Category Archives: Tour News

Perpetual Groove’s Save 41 Tour announced

Rising out of the ashes of New Year’s Eve, Perpetual Groove [PG] breaks in to the new year to kick off the "Save 41 Tour" which will carry the band through four months of touring coast to coast, with stops at some of the world’s best festivals including Jam Cruise, Langerado, and Jam in the Dam – an epic three days of music at Amsterdam’s Melkweg. 
Continue reading Perpetual Groove’s Save 41 Tour announced

Lotus announces winter tour

For those waiting for a concert experience with the dynamics of a rock band (read: no laptops), the dance inducing rhythms of club music, and the sophistication of modern electronica, an unlikely musical alternative has arrived in the form of the band Lotus.  Formed at a Mennonite college that had banned on-campus dancing as late as the 1980’s, Lotus brings their club-worthy beats and rocking instrumental anthems to theaters throughout the country this fall.  No glow-stick bracelets, pretentious Can trivia, or expensive distressed fashion required.

In January 2008, Lotus embarks on their "Copy Paste Repeat" tour, which celebrates the release of Copy Paste Repeat: Lotus Remixed, an album the band released this past November. The recording offers 12 remixes by renowned producers including DFA Records artist Juan Maclean, DJ Harry, and Lotus’s own Jesse Miller.  Lotus’s post/electro/dancerock is deconstructed and reassembled into club ready dance, dub, glitch-hop, and IDM tracks.  The band’s website is currently offering up the source files for the track ‘Bubonic Tonic’ for fans to create their own remix and submit for review.  The site will feature the band’s favorite submissions.  Visit www.lotusvibes.com for details.

Continue reading Lotus announces winter tour

Winter with Keller Williams, WMD’s

Following year-end supporting dates, Keller Williams will be taking the WMD’s back on the road in 2008.  The WMD’S, made up of Williams, Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident), Gibb Droll (Gibb Droll Band), and Jeff Sipe (ARU, Trey Anastasio, etc.) will be performing around the Southeast and Midwest before heading out west. 

December 28 Beacon Theatre New York NY w/ Gov’t Mule
December 31 Tweeter Center Camden NJ w/ The Disco Biscuits
January 17 Orange Peel Asheville NC Keller Williams and The WMD’S
January 18 City Hall Nashville TN Keller Williams and The WMD’S
January 19 The Pageant St. Louis MO Keller Williams and The WMD’S
January 20 The Blue Note Colombia MO Keller Williams and the WMD’S
January 22 Liberty Hall Lawrence KS Keller Williams and the WMD’S
January 23 George’s Majestic Fayetteville AK Keller Williams and The WMD’S
January 24 Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa OK Keller Williams and The WMD’S
January 25 House of Blues Dallas TX Keller Williams and The WMD’S
January 26 La Zona Rosa Austin TX Keller Williams and The WMD’S
January 31 – February 01 Belly Up Aspen CO Keller Williams and The WMD’S
February 02 Fillmore Auditorium Denver CO Keller Williams and The WMD’S
February 23 Sugarloaf Ski Resort – Carrabassett Valley ME Keller Williams and The WMD’S

Tea Leaf Green’s NYE plans

Tea Leaf Green has announced their New Year’s Eve run, which will take place in the Northeast.  They’ll be supporting Gov’t Mule at the Beacon Theatre on 12/29,  will be on a co-headlining bill with the Hackensaw Boys on the 30th, and will support the Wailers to ring in the new year.

 

Friday, December 28th @ 9:00pm (Doors @ 7:00pm)
State Theatre
with Jimmie’s Chicken Shack supporting
220 North Washington Street, Falls Church
Tickets $15.00 / Ages 18+ Welcome
For more information please contact 703-237-0300

 

Saturday, December 29th @ 7:30pm
Beacon Theatre
supporting Gov’t Mule
2124 Broadway between West 74th and 75th, New York
Tickets $45.00-65.00
For more information please contact 212.465.6500

Sunday, December 30th @ 8:00pm (Doors @ 7:00pm)
8 X 10
co-bill with Hackensaw Boys
10 East Cross Street, Baltimore
Tickets $15.00 / All Ages Welcome
For more information please contact 410-442-2780

 
Monday, December 31st @ 9:00pm (Doors @ 8:00pm)
The Klein
supporting The Wailers
910 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport
Tickets $75.00 / All Ages Welcome

The Word reunite for Northeast dates

Longtime friends and collaborators Chris Chew, Cody Dickinson & Luther Dickinson (of North Mississippi Allstars), John Medeski (of Medeski Martin & Wood), and Robert Randolph (of Robert Randolph & the Family Band) will be reforming The Word for four very special shows this December. Tickets are on sale now.
 
Dec 26 – Hartford, CT – The Webster Theatre
Dec 27 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
Dec 28 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
Dec 29 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club

Keller Williams and the WMD’s embark on east coast fall tour

Keller Williams has been called guitar’s mad-scientist, a one-man-band for the new millennium and dozens of other clever sobriquets dreamed up by fans and music journalists trying to get a handle on his uplifting and ever-shifting style of music. Williams is considered by some but not by himself, to be a master of the acoustic guitar, known for his ability to solo over layers of spontaneously created loops. He is a generous performer who plays down to earth acoustic music that defies any effort to find a convenient pigeonhole. Keller Williams’ new album DREAM, which features a DREAM team of guest musicians, has inspired the usually one-man-band to hit the road with, you guessed it, a DREAM live band.

Continue reading Keller Williams and the WMD’s embark on east coast fall tour

The new Mofro show

Mofro has alway been about two guys:  JJ Grey and Daryl Hance.  They've had a rotating cast of supporting musicians over their career, but looking back to Blackwater and Locholoosa, the liner notes of each state "Mofro is JJ Grey and Daryl Hance."

That is, until their February 2007 release, Country Ghetto

No longer does the front of the disc read "Mofro."  It reads "JJ Grey and Mofro" and if the CD billing wasn't clear enough, things in Memphis certainly showed who was the man in Mofro. 

For several years (and possibly longer) the stage had looked as follows:  Grey on the left, George Sluppick situated at the back on drums, Hance's guitar rig in the middle, and Adam Scone's Hammond on the right.  This time things differed.  JJ's organ was situated at the front of the stage, and Hance's amp and chair were at the left and behind JJ.  Perhaps it was because there was a horn section, The Hercules Horns, (Art Edmaiston on sax and Dennis Marion on trumpet) backing up the band, but maybe it was something different.

It may be marketing, or perhaps it's just the natural evolution of a band trying to find its way in a cutthroat industry.  Either way, there has been a clear development that has unfolded over the last year – that of JJ Grey as a front man.  Grey has gone on record as stating that the stories have always been his, that he felt like he was hiding behind the name Mofro.  There's no denying that the man whose name is now top billing has always been the charismatic face of the band from Florida.

While the stage may look different, the show itself hasn't changed.  There's still as much soul as one act can pour into an evening, a night of desperate stories of women, of country living, and of place.  And if there's one man who can spin a web about where he came from, it's JJ Grey.

From the opening licks of  "Blackwater," a tale about hometown pride, it was clear who was in charge in Memphis.  As JJ oozed with passion, Daryl Hance went about his playing as he does each time out, in an unassuming fashion.  If there's any musician out there who looks like they could care less about where they sit on stage so long as they have their instrument in hand, it's Hance.  There are players who have stage presence in an "addition-by-subtraction" manner.  Derek Trucks gets on stage and it's all substance and no show – it's just guitar playing done right.  But, at least he cracks a smile every now and again, and there are once-in-a-blue-moon rare moments where his mouth opens up and he throws his head back.

Not Hance, though. 

Nope, he just sits there, and doesn't exactly seem to have the refined, expert-level chops to back up his lack of presence.  Perhaps the skill is there, and it's just he needs to be turned up in the stage mix.  But until a solo in the set-ending "War," his contributions weren't really evident.

 

 

 

Grey, though, has clearly stepped up his game.  His name's front and center, after all, and he responded.  He was all over the place, bouncing from guitar (where he made vain attempts at soloing – if there ever was a band who needs a true lead guitarist, it's Mofro, but Grey gets points for trying), to harmonica to his organ.  However, his contributions were spot on in the area he always delivers – on the vocals, where there are few out there with as much passion and feeling in their voice.

The Hercules Horns, though, really enhanced the Mofro stage show.  They brought the much-needed soloist feel to a band that desperately needs it, a band who tours in "jamband circles," where having a stand-out musician tends to be a vital component to a successful show.  Edmaiston, a Memphis local (Gamble Brothers Band, the Grip), got his first chance to shine during a phenomenal "Nare Sugar," where he belted out a funky solo that really set the song off.  The show-ending "Ho Cake" was stellar because of Edmaiston and Marion, who were front and center, sharing a microphone and and playing their horns like it was their last hour on Earth. 

Grey was in the middle of it all.  He was singing.  He was dancing.  He was down on his knees playing his harmonica, and writhing around on his back.  He was everything that a front man is supposed to be.

So where does this leave the band going forward?  Rumor is the horns will be a steady component of the future Mofro.  It will be interesting to see how this affects the dynamic of the band, a dynamic that's already in flux.

Jimmy Herring, and why message boards suck

8 months.

That's roughly the amount of time before a segment of the message board population decided that Jimmy Herring wasn't the right fit for Widespread Panic.

"He plays too many notes–a hit of valium and he'd be perfection." 

"A lot of his solos sound more like Van Halen than Panic…"

"…he uses the "super fast" licks as kind of a "crutch"…he starts playing fast and in his own style."

"WHY CAN'T HE PLAY THE SONGS THE WAY THEY WERE WRITTEN???"

All these are quotes from various posters on various message boards on the Internet this month…the last one is my favorite.

They're all pretty unbelievable, in fact.  Widespread Panic has had its share of drama over the past few years.  They dealt with the passing of arguably the most vital member of the group in 2002, as Michael Houser, the band's namesake and essentially its sound, passed away on August 10.  Instead of taking a break, they brought on longtime friend George McConnell to take over on lead guitar.  It took very little time for the hordes to turn on George, and my, the hate was deep.

However, I'm still not certain that the criticism of Jimmy didn't come quicker.  Perhaps it's directly related to the shock of Houser's passing – many were in shock, and most still are.

Either way, though, there are just some people who are never going to get over the fact that the band has moved on.  Now, this segment of the fan base represents a mere fraction of those that hated George McConnell. 

It seems most aren't willing to give the guy the massive credit he deserves.  He was basically doomed from the start.  He was following an icon, and his sound, his tone – well, everything about his playing – was NOTHING like Houser's.  The shoes he had to fill were huge, and George's feet just weren't big enough, but no one's were.

The irony of the situation today is that Jimmy sounds more like George than he does Houser, and many more people are willing to accept Jimmy than George.

"he just ain't too good. He is extremely uncreative, repetitive and very passive in the band's shows." – 4/1999

Message board negativity is certainly nothing new, and isn't limited to music.  When basketball coach Billy Donovan decided to stay at the University of Florida instead of moving up to Lexington, Kentucky to coach the Wildcats, all hell broke loose on Catspause.com.  27,000 people were logged on to bitch, moan, and cry, and a good portion were Gator fans who logged on to goad the Kentucky faithful.

Message boards allow for a certain degree of anonymity – anyone can be anyone.  There are definitely those out there who get a kick out of stirring the pot (me included, on occasion).  People on message boards are fickle, and often a snowball effect takes place, where on person gets an idea, and it spirals out of control as the rest of the community either jump on board in support or side with the opposition.  For the most part it's all in good fun, but there are also those out there who take it too far, and a few who take things too seriously.

The bands most definitely log on and read what the masses say – to think otherwise is foolish.  I was at a Trey show one summer where he even commented on how the reviews of his previous night's concert were awful.

Back to the Herring/McConnell/Houser issue – that quote above (from 4/99) – that's written about Houser.  Even he is not immune to message board hate, although people tend to forget.