Soulive’s Bowlive residency featured a mix of sit ins this week. In addition to previously confirmed guest Charlie Hunter, Tuesday’s performance featured a surprise appearance by Derek Trucks Band’s Kofi Burbridge. The members of Soulive also offered a few songs off their new album of Beatles covers, Rubber Soulive, including “Drive My Car,” “Come Together” and “Get Back,” the latter of which featured no less than Burbridge, Hutner and the Soulive Horns.
Kofi Burbridge returned last night with his brother Oteil. MC Talib Kweli, who will DJ at the venue this Sunday, also made a surprise appearance. Soulive drummer Alan Evans offers the following:
So it’s 2:59am and I just got back from one of the most amazing musical experiences of my life!!!!! The day started off with rehearsals at Brooklyn Bowl which went really well. Kofi was there along with the Ryan, James and Blake and Nigel. Everything went great.
So after rehearsal Kofi and I split and decided to meet around 8:30 to walk back to the joint. I was sittin around shedding some guitar when I got an email from Kraz saying that some of our “special guests” for the evening were probably not going to be able to make it. A drag for sure but we were cool to blaze on through. 8:30 comes and I meet Kofi outside to head back. On our walk he says that it looks like Oteil might not make it now because of a delayed Allman Brothers Band rehearsal. Definitely a drag but again, we had enough tunes to make the night happen. So we get to the club and Nigel is minutes from going on. I go up and introduce him and he comes out sangin!!! After his first tune he invites Kofi up on A Song For You which Kofi just killed!!! Neal and I walk on after a few minutes in and we all really got in it. We ended Nigel’s set with Can’t Hide Love which was probably one of the best versions we have done with Nigel. The crowd was definitely ready but I’m not gonna lie, I thought I was ready but mannnnnn I sure wasn’t.
We out and kicked into Steppin which I was groovin hard right off the bat. After that we jumped into a shorter than normal version of Uncle Jr. which felt really really good. One In Seven was up next and that definitely got to some new places. We then brought Kofi out for Cash’s Dream and Turn It Out and he hit those tunes like he wrote them!!!
During our set break we found out that Oteil was actually a few minutes from the venue!!! He came in and it was truly like a family reunion. Oteil got himself situated after a really crazy day and then it was time to go on. This my friends is where we entered a place that is really hard to put into words. The first tune was a new/old tune of Kofi’s that we worked out in rehearsal (without Oteil) and that cat dropped in on bass like nobody’s business. Solo’s got thrown around the stage by almost everyone and everyone was killin. After that we did an Oteil joint called Butter Biscuit that we used to do with him back in the day. This where things started to hit critical mass and Oteil put his ankle in this one!!! At this point Nigel was killin on Rhodes and Moog, Neal and Oteil going back and forth on bass, Kofi blowin on flute, the horns blaring away…. had to have been like watching a tennis match.
Nigel then came to the front and we got into a little Signed Sealed Delivered Bobby Byrd style which had Oteil buggin. After that we got into We’re A Winner/Move On Up. At this point it’s just getting ridiculous. We’ve played many times over the years with Oteil and Kofi but I’ve never had this much fun with those cats. Both of them we’re just playing some of the most beautiful, transandental stuff I’ve ever witnessed. The night ended amazingly, but it wasn’t over yet….
Talib Kweli showed up and we did Get By with him which really got the crowed amped for the very last tune, the James Brown medley. We’ve been doing this for a while now but I think it’s pretty safe to say it was probably the best we’ve ever played. All the energy from the evening just fed us and I’m telling you, I could see electricity in the air. I really wish words could accurately describe what went down tonight. I really don’t know how it can get better than tonight. But I’m psyched to try!!!
Soulive’s residency at Brooklyn Bowl will continue tonight. Questlove and Rahzel are among the evening’s confirmed guests.