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Pirate’s Choice, New Orleans’ multi-instrumentalist band influenced by West African music, is gracing locals their musical knowledge and inspiration. Engaging in a week of workshops and performances, Pirate’s Choice has teamed up with local organizations including Congo Kids New Orleans, Upturn Arts, Positive Vibrations Foundations and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Foundation, to provide free classes on Mandé music for young musicians.Following the week of workshops specializing in the music of Mali and Senegal, Pirate’s Choice will continue to give to the community and perform three concerts across town. On Friday night 3/18, the band will perform at Tipitina’s along side New Orleans Afro-beat band Gov’t Majik with special guest Full Orangutan. Saturday the 19th will include two additional Pirate’s Choice shows. They will perform at the Jazz & Heritages New World Rhythm Festival at Congo Square at 2 PM, and later Saturday evening at the Blue Nile with the Afro-Cuban band OTRA.Pirate’s Choice Are Spreading Positive Vibrations Through Week-Long NOLA ResdiencyPirate’s Choice will highlight New Orleans musicians by featuring local players to be a part of the workshops and weekend performances. Students who attend the musical workshops will receive a voucher for a musical instrument. Pirate’s Choice is incorporating New Orleans youth, local musicians, and the rest of the public to join them in a week of celebrating musical heritage influenced by West African music and other styles.
On May 6th, Umphrey’s McGee took over the Brooklyn Bowl venue in Las Vegas, NV, playing a monster show known by fans everywhere as “UMBowl.” The annual tradition sees UM take on themes for each of four quarters (aka sets), welcoming fan participation, creating new music from past improvisations, and pushing themselves farther each time.The 7th UMBowl saw four quarters: Raw Stewage, All Request, All Improv, and Choose Your Own Adventure. The first featured Umphrey’s McGee bringing out past improvisations and turning them into new music, while All Request featured previously-voted upon selections for a full set of music. During the second set and beyond, horn players Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman joined in for some musical magic. After an All Improv quarter #3, which is exactly what it sounds like, the band wrapped up the show with a Choose Your Own Adventure set, where fans literally voted on the next song while the music was happening. What a party!Full Recap: Umphrey’s McGee Debuts New Originals, Goes All Improv & More For Four-Set UMBowl VII In VegasFortunately, taper HClayton was on hand to capture the full performance. Listen to all of UMBowl VII below:Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee at Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV – 5/6/16Quarter 1: Breaker, Roctopus, Fly Like a Beagle, Downtrodden, Until We Meet AgainQuarter 2: Nopener, Gulf Stream, Great American, Bullhead City, FF > Soul Food III, 1000 Places to See Before You Die, Alex’s House, ForksQuarter 3: ImprovisationQuarter 4: Slacker, Atmosfarag > Ringo > “Zappa (Jake conducts) improv”, Sledgehammer, Wizard Burial GroundOvertime: I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do), All In Time debut, original Jake solo acoustic just Brendan and Jake on acoustics Brendan and Jake on acoustics Brendan and Jake on acoustics and Jen Hartswick on vocals with Andy on drums replacing Kris debut, original; with Andy on drums replacing Kris with Jake on drums replacing Kris, and with Natalie Cressman on trombone and Jen Hartswick on trumpet with Jake on drums replacing Kris, and with Natalie Cressman on trombone/vocals and Jen Hartswick on trumpet/vocals with Natalie Cressman and Jen Hartswick on vocals with Jake on keys along with Natalie Cressman on trombone/vocals and Jen Hartswick on trumpet/vocals; “Jimmy Stewart” with lyrics with Natalie Cressman on trombone and Jen Hartswick on trumpet with Natalie Cressman on trombone/vocals and Jen Hartswick on trumpet/vocals endingNotes:first quarter was Raw Stewage, comprised of attendees’ votes for past “Jimmy Stewarts”: Breaker (01.28.2015 All In Time), Roctopus (04.14.2005 Pay the Snucka + 04.01.2014 In the Kitchen), Downtrodden (03.23.2007 Intentions Clear + 09.22.2011 Nothing Too Fancy), Until We Meet Again (04.19.2014 August)second quarter was comprised of attendees’ votes, “All Request”; with Over the Hills and Far Away (Led Zeppelin) tease before Gulf Streamthird quarter was completely improvisedfourth quarter was in “choose your own adventure” style, with attendees voting for the next “adventure” live: August, 40’s Theme, or Slacker; Soul Food II, Kabump, or Atmosfarag; Mad Love, Go to Hell, or Ringo with horns; Bitches Brew (Miles Davis) improv, Zappa (Jake conducts) improv, or Tortoise improv; Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough, Ophelia, or Sledgehammer; end Wizard Burial Ground, end 1348, or end All In Timelast Forks 02.01.2013 (336 shows)last I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do) 06.04.2011 (524 shows)
When it comes to making music that causes toes to tap and smiles to spread wide, few do it as well as Zach Deputy has done on his new release, Wash It In The Water. Hailing from Savannah, GA, Deputy has always seemed more like an enchanted musical creature from some south sea island folklore than a flesh and blood man. Whatever his origin, one thing is certain: any new material from Zach Deputy is a reason to turn the volume dial as far as it will go, and clear space on the dance floor for the party sure to follow.The title track, “Wash It In The Water” sets the tone perfectly with a skipping beat that takes hold of the listeners boogie bone from the onset and never lets go. Deputy has developed a rhythm to his vocals that matches the seamless walls of music he creates in tone, timber and spirit. His cheerful vibe can barely be contained in the simple confines of anything as simple as a song. His joyous howls transcend sonic limitations and rise from speakers like a signal to the heavens themselves.Much has been made of Deputy’s “one man band” approach to making music and, while it may not work for everyone, he is clearly in perfect control of his many sonic dimensions. On tracks like “Put It In The Boogie” and his first single, “Chevrolet,” he brings in some vocal assistance but make no mistake, each note the reaches your ear was touched in some way by the affable Deputy. While many a solo artist chases the illusion of perfection down the rabbit hole of insanity here is a perfect example of a creator trying to shape emotion over attaining some imagined shining ideal. His guitar work remains as crisp and light as ever, while his voice shines like the sun itself.On tracks “Loving You” and “Jump In The Water” Deputy shows his gregarious spirit isn’t the only aspect of his personality capable of lifting the spirit as he shares his deep love for his lovely lady and their child. With these moments of base human connection to our need to love and be loved he creates an emotional base far stronger than any party songs ever could. The versatility shown as a songwriter on the musical and lyrical side of the equation is truly impressive and righteous in it’s fierce streak of hope and determination.The underlying purpose of the albums material becomes apparent as the last tracks unfold. Positivity builds strength, love gives purpose and the hope built through those two emotions helps build the fortitude needed to face life’s challenges. On the closing tracks “Some Days Are Harder” and “It’s All Right” Deputy acknowledges that the world is, indeed a hard place. In those songs he draws on the power of hope and proper perspective to face hardships with a smile, and through the music he has given to the world he helps us all to do that as well. As gifts go, there are few we need or should appreciate more.
In early August, a very special concert tour was announced that sent Starks and Lannisters alike into a frenzy: the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience! Up until now, we’ve only seen a peek of the sure-to-be-magnificent live show, but composer Ramin Djawadi dove into some details in a new interview with the Wall Street Journal blog Speakeasy.As Djawadi explains, the production has one primary goal: “We really want [fans] to feel like they’re in Westeros.” Fans got a peek at the spectacle in the form of a brief tour preview video that illustrates a 360 degree experience, with giant screens, a choir, an orchestra and percussionists, the idea being to have a loose storyline that will take fans through their favorite scenes and montages.Djawadi is still in the process arranging the show’s music and set design. Says the composer, “We have six seasons of material, so obviously there’s way too much music to play. So, it’s a good problem to have, but I have to bring it down to a two-hour show. I kind of compare it to what [Game Of Thrones creators] Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff] did for the TV show, where they had to take George R.R. Martin’s massive books and compress it to the TV show.”While the specifics of the performance are still being worked out, Djawadi’s vision for the show makes it sound like a tour not to be missed. “It’s almost like a crossover to a rock and roll show,” he says. “We’re using technology to give a bit more eye candy to it as well.”The tour will hit arenas across the country early next year, starting on February 15th in Kansas City and running through the beginning of April. Get your tickets here for the wildest show in the Seven Kingdoms.[via WSJ]
It’s a big night for live music in Buffalo, NY, as both Pink Talking Fish and Melvin Seals & JGB will be performing at the Iron Works in Buffalo, NY on their ongoing late winter tours. Both bands are certainly unique tributes, with PTF’s hybrid fusion of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish, as well as JGB’s heartwarming tribute to Jerry Garcia’s career outside of the Grateful Dead.With both bands sharing the bill, it’s sure to be an exciting night of music! If you can’t make it out to the Iron Works, fear not! Buffalo.FM has announced live videos streams of both performances, which they will be offering for free! The Pink Talking Fish set starts at 8:00 PM, and Melvin Seals & JGB goes on at 10:00 PM, all times Eastern.You can stream each set in the video players that are embedded below. Enjoy them!Pink Talking FishMelvin Seals & JGB
Coming off their performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival fairgrounds this past Thursday and performances in Memphis and West Palm Beach in the days that followed, Athens, GA rockers Widespread Panic have announced a three-night run at the beautiful St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, FL., set to take place from September 15th – 17th, 2017.rThe run marks the band’s return to the Northern Florida town–the oldest city in the U.S. and fabled home of the “Fountain of Youth” as discovered by explorer Ponce de León–one year after they played St. Augustine Amphitheatre on their 2016 Fall Tour (9/23/16 and 9/24/16). The announcement continues the band’s recent trend of announcing stand-alone weekend runs and festival appearances, as opposed to their famously grueling touring schedule of years past.Tickets for the show go on sale this Friday, May 12th, at 10am Eastern Time via the band’s website.[Cover photo via Dave Vann]
Since its inception in 2008, Bluegrass Underground has become an international concert destination and the host of a thirteen-time Emmy award-winning music series on PBS. The show has previously hosted musicians like Del McCoury, Widespread Panic, Jason Isbell, David Grisman, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Leon Russell, and Old Crow Medicine Show among many others. Good news arrives today for fans of Bluegrass Underground, with the series’ creator and executive producer, Todd Mayo, announcing today that the program has found a permanent home. The show has previously taken place in the Volcano Room—a cavern 333 feet below McMinnville, Tennessee—for the past nine years. The series will now take place in The Caverns—a collection of underground caves at the base of Monteagle Mountain in Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau.Go In-Depth With Bluegrass Underground As They Wrap Season VII Filming For PBSAs program creator and executive producer, Todd Mayo, noted in a press release, “This is a dream come true to find a cave system that expands and improves the live and televised musical experiences of underground performances we have been curating since 2008. . . . Our new home at The Caverns will enable us to add infrastructure with permanent power, professional audio and lighting with enhanced food and beverage concessions that have never before been possible, including a longtime request from our patrons: cold beer.”However, the move will not only suit guests in-person, with the room’s singular natural acoustics, larger capacity, heightened accessibility for patrons with physical disabilities, and permanent electric infrastructure throughout the year. As television producer Todd Jarrell adds, “In the past, we taped the entire 12-episode season over one weekend due to the difficulty and expense of bringing literally tons of cabling and show gear a quarter mile into the cave. . . . The Caverns’ permanent infrastructure presents us the flexibility to match calendars with some of the world’s greatest performers, enticing them underground to offer our fans a ‘deep down’ lifetime experience throughout the year.”With this change, be sure to keep an eye-out on Bluegrass Underground’s upcoming calendar, which is sure to be chock full of a number of very special guests to kick off the program’s inaugural year at the new venue. However, outside of the program itself, Mayo is still looking to the future. The Caverns are part of a connected cave system that spelunkers flock to due to their beautiful formations, pristine condition, giant rooms, and expansive circuit of underground rivers. As Mayo notes, “In time we’d like to sustainably develop and share portions of these amazing caves for both educational and recreational purposes, allowing a wider audience to enjoy and learn from the underground beauty of Tennessee.”[Photo courtesy of Shelly Swanger]
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead were scheduled to make their Red Rocks Amphitheatre headlining debut last April, but the performance was rescheduled to 1st Bank Center in Broomfield due to severe weather. It had a lot of fans, who traveled long distances to see the Grateful Dead-inspired quintet perform the beloved venue, bummed out about the change in plans. However, the band made up for it quickly with the announcement that they would return to Red Rocks Amphitheatre later in the year. Well, the day has finally arrived, and today, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead makes their Red Rocks debut! Unfortunately, Dave Dreiwitz is on tour with Ween, so in his stead, Dead & Company sbassist Oteil Burbridge has graciously stepped in for the performance, marking Burbridge’s fourth appearance with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, following his shows at the Brooklyn Bowl this March and sit-in at Fool’s Paradise in April.Oteil Burbridge Opens Up About Playing With Joe Russo’s Almost DeadThose of us who can’t be at the show tonight are in luck. A while back, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead announced that they’d be streaming the show through nugs.tv. You can tune in at 7:30 PM MST, 9:30 PM EST to see Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s Red Rock debut featuring Oteil Burbridge![photo by Andrew Blackstein]
It’s been a rough month for natural disasters affecting North America, and the artist community has come together to show their support in various benefit concerts around the country. On September 22 at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and more will host the Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas benefit concert. Performances from Leon Bridges, Lyle Lovett, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Ryan Bingham and Ha*Ash, will also highlight the event that promises “exclusive performances and rare collaborations.” The house band will feature Charlie Sexton as musical director with Asleep At The Wheel.Harvey Can’t Mess With Texas is expected to be the largest live concert benefit in Texas, and will open ticket availability at 3PM CT here. All proceeds from the concert will benefit the Rebuild Texas Fund. The event will also be broadcast live on 11 Texas-area channels, as well as on a 1-hour long live YouTube stream. Google will match donations up to $500,000 during that stream.Following the success of Tuesday night’s Hand In Hand telethon, which raised $44 million and featured performances from Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews, and more, the sights are high for the Texas event. Paul Simon has already pledged $1 million to those affected in small towns outside of Houston, according to Rolling Stone.