Posts Tagged ‘ Scott Metzger ’

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead: June 5, 2015 Mountain Jam – Flac/MP3/Streaming

June 6, 2015
By

JRAD Mt Jam (2)
[photo by Erin]

At this point, it is apparent that Joe Russo’s Almost Dead has achieved its mission of providing a fresh approach to the task of covering Grateful Dead songs. And at a Festival that has thrived on ability to provide a reliable recreation of the classic rock genre, JRAD were an easy stand-in for the greatest improvisational rock band of its era. The Grateful Dead made a one stab at the massive task of performing the band’s ultimate rock opus “Terrapin Station” in its entirety, but the performance failed to capture the majesty of the suite that owns the entire second site of the Terrapin Station album. “Terrapin” is perhaps the Grateful Dead’s crowning achievement in musical composition, but the complexity of the last half of the suite was not a task that the band had the fortitude to undertake at a live show and so it was only the first two sections that were performed consistently since its 1977 debut.

JRAD opened their set at Mountain Jam in the pouring rain with a jam that seamlessly merged with “Lady With A Fan”, the opening section of the Terrapin suite. When the band concluded the first section of the main theme and proceeded to the “Terrapin Transit” portion, it was a moment to smile. JRAD consistently takes this music to places where the original band never trod, and this was just another example — and the fun had just begun. Lead by the stunning keyboard work of Marco Benevento, JRAD took each section of the suite and transformed them into complete songs of their own. It was a breathtaking thirty-two minutes and this is a recording I’ve already sampled thoroughly four times and undoubtedly will experience many more times. The balance of this set consisted of meaty and committed versions of three more songs but the take away from this short JRAD experience was undoubtedly the complete Terrapin suite.

I recorded this set with the Neumann large diaphragm cardioids in a very advantageous location up the hill in front of the soundboard area. Considering the elements at the time of this performance, overall this is an outstanding recording. Enjoy!

Our soundboard/audience matrix recording of JRAD at the Capitol Theatre is still available here.

Download or Stream the Complete Concert at Archive.org [HERE].

Stream the Complete Show:

Joe Russo Almost Dead
2015-06-05
Mountain Jam
Hunter NY

Digital Master Recording
FOB Audience

Neumann TLM 102s > Grace Designs Lunatec V3 > Sound Devices 744t > 24bit 48kHz wav > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:12:59]
01 Terrapin Station
02 The Wheel
03 Greatest Story Ever Told
04 Cumberland Blues

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you’ll please support these artists, visit the JRAD website, visit the JRAD Facebook page, and visit their individual websites and purchase their official merchandise. Benevento-Russo Duo [HERE], Marco Benevento [HERE], Tom Hamilton [HERE], Scott Metzger [HERE], and Dave Dreiwitz [HERE].

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead: May 9, 2015 Capitol Theatre – Flac/MP3/Streaming (Matrix)

May 27, 2015
By

JRAD Cap (2)

We’ve been with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead from their very first show at Brooklyn Bowl, so it was especially exciting to see the band in the big room at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. Given the special historical relationship between The Cap and the Grateful Dead, this gig was a kind of affirmation for JRAD. And the fans agreed — this date sold out quickly and well in advance. So there was a palpable sense of excitement when the band took the stage and immediately burst into a ’76-77 era version of “Dancing In the Streets” filled with neat funky guitar fills and tons of energy from the rhythm section. JRAD is always full of surprises, but what happened next was especially nice for us here at NYCTaper — the entrance onto the stage of friend of the site Nicole Atkins. Nicole ostensibly performed the “Donna parts” throughout the night, except that she’s a significantly better vocalist than Donna Godchaux ever showed during her time in the Grateful Dead (check out Nicole’s solo verses on “Music”). And as expected, Nicole provided a series of breathtaking moments throughout the night, highlighted by her solo rendition of Pigpen’s late era classic ballad “The Stranger (Two Souls in Communion)”, which like all JRAD performances balanced the tender line between tribute and respectful original take on the music. It was an interesting choice of material to feature Nicole on lead vocals and the selection proved brilliant.

This night was also featured an abundance what we have come to expect from JRAD shows — inspired and collaborative improvisational work which imparts new life into well-worn material. The version of “Dancing” definitely took its flavor from the late 70s GD, but JRAD took it out deep, and when the song reached to the final chorus after nearly twenty-minutes, it returned from places the Dead never imagined. “Cassidy” is a track that became fairly static in the later years of GD performances, which was a shame because the composition offers a jam-ready mid-song interlude. As expected, JRAD took that offer and upped the ante considerably. The mid-“Cassidy” jam contained a Playing-like deep space that gradually reached a manic Caution-like climax that we didn’t expect would ever return to the song proper. But return it did, ever so briefly, before exploding into a ’69-style “St. Stephen” that nearly took the roof off the old place. The first set continued with an extended “Eyes” that teased “Loose Lucy” before it flowed into a celebratory “Not Fade Away” that closed the meaty set. The second set’s opener “Music Never Stopped” followed the same path as “Cassidy”, taking a fairly static GD song that offered space for improvisation and taking full advantage. This “Music” extended past fifteen minutes before it returned to the final refrain. The remainer of the show was notable for its continued intensity, imaginative song selections and the true dedication to the music exhibited by all. By the time the band reached the set’s final song, a sweet “Ripple” encore, it was clear that Joe Russo’s Almost Dead had truly done the historic Cap proud.

This recording is a special one for the site. We were granted access to a soundboard feed in order to mix a special “matrix” of this show. I set up the mics in the taper’s section at the front right corner of the soundboard cage. I utilized the Schoeps cards and added the Grace V3 as a pre-amp to sweeten the capture. The room sounded terrific and the crowd was fairly respectful. The board feed was impeccably mixed by JRAD FOH Pete Costello — a perfect stereo pan, complete separation and superb balance. The matrix mix is fairly even between board and audience. The result is one of the best recordings we’ve ever offered on this site. Enjoy!

This recording would not have been possible without the generosity and assistance of three separate entities — the outstanding staff at the Capitol Theatre, Pete Costello, and of course the members of JRAD.

Download the Complete Show [MP3] / [FLAC]

Stream “Dancing In The Streets”:

Stream “Cassidy”:

Stream “Music Never Stopped”:

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request, and feel free to repost the Soundcloud links.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
2015-05-09
Capitol Theatre
Port Chester NY

Digital Master Recording
FOB Audience + SBD Matrix

Soundboard [Engineer: Pete Costello] Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 24bit 48kHz wav > Soundforge (post-production) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

Setlist:
Set One
[Total Time 1:31:44]
01 Dancing In The Streets
02 Dire Wolf
03 Cassidy
04 St. Stephen
05 The Stranger (Two Souls In Communion)
06 Eyes Of The World
07 Not Fade Away
Set Two
[Total Time 1:22:06]
08 Music Never Stopped
09 King Solomon’s Marbles
10 China Cat Sunflower
11 The Eleven
12 I Know You Rider
13 Morning Dew
14 One More Saturday Night
15 [encore break]
16 Ripple

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you’ll please support these artists, visit the JRAD website, visit the JRAD Facebook page, and visit their individual websites and purchase their official merchandise. Benevento-Russo Duo [HERE], Marco Benevento [HERE], Tom Hamilton [HERE], Scott Metzger [HERE], and Dave Dreiwitz [HERE].

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead – January 24, 2015 Brooklyn Bowl – Flac/MP3/Streaming

January 26, 2015
By

JRAD BK Bowl 2015 - 1
[screen snot from LazyLightning55a video]

It was almost exactly two years ago when Joe Russo’s Almost Dead made their debut at the Brooklyn Bowl. In our somewhat controversial review of that show, we found the band’s approach to the music of the Grateful Dead both musically proficient and extremely refreshing. JRAD is a core group of friends and accomplished musicians whose take on the GD catalog was that night in stark contrast from the world of “post-Dead” which had become to me uninspired to the point of becoming almost a gimmick. I’m happy to say that the last two years have proved us entirely correct. As “post-Dead” prepares to say “Fare Thee Well” this summer, JRAD has been an unqualified success. The band has toured several times throughout this period, and last month teamed with Phil Lesh to play a series of New Year’s shows at the Capital Theatre in Port Chester NY. This weekend JRAD returned to where it all began for two very sold-out shows at the Brooklyn Bowl for the “Freaks Ball”. We attended and recorded both but offer up the second night first because this was truly a remarkable performance, surpassing anything that I could have reasonably expected from this group.

The night began with what appeared at first to be a faithful take on Pigpen’s “Alligator” — that was until the jam segment when it became very apparent that JRAD would recognize no boundaries on this night. Led by the thundering bass of Dave Dreiwitz, JRAD weaved in and out of a “Caution Jam” that touched on themes as varied as “Rider” and “Slipknot”. The set’s opener would last nearly seventeen minutes before evolving into “Jack A Roe”. This traditional number was for the Grateful Dead almost always a short first-set Garcia-led song that followed a very specific pattern. For JRAD, there are no patterns as Jack A Roe became a ten-minute exploratory jam vehicle that led very nicely into a celebratory “Uncle John’s Band”. The balance of the first set continued with some interesting song selections that kept the energy high with much more to come. Saturday night’s second set was the highlight of weekend with a “Music Never Stopped” opener that went into some deep space mid-song before returning to finish in resounding fashion. What followed was truly the most inspired song we’ve seen JRAD perform — an eighteen-minute take on “Cumberland Blues” that stretched the song to previously unheard limits and really encapsulates what makes this group special. We’re streaming this song below. The balance of the second set was filled with multiple highlights and featured a wide variety of surprises and interesting and intelligent interpretations of the familiar catalog.

I recorded this set with the Schoeps cards riding very high on a stand about 30 feet directly in line with the right stack. Other than the persistent din of crowd yapping, this is a quite excellent recording. Enjoy!

Stream “Cumberland Blues”:

This Recording is now Available to Download in FLAC or MP3 or to Stream at Archive.org [HERE]

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request, and feel free to repost the Soundcloud links.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead
2015-01-24
Brooklyn Bowl
Brooklyn NY

Digital Master Recording
FOB Audience – 30 Feet from Right Stacks

Schoeps CCM4u Cardioids > Sound Devices 744t > 24bit 48kHz wav > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, EQ, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper

Setlist:
Set 1
[Total Time 1:09:01]
01 Alligator
02 Jack A Roe
03 Uncle John’s Band
04 Ophelia
05 Ramble On Rose
06 Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line
07 Bertha

Set 2
[Total Time 1:37:18]
08 Music Never Stopped
09 Cumberland Blues
10 [band intro]
11 Help On The Way
12 Slipknot!
13 Shakedown Street
14 Truckin
15 Morning Dew
16 [encore break]
17 Brown Eyed Women

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you’ll please support these artists, visit the JRAD Facebook page, and visit their websites and purchase their official merchandise. Benevento-Russo Duo [HERE], Marco Benevento [HERE], Tom Hamilton [HERE], Scott Metzger [HERE], and Dave Dreiwitz [HERE].

Bustle In Your Hedgerow: February 7, 2014 Brooklyn Bowl – Flac/MP3/Streaming

February 10, 2014
By

Bustle TJ Cain
[photo by TJ Cain]

We know from recent experience that the group of musicians who call themselves Bustle In Your Hedgerow can play Grateful Dead music to perfection, and that they also excel at the music of The Band. But it was as an annual Led Zeppelin cover band that Joe Russo, Marco Benevento, Scott Metzger and Dave Dreiwitz first mastered the art of melding classic rock with their own jazz/fusion/rock/jam style. And now, Bustle has existed as a project for more than ten years. On Friday night at Brooklyn Bowl, it was the second night of this year’s two-show Bustle run and the band’s energy was clear from the outset. The material speaks for itself, but its the ability of the Bustle quartet to bring their own special interpretation that creates the magic that these musicians can impart to well-worn songs. In the first set, it was the stretched out “Heartbreaker” that stood out primarily because of Metzger’s extended guitar solo and the set final “Over The Hills” was a classic example of primo ensemble work. In the second set, we were impressed with the spot-on versions of “Kashmir” and “Song Remains The Same”, both of which are streaming below. Also remarkable was the extended jam segment and seamless segue between “In The Evening” and “Four Sticks”, two entirely unrelated tracks from different segments of the Zep’s career which Bustle interplayed perfectly. We expect that this outstanding quartet will continue to play the Zep for the foreseeable future, but we’re also on the edge of our seat to see whatever classic band they reinterpret next.

I recorded this set with the Sennheiser Cards mounted on the right side midway on the floor and mixed with an excellent board feed. The mix of the two sources really came out well, and we’re pleased to report that the sound quality of this set is superb. Enjoy!

Stream “Kashmir”:

Stream “The Song Remains The Same”:

Download the Complete Show [MP3] or [MP3] / [FLAC] or [FLAC]

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.

Bustle In Your Hedgerow
2014-02-07
Brooklyn Bowl
Brooklyn, NY USA

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Sennheiser MKH-8040s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades, EQ) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

Joe Russo – Drums
Marco Benevento – Keyboards
Scott Metzger – Guitar
Dave Dreiwitz – Bass

Setlist:
Set 1
[Total Time 57:18]
01 Communication Breakdown
02 The Lemon Song
03 Ramble On
04 Ten Years Gone
05 Heartbreaker
06 Custard Pie
07 All Of My Love
08 [band intro]
09 Over The Hills and Far Away

Set 2
[Total Time 1:18:09]
10 Hot Dog
11 Moby Dick
12 Since I’ve Been Loving You
13 Kashmir
14 In The Evening
15 Four Sticks
16 We’re Gonna Groove
17 The Song Remains the Same
18 [encore break]
19 Wearing and Tearing

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you’ll please support these artists, visit their websites and purchase their office merchancise. Benevento-Russo Duo [HERE], Marco Benevento [HERE], Scott Metzger [HERE], and Dave Dreiwitz [HERE].

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead: January 26, 2013 Brooklyn Bowl – Flac/MP3/Streaming

January 28, 2013
By

Almost Dead BK Bowl
[photo by nyctaper]

If you have any interest at all, even passing, in the music of the Grateful Dead, then what happened at Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday night was an important milestone in the post-Dead era. I do not exaggerate, this was a big deal. In the seventeen years since the death of Jerry Garcia and the dissolution of the Grateful Dead as an active band, there has been a steady and sometimes tiresome parade of bands attempting to “capture the magic”. In 2009, such a group even went as far as to tour as “The Dead”. One band plays complete setlists from historical Dead shows. Invariably those bands offer some connection to the band, often an original member or two, and some excellent musicianship — but there is always something lacking. Those bands can mimic the sound and usually feature a wiz guitarist with the ability to ape Garcia’s original sound. But the inherent problem is that it all seems so canned and knock-off-ish, lacking in originality and ultimately devoid of any magic at all. Sure, there are moments, or sets, or even complete shows that are rewarding in the short term. Phil Lesh and Friends has perhaps the best track record in terms of sustained performance quality. But as a whole the entire post-Dead era seems to be just a steady beat of disappointment.

On Saturday night, I saw the first post-Dead band that truly offered music that rivaled the original band at its peak. But what separated Joe Russo’s “Almost Dead” from the others was their approach to the music. This was not a mimic or an imitation, but a quintet of supremely talented musicians interpreting the music in their own unique manner. The two guitarists, Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton, have carved out excellent careers on their own merit. And thankfully neither sounded really anything like Garcia. Marco Benevento used his many talents on an assortment of keyboards to play in his own style, not like Godchaux or Constanten or Mydland. Dave Dreiwitz played an Alembic bass, but his style is nothing like Phil Lesh. And Russo, sure he plays for “Furthur”, but with Almost Dead his drums were a lead instrument — he was able to stretch out and play in a way that the restrictions of a “tribute” band don’t allow. And play they did. Over three hours in two lengthy sets. The highlights were bountiful, but it was the little moments that captured the night for me — a space jam in the middle of Althea, a blazing Shakedown Street (streaming below) that literally began on the last note of Tennessee Jed and continued into a very original jam, the 1973-era “Stronger than Dirt” instrumental post-Eyes jam, multiple teases of Caution in and out of The Other One, and an incredibly huge and energetic Viola Lee Blues (streaming below) that pushed the show to over three hours.

Given the incredible results of this show from a musical unit that only plays occasionally, its hard to fathom that “Almost Dead” might be a one-off or a once a year event. Maybe in the post-Dead era, that’s also the right approach to this music. Get it right, and then let it go. We always have the tapes. If Joe and friends decide to do it again, however, I’ll be there. It may not be like the first time, but it won’t be a disappointment.

I recorded this set with the four mic rig from the right side of the venue, about 30 feet from the stage. The sound in the Bowl on this night was perhaps the best its ever been, and I’m really pleased with the outstanding results of this recording. Enjoy!

Stream “Viola Lee Blues”:

Stream “Shakedown Street”:

This Recording is now Available for Download in FLAC and MP3 and for Streaming at Archive.org [HERE].

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.

Joe Russo Almost Dead
2013-01-26
Brooklyn Bowl
New York, NY USA

FOB Four-Track Audience Recording

Sennheiser MKH-8040 Cardioids + Neumann KM-150s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Concert Mod) > 2x 24bit 48kHz wav file > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced by nyctaper
2013-01-27

Joe Russo – Drums and Vocals
Marco Benevento – Keyboards
Scott Metzger – Guitar and Vocals
Tom Hamilton – Guitar and Vocals
Dave Dreiwitz – Bass

Setlist:
Set 1
[Total Time 1:24:31]
01 Bertha
02 Althea
03 Jack Straw
04 Deal
05 Mr Charlie
06 [band introductions]
07 Brown-Eyed Women
08 Tennesee Jed
09 Shakedown Street
10 Jam
11 China Cat Sunflower
12 I Know You Rider

Set 2
[Total Time 1:42:58]
13 Estimated Prophet
14 Eyes Of The World
15 Help On The Way
16 Slipknot
17 Franklins Tower
18 St Stephen
19 The Eleven
20 Caution Jam
21 The Other One
22 Viola Lee Blues
23 [encore break]
24 US Blues

If you download this recording from NYCTaper, we expect that you’ll please support these artists, visit their websites and purchase their office merchancise. Benevento-Russo Duo [HERE], Marco Benevento [HERE], Tom Hamilton [HERE], Scott Metzger [HERE], and Dave Dreiwitz [HERE].

Support nyctaper

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