Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit’s reputation rests on freelance improvisation and artisanal jazz and blues, but twenty-five years of observational polish didn’t hurt the second of two nights at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado. Like old friends shooting the breeze, they’d already revitalized their well-established familiarity. The sights and sounds were altered, but haven’t they always been?
While no longer touring with Tedeschi Trucks Band or the newly retired Allman Brothers Band, Oteil Burbridge is still finding balance between his family life and career. As one of the most recognizable bass players to crisscross the jam band web and beyond, this isn’t as easy as it seems. While he will be hitting the road this summer with the Aquarium Rescue Unit, weekend gigs and festivals are those that allow him to be with his young son and wife the most.
Conductor Matt Butler is a genius! However he got inspired to come up with this idea of improvisational conducting talented musicians was brilliant. The reason that I say this is because it is very pleasant and beneficial to all parties when musicians are happier than the crowd. Everyone wins! There are only a few inspirational times when that happens. I see it when I am at major festivals and musicians are collaborating, or I see it in super jams such as the Everyone Orchestra.
Announced today, West Asheville will bring together four of music's most creative and talented minds Thursday, July 18 when the Grey Eagle hosts a spontaneous super-jam featuring bassist Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers), his brother and keyboardist Kofi Burbridge (Tedeschi Trucks Band), pedal steel phenom Roosevelt Collier (Lee Boys) and local legend, drummer Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit).
Of all the members of the Grateful Dead, Billy Kreutzmann, really knew how to retire. Hanging out in Hawaii, he showed none of the predilection for road-warrioring into the sunset like his bandmates. Sure he'd play with the boys when they got back together for the full band gigs and after ten years on the island he started playing out more often with various old cronies, but he didn't have his name on the marquee with his band, his music, his beat. He was always the one behind the scenes.
In the late sixties and early seventies they had Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but they didn't quite have in sound and performance what Bill Kreutzmann's power trio has today. The Grateful Dead drummer was joined on stage Saturday night at the Fox Theater with the Allman Brothers Band's Oteil Burbridge on bass and Max Creek's Scott Murawski on lead guitar.
The first thing I see as I enter the top of Red Rocks is the full moon just barely sitting on the Colorado horizon. It's got that dusky, orange glow and an uncanny resemblance of, well, dare I say, a Georgia peach. It sat center-stage and shined like a beacon getting brighter and brighter the higher it went.