Merl Saunders and Friends – 05/10/1990 – New York, NY

Merl Saunders and Friends
Wetlands Preserve
New York, NY
5/10/1990

Soundboard

Set 1
1. My Problems Got Problems
2. Boogie On Reggae Woman
3. banter – Merl thanks us, promotes Blues From The Rainforest project
4. Blues From The Rainforest
5. High Heeled Sneakers
6. The Jealous Kind
7. banter – dedication to Bill Graham
8. After Midnight
9. banter – setbreak announce

Set 2
1. band intros / tuning
2. Expressway To Your Heart
3. You Can Leave Your Hat On
4. Do I Move You?
5. banter – meeting Willie Dixon
6. Built For Comfort
7. banter – inviting up Warren Haynes
8. Sugaree *
9. band intros
10. Hey Mona *+
(the encore was John Popper’s solo rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” on harmonica, but is not on the recording).

The Band:
Merl Saunders – organ, vocals
Steve Kimock – guitar
John Popper – harmonica
Harvey Brooks – bass
Christopher Parker – drums
Sammy Figureoa – percussion
Ray Chew – other keyboards

* = w/Warren Haynes on guitar
+ = no lyrics

Merl dubbed this lineup his “New York Rainforest Band”

There are random bursts of minor feedback at various points in the first set — luckily they aren’t too bad so I didn’t worry too much about filtering them out. Merl’s vocals are pretty low in the mix for the first vocal tune (S1T2) until they get turned up afterwards (I was there and I distinctly remember his vocals being far too low for way too long! You can hear him say “Can you hear me?” as he addresses the crowd in S1T3, and we all yelled back “NO!”). There is some slight distortion on the bass guitar in S2T2. I also did a good bit of work getting the volume levels right for the beginning of the show, as they were overloading for the first few seconds of the song during some percussion hits (and I used SoundForge 10’s “clip peak restoration” tool to remedy about 8 brief overloaded peaks in the very beginning of the 1st song) then suddenly dropped a lot, and then dropped again later in the song. This should all be nicely smoothed out at this point.

Taper Notes:
Talk about history….this show that I’m putting out as BARN128 is deep for me. To start with — it was my first time seeing both Merl Saunders and Steve Kimock. But more importantly — this was my first time ever going to Wetlands. I’d been hearing about Wetlands for quite a while before this….At the time I was still a student (a sophomore at Rutgers University), living in New Brunswick, NJ. I had gotten in the habit of reading The Village Voice each which, which they gave away for free at our Student Center (yes, this was back when The Voice actually cost $1 I think), and included a section with listings for all of the NYC clubs — Wetlands, Knitting Factory, Tramps, Irving Plaza, etc. Each week I scanned the Wetlands ad with anticipation. And on this week they listed “Merl Saunders and his friends”. Well, ask any Deadhead who Merl’s best friend was — and of course the answer would be “Jerry Garcia!” So, sitting around with Al, who at the time was one a housemates’ boyfriend (yes, I lived in an off-campus house with 10 people), our 20 year old brains were like “We need to be at this!” on the chance we might get to see Jerry sit-in at a tiny place. (Of course the nearly 42 year-old me knows better than to think Jerry would have dropped-in anywhere!) So he picked us up tickets for us and we trained into NYC.

Anyone who has actually been to Wetlands knows that it was not easy to find — it was in a strange neighborhood near the Holland Tunnel that at the time was mostly a warehouse-y district (though now it’s part of the super swanky neighborhood known as “Tribeca” [standing for the “Triangle Below Canal”]….and of course we wandered around trying to find it before finally getting there. Of course EVERYTHING at Wetlands ran super late, so we had no issue making the show. This was, by the way, in the era before they turned the kitchen to the left of the stage (where they sold burritos and Ben & Jerry’s Peace Pops) into the backstage area, so the band had nowhere to go between sets, except downstairs into the lounge to mingle among the fans.

Though Jerry was apparently not in the house on this night, Merl’s “Friends” were still pretty special. I was in a tiny room with Merl playing and GETTING DOWN onstage (like he always did!), John Popper playing for the entire show, Warren Haynes (who I did know from seeing the Allman Brothers the previous summer) during the 2nd set (I was in awe of being in the same small room with him at the time!), and a bunch of other great musicians, including Steve Kimock, who I didn’t really get to know more about until a number of years in the future.

This show featured, musically, a number of classics I was familiar with from some of the Jerry & Merl (and “Legion Of Mary”) live recordings I had — including “Expressway To Your Heart”, “Boogie On Reggae Woman”, “High Heeled Sneakers”, “My Problems Got Problems”, and “You Can Leave Your Hat On”; other covers I was well familiar with “After Midnight”, “Sugaree”, “Hey Mona”; and funky/bluesy covers that I wasn’t previously familiar with — “Built For Comfort”, “Do I Move You?”, “The Jealous Kind”. But the centerpiece of the show is surely Merl’s recent composition “Blues From The Rainforest” from his just-released album (that this show was sort of a party for) — it’s a musical tour-de-force that takes the listener on a journey. Apparently this album went on to be a huge hit for Merl, topping the “New Age” music charts. I’m not quite sure what New Age music is (or was?) or if there’s even such a chart anymore…

Back to this recording, I actually did tape this show on cassette back in the day, but my original cassettes were somehow misplaced. Luckily a few years later this show magically turned up on a tape list from SOMEONE (I can’t recall who) who I was arranging a DAT tape trade with, and voila — hole in my collection filled….and with a nice soundboard recording. While generally I prefer a quality audience recording, the mix in the venue on this night was poor at best, and I was never happy with my original recording — so this version holds up better. The only drawback is that John Popper came out and played a solo encore of “The Star Spangled Banner” on harmonica, and it’s not on the recording at all. :(

Anyway this was a historic night for me, and the music holds up very well 22 years later. I saw Merl Saunders probably 15 more times until he took ill and then passed on a few years back, so I’ll have a lot more Merl in the BARN series for you all eventually!

Enjoy!

Scott

Blues Traveler – 8/01/2009 – Freeport, ME

Blues Traveler
Discovery Park
LLBean Free Concert Series
Freeport, ME
August 1, 2009

1 Set show
Disc 1
Sweet Talking Hippie>
What’s For Breakfast
Run-Around
Forever Owed
Defense & Desire>
You Reach Me
Mulling It Over>
But Anyway

Disc 2
Yours
You, Me & Everything
Nail>
NY Prophesie
The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Hook

E: Brother John

Blues Traveler – 6/27/2009 – Franklin, OH

Blues Traveler
June 27th, 2009
J.D. Legends
Franklin, OH

Disc 1
01. Slow Change
02. Girl Inside My Head >
03. But Anyway
04. Eventually >
05. NY Prophesie >
06. Manhattan Bridge >
07. You, Me & Everything >
08. Run-Around
09. Forever Owed >
How You Remember It >
10. I Want You To Want Me
11. Borrowed Time
12. The Mountains Win Again

Disc 2
01. Love & Greed >
02. Just For Me
03. The Path
04. The Devil Went Down to Georgia
05. Hook
Encore
06. What’s For Breakfast

Blues Traveler – 9/01/2002 – Pittsburgh, PA

Blues Traveler
September 01, 2002
Pittsburgh, PA
Hartwood Acres Amphitheatre

Taped & transfered to CDR by Chuck Parish
Riped & Edited by Alex Herd

1 set:
Disc 1:
01. Back In The Day >
02. Optimistic Thought
03. This Ache >
04. NY Prophesie >
05. Believe Me >
06. You Reach Me
07. Fucked Run >
08. Hangover >
09. The Mountains Win Again >
10. Love & Greed
11. -banter/happy birthday-
12. Stand >
13. Carolina Blues >
14. Sweet & Broken
15. All Hands >
16. Drums > Bass > Drum & Bass >
17. All Hands

Disc 2:
01. Slow Change >
02. Sadly A Fiction >
03. Freedom
04. Crash Burn >
05. Hook
06. -pre encore banter/band intros-
Encore 1:
07. The Path >
08. Blackbird >
09. Black Water >
10. Run-Around >
11. The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Encore 2:
12. But Anyway

Blues Traveler – 7/31/1998 – Holmdel, NJ

BLUES TRAVELER
PNC Bank Center
Holmdel NJ
7-31-1998

HORDE FEST

1. Stand
2. Mulling It Over
3. Carolina Blues*>
4. Business As Usual*
5. The Devil Went Down To Georgia
6. All In The Groove>
7. Crash Burn*>
8. Hook
9. The Joker
10. Love Of My Life
11. But Anyway
12. Mountain Cry^

Encore
13. Love & Greed

* Ben Harper on guitar
^ Warren Haynes on guitar

Source:Microtech Gefel 210>Aerco>SBM1>Sony D8>DAT FOB Left Center
Transfer:DAT>Sony R300>Optical>MeritLine USB Adapter>PC>CD Wave>FLAC Frontend (Level 8)
Taped & Transfered: Freddie G

Blues Traveler – 8/11/1997 – Holmdel, NJ

Blues Traveler
August 11th, 1997
PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

Master by Alan Curtis
Conversion by Dave Mallick

01. Support Your Local Emperor [09:29.25]
02. Yours [07:29.70]
03. Escaping [07:33.57]
04. Regarding Steven [04:50.33]
05. Fledgling [08:39.62]
06. Hook [07:26.66]
07. E: Business As Usual* [10:46.70]
Total: [56:17.08]

* with violin only

Possibly the most-hyped show the band has ever played, this was billed as “where rock & roll slams into a full symphonic orchestra”. The band played with 25 members of the Paramus Symphony Orchestra backing them and even made the unusual step of releasing the setlist ahead of time. Me’Shell NdegeOcello and Medeski, Martin & Wood played sets with the orchestra to open the show, Chris Rock emceed the evening’s events, and DJ Swamp played a short set before Blues Traveler took the stage.

After the main set was played, the band left the stage and the lights came up, leading to much displeasure amongst the crowd – many of whom were expecting a full show – so the band came back out to play an impromptu encore, joined by one brave violinist from the orchestra (who had remained on stage).

Blues Traveler – 12/29/1996 – Lake Placid, NY

Blues Traveler
12/29/96
Olympic Center
Lake Placid, NY

Disc 1
Set 1
01.Mulling It Over>
02.Closing Down The Park>
03.Mulling It Over
04.Stand
05.Great Big World
06.Price To Pay
07.Gina
08.Diner
09.Regarding Steven
10.What’s For Breakfast
Disc 2
Set 2
01.Alone>
02.Sweet Talking Hippie
03.Love & Greed
04.Felicia
05.The Gunfighter>
06.Hook
07.Optimistic Thought
08.Should I Stay Or Should I Go?>
09.Run-Around
10.But Anyway

Disc 3
Encore
01.Whoops

Blues Traveler – 7/05/1993 – Bonner Springs, KS

Blues Traveler
Monday, July 5th, 1993
Sandstone Amphitheater
Bonner Springs, Kansas

Disc 1: (30:46)
01.) (0:19) Intro
02.) (2:43) Dropping Some NYC >
03.) (8:28) Slow Change
04.) (3:23) Optimistic Thought
05.) (6:07) New York Prophesie
06.) (9:42) Whoops

Disc 2: (54:22)
01.) (7:17) But Anyway
02.) (4:51) 100 Years >
03.) (11:15) Sweet Pain
04.) (5:53) Conquer Me
05.) (18:59) Mulling It Over
06.) (1:21) encore break
Encore:
07.) (4:41) Love & Greed

Show Notes:
-‘Kansas City’ tease in the middle of ‘Mulling It Over’.
-This was a H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons Of Rock Developing Everywhere) Festival show.
-Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler (who closed the show), Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Allgood, The Samples, Soulhat, and others also played.

Blues Traveler – 6/05/1993 – Houston, TX

Blues Traveler
June 5th, 1993
Tower Theater
Houston, TX

Disc 1 [68:36.56] (minutes:seconds.frames)
01. ///Gotta Get Mean> [02:39.19]
02. Gloria> [10:27.57]
03. Gotta Get Mean [01:55.44]
04. NY Prophesie [05:43.44]
05. Letter From A Friend [04:48.26]
06. Miss You [05:10.05]
07. Love & Greed [05:05.01]
08. Mulling It Over [07:00.03]
09. Dropping Some NYC [03:45.71]
10. Crash Burn [04:14.55]
11. Come Together [05:28.21]
12. Conquer Me> [06:03.54]
13. But Anyway [06:14.31]

Disc 2 [46:31.32]

01. Alone [13:43.11]
02. Slow Change [08:50.67]
03. Out Of My Hands> [04:30.35]
04. Go Outside & Drive> [12:17.22]
05. Gina [07:09.47]

Disc 3 [37:18.44]
01. Escaping [07:49.69]
02. Save His Soul [04:03.50]
03. Regarding Steven [05:28.34]
04. What’s For Breakfast [05:39.25]
05. E: Sweet Talking Hippie [14:17.16]

Notes:
- Track 1 cut in during Chan’s guitar intro; I faded in.
- Clone provided to me had a cut in d1t11 where it was obvious some music
was missing. Cut patched with an audience version of the track that had
been included as filler on the same tape; the patch runs from 4:11 to
4:36 and was matched as closely in volume as possible.
- Minor dropout at 10:10 of d2t01.
- Tape stopped after the end of d2t05; no music is lost.

SBD>DAT
Taper unknown; clone provided by Tony DeStefanis
Conversion by Dave Mallick

Blues Traveler – 3/19/1993 – Boulder, CO

Blues Traveler
03-19-1993
Fox Theater,
Boulder, CO

Disc One:

1. Bobby’s Noodling and Intro 01:23
2. Mulling It Over 06:29
3. Dropping Some NYC 03:32
4. Believe Me 04:45
5. NY Prophesie 05:49
6. Ivory Tusk 07:01
7. Save His Soul 04:38
8. Slow Change 09:19
9. The Poignant & Epic Saga Of 06:18
Featherhead And Lucky Lack
10. Come Together 05:11
11. Love & Greed 04:18

Total Time: 56:43

Disc Two:
1. Sweet Talking Hippie 19:40
2. Set Two Intro 01:26
3. 100 Years-> 03:43
4. Sweet Pain 13:07
5. But Anyway 07:41
6. Go Outside & Drive 10:17
7. Defense & Desire 04:56
8. Optimistic Thought 04:33
8. Crash Burn 03:14

Total Time: 67:39

Disc Three:

1. Bullshitter’s Lament-> 04:16
2. Conquer Me 05:56
3. Rock Me Baby 05:04
4. Brother John 10:54
5. Stage Announcements 01:19
6. Mountain Cry 12:04
7. Encore: Gina 06:53

Total Time: 46:31

SBD
Taped by Phil

Converted by The Rev. Kevin A. Robbins
SBEs fixed and converted to FLAC by Owen Williams