Kevin Smallwood


Cajun mullets and snake punching: Welcome to the Halloween V.D.I.F. Mixtape. Today, we prove that a Halloween soundtrack doesn’t have to include Monster Mash, Thriller or the Ghost Busters Theme.

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Now listen here: You see that little man down there? The one with the adjustable wife-beater and pleated parachute pants…do you see what he is doing? He’s absolutely murdering that bamboo

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Keller and The Keels Played Your Couch

Have you ever imagined seeing one of your favorite bands back in the day? You know, when they were playing bars and frat parties for anyone that would listen? Seeing them now, it’s hard to imagine that acts like Phish or Dave Matthews Band ever played for 50 people and a case of beer but they did – and they weren’t as polished as they are now. So when Keller Williams announced the Keller and the Keels Play Your Couch contest (in support of their album Thief), the possibility of winning was pretty damn exciting.

[Poster block hand carved by contest winner Nick Dellinger]

In a YouTube announcement last September, Keller’s daughter picked the winners name from a salad bowl. That winner turned out to be Nick Dellinger from Richmond, VA. The prize? A private 90-minute performance for Nick and 49 of his friends by Keller Williams, flat picking champion Larry Keel and his beautiful bass playing wife, Jenny Keel.

The complexities of Keller, Larry & Jenny’s schedule are neither subtle nor mutually dependent. It took about seven months for everyone to find a date that worked. Logistics, on the other hand, turned out to be pretty simple: Nick, Keller, Larry & Jenny all happen to live in Virginia. As for the “couch”, everyone lucked out because Nick happens to be a family friend of the Campbell’s, who own a farm right outside of Fredericksburg, VA  (Keller’s Home). READ ON to find out how this intimate show went…

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Friday Mix Tape: Get sMashed Up

First, I’d like to start by saying that aside from receiving Wu-Tang’s 36 Chambers for Christmas in the 8th grade, I’ve never been very interested in hip-hop or rap. Rap

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Review: Phish – Atlantic City Night Two

Phish @ Boardwalk Hall – October 30, 2010

Since the begining of the Halloween Musical Costume tradition, Phish has historically taken the night of October 30th off, playing only two pre-Halloween shows (1998 and 2009). So coming into Saturday in Atlantic City on the coat tails of an epic week and red hot Friday night, all signs seemed to point towards two sets of energy conservation; the quiet before the storm.

[Photo by Regan Teti Marscher from 10/29]

Enter Boardwalk Hall. The pre-show energy from Saturday night’s crowd was formidable and the impromptu cheers seemed to be on the level of a New Year’s Eve show at MSG. As a new venue, Boardwalk Hall is an instant favorite. The inside of the venue looks like a cousin of Hampton Coliseum, with the ceiling of Radio City Music Hall and the vibe of a 1920’s dance hall. As the house lights dimmed, the roar of the crowd shook the scaffolds and the merry pranksters took the stage with big smiles and a few waves.

The opening notes Kill Devil Falls sucked all the energy up and spit it right back, sending the crowd into a dancing frenzy. Rather then rifling through the first set, the band took their time and a number of giddy Trey/Mike exchanges took place between each song. It was clear the band was going with the flow and playing whatever felt right. Towards the end of Guelah Papyrus, the crowd exploded into an impromptu, music-less, Kuroda-less, glow-stick-war to the delight of the band – who seemed to stand back and take it all in. READ ON for more on Saturday night’s show…

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Review: Badfish @ The 9:30 Club

Supported by openers Bob, Future and Scotty Don’t – Badfish’s alter ego- the premiere Sublime cover band took the stage to a relatively crowded 9:30 club in Washington D.C. last Thursday night.

As cover bands go, life can be tough. These tribute bands will forever face the stigma of perfection, which is inherently impossible to overcome. That said, the four computer science majors from Rhode Island can draw a crowd for good reason – they are the best at what they do.

Opening with Smoke Two Joints it was immediately clear how Badfish nearly packed D.C.’s premiere music club. Lead singer, Pat Downes, has an impressively comparable voice to Sublime’s lead singer and figurehead, Bradley Nowell. The uncanny similarity is the backbone of Badfish and is arguably the closest point of perfection within the band’s effort to recreate the Sublime experience. READ ON for the rest of Kevin Smallwood’s Badfish review…

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Review: Blues Traveler @ State Theater

Another week, another new contributor. Please welcome Kevin Smallwood to the team. Kevin will cover the Washington D.C. area for us.

The tie-dye shirts over the merchandise table dated most fans rolling into the State Theater in Falls Church, Virginia on Monday night. Over the course of their 21 year history, Blues Traveler has remained uniquely relevant yet sometimes an abstemious participant in a music scene it helped cultivate.

As the driving force behind the H.O.R.D.E. Tour, Blues Traveler helped carve out a niche for all the bands that followed the fan-based model of the Grateful Dead. The tour bridged a gap for a community birthing its second generation and ultimately allowed for the early exposure and success of scene powerhouses: Phish, Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule and others.

Through mainstream success, a tragedy and random touring hiatuses Blues Traveler has its fair share of battle scars. But like a well worn warrior or perhaps even a fine wine, the years of experience have made them a formidable force. READ ON for more from Traveler in Falls Church…

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