Photos by Lou Montesano
Eric Krasno regularly takes up residency at the Brooklyn Bowl. His annual Soulive shows have become highly anticipated events, with friends like Luther Dickinson, Susan Tedeschi and Robert Randolph joining him on his home stage. Williamsburg’s twenty-somethings have embraced Krasno’s eclectic mix of rock, funk and jazz served up in the old-fashioned jam-band style their parents rocked to a generation or more ago.
It was therefore only fitting that Krasno and his new lineup were the headliners chosen to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Brooklyn Bowl’s quirky blend of music and bowling in a lively beer hall atmosphere. In addition, Krasno had something of his own to celebrate: the release of a new album, Blood From A Stone, a fine effort that features the guitarist stepping out on vocals.
As if that weren’t enough for music fans to brave the TSA-like security on a steamy July night, opening for Krasno was the Marcus King Band, an eponymous six-piece powerhouse fronted by a 20-year-old phenom, to heat things up even further with a scorching set that took most of the audience by surprise. Hailing from Greenville, South Carolina, Marcus King is a protégé of the esteemed Warren Haynes and looks and plays very much like his mentor. King’s bluesy Southern rock is an updated version of the genre’s finest traditions. The band’s first album, Soul Insight, was released last year on Haynes’s Evil Teen label, and if the response from discerning Brooklynites is any measure, Marcus King is a talent to be reckoned with for years to come.
Krasno then took the stage with an air-tight band featuring Danny Mayer on guitar, Alex Chakour on bass, DeShawn Alexander on keys, Eric Kalb on drums and Mary Corso on vocals and tambourine. Jump starting the set with some playful jamming, Krasno stepped up and handled the lead vocals impressively on “Torture,” “Jezebel,” “Waiting On Your Love” and other songs from Blood From A Stone. The album’s only instrumental, “Curse Lifter,” was a dual-guitar showcase for Krasno and Danny Mayer along with DeShawn Alexander’s keyboards. Marcus King returned to sing and shred on the blues standard, “Sweet Little Angel,” and was warmly embraced by Krasno and the crowd.
From start to finish it was a four-hour show of forward-facing music and superb musicianship. Adding such fine new originals and strong vocals to his existing strengths as a six-string master, Eric Krasno is putting the progressive rock world on notice that he’s taking his game to a new level. He’ll be touring behind the new album all summer and into the fall, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see for yourself.