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Jam band fans everywhere were beyond elated upon seeing the words Benevento/Russo Duo near the top of today’s Jam Cruise lineup announcement. The project was very active throughout most of the 2000’s, becoming something of a scene staple after collaborations with musicians like Mike Gordon, Dave Dreiwitz, Trey Anastasio and more propelled them into the spotlight. While Russo’s involvement with Furthur forced the band to sideline their activities, it seems that the future is bright for this beloved jazz fusion project.The story all began in middle school, as Marco Benevento and Joe Russo were classmates at the Franklin Avenue Middle School. The two gained notoriety in the New York scene, and officially started in 2001, when Russo invited Benevento to join him for a residency at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. By 2003, the band released two albums, Debut Album and Darts. They continued to grow, picking up new fans at every turn. After performing at moe.down in 2004, the two released their third album, Best Reason to Buy the Sun.The group continued to pick up both critical acclaim and love from fans, and they wound up taking home the Best New Groove award at the 2005 Jammys. That same year, they also appeared at the Bonnaroo festival, with Phish bassist Mike Gordon joining for the entirety of the set. Gordo would become a regular guest for the band’s live shows, during a time when Phish was on an extended hiatus.Things only got bigger and brighter for the boys from Franklin Avenue Middle School. The band returned to Bonnaroo in 2006, this time joined by both Mike Gordon and Trey Anastasio at the festival’s infamous “super jam,” which also featured the Dead’s Phil Lesh and more.With Gordon, Benevento, Anastasio and Russo came GRAB, which would tour the country with Phil & Friends for part of 2006, and continue without them for additional tour dates. The four-some came together during a songwriting studio session, and some of that material made it onto Anastasio’s Bar 17 solo album. Benevento Russo Duo also released their album Play Pause Stop in 2006, which would ultimately be their final official release.The band toured steadily throughout 2008, hitting a number of incredibly noteworthy festivals. Lollapalooza, Langerado, 10,000 Lakes, Wakarusa, SXSW the afore-mentioned Bonnaroo, and many more were targets for this exciting and unique arrangement. They also welcomed a number of guests throughout their performances, including the Phish members, Skerik, Dave Dreiwitz, Brad Barr), Eric Krasno, Scott Metzger, Mike Dillon and more.The Benevento Russo eventually got put on the backburner, with Benevento focusing on his solo career and Russo joining up with Furthur. There was never a formal announcement or anything of the sort, just the inevitable demand of two incredibly talented musicians in a scene full of music lovers on both sides of the stage. Of course, the two recently found themselves performing together more regularly, as their planned-one-off tribute to the Grateful Dead became something of a national sensation. You know, that whole Joe Russo’s Almost Dead thing.With the dissolution of Furthur in 2014, Russo has found himself heavily involved with the Brooklyn music scene, even making his national television debut with the Craig Finn Band in 2015. Now a family man, Russo recently spoke about wanting to cut back the number of Almost Dead shows going forward, but also discussed wanting to play some Benevento Russo Duo shows again. The two even briefly reunited at last year’s Mountain Jam, when Russo joined Benevento for what was supposed to be a solo piano exploratory workshop.With Benevento Russo Duo slated for a performance on Jam Cruise 2017, the future looks bright. Will this be a one off show or will there be more BRD in our future? We’ll just have to wait and see!Check out the full Jam Cruise lineup here.
During the days of the Phish hiatus, guitarist Trey Anastasio found himself in a number of interesting musical situations. Among them was the Dave Matthews Band, who Anastasio regularly collaborated with during the early 2000’s. One such performance took place on July 13th, 2005, when Anastasio made his first appearance with the full Dave Matthews Band in four years at the HiFi Buys Amphitheatre in Atlanta, GA. While Trey played frequently with Dave Matthews & Friends in 2003-04, his sit-in with the full band only ups the ante!The show features Anastasio lending a hand on guitar and vocals for two songs, “Jimi Thing” and “Louisiana Bayou”, closing out the main set with a bang. Until now, the lone video of this collaboration had not surfaced, and the show was untaped. Fortunately, thanks to Moontower Jams, the video was digitized and uploaded to YouTube just yesterday for our enjoyment.Set aside a half hour and watch this exciting “Jimi Thing > Louisiana Bayou” from the Dave Matthews Band featuring Trey Anastasio, below.
Rest in peace, Alphonse Mouzon! You will be missed but never forgotten. Alphonse Mouzon, the prolific jazz-fusion drummer and brilliant multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer, sadly died over the weekend at his home in Los Angeles, CA of neuroendocrine cancer. Known as one of the greatest drummers in the world, Mouzon was a force to be reckoned with behind the kit, and his sphere of influence and contributions to the modern music scene transcend genre and permeate most music played today.From his tapping as the initial drummer for the jazz fusion group Weather Report, Mouzon’s rise in the jazz world was meteoric. Shortly after his year tenure with the group, he signed on with the infamous Blue Note label as a solo artist and with guitarist Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House. His list of collaborators in the jazz world is seemingly endless, though it includes huge names like Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Al Di Meola, Chet Baker, Jaco Pastorius, and Miles Davis, to name a few.Listen to this 1971 live recording of Weather Report, courtesy of Rick Suchow.Watch Larry Coryell and the Eleventh House Band play “Right On, Y’all,” a Mouzon composition, courtesy of knkx public radio.Check out Mouzon’s drum solo during a performance with Jaco Pastorius and Albert Mangelsdorff, courtesy of DrummerWorld.While his name was initially made in the realm of jazz, his career by no means stopped there. His credits in the realm of rock and pop include gigs with Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Carlos Santana, and during Robert Plant’s acceptance speech in 1995 into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Mouzon was cited by name as one of Led Zeppelin’s major influences. He was responsible for shaping the funk backbeat in a series of his own albums, and his side projects ranged in sound from disco, soul, R&B, and more. In hip-hop, the explosive drum fill that kicks off the Beastie Boy’s “Shake Your Rump” (which can be heard below) is none other than Mouzon’s, and earlier in the week, Questlove penned the tribute below on Instagram to share how influential the legendary percussionist was in his own life.Watch Mouzon, funk bassist Wyzard, and rock guitarist Rafael Moreira come together for a rendition of “Foxy Lady,” courtesy of Alphonse Mouzon.Beastie Boy track provided courtesy of Universal Music Group.Listen to Alphonse Mouzon, Alex Skolnick, Rhonda Smith, and S. Weingart jam the tune “Nitroglycerin” off Mouzon’s solo album, Mind Transplant, video courtesy of Alex Skolnick.
Quickly ascending neo-jam-soul six-piece The Other Brothers from New Paltz, NY played a hometown show at Snug Harbor Bar and Grill (Snugs) on Friday, January 27th, 2017. Fervent fans showed up in full force, offering a near capacity crowd, to support the local boys and a rep from the establishment said it was one of the largest crowds in the venue’s history. Snugs is a special place in New Paltz as it is the last bar standing that actually produces live music as most have been replaced by stale DJ offerings.Formed in 2012, while all attended SUNY New Paltz, the Other Brothers are Brandon Bera (drums), Chris Owens (vocals), Gabe Marquez (keyboard), John Morrison (guitar), Jordan Mendelson (bass) and Jared Nelson (Percussion). They are veteran performers at Rock and Roll Resort and Sunflower Festival. They made an indelible mark by sharing an incendiary mix of eclectic soul and funk music with elements of jam for nearly 2 hours. The show was a one-off with no immediate gigs planned, as the group prepares to head into the studio and record their debut album, Jones. With the guitar-driven rock and roll and funky back beat, the band is slicker and edgier, but reminiscent of early Spin Doctors at times and an exemplary vehicle to showcase the angelic and smooth vocals of front man, Owens.Owens, who guitarist Morrison discovered at a house party when he was jokingly singing a Creed song, possesses a stage presence and persona pose that are a triple threat: the contagious kinetic energy of an early David Byrne, exuding the subtle yet fiery coolness of Eddie Vedder and the sex appeal of Jim Morrison when frenetically dancing, complete with his own signature move of his eyes frequently popping out of his head. His voice passes through various vocal octaves at times with the frequent juxtaposition of high soaring leads while allowing appropriate use of guttural exertions that emphasize the deep soul sound of the material when needed.The band is known for a vast array of covers including Billy Joel, Frank Ocean and John Legend and on this night they opened by covering, “Film de Festa” and “Exit Music.” They also shared two live debuts in “K2 in the Bathroom” and “Bound.” The songs were varied in style and delivery but three compositions stand out. These compositions are smooth and rich in depth. “Your Machine” may be the bands most universally accepted single. Rare time signatures in the song alternate between deliberate and contagiously rapid fire up-tempo. It would make a solid radio single as it is a relentless groove that showcases the band’s strengths.Morrison, a professional musician, picks his spots for a fiery jam but it is his ability to fill with tasty licks at the appropriate time that stands out. His guitar tone is reminiscent of Trey and sometimes during “Your Machine” the noodling is reminiscent of the famed Vermont band. Mendelson’s drops tasty bombastic beats and provides a stellar bass hook on “Can I Get It?” – another up-tempo number that delivers an assault on the senses.“Cave In” is a unique song that is a feel good lift me up. During the chorus, one feels like they are floating across the high seas on a cruise ship holding a libation. It’s soothing and hypnotic; bound to inspire anyone with a healthy pulse to smile while tapping their toes.The band no doubt garnered many new fans with their inspired play on this night. As a music aficionado, one knows there is nothing more invigorating than discovering a quality new band – one need look no further than The Other Brothers. To satiate one’s need for more music, while we wait with anticipation for the new album, listen to Bandcamp – you have nothing to lose, only stellar grooves to gain.Setlist: The Other Brothers | Snugs | New Paltz, NY | 1/27/17Set: Film de Festa, Exit Music, Levee For Free, Way You Are, These Cycles, Good Thing, Your Machine, K2 in the Bathroom, Love Recedes, New Friends, Cave In>Can I Get It?, Don’t Mean a Thing, In the City, Addicted to Weed, BoundEncore: Elizabeth Reed, Fly Like an Eagle[Photo via Dino Davaros]
The funk (and fun) does not stop with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, as they’ve just announced additional dates for their Fall headlining run in support of their upcoming studio album, Pizazz. In addition to the previously announced shows, the high-energy Baltimore-native psychedelic funk quartet will play a trio of Colorado shows in early October (in Boulder, Steamboat Springs, and Aspen). The band has also added a show at the newly opened Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn, NY on 11/24, the legendary Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT on 11/30, Boston’s Paradise Rock Club on 12/1, Saratoga Springs’ Putnam Den on 12/2, Philadelphia’s Theatre of Living Arts on 12/8, and Mr. Smalls Theatre in Pittsburgh on 12/9.Flamingosis will serve as support for the Brooklyn, New Haven, Boston, and Saratoga Springs shows. The Magic Beans will open for Pigeons in Philly and Pittsburgh. See below for a full list of “Pizazz Tour” dates. For more information, or to purchase tickets to any of the upcoming shows, head to the band’s website.[Cover photo via Phierce Photo by Keith Griner (Instagram: @PhiercePhoto)]
With Phish delivering what was yet another memorable Dick’s performance last night, Lettuce’s Adam Deitch and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff, along with Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville and Nick Daniels put on a late-night funk clinic at Cervantes’s The Other Side to keep the party going until well past 3am.The Lettuce New York brand of funk combined with Dumpstaphunk‘s classic New Orleans style was the perfect elixir to keep the crowd zoned in from start to finish. The group went all in on covers such as Sly and the Family Stone‘s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” and The Meters‘ “Hey Pocky Way,” and “Africa” (set to “New Orleans” lyrics).Neville is a master at delivering the organ grooves, while Daniels is always locked in on bass; both provided powerful vocals throughout the night. Shmeeans took things to the next level on lead guitar with some filthy guitar licks. The “Boy Wonder,” Adam Deitch, proves time and time again why he is one of the best drummers in the game today. Straight beats all day with this one.The quartet will take another swing at it tonight for a proper finish to the now annual 3-day Colorado Labor Day weekend festivities. Check out some video from the performance below:
[Video: Fred Ramadan][Cover Photo: Joshua Timmermans via Widespread Panic’s Facebook page] In recent months, Widespread Panic has slowed from touring consistently, instead opting to play less frequent, multi-night runs in cities across the country. This weekend, the band made their annual return to St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, Florida for a three-night run, which wraps up tonight. Following Hurricane Irma and the destruction left in its wake, Widespread Panic’s shows in Florida this weekend were initially up for cancellation. Happily, St. Augustine was not as severely affected by the storm as other Florida cities and the performances were able to go on as planned. However, the band still took the opportunity to ask that fans help those affected by Hurricane Irma by donating non-perishable foods and money to Feeding Northeast Florida all weekend long. Donations can also be made here.Widespread Panic Returns To St. Augustine With Charitable Grace [Videos]On Friday night, Widespread used their setlist to spell out a message to their Floridian fans, with songs like “Climb To Safety,” “Proving Ground,” “Pickin’ Up The Pieces,” “Solid Rock” and “Chainsaw City” acknowledging the happenings of the intense previous week. Last night, the band put on a particularly high-energy performance, laying out fine renditions of a number of fan favorites across their hour-long first set and ninety-minute second set. During the first set, one standout moment was the group’s performance of “Jaded Tourist” following their well-loved cover of Bloodkin’s “Can’t Get High.” Last night’s performance of “Jaded Tourist” marks the first time Widespread has played the tune since they busted it out after close-to-six years and a 300+ show gap during their Red Rocks run this summer.For the second set, Widespread Panic was fully dialed in, kicking things off with “Sharon,” a song last played during their New Year’s Eve show last year. While the first set was less focused on cross-song jamming, the second set showed the group giving song transitions the proper treatment. A “Driving Song” sandwich housing “Porch Song”, “Happy”, and a jam based around the Allman Brothers Band’s “Mountain Jam” served as the crown jewel of the set two, which fell ahead of the final three songs of the set, “End Of The Show,” “Space Wrangler”, and “Red Hot Mama.” To close out the night in full, the group returned with “Tail Dragger” and “Flat Foot Flewzy,” with the encore clocking in at around fourteen minutes.You can check out the setlist and videos from Widespread Panic’s show in St. Augustine, Florida, last night below. Widespread returns to St. Augustine Amphitheatre tonight to close out their annual three-night run at the special venue.Setlist: Widespread Panic | St. Augustine Amphitheatre | St. Augustine, FL | 9/16/2017Set One: Disco > Heroes, One Arm Steve, Weak Brain, Narrow Mind, Can’t Get High, Jaded Tourist, Sleeping Man, Little Kin > Thought SausageSet Two: Sharon, All Time Low, Street Dogs For Breakfast > Vacation, Steven’s Cat, Driving Song > Porch Song > Happy > Driving Song, End of the Show, Space Wrangler, Red Hot MamaEncore: Tail Dragger, Flat Foot Flewzy“Sleeping Man”[Video: Fred Ramadan]“Happy” / “Mountain Jam”
New Yorkers–and countless people outside the Big Apple–know that the absolute toughest tickets in town, on literally any given night, are the tickets to smash historical Broadway hip-hop homage Hamilton. There are roughly 1,300 seats in the Richard Rodgers Theatre (where Hamilton is staged) and the show is performed 8 times a week, and yet the waiting list for tickets from the box office remains at least a full year long. Of course, you could always head over to the secondary market to buy tickets…where prices for tomorrow evening’s performance currently range from ~$300 for single “cheap” seats to ~$3,000 for orchestra level tickets. It’s been that way every night since it debuted on Broadway in 2015.President Obama Signs National Law Banning The Use Of Ticket BotsLast week, corporate ticketing giant Ticketmaster filed a lawsuit against a large-scale scalper who allegedly used illegal technology to buy tens of thousands of tickets before selling the for extravagantly marked-up prices. The lawsuit, filed against Prestige Entertainment in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeks damages that a source familiar with the situation said is in excess of $10 million. According to the suit, Ticketmaster had been tracking Prestige Entertainment for the past two years. Prestige managed to use software “bots” to quickly purchase about 30,000 tickets to Hamilton often up to 40% of the entire amount of tickets available for a given performance, the suit says.Ticketmaster wound up canceling the purchases and putting the tickets back in the system so fans would have a better crack at them, a source with knowledge of the situation explained to the NY Daily News. The Daily News also reported that the accused, Prestige Entertainment, purchased the majority of Ticketmaster’s allotment of tickets to 2015’s blockbuster Floyd Mayweather–Manny Pacquiao fight. All told, Ticketmaster’s records show that from January 2015 through September 2016, Prestige and its associates made at least 313,528 orders using 9,047 different accounts.Ticketmaster had previously sent a cease and desist letter to Prestige Entertainment putting it on notice, but the ticket broker didn’t stop, the source said. The suit says Prestige and its associates “surreptitiously attempt to conceal their identities by using a variety of account names, email addresses, physical addresses, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and credit cards.” In all, Prestige made tens of millions of dollars reselling tickets to live events, the majority of which were procured using illegal ticket bots.The suit says various individuals and companies who operate in the shadows and whose identifies are not yet publicly known assisted Prestige, and others by creating, marketing and providing bots designed to interact with Ticketmaster’s website and mobile app.“Ticketmaster has zero tolerance for bots and will continue to employ all available methods to stop their usage.”[h/t – NY Daily News]
At the first Suwannee Roots Revival since the death of Col. Bruce Hampton, longtime friend and band mate Rev. Jeff Mosier assembled an all-star team band for a “Symphony Of Gratitude” to the beloved Suwannee fixture. The passing of Hampton earlier this year left a gaping hole in the heart and soul of the jam music community. The Atlanta-based musician had been a fixture at events around the nation, but he was known to truly love the Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park and that feeling was always returned ten fold.Hampton’s sudden loss has been making waves from the second he fell, inspiring emotional performances all around the nation. Though time might have begun to heal the wounds, the joy the Col. created will surely live on for decades to come. Thanks to the efforts of the Rev. Mosier along with Tyler Neal, Ian Newberry, Nick DiSebastian, Dante Harmon, Michael Smith, Kathie Holmes, Franher Josep, John Mailander, Fiddlin’ Faye Petree, Mark Chester, Darren Stanley, Eddie King and more, the music lived on in an emotional Sunday afternoon show.Members of the Col.’s many recent projects, including Madrid Express, Pharaoh’s Kitchen and the Quark Alliance, packed the Suwannee Amphitheater stage with bodies and love as they played a wide range of beloved songs the Col. had made his own. Though it would be understandable if the music had turned maudlin, the sheer exuberance and joy the players showed throughout the tribute was far more fitting a remembrance. From the opening dedication to the raucous frenzy of the closing “I’m So Glad,” there was a true sense of the energy Col. Bruce had brought to the park dozens of times in the past. We’re honored to share these magic moments of love and respect with you and to add our voices to the chorus in saying “Thank you Col. Bruce…we love you!”“Cosmic Sound-There Was A Time”“Ain’t Nothing You Can Do”“Hate To See The Children Cry”“Space Is The Place”“Cry Me A River, Cry Me A Sea”“Roll On Buddy, Roll On”“I’m So Glad”[Cover photo by Josh Webster]