Feel the Noise – band schedule into the weekend
I know I’m probably going to get slapped for this, but it’s probably a good thing that the season only lasts for five months. Chances are, there’ll never be another stage in life where you pack so much into each day. High school: easy peazy. Career and mortgage: a breeze. Raising a family: simplicity itself.
Working out in the mountains on the other hand, where you have to juggle riding God’s good white bounty with sampling the many delights of the nocturnal hours, all the while trying to scrape the pennies together for life’s creature comforts like rent, food and utilities, it ain’t easy.
The nighttime aspect gets particularly interesting when we get treated to the sort of high-caliber music that’s been sailing through the valley. It’s been less ships and more of an armada passing in the night, but without all that silly guilt, shamefacedness and awkward conversations over coffee the next day.
They may love us and leave us, but we love them back, and this week the affair is sure to continue when hot young flashy upstarts mix it up with the graceful and the timeless elders. It’s the power of youth vs. the finely honed skills of the experienced. Look at you. You’re swooning already.
Tea Leaf Green serves up hot musical infusions
A complete lack of record deal and corporate backing seems to have helped Tea Leaf Green more than hindered it. Instead of big promotions and glitzy MTV videos, the TLG boys have toured relentlessly in search of a musical nirvana.
Ostensibly a rock band, the title covers a spectrum of innovation and musical talent that has been wowing crowds from the band’s original West Coast home all over the country.
That they should be playing in the warm confines of the Sandbar is a lucky opportunity for us to get close and share the experience and a situation that is expected to alter as soon as the word of mouth they are cruising on at the moment materializes into bigger, rowdier shows. Bassist The Weed has big ideas for TLG.
“People have been around for record deals and the like, but we weren’t ready just then and they never really happened,” The Weed said. “I think we’re going to concentrate on playing and building ourselves up slowly ” you know, start playing to 400-500 people.
But one day, I’d like to be playing huge venues ” 20,000 to 30,000.”
If the vibe is to be believed, then The Weed’s dreams may not be impossible to achieve.
Drew Emmitt Band reaps the harvest
Drew Emmitt can do no wrong. Founder of The Left Hand String Band, he went on to join forces with Vince Hermann, created Leftover Salmon and also plays and writes with his own band. Ridiculously gifted song writer, musician and vocalist, Emmitt will wow the streets of Vail and Check Point Charlie with bluegrass and newgrass ” too new, presumably, to have been allocated a color.
Drew Emmitt has paid his dues, but the love for the music and his way of life still shines through in his performances. It’s the perfect apres ski.
The Derek Trucks Band puts down roots
Labels like “prodigy” aren’t given out lightly, but that’s exactly what Derek Trucks is. While it’s dangerous to classify Trucks solely as a blues guitarist, it is what he’s most famed for and anyone who gets paid to play live at the youthful age of 11 is undoubtedly going to go far.
Although his music is multi-faceted, it is the rich musical and social backgrounds of his backing band who, adding decades of experience and talent, allow him to explore his considerable gifts. Papa Molly plays swamp funk in support.
Rockin’ Jake’s organ(ic) sounds
One imagines that Rockin’ Jake was born with a harmonica in his mouth, ready to tell the story of his conception and the highs and lows of being an embryo. The doctor’s perfunctory smack on the keister wouldn’t have dented his spirit and probably only added to his experience and eventual material.
A New Orleans’ denizen, Jake’s music resonates with its birthplace, from murky Mississippi-textured blues to bustling Mardi Gras rock.
Eric Lindell lays bare his soul
I don’t know if New Orleans smells really bad right now or whether we’re just really lucky, because band after musician after artist keep on rolling into the valley and I don’t think they’re here for the manhole cover earrings and “I love Vail” bumper stickers.
New Orleans’ loss is definitely our gain, and none more so than the inspiring music of Eric Lindell. Originally from California, he relocated to the south and found his true calling playing blues and folk. If a little of his West Coast surf and reggae roots creep in now and then, it serves only to accentuate his eclectic style and soulful vocalizations.
John McKay Band relates life’s tales
John McKay band likes to play music that it believes in. Unconcerned with image, a 25-year stint in the industry has given him a solid perspective on life. Retro rock and folk are the grounding from which JMB gently veers into world music and jam band style, and the sound is as deep and textured as John McKay’s own beard.
Frequinox gets down and dirty
It’s filthy to be precise ” the sort of dense, filthy funk you get when five standout musicians come together, look each other in the eye and start the beat. Funk legends Robert Walter, previously of Greyboy Allstars and 20th Congress on B3 Hammond organ, Stanton Moore of Galactic on drums, Robert Mercurio on of Galactic on bass, Will Bernard of 20th Congress and TJ Kirk on guitar and Donald Harrison of Headhunters on sax are some of the best in the business. These gentlemen don’t play instruments, they live them.
They become them. Their instruments are to them what the light saber is to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Eric Lindell opens, offering a second chance to see this emerging artist.
Sister Carol reaches out
Kingston-born Sister Carol is in New York preparing to return to Vail for the first time since 1995’s Sunsplash reggae tour. Succeeding in a music scene dominated by male artists, Sister Carol is both proud of her achievements and also aware of their importance,
“I’m trying to show other women that you can’t put limits on yourself.
We have brains. I have been representing the woman, musically, spiritually, socially and educationally,” she said. “If you decide something, you have to just go and do it. Don’t (keep) the bull crap out there from stopping you.”
Spirituality clearly runs through Sister Carol. She takes time to think over the questions before answering them in a strong Jamaican accent that shows no evidence of her teenage years spent in Brooklyn. Carol talked about what drives her to carry on.
“Just the inspiration that you’re alive and you can get up and go and do anything,” she said. “I’m appreciative of life, and I don’t take it for granted. I take pleasure in all three things musically “-playing live, recording in the studio and writing new songs ” but playing live is the best. The meeting and greeting of people, exchanging the energy with the audience and being in the company of all those different people … It’s very gratifying.”