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Published: 2008/01/30
by Mike Greenhaus

Auld Lang Syne Encore: Page McConnell, Dave Schools, Billy Martin, Vince Herman, Buddy Cage, Brian Stoltz, Patterson Hood and Other Friends

Now that 2007 is officially over, I think I can safely say that, at least personally, it was a great year. I got to meet a lot of cool people, write about an interesting mix of bands and see enough show to safely ensure that Ill be wearing a hearing aid before Im 30. And, as in years past, one of my favorite assignments was asking a mixture of musicians, managers, promoters, writers and other colorful personalities a secular version of the Passover four questions. While each installment has produced a varied mix of responses, over the past few weeks its become apparent that certain bands are clearly on the verge (especially the Felice Brothers, the Heavy Pets, Dead Confederate and Donna Jean & the Tricksters) and others are on the verge of graduating from cult heroes to national sensations (let us here tip our hats to My Morning Jacket, perhaps the most universally praised band in this years edition of Auld Lang Syne).
Weve also relistened to some of 2007s most requested albums (from In Rainbows to From the Corner to the Block to Neon Bible to Page McConnell) and touched upon a number of other important issues facing the global community (not that the thought of a possible Phish reunion hasnt kept at least one neurotic journalist up all night on occasion). So, with that in mind, we say goodbye to 2007 by hearing from one final group of individuals who helped craft the years soundtrack, from Page McConnell to Patterson Hood to Dave Schools to Dr. Dog and Vince Herman. In case you missed them, take a look back at Set 1 and Set 2 and Set 3 and see you at year’s end. *PAGE MCCONNELL *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
Going out on tour around the country again. I hadnt done that in a few years. All the work that went along with putting out the record. Playing Carnegie Hall at the Elton John benefit in October. On a personal note, moving out of my studio and throwing away truckloads of crap that I didnt need anymore.
2)What band will take it to the next level in 2008?
I dont have any predictions about a band that will take it to the next level. I would like to see the Jacksons in 2008 if they go out on tour.
3) What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?
Fats Wallers Greatest Hits Legacy Recordings.
4) What was your favorite live performance from 2007?
Phoebe Snow. She came on right before me at the Elton John benefit. As far as my own tour, this was the first time this band had been out on the road. There was nice communication, nice rapport and there were certainly a lot of moments where we clicked with audiences in different places like D.C., Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland and Boulder. *ROBERT MERCURIO (GALACTIC) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
That we finally completed our album From the Corner to the Block. It was a long time in the making and a great relief to have finished it.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Mofro. I really think J.J. and the guys are finally getting the recognition that they have been deserving for years.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Last week in Tokyo (at the Club Quattro) 12/11/07—the place was so full of energy and they were hanging on every note. We had Chali 2na, Lyrics Born and Boots Riley we had the place go ape shit!) .

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Atmospheres You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having. *CHRIS THEBERGE (GROOVE COLLECTIVE) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
Enjoying the first year of my son Andrew Walker’s life on earth. Enjoying the last year of my Oluo’s (Teacher) life on earth, Araba Oduniyi Ifagbade, who passed on in Nigeria.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Aside from GC? :-) How about 3! Crazy James, Recluse and Dre Marciano!
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Of others: Bill Summers with Airto at RibFest this year
Of mine: Playing with my childhood drum hero Billy Cobbham at WOMAD in New Zealand
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
I can’t really name one — but I would say mostly a lot of Nigerian drumming, Puerto Rican and Cuban Music, Hip Hop and rough mixes of a project I am working on entitled Descendents of Rhythm Vol 1. *DREW HELLER (TOUBAB KREWE) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
The Sahara Desert. Tombouctou. Transitioning to America. Festivities from coast to coast. A blur of highway miles. Microwaved soup. The California coastline. Being in the studio. North Carolina. ’07 was fully rad, because, you know, seven ate nine. ’08, although eaten, should be more rad.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Asheville band Jar-E, led by Jon Reid, has a great new album out. Soulful and creative music.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and
why)?
January ’07. Our performance in Essakane, Mali, is one I will always remember. To share the stage with so many of our West African heroes was incredible. It was amazing to be playing, looking out over endless Saharan sand dunes, Tuareg peoples, Bambara peoples, Western peoples, all celebrating together.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD
Player)?
Keith Franks Live at Slim’s Y-Ki-Ki. Amazing Zydeco recorded in Appaloosa, Louisiana. I can’t stop listening to this record. Serious pocket. *DAVID LOTT (LICORICE) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
I would have to say my wedding; Ive at least learned to say that in the first year. That and recording Licorices first EP. So….big year, but I think my wedding take the cake…
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
I am always hoping the answer is Licorice, that we are constantly moving towards the next level, but I know as a fan of music there are probably a thousand bands thatll whip our butts to the finish line so I will go with the safe answer, Radiohead. Dont they always? If not, Flight of the Conchords surely will.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
I would have to say for me, personally, it was in Telluride, Colorado when Roy Hargrove jumped on stage with us. Still shocked. As a fan, I think my experiences in 07 vary from the arena rock of the Mars Volta/Chili Peppers show, to the Ween show I just saw, to the intensity of John McLaughlins recent touring outfit. Oh, and the Hal Prince Wedding band at my wedding…WHAT A BAND! Good year. I saw some good stuff!
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
iTunes says that The Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium, The Arcade Fires Neon Bible, Wes Montgomerys Full House and Wilcos Sky Blue Sky are tied for the 07 title. I will not admit the amount of plays per album (though it is one of my resolutions to come to grips with my daily music obsessions). *TOM HAMILTON (AMERICAN BABIES, BROTHERS PAST) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
Two words: Led FUCKING Zeppelin
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
I hate to be that asshole who talks about himself in these things but I truly feel that 2008 will be a wonderful year for American Babies. With a solidified line up and an undeniable chemistry, I’m pretty excited to see what we come up with when we re-enter the studio next year.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Chris Harford and the Band of Changes – 11.22.07 John and Peter’s New Hope, PA.
There are few things as exciting as seeing Chris Harford performing on his home turf on Thanksgiving.
First of all, there is Chris himself. On stage he brings the charisma of Elvis, the insanity and innocence of Daniel Johnston, and the lyrical weight of Neil Young. He commands his band and conducts the audience and there is no denying the awe that comes from witnessing such a spectacle.
Then there is the Band of Changes. Not just being a clever name, this line up is ever changing. But on Thanksgiving night each year it’s a pretty safe bet that you will find Joe Russo behind the drum kit and Scott Metzger and Mickey Melchiondo sharing guitar duties. This band absolutely manhandles Harford’s repertoire and has a visibly good time
doing it.
All of this is contagious and addictive and is exactly what every concert should be. You can bet your ass where I will be next Thanksgiving.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Bonnie Prince Billy – Ease Down the Road.
Buy this record immediately, turn down your bed, turn off your lights, light a candle. *VINCE HERMAN (LEFTOVER SALMON, GREAT AMERICAN TAXI) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
The thing I will remember most about 2007 is that our government did things I never thought they would have the audacity to pull on the American public, from selling public infrastructure, funding private armies, spying on citizens to rampant war profiteering, its been an awful year.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Great American Taxi will definitely take it up a notch!
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
My favorite live performance this year was the New Orleans social club at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. In particular, Henry Butler doing Indian Red. Henry’s singing and playing were mystical and the song brought the spirit of the Mardi Gras Indians to Telluridea couple of my favorite things brought together in that moment. Explosive!
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
The 78 I have listened to most often this year is of Bill Boyd and his cowboy ramblers doing, I Cant Tame Wild Women, but I can Make Tame Women Wild.’ *MARC ALLEN (MOVE MANAGEMENT) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
The birth of my first child, Lily Josephine will easily be the most memorable experience of my entire life. I will also remember 2007 as a year of continuous wonder, how did our country end up this far off course?
2) Name one band who will take it to the next level in 2008?
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. They are just unreal and contagious. Immediate impact. Another act that I expect people to be all over very soon are the Afternoons… and how could I not mention American Babies, Steel Train or Apollo Sunshine ;)
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Three that will stay with me for a long time:
Benevento/Russo Duo – 10/27/07 Late Night at the Mint. The Duo took me back to the Tap Bar days with a magical set of music that had many jaws on the floor
White Stripes at Bonnaroo – Jack White continues to do no wrong. They were the biggest, baddest rock group on the planet on that day. Big riffs, great songs, monster chops.
Hold Steady at the El Rey, 5/31/07 – Had been listening to their records for a couple of years, but this performance re-energized me in ways that no show had since 1996. Craig Finn and co. turned LA out and had the crowd hopping all night long (no small feat for the average LA concertgoer. By the time they got to ‘South Town Girls’ in the encore, the entire crowd was puddy in Finn’s hands. Also, the most impressive display of beer drinking by a frontman, as Finn downed no less than 10 Budweisers between the beginning and end of the first song of the encore.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Apollo Sunshines Mysteries from the Old Soul demos, Steel Trains Trampoline (work had me spinning those two records a ridiculous amount of times) and Black Kids Wizard of Ahhhs (listened to that EP so much in the last couple of months of the year). ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You’ is pure joy in 3 1/2 minutes. *PATRICK JORDAN (RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
The birth of my son Aidan Fletch Jordan and realizing my wife, Monica is a rock star on a completely different level than anything Ive ever seen.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Its hard to think that a band as simply amazing as My Morning Jacket can take it to a higher level but thats where my sights are set for pure rockitude (yeah I said it) in 2008. 3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
While Im continually amazed by our RLM roster in the live setting, in an effort to not seem like Im promoting my own, I will go outside the family and say Ghostland Observatory at the Bowery Ballroom. They were rock. They were dance. They were catchy. They brought one of Pink Floyds lasers. They rocked balls.
4 )In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
It was a late arrival so it certainly wasnt most played, but Weens La Cucaracha is definitely the album for 2007. *SCOTT RAGER (TEA LEAF GREEN) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
The end of an era for our band. The exit of Ben C. has to be the moment that won’t be forgotten this year.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Hopefully we will be the band to take it to the next level in ’08, or Fancy Ketchup.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
My favorite live performance was Bonnaroo. The sheer size of the audience makes it tough to top.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Brad Paisleys 5th Gear or Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Raising Sand. *DAVID DIAMOND (DONNA JEAN & THE TRICKSTERS) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
Year I got engaged.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
My Morning Jacket.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Performance wise, DJ&tT Independence Day shows at Nelson Ledges. The band was on!!!! As a spectator, Wilco at the Hammerstein Ballroom! 1st time I saw them. And they kicked my arse.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
The Bad Plus _ Give_. *JEFF LLOYD (THE HEAVY PETS) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
Langerado 2007. First, was how we got in-being voted into the festival via an online ballot. We were the audience pick, and that felt better to us then being booked by the promoters. Second, was how we got home. The night before the festival we had bought an airport shuttle bus from an Indian man named Smokey. It said Red Roof Inn all over the thing, but it had seating for 22 and we could stand up in it, unlike everything else we had been looking at. We piled up in it Friday morning and headed off to the festival, but it soon became clear that we had ourselves a lemon. The oil pump was busted and we had no oil pressure, but we had no choice but to push her all the way to the festival. After barely making it, and playing our set, we had to sneak an AAA flatbed into the grounds so as not to bother the festy people who hadn’t outright booked us anyway. While waiting for the tow truck, we met some great people, including Trey’s parentswho were very sympathetic to our plight, and hung with us for a bit telling us stories of early Phish car troubles. AAA finally arrived and towed the shuttle bus right back to Smokey, who, out of the goodness of his heart, returned the money we had paid for it, minus taxes and fees. It turned out to be a $500 one-way ride to the festival. 2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008? The Heavy Pets have dialed the next level into our GPS. After taking it to the hole in ’07, we decided that taking it to the next level would only be natural. 3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
We played 101 shows in ’07, and it is hard to distinguish one as a favorite. We added Jim Wuest (keyboards) in mid-January, so, for his sake, I will say it wasn’t one of the handful of shows that preceded that. Nights that stand out would be Nov 3rd at the Knitting Factory in NYC, and Nov 17th at Les Bon Temps Roule in New Orleans. The people were just wild and we really responded.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes
(or CD Player)?
Amy Winehouse-_Back to Black_ *DAVE SCHOOLS (WIDESPREAD PANIC) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
Wally Ingram’s triumphant battle with cancer.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Dead Confederate.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Dinosaur Jr. at 40 Watt Club Athens GA on 12-03-07.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Maserati-_Inventions For The New Season_.
Radiohead-_In Rainbows_. *BILLY MARTIN *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?

It is such a blur to me.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
I can tell you more about film than anything else. Miranda July is really talented and someone I have been watching for a while. So there is someone.
3 ) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Something I did with Calvin [Weston] at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn. Paul Auster read from this upcoming novel he is writing. What he did was read about 15 minutes into one of the parts of that book. Then Calvin and I came out and played and then Paul read again. It was a really cool way to watch him develop that story and Calvin and I improved and developed those ideas. The gig [MMW] did at Levons place was also great.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or
CD Player)?
The way I listen to music is so different. It is not like I am listing to the new band. Sometimes I find a whole other world and discover this Henry Mancini music or something. I cant really tell you if there is any current music I am listening too, besides childrens music [laughter] *PATTERSON HOOD (DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
Listening to The Clash with my daughter (Ava is nearly 3). She loved ‘Know Your Rights.’ Said, ‘Daddy, I like that song.’ I was so proud. Had busy year, as I co-produced and played (with DBT) on Bettye LaVette’s album, co-produced an album by Don Chambers and GOAT (great band here in Athens), and DBT made our new album which is essentially a double since it has 19 songs. Toured less than we have in a decade, but Im really happy with the shows we played, as I thought we broke a lot of new ground for ourselves.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Hell, hopefully us. I think our new album poises us to move into some places we’ve never been and we’re all ready and willing to go do it.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
My Morning Jacket completely blew the roof off the 40 Watt Club last winter. They dressed the place (and themselves) up like prom night and played an incredible show. Runner up was Wilco’s Austin City Limits taping and Bruce Springsteen in Chicago.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes?
Right now its a tie between the new Iron and Wine and the new Radiohead. Both are great albums. I’m still playing The Glands 2000 second album and Neko Case’s last one all the time too. *DAVID MARGULIES (HIGH SIERRA) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
The rise of oil prices, the decline of the U.S. dollar, the crumbing real estate market, the continual collapse of the old world record biz paradigm (thank god) and the beginning of the end of the American Empire.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Brett Dennen.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Thievery Corporationlate night, House of Blues, Las Vegas, October 26 because the diversity of the presentation (instrumentally and vocally) was as strong as the grooves.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes?
Tie.
Nathan Moore-_In His Own Worlds_
Tom Freund-_Hug Trees_ (best kids record I’ve heard in yearsand I’ve got a three year old). *BO CARPER (NEW MONSOON) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
From 2007, I will most remember making a New Monsoon studio record with John Cutler. It was an exceptional experience in many ways, and I learned a whole lot in the process.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
New Monsoon. This will be a breakthrough year for us. I also predict that Bay Area bands Hot Buttered Rum and Tea Leaf Green will have a very big year. They are poised for a big break.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
I have to say Umphrey’s McGee at Mountain Jam. We were scheduled to play right after them, so we were side stage watching the set. I’ve played many festivals with them but this performance was frightening. A storm was gathering, the crowd was electrified and the band was over the top. I also have to mention moe. at their event, Summer Camp. I think it was their closing set. I stood in the front by that giant sub-woofer that Rob comes out and stands on playing the bass. It was killing. They gave new meaning to the old phrase, ‘leave a pint of blood on the stage.’ It was unforgettable.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD
Player)?
Brett Dennen’s CD, So Much More. I’ve liked his music from the first time I heard him, when we were on a bill together, opening for Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Fillmore a few years ago. More recently, I saw him play with Dan Lebowitz and Steve Adams from ALO on guitar and bass. Since then, I’ve probably listened to that CD a hundred times. Its right up there with Nora Jones’ first record, in my book. Great singing, playing and writing. And a great sounding record. *REID GENAUER (ASSEMBLY OF DUST) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
How much of it I cant remember.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
The Nate Wilson Group.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Crossroads festivalunbelievable amount of talent on one stage. I loved seeing Derek Trucks playing with all the greats.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Bill Evans Riverside Profiles. *ETHAN SCHWARTZ (LANGERADO) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
Trey playing Langerado was a dream come true for me. Seeing him onstage with that shit-eating grin of his will stick in my mind for a long time to come.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
I really feel Perpetual Groove is poised to make the move. Their songwriting keeps getting better and better, their playing is tighter than its ever been before. Im just a real big fan of the band as musicians and especially as people. Theyre in it for the right reasons.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Explosions in the Sky were the one set at Langerado I turned my radio off and told everyone I was out of commission for the next hour.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Wilco – Sky Blue Sky, Radiohead-_OK Computer_, Beatles Love. *TOM MARSHALL (PHISH LYRICIST, AMFIBIAN) * 1)What will you remember most about 2007?

Amfibians Skip the Goodbyes was (finally) released!

2)What band will take it to the next level in 2008?

Phish?

3) What album appeared in your CD player or iTunes most often?

Midlake_The Trials of Van Occupanther_ (released late in 2006 I think though)

4) What was your favorite live performance from 2007?

Steely Dan at the Beacon in June — front row! *KEVIN MORRIS (SCI FIDELITY, MADISON HOUSE) *
1) What will you remember most about 2007?
The String Cheese shows at Red Rocks.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008? Secret Machines. 3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Tom Petty, Hamptons Social Club, the bus ride home was ridiculous. And the show was pretty good too.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Of late, Drive-By Truckers new one, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. It rules. *ERIC LANESE (EKOOSTIK HOOKAH) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?

ekoostik hookah’s tour in Alaska.

2) Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Rodrigo y Gabriela, although, if Led Zeppelin tours…......

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? Seeing the Who with Pino Palladino and Zak Starkey made it clear that a band can overcome major adversity and continue to kick ass. 4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)? The Jayhawks- Tomorrow the Green Grass. *DAN BERKOWITZ (CONSIDERITDAN) * 1)What will you remember most about 2007? The year I started my own business, Consideritdan. 2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008? Grimace Federation. 3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)? The Arcade Fire at Radio City. I haven’t gotten ‘that’ feeling in a really, really long time. A feeling that only Phish and the Biscuits have given me before. It’s indescribable. I had no idea who the Arcade Fire were, just that a lot of people that I respected loved them. I went in blind, and I saw the light!!!! 4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)? The Arcade Fire Funeral. *ICE CREAM MAN *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
2007 was a great year all around. The albums were amazing (Panda Bear, The National, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, ++++) and we were able to travel all over North America giving away over 50,000 free ice creams. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing but, what I’ll probably remember the most is giving away ice cream at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Craig and I spent all day there and met so many wonderful people. I can’t wait to get back in 2008 and spend another day there.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
I’m not so good at this ‘one’ thing. There’s too many bands I’m excited to hear and see in 2008. Radiohead always impresses me and I have a really good feeling they’ll be playing the States this summer. For newer/smaller bands, I’m excited for the new Breeders record, I want to see Does it Offend You, Yeah, and I’m hoping Quentin from Mazarin will be releasing some new tunes. Islands new music is great and I think they’ll have a great year and Ghostland Observatory will blow some minds. If Broken Social Scene puts out a Party record and gets the girls to tour with them, they’ll def breakout in 2008. O.K. I’ll stop now… could go on forever though….Fleet Foxes…..Speedo….Kid Sister…. 3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Another tough question because I’ve been very fortunate to hear (and see) so many great shows. Some stand out performances were Stevie Wonder, Bjork, MUSE, My Morning Jacket, and The Avett Brothers, Andrew Bird, Ghostland Observatory, Animal Collective, damn… there’s SO many. Seeing The Boredoms in Brooklyn on 7/7/07 with 77 drummers was probably the show I’ll remember the most because something like that will never happen again (unless 88 drummers for 8/8/08?)
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
For two years running, I think I’ve listened to The Avett Brothers more than any other band. Emotionalism is my most listened to album this year and I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s ‘that’ good or if it’s because it makes for the best traveling music I’ve found. *JEFF MATTSON (DONNA JEAN & THE TRICKSTERS, ZEN TRICKSTERS) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?

For me, the most memorable thing about 2007 was making our self-titled Donna Jean & the Tricksters debut album. It really brought the band together in a much deeper way and we got to see everybody’s individual strengths in greater focus in the studio. For example, Donna Jean’s complete mastery of the whole science of background vocals (that goes back to her Muscle Shoals days) was astonishing!
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?

While I would hesitate to call it a new band, I see a big comeback for Levon Helm on the horizon. On the heels of his new album, Dirt Farmer, I think he’s gonna be blowing folks’ minds. This man embodies Americana and no one deserves it more! 3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Two performances come to mind. One was a mind-blowing show by Wilco here in NYC at the Manhattan Center where they took the songs from Sky Blue Sky, and plenty of their other albums to a whole new level. The other was a show by the Richard Thompson Band in Taos, NM where he just burned on guitar while the moon rose behind him high into the desert sky.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Having just read Michelle Mercer’s biography of Wayne Shorter, I have gone back and immersed myself in the Miles Davis Quintet’s box set Live at the Plugged Nickel, 1965. This was the site of their famous anti-music experiments where they would each try to play the last thing that their fellow musicians would ever expect them to play. The results were surprisingly stunning. Also, Warren Zevon’s eponymously-titled second album keeps turning up on my MP3 player just by nature of the sheer brilliance of the songwriting. *RICHARD GEHR (_THE PHISH BOOK_, THE VILLAGE VOICE) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
It was a meltdown year for both the recording industry and subprime mortgage sector, with layoffs galore. Coincidence? Probably not.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
How about one performer? Skerik. I wouldn’t miss him in any configuration, but especially with his Syncopated Taint. The workingman’s Zorn has groove, chops, tunes, and ‘tude to spare.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Nik Bartsch’s Ronin, Joe’s Pub. I frequently contemplate moving to Zurich. Not just for the neutrality, although that would be nice, but also for proximity to pianist Nik Bartsch’s Monday-night residency at the Bazillus, where he’s been playing with his ‘Zen-funk’ quintet, Ronin, since 2004. Their amazing 2006 ECM album blew me away, as did their first New York appearance in July. The music is deep, low (the only other melodic instrument is a double-bass clarinet), complex, subtle, meditative, and dublike. Everything that sounds improvised isn’t; everything that doesn’t probably isn’t, either. Runner up: John Boutte, Delacorte Theater. The best singer in New Orleans brought most of us to tears with a set of songs evoking the levee failure and its ongoing tragic aftermath. He sang Neil Young (‘Southern Man’), Randy Newman (‘Louisiana 1927’), and Rogers and Hammerstein (‘You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught’) as well as anyone I’ve ever heard. More runners-up: Subra Guhra, Symphony Space; Young at Heart, Paris Bar; Stew, Delacorte Theater; Skerik/Benevento/Moore, Lion’s Den.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Gaudi & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Dub Qawwali (Six Degrees). *ANDY HURWITZ (ROPEADOPE) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
I think I will remember 2007 as the year I stopped remembering.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
The Disco Biscuits. Already at the next level, but (god willing) their new studio album sees the light of day in 2008 and the whole nation will be blown away
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Michael Franti, solo at the Ropeadope stage at All Good. Intimate gathering of 500 folks
who were blessed to find Michael come out by himself (and his band would later join him), while the sun set over the hills of West Virginia. It was one of those magical moments that brought everyone together, freezing time and reaffirming everyone’s beliefs in the power of music.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Same as last year – Keith Jarrett, Live at Koln. It’s how I start my day, every day. *BRIAN STOLTZ (PBS, FUNKY METERS) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
Two events come to mind. The first was having the good fortune to have spent January 14 to February 6 at the Kumbh Mela Festival in Allahabad, India. This spiritual festival draws millions of people. Holy men and women, saints and sages come out of their caves, forest dwellings and monasterys in the Himalayas for this auspicious occasion to give darshan and have satsang with pilgrims and seekers from all over the world. From India, men, women, young and old, children, families, faith healers, charlatans, spiritual renunciates and sadhus come by train, plane, automobile, taxi, bus, bicycle and on foot from as far as South India to the northern capitol in Uttar Pradesh State for this month long event and to take a cleansing dip in the Holy River Ganga. The Kumbh Mela Festival happens every 12 years. This particular festival in January 2007 was one of the in-between gatherings, known as a half- Kumbh Mela. Being a smaller festival, attendance was only around 30 million. I was there in 2001 for a Maha Kumbh Mela which happens every 144 years. This occurrence attracted 70 million seekers. Some reports were upward of 100 million. This was the largest convergence of humans in history.
The other event that remains vivid was playing a Mardi Gras Day Festival in Hollywood, Florida. It was called Fat Tuesday on Hollywood Beach. I just remember it being a day of great weather, great friends and playing a great set right before Allen Toussaint with my South Florida band, The Alligator Alley All-Stars. I went back there in late September and played that same stage with Porter Batiste Stoltz for the Hollywood Clambake. 2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008? Porter Batiste Stoltz 3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Johnny Winter in New Orleans one night last October. Since the early 70s, I have seen Johnny many times. New Orleans has been a stop on his touring schedule from the beginning. I used to hear him at a joint on the river called A Warehouse. Then he got bigger and started coming to the Municipal Auditorium. Whether it was a club or a theatre, Johnny always seemed to love New Orleans and it always showed in his performances. He would come out on stage with tremendous energy and just flat throw down! Seeing him a couple of months ago was a great experience. Of course he is now sitting down on stage, so that tall, lanky, albino, stick-figure stance, holding that big Gibson Firebird is no longer there. But his singing and playing were dead on. It was a mind-blowing performance! I swear I saw people there that I used to see at the Warehouse 30 years ago. I guess they might have seen me and said the same. 4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Its a tie between Tom Waits Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards and Dylans Modern Times. *ZACH MILLER (DR. DOG) *
1) We had a lot of memorable moments of 2007?
Staying at Justons moms friends cabin with the Teeth in Little Switzerland, NC, singing the National Anthem at a Phillies game, camping out and playing a pump organ under the Redwoods at Big Sur, touring with Wilco, cramming two bands worth of people and stuff into Bobby Bare, Jr.‘s van to finish our tour after our van took a shit in Chicago. Were in Australia right now and Im sure that will have to figure into the picture somewhere. 2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
I think were primed for a full-scale soul revival in 2008, courtesy of Dap Tone records. Cant wait. 3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
My favorite performance of ours would have to be the Philly TLA show at the end of our last tour. I never thought wed be headlining there, let alone selling it out. We had the Unity Community Universal African Dance Ensemble perform, who weve been talking about for a long time. It was the biggest show weve ever headlined, and in our hometown, so we were all a little worried about the show going in, but everything went off without a hitch. If you want to know about somebody elses performance, my girlfriend and I went to see the Philadelphia Orchestra do [Stravinskys] The Rite of Spring, which Ive never heard in concert before. It was incredible. You could hear every part so clearly and distinctly, which has never come across on any of the recordings I own. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the piece. 4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Seth Kauffman-_Research_ and Golden Boots Burning Brain, both labelmates both objectively awesome. *JOHN SKEHAN (RAILROAD EARTH) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
In 2007 we had our first opportunities to perform internationally. Early in the year we traveled to England for a few gigs and then went on to Glasgow, Scotland to perform at the Celtic Connections festival. This past summer we went to Japan for the Fuji Rock Festival. Both trips were unparalleled life experiences. Rarely does one feel so blessed as when you’ve traveled thousands of miles to play for people who have probably never heard of you, and most likely don’t know what the bloody hell you’re singing about, but still respond so enthusiastically that you know you’ve reached them with the music.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Greensky Bluegrassa young string band from Kalamazoo MI. They are all great pickers and singers, they write wonderful songs and offer up a refreshing take on the traditional, hard-driving bluegrass machine.

3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
The Friday night of Jam Cruise. Hot Buttered Rumwith members of Zero and Tea Leaf Greendid a ‘Sounds of San Francisco’ show. The band flawlessly executed some the most challenging pieces from the Dead’s catalog(Help on the Way and Slipknot! were tremendous)and their performance of ‘Ship of Fools’ couldn’t have been better suited to the occasion.

4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
The Pogues Rum, Sodomy & the Lash. Fair Warning: Repeated listening to this record may or may not lead to A) the purchase of an Irish Bouzouki, or B) a severe case of the Gout. *JACK ANTONOFF (STEEL TRAIN) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
A lot of poker.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Dr. Dog!!!
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?

Seeing Wicked on Broadway. Im dead serious. Most amazing thing evernext to Wilco.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
The Mountain Goats – Sunset Tree. *BUDDY CAGE (NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
The Summer of Love 40th Anniversary and John Dawson singing Portland Woman in Portland, the New Riders at Hornings Hideout. Thank you Yonder Mountain String Band for making this happen for all of us.

2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
I see what I experience: New Riders going to the International Space station this year!
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
A session I did for Boris Garcia on December 4, 2007. Tim Carbone of Railroad Earth.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Joni Mitchell-_Blue_. *CHRIS ZAHN (B.B. KING BLUES CLUB, HIGHLINE BALLROOM) *

1)What will you remember most about 2007?
Being invited by Dream Theater’s Drummer Mike Portnoy to sing backing vocals on their Systematic Chaos album. Also meeting Sly Stone backstage at BB King’sthat was pretty funky!
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Derek James.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Brian Johnson, lead singer of AC/DC, played 2 nights at BB King’s in July with his solo band and tore the house down playing over two hours of AC/DC classicsand then partying with them backstage after the showHangover From Hell!!!!!
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?

Swallow The Sun, Band Of Horses, Tool, Ticklah Vs. Axelrod, Lots of Johnny Cash and Neil Young.

*DINO ENGLISH (DARK STAR ORCHESTRA) *
1) What will you remember most about 2007?
To be honest, I will remember it as a turn around year for Dark Star Orchestra. DSO has just celebrated its ten year anniversary and since its conception the band has survived many pitfalls. The band has grown musically over the last year, learning new songs and discovering deeper jams. The fans have caught on that we are getting better all the time and therefore there are more people coming out to check us out. Believe it or not, 2007 is the first year the band has got out of debt while increasing our production by adding better sound reinforcement and new lights for the shows. Our demand has always been good but our tremendous overhead has always limited our growth to a certain extent. Under new management in 2007, we have been able to tackle some of these problems while adding production quality to the shows. We have also made progress towards decreasing the amount of shows played per year which I believe adds to the quality of each show making each night more special. We are coming up on our 1500th show in ten years. The Grateful Dead, one of the biggest touring bands of all time, did 2,500 shows in thirty years. You do the math.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Beside DSO, look out for a band called The Dysfunctional. They are a new band out of St. Louis which are made up of veteran players. Their experience has them writing great songs while building a nice repertoire. Their sound is kind of like a funky Radiohead. Because they are sounding so good, Ive taken them on as the first band Ive recorded and produced outside of my own original work. Their new album is coming along well and should be out the first half of 2008.
3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
Touring so much inhibits my ability to catch many live shows but there are a few I really enjoyed. Number one on my list is probably the Police. They were really on when I saw them on Stewart Copelands birthday in Cleveland. Weens St. Louis show at the Pageant was very enjoyable as was Govt Mules show. But I have to say, I caught Rush twice this year and Im amazed at how they continue to play so well and they are still being creative. I also caught Tool which was good and Genesis. Im a big fan of 70s Genesis and they are a big part of why I got into double drumming. I found their show to be moments of brilliance followed by a turd in the hand over and over. I really enjoyed their older material but I cant stomach their newer material.
Although I wasnt there, I saw an incredible performance by Jeff Beck from the Crossroads concert DVD. His band is amazing. If you havent checked out his bass player, Tal Wilkenfeld, go to YouTube right now and check out Jeff Becks performance of Cause Weve Ended as Lovers.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
Probably Ween – Chocolate and Cheese, Beck – Guero, Beastie Boys- Pauls Boutique, and John Coltrane- Live at the Village Vanguard. *WENDY LANTER (DONNA JEAN & THE TRICKSTERS) *
1)What will you remember most about 2007?
I will remember living my dream of touring the country for the first time with a bunch of people I love and respect as a professional musician. I will remember getting to meet and play with so many new friends, musicians I really admire that have influenced me all my life. I will remember this as the year my children became young adults, and the year I fell more in love with my husband of almost 18 years. This is the year that love and passion led me in all the right directions.
2)Name one band which will take it to the next level in 2008?
Donna Jean & the Tricksters! 3) What is your favorite live performance from the past twelve months (and why)?
For our band, I would say playing Sweetwater in Mill Valley. It was an honor to play there successfully with our band, an honor to have met Bob Weir and to have him sit in with us, and wonderful to share in the honor of being one of the last bands to grace the stage of a true musical landmark.
4) In the last year what album has appeared most often in your iTunes (or CD Player)?
A toss up between Keb’ Mo’, Alison Krauss and Aretha Franklin.
_Mike Greenhaus would like to thank Randy Ray for all his help throughout 2007 and especially his assistance with this project. Mikes frist thoughts from 2008 can be found at www.greenhauseffect.com _.

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