Category Archives: Reviews

Wheels of Soul Tour Sandia Casino Amphitheater Albuquerque, NM

Wheels of Soul Tour
The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Mississippi All-Stars, Los Lobos
September 19, 2016
Sandia Casino Amphitheater Albuquerque, NM
Photographer/Writer: Jake Sudek

Monday night’s sky was full of stars and clarity, not only in regards to weather, but also what was to come for those attending an evening on The Wheels of Soul Tour. The night was a reschedule from an August date postponed due electrical storms. The great weather brought relief to many who were returning to the Sandia Casino Amphitheater from the cancelled show in August. By far, one of the hottest tours of the summer was the Wheels of Soul Tour in its second incarnation. This powerhouse tour de force consisted of the North Mississippi All-Stars, Los Lobos, and The Tedeschi Trucks Band. A characteristic of what has made these shows unique is the innumerable sit-ins and band mash-ups that occur on a nightly basis, set after set, seeing all sorts of collaborations, not only by the main names of each band, but also by the auxiliary players of the groups.

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As standard for the tour, the show opened with North Mississippi All-Stars. This sibling based, driving trio presented with all the energy one would expect from a band with the term “All-Star” in its name. The group, Luther and Cody Dickinson on guitar and drums, and the deep end foundation of Danielle Nicole on bass. They wasted no time jumping right in for the eager crowd. Their 12-song set featured many blues standards infused with their own brand of improvisation and verve, notable enough that the legends that penned the tunes would have been proud.

Keeping true to their roots, the band covered such tunes as R.L. Burnside’ s “ Po Black Maddie”, Son House’ s “Death Letter Blues”, Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ and Tumblin” and “Got My Mojo Workin”, Buddy Guy’ s “Baby Please Don’ t Leave Me”, T-Bone Walker’ s “Mean Old World”, and Jimi Hendrix’ s “Hear My Train A Comin”. As there were many deadheads in the crowd, remarkable excitement and warm receptions were detected at the performance of Elmore James’ “It Hurts Me Too” and the traditional “Deep Elem Blues”.

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The sit-ins began mid-set, starting off with TTB vocalist Alecia Chakour lead vocals on Levon Helm’ s “Move Along Train”. Following this blues rocker, the remaining back up singers of TTB, Mark Mattison and Mark Rivers, joined the band with Chakour on Mississippi Fred McDowell’ s “Back Back Train”. The end of the set welcomed both Susan Tedeschi and Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo to lend guitar duties on “Deep Elem Blues”, “Mean Old World”, “Got My Mojo Workin”, and “Hear My Train A Comin”. The entire set was full of smiles and joyous exchanges, both onstage and off. The chemistry between the “D” brothers and Sistah Nicole is inspiring and magical. From the solid beat of the skins by Cody, the rambunctious flailing of Nicole’ s moves while being able to lay down consistent grooves and growling vocals, and the other-worldly slide work by Luther, the product of this southern equation shows that this group is as much a headliner as anyone else on the bill. It is often said that the opener for many shows leaves much to be desired, but in the case of the NMA, their exit left many only with the desire for more. With a minimal change out of equipment, Los Lobos took the stage to the raucous welcoming of the audience.

Being a local favorite for decades, the crowd’s eruption was still audible as they began their first tune. This group’s ability to effortlessly swing from Latin-infused themes to classic rhythm and blues progressions and everything in between makes them not only danceable, but intoxicating and entertaining. The highlights of the set were incredible and filled with notes that legends are made of. The first song of the evening was one of the group’ s more popular songs, “Mas Y Mas”, and featured accompaniment by Derek Trucks, TTB trumpeter Ephraim Owens, and TTB flautist, Kofi Burbidge. This salsa flavored instrumental clocked in at 14+ minutes and solos were given over to the onstage guests with equal latitude of that of the core members. The horn exchanges between Owens, Burbidge, and Los Lobos’ saxophonist, Steve Berlin, were tasteful and furious and built on each other until the release of the crescendo, leaving just as many giggling on stage as those watching. Trucks’ opportunity was not wasted either and saw encouragement by Cesar Romero to take the lead, adding a stringed complementary exchange equal to that of the preceding brass duel. Another highlight from the set was a cover of Marvin Gaye’ s “What’s Going On”. Tedeschi was employed for lead vocals and was joined by the vocal component from TTB. The piece was soulful and true to the original. Steve Berlin of Los Lobos traded duties of keys and saxophone, nailing both effortlessly. The band pulled out Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” as one of their closing tunes. With help from Trucks, they took this number over the top and really stretched it out. As the mid-section began to diminish, the expectation was a return for the last stanza of lyrics, but instead the band shifted the tune into The Rascals “Good Lovin’”, exciting the crowd, both deadheads and 60’ s rock lovers alike.

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There was no shortage of rocking on this piece or the band encouraging the audience to sing along. Again, the band and guests seemed to experiencing as much exhilaration as the people laid out in front of them, shaking their bones. The energy continued to build and at the point that the climax seemed like it could be taken no further, the band dropped right back into “La Bamba”, closing the set with satiated, exhausted exaltation.

Before The Tedeschi Trucks Band took the stage, the promoter, John Nichols, came out and addressed the audience. He wanted to let everyone know that without the compassion and integrity of the bands, this evening would not have been such a great success. He added that the evening’s show was actually turned into a fundraiser by the groups to contribute to a local charity, New Day, which aids in getting teens off of the street, back into education, and re-inspiring their potential for the future. This announcement of humanity put a smile on many in the sea of faces and when Nichols finally said,”……and would you please welcome…….”, the entire venue responded with such a long and deafening salute that it was only the opening chords of the TTB original “Let Me Get By” that finally capped the revel as the third and final set took off. This energetic, bluesy gospel number was prolonged and gave all sections the ability to show for the crowd. Burbidge’ s Leslie solo stood out and received a round of rousing upon completion.

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Tedeschi vocals, accompanied by the backup singers, added to the grit of the number. “Laugh About It” was up next and showcased more of Tedeschi’ s control in the vocal department. This beautiful, laid back piece is uplifting and warm. “Don’ t Know What It Means” showed that the front woman of this band has pipes that don’t bend or tire easily. This funky tune had great accents from the horn section, including a voracious solo by TTB saxophonist Kebbi Williams, who once he started blowing notes didn’ t stop, clutching his horn and shaking it. A fantastic rendition of Clapton’s “Keep On Growing”was delivered next. Its punchy structure gave way to accentuated beats of enthusiasm, both rhythmically and melodically. Lee Dorsey’s “Get Out of My Life Woman” was up next and as Tedeschi stepped away from the mic, as TTB’ s Mike Mattison took center stage to lead the band through this number.
What guitar inspired night would be complete without a number from the late Stevie Ray Vaughn? “The Sky is Crying” bought out the first sit-in of the TTB set, seeing the return of Cesar Romero. His exchanges with both Tedeschi and Trucks reinforced the fact that this man is not pigeonholed to any genre, nor his comfort or command diminished outside of his usual band members. “Right On Time”, a dark, speak-easy tune, gave rise to the spotlight of another outstanding member of the TTB horn section. Elizabeth Lea let loose on the trombone, as her swollen cheeks blew grit with every line, accompanied by great slide work and complement by both Trucks and Tedeschi.

Welcoming Luther Dickinson to the stage, the band delivered a double punch of goodness with “I Want More” and Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice”. The interplay in call and response fashion and straight ahead searing leads between Dickinson and Trucks brought obvious laughter between the two string marauders, as both appeared impressed and motivated by each other, fueling the fire of brilliance. B.B. King’s, “ How Blue Can You Get?” waltzed out of the gate in true blues fashion and gave all the dancers in the hall the opportunity to catch their breaths and witness in genuine spectator fashion the talent of the band. This number, again, showcased the front lady’ s ability to soulfully present herself on guitar and verse. The set closer came in the form of another Clapton rocker, “Had To Cry Today” and saw the return of Hidalgo to the stage. This tune has both the complements of hard-driving, distorted chords and softer, melodic vocal sections. The jam, again, seemed unending and spiraled higher and higher with every measure and continued to grab everyone’s attention.

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With a curfew looming, the band returned to the stage for their final piece on this epic excursion. Bob Dylan’ s, “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” was an even-keeled choice that with its lightness and smooth tempo gave everyone on stage the ability to shine one more time. The fact that this was a reschedule instead of a cancellation and that all three bands returned to the Land of Enchantment, despite that the formal tour had ended weeks ago, speaks volumes about these players and their level of commitment to their fans and the overtly obvious enjoyment they receive playing together, demonstrated by displays of affection visible on stage. All performers, whether guest or host on stage, leaves every turn with toes intact and the girth that everyone receives feels more like family than fame. The proof is in the pudding and the universe willing, if the Wheels of Soul takes on another formation, anyone and everyone should witness this amazing ensemble of talented performers.

Grace Potter Headlines Grand Point North – September 17 & 18, 2016

Grace Potter Headlines Grand Point North
September 17 & 18, 2016
Burlington, VT
Photographer: Greg Gouwens

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Jimmy Landry: Sing Your Own Song

Piano man Jimmy Landry had a novel problem when adding his new release, Sing Your Own Song, to iTunes. What genre is fitting for a record with such a wide berth of styles and influences?

It’s not a bad problem to have, and it is validated given just one spin through the album’s 10 accessible, piano-driven tracks that tap into a world where heart and soul are on full display. Kicking off with “Where the Love Is,” Landry demonstrates a fine-tuned approach and a deft ear for textured orchestration, particularly when the track’s funky keys give way to a reggae groove. He assumes Todd Snider-like spoken word above an achingly upbeat piano melody on “Let’s Get Together,” and takes a lounge-y approach to the heartbreak of “Proved Me Wrong.” Regardless of the lyrical subject matter, the compositions roll with a playfulness that is kissed by the sun and salt air of his coastal South Carolina home.

Sing Your Own Song marks Landry’s first release since his 2008 debut, New Day, and he delivers in spades when it comes to both style and execution. And about that genre problem? Who really cares. Sing Your Own Song is truly difficult to categorize, and that is its strength.

Sing Your Own Song is self-released and out now. Buy it here!

Alabama Shakes – Shakes up Portsmouth Pavilion

Alabama Shakes – Shakes up Portsmouth Pavilion
Portsmouth Pavilion in Portsmouth, Virginia
Friday, September 16th, 2016
Photographer/Writer: Mark Robbins

When Brittany Howard sings the blues her voice defines heartbreak. The mournful, soulful sound coming from the 28 year old singer/songwriter of Alabama Shakes belies her age. Stir in some Janis Joplin, Etta James, a little Aretha and some James Brown and you have the recipe for one of the strongest female singers out there today. Friday night at the Portsmouth Pavilion Alabama Shakes with an expanded band, including backup singers, took over 2000 congregants to church. From the ground shaking “Gimme All Your Love” to the sad lament of “Over My Head” not only does Howard deliver but the three other founding members of the band, guitarist Heath Fogg, Zac Cockrell on electric bass and drummer Steve Johnson back her with perfect timing as well as shining with their own solos. It is easy to hear the difference between the material from their first album, “Boys and Girls”, and the newer Grammy Award winning “Sound and Color”. Where “Boys and Girls” is mostly Southern rock “Sound and Color” is a more mature outing with a darker sound with a heady mixture of gospel, R&B, blues and alternative rock. From the church organ opening notes of “Sound and Color” to Howard belting out the anthem-like “Don’t Wanna Fight” or presenting “Joe” almost as a spoken monologue you know you’re hearing from someone who has lived what she’s singing which is hard to believe from one so young. If their two albums and show Friday night are any indication of the future, Alabama Shakes is going to around for a long time.

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Opening for Alabama Shakes was two time Grammy winner Corinne Bailey Rae. Singing material from her three albums, her third album, “The Heart Speaks in Whispers”, NPR has named as one of their 30 favorite albums of the year, Rae gave a silky smooth performance for a legion of fans who sang most of her songs along with her. Backed by a great 4 piece band and sometimes accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, Corrine Bailey Rae was a welcome start to an outstanding night of music.

Summerdance Music Festival

Summerdance Music Festival
Nelson’s Ledges Quarry Park, Garrettsville, OH
September 2 – 4, 2016
Photographer/Writer: Anthony Gima

What a magical weekend! Unreal musicianship, gorgeous, sunny weather, talented painters and other artists, friends, family, cliff jumps, floating penguin rafts, and of course, Disco Pizza! Summerdance Music Festival couldn’t have taken place at a better venue, or a better Labor Day Weekend. Held at Nelson’s Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville, Ohio, plenty of music fans flock to this breathtakingly unique oasis. Lotus captivated the minds, souls, and bodies of multiple generations alike, to come together, in a tribal-like unity and escape the daily stresses of the real world, in a truly enchanting place. This festival had all you needed – a place in the woods to camp with old growth-trees that provided ample shelter during the day, a beach to hang out on that leads into a water-filled quarry where you can take your time swimming or floating, relaxing on rafts during the day or find places to take a leap of faith and cliff jump. The Ohio Burn Unit provided expert fire dancers on the beach after the music was over, and of course, places to resupply and fuel up with some awesome food vendors.

Hailed by Lotus fans as a musical mecca, Summerdance has continued to surprise and inspire. This weekend was a special weekend for Lotus; drummer Mike Greenfield had a baby over the weekend, so who else to fill his shoes but their original drummer, Steve Clemens! Also filling in on drums was Jeff Peterson.

Playing two nights were the funky, dance-grooving, fun-loving four piece called Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. These guys are quickly gaining a huge following – to no surprise, you can’t help but feel like dancing whenever their sound waves interact with you. This year’s lineup also featured Particle, Broccoli Samurai, G-Nome Project, Octave Cat (ft. Jesse Miller & Eli Winderman of Dopapod), Luke the Knife, Genetics (ft. Chuck Morris), Eric Evasion, Sean 2:16, Thunder St. Clair.

Hidden in the forest was something truly majestic. If you wandered around long enough, you were sure to find a couple of unique campsites. At one campsite, Camp Excess, the hosts provided generators, mixers, lights, and PA systems to enable local bands and DJ’s to keep the vibes flowing during the day and when the main music was done for the night. Some artists from Pittsburgh, The Clock Reads, Shaq Nicholson, Wink, and Andrew Schillinger were among some to play sets at this campsite. Summerdance serves as a perpetual stepping stone for musicians and friends to interact and share their music with others, even if not on the big stage. One of the best things about Lotus is even though they are world-class musicians, every member is so humble and gracious. What a truly engaging, immersive, and inclusive festival.

Kyle Hollingsworth Band Brings it to The Bridge

Kyle Hollingsworth Band
August 20, 2016
The Bridge, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Writer/Photographer: Jake Cudek

The Kyle Hollingsworth Band rolled through Santa Fe on Saturday night as part of two- night mini-tour of New Mexico breweries. The Bridge, owned and operated by The Santa Fe Brewing Company, was the venue for night two of this jaunt. For those familiar with the man and his band, excitement was twofold: a visit from one of the long standing members of The String Cheese Incident and the promise of bringing out some of his new compositions produced at the recently founded SCI lab.

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Arriving an hour before doors opened, threatening thunderheads could be seen to the south, and everyone wondered if the weather would hold for the night. Whether because of the potential for rain or the lax motivations of Santa Fe residents, it was apparent that this was not going to be a sold out show. The outdoor venue with the capacity to occupy 1000 people had a mere 100 people.

Although this would have diminished a typical band and a typical audience, those who had shown up had arrived to celebrate a visit from one of their favorites, and let the band know their intent wholeheartedly as they took the stage.

The band took heed and reciprocated with a single set performance that never let up and sounded fresh and invigorated from tune to tune. The set was a mix of numbers from each of Kyle’s three albums, songs performed with SCI and a few covers.

The band kicked off the set with an instrumental version of The Beatles’ “Taxman.” This pulled the audience in from the start, as many in the crowd could be heard singing the more familiar lines. The band collected its dues from the audience and showed no signs of being deterred by the low attendance and instead pushed every aspect of the tune and their instruments.

Up next was “Here We Go,” this song is an automatic smile inducer. Its calypso style bypasses the brain and heads straight to the feet getting them moving and then moves back to the face producing elated beams both on stage and the dance floor.

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The first sandwich of the night came wrapped in the form of “Too Young” with a tasty “Will It Go ‘Round in Circles” center. The segues into and out of Billy Preston’s “Circles” were spot on and well-rehearsed, turning on a dime rather than leading into or out by way of musical meanderings. “I can’t win if that’s all I’m gonna do” the resounding lyric of “Too Young,” connected in perfect juxtaposition to the lyrical context of “Circles,” illustrating the repetitive interpretations of experience and the reminding need to change up personal status quo thinking.

“Pack It Up,” with its distinctive bass intro came next. Although a staple of SCI performances since 2005, this instrumental tune penned by Hollingsworth has only appeared on KH’s latest album, “Speed of Life.” This was received with excitement, as those who were there were certainly cut from the Cheesecloth. Its odd timings reinforced this notion, as many jigged with familiarity to the tune. At its finish, Kyle continued the same driving feel and segued into “All Falls Apart,” cycling between drenching organ solos and piano rifts that continued to lift the feet of the flailing cooperatives.

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A new concoction produced in the SCI lab, “Let Me In” intoxicated the crowd with its soul-funky groove, and continued to contribute to the intimate experience elating many well acquainted with his catalog by this unveiling in the live setting.

“Can’t Wait Another Day” came up next and held a surprise that no one expected. As the tune stepped into decline, the distinct chords of “Terrapin Station” rose from the ashes. As the portion played was the instrumental section of the suite gave way to each of the members hitting the structure with force. Of exceptional note were the heavy bass bombs that got the crowd calling out as the vibration rolled over the crowd in seismic waves.

In Spanish, the term Peregrino refers to something being unusual, odd, and migratory. This epitomizes this Latin flavored tune as it contained a spacy, ethereal quality surrounding a structured root and deviates between throughout its entirety. Both dynamics were presented and continued the dance fest that had been non-stop over the past 90 minutes.

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Viewing the onstage set list, this song was to be the end of the first set. Instead, the band abandoned that notion and labored on with the thick grooves of “Let’s Go Outside.” It was apparent that neither the band nor the patrons were showing any signs of fatigue and both continued in merriment. As the song structure loosened into a jam, a familiar chord structure arose and led into a full version of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.” As another popular cover, the crowd began to sing the backup sections of the song. Hollingsworth took notice and called out to the crowd, encouraging them to play the role of backup singer. This invitation inspired the crowd to take it up a level and where there was once bashfulness, there now was a full on sing along of all parts.

“Tumbling,” another new song made in the SCI lab was preceded by the story that inspired the piece. Hollingsworth spoke of a trip to a Grateful Dead show at Three Rivers Stadium in Pennsylvania. This bouncy unit told the story of summer love and the laid back experience that preceded impending Dead shows of yore.

“World Girl” brought out her funky, disco infused moves and the crowd took her hand and worked it. Smiling, spinning, and giggling, the crowd swirled in this dance number.

The light rock tune “So Fine” was the bookends to the second sandwich of the evening and was filled with Hollingsworth’s admitted favorite cereal “Lucky Charms.” Shifting from uplifting light lyrics and progressions, this new song eventually gave way to the crunchy funk of the popular breakfast cereal which had the band and audience coming back for seconds and thirds. The tune kept building and residing back to its head giving each band member the opportunity to jump right into the bowl.

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“Happening Now” with a poppy almost 80’s theme bordered on electronica and reinvigorated many in the crowd to keep their participation going. Although this one motivated the younger attendees well acquainted with attributes of EDM, it was refreshing to see the older component spinning with abandon seemingly recapturing some part of the inner child.

The final three punch closer of the set left no step undanced. Beginning with the slow rising and spacious “Falling Through the Cracks,” the music’s crescendo gave way to Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long,” again getting the participants involved in both movement and accompaniment. Taking to the bridge the band began playing double time and eventually moved onto the last lady of the night, “Rosie.” Immediately, the recognition of this number was apparent and was especially exuded by the female faction in attendance. The crowd danced and called out the lyrics as if this was the first song, not the last, and the band rewarded by playing a full and exhausted version devoid of any brevity.

The band left the stage and stood together in the wings, huddled as in conference, but more likely taking the opportunity to catch their breath and composure, having laid down an unbroken set clocking in at just under two and half hours.

Recuperation gained, the band returned for the encore, “The Way That It Goes.” Giving every last drop in the tank the band brought it in full force again and the crowd met them note for note.

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As the threat of thunderstorms had resided behind the band for most of the night, it seemed that the music gods had enjoyed the show as much as the mortals. As the final note of the song came to its end through the PA system, like cosmic clockwork, the sky opened up and a deluge of rain sent both musician and listener running for cover.

Hollingsworth’s style, both in construction and execution, is infectious and literally brings a smile to the face. It easy to tell that he loves what he does and when he sits down to write his material, the notions and movements come from a personal level of trying to raise his own virtue and that of the listener. The band is well rehearsed and attentive to every shift and run at a pace that is equal to one another, including the bandleader. This equality carries over to the joy expressed both facially and emotionally by each member and their auditory accomplishments. Paul McDaniels is the unassuming bass man who digs deep and lays down both structure and improvisation with an unforced demeanor. Brian McRae, the counterpart on rhythm, is notably a blur throughout his performance. His mixture of exclusive cymbal and tom work draws in the attention and his consistent ability to shift makes him a perfect fit to the musicality of this band. Dan Schwindt, known as “Schwindt-Rock” to those close to him, is one of those guys you could pass on the street and never know his extent for burning down the house. His ability to play a moving section in one song and then melt the faces of those around him in the next makes this man more myth than minstrel. The combination of these gentlemen is something not to be missed.

Daryl Hall & John Oates Stop Off at Mansfield, MA

Daryl Hall & John Oates
Special Guests: Sharon Jones, Trombone Shorty
July 16th, 2016
Mansfield, MA
Photographer: Greg Gouwens

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Wheels of Soul Tour – Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Lawn at White River

Wheels of Soul Tour
Tedeschi Trucks Band with special guests Los Lobos, North Mississippi Allstars
Wednesday, July 27th 2016
The Lawn at White River, Indianapolis, Indiana
Photographer: Tyler Muir
Writer: Amber Jennings

White River State Park, located in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, offers one of the state’s best amphitheaters, The Lawn at White River. The venue sits on the east bank of the river and offers concert goers sensational picturesque views when the sun slips behind the amphitheater and paints the sky with stunning sunset colors. The acoustics of the venue are a match of the view – amazing.

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Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band, along with special guests Los Lobos and North Mississippi Allstars, played the venue on July 27, 2016 as part of their Wheels of Soul Tour. This year TTB released their new album, Let Me Get By and have been celebrating the success of the album. Recorded independently in their own studio, Swamp Raga, the album recognizes the self-reliance, connection and sense of family that has grown since the inception of the band in 2010.

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North Mississippi Allstars kicked the evening off as fans settled into their seats. The founding brothers Luther Dickenson (guitar, lowebow and vocals) and Cody Dickenson (drums, keyboards, electric washboard) with Chris Chew (electric bass guitar) are known for their American southern rock/blues bringing the dirty south full throttle to the Midwest before Los Lobos took the stage.

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The east Los Angeles, California band, Los Lobos, snagged the stage and initiated a set of rock and roll, Tex-Mex and zydeco with “Whiskey Trail.” Luther Dickinson would take the stage with the band for a cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “300 Pounds of Joy” and “Gates of Gold.” Later in the set, Susan Tedeschi appeared for a Marvin Gaye cover, “What’s Going On.” The closing number of the set, “Más y más,” included Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s horn section.

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As the sun slipped behind the stage and lit up the sky in wondrous colors, the Tedeschi Trucks Band appeared on stage. They opened their set with “Laugh About It,” a tune from the new album. Derek Trucks’s guitar intro set the song with a light and airy feel, while Susan Tedeschi’s vocals added a dimension to the evening, the breadth and depth of her voice matching the sinking sun. The band seemed to relax into a groovy strut for another new song, “Don’t Know What It Means.” The funky, slink groove showcased Tedeshi’s power on guitar with heavy brass accompaniment. They rolled into a cover from the Box Tops, “The Letter,” and dipped into the new album’s title track, “Let Me Get By,” a southern rock jam featuring heavy keys and vocals.

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The set continued with a boozy strut, “Right On Time,” featuring Mike Mattison on vocals. Tedeschi sang the song in a lower pitch than usual, making a fitting harmony with Mattison. Mattison continued on vocals for a ZZ Top cover, “Goin’ Down to Mexico.” Trucks’s heavy guitar intro drove the 12-piece ensemble, while mixing lead guitar with Tedeschi.

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As twilight settled, TTB slowed the evening down with a dreamy Derek Trucks Band cover, “Swamp Raga,” that segued into “Midnight in Harlem” from TTB’s 2011 Grammy award-winning album, Revelator. Gentle slide guitar and cascading drums gave way to Tedeschi’s vocals that blanketed the audience with a soft, dreamy feel. They continued with another Revelator track, “Bound for Glory,” a George Jones cover, “Color of the Blues’ and another cover, Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “I Pity the Fool.” They wrapped up the set with “The Storm,” a perfect set closer. Trucks’s intro was a taste of the solo he would rip into midway through the song, solidifying the title.

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The band encored with a Sly and the Family Stone cover, “Are You Ready” and a James Taylor cover, “Fire and Rain;” the latter featured Mark Rivers on vocals with Mike Mattison and Tedeschi.

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The show concluded about 15 minutes early but did not let the attendees down. It was a great Wednesday evening show on the Lawn.

String Cheese Incident Jams at the Portsmouth Pavilion

String Cheese Incident Jams at the Portsmouth Pavilion
July 10, 2016
Portsmouth, VA
Photographer/Writer: Mark Robbins

Colorado sextet String Cheese Incident played 2 other worldly sets to more than 500 of their devoted followers Sunday night in Portsmouth, Va. For close to 3 hours (70 minute and 90 minute sets) babies in ear protective headphones to aging Deadheads danced and sang along to the bands brand of feel good music. Helped out in the second set by Yonder Mountain String Band who opened the show, the two bands appeared to be having as much fun on stage as the audience.

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Set One
Restless Wind, Sometimes A River, Born On The Wrong Planet, Pygmy Pony, Stop Drop Roll, Could You Be Loved > Beautiful
Set Two
Think Of What You’ve Done1 > Big Mon1, Blackberry Blossom1 > Son of a Preacher Man1, Rollover > Valley of the Jig, Sweet Spot, You’ve Got the World, Hotel Window > Rollover
Notes
1 with Yonder Mountain String Band

The Travelin’ Kine: Change In The Wind

It would be perfectly understandable for those not in the know to believe that country music is dead. In the mainstream, it has felt this way for the better part of the last three decades. But the sparks of a few real songwriters – with influences like Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard – are building to a full-blown fire. And while Jamey Johnson, Sturgill Simpson, and Chris Stapleton, are leading the charge, there are upstarts in cities around the country who are kicking up true country songs filled with the sweat and grit of yesterday. One of them is The Travelin’ Kine.

These troubadours from Charleston, South Carolina, have now delivered their first album, entitled Change in the Wind, and although the title and title track don’t necessarily allude to the current state of country music, it seems apropos given the emergence of musicians that harken back to the good old days of the genre. And the band delivers an eight-song set that is straight-talking, compositionally adept, and soaked in spirits from some backwoods still.

“Change in the Wind,” written on the day frontman Slaton Glover’s divorce papers were signed and he dedicated his life to music, rides the brisk rhythm section of bassist Brent Poulson and drummer Jim Donnelly, giving momentum to his yearning. “I’m Not As Smart As You Look” spotlights Glover’s clever wordplay with sinewy lead guitar from Scottie Frier, “I Hate You” is a scornful wish for a former lover, and “Bad Bad Man” is a roadhouse rally cry accented by flourishes of harmonica and mandolin, courtesy of Mark Davis and David Vaughan, respectively.

At the heart of the album’s eight tracks is Glover’s adept songwriting. There are no frills here, and that is just right.
The Travelin’ Kine are yet another new voice in a country music chorus that is growing louder, and if there is such a thing as “real” country music today, it can be found on Change in the Wind.

Change in the Wind is independently released and out now.