Last night I got to see Black Dub perform at Lincoln Hall here in Chi-town in support of their self titled debut album which was released earlier this month. Black Dub is Daniel Lenois’ newest project which includes the masterful Brian Blade on drums, Daryl Johnson on Bass, Daniel on guitar and the soulful Janis Joplinesque voice of Trixie Whitley, who jumps on a second drum kit during a couple of songs and also play keys.
I first caught them by accident while reading a music blog a few months back. Later I saw their one camera videos of them recording live with SM58’s and 57’s in Daniel’s home studio and I was sold. This band plays a unique down tempo blend of reggae, funk, jazz, soul and blues that could only be mixed in the head of legendary producer Daniel Lanois. No joke this band has a very special sound that is capped off with the very passionate vocals that Trixie, daughter of Bluesman Chris Whitley, brings to the table. Her voice is absolutely insane…
They kicked off the show with “Love Lives” which is one of my favorite songs on the album and followed it up with the soothing “I Believe in You”. If you havent heard these songs check them out in the links below. They will blow your mind.
“I Believe in You”
The show had a specially haunting mood and was perfectly mixed by Daniels long time engineer Mark Howard whom I chatted with after the show. Of course as usual per my luck, I was standing right behind the only drunk couple in the room which were enjoying their inebriated state more than they were enjoying the magic before them. Oh well, I can’t afford to have Black Dub all to myself… Anyways, Daniel’s guitar playing madness, Brian’s dub groove and Trixie’s crooning gave me musical Zen. Words can’t describe when Trixie sang “Surely”. Did I mention her voice is insane???
After saying goodnight and disappearing for a moment they came back for their encore. They sang “Silverado” which Chevy should use for one of their truck commercials. I’m just saying… After their encore my guests and I were invited backstage by the bands tour manager Seth, who is a very cool dude.
As soon as the door opened I heard. “We love Shure mics, come on in!” We hung out and chatted a bit with Seth, Mark and Daniel about the tour, Daniel’s studio and Mark’s crazy ideas about torturing our mics, but my favorite quote of the night was when Daniel said, “Your preaching to the choir, I’ve used Shure mics on stage and in the studio for a very long time. You can’t go wrong with a SM58 and 57 on anything.” He was not joking either, for the first time in my life I saw a SM58 on toms and it sounded great.