Enough Lettuce to feed a family of four + more funk!

I’ve been on total funk overload (TFO, for those you like such things) for the past couple of days. It started with Will Bernard’s group at Nectar’s on Tuesday. That was just the beginning. The following night, Lettuce played a two hour long “evening with” show at Club Metronome.

Lettuce was super tight. Adam Deitch laid down the funky beats like nobody’s business. The highlight for me was Neal Evans on keys though. I’ve been listening to him for a while now and it was great to see the man at work. His organ sounds are so aggressive and catchy. I knew that this was only a preview of what was to follow on Thursday night at the Waterfront Funk Tent.

Gloomy weather couldn’t stop this city from getting its funk on. I parked at an undisclosed (but very free!) location up closer to Church St. (cause I’m a starving college student and I’m not really into the whole “pay money for a parking spot” thing) and hiked down to the waterfront. I was hearing thunder as I made my way down in the rain but my spirits were far from dampened.

I got to the tent and knew that the evening would be one to remember. The stage setup was solid and the lighting was phenomenal. Big Sam’s Funky Nation took the stage at 6pm on the dot, playing for just over an hour. Lettuce followed suit with a slightly longer set which, sadly, resembled the set from the previous night a bit too much. It was still quite enjoyable. Porter, Baptiste, Stoltz took the stage just after 9pm putting on a great show. If it were me, I would have programmed Lettuce as the headliner, just because their following seemed much stronger.

The music went from 6-11pm. The rain stopped sometime during the first set and allowed for people to comfortably walk outside the tent to get some fresh air and stretch their legs. I moved around throughout each of the sets, taking photos as I went and searching for decent sound.

Sadly, I never really found the perfect mix. I can’t imagine that the tent made a great space to run sound in and I can certainly sympathize with sound guys now, having run sound at a club for the past year. Still, I can’t help but think that things could have been made a bit better for each set. At times I wondered if the front of house sound guy just set the faders for the evening and left them until something started to feedback (which it did…). It was still, without a doubt, an awesome evening of music.

Big Sam

Big Sam's Funky Nation | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

Guitarist takes a solo | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

Guitarist takes a solo | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

Neal Evans takes a solo | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

Neal Evans takes a solo | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

Nigel Hall hypes the crowd | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

Nigel Hall hypes the crowd | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

George Porter lays down some funky lines | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

George Porter lays down some funky lines | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

Brian Stoltz | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

Brian Stoltz | Waterfront Funk Tent 6.11.09

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Chapter 2 kicks up the dust at Metronome

Eric Krasno, the guitarist of Soulive and Lettuce and various other projects, lead Chapter 2 on an evening of funk and soul at Club Metronome in downtown Burlington on Thursday night. The group put on quite a show. Louis Cato, the bass player, managed to steal the show with an incredible solo at one point during the night. Adam Deitch also deserves to be mentioned for some of the tightest and most interesting live drumming I’ve heard in a while. It seemed like he broke new ground with every song they played.

Looking forward to catching Krasno and Deitch together with Lettuce when they play during the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival

Chapter 2 | 5.28.09 Club Metronome - Burlington, VT

Chapter 2 | 5.28.09 Club Metronome - Burlington, VT

 

 


The Dirty Dozen shake things up at Higher Ground

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band of New Orleans, Louisiana tore the roof off of the Higher Ground Ballroom last night in South Burlington, VT despite a surprisingly low turnout. The septet laid down an infectious bed of New Orleans funk and groove that will not soon be forgotten

Though originally it seemed to be an odd pairing, the indie band Adam Ezra Group opened for the Dirty Dozen with a 50 minute set. Adam Ezra had performed a solo set at Higher Ground opening for Kaki King on 10.9.08. A few songs into their set, it became more clear as to why the group had been chosen to open. They performed a set full of vibes that reminded me of Rusted Root and other funky, more mainstream acts. At one point, Ezra mentioned that they had backed out of a gig in New Hampshire to come open for DDBB. The applause that followed ensured that they had made the right decision.

The rhythm section of the brass band took the stage just before 10pm and laid down a funky groove as the rest of the members walked on. The band didn’t let the music stop for more than a minute for the rest of the evening. Bass sousaphone player Julius McKee played some of funkiest bass lines throughout the night even though he remained atop a stool for the majority of the show.

Terence Higgins, the drummer, was easily the highlight of the evening for me. I’ve wanted to see him for years now and I enjoyed every minute of his performance. He is truly an example of a drummer with skills beyond belief who knows how to play tastefully. He would lay down a groove and then I’d catch little over-the-barline phrases with ghost notes and fills between his floor tom and snare. He only had a kick, snare and floor tom in his setup but he played it more impressively than a lot of 5-piece drummers I’ve seen lately. 

I’m definitely looking forward to concerts coming up in the next few weeks including the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. Eric Krasno & Chapter 2 are playing this Thursday at Club Metronome in Burlington. Adam Deitch is sure to bust out some funking drumming at that show!

 

Dirty Dozen Brass Band | Higher Ground Ballroom 5.23.09

Dirty Dozen Brass Band | Higher Ground Ballroom 5.23.09