Monday, August 31, 2009

Russ and the Johns

Here's a fun little one for you. Tonight i found myself back at the Cafe Coco for a little jazz. My boy Rusty Badones (pronounced bad-OH-nes) was playing bass with 2 other guys in a funky/jazz/jam/ thing.

First off, the players were all pretty great. The John on guitar has obviously been practicing whatever his guitar teacher has been giving him for homework. No one can ever say that this John can't play a hell of a lot of notes really fast. His best playing however was when he closed his eyes, put his head back and just played what he felt. Most of the time he was transfixed on the neck of his Paul Reed Smith and playing little short explosions of jazz scales while the funky rhythm section laid down the jazzy funky beats. Rusty and Drum John had some great solos on bass and drums respectively.

Last off I will say that if I was listening to a recording of this set on a roadtrip with a certain traveling ensemble, it would get a loud BORING!!!! But seeing these guys do this live was definitely impressive and certainly entertaining. Jazz enthusiasts will love it.

P.S. Kudos to Russel for the beautiful composition named after and dedicated to his recently deceased dog Monkey.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Paul Mc Friggin Cartney

So just to help this blog get off the ground, I'll review the Paul McCartney show i went to a couple of weekends ago.

I was lucky enough to be offered a free ticket for this awesome show. It was at Piedmont Park in Atlanta Georgia. A cool park in the middle of downtown Atlanta. Much like Centennial park without a big building in the middle. The press said there were about 40,000 people there, which is, in my opinion, an understatement.

After waiting in the hot august sun for a couple of hours, the opening band came out. They were called The Script. Let's just say, if I was a Hollywood producer looking for a script, these guys would be perfect if MTV and Nickelodeon had a baby channel and needed a live act to play their opening weekend festival. It turned out to be just background noise for the hot, humid anticipation of Paul. God bless them for trying to get everyone rockin, but how do you really open for Paul McCartney if you're not U2 or Elvis? A good chance to get another beer and stand in line for the port-o-jons and get yourself ready.

Finally Paul came out, opening with Drive My Car, which made Curt the winner of out "first song" bet. He proceeded to rock through songs ranging from Wings to new Paul stuff, to Beatles songs from all eras. Songs such as Jet, Band on the Run and Let Me Roll It, to I'm Down and Paperback Writer throughout the whole show. I could go on and on about the setlist. If you're really interested in the whole thing you can check it out at A real special treat for me was the Day in the Life>Give Peace a Chance. Awesome.

Aside from the great songs, it was like being at a show put on by your old buddy Paul. He would pause between songs to tell stories about his old friends, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and George Harrison. You know, for anyone else, this sort of name dropping would be pretentious but Paul was sincere in that these guys really were just his old buddies. It was also cool that this weekend was not only the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, but the 45th anniversary of the Beatles show at Shea Stadium, which he referenced a few times.

So after 2 and a half hours, the show started winding down, not songwise, but you know, the endings started getting longer and they left the stage a couple of times. Curt and I knew that it wasn't over because we cheated and looked up recent setlists online. We knew that the show wasn't over till he played Sargent Peppers and The End, which he did in the 3rd encore preceded by Yesterday, Helter Skelter and Get Back. What a great way to end a great show. He did yet another round of his "what, me?" bows to the crowd and thanked us all for being great and it was over. We found ourselves sitting there thinking "did that just happen to us? Was that really one of the Beatles right there?" Indeed it was.

His backup band was totally awesome. His drummer played over sized drums and cymbals and everyone else played gibson guitars and basses. The sound was full and the musicians were top of the line. All in all, one of the best shows I've ever seen.

Thanks to H-ron Redding for the ticket and everything else. I'll never forget this one.

greetings....Funky Miracle

Welcome to shows big and small. A little spot for me to review all the shows i go to. I assure you, this blog will not be a constant thing, it will only be updated when i go to a show. The best time to check in will be Monday or Tuesday, as most shows are on the weekend. So the first review will be for the Funky Miracle, Nashville's Tribute to the Meters. They played in the back room of Cafe Coco to a crowd of about 20 people at the most.

In full disclosure, 2 of the members are my buddies, but they know i have opinions on every show, flattering or not. Really, these guys nailed the songs. Anybody who has ever listened to the meters knows that even though a lot of the songs sound similar, each one has its quirks. The stops and solos and other unique bits that make each song different. It's true they nailed all those bits. At the end of the show when i was hanging out with the guys, the question came about, "did we sound too white?" I think that was the phrase i was looking for. The drummer was great. He nailed all the parts and his fills were right on. However, he was right on the beat. In most bands this would be desirable. In a Meters band, the drummer needs to be a little behind the beat. You know, at the risk of being non-pc, the drummer was a little too white. Anyway, that's the only constructive criticism I could offer to these guys. They've only been playing together for a little while so i have to believe that after a few more rehearsals, they will be nailing it solid.

Stay tuned to my blog if you want to hear about live music in Nashville. More to come for sure.