Jam Band Podcast

Electric Fuzzband 4th of July Live Music Podcast

America in 2017 may have a society flush with differences and a weird ex-reality TV star as president but the one thing we all have in common is that good rock and roll is not far away. Walk into just about any small town on a Friday night and you have a good chance of catching a really incredible group of musicians playing the songs that have resonance in the souls of those mingling about.

I can’t even count the amount of times that I have been in some small town somewhere in this beautiful country that I am lucky to call home and come across some seasoned musician who has learned the language of classic American rock and roll. It is soon clear that they could be in the spot light on anyone of the epic concert venues available for those who have made it to the next stage of their musical adventures.

I used to wonder why some bands make it to the big time where hired crews drive them around and haul, plus tune their gear. I once pondered why some people sit on their couches at home and pay good money to watch certain types of bands. I am still somewhat curious why there are certain bands that cause people to consume vast quantities of drugs and be confident that the experience they have will be nothing less than epic.

Well, on that last note, there are plenty of people who go out each and every Friday night and get wasted to the local classic rock wailing band and all its nostalgia. What I really mean is that there are musicians all across this land that can play with the best of them and are extremely happy and humble with exactly where they are.

America is full of these talented pickers, shredders and thinkers. The whole world is full of these people. This is ultimately what led me to do this podcast. I am fascinated by the power of music. I am inspired by bands that get together and really work hard to create an experience with the audience in mind.

The best bands treat the audience like a member of the band. The greatest musicians, and its potentially more powerful when you get a group of them together, seek to understand the crowd they are playing to.

The best shows I have ever seen are the ones where the band transforms and adapts to the ecosystem they are apart of. If you look and listen close, this transformation and adaptation to the venue and audience is very clear to see and hear.

When you boil it all down, it turns into one thing. Soul. The bands with soul, make it big. And, when I say soul, I don’t say it lightly. Having soul is not something you can just turn on and off. It is a state of being. Having soul is not something you can teach or learn. It happens organically. It is obvious when it happens. You can not forecast it and it is impossible to create. Soul happens. The power to create it runs deep lines into the inner workings of ancient life. The soul of bands is what the crowd feeds off of. Without soul, even the best music mine as well be wind in the willows.

The Electric Fuzz Band, who I stumbled upon, has this soul. It is clear as a spring fed pond on a bluebird day as you listen to a live recording of this band. I immediately fell in love with the heart and soul that this band was clearly pouring into each and every song derived from the multiple live shows I picked from. The band consists of Ryan Russell on electric guitar/vocals, Jay Morgan on electric guitar/vocals, Derek Givans on drums/vocals and Cory Potrafka on bass. They are tight, groovy and full of soul.

For this podcast, as I do with all my podcasts, I dug through multiple shows and specifically picked out performances that were recorded well and chose songs that I felt highlighted the strengths of the band. With the recent passing of Greg Allman, I included a couple Allman Brothers tunes that they play amazingly well.

Every band has their strengths and weaknesses. But if they have soul, they can carry any heart beating listener to the place they want them to be. Good musicians are captains of a very important ship. A ship that they will go down with if necessary.

Lastly, I hope this podcast gets jammed out at some July 4th BBQ’s!

The Electric Fuzzband live music Podcast Setlist is as follows:
Sister Sunday 7/20/01 > Super Butkick Jam 7/20/01 > Champagne and Reefer 4/12/02 > Southbound 7/20/01 > Trip Song 6/22/01 > Drums 6/22/01 > Blue Hats Little Sister 4/12/02 > One Way Out 7/20/01 > Salsa Funk 6/2201 > Machine Gun 4/12/02 > Old Krowe 6/22/01

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Donald Trump Flips the Bird to Planet Earth. Oh, and Also to Most of the World’s Countries

Donald Trump Music“Yeehaw! Who’s chokin’ on your French Fries now bitches!” was almost my initial rebel yell response to when Donald Trump announced yesterday, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” His speech surrounding his decision to pull us out of the Paris Climate Agreement nearly convinced me that the United States is getting seriously hosed by the rest of the world. I started to almost feel bad about trying to be environmentally conscious or care about the planet my two daughters are going to have to grow up in. “Fire up the coal and let’s get frackin’ baby!” I began to be sold to thinking as Trump babbled on like a little kid sore loser on the playground about lost profits, fleeing jobs and how it was an unfair deal to the U.S. The problem is, none of his deranged sermon really makes much practical sense if you observe the natural world around you or acquire information from sources outside of the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Breitbart News.

Reality and intelligence soon regained a foothold on my brain as I drove home to Orono, Maine and I started to consider what pulling out of the Paris Climate Treaty really says about the country we are. Trump directly insulted the French, but he also indirectly insulted the rest of the world. He essentially said that temporary American jobs and short term profits are more important than the health of the planet.

According to Trump’s philosophy, all of the countries of the world should just do what’s best for them. Thankfully, it doesn’t sound like that is going to happen. The world is ignoring the selfish, ignorant bully running our country and instead listening to common sense and most importantly science.

Despite this setback, I am optimistic that our country will collectively reject this decision and continue to push foreword with policies even more aggressive than those agreed to in the Paris Climate Treaty. Trump continues to live in the isolated, deranged bubble that only those who have lived a life focused on the accumulation of wealth and power at the expense of others can afford. I am confidant that America will step up to be a world leader in environmental policy because there are far more of us out there who pay attention to scientific data and fact. There are far too many of us in this country who don’t have our heads stuck up our asses. We can see what’s going on and we actually read real books and journals that include actual evidence of what’s now occurring and what is potentially going to happen if we don’t collectively work together to decrease CO2 emissions.

Many in Trump’s base will remain hypnotized by his imaginary false promises no matter what happens but as time marches on, those in his bubble will become less significant. The America I know and love is going to rise up and show the world that the vast majority of us understand the importance of working together to make our planet healthier. Trumps bubble of greedy nut jobs will self-implode and burst out of our twitter feeds as quickly as they blew in. We are his boss and he just made a decision that hurts the Earth’s bottom line.

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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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