Birthday Funk Podcast with the Greyboy Allstars and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

jamband podcast, live music podcastIt is time to get funky folks with the latest podcast from Soundcentury. I just turned 40 years old today and I am not going sky diving. I did not buy a shiny red convertible and I am not staring at myself in the mirror wondering where the time went to. Oh no my friends. I am releasing a funky compilation of live music by two bands that both know how to take you down to the funky part of town.

This podcast brings together a mix of live cuts from Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and the Greyboy Allstars. As usual, I dug through lot’s of live shows  and ended up choosing a selection of tracks pulled from live performances across the U.S. between 2003 and 2013.

All you have to do is turn up the volume, put on your dancing shoes and let loose like you are turning 40. Because you know, as an old wise man once told me, things don’t start really cookin’ until you hit 40.

Thanks for listening and I hope you have as much fun listening to this as I do 🙂

Special thanks as always to the live tapers who set up their gear, listen a little bit closer and take the time to share their recordings. This podcast would not happen without you all!

Another jam band podcast in the books!

Rock on…

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Greyboy Allstar Podcast Playlist
Look out 7/5/03 (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe)
Still Waiting 6/1/13 (Greyboy Allstars)
Sunday School 7/2/06 (Greyboy Allstars)
Freedom 7/5/03 (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe)
Cramp Your Style 4/8/06 (Greyboy Allstars)
Everybody Knows That 3/16/13 (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe)
Breaking Blood 6/1/13 (Greyboy Allstars)
When I’m Kissing My Love 7/2/06 (Greyboy Allstars)

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jamband podcast

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead Live Music Podcast

The Grateful Dead have always been one of my favorite bands to listen to winter, spring, summer or fall. I am especially keen to their sound in 1974. I love that year. When you have a band like the Grateful Dead who have made such a massive cultural impact across the planet, it is inevitable that others are going to want to play your music.

Just about every extremely popular musical act has inspired the creation of a cover band somewhere. It makes sense. It’s a proven musical recipe that peoples ears crave and so you really can’t go wrong. It would be interesting to find out which band inspired the most amount of cover bands. I would imagine it would be a band like the Beatles. Who knows. Maybe someone has already looked into it.

There are lots of cover bands out there and if you walk into a local watering hole on a Friday or Saturday night in most towns in America, there is a good chance that you will encounter a group of guys jamming out some classic Zeppelin or AC/DC tunes to an over-served sweaty crowd reliving the glory days of their youth. You will most certainly also hear. “Fuck yeah! This song rocks! I saw this live. Front row.”

There are some cover bands out there that try to recreate the original sound with little or no changes. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is not one of them. If you like the Grateful Dead and have not had a chance to see this band or listen to them, you need to give it a go.

They absolutely take the Dead’s sound to a new place. The structure of any given song is for the most part kept in place, but they tend to rip through the parts faster with a bit more electric rock n’ roll edge.

The members of the band, Joe Russo on drums, Dave Dreiwitz on bass, Marco Benevento on the keys, Scott Metzger on guitar and Tom Hamilton also on the guitar, collectively mold together the intricate pattern of sounds of the vast Grateful Dead catalog with ease, clarity and power.

If you were ever at a Dead show and thought to yourself that it would be cool if these songs were rocked out just a tad more with a bit more zip during say a super extended slow jam or perhaps after a few slower tunes in any given dead set, than you were thinking of perhaps the same things the guys in this band were thinking when they sat down to play their first show in Brooklyn, NYC back in 2013.

At the end of the day, Joe Russo Almost Dead brings fire and energy to any show they play. They happen to be primarily covering the music of the Grateful Dead but their sound is bigger than that.

I look at it like a weird rock and roll experiment that is going on right now. Each night when each of these outstanding musicians steps on stage, they seem to be seeing how far and radical they can get with the Dead’s sound. And, they do go far. And, they go fast and its wild but its grounded by crafty musicianship that happens when a musical chemistry experiment is a success.

The members of Joe Russo Almost Dead could be playing anything. At present, they have chosen to rock out the Grateful Dead and its a treat to hear their take on the songs. Who knows how long they will keep doing it but for now they are out there having a good time and you should make it a point to hear it while you can.

Have a listen to this podcast. It’s a scorcher. It mixes up songs from 7 handpicked shows recorded between 2013 and 2016. I had a blast putting it together and now I get to sit back and rock out to it. Yesterday, I went on a beautiful 9 mile mountain bike ride near my home in Orono, Maine while listening and it kept me moving fast.

I hope you enjoy it as well 🙂

Throwing Stones > Hey Bulldog Jam > Throwing Stones 11/12/16 > Loose Lucy 12/31/16 > Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion 10/10/14 > Born Crosseyed Jam 12/31/16 > Cumberland Blues 12/27/13 > Drums 12/31/16 > Mr. Charlie 5/24/15 > Casey Jones 11/26/16 > Fire on the Mountain 12/27/13 > Franklins Tower 11/26/16 > Good Lovin’ 12/31/16

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Rest In Peace Colonel Bruce Hampton

I was shocked and saddened today to learn that Colonel Bruce Hampton died on stage playing with friends in Atlanta on his 70th birthday. Hampton was a legend in the jam band community and a leader of the incredibly funky Aquarium Rescue Unit. I was able to see him perform with the Unit several times at the Wetlands in New York City over the years and each show was memorable in its own right. Hampton will be greatly missed. Here is a track from an Aquarium Rescue Unit performance from 11/20/93 at the Wetlands. It’s title, “No Reason to Complain” seemed fitting for how he left the world.

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Jam Band Podcasts

Strangefolk Podcast

This podcast was a lot of fun to put together. I saw Strangefolk quite a bit between 1996 and 1998 in Vermont. In fact, some of the best live shows I have ever been to were some of these Strangefolk performances. I was at the first Garden of Eden shows and celebrated New Years Eve with the band in 1997 at the Wetlands. There were way too many other memorable shows to get into and you almost had to be there to really appreciate what it was like.

Rowdy. That is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of those shows. The energy was always really strong and the whole room would be moving. I continue to see the band today. I did miss the Jay Peak shows this summer which I was really bummed about. A lot of my friends who were there said they were pretty epic. If they play there this year, I am going to definitely make it a priority to be there.

Well, enjoy the podcast. This one was particularly personal to me and I wanted to throw together the right medley of tunes to capture them well at this point in their careers. As usual, I dug through many hours of shows and settled eventually on this playlist. I am probably going to have to do another one because I left out so many songs, but this is a good start.

Songs in this podcast are as follows:

Blues Tune 7/29/97
What Say You 1998
So Well>Funky Town>So Well 10/01/99
What Goes On 10/28/98
Diary 5/2/96
Speculator 10/05/99
Sidestep Blue 1999
I Tell Myself 4/23/99

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A Risky Bet against Climate Science

The current U.S. administration’s decision to remove regulations designed to help fight climate change is a dangerous assault towards the health of our environment and a move backwards from a sustainable approach to energy needs. How can the current U.S. administration look their own families in the eyes and believe deep in their hearts that everything just about every scientist is saying about human induced climate change is miscalculated? Is there anything in this life that you can be 100% certain about? I would argue that there isn’t anything you can really know for sure and when it comes to something as complicated and vast as our climate system, no one can be fully certain.

However, decisions being made at the highest level of our government imply certainty that climate change is not real. What does a warmer, less predictable world wide climate look and feel like? Many would respond by simply saying look around the world now. The scientific community has made it very clear that rolling back regulations on greenhouse gas emissions will ensure that temperatures will continue to rise and precipitation patterns will unpredictably shift. There will be increases in droughts and heat waves, more intense storms, sea level rise and an ice-free Artic.

There is overwhelming scientific data that has been collected over the years that should change even the most stubborn of skeptics minds. But, pointing to this evidence, which has been effectively done through countless organizations, talented writers, speakers, filmmakers, politicians, musicians and of course scientists the world over, simply doesn’t seem to reach the hearts and minds of those who continue to encourage and enable destructive behavior towards our beautiful planet and all of its inhabitants.

I ask anyone who believes in discarding years of progressive environmental policy based on scientific data: is rolling back federal government efforts to fight climate change worth the short term profits at the expense of a potentially less hospitable planet? Many would argue, including all countries who signed the 2015 Paris agreement, that discouraging carbon emissions ignites innovation and growth in the sustainable energy sectors. One must be blind to history to believe that unsustainable jobs for American workers today are more important than the potential ills our planet may face tomorrow. Just go visit the boom and bust ghost towns that litter our landscapes.

The stakes are too high for the future of our planet for these misguided bets against global scientific evidence. We should not be repealing environmental regulations. We should be listening to the scientists and working to make current and future regulations result in positive outcomes for our planet.

Environmental policy decisions made now will have far reaching impacts that will stretch far beyond the lifetimes of those in power.  The picture of a warm soupy planet that the majority of scientists are painting is not very pretty. There is a chance that the scientists are right. They tend to be pretty smart people and if they are right, how can we sit back and let what the Trump Administration is doing go on without a fight; a fight that must be won. Thankfully, the rest of the world is not following our lead and they are sticking to the promises they made in the Paris Climate Treaty.

This administration, along with recently becoming a father, has made me feel that the time for standing idly by while the future of our beautiful planet gets shortchanged at the hands of those sick with addictions to power and greed must end. The time has never been more ripe to reject short-term minded environmental policies. The time to rise up and demand action is now.

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String Cheese Incident Live Music Podcast

Jam Band PodcastThe String Cheese Incident sound has grown on me over the years. I was first introduced to them in Crested Butte, Colorado back in the fall of 1999. A dishwasher called out one night at a local restaurant that my friend owned and I was asked if I wanted to come in, help out and soap up some dishes. The icing on the cake for me was no doubt the incredible food this place served up.

I spent the evening scrubbing dishes, doing light prep work and other back of the house tasks. The kitchen staff was all jamming out to various String Cheese Incident shows and I was definitely digging it. I soon found out that one of the waitresses was dating the drummer of the band who lived in town. It also turned out that several members of the band would be playing an unannounced show at my favorite local watering hole, the Eldo Room. Later that week, I saw my first String Cheese show, met the band and would see many other small intimate shows while living in Crested Butte. I also would go on to see the band at larger venues with its entire line-up several more times over the ensuing years.

Up until working in the kitchen that night, String Cheese Incident was kind of foreign territory for me. I grew up in the northeast and in the years leading up to my move to Colorado, I had spent a considerable amount of time in Vermont. Phish for sure, as well as so many other incredible artists that were deep within the thriving jam band scene in those years, made up my collective live music listening experiences. At the time, I was comparing every experience I had to what Phish, as well as a whole host of other east coast/perhaps a bit of west coast too delivered to me from late 1993 through 1998. As anyone who experienced the thriving jam band music scene of the northeast during the 1990’s can attest to, these were pretty awesome experiences.

Jam Band Podcast

Image: Courtesy of Telluride Arts

Well, what a band String Cheese Incident has grown into over the years. From back porch bluegrass to underground electronica and everything in between, String Cheese spans a vast musical landscape that never ceases to surprise. String Cheese shows are a strange concoction of Hula hoops and work boots.

This mix, to the best of my abilities, captures their essence and soul. It gets a bit funky at times but it always brings it back home. Thanks String Cheese Incident for the  beauty you bring to the music world.
This edition of my jam band podcast from Soundcentury delivers a rocking variety of String Cheese Incident tunes spanning the years 1998 – 2016. Enjoy the music! Visit soundcentury.com for lots of good music and please subscribe and give a rating. It’s always cool to hear from folks out there who are listening 🙂

String Cheese Incident Podcast Playlist:
Resume Man 10/01/99, Hollywood Swinging > Colliding > Another One Bites The Dust Jam > Colliding 7/23/16, Grazin’ in the Grass 3/11/00 > Jam 11/18/98 > Born on the Wrong Planet 11/18/98 > Pocky Way 10/01/99 > Boogie on Reggae Woman 7/23/16 > Cold Sweat 7/23/16 > Hold Onto What You Got 11/18/98, How Mountain Girls Can Love 11/18/98, Best Feeling 10/23/99.

**Special Thanks to the Tapers… Give Em’ Some Love! The tapers who had their names published with their releases are listed below.

The String Cheese Incident
Cuthbert Amphitheater
Eugene, OR
July 23, 2016
Recorded and transferred by Rick Odeen

The String Cheese Incident
Satellite Lounge
Houston, TX
November 18, 1998
Recorded and transferred by Russ Minas

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God Street Wine to play three shows over the summer of 2017

God Street Wine Summer 2017 Shows

Guitarists Aaron Maxwell and Lo Faber, keyboardist Jon Bevo, bassist Dan Pifer and drummer Tom Osander will hit the road in early August for three highly anticipated shows. They will be on deck at the Peach Music Festival (date to be determined), Brighton Music Hall in Boston on Thursday August 10th and they will finish up at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City on Saturday August 12th.

 

 

 

God Street Wine does not get out much these days and catching one of these shows should be a priority for anyone who digs their music.

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The New Mastersound, Ron Holloway Band and Vida Podcast

Spices have a tradition of making food better. One spice is nice. Two spices is often twice as nice. Three spices and things are getting interesting. Sometimes just one flavor gets stale in the same way that just one spice is not enough to get the full flavor you are in search of.

I often think of bands and their sounds as spices. Sprinkle a few together and you get something nice. In this podcast, I brought together three bands. I started with the New Mastersounds and loved their funk but felt that I needed some more soulful vocals. I dashed in a little Ron Holloway Band with the down home cookin’ vocals of Rachel Ann Morgan and Black Betty to accentuate the funk and soul.

This left me craving some edge and in came a band that I recently listened to a really cool studio recording they made back in 1994. They called themselves “Vida,” and they are from somewhere in southern California but I don’t think they are still performing regularly together as a band. Anyhow, Vida really adds some heat to the mix and in my opinion, brings it all home. Together, these three musical spices create a listening dish well worth refrigerating for seconds, minutes, if not for hours.

Well, you might hate it or you might dig it. Hope you dig it. Enjoy.

The podcast is now available in iTunes. I am working on getting the subscribe button link to work but if you search for Soundcentury in iTunes, you will find it 🙂

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The Black Crowes

Jam Band Podcast

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I figured it out in the shower after swimming laps in the pool. Donal Trump supporters are the people in high school who dismissed any band that wasn’t top 40 material. They didn’t make mix tapes, but if they did, they would have recorded the popular radio station programming. Underground bands were ignored until they were popular enough to accept. Today’s Trump supporters are making up for lost time. They have found their underground candidate and are running with him at full speed with their heads in the sand. The Bernie and Hillary supporters have traded NPR for the dusty mix tapes that sit in lonely boxes in attics and garages.

I admit it. I voted for Hillary. Sadly, I wasn’t able to vote for Bernie 🙁 It was an easy choice for me when presented with the alternate candidate who viewed the presidential race as no more than a challenge. A mountain worth climbing to the top of. An arm wrestling match under the world stage spotlight. One more trophy on a custom gold inlay mantle inside one of many cavernous dwellings.

Well anyhow, The Black Crowes were a band that I regretfully did not pay much attention to in the mid 1990’s. I don’t why I ignored them, but they were definitely not on my radar. Lately, I have been listening to some live shows from this time period and I have been really getting into them. During their live shows, they are not afraid to get into the jams and explore. You can hear all kinds of influences in their music above and beyond southern and classic rock. I hear lots of Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead in their jams.

Here is an especially cool jam by them recorded at at the Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom on June 23rd, 1995. I am currently working on a future podcast featuring a collection of songs recorded live between 1992 and 1997. Should be a pretty rocking podcast.

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Thievery Corporation Live at Burning Man 2014.

I listen to this show whenever I am looking to get inspired. Thievery Corporation is a musical powerhouse who explores the far reaches of music with seemingly no limitations. One of my favorite musicians, Frank Orrall, who is a founding member of the band Poi Dog Pondering, often joins them on percussion and vocals. Check out his work if you get an opportunity. This Thievery Corporation show is available for download via Soundcloud.

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