Over the past three years, New York city funk residents, better known as Royal Family Records kings, Soulive, have hosted an annual gathering. What began as one more catchy way to incorporate the band’s name into something has grown into a destination event for fans (including kids for one day at least) from across the country, many of whom take in portions or the full dose of the yearly two week residence at The Big Apple’s Brooklyn Bowl.
What differentiates it from most musical pilgrimages, festivals and the like is that fans flock to the event for one reason… they have literally no clue who will be there, other than host band, Soulive, of course.
Sure, it is a safe bet that standard New York City funksters and Bowl regulars will show up, but in years’ past the guest list has delved much deeper than that, including some of the most notorious of the notoriety list. This year would be no different.
With all things now said and done, here is a brief look at the marquee / unexpected guests from the night’s that Honest Tune’s Vernon Webb (February 29, March 1 & 3) and Andrew Blackstein (March 10) were on the scene at the now famed Royal Family affair.
February 29: Luther Dickinson & John Scofield
I: Shaheed, DIG, Nealization *, Stratus *@, Jealous Guy *@, Povo *@, Hottentot *@, The Night Time Is The Right Time *@^
II: All Night Long ^, Stompin’ My Foot ^, Shake Yo Mama^ > Soul Serenade^, Champagne and Reefer ^@, Spanish Castle Magic ^
Notes: * w/ John Scofield on guitar, @ w/ Nigel Hall on moog and/or vocals, ^ w/ Luther Dickinson on guitar and vocals
March 1: ?uestlove, Karl Denson, Sam Williams, Lenesha Randolph
I: Steppin’, Uncle Jr., Alladin, The Swamp, Rudy’s Way *, Shaheed *, Leave Me Alone *@^%
II: I Am the Magnificent $, Come Together > Eleanor Rigby, I Want You (Sheâ€™s So Heavy), Too Much *@%#, Signed, Sealed, Delivered *@%, Tuesday Night Squad*@% >Â Bewildered > Tuesday Night Squad *@%
Notes: * w/ Karl Denson – flute/sax/vocals, @ w/ Nigel Hall – vocals/keys/bongo, ^ w/ Adam Smirnoff – guitar, % w/ Big Sam – trombone/vocals, $ w/ Rahzel – vocals, # w/ Lenesha Randolph – vocals, & w/ ?uestlove – Drums (Alan Evans played guitar)
March 3: Karl Denson, Marco Benevento, Jennifer Hartswick & Louis Cato
I: Outrage, Bubble, Vapor ^#$, Hat Trick ^#$%, Drown In My Tears ^#$%, Revolution ^#$%
II: So Live!, Turn It Out, Manic Depression %&, Cannonball ^#$%, Upright ??? ^#$%, Dazed And Confused ^#$%, The Ocean ^#$%
Notes: * w/ Karl Denson – cowbell/shaker, @ w/ Nigel Hall – vocals, ^ w/ James Casey – tenor sax/tambourine/cowbell, # w/ Jennifer Hartswick – trumpet/vocals, $ w/ Matt Owens – trumpet, % w/ Marco Benevento – organ, & w/ Louis Cato – drums (Alan on guitar)
March 10: Derek Trucks, Tash Neal (London Souls) & Ledisi
I: El Ron &, Upright &, Hat Trick &, Flurries &, Too Much &%, Everybody Wants To Rule The World > The Light &%, Love Never Changes &%^, Them Changes &%^
II: Bubble, One In Seven, Eleanor Rigby > I Want You (Sheâ€™s So Heavy),Â A Change Is Gonna Come %^$, Manic Depression %&$,
Encore: Aladdin &
Notes: & w/ Bowlive Horns: James Casey – tenor sax, Ryan Zoidis – tenor sax, Eric Bloom – trumpet, % w/ Nigel Hall – vocals, ^ w/ Ledisi – vocals, @ w/ Tash Neal – guitar/vocals (London Souls), $ w/ Derek Trucks – guitar
Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from 2/29, 3/1 & 3/3/12 by Vernon Webb…
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Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from 3/10/12 by Andrew Blackstein…
(Scroll down for videos of Derek joining Soulive, Nigel Hall and Ledisi for Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Hendrix’s “Manic Depression”)
Soulive with Derek Trucks, Nigel Hall & Ledisi: Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”
Soulive w/ Derek Trucks: Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression”