Trichromes, Col. Bruce Hampton & The Code Talkers, House of Blues, Las Vegas, 6/30
On Sunday night — Vegas Deadheads got a treat at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. The Col. Bruce Hampton & the Code Talkers opened up for Billy Kreutzmann's new band, the Trichromes.
I had the opportunity to see the Col. Bruce and the Code Talkers at the Bonnaroo festival. They rock like the Allman Brothers and move like bluegrass. Throw in a solid rhythm section and there you have the ingredients for another fine jamband. Their lineup consists of Bruce Hampton who is alleged to be the Godfather of alternative Southern music (Hampton denies the charge, claiming he has chromosome test results which will prove his innocence). There have been reports of him coaxing other worldly sounds from his chazoid (an instrumental crossbreeding involving a mandolin, an electric guitar and some epoxy) while genuflecting before the bandstand in ways that enthrall his carefully chosen cohorts no less than their audience. The rest of The Code Talkers lineup includes guitarist and electric banjo player Bobby Lee Rodgers, who has toured with Jimmy Heath, played with McCoy Tyner, and every other living jazz legend on the planet. Drummer Tyler Greenwell throws down the rhythm and Sean Peterson holds it all together on the bass. They were only able to play a quick 45 minute set – ending their show with a rollicking "Lovelight" featuring the "Col." on both lead guitar and vocals.
The crowd had swelled to see good ol' Billy Kreutzmann bangin' on those skins again. The Trichromes feature Ralph Woodson (guitar, vocals) Mike DiPirro (bass) and Sy Klopps (vocals). They opened up the show with a song that Robert Hunter wrote with Neil Schon off their new self-title CD "Dice with the Universe." Next was a another new song called "Stop, Drop, and Roll". Other songs off their new album included the R. Hunter penned "Iowa Soldier" (The lyrics were transcribed by Hunter from a letter received from an American G.I. while in the middle of fierce artillery fire), and the haunting "Track 6." The Trichromes also played some covers. They did a great cover of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower", and the Dead's "Sugaree","Truckin", and "Fire on the Mountain." These guys are tight and had a blast playing for the Vegas faithful (or should I say Grateful). Being Sunday night they were forced to play a very short set. No encore. No arguments from me after getting out of the final show at Legends Lounge earlier that AM (7 am to be exact) from the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey – Motion for Alliance gig.