moe. decided to make their abbreviated fall tour closer in Asheville one to remember for the locals and refugees of Hurricane Matthew alike. Their entire run has seen the band challenging themselves with tricky set lists and the musical gymnastics inherent in finding new ways to flow from one tune to the next. Thankfully for diehard fans and first timers alike, moe. was more than up for the task they’d set themselves.The New Mountain Ampitheater in Asheville, North Carolina is an imaginative stretch of the term, using a tree-lined lot next to the venue proper to host a series of outdoor shows over the warm summer months. The town itself is home to several college campuses and has long been a hot bed of the live music scene. With Hurricane Matthew zeroing in on the east coast and cancelling shows in the region music fans and storm refugees alike streamed into the city to escape the weather and get out and dance their blues away.When the set kicked off with the old-school classic “Bear Song”, savvy fans anticipated shenanigans and were quickly rewarded when the band took a left turn into the song “Assfinger.” The entire run has been filled with musical sandwiches and while the move wasn’t a shock, it was a welcomed move that showed a willingness to swing for the fences by moe. that is wonderful to see. The fun didn’t stop there however as they took an extended instrumental exploration that eventually wound it’s way into “Ricky Marten.”Guitarists Al Schnier and Chuck Garvey were a perfect mixture of focused and playful, grinding when needed but not afraid to bend a note farther than needed. With the first set dominated by early favorites the pair were playing around in very familiar territory and yet still managed to find new ways to engage the audience and themselves. Even the most satisfied composers can lose passion after 25 years of playing the same song, but the guitarist…hell, the entire band… was grinning with delight as they crossed freshly created musical divides.A new wrinkle was introduced when the band kept the non-stop jam going as they flowed into “Time Ed.” Bassist Rob Derhak tested his vocal range with the falsetto highs and baritone lows while continuing to work his instrument to it’s fullest degree. Slapping strings and pounding the body for resonance, Derhak wrung every last drop of funky power out of the beleaguered bass while smiling ear to ear at the results. Upon reaching the first big solo break, the tempo and sound itself started to morph and the band gracefully left the confines of “Time Ed” for some crowd-pleasing “Head.”Adding cliffhangers as they went the high speed, “Head” got the people off their seats towards the back of the venue and raging from the stage to the back gates. When familiar elements of “Bear Song” started creeping in around the edges, the cheers were deafening through the piece and long after the conclusion. The band had made it through the entire high wire, crowd-pleasing set seamlessly and had even left themselves a musical task for finishing.Returning to the stage, Garvey responded to calls for songs with a promise to do just that. “It IS why we’re here” he said with a grin. The languid drum intro to “Water” wound the crowd up and got a bit of a sing-a-long going. The harmony guitar duet between Garvey and Schnier was particularly intricate and impressive. Hearkening back to the unity of the first set, the band slipped into “Montego” without missing a beat and before giving the song an actual proper ending.Thanks to the efforts of our own videographer Rex Thomson we have some incredible highlights from the second set to share, starting with the opening double play:Though they elected to come to a full stop, moe.’s next blast of wickedness, “Crab Eyes,” started off like a rocket so there really was no time for fans to catch their breath. Between the soaring guitar lines being laid down and the stop and start razor sharp drumming of Vinnie Amico, the version of the song laid down was one of the more impressive in recent memory. You can watch the fun for yourself below:The always-stirring “Wind It Up” was up next. The spirit of the song is powerful, with it’s long slow build towards a frenzy that literally takes control of the listener, body and soul. While headbanging to the rhythm, the band passionately implores the audience, “Be on my side, I’m on your side.” For a band known for their levity, this message and it’s complete earnestness is a clarion call for unity that is impossible to ignore.That spirit isn’t confined to the stage or the band members mind you. moe. has one of the tightest knit road crews in the business. One of their most visible team members, guitar tech Frank Robbins, showed the kind heart that has made chanting his name a favorite pass time of fans across the country. Robbins noticed a young girl in the front row shielding her ears from the sonic onslaught and quickly fished out a pair of ear plugs and delivered them to her. That simple combination of awareness and caring exemplifies not just him, but the entire team and their mission to make the world a better place through music.Now ready to continue her first moe. show, the young girl faced the band who was preparing to launch into what would be the final stanza of music in the set, a half hour three song blast that started with “The Road.” Winding through the songs confines percussionist Jim Loughlin became more animated, adding flourishes and accents and generally acting as the seasoning on top of a rich meaty musical stew.Again, seemingly dead set on following their muse in whatever direction it led, the band abandoned the finale of “The Road” for the new confines of “McBain.” Managing to complete the rocker after over a dozen minutes of thick funky jams punctuated by massive xylophone and vibraphone solos work by Loughlin, moe. seemed to remember their unfinished “Time Ed” from the first set out of nowhere and worked their way back into the tune, giving it, and the set a truly satisfying conclusion.Check out the 33 minute-plus set ending three song jam below:Coming back onstage for his traditional “al.nouncements” segment, Schnier thanked the fans for braving the weather and apologized again for the cancellations of the final two shows. He read notes from the crowd celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, and plain old messages of love and appreciation from the sea of loving faces. With the outdoor music curfew coming up, moe. held a quick huddle and changed their encore plans to a crowd pleasing double header of covers, House Of Pain‘s “Jump Around” and Pink Floyd‘s “In The Flesh (Part 2).”Granted, these are not songs people would normally associate with each other or contemplate pairing. Thankfully, moe. is known for thinking outside of the box, and with some inspired rapping and singing on occasion vocalist Loughlin’s part the show ended to a resounding round of applause, cheers and calls for “Just one more song!” Sadly, their pleas went unheard for now, but who knows what the future holds. There is, after all, “The Road” left to finish, though in their hearts, moe. fans hope the road is never done for the five guys called moe.Check out their encore below, and don’t forget to check out moe. when they come your way sometime soon!
Fool’s Paradise is coming up this weekend, and we’re counting the minutes until we hit the sunshine. For those coming in to see Lettuce x2, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (with Jeff Chimenti), The Floozies, The Motet, Manic Science (a special set with Manic Focus & Break Science) The Main Squeeze, Organ Freeman, and Oteil Burbridge & Antwaun Stanley as artists-at-large, we’ve got everything you need to know right here, right now. On March 31 & April 1, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre will transform into a funk-fueled dance party – with so many surprises in store!Daily SchedulesThe gates will open at 3PM on Friday and Saturday, with non-stop music through 10:15PM. See below for the set times, and keep your eyes peeled for some incredible collaborations from Oteil Burbridge and Antwaun Stanley as they make surprise appearances as artists-at-large.After-PartiesIn addition to the main lineup, a number of late night shows will be hosted by some of the most talented musicians in the industry! On Friday, March 31, there will be performances from Jaw Gems, Eric Krasno Band, and the “Infinity Jam” hosted by Eric Krasno and Oteil Burbridge. On Saturday, April 1st, Dumpstaphunk will bring their unique brand of down-and-dirty New Orleans funk to the Elk’s Lodge for a very special late night set, their only performance at Fool’s Paradise. After Dumpstaphunk finishes up, they’ll join forces with members of Lettuce to form this year’s “Fools For Funk” super group.Artist-Led ExcursionsThere’s more to look forward to than just musical adventures. Fool’s Paradise is also offering exciting Florida excursions with your favorite artists! Whether it’s mini-golf with Lettuce’s Jesus Coomes, The Motet’s Lyle Divinsky, and Vulfpeck’s Antwaun Stanley, or ping-pong tournament with Adam Deitch and Adam Smirnoff, or a sailing adventure and DJ set at sea with Ryan Zoidis and Eric “Benny” Bloom, you’ll be rocking your Saturday alongside the best. Sign up for those here!Saturday Pre-Party With The LocalsFool’s Paradise is completing the experience with a little extra sauce from Florida’s finest local bands. Ajeva, The Groove Orient, and Ben Strok & The Full Electric will be representing a swath of the sonic scene from Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville with a Saturday afternoon party primer at the Elk’s Lodge.The Elk’s Lodge will be open with a full bar, and plenty of space to hang with your friends before the gates open at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Saturday, April 1. This pre-party welcomes all Fool’s Paradise attendees. The music will get the party started at 1PM, around the time that Adam Deitch and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff will be hosting a charitable ping pong tournament in the same vicinity (sign up here), and will play through 4PM when the music starts across the way at the main event.VIP The only thing better than attending as a fan is going as a VIP. The Fool’s Paradise VIP program will have you stylin’ from the moment you check in through your first #TBT memories. The golden wristband will: provide you with priority access to the pit area in front of the stage and to the reserved seating area in front of the soundboard. Note: the rest of the venue is all General Admission, so this reserved seating is prime.On Saturday evening, there will be an exclusive happy hour with the bands. This is your chance to ask them anything, give them a cheers or high-five, and take as many photos as you’d like. This lineup is more than willing to spend time with their fans and are excited for this opportunity to become friends.Your VIP wristband will also give you discounted alcoholic beverages in a private tiki bar area. Lines are never an issue here! You will also receive an official AJ Masthay original print Fool’s Paradise poster and t-shirt. More information can be found here.Where To Stay“Fools For Love” Hotel VIP Packages are sold-out, but you can book a hotel on your own here.There are also a very limited amount of “Fools For Trees” VIP Camping Package, which includes 2-Day VIP ticket(s) to show (for each person in package), campsite for 4 persons with parking for 2 vehicles, free access to the late-night shows, priority access to pit area and seating, discounted beverages, exclusive happy hour with artists, and a very special Fool’s Paradise poster & t-shirt designed by AJ Masthay. You can purchase the Camping “Fool For Trees” VIP package here.For all of the information, head to the festival website.
Guitarist John Warren Geils Jr., better known as J. Geils of the rock band The J. Geils Band, was found dead in his Massachusetts home at the age of 71. The J. Geils Band was formed in the late 1960’s, becoming first popular with their R&B and Blues-infused sound. During the span of their career, the band led by Geils ended up touring with acts such as the The Eagles, Billy Joel, ZZ Top, and U2. Geils is best known for the songs “Centerfold,” which seized the number 1 spot Billboard chart spot in 1981, as well as “Freeze Frame,” which made it to number 4 in 1982.Rest in peace, Mr. Geils.“Centerfold”[Photo: Carl Lender via Wikipedia; H/T WCVB 5]
Last week, NPR Music sat Atlanta rapper Killer Mike down with George Clinton and asked Killer Mike to interview the funk legend. The interview, which took place at Killer Mike’s Atlanta SWAG Shop (a.k.a. Shave Wash and Groom Shop), was special to say the least, with the musicians realizing the similarities the two share both musically and personally. The interview was recorded, so now you can watch the two get into it as they discuss a huge range of topics from their shared experiences as former and current barbershop owners to the origins of Funkadelic to getting political with music to collaborations with Outkast. You can watch the fourteen-minute interview dubbed Shop Talk below, courtesy of NPR Music.
Once again, the production impresses on “R.O.A.R.” The mix of military-crisp snare work and the hot fire Marley spits evokes a highly contested battleground. Watch the fireworks in the official video for “R.O.A.R” below:Big brother Stephen Marley pops by for the first of his three featured appearances to help “Medication” go down smooth and funky. The song and its subsequent video decry the fact that the herbal “medication” needed by so many is somehow still illegal. As public perception of the Rastas’ flower of choice changes faster and faster, hopefully this will be a song Marley can quickly retire. Watch the music video for “Medication” below, featuring both brothers alongside copious amounts of sacred “medicine” below”Odes to the Rasta sacrament aside, the next track, “Time Travel,” looks at hypocrisy from a different angle along with the distractions and uncertainty of the world. Coming at the perfect moment on the disc, the dancehall groove of “Living It Up” is a near perfect summer song that celebrates the feeling of hard-earned success. The constant change in subject matter doesn’t show any adverse affect on the insight Marley brings, a true sign of a wide and well-studied intellect.“Looks Are Deceiving” and “The Struggle Discontinues” slow down the tempo to varying degrees while asking the same question in different ways: how do you we find a way to trust each other? In the current tension-filled world, it is a question all of us are forced to face. Damian Marley shows a deft hand at varying the song selection to keep from locking down listeners to one particular side of the emotional spectrum. For every stark confrontation he presents (such as the harrowing “Slave Mill”), there is a lighter piece (like the sensual “Grown & Sexy” with the reappearance of big bro Stephen).With so many thoughts and concepts thrown into the by Damian Marley on Stony Hill is rich in musical value. Each subsequent listening to the album reveals yet another layer of conceptual subtext and irresistible head bob-inducing grooves. Marley’s ability to vacillate between provocateur and hype man while never underselling either role shows the careful thought put into each syllable. The fact that he makes so much amazing music look effortless is the real magic on Stony Hill. The only downside to the listening experience is realizing how much his pure voice has been missed by the world since at least the release of his Nas collaboration album Distant Relatives in 2010. It is safe to say dad would be proud.Damian Marley will head out on tour in support of Stony Hill in September. For a full list of tour dates, or to purchase tickets to an upcoming show, head to Jr. Gong’s website. Stony Hill, the first new solo record from Jamaican hip hop/reggae artist Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley in 12 years, is a welcome return by the keenly observant youngest son of reggae revolutionary Bob Marley. The new project exudes a poignant mix of positive energy and brutal realism, with tracks that seem to hold a mirror up to both the beauty and the flaws of humanity while always seeking hope and truth. Marley’s new album makes a powerful statement about the world around him. After enlisting a little help from older brother Stephen Marley, Jr. Gong sets out to remind the world how much he can accomplish when we follow a vision of peace and hope in a cloudy world.From the opening album-opening prayer that serves as the album’s “Intro,” Marley calls for a Rasta mentality, a purging of that which is dark so the spirit can receive the light. With the stage set, the bouncing rhythm of “Here We Go” rises and falls with an inescapable swagger. Damian’s rapid-fire flow matches the pace of the track as he rejects the thought that his success is all due to his famous surname. The testimonial presented here is as low-key as these things go, and each well-placed word proves his point on dual levels.“Nail Pon Cross” is a catchy reminder of humanity’s tendency to turn on their heroes as easily as their enemies. The drama Damian surely faced growing up in the shadow of his polarizing parent’s iconic legacy adds a rueful certainty to his words. You can watch Marley’s official music video for “Nail Pon Cross” below:
On Saturday, October 7, Mempho Music Festival will continue the tributes deep into the late-night hours with a very special “Mempho All-Stars” jam. With Lettuce/Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno as the Musical Director, the band will feature a rotating cast of musicians, including bassist Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company, Allman Brothers Band), guitarist Steve Kimock (RatDog, Phil Lesh & Friends), harmonica player/vocalist John Popper (Blues Traveler, Frogwings), steel guitarist Robert Randolph (Robert Randolph & The Family Band), drummer/percussionist Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit), drummer/percussionist Wally Ingram (Timbuk 3, Stockholm Syndrome, David Lindley, Cheryl Crow), guitarist Papa Mali (7 Walkers), DJ Logic, guitarist Eric McFadden (P-Funk Allstars, Stockholm Syndrome), vocalist Leslie Mendelson, keyboardist Peter Levin (Gregg Allman Band), vocalist Lamar Williams Jr. (Les Brers), bassist Tad Kinchla (Blues Traveler), and bassist MonoNeon.This stellar group of musicians will come together to honor the fallen southern rock greats who passed away earlier this year, founding members of the Allman Brothers Band Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks, and Col. Bruce Hampton. The relationship between these three musicians and their influence on southern rock music go back to the late 1960s, and have made an inimitable impact on the musicians that will take the stage on Saturday. With members of the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman Band, Les Brers, Frogwings, and Aquarium Rescue Unit on the main stage together, the “Mempho All-Stars” will perform music in memory of Gregg, Butch, and Bruce for a late-night set that is included in the price of admission. In true “jam” fashion, the set will thrive in the improvisational atmosphere of over thirteen world-class musicians who have been known to collaborate within the realms of rock, funk, soul, jazz, and more. With Memphis music in the air, fans can expect a healthy dose of tributes and covers, as well as the unexpected jams we all know and love.This late-night announcement comes on the heels of Wednesday’s Steve Cropper & Friends lineup release, which includes Dave Mason (Traffic), Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers, Dead & Company), John Popper (Blues Traveler), Eddie Floyd (wrote “Knock on Wood” with Cropper), as well as legendary keyboardist Lester Snell (Isaac Hayes, Shaft, B3 organ), drummer and cousin to Al Jackson, Steve Potts, trombonist Victor Sawyer, and tenor sax player Jim Spake. Steve Cropper & Friends will tribute Memphis music, and will follow Booker T Presents: A Stax Revue & Journey Through Soul, Blues, and R&B.The inaugural Mempho Music Festival takes place Oct. 6-7 at the 4,500-acre Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in America, just minutes from Downtown Memphis. This year’s lineup includes Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Cage the Elephant, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Cold War Kids, Bishop Briggs, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Hard Working Americans, Southern Avenue, JoJo’s Slim Wednesday, and more.Big River Presents have recruited a stellar team of professionals to work with the event, including production manager and fellow Memphian Mike Smith from Widespread Panic, Royal Studios owner Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, former Ardent/Compass Point Studios engineer and legendary producer Terry Manning, Rolling Stones and Allman Brothers Band keyboardist Chuck Leavell, and the city of Memphis.Chuck Leavell, who is also the founder of the Mother Nature Network (MNN) added in a recent press release, “As a special advisor to MEMPHO, I’m proud to help bring one of the greatest musical cities in the world a new kind of music festival. The setting is spectacular and the talent line-up is top notch with a combination of great new artists and some established fan favorites. As an environmentalist, I’m also very pleased that everyone involved has a high sensitivity to keeping the event clean and green, and in harmony with nature.”With the tagline, “music food and nature,” MEMPHO seems to share the urge to preserve the rich musical history of Memphis. Its founders are committed to making it an integral part of the Memphis cultural scene for years to come. At 4,500 acres, Memphis’s Shelby Farms Park feels like the obvious home for this new-natured event. The Park features miles of paved and unpaved trails, dozens of lakes and ponds, the internationally recognized and sustainably designed Woodland Discovery Playground, a buffalo herd, the FedEx Event Center, The Kitchen Bistro and Kitchenette, a water play splash pad, an outdoor event stage overlooking an 80-acre lake, a treetop adventure course and more. It’s the perfect backdrop for this exciting inaugural event. Tickets — including single-day and two-day general admission and VIP passes — are on sale here. Ticket prices, which currently begin at $40, will increase Friday, Sept. 8.For more information, head to the festival’s website.Mempho All-Stars Full Lineup, 10/7/17:Eric KrasnoOteil BurbridgeSteve KimockJohn PopperRobert RandolphJeff SipeWally IngramPapa MaliDJ LogicEric McFaddenLeslie MendelsonPeter LevinLamar WilliamsTad KinchlaMonoNeon
The Motet and Dopapod are currently touring the northeast together for a special run of Halloween shows. The two stopped by Irving Plaza in New York City on Friday night, delivering their signature grooves with a funk-fueled set from The Motet to get the party started. With Dopapod’s last show approaching, this tour has been especially meaningful to the quintet and Friday night’s set, which came after The Motet’s, was proof of the band’s magic.Watch The Motet’s Lyle Divinsky Sing The National Anthem At The Knicks GameListen To Dopapod’s Brand-New Album, ‘MEGAGEM’ [Stream]Also celebrating the release of MEGAMEM, Dopapod welcomed percussionist Doug Smith to sit in on the album’s “Turn by Turn.” Dopapod’s set also included explosive versions of “Freight Train Filled with Dynamite”, “Indian Grits”, and “Picture in Picture”. In true jam fashion, “Eight Years Ended” and “Present Ghosts” shared teases of Black Sabbath‘s “Into The Void.”Check out the audio of Dopapod’s set, courtesy of Matt Moricle:Check out the full gallery below, courtesy of Chris Capaci:The Motet & Dopapod | Irving Plaza | 10.26.17 | Photos by Chris Capaci Load remaining images
Following a big year for Marcus King in 2017, the young guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and bandleader has a slew of exciting plans in place for this new year. Next week, he will set sail on his first Jam Cruise with The Marcus King Band. Later this month, he’ll head down to Widespread Panic‘s annual Panic En La Playa destination event in Mexico. This spring, his band will join Umphrey’s McGee for a run of dates, and mount a 7-stop tour in France. And that’s just the beginning…This week, King was announced as part of two separate hotly-anticipated tours: One as a member of Chris Robinson‘s new Black Crowes-themed project, As The Crow Flies, and the other with MKB serving as one of two supporting acts for Tedeschi Trucks Band‘s annual “Wheels of Soul” tour. In the wake of these two huge announcements, we spoke to Marcus about As The Crow Flies, “Wheels of Soul,” and the other various plans he has in store for a busy 2018.[Photo: Robert Forte]Live For Live Music: When did Chris Robinson first approach you about potentially being a part of As The Crow Flies?Marcus King: It was this past fall, almost winter time, when I first got that call from Chris, and I can honestly say I was immediately excited about the idea.L4LM: Did you have an existing personal or professional relationship with Chris prior to his reaching out to you about As The Crow Flies?MK: We’ve run into each other a number of times at shows and at festivals our bands have played together. Chris and I have always had a good time just hanging out and talking at those gigs.L4LM: Did you immediately say “yes” to the offer or was it something you had to take a few weeks or longer to think about?MK: Although it was something I was instantly excited about, I did have to pause and take some time to digest the whole idea. From a sheer gut standpoint, I thought it sounded like a whole lot of fun. However, after I took some time to think about it, I also thought how cool it could be to be around a group of musicians as seasoned as the players in As The Crow Flies, and that I could really learn a lot from all of them. I also thought the As The Crow Flies tour could present me with a unique opportunity to just go out and be a guitar player in a band for once, as opposed to being the front man in my own band. All in all I think it will end up being a very humbling experience for me.L4LM: Any thoughts on your singing on the As The Crow Flies tour? Most folks who follow the Marcus King Band often praise your vocals…MK: As far as the fine details regarding the shows, we have yet to work all of that out but I can say we’ve talked about my singing a few songs and I’m sure I’ll be contributing backing vocals on some of the tunes we’ll end up doing.L4LM: Did you have any trepidation with regard to how the Marcus King Band’s fan base would react to you being a part of this kind of project?MK: I did, and I do. The Marcus King Band is stronger than ever right now. We didn’t want to send out nor create any false narrative that our band was coming to any kind of an end because that’s far from the truth.Once [MKB’s] next big tour starts, we will be coming out of the studio having just spent two months straight together. We always try to take a little time after long tours like that to clear our heads. Thus I thought the timing for the As The Crow Flies tour sounded kind of perfect.[Photo: Robert Forte]L4LM: Many MKB fans will likely see the As the Crow Flies tour as an opportunity to introduce you and the Marcus King Band to a brand new group of die hard music fans. Do you think the tour will benefit the your band in terms of exposure and growing your own fan base?MK: To be honest, that was never my intention. I only do something if it feels right to me personally, musically, and spiritually. When this came along, it just felt right to me in my heart. I can, however, say in retrospect that I have given some thought to how this tour could help bring some exposure to the Marcus King Band and I think it will end up being a good thing.L4LM: While you’re out on the As The Crow Flies tour, will the other members of the Marcus King Band be engaged with some of their own side musical projects?MK: All of us already go and do separate gigs when we’re off the road. Jack [Ryan, drums] plays with his band the Shady Recruits, and Justin [Johnson, trumpet/trombone] plays with a number of musicians including April Bennett and her band April B. & The Cool. Every band member has music projects outside of the group that they are excited about, and we all think that’s a real healthy thing. When all of us come back to the Marcus King Band, we’re able to approach both our old and new material with a fresh spin, and that condition’s existence allows things to stay creative within the group.L4LM: Black Crowes fans are both notoriously loyal and vocal. When both Luther Dickinson and then, later, Jackie Greene, joined the Black Crowes, there were certain segments of their fan base that reacted quite negatively. Surely many of their fans will show you love, but the haters will undoubtedly make their voices heard too. What, if anything, do you have to say to any detractors regarding As The Crow Flies and your decision to be a part of it?MK: I have had this tendency at times where I’ve let myself get really overwhelmed by some of those kinds of things. However, I’ve learned from a number of people that have been in the business much longer than myself to just do things for the right reasons and to have your heart in the right place. If people can get with it, then that’s a wonderful thing. And if they can’t, you just try to get up on that stage and prove them all wrong.L4LM: How familiar are you with the Black Crowes catalogue and their music? Are there any Black Crowes songs you’re personally excited to play with on the As The Crowe Flies tour?MK: I’m definitely a fan of the Black Crowes, and in particular the Marc Ford era. I’m getting really excited about playing those songs and having the opportunity to put my spin on them. I’m a huge fan of Marc Ford and like many people in and out of the industry, I think he’s one of the best southern rock guitar players to ever play. I see it as a real honor to be able to go out and play those songs.L4LM: Fellow As The Crow Flies member Audley Freed was in the Black Crowes for the By Your Side (1999) and Lions (2001) years. It would seem that, from a guitar dynamics standpoint, you might be a fit to play lead on the earlier Marc Ford catalogue with Freed playing lead on the band’s later work. Is that something that has already been discussed and or worked out, or are those the kind of details that are going to be ironed out as you rehearse more as a collective?MK: I think that’s something we will talk about and work out more once we get deeper into the rehearsal process. In the early going I think we’ve at least agreed in principle that both Audley and I will share the lead role.Everyone in this group is a real tasteful player and a gifted musician. I think one of the most important things I learned from people like Warren [Haynes] and Derek [Trucks] was to understand when not to play–or, to put it more bluntly, when to shut up [laughs]. Hopefully I’ll be able to remember that once I’m up on the stage with these guys.L4LM: You’ve discussed already that you have some familiarity with Chris, but do you have any sort of previous relationship with the other musicians that will comprise As The Crow Flies in Audley, Adam [MacDougall], Tony [Leone] or Andy [Hess]?MK: I’ve hung out with Audley a few times and I know him through Warren, but I don’t think we’ve ever played together. I’m just stoked that I’m going to be able play with him and the rest of the guys in As The Crow Flies.L4LM: Chris has already intimated that the As The Crow Flies tour this spring will be a one-off thing that he doesn’t anticipate will extend beyond this initial tour. He did, however, leave the door open to more dates in the longer-term future. Would you be open to being a part of a future As The Crow Flies tour if things went well this time around?MK: I will always say the door remains open for anything, but the fact that this was a one-time thing was one of the main reasons why I was initially interested in being a part of it. I see the tour as an opportunity to just go out and have a really good time with some incredible folks.L4LM: You’ve played with Derek and Susan [Tedeschi] before, but this summer’s newly announced “Wheels of Soul” tour will be the first time that MKB will go out on an extended tour with Tedeschi Trucks Band. How did the Wheels of Soul tour come to fruition? Is touring together something you, Derek and Susan have talked about doing for a while now?MK: It’s kind of been in the air over last couple of years, and we all agreed that everyone would love to do it. We always have a lot fun and laughs when see each other, and fortunately the planets aligned to make the “Wheels of Soul” tour possible this year.[Photo: Derek McCabe]L4LM: Can you describe the nature of your personal and musical relationships with both Derek and Susan?MK: Derek and Susan’s personalities both on and off the stage are very warm, and they both welcome you in with open arms. It always feels like a warm and cozy bed when we’re around them. Derek, Susan and their entire band have all become very close friends of mine.L4LM: Tedeschi Trucks Band and the Marcus King Band seem to share some of the same musical DNA, with both your fan bases seeming like a natural fit for one another. Can fans expect Derek and Susan to join your band and vice versa for some unique collaborations on the “Wheels of Soul” tour?MK: I think that’s something that’s engrained in our nature. The fact that we enjoy each other’s company off the stage, it’s kind of just a natural extension to bring that vibe up to the stage with one another. L4LM: The Wheels of Soul tour will see the Marcus King Band playing venues in the 10,000 to 20,000 capacity area, so outside of the festival dates you’ve done, you’ll be playing to some of the biggest audiences the band has ever played to on tour. Do you see that as a challenge? Do you foresee any obstacles in translating the intimate vibe of a typical Marcus King Band show to much larger audiences?MK: It’s going to be something different for us, for sure. We’re definitely going to try and translate our intimate vibe into those larger venues and shows. It’s going to be a challenge but it’s one we’re all very open to and super excited about.L4LM: Beyond you and Tedeschi Trucks, Drive-By Truckers will also be along for the ride on the Wheels of Soul tour. Can fans expect your two bands to combine forces onstage for some covers and or takes on each other’s music during the tour?MK: I definitely foresee that as a possibility with Drive-By Truckers because they have a very similar vibe to us. The first time I met their drummer [Brad Morgan], I was in high school in jazz band class and our teacher, Bruce Caldwell, he had this special guest come in that turned out to be the Drive By Trucker’s drummer. So it’s kind of like things have come full circle for us.L4LM: Your father, Marvin King, is quite the guitar hero himself. You’ve called him the “best guitar teacher anyone could ever have.” Is there any chance Marvin joins the band on stage for a few tunes anywhere on the Wheels of Soul tour?MK: It’s always a possibility. If and when Papa King ever wants to come out and hang, there’s always a spot for him if he feels like jamming. We always love it when my dad comes up and plays a few tunes with us.[Photo: Robert Forte]L4LM: The Wheels of Soul and As The Crow Flies tours are still months away. In the interim, the Marcus King Band will be out on the road. Can you talk a little about what plans the band has for the remainder of the winter, spring and the first half of 2018 in regard to tours or recording?MK: We actually will be doing our first-ever Jam Cruise in a few weeks, and I think there’s going to be a bevy of collaborations on that tour. Then, in early February we are going to be headed out to do some dates with Umphrey’s Mcgee, which all of us are extremely excited about. Whenever we listen to those guys play, we all end up wanting to go back into the shed and practice more because they always seem to push us in these really positive directions.That will then be followed by the band doing a run through France throughout most of March where we’ll basically be touring the entire country. Around this same time frame, we’ll also be going into the studio for a couple of weeks to try and wrap up our third studio album. We are hoping to release a single before the Wheels of Soul tour starts and we’re also hoping that the new album gets released sometime later this summer.L4LM: Final question, Marcus. Recently, in New York, you were asked what fans could expect on MKB’s French tour this spring. You were quoted as saying, “There’s going to be a lot of mustards on that tour.” Would you care to expand on that thought?MK: There are lot of us in this band that are very big fans of various mustards, cheeses and baguettes. France has always been really good to us in terms of providing us with quality mustards and cheeses so I think we’re all looking forward to that.For a full list of upcoming As The Crow Flies tour dates, head here.To get the low-down on this summer’s annual Tedeschi Trucks Band “Wheels of Soul” tour featuring Drive-By Truckers and The Marcus King Band, head here.For a complete list of upcoming Marcus King Band shows, head to the band’s website.Contributing writer Robert Forte serves as the Managing Photography Editor at Rock Revolt Magazine, in addition to working as a freelance music writer and professional concert photographer. [Cover photo by Robert Forte (Instagram: @40_Photography)]
On this date, back in 2003, The Steve Kimock Band was tearing up The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts. The band, consisting of Steve Kimock on guitar, Rodney Holmes on drums, Mitch Stein on guitar, and Arne Livingston on bass, was completely dialed in for the performance, offering up highly calibrated improvisational sections, beautiful and swirling melodies, and a patient execution of each song. Scott Brown captured the action, and his recording of the evening’s performance has near-perfect sound. Give it a listen below, you won’t regret it!
The Colorado-based duo Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee known as Break Science have unveiled their brand new self-released Grid of Souls. A long-awaited follow-up to their 2013 Seven Bridges, the dynamic and eclectic 10-track LP showcases their full and diverse sonic range, serving as an aural embodiment of Break Science’s original and pioneering electronic sound.Kicking things off with powerful vocals courtesy of Raquel Rodriguez in their synth-driven production “Cruise Control”, Break Science fuse generations of New York’s rich musical legacy with their own deep-rooted connection to hip-hop heritage. Their new release features special guest collaborations with Lettuce, ProbCause, CTZN and Apryl Sashay, Karl Denson and Lenesha Randolph, Brasstracks, and Paperwhite.Raised and influenced by the rhythm and culture of New York City, the pair merges their production styles seamlessly, creating a refreshingly original take on electronic music. “We put years of life experience into this record,” the band explains in a press release. “These songs had me feeling all kinds of ways during the process of finishing them. All the emotions. It’s funky as hell during some parts and laid back and ethereal in others. We’ve managed to make the infusion of live instruments into the production more seamless than ever before. Instruments are NOT a gimmick for us. We’ve been pro musicians before all of this. I have a good feeling our fans will be intensely feeling this release.”Listen to Grid of Souls below:Check out the music video for “Cruise Control”, produced by Lazer Shark, who creates Break Science’s visual content, below. “For the Cruise Control video,” he explains, “I took a decidedly enigmatic approach. Conceptually built around the album’s name; the Grid of Souls, this video is a mix of cinematic samples and analog synthesized video projected on to a grid of mirrors. I wanted there to be an overarching air of mystery while still portraying both the hopeful and melancholic sides of love. It is a journey worth taking several times as more and more will be uncovered each time you watch!”. Enjoy!