Beating The Bootleggers At Their Own Game
These Ashville sets have no solo material on them. Hornsby and his band blow and blow over the entire three discs. Electrified and sanctified, Hornsby performs his quasi-bluegrass in "Big Rock Candy Mountain, which morphs into its brother "Candy Mountain Run. At the audience's request, the band plays the old "Changes ("The Changes, a deft little jazz tune) and the new "Changes ("Gonna Be Some Changes Made. ) An inspired "Mandolin Rain consumes "Row Jimmy and then is presented in a minor key. An extended "White-Wheeled Limousine tells the tale of a Groom's indiscretion on his wedding day, while "Jacob's Ladder hugs "Pig In A Pen and "Stranger In A Strange Land.
Permeating all Bruce Hornsby performances is his largely percussive piano playing. Hornsby's musicianship is subtle and could be mistaken for all sounding the same. But, gentle listener, train your ear. There are many rewards in Bruce Hornsby's music, as summed up in the set closer, "Across The River dancing with "Morning Dew.
The New Orleans Jazzfest
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, April 29, 2004
MunckMix has documented the annual New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival since 2004 by recording all major performances and assembling a Jazzfest Live Compilation for each year. This fortuitous partnership resulted in the last live recording of Clarence "Gatemouth Brown's final concert, just a month before Hurricane Katrina and his subsequent death in the fall of 2005. But this is the tip of the iceberg. Aural documentation also includes Allen Toussaint, Rockin' Dopsie Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters, the Black Crowes, the Meters, and the Neville Brothers. Local talent Tab Benoit has also been an annual presence at the festival. Considered here is his April 29, 2004 performance in the Blues Tent.
Tab Benoit hales from Homa, LA, deep in French Cajun country. Benoit's particular brand of the blues reflects this. There are heavy slathering of all things Cajun and Zydeco in his music. His 2004 performance at the New Orleans Jazz And Heritage Festival illustrates this. The show starts out with the Cajun rage, "I Got Loaded, from Benoit's 2002 recording, Wetlands. All that is lacking is a squeeze-box and washboard. His Cajun flair is also apparent in the gumbo mainstays of Hank Williams' "Jambalaya and the traditional "Iko, Iko.
The place where Benoit and his Telecaster sensibilities shine the most is on the slow blues. Benoit's superb original, "Nice And Warm, is given a superb 10-minute workout. The standard "Too Many Dirty Dishes is likewise treated to a callisthenic performance, with Benoit's chops fully exposed and exercised. This is a nice live document of Benoit, who truly deserves a wider audience.
Little Feat: Brescia, Italy, June 30, 2004
Tracks: CD1: Introduction; Cajun Rage; Time Loves A Hero; Day Or Night; Daily Grind; Down On The Farm-Candyman-Down On The Farm; Sailin' Shoes; Cadillac Hotel; Spanish Moon-Skin It Back; Old Folks Boogie. CD2:On Your Way Down; Dixie Chicken-Dark Star Tease-Dixie Chicken-Bass Solo-Keyboard Solo-Oh Atlanta-Tennessee Jed-Dixie Chicken; Fat Man In The Bathtub-Get Up, Stand Up-Fat Man In The Bathtub; Willin'.
Personnel: Fred Tackett: vocals, guitar, mandolin, trumpet; Paul Barrere: vocals, guitar, harmonica; Bill Payne: vocals, keyboards; Richie Hayward: vocals, drums; Shaun Murphy: vocals, tambourine; Sam Clayton: vocals, percussion; Kenny Gradney: bass guitar.
Little Feat: Portland, OR, March 12, 2005
Tracks: CD1: Rocket In My Pocket; Time Loves A Hero-Day Or Night; Rad Gumbo; Rock & Roll Doctor; Cajun Girl; Willin'-Don't Bogart That Joint-Long Black Veil-The Weight-Willin'. CD2: Stomp; Train To Cry; So What Jam-Dark Star Jam-Dixie Chicken-Mosquito Wars-Dixie Chicken; Happy Birthday Bill Payne; Old Folks Boogie; Oh Atlanta.
Fred Tackett: vocals, guitar, mandolin, trumpet;; Paul Barrere: vocals, guitar, harmonica; Bill Payne: vocals, keyboards; Richie Hayward: vocals, drums; Shaun Murphy: vocals, tambourine; Sam Clayton: vocals, percussion; Kenny Gradney: bass guitar.
Bruce Hornsby: Philadelphia, PA, November 6, 2004
Tracks: CD1: How Far Am I From Canaan; Night On The Town; Lost In The Snow; Funhouse; Preacher In The Ring Pt. 1; Preacher In The Ring Pt. 2. CD2: Stage Banter; Gonna Be Some Changes Made; The Way It Is; Hooray For Tom; Across The River; Mirror On The Wall; The Tide Will Rise; Drunken Hiccups > Jacob's Ladder. Disc 3: Resting Place; Fields Of Gray > That's Where It's At; Rainbow's Cadillac; Dreamland; King Of The Hill; Mandolin Rain.
Personnel: Bruce Hornsby: keyboards, vocals; other musicians not identified.
Bruce Hornsby: Ashville, NC, August 20, 2005