Dave Matthews Band Worth the Three Year Wait

May 26, 2023
Marty Halpern

After a three year delay, Dave Matthews Band finally made it to the newly refurbished BankPlus Amphitheater in Southaven MS for a jam band show jam packed with people and great music. The outdoor venue just south of Memphis TN has only hosted a handful of events since reopening after an $11 million makeover.

Matthews and his cohorts took the stage as the sun was setting on a beautiful mid south evening. The band spent the next two plus hours covering classics from the decades old DMB catalogue while introducing several songs off their just released 10th studio album “Walk Around the Moon.”

The band was in top form, grinning ear to ear as they traded solos back and forth all night. Matthew’s wit was also in top form entertaining the crowd with his deadpan musings throughout the show. DMB will stay on the road the next couple of months supporting their latest release.

Below are pictures from the show and a video of Matthew’s take on The Commodores “Brick House.”

Dave Matthews Band Southaven MS 5/24/23

Pig, Come On Come On, Sweet, Madman’s Eyes, Crush, All You Wanted Was Tomorrow, Warehouse, Looking for a Vein, Grey Street, The Space Between, It Could Happen, Lie In Our Graves, Walk Around the Moon, Monsters, Kill the Preacher, Why I Am, You and Me, Jimi Thing, Brick House

E: Singing From the Windows, Break Free, Louisiana Bayou.

Karina Rykman’s Bass Melting New Orleans Debut

May 9, 2023
Marty Halpern

Karina Rykman and her band brought the heat to their New Orleans debut. That heat from the stage mixed with the heat from a sold out Blue Nile 1:30 a.m. crowd caused her bass to melt… literally. Towards the end of the set, Rykman informed the sweaty crowd several of the frets on her bass had melted. Undaunted by the unprecedented turn of events, Rykman shrugged it off making the most of the working notes on her guitar.

There was no warm up period for Rykman or the crowd. From the first note of “Joyride,” the pace didn’t slow the rest of the night (or early morning). Rykman, with guitarist Adam November and Chris Corsico on drums showed off the precision they’ve developed playing these songs on the road. Rykman pal Marlo Shankweiler joined the festivities for “Skylark/Slow Lark.”

After the show Rykman expressed her gratitude via Instagram. “So beyond grateful to get to play New Orleans with my band for the first time! Thank you endlessly for selling it out and brining your insane energy from 1:45 am – 3:45am!”

This show is a perfect example of what’s ahead for Rykman. Yes, she’s still the always smiling and bouncy Karina everyone loves. But when Rykman hits the stage, buckle up. Corsico’s pace on the drums seems impossible to maintain for an entire show. So fast and continually diverse it will grab your attention immediately. He has also joined Rykman as the drummer for his “cousin” Marco Benevento’s band. November, a techno-wizard, is just getting started creating unique tones and effects to run through his guitar. His guitar playing is already very good. As that grows combined with the technological elements he can create, the sky is the limit.

Rykman has numerous festival gigs on her schedule. Amazingly, she still hasn’t released her long overdue debut album which should be announced at any time. Below is the setlist for Rykman’s Blue Nile show. There’s also a video of concert staple “Pepper” as well as Rykman frolicking in the crowd and spinning around the stage on her back as only she can.

Blue Nile 5/6/23 – Joyride, Plants, Arbitrary, Dirty South, City Kids, New Song, Pepper, Chaise Lounge, Skylark/Slowlark, No Occasion, Psycho Killer, Hardest Button, Atom Dance (w. Family Affair), Elevator.

Jackie Greene Mesmerizes Memphis as Lilly Winwood Shines

April 7, 2023
Marty Halpern

Jackie Greene used a gap in his touring schedule to make a rare Memphis appearance at Growlers on April 3rd. Greene brought a stripped down trio from his full touring band for the added show in between stops in Nashville and Chicago.

Nashville’s Lilly Winwood, daughter of rock immortal Steve Winwood, opened for Greene. Along with her dominating country vocal prowess on set list staples “Sleep Issues,” “Keep It Spinning,” “Idastoned,” and “Laundry Day,” Winwood amused the crowd with often sarcastic stories on how each song came to be.

Greene’s energy and musical expertise immediately kicked things up a notch in front of an unfortunately small Monday night crowd. Greene stayed on acoustic guitar adding his outstanding harmonica chops as needed. The small crowd created an intimate atmosphere letting Greene kick back taking requests and playing whatever came to mind in the moment. The setlist included Greene’s “Gone Wanderin,” “Tupleo,” and “Mexican Girl” before meandering from Bob Dylan’s “Isis” to the Grateful Dead’s “Loser” and “Bertha” and Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey.”

Greene will stay on the road with a packed schedule into June. Here are pictures from Greene and Winwood’s Growlers performance.

Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams Spreading Love and Telling Tales

March 31, 2023
Marty Halpern

When Slide&Banjo spoke to Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams about their latest release “Live at Levon’s!” the musical tag team made their intentions clear, priority number one is making music together. Anything else is a distant second at best. The duo has lived up to their word setting out on an early spring tour with fellow Americana singer Shawn Mullins.

The acoustic show features a set by Campbell and Williams, and one by Mullins. The trio join up to play several songs together to end the show. Campbell and Williams also take time to banter amongst themselves and the crowd telling tales of how their love blossomed through their music.

The concert is as brilliant as it simple. Campbell showcases the mastery he’s learned on the acoustic guitar and mandolin. His playing has a smoothness and flow that leaves no doubt why the best of the best (Dylan, Helm, Lesh, Kaukonen, etc.) have had him at their side for decades. His violin playing is even better. Jaw dropping and mesmerizing. But the highest peak each night is reached when Williams’s soulful country vocals and Campbell’s guitar collide with the love the two create playing together, but as one. The unique connection launches the duo into rare air that leaves Williams literally shaking with excitement.

Slide&Banjo’s Marty Halpern met up with Campbell and Williams at their show at the City Winery in Nashville where the pair reveled in the fun and ease they’ve found on the road. Campbell mused “this is exactly what we had in mind when putting this tour together.” Their schedule for 2023 is peppered with well spaced out tour dates which allows Williams time to spend with her family in West Tennessee. Campbell will join her later this year where he will make the short commute to record in nearby Muscle Shoals. The next Campbell/Williams studio album is also in the works.

Here are pictures and audience shot video of “Surrender to Love” and “Darlin’ Be Home Soon,” from the City Winery Nashville 3/26/23

Tom Hamilton is ready for more MORE!

February 27, 2023
Marty Halpern

Like numerous musicians, Tom Hamilton used the covid pandemic to dig through his personal music archive refamiliarizing himself with old projects and passions. Like several of his peers, he found music from his early days that lit a spark not to be extinguished. The result is his latest musical project MORE!. The lineup is the first incarnation of Hamilton’s band Brothers Past. It includes his older brother and guitarist Jim along with bassist Joe D’Amico and Tom McKee on piano/keys.  

The band spent the late 90’s touring and trying to keep the wheels rolling. Ultimately, Jim and D’Amico moved on before 2001’s debut “Elements.”  

Hamilton broke the news of MORE!’s reformation to Slideandbanjo.com in 2021 proclaiming, “I got my old band back together. It’s one of the first bands I loved. Right before Covid hit, a friend from the band came by and gave me all these tapes from when we were young. He wanted me to digitize them. 

I was going through all these tapes from 1998 and 1999. It was a great band and the songs were great. I called up the guys in the band and said let’s get together and play. We all got together except for the original drummer (who doesn’t play drums anymore) and put MORE! back together.” 

The band added Ghost Light’s Scotty Zwang on drums and played a couple of livestreams from Hamilton’s Ballroom studio as Covid lingered on. Amazingly, the band landed a spot as a supporting act for Dead and Company’s 2023 Playing in the Sand. Their performance was so well received it was immediately released by Royal Potato Family on all streaming formats.

MORE!’s momentum continued last weekend with a raucous hometown show at the Ardmore in Philadelphia. Although it’s an understandable third on Hamilton’s list of priorities behind Ghost Light and JRAD, there will definitely be more MORE!. 

Slideandbanjo.com covered this weekend’s concert and will have the story on the long and winding journey the Hamilton brothers took to reconnect musically. From touring with Derek Trucks to Phil Lesh changing their career path, it’s a unique and incredible tale. Stay tuned.  

Mempho Music Festival delivers a national music festival with a local touch.

October 18, 2022
Slide & Banjo

Memphis is a city that just oozes soul. It drips from the pores of its residents and seeps out of the cracks in the sidewalks. There are few cities across the country with as rich a musical history as Memphis and the surrounding Mid-South area. From Elvis to BB King, the Bluff City’s global influence on musicians everywhere is undeniable.

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Behind the scenes as Karina Rykman conquers Red Rocks and Bonnaroo

September 2, 2022
Marty Halpern

There are many unique concert venues across the United States. Some are known for their beauty. Some for their sound. Whichever way your musical ear bends, there is one stage that fans want to see musicians play on – Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

For bassist Karina Rykman, performing on the hallowed stage has been on her mind since age 15, when she committed to becoming a musician. On May 26, 2022, with only a handful of released singles under her musical belt, she crossed playing Red Rocks off her bucket list.

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Mempho Music Festival returns with a musical vengeance

October 15, 2021
Slide & Banjo

As Covid-19 ravaged the globe, the concert industry was hit harder than most. Touring musicians, their crews, music venues…few were spared the hardship of a world that just shut down. As vaccines became readily available, though, there was a glimmer of hope; the industry adapted, and music fans once again were able to watch the bands they love. 2021 Mempho Music Fest, headlined by Widespread Panic and the Avett Brothers, returned the first weekend of October and provided a cathartic release for bands and fans alike.

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Langhorne Slim returns to Atlanta

August 24, 2021

When Langhorne Slim took the stage at Atlanta’s Terminal West on August 19, it was a momentous occasion. For many in the crowd, this was the first “real” concert during the pandemic, and you got the vibe it was one of the band’s first as well. Slim (Sean Scolnick), Paul Defiglia (stand-up bass) and Mat “Twain” Davidson (slide guitar, banjo, violin) gave 100% energy, and expressed genuine appreciation for the ability to simply perform for an audience.

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