Tag Archives: Kyle Hollingsworth

Kyle Hollingsworth Band Brings it to The Bridge

Kyle Hollingsworth Band
August 20, 2016
The Bridge, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Writer/Photographer: Jake Cudek

The Kyle Hollingsworth Band rolled through Santa Fe on Saturday night as part of two- night mini-tour of New Mexico breweries. The Bridge, owned and operated by The Santa Fe Brewing Company, was the venue for night two of this jaunt. For those familiar with the man and his band, excitement was twofold: a visit from one of the long standing members of The String Cheese Incident and the promise of bringing out some of his new compositions produced at the recently founded SCI lab.

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Arriving an hour before doors opened, threatening thunderheads could be seen to the south, and everyone wondered if the weather would hold for the night. Whether because of the potential for rain or the lax motivations of Santa Fe residents, it was apparent that this was not going to be a sold out show. The outdoor venue with the capacity to occupy 1000 people had a mere 100 people.

Although this would have diminished a typical band and a typical audience, those who had shown up had arrived to celebrate a visit from one of their favorites, and let the band know their intent wholeheartedly as they took the stage.

The band took heed and reciprocated with a single set performance that never let up and sounded fresh and invigorated from tune to tune. The set was a mix of numbers from each of Kyle’s three albums, songs performed with SCI and a few covers.

The band kicked off the set with an instrumental version of The Beatles’ “Taxman.” This pulled the audience in from the start, as many in the crowd could be heard singing the more familiar lines. The band collected its dues from the audience and showed no signs of being deterred by the low attendance and instead pushed every aspect of the tune and their instruments.

Up next was “Here We Go,” this song is an automatic smile inducer. Its calypso style bypasses the brain and heads straight to the feet getting them moving and then moves back to the face producing elated beams both on stage and the dance floor.

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The first sandwich of the night came wrapped in the form of “Too Young” with a tasty “Will It Go ‘Round in Circles” center. The segues into and out of Billy Preston’s “Circles” were spot on and well-rehearsed, turning on a dime rather than leading into or out by way of musical meanderings. “I can’t win if that’s all I’m gonna do” the resounding lyric of “Too Young,” connected in perfect juxtaposition to the lyrical context of “Circles,” illustrating the repetitive interpretations of experience and the reminding need to change up personal status quo thinking.

“Pack It Up,” with its distinctive bass intro came next. Although a staple of SCI performances since 2005, this instrumental tune penned by Hollingsworth has only appeared on KH’s latest album, “Speed of Life.” This was received with excitement, as those who were there were certainly cut from the Cheesecloth. Its odd timings reinforced this notion, as many jigged with familiarity to the tune. At its finish, Kyle continued the same driving feel and segued into “All Falls Apart,” cycling between drenching organ solos and piano rifts that continued to lift the feet of the flailing cooperatives.

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A new concoction produced in the SCI lab, “Let Me In” intoxicated the crowd with its soul-funky groove, and continued to contribute to the intimate experience elating many well acquainted with his catalog by this unveiling in the live setting.

“Can’t Wait Another Day” came up next and held a surprise that no one expected. As the tune stepped into decline, the distinct chords of “Terrapin Station” rose from the ashes. As the portion played was the instrumental section of the suite gave way to each of the members hitting the structure with force. Of exceptional note were the heavy bass bombs that got the crowd calling out as the vibration rolled over the crowd in seismic waves.

In Spanish, the term Peregrino refers to something being unusual, odd, and migratory. This epitomizes this Latin flavored tune as it contained a spacy, ethereal quality surrounding a structured root and deviates between throughout its entirety. Both dynamics were presented and continued the dance fest that had been non-stop over the past 90 minutes.

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Viewing the onstage set list, this song was to be the end of the first set. Instead, the band abandoned that notion and labored on with the thick grooves of “Let’s Go Outside.” It was apparent that neither the band nor the patrons were showing any signs of fatigue and both continued in merriment. As the song structure loosened into a jam, a familiar chord structure arose and led into a full version of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer.” As another popular cover, the crowd began to sing the backup sections of the song. Hollingsworth took notice and called out to the crowd, encouraging them to play the role of backup singer. This invitation inspired the crowd to take it up a level and where there was once bashfulness, there now was a full on sing along of all parts.

“Tumbling,” another new song made in the SCI lab was preceded by the story that inspired the piece. Hollingsworth spoke of a trip to a Grateful Dead show at Three Rivers Stadium in Pennsylvania. This bouncy unit told the story of summer love and the laid back experience that preceded impending Dead shows of yore.

“World Girl” brought out her funky, disco infused moves and the crowd took her hand and worked it. Smiling, spinning, and giggling, the crowd swirled in this dance number.

The light rock tune “So Fine” was the bookends to the second sandwich of the evening and was filled with Hollingsworth’s admitted favorite cereal “Lucky Charms.” Shifting from uplifting light lyrics and progressions, this new song eventually gave way to the crunchy funk of the popular breakfast cereal which had the band and audience coming back for seconds and thirds. The tune kept building and residing back to its head giving each band member the opportunity to jump right into the bowl.

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“Happening Now” with a poppy almost 80’s theme bordered on electronica and reinvigorated many in the crowd to keep their participation going. Although this one motivated the younger attendees well acquainted with attributes of EDM, it was refreshing to see the older component spinning with abandon seemingly recapturing some part of the inner child.

The final three punch closer of the set left no step undanced. Beginning with the slow rising and spacious “Falling Through the Cracks,” the music’s crescendo gave way to Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long,” again getting the participants involved in both movement and accompaniment. Taking to the bridge the band began playing double time and eventually moved onto the last lady of the night, “Rosie.” Immediately, the recognition of this number was apparent and was especially exuded by the female faction in attendance. The crowd danced and called out the lyrics as if this was the first song, not the last, and the band rewarded by playing a full and exhausted version devoid of any brevity.

The band left the stage and stood together in the wings, huddled as in conference, but more likely taking the opportunity to catch their breath and composure, having laid down an unbroken set clocking in at just under two and half hours.

Recuperation gained, the band returned for the encore, “The Way That It Goes.” Giving every last drop in the tank the band brought it in full force again and the crowd met them note for note.

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As the threat of thunderstorms had resided behind the band for most of the night, it seemed that the music gods had enjoyed the show as much as the mortals. As the final note of the song came to its end through the PA system, like cosmic clockwork, the sky opened up and a deluge of rain sent both musician and listener running for cover.

Hollingsworth’s style, both in construction and execution, is infectious and literally brings a smile to the face. It easy to tell that he loves what he does and when he sits down to write his material, the notions and movements come from a personal level of trying to raise his own virtue and that of the listener. The band is well rehearsed and attentive to every shift and run at a pace that is equal to one another, including the bandleader. This equality carries over to the joy expressed both facially and emotionally by each member and their auditory accomplishments. Paul McDaniels is the unassuming bass man who digs deep and lays down both structure and improvisation with an unforced demeanor. Brian McRae, the counterpart on rhythm, is notably a blur throughout his performance. His mixture of exclusive cymbal and tom work draws in the attention and his consistent ability to shift makes him a perfect fit to the musicality of this band. Dan Schwindt, known as “Schwindt-Rock” to those close to him, is one of those guys you could pass on the street and never know his extent for burning down the house. His ability to play a moving section in one song and then melt the faces of those around him in the next makes this man more myth than minstrel. The combination of these gentlemen is something not to be missed.

Kyle Hollingswo​rth Announces ‘Summer of Brews’ Events

KBH_logo_2013Kyle Hollingsworth of The String Cheese Incident, brings his Summer of Brews across the nation – a series of exclusive craft beer events he will host throughout the season.  

After five consecutive sell-outs of his flagship event, Kyle’s Brew Fest, Hollingsworth returns this summer with his charity beer festival and concert in Austin, TX, and in Boulder, CO.  The first Brew Fest will be Saturday, July 6th, at Cedar Street Courtyard in Austin, TX, prior to The String Cheese Incident concert at The Backyard later that evening. The Brew Fest will feature more than 10 breweries and 20 craft beers plus an exclusive performance from Kyle Hollingsworth with Mountain Standard Time.

On Saturday, July 20th, at Boulder Beer Company in Boulder, CO, fans will be treated to a set from Kyle Hollingsworth and a selection of more than 60 craft beers from more than 30 breweries. Kyle’s Hoopla Pale Ale and unique collaborations from Hollingsworth and select breweries will also be on hand. 

Tickets for both Austin and Boulder events go on sale Thursday, May 23, at 10AM local time at www.kylehollingsworth.com.  Tickets will be available for $25 through Thursday, May 30, at 11:59pm local time, prices will increase thereafter. Both festivals will benefit Conscious Alliance. 

The Summer of Brews continues as Hollingsworth brings his interactive Brewru Experience to festivals across the country including Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury, MI, providing fans with a look into his life of brewing and to connect them with renowned craft breweries.  This summer also marks the third year that Hollingsworth’s beer, Hoopla Pale Ale, will be found nationwide in stores and bars in cans, 22-ounce bombers, and draft. Details on Summer of Brews events can be found below and more information is coming soon about the Brewru Experience events. 

Head over to the brand new website at www.kylehollingsworth.com for more information and to keep up on all things Kyle.   Kyle’s Brew Fest

Sat July 6  | Cedar Street Courtyard | AUSTIN, TX
Sat July 20 | Boulder Beer Co. | BOULDER, CO

Kyle Hollingsworth Announces “Brew Stops” along his fall tour

String Cheese Incident keyboardist/songwriter Kyle Hollingsworth has been an avid home brewer, and a fan of microbrews and specialty beers, for many years.  Now, as he winds his way through the country performing in support of his new solo studio release Then There's Now (September 2009 / SCI Fidelity Records), Kyle blends his love of brewing with his love for music. In select cities along his current fall tour, Kyle teams up with local breweries for some very special "Brew Tour" events.
Continue reading Kyle Hollingsworth Announces “Brew Stops” along his fall tour

Kyle Hollingsworth hits the road

On the heels of a much talked about Midwest and Colorado tour, the Kyle Hollingsworth Band (featuring Dave Watts of The Motet -drums, Garrett Sayers of The Motet -bass, and Dan Schwindt -guitar) announces West and East Coast tours this fall in support of Hollingsworth's new album release, Then There's Now.  Brushfire Records recording artist Zach Gill (ALO, Jack Johnson) joins Hollingsworth on the bill for a run of West Coast dates in October, while Ryan Montbleau Band joins select east coast dates.   Tickets will be available at http://cts.vresp.com/c/?MadisonHousePublicit/f719fb502f/501ea37463/ad78d1bbd0 and at respective venues.

The following October dates are co-billed with Zach Gill
October 7            Winston's Beach Club            San Diego, CA               
October 8             The Mint                        Los Angeles, CA  
October 9            SOhO          Santa Barbara, CA
October 10            The Independent            San Francisco, CA
October 11            HopMonk Tavern            Sebastopol, CA          
October 13            The Red Fox Tavern            Eureka, CA
October 14            WOW Hall                        Eugene, OR
October 15            The Triple Door            Seattle, WA
October 16            Wild Buffalo                        Bellingham, WA
October 17            Mississippi Studios            Portland, OR
November 11            Club Metronome            Burlington, VT
November 12            Sullivan Hall                        New York, NY
November 13            The 8×10                        Baltimore, MD
November 14            The Khyber                        Philadelphia, PA
November 15            Capital Ale House            Richmond, VA

The following November dates are co-billed with Ryan Montbleau Band
November 17            Neighborhood Theatre            Charlotte, NC
November 18            The Pour House Music Hall            Raleigh, NC          
November 19            The Pour House                        Charleston, SC
November 20            The Garage at Biltmore            Asheville, NC
November 21            New Earth Music Hall                        Athens, GA
December 12            Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom            Denver, CO

For more than a decade, as keyboardist for Colorado's beloved String Cheese Incident, Kyle Hollingsworth has consistently proven one of the most innovative and virtuosic musicians on the American jamband scene. Now, with the Sept. 15th release of Then There's Now (SCI Fidelity Records), his first album since the band announced a hiatus in 2007, Hollingsworth extends his reach into areas that will both delight longtime admirers and lock in countless new ones. Emphasizing his considerable songwriting skills and incorporating a plethora of surprises, Then There's Now marks the true emergence of Kyle Hollingsworth as a solo artist.

For Hollingsworth, who has recently been more prolific than ever before, the title of Then There's Now offers the first clue as to where he stands today. Then There's Now undeniably draws on Hollingsworth's past affiliation with "The Cheese," using his previous work as a jumping off point yes, there are some intoxicating, if more concise, jams to be savored. But the album's "now" component-irresistible melodies, poignant lyrics and fine-tuned song construction, plus a willingness to infuse the tunes with elements of pop, jazz, electronica, hip-hop and more transports Hollingsworth into musical realms he's never before explored at length.
Continue reading Kyle Hollingsworth hits the road

The final Incident: SCI at Red Rocks

String Cheese Incident 
Red Rocks Amphitheater
Morrison, Colorado
August 12, 2007
 
Words/Photos by Thomas Walsh

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Try as they might, there was no way the parking attendants were going to hurry anyone out of Red Rocks’ parking lot the night Bill Nershi departed the String Cheese Incident.  Elated yet tranquil, the audience had been through such an emotional peak that evening, it was simply impossible to leave at a moment’s notice.

If the parking attendants had been there to witness what the SCI community had just experienced, then perhaps they would understand.

Maybe they would understand if they knew about the giant octopus squirming above the amphitheater during the opening acoustic set.

Or maybe the fan-orchestrated slideshow the band watched throughout “Rhum N’ Zouc” would make them smile.

Maybe the fans could have mentioned Keller Williams’ hula-hooping his way to center stage, or the second encore for which the crowd faithfully pleaded, welcoming “Texas” to the historical footnotes as the last song The Incident ever played.

Or perhaps the parking attendants would have understood things on a more personal level, a more emotional level.  Because, more than anything else on August 12th, each and every fan attending String Cheese Incident’s final show, the final “Incident,” got peace of mind.  They got the closure they’ve long since awaited.

The finality of Cheese didn’t really register until the start of the third set at Red Rocks.  Granted, the audience knew this was the last time SCI was going to be playing together for the foreseeable future, but when creatures with eight tentacles are floating overhead, the mind really isn’t in touch with any sort of “reality.”

The party continued throughout the second set, especially when Keller Williams shared The Best Feeling In The World.  The amphitheater was bursting with so much excitement; Keller postponed his vocal delivery, causing the crowd to erupt with even more euphoria.  It was like 9,000 kindergarteners had been told that recess was extended fifteen minutes!

But by the time the third set started, the end was apparent, and String Cheese Incident knew it too.  They had no reservations about making the message clear either.  The lyrical content of songs like “Restless Wind,” “Looking Glass,” “Rhythm of the Road,” and “Shine” took on deeper meaning, each with purposeful intent.

There was no denying the truth anymore.  And if somehow the message wasn’t getting through, the music was just as reflective of the sentiments that evening.

The band extended the jam in “Shine” just a little further than one of them originally intended, pulling Michael Kang’s leading mandolin back into the melee before they all ransacked the climax together.

Afterwards, there were tears.

 

 

For those still unphased, an incredibly intimate jam out of Pink Floyd’s “Fearless” occurred during the first encore, a jam so delicate it surely woke up anyone who was not conscious of Cheese’s waning mortality.  The train was pulling out of the station, and the band wanted us all aboard for the finale.

“Good Times Around the Bend” could not have been a more appropriate choice for closing out SCIt’s career.  “The roller coaster has got to roll to the bottom if you want to climb to the top again.”  Even in the face of overwhelming reality, The String Cheese Incident had taken everyone to the top again, however bittersweet this last trip had been.

And now, looking back up at an amphitheater whose lights had been turned off, the SCI community realized that it got what it wanted.

They had closure.

So perhaps the best thing would have been to tell those parking attendants that one of the most beloved bands in America had just closed their last show with unparalleled style and grace.

That the catharsis everyone experienced during the last two hours was still running strong, and that the calm, peaceful mood in the air was a fleeting experience, and that nobody wanted to let go anytime soon, heartbreaking as it was to hold on.

Hopefully they would understand.

 

 

Set 1: Lester Had a Coconut, Long Journey Home, I’ve Just Seen a Face, Walls of Time, Panama Red, Hobo Song, Stingray

Set 2: One Step Closer > Rhum n’ Zouc, Sirens, Come as You Are, Indian Creek, Best Feeling* > Fuel for the Road*, Way Back Home

Set 3:  Restless Wind, Piece of Mine, Looking Glass > Drifting, Rain, Rhythm of the Road > Bumpin’ Reel > Shine

Encore:  Fearless, Whiskey Before Breakfast, Good Time Round the Bend

Encore 2: Texas

* w/ Keller Williams

Berkeley’s Greek Theatre bids farewell to the Cheese!

 

String Cheese Incident
William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre
Berkeley, California
July 21 & 22, 2007

 

 

After August 12, 2007, the String Cheese Incident (SCI), a beloved band 15 years in the making, will be no more.  But before that fateful day arrives, SCI will give many concerts in some of their favorite and most frequented venues across the United States.

Fresh off the plane after performing at the 10,000 Lakes Festival as the replacement act for scheduled headliner Trey Anastasio, SCI performed two shows at the William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre.  Nestled into the lush green hillside of the University of California – Berkeley campus, the venue known locally as the Greek Theatre gives off a warm, welcoming energy to all who enter her gates.  Tall, venerable eucalyptus and pine trees surround the venue, which dates to 1903 and some college kids are even lucky enough to have a view inside from their dormitories.

 

Saturday, July 21

 

Upon entering the classic Roman outdoor amphitheatre mid-afternoon on Saturday, July 21, concert attendees noticed the unique open-air loading and equipment area on stage, the large combined capacity (8,500) of the floor, as well as seating and grass sections.  Opening acts the Disco Biscuits and Sound Tribe Sector Nine (STS9) were allowed rather long sets, filling in the floor area with their fans.

As SCI took the stage, an ethereal glow enveloped the area as the sun passed behind the columned background of the stage.  Thousands of ecstatic, colorful Cheese fans gave a loud welcome to the band as they began to play the jubilant Jean-Luc Ponty song “Mouna Bowa.”  The song was a perfect opener for the evening, complementing the ideal temperate climate and lighthearted energy of the crowd.

Bringing out the Stevie Wonder classic “I Wish,” SCI elevated the energy into a groove only a Stevie song could inspire.  Moving into bluegrass, Billy Nershi led the band with crisp, quick vocals on “Love is Like a Train” with Kyle Hollingsworth pounding out some saloon-inspired piano.

The very elegant Latin jazz influenced Hollingsworth song “MLT” was absolutely flawless (even with Nershi grinding the air with his hips) making the crowd focus on the quality musicianship of the band.  Giving Cheese fans a (figurative) dose of ecstasy, SCI played a ridiculously fast-paced version of the traditional bluegrass song “I Know You Rider” with percussionist Jason Hann playing a washboard, into Bob Marley’s “Stir it Up” and back into “I Know You Rider” to close the first set.

Unfortunately during the second set some audio-related problems could be heard randomly through the speakers, but by the end the problem had been resolved.  The first highlight of the second set came during “Desert Dawn” when Aron Magner and Jon Gutwillig of the Disco Biscuits joined SCI, adding electronica and distortion elements into the mix of the 15-minute version of the song.

The second highlight came with fan favorite “Way Back Home” into the instrumental “Birdland,” which displayed Hollingsworth’s abilities on keys, Keith Moseley’s steady funky bass rhythms, and Michael Travis’ perfect time on drums.

Up on the highest level of the amphitheatre – the grass area – another world opened up to fans.  Backlit by the silver shining crescent moon, dozens of hula hoopers displayed their graceful dance.  The band played tribute to their friend and sometimes musical guest Keller Williams with a solid performance of “Best Feeling,” which blended back into “Way Back Home.”

During both sets, Hann was all smiles, bursting with positive energy and making a real connection with the crowd.  SCI ended the show with the fan favorite “Search” displaying Michael Kang’s mastery of the violin.  The crowd couldn’t have been more satisfied, giving loud applause and shouts of approval, but then again, most in attendance were also looking forward to the next show.

 

Sunday, July 22

 

Showtime on Sunday, July 22, was much earlier with the contemporary bluegrass group Hot Buttered Rum String Band (HBRSB) taking the first opening slot around noon.  Nershi came on stage with his acoustic guitar for the band’s final two songs, “Honkeytonk Tequilia” and “Cumberland Blues.”

The floor area filled as the seasoned second opener, Railroad Earth (RRE), took the stage following HBRSB.  The band, with their heartfelt lyrics and delicate bluegrass sound, always touches audience members in a rather unusual way.  Nershi, on his electric guitar, joined RRE on their last song, “Mourning Flies.”

The sun was high and the air was hot as SCI took the stage on Sunday afternoon.  The energy of the crowd and band was intense and quite different than on the previous evening.  Murmurs of hope for a bluegrass-focused show could be heard amongst the crowd.  SCI opened with the mellow “Shine,” allowing the crowd and the guys a chance to ease into the glorious day.

Cheese fans were treated to some of their favorites such as “Jellyfish,” “Black Clouds,” and “Farther” during the sets.  Throughout the show, SCI invited members of the opening bands and later the entire bands up to share the stage with them, heightening the onstage energy to a level most in the crowd had never experienced before.

Watching each band member’s mutual adoration and appreciation of one another’s talents was almost enough to make onlookers tear-up.  The culmination of the show and various collaborations came at the end of the second set when SCI announced that they were going to have “A Hot Buttered Railroad Incident.”

SCI couldn’t figure out where HBRSB members had disappeared to saying, “No, it’s the Hot Buttered Guys who are all drugged out and wasted.”  Once they emerged, the never-before-seen Incident played a bluegrass version of the classic Christian tune “Whiskey Before Breakfast” about which Nershi commented, “This is what you call a cluster pluck.”  The intense breakdown jam at the end was too fast to keep up with dancing.

The Incident went right into The Carter Family tune “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”  With so many people onstage, Nershi or Kang signaled to the individual musicians for their solo parts.  The multi-vocal harmonies and insane interweaving of instruments proved that a huge group of immensely talented musicians can come together with precision.  SCI thanked the other bands and played “Smile” as the second encore of the show.

SCI was much more in touch with the crowd on Sunday night.  Before the second encore, Nershi gazed out at the crowd as the fans stood in disbelief at what they had just been part of and witnessed.  As the night concluded, the crowd felt overjoyed when he said, “You guys seem to think we’re pretty cool. But … watching all you guys just let go and dance your asses off, you are the true heroes.”

 

7/21:

Set One: Mouna Bowa, I Wish, Love Is Like A Train, Sometimes A River, Turn This Around, MLT > Drums > Rain > I Know You Rider > Stir It Up > I Know You Rider

Set Two: Eye Know Why > Looking Glass > Desert Dawn*, The Way You Do The Things Yo Do > Way Back Home > Birdland > Best Feeling > Way Back Home

Encore: Search

* with Jon Gutwillig and Aron Magner (Disco Biscuits)

 

7/22:

Set One: Shine, Little Hands > Dudley’s Kitchen, I’ll Fly Away*, The Walls Of Time*, Black Market > Jellyfish > Black Clouds

Set Two: Piece Of Mine > Bumpin’ Reel, Farther, Long Way To Go^, Sweet Melinda^ > Lovelight Jam > What A Day That Was > It Is What It Is

Encore One: Whiskey Before Breakfast*^ Will The Circle Be Unbroken*^

Encore Two: Smile

* with Hot Buttered Rum String Band

^ with Railroad Earth

 

String Cheese Incident, 7/21-22/07 || Berkeley, CA @ the Greek Theatre

All photos by Keith Berson / keithberson.com

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