Thursday, March 17, 2011
'Rebel' Rod's Reviews - Soulive: Bowlive - Live at the Brooklyn Bowl (Shine A Light Productions/Royal Family Records) releases March 23rd -
By ‘Rebel’ Rod Ames
I received this little jewel in the mail the other day not really knowing what to expect. What I expect now is to be at Soulive: Bowlive - Live at the Brooklyn Bowl next year in Brooklyn, New York.
The former owners of the famous and sorely missed The Wetlands, Peter Shapiro and Charley Ryan, were seeking a new venue for some tremendously talented musicians. What they found was an old dilapidated building that, at one time, housed the 16 lane Brooklyn Bowling Lanes.
It was a dirty, trashy, decaying mess, and God only knew what else was wrong with the place. However, the two have access to the right side of their brains, and were able to see this literal “hole in the wall” was indeed the place they had been looking so hard for. All it needed was “the soul”.
They renovated the building, restored the lanes, and overhauled the kitchen, enabling them to provide three of their favorite things as well as music, food, bowling, and mine!
The Soulive provides the soul and are Alan Evans, Neal Evans, and Eric Krasno with guests Nigel Hall, The Shady Horns, Ryan Zoidis, Sam Kininge, James Casey, and Blake Hillard.
On this incredible DVD, one is blessed with, not only hearing some fine music, but seeing all of the magnificent performers as well. Guitarists such as Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes and Charlie Hunter grace the stage with their talents, along with some of the biggest names in Hip Hop. Names like Questlove, Rahzel, and Talib Kweli.
If that were not enough, some of the greatest artists around, who grew up and cut their teeth at The Wetlands are also present. The DVD has special guest appearances by Robert Randolph, Marco Benevento, and Oteil & Kofi Burbridge.
Ivan Neville takes the stage performing Stevie Wonder’s classic 1973 tune, “Jesus Children of America” with Nigel Hall. Says Neville of Soulive, “These are some of my favorite people…I’m a fan!” Then when asked from what genre this music is he replies, "Good Music, the genre is Good Music!"
I could not have said it better myself.
Also included on this amazing DVD are Susan Tedeschi and The London Souls and a whole lot more.
It is all expertly directed by Karina Mackenzie, placing the viewer on the stage with the performers, making this lavishly well produced (Jeff Krasno, Peter Shapiro, and Morgan Young) DVD the very next best thing to actually being there.
An added bonus to the DVD is that it gives the viewer the choice of watching the entire documentary complete with commentary, or you can simply watch and listen to all of the great music. I would suggest you watch the documentary first, so you can get the entire feel of the event that lasts eleven days in March, and get the history behind it all.
My only moan in this entire 122-minute DVD is that I would have liked to have seen more of Mr. Randolph and his pedal steel. That is just me though. I am a huge fan of his. In the end, I was more than completely satisfied with virtually every performance on this DVD.
This is a documentary any connoisseur of American music consisting of Blues, Hip-Hop, and R&B, will want to have in their possession. It releases March 23rd.