The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is announced Monday under the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The first event under the new NASCAR Whelen Euro Series name will be Saturday and Sunday at Tours Speedway in France. “NASCAR has been a tremendous partner for Whelen Engineering, and having our products at the tracks and used by teams is really at the core of what we’re about.”— Phil Kurze, vice president of motorsports for Whelen Engineering Whelen Engineering, a long-time sponsor and supporter of NASCAR’s touring and regional series, became the official entitlement sponsor of the European stock-car series in an announcement Monday morning in Paris.The first race under the newly re-named NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will be this weekend at France’s Tours Speedway. The first-of-its-kind, temporary oval is located just outside Paris. The series, which was founded in 2008, is in its second year under the NASCAR banner.The Whelen entitlement sponsorship agreement is through 2019. READ: Kenseth wins at Kentucky From a contingency decal on a quarter-panel of a stock car in Connecticut to an international partnership “This is a landmark day for the series,” said Jerome Galpin, general manager of Team FJ, which owns and operates the European-based series. “Whelen’s support of NASCAR at every level is exemplary and to have them on board with the Euro Series brings another level of prestige and support to the series.”Last year, Spain’s Ander Vilarino became the first NASCAR European champion. He again leads the championship points after three race weekends.Galpin and Vilarino were joined at Monday’s announcement on the Seine River by Nicolas Deschaux, president of FFSA (Fédération Française du Sport Automobile); Bob Duvall, NASCAR senior director of business development; and Joe Balash, NASCAR international competition liaison.The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series competes on road courses in France (Circuit Paul Armagnac in Nogaro, Circuit de Dijon-Prenois in Dijon, and the championship round at Circuit Le Mans Bugatti in LeMans), England (Brands Hatch Circuit), Spain (MotorLand Aragón, near Alcañiz) and Italy (Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, north of Milan).Many of those facilities have signed long-term agreements to hold Euro Series races.The Tours track is a nearly .400-mile track. The success of the first event last year, won by NASCAR K&N Pro Series driver Ben Kennedy, has prompted the series to make it a more permanent structure with additional banking.“NASCAR is a globally recognized brand that is synonymous with excitement, family entertainment, and close door-to-door competition,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president of regional and touring series. “And that’s exactly what the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series represents in Europe. We are extremely proud to partner with Team FJ and Whelen Engineering, and help take this series to the next level.”The signing of Whelen as an entitlement sponsor is yet another example of the growth and potential of the series.“NASCAR has been a tremendous partner for Whelen Engineering, and having our products at the tracks and used by teams is really at the core of what we’re about,” said Phil Kurze, vice president of motorsports for Whelen Engineering. “We enjoy helping to provide people with exciting weekend entertainment, and providing an opportunity for drivers, mechanics, crew chiefs and fabricators to display their talents. As we continue to expand our distribution throughout Europe, partnering with Team FJ is a natural fit.”Whelen has been in NASCAR since the early 1990s, getting its first involvement with Ted Christopher in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East back when it was known as the NASCAR Busch North Series.Whelen progressed in car sponsorship, eventually landing as a primary sponsor for Dave Blaney in the 2004 Daytona 500. The Connecticut-based company has also been involved in sports car racing, sponsoring Boris Said and Eric Curran in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series.Whelen’s involvement in NASCAR increased in 2005, when it became the entitlement sponsor for the NASCAR Modified Tour in 2005, sponsoring the oldest series in NASCAR. That same year, Whelen became the sponsor for the newly-formed Southern Modified Tour.In 2007, Whelen added to its NASCAR presence by becoming the title sponsor of NASCAR’s grassroots weekly series. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series encompasses 55 short tracks throughout the US and Canada. Recently, Whelen re-affirmed its commitment by having extending its contract through 2019.Kurze pointed out that Whelen’s products — which are all manufactured in the U.S. by is more than 1,400 employees at its plants in Connecticut and New Hampshire — are used extensively by police and fire departments, towing companies, and emergency personnel. Many of those same people help make up the racing community.“It just makes sense for us to be involved here and that we’re supporting their sport,” said Kurze. “As time has gone on, we saw an increase in sales, which we attributed directly to our involvement in NASCAR.Whelen’s sponsorship of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series is in addition to the commitments it has made to the U.S.-based series.Kurze said that as the company has expanded distribution into many parts of Europe, it’s a naturally fit to partner with the Euro Series.The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series crowns champions it its Elite Division, as well as an Open Division.The top drivers will be recognized at the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., in December, along with the champions from all of NASCAR’s touring series.READ MORE: WATCH: Wreck takes out Biffle, Keselowski WATCH: Johnson spins on late restart READ: Complete Kentucky coverage
With the recent formation of Mega Nova, the Santana-led supergroup provided an opportunity for Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock to work together again. The two have been musicians for decades, and friends for a majority of their lengthy, prolific careers. Starting with roles in Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet, the two are true innovators.All of that in mind, Nest HQ decided to ask the two to share their thoughts about what it means to be an artist, and how artists should create in an ever-conflicted world. Read their open letter below:To the Next Generation of Artists,We find ourselves in turbulent and unpredictable times.From the horror at the Bataclan, to the upheaval in Syria and the senseless bloodshed in San Bernardino, we live in a time of great confusion and pain. As an artist, creator and dreamer of this world, we ask you not to be discouraged by what you see but to use your own lives, and by extension your art, as vehicles for the construction of peace.While it’s true that the issues facing the world are complex, the answer to peace is simple; it begins with you. You don’t have to be living in a third world country or working for an NGO to make a difference. Each of us has a unique mission. We are all pieces in a giant, fluid puzzle, where the smallest of actions by one puzzle piece profoundly affects each of the others. You matter, your actions matter, your art matters.We’d like to be clear that while this letter is written with an artistic audience in mind, these thoughts transcend professional boundaries and apply to all people, regardless of profession.FIRST, AWAKEN TO YOUR HUMANITYWe are not alone. We do not exist alone and we cannot create alone. What this world needs is a humanistic awakening of the desire to raise one’s life condition to a place where our actions are rooted in altruism and compassion. You cannot hide behind a profession or instrument; you have to be human. Focus your energy on becoming the best human you can be. Focus on developing empathy and compassion. Through the process you’ll tap into a wealth of inspiration rooted in the complexity and curiosity of what it means to simply exist on this planet. Music is but a drop in the ocean of life.EMBRACE AND CONQUER THE ROAD LESS TRAVELEDThe world needs new pathways. Don’t allow yourself to be hijacked by common rhetoric, or false beliefs and illusions about how life should be lived. It’s up to you to be the pioneers. Whether through the exploration of new sounds, rhythms, and harmonies or unexpected collaborations, processes and experiences, we encourage you to dispel repetition in all of its negative forms and consequences. Strive to create new actions both musically and with the pathway of your life. Never conform.WELCOME THE UNKNOWNThe unknown necessitates a moment-to-moment improvisation or creative process that is unparalleled in potential and fulfillment. There is no dress rehearsal for life because life, itself, is the real rehearsal. Every relationship, obstacle, interaction, etc. is a rehearsal for the next adventure in life. Everything is connected. Everything builds. Nothing is ever wasted. This type of thinking requires courage. Be courageous and do not lose your sense of exhilaration and reverence for this wonderful world around you.UNDERSTAND THE TRUE NATURE OF OBSTACLESWe have this idea of failure, but it’s not real; it’s an illusion. There is no such thing as failure. What you perceive as failure is really a new opportunity, a new hand of cards, or a new canvas to create upon. In life there are unlimited opportunities. The words, “success” and “failure”, themselves, are nothing more than labels. Every moment is an opportunity. You, as a human being, have no limits; therefore infinite possibilities exist in any circumstance.DON’T BE AFRAID TO INTERACT WITH THOSE WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOUThe world needs more one-on-one interaction among people of diverse origins with a greater emphasis on art, culture and education. Our differences are what we have in common. We can work to create an open and continuous plane where all types of people can exchange ideas, resources, thoughtfulness and kindness. We need to be connecting with one another, learning about one another, and experiencing life with one another. We can never have peace if we cannot understand the pain in each other’s hearts. The more we interact, the more we will come to realize that our humanity transcends all differences.STRIVE TO CREATE AGENDA-FREE DIALOGUEArt in any form is a medium for dialogue, which is a powerful tool. It is time for the music world to produce sound stories that ignite dialogue about the mystery of us. When we say the mystery of us, we’re talking about reflecting and challenging the fears, which prevent us from discovering our unlimited access to the courage inherent in us all. Yes, you are enough. Yes, you matter. Yes, you should keep going.BE WARY OF EGOArrogance can develop within artists, either from artists who believe that their status makes them more important, or those whose association with a creative field entitles them to some sort of superiority. Beware of ego; creativity cannot flow when only the ego is served.WORK TOWARDS A BUSINESS WITHOUT BORDERSThe medical field has an organization called Doctors Without Borders. This lofty effort can serve as a model for transcending the limitations and strategies of old business formulas which are designed to perpetuate old systems in the guise of new ones. We’re speaking directly to a system that’s in place, a system that conditions consumers to purchase only the products that are dictated to be deemed marketable, a system where money is only the means to an end. The music business is a fraction of the business of life. Living with creative integrity can bring forth benefits never imagined.APPRECIATE THE GENERATION THAT WALKED BEFORE YOUYour elders can help you. They are a source of wealth in the form of wisdom. They have weathered storms and endured the same heartbreaks; let their struggles be the light that shines the way in the darkness. Don’t waste time repeating their mistakes. Instead, take what they’ve done and catapult you towards building a progressively better world for the progeny to come.LASTLY, WE HOPE THAT YOU LIVE IN A STATE OF CONSTANT WONDERAs we accumulate years, parts of our imagination tend to dull. Whether from sadness, prolonged struggle, or social conditioning, somewhere along the way people forget how to tap into the inherent magic that exists within our minds. Don’t let that part of your imagination fade away. Look up at the stars and imagine what it would be like to be an astronaut or a pilot. Imagine exploring the pyramids or Machu Picchu. Imagine flying like a bird or crashing through a wall like Superman. Imagine running with dinosaurs or swimming like mer-creatures. All that exists is a product of someone’s imagination; treasure and nurture yours and you’ll always find yourself on the precipice of discovery.How does any of this lend to the creation of a peaceful society you ask? It begins with a cause. Your causes create the effects that shape your future and the future of all those around you. Be the leaders in the movie of your life. You are the director, producer, and actor. Be bold and tirelessly compassionate as you dance through the voyage that is this lifetime.
Electron finished off the second of a sold out two-night run at Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday night and didn’t hold back any punches. As was previously announced, the group decided to finish off the run with a “Fearless” set, paying tribute to Pink Floyd (an idea the band also pulled off extremely well on Jam Cruise about two months ago).While the Floyd set was highly anticipated, the knockout punch came the day before with rumors swirling around of a sit-in from original The Disco Biscuits drummer Sammy “The. Dr.” Altman. The special guest was announced several hours before Saturday’s show in a social media post from bassist Marc Brownstein, which featured both he and Altman in a photo together. Tom Hamilton’s American Babies served up an opening set that drew upon Babies standards, some new hits from their latest album An Epic Battle Between Light and Dark, as well as a crowd-pleasing performance of Brothers Past number “State Police”.Tom Hamilton Talks Almost Dead, American Babies & An Epic Battle Between Light And DarkThe first set started off with the core four of Brownstein, Hamilton, Magner and Greenfield on drums for a rare “Plan B” opener. Getting off to a solid start, the group followed that up with sing-along laden “The City,” which segued into a monster “Kamaole Sands,” which saw Tom Hamilton take the lead on and show why he is one of the most talented players in the jam scene today.Coming out of “Kamaole”, the band had a nice tease of Michael Jackson‘s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” that led into a filthy “Rock Candy”, which saw the emergence (and rather sneakily at that) of The Doctor. As those of us in attendance witnessed the hand-off of the sticks, a raucous “SAMMY!” chant ensued, and all players quickly locked in for an epic dirty dance party that consisted of the end of “Rock Candy” into an inverted “Confrontation” into “Run Like Hell” (ending only) to close out the first set. As a fan, you live for moments like this; and the fact that Sammy can still lock in and drive the jams really was the icing on the cake.After a disco-driven set break from Wyllys, Electron emerged for the Pink Floyd set with American Babies guitarist Justin Mazer in tow (if you don’t know Mazer, see Leroy Justice please). While the Floyd set was dubbed “Fearless”, it was also rather Flawless. While many of the renditions of Floyd songs saw the band stay fairly tried and true, with a touch of that Electron flair, the “Run Like Hell > Dogs > Another Brick in the Wall > Dogs” segment was absolute bonkers and truly was the highlight of the set, as the group opened things up and took to a whole other level. Electron has traditionally ended their shows with a nod to Floyd, but this full set showcased their penchant to truly draw on the psychedelic spirit of the legendary act. If they happen to do this again, don’t sleep on it.Check out photos from both nights, courtesy of Andrew Scott Blackstein Photography (Night One) and Scott Harris Photo (Night Two), below. Setlist can be seen below as well.Setlist: Electron at the Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY – 3/12/16I: Plan B, The City-> Kamaole Sands-> Rock Candy (w/ Sam Altman drummer switch)-> Confrontation (inverted, with Sam Altman)-> Run Like Hell (ending only, with Sam Altman)II: Breathe, Fearless, Money, Hey You, In the Flesh-> Run Like Hell-> Dogs-> Another Brick in the Wall-> Dogs, Comfortably Numb, Mother, Us & Them-> Any Colour You Like-> Brain Damage-> EclipseE: Little Lai Load remaining images
It’s hard to believe that Gov’t Mule has been together for over 20 years, but the band continues to celebrate their legacy with great original music and energetic performances. Warren Haynes and company recently announced plans to release The Tel-Star Sessions, capturing the band’s first-ever recording session in 1994. Due out on August 5th, Mule fans are eagerly awaiting a chance for a sneak peek into one of Mule’s pivotal moments.Fortunately, there’s a chance to do that today! After sharing a cover of ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid” back in May, Mule returns with their version of “Blind Man In The Dark” today! Give the song a spin right here, courtesy of Alternative Nation.In the premiere article, Haynes talks about the track, saying, “This version represents the song before we changed the key and the drum pattern along with some other things. We also recorded this song for our first LP but didn’t use it. We wound up re-recording (a third time) for our 2nd LP Dose. It was cool to hear where it started as opposed to where it ended up.”The Tel-Star Sessions is due out August 5th across a variety of formats. Pre-orders are ongoing via Amazon and other services!
During their offseason, both John Mayer and Bob Weir promised fans that they would be debuting some new material throughout their summer tour with Dead & Company. With such a rich catalog to choose from, the band ultimately pulled out 17 new songs during their 2016 performances. A good portion of these new songs were actually Bob Dylan covers (six, to be precise), and one was performed as a tribute to the late Rob Wasserman, who passed away earlier in the summer.While there are still a handful of Grateful Dead songs that the band has yet to play, check out which 17 songs made their debuts this year!1. Queen Jane Approximately (5/23/16 at The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA)2. Big Railroad Blues (5/23/16 at The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA)3. Days Between (5/23/16 at The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA)4. Liberty (6/10/16 PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, NC)5. Passenger (6/12/16 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Manchester, TN)6. Box of Rain (6/16/16 Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH)7. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (6/17/16 Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, IN)8. Black Muddy River (6/17/16 Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, IN)9. All Along The Watchtower (6/20/16 BB&T Pavilion, Camden, NJ)10. Throwing Stones (6/25/16 Citi Field, New York, NY)11. Even So (7/2/16 Folsom Field, Boulder, CO)12. Next Time You See Me (7/3/16 Folsom Field, Boulder, CO)13. When I Paint My Masterpiece (7/7/16 DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI)14. Dire Wolf (7/9/16 Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI)15. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (7/9/16 Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI)16. Maggie’s Farm (7/13/16 First Niagara Pavilion, Burgettstown, PA)17. Easy Wind (7/22/16 Moda Center, Portland, OR)
Brooklyn Comes Alive is rounding out their diverse supergroup formations with A Tribute to J Dilla. Led by Break Science’s Borahm Lee, the tribute will run deep in the roots of hip-hop with fine-tuned artists, drummer Adam Deitch (Lettuce/Break Science), guitarist Adam Smirnoff (Lettuce), bassist Nate Edgar (The Nth Power), bassist Stu Brooks (Matisyahu, 50 Cent, Pretty Lights), and more.For those unfamiliar with J Dilla, the Detroit artist is considered one of the most influential hip-hop producers of all time. He was a founding member of rap group Slum Village, a member of hip-hop collective Soulquarians alongside Questlove, D’Angelo, Common, and Erykah Badu, and produced countless hip-hop classics for De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, and Busta Rhymes, among many others. Since his untimely death in 2006, Dilla’s productions have achieved cult status, and his legacy has grown with posthumous album releases and a slew of tributes by everyone from Flying Lotus to Kendrick Lamar. Brooklyn Comes Alive looks forward to honoring the beat master with some of the most creative players to date.Borahm has led this project twice before in New Orleans with several of the same players. For a taste of what’s to come, enjoy the full show from earlier this year below, courtesy of Funk It Blog: To get your day going, get down to this favorited Dilla production.The Pharcyde – RunninSet for October 22, 2016, the second annual event will span three of Brooklyn’s most popular venues — Brooklyn Bowl, The Hall at MP, and Music Hall of Williamsburg — all within a 10 minute walking radius. Tickets to the event grants you access to all three venues, and can be found here. More information can be found on the event’s website. Brooklyn Comes Alive Artist Lineup:Joe Russo (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead)Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers/Dead & Company)Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits)Aron Magner (The Disco Biscuits)John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood)Jason Hann (The String Cheese Incident)Adam Deitch (Lettuce/Break Science)Robert Walter (Greyboy Allstars/Mike Gordon)Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead)Kofi Burbridge (Tedeschi Trucks Band)Alan Evans (Soulive)Neal Evans (Soulive)Eric “Benny” Bloom (Lettuce)Jesus Coomes (Lettuce)Adam Smirnoff (Lettuce)Ryan Zoidis (Lettuce)Roosevelt CollierMichael League (Snarky Puppy)SkerikTodd Stoops (RAQ)Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green)Borahm Lee (Break Science)Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band)James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band)Chris Bullock (Snarky Puppy)Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power)Nick Cassarino (The Nth Power)Nate Edgar (The Nth Power)Courtney J’Mell Smith (The Nth Power)Manic Focus (special guests)Will Bernard (Stanton Moore Trio)Tim Palmieri (Kung Fu)Jay Lane (Primus/RatDog)Rob Compa (Dopapod)Eli Winderman (Dopapod)Adrian Tramontano (Kung Fu)Holly BowlingBrasstracksFareed Haque (Garaj Mahal)Cochrane McMillan (Tea Leaf Green)Andy Hess (Gov’t Mule/The Black Crowes)Dan Edinburg (The Stepkids)Jen Durkin (Deep Banana Blackout)Johnny Durkin (Deep Banana Blackout)Rob Marscher (Matisyahu)Rob Somerville (Kung Fu)Benny Rietveld (Santana)Samora Pinderhughes (Emily King, Branford Marsalis)Raul PinedaFarnell NewtonDanny SadownickShowcase Sets:RIPEOrgan FreemanArtists-At-Large:Brandon “Taz” Niederauer (School of Rock)Elise Testone (American Idol)Supergroups:The All Brothers Band: Oteil Burbridge, Kofi Burbridge, Neal Evans, Alan Evans[Br]eaking [Bi]scuits: Adam Deitch, Borahm Lee, Marc Brownstein, Aron MagnerReed Mathis and Electric BeethovenJoe Russo, Scott Metzger, Robert Walter, & Andy HessDRKWAV: John Medeski, Adam Deitch, & SkerikThe Nth Power Presents Earth, Wind & Power ft. Oteil Burbridge, Kofi Burbridge, Natalie Cressman, Skerik, The Shady Horns, Farnell Newton, Danny SadownickJason Hann’s RhythmatronixA Tribute To J Dilla: Borahm Lee, Nate Edgar, Adam Deitch, Adam Smirnoff, Stu BrooksTim Palmieri & Friends: Dan Edinbugh, Jen Durkin, Rob Somerville, Alan EvansNatalie Cressman Presents: Nikki Glaspie, Will Bernard, Chris Bullock, Benny Rietveld, Samora PinderhughesThe Coomes Brothers Ft. Jesus Coomes, Tyler Coomes, Adam Smirnoff & The Shady HornsRoosevelt Collier’s NY Get Down Ft. Eli Winderman, Rob Compa, Adrian TramontanoManic Focus & Friends—–Brooklyn Comes Alive is excited to partner with Raaka Chocolate, a local bean to bar chocolate company based out of Red Hook. Look out for some exciting food collaborations coming to Brooklyn on 10/22!
Some tragic news just came in today regarding soul singer Charles Bradley, who has just cancelled all upcoming tour dates to deal with serious health issues. According to the press release, Bradley’s “doctors have discovered a cancerous tumor in his stomach,” explaining that he will need to take time off for treatment and recovery.At age 67, Charles Bradley defied all odds and recently emerged as a soul-singing superpower. His recently-released album Changes featured Bradley reflecting on this newfound success, and he has been touring regularly throughout 2016 in support of the new album. The overall tone of the press release is optimistic, as he looks to confront this unfortunate illness with the strength that has gotten him this far.Bradley’s full statement can be read below:“In the past few months, I have had to cancel a number of shows due to illness, taking me away from my beautiful fans.My doctors recently discovered a cancerous tumor in my stomach.I’m getting the best medical care and we are all extremely optimistic. I will fight through this like I’ve fought through the many other obstacles in my life.My upcoming tour dates will be postponed so I can concentrate on healing.Thank you all for understanding. Music is how I share my love with the world, and the love that my fans have given back brings me so much joy. I look forward to seeing your gorgeous faces soon, and to continue to share my love through music.”Get well soon Charles!
Fans of Bruce Springsteen were heartbroken in 2011, when longtime saxophonist Clarence Clemons passed away after complications from a stroke. Clemons joined The E Street Band in 1972, and remained a vital component of Springsteen’s sound up until his 2011 death. Just a few days ago, Springsteen released a new live album which pays tribute to Clemons’ legacy.The new album features the saxophonist’s final performance with Bruce and co. Taken from a Buffalo performance on November 22nd, 2009, the newly released audio also features a full performance of Springsteen’s 1973 debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. The 34-song setlist is filled with classics from the Boss’s catalog, including an opener of “Wrecking Ball” and tracks like “Thunder Road”, “Rosalita” and so many more.The show can be found on Bruce Springsteen’s website, with options to purchase digitally or on CD. Enjoy this powerful performance by following the link here. You can see the setlist below.Setlist: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band | HSBC Arena | Buffalo, NY | 11/22/09Wrecking BallThe Ties That BindHungry HeartWorking on a DreamGreetings from Asbury Park, N.JBlinded by the LightGrowin’ UpMary Queen of Arkansas (First performance since 2002)Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?Lost in the FloodThe Angel (First performance since 1996)Play VideoFor YouSpirit in the NightIt’s Hard to Be a Saint in the CityWaitin’ on a Sunny DayThe Promised LandRestless Nights (Live debut)Surprise, SurpriseGreen Onions (Booker T. & The MG’s cover)Merry Christmas, Baby (Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers cover) (First time live since 2004)Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Harry Reser and His Orchestra cover)(I Don’t Want to) Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes (Chuck Willis cover) (Sign request)Boom Boom (John Lee Hooker cover) (Sign request)My Love Will Not Let You DownLong Walk HomeThe RisingBorn to RunTenth Avenue Freeze-Out (Not on written setlist)Encore:I’ll Work for Your Love (Tour debut)Thunder RoadAmerican LandDancing in the DarkRosalita (Come Out Tonight)(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher (Jackie Wilson cover)Rockin’ All Over the World (John Fogerty cover)
Two days ago, a singer named Grayson Erhard was in for the surprise of his lifetime while performing in the lobby of the Anaheim Marriott Hotel for the National Association of Music Merchant’s 2017 convention. As Erhard was performing “Superstition”, none other than Stevie Wonder himself came up to join the man for his classic hit.Before starting the song, Wonder gave a shout out to the Women’s March, which had occurred earlier in the day in cities across the country, as well as to women everywhere. The intimate audience and both performers were clearly feeling the duo’s sound, with Wonder grinning and announcing, “I think we’re a good team,” to close out the song. A video of the serendipitous exchange can be viewed below.[H/T Rolling Stone]
Next month in McMinnville, Tennessee, the 2nd annual Taste of the Underground festival will take place. Held during the same weekend as the PBS taping of the Emmy award winning show, Bluegrass Underground, March 24-26, a festival atmosphere will fill the air during the afternoons and evenings. Bluegrass Underground is filmed at a most unusual venue that is 333 feet below ground, at the historic Cumberland Caverns. Separate from the taping, music, food and local breweries will be involved in Taste of the Underground, showing off some of the local treats to visitors who are checking out the area for the first time.On Friday the 24th, Park Theater will host Funky Friday: Welcome to the Park, which will include beer tastings from local Depot Bottom Brewery, as well as eats to go along with the cold ones. The big event on the 25th will feature a Battle Saturday at the Park. A nationwide battle of the bands, as well as a battle of chefs from local food trucks and restaurants will get underway. In addition, tastings from local Calfkiller Brewery will be featured. Music will be ongoing throughout the day, and well into the evening. On Sunday the 26th, a VIP Brunch & Bluegrass at the Park will take place. This will be an intimate event with limited tickets available.Submissions for the Battle of the Bands event is now open. Band submissions are welcome from around the nation. There will be 4 finalists, who will compete in a live competition, with the winner determined on March 25th as part of the Taste of the Underground. Online submissions are being accepted now through February 24th at midnight. The winning artist or band will get a spot performing at an upcoming Bluegrass Underground or Live From The Underground concert at the Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns. Full contest rules and information, as well as further information regarding Taste of the Underground, can be found here. Good luck to all bands who enter!Words by Sarah Bourque