Better Off Dead Maryland - The 8x10 Club - 11/7/2014
By Brian Willis
Better Off Dead Maryland made their triumphant return to a packed 8x10 Club in Baltimore on Friday night Nov 7th, performing a nearly 3 hour show to the delight of their rapidly growing base of Dead-icated fans. This is an outstanding group of musicians who are able to evoke the feel of a Grateful Dead show in a way that few others have achieved. To a great extent, the band mirrors the classic 6 man lineup of the Grateful Dead with the one-two power punch of drummers Andrew Ellinghaus and Robert Gersten coupled with the bombastic bass riffs of John Butte creating a formidable rhythm section that provides the framework for the rest of the band to build upon. New to the band is Chris Gagen on keyboards, who plays beautifully and whose style of playing fits very well with the band. Rex Wilkes fits the role of "band leader" like a glove with his unique vocal style and undeniable charm. And then there is lead guitarist Alex DiPietro. His playing is pure and inspired - he doesn't engage in stage theatrics, he puts his head down and becomes one with his instrument, unleashing sweet jams and soaring solos that would make Jerry Garcia proud to have inspired. And he even bears a passing resemblance to that legend in his younger years. Better Off Dead Maryland is a hot band that is already filling venues with sold out (or near sold out) crowds wherever they play. This is definitely a must see - and must dance to - band!
Better Off Dead Maryland is:
John Butte - Bass and Vocals
Alex DiPietro - Lead Guitar
Andrew Ellinghaus - Drums
Chris Gagen - Keyboards
Robert Gersten - Drums
Rex Wilkes - Guitar and Vocals
I Need A Miracle
The Harder They Come
Ramble On Rose
St. Stephen>Not Fade Away>St. Stephen
Sitting On Top Of The World
Samson & Delilah
Swamp Donkey Newgrass @ The 8x10 Club 11/7/2014
By Brian Willis
What is "newgrass" you might ask? Well... it's something best experienced first hand - don't pass up a chance to see this band!! Just make sure to bring lots of energy for dancing - you'll need it!! This band is high energy, lots of fun, and full of the unexpected. Pink Floyd's "Time" and Michael Jackson's "Thriller" done with a bluegrass vibe? Why yes indeedy--- more please! Dani Weissman on the fiddle is a treat beyond description while Greg DeHaas keeps the show jumping with his vocals and driving rhythm guitar work. Greg Nelson on bass and Greg Herb on drums provide a steady - and sometimes funky beat while Will Crowther cooly plays sweet solos that provide the final puncuation mark to their sound. This wasn't just a tasty show - it was freakin' delicious! Swamp Donkey Newgrass is a very talented band with a unique sound and approach to making something more than your usual bluegrass... they've created NEWGRASS! This is a really fun band that will definitely get your feet movin'! Check them out on the web at http://www.swampdonkeynewgrass.com/
Swamp Donkey Newgrass is:
Greg DeHaas - Rhythm Guitar & Lead Vocals
Greg Nelson - Bass & Vocals
Will Crowther - Lead Guitar & Vocals
Greg Herb - Drums & Vocals
Dani Weissman - Fiddle
Chasin' A Rainbow
Hold What You Got
Blue Eyed Son
Bird In A House
Ain't Glad I'm Leavin'
How Mountain Girls Can Love
That Country Tune
Old Number 7
Elko (w/ Black Water tease)
Check out The Links Below For Brian's Photo Galleries
The 3rd Annual New Year’s Eve Hootenanny at Oskar Blues
Wednesday, December 31 at Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard, NC
The New Year’s Eve Experience:
The Larry Keel Experience with Jeff Sipe
Jeremy Garrett & Travis Book (of the Infamous Stringdusters)
Steve "Big Daddy" McMurry (of Acoustic Syndicate)
Mike Guggino (of the Steep Canyon Rangers)
Jon Stickley Trio
342 Mountain Industrial Dr Brevard, NC 28712
This event is 21+ only; 7pm ‘til after the beer drops
$30 adv/ $40 dos, Locals-only $20 tickets for a limited time at the Tasty Weasel
Package ticket includes entry to the CANuary 1st Hangover Brunch at the Oskar Blues REEB Ranch in Hendersonville, NC on 1/1/15 - $100
The NEW Oskar Blues CHUBurger food truck will be slingin' the goods throughout the evening and a photobooth will be onsite to capture all of your NYE memories (so that you don't have to). Hotel specials are available, just check the Oskar Blues website for more info. The Oskar Blues trolley will be making the rounds to local hotels and downtown Brevard to give you a safe ride to and from the Hootenanny. Trips will start at 6 p.m. and the trolley will stop at each stop roughly every 30-40 minutes. Tickets are on sale now and more information is at http://brew.oskarblues.com/events/nye-brevard.
The CAN’uary 1st Hangover Brunch will be hosted the following afternoon at noon at the Oskar Blues REEB Ranch, their new 145-acre farm that is located about 8 miles from the Brevard-based Oskar Blues brewery in Hendersonville, NC. The January 1, 2015 brunch will be hosted by Jeremy Garrett, Travis Book, Sarah Siskind, and Larry & Jenny Keel. Proceeds from the brunch will benefit Oskar Blues CAN’d Aid Foundation. Included in the $80 ticket price (or as part of the NYE package deal) are a Southern-style family-style meal, drinks (including Mama-mosas and Café con FIDY), and the exclusive VIP concert. Limited tickets are available. The CAN’d Aid Foundation will give an update on their work in our community and the work ahead in 2015.
Larry Keel has had a fantastic 2014 and is excited to celebrate with you! Some highlights include his appearance with Sam Bush at this year’s Lockn’ Festival and he’s been on tour with Yonder Mountain String Band throughout South east, Mid West, North East this fall. He’ll be heading to Puerto Morelos, Mexico w/ all the Bluegrass buddies to play Strings and Sol in Mexico in mid-Dec. Also, stay tuned for more information on an upcoming studio release due out in the spring of 2015 with some very special guests!
Larry Keel is described by some reviewers as the most powerful, innovative and all-out exhilarating acoustic flatpicking guitarist performing today. Keel has absorbed the best lessons from his Bluegrass family upbringing, both sides deeply steeped in the rich mountain music culture and heritage of Southwest Virginia. From there, he has always integrated that solid musical grounding and natural-born talent with his own incomparable approach to flatpicking the guitar and composing original music. He's also got a knack for choosing interesting and appealing material from all realms of music with guts, whether it's a tune written by a fellow songwriter/musician friend, or a tasty cover from any number of genres all over the map.
Keel has a variety of musical formats swirling around the calendar each year: look out for his core band, The Larry Keel Experience (featuring Will Lee on soulful, blues-grass 5 string banjo, penetrating vocals and exceptional song-writing contributions and Jenny Keel on upright bass, with impeccable timing, solid yet imaginative bass lines and vocal harmonies). “Hot and fluent bluegrass act showcasing Larry Keel’s dazzling guitar skills and gruff, baritone vocals, wife Jenny’s granite-firm bass guitar work... Good folks, amazing roots music,” writes Tad Dickens with the Roanoke Times.
Other projects of Keel’s include Larry Does Jerry (Keel performing the music of Jerry Garcia), Keller Williams and The Keels, Keel paired with artists such as Drew Emmitt, Danny Barnes, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, and a multitude of guest spots in great bands on the tour circuit including the Traveling McCourys, Steep Canyon Rangers, Infamous Stringdusters, and Greensky Bluegrass.
The versatility of his talents is pretty irresistible, and has earned Keel the highest respect and billing among the top acoustic musicians alive, and some now gone: Tony Rice, Chris Thile, Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, Del McCoury, John Hartford, Bill Monroe, Peter Rowan, and Darol Anger to name a few. And his fierce, high-spirited energy also appeals to young rockers, jammers and alt country pickers and fans who are equally drawn to Keel’s deep rumbling voice, his earthy and imaginative song-writing, and his down-home-gritty-good-time charm. Keel regularly collaborates with JamBand and Rock giants Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, Jorma Kaukonen, David Nelson, Little Feat, Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass, Railroad Earth, members of String Cheese Incident and Leftover Salmon, amongst others.
Throughout his career, Keel has released 14 albums and is featured on 10 others. The most recent release, March 2012, is CLASSIC, the 3rd album recorded by Keel and his powerhouse ensemble, Natural Bridge. The project is filled with originals written variously by Keel, the band members or by musician/song-writer friends. “Classic is not a derivative work stuck in the quagmire of a romanticized past. It’s forward-thinking, spontaneous, audacious, and full of surprises. Fresh. All the Keel’s are doing is watering the seeds the old Masters planted and widening the Circle a little bit,” writes Robert Kimmel with Bluegrass Today.
For Keel the musical mission is always clear: to let technical skill, honest emotion and fearlessness connect the playing and singing to audiences, to entertain and to thoroughly enjoy the experience of creating and sharing in music.
11/11 Tue - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC*
11/12 Wed - Higher Ground Ballroom - South Burlington, VT*
11/13 Thu - Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA*
11/14 Fri - Theatre of the Living Art - Philadelphia, PA*
11/15 Sat - Brooklyn Bowl Brooklyn, NY*
11/21 Fri - The Lincoln Theatre - Marion, VA
12/05 Fri- The Southern Charlottesville, VA
12/06 Sat - Acoustic Stage Concert Series - Hickory, NC
12/11-15 - Larry Keel at Strings & Sol - Puerto Morelos, Mexico
12/19 Fri - Clementine Cafe - Harrisonburg, VA
12/31 Wed - Oskar Blues Brewery - Brevard, NC %
01/01/15 Thu - Oskar Blues REEB Ranch - Hendersonville, NC ^
* LKE w/ Yonder Mountain
% LKE w/ Jeff Sipe. Also performing are Jeremy Garrett & Travis Book, Steve "Big Daddy" McMurry, Mike Guggino, and the Jon Stickley Trio
^ The CAN’uary 1st Hangover Brunch with Jeremy Garrett, Travis Book, Sarah Siskind, and Larry & Jenny Keel. Proceeds from the brunch will benefit Oskar Blues CAN’d Aid Foundation.
Donna the Buffalo. Photo by Matthew Coburn.
String Cheese Incident
November 4-5, 2014
By: Joe Cariola & Jim McWalters
Photo © Josh Burch
As the String Cheese Incident took the stage for the first of two nights at the beautiful Lincoln Theater, Bill Nershi commented that the band hadn’t played at such a small, intimate venue in quite some time and that it was a refreshing change to see everyone so clearly. You could really feel energy and you already knew the band was going to come rocketing out of the gate. The entire first set had such incredible intensity that it was startling. They absolutely crushed “Boo-Boo’s Pik-A-Nik” with some amazing solos from everyone in the band. Special mention should be made that during “Missing Me” Michael Travis and Jason Hann switched places, and you could barely tell it happened if not for the fact that you were seeing it with your own eyes. The first set closed out with a fan favorite, “Can’t Stop Now,” and after a brief intermission, the second set was equally, if not more, ridiculous. “Best Feeling,” and “Beautiful” were a nice lead in to an epic version of “Jellyfish>Shine.” However, without question, the best experience of the night was “Looking Glass>Jessica” because when the first major lines of “Jessica” began, the crowd just went insane. They jammed long and hard, giving anyone with the band a chance to solo. At the end of “Shine”, the gents went back stage but the crowd wasn’t going anywhere. After a few minutes, they came back out and crushed out “Panama Red” and with a clever ending, played “Let’s Go Outside” as by then, it was already nearly midnight.
Photo © Josh Burch
One of the many things we love about The String Cheese Incident is how the band fluidly drifts through different musical genres. Case in point, was the very the first song of day two, “Lonesome Fiddle Blues.” After the initial “grassy” beginning, the band segued into a deliciously tasty, psychedelically space of “Born on The Wrong Planet” that included a “Franklin’s Tower” tease. The orgasmic jazz keys of Kyle Hollingsworth added mind-bending danceable beats before shifting back into “Lonesome Fiddle Blues”. An extended jazz-tainted version of “Rhythm of the Road” followed, getting the packed house spinning around the room early.
After showcasing “Panama Red” for the encore at the first night’s performance, the band called on another gem from the Peter Rowan classic “Old and in the Way” with “Moonlight Midnight.” Seemingly pulling out all the stops, the first set steered mainly towards older material including the somewhat rare “Suntan,” and “Rain.” The fun atmosphere continued with the band acknowledging to the partisan crowd, the recent passing of new pot laws in the District. The very funky “Black or White,” from the band’s LP “Outside and Inside,” brought the crowd to a frenzied pitch before “So Far From Home” off the bands incredibly good new album “Song In My Head” concluded the set. The rapturous ‘Rivertrance” and “Desert Dawn” opened the second set before things settled down with “Windy Mountain.” The surprise song of the set was a colorful version of the Beatles “She Came in through the Bathroom Window”. It’s hard to resist the fun upbeat love that is “Joyful Sound” which ended having Hollingsworth, Nershi, Kang, and Moseley give way to the electronic funk jam of EOTO, with Jason Hann and Michael Travis at the controls. The band returned to play a favorite off the new album, the blissful “Colorado Bluebird Sky,” a song that could be considered the bands counterpart to “Stairway to Heaven”. The encore featured the rollicking “Good Times Around the Bend” before Kyle donned his ‘Pimp’ hat for a funkadelic version of Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie On Reggae Woman” to close out the show.
Note: This was Cosmic Vibes’ first visit to the beautiful Lincoln Theater along U Street in Washington D.C. There is a great staff and there really isn’t a bad seat in the house and the sound quality was fantastic. The venue is also fan friendly as patrons were allowed to stand and dance in the aisles without being hassled. The theater originally opened in 1922 and served the local African American community along an area that was once referred to as “Washington’s Black Broadway.” The theater closed in 1968 after the race-related riots but was restored in 1994. Today the theater is managed by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Over a year ago, the Commission selected I.M.P. as its booking agent (the same company that owns the 9:30 Club and operates Merriweather Post Pavilion). The theater is now booking some terrific acts including recent appearances by Bob Weir & Rat Dog, Emmylou Harris, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Jeff Tweedy just to name but a few. Cosmic Vibes Live is looking forward to covering more great acts at the theater in the years to come.
Photo © Josh Burch
Video © Josh Burch
Check Out Josh Burch's Photo Albums from Both Nights At The Lincoln Theatre
November 4, 2014
- Come As You Are
- Missin’ Me
- Boo Boo’s pik-a-nik
- Sweet Spot
- Song in My Head
- It Is What It Is
- Can’t Stop Now
- Best Feeling
- Can’t Wait Another Day
- Looking Glass
- Panama Red
- Let’s Go Outside
November 5, 2014
- Lonesome Fiddle Blues >
- Born On The Wrong Planet >
- Lonesome Fiddle Blues >
- Rhythm of the Road
- Midnight Moonlight
- Black and White
- So Far From Home
- Desert Dawn
- You’ve Got the World
- Windy Mountain
- She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
- Joyful Sound
- Colorado Bluebird Sky
- Good Times Around the Bend
- Boogie On Reggae Woman
String Cheese Incident is:
Bill Nershi – Guitar, vocals
Michael Kang - Mandolin, fiddle, vocals
Keith Moseley – Bass guitar, vocals
Kyle Hollingsworth – Keyboards, vocals
Michael Travis – Drums
Jason Hann - Percussions
The Avalon Theatre
By: Brady Wayne Cooling
Photo by Brady Wayne Cooling
Once again, the Grammy nominated band Yarn from Brooklyn treated roots music lovers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to their high energy blend of bluegrass, country, rock, folk, and Americana. They played a very quaint and intimate setting in the beautiful Avalon Theatre’s Stoltz Listening Room; which is similar to a small town coffee shop, perfect for their music with a crowd of right around fifty people. Yarn consists of: Blake Christiana on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Rick Bugel on bass/vocals, Andrew Hendryx on mandolin, Rod Hohl on electric guitar/vocals, and Cemre Dogan on drums. Between the soulful harmonies created by Christiana, the backbeat on the drums and bass, and the duel mandolin/electric guitar; Yarn truly knows how to bring the party each time they play, and the night at The Historic Avalon was no different.
Yarn treated the crowd to two awesome sets which included highlights such as: “Bobby Weeks”, “Fussing and Fighting (Jim Croce)”, “The Loner”, “Long Way from Texas”, and a nice cover of Arthur Crudup’s blues tune “That’s Alright” with Hendryx playing harmonica to end the first set.
Yarn’s second set featured fan favorites: “I’m so Alone on the Weekend”, “New York City Found” with a really nice mandolin and guitar solo to transition into “One Man’s Trash” Following that up with “Christopher Street” into “Can’s Slow Down”, and “More”; containing a very nice instrumental at the end of “Abilene” and “Turn the Light Off” to end the second set with “Bad Bad Man” as the encore.
Yarn is easily one of the hardest working bands on the bluegrass circuit, so I suggest you check them out next time they’re in your town or on a festival bill near you. You will not be disappointed! On another note, next time you are on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, you should come check out The Avalon Theatre and the beautiful historic town of Easton for a plentiful amount of concerts and other fun activities.