Victor Wooten and Jimmy Herring, Buffalo State College Performing Arts Center, November 17th

Review and Photos by Lewis J. Tezak, Jr.

A full two decades after they toured the Southeast on the first H.O.R.D.E. tour in 1992, Victor Wooten and Jimmy Herring came together to tour the Northeast with over three hours of live music. This concert was one of the most anticipated and electrifying musical experiences of 2012. This double bill featured the world’s most amazing electric bassist, the versatile Victor Wooten and his band.  Wooten, a five-time Grammy winner, hit the worldwide scene in 1990 as a founding member of the super-group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.  Continuing to blaze a musical trail with the band, Victor has also become widely known for his own Grammy nominated solo recordings and tours. As a bonus, Jimmy Herring, the lead guitarist for Widespread Panic, Aquarium Rescue Unit and Jazz Is Dead, lead his own group this night in Buffalo.

As expected it was an explosive evening of jamming rock and soul with plenty of instrumental fireworks. Jimmy Herring opened the evening in support of his new album Subject to Change Without Notice which was released in August of this year. Herring came ready to play and assembled a band that made their presence known from the start. The members comprised of Neal Fountain on bass, Jeff Sipe playing drums and rounding out the sound on keyboards Matt Slocum. Herring effortlessly played the guitar and with a flawless style, he took the instrument and made it sing. The band’s amazing sound continued to fuel Herring’s playing which only electrified the crowd more. Throughout their 13 song set, the band continued to lift the audience up and take them to another level. Overall, Jimmy Herring and his band delivered a total of just over 90 minutes of music pleasure.

Victor Wooten brought in a cast of talented musicians to a delighted crowd in support of his two latest releases Words & Tones and Sword & Stone. The audience was captivated by Wooten and his band, hanging on to each note played. They were sitting in complete amazement as to what they were seeing and listening too. It is not conceivable that a band would take the stage without a guitarist but Wooten and his band pulled it off fabulously. Without the guitar being the main focal point, Wooten arranged and integrated four basses into a unique sound.  Essentially, the basses were blending together but yet were individualistic in their sound themselves. He further enhances the sound by adding two percussionists and diversifies the sound of the drums, allowing the basses to work within the beat and incorporates an incredible singer with great range. Victor and his band did not disappoint the audience whatsoever, playing for almost two hours.  He graciously thanked the audience for attending the performance and proceeded to bring Jimmy Herring and the rest of his band on stage for his encore, leading the crowd to erupt into enormous applause, cheers and whistles could be he throughout the auditorium.  A roadie was sent to the bus to retrieve the guitar and promptly returned with it to the stage. Wooten lead this cast of musicians into the final song , “I Shall Miss Your Smiling Face”.  The crowd cheering and whistling couldn’t get enough and began to move towards the edge of the stage in approval.  When the final note ended, the crowd, all on their feet roared immensely showing their appreciation for the musicians and the incredible night of music.

Jimmy Herring Band Setlist

Matt’s Funk, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Aberdeen, Duke and Cookie, Miss Poopie, Emerald Garden*, Rainbow, 10 Heads Up, A Day In The Life, Bilgewater Blues, Within You Without You

* with Steve Bailey on Bass

Victor Wooten Band Setlist

A Woman’s Strength, Brooklyn, Tell Me Something Good, Brooklyn, My Life, The House That Jack Built, One More Chance, The House That Jack Built, Steve Bailey Bass Solo > Imagine This > Let’s Hear it For The Boy, Overjoyed, Victor Solo, Heaven

Encore: I Shall Miss Your Smiling Face*

* with Jimmy Herring on guitar, Neal Fountain on bass, Jeff Sipe on drums, Matt Slocum on keys

Download a recording of this show by Seth Nochajski

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