The Heavy Pets Announce Summer Tour Dates, 80’s Dance Party Post-Phish

first_imgSouth Florida jammers The Heavy Pets will be keeping plenty busy this summer, as the band has announced a full slate of summer tour dates, beginning this weekend at The Green Parrot down in Key West, FL. The group will travel along the East Coast as they make their way to Saratoga Springs, NY on 7/1 for a post-Phish SPAC 80’s Dance Party at Putnam Den, and will continue bringing their blend of rock, funk, disco, reggae jams all the way through to September’s Catskill Chill Music Festival.All-Star Zappa Tribute & Heavy Pets 80’s Dance Party Slated For Phish SPAC After PartiesAlong with their 80’s Dance Party, the tour will display many different looks from the Pets, with select shows and festival sets being their “Walrus” tribute to The Beatles. As for the many original shows, the band is touting an entire set of brand new material. Check out a full list of tour dates below.The Heavy Pets – Set II – Live @ The Culture Room, 9-7-2013, courtesy of Adam Firtel:The Heavy Pets Summer Tour Dates 20166/3-4 2016     The Green Parot – Key West FL6/9/2016        Barrelhouse South – Savannah, GA 6/10/2016      Calico Room – Wilmington, NC 6/11/2016      The Rabbit Hole – Charlotte, NC6/12/2016      Sweetwater Sunday Series / The Deck @ House of Blues – North Myrtle Beach, SC6/29/2016      Nectar’s – Burlington, VT6/30/2016      The Waterhole Upstairs Music Lounge – Saranac, NY7/1/2016        Putnam Den – Saratoga Springs 7/2/2016        Wheelhouse Tavern – Narragansett, RI7/3/2016        Sterling Stage Ameribeat Festival of The Arts – Sterling, NY7/4/2016        Mine Oyster – Boothbay Harbor, ME 7/7/2016        Iron Works – Buffalo, NY7/8/2016        Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA7/15/2016      1904 Music Hall – Jacksonville, FL7/16/2016      Aisle 5 – Atlanta, GA8/19/2016      American Beauty – NYC8/20/2016      The Blueberry Jam – Cazenovia, NY8/25/2016      Hempfest – Lancaster, NH9/16/2016      Wormtown Music Festival – Greenfield, MA9/21/2016      Scarlet & Grey Cafe – Columbus, OH9/23/2016      Resonance Music & Arts Festival – Thornville, OH9/24/2016      Catskill Chill Music Festival – Lakewood, PAlast_img read more

Watch Dave Matthews’ Four Song Solo Set From Bernie Sanders Voter Rally

first_imgWith a major primary in California scheduled for tomorrow, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hold a voter rally in San Francisco, CA yesterday. A number of performers turned up for the occasion, including Dave Matthews, Fishbone, Fantastic Negrito, and John Dexter Stewart, with special guest talks from Dr. Cornel West, Shailene Woodley and Danny Glover.Matthews took the opportunity to play a four song solo acoustic set, starting with new song “Samurai Cop” (a solo debut) before playing “Ants Marching,” “Don’t Drink The Water,” and the finale, “Mercy.” The powerful music was a welcomed addition to the voter rally.Thanks to Bernie2016tv Live’s stream, you can watch Dave Matthews set below, starting around the 40-minute mark.last_img

Authorities Have Arrested The Ringleader Of A Russian Ticketing Scalper Group

first_imgRussian ticket thief Vadim Polyakov was sentenced today for his role as the ringleader of a group of online thieves. Polyakov and his group were found guilty Wednesday on counts of money laundering and possession of stolen property, after they were busted for hacking into 1,000 StubHub accounts. The group would use their victim’s credit card information to purchase tickets to in-demand concerts, Broadway shows, and sporting events, after which they would re-sell the tickets at a much higher mark-up value.After profiting more than $1 Million, the group was taken down last year after StubHub started to notice the irregularities in their system, after which all customers were refunded and the authorities were contacted.As the fight against scalpers heats up, it’s nice to know that justice is out there for the average concertgoer.[Via Pollstar]last_img read more

Trumpeter Maurice Brown Releases New Track “Stand Up” With Talib Kweli [Listen]

first_imgMaurice Brown is widely recognized for his tenure with Tedeschi Trucks Band, but the Grammy-Award-winning trumpet virtuoso has also been featured on dozens of stellar recordings alongside greats like Aretha Franklin, De La Soul, Diddy, Lettuce, and Cee-Lo Green, to name a few. More recently, Mobetta dedicated his time entirely to a solo career, featuring a stellar band blending hip-hop, jazz, soul, and funk-inspired beats from all over the map.Now, he’s released a new single “Stand Up” featuring hip-hop master Talib Kweli from his newest album The Mood, due out March 24, 2017. The two exchange verses in this new jazzy number that serves as a call-to-action and encourages listeners to stand for something and be meaningful with their lives. Listen to the feel-good tune below:<a href=”http://mauricemobettabrown.bandcamp.com/track/stand-up-ft-talib-kweli-2″>Stand Up ft. Talib Kweli by Maurice Brown</a>From now until Jazz Fest, Maurice will be hosting Mobetta Tuesdays at the Jazz Standard in NYC. Every Tuesday, he will be welcoming special guests (like Snarky Puppy’s Michael League, saxophonist Skerik and more) to join him for different weekly musical themes. More information about Mobetta Tuesdays can be found on the venue’s website.last_img read more

Members Of Turkuaz & Aqueous To Debut Electronic-Inspired Project, ‘SYNCPULSE’

first_imgMike Gantzer and Rob Houk from Aqueous and Craig Brodhead from Turkuaz have an exciting new side project on the horizon. While Aqueous is rooted in the more traditional jam band genre and Turkuaz is currently one of the most buzzed-about funk acts on the scene, this new project dubbed SYNCPULSE will allow the three musicians to explore more electronic side of music. As Craig Brodhead described in a Facebook post, “I’ll be doing live sequenced synths and loops with Mike and Rob on guitar and drums! It’s gonna be fun and weird and awesome.”SYNCPULSE makes its debut on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 25th, at the Grog Shop in Cleveland, Ohio. To check out this exciting new electronic-inspired project from Gantzer, Houk, and Brodhead, you can purchase tickets here.last_img read more

A Rumination On The Beauty Of Holly Bowling’s “Mind Music”

first_img[Video: Holly Bowling]Phil Lesh, Holly Bowling, Ross James, & DiBernardino, “Eyes Of The World”, 11/4/2016 [Video: Holly Bowling]Holly has become a regular at Terrapin Crossroads, playing sets in the Grate Room as well as sitting in with Phil Lesh on the Back Porch. On December 1st & 2nd, she will also join Everyone Orchestra at the legendary venue. Likewise, she has also been spotted playing with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead’s Tom Hamilton in a variety of settings, including a recent breathless duet at her show in Philadelphia. But the place where Holly shines brightest is solo onstage, just her and a grand piano with the overhead view of her talented hands augmented with lavish liquid lights projected as the backdrop.Phil Lesh & Friends (w/ Holly Bowling), “Dark Star > St. Stephen”, 1/12/2017 [Video: David Nathans]There is a beautiful grandeur to the songs that form the granite pillars of jam music. Yet, when their sounds are spun from these lacquered behemoths, they somehow become more luminary in their purity. Tendrils of tunes like The Grateful Dead’s “Help on the Way > Slipknot” may be intermingled with Phish’s “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing (ASHITOS)” and even “God Bless America” and Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s “Ohio” (as she recently did in Nashville). Together, this creates a vivid orchestral tapestry that is at once thoroughly unique, amazingly familiar, and completely satisfying. These palettes create sweet soul salvation for those who choose to engage with it.In addition to the expected songs in rotation, this tour has expanded Holly’s tonal horizons with new covers such as Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”—a song she recently debuted in Portland, Oregon, whose beautiful grandeur was produced with crazy overtones and feedbacks using 3 different Ebows. Likewise, Holly is mixing in original material such as “You Are Not Are You”, which came out in Nashville, and “Proxima B”, a dark wash of euphoria with undertones and shadows of Dave Brubeck at his beatnik peak.Holly Bowling, “Hurt”, 9/28/2017 Holly Bowling has spent years mastering her craft and revamping the DNA of some of jam music’s most enduring songs by the Grateful Dead and Phish. Holly is on her current tour in support of her album Better Left Unsung, which will continue through to the end of the year. All along the way, Holly has been recruiting new HoBos—a term fans refer to themselves as—and this effort is aided by the Rocketman, Holly’s husband, roadie, archivist and streamer-in-chief Jeffery Bowling.Watch Holly Bowling Debut New Original, Bring Back 2015 ATL “Tweezer” [Full Show Video]A burbling, engaged, and irregularly pleasant online community of couch-tour aficionados has since sprung up since Holly began touring more fervently. Religiously catching shows on easy access platforms such as Mixlr and Facebook Live, while many other internet forum users struggle to tear one another apart, a Hobo’s chat is distinctly civil and pleasant. With healing mind music as the backdrop, there is little room for divisiveness. We old hippies are a notoriously irritable bunch, but this music is so ingrained within us and performed with such elegant grace that its pleasantness becomes viral.Listen To Holly Bowling’s Outstanding Piano Reimagining Of Phish’s ‘Gamehendge’ SagaIn an amazing turn, live audiences are extremely attentive, setting aside cell phones and casual conversation, instead allowing themselves to be swept up in the heady brew of sound, light, and sorcery. Holly doesn’t simply caress the 88’s—her technique is akin to the way a DJ might work the steel wheels. The texture of her sound comes from laying hands, mallets, brushes, and other instruments of dominion directly onto the strings, emulating modulations and evoking ethereal tones that were originally crafted by groups of four to six men drenched in psychedelia. Her playing is sumptuous, transcendent, and no less defiant than the original electric boogaloo. However, in her masterful hands, a song like Phish’s “Stash” lifts up its tunic and reveals its origin (intended or otherwise) in Gypsy Jazz—where speed, syncopation, and simplicity are the currencies of value.Holly Bowling, “Stash”, 11/7/2017 [Video: Holly Bowling]Make no mistake, this is no simple stoner rock. This is thinking music of the highest order, on par with Brubeck or Chopin. Setlists are thoughtfully crafted in a manner that articulates the diversity and warm healing of songs that has so often been hidden under layers of lysergic sound. In charting highly improvisational pieces like Phish’s epic Tahoe Tweezer, Holly unveils something pure and magical that lies at the heart of these songs. Where previously there was a dynamic kinetic energy blasting into the stratosphere and beyond, there now resides sublimely ethereal majesty—a luminary journey inward.There is a curative mystique which permeates Holly Bowling’s music. A piano under her direction allows listeners to wash away the cares of their day. Whether through headphones or in Holly’s humble presence audiences are swept away to traverse majestic sonic landscapes. In a world gone mad, there must be something more than this—and that something is the divination and healing spectral wonder of Holly Bowling’s Mind Music.[Photo: Dave Vann]last_img read more

Dickey Betts Announces Plans To Tour In 2018

first_imgAs promised, Dickey Betts has a huge announcement to make on his 74th birthday. After retiring from the road three years ago, the former Allman Brothers Band guitarist/singer/songwriter and founding member has decided that he will return to the road in 2018. Longtime manager David Spero described the decision as “a birthday present to himself”, and he has decided “to go out and play a select group of dates.” However, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the planning is just in the preliminary stages–as only “an email blast has been sent to concert promoters to see what options are available.”Dickey Betts dedicates the decision to his fans, explaining, “Everywhere I go fans keep saying they want me to get out and play again… I think the time is right.” According to the exclusive news report, the 2018 shows will feature Dickey with his son Duane Betts sharing lead guitar duties. “Dickey is talking to some of the guys he has played with,” Spero explains. “We should know in a couple of weeks who will comprise the band.”In addition to playing his own masterpieces, “Ramblin’ Man”, “Jessica”, “Blue Sky” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”, the upcoming Dickey Betts setlists will include songs written by the late Gregg Allman, including “Midnight Rider”, “Melissa”, and “Whipping Post”. “I think the fans deserve to hear a few of Gregg’s songs as well, so I’m pulling out some classics,” Betts tells the Herald-Tribune. “We really gave this a lot of thought as to how and what the show will be,” Spero concludes. “Even I can’t wait to see it.”Dickey Betts is one of two surviving members of the Allman Brothers Band, alongside drummer Jaimoe. Following the tragic passings of Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman earlier this year, the rare opportunity to see an original member perform has become the stuff of legends. Although Dickey played his last show with ABB in 2000, his legacy runs deep within the band’s roots. His career continued for 14 years, playing small clubs as Dickey Betts & Great Southern with his son Duane, performing his own blues songs and ABB classics. While there was talk of Dickey’s reunion with the band for the Allman Brothers’ final concert in October of 2014, it never came to be. Dickey’s inspiration to hit the road was spurred by a recent interview with Rolling Stone, where Betts received widespread praise for his incomparable life’s work. Perhaps this upcoming tour will give fans another note to hold on to–as the road goes on forever.Stay tuned for Dickey Betts tour in 2018![via Sarasota Herald-Tribune]last_img read more

Watch Bob Weir Team With John Kadlecik, RatDog Bandmates, & More At Terrapin Crossroads

first_imgOn December 13th, Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir dropped by Phil Lesh’s famed venue Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California, joining guitarist John Kadlecik for a number of tunes during the evening. Kadlecik had recruited a two of Weir’s former RatDog bandmates, drummer Jay Lane and bassist Robin Sylvester, for the performance in addition to keyboardist Todd Stoops.Together, the ensemble worked through Grateful Dead classics such as “Bertha”, “West L.A. Fadeaway”, “Throwing Stones”, and “Touch of Grey”, plus standard tunes such as “Walking Blues” and a cover of Daniel Lanois’ “The Maker”. You can watch video of Bob Weir’s collaboration with John Kadlecik Band at Terrapin Crossroads on Wednesday below, courtesy of  Deadheadland.last_img read more

The Disco Biscuits Announce 3-Night New England Run In March

first_imgToday, The Disco Biscuits have added to their spring calendar with a newly announced three-night in the Northeast from March 8th – 10th. The Biscuits will kick off the run on Thursday, March 8th, with a performance at The Strand Ballroom & Theatre (formerly Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel) in Providence, Rhode Island. This performance will serve as a warm-up ahead of the group’s two-night stand at the State Theatre in Portland, Maine on Friday, March 9th and Saturday, March 10th. It’s clear that the jamtronica juggernauts are looking forward to getting back to the Pine Tree State as, in the announcement statement, the group noted that the State Theatre is “where we enjoyed one of the loudest post-show cheers in recent memory!”A BiscoTix presale lottery for The Disco Biscuits’ upcoming New England run in early March is currently open for entry and will remain open until 5 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, February 1st. The lottery will allow fans to request single-day tickets (with reduced fees) for the group’s Thursday show at The Strand in Providence, as well as discounted two-day passes to the Biscuits’ shows at Portland’s State Theatre. You can register for the Providence pre-sale lottery here, or the Portland pre-sale lottery here.[Photo: Andrew Blackstein]last_img read more

INTERVIEW: Dave Schools Talks Widespread Panic, Trondossa, Daze Between, Sit-Ins, & More

first_imgDave Schools, the formidable bassist of Widespread Panic, has kept himself busy, despite Widespread pulling back from a more aggressive touring schedule. The southern rock icons have shifted their focus to occasional multi-night runs across the year, with the band’s two-night headlining gig at Trondossa Music & Arts Festival right around the corner on May 5th and May 6th at Riverfront Park, in North Charleston, South Carolina. (Purchase tickets for Trondossa here.)Ahead of their gigs at Trondossa, where they’ll share the bill with Sturgill Simpson both nights in addition to sets from Margo Price, Moon Taxi, Big Something, and Hiss Golden Messenger, Schools will perform with the Daze Between Band in New Orleans, for two highly anticipated shows on May 2nd and 3rd during the week in between Jazz Fest weekends. (While Wednesday’s show has sold-out but will be available to stream here, fans can pick up tickets to the Daze Between Band’s Thursday show also featuring Eric Krasno, Duane Trucks, Marcus King, and Deshawn “D’Vibes” Alexander here.)Live For Live Music’s Otis Sinclair got the chance to speak with Schools, and during their lengthy interview, the bassist sagely reflected on his current life off the road, how Widespread Panic seeks to keep themselves open to possibilities, some favorite musical collaborators, and more. Read on below for the full conversation.Live For Live Music: Now that Widespread Panic’s touring schedule has been stripped down, the sets seem more deliberately crafted. How have the preparations before shows changed?Dave Schools: Without having a couple of shows on the road to get our sea legs, it’s pretty helpful to have at least a general idea of what we are going to play. I guess one of the advantages is we’re taking a much deeper look at what’s in the catalog, and we have to dive deep on occasions to get to some of the stuff that doesn’t usually come up in the first week of a tour. So, I guess, there’s a little bit of intentional programming going on, I think even more for us—as people who have been playing this material for three decades—than for anyone else. It’s kind of always the way we worked; it’s just a different strategy because of this new touring paradigm… or lack of touring paradigm. [laughs]L4LM: That “Don’t Tell The Band” in Vegas—people were very excited to hear that again.DS: It’s a very, very big pot of songs to draw from. Still, it has been sort of eye-opening to find the songs amidst all of that other stuff, and, “Gosh, we really haven’t played this in fifteen years; let’s see what happens.” Sometimes it’s successful, sometimes it’s not, and sometimes it’s fun covers that come up. Things that we haven’t played since Halloween in, you know, 1998 or something.“Don’t Tell The Band” – Park Theater – Las Vegas, NV – 10/29/2017[Video: Steve Kiefer]L4LM: That’s always a joy for the audience to hear something new. With such a diverse range of covers, are there any songs that you would like to play that you haven’t yet played?Dave Schools: You know, I have a pretty accepting viewpoint. If we played ’em once, we obviously had some intent in choosing it. To bring it back, it’s always an eye-opening experience; it’s sort of refreshing. It’s the same thing as new material, you know? Whether you bring an old original back, write a new song, or bring an old cover back, it puts a different slant on it, just because of its long-term absence or relative newness. Any three of those categories become fresh.L4LM: Speaking of new material, let’s talk about the debut of “Sundown Betty” in Mexico. Is that indicative of a new album coming from Widespread Panic?DS: I think the concept of the album is something that is debatable. I mean, we all love a collection of music, but at the same time, in the year 2018, is that the right way to go? Do we want to literally take three years between releasing anything, so that we can amass ten songs for a new record, which is a collection? Or do we just get in the studio and finish up a song and put it out there. Right there, personally, I lean towards that latter option. I think it’s better just to create the content and push it out into the world so that the people can make up their own minds about it. We can play it on stage and let it continue its natural Widespread Panic-style evolution.L4LM: Let’s talk about Trondossa, which is named in honor of Colonel Bruce. You guys have been having some very unique sit-ins recently with guests. Can we expect some guest sit-ins ahead, maybe with Sturgill Simpson or any of Colonel Bruce’s protégés?DS: I certainly won’t be the one to negate that possibility. We love cross-pollination—probably more than any other band. It’s always a pleasure to have someone come in and share their viewpoint, which is always unique to an artist. We are fond of sit-ins and are fond of making music with our friends, so I wouldn’t put anything off the table for Trondossa.L4LM: As Curtis George and the people of Panicstream have pointed out, Trondossa will be, unofficially, you and John Bell’s 3000th show. How does that feel?DS: Staggering… Unbelievable. The thing is, I know they are basing these stats on what exists recording-wise. I’m not sure if the number is closer to probably 3,200. Because there are a lot of shows that were never taped back in the early days, I think they have just sort of disappeared from the public record. But they happened! Private parties, house parties, fraternity parties—they all count, and they are all part of how we learned to do what we do best. Even if it is just 3,000, that’s a lot of jams to play.L4LM: That’s very impressive. I’m sure you never imagined when you got into music just how far it would come.DS: Well, no. I mean, we started the band because it was fun, and none of us wanted to have to answer to anyone other than ourselves. But at some point, we made a decision—and that decision informed every business decision we had to make, because we realized in order to maintain our dream, we were going to have to answer to ourselves as businessmen—that we would go for the quote-unquote career in music, to be a band, and make music for the rest of our lives. Whatever business decisions we had to make in the 80s or the 90s or the 00s informed that fact that we wanted to play music for our lives together.L4LM: It seems you succeeded in that aspect. While on the topic of sit-ins, judging by the look on your face in Mexico with George Porter Jr., how incredible is it to manipulate the rhythm pocket with two drummers and two bassists? How does it feel to play with one of your longtime musical idols and influences?DS: George [Porter Jr.] sort of transcends that description. Certainly, it’s true: he’s an influence and he’s a major player. He created that particular pocket of second-line funk, New Orleans swamp funk. The very first time that I met George, it was probably the late 80s—either we were opening for one of his groups or it was the other way around. I can’t remember. What I do remember is that he gave me his phone number and was as sweet as can be.That started a relationship that is indicative of the way he approaches every other person he meets, which is as an equal and friendly. So, every time he ever sat in, it was just a joy. It was like being able to sit in with your father. Spiritually, he’s definitely one of my father figures. To share that joy, as you said, it is obvious on my face. It’s just a give and take, because having two bass players on stage at the same time can often be a muddy mess. But we understand each other and we have a great time, so he’s always welcome. We almost always have some kind of instrument available in case he should want to show up and want to plug in.“Ain’t No Use” with George Porter Jr. – Panic en la Playa Siete – 1/28/2018[Video: MrTopdogger]L4LM: You were also on the side stage for The Cleaners in Mexico. Can you talk about playing with those guys as Daze Between looks forward to their future performances during Jazz Fest?Dave Schools: Sure, I’ve always enjoyed playing with Duane [Trucks]. I have known him since he was a young pup, and I’m saying that on purpose to embarrass him… with love. I’ve always been a big fan of [Eric] Krasno. Marcus King is making headway. He’s disrupting things. A young player, amazing vocalist. All those guys, The Cleaners, whatever they want to call themselves.It was especially poignant this year whenever a Bruce Hampton song came up. Watching Kevin Scott and Duane do the rhythm section together is amazing. They’ve been together for a long, long, long time. And I enjoy that. It’s great to have the fun we have playing as Widespread Panic, and then I get to go watch someone else play. That’s rare and very enjoyable, mainly because of all those cats. Let’s not lose track of Jen Hartswick—what an amazing talent!L4LM: It was incredible what they were able to do and obviously Marcus made a reappearance in Wanee with you guys, and he continues to step out in a big way.DS: Marcus finds a way to fit in with anyone he sits in with, and that’s really what this sit-in thing is about. It’s not about a band making room for guest artists or soloists, and it’s not about the guest artist or soloist busting into a preconceived bubble. It’s real-life collaboration, which is an extension of what Widespread Panic does best. It’s what we try to do amongst the six of us on any night. So, when someone sits in, we go for an extension of that give and take, an opportunity for something really special and unique to occur.“Bowlegged Woman” > “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” with Marcus King – Wanee – 4/21/2018[Video: Roy Loeffler]L4LM: It seems that every time you guys step on stage these days, something very special and unique occurs.Dave Schools: Well, thank you. That’s buried in the kernel of truth of the band. That’s why we keep doing it. That’s the only way anyone could possibly make it to 3,000 shows. Always strive to open the door for that possibility. You can’t guarantee it’s going to happen or be special or something other than a complete and utter train wreck. That’s the point. That’s what we try to allow for that possibility, everything that we do. Whether it boils down to “Did we get sleep? How do the monitors sound? What’s the weather like? Did I get enough coffee?” Everything that we learned about being on the road together points to the direction of enabling that special thing to happen onstage.L4LM: Back to the Daze Between that are going into New Orleans. The second show culminates in the Jam Cruise line-up announcement. Can we expect the Daze Between or the Cleaners to be aboard that ship?DS: I cannot divulge any such information at this time… Be there for the announcement!L4LM: On an unrelated topic, you are very active on Instagram with a great sense of humor especially with the #MakeInstagramChronologicalAgain. One of your most recent posts shows Mickey Hart and a fire truck, what’s the backstory here?DS: Every time Mickey [Hart] says to me, “You gotta come over, there’s something important I wanna show you,” it’s usually one of his latest music projects. Recently, it was his Hayden Planetarium presentation, or that he wants to show me the twelve different zones that he is creating for “Drums & Space” on Dead & Company tour, or his latest painting. So, I was just as shocked as anyone that it was a firetruck named “Sparky.”I don’t think it’s a bad idea given I live way out here in west Sonoma county, and although we didn’t get scorched personally by the fires last year, they were awfully close. So, if he wants to have his own fire department, I think it’s a smart thing. Kinda makes me wish that I had my own firetruck. But now I can’t name it “Sparky.” … It was just a little too close for comfort and a lot of people lost everything. It’s still devastating to drive into Santa Rosa and see the edges of one of those devastated neighborhoods. L4LM: Now that you live out in North California, you have Mickey Hart and Tom Waits and a couple other famous neighbors. What’s it like out there compared to living in the Georgian southern vibe?Dave Schools: Less swampy. Definitely, less swampy. It’s a totally different culture in every way. Every time I go to Athens, I really miss my friends. I don’t miss the humidity. I certainly don’t miss the allergies that are wreaking havoc at this present moment in the South. But I like it out here. It’s different and it’s new. There are some crazy musicians that I’ve befriended. It’s pretty cool when Les Claypool is your neighbor, and he calls you to come to a tuna barbecue because he caught too much tuna.I’m very happy that Steve Kimock has moved back here. He lives in the same town that I live in, and he is just a pleasure. We have a family vibe going. We really are trying to create a scene out here where you can find a couple of venues where anything could happen. This little low-key, out-of-the-way place has a whole batch of the kids surrounding Grahame Lesh and Midnight North—somewhat of a larger coterie of guys who can get together and do a pick-up gig and have some fun, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be from the Grateful Dead book.There’s a thing called the Cosmic Twang that Scott Law and Ross James do. I think the next one is May 9th in San Francisco. I’ll be a part of it, and Neal Casal will be a part of it. Alex Koford will be a part of it. A lot of these people are making records, writing songs, and just playing with each other. Steve Kimock and myself, we feel that’s indicative of a healthy scene and promises great things to come. God knows we can all use some good music this world.L4LM: Do you miss the road at all, going city to city every night?DS: Let me quote Rodney Millsaps on that one. He said, “They don’t pay me for the time I spend on stage, they pay me for the schlep.” The time on stage performing is joy. It’s what I love to do, it’s my passion. But the traveling gets old. It’s no fun flying, that’s for sure. Living on a bus is nice—we had one last weekend at Wanee. It’s the first time that we’d been on a bus in a year. It doubles as a cocoon and a place get rest and sometimes a dressing room for festivals.The road can be hard, and it’s a way of life. One of the hardest things any professional touring musician has to do is rectify the time on tour, on the bus, traveling, what-have-you, and being at home. Getting off the merry-go-round can be difficult. It takes down a lot of musicians. It’s less about being on the road and more about being unable to adjust to not being on the road that is hard. It’s hard on significant others, it’s hard on those who have kids, and it’s even hard on pets. My dog is looking at me like, “Truth, brother.”L4LM: I’m sure he would love to be on the road with you.DS: He would… but he wouldn’t.L4LM: So, you and JB were both English majors, and you’re known as quite the voracious reader. What books have you been getting into these days?DS: I am halfway through a book called Bunkie Spills which was written by Brad Rosen. Brad lives in Portland, Oregon, and I’ve known Brad for probably thirty years. Brad was the drummer of Jerry Joseph’s band, Little Women, and was Jerry’s longtime drummer for a long time. How’s that for redundancy? They were making a record called Conscious Contact in Athens in the year 2000. Brad was the drummer, and he was like, “I’m taking some creative writing classes.” We were all like, “Yeah, sure, drummer, whatever.” He’s come out with this novel called Bunkie Spills that is getting rave reviews. It’s an amazing piece of work, and I suggest that anyone that likes to read should read that one.L4LM: We actually share a favorite author, Cormac McCarthy. The Border Trilogy’s All the Pretty Horses remains one of my favorite books to this day.DS: I don’t think I’ve read anything as harshly economical and depressing as The Road. As a work of writing, it’s unbelievable that such a wordy and verbose author could pare down his style to write such a bleak, bleak novel. I don’t recommend it to anyone that gets depressed easily, but what an amazing piece of work.L4LM: You said something in a previous interview that caught my eye. You quoted Col. Bruce Hampton, “If I wasn’t holding a guitar, it would probably be an axe.” Purely speculation, in a previous lifetime, what would you imagine yourself as being?DS: Oh, boy… Probably some pundit who gets strung up for having too much of a mouth on him. I don’t know… I don’t think I was Napoleon or Tutankhamun or anything like that. Sometimes, I feel like I’m a pretty new soul with a skill-set, right now in this lifetime. I’m as prone to failure as anyone. It’s taken me more than half of this lifetime to learn how to stumble and get back up. It’s something I’ve worked hard to learn.L4LM: You previously mentioned the power of the audience and the importance of having a receptive audience. Is there a particular venue or city that seems to have an audience that is more noticeably involved with the musical developments on stage?DS: There’s a lot of them. I think the opportunity is there for every city, and I think there are a lot of factors. There was a club called the Cat’s Paw in either Wyoming or Montana—it could be in Missoula, Montana. It just struck me that they were so hungry for the live music experience that they were crowd-surfing during a ballad. We were playing something like “I’m Not Alone” or “C. Brown” or one of those slower songs, and the audience was going nuts! They were slam dancing and crowd surfing. I think it was such a release to be a part of making live music that it became palpable.It’s like what I was saying earlier about creating the opportunity for something special to happen and if the audience is receptive, maybe as lost in the moment of creation as we are, then a symbiosis happens. Something that I call an “energy rodeo” happens. It’s like a good volley in tennis where we bat some energy toward the audience, and they receive it and turn it back on us, and we hit it back. When it continues that way through a concert, it’s pretty special. It’s really hard to pin down, I don’t think there is a formula. All you can do is try to set up the best circumstances for the possibility of something like that to happen.L4LM: On an unrelated note, what do you use to keep your hair billowing even indoors?DS: My most dependable fan. It was purchased at Home Depot, and it runs on 120 volts.L4LM: It seems to come up a lot in audience conversations.DS: It was a necessary evil from back in the old days. To not have to wash clothes and to not exist in a sauna. Just a little bit of air moving helps me feel not claustrophobic, and it does have a Medusa effect on my hair. I can’t explain it, but I certainly enjoy it.L4LM: I know, the photographers do too.DS: Well, something’s gotta move around in my world.L4LM: I was wondering if you could comment on the difference in the music industry nowadays as opposed to when you started?DS: The key word is “industry.” It’s a business, and businesses exist in order to create profit. I was actually talking to the great producer Terry Manning about this at Mempho Festival last fall. I asked him basically the same thing, and he had an interesting viewpoint because he’s been around since the early days of soul music. He was an engineer at Ardent Studios and engineered hits for Stax, Big Star Records, produced Led Zepplin stuff, ZZ Top, Shakira.He’s been around, and he said, “You are at the end of a bubble we were very, very lucky to exist during.” That bubble was that, as a capitalist country—and we are talking about an industry, the record business—we were able to create, whether it was a wax cylinder, or a ten-inch platter that revolved at 78, or a twelve-inch platter that revolved at 33 1/3rd, or a seven-inch platter with a big hole that spun at 45, or a tiny, little compact disc with the laser, cassettes, 8-tracks, reel to reel tapes. It was a fifty-year bubble where there was something that you can have and hold and had value.It became a billions and billions of dollars a year industry, and artists benefited and consumers benefited. We’re at the end of it, considering the world has changed in every aspect. People are far more into paying for a subscription than they are for even having a virtual file that they can store on their hard drive. I don’t really know anyone who actually buys songs anymore, and I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing… but this period of transition has been difficult for artists who are living in the overlap. Luckily, Panic has always sold tickets and merchandise and cool posters and an experience that is shared, so we are lucky.Young bands now, I don’t think they perceive that something is different. This is the world that they are creating for themselves. They are out on the road, they are creating content, they are posting it. It’s a special period of freedom right now for a young, developing artist. I think it’s just the older cats that are seeing their methods of making a living change. It’s easy to decry how something has ended and is costing them money, but this is evolution. It continues to happen and always will happen. Some people have a good point of view, some people have a bad point of view. I think it’s necessary, and I look forward to seeing what happens. There are a lot of young bands that are capitalizing on the fact that they don’t have to be told how to make a record and what they have to look like. They are in complete control of their destiny at every turn.L4LM: In terms of freedom, recording, and record labels, I’d have to agree with you, but you guys just re-released Light Fuse, Get Away?DS: I don’t look at it as living in the past. I think a lot of us that were making records in the 90s. There was no opportunity to create vinyl. Not that vinyl’s coming back. It is a niche market, it’s a fetish. People who love it, really, really love it. There’s also people who could care less. But there was an outcry among Panic fans for the earlier stuff to be put on vinyl. By virtue of what happened with Capricorn Records, who bought them and who own the rights to that material, our management had to do quite a bit of sifting through some big legal mess, just to get the rights for us to put these things on vinyl.But Light Fuse, Get Away was something that we kept hearing over and over and over again. So, our management had enough foresight to start the digging process about four or five years ago, looking forward to this day that maybe we could actually land it back out on the street in time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the concert that we did to promote Light Fuse, Get Away. So, it worked out great.L4LM: Rumor has it that Widespread Panic’s time in Mexico is coming to an end. If you had to choose where in the world would you take this destination?Dave Schools: I think we’ve all always wanted to play in Jamaica. That would be cool. Anywhere, people want to hear us do our thing is going to become a great place to play. Everybody has different ideas. I’d like to play the west part of Mexico. It’s a big world, and it’s hard to get there with gear, but it would be nice to go back to Australia and New Zealand. Anywhere we can put our footprint down and make our music is something great. I can’t speak to that rumor about our time in Mexico coming to an end—I’d have a hard time believing it. It might be in a different part of Mexico. It might not be at that same place, but I wouldn’t put too much credence in that one.L4LM: How you continue to find inspiration and remain so musically involved after all these years?DS: It’s all around. It’s everywhere. It’s a matter of being open—something that all of us in Widespread Panic share, something that JB has certainly strived to create. We all do it in our own way. I can get inspiration from the way the light is coming through or reflecting on my ceiling when I wake up. I can get inspiration from finding that one kid in the crowd that isn’t having the time of his life, and that can inspire me to try and change that for him. Maybe, he is having the time of his life, and I want to push him over the top. Maybe, my big toe is inspiring to me, you know… It’s everywhere.The hardest part for me is getting out of my own way. Not getting hung up on some little issue that I’ve encountered that has nothing to do with making music with Widespread Panic. Like I said, this lifetime is spent learning. For me personally, I’ve come a long way in not tripping yourself up. It gets better, it gets easier. Part of this whole not-being-on-the-road-all-the-time thing has certainly been inspirational. I can feel it. When we do get together onstage and start to do our thing, we’re not exhausted. People are excited to be there, and that’s certainly what this new plan is trying to foster. We’re excited to be there and not beaten up by travel and that’s inspiration too.For more information about this weekend’s Trondossa Music & Arts Festival in North Charleston, South Carolina, on May 5th and 6th, head here. For its inaugural year, the festival has tapped Widespread Panic, Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Moon Taxi, Big Something, and Hiss Golden Messenger, making for a festival you won’t want to miss.For fans who will be down in New Orleans over the next few nights for Jazz Fest, Eric Krasno is bringing The Daze Between Band back to New Orleans, and this year, the virtuosic guitar player from Soulive and Lettuce has curated not one but two special nights during Jazz Fest. For the two-night run, Krasno has put together an impressive all-star cast featuring members of Widespread Panic, Medeski Martin & Wood, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and The Marcus King Band.While Wednesday’s show has sold-out but will be available to stream here, fans can pick up tickets to the Daze Between Band’s Thursday show also featuring Eric Krasno, Duane Trucks, Marcus King, and Deshawn “D’Vibes” Alexander here. You can stream Wednesday’s performance during a free webcast here, which is presented by The Legendary Underground Game of ZONK.last_img read more