Words, Photos and Video – Jake Krolick
The name Daniel Lanois should turn the head of any music fan. Seeing and hearing him play live with his new band Black Dub really shined some new light on this ultra- talented producer with the old soul of an artist. His work producing artists like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, U2 and Peter Gabriel are one thing. But as we watched Lanois interact with the three other band members on Johnny Brenda’s stage it was clear that his on stage emotions and abilities were a long time in the making. Lanois ripped on his vintage Gibson guitar in the most gallant and distinguished of ways. His touch on the strings was a unique mix of thumb picking, and finger plucks. He was not aggressive by any means bringing the most heated moments towards the end of the show as he soloed several times during Black Dub’s reworked reggae cover “Ring the Alarm”.
Black Dub’s singer plus second drummer and keyboard hand Trixie Whitley shined brilliantly all evening, you could say that she stole the show. Watching her contently the crowd traded their day jobs and button down shirts with old rock tees and pints of courage. They gazed up in amazement at the daughter of the bluesman Chris Whitley, as she traded lyrics with Lanois on the soulful Reggae tinged, “I Believe In You”. Whitley squirmed with a passion around the small stage. Her facets as a singer led one to a variety of comparisons, but Ms. Trixie Whitley had her own unique way with the octaves. She was quick on the delivery and between songs her speaking voice had a subtle sing-song quality that suggested she sung that well effortlessly hitting the highs or lows at her whim. As Whitley wrapped her sultry no holds barred voice around Black Dub’s smoldering original “Nomad”, her powerful and dynamic vocal range even pulled attention away from Daniel Lanois.
Black Dub is a clear project of love for Lanois. He surrounded himself with superb musicians who he dabbled with in a variety of styles, Gospel, Reggae, rock and Blues, each adding to the extremely palatable mix of music. Lanois was unafraid to push off the charted boundaries of the songs as he jammed freely with drummer extraordinaire Brian Blade and joining them on a second kit, Ms. Whitley during “The Maker”. Backed by the double drummers, the guitarist and producer unleashed a bit of the magic that he had brought into the recording studio and smiled as he charged away with his band into the night. Check Out Black Dub here – http://www.blackdub.net/