Dave Jordan & the NIA‘s new release, No Losers Tonight, is chock full of unpretentious songs that don’t try and be anything but honest. There are some tracks that will get toes tapping and boots scooting, as well as a few heartfelt ballads that truly hit home. Choruses that were born to be sung along with thanks to clean, clear production and an undeniably exuberant feeling. Other tunes that were meant to reflect the more introspective moments in life resonate just as powerfully. It’s obvious to anyone listening that this is not a band using their skills for crass commercialism…they simply want to make music that moves the heart and body.Songs like disc opener “Southern Girl” and the title track “No Losers Tonight” are perfect examples of the straight ahead sound this outfit can lay down when they so choose. Rocking guitars, crisp drums and a driving lyrical presence out front, loud and proud. An undercurrent of smoldering organs and rhythm guitar licks open up “Smoke” and give Jordan a chance to focus his energy on the task at hand, telling tales of the difficulty of life and love. With his name out front, this is clearly Jordan’s showcase and though he freely shares the foreground with his backing band he holds court with unshakable confidence that is musically refreshing.There are a few numbers, like “Come A Little Closer” that bring the tempo down to an intimate whisper between two lovers entwined in a dance. The song benefits greatly form the strains of the band’s New Orleans roots showing in the strains of accordian and ragtime jazz time signatures. “Pontchartrain” takes things even lower and slower…showing some impressive blues guitar licks as it meanders along like the waves on the lake the song is named after. It is impressive to see a band feel comfortable enough to take the idea of a ten minute song into their collective hearts and make it so listeners feel sad when it ends. Utilizing folkier instruments for the more introspective pieces creates a rapport with listeners that benefits immensely from the rockier early tunes by simple contrast.The album’s closing tracks take a turn for the melancholy with “Baby I’m Gone” and especially “Dreams So Real” show Jordan at a seeming musical impasse, not sure which direction to take at a crossroads. The blues vibe on “Dreams” is powerful, almost oppressive…as if it was the very clouds during a storm. a clever use of piano bursts against lush bowed notes adds texture to the storm. As they show on No Losers Tonight, Dave Jordan and his band are capable of doing many thing well. It will be interesting to watch this band and see which of their many muses the chose to follow.
The Ween dates keep rolling in! The beloved group has just announced a brand new three-night run, appearing at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY over Thanksgiving weekend, from November 25-27. As The Cap Theatre officially re-opened four years ago, during Ween’s hiatus, this will mark the band’s first-ever performances at the storied venue.Dean Ween, however, recently performed at The Cap as part of a double billing with The Claypool Lennon Delirium. Fans will remember his epic appearance during an encore jam on “Southbound Pachyderm,” with the insane talents of Dean Ween, Sean Lennon, and Les Claypool joining forces for a remarkable psychedelic odyssey. Watch that Capitol Theatre highlight, here.Tickets for the Thanksgiving Ween run will be available by a lottery request system until this Wednesday, and tickets officially go on sale this Friday, September 16th. You can find details in the band’s Facebook post, embedded below.
A few weeks ago, Spotify announced that they surpassed 40 million subscribers; this growth rate doubles over the streaming service’s rival Apple Music. While SoundCloud recently launched a paid subscription service, they haven’t made enough profit to sustain their once-free music streams. Now, it seems as though Spotify is currently seeking to formally acquire SoundCloud, according to The Financial Times. The plot continues to thicken, as the streaming wars ensue.SoundCloud has been in financial trouble for some time now, losing upwards of $70 million over the last two years, according to a report from February. Earlier this summer, the company considered selling their online streaming service for $1 billion. The report made it clear that, while the company had “adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future,” SoundCloud was heavily reliant on “further capital investment” to continue operating in 2015.Now, we see another potential – for the Spotify giants to step in and take over SoundCloud. If they were to successfully do so, the company would acquire all 200 million SC users. This would be an interesting turn of events, as both companies started in October of 2008. The details remain unclear of how the transition would navigate paid subscriptions versus free memberships, but Spotify’s acquisition of SoundCloud would be an undeniable win for Spotify.Let’s see how this one pans out…[H/T CoS]
Last summer, Vulfpeck had the pleasure of making their debut at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. Today, they’ve announced a big return to the venue, this time supporting the Trey Anastasio Band! It’s a double billing guaranteed to make any jam fan’s jaw drop.Trey Anastasio has been very quiet with his solo project in 2016. After releasing Paper Wheels and supporting it with a string of shows at the end of 2015, the band has only performed a twice in 2016. This headlining set at Red Rocks may be the signal of more TAB in 2017, or it could just be a one-off performance at a world-class venue. Either way, we’re certainly excited at the prospect of seeing the Trey Anastasio Band and Vulfpeck on the same night – May 31st, 2017.Vulfpeck has also announced that they will be performing at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO, one night prior to this Red Rocks show. Tickets for that show will only be available as bundles with Red Rocks, for now. Tickets will be available through a real time presale beginning Wednesday, November 16th at 10:00am MST and ending Friday, November 18st at 10:00am MST, and can be found here. The general on sale starts this Saturday, November 19th, at 10 AM MST via AXS.
The lineup for this summer at Red Rocks just keeps getting better! Today, renowned electrofunky producer Gramatik has added his name to the Morrison, CO venue’s schedule, with a major headlining performance on June 17th. Complete with his 2016 release Epigram and a brand new stage design, Gramatik is set to do 2017 right with a major blowout at Red Rocks.Not only will Gramatik be performing, but he’s bringing along a trio of acclaimed producers to keep the party grooving. Mr. Carmack, Ekali and Flamingosis will all be featured supporting performers, making for a down and dirty dance party for all of the Colorado fans. Gramatik will also be touting a new stage design inspired by Nikola Tesla, with masterful coils and a beautifully symbolic entrance into the New Year.Check out a video previewing the upcoming funky fun for Gramatik’s upcoming show, below.You can see more information on the poster below, and head to Gramatik’s website for details.
Umphrey’s McGee spent the weekend hosting the “Mitten Run,” a series of shows through the great state of Michigan. With one night in Grand Rapids and two more in Detroit, the band made themselves right at home with some fiery playing amid the cold weather. On February 3rd, the band descended upon The Fillmore Detroit, rocking the venue thoroughly for a great performance. The show culminated in a rocking two song encore, which included their classic tunes “Glory” and “Bridgeless.”Thanks to the band and to their webcast stream providers, TourGigs, we can watch a full length pro-shot video of that encore in the embedded player below. Enjoy!For extended coverage of this performance, including a gallery, setlist, full taper audio recording and more, head here.
Lockn’ in Arrington, Virginia, has been slowly revealing its line up over the past week, with yesterday bringing the news that Phil Lesh and Bob Weir will perform the entirety of Terrapin Station with the Terrapin Family Band during a special performance at the festival. On Monday, Antibalas, Blackberry Smoke, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Hiss Golden Messenger, Moonalice, The Record Company, and Sinkane were added to the bill. Tuesday’s announcement added John Fogerty, and Wednesday added The Disco Biscuits to the list. Today, Lockn’ revealed its daily schedule, bringing to light even more special surprises for attendees of the festival.The daily lineup reveals that Jim James will be performing a solo set on Friday. phil.moe. will also be making their debut on Sunday, which will be a variation of Phil Lesh & Friends with moe. You can check out the full daily schedule below, and get your tickets to and more information about Lockn’ here.
D.J. Williams is performing a surprise homecoming show next Wednesday, June 14th, following his arrival home to the United States, with his solo group D. J. Williams’ Shots Fired — an all-star collective of funk musicians from across the scene. The celebration, dubbed “D.J.’s Deportation Celebration – a Welcome Home Party,” follows Williams’ detainment in the Middle East, which saw the guitarist of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe held over an issue at customs, and his subsequent release back to the United States.Slated for Interscope Records’ showcase room, The Peppermint Club, in West Hollywood, the night is sure to be a jubilant welcoming party for those who missed the musician while he was away. For D.J.’s Deportation Celebration, Williams will be joined by Rashawn Ross (Dave Matthews Band), Max MacVeety (Lyrics Born), Pete Griffin (Dr. John), David Veith (Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe) and Kenneth Crouch (Eric Clapton/Lenny Kravitz). In a statement, Williams said, “It’s been a hell of a ride to get here, but I’m back and ready to rage with my Shots Fired crew once again!” Tickets for this intimate, limited-space show at The Peppermint are on-sale now, with advanced ticket purchases encouraged. You can get tickets here.
Singer-songwriter and Dark Star Orchestra’s tour manager, Matt Reynolds passed away unexpectedly over the weekend, leaving those who knew Reynolds and the extended Dark Star Orchestra family reeling. Reynolds served as Dark Star’s tour manager for twelve years, serving as the man behind-the-scenes for their countless nationwide tours since August of 2006. Reynolds himself was a musician, melding Americana, country-rock, and the blues for his soulful numbers, and was tapped for this year’s Dark Star Jubilee at the end of May. In April of 2015, Reynolds released his debut solo album titled Been Long Gone, which was co-produced by Dark Star’s guitarist and studio engineer Rob Eaton and Ted Pecchio respectively.In a statement issued by the band, Dark Star Orchestra sent their condolences to Matt’s mother, brother, and sister and penned a touching tribute to their tour manager, crediting him as being the “behind-the-scenes beacon guiding us through success, tumult, and all points in between, usually with great humor, and always with gentle nature.” You can read Dark Star’s full statement on the loss of Matt Reynold’s here, and check out Reynolds’ music via his Soundcloud here. Fare the well, Matt. You will be missed.
Load remaining images Night twelve. It feels like just yesterday that this thirteen night run was on the horizon, as fans eagerly speculated about what Phish would do for this historic residency at New York’s Madison Square Garden. As the Baker’s Dozen progressed, each show became its own special donut, flavored with one-off covers, big jams, and, incredibly, no repeated songs. Each and every show has been relished among the adoring crowd, hailed as some of the band’s finest of their 34 year career.Now, we’ve arrived at the penultimate performance, and lots of heavy hitting song choices loomed over the final two proceedings. Not only that, but Saturday night’s performance was “Boston Cream” night; a show that fans have been eagerly awaiting since Page McConnell mentioned it in a 2007 Relix interview. Surely the cover of Boston’s “Foreplay/Long Time” would make its return. The band would obviously cover Cream. Lock it in.While most shows have started with a theme-appropriate cover selection, Phish wasted no time diving into their repertoire with a rousing rendition of Bob Marley‘s “Soul Shakedown Party.” The smooth reggae tones got the crowd loose and the band looser. The celebratory opening number gave way to a cover of the bluegrass classic, Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen,” with Trey Anastasio ripping through the song’s complex leads. The band went to Gamehendge for the next number, bringing out a rocking version of “The Sloth” to keep the party grooving.“Gotta Jibboo” saw Phish really get into their first jam of the night, as the whole band settled in for this first set fourteen minute groove fest. Once Page worked his magic on the grand piano, the jam shifted into high gear, and Trey raised the jam into a triumphant peak. After a brief discussion on stage, Mike Gordon took vocals on the band’s bizarre rocker, “Fuck Your Face.” The once long-forgotten number has had a revitalization in the 3.0 era, coming out of the woodworks to whip the crowd into a frenzy.With the energy at full throttle, the band started out innocently enough with a cover of Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love.” Things quickly took a turn, however, as the end of the first chorus transitioned into Boston’s “More Than A Feeling.” It’s a Boston Cream medley! After running through some of the classic Boston tune, the band momentarily dove into what sounded like Cream’s “Tales Of Brave Ulysses,” before dropping into a jam on “Sunshine Of Your Love” once more. That quickly broke into “Long Time,” the second half of the famed “Foreplay/Long Time” that had been predicted – and that hadn’t been played since 1999. The chorus here was particularly interesting, as different band members sang choruses of “Long Time,” “Sunshine Of Your Love” and another Cream classic, “White Room.” The band finished up the medley with a return to the main riff of “Sunshine,” putting a cap on their “Sunshine Of Your Feeling” mash-up.After they finished, Trey joked that “Kansas Metallica” was going to be the final donut flavor. They promptly explained that the joke was “20 years in the making,” and that they basically planned the whole run for this “Boston Cream” extravaganza. It was truly a fun moment in the band’s residency, adding an extra layer to the one-off covers that have been a cornerstone of the Baker’s Dozen. Side bar: Umphrey’s McGee fans must have felt right at home for this.The set continued with its first cool-down moment, bringing back the Trey song “Frost” for only the second time ever, and the first since 7/17/13 (168 shows). My personal theory is that the song was a reference to the donuts themselves: the Boston Cream was actually the frost-ing instead of the filling. Likely a practical donut-making decision (read the NPR donut scoop for more), the mellow “Frost” was a fun reprieve for more high-energy songs to come.“Scent Of A Mule” immediately followed, with some excellent solos from Page (including a “Sunshine Of Your Love” tease) and Gordo before the song’s exciting finale. The third Jimi Hendrix cover came next, as the band rocked MSG with some pure “Fire.” Trey was wailing in true Jimi style, keeping the excitement high. “Alaska” followed, as Jon Fishman kept the pace for a bluesy funk jam that had everyone dancing. “Plasma” closed out the set, with Trey taking the lead throughout an energetic jam that peaked in fine fashion. The guitarist’s final notes again teased “Sunshine Of Your Love,” adding one last dose of Cream to the performance.With the “no repeat” rule in effect for the Baker’s Dozen, there were a handful of unplayed songs that came highly anticipated for the last two nights. Set two opened with one of these classics, as the blues-heavy riff of “Ghost” rang out through The Garden. Here we go. The whopping 21-minute take saw the band immediately lock into some thick funk, patiently building the energy through a pentatonic fueled groove. As the jam continued to gain momentum, the band subtly switched into a major key, allowing for some prime melodic improvisation from Trey and Page. Trey led the jam through countless emotional peak moments, continually upping the ante for a truly climactic conclusion. This was easily the jam of the night, as one might expect from a “Ghost” on the Twelfth Night.The jam ended in some deep dark tones, before breaking into the first “Petrichor” since the song’s dramatic interpretation on New Year’s 2016. Though this version didn’t have choreography, horns, or falling silicone raindrops, the band adeptly wove their way through the ornate composition. Trey gave the song a little extra mustard near its conclusion, bringing things up before dropping into another 3.0 favorite, “Light.” This version went down and dirty with Page leading the charge on the organ.As the “Light” jam ended, Trey strummed the opening chord of another Gamehendge classic, “The Lizards.” Another song highly anticipated for the last two nights, the band drew vigorous applause as they worked their way through the beautiful composition. They extended out the song a bit longer than usual, as is the new normal of the Baker’s Dozen, delighting fans with an all-time favorite tune.After treating fans to four songs in the first hour of set two, the band wrapped things up with a handful of shorter selections, including “The Horse/Silent In The Morning,” Bob Dylan’s “Quinn The Eskimo,” and “Rocky Top.” It’s tempting to pine for fewer total songs in the second frame, but each of these songs are quintessential in the Phish catalog, and did a great job keeping the energy high at MSG.The band returned for one more song, playing the ballad “Joy” as their encore. The message was loud and clear: “We want you to be happy.” Though this was one of the slowest encores of the run, the significance of the moment certainly left fans with smiles on their faces. If “Boston Cream” was the center of their Baker’s Dozen inspiration, then encouraging their fans’ happiness was an all-too-fitting finale for this penultimate donut theme.Of course, the message of “We want you to be happy” has been at the forefront of this run. Phish’s dedication to the craft of live music is second to none, and the Baker’s Dozen is the ultimate example. As a native New Yorker, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to see more Phish in the last two weeks than I ever could have imagined. They’ve approached this run with such passion, challenging themselves to surpass our wildest expectations, every single night. It has been, in a word, incredible.Thank you L4LM team, for giving me this (last minute) opportunity to, once again, share my love of Phish with your readers. Thank you Chris Kuroda, for consistently blowing my mind. Thank you to every single person I’ve met at MSG, for sharing in the groove. And of course, thank you Phish, for these legendary performances. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for the Baker’s Dozen finale.Hot Takes: Repeat Watch: At this point, I have “More Than A Feeling” that night 13 won’t have any repeats. We’ve come this far, right?Today’s Donut: “Boston Cream” [“Sunshine Of Your Feeling,” the mash-up of Boston and Cream that we never knew we needed, with bits of “More Than A Feeling” (Boston), “Long Time” (Boston), “Sunshine Of Your Love” (Cream), and “White Room” (Cream). Am I the only one who heard “Tales Of Brave Ulysses” in there too? This page from the Zonkey playbook could not have been more fun.]We Tired Yet?: We’ve been to 12 Phish shows in the last 16 days. What do you think?SETLIST: Phish | Baker’s Dozen Night 12 | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY | 8/5/17SET 1: Soul Shakedown Party, Uncle Pen, The Sloth, Gotta Jibboo, Fuck Your Face, Sunshine of Your Love -> More Than a Feeling > Sunshine of Your Love > Foreplay/Long Time, Frost, Scent of a Mule, Fire, Alaska, PlasmaSET 2: Ghost, Petrichor, Light > The Lizards, The Horse > Silent in the Morning > Quinn the Eskimo > Rocky TopENCORE: Joy Phish debut. Phish debut; incomplete. Incomplete.Tonight’s Donut: Glazed, pink glaze with rainbow sprinkles.[Photos by Andrew Blackstein]Phish | Baker’s Dozen Night 12 | 8/5/17 | Photos by Andrew Blackstein