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Recently, Mickey Melchiondo Jr. (aka Dean Ween) has been mourning the death of record producer Jeff Rusnak, who was ultimately responsible for releasing some of the earliest Ween recordings to a wider audience on the Bird O’ Prey record label. While little information has been publicly shared about Rusnak’s death, Melchiondo met up with a mutual friend, P-Funk guitarist Michael Hampton, to mourn the loss.Hampton and Melchiondo got together for the Invitational Music Jam at John and Peter’s in New Hope, PA, where Hampton suggested they perform the classic P-Funk song, “Maggot Brain.” As Melchiondo says, “I would have never, ever, thought that I would end up on a stage playing it note for note next to Mike (and he was using my guitar, pedals and amplifier) and hearing this screaming from an amp behind me. I was in disbelief, total shock that my life would lead me to that moment.”He tells the story better:There are things in life (if you’re as lucky and fortunate as I have been) that just don’t seem possible. Meeting and playing with Yoko and Sean at the Dakota, watching Neil young from behind Crazy Horse play “Hey Hey My My”, touring and recording with the Meat Puppets, and then this. I’ve established a good friendship with Mike Hampton that grows every day–but I never cross the line and suggest that we play “Maggot Brain”. It’s just too powerful of a song and needed to be saved for a special occasion. Unfortunately this time that occasion was the death of our mutually close friend Jeff Rusnak yesterday. Michael called this one out—if you could transport me back in time to when I used to play along with Eddie Hazel’s famous recording of this, I would have never, ever, thought that I would end up on a stage playing it note for note next to Mike (and he was using my guitar, pedals and amplifier) and hearing this screaming from an amp behind me. I was in disbelief, total shock that my life would lead me to that moment. but here it is, in HD as well. If you haven’t been to an Invitational Jam you need to come immediately—-this was the greatest thing that was ever performed at John and Peter’s, ever–and one of the highlights of my life, not just my musical life, my entire life.Without further ado, watch the magical “Maggot Brain” performance below:[via Ween Appreciation Society]
In his thirty year career, it’s safe to say Bruce Hornsby has seen it all. From chart success with his band The Noisemakers on his first record as well as his latest release, Rehab Reunion, his membership in the Grateful Dead and his many other solo and side projects, he’s had a career any musician would envy. Despite the many twists and turns of his musical journey, there have been a few constants, chief among them his incredible talent. No amount of practice can replace the natural connection that Hornsby seems to posses with the very heart of music itself. Each inflection, each note seems to be informed from a higher plane or a deeper part of the soul than most can reach.Hornsby has always leaned heavily on the southern charm his Virginian pedigree have instilled in him naturally, and the new album has him fully embracing his roots. The opening track, “Over The Rise,” sets the table from the first note. Everything from the deep tonal resonance of Hornsby’s dulcimer work, the crackle of the washboard and the wail of the tracks special guest Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. While the world waits for new solo work from Iver his collaboration with Hornsby raises the musical stakes and gives the slow build of the tune a weight that reflects the lyrical vision of a life’s love progression.Tracks like “Soon Enough” illustrate perfectly one of Hornsby’s more unsung talents, his ability to find songwriting gold in the simplest of subjects. What are for most of us simple musings on childhood memories become in Hornsby’s hands charming mixtures of entrancing cadence and striking personal insight. A later track, “Tipping,” shows an ability to look past a societal ritual to the practical effect that a few extra pennies can have on the life of another and the odd social contract that has formed between server and served.All of these thoughts are delivered in conjunction with a rich acoustic and electric accompaniment that makes the wisdom expressed all the more authentic and irresistible. Gibb Droll‘s guitar work vacillates between sweet peals of joy and intricately picked and strummed that have made him high on many artists short list for dream collaborators. Ross Holmes deft mandolin work and lilting fiddle notes establish true bluegrass bonafides with a consistently heartfelt and delicate intensity that checks the right boxes. Driving the show alongside Hornsby’s intense strumming is drummer and percussionist Sonny Emory, whose mixture of straight kit work and well worn washboard give a tidal rhythm to each composition.The title track, “Rehab Reunion,” is a fun look at temptation and the bargaining mindset of an addict that seems a perfect fit for the songs unabashed take on the classic country sound. Tracks like “Hey Kafka” and “TSA Man” again show Hornsby’s impressive ability to find inspiration in mundane and random places. Not many folks would think to write a folks song about bleak novelist and faceless bureaucrat Franz Kafka, and fewer still would make it a toe tapping and succinct summation of such a complicated individual. His commentary on the oddness of both privacy and human condition in modern society, “TSA Man,” shows an impressive understanding of the fractured state of our human connections. Avoiding the well-trodden path of the subject of the intrusive invasions, he instead focuses on the oddly positive effects of getting groped by a stranger because you want to visit relatives a few states away.Bringing in the legendary Mavis Staples to help guide Rehab Reunion to a righteous conclusion, Hornsby returns to more universally resonant subject matter with the uplifting “Celestial Railroad.” Staples voice is exactly as powerful and emotive as it was when she first set the world on fire decades ago, and the connection she has built up with listeners over the generations gives her and her words an immediate and inescapable authority. The focus on perseverance and the strength and succor that the universe has waiting for all who just reach out for it is made all the more believable by Staples impassioned urgings for us all to join her in mainlining the cosmic power of hope itself.Often when a musician whose career spans decades releases new music, it seems simply like an excuse to return to the road and play the hits. But on newest creation, Rehab Reunion, Hornsby shows that, not only is his creative well still deeply filled, it’s growing all the richer for years well lived.
This year’s The Peach Music Festival may not have gone quite as smoothly, were it not for the local law enforcement in Moosic, PA. Three individuals who tried to swipe VIP passes worth over $100,000 in value were caught, and subsequently arrested, by the Moosic Police.While many choose to camp out at Montage Mountain, the site of Peach Fest, others chose to stay at the nearby Holiday Inn. In one such room, Peach Fest staff were assigned to hand out VIP credential bracelets to performers and their crews. While two of the three thieves distracted the woman handing out the bracelets, the third ran in and stole a packet with dozens of them inside. The three men, David Stone, Kiel Sheppard and Miguel Vergara, were later caught on the festival grounds and subsequently arrested. Authorities said that the men were wearing the stolen festival bracelets inside the venue. If you’re going to steal tickets to a festival, it’s probably best to not get high on your own supply.[H/T WNEP – ABC 16]
Tedeschi Trucks Band brought their 12-piece ensemble to the Copley Symphony Hall in San Diego on Saturday night. Staying true to their own discography, the band performed a career-spanning setlist with hits like “Let Me Get By” and “Bound For Glory”, while also remaining dedicated to their cover-heavy reputation with favorites “The Letter” by The Box Tops and “Keep On Growing” by Derek & The Dominos.One of the night’s biggest highlights was when the dynamic duo led their band through an incredible “How Blue Can You Get” by the legendary BB King, a song only spun into their mix earlier this year. Having only played the tune a total of four times, the band’s rendition of the blues anthem is a bold reminder of just how solid their roots are. Check out the video and the full setlist below, and catch TTB on the road as they continue on their tour through the west coast.“How Blue Can You Get” via LoadOffAnnie:Enjoy the full-set audio below, courtesy of taper double_a: Edit this setlist | More Tedeschi Trucks Band setlists
Electric Beethoven has continued to turn heads ever since their formation earlier this year, transporting the music of composer Ludwig van Beethoven into the whimsical world of improvisation. Led by Reed Mathis, the band of Todd Stoops, Clay Welch and Jay Lane seems to play tighter with each passing performance, as the bandmates lock into each other’s style and the music of Beethoven.The band has been sharing clips of their performances here and there, including a song from their recent set at Brooklyn Comes Alive, but today the band has announced plans to release the a full length, live rendition of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony. Electric Beethoven will be releasing one movement at a time, starting with today’s release of “Awakening of Happiness.” The live footage is taken from Cervantes Masterpiece in Denver, CO, from November 13th, 2016.Listen to “Awakening of Happiness,” below.The band will continue sharing movements from the live performance of this Symphony, so stay tuned. They also have shows scheduled for this Friday, November 25th at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, CA during the afternoon, at Tahoe Beach Retreat in South Lake Tahoe, California on the 26th and a free show at the Crazy Horse Saloon in Nevada City, CA on Sunday, Nov. 27.
Hot on the heels of his recent Grammy victories, the beloved Chance The Rapper has announced plans to hit the road for a major tour through the US and Canada. Chance has received critical acclaim for his 2016 album Coloring Book, propelling him and his soulful music into the public eye.The new tour announcement starts on April 24th in San Diego, CA, running through the month of May and ending on June 17th in Dover, DE. The dates include stops at festivals like Hangout Fest, Sasquatch, Boston Calling, Governors Ball, Bonnaroo and Firefly, to name a few. He’ll also be performing at the renowned Hollywood Bowl, but not until October.Tickets for all of Chance’s headlining shows go on sale at 7PM Eastern tonight, and details can be found on his website. See the full schedule below.
On Saturday, Wanee Festival at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida, saw Trey Anastasio play a performance with Trey Anastasio Band and the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir perform with his Campfire Band later in the evening. These two artists ended up coming together during Weir’s set, putting on a magical acoustic duet segment for awe-struck fans. Traditionally with his Campfire Band shows, Weir plays a solo acoustic segment before inviting the band to join him; at Wanee, it was no different with the Dead guitarist starting his set alone with “Two Djinn” and “Corrina.”After these first two solo songs, Anastasio came out, much to the surprise of the crowd, eliciting thunderous applause for the Phish guitarist. For their first three numbers, the two stuck to songs extensively present in the Grateful Dead’s catalog, choosing “Deep Elem Blues,” “Friend of the Devil,” and “Bird Song” to start the set. The paired down set had fans singing along along with the couple, as Trey and Bob expertly moved through the songs, switch off leading vocals, coming together for choruses, and in general, showing off their guitar picking skills.After the three gorgeous Dead covers, Anastasio and Weir then paid tribute to Phish, moving straight into “Miss You,” a Phish ballad led vocally by Trey that was debuted last summer at Wrigley Field off Big Boat, after the end of their powerful rendition of “Bird Song.” To end things off, Bob and Trey took a quick pause, huddling together on stage and with Trey visibly grinning before the duo launched into their last song, a cover of Lady Gaga’s “A Million Reasons,” a debut for both guitarists, who swapped verses throughout. Following the nontraditional cover, Anastasio left the stage, with Weir pointing to him as he left and instructing the crowd to “say ‘thank you, Trey,’” an order that no one at the performance had an issue obliging. From there, the Campfire Band came out for the first time during Weir’s performance at Wanee, and together the full band worked through songs off of Weir’s new album, Blue Mountain, as well as a healthy dose of classic Grateful Dead tunes to help Bobby wrap up his appearance.You can check out the full setlist from Trey Anastasio’s sit-in with Bob Weir, courtesy of Suwannee HD Streams, as well as a full setlist from Bob Weir’s performance, courtesy of setlist.fm, below.[Cover photo courtesy of Kendall Deflin]Deep Elem BluesFriend of the DevilBird Song > Miss YouMillion Reasons Edit this setlist | More Bob Weir setlists
This September, The Who‘s Pete Townshend will bring his 1973 brainchild Quadrophenia to four different venues across the country with a special twist: a full accompanying classical orchestra. The performances will also feature 80’s hit maker Billy Idol and vocalist Alfie Boe, who will sing the parts that Roger Daltrey voiced on the original album.Said Townshend in a statement, “I’m thrilled to be bringing Classic Quadrophenia Stateside through the month of September. Melding the contrasting sounds of Quadrophenia with a symphony has been a really unique and powerful way to reach a wide audience of classical and pop music lovers alike. I couldn’t be more excited to see it continue in the U.S.”Townshend premiered the “Classic Quadrophenia” concept in London in 2015. The U.S. mini-tour will stop at Tanglewood in Western MA, followed by a pair of performances at New York City’s famous Metropolitan Opera House and a final show at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.“Classic Quadrophenia” US Tour DatesSeptember 2 – Lenox, MA @ TanglewoodSeptember 9 – New York, NY @ Metropolitan Opera HouseSeptember 10 – New York, NY @ Metropolitan Opera HouseSeptember 16 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Greek TheatreFor tickets and more information, head to The Who’s website.[h/t – Rolling Stone][Cover photo via TheWho.com]
Load remaining images Thing heated up in the City Different over the weekend as the summer winds blew The North Mississippi Allstars into town. Taking over the main stage at The Bridge, Santa Fe Brewing Company’s campus concert venue, the southern brothers delivered a solid, 2-hour set of classic blues as well as a multitude of tunes off of their new album, Prayer For Peace.Throughout the night, there was no single weak number and the setlist was dotted with a mass of segues and jams that bent both heart and mind thanks to the slide virtuosity of Luther Dickinson and the added key expressions of Cody Dickinson, as he held the job of both drums and synth, often at the same time. Joined by Dominic Davis, session player and good friend to Jack White, the bass duties were solid in feel and in groove, not only showing this man’s ability to fill the low-end shoes, but also clearly showing that the Brothers Dickinson can lay it down with the best of them.Nary a soul left the venue early in hopes of finding something better to do, as the performance exuded a tight continuity throughout the night. This feeling was mutual on the stage and in the audience, as the Allstars chose to fill the hearts of all in attendance with a raucous version of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Turn On Your Lovelight.” For both those who have seen these players before and for those who haven’t: Make time for the sublime wine that these men pour and be drunk on the funk that leaves you wanting more!The North Mississippi Allstars continue their current tour with a performance tonight at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, CA. To check out more information, see a full list of upcoming dates, or purchase tickets, head to the band’s website.You can enjoy a gallery of photos from the performance by Jake Sudek.SETLIST: North Mississippi Allstars | The Bridge | Santa Fe, NM | 6/9/17 Set: Shakin’, Po’ Black Maddie, You Gotta Move, Prayer For Peace, Deep Elem Blues, Stealin’, Lord Have Mercy > Meet Me In The City > Baby Please, Brooks Run To The Ocean> Run Red Rooster, Let Me In, ML (Goin’ Home), Miss Maybelle, HoedownEncore:Goin’ Down > Train > Mystery Train, All Night Long > Turn On Your LovelightNorth Mississippi Allstars | The Bridge | Santa Fe, NM | 6/9/17 | Photos By Jake Sudek