Omagah! Guster with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra was released to fans via the band’s website and bandcamp page in early May. It features 11 songs spanning the bands almost 30 year career and includes a few tracks from their last album "Look Alive", released just last year. We’ve followed the career of Guster seemingly from day one, and have always been impressed with their music. They aren’t by the way a nostalgic act by any means. They’ve fairly consistently put out new music and are extremely active touring. We caught up with Ryan Miller to talk more generally about the band’s career to date and quite specifically about Omagah!
In March of 2018 we got word that two stalwarts in the Jam Band world, Tom Hamilton and Holly Bowling were joining forces with a few other musicians to create something new called Ghost Light. Of course we got Tom and Holly on the phone and talked at great length about the project, and where things were heading. Just over two years later, after an album release, and several tours, they are releasing their first ever official live album taken from their performance March 30th, 2019 at the Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver Colorado. The album, like most Ghost Light shows is filled with original songs, covers, and exploratory jams that you just have to hear. Back when we chatted in March of 2018, Tom and Holly were both really excited about how the band came together in the process. Now some two years later, I wondered if that same excitement and cohesion still existed, and that's what I asked as I started my conversation with Tom Hamilton Jr.
Everyone in the Jam Band scene has some idea of who Mihali is. In case you don't, he's the front man for Vermont's Twiddle. Twiddle have been around since 2004, and since that time, Mihali has been the principal song-writer for the band. What you may not know is that Mihali has also spent a lot of time gigging as a solo act, but has never released his own album. As you'll soon hear, it's a project he's been thinking about for quite some time, and it really came together over the last few years. His music, as you'd probably expect, is rooted in reggae sounds and vibes. To produce the album he enlisted Eric Krasno, and invited a few friends to record as well. We caught up with Mihali fresh off his solo show at the Live from Out There virtual festival, to talk about Breathe and Let Go which he performed in its entirety and much more.
We've been following the decade long career of Real Estate since the beginning. Now in their tenth year, they recently released their fifth album The Main Thing. The album comes at a time when the band previously in personnel flux has solidified their line-up and are set for a new beginning of sorts. It's always hard, as a band, to figure out where they want to go sonically as they mature as an act, if the circumstances afford them that opportunity. The Main Thing while still rooted in poppy hooks, vocal harmonies and solid songwriting does denote a new kind of sound for the band. So we caught up with Martin Courtney and Alex Bleeker of Real Estate to talk about the new album, a few interesting projects and a whole lot more. Stick around for the whole show and hear two great solo performances of Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter tunes as Martin Courtney tackles Stella Blue and Alex Bleeker handles Dupree's Diamond Blues, performances taken from a special Live from Out There tribute to Garcia and Hunter.
The Steep Canyon Rangers have been busy over the last little bit, releasing two projects in wide release. The North Carolina Songbook is a re-release of sorts, having released the live album from their performance at Merlefest on Record Store Day originally on vinyl, it has now found its way to the digital sphere. They’ve also released a pseudo greatest hits record Be Still Moses that was recorded with the Asheville Symphony. We’ve never chatted with the band who are bluegrass stalwarts not only in their home state of North Carolina, but pretty much all over the country. So we got in touch with Woody Platt to talk about these two releases, and is usual the case, our conversation wandered into different subjects including the current state of bluegrass, the band’s history with comedian and banjo player Steve Martin and well, much more.
Over the 22 year span of Sound Tribe Sector 9, the Jamtronica outfit has produced studio albums, released live recordings, streamed concerts, made DVDs available of performances and shared incredible content with their fans. They are amongst the most prolific bands in terms of producing material so much so that it's incredibly staggering to even discuss. 2020 was to be a new year, filled with lots of live performances, giving back and making the world a better place with a relaunch of their non-profit The Just Thanks Organization and a release of a new series of live mashups in a volume called Visions Tapes. Save for the live performance agenda which of course was cut short because of Covid19, the band has already made a $25,000 pledge to Redwood League and they've released the first of the Visions Tapes project. So when I caught up with bassist Alana Rocklin I was curious to know what made the band decide to release these mash-ups as a mix-tape on Visions Tapes. For more on STS9 visit STS9.com.