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Classic Rock Magazine

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    Over the last few weeks I’ve been fairly obsessed with the self-titled debut from Field Report, which will hit stores via Partisan Records on September 11. Hailing from Milwaukee, any story that you’re going to read about the band in the coming weeks is going to include the following fact: Chris Porterfield was once a member of DeYarmond Edison, the short-lived and much mythologized act that impressively included not only members of Megafaun, but also Mr. Bon Iver himself – Justin Vernon. When the band decided to move their home-base from from Eau Claire, Wisc. to North Carolina, Porterfield stayed behind and instead assumed his music career was over, moved to Milwaukee and took a job working in the office of Student Affairs at Marquette University.

    While that will certainly get a percentage of music fans to sit up and take notice, it’s almost just a side note, as Porterfield has put in over five years working on the material that makes up his debut. Much like his former band mate, Field Report, serves as the recording moniker for Porterfield, in fact it’s actually an anagram formed from his last name. Recorded at Vernon’s April Base studio in Fall Creek, Wisc., the album is full of densely layered confessional story songs that conjure up comparisons to Jackson Browne for his conversational delivery and slight country-rock tilt. Let’s check out this live performance of the album’s lead track Fergus Falls…

    Field Report are appearing with the Counting Crows on the second leg of the band’s Outlaw Roadshow tour, which also includes We Are Augustines and Kasey Anderson and the Honkies. The package tour hits Les Schwab Amphitheater in Bend, Oregon tonight.

    by Jeffrey Greenblatt Leave A Comment

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    7 Walkers, Steve Kimock and Yarn @ Beekman Beer Garden, August 1

    It’s been almost two years since the eponymous debut album from 7 Walkers arrived, and boy, does it hold up well to repeat listens: a swampy, humid, oddball curio collection of music that, to these ears, is the strongest, deepest studio release by any post-Jerry band featuring a surviving Grateful Dead member.

    [Photo by Michael Stein from 8/3]

    As a live unit, it’s taken them a little longer to fulfill that promise. Early 7 Walkers shows had the spark Malcolm “Papa Mali” Welbourne and Bill Kreutzmann stumbled on as kindred musical spirits, but little fire, as the band was still feeling itself out, and Welbourne, especially, was finding his way around music that required a different guitar attack than perhaps he was used to. In 2009 and 2010, 7 Walkers shows were fun and rollicking, but also tentative; Welbourne, Kreutzmann, bass ace George Porter Jr. and multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard knew they had something that would transcend just a really interesting side project, but the improvisational potential was barely tapped.

    What’s appeared to have happened over three years, however, is beautifully organic growth: a band gradually developed, fed and cared for and subtly adjusted, versus something thrust out there to prove a point. The 7 Walkers of 2012 sounds even less like a Dead band and more like the spicy, chunky gumbo of New Orleans swamp-rock, R&B and blues it was intended to be. It’s a band really opening up its originals and playing Dead tunes less out of obligation and more out of feel, with the transitions more spry, the pace more patient and groovy, and the jamming — especially the jamming — more confidently aware.

    The Beekman Beer Garden set, about an hour and 40 minutes, was the Jerry 70th celebration, which meant some deference to Dead material, though the balance of Dead, New Orleans classics and 7 Walkers originals wasn’t much different than usual.

    A near-10 minute psychedelic jam eventually birthed Mr. Charlie, and it was off they went, with a steady Sugaree highlighting the first half of the set, and a 25-minute run from Gilded Splinters into Bottle Up and Go, with Bernie Worrell aboard on keys, to anchor the second. All four members attacked improvisation at an unhurried pace – Hey Bo Diddle’s balance of taut progression and tension-expelling boogie, and the woozy peaks of Wharf Rat both primo examples. Worrell seemed to sense this as he slid in, and instead of his usual note-y fireworks favored a jazzier conversation with Porter (one of Worrell’s few peers in funk), and the role of colorist.

    [Photo by Michael Stein from 8/3]

    Worrell was the night’s MVP, sitting in with everybody while also playing the middle set with his good buddy Steve Kimock and a modified version of his 2012 band: bassist Andy Hess, and, instead of Wally Ingram, Kimock’s son and frequent collaborator, John Morgan Kimock on drums.

    It was five songs — five quick adventures, really — all but one of them covers. But it, too, was something to savor, especially the starry-eyed climax of Stella Blue — Kimock drawing out all the lilting, hopeful peaks toward the end of the song with big, stretchy steel tones — and then a tight-pocket Take Me to the River, where it was Worrell and Hess that stole most of the improvisational thunder while the Kimocks grooved away. Steve himself didn’t join the Walkers’ set as hoped, but then, how often do you leave a Kimock show of any kind un-sated? No one else quite gets inside a composition, coaxes, never forces, its jammy possibilities and leaves a finish as rich and resonant as peaty scotch.

    The 7pm start time and cumbersome location meant a sparser gathering for early opener Yarn, but if you weren’t there, you missed one the East Coast’s best Americana up-and-comers — one with on-point rhythms, solid jamming chops and a comfortably unpretentious vibe. The set was a good sampling of their originals, including New York City Found, though they, too, nodded to the day with a capable Friend of the Devil boosted by Worrell on keys. Catch ‘em.



    Set: Jam > Mr. Charlie, King Cotton Blues, (For the Love Of) Mr. Okra, Sugaree, Hey Bo Diddle, Big Railroad Blues, Wharf Rat, Walk On Gilded Splinters* > Bernie jam* > bass jam* > Bottle Up and Go*

    Encore: He’s Gone

    * w/Bernie Worrell


    Set: Red Hot Mama > Come Together > Tangled Hangers, Stella Blue, Take Me to the River


    Set: Annie, When You’re Down on Your Luck, New York City Found, Music’s Only Outlaw, Friend of the Devil*, Bad Bad Man*

    * w/Bernie Worrell

    by Chad Berndtson Leave A Comment

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    Quick! Name a brand of superior quality noise cancelling headphones.

    What did you come up with? BOSE?

    While BOSE most certainly gets much of the press when it comes to this category of headphone, I put products by them squarely in the camp with Beats and Monster Cable: overpriced, hyped and can do much better for less. A brand that you may not be familiar with, but you should, is Phiaton. This company has an entire line of high-end audio products including both superior earphones and headphones.

    This week we’ll look at one of Phiation’s noise-cancelling headphone options: The PS 300 NC. The sound and performance of these headphones are vastly superior to the comparably priced, and market leading offering from BOSE: the Quiet Comfort 15. In addition to the extraordinary comfort, the leather finishing and a slew of features and accessories, the PS 300 NC’s afford the listener with outstanding audio with or without noise cancellation. Utilizing the proprietary noise cancellation technology that Phiaton calls “VHST” (Valves of Heart Sound Technology), the outside world is effectively cut off and the headphones deliver true audiophile sound completely unimpaired by the drone of aircraft engines or other outside distractions.

    [Phiaton PS 300 NC Noise Cancelling Headphones]


    In a nutshell: The Phiaton PS 300 NC’s are extremely portable with their “fold and go” design. They come with a hard shell case which is relatively compact for these full-sized, on-the-ear headphones. The noise cancellation is powered by a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that lasts about 18 hours and can be charged either with a wall outlet or a USB port. Two batteries are included so you can always keep a fully charged spare in your carry case. In addition to the standard headphone cable with mini-jack allowing it to be used on virtually any portable music player: a 6.3mm adapter is included should you need to plug into a receiver. Also included is a separate cable with a microphone on it if you want to utilize as headset for phone calls. Dual plug adapter for airplane audio and international power adapters are also included.

    [Compact & portable hard shell case]

    Build Quality, Design and Comfort: It is immediately obvious when handling for the first time that these are a well made pair of headphones. Luxuriously appointed with leather both on the ear cups as well as the exterior of the cans, these headphones look as good as they sound. Unlike most noise cancelling headphones, the PS 300 NC’s are relatively slim and offer some of the smallest dimensions available for this class of headphones. The on-ear design is extremely comfortable and become virtually unnoticeable even for extended periods of listening. Unlike over the ear headphones, as most NC headphones are, your ears won’t get hot and sweaty or feel increased pressure after long use.

    Noise Cancellation: I simply love the way that the noise cancellation works on these headphones. I have used a few different pairs in the past, and while they were certainly an improvement over regular headphones in high volume environments, I always found something “artificial” about the sound. I can’t articulate precisely what was causing it, other than to say it was always clear to me (in addition to the noise reduction), that the sound was being processed. I guess it was sort of like the sound of a highly-compressed MP3 when you compare it against a lossless format: something was simply missing in the sound.

    So using noise cancellation has often been a trade-off: You get the luxury of having highly improved volumes of music and the drone of the external environment cancelled out but lose some of the warm and natural sounds of the audio. Phiaton utilizes a different technique for their noise cancellation which opens and closes valves in the enclosures to accomplish the task of noise cancellation. The so called (and gimmicky named) “VHST” changes pressures to create reversed signals. Unlike the usual method and closed earphones, this produces sound with the utmost clarity and natural feeling to it. You’ll forget that you are wearing noise cancellation earphones and simply think that they are concert hall quality headphones.

    Sound Quality:  In a word: Stellar. I have been using these headphones for over a week and have tossed all sorts of music at them including jazz, bluegrass, rock and of course my preferred testing material in Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Everything sounded natural and had wonderful tone including shrill highs and deep, booming bass. There is a setting for increased bass (recommended) when using the noise cancelling that affords even deeper tones without distortion. The volume can be pushed pretty much to max without any adverse quality loss,  but the overall volume is not the loudest I’ve ever had in headphones which is my only minor complaint: sometimes I like it LOUD.

    I spent another couple of hours listening to Hal Masa’s terrific “You Enjoy My Mix” series from Phish’s first leg of this summer tour. I always find Phish to be another superlative band to listen to when evaluating audio gear. With so many intricate layers of sound and both subtle and massively in-your-face things often occurring simultaneously, it is great to see if speakers or headphones can handle that. Sure enough, a simple high-hat tap, or couple of keys quietly played by Page were as distinct and clear as soaring guitar work or a deep bass groove. While I had already listened to this mix in the car, it was great to hear some of the spectacular things happening that I had previously missed.

    One of the major pluses with these is that they sound absolutely perfect even without power. I’ve had other pairs of NC headphones in the past that only operated with the power on. Dead battery and you are out of luck. The Phiatons gladly keep serving up high quality sound regardless of power setting.

    Bottom Line: Noise cancelling headphones needn’t sacrifice audiophile quality. Phiaton has engineered an extraordinary pair of slim-profile, on-ear headphones with long battery life (18 hours+ of use), quick charge (less than an hour) and a handful of accessories to make these a great choice either for travel when noise cancellation is needed, or for everyday use. The leather earpieces are comfortable for long use and with the supplied microphone cable can double as a headset for your phone.

    At $250-$275, these are a good value. Certainly you can find Sony, Logitech and many other brands for substantially cheaper, but the audio quality is resultantly decreased as is the build quality. Similarly, you can spend $50-$100 more for certain models by BOSE, Beats, Sennheiser and other brands and not achieve the same quality as the Phiaton PS 300 NCs in sonic quality as well as noise cancellation.

    Phiaton, while not a universally known brand, is definitely one to keep an eye on and consider when making audio purchases.


    Amazon $259

    Headroom $199 (this is the lowest price, by far I have seen for these headphones, which typically seem to go for $250 – $299)

    Headphones Factory.Com $259


    Hidden Track Technology Tuesday

    voice-mail:  (781) 285-8696

    Have an idea for an article?

    Product, app, or web service you are passionate about? Feel free to get in touch with me.






    by Parker Harrington Leave A Comment

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    It doesn’t look as if Trampled By Turtles have any plans of staying off the road for the immediate future as they support their highly recommended sixth studio album Stars and Satellites. With a summer spent hitting just about every major music festival that will have them – Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, All Good, Firefly, RockyGrass, Newport Folk and Lollapalooza, among them – the rising jamgrass act will spend the majority of the fall gigging both here and an abroad, which will include their first ever-shows in the United Kingdom. The Duluth, Minn.-based band will serve as the opening act for My Morning Jacket and Band Of Horses this Friday at Somerset Amphitheater in Somerset, Wisc., and then head west for an appearance at this weekend’s Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Francisco, Calif.

    If your not into a night with Trampled By Turtles, then maybe you’ll be interested in hitting one of these recently announced tours…

    by Jeffrey Greenblatt Leave A Comment

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    My eight-year-old son once asked me if I liked jazz. “Sure,” I said (because I do). “WHY!? It’s so BORING?” I agreed to disagree and hopefully you will too after listening to these, not-so-boring, in my opinion, albums.

    Floratone: Floratone II

    A friend recently described Bill Frisell as an “American treasure” and I have to agree. The breadth, quantity, consistency and overall awesomeness of his output is rather astounding… the guys seems to appear on 5 superlative albums a year. This one is the second featuring Frisell with Matt Chamberlain, Lee Townsend and Tucker Martine and features some swinging, mind-massaging tracks from top to bottom. Like much of Frisell’s music it’s equal parts beautiful and otherworldly.





    The Touré-Raichel Collective: The Tel Aviv Session

    The best music transcends labels, borders and expectations and these guys succeed in all three. The serendipitous meeting of Idan Raichel from Israel and Vieux Farka Toure from Mali (in an airport in Germany of all places) resulted in a studio jam session in Tel Aviv that produced this truly amazing album of music. Just go listen to it, you can thank me later. And next time you’re stuck in an airport, remember the gorgeous music from this album was born in similar surroundings.



    Get the Blessing: OCDC

    As with all three of these albums, calling Get The Blessing “jazz” is selling it short. Here there is plenty of sharp-fanged rock and greased-pan funkiness to go around. This young British quartet’s sound brings to mind MMW or John Zorn’s Electric Masada at times. This album finds that sweet spot serving both the body and the mind. Pop it on, hit the repeat button and enjoy.




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    Alynda Lee Segarra has a back story that sounds like it could be found in the pages of a Jack Kerouac novel. At the age of 17, she left her home in the Bronx and criss-crossed the country by hopping freight trains and found herself in playing the washboard in band of made up of fellow travelers called The Dead Man Street Orchestra. Segarra eventually landed herself in New Orleans, picked up the banjo, began writing her own music and formed her own band - Hurray For The Riff Raff.

    Earlier this year the band put out their third full-length album, Look Out Mama, which seems to have been criminally overlooked by most. Produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes), the highly recommended record is a collection of loose, ramshackle country-folk tunes that are highlighted by Segarra’s wise world-worn lyrics and her raspy warbly vocals. Let’s check out this live take on the album’s title track…

    Hurray For The Riff RaffLook Out Mama

    Hurray For The Riff Raff will spend the majority of the fall on a lengthy European tour, but prior to all that will headline New York City’s Mercury Lounge on August 26.

    by Jeffrey Greenblatt Leave A Comment

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    From September 14 – 16 a vast array of jam, bluegrass and Americana acts including HT faves The Del McCoury Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, the Jimmy Herring Band, Lettuce, Keller Williams with The Travelin’ McCourys and Patterson Hood & The Downtown Rumblers will descend upon the Jomeokee Campground in Pinnacle, North Carolina for the inaugural Jomeokee Music & Arts Festival.

    This family festival takes place in a natural amphitheater within the campgrounds, where a stunning view of Pilot Mountain creates a picturesque background for two side-by-side stages showcasing alternating sets. Jomeokee will host two special sets: a bluegrass all-star jam featuring members of Del McCoury Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, The String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, Acoustic Syndicate and more as well as special Everyone Orchestra performance. Matt Butler has put together an impressive lineup for Jomeokee that includes Jimmy Herring, Melvin Seals, Jennifer Hartswick, Michael Kang, Al Schnier, Vinnie Amico, George Porter Jr. and Jeff Sipe. General admission and VIP passes are available through Jomeokee’s EventBrite page.

    As part of our Everybody Wins When We Plug Something And In Return They Offer Us Free Shit To Give Away program, we’ve got a pair of general admission passes for Jomeokee to give to one lucky reader. To enter our contest, simply leave a comment below telling us which Jomeokee set you’d be most excited to see. The contest entry period closes on Monday, August 13 at 11:59PM ET. After that, we’ll tally all the entries and pick one winner at random.

    Here’s the fine print…

    • To enter the contest, leave a comment below telling us which Jomeokee act you’d be most excited to see
    • Your comment(s) must be left by 11:59 PM EST on August 13
    • Anybody entering more than once will be disqualified, tarred and feathered
    • One winner, picked at random using, will win a pair of general admission passes to attend the 2012 Jomeokee Music & Arts Festival
    • HT staff members are not eligible to win

    For more information on the inaugural Jomeokee fest, head over to the event’s website.

    by HT Staff Leave A Comment

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    While most of our readers may think of Farm Aid 1998 as the event where Neil Young and Phish came together, there were plenty of other acts on the bill at Tinley Park’s World Music Theatre including HT faves Wilco. Over the past few months Farm Aid organizers have been populating the festival’s YouTube channel with clips from throughout the 26 concerts that have taken place thus far. Today, Wilco’s entire five-song set from Farm Aid ’98 has been uploaded for our viewing pleasure.


    The 1998 version of Wilco featured Jeff Tweedy on lead vocals and guitar, mainstay John Stirratt on bass, Ken Coomer on drums, Jay Bennett on guitar and multi-instrumentalist Leroy Bach. Tweedy and Co. were a few months removed from the release of Mermaid Avenue, so it’s no surprise the five-song set featured three tunes from the Woody Guthrie tribute – Christ For President, Hesitating Beauty and California Stars – as well as a cover of James Alley Blues by Richard “Rabbit” Brown and Forget The Flowers from 1996′s Being There. We’ve compiled a playlist of the five videos…

    Wilco @ Farm Aid 1998

    Set: James Alley Blues, Christ For President, Hesitating Beauty, Forget The Flowers, California Stars

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    No strangers to innovative fan-interaction, Umphrey’s McGee (@umphreysmcgee) is currently hosting the first session of sUMmer school at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, New York. Deep in the Catskill Mountains, the five day music camp experience allows 150 of their fans and fellow musicians to interact with the band and crew. Attendees have a chance to go to workshops, Q&A sessions, jam with the band and hang out with the UM crew all week long.  School was in session starting Monday and a syllabus of the activities, which run through Sunday, can be viewed here. The first reports from school have been rolling in via Twitter and we’ve rounded some of them up below.

    Kevin Browning (@Soundcaresser) the man in charge of the band’s creative and business development, is on site and firing off regular updates:

    Keyboard wizard Joel Cummins (@goldlikejoel) is also keeping those who couldn’t be there updated with regular tweets from the scene at the Full Moon Resort:

    First day of @ sUMmer school, couldn’t ask for a better location or better house staff. Thank you Full Moon! Let’s do this!
    Joel Cummins

    View of Northern Lights house @ sUMmer school…. Sun sets on day 1! Hard to be better out here….
    Joel Cummins

    Night 1 of @ sUMmer school in the books. Check out Visions, Conduit & EOTR > JO. Great time hangin & playin w a few of you here
    Joel Cummins

    A great day of all things @ ! Sessions, kickball & rawk show: check out Phils > NC > Phils & our 1st @ Weird Fishes
    Joel Cummins

    Ryan Stasik (@ryanstasik), the band’s bassist and mustache and rat tail grower, is also tweeting from the Catskills:

    This sUMmer school is fucking rad. It’s like a musician’s fantasy camp. I was walking around last night and saw at least four different jam
    ryan stasik

    Sessions going on. New peeps playing with eachother, people raging in the fields, barns, cafes, and tents. Inspiring. Well done team!!
    ryan stasik

    Browning captured this sick image of lighting designer Jefferson Waful (@jeffersonwaful)  at work:

    Waful’s been tweeting from camp as well, including his usual setlist updating:

    Umphrey’s McGee8.6.12Full Moon ResortBig Indian, NYRoom to Breathe, Example 1, Visions>Conduit, Utopian Fir#umphreys #summerschool

    Umphrey’s McGee8.7.12Full MoonBig Indian, NYPhil’s Farm>No Comment>Phil’s Farm, Higgins, Go to Hell, Mantis#umphreys #summerschool

    DBK>Comma Later>Weird Fishes/Arpeggi**Radiohead cover, first time played, not planned or rehearsed. Myers on vox#umphreys #summerschool

    The Barn is going off. I love our fans #summerschool
    Kevin Browning

    View from the stage for our business & technology workshop #umphreys #summerschool
    Kevin Browning

    by Andy Kahn Leave A Comment

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    The LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up and Play The Hits lived up to the hype surrounding the band’s final 2011 MSG finale. As we mentioned, the DVD / Bluray release of the film will be accompanied by footage from the entire concert and today we’ve got a release date – October 9.

    Available for pre-order through James Murphy’s DFA Records, Shut Up and Play The Hits is spread over three discs with one disc containing the film and the other two containing every note LCD Soundsystem played at MSG on April 2, 2011. The DVDs run $32.99 while the Blurays will set you back $35.99.

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    Kid Koala isn’t your typical turntablist. Sure he can hold his own with the likes of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, but he’s always found interesting and inventive ways to fuses his studio releases and live performances with other media – from comic books to puppets to having his audience draw along to his music to a series of shows where the audience wore headphones. On September 18, Kid Koala will release his latest studio effort, 12 bit Blues, and has released this remarkable homespun video for the song 8 Bit Blues (Chicago to LA to NY) that was impressively done in one take, with no edits.

    Kid Koala8 Bit Blues (Chicago To LA To NY)

    by Jeffrey Greenblatt Leave A Comment

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    One of the particularly cool offerings at this past weekend’s inaugural Peach Music Festival at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Penn. was a Sunday morning set dubbed “Wake Up With Warren Haynes” featuring the Allman Brothers Band / Gov’t Mule / Warren Haynes Band guitarist.

    Haynes took the Peach Stage a little after noon yesterday for a solo, hour-long set in which he mixed covers and originals. Warren was joined by The Blind Boys of Alabama towards the end of his set for versions of Down By The Riverside and Soulshine that brought the performance to a close. YouTuber illmatic3384 captured most of Wake Up With Warren including a stunning take on the Grateful Dead’s China Doll, Haynes’ own Beautifully Broken and Patchwork Quilt as well as the Soulshine finale.

    Wake Up With Warren: The Real Thing, Beautifully Broken, Patchwork Quilt, China Doll, I’ll Be The One, Soulshine (w/ Blind Boys of Alabama)

    You can also download audio of the entire set over at

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    I’d venture to guess that a certain percentage of people only really know Los Lobos from their contributions to the soundtrack to the 1987 film La Bamba, where they famously covered a handful of Richie Valens songs, including the title track. Heck, I was guilty of that myself. But thanks in part to to their cover Bertha from 1991′s Deadicated, and to Phish covering When The Circus Comes To Town, I decided to pick up a copy of their highly recommended 1992 record Kiko and became enchanted with their blend of American rock and roots music, with traditional Latin sounds. Next Tuesday, Los Angeles-based band will release a deluxe 20th anniversary edition of the album, and have announced that they will play a handful of special shows, that will see the band play the record in its entirety, which will precede their tour serving as opening act for Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

    If you’re not into a night with Latin-tinged roots-rock act, then maybe you’ll be interested in hitting one of these recently announced tours…

    by Jeffrey Greenblatt Leave A Comment

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    Last Saturday in Bristol on the border on Virginia and Tennessee, Mumford and Sons held their latest Gentlemen Of The Road Stopover festival. Dawes played just before the headliners took the stage and welcomed Marcus Mumford to help out on When My Time Comes…

    Dawes w/ Marcus Mumford – When My Time Comes

    For the finale, Mumford and Sons brought out all of the day’s performers for a cover of Wagon Wheel.

    Mumford and Sons & Friends – Wagon Wheel

    The next Stopover takes place in Dixon, Illinios on Saturday and will feature Gogol Bordello, Dawes, Abigail Washburn, The Very Best, Apache Relay and Haim in addition to Mumford and Sons.

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    Earlier today Ween guitarist Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo launched a website called in which he will answer questions posed by fans about “fishing, music, relationships, etc.” The licensed fishing guide explains the reason behind the site on the front page, “A lot of my clients are fans of the band and they ask me questions all day when they should be concentrating on fishing instead. I have started this site in the hopes of answering some of those questions beforehand.”

    [Photo by Allison Taich]

    In the site’s first few hours of operation, Melchiondo has already shown his quick wit as well as his appreciation for the Grateful Dead.

    Hi Deaner,

    Been a Weenie for 17 years now, thanks for the good times. My question is a bit broad, and I’m gonna try not to whine here… performing gets me really high, playing music, acting, etc… I’ve been told by people other than just friends and family that I got skills to pay the bills, but I’m a 30 year old college drop out who works at a coffee shop. I’m working hard, every time I think I get a bite, it just fails. Thought I was getting outta my hometown then I got a DUI and got stuck here for another year. My heroes all made it without selling out, am I just doomed for failure? Not asking for much, just a paying gig here and there, any advice?

    Hi KB,

    Ween stayed in the same small town (New Hope, PA) for our entire career and worked from there. We didn’t have to move to NYC or L.A. in order to be succesful. Maybe you wanna get the fuck outta there, I’m not sure, but I don’t see how getting a DUI should keep you from working towards your goals or even moving. You can always come back for court, right? As far as being a dropout and making coffee, I never went to college and I was pumping gas the last time I had a regular job, but I liked doing it. What does selling out have to do with anything? How can you sell out when you haven’t even done shit yet? You gonna quit your coffe job to work at Starbucks or something? What a dumb question.

    What’s your favorite Grateful Dead song?

    I prefer the Jerry ballads, but that’s a tough one to call because it changes, and there’s a lot of tunes I like. Also, I am close friends with a lot of real Deadheads who put in years of their lives into that band and that makes me feel like less of an expert.. Ok, all that bullshit aside, I’m just gonna go for a track off one of the records rather than a specific gig, the version of “Dark Star” on Live Dead.

    We look forward to seeing what else Deaner has to say in the coming weeks. Head over to to get your questions in and please don’t ask about Roses Are Free.

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    In 1996 Gov’t Mule was starting to feel their oats after the trio of Warren Haynes, Matt Abts and Allen Woody had three years worth of shows under their belts to hone their blues-rock sound. The first installment of the band’s new “Bootleg Series” of archival releases collects three shows from that memorable year in Mule history for  6-disc set called The Georgia Bootleg Box.

    The Georgia Bootleg Box contains over seven hours of music recorded during a three-night run through Georgia that saw the trio stop at Athens on April 11, The Roxy in Atlanta on the 12th and the Elizabeth Reed Music Hall in Macon on the 13th. Along the way the band was joined by a young Derek Trucks in Athens and Atlanta as well as guitarist Tinsley Ellis in Macon. Each setlist features classic Gov’t Mule originals plus hearty covers such as Blind Faith’s Presence of the Lord and Little Feat’s Spanish Moon.

    The 65-track set will be released by Evil Teen Records on October 16. Check out a sample of Blind Man In The Dark from the soon-to-be-released box set…

    Here’s the full tracklist for Gov’t Mule – The Georgia Bootleg Box…


    Georgia Theatre
    Athens, GA

    Disc 1:
    1.Blind Man in the Dark 9:30
    2. Mother Earth 8:00
    3. John the Revelator 1:40
    4. Temporary Saint 6:11
    5. Game Face 6:22
    6. No Need to Suffer 8:09
    7. Trane > 7:14
    8. Eternity’s Breath Jam > 2:00
    9. Thelonius Beck > 4:08
    10. Trane > 1:19
    11. St. Stephen Jam > 4:30
    12. Trane 2:48
    13. Don’t Step on the Grass, Sam 8:02

    Disc 2:
    1. Presence of the Lord 6:41
    2. Birth of the Mule 6:00
    3. Left Coast Groovies 6:23
    4. Drums > 6:44
    5. Mule > 4:54
    6. Who Do You Love > 1:35
    7. Mule 3:11

    8. Goin’ Out West 7:11
    9. Spanish Moon* 11:47
    10. Gonna Send You Back to Georgia* 7:29

    * With Derek Trucks on guitar

    The Roxy
    Atlanta, GA

    Disc 1:
    1. Blind Man in the Dark 11:00
    2. Mother Earth 7:05
    3. Mule 5:54
    4. Temporary Saint 6:15
    5. Game Face 6:27
    6. No Need to Suffer 8:19
    7. Trane > 6:51
    8. Eternity’s Breath Jam > 2:02
    9. Thelonius Beck > 3:56
    10. Trane > 1:41
    11. St. Stephen Jam > 4:37
    12. Trane 1:35
    13. Painted Silver Light 7:19

    Disc 2:
    1. Don’t Step on the Grass, Sam 7:59
    2. Birth of the Mule 5:31
    3. Just Got Paid 7:32

    4. Goin’ Out West 6:16
    5. The Same Thing 10:17
    6. Gonna Send You Back to Georgia* 8:33
    7. Young Man Blues* > 2:35
    8. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl* > 7:23
    9. Young Man Blues* 1:59

    *With Derek Trucks on guitar

    Elizabeth Reed Music Hall
    Macon, GA

    1. Blind Man in the Dark 9:53
    2. Mother Earth 9:09
    3. John the Revelator 1:42
    4. Temporary Saint 5:49
    5. Rocking Horse 4:36
    6. Game Face 6:47
    7. No Need to Suffer 8:41
    8. Trane > 8:55
    9. Eternity’s Breath Jam > 1:58
    10. Thelonius Beck > 4:01
    11. Trane > 1:41
    12. St. Stephen Jam 5:46

    Disc 2:
    1. Presence of the Lord 6:44
    2. Birth of the Mule 6:41
    3. Monkey Hill > 4:36
    4. She’s So Heavy Jam 1:28
    5. Mule 7:07

    6. Goin’ Out West 7:55
    7. She’s 19 Years Old* 10:20
    8. Gonna Send You Back to Georgia* 8:20

    * With Tinsley Ellis on guitar

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    HT faves Widespread Panic embarked on their first-ever all-acoustic tour earlier this year before heading off for an indefinite hiatus. The band has collected highlights from the Wood Tour for a new double-live CD titled Wood that’s set for an October 16th release. Wood will also be released as a 3-LP vinyl box set that same day.

    For those purchasing the vinyl set, the Wood release includes 180 gram vinyl, a 12 page photo booklet with liner notes written by Widespread Panic lead singer John Bell and an exclusive limited edition color letterpress poster made at the legendary Hatch Show Print woodblock letterpress shop in Nashville. Both LP and CD packages will include download codes for digital, MP3 versions of the music and booklet.

    Highlights include reworked versions of Tall Boy, Ain’t Life Grand and Climb to Safety as well as covers of The Beatles’ Ballad of John & Yoko and Jimmy Cliff’s Many Rivers to Cross, plus a Col. Bruce Hampton sit-in on Fixin to Die. Here’s the Track Listing for the new Widespread Panic release…

    Widespread Panic – Wood
    Double CD Track Listing

    CD I
    The Ballad John and Yoko
    (1/25/12 Washington, DC)
    (1/25/12 Washington, DC)
    Imitation Leather Shoes
    (1/25/12 Washington, DC)
    Clinic Cynic
    (1/24/22 Washington, DC)
    Tall Boy
    (2/11/20 Denver, CO)
    Many Rivers to Cross
    (2/12/20 Denver, CO)
    Good Morning Little School Girl
    (2/10/12 Denver, CO)
    Pickin’ Up The Pieces
    (2/10/12 Denver, CO)
    Ain’t Life Grand
    (2/12/12 Denver, CO)

    CD II
    St. Louis
    (2/18/12 Aspen, CO)
    Time Waits
    (2/19/12 Aspen, CO)
    Sell Sell
    (2/19/12 Aspen, CO)
    Tail Dragger
    (2/19/12 Aspen, CO)
    Tickle The Truth
    (1/25/12 Washington, DC)
    *Fixin’ to Die
    (1/27/12 Atlanta, GA)
    Climb to Safety
    (1/25/12 Washington, DC)
    Counting Train Cars
    (1/29/12 Atlanta, GA)
    C Brown
    (1/29/12 Atlanta, GA)
    (1/29/12 Atlanta, GA)
    End of the Show
    (1/29/12 Atlanta, GA)

    * With Col. Bruce Hampton on vocals

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    It’s been only five weeks since Phish capped off an outstanding first portion of their summer tour (which I called their “best in a decade“), but is it just me or does it seem like it’s been forever since SPAC? Tomorrow, the band will hit the stage again, to begin the second leg of their tour at Long Beach Arena in Southern California, and will likely play their final shows of 2012 until December. So, I figured it was the perfect time to take a look at what we can expect from Phish over the next two-and-a-half weeks, that hopefully allows them to build on the foundation they laid down earlier this summer. Of course, if this band has showed us anything over nearly 30 years, it’s that just when we think we have them figured out, they do something completely unexpected so bear that in mind.

    [All Photos by Parker Harrington]

    Although the second leg of this summer tour is a mere sprint, as opposed to a marathon, with only 13 shows in 19 days, contrasted to a much longer first leg, there are some extremely interesting points to be looked at. Most notably, the schedule does not bode well for the faint-of-heart traveler. With only two multi-night runs on this leg (San Francisco and Denver), Phish will hit California to kick things off before commencing a whirlwind cycle through the Midwest and Southeast for a week. That, along with the itinerary of the band playing six never-before-played venues this run (Long Beach Arena, Starlight Theatre,  Chaifetz Theatre and The Zoo), means the unexpected and anticipatory factors are very high on everyone’s radar. Toss in the fact that some of the shows are taking place in late August in some of the hottest locales in the country (Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma, to name a few), and these shows are poised to heat up – literally.

    But, as we’ve all seen throughout the band’s career, they tend to reward those diehards that brave the elements and make insane treks to follow them with some special surprises. (Um, Limestome, Maine, anybody?). This leg, with such a small snapshot, and basically concluding a banner year thus far, is sure to be no exception. So, now that the logistics have been addressed, let’s take a look at what we can expect musically from the boys.

    The questions on everyone’s minds are certainly fair: can the band keep the momentum going that they built up earlier this summer? Will it take them a while to get going? With only 13 shows and 2-multi-night runs, will the quartet be able to gain any “steam?” And finally, will the announced webcasts of the Bill Graham shows in San Francisco put the kibosh on Phish’s return to the city where the Grateful Dead once (and still) ruled? Ah, the beauty of conjecture allows us to debate and hash out such ideas.

    Musically, 2012 was nothing short of a revelation for Phish. Not so much in the style that the band played, but more in my eyes, it has been the year to date, that the fans have been waiting for since their return in 2009. There weren’t just good or above average shows once every few nights, but every night seemingly offered up some aspect of the Phish repertoire and persona that allowed fans to walk away extremely happy. The playing overall was top tier for this era, the humor that defines the band and separates them from so many others returned with a vengeance for the entire tour and that infectious attitude permeated from the stage and into the audience on a nightly basis. While I expect the band to try and carry that torch over to this late summer run, I wonder if different venues each night in foreign locations will allow them do so as easily? It will be a tough task for sure, but I feel the band might be up for the challenge to help punctuate a landmark summer.

    One way I feel the band could help do so would be to introduce some new and fresh material to the fold. With Page McConnell telling Rolling Stone that the quartet expects to enter the studio this fall, the one thing missing from the past few years in the land of Phish is a slew of new tunes. Sure, they busted out some mega rarities this past summer in lieu of debuting new material, and I’m sure that theme will continue this leg (Spock’s Brain, anyone?), but I feel an injection of some never-before-heard original debuts would take things to a whole new level.

    In addition to some fresh material, I’m also hoping that the band goes completely off the wall in a few aspects this second leg. Start with the crazy setlists and bustouts that they’ve brought forth this year and take it to the Nth degree. Realize that each show will be the only footprint (in most cases) that they will get to leave on a certain venue/city, and go all out. In other words, don’t play it safe – anywhere. There are 13 proper shows remaining until December. That’s not a lot for the final five months of the year. So go for IT. Build upon what you’ve created and take it DEEP! Explore, delve and be creative. Make a statement that the early summer wasn’t just lightning in a bottle for the 3.0 era.

    We’ve all wished for greatness out of Phish since their return, and now that we’ve consistently seen it, I’d say “great. Now show me more.” We wouldn’t be Phish fans if we didn’t have a “what have you done for me lately?” attitude that came from seeing the band constantly raise the bar throughout the ’90s. I challenge the band to dig deep and lay it all out on the line. This short, but intriguing second stint, in my eyes, is a statement time and turning point in the band’s next chapter. With some new tunes, greater risks and more jams, the band could not only break – but shatter – new ground for the next few years of Phish lore going forward. The choice is up to them.

    by Brian Bavosa Leave A Comment

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    Phish front man Trey Anastasio will take his solo band on the road this fall to hit a number of choice venues across the Midwest and Northeast according to dates posted on his website.

    The New York City stop marks Trey’s first-ever solo show at the Beacon Theatre and first time he’s been a headliner at the historic venue since Phish last visited in 1994. Trey will also perform at the historic Chicago Theatre in Chicago and Stroudsburg’s intimate Sherman Theater for the first time. Also of note Big Red will finally get a chance to play the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, where he supposed to play in 2008 before the show got moved to the Roseland in NYC.

    Here’s a list of Trey Fall Tour Dates…

    October 18 – The Fillmore – Detroit, MI
    October 19 – Chicago Theatre – Chicago, IL
    October 20 – LC Pavilion – Columbus, OH
    October 22 – Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, PA
    October 23 – The National – Richmond, VA
    October 24 – Fillmore – Silver Spring, MD
    October 26 – Beacon Theatre – New York, NY
    October 27 – Orpheum Theatre – Boston, MA
    October 28 – Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY

    Tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster on the week of August 23rd. A presale begins on Thursday at 10AM through Trey Ticketing.

    In addition, Anastasio has revealed details about his new album Traveler due Oct. 16…

    Traveler, Trey Anastasio’s forthcoming solo album, will be released on October 16 on Rubber Jungle Records / ATO Records. Trey co-produced the album with Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Jonsi) last fall in Katis’ Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, CT. Along with Trey Anastasio Band, Katis invited several artists to work with them, including Mates of State’s Kori Gardner, The National’s Bryan Devendorf and Matt Berninger, and Icelandic percussionist Samuli Kosminen.

    “My goal was to create an album that used the studio as an instrument,” says Anastasio, who began recording Traveler after Phish wrapped up its 2011 summer tour. “I wanted to work with Peter because he is a master at creating a sonic landscape,” notes Trey. “We were hoping for a cinematic end result.”

    Album pre-order details will be announced shortly. The first single on the album, “Scabbard,” will be released August 21.

    by Scott Bernstein Leave A Comment

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    I know, I know. You have a great camera in your phone and don’t need a point-and-shoot. Or you already have a great camera phone AND a fantastic DSLR. Why in the world would you possibly need to shell out for yet another camera?

    After plunking down for a Canon Rebel XSi five years ago, and having my phone’s camera quality steadily improve with every new purchase (which for me is every six months or so), I felt the same way and never thought I would purchase another point and shoot. Yet, often I dread having to lug the DSLR around. And cell phone cameras, despite fantastic results in many situations, have some serious drawbacks.

    Samsung’s line of cameras have absolutely hit the ball out of the park lately offering superior optics and a slew of features that have left other camera manufactures scrambling to keep up. One such device is the WB150F which in addition to great image quality, also has built in WiFi for easy image transfers and sharing, great photo editing software built into the device, video, and fantastic telephoto and macro results.

    Samsung’ WB150F Camera

    Let’s face it- iPhones, Androids, and Windows Phones can take some pretty remarkable snapshots. But regardless of which silly filters you use to add to your pictures and how well you compose your masterpiece, your mobile device has some serious shortcomings. A handful of limitations and reasons to consider a point and shoot:

    • No Optical Zoom and Poor Macro Results- Anytime you “zoom” with your mobile, you are not doing it with the lens. So while you can digitally bring your subject closer, you will lose image quaility. Creating depth of field and using zoom to create desired image size of subject is also lost with digital zooming. Similarly, getting within a few centimeters and getting outstanding macro results is not really possible with camera phones.
    • Battery Killer – Sure, a few dozen pics of an event or some snapshots for your favorite social site isn’t going to kill your battery. However, there’s times when heading to a photo intensive event that you can’t count on your phone battery lasting.
    • Horrendous Flash- The tiny LED on your phone (if it has one) produces some of the harshest and most unpleasant lighting possible in photos.
    • Overall Performance- Time between photos, start-up time, focusing time, low light situations and awkward photo taking are all symptoms of most mobile phone cameras. I was incensed a couple weeks ago when taking  a video without a second chance to get the shot, and right in the middle of filming- I got an incoming call! This stopped the video and deleted the previously filmed two minutes. Phones are definitely designed as phones first. You won’t have that issue with a camera. Nor will you be inclined to accidentally hold it in the incorrect position resulting in either an upside down photo or a video with just a narrow strip. (Ironically, it seems that ever bystander that captures amazing footage that gets used in a news story or video that goes viral is holding their phone wrong).

    Again, I am perfectly happy with many of the pictures I have taken with my mobile phone camera.  Likewise, I certainly love my Canon. But point-and-shoots can still fill a sweet spot when you want mobility and consistently superior results.

    Here’s a few reasons why I am absolutely thrilled with the first non-DSLR camera I have bought in over six years.

    Value The MSRP of the WB150F is $229 but I found mine on sale at Best Buy a few weeks ago for $160.  You can even find it on Amazon for as little as $140. Shop and around and find this around $140 and you are getting a fantastic camera for a great price. This camera blows away most of the competition in both feature set and image quality at this price point.

    Outstanding Telephoto & Macro Results The 18x optical zoom (which equates to over a 400mm lens in a DSLR equivalent) produces sharp results and crisp images. Again, one of the major limitations of cell phone cameras. Likewise, macro photos turn out great. Below are two photos taken in full-auto mode. The bike from 100′ away and the sunflower from about 1″.

    100′ at full zoom

    Macro Photo

    Great Specs The WB150F has specs and settings not usually found on inexpensive cameras in this category.

    • Shutter speeds as fast as 1/2000 sec
    • ISO setting up to 3,200
    • Full manual mode, aperture priority, shutter priority
    • Metering mode options of spot, multi, center weighted and Face Detection
    • Many white balance modes
    • Optical image stabilization and digital
    • Sensor Resolution 14 MP

    Comfortable to hold & Easy To Use Despite most of the same options available on high end DSLR cameras, the functions and controls are all very intuitive and easy to control. Menus are understandable and the buttons and dials all work very well and easy to use. At approximately 4″ x 2″ x 1″, it is easy to pop into a pocket and carry around. The dimensions and shutter release are positioned and designed well to feel great in the hand.

    [Rear of camera with ample sized LCD and easy to use controls]

    Great editing software & Creative Suite There are a ton of great filters & effects that you can use ranging from panorama mode, picture-in-picture, sketch, oil painting and a slew of others. Additionally, intuitive editing is possible from the camera itself without having to download to a computer.

    WiFi and Sharing With WiFi built in, sharing to social sites, sync to PC, emailing and other features are relatively easy. Though one caveat is that the first time you sign into a service (like Facebook for example), the process can be a little tedious with difficult typing without touchscreen and having to enter characters with a four way D-Pad. However, once you are set up, the WiFi works really well and the transfers are relatively quick. I transferred 275 pictures from camera to my laptop in a matter of a couple minutes.

    Additional features that can be used with the WiFi functionality is remote viewfinder (Allows you to view your viewfinder from a smartphone app and compose and take pictures remotely which is great for self portraits/group shots), AllShare (quickly display on AllShare equipped TV’s or other devices) and MobileLink (easy transfer to your mobile phone). While I have fully tested all these features, and they all work great on my Samsung Galaxy SII, I have not tested any of them on any other mobile devices like an iPhone.

     A Few Final Thoughts

    • Charging the battery, or connecting to computer, is via ubiquitous micro-USB (most other point and shoots in this price range are charged via an external charger necessitating battery removal which is inconvenient and prone to being lost) .
    • Video quality is very good at 1280×720 (30fps) with reasonable sound quality but not the best.
    • LCD viewfinder is a 3″ TFT display of decent quality.
    • Overall construction and build quality is outstanding- nothing feels cheap about it.

    Bottom Line The WB150F is an outstanding choice for those wanting a camera affording a full range of features, great image quality and the convenience of WiFi built into a camera. While the image quality is not quite the same as high end DSLRs, the optical 16x zoom provides extraordinary results for a point and shoot. A bevy of features make this a pretty powerful camera to carry along and a worthwhile addition to your existing devices to capture life’s precious moments.

    Samsung WB150F


    Hidden Track Technology Tuesday

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    by Parker Harrington Leave A Comment

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