PROSOUND interviews Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams: “On the technical side, Justin Guip was invaluable as an engineer…He is a brilliant engineer.”

This month, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams issue their self-titled debut album on Red House Records. While this is a debut album, both Larry and Teresa have done their time on the road and in the studio, touring and recording with the likes of Bob Dylan, Phil Lesh, Little Feat, Paul Simon and the inimitable Levon Helms. Their new album was recorded at Levon’s Barn, located in Woodstock, NY. Pro Sound News took a time out with Larry and Lisa to talk about their latest journey in the studio

ON MOVIN’ ON AND UP:

Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

Larry: I left Dylan’s band at the end of ’04—and soon after started working with Levon. That was a really cool thing. Teresa and I had been singing together on her farm down in Tennessee with her family, and that was sort of the beginning of our collaboration. When I started working with Levon in Woodstock, Teresa ended up joining me up there, too, and things really started to gel. So we began concentrating more on songs that we could sing together and still perform in Levon’s band.

I had just gotten off of being on the road for eight years with Bob, and I wanted to be with Teresa—I thought that our ability to create music together was amazing, and what a great opportunity to be able to do it with Levon and the whole band. So about this time, I started writing some songs, and we performed a few songs with the Levon band. It all happened very organically. Eventually, we realized that we had to do a record. That is the short version of how we got here.

ON PLANTING SEEDS:

Teresa: All along, Larry had been touting that we were working on a record on the air since before we started working with Levon, and right after he left Dylan. But when people like Levon, or Jorma [Kaukonen], or Bromberg called, Larry would drop whatever he was doing to produce them. Who wouldn’t? So we were just rolling along, like the shoemaker’s children have no shoes, if you will. You think you have plenty of time to get to your own record, but it takes a lot longer than you might have imagined. But the seeds were planted and slowly growing in and around all that though. These experiences ended up really contributing to what finally came out on the record.

ON DIVING DEEP:

Larry: My career over the last several years has been backing up and producing other people. Songwriting is very difficult for me, and nothing ever comes easy. So for this, I really had to dive deep to get these songs out. Above all, our record was a natural avenue of expression— I never want things to sound contrived or formulaic, yet I always wanted to find the feeling in my writing. It’s unexpected, because you are really spilling your guts.

ON SHIFTING FROM PRODUCER:

Larry: Normally, I am the guy that is supposed to provide objectivity and be there for the artist. I realized that when you are trying to do that for yourself, it is nearly impossible. I would go from thinking, “you know, this stuff is pretty good” to “who the hell am I trying to kid here, this is nonsense.” And normally, when you go through all these emotions, the producer really knows what is happening and calms the artist down. Teresa was great in that regard. For example, I could not have done my vocals without her because she provided some objectivity that I needed. There were many things I was trying to do that I shouldn’t have been trying to do—and she helped through some important musical decisions.

On the technical side, Justin [Guip] was invaluable as an engineer. I would describe what I wanted the record to sound like in abstract terms, and he busted his ass to come up with templates that might represent what I was talking about, and we finally got there. He is a brilliant engineer.

ON SURVIVING LEVON:

Larry: The first couple of tracks we did for this record were with Levon, because while we were recording Electric Dirt, we had some downtime at the studio. At the time, I asked Levon if he would play on a couple of tunes that we were thinking about recording; this was around 2007 or 2008. One of those tracks survived, and ended up on the record with him playing drums. That was when we put a foot in the water for getting the entire project done. Soon after he died, Teresa and I realized we had to make some decisions about what we were going to do. That’s when we started to focus on getting back to the record. Byron Isaacs has played bass with the Ramble Band on the three Levon records that we did— he’s a great bass player. Justin, our engineer, is also a great drummer and we have a real chemistry. When we started everything up again, I asked him to do the rhythm section and everything was coming out beautifully. Finally, Teresa and I had been working with Little Feat a bunch, and Bill Payne became a great friend. We were working on project with Bill and at the time, he graciously offered to add piano to our record. What better than having Bill Payne playing piano on your record? I am really proud of everybody who contributed to this record.

ON THE 10,000-FOOT VIEW:

Larry: As I have had time to get away from this record and listen to it with objectivity, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is everything I wanted it to be. Our idea was to just follow the path of that reaction. If 10 people are interested in it, well great, I’m glad it moved you. If more people like it, then we will follow that path. This road is getting longer, and we’re going to take as far as we can take it.

Jacques Sonyieux is a devout explorer of recording studios and the artists that occasionally inhabit them. Please send any tips or feedback to Jacques at: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

JamBase announces 50th Anniversary of Jefferson Airplane September 10-13, 2015

While much focus has been put on the Grateful Dead celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2015,Jefferson Airplane is also celebrating the same anniversary. As we reported this year’s Lockn’ Festivalwill feature a one-time only tribute to 50 years of Jefferson Airplane featuring founding members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Today, The Daily Beast published a feature on the tribute which includes word of what other founding members of Airplane had to say when asked to participate and that Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann will be a special guest during the set. 

The Jefferson Airplane tribute set will take place on September 11 at Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, Virginia during the Lockn’ Festival. Casady and Kaukonen will be joined by Lake Street Drive vocalistRachel Price, Furthur vocalist Jeff Pehrson, SNL band guitarist GE Smith, Levon Helm Band drummerJustin Guip as well as Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams for the tribute with Kreutzmann listed as special guest.

Lockn’ co-organizer Dave Frey revealed to The Daily Beast a full-on reunion was in the works but schedules couldn’t be worked out. “Grace (Slick) is very happily retired and wishes everybody the best,” Frey said. “She’s just the coolest ever. But she’s not gonna ever stand on a stage again.”

Jefferson Airplane fans shouldn’t expect more. “It’s one and done, you know?” Kaukonen said about the set. The Lockn’ Festival will take place September 10 – 13 featuring Phil Lesh & Friends, Widespread Panic, The String Cheese Incident and many others.

Elmore Magazine gives us a real nice nod for Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams’ debut record release, “…and you would be making a big mistake by not buying it immediately.”

LTJJ

Photos by Marc Millman

From the minute that Larry Campbell walked onto the stage with his wife Teresa Williams and the band, you could sense the warmth emanating from each corner of the room. The space had been filled with what looked and felt like close friends and long time fans. Unsurprisingly, within the 50 minute duration of their performance, the artists were able to capture the hearts of every single person present.

Larry Campbell is someone you would expect to give a good show, what with his long career as a producer, musician, and singer. When he plays the strings, it looks as if he is barely touching them. However, collaborating with other artists is tricky and not all sounds are meant to blend. All of those concerns flew out the door once Teresa Williams started singing. A powerhouse with a vocal range, she used trills, riffs, and slides that made every note simply irresistible. The couple performed serenades, powerful hits, and songs that harkened to a time gone by. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams’ self-titled album is released on June 23rd, and you would be making a big mistake by not buying it immediately.

– Avital Glibicky

The Egg Serves Up Some Tasty Hot Tuna with Teresa Williams and Donna the Buffalo

The Electric Sextet of Hot Tuna returned to The Egg, almost seven years to the date of the last Hot Tuna performance, an acoustic duo, on Dec. 11, 2007. Hundreds of old hippies and couples with more than a touch of grey, excitedly attended the performance; some enthusiastic enough to cheer loudly for Jorma Kaukonen and knew every song and dove head first into every jam alongside the band. Donna the Buffalo opened the night with a very powerful set, garnering chatter in The Egg’s lobby, with a new fan, Susan, remarking ‘Oh they’re so much fun!’ in her first time seeing them.

With Hot Tuna taking the to stage, the audience roared with approval, seeing Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen and a nearly 50 year relationship playing music together. Alongside them stood Larry Campbell on guitar and fiddle, Barry Mitterhoff on mandolin and Justin Guip on drums, an all-star lineup that welcomed Teresa Williams for part of the set. The alt-country of “Mama Let me Lay it on You” featured Campbell’s fiddling, “Ode to Billy Dean” brought out Tuna’s blues origins and “Can’t Get Satisfied” had a hint of Freddie King’s “Going Down” and was far from radio play, as much of the night’s songs would be; Hot Tuna is an overlooked predecessor to the early jambands that developed in the 1970s and ’80s.  Jorma took a moment to respond to the continuous cries of “JORMA!” from an audience member, saying “That’s my name, don’t wear it out.”

A progressive jam build from “Been so Long” when Campbell took to the mandolin, which led to Teresa Williams coming to the stage for the first song of the night, the enthusiastic traveling country blues of “Children of Zion” and “Wade in the Water” which was full of energy and had Williams dancing all over in a circle.

Teresa later returned for “White Rabbit” with its foreboding bass line from Casady. Feed your head? Feed your ears with this wonderful voice that was on par with Grace Slick in her heyday. Jack strutted around the stage as “Mourning Interrupted” began and when the band found that one groove in the and stated into the jam, the clear highlight of the night was at hand. There was no ADD here, and not just because they’re too old for that $#!&. A cover of “Deep Ellum Blues” featured Williams and Campbell on vocals, a tune he sang frequently when he toured with Phil Lesh & Friends’ in 2006. “Sugaree” with Teresa featured solos from everyone, resulting in the longest song of the night. To cap the night, the band played the classic “Funky #7″ which delved into psychedelic rock before moving into a prog jam, with big jamming to end it, alongside Teresa’s revival-level of energy. Let’s hope it doesn’t take seven years for Hot Tuna to play The Egg or Upstate New York in the future.

Setlist: True Religion, Mama let me lay it on you, Ode to Billy Dean, Can’t Get Satisfied, Been so Long, Children of Zion, Wade in the Water, Second Chances, White Rabbit, Mourning Interrupted, Deep Elum Blues, Bar Room Crystal Ball, Sugaree

Encore: Funky #7

David Bromberg touring his record we made at Levon Helm Studios in 2013 “Only Slightly Mad.” Great show.

David Bromberg plays Capitol Theatre
Godfather of Americana is touring in support of Only Slightly Mad

Article published on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015
[Image]
Photo courtesy of DAVID BROMBERG
Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter David Bromberg performs Jan. 15 at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater.

CLEARWATER – Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter David Bromberg is set to bring his musical cohorts to the Tampa Bay area. The David Bromberg Band will perform Thursday, Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m., at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St.

Not one to rest on his laurels or choose to ride off into the sunset after decades in the business, David Bromberg – considered by some the godfather of Americana – released his new album “Only Slightly Mad” in September 2013.

It is Bromberg’s second Appleseed Recordings studio release since 2007’s “Try Me One More Time.” That album came after a 17-year hiatus from recording new music. It earned Bromberg a 2008 Grammy Award nomination in the category of Best Traditional Folk Album.

Bromberg was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1945. He was raised in Tarrytown, New York.

“As a kid, I listened to rock ’n’ roll and whatever else was on the radio,” said Bromberg in a biographical sketch provided by Mod Media. “I discovered Pete Seeger and The Weavers and, through them, Reverend Gary Davis. I then discovered Big Bill Broonzy, who led me to Muddy Waters and the Chicago blues. This was more or less the same time I discovered Flatt and Scruggs, which led to Bill Monroe and Doc Watson.”

According to the biography, Bromberg began studying guitar at age 13 and eventually enrolled in Columbia University as a musicology major.

The Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid-’60s drew him to the downtown clubs and coffeehouses, where he could watch and learn from the best performers, including primary sources such as his inspiration and teacher, the Reverend Gary Davis.

Bromberg’s sensitive and versatile approach to guitar-playing earned him jobs playing the Village “basket houses” for tips, the occasional paying gig, and employment as a backing musician for Tom Paxton, Jerry Jeff Walker and Rosalie Sorrels, among others. He became a first-call, “hired gun” guitarist for recording sessions, ultimately playing on hundreds of records by artists including Bob Dylan, Link Wray, The Eagles, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, and Carly Simon.

Still, the spotlight eluded Bromberg until a fateful day in 1970.

On Wednesday, Aug. 26 of that year, Bromberg took the stage as an accompanist for American folk singer-songwriter Rosalie Sorrels at the Isle of Wight Festival. Following her set, Native American/Mexican American rock group Redbone was schedule to perform. They did not appear on stage, however, and Bromberg unexpectedly performed a solo set in front of an estimated 600,000 concertgoers.

The impromptu performance earned Bromberg a solo deal with Columbia Records, for whom he went on to record four albums. His eponymous 1971 debut included “The Holdup,” a songwriting collaboration with former Beatle George Harrison, who also played slide guitar on the track. Bromberg also met the Grateful Dead and wound up with four of their members playing on his next two albums.

As his career progressed, Bromberg’s material – based in the folk and blues idioms – continually expanded with each new album to encompass bluegrass, ragtime, country and ethnic music. Meanwhile, his touring band grew apace. By the mid-’70s, the David Bromberg Big Band included horn players, a violinist, and several multi-instrumentalists, including Bromberg himself.

Despite sold-out concerts and a string of acclaimed albums on the Fantasy label, Bromberg found himself exhausted by the logistics of the music business.

“I decided to change the direction of my life,” he said.

Bromberg dissolved his band in 1980, and he and his artist/musician wife, Nancy Josephson, moved from Northern California to Chicago, where he attended the Kenneth Warren School of Violin Making. Though he still toured periodically, the recordings slowed to a trickle and then stopped following 1989’s “Sideman Serenade.”

After a few too many Chicago winters, the Brombergs relocated in 2002 to Wilmington,

Delaware. They became part of the city’s artist-in-residence program and Bromberg established David Bromberg Fine Violins, a retail store and repair shop for high quality instruments.

It was Bromberg’s frequent participation in the city’s weekly jam sessions that eventually helped rekindle his desire to make music again. A little prompting from fellow musicians such as Chris Hillman (The Byrds, Desert Rose Band, Flying Burrito Brothers) and bluegrass wizard Herb Pedersen didn’t hurt, either.

The Grammy-nominated “Try Me One More Time” heralded Bromberg’s 2007 solo return to the studio. He continued his musical revitalization, playing shows on his own, with the David Bromberg Quartet, and reunions of the David Bromberg Big Band.

In 2009, spurred by a suggestion from John Hiatt that he come to Hiatt’s Nashville studio to “mess around,” Bromberg came up with the idea for “Use Me” – an album featuring Bromberg with Hiatt and other friends such as Levon Helm, Los Lobos, Tim O’Brien, Vince Gill, Widespread Panic, Dr. John, Keb’ Mo’ and Linda Ronstadt. Each guest artist either wrote or selected a song and then produced Bromberg’s interpretation of their suggested tune, thereby fulfilling the Bromberg’s request to “Use Me.”

In 2013, content with the balance of both his violin business and performing career, Bromberg was ready to record again with his live band.

Enlisting old friend Larry Campbell and engineer Justin Guip, Bromberg and his group entered Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York, in March 2013. Bromberg recruited some of Helm’s former recording and touring musicians for added instrumentation. The David Bromberg Band emerged 12 days later with “Only Slightly Mad,” a return to his genre-bending albums of the ’70s and ’80s.

Bromberg fans who attend the Jan. 15 concert at the Capitol Theatre will find blues, bluegrass, gospel, folk, Irish fiddle tunes, pop and English drinking songs happily coexisting as Bromberg performs selections from the new album as well as songs from his decades-long career.

For newcomers, “Only Slightly Mad” offers an introduction to a performer whose range and musical depth have delighted devoted audiences for more than 40 years.

The David Bromberg Band features Bromberg on guitar, vocals, mandolin and fiddle; Mark Cosgrove on guitar, mandolin and vocals; Robert ‘Butch’ Amoit on bass and vocals; Nate Grower on fiddle, guitar, mandolin and vocals; and Josh Kanusky on drums and vocals.

Zach Caruso will open the show.

Tickets start at $35. Call 791-7400 or visit www.atthecap.com.

Article published on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015

Copyright © Tampa Bay Newspapers: All rights reserved.

MOUNTAIN JAM 2015! See you there with Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams

Festy News: Mountain Jam 2015 Top Notch Lineup

10562585_10152956424708895_9013832731040124920_oMountain Jam announced a more conclusive lineup after Gov’t Mule, moe., and The Black Keys were announced a couple of weeks ago.Mountain Jam is in its 11th year and held at Hunter Mountain June 4-7, 2015.

Top performers include Robert Plantand the Sensational Space Shifters, who have reached new heights of success with the 2014 release ofLullaby and the Ceaseless Roar. Also headlining are, Alabama Shakes, Vermont native, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and, of course, Michael Franti & Spearhead. The rest of the lineup appears to be taking a page from the handbook of awesome festival lineups, and it is top notch. Joining the headliners are: Rebelution, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead,Railroad Earth, Lake Street Dive, Trigger Hippy, Benjamin Booker and The Wailers, Rusted Root, Nicki Bluhm & The Grambers, Shakey Graves, Jon Cleary, The Budos Band, Dopapod, Amy Helm & The Handsome Strangers, Hurray For The Ruff Raff, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Marco Benevento, The Mother Hips, Nikki Lane and Sons of Bill.

Additionally, Big Gigantic, The Budos Band and Dopapod will be the late night artists. Early bird tickets are still available at MountainJam.com.

Another great review for HOT TUNA- Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen, with Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams and Justin Guip

Birthday Night at the Beacon

Birthday Night at the Beacon

Rock and roll was not supposed to last.  And rock and rollers still playing in their 70s? That wasn’t supposed to happen either.

Regardless of whether you mark the birth of rock and roll with the high steppin’ and hollerin’ entertainers from the Delta in the early 30s like Charley Patton (who was said to play his guitar behind his back) or 1954 when the Hillbilly Cat Elvis Presley made his first electrifying sessions at Sun Records in Memphis, this thing called Rock and Roll was–at best–thought of as a fad.  Kids stuff.  Something we’d all eventually grow out of.

I was thinking of all of those grumpy social observers–the 50s era djs smashing records on the air (“rock and roll has got to go”), the square congressional pundits who denounced teenagers and their crazy music—as I watched Jack Casady, longtime pal Jorma Kaukonen, and the rest of Hot Tuna at Casady’s sold out 70th birthday show last Saturday night at the Beacon Theater. The Beacon is one of the last great remaining theater treasures in Manhattan. And the 3,000-strong crowd, mostly in their 60s (with a combined age of about 195,000 years) gave the septuagenarian birthday boy a standing ovation after he opened his celebratory performance with a bass solo, noted on the set list simply as, “Jack plays.”

Rock and roll wasn’t supposed to wind up in great palaces like the Beacon, either.  Starting in the 1970s and repeating like clockwork every decade, rock magazine writers have wondered aloud when the Grateful Dead or the Rolling Stones or The Who or Paul McCartney would call it quits.  “Why do they bother?” “Why don’t they retire?”

Birthday Night at the BeaconBirthday Night at the Beacon

But there was Mr. Casady and his Metallic Gold Epiphone Signature Bass which he designed himself, playing just off-center stage, solo at the Beacon at 8:15 on a Saturday night, with an incredible tone that seemed to amplify not only his flowing sense of melody but a bit of every player he has ever admired. For two hours, Casady stomped, jumped, and raced over the entire stage, engaging every musician as if to say “I hear what you’re doing, and I’ve got something that will help.”  It was a Hot Tuna show all the way, but it was also Jack’s night.  He was up front in the mix but never boomy, always perfectly balanced, with every note from high to low was articulate–round, strong, and easy to follow. I’ve seen The Who, McCartney, the Stones, and performed at all kinds of venues from basements to the Royal Albert Hall and I’ve never heard a bass tone like Jack put out Saturday night at the Beacon, which for him was probably just another great night out of many more to come.

The lighting on stage was minimal, with a blue-toned edge on the wings and at the back curtain which made Jack’s black attire and Gold Metallic bass stand out from any vantage point. Hot Tuna made it seem like there was no bad seat at the Beacon.

Birthday Night at the Beacon

Casady was joined on stage by a number of old friends, including G.E. Smith, former bandleader for Saturday Night Live, who respectfully played rhythm most of the night on a 1962 Epiophone Sheraton with Tremotone (“It’s my most favorite guitar I’ve ever had. Nothing comes close”).  Larry Campbell, who helped direct Levon Helm’s band and is an equally fine producer and multi-instrumentalist (and like G.E., a veteran of Bob Dylan’s touring band) led several excellent solo passages on guitar and fiddle (playing the role of the much-missed Papa John Creach). Each of Campbell’s solos was neatly wrapped with a clear beginning, middle, and end.  Marty Balin was there too, his voice sounding terrific, easily rocking his own Jefferson Airplane classics like “Plastic Fantastic Lover” and seconding Hot Tuna vocalist Teresa Williams on “Somebody to Love” with gusto.  Jorma played electric and acoustic and flowed back and forth between leading and support. His solos were knarly and more than once left Larry and G.E. smiling at each other as if to say: “What just happened?”

The feeling on stage was warm and easy, and the musicians seemed to revel in stretching classic chord structures like pizza dough until they found a new hole to jump through re-invent themselves again.

Throughout the night, Casady’s notes retained their tight, round, tone.  You could imagine traces of Monk Montgomery, the pioneering electric bassist who backed brother Wes (much to the chagrin of jazz purists) and hip shaking R&B bassists like Duck Dunn, or old friends known only to Jack.  Or, maybe it was just the slightly exotic smoke that seemed to be coming from behind me the moment the lights went dim and Jack took the stage.

Whatever was going on, Jack’s bass lines flowed constantly for two solid hours with ever-inventive melodies, counter rhythms, and punches. Whatever rock landed in his way, Jack easily made a new path to keep things flowing.  It might as well have been Louis Armstrong playing electric bass, really. Hot Tuna’s drummer Justin Guip was excellent and followed Jack’s every move. But by midnight when the show was over, Justin needed a few minutes to himself to recover. Meanwhile, Jack and Jorma (who also had his 70th birthday party at the Beacon) ran straight to the lobby to sign posters.

Birthday Night at the BeaconThe Beacon Theater on Broadway was designed in 1929 by famed Chicago architect Walter W. Ahlschlager, who also designed the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, where Sam Phillips got his start as a part-time engineer.  Thanks to the Allman Brothers (who enjoyed over 200 sold out nights there) Hot Tuna, and others, the Beacon has become a destination for fans to hear their favorite musicians turn into seekers and adventurers.

Jack Casady’s birthday was actually in April but that was a minor detail. “Any excuse to celebrate is a good excuse,” said Casady before the show.  And this was a serious party.  Everyone on stage was after the same thing—feeling, surprise, and freedom of expression.

But the show’s heart was Jack who jumped, clawed, stuck out his tongue, and seemed to know when to turn up the heat and when to batten down the hatches.  His timing, his tone, and his energy was both loose and totally dedicated.  Casady’s birthday night was a tutorial in how to disassemble and re-assemble a song, something he’s been doing since he was a kid in Washington, D.C.

“My father and I built Heathkit radios and amplifiers. We built my first guitar amplifier together. He belonged to the American Jazz Society. Being in the D.C. area was a crossroads of all kinds of music. I would get on a bus and go down to Constitution Hall and hear great orchestral works when I was 15 years old. Along that time, I’d take a different bus and go see Ray Charles, the Coasters, Jackie Wilson, and all kinds of rhythm and blues at the Howard Theater.”

And it seemed all of those artists were there at the Beacon, too on Saturday night. One of the great surprises of the evening for those listening closely and not just dancing (though everybody was dancing) were the Jefferson Airplane songs, which sounded raw, punky, and full of attitude.  Somehow, even “White Rabbit” has managed to get a little more scary. Hats off to Teresa Williams, who is now the custodian of the classic and managed to make it contemporary.

When Marty Balin closed the night with “Volunteers,” no one was quite sure how the band was going to wind it up, which is certainly part of its charm since it really has no ending.  Finally Balin, who up to then had engaged the crowd like a classic entertainer–standing at the footlights and gesturing everybody to be a volunteer–looked at Jack, put both hands on his vocal mic, and belted a serious rock and roll scream that would have pleased and impressed Roger Daltrey (another like-aged rocker who can still deliver the goods).

Birthday Night at the BeaconAfter that, there was no where else for the band to go but say thank you and head down to the green room in the basement, which was packed with friends, colleagues, press, and a cake shaped like Jack’s Epiphone bass which at most recent count, powered five world tours in 2014 including Jack White, Paul McCartney (used by Brian Ray when Macca played guitar) and BritPop pioneers the Stone Roses.  Casady looked at the cake and shook his head and said: “Man, what a great night.

Out of the many 60s legends still working today who are revered for their playing style–McCartney, Pete Townshend, Carlos Santana, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton–only Casady has taken the time to become a teacher and kept his enthusiasm for discovery and re-invention.  He’s also one of the few of his generation to have created an instrument from scratch.  Casady has made a lot of classic records. He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and now at 70, he’s done probably (we hope) all he’d like to do and seen the great places of the world.

“My job–and what I want my legacy to be–is to make something with universal appeal,” Casady told Epiphone.  I wanted to get the instrument to where a jazz player or a pop player or a folk player or a rock player could find that instrument and work inside the instrument with their own technique. I tell my students, particularly the young ones, that there’s a certain time and a window that opens up from learning what others have played to when you start to write your own and think individually about the instrument and your own melodies and lines and music. And you need to grab that when that time goes by or you may be forever lost in a world of hearing and imitating other’s music.”

Go here to read our full interview with Jack.

Review of HOT TUNA’s – Jack Casady – 70th Birthday Bash at the Beacon Theater in NYC.

Hot Tuna/Beacon Theatre/December 13, 2014

Formed in 1969 as a spin-off from Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna is led by guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Cassady. The Beacon Theatre concert was billed as Cassady’s 70th birthday bash. The cast included Kaukonen and Cassady, vocalists Marty Balin and Teresa Williams, Williams’ husband, fiddler/guitarist Larry Campbell, guitarist G.E. Smith, mandolinist Barry Mitterhoff, and drummer Justin Guip. The evening started with Cassady alone, improvising on the bass. Kaukonen came on stage with an acoustic guitar and the duo segued into “Hesitation Blues.” Mitterhoff, Campbell, Smith, and Guip joined for the second song, the folk-rocking “I See The Light.” Williams lent a gospel bent with the third song, “Children Of Zion.” Balin came on stage and started an Airplane revival, leading on “3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds” and “Plastic Fantastic Lover.” Later, Williams sang lead on the Airplane’s “Somebody To Love” and “White Rabbit.” After intermission, Balin and his two musicians, guitarist Chuck Morrongiello and bassist Lloyd Goldstein, performed three low-key songs, then they were joined by the rest of the ensemble for a tribute song to the deceased Hot Tuna violinist “Papa” John Creach. The music stopped when what looked like Cassady’s signature bass guitar was wheeled out; it was a birthday cake. Appropriately, Williams sang the Grateful Dead’s “Sugaree.” Mitterhoff, Campbell and Smith sang lead on a few other songs as well. The concert ended four hours after it began with two encores, Balin leading a rocking version of the Airplane’s “Volunteers” and everyone singing on “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burning.” The 27-song concert was packed with delightful surprises, so it was not a traditional Hot Tuna concert, but more like Jorma & Jack with friends. For the longtime fans in attendance, it was a joyous and unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime event.

By:  Everynight Charley Crespo for The Aquarian Weekly, January 21, 2015

“Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams” playing at Helsinki Hudson

Americana Artists Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams will be performing at Helsinki Hudson on Friday, October 17.  They share the stage with Justin Guip on drums  and Byron Isaacs on bass.  All have taken the stage together in the tradition of Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Band and in the Dirt Farmer Band.  Show starts at 9pm.

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“Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams” at the Orpheum. Here is a real nice review by Charles Lyonhart.

A Star Is Born
I have known Larry and Teresa for close to a quarter of a century and being a friend of their’s watched both of their career’s evolve and blossom. Working with them on several of my own projects, I have seen them both in and out of the studio and just what seasoned and incredible players they both are.
Now in the late 70′s and 80′s I put down my guitar and stopped writing songs for a while to write for numerous Music publications penning interviews and articles to make a humble living.
I want you to understand that I am not writing this for pay nor my friendship and love for Teresa and a Larry but rather because I think it needs to be said. I was moved greatly last night by what to me could have been a religious experience of sorts.
A dear friend of mine purchased a ticket for me and took me to see Larry and Teresa perform in Tannersville for The Hunter Foundation with a new combination of players as their back up band. The band consisted of Justin Guip on drums, Glen Patsche on keyboards and Catherine a Popper on bass.
The show opened up with Teresa belting out the Rev. Gary Davis classic “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” and from that moment on I was memorized and taken under Teresa’s spell. I witnessed a metamorphosis of sorts and was hit with a ton of bricks acknowledging that Ms Williams was not part of a duo backing Larry but rather a star in her own right. The power and control of her vocals was more than impressive. Teresa has every move down on stage and comes off humorous at times telling stories about her home in Tennessee in between songs and playing and flirting with Mr. Campbell. I put Teresa right up there not only as a seasoned and extraordinary singer but a stellar performer in the ranks of Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton all rolled up into one and more. Teresa took full command of the audience and the show was very well arranged including Larry playing a song from his classic instrumental album “Rooftops” called “Blind Mary” which was flawless and a new song that Larry wrote with Julie Miller, that will be on Larry and Teresa’s long awaited recording that Larry promised, “will come out soon” called “Lonely Highway”. The band was no less than stupendous and to hear Justin in a new room and assortment of players really brought out his rock steady drumming. Glen Patsche on Hammond B3 and keyboards was simply brilliant and Catherine Popper just amazed me with her bass playing and stage presence.
Now none of this is to take away from the genius and multi talented Larry Campbell who always seems to get better and better even though many times I think that it’s not humanly possible to play that good. Campbell was the best I had seen him in years. However this was Teresa’s night.
I witnessed the birth of a star. Teresa Williams has worked extremely hard to deserve this luminous shining and people get ready when Larry and Teresa come to your town.
Charles Lyonhart 9/20/14