LE MANS, FRANCE (June 22, 2013) — It was cold and blustery Saturday afternoon, the day’s first smattering of rain riding the 30-mph winds as the 24 Hour of Le Mans start neared.Not really the best conditions for racing – or flag-waving, for that matter. But Jim France soldiered on – and held on – taking his place in the starter’s stand with a full-sized French flag. As if inclement weather really mattered on this day, when Jim France got to do what his late brother, Bill France Jr., did in 1976, right here at Le Mans.Now, two Frances have waved the French flag to start the world’s biggest sports car race. It’s unprecedented, this brotherly piece of Le Mans trivia. Flag passed from 1976 starter Bill France Jr. to GRAND-AM Road Racing founder
Southern California-based duo Wheeland Brothers have made a name for themselves in the beach rock scene, opening for groups like 311, The Wailers, Slightly Stoopid and more in their exciting career. Earlier this year, the band took the opportunity to perform at the balcony of the Tree House for an intimate acoustic performance. Bringing out their beloved 2013 single “Run River Run,” from the Muchos Mahalos album, the band thoroughly impressed with the stripped-down session.“The more we’ve performed ‘Run River Run,’ it’s become a song that moves our imagination,” said Travis Wheeland to L4LM. “We wanted to create a version of the song that captures that energy, and maybe inspire a few people to wonder what’s out beyond their horizon. So we got a few friends and neighbors together on my balcony in San Clemente, California and filmed a live take of the song.”The beautiful number translates idealistically to the intimacy of the setting, and we’re honored to premiere the footage. Check out the Wheeland Brothers’ acoustic “Run River Run,” below.Wheeland tells us more about the lovely tune. “On a hot California summer day I set up a camping tent at the water’s edge at Crystal Cove State Beach. I was sitting alone with my guitar—I tend to make up songs to myself to think through whatever’s going on in my life. Catalina Island was on the horizon as I wrote ‘Run River Run.’ I was remembering the river that runs through the Kalalau Valley in Hawaii and straight into the ocean. You can be sunburned and salt encrusted, but the moment you sink into that river and let the cool glassy water pour over your face, it refreshes you to your core. When a moment stuns you and you see yourself—when you really arrive, like snapping out of the day-to-day hypnosis—you’ve got to pause and make a conscious decision to remember those moments. That river, the ‘Kalalau Stream’ is flowing as you read this. Heck you can look it up on Google Maps right now if you want. It’s a reminder that there’s magic happening in this world. It keeps carrying us to the ocean; it keeps us coming back, looking for magic.”This exciting group will be making waves all summer long! For more on the group, head to their official website.
Carlos Santana reunited with his classic Santana lineup of Gregg Rolie (keys/lead vocals), Neal Schon (guitar/vocals), and Michael Carabello (percussion) back on March 21st of this year at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. It was the classic lineup’s first show together since way back in 1973, and quartet played the hits that we all came to love, such as “Soul Sacrifice”, “Evil Ways”, “Black Magic Woman”, “Oye Como Va” and more.Neal Schon Promises More Shows And Music From Reunited Santana LineupThe band also ran through some newer material from their recently released Santana IV album (check out a review of the album HERE), for a performance that was filmed in its entirety and will be featured on AXS TV for the networks “Whole Lotta Love” Father’s Day Marathon this coming Sunday, June 19th at 8pm EST. The network will feature concerts from Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC, Lyrnyrd Skynyrd, and more throughout the day. Mark your calendars, set your DVR’s, do whatever you have to do, this will be one that you won’t want to miss.Santana at House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV – 3/21/16Soul SacrificeJin-go-lo-ba Evil Ways Everybody’s EverythingShake ItAnywhere You Want to GoChoo ChooAll AboardSamba pa tiBatukaNo One to Depend OnLeave Me AloneSueñosCaminandoBlues MagicEchizoCome As You AreYambuBlack Magic Woman/Gypsy QueenOye como va Encore:Love Makes the World Go ‘Round Freedom in Your MindToussaint L’Ouverture
Rocker Tom Petty has been touring extensively this summer with Mudcrutch, his formative band that recently reunited to release their second album. Mudcrutch is a whole new outfit for Petty, with a number of original songs that you won’t find at a Heartbreakers concert. Still, the veteran musician can call upon a friend or two to help get the job done.Last night on June 26th at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, CA, the band rocked through an awesome set before bringing out a big surprise… Stephen Stills. Stills joined in for two Mudcrutch originals, including the set-closing version of “The Wrong Thing To Do” and the encore “Crystal River.”Check out fan-shot footage of the show from Ed Congdon, streaming below.You can also watch their take on Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” from earlier in the set, below.The full setlist can be seen courtesy of setlist.fm.Edit this setlist | More Mudcrutch setlists
Last year, an absolutely mind-blowing lineup of musicians descended on the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Cumberland, MD for a tribute to the late great Jerry Garcia. Included in the celebration were all four surviving members of the Grateful Dead – Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Phil Lesh – as well as scene fixtures like moe., The Disco Biscuits, Widespread Panic, Jimmy Cliff, David Grisman, Eric Church, Bruce Hornsby, Yonder Mountain String Band and more!Today, organizers Blackbird Presents have unveiled plans to release Dear Jerry for both video and audio on October 14th. In anticipation, they have released the first official video from the event, a performance of “Touch Of Grey” led by Bob Weir. Watch the video, which premiered on Rolling Stone, streaming below.You can also watch the trailer for the new film release, below.The full concert film will be 150 minutes long, and there will be DVD, Blu-Ray, CD, and digital download options available. We can’t wait to watch! For more information, head to the official Dear Jerry website. You can also revisit the performance with our photo gallery below, as curated by photographer Erik Kabik. Load remaining images
As the mission control board communicated to those in attendance the successful re-entry of STS9 into Earth’s atmosphere, each band member walked out on the stage Friday night at Red Rocks Amphitheatre donning a space helmet for what would be the group’s 20th performance at the legendary Colorado venue. No small feat, and something that was clearly not lost on the gentlemen and lady of STS9.As the band went into a first-time played “Supercluster”, the opening track from their recent release The Universe Inside, led by Alana Rocklin‘s uber-funky bass bombs, you could tell the band was locked in from the first note. “Out of this World” finished the album’s 1-2 punch, with guitarist Hunter Brown experiencing some minor technical difficulties. Zach Velmer and company then took it way back to 1999 with a beautifully played “Frequencies 2 – 3”, which was part of the live Brown Album when the band simply went by Sector 9.Special guest vocalist Maureen Murphy was a fitting addition to the show, as the singer joined STS9 on a cover of The Isley Brothers‘ “Between The Sheets”, with many in the crowd singing the chorus to Notorious B.I.G.‘s “Big Poppa”, bringing some of that East Coast flavor to the mountains. That led into an Artifact-era gem in “ReEmergence”, which witnessed some deft tickling of the ivories by keyboardist David Phipps, before segueing back into the final notes of “Between The Sheets”. “Vibyl” saw STS9 drop into a downtempo glitchy jam of Grandmaster Flash‘s “The Message”, before ending the set proper with “New Dawn, New Day” and the echoing melodic tones of Brown’s guitar creating a dreamscape that would lead into set break.“Simulator” opened the second set, and saw Saxton Waller‘s light show take things to a whole other level, with an array of beautiful colors creating something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. All the stage needed was a monolith, and anybody would have been fooled into thinking they were in the middle of a Kubrick mind-fuck. Another old-school joint in “Grow” was straight out of a smooth jazz handbook, taking you on the greatest elevator ride of your life.We saw two more debuts from The Universe Inside sandwiched in between “The Rabble” and “Blu Mood”with “Elsewhere” and “Sun, Moon and Stars”, the latter of which featured Murphy on vocals once again, taking the STS9-nauts into a realm ruled by futuristic disco funk. Needless to say, “MOD > Modular Improv > MOD was straight filth that had people getting down and slapping the floor.New(ish) number “World Go Round”, which appears on Universe and has been in the live rotation for a couple of years now, ended the second set, leaving mouths agape to be picked up at a later time. For the encore, Artifact number “Better Day” led into the debut of “Light Years” to put a rather tasteful, ethereal touch to the end of what was a truly memorable 20th Red Rocks performance for STS9. Congratulations to the band on such an incredible accomplishment!The group will conclude their two-night stand at the Rocks tonight. Check out full video of the show, courtesy of J Mar:[all photos courtesy of Aaron Bradley Photo]Setlist: STS9 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO – 9/9/16SET I:Supercluster(*#) –Out of this World(*%) –Frequencies 2 – 3To The WorldMarchGobnugget –Between the Sheets($&) –Reemergence –Between the SheetsVibyl(@)New Dawn, New DaySET II:Simulator –GrowThe Rabble –Call Jam –The RabbleElsewhere(*)Sun, Moon and Stars($*)Blu Mood –MOD –Modular Improv –MODWorld Go RoundENCORE:Better Day($!)Light Years(*)Show Notes:* = first time played# = band wearing space helmets% = HB technical difficulties throughout song$ = w/ Maureen Murphy on vocals& = Isley Brothers [email protected] = extended jam of Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message”? = Modular Jam! = Alana on Stand Up Bass
Load remaining images Beloved saxophonist/producer GRiZ recently released a staggering new album Good Will Prevail, and is supporting it with one of his most extensive tours to date. The musician has redefined the funk genre for a new generation, blending elements of other-worldly electronic production with the crisp tones of his saxophone. With a number of special guests adding to the magic throughout the night, there’s no stopping the man at work!Last Friday, 10/7, GRiZ brought that funk to the Roseland Theater in Portland, OR, treating the Northwestern fans to a serious dance party rager! Fortunately, we can share a full gallery of images from the performance. Check them out below!Photography by Jordan Ingleewww.visualsuplex.comFB: /visualsuplexInstagram: @visualsuplex
James Casey has made quite the name for himself lately. As a previous member of the Lettuce/Soulive family, he’s been an official member of Trey Anastasio Band for the last few years, and is currently wrapping up his first full tour with pop star Meghan Trainor. Hired as a saxophone player for the Trainor tour, Casey now sings John Legend‘s verses for the radio hit “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” in their live performances. The two-time Grammy nominated Berklee graduate, who grew up playing in his family’s church choir, has seen quite the diversity in his accomplishments. A go-to player for all things musical, meet James Casey.Live For Live Music: Can you tell us about your very first experience with music?James Casey: No, but my dad tells this story all the time of me … My dad was a choir director at the church that we grew up in and my mom played piano, and obviously when they’re both at choir rehearsals, the kids had to be there too. They had me and my brother and my sister there. I was 2, my brother was 4, my sister was just born, something like that.They had rehearsal and my dad was teaching a song and apparently I just busted out laughing and couldn’t stop laughing the whole time. He came over and was like, “Hey, what’s wrong? What are you doing? What are you doing?” I said, “The tenors are off.” I just kept laughing. That was at 2. I don’t know the veracity of it, but my dad’s been telling that story since I was a kid.L4LM: Did they start you on an instrument or were you gravitated towards something in particular?JC: The first instrument I picked up was drums. I was probably three when I first started playing. I would just sit behind the drummer at church and literally just watch him. My whole goal back then was to be able to play for my dad’s choir. Yeah, I was like a little kid, that’s how it all started! That was the end all and be all for me at the time. That was my goal.L4LM: When did you finally reach that goal?JC: When I was 9. Well, 8 really, but 9, I guess. I got my first drum set when I was 9, but I was that kid who would like build a drum set out of pillows and blocks and pots and pans or whatever, and when I finally got my first set was when I first got my first gig playing at a church.L4LM: Did you ever see yourself becoming a touring musician?JC: Man, I was supposed to be the best football player ever. That’s what I wanted to be. In my mind, football was it, you know? Music was just something I really liked to do, but football, that was going to be my ticket. I was going to make it and blah blah blah. Then I got hurt my freshman year in high school and all that just ended. Can’t really play football when you’re a 13 year old with a torn ACL.L4LM: So when did saxophone come into the mix?JC: I started playing saxophone the same year I got my drum set when I was 9. When I was in 2nd grade, my brother was in the 5th grade and started playing saxophone in the school band. But in 2nd grade I was 6, so I didn’t really have any front teeth at all, so I couldn’t play it. He brought it home to play and everybody, my sister even, got to play it. I didn’t get to play it and I was really really sad about that.When the time came for me around 5th grade, I had to play the saxophone. I could have played anything, but I really wanted to play the saxophone just because I didn’t get a chance to do it back then. I mean, we were broke. My mom said – I remember this plain as day – she said, “If we rent you this saxophone, you can’t quit.” So, yeah. My brother quit after that one year, so I kept it up.L4LM: And here we are. The first time I remember hearing your name was when you were playing with Soulive and Lettuce. Tell us how you went from playing in the church band to with some of the funkiest bands in all the land?JC: Well, there’s this club in Boston called Wally’s. Wally’s is where Lettuce came out of. Up until recently, any instrumentalist who was worth anything that came out of the Berklee, N.E.C., Boston place, they all had a night at Wally’s. When I first got to school there, Sam Kininger had a night at Wally’s. Sam Kininger is the old saxophone player for Lettuce and Soulive, in fact the original- him and Zoidis.Sam was up there and I had no idea who Soulive or Lettuce or any of that was, so as an 18 year old, people got me into the little small club and I would just stand up right next to the stage because I was 18 and not 21. I’d watch Sam play twice a week every week on Sunday nights and Tuesday nights, never, ever making my 9 o’clock class on Monday or Wednesday because we all were out there until 2:30 – I was taking it all in. I had learned vocabulary there. After I left, I was in a band with Louis Cato, who’s now my brother in law.So me and Cato went to school together then we worked in a band together called Six Figures and we all lived together in this house in Brooklyn when he had just started playing with Eric Krasno in Chapter 2. Krasno was starting up this new group called Chapter 2 and Cato was playing either bass or drums depending on the situation, I don’t remember which one. They had a show and there was a little after party thing – this was in 2009. There was an after party.They invited me and I went to it, you know, and at the after party they had a band setup set up so me and Cato just went up there and wrecked shop. That was the first time they all heard me play. That year from 2009 to 2010 New Year’s was mostly the first gigs that I played with Lettuce and Soulive. I was subbing for Ryan Zoidis, and that was my first foray into Lettuce and Soulive and all that.Right after that, Sam decided he was going to take a hiatus and I literally got a phone call at midnight asking me if I could fly out to L.A. the next day and then learn all this music on the flight because Lettuce and Soulive were on tour and they needed a saxophone player. That was it.Learned all the music that night and played it the next day. I was playing with them for the next four years.L4LM: How did that turn into your gig with Trey Anastasio Band?JC: Okay. I want to say the third Bowlive … 2012, Jennifer Hartswick was a special guest, and I’d never met Jennifer, I didn’t know who Trey [Anastasio] was, I didn’t know who Phish was, I mean, I had heard rumblings of something called Phish because I had started playing all these festivals with Lettuce, but I really had no idea. Jennifer had never seen or heard me play before, and I’d never seen or heard her play before, so we just kind of kicked it off and I was like, “Yo, you sound great.” And we were both like, “Yo, we should talk and play.” “That’s cool, let’s play.”That year at Jazzfest, I saw her again. I saw her and I met Natalie [Cressman] there as well, and again, I had no idea who they were and I was joking, I said, “Hey, Jennifer. This is the year of James getting all the gigs. Let’s all get gigs for James.” Like in a joking manner, of course. But she said, actually, I’ve submitted your name for a few things, so I said, “Well, I appreciate it!”Cut to August, I was in Arizona writing an album and I got a text message that woke me up from Jennifer saying, “Trey’s about to call you.” I didn’t know who Trey was, and then I got a phone call. I was asleep, I was tired, I didn’t answer it. It went to voicemail and it was this dude on the other end, it was like, “Hi. This is Trey Anastasio. I have a band called Phish and I want to talk to you about joining my band the Trey Anastasio Band. Give me a call when you get a chance, blah blah blah blah blah … ” Okay. I woke up, listened to the recording, turned my phone off and went back to sleep. I didn’t know who he was. It didn’t matter.Later I wake up and then I called up Adam Deitch because I was sure that he would know who this other person was or who these people were. I called him and said, “Yo, who is this person?” He just kind of flipped out. He was very happy for the whole situation.L4LM: Given the extremity of this offer, was it easy for you to make a decision?JC: I mean, at the time, nothing overlapped. Any time that there were Trey shows, there were no Lettuce shows, so it was just kind of sure, why not? I wasn’t positive on doing it at first, but then Deitch and Kraz were like, “No, you have to. You have no choice. You have to join this band. You have to, you have to.” To their credit, they’re definitely two of the reasons why I was in that band at all.L4LM: How did you deal with the transition from touring with a band like Lettuce to going on the road with Trey’s band? Musically, they are different. But also the whole logistical side of it was probably a lot different than what you were used to – getting a phone call and flying across the country to join a funk band.JC: Well, yes. Everything I had done up until that point, and even through now is just kind of like a stepping stone in a sense that the next thing is just a little bit bigger, you know? Overall, just a little bit bigger.I was in a pop rock band right after school and we were touring around in an SUV, in a Toyota Highlander. There were five of us and we were carrying a trailer up and down the east coast. I go from there to Soulive and Lettuce and from there to Trey. Those were pretty interesting leaps. It’s not necessarily musicality, because music is music. It’s more just a leap of … without making it sound too fucked up, it’s just a leap of money. You know? Financial backing. That’s definitely a big thing. The amount of people you’re playing in front of, everything. It’s a huge difference.L4LM: You were on Paper Wheels and Big Boat, correct?JC: Yeah. I got a pretty interesting story about that whole thing.I’m on my way to do this Phish record, going to the studio for Big Boat. While I’m on my way there, I get a phone call from a friend of mine who’s a producer asking me if I could put together some singers for a song to go into the studio. We were in the studio for a day already, so we had this one day before I had to leave town the next day to go on tour. I’m like, “Yeah, yeah. I can put something together for you. I can’t do it, but I can put something together.” So I put these singers together for this song that needed to be re-cut and what not and it turns out … I mean, I put my sister on it because my sister can sing really well. It turns out that it’s Chance the Rapper‘s new single. It was his new single and is now up for a Grammy, so now my sister’s nominated.L4LM: Wow. That’s incredible.JC: Yeah, so, that’s pretty cool. I was literally in the studio with Phish while I was dealing with that.L4LM: Then you left for Trainor tour. How did that come to be?JC: I have some great friends, I have some great friends. I went to school with a lot of musicians who are great musicians already, but they’re some great friends too. We all kind of look out for each other. When there are things that we can’t do, we put each other on just so everybody comes out. I have some friends who have been trying to put me on pop tours for years. I’ve always said no for one reason or another, but this time I had no reason to say no. I got a phone call and he was like, “Yo, man, can you do it?” I looked at my schedule and I said, yeah. The things that I have, I can move around, so let’s see what happens. It’s been way more than I was ever expecting it to be, so it’s a pretty interesting scenario.L4LM: Are you happy with that decision?JC: Absolutely.L4LM: Did they hire you knowing that you could also sing on top of playing the sax?JC: About a month into the tour, we were having a soundcheck. We do this thing called soundcheck parties where people who paid for VIP tickets can come and watch us do a soundcheck. We were doing that and the band was playing something and I was messing around singing into my saxophone microphone, and [Meghan Trainor] had her in-ears on and so she could hear it and I didn’t know she could hear it and I didn’t even know she was around. She comes around on stage in her onesie with her arms wide screaming, “Oh my God, James! You sing, I didn’t know!” I was like, wow, that’s what’s up. She’s like, “You’ve got to sing a song with me. You’ve got to sing a song with me.” I’m like, “Ha ha ha ha ha. Sure, of course.” In the back of my mind, I figured there was no way. She’s going to forget this tomorrow.The next time we had soundcheck, she’s like, “James, you just let me know when you’re ready.” I’m like, “Okay, yeah, I’ll let you know.” Literally the next day, she’s like, “James, I’m serious. You let me know when you want to sing.” I’m like all right, okay. Okay. This is more than enough time for her to be safe, but she’s still bringing it up, number one. Number two, I felt like I would really regret it if I said no.I watched this movie that Trey actually got me onto. It’s called 20 Feet From Stardom. It’s about all the people who were background singers who wanted to be leads and they never got the opportunity to literally just step on stage, and I’ve had all these crazy opportunities and I’ve always said no. So this time I said, why not? That’s really why that happened.L4LM: Obviously, the size of the room has increased enormously from the church to these huge stadiums and arenas. I can’t even imagine what that’s like for someone who originally wanted to play football.JC: Yeah, I mean, I was thinking about this the other day and I actually called my mom to talk to her about it. It’s like everything that I’ve gone through, musically – even the “failures” that I’ve had – really really positive things have come from it all. Everything that I’ve really put my mind to when it comes to music stuff has come into fruition pretty much. Some things have taken a lot longer than others, but it’s kind of nuts. It’s easy for me to not think about it like that, and just say like, okay the day to day to day, what am I doing tomorrow? What’s next? What’s next? What’s next?A couple of days ago, I was sick in my room, so I couldn’t really do anything. I couldn’t go out or go to the studio or anything, so I was actually thinking back on everything that I really wanted to do musically, from way back when I was a kid from playing in my dad’s church to when I wanted to play a saxophone solo one day in a jazz band to when I wanted to see what it’s like to go on tour to when I wanted to be an artist, I wanted to write my own music, I wanted to be on the radio, I wanted to … It’s all pretty much happened.L4LM: Today you’re a two-time Grammy nominee (J Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive and Trey Anastasio Band’s Paper Wheels). Have you received any particular advice that has really stuck with you? Or was there an experience that particularly affected you?JC: As far as experiences are concerned, every experience changes your course in a little way, whether you want it to or not. I would say to just be open to whatever comes your way, because you never really know what’s going to lead to what. For instance, the trumpet player that I brought with me on this tour, he was a Julliard student, and he played trumpet in my boy Igmar [Thomas]‘s big band, which I mean, we all do it because we love music and Igmar’s a homie and it’s a lot of fun, but it doesn’t pay very much. It doesn’t pay very much, and it’s a nice amount of commitment for something that doesn’t pay that much, but we did it anyway, and we do it anyway, and that’s where I met him. Him doing that one 70, 75 dollar gig made it so that he can do all this other stuff, because I wouldn’t have known who he was if he didn’t do it. So, number one, say yes. Say yes to whatever musical opportunities that won’t be detrimental to your health. There’s a lot of bad music out there too.The thing that it took me a really long time to understand … or really grasp a hold of … is the concept that failing is fine. It’s okay to fail, you know?We’re all going to fail, but how you respond to that failure is what changes your life, you know? I mean, I’ve failed so many times … There are videos of me playing awful, awful, awful solos, there’s videos of me singing terribly, and it’s all documented because everything’s documented and it’s just terrible. I’ve done shows with my own band that had more people in the band than the audience. I’ve done all sorts of stuff, so I’ve realized that if things don’t necessarily end up the way you want, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad thing. If you keep at whatever it is you’re trying to do, chances are you’ll get to where you’re trying to go if you put enough work into it.L4LM: Tell us what’s been the best experience in your career thus far.JC: The best moment of this past year on stage was in Madrid with Meghan Trainor. We played the Barclaycard Center to like 18,000+ and at the time it was the biggest single room I’d ever played. The surreal part was going out to sing the duet (“Like I’m Gonna Lose You”) with her, and the stage had a catwalk into a big circle at the center of the arena. It’s a ballad, so people turn their phone flashlights on. Having all those people in a room surrounding you and singing all the words to a song that’s not their original language…was amazing. It was one of those times in life where after it’s over, you kinda sit back and log it away to think on later.L4LM: And what’s the craziest moment of your career been?JC: The craziest moment of my career came in 2009. The Roots had recently moved to NY to do the Fallon show and they were doing a ‘jam session’ every Wednesday at Highline Ballroom. (I wouldn’t really call it a jam session since there were around 1000 people there every week, with lots of special guests and artists there all the time.) Thanks to Meghan Stabile (founder of Revive Music) and Igmar Thomas, he and I played many weeks with them as the horn section along with others who were either locals or on tour and passing through.This particular time, Igmar and I were playing with 1 or 2 other horn players who were having a very difficult time hearing and playing back the horn parts I was coming up with (side note: a lot of times, especially in situations like this, we make up horn lines on the spot and play/harmonize them immediately. It’s not something everyone can do offhand, but it is a vital part of being a horn player and a necessary skill). I was frustrated with the horn players who weren’t getting it quickly enough to play, so i walked to the back of the stage, stood next to Questlove and seethed internally while I contemplated the fact that something had to change. Then something did. It just so happened that night was less than a week after Michael Jackson died and everyone was still kinda in shock about it. While I was standing back next to the drums, The Roots went into a Jackson 5 song. I don’t remember exactly which one but I do know that there was no lead player/singer as the whole crowd was singing. Then, they went into “I’ll Be There”. Kirk (The Roots’ guitar player) has a pretty high singing voice and he started the song out singing MJ’s part. I was singing the whole time next to Questlove and when Jermaine (Jackson)’s part of the song came up, he pointed to me to sing it in his mic. So I did. Thing is…it happens twice in the song. When it came up again, he told me to go to the front of the stage and sing it….so I ran up and did it. I had never really sang lead in front of people at the time, but I was too scared to be nervous and it was too surreal to think about, or I would have probably been terrified. Song’s over, and I put the mic on the stand thinking it’s over…then they go into another MJ song. I know the words, so I sing again. And again. And again…I must’ve sang like 5 MJ songs cause I knew the words to everything they played. I remember trying to get both Louis Cato and Gretchen Parlatto (both waaaaaaayyyy better singers than I am) to come up and help, but they waved me off to keep going…..That was the night I decided to be an artist, not just a musician.L4LM: You’re on the second leg of MT tour right now. Are you going to stick with it? Will you be doing any of the upcoming TAB shows?JC: After this leg of Meghan’s tour ends, I will be doing the Trey tour. Unless something crazy happens between now and then, I’ll be doing the Trey tour. And that’s where I’ll leave that.L4LM: I’m curious about the status of your solo project, Animus Rexx.JC: Okay, so one of the reasons why I took the Meghan Trainor tour in the beginning was because it’s hard funding your own band. It’s extremely hard to fund. Everything’s expensive, everything costs so much money. When you’re taking gigs to pay for other gigs, it’s hard to accumulate. So the goal, as of today, is that I’ll be finished with this tour and everything that I have to do at the beginning of next year. Then, I’ll be putting as much time as I possibly can into Animus Rexx and other projects that have had to go on the back burners because, you know, a freaking 8, 9 month tour.L4LM: Sounds like next year is the “Year of James Casey.”JC: It’s going to have to be. It’s going to have to be.L4LM: Or really, every year is the “Year of James Casey.”JC: It is, man. Next year, I’m looking forward to it. Everybody’s way more excited than I am. I’m just a little apprehensive about what’s going on, but everybody’s really excited to see what’s coming up and things are coming into place and hopefully stuff gets to a point where everybody knows who James Casey is.
Load remaining images Robert Randolph and the Family Band | Gramercy Theatre | New York, NY | 4/26/17 | Photos by Stephen Olker Last night, Robert Randolph and the Family Band continued their current tour behind their newly released album Got Soul with a gig at New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. Randolph, a noted master of the “sacred steel” guitar, turned the concert hall into the Church of Soul and the crowd into his congregation as he played preacher–conducting the ceremony with searing rock riffs and compelling his talented bandmates to testify! Dressed in a sharp silver-lapelled suit jacket, Randolph led the evening’s skilled Family Band lineup through a fiery performance. The evening was heavy on tried-and-true rock-and-roll covers and newer material from Got Soul, in addition to a show-closing selection from the band’s 2002 debut live album Live At The Wetlands.The set had a loose, improvisational feel, and for good reason: second guitarist Dean James, who led the band on vocals through a cover of The Band‘s “Up On Cripple Creek,” was a temporary addition to the lineup—Randolph found the guitarist via Instagram and invited him out to play some dates. Robert’s cousin “Little” Steve Ladson, who played an excellent performance on guitar (and sang a cover of Bill Withers‘ “Use Me Up”), usually serves as the band’s bassist. He and Rayfield “Ray Ray” Holloman, the band’s regular guitarist, swapped roles for the night—just for fun, it would appear—and both played so well that the uninitiated likely couldn’t tell that anything was amiss. Keyboardist Kasey Squares and vocalist Lanesha Randolph turned in top-notch performances as well, each adding texture to the electric exhibition. Randolph even welcomed an energetic three-piece horn section (two trombones, one sax) to join him for a pair of Got Soul originals. Randolph’s enthusiasm and his pleas for “somethin’ funky” from the brass-men were so contagious that all three were jumping and dancing by the end of the sit-in.As always, Randolph brimmed with rockstar mystique and charismatic swagger—playing through a broken string like he didn’t even miss it, standing on his chair, and wrestling with his signature instrument. The soul flowed through him like electricity through holy water. Along with the Band and Withers covers, Randolph and company delivered an instrumental run through Black Sabbath classic “War Pigs” and a particularly lovely solo jam on Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely,” after the rest of the band had left the stage one by one for the show’s end.However, while the covers were fun, the band showed their true powers through their original material, with tunes like “I Want It” and “Got Soul” exuding the raw, emotional, joyous, guitar-fuzz cacophony for which Randolph has become widely known. The show ended with Randolph preaching instructions to the crowd as he played his final notes: “Somebody feel wonderful in here!” And as if by magic—or the grace of soul—the crowd heard him, and abided.Check out a gallery of photos from the performance below, courtesy of photographer Stephen Olker. You can also watch Live For Live Music‘s Facebook Live Got Soul Digital Release Party with Robert Randolph below, featuring live fan Q&A, an impromptu “Voodoo Child” jam with album songwriting collaborator Eric Krasno, and a live performance of Got Soul single “I Want It.”Robert Randolph and the Family Band continue their Got Soul Tour this weekend with performances at Hopewell, VA’s Beacon Theatre tonight, Southside Arts and Music Fest in Bethlehem, PA tomorrow (Friday, April 28th), and Portland, ME’s Aura on Saturday (April 29th). For a full list of upcoming shows, or to purchase tickets, head Randolph’s website.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure to experience the exhilarating thrill of a Turkuaz live show, no doubt you have noticed a brunette vocalist radiating in her canary couture. That boisterous voice and captivating stage presence belong to one Shira Elias, who along with co-conspirator Sammi Garett, make up Turkuaz’s dynamic, dazzling vocal duo. In wild anticipation of this weekend’s massive Funk of Ages in Philadelphia, Shira chats with Live For Live Music’s very own B.Getz, and the two cover a lot of bases, including her band’s already-legendary virgin performance at Bonnaroo, how crucial it was to get back to Disc Jam, and why Michelangelo Carubba’s birthday is such a special night of community collaboration. And, of course, lots of juicy Funk is Ages chat too.BG: Shira! Thanks for making the time. I want to start with a little look back at the past few weeks. Turkuaz basically broke the internet with your Thursday performance at ‘Roo. Tell us, had you been to Bonnaroo before, either as a fan or as a performer? Shira: No, I had never ever been to Bonnaroo. We rolled up early in the day, and it’s a huge festival — I didn’t realize how sprawling it would be. It was kind of like a whirlwind of interviews and photo shoots. We got to do this dope photo shoot with Danny Clinch — I don’t know if you’ve heard of him, but he’s an amazing photographer. It was kind of like the first time there were more people working on our shoot than there were in our band! You know it’s a legit photographer situation when there are tons of people working on it, so that’s always cool — got the whole ‘rock star’ vibe. We did the show, and it was a huge festival. It’s one of those super high-stakes shows, where you get the least time for sound check, stage, load in, everything, but the energy is just so high and crazy. It was a really amazing experience. It was kind of like Red Rocks, where it’s surreal. You finish it and you look out and are like, “This is really happening,” you know? Also, I gotta say, seeing the Entertainment Weekly article putting us as a highlight up there with U2 and Red Hot Chili Peppers!? All pretty fucking surreal.BG: Can we pivot to talking about the evolution of the band? Please fill us in, how did you come to get down with Turkuaz? How did you and Sammi and the whole thing develop with the band — a band that was already happening, already touring, already alive? Shira: I’ve been in New York for about eight years now, and I was kind of doing the singer-hustle thing — taking whatever gigs I could get and trying to make it happen. A friend of a friend in the singer community told me about this band that needed a new singer. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really know of Turkuaz or the scene. I was kind of a newbie, but I went to do the audition and I didn’t know what I was getting into at all. That’s kind of how it all happened. I went to do a few weekends, see how it was all going to work out, and I don’t know, it seemed pretty abstract. There was something inside me that said, “You got to do this. You got to see what this is all about.” There was something really compelling about the family vibe of it all — the size of the band, making it all work in that way — not to mention the music! I got really, really lucky. I just got to plop into a situation that was already so established. I think my attitude was to add to what already existed and bring however much of “Shira” that I could. I like to think that in the last almost-three years, I’ve had my own little stamp on the band. It’s all just been a huge whirlwind. I had never even toured heavily before Turkuaz.BG: You guys are like a well-oiled machine. I talk to a lot of fans, and they crave the jam-band aesthetic of “every night is different,” but they still want the best of everything all the time. It’s a tough line to toe — for a band to bring the show every night and still make it different in some way. You guys nail that. You guys bring the show every night and it’s never the same twice. For an ensemble like you guys, that’s quite a feat. Shira: Thanks. I mean, with so many people too, it’s hard to make each show exactly the same twice. There are just so many parts to it. With our crazy schedules, we are just going, going, going, and just working really hard. Like even this last weekend, we drove to Bonnaroo, did the thing, drove who-knows-however many hours back from Tennessee to do a two-hour set in New York at Disc Jam. You’re like, “I’m really fucking tired right now, but it doesn’t matter cause I am just putting it all out there.” I think that’s the whole thing. Why else would we do it?BG: You said it right there, why else do you do it? Playing at Bonnaroo with all the bells and whistles and then driving through the night — a dozen-plus deep no less — to go play such a core community event like Disc Jam, which is such a solid top-to-bottom festival. Disc Jam is held in a niche area — a region where you guys came of age — so for you guys to hit those two fests in merely a weekend is just a testament to the mission. Shira: Wow. You just gave me chills. You are right. It was really special. To do Bonnaroo on that level and everything that means, and then to do Disc Jam, which is like New England hardcore, O.G. Turkuaz. Exactly. I should add that we haven’t really done a lot of festivals in the NE lately. We’ve been missing our family, you know what I mean? Going off this super big high from Bonnaroo and then to coming home to the family in the NE was really, really special.BG: Let’s talk Philly and Funk of Ages with Lettuce and Snarky Puppy on June 24, which also looks to be really, really special.Shira: Back when I joined Turkuaz and came into this whole world, Lettuce and Snarky Puppy were just like, it. That’s who everyone talked about — it was like, they were the guys! Since then, they’ve become really good friends and mentors. This will be our second show this summer with Lettuce. I mean, Rage Rocks, that was amazing, so just to be on another show with Lettuce . . . they’re the homies. To be on the lineup with both of them, I couldn’t be more excited. I’m really looking forward to this show — maybe the most of any of the shows we’re playing this summer. I mean, if you’re looking for a party to go to, this is the one, right?!B: Just observing the Lett machine from afar, they don’t take that kind of shit lightly. The artists they put on, the names with them up on the marquee, whether it’s Rage Rocks or Funk of Ages or even direct support on tour, they believe wholly in the artists. So that means those cats feel that way about Turkuaz — high praise! Shira: That means the world. I’ve seen it from the beginning of my journey with Turkuaz, like especially with those dudes, you’ve got to earn it with them. You know, they want to mentor, but you got to prove it, you know?BG: Yeah exactly, you get it. You’re doing it right. Shira: I totally get it. They just need to have a few more chicks on their stage every once and awhile.BG: I love when Alecia comes out and sings. Hey maybe, just maybe, that will manifest itself at the Funk of Ages. Maybe this will be us being like dudes, let these ladies sing! Shira: Hey, maybe we will just put it out in the air. And it will happen.BG: Are you playing Michelangelo Carubba’s birthday party too? What are those gigs — the Mikey curated all-star throwdowns —usually like? Shira: To be honest, I look forward to his birthday every year. We play with Turkuaz together all year long, and we hustle, hustle, hustle. That’s awesome but the second we get to play with someone else and play something else, we get to spread our wings in that way. Those gigs are, to me, some of the most fulfilling shows. It’s totally different. And, the best part is I get to play with Jen Hartswick on that gig! She’s totally my lady crush, I want to be Jen when I grow up.BG: Who doesn’t? I am right there with you. Shira: Right? So just playing with her and all the dope people that are going to be on that bill. I mean, you don’t get to see lineups like that all the time. I know, the super jam thing can be a little played out in the scene, but I think this one is going to be a little bit different, a little special. Mikey’s been talking about stripping down some of the groups. Instead, we pair up into little special moments and not just have the whole band. I think it will be really meaningful, and, you know, he always puts together a raging show. I mean, Louis Cato is on it! Just all these different people sharing a stage for the show.BG: Louis Cato might be the best musician on planet earth. Shira: Yeah. That night we have so many different genres — you got Louis, and then Ryan Montbleau, too. Genre-wise, you have something you don’t get to see often, and it’s really exciting.BG: I think it’s a testament to Mikey as a guy, musician, facilitator, and the force of his whole vibe. Good to have those type of hits, so you can slow down the Turkuaz freight train and have a night of music for yourselves, and we all get that too. It’s a pretty beautiful thing. I ran into you a lot at Jazz Fest. Now that I know that you don’t really come from the scene, from the culture, as much as some of the other cats in the band, for you to just dive into the Jazz Fest and the sort of community vibe.Shira: Yeah, don’t tell anybody, but I come from a theater background back in the day. (laughs) But the community element of this scene is a similar thing. It takes everybody to make it happen. Every single person involved is a key element, everybody on the tour, working the venue — each person’s role is essential. I feel so lucky to be in the scene like I have. At Jazz Fest, I just want to play with everybody and soak it all in, too. That’s the thing. The shows Mikey puts on, people get to see another side of me and what I can do —things or styles that I don’t always necessarily get to do in Turkuaz. I think that’s cool with those shows you get to see other colors of artists, you know? [laughs] No pun intended with the color thing.BG: No, it works! There’s only one Turkuaz, and you can see the theater background. I think that the theatrical nature of the production and the pizzazz you and Sammi bring make you guys unique and special. You’ve cultivated that, made your thing a thing, and it’s fucking working.Shira: Well, thanks man! It’s a good fucking time![Photo: Ellison White]