Next up! Spooktacular!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sullivan Hall, NYC 12/29/09

The Mclovins Live from Sullivan Hall 12/29/09

It's hard to believe the year is at its end once again. This season is traditionally filled with good intentions and resolutions, reflections on the past and hopes for the future. The Mclovins played their last show of the calendar year last night at Sullivan Hall in New York City, the show featuring a full slate of opening acts who gave ample support for the guy's first headlining gig down in the Village. The show opened with Remember September, followed by The Electrix and finally Pleeko as The McLovins then closed the show and the year out in fine style. Sullivan Hall does a very quick line-up sound check, it takes 5 minutes or so right before the set starts, and the sound in this smallish venue is just huge. This quick set-up really helps to put the band at ease and allows them to come crashing right out of the gate. Last night was truly an epic show, the band knows how to handle the important gigs and this one was textbook McLovins. Jason and Jeff in particular both sounded raw and unchained, Jake's pummeling drumming and unrelenting vocal attack cut right through the band's curtain of sound. This is pure power trio performing, this is Cream or the first incarnation of Govt. Mule.. this is a band in full control, weaving rich and intricate soundscapes, pulling the crowd in and bringing them along.

The show was an exercise of power and control, incendiary playing from all the members, a crowd up close and intimate, with the give and take between performer and audience palpable. I could think of no higher note that the band could leave the old year behind while preparing for the challenges and triumphs to come in the new year. This year is the foundation, the cornerstone on which the future of this band will be built. The fan base is ever-expanding, and the McFamily has gained many members, Phanart Pete and Julie P, John Dailey, Greg Bell, Jonathan Blake, Jeanette O & Kurt S, Scott & Aimee D, Dave Golden, The Cheese Shack girls Annalena & Hannah, David from New Vision, David Malloy, Brock, David & Elizabeth B, Ross Taylor, Frank Moon, Drew Chadwick, Barry & Holly B, Steve H & Mike M, Wil K, Lucas & Brit, Becky S, Win and Warner, Justin V, Jeff & Anita D, Maddie & Hannah H, Adam H, George B, Tyler C and Bryan.

The acts that they've played with or opened for,
Strange Design, The Flow, Keller Williams, U-Melt, The Breakfast, The Brew, The Lake & The Lion, Moe., Max Creek, Pleeko, The Electrix, Marco Benevento have all treated the guys with respect and as peers. I can't think of any mis-steps the band has had this year, so in lieu of resolutions, maybe we can dispose of a few 2009 Mclovin Cliches... "None of them are old enough to drive a car", "All they need is a keyboard player" and my favorite "I hear they're a Phish cover band". If I forgot to mention or thank any of you, sorry for the omission, thanks for a great year, and cheers to 2010.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wil Kablik's Birthday Bash 12/26/09

Happy Birthday Wil!

Just some highlights from last night's Birthday bash:

  • The amazing food and those wonderful pita chips

  • A remarkable jam that led into Caravan which then turned into a reggae rumbler

  • The Funk Jam that spilled into the Tease Game during the 2nd set

  • Backwards Down The Number Line dedicated to Wil with a "Happy Birthday" tease

  • All the friends and family who showed up to celebrate Wil's birthday

  • that gorgeous rain-soaked Hartford skyline view all night...
  • Saturday, December 19, 2009

    Blame it on Albert...

    No show tonight, The McLovins have met something tougher than they are, an over-exuberant weather forecast... by the way, if anyone has seen Albert, please contact your local authorities..

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    Virtual Circle EP

    EP - "An extended play (EP) is a vinyl record, CD, or music download which contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as an LP". The Virtual Circle EP offers the studio recording of this song as well as a bonus single of Hell Yeah! and is another savvy move for this band. Virtual Circle is a real revelation, the guitar work and mirrored vocals true standouts. Jeff lays his lead track over some fluidly running rhythm lines as Jake and Jason spar on lead vocals. At a little over 9 minutes this song plays out like it does live and the concert feeling is reflected beautifully in this recording. Hell Yeah! benefits mostly from a more deliberate pace than it's played live, bouncy and punchy without feeling rushed. The vocal theme in the second half of the song works exceedingly well, affording the chorus an almost "Police-like" cadence. Strong work on this EP all around, and a bargain at twice the price. This is an excellent snap-shot of where the guys are right now, propulsive rhythms, searing guitar and exuberant vocals. If you like what you hear on these songs, I urge you to go see them live, just step up and prepare to be floored.

    You can pick this up on the band's website

    Friday, December 11, 2009

    Can I get a hell yeah?

    We’ve now entered a second era of The McLovins. A group of new songs have joined the live rotation and as a result have supplanted some old favorites. VIRTUAL CIRCLE was the first of the batch of fresh songs, premiering at Blueback Square. STENCIL OF A LANDSCAPE showed up as a sister piece to Sea Of Wisdom at the Brewfest show in Waterbury. DEEP MONSTER TRANCE made its bow at a Sully’s show and the genesis of 20 IN A 35 was used as filler during the Boston show, when Jeff broke a string. HELL YEAH is the runt of the litter, brand new and still finding its way. These new songs have a themic connection, they come at you in a more frenetic pace as the band stretches a bit and lets the energy flow. I may miss hearing Rhyme or Reason, or Sea of Wisdom as often as I’d like, but this is the foundation of a next album and a new direction in their song-writing. I like this direction and the tightness of the band is so solid, they are on the move. Keep your eyes open, with these guys if you blink, you’ll miss something..can I get a hell yeah?

    Saturday, December 5, 2009

    The Mclovins opening for Max Creek 12/04/09 Revolution Hall

    Last night at Revolution Hall was another one of those shows, the kind where you're not sure what's going to happen or where it's going to go or how they'll get there. Now opening for Max Creek is another step on the road for the band and a chance to connect with a veteran jam band audience. They jumped right out of the gate with a clean slow jam that evolves into a spacey and expansive jam, slowly sliding into Caravan, the tempo controlled and moderate. The song then sinks into a bass and drum fueled funk jam that would not have seemed out of place in a 1970's erotic soundtrack before finding it's way back to Caravan. Jake then announces the next song for all of the audience that were "here". Killing Time starts crisply and the night's first vocals float out to envelope the crowd, the song grows as Jeff adds layer upon layer until the song is a monster, the sound shaking the room as it inexorably pounds to it's climax. It's now 2 songs into the set and the band is on fire. Not sure if it's the venue, or the crowd, or who they're opening for, but tonight there is not an unsure step or wasted note. They are all on the same page, it's though they're watching with their ears, the focus was so solid with the band as a whole working 2 steps ahead, following a unseen aural map. The sound in the hall was just tremendous, during the soundcheck I walked outside as the whole side of the hall was vibrating and cars parked along the street were rattling along in time to the music.

    After Killing Time I was sure they were going to hit on Virtual Circle, but Jake called 20 in A 35 and Jeff crunched out the opening bars. I was so impressed with how controlled his vocals were, this is a powerful song and it thunders along, at times seeming it may escape the tethers of the band. Virtual Circle shows up next, Jake and Jason running the vocal volleys, the crowd totally into this song as Jeff just shreds his leads. The whole band played second level stuff last night, constantly walking the fine line between control and anarchy, the energy barely controlled, the songs just talking on a life of their own. Hell Yeah is the newest ordnance in the McLovins arsenal, a bouncy tune with a slick bass run by Jason and a lyrical but haunting vocal refrain that just pulls the energy back into the band before unleashing the fury back on the audience. Cissy Strut is up next and like Caravan, the tempo of this cover is slowed, allowing the inclusion of the cover of the night... Jason keeps teasing leads at Jake, Jeff follows his lead and Jake shakes it off twice before bowing before the inevitable Rapper's Delight. As in the Keene show, this song fits into Cissy's so well it's as tho they were made for each other, so I'm gonna name it and claim it, this new creation is Cissy's Delight.

    The crowd reacts well to this raucous hybrid, and they close out the show with an amazing rendition of Deep Monster Trance. The show clocked in at a bit over an hour and 10 minutes, but in no way did I feel cheated, this was a set-list show, created for effect and executed masterfully.

    I'm pretty sure the last time I saw Max creek was either at The Old Well or at Riverside Park circa 1980, and last night at Revolution Hall they came through without missing a beat. Guitarist Scott Murawski, bassist John Rider and keyboardist Mark Mercier along with drummers Greg Vasso and Scott Allshouse are keeping the flame of this band alive. I only stayed around for the first 45 minutes of their eventual 3HOUR SET but the majority of the crowd came to see Creek play and they were not disappointed. I'm just so glad for The McLovins that they got to open for these legends and to quote Jake Huffman, thanks for coming out to Troy, New York to see 2 bands from Granby! Now I have to get ready because tonight the guys are playing another show in Collinsville opening for Marco Benevento Trio, should be another great show.

    Friday, December 4, 2009

    Mclovins opening for Max Creek 12/04 Revolution Hall

    Really don't know how much more there is to say,
    you're going to wish you had been there...

    Monday, November 30, 2009

    Today is the actual anniversary you know;

    Today is the actual anniversary you know; Jeffrey pointed this out last night. 1 year ago tonight, the 3 of them gathered in the basement and pounded out what has become for this band a defining cover. This is the song that garnered them their reputation, undeservedly though, as a Phish cover band. This is the song that got them over 100,000 hits on Youtube. This is the song that drew throngs of fans to the Green Tent during Gathering of the Vibes following the piper’s call. YEM has been very good for The McLovins.

    1 year later and they are not the same band, they still have their youthful enthusiasm but they now possess a sense of purpose, a new level of professionalism. They are a working band, playing whenever and wherever they can. The band is sharpening its craft, stretching themselves lyrically and musically. This year has seen a whirlwind of activity and change for the guys, they are now armed with an arsenal of originals, show-tested and crowd-proven. They go into the next year fearless, looking to hit that next level and all that requires is the band does what they’ve been doing for the past year. You can see it in their eyes, at every new venue they play that they are taking this seriously.

    One of the most important keys to their success, if not the biggest has been their fan support. The online support the band has received proves how the paradigm has changed in the music industry. The McLovins have their destiny in their control, they produce their music, they create and sell their own merchandise, they book their own shows, but all the work they do could mean nothing if it wasn’t for their fan support. The fans are the ones who are buying the cd’s, they’re attending the shows and they’re helping to spread the word to their friends. So last night was a gift, a free concert streamed out so that fans all over the country could see the band live and could get a taste of what we who have the opportunity to see them regularly take for granted. Jake, Jason and Jeffrey are thankful for what this past year has brought them, and most of all thankful for all of you. So here’s some numbers from the last year:

    100,000 YEM video views on Youtube
    3,000 fans on Facebook
    400+ attending the Gathering of the Vibes show
    551 helping celebrate the 1 Year Anniversary

    So again, thanks to all the Facebook fans, to all who watched them on YouTube and all those on Phantasy Tour who supported the band. We can all look forward to next year because The McLovins have just scratched the surface.

    UStream McLovins YEM 1 Year Anniversay Show

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    The sound keeper yelled be quiet.....

    Happy Thanksgiving and a big thanks for all who came out and supported the band and VH1 last night @ Flatbread in Canton. The guys put on a great show, there were some volume issues but the place was packed and everyone had a great time. Thanks to everyone who participated in the raffle for VH1's Save The Music, the funds raised will go to help support restoring instrumental music education in American public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education.

    The sound keeper yelled be quiet but the little boy refused

    I’m so glad he refused..Made the right choice

    So glad he refused

    For what is a world with out sound

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    The Mabel Brown Room - Keene State 11/21/09

    I’ve decided to focus on the idea of composition in relation to last night’s show. The McLovins stormed into Keene State last night, and in a growing sign of maturity, reset their paradigm yet again..they are now headliners and they have arrived. There have been a few game-changing performances in their short but prolific career, the first Sullivan Hall show, The Gathering of the Vibes 2009, The Barn Show and now Keene State. The Mable Brown room is on the second floor of a very modern student center building on campus with hard wood floors and a cavernous ceiling possessing a first class sound and lighting system. Ian Galipeau ran the board, and he was on the same page with the band, very responsive to the vocal effects and paying close attention to the levels. I'd also like to give a quick shout out to Dagan Broad, who along with Graham Miller spent the night running around and video-taping this show for a later broadcast on FACT TV Channel 8 Bellows Falls, Vt. The opening act was the local Keene group The Lake And The Lion.

    Following the quickest stage turnaround I’ve ever seen, The McLovins bounded onstage and waded right into Deep Monster Trance. The sound system last night was just fantastic with Jason’s bass pealing clear through the mix, Jeff’s soaring leads led the way, Jake anchoring the rhythm with his vocals easily sounding the best I’ve heard in a month. The DMT was deep and expansive, really a very smart move coming out with a strong punch to lead off the set. This was followed by a gorgeous blues jam allowing Jeff to just rip some really soulful licks, Jason and Jake floating in-between the leads, a really emotive jam that led right into the best Summertime I’ve heard them play. Bri showcased a haunting vocal arrangement and just stuns the crowd. 20 In A 35 galloped along, growing ever more frenetic as it takes off. Shakedown Street was a nice first set surprise and toward the end of the extended jam, Jeff breaks out Hava Nagila, now this is a favorite of Jeff’s in rehearsal and he’s always threatened to use it! Dynne brings the vibe right back down, deep and with a ropy rhythm. Guillotine Machine follows, another showcase for Jason’s massive bass lines. The first set closes with a surprise cover of Voices by The Police, given a fine treatment focusing firmly on Jake’s vocals. The band slowly begin to drop and leave the stage one at a time. Jake pulls out first, then Jason, leaving Jeff alone on stage as his last sustained note evaporates away.

    Now I mentioned composition before and I feel this is one of the secrets to the band’s success. The choice of a set-list is one of the easiest ways to control the composition of a show, and last night’s 2 sets were tailored for effect, a musical journey offering ample space for exploration and improvisation. How the band handles their choice and interpretation of cover songs is another way that they can exercise their control. I love how they take advantage of their strengths when interpreting a cover, they don’t have to ape another’s band style, and they can take the song and make it their own.

    The 2nd set kicks off with another jam and I think the lyrics to another unfinished song are peppered through the tune and then they drop into the night’s second cover. Jason starts snapping off the opening riff to Break on Through by the Doors, and then takes over the lead vocals, the song just soars, Jeff nailing the guitar licks and emulating the keyboard part. Purple Trees has become the band anthem lately, allowing the pace of the set to slow and giving the audience a chance to catch it’s breath. They slide into Cissy Strut and halfway through the song, Jake all of a sudden starts in on Rapper's Delight by the SugarHill Gang, this is a 1979 rap song, one of the first, and just totally captivates the audience. I've heard him sing this in rehearsal but never thought it would work in concert, but now it's worked it's way into a set. Playing a rap song is a bit of irony, because the previous night, Asher Roth performed his preppy white-boy rap act in the very same room @ Keene State. They drift back into Purple Trees and band introductions and a nice vamp by Jake finish up the song; the next song is set up by Jake as “a little song about butterflies”. Killing Time languidly builds step by step and by the closing of the song the audience is awash in the thick sea of sound. Virtual Circle is up and it starts out speedy and just gains velocity, the audience is with the band dancing and jumping, twirling and bouncing.

    YEM is the set capper, the crowd explodes, streamers and foam balls fly, people crowd surf, this was just magical stuff, the grins on the crowd’s faces were reflected back by those of the band. They pull the jam back into a reprise of Deep Monster Trance and breezily finish up the song. Conundrum and then Backwards Down The Number Line close out the set and the show.
    This was a great and crowd-pleasing show, full of dynamic showmanship and amazing musicianship.

    The Lake And The Lion was the opener and after a very easy sound check for both bands, they came onstage a little after 7:oo pm. Lead man George Barber took center stage alone and played solo acoustic guitar for the first 2 songs of his set, Tulsa Burmah and All You Ever. Barber is a confidant front man, a troubadour, avuncular and charismatic; he is a bundle of manic energy and passion on stage. Calling up the rest of the band, they proceed to charm and cajole a very attentive audience through a set of emotional and lush originals. The band features acoustic guitar, violin, cello, bass drums and piano, they call to mind ensembles such as Arcade Fire, but with the folksy charm of The Low Anthem or the solo work of Jim James, the singer songwriter of My Morning Jacket. They were a great opening act and really set a tone for the night’s show. Their set included Ocean Street, Explanations, Highest Hopes, Breather, 11/11 and Sing His Praise. I’d really like to see these guys again they have a new EP or Album on the way and are really working at making a go of it.

    The die has been cast, the gauntlet thrown down, after the CafĂ© 939 show in Boston, and now Keene State, The McLovins are headliners. They have paid their dues and plied their craft, they are students of music and they are just rolling forward. This band is just killing right now, lean and hungry and absolutely on the top of their game, there’s no way to under-estimate this band now, if you do, it’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight…that’s The McLovin’s way.

    This one's for Jake

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    Keene State Tomorrow Night!


    You should listen to the pumpkin, Keene State College hosts The McLovins Saturday night 11/21 from 7:00 - 11:00 PM with special guests The Lake And The Lion. Come on up if you can and support the band they will be playing a long set so make the time and plan your jams!

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    WPKN, Bridgeport - Sunday brunch 11/15/09


    There are very few givens in my musical world, one is I love being able to go see live music and another is a hatred of 1 hour shows. In order to get the former, I sometimes have to deal with the latter. Now as I was winding my way down Route 8 on a gorgeous Sunday morning, I was assured in the knowledge that this would be an amazing show for them, and that they were going to deliver. David Golden hosts the Morning Maniac Music show on WPKN in Bridgeport and has been bringing live Sunday brunch concerts to his listening and streaming audience. This was the band’s 2nd appearance with David and he was very familiar with their music and instantly put them at ease in the studio. In David’s words “The first time they were here they were a young band with a viral video and some chops”, what the audience heard on Sunday was a maturing band playing a set of originals that delighted the nice contingent of fans that had made the trip in to see them.

    David came on to introduce the band, and they dove headfirst into Deep Monster Trance, one of a trilogy of new songs they were to perform. DMT starts out thick and steady, loping along and then the pace quickens and the song drives forward building in tenor and strength. The climax of the song featured an extended tease of The Star Wars theme as it wound down. Guillotine Machine was next, a bass-driven bit of musical mayhem, this perfomance was very energetic and fluid. David comes back out and catches back up with the guys and taking some time to talk with Jason about his new bass. 20 In A 35 is where it all kicks in, the band is on a mission, just tearing this tune up. I am just really struck with the confidence they're playing with, a real sense of purpose and message. Virtual Circle continues the theme of the day another new song that they just punish. They are having a blast, stretching and pushing their music, fearless and so damn assured. It's not a cockiness, it's a swagger borne of a sense of knowing, not of boasting or bombast. The band again takes a break as David discusses their upcoming shows and the future course the band has plotted for itself.

    Conundrum starts up and again Jake is the nucleus, tethering the rogue orbits of Jason and Jeff as they spin and spiral, now for my money this is the song that best showcases every facet of the bands talents. Purple Trees is a fit closer, as this has become the place for the band introductions, and as they play out the show, David closes out the broadcast thanking the band and audience. This band is on a roll and they really have an upward trajectory. I thought that after the amazing summer they had, the fall would be a more introspective time for the band but if possible they are playing more often than before, and really bringing an intensity and professionalism to every show, large or small. This dedication to the music and the performance is what is most telling about The McLovins, a perfect balance of responsibility and a love of the music and they always manage to remember that this music should be fun and it should be played loud!

    Thanks so much to David Golden and Dave Schwartz who produced the show. Here's a link to the WPKN archive so you can relive this radio show.

    The McLovins on the Sunday Brunch Concert


    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Friday The 13th : Basement Tapes on USTREAM

    A Nice night of testing and working out the kinks. Here's a short set of high energy jamming, served up McLovins style. Looks as though everything is set for the 1 year anniversary broadcast, hopefully this will keep you satisfied until then.

    The McLovins recorded Live on USTREAM

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    The Lake And The Lion

    I was poking through the e-mail today, and Carol had sent me a copy of the poster for the upcoming Keene State show on the 21st. I had been meaning to check out the opening act, The Lake And The Lion and so I hopped on Facebook and was very surprised by what I found. Fronted by Lead vocalist and guitarist George Barber, the band has currently 7 members, Morgan Little on Guitar, Andrew Hodgdon on Cello, Chris Clark on Drums, Joe McConaughy on Viola, Dave Sudhalter on Keys & Accordion and Sunshine Rand on Bass. I loved their Arcade Fire cover and I hear a bit of The Low Anthem and the alt-country of Wilco in their music. I could only find a couple of their clips on YouTube, but I really enjoy what I see and hear.

    So get your butt up to Keene State College next weekend to support The McLovins, and get ready to enjoy what I'm sure will be a great opening set. I can't wait to get a chance to spend a little time with this band up @ Keene and I'm really excited to see them live. Here's the video for their cover of Arcade Fire's Wake Up, instantly familiar to anyone who's been near a television for the past couple months. Extra credit to the band for listing "M. Ward" and "The Swell Season" as influences..

    Here's a link to George Barber's Myspace page, he has couple more very lovely songs there for you to peruse.

    Sunday, November 8, 2009


    The band just launched their own website, check it out for all your McLovins needs and wants!

    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    The McLovins Live at WPKN Studio on 5/03/09

    Next up for the band is a return appearance on the Morning Maniac Music show, for a Sunday brunch show on 11/15/09. To quote host David Golden " The guiding philosophy is "mostly instrumental, mainly jazz," but that doesn't rule out any style. From jazz to jambands, raga to prog rock. Some conversations with guests." I'd like to re-vist the McLovins first appearance on David's show from Sunday 5/03/09. Now the archive on this show lists the date as 5/08/09, but the Facebook listing and the original station archive have the show occurring on 5/03/09, so I'll err on the side of caution and go with this date.

    I've listened to this show many times, and I love how David deals with and interacts with the band. Most interviewers seem not to be able to get over the age factor and this limits the range and scope of the interview. David hits the age topic right off the bat and then just dives into the important thing, the music. The band sounds as though they are having a great time, the music is sharp and crisp with the Dynne, Bri and YEM performances coming off especially well. The show was engineered and recorded by Dave Schwartz and the sound is spot on.

    David archived this show in loss-less SHN format for downloading, and in MP3 for the stream. Crank this one up if you haven't heard it yet, this is a hot show and a taste of what to expect when they return to Bridgeport on the 15th, come down early and be a part of the studio audience.

    Live on WPKN's Sunday Brunch Concert.

    1. Introduction
    2. Jam
    3. Purple Trees
    4. Sea of Wisdom
    5. Interview
    6. Dynne
    7. Guillotine Machine
    8. Bri (in memory of)
    9. Interview
    10. You Enjoy Myself

    Thanks to David you can download the show in the SHN loss-less format WPKN Mclovins 05-03-09

    Saturday, October 31, 2009

    The Red Square Albany, NY 10/29/09

    Last night it was time to move a little further south along the Hudson, down from the funky city of Troy to the Capital city of Albany. The Red Square is a nice club located in a nice brick building down by the river. Performing on a low-stage decorated with an amazing Great Pumpkin carved by fan Jeannette Olsen, the band seemed quite at home among the close quarters. The show kicks off with a nice bluesy jam featuring a thick Thrill is Gone-ish feel and after warming up they punch into Deep Monster Trance. This is one of their newer songs and this ode to the all things wild percolates with a deliberate groove until diving into the wild rumpus. Jeff kept running a series of ‘The Simpson’s” teases with Jake growling out his lyrics. The vocal mike kept acting up during this and the next couple songs, leading to even more energetic drumming from Jake. Shakedown Street is one of the more favored covers and leads to an expansive jam in the second half, Jake and Jason trade vocals during the song and the jam in the middle just erupts and any resemblance to the original song is just coincidental by the time they jump back into the chorus. Sea of Wisdom sees the mike problems easing a bit and playing a clean and crisp version of this song, very sweet and melodic.

    Steve H called the next tune, 20 In A 35 which is the freshest of the new songs and the guys just tore this up. With no hint of the previous vocal problems, Jake nailed this one while Jason and Jeff dueled back and forth throughout the song. This really raised the energy level of the show, the band pouring it out to the crowd and the crowd responding. Virtual Circle followed and continued down the path blazed by the previous song, with Jeff repeatedly teasing “I Kissed A Girl” the song quickly escalates out of control spiraling upward for a few minutes before stopping on a dime and landing back in the chorus. Killing Time starts out so soft and melodic and ends up an unyielding force of nature, a sonic wave rolling over the frenzied audience who push the band ever on. This second half of the set, from 20 In A 35 shows the band in full control of the music, able to do as they please. Jake cool and breezy on the mike, Jason stomping all over the place running leads and clamoring rhythm and Jeff putting on a clinic in the use and abuse of lead guitar. Purple Trees is the anthemic signature piece for the band and has become the place for the band introductions. Jake leads the crowd in ovations for Jason, himself and Jeff, leading to a wind-down of the show.

    Shorter shows such as these are bittersweet, a short, sharp, shock …a chance to get your McLovins fix. Akin to a brief repast, it is nourishing but not satisfying. These gigs are necessary to growth, if you are building a scene you need to be able to pop in and play the show and come back a month later and do it again. A very good show but if something was lacking, I think it was the missing 2nd set as they were just getting warmed up. A shout-out to all you McLovinators who showed up, Barry & Holly, Steve, Aimee & Scott, Jeannette & Kurt and Brock. The support given to this band is amazing and you all are a special part of the McLovins family.

    Friday, October 30, 2009

    Cabbage Night

    Off to Red Square In Albany,
    Remember to plan your jams!

    Great Pumpkin awesomeness by Jeannette Olsen

    Linus & Lucy - Flatbread 5/28/09

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    Musical Seduction and The Fine Art of The Tease...

    One of the signs of growth in a musician is the willingness to step up and have a little fun with their craft. The McLovins have a playful side and they have the skill and confidence to allow it to surface in their music in many ways, and one of the most enjoyable is the fine art of the tease. A tease is a familiar musical aside tossed into the mix, usually during a jam or the climax of a song and the effect is usually one of surprise or delight. Jeff Howard has been tossing teases in as long as I've been seeing the band perform and many of these have become live concert staples.

    This was one of the first that I picked up on, this is also a favorite of guitarist Warren Haynes who has used it to great effect.

    The first time I heard this one was at the Brewfest show, during Sea of Wisdom.

    Frankenstein shows up in the heart of jams, I've heard Jefff play this during YEM and Killing Time as a quick throw when he's running up and down the frets.

    I'm not sure if it was the first time, but I noticed the First Tube tease when it showed up in the heart of the Shakedown Street jam they were playing during the Phish pre-show at Sully's this summer.

    This has started to show up as a quick little rip in Cissy Strut, running through expansive jam that is a feature of this classic cover song.

    The barn show was the mother of all tease shows, they were all over the set, they played a "tease game" for the first time and improv was the name of the game that night. Jason snuck a tight little "Do It Good" tease that Jake picked up on and carried a bit with the vocals.

    But the breadth of the teases were just remarkable..

    From the sublime....

    To the ridiculous...

    There is always one tease that always brings me back with this band. This is the first song I ever heard them play, from a performance on cable access television. It always makes me smile and just for me will always be the sound of The McLovins. In the spirit of this most festive of holiday seasons and the upcoming pre-Halloween show in Albany, I give you...

    The Barn Show - Pick Up The Pieces and The Tease Game

    Sunday, October 18, 2009

    Barn Bash - Norfolk 10/17/09

    The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
    you can't let go and you can't hold on,
    you can't go back and you can't stand still,
    if the thunder don't get you, then the lightning will

    - Hunter & Garcia

    Download This Show From The Archive

    The McLovins played a private barn party in Northwest Ct. on Saturday where the band and audience helped to raise the roof! In a scene that would not have seemed out of place 35 years ago, parents, grandparents and children danced and spun to the music as the band plowed through a 2 set 3-1/2 hour show. The barn is nestled on a small ridge surrounded by oaks and maples, the ground carpeted with fallen leaves while the redolent aroma of wood smoke and mulled cider filled the air. A communal vibe set the scene as children and dogs toddled in and out among the revelers, old friends and new ones all savoring an autumn feast.

    The band is always on top of their game, both professionally and musically, turning in a solid show but at any given day they are willing to stretch and reach for the extraordinary. The wild card of a performance is the audience, whether they choose to participate with the band in an act of creation, this is the ingredient required to push the music over the top. Last night this audience was musically savvy and attentive, a mixture of older Dead fans and tour heads that were well aware of what was being given to them, and appreciative and receptive to anything the guys were willing to try. Illustrative of what Jake said during the first set. “You feed off of us, we feed off of you”, the louder and more animated the crowd got, the more intense the music became. The first set started with a jam and was peppered with cover songs, but in what has been their style lately the band uses the covers as a starting point, choosing to veer off and embarking on a musical jaunt before finding their way back. Stretching an hour long first set to over 90 minutes, the jams slowly began to encompass the set, the songs becoming step stones guiding the band onward and leading the crowd along, willing accomplices to the spectacle. Expansive jams during the covers and a fanciful game of “Name That Tease” were the standouts of the first set.

    After a break, the band again started the 2nd set off with a jam, setting a tone for a set of nearly all originals and having earned their trust, the crowd was with them all the way. Most striking was the abundance of smiles, the knowing looks and shaking heads of the audience. I think this really was eye-opening for a lot of those who attended, through YouTube videos they knew to expect a good show, but what they got was an extraordinary show. This set took the energy of the first and just cranked everything up to 11. The band was on fire, every song’s climax answered with a thundering audience response. Second set high points for me were Deep Monster Trance, Jason balancing on one leg while ripping bass runs during Virtual Circle, Jake deadening the sound of his floor tom with the heal of his sneaker (!) and the out-of-body experiences that were the Killing Time and YEM jams.

    I can sit here and gush about how great they were, or throw a lot of $10 adjectives around, but the proof is in the pudding as they say. The final appraisal will rest with the listener, both those who were there, and those that will download this show. John had a great room to work with, the sound was just booming and hopefully it should yield a great recording.

    I would just like to thank the hospitality of Jenny & Mike who owned the barn and were the perfect party hosts, and to Justin, Win and Warner who scheduled the party, only to see weather conditions force it into the secondary location. The setting was postcard perfect and we were all treated like family. I made a ton of new friends last night, Ben, Mike, and Bill as well as touch base with Drew, Steve, Barry and Holly. Hail and fare well to you McLovinators all!

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    20 In A 35 By The McLovins



    A cop gave me a ticket

    going 20 in a 35

    Please Let Me Go

    I won’t do it again

    I yelled and screamed he laughed at me

    man it was quite a sight

    Please Let Me Go

    I won’t say it again

    I pulled back on the roadway

    And shifted into overdrive

    Please Let Me Go
    I won’t pay again