Soulive’s annual Bowlive Run at Brooklyn Bowl continued last night in Williamsburg. Special guests included keyboardist Marco Benevento, Los Lobos guitarist David Hidalgo, The Shady Horns and opening act The London Souls. For the encore, Soulive welcomed their guests up, with the exception of the horns, for a 20-plus-minute tribute to Neil Young.
Soulive, Benevento, Hidalgo and The London Souls kicked off the encore with the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young protest song Ohio sung by Tash Neal. The CSNY cover morphed into Neil Young’s Down By The River on which Tash shared vocals with Alan Evans. Once Tash, Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno and Hidalgo were finished taking turns soloing, the Los Lobos guitarist stepped to the mic to deliver a verse of Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth.
Rolling Stone just posted a new video and even though we’ve already run our regular 10AM video and the Full Show Friday video, we want to share this gorgeous version of When The Circus Comes from Los Lobos. The clip comes from a DVD called Kiko Live which was recorded in San Diego on February 24th, 2006 that was recently released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kiko.
The RS article also gives a bit of insight into the song’s origin. ”‘When The Circus Comes’ is the story of two lifelong friends who have a falling out over something really stupid and risk losing all the history they have together,” Los Lobos drummer and guitarist Louie Perez told Rolling Stone.
I’d venture to guess that a certain percentage of people only really know Los Lobos from their contributions to the soundtrack to the 1987 film La Bamba, where they famously covered a handful of Richie Valens songs, including the title track. Heck, I was guilty of that myself. But thanks in part to to their cover Bertha from 1991′s Deadicated, and to Phish covering When The Circus Comes To Town, I decided to pick up a copy of their highly recommended 1992 record Kiko and became enchanted with their blend of American rock and roots music, with traditional Latin sounds. Next Tuesday, Los Angeles-based band will release a deluxe 20th anniversary edition of the album, and have announced that they will play a handful of special shows, that will see the band play the record in its entirety, which will precede their tour serving as opening act for Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
If you’re not into a night with Latin-tinged roots-rock act, then maybe you’ll be interested in hitting one of these recently announced tours…
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from dealing with musicians, it’s that just because you make good music that doesn’t doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good person. Back in 2006 Los Lobos multi-instrumentalist Steve Berlin filled JamBase in on the band’s participation in the recording sessions for Paul Simon’s legendary Graceland LP. Berlin accused Simon of stealing songs from Los Lobos and still hasn’t backed off from that position in a new interview with Rock Cellar Magazine.
Berlin went into detail about Los Lobos’s experience with Simon and the process by which the legendary singer-songwriter allegedly “stole” Graceland track The Myth of Fingerprints. When the members of Los Lobos saw that Simon took credit for their song, they approached their label (Warner Bros.) and Paul who, according to Berlin, dared them to sue him. When asked whether Los Lobos ever received a penny for their participation in Graceland, Berlin didn’t mince words…
RCM: So to this day, Los Lobos has never received a penny for your work on Graceland?
SB: Zero. Zip. We got nothing for being a part of that record. I think it’s important to point out that not only did we never get a penny for it, but they didn’t even pay us union payments. In closing, everybody I know who has ever worked with Paul Simon says he’s the biggest jerk in the world. Yeah – he’s a fucking idiot.
On the other side of things, Berlin had nothing but praise for Levon Helm…
RCM: In contrast to Paul Simon, can you name an artist you truly admire?
SB: Levon Helm. We were part of his last performance and played with him at his barn at the Ramble just two weeks before he died, back in April. He asked to see us before the show and I have to say he did not look well. It was scary how ill he looked, but then he went out and absolutely crushed it! He was amazing that night and played his fucking ass off! Everybody, all of us thought, “My god this guy’s incredible!” And who knew it would be his last performance. I knew he had been sick and that he’d had good days and bad days, but none of us felt that he was that close to the end, certainly, based on the way he played that night.
Earlier this month legendary drummer Levon Helm underwent a medical procedure that has sidelined him from any musical activity for a while. His famed Midnight Rambles will go on without him this Saturday as Warren Haynes and Donald Fagen will perform with the rest of The Levon Helm Band in Woodstock. Thankfully, the news from Plochmann Lane has been good of late with Levon gearing up for a return to action in March.
Levon is doing great and he sends his love and gratitude for all the kind words. He continues to rest and recuperate – soaking up the mid-winter sunshine and eating everything in site! Keep the cards and notes coming – they look great on the cork board in the house.
The Band drummer has just announced two new Midnight Rambles that each feature a fantastic opening act. British folk act Mumford and Sons will be Helm’s guest on March 10 followed by Los Lobos filling that role on March 31. Tickets for both Midnight Rambles go on sale tomorrow at 10AM EST through LevonHelm.com’s webstore and are sure to sell out in an instant. If you’ve always wanted to go to a Ramble, don’t put it off. It’s a wonderful musical experience that every fan of Helm and The Band needs to do at least once.
Warren Haynes’ annual Christmas Jam got off to a rousing start last night at the Pre-Jam, which was held at Asheville’s Orange Peel. The evening featured short sets from many of the acts scheduled to perform at the Civic Center tonight. Phil Lesh’s latest Phil and Friends outfit closed out the show marking the first P&F performance since 2008.
Haynes kicked off the Pre-Jam with a few, choice solo acoustic tunes (River’s Gonna Rise, A Friend to You) before welcoming up his Gov’t Mule band mate Matt Abts and Planet of the Abts. Another of Warren’s Mule cohorts, Danny Louis, added trombone to a few songs at the end of PoA’s set. Xmas Jam regular Kevn Kinney graced the stage next with his “friends” and played Here Come The Regulars and A Good Country Mile. Next up was Jackie Greene and Friends, a band put together especially for the occasion which featured Joe Russo on drums and ended with a scorching take on Don’t Let Me Down featuring Warren Haynes on guitar. Following Greene was a jazz-laden set by Bela Fleck, Jeff Sipe, Casey Driessan, Taylor Lee and Bill Evans. Then, Los Lobos delivered a seven-song set that included a sit-in from Haynes on Killing Floor as a tribute to the late Hubert Sumlin. Warren also guested on 300 Pounds of Joy and Mas Y Mas.
Los Lobos have humility, chops and professionalism to spare, and on a good night, these things propel them, and on a less-than-good night, maintain them. They’re hard to criticize because they just don’t falter: they play that broad, experienced mix of canciones, cumbias and folk songs with rock, blues, country and a whole host of other things, and do it with equal helpings of grace, raunch and bravado.
Sure, album-wise, they’ve been in something of a holding pattern since at least Good Morning Aztlan, and their shows don’t always have the sustained spark of yesteryear. And long-held Los Lobos quibbles – maybe they could mix it up a little more? why again did they bring Louie Perez out behind the drumkit in the mid 1990s to add another guitar voice and utility player? – are what they are at this point. But you’re grateful to have ‘em; rare is the Lobos show that fails to convince you of that.
They were in a peppy and giving mood at Bowery – a small room for them – which kicked off with a passionate Emily opener and dove into range of deep-catalog cuts (how about that filthy Georgia Slop!) sprinkled among the usual rockers (Don’t Worry Baby), cumbias (Chuco’s Cumbia, the heaving Maricela), genre-shifting charmers (still love that accordion on their typically fizzy take on Flaco Jimenez’s Ay Te Dejo En San Antonio) and just plain beautiful Los Lobos staples (the ancient folk tune Volver, Volver – which always seems to hit just as the crowd is slipping from buzzed to drunk and ready to sing).
READ ON for more from Chad on Los Lobos @ the Bowery…
The pride of East L.A. – Los Lobos – have announced details about their first new album since 2006 called Tin Can Trust. TCT hits online and physical retailers on August 3 and includes a cover of the Grateful Dead’s West L.A. Fadeaway along with seven David Hidalgo-Louie Pérez collaborations. Susan Tedeschi even gets in on the action, guesting on the opening track.
Los Lobos started covering West L.A. in 2009 and the group’s connection with the song goes way back to July 31, 1988 when Hidalgo sat in on West L.A. with the Dead at Laguna Seca. You can stream a SBD recording of that show on the Live Music Archive.
Finally, Medeski Martin & Wood will webcast a master class and live studio performance on June 9 and 10 at 7PM through Nevessa Production’s website. On June 9th, the trio will play Radiolarians material as well as a fully-improvised set. On June 10th, the band will present a master class entitled Form and Improvisation. For $24.95 you’ll be able to watch both webcasts as they happen as well as watch the video on demand for 30 days.
When Los Lobos tackle a cover, they always do it justice. For instance, the Mexican-American band add a bit of Tejano flair to their versions of the Dead’s Bertha and Sublime’s Pawn Shop while not straying too far from the originals. Los Lobos’ latest project, Los Lobos Goes Disney, finds the 36-year industry veterans interpreting songs from Disney theme parks and movies. The album will be released on the Disney Sound imprint October 27.
Most of the songs on Los Lobos Goes Disney are among the greatest hits from Disney Films such as When You Wish Upon a Star and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, while others are about parts of Disneyland like the Haunted Mansion and Enchanted Tiki Room rides. Back in 1988, Los Lobos covered I Wanna Be Like You from The Jungle Book as part of the Stay Awake compilation and offer a new version of the tune for this album featuring traditional Mexican Instruments. Los Lobos kick off an extensive tour tonight in Fresno that also includes three performances at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World.
Last Week’s Sauce is a recurring column featuring recordings of shows that took place the previous week. Thanks to CTDave for the photo.
Artist & Title: The Bad Plus – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do Date & Venue: 2009-08-21 Highline Ballroom New York, NY Taper & Show Download:Scott Bernstein
This is the first of two recordings from last week captured during Highline Ballroom’s “piano series”. This is a great take on the, oh yeah, Neil Sedaka song. Extra props to taper Scott Bernstein (note: different than our editor Scott Bernstein, they get that lot) for taking the time to even-out the levels of the applause – a problem you get on many jazz recordings when songs end. The Bad Plus next play at the Rimouski International Festi Jazz. In a bit of Last Week’s Sauce coincidence (see below), their next gig after that will be with the Marco Benevento Trio in Boulder, CO.
READ ON for more from the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Widespread Panic…
It’s been a few years since we last heard any new music from Jason Lytle. The former Grandaddy front man retreated from the brashness of Northern California to the Big Sky country of Montana after announcing the band was calling quits prior to the release of their 2006 release Just Like the Fambly Cat. Lytle recently reemerged with his solo debut Yours Truly, The Commuter and will hit the road with a mix of headlining dates and as support for our favorite redheaded chanteuse, Neko Case.
If you’re not into the Lytle’s electro-folk-rock, than maybe you’ll want to hit one of these recently announced tours…
Finally, as Los Lobos eyes a 2010 release of their 14th studio album on their new label Shout! Factory, the band will hit the road this summer for a lengthy run that stretches deep into the tail end of 2009. The venerable roots-rockers will sandwich a co-headlining tour with Los Lonely Boys in between festival appearances and stand alone dates.
When you hear the word “acoustic” associated with a concert, it conjures up visions of acoustic guitars and bar stools on stage. The drummer becomes a percussionist; everyone sits on the stools and plays their music without all the decibels and hot dogging. It’s more about the music than the show.
MTV made sure we were all familiar with the concept with their “Unplugged” series. Everyone from Sting to Nirvana to 10,000 Maniacs has played that venue. When your favorite band adds and acoustic set to their show, the tunes are approached differently by the musicians. Sometimes the results are wonderful, ala Springsteen’s Born To Run on the Chimes Of Freedom EP. Other times, not so much, like Motley Crue trying to pull off Girls, Girls, Girls with Tommy Lee on congas. Just can’t get behind that one. Truth in advertising laws aside, inserting the word Semi- between the first two words appearing on the ticket would be closer to what we were treated to at the Aladdin Theater on Friday night.
Los Lobos put a slightly different spin on the acoustic label tonight. They started on time, all five members fanning out at the front of the stage with, true to their word, acoustic instruments. Like a mariachi on steroids, they strummed and harmonized their way through a first set that consisted of mostly Spanish vocals and joyous interplay. When Louie Perez stepped to the mike to sing Saint Behind The Glass four songs in, they were already sweating. From the front row, they looked like they were having the time of their lives. Even Cesar Rosas, the epitome of cool behind his ever present dark shades, was grinning ear to ear.
READ ON for more of A.J.’s review of Los Lobos @ The Aladdin…
Most of the Grousing The Aisles columns I’ve written for this rag have had unifying themes that tie together the featured shows. This week I’m struggling to figure out what these bands have in common, besides the ability to drive their audiences crazy. So I’m copping out and calling this a Variety Pack edition of GTA. Don’t let that stop you from downloading any of these amazing recordings of Los Lobos, The Clash, moe., Ryan Adams, Uncle Tupelo and more…
East L.A. rockers Los Lobos surprised the crowd at the recent Voices of Latin Rock benefit show in San Francisco by performing an unannounced closing set. As if that weren’t enough, they also invited some legendary rock stars to the stage. George Clinton and Sly Stone joined the band for rough but ready versions of Thank You Fallentime Be Mice Elf Agin and I Want To Take You Higher. On the other hand, we’re sure the crowd wasn’t surprised when Stone quickly left the stage after banging out a few chords and singing a few lines. You can’t have it all.
Los Lobos, who has just embarked on a two-month tour, started their set with a batch of their greatest hits. For Mas Y Mas, the band invited Jackie Greene, Mic Gillette and Karl Perazzo to sit-in on what turned out to be a blistering version of the aggressively percussive tune. The highlight of the night came towards the end of the show when Mario Valenzuela, Richie Valens’ brother, came out for an energetic La Bamba > Good Lovin’ > La Bamba sequence. Over 30 years after releasing their first record, Los Lobos is still killin’ it on a nightly basis. Read on…
All four original members of Los Lobos met, attended and graduated L.A.’s Garfield High School during the early ’70s. They must’ve been saddened when on May 20th a Garfield student committed arson and burned down a good portion of the school, including the auditorium. Los Lobos hasn’t forgotten its roots, and the band will perform at a benefit concert on October 14th in hopes of raising enough money to buy a new auditorium for the students of Garfield. Nice guys.
And while you’re still deciding how much you want to pay for the new Radiohead album, read on after the jump for the weekend’s setlists, including but not limited to Andrew Bird, Arcade Fire, Bela Fleck, The National, Van Halen, Tea Leaf Green, P-Groove, moe. and all your other favorite bands…
Our corporate papa Glide Magazine is giving away a pair of tickets to the inaugural Echo Project in Atlanta on October 12th – 14th. It’s comforting to see a festival that isn’t scared to book pretty much all of the big-time jambands as part of a well-rounded rock lineup. Phil Lesh leads a stellar roster that includes The Flaming Lips and Les Claypool among the many artists that give the festie some variety. So check out that first link and score yourself some free ducats.