On January 31st, 2020, Live For Live Music and AEG will present the inaugural Denver Comes Alive at Mission Ballroom. Much like its East Coast forebearer, Brooklyn Comes Alive, Denver Comes Alive curates unique collaborations with nationally touring fan-favorite acts in the spirit of Jazz Fest after dark.
One enduring aspect of Brooklyn Comes Alive that will carry over to Denver Comes Alive this year is the “hybrid band,” a special collaboration between members of two touring acts. Past examples include [Br]eaking [Bi]scuits (members of Break Science and The Disco Biscuits) and moe.queous (members of moe. and Aqueous).
At the inaugural Denver Comes Alive on January 31st, the “hybrid band” slot on the lineup will be filled by Ghost-Live, a combination of two of the most skilled and adventurous bands in the land: Soulive and Ghost-Note. The never-before-seen collaboration will feature Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno and keyboardist/organist Neal Evans along with Ghost-Note drummer Robert Sput Searight, percussionist Nate Werth, and bassist MonoNeon.
Krasno and Evans have a long and storied musical history with Soulive, their former band, Lettuce, and as hired guns on a variety of other projects. Krasno has become a renowned solo artist in his own right while also maintaining his role as an in-demand musical director, producer, songwriter, and guest musician. Neal Evans has also emerged as a sought-after player in recent years. In 2018, he toured the world as part of Jack White‘s Boarding House Reach band.
Robert Sput Searight and Nate Werth came from the lineage of modern jazz fusion heavyweights Snarky Puppy, with whom they cut their teeth for years before branching off and starting the powerful funk fusion outfit, Ghost-Note. Searight and Werth have also contributed their world-class abilities to a variety of different projects. Sput has played and recorded with everyone from Kendrick Lamar to Herbie Hancock, while Werth has performed with the likes of Turkuaz, The Motet, TAUK, and more while continuing his touring role in Snarky Puppy.
After forming a bond with MonoNeon, the uber-talented and enigmatic former Prince bassist, Werth and Sput invited him to join Ghost-Note full-time. The three of them have been touring the globe alongside their bandmates ever since. The trio’s noticeable bond and a vast array of musical knowledge have quickly made them some of the most important players in the funk world today.
Both Soulive and Ghost-Note frequently embrace the role of “backing band” for a variety of talented artists. Soulive’s annual Bowlive residency at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl sees the trio—comprised of Krasno, Neal Evans, and Alan Evans—welcome a parade of high-profile featured guests on a nightly basis. Past Soulive guests have included Oteil Burbridge, Kofi Burbridge, George Porter Jr., Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, John Scofield, Marcus King, Sam Kinninger, Bernie Worrell, Susan Tedeschi, Jon Cleary, Joe Russo, Ivan Neville, and countless others.
Ghost-Note just got back from Jam Cruise 18, where they consistently demonstrated their prolific collaborative capabilities throughout the voyage. From their officially scheduled sets on the Pool Deck (day one) and in the Black & White Lounge (day three) to their work as the backing band on various “special jams” like Robert Sput Searight‘s “Purple” Jam Room (day two) and Casey Benjamin‘s Jazz Lounge session (day three) to their prominent role in Turkuaz’s recreation of Parliament‘s Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome (day four), it seemed like the Ghost-Note crew was onstage for virtually the entire journey.
While each of the individual musicians in Ghost-Live brings world-class talent to bear on their respective instruments, much of the excitement about this debut performance surrounds how the two factions will mesh together. If you’re familiar with either act, you surely already know that the upside potential is enormous. Ghost-Live will provide Krasno, Evans, Sput, Werth, and MonoNeon an unusual opportunity to feature each other. In particular, the addition of MonoNeon to the Soulive orbit has the potential to push the band in new directions. Since Soulive doesn’t have a bassist, Neal Evans customarily holds down both the bassline and the piano/synth parts. With one of the most talented bassists alive in the mix, Evans’ left hand will be free to explore new sonic terrain.
While Ghost-Live is a first-time collaboration, Krasno has sat in with Ghost-Note before. Below, you can prepare yourself for Ghost-Live at Denver Comes Alive with Krasno’s Ghost-Note sit-in at The Mayfair Hotel in Los Angeles, California last year.
Ghost-Note w/Eric Krasno – 7/27/19
[Video: Paul Giza]
Don’t miss Denver Comes Alive on January 31st at Denver’s Mission Ballroom featuring Ghost-Live and more exciting collaborations like Oteil & Friends, Poppa Funk & The Night Tripper: A Tribute to Art Neville & Dr. John, Star Kitchen & Friends, and more. Tickets are available here. For more information and ticketing details for Denver Comes Alive, head here.