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