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Published: 2007/01/09
by Mike Greenhaus

Auld Lang Syne Set 4:Mike Gordon, Keller Williams, Yonder Mountain String Band, Tommy Ramone, Steve Molitz and more

Once again a year has come and gone too quickly and, once again, we are left with twelve months of music to sort through. For the second year in a row, we asked a number of our favorite musicians, managers and industry gurus to talk about their favorite albums, bands and performances. Well post one final addition after the dust settles (until then, be sure to take a look at Set One, Set Two and Set Three if you havent done so yet.)
MIKE GORDON

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
My eight months of playing and hanging at the Radio Bean Cafe in Burlington, VT for Brett Hughes’ Honky Tonk Tuesdays – upright piano, hot rum and cider, good times, good peeps, a thousand old country songs, capacity 39.

_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _
I’m hoping to catch a new band that I’ve never seen or heard of before. Maybe it could be called Captain Swit. The Fedexicans? It will not be called Wavey Groovey, or Hiway Love Ya, or Veggie Trails. Anyway, I’m hoping it includes Etta James and Trilok Gurtu.
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
I don’t know how I became a mandolin junky, but somehow it happened. I’ve been blessed in my lifetime to be able to hear Bill Monroe, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury, Barry Mitterhoff, Jamie Masefield, Mike Compton, the shockingly good Matt Mundy, Chris Thile, and others. But this one night Chris Thile, playing with Michael Daves in a tiny place in New York with that Bose tubular sound system, transcended the instrument like it’s never been transcended before. The duo went from Djangoism to lightning fast fiddlish flurries to edgy, tragic bluegrass harmonies and then neo-pseudo-classical avant gardisms – all within four beats of music! We were floored.
_What album appears most often in your iTunes? _
At the end of the day its been King Sunny Ades Odu (already had worn out the iTunes-grooves on Juju Music).
CHRIS IFTHEBERGE (GROOVE COLLECTIVE)
_What will you remember most about 2006? _
My baby boy Andrew Walker Theberge was born and bought a Grammy nomination with him!
_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _
Orquesta Alfonso – Arsenio Rodriguez’s bass player is debuting his afro-Cuban orchestral music in 2007.
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _ The Star Sapphire Cosmic Love ball in San Francisco this Spring and the Groove Collective show in Bern, Switzerland this fall.
_What album appears most often in your iTunes? _
Very difficult, but Eddie Palmieris The Sun of Latin Music has to be pretty high up there.

*BEN KAUFMANN (YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND *

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Probably the shakedown courtesy of the Licking County, OH, police department. (The festival’s called Hookahville, for fuck’s sake!) And, of course, the charges subsequently being tossed out of court. Stick to the law, cowboys! It’s there for a reason.
_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _
As far as a buzz goes, I’m hearing a lot about Rodrigo y Gabriela, a duo of Mexican guitarists now living in Ireland. And, of course, Rose Hill Drive, some of our Colorado brothers. I’m also hoping to see more from Vince Hermann’s new project, Great American Taxi.
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
Red Rocks, Labor Day weekend, opening for the Allman Brothers. It was raining, sold-out, and hardcore.
_What album comes up most often in your iTunes? _
These days it’s a tie between The Information by Beck, and David Lee Roths Skyscraper. The latter being, in my opinion, a much overlooked record from back thenBilly Sheehan on bass, Steve Vai on guitar. Remember: It’s only a guilty pleasure if you feel guilty about it. *CHAD URMSTON (STATE RADIO, DISPATCH) *
_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Racing with Mad Dog and Chuck in a relay against the ice girls at the Boston Garden in-
between periods of a Bruins game.
_Which band is the band to see in 2007? _
Rx Bandits
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
State Radios show at the Metro in London.
_What album comes up most often in your iTunes? _ I don’t have iTunes, but Ive been listening to Jethro Tulls benefit recently.
AARON REDNER (HOT BUTTERED RUM)

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
The incredible swell of support we’ve been experiencing from fans eager to see everything move forward. Such incredibly conscious and genuine people who love music and desire to have a scene they can bring their kids and grandparents to, and still be adults at the same time.

_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _
ALO. I know they’re working on a new album that I’m sure will be wonderful. Hard working guys who’ve been doing it for years and deserve every bit of praise they get. I dare you to try and meet nicer people than the ALO folks!
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
My favorite show was one that I happened to perform in which happened to be in Oahu on the North Shore. It was a beautiful night in December and it was WARM! Many people flew in from the mainland to make a memorable evening even more special.
_What album comes up most often in your iTunes? _
Hot Club of France compilation disc with Django and Stephan just tearing it up!!
LEE CRUMPTON (HOME GROWN MUSIC NETWORK)

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
This year a beautiful daughter entered my life and most of my memories of 2006 will be of her and my new experiences being a first-time parent.
_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _
RAQ is really amazing right now and I think they’re going to have a great year. Other bands I’d love to see a lot more of in 2007: Lotus, SeepeopleS, New Monsoon, Pnuma Trio, ALO, Boogie Hustlers, The Bridge, Garaj Mahal, Grace Potter, Scarecrow Collection, Stratospheerius, Umphreys McGee, Vinyl.
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
I saw a bunch of great shows: Perpetual Groove, Lotus, Boogie Hustlers, Delta Nove, Green Lemon, Moon Boot Lover, RAQ and the list goes on. Plus, I participated in a lot of great events, as well: Langerado, Smilefest, All Good, FloydFest, Gathering of the Vibes, Magnolia Fest and more. Already looking forward to the next festival season!
_What album comes up most often in your iTunes? _
Currently, I have over 7500 songs loaded in my iTunes and mostly keep it in shuffle mode. According to the stats, these albums were played most:
Perpetual Groove – _Sweet Oblivious Antidote _
ALOFly Between Falls
New Mastersounds – This is What We Do

JON TOPPER (MOE. MANAGER)
_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Al Schnier running the NYC marathon and raising over $12,000 for The Kelberman Center at Upstate Cerebral Palsy (a regional center for excellence for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and related learning challenges). Also moe. and the promoter giving all the money they made at their Landmark Theatre gig in Syracuse, NY to the same cause.
_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _
moe., Umprey’s Mcgee, Disco Biscuits, Keller Williams, Steel Train, The Brakes, Ryan Montableu, AOD, Lynch, Brothers Past, U-Melt, Toubab Krewe, The Slip, Trey, Tea Leaf Green, The Avett Brothers, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Little Feat, Blue Oyster Cult, Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Gomez, Perpetual Groove, Lotus, Rose Hill Drive, RatDog, and many, many more.
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
moe.‘s outside set at snoe.down. Not to many bands would pull that off.
_What album comes up most often in your iTunes (or CD player)? _
It is always on shuffle so moe., Umprey’s McGee, the Disco Biscuits, Keller Williams, Steel Train, The Brakes, Ryan Montableu, AOD, Lynch, Brothers Past, U-Melt, Toubab Krewe, The Slip, Trey, Tea Leaf Green, The Avett Brothers, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Little Feat, Blue Oyster Cult, Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Gomez, Perpetual Groove, Lotus, Rose Hill Drive, RatDog, and many, many more. *ANNABEL LUKINS (JAM CRUISE, LANGERADO, BONNAROO) *
_What will you remember most about 2006? _
I became a home owner in Boulder, CO, my boyfriend moved in with me, and we got a
HOT TUB!

_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _
The New Mastersounds. These British boys got the funk, almost as if they invented it. And they are all cute as buttons to boot!
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
Ive got to go with three here: Gomez at the Fox in Boulder, just about as perfect of a show as you can get and I am head over heels for their music and their vibe. The Brain Damaged Eggmen on Jam Cruise 4, their entire show of Beatles/Pink Floyd covers ruled but singing the Na Na Na’s of Hey Jude on stage in front of 2,000 music lovers in the middle of the ocean was pretty darn spiritual. And saving the best for last: Red Hot Chili Peppers, side stage at Lollapalooza, I think I sang every word and jumped as high as Flea.
_What album comes up most often in your iTunes? _
Not only does The Secret Machines Ten Silver Drops quite often get played on
repeat but I think they define cool. Best driving music and seriously should be considered the masters of cutting edge/modern funk: OO Soul- Solid Sounds of the Eight Piece Brotherhood. (THAT IS DOUBLE OH SOUL FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO PRONOUNCE IT). They are funks best kept secret and although they contacted me wanting to break into the Jamband scene, they still are stuck in Long Beach, California playing to fortunate ones on weekends only.
TOMMY RAMONE (UNCLE MONK, THE RAMONES)

_What will you remember most about 2006? _ Spending two weeks in Nashville at the Americana and Bluegrass Festivals.

_Which band is the band to see in 2007? _ TV On The Radio.
_What was your favorite show of 2006? _ The Forge Mountain Diggers and The Wilders at the IBMA Festival in Nashville.
_What album comes up most often in your iTunes? _ The new Johnny Cash Box Set.

JONATHAN SCHWARTZ (RELIX, SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO)
_What will you remember most about 2006? _
Tough question. Maybe the hundreds of kayusha rockets bombarding Northern Israel day and night. Either that, or the Democrats regaining the Senatefor the first time in what feels like a century.
_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _
Jonah Smith. I’m biased, but for good reason! There is no tighter band with this much soul touring today.
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
The Trey, Phil, and Medeski night show during Vegoose had some serious moments of transcendence. What it transcended, I can’t quite verbalize, but it left its mark on me.
_What album comes up most often in your iTunes? _
Baby Loves Jazz. Have you heard this stuff yet? It’s a new series of jazz albums made for kids, but they totally groove. Sure beats the hell out of listening to Raffi 24/7. My daughter is currently hooked on Ella Elephant.
STEVE MOLITZ (PARTICLE)

_What will you remember most about 2006? _ I’ll probably remember 2006 as a year of growth and inspiration. It’s been so refreshing to see bands, friends, fans and artists in general pushing themselves to reach new heights creatively. Inspiration usually comes in waves…and it just seems that this was a year when innovative ideas, passion, and drive intersected for a lot of people. On a personal level, I’ve been challenging myself recently to write music outside of my comfort zone, and it’s amazing what buried treasures you might find once you start to dig…especially if you’re willing to take risks.

_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _ Boombox. Their record, Visions of a Backbeat, is a beautiful mix of addictive, danceable beats and a real smooth, chill out feel. Check it out at cdbaby.com/cd/boombox…enjoy…
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
That’s tough. I’ve seen some pretty good comedy recently. A few comics to check out might be Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Doug Stanhope, Pablo Fransisco, Nick Thune, Todd Barry, or Zach Galifianakis. Or listen to Bill Hicks/Mitch Hedberg on CD. As far as music…Vegoose as a whole was an amazing experience and I thought that all of the artists really brought their A-game and rose to the occasion. Sets that stand out are G Love, J5, and Phil & Trey.
_What album appeared most often in your itunes? _
Mickey Avalon. His self-titled release hasn’t left my CD player since I got it. Check out MickeyAvalon.com to learn more about him. I’m not sure if the record went national yet, but hunt it down if you can. It’s the kind of record you start to learn every word to on the first listen…Happy New Year! See you in 2007…
JASON CROSBY (THE ROBERT RANDOLPH FAMILY BAND)

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
The Mets playoff run and the release of Colorblind all came around the same time. We were gigging, doing press, and I was trying to catch as many games as I could. Game 7 was heartbreaking.
_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _
We have had a bunch of great artists open for us in the past year, like Ryan Shaw who played with us in the Southeast. There is also a big buzz around Tea Leaf Green.
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
We opened for Trey Anastasio at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas during Vegoose and he asked me to come play onstage with him. I was a huge Phish fan in high school and have been close friends with [Anastasios drummer] Jeff Sipe. We used to play together with Susan Tedeschi and in Project Z.
_What album appeared most often in your iTunes? _
I have been listening to a lot of Beck recently. I just love the way he combines modern hip beats with more real music. His dad, David Campbell, also does this amazing string arrangements on Where Its At? *KELLER WILLIAMS *

_What will you remember most about 2006? _
I would think the whole String Cheese/Bob Weir tour.
_Who will be the band to see in 2007? _
Ill say WMDs…For real though lets go with Toubab Krewe. {Site Editors speculative note: It is quite possible that the WMDs are a band that Keller will assemble for a series of gigs later this year. For a bit more read the Keller feature in the current issue of Relix].
_What was your favorite show in 2006? _
Red Rocks always pops into my mind.
_What album appeared most often in your iTunes? _
I would say Return of the Candyman, Charlie Hunter. I think Ive told you that before too. I remember pacing around on the back poirch of my old house saying those words.
Senior Editor Mike Greenhaus stores his typos at www.greenhauseffect.com. As always, special thanks to Randy Ray for his extra eyes and critical ear.

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