Thursday, April 17, 2014

TnJ 488 (4/17/14)


PARLIAMENT – P. Funk [Wants to Get Funked Up]  (1975 Mothership Connection)
EUFÓRQUESTRA – Fire  (2014 Fire)
BROKEN BELLS – After the Disco  (2014 After the Disco)
STRING CHEESE INCIDENT – Let’s Go Outside  (2014 Song in My Head)
G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE w/ SHAMARR ALLEN – Weekend Dance #2  (2014 Sugar)
GLEN DAVID ANDREWS w/ IVAN NEVILLE – Bad by Myself  (2014 Redemption)
COL. BRUCE HAMPTON – the Dots Go Where I Say They Go  (2014 Pharoah’s Kitchen)


PHIL LESH & FRIENDS – Bertha  (4/5/14 Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY)
TRAMPLED by TURTLES – New Orleans  (2013 Live at First Avenue, c. 2013 Minneapolis, MN)
BLACK LILLIES – Whiskey Angel  (2009 Whiskey Angel)
WARLOCKS – Dead Generation  (2014 Skull Worship)
STOCKHOLM SYNDROME – Ray of Heaven  (2009 Jam Cruise)
WIDESPREAD PANIC w/ ERIC McFADDEN – Red Hot Mama . Fixin’ to Die > Red Hot Mama  (6/22/11 Kit Carson Park, Taos, NM)

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

TnJ 487 (4/10/14)


ROBERT CRAY BAND – Nobody’s Fault but Mine  (2014 In My Soul)
CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD – Shore Power  (2014 Phosphorescent Harvest)
PHISH – Twist > Steam > Waves  (7/26/13 the Gorge Amphitheatre, George, WA)


LITTLE FEAT – Skin It Back > Fat Man in the Bathtub  (10/18/75 Auditorium Theater, Rochester, NY)
HERBIE HANCOCK TRIO w/ RON CARTER and TONY WILLIAMS – That Old Black Magic  (1982 Herbie Hancock Trio)
LEON RUSSELL – That Lucky Old Sun  (2014 Life Journey)
INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS – Peace of Mind  (2014 Let it Go)
CITIZEN COPE – Sideways  (2014 the Clarence Greenwood Recordings)
the NATIONAL – Humiliation  (2013 Trouble Will Find Me)
KI: THEORY – Stasis [Cubicolor remix]  (2014 Kitty Hawk [deluxe edition])
PRETTY LIGHTS – One Day They’ll Know [ODESZA remix]  (2013 a Color Map of the Sun [remixes])
TURKUAZ – Pickin’ Up [Where You Left Off]  (2014 Future 86)

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Monday, April 7, 2014


The Black Lillies were one of Toast-n-Jam's favorite 2013 live shows (and made the top 2013 albums list, too).  Just got word they're coming back around this month.  Don't miss 'em!

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

TnJ 486 (4/3/14)


RODRIGO y GABRIELA – the Soundmaker  (2014 9 Dead Alive)
NICKEL CREEK – Elephant in the Com  (2014 a Dotted Line)
SWEETWATER STRING BAND – Steam Engine  (2011 Sweetwater String Band)
the MAVERICKS – Come Unto Me  (2013 In Time)
REVEREND HORTON HEAT – Zombie Dumb  (2014 REV)
NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS – Goin’ to Brownsville  (2013 World Boogie Is Coming)
TERRY QUIETT BAND w/ “MISSISSIPPI” HAL REED – Come the Morning  (2014 Taking Sides)
GOV’T MULE w/ VICTOR WOOTEN and BERNIE WORRELL – Sco-Mule  (2003 the Deepest End DVD, 5/3/03 New Orleans, LA)


ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND – Mountain Jam  (1996 Fillmore East Feb 70)
JIMMY CLIFF – the Harder They Come  (1972 the Harder They Come OST)
DISCO BISCUITS – World Is Spinning  (2006 the Wind at Four to Fly)
MIKE MONTREY BAND – James and His Crooked Trail  (2013 Song by Song by Song)
moe. – Blond Hair and Blue Eyes  (2014 No Guts, No Glory)

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014



The 21st Telluride Blues & Brews Festival Announces Initial Artist Lineup
Violent Femmes, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, The Robert Cray Band and More Set To Perform

Telluride, CO (March 25, 2014) - Today, the 21st annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival released its first round of artists for the festival's eagerly awaited return to the legendary Town Park stage in Telluride, Colorado on September 12-14, 2014. Blues & Brews is excited to announce two out of three festival headliners, the Violent Femmes and George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. Blues & Brews is also thrilled to welcome back festival favorites Anders Osborne, Robert Cray, The Lee Boys, Black Joe Lewis, and Ryan McGarvey. Additional artists include the renownedLee Fields & the Expressions, Shakey Graves, Dumpstaphunk, and  Kipori Woods. Many more artists will be announced soon.
Telluride Blues & Brews 2014
"We are excited with the direction the festival is going this year," said Steve Gumble, Festival Director. "With many added amenities, including a second state-of-the-art stage featuring more bands, as well as a more diverse mix of music and entertainment - the 2014 festival could be our best yet!" 

The Violent Femmes, one of the most successful alternative rock bands of the 1980s, influenced by the disparate sounds of Velvet Underground, Sun Ra, Johnny Cash and Devo, offered the world a style of music that was at once obvious and obtuse, incredibly danceable and lyrically layered with innuendo and wry humor. Their first self-titled album, has sold millions of copies, reaching platinum status only eight years after its release. As the Femmes' only Colorado performance in 2014, their unprecedented appearance in Telluride is not to be missed!

Break out your funkiest costume and get ready to get your freak on for headliner George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. Booty-rockin', soul-funk tricksters, Parliament Funkadelic, and Supreme Executive of Funk, George Clinton will be bringing their glittery mayhem to Telluride. Known for memorable live performances and uniquely energized music, George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic has created a genre of its own renowned as - P-Funk.
Never straying too far from its blues roots, this year Telluride Blues & Brews will welcome The Robert Cray Band, with his straight-up house-rocking blues guitar mastery, for his third appearance on the lineup. Cray's modern counterpart, Austin-based blues-rock-soul guitarist Black Joe Lewis will also flex his prodigious and progressive blues guitar chops on the Main Stage. New Mexico's hottest blues guitarist, Ryan McGarvey, will be making his second appearance at the festival on the new, second stage, and New Orleans blues guitarist Kipori Woods will make a debut performance.

Blues & Brews is going deep into the cast of funk and soul players this year with Lee Fields & the Expressions, who have a catalogue ranging from James Brown-style funk to lo-fi blues to contemporary Southern soul to collaborations with French house DJ/producer Martin Solveig. Lee Fields has done it all. Dumpstaphunk will offer fans an unforgettable live experience steeped in the Big Easy tradition of a good time. The quintet will feature Ivan Neville on vocals, B3 and Clav, the double bass and soulful voices of Tony Hall and Nick Daniels III, Ian Neville on guitar, and the monster addition of Nikki Glaspie on drums and vocals.

Representing the modern rock landscape, find Austin's multi-instrumental retro-rocker one-man-band Shakey Graves. Funk and gospel band The Lee Boys and Telluride favorite Anders Osborne will also layer the lineup.

The Telluride Blues & Brews festival is revered as one of the most scenic and intimate music festivals in the country, tucked in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in the historic mining town of Telluride, Colorado. The three-day Blues & Brews celebration offers an eclectic mix of live blues, funk, jam bands, rock, gospel and soul performances - accompanied by some of the best microbreweries in the country. The newly added second stage will host diverse events including musicians, comedians, films, and Q&A artist discussions. Food and craft vendors, children's activities, on-site camping, and late night juke joint shows will also be featured.

Tickets for Three-Day passes, Juke Joint (late night shows) passes, and Camping passes are on sale now. Single day tickets will go on Sale June 15th.

For festival information or to purchase tickets visit To purchase tickets by phone, call toll-free at (866) 515-6166. Tickets are available locally at Telluride Music, located at 123 E. Colorado Ave, and at Wizard Entertainment, located at 126 East Colorado Avenue.

Telluride Blues and Brews is one of the most scenic and intimate music festivals in the country, a three day celebration of music and microbrews held every September in the world-famous resort town of Telluride, Colorado, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The 21st Annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival takes place September 12-14, 2014.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

TnJ 485 (3/27/11)

Nothing but super-epic jams this week - BOMBS AWAY!  (^_^)

This may be the first time I only had to bring 4 discs for a 2-hour show.  *w00t* (^_^) TOAST


ERIC CLAPTON and STEVE WINWOOD – Voodoo Chile  (2009 Live from Madison Square Garden, c. 2008)
moe. – Four > Rebubula  (2002 Warts & All, Volume Two, 2/23/02 the Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA)


LETTUCE w/ KARL DENSON – Hang Up Your Hang Ups  (1/6/11 Jam Cruise 9, Teatro Carlo Felice)
PHISH – 2001 > Run Like an Antelope > Sparks > Walk Away > Tinley Park Jam > Run Like an Antelope > Have Mercy > Run Like an Antelope > Mound  (2002 Live Phish 07, 8/14/93 World Music Theatre, Tinley Park, IL)

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

TnJ 484 (3/20/14)

Quite the festival featurette in the second half of this broadcast.  It occurs to me I could (nay, should) do a full Toast-n-Jam session on festivals of yore one of these days.  Meanwhile, roll up and enjoy (^_^) TOAST


STRING CHEESE INCIDENT – Song in My Head  (2014 Song in My Head)
CORNMEAL – It Ain’t Me  (2003 Tales from Magic Stone Mountain)
INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS – Winds of Change  (2014 Let It Go)
7HORSE (?) – a Friend in Weed  (?)
MIKE GORDON – Jumping  (2014 Overstep)
TAUK – Hello Narwhal  (2013 Homunculus)
STANTON MOORE – Driftin’  (2014 Conversations)
JOHNNY SKETCH and the DIRTY NOTES – Bandicoot  (2004 Live at the Spleaf, 5/21/04 New Orleans, LA)


CHARLIE HUNTER QUARTET – the Shango, pt. III (1996 Ready…Set…Shango!)
MILES DAVIS – Call It Anything  (1995 the Isle of Wight Festival 1970)
JIMI HENDRIX – Voodoo Chile [Slight Return]  (1994 Woodstock Diary, c. 1969)
JANIS JOPLIN – Ball and Chain  (1994 Woodstock Diary, c. 1969)
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & the E STREET BAND – Lay Me My Money Down  (1/26/14 Cape Town, South Africa)
ELTON JOHN – Honky Cat  (2014 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road [remaster], Hammersmith Odeon, London 1973)

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

TnJ 483 (3/13/14)


JONATHAN WILSON – Fanfare  (2013 Fanfare)
DAVID LAST – Honey Version  (2014 Early)
the HIP ABDUCTION – Holiday  (2013 the Hip Abduction)
STRING CHEESE INCIDENT – Boogie On Reggae Woman  (2/21/14 Hard Rock Hotel, Riviera Maya, MX)
GALACTIC w/ JJ GREY – Higher and Higher  (2014 single)
EDDIE HARRIS – Live Right Now  (2006 What It Is!  Funky Soul and Rare Grooves [box set], c. 1969)
TAJ MAHAL w/ KEB’ MO’ – Diving Duck Blues  (2013 Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY)


In the “Phil Zone” with guest toast John Barraco and an all Phil & Friends feature – wishing the great Phil Lesh the happiest of 74th birthdays this Saturday!

PHIL & FRIENDS – St. Stephen  (11/18/99 Mullins Center, University of Massachusets, Amherst, MA)
PHIL & FRIENDS – Phil & Mike Gordon Bass Duel  (7/12/06 Champlain Valley Fairgrounds, Essex Junction, VT)
PHIL & FRIENDS – Cosmic Charlie  (10/27/05 Bimbo’s 365 Club, San Francisco, CA)
PHIL & FRIENDS – Joan Moan  (6/27/06 Asheville Civic Center, Asheville, NC)
PHIL & FRIENDS – Attics of My Life  (12/9/12 Terrapin Crossroads [Grate Room], San Rafael, CA)

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

TnJ 482 (3/6/14)


WIDESPREAD PANIC – Pickin’ Up the Pieces > Better Off  (9/28/07 Paramount Theatre, Oakland, CA)
the MOTET – Rynodub  (2014 the Motet)
DAVID GILMOUR – Speak to Me > Breathe (in the Air) > Time > Breathe (in the Air) [reprise]  (2008 Live in Gdańsk)
MIKE GORDON – Ether  (2014 Overstep)


GREENSKY BLUEGRASS – Before Bring Out Your Dead > Bring Out Your Dead  (2011 Handguns)
Interview > Mike Doval of Greensky Bluegrass  (3/6/14 KBAC-FM, Santa Fe, NM)
QUILT – I Sleep in Nature  (2014 Held in Splendor)
GALACTIC – Doublewide > Whole Lotta Love  (5/1/04 State Palace Theater, New Orleans, LA)
MATT SCHOFIELD – Hindsight  (2014 Far As I Can See)
JERRY GARCIA BAND – They Love Each Other  (2013 Fall 1989 – the Long Island Sound, 9/5/89 Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT)
BOB WEIR and ROB WASSERMAN – Fever  (2013 Fall 1989 – the Long Island Sound, 9/5/89 Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT)

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

TnJ 481(2/27/14)

Super-duper thanks to guest toast David del Mauro for getting us spinning this week…


GRATEFUL DEAD – Man Smart, Woman Smarter  (4/2/89 Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA)
GRATEFUL DEAD – Brown Eyed Women  (5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
GRATEFUL DEAD – Hard to Handle  (1973 History of the Grateful Dead, Volume One [Bear’s Choice], c. 1970)
TAME IMPALA – Half Full Glass of Wine  (2008 Tame Impala EP)
TENACIOUS D – Star Trek  (mystery source)
TAME IMPALA – Alter Ego  (2010 Innerspeaker)
DR. DOG – My Old Ways  (2007 We All Belong)
GRATEFUL DEAD – the Other One  (2000 Dick’s Picks Volume 18, 2/5/78 UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls, IA)


DR. DOG – We All Belong  (2007 We All Belong)
GRATEFUL DEAD – El Paso  (5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
the WATERBOYS – We Will Not Be Lovers  (1988 Fisherman’s Blues)
TAME IMPALA – Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?  (2010 Innerspeaker)
JIM REEVES – Mexican Joe  (1953 Bimbo)
WEEN – the Mollusk  (1997 the Mollusk)
MORPHINE – Dawna   (1993 Cure for Pain)
DR. DOG – Cuckoo  (2013 B-Room)
NEIL YOUNG – When You Dance You Can Really Love  (1970 After the Gold Rush)
GRATEFUL DEAD – Bertha  (2014 Dave’s Picks Volume 9, 5/14/74 Adams Field House, Missoula, MT)
GRATEFUL DEAD – Deal  (5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)

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And no, the eagle-eyed and astute among you didn't miss a week - there was no show last week, pre-empted in favor of the Mix Santa Fe mayoral debate (^_^) TOAST

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Friday, February 21, 2014


This is the big one, festivarians!  Tickets on sale Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 12noon EST.  Go to for info (^_^) TOAST

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

TnJ 480 (2/13/14)


BOB WEIR and ROB WASSERMAN – Blackbird > When I Paint My Masterpiece  (2013 Fall 1989 – the Long Island Sound, 9/6/89 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY)
JERRY GARCIA BAND – Tangled Up in Blue  (2013 Fall 1989 – the Long Island Sound, 9/6/89 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY)
LEGION of MARY – Roadrunner  (2013 Garcia Live Volume Three, 12/15/74 EMU Ballroom, Eugene, OR)
SHARON JONES and the DAP-KINGS – You’ll Be Lonely  (2013 Give the People What They Want)
COUNTRY BLUES REVUE – Walkin’ Blues  (2014 Live – Frogville Sessions)


GARY CLARK, JR. – When My Train Pulls In  (2013 Crossroads Guitar Festival, Madison Square Garden , New York, NY)
GOV’T MULE w/ FRED WESLEY, KARL DENSON and WILL LEE – Down and Out in New York City  (2003 the Deepest End, 5/3/03 New Orleans, LA)
KARL DENSON’S TINY UNIVERSE – Sure Shot  (2014 New Ammo)
the HIP ABDUCTION w/ ANTHONY B – Hideaway  (2013 the Hip Abduction)
ANDERS OSBORNE – Sarah Anne  (2013 Peace)
Interview > Robert Black of the Far West  (recorded 2/11/14 KBAC-FM, Santa Fe, NM)
the FAR WEST – Hudson Valley  (2014 Any Day Now)
STEEP RAVINE – the Waiting Blues  (2013 Trampin’ On)
TROUT STEAK REVIVAL – Where Do My Bluebird Fly?  (2014 Live at Swallow Hill EP, 9/7/13 Denver, CO)

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

TnJ 479 (2/6/14)


JOHN BUTLER TRIO – Spring to Come  (2014 Flesh & Blood)
PORTUGAL. the MAN – Modern Jesus  (2013 Evil Friends)
PRETTY LIGHTS – Sweet Long Life [Eliot Lipp remix]  (2013 a Color Map of the Sun [remixes])
BOB MARLEY and the WAILERS – No Woman, No Cry [Stephen Marley remix]  (2013 Legend Remixed)
KELLER WILLIAMS – Blatant Ripoff  (2000 Loop, 3/30/00 Wild Duck Music Hall, Eugene, OR)
GREENSKY BLUEGRASS – King of the Hill  (All Access vol. 1, 11/27/09 Riviera Theatre, Three Rivers, MI)


LEFTOVER SALMON – Morning Sun  (12/14/12 String & Sol, Tulum, MX)
ZAPPA PLAYS ZAPPA – Cheepnis  (2008 Zappa Plays Zappa DVD)
REVEREND HORTON HEAT – Victory Lap > Smell of Gasoline  (2014 REV)
LES CLAYPOOL’S DUO de TWANG – Jerry Was a Race Car Driver  (2014 Four Foot Shack)
VALERIE JUNE – Happy or Lonesome  (2014 Sweetheart [Starbucks compilation])
HARD WORKING AMERICANS – Welfare Music  (2014 Hard Working Americans)
WIDESPREAD PANIC – Hatfield  (6/24/08 San Diego Civic Theatre, San Diego, CA)

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

TnJ 478 (1/30/14)


DAVE MATTHEWS BAND – Pantala Naga Pampa > Rapunzel  (6/26/12 Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ)
KARL DENSON’S TINY UNIVERSE – the Duel  (2014 New Ammo)
COUNTRY BLUES REVUE – Earthquake Blues  (2014 Live – Frogville Sessions)
DEVIL MAKES THREE w/ PRESERVATION HALL HORNS – Forty Days  (2013 I’m a Stranger Here)
DEL McCOURY BAND – Feel the Blues Movin’ In  (7/19/02 Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival [early show], Ancrandale, NY)
SMALL FACES – All or Nothing  (1969 the Autumn Stone, c. 1968 Newcastle Town Hall)
JERRY GARCIA BAND – Let It Rock  (2013 Fall 1989 – the Long Island Sound [box set], 9/6/89 Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY)
PIXIES – Where Is My Mind?  (2005 Pixies “Sell Out” Reunion Tour 2004 DVD)
TAME IMPALA – Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control  (2012 Lonerism)


UNCLE TUPELO – Graveyard Shift  (1990 No Depression)
GALACTIC w/ DAVID SHAW and MAGGIE KOERNER – Dolla Diva  (2014 single)
BROKEN BELLS – No Matter What You’re Told  (2014 After the Disco)
MIKE GORDON – Yarmouth Road  (2014 Overstep)
MIGHTY MYSTIC – Hammer  (2014 Concrete World)
MY MORNING JACKET – Dondante  (8/4/12 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO)
BIG HEAD TODD and the MONSTERS – Fear Greed and Ignorance  (2014 Black Beehive)
G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE – Nothing Quite Like Home  (2014 Sugar)
STEPHEN MALKMUS and the JICKS – Lariat  (2014 Wig Out at Jagbags)

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

TnJ 477 (1/23/14)

If you only tune in to one Toast-n-Jam session this year, let it be this one!

Only the heavy-hitters tonight, in the first-ever Toast-n-Jam PRO BOWL, starring the legends of live, the titans of toast, the giants of jam!   

Roll up and enjoy (^_^) TOAST


PHISH – Gumbo > Run Like an Antelope  (2010 Alpine Valley [box set], 8/14/10 Alpine Valley Music Theatre, Troy, WI)
GRATEFUL DEAD – Morning Dew  (5/8/77 Barton Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
UMPHREY’S McGEE – 2x2  (9/28/10 El Rey Theater, Albuquerque, NM)
ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND – Hot ‘Lanta  (1971 at Fillmore East)


WIDESPREAD PANIC – Pigeons  (9/7/13 Lockn’ Festival, Arrington, VA)
moe. – Timmy Tucker > Recreational Chemistry  (2000 “L” c. 1999)

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

TnJ 476 (1/16/14)


ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND – Mountain Jam  (5/16/09 the Gorge Amphitheater, George, WA)
GOV’T MULE – Mule > Whole Lotta Love > Mule  (9/5/10 Taos Mountain Music Festival, Taos Ski Valley, NM)
DEREK TRUCKS BAND – Anyday  (2010 Roadsongs, c. Apr 2010 the Park West, Chicago, IL)


SHARON JONES & the DAP-KINGS – Long Time, Wrong Time  (2013 Give the People What They Want)
YO MAMA’S BIG FAT BOOTY BAND – Trunk Fallin’ Off  (2013 Onward!)
DUMPSTAPHUNK – Water  (2013 Dirty Word)
PHISH – Julius  (2013 Niagara Falls, 12/7/95 Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY)
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & the E STREET BAND – the E Street Shuffle  (4/12/12 the Palace, Auburn Hills, MI)
SANTANA – Fried Neckbones (2009 the Woodstock Experience, 8/16/69 Woodstock Festival, Bethel, NY)
STRING CHEESE INCIDENT – Piece of Mine  (6/30/13 Electric Forest, Rothbury, MI)
RAILROAD EARTH – Monkey  (2014 Last of the Outlaws)

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks have announced they will be leaving the Allman Brothers Band lineup after the 2014 shows.  Warren says "we've been talking about this for a long time."  Read all the details over at

Monday, January 13, 2014

TnJ BEST of 2013


10) SARAH JAROSZ – Build Me Up from Bones

This Texan folkie continues to impress with her third album, which wields some heavyweight guest stars (Jerry Douglas, Chris Thile, Darrell Scott, Aofie O’Donovan), though I get the feeling Jarosz could carry the whole album on her own.  Lyrics like, “Kick the moon and watch it shatter / I don’t mind if it don’t matter,” tickle me to death.

HIGH POINTS: Over the Edge; Mile on the Moon; Dark Road

09) GARLAND JEFFREYS – Truth Serum

Always nice to see a name from yesteryear pop up with a release worth recording, as opposed to just going through the motions for a paycheck.  “Truth Serum” finds the 70-year old cooking up an unusual, but wholly competent, blend of roots, rock, and reggae.  This is melting pot music at its best from a man comfortable in his own shoes.

HIGH POINTS: Dragons to Slay; Collide the Generations; It’s What I Am


Their first album of all-original material strikes a chord with me, possibly due to the production assistance of Jim James (My Morning Jacket).  They’re definitely no longer relegated to the “heritage and nostalgia” bin, and if they’ve got more like this in them, I hope they take the ball and run with it.  Can’t wait to see PHJB live after this one.

HIGH POINTS: Rattlin’ Bones; Sugar Plum; Halfway Right, Halfway Wrong

07) ROBERT RANDOLPH and the FAMILY BAND – Lickety Split

One of the most dynamic family bands since Sly and the Family Stone, RRFB notch their best studio album yet.  Guest appearances from Trombone Shorty and Carlos Santana sweeten the deal, but fans of pedal steel are already in, since Randolph continues to be one of the brightest talents in that arena.  Put this on and get your booty movin’.

HIGH POINTS:  Born Again; Brand New Wayo (featuring Carlos Santana); Welcome Home

06) the MAVERICKS – In Time

Is Tex-Mex-Fusion a genre?  How about Gypsy-Cubano-Cowboy?  Are they an army of one?  Who cares?  “In Time” is a spectacular comeback album for the Mavericks.  Raul Malo still weaves painfully beautiful vocals and the band comes rested and refreshed from a 10-year break.  They’re difficult to classify but this window into another dimension hits all the right notes.  One of the best live bands I saw this year (see below).

HIGH POINTS:  Come Unto Me; Dance in the Moonlight; (Call Me) When You Get to Heaven

05) the HANDSOME FAMILY - Wilderness

Another difficult-to-classify entry into the field, this Albuquerque husband-and-wife duo seem secure in their uniqueness, being equal parts psychedelia, folk, and goth-pop.  Imagine Alice in Wonderland on Quaaludes and you might begin to approximate the idea.  Lyrically vacillating between dark and whimsical, they are a walking contradiction that somehow works.

HIGH POINTS:  Frogs, Lizard, Octopus

04) BONERAMA – Shake It Baby

Only New Orleans could’ve spawned a band this brass-heavy.  However, rather than follow the time-worn tread of traditional Dixieland Jazz, Mark Mullins and Craig Klein have fashioned a unique hard-rock/funk sound out of the ether.  After several albums of plying their craft, we can no longer dismiss them as novelty, nor as a mere cover/bar band.  Bonerama are making some of the most interesting music in a city whose music is legend.

HIGH POINTS:  Indian Red; Close the Door; What You See; Swamped In

03) the BLACK LILLIES – Runaway Freeway Blues

This is a country band you are likely never to hear on a country radio station.  They’re too interesting.  Too psychedelic.  Too damn good.  Think of them working the same alt-country anvils which birthed Uncle Tupelo (and their offspring Wilco and Son Volt) or Lucinda Williams, turn up the harmonies, and submerge yourself in the clever storytelling.  You are unlikely to hear a country band this good again, until the next Black Lillies album comes out.

HIGH POINTS:  Gold and Roses; the Fall; Ruby; Ramblin’ Boy; Baby Doe


Aside from some muddy production which is possibly intentional, TTB just keeps recording better and better songs.  If this soul stew gets any better, they’re going to earn a place in history, even if it’s only as the best 11-piece band of all time.  An object lesson in “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” this band is groovier than Susan Tedeschi, catchier than the Derek Trucks Band, and more powerful than a locomotive.  I don’t know what took this husband-and-wife team so long to collaborate musically, but they should do us all favor and keep it up as long as possible.

HIGH POINTS:  the Storm; Misunderstood; All That I Need; Made Up Mind; Part of Me

01) BUDDY GUY – Rhythm & Blues

This is a rare album so impressive I can hardly describe how good it is without using every clichéd hyperbole in the book, but every once in a while an artist just pulls out all the stops and goes balls to the wall with an amazing tour-de-force which bumps them up to the next level.  This isn’t just the best Buddy Guy album you’ve heard in decades, it might be the best blues album ever recorded.  Seriously, if no one else ever releases another blues album in the history of the world, at least we have this.  Released by RCA on Buddy Guy’s 77th birthday, “Rhythm & Blues” is a crowning achievement in a most distinguished career.

HIGH POINTS:  Whiskey Ghost; Meet Me in Chicago; Blues Don’t Care (w/ Gary Clark, Jr.); Best in Town; the Devil’s Daughter; Too Damn Bad


10) NONONO – Pumpin Blood

Goofy.  Silly.  Infectious.  Fun.

09) HANK3 – Hurtin for Certain

Just plain wrong in all the right ways.


Well-constructed and memorable harmonies.

07) BUDDY GUY – Whiskey Ghost

As addictive and haunting as the title implies.

06) PORTUGAL. the MAN – Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue

Good, old-fashioned psychedelia.

05) the POLYPHONIC SPREE – You Don’t Know Me

Meticulous, perfectly-crafted pomp-pop.

04) SERENA RYDER – Stompa

Best Adele substitute all year.  Hooky with a vengeance.

03) JOHN FOGERTY – Mystic Highway

Anyone who may doubt he still has it, just listen.

02) PHOSPHORESCENT – Ride On/Right On

Retro-rock at its finest.  If everyone still made rock this solid, it wouldn’t be a defunct genre.

01) the MAVERICKS – Come Unto Me

I’ve probably heard this one a hundred times and it still gets my blood pumping.  These guys get “Comeback of the Year,” for sure.



Nothing that’s gonna turn the kids on here, just fine examples of styles fallen out of fashion.   

HIGH POINTS: Voodoo Queen; a Minor Bit Blue; Ophelia

ANTHONY LEON & the CHAIN – Hell to Pay

Hardest-hitting country-rock in all the land.  Light one up and get lost in the grooves.   

HIGH POINTS: Death & Taxes; the Devil’s at Reds; Down in Lonely


An education in obscure instrumentation, like a world tour without leaving your living room.   

HIGH POINTS: Hundreds of Ships; Mama Sweet Mama; Doppio Machiatto



Though it seems he would prefer people not notice, this is David Grisman’s kid’s bluegrass band.


Closest thing to Little Feat-esque swamp rock I’ve heard in years, and that includes the most recent Little Feat album.

VALERIE JUNE – Pushin’ Against a Stone

Old-school R&B with an edge.  Thoughtful lyrics, carefully arranged songs.  She is already a tunesmith of the highest order.

RUSTY WRIGHT BAND – This, That & the Other Thing

If you think nobody bothers generating a great guitar tone anymore, give this one a listen.  Gritty blues rock that hits you like a 90-pound hammer.


As funky as their name implies, with an abstract, spacey twinge that makes their sound unique, butts bouncing all the while.



Always a “who’s who” of consummate guitar work.  The real shame is this festival only happens every 3 years.

Special note: have you seen this Quinn Sullivan kid?  I only saw him on the “Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013” DVD, but if he’s this confident at 14, I expect he’ll be wowing us on stage for decades to come.


GRATEFUL DEAD – Sunshine Daydream

Actually watching Jerry play (circa 1972) is even more mind-blowing than hearing him play.  The granddaddy of all jambands at the height of their power.


AVETT BROTHERS – The only problem I had watching them live is I wish they would stretch out on the solos more, but easily one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.  Arrangements and harmonies are incredibly tight.  I also saw global folk phenoms Mumford & Sons live this year, and Avett Brothers were just plain better.

ALABAMA SHAKES – They just don’t make ‘em like this no more.  Solid, loud, rockin’, soulful rhythm & blues.  They’re off to a great start and have a nice foundation to build on in the future.  Brittany Howard revealed in an interview what may make them stand above the rest: they only do originals.

the BLACK LILLIES – Psychedelic backwoods, foot-stompin’ country at its finest.  Cruz Contreras (whom you may remember from Robinella) has a boatload of finely crafted songs, and the whole combo just seethes with raw, uncut talent.  They may come off a little dark to some, but I think it adds nice flavor.

GRACE POTTER & the NOCTURNALS – Holy smoke, if Grace Potter was any more of a fireball they’d have to shut the place down for safety reasons.  I saw GPN open for Tedeschi Trucks Band and, even though TTB was totally awesome, GPN blew them out of the water.  Unrivaled energy and showmanship.

the MAVERICKS – I had heard they were great, but I had no idea.  If every band could take a 10 year break and come back this strong, I’d recommend they all do it.  This tour involved, I think, an 11-piece band and this well-oiled machine churned out a swirly, festive, fragrant, powerful wall of sound singular and sublime.

PRIMUS – The band I’ve seen live more than any other returned with a 3D visual / quad-sound tripfest for the faithful.  Nobody does smirky and quirky better than Les Claypool, joined here by Larry LaLonde and Jay Lane (the latter has since joined up with RatDog), the atmosphere was thick and getting thicker, like diving to the bottom of the ocean.

TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE – He seems poised to inherit the crown of New Orleans funk music, if the Meters ever give it up.  In a live setting, this combo is much like their albums – effortlessly veering through jazz, funk, blues, Dixieland, soul – but only live do you really feel that pervasive, explosive jubilance this outfit carries with them.

TRUTH & SALVAGE CO. – It’s easy to see why they were tapped early in their collective existence to tour with the Black Crowes, as their musicianship and swagger also implies a hearty fondness for good, old-fashioned rock-n-roll.  It can’t be easy forging your band’s identity with several lead singers / songwriters in the fold, but it can be done, and I hope they persevere into the stratosphere.

WIDESPREAD PANIC – Like the Terminator, they can’t be bargained with, they can’t be reasoned with, and they absolutely will not stop.  Jimmy Herring seems to be finding his “voice” within the context of this venerable jam band quite nicely.  In these times, rock has almost gone extinct.  This is solid rock.  They seem content to stay in that groove and I am content to follow along for the ride as long as it lasts.

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND – Certainly not the most technically proficient band on the planet, nor the most prolific songwriters, but their contagious enthusiasm makes up for a lot.  As the saying goes, they’re “ragged but right,” and YMSB continues to work the magic only they can to send us straight into orbit, shimmying and shakin’ ‘til it falls clean off.  Possibly the most frenetic and frenzied string band ever. 

Here's some pics from YMSB/Deadly Gentlemen 3/13/13 Sunshine Theater, Albuquerque, NM (photo credit - Andrew Kastner /

 This was a great show, and you can download the soundboard recording at

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