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Published: 2008/12/15

The Latest in Retrospect: New Line-Ups, Releases and Sit-Ins

With more than 75 news stories posted on the site every two weeks, we understand that some of The Latest just flies by before you have a chance to read it. As a result, in response to the suggestion of a few site regulars, every fortnight, we're going to grab a story or two from the preceding two weeks and offer them up right here. Of course, feel free to look back at everything via our news archives.


Alfred Howard & the The K23 Orchestra to Play Their Final Show Friday

Alfred Howard & the The K23 Orchestra will play their final show this Friday. The group, which released its debut album in 2002, has shared the stage with a striking number of bands over the years, including Ozomatli, STS9, Jane’s Addiction, Robert Walter’s 20th Congress, Slightly Stoopid, Fishbone, the Living Legends, Digable Planets, Antibalas and John Brown’s Body, among many others. But, after Friday’s show, Howard will turn his attention away from music. “At 30, as a struggling artist, pouring out soul into an empty dive bar, waiting for the stools to learn to applaud, filling up a hundred dollar gas tank and getting paid peanuts, heartache and headache at the end of the night has become very tangible,” he wrote in a recent note to his fans. “There have been great shows in midst of slow nights, but those slow nights have taken their toll. These hard times are the large and leaden straw to break this camel’s back.”

“A million other memories are elusive now, but just as vivid at a different point of recollection,” he writes elsewhere. “The pillow I can rest on comfortably and forever, knowing that at least for a time, I lived that dream to the fullest, as a dream, before it fell into something else. Hopefully, we’ll see you next year at the O2 Arena or the Hampton Coliseum.”

The jazz/funk/soul collective’s final show will take place at San Diego’s Winston’s this Friday, December 5.


The Will Bernard Band featuring Andy Hess, John Medeski, and Stanton Moore

Will Bernard’s latest record features the guitarist in the studio setting with a number of celebrated players. John Medeski, Stanton Moore and Andy Hess all joined Bernard on Blue Plate Special, which Palmetto Records issued earlier this fall. While the four musicians initially did not come together to gig in support of the release, it appears that they finally will do so next March. The Will Bernard Band featuring Andy Hess, John Medeski, and Stanton Moore will cross the country for five shows. The group will stop in San Francisco (3/20, SF JAZZ Fest), Los Angeles (3.21, The Roxy), Denver (3/22, The Oriental) Boulder (3/23, Fox Theater) and New York City (3/26, Highline Ballroom) with additional details and ticket information to follow soon.

Mike Gordon Joins Max Creek

On Saturday night at Mill Street Brews in Southbridge MA, Max Creek performed as part of the Wormtown Trading Anniversary Show. Also on hand was Mike Gordon, a longtime fan of Creek, who has tapped the group’s Scott Murawski to join him in a number of projects, including Gordon’s current group. The Phish bassist stepped out at the beginning of set two, joining Max Creek for versions of "Cruel World" and "Columbus Stockade Blues."

Max Creek will return to Mill Street Brews later this month for a New Year’s Eve performance, while Murawski will rejoin Gordon for a four show tour that opens on December 27 in Providence, RI at Lupo’s.


Matt Butler Will Lend Percussion To Hot Buttered Rum

Yesterday we reported that Zac Matthews will be stepping away from Hot Buttered Rum. While the band has not yet announced if it intends to add any personnel on a permanent basis, HBR will draw in Matt Butler for many of its upcoming Midwest gigs. Butler (Everyone Orchestra) will contribute drums and percussion to a string of shows that begins on Thursday at the Majestic Theatre in Madison, WI. Hot Buttered Rum will tour the Midwest through December 13 and then head back to their Bay Area home base for the third annual Nat Keefe Concert Carnival at the Independent on Saturday December 20.

Jason Crosby Announces Departure From Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Jason Crosby joined Robert Randolph & The Family Band back in October 2003 after keyboardist John Ginty left the group. Now Crosby has announced that he will step away from the Family Band to focus on his solo career. He will appear with his group at New York City’s Sullivan Hall on December 18 with some additional steady area gigging targeted for the future. While Crosby intends to direct his energies on his solo efforts, he also has indicated that he may pick up some dates with the Blind Boys of Alabama as he has done on occasion over the past year


Steve Bernstein to Join My Morning Jacket on New Year’s Eve

Sex Mob slide trumpeter Steve Bernstein will perform with My Morning Jacket on New Year’s Eve. As previously reported, My Morning Jacket will ring in 2009 with an “evening with” performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “It is going to be a sequel to the continual New Year’s saga that we started in 2006-2007,” Jim James told earlier this year. “So that will be part two of our epic Oregon trial saga. We died and ascended to heaven on the stairway to heaven. Part two will start in heaven and continue onwards.”

My Morning Jacket is also expected to pay tribute to Led Zeppelin during the night. While the exact nature of his collaboration is still unknown, Bernstein will likely sit in with the group at various points throughout the night, much like Jeff Coffin did at Bonnaroo this past June.

In addition to his work with Sex Mob and Millennial Terrritory Orchestra, Bernstein has spent a good portion of the last year on the road with the Levon Helm Band. He will join the drummer for a Midnight Ramble this Saturday.


The Zigaboo Modeliste Birthday Bash

On Saturday December 27, Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste will celebrate his 60th birthday. The Meters founding drummer will appear at San Francisco’s Cafu Nord where he will be joined by a collection of Bay Area players. Some special guests are pledged for the evening and given the fact that Modeliste has gigged with such artists as Keith Richards and Dr. John over the years, while performers like the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest have sampled his beats, it should be quite an evening. Opening the show will be area musician Bhi Bhiman


The Grateful Dead’s Next ‘Road Trip’

The next installment in the Grateful Dead’s Road Trips series will focus on the group’s famed 1990 performances at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The Dead returned to MSG for a series of shows from September 14-20, 1990, just two months after the untimely death of storied keyboardist Brent Mydland. While still dealing with the loss of Mydland, the Grateful Dead hired former Tubes keyboardist Vince Welnick and quickly debuted its final lineup in Cleveland on September 7, 1990. Longtime friend Bruce Hornsby also offered his services and joined the group as an auxiliary member for nearly two years, beginning with the second night of the Grateful Dead’s Madison Square Garden run on September 15.

With Hornsby playing acoustic piano and accordion and Welnick on keyboards, the Grateful Dead was able to expand its sound and, at times, breakdown into a series of small combos. The meat of Road Trips Volume 2 Number 1 features highlights from the final two show from the Madison Square Garden run, September 19 and 20.

A bonus disc also documents the September 18 show from the Garden, including choice versions of "Foolish Heart," "Eyes of the World," the rare "To Lay Me Down" and "Picasso Moon." Road Trips Volume 2 Number 1 is a companion piece to the 1997 release Dick’s Picks Vol. 9, which features the Dead’s entire September 16 performance at the Garden.


The Disco Biscuits, Ryan Adams, Public Enemy, Death Cab For Cutie and Bad Brains Among Artists In Diverse Langerado Lineup

Langerado, which bills itself as "Florida’s Most Eclectic Music Festival," moves to Miami’s Bicentennial Park from March 6-8. This year’s installment will remained connected with its jamband roots, with appearances by The Disco Biscuits, Umphrey’s McGee, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Heavy Pets, Lotus and the Spam Allstars. However, the event certainly will expand its scope in 2009. The seventh annual Langerado Music Festival will include appearances by Death Cab For Cutie, Snoop Dogg, Thievery Corporation (Live), Slightly Stoopid, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Public Enemy, Dashboard Confessional, Matisyahu, George Clinton & Parliament / Funkadelic, Tortoise and Chromeo. Other participants include seminal hip-hop/punk hybrid Bad Brains, indie-royalty Broken Social Scene,country sensation Zac Brown Band, New Wave punks Against Me!, Daptone exports Budos Band, instrumental experimentalists Tortoise, reggae favorites Steel Pulse, English livetronica mainstays The Egg, rising electronic/dance star Girl Talk and Irish crossovers The Pogues.

This year’s festival will draw in a number of rising indie-rock bands, including Ra Ra Riot, Cold War Kids, Cloud Cult, Tigercity Holy F*ck, Black Kids, Tokyo Police Club and The Virgins. Other acts scheduled to appear include Flogging Molly, Cafe Tacuba, Pepper, The Faint, Gym Class Heroes, Tricky, Ozomatli, DeVotchKa, Grupo Fantasma, The Gaslight Anthem, King Khan and the Shrines, Lucero, Murs, Tortured Soul, Rebelution, K’Naan, The Aggrolites, Rachel Goodrich, Blue King Brown, Awesome New Republic, The Postmarks, Suenalo Sound System and Mute Math.

As previously reported, the multi-band event will take place at Miami’s Bicentennial Park from March 6-8. Previous festival headlines have included R.E.M., Beastie Boys, Phil Lesh & Friends, Widespread Panic, Ben Harper, Trey Anastasio, the Black Crowes, Cake and Wilco, among many others.


Bill Kreutzmann, Papa Mali, Matt Hubbard and James Hutchison on NYE in Hawaii

Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann has returned to more active duty over the past year. In addition to his performance at the Change Rocks benefit with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Warren Haynes and Jeff Chimenti, he has been gigging in the KBM trio with Oteil Burbridge and Scott Murawski. Kreutzmann is currently back in his home state of Hawaii and he will close out 2008 with shows on December 29 and December 31. The drummer will be joined by Papa Mali, Matt Hubbard (Willie Nelson) and James “Hutch” Hutchison (Bonnie Raitt) for gigs at Charley’s in Paia (Monday the 29th) and Voyage East at the Pauwela Cannery in Haiku (Wednesday the 31st).


Wakarusa Relocates to Arkansas

The 6th annual Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival will take place at Ozark, AR’s Mulberry Mountain from June 4-7. The lauded festival decided to leave its longtime home of Lawrence, KS after repeated issues of “profiling” against the festival hippie-leaning audience.

“You can say cowboys are cool and hippies drool, but not if you’re behind the state seal of Kansas,” promoter Brett Mosiman told a local paper earlier this year. “It is profiling, it is discrimination, it is like saying the black kids can’t use the pool.”

Tickets will be available from noon tomorrow, December 11, until December 31 for the extremely reasonable price of $79. Past Wakarusa headliners have included Widespread Panic, Ben Harper, String Cheese Incident, Wilco, the Flaming Lips, Gov’t Mule, John Mayer and Les Claypool. As previously reported, Wakarusa is also part of the new Festival Alliance.


Warren Haynes Welcomes John Paul Jones, Burbridge and Wilkenfeld, The Lee Boys and The Del McCoury Band To the Pre-Jam

Last evening the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam kicked into action with the Pre-Jam at Asheville, NC’s Orange Peel. The night opened with Haynes on acoustic for versions of "Listen to the Lions" and "Wasted Time" before he joined the Larry McCray Band for a few songs, including an invigorating "Broken Promises." The Lee Boy’s, fresh off an appearance on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, appeared next with Haynes also contributing to their set-closer, "Can You Feel It?" The Lee Boys returned to the stage a bit later, at the end of the Del McCoury Band set for "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "Let’s Celebrate." Following a brief animated performance by Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk (with Eric Krasno guesting at the close) Oteil Burbridge and Tal Wilkenfeld stepped up for a dual bass workout. Haynes then returned with John Paul Jones (who earlier had added mandolin to an instrumental with Del McCoury Band), as the pair delivered "Soulshine" and "Going to California"

The night concluded with a climatic set from Gov't Mule. The band initially performed with its current quartet, delivering "I'm a Ram," "Thorazine Shuffle" and "Beautifully Broken." The group then brought out a range of artists for its remaining tunes. "Lovelight" featured Burbridge, Ivan Neville, Ron Holloway and Col. Bruce Hampton. Holloway also contributed to "Sco-Mule" and "Get Out My Life Woman" with Wilkenfeld also appearing on the former tune and Krasno on the latter. John Paul Jones stepped out on bass for "I Can't Quit You Baby," while Audley Freed and Buddy Cage contributed to "Can't You See?" The night closed out with "Cortez the Killer" where Mike Barnes entered the fray as well.

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