Stanton Moore - Conversations CD / LP - The New Orleans native called on a pair of veterans from that city's vibrant, deeply rooted jazz scene to form his new trio. Pianist David Torkanowksy and bassist James Singleton have both played with saxophonist Tony Dagradi's long-running band Astral Project alongside Moore's mentor, drummer Johnny Vidacovich. Singleton has also worked with the likes of James Booker, Professor Longhair, Aaron Neville, Joe Henderson, Milt Jackson, Harry Connick Jr. and Lightnin' Hopkins. Torkanowsky's credits include work with The Meters, Maceo Parker, Dianne Reeves, Dr. John, Boz Scaggs, George Duke, Kirk Whalum, James Moody and Chuck Berry.
Moore chose Torkanowsky and Singleton for their unparalleled musicianship, versatility, compatibility, and long history together. What he realized only after the fact is that his newly-assembled trio was already a Grammy Award-winning group: they had worked together as the rhythm section for Irma Thomas' After the Rain, which was named the Best Contemporary Blues Album of 2007. "I always love playing with Stanton," Singleton says, "and when he got me back together with Tork it became pure inspiration. We all share such deep bonds within very specific musical languages, and the energy keeps growing."
The connection shared by the three New Orleanians, Moore says, "brings a deep sense of groove and pocket and a whole batch of ideas and cultural influences that I can reference and these guys know exactly what I'm talking about. There's the Mardi Gras Indian thing, the brass band thing, the James Black thing. It's hard to find a group of guys who are not only aware of all those influences, but are equally happy playing in any of those genres."
Medeski Martin & Wood + Nels Cline - The Woodstock Sessions Vol 2 CD- Medeski Martin & Wood + Nels Cline have announced the release of The Woodstock Sessions (Vol. 2) on April 22. The four musicians came together to record on August 27, 2013 at Applehead Studios in Woodstock, NY in front of an intimate gathering of 75 lucky ticket holders. The session was part of a newly launched series that brings established and emerging recording artists together with their fans in the recording studio. The experience is a performance/session hybrid that supports the artist to fan bond by sharing the process of record making. The end results are inimitable recordings that capture inspired, one-off performances.
Heard in its entirety, The Woodstock Sessions (Vol. 2) presents some of the most imaginative playing ever documented in the vast discographies of either Medeski Martin & Wood or Nels Cline. “MMW has no leader. When we play, there is an unspoken rule that requires each of us to sometimes lead and sometimes follow. As an outsider, it’s hard to join this kind of democracy without altering it,” concludes Chris Wood. “With Nels Cline it’s different. He instantly became a citizen of our twisted democracy and elevated it to a higher realm.”
Quicksilver Messenger Service - Hawaii 1970 (2 CDs) - Quicksilver Messenger Service are a legendary ensemble, an American psychedelic rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco, together with Jefferson Starship and The Grateful Dead, they are considered one of the leading acts on the city's psychedelic scene in the mid-to-late 1960s.
Quicksilver Messenger Service gained wide popularity in the Bay Area and through their recordings, with psychedelic rock enthusiasts around the globe and several of their albums ranked in the Top 30 of the Billboard Pop charts.
Although not as commercially successful as contemporaries Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead, QMS was integral to the beginnings of their genre. With their jazz and classical influences, as well as a strong folk background, the band attempted to create a sound that was individual and innovative. Member Dino Valenti drew heavily on musical influences he picked up during the folk revival of his formative musical years. The style he developed from these sources is evident in Quicksilver Messenger Service's swung rhythms and twanging guitar sounds.
By 1970 the band were working and recording largely in Hawaii. The next two albums, Just for Love and What About Me?, are sometimes called the Hawaiian albums because they were recorded mostly in a studio in that state, and both have a similar Hawaiian motif to their cover designs. This excellent live album captures a changing band at the peak of their game. A real treat for psychedelic music fans.
Ziggy Marley - Fly Rasta CD - The 5th solo studio album from 5 time Grammy winning artist Ziggy Marley, Life on Mars explores crisis on a deteriorating earth and the ultimate migration of the human race. This conceptual album is a cry for humans to come together and make our planet a better place before there is no point of return. Many goodwill partnerships will be created out of this project, all in an effort for people to connect with one another in a positive way and give back to their fellow humans.
Marley serves as the album s producer, Dave Cooley (J Dilla, Silversun Pickups) was tapped for the additional production on song structure and the album s audio profile. The record features a collection of talented musicians, including Sly and Robbie, James Gadson (Bill Withers, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney), Lyle Workman (Sting, Beck), Brian MacLeod (Sheryl Crow), Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty) and Zac Rae (Lana Del Ray, Brett Dennenwith guest vocal appearances from the Melody Makers (Cedella and Sharon Marley, Erica Newall). The album is mixed by Andrew Schepes (Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake) and mastered by Dave Cooley (M83, Neon Trees). Life on Mars marks some of Marley s most forward thinking and accessible songs in the past decade.
Alan Evans Trio - Woodstock Sessions Vol 1 CD - "The recording of the Woodstock Sessions was like a family barbeque, a show and a recording session rolled up into one day. Everyone who joined us there made every second of what you hear (and don't hear) a very special experience. We all showed up, talked, laughed, ate food and drank with each other. As the sun went down, we piled into the live room and started. Everyone knew something special was happening with every note that was played and before you knew it, we were under the stars hanging out again. No overdubs, no second takes. Just a wonderfully unique moment in time captured by and with some wonderfully unique people." - Alan Evans
The Allman Brothers Band - 40th Anniversary Live at the Beacon Theatre DVD - By 2009, the Allman Brothers Band had morphed into a line-up that consisted of Gregg, Jaimoe and Butch, guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, bassist Oteil Burbridge and Marc Quinones on percussion. In tune with each other musically, philosophically and personally, these players were hitting on all cylinders as they prepared to mark the band s 40th anniversary with a no-holds-barred celebration during the group s annual stand at the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City. This rustic venue had become a favored spot for the ABB to play in Manhattan, in the tradition of the Fillmore East. This 15-show run was dedicated to the memory of Duane Allman, and accordingly, some very special guests came out to pay homage to the man known as 'Skydog'. Sixty-two artists, including Eric Clapton, Levon Helm, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, and Buddy Guy were there, with someone of note sitting in during every show, except on one night. March 26, 2009, marked the exact 40th anniversary of the first time Duane, Gregg, Jaimoe, Butch, Berry and Dickey played together, and so this performance belonged to the Allman Brothers Band, and no one else.
The current band decided to honor the original six by playing the group s first two albums: The Allman Brothers Band and Idlewild South, back to back, track by track. Like a tiger unleashed from a cage, the band pounced from the opening moment of 'Don t Want You No More/Not My Cross to Bear', and the power and fury only went up from there. Seven men were playing as one, each feeding off the energy from the others, communicating in a non-verbal, mutually understood musical conversation.
40: A very special number, and this DVD proves why the Allman Brothers Band is a special group indeed. Savor every note of every song, because chances are a band the likes of this one will not come our way again.
The Infamous Stringdusters - Let it Go CD - The new album will be a milestone for the group – Andy Hall (Dobro), Andy Falco (guitar), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle) and Travis Book (upright bass) - that showcases their eight-year evolution from IBMA Award-winning bluegrass torchbearers to multi-dimensional string explorers, mixing tight song craft and a flare for improvisation. It’s acoustic music with nods to tradition, but as the New York Times said when describing the band: “genre doesn’t hold them back. The Infamous Stringdusters don’t leave bluegrass behind; they’re stretching it from within.”
Proceeds from the lengthy album release tour will benefit The Conservation Alliance, a collective of outdoor industry companies that support grassroots environmental organizations in their efforts to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation value.
Nickel Creek - A Dotted Line CD- The Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling trio Nickel Creek Chris Thile (mandolin/vocals), Sara Watkins (fiddle/vocals), and Sean Watkins (guitar/vocals) officially reunites for the first time since its 2007 self-described "indefinite hiatus" with the album A Dotted Line, followed by a tour of the US in support of the Eric Valentine-produced album, which includes the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass and Newport Folk Festivals.
As Nickel Creek's 25th anniversary approached, the band members decided they ought to mark it in some way, so they got together to write music in Chris Thile's apartment last year. They ended up with six new co-written songs, which they eventually took to a Los Angeles studio, along with one tune by Thile, one by Sean Watkins, and two covers: Sam Phillips' "Where Is Love Now" and Mother Mother's "Hayloft. " There they worked with Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Smash Mouth), who had produced Nickel Creek's previous album, Why Should the Fire Die?.
Mike Dillon - Band of Outsiders CD -How many artists can claim being praised a "punk rock provocateur," "jazz vibraphone visionary" and "percussion virtuoso" in the same sentence? There's only one: Mike Dillon. Whether through his affiliation with artists like Les Claypool, Brave Combo and Ani DiFranco, collaborations such as Garage A Trois, The Dead Kenny Gs and Critters Buggin or bands he's fronted, including Billy Goat and Hairy Apes BMX, the Texas-native has set his own standard for 25 years now.
With his latest effort, Band of Outsiders, Mike Dillon has conjured the perfect storm of all these past endeavors. His manic creative vision found its match in three young musicians he met in New Orleans. Carly Meyers—whom Dillon describes as “a High Priestess of Trombone who channels the energy of Iggy Pop through the chops of JJ Johnson in second-line parade”—provides harmonic counterpoint to his vibes and percussion (“All Walks of Life”) as she simultaneously ups the band’s art-rock ante (“Carly Hates The Dubstep”). The rhythm section of bassist Patrick McDevitt and drummer Adam Gertner turns on a dime between snarling punk rock assaults (“Homeland Insecurity”), deep funky go-go (“Head”), ska grooves (“Here The Burro”) and experimental hip-hop beats (“7AM At The Jazzfest”) with all points covered in between.
LES RACQUET T-Shirts!
Apr 17-20 Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival - Pittsboro, NC
Apr 24-27 MerleFest - Wilkesboro, NC
Apr 24-May 4 - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
May 2-4 French Broad River Festival - Hot Springs, NC
May 9-11 Purple Hatters Ball - Live Oak, FL
May 15-18 Orange Blossom Jamboree - Brooksville, FL
Video of the Week:
Umphrey's McGee with Eric Krasno - I Want You (She's so Heavy) Live from Wanee 2014
Thanks for reading, get out, feel some music, get down and have a great week!