Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yes, the Cubes + New Black Crowes CD

As promised, the New Orleans Jazz Fest cubes were published today. We're going second weekend, and I'm already feeling the FOMS (fear of missing something).

Thursday, 5/1, it's PBS (Porter-Batiste-Stoltz) vs. Carolina Chocolate Drops; Randy Newman vs. bewitching soul singer Bettye Lavette; and saxophonist Donald Harrison versus tuba man Kirk Joseph's Backyard Groove.

Friday, 5/2: Papa Grows Funk vs Richard Thompson vs Meters drummer Zigaboo Modeliste; Art Neville vs Trombone Shorty vs the Bad Plus vs The Lee Boys; and Stevie Wonder vs. Terence Blanchard and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (doing music from Blanchard's CD, taken in part from the Spike Lee doc). Darn that last one!

Saturday, 5/3: the subdudes vs the Roots vs Marcia Ball vs Bobby McFerrin/Chick Corea; and Diana Krall vs Irvin Mayfield and the NOJO vs Steel Pulse (yes, Jimmy Buffett is playing at the same time, but ZZZZzzzzzz)

Sunday, 5/4: Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk vs Galactic; Rebirth vs Dianne Reeves vs Keb' Mo' vs Santana; and - darn it again! - the Neville Brothers vs Derek Trucks Band vs The Radiators.

Life is tough. For all the details, go to the official Jazz Fest site.

(Now, if I could only swing it to go both weekends ...)

Gotta say I'm liking the new Black Crowes. Below is my review, which was scheduled to appear in a weekly - I'll add the link when I get it.

The Black Crowes
(Silver Arrow)

It takes less than two minutes for Chris Robinson to slap a sassy rejoinder at all those naysayers – real, imagined – who wrote off the Black Crowes even before the singer and his guitarist brother Rich called it quits in 2002. "Don't you wanna see the ship go down with me?" he asks on Warpaint'sopener, chugging rock stomper "Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution," punched with the slide-guitar stingers of the North Mississippi Allstars' Luther Dickinson, now doubling in the Crowes.

That track is the catchiest on a disc that has the Georgia-bred band sounding downright reenergized, turning in a bruising one-chord grind on the spooky "Walk Believer Walk" and opting for twangy balladry on the slow, satisfying ramble "Oh Josephine."

The Robinsons, stingy with review copies of their first CD since 2001, needn't have worried: There's plenty of greasy-good rock and roll to love here, including the bulbous Zep blues riff of "Wee Who See the Deep," the swaggering, Stonesy country groove of acoustic-electric charmer "Locust Street" and a blistering, hypnotic take on Rev. Charlie Jackson's evangelistic "God's Got Us," all abetted by the mighty wallop of longtime Crowes drummer Steve Gorman. Elsewhere, the lyrics are flavored with references to "redemption" and a call to "join the jubilee." Consider me (re)converted

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