Arroyo Seco Weekend, Brookside Golf Course, Pasadena

June 23-24, 2018 Arroyo Seco Weekend is not fussy. The beer is thick with local crafts, the something for everyone eats abundant with vegetarian options, and, yes, it felt like a day in the park with a rich soundtrack. The inclusive, relaxed setting and vibe made for one of most satisfying fest experiences I’ve had outside New Orleans. Goldenvoice worked out many of the freshmen kinks to bring us a uniquely L.A. area festival that was musically textured and easy to navigate, with zero attitude, when it so could have gone the other way. No need to pony up for VIP treatment here. Getting around was no issue, food and (pricey) drinks were never too far, Rose Bowl bathrooms were always an option, and while the Oaks stage was packed for headliners, it was manageable and easy to get close throughout most of the day. Oh, did I mention parking was included with entry? Even with only three stages, I still racked up 7-8 miles a day covering 30 of 36 acts over the weekend, but the 8th and 9th holes and driving range of Brookside felt like carpet compared to most fests. Near perfect June weather helped. Saturday highlights […]

RatDog with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Greek Theatre

July 2, 2014 Hard to believe that the Dead offshoot, RatDog, has been at it for almost 20 years. The band, formed by Bob Weir not long after the death of Jerry Garcia, has become the longest running gig for any founding member outside of the Dead. In that span, guitarist Weir has taken on the appearance (and the role) of elder, bringing along a younger fan base that never experienced Winterland, Oakland or MSG. RatDog is a kindred unit, well suited to Weir’s truly unique guitar talents (inspiring legions of kids to be “rhythm” guitarists, myself included). Jay Lane on drums helped get the whole thing going with Weir in 1995, Furthur’s Jeff Chimenti provides the keys, Rob Wasserman is a wonderful bass player and frequent Weir collaborator, and Steve Kimock an important figure in the jam band world and occasional member of other Dead related projects. Brit Robin Sylvester fills out this version of the band on bass, as well. With Furthur on hiatus, both RatDog and Phil and Friends shows take on more importance and delight, each diving headfirst into the Garcia canon, adding a twist on interesting covers and exploring their leader’s compositions with abandon. The […]
May 27
by Jim Brock in Reviews 1 comments tags: A Tribe Called Red, Acura Stage, Alex McMurray, Allen Toussaint, Anders Osborne, Andrew Bird, Astral Project, AXS TV, B.B. King, Band of Horses, banjo, baritone sax, Beausoleil, Ben Harper, Ben Jaffe, Big Sam Williams, Bill Summers, Billy Hart, Billy Joel, Black Crowes, Black Keys, Blues Tent, Bonerama, Brian Blade, C.J. Chenier, Calexico, Campbell Brothers, Carl Dufrene, Carlo Nuccio, Carousel bar, Cecil McBee, Cesar Rosas, Charlie Musselwhite, concert photography, Congo Square Stage, Corey Glover, Corey Henry, Craig Handy, Dan Auerbach, Danilo Perez, Dark Matter, Dave Malone, Dave Matthews, David Shaw, David Torkanowksy, David Weiss, Debbie Davis, Del McCoury, Dianne reeves, DMB, Dr. John, Dumpstaphunk, Economy Hall Tent, Eddie Henderson, Eddie Palmieri, Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Electric dobro, Epiphone, Eric Bolivar, Eye on the Music, Fais Do-Do Stage, Fi-Yi-Yi, Fleetwood Mac, Fleur Debris, Flow Tribe, Frank Bua, Frank Ocean, Funktet, Galactic, Gary Glark, Gentilly Stage, George Benson, George Cables, George Duke, George Porter Jr., Gibson ES-335, Gipsy Kings, Glen David Andrews, Henry Butler, Irvin Mayfield, Ivan Neville, jam bands, Jamaal Batiste, Jason Marsalis, Jazz & Heritage Stage, Jazz Fest, jazz photography, Jazz Tent, Jazzfest, Jazzfest Foundation Archive, Jerry Douglas, Jill Scott, Jim Brock Photography, Jimmy Herring, Joe Ashlar, Joey Peebles, John Boutte, John Gros, John Mayer, John Pattitucci, Johnathon Boogie Long, Johnny Sansone, Johnny Vidacovich, Jon Cleary, Joshua redman, Kendrick Scott, Kevin O'Day, Khris Royal, Kristin Diable, Lagniappe Stage, Lakland bass, Lenny White, Leo Nocentelli, Little Willies, live music, Los Bayou Ramblers, Los Hombres Calientes, Los Lobos, Los Po-Boy Citos, Lucille, Ludwig drums, Luther Dickinson, Luther Kent, Marcia Ball, Mardi Gras indians, Mark Mullins, Matt Perrine, Michael Doucet, Midnite Disturbers, Mike Ballard, Modeliste, New Orleans jazz, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Foundation, New Orleans music, Nicholas Payton, Nite Tripper, NOLA.com, Norah Jones, North Mississippi Allstars, Offbeat, Page McConnell, Papa Grows Funk, Patrick Carney, Patti Smith, Paul Sanchez, Pete Murano, Phish, Phoenix, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Quint Davis, Radiators, Raul Malo, Raw Oyster Cult, rock photography, Roger Lewis, Rolling Road Show, Rolling Stone, Ronnie McCoury, Rosie Ledet, Roy Ayers, Runnin' Pardners, Sasha Masakowski, Shannon Powell, Sidney Bechet, Skerik, Sonny Landreth, soprano sax, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Stanley Clarke, Stanton Moore, Steve Masakowski, Stratocaster, Tab Benoit, Taj Mahal, Telecaster, Terence Blanchard, Terrance Simien, The Cookers, The Mavericks, The Meter Men, The Meters, The Revivalists, Thomas Hedlund, Thomas Mars, Tony Dagradi, Treme, Trickbag, trombone, Trombone Shorty, tuba, Twangorama, Vasti Jackson, Voice of the Wetlands, Wayne Shorter, Widespread Panic, Wille Nelson, Woodenhead, Zack Smith, Zigaboo, zydeco, Zydeco Playboys

Reflections and Musings of a Jazz Fest Photographer

The 44th annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is a few weeks past and my rear view reflections only seem to sweeten the experience. This Jazz Fest, my 10th overall, is best summarized by an exchange between two Festers NOLA bound from NYC by train, one a dear friend, composer and 3-timer, the other a vet from a krewe known for their affection for Fezs (yeah, you heard that right). “Hope to see you next year”…. “You will, and every year after that until I die.” What Rolling Stone calls the “greatest music event on the planet” inspires such pure devotion. 60+ acts a day, 12 stages and tents, 7 days (no repeats, Coachella, you listening ACL?). Most of my time these days is in the pit or hustling from one stage to the next, trying to burn more calories than I eat while keeping up with artists and bands older and younger than I am (not in my 40s anymore). Fest photographers do not get to enjoy whole sets. Far from it. With 3 and outs for most big names, as well as other random acts, and much ground to cover, the feast becomes a mountain of nibbles […]
Jun 06
by Jim Brock in Reviews 1 comments tags: Acura Stage, Al Green, Allen Toussaint, Anders Osborne, Beach Boys, Ben Jaffe, blues guitar, Blues Tent, Bonnie Raitt, bottleneck slide, Bruce Hornsby, cajun music, Charles Neville, classic rock, concert photography, Congo Square Stage, Corey Henry, Dap Kings, Derrick Shezbie, Esperanza Spalding, Eye on the Music, Florence + the Machine, Florence Welch, Gabriela Quintero, Galactic, Gary Clark, Generations Hall, Gentilly Stage, George Porter, Gibson ES-335, Glen David Andrews, Glen Hansaard, Gospel Tent, Grace Potter, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Herbie Hancock, Intsruments A Comin', Irma Thomas, James Cotton, jazz, jazz photography, Jazz Tent, Jim Brock Photography, John Boutte, Johnny Vidacovich, Joseph Lastie, Lakland bass, Leo Nocentelli, live music, Mike Love, music photography, My Morning Jacket, New Orleans jazz, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, New Orleans music, New Orleans Musicians for Obama, Noisemakers, Patrick Hallahan, Paul Sanchez, pedal steel, piano, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Radio Music Society, rebirth Brass Band, Rodrigo Sanchez, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Savoy Music Center, Sharon Jones, Soul Rebels Brass Band, soul singers, sousaphone, Stanton Moore, Stratocaster, surf music, Swell Season, Takamine, Terence Higgins, The Meters, The Revivialists, Threadhead Records, Tipitina's, Tipitina's Foundation, Treme, trombone, Trombone Shorty, trumpet, tuba, Voice of the Wetlands, Warren Haynes, Warren Haynes Band, zydeco music

Jazzfest 2012 Reflections

From the Revivalists passionate opening Gentilly set to the final moments of Springsteen’s plaintive reading of Saints, the first weekend of Jazzfest 2012 was an abundance of special moments.  Yes, the draws were the Acura headliners. Petty and Bruce delivered deep satisfying sets (from what I was able to catch), and Springsteen’s presence was a rallying cry of celebration and reflection. A reminder of how New Orleans has healed since his epic 2006 post-Katrina Seeger Sessions appearance, and how far there is still to go. Even the Beach Boys brought their game, judging by the smiles and sing alongs from a nice size Acura crowd. But, hey, did you check out Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 at Congo Square?  The four generations of players from 9 to 90+ that filled the Fais Do Do on Saturday for the Savoy Music Center Cajun Jam? How about Bon Iver’s stirring (and unexpected) connection with the Jazzfest crowd? Gary Clark, Jr. absolutely tearing down the Blues Tent opposite the Boss with Texas blues that left teeth marks? Not to mention the Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars and Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen showing Tom Petty how it’s done in New Orleans. […]