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Washington DC's Premier Site For Bluegrass~Funk~Jamband  Reviews, Interviews & Concert Footage 

Mar
24
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Dangermuffin Plays Gypsy Sally's Friday, March 27 

W/ Special Guests Ten Feet Tall

3401 K Street NW
Washington, DC


Dangermuffin> "Organic, sand-blasted roots rock with a sweet jam spread." 

 

Five years and four albums into a career that's found them drawing circles around the lower 48, building a burgeoning national fan base, Dangermuffin embodies a curious paradox. The themes found within their striking new collection, Olly Oxen Free, sum up that juxtaposition.


This Folly Beach, S.C.-based trio are clearly at peace with themselves and their career, while keeping up a constant pursuit of truth. The seeds they've planted at major festivals around the nation grow as fast as the mileage on their odometer, yet they dream and sing of home with a yearning passion. Most strikingly, the band's musical execution remains refreshingly simple, belying a staggering lyrical and thematic depth behind each individual song.


Dangermuffin can no longer be plainly dubbed an Americana or roots-rock band. Behind the virtuosic rhythms of drummer Steven Sandifer, the group seamlessly segues from calypso to world beat to a down-home shuffle, often within the same song. When guitarist Mikie Sivilli steps in with a powerful slide-driven lead, one might even venture to call it Southern rock. But by the time songwriter Dan Lotti sings the first words of another verse with his unmistakable light rasp, the listener is undeniably back on the beach, pondering both the world's pleasures and ills through sandy toes.


The follow-up to 2010's Moonscapes, which produced tracks that received generous airplay on both SiriusXM's Jam_On and Outlaw Country stations, Olly Oxen Free demonstrates heightened ambitions and a refined, road-polished outfit ready to take on even more. Opener 'Slumber' greets us with an enveloping sense of hope. The ska beat of 'Battle' gives way to a fierce guitar solo, before '200 Degrees' comes in batting cleanup. The fourth track on the disc, that song's memorable riff serves as an epic reminder that Dangermuffin has no plans to rest on their laurels.


Olly Oxen Free never turns its back on the audience for a moment. Recorded at Truphonic Studios in Charleston with producer MJ Fick, even the album's peaceful acoustic interlude, 'Jaula,' feels like a breath of fresh ocean air; an unexpected, serene eye of a perfect summer storm.
From 'Homestead' to 'Rattle the Cage,' Lotti's songwriting encourages us to be free, revel in the simple beauty of our complicated lives, and always seek out healing answers. Like the cry bellowed during a children's game of hide-and-seek, Olly Oxen Free signals that it's safe to come out from our hiding spots, gather together, and celebrate late into the evening. Dangermuffin is more ready than ever to provide the soundtrack.

 

 

 

Ten Feet Tall

The genesis of Ten Feet Tall is the stuff of legend. As the story goes, a wise man brought together five musicians who represented the best aspects of a variety of musical traditions: a soul singer, a funk bassist, a jazz pianist/saxman, a blues guitarist and a hip-hop drummer. The five took their differing musical backgrounds, poured them into an iron cauldron, stirred vigorously and brought the swirling concoction to a boil. At just the right moment, the wise man added a double shot of chilled tequila....

The resulting explosion blew out the windows in every house on the block and caused NORAD to increase the alert level to DEFCON 3. When the smoke cleared, the five had been fused into a five-headed, ten-armed, giant beast that spontaneously produced a musical sound and style that had never before been heard on this earth, yet was familiar to everyone. Ever since that day, the creature has roamed the Northeastern US, emerging periodically to devour lesser bands and convert nonbelievers into devout followers.


Tickets are available at > Dangermuffin/Ten Feet Tall

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Mar
13
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STEVE KIMOCK & FRIENDS DO JUSTICE TO JERRY...AGAIN

By Steve Houk


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Just walking by Gypsy Sally's last Wednesday night, you only had to glance around, or take a deep sniff, to know what was goin' down.

If there was ever a crowd on hand that definitively said "Jerry" just by their appearance and demeanor, Wednesday night's sold out crowd at the small yet comfortable DC venue was one of those, for sure. From the dreadlocked wish-I'd-seen-the-real-thing youngsters, to the many renderings of Jerry on hats, shirts, coats and tats, to the multiple bunches of 40-60 somethings (mostly guys) who'd seen their share of Dead shows and wanted yet another journey back in time, it was a lovingly dedicated throng clearly elated to be part of a night chock full of Jerry Garcia-tinged music. Oh, and lest we forget that skunky smell wafting down the street and even throughout the venue, which clearly cemented the coveted Dead vibe.

But these packed-in fans weren't there just to get closer to Jerry, they were there to hear these players do Jerry. On the second night of a short Northeast swing for his Jerry Garcia Tribute show (they play Baltimore tonight), superb veteran (and Grateful Dead friendly) guitarist Steve Kimock led a group of familiar top shelf musicians through a stellar set of tunes that had the Dead-loving crowd swaying, bopping, smiling and singing along like it was 1978. Kimock has done these Jerry-themed shows before, and judging by the performance and crowd reaction, this one had to rate among his best.

From the opening riffs of  Hank Ballard's "Tore Up Over You" (which Kimock introduced to start the show by saying, "Someone asked us to rock, so we will") to the Garcia Band fave encore of "Mystery Train," Kimock and Company once again did major justice to not only the music, but the feel of Garcia's music. They never rushed the songs along, they seemed precise yet fluid in their presentation. On this night, Garcia's songs (and those of others like Dylan, JJ Cale and The Beatles) were clearly being performed by a group of musicians who both knew and revered the music they were playing and could reproduce it with pinpoint accuracy and homage to the real thing, while also injecting their own endless supply of finesse to the songs.

Two Dead standards, "Bird Song" and "Sugaree" were first set highlights and most reminiscent of the "scene," with the latter building slowly from a sweet shuffle to a wailing Kimock guitar-led jam. Keyboardist Jeff Chementi, who has certainly played his share of Godchaux/Mydland/Horsnby/Seals riffs many times before, was in typically stellar form, massaging the Hammond B3 with his typical golden nuances. His presence and talent connected the sounds together throughout the evening like a weaver's thread. Guitarist/vocalist Dan Lebowitz more than competently channeled Garcia's vocals and provided the most direct path to Garcia's personality, and as usual, longtime Kimock cohort Bobby Vega held the deep end up wonderfully on bass. And the two pronged drum corps of former Garcia bandmate Bill Vitt and Kimock's talented son John kept the beats perfectly behind this group of solid vets. But the band is clearly Kimock's, and he never dissapoints, whether it's playing Jerry riffs or some of his improvisational masterpieces. His immense talent helps make these kinds of shows way more than just nostalgia revisits, he breathes an energy and professionalism into the music that many other Dead-related bands sometimes struggle to reach.

Set two included Deadhead faves "Bertha" and "Stella Blue" and an always pleasing "After Midnight"/"Eleanor Rigby"/"After Midnight" sequence that elated the already Jerried out crowd, which included Dark Star Orchestra founding member John Kadlecik, who of late as been holding down a residency at the club every Tuesday playing full JGB sets in their entirety. Judging by his Facebook post from this morning that said,"Had a great time seeing Steve Kimock and Friends tear it up last night," you knew it had to be a good performance to impress someone so deeply familiar with Garcia's music. All in all, Steve Kimock has once again used his talent and camraderie to breathe life into the Garcia legend.

Set 1: Tore Up Over You - Takes a Lot to Laugh Takes a Train to Cry - Bird Song - Expressway to Your Heart (inst) - He Ain't Give You None - Sugaree // Set 2: Like a Road - Bertha - After Midnight->Eleanor Rigby->After Midnight - Stella Blue (inst) - Deal // E: Mystery Train


Steve Kimock Gypsy Sally's Photo Gallery by Brian Willis 

 

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Mar
12
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KUNG FU AND TWIDDLE ‘DIRTY DOZEN TOUR’ STOPS IN
BALTIMORE, MD ON SATURDAY, APRIL 11th

 
Two of the most buzzed about bands on the scene, Kung Fu and Twiddle, are joining forces for a twelve night co-headlining run including a stop in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, April 11th with special guests The Fritz.
 
The bands will take turns closing each night but to keep things interesting, it will not be announced in advance. Fans will have to arrive early to find out who takes the stage first. Kung Fu and Twiddle teamed up in December for a sold out show in New Haven, CT and have been rocking fests around the country, so tickets are expected to go quick. 
 
When:
Saturday, April 11th  
 
Where:
Ram’s Head Live
20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD 21201
410.244.1131 | www.RamsHeadLive.com  
 
Special Guests:
The Fritz
 
Tickets:
8 PM | $12 adv/$15 dos
 
Dirty Dozen Tour Dates:
4/1 - Buffalo, NY | Iron Works  
4/2 – Syracuse, NY | Westcott Theater                                           
4/3 - New York, NY | Irving Plaza                                   
4/4 - Clifton Park, NY | Upstate Concert Hall  
4/9 – State College, PA | Levels                                               
4/10- Pittsburgh, PA | The Rex Theatre                                  
4/11 - Baltimore, MD | Rams Head Live
4/12 - Richmond, VA | The Broadberry                                  
4/14 - Greensboro, NC | Blind Tiger                                        
4/15 - Charlotte, NC | The Chop House                   
4/16 – Atlanta, GA | Terminal West   

 

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Kung Fu: With a tight headlock on the nu-funk movement, Kung Fu is quickly popularizing their unique sonic contribution to the music scene. Blurring the lines between electro-jazz-fusion and ‘70s-style street fighter funk, Kung Fu merges early Headhunters and Weather Report mentality with contemporary electronic ideology like yin and yang. Although the ensemble cast enjoys a seasoned pedigree that reads like an all-star jam, Kung Fu has gained a rabid following that has led to sold out club shows around the US and sets at major music festivals. The powerhouse quintet's live show has been described as "lethal funk," "explosive," "jaw dropping," and "musically mesmerizing.” Kung Fu’s second album, Tsar Bomba, dropped in March 2014 and can be heard on regular rotation on SiriusXM Radio’s JamOn. Kung Fu features Tim Palmieri on guitar, Robert Somerville on tenor sax, Todd Stoops on keyboards, Christopher DeAngelis on bass guitar, and Adrian Tramontano on drums/percussion.
 
"Do the Right Thing" http://bit.ly/LiuRQc
www.KungFuMusic.com | www.Facebook.com/KungFuTunes| @KungFuTunes

 

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Twiddle: Twiddle, a Vermont-based quartet, dismantles most preconceived notions of jam band culture. Their fresh multi-genre approach conjures up rock, jazz, and bluegrass, but above all, masterfully blends reggae and funk. After whimsically jamming in the fall of 2004, the founding members of Twiddle immediately recognized creative chemistry. By their second semester at Castleton State University, Mihali Savoulidis and Ryan Dempsey were carefully intertwining harmony and fantasy, birthing band staples like “Frankenfoote” and “Gatsby the Great". Twiddle took Castleton by storm, toured the northeast, and composed a catalog of original music before becoming upperclassmen. 2007 manifested Twiddle’s debut release, The Natural Evolution of Consciousness. This breakout album showcased the band’s eclectic inspirations, imaginative lyrical abilities, and superb instrumentation. Twiddle’s sophomore production, 2011’s Somewhere on the Mountain, delves into the human spirit, speaking to our ambition, grief, and love. Their latest production, Live at Nectar’s, is a double disc live album recorded in August of 2013 at Burlington, Vermont’s Nectar’s. A clear hallmark of their career, Live at Nectar’s truly captures Twiddle in their element, the live experience. Currently Twiddle is shooting up the rows of festival lineups, packing prominent theaters, and inspiring each other. With sage songwriting and unmatched variety, Twiddle continues to exceed all expectations.
 
“When It Rains It Pours” http://bit.ly/1wZry5q
www.TwiddleMusic.com | www.facebook.com/TwiddleJamFunk | @TwiddleMusic

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Mar
09
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The Road To Delfest

 

The Travelin’ McCourys featuring Bill Nershi

&

Jeff Austin Band

9:30 Club
Washington, DC
March 6, 2015

Photos and Review By Jeffrey Socha


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All Good Presents and Delfest teamed up and put together an unforgettable night of jamgrass music at Washington DC’s 9:30 Club Friday March 6th with 'The Road to Delfest' featuring The Travelin' McCourys with Billy Nershi of String Cheese Incident and the Jeff Austin Band (Jeff Austin, Danny Barnes, Ross Martin, Eric Thorin) 

 

The idea behind The Road To Delfest was to bring that festival feeling indoors and on the road to get everyone ready for festival season - specifically Delfest which kicks off summer and Festival Season here in The mid-Atlantic region. Chances are if you’ve been to a bluegrass festival the memories most prevalent in your mind are not so much that of the “scheduled” performers but more of the impromptu jams and unscheduled collaborations. 


Well there was no shortage of jams on Friday night, there was definitely an unscheduled collaboration and I must to say the “Road to Delfest” definitely got everyone charged up for Delfest. If there was anyone there that wasn’t planning on going to Delfest I’ll bet they are now. Despite having just been through another bout of snow with as much as 10” on the ground in DC and its surrounding suburbs, fans packed the 9:30 club to rage with some of the best in Bluegrass and are now most certainly ready for Delfest and festival season.


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Jeff Austin (formerly of Yonder Mountain String Band) has put together a band of veteran musicians that absolutely blew my mind from the first note to the last. It didn’t take them long at all to get in the groove and performed a 75 minute jam filled set. After last nights show I honestly feel like his departure from YMSB has elevated his level of play in a huge way. Disappointed fans have wondered since Jeff’s sudden departure from YMSB last year, why he left? I’m not really sure 100% why, but after last nights performance what I do know is that he has found himself in a position to rise to the top of the jam scene again with this band. Have no worries YMSB fans this band will exceed your expectations and then some. You can see them perform two sets including late night Sunday at the 8th annual Delfest.

 

If Jeff Austin’s set wasn’t enough to get you to Delfest the set by The Travelin’ McCourys had to of sealed the deal. It didn’t take long for things to get heated up as they came out strong with “Walk Out In The Rain”, each member getting to rip a solo which was just the beginning of many more to come. The crowd blew up after Ronnie introduced special guest Bill Nershi of The String Cheese Incident to sing on “Barstool” and erupted once again as they introduced three time fiddler of the year recipient Jason Carter to sing on “Lonesome On’ry and mean”. Ronnie ran the show just like his dad would, going around the horn introducing each member to play a tune on their respective instrument. Next he introduced the great Alan Bartram up to sing on “The Shaker” and then brother Rob to slay it on the banjo tune “Blackjack” from his new album The 5 String Flame Thrower. The horn came back around to Ronnie who led the band on a Mandolin tune “On The Lonesome Wind” and it’s unbelievable how much Ronnie is starting to sound just like his dad. If you didn’t know for sure it was Ronnie signing you might it was think Del. The show moved on with a wonderful rendition of Shady Grove and then a smokin version David Grismans “Lil Samba”.

 

As I’m walking around the venue to get into different spots for photos I see Del McCoury in the corner of my eye and I’m thinking whoa what is he doing here. For the next 15-20 minutes other people are also starting to notice him and people were hoarding around him asking for pictures. I knew that this could mean one thing and one thing only. What I did not know is that we all knew before the band. As I’m standing in the corner of the balcony watching and waiting for a possible Del appearance, Bill Nershi says he needs to adjust his guitar strap and then asks if there are any tall guitar players in the house that want to try out his guitar. Out comes Del McCoury from behind the curtain, the crowd erupts into a burst of applause and the smiles on the rest of the bands faces are priceless as they had no idea Billy had concocted this plan. This took the energy of the show to a new level as Del kicked it off and the crowd sang along on “Cold Rain & Snow”, “Travelin Tear Drop Blues” and the Delfest fan favorite “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”.

The Jeff Austin Band would return to the stage later for an old fashion pickathon including an encore appearance by Del on “Rollin’ My Sweet Baby’s Arms”.


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I don’t really know what else to say except for WOW what a memorable night at the 9:30 Club. Both bands blew me away and if that was any indication of what Sunday late night at Delfest is going to be like you better get yourselves ready a serious throw down.


 

Photo Gallery Jeff Austin Band

 Audience Recording JAB Audio Link


Photo Gallery The Travelin' McCourys

Audience Recording TTM Audio Link


 

 

 

 

The Jeff Austin Band Setlist

Rundown
Fifteen Steps
track four
Releigh & Spencer
Maintain
Ragdoll
Falling Hard
Reuben's Train>Follow Me Down to the Riverside>Reuben's Train



Jeff Austin Band:
Jeff Austin (mandolin)
Danny Barnes (banjo)
Ross Martin (guitar)
Eric Thorin (bass)

 

 

 The Traveling McCourys Set

 Walk Out in the Rain
 Barstool
 Lonesome, On’ry, and Mean
 The Shaker
 Blackjack
 On the Lonesome Wind
 Shady Grove
 Lonesome Blues
 Natural to Be Gone>Good Ole Days
 Lil Samba
 Ole Timey Killer
 Cold Rain and Snow+ w/ Del
 Travelin Tear Drop Blues+ w/ Del
 Vincent Black Lightning+ w/ Del
 Loser
 Movin' On Down The Line


 E: W/Jeff Austin Band and The Travelin’ McCourys
 Get It While You Can*
 Don't it Make You Want to Dance*?

 E: Rollin in my Sweet Baby's Arms* + w/ Del

The Travelin’ McCourys
Ronnie McCoury - mandolin, vocals
Robbie McCoury - banjo, barnjo
Alan Bartram - bass, vocals
Jason Carter - fiddle, vocals
Bill Nershi-guitar

*=Jeff Austin Band joined The Travelin McCourys
Jeff Austin (mandolin)
Danny Barnes (banjo)
Ross Martin (guitar)
Eric Thorin (bass)

+=Del McCoury

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Mar
06
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Home Grown Music Network 20th Anniversary Festival Announces Artists featuring Keller Williams, The Original Lineup of Purple Schoolbus, The Recipe, Barefoot Manner & More


Music Collective Celebrates 20 Years of Great Music, Great people October 1-3 at Harmony Stage in Mebane, North Carolina
300 Acre Farm Hosts Additional Acts Including Peter Prince & Moon Boot Lover, Big Daddy Love, Dangermuffin, Moses Guest, Rumpke Mountain Boys & More 

 

Years before the actual word 'jamband' emerged as a genre or even a word, the Home Grown Music Network was there helping talented independent bands reach fans on a new level. Through its nationwide collective of bands, venues, stores and fans the Home Grown Music Network (HGMN) has catalyzed two decades of incredible audio offerings including the 2004 launching of Harmonized Records, going on to introduce the world to such powerful scene bands such as Lotus, Perpetual Groove, Garaj Mahal, The Motet and more.  

 

HGMN turns 20 in 2015 and its birthday is a crossroads; looking deep to its roots while solidly continuing to be a vital player in the modern, independent music industry. Today that new model announces a celebratory festival in its honor. 

 

Held October 1-3 at Harmony Stage in Mebane, NC, jam fans will light the birthday candles at the Home Grown Music Network 20th Anniversary Festival featuring these first round artists:
Keller Williams

Purple Schoolbus (original lineup)

The Recipe

Barefoot Manner

Peter Prince & Moon Boot Lover

Big Daddy Love

Moses Guest

Dangermuffin

Electric Soul Pandemic

Rumpke Mountain Boys

The Hip Abduction

Sol Roots

Rebekah Todd & The Odyssey

plus 15 more artists still to be announced

 

With 20 years being celebrated over three days with music on two stages, the festival offers a seasoned mix of artisan vendors, visual art, onsite camping and hot showers on a beautiful 300+ acre farm in Central North Carolina between Greensboro and Durham. 


Festival tickets and complete event information are available now at www.homegrownmusic.net.


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