Back in 2011 Baltimore’s The Bridge announced that they would be breaking up following a Thanksgiving Eve performance at hometown venue Ram’s Head Live. The band were together for ten years and were known for their fantastic live shows. At the time, The Bridge revealed they were victims of the bad economy and could “no long sustain ourselves as a band,” there was no talk of any personal issues. Since The Bridge’s “Last Waltz” on Thanksgiving Eve ’11, they’ve proven they can’t quit each other as they reformed for a slot at last summer’s All Good Festival, a free show to celebrate the Ravens’ recent Super Bowl win and now have a couple of shows booked for this summer.
We love the way they’ve described their inability to “cut the cord”…
Have any of you ever broken up with someone, and after the “relationship” was over, you realized that it was still fun to get together and have sex once in a while? Well, that’s sort of like us. We like sex. And music. And music education in schools. And Baltimore. And Grateful Dead music. So, therefore…….On August 10, 2013, The Bridge will be playing a show to benefit Believe in Music, the wonderful non-profit organization founded by our own Kenny Liner, that promotes music education in the classrooms of underprivileged schools. The show will be held at Pier Six Concert Pavillion, and will feature sets by The Bridge and our good friends Dark Star Orchestra!! This is first time we’ve ever had the chance to play at Pier Six, and we’re honored to be able to get together and play for our hometown friends and family at such an incredible venue for such a great cause. Tickets are now on sale for this event that is sure to be a special one!! Go here:
We were sad to see Baltimore-based jam band The Bridgetake their ball and go home last year, especially after putting out the fantastic National Bohemian LP. Despite playing what was billed as their “final show” last November in their hometown, the group will reassemble for one night only to perform at this summer’s All Good Festival – their eighth All Good appearance in a row.
When the Associated Press writes a music-related news item, the article is typically posted in dozens of newspapers and hundreds of websites. So when they mess up information within their article, the misinformation is spread far and wide as it was for an AP piece on Gregg Allman.
It all started with an article from the Jambands.com news department that reported Gregg Allman cancelled all of his solo band’s performances from August 26 until September 15 “due to an upper respiratory condition.” The Jambands.com story was picked up by Patrick Buchnowski of Johnston, PA’s The Tribune-Democrat — the paper of record in a town where Allman played this weekend as part of the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival — who dutifully pointed out that this might be area fans’ last chance to see Gregg, as well as to catch HT faves The Bridge, who will hang it up later this year after ten years on the road. The AP cited Buchnowski’s piece for an article about Allman cancelling his tour and somehow made the incorrect assumption that The Bridge is Allman’s backing band.
Now, articles on the websites for the USA Today, the Boston Herald, Yahoo! News, the Miami Herald and other prestigious papers are running the erroneous article. The AP article states, “The newspaper says Jambands.com reports” – then why even give any credit to The Tribune-Democrat instead of just giving a nod to Jambands.com who broke the story? Regardless, here’s hoping Gregg Allman makes a speedy recovery and decides to play a show with The Bridge, ’cause that would actually be a good pairing.
It’s one thing for a band to break up on the downside of their career, but after releasing what was by far their best album, National Bohemian, earlier this year, we’re sad to see that the pride of Baltimore, The Bridge, are calling it quits after a Thanksgiving Eve performance in their hometown. The economy is terrible, the music industry is in shambles and we can only imagine how difficult it must be for smaller acts to make ends meet.
The members of The Bridge announced their forthcoming breakup via a letter to their fans on the band’s website…
Dear Family and Friends,
This next Thanksgiving will mark the 10-year anniversary of The Bridge. It has been an amazing ride that we have shared with you all. It is therefore with a heavy heart that we announce that this year will mark the end of The Bridge. After ten years and thousands of miles, the harsh realities of life on the road have led us to a point where we can no longer sustain ourselves as a band. We fought on to continue for as long as we could, because we truly believed in our music and cherished the deeply special connection that we have built with our audiences throughout the years. But at the end of the day, the economy won, and we are forced to close up shop.
What started as a show for our friends on one Thanksgiving Eve has led us on a wild, beautiful journey beyond our expectations. The long van rides, smoky bars, sleepless nights, wicked hangovers, cheap motels, and flat tires were all worth it for the chance to play music for you all and create those special moments that we live for. It has been the most rewarding experience of our lives. In true Bridge fashion, we will be giving you everything we have left for the rest of our shows. We will be playing our final residency at 8×10, the house that built The Bridge, in the coming weeks, as well as our beloved All Good Festival, our favorite day of the year for the last 7 years. And as if it was meant to be, we will be closing out our run as a band on our 10-year anniversary, Thanksgiving Eve, at Rams Head Live. We plan on cherishing every last moment we have with you as The Bridge.
As chapters end and new ones begin, we will continue to pursue other musical endeavors, and hope to keep the spirit of this community alive. We are forever grateful to you all, the people who we have gotten to know so well through the years, as well as those who have worked so hard and given so much of themselves for the band. And lastly we want to thank each other, the members of the band both past and present, for sweating out the tough times and celebrating the high times …
On Friday, February 18, Chicago’s Park West developed a nasty case of funk-soul boogie thanks to heated performances by The Bridge and Galactic. Symptoms began to surface around 8:30PM when The Bridge opened the evening with an original set of high spirited Americana roots rock. The Baltimore sextet offered plenty of selections off the band’s fifth studio album, National Bohemian.
For such an early set, The Bridge attracted a medium-sized gathering on the dance floor, with fans twisting and swaying to the band’s genre blending blues. The music was solid and proud with a clear connection between the musicians. Initially the delivery sounded too tight and rehearsed, as if they were playing National Bohemian verbatim. As The Bridge played on, they slowly eased its grip and let the music breathe and flow while preserving its strength. The band danced and sweated onstage as the members toyed with bursts of improvisational energy.
The Bridge featured two vocalists, Cris Jacobs (guitar) and Dave Markowitz (bass). Each voice directly affected the feelings and flavors of songs. Jacobs had a fervid blues-rock soul carried by the right amount of bearded rasp. His leads rode like a lone car down an open stretch of road. Markowitz’s chords took on a more southern-roots attitude, emitting a ring of bayou twang. Then there was Kenny Liner (mandolin) a master beatboxer, who added hints of hip-hop. Liner had an incredible talent of spitting out rhythms spun into webs of vocal beats and tongue clicks, matched with syncopated rock and roll. Joined by Patrick Rainey (saxophone), Mike Gambone (drums) and Mark Brown (keyboards) The Bridge were the perfect spice for a pre-Galactic party.
After grinding away at it since forming over eight years ago with incessant touring and a steadily growing fan base, Baltimore’s The Bridge is poised to take it to the next level. And while it’s perhaps a bit ironic for a jamband, it’s an old-fashioned album release that has them elevating to the next tier of improvisational bands.
The band put all its chips in the middle of the table with its latest release, National Bohemian, by hiring former Los Lobos sax-man Steve Berlin to produce; orchestrating a well-coordinated tour of both headlining and support roles (Tea Leaf Green and Galactic); and promoting the music with a professional video and proper publicity push. It’s exciting to see an up-and-coming jamband put so much energy into a record release, so we caught up with guitarist/vocal Cris Jacobs to hear more about the recent developments.
Hidden Track: To get started, I think it’s interesting to hear how bands characterize each others personalities. How would you describe the dynamic of the friendships in the band? Who are the goofballs?
Cris Jacobs: It’s a very brotherly type of relationship. We all thrive on being able to bust each others balls whenever possible. There’s literally no mercy. It’s like “Oh really! Nice shirt there Liberace!” Basically everything that anyone says, does, or wears is under constant scrutiny and is fair game for everyone to jump on and make fun of until the person has their soul beaten to a pulp and they have no self-esteem left. All in good fun of course. But seriously, we really do love each other and get along pretty damn well for six guys in such close conditions day in and day out. Even if the mere sound of someones voice is like nails on a chalkboard first thing in the morning and we bicker over stupid shit out of frustration or just plain road-irritability, I’d say we’d all jump in front of a bus for each other. We’re a very close group, we have a lot of fun, no one is an outsider or a loner really.
We all have our different personalities for sure. As far as who the goofballs are, what time is it? Who decided to have a drunk night? Any given minute it can be any of us and we all have our goofy tendencies, but I’d have to say all around, Patrick. He’s the wide-eyed wonder. And Kenny, one of the most unique personalities I’ve ever come across. And for the first and last 15 minutes of a van ride Dave has the hyperactivity of a 5 year old after too much sugar. We don’t quite know why it only happens during those times, but its quite a consistent and amazing phenomena.
READ ON for more of Ryan’s chat with Cris of The Bridge…
Baltimore’s The Bridge have just released a video for the single Rosie off the sextet’s National Bohemian album and the song smokes. Clocking in at a radio-friendly 3:20, Rosie is a soul-fueled rocker that will stay in your head all day. Take a look, this guys just might have a hit on their hands…
The Bridge kicks off a five-show swing through the Northeast with Tea Leaf Green tonight in York, PA. After performing with TLG at NYC’s Highline Ballroom on Saturday night, the group heads to the Midwest to meet up with Galactic for five show with Stanton and the boys.
Following up on last week’s Willin’ Cover Wars, which the Black Crowes won by a small margin over Uncle Tupelo, we’re re-running an old Cover Wars on another Little Feat classic – Skin It Back…
Skin It Back is a track off the 1974 Little Feat album Feats Don’t Fail Me Now. It also has the distinction of being the first Little Feat song where the songwriting credits are solely that of guitarist Paul Barrère.
This is the second Little Feat song selected for CW. Longtime readers might remember that Mule was the winner of the Spanish Moon Cover Wars. [Ed. note - We've tackled Willin' since this was originally posted]
Let’s get down to business and look at this week competitors…
The Bridge: Leading off this week is the only band that also appeared in the Spanish Moon Cover Wars and there is some excellent guitar work in this one. Source: 8-17-2005
READ ON for the lowdown on the rest of this week’s contestants…
We’ve got a good mix this week. There is an absolutely fantastic matrix recording of The Bridge, acoustic rock courtesy of Guster, a brand new tune from The New Deal and a section of a Phish first set that displays both the best and the worst of the performance of their tricky compositions.
A reminder, you can download all of this week’s audio in one easy to listen to MP3 that we call the Last Week’s Sauce Podcast, click here to download.
[Thanks to Big Perm for this week's photo]
The Bridge – Easy Jane > Midnight Special Date & Venue: 2010-10-15 River Street Jazz Cafe – Plains, PA Taper & Show Download:Keith Litzenberger
I have heard that the River Street Jazz Cafe is one of the best venues to tape due to the helpful staff and the acoustics of the room. We’ve got a perfect example as this is a fantastic matrix recording. The Bridge [tour dates] plays tonight at Johnny D’s in Somerville, MA.
READ ON for tracks from Guster, the New Deal and Phish…
Welcome to the 2010 edition of Cover Wars – March Madness. We are taking our efforts from last year and doubling them: this year we’ve got 32 covers in the running for the Championship. Over the past year, we’ve had six different artists win Cover Wars more than once. For these winners, we have paired them up against each other in the first round. For example, if you were going to vote for Trey Anastasio because of your loyalty to him – now you have to decide if he plays a better O-o-h Child or Sultans Of Swing. We have also paired up original artists whenever possible – Did Joan Baez or The Grateful Dead do better justice to their Bob Dylan cover?
All of the winners’ audio/video has been embedded for you and we have linked back to the corresponding Cover Wars that led to each artist’s victory. We have enjoyed running this piece for you every week (or maybe, three times per month?) and hope you enjoy Cover Wars March Madness. My personal highlight would have to be us running The Ballad Of Curtis Loew edition in early May and seeing Phish pull the cover from deep off the shelf three weeks later at Fenway Park. Let’s look at the first eight matchups…
Lenny is the tenth and final track on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s 1983 debut album Texas Flood. The song’s title is a tribute to SRV’s wife Lenora Bailey.
Jeff Kitts sums up this tune very well in the book Guitar World Presents Stevie Ray Vaughan,
Like any master musician, Vaughan was just as comfortable with slow, delicate ballads as he was with barn burners. Vaughan composed the beautiful ballad, “Lenny,” for his first wife, and recorded it on Texas Flood. “Lenny” is very Hendrix influenced; it’s sort of a cross between “Little Wing” and “Angel,” two of Hendrix’s greatest ballads.
The Bridge: The Bridge guitarist Cris Jacobs leads the band through this relatively to-the-point rendition. Source: 2-28-2007
READ ON for the scoop on the rest of this week’s contestants…
Will It Go Round In Circles first appeared on the 1972 Billy Preston album Music Is My Life. The track would then be issued as a single the following year and eventually hit #1 on the Billboard Top Singles chart.
Band From TV: Band From TV makes their second Cover Wars appearance this week, they previously were featured in the You Can’t Always Get What You Want edition back in July. As we mentioned then, this is a group made up of professional actors and all of their proceeds go directly to charity – pretty cool. Source: Hoggin All The Covers
READ ON for the scoop on the rest of this week’s contestants…
Everyone has some sort of numeric equivalent that occasionally happen into their lives. It’s how we reasonably explain coincidences. Relate them to a common occurrence and they become less rare. The less rare something is, the more it is accepted as fact. Therefore, in an effort to explain our universe to ourselves, mankind has come up with some numerical correlations that see them through the day. Celebrities die in groups of three, right? Bad news, in general, comes in threes. In bowling, three strikes are known as a Turkey. In hockey, three goals by one individual is called a Hat Trick.
Three on a match is bad luck. Three’s company. Three’s a crowd. Third time’s a charm. I’m certain there are at least dozens more, but I do try to keep it readable, after all.
I am a firm believer in the vaguely scientific phenomenon known as “The Law Of Twos”. Similar in concept to the above cited rules of three, this one requires much less verification. Take for example what happened a couple of Fridays ago. In conversation over lunch, I mentioned to the wife that I hadn’t gotten a drunken, “I love you” phone call in a long time. You know the ones, from an ex or a long lost college buddy, where in a tequila haze they find your number and call you to remind you that they were there first, they loved you before and they still love you or they still can’t forget that pass you caught in a pickup football game in 1976.
READ ON for more from AJ on The Bridge at the Goodfoot Pub…
Though the contests are still very close, we’re going to call The Seeker for Pearl Jam and All Of My Love for Ween. Now that’s cleaned up, we’ll move on to this week’s edition which looks at Burning Down The House.
Remember Pop-Up Video? It appears MTVMusic.com has these up for free streaming now – awesome. I was inspired to to pick this song after seeing David Byrne’s production last week in New Bedford at the Zeiterion Theater. A fantastic, almost too perfect, production complete with beautiful vocal harmonies, choreography and cult-like matching white outfits for all onstage.
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