Ross Neilsen Therapy Hour Episode Two: John C.Stubblefield

IMG_0037RossNeilsen_TherapyHour_Podcast_Feb2016Welcome to episode number two of my podcast, The Ross Neilsen Therapy Hour. This episode I find myself in conversation with John C. Stubblefield. John plays bass in Memphis band, Lucero. One of my fav bands. I caught a couple shows at Lee’s Palace last fall and managed to reconnect with John for a quick chat. We run the gamut of music, life and beyond. Please enjoy and pass it along.

Listen to the podcast HERE

Harvest: bigger and better

I don’t know how they do it. Every single year they blow my mind a little more. I can never get in all the shows I want because there are Just.Too.Many.Great.Shows. This year I had to sacrifice a couple acts I knew I would see someplace down the road.  Since I only had the one show this year I got to see A LOT of shows. What a treat. here’s a some highlights:

Wednesday. My plan was to take it easy Wednesday and ease into it but when my best friend texted to say he had a “go out” pass from the wife I knew my plans had changed! Had to go check out my home boy Matt Andersen play with Halifax’s funkiest dudes, The Mellotones with The Wood Brothers Opening up. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this show. I’ve seen Matt a bazillion times. So I’m always curious how a new line up will translate. I know folks love Matt best when he’s solo but I really dig this. Nice playing and suited him well. I had a real nice moment midway through the show just absorbing it all. My pal, superstar to be, in the jam packed Blues tent. People going OFF on a Wednesday night. Real proud! The Wood brothers were great as well. Started a little mellow for my needs but they had me halfway through the set. Probably the best three piece version of Ophelia ever! Of course you can’t be out on a Wednesday and not visit the Wilser Room for some Reggae. Dub Antennae sounded as good as ever and was a nice way to wind it down.

Thursday: I was pretty pumped to see Lee Fields. If you saw Charles Bradley a few years back then this is in the same Dap Tone vein. Killer, Killer, Killer. What a powerful singer. Seriously tight band and one of the finest bassists I’ve ever seen. Only downside was not enough people there to witness it. I’m sure he’ll be back another year. After Lee it was the good Doctor his’self. Dr. John has been a musical hero to me forever. A living icon that embodies the very spirit and soul of an entire genre of music. Mac sounded and looked as phonky as ever. I must say though, for me personally, I prefer his old band, The lower 911. This new band gets it done but isn’t fully my cup of tea. After Dr. John, I hit up Wilser Room again to catch a bit of local Dead cover band, Just a Little Light, before I returned to the Blues tent to see Robert Randolph. Man, am I ever glad I went back to the tent. If you live under a rock and didn’t hear, late in Randolph’s set he started offering a guitar to a few people in the crowd. I thought to myself “that’d be cool”. By the time I thought that Robert had someone up and I thought “oh well”. The first guy he had up there didn’t last long before he got the boot. When that happened I stood up from my seat in the bleachers and decided to go for it. By the time I had my gut against the barricade Robert had a second guy up there. I still wasn’t giving up. I asked the gal to my left to hold my beer while I went and played Robert Randolph’s guitar and then I informed the security guy that I was gonna jump the fence and go play that guitar. He said I had to wait and get Robert’s attention. I said no. He was kind enough to allow me to walk around the barricade and stand right below Robert Randolph where I stared at him until he made eye contact. Then I made it clear that I wanted to play that guitar. He said “ok” and I jumped over the subs and onstage to remove my coat and get my hands on the guitar. Soon as I had electricity I went right for the throat. I knew if I pussy footed around I’d get booted off the stage. He turned around and gave me a big smile and nod indicating I was safe. So I rocked the next 5-10 minutes out with him and his band. Super fun and mind blowing to say the least. Here’s a pic my good pal Rob Pinnock snapped of the moment:
After the mind blowing show from RR and The Family Band I went back to Wilser’s Room to sit in with Just a Little Light and play a Dead tune. What a crazy fun night. Definitely on of my top Harvest Moments ever!

Friday: I woke up pinching myself and looking at mulitple photos from the night before. STILL can’t believe it hapened. Super surreal! Friday afternoon I caught some good blues in Officer’s Square from Shirly Jackson‘s band where her guitarist, Dylan, put on a clinic in tone! Saw a little bit of Bharath and his Rhythm four. For old school Chicago blues it doesn’t get any better than these guys. After I checked in to my Hotel I went back across town to meet up with my Mom as we had a date to see John Hammond. We did a little bit of Ruthie Fosters show in the Mojo tent first and then after a quick interview with my pal, Chris Kirby, we hit up the Playhouse. Sadly I had to sacrifice seeing Blackberry Smoke for John Hammond as they were on at exactly the same time. I’ve missed four or five Hammond perfomances in the past year or two so I NEEDED to see him. Man I’m I glad I did. Rick Fines opened up and killed as he always does. Rick has been a great influence on me and it’s always a treat to get a lesson from his live shows. The John came out. He delivered exactly what I expected. His voice is as soulful as ever and he absolutely destroyed his guitars. It was an incredibly inspiring performance from a true master of the blues. Post John Hammond, I ventured back to the Blues tent to see Blues Traveler. Not a show I expected to enjoy due to my aversion to harmonica but they killed it. They also seemed to have a really, REALLY good time doing it. Top shelf performance for a Friday night headliner. The afterburner Friday was the New Orleans based, The Revivalists. I missed these guys last year so made a point this year. Glad I did. Great vibe. Killer singer/frontman and everyone in the band was laying it down. What a party! After their show I went back to my hotel to get a nights rest. After all, I had “work” to do Saturday.

Saturday: I slept in. Woodshedded a few tunes in the afternoon to prep for our Blues by Invite show at the Hoodoo. After getting prepped I went over to load in and sound check. We had a killer tech crew in the tent so I was super comfortable already. Shortly after sound check I got word that our show was sold out!

With the Instigators and the Perpetrators on the bill I was real happy. Both are killer trios with two of my favourite badass guitarists and I was real happy a lot of peeps would be there to see them live.  Since I had a few hours before I needed to return to the Hoodoo I ran down the street to catch 45mins of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. I’ve been a Robinson fan since day one. One of Rock’s finest frontmen and vocalists ever. Period. This band is super groovy and brings that San Fran vibe hard. Neal Casal on lead guitar doesn’t hurt either!!! After seing as much as I could I went on back down to rock the hoodoo. We had a great time. Morgan Davis, Jay Nowicki, Chris Kirby, Keith Hallett and Peter Rioux all sat in with us. Super grateful so many people came out to support and REALLY thankful to the other musicians for sitting in with us to make so much fun for everyone. Here’s a pic of my and Newfoundland heartthrob, Chris Kirby, singing back ups on some Neil Young that Jay Nowicki from the Perpetrators was dishing out. Photo by Ryan Barton:

After our show I ditched my van and ran back to the blues tent for Galactic. One of the finest displays of musicality and showmanship I’ve ever witnessed. Easily one of my all time favourite Harvest shows. They repeatedly blew my mind. Their new singer, Maggie Koerner is DEADLY. The duet she did with the front man from the Revivalists was nothing short of perfect. Absolutely stunned me. Everyone I spoke with was on the same page. We witnessed musical greatness. Thank you HARVEST!!! NOTE: I awoke the next day with feeling a little ill in the AM. Pretty sure I got pregnant during Galactic’s set. It was THAT good.

After my brain stopped dripping out of my ear from Galactic, I went to an undisclosed location with some undisclosed Harvest volunteers to drink some undisclosed bevvies and wind down. Amidst the haze and fun, I had another Harvest moment. There were many volunteers there. Instead of talking about anything but work it was quite the opposite. These folks, after a grueling five days (not counting the work put in pre harvest) were not hating on anything. They were in fact, already brainstorming about how to make next year better. I was blown away. These are VOLUNTEERS people. Do you know how incredible that is? That people in this community have been inspired to take ownership of this festival, for zero money, and make it something that takes up their time throughout the year and they want, NEED to do this?! They work so hard. Put so much into it. I love it. I love them and I love this festival.

People often ask me, “What does Harvest mean to you”? I’ve been thinking about it a lot. It’s hard to put into words and I always fall short. It would be like saying what does you heart mean to you? or what does oxygen mean to you? Why is your family important to you? You know? questions like that. W all know in our heart and soul what it means but that’s the part of our existence where human language fails and you just KNOW something. This is how I feel about Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in beautiful Downtown Fredericton, NB. BIG LOVE.

Oh, and ummmm….Next year….25th anniversary…start getting excited, now.

“When My Trouble’s Gone” from the album RESURRECTION

Hello everybody,

so Tuesday is now your favourite day for the next ten weeks. We’ll release a track a week on youtube leading up to the release of our new record RESURRECTION this May. Below the song is a video documenting the creation or RESURRECTION. This song was written by Shawn Worden, James Sullivan and Ross Neilsen.
Feel free to share. RESURRESCTION is coming!!!
“When My Trouble’s Gone”

The Creation of RESURRECTION:

The Shack Up Sessions is now Available

Hey all,

I guess I’ve been more than delinquent about my blog for the past four months or so. I didn’t slip off the face of the earth. I’ve actually been traveling the face of the earth a fair bit. Spring and early summer took the band across country and an awesome, successful tour of Canada and we’ve spent the summer darting out of the Maritimes here and there to do some festival shows. All in all it’s been a great summer. Now that we’re into September a couple, three things are looming on the horizon. Harvest Jazz and Blues Fest, Fall Tour of Canada and WINTER! (Booo!)

Before I get into my Harvest Schedule and fall tour notes I wanted to mention that my new solo cd, THE SHACK UP SESSIONS is now available. This album was recorded in a shack just outside Clarksdale MS over a couple days in February 2012. You can buy the album online right HERE or you can get a physical copy at Backstreet Records stores in Fredericton and Saint John or you can visit CDBABY and they’ll mail you a copy. Check it out. I’m pretty pleased with the album. You can expect to see me touring this baby across Canada in early 2013.

HARVEST JAZZ AND BLUES: Another year of great music programming is almost underway from the peeps at Harvest. This year I’ve got a few shows to tell you about.
Thursday Sept 13, Maritime Monster Jam in the Mojo Tent. I get the great pleasure of hanging with some of my favourite axe slingers. MattAndersen, Keith Hallett, Garret Mason, Scott Medford and more.
Friday Sept 14, 2pm, Free Outdoor concert at Officer Square with Mike Shrimp Daddy Reid and Donna Grantis. This is a little stripped down preview of what you’ll get Friday night at the Hoodoo Tent. My pal Shrimp Daddy is a great singer and Harmonica player. Donna is one of the best guitarists anywhere.
Friday Sept 14, Hoodoo Tent. Blues by invitation. We’ve got a 2.5 hour review planned for you. Special Guests Carmen Townsend, Donna Grantis and Shrimp Daddy Reid will all be joining us to tear the roof off the place!
Saturday Sept 15, 4pm at The Playhouse. CD release for THE SHACK UP SESSIONS. I’ll be playing cuts from the new album. Tickets are $12 and get you a copy of the CD. Due to this package pricing Ultimate passes will not be honoured for this show. Tickets will be available in the lobby at The Playhouse. Stop by the Annex Gallery in The Playhouse after and see some of my photography from the trip to Mississippi.
Saturday Sept 15, 7pm. Bud Light Blues Tent. We kick things off for what is surely to me an incredible night of soul. Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones and the afterburner from Maceo Parker. Come Shake everything you got!
Should be a memorable Festival as always.

Sadly for us the Festival will mark Young Will Pacey’s last shows with RNB. We’ve had a blast playing with Will all over the country and wish him all the best in future endeavors. The following week on Sept 20th we’ll venture out on our Ninth tour of Canada. we’ll have a brand new van and a brand new bassist. Jamie Guitar will be taking over low end duties for the fall. We look forward to welcoming Jamie aboard. I hope you’ll get out to a show or two to meet the new guy. The first batch of tour dates have been posted on this site so check em out and get thee to a show!