The B List: Allmans Add-Ons To Hit in NYC

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The Allman Brothers Band’s multi-night residency at New York’s legendary Beacon Theatre isn’t merely a tradition – it’s a rite of spring that, despite some speedbumps and setbacks over the years, remains a reliably good time.

Years ago, it became fashionable to host Allmans pre-parties and aftershow concerts at smaller clubs throughout the city. Not only can the shows extend the excitement of seeing hot nights at the Beacon, they’re also a way for savvy promoters to showcase like-minded bands and, in some cases, pieces of the extended Allmans family to fans who are guaranteed to be out and about already.

The add-on show action waned a bit after the band’s epic 2009 40th anniversary run, but this year seems to have returned full-on, with a number of tasty-looking parties in Manhattan and Brooklyn dotting this year’s 11-show ABB residency. Here’s a look at 10 shows to hit as before- or after-parties for Beacon evenings – including the six shows at Lucille’s branded as the “Brothers Midnight Concert Series” — and also five suggestions for shows to hit if you’re visiting NYC and want to see great music on a night you’re not with the Allmans.

10 ABB Add-On Party Possibilities

Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio
Where: Lucille’s at B.B. King’s, March 1, midnight
How much: $17 ahead, $20 DOS

Bobby Lee Rodgers gained wider exposure to jam-scene aficionados thanks to his years with the much-missed Codetalkers, especially when Col. Bruce Hampton was in the band. Rodgers quirky, relentlessly tuneful songs are but one arrow in his quiver – he’s a wicked, wicked guitar player, whether in jazz, rockabilly, blues or virtually any other idiom. See him in this exceptionally rare Northeast appearance.

Where: Lucille’s at B.B. King’s, March 2, midnight
How much: $17 ahead, $20 DOS

We maintain that Scrapomatic is still the best format to hear both vocalist Mike Mattison and guitarist Paul Olsen, who’ve been keeping this blues-soul combo – which predates Mattison’s better known gigs with the Derek Trucks Band and Tedeschi Trucks Band — alive for nearly two decades now.

Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band
Where: Lucille’s at B.B. King’s, March 8, midnight
How much: $17 ahead, $20 DOS

What a happy thing that this band, which began as a catch-as-catch-can Jaimoe side project, blossomed into a fully-nurtured priority for the longtime Allmans drummer. Jaimoe’s combo paints the soul-jazz corners of the Allmans sound with hefty helpings of blues and other elements.

Flannel Church
Where: Lucille’s at B.B. King’s, March 9, midnight
How much: $17 ahead, $20 DOS

We’ve been unabashed in our praise for Flannel Church, yet another Southern rock, R&B and blues combo attached to the ABB by blood – drummer Duane Trucks is one of Derek’s brothers and Butch’s nephews – and blessed by Col. Bruce, who’s featured all four of Flannel Church’s members in his previous bands. The ferociously talented A.J. Ghent, son of sacred steel legend Aubrey Ghent, is a secret weapon here.

Berry Oakley’s Skylab
Where: Lucille’s at B.B. King’s, March 15, midnight
How much: $17 ahead, $20 DOS

Here’s an Allmans extended family band we haven’t heard much about: Berry Oakley’s Skylab, which formed a few years back following Oakley’s move to the Sarasota, Florida area. It’s an interesting looking combo, for sure, featuring Oakley – son of original Allmans bassist and namesake, of course – and a number of veteran players associated with the Sarasota scene as well as bands such as Devon Allman’s Honeytribe. Skylab’s bio describes the sound using phrases like “dirty blues” and “the ugly classic rock sound.”

Col. Bruce Hampton & Friends
Where: Lucille’s at B.B. King’s, March 16, midnight
How much: $17 ahead, $20 DOS

With  so many of the Colonel’s disciples in town for the Beacon run, it seems only fitting that Bruce himself will close out the run of B.B. King’s afterparties on the third Allmans weekend. Guests are likely, and who knows who will be in Hampton’s band, but a good guess is A.J. Ghent, who since 2011 has been gigging with Hampton’s latest project, the Realms of Ventilation.

Hittin’ the Note Party
Where: B.B.  King’s Blues Club, March 9, 2pm-6pm
How much: $25

The annual Hittin’ the Note Party is always a special event at Beacon time, organized by many of the tireless Allmans diehards attached to the Hittin’ the Note web site and its hallowed community. While in past years the party has featured Allmans members and associated bands, this year’s show is a particularly meaty affair: first, a set from a four-piece consisting of Butch Trucks, Oteil Burbridge and Luther and Cody Dickinson from North Mississippi Allstars fame – presumably to hype their upcoming Roots Rock Revival experience — and then a headlining set from the Tommy Talton Band, whose leader’s roots stretch to the early days of the Allmans’, Capricorn Records and a sizzling country-rock outfit called Cowboy. Beloved blues axeman Junior Mack, who plays with Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band and is a frequent ABB sit-in guest, will also be playing, and there are door prizes and meet-and-greets on tap, too. Bonus: It’s a 2 p.m. start time for those who just can’t wait until nightfall.

Scott Sharrard and the Brickyard Band
Where: 78 Below, March 1 and 15, 11 p.m.
How much: n/a

A rich talent, Sharrard’s been earning his biggest notices in the past few years since taking over the lead guitar stead in the Gregg Allman Band. He’ll probably jam with the Brothers at some point in the run, as is customary, but be sure to catch him on one of these under-the-radar solo band shows, too – a great opportunity to hear him sing as well as shred. The nice thing? 78 Below, a new-ish tavern with an impressive live music lineup, is so close to the Beacon it could almost be described as “crawling distance.”

DJ Cochon de Lait
Where: Brooklyn Bowl, March 1, midnight
How much: $5

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band is at the Bowl earlier this evening (see below), but if you’re taking in Allmans opening night and still want to hook onto that New Orleans vibe, shoot to the venue after hours. Cochon de Lait has played with a who’s who of Crescent City luminaries and his well-apportioned DJ sets deliver the greasy goods, from NoLa brass and funk to soul and swamp-rock.

Where: Sullivan Hall, March 9, 11:30pm
How much: $10

What’s that phrase for a tribute band like Reckoning? “Old reliable.” These area cats know the Grateful Dead, Allmans and Phish catalogs cold and they’re darn good at starting a party. You know what you’re getting and that’s just fine.

5 Other Options

Where: Brooklyn Bowl, March 7-9, 12-16 (8 shows)
How much: $15-$20
Soulive’s Brooklyn Bowl residencies – now in their fourth year – have been so successful that the March NYC jam-scene residency crown is no longer safely the Allmans’. Special guests join the Evans brothers and Eric Krasno every night, and much like at the Beacon, fireworks are guaranteed. Warren, Derek, Oteil and several other Allmans associates have joined Soulive at the Bowl in years past – usually on Allmans off-nights, but not always, as Bowlive shows sometimes extend long past the Beacon winds down. This year’s Bowlive run is a slightly-shorter-than-usual eight nights.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Where: City Winery, Feb. 28, Brooklyn Bowl, March 1
How much: $20-$25

The New Orleans institution’s been spending a lot of time in the Big Apple lately, and as band, offers a vibrantly classic-sounding performance. The most excellent Erik Deutsch opens the Brooklyn Bowl show with his crew, and the aforementioned DJ Cochon De Lait is spinning between sets as well as hosting the late night aftershow.

Bill Evans’ Soulgrass
Where: Blue Note, Feb. 26-March 3 (two sets each night)
How much: $20-$35
The dark horse awesome residency happening in the time frame is this one: six nights and 12 sets of sax ace Bill Evans’ heady-as-fuck jazz-bluegrass fusion project. Evans has become a regular Allmans sit-in guest so chances are good he’ll turn up at the Beacon, but don’t be surprised if one of the Brothers reciprocates at some point during Evans’ own run. The announced list of guests already scheduled to join Evans – John Medeski each night, John Popper for three nights, Eric Krasno for two nights and Jake Cinninger for two nights – is dazzling enough.

Omaha Diner
Where: The Cutting Room, March 1
How much: $20-$25

This supergroup describes what it does as “Top 40 as you’ve never heard it before.” Given the personnel involved – Charlie Hunter, Skerik, Bobby Previte and Steven Bernstein – we can’t help but giddy-up.

Vintage Trouble
Where: Highline Ballroom, March 4
How much: $15-$17

L.A. rock and soul crew Vintage Trouble formed in 2010 and are in the process of busting out, big time, thanks to increasingly good notices and a raft of exposure after they opened for The Who on much of its 2012 North America tour. Take it from us: theirs is a don’t-miss show for lovers of throttling rock and R&B, still a little rough around the edges, but then, you want to see them now before the suits get ahold of the band and file those edges down.

If you still need ideas, here are more bands in the area during the Beacon run that have ties to the Allmans and the broader jam scene:

  • Ravi Coltrane and a series of quartets (including Nikki Glaspie on drums!) hold down the Jazz Standard from Feb. 26 to March 3
  • Deep Banana Blackout and Kung Fu get funky at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, March 2
  • Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds and Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band get down at Bowery Ballroom, March 2
  • Railroad Earth is at Best Buy Theater March 9
  • NMAS duo Luther and Cody Dickinson shred at the Slipper Room, March 7
  • Melvin Seals and JGB are playing classic Jerry shows at the Cap, March 8 and 9
  • Hot Buttered Rum and Cabinet are at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, N.J., March 14
  • Papa Grows Funk and the Great Apes tear through Sullivan Hall, March 15
  • Drive-By Truckers and the Old 97s share a monster country rock bill at the Cap March 15 and 16
  • Dr. John and Allen Toussaint are at Town Hall March 16
  • Gent Treadly has a bunch of Brooklyn and Manhattan shows

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One thought on “The B List: Allmans Add-Ons To Hit in NYC

  1. Dan Reply

    The Wood Brothers @ The Bowery Ballroom March 1st

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