Tag: Bluegrass

TOUR DATES: Yonder Mountain String Band Spring Dates / Lineup Summer Festival Schedule

Yonder Mountain String Band Set To Hit Road for Spring Trek / Announce Festival Plans. 

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As the calendar turned to 2014 and the members of the Yonder Mountain String Band set out for their Winter tour… they forgot to pick up one quarter of the band on their way to the first stop. Actually Jeff Austin decided to sit this one out and instead spend a few months of quality time with his wife and recently born baby girl.  The other three members of the jam-grass powerhouse, Dave Johnston (banjo), Adam Aijala (guitar), and Ben Kaufman (bass) hit the road with a little help from their friends in the Travelin’ McCoury’s, especially Ronnie McCoury on the mandolin, to conquer 17 cities. That trek made way for some memorable Yonder shows, but as the weather begins to slowly heat and the snow finally begins to melt, the mandolin man has returned and will head back out with the boys for their Spring tour. Check out the full list of dates below as well as what they have lined up for the festival season.

Fresh off of their mostly sold out tour supporting The Devil Makes Three… San Francisco’s The Brothers Comatose are set to support Yonder for a majority of the tour. Check them out here, I am really excited to see them, they seem to fit in really well with the Yonder fan base and are known for their on stage antics. Listen to their song “Church Street Blues” here 

CHECK OUT YONDER MOUNTAINS OFFICIAL WEBSITE HERE TO BUY TICKETS AND TO GET UP TO DATE SHOW INFORMATION

 

CHECK OUT OUR PREVIOUS YONDER MOUNTAIN COVERAGE HERE:

INTERVIEW 9/2013 – Jeff Austin & The Here and Now

INTERVIEW 3/2012 – Jeff Austin and Dave Johnston

PHOTOS/REVIEW  – MARCH 30-31 THE PAGEANT – St. Louis, MO

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TOUR DATES(Most Dates with The Brothers Comatose)

MARCH 19 – George’s Majestic Lounge / Fayetteville, AR

MARCH 20 – Bluesville / Tunica, MS

MARCH 21 – Cain’s Ballroom / Tulsa, OK

MARCH 22 – The Pageant / St. Louis, MO

MARCH 23 – Gilloz Theatre / Springfield, MO

MARCH 26 – Varsity THeatre / Baton Rouge, LA

MARCH 27 – House of Blues / New Orleans, LA

MARCH 28 – Stubb’s BBQ / Austin, TX

MARCH 29 – Granada Theater / Dallas, TX

APRIL 1 – Orpheum Theatre / Flagstaff, AZ

APRIL 2 – The Depot / Salt Lake City, UT

APRIL 3 – Montbleu Resort Casino / Stateline, NV

APRIL 4 – Ace of Spades / Sacramento, CA

APRIL 5 – Fox Theater / Oakland, CA

APRIL 8 – Crystal Ballroom / Portland, OR

APRIL 9 – McDonald Theatre / Eugene, OR

APRIL 10 – Showbox At the Market / Seattle, WA

APRIL 11 & 12 – Wilma Theatre / Missoula, MT

FESTIVAL DATES (Please see festival site for specific Yonder set date/time)

MAY 22 – 25 / DELFEST / Cumberland, MD

MAY 23 – 25 / DARK STAR JUBILEE / Thornville, OH

JUNE 12 – 15 / BONNAROO / Manchester, TN

JUNE 19 – 22 / TELLURIDE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL / Telluride, CO

JULY 17 – 20 / NORTHWEST STRING SUMMIT / North Plains, OR

SEPT 19 – 20 / YMSB KINFOLK CELEBRATION at PLANET BLUEGRASS / Lyons, CO

OCT 16 – 18 / YMSB’s MULBERRY MOUNTAIN HARVEST FESTIVAL / Ozark, AR

INTERVIEW: 15 MINUTES IN TRAFFIC WITH JEFF AUSTIN

15 MINUTES IN TRAFFIC WITH JEFF AUSTIN (of Yonder Mountain String Band) 

Interview by Bradley Darby

@DarbySTL / DarbySTL on Facebook

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 Jeff Austin, who you may know as the mandolin man and one fourth of the jamgrass powerhouse that is the Yonder Mountain String Band, recently took some downtime with Yonder to hit the road with a few close friends. Austin’s current project, Jeff Austin and The Here & Now, consists of banjo picker extraordinaire Danny Barnes, as well as the husband and wife / legendary bluegrass combo of flat picker Larry Keel and Jenny Keel on the bass.

The tour kicked off in Chicago a few nights ago and has recently stopped in Kentucky and Ohio. They also stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Thursday before wrapping up at the Mumford and Son’s Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Guthrie, Oklahoma this weekend.

You can download a FREE 4 SONG EP HERE. Be sure to check out one of the few Jeff Austin and the Here and Now shows or catch Jeff later this fall when the Yonder Mountain String Band resumes their schedule. All the dates are listed below, may I suggest the Harvest Music Festival in Ozark, AR in October. Not only do you get Yonder, but you get to see Tedeschi Trucks Band, Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang, Railroad Earth, JJ Grey and MOFRO, as well as Friends of Concert Confessions, Dirtfoot and many many others. Get the full lineup here.

I recently had a chance to catch up with Jeff Austin to discuss his new adventure while he was sitting in traffic with Danny Barnes en route to their show at the Bluebird in Bloomington, Indiana. We also discuss a lot of things St. Louis (this was originally done as preview piece for STL show on another site) and Jeff’s passion for delicious food.

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Me: Thank you for taking a few minutes to talk to me about The Here and Now. Its a great project that I’m very excited to see on Wednesday.

Jeff Austin: I’m pretty excited too. It’s some of my heroes and they happen to be some of my friends. Every day is just great, I’m really looking forward to it.

 

Me: You’ve been involved in many different solo projects over the years, from the 30dB shows (with Brendan Bayliss from Umphrey’s McGee) to various Bluegrass Balls to the Grateful Grass show (with Keller Williams and Keith Moseley) How did the Here and Now come about?

Jeff Austin: The first time the 4 of us played together it was two years ago out in Oregon. I got asked to do a set of Jerry Garcia music on the anniversary of his death. They said play whatever you want, hire whoever you want, and I kind of went… Shit, this could be a  fun lineup to try and get together. Everyone was able to do it and it was just a blast we had a great time. The musical conversation was really neat, it was very easy to have, the call and the response and all of that it was just beyond cool and to ignore that would be irresponsible. We’ve all been busy, it took a little while to get it together, but earlier this year we played together in Colorado and it was off to the races… we put together a tour and it came together.

 

Me: I am very happy you’ve chosen St. Louis as a stop to bring this project to. You’ve been at the Old Rock House a few times before with the Bluegrass Ball, is that a venue you personally wanted to come back to or did it just happen that way?

Jeff Austin: I really enjoy that venue, I think its perfect for this project. Its not too big, but its not small. Its got that intimate vibe to it. This is a Wednesday night and a new project, so its all about new things. I’m telling you, I like St. Louis… I really, really like St. Louis and I wanted to kind of  make sure this was somewhere we went on our first run. It worked out perfectly and the people at that venue are really nice and accommodating and open to musicians coming in. I was really glad when it worked out.

 

Me: A few of the other shows are just duo shows with you and Danny Barnes. How does planning a set list with just you and Danny differ than a set list with the whole Here and Now band?

Jeff Austin: The Keels had a prior engagement at that Lock’n Festival that they have to fly out to. One of the things with Danny and I just doing that show, and I’m looking at him right now, with just the two of us it will be a lot of open ended stuff and kind of, off the cuff. Seeing how the emotion of the evening kind of writes the set list for us. Some of the songs we probably haven’t even rehearsed like ‘Hey you know this Hartford tune’ or whatever. That will be really cool, it’ll be really kinda in the spur of the moment thing and see how the crowd reacts and how we’re having our conversation with each other.

 

Me: Is the Here and Now going to be a rotating cast of musicians, similar to Sam Bush’s New Grass Revival, or is this the group of four you plan on moving forward with?

Jeff Austin: Well it has the potential there that we could write songs, have a horns section, who knows? It could turn into anything. It kind of really is based on the idea of Here and Now, what’s happening in this moment and what works. Not just because I’m writing material I want to play for people, but you know… I have so much freaking fun with this lineup that I may be hard pressed to pick up traveling with anyone else. Its pretty damn fun.

 

Me: What does the future of the Here and Now look like? Is there going to be an album or is this mostly a live thing?

Jeff Austin: The plan right now is that I have a laundry list of material I want to put on a record I was hoping to have out this fall. There are certain songs being played, that I can’t think of any other lineup playing them than the folks I am traveling with, so as i’m thinking of the studio version of it I absolutely want to see these guys play on it. But it could be a rotation of songs where i want a  horn section or drums or strings or this and that. It will vary a little bit but the core of it will be built around the way that this project is sounding… thats what I hope

 

Me: That sounds awesome.

Jeff Austin: There are songs that I didn’t write in a bluegrass vane but I played them in a bluegrass vane and when I put them out, I want to play them the way that I wrote them. To be able to go into a studio to do those songs that way, its going to be interesting because its not going to be a bluegrass album by any stretch of the imagination. It will just be a record. I guess if you had to categorize it Americana? I don’t know, but i’m looking forward to that process. i’m in the part right now of getting the lineup of songs, editing, and all that kind of stuff and going full steam ahead.

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Me: I’ve read recently that in your freetime one of the things you love doing is running a food blog, “Table for One”, right?

Jeff Austin: It’s not only a food blog its going to be turning into a webisode kind of thing. I’m actually in the editing process right now with that as well. I did filming a number of months ago, and I have four days of a shoot coming up in September. My hope is by mid or late October to drop the first webisode of Table for One. I have some high aspirations for that so that hopefully it could maybe turn into, or launch, a show at some point, but yeah its a huge passion of mine. Just telling the story of people who are passionate about what they do and how that affects me and how it affects people. I find that story intriguing.

 

Me: Back in Spring 2012 we spoke briefly and you told me about the Thai Kitchen Cafe down on Delmar. Is there anywhere in St Louis you are looking forward to checking out when you get back in town or somewhere you went last time you want to give a shout out to?

Jeff Austin: Thai Country Cafe.. I LOVE that place. One of the heartbreaks on the road for me was when they took the duck noodle soup off the menu, and then they put it back on. I was so happy… so happy. I love that place. Uhh… I am not sure. I’d like to make it a point to get back there. The beautiful thing about having not done a tour like this is with these friends is that I get to take them to new food joints that I love and I want to share. This morning in Chicago we went to Hot Dougs Sausage Emporium. I’ll tell you what I like at the Rock House is right down the block that tiny little joint, that one room diner. That place blows my mind. When the Del McCoury Band was just down there doing a couple nights… me and a couple of those guys, we will text each other when we know we’re in a restaurant that someone else likes. I got a couple photos of just them at the counter or the menu on the wall.

 

Me: Well Jeff thats really all I had for you, is there anything else you want to tell us about? What else is going on in the life of Jeff Austin?

Jeff Austin: I’d say check out www.JeffAustin.com, I am going to try to post something everyday from the tour whether its a little video of us playing, song ideas or food updates or whatever but I’m going to start that up tonight here and do little things everyday. Kind of a little road diary type of thing.

 

Me: Thanks for the time Jeff, we’ll see you on Wednesday!

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READ MY MARCH 2012 INTERVIEW WITH JEFF AND DAVE JOHNSTON FROM YONDER MTN STRING BAND HERE

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JEFF AUSTIN and THE HERE & NOW on Tour:

9/04 Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

9/05 The Shrine – Tulsa, OK *Jeff Austin & Danny Barnes duo show

9/06-07 Cottonwood Flats – Mumford & Sons Gentlemen of the Road – Guthrie, OK

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND

10/09 Wilmington, NC – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

10/10 Charlotte, NC – Amos’ Southend

10/11 Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre

10/12 Silk Hope, NC

10/13 Chattanooga, TN – Track 29

10/16 Oxford, MS – The Lyric Oxford

10/17-19 Ozark, AR – YMSB Harvest Festival at Mulberry Mountain (3 nights)

10/23 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom

10/24 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue & 7th St Entry

10/25-26 Chicago, IL – House of Blues (2 nights)

10/29-30 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl (2 nights)

10/31 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts

11/01 Boston, MA – House of Blues

11/02 Portland, ME – State Theatre

12/27-29 & 12/31 Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater (4 nights)

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Yonder Mountain String Band Release Winter/Spring 2013 Tour Dates

It is no secret that Concert Confessions houses a few folks that love them some bluegrass/jamgrass/newgrass music… call it what you will, but like Keller Williams sings “when i hear that banjo crow, when I hear that fiddle play, when I hear that chuck of the mandolin man it just makes my day.” It was a good week for bluegrass fans as one of the modern-day monsters of the genre announced this week that they will be back at it in early 2013. The Yonder Mountain String Band will head back out on the road for 2 short stints. The tour kicks off in Knoxville and wraps up in Phoenix with stops damn near all over the country, including two nights at The Pageant in St. Louis (my stomping ground.) Be sure to check back for a full recap of that one, and check out our previous Yonder Mountain content including an interview with Jeff Austin and Dave Johnston prior to last years STL stop.

Previously Announced Dates:

1/10     Knoxville, TN     Tennessee Theater
1/11     Nashville, TN     Marathon Music Works
1/12     New Orleans, LA     House of Blues
1/17     Orlando, FL     Plaza Theater
1/18     Fort Lauderdale, FL     Culture Room
1/19     St. Petersburg, FL     Jannus Live
1/20     Jacksonville, FL     Freebird Live
1/23     Charlottesville, VA     Jefferson Theater
1/24     Asheville, NC     Orange Peel
1/25     Asheville, NC     Orange Peel
1/26     Atlanta, GA     Tabernacle
1/29     Charleston, SC     Music Farm
1/30     Winston-Salem, NC     Ziggy’s Rock House
1/31     Covington, KY     Madison Theater
2/01     Columbus, OH     LC Pavilion
2/02     Madison, WI     Orpheum Theater

NEW Dates:

2/28     Lawrence, KS     Liberty Hall
3/01     Dallas, TX     Granada Theater
3/02     Austin, TX     Stubb’s BBQ
3/06     Tulsa, OK     Cain’s Ballroom
3/07     Urbana, IL     Canopy Club
3/08     St. Louis, MO     The Pageant
3/09     St. Louis, MO     The Pageant
3/13     Albuquerque, NM     Sunshine Theater
3/14     Flagstaff, AZ     Orpheum Theater
3/15     Salt Lake City, UT     The Depot
3/16     Aspen, CO     Belly Up
3/17     Aspen, CO     Belly Up
3/20     Billings, MT     Babcock Theater
3/21     Bozeman, MT     Emerson Cultural Center
3/22     Missoula, MT     Wilma Theater
3/23     Missoula, MT     Wilma Theater
3/24     Phoenix, AZ     McDowell Mountain Music Festival

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Infamous Stringdusters Embark on Old Rock House – St. Louis 11/14/12

An Evening with the Infamous Stringdusters – Old Rock House 11/14/2012
Words / Pictures by Bradley Darby

 

Described by some critics as “a future supergroup,” “a phenomenon” “intricately improvisational,” and “flawless”, the Infamous Stringdusters have been tearing up the bluegrass circuit for the last five years, releasing four studio albums as well as a live album while garnering a Grammy nomination along with three International Bluegrass Association awards and playing to packed venues and festival tents. The Stringdusters were just in the home of Chingy during Labor Day weekend for what was scheduled to be the late night portion of Del Yeah! Bluegrass Festival, however the festival was rescheduled due to inclimate weather. The Stringdusters played anyways to a near sold out crowd. That night they announced they would be coming back through town for one of the final shows on their Fall tour in November… that night was November 14th.

 

The first set started at 9PM with “The Place That I Call Home” with vocals by fiddle player Jeremy Garrett. While the band continued to play in the background, stand up bassist Travis Book took the mic to welcome the crowd and ask “Who here has seen the Stringdusters, whos done this before? Who knows what’s up? Then you know you are here to do whatever you want… dance, sing, drink, talk, whatever it is. Its your Wednesday night and we’re just so glad to be here tonight. Two sets of music, we’re gonna be at this awhile, settle in.” Book stayed on the mic as they went directly into the Danny Barnes tune “Get It While You Can.” It was clear at this point that the Dusters had already settled in quite nicely as the third song was a stunning instrumental that was very heavy on the fiddle, thanks to Jeremy Garrett.

A brand new song that debuted in late October, “Road to Boulder,” was led by dobro player Andy Hall. Their version of “In God’s County”, a song you may remember from The Joshua Tree by U2 was next. The Stringdusters are no stranger to that one, it was recorded for 2010’s Things That Fly. Travis got back on the mic to address the crowd again as he showed his appreciation for the Old Rock House and mentioned that this was the final week of the tour. Props were also given for the light guy, Bret Angstep, who was doing an absolutely fantastic job to make the stage look incredible. “How Far I’d Fall For You” was introduced by Book as a “party love song.”

A Del McCoury classic, “Travelin’ Teardrop Blues” segued right into banjo picker Chris Pandolfi leading the group and slaying dragons with his banjo for another instrumental. Following a brief pause to allow the crowd time to gather their thoughts it was time to cater to the hippie demographic with a cover of “Free” by Phish. Andy Hall was back at the mic for a stellar version of “Well, Well” that clocked in at 10 minutes and included what I’m pretty sure was a tease of the theme song from Top Gun by guitarist Andy Falco. The first set closed out just before 10 P.M.

After about a 35 minute break the second set started off in the hands of Travis Book yet again for “It’ll Be Alright” and was followed by another Andy Hall tune, “Rain.” The energy in the room just ten minutes into the the second set was definitely being felt by the band as they expressed how much fun they were having. The next song, “17 Cents” was dedicated to “people who struggle to make ends meet at the end of every month, damn near everybody i know ” said Book. A cover of “Walking on the Moon” by The Police had a nice bluegrass-reggae feel to it. Another tasty diddy of an instrumental went right into “Aint No Way of Knowing” followed by “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” with Andy Falco playing the part of Dylan.  “Deep Elem Blues” featured Travis Book laying down some nasty bass. He then told us about the new deluxe edition of Silver Sky, a re-release of their most recent album with bonus tracks and a live disc that is available only at independent record shops nationwide. You can’t order it on their website, really… I tried. They then played the first track from that album “Don’t Mean Nothin.” An excellent cover of The Grateful Dead’s “He Gone,” which is one of the bonus tracks featured on Silver Sky Deluxe Edition, was dedicated to Peter Dedario who was apparently responsible for the strings on Falco’s guitar. The set ended with what turned out to be a nearly 10 minute jammed out version of “Gettin’ Down The Road.”

After thanking the crowd they informed us they would be doing an encore and that they would normally walk away but theres no where to go. We were informed of The Show Hive, a section of the their website where sound engineer Dave Becker posts pictures and audio of every show. Even full, FREE recordings of most shows! The Dusters take on The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek” started the encore, quite possibly a tribute to Levon Helm who passed away earlier this year. Their International Bluegrass Award winning song “Fork in the Road” closed the show out and as they thanked the crowd Book informed us that “you guys rocked!”

 

To say that I have grown quite fond of the Infamous Stringdusters over the past few years would be a fact. To say that after seeing them live for the first time last June (then again in August and October, then again three times this year) made me a fanatic would be an understatement. This band is incredibly talented and you need to do yourself a favor if you like bluegrass music the least bit and give them a chance… NOW.

—Setlist—
SET I
The Place That I Call Home
Get It While You Can
Instrumental
Road to Boulder
In Gods Country
How Far I’d Fall For You
Travelin’ Teardrop Blues
Instrumental
Free
Night on the River
Well, Well

SET II
It’ll Be Alright
Rain
17 Cents
Telluride
Something Wind
Walking on the Moon
No Resolution (Instrumental)
Ain’t No Way of Knowing
Don’t Think Twice
Deep Elem Blues
Don’t Mean Nothin’
My Destination
He Gone
Gettin’ Down the Road
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E: Up On Cripple Creek
E: Fork in the Road

Wakarusa 2012 Photo Gallery and Recap

Words/Pictures/Video by Bradley Darby

 

Wakarusa was back in full force for the 9th straight year bringing music and nature together in Northwest Arkansas. This was their 4th straight year at Mulberry Mountain and for the 4th straight year the crowd seemed to get even bigger… the camping has been expanded to include three different offsite auxiliary campgrounds due to demand. I made the trek down to the Wakarusa Festival for the 5th straight year and made it my mission to see some new music, even if it meant missing some of my favorites such as Split Lip Rayfield, Mountain Sprout (mostly), Railroad Earth and the March Fourth Marching Band  (I did manage to sneak in all 3 Dirtfoot shows though) The weather was absolutely amazing for the most part, but we experienced a few small storms late Saturday and early Sunday causing some problems with the schedule (and causing me to miss the Infamous Stringdusters!) and stages being shut down for a short time. I took lots of pictures and quite a bit of video to bring back to the real world, and it has taken me over a month to sort through all of it and recollect some parts of the weekend, but here you have it… my 2012 Wakarusa Recap!

Start making your plans now for the 10th installment of Waka next June…. there has to be some big things in store for Waka10

THURSDAY


New Monsoon Revival Tent

   
This was not a set we intended on watching but decided to check out early Thursday afternoon. Due to a family emergency, the regular guitarist of veteran jam rock group New Monsoon, Jeff Miller, was unable to make the show but in the spirit of music festivals, Dan Lebowitz from ALO stepped in to fill the void. No time was wasted getting to our first Grateful Dead cover of the weekend in “Eyes of the World”, definitely a highlight. We also had the first of many Doc Watson tributes of the weekend, in honor of the recently decreased bluegrass legend, in the form of the traditional “Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor.” Their set also featured covers of Tom Waits and Neil Young songs. I was a big fan of New Monsoon and look forward to more opportunities to see them in the future.

 

BungalouskiKum & Go Outpost Stage

  

Another pleasant surprise, we stopped by the Outpost to kill a few minutes while waiting for The Big Wu to begin. We were quite happy with this decision, as Norman, Oklahoma prog-rock youngsters Bungalouski rocked the smaller of the tent covered stages. Bungalouski got real funky during their rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Very Superstitious.”

 

The Big WuMain Stage

  

Minnesota jam band The Big Wu played a short but sweet set on the Main Stage.  The iconic band, founded in 1992, has only played a handful of shows since 2006, but are now touring with the original lineup. This was my first Wu experience, and I was instantly a fan. They, like many other acts throughout the weekend, played a song in honor of the recently deceased bluegrass legend Doc Watson, who had passed away days prior to Wakarusa. Want to watch it?

 

ALOMain Stage

  

The first of my Must See acts of the weekend, and one of the highlights of the 2010 Wakarusa, Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) had their first Waka Main Stage show and it was much deserved. The California funk rockers were a great way to get your feet going in the late afternoon with favorites such as “Girl I Wanna Lay You Down.” They even featured a cameo by Jackie Greene on the harmonica during “Lady Loop.”

 

Bob Weir – Chris Robinson – Jackie Greene Acoustic TrioMain Stage

  

Thursday nights headliner featured the fantastic guitar trio of Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes and singer/songwriter Jackie Greene. Together the three played a 90 minute set featuring songs from all over the place, including Dead tunes “Uncle Johns Band”, “Loser” (below) and “New Speedway Boogie”. A highlight of the set was their rendition of “Dear Prudence” led by Weir.

 

Perpetual GrooveRevival Tent

   

Perpetual Groove late night shows are always a thing of beauty, and they certainly didn’t disappoint the packed Revival Tent crowd at yet another Wakarusa. This as the first of two sets for P-Groove and even though we were in route to a Dirtfoot show we found our way by the Revival Tent for a few songs including a favorite of mine “Three Weeks.” Their second set conflicted with The Avett Brothers, so I was sadly unable to attend. See you soon P Groove!

 

DirtfootKum & Go Outpost Stage

  

The only gypsy, punk, country, grumble boogie band in the land, took the stage just after midnight for their first of three shows throughout the weekend. As Waka regulars, Dirtfoot always brings a crowd and throws a party… this set was no exception. The Dirtfoot boys had 90 minutes to either keep your night going into the Sunrise sets or send your ass back to your camp to call it a night as they wrapped up just after 2AM. Dirtfoot also featured the hoop skills of a young fan named Mya throughout the weekend, and she quickly became a crowd favorite displaying her craft like a veteran hooper.

 

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FRIDAY


Mountain Sprout – Revival Tent

Arkansas’ natives Mountain Sprout kicked off my Friday with their brand of hillbilly bluegrass. The boys of Mountain Sprout have quite a following around these parts and it’s quite obvious why with their witty lyrics and rockabilly bluegrass. We only stopped by for a few songs but were able to catch “Turkey Buzzard” and “Dry County.”

 

Monophonics – Outpost Stage
  

As we left Mountain Sprout we were on our way to see Snarky Puppy play in the Outpost Tent. Our first schedule change of the weekend led us to the San Francisco based soul funksters, the Monophonics. The six piece consisting of guitar, bass, drum, horns and keyboards channel the best of the 60’s and 70’s era pioneers such as George Clinton, Sly Stone and Shuggie Otis. This set was certainly in my top 5 for the weekend. I expect big things from the Monophonics, who just released their newest album “In Your Brain.”

 

Royal Family Ball feat Soulive & Lettuce – Main Stage

The Royal Family Ball is composed of two different bands that each had an hour set and are both on Royal Family Records. First up was NY based jazz/funk trio Soulive (pictured). Two members of Soulive just so happen to be in Lettuce, the 2nd half of the Royal Family Ball, who have been funking up the circuit since the early 90s. This was a great set, and another unexpected surprise. I will definitely be seeing another Royal Family Ball if given the chance.

 

The Devil Makes Three – Revival Tent

   

I ducked away from the Royal Family Ball for a few moments to check out The Devil Makes Three, a band suggested to me by quite a few folks prior to the festival. I ended up staying for the last half of their set, and missing most of Lettuce. The three piece have elements of rockabilly,  ragtime and Americana folk with a punk and blues background. I wasn’t familiar with any of their songs, but really enjoyed their set. Lots of songs about booze will get you far with a Friday afternoon music festival crowd.

 

Blitzen TrapperRevival Tent

   

Blitzen Trapper has recently become one of my favorite new bands. This was my first opportunity to see them, and it certainly helped solidify their spot on that list. The alt-country rockers had an afternoon 90 minute set that gave way to nearly 20 songs. Highlights included “Black Snake River” and a cover of Jimi Hendrix “Hey Joe.” This is another of the Top 5 shows of the weekend and I have to give props to our founding father Reverend Justito for persistantly reminding me that I was missing something good with this band… it finally stuck.

 

The Avett Brothers Main Stage

  

Another Top 5 set of the weekend, The Avett Brothers, featuring Scott and Seth Avett as well as Joe Kwon and Bob Crawford headlined the Main Stage on Friday night. Their set clocked in at just over 2 hours and featured “I Wonder How The Old Folks Are At Home”, a tribute to Doc Watson as well as many of the Avett’s fan favorites including “Colorshow”, “Shame”, “January Wedding”, “Kick Drum Heart” and “I Killed Sally’s Lover.”

Umphrey’s McGee – Revival Tent 

We had no hope of getting anywhere near the front for the late night Revival Tent dance party featuring Chicago prog-rockers Umphrey’s McGee. We have expressed our love for Umphrey’s on Concert Confessions on multiple occasions. The Revival Tent was packed to the brim and then some while Umphrey’s rocked through their set that clocked in just under two hours. Highlights included a funkified “In The Kitchen”, and a cover of McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” into “Miss Tinkles Overture” to end the set around 2AM.  For some it was off to Girl Talk, while others waited around for Ghostland Observatory.

 

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SATURDAY



Jason Isbell & The 400 UnitBackwoods Stage

   

Former Drive By Trucker guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell teamed up with his backing band the 400 Unit for what may have been the hottest show of the weekend. It was mid afternoon Saturday and the Backwoods Stage doesn’t offer much in the way of shade that time of day so a medium sized crowd filed in as strong odor of sunscreen filled the air. I had the chance to briefly see Isbell open for Ryan Adams this past January, but this was my first time seeing him with his band. Their set lasted just over and hour and featured songs from Isbell’s solo albums as well as a ridiculously good cover of “Never Gonna Change”, a song Isbell wrote and performed with the Drive By Truckers that appeared on The Dirty South. He brought out the Secret Sisters for the last few songs including “Codeine” and “Alabama Pines.” This one didn’t sneak in the Top 5, but its certainly in the Top 10.

 

Gary Clark JrRevival Tent

   

This was my #1 show that I had to see going into the weekend, and it certainly lived up to the hype. Gary Clark Jr. is an absolutely amazing blues and rock guitarist and the dude is on his way to some major success. You need to see this guy while you have a chance to see him playing smaller clubs, because it won’t last. Clark ripped his way through a 90 minute set under the Revival Tent to a large crowd and this set hit on the blues rock you expected, and some soulful r&b grooves laid out by Gary Clark Jr. “Bright Lights” was definitely a highlight, as most would expect it clocked in around 10 minutes.

 

Travelin’ McCourys feat. Keller WilliamsOutpost Stage

   

This was another set that I was not going to miss, and another set that certainly delivered as expected. Saturday brought the all day bluegrass schedule on the Outpost Stage, and with that came the Travelin’ McCourys featuring Keller Williams. Together they just released Pick, a bluegrass album featuring original tunes and cover songs by both the McCoury’s and Keller, and they had 90 minutes to showcase that album and other surprises. Covers included “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summers, “Pepper” by the Butthole Surfers, “Tennessee Stud”, dedicated to Doc Watson, and even Jessie J’s “Price Tag” a song that surprisingly sounds like it was written to be performed by a hippie like Keller. After about an hour Keller said it was time to get this thing going and invited out Drew Emmitt and Billy Nershi for a mini bluegrass ball. We even had a brief cameo by the final bluegrass pioneer to grace the world in Del McCoury during “Bumper Sticker.” This was probably my favorite set of the weekend, and you should probably pick up their new album.

 

There was music on Sunday, as well as a few shows that I wasn’t able to cover for various reasons (camera battery, scheduling conflicts, lack of energy, fear of taking the camera out to late nights, too fucking hot, etc.) These included Umphrey’s McGee and Primus back to back on the Main Stage Saturday night, followed by your choice of late night SOJA, Big Gigantic or SOJA. Other late nights included Papadosio, MiMOSA, Girl Talk, Quixotic, and The Floozies. There was an entire day of reggae on Sunday at the Revival Tent featuring Iration, Slightly Stoopid and Matisyahu and others. Sunday also led to some power issues on the Backwoods Stage which gave way to intimate unplugged sets in front of the stage by Dumptruck Butterlips and Emmitt-Nershi Band.

TOP 5 SHOWS OF WEEKEND

5. The Avett Brothers

4. Blitzen Trapper

3. Monophonics

2. Keller Williams with the McCourys

1. Gary Clark Jr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 28-29 Bloom Heavy River Romp in SE Missouri – Feat. YMSB, Del McCoury Band, Split Lip Rayfield, Cornmeal, Dirtfoot and many more!

BLOOM HEAVY RIVER ROMP 2012 Presented by SCHLAFLY BREWING

The good folks at Bloom Heavy have been helping bring good music to the SEMO area for the last few years, and this summer they have stepped their game up a notch with the Bloom Heavy River Romp. Taking place just a short drive South of St. Louis in Grassy, Missouri,  this years lineup is absolutely stacked and features Nederland, Colorados native sons, Yonder Mountain String Band, as well as bluegrass pioneer Del McCoury and his sons the Travelin McCourys as your headliners for the weekend in addition to 20 something more of the best up and coming names in the bluegrass/newgrass scene.

Joining YMSB and Del McCoury and sons will be Arrowhead veterans Cornmeal and Split Lip Rayfield as well as the only gypsy, punk, country, grumble boogie band in the land known as Dirtfoot. The bottom half of the lineup features the additions of The Dirt Daubers, a side project of Legendary Shack Shakers frontman Col. J.D. Wilkes and The Whistle Pigs, a band I had the pleasure of seeing last year at the Harvest Music Festival. Also listed on the bill is a Bluegrass Ball, but at this time there is no indication as to who will be the ringleader of the jam session. Its safe to assume that with Jeff Austin and the McCoury family around, everyone and anyone could be involved.

The good folks at Bloom Heavy are still promising one more band that is yet to be announced, but has stated that this band will be the “icing on the cake” for those on the fence about going to this festival. Based on the lineup, the little bit I know about the camp ground, and the fact that the attendance will be capped at 2500, this gathering has the potential to be legendary.

When: June 28-29, 2012

Where: Arrowhead Campground in Grassy, MO (Appx 2 hours from St. Louis / Less than an hour from Cape Girardeau)

How Much:Early Bird Tickets starting at $50 –Available Now

Very Limited Amount of VIP Tickets Available for $150 (Includes meals and Schlafly Beverages plus upgraded amenities) Available Now

FOR MORE INFO VISIT THE EVENT PAGE ON FACEBOOK

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND
THE DEL MCCOURY BAND
SPLIT LIP RAYFIELD
CORNMEAL
HOT BUTTERED RUM
DIRTFOOT
THE TRAVELIN’ MCCOURYS
THE BEN MILLER BAND
THE HILLBENDERS
TYRANNOSAURUS CHICKEN
CLETUS GOT SHOT
THE DIRT DAUBERS
CARRIE NATION & THE SPEAKEASY
THE NEW OLD CAVALRY
OAKHURST
THE BIG IDEA
THE WHISTLE PIGS
HONKYSUCKLE
ELEMENTAL SHAKEDOWN
DEEP FRIED SQUIRREL
CLUSTER PLUCK
FLATLAND HARMONY EXPERIMENT

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