Thursday, May 27, 2010

Carbon Leaf, Sons of Bill, Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers, The Atkinsons

Thursday night, Carbon Leaf (from Richmond) and Sons of Bill (from Charlottesville) will play Groovin' In the Garden at Maymont.  Tix are $15 in advance, $20 day of show.  Sons of Bill will start the show at 6 and make sure you get in to see them.  They are pretty good and you'll dig them if you like The Band, Tom Petty, Robert Earl Keen, The Silos or Drive-By Truckers.  Carbon Leaf will stat at 7:30.  Here's Carbon Leaf with a clip from a performance at Richmond's In Your Ear studio that was filmed for a concert film:

Here's Sons of Bill with a song about Richmond from a recent TV performance:

At Friday Cheers on Brown's Island this week, you've got Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers with opener William Walter & Co.  Show starts at 6:30 and its $2 to get in. compares SK6ERS sound to Counting Crowes, The Wallflowers, Cat Stevens, The Band, Jim Croce & Jackson Browne.  Here's what the Cheers site says about Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers:
"SK6ERS," as they're also affectionately known, have carved a determined, inspiring path since forming in Western Massachusetts in 2003. An exceptional live act given to high-energy showmanship, The Sixers are closing in on their 1,000th show with a newfound grit and gratitude. Stephen and core Sixers – Kit "Goose" Karlson (keys, bass, tuba, accordion) and Brian "Boots" Factor (drums, mandolin, banjo) -- are friends who act like brothers and switch off on their instruments to keep it fresh; much in the tradition of their collective heroes, The Band. Producer Tom Schick (Norah Jones, Ryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright) signed up for the new record and says he now understands why the group has a growing legion of loyal fans. "They're a 'classic rock' band in the best sense of the phrase," he says. "You can hear Neil Young, Tom Petty and John Cougar in there. It brings back a lot of good feelings about growing up and listening to great people who can really play their instruments. It's not pieced together on a computer. It's very refreshing."

Here's SK6ERS with an acoustic performance at KRVB in Boise ID on May 10:

iClips will be webcasting live from the Summer Camp Festival in Chillicothe IL this weekend and this looks like a good one.  The broadcast starts Friday at 5 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.  This will feature performance from moe. (who will be Richmond next week), STS9, Umphrey's McGee, Gov't Mule (who will be at Innsbrook Aug. 4), Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band, Steel Pulse, Slightly Stoopid, The New Mastersounds, Railroad Earth (who put on a nice show at Cheers last week), and the Avett Brothers.  Check the site for the full schedule.

Saturday night, The Atkinsons will play at Cafe Diem with Allen Thompson and Ben Jordan (no relation, at least as far as I know) & The Heathens.  Show starts at 9:30 PM and there is no cover.

I'll leave you with this link to the 30 Best Unintentionally Gay Album Covers.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and take a moment to remember those that gave their lives for our country.

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hold Steady @ The National

Just Announced *** THE HOLD STEADY Monday September 20th @ 8pm ... Tickets on sale THIS Friday May 28th at all Ticketmaster outlets,,, and The National box office

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Railroad Earth, Dark Star Orchestra, River City Beer Fest, Steel Pulse, Susan Greenbaum

Friday Cheers this week brings us Railroad Earth.  The show is $2 to get in for those 13 and older, free for 12 and under.  The show will start at 6:30 PM with opener 6 Day Bender.  Railroad Earth play Americana rock & roll.  You'll probably like them if you like The Band, Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic, Black Crowes, Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, Little Feat, Del McCoury Band or Blues Traveler.  Here's Railroad Earth performing their song "Mighty River" last year in Denver:

Jam band fans will have a decision to make on Friday as the #1 Grateful Dead tribute band, Dark Star Orchestra, comes to Innsbrook Pavilion.  Gates open at 6 and DSO comes on at 6:30 (no opener) so you should get two fat sets from DSO.  General Admission is $15 in advance, $20 day of show and there is no Gold Circle (yay!).  Here they are playing "Weather Report Suite Part 1 and most of Part 2" a few weeks ago:

For this jam band fan, the choice will be Railroad Earth. Why?
  1. Only $2
  2. Original music beats cover band.  DSO is good at what they do but I've been seeing/listening to the Dead, Dead survivors and cover bands for 23 years now.  Nothing new there.
  3. I've seen DSO a few times.  I don't thnk I've seen Railroad Earth before.
  4. Brown's Island beats Innsbrook as a venue
The River City Beer Fest will be held at The Diamond on Saturday from noon to 6 PM.  Entry is just a $2 donation.  The will be beer, music by Big Boss Combo, Haze and the Transients, Bart Chucker Band, the Antero Reggae Band and the Lance Manley Band and a children's fun area.  The entire proceeds from this event benefit the Cullather Brain Tumor Quality of Life Center at Bon Secours. This Center was opened in 2007 at St. Mary’s Hospital as a resource/support center for patients and families coping with a brain tumor diagnosis. The Center is providing guidance, free of charge, for over 300 patients in our Community. Staffing for this event is provided by Center Volunteers. Event produced by Blind Squirrel Productions, a local organization whose sole mission is to provide support to the fight against cancer.  I cannot find a web site for the event but from the poster that was up in my favorite beer store, Once Upon a Vine, it looked like they might have some decent breweries represented.

Sunday at Capital Ale House Music Hall Downtown there will be a benefit for the Richmond Brain Tumor Support Group featuring Susan Greenbaum and Sky Run.  Tix are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.  Doors open at 2 PM.

On Sunday at The National, reggae greats Steel Pulse will help end your weekend feeling good.  Tix are $20 in advance, $25 day of show.  Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, which hopefully is really made up of giant pandas playing dub reggae.  How cool would that be?  If you go to the site and join the Steel Pulse Fan Club, you can have a chance to come to sound check or meet the band before or after the show.  Bring 'em if you got 'em.  Here's the band performing "Your House" at Hollywood Park four days ago (this is why I love YouTube):

Here's a random video for your weekend: The Ramones doing "The KKK Took My Baby Away" in Sweden.

Have a great weekend! See you at Friday Cheers for Railroad Earth.

Tony Jordan

Friday, May 14, 2010

Live Nation/Ticketmaster to set about pricing changes

Here come those $400 front row tickets. "Dynamic Pricing" means "there is no way in hell you will ever get good seats for a big show for under $200 ever again".

VibeFest 2010 @ Positive Vibe Cafe

Sunday, May 16 from noon to 6:30 PM will be VibeFest 2010 will be held outside the Positive Vibe Cafe (2825 Hathaway Road, Richmond VA 23225) with all proceeds to benefit Positive Vibe Café. Positive Vibe Foundation (formerly Get Lost MD Foundation) prepares people with cognitive or physical disabilities for paid employment in the food service industry. They accomplish thier mission by training and employing people with disabilities at Max’s Positive Vibe Café.

The Vibe's fabulous food ($3 each sample) and your favorite beverages for sale. Kids activities, too - all to benefit the great work of the Positive Vibe Cafe!

Local chefs providing food include Frits Huntjens (Positive Vibe Café), J. Frank (formerly of the Berkley Hotel), Bob DeCapri (formerly of Café di Pagliacci), Jim Ertel (Salisbury Country Club), Dale Reitzer (Acacia Mid-Town).

Richmond's favorite bands will perform on two stages:

Noon - The Chiggers
12:20 - John Leedes & Friends
12:50 - Leetah & the Boogie Men
1:10 - The Hullabaloos
1:30 - Offering
2:00 - Thank You and Color Guard
2:30 - NRG Kyrsys
3:00 - Page Wilson with Reckless Abandon
3:30 - Goodfellas
4:00 - Against Grace
4:30 - Susan Greenbaum
5:00 - The Taters
5:30 - Marna & Macy
6:00 - The Janet Martin Band

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Porcupine Tree review, Dominion RiverRock Fest, Grace Potter, Robert Randolph

The big Dominion RiverRock Festival weekend is here.  Grace Potter, Robert Randolph, soaring kayaks, flipping bikes, muddy runners and flying dogs.  But before we get to that, a quick review of the Porcupine Tree show.

Tuesday night at the National, rising progressive rock band, Porcupine Tree, played to an almost full house.  In their music, you could hear the entire history of prog rock, from Yes, Rush & Floyd to Tool & Nine Inch Nails.  This is a very precise band, led by singer/songwriter/guitarist, Steven Wilson, and featuring excellent musicianship from all the players.  This is a band that opens the show by playing the entire song cycle, "The Incident", which takes up the first CD of their latest release of the same name.  "The Incident" is highlighted by its 12 minute centerpiece, "Time Flies".  This is a band that uses arty videos to enhance the songs.  This is a band which I will definitely see again and will explore more of their alternately ambient and rocking music.

The opener for the show was BigElf, a band from LA that unashamedly plays 70s epic stoner metal, a la Deep Purple/Black Sabbath.  (They even played a little bit of Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf" by request before saying, "F**k 'Sweet Leaf'.  We don't have enough time.  We'll play it for you when we come back as a headliner."  It wasn't snotty though, it was pretty funny.)  They were a rocking blast, led by their scarecrow in a top hat lead singer/keyboarist, Damon Fox, and guitarist Ace Mark.  Damon Fox was very entertainig to watch as he was flanked by his vintage keyboards playing one with each hand, wailing like Dio or Ian Gillan.

Onto RiverRock.  Here is the entire schedule, then more on the musical headliners.

Friday, May 14


4 - 6pm: Event registration and athlete check-in

4 - 8pm: Vendor booths and interactive village open

6 - 7 p.m Filthy 5K Mud Run

6 - 7pm: Freestyle Bikes (Best Trick Qualifying)

6 - 7:30pm: Red Bull Canal Crashers (Qualifying)

6 - 7:30pm: Ultimate Air Dogs (Qualifying)

7 - 8pm: Freestyle Bikes (Best Trick Finals)

7:30 - 8pm: Ultimate Air Dogs (Catch It Finals)


6pm: Free Concert - The Congress

7:40pm: Free Concert - Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Saturday, May 15


1 - 6pm: Event registration and athlete check-in

3 - 9pm: Vendor booths and interactive village open

3 - 6pm: Ultimate Air Dogs (Qualifying)

4 - 5:30p.m. Urban Assault Mountain Bike Race

4 - 6pm: Kayak Boatercross

5 - 6:30p.m. James River Scramble 10k Trail Run

6 - 7:30p.m. Ultimate Air Dogs (Fetch It Finals)

6:30 -7:30p.m. Freestyle Bikes (Slopestyle Qualifying)

7 - 8pm: Red Bull Canal Crashers (Finals)

7:30 - 8p.m. Ultimate Air Dogs (Finals)

7:30 -8:30p.m. Freestyle Bikes (Slopestyle Finals)


4pm: Free Concert - Beast Wellington

5:30pm: Free Concert - Antero

7:30pm: Free Concert - Farm Vegas

9pm: Free Concert - Robert Randolph & the Family Band

Don't miss the Ultimate Air Dogs.  This is a very entertaining event and the kids love it.  A lot of the kids like to gather at the end of the pool, hoping a dog will jump far enough and make a big enough splash so they get wet. 

As for the music, Friday night is Grace Potter & The Nocturnals with their blues/classic rock.  If you like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bonnie Raitt, or Janis Joplin, you won't want to miss them.  They were recently named one of Rolling Stone magazine's Top Bands to Watch of 2010 and they seem to making a big promo push for their new self-titled album.  They may be on the cusp of moving to the next level, so you may not get another chance to see them for free.  Here is their new single, "Tiny Light".

As an added bonus, here they are doing an acoustic version of their song, "Paris", in their hotel room last week:

Saturday night, blues/funk/gospel band, Robert Randolph & The Family Band will take the stage. I have not stated this since Stevie Ray Vaughn died and I do not say this lightly. Robert Randolph is the best guitarist I have seen since SRV died. You will be picking your jaw up off of the Brown's Island turf at least once during this show as you watch him wail on pedal steel guitar in between all the dancing you'll be doing. The band has a new album out called "We Walk This Road" so I'm sure we'll hear a few cuts off of that. If anyone is going, let's hook up because right now, I'm flying solo as this one starts too late (9 PM) to bring the kids. For those of you who know how to reach me, you know how to reach me. Here is the link (embedding is disabled) to his latest single, "Going In the Right Direction": click HERE.

When you aren't at the RiverRock Fest this weekend, you can check out the free webcast from the first Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL on iClips.  They haven't posted the schedule for the webcast yet but the festival starts at 12:15 PM Friday through Sunday so go to the iClips site then and see what's going on.  (UPDATE: 12:16 PM, FRIDAY:  The webcast starts at 4:30 PM on Friday & Saturday, and 4 PM on Sunday.  The direct link to the webcast is HERE.)  Here is who I hope they show.  Friday: Brett Dennen, North Mississippi Allstarts Duo, Robert Randolph, Black Crowes (tix go on sale this Friday at 10 AM for their show at the National on Nov 16), Girl Talk.  Saturday: A.A. Bondy, Ozomatli, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (playing at 2:30 PM after playing for us till 9 PM or later the night before.  Ah, the glamorous rock & roll lifestyle.  Hope they get some sleep on the bus or plane.), Funky Meters, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Roots, John Legend.  Sunday: Blind Boys of Alabama, Michael Franti & Spearhead (just announced a show at The National on August 29), Guster, Ben Harper & Relentless 7, Ray Lamontagne, Trey Anastasio & TAB.

A couple other shows of note:

Southern Culture on the Skids with The Hotdamns & Hamburger James at Plaza Bowl on Friday night.  Show starts at 8, tix are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.  SCOTS play crazy, white trash, rockabilly. 

Elizabeth Cook at Ashland Coffee & Tea on Wednesday night.  The show will start at 8 PM, tix are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.  Here's the blurb from the Ashland Coffee & Tea website: "Elizabeth Cook made her Grand Ole Opry debut on March 17, 2000, appearing repeatedly thereafter — a remarkable achievement considering that, at the time, she was an indie artist with no radio airplay. But such was the excitement generated by her clear, beautiful voice, strong songwriting ability, and live performances, all of which have drawn comparisons to younger, critically respected artists like Kelly Willis and legends such as Dolly Parton. Nanci Griffith has called her ”this generation’s Loretta Lynn”."

Alright, I'll leave you with this from the College Humor web site.  Its the ad for "Every Summer Music Festival You've Ever Been To".

Have a great weekend.  See you at RiverRock Fest.

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Little Feat @ Hat Factory & Keller Williams @ Maymont

A quick blog since I'll be at the Porcupine Tree show tonight at The National and will not be wanting to crank one out when I get home.

Wednesday night at the Hat Factory, classic rockers Little Feat come to town.  Doors open at 7, opener will be Jonah Smith starting at 8.  Tix are $20 in advance, $25 day of show.  I usually go see Little Feat as "Waiting For Columbus", their '78 live album, is one of my favorite albums of all time.  However, because I'm going to P Tree tonight, I'm passing this year.  Which is OK because they play pretty much the same show every year anyway.

Drummer Richie Hayward, co-founder of the band, will not be with them as he is recovering from a serious bout of severe liver disease.  Local Richmond, Virginia resident, musician and Little Feat fan Andy Edmunds is doing his part to help Sweet Relief Musicians Fund raise money for Richie Hayward. To coincide with Little Feat’s local performance at The Hat Factory on Wednesday May 12th, Andy is working with the media in Richmond to inform friends and fans of Richie’s on how they can contribute. From May 5th to May 20th all those who donate at least $10 to Sweet Relief’s Richie Hayward fund will receive two music downloads created by Andy and his band, No Small Feet. These Little Feat inspired tunes are being offered as appreciation for the generosity of Richmond fans as well as any one from around the world who participates over the next two weeks.  For more info, click HERE.

Here's the band playing last year at a festival in the Netherlands.  This is "Fat Man In a Bathtub, part 1" being introduced by some dude in a language I don't understand.

Here's part 2:

On Wednesday, more jamming with Keller Williams at Groovin' in the Garden at Maymont.  Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day of show, $35 advance Gold Circle.  Opening act will be The Transmitters.  Doors open at 5, show starts at 6, Keller comes on at 7:30.  I like Keller when he is with a band.  This show appears to be his one man band show where he uses loops to play with himself (snicker, snicker).  I find the one man show thing interesting for about 20 - 30 minutes and then it gets kind of old.  Here he is doing a song called "Breathe":

Be back on Thursday with info on the Dominion RiverRock festival featuring free performances from Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and Robert Randolph & The Family Band.

Friday, May 7, 2010

FREE! Paste Magazine Bonnaroo 2010 Sampler

Paste and Bonnaroo have teamed up to offer the 2010 Paste Magazine Bonnaroo Sampler. First you will have to register which means you'll get some emails fron Paste Magazine and Bonnaroo, but that's not a bad thing because Paste is a pretty good magazine/web site.  I subscribe to the "digital" version of Paste, mainly because I like to download their monthly music samplers.

Once you register, you can enjoy free downloads from artists performing at this summer's Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, June 10-13 in Manchester, Tennessee. Sampler download includes free mp3s from The Steep Canyon Rangers, She & Him, Local Natives, Here We Go Magic, The Gaslight Anthem, Galactic, Dr.Dog, Blitzen Trapper, and the Dave Rawlings Machine.

Get it at

Del McCoury Band & Sublime

A couple new shows announced:

Bluegrass Legends DEL MCCOURY BAND at The National, Thursday June 3rd @ 8pm ... Tickets on sale THIS Tuesday May 11th at all Ticktmaster outlets,,, and The National box office.

SUBLIME WITH ROME, with Matisyahu and The Dirty Heads at Innsbrook Pavilion, Wednesday, July 21 at 6 PM.  General Admission advance = $20, Gold Circle advance = $35.  Tix on sale Saturday, May 8 @ 10 AM HERE.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Phish 3D review, Porcupine Tree, Sharon Jones & Dap-Kings, John Prine, Skydog

Quick review of the Phish 3D movie.  Enjoyed the movie quite a bit, all of it filmed at their Halloween weekend, Festival 8.  The 3D was most effective on the floating over the crowd shots or long shots of the stage, didn't seem to make much of a difference on the "on stage" shots.  The movie was also 99% concert with little to no backstage banter, interviews or crowd shots.  Some reviews or postings I read complained about this but I was quite happy with that.  In most concert movies, that stuff kills time when I would rather being hearing music and/or makes the band seem pompous and vain.  After an opening of "AC/DC Bag", the movie really kicks in with a great version of the newer song "Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan" which builds to a nice climax on the back of a Trey solo.  "Tweezer" was another highlight in the first electric "set" of the movie.  It starts as great riff rock and then evolves into an ambient, funky jam.  "Maze" & "Mike's Song" where next with "Mike's Song" getting nice and funky. 

Next came what I thought was the weakest part of the movie, footage from the daytime acoustic set they did at the festival.  The music was nice enough but when they play acoustic the band's lyrics, never too deep or meaningful, more of the surreal, humorous or "set the mood" lyrical mode, are laid bare.  "Strange Design" is decent, but I must confess, I got kind of sleepy during the acoustic section.  The rocking "Wilson" was interesting when played acoustic but never seemed to catch fire compared with the normal electric version.

The final section of the movie was selections from the set where the band covered the Stones' "Exile on Main Street" as their Halloween "costume".  With the addition of a horn section and backup singers Sharon Jones (more on her later) and Saundra Williams.  "Loving Cup", often played by Phish, rocks.  "Happy" starts as kind of a lark, with drummer Fishman singing.  Fishman is not the best singer, but that's part of the joke as they usually let him do one song a show.  However, the band locks in with the horn section and really grooves on this one.  "Shine a Light" and "Soul Survivor" are very powerful performances with Sharon Jones and Saundra Williams shining, eliciting big grins from guitarist Trey Anastasio.  Sharon & Saundra also really kick ass on a version of Phish's "Suzy Greenberg" which is just a lot of fun.  The movie then ends with a typical pulse-raising version of "Tweezer Reprise". 

Basically, if you are a Phish fan, you'll like the move.  If you're not, the movie probably won't change your mind about them.  I am looking forward to the DVD version with hopefully lots more from the "Exile" set.

Speaking of Ms. Sharon Jones, she will be in town with her band, The Dap-Kings, on Thursday night at Maymont for the first show in the Groovin' In the Garden series.  I really wish I could go to this one, but unfortunately, I'm unable to attend.  Doors will open at 5:30, the opener, DJ Williams Projekt, starts around 6 and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings will be on around 7:30.  Tix are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.  Sharon is a sassy, energetic, old school R&B singer backed by funk/soul band, the Dap-Kings, who backed Amy Winehouse on much of her breakthrough album, "Back to Black".  Here they are a couple nights ago on Letterman doing "I Learned the Hard Way":

Friday night, Friday Cheers on Brown's Island kicks off with country singer Lee Brice.  Entry cost is $2 for those 13 and older.  Show starts at 6:30 with opener Puddleduck.  Here's what the Cheers web site has to say about Lee:
"When Lee Brice first entered the country consciousness with the Top 30 hit “She Ain’t Right” in 2007, his voice carrying over FM radio waves like honey trickling through lines of melody etched in leather, his rugged sound and raw emotion spoke for a new generation of Nashville recording artists. “I love what I’m hearing on the radio today,” Brice said. “People aren’t trying to be perfect or slick anymore. It reminds me of records back in the day, when everything sounded like it was played live. I’d love it if someday people could look back on what I’m doing now too and say, ‘When Lee Brice came around, something changed in a positive way.’” As follow-up singles “Happy Endings,” “Upper Middle Class White Trash,” and “Love Like Crazy” have doggedly climbed the charts, Brice has continued to change the landscape of country with images inspired by the Carolina backcountry where he was raised."

Here is his big country hit, "Love Like Crazy":

Saturday night, country/folk singer-songwriter, John Prine will be at the Carpenter Center.  The show starts at 8 PM, and tickets are $49.50 - 59.50.  The Felice Brothers will be opening.  If you are wondering about John Prine's influence, there will be a tribute album, "Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows" coming out June 22nd with following artist doing his songs: My Morning Jacket, The Avett Brothers, Conor Oberst And The Mystic Valley Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lambchop, Josh Ritter, the Drive-By Truckers, Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins, Deer Tick featuring Liz Isenburg, Justin Townes Earle, Those Darlins and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon

Here's John doing his song "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore" at the Philly Folk Festival in 2004:

Local Allman Brothers tribute band, Skydog, will be playing at The Camel on Saturday night at 10 PM.  Cover charge is $7.  Here is the band playing the Canal Club in January doing "Statesboro Blues":

I will be attending the Porcupine Tree show at The National on Tuesday night.  Tix are $26 in advance, $30 day of show, doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Bigelf.  Yes, I know Porcupine Tree is a horrible band name, it was originally meant to be a sort of joke/tribute to 70's prog rock bands but it ended up sticking.  P-Tree is a progressive rock band influenced by Pink Floyd, early Genesis, King Crimson, Tangerine Dream, Neu!, Can, CSNY, Rush, Yes, and modern ambient and techno music.  My brothers-in-law really dig them and I've been listening to them now too.  Sounds like it should be a good show.  Here's their song "Time Flies" from their latest album, "The Incident":

Sia will be at the National on Friday night.  Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with opener Girl in a Coma.  Tix are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.  Sounds like Nelly Furtado, Lauryn Hill, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, Christina Aguilera, Beth Orton, Jonatha Brooke.  Here's her song "Clap Your Hands":

That's it for this week.  See you at the P-Tree show!

I'll leave you with this just because.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan