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The Loop

Published: 2012/01/06

Today In History (1/06/04)

Today we look back to January 6, 2004…

Billy and Liza Join Crucial Reggae in Jam Cruise Tune Up

A number of shows took place this past weekend in Florida featuring performers preparing to embark on the Jam Cruise, which left the docks today. On Sunday at the Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale, Bill Nershi and Liza Oxnard opened for Peter Rowans Crucial Reggae. During the course of the evening, Oxnard and Jillian Nershi performed with Rowan and Co. on No Woman No Cry while Bill Nershi added lap steel guitar throughout the groups set. While much of this performance focussed on reggae, Rowan also encored with a solo version of his composition Midnight Moonlight.

The Former James T Kirk Releases Live Disc

TJ Kirk, which reunited at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco at the end of December, will release a live disc later this month. However Talking Only Makes It Worse is not drawn from these two shows but rather from a 1997 performance. TJ Kirk, originally called James T. Kirk before Universal Pictures which owns the rights to the Star Trek character asserted itself, features Charlie Hunter on 8-string, John Schott and Will Bernard on guitars and drummer Scott Amendola. The cover of Talking Only Makes It Worse presents images of James Brown, Thelonious Monk and Rahsaan Roland Kirk whose music the group covers.

John Langenstein Donates Phish Posters To Station Family Fund

Phish Director of Security John Langenstein has donated a number of Phish concert posters from his personal collection to an auction that will benefit the Station Family Fund. This nonprofit organization was founded to offer aid to those people directly affected by the fire at the Station nightclub in West Warwick, RI. In addition, the String Cheese Incident, with whom Langenstein also works, has donated On The Road CD packages and signed items to the auction which is taking place with the assistance of the Mimi Fishman Foundation. Bidding continues through January 25.

Rob Wasserman Touring With Particle

Rob Wasserman has signed on to open the southern run of Particle’s winter tour#. Wasserman will offer a solo bass performance at each gig beginning with Particle’s show at the Social in Orlando on February 2nd and onward through February 23rd. It is likely that Wasserman will perform with Particle at many of these dates just as he did during the band’s 3rd Anniversary show at Los Angeles El Ray Theater this past October 4. Particle boards the Jam Cruise today.

BONUS: Here’s a show review that ran on 1/6/04…

Gov’t Mule, 9:30 Club Washington, DC- 12/27

With the end of "Deep End" period of Gov't Mule's existence, marked by the marathon "Deepest End" concert at last year's JazzFest (and subsequent CD/DVD release), the band has embarked on its "Rebirth of the Mule" tour, with Andy Hess and Danny Lewis permanently joining the band and ending the revolving door of superstars on bass and keys that has marked the recent history of Warren Haynes and Matt Abts' existence as Gov't Mule.

Having paid tribute to the late Allen Woody over the last two years, small but poignant changes show that Haynes and Abts are fully committed to the band's future and have again begun to do things that make the most sense for the band as a band as they no longer have to worry about what fits best for the that night's musical lineup. For example, the group's previous logo, a circle with three horse heads in its interior, has been replaced by a square with four heads. Musically, as the second night of Gov't Mule's New Year's Run showed, having settled on a permanent lineup is allowing the band to extend jams and segue from song to song in an even stronger fashion than before, as well as helping the band to rediscover and re-appreciate music from its catalog.

An eager full house awaited the start of a rare two-night stand for a band at the 9:30 Club, and Mule did not disappoint with a powerful "Game Face">"Wandering Child" opener. This was followed by Mule's always compelling tribute to the Beatles, "She Said, She Said">"Tomorrow Never Knows" jam. This combination, in a nutshell, shows why Haynes is one of the most sought after performers today, as few can match his combination of vocal prowess and guitar virtuosity. With grittiness and soulfulness far beyond the song's original setting, Haynes' vocals soared during "She Said," once again bringing the more than three-decade-old song to an impassioned rebirth. In the subsequent jam, Haynes led the band to a forceful peak, all the while keeping one foot set in the song's original psychedelic feeling and the other in the power blues that is Gov't Mule. The arrangements of these songs also showed that one Mule's strengths – to take another band's song, remain true to the original but also make it something all its own – is not lost in this new lineup.

Moving next into "Tastes Like Wine," Lewis' keys maintained some of the psychedelic mood of the previous song with a spacey' backdrop not often associated with Mule and somewhat reminiscent in feeling to Ray Manzarek on "Riders on the Storm." Having made his first pronounced contribution of the night, Lewis remained prominent for most of the rest of the set, which included a number of Mule staples such as "Temporary Saint," the "Lively up yourself" jam, "I Shall Return", and "Pygmy Twylyte." Lewis' ability to adapt himself to the divergent musical styles of each song gave both Haynes and Abts greater room to work their own particular magic, leading to the set culminating in a commanding version of "Blind Man in the Dark."

The second set began with Mule again paying tribute to one of its progenitors, Robert Johnson, as Haynes slid into and throghout "If I had Possession of the Judgment Day." Abts and Hess were next into the spotlight as they led throughout "Mr. Big"> "Trane">drums and bass>"Trane">"Banks of the Deep End." This was the first time of the night where Hess came to the fore. Broadly speaking, the style of most bassists can be placed into one of three general categories: melodic, percussive, or technical. Hess, however, having played regularly with stylistically diverse talents such as John Scofield and the Black Crowes, has strong elements of all three, and is therefore a perfect supporting member, able to adapt himself to whatever style is needed, a skill he showed throughout the night. After three of Mule's more recent songs, the second set ended with "Larger then Life">"Mule">"Who do you Love?">"Mule" and Haynes once again shredded through one powerful slide solo after another, bringing the music and the still almost full house to a frenzied crescendo. As if sensing the need to come down, Mule encored with a subdued "Raven Black Night." On this song, as it did throughout the night, Mule showed its music sensibility as, for example, Abts noticeably laid back from his usual forceful play to meet the mood of the music. Undoubtedly, as Gov't Mule goes through its latest, and hopefully last, reinvention, this night showed that it will continue to grow as a band. Both Haynes and Abts have grown as players over the last two years and now they now has the chance to appreciate the talents in its set lineup. Moreover, this stability will in turn allow them to re-appreciate and reinterpret its prior material, as well as develop their own sound for the future. Clearly, the continuing "Rebirth of the Mule" will be a show to catch in 2004.


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