Gov’t. Mule, The Ives Center July 26th, 2008

I flat out love Gov’t. Mule. Last night they played outdoors at the Ives Concert Park, in Danbury, CT., closing out the 2008 Summer Concert Series in grand fashion.

This is the third time I have witnessed Gov’t. Mule perform live their unque brand of jam band music. Each time I hear them play they get more cosmic, innovative and taking the art of improvisation to a new level.

I want to thank my sister-in-law for winning the tickets for us at Charter Cable, one of the Ives Center 2008 corporate sponsors. My brother-in-law and I always enjoy seeing Gov’t. Mule play live, its become an annual tradition for us.

If you have never been to the Charles Ives Center for the Arts in Danbury on the Western Connecticut State College campus try to do so. It is a beautiful scenic location with great acoustics. The bandshell has behind it a frog pond and the front row is surrounded by a moat, separating the artist and the stage.

Photos By Dino

What truly amazes me about Gov’t. Mule is their combined sound live. I interpret them as a rock jazz ensemble who know just when to seque, rock steady and just mesh tightly. They have so much fun playing in unison, they have an incredible sense of feel.

Favorite songs of the night were The Shape I’m In (The Band’s classic) done in dub, Presence of the Lord (Blind Faith, yep) Reggae Sunshine, Lively Up Yourself and Mule.

The encore featured the Muddy Waters classic I Feel Like Going Home which segued perfectly into a bombastic edition of Led Zeppelin’s How Many More Times (Years).

I can’t wait to download the Mule Tracks of this show later this week 🙂

Rose Hill Drive opened for Gov’t. Mule and I must say I liked them a great deal. A rock power trio who played with a deep strength and conviction.

Photos by Dino

David Sproul, Rose Hill Drive’s lead guitarist later joined Warren Haynes and the Mule on a knock out rendition of Cortez The Killer which closed out the Mule’s first set.

Photos bu Dino

I want to especially thank newly discovered music photographer extraordinaire Dino Perrucci for allowing me to share his photography with you. Please visit his Web site and look at his fantastic body of work. Dino has a keen eye in portraying live concert performance.

So, Gov’t. Mule until I see you in concert again, be well, have a great summer tour, stay safe. I’ll be smiling at ya for the songs you played in Danbury, CT at The Ives and thinking one thing, Where’s My Mule? 🙂

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Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – Party Intellectuals

I want to tell you about a new recording by a trio of NY City musicians named Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog. The CD is entitled Party Intellectuals. If you like experimental rock music with a distinct edge that challenges and entertains you in the same breath, this will be the recording to own and learn more about through each subsequent listen.

I have their CD on order awaiting a full listening to write a comprehensive review. Browse over to Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog’s record label, PiRecordings to sample the three tracks currently available, Todo es Mundo el Kitsch, When We Were Young and We Were Freaks (love that song title, Man ;), and Girlfriend.

Pi Recordings is a great collective of avant-garde artists that are making important contributions with sound and composition, breaking new ground as they flourish in their creative environment.

Marc Ribot played lead guitar on the brilliant collaboration of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand that T Bone Burnett produced. Yes that’s Marc’s guitar featured prominently on the Grammy award hit Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On) 😉

 

Journey – Reborn

Journey - Revelation

My music attention, as it relates to rock and roll, has been pleasantly diverted back to Journey and their comeback bid with the CD entitled Revelation. I watched with great interest the segment about Journey on yesterday’s CBS Sunday Morning broadcast. Let me first of all say I like Journey alot, the band was founded by Gregg Rollie and Neal Schon in 1972 when they “got pregnant with their own vision” as Carlos Santana would say about band members leaving Santana.

Revelation is a 2 CD/1 DVD package that consists of 11 new recordings, 11 re-recorded hits and a DVD of their live Las Vegas, Nevada March 8, 2008 concert at Planet Hollywood. This concert was the first ever live U.S. appearance of the new and improved Journey band, which features the powerful vocals of Arnel Pineda, their new lead singer from the Phillipines (I love that Neal Schon discovered Arnel by conducting YouTube searches, it’s a fairy tale come true for all involved).

The only rub for me about the distribution of Revelation which begins tomorrow June 3rd is that retail purchase is exclusive with Wal*mart. (you can order the CD/DVD from Journey’s MusicToday Store, along with other merchandising options) This is the route that The Eagles took and it is what supergroups are doing these days. I have a Zune account and would love to add Revelation to my collection tomorrow, but thats not how I can order and receive it. Bands like Journey and The Eagles do have marketing clout and significant fan bases that allow them to distribute their music and art with Wal*Mart and MusicToday exclusively. I don’t blame them for simplifying and maximizing their distribution options. We as consumers begrudgingly learn how to adapt to the limited choices of how we can purchase music from artists we love and respect.

Journey kicks off a world tour beginning June 8th in Spain. The USA dates commence July 9th in Colorado. The USA dates will be a triple bill, featuring the new Journey, Heart and Cheap Trick. It appears many of the dates are sold out already.

So check out the new Journey CD Revelation and Don’t Stop Believin’.

P.S. Sam’s Club has Revelation for $10.87 😉

Walter Becker – Circus Money

The other half of Steely Dan, Walter Becker is finally satisfied with his latest studio recording, Circus Money (available June 10th).

It has been 14 years since Walter Becker’s last solo studio recording, 11 Tracks of Whack. If you have been a fan of Steely Dan, one aspect you have come to appreciate is the perfectionism that Walter Becker and Donald Fagen evidence throughout their recordings. The Steely Dan timeless classics, Aja and Gaucho literally contain no wasted notes.

Circus Money is an interesting point of departure for Walter Becker’s musical direction. He has teamed up with producer/composer/arranger Larry Klein (see my review of his handiwork with Herbie Hancock’s River: Letters to Joni which won Grammy Album of the Year 2008, elsewhere on this blog). Together they have woven a rich tapestry of sound that is heavily accented with jamaican rhythms, r&b etc. The stellar core musicianship of drummer Keith Carlock, guitarist Jon Herington and keyboard player Ted Baker makes this an infectious non-stop groove.

Listen to the Circus Money sample audio player here —>

Circus Money cover shot

Bennie Maupin – Early Reflections

A Miles Davis alumnus you want to experience who provides clarity of jazz vision is Bennie Maupin.

He’s making some great music of late. I am enjoying his jazz craftmanship a great deal as a multireedist. His latest work with The Bernie Maupin Quartet is entitled Early Reflections on Cryptogrampophone, an eclectic, creative jazz and world music entertainment label from Los Angeles.

I am including links to several reviews of Early Reflections to round out your knowledge and enhance your listening pleasure.

Yours in Jazz and Music, Edje 😉

The healing light of Lisbeth Scott

I want to share with you an artist who I firmly believe to be blessed with the gift of healing through her music and voice. Her name is Lisbeth Scott. I have been fortunate to become a fan and recipient of Lisbeth’s healing light for the past five years now.

I first encountered Lisbeth’s vocals as a byproduct of listening to Paul Schwartz’s State of Grace II recording. My interest about Paul’s music originated from learning that Carlos Santana had collaborated with Paul Schwartz on the track, Curacion (Sunlight On Water). A beautiful song that opens magically as a bright light flower, then carries us across the water as we float upon its petals.

The song that fortified my faith and told me that Lisbeth Scott channels the singing voice of Mother Mary is entitled Fear Not. I am moved to tears whenever I hear this song as I visualize Mary comforting her son Jesus before he was crucified on the cross to save mankind. Lisbeth is truly blessed with the holy spirit as a compassionate person. These are the reasons why I believe Lisbeth was chosen to be the vocal coach for the movie, The Passion of the Christ 🙂

This leads us to Lisbeth Scott’s latest recording, Biomusique, the 10,000 steps which is due to be released next week on May 13th, 2008. A well crafted collaboration with Greg Ellis that will warm your psyche as it guides you along the path  of your inner pursuit.

I have been listening to the Biomusique music player solidly for more than a week now. It has brought many  waves of peace and harmony to my soul. This recording is a healing musical tapestry that slowly engulfs you with newfound depth and purpose. I urge you to give the music player on Biomusique’s web site a listen. The soothing sounds will embrace you like the essence of spring flowers as they embroider their fragrance across your heart.

Namaste’

Yours In Healing and Music, Ed 

NIN the slip – Hey It’s Free!

It took me far too long to catch up with NIN, Nine Inch Nails. It had to do with time, inclination, false reservations, capacity, personal bandwidth and other aspects of the “grey matter” psyche that get in the path of great music being able to reach our hearts and ears.

The past two NIN recordings Ghosts I-IV and the latest recording, the slip are fascinating, soulful, introspective works of art that speak to the sensibility of the human spirit. I especially love the ambient sound of Ghosts I-IV.

I really appreciate Trent Reznor and NIN making the slip available for free download. Its exciting to receive their music direct and immediate, the download process is very streamlined, well managed and coordinated. I feel both trusted and privileged that NIN shares their music this way. There are various media forms of the spin available. I decided to get the Apple (M4A) Lossless edition and added it to my iTunes library on my MacBook Pro. The musical woven tapestry took residence in my psyche quickly by forming a strong connection via the unique sounds and electronics incorporated.

I like their wiki, the nine inch nails wiki

Explore the slip….