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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


  1. I am with you - I love the teases. Linus and Lucy was my first live song too in Troy at Rev Hall and it was love at first listen... I love that song. One of my favorite Harry Hood's ever was from the Wiltern Theater in 92 I think and had a Linus and Lucy tease, however it wasn't played out as the McLovins do it. They definitely do it justice. I remember hearing Jeff do a tease and I knew it was Phish but I couldn't figure it out - later I had to ask him and it was All Things Reconsidered which is obscure even to a longtime phan. Amazing band and great live show - can't wait for Friday night - see you then.
    Scott D

    PS - I thoroughly enjoy reading this blog. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Now when did he do "All Things Reconsidered"? I don't remember hearing that one :-) See you tomorrow night!

  3. Had to be Sully's pre-Phish Hartford show - maybe someone can find it. I'll have to find it and relisten.