Photos by Robert Massie of Bela Fleck and The Flecktones at The Byham Theater, Pittsburgh, PA October 3, 2004
With his third EP Super D, in his recent trilogy following Speed Graphic and Sunny 16, the piano man braves a new gameface with this latest 5 song effort. Where the prior two five songers covered been there done that ground, Super D finds Folds reinventing his piano pop rock in the forms of punk anguish, disarming melodies and orchestrated rock.
Saturday brought the challenge of the three hour Grand Tasting, followed by a full day of music; this is not for novices.
Jam Cruise 3 will set sail from Jacksonville, Florida on January 6, 2005. 1800 Jam Cruisers will hit the high seas for 4 days aboard Carnival Cruiselines’ Celebration. The ship will stop in Freeport, Bahamas and, fulfilling a popular request on a questionnaire filled out by last year’s cruisers, will offer passengers two full days at sea to enjoy over 40 musical performances. The festival line up includes Galactic, Les Claypool, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Keller Williams, Col Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Jazz Mandolin Project featuring Jamie Masefield and Jon Fishman, Zilla featuring Michael Travis, The Remarkable Elba Kramer featuring Kyle Hollingsworth, North Mississippi Allstars, Ozomatli, Peter Rowan & Tony Rice, Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, Umphrey’s McGee, Garaj Mahal, MOFRO, Benevento/Russo Duo, Tishamingo, DJ Logic, and DJ Harry. In addition to incredible performances by many of the genre’s most celebrated musical pioneers, the Jam Cruise experience promises once-in-a-lifetime artist collaborations and opportunities for hang time with the musicians who are so often inaccessible backstage.
One of the many musical highlights of this floating festival is sure to be the rare reunion performance of what some believe is the original jam band: Col. Bruce and the Aquarium Rescue Unit. ARU first busted onto the scene in 1988. In fact, there wasn’t really even a jam band scene yet; Jerry Garcia was still alive and well and most of the improvisational music lovers were busy with The Grateful Dead’s non-stop touring schedule. Still, a handful of young bands were starting to hit the clubs and festivals. ARU released two albums on Capricorn Records, in 1991 and 1993, and embarked on the H.O.R.D.E festival during the summers of 1992 and 1993, where they met fellow musicians Phish, Widespread Panic, and Blues Traveler. Cross pollination between bands was frequent, with members of ARU frequently guesting on-stage or in the studio with the others.
Col. Bruce and ARU would leave the spotlight as quickly as they came into it, but not before planting the seeds of a music community and culture that would someday thrive, under the radar, in clubs and theatres and festival grounds around the world. The band was led by the genius antics of Col. Bruce Hampton and the band included Oteil Burbridge (bass), Jimmy Herring (guitar), Jeff Sipe (drums), and Matt Mundy (mandolin). ARU’s cosmic funk blend of Delta Blues and bluegrass blew the minds of many. Their community conscious spirit set the stage for the quiet music revolution that would follow Jerry Garcia’s passing and their impeccable chops would become a template for future work in the jam band genre.
And now, after earning mythical status via absence, Col. Bruce and the Aquarium Rescue Unit (minus Mundy who retired from professional music in 1993) are back for a small handful of reunion shows, including their very special Jam Cruise 3 appearance. A band before their time, ARU’s sound is still as zany and fresh as ever, their songs are timeless, and their chops, well they haven’t set down their instruments since the band split.
Only twenty cabins remain! Prices range from $550 to $1125.00 per person, plus port charges, service fees and gratuities. Call 303.544.0191 or visit www.jamcruise.com for reservations aboard Jam Cruise 3.
Jam Cruise is presented by Cloud 9 Adventures: a partnership between Mark Brown of Florida’s Brown Coffee Productions, Athens promoter Josh Moore of Jomo Entertainment, Roger Naber of Legendary Blues Cruises, and Attorney Joe Hanan.
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Pictures of former Beatle George Harrison were taken from his sister’s car while she was donating memorabilia to the Clinton Presidential Library, she said Monday.
Lou Harrison said someone shattered a window of her car and stole a briefcase containing photos of her and her brother and the lyrics to a number of her brother’s songs.
“(The items are) precious to me obviously because I don’t have my brother in person any more,” she told KTHV-TV of Little Rock.
Harrison had driven from her southern Illinois home to donate memorabilia to the downtown Little Rock library, which is scheduled to open Nov. 18. She had taken most of the items to the library when she discovered the break-in.
Harrison asked Beatles fans to help her recover the pictures. “Maybe they could keep an eye on the Internet,” she said.
Harrison said she decided to donated the items because she sees a connection between Clinton and The Beatles.
“I feel that really, Clinton is the Beatle president,” Harrison said. “There’s not enough things to leave for my grandchildren. So I thought maybe if I could house them at the Clinton Library, where they could be on display, that all the Beatle people could enjoy seeing them.”
On the heels of a successful West Coast summer tour, Galactic will return to the East Coast for a special all-instrumental fall tour. Kicking off on Tuesday, October 12 at the Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, New York, the tour will cover 11 venues in the Northeast (including a two-night stand at New York City’s Irving Plaza) before heading for three weeks of shows in the Southeast. The tour will include a two-night stand at Washington, DC’s 9:30 Club, a Halloween weekend stop at Tipitina’s in New Orleans, and Galactic’s annual Halloween night show at Stubb’s in Austin. The band will return to its hometown of New Orleans after the tour to play a special New Year’s Eve show at Tipitina’s for the first time since 1998.
Bluegrass string-band combo Hackensaw Boys will take the opening slot for the beginning of the fall tour, with Scratch (of the Roots crew) taking over mid-tour, and groove-jazz act The Duo playing a series of dates in early November. Instrumental trio Drums & Tuba will help close out the tour with a four-date slot in mid-November. Other notable guests include Latin hip-hop/funk band Ozomatli, playing at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory, and Grateful Dead spin-off Ratdog, who will join Galactic for a double bill in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At a special show on Sunday, October 24, at New York City’s Irving Plaza, Mofro vocalist JJ Grey will open and sit in with Galactic, along with a host of other guest players (check www.galacticfunk.com for announcements). Then, on Halloween weekend, San Francisco’s DJ Motion Potion will join Galactic and Scratch for a late-night dance party at Tipitina’s in New Orleans.
With the departure of vocalist Theryl “Houseman” DeClouet, Galactic is making a swift return to its instrumental roots after releasing several studio albums that featured vocal tracks. Now in pre-production for a new album, the band will use its time on stage this fall to experiment with new compositions and revisit classic Galactic material in instrumental arrangements. “When you work with vocalists you have to cater to what they do,” says saxophonist Ben Ellman. “Now, we can concentrate on doing what we do and really solidify our sound.” Songs with minor vocal components will take on stretched-out instrumental variations on this tour, while older material will enjoy extra instrumental exploration. The band may also resurrect songs from its earliest albums to play them live for the first time. “We started out as an instrumental band,” notes bassist Robert Mercurio, “so we’re returning to our roots, except now we’re so much better, and the range of what we can do is much wider.”
Galactic’s Fall 2004 Tour Dates:
12 Water Street Music Hall Rochester, NY
13 Sphere Entertainment Complex Buffalo, NY
14 Mr. Small’s Theatre Pittsburgh, PA
15 Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA
16 Stabler Arena – Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA
19 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
20 Lupo’s at the Strand Providence, RI
21 Toad’s Place New Haven, CT
22 Stone Pony Asbury Park, NJ
23 & 24 Irving Plaza New York, NY
27 The Library Oxford, MS
28 Varsity Theatre Baton Rouge, LA
29 Tipitina’s Uptown New Orleans, LA
30 Meridian Houston, TX
31 Stubb’s BBQ Austin, TX
3 Starr Hill Music Hall Charlottesville, VA
4 Recher Theatre Towson, MD
5 & 6 9:30 Club Washington DC
7 The Norva Theatre Norfolk, VA
9 Lincoln Theatre Raleigh, NC
10 Music Farm Charleston, SC
11 Roxy Theatre Atlanta, GA
12 Georgia Theatre Athens, GA