In the festival world, there is no higher pinnacle than Glastonbury. Taking place (almost) every summer since 1970, the large-scale festival is the premier camping festival in the U.K., attracting 135,000 people to Pilton, England each year for an epic weekend with massive headliners like Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Kanye West, Metallica, Beyoncé and many more.This year’s edition, headlined by Muse, Adele, Coldplay, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala, and Disclosure, began on Thursday, welcoming droves of music fans to the legendary site as they got comfortable with their surroundings. While exploring this year’s edition of the festival grounds, Consequence of Sound has reported three major additions to this year’s festival, as a way to honor some of the fallen musical heroes that have passed away this year. The famous main stage, The Pyramid Stage, is adorned with a Ziggy Stardust eye surrounded angel wings in honor of David Bowie, who famously headlined the festival in its second year in 1971, and returned for a celebratory headlining set in 2000.Fans were reported to be celebrating Bowie all over the festival, as a “Rebel Rebel” sing-a-long organically popping up as fans were entering the grounds.The second addition to this year’s festival is an “Ace of Spades” sculpture on top of The Other Stage, honoring the fallen Mötorhead frontman, Lemmy Kilmster.Lemmy and co. only played the festival one time, at the 2015 edition, in what would end up being the band’s last performance in the U.K. before the bassist and lead singer’s untimely passing.Finally, Glastonbury’s “White Whale”, Prince, famously never played the massive musical gathering, so the festival decided to pay tribute to him in the best way possible. The Park Area of Glastonbury’s grounds now has a statue of a hand holding a crown with Prince‘s logo on it, turning the area into Paisley Park for the weekend, and allowing Glasto-goers an opportunity to pay their respects to the Purple One.We’re so happy to see so many festivals paying tribute to these three legends, after seeing both Governor’s Ball and Bonnaroo pay tribute to these lost legends as well. Glastonbury has done a great job of honoring music of all genres, and to see tributes to such a diverse group of artists is incredible.Glastonbury will continue paying tribute, as the festival announced that a headlining David Bowie-tribute set will be performed Saturday night on the Pyramid Stage. The festival will bring a full orchestra and conductor Charles Hazlewood to perform Philip Glass‘ 1996 orchestral tribute to Bowie’s album “Heroes”, and the performance will be accompanied by a huge light show.
Flux Capacitor, the band of brothers from the Northeast, continue their ascent this summer hitting festivals up and down the East coast. Highlights include Susquehanna Breakdown, Strangecreek, Peach Fest, Gala in the Grove, and more – including a huge debut performance at the 2016 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN. With a new album in the works set for a fall release, 2016 is a huge year for Flux.One fan submitted a recap of the power trio’s high-energy debut at Bonnaroo: “The heat and anticipation were building as Flux kicked off the night with an explosive “Unite,” a tune that inspires listeners to believe that “peace comes to all that share,” a beautiful line that we should all keep as a daily mantra as the band quickly took hold of the audience and got them moving and grooving. Next up, the crowd favorite “Big Bad” followed by “Freedom Killers,” a bold and thought evoking tune singing “gold and silver will never bring value to our lives.” A melodic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” Jam flushed all anxiety away, and Flux closed the rush with the powerful “Light At The End of Tunnel.” Wow! Familiar fans were pleased, new fans were established, and anyone in between may have a new perspective.”Thanks to Flux Capacitor, you can check out their performance of set-opener “Unite,” streaming below.Don’t miss Flux Capacitor throughout this summer, including a late night set at the Peach Music Festival!
Unless you live in a major city, it’s not very often that all of your favorite bands come to see you. Instead, we are faced with the quest to go see them. For some, this sounds like a hassle, for others, an opportunity. And if you dedicate yourself to jumping through the hoops for one show, you might as well jump on the bus for a few more. Right?Road Life is a breeding environment for new experiences, and therefore, opportunities for a person to grow. Every element feeds into an adventurous merry-go-round of whimsical decisions and life lessons that, in the end, become cornerstones of your very own character. The car ride, the risks, the sights, the scenes; The company, the talks, the relationships, the memories; and The end-all point of the finish-line, the show, the band, the set; The life.If you ever find yourself on the cusp of adventure, or if you’re feeling held back by life… remember that it always comes back to you. Have a talk with yourself in the mirror, and remember these five things:5. Dedication to Music is Dedication to Quality of Life.It is a testament of pure dedication to motivate one’s self to traveling hundreds of miles just to see your favorite band. While decisions like these started back in the ’60s, they’ve continued well into the now – with festivals popping up in every corner of the map, drawing people in from the depths of each state, and with bands like Phish, Dead & Company, and Widespread Panic inspiring their fans to always want more.Dad, Please Never Stop Going To Music Festivals: An Open LetterBut a certain amount of effort goes into making such decisions, and the average citizen knows better than to embark on a journey without having all their boxes checked off first. In the moments leading up to the point in which you walk out the door, there’s a lot that needs to be done. Must finish work, must make wife/husband/mom/dad/children happy, must feed cat, must cover all bases necessary to step foot away from the life you’ve built to live. Dedication to this is dedication to all, especially when the juice is worth the squeeze.4. If you are Happy, Life is Happy.It’s about giving yourself pleasure and living without regrets. If there is a band that you like, you should go see them. If seeing them multiple times makes you happy, you should figure out a way to see them multiple times. There are people that live their lives this way; and if you ask them, they are probably happier than the average Wall Street Joe.How Music Can Be Used To Influence Different Mood Goals3. You Can’t Get the Feels Unless You Feel Them First.Not everyone has the same experience when listening to music. Getting the chills during your favorite part of a song is a phenomenon only some people experience; those same people also have higher percentages of a personality trait called “Openness to Experience,” according to this study, which also found that people who possess “Openness to Experience” have “unusually active imaginations, appreciate beauty and nature, seek out new experiences, often reflect deeply on their feelings, and love variety in life.” It’s no wonder those people tend to flock together like the birds of a feather.Why We Make More Friends And Feel Less Pain At ConcertsIt’s a thought that many do not understand… “If you saw them last night, why would you travel hundreds of miles to see them again?” some might ask. But until this band gets in your blood, until you realize the infamy of going about an automatic existence, until you truly experience the musical community in it’s living and breathing most raw form, you probably will never understand the art of “going on tour.”2. Community builds Character, just like Characters build Communities.If you think about organizations like “Shakedown Street,” where communities travel from place to place, providing food, hydration, clothing, and all the necessities to live from “the lot,” you’ll see why this concept has lasted for so long. Anything you need to survive is there. So long as you keep up with your responsibilities as a human being in a civil society, the road will always make room for you in its home.Your Taste In Music Is Linked To Your Personality, According To Science1. You Will Find Yourself in a Place where your Favorite Band Provides you with Life Lessons, Lessons that Can’t Be Taught.Every experience presents an opportunity to learn something new. You might get a flat tire, your tent might get rained on, your credit card declined; but whatever it is, you learn how to deal with it or how to do something differently. To travel in light of your favorite band presents opportunities of growth. You meet new people, you find new places, you learn what to do and what not to do in situations you otherwise wouldn’t have found yourself in … had you not taken the initial risk.What it all comes down to is this: We exist on this planet to produce life, whether in ourselves or in others. If music is your passion, you should go out and chase it. Happiness has a tendency to affect others, so if you call yourself the domino, you can have the effect on the trail.
After just performing their 19th and 20th shows at the beloved venue Red Rocks, electronica stars STS9 have announced plans to return to Colorado for a three-night New Year’s run. The shows, which take place December 29th, 30th, and 31st, will take place at The Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO. The band has rung in the new year at the same venue the past few years, so fans will feel right at home at The Fillmore.Tickets to all three shows and more information can be found at this link. Tickets go on sale this Friday, October 7th.In honor of STS9 New Year’s, check out this video from NYE 2014, courtesy of YouTube user anthem21x, when the band launched off on a killer 13+ minute version of “New Dawn New Day” at The Fillmore.The artwork for the STS9 New Year’s announcement can be seen below.
One of the enduring axioms of music is the relationship between blues and rock n’ roll. Simply put, rock and roll is a young man’s game while blues just gets better with age. BB King was still going strong well into his old age, sounding as fresh at 80 as he did at 25, and guitarists like Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal continue to keep that tradition alive. While The Rolling Stones have held up remarkably well playing songs they recorded 50 years ago, it still had an oldies feel to it. The Stones I saw in the 21st century were a shadow of what I witnessed in the early 1970s. So, when the band went into the studio to work on some new tracks, they started riffing on the blues and subsequently rediscovered their muse. The result is Blue & Lonesome.Recorded in only three days, it’s their first album in more than 10 years and the best thing they’ve recorded in many decades. It is raw, potent and filled with passion. Hearing Mick Jagger playing the harmonica like Little Walter is a joy. The Stones have returned to the sound that launched the band in the early 1960s (they’re named after a Muddy Waters song), but as older and wizened veterans they have truly mastered the blues genre that only comes with a lifetime of experiences.Rather than choosing the safe and well known blues numbers from earlier in their career, the Stones chose more obscure songs. It’s a winning formula that delivers with gritty determination. This album firmly re-establishes the Stones one of the all-time great British blues bands. And it begs the questions, “Guys, what took so long?” I have avoided Stones concerts in recent years, but, when they tour again, I’m there.Now to some of the tracks:“Commit a Crime” is covered brilliantly with Mick doing his best to get the gravelly brilliance of Howlin’ Wolf’s voice. His harmonica riffs are stunning while Keith Richard and Ronnie Wood trade blues licks (which they do throughout the album).The title track, “Blue & Lonesome”, first recorded by Memphis Slim, is a classic. Mick’s pleading, desperate vocals are paired sublimely with straight forward Chicago blues guitar work. When Mick wails on the harmonica, you just feel the despair. It is straight forward and as raw as a cold windy winter day.“All Your Love” is a little known gem from Magic Sam, a forgotten but important blues artist from Mississippi who died way too young at 32 in Chicago in 1969. Chuck Leavell adds a really nice piano solo while the drifting guitar solo brings the song to a satisfying conclusion“I Gotta Go” is true to the Little Walter original, and it’s no doubt that the band is reverential in their cover. Little Walter was the Harmonica player back in the day. Mick emulates the harp riffs admirably. Some blues purists feel that Little Walter was a little too commercial, but there is no denying his ability as a musician.“Everything Knows about My Good Thing” opens with a brilliant slide solo by Eric Clapton and we are off to the races. Clapton has done his best to keep the blues alive over the past 20 years and his contribution here is most welcome. Mick again is emotional and bares his soul with heartfelt vocals.“Little Rain” from the legendary delta performer Jimmy Reed is a gem. Jimmy Reed was a toweringly great performer that has never gotten the recognition he deserves. Most folks know his biggest hit, “Big Boss Man”, but Reed has an impressive body of work. While the 50’s and 60’s were all about the Chicago sound, Jimmy Reed never lost touch with the slower, earthier sound of Delta Blues. While all of Mick’s other playing on this album is Chicago blues, he shifts to the easy going style that made Reed a legend. Mick really shows his mastery on the harmonica shifting the sound to match the style.“I Can’t Quit You” is probably the best known track on the album, mostly for the Led Zeppelin rendition. Written by the prolific Willie Dixon for Otis Rush, The Stones do the song justice with a brilliant take. Otis had a powerful voice and Mick gives it his all. Eric Clapton returns with an inspired guitar solo that weaves his blues magic that earned him the well-deserved moniker as Slowhand.This album is magic and pure joy, and is sure to be considered the best blues album of 2016. Granted blues this raw is an acquired taste, but this album is enticing and delivers wonderfully on all fronts. The Blues has lost its way over the past few years and gets little recognition. The Rolling Stones have done their part admirably to draw attention to a great, great musical genre.
Funk is a way of life in New Orleans. Tracing back to The Meters, the progenitors of the style, funk music has moved audiences—literally and figuratively—for decades. In line with renewed post-Katrina interest in the city, the funk culture has reached a new critical mass, with nightly live-music dance parties on Frenchmen Street, as well as large-scale funk events like Oak Street Block Party, Fiya Fest, Bear Creek Bayou, and packed shows for contemporary funk luminaries Dumpstaphunk, Eric Krasno, Nigel Hall, and the extended family of acts and side projects loosely organized around the festival favorite, Lettuce.So if New Orleans is the spiritual and geographical home of the genre, where the hearth of the backbeat groove shines brightly, consider Organized Crime to be Keepers of the Flame. While out-of-towners descend upon New Orleans each year at Jazz Fest to ply their booty-shaking wares to the masses, Organized Crime is a collective of transplants who have come to call New Orleans home. Working day and night in the trenches of the live music scene, the band’s latest effort Kiss The Ring transcends the nightly party (though they are fluent in that craft) to develop a new iteration of the New Orleans funk sound.Consider the title track, opening with Patrick Kelleher’s rock-solid drum groove, worthy of any breakbeat crate-digger’s sample collection. While the song employs the classic funk elements—unison pentatonic scale riffs, dance beat, drums/organ/guitar instrumentation implied by the band name—it morphs from the vintage sound to the present day with Andriu Yanovski’s crunchy synth low-end. Delay-effected arpeggios imply an R&B tinge, perhaps a byproduct of his weekly Baptist church service gig, where he accompanies the sermons of a black Southern preacher.This student-of-the-past turned contemporary-creator is thematic throughout the record. Blue Note organ trio interludes are interspersed with love songs. “Come Back” features heartfelt lyrics and a soulful trombone solo from Evan Oberla (Allen Stone, Elle King, OAR), an iconic instrument in Organized Crime’s home town. “Freaky Girl” highlights Henry Green’s (Brass-A-Holics, Big Easy Brawlers) R&B stylings, as well as prog-rock guitar tones. The band’s cultivated musical training comes through with the complex rhythmic and melodic composition “Lion’s Den.”But perhaps most important for a band that lives, breathes, and sings New Orleans is the inclusion of two covers. First is legendary New Orleans jazz and funk drummer James Black’s “Storm In The Gulf.” If taken figuratively and symbolically, including this track signals the band’s claim to a place in the culture (i.e. they are the storm). If taken literally, the choice could signal the uneasy position of a city whose very existence hangs in the balance of rising sea levels and ever more volatile weather. This nod to the significance of climate change in New Orleans life is driven home with the final track: Tower of Power’s classic “Only So Much Oil In The Ground.” The lyrics—convincingly rendered by local recording engineer and vocalist Gio Blackmon—serve as a reminder to a foolish fossil fuel-addicted society, as pressing today (if not more) as they were when originally recorded.The album is also an opportunity to expose local horn-section Brass Lightning (Evan Oberla, Ari Kohn, Cyrus Nabipoor), who has made their own way as a live and recorded act, collaborating with rising star Tarriona “Tank” Ball and punk-rock percussion expert Mike Dillon.The 9-track opus was brought to life by by two-time Grammy Award-winner producer Chris Finney, who himself is steeped in the NOLA traditions having worked with legends Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, every member of The Meters, Dumpstaphunk, and more. Informed by the inimitable musical past of the city but unafraid to dig in to the contemporary, Finney offers the same expertise of experience to Organized Crime that he has leveraged in cultivating The Revivalists, Sexual Thunder!, and Naughty Professor.With a record release party planned for March 16 at Gasa Gasa in New Orleans, and an summer East Coast tour in the works, Organized Crime is staking a claim to the past, present, and future of the New Orleans funk brand. Listen closely. Pay your dues.<a href=”http://organizedcrimefunk.bandcamp.com/album/kiss-the-ring”>Kiss The Ring by Organized Crime</a>
Load remaining images Over the weekend, Firefly Music Festival returned to The Woodlands, bringing over 140 bands to its nine stages. Firefly sported a diverse range of acts over its four days, tapping The Weeknd, Muse, Twenty One Pilots, Chance the Rapper, Bob Dylan, Flume, Weezer, The Shins, and more to top its massive lineup. Luckily, photographer Sean DiSerio was on site to capture some of the action over the weekend, and you can check out his full gallery below. DeSerio also captured what’s in the running for our favorite crowd photo of all time, so we can all savor the magic that is Firefly Music Festival. Those already looking to the future toward Firefly 2018 got some good news today as well — the music and camping festival will be returning to Dover next year from June 14th through 17th.
Members Of Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Jaimoe Bands Will Reunite As “Friends Of The Brothers” In NYC
On Wednesday night, the music of the Allman Brothers Band will be celebrated in full by the newly-arranged “Friends of the Brothers”, featuring members of the Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, and Jaimoe bands as well as ABB biographer Alan Paul. The band will celebrate the music of the Allman Brothers Band and honor the memories of Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks for their second show as “Friends of the Brothers” this year at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York City.“Friends of the Brothers” originally started as a one-off show in March earlier this year as a tribute to Butch Trucks following his unexpected death in January. “I wanted to put together a tribute and thought of my dream lineup: Peter Levin (Gregg Allman), Andy Aledort (Dickey Betts) and Junior Mack (Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band). When they all said yes, we played a glorious night of music,” explains Alan Paul, author of the definitive Allman Brothers band biography One Way Out. “When Gregg died, we all knew we had to get the band together again to honor our friends and the music we love so much.”Heading into their third official show together, “Friends of the Brothers” is rounded out by Zen Tricksters drummer Dave Diamond and bassist Craig Privett.“The Allman Brothers catalog is some of the most important and influential music of the last 50 years,” says Aledort, who has also played with Band of Gypsys and is a renowned guitar educator, having produced hundreds of books and instructional DVDs for Guitar World and others. “For a serious musician, it’s very challenging to play it well. And I just love it.. I love the playing of Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, as well as Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks and I love the songs.”“I’ve had the great fortune to play with Dickey Betts for 12 years and I learned a tremendous amount sanding next to the guy who invented this stuff. The music means so much to me and having had the opportunity to tour the world performing it with Dickey Betts is one of the most important things in my life and Pete feels the same way about Gregg as Junior does about Jaimoe. I love those guys and think they’re phenomenal and I welcome every opportunity to play with them. It’s a chance for people who have been there next to the real guys for a long period of time to get together and demonstrate our shared love of this music and pay homage to the band, to the Allman Brothers, to Gregg and Butch as well as Duane, Jaimoe and Berry – everybody who created this great music.”The continuous celebration of the Allman Brothers Band will continue on Wednesday night at the Brooklyn Bowl, starting at 8pm. Tickets are currently available here.Enjoy the below video clip from their first official show together at the Brooklyn Bowl in August of 2017:
In the early weeks of 2018, Tom Hamilton and Holly Bowling announced that they’ve shifted their focus to a brand new project dubbed Ghost Light with Steve Lyons, Raina Mullen, and Scotty Zwang. Paired with the new band announcement, the group also detailed a number of upcoming tour dates for Ghost Light’s inaugural coast-to-coast spring tour and explained that the project’s debut album would be released in the second half of this year.Tom Hamilton, Holly Bowling, & More Announce Spring Tour With New Band, Ghost LightBoth Tom Hamilton and Holly Bowling were on hand at Jam Cruise 16 earlier this month, and found the time to talk with Live For Live Music about what fans can expect from Ghost Light. With Hamilton increasingly known for his work Joe Russo’s Almost Dead in addition to his past projects like Brothers Past and Tom Hamilton’s American Babies and Holly Bowling first coming to prominence in the scene thanks to her solo piano reinventions of Phish and The Grateful Dead jams, the duo also spoke frequently about the legacy of the Dead and how the band’s spirit lives on. You can read the full conversation below:Ming Lee Newcomb: First off, Tom, can we talk a little bit about Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s Red Rocks show this summer. That “Morning Dew” was really something special. Tom Hamilton: My old man got me into the Grateful Dead when I was young, like way young—he gave me a cassette of the Dead at Red Rocks in ’78. When we booked that Red Rocks gig, I was able to fly out my parents who had never been to Red Rocks, who had never been to Denver, so it was really heavy during that show. During that “Dew”, I was looking straight ahead into the VIP section, and there are my fucking my parents and my brother, right there. It was super fucking crazy and way heavy.Joe Russo’s Almost Dead with Oteil Burbridge – “Morning Dew” – Red Rocks – 8/31/2017[Video: wspanicbrad]Ming Lee: Can you guys talk a little bit about the Ghost Light project, and what we can expect? What was the catalyst for the project? What brought you guys together?Tom: I had the American Babies thing, which was my band. Holly sat in with us a bunch over the course of a year and a half or so, and we just really hit it off musically.Holly Bowling: Every time we found ourselves in a similar place at the same time, we were making an effort to play together, and have kept playing together.Tom: I had the passing thought that it’d be great if Holly could just join American Babies full time, but then it kinda hit me that I didn’t want Holly to be joining ‘my band.’ I realized that I’d prefer real collaboration, so we were like, ‘let’s just start anew.’ We talked about it, and I was like, “Look, I have this idea for a band, and I have players in mind who I think we could use that would be interesting and different from what we were doing with American Babies,” and we kinda started going from there.Tom Hamilton’s American Babies with Holly Bowling & Dave Schools – “China Cat Sunflower” – Sweetwater Music Hall – 11/19/16[Video: NIck Dauphinais]Ming Lee: Raina [Mullen] was formerly with American Babies, and I’m familiar with Scotty Zwang from Dopapod and RAQ. How did you guys settle into the lineup for Ghost Light?Tom: Steve Lyons is this younger dude—he’s about 27, I guess?—and I’ve known him since he was in his late teens. He’s a monster and just an incredible bass player. He moved to L.A. a few years ago with his band, and they were trying to do the thing, you know? I ran into him last year, and things were slowing down for him. When we were talking about doing this type of thing, I was like, ‘This dude is the best dude for what we’re trying to do who isn’t already in a band.’ He’s just incredible. So I reached out to him, and we were like, ‘you can stay in L.A. if you want, but we’d love to do this with you. It’ll be based in Philly, but we’d love to fly you out and do whatever,’ and he was like, ‘Wow, yeah sure.’Holly: From my perspective, I had played with everyone in the band other than Steve, so he was a total wild card for me. Before we all got together and played, I was like, ‘Man, I hope Tom knows what he’s doing here with this one, because if this guy sucks, I don’t know what’s going to happen.’ Then, we all got in the same room and played for, you know, like five minutes, and I was just like, ‘We’re good.’ [laughs]Tom: It was one of those things where I was like, Holly’s either going to be able to trust me from now on…or never trust me again. [laughs]Holly: Yeah, or I’d walk out the door, ‘Cool, well this has been fun.’ [laughs]Ming Lee: You guys made the decision to start this project in the studio first, and Ghost Light already has an album under its belt. Have you found that there were benefits to starting this project off in a somewhat untraditional order by not road-testing the project first?Tom: So the first time all five of us were all in the same room together, we were in the studio. We’d never all played together at the same time up until that point. And yeah! I think it’s been more exciting maybe?Holly: It’s been really cool for me. I mean, [Tom] knew Steve a lot better than I did, and I had played with Scotty but I didn’t know him well, so my main way of getting to know them has been by working with them in the studio. I’m getting to know them as people sort of through the conduit of knowing them as musicians—playing together has really been at the heart of this all. It’s a cool way to all start to gel and learn and understand each other’s styles.Tom: I also think it keeps the focus in the right place. The reason we even really all know each other is because of music. This is about music; this is about art. It’s not about any of the other bullshit. We’re all keeping our eye on the ball.Holly: And doing it in the studio instead of just throwing ourselves out on the road right away, I feel like it’s giving us the time and space to really know each other’s strengths and figure out what everyone’s voice is and what they’re bringing to the table.Ming Lee: How would you describe Ghost Light sonically?Holly: This is the million dollar question, and I’m not sure we really want to give too much detail about it. It’s a very new thing, and it’s still evolving…Tom: What the record is going to be is not like what the live show is going to be. An album is a statement, you know? It’s a document and snapshot of a particular moment in time, so we have that hat on. But when it comes to taking that album and bringing it into the live arena, that’s when we turn ourselves back into the improvisers that we all are. We get to really see what these songs can do and where they can go and how they can change and grow—and this is with all the music that we’ll play. Whatever it is, whether it’s just the songs on the record or any other music we play, it’s all gonna be ‘whatever happens.’ We just want to out there and try to do something beautiful and interesting every night.Ming Lee: Does that mean Ghost Light will take on a “jam band”-esque feel in terms of stretching and improvisation on the road?Holly: The whole catalyst for this project was improvisation. We all really enjoy improvising, so we’re not going to have a band where that’s not a huge part of it. I mean, that would be torture. [laughs] Literally.Tom: I mean, yes, definitely, because that’s what we do. Now that being said, you used the term ‘jam band,’ but that’s not what this is, you know what I mean? Like, in the air quotes way of ‘Hey, we’re going to take a heady mix of a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy,’ which is what a lot of things are turning into. I think that’s part of the reason we’re enjoying starting Ghost Light off in the studio together. To make music, to make art, it should be work. It shouldn’t just be, ‘We’re just going to take from a bunch of people and make shitty copies of them.’ It’s more like, ‘What is it that we all have to say? What do we have to bring to the table that isn’t already in the lexicon?’ And that’s what we’re trying to figure out. If we’re like, ‘Oh wow, this is great! But wait—this actually kind of sounds like somebody else,’ then we flush it and move on and start over.That’s the work you’re supposed to do as an artist. That gets lost a lot, especially in this scene, when it’s easy to do whatever the guy next to you is doing or whatever the hip band at the moment is doing. That’s not art, that’s bullshit. So we’re putting in the work, and that’s the most important thing, I think. We do five-day blocks where we’re like, ‘okay, we’re going to be in the studio for 14 hours today. Buckle the fuck in and let’s figure it out’—and that’s great. We’re passing ideas around and doing the thing.Ming Lee: The way this new band has been presented, it seems you are all viewing it as a long-term project. Where will Ghost Light fall in terms of your focus versus your solo work, Holly, and Tom, your work with JRAD and other projects?Holly: Right, so this is not a side project for any of us. This is the thing that we’re all invested in and want to put our time into. Is Tom going to keep playing with JRAD? Of course. Am I going to keep playing solo stuff here and there? Totally. But, the thing that we’re really jumping into right now is Ghost Light. As much as I know you love playing with JRAD and I love doing the solo stuff I’ve been doing, I think we are all looking for something else. Personally, I have a lot of ideas that I can’t express in the solo context and a lot of things I want to try out, and this is the place for all of that.Tom: This is our laboratory. We have all these ideas, and with the band, we can all bring in these ideas and figure them out together, like ‘How do we make this awesome?’ What we’re saying, what we’re adding to the lexicon—our voice and original material—Ghost Light is our contribution to that. It’s not the side note or the asterisk; it’s the main course, and everything else is going to be what we do when we’re not doing this.Holly Bowling – “Terrapin Suite” – Massry Center for the Arts – Albany, NY – 5/12/16[Video: Holly Bowling]Ming Lee: Across the album release and the live shows, is there one thing that you’re particularly looking forward to in 2018?Holly: For me, it’s not a division between the live shows or the album. For me, it’s more so about seeing the progression that the music is going to go through; I’m more interested in this whole project over time. We’re just getting started here, and it’s constantly in flux and growing and changing already. I’m just excited to look back at these same songs at the end of this year and be like, ‘Holy shit! How did we get here from there?’Tom: Yeah. From today to when we walk off stage, hopefully during our New Year’s show, looking back and being like ‘Wow, what the fuck happened in there?’ because that’s a huge gap of time.Ming Lee: Holly, your husband records and disseminates many of your solo shows. Will you still be doing something like that for Ghost Light?Tom: Hopefully! [laughs] …if he’s into it.Holly: He’s not going to be on the road full-time like he is with me. We haven’t talked about this in any sort of official capacity, but coming from the scene that all of us are and given the roots all of us have, I assume we’re going to have a pretty open policy about taping and archiving and wanting to make sure all that stuff is circulating freely.Tom: And, again, every night is going to be different, and that’s the beauty of it.Holly: And that pushes you too, and I want that.Tom: You gotta challenge yourself. There’s no going out there and doing the same shit or whatever. Every song, every night is a challenge. What does it mean to you tonight? It’s not like method acting where you’re conjuring up a feeling from whenever. No, this is the moment. What is this version of the song going to be? And we don’t know—none of us know—and that’s what makes it fun. There’s no formula. One of the things that we both most share in common is that we’re both improvisers in a very real sense of the word. We’re not “jam band-ers,” and we really want to go out there.Holly: Our whole plan is to Throw. Away. The. Map. Tear it up, light it on fire. Question mark?Ming Lee: You guys have been talking a lot about the improvisational aspects of Ghost Light. Would you say that’s something that you’re actively cultivating, or is it more just a natural extension of all of your temperaments?Holly: Hm, kind of a mix? I don’t generally think of myself as running a dictatorship musically whenever I’m playing with somebody. Because we’ve been working on writing together a lot, I do think there is this conscious exchange when you bring in a tune of, ‘What do you want to do here?’ ‘Well, I have a couple of ideas, but I’m also interested in holding those back and not having it just be my voice.’ So I think it’s a little bit of both.Ming Lee: You have both collaborated with original members of the Grateful Dead at various points over the past few years. What is that like, considering that major aspects of your careers rely on continuing the musical legacy of the Dead?Tom: We actually just had a long talk about this the other day. I look at it like this: There is a Grateful Dead cover band in every city in America. That’s a lot of people playing this stuff. There are a handful of people that are in the position that Holly and I are—of being sanctioned by them. That’s a huge honor and a huge responsibility to carry the ship forward, to make sure that the songs, plus the reason the songs are there, keep going. So it’s not about looking behind you—that’s not what the band is about…We don’t try to sound like the Grateful Dead. Holly doesn’t sound like Brent [Mydland], and I don’t sound like [Jerry] Garcia. They already existed. Why would we do that?Tom Hamilton’s American Babies with Bob Weir -“Loser” – Sweetwater Music Hall – 11/18/16[Video: Deadheadland Films]Tom: This kinda goes back to what I was saying with jam bands in general earlier. If you want to honor somebody, you don’t copy them. If you love a certain artist because they did something amazing and unique, well, don’t do exactly what they were doing—that’s already happened. Take it and run with it. With the JRAD thing, that’s what we’re doing. We’re not trying to sound like the Grateful Dead. That’s the opposite of what that band is about.Holly: I think especially with JRAD, the whole thing is about turning all this shit upside down and pushing it out there.Phil Lesh, Holly Bowling, Ross James, & Eric DiBerardino – “Eyes Of The World” – Terrapin Crossroads – 11/4/16Tom: Constantly changing, constantly changing, and never resting on anything! I’ve never played with any of the guys from the Grateful Dead and had them be like, ‘Oh, do it more like this.’ Like, no! That’s not what it’s about. So I embrace that we get to carry this thing on in a good way until we can’t. I think the trick to it is maintaining humility. We didn’t write that shit. None of the guys in JRAD have egos about this shit because it’s not ours. We’re just a conduit for it.The size of the crowds and all that stuff is cool, but that’s not us. It’s them. We’re just a continuation of this thing and helping bring it forward. The real tip of the hat to them is that we’re still all making our own music. We’re all still trying to innovate and move the music in a forward direction and do something new and beautiful and useful with it. None of us are just taking what has been done, rebranding it, and passing it off as our own. That’s insulting, you know? It’s important we take what they do, and we twist it, turn it inside out, and fucking shred it, and do whatever it is that you can do with it, because that’s what it’s supposed to do.Holly: Exactly. It’s not about replicating it. It’s about replicating the spirit behind it and continuing it.For more information on Ghost Light’s upcoming tour plans, head to the band’s website.[Cover photo – Tom: via Bill McAlaine; Holly: Ron Adelberg via Holly Bowling’s Facebook]
Load remaining images Photo: Eric Gettler Photography On Wednesday evening, Gov’t Mule continued their young spring run with a performance at Westbury, NY’s NYCB Theater. The band began the show with “Railroad Boy”, followed by Dose tracks “Thorazine Shuffle” and “Larger Than Life”. Revolution Come, Revolution Go cut “Pressure Under Fire” followed. A red-hot “Sco-Mule” came next, featuring a tease of Deep Purple‘s “Smoke on the Water”. “Time To Confess” then eased into Revolution Come, Revolution Go ballad “Dreams & Songs”, before the band brought out guest harmonica player Hook Herrera (as they have at each show on this young spring run). Herrera helped Mule through a set-closing pairing of “Burning Point” and Robert Johnson‘s “32/30 Blues”.The evening’s second set began with a new debut, “Red Baron”, followed by an extended jam on Joe South‘s “King’s Highway”. The roaring title track from Revolution Come, Revolution Go sprouted up from there, followed by a rendition of “Funny Little Tragedy” infused with lyrics from The Police‘s “Message in a Bottle” and “The Bed’s Too Big Without You”. “World Boss” was up next, and segued into Memphis Slim‘s “Mother Earth” before Warren Haynes and company brought the set home with “Mr. Man.” For the encore, the band welcomed Herrera back to the stage to add his harp to Muddy Waters classic “Champagne & Reefer” and The Allman Brothers Band‘s “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’”.Below, you can check out a selection of videos from the performance, as well as a gallery of photos via photographer Eric Gettler:Gov’t Mule – “Railroad Boy”[Video: danfro]Gov’t Mule – “Pressure Under Fire”[Video: illuminatedrose]Gov’t Mule w/ Hook Herrera – “Burning Point” > “32/20 Blues”[Video: illuminatedrose]Gov’t Mule – “Champagne & Reefer”[Video: illuminatedrose]Setlist: Gov’t Mule | NYCB Theatre at Westbury | Westbury, NY | 4/25/18Set One: Railroad Boy, Thorazine Shuffle, Larger Than Life, Pressure Under Fire, Sco-Mule*, Time To Confess, Dreams & Songs, Burning Point^, 32/20 Blues^Set Two: Red Baron*, King’s Highway > Jam, Revolution Come, Revolution Go, Funny Little Tragedy^^, World Boss > Mother Earth, Mr. ManEncore: Champagne & Reefer^, Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’^Notes:^w/ Hook Herrera on harmonica*Live debut^^w/ Message In A Bottle and The Bed’s Too Big Without You (The Police) lyricsSco-Mule contained a Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple) tease; 32/20 Blues contained a Loser (Grateful Dead) tease; Mr. Man contained a Highway Star tease.Gov’t Mule | NYCB Theater | Westbury, NY | 4/25/18 | Photos: Eric Gettler