Blues Traveler with The Derek Trucks Band: 7/30/2005

Bele Chere was an annual street fair that used to happen in downtown Asheville (the city stopped having it in 2013). They would close off the streets, and have artists, vendors, and stages set up for musicians. Generally, all the music was free, and over the years I saw some cool acts, like Cracker, Grace Potter, the Old 97s, and Southern Culture on the Skids.

Anyway, in 2005, the powers that be decided to try adding a “paid” performance to the festival. This pissed off a lot of purists who felt that all the music should be free, but I didn’t mind paying the $15. I figured it was worth it to see two bands, and I have never seen Blues Traveler before, so I figured it would be worth checking them off the list.

Derek Trucks Band opened the show, and as always, he was tremendous on the guitar. He played a nice long set that included Count M’Butu sitting in on the congas, and Susan Tedeschi joined him on stage for a song, which was cool.

Afterwards, Blues Traveler took the stage. I really wanted to like them, because I like their studio stuff, but they were just not that interesting live. Even with Count M’Butu and Derek Trucks joining them on stage, it was just… OK. Maybe it was that Derek Trucks is a tough act to follow. God knows I wouldn’t want to get up on stage following his slide guitar playing. Bottom line, Blues Traveler didn’t suck, they were just not as good as I had hoped they would be. A little bit of a let-down, but glad I got to see them and check them off the list.

Here are the setlists from each act.

Derek Trucks Setlist:

(Count M’Butu  on congas for entire show)

  • Volunteered Slavery
  • I’ll Find My Way
  • Crow Jane
  • Sahib Teri Bandi >
  • Maki Madni
  • Leavin’ Trunk
  • I Wish I Knew (with Susan Tedeschi)
  • Kam-ma-lay
  • Joyful Noise
  • Going Down Slow
  • Feel So Bad
  • Gonna Move
  • My Favorite Things

Blues Traveler Setlist:

  • Carolina Blues
  • Back in the Day (with Count M’Butu)
  • Hook (with Count M’Butu)
  • No Woman, No Cry (with Count M’Butu and Derek Trucks)
  • Partner in Crime
  • Nail
  • Thinnest of Air
  • Amber Awaits
  • Stand
  • Manhattan Bridge
  • The Mountains Win Again
  • Run-Around
  • NY Prophesie

Encore:

  • Can’t Win True Love
  • Brother John
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Warren Haynes Christmas Jam – Night One: 12/12/2008

christmasjam_12-12-08

The Warren Haynes Christmas Jam is my favorite musical event of the year. I have gone every year since moving to Asheville and it’s always one of the highlights of my concerts. This year was the 20th anniversary jam, so it was a stellar two-night extravaganza. The first night featured: The Allman Brothers Band, The Del McCoury Band, The Derek Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule, John Paul Jones, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Joan Osborne, and Travis Tritt; along with special guests: Karl Denson, Robben Ford, Ruthie Foster, JJ Grey, Matt Grondin, Ron Holloway, Eric Krasno, The Lee Boys, Susan Tedeschi, and Tal Wilkenfeld. It would be the first of two very long nights of music.

I went with my wife this first night, and we had to pace ourselves. Music started right at 7:00 and went on and on and on. There were so many high points, it’s hard to pick any particular ones out, although Warren and John Paul Jones performing an acoustic version of “Going to California” was right up there. I was also really impressed with Tal Wilkenfeld’s bass playing. But as I said, everyone was so great, it was almost overwhelming. Even Travis Tritt was great, and country music is not really my thing.

We ended up leaving around 3:30 am, as the Allman’s were playing “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” because my wife had pretty much hit the wall. So, we missed a few songs. But that’s ok, because I would be going again the second night, which was just as amazing.

Here is the setlist from the first night.


Dumpstaphunk

  • Gasman Chronicles
  • Meanwhile
  • Sheez Music
  • Livin Ina World Gone Mad  (w/Matt Grondin & Karl Denson)
  • Everybody Want Sum
  • Bad Boy (w/Warren Haynes & Eric Krasno)
  • Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself (w/Tal Wilkenfeld, Eric Krasno, Warren Haynes, Danny Louis )

 

Joan Osborne

  • The One I Love
  • Hallelujah in the City
  • Cathedrals
  • Help Me (with Warren Haynes)
  • Christmas in New Orleans (with Ron Holloway)

 

Travis Tritt

  • Homesick
  • Leave My Girl Alone
  • I Walk the Line
  • Pickin’ at It
  • Anymore
  • The Pressure Is On (with Warren Haynes)
  • Move It On Over (with Warren Haynes)

 

The Del McCoury Band

  • 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
  • Squirrel Hunter (with John Paul Jones)
  • Little Georgia Rose (with Travis Tritt)
  • Old Kentucky Shore (with Joan Osborne & Travis Tritt)
  • My Love Will Not Change (with John Paul Jones)
  • Celebrate (with The Lee Boys)

 

Warren Haynes

  • Soulshine (with John Paul Jones)
  • Going to California (with John Paul Jones)

 

The Derek Trucks Band

  • Down in the Flood
  • Days Is Almost Gone
  • Can’t Sleep at Night (with Susan Tedeschi)
  • People (with Susan Tedeschi)
  • Anyday (with Susan Tedeschi & Eric Krasno)

 

Gov’t Mule

  • Brighter Days
  • Like Flies
  • Bad Little Doggie
  • Blind Man in the Dark
  • Sco-Mule (with Robben Ford and Tal Wilkenfeld)
  • Fallen Down > ‘The Other One’ jam (with Karl Denson)

 

Allman Brothers

  • Don’t Want You No More
  • It’s Not My Cross to Bear
  • I Walk on Guilded Splinters
  • Statesboro Blues
  • And It Stoned Me (with JJ Grey)
  • Who’s Been Talking ( with Robben Ford & Ivan Neville)
  • Dreams (with Karl Denson)
  • In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (with Tal Wilkenfeld)
  • The Weight (with Ron Holloway, Danny Louis, Susan Tedeschi, & Ruthie Foster)
  • Mountain Jam
  • Dazed and Confused (with John Paul Jones)
  • Mountain Jam (with John Paul Jones)

Encore:

  • One Way Out (with Roosevelt Collier & JJ Grey)

Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam: 12/12/2015

ChristmasJam_12-12-15

Warren Haynes, former guitarist with the Allman Brothers and currently with Gov’t Mule, has been hosting the Christmas Jam in Asheville for 27 years now. The Jam is a benefit concert that raises money for Habitat for Humanity and Warren invites a slew of artists to participate in the marathon event. I’ve been attending this show every year since moving to Asheville, so if my fuzzy math serves me well, that makes 13 years that I have been going to the Jam.

This year’s show sold out fast, boasting a solid lineup. Unfortunately, one of the performers who I was REALLY looking forward to seeing—Joe Bonamassa—had to cancel. In spite of that, it was a great show.

I went with my wife and we met a group of friends (Perry, Philip, Devorah, Mike, and Bob) and we secured a row for ourselves on the left side of the stage, which afforded us a great view.

The show began promptly at 6:45 with Love Canon, a fun bluegrass act who plays bluegrass versions of 80’s pop hits. They played between acts while the crew was setting up and breaking down equipment. After a few songs, Warren came out and played a great acoustic version of George Harrison’s “Give Me Love.”

After Warren, we had an electric set from Hot Tuna, one of my favorite bands. Hot Tuna was formed by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the guitarist and bass player from the Jefferson Airplane. They were great, but too short, playing a mere five songs if memory serves me well.

After Hot Tuna, Bruce Hornsby played an acoustic set. It was good, but strange. I had seen Hornsby several times and this was the first time I had seen him that he did not play any piano, playing dulcimer for the entire set. It was not what I expected, but I feel like I got to see something that most people will never have the opportunity to experience.

Next up was the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who were the highlight of the evening in my opinion. They were incredible! The energy was so high and the musicianship was so impressive, I was kind of dumbstruck. If you have never seen this band and have the opportunity, do not pass it up.

Following TTB was Dawes. I was not too familiar with them, but I knew they were somewhat popular. They were OK in my opinion, but not great. They also seemed less interesting following such an outstanding performance. They did a nice version of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” to close their set, which was fun.

The next act to perform was Blackberry Smoke. Personally, I was not impressed with this band, at all. I know they are very popular, but they were not my thing and their sound was wretched, which did not make things any better. My friend Bill texted me during their performance and called them Black Pickup Exhaust, which caused a chuckle.

It was now getting late in the evening, and the Doobie Brothers took the stage. They opened with “Jesus is Just Alright” and played one hit after another. I loved their show! You knew every song and the crowd was singing along. It was fun and brought back lots of memories for me. The Doobies were huge when I was growing up, and I listened to “Black Water” over and over as a kid. They were a close second to Tedeschi Trucks, in my humble opinion.

The Doobies finished about 1:30 am. Warren’s band was still scheduled to play, but by this time I was tired. Since I have seen Warren more times than I can count, I decided to skip the last set and get some much-needed sleep. I heard it was good, but looking at the set list, I could tell I didn’t miss anything special.

Just to give you all a taste of the Christmas Jam, here is a video that my good friend Robert made: Tedeschi Trucks Band with Warren Haynes joining them on guitar. Enjoy!