Tag Archives: Dark Star Orchestra

13th Annual Wanee Music Festival – Approaching with Lightning Speed!

13th Annual Wanee Music Festival – Approaching with Lightning Speed!
The Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida
April 20th – 22nd, 2017
April 19th – Happy Hour = Butch Trucks & The Freight Train Band a Special Dedication to Butch Trucks
Writer: Tyler O’Brien Muir

The Spirit of the Suwannee Music park, nestled under the beautiful Floridian Cypress trees on 800 acres of lavish forest welcomes the 13th Annual Wanee Music Festival this coming April 20th – 22nd. Continue reading 13th Annual Wanee Music Festival – Approaching with Lightning Speed!

Dark Star Orchestra at Penn’s Peak

Dark Star Orchestra - 5.8.15 (13)

 

 

Dark Star Orchestra

Penn’s Peak

Jim Thorpe, PA

5/8/15

 

 

 

 

With excitement growing for the celebration of 50 years of The Grateful Dead this summer in Chicago and Santa Clara, magic is filling the air with a number of groups paying homage to the legends.  Formed in 1997 in Chicago, Dark Star Orchestra has been taking the idea of homage to the next level as they have made their name by recreating full shows performed by the legendary San Francisco band. Dark Star Orchestra brought their unique ability and unmatched Dead spirit to the mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania and Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, PA.

 

As fans filtered into the venue from the parking lot, the band settled in and started right into the first set opener, “Bertha.”  This was the perfect way to start off the group’s two night stint at the historic venue. The crowd was buzzing with excitement as they sang every word to the opening number.  The quintet didn’t miss a beat with the upbeat version of “Mexicali Blues,” that followed.  Slowing down the set was a stellar version of “Loser,” which was led by Jeff Mattson on guitar and vocals.  The beauty of Dark Star Orchestra’s performance is they have studied The Grateful Dead so closely that if you close your eyes you feel like you are back with the original members.  Drummer Dino English started out a nice introduction to “They Love Each Other” which gave guitarist Mattson a few moments to show his guitar skills.  As Mattson’s fingers flowed across the strings of his guitar the crowd was fixated on every note that rang out.

 

As long time “Deadheads” were searching through set lists to see if they could pinpoint which year Dark Star Orchestra was performing, vocalist Lisa  Mackey joined the group onstage to perform a cheerful version of “Beat It On Down The Line” with had the crowd bouncing around Penn’s Peak grinning ear to ear.  Rob Barraco, sporting his usual purple bandana, shone on keys through the song.  The piano virtuoso went back and forth on the keyboards performing a flawless solo that got everyone in the band smiling.  As the band launched into a superb version of “Row Jimmy” you could feel the emotion flowing out of Mattson’s voice.  About an hour into the performance you could Dark Star Orchestra - 5.8.15 (4)see that the crowd and the band were feeding off each other’s energy.  The band was firing on all cylinders this evening and the first set closer was no exception.  “Greatest Story Ever Told” gave each band member a chance to solo and really show why they are one of the greatest Grateful Dead projects to perform today.  The set closed with fan favorite “China Cat Sunflower” and its usual musical partner, “I Know You Rider,” that flowed seamlessly into “Around and Around.”

 

At set break many in the crowd began the guessing game as to what show Dark Star was recreating on this night.  As the opening notes of “Ramble on Rose” graced Penn’s Peak, my buddy turned to me and said “I figured out what the date is. We’re in for a treat this second set.”  He was exactly right with his guess (12/6/73 for those keeping score).  The group kept the energy up as they executed a classic rendition of “Me & My Uncle.”  The beauty of Dark Star Orchestra is how they bring people of all ages together just like The Grateful Dead did for thirty-plus years.  As the group transitioned into a eleven minute version of “Here Comes Sunshine,” concert goers were dancing freely in the aisles of the wooden historic concert hall.

 

The band got loose and stretched their musical legs on the next number, a thirty-three minute version of the Grateful Dead classic “Dark Star,” that allowed the group to really explore their instrumental side.  As guitarists Rob Eaton and Mattson laid down the spacey guitar licks, Vangelas contributed some deep bass grooves.  Drummer English set the tone nicely with his unique style of drumming and you could tell that Barraco was in his glory tickling the ivories on the edge of the stage.  The seamless transition into “Eyes Of The World” was magical to say the least.  Every voice in the audience sang with the band “Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!”  The second set closed out with a mellow rendition of “Stella Blue” followed by an energized “Sugar Magnolia” that gave Eaton a chance to channel Bob Weir perfectly.  The band retook the stage for their encore to hoots and hollers and concluded the night with the Smokey Robinson & the Miracles classic, “I Second That Emotion.”

 

 

12/6/73 – Public Hall, Cleveland, OH

Set One:

Bertha

Mexicali Blues

Loser

Black Throated Wind

They Love Each Other

Beat It On Down The Line

Deal

El Paso

Row Jimmy

Greatest Story Ever Told

China Cat Sunflower >

I Know You Rider

Around And Around

 

Set Two:

Ramble On Rose

Me and My Uncle

Here Comes Sunshine

Big River

Dark Star >

Eyes of The World >

Stella Blue

Sugar Magnolia

 

Encore:

I Second That Emotion

Dark Star Jubilee Announces 4th Annual Music Festival & Campout May 22 – 24

i-tJjMqCN-LAs 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the world’s introduction to the music of the Grateful Dead, Dark Star Orchestra announcestheir fourth annual Dark Star Jubilee taking place this Spring. Held Memorial Day Weekend at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio – the historic, sprawling venue where the Dead played six times – the multi-day festival brings the spirit of the Grateful Dead’s music to life with 25 bands performing over three days and nights.
  Dark Star Orchestra headlines each of Jubilee’s three nights, offering a full, two-set performance every time, with the remaining acts to be announced in the coming weeks. The Jubilee is offering a limited quantity of ‘pre-lineup’ pre-sale tickets including GA entrance to the entire festival weekend, camping, parking, and over two dozen performances with no overlapping sets for $110.  VIP pre-sale tickets are $220 and other ticket options will be introduced in the coming weeks.

 

Pre-sale tickets to the Dark Star Jubilee are available now at www.missiontix.com/darkstarjubilee.

 
Information on the Dark Star Jubilee can be found at www.DarkStarJubilee.com and www.facebook.com/darkstarjubilee.

 

Dark Star Orchestra – Let there be songs to fill the air

Dark Star Orchestra

August 15, 2014

Photos by Brad Kuntz

Written by Lacey McClain

 

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Black Mountain’s own, Pisgah Brewing Company, played host to Dark Star Orchestra on August 15, 2014.  The clouds were backlit by golden rays of sunshine as the notable Grateful Dead cover band took the outdoor stage.  The rustic stage with tree trunk pillars made for an intimate nature-oriented setting and the venue came to life as the band began to play.

 

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The set opened with “Touch of Grey” and smiles were abundant amidst the sea of tie-dyed apparel and flower crowns. Deadheads young and old gathered around the stage at Pisgah Brewery for the start of a two night run.

 

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Chicago based DSO has performed over 2,200 shows since coming together in 1997. Though their members have rotated throughout the years, the group has held true to their goal: to perform historically accurate shows that allow the legacy of the Grateful Dead to live on.  Several members of the Grateful Dead, as well as members of Phish, have sat in with DSO over the years, creating truly unique performances.

 

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While DSO generally recreates a Grateful Dead set list, ranging from the 70’s through the mid 90’s, from time to time they will create their own ensemble as they see fit in order to build the perfect show. DSO typically does not reveal the date of the original show until the end of the second set, which gives the true Deadheads sometime to pin point it for themselves.

 

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The first set was light and airy, matching the beautiful mid summer evening.  Unlike a young Bob Weir, who was notoriously decked out in shorts and polo’s, DSO front man Jeff Mattson (guitar, vocals) wore relaxed jeans and a T-shirt depicting a Boston Terrier.  Though their stylistic choices differ, Mattson’s rich and soulful voice was a notable recreation of Bobby’s. Mattson’s thick rolling vocals in “Black Throated Wind” was as distinguished as his intricate guitar work.

 

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The sun dipped behind the Blue Ridge Mountains, leaving the sky with traces of bright pink, orange and yellow hues as set one concluded with “Bird Song.”   A smiling Rob Barraco (keyboard, vocals) jived back and forth as his fingers danced over the keys with ease. Mattson and Rob Eaton (guitar) melded seamless rifts while Skip Vangelas’ (bass) lower notes filled in the bottom end.  Dino English (percussion) and Rob Koritz (percussion) kept the rhythm as the first set came to a close.

 

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The second set had a jazzy, swanky feel to it with the inclusion of songs like “Help on the Way” and “Estimated Prophet.” DSO closed the second set with a romantic rendition of “Morning Dew.”  The encore was nothing short of energetic, it lead with “Turn on your Lovelight” and finished with a notable Jerry Garcia band cover “How sweet it is.” The final song was not included in the original show by the Grateful Dead. Lisa Mackey (vocals) made a brief appearance for this classic tune.

 

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“Pisgah Brewery is the most enjoyable venue in western North Carolina when the weather permits,” says Asheville local Darlene Azarmi. “It’s in a category all its own. You can drink fresh, local beer in a spacious but intimate concert environment. There is no where I would rather see a show in the summertime.”

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Dark Star Orchestra played a great set list for their inaugural performance at Pisgah Brewing Company. The Grateful Dead played the original set on September 20, 1991 in Boston Massachusetts.

 

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Set 1:

Touch of Grey> Little Red Rooster> Jack-A-Roe> Black-Throated Wind> Stagger Lee> Masterpiece> Bird Song

 

Set 2:

Help on the Way> Slipknot!> Fire on the Mountain> Estimated Prophet> Truckin’> drums> space> All Along the Watchtower> Morning Dew

 

Encore

Turn on your Lovelight> How sweet it is

Dark Star Orchestra’​s Dark Star Jubilee Music Festival Returns to Legend Valley

DSO-bannerDark Star Orchestra and All Good Presents announce today the return of Dark Star Jubilee to Legend Valley in Thornville, OH, just 30 minutes east of Columbus, on Memorial Day Weekend May 23-25. Hosted and curated by Dark Star Orchestra, world-renowned re-creators of the Grateful Dead live experience, this third annual Jubilee festival features these artists:

Dark Star Orchestra (3 nights)

Yonder Mountain String Band

Galactic

Keller Williams with More Than A Little

New Riders of the Purple Sage

The Wailers (performing the Bob Marley album Legend in its entirety)

Anders Osborne

The Werks

Toubab Krewe

Cornmeal

UV Hippo

Rumpke Mountain Boys

The Ragbirds

Aliver Hall

 plus additional artists still to be announced.

 

Dark Star Jubilee tickets are available now with discounted ‘Early Bird’ tickets for a 3-day GA festival pass for $109 ($40 off gate price) and for ‘Good Lovin’ VIP’ festival admission at $225 ($65 off gate price). ‘Little Star Kids’ is a $25 ticket for pre-registered children ages 4-12, who must be accompanied by a festival ticket-holding adult. Festival attendees ages three and under are free while youth above age 13 must have a full price festival pass. Gates open at noon Friday, May 23. Complete ticket options with pricing are available at www.darkstarjubilee.com.

For complete information on the Dark Star Jubilee, please visit www.darkstarjubilee.com.

Dark Star Orchestra Announces New Bassist for Permanent Role, tourdates

Skip Vangelas - New Bassist for Dark Star OrchestraFollowing the Spring departure of longtime bassist, Kevin Rosen, the Chicago-formed Dark Star Orchestra offered temporary spots to a handful of talented performers. Today, the band announces the formal, permanent bassist role goes to Skip Vangelas who is currently on tour with the band. Vangelas previously played with Dark Star Orchestra guitarist/vocalist Rob Eaton in the band Border Legion and was briefly in DSO himself in 2001.

 

 
In addition to the bassist announcement, Dark Star Orchestra this week released numerous live, soundboard recordings of the band mastered by Rob Eaton on the band’s Nugs.net / LiveDownloads.com page at http://www.livedownloads.com/live-music/3,291/Dark-Star-Orchestra-mp3-flac-downloads.html. DSO is offering a streaming version of their 17-minute plus take on ‘Turn On Your Lovelight’ recorded May 26, 2013 at the 2nd Annual Dark Star Jubilee Festival that took place at Legend Valley over Memorial Day weekend. The ‘Lovelight’ recording can be found at  https://darkstarorchestra.bandcamp.com/track/turn-on-your-lovelight-from-dark-star-jubilee-legend-valley-thornville-oh-05-26-13.

 

 

Fri 10/11/13                   San Francisco, CA        The Fillmore

Sat 10/12/13                  San Francisco, CA        The Fillmore

Mon 10/14/13                San Luis Obispo, CA     Performing Arts Center

Tue 10/15/13                 Las Vegas, NV                  Hard Rock Cafe

Thu 10/17/13                 Salt Lake City, UT          The Depot

Fri 10/18/13                   Boulder, CO                   Fox Theatre

Sat 10/19/13                  Boulder, CO                   Fox Theatre

Sun 10/20/13                 Boulder, CO                Fox Theatre

Wed 11/13/13                Buffalo, NY                 The Town Ballroom

Thu 11/14/13                 Toronto, ON               The Danforth Music Hall

Fri 11/15/13                   Jamestown, NY         Reg Lenna Civic Center

Sat 11/16/13                  Albany, NY                 Palace Theatre

Mon 11/18/13              South Burlington, VT     Higher Ground

Tue 11/19/13                 South Burlington, VT     Higher Ground

Thu 11/21/13                 Portland, ME          State Theatre

Fri 11/22/13                  Wallingford, CT         Toyota Presents The Oakdale Theatre

Sat 11/23/13                  Northampton, MA      Calvin Theater

Sun 11/24/13                 Concord, NH              Chubb Theatre

Tue 11/26/13                 Syracuse, NY              Palace Theatre

Wed 11/27/13                Jim Thorpe, PA         Penn’s Peak

Fri 11/29/13                   New York, NY            Best Buy Theater

Sat 11/30/13                  New York, NY            Best Buy Theater

Sun 12/01/13                 Tarrytown, NY          The Tarrytown Music Hall

Mon 12/02/13                Tarrytown, NY          The Tarrytown Music Hall

Wed 12/04/13                State College, PA       State Theatre

Thu 12/05/13                 Charlottesville, VA     Jefferson Theater

Fri 12/06/13                   Washington, DC         9:30 Club

Sat 12/07/13                  Washington, DC          9:30 Club

Sat 12/28/13                  Richmond, VA            The National

Sun 12/29/13                 Philadelphia, PA         Electric Factory

Mon 12/30/13                Huntington, NY         The Paramount

Tue 12/31/13                 Huntington, NY          The Paramount

Dark Star Orchestra & The Bridge to play benefit show for Believe in Music

Believe in Music - DSO & The BridgeAn incredible night benefiting “Believe in Music”
Featuring: Dark Star Orchestra & The Bridge
Pier Six Pavilion, Baltimore, MD 
August 10, 2013

 

 Dark Star Orchestra and The Bridge will come together for one night only to play a special benefit show for Believe in Music (The music division of the Living Classrooms Foundation) at Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore, MD, August 10, 2013.

 
 
Founded by Kenny Liner of The Bridge, Believe in Music is a new Living Classrooms program operating at the POWER House facility in the Eastside Children’s Target Investment Zone. The program aims to uplift underprivileged Baltimore City students academically, culturally, and spiritually, while promoting self-expression and community awareness through music education. Through the program, students will foster a deep connection with music in their own lives, and gain the tools to be able express their culture, struggles, and triumphs through music. Students will come away from the program seeing music as a  way to uplift themselves as well as their community.

 

To learn more about Believe in Music please view this video.

 

Tickets are on sale now and can purchased online.
http://www.piersixpavilion.com/event/241837-believe-in-music-benefit-dark-baltimore/

 

www.believe-in-music.org
https://www.facebook.com/believehon
follow on twitter @believeinmusic5
http://vimeo.com/52852155

 

Best of 2012 – A Band’s-Eye View

As 2012 comes to a close and year-end Best of Lists start popping up highlighting all the great music that was made this year, we at Honest Tune, wanted to find out what all those musicians who appear on all these best of lists were listening to this year.  So we asked some of our favorite bands what albums moved them this year and what were their memorable moments from a year full of great live shows. We asked each musician four simple questions.

1.) What were your 3 favorite albums of 2012?

2.) What was your favorite live moment of the year?

3.) What album or band were you most excited to discover in 2012?

4.) What are you looking forward to most in 2013?

 

We also asked photographer Jordan August to share his thoughts about some of his favorite shows and pictures of the year which grace this feature.

 

 

Ketch Secor – Old Crow Medicine Show

1.)  1.Chuck Mead’s Back In The Quonset Hut is a positively great Nashville record. It features the legendary A-Team sessions players and a host of special guests doing classic country songs, the kind everybody loves and nobody else in Music City seems to want to record. 

       2.  The Lumineers self-titled album. A couple Jersey boys move west and meet the prettiest cellist this side of the Rockies resulting in a truly beautiful record. Not just a couple of great songs, but a full and fluidous album that is seamless and a joy to hear.

     3.  Mumford and Sons Babel is a righteous record. I love those boys and I especially love what their success means to the scene we’re all a part of. Roots Music is on the rise. Betcha old Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, and Kitty Wells would be proud to know.

2.)  Last January my musical cohort of the past 20 years Critter Fuqua and I reformed our old duo Ketch & Critter and returned to our home state of Virginia for a half dozen shows. We played tiny clubs, a general store, and the Little Grill in Harrisonburg, the coffeehouse and soup kitchen where we first shared a stage back in 1993. It was a real homecoming for us. 2012 marked a number of significant changes for Old Crow and to kick it off, stripped down and in our hometown was pretty special.

3.)  I spent a lot of time this year producing an album for Pokey LaFarge, a great new voice on the roots music scene. Most of the records that truly excite me as a listener were recorded 80 years ago. Artists like Tampa Red, Blind Willie McTell, or Leroy Carr, nobody plays like that anymore. In 2013 a lot of people will hear Pokey LaFarge for the first time and believe me you’ll be glad you did.

 4.)  I spent a lot of time this year producing an album for Pokey LaFarge, a great new voice on the roots music scene. Most of the records that truly excite me as a listener were recorded 80 years ago. Artists like Tampa Red, Blind Willie McTell, or Leroy Carr, nobody plays like that anymore. In 2013 a lot of people will hear Pokey LaFarge for the first time and believe me you’ll be glad you did.

 

 

Chris Pandolfi – The Infamous Stringdusters

1.)  1.  Miike Snow – Happy To You. I discovered these guys a few years back and really got into their sound/style. This album has a lot going on production wise, which is not a surprise considering the background of the band members. But it also has cool songs, and I dig the alternate vocal styling’s. It’s got everything from power anthems to super-vibey-slow-stuff. I love the tune “Black Tin Box” featuring Lykke Li.

    2. Jon Stickley – Jon Stickley.  Jon Stickley is an extra nasty guitar player from North Carolina. He used to play in a band with our bass player, Travis [Book]. Now he’s off doing his own thing, mostly the JS Trio. His recent release ended up with us on the road and we listened to it quite a bit. The tunes are super inventive and the playing is world class. This is one of the best new acoustic releases in a while.

   3. Tame Impala – Lonerism.  This is an amazing album. A friend turned me onto Tame Impala a few years back but this release is a big step forward for them. I love the retro-production, which fits the music perfectly. It reminds me in some ways of the so-called ‘Chillwave’ electronic movement, which I dig, but it’s also pure rock and roll underneath the wooly layers of verb and saturation. Turn this up and rock out.

2.)  We played a show in Telluride early in 2012 and someone brought a huge Panda suit to the show for me (my nickname is Panda). So, of course I put the thing on during the second set. The head was so massive that I couldn’t see anything at all, which makes being on stage kind of difficult. The only thing to do was rock, so I got someone to plug me in and turn me up and away we went into some tunes. The people seemed to love this. I lasted about 4-5 songs and I was drenched in sweat, it was so worth it.

One other amazing moment worth mentioning: Travis’ wife Sarah Siskind sat in with Bonnie Raitt in Charlottesville a few months ago. After one tune together, Bonnie turned the stage over to Sarah and some real magic ensued. She just took over this huge audience with such elegant authority. It was very inspiring.

3.)  I know it was a really popular release, but like everyone else I was pretty excited to discover Frank Ocean’s solo album, Channel Orange. Even though I wouldn’t necessarily put it in my top ten, it was just really refreshing to hear something so conceptual and new. The songs and the album as a whole are both highly creative. His style is totally his own, and he really owns it, that usually makes for good art. Odd Future can be pretty shocking, but Frank Ocean is smooth and different on his own. It’s inspiring to hear someone in the flow like that.

4.)  It’s fun to be a Stringduster right now, everything continues to get bigger and better, which means we are returning to places with new music, a bigger crew, a more conceptual production, and the people seem really psyched! I’m excited to get back out on the road with my band mates and to continue bringing new tunes to new people all over the place. And I’m especially excited for Ski Tour, where recreation and inspiration are at an all-time tour high, and the shows always seem to take flight.  We are also about to get to work on our latest album. Writing, arranging, hanging and creating with my band mates is without a doubt my favorite part of being in this band, it’s the ultimate payoff.

 

         -  St. Patrick’s Day, 9:30 Club, Washington D.C. When the band took the stage they were probably more happy then the crowd. Bassist Travis Book had to say many times how honored and surprised they were that they filled the room to capacity the way they did. – Jordan August

 

Cris Jacobs – The Cris Jacobs Band

1.)  1.  Ry Cooder – Election Special.  I pretty much love everything he’s done.  He’s just one of those artists whose kept pumping out quality stuff throughout his whole career.  His tone, taste, and production are always right on time.  His past several records have been sort of “concept” albums, this one being politically themed.  “Mutt Romney Blues” is a personal favorite, his ode to Mitt Romney’s dog.

      2.  Kelly Joe Phelps – Brother Sinner and the Whale.  Kelly Joe Phelps is too under the radar for how amazing he is.  Such a soulful player, singer, and writer.  I love this record because it goes back to my favorite Kelly Joe sound, just him and an acoustic guitar.  His singing always knocks me out, and his lyrics are always challenging and a little dark. This is his “gospel” album, with all original songs that are themed in spirituality, but the lyrics are not preachy or specific to one religion, just universal themes that anyone can relate to.  And his transcendental country blues guitar playing is as good as it ever sounded. 

      3.  Tedeschi Trucks Band – Revelator.  This has got to be the best husband and wife duo of all time.  I don’t know what knocks me out more, Derek’s guitar or Susan’s voice, probably Susan but its close.  Straight up soul, with really great songs throughout this whole record. 

2.)  Papa Grows Funk at The Maple Leaf during Jazz Fest this year was completely off the hook.  I had just arrived that day, it was the second week of Jazz Fest, and the city was so knee deep in funk I felt like I had to catch up quick.  PGF threw down harder than I’ve ever heard them, they were definitely warmed up.  They graciously let me sit in and took me for a serious ride; those guys are some of the hardest hitting New Orleans Funk out there.

4.)  Getting married.  I’m a lucky man to have found the girl of my dreams, and this year we’ll be making it official.  Other than that I have an exciting new project that’s in the works that I can’t wait to unleash, stay tuned.

           

         – My good friend, neighbor and one of Baltimore’s most iconic voices has been making music with some of my favorite players this year. Sit-ins with Anders Osborne, Jon Gros, Greensky Bluegrass, Honey Island Swamp Band and so many more have taken Cris from your local neighborhood shredder to a full out, ready to rock musician. Any band coming through town wants him to play. Got to love the camaraderie of jam-scene musicians. -JA

 

Grayson Capps

 

1.)  1.  Brandi Carlisle – Bear Creek

       2. Dylan Leblanc – Cast the Same Old Shadow

       3.  Bob Dylan – Tempest

…all of these records speak in a way in which I identify.

2.)  Hearing songwriters in the round at the Frog Pond on Blue Moon Farm in Silverhill, AL during the Frank Brown Songwriter’s Festival. The line-up was CJ Watson, Nick Branch, Beverly Jo Scott, Randall Bramblet, Sergio Webb and Jeff Gilkerson.

3.) The Horrible Crows

4.) New songs, new music, new places to play, love, peace, and harmony.

 

 

 

Anders Beck – Greensky Bluegrass

1.)  1.  Tedeschi Trucks Band –Everybody’s Talkin’.  I am a HUGE fan of Derek Trucks and pretty much anything he does. His playing exudes soul, emotion and feeling more than anybody I’ve seen play in a long time. So this live album is ear candy to me for that reason. Listen to the solo on “Midnight in Harlem” or the intro to “Bound For Glory” and try and not say “mmmmm hmmm” like a somebody in the congregation of an amazing Baptist church during the best sermon of the year! Oh, there’s also the rest of the killer band crushing this live record. Oteil and Kofi Burbridge holding it down, Susan Tedeschi slaying it like the diva goddess that she is, an amazing horn section and much more.

       2. The Olllam – the olllam.  One of my favorite drummers in the world, Mike Shimmin, kept telling me about this new instrumental project he was recording with via skype and I kept telling him how much I wanted to hear it. Well, I finally did hear it and the tunes are always stuck in my head for days after each listen. The Olllam is different, the trio combines John McSheery, who is a Masterful Irish Uilleann Piper (like think the Jimi Hendrix of the pipes) with Michiganders Mike Shimmin (drums and percussion) and Tyler Duncan (pipes, whistles, guitar and rhodes) and the sonic result is something that is as unique and creative as I have heard in a very long time.  Each song is like a drive through the Irish countryside, but depending upon the song, you are could be traveling via spaceship, jetpack, Bentley, skateboard, or moonwalking.  My favorite track is the one I am listening to, until the next one comes on. It’s really badass!

   3. Marco Benevento – TigerFace.  I’m guilty of describing Marco’s previous records as “modern Beatles albums without words,” so it’s obvious I like the guy’s music. I am a big fan of instrumental albums and Marco really has the ability to tell a story with melody. TigerFace is no exception. Its more pop-y than a lot of what I listen to, but I dig it! The album starts off pretty dance party-esque, but who doesn’t like a good dance party? Once rolling, the album encompass everything I love about instrumental music, the melodic intention, the grooves, the tones, the curve-balls, the sonic textures and layers that are clearly created by the mind of a musical wizard.

2.)  Damn, it’s tough to pick just one! As a fan, my favorite moment was when my musical cohort and partner in crime, Paul Hoffman, sat in with Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers at the Hoxeyville Music Festival. I was loving the whole show from the front row (I’m a huge fan of Hornsby’s playing) and saw Paul on the side of the stage with his mandolin and felt nervous for him.  I mean, Bruce is such a heavy musician that he’s scary! Eventually Paul comes out and is jamming while Bruce is playing his accordion while standing on top of his piano, looking down at Paul, trading licks. I felt like a freakin’ fanboy.

3.)  I’ve been getting into all sorts of amazing new music. There’s a little known songwriter by the name of Bob Dylan who is really worth checking out! Also, for some reason I’ve really been into bands with animals in their names. These guys called The Beatles that I just got hip to have a really timeless sense to their melodies and lyrics. Phish too, they’re crazy! It’s like Fish, but spelled with a “ph” instead of “f”. They really jam as a tight unit. Check them out if you can find some of their live shows on the internet!

4.)  I’m looking forward to making a new album with Greensky. We’ve got studio time carved out of our ever busy schedule and the songs are coming together really nicely. It’s really exciting to make the “definitive” versions of songs in the studio. I still love our last album Handguns and I’m a pretty harsh critic of work I am involved in.  Should be fun to try and follow that one up. Festivals also, I always look forward to festivals, year round!

 

           – This band has been exploding into every city they drive through, devouring music festivals and spitting out thousands of new fans ever month. This show at the 8×10 in Baltimore was a throw-down. Bright light, happy faces and some really dark, trance-like jams filled the room with positive vibes and some of the best music of the year. – JA

 

Marco Benevento

1.)  1.  Deerhoof – Breakup Song. I’ve been a fan of Deerhoof since ‘06. I got to hang out with Greg Saunier in Japan. That dude is amazing!

       2.  Dr John – Locked Down.  When I heard Dan Auerbach and Dr John made a record together I freaked out!  Those are two of my top musicians to listen to separately – so when I found out they collaborated I had to get it AND it sounds so badass. That record is amazing.

      3.  Rubblebucket – Oversaturated. Kal and Alex of Rubblebucket are two of my most favorite new musician friends that I’ve been seeing more often these days. Their songwriting is so tasty. I could listen to these guys every day!

2.)  Bowery Ballroom October 12, with my band! I feel like me, Dave and Andy have made big steps forward in the live show department over the last six months. At the hometown New York City show on the TigerFace tour, something clicked and you can really hear it.

3.)  Wolf! featuring Scott Metzger.

 

          – Never a disappointment when he is here and definitely something that all the real music heads come out to see. Marco is talented, obviously. Seeing him go from playing classical to funky to soul to straight thrash-rock is something I will always love yet never be able to wrap my head around. Call him a prodigy, mastermind or whatever you want. He is still just a normal dude like us that happens to be incredibly good at what he does. – JA

 

Rob Koritz – Dark Star Orchestra

 1.)  1.  Neil Young and Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill (because it’s Neil Young).

         2.  Bob Dylan – Tempest.  Back to early Dylan

2.)  Dark Star Jubilee.  Playing with Bill Kruetzmann, George Porter JR and Mickey Hart all in a 24 hour period.  For me, it doesn’t get much better than that.

3.)  I’m a little late but for me it was the Carolina Chocolate Drops.  Love it!

4.)  Continuing with Dark Star Orchestra including our Jamaican Jam in the Sand with Keller Williams.  Also, making an effort to see more new bands and getting back to buying albums.

 

 Reed Mathis – Tea Leaf Green

1.)  1.  Dr. John – Locked Down

       2.  Medeski Martin & Wood – Free Magic

       3.  Nathan Moore – Hippy Fiasco: The Record

       4.  Rufus Wainwright – Out Of The Game

       5.   Dr. Dog – Be the Void

2.)  Marco Benevento show last May. Matt Chamberlain was playing some of the most insane drums I’ve ever heard.  At one point I turned and looked at him, and his hands were a blur, and there were woodchips flying off his sticks & toms, it looked like a man chain-sawing a fallen tree!  I nearly dropped my bass.

4.)  I am sitting here in the studio finishing up the epic Tea Leaf Green record we started in January, and I simply cannot wait for all my friends to hear this!  Very, very proud.  No set release date yet, but probably spring.  Music is awesome.

 

Mike Dillon – Mike Dillon Band, Garage a Trois

 1.)  1. Deerhoof- Breakup Songs. This band has been busting genres for 20 years, you can’t pin them down, yet I want to listen to them all the time. I know I love a record when it’s like a drug.

        2. Death Grips- The Money Store. Twists hip-hop, and Zac from Hella is one of my favorite drummers.  The music is compelling and different

        3.  ZZ Top- La Futura-  This was a hard pick over bad brains.  However, Billy Gibbons still has the magic. What I like about this record is that these guys are like the Melvin’s or Bad Brains. They keep making the same record. Cocaine and beer soaked funky blues from Tejas. They sing about getting paid, sharp shoes, and cool cars. Rock.

2.)  Mike Dillon Band at Bear Creek. Billy Martin took over on percussion. Iggy took me over and Carly destroyed the old guard.

3.)  Tie Grinderman and the album Grinderman. And Joe Buck.  We opened for Joe and he is a gem of realness in a sea of the mundane.

4.)  Writing more music and touring with my band!

 

 

 

Brian Haas – Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

 

1.)  1.  AsInWe – As It Should Be.  Super smart instrumental metal that is symphonic, dynamic and cosmically sweeping in scope.  They play New Mexico desert rock.

        2. Animal Collective – Centipede Hz.  This band has created its own unique language and is the new definition of “psychedelic rock”.

        3. Sigur Ros – Valtari.  This is another band that has created its own language, both literally and figuratively.  Their new album sounds like glaciers copulating.

2.)  Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey performing The Race Riot Suite at North Sea Jazz Fest in Rotterdam was literally a dream come true.

  3.)  AsInWe from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I moved to New Mexico last year and this winter I got to hear this band live, crushing multiple national headliners who had to play after them. Amazing live show and great new album.

4.)  Making an album of my compositions with Matt Chamberlain under my own name.

 

Wil Blades

1.)   1.  The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now. I’m completely obsessed with Tallest Man after discovering his previous record The Wild Hunt this summer (thanks to my lovely wife). He’s a singer/songwriter/guitarist from Sweden, hailed as the next Bob Dylan by many. His music is definitely out of the folk tradition, but completely unique at the same time.  He’s a genius lyricist, with a somewhat strange but super soulful voice. His guitar playing is equally soulful and he’s an incredibly skilled finger picker. I pretty much wake up with a different Tallest Man song stuck in my head every day!

      2. Jeff Parker – Bright Light in Winter.  Jeff Parker is a good friend and musical associate of mine. He’s also my favorite guitarist and an incredible musician who can and does play anything. Most know him from the experimental Chicago rock band Tortoise, but his credits include Josh Redman, Brian Blade Fellowship, Charles Earland and he is a member of the AACM, to name a few. This is Jeff’s third album under his own name. It straddles many genres with firm roots in Jazz. Jeff’s tunes are very spacious and open, with great harmony, melody and grooves.

    3.  Dr. John – Locked Down.  What can be said about Dr. John that hasn’t already been said? This is a really cool album produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. It’s got a very dirty, analog sound, which I’m always a fan of. There are some really cool blends of Ethiopian grooves and sounds, great horn parts and of course, great singing and playing by Dr. John. It will be a definitive record in his catalog without a doubt.

2.)  In early February I traveled to Ethiopia for a couple gigs and some workshops at Ethiopian music schools. While I was there I visited a well-known restaurant, Yod Abyssinia. They had a traditional Ethiopian band playing on a stage with traditional Ethiopian dancers. The musicians were fairly young, playing traditional Ethiopian instruments and this was some of the FUNKIEST music I have ever heard in my life, hands down! The grooves that these guys were sitting on were completely infectious, one of the most memorable musical experiences of any year!

3.)  The Tallest Man On Earth – The Wild Hunt

4.)  New musical experiences, traveling to new places and continuing to grow as a human being.

 

 

Dwight McCall – JD Crowe & the New South, American Drive

1.)  1. Kenny and Amanda Smith- Catch Me If I Try.  Absolutely some of the best harmony that you will ever hear and the song selection on their CDs are always top notch.

    2. Special Consensus- Scratch Gravel Rd.  This is a group who has been through several personnel changes over the last several years but this seems to be the line-up that just gels really well. This cd has a great spectrum of material and is performed at a top notch level.

    3. Don Williams- And So It Goes.  Long overdo cd from a legend in country music. I thought we may have heard the last recording of Don Williams, but to my surprise he comes along with one of his strongest recordings ever. His vocal is as smooth as ever.

2.)  The chance to play with Tony Rice and Bobby Hicks at Bean Blossom Indiana. They have always been two of my biggest inspirations and musicians that I have looked up to my whole life. That is a show I will never forget.

3.)  Elise Testone. This young lady was one of the finalists on American Idol in 2012. I think she was 7th from the top to leave but she has the most amazing voice. I really hope the cd that she comes out with will be one that really showcases her vocals in the right way. I think she is a star if just given a chance. One of only a few highlights from American Idol.

4.)  I am looking forward to starting out with our own band American Drive this year. We have been with JD Crowe and The New South so long that it just seems like it is the right time to do this. My band mates Rickey Wasson, Matt DeSpain, Kyle Perkins and Josh Hymer are really looking forward to entering the bluegrass world as a unit with our new self-titled release, American Drive.

 

 

 

Paul Buchanan – Blue Nile

1.)  1. Bob Dylan – Tempest.  Because he is a poet.

      2. The Maccabees - Given To The Wild.  Because I did a tv show with them and they were the best thing on it.

      3. Llana del Ray – Born To Die.  Because I just heard it in a record store, and some records should work like that.

2.)  The audience at the first live show of Mid Air singing the title song to me, their breath visible in the night air, and their voices bringing me to a standstill. 

3.)  I first heard this band a few years ago, but I am excited about the new album from Up Dharma Down, Capacities.  Please check them out.

4.)  Life.

 

 

 

 

 

Dustin Welch

1.)  1. Shovels & Rope - O, Be Joyful.  Old friends of mine. I had a band all through high school with Cary Ann Hearst, the female half of the duo. These folks are as self-sufficient as it comes, and the records they make at home don’t sound like anything anyone else is doing. Their live show has more energy and enthusiasm than most full rock bands, and the writing is dangerously strong. All attitude.

      2.  Justin Townes Earle – Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now.  After my band with Cary Ann, Justin and I teamed up and had a band going for a while in Nashville. He actually put a song on here we wrote probably 13 years ago, which I also had on my first album. I’m sure I’m partial to both the last two records, because I’d seen the development of these folks as artists, and watched how they formed their sound. The producer, Skylar Wilson, and I have been friends since we were about five, and it’s been especially cool watching him define his style.

     3.  Patterson Hood – Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance.  I know who the people are in every song, and most of what he talks about, I’ve lived through myself. It resonates true all the way through. And again, very cool production.

2.)  Jack White put on an incredible show during SXSW. A guy who was in both my old bands I mentioned is playing with him these days, and getting to see him performing songs I’ve loved for years was a real thrill.

3.)  I guess it would have to be Patterson Hood. Somehow, I managed to avoid hearing most of the Truckers stuff and it was cool to finally discover his catalog. Okay, that and Lucero. Hadn’t spent any time with those records until now, either. It’s amazing to hear so many similarities in my own influences as with both those guys, and interesting to see how we’ve all got our own version of interpretation.

4.)  I’d be lying if I said it was anything but getting ready to put out my second record. It’s been several years since I released anything, so it should allow us to get out on the road and play for some new audiences.

 

Todd Clouser

1.)  1.  St. Vincent/David Byrne - Love This Giant.  A friend in Mexico City hipped me to St. Vincent right before this came out. I lose track of a lot of things that are being talked about in media because of living down here. I fell in love with her guitar playing from previous records. It’s all her. This record with David Byrne is grand and dance ready, but substantive and digging art, both visionary and acknowledging of past artistic triumphs in their individual catalogs. The result of two profoundly individual voices that don’t know how to be afraid.

      2.  Ron Miles - Quiver. Ron Miles on trumpet, Bill Frisell on guitar and Brian Blade on drums, recorded live. Phil Grenadier told me to listen to this record before we played some shows together. I could not put it away once I got going. Virtuosity is shelved, and it’s all beauty in space. No bass, no anchor, out to wherever you want to go.

      3.  Medeski, Martin and Wood - Free Magic (Live).  I had to stop listening to their records to avoid mimicry, but at this point I can listen again. I listen to where they come from, their commitment to each other and to music as language and expression. This record is profound and emotional, improvisational but not without its hooks, and entirely comfortable with itself. Its bare, they are there. Live tracks culled from an “acoustic” performance, meaning Medeski on acoustic piano. I get audible shivers listening.

2.)  Playing with Cyro Baptista at the National Auditorium’s El Lunario in Mexico City with A Love Electric. When you are somewhere with that type of history, surrounded by musicians from five different countries, a big full room, and we are improvising, the energy is wicked. I remember feeling like that as a child, playing in my basement, or listening back to the first thing I recorded on a 4 track, but not much since.  The profundity of the surroundings pulled music from everywhere I forgot I had it.

3.)  I discovered the Melvins, again, now called Melvins Lite.I went to a concert of theirs at First Avenue in Minneapolis when I was 13 or so, my mom dropped me off and picked me up. I went alone. I think I went because Kurt Cobain cited them as an influence, but for whatever reason, I was there, and I got shook. I maybe bought a record then but hadn’t listened since my early teens until a recent tour with Mike Dillon and he put on their new Freak Puke record, released in 2012. I don’t know what you call it, but it makes me happy in all its darkness.

4.)  Aside from staying on the road and things A Love Electric and beyond, I’m looking forward to Tom Waits doing whatever he does. I love him.  He’s the guy people will look back to as someone who said all the shit before it went down. I have to warm up to listen to him, it comes that real, his voice spits blood up my spine.

Jam in the Sand: Dark Star Orchestra announce Jamaican destination event with Keller

 

 

Today, Dark Star Orchestra is thrilled to announce the band’s first Jamaican excursion entitled ‘Jam in the Sand.’ The event is anchored by a partnership with Island Gigs, who will be hosting the event at the five-star, adults-only, all-inclusive Breezes Grand Resort in Negril, Jamaica, March 1-5, 2013. After performing in Japan in 2011 and with their quickly approaching March 2012 shows in London and Amsterdam, Dark Star Orchestra continues their international touring with this announcement of their first ever land-based shows in the Caribbean.

 

Having performed to sold out audiences at home and abroad, Dark Star Orchestra is the world’s most talented and acclaimed Grateful Dead tribute act. Over their nearly 15 years and more than 2000 shows together, the band has performed with many talented artists, including five original members of the Grateful Dead, and their live performances have been acclaimed by Rolling Stone, USA Today and National Public Radio. Esteemed looping soloist, Keller Williams, will be joining DSO on the sandy beaches and performing three sets at Jam in the Sand.

 

Breezes Grand Negril is the flagship of the Breezes fleet of super inclusive resorts and commands an impressive stretch of Negril’s breathtaking beach. During the daytime the unbelievable beach invites lovers of water sports to windsurf, scuba dive, sail a sunfish or simply do nothing at all. At night attendees will be treated to intimate concerts by Dark Star Orchestra and Keller Williams – right on the beach, under the stars and moonlight. Other amenities include six classic restaurants offering French, Italian, Japanese, Jamaican cuisine, and continental menus, plus breakfast and luncheon buffets galore. From great live music and bottomless booze to all the meals, snacks, and watersports, it will be an amazing experience Deadheads will never forget.

 

Now one of the hottest destinations in the Caribbean, the seven-mile beach of North Negril offers laid back charm for people looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Uncover Negril’s best kept secret, five miles of winding coral cliffs. Spend a free day cliff-diving, snorkeling and exploring underground caves at places like Rick’s Cafe and The Rock House. Then, be ready for one of the most impressive sunsets you’ve experienced as you kick back with a Jamaican rum punch and watch the sky turn pink before it falls dark. The magic of Negril is that it still has kept its laid back charm after all these years.

 

For more information on Jam in the Sand, log on to www.dsojaminthesand.com

Reservations are available now by clicking here &/or by phone at 888-423-7738

 

Island Gigs is the producer of such noteworthy music events in Jamaica including Gov’t Mule’s ‘Island Exodus,’ Little Feat’s ‘Feat Fan Excursion,’ and many more.

 

 

Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson, 1/25/12

Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson
The Iridium
New York City, NY
January 25, 2012

 

 

Showing only mild signs of slowing down, former Grateful Dead vocalist and the bird and lyricist behind the song that deadheads either love or hate (“Sunrise”), Donna Jean Godchaux, made a stop at New York’s Iridium for an early and late show to close out her January schedule.

Of recent, when Godchaux is seen on stage, more times than not it is alongside Jeff Mattson (Dark Star Orchestra), who was on hand on this night as was the Zen Trickster’s drummer, Dave Diamond, who filled the duties of  Joe Chirco for the evening.

As is par for Godchaux outings, the night was a showcase of the Dead catalog, sung by Donna — a true treat for those who value her tenure in the Grateful Dead.

 

 

Setlist

(courtesy of Dark Star Orchestra)

 

EARLY SHOW
Sugaree, Tear My Stillhouse Down, It Takes a Lot to Laugh It Takes a Train to Cry, Brown Eyed Women, Hey Pocky Way, I Want to Tell You> Jam> Cosmic Charley> Tore Up Over You
E: You Ain’t Woman Enough

 

LATE SHOW
New Speedway Boogie, Bertha, Gone Gone Gone, Candyman, Don’t Ask Me Why, Darkness Darkness, St. Stephen> Scarlet Begonias
E: Green River

 

Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Vernon Webb