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DMB/Keller - 6/30/04
Nero/Drums & Tuba - 3/14/03
Blue Quarter - 3/09/03
Uncle Seth - 2/12/03
The Product - 12/18/02
Grand Theft Bus - CD

Jamaholic Confession

The First Time

I think the first time was during a visit to the west coast. I went to a show at the Robert's Creek hall and there was this band (People Playing Music) was playing this music that I didn't know how to describe. I asked around but no one there seemed to be able to classify it for me. I remember describing it to friends back here as like jazz meeting folk meeting rock and then heavily improvised. It was some time later that I realized I had bec... more


Live Music For
Tuesday the 19th

No shows for tonight...

Get reaquainted with an old cd you haven't listened to in a while.

If you would like to add your review of a live music event or a CD, please send an email to submissions@jamaholic.com

If you would like to send your latest CD for review consideration, send me an email and I'll send you my mailing address.

Live Show Reviews

Dave Matthews Band & Keller Williams - 6-30-04
Molson Amphitheatre - Toronto, ON


I was pretty blown away last night by DMB and Keller. There were a few DMB songs that I really didn't care for, but that was by far a minority of the show. DMB has really evolved since the last time I saw them, maybe this is in part due to the fact that they weren't touring to support an new album, and maybe also due to the wide variety of influces Dave has been getting from different openers as well as events like Bonnaroo. Dave is definitely picking up influces from the likes of G Love, Ben Harper, Keller, Galactic, Soulive etc. DMB has a new energy and played in fine form last night. It was actually a little strange when they'd sink back into one of their singles off the last couple albums, after having been stuck in a hard jammed out groove. The audience was very mixed though, so I guess you really do have to through a few bones out there for all the people who want to hear those singles.

It all began as Dave took the stage introducing Keller Williams as someone you really should know if you don't already. Then Dave picked up his guitar and he and Keller proceeded to play a short but sweet "All along the Watchtower". Damn what a way to open the show!! It was a little bitter sweet, because it was almost like Dave had resigned himself to the fact they'd he play Watchtower but was getting it out of the way right of the bat. Still, and Keller/Matthews Watchtower? Who can complain about that... Keller continued on to play a 50 min set, which included some favourites: Freeker By the Speaker, Kidney in a Cooler (with Deep Elem Blues, Freakshow (by Ani DiFranco), Word Up (by Cameo), Tube Loop, as well as a few others. The crowd wasn't really paying much attention, opening slots are tough. But the sound was quite good, and loud, so it wasn't too tough to get into the Keller Groove.

Next, DMB took the stage and played a monster set that lasted 2 hours and 45 min including encore. Dave had a lot of surprises in store for me. They played some sick acid jazz groove, he rapped, he played a lap steel guitar, he even played a bit of bluegrass. I don't know that I've ever seen that much variety in a show before. The band is really on to something with this new acid jazzy groove they are working on, I hope they keep that up. Favourites from the set included: Warehouse (opener), Jimi Thing (the sickest I've ever heard), Too Much, and Rapunzel.

My faith has been renewed in the Dave Matthews Band, and I hope they continue to focus on making new and interesting music, instead of going for the pop music cash grab.

When the World Ends
Hello Again
One Sweet World
Rhyme and Reason
Sugar Will
The Song That Jane Likes
Jimi Thing
Joy Ride
Where Are You Going
Too Much

Grace Is Gone
Pantala Naga Pampa



"That One Guy" - with the Magic Pipe - 04-27-04
El Mocambo - Toronto, ON


That One Guy rolled into the El Mocambo last night with his "Magic Pipe" and his "Magic Boot". I'd have to give it 5 stars! It's not very often that an act comes along as unique and enteraining as this one. His magic pipe is part bass, part guitar, part percussion, and part I don't know what... He's definitely a one man show, he loops, strums, and picks, hell he even played a saw blade. Think Futureman, but if he was a bass player instead of a drummer. He'll be playing Kingston tonight, and Hamilton friday night. Don't miss that one guy if you can help it!



Bob Dylan - 03-21-04
Clinton's - Toronto, ON


Bob Dylan rolled into Toronto this weekend playing three shows. I caught night three at the Kool Haus. Once again the Kool Haus didn't fail to deliver a horrible concert experience. As per expectation there was the pushing and shoving, the usual waste-oids passing out in the crowd, the obnoxious wasted sing alongers (I paid to hear dylan sing, not you loosers, and by the way Dylan ain't singing like *that* anymore), overall lousy sound of the venue, and add to that the fact that it was simply impossible to see the band over the crowd... Once I resigned myself to defeat, and shut my eyes in attempt to focus on the music, it was better. Dylan's band is FANTASTIC, and Dylan's singing was good 90% of the time. He's singing the old classics differently than what you might expect, this could either be due to limitations in his voice, or just simply being tired of singing the same songs for 40 years. Either way, it's a nice change. Dylan played piano all night (which unfortunately you couldn't really hear) but he did play some great harp solo's. "Tweedle dee", "Just like a woman", "Tom Thumb's Blues", and "Watchtower" were among my highlights! I sure hope next time Dylan decides to play smaller venues in TO he'll do some theatres like Massey Hall or the Danforth Music Hall.



Electric Meat - 03-19-04
Clinton's - Toronto, ON


Friday night Electric Meat played a stellar show at Clinton's. They belted out some of their originals like "400 Miles" which have a great sort of rolling country-ish rock sound. Kinda like the Dylan album "Love and Theft". The Meat also busted out some killer dead tunes in tribute to Bobby, "Feel Like a Stranger" and "Hell in a Bucket". And most of all there was no lack of jamming! The Meat had a nice turnout and are definitely making an impression in the Toronto jam community. You can see them next at C'est What, April 9th.



Contact w/ Jomomma - 03-15-04
The Rivoli - Toronto, ON


Made it out Saturday night to catch Contact and Jomomma. Unfortunately I got there a little late and only heard the last two songs from Jomomma, sounded great though. Then Contact came on and laid it down hard. They played some great trancy grooves as well as some real experimental ambient type stuff. I think it's a great formula, get everyone up and dancing, then trip out on a dark exploratory jam which gives people a break, then back into the thumping groove. They also have a great mix of musicians, drums, hand drums, bass, and a guitar with more pedals and effects than you can shake a stick at. If you like Phish you'd dig contact, not that they are the same but you'll get what I mean after you've seen them. The Rivoli was pretty full but not uncomfortably crowded, it was perfect... Contact is a band on the move and definitely work checking out if you have the chance.



Nero and Drums & Tuba - 03-14-03
El Macombo - Toronto, ON


Last night nero and Drums & Tuba invaded Toronto and put on a clinic in impovised music. Both bands had me dancing from the second the music started playing and I didn't stop until the end.

Craziness, just pure craziness. When these two bands get togther its just pure trouble. I had an awesome time and the show was very well attended. Definately love that room too, great sightlines, lights and sound - a little pricey on the beer though - but what can you do.

As for the show - nero smoked through a solid 70 minute set that got the majority of people in there given'r. They opened up with a tight 401 Theme -> Centregnome -> 401 that highlight Dave's impressive use of effects pedals. I can't get over how many he has! He just seems to be adding more and more. At this point there must be at least 15 - 20 pedals and that crazy big box that hes always tinkering with. The set also featured a new tune called Downside Up and they ended with a standard Lemondust.

All in all nero seems to be getting better and better every time they play, which these days is a lot. They tour so much, which really shows in their cohesiveness and abilty to work off each other on the fly. I love the fact that I know that they're gonna be playing in my town in couple of months down the line - in this case it'll be today.

As for the Tuba - they smoked as well. By the time these boys got on stage, the place was rammed! Hailing all the way from New York City, these guys bring the craziness to a new level. They played one long set - which featured some solid jamming on the guitars, and wicked horn playing. I totally love the concept behind the band - where the Tuba sets the baseline, which they usually loop, and then they explore wicked spaces of music on top of that. All in all, I think a good time was had by all, and I can't wait to bust out the dancing shoes again for tonights nero and Hiway Freeker show at Clintons. Definately come early because this place is small and its gonna be packed!

El Macombo

401 Theme ->
Centregnome ->
401 Theme
Downside Up
Whispy Mountain Wonder



Blue Quarter - 03-08-03
The Rivoli - Toronto, ON


Blue Quarter Drops a Dime at The Rivoli

Approximately 100 people brazenly ignored flash freeze warnings to make it out to The Rivoli in Toronto on Saturday night, and it is hard to believe that anyone left disappointed. With a mix of techno-jazz and drum & bass, Blue Quarter had those in attendance bouncing to their original "organic electro lounge groove".

With 294 shows under their belts, including last night's show brought to us by neuro linguistic entertainment, Blue Quarter plays with a cohesiveness that can only be found in those road warrior jam bands tearing up the north.

Bitou, Oliver, and Stephan, touring vets from Canmore Alberta, attack the sound space with sizzling drums (drum beat machine not necessary), dazzling bass, and the awesome Chapman Stick. The latter is keyboards and electric guitar all in one. The bass guitar neck doubles as a drum pad in a groovy solo that drops everyone's jaw.

According to the band's website at http://www.bluequarter.com, the purpose of their travels through space is "to elevate the human mind & soul in a tangible sonic vibe". While this sounds ambitious those who witness their performances can attest that they are doing their best, with tangible success. The group of Rivoli patrons getting down in front of the stage were thanked throughout the evening for their willingness to let the music move their bodies through the two sets, and over 2 hours of music set to a frenzied pace. Smiles scattered like wildfire throughout the crowd - even those sitting in their chairs - when the Sesame Street theme was played in a short and funky instrumental jam. "Playstation" was a perfect second set closer, leaving everyone thoroughly satisfied.

Blue Quarter is currently amidst a nine show Ontario tour, with upcoming dates in London, Hamilton, North Bay and Thunder Bay. They will then stop in Winnipeg before heading back home to the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. Check the band's website for dates and venues.

By Brian Sherman


Uncle Seth - 02-12-03
C'est What - Toronto, ON


I didn't get in to see Gov't Mule at the sold out Opera House show tonight and instead decided to check out a little band called Uncle Seth.

Now first off, the name conjures up images of a crazy old uncle that we know and love playing 70's rock - but this was far from the case. Picture a band thats one part Blue's Traveller, one part Grand Theft Bus and one part Dave Matthews - add an amazing lead female vocalist and you have Uncle Seth.

I was pleasantly surprised by the mix of catchy pop infused tunes and exploratory jam based tracks. There was some wicked back and forth between the lead guitar and harmonica, which was laden with various effects throughout sounding almost like keys. I picked up their debut CD Lame Suburban Poetry - which has gotten rave revues from the likes of Now Magazine and Andrew Creegan. These guys will be touring Ottawa, Kingston as well as other places in the near future - and I definately reccomend catching them if they're in your area.

Uncle Seth
C'est What - Toronto, ON

Funny Faces ->
Walk In The Rain
Get Out Of My Face
Bits On Tim
In Vain
If I So Laugh
Franklin's Tower (Greatful Dead)

You can find out more about Uncle Seth and download a couple tracks at: http://www.musicface.com/uncleseth/



The Product - 12-18-02
Chicago's - Toronto, ON


The scene: arrived at some point midway into the first set. A cosy place to get away from the winter. Nice warm red lights highlighting the stage.
Four musicians basking in the warm glow. A master of the horns, A bass player not afraid to really push the range of the instrument, A keys player on an electrified jamaholic binge, A skins player who hand picks each and every rattta ta tatta bap. It's an old school jazz frenzy, a music freak out. This is the ShIt! Time for some thick Zappa...

Second set, more of the same solid goodness. Hypnotic grooves, the bass is riding the waves.

Third set:
Mercy, mercy, mercy* ->
Jam ->
Mercy reprise...
...solid goodness

Nightcourt** ->

* Cannonball Adderley
** Nightcourt, a classic 80's sitcom, theme song. (I always loved that tune)



CD Reviews

Grand Theft Bus - Birth of Confusion

Often times when an improvisational rock band enters the studio they attempt to somehow capture the sound and energy of their live show. Nine times out of ten they fail and the songs naturally become more watered down and, well, a lot shorter. This certainly is not the case with Birth of Confusion, the debut release from Atlantic Canada’s own Grand Theft Bus.

Not only does the disc clock in at over 75 minutes in length but the quartet does something that many "jambands" have not done in the past: they embrace both experimentation and recording technology without veering too far astray from the songs themselves. The results make for a highly rewarding collection of fully realized compositions that tend to reveal themselves with each listen.

The album opens with the muted snare drum of "Don’t Treat Me Like That," one of the more linear and accessible tracks on the disc. However, with its subtle electronics and clever lyrics it is anything but conventional and it could easily appeal to a wide array of music fans. The spacious "Insane Man’s Mind" is next as the album’s continuing concept of confusion and disorientation is touched upon for the first time. The third track, "Low," features the synchronized dual guitar work of Tim Walker and Dennis Goodwin and, with the help of Jimmy Swift Band keyboardist Aaron Collier, the two compliment each other perfectly, weaving together to create a wall of beautiful textures and strong melodies. "Theory" then provides a break in the thread of confusion with the line "this theory covers everything" as the Bus leave you with the impression that they understand exactly what they are trying to do - both musically and lyrically.

By the time you hit the midway point of the album you begin to experience the pounding energy that GTB has become know for while touring constantly across Eastern Canada. "Street Sleeper," the band’s most epic improvisational platform, loses none of its euphoric value as drummer Bob Deveau and bassist Graeme Walker provide a heavy bottom that is almost trance-like in its dance floor appeal. "Ol’Guiseppe" maintains this torrid pace before segueing perfectly into "Bones" - the last song on the disc that really gives the listener a chance to catch their breath. From here the music becomes even more diversified and difficult to put into words. "Never Can Tell" still manages to feature the band’s shifting tempos and unique chord changes but could easily make mainstream radio much more interesting. "Weight of Circumstance" is dark, spacey funk where rapidly shifting melodies, rhythms, and textures push the music forward and take the listener on an almost mind-altering journey.

The album finally comes to a climax with "Tank Top" - a 14 minute instrumental piece that perfectly showcases what this band has to offer in a live setting. Also, more than any other selection on the album, this may be the track that most accurately reveals the musical influences behind Grand Theft Bus as the song sounds closer to the post-rock of Tortoise than any of the more well known jambands. In fact, it is hard to compare Grand Theft Bus and Birth of Confusion to any band - especially a particular jamband. This is precisely what makes this work of art so easy to both praise and recommend as it is much more than a simple document of a great live band it is original, progressive music and a great debut album.

Grand Theft Bus - Birth of Confusion
Below Me Music

By: Neil Brewer
Taken From: www.jamhub.ca



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