So what does a musician do after a few months of arena dates? Well, if you're bassist, cellist, and Chapman Stick player Tony Levin, you get right back on the road. This time you exchange the comforts of a well-appointed Peter Gabriel tour bus for more modest transport and embark upon the "Snowtires" tour in support of the recently released two-disc live set Double Espresso.
By now, Levin is used to maintaining such a grueling pace. In addition to being Gabriel's longtime studio-and-stage mate, Levin participated in the 1981 rebirth of King Crimson as a lean, futuristic, guitars-and-rhythm band. His sassy intro figure on "Elephant Talk," which launched that lineup's debut LP, Discipline, is a mini-masterpiece of intelligent funk. His performances over the years provide a connection between the music of Natalie Cole, Alice Cooper, Al DiMeola, Etta James, John Lennon, and Buddy Rich, to name but a few.
Levin and band (Jesse Gress, guitar; Larry Fast, synths; Jerry Marotta, drums) provide enough Gabriel and Crimson connections, via covers and stylistics, to pique old fans' interest. But their primary product is their own highly energized, well-crafted instrumental numbers, which morph from rock sinew to orchestral majesty and are always engaging.