The Krasno/Moore Project kicked off its inaugural tour at Pennsylvania’s Ardmore Theatre on Friday with a mix of funk and jams that were positively mind-melting. The new band, featuring Galactic drummer Stanton Moore, Soulive guitarist Eric Krasno, and keyboardist Eric Finland produced an intoxicating blend of jams that saw each member of the trio in their absolute finest form before the packed and wildly enthusiastic crowd.

The group’s debut record, Krasno/Moore Project: Book of Queens, out March 17th, is an instrumental organ trio tribute to women in music. It was their first time playing some of the material since they recorded it late last summer and there was clearly a lot of love from the artists for these new, instrumental versions of their work stored up and raring to go.

Krasno/Moore Project – Ardmore Music Hall – Ardmore, PA – 3/10/23 – Preview

After a teardown-the-rafters version of The Beatles classic “Eleanor Rigby”, Krasno declared “I think we’re a band now!” Kras took lead vocals for the next tune, a bluesy jam take on “Leave Me Alone” from his solo record, Always, released last year. Keeping the blues vibe going the trio launched into a sorrowful but righteous version of the Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) track “Stay High” that saw some dynamic range from the low chords Finland laid down to Krasno’s soaring leads, not to mention a fun bit of Tears For Fears‘ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” for good measure.

After a quick lesson on the project itself that covered their whirlwind history from last year’s Jazz Fest origin to July’s recording session to this debut performance, Stanton Moore and company gave a spirited take on Soulive’s tribute to jazz guitar legend Grant Green, “For Granted”. Each player took and passed the lead like the funkiest game of hot potato ever. The guys decided this would be a fine spot for set break and judging from the panting, literally steaming fans on the stream it was just in time for some of them to hydrate and catch their collective breath.

Set two saw guitarist Danny Mayer (Star Kitchen) join the trio and deliver some crisp, scintillating interaction with everyone, though clearly Stanton was feeling the energy particularly powerfully. With Mayer sticking around for the first three songs of the second set, the trio was quick to exploit the expanded dynamic range with a ripping take on the Jerry Garcia Band jam “That’s What Love Will Make You Do” that saw Kras at his ripping and riffing best.

After a deadly Allman Brothers Band-flavored “Curse Lifter” Kras had previously recorded with Derek Trucks, the guitarist announced that he’d like to pay tribute to all his work with bomb-dropping Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh with a quick touch on one of music’s most storied catalogs, executing a stripped down but still huge “Deal”. Krasno admitted their next tune, “Slow Burn” by country songbird Kacey Musgraves was “A little outside the box” but the big sky solo and blues organ stretched wide across the spare backbeat provided by Moore sounded mighty fine regardless of the track’s origin.

Lowering his head and voice Krasno introduced the next number, “Nobody’s Baby”, with a heartfelt shout-out to the late, lamented loss of its originator, Sharon Jones, and her legendary backing band, The Dap-Kings. Moore took a fiery drum break during this track that he declared was sure to become a staple of their version of the song and continued to unpretentiously gush about the fun they were having together onstage.

The bluesiest sounds of the evening were yet to come but were quick to be unveiled with a “Move ya to tears” version of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” that I think even Aretha Franklin would respect. To close out the second set the newly minted band delivered a wild version of “All About My Girl” that saw each member take an all-out solo jam that seemed as if they were each signing the masterpiece of a show they had just played, with more deceptive finales than you could shake a stick at…if shaking sticks at set closing super jams was your thing.

Rather than leaving the stage and coming back, Moore simply gave the audience the choice of making a ton of noise and they’d just stay onstage and squeeze in one more song before curfew or heading for the door. The sheer volume of the resultant cheer made him wince and smile at the same time. Kraso dedicated the final ditty of the night, “Unconditional Love”, to his wife and seemed to take vocal and lead duties just a smidge more seriously when he realized she was still at the venue.

As soon as that most heartfelt jam reached its crescendo and crashed back down to Earth, Moore directed the fans who were interested in getting advance copies of the new record or just wanted to say “Hi” to the merch table as they left the stage. In a world of one-off superjams, this truly felt different. If the joy and love in which the night progressed continue, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear this same lineup in a decade celebrating a long and loving run as a unit.

Check out a gallery of images from Krasno/Moore Project at Ardmore Music Hall on Friday courtesy of photographer Michael Naber. Full show video is available from SEPA LIVE.

Catch the band on tour through April. Click below for a full list of tour dates and purchase tickets on either Eric or Stanton’s website for tickets.

Krasno/Moore Project – Ardmore Music Hall – Ardmore, PA – 3/10/23 – Set One

Krasno/Moore Project – Ardmore Music Hall – Ardmore, PA – 3/10/23 – Set Two

The Krasno/Moore Project Tour Dates

Mar 12, 2023 – Rams Head On Stage | Annapolis, MD
Mar 14, 2023 – City Winery | Boston, MA
Mar 15, 2023 – Ridgefield Playhouse | Ridgefield, CT
Mar 16, 2023 – Mar 19, 2023 – Blue Note | New York, NY
Mar 21, 2023 – Jimmy’s Jazz and Blues Club | Portsmouth, NH
Mar 22, 2023 – Jimmy’s Jazz and Blues Club | Portsmouth, NH
Mar 23, 2023 – Dakota | Minneapolis, MN
Mar 24, 2023 – City Winery | Chicago, IL
Mar 25, 2023 – Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox | Denver, CO
Apr 4, 2023 – Apr 5, 2023 – Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley | Seattle, WA
Apr 6, 2023 – Star Theater | Portland, OR
Apr 7, 2023 – The Chapel | San Francisco, CA
Apr 8, 2023 – Knitting Factory | Los Angeles, CA

View Tour Dates

Setlist: Krasno/Moore Project | Ardmore Music Hall | Ardmore, PA | 3/10/23

Set One: Big Brother, Pot Licker, Lost Cause, You Know I’m No Good, Pungee, Eleanor Rigby, Leave Me Alone, Stay High [1], For Granted

Set Two: 76 [2], That’s What Love Will Make You Do [2], Curse Lifter [2], Deal, Slow Burn, Nobody’s Baby, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, All About My Girl

Encore: Unconditional Love

[1] Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” tease

[2] w/ Danny Mayer (Star Kitchen)