At least initially, the announcement of the release of additional recordings of the Allman Brothers Band at the famed (and now defunct) New York venue Fillmore East was cause for celebration. Upon closer inspection of the content and, in turn, its accurate placement in the context of the seminal Southern rock band's history, the joy dissipates considerably and, ultimately, leads the musiclover back to the original title At Fillmore East (Capricorn, 1971). Safe to say, it's invaluable for that reason alone. Splendid as it is to have more shows featuring the original six-man lineup, especially in this pristine ...read more
For over two decades, keyboardist John Medeski, percussionist Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood's abiding fascination with the endless possibilities of groove-based music has taken them from intimate jazz clubs to outdoor festival stages. Their eclectic efforts have included a number of high-profile collaborations; the most prolific and successful has been with esteemed guitarist John Scofield. Following the concert performances issued as In Case the World Changes Its Mind (Indirecto, 2011), Juice is their fourth album together since 1998's pace setting A Go Go (Verve). Where their previous studio recording, Out Louder (Indirecto, 2006), emphasized collaboratively written pieces, ...read more
The Alan Evans Trio, nee Alan Evans' Playonbrother, were the first band to formally avail themselves of the resources of Applehead Studios for a live with studio audience session in Woodstock New York in 2013. Patterned to a great degree on Levon Helm's Midnight Rambles at his own barn, ultra contemporary facilities in a rustic setting, these events present a unique opportunity for musicians and fans alike to immerse themselves in the spontaneity of the moment even as the engineers-Michael Birnbaum, Kevin Salem and Chris Bittner-are capturing it all for posterity. Drummer Evans, guitarist Danny Mayer and keyboardist ...read more
Nothing warms the heart cockles of a late-Baby Boomer more than a discussion of music, specifically that of his or her childhood. Baby Boomers are a boisterous and opinionated bunch regarding their music, fully justified in believing that the period between mid-1950s and mid-1970s was, in the words of VH1 Executive Director Bill Flanagan, a Golden Age" in American Music. Restrict that conversation to the best live rock recordings and the dialog shifts to a high simmer, under pressure, threatening rebellion or all-out apocalypse at any moment as I was to learn with my graded publication of The Best Live ...read more
Rarely does the opportunity to interview a touring musician arrive with much advance notice. Schedules tend to be dictated by airline departure times, hotel check-out policies and sound checks. If I am lucky, I'll know of an upcoming show in town a few weeks in advance and can plan accordingly. If the artist has a few minutes to chat post-gig, I usually attempt to prep them with a few questions and follow up via phone later. Sometimes however, an opportunity literally sits down in the back seat of your car and starts a conversation. Like most generation x-ers, ...read more
In retrospect, it was inevitable; why it took so long for veteran jazz jam band Medeski, Martin & Wood to get together with Nels Cline is anybody's guess. The über-guitarist has, since joining Wilco a decade ago, managed to significantly raise his visibility, but anybody who suggests that he's been moonlighting" in the alt-country/alt-rock/alt-alt band to pay the rent hasn't been paying attention. Like keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood, Cline's career has been largely associated with jazz--well, before Wilco, that is; that's all changed now--through his lengthy association with Cryptogramophone Records and albums with his ...read more
The Allman Brothers Band Beacon Theatre New York, NY March 21 & 22, 2014 Originally scheduled to be the final two shows of The Allman Brothers Band's 2014 Beacon Theatre run, those dates were subsequently superseded with the announcement of additional performances. However, the distinction returned to the Friday and Saturday shows when Gregg Allman's illness caused the rescheduling of the final four appearances. The founding member and vocalist/songwriter's absence from 3/21 and 3/22 would seem to be quite a liability in itself, yet the remaining member of the group, with some more than able ...read more
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