Mar. 10, 2010

Bowlive Week 2 - Daily Recaps

Day 10 with Warren Haynes, DJ Logic and the Shady Horns

What an incredible 2 weeks. From Raul Midon to Questlove to Oteil & Kofi to Derek & Susan and the grand finale with Warren Haynes tearing it down! I have to give a BIG thanks to Pete Shapiro, the management and staff at Brooklyn Bowl our amazing team (Steve Schloss, Phil Harvey, Mike Jinno and Mike Gibney), Karina and her film crew and Jeff Krasno along with team Velour and the Royal Family crew. You guys did an amazing job and really made it all come together the way it did. Also, a HUGE thanks to all the amazing guests that came from all over the map to sit in. It was like a dream to play with all of these amazing artists. I have to say that I'm extremely tired from the daily rehearsals and marathon gigs.... BUT the whole Bowlive experience went beyond our greatest expectations and I couldn't be happier right now. Now for a quick recap of Saturday nights show.

The 1st set began trio and some early material with Up shot and Rudy's way. We quickly brought Ryan Zoidis on Bari sax and James Casey on tenor and blazed through some material from the "Up Here" album. James has just learned these but fully ripped it while Zwad tackled the huge Bari parts with authority. We ended with El Ron which went into an extended horn duo section which had the crowd goin crazy. On the 2nd set we came right out with Kofi on flute. I have to say that Kofi is a true genius! He picks up every song right away and instantly puts his own vibe on it. He was with the whole 2nd week, and THEN his flight planned for Saturday got cancelled so he came back and finished out the run with us. We'd never been so happy about cancelled flight! Anyway, Kofi played on Cash's Dream then we brought out the horns and did one of Kofi's original tunes called "Vacation". We continued with a tune from my new album called "Roll Out" then got word that the great Warren Haynes was in the building! He came out to a roaring crowd and did Born Under a Bad Sign with Nigel sharing the vocal duties. Warren then took us in to a version of Little Wing (he sang the sht out of this song!!!). We then went from Freeway Jam (Jeff Beck) into Funky Good Time and brought it home with a version of Red House that had Warren wailing on that Les Paul like nobody else can. It was a perfect way to end such an incredible run!! One last thanks to all the fans who came out supported this event, we hope to continue Bowlive for many years to come.


Day 9 with Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Oteil Burbridge, Marco Benevento, The London Soul & the FELA Horns

So here I am...almost speechless again!  The evening started off with our saxophonist James Casey's band Six Figures opening up the show.  These dudes came out hitting hard and took it to a whole next level when Nigel came out on Jesus Children Of America and Can't Hide Love.

After a little break to deal with some technical issues, we hit the stage trio style with Uncle Jr. and One In Seven.  Third song into the set, Marco Benevento came out on Rhodes and Kofi Burbridge rocked the flute. We jumped into a tune that we discovered during soundcheck (can't remember the name of it, but it's probably known from Pulp Fiction).  Kofi and Marco just ripped that tune up!  Kofi spit for a bit and we went into some Led Zeppelin with Out On The Tiles first.  Marco was killing the melody on the Rhodes.  Kraz and Marco played some ill solos.  After that we went into The Ocean and again, was destroying that tune better than any singer could have.  That tune kept building and building with Neal and Marco going off, Kraz soaring way up top and I felt like I was channeling Angus Young head and neck moves.  We were feeling great but definitely in need of a quick break.

The London Souls made a reappearance for Bowlive and did a monstrous job.  There were a lot of people off to the side of the stage checking them out (myself included) just getting pummeled but pure, unadulterated rock and roll. You really don't see that a lot these days.  If you have a chance to go see them, do it!!!

For our final set we came out with some of the Beatles tunes we recorded on our new album but Marco hit the stage with us as well.  We went right into Eleanor Rigby and Marco jumped right on his space ship and blasted off with some ridiculous delayed Rhodes sounds.  I knew right then that these tunes we've been playing for a little while now were going into uncharted territory.  I was not wrong!!!  Marco, like Neal, is a beast on the keys and it was so much fun watching those two cats getting down in keyboard land on the other side of the stage.  After that, we dropped right into I Want You which was a bit heavier than usual.  Everyone who knows that tune well knows the pretty epic psychedelic ending and Marco made sure he topped that and I must say, I didn't want that tune to end!!  But it was all good because Kofi came out for which turned out to be a beautiful version of Something.  Kofi and Kraz playing the melody together and then everyone putting some serious soul into their solos (when don't they!!).  We brought it back up by bringing the Shady Horns featuring Cochemea Gastelum, a few of his boys from the Fela show on horns and percussionout with Tash Neal on guitar and vocals for Get Back.  The solo bowl got passed around and everybody was hittin it hard.  We then went into Little Richard's Lucille again with Tash crushing vocals and guitars and a now monsterous horn section behind me.  We then played a tune Roll Out off of Kraz's new album and I'm pretty sure that was the first time it has ever been played live.  Nigel came out on stage and laid down a Moog solo George Duke definitely would've been groovin to.

We thought about taking a break but Oteil ran over from the ABB show, slid out on stage and made sure we kept things moving.  We started off with Oteil's tune Butter Biscuit.  Now I knew things were gonna get nasty when Oteil showed up with his four string p bass and again.... I wasn't wrong, man he was layin down some serious soul funk!!!  I don't even need to tell you his solo was epic but I'll say it anyway... It was epic.  So what could we do after that?  That was certainly worthy of being a show stopper but Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi came out on stage and we slid into a Soul Serenade.  Susan and Derek did just that, serenaded everyone's soul in that room.  Susan then strapped on her guitar and we did Tired Of My Tears, I just love her voice... makes me want to smile and cry all at the same time.  Nigel came back and did a duet with Susan on Signed, Sealed, Delivered which was just dripping with high energy SOUL!!!!  Kraz then led us into We're A Winner and of course... Move On Up.  At some point during the tune, Oteil was feeling it so hard he put down his bass and went out to groove in the crowd.  Hahaha, I love that cat!!!  We split the stage for a sec but came right back out with our JB medley.  At this point the horn section was about 6 or 7 cats deep and it was like a freight train right on top of me!!!  Well, I don't know what else to say people another epic night of music I will never forget. I can't believe tonight is the last Bowlive show..... for now.




Day 8 with Questlove, Rahzel and Kofi Burbridge

Eight is my lucky number. Makes sense that this night brought the level up once again, right? This funky Thursday night got me shakin' til my belt came loose! But let me start from the beginning...

Nigel didn't come out in any mellow kind of way, and he didn't come out alone. Alan and Neal laid down the backbone from beginning to end of Nigel's heart-breaking, yet smile-procuring, opening set. Nigel has commanded an early crowd that grows each night, even stopping the action on the bowling lanes to swoon new ears into a trance. 

After just a short wait, the crowd was greeted by the Soulive boys who came out charging with Rudy's Wayand didn't let down for the full hour-long first set that featured Zoidis, Hillard and Casey on horns. 

While the guys were finishing up, Rahzel and Questlove, of the Legendary Roots Crew, were preparing to join the night in their own ways. Questo hit the decks out front while the greatest human beatbox on the planet prepared to hit the stage. The crowd may have had an idea, maybe even seen him before, but none were prepared for the house-shaking heavy-beating mouth-works of Rahzel to break up this night of Bowlive!

After a non-stop performance, he called Soulive back to the stage to join him on a killin' Nas tune. This eventually turned into a James Brown-style set featuring Questlove on drums, Alan on guitar, Nigel front-and-center and the horns blaring away. Kofi Burbridge also came back to add his unbelievable flute stylings into the mix! You haven't heard old-school funk brought to today with such tightness, precision and groove like you heard if you were present for the second half of night eight. Wow!

Although we didn't want to stop the stage-work, we passed the torch to Questo, who spun the night away to a continuously packed and dancing crowd. 

Thanks to everyone who came out to make my lucky number 8 one of the best nights of the run. Now we build to top it once again!

See you tonight with some tricks up our sleeves.....




Day 7 with Oteil & Kofi Burbridge and Talib Kweli

So it's 2:59am and I just got back from one of the most amazing musical experiences of my life!!!!!  The day started off with rehearsals at Brooklyn Bowl which went really well.  Kofi was there along with the Ryan, James and Blake and Nigel.  Everything went great.  

So after rehearsal Kofi and I split and decided to meet around 8:30 to walk back to the joint.  I was sittin around shedding some guitar when I got an email from Kraz saying that some of our "special guests" for the evening were probably not going to be able to make it.  A drag for sure but we were cool to blaze on through. 8:30 comes and I meet Kofi outside to head back.  On our walk he says that it looks like Oteil might not make it now because of a delayed Allman Brothers Band rehearsal.  Definitely a drag but again, we had enough tunes to make the night happen.  So we get to the club and Nigel is minutes from going on.  I go up and introduce him and he comes out sangin!!!  After his first tune he invites Kofi up on A Song For You which Kofi just killed!!!  Neal and I walk on after a few minutes in and we all really got in it.  We ended Nigel's set with Can't Hide Love which was probably one of the best versions we have done with Nigel.  The crowd was definitely ready but I'm not gonna lie, I thought I was ready but mannnnnn I sure wasn't.

We out and kicked into Steppin which I was groovin hard right off the bat.  After that we jumped into a shorter than normal version of Uncle Jr. which felt really really good.  One In Seven was up next and that definitely got to some new places.  We then brought Kofi out for Cash's Dream and Turn It Out and he hit those tunes like he wrote them!!!

During our set break we found out that Oteil was actually a few minutes from the venue!!!  He came in and it was truly like a family reunion.  Oteil got himself situated after a really crazy day and then it was time to go on.  This my friends is where we entered a place that is really hard to put into words.  The first tune was a new/old tune of Kofi's that we worked out in rehearsal (without Oteil) and that cat dropped in on bass like nobody's business.  Solo's got thrown around the stage by almost everyone and everyone was killin.  After that we did an Oteil joint called Butter Biscuit that we used to do with him back in the day.  This where things started to hit critical mass and Oteil put his ankle in this one!!!  At this point Nigel was killin on Rhodes and Moog, Neal and Oteil going back and forth on bass, Kofi blowin on flute, the horns blaring away.... had to have been like watching a tennis match.

Nigel then came to the front and we got into a little Signed Sealed Delivered Bobby Byrd style which had Oteil buggin.  After that we got into We're A Winner/Move On Up.  At this point it's just getting ridiculous.  We've played many times over the years with Oteil and Kofi but I've never had this much fun with those cats.  Both of them we're just playing some of the most beautiful, transandental stuff I've ever witnessed.  The night ended amazingly, but it wasn't over yet....

Talib Kweli showed up and we did Get By with him which really got the crowed amped for the very last tune, the James Brown medley.  We've been doing this for a while now but I think it's pretty safe to say it was probably the best we've ever played.  All the energy from the evening just fed us and I'm telling you, I could see electricity in the air.  I really wish words could accurately describe what went down tonight.  I really don't know how it can get better than tonight.  But I'm psyched to try!!!



Day 6 with Charlie Hunter & Kofi Burbridge

We all needed the two nights off...we didn't really want them, but we sure as hell needed them! Week one went better than we could have dreamed and the only direction we could look was UP! Tuesday night had Charlie Hunter as our special guest and he came ready to rock, along with a sneak attack by Kofi Burbridge, who decided he couldn't wait until Wednesday to join the rage. The Soulive Trio started the night with a killer set that ended a bit early due to technical issues. But Nigel came out right after everything was back in order and brought Charlie out to blow the crowd away. This was one of the best sounding and crisply performed sets that Nigel has given on this run and Charlie Hunter laid down his signature bass/guitar-at-the-same-time stylings with force and a smile. 

Next was the first official display of Soulive's brand new release, "Rubber Soulive". The set featured covers of Beatles' hits like Drive My Car, Come Together  and a Get Back that featured the Horns (Zoidis, Hillard and Casey) along with Kofi on flute and Charlie ripping on his Telecaster. 
This night kicked off what is set to be an incredible week of music at Bowlive. Be sure to come out tonight...and every other night until the Brooklyn Bowl kicks us out of their house!





Sat 3/13 DJ Logic & special guests


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Great weblog right here! Also your web site so much up fast!
What host are you the usage of? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink in your host?
I want my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

Are we ever going to be able to purchase the shows that you sell CD's for at the actual events?

It seems like you are leaving a lot of money on the table by not offering the shows you record for digital downloads...

Just a thought!

Soulive is on top of their game right now. Thanks for sharing all of your experiences with the fans. Can't wait for JazzFest.

MAN I wish I lived in New York. I love Soulive. I am glad you cats are having alot of FUN!!!

I was at Brooklyn Bowl last night for Day 7, and man! Al, you did a yoeman's job of attempting to put into words what went down, but as you said, words just can't do it justice. Transcendental was a good try, though. You all are insanely gifted musicians, and Oteil took me to places I never thought I'd go! Thank you all for an incredible experience!

my sister thanked me when i told her to get her ass to brooklyn from tribeca. and im all the way in san diego.. son enough , san francisco soulive

DLF, Neal played drums on a couple tunes during Nigel's set, including Love Having You Around by Stevie Wonder.

what'd Neal play drums on?!

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