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Published: 2016/03/10
by Heath Clayton

Phil and Friends, Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV- 2/26

Photos by Paul Citone

Phil and Friends took the stage for night two of their two night run, at The Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. Along with his announced friends joining him this evening, there were a few surprises. The first of these was the talented Nicki Bluhm. She helped Phil get the first set moving with “Cassidy” and a wonderful rendition of “Bird Song.” John Kadlecik’s solos in “Cassidy”, and Boyd Tinsley’s solo in “Bird Song” were picture perfect. As the crowd was grooving to the first set, the faint chords of “Uncle John’s Band” started to creep up in the background. The song took quite the turn, with a great jam that showed us, once again, how John Molo is able to hold it all down and then bring everyone back together at the end. You could tell that Phil and the band were having fun as they made their way into The Allman Brothers’ “Blue Sky”, with Phil’s son Grahame and Alex Koford singing and showcasing the talented Jason Crosby and Stanley Jordan. The end of the set welcomed two more friends, Andy Hall and Andy Falco, (of The Infamous Stringdusters), to play “Cumberland Blues,” a highlight of the weekend, with eleven musicians up on stage.

After set break, we were treated to a solid “Golden Road” with Grahame once again on vocals, and John Kadlecik laying down a great lead solo. Jason Crosby got everyone on the same page and took off into “Viola Lee Blues.” Jason, Boyd, and Stanley all played well off of each other as they traded solos, and welcomed back Andy Hall to round out the tune. After a short pause, Kadlecik took us into “Shakedown St.” followed by Nicki Bluhm stepping back in, on lead vocals, and belting out a Janis Joplin favorite, “Me and Bobby McGee.”

Andy Falco and Andy Hall then returned for a fun “Playing in the Band” which led into a great “Dark Star”. The crowd was feeling the psychedelic riffs that Stanley Jordan was playing with, and left us all wondering what direction the band was going to go next. Phil then brought a spacey “Dark Star” jam to an end by stepping up on vocals for “Unbroken Chain.” From here Stanley Jordan wowed listeners with his instrumental rendition of The Beatles’ “Yesterday.” Stanley had quite a few instrumentals the previous night and this was the icing on the cake for him this weekend. This led us into a strong set two closer of “I Know You Rider.”

When it was finally time to wrap this all up, Nicky graced the stage one last time with Phil and for a wonderful “Amazing Grace” encore. To cap off night two of this weekend run, all ten musicians joined Phil for a rock solid “Box of Rain” to close this incredible run.

I know Phil doesn’t travel much outside of San Francisco and New York these days, but Phil and Friends, in Las Vegas, has already become a very welcome tradition.

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