Desertfest Berlin 2019: Om, Wovenhand, Kikagaku Moyo, Wino, Naxatras & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

desertfest berlin 2019 banner

Desertfest Berlin 2019, Desertfest London 2019 and the first-ever Desertfest New York have all had lineup announcements this week. That’s by no means a little bit of Desertfest, but of course the Berlin lineup remains a beast unto itself. Along with sharing the likes of headliners Om and Wovenhand and Mondo Generator, etc., Berlin welcomes Wino back to Europe with an acoustic set as well as Kakagaku Moyo from Japan — who’ll just happen to be in the same building as Earthless, with whom they’ve jammed live before and might well again. With Naxatras fulfilling the great Greek psychedelic prophecy and Long Distance Calling rounding out this second announcement, Desertfest Berlin 2019 remains a landmark that, like its London counterpart, has only continued to become more expansive and encompassing.

To wit:

desertfest berlin 2019 new poster

OM ++ WOVENHAND ++ LONG DISTANCE CALLING ++ KIKAGAKU MOYO ++ MONDO GENERATOR ++ WINO ++ NICK OLIVERI ++ NAXATRAS confirmed for Desertfest Berlin 2019!!!

Desert rockers, we are psyched to reveal new names for our 8th edition in the capitol of Germany, Berlin. While our annual festival already unveiled highclass acts such as J Mascis’ Witch, Colour Haze, All Them Witches, Earthless and many more, today DesertFest Berlin pursues the announcements of 8 further and more than exciting bands which have been added to the eclectic 2019 line-up!

Formed by the rhythm section of our all beloved Sleep, legendary OM will make their return to Europe! It’s been a long time since the band released their last album ‘Advaitic Songs’ back in 2012, but your wait and hunger to experience the band live is finally over: OM are going to hypnotize the entire ARENA with their unique, one and only omvibrating sounds!

Bringing you the probably best Americana and Alternative Country tunes you can get, DESERTFEST BERLIN is thrilled to welcome Wovenhand (official) in 2019! Led by former 16 Horsepower frontman David Eugene, WOVENHAND gave the real birth to mix folk, gospel and rock ‘n roll. Expect a unique and very special live show!

Long Distance Calling have always roamed on unexplored territory. Their timeless, atmospheric instrumental rock not only inspires traditionalists with a penchant for guitars, vinyl and compact discs, but without their epic records even no serious streaming playlist is complete. At DESERTFEST BERLIN 2019, the band will make us forget about the digital world. They will transfer us into the real world of finest instrumental rock sounds, only an act like LONG DISTANCE CALLING could ever create!

DESERTFEST BERLIN will also bring back Scott “Wino” Weinrich to Europe! The St. Vitus frontman will be performing a very special acoustic set at the 8th festival edition in Berlin. With his solo project of the dark rock till Outlaw Country tunes alongside rare cover versions, you may never know what WINO will be playing live on stage, but you can be sure: This legend will provide a live appearance we won’t forget too fast!

Punk and metal hybrid unit from Los Angeles, Mondo Generator, fronted and formed by Nick Oliveri (QOTSA, Dwarves, Bloodclot, Kyuss) is going to break loose with the DESERTFEST BERLIN crowd next year. Since the band is no stranger to the Desertfest’s family, you know what to expect, sweaty T-shirts in crazy pits included!

And while we got him in Berlin already, the DESERTFEST BERLIN crew invited Mr. Nick Oliveri to put on his infamous DEATH ACOUSTIC set! Double-action by the one & only NICK OLIVERI, who not only released his critically acclaimed ‘N.O. Hits At All’-series with HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS over the past few months, but will be also bringing his N.O Hits At All live and in death acoustic manners on stage! Get ready for some fun, desert rockers!

Last but not least, DESERTFEST BERLIN is proud to welcome two of the hottest irons the current underground rock scene has to offer: Japanese up & coming Kikagaku Moyo as well as Naxatras round up today’s second band announcement! They balance heavy, crushing jams with softer, more contemplative moments: Tokyo-based KIKAGAKU MOYO, your new favorite psychedelic rock band, perfectly incorporates the elements of Krautrock, Indian ragas and acid folk, currently and well-deserved selling out one venue after the next! The Greek power trio NAXATRAS delivers a trippy journey to the very roots of the psychedelic sound, paying tribute to rock titans such as Pink Floyd and Hawkwind, doom rock overlords Black Sabbath, as well as funk pioneers Funkadelic or legendary guitar-hero Jimi Hendrix. The relentless touring activity of the band, with recent sold out shows all over Europe, put NAXATRAS once and for all on the map as one of the biggest hopes of European psychedelic music!

Friends, we hope you dig this new killer announcement as much as we do! Desertfest Berlin 2019 will take place between May 3rd – 5th 2019 at the riverside in the heart of Berlin, the ARENA BERLIN. The festival will not only provide a new sound-and payment-system on the ground, but also more space PLUS a chillout- and live zone on the ‘Hoppetosse’ boat! Better be quick to start your trip to Berlin, as you don’t want to miss this amazing line-up and witness one of the best festival editions you have ever been to!

TICKETS available at: www.desertfest-tickets.de

www.desertfest-tickets.de
www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/DesertfestBerlin
www.instagram.com/desertfest_berlin

Om, Advaitic Songs (2012)

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Planet Desert Rock Weekend Announces Lineup with John Garcia, Wino, Wo Fat, Sasquatch and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

planet desert rock weekend john garcia

Last week, John Garcia and the Band of Gold announced that a lone US appearance would take place in Las Vegas on Nov. 29. As presented by Vegas Rock Revolution, that show will be the first of a three-evening event called the Planet Desert Rock Weekend, also featuring headlining spots from Scott “Wino” Weinrich and Texas fuzz-blues stalwarts Wo Fat, as well as support from the likes of House of Broken PromisesFreedom HawkSasquatchPowered Wig MachineValley of the SunThe Heavy Eyes, and so on. The venue changes each night, but there’s no question what’s happening here: It’s a festival.

Look. I can’t tell you how to live your life. Well, I could — eat right, try to get some exercise, love everybody, etc. — but I can’t tell you where to go on any given day. Even aside from this being a rare chance to catch John Garcia in the States, this lineup is pretty much unfuckwithable. Vegas may be known as the land of Psycho, but without a doubt, Planet Desert Rock is looking to make an impact of its own in underground heavy. If you were there to see it, I can’t imagine you’d have regrets later.

Awesome posters by Joey Rudell, full lineup and info follow, courtesy of the fest’s social medias:

Planet Desert Rock Weekend

A Desert Rock Weekend Experience of amazing music from all over the country. Each band hand selected to ensure amazing relevant lineups daily. No fillers just got music.

3 nights of amazing Heavy Rock lineups

Night 1 starts off with legendary vocalist John Garcia of Kyuss. This is a exclusive evening that has never happened before. He will be singing songs from all his bands including Kyuss, Unida (Arthur Seay on guitar) , Hermano (Dave Angstrom on guitar) and Slo Burn (Chris Hale on Guitar). Former Kyuss bandmate Nick Oliveri will also be playing a song or two with John. Luna Sol featuring Angstrom also on the bill as well as Nick Oliveri and Arthur Seay’s Death in Pretty Wrapping with Unida/House of Broken Promises bandmate Mike Cancino on drums. This will be John Garcia only show in the U.S. in 2018. Vinyl at Hard Rock Casino is home to this very special one time event Thursday night.

Night 2 The Bunkhouse Saloon in Downtown Las Vegas hosts headliner Scott “Wino” Weinrich. Longtime heavy rock vocalist with such iconic underground bands as The Obsessed, Spirit Caravan , Saint Vitus and Shrinebuilder. Also joining on the bill will be heavy rock veterans Valley of the Sun who is rising from the ashes and gearing up for a big 2019 with a new album. The Heavy Eyes comes in from blues town Memphis with their psychedelic bluesy rock style and their own very unique catchy sound. House of Broken Promises featuring Arthur Seay and Mike Cancino of Unida fame will be representing Indio CA with riff rocking madness. War Cloud out of Oakland revs up with a late 70s/early 80s high energy styled metal/rock. King Chiefs (formerly Chiefs) gives a 90s grunge era style to this stacked lineup.

Night 3 is highlighted by a rare west coast appearance by Wo-Fat out of Dallas Texas. This power trio has played all over the world at many of the top festivals including DesertFest. Thick Bluesy psychedelic explosion of heavy rock would be a start to describing their incredible sound. World travelled Sasquatch joins the party as one of the premier bands poised for next level breakthrough. Freedom Hawk flies over from Virginia Beach bringing with them catchy rocking songs with duel guitar action. One of the most consistent bands in the stoner rock genre. Powered Wig Machine gets its motor running again after a little layoff as Wayne and Joey Rudell of Fuzz Evil play the epitome of desert rock style blended with retro rock influences. Blackwulf flies down from Oakland on the heals of their last highly acclaimed album which featured former Pentagram member Geoff O’Keefe. Heavy riff rocking live band. Red Desert makes a special appearance coming all the way from Minnesota as they prepare for a big 2019 with a new album/EP. Desert rock sound blended with stoner and doom. Beauty Bar downtown on Fremont street is home to this all star lineup.

We are very proud of these lineups and will only have a limited amount of tickets to sale as each of the last 2 locations have only room from 270 or so……snag those tickets as this is first come first serve. Cool vibe and stacked lineups will be happening each and every night. Our hopes is to develop this into something heavy rock bands and fans can flourish in for future shows. See you soon !

Tickets available on each of these links for the individual days

Night 1 –John Garcia and Friends – NOV. 29
https://www.facebook.com/events/2217039788574233/

Night 2 –Wino/ Valley of the Sun/ The Heavy Eyes/ House of Broken Promises/ War Cloud/ King Chiefs – NOV. 30
https://www.facebook.com/events/734357036916015/

Night 3 — Wo-Fat / Sasquatch/ Freedom Hawk/ Powered Wig Machine/ Blackwülf/ Red Desert – DEC. 1
https://www.facebook.com/events/296321447858932/

https://www.facebook.com/VRRProductions/
https://www.facebook.com/vegasrockrevolution/

Wo Fat, Live in Oklahoma City, OK, Aug. 10, 2018

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Shadow Woods Metal Fest 2016 Completes Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 6th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

shadow woods metal fest 2016 header

Set for Sept. 15-18 in White Hall, Maryland, Shadow Woods Metal Fest 2016 has completed its lineup. The fest runs a gamut of extremity from blackened noise to rolling stoner grooves and covers copious ground between in death metal, doom, drone and heavy rock, and the final nine acts announced only add to its breadth. This is the second year for Shadow Woods Metal Fest, and very clearly fest organizer Mary Spiro is staying true to the vision of a backwoods vibe, exploring the connection between a natural setting and various incarnations of heaviness. To be blunt, I don’t know all these bands and they’re not all really in my sphere so much as I have one, but I’d love to check this out anyway, just for the vibe of it.

Spiro works hard as hell on putting this together. Nothing but respect. Tickets are on sale now.

From the PR wire:

shadow woods metal fest 2016

SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST: Complete 2016 Lineup For East Coast Open-Air Metal Fest Announced; Tickets Available + Trailers Posted

SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST, the Mid-Atlantic’s open-air camping metal party, is pleased to announce the complete lineup for the 2016 festival, which runs from Thursday, September 15th through Sunday, September 18th at Camp Hidden Valley, in White Hall, Maryland. This year, forty metal bands, representing diverse subgenres, will terrorize three stages in the woodlands of The Old Line State at the same summer camp where the fest was held last year.

Highlights of this year’s installment include a set by the mysterious GHOST BATH from North Dakota who have never performed live until this year, will be playing the event. The festival welcomes their first Canadian act to this year’s event with Calgary’s NUMENOREAN, and Baltimore’s trippy duo DARSOMBRA will headline Thursday night. Brooklyn’s post black metal pillagers TOMBS, Mongolian folk metal warriors TENGGER CAVALRY, Detroit’s horror-death conjurers ACID WITCH, and a special reunion performance from Philly’s blackened doom two-piece SADGIQACEA will ignite the fires Friday night. Black-thrash alchemists BLOOD STORM, Chicago’s mystic black metal kings EMPYREUS (featuring members of Kommandant) and the doom metal godfather SCOTT “WINO” WEINRICH and friends from Western Maryland’s FAITH IN JANE will headline Saturday night. The fest will close with the return of the black metal-blues shredders ZUD from Maine.

“We are honored and humbled that all these great acts have agreed to play our little gathering in the woods,” says festival founder Mary Spiro of Metallomusikum.com/Shadow Woods Productions LLC. “Our team has worked diligently to bring these groups to our unique performance environment, and we cannot wait to see how the weekend unfolds. This lineup stays true to the fest’s mission of showcasing the bands that metal fans ought to be seeing and hearing, not simply the bands that everyone has already seen somewhere else.”

This year’s lineup also boasts several acts that have never performed on the East Coast, such as the blackened space-rock pair LOTUS THIEF from San Francisco, which features Otrebor of Botanist on drums, and Colorado’s HELLEBORUS, powered by the Houseman brothers (Akhenaten; ex-Execration), who specialize in psychedelic black metal tinged with sexual mysticism. The complete lineup (listed below) surpasses the ferocity of the fest’s inaugural installment in both diversity and scope of metal styles.

Grimoire Records, the Baltimore-based hybrid recording and distribution label founded in February 2013, has become a co-producer with Shadow Woods Productions, LLC, and has several bands featured throughout the weekend, including CORPSE LIGHT, GENEVIEVE, MYOPIC, and TORRID HUSK.

Attendees will be able to munch of a plethora of food choices throughout the weekend including the return of the high octane Zeke’s Coffee and vegan selections from Headbangin’ Hotdogs, among several others. Jewelry, knitted-wear, art, CDs, vinyl, t-shirts and more will be on sale in the festival’s long hall. Yoga sessions will again be held each morning for those willing to brave a downward dog with a hangover. Other workshops are to be announced. The fest is BYOB and is 21 and up only. Those interested in vending, teaching a free workshop or who have specific questions should send an email with a description of your products and a website link to contact@shadowwoodsmetalfest.com

Weekend Passes for SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST are available for $130 at BrownPaperTickets.com. Tent camping is included with the weekend pass. People who want to reserve cabin beds can do so for an additional $20 for the duration of the fest. Only 400 weekend passes will be available and about one-third have sold so far. A limited number of day passes will go on sale in August.

SHADOW WOODS METAL FEST 2016 Complete Lineup:
A SOUND OF THUNDER (DC) **traditional old-school heavy metal
ATHAME (MD/WV) **black
AT THE GRAVES (MD) **solo doom-sludge
ACID WITCH (Detroit) **horror death
BLOOD STORM (PA/TX) **black thrash
BOUND BY THE GRAVE (Baltimore) *death
CEMETERY FILTH (TN) ** death
CEMETERY PISS (Baltimore) **black
COFFIN DUST (Philadelphia) **death
CORPSE LIGHT (Baltimore) *doom
DARSOMBRA (MD) **psychedelic drone
DESTROYER OF LIGHT (Austin, TX) **sludge
EMPYREUS (Chicago) **black
FAITH IN JANE FEATURING WINO (MD) ** doom trio joined by the godfather of the sound
GENEVIEVE (MD) **experimental black
GHOST BATH (ND) **suicidal depressive black
GRAVE GNOSIS (St. Petersburg, FL) **black
HAXEN (Rhode Island) **black
HELGAMITE (VA) **doom/stoner/sludge
HELLEBORUS (Manitou Springs, CO) **black
HERON (NC) **black
HORSESKULL (NC) **sludge/doom
LOTUS THIEF (CA) **blackened space rock
MYOPIC (DC) **death/doom
NUMENOREAN (Calgary, AB) **post-black
SACRIFICIAL BLOOD (NJ) **thrash death
SADGIQACEA (Philadelphia) **doom/sludge/black
SADISTIC VISION (PA/NC) **death
SAPREMIA (New Jersey) **death
SURGEON (Philadelphia) **progressive
TELOCH VOVIN (NY) **black
TEMPLE OF VOID (Detroit) **doom
TENGGER CAVALRY (NY/CHINA) ** Mongolian folk
T.O.M.B. (Philadelphia) **ritual noise
TOMBS (Brooklyn) ** black/post-metal
TORRID HUSK (WV) **depressive/melodic black
VORATOR (Richmond) **death/thrash
WIZARD EYE (PA) **doom
XEUKATRE (Baltimore) **black
ZUD (Maine) ** black

http://shadowwoods2016.bpt.me/
http://www.shadowwoodsmetalfest.com
http://www.facebook.com/shadowwoodsmetalfest
https://www.facebook.com/events/1690461561167442/

Shadow Woods Metal Fest 2016 promo

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Wino Wednesday: Get Well Soon, Wino

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 19th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

wino wednesday

I’ve been kicking around the idea lately of ending Wino Wednesdays. I mean, it’s been over three years. We’ve covered an awful lot of the man’s career with The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, Shrinebuilder, Premonition 13, solo band, solo acoustic, guest spots, and so on, and aside from having run a decades-long gamut of the available videos, it’s starting to feel a little fanboyish. Don’t get me wrong, I dig Wino‘s work a lot, but I’m not trying to stalk the guy. 162 weeks later, I worry it’s getting to be a bit much.

Last week, Scott “Wino” Weinrich got arrested in Norway with what turned out to be 11 grams of of meth. Not an inconsiderable amount. He was deported back to the US, which left the remaining three members of Saint Vitus to finish out the last few shows of their 35th anniversary co-headlining European tour with Orange Goblin on their own. They did it, and from what I’ve heard they were pretty good, but no question it wasn’t the victory lap they had in mind. The whole situation was a bummer on just about every level, and it brought to mind a refresher of just how rampant addiction is in this community. Everything from meth to coke to prescription abuse to beer to vinyl, doom appeals to those who have a habit of forming habits. All the more reason to watch out for your friends and hope they do the same for you.

Wino issued a statement yesterday to Decibel saying he’s entered rehab for treatment and he’ll be back next year with a new Wino & Conny Ochs release, a new solo album, a new webshop and a biography. That’s all well and good — except perhaps for the biography, which much to my personal disappointment I didn’t get to write — but the important thing is that he gets himself well first. New records and projects are cool, but life needs to take precedence. On behalf of this dinky website, I wish Wino all the best in the challenge ahead of his recovery. We’ll be here, continuing to pull for him each week, for the foreseeable future.

Here’s that statement:

At this time I feel it is necessary to release an official statement of the facts in regard to my recent deportation from the country of Norway. First, I want to apologize to all Saint Vitus fans, and to my band members and crew for my lapse in judgment that ultimately resulted in me missing the last six shows on our Born Too Late 35th anniversary European tour. On November 9th before noon just over the Norwegian border, I was arrested for possession of an illegal substance. I take full responsibility for the consequences of my actions. The other members and crew were unaware of my substances use. I was truthful with the authorities, and initially sentenced to 16 days in jail minus the three initial days immediately following my arrest. On those days I was in solitary confinement, with no reading or writing material and fed solely bread water. Despite these conditions, I was treated respectfully and cordially by all Norwegian authorities. Initially, I believed I would be fined, allowed to continue the tour, and upon its end, I agreed to return to Norway to finish my sentence. I was disheartened to realize that I was to be deported straightaway back to the US, and not allowed to finish the tour. I sincerely regret the inconvenience and loss incurred by everyone involved with these gigs, the inspiring co-headlining Orange Goblin, our booking agent, promo folks and the venues, and of course fans and ticketholders. I want to salute the members of Saint Vitus for carrying on with these shows without me, and proving admirably the class of true road warriors they are. Again, my deepest apologies to all. After several productive years of sobriety, the rigors of almost nonstop touring and life’s circumstances led me to develop a dependency that has become detrimental to my health and now, my freedom. As of now, I am currently off the road, and actively engaged in treatment.

And THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES….

I will continue my course of creating music and art. Early next year you will see the release of “WINO AND CONNY OCHS” new full-length recording, “FREEDOM CONSPIRACY” on Exile on Mainstream records. Also on the near horizon: A full-length Wino solo acoustic recording, the launch of my art and music web store, and my no holds barred biography.

Thanks to all who Believe!
Wino, November 18th,2014

And to keep with Wino Wednesday tradition, here’s Saint Vitus doing “Saint Vitus” in Stockholm, Sweden, at Wino‘s most recent show with the band:

Saint Vitus, “Saint Vitus” Live at Debaser Strand, Stockholm, Nov. 8, 2014

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan, “Dove-Tongued Aggressor” Live at Hellfest 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 30th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

As an American, it’s hard for me to imagine the scale of an event like Hellfest, which takes place every June in Clisson, France, but certainly easy enough to admire it. The Valley stage seems to be here Hellfest hosts its Heavy, and from the likes of Black Pyramid to Neurosis to Unida, it’s a stage that’s been graced by some of the best bands the underground has to offer. This year, as part of their European reunion tour, Spirit CaravanWino on guitar/vocals, Dave Sherman on bass/vocals, Henry Vasquez on drums — made a stop at Hellfest as well, which seems only fitting. Wino had played there with The Obsessed a couple years back, and after appearances this spring at Desertfest and of course across the US, it’s a natural stop.

Perhaps it’s because I didn’t get to see them on their North American tour with Pilgrim that I’m so hung up on footage from the Spirit Caravan reunion gigs this year, or maybe it’s just that there’s so much video out there that I have a lot to choose from. Either way, the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. The clip below of “Dove-Tongued Aggressor” finds the three-piece locked into one of their most satisfying rolling grooves, Vasquez killing it on drums as he will while Sherman tilts his head back for the ride and Wino stands poised at the microphone like he’s about to fight it. Very, very cool video.

The song was featured earlier this year around the time the US dates were announced and comes from Spirit Caravan‘s swansong 2003 compilation, The Last Embrace. It’s one of the last tracks they’d record before splitting up, and echoes some of the themes Wino would later explore in The Hidden Hand, but as they showcase here, is still definitively a Spirit Caravan nod.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Spirit Caravan, “Dove-Tongued Aggressor” Live at Hellfest 2014

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan Honors Jason McCash in Tennessee

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 16th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

The Spirit Caravan reunion US tour is over as of last night, but I expect we’ll be seeing videos still coming out from it for a while. One of the best I’ve seen, or at least the most heartening, is this one from Tennessee. Playing The Hideaway in Johnson City just last week, Spirit Caravan bassist/vocalist Dave Sherman took the time to shout out fallen The Gates of Slumber bass player Jason McCash and say a few words about him and the underground doom community as a whole — subjects about which he knows no small amount, to be sure. Though Spirit Caravan won’t have had the chance, Sherman‘s own outfit, Earthride shared gigs and festival bills numerous times with the Indianapolis trad doomers, and The Gates of Slumber were always embraced by Maryland’s passionate scene — a haven of believers if ever there was one.

That remains the case, actually, since Baltimore’s The Sidebar will host a benefit for McCash‘s family on July 12 with Earthride headlining and Pale Divine, Argus and Beelzefuzz on the bill. It’s one of several tributes to McCash set for the coming months with the money going to his widow and children. More info on that here.

Spirit Caravan head to Desertfest next week and continue their reunion in London and Berlin. After that, it’s something of a mystery. Saint Vitus are set to begin their 35th anniversary tour on May 8 (dates here) and that will run through most of the rest of the month, and beyond that, I’d presume either Europe or recording with one band or another. The Obsessed are still ostensibly “active” too, though at this point that’s the reunion that has resulted in the fewest shows, sticking mostly to festivals in the US and abroad.

Whatever comes, I’ll do my best to keep up with it, and in the meantime, enjoy Sherman, Wino and drummer Henry Vasquez as they honor Jason McCash with “Fang,” which comes off their 1999 debut, Jug Fulla Sun. Have a great Wino Wednesday:

Spirit Caravan, “Fang” Live in Tennessee, April 6, 2014

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Wino Wednesday: Wino, Full Set Live in Prague, April 20, 2009

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 26th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

The story of the short-lived Wino trio fronted by guitarist/vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich and featuring Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster and bassist Jon Blank, who passed away after the band’s return from their European tour, effectively ending the project, is pretty well known and I don’t think it really needs to be rehashed at this point. Blank‘s death is something of a stigma that rests over that band’s otherwise glorious 2009 debut, Punctuated Equilibrium, and of course the subsequent Live at Roadburn 2009 live record released in 2010 in his memory. Listening to that album or watching a video like this one, filmed in Prague on April 20 of that year, it becomes all the more apparent how much of a loss Blank was and how much potential the Wino trio had for moving on creatively after their first album. With Wino and Gaster driving the jams and Blank adding solid, dynamic rhythms, there was a chemistry beginning to solidify.

And I guess it’s precisely because the spectre of Blank‘s passing would always be looming that, to  date, the Wino trio hasn’t done anything else. With Saint Vitus, The Obsessed and Spirit Caravan having reunited, I wouldn’t necessarily write off Weinrich and Gaster getting together again at some future point, but it hardly seems likely anytime in the near future. Still, their live sets were like a mixtape from Weinrich‘s catalog, and hearing Gaster play cuts by The Obsessed and Spirit Caravan in addition to the Punctuated Equilibrium tracks brought that material into the Wino fold with a different and refreshed feel, not quite like anything else Weinrich had done before.

So, with the usual caveat to celebrate what was and what could’ve been, here’s the full half-hour set recorded by the Wino trio on their Spring 2009 European tour. Enjoy and have a happy Wino Wednesday:

Wino, Live in Prague, April 20, 2014

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Wino Wednesday: Wino Perform The Obsessed’s “Skybone” at Doom Shall Rise 2009

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 11th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Their tenure was brief, but the Wino trio nonetheless hold a place in the lore of their namesake guitarist/vocalist, tragic though it ultimately turned out to be. Formed with Scott “Wino” Weinrich himself, drummer Jean-Paul Gaster of Clutch and Rezin bassist Jon Blank, the Wino trio released their only studio album, Punctuated Equilibrium, through Southern Lord in 2009. It was very well received (one of my favorites from that year) and worked in a lighter, jammier spirit than did The Hidden Hand, which had dissolved in 2007. Of course, it was still plenty weighted and had no shortage of crunch and fuzz, but the grooves Gaster worked around Wino‘s riffing and the warm, natural low end brought to the material from Blank made the record a joy to listen to on multiple levels. It came out in winter and made you long for summer.

I was fortunate enough to see the Wino band at Roadburn in 2009 as part of a weekend that, no bullshit, changed my life. They killed, as one would expect, and later released the set as the aptly-titled Live in Roadburn 2009 on Burning World/Roadburn Records (review here). The chemistry between the three players was fully locked in, from the balcony in the Green Room at the 013 in Tilburg, they looked to be having a great time, and they looked like a band who could very easily go for a long time doing whatever they wanted in between Gaster‘s commitments to Clutch, jamming and rocking out tunes like “Wild Blue Yonder” and “Release Me,” “Smilin’ Road” and “The Woman in the Orange Pants.” Given that, how on their game they were, it was all the more horrible when the band returned to the States and Blank died of an overdose a short time later.

Wino joined Clutch on a tour that summer with Gaster pulling double-duty on drums and Dog Fashion Disco‘s Brian White filling the bassist slot, but it wasn’t ever going to be the same, and by the fall of 2009, Wino was beginning the unplugged explorations that would result in his 2010 solo acoustic debut, Adrift (review here), the trio effectively defunct. There isn’t much quality live footage around of them — not every cellphone was an HD video camera in 2009 — but this clip of them playing “Skybone,” the centerpiece from The Obsessed‘s 1994 final studio album, The Church Within, at the German Doom Shall Rise festival on that lone European tour makes it plain that they were something special in their time.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Wino, “Skybone” Live at Doom Shall Rise 2009

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