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Published: 2015/01/12
by Sam D'Arcangelo

Auld Lang Syne Set 1: Joel Cummins, Jesse Miller, Jefff Mattson, Dave Bruzza, Rob Compa

JESSE MILLER – LOTUS

What will you remember most about 2014?

Writing, recording, mixing. Building, rebuilding, patching my modular synth. Putting together and performing our two Talking Heads Deconstructed sets.

What album or albums have you listened to the most this past year?

Spoon – They Want My Soul
Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal

What was your favorite show of 2014?

My own: Lotus at Red Rocks 9/19/2014.

Others: Caribou at Union Transfer 11/13/14, Dawn of MIDI at Johnny Brenda’s 9/29/14.

What emerging band or artists should our readers watch out for in 2015?

Vulfpeck

Any big plans for 2015?

A big Lotus tour starting in January. A new Lotus album. Making as much music as I can.

DAVE BRUZZAGREENSKY BLUEGRASS

What will you remember most about 2014?

I think the show we did in Las Vegas when we all wore Elvis costumes. That was a pretty memorable moment for me.

What album or albums have you listened to the most this past year?

I love Beck’s album Morning Phase ! It’s a weekly listen for me.

What was your favorite show of 2014?

Well as far as my own band there were a lot this year, too many to name. But The Infamous Stringdusters at The Northwest String Summit this year was amazing! The best show I’ve ever seen them play.

What emerging band or artists should our readers watch out for in 2015?

So many great bands out there that I want to name, but there are two bands out on the road with amazing songs and killer harmonies and one is Fruition. I’m sure lots of you have heard the name, if you haven’t seen them, do it! The other is The Tumbleweed Wanderers. Both of these bands have been on the road with Greensky, and those were two great tours!

Any big plans for 2015?

Hugetime plans for Greensky Bluegrass, I guess you’ll have to keep in touch with us and find out.

JEFF MATTSONDARK STAR ORCHESTRA

What will you remember most about 2014?

J: 2014 was the year the Donna Jean Godchaux Band w/Jeff Mattson finally released our album, Back Around. We took our time making this album and as a result we made something we are really proud of and feel represents us well. We got the Muscle Shoals soul vibe, nicely wrapped up with the San Francisco psychedelic vibe, which is what we hoped to do. This also was the year of our “new” bass player, Skip Vangelas in Dark Star Orchestra. His excellent playing and infectious energy has really pushed us to a higher level of music.

What album or albums have you listened to the most this past year?

This is the year I discovered Calexico, the band. They’ve been out there for a long time, but I am just going back and discovering their records. I am also loving the complete Basement Tapes box set of Dylan and the Band. I got my Pono player now and will begin to fill it up with the good stuff!

What was your favorite show of 2014?

I just saw Los Lobos last night at the City Winery in Manhattan and they killed it with an acoustic set of traditional Mexican folk music and a hard-rocking electric set that featured a sit in by Marc Ribot that was over the top. I also loved the Wilco show at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. Those guys are getting like the Dead in that they can go a week without repeating any tunes!

What emerging band or artists should our readers watch out for in 2015?

My newest project is Mattson/Barraco & Friends, that features Rob Barraco, Skip Vangelis and myself from Dark Star Orchestra, and Rob’s son, Tom Barraco on drums. This band gives us a chance to play a whole variety of music, including each individual member’s original songs. We just did three shows and we had a fantastic time. Other than that, I think that based on the one album I have heard, Lake Street Dive are going to have a big year.

Any big plans for 2015?

I am really excited that once again Dark Star Orchestra will be doing the Jam in the Sand III in Negril, Jamaica, also including the David Nelson Band and Keller Williams in several configurations. I think there will be some serious jamming going on! Can’t tell you a whole lot about the Dark Star Jubilee in Legend Valley, OH on Memorial Day Weekend yet, but that is going to be incredible too and we are really psyched to be returning there.

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