Soulive’s residency at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl will continue this weekend. Tonight, Sam Kininger and London Souls’ Tash Neal will guest with the group, while Q-Tip will deliver a guest DJ set after the show, and a sit-in is certainly possible.
Meanwhile, Ivan Neville is the latest confirmed Bowlive participant and will join the trio during its set on Saturday. Next week will also see appearances from Charlie Hunter (Tues.), Oteil Burbridge and Kofi Burbridge (Wed.), Rahzel and Questlove (Thurs.), Marco Benevento (Fri) and DJ Logic (Sat.).
As for last night, the group offered the following rundown on its site:
Nigel arrives donned in red-on-red top-wear, graced with white jacket and white scarf…‘nuff said? If you don’t quite understand what this means to the beginning of night three at Bowlive, allow me to explain…
9pm hits and Nigel Hall begins his “solo set”, but the previously mentioned garb means he has tricks up his sleeve. Like forcing a houseful of bowlers to come to tears by duetting with the one and only Sonya Kitchell. Or, knowing that he’s commanding some presence, bringing out the entire Soulive Trio out to be HIS backing band! Well, the set was beautiful, soulful, engaging. Thank you, Nigel…you sounded (and looked) great.
When Soulive returned to the stage, they did so with a vengeance. Starting off as the Trio, Eric, Neal and Alan let the crowd know that this was about to be a show for the books, they wasted no time and brought out long-time partner in the verses of Funk, Sam Kininger. Sam pulled out all the stops, taking front stage center and blowing his heart out.
After a short set break, the temperature in the room began to rise. Back to Soulive featuring the Shady Horns, as Kininger and thus-far-nightly-guest Ryan Zoidis made themselves at home behind their saxophones and shades. The set was heavy and felt just so right. Even the prodigy Eldar Djangirov came up to sprinkle some Fender Rhodes on For Granted. The version of El Ron that closed this set was proof that keeping family and friends close is essential; I’m talking about tight and killing, no other words could describe it.
A couple guys just walked in the room. It’s cold outside, heavy jackets and hats required, so I need a closer look. Up in the greenroom I see Adam Deitch and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff and start counting heads on my fingers and toes…we got some Lettuce and it’s about to get FUNKY! Alan was so kind as to let Deitch sit on his throne, but he didn’t stray far, as the backline for the powerhouse Lettuce stage-front of Neal, Kraz, Shmeeans, Nigel and Deitch was packed full with Alan on percussion and vocals, next to Kininger, Zoidis, Blake Hillard and James Casey. Binky Griptite of the Dap Kings was kind enough to lend his uber-tight guitar work to the stage, sharing solos and laying down tasteful rhythm chops on at least half of the rage on stage.
The music was out of this world, the crowd was dancing – even mid-bowl in the lanes – and I still can’t believe we’re on night three of ten! I wear a suit and tie like I’m going to the office every day, but I’d say this job comes with some funky perks….