Tag Archives: Five From the Archive

Five from the Archive: Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2015

It’s been a few years since the last Five from the Archive post, but we haven’t lost touch with the Live Music Archive.  It just keeps growing and getting better. So we’re bringing Five from the Archive back. To start, we’ll be focusing on my favorite form of musical flattery – covers – from a few different bands. For our first go around, it’s the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Tedeschi Trucks became a band when Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks (now married) merged their bands together a few years ago. They are huge on the festival circuit, and growing more popular each year. They do extensive touring, and are currently on their Wheels of Soul Summer Tour, with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings opening up.

As a band, Tedeschi Trucks is like an old school soul revue meets the Allman Brothers. They’ve got two guitar players (Tedeschi and Trucks), two drummers, a keyboard player, a bass player, plus two back up vocalists and a horn section. A big band that knows how to occupy (and not occupy) the open spaces in a song. They’ve released two of their own albums, and they do a good number of covers. Today we’re highlighting five of the covers they’ve played so far in 2015.

1.  Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”. A classic Dylan song. From The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, it’s just Bob and his guitar, but here it becomes a soulful big band ballad in the hands of Tedeschi Trucks. There are great flute and trumpet solos in there, too. Full show: Tedeschi Trucks Band – January 17, 2015 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, Fl.

2. Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Oh! You Pretty Things”. A surprise but welcome choice, and a great cover. This is old school David Bowie, going back to the early 70s and Hunky Dory. It’s mostly just him and the piano on the album, and so it is here – mostly Tedeschi’s vocals and a spare piano accompaniment, that builds to the full band as the song progresses. People have no idea what song they’re playing. I love it. Full Show: Tedeschi Trucks Band – January 18, 2015 at Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Fl.

3. Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Space Captain”. “Space Captain” is practically a standard for Tedeschi Trucks now. It’s a frequent encore selection. It originally comes from Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishman record. Full Show: Tedeschi Trucks Band – February 21, 2015 at Warner Theatre in Washington D.C.

4. Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Living Loving Maid -> What Is And What Should Never Be  -> The Storm”. OK, I’ll admit, this one is a bit of a stretch as a full fledged cover. It’s not. The band plays around with the riffs from the two Led Zeppelin songs for a few minutes, but the rest of the clip is their original “The Storm” from Made Up Mind. It’s a solid jam, though. Full show: Tedeschi Trucks Band – April 17, 2015 at Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading, PA.

5. Tedeschi Trucks Band – “I’ve Got A Feeling”. Here’s an example of where the background vocalists get elevated to lead vocal. They both add so much depth to the band’s sound. This version of The Beatles “I’ve Got A Feeling” highlights some of that added depth. Full show: Tedeschi Trucks Band – May 18, 2015 at Central Park Summer Stage.

Not a bad collection of covers, and we’re not even halfway through 2015 yet. I’m going to see these guys again this summer, this time at Meadow Brook Music Festival. Can’t wait to see them and Sharon Jones.

Find more of Mike’s work at MVP Presents. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

[Ed. Note: Image from Wikimedia Commons, courtesy of Michael F. O’Brien]

Five From the Archive: Smashing Pumpkins in 2011

The Smashing Pumpkins at Le Grand Rex in Paris, France. May 22, 2007

Rolling Stone recently ran a Readers’ Poll of The Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs, as selected by their readers. The response was so large and varied that they decided to make it a Top 20 list instead of the regular Top 10 with Rolling Stone Readers’ Polls. I had been planning on running a Five From the Archive piece on the Smashing Pumpkins anyway, and when I read this, I thought it afforded the perfect opportunity. Here’s what I’ve done.

Last fall, the new Smashing Pumpkins lineup – Jimmy Chamberlin is out on drums – did a short tour of the states in October, and a quick jaunt into Europe in November. So I chose five songs from those shows that were also included in the Reader’s Poll. All but one of the selections are from Siamese Dreams, for two reasons. First, the album dominates the Readers’ Poll. Second, I have a special attachment to the record. I was a bit obsessed with it when it came out. I went on and on about what a brilliant set of songs I thought it was, to anyone who would listen. Including some GloNo colleagues I knew back then.

1. Smashing Pumpkins – “Starla”.  This epic length track, from Siamese Dream days, came in at Number 2o in the Readers’ Poll. I remember “Starla” from one of the many CD singles they were releasing at that time. I’m going to be honest with you. Some of my college buddies and I enjoyed sparking up to this one at the time. Full show: October 7, 2011 – Fox Theater, Oakland, CA

2. Smashing Pumpkins – “Geek U.S.A.”. This one of my favorite tracks from Siamese Dream.  I loved the three song sequence on the album of “Geek U.S.A.”, “Mayonaise”, and “Spaceboy”. I thought it represented some pretty innovative rock and roll at the time. It came in at Number 13 in the Reader’s Poll. Full show: October 14, 2011 – Riviera Theater, Chicago, IL

3. Smashing Pumpkins – “Zero”. This is the one not on Siamese Dreams. If you guessed that, give yourself a gold star. Full show: November 13, 2011 – 02 Academy, Glasgow, Scotland came in at Number 12 in the Reader’s Poll.

4. Smashing Pumpkins – “Soma” Apparently, this is also the brand name of a drug called Carisoprodol. It’s a muscle relaxant. “Soma” came in at Number 4 in the Reader’s Poll. Full show: November 11, 2011 – Manchester Apollo, Manchester, UK

5. Smashing Pumpkins – “Cherub Rock”. The recording for this one isn’t as hi fi as the others, or something. It’s quieter, anyway. Good rocker. “Cherub Rock” came in at Number 3 in the Reader’s Poll. That’s the closet we got to the number one song. Full show: October 17, 2011 – 930 Club, Washington, DC

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and the author, Matthew F.

Five From the Archive: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals Play Songs From Their New Album

Grace Potter

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals released a new record earlier this year, The Lion The Beast The Beat. I was a big fan of the first single, “Never Go Back” when it came out, and what I’ve heard of the new record is also great. Her songwriting continues to mature, and I swear I notice some prog rock influence in a few of these songs. Or that may just be wishful thinking on my part.

They played five tracks off the new album at this show in late April. The band is tight and enaged. Go see them if you can.

Full Show: April 25, 2012 – The Blue Note, Columbia, MO

1. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – “The Divide”. The first song of the evening, but the last track on the album (excluding bonus tracks).

2. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – “Turntable”. The first time they played this one live. “I fell in love with a beautiful sound…” Me, too.

3. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – “The Lion The Beast The Beat”. The title track. Some cool guitar riffs here.

4. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – “Never Go Back”. This was the first single, which got lots of early exposure. They played this when they were on Ellen.

5. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – “Timekeeper”. Starts out with just Grace on the piano. Then some drums, a little bass. Later, guitar. But for most of the song, the focus is on the piano. I like the epic flavor of this track.

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals served as one of the earliest bands featured in Five From the Archive. Check out her covers of Bob Dylan, Otis Redding and others.

Photo courtesy of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals.

Five From the Archive: Elliott Smith in 2003

Elliott Smith is giving Warren Zevon a run for his money. Or is this just the second time I’m highlighting work by Elliott Smith? Either way, you can expect more. This one will be the most painful. The year was 2003. I had just arrived at my hotel in York, England (business trip). I called my then wife to check in now that I was at my destination. She told me Elliott Smith had killed himself. Stabbed himself – twice – in the chest. I distinctly remember having a physical reaction to this. I was lying on the hotel bed, with my legs hanging over the edge, my feet on the ground (bed was low, I know). I felt like my heart skipped a beat, and had a sudden rush of… adrenaline or something.

Elliott Smith!? Dead!? He’d barely just begun. One of the greatest songwriting voices around at that time. At least I’d gotten to see him a handful of times in New York, and was able to appreciate his talent before he died. Thankfully for all of us, there are about 95 Elliott Smith shows currently available on the Live Music Archive. What follows is a selection of tracks from his final year, 2003. What a loss.

1. Elliott Smith – “Rose Parade”. Just Smith on the acoustic guitar as accompaniment. Lo-fi audience recording, but it captures the song pretty well. Just don’t play it loud at a party. Full show: September 19, 2003 – Redfest, Salt Lake City, UT

2. Elliott Smith – “Coast to Coast”. This is one of my favorite songs from Basement on the Hill. Fucking awesome. It’s a lo-fi audience recording, too, but it’s a full band this time. This particular show has been downloaded over 19,000 times. Full show: May 28, 2003 – The Derby, Los Angeles, CA

3. Elliott Smith – “A Distorted Reality Is Know A Necessity To Be Free”. Demonstrates how vulnerable he was at this time. The audience is deadly quiet (after the banter and a few false starts at the beginning, anyway). Full show: May 22, 2003 – Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, CA

4. Elliott Smith – “King’s Crossing”. Favorite track from Basement. Acoustic version. Full show: January 31, 2003 – Henry Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

5. Elliott Smith – “Pretty (Ugly Before)”. Full show: May 3, 2003 – The Steamboat, Austin, TX

You can find earlier coverage of Elliott Smith’s work on Five For the Archive here.

Image of Elliott Smith courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.


Five From the Archive: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Presents Sticky Fingers

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe Presents Sticky FingersI don’t remember exactly when it was, but sometime early in 2011, Karl Denson asked his Facebook fans a pressing question: What album should Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (KDTU) perform in its entirety on its next tour? I remember I submitted a suggestion. I think it was Bill Wither‘s Just As I Am, but don’t quote me on that.

Someone else, though, had the brilliant idea to suggest The Rolling StonesSticky Fingers. In order to do it right, KDTU recruited Anders Osborne, a Swedish singer/songwriter and guitar player via New Orleans, to help present the record in all its fullness. Typically, they will play a set of KDTU songs, then bring Osborne out for the Sticky Fingers set. Sometimes, they had Osborne open up with his own set as well. I trolled through the various audience recordings of Sticky Fingers shows from late 2011 and early 2012, and my gut and ears tell me this show is the one to listen to:

Full show: February 11, 2012 – Mr. Small’s Theater, Pittsburgh, PA

Each of the tracks below are pulled from the Pittsburgh, PA show. Enjoy!

1. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe – “Brown Sugar” “This first song… is about interracial sex!” So sayeth Karl Denson at the beginning of this track. Which makes me think that when my parents named one of our dogs Brown Sugar, that may have been an inappropriate use of the song name.

2. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe – “Wild Horses” This may be my all time favorite Rolling Stones song. Keith Richards could write some songs back in the day… Nicely executed here.

3. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe – “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin'” Whenever I hear the original by the Stones, I think of Scorsese’s Casino. We’ve even highlighted another cover version of this song (by Umphrey’s McGee) on Five From the Archive before. If you’re feeling really nerdy today, you can compare the two.

4. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe – “Bitch” I love this song. All covered in grit and sweat.

5. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe – “Dead Flowers” So many great tracks on this record, and this is one of them. Ever heard Townes Van Zandt do this on his Roadsongs album? Just stunningly great.

Five From the Archive: Alabama Shakes in 2012

Alabama Shakes

While I was doing some research on Alabama Shakes, I came across their stuff on the Live Music Archive. What a surprise! They are a young band, and it was a brilliant decision to let people record them and upload those recordings to the Live Music Archive. Free marketing. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find.

1. Alabama Shakes – “Rise to the Sun”. This is, without a doubt, my favorite song on the Boys & Girls record. Some great, understated guitar riffing that helps make the song as emotionally powerful as it is. Full show: January 31, 2012 – KEXP Studio, Seattle, WA

2. Alabama Shakes – “Boys & Girls”. This version sounds a bit more full bodied to me than the studio version on the record. Both are great. Nothing gets me like some good electric piano, and this one has it. Full show: January 24, 2012 – KCRW Studio, Santa Monica, CA

3. Alabama Shakes – “How Many More Times”. Get your fresh Led Zeppelin here. Five From the Archive fans know I’m a bit OCD for good covers of great songs. This one qualifies. Zep! Full show: April 7, 2012 – Ram’s Head, Baltimore, MD

4. Alabama Shakes – “I Ain’t the Same”. This and “Heat Lighting” (next) are from the encore at their recent Bowery Ballroom show. Both include some banter with the crowd from Brittany Howard (singer/songwriter/rhythm guitar player). Full show: April 11, 2012 – Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

5. Alabama Shakes – “Heat Lightning”. You will want to listen to this one right after the “I Ain’t the Same” above. It’s not on the Boys & Girls record. Full show: April 11, 2012 – Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and the author, Fred Rockwood.

Five From the Archive: Ween in 2011

We’ve covered Ween on Glorious Noise before, back when they played the Royal Oak Music Theater in 2010

1. Ween – “Roses Are Free”. A great song in its own right, but also noteworthy as the Ween cover Phish rolls out pretty regularly. It’s from the classic 1994 album Chocolate and Cheese. Full show: April 14, 2011 – War Memorial, Nashville, TN

2. Ween – “The Mollusk”. Some seriously ELP style keyboard action going on in this one. He’s using a wheel or similar mechanism on the keyboard to bend notes. In an appropriately cheesy prog rock seventies kind of way. There’s a bit of a psychedelic meltdown in the middle, too. Then the clouds clear, and it’s smooth sailing to the end. Full Show: January 26, 2011 – Crystal Ball Room, Portland, OR

3. Ween – “A Tear for Eddie”. Tribute to Eddie Hazel. Full show: July 3, 2011 – High Sierra Music Festival, Quincy, CA

4. Ween – “Bananas and Blow”. The title says it all. Except it doesn’t mention the steel drums. Full show: July 2, 20011 – Les Schwab Ampitheater, Bend, OR

5. Ween – “Flutes of the Chi”. This is from their album White Pepper. From a short acoustic set during the second night of a three night New Year’s run. Full show: December 30, 2011 – Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO

While I was trawling through the 2011 selection of Ween shows on the Live Music Archive, I saw a lot of interesting cover choices. More variety than I remember seeing in earlier years, too. So we’ll probably be back with another Ween post sometime soon, with just covers this time around. MP3s courtesy of the Live Music Archive, Ween’s liberal taping policy, and the intrepid tapers who put their lives on the line to bring us the raw, uncut stuff.

Photo of Ween was taken by Mike Vasquez in 2010  at The Royal Oak Music Theater in Detroit, MI.

Five From the Archive: Warren Zevon in 1976

Well, it’s that time again. Time for another Five From the Archive post featuring the legendary Warren Zevon. We’ve looked at his work before, first a batch of songs from 1978, then a batch from his 2000 solo acoustic tour. This time around, we are looking at selections from 1976, the year his first record, Warren Zevon, was released. And the first year of live recordings documented in the Live Music Archive.

1. Warren Zevon – “Sleep When I’m Dead”. The first song from the show at The Main Point. A bit of crowd noise and an introduction before the band kicks in. Someone is playing a harmonica, too. Must be Warren? Full show: June 20, 1976 – The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA

2. Warren Zevon – “Werewolves of London”. Full band for this show. It’s the earliest live version of this song I’ve heard. Full show: June 20, 1976 – The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA

3. Warren Zevon – “Desperados Under The Eaves”. “This is an important song to me – it’s one of my favorites,” he says, at the beginning of the song. Lyrically, it’s glorious. “All the salty margaritas in Los Angeles, I’m going to drink them up.” Every line rings like that. Sound quality is outstanding. Full show: October 13, 1976 – WMMS Studio, Cleveland, OH

4. Warren Zevon – “Frank and Jesse James”. In a studio in Holland. Jackson Browne does back up vocals on this one. Full show: December 8, 1976 – VPRO Studio, Hilversum, Holland

5. Warren Zevon – “Carmelita”. Jackson Browne lends a hand on this one, too, playing guitar and adding back up vocals on the choruses. Full show: December 8, 1976 – VPRO Studio, Hilversum, Holland

Image of Warren Zevon in 1976 courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Five From the Archive: Umphrey’s McGee in 2012

About two and a half years ago, we ran our first “Five From the Archive” piece. We called it “Top Five Covers by Umphrey’s McGee”, predating the official series name, since we only decided to make it a more regular item after we saw how much interest the Umphrey’s McGee covers generated. Since we’ll be sending a team to cover Summer Camp Music Festival over Memorial Day weekend, and Umphrey’s McGee will be playing each night of the festival, we decided it was a good time to revisit and see what other brilliant covers we could highlight.

1. Umphrey’s McGee – “Burnin’ For You”: Have some Blue Oyster Cult with your Wheaties today. This is the first time they played this one. Anyone remember the video from early MTV? I was around 12 or so when I first saw that and “Don’t Fear The Reaper.” Great memories. In this version, Cinninger has got the licks down pat, and delivers a smoking little solo in the midst of this B.O.C. celebration. Full show: February 17, 2012 – LC Pavilion, Columbus, OH

2. Umphrey’s McGee – “Dear Prudence”: A pretty straightforward cover of a classic Beatles track. It’s not a jam-a-lot version, like you might hear from the Jerry Garcia Band, Furthur, and other post-Grateful Dead bands that cover it. But it hits all the right notes. A quick four and a half minute jaunt into Beatles space. Full show: February 16, 2012 – The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC

3. Umphrey’s McGee – “The National Anthem”: Great Radiohead cover. An appropriately spacey exploration of the song, always grounded by the unstoppable, anthemic bass line. Full show: February 9, 2012 – Town Ballroom, Buffalo, NY

4. Umphrey’s McGee – “Hollywood Nights”: Man, these guys just nail this one! It’s my favorite of the bunch –  a great all American, Midwest rock and roll song from Ann Arbor’s own Bob Seger. From 1978’s Stranger In Town, which was like some sort of Midwestern rock anthem hit factory (also included “Old Time Rock n Roll”). The vocals are on fire. Cinneger rips some hot licks. Full show: January 21, 2012 – Best Buy Theater, New York, NY

5. Umphrey’s McGee – “Cheap Sunglasses”: This is from the first of two pre-party Jam Cruise X shows by Umphrey’s McGee, both of which were at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale. Another pretty straightforward cover, with some nice soloing by Cinninger in the middle again. Full show: January 8, 2012 – Revolution Live, Fort Lauderdale, FL

On Jake Cinninger, lead guitarist and one of the vocalists in Umphrey’s McGee: Is there anybody out there playing better than him? With the range and depth of ability? I ask the question. I don’t know the answer, but I’m leaning towards no, there isn’t.

Photo of Umphrey’s McGee taken by Mike Vasquez at the All Good Music Festival in 2010.

Five From the Archive: Greensky Bluegrass

Greensky Bluegrass is a local Michigan band done good. Coming out of Kalamazoo, they hit a soft spot for me right away, since that’s where I (and some other GLONO folks) went to college. And they have done a lot of shows at a place I know well: Bell’s Brewery. I was drinking their beer when they were still putting it in wine bottles. And I look forward to summer mostly because that’s when Solsun Oberon is available.

More importantly, these guys have put together a great band. Their originals are fantastic, and they incorporate a lot of different bluegrassified rock covers. I don’t know what your conception of bluegrass might be, but I can tell you that Greensky’s music is joyous.  Something about the banjo playing just drives the band’s music forward with a bounce, the same way it did in Neil Young’s International Harvesters.

I’ve spent some time this week going through their 2012 shows and pulling out noteworthy covers. Below are five of the most enjoyable.

1. Greensky Bluegrass – “Atlantic City”. This may be my all time favorite Bruce Springsteen song. These guys give it the treatment it deserves. It’s like the middle ground between Bruce’s version and The Band’s version. To top it off, they end this particular show with an 11 minute “Small Axe” cover. Full show: February 8, 2012 – Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO

2. Greensky Bluegrass – “Don’t Stop Believing”. This cover pretty much speaks for itself. Journey, baby! Of course, most of the audience knew the lyrics and sang along. Full show: February 4, 2012 – Bell’s Back Room, Kalamazoo, MI

3. Greensky Bluegrass – “Time/Breathe Reprise”. This may be my favorite of the bunch. It’s got a jaunty bluegrass step to it that masks the morbid rumination in the lyrics. “The Sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older, shorter of breath, and one day closer to death.” How about that banjo, though? Snappy and upbeat. Full show: January 26, 2012 – Canopy Club, Urbana, IL

4. Greensky Bluegrass – “Ain’t No Sunshine”. This is from their New Year’s Eve show at the Majestic Theater in Detroit. Somehow, these guys have managed to turn this song about love and heartache into a murder ballad. About love and heartache after the song’s protagonist has killed his beloved in a fit of angry passion. At least, that’s how it felt to me. And  it’s fucking fantastic. Full show: December 31, 2011 – Majestic Theater, Detroit, MI

5. Greensky Bluegrass – “Road to Nowhere”. They also played this when I saw them at the All Good Music Festival in 2010 (coverage here, here, and here). Full show: January 20, 2012 – Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA

If you like what you hear, and want to explore more, intrepid tapers have been uploading full shows to the Live Music Archive for years. They’re also currently on their Spring tour – with some upcoming dates in Michigan. Check out the tour dates here and go see them if you get a chance.