Rebelution in Avila Beach, CA – August 14th 2016

Rebelution in Avila Beach, CA – August 14th 2016
By Sandy Krietzberg – Photos by Gia Krietzberg

Earlier this summer Rebelution released their fifth studio album, FallingIMG_1760 Into Place, that rocked iTunes by debuting in the Top 10 overall charts and ranked #32 in the Billboard Top 200. The boys just finished up their Falling Into Place Summer Tour, which was just as successful as their new albumMackle. The tour package included performances by Through The Roots, Stick Figure, The Green alongside J Boog, and live painting by the talented Chris Morphis and Ania Amador. We were able to catch a night of the tour as they passed through the beaches of Avila in San Luis Obispo.

The stage was set up right in front of the water for a perfect ocean backdrop. Through The Roots started out the show with a high energy set that created a great tone for the rest oIMG_1691f the night. Evan Hawkins’ smooth vocals makes for easy listening and adds a nice dynamic to their reggae rock sounds. Rebelution lead vocalist, Eric Rachmany, even came out to join the band for their song, “Bear With Me”.

Soon after Through The Roots, Cocoa the tour dog took the stage which always means Stick Figure is not far behind. The band rocked the house by playing many songs off their newest album, Set In Stone, andIMG_2021 other hits such as “Weight of Sound” and “Shelter”. Friend of the band, TJ O’Neill also joined them on stage for a couple songs. Stick Figure’s contagious good vibes always leave the crowd smiling ear to ear.

Just as the sun was setting behind the ocean, The Green and J Boog tookIMG_2115 IMG_2198 the stage. The two Hawaiian artists collaborated to create a set that combined both their feel-good Hawaiian reggae music yet still complimenting each other so well one wouldn’t even know they were two different artists. These musicians effortlessly got the crowd hyped as they finished their set with J Boog’s hit song, “Let’s Do It Again”.

And finally, after much anticipation, the powerhouse band that is Rebelution came out with a strIMG_2356ong intro that led into their song and fan favorite, “Attention Span”. Rebelution is a band that continuously comes out strong and keeps the vibes high until the very last song. Their energy could be felt from all corners of the large venue, and even into the parking lot. The enormous waves of people in the crowd singing along to every word could be heard almost as well as the band. Rebelution is a band that sounds tight every singleIMG_2441 time and their stage presence is a force to be reckoned with. Even though this tour is over, the band already has dates out for the second leg of their Falling Into Place Tour. Check out their website for new music and tour dates near you: http://www.rebelutionmusic.com

Stick Figure at The Discovery Ventura CA – March 11th 2016

Stick Figure at The Discovery Ventura , CA – March 11th 2016
By Sandy Krietzberg – Photos by Gia Krietzberg

The second leg of Stick Figure’s Set In Stone tour took off in San Diego on March 10th with supporting acts Fortunate Youth and Raging Fyah. We were able to catch them for the third time on this tour the following night at The Discovery in Ventura, CA. This unique IMG_3536venue doubles as a bowling alley but is still a great place for an intimate show with an amazing sound system.

Joining the tour from Kingston, Jamaica is the roots reggae band Raging Fyah. Lead singer, Conroy Willis’ dynamic vocals as well as the rest of the talented members in the band created a sound that wasconrad willis - stick fig easily comparable to that of the actual album, if not better. Even though the band is mostly roots rock reggae, they are extremely versatile and are influenced by many different genres from Bob Marley and Peter Tosh to Maroon 5. Their main goal is they want to influence people with positive music and it definitely felt like they accomplished that by starting off the night right with easy listening and good vibes. Their performance was fresh and memorable.

Fortunate Youth came out shortly after starting their set with the song,we shoudl smoke fortunate youth “Pass The Herb”, which never fails to bring high energy and of course never fails to get the audience passing around the herb which usually ends up making it’s way around the band too. They even had some of the guys from    We Should Smoke join them on stage for a song to light up a joint that seemed to be about as big as their faces. One thing that makes Fortunate Youth unique from most bands is how they often have the members switch instruments during their set. Travi Bongo who, needless to say, is usually is on bongos, had a killer guitar solo during the song, “One Love” and members Cory and Jered can also be seen jamming on guitar,travi bongo keys, or bass at different times in the set.

Promoting their newest album, Set In Stone, Stick Figure named their first headlining tour accordingly. As each year passes since lead singer, Scott, decided to start taking his music on tour, the band seems to be continuously growing, getting more talented, and getting more recognition while still playing shows that make you feel like you’rekbong coco watching them jam in their living room with their tour dog, Cocoa, always close around. This show in particular they had special guest TJ O’Neil join them on stage for the song, “Weight of Sound”, that he’s featured on. Also, before closing out the night they had lead singer from Fortunate Youth, Dan Kelly, join them back on stage to add a verse to one of their songs. Stick Figure always does an amazing job of making the crowds feel like a part of the music during their sets and they are never shy to chat after a show.

It is a great thing that’s happening when big Cali reggae bands, like Stick Figure and Fortunate Youth, bring Jamaican reggae bands, like Raging Fyah, TJOnieilon tour with them. They are introducing a new legion of reggae fans to music they otherwise might not have ever seen or heard of before and it’s spreading only love. All three of these bands share the common intention of trying to make this world a better place and spreading positive messages with their music. Each band will also be performing at the 7th annual California Roots Festival this year. For more information, tickets, and music, visit each of their websites:

http://ragingfyah.com

http://www.fortunatemusic.com

http://www.stickfiguremusic.com

One Love Cali Reggae Festival- February 13th 2016, Santa Ana, CA

One Love Cali Reggae Festival- February 13th 2016, Santa Ana, CA
By Sandy Krietzberg – Photos by Gia Krietzberg

On February 13th, the Santa Ana Observatory put on the first ever One Love Cali Reggae Festival. This festival included over 27 bands and artistsIMG_2372 on three different stages, two inside The Observatory, and one main stage outside where the parking lot usually would be. This was one of the first festivals The Observatory has hosted and it was sold out weeks before the day of the event. The overwhelming masses of people and    cars as well as unorganized directions made parking more difficult than usual and getting from stage to stage to see the bands playing closely after one another was almost impossible. The impressive lineup made for a hectic but beautiful day of conscious music.

We started off the day by catching part of Perro Bravo’s set on The Constellation stage. This band was a IMG_2132co-founder of Skunk Records and often played side-by-side with the original Sublime. Their music definitely had a Sublime vibe that filled the room as they jammed: a great way to set the tone for the rest of the day.

After making our way to the main stage, the next band we caught was Fortunate Youth. Every time I see this band, they have the crowd singing and IMG_1652dancing to every song, leaving them anticipating which hit they will play next by the end of each song. Speaking of hits, Fortunate Youth is never shy when it comes to lighting up a joint on stage and at this particular show, they had one lit almost the whole time. Fortunate also showed love to Seedless, the band who performed just before them, by having their lead singer, Mathew Liufau, join them on stage for the song “Jah Music”, a track he is featured on.IMG_1669

Next on the main stage was a personal favorite, Stick Figure. Considering the vibe at the entire festival felt quite chaotic, Stick Figure did a perfect job of easing some tension and setting a mellow mood within the crowd. They also surprised the crowd by having TJ O’Neil accompany them on stage for their hit song, “Weight of Sound”. Stick Figure definitely never fails at putting “smiles on faces”.

Unfortunately, because many of the bands were playing on different stages at the same time, some tough decisions had to be made. I passed up seeing Tribal Seeds and Pepper on the main stage, two bands that never disappoint, to see Ital Vibes and Iya Terra in The ConstellIMG_1724ation room. This was a decision well-made. These two bands go hand-in-hand; both bands involved with Rude Entertainment Productions and both working hard to spread positive messages to the masses. This was my first time seeing Ital Vibes and I was impressed how they had the crowd dancing on their feet the whole time and engaged in the performance. I will definitely be looking forward to catching them again soon. This was about my 10th time seeing Iya Terra and it was easily the best performance I have seen by them yet. The energy was high the entire time and their collaborations with Kennedy from Ital Vibes on their song “Bless Up”, and with New Kingston on their song “Real Sensi”, had the crowd going insane. Also, look out for their new single, “Loving Design”, set to be released on March 2nd.

Finally, it was time for the festival headliner and most awaited performance of the day, Rebelution. It felt like Rebelution really stepped up their gIMG_2293ame for this festival. They opened their set with the soundtrack from Star Wars that needless to say, had the audience even more eager for their performance. Khris Royal on the sax and Zach Meyerowitz on the trumpet were the first ones on sIMG_2329tage creating a dramatic entrance with the sounds of their horns. The other members joined shortly after and the rest of the performance was just as on point. Rebelution has become one of the most mainstream reggae bands and is continuously contributing to bringing more fans into this growing genre of music.

Yellowman and Barrington Levy hosted the after party on the Observatory stage and both kept the energy going until 1:30AM, props to anyone who made it that late. It was difficult to see even half of the bandIMG_2419s on the packed line-up considering it was not easy to get around the venue due to tickets being oversold and the venue didn’t quite seem prepared for such a turn out. However, it was a blessing to be surrounded by so many talented bands and I hope they plan another One Love Cali Reggae Festival for next year, but this time just at a different venue.

The Wood Brothers – January 29, 2016 McDonald Theater Eugene, Oregon

The Wood Brothers – January 29, 2016 McDonald Theater Eugene, Oregon
By Andy Goldfinger

The Wood Brothers made their way through Eugene, Oregon not too long ago. They are an American folk band consisting of brothers Chris (Upright Bass) and Oliver Wood (Acoustic and electric guitars), as well as multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix. The majestic McDonald Theater was packed to eth gills with folks eager to hear the boys play the old classics as weIMG_2864ll as the new songs from the “Paradise” album, and they did not disappoint.

The new album ‘Paradise’ is an album that is clearly the band’s most sophisticated work to date. It is also their most grooving, with Chris Wood playing electric bass on several tracks for the first time. The album was recorded at Dan Auerbach’s (Black Keys) Easy Eye studio in Nashville, and clearly captures the latest chapter in the ongoing evolution of this great band.

The show opened with a rousing version of Trouble before going into the title cut from the Muse album. The show was a wonderful mix of older songs and new songs froIMG_2873m the Paradise album. New songs like “Snake Eyes”, “Heartbreak Lullaby”, “River of Sin” mixed in with vintage songs like “Raindrop”, “Postcards From Hell” and “Pay Attention” made for an evening of immense satisfaction.

The band was in rare form, and bringing up opening artist Liz Vice just electrified the crowd. Her voice was such a tremendous accompaniment to the boys playing. The crowd could not get enough and was howling for her to stay on the stage. The evening could not have a more fitting end than the uplifting and grooving “Honey Jar” sending the crowd happily into the streets of Eugene.

NAMM 2016 – January 21-24, Anaheim California

NAMM 2016 – January 21-24, Anaheim California
By Sandy Krietzberg – Photos by Gia Krietzberg

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is one of the largest and most successful music product trade-shows ever to exist. This convention is easily one of the mbandost anticipated events by all musicians and music enthusiasts alike. People from all over the globe gather at the Anaheim Convention Center every year to promote their product or check out the endless venues with just about every piece of music technology one can imagine.

This was my first year attending The NAMM Show and to say the least it was quite overwhelming. Crowds of people filled the massive conventiogreg1n center, each person in a hurry to get to their next performance or exhibit.   We were fortunate enough to find some friendly faces at the Dixon exhibit. Journey’s drummer, Steve Smith stopped by for a bit. Also stopping by was Tony Pia, drummer for The Doobie Brothers. He attends NAMM every year to support his signature model of drums made by Dixon. He shared that coming to NAMM year after year benefits him because “when the company that makes his product is doing well, that it’s always good for hgreg2im too”. At the same exhibit, we caught a short performance by Gregg Bissonette on drums. Bissonette has played side-by-side with a variety of well-known musicians like David Lee Roth, but he is most currently known for playing drums for Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. Gregg is an incredibly genuine person and was also gracious enough to chat for a while after his set, sign autographs, and take a selfie.

While walking through NAMM, just about everywhere you turn there are unique music products made to look like pieces of artwork, and even more unique people. People-watching was almost the most kidinteresting part of the whole experience. There were little kids jamming on drums and shredding guitars, some people painted their whole bodies, and it was not uncommon to see numerous famous musicians walking around. While checking out the Ernie Ball exhibit, I briefly ran into Micah Brown of Iration and Shay of Seedless, both hugely influential bands on thesandy2 reggae scene. Before ending the day, we caught a performance from Pedro Da Silva, a composer and guitarist from Portugal, who was playing on a Godin guitar to support their brand. On of the most inspirational performances I have ever witnessed.

Every year exhibitors at NAMM are coming out with new technologies andcool musicians from all genres come to support and play, making each year completely different from the last. This incredible trade show displays the best of the best products in the music industry. If you couldn’t make it to Anaheim for this year’s convention, there is also a Summer NAMM held in Nashville, Tennessee every year.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo – January 26, 2016 WOW Hall Eugene, Oregon

Ladysmith Black Mambazo – January 26, 2016 WOW Hall Eugene, Oregon
By Andy Goldfinger

Many of you may have heard of Ladysmith Black Mambazo through Paul Simon’s Graceland album from 1986, but the group had its beginnings in the early 1960s. IMG_2851Their first album Amabutho was released in 1973, and this along with many subsequent albums went on to be certified gold and platinum. Amabutho was the first album by a group from South Africa to receive a gold record.

The group was formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1964 after a mess of recurring dreams in his sleep, featuring a choir singing in perfect harmony. Using his brothers and cousins he then set out to create the vocal sound that we now hear today. Their historical significance cannot be overstated. From their groundbreaking albums to escorting Nelson Mandela to accept the Noble Peace prize Ladysmith has been a force for world peace.

The show at the WOW Hall in Eugene was a surreal experience. The WOW had set a portion of the venue for seating this time, and as always the atmosphere at the WOW Hall is really a wonderful experience. There was plenty of room to stand and it was well worth it.  Having seen several artists there the sound again was truly exceptional.  The energy created byIMG_2847 Ladysmith Black Mambazo using only their voices as instruments was truly mesmerizing. I cannot imagine there were very many people who could understand what was being sung, but that did not matter one bit. The pure harmonies that emanated from those men was incredible. It was so moving and emotional, you could feel the audience just hanging on every note.

Their versions of “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” and “Homeless” from the Graceland album were astounding. Vocal harmonies so pure and the expressiveness of their faces was infectious throughout the crowd. With two members that have been in the group over 40 years and 4 sons of founder Joseph Shabalala the lineage has been carried on without doubt. Two encores closed the show with the final song being an inspiring version of “Amazing Grace” that once again demonstrates why people like Paul Simon, Melissa Etheridge, Natalie Merchant, Emmylou Harris, and Taj Mahal want to record with them.

Their most recent album “Live: Singing For Peace Around The World” won the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 2013. In January 2014,IMG_2843 Ladysmith released Always With Us, as a tribute to Joseph Shabalala’s deceased wife. They are currently recording an album of American gospel songs, which is rumored to have a well known American singer joining them on the record. They are also recording a follow-up recording to their recent Grammy-winning CD, to be called Songs of Peace & Love for Kids & Parents Around the World.

Their music can be heard regularly on the Flying Eye Radio Network’s Music Gumbo (gumbo.flyingeye.com) which airs each and every Friday. It’s a podcast, you can listen anytime.

Yo La Tengo – November 17, 2015 WOW Hall Eugene, Oregon

Yo La Tengo – November 17, 2015 WOW Hall Eugene, Oregon
By Andy Goldfinger

This was my first time seeing Yo La Tengo live, after many many years  of playing their music on Flying Eye, and they did not disappoint. Their show at the WOW Hall in Eugene, packed with eager fans. Their new album, Stuff Like That There is a collection of obscure cover songs and a couple of new originals. They have reteamed with former member Dave Schramm on guitar and the quartet which of course includes founding members Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and bassist James McNew.

The band was masterful in their 2 sets at the WOW dipping into the history books with some old songs from their extensive catalogue. As YLT_Packshot-lowell as dusting us with songs from the new album. The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love” was spectacular with astounding vocals that sounded incredible in the Hall. Another cover song was “This Diamond Ring” which went to Number 1 for Gary Lewis & the playboys in 1965, and featured the Wrecking Crew with Hal Blaine on Drums, Carol Kaye on bass, and Leon Russell on keyboards.

The band hit their stride with “I can Feel the Ice Melting” and “the Ballad of Red Buckets” as part of what turned out to be a well over 2 hour show. THE bands instrumental timing and genuine love for each other was clearly on display as they started and stopped several songs, much to the joy of the crowd.

Jonny Lang – November 8, 2015 McDonald Theater Eugene, Oregon

Jonny Lang – November 8, 2015 McDonald Theater Eugene, Oregon
By Andy Goldfinger

The first time I saw Jonny Lang he was either 16 or 17 years old, and even then it was just one of those are you kidding me kind of shows. In the years that have followed it seems every t3ime I see him it is one of those, are you kidding me shows. The show he did a the McDonald Theater in Eugene, which by the way is an unreal venue to see a show, but he left many in the crowd speechless. I myself struggled to come up with rods to describe how effortless he played. I was in the back of the bottom floor watching the show and started talking to one of the locals and he really summed it up best. He said right before Stevie Ray Vaughn died Eric Clapton said he was playing at a level where he didn’t have to think about where he was going next. And that is how Jonny Lang played on this night. That was it.

You could see he was just effortlessly playing and it just came out without thought or provocation. Not to mention the fact that he looks exactly the same as when I first saw him and seem to have gotten much much older. Even the obligatory1 Rack em Up was profoundly smooth. While his set was a little short by Eugene standards he had the whole place up and dancing at several points during the hour and 45 minute set. I was surprised to see a couple of articles recently written about Lang that were less than flattering.  It seems some in the blues community feel he has been less than a true blues man. I couldn’t imagine anyone finding anything less than effusive to describe his performance in Eugene this past Sunday.

His most recent album, his seventh, was the first album done on his own label, and featured his touring band drummer Barry Alexander, bassist James A2nton, rhythm guitarist Akil Thompson, keyboardist Dwan Hill and background vocalist Missi Hale. Keyboardist Dwan Hill was particularly impressive in Sunday night’s performance regularly trading licks with Lang. Anyone who thinks he has gotten soft or isn’t singing the blues, whoa Nellie.

A really nice surprise was the opening band Runaway Saints, currently based out of Los Angeles. They had what was a pretty full theater for an opening band and the place just hoppin. With a very tribal sound the three piece band it was hard for even the stiffest of patrons not to get up and move. The trio of Johnny Gates, Jamie Jarbeau, Matt Scanlon delivered an inspired performance as it was the end of their tour of duty with Jonny Lang.  Jonny, however was not their first rodeo they have opened for Rod Stewart among others. Originally from Nashville, they now make their home in Los Angeles and they told me they often play the Troubadour and the Mint among other L.A. area venues.   Keep your eyes peeled for them. And expect to hear their music on the Flying Eye Radio Network.

California Roots Event at Avila Beach Resort- September 27th 2015

California Roots Event at Avila Beach Resort- September 27th 2015
By Sandy Krietzberg – Photos by Gia Krietzberg

The line-up for this show could not have been more perfect. All four acts complimented each other so nicely, each having the common theme of making this world a better place. Mike Love started off the day, then J Boog, followed by Nahko & Medicine For The People, and the event’s headliner Rebelution closed out the night.

This was my first time seeing Mike Love and I hope it wasn’t the last. He lives in Oahu, Hawaii and makes reggae music that is revolutionary and of the highest consciousness. He played his whole set sitting on mike-lovea stool, barefoot, with an acoustic guitar. During his performance, he shared a story about a song that came to him right after his son was born while he was unfortunately on his way to play at a funeral for a 17-year old girl who had overdosed. He followed this by playing “No Regrets”, which really made it come to life. His message of giving thanks for life and spreading love was strong throughout the entire festival: a truly inspiring moment. The obvious depth and passion in Mike Love’s music along with his incredible vocals is something that resonated with the entire audience for the rest of the day.

Next up was J Boog who is always a crowd favorite.  J Boog is also based in Hawaii and definitely brings the Hawaiian vibes with his music. Although he is predominantly islandboog reggae, he also has influences of rock, R&B, and hip-hop in his music. His diverse style was apparent in his set when he gave tribute to many different artists by covering songs like “Santeria” by Sublime, “I got 5 on it” by Luniz, “California Love” by Tupac Shakur, and a few more. J Boog closed out his set with his hit song, which he considers to be his breakthrough song, “Let’s do it again”.

One of the most inspiring groups I have had the opportunity to see is Nahko & Medicine FIMG_6708or The People. Nahko is an individual who when it comes to life, just gets it. One of the first songs he played was “Vultures of Culture”, a song about his indigenous blood and the oppression the Native Americans faced because of “the western man”. His enlightening lyrics along with bringing out the sax player from Rebelution to join theIMG_6840ir trumpet player added to their powerful performance. Coming from a background most couldn’t imagine, the fact Nahko can accept these misfortunes and write songs about how thankful he is, makes him that much more of an inspiring human.

Finally, Rebelution came on to close out the night. They immediately hrebleutionad the crowd dancing and singing along with their feel-good music. Rebelution is one of those bands where it is almost impossible to not be on your feet and dancing because of their high energy. With Zach Meyerwitz on trumpet and Khris Royal on saxophone adding the perfect amount of soulfulness on top of it all. Rebelution is another group who sprIMG_7193eads knowledge about the injustices of the world and attempts to stop hatred and start a movement of peace.

Their most recent release “Count Me In” has been receiving continual play on Flying Eye.  he acoustic version of Count Me In is one the most moving and endearing efforts.

All four of these artists are really contributing to a movement that is much bigger than themselves. Reggae is continuously growing and positively affecting more and more people as the years pass. California Roots always does an incredible job of helping make this movement move by hosting amazing events such as this one.

5th Annual Shoreline Jam at The Queen Mary- September 5th & 6th 2015

Shoreline Jam at The Queen Mary- September 5th & 6th 2015
By Sandy Krietzberg Photos by Gia Krietzberg

Day 1

This was my 3rd year attending the Shoreline Jam and it never ceases to amaze me. Everything from the music to the location to the people who attend this event. All coming together to make it a very special weekend. This two-day IMG_6024festival is held right next to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, so close to the water that boats pull up next to the shore to listen in.  There were two main stages set up with various reggae and hip-hop artists performing from the early afternoon until almost midnight.

The band Iya Terra started off the show the first day with a really cool vibe. This was the first time I had seen this band and not only did they have an awesome and fun set to dance to and the band members were gracious enough hang out throughout the weekend discussing their modest beginnings and what playing a festival like this means to them. They are the most genuine people and they really love what they do. Definitely one of the highlights of the weekend.

Later in the day the band Seedless performed.  I like to think I knew this band before they wereIMG_0976 big so its always fun to watch this reggae band (with an obvious influence of rock) jam on stage.  Next was The Grouch & Eligh who are originally from a rap group from in the late 90’s called “The Living Legends” and enjoyed modest success.  They brought a great change of energy with their fast lyrics and booming base. After seeing them multiple times and I am continually amazed at how talented these guys are.

Matisyahu was the main attraction for just about everyone.  The best word to describe him is poetic.  IMG_1279He plays straight through with little to no breaks between his songs making you lose yourself in his powerful music.  There is no comparison to listening to his CD and then seeing him live.  It is very trance-like and intense, but in the best way.  It seemed like some people were a little disappointed because they wanted to dance more, but after a long day of dancing and running around Matisyahu closed out the first day of the Shoreline Jam perfectly.

Day 2

The 2nd day I was able to find a nice spot in the shade to watch the first couple of bands because the heat got to be a bit much.  True Press and Bad ApplesBad Apples  Shoreline Jam 2015 were the first two bands, both very high energy and great music to dance to.  For Fortunate Youth it was time to get up front.  They did not disappoint, their set was impressive. I had always heard good things about them, but after seeing them live I was sold.  They make you feel like they’re just jammin’ at their buddy’s house party and you’re right there partying too.  They got the crowd involved and on their feet.

Next up was Shwayze.  This was incredibly nostalgic for me because Shwayze IMG_54880was one of my favorite artists way back when I was 13-years-old, and this was the first time I had the opportunity to see him live.  Another super high-energy performer so it was time to go dance with everyone else.  Thank you Shwayze, for taking me back to middle school with your classics, and introducing us to your new stuff.

Next was Stick Figure, who I think many people would agree with me was the favorite of the weekend. I saw these guys for the first time at last years IMG_5680Shoreline Jam and have been a huge fan ever since. I’ve even run into them at other festivals with their tour dog, Cocoa, who is always close by. This band is so nice, always willing to take the time and chat with you. Their music brings a huge positive vibe bringing everyone to their feet and dancing. I feel like this band just gets bigger and bigger and before long they will be headlining a festival.

One of the performers I was looking forward to most was Barrington Levy. IMG_5814He is a reggae legend and a riot on stage. He had me cracking up at his humorous mannerisms and I was definitely not disappointed at his performance. He had the whole audience smiling ear-to-ear. The band The Green was the festival headliner. They are a reggae band from Oahu and this was the first time seeing them live. With everyone exhausted from the previous two days, they still had everyone dancing their entire set. They brought a really great energy sending everyone home happy and wanting more.

This festival is rapidly becoming a tradition. It will hopefully continue to become a destination for this type of music to reach a great audience cross section of the community. People coming from all over the state and country to see who will be at this festival.

To view a full compliment of photos click here.

Graham Nash – McDonald Theater, Eugene Oregon July 17, 2015

Graham Nash – McDonald Theater, Eugene Oregon July 17, 2015
By Andy Goldfinger

For the first time in over a decade Graham Nash has taken to the road by himself and he is drawing from 50 years worth of material, all his own. On stage he is joined by longtime Crosby, Still & Nash guitarist Shane Fontayne. Nash is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee-with Crosby, Stills, and Nash and with the Hollies. In addition, he was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame twice, as a solo artist and with CSN. Let’s not forget he is also a Grammy Award winner.

Finally, In September 2013 Nash released his long-awaited autobiography Wild Tales, which provides a mesmerizing, truthful look through time at his remarkable career, and the music that helped change a generation and a culture. It found him on the New York Times Best Sellers list, and will be released in paperback format this fall.  As if that’s not enough. In recognition for his contributions as a musician and philanthropist, Graham was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth.

The performance in Eugene was emotional and stirring as he played songs from his entire catalogue. Songs like King Midas in Reverse from the Hollies, Immigration Man, Military Madness, To The Last Whale, Simple Man, Used To be A King, and so many more. Each song played and sung flawlessly. The new songs were thoughtful, truthful, and to the point. Graham’s stories and the thoughts behind the songs was an added bonus.

We had the opportunity to sit down before the show in Eugene and discussed a wide range of topics including Graham’s first memories of music he heard as a kid, why Neil Young was brought into CSN and so many other topics. While his musical legacy continues to expand with rich new music, Nash is also a renowned photographer and visual artist whose work has been shown in galleries and museums worldwide, including the Smithsonian.

Nash’s passionate voice continues to be heard in support of peace, and social and environmental justice. The No Nukes/Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) concerts he organized with Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt in 1979 remain seminal benefit events. In 2011, Nash was instrumental in bringing MUSE back to the forefront with a concert to benefit Japan disaster relief and groups promoting non-nuclear energy worldwide.

Dirty Knobs – June 12, 2015 The Sweetwater Café, Mill Valley , CA

Dirty Knobs – June 12, 2015 The Sweetwater Café, Mill Valley , CA
By Andy Goldfinger

The Dirty Knobs have hit the road.  That’s right folks a little mini tour 3 nights in a row starting June 10th at Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz, followed by June 11th at the City Winery in Napa and then, yes, the Sweetwater Café in Mill Valley, and let’s not forget the finale at the Lido Theater in Newport Beach, CA on Friday June 19th.  I was very fortunate to be able to attend the show at the Sweetwater and the Lido in Newport Beach.

I was just ecstatic to see the place packed to the gills with Mill Valleyites and the San Franciscans.  The Knobs did not disappoint.  The set included rousing versions of Humdinger, Easy Wind and the new songs Stop Yankin My Johnson and Choke the Chicken.  The band’s four piece power quartet featuring Gator on guitar, Ape on Guitar, Swampfox banging the skins and Crawdaddy slappin the bass.  The giant sound that these four expert musicians produce is second to none.

Anytime the Dirty Knobs are out on the town playing live do not miss the opportunity to see them.  A Rock n Roll Hall of Fame guitarist and some of the most talented and accomplished musicians you will ever come across are not to be missed

Benefit for Marty Grebb – May 27, 2015 Canyon Club Agoura Hills, CA

Benefit for Marty Grebb – May 27, 2015 Canyon Club Agoura, CA
By Andy Goldfinger

This was a show for the ages. A benefit by the greatest organization for championing musicians, the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, and they brought together one of the most prolific and giving groups of individuals on this night. We’ll start with the man this event was for, Marty Grebb, who opened the show with an amazing set. He did not look like a man fighting for his life. He played multiple instruments with incredible deft, alto sax, keyboards & guitar. His band was just incredible with a horn section featuring Jimmy Roberts among others plus Jon Woodhead on guitar, the amazing Gary Malabar on drums (he also played with Leon Russell), and several others coming in and out, including Dennis Tufano, founding member of the Buckinghams along with Marty, and they ripped off a couple Buckinghams songs. Mart’s voice was in fine form.

Next up was Ivan Neville who shared the horn section Marty had out there and ripped off a set that got the place alive with the sounds of Nawlins. With Marty sticking around playing keys and his son and nephew joining him on a couple of songs I am here to tell you there is a torch being passed. I was fairly pessimistic of late as to whether there is a new generation of musicians to take the torch from the likes of these incredible folks, and I do believe we have hope people. Without a doubt Ivan brought the funk, and the family lineage is most certainly being passed on.  Ivan played several instruments while wandering the stage and getting the massively packed crowd into grooving frenzy.

Then there was Leon Russell. Man oh man. I had heard things about Leon, and they were not necessarily positive. Well folks, I am here to tell you, go see Leon! He was outstanding. Voice was exceptional, told some great stories, especially about B.B. King and some of their sessions. He then launched into one of his songs that B.B. had recorded. His piano playing was really really good and he kept the band and audience engaged. Then, he was joined on stage by a 15 year old phenom, Ray Goren. Remember I mentioned the torch being passed, good lord. This young man had the crowd mesmerized, playing Red House with Leon and the band. Not only unbelievable chops, but passion and emotion in his playing very rarely seen by someone his age, and just the nicest kid. And his family just as nice. Truly gives me hope for the future of music.

And then the queen. The incomparable, beautiful, unimaginably gifted Bonnie Raitt. What can one say, holy carp. Her voice and her playing was so exceptional, as it always is, but the emotion and love on this night was clearly evident. Bonnie had with her on stage 4 decades of band mates including Frebo and Johnnie Lee Schell, plus her current band of Ricky Fataar (drummer extraordinaire), Hutch Hutchinson (bass), Mike Finnigan (keys). The versions of Angel From Montgomery and Nick of Time were spellbinding, and that is only a couple of the songs in her lengthy set. Her set was full of stories and heartfelt emotion as was everyone’s. Marty Grebb is truly loved by his friends and peers.

Once they become available I will add photos from the supremely talented Rich Saputo.

Dirty Knobs – May 23, 2015 Soho Santa Barbara, CA

Dirty Knobs – May 23, 2015 Soho Santa Barbara, CA
By Andy Goldfinger

Tonight marked what was the unofficial beginning of The Dirty Knobs summer 2015 tour, their first real tour ever.   Without a doubt the only place to start is their favorite place to play, the Soho in Santa Barbara. If you have never been to Soho put it on your list of venues to see a show. Excellent ambiance, bar and all the amenities, even a killer patio, and with newly renovated stage. Sadly there is a design flaw in the new stage and that is there are 4 small steps in the front of the stage. This was clearly an oversight as when the end of the evening was approaching and the alcohol had been flowing inevitably there were wanderers, and a couple did wander up. Luckily they left the stage before Chinner permanently disposed of them.

It turned out to be a classic Dirty Knobs evening, complete with several shout outs to “Dan the Pool Man” more than the usual customary shout out, but with the wives not in attendance things were a bit looser for sure. As Gator announced that the upcoming song “Don’t Jerk My Johnson”, a new song written for longtime manager and stage impresario Chinner, was part of the Penis trilogy, as was the “Don’t Choke My Chicken”.

They played several new songs all of which are just smoking with that sound that only the Knobs can bring. The evening also saw some vocalizations by drummer Swampfox who Gator dubbed as the best singer in the bunch. The evening also saw Ape play one of his songs with the band. IT was a raucous crowd with many spilling out onto the patio.

The tour picks up June 10th in Santa Cruz at Moe’s Alley, and then continues up to Marin on the 11th, The Sweetwater in Mill Valley the 12th and then concluding at the Lido Theater in Newport Beach.

The Waterboys – Fonda Theater 5/13/15 Los Angeles, CA

The Waterboys – Fonda Theater 5/13/15 Los Angeles, CA
By Andy Goldfinger

The_Waterboys_in_Antwerp_2003_5May 13, 2015 – I had the good fortune to see the Waterboys this past Wednesday at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood (Thank you Goldenvoice).  While I am familiar with their music from 30 years ago I admit I have not kept up with the band too much.  It was not until a very good friend passed away last year that I began to revisit the band’s music because of his love for the band, and as is my way I was playing tributes on the Flying Eye, and the Waterboys became a new staple.

Their music has been evolving unbeknownst to me.  Mike Scott has kept things going in a fantastic way.  If you recall the early sounds of the band it was heavily flavored with the an Irish sound, that has now given way to a much more wise ranging sound.  The current band, which boasts an alumni of over 70 musicians, is lead by founder and clear front man Mike Scott – vocals, guitar, piano, longtime member Steve Wickham – electric fiddle, mandolin, Ralph Salmins – drums, Paul Brown – keyboards, backing vocals, Zach Ernst – guitar and David Hood – bass.  The band was quite tight and the crowd were clearly there for them, with many in the crowd actually dancing, a phenomenon rarely seen.

In January 2015 the album Modern Blues was released and they ran through several cuts including “Still a Freak” and “I Can See Elvis”, both of which were featured just this week on Music Gumbo and Monday Music Massage (http://archive.flyingeye.com).  The new music is excellent and offers a wide range of sounds which is something I personally find appealing.  As an added bonus the opening band Connor Kennedy & the Minstrel was outstanding.  They have a album of live music which I managed to commandeer.  You will be able to hear their music in the upcoming weeks here on the Flying Eye Radio Network.

The Flying Eye archive is always at your disposal (http://archive.flyingeye.com)

Which One’s Pink – The Wall April 25, 2015 Canyon Club

Which One’s Pink – The Wall April 25, 2015 Canyon Club
By Andy Goldfinger

Jeeez where to start with these guys. I have been witnessing their amazing reconstitution of Pink Floyd’s music for over 10 years now, and each time I am stunned. This was no different. The band ran through The Wall in a manner I have not seen them play in a couple of years. They seemed truly invigorated by the crowd and the songs they were playing that particular night. And, on this night there was no break during The Wall performance, they played it straight through, a fairly gargantuan feat. One they accomplished quite well.

After the break they came back with a wonderful selection of greatest hits. The highlight always being the performance of Great Gig In The Sky by Natalie Azerad. Her performances are truly spellbinding and chilling.

The Concert For Social Justice – Live From the Fonda Theater Hollywood, CA

Concert For Social Justice April 8, 2015  –  Fonda Theater Hollywood
By Andy Goldfinger

There are times I hate email, and then there are times I love email. For instance, when this one came about, the “Concert for Social Justice” with the likes of Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Melissa Etheridge and Tom Morello performing it was pretty much a no brainer. Not to mention it is being held at the Fonda Theater, one of the most excellent venues still left in Los Angeles. The event was sponsored by the Grammy Museum and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Foundation which funds the organizations’ “Speak Up, Sing Out: Songs Of Conscience” program that gets kids K-12 to write songs about social justice issues. The evening also featured special performances from actors Dennis Haysbert, Catherine keener, Martin Sheen and Alfre Woodard, as well as the winners of the speak up, sing out songwriting competition.

 

The marvelous Rocky Dawuni performed his tune, “Shine A Light” from the new album, Branches Of The Same Tree was a true treat. I was not aware he would be performing so when he took the stage it was an excellent surprise. His message of peace and love and truth was echoed throughout the evening.

Up next was the Grammy winning group, La Santa Cecilia who I had the pleasure of seeing at the Whole Earth Foundation’s pre-Grammy party. Their Latin jams Led by La Marisoul got the entire place up and dancing. They have been featured on the Flying Eye from time to time. Their music is truly infectious, and it is tough to stay still when they are on the stage. Their version of Strawberry Fields Forever was incredible. Mixing multiple musical styling with each verse it was the most inventive rendition of the song I have ever heard.

Tom Morello is one badass dude.   People were yelling for him before he even took the stage – and once there proceeded to just light the place up. He is a character, and loves to engage the audience. The Nightwatchman and his Freedom Fighter Orchestra had some technical difficulties (like, no sound from the guitar – “The rock can’t happen with no guitar.”), and while this was being fixed by a frantic crew Morello then proceeded to do what every concert promoter fears the most. He told everyone to move up closer to the stage for an up close and personal performance.

With the crowd now snugly up front like a good ol fashion Dead show, they lit into “One Man Revolution”, with its fresh verse change to say, “On the streets of South Carolina, they’re ready to blow” – referring to the murder of the unarmed Walter Scott, that this time was fully caught on tape. “Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine” pushed the house to its limits, and then went into “The Ghost Of Tom Joad”, dedicated to Robert F. Kennedy. Now, with the again changed line “Wherever there’s a cop shooting a guy … Look for me, Ma, I’ll be there!” We ALL need to be there now. When Morello to his guitar to do his teeth solo, he had a sign on underside of the guitar, “I Can’t Breathe!” What more can you say, he is a dude of the highest order.

Next up Melissa Ethridge and she starts by saying, “They said Social Justice, and I said ‘Yeah’”. One of the highlights was when Melissa talked about the ever present issue of the legalization of cannabis (That’s marijuana, pot, tea, weed, twak, herb), starting “Plant medicine is good medicine. The freedom to explore our consciousness is a very important freedom” the crowd went wild, as Californians have been known to do. She then launched into a stellar version of Brandy Clark’s “Get High”. It was most excellent, and we had to play Brandy Clark’s version on the Flying Eye.

She then got to introduce the next act which happened to be her Bio Dad David Crosby ad Graham Nash, and she confided that she’d originally thought of Jackson Browne as her sperm donor, but they went with David Crosby to be her childrens’ “Bio Dad”.

The boys were in fine voice, as these two usually are. They started with “Long Time Gone” and followed it up with “Military Madness”, a song that is still as poignant now as it was when it was first written over 30 years ago. Graham then headed over to the piano for the venerable, “Chicago “, and the everyone loved it.  And then, as Graham said “It all starts with teaching the kids the right way,” introducing “Teach Your Children.” Anyone with a voice was singing, and pretty much yelled the “And know they love you!” part.

Kerry Kennedy said that when they were talking about the musicians they wanted for the concert, musicians who have dedicated their lives to singing – and acting – for social justice. “The first person I called was Jackson Browne, and he not only said yes immediately, he called his friends to join him.”

Jackson Browne, then came out saying just that. He’d always just wanted to sing songs about social justice, and so he did. His song selection that night clearly was about social justice . “Lives In The Balance”, “Far From The Arms Of Hunger” , “Looking East”, and then covering “I Am A Patriot” by Little Steven just got the place dancing again with its tribal beat.

As always no social justice jamboree would be complete without the obligatory All Star Jam. Tom Morello is one of the better ringleaders for this type of thing, he grabbed the mic and told the crowd, “No Social Justice concert would be complete without a Woody Guthrie song to anchor that shit (Sorry, kids – the fight for social justice is not always PG13)! … Whether you’re of the Occupy Wall Street generation or the Aquarius generation … This land is your land!”

All the artists returned to the stage, except for Crosby and Nash strangely. But, everyone else was there to rip out the “Alternative National Anthem” together as one. La Santa Cecilia’s accordion player added a lovely touch to this version, and folks took turns singing the ALL the verses, including the previously censored ones. It was especially great when young Jade Rhodes got her turn to take a verse, happily sandwiched between Tom Morello and Jackson Browne.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / Steve Winwood – The Gorge 2014

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / Steve Winwood – The Gorge 2014
By Andy Goldfinger

I was once again fortunate to see Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers out of state.  A special thank you to the folks at LiveNation for providing me with media credentials for the show, and this show featured Steve Winwood as the opening act. More on him momentarily.

First though it is Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, they were just smoking as they continued on this mini North American tour I support of the “Hypnotic Eye” album, which has become one of my favorites. They played a spirited set which included Tweeter and the Monkey Man, an excellent Traveling Wilbury’s song. Also in the cover song section Baby, Please Don’t Go ((Big Joe Williams) and So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (The Byrds).

If you have never been to the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington it is one of the most majestic venues in all the United States, so I would highly recommend it.

No getting back to Steve Winwood. If you like Traffic or Blind Faith or his solo stuff you will love his performance. His voice is sounding unbelievably clear and true. He plays all the classics, Low Spark, Dear Mr. Fantasy, Arc of A Diver, and his band is just smokin.

Outside Lands August 2014 – San Francisco CA

Outside Lands August 2014 – San Francisco CA
By Andy Goldfinger

Yes, we finally were able to attend the Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park (thank you Mike & Marcie Campbell).  The main attraction for us Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.  They are on a mini tour in support of their Hypnotic Eye Album.  Having not been to a festival in well over 20 years I was not all that keen, but I was happily surprised at the way they did Outside Lands. First of all, if you have not been to Golden Gate Park, it is humungous, I mean ginormous. There were stages and booths everywhere, but the sound was amazingly restricted to the areas where the stages actually were. There was very little bleed over, and this also dissipated the crowds as well, which for a veteran such as myself was a welcome feature.

Now the music, I’ll start with the heartbreakers. It’s funny how the fan’s perception is vastly different that those of the actual musicians. I though their performance at Outside Lands was superb, and yet there are those in the band who did not have the same enthusiasm for the performance as I, and the many thousands of fans saw. I am extremely fortunate to be friendly with a few members of the band, and I emcee an event in Ls Angels at the Troubadour where some of the Heartbreakers perform for this charity gala, and I was talking with Scott Thurston about the show at Outside Lands. He was not nearly as impressed as I was with their performance. I got to see the Heartbreakers a week later, but that’s another post from the road.

Back to Outside lands. The music was just incredible Deathcab for Cutie whipped the crowd into a frenzy before the Heartbreakers came on. I stumbled into tents where there were jazz trios and bluegrass pickers going at it. Off of the main stages were incredible acts like the Jon Butler Trio who just blew away a small meadow, Arctic Monkeys, Ray LaMontagne, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and so many more. It was an unbelievable event, and the best part of the whole thing was seeing all the kids singing along to every Tom Petty song.

Albert Lee’s 70th Birthday / All-star Concert @ The Canyon Club 1/9/2014

Albert Lee’s 70th Birthday January 9, 2014 @ The Canyon Club
By Andy Goldfinger

We are backstage at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills California, and I have the good fortune of interviewing one of the all-time great guitarists in Albert Lee, at his birthday bash no less. I must give you some background first on my introduction to Albert Lee. The first time I saw Albert play was in 1981, and he was part of Eric Clapton’s band. The beautiful thing about EC is that he always loved to showcase his band and Albert got to play a few of his songs, with CLAPTON backing him up. Holy crap, I was hooked. Went out the next day and bought as many Albert Lee albums as I could find, and then started buying the albums he played on. Of which there are soooooooo many. Let’s see, Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Dave Edmonds, Dolly Parton, Jackson Browne, The Everly Brothers (responsible for getting them back together), to name a smattering.

My first personal encounter with Albert was in 2009 for a benefit to raise money for departed Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward, coincidentally also at the canyon Club, and Albert was one of the performers that day. I’ll never forget how he introduced himself, and imagine this now in your best English accent, and he says “hi I’m Albert lee, not Alvin, Albert”, hysterical. You will never meet a more humble, giving person. On this particular day he showed up at the venue around noon, and was essentially everyone else’s roadie, the whole day, and night. Then he finally played his set and blew the place apart.

Now here we are in 2014 and Albert has amazingly turned 70, and the people that have come out to pay homage to this gentlemen’s gentlemen are unbelievable. Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Don Peake (Legendary wrecking crew member), Rosie Flores, Ramblin Jack Elliot, Denny Laine, Peter Asher, Laurence Juber, the whole Desert Rose Band and so many more. It was a tremendous evening with Albert taking the stage with everyone and just so masterful and eloquent with his guitar as always. The performances by Emmylou and Rodney doing such classics as Poncho and Lefty and Luxury Liner, and the entire Desert Rose Band (Chris Hillman, Herb Pederson, etc.) doing Love Reunited, He’s Back and more. Seeing Don Peake (if you don’t know look him up) of the Wrecking Crew playing with Peter Asher on World Without Love and others. That man has played on just so many songs. Talking to him was unbelievable, the songs he has played on, holy moly. He would sit , well actually stand backstage just playing all these riffs from the Jackson 5, Ray Charles, The Temptations, the Monkees, and you realize the breadth of work.

Now backstage and talking with Albert we discuss his longevity and he is really taken aback by all the attention he is getting from his peers. He also reluctantly actually does take credit for bringing the Everly brothers back together in the 1980s. The number of songs and people Albert has played with is quite remarkable. Here is the short list of people he has played with: Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, Jimmy Page, Rosanne Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Linda Ronstadt, Rosie Flores, Michelle Shocked, The Everly Brothers, Earl Scruggs, Jackson Browne, You can listen to the interview (http://flyingeyeradionetwork.com/includes/stream_interviews.cfm?filename=AlbertLee01-09-14.mp3) in all its glory. That same evening I was lucky enough to sit down with Rosie Flores as well and that interview is available as well on our website (http://flyingeyeradionetwork.com/includes/stream_interviews.cfm?filename=RosieFlores01-09-14.mp3).