any reviews? did Phil show up? Please phil me in cuz I am in the dark. thanx!
Check in Other Stuff. . .
Jen Durkin still can't sing.
Riding the rail was dangerous.
pete sears (on accordion) was the bass player who couldn't be named
Here's my thoughts:
Unfortunately we missed Ramblin' Jack. They must have started right on time or early because we came in 15-20 minutes late and Sikiru Adepoju and his band of percussionists were wrapping up. We heard them do "Jingo" and some drum jams.
Wavy came on with some other clowns and did his shtick, then Tea Leaf Green took the stage. First time seeing them and I was thoroughly bored. Their keyboardist had decent chops and a nice, soulful, radio-ready voice but the songs just didn't grab me. Didn't help that the guitar was buried in the mix. The guitar solos were just lame. Maybe their guitarist isn't used to playing acoustic? Anyway they were pleasant enough but nothing I would go out of my way to sea or hear again. A little too saccharine for my taste... Like something that would come on KFOG and prompt me to immediately change the station. Pete Sears did add some nice accordian noodling to a couple of the songs, but his presence just sort of made TLG's deficiencies more glaring for me.
More Wavy shtick, then Chris Robinson, who for my money was the highlight of the night. He played "Eagles on the Highway," "Tumbleweed in Eden," "Mental Revenge" (which sounded like a Kate Hudson dis- someone pointed out in the other stuff thread that this is a Mel Tillis song), "New Speedway Boogie," and closed with "Nothing Was Delivered." Chris was in fine voice and sounded great in a stripped down setting, with minimalist bass and lead guitar accompaniment. The lead guitarist, Jonathan Wilson, had a lazy psychedelic tone and added some really nice noodling that really accented the songs without hogging too much focus. The bassist also added some really nice harmonies. Really great set, I'd go see Chris in this format again in a heartbeat. As mentioned, Phil didn't show up. I would have loved it if he had, but honestly, I didn't miss him that much.
Still more Wavy shtick and then Baby Gramps came on and knocked over mics and played dobro like a monkey on meth and sang about scrotums (scroti?) in his inimitable Tuvan growl. If you threw Mississippi John Hurt, Paul Pena, and Captain Beefheart ina blender, you'd probably get someting like BG. Zero followed with a fun, upbeat, funky set. They went easy on the slower material and gave the people what they wanted: Something to dance to! It was great because I thought the Fillmore shows back in February, although punctuated by some nice highlights, were kind of weighed down with too much mid-tempo material. I can take one or two of those per set, but when they hit 3-4 in a row they lose my interest. And I gotta say that Arnie Green and Donna Jean were not missed. I'm not a Donna hater but she didn't do much for me at those Fillmore shows. Judge is just a better fit in this band, to my ears. Although he's got a couple of songs that put me to sleep too (e.g. "Spoken For"), but they didn't play any of those on this occasion. I don't know the names of the songs they played (except for "Catalina") but they playd a nice set with some hot solos and not TOO much nob-twiddling from Kimock. Melvin had some nice moments too although he wasn't loud enough (just like at the Fillmore!). He seems kind of underutilized in Zero though. They oughtta let him sing a couple of songs. It was a fun set though, with some really hot jams and only a couple of awkward transitions.
Of course, that was followed by more Wavy shtick, and then Mickey and Friends. I thought they sounded great. George Porter was digging in to the groove and really funking it up. Molo and Mickey sounded good together. Steve had some nice moments. My only complaints were:
1) Jen Durkin: As Simon Cowell would say, "It's like something you'd see in some dreadful hotel bar, not being rude!" She just doesn't pull it off. She's a competent singer but just doesn't have a very distinctive voice, and her singing and general stage presence come off a bit shrill. I almost would rather hear Mickey sing.
2) Did these guys rehearse at all? Steve was seriously fumbling around on Fire on the Mountain, playing in some weird keys and not really nailing the lead. You'd think he'd have that one down by now. Still, the core of the band sounded really god when they did get locked in, but with a little rehearsal it could've been much tighter.
3) Another New Speedway Boogie? Not that it was a bad version. It would have been a highlight if it hadn't been upstaged by CR's version earlier in the evening. It just would've been nice to hear something else.
Most of the set was Rhythm Devils songs, which actually are growing on me. I sorta think Molo and Porter are an upgrade over Billy and Mike too (or at least an equal swap). If they just got a more interesting singer this band would really be something. Wonder what happened with Goapele, who was originally announced to be the RDs singer...? I think she would have been a more interesting choice.
Anyway it was a fun night. Nothing really earth shattering musically but I felt like I got my money's worth. Good vibes all around and all for a good cause. Wavy mentioned a big blowout for SEVA is in the works for the Greek Theatre next summer, with Crosby Stills and Nash and others.
>>Wonder what happened with Goapele, who was originally announced to be the RDs singer...? I think she would have been a more interesting choice.
Great review Brian!
I also have wondered why the Rhythm Devils dropped Goapele - especially since Durkin is a big step down vocally. I think that the decison was based on having a 'hippie chick' singer, with the twriling antics and all of that. She's eye candy for a certain demographic who likes that sort of thing. Singing was probably the least of the factors in the decision to hire JD over Goapele.
Jen didn't look anything like a hippie chick to me, more like a disco queen if ya ask me. even despite her it was a great night with friends and music.
Jen didn't look anything like a hippie chick to me, more like a disco queen
That because her former band, Deep Banana Blackout, played mostly funk, so she played that part.
I've said it before and will say it again: Jen Durkin is a bar band shrieker at best! If the Rhythm Devils return, and she is still in the band, I'll be finding something else to do that night.
Jen Durkin was awful. Kimock looked bored, and I couldn't wait for that set to end so I could go upstairs and eat. I was thinking during Mickey's set that she must be someone's girlfriend to be able to scam her way onto the stage like that, cuz she couldn't sing worth a damn. They should have had CR sing a few tunes, and then let Kimock rip it up (something that he didn't do all night btw). ZERO was the musical highlight for me, but even during that set it was Kimock light. I'm looking forward to ZERO this Saturday in Petaluma.
here's a buddy's review page. He didn't write much about the Seva show (I guess he partied too much) but some good Santa Cruz area music reviews.
Photos of this event were just posted on JamBase at