All Them Witches: New Album Due in Feb.; Rockpalast Video Posted

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 14th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


Start the video below at about 37 minutes in and you’ll be treated to a new song from All Them Witches. The jam-prone Nashville heavy psych-blues rockers just wrapped a European tour alongside Israel’s The Great Machine, and while we knew back in September that their fourth album was done, when the aforementioned new song, “3-5-7,” ends, bassist/vocalist Michael Parks, Jr., confirms it will be out in Feb. 2017. One assumes the release will be through New West Records, through which the four-piece made their debut with 2015’s Dying Surfer Meets His Maker (review here), their third outing which they’ve spent much of this year on the road supporting.

Of course, after you check out “3-5-7” and sate your curiosity, you’ll want to go back to the start, as Parks, guitarist Ben McLeod, drummer Robby Staebler and Fender Rhodes-ist/violinist Allan Van Cleave run through tracks from Dying Surfer Meets His Maker and its two predecessors, 2013’s Lightning at the Door (review here) and 2012’s Our Mother Electricity (review here), starting with the thrust of “Dirt Preachers” before digging into wide-open-feeling versions of “Charles William” and “The Death of Coyote Woman.” The vibe is immediate and largely impermeable throughout the 80-minute set (there’s an interview included at the end as well), and not that All Them Witches needed to do much to prove their on-stage chemistry, but I’ll just say that there are very few bands I’ll sit of whom I’ll sit and watch a full live video front to back. They’re one of them.

The fact that it’s Rockpalast helps too when it comes to the utter professionalism of the video shoot, but even just listening to the audio I think my point stands up. Goes without saying their next record is among the most anticipated for 2017, so I’ll have more when I have it.

In the meantime, please dig in and enjoy:

All Them Witches, Live on Rockpalast, Cologne, Germany, Nov. 7, 2016

All Them Witches – Live in Cologne 2016
Track list:
01. Dirt Preachers
02. Charles William
03. The Death Of Coyote Woman
04. When God Comes Back
05. Mountain
06. Open Passageways
07. Talisman
08. 3-5-7
09. The Marriage Of Coyote Woman
10. Elk Blood Heart
11. Blood And Sand – Milk And Endless Waters
12. My Middle Name Is The Blues
13. Swallowed By The Sea
14. Interview with All Them Witches

Michael Parks Jr. – vocals, guitar, bass
Ben McLeod – guitar
Allan Van Cleave – keyboards, violin
Robby Staebler – drums

All Them Witches on Thee Facebooks

All Them Witches on Bandcamp

New West Records

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Samsara Blues Experiment, Rockpalast: The Path to Double Freedom

Posted in Reviews on May 13th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

I consider myself fortunate to have seen Berlin heavy psych purveyors Samsara Blues Experiment live the two times that I have, as both of their full-lengths to date – 2010’s Long Distance Trip (review here) and 2011’s Revelation and Mystery (review here) have shown the band becoming increasingly distinct within the European sphere. The second album in particular demonstrated a maturity in the four-piece’s approach that found them able to blend open jams and straightforward songcraft, tracks like “Hangin’ on the Wire” and “Into the Black” proving memorable as much for their hooks as for the wandering instrumental arrangements and feeling at any moment, the band might fly completely off the rails. Both of those songs, as it happens, find inclusion on the new, limited Rockpalast live recording – released on guitarist/vocalist/sitarist Christian Peters’ own Electric Magic Records – which was caught on tape while filming in October 2012 for the long-running German rock program of the same name. Alongside such jam-heavy pieces as “For the Lost Souls” and “Center of the Sun” from Long Distance Trip, a balance is struck throughout Rockpalast that finds Samsara Blues Experiment able to unite the varying sides of their approach, Peters and fellow guitarist Hans Eiselt, bassist Richard Behrens and drummer Thomas Vedder shifting with suitable ease from one side of the sound to the other without missing a step along the way, holding onto a wandering mentality even as they hit on some of their most structured parts and never quite letting go of the idea of the song as they play naturally off the chemistry they’ve built on stage over the last several years. In that way, Rockpalast captures Samsara Blues Experiment at their best, and though because it’s pulling from both albums and because it totals just under 80 minutes long, it’s probably going to be a richer listening experience for those familiar with the band than the previously uninitiated, it’s never been quite so easy to get lost in Samsara Blues Experiment’s hypnotic exploration as it is on the 17:51 version of “Double Freedom” included here.

That song – the amorphous nature of which is revealed in the fact that it was 13 minutes on their 2009 demo (review here) and 22 on Long Distance Trip – wasn’t included in the original broadcast of the show, but it closes the live set here as the eighth song and precedes and acoustic bonus track, a sitar-laden studio reworking of “Singata Mystic Queen,” which is shorter than the one that opens the set at 5:45, but still no less immersive than Samsara Blues Experiment has ever been, i.e., plenty. Peters’ voice comes very much to the fore on the live recording, and where one might expect that to provide an undue grounding effect on the material, there’s enough echo on him and his position is varied enough around the two guitars, bass and drums, that it’s not a distraction to the overall flow from one song, or indeed one part, into the next. Doubtless Samsara Blues Experiment’s consistent focus on the instrumental aspects of their sound deserves partial credit for that – for those who’ve heard them, they can make a driving verse riff like that of “Singata Mystic Queen” just as memorable as the more potent chorus of a song like “Hangin’ on the Wire,” which follows – but I think it’s also due to the fact that Rockpalast essentially mirrors and melds the flows of Long Distance Trip and Revelation and Mystery in how the set is put together. They open, as noted, with “Singata Mystic Queen,” which also opened the first album, and answer it immediately with “Hangin’ on the Wire,” the second track from the second album. “Army of Ignorance” and “For the Lost Souls,” the second and third cuts from the first album, follow in succession, and “Into the Black” follows them, the third cut from the second album. Already we see that the foursome are progressing down both tracklists of their studio outings, and they continue the pattern with “Center of the Sun” (album one, track four), “Outside Insight Blues” (album two, track five) and “Double Freedom” (album one, track six), closing with their most extensive piece to date before shifting into the acoustic bonus.

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Samsara Blues Experiment to Release Rockpalast Performance on CD

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 25th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Doubly stoked for this news about a new Samsara Blues Experiment live Rockpalast Crossroads CD, and here’s why: First, I continue to dig the fuzz-laden heavy psych the Berlin four-piece emit, and having seen them live last year at Desertfest and at Roadburn before that, I can tell you they bring it live. Second, the disc — which is to be released on SBE guitarist/vocalist Christian Peters‘ own Electric Magic Records — is also set to include an acoustic version of “Singata Mystic Queen,” a blissfully psychedelic jam that I’m curious to hear how they’ve reworked.

So there you go. I believe I’ve stated my case fully and clearly. In summation, these guys rule. Here’s word they sent over about the release and a link to watch the performance in its entirety prior to the April release:

New CD: SBE at Rockpalast

As some of you already witnessed Samsara Blues Experiment teaching folks at WDR Rockpalast a lesson of what the Blues can be beside those shiny icons blurring them muddy waters these days. Electric Magic Records will release the concert on CD garnished with an acoustic version of “Singata Mystic Queen” which has recently been recorded at Big Snuff Studio Berlin. The whole package will be adorned by amazing new livepictures by Thomas Lang. The release of this CD is set for April 2013 and will be limited to 500 pieces.

Alternatively you can watch the whole gig as well on the website of WDR Rockpalast.

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Friday Long-Player: The Flying Eyes at Rockpalast Crossroads 2011 (Full Set)

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 23rd, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Seems only reasonable to cap this week with The Flying Eyes, from Baltimore, as I’m situated outside the city for the weekend. The Patient Mrs. has family down here and I’ve adjourned early on what if the noise level emanating from downstairs is an ongoing evening, but yeah, I’m pretty much done with the night. I left work early to head south, we’ve got the dog with us, and there will be plenty more geniality tomorrow. Honestly, I think last night’s Thanksgiving food coma carried over into today. No amount of coffee could make me stir, and all a few glasses of wine with leftovers for dinner did was increase my longing for the comforts of pajamas, bed and laptop glow. So here I am.

The Flying Eyes have a new album in the works that I’m looking forward to hearing, and in the meantime, this full set from Rockpalast Crossroads is full-on righteous. There are a few young bands right now that make me excited for the prospects of next-gen American heavy. The Flying Eyes are one. Eggnogg are another, and bands like Pilgrim and Elder seem like a given by now, but they’re both still plenty young as well. As long as everyone remembers to turn the bass up, things should be just fine. I’m excited to hear what The Flying Eyes have in store for their next record.

Kind of wild week, but I guess that happens with holidays. In any case, I took a little shit for it, but I was glad to get that Om review up yesterday. Coincidence has it that they’re playing the Ottobar in Baltimore tomorrow night, with Arbouretum opening. I’ve never seen Arbouretum, and I’d like to, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Kind of a hard sell to be like, “Hey, yeah, we’re coming to stay with you for the weekend but by the way we’re gonna skip out and go to a show and oh by the way do you mind watching our dog for the night she’s allergic to peanut butter okay thanks bye!” Seems a little scummier than I’m interested in being, at least this weekend.

Nonetheless, I’m hoping to get into town proper tomorrow for a bit in the afternoon, maybe get a crabcake sandwich and hit a record shop or two, as is my wont. I’ll be sure to report on any and all acquisitions, and otherwise, stay tuned next week for reviews of Kowloon Walled City‘s new one, Cultura Tres, and probably one or two others, as well as a High on Fire live review — they hit Philly on Thursday and I’m going — an interview with Dylan Desmond about the new Bell Witch album and a track stream of the Don Juan Matus/Oxido split 7″ that’s been out for a while but I wanted to feature all the same because it’s limited and because it’s cool.

And speaking of audio, it seems only fair to give you the early heads up that on Monday I’m going to be launching a live, 24-hour streaming radio station. The Obelisk Radio. I’ll have more details Monday and you’ll probably be able to check it out before then since I’ll be putting the links up and stuff over the weekend, but yeah, that’s happening. Thanks to Johnny Arzgarth, I got the hard drive that was the old K666 from, Slevin essentially set up the stream, and I’ll be adding to it as we go. The first record that I put up today as a test — in addition to the hundreds already there — was Sungrazer‘s Mirador. Much more to come on that.

Until then, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. I will see you on the forum and back here Monday for a whole new league of shenanigans.

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