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Published: 2000/12/15
by Dan Alford

Soulive Year Two- Steppin’ Remix

Well let’s keeping going back chronologically. You were out on your first West Coast tour recently also. Peter Costello wrote a piece for and said the crowds were “more a ‘concert going’ bunch than those of us who ‘go to shows.’”

Alan: That’s a good way to put it.

Neal: Yeah. It was our first run out there with Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise. That was a whole different type of musician. He had an entirely different crowd.

Eric: It was good to play certain venues. We got to play the Fillmore. The run was long. We did the West Coast, we did down south- Texas was really good. New Orleans was great. We hadn’t been back there in a year. We did really well.

I think that probably a lot of people don’t know that you were in Ghana for a handful of dates in July. How did that come about?

Neal: That came about through a promoter, a guy who has a business over there- it’s a record/CD store.

Alan: He does a lot of business. He’s opening up a club in Brooklyn. He does a lot of business so he travels a lot. So one night when he was over here, a friend of his that lives in the States here brought out him to one of our shows. At that time he was planning a festival over there and he wanted to get us on it. So that’s pretty much how it happened.

Eric: Originally he was supposed to get Erykah Badu. He was talking to her and all these other people. That’s why he was in New York. And then he saw us and really dug the music and ended up bringing us over there. He’s brought a lot of things over there. He brought Stevie Wonder over there.

Neal: B.B. King.

Eric: Yeah he’s bringing B.B. King over there. It was jazz clubs- we did one outdoor festival. It was cool. People really appreciated the music, but it was a more “concert going” vibe also, like people sitting down. I mean they were really into it and very responsive. They weren’t talking over the music or anything. They were packed shows and everyone was really diggin’ it, but it wasn’t like the Wetlands or stuff like that. It was nothing like playing in the States. It was a really interesting experience.

I have tape from the July 30th show at Don’s Place.

Eric: That, I think, was one of the better shows for us because it was just relaxed. That was the last gig. There were a lot of technical difficulties with sound equipment, to say the least, but by that time we had kind of figured it out. A lot of people we had met while we were there were there. It was just a good vibe, a good, good way to end it.

The “Rudy’s Way” and “Uncle Junior” from that show are both nice and smooth, jazzier. Was it intentional or just feeling the vibe?

Neal: It was an outdoor thing, we weren’t really amplified, so it was a different vibe.

Alan: We were also kinda tired. It was the end of the trip.

Eric: It was relaxed. I remember it was a relaxed vibe.

Neal: Yeah, it was cool man ‘cause we knew the owner of the place, Don. Eric and I had been chillin’ out there just about every night. It was just like playing for your boys.

Alan: It wasn’t like trying to put on a show or anything. Like playing in the living room.

Eric: It was like an organized rehearsal. I’d say it’s always a different vibe when people are jumping around and dancin’ with their arms in the air versus people sitting down, clapping- it’s definitely different. I’m not saying one’s better than the other, but it definitely effects the energy of what we’re playin’.

Do you guys get burnt out on the road?

Neal: A bit. I’m looking forward to a break. It was cool- we just had time off at Thanksgiving. But after this we’re basically off until February.

And that’s when you’re headed to Japan.

Alan: Actually, before we jet to Japan, we’re doing some more dates with Logic, like the first week in February. Down in Virginia, Maryland and then we’re doing a couple colleges in the Northeast, like Amherst, Bowdoin, stuff like that. It’s the same deal, like ten dates again. Nine or ten dates and we’ve got a week or so off and then we go to Japan. That’ll be a lot of fun.

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