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Sunday, January 17

Grateful Music's Staff Picks for 2015

Grateful Music's Staff Picks for 2015
   

Grateful Music’s Staff Picks of 2015
Photos: Mike Geller & Joe Schlee
Joe Schlee
1: What was the best new album of 2015?
Twiddle- PLUMP !

2: What was the single best live show you attended?
The Disco Biscuits- 4/24/2015- Portland, Maine
 (That "Helicopters"!)

3:What was your favorite GD50 event? Billy’s Book, FTW, Phil & Friends, Dead & Company etc.

Fare Thee Well – July 4th! Token, but amazing.


4: What was your favorite festival?
     Disc Jam 2015 || Electron + Late night lespecial !

5:What festival disappointed you the most & why?
 Negativity aint for me, I mainly steered away from festivals this year.

6:What was the best collaboration that you witnessed?
Honestly Mayer coming out of nowhere and stepping up for all the Dead & Co Shows. 

7: What artist or band made themselves impossible to ignore this year?
Twiddle, Twiddle, and Twiddle

8: What was your favorite Phish show?
Got on a plane from Connecticut at 9am that morning and by lunchtime I was out in Los Angeles getting off the plane at LAX to meetup with my best friend whom I hadn't seen in a year. I took my rental car and picked him right up from work and went straight to Phish lot. Coast to coast in a few short hours, reunited with my best friend, nothing beats that.

Phish in Inglewood 7/24/2015 opened with Martian Monster, crazy good show.

9: What show surprised you the most?lespecial at Disc Jam 15' late night!

10: What artist or band should we watch in 2016?
 lespecial , Teddy Midnight, Eggy

Kevin Long
1: What was the best new album of 2015?
. Alabama Shakes “Sound & Color” It seems like yesterday I discovered them on a small stage at Hangout at noon. But they cemented their well deserved stardom with this soulful release. 

2: What was the single best live show you attended?
Fare Thee Well July, 3 

3:What was your favorite GD50 event? 
Fare Thee Well was beyond magical. It reminded me what's been missing since Jerry’s death. It was us! The vibe & band was a perfect tribute. Trey all day.  

4: What was your favorite festival?
Hullaween

5:What festival disappointed you the most & why?
Hang-out has left their original vibe by ditching late shows & jam bands. 

6:What was the best collaboration that you witnessed? 
Dead & Company  

7: What artist or band made themselves impossible to ignore in 2015?
TAUK

8: What was your favorite Phish show?
Easy! Nashville! The return of Mike song second jam was just icing on a perfect cake. 
9: What show surprised you the most?
Keller Williams Trio! They blew my mind. 

10: What artist or band should we watch out for in 2016? Twiddle 

Sammy Martin 

1: What was the best new album of 2015?
ALO - Tangle of Time – arguably their best album since Fly Between Falls, by far their most well written.

2: What was the single best live show you attended?
Phish – Ascent Amphitheater – Nashville, TN – August 4th, 2015

3:What was your favorite GD50 event? Billy’s Book, FTW, Phil & Friends, Dead & Company etc.
Fare Thee Well – Jun 28th, 2015 – Santa Clara, CA ( I didn't make it to Chicago)

4: What was your favorite festival?
Magnaball – it had everything a great Phish Festy usually does, it started with a muddy downpour, had amazing weather, great sets that ended with a blastoff and fireworks.

5:What festival disappointed you the most & why?
Phases Of The Moon II – so much potential, too much going on for it to ever happen.

6:What was the best collaboration that you witnessed?
Jackie Greene with Jason Crosby and Nicki Bluhm – “Till The Light Comes” - Fox Theater Oakland – Nov 27th, 2015
Goes without saying:
Trey, Jeff Chimenti and Bruce Hornsby with the Core Four. Jun27th/28th – and July 3rd-5th in Chicago

7: What artist or band made themselves impossible to ignore this year?
I want to say the Grateful Dead because they were everywhere, but without Jerry, it's really that it was harder to ignore their breadth of music and impact more-so than than the band itself. Also Jackie Greene seemed to be touring all over the country putting on multiple night stands on both coasts, headlining multiple tours, his 1st album in 5 years-one that keeps getting better with more live play.

8: What was your favorite Phish show?
See answer # 2 : Ascent Amphitheater – Nashville, TN – August 4th, 2015


9: What show surprised you the most?
I personally haven't made it yet, but the Dead and Co. shows have been by all accounts amazing. Mayer really has taken me by surprise. And made his mark as great player.

10: What artist or band should we watch in 2016?
I'm going with a Genre. It's the electro-funk-live-fusion. Bands such as Twiddle, Dopapod, TAUK, PPPP etc. The era of JamGrass dominating the jam scene has passed for a minute, whilst the cream of bluegrass will always rise to the top. I feel it's time to enter an era of improvisational jam with a heavy dose of synth prog-rock. See Umphrey's McGee crossed with the Disco Biscuits for better description.


Mike Geller

1: What was the best new album of 2015?
N/A - I don't do albums anymore.  All my music time is devoted to being at shows

2: What was the single best live show you attended?
The Mantras - AURA Festival Early March. 

3:What was your favorite GD50 event? Billy’s Book, FTW, Phil & Friends, Dead & Company etc.
Dead & Co 11/1 MSG - The only notes of it I heard.  Was excellent! Mayer can play and Oteil is a beast            

4: What was your favorite festival?
AURA - While 4 of the 6 festivals I went to this year could take this spot AURA wins because it had the higher number of great sets, and a very welcoming Short Cut Camp to make up feel right at home from the minute we arrived at SOSMP. Also the SOSMP factor.  Every music fan needs to go to at least 1 festival here.

5:What festival disappointed you the most & why?
LunaLight - No fault of its own, rained so much in the days leading up it was flooded.  Lost out on using the main outdoor stage completely.  With the lineup, venue, energy, and people if there was good weather this would have been a high contender for fest of the year

6:What was the best collaboration that you witnessed?
Dark Side of the Hudson 12/6 at DROM in NYC.  Members of ShwizZ and other Nyack, NY area bands combine to play the hell out of Pink Floyd.  This show featured Dark Side of the Moon as set 1 and Animals as set 2.

7: What artist or band made themselves impossible to ignore this year?
I'm going to say Dead and Phish because they were the bands I saw mentioned and talked about far more then any others.  Otherwise I have no idea how to answer this question.

8: What was your favorite Phish show?
12/31/15 - Wasn't that far ahead of Magnaball musically but we got our entire crew together in a good section and had the run of the place.

9: What show surprised you the most?
Pitch Blak Brass Band and Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band.  They were the openers for Turkuaz and both sets were funky as could be. 

10: What artist or band should we watch in 2016?
TAUK - They are continuing their rise both musically and in popularity
G-Nome Project - I recently was treated to 3 sets from them at "Great North" this summer and was blown away

Randy Harris

1: What was the best new album of 2015?
Ozric Tentacles - Technicians of the Sacred; kind of biased since they are my favorite band, but this was an album more than five years in the making, and they absolutely rocked it and did not disappoint their anxious fans!

2: What was the single best live show you attended?
Umphrey's McGee - Pier Six Pavilion (Baltimore, MD); I had just moved to Baltimore and come off of a semi-disappointing Philly show (mostly due to venue issues with visibility and sound), and they came out and DESTROYED the Baltimore show!

3:What was your favorite GD50 event? Billy’s Book, FTW, Phil & Friends, Dead & Company etc.
I am going to have to say Billy's book. I was unfortunate to not make it to any of the live events, but I did read the book and loved it!

4: What was your favorite festival?
Meeting of the Minds (Schuylkill, PA) - small fest, GREAT vibe, great music including a headlining set from my all time favorite Ozric Tentacles. Can't beat it!

5:What festival disappointed you the most & why?
Phases Of The Moon; hard to keep your hopes up with such a large and public cancellation, and I hear that months later people are still waiting for refunds to arrive.

6:What was the best collaboration that you witnessed?
I was fortunate enough to see legendary jazz sax player Ron Holloway sit in with a local Baltimore band called LITZ for an Allman Brothers Band tribute set. These guys not only did the Brothers justice, but Holloway's presence brought the music to another level.

7: What artist or band made themselves impossible to ignore this year?
I would say Turkuaz. Through partnerships with L4LM, a massive album release and more extensive touring than any previous year, they definitely put themselves out there.

8: What was your favorite Phish show?
Merriweather Post Pavilion (Night 2), Columbia, MD (Aug 16, 2015); Night 1 had some weirdness in the 1st set that I wasn't quite diggin' (aside from a killer Antelope to end it) but Night 2 really felt fluid, just a great night of music!

9: What show surprised you the most?
Kung Fu w/Consider The Source - The 8x10 (Baltimore, MD); while I knew this would be an incredible show, I did not expect it to sell out. I also did not expect for that sold out crowd to be entirely present during the opening act! Big show, big energy, packed out crowd.

10: What artist or band should we watch in 2016?
Backup Planet; I'll just leave it at that and let you all find out for yourselves... you'll see.