The 34th annual French Quarter Fest (FQF) made a magnificent mark last weekend in New Orleans. This is an incredible festival for anyone with an open musical mind. The festival nestles 23 stages throughout the French Quarter including several stages right along the Mississippi River. The music encompasses a wide variety of genres from classical, Mardi Gras Indian music, every shade of jazz in the spectrum and a lot of what you would expect from New Orleans, a large helping of funk, R&B, zydeco, Cajun music and rock and roll. Continue reading French Quarter Festival 2017→
Southern Soul Assembly
The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Virginia Beach, VA
March 15, 2017
Photographer/Writer: Mark Robbins
In 2014 Southern root greats, Luther Dickinson, JJ Grey, Marc Broussard and Anders Osborne came together to form the side project Southern Soul Assembly. The sound was a colossal joining with Broussard’s “Bayou Soul”, Grey’s Florida blue collar funk, Osborne’s rugged blues from New Orleans and Dickinson’s smooth casual Beale St storytelling.
Marcus King Band wsg/ Django Knight
The Hi-Fi, Indianapolis, Indiana
February 14, 2017
Photographer/Writer: Tyler Muir
It is rare for two acts to share one stage in the same evening and bring a breath of fresh air to two separate genres of music. It gives those who have attended concerts for years a feeling of yesteryear, and demonstrates to the younger crowd a feeling of exactly how it should be done. When you add that it was Valentine’s Day, and in the best venue in the city, it almost had poetic charm. Those in attendance will be discussing this show with anyone that will listen until both these acts return to Indianapolis, and probably even longer. Continue reading Marcus King Band wsg and Django Knight→
Germantown Performing Arts Center
1/5/17 & 1/6/17
Writer/Photographer: Josh Mintz
That’s exactly how long it took for Jason Isbell to sell out the Germantown Performing Arts Center, an 864-seat venue in the Memphis suburbs. The show sold out so fast that they added a second performance the night before.
There’s not a lot Keller Williams hasn’t done from a sonic standpoint. For a guy who mostly made his bones as a solo artist, he’s done bluegrass, he’s done dub, he’s done a children’s album, and he’s had lord knows however many iterations of bands throughout his career. Each project generally includes a new cast of characters, and SYNC is the first album from a 2015 project, KWahtro, a band that features longtime Williams collaborator Gibb Droll (guitar), Rodney Holmes (drums) and Danton Boller (bass).
Williams bills KWahtro as “acoustic dance music,” which is an apt description – SYNC listens like an extension of what Williams does on his own. However, the additional players on the record allow the music to bridge out a little more than possible with pre-recorded loops; there’s just more freedom with a human being driving the ship.
“Hategreedlove” is a standout track on the recording. Holmes provides a dark, brooding bass line that’s augmented by a string section (provided by The Accidentals).
Fans of Williams’ token lyrical silliness won’t be disappointed, as the album includes tracks like “Missing Remote” and “Ripped 6-Pack,” the former providing one of the stronger musical performances from Droll and Holmes.
KWahtro really stretches out, though, on “In the Middle.” It showcases the musical depth of the group, and the places that they can go when all four players are speaking the same musical language.
SYNC doesn’t exactly break any new musical ground. For a guy like Williams, who’s had his fingers in so many musical pies, that’s hard to do at this point. But, those who like what Williams has been doing for decades are going to dig this – there are just a few more faces on stage.