Home | 2022 blog entries

I'm Chuck Miller. Welcome to my live music recording and guitar gear information site and blog. Recording live music performances is my passion. Here you will find links to live music recordings and information about recording live music. You'll also find some DIY projects, reviews of concerts information on guitars and guitar gear, albums, as well as concert posters, tickets, art and photographs and links to some of the recordings I've made of bands over the years.

Many of the recordings I make are with just a stereo pair of microphones located in the audience section of the venue. Occasionally, I'll arrange to get a soundboard feed to mix in with the microphones to make a blended (matrix) recording. This technique takes advantage of mixing a time adjusted, usually dry PA feed with stereo microphones that capture the PA and the audience at the same time. Those are some of my favorite recordings. If all the elements cooperate the results can be very nice.

I don't record bands covertly. Every recording I share here was made with the permission of the band and is available for free download and streaming. I follow the concert tapers code of conduct which means the bands allow me to record their live performances as long as I don't profit from it and I share the recordings freely.

Since the global pandemic hit in 2020, I've also started to discuss guitars and guitar gear.

If you have questions or concerns please contact me. My info is available on the Contact page.



 
 
The Tedeschi Trucks Band with Los Lobos and the Gabe Dixon Trio were impressive at Red Rocks on July 29...

 

Posted originally August 2, 2022, and last updated August 8, 2022 by Chuck Miller 

 

I don't know how Susan Tedeschi does it. That woman can play guitar and especially sing! I can't imagine how she has a voice or any energy left after the performance I saw at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, on July 29. On that thankfully cool Friday night, I witnessed the three bands play the first of two weekend shows at the spectacular Morrison, CO, venue. It was the best show I've seen so far this summer.

 

Tedeschi Trucks Band keyboard player Gabe Dixon's band was first up, starting their half hour set right at 6:45 PM. Dixon's voice brought to mind Billy Joel and Jackson Browne for me. His original songs were were very good, too. He also covered Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up In Blue," which got a great reaction from the sold out, surprisingly young (but with plenty of baby boomer aged folks like me) in attendance.

 

The sold out venue was mostly filled by the time Los Angeles troubadours Los Lobos stepped on stage. They played for almost exactly one hour starting at 7:30 PM. I've seen Los Lobos many times, and at each performance they've gotten the audience up, dancing, and involved. Their eclectic LA-infused folk, Mexicali, nostalgic rock and roll repertoire is infectious. Their offerings included "Evangeline," "Will the Wolf Survive," "Not Fade Away" and a cover of the Grateful Dead's "Bertha" to close the joyous set. I think I've heard them play "Bertha" at almost every show I've seen. Someone once told me that lead singer/guitarist David Hidalgo loved Jerry Garcia and by playing that song, honors him. Whatever the reason, the last two songs really got the enthusiastic music lovers in good spirits for the rest of the night.

 

The twelve piece Tedeschi Trucks Band filtered on stage at 9:04 PM. They were amazingly casual in picking up their instruments and starting to play right away. The first song was "Hear My Dear" from the new album I Am The Moon: I. Crescent, and that got the night started right.

 

A few songs in, Susan Tedeschi and Gabe Dixon traded off vocals on "I Am The Moon, " which was simply beautiful. Derek played a gorgeous guitar solo. "Circles 'Round The Sun" followed.

 

Tedeschi and the singers left the stage as Trucks began playing the highlight of the night, "Pasaquan." Though I had never heard it played live, I was aware of this new instrumental, which is also featured on I Am The Moon: I. Crescent. The song has the same spirit as some of the best Allman Brothers Band instrumentals, like "Mountain Jam" or "Les Brers in A Minor." It gave every musician on stage a chance to show their chops. I was transported back to some of the best Grateful Dead jams I'd heard live as the sound evolved. Sounding both off the cuff and polished at the same time, this number quickly captured my ear.

 

Cesar Rosas and David Hidalgo from Los Lobos came out and embellished War's "The World Is A Ghetto," and the Charles Segar penned blues standard, "Key To the Highway." It was great to see the rock powerhouses unite for some inspired jamming.

 

After this, Tedeschi launched into "Part Of Me" and dedicated her own composition "Just Won't Burn" to her daughter. She sang her heart out on both. At this point in the show, I wondered if she was going to be able to sing the next night. But, she wasn't done.

 

Three more cover songs, "Outside Woman Blues," "I Walk On Guilded Splinters," and another blistering Tedeschi vocal on "I Pity the Fool" followed. Her powerful and controlled vocal delivery was urgent and clear.

 

The nearly two-and-a-half hour long set ended around 11:20 with the fan favorite "Bound For Glory." On a night sprinkled with plenty of cover songs, the band encored with their rendition of The Coaster's "Let's Go Get Stoned," which had the fans up and singing along. It was a wonderfully joyous and moving night of great music.

 

I brought a camera and took some photos. However, I did not record the show. But, thanks to friend and fellow taper Richard Skaggs efforts his excellent recordings are linked below. To see more of my photos of the bands, I have also included those links.


  Tedeschi Trucks Band ~ 2022-07-29 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO

  Tedeschi Trucks Band - 2022-07-29

 

  Los Lobos ~ 2022-07-29 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO

  Los Lobos - 2022-07-29

 

  Gabe Dixon Trio - 2022-07-29

 

Links to the official band web sites and the venue are below.

 

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Los Lobos

Gabe Dixon

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

 

 

 
 
 
Reckless Kelly and Carin Mari put on a superb show at Stargazers Theatre in Colorado Springs on April 24...

 

Posted originally April 25, 2022, and last updated April 25, 2022 by Chuck Miller 

 

Buena Vista, Colorado-based singer, songwriter Carin Mari opened for Reckless Kelly on Sunday, April 24, at Stargazers Theatre. She started playing at 8 PM.


Mari was very, very good -- superb in fact. Her effortless guitar playing and strong voice displayed her awe-inspiring command of the songs, the stage, and the adoring concert goers from the first song until the end of her 45-minute long set. Mari is busy with her solo career and is also the lead acoustic and electric guitar player for Michael Martin Murphey & the Rio Grande Band. She even played Murphey's biggest radio hit "Wildfire" by request from the venue owners John and Cindy Hooton. The approximately 350 fans in attendance rained enthusiastic applause on her at the end of every song. She was truly impressive, entertaining the audience with tales from her life while finger picking her acoustic guitar between songs.


At a little after 9 PM the five-piece Americana and alt-country rockers Reckless Kelly walked on stage. Brothers Willy and Cody Braun, along with Jay Nazz, Joe Miller, and Ryan Engleman played one long set that never flagged. The highlight for me was the mid-set "Wicked Twisted Road" from their eponymous fourth album. I had heard some of their songs but had never seen them perform live. It turns out they are an awesome live band. I'm a big fan now. They had endless energy and kept the audience dancing all night long with their great playing and well-crafted songs.

 

This was my first time back to the venue since COVID hit, and I have to say it was one of the strongest nights of live music I've ever seen at Stargazer's Theatre. The music, sound, and crowd were that good. The venue's updated PA system and lights are quite impressive and greatly added to my enjoyment of this night of music.

 

Since it was a last minute decision to go to the show, I didn't bring my recording equipment. Next time either act is in town, I'll make sure to ask them if I can make a recording. I did bring my camera and took some photos, which can be accessed by following the links below.

 

  Reckless Kelly - 2022-04-24

  Carin Mari - 2022-04-24

 

To learn more about these amazing performers and the venue please follow these links:

 

The official web site for Reckless Kelly

Carin Mari's official web site

Stargazers Theatre and Event Center web site

 

 

 
 
Poudre Valley Playboys from Fort Collins, CO played an excellent show at Pikes Peak Brewing on March 26...

 

Posted originally March 27, 2022, and last updated March 28, 2022 by Chuck Miller 

 

The self described hillbilly-surf band Poudre Valley Playboys played three high energy sets Saturday at Pikes Peak Brewing Lager House in the COATI complex on Tejon Street in Colorado Springs.

 

Starting at 7 PM they engaged the enthusiastic audience from the start of the first set until they stopped playing after 10 PM. They performed cover versions of songs by Johnny Cash, The Ventures and many others along with several originals in that lively rockabilly style. The songs were short and sweet like "El Cumbanchero" and kept the fans on the dance floor moving.

 

Guitarist and singer Josh Long along with upright bassist Mark Verschoor were very energetic and entertaining to watch. Most of the songs were instrumental, but Long has a nice voice and sang lead on the songs that had lyrics. They both have an open, friendly and inviting presence on and off the stage. They mingled with the audience, chatting with the people in the bar between sets and after they finished playing for the night. I'm sure they gained some new southern Colorado fans Saturday night. I'm a new fan and am already looking forward to seeing them perform again soon.

 

For more information about this dynamic duo visit Long's official band web site: Poudre Valley Playboys.

 

 

 

 
Marshall Fire Benefit Concert a fundraiser for those affected by the wildfires premiered on February 28...

 

Posted originally March 1, 2022, and last updated March 1, 2022 by Chuck Miller 

 

The pre-recorded musical celebration Marshall Fire Benefit Concert started streaming right at 7 PM on Monday, February 28. The ticket price was $10 to view the star-studded couch concert via veeps.com. The 2 hour, 25-minute long virtual jam-fest was a fundraiser for Boulder County Wildfire Fund to help ravaged survivors of the Marshall Fires. The most devastating fire event in Colorado history started on December 30, 2021, and burned more than 6,000 acres and nearly 1,000 homes in Boulder County, Colorado, in 48 hours. There is at least one confirmed death and one person still missing from the unprecedented catastrophe.

 

Nick Forster, host of Boulder's nationally syndicated radio show eTown, was the master of ceremonies. He introduced the artists and provided information during the fundraiser. He reported that more than $500,000 was raised and over 6,000 tickets were sold before the event started. The show was produced by legendary Denver concert promoter Chuck Morris & AEG Presents.

 

The broadcast started with a montage of facts and images detailing the aftermath of the horrific wildfires. So many houses, trees, and vehicles burned down to hollowed out shells. Fittingly, Denver-based jazz, funk, and soul-influenced band The Motet was the first to play. As with most of the acts, the band played in a studio environment with no audience. The sound and video for all the performances was top notch. Amos Lee, Lake Street Dive, Ben Rector, Sara Jarosz, Lyle Lovett, Sam Bush, Michael Franti, and Gregory Alan Isokov where the first group of artists to perform. I thought the performances were much more engaging than I see at typical concert events. It felt like I was in the room with them, and since the music was performed live without overdubs, the songs were fresh and more organic than the studio versions heard on the radio.

 

Later, there were more engaging performances by The California Honeydrops; Trey Anastasio, who played two Phish songs "Sample In A Jar" and "Ghost;" Nathaniel Rateliff; Kitchen Dwellers; Wynona Judd & Cactus Moser; Dave Matthews; Todd Park Mohr from Big Head Todd & the Monsters; Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, a band formed in Colorado Springs; and the popular Colorado sextet The String Cheese Incident, who also played two songs film in front of a live audience.

 

Dispersed between musical acts, Forster, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse, former Denver Governor and now-U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper, and Morris all spoke about the devastation and the efforts to raise money to help the people affected by it. Hickenlooper said that music is healing, but music can't heal it all, so the people who lost so much need our help.

 

The last group of performers included Old Crow Medicine Show, who performed John Denver's Colorado anthem "Rocky Mountain High;" Yonder Mountain String Band; Steve Miller; Vinyl Kings; and Mihali from the band Twiddle. Denver favorites The Lumineers closed the triumphant night right around 9:25 PM.

 
 

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. It was exhilarating to see so many performers donate their time to help raise money for this worthwhile cause. The music was awesome, and the music did indeed add to a sense of healing and community. At almost two and one half hours long, there were no dips in energy the whole time, and I saw quite a few performers I hadn't seen before. I hope they release some of the music as a paid download so I can hear it again.

 

Though the webcast is over, you can still donate to the cause here: The Boulder County Wildfire Fund. The site has an abundance of good information, and your donation is tax deductible. Please donate if you can. The goal is to raise one million dollars. As of this writing, they are over halfway there.

 

 

 

 
It's a brand new year and the start of my tenth year producing this live music recording & guitar info blog...

 

Posted originally January 13, 2022, and last updated January 15, 2022 by Chuck Miller 

 

2022 is not off to a great start with one of the first music festivals of the year, Playing In the Sand headlined by Dead & Company, being cancelled abruptly. Reports are that as some people were on planes, flying to the venue in Cancun, Mexico, the concert organizers cancelled the event. Singer and guitarist John Mayer tested positive and couldn't participate, and drummer Bill Kreutzmann backed out over his own health concerns. That's very disappointing for the band and fans. Hopefully the event will be rescheduled.

 

I've been slowly getting better at playing the guitar since the pandemic started. I feel like I'm getting back to the playing level I was at in my teens and 20's. I'm also learning more about music theory than I did when I was younger, though I have to admit I still like working on guitars and the associated gear more than I enjoy playing.

 

I'm still buying inexpensive guitars and fixing them up, but I'm getting much more selective about what I buy. Until recently, I considered it a learning experience to repair and re-sell them. This year, I'm hoping to start making some money for my efforts.

 

One recent acquisition I'm quite pleased with is a beautiful Shoreline Gold, 2007 Vintage Modified Fender Squire Thinline electric guitar. It's very close to being my dream guitar. I've always been drawn to hollow and semi-hollow electric guitars like this one. It has plenty of upgrades too, including aftermarket Hoagland pickups, genuine Fender tuners, Guyer compensated brass barrel saddles, and full size CTS pots. The stock white pick guard was replaced with a black one, which I think makes it look sharp. It sounds and plays great, too.

 

I'm going to make an effort to see and record some Red Rocks concerts this summer. Music is always such a pleasure, but the venue is equally important to the experience. I didn't see any shows there last year because of COVID19 concerns. This year I want to experience concerts again in that other worldly setting in Morrison, CO.

 

Lulu's Downstairs in Manitou Springs is becoming my favorite local venue. It's only about 15 minutes away. The sound and stage are good,

 and I can make excellent recordings in there. I'd like to see and record more shows at Lulu's in 2022.

 

So, stay tuned for more reviews and live recordings from me this year. I'm optimistic and hoping we get a handle on the coronavirus and society gets closer to the old normal. I don't think it'll take much to make 2022 better than 2021.

 

 

 

 

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