Warren Haynes Christmas Jam – Night Two: 12/13/2008

This was the second night of the 20th Anniversary Christmas Jam. While the first night was long and epic, the second night proved to be even longer and more jam packed.

I basically went solo this night. My wife could only handle one night of jams, but I had friends who were there so I was able to hang out with them for most of the night (although they did leave early, and I stayed to the very end, which was around 4:30 am). The headliners for this night were Steve Earle, Johnny Winter, Coheed and Cambria, Michael Franti, Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, John Paul Jones, and Gov’t Mule. In addition, there was a plethora of guest musicians forming impromptu groups and sitting in with the other bands.

When Warren opened the show, playing an acoustic number with Ruthie Foster, he informed the crowd that there would be something special at the end of the night, and to make sure to stay. I did not need much convincing.

After that, the “Xmas Jam Band” played for a while, playing some great songs and bring up lots of special guests.

Steve Earle played next. He was really good and I gained a whole new level of appreciation for his music.

Not long after Earle, Johnny Winter took the stage. I had seen him once years ago, and it was not his best night, but it felt kind of special to see him this time. He was pretty sickly, and was literally assisted out on the stage and placed in a chair. Then his classic Gibson Firebird was brought out and placed in his hands, and he proceeded to wail. This would be my last time seeing the legendary bluesman, may he rest in peace.

Next up was Coheed & Cambria. I was kind of looking forward to seeing these guys because I’d heard great things about them, but I have to say, I was disappointed. Maybe they were having an off night, but they just didn’t do it for me.

Michael Franti followed, and he got the place on their feet and dancing. John Paul Jones (the great Led Zeppelin bassist), played with him for almost the entire set. While the friends I was did not care for his set, I personally really enjoyed it. Hey, to each their own.

Ben Harper performed next, and he was great. This was my first time seeing him, and he totally lived up to my expectations. The fact that I was still rockin’ in the early morning hours is a testament to his set.

Finally, the closing event of the night: Gov’t Mule’s set. They played a few cover tunes with some guest musicians, and then brought out John Paul Jones to do a mini Zeppelin set to close the night. Totally rocked the house!

It took me a couple days to recover from all that music, but it was well worth the lack of sleep. Here is the full setlist from the night’s multiple performances.

WARREN HAYNES & RUTHIE FOSTER:

  • Grinnin’ In Your Face

XMAS JAM BAND (Audley Freed, Jen Gunderman, Buddy Cage, Kevn Kinney, Fiddle Dave, Robert Kearns, Edwin McCain, Mickey Raphael):

  • Blues on Top of Blues
  • Straight To Hell
  • Free Fallin (w/ Patterson Hood)
  • Dreams To Remember (w/ Joan Osborne & Horns*)
  • TCB (w/ Robben Ford, Joan Osborne, Eric Krasno & Horns*)
  • Chain of Fools (w/ Ruthie Foster, Robben Ford, Joan Osborne, Karl Denson, Ron Holloway, Eric Krasno)
  • When Something Is Wrong With My Baby (w/ Joan Osborne, Warren Haynes & Horns*)
  • Tumblin’ Dice (w/ Ruthie Foster)

* Karl Denson, Ron Holloway, Derrick Johnson, Craig Sorrells

STEVE EARLE:

  • Copperhead Road
  • Christmas In Washington
  • My Old Friend The Blues
  • Guitar Town (w/ Warren Haynes)
  • Gotta Serve Somebody (w/ Warren Haynes, Steve Earle, Joan Osborne, Travis Tritt & Ruthie Foster)
  • Brand New Companion (w/ Mickey Raphael & Warren Haynes)

GROUP SONG:

  • Serve Somebody

JOHNNY WINTER:

  • Paul Nelson Jam (Intro)
  • Hideaway
  • Blackjack
  • I Used To Love Her But It’s All Over Now (w/ Warren Haynes)
  • Mojo Boogie

COHEED AND CAMBIRA:

  • No World For Tomorrow
  • Gravemakers & Gunslingers
  • Mother Superior
  • Favor House Atlantic (acoustic)
  • I Shall Be Released (w/ Warren Haynes)
  • Welcome Home (w/ Warren Haynes)

MICHAEL FRANTI & JAY BOWMAN (FRED ELTRINGHAM ON DRUMS):

  • Love Don’t Wait (w/ John Paul Jones, Robben Ford & Mickey Raphael)
  • Sweet Little Lies (w/ John Paul Jones, Robben Ford & Mickey Raphael)
  • All I Want Is You (w/ John Paul Jones, Robben Ford, Mickey Raphael & Eric Krasno)
  • Hey World (w/ John Paul Jones, Robben Ford, Mickey Raphael & Eric Krasno)
  • I Got Love For You (w/ John Paul Jones, Robben Ford, Mickey Raphael & Ron Holloway)
  • Say Hey

BEN HARPER & RELENTLESS 7:

  • Number No Name
  • Shimmer
  • Lay There
  • Better Way
  • Fly 1 Time
  • Keep It Together
  • Dressed In Black
  • Boots
  • Up To You Now
  • Good Times, Bad Times (w/ John Paul Jones)

GOV’T MULE:

  • Southern Man (w/ Patterson Hood)
  • Lively Up Yourself (w/ Karl Denson & Robben Ford)
  • Simple Man (w/ Travis Tritt)
  • Livin’ Lovin’ Maid (w/ John Paul Jones)
  • Since I’ve Been Loving You (w/ John Paul Jones)
  • No Quarter (w/ John Paul Jones on keys & Audley Freed)
  • The Ocean (w/ John Paul Jones on bass, Ben Harper & Mike Barnes)
  • When The Levee Breaks (w/ Ben Harper & John Paul Jones on bass)
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David Bromberg: 11/9/1989

Since some of you might not be familiar with David Bromberg, I figured I would share his bio from Wikipedia.

David Bromberg (born September 19, 1945) is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. An eclectic artist, Bromberg plays bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz, country and western, and rock and roll. He is known for his quirky, humorous lyrics, and the ability to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time.

Bromberg has played with many famous musicians, including Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry Garcia, Rusty Evans (The Deep) and Bob Dylan. He co-wrote the song “The Holdup” with former Beatle George Harrison, who played on Bromberg’s self-titled 1972 album. In 2008, he was nominated for a Grammy Award. Bromberg is known for his fingerpicking style that he learned from Reverend Gary Davis.

(Source: Wikipedia)

So as you can see, he is no slouch. This was actually the second time I had seen Bromberg. I went with my dad to see him in the 70’s at Avery Fisher Hall in New York (alas – I do not have that stub). When I saw he was coming to Tobacco Road, I figured I had to go see him again, since the Road was the perfect place for his style of music.

Tobacco Road was a famous blues bar on the Miami River that was a speakeasy in the time of prohibition, and was the oldest bar in Miami until it was demolished on October 26, 2014. So it was a regular haunt for me and my music-loving friends. This particular night I went with my friends Todd and Craig. The place was packed, and the music was incredible. Seeing Bromberg in this venue was really something special.

I could not find a setlist from this particular show, but found a generic setlist from 1989.

Generic 1989 Bromberg Setlist:

  • Brown’s Ferry Blues / There’s No Business Like Show Business
  • Framed
  • Chump Man Blues
  • Keep On Drinkin’
  • I Like to Sleep Late in the Morning
  • Summer Wages
  • Stagger Lee
  • I’ll Take You Back
  • First I Look at the Purse
  • Midnight Hour Blues
  • Sharon

Encore:

  • Fiddle Medley
  • Delia’s Gone

The Who: 11/8/2012

I had seen the Who several times, and had seen them perform “Quadrophenia” also, but the fact that they were playing in an arena (I had only ever seen them outdoors) and the fact that I wanted to take my kids to see the legendary band prompted me to get tickets.

I drove with my friend Greg to the box office at the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, SC on the day the tickets were going on sale. It was a solid hour’s drive, but we figured it would be worth it to save the exorbitant TicketMaster fees that we would be charged if we bought the tickets online. The line was pretty long, and they were doing the lottery thing where they give everyone a number and then pick who gets first in line. We ended up getting a decent spot for when the tickets went on sale. Our seats were on the balcony, about halfway back, but first row, so we would not have any heads obstructing our view.

On the night of the show, my wife and I drove down with the kids and we met Greg and his family, along with another couple of friends, and we all sat together, which was fun. There is something about going to see live music with a big group of friends and family that makes the experience even more special.

Anyway, the opening act was a band called Vintage Trouble. They are a really great R&B band and I was thoroughly impressed with their sound and stage presence. If you are into high-energy, 1960s style rhythm and blues, then you should check these guys out.

After a relatively short intermission, the Who came out and launched into the Quadrophenia set. They had a great high-def video wall behind the band that displayed some amazing visuals that supported the music. And while Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey were both showing their age, they still performed with the energy that the Who is known for.

After completing the Quadrophenia part of the performance, the band did an extended “encore” set of classic Who tunes. Overall, it was a great show. And while it was not the best Who show I had seen (I did miss John Entwistle’s bass playing), the fact that I got to share this experience with my whole family makes it one of those live music moments that I will cherish forever.

Here is the full setlist.

Setlist:

Quadrophenia

  • I Am the Sea
  • The Real Me
  • Quadrophenia
  • Cut My Hair
  • The Punk and the Godfather
  • I’m One
  • The Dirty Jobs
  • Helpless Dancer
  • Is It in My Head?
  • I’ve Had Enough
  • 5:15
  • Sea and Sand
  • Drowned
  • Bell Boy
  • Doctor Jimmy
  • The Rock
  • Love, Reign O’er Me

Encore:

  • Baba O’Riley
  • Pinball Wizard
  • Behind Blue Eyes
  • Who Are You
  • Won’t Get Fooled Again
  • Tea & Theatre

Ray LaMontagne: 11/12/2017

I had seen Ray LaMontagne some years before this show at the Christmas Jam, and he was very good, but didn’t come on stage until about 1:30 in the morning, so I was somewhat less than enthused. But since then, I have developed a strong appreciation for his music and was very psyched to see him as a headliner.

My wife and I arrived at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium and were greeted by our friends Wind and Althea, who were sitting two rows behind us. We chatted with them for a while, which was nice. It’s good to catch up with old friends that you haven’t seen in a while.

The show began promptly at 7:00 with Ethan Gruska as the opening act. He wasn’t the worst opening act I have seen, but definitely not the best either.

Finally, Ray came out. He had John Stirratt, the bass player from Wilco, with him. Also, on several songs, Ethan Gruska came out and assisted on three-part harmonies, which sounded great. I thought Gruska was much better as part of a group than by himself.

Ray’s set was excellent. He sounded amazing and the audience was very appreciative, almost to a fault. There were several people screaming during some of the more subtle moments, which I could have done without. And that leads me to a story about the people in front of us. Of course, we had to be behind a couple who were getting drunker and more obnoxious as the night went on. The guy kept trying to put his arm around the woman and inadvertently kept hitting my wife’s knee. Finally, during the last song of the encore, their talking hit fever pitch, at which point my wife leaned forward and nicely asked them if they could please not talk until after the show, to which the guy indignantly and loudly replied “NO!” I felt my muscles tense and had visions of me having to fight this jerk, but alas, he stopped talking for the rest of the song, and the person next to my wife gave her a high five.

After the lights came on, we saw several other of our friends, which was nice. I love seeing people I know at concerts. I don’t know why, but it just makes it feel more communal.

I looked at several of the setlists from the tour and it seems that the list was standard across shows. It seems right from what I remember, so here is the generic setlist from the tour.

Setlist:

  • No Other Way
  • Beg Steal or Borrow
  • Lavender
  • Shelter
  • In My Own Way
  • Airwaves
  • Hannah
  • Pick Up a Gun
  • Such a Simple Thing
  • Blue Canadian Rockies
  • Burn
  • Empty
  • To the Sea
  • Supernova
  • Like Rock & Roll and Radio
  • Trouble

Encore:

  • Jolene
  • All the Wild Horses
  • Wouldn’t It Make a Lovely Photograph

Buddy Guy: 9/26/2017

Buddy Guy is one of those guitarists that I always wanted to see but for one reason or another, never did — until now. When I heard he was coming to town, I knew I had to go see him. He is advancing in his years and I figured I might not have many more opportunities to see the legend live.

My wife did not want to go with me to this show (she had seen Buddy before), and none of my friends seemed interested, so I bought a single and went by myself. This ended up being fine. The Thomas Wolfe Auditorium was only about 2/3 full, so I went and got a better seat up on the balcony very close to the stage.

The show opened with a performance by a band called Blackfoot Gypsies. The band was comprised of three young white dudes and an older black man on the harmonica. They were pretty good. Obviously, the white guys were raised on a steady diet of Stones and Black Crowes, which reflected in their playing and stage attire. Not the best opening act I’ve seen, but definitely not the worst either.

Finally, Buddy came out and opened with “Damn Right I Got the Blues.” I was immediately impressed by his playing and by how energetic he was on stage. For a man in his 80’s, he played and moved like someone half his age. He played guitar with drum sticks, walked out into the crowd while playing, and channeled Hendrix by playing with his teeth and behind his back. All the while, exhibiting superb musicianship.

I was unable to locate a setlist from this show, so I will just say he did a great mix of his own stuff (including his work with Junior Wells) and some great blues covers. He played songs from Clapton, Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, and Muddy Waters, but gave each rendition his own unique style and sound.

If you have the opportunity to see Buddy Guy live, I highly recommend doing so. He is an incredible musician and an outstanding performer.

Ron Wood and Bo Diddley: 6/22/1988

wooddiddley_6-22-88

As I mentioned in my previous post about the first night of the two-night stand, my memories of the numerous shows I saw at Woody’s on the Beach are somewhat vague, but this night I remember well. Ron and Bo were particularly pumped and they broke into some classic Stones tunes, as well as some Faces. And while Ronnie Wood is not a great singer by any stretch, watching him sing “Honky Tonk Women” and mimicking the snorting of cocaine with his big nose while croaking out “She blew my nose and then she blew my mind” is a rock and roll image that is forever burned into my memory.

The Faces medley was also quite an experience for me. The first concert I ever attended was Rod Stewart and the Faces, way back when (unfortunately, I do not have that stub). So seeing Ron jam on these tunes connected me with my concert christening.

Finally, the gunslingers closed the show with a smokin’ version of “Hey! Bo Diddley.” I could not think of a better song to wrap up two nights of rock, rhythm and blues.

Here is the full setlist.


Setlist:

  • Crackin’ Up
  • I’m a Man
  • Money to Ronnie
  • Around the Plynth > Prodigal Son > Gasoline Alley > Little Red Rooster
  • Honky Tonk Women
  • Black Limousine
  • Bo Diddley’s A Gunslinger
  • You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover
  • It’s All Over Now
  • Hey! Bo Diddley

Ron Wood and Bo Diddley: 6/21/1988

wooddiddley_6-21-88

Woody’s on the Beach may have been one of the coolest music clubs ever. Owned by Ron Wood (guitarist for the Rolling Stones and the Faces), it was a place where you could see amazing artists in an intimate setting, and you never knew who might show up.

Ronnie would frequently perform there with special guests, and Bo Diddley was somewhat of a regular. I tried to catch them together whenever they played. This particular instance, they were performing two nights, so I bought tickets to both shows.

Because Woody’s was a nightclub and the performances generally started late in the evening, many of the shows became a little fuzzy. But I have a clear memory of Ron and Bo on stage together, trading licks and basically having a great time.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I was able to locate the setlist from this show. Check it out, and be sure to check back for my somewhat less fuzzy memories of the second night!

Cheers!


Setlist:

  • Mona
  • Ooh La La
  • Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On
  • Seven Days
  • Too Late
  • Black Limousine
  • Diddley Daddy
  • Money to Ronnie
  • You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover
  • Lord Have Mercy