Bela Fleck & the Flecktones - Rocket Science CD - Groundbreaking banjoist/composer/bandleader Bela Fleck has reconvened the original Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, the extraordinary initial line-up of his incredible combo. Rocket Science marks the first recording by the first fab four Flecktones in almost two decades, with pianist/harmonica player Howard Levy back in the fold alongside Fleck, bassist Victor Wooten, and percussionist/ Drumitarist Roy 'Futureman' Wooten. Far from being a wistful trip back in time, the album sees the Grammy Award-winning quartet creating some of the most forward thinking music of their long, storied career.
Warren Haynes - Man in Motion CD - Warren Haynes continues to be one of the most lauded straight-ahead rock lead guitarists performing today. But with his latest album his superior vocals are also at the forefront. Haynes' bold and emotive delivery, shimmering with his smoky vibrato is not to be missed. The album features Ivan Neville on organ and background vocals, Ian McLagan on piano, Ruthie Foster on background vocals, George Porter Jr. on bass and Ron Holloway on saxophone. The album was recorded live in studio to capture all of the emotion, passion and spontaneity at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studios on two-inch tape with vintage tube microphones. Beyond his solo work, Warren Haynes is also known as the front-man for GOV'T MULE and vocalist and guitarist for THE ALLMAN BROTHERS and THE DEAD.
Phish - Live in Utica (2 DVD/2CD) - The Utica box set features the complete October 20, 2010 performance on 2 DVDs and 2 CDs. The box set presents three hours of crucial Phish in an intimate venue with an inspired audience that returned the energy at every turn.
The nearly three hours of music on the Utica box set was recorded with 60 channels of digital multi-track and beautifully mixed and mastered, appearing on the DVD's in 5.1 Dolby surround and full-resolution, uncompressed PCM stereo. The video was shot with 8 cameras (16:9 widescreen), recorded and post-edited in High Definition. Combining a stellar performance with gorgeous improvisation and a healthy sense of adventure, Utica makes it clear that the band is back and playing for keeps.
Venice Gas House Trolley - Burst Open CD - Cerebral Groovalicious Existential Sacred Fusion Rock from Venice Gas House Trolley featuring electric guitar and percussion! A morning-gold explosion of multi-colored sparks!
This full length (over 54 minutes of music) CD is VGHT's most fully realized, funky, jammin' and agressively rockin' album to date. Tracks range from the Flowpoetry inspired title track Burst Open (Dance) to the political heaviness of Bomb Drop and Busted And Wasted to the roots reggae rubba dub of Layin' Low. Add in some skanky blues, psychedelic rock and roll, and some of VHGT's unique take on the Amerian West and you have an album that will move your body and your mind. Recorded in Madison, WI at The Blast House Studios and officially released Spring 2011.
Levon Helm - Ramble at the Ryman CD or DVD - On September 17, 2008, the legendary Levon Helm took his beloved Midnight Ramble on the road to one of America's treasured music venues, Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. Accompanied by such stellar players like Buddy Miller, John Hiatt, Sheryl Crow, George Receli, Sam Bush and Billy Bob Thornton, the Levon Helm Band created an unforgettable night of stage magic.
The collections features the Levon Helm Band in a musical tour through the American songbook, performing classics from Helm's time with The Band, as well as song's from his Grammy winning release Dirt Farmer and tunes from other artists such as Chuck Berry, the Carter Family and more.
Blast From the Past:
Perpetual Groove - Sweet Oblivious Antidote CD - Our 2002 Studio Album of the Year! Our review: It would sell the Savannah, GA based quartet Perpetual Groove a little short to encapsulate their music with a catch phrase. Mercifully, the ebullient group has provided listeners with a perfect verbal synopsis of their sound with the title of their debut album Sweet Oblivious Antidote. Even the album's artwork provides a glimpse into P-Groove's eclectic attitude. The outside is done in the style of an antique medicine bottle and below the disc tray is a grainy grocery-bag colored photo of the band, but the liner notes are decidedly futuristic. This all-inclusive vibe is evident from the first track, "Three Weeks", which rides a genuine rock-ballad groove before launching upwards into the electronic skyline. The lyrics are desperate but hopeful. Yin and Yang prevail.
Focusing on creating a singular sound rather than blatantly showcasing their obvious individual talent, P-Groove molds the overwhelmingly happy tones of their music into various shapes. Thankfully, their sweetly optimistic outlook avoids the realm of the corny. They coax a huge sound from their utilitarian guitar/bass/keys/drums setup, stoking a universal psychedelic fire that lately seemed to be fizzling. There's sun-drenched, barefoot bounce-rock that actually springs from group effort instead of the well-tested verse-solo-verse format. Sections of trance-like intent grow from what seems like trial and error repetition. They also demonstrate the ability to garnish their less frenetic material with enough dynamic pulse and lyrical structure to give it an epic feel. This music succeeds because the band can weave ideas around each other in countless ways. The album pulls the listener in at a steady pace, never jarring the ear but gently persuading it with subtle melodic shifts ("Perihelion"), nifty multi-sectional compositions ("Sundog"), and instantly familiar hooks ("TSM2"). Buoyed by vocals that are actually relevant and pleasing, Sweet Oblivious Antidote glides further into the endless groove with sublime tunes like "Teakwood Betz" and the Flecktones-sounding "Astromonkey". "Astromonkey" bursts into musical permagrin with a percussive, island-hopping climax and giant rock-and-roll ending. The title track brings the album to a fitting close with dense vocal harmonies, sparkling mid-tempo roots rock, and a soaring, dramatic ending. With this album, Perpetual Groove offers soothing relief for the aching muscles of jam-rock. - Bryan Rodgers
Released in 2002. On sale this week for $9.99!
Zero - Absolute Zero CD - The first ZERO recording, never released until now; it was the inception of the band's instrumental repertoire. The studio album was recorded in the early eighties and performed by Zero's founding members: Steve Kimock; guitar and bass; Greg Anton: drums and piano. Remastered by Brian Risner in 2011, the high-fidelity studio recording was the starting point for what was to become one of San Francisco's premier improvisational jazz/rock bands.
"The band revolves around two remarkable musicians; guitarist Steve Kimock and drummer Greg Anton, composers of the band's music and the sparkplugs driving the band's improvisational rock." ~ Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle
The Mix - Live CD - John Kadlecik (Further), Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band), Jeff Pevar (Ray Charles/CS&N), Kevin Rosen (Dark Star Orchestra), Greg Anton (Zero)...got together in 2003 and toured the country, writing songs and rocking out. This live compilation, recorded from San Francisco to Albuquerque, features original songs written by the band and extended guitar and organ jams from some of the best players on the rock and roll circuit in America.
Galactic - Another Side of Midnight: Live in New Orleans CD - As a follow-up to what may be the definitive New Orleans tribute album, Galactic present a live album that is both a continuation of the diverse musical worlds they explored on YA KAMAY, and a searing document from one of the great live bands of our time. Recorded at the legendary New Orleans club Tipitina s with a host of guests - some like Big Freedia carrying over from YA KA MAY, others like Cyril Neville and Trombone Shorty new to the crew The Other Side of Midnight: Live in New Orleans is an important summation of a band and its intense relationship with its fabled hometown. Only in New Orleans could a night this funky, sweaty and wild also be so profound.
BeatleJam - Live at the Keswick Theatre CD - UK pressing of this live album from the jam band supergroup consisting of Matt Abs (Govt Mule), Berry Oakley (Allman Brothers), Vince Welnick (Grateful Dead), Slick Aguilar (Jefferson Starship) and Johnny Neel (Govt Mule, Allman Brothers, Lonny Mack). Beatlejam are a sort of spin off from the successful US jam band Blue Floyd only this time its Beatles songs rather than the Pink Floyd, given the unique jam spin.
Zigaboo Modeliste - New Life CD - Legendary drummer Zigaboo Modeliste releases his 4th solo album on his label JZM Records entitled New Life. With elements of rock, funk, and blues on a timeless R&B base, this record features the iconic drumming and celebratory songwriting style of Zigaboo and his hometown of New Orleans. It also incorporates the talents of several music icons including legendary arranger Wardell Quezerque, saxophonist Norbert Stachel, and trumpeter Mic Gillet of Tower of Power fame.
A key ingredient in the outstanding flavor of New Life is the musical rapport these truly skilled artists created with Zigaboo. Musicians from both New Orleans and the San Francisco Bay Area came together to create a fun, upbeat album that is a notable addition to the New Orleans musical tradition. Included in the star-studded lineup is guitarist Shane Theriot (Neville Brothers, Madeleine Peyroux), master percussionist Bill Summers (Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder), keyboardist Eamonn Flynn (The Commitments), and organist Joe Krown (Gatemouth Brown).
Randall Bramblett & Geoff Achison - Jammin in the Attic CD - Every once in a while lightening strikes and, if you get lucky, it gets captured! That's what happened on 6/13/10 when this live performance at the legendary Eddie's Attic in Decatur, GA was recorded.
This CD is a wonderful example of what can happen when two great musicians and songwriters join forces. The dynamic duo alternate between Randall's songs and Geoff's original tunes, and the result is greater than the sum of the parts.
Check out how Achison's sensitive accompaniment enhances Bramblett's "Nobody's Problem" or how Randall's sax perfectly complements Geoff's "Rule the World." Oliver Wood of King Johnson adds scorching electric guitar licks to tunes like Achison's "Jungle" and Bramblett's "Get In Get Out," proving that with musicians of this caliber, more is definitely merrier! They are joined by:
Yonrico Scott - drums,
Ted Pecchio - bass,
Oliver Wood - electric guitar
Boyer & Talton - Cowboy Reunion 2010 CD - Cowboy is one of those bands that brings back strong memories of the 70s heyday of Capricorn Records. From playing on Gregg Allman's classic Laid Back and the follow-up live CD, The Gregg Allman Tour to creating masterpieces like "Please Be With Me," "Time Will Take Us,"and "All My Friends," they defined the laid-back, country soul of that time and place. Cowboy influenced everyone from Eric Clapton and Bonnie Bramblett to the Marshall Tucker Band, and the Southern Rock movement wouldn't have been the same without them. They not only recorded four albums for Capricorn, they also played on numerous other releases for other artists on the label.
With all of their original Capricorn albums out of print, for many years Cowboy fans had nothing but memories of the original band and their scratchy old vinyl LPs to remind them of this underrated supergroup. However, on December 17th, 2010, that all changed when Cowboy played their first show in years at the Capitol Theater in Macon, Georgia. It was an extraordinary night full of love and laughter and memories with this wonderful band as they played at a level that few achieve. The set list flowed from one hit into the next and the playing and singing was heartfelt and passionate - as homecomings should be. Cowboy Reunion 2010 features great playing, great harmony vocals, and one of the most impressive songwriting catalogs of any band around. Trust us when we say that no Cowboy fan should be without this disc!
May 20-22 - The Hangout - Gulf Shores, AL
May 27-29 - Groverfest - Ferguson, NC
June 3-5 - Smilefest Reunion - Pinnacle, NC *
June 9-12 - Bonnaroo - Manchester, TN
June 15-18 - IfdaKamp - Kiel, WI
*Look for the Home Grown Music Booth at this event!
Video of the Week:
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones - Rocket Science mini-documentary
Thanks for reading! Treat yourself to some good music this week.