Let’s break it down for you. Les Claypool recently released a new record with Duo De Twang titled Four Foot Shack. Also, the man known as Dean Ween is currently touring with the Moistboyz. Now forget the last two sentences, because if you’re looking at this post you’re here to find out tour dates for Primus and The Dean Ween Group (not to be confused with the Moistboyz), which kicks off May 1st through the 3rd at the Brooklyn Bowl’s Las Vegas location. The Deaner and Mr. Claypool have been rumored to be in talks about a reality show based around their fishing endeavors. Be on the look out for that, and for the dates just check below. Beats Antique will be opening a handful of shows as well which is noted below.
May 1-3 Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
May 13 Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre w/ Queens of the Stone Age
May 14 Little Rock, AR @ Riverfest Amphitheatre
May 16 Birmingham, AL@ Iron City
May 17 Wilmington, NC @ Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre
May 18 Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
May 20 Knoxville, TN @ Tennessee Theatre
May 21 Portsmouth, VA -@ nTELOS Wireless Pavilion w/ Beats Antique
May 22 Cleveland, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica – w/ Beats Antique
May 23 Chillicothe, IL @ Summer Camp Music Festival
June 24 Port Chester, NY @ Capitol Theatre
June 25 Portland, ME @ State Theatre
June 27 Big Flats, NY @ The Summer State at Tags w/ The Deen Ween Group
June 28 Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony Summerstage w/ The Deen Ween Group
June 29 Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
Here’s a sweet version of ECHOES by The Dean Ween Group from John And Peter’s the other night in New Hope. The full 37 minute version.
Its that magical time of year… when you turn the calendar over to October just as the leaves begin to turn beautiful shades of brown, orange and yellow. You replace your jorts with overalls and your pogo balls for rakes. Autumn is upon us… as you turn your calendar you may notice October 17-19 highlighted or circled with the word HARVEST scrawled across those dates. If that is you, this post is for you. If you aren’t going to the Yonder Mountain String Bands Harvest Music Festival, you should reconsider your choices.
Here are 13 bands that you don’t want to miss at the 2013 installment of the Harvest Festival at the breathtaking Mulberry Mountain resort in Ozark, Arkansas. These are in alphabetical order as narrowing it down to only thirteen was hard enough. You may notice a few sets overlap or conflict with each other… That is because you have to be an adult at some point and make your own damn decisions… just like your mother had to make that decision to pack and leave us to “stay with Uncle Ted for awhile while she figures some things out”. You know he’s not really your Uncle right? Sorry, I got off track… back to the festival.
Andy Frasco and the U.N. (Friday 4:15pm – 5:30pm or Saturday 2:15am – 3:00am Harvest Tent)
Meet Andy Frasco. Based out of Los Angeles, Frasco describes his sound as “Party Blues.” And it has to be true, the man has played over 1000 shows in the last four years. An industry insider that formerly booked pop punk bands for Drive Thru Records and worked as a promoter for VH1’s Save the Music Campaign, the 24 yr old Frasco now plays the keys and writes up beat songs that keep the dance floor active throughout the entire set. His Saturday night late night set is going to be epic… look for me near the soundboard. Check out “Its Been A Struggle”
California Honeydrops (Thursday (4:30pm – 5:45pm Backwoods Stage)
The California Honeydrops play R&B/Blues music using your typical guitar, bass and drums accented by a trumpet, saxophone, jug and washboard. They got their start playing together in a subway tunnel in Oakland but sound straight out of New Orleans. The vocal harmonies and clever lyrics stand out as well as the strong keys and offbeat jazzy drums. Check out their song “Up Above My Head”or “Cry Baby Blues”
St. Louis’ own homegrown bluegrass group that strives on their five-part harmonies. They play traditional bluegrass instruments, but do so with a lot of various influences in a very nontraditional way. These guys (and gal) are starting to make a name for themselves around the Midwest… Check out “Storms After Tomorrow”
Want a break from all the great bluegrass/folk/Americana music happening everywhere else? Ever heard of a genre called Celtic Punjabi Electronica? No? Thats because Delhi 2 Dublin claim to have created it. I first heard this band at Wakarusa from about 100 yards away and after two songs found it necessary to leave camp and voyage to the stage for a bit. You get fiddles, turntables, percussionists, and a hint of Bollywood with this Vancouver quintet. Check out “Our House” below
Dirtfoot hail from Shreveport, LA and describe their sound as Gypsy, Punk, Country, Grumble, Boogie. They are also kinda sorta one of the Mulberry Mountain house bands, performing at every Wakarusa and Harvest Festival that has taken place on the Mountain. If you have never seen Dirtfoot, make it a point to do so at this years Harvest Festival. The boys are absolutely on fire right now and are weeks away from releasing their new album that is redefining the Dirtfoot sound. I would highly suggest their Thursday late night set, there ain’t no party like a Dirtfoot late night Backwoods party. Also, be sure to check out the Chompdown, a giant communal breakfast put on by campers for campers. Bring some bacon, bring some bread, or just bring yourself and an appetite! You get to watch Dirtfoot play an intimate campground set and to meet a bunch of new friends in the name of community! Watch Dirtfoot play “Bathroom Sink” or “Pulling Up the Stakes” below
Everyone Orchestra is one of the best idea’s for an improvisational supergroup ever. Everyone Orchestra is Seattle’s Matt Butler who conducts an ensemble of musicians and communicates with them using hand signs, whiteboards and assorted mime suggestions. The lineup varies from night to night. The lineup that has been announced for Harvest consists of: Al Schnier of moe., Jeff Austin of the YMSB, Tim Carbone and Andy Goessling of Railroad Earth, Dango Rose, Bonnie Payne and Bridget Law of Elephant Revival, Mike Dillon and Carley Myers of the Mike Dillon Band, and others. The beautiful thing about Everyone Orchestra is that ANYONE could show up at any time. Its insanity! See ya there! Watch this little clip of Butler conducting
Hot Buttered Rum w/ Allie Kral (Thursday 7:15pm – 8:30pm Harvest Tent)
Not only are Hot Buttered Rum a fantastic band by themselves, but the addition of the beautiful and incredibly talented Allie Kral (formerly of Cornmeal) on the fiddle kicks them up to elite status. A five piece bluegrassy jammy type group from California similar to String Cheese Incident or Leftover Salmon, these guys are a do not miss! Check out Hot Buttered Rum performing “Busted in Utah”
Hot Club of Cowtown (Saturday 12:00pm – 1:00pm Backwoods Stage)
This set may be unlike any other at Harvest Festival and will be perfect to accompany your afternoon Bloody Mary or other beverage. Straight out of Austin, TX by way of San Diego comes this trio of Western swing revivalists, Hot Club of Cowtown. Quick story: I first heard of this band via some random old man at a QuickTrip gas station. I was pumping gas and listening to Yonder Mountain String Band when this old man called out and asked if I liked bluegrass. After a short conversation, he gave me a copy of a Hot Club of Cowtown live show and I love it. I have been waiting to see this guys (and gal) since then! Check out this video from New Years Eve 2003 and you will see why
Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang (Thursday 10:30pm – 12:30am Main Stage)
Every festival needs a resident weirdo, and Claypool fills the quota for Harvest Festival. One of the many projects that Mr. Claypool is responsible for, the Duo de Twang features Bryan Kehoe on guitar and Les plays acoustic bass in typical Les Claypool fashion…awesome! You can expect to hear covers, Primus tunes, Claypool solo tunes… anything really. Check out the Duo de Twang reworking a classic Primus tune below or a Johnny Cash tune here.
Mike Dillon Band (Saturday 6:30pm – 7:30pm Roost Stage)
If you aren’t familiar with Mike Dillon, you should feel sorry for yourself. Mike Dillon is a percussionist that is really good at banging on shit. He is also a terrific vibraphonist. He has been a part of many projects that have included many people including Les Claypools Fancy Band, Garage A Trois, Galactic, Ani DiFranco and Marco Benevento. His current project, The Mike Dillon Band, is New Orleans Punk Rock and features Carly Myers on the trombone, Patrick McDevitt on bass, and Adam Gertner on drums. Gerner is a student of Galactic’s Stanton Moore. Watch “Carly Hates the Dubstep” below
Tedeschi Trucks Band (Friday 10:00pm – 12:30am Main Stage)
Derrick Trucks is a guitar god, ranked #16 in the world by Rolling Stone, that previously played with the Allman Brothers Band. Susan Tedeschi has the voice of an angel. Together these two share a home and their lives as a married couple, but more importantly for this article, together these two lead the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Their debut album won a Grammy for Best Blues Album and their newest release is a live show that showcases what the band really specializes in. If you like dirty, swampy blues music and good old-fashioned rock and roll, Tedeschi Trucks Band is for you. Watch a ridiculous live video of “Midnight in Harlem”just below or click here to watch a full length HD show from Red Rocks, but more importantly, watch this band at Harvest. This band should be on every ones musical bucket list.
Tyrannosaurus Chicken is without a doubt the best fucking band name on the lineup. T-Chicken, as they are sometimes called, are also a great fucking band. A duo from Arkansas that plays delta blues trance music with a guitar, fiddle and bass will weird you the fuck out. Check out the weirdness that is T-Chicken and their song “Hammer” below
Big shocker here right? Top bill on the festival, a band that I have watched more than a dozen times live, and a band that I still refuse to miss. I love the Yonder Mountain String Band, it’s no shocker. The hosts of the festival get three full sets to jamgrass the hell out of that mountain… but the Thursday night late night set is going to be in the Harvest Tent and is the one you should circle on the lineup. Its going to be packed, so plan accordingly. Then also warm up the crowd on Friday night for Tedeschi Trucks Band and tuck you in nicely after Les Claypool makes shit weird on Thursday night. Another bonus: everyone wants to sit in with the Festival hosts, so you could get guest appearances at any time. Check out this video that shows you just who could show up during any given Yonder show.
Walking into the Wiltern, it had been nearly five years since my last live Primus experience. It pained me to skip their 2010 appearances in Los Angeles but as anyone who has read my words here know it takes an act of congress to get me through the doors of the cell phone venues downtown. That’s why I made sure to jump on tickets the second it was announced the band would pay Korea Town a visit on their 2011 North American tour. Having witnessed the band perform Sailing The Seas of Cheese inside the historic Art Deco venue in 2003, I knew another two set throw down at the best theatre in Los Angeles county was not to be missed.
I settled into my spot on the floor moments before the band hit the stage. I was aware that the band was performing their just released album Green Naugahyde from front to back and had assumed it would be the first set. You can imagine my shock as the wah infused guitar introduction of “Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers” came roaring through the PA. With an impressive light show, twisted animations upon the large video screen and two extremely large astronauts looming in the background, I was quickly reminded that Primus concerts are designed to overload multiples senses.
The first set did an outstanding job of bringing a well balanced mix of Primus material spanning their 20+ year career. “Pudding Time” “Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread” and “The Pressman” all did a great job getting the crowd into the evening early on. So much so in fact, bassist/vocalist Les Claypool took a few minutes in the middle of “Over The Falls” to acknowledge the crowd who not only sold out the theatre weeks in advance, but bucked the typical Los Angeles trend of staring lifeless as the band gave their all.
My personal highlights of the first set were a pair of songs from the groups’ 1995 effort Tales From The Punchbowl. Knowing I would flunk my Algebra final weeks after the album’s release, instead of trying I simply wrote the lyrics to “Mrs. Blaileen” down on the sheet designed to “show my work.” The song received many plays on my yellow Sony Sport Walkman as I rode the bus to summer school later that summer. The other highlight was “Over the Electric Grapevine”which featured the best of the best in first set jamming. At least on this particular night, when Primus sets sail into the unknown, the bands mindset is focused on creating a unified wall of sound instead of self-indulgent soloing.
I paid zero attention to the Popeye cartoon that played at intermission.
Green Naugahyde was an impulse buy from Target a few weeks ago. Not that I needed an excuse to buy the record as I own everything the band has released, but there it was and there I was and it just happened to fall into the basket. Having given the album a few spins, I enjoyed it, but failed to make a deep connection to many of the songs. I knew “Last Salmon Man” and “Tragedy’s a’ Comin” would be great live (and they were) but some of the songs that failed to connect with ended up being the best part of the set. “Jilly’s On Smack” was one of these, but then again it’s hard not to get excited when Les brings out his upright electric bass. “Moron TV” felt a bit like filler on the record, but having now seen it’s live incarnation I must go back and re-examine my beliefs.
Another highlight of the set was “Lee Van Cleef” a song the band is debating playing on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday. An ode to the late actor, the crowd found plenty of energy to bounce off each other as Claypool’s thumb bounced off his bass strings. “HOINFODAMAN” was another exciting moment, especially the gnarly distortion coming out of LaLonde’s amplifier. In fact my only disappointment in the second was that the band left the stage to a pre-recorded “Salmon Men” instead of finding a way to perform the song that clocks in under a minute.
Having already played for well over two hours, the boys came back for a lengthy two song encore. They kicked things off with “Southbound Pachyderm” which seemed to end (thus me stopping my camera) only to start back up and rage with an 8-10 minute psychedelic jam. The evening’s final song was the fan favorite “Tommy The Cat.” The group for one last time voyaged into a unique and indescribable sound that has now rocked three generations of fans. While the band still has a show scheduled next weekend in the Bay Area, the Wiltern is the “final” night of the North American tour. Los Angeles was treated to a technically proficient band who sounded as tight as they possibly could. Here’s hoping it’s not another five years before I get to catch my next Primus show.