Short story: Amazing funk, amazing crowd, a happy birthday song and a marriage proposal.
Check it: The Capitol Theatre
It is also on Archive.org:
Short story: Amazing funk, amazing crowd, a happy birthday song and a marriage proposal.
Check it: The Capitol Theatre
It is also on Archive.org:
We walked into the Brooklyn Bowl where there were large signs stating that tonight’s concert was being taped and by being there we could be on TV.
The Concert lasted about 2 hours and 30 minutes, and Aaron Neville sang many doo-wop songs. From what we learned on Wednesday, Neville can do doo-wop. Well. Really well.
This concert was the actual live filming for Aaron Neville’s upcoming PBS special, produced by Keith Richards and Don Was. This show also promoted his upcoming Doo-wop album coming out in January. If it is any indication of what I saw on Wednesday, I can’t wait to purchase it.
Neville singing, known for his sweet harmonic voice, shouldn’t have been a surprise when he was harmonizing with Joan Osborne, or Paul Simon. But it was. The specialness of being at such an intimate setting as The Brooklyn Bowl with two incredible icons like Neville and Simon. It gives me goosebumps as I write this.
Mr. Neville looked sharp up there, in his suit, with his brother Charles next to him on sax, and a plethora of talent behind him. The formality of the show was not lost on me. Joan Osborne looked like she was in awe of Mr. Neville as she dueted with him. Paul Simon and Neville sat on stools, both dressed with fedoras as they played an acoustic We Belong Together, an old Ritchie Valens song.
Even though the house lights were on the whole time, and the crowd itself was an odd mix of NOLA fans, and Doo-Wop fans, it was still one of the most special shows I’ve seen all year. The intimacy of a packed Brooklyn Bowl was also juxtaposed against the all kinds of aged crowd, and the immense amount of talent on the stage… it was, for me, overwhelmingly mind-blowing. At times, it brought me back to this year’s NOLA Jazz Fest, my first Jazz Fest, and the tears that streamed down my face when Neville sang Amazing Grace, the last song at the Fairgrounds.
Neville played some favorites too, like a hair raising Hercules, ending the set with his , Tell It Like It Is. @WebVixenNYC grabbed a set list – grateful for your set list snag!
The band members on the stage behind Neville were, Greg Leisz on guitar, (Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams), George G. Receli on drums (Bob Dylan, James Brown), Tony Scherr on bass (Bill Frisell, Norah Jones, Rufus Wainwright), brother Charles Neville on saxophone (Neville Brothers). Also featuring Michael Goods on organ/piano and Joel Katz, David Johnson and Earl Smith, Jr. on background vocals. Special guests including Eugene Pitt of the Jive Five (who co-wrote the album’s title song), and Dickie Harmon from the Del-Vikings, Joan Osborne and Paul Simon.
Again… goosebumps all over my body. Thank you, Mr. Neville… thank you.
Whatever you’re doing tonight, have a blast, be safe, and dance your booty off. A new year: a celebration of freeing yourself from the old, setting new and improved intentions for the new. Tonight I celebrate with my loved one, Gov’t Mule, and a bunch of like minded Muleheads in the Beautiful Beacon Theatre. Many of my Posse are Phishing tonight at Madison Square Garden, and I am thankful that we are representing around the city.
Much love to those who read this blog, I appreciate your support and your comments, and I love to write my skewed views down on “paper.” My new intention for next year: Get better about writing the shows down. I admittedly was lacking the latter part of this year, and I will try hard to stay on track for next year.
Here’s to a great 2012, may it be prosperous, healthy and happy for us all!
This weekend is the Royal Family Ball starring Soulive and Lettuce, with special guests. Last year, John Scofield showed up, with special surprise guest, Warren Haynes. Wonder who this year’s Ball will bring out of the woodwork?
Last year, I covered the show for View Skewed, and, well, it blew my musical head apart. Here’s the coverage of last year’s Ball: http://wp.me/ppvLC-D0 Hopefully, people will dress like it’s a ball this year! :) And I hope to see you there.
Tonight’s Agenda, Saturday February 5, 2011:
Le Poisson Rouge: Eric Krasno & Chapter 2 w/ special guests James Hurt, Maurice Brown, Chris Loftin & Nikki Glaspie opening for Big Sam’s Funky Nation w/ special guest Christian Scott
Aftershow: The Blue Note, NYC: Sam Kininger Band w/ special guests James Hurt, Nigel Hall, Maurice Brown, Ivan Neville, Eric Krasno, Nikki Glaspie
Two horn playing Sam’s (Sam Williams, trombone from Big Sam’s Funky Nation) and Sam Kininger (saxophone, Sam Kininger Band) played in the west village last night… it was Sam Squared. Let me see, I’m going to try to recount as best as I can.
I’m not a big fan of Le Poisson Rouge – drinks are pricey, the ceiling is low, it’s cramped, loud and dark. But Big Sam’s Funky Nation rolled in from New Orleans, and the Royal Family’s Chapter 2 w/ Eric Krasno (guitar; Chris Loftin, bass; Nikki Glaspie, drums; Nigel Hall, keys & vocals) were in town. I could deal with Le Poisson Rouge for this throwdown. The place was vibrating it was so amped, the crowd was ready to get down.
I don’t have a set list so I can’t recount the songs, but what I remember was a bit of Beatles covers sprinkled in with some dirty funk. Loud, deep, in your face beats with Nigel Hall on vocals (see below for a video and a taste of his talent), and Eric Krasno’s lightning fingers on the guitar.
James Hurt (keyboards) takes over from Nigel’s spot on the keys and it seemed like he couldn’t get the equipment to work for a second. The next thing I see on stage is this guy going crazy on the keyboards…
Like, standing/sitting/falling off his chair and still playing the keyboards “crazy”. A few minutes later there is a horn explosion on stage with Big Sam, Maurice Brown and another trumpeter (whom I don’t know his name) and it’s gone insane. Nigel wails in the mic; Chris Loftin, a big guy with a big bass, dances around the stage with a permagrin on his face; Nikki G. on drums keeps the beat fast and loud, prodding the rest of the band to keep up with her.
Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. This was just the opening band.
Big Sam is great. He’s always a lot of fun, a lot of energy and great sounding, dancing, shaking your hips kind of music. He did the get on the floor real low thing, he got the girls on the stage at the end, there was a Hey Poky Way and Sneakin’ Sally Thru the Alley. There was Mardi Gras beads in the crowd, the NOLA faction of the city well represented. Again, if you like horns, if you like great funk, if you like to dance with your hands in the air and shake your booty to some fun New Orleans jazz, go see Big Sam’s Funky Nation. Seriously, he blows you away.
The buzz was catch the Sam Kininger Band over at the Blue Note Jazz Club a few blocks away. Sam on sax and Nikki G. from Chapter 2 earlier in the night were on the stage, and it wasn’t until I sat down that I realized who I had been hearing from the bar area.
Ivan Neville on keyboards (where did he come from?), Maurice Brown on trumpet, Eric Krasno on guitar, Nigel Hall on vocals, James Hurt again from Chapter 2′s set on keys, and it was way out of control. Nikki G. on those drums commanded the attention again, she was so amazingly good. I, and I know a few others who just were blown away.
There were about 30-40 people there at the most, the place was empty. This jam session that ended at 3:15 am Sunday morning was one of those moments that you felt the special vibe in the room, where friends, artists and fans alike sit in awe. The YouTubes below give a taste of what went down at The Blue Note last night.
(Editor’s Notes: Funky sh*t goes down at The Blue Note at 2:54am….slow rolling funk, bass low, sax and trumpet through the air, reeds squealing in the saxophone. Amongst the funkiest, Ivan Neville on the Baby Grand to join in on the funk. Krasno’s fingers are at lightning speed on the neck of the guitar, playing it for all it’s worth, Nikki going sick on the drums.)
I have no words. The whole evening was like slow foreplay until The Blue Note’s explosion at 3am. I’m still recovering.
It was an exceptional year for live music. I am lucky enough to live in a city where music is a part of the lifeline, like matzoh ball soup and a good reuben, as much as we love to hate our mayor, and collective groans when the MTA hikes their fares. Here is to 2010. May we all have a healthy, prosperous and musically exceptional new year!
5. Roger Waters, The Wall, MSG October 2010
Runners Up (I couldn’t fit them all in the Top 10):
Phish is a full on experience – I can’t really write notes while Chris Kuroda and his lightshow extraordinaire is flashing infront of me. I can’t really try to analyze what Trey, Mike, Fishman and Page are doing up there, because it is just to much stimuli to process.
Between the incredible talented jams, the light show you must see at least once in your life, the energy of the crowd (usually on overdrive) and that beautiful circle of exchanges between band and their adoring fans…. no, there is no way I can write it down.
And, yes, I’ll be spending New Years Eve with Phish… but not before one last evening with my beloved Mule – as they take a hiatus on tour for a while.
Ed note: Do not be mistaken, Phish can never take the place of Mule, nor should they really ever cross….
I was excited to hear these guys. The buzz from this band from The Gathering of the Vibes this year had been loud, and I had missed them. With the latest announcement that Rob Somerville (saxophonist from Deep Banana Blackout and others) was joining the band made this a “not miss” on my calendar.
I went to say my congratulations to the band and my good wishes for a great show when I realized that I knew many of these great musicians from years past in college when I was a “Tongue -n- Groove” groupie back in the day. Still, it is strange to say “I knew these guys back in the day,” but I did, and even though I felt I was showing my age, it was wonderful to reconnect with them all.
Not so sure how to classify these guys. They are a groovy, funky, jazzy combination with loud keys, steady drums, a great bass groove, a shredding guitar and horns. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, when wind instruments (sax, flute, trombone, etc.) is added in the mix of a solid funky band always makes it better. It’s like the cherry on top of the sundae, it doesn’t get much better than this.
My notes are all over the place because I was dancing too hard to write. The consensus from my pages of scribbles are:
The crowd was filled with old friends of the band, and new. There were about 40-50 people in the joint, loved it because there was space to roam, and I could get up front and ride the rail with my railriding friends without feeling like I’d be claustrophobic. For the representing peeps that showed up that hot summer evening were psyched to see Kung Fu’s first gig with the newest band member. I was psyched to see them, period.
Lesson learned: Kung Fu is coming… keep a lookout. They are worth your time, and your dancin’ shoes.
Birthday Extravaganza, Day 2 Pre-Party: I spent all day cooking and getting the house ready for the first party I’ve had in the new place. My BFF came over and was truly the party saver. Without her we wouldn’t have cups or utensils to eat the lasagna or drink the drinks. And the napkins. (Thanks Dianne!, truly the party mule) The scene was intimate, about 5 or 6 people, which is actually a nice size for these NYC apartments. I opened the champagne, and I started to get a bit giggly. A sign that it was time to go down to The Highline Ballroom, to see Marco Benevento and Joe Russo. Travel arrangements made by Eric, thank you.
Benevento/Russo Duo: (download this show here) Never seeing the Duo, yet knowing both artists separately I was very, very excited to see these guys together. They rarely play together these days, with Joe Russo touring with Furthur and others, and Marco Benevento playing with Garage a Trois, and others. I guess sometimes the scheduling gets in the way. I knew this was a special night. Especially when my 2 friends got miracled for the show with free tickets that just sort of flew into our hands that evening. Birthday surprises had begun.
The Highline Ballroom was packed when the three of us walked inside. We eventually made our way upstairs where a table was open and waiting for us. The Birthday Bubble was closing in on us, and nothing was gonna hold us back from having an amazing time. The two guys on stage didn’t disappoint either.
To describe what happened on the stage is, well… it was fantastic jazz. Old school Baby Grand piano with a small amount of drums on the stage. That was it. Two instruments. Two incredible players. Talent oozing off the stage. A twenty minute Blues for Allah, jazzy enough to the point where I couldn’t figure out it was a Grateful Dead song. Truth be told, until I saw the set list I didn’t know any song that was being played. It was that great kind of old jazz where you think about small jazz clubs in Chicago, people are smoking their cigarettes and drinking their whiskey and tapping their feet. It was that vibe, and friends came over to me throughout the night to wish me birthday wishes and celebrate. It was beautiful, indeed.
Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio, Sullivan Hall:
After laughing with and kissing and hugging goodbye to the crew uptown we departed to go down to the West Village to my other favorite place, Sully Hall, to see Bobby Lee Rodgers. I knew of him from Wanee and was excited to hear some guitars and southern rock. Who am I to say no to guitars and southern rock? I saw more friends outside the venue, who knew it was my birthday and we were walked into Sullivan Hall celebratory style. After a drink with my girl, another drink with my buddy, I have to admit, I was feeling no pain.
I went to my normal spot on the side of the stage and danced myself silly. I’d say there were about 50 people in there, a late night show (starting at 11:30) and incredibly funky. Bobby is truly a master on that guitar, drum beat keeping it all moving along… whoooo. Fun fun fun stuff. Bobby is not to be missed when he comes to your part of town.
In the crowd was a familiar face, Eric Krasno from Soulive, and I said hi to him. Usually I am rather shy when it comes to saying hello to certain musicians of a certain caliber, but this night I was in rare form. I even asked him for a picture, which he graciously said of course. Yep, rare form indeed, floating on an incredible music, surrounded by beautiful friends and having the time of my life.
Thanks to all who celebrated with me in the Birthday Bubble….musicians included!
Friday was the warmup for Saturday’s crazy. It was full on all day.
McLovins: I’ve been told by numerous people to check these kids out, and I missed them at Nateva to see Max Creek. I heard they crushed it at Nateva, so I decided to forgo Max Creek. (side note: I found it very interesting that both these bands were playing at the same time at both festivals. And they are both from Connecticut. Coincidence??) I get to the Green Vibes stage about 10 minutes after they started and the place was packed. I tried to get up to the stage and check them out but I couldn’t get up there without a case of claustrophobia so I ended up to the side.
There was a bit of technical difficulty, but then they just broke out. In typical teenage style they were loud and fast, but tight. Impressively tight; technically and talented. Really talented kids. Check out more from my friend Lori’s Coventry Music. Something about a 1000 Hippie McLovin March went on, that I wasn’t privvy to. Here’s the YouTube – load it up and click it around the 5 min mark. Whooo, they go off.
Band Break: My buddy and I went back to camp for the 40 minute respite before Assembly of Dust. I got on the phone with This Week on Lot and tried to describe the surroundings to them. A conference call of sorts. You can check out me on the radio here. Afterwards, I got a bit of food in me and was off to the Main Stage.
Assembly of Dust: I have not seen these guys a lot, but each time I have seen them I like them more and more. Their talent is obvious, the music is technically sound, Adam Terrell, lead guitar, vocals (also plays with Nate Wilson) shreds it, Reid Genauer, lead vocals, guitar has a really nice voice. Two drummers, and a keyboardist that plays the violin. I mean, c’mon, you can’t go wrong. They shredded the last song to pieces and you could tell they were getting off by the energy in the crowd. Great time had by all.
Galactic: They put on a solid show, as always. Cyril Neville shows up and kicks it up a notch. Corey Henry frikkin blasts that trombone out of the universe. Ben Ellman plays the sax hard and sexy. Stanton Moore keeps the beat down and low, and the place just falls into soul funk deep grooves and swayin’ hips. Oooh, lordy lordy. Fun fun stuff, as always.
Setlist: Gemini Rising, Gossip, You Don’t Know, Balkan Wedding, Heart Of Steel, Cineramascope, Ooh Nay Nay, Boban, Tell Me What’s On Your Mind, Boe Money, No More Okey Doke, From the Corner to the Block
Band Break: Met up with some Camp Family from Nateva that day and we took it back to camp. I introduced them as “my old friends”, then realized that Nateva was less than a month away. Festival family is on another level… Old friends indeed. We collectively decided to sacrifice Umphree’s McGee for time in the shade, a change of clothes, food and drink and laughs. Sorry Umphree’s.
Rhythm Devils featuring Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Keller Williams: I have to admit, I was surprised how amazingly good these guys were. Keller added a nice level, but this was not the Keller show. This was the Rhythm Devils show in all their glory. Two incredible drummers, doin’ what they do. Drums. In an ode to the Grateful Dead, it was kind of a stretched out Drums/Space but without the Space.On another note, I met a friend who I went on Dead Tour with 20 years ago. Beautiful syncopation…Original Dead members on stage, me with my buddy, reliving old memories, seeing the newest iteration of Billy and Mickey on stage, complete with firedancers. LOVED it. I will catch them when they play in NYC, without a doubt.
PRIMUS: Jeez holy louise moly blown away. I can’t even describe it. Les Claypool bassing OUT up there with these humongous astronauts behind the band. Jay Lane is an incredible drummer, I can tell why he left Furthur to go
back to this band. But, of COURSE! I was not a Primus fan (operative word there “was”), and the only thing I knew of them was that “back in the day” they were associated with lots of skinheads and mosh pits. Well, there were no mosh pits. Just lots of people bouncing around, myself included. I couldn’t stop my legs moving even if I wanted to. They blew me away, I am a hardcore Primus fan now – already bought the tickets for the October show in NYC. That’s how much I loved this set. WOW. Go see these guys….
Deep Banana Blackout: Continue reading