The story of the Grateful Dead may be the most fascinating in the history of rock and roll, the chapter dealing with the archiving of their live recordings perhaps the most absorbing of all, if only because it continues to be written with the ongoing release of various projects from various stages of the iconic band's career. Under the tutelage of current archive chief David Lemieux, his quarterly series of concert pieces unearths stellar performances that illustrate the changes the Dead underwent in their three decades of existence. Lemieux and his team of researchers also devote themselves to the focused ...read more
Los Lobos The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts Burlington VT October 1, 2014 Los Lobos are celebrating four decades together by returning to their acoustic roots on tour in support of their live release of late last year, Disconnected in New York (Shout Factory, 2013). And the band certainly celebrated on their return to Burlington after a five year absence, offering an progressively loose and raucous performance that nevertheless never lost its decidedly intimate mood for the course of the two sets. Perhaps because he had missed the previous two stops due ...read more
Anyone who's had the privilege to see Gary Clark Jr. in concert knows that his previous recordings, on his own Hotwired Records as well as the two major label titles, are but sketches of how he's progressively forging influences of rock, blues and r&b into a stirring style of his own. Live preserves for posterity a charisma that's growing in proportion to the confidence he brandishes on Bright Lights." Recorded at various stops during tours of 2013 and 2014, this two-CD set showcases the main touchpoints in Clark's developing oeuvre. The dramatic opening of Muddy Waters' Catfish Blues" ...read more
New Riders of the Purple Sate The Rusty Nail Stowe, Vermont September 18, 2014 In the seventh year of the modern revival, the New Riders of the Purple Sage returned to Vermont--where they've been before titular leader David Nelson knowingly observed--to play at Stowe's revitalized Rusty Nail. The current quintet, all of whom have their respective cache in the legacy of the band and its community, played a potent two sets, the first of which was discernibly adventurous enough to excite an audience hoping to indulge in more than just nostalgia (and perfectly primed via ...read more
The Felice Brothers Oakledge Park EAT X NE Festival Burlington, Vermont September 20, 2014 When jny: Burlington last saw the Felice Brothers in September of 2013, they were about to steal the show at the Grand Point North Festival at Burlington, Vermont's Waterfront Park with a single song that brought much of the audience to a hush. The rest of their set, unfortunately, was a bit too sloppy for its own good, even by their standards and, in contrast to previous shows in the area, they appeared and sounded more disinterested than caught ...read more
Given his fascination with media, the late Jim Morrison would no doubt be deeply bemused at the irony of the release of a Doors compilation on cd (a dying configuration) due its popularity as a Record Store Day 2014 issue on vinyl lp (the configuration that won't die). It's no accident that Bruce Harris' original liner notes for Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine have been retained (nor pure expedience either, though there's no indication these tracks have been remastered). The author puts the lead vocalist of the Doors and the rest of the band in the unique ...read more
To accurately assess and analyze the music of U2's Songs of Innocence, it's necessary to exert a herculean effort to shunt aside issues that would otherwise camouflage a clarity of mind. It's been at least eighteen months or more that the new U2 album was supposedly imminent, so the rise and fall of expectation and anticipation leads away from, rather than closer to, a discerning eye and ear. And the recent controversy arising from the auto-appearance of the album as a digital file in iTunes (and in some cases on wireless devices themselves, also without notice) can only diminish the ...read more
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