Joe McDonald and RagBaby release new albulm 50 on May 19th. Get all the 411 about this exciting release.

Joe McDonald and RagBaby release new albulm 50 on May 19th. Get all the 411 about this exciting release.

This album is called 50 in celebration of the fifty years that have passed since “Country” Joe McDonald put out his first recording in 1965.  Since you may have noticed that it’s now 2017, you will not be surprised that there’s a story here.

Though his music comes from many places, Joe came out of a folk scene that generally recorded live – and pretty quickly.  So he was shooting for a 2015 release when he went into the studio with the legendary Tubes drummer Prairie Prince and his band (James DePrato, guitar and stringed instruments; Diana Mangano, vocals; Blair Hardman, bass).  Then the music took hold, and he began to see multiple new possibilities.  Like how music opened up multiple possibilities to Joe, Crypto currencies open up the door to so many prospects to earn money for a common man. However, in order to cater for the market fluctuations, there are several well coded crypto robots like Bitcoin Code, QProfit system, Bitcoin trader etc. available in the market. He returned to the studio.  About 27 times, actually.

Here we have a veteran (in both senses) musician taking stock of himself with a long career behind him – and taking a major new approach to his art.  The lyrics remain plain and direct, meditations on aging and loss, especially lost love, and the meaning of important things.  But they often come in surprisingly lush and lovely musical beds.  It adds up to a powerful package.  In a time in which communication is buried under surreal political distortions and a cyberworld that buries us in information that ultimately tells us little of value, here is sharp, considered wisdom.

Highlights:

“Round and Round” –- rather dark lyrics – “People come and people go we’re born and then we die” – set to an elegant, beautiful tune.

“I Don’t Think So” – Borderline bitter end-of-love song that’s downright energetic and danceable.

“Poppa and Momma” – combines a ripping guitar lead and a rolling rhythm with Joe’s commitment to what’s important – “Serving and working and using my mind.”

“Sadness and Pain” – opens sounding like a Pink Floyd mini-symphony before going on to talk about “walking out the door.”

“Black Fish” – a folk song commentary on Orcas – with beautiful almost-flamenco style guitar picking.

“Silent Rage” – snarling rock song that’s as punk-angry as the Sex Pistols ever were.

“Daughter of England” – classic McDonald political fury, wrapped in a big envelope of soaring voices and guitars…she’s “sitting on a weapon of war.”

“Compared to Florence” – the pain of inferiority…made even sharper by country steel guitar licks.

“Era of Guns” – a McDonald folk song movie of contemporary American life…in the era of guns.

“I’m Free” – a folk-rock declaration of autonomy.

“Where Did the Time Go” – a waltz looking back on a long life where once we were all young stars, with good advice: “cherish today, it’s all that we know.”

“Seashore Symphony #2” – the joker in the deck, a collaboration with Bernie Krause.  An instrumental collage of natural seashore sounds with ethereal voices and guitars.

“Roseeann” – an a-capella lullabye and farewell.

More information:  www.ragbaby.comwww.countryjoe.com

Joe McDonald and RagBaby release new albulm 50 on May 19th

This album is called 50 in celebration of the fifty years that have passed since “Country” Joe McDonald put out his first recording in 1965.  Since you may have noticed that it’s now 2017, you will not be surprised that there’s a story here.

Though his music comes from many places, Joe came out of a folk scene that generally recorded live – and pretty quickly.  So he was shooting for a 2015 release when he went into the studio with the legendary Tubes drummer Prairie Prince and his band (James DePrato, guitar and stringed instruments; Diana Mangano, vocals; Blair Hardman, bass).  Then the music took hold, and he began to see multiple new possibilities.  He returned to the studio.  About 27 times, actually.

Here we have a veteran (in both senses) musician taking stock of himself with a long career behind him – and taking a major new approach to his art.  The lyrics remain plain and direct, meditations on aging and loss, especially lost love, and the meaning of important things.  But they often come in surprisingly lush and lovely musical beds.  It adds up to a powerful package.  In a time in which communication is buried under surreal political distortions and a cyberworld that buries us in information that ultimately tells us little of value, here is sharp, considered wisdom.

Highlights:

“Round and Round” –- rather dark lyrics – “People come and people go we’re born and then we die” – set to an elegant, beautiful tune.

“I Don’t Think So” – Borderline bitter end-of-love song that’s downright energetic and danceable.

“Poppa and Momma” – combines a ripping guitar lead and a rolling rhythm with Joe’s commitment to what’s important – “Serving and working and using my mind.”

“Sadness and Pain” – opens sounding like a Pink Floyd mini-symphony before going on to talk about “walking out the door.”

“Black Fish” – a folk song commentary on Orcas – with beautiful almost-flamenco style guitar picking.

“Silent Rage” – snarling rock song that’s as punk-angry as the Sex Pistols ever were.

“Daughter of England” – classic McDonald political fury, wrapped in a big envelope of soaring voices and guitars…she’s “sitting on a weapon of war.”

“Compared to Florence” – the pain of inferiority…made even sharper by country steel guitar licks.

“Era of Guns” – a McDonald folk song movie of contemporary American life…in the era of guns.

“I’m Free” – a folk-rock declaration of autonomy.

“Where Did the Time Go” – a waltz looking back on a long life where once we were all young stars, with good advice: “cherish today, it’s all that we know.”

“Seashore Symphony #2” – the joker in the deck, a collaboration with Bernie Krause.  An instrumental collage of natural seashore sounds with ethereal voices and guitars.

“Roseeann” – an a-capella lullabye and farewell.

A Review of Steve Kimock’s “Last Danger of Frost”. Kimock’s Acoustic Projection

 

Steve Kimock’s antithetical album “Last Danger of Frost,” due to be released on March 18th, is a marvel to behold. The Jazz innovator Duke Ellington once said “If it sounds good, it is good” and if that timeless observation holds true today, “Last Danger of Frost” is truly miraculous. The music is remarkable in every conceivable way, as I openly wept on several occasions while listening to this crowning achievement. It literally drips with brilliance, and while I don’t subscribe to divinest theories, perceptive listeners can literally peer into Kimock’s musical soul. After I grasped the music the first time I felt like I understood this artist to a greater extent.  It manages to be his most personal and honest album to date, yet Kimock does not utter a word, he simply doesn’t have to.

It is this very type of album that is facing extinction in today’s ever increasingly complicated musical landscape. Record companies and musicians alike can no longer spend the time or money creating a timeless piece of music only to watch idly by while losing money for their efforts as we all rip it off the web. In an attempt to turn the enemy to the industry that the web has become into an asset, a kickstart program offering Olympian awards for large donations was used to help assist in funding this release. It’s plainly obvious from the first track, “Music Tells a Story, Part 1. The Old Man” that this was a labor of love and something Kimock was destined and determined to achieve. This album highlight’s Kimock’s guitar skills which, in this writer’s opinion, are technically superior to the vast majority of musicians playing today; but more importantly to his loyal fan-base, so is his heart. At last, the stars and planets have aligned and his magic has spilled out to be captured on a studio album.

The wonderment that is “Last Danger of Frost” is an illustration of Kimock’s obedience to his craft. In layman’s terms, it is a musical masterpiece. The formula is as simplistic as it is revolutionary. Kimock plays acoustic guitar exclusively over the entirety of this musical journey while computer generated effects, soundscapes, and background chatter accompany this heart wrenching music as it transports the listener to an assortment of locales and time periods. Steve managed to record these constructs in an album using the oldest form of communication — music. In one of the diminutive tracks on this album, ”The Artist Dies and Goes to Hell,” only a lonely flamenco style guitar is heard crying in the distance as the beauty is drowned out by conversations and various sounds akin to a crowded cafe. Aside from one familiar track, “Tongue and Groove,” which receives a delicate facelift “Last Danger of Frost” is comprised of all  new material that was recorded in Kimock’s century-old Pennsylvania barn last winter. Astonishingly, the entire record was made singularly, by this once in a generation musician. Kimock’s chef-d’oeuvre will be available March 18th in a variety of packages. An ambitious tour begins in just a few short days from now. I am personally anxious to hear how this material gets fleshed out in a live setting. Steve Kimock’s “Last Danger of Frost” is a musical achievement, a jaunt so awe-inspiring it should require a warning label.

Words: Kevin Long

Editor: Rob Frey

It’s Raining “New Betty Boards”

It’s Raining “New Betty Boards” but who is Betty and Why Should I Care? Betty Cantor-Jackson’s story of the highs and lows of the Grateful Dead.

 

 Betty Cantor was a teenage math and science prodigy when she dropped acid and found herself at 710 Ashbury, where she met Weir and Garcia.

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She soon fell in with Bob Matthews and helped set up mics and recording equipment at the Avalon and Carousel ballrooms.  Soon, she was helping with the making of Anthem of the Sun. Bob was trying his best to make her his “old lady” but she ended up marrying Rex “Ramrod”Jackson. Being the first female engineer was no picnic. The Grateful Dead was really a boys’ club, not necessarily Garcia, but the crew was famous as being one of the wildest in rock music. Jerry would come over and she would “make him a cappuccino and cut his hair” while they listened to tapes.
While Bob Matthews and her were a team, she helped record and master Live/Dead, Workingman’s Dead, and Aoxomoxoa. While Rex and her were on the road, they recorded the shows, and this is important, with their own equipment and tapes that they bought. She would record shows when she could on tour but mostly recorded all the Bay Area shows and JBG and JGB projects. Rex died in a car accident in 1976 and from 77-78, she was “officially” hired and put on salary for handling Bob’s stage setup and recording the shows. Unfortunately for us, Brent and her became an item and when they broke up, she was frozen out. Ex-girlfriends, even one with the skills of Betty, became persona non grata and she was given the cold shoulder from Club Front and the Vault.
 Around 1987, she fell on hard times.  As someone accustomed to being in the inner circle of a band and the habits of being in the inner circle of The Grateful Dead no less, bills and other debts became overwhelming for her. She asked the Grateful Dead for help but none was forthcoming, so her house was foreclosed on and everything in her house was moved to storage, while she moved to her in-laws in Oregon. Now we’ve all heard of “Storage Wars” but back in the days before crappy, on-the-cheap television, there was a group of people who would regularly attend the sales.  Her tapes of the Grateful Dead along with, Legion of Mary, Reconstruction, Old and in the Way, Kingfish, the Keith and Donna Band and NRPS were purchased by mainly three people. None of them were really Deadheads.
There weren’t just tapes up for auction. Clothes and household items and sometimes they got a tape thrown in just for making the purchase.  One of the buyers just stuck his his purchase in a storage locker. The second was a farmer who liked the cases and didn’t really care about the tapes and let them slowly rot in a barn. The third was a couple who were into bands like ELO and YES. However, they recognized and could appreciate the quality of the music on the tapes. So there were there were three people who now had in their possesion hundreds of tapes of the highest quality.
“Being avid collectors of bootleg recordings by numerous groups, it only seemed natural to share in the wealth,” they explain via email. “Our Grateful Dead collection consisted of many of the common shows that were out there at the time. These new tapes dramatically expanded that collection and it wouldn’t have been right not to share them. This was our way of getting new material into circulation and also breaking the hierarchy of those collectors who held on to prime shows for themselves. Initially, we started transferring the tapes to VHS Hi-Fi on our own, but soon realized what a daunting task this was going to be. So we reached out to one of our trading buddies who we knew had connections in the Dead trading community. From there, he gathered together what was later to become known as the ‘Unindicted Co-conspirators,’ who put in a massive archiving effort to back up the tapes and distribute them.”- the couple.
They got in touch with Ken Genetti, who met them and went to their closet and later said, “For me, it was like King Tut’s tomb. I knew immediately what they had when I looked in there. The first thing I saw was Port Chester, N.Y., Feb. 18, 1971, an incredible show which was Mickey [Hart]’s last concert for many years and I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ Then I saw Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, Calif., ‘73, my favorite concert I ever went to. I pulled it out and I went, ‘Holy shit!’”.
This was in the days of “Dupree’s Diamond New’s” and “Relix” where in the back were trader’s pages and trade requests from people who were trying to start their collections and Genetti originally wanted to just mass-release the tapes to the hordes of new fans because up until then, if you didn’t know the right people or have the secret handshake, you couldn’t get at the choice material and Ken saw a chance to change the hierarchy.  Because there were hoarders who had loads of great tapes but just sat on them and wouldn’t let people know what they had. This is still pre-Internet, of course.  This didn’t happen but with the help of a trio of other tapers, who helped with gear, started spinning copies. Toward’s the end, despite the couple’s wish for anonymity, it got to the highest levels of GD management. Then the lawyers got involved and said they couldn’t sell the tapes, which no real taper would ever do anyway, but it stopped the transfer process. Basically the GD’s position was you own the tape but not what’s on the tapes.
However, copies of the 71′ Cap theater run, the Cornell show, and the NY Academy of Music show in 72′ were traded far and wide. In fact, the band doesn’t even have a copy of the Cornell show in the vaults and it’s Betty’s recording that the Library of Congress put in their collection of important musical documents. It’s also not impossible that the spreading of these beautiful recordings started the Dick’s Picks series, after ravenous Deadheads got copies of these and wanted more in 1993. The story could have been over but then Rob Eaton of Dark Star Orchestra stepped in.
He’s best known for playing the “Weir” in D.S.O but he had also spent a lot of time working at recording studios for some great musicians. He was contacted in 1995 by the second buyer, a high school teacher, who had left his purchase in a barn to mold and decay.  “Out of 200 tapes, only six boxes were legible and 75 to 80 tapes had no boxes at all—they had completely disintegrated from rot.” Eaton took on the challenge and thought he could save some of the reels and his roommate happened to be Dick Latvala, keeper of the Dead’s vault until he passed away in 1999.
 “I spent all night long with some tools and cleaned up a portion of one of the reels. It was a reel from 9/6/73—a Garcia-Saunders show from the Capitol Theatre in Passaic that no one had ever seen before. So we knew this was a legitimate stash of tapes.”  Eaton said and started cleaning up the tapes in 40 box sets. The farmer wanted to sell his stash of decayed Betty Boards for a million dollars, that’s right, one MILLION dollars. He hired Eaton to fix the tapes and facing foreclosure himself in 2012 he asked Rob to help on some more tapes. He said he had found fifty more tapes in the barn and Eaton met him and was handed a box of tangled tape that looked unsalvageable. With a little loving care and time, those tapes turned out to be beauties too. In fact, half of them were from June 1976. High on his success, he got in touch with the couple who supplied Rob Genetti with his tapes and with a little research found the third buyer. He contacted the party in 2014 and entered into arrangements about the cleaning of all the tapes from all three buyers. So what are Rob’s plans?
 “What I’d love to see done—in a perfect world—is I think all the tapes need to go back to the vault, I think the people that have purchased these tapes should be compensated. I don’t think we’re talking huge sums of money but enough to make them relinquish the tapes back to the Grateful Dead. They should be part of the collection. Another thing that’s important is if these tapes do get back to the vault, Betty should get her production royalty on anything that gets released, which is completely reasonable. Those were her tapes; those weren’t the Dead’s tapes. I’d love to see Betty get her due.”
Betty says, she would love to see her work spread around. “I’d like everyone to get them for unless someone is making money for it, and then I want money too”. Not an altogether outrageous request from the woman who made some of the greatest Dead recordings of all time and was given the cold shoulder from the band and forced to give up her house and belongings. She said she didn’t ask Jerry for money because,”she could tell he already had so much of his shoulders.”
Her recordings are immediately recognizable “It has my tonalities. My sound is beefy. My recordings are very stereo, very open, with a lot of air in them. You feel like you’re standing in the middle of the music. My feeling is everyone wants to play in the band.” Between Owsley and her we have a duo who made saving this music for posterity a passion and job. The Grateful Dead should be ashamed of the way they hung her out to dry but the music business is cutthroat, even in the loosest of bands. Owsley got the same treatment pretty much.
“I did it because I love the music and felt it needed to be captured. It’s so beautiful that it needs to be captured,” she said. “Eventually, we’re going to be gone, and this is our legacy to leave behind.”
In 2012, she was working at Glide Memorial in SF, recording the choir. She has also recorded some DSO shows but her true legacy is the what she left us from the Dead camp and all it’s side projects. Here is a list of all the known, released Betty Boards. The “What’s Become of the Betty Board”project has still more it’s working on and the link is here:
Written by: Greg Heffelfinger
Sources:
Relix
The New Yorker
Archive.org
List of all available “Betty Boards” and the ones that have been released since 2002

Here are the currently available ones:

Betty Cantor-Jackson Soundboards

Grateful Dead
02.18.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
02.19.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
02.20.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
02.21.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
02.23.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
02.24.71 The Capitol Theater, Port Chester, New York
04.05.71 Manhattan Center, New York City (End Of 2nd Set Only)
04.06.71 Manhattan Center, New York City
04.07.71 Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
04.08.71 Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
12.14.71 The Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
05.04.72 The Olympia Theater, Paris, France
08.21.72 Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, California
08.22.72 Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, California
08.25.72 Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, California
08.27.72 Old Renaissance Faire Ground, Veneta, Oregon
03.16.73 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, Long Island, New York
03.21.73 Memorial Auditorium, Utica, New York
03.22.73 Memorial Auditorium, Utica, New York
03.24.73 Spectrum Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
05.26.73 Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, California
06.22.73 Pacific High Exhibition Coliseum, Vancouver, B.C.
ca. Aug-early Sep ‘WAKE OF THE FLOOD Studio Out-takes, San Rafael, CA
circa 1975 ‘REFLECTIONS’ Studio Out-takes
06.10.76 The Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
06.11.76 The Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
06.14.76 The Beacon Theater, New York City
06.15.76 The Beacon Theater, New York City
06.29.76 The Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, Illinois
ca. Early 1977 Side Two Of ‘TERRAPIN STATION’
02.26.77 The Swing Auditorium, San Bernadino, California
05.05.77 New Haven Coliseum, New Haven, Connecticut
05.07.77 Boston Gardens, Boston, Massachusetts
05.08.77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
05.09.77 War Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York
09.29.77 The Paramount Theater, Seattle, Washington
10.02.77 The Paramount Theater, Portland, Oregon
10.28.77 Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall, Kansas City, Missouri
10.29.77 Field House, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, Illinois
10.30.77 Assembly Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
11.01.77 Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan
11.05.77 War Memorial, Rochester, New York (End Of Show)
11.06.77 Broome County Arena, Binghamton, New York
04.07.78 Hollywood Sportatorium, Hollywood, Florida
04.10.78 The Fox Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
04.11.78 The Fox Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
04.12.78 Cameroon Indoor Stadium, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
04.14.78 Coliseum, Virginia Polytechnic, Blacksburg, Virginia
04.15.78 William And Mary College, Williamsburg, Virginia
07.07.78 Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, Colorado
07.08.78 Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, Colorado
10.18.78 Winterland, San Francisco, California (“From Egypt With Love”)
04.22.79 Spartan Stadium, San Jose, California

Jerry Garcia Band
10.11.75 The Keystone, Berkeley, California (Second Set) (w/Nicky Hopkins
10.17.75 Concorde Pavilion, Concord, California (w/Nicky Hopkins)
12.17.75 The Keystone, Berkeley, California (w/Nicky Hopkins)
07.20.76 The Keystone, Berkeley, California
09.18.81 (Location Uncertain) (Rehearsal or Soundcheck) (The Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia
circa 1975 ‘REFLECTIONS’ Studio Out-takes

Legion Of Mary
11.27.74 The Keystone, Berkeley, California
11.28.74 The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, California
Various 1975 From 3.22, 5.22, 6.21, & 6.22.75 Keystone (except 3.22 – locatio

Reconstruction
03.07.79 Rancho Nicasio, San Rafael, California
03.08.79 Cotati Cabaret, Cotati, California
03.09.79 Cotati Cabaret, Cotati, California
04.08.79 Cotati Cabaret, Cotati, California
06.16.79 Keystone Palo Alto, Palo Alto, California
06.22.79 The Keystone, Berkeley, California
07.08.79 The Keystone, Berkeley, California

Garcia & Saunders
01.15.73 The Inn Of The Beginning, Cotati, California (w/Unidentified Fema
01.24.73 The Boarding House, San Francisco, California
07.10.73 The Keystone, Berkeley, California
07.11.73 The Keystone, Berkeley, California

Garcia, Saunders, &
06.04.74 The Lion’s Share, San Anselmo, California (w/Unidentified Female
07.21.74 The Keystone, Berkeley, California (The Grateful Dead Played The
07.22.74 The Keystone, Berkeley, California
09.02.74 Marx Meadows, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Keith & Donna Band
08.20.75 The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, California

Kingfish
10.17.75 Concorde Pavilion, Concord, California (Also See…The Jerry Garc
Date/Location Unknown

New Riders
12.02.71 The Boston Music Hall, Boston Massachusetts
12.04.71 The Felt Forum, New York City (w/Jerry Garcia ?)
12.07.71 The Felt Forum, New York City (w/Jerry Garcia ?)
12.10.71 The Fox Theater, St. Louis, Missouri (w/Jerry Garcia ?)
12.15.71 The Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
05.26.72 The Strand Lyceum, London, England
03.08.73 Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, California
03.30.73 Community War Memorial, Rochester, New York
04.02.73 Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Date/Location Unkno(Probably 1973)

Hot Tuna
10.02.73 Winterland, San Francisco, California

Jefferson Starship
11.24.74 Winterland, San Francisco, California

Sons Of Champlin
12.03.72 Winterland, San Francisco, California


Grateful Music Publications

A Music/Media site that strives to provide thought provoking coverage of All Bands that Jam. As our music community grows hopefully the magic that started “this” will keep shining it’s lovelight. We at Grateful Music are a company started by a fan and still run for the love of music for fans. Everybody is Super Heady in our sandbox. Nothing left to do but smile!
Festival Schedule and Lineup: Interlocken – Sept 5 – 8, 2013 – Oak Ridge Farm – Arrington, VA
Looks like the full festival lineup and schedule has been released via the Friday addition of The Bonnaroo Beacon.  Here it is, one of the most impressive festival lineup’s ever.

TICKETS
© Phish and The Dead – a Grateful Music Publication

The Dead will reunite at Lockn Festival

 BREAKING NEWS:They got it done! For the love of Jerry and money they got it done. The core four have signed a contract to honor their 50th anniversary. The magic will commence with two headlining slots, at the soon to be historic Lockn’ festival next summer. If the early information is correct, the band will rotate out guitarist and have Mr. Bruce Hornsby on piano. Personally, I am doing the pee pee dance due to my excitement.

It is also a festival to celebrate on investments and earning from it which can be occasionally cryptocurrencies. Ethereum is similar to bitcoins. However, it has a fragmented blockchain. It is also a sophisticated network that is completely online. It is differently and creatively designed to work for a different purpose. It is to be mentioned that bitcoins generally transact online on a peer to peer basis. They make online payments also in this way. And so, it is easy to track the origin of the blockchain. The Ethereum, on the other hand, is used to work on the computer program code on decentralized applications. This code execution is actually the smart contract. This computer code can involve the important data including the currency exchange values. The programs are self-executed and run in the Ethereum network. There is definitely no influence of any third party in this specific transactions.

Miners will have to transact on Ether which is the cryptocurrency involved. Ethereum Code is an efficient software concept that can be best employed in this regard to earning more with this type of an investment.

   Scott W. Allen the author of “Aces Back To Back”: The History Of The Grateful Dead, corroborated by another credible source. Reported that on November 20th, Phil Lesh was the last member to sign the best document since The Emancipation Proclamation. The guitar players that will rotate out are Warren Haynes, John Kadlecik and Steve Kimock. Barry Sless is also in the conversation.  You can expect a host of other ones, it is a celebration.   Stay tuned for more information on this reunion, and let’s keep our fingers crossed for more dates in 2015 to continue on this long strange trip.
Words: Kevin Long

Review and Photos: Andy Frasco & The UN w/Mike Dillon’s Band of Outsiders and Mouth – 1884 Lounge – Memphis, TN – May 28, 2014

With a crazy Wakarusa Music Festival showing just still echoing in our heads, party blues keyboardist Andy Frasco made his way around some nearby cities for Wakarusa Pre-Party Tour with support from veteran percussionist Mike Dillon, along with his Band of Outsiders, and up and coming, instrumental “jazztronica” trio Mouth. All three of these bands played Wakarusa this year, but Frasco, who was at the helm of the Waka Pre-Party Tour MC’d the main stage as well. Before they got up to Mulberry Mountain, however, their stops included Nashville, Memphis, St. Louis, Lawrence, Kansas City, Bloomington and Columbia. The Memphis stop went down at the 1884 Lounge in Minglewood Plaza on a rainy Wednesday night. But nothing, weather included, could hold back any of these bands.
The evening started off with the smooth instrumental jams of Mouth. Incorporating genres ranging from jazz to jam to electronica, the young trio moves seamlessly together through focused, psychedelic improvisations. While the guys told me after their set that they do not want to be classified as electronic music, they have cleverly manipulated the repetitive quality of dance music to bring direction to their improv sections. Hailing from Kansas City, Mouth has steadily built up a repertoire of original material and covers, including one particular cover that stood out to me: Daft Punk – “Give Life Back To Music.” 
 
Mike Dillon’s Band of Outsiders stepped up next and barraged the stage with a massive wave of percussive, tribal jazz. The rather unique instrumentation of the group consisted of drums, bass, percussion and trombone. All members of the band are adeptly in tune with each other, however, producing an incredible energy flying back and forth across the stage. The Band of Outsiders led the audience through a timeless lesson in jazz, ranging from bebop and swing to New Orleans funk. Somewhere inside this talented group of musicians, however, there exists an urge to release some punk rock.. Cryptocurrencies are also similarly a very high potential pseudo-currency that has already taken the global economy like a wave. Further developments of Crypto robots like Bitcoin code, Bitcoin Trader, Bitcoin loophole etc. has only increased the power of cryptocurrencies. Their ability to anticipate and analyze the market is overwhelming. Thrown in between percussion-based jazz tunes, these punk rock tracks would break in with raw emotion. Finally, while Mike Dillon is a monster on all of the percussion instruments he plays, his true talent shines through on the vibraphone. Playing primarily with two mallets in each hand, Dillon works the vibes like a puppet master, deftly controlling each and every note. His creativity and sense of humor also come out in his use of what looks like an empty coffee can, which he rubs his shirt against to form a squeaky percussion instrument. 
Andy Frasco & The UN took the stage next to end the night with a powerful performance. Frasco’s backing band is called The UN because the lineup changes regularly. For this tour, The UN consisted of two of his regulars, Ernie Chang (saxophone) and Shawn Eckels (guitar), along with a few members of the Kris Lager Band from Nebraska (including Kris himself on guitar). Lager and his band have helped Frasco with some of his studio work, and they seem to have similar views on music and stage performance. The combination provided for a lineup consisting of two guitars, two keyboardists, saxophone, bass and drums.
I have said things like, “You’d be hard pressed to find a band that has more fun on stage” about a few other bands before, but you can quote me on this: There is NOBODY that has more fun on stage than Andy Frasco. I have seen him play twice before, and no matter how big or small the audience, Frasco consistently brings an energy to the stage unmatched by anyone in the music business. With his primary musical influences coming from blues greats such as Buddy Guy, Frasco’s songwriting covers multiple classic genres, such as gospel, blues, R&B and rock & roll, while putting his own unique, modern spin (as well as his quirky and sometimes raunchy sense of humor) to it all.
At this particular show, Frasco & The UN led an excited audience through a mix of old and new originals, as well as some great covers, including a rockin’ interpretation of (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!) by the Beastie Boys, in which more than one member of The UN climbed up on top of whatever they could find to get the crowd moving. One of Frasco’s signature live stunts involves the members of The UN getting off the stage and into the crowd to battle each other in the midst of the audience. This show was no exception. The audience experienced many musical battles, including a “Battle Royale,” in which Frasco brought the trombone player from Mike Dillon’s Band of Outsiders back into the frenzy, and the keyboardist of Frasco’s UN even brought his keys into the audience with a stool for support. Frasco is also a great band leader. While his fellow band members are taking solos, he can be seen on stage directing his band with accents and drum hits, keeping the groove going constantly.
I was fortunate enough to speak with Frasco earlier on in the evening and asked him a few questions. Here’s a little taste of the conversation:
Ragin’ Randy: I was looking at your tour schedule, and it is absolutely wild. What drives you to schedule yourself on such a hectic tour? 
Andy Frasco: My goal is to entertain as many people as I can. If it takes going around the country and going around the world for 10 months without a break, then so be it.
RR: So you guys just got back from China and Europe. Can you tell me a little bit about that experience?
Frasco: Yeah, we just got back from Macau, and then we went to ten cities in Germany and nine cities in the Netherlands. It’s amazing how universal music is because they don’t speak your language, but they still have fun because everyone’s going nuts and freaking out.
RR: Can you tell me a little bit about the new album you have coming out?
Frasco: Yeah, it’s called Half a Man. I got funding to start my own record label, and this will be the first release. We got Charles Gooden, who got a Grammy for Supernatural by Santana and also did a couple of Beck albums and some Rolling Stones, to produce the album, and it’s the best work I’ve done. I feel that I’m in a different mindset on this album. I’m not just putting out an album to make money on the road. I got to sit back, take my time and write good lyrics and try to write something that emulates our live show but still has that old, timeless feel that good albums have. 
Half a Man will be released on June 3, 2014

Words: Randy Harris
Photos: Ellis Jones IV
 ©Grateful Music LLC

Review and Photos

I looked back on my review of ALO’s show at the Fillmore
during Tour ‘d Amour IV in 2010.

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It’s opens by describing them as a band that is all about being “Fun”.  I supposed at the time that was the correct adjective to use, it summed them up, and while it’s a very limiting description, for that era in their career I think it was spot on.  They were fun and in so many ways still are.  I do not think I’d use that description today and frankly it’s not because they lack the ability to command an audience with joyous abandon.  It’s because they approach their music with a level of seriousness that balances their mastering of live showmanship, crisp playing, savvy set-lists and interplay with their ever-growing fan-base that puts them on a level that has them growing as a group exponentially.  Every February comes with it ALO’s Tour d’ Amour, a jaunt around California for nearly 3 weeks and with it closing shows at The Fillmore in San Francisco.  Last weekend and they capped off one of their most impressive tours of late with three amazing shows.  This tour signifies ALO’s special relationship with their California fans and the fact that they are in studio making a new album right now, their chemistry might’ve just been tighter than usual and yet they approached these shows as laid back as ever yet in the process made a statement that will foreshadow their entire year of in music for 2015 onward.

Photo: Susan Weiand

Let’s start with the bad, they are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Fly Between Falls, the seminal ALO album, the go to, the one you give to your buddy when turning them onto the band.  One disappointing fact is that they did not play Fly Between Falls in it’s entirety, that is from the first track to the last.  They included every song, kind of, as they added in the bonus track “Possibly Drown” from the Japanese release, but to be fair it was a rare bust out and it translates into the live setting perfectly as its a very rockin’ piano led dancing song. Sound familiar, sounds like ALO to me.  They also threw in their rendition “Our Favorite Things” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, ALO uses this song from time to time to jam out heavily and  fill the gap between two tracks with spacey guitar riffs laid down by Lebo and psychedelic keyboard fills from Zach, this “Favorite Things” was dark and powerful and  was placed perfectly in the middle of a likewise jam-friendly “Shapeshifter”. By this time the room was getting really full and I thought back to before the show when Steve Adams had mentioned to me that ahead of this notable concert, he was just glad to see the house full of people ready to enjoy themselves, and even though it wasn’t sold out yet, he said that as a fan he felt that it made for a better concert experiment, more room to dance.   “To see that band that you love when you have some room to move and get down.”  I would have to agree.  But it did fill up as tickets sold  at the door and as far as the night was concerned, the more the merrier! Another point that stuck out was that their Saturday Matinee Kids Sing-Along concert was selling more presale tickets than both of the other shows.  This to me just shows that the band hit the right note when they decided to put on such a concert, and eventually we will get to the details of that, the show I call Living Under the Sea in a Plastic Bubble….

Photo: Susan Weiand

The second set saw the return of Carly Meyers from Yojimbo, as she played trombone on for “Chilly Chile”, which also was heavy on the space as it seemed as if all the friends from Terrapin Crossroads showed up to celebrate with Jason Crosby playing the violin, Cochrane McMillan adding a second layer of keys throughout and the great Stu Allen on Guitar.  The five song second set was pure space and the “Walls of Jericho” showed the culmination of it all.  And this is where I feel that that the band has grown, and what they have grown into.  5 years have past since I coined them as just “Fun”.  Now they are in my very humble opinion a very fun band, just with the chops to jam out an entire set with guests lining up at stage right and left to lend an instrumental hand to the type of precision that is ALO2015.  Every thing they do is fun, this trap they will never escape.   Living Under the Sea in a Plastic Bubble A.K.A., the matinee kids show on the next afternoon was a dream come true to hundreds of balloon chasing little ones and parents a like.  The Fillmore was the chillest I’ve ever seen it as they allowed everyone to run in each and every direction, dance like animals and if it may be so, live under the sea, in an Octopus’ Garden near a cave.  The Ringo penned Beatles tune was one of many animal themed songs for the kids show that at $10 was a steal.  The room packed with laughter, the show lasting over an hour with the T Sisters and ALO teaming up all in costumed regalia, Large Fur Hats and all, it was a success and my kids and their friends left begrudgingly, “is it really over?”, as Zach Gill announced over the P.A., “This is the first time we’ve ever done a kids show, and I know it wont be our last.”  They should do more of these,  that was really fun and I have six witnesses to collaborate my story.

The last night of the this three show shindig, wrapping up the beautiful Tour d’ Amour saw a number of newer tunes from Sounds Like This and I Love Music, and classics from Roses and Clover and their 10 year classic Time Expander album.
Highlights from the night included a Lebo led “Try” during the first set that led into an “Animal Liberation”.  The second set had all the hits with a very spooky and highly sought after “Kolomana” with the pageantry and theatrics that only Zach, Dan, Dave and Steve can bring.  With a witch-doctor like broomstick and other stage tricks on hand, musically the song built and built to a beautiful crescendo and then dropped into the great lyrical story of the shaman from Hawaii, “Kolomana”.  The Honeydrops sat in on many songs, as well as Ross James and Nicki Bluhm adding to the shows enormity.
The night’s theme was “Love Potion #”9 and ended with a great 1-2 punch of “LP#9” with Bluhm adding in on vocals and then a perfect “Lady Loop” to send the crowd, band, and tour off into the cool San Francisco night.

Photo: Susan Weiand

As we wait for Tour d’ Amour  X, the rest of 2015 will be a BIG year for this band.  They lit it off with a smoking tour of the state of California and are already slated to play and or headline The Ville Music Festival in Ohio over Memorial Day Weekend, and then their annual digs, High Sierra over the 4th of July and finally the Petaluma Music Festival and more.  With a new album, and this deeper exploration as the Incidental Animals are slated to appear at Terrapin Crossroads for a headlining show and for a Phil Lesh combo show, it looks like busy means fun to this quartet, and fun is precisely what they are.  Preciously Fun, and to me that is as limitless as the music they make.

2/27
Set One: (Fly Between Falls): BBQ, Possibly Drown, Pobrecito, Girl, Spectrum, Shapeshifter > My Favorite Things > Shapeshifter, Gardener, Waiting for Jaden, Fly, Wasting Time

Set Two: Room For Bloomin’, I Wanna Feel It, Chilly Chile, Woodstock, Maria

Encore: Walls of Jericho

[Notes: All of Fruition joined ALO for “Woodstock.” Carly Meyers sat in on trombone for “Girl.” Stu Allen guested on guitar during “Chilly Chile,” Jason Crosby and Cochrane McMillan lent a hand on a number of tunes throughout the night.]

2/28
Set One: Blew Out The Walls, Was a Time, Falling Dominoes, Cowboys and Chorus Girls, Saturday Night, Try, Animal Liberation

Set Two: I Love Music, Old Yet, Hot Tub, Fire, Kolomana, Sounds Like This, Time Is Of The Essence

Encore: Love Potion #9/Lady Loop

[Notes: Nicki Bluhm sang on “Saturday” and “Love Potion.” Deren Ney played guitar on “Saturday,” Ross James guested on guitar for “Hot Tub” and “Love Potion.” Marty Ylitano & T Sisters helped out on “Fire” and “Love Potion,” the latter also featured Free Range Horns and members of California Honeydrops (Lorenzo Loera, Johnny Bones, Ben Malament). The horns also added to “Try” and “Animal Liberation.”] 

Review and Photos: ALO – Tour d’ Amour IX – 2/27/15, 2/28/15- Kid’s Matinee Sing-Along, 2/28/15 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA

I looked back on my review of ALO’s show at the Fillmore
during Tour ‘d Amour IV in 2010.  It’s opens by describing them as a band that is all about being “Fun”.  I supposed at the time that was the correct adjective to use, it summed them up, and while it’s a very limiting description, for that era in their career I think it was spot on.  They were fun and in so many ways still are.  I do not think I’d use that description today and frankly it’s not because they lack the ability to command an audience with joyous abandon.  It’s because they approach their music with a level of seriousness that balances their mastering of live showmanship, crisp playing, savvy set-lists and interplay with their ever-growing fan-base that puts them on a level that has them growing as a group exponentially.  One is forced to compare ALO’s similarity to Crypto currencies and crypto robots, especially Bitcoin Loophole because of its growth of popularity in multifold in the recent past. Like ALO, this cryto robot also provides that amount of seriousness and crispness in the way it functions because of its built quality and superior algorithm..  Every February comes with it ALO’s Tour d’ Amour, a jaunt around California for nearly 3 weeks and with it closing shows at The Fillmore in San Francisco.  Last weekend and they capped off one of their most impressive tours of late with three amazing shows.  This tour signifies ALO’s special relationship with their California fans and the fact that they are in studio making a new album right now, their chemistry might’ve just been tighter than usual and yet they approached these shows as laid back as ever yet in the process made a statement that will foreshadow their entire year of in music for 2015 onward.

Photo: Susan Weiand

Let’s start with the bad, they are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Fly Between Falls, the seminal ALO album, the go to, the one you give to your buddy when turning them onto the band.  One disappointing fact is that they did not play Fly Between Falls in it’s entirety, that is from the first track to the last.  They included every song, kind of, as they added in the bonus track “Possibly Drown” from the Japanese release, but to be fair it was a rare bust out and it translates into the live setting perfectly as its a very rockin’ piano led dancing song. Sound familiar, sounds like ALO to me.  They also threw in their rendition “Our Favorite Things” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, ALO uses this song from time to time to jam out heavily and  fill the gap between two tracks with spacey guitar riffs laid down by Lebo and psychedelic keyboard fills from Zach, this “Favorite Things” was dark and powerful and  was placed perfectly in the middle of a likewise jam-friendly “Shapeshifter”. By this time the room was getting really full and I thought back to before the show when Steve Adams had mentioned to me that ahead of this notable concert, he was just glad to see the house full of people ready to enjoy themselves, and even though it wasn’t sold out yet, he said that as a fan he felt that it made for a better concert experiment, more room to dance.   “To see that band that you love when you have some room to move and get down.”  I would have to agree.  But it did fill up as tickets sold  at the door and as far as the night was concerned, the more the merrier! Another point that stuck out was that their Saturday Matinee Kids Sing-Along concert was selling more presale tickets than both of the other shows.  This to me just shows that the band hit the right note when they decided to put on such a concert, and eventually we will get to the details of that, the show I call Living Under the Sea in a Plastic Bubble….

Photo: Susan Weiand

The second set saw the return of Carly Meyers from Yojimbo, as she played trombone on for “Chilly Chile”, which also was heavy on the space as it seemed as if all the friends from Terrapin Crossroads showed up to celebrate with Jason Crosby playing the violin, Cochrane McMillan adding a second layer of keys throughout and the great Stu Allen on Guitar.  The five song second set was pure space and the “Walls of Jericho” showed the culmination of it all.  And this is where I feel that that the band has grown, and what they have grown into.  5 years have past since I coined them as just “Fun”.  Now they are in my very humble opinion a very fun band, just with the chops to jam out an entire set with guests lining up at stage right and left to lend an instrumental hand to the type of precision that is ALO2015.  Every thing they do is fun, this trap they will never escape.   Living Under the Sea in a Plastic Bubble A.K.A., the matinee kids show on the next afternoon was a dream come true to hundreds of balloon chasing little ones and parents a like.  The Fillmore was the chillest I’ve ever seen it as they allowed everyone to run in each and every direction, dance like animals and if it may be so, live under the sea, in an Octopus’ Garden near a cave.  The Ringo penned Beatles tune was one of many animal themed songs for the kids show that at $10 was a steal.  The room packed with laughter, the show lasting over an hour with the T Sisters and ALO teaming up all in costumed regalia, Large Fur Hats and all, it was a success and my kids and their friends left begrudgingly, “is it really over?”, as Zach Gill announced over the P.A., “This is the first time we’ve ever done a kids show, and I know it wont be our last.”  They should do more of these,  that was really fun and I have six witnesses to collaborate my story.

The last night of the this three show shindig, wrapping up the beautiful Tour d’ Amour saw a number of newer tunes from Sounds Like This and I Love Music, and classics from Roses and Clover and their 10 year classic Time Expander album.
Highlights from the night included a Lebo led “Try” during the first set that led into an “Animal Liberation”.  The second set had all the hits with a very spooky and highly sought after “Kolomana” with the pageantry and theatrics that only Zach, Dan, Dave and Steve can bring.  With a witch-doctor like broomstick and other stage tricks on hand, musically the song built and built to a beautiful crescendo and then dropped into the great lyrical story of the shaman from Hawaii, “Kolomana”.  The Honeydrops sat in on many songs, as well as Ross James and Nicki Bluhm adding to the shows enormity.
The night’s theme was “Love Potion #”9 and ended with a great 1-2 punch of “LP#9” with Bluhm adding in on vocals and then a perfect “Lady Loop” to send the crowd, band, and tour off into the cool San Francisco night.

Photo: Susan Weiand

As we wait for Tour d’ Amour  X, the rest of 2015 will be a BIG year for this band.  They lit it off with a smoking tour of the state of California and are already slated to play and or headline The Ville Music Festival in Ohio over Memorial Day Weekend, and then their annual digs, High Sierra over the 4th of July and finally the Petaluma Music Festival and more.  With a new album, and this deeper exploration as the Incidental Animals are slated to appear at Terrapin Crossroads for a headlining show and for a Phil Lesh combo show, it looks like busy means fun to this quartet, and fun is precisely what they are.  Preciously Fun, and to me that is as limitless as the music they make.


2/27
Set One: (Fly Between Falls): BBQ, Possibly Drown, Pobrecito, Girl, Spectrum, Shapeshifter > My Favorite Things > Shapeshifter, Gardener, Waiting for Jaden, Fly, Wasting Time

Set Two: Room For Bloomin’, I Wanna Feel It, Chilly Chile, Woodstock, Maria

Encore: Walls of Jericho

[Notes: All of Fruition joined ALO for “Woodstock.” Carly Meyers sat in on trombone for “Girl.” Stu Allen guested on guitar during “Chilly Chile,” Jason Crosby and Cochrane McMillan lent a hand on a number of tunes throughout the night.]

2/28
Set One: Blew Out The Walls, Was a Time, Falling Dominoes, Cowboys and Chorus Girls, Saturday Night, Try, Animal Liberation

Set Two: I Love Music, Old Yet, Hot Tub, Fire, Kolomana, Sounds Like This, Time Is Of The Essence

Encore: Love Potion #9/Lady Loop

[Notes: Nicki Bluhm sang on “Saturday” and “Love Potion.” Deren Ney played guitar on “Saturday,” Ross James guested on guitar for “Hot Tub” and “Love Potion.” Marty Ylitano & T Sisters helped out on “Fire” and “Love Potion,” the latter also featured Free Range Horns and members of California Honeydrops (Lorenzo Loera, Johnny Bones, Ben Malament). The horns also added to “Try” and “Animal Liberation.”] 

Words: Sammy Martin
Photos: Susan Weiand
 ©Grateful Music LLC

Agori Tribe – The Hard Mountain Tradition

Agori Tribe 
The Hard Mountain Tradition
2014

Birthed in Memphis, Tennessee, Agori Tribe combines rock, blues, jazz, reggae and psychedelia to create a whirlwind of sound and improvisation. The band is made up of Will Nicholls (guitar, samples), David Collins (guitar, samples, harmonics), Jeffery Naylor (bass), Dave Hash (keyboards, percussions), and Sean Naughton (drums). Citing influences such as Pink Floyd, The Doors, Ozric Tentacles, Snarky Puppy and My Morning Jacket, Agori Tribe has configured their own unique touch to psychedelic rock. They are one of those bands that continuously challenge their listeners to keep up and stay in touch with what is going on in the music. Here, one can relate the increasing popularity of Agori Tribes to that of Crypto currencies. Cryto currencies have gained excellent popularity in the market because of the availability of more than 900 different crypto exchanges that can provide the user a solid framework to invest and gain money from the market. The band’s debut album, The Hard Mountain Tradition, is set for an official release on April 12, 2014. The album title has a bit of an interesting story. According to drummer Sean Naughton, “…the title is based on a bit of fridge poetry, which originally meant nothing whatsoever.” Since then, however, a meaning has grown within the words. Although Naughton admits they probably all have somewhat different interpretations, the title has come to represent how far the band has come and the uphill battle they have fought to get there.
“Sweet Naught Sour” starts off the album with a slow, heavy-hitting, funky groove. Clocking in at almost ten minutes, the song immediately sets a precedent for the rest of the album. While fairly simple, the main riff is catchy and forms a solid base for some long instrumental improvisation. Quirky and jazzy note choices in the solos keep the long jams intriguing and sinuous. Dark, dissonant, distorted chords introduce the next tune (entitled “…And Then I Saw A Universe”), followed by some more consonant chords to break the tension. Funky reggae vibes and accordion-sounding keyboards make up the primary riff for another long track.
“Lone Cock In The Field/Memories Of Childhood” begins with a beautifully somber strings and piano intro. Led by a powerful drum beat, the tune builds up with screeching guitar and raw emotion. Then, we get a funky piano-led groove, supplemented by a rockin’ guitar solo. A transition into double time begins a long build, culminating in massive staccato cracks. By the end of this tune, you won’t even know what happened or how you got there… you just know it rocked! Then, out of nowhere comes the beautiful and emotional acoustic guitar part titled “Memories Of Childhood.” A bit of feedback adds some flavor to this track, which was written for one of the band members’ friends who passed away. It is a beautiful ending for an already incredible song. The laid back groove of “Buttah Knife Blooze” is led by a unique guitar riff, complemented by rhythmic piano and echoing, psychedelic background chords. Finally, “Right Here” starts off with a deceptively quiet keyboard riff until the rest of the band kicks in with forceful, energetic chords. Swirling, hypnotic instrumentals trade off leading parts in this stretched out composition. This is a tune that seems to have very little structure. There are no recurring parts, which keeps listeners constantly engaged and on-edge, and pushes them to keep up with what is happening.
While there are only five songs on the album, the project spans over 53 minutes. The entire album is instrumental (no lyrics), and yet, the band is able to keep the songs interesting and dynamic. Agori Tribe has an uncanny ability to create these simple, catchy grooves and riffs that build and build into winding vortexes of aural elation. The simplicity is what makes it work. There’s so much space and distance within the structure, which allows the band to open up, improvise and fit the perfect notes in the perfect places. Also of note is the band’s ability to use dissonance to accent the harmonies, an old (but certainly not easy) jazz trick. Simply put, Agori Tribe is a talented young group with a bright future, and The Hard Mountain Tradition turned out to be an incredible debut album.
“Ragin’” Randy Harris

 ©Grateful Music LLC