Dave Matthews, Fat Mama, and Taylor Hicks Hit New York For Green Apple
The New York edition of the Green Apple Music & Arts festival boasted marquee acts from three very different genres: Wetlands alumnus-turned-pop-icon Dave Matthews, onetime struggling grassroots harmonica player and current American Idol star Taylor Hicks, and reigning kids champ Laurie Berkner. The latter show took place in Central Park and drew a capacity crowd of 15,000 fans. After Berkners performance, the Baby Loves Disco party spun tot tunes for those in attendance. For his part, Matthews played to a capacity crowd at Radio City Music Hall with longtime side guitarist Tim Reynolds and previewed his new song Corn Bread (which will likely be featured on the forthcoming Dave Matthews Band album). In a rare move, Matthews showed off his piano chops on the long-shelved Stand Up number Out of My Hands.
[Green Apple] is something I wanted to do, Hicks tells Relix/Jambands.com. When I heard about this I hopped onboard. I think it makes sense. I think signs [of global warming] are out there. I think the climate is changing, personally. Its interesting. But living in Alabama and dealing hurricanes, youre definitely aware of it. On the bus, we keep our plastics together. We try to recycle on the bus as much as possible.
In addition to Berkners Central Park show, a number of other free performances took place outside New Yorks Grand Central Terminal. Friday featured spots by Gandalf Murphy, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Ozomatli, and Jon Anderson, who led The Paul Green School of Rock through a set of Yes covers. Saturday featured performances by Zero, State Radio, and Assembly of Dust. Both shows also featured a green vending village, which helped spread Green Apples Earth Day message.
Throughout the weekend Green Apple helped curate over 20 other shows throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the neighboring town of Teaneck, NJ. The weekends lineup appealed to a number of different music demographics, including singer/songwriter fans (Edwin McCain, Mason Jennings), roots-music aficionados (Junior Brown, John Mayall), indie rockers (Jesse Malin, Jonny Lives) and jamband fans (RAQ, Particle). Particle headlined the Bowery Ballroom on Friday and brought along special guest opener, Jerry Joseph. The guitarist joined Particle twice during its set, lending his considerable guitar skills to both Six Long Weeks and Silver Lining. RAQ brought along a well-known support act, Jon Fishman, who performed with the offensive comedy-rock group Touchpants.
In the bluegrass corner, Hot Buttered Rum played Rebel and invited ukulele ace and fellow Green Apple performer Jake Shimabukuro out for Sweet Honey Fountain, 3.2, Return Some Day and Guns Or Butter. Popular Phish cover band Phix played late night Saturday at BB King Blues club, where guitarist Paul Murin was seen sporting a Relix shirt onstage. A night later, the cover band ran through a complete version of Phishs lauded Gamehendge rock opera at Philadelphias Grape Street. A number of childrens performances also took place throughout the city, including an appearance by Tom Chapin at Symphony Space, a set by the Funk Monkeys at Mailor, and a pool set by Life Aquatic at the 14th St. Y.
New Yorks Green Apple festivities closed with a reunion performance by seminal jazz”/jamband Fat Mama at the Knitting Factory”:http://www.myspace.com/fatmama7. Not only did Fat Mama frequently perform at Green Apple founder Pete Shapiros former club Wetlands, but the group took home the New Groove award at the inaugural Jammys. Though the Boulder-bred group last performed in 2000, members of the septet remain busy: drummer Joe Russo is one-half of the Benevento/Russo Duo, guitarist Jonathan Goldberger scores films, vibes player Kevin Kendricks divided his time between A Big Yesand a small no, American Babies, and Electron, and keyboardist Erik Deutsch plays in the Charlie Hunter Trio. For this performance, however, the group focused on Fat Mama standards, which cast the group in a decidedly jazzy context. The group also ran through a new composition, Simple Song and brought out occasional Boulder collaborator Sonya Vallet (who appears on the groups 1999 release Loadstar). For more information please visit www.greenapplefestival.com .