Evan’s Echolution Evolution

It hasn’t happened yet—but if anyone were ever to ask me who I felt best represented a “modern bass player” in 2014, I’d pick Brooklyn-based Evan Marien. Evan is a great example for anyone who lives and works in this new world of the professional musician. In this place, the “music industry” is no longer […]

Big Sounds from Little Big Town

Chart-topping, award-winning country group Little Big Town is on a huge tour that’s taking them to arenas across North America until next February. Their hit single “Pontoon” (from their fifth album Tornado, released last year) won them the Best Country Duo/Group Performance Grammy, single of the year at the CMAs, and Music Video of the […]

Phasing Laswell’s Envelope

I’d heard his work and influence all around, but I’m trying to remember when producer/bassist Bill Laswell actually first showed up on my radar. I suspect it was in the early 90s when an engineer who was recording my band at the time hipped me to the album “Cyclotron” by Blind Idiot God. It was—and […]

This Punch is Spiked

Back in July I visited Nashville for the first time, consuming bourbon, beer and burgers in Broadway bars and soaking up the hurting songs of Merle Haggard and George Jones played by a couple of fantastic, authentic country bands. Both bands repeatedly and pointedly lamented that they were among the few remaining local purveyors of […]

Bakithi Kumalo, from Graceland to Guitar Center

Like most bass players I know who learned to play in the 1980s, when I heard the bass playing on Paul Simon’s Graceland album (released in 1986), my conception of bass opened up a whole lot wider. Here was a guy, at the time unknown, playing horn-like melodies with this really cool, fluid bass sound […]

-1 BEAR, +2 PIGS

Like many musicians, I appreciate music in any genre that involves instrumental creativity—not necessarily chops, but good, bold, unusual ideas. I like thoughtful lyrics, but also like thoughtful parts. In the indie rock genre, this level of creative musicianship is sometimes hard to find, but there’s definitely a subgenre that some might call intelligent indie […]

WHEN PUPPIES MEET PIGS

If you spend as much time reading artist bios as I do, you may have noticed that one of the things most artists boast is originality. “Cutting edge”, “innovative”, “unique”, “a sound all their own”—but these phrases have now lost their meaning. For Brooklyn’s Snarky Puppy, however, it’s a badge well-deserved. The closest term that […]