Tag Archives: En Concert

Tune In Tuesday: 5/11

Today’s installment of Tune in Tuesday features six random albums. 

Monsters of Folk

Monsters of Folk

Monsters of Folk are the latest “Super Group” to hit the music scene.  Comprised of Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), M. Ward, and Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes).  These boys bring back the sweet harmonies of classic bands like The Eagles and Crosby, Stills, & Nash and evoke the not so distant memory of The Traveling Wilburys.

The music is a mixed bag of rock, folk, and as mentioned before, sweet harmony, and lush melodies.  The lead track on the album “Dear God (Sincerely MOF)” is a trippy little number that is gently bathed in R&B and is based around a sample of the 1970 gospel song “Is There Any Love” by Trevor Dandy.

Key tracks: His Master’s Voice, Temazcal, Losin Yo Head.

Joy

Phish

This is the newest ad fourteenth studio album form the Vermont Jam band.  It is also the album that brought the band back from a four year hiatus and reunited them with produce Steve Lillywhite.  The album is aptly titled as the songs all seem to have a happy, joyful quality to them.  If you have a fan or former fan, check it out and get reacquainted with the boys from Phish.

Key Tracks: Time Turns Elastic, Backwards Down the Number Line, Twenty Years Later

En Concert

Jack Johnson

This album is a great cross section of all of Jack’s work and has guest appearances by Eddie Vedder and Paula Fuga.  It also showcases the harmonizing backing vocals of Zach Gil (Animal Liberation Orchestra), who has toured with Johnson in the past but only recently became a permanent fixture on the tour. 

The special addition has a DVD that captures various stages of his 2008 tour.  The DVD has more guest appearances by the likes of Ben Harper, Eddie Vedder, Mason Jennings, Matt Costa, G. Love & Special Sauce.

Key Tracks: Constellations (w/ Eddie Vedder), Gone, Flake, and Times Like These

White Lies for Dark Times

Ben Harper & the Relentless 7

The Relentless 7 is Ben’s latest incarnation of a band and is a bit heavier than the Innocent Criminals.  The album is solid from start to finish and is not a dramatic departure from any of Ben’s other work.  He still blazes on the slide guitar and is the focal vocal point of the band. 

Key Tracks: Faithfully Remain, Skin Thin, Keep It Together (So I Can Fall Apart), Shimmer and Shine.

Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away

Slaid Cleaves

Slaid Cleaves is pure musical greatness and genius.  This Austin based singer and songwriter is a thoughtfully introspective writer who catches the subtle nuances of life in this crazy world.  He sings of love, lost, hope, faith, and the lack there of.  Not afraid to raise a political edge with his music but never appearing to be preachy or on a soapbox.  If you have not heard of him, he is well worth checking out. 

Key Tracks: Beautiful Thing, Cry, Dreams, Hard to Believe

Natural Forces

Lyle Lovett

Natural Forces is the latest album from Texas’s own Grammy winner Lyle Lovett.  There is just something about the calm confidence in which Lyle sings his songs.  This album is typical Lovett, good song selection, well crafted, and a slight sense of humor. 

 Key Tracks: Pantry, Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel, Don’t You Think I Feel It Too

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Jack Johnson!

Jack Johnson is the easy, breezy, heir apparent to the acoustic strumming of today’s folksy surf/beach music.  In addition to being a singer/songwriter/musician, Johnson is also a film maker and former professional surfer.

Johnson splashed (notice the subtle water reference) on to the musical scene by way of surfing when he and G. Love became acquainted.  G. Love recorded Johnson’s song “Rodeo Clowns” on his 1999 release Philadelphonic.  Johnson sang and played on the track and it was the first single from the album. In 2000, he co-directed and composed the soundtrack for the surf film Thicker Than Water.  The soundtrack, coincidentally, contains four of Johnson’s songs.

With the release of his 2001 debut album Brushfire Fairytales Johnson was able to get Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) and Ben Harper (with his beautiful lap guitar skills) to appear on the album.  In 2002 Johnson starred in and directed the surf film The September Session.  Johnson has two songs on the soundtrack, one of which is a cover of Jimmy Buffet’s “A Pirate Looks at 40”.

His sophomore release, On and On, continues the mellow vibe of his previous album and does not deviate much on his third album In Between Dreams. His third album brings Zach Gill (Animal Liberation Orchestra) in to the musical mix and is the beginning of a series of fruitful collaborations with the multi talented Mr. Gill. 

Jack Johnson Discography:

  • Brushfire Fairytales
  • On And On
  • In Between Dreams
  • Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George
  • Sleep Through the Static
  • En Concert

The 2006 soundtrack Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George is a menagerie of musical talent that includes Ben Harper, G. Love, Matt Costa, and Zach Gill.    Johnson riskily yet skillfully covers The White Stripes “We Are Going To Be Friends”.  The soundtrack made #1 on the billboard chart and has sold over three million copies. 

Top 5 Jack Johnson Songs:

  1. Breakdown (In Between Dreams)
  2. Gone (On And On)
  3. Cookie Jar (On And On)
  4. Upside Down (Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George)
  5. Flake (Brushfire Fairytales)

In 2008 Johnson released his fourth album Sleep Through the Static which has electric guitars and keyboards playing a more prominent musical role than on previous albums. Lyrically, Johnson seems more mature and at times, a bit dark.  Not in a Nine Inch Nails kind of dark, mind you, but a slight departure from the relatively sunny nature of his previous efforts.

A world tour followed the release of Sleep Through the Static and from that tour, came the live album En Concert.  This album captures various performances throughout the tour and has a duet with Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and a performance with Ben Harper.

Johnson’s music is easy to digest and does not require a lot of attention.  You can get lost in the vibe of each album or song.  He has a capable voice, good musical sense and surrounds himself with great talent. 

I’ve seen him several times in concert and his live shows are just as laid back as his albums.  He is typically in bare feet or flip flops, jeans, and t shirt.  His guitar slung over his shoulder while he strums.  Jack tends to be a stationary performer and allows his music to fill the room instead of his personality or presence. 

Check out Jack Johnson at www.jackjohnsonmusic.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UbT3U-fQt4

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZRvtr2g3z0&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jIca_LpXSM&feature=related

Great music awaits!