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)


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


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


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 🙂


God Street Wine Podcast

jam band podcast soundcentury

God Street Wine On The Road

Soundcentury has been on hiatus for quite some time and now that I am somewhat used to being a Dad to two beautiful girls, I am ready to get back on it. I would like to say that I have been out traveling the world seeing exotic places and doing radical things. Perhaps, I could tell you that I have been deeply pondering the future of Soundcentury at hip coffee shops, martini joints and fancy beer bars. You know, just sitting there in my faded Soundcentury T-shirt with my drink, massaging and twirling my light and wispy mustache. Those in the know would ask me. “Hey man, when are you going to get Soundcentury back up and running? My practiced response came in a  hushed husky voice “it’s got to be the right time man. It’s coming soon. I can feel it.”

Well, the time has come. No more calls from my agent asking me when I am going to get my shit together and start podcasting again. It’s time to rock. It’s time to spread the peanut butter extra thick on the blueberry jam. As I was nursing a delicious red IPA from my favorite brewery, The Black Bear Brewery in Orono, Maine, just a short walk from my house, I ran through the possible bands I could kick things off with. I went back and forth listening to tons of shows from a whole lot of bands. I ended up choosing a band that really goes back to my roots as a live music enthusiast or perhaps more descriptively, a seasoned progressive rock band connoisseur of sorts if you will.

I grew up about 30 miles west of New York City and in the 1990’s as a young buck, my brothers, cousins, friends and I would take the train into NYC to see lot’s of shows. I was a regular at the Wetlands during these years and one of the bands I enjoyed seeing in the city was God Street Wine. This got me thinking about the God Street Wine shows I have been to and how much of an impact they had on me as a young music fan. At the time, their incredible performances gave us all the inspiration we needed to go out, party and have a real good time. I never really did think too much about the bands name until I sat down to do this podcast.

Think about the name God Street Wine. It has to have a hidden meaning. Careful now, I am about to get weirdly deep in some mindless philosophical mud. I will try not to get stuck.

God, oversees Earth and all of us things that are alive that run around it. He apparently cares a lot about the living things on Earth but also provides a whole lot of opportunity for suffering. He must feel bad about some of this suffering, but it certainly doesn’t stop it from continuing. A strange arrangement he has with us indeed.

A street is a passage across a landscape. It is sometimes narrow. It can be wide. It often has a lot of travelers going in one direction or the other. It can take you from where you are to the next place you want to be. People live in houses along streets. Sometimes they are divided and sometimes they have holes that you have to avoid. There are speed limits that people often ignore.

Wine comes in many colors and often gets better as it ages. It brings people together to share in its beauty.

Maybe this is what the band was thinking when it brought these three different words together. The members of God Street Wine are the only ones who could truly explain the meaning behind the name. Who knows? I am sure someone cares.

The songs I picked out for this Soundcentury episode are derived from the years spanning 1994 to 1997. These were great years for the band. They broke up at some point in 1999, but often get back together to play reunion shows. The God Street Wine Facebook page stays up to date on what the band is up to.

I did my best here to put together a cool mix of God Street Wine playing live at a few different venues over the course of a few different years. I combed through numerous shows to find a collection of songs that work together and I hope you enjoy listening to it. Thank you God Street Wine for making this music. You poured your heart and soul into what you did here and it’s clear when you listen.

Songs featured in this episode include:

Driving West – (Fox Theatre 1994-10-27) > Warm in Here – (Fox Theatre on 1994-10-27) > Diana – (Ithaca 1997-09-12) > Are you for real? (Ithaca on 1997-09-12) > Who’s Driving? (Ithaca on 1997-09-12) > Instrumental (Toads Place 1997-09-25) > The Wall. (Ithaca on 1997-09-12) > Hello Stranger (Ithaca on 1997-09-12) > Happy Birthday Mr. President (Toads Place 1997-09-25) > Express Yourself > Nightingale (Toads Place 1997-09-25)