Tag Archive for Ben Ellman

Fiya Fest 2014 Highlights – New Orleans, LA

Fiya Fest 2014

Fiyawerx Productions did it again for a 2nd year in a row, putting on a lineup of complete fiya, with all the proceeds benefiting The Roots of Music. Combining the best performers in New Orleans with other musical icons and up and coming acts in the contemporary funk scene, Fiyawerx Productions is pushing the storied history of New Orleans music forward while investing heavily in the cultural heritage of the city.

If you are in New Orleans for the Jazz & Heritage Festival, Fiya Fest is an event that is not to be missed. I’ve been very fortunate to be asked to helped document these once in a lifetime musical moments and below I’ve shared video clips from most of the acts that performed this year. I believe the music is for everyone and should be enjoyed and spread far and wide. I think the Fiyawerx krewe would likely agree with me, so I’ve shared quite a lot of footage in hopes that those that could not attend can enjoy these “once only” live collaborations.

Maceo Parker & Friends (Eric Krasno, Nigel Hall, Nikki Glaspie, Calvin Turner & The Shady Horns)
“Go Ahead” (inc. Mothership Connection & Sing A Simple Song), Uptown Up, Shake Everything You Got

The Headhunters Super Jam (Mike Clark, Bill Summers, Donald Harrison, Fred Wesley, Blackbyrd McKnight, Doug Wimbish, Eric McFadden, Ivan Neville & Karl Denson)
Four String Drive
Paging Mr. Wesley (with DJ Logic, and Will Bernard replacing Eric McFadden)
Shekere Intro > Watermelon Man (with Will Bernard replacing Eric McFadden, Donald Harrison replacing Ivan Neville, and ??? on Fender Rhodes)

The Nth Power
Waiting, Thank You (ending jam), Catfish [Four Tops cover]

The Midnite Disturbers Allstar New Orleans Brass Band
Baker’s Dozen [Galactic cover] (with Brandon “Taz” Niederauer)
Snowball [Dirty Dozen Brass Band cover] (with Brandon “Taz” Niederauer & Cyril Neville)
Who Took The Happiness Out? [Dirty Dozen Brass Band cover] > Jam > A Day At The Races (Chali 2na) > Freestyle (Chali 2na) > Who Took The Happiness Out? (reprise) (with Rahzel, Chali 2na, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer & Cyril Neville)

Eddie Roberts West Coast Sounds
unknown song

GRITTSS (George Porter Jr, Roosevelt Collier, Ivan Neville, Tony Hall, Terrence Houston, Big Sam & Sam Kininger)
The Chicken [The J.B.’s cover] (with Bernie Worrell)
Genius of Love [Tom Tom Club cover] (with Bernie Worrell) >
Let’s Get Fired Up [Zigaboo Modeliste cover] (with Bernie Worrell & Corey Glover)
Will It Go Round In Circles [Billy Preston cover] (with Bernie Worrell, Corey Glover, Billy Iuso, Norwood Fisher & Eric McFadden)
Welcome To New Orleans [Zigaboo Modeliste cover] (with Bernie Worrell)

101 Runners
Shoo Fly

The Revivalists
Masquerade (with Jennifer Hartswick, Carly Meyers & Khris Royal)
Stand Up (with Brandon “Taz” Niederauer)
Sunny Days (with Jennifer Hartswick, Carly Meyers & Khris Royal)
Whipping Post [Allman Brothers Band cover] (with Pete Murano on guitar)

Clint Maedgen (of Preservation Hall Jazz Band)
unknown song

The Heard
unknown song

Frequinox (Stanton Moore, Robert Walter, Will Bernard & Robert Mercurio)
Hunk (Robert Walter), Sprung Monkey (Stanton Moore), Penske (Will Bernard), Adelita (Robert Walter), Kickin’ Up Dust (Robert Walter), Chicken Lickin’ (Funk, Inc.)

Fiya Fest Schedule

You can also find my videos from the 2013 Fiya Fest here and the 2012 and 2011 Fiyawerx Family Funktion Crawfish Boils here and here.

Jazz Fest 2012: Galactic members spread across the city for various side projects

One of the great things about New Orleans during Jazz Festival is that different musicians that rarely play together form special super groups. Today I’d like to feature 3 such super groups, all of which feature members of New Orleans’ own Galactic.

First up is Good Enough For Good Times, which features Jeff Raines on guitar and Robert Mercurio on bass, both members of Galactic. In addition, an up and coming drummer that you want to know about, Simon Lott. And rounding out this Meters-esque quartet is Chris Spies on organ. On this night they were joined by guest saxophonist Lucas Ellman (the younger brother of Galactic’s own Ben Ellman). Check ’em out:

Good Enough For Good Times
May 3, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ Maison

Hey! Last Minute (Meters cover):

Good Enough For Good Times
May 3, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ Maison

unknown tune #1:

Good Enough For Good Times with Lucas Ellman
May 3, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ Maison

Jack Rabbit (Greyboy Allstars cover):

Good Enough For Good Times with Lucas Ellman
May 3, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ Maison

Play It Back (Dr. Lonnnie Smith cover):

Good Enough For Good Times with Lucas Ellman
May 3, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ Maison

Play It Back (Dr. Lonnnie Smith cover) (continued):

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Next up is Garage A Trois, which, as many of you already know, consider New Orleans their homebase. Their early show at One Eyed Jack’s on Friday of the second weekend has become a tradition for many. This year it was hosted by our friends at Live Music Blog NOLA.

Below you will find a few videos I was able to capture. Although I will admit that the songs I happened to shoot are rather tame compared to some of the other stuff they got into this night (including a punk-rock version of Ween‘s “It’s Gonna Be A Long Night” and an extended “iPhone/Android rap”, both led by Mike Dillon, and both of which I captured with my eyes but not my camera.)

Garage A Trois
May 4, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks

Electric Door Bell Machine:

Garage A Trois
May 4, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks

Dugout:

Garage A Trois
May 4, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks

Assault On Precinct 13:

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The last super group I want to feature is Dragon Smoke. It consists of Ivan Neville, Stanton Moore, Robert Mercurio and Eric Lindell. This group, put together by Boom Boom Room Presents, began as a Tuesday night tradition in 2003 at the Dragon’s Den, moving to the Blue Nile in 2006 and to One Eyed Jack’s in 2009. Every Tuesday between 1st and 2nd weekend of Jazz Fest you can find these four musicians catering to the locals and any other hardcore fester’s that make it down for the full 10 days of debauchery.

These videos of Dragon Smoke were shot by the incomparable Marc Millman. Check out his photos from this show and more more of his Dragon Smoke videos.

Dragon Smoke
May 1, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s

Jet Airliner (Steve Miller Band cover):

Dragon Smoke
May 1, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s

Valerie (The Zutons / Amy Winehouse cover) – Be Thankful For What You Got (William DeVaughn cover):

Dragon Smoke
May 1, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s

Padlock:

Dragon Smoke
May 1, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s

If Love Can’t Find A Way:

Dragon Smoke
May 1, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s

Grandma’s Hands (Bill Withers cover):

Dragon Smoke
May 1, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s

Hercules (Aaron Neville cover):

Dragon Smoke
May 1, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s

Country Livin':

Dragon Smoke
May 1, 2012 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s

Lullaby for Mercy Ann:

Galactic & Orgone bring the funk to Bourbon Country

What better 30th birthday present than two great funk bands playing down the street from my house in Louisville, Kentucky? On top of that, Galactic’s management gave me permission to videotape, guaranteeing quality for the viewers.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEOS.
NOTE: I recommend watching youtube videos in HD when possible, it makes a huge difference! Just click the “360p” in the bottom right hand corner and change it to “720p”.

Orgone is a funk band from LA that has been on the road non-stop the last few years. They toured with Galactic back in February and March, and, luckily for us, their tours just happened to criss-cross in the midwest for a few shows this summer.

I urged all of my friends to arrive early, and I was happy to see a semi-full house when Orgone hit the stage. Orgone headlined this same venue on a Saturday night back in November and there were barely 60 people in attendance. But that’s how you do it: start by converting a room of 60 people, who end up telling their friends about you, then come back through again.

Orgone opened with an instrumental cover of “Melting Pot” by Booker T & The MG’s. It was a great warm up choice that worked to get the crowd grooving. Of course, lead guitarist Sergio Rios always gets the crowd into it with this body gyrations and bouncing afro….

Portions of Orgone’s set featured their new vocalist Niki J. Crawford. It’s definitely sad to see their old singer, Fanny Franklin, leave to focus on her solo album, as her voice just had a grit to it that can’t be matched. When Franny would join the band, they always jelled like one organism on the same groove. Although Niki J. held her own, she seemed a little timid and it will be interesting to see if she continues with the band after this long summer tour is over…

Galactic was the band everyone came to see and the room was expectedly packed with people. I was lucky enough to have my buddy Brent in attendance, and he brought his audio recording equipment. We used my new clamp to mount his video camera to his mic stand, allowing us to have two HD video cameras running for the entire performance. On top of that, I shot a few videos near the front with my iphone4.

Three cameras + Galactic’s light show = !!!

In recent years, Galactic has been bringing vocalists and MC’s out on the road with them, and that’s actually what really got me into the band. As much as I love the funk, I never really got into Galactic when they were purely instrumental (& I was a little late to experience the Houseman era).

This tour featured Corey Glover from Living Colour on vocals. Featured here is a double dose of Allen Toussaint covers. First up is “What Is Success?” I love the colored lights on this video, and the performance is over the top with Corey pretty much going off at the end.

Next up, another Allen Toussaint / Lee Dorsey cover, “Night People.” Galactic & Corey Glover played this song during Jazz Fest when they did a mini-set with The Funky Meters with all members of both bands playing together. Lucky for us, that wasn’t a one time performance and they’ve continued to work this tune into their setlists.

Only Galactic can turn a traditional Mardi Gras Indian chant into a hip-hop influenced funk workout like this next tune, “Hoo Nah Nay.” Corey Smith, trombonist for Rebirth Brass Band, takes center stage on this one (he has pretty much become a full time member of Galactic the last few years). This video also includes a Stanton Moore drum solo. Fortuitously, I started shooting video up front with my iphone right before the drum solo started, so there are plenty of close ups.

If you’ve made it this far, you will be rewarded by this last video. To close out the encore, a super intense cover of Led Zeppelin’s “How Many More Times.”

Special thanks to Galactic’s management for permission to run video. Also special thanks to Brent Stober for the audio, the wide video angle, and the first photo.