At the Fox Theater Oakland, Tedeschi Trucks Band float beautifully in the balance

Tedeschi Trucks BandPhotos by Mike Rosati, Karen Goldman & Kory Thibeault // Written by Kory Thibeault //

Tedeschi Trucks Band //
Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland
September 8th-9th, 2016 //

Tedeschi Trucks Band are one of those acts that transcend a person’s taste in music. Everyone walks away from a Tedeschi Trucks show with a few moments that resonate with their heart and soul. The coupling of Susan Tedeschi’s powerhouse vocals with husband Derek Trucks’ slide-guitar genius creates a blues-rock masterpiece that will rock you to your soul. And that statement fails to tip my hat to Tedeschi’s beautiful guitar musings.

TTB are big, both in size and sound. The 12-piece band consists of seasoned professionals who understand the kind of collaboration needed to realize the group’s vision. Not a single member sounded flat during a two-night run at the Fox Theater Oakland last Thursday and Friday. Their music was tight yet improvisational, loud yet restrained, powerful yet gentle. Practice and passion have seemingly allowed them to float beautifully in the balance, or in other words, to “ring those lofty bells” as the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir might say. And by the time their Bay Area run was over, they had delivered two solid performances to a grateful and full house.

On Friday night, the group presented “An Evening with Tedeschi Trucks Band”, featuring two full sets and an encore. TTB craft their setlists from the solo careers of Tedeschi and Trucks as well as a couple of their studio albums. They started the night ripping right into “Anyhow”, a standout track off their latest album Let Me Get By, and transitioned into “Don’t Know What It Means”, another on the LP. The energy was palpable from the start as everyone anticipated a sublime night of music.

Tedeschi Trucks Band

The “Swamp Raga” opening to their hit “Midnight in Harlem” introduced what would easily be considered the highlight of the first set. This ballad features a tear-jerking performance from Tedeschi as her vocals were nothing less than awe inspiring. A certain calm came over the crowd as everyone softly sang along to her musings. They finished the set strong with “Had to Cry Today” and sent everyone buzzing into the set break.

The rest of the evening was spectacular as the band weaved in and out of both originals and covers, the latter of which included Sleepy John Estes’ “Leaving Trunk”, John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery”, Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” and lastly Joe Cocker’s “Space Captain”, with all of them exemplifying the band’s superb taste and perfect execution. “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” featured high-flying vocals from Chris Robinson, formerly of The Black Crowes and now the driving force behind the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

Catching an evening of Tedeschi Trucks Band in such a brilliant environment as the Fox was certainly a treat. Fortunately for those not in attendance, the band will be releasing a live LP and DVD to remember the two-night run in Oakland. I am overjoyed at the idea of that I will get to relive this experience as TTB continue to push the sonic boundaries of blues rock. So, don’t sleep on this band — they have something for everyone.

tedeschi-trucks-band-36

Set 1: Anyhow, Don’t Know What It Means, Keep on Growing (Derek and the Dominos cover), Bird on the Wire (Leonard Cohen cover), Within You Without You (The Beatles cover), Just as Strange, Crying Over You, Swamp Raga (The Derek Trucks Band cover), Midnight in Harlem, Had to Cry Today (Blind Faith cover)

Set 2: These Walls (with Alam Khan on sarod), Right on Time, Leaving Trunk (Sleepy John Estes cover), Don’t Drift Away, I Want More, Soul Sacrifice (Santana cover), Angel From Montgomery (John Prine cover), Sugaree (Jerry Garcia cover), Get What You Deserve (The Derek Trucks Band cover), I Pity the Fool (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover), Bitches Brew (Miles Davis cover), Let Me Get By

Encore: You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (Bob Dylan cover) (with Chris Robinson), Space Captain (Joe Cocker cover) (with Chris Robinson)

25 of the best cover songs ever

It’s pretty hard to proclaim the best cover songs of all time — there have been so many great covers performed in the studio and in a live environment. So that’s why we’re framing this as “25 of the Best Cover Songs Ever”. This list is not as hyperbolic as we prefer to be, but our top 10 is pretty damn solid.

Some prescribe to the theory that a cover song has to be better than the original to be great, or considered one of the the best. I don’t believe this to be true. There are cases in this list where the cover song does not surpass the original in greatness (see #25 for example). But if a cover song attempts to be different and successfully recreates a track to make it original and timeless in its own way, credit should be granted.

What did we miss? Leave us a comment with a YouTube link.

25. Chromatics – “Into the Black”
Originally by Neil Young

24. Guns N’ Roses – “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
Originally by Bob Dylan

23. Bob Dylan – “Train of Love”
Originally by Johnny Cash

22. Johnny Cash – “I’m on Fire”
Originally by Bruce Springsteen

21. Bruce Springsteen – “Trapped”
Originally by Jimmy Cliff

20. Birdy – “Skinny Love”
Originally by Bon Iver

19. Sublime (featuring Alex Grenwald) – “Scarlet Begonias”
Originally by the Grateful Dead

18. Grateful Dead – “Morning Dew”
Originally by Bonnie Dobson

17. Alison Krauss & Robert Plant – “Trampled Rose”
Originally by Tom Waits

16. Santana – “Black Magic Woman”
Originally by Fleetwood Mac

15. Sharon Jones – “It’s a Man’s World”
Originally by James Brown

14. Radiohead – “The Headmaster Ritual”
Originally by The Smiths

13. Eric Clapton – “Coccaine”
Originally by JJ Cale

12. Tina & Ike Turner – “Proud Mary”
Originally by Creedence Clearwater Revival

11. Creedence Clearwater Revival – “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
Originally by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

10. The White Stripes – “Jolene”
Originally by Dolly Parton

9. Joe Cocker – “With a Little Help from My Friends”
Originally by The Beatles

8. The Beatles – “Twist & Shout”
Originally by The Top Notes, made famous by The Isley Brothers

7. Nirvana – “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”
Traditional song; arranged by Lead Belly

6. Janis Joplin – “Me and Bobby McGee”
Originally by Kris Kristofferson

5. Phish – “Remain in Light” LP in it’s entirety
Originally by Talking Heads

4. Talking Heads – “Take Me to the River”
Originally by Al Green

3. Aretha Franklin – “Respect”
Originally by Otis Redding.

2. Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower
Originally by Bob Dylan.

1. Johnny Cash – Hurt
Originally by Nine Inch Nails.

Pass that shit: Top 10 weed songs

Subscribe to our Spotify Playlist “Pass that shit ➜ Top 10 weed songs” and listen to the 50 best weed songs ever!

Our list is based on the criteria that the best weed songs are blatantly about marijuana and very catchy. So as the movement to legalize and tax marijuana like alcohol gains steam, light up a spliff and check out our 10 favorite weed songs of all time.

What did we miss? Leave a comment below.

10. Let’s Go Go Get Stoned – Ray Charles
Originally recorded by The Coasters in a 1965, Ray Charles made “Let’s Go Get Stoned” a #1 hit a year later. This classic blues track was released after Charles was released from rehab, as he was attempting to kick heroin. It’s assumed that Charles smoked copious amounts of marijuana as well…Thanks Billy Preston!

9. Ganja Smuggling – Eek-A-Mouse
Jamaican reggae singer Eed-A-Mouse is about two things: repetition and weed. His concerts often consist of “a-Wa-Do-Dem” being repeated for 65% of the time, but he placates the stoner rastas and trustafarians with his biggest tracks “Ganja Smuggling” and “Sensee Party.” “Ganja Smuggling” still has the mouse’s patented repetition and sends positive irie vibes.

8. Smoke Two Joints – The Toyes
Sublime made this track famous, but it belongs to The Toyes. According to The Toyes website, “Bradley (Nowell) himself had happened upon the song and recorded it before he knew The Toyes or their music.”

7. The Next Episode – Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg, or Snoop Lion as he wants to be called now, must legally be included in this list, as he is the current cultural ambassador of ganja. Just check his twitter feed. Most list makers would probably use Gin & Juice, or something from The Chronic. We’re going with the track that had every pot smoking teenager saying “Smoke weed every day” with the spot in our top 10.

6. I got 5 On It – The Luniz
“I got five on it” refers to throwing down with your buds on a sack and puffin’ away. Just check the lyrics: “Kinda broke so ya know all I gots five, I got five. Unless you pull out the fat, crispy five dollar bill on the real before its history. I got 5 on it, let’s go half on a sack.”

5. Champagne & Reefer – Muddy Waters
“Yeah bring me champagne when I’m thirsty. Bring me reefer when I want to get high…Well you know there should be no law on people that want to smoke a little dope.” The Rolling Stones still cover it.

4. Mary Jane – Rick James
Rick James may be more well known for his addiction to cocaine thanks to The Chapelle Show, but “Mary Jane” proved that Rick James was multi-faceted in his drug use. History proves that Mary Jane was an actual girl Rick James loved, but she left him. In this case, music fans have spoken, and Chapelle’s movie Half-Baked help solidify this song and the woman Mary Jane into pot popular culture.

3. Rainy Day Women #12 & #35 –Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan was an early cannabis supporter – hell he introduced herb to the Beatles. And no song signified this more than the refrain “Everybody must get stoned!” Dylan reportedly got everyone super high before this recording that appeared on the legendary album Blonde on Blonde.

2. Hits from the Bong – Cypress Hill
No one has owned Weed Music more than Cypress Hill. Just look at the way they’ve described the details of their love for herb in tracks such as “I wanna Get High” & “Dr. Greenthumbs.” But it’s “Hits from the Bong” that has left the biggest impact. Remember, ‘just like chong, I hit the bowl and I reload it.’

1. Legalize It – Peter Tosh
At a time when support for marijuana legalization and taxation is at a all time high in the US, Peter Tosh’s track “Legalize It” is as relevant as ever. Legalize it. Don’t Criticize it.

No Bob Marley??? Leave a comment!

Subscribe to our Spotify Playlist “Pass that shit ➜ Top 10 weed songs” and listen to the 50 best weed songs ever!

10 most important Political Protest Songs of the last 50 years

As President Obama looks ahead to four more years, let’s look at the 10 most important political protest songs of the last 50 years, from oldest to most recent. What did we miss? Leave a comment below.

(1963) Sam CookeA Change is Gonna Come

Upon hearing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” in 1963, Cooke was greatly moved that such a poignant song about racism in America could come from someone who was not black. (Source: The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time). This was an era of segregation, and Cooke was very popular with white audiences due to his hit “Twistin’ the Night Away,” so it took guts to create this song and perform it before the Civil Rights Movement had really begun.

(1964) Bob DylanThe Times They Are A Changing

In 1985, Dylan told Cameron Crowe for Rolling Stone, “This was definitely a song with a purpose…I wanted to write a big song, with short concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. The civil rights movement and the folk music movement were pretty close for a while and allied together at that time.” This song, along with “Blowin’ in the Wind,” cemented dylan as a lead counter-culture figure.

(1969) Creedence Clearwater RevivalFortunate Son

Many of the best US political protest songs relate tot he Vietnam War, and one of the best is “Fortunate Son” by CCR. Fogerty is pretty blunt and loud in speaking for the working, middle and low-income earners, the sons drafted to fight. John Fogerty told Rolling Stone, “Julie Nixon was hanging around with David Eisenhower, and you just had the feeling that none of these people were going to be involved with the war.

(1970) Gil Scott HeronThe Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Probably the biggest influence in hip hop history, even after his death in 2011, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is Gil Scott Heron’s most important and influential poetic track. Heron wins the listener over with his humor, but it’s one of the best political protest songs of all time due to it’s subversion during the Nixon era.

(1970) Crosby Stills Nash & YoungOhio

“Ohio” was written by Neil Young as a reaction to the US military personel killing of four Vietnam War protestors at Kent State University, the event that effectively ended US support of the disastrous war. CSNY added to the pressure with this classic, catchy song that ensured that the the Kent State shooting stayed on the mind of the American public for months and years to come.

(1973) Bob Marley & Peter ToshGet Up,Stand Up

Like “Ohio,” “Get Up, Stand Up” is an overtly political song. Unlike CSNY, Bob Marley is best known for being the most prominent Raggae musician of all time, smoking copious amounts of marijuana, and for his political protest songs. (Alright, CSNY probably smoked lots of weed) And this track owns the best lines in political protest music history: “You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. So now we see the light! We gonna stand up for our rights!”

(1984) Bruce Springsteen Born In the U.S.A.

This song was mistaken as a positive American anthem for years, and still is today by many. Ronald Reagan even used this song in his 1984 reelection campaign and tried to claim Bruce as a supporter! Lyrically the song takes a realistic approach the effects of the Vietnam war on those that were forced to go fight in Southeast Asia, but if you manage to only listen to the chorus, it can be seen as a patriotic anthem. Brian Doherty wrote, “The song’s lyrics are about a shell-shocked vet with ‘no place to run, nowhere to go.’ Bruce once said it’s about “a working-class man…It’s like he has nothing left to tie him into society anymore. He’s isolated from the government. Isolated from his family…to the point where nothing makes sense.” It’s not an overt political protest song, but it’s way closer to that then a national anthem.

(1989) Public EnemyFight the Power

“Fight the Power” was brilliantly used as Radio Raheem’s jam of choice and musical motif to the classic Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing. It was Public Enemy’s breakthrough song, and it incorporates references to many parts of African-American culture, including civil rights samples, black church services sounds, and the music of James Brown. And laying the smack down on Elvis Presley & John Wayne for their on-the-record white supremacist views certainly is the cherry on top of this political protest firestorm of a sundae.

(1992) Rage Against the MachineKilling In The Name

Rage was one of the most politically active groups at a time when political protest songs weren’t and aren’t very common. “Killing in the Name” is the quintessential Rage Against the Machine song, with it’s confronting vocals that link police to racism with the line “Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses,” and with the ending refrain “Fuck You, I won’t do what you told me.” Zach de la Rocha & Tom Morello almost inspired a riot at the Democratic National Convention in 2000. Then de la Rocha abruptly left the group, but Tom Morello has continued his political activity, most recently getting involved in the Occupy WallStreet movement.

(2012) Killer MikeReagan

Hip hop artist Killer Mike put out an excellent LP this year called R.A.P. Music, and Mike’s passion and effective deconstruction of Reaganomics & the man himself is stinging. He explores the Iran Contra scandal, privatization of the prison system, how all US presidents are puppets to the elite (including Obama). One of the best tracks of 2012, “Reagan” shows that political protest songs are far from dead.

Bob Dylan at the Hollywood Bowl … warts and all

By Pete Mauch //

Bob Dylan //
Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles
October 26th, 2012 //

Bob Dylan came to The Hollywood Bowl on Friday night and played a solid 15-song set that contained many raspy growls, bluesy harmonica solos and not-so-quiet sing-alongs. The 71-year-old living legend managed to put together a fine little show, despite having a frog in his throat the entire time on stage.

Any Dylan fan these days should know to expect the raspy voice, very little guitar playing and unusual song arrangements from his shows. Knowing this, I went in with an open mind and a sense of amazement that I was actually seeing Dylan. He has played the Bowl three times before this show, the first time being all the way back in 1965 when he was just 25 years old, back in 1965 was when he first plugged in and went full electric at the classic Newport Folk Festival.

He opened the show with the upbeat classic “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”, which I’ve always loved, and it was a great way to get things rolling. Dylan traded off between his mic stand and his piano the entire night. Not once did he care to pic up a guitar, which I felt was odd, but he does have Charlie Sexton on guitar duty. I was glad to hear “Tangled Up in Blue” early in the set. It had a nice bluesy solo by Dylan on harmonica, which was well-received by the crowd.

Being the enigmatic figure that he is, Dylan didn’t make good use of the many big screens at the Bowl. Instead of focusing in on his playing or at least giving us different perspectives on the screen, all they showed was a zoomed-out view of the stage. I’ve been to many shows at the Bowl, and these screens really do help with the overall show experience, so I felt bad for the many fans in the upper tiers. Dylan and his band continued with a standout version of “The Levee’s Gonna Break”, as he growled to the crowd in his raspy voice, which by this time had cleared up a bit.

Dylan has done a decent job of switching up songs this tour, except for his finale, so I was glad to hear “Desolation Row” and the swirly rocker “Highway 61 Revisited.” Dylan’s four-song finale was quite fun, as it consisted of classics of “Ballad of Thin Man”, “Like a Rolling Stone”, “All Along the Watchtower” and the stripped-down encore featuring “Blowing in the Wind”. It’s quite impressive knowing he penned all these songs, and I feel privileged to have seen him perform them live. I also found it pretty amusing to watch people try and sing along with Dylan because his arrangements and vocal phrasing are very different today then they were in all his classic albums.

Dylan is arguably the greatest American songwriter of our generation. Go see him live … warts and all.

Setlist:
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
To Ramona
Things Have Changed
Tangled Up in Blue
The Levee’s Gonna Break
To Make You Feel My Love (Billy Joel cover)
Cry a While
Desolation Row
Highway 61 Revisited
Love Sick
Thunder on the Mountain
Ballad of a Thin Man
Like a Rolling Stone
All Along the Watchtower

Encore:
*Blowin’ in the Wind

New Music Tuesday: Bob Dylan • The xx • The Avett Brothers • The Presets • The Raveonettes • Calexico • Chris Robinson Brotherhood • David Byrne & St. Vincent

Bob Dylan - Tempest

Every Tuesday, we focus on new music releases by naming our top tracks and supplying the latest videos for select albums.


Bob DylanTempest

Top Track: “Duquesne Whistle”

Listen to the album on Spotify.


The xxCoexist

Top Track: “Swept Away”

Listen to the album on Spotify.


The Avett BrothersThe Carpenter

Top Track: “Live & Die”

Listen to the album on Spotify.


The PresetsPacifica

Top Track: “Youth in Trouble”

Listen to the album on Spotify.


The RaveonettesObservator

Top Track: “Observations”

Listen to the album on Spotify.


CalexicoAlgiers

Top Track: “Splitter”

Listen to the album on Spotify.


Chris Robinson BrotherhoodThe Magic Door

Top Track: “Vibration & Light Suite”

Listen to the album on Spotify.


David Byrne & St. VincentLove This Giant

Top Track: “Who”

Listen to the album on Spotify.

Best tracks of 2012: August

Showbams presents the best tracks of 2012 ➜ updated daily, through August 31st. We’ll be updating this list weekly, and the list will surely change significantly by the end of September.

Notable September releases include Animal Collective, Cat Power, Bob Dylan, A$AP Rocky, St. Vincent & David Byrne, The Avett Brothers, The xx, The Presets, Band of Horses, Mumford & Sons, Calexico, Django Django, Grizzly Bear and many more.

Subscribe to this Spotify playlist and follow along until the final ranking at year’s end.