Tea Leaf Green, Great American Music Hall, San Francisco- 5/3
Fog City – Friday night, May 3rd, the night beckoned fresh live music. A
piece of seaweed caught in a rising tide moved with increased motion as
waves crashed upon ocean rocks. At the same time San Francisco's jam
denizen's groove amplified in tandem with each band's rhythm; finally raging
with Tea Leaf Green.
In their sold out headlining performance at the Great American
Music Hall Tea Leaf Green carved their own niche and sculpted their own
sound. But first, Ten Mile Tide and Shady Lady opened.
Shady Lady, an average bar band, played familiar rhythms and non-remarkable
riffs. Moments of creativity where shown by their flutist/saxophone player. Most in the early audience showed polite attention as the band
methodically played their set. Unfortunately, by the end of their allotted
time, the lead female singer's pleasant voice became secondary to her
red, sequined tube top which kept its own beat.
After a decent beer break, Ten Mile Tide quickly adapted the stage to their
needs and began to party with the growing crowd. Guitarists, Jason and
Justin Munning are identical twins who, when watching them play lead and
rhythm together, definitely seem to be able to read each other's minds.
Their childhood friends, Bryan Jayne on bass and Shane Wittstruck on vocals
increase the depth to which this band communicates with each other on stage. Steve Kessler, a classically trained violinist and Justin's roommate from
college, puts fiddling flavor to the band's original music. Marc Mazzoni,
born playing the piano and Jason's roommate from college, adds his special
blend of keyboard work to the band's very grooving Irish tinged
bluegrass-southern rock jam mix. Brooks Dubose is the newest band member
and his drums are a smooth fit for Ten Mile Tide's kinetic music. Ten Mile
Tide played their original music hard (fused textures of American beat rock,
Irish funk and Charlie Daniels' blues) while the audience danced. They
closed their very upbeat set with a leprechaun dancing the jig and tossing
lucky gold coins into the crowd.
It was talent, not luck, that predominated when Tea Leaf Green took complete command of the
stage and venue. Launching with "Freedom" the band was immediately in their all original
sunshine-jamrock-soul groove. The audience thrust themselves into the
riptide of Joshua Clark's confident guitar riffs and Trevor Garrod's
ecstatic keys. Benjamin Chamber's bass playing charisma and thick back beat
encouraged everyone to go deeper into the groove. "Sex in the 70's" surfed
into "Papa's In The Backroom" segueing to "Can You Guess It". All anyone
could do was try to either hold a beat with Scott Rager's ambitious drums or
stand in wonderment while the band's music crashed waves of cool
Cali-grooving music all around us. They picked the set back up with, "The
Hands of Invisible Organic Forces," "Gasaholic," "Jubilee," "Mosquito,"
"Ride Together," "Planet Of Green," "Country Seduction," "Warmup," and
"Beehive". The crowd roared and the band raged. Screaming for more, the
band satiated the crowd with an encore of "Hot Dog" and "Baseball Jam".
Indigenous to the Bay Area, their music is reflective of the land. They are
progressive frontier musicians spirited with penetrating harmonic insight
and brilliant talent. This band rocks.