Medeski, Martin and Wood Revisited

Every now and then you get lucky with tickets and performers. A hew yers ago we saw Medals, Martin and Wood at the Sherman Theather in Stroudsburg Pennsylvania and we had tickets in the front row, I have published a number of images and have one show piece entitled Bass Hands.

I took a lot of pictures that night and here are a few more from the set.

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Grateful Dead–Pittsburgh Civic Arena September 23 1973

I saw so many great shows at the Syria Mosque that it is hard to remember I also saw a lot of great shows at The Pittsburgh Civic Arena. Jethro Tull, The Who, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Traffic just to name a few. This was the first time I saw the Grateful Dead.

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The Grateful Dead 1973

Bass Hands Revisited

Chris Wood from Medeski,Martin and Wood is one of the world’s best bass players. This was captured during “acoustic tour” in 2015 at The Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg Pennsylvania. He played three different basses during the show. When he plays the “stand up”bass the instrument seems to become part of his body.

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Bass Hands

Stanley Plays The Stanley–Pittsburgh 1976

I am glad they still have rock shows at The Benedum Center in Pittsburgh. We saw Mark Knoplfer play there a coupld of years ago and it really took me back to some of the great shows they had there a long time ago.

This is from the Stanley Clarke School Days Tour in 1976. He made a great entrance on to the stage and then wowed the audience along with guitarist Ray Gomez Billy Cobham and George Duke.

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Stanley Plays The Stanley

Grateful Dead–Civic Arena September 23 1973

On September 23 1973 I saw the Grateful Dead perform for the first time. They played at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. You can hear the concert here if you attended the show or are just interested.

They were for a long time one of my favorite bands and I have seen them play a number of times in a variety of venues. This first show was special though not only because of the band but because of the venue.

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Grateful Dead Pittsburgh Civic Arena

Missing Frank Zappa-Syria Mosque 1974

I only saw Zappa play once. It was at the Syria Mosque in 1974 with Sal Valquez, Jean Luc Ponty and the Tower of Power Horns. Truly one of the best shows I ever saw. I miss Zappa and still listen to his music and that of his son.

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© Richard Burke 1973-2012

Zappa Jams Pittsburgh

Remembering The Grateful Dead–Phil Lesh

Trying to avoid politics at all cost on Father’s Day we watched The Grateful Dead Movie which I haven’t scene for a long time. I was taken by one scene when during a sound check Phil was talking to a cameraman. He became aware that the camera was causing feedback. He looked like a little kid as he made the camera move closer and farther to play with the feedback. They seemed so happy when they played back then.

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Phil Lesh at Madison Square Garden 1993

Yo La Tengo at Carnegie Music Hall

So we were on our way to Boston for Thanksgiving a few years ago and stopped at a rest stop on The Mass Pike. My daughter and wife found me standing in front of the Men’s Room door staring intently at the door. They gave me a strange look and shrugged and I said, “Any second Trey Anastasio is going to walk out that door.” They both laughed but I had seen him go in when I was leaving and almost on cue he walked out the door.

Predictably my wife and daughter both shrieked TREY and he smiled and walked over to talk to us. After a minute he asked an interesting question, “So how did this happen?” wanting to know how our family became Phish Fans. We told him that we had been taking our daughter to Grateful Dead shows since she was 7 years old and now she was taking us to Phish shows. He nodding saying, “That makes sense.”

So why am I telling you this? It wasn’t really accurate. We still bought the tickets and actually it was my Godson who really introduced us to Phish. However when my daughter was in graduate school she surprised us by buying tickets and taking us to our first Yo La Tengo show in Maxwell”s Pub in Hoboken. Last night we saw the band deliver an awesome performance at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh. Of course it made me think of my daughter but also of meeting Trey Anastasio all those years ago and thinking he would also think that this also made sense.

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ylt3

ylt1

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Matt Aquiline and The Highballers at Club Cafe

When we moved back to Pittsburgh in 2014 we really lucked out in a lot of ways. Of course neighbors sometimes can be a liability when buying a house. Just ask me about Long Island sometime. However, Regent Square is a wonderful Pittsburgh neighborhood and we have great neighbors. One bonus we couldn’t have planned for is that one of our neighbors is a singer-songwriter.

I have great respect for songwriters, they are poets. As a novelist, yes I can say that, I am even more impressed. It’s hard enough to think up the words let alone set them to music. Our local poet is Matt Aquiline and he writes alternative country rock music that is humorous and heartwarming and never depressing. Last night he played at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh with his new band and they were awesome. They were proceeded by The Highballers with Belén Pifel, who used to sing with Matt when they lived in Washington. At the end of the night Belén Pifel and John Woolf joined Matt and his new band for a great finish. Here are some images from the show.

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Matt Aquiline with Belén Pifel  and John Woolf

Matt Aquiline with Belen Pifel and John Woolf

The Highballers

The Highballers

singer

Belen Pifel

Belén Pifel

Matt Aquiline, Belén Pifel  and John Woolf

Matt Aquiline, Belen Pifel and John Woolf

Neighbors that Rock

In our life we have had some good luck with creative neighbors. In Montclair we lived next door to Janet Aldrich who was a musical comedy actress with a great voice. She actually borrowed our dog for a one month run in Anything Goes. Janet Shaw lived across the street. She was a set designer for many Woody Allen movies and when we knew her she worked on The Sopranos.

When we moved back to Pittsburgh we were excited to meet our new neighbors. We recently discovered that our neighbor across the street, Matt Aquiline was not only a musician but also a songwriter. I have always been fascinated by song writers. As a novelist I have enough problems just writing words let alone music to go with the words. To me music is a separate language and writing a song is like writing a poem in two different languages at the same time! We found out that he was performing at The Hard Rock Pittsburgh last night with his longtime singing partner Belen Pifel. It was a wonderful concert. His songs are filled with wit and passion and the harmonies were terrific. I have posted a couple of snaps from the show.

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Belen Pifel  and Matt Aquiline

Belen Pifel and Matt Aquiline

At The Hard Rock

At The Hard Rock

Matt and Company

Matt and Company