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Posts Tagged ‘jam bands’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I am a huge Phish fan. I love ’em. They make me happy when I am sad and excited when I am feeling lethargic. I just turn on that music and a different part of me comes alive. Although I’ve only seen the band live one time, I have not since had a better concert experience. Therefore, I have categorized my concerts by the following: those before Phish and those after Phish.

I hope he invites Chewbacca to the show.

Since the beginning of last year, the band has been touring once again, after a hiatus that was very uncertain. The band seems to be quite content with the status of their muscianship. They are adored by many fans. However, one member of the band is stepping out to do a solo tour. 

Phish’s bassist, Mike Gordon, is doing a month long set of shows across the eastern United States. He will start on March 5 in New York and end on March 14 in New Hampshire. Mike will be joined by several other musicians on his tour: Scott Murawski (guitar), Todd Isler (drums), Tom Cleary (keyboards), and Craig Myers (percussion). Visit Mike Gordon’s website for complete tour information.  

For those of you in my neck of the woods, this is good news. Mike will be coming right to our very own Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, PA. That show will happen on March 7. It makes me smile from my head down to my feet.

The news of this tour comes as no surprise, as it seems the members of Phish have a lot of making up to do. I would never go as far to say that they deserted their fans. They didn’t — but many fans were devastated when the band stopped touring. I suppose this is Mike’s way of saying, “sorry guys.”

Thanks, Mike. We all appreciate it.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove 

Last Saturday night, I strolled on down to the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg to see one of my favorite bluegrass jam bands play. Railroad Earth, of Stillwater, New Jersey, has been playing and perfecting their sound for years around the area, as well as across the country.
 

All the boys of Railroad Earth minus Mike Carbone. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

The band opened with a stellar, upbeat “Drag Him Down” but then backed off the high uppity bass and focused on some slower songs, particularly “For Love.” I can appreciate the vibe they were trying to set, but it kind of ruined the mood a little. People were psyched up to see the show. RRE started with an upbeat song, then played slow songs for almost the entire rest of set one. It was definitely a tease.However, at the end of set one, the band went into a bumpin’ version of “Head” which always gets a crowd going. As Todd Schaeffers vocals screeched out, the audience sang back to him and threw up their hands each time he repeated the call. Thank the bluegrass gods for making them play this song. I think it was the highlight of the concert.

 

 After intermission, they came back with more chill vibes. Not to say I was disappointed by this, but I was just ready to dance, that’s all. It’s kind of hard to dance to music without a strong, up beat. Here’s the complete set list:
 
 Set 1: Drag Him Down>For Love>Seven Story Mountain>Old Man and the Land>The Hunting Song>Shockenawe Mountain Breakdown>Head
 
Set 2: Where Songs Begin>Walk Beside Me>Luxury Liner>Jerusalem Ridge>RV>Warhead Boogie>New Jam (SHJ)>Moonshiner
 
Encore: Genesis>Bringin’ My Baby Back Home
 
The lights were awesome — Every time I go to the Sherman Theater, their light shows get more and more advanced. Different hues of reds, blues, and yellows washed over the audience as they bopped up and down to the music. At times, the lights seemed to take on a mind of their own, zipping back and forth from the stage to the audience.
 
The only other thing I will have to mention is something I usually have no complaints about at the Sherman: the sound. While most of the instruments sounded in tune and jacked up to the right volume, I felt that the bass was way too overblown. Walking up to the side of the stage, the speakers literally produced wind everytime the bass was plucked. The result was a muddled effect, of which I was unhappy with.
 
This was the second show in a row that Railroad Earth played at the Sherman Theater. They usually play two nights every year around Thanksgiving. Not that I didn’t like the show, but I think next time they should focus on their boppin’ bluegrass beats a little more. I will leave you with some good clips I got:
 
 
 
And if you’re feeling frisky, you can read about the time I interviewed Railroad Earth’s lead singer Todd Schaeffer. Click here.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

It’s finally happened to me after all these years. That’s right, I finally went to my very first Phish show ever! Let’s just say this — I went on Tuesday night. It is now Friday and I can’t stop daydreaming about it, listening to my live Phish albums, and wanting to go back for more. This band has had a lot of time to perfect their shows…and they certainly have.

After releasing their first album in 1986 and touring for nearly twenty years, the band went on a haitus, a break that was much needed for certain members who had started overdoing the drugs (I won’t mention names here.) Nonetheless, that time gave them all a time out and a chance to think about what they wanted for the future of their music. Now they’re back, armed with a slick light show and some seriously funky beats.

Photo by Kate Langenburg

The crowd in the Wachovia Center Tuesday night was ridiulously large. I never knew venues of that size existed until now. (I also never would have guessed I would end up with a club box seat complete with my own private bar, bathroom, and sitting area.) Everyone in the entire place seemed to be grooving simultaneously, with smiles and good vibes permeating the walls of the arena.

Here’s the setlist from the November 24 Philadelphia show:  

Set 1: Chalk Dust Torture>Bathtub Gin>Cities>Camel Walk>The Curtain With>The Wedge>The Moma Dance>Reba>Golgi Apparatus>Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan

Set 2: Possum>Down With Disease>Twenty Years Later>Harry Hood>The Mango Song>Mike’s Song>Simple>Slave to the Traffic Light>Weekapaug Groove

Encore: A Day in the Life

From the very first note of Chalkdust, I knew I was in for something great. When they went into a real funky Moma Dance, I was in heaven. Everyone was singing along with Reba one minute then, jamming out to Possum, then going into a free fall whirlwind of musical pleasure when they heard A Day in the Life.

Phish’s sound has certainly gotten stronger over the years, and I don’t see this band disappearing any time soon. They are loved by too many fans, have too much talent, and have the drive to keep on keepin’ on. I don’t even know which song was my favorite…they were all wonderful, amazing, beautiful, great. Check out my videos from the show by clicking on the song names below:

The Moma Dance

Simple

Weekapaug Groove

A Day in the Life (Encore)

If anyone I work with happens to read this post, I’m sorry, but I just might have to quit my job and go on tour with Phish. 🙂

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

My own excitement overwhelms me…Furthur has just released their winter tour dates!

Okay, so who the f is Further? Remember the Grateful Dead? Yeah, it’s some of those guys — guitarist Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh to be specific. But it’s also John Kadlecik, the guitarist who plays Jerry in Dark Star Orchestra, the number one Grateful Dead cover band. And then there’s Joe Russo, Jay Lane, and Jeff Chimenti, too!

It seems that for their first ride around the country, they’ve decided to hit a lot of large venues…Radio City Music Hall to name one. But not only that, they’ve also booked college campuses, too. I think they’ve figured out where their audiences are! They’re going to colleges like Lehigh University, the University of Delaware, Cornell University, and the University of Massachusetts. Joy!

Well, rather than me just ramble on about how great this all is, let me give you the link to the tour dates page so you can see for yourself: FURTHUR TOUR DATES.

Okay, so what’s going to happen to DSO when John Kadlecik leaves them? According to the band’s website, they will press on. Having gone through quite a few members in the past years, this band has the oomph to keep on going. But good luck finding another “Jerry Garcia” quite as good as Kadlecik.

It’s all for the best, really. Furthur comprises some of the most talented jam musicians in the country. This band is sure to be a hit with Dead fans and jam band fans alike. They will play Grateful Dead songs, of course, but will also venture away into their own material, too. I’m ready for them to take me FURTHUR!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I know I recently did a post about Sirius Satellite radio and it’s celebration of “Jerry Week,” but today just wouldn’t be the same without some acknowledgement of the anniversary of his death. (By the way, Jerry Week ends today.)

Thank you, Jerry, for so many years of wonderful music. Photo from cuckoobird.net.

Thank you, Jerry, for so many years of wonderful music. Photo from cuckoobird.net.

On this date, 24 years ago, Jerry Garica suffered a fatal heart attack while he was at a drug treament center. He was only 53 years old. Not incredibly young, but young enough to declare that “only the good die young.”

Now he lives on through the thousands of recordings of his music. Also in the spirit of Dark Star Orchestra, a Grateful Dead tribute band, and Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, two of the remaining members who still tour the country regularly.

Many Grateful Dad fans paid their respects yesterday (and I’m sure more will today) by visiting Jerry’s hometown near San Francisco, CA.

Of course, Jerry has generated so much business since his death, it’s a real shame he couldn’t have been around to witness it. Think about all the commercial products available to consumers — Cherry Garcia ice cream, the Jerry Garcia necktie, t-shirts, photographs, Grateful Dead bears, books, music, and guitar picks. His family, I’m sure, is doing well in the horrible economy of today.

As the years go by, I can only hope that this important musician will stay as remembered as he is today. The Grateful Dead may not be one of the most recognizable bands in the world, but they are certainly one of the most loved. Deadheads are like no other fans around. They are loyal and always see the music for what it truly is.

I’d like to take this one opportunity to say “Thank you Jerry” for creating such an immense number of recordings and providing so many of us with a sense of good feeling and peacefulness.

We will always remember you.

Visit the New York Times for a very nice story on the anniversary of Jerry’s death.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

For those of you who don’t know, Sirius satellite radio is the best thing since sliced bread. It lets you listen to any kind of music…or talkshow…or comedy sketch or routine any time of the day with no commercial breaks.

It specializes in unique stations, like Radio Margaritaville, a channel devoted entirely to the musical likings of Jimmy Buffett. Or there’s a channel called Jam On, which plays only jam bands. Or how about a channel for all you classic rockers out there? Classic Vinyl will suit you. (Ok, enough. If I go on like this, I won’t ever get to my point.)

There he is...MY man, Jerry Garcia. Photo from jerryfest.com.

There he is...MY man, Jerry Garcia. Photo from jerryfest.com.

But for all you deadheads out there, the best channel by far just might be the Grateful Dead station. All GD, all the time, no commericals. They play live shows in their entirety!

All this week, the Grateful Dead channel is paying homage to its leader — THE man, Jerry Garcia. Welcome to Jerry Week, folks.

Since it’s already the middle of the week, I won’t dwell on what we already missed. Today and every day for the rest of the week, the channel will be playing three Jerry shows per day. Some are with the Dead, some are with other artists.

You can view a schedule of the shows programmed on the Grateful Dead Channel website. Tonight will feature a show from the Jerry Garcia Band in Columbia, MD, 9/2/89. That starts at 9 pm. If you’re a newbie to the GD channel, they also have listings of their regular programming, too.

If you have Sirius, go ahead and pay your respects to one of music’s greatests. If not, sign up!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Crosby, Stills, and Nash will perform on August 9. Photo from boston.com.

Crosby, Stills, and Nash will perform on August 9. Photo from boston.com.

One of Pennsylvania’s largest summer music festivals opens its doors to tons of waiting fans today, offering three special performances by The Commodores, Martin Sexton, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Musikfest has been happening in downtown Bethlehem for the past twenty five years now. It has brought many large acts from all across the country to the smallish town in Pennsylvania.

This year, the festival will feature 300 performers, including 10 nightly headlining shows. The concerts will take place on fourteen different stages, eleven of which are free. (Free is good.)

Here’s a quick run through of some of the headliners. You can find information on the rest of the bands performing on the lineup website. I would love to list them all for you, but then this post would never end.

  • The Commodores
  • Chris Isaak/The Wallflowers
  • Yes with special guest Asia
  • David Cook with Green River Ordinance
  • Third Eye Blind with Matt Nathanson
  • The B-52s/Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
  • Puddle of Mudd with special guest Stasis
  • Pat Benetar & Blondie with The Donnas
  • George Thorogood and the Destroyers with Jonny Lang
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash

You can see that the festival offers something for everyone. The musical tastes being provided are certainly eclectic to say the least. Each headliner (or two) will be performing one of the nine nights the festival runs.

It should be noted that the headliners cost some money. You can find tickets for each show here. But if you don’t feel like spending the money, there are still tons of free performers spread out all over Bethlehem. It might be quite nice to just walk around and take in the sights and sounds. There are also craft, art, and food vendors all over the place, too.

The whole town pretty much turns into one big music celebration. I recommend you join in the fun!

Get the low down at Musikfest.org.

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