There’s no easy way to say it: As the first and second generations of rock ‘n’ roll musicians die off, their music lives on, leaving a void for fans both young and old who crave the experience of seeing a band or performer live in concert, as they sounded (and looked) in their musical heyday.
This has led to that relatively new phenomenon, the tribute band. It’s a cottage industry in the United States – why pay big bucks to see the Moody Blues, with three original members, all pushing age 80, when it costs a fraction to attend a concert by a tribute band that, if you squint and don’t listen too hard, could be the real deal on a 1969 stage?
Or Fleetwood Mac? Billy Joel? Or Led Zeppelin or Kiss or the Beatles, or even ABBA for that matter?
There’s even a venue in Pinellas Park that seems to book nothing but tribute shows.
To each his or her own, I suppose. It depends on exactly what you hope to get out of the experience.
All of this brings us to the Mushroom Brotherhood, a seven-member outfit that does a darn good job of re-creating an Allman Brothers Band concert – specifically, from March ’71, during the band’s legendary tenure at the Fillmore East in New York City.
They’re at the Palladium Theater Saturday.
Similar to that of the Grateful Dead, the Allmans experience was more about the cumulative sound of fine musicians playing together than that of individual star power. Sure, nobody played electric slide like Duane Allman, and brother Gregg’s bluesy growl was nothing if not distinctive.
But just as essential were the counterpoint guitar lines of Dickey Betts, and the dynamic rhythm section of bassist Berry Oakley and drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks. It was the sound that did it.
So the Mushroom Brotherhood is centered around veteran Mississippi blues/rock singer Wayne Sharp, who plays the Hammond B3 organ (like Gregg did) and sings lead. There are a couple of incredible lead guitarists in the lineup, too.
They use vintage equipment and period stage lights for the total experience.
Sharp and company have a real, live member of the Allman Brothers Band in their midst – drummer Jaimoe (a.k.a. Jai Johanny Johnson), who happens to be a longtime friend of Sharp’s. He’s a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a recipient of the Mississippi Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, and, along with Manatee County resident Dickey Betts, one of the only surviving founding members of the ABB.
It’s unclear whether Jaimoe will play the whole show with the Mushroom Brotherhood, or merely sit in, but he’ll participate with an audience Q&A after the concert.
Surrealism on a plate
A tasty new exhibition opening Saturday at the Dali Museum combines art and food – two of life’s essentials. Flavors of Spain, photography by Chuck Bandel, is going up in the Raymond James Community Room on the first floor of the museum (you don’t have to pay an admission fee to view it).
Bandel is the chef at the Dali’s internal Café Gala, and Flavors of Spain is a chronicle of his journeys to northern Spain in the summers of 2017 and 2018. There, he studied regional cuisine at restaurants in Catalonia, and on the outskirts of the Basque town of San Sebastian.
The mighty Fishbone is one of the support acts for tonight’s Mahaffey Theatre performance by 78-year-old godfather of funk George Clinton and what exists of his 1970s-era “mothership,” Parliament-Funkadelic. Main Squeeze and Miss Velvet & The Blue Wolf are also on board for the 7:30 show (tickets here), part of Clinton’s “farewell” tour. The shows are legendarily wild and woolly affairs. Said Billboard when Clinton and company’s cross-country jaunt began: “If you want to watch the original master of funk do his thing, you’ve got one more year.” Tickets here.
“Most singers nowadays are trying to show off volume and all kinds of juggling, you know?” Rio de Janiero-born, Clearwater-based vocalist Daniela Soledade told the Catalyst a few months ago. “And bossa nova is exactly the opposite of that. It’s very minimalistic. It’s just simple and beautiful and melodic.”
Bossa nova – the swaying, seductive jazz-touched music of Brazil – is Soledade’s stock-in-trade, and she’ll perform in concert Friday at thestudio@620. It’s an evening especiale, because her accompanist will be the exceptional guitarist Nate Najar, whose knowledge and feel for Brazlian music is boundless.
Najar produced Soledade’s debut album, A Moment of You, for which this concert is serving as a release party.
The album, and the show (featuring the Nate Najar Trio) are a celebration of both the album’s debut and the intimate, unique experience of bossa nova. AND both Soledade and Najar have birthdays this very weekend.
Round up the usual suspects
If ever there was a reason to see a classic film on the big screen, here we go: The opulent Tampa Theatre is showing Casablanca, the 1942 intrigue/romance starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains, at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1). Director Michael Curtiz’s stylish black-and-white is considered by many, many people to be one of the finest films ever made.
Immediately afterwards, there’ll be a short discussion and audience Q&A, led by James DeFord on Saturday and retired USF film professor Harriet Deer on Sunday.
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