Tag Archives: Allman Brothers Band

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White Denim Are Red Hot at Music Hall of Williamsburg

September 12th, 2014

White Denim – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 11, 2014

White Denim – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 11, 2014
The headlines kind of write themselves: White Denim burn down Music Hall of Williamsburg or White Denim play blazing show in Brooklyn. Thankfully, despite an unplanned fire drill midway through their set, there was no literal fire in Williamsburg last night. Metaphorically, however, the headlines stand up pretty well. Playing the middle show of a three-night run at Music Hall, White Denim were hotter than hell, setting the room on fire, downright blazing and any other cliché you can think of. They began the set with a smoldering, soulful “A Place to Start,” the last track off their most recent LP, Corsicana Lemonade, and then hopped into that album’s opener, “At Night in Dreams,” a heavy-duty dose of concentrated Allmans, with James Petralli and Austin Jenkins giving a preview of what would be a night full of two-guitar prowess. “At Night” kicked off a multisong medley, the first of many such signature excursions: two or three songs with instrumental interludes, quick-stop segues and check-your-baggage jam-outs. This first one ended with a stretched-out version of “Drug,” off their 2011 breakthrough album, D.

With White Denim, each show feels like the best they’ve ever played, and the best they’ve ever played and Thursday felt no different, although years of touring in their now-steady quartet form seems to have elevated and matured their jazz-metered, free-form Southern-rock sound. Select tunes were slowed or mellowed a bit, providing room for more interesting dynamics. “River to Consider” was a good example, as its normal breakneck pace was given a more deliberate rendering that allowed for a tremendous slow-build jam. Shortly thereafter, as the band tried a similar trick with “Anvil Everything,” the fire alarm sounded and the room was cleared (I must say in a very orderly fashion). Following a 20 minute smoke-’em-if-you’ve-got-’em intermission on the sidewalk of N. 6th St., NYC’s Bravest gave the all clear and the crowd returned with a little fresh-air buzz.

The break seemed to have a filter effect on the audience, those who were there to drink and be social went off to a bar somewhere, and the remaining crowd was smaller, but a bit rowdier with room to boogie and throw fists in the air. White Denim gave plenty of reason to do both, launching a few more highlight-reel sections starting with another medley that began with a restarted “Anvil Everything” and ending with a stretched-out, swallow-everything version of “I Start to Run.” Things turned looser as the show came to its furious conclusion, large swaths of the band’s last few albums coming together in exciting combinations. The pairing of the acrobatic instrumental “At the Farm” and a beautiful, stripped-bare “Keys” was an inspired moment among many. When everyone filed out the front doors for the second time, giddy, glazed looks in their eyes, there was no doubt that White Denim had, indeed, set the building on fire. —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com

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The Hatters Reunite to Play The Bowery Ballroom Tonight

August 6th, 2014

They formed in Philly, while attending the University of Pennsylvania in 1988, but Adam “Tree Adams” Hirsh (vocals and guitar), Adam Evans (guitar and vocals), Tom Kaelin (drums), Jon Kaplan (bass), Bill Rives (drums) and Billy Jay Stein (keys) made a name for themselves—as the Mad Hatters—in New York City, playing venues like Wetlands and Nightingales alongside bands like Blues TravelerSpin Doctors and God Street Wine. Combining their love of funk, bluesy Southern rock and Allman Brothers Band–like jamming, the group became known for talented songwriting, an exceptional rhythm section and an energetic stage presence. Plus, they liked to play all night long. They eventually shortened their name to the Hatters and put out three albums before breaking up in 1996. But social media can be a powerful thing, and thanks to fan encouragement on Facebook, the band has reunited, and tonight at The Bowery Ballroom, they’ll perform live for the first time in 18 years. The Tangiers Blues Band open the show.

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Kick Off Your Weekend with Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires

July 16th, 2014

Lee Bains III is no stranger to New York City. In fact, he studied literature at NYU. But four years was enough, and the lure of the South, specifically his hometown, Birmingham, Ala., was too strong. So he returned to his roots and four years ago teamed up with the Glory Fires—Eric Wallace (guitar), Adam Williamson (bass) and Blake Williamson (drums)—to make Southern rock with a punk ethos. Their first album, There Is a Bomb in Gilead (stream it below), was released in 2012. AllMusic said Bains “knows how to tell a good, compelling story with an interesting set of characters, and he successfully walks a fine line between letting his literate instincts have their day and keeping these stories unpretentious and realistic.” Additionally: “This is a band worth watching, and an album that deserves your attention.” Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires (above, performing “There Is a Bomb in Gilead” for BreakThru Radio) gained further attention thanks to an opening slot on tour with Alabama Shakes. And now the quartet has returned with a heady follow-up, Deconstructed (stream it below). According to NPR, “This isn’t a new space for Southern rock; in many ways, it is Southern rock, made by rebel sons who question that identity from the Allman Brothers through Skynyrd and on to Drive-By Truckers…. Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires are intense enough to fully refresh the legacy they’ve joined.” Out on the road in support of their excellent LP, they play Mercury Lounge on Friday night. Local five-piece Brooklyn What open the show.

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White Denim Are (Always) on the Verge

September 11th, 2013

White Denim – The Bowery Ballroom – September 10, 2013


White Denim are one of those bands on the verge. Yes, with a new buzzed-about album soon to drop and a growing, increasingly enthusiastic fan base, the Austin, Texas, quartet seem poised to break out in the near future. But, as they raised their ruckus at The Bowery Ballroom last night, they proved yet again that they’re always on the verge: on the verge of melting multiple songs together into 15-minute nonstop collages of whiplash rock and roll; on the verge of alchemizing new genres out of blues, psych, prog and jazz; and always, always on the verge of exploding into an ecstatic cacophony of guitar, drums and bass.

Tuesday’s gig was a free affair put on by StubHub and Rolling Stone, and the crowd was an interesting mix of the how-did-we-get-so-lucky? NYC fan base, their first-timer friends and the merely curious with nothing to lose. White Denim began with the opened-up, happy blues of “Pretty Green,” the new single off the upcoming Coriscana Lemonade. The first half of the set was marked by lots of “this is a new one” from frontman James Petralli as they gave the dancing crowd a preview of the record. The new material was strong and concise, a catalog of genres and influences tied up in a maturing White Denim sound: from two-guitar Allmans crunch on jazzed-out rhythms, to a high-energy, psychedelic instrumental aflame on drum-heavy tinder.

Almost seamlessly, the new material blended into older tunes, the title track segueing into “River to Consider” off 2011’s D, starting a tour de force string of songs and excursions that had those in the crowd gasping for breath when they could get it. All momentum was forward as the second part of the set was an avalanche of music, some songs barely feeling half-finished before the next ones overlapped and overtook them. The band was in four-man fugue state, combining impressive chops with raucous energy the way few others can. The highlights were the tension-release climaxes paced perfectly through the set. These moments felt earned by the musicians and the crowd alike, both quite often on the verge of falling apart, but in the end, always delivering. —A. Stein

 

 

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Heavyweights on the Hudson

July 29th, 2013

My Morning Jacket/Wilco/Bob Dylan – Hoboken Pier A Park – July 26, 2013

(Photo: Eddie Bruiser)

What a view! What a bill! What a night! With a stage bracketed by the Empire State Building on one side and the Freedom Tower on the other—and just about perfect outdoor-concert weather—the AmericanaramA tour landed at Pier A Park in Hoboken, N.J., on Friday night. It was an evening for the skyscrapers of live rock and roll to strut their stuff on the same stage. My Morning Jacket began with “Circuital,” Jim James’s acoustic guitar sounding crisp in the summer air. MMJ are masters of the festival set, providing the perfect balance of fan favorites and special moments while packing enough of them into a limited time slot to make it feel like a much longer show. And so within the first four or five songs, the Jacket seemed to hit a couple dozen different spots and styles: “First Light” with a Flying V guitar, Carl Broemel on sax and funky keys from Bo Koster, “The Way That He Sings” with James belting it out to the crowd, a sweet spaced-out “Off the Record” with scrape-the-sky guitar work, and the steel-and-acoustic guitar summer-sun beauty of “Golden.” The special moments came when Brian Jackson joined in on flute, matching James’s howling on a great drums-and-bass-driven “It Beats 4 U” and adding a groovy R&B feel to the Gil Scott-Heron cover “The Bottle.” The action-packed set ended with opener Ryan Bingham coming back for a perfect sing-along cover of the Holland-Dozier-Holland classic “Don’t Do It,” in the style of the Band, multiple guitars manifesting the sound and energy of a full horn section.

Next up, Wilco, another fest-set vet, performed a set perfectly complementing My Morning Jacket’s. They opened with “Dawned on Me,” Nels Cline on a gigantic double-neck guitar that screamed, “Hey, why waste time with formalities?!” Like MMJ, they covered a wide range within the first few songs: “Misunderstood” heavy on the dynamics, the whole band playing to the perfection of the moment, twangy backdrop to Jeff Tweedy’s vocals on “Forget the Flowers” and a rocking “Handshake Drugs,” aka “Nels Cline Unleashed.” While Tweedy may never be Bob Dylan, songs like “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” might make you reconsider. Friday evening, it was literally played for the gorgeous setting sun, a full-color sonic masterpiece with the line “and the city kept blinking” resonating against the Manhattan skyline. Again, the great set got better when they brought out guests, first Warren Haynes for a bluesy “Feed of a Man,” featuring a Godzilla vs. Mothra battle with Cline. (Ironically, Haynes left for the most Allman Brothers-y Wilco tune, “Walken.”) After a let’s-just-rock-out section of “I’m the Man Who Loves You” and “I Got You (At the End of the Century),” they invited Ian Hunter onstage for the end of the set, dedicated to Maxwell’s. The Mott the Hoople frontman led the band through a folkie, “I Wish I Was Your Mother.” The set finished in large, this-is-the-big-city fashion: first Haynes joining with some beautiful playing on a great “California Stars” and then all of My Morning Jacket and Bingham on a fun! wow! cover of “All the Young Dudes.”

Not bad, right? But wait, there’s more! The granddaddy of them all, Bob Dylan and His Band, closed the show. Dylan is still getting it done, the Chrysler Building to the taller and newer high-rises, his voice approaching old bluesman growl. His set featured plenty of newer songs and old classics—plus a cover of “The Weight” with Tweedy, James and the J. Geils Band’s Peter Wolf—his band sounding great with a perfect mix of blues and country under a clear night sky. Compared to the opening sets, Dylan took his own pace, a natural gait of a man who’s done a few shows in his time. Personally, I was excited to hear two of my favorite Dylan tunes, “Tangled Up in Blue” and “She Belongs to Me.” What a night! —A. Stein

 

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Despite Major Changes, the Black Crowes Are Having Fun

April 8th, 2013

The Black Crowes – Terminal 5 – April 6, 2013


The Black Crowes first gained fame with their debut album, Shake Your Money Maker, but 23 years later, only three original members remain: frontman Chris Robinson, his brother, rhythm guitarist Rich Robinson, and drummer Steve Gorman. Bassist Sven Pipien has been with the band since the late ’90s (minus a few years), and keyboardist Adam MacDougall came onboard in 2007. As for lead guitar, first there was Jeff Cease, and then for a long time there was Marc “Fucking” Ford. His and Rich’s guitar pairing would define the band’s sound. But then Ford was replaced by Audley Freed, who remained until the group’s first hiatus. When the Crowes returned, Ford was again playing lead—until he wasn’t and Paul Stacey was. And then he wasn’t and Luther Dickinson was. Dickinson returned the band to the twang-y Southern-rock sound of Ford’s heyday, and by the time fans finally grew accustomed to this version of the Crowes, you guessed it, they went on hiatus again.

So when word broke that they’d be touring again, with Jackie Greene as lead guitarist, the news was met with trepidation. But over the course of four shows last week—two each at the Capitol Theatre and Terminal 5—the newest edition of the Black Crowes allayed the fears of any doubters. Turns out, Greene is almost a perfect fit, as the band has bloomed sonically from the bluesy Southern rock they’d first become known for into a patchwork Americana sound studded with folk, rock, gospel and soul. It’s as if they’d traded in their Stones’, Faces’and Allmans’ albums for the Band’s, Mad Dogs & Englishmen and the Rolling Thunder Revue.

On Saturday night at Terminal 5, Greene’s mandolin on “She Talks to Angels” and banjo on “Whoa Mule” helped breathe new life into those songs, and his guitar work on “Sister Luck” was particularly fiery. Greene’s presence allowed Rich to play slide and take on more lead duties, like in terrific renditions of “Thorn in My Pride” and “Wiser Time,” with the two epically engaging each other from across the stage while everyone else took a step back. Of course, it’s not just about the new guitarist. The Crowes have reinterpreted some older material, like Chris’s staccato gospel breakdowns in the middle of “Remedy” (and in “My Morning Song” on prior nights). And the other drastic change was the lack of backing singers, two strong female voices replaced by four- and five-part harmonies.

But it wasn’t just about what was heard—because what was seen proved to be just as important, which in this case, was a band having a good time. There were smiles across the stage, and no one seemed to be enjoying himself more than Chris, whether happily introducing the night’s third song, “Feelin’ Alright,” with “Saturday night in the big city, man,” or inspiring some of the night’s biggest applause with harmonica-led jams, his playful dancing and joy were infectious, spreading across the stage and the room. And following a strong show filled with early material, covers and rarely played numbers, like “Title Song,” plus a three-song encore, the Black Crowes lingered onstage hugging one another, smiling widely and taking in the adulation. —R. Zizmor

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com

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Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires Turn Up the Heat

February 5th, 2013

Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires – Mercury Lounge – February 4, 2013


It was like something out of a TV show: Mercury Lounge, late on a Monday night, a few scattered folks lining the walls waiting for the headliner to take the stage, trying to stay awake, a distinct ho hum vibe in the room. Then the band hops onstage, guns a-blazin’ and takes the place from 0 to 60 in a couple of seconds, the room going from a blah, half-empty to a hyped-up where-did-these-people-come-from half-full, all caught in the thrall of Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires. Within the first few songs, Bains and the band went through the introductory chapters of the rock and roll book: Bains falling into the crowd mid-guitar riff, then getting into his lead guitarist’s face, then double solos back-to-back before climbing on the drum kit. Every rock band needs a great frontman, and the Glory Fires have Lee Bains III, who rocked the red-white-and-blue guitar strap embroidered with “LEB3” on it like few can.

The Glory Fires—two guitars, bass and drums—played a fireball set of Southern classic rock, channeling forefathers like the Allmans and Skynyrd with a healthy dose of the Black Crowes. After the first few numbers, they tweaked the sound in the monitors, as bands will do, asking for more guitar: The drummer petitioning the audience, “Hope y’all ain’t scared of a little guitar!” I hope not, too, because there was plenty of it as Bains rifled through songs off last year’s There Is a Bomb in Gilead and a whole slew of new ones, barely pausing in between. The running theme of the set was the band’s hometown of Birmingham, Ala., playing at least three songs about the city, stretching from general civic pride to missed sweethearts back home, all just another opportunity for Bains and his Glory Fires to crank up the volume and play some rock and roll. —A. Stein

 

 

 

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Influential Label Showcases Talent

October 19th, 2012

Merge Records Showcase – Mercury Lounge – October 18, 2012

Mount Moriah (Photo: Dan Rickershauser)

One could argue that no other independent label from the past 20 years has released as many instant classics as Merge Records. After all, they gave the OK for the Magnetic Fields to put out a three-album collection of 69 love songs, they introduced bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and Arcade Fire to the world and they gave a rock act by the name of Spoon a second chance. So it’s safe to say that Merge is on a bit of a hot streak that might not be cooling off anytime soon. While any given day of the CMJ Music Marathon is a somewhat frantic race to absorb as much great music as possible, last night’s Merge showcase at Mercury Lounge, spanning almost seven hours and six different acts, was something of a cruel temptation and a great excuse for ruining the following workday by staying out past 2 a.m.

“It’s kind of hard to follow your label boss, though I’m sure he’d hate to be called that,” said Eleanor Friedberger, taking the stage after a set from Superchunk frontman and Merge Records cofounder Mac McCaughan. Friedberger played a solo acoustic set with some “in the works” new material that could come out early next year. She was followed by a searing set from Mount Moriah. “We’re Mount Moriah. We’re from Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and we’re really excited to put some records out on Merge,” said lead singer Heather McEntire. The set sampled songs off their self-titled debut, as well as some new tunes from their upcoming album. The band’s sound is familiar yet unique, a strange combination of all genres Americana (blues, rock, country, soul, gospel).

It makes sense that as of September they’re sharing a label with acts like Lambchop, self-proclaimed “Nashville’s most fucked-up country band.” Between Mount Moriah and another recent Merge signee (and show opener), William Tyler, it will be interesting to see if the label can continue to push the boundaries of country music, bringing this strange new iteration of the genre to music fans usually repulsed by the word country. “We’ve been listening to a lot of the Allman Brothers Band—I don’t know if you could tell,” said McEntire after firing through a particularly bluesy-rock new song. You could tell, but this was a very good thing. If the past is any indicator, 2013 should be a huge year for some or even all of these bands. And if the performances last night are any indicator, it probably will be. —Dan Rickershauser

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A Band Not to Miss Plays The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday

August 14th, 2012


First there was the Allman Brothers Band. Then guitarist Warren Haynes and Allen Woody spun off to create the power trio Gov’t Mule. And now that group’s drummer, Matt Abts, and current bassist, Jorgen Carlsson, have teamed up with multi-instrumentalist and singer T-Bone Andersson to form the fantastically named Planet of the Abts. The threesome put out a self-titled album last year (stream it here) filled with originals and updated takes on the likes of the Stones’ “Off the Hook.” Listening to the LP, according to jambands.com, is like “crash-landing right in the middle of some amazingly wild-ass rhythm-infested cartoon world … except the band is very much real—and they happen to be very serious about making music.” But, of course, this music is even better live, and you can experience it that way when Planet of the Abts (above, doing “Anything You Want It to Be” at TRI Studios) plays The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night.

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See the Allman Brothers Band on 3/15

March 12th, 2010

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The Allman Brothers Band’s traditional NYC residency has shifted uptown this year—to the United Palace—and you should, too. So The House List is giving away two tickets to the legendary group’s Monday show. Want to Grow a Pair? It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, listing your name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (ABB, 3/15) and a brief message explaining which Allman Brothers tune is your favorite. Eddie Bruiser, a “Little Martha” kind of guy, will notify the winner on Monday.

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