’t believe I actually made it out last night to Brooklyn Bowl, for the 6th night of Bowlive, hosted by Soulive.  (This is night 4 for me).  This bar was buzzing last night, packed for a Tuesday; Man to Woman ratio: 6.5 to 1.  It’s nice to see some chicks rocking out to the funky vibes.  Tapers, photographers and videographers were there in droves, not to mention the audience with their plethora of cameras, flip cams and videos.  Youtube and Archive.org should be filling up as we speak.

Preshow: Unknown.

Set 1: I missed it.  Heard it was Soulive alone.  Not sure.

Setbreak: Unknown.

Set 2: Nigel Hall and Charlie Hunter.  I left the side and went way up front, checking out Charlie’s style.  He plays a 7 string, plucks the bass line with his thumb while simultaneously strumming the guitar licks with his other fingers.  At. The. Same. Time.  I can barely text and walk at the same time, how do you play two different instrument rythmn lines at the same time?  Holy schmoley.

Setbreak: Unknown.

Set 3: Neal Evans comes on and plays drums for a bit with Charlie Hunter, Eric Krasno and Nigel Hall.  Then, Kofi Burbridge with flute in hand comes and throws out some beautiful notes with that silver instrument, rocking the house down.  Drummer Nikki G. (Beyonce) comes on stage, Neal moves to the keys and they play this awesome PFunk jam – apropos for the funk that has been dropped down on the Brooklyn Bowl the last few weeks.

Continue reading

Bowlive, Brooklyn Bowl, 3.6.10 w/ Ivan Neville + Robert Randolph + a little Charlie Hunter -updated

Preshow: First stop was Brooklyn Bowl (again – my 3 night consecutive run at Bowlive even surprised me).  But, as someone said, “They’re soooo good.”  

Line: Long,  House: Packed,  Bar: couldn’t get to,  On Stage: Nigel Hall on keys.

Set 1: Soulive (Eric Krasno, guitar; Neal Evans, keys; Alan Evans, drums).

Ivan Neville on keys

Set 2: Soulive with 3 horns.  Ivan Neville shows up with another saxophonist.  Rage continued.  Nigel and Neal were dancing with each other on one set of keyboards,  Nigel’s left hand, Neal’s right hand –switch– Neal’s left hand, Nigel’s right hand.  Wild, I can’t even describe it properly. I need to link to something to show what was going on. Here’s a link to see the dancing… its better than trying to describe it (a picture is a thousand words and all that).   The energy was electric, and was sizzling through the Brooklyn Bowl.  It was only 11pm.

Setbreak: longer than the usual 15 minutes.  My friend started to shake and she said, eyes bugged out, “Oh my god, I just saw Robert Randolph.”  I looked on stage, damned if I didn’t see a steel guitar up there.

Set 3: Robert Randolph and Soulive go absolutely nuts.  Robert is a trip, his energy is so high, the roof was blown off the Brooklyn Bowl once again.  Pure power, pure funky guitar riffs, crazy keys and incredible beats.  We were on that “driving the one beat” train right into the ground.  It was intense.  Intense.

Robert Randolph walked in for a bit

Set 4: I can’t remember if there was a 4th set.  It all merged together at this point.  The music lifted the Bowl and everyone in it a little bit higher.  The stage was packed, 4 horns, 1 drummer, I conga player, Robert Randolph on steel guitar, cranking it out, lifiting that steel with his knee almost off the stage, Ivan Neville on vocals, then he moved to the keyboard on my side of the stage.  Bass keys and more from Neal, Nigel on vocals.  Insanity reigns at Bowlive.

Continue reading

Bowlive, Brooklyn Bowl, Night 3, 3.5.10

Preshow: Again, another line to get into the house.  Also, another freezing night in Brooklyn.  Must be the dancing that kills all that ails.  Got in, met a few new wonderful people from last night’s show, and got up front.  Claustrophobia be damned!

Set 1: Nigel Hall back on it with his keyboard.  His voice is really intoxicating.  Soulive has started these shows with him sitting at the keyboard, singing some really nice bluesy tunes.  Then, slowly Soulive (Eric Krasno, Alan and Neal Evans) come out on stage and nonchalantly start jamming along with him.  It’s a sweet way to start a show.

Set breaks: These guys are doing small sets, and short, multiple set breaks.  The tempo of the show shakes down differently with the small breaks.  They come on stage,  blast us for a snippet in time, and we all take a breather.  Then repeat.  Repeat all night long.

Set 2 Highlights: Beatles Jam:  Eleanor Rigby>I Want You>Eleanor Rigby:  Fast, sick jam, hauntingly beautiful, no singing just the three of them jamming out, those bass keys setting the pace.  Words have no place when I can link to a video: Enjoy. We then went into I Want You.  Neal Evans on bass keys drives a beat deep into your chest.  My notes say: “I Want You: bass keys out of mind.”  Yep, that kind of sums it up.

Set 3 Highlights:  London Souls, Manic Depression: The special guests of the evening, London Souls, got on stage and played Hendrix style.  The guitarist resembles Hendrix as well, if you squint hard.  The drummer’s hair reminds me of a brunette Robert Plant circa 1979.  They rock out like Led Zep as well.  Great beat, fast, tight, head banging style rock.  Old school rock.  Awesome.

Continue reading