Friday, May 20, 2011

4/1 Camp Barefoot 5 Hangover Relief Party: DJ Williams Projekt and The Mantras @ The Pour House, Raleigh, NC

     The next day after Papadosio in Greensboro, I peeled myself out of bed and began the couple-hour trek towards Raleigh and The Pour House for the Camp Barefoot Hangover Relief Party.  Camp Barefoot is an annual throw-down music and arts festival in Bartow, WV that features nationally touring acts in the jamscene as well as the best of the regional bands currently tearing through the east coast and mid-atlantic. Their "Hangover Relief Party" is an ongoing series of shows that continue the excitement of Camp Barefoot in the interim between festivals. They also showcase some of the bands that will be taking the stage at this year's festival!
     This night's party started with DJ Williams Projekt from Richmond, VA. I first crossed paths with "The Projekt" in 2007 at Camp Barefoot 2 in my early days of concert photography, and they continue to be a welcome show on the schedule.  They are soul, funk, jazz, and rock executed by uber-talented musicians.  And as always, I'm a ham for a good horns. You can check out live audio here from an earlier Hangover Relief Party in February at The Pour House! Be sure to give a listen to their cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up."
DJ Williams – Guitar & Vocals
Gordon Jones- Sax & Vocals
Dusty Simmons- Drums
Todd Herrington- Bass
Mark Ingraham- Trumpet & Vocals
Joey Ciucci- Keyboards

     With the party already in full swing, The Mantras took to the stage to continue the rage properly.  They bring ultra-high-energy progressive funk rock along with a loyal fan base in NC. First set highlights include a Mantras original "Soft News" that jammed in and out of "Tom Sawyer" by Rush. Also, a guest stage appearance by Bon Lozaga (GONGzilla, Tony Boxes) on guitar for "The Word" really set the crowd in motion. Lozaga would rejoin The Mantras during the encore, a 30+ minute melt-fest: "Pointing the Finger"> "Crosseyed and Painless" (Talking Heads)> "Jaberwocky"> "5 Roads". And in true Mantras fashion, they came back for a double encore of "Magillacuddy" that teased in and out of Peanuts-esque "Linus and Lucy" phrases (and a little "Cat Scratch Fever" too!); I'm sure Vince Guaraldi would be proud.  Be sure to listen to the audio here.
     With both the DJ Williams Projekt and The Mantras signed up to perform, Camp Barefoot 5 will live up to years past and go well beyond.  These phenomenal artists are just the "tip of the iceberg" in an incredible line-up. Get your tickets today, and I'll see you there!

PS. I need to give a huge shout out and thanks to Bear for his amazing lighting displays including this one.  You are an incredible artist sir, and without you the live experience and these photos would certainly be nowhere near the same. Thank You!



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

3/31 Papadosio, ESP and Modern Robot @ The Blind Tiger, Greensboro, NC

  Having had so much fun on my first trip to Greensboro and The Blind Tiger, it was a no-brainer to head back out west to see Papadosio with ESP and Modern Robot.
  The music began with Modern Robot, which is an improv duo of Ben Singer on keyboards and Kyle Poehling on drums.  The band plays shows to a chosen film from public domain (according to their website, "These are often ephemeral films: films created for sales reps, instructional films, industry films, and the like").  They record these one-of-a-kind improvisations, then re-marry their live audio with the film and post it to their website. Yes, very unique indeed.

  Next, Electric Soul Pandemic (ESP), a local Greensboro rock, funk group, took to the stage with a high-energy set. ESP has been tapping into the NC scene for a couple years now and are really starting to gel nicely as musicians. Always a fun set!
  • Jay Beverly (keyboards lead vocals)
  • Casey Cranford ( Saxophone)
  • Derek Cobb (Lead Guitar Vocals)
  • Randy Elliott ( guitar)
  • Scott Nichols ( Bass)
  • Ralphael Schiavone ( percussion )

  Papadosio is quickly making an impact nationally with their own brand of jamtronica fusion. Their music is highly infectious and danceable, and certainly makes it difficult for me to photograph: I just want to dance! Their touring schedule includes many east coast and midwest major festival dates, so be sure to catch them in a town near you. Really... this is a can't miss show.



Mike Healy | Drums
Rob McConnell | Bass/Vocal
Anthony Thogmartin | Guitar/Vocal/Keys/Programming
Billy Brouse | Keys
Sam Brouse | Keys

Oh Yeah... April Happened! And It Rocked!

  The month of April has been a fun tour of NC and it's jamscene that spanned from Greenville across the state to Asheville and back again.  And now, it's time I caught up on all the action and shared it here in the blogosphere for you to enjoy! We'll actually start in March with photos of Papadosio, ESP, and Modern Robot at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro on 3/31. Next will be the Camp Barefoot Hangover Relief Party on 4/1 at the Pour House in Raleigh featuring DJ Williams Projekt and The Mantras. We'll then move on to Greenville, where CinderCat tore it down at Sup Dogs in Greenville.  Then, things take another westward turn as we look at CinderCat opening up for East Coast Dirt at the Emerald Lounge in Asheville. And to finish off April, it's back east to Greenville to jig down with Holy Ghost Tent Revival and Uncle Mountain at the Tipsy Teapot in Greenville. PHEW! So stayed tuned for some photos, and maybe some words too, but as always... Enjoy!

LATER TODAY:  3/31  Papadosio, ESP and Modern Robot @ The Blind Tiger, Greensboro, NC

Friday, April 1, 2011

Greenstar Clothing and Relish Ink Present: CinderCat @ LIVE, Greenville, NC 3/25.... Homecoming Week Round 2

The return of CinderCat to their old home place in Greenville is something that has been constantly discussed since their relocation to Asheville in late Summer 2010.  With support from Lamont Coal and Sweetwater Haze, CinderCat sonically assaulted the rockers and ragers during a Friday night that won't soon be forgotten. "Master Mike" set up with some of his unique live artwork. Also in town were Relish Ink and Greenstar Clothing with eco-friendly designer t-shirts, original artwork and skate decks for sale!  Truly, a night to remember.
Sweetwater Haze, a southern rock band from here in Greenville, started things out musically with former drummer Cartwright Brandon (now with CinderCat) on the skins.  Following was Lamont Coal and his Ableton fueled dubstep mixes to get the crowd warmed up and moving.  Soon Cullen Seward joined on bass, and turned the jams to a funky, bass-driven dance dub. With the crowd really getting down, CinderCat joined Coal and Seward for an epic "Theremonius Funk" jam that I have trouble finding words to describe.  It was the summation of each musician's best: Lamont Coal's dance beats, with Seward's driving bass licks, Brandon's hyperactive percussive drumming, Taylor Hellhake on the haunting and mesmerizing Theremin (created as a precursor to radar by a Russian scientist in the early 1900's, and now produced by Moog), and Drew De Porter and Charlie Nimitz wailing on alternating soaring lead guitar licks. That jam... leaves me speechless still.
After a brief equipment break (and a catch my breath and find my face break), CinderCat took the stage again for two of their best sets yet to a packed house.The dark and driving "MJ" started the set, still my personal favorite, and led into another classic in "Saucerface."  A new song next, "Pink Sabbath," brought heavy, deep, fusion-funk and transitioned to "Between Dreams," which is an older tune from the score of a film directed by Hellhake.  The rocking first set ended with "Broke" and "Wildcat," one old and one new but even the old tunes have evolved into awesome trippy rides.
The legendary second set began with the newly named "Oddjob" that hits hard despite being one of the spacier, psychedelic CinderCat songs.  Next in the set was the new crowd-favorite "Zodiac" and a seemless transition to "Tish Wa." And finally, the most epic jam of the evening came last in the form of the CinderCat original "A1" and an amazingly, mind-blowing segue into a phenomenal version of "Robot Rock" by the masters of electronica, Daft Punk. The song describes well the line between electronica and rock that CinderCat straddles and demolishes.  As their sound is refined, it becomes clear that they are fully unique and that they seek to bridge the gap between funk, rock, and electronica.  With nights like Friday in Greenville, CinderCat is well on it's way to becoming a major player in the NC scene.

  • Cartwright Brandon - Drums
  • Drew De Porter - Guitar and Vocals
  • Taylor Hellhake - Bass and Theremin
  • Charlie Nimitz - Guitar 
Full gallery of Photos from CinderCat's return to Greenville.