On the heels of a great trip to Boston to see Dead and Company I had the fortunate opportunity to sit down with Dennis McNally long time publicist for the Grateful Dead.
With Amir Bar-Lev’s Long Strange Trip still fresh on my mind, I began the conversation with Dennis asking if four hours could possibly capture the depth of the Grateful Dead history…...
You've heard his incredible work, in Soulive and before that Lettuce, but perhaps you don't know enough about Eric Krasno. He has risen to become a sought after Grammy award winning writer and producer that plays with virtually everyone on the jam scene. When he’s not hanging with Aaron Neville, 50 Cent and Norah Jones, Krasno finds the time work on his own projects. His wide swath of inspiration comes from a wide variety of sources and it was a thrill to sit down with him to talk shop…..
While he certainly has the musical pedigree, this Lesh is making his own mark with a great band that features outstanding 3 part harmonies, great songs and a really great vibe. We’ve had a chance to listen to their latest release “Under the Lights” due out June 16th and we were thoroughly impressed with the playing and memorable songs. I sat down with Grahame to get an understanding of where the band is at in their very early career. We talked about that, the song making process, their residency at Terrapin Crossroads and more.
Since his debut record for this project "Beathoven" put out, Reed Mathis has assembled a hot band dubbed Electric Beethoven and taken his latest project on the road. To be clear, Electric Beethoven is an improvisational rock band that is guided by the works of Beathoven and for the debut record they are particularly inspired by his Symphony #3 and # 6. There isn’t anything more I can say about this project but wow, so I was psyched to sit down and chat with Reed who offered all kinds of interesting takes and insights…..
Describing Turkuaz as a pure funk band doesn’t do the musicians in this band enough justice, they play it all. Favorites on the Jamband Festival scene, these guys know how to bring the party wherever they go. I had a chance to sit down with Dave Brandwein the front man for the group just before they left for Bonnaroo……..
Nicole is an incredible vocalist and songwriter who’s taken some time since her last record Slow Phaser, to get married, figure out life and write new material. We’ve always been a big fan of her work, and the fact that she’s joined Joe Russo’s Almost Dead on stage makes us appreciate her even more! We sat down to talk to her about the delay between records, writing music and her performances with JRAD…..
The aptly named “Kimock” is the current muse of guitar magician Steve Kimock and includes his son John Morgan Kimock on drums, long time collaborator Bobby Vega on bass and Leslie Mendelson. It was a gigantic thrill to sit down with Steve to catch up on his goings on and to pick his brain on a variety of subjects including recent stints with Bob Weir and other projects he is working on.
Leslie Mendelson is a Grammy nominated artist that is not as yet a house hold name but should be! Her 2009 debut Swan Feathers did receive accolades and through all kinds of crummy circumstance we’ve waited a long time for a follow up. The good news is, the tide has turned and Leslie with the help from some notable friends including Bob Weir, Steve Kimock, Dave Schools and others, is well on the path to certain creative justice. She recently released Love & Murder, a haunting and memorable solo album, that is absolutely gorgeous We sat down to discuss the new record, and the goings on her life now and the very bright future.
What a LONG STRANGE TRIP is the title of the new Amir Bar-Lev authorized documentary of the Grateful Dead that I caught at the HOT DOC’s screening here in Toronto just a few nights ago. To say its a trip doesn’t do this four hour long look at our beloved band justice. The film takes you from the very earliest days of the Mother McCree Uptown Jug band to the unfortunate end with Jerry Garcia’s passing and everything in between. I had the opportunity to sit down with both Amir Bar-Lev and our friend Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux to get some insight into the making of the film and the Grateful Dead story.
Though they aren’t a household name yet, I predict big things for Southern Avenue, a Memphis based Blues, R&B, Gospel, Soul quintet, who have burst on the scene virtually out of nowhere. While their sound is tried and true, their story is a little less conventional. You just don't get signed to Stax without having undeniable songs and chops. I sat down with Ori Naftaly to get the goods on Southern Avenue and their quick rise……
I sat down with Neal Casal guitar player extraordinaire for the CRB to get his take on what the Betty Blends project, an update on CRB's forthcoming release and a few other items including information on a potential new Circles Around the Sun release. We started though talking about what it's like to work with the legendary Betty Cantor Jackson....
I would imagine innovating a sound, or rather pioneering a sound and then making your own by mastering it night after night can be a tiring task. That isn’t to say The New Deal, a live electronic band got bored of what they were doing, rather, they decided to improvise another career path. So in April 2011 after 12 years of playing hundreds of show, they took a collective deep breath and went away to work on other projects. Since that time, they’ve recorded and played a few festivals and continue to jam together now in a retooled incarnation, with being inventive and fresh still their motivation. I caught up with Jamie Shields the keyboard player for a the New Deal to get the scoop on their current goings on….
I’ve been following the trajectory of Tom Hamilton’s career ever since his Brother’s Past days in the late 90s back at the Wetlands in New York. Since that time he has moved on to form a new band American Babies and is one of two guitar players and vocalists in Joe Russo’s Almost Dead . I’ve always heard he’s fairly outspoken about the music he makes and the general jamband scene and was excited to talk to a young veteran of said scene about all his current projects including American Babies, Electron and of course JRAD.
When I first started listening to and learning about some of the early jambands in the early 90s like Phish, Blues Traveler, and Widespread Panic, members of each pointed to their spiritual leader Col.Bruce Hampton. While he certainly isn't a house hold name the beloved Col. Is responsible for finding many prominent members of the current scene including Oteil Burbidge and Jimmy Herring. His biography reads like a who's who of music and dates back to being friends with Duane Allman. When I had a chance to sit down with the colonel I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, and we indeed got into all kinds of topics including politics, music, baseball and more.
Imagine living in the shadows of the world's premiere jambands. That's the case for Twiddle who hail from Vermont and often compared to Phish pioneers in the improvisational jamband scene. The truth though, is that the only thing worth of comparison is the extensive touring and playing the bands do. Both have their own community, musical style (funk, reggae, bluegrass, rock) and sensibilities. I sat down with Brook Jordan, Twiddle's drummer to learn more about the band, and get his take on the comparison.