Tag: Split Lip Rayfield

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Split Lip Rayfield – Old Rock House in St. Louis 5/26/12

 

Words/Pictures/Video by Bradley Darby

 

Everyone’s favorite bluegrass band that features a gas tank bass invaded the Old Rock House stage in St. Louis once again for yet another stellar show. Split Lip Rayfield, the 3 piece touring machine from Kansas, brought their blend of punk and metal inspired bluegrass music back to the Old Rock House stage. The last time they stopped in was last fall with the Legendary Shack Shakers and Mountain Sprout, one of my favorite shows of 2011, also at the Old Rock House. Jeff Eaton, the man behind the gas tank bass pictured above, known as the Stitchgiver, is actually from a little town called Gumbo, Missouri which is just a few hours from St. Louis. There is always a welcoming crowd for the Split Lip boys when they come through the Gateway to the West and this was no exception, and we even got to witness a small bluegrass mosh pit at one point!

They started the night off with “Flat Black Rag” and then mandolin/guitarist Wayne Gottstine took things over for “All The Same”. It was then onto Jeff Eaton’s first featured song, “Love Please Come Home”” before Wayne took the mic back for “Moving to Virgina” and “The River.”

Wayne switched from mandolin to guitar for “Never Make It Home” while Jeff armed himself with his trusty kazoo for a rocking solo . During “Kiss of Death” we even had the aforementioned mosh pit break out right in front of the stage featuring two booze infused fans going at it while Eaton slapped away at the Stitchgiver. Banjo picker Eric Martis then introduced Jeff to the crowd as Nikki Syxx, to which the crowd cheered… one fan booed loudly, and Martis replied “only one guy had the right response!” (Good job Ben!) At this point the crowd was growing restless as Eaton took over again for the always depressing “Pinball Machine”, one of my personal favorites.

Each Split Lip show features a toast to their fallen friend, and former guitarist, Kirk Rundstrom and tonight was no different. After “How Many Biscuits Can You Eat?”,  another great tune during which Jeff Eaton is damn near incoherently growling about eating biscuits in the morning we were asked to raise a glass to Kirk, and then it was “I’ll Be Around”, the title track to their most recent album and only released after the passing of Rundstrom. The last song of the night was “Redneck Tailgate Dream”  before they stepped off the stage to catch their breath.

 

After about a minute off the stage, the guys came back out and said they had one more for us… and then went right into the face melting “High Price of Necromancy” and then the fan favorite and sing a long, “Used to Call Me Baby.” They finished out their one song encore with “Dont Believe That You’re Someone” and finally “Outlaw.” One song left huh? What a bunch of liars!

Overall, it was another great evening out with Split Lip Rayfield and I look forward to seeing them again next week at Wakarusa as well as at the end of June when they hit the BloomHeavy River Romp Festival in Grassy, MO (just 2 hours south of St. Louis)

 

WAKARUSA 2012 5/31-6/3 Full Stage Schedule & Final Price Increase!

WAKARUSA 2012

  • May 31 – June 3, 2012
  • Mulberry Mountain – Ozark, AR (About 1 Hr from Fayetteville and Fort Smith)
  • Updated: 1/19/12 with complete lineup
  • Updated: 4/26/12 with link to full stage schedule
  • Updated: 5/9/12 Final Price Increase Information Added

Wakarusa 2012 is only a few weeks away and Full Event Passes are moving quickly!  Get your Full Event Passes today before the final price increase to Gate Price occurs on Saturday, May 19th at 11:59PM!  Save yourself some $$ to buy that extra Boulavard beverage or two…  I suggest the Single Wide IPA

http://www.wakarusa.com/2012/tickets.asp

4/26  UPDATED: As we are just about a month way from Wakarusa, the bittersweet day of SCHEDULE RELEASE has come. Jubilation for some who can now confirm that arriving Friday won’t force you to miss Umphrey’s McGee’s late night or Primus and the Avett Brothers. Yet it brings disappointment for others, who now have to wonder do I REALLY want to miss Perpetual Groove to see Pretty Lights? What about Dirtfoot in the small tent or Split Lip Rayfield on the ever so cool Backwoods Stage? DOH! Lucky for you, the stages are all close enough in proximity that you are able to split sets and catch a little bit of both acts, if that is what you have to do.

Some highlights and challenges for me will include:

Weir, Robinson, & Greene Acoustic Trio Thursday on Main Stage followed by Perpetual Groove in the Revival Tent is a must…. but then you have the choice of Split Lip Rayfield, Dirtfoot or Tea Leaf Green late nights!!

Friday brings Blitzen Trapper, followed by some of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, then off to The Avett Brothers and finish it off the Umphrey’s McGee‘s late night set in the Revival Tent, one of the only DO NOT MISS sets of the festival.

Saturday will offer a great chance to relax throughout the day with Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit and The Lumineers, but that interferes with one of my other DO NOT MISS sets, Gary Clark Jr. Good thing you can get from one stage to any other in less than 15 minutes, even faster if you catch a FestiCab! Saturday also features the 12 hour bluegrass takeover of the Kum & Go Outpost stage with Head for the Hills, Mountain Sprout, Hot Buttered Rum, Emmitt-Nershi Band, Travelin’ McCourys feat. Keller Williams, Del McCoury Band, and the Infamous Stringdusters all playing back to back… and you can certainly expect a few sit-ins that day! Hell, it may even just turn into a bluegrass ball!  If banjo isn’t your thing, Umphrey’s McGee will play their Main Stage set prior to the great Primus taking the mountain by storm.

Sunday Funday usually involves lots of rum, drank by way of pineapple,  and lots of lounging. Luckily the lineup helps with this area and we are given a reggae stacked Main Stage including Ugly Lion, Toubab Krewe, SOJA, Slightly Stoopid, and Matisyahu. Sunday also features second sets from Emmitt-Nershi, Infamous Stringdusters, Dumptruck Butterlips, Mountain Sprout, and a Keller Williams solo set.

Start making your schedules now, and dispute with your friends in the weeks to come. But you’re on the clock in just 34 days when it all kicks off with War Chief on the Backwoods Stage.

GET THE FULL STAGE SCHEDULE HERE

——————ORIGINAL POST BELOW——————

Only 2 / 3 of the Wakarusa Festival lineup has been released so far, and you should make it a priority to snag your tickets and premium camping passes now because they won’t last!

This year the Waka gods have decided to release the lineup in “3 equally weighted parts.” The first announcement was made last week and featured eletronic producer Pretty Lights, a once in a lifetime chance to see the Bob Weir, Chris Robinson, and Jackie Greene Acoustic Trio, Railroad Earth, Keller Williams, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and ALO as well as many more great acts.

Lineup 2 was just released moments ago and its easy to see that Waka is bringing the heat for their 4th trip to Mulberry Mountain located just outside of Ozark, Arkansas. The additions of Les Claypool and the boys in Primus, Umphreys McGee, Blitzen Trapper, Del McCoury, Tea Leaf Green, Gary Clark Jr, the grumble boogie boys Dirtfoot, and Quixotic have certainly elevated the interest for many people on the fence after seeing the first 1/3 of the lineup.

UPDATED: The final third of the lineup has now been released and the fine folks at Wakarusa aren’t messing around for the 9th installment of the festival. Todays announcement included the additions of The Avett Brothers, hebrew hip hopster Matisyahu, Ghostland Observatory, EOTO, as well as multiple sets from the likes of Slightly Stoopid, Perpetual Groove, Split Lip Rayfield, the Travelin McCourys (including 1 set feat. Keller Williams), and the March Fourth Marching Band, a band that is pretty much a festival in their own right and a MUST SEE.

Get the full lineup and all the details at Wakarusa.com!

GET THE FULL STAGE SCHEDULE HERE

 

 

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

REVIEW: Split Lip Rayfield with Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Mt Sprout – St. Louis, MO 11/12/11

Words and Photos by Bradley Darby

After a show scheduled for February was cancelled just days after being announced, Split Lip Rayfield vowed they would be coming back to St. Louis later this year. Their last trip through the Gateway to the West was in May of 2010 opening for Reverend Horton Heat, also at the Old Rock House. I was a little disappointed to have to wait another 9 months to see these guys in STL again. I must say, the wait was well worth it, as the rescheduled show also featured Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Mountain Sprout on the bill.

Throughout the day the Old Rock House sent ample warning to folks planning to attend the show that tickets wouldn’t last. They were certainly correct, as the show was announced as sold out just after 9pm, right as Mountain Sprout was finishing up the first set of the evening. There was also a wedding reception going on in the upstairs lounge, which made the crowd on the main level overwhelming, but when it was announced the show had sold out they opened the balcony and the crowd spread out to make it tolerable.

The highly energetic hillbilly music machine that is Mountain Sprout took the stage just after 8pm to begin the night. The crowd was already packing in and the Arkansas quintet worked and swayed their way through a 40ish minute set with some of the finest beards this side of the Mississippi. Banjo picker/vocalist Grayson Van Sickle sings lyrics of alcohol, smoking reefer, and turkey buzzards while his supporting cast of Blayne Thiebaud, Adam Waggs, and Daniel Redmond melt faces with their chosen instruments, fiddle, guitar and stand up bass respectively. The set contained one of my favorites, “Dry County” which was prefaced by Van Sickle telling us about parts of Arkansas where you cant buy beer…. but assured us that “where we live you can even buy beer on Sundays, and that’s why we live there!” They ended the set with the always popular, “Screw The Government” and definitely did their job warming up the now sold out crowd. Word has it there is a December return to STL in the works, possibly at The Shanti in Soulard. Make it a point to check that out.

Just after 9PM, it was time for the Legendary Shack Shakers to get to business. Now, to be honest with you I knew nothing about this band, outside of the album Swampblood that I had purchased based solely on the album cover a while back. I really really enjoyed that album and had been looking forward to seeing this group almost as much as Split Lip Rayfield…… and they certainly did not disappoint!

 

Col. J.D. Wilkes and the boys have been hailed by some, like Hank III, as “the best damn front man and band in America.” Jello Biafra, of Dead Kennedys fame, has called Wilkes “the last great Rock and Roll front man.” The Colonel was just that, a true front man. He was all over the stage throughout the set and exuded a punk rock attitude… sometimes strumming the banjo and sometimes singing or screaming his words through a harmonica mic while running around the stage like a maniac without a shirt on. When the time came for Wilkes to introduce us to the rest of the Shack Shakers, he addressed the crowd as “Ladies and gentlemen, whores and whore mongers” and proceeded to inform us that bassist Mark Robertson was the “King of the Lemon Party”….. if you don’t know what that is, you are better off. (ADULT CONTENT: If you really wanna know, Google: LemonParty.org but remember I warned you!)  Brett Whitacre beats the drums and former Tomahawk member, and friend of Mike Patton,  Duane Denison shredded faces with his guitar. Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers collectively provided an intense hour long set with songs ranging from rockabilly to psycho bluegrass to punk country all in a matter of minutes. It was truly an experience, and one I will never miss…. I already look forward to my next night spent with the Shack Shakers, and you should start making plans to get your opportunity as well.

After a brief hiatus it was time for Lawrence, Kansas’ Split Lip Rayfield to take their turn after two very solid opening acts had prepared the capacity crowd. They started the night off with “Flat Black Rag” from their 1998 self titled debut album, a short but great one to get the crowd pumped up on some fast paced, get your body moving bluegrass. Jeff Eaton provided the rhythm throughout the evening with the Stitchgiver, a bass fashioned out of the gas tank from a 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis, a piece of hickory, and some weed whacker string that causes him to re-tape his fingers after damn near each song. A short while later they went into their rendition of George Jones’ “Easy Street” followed by “Moving to Virginia” and the always popular “Redneck Tailgate Dream.” Wayne Gottstine plays the mandolin and take the role of lead vocals on many songs, including “Never Make It Home”, which also features a mean kazoo solo by Eaton.

After a few new songs from a new album that is set to be released sometime in 2012, banjo player / guitarist for the time being Eric Mardis dedicated tonights show, just like every SLR show, to Kirk Rundstrom, former Split Lip Rayfield guitarist  that died in 2007 after battling cancer, and asked the crowd to “Raise a glass for Kirk.” There is actually a documentary film being shown on limited screens nationwide about the final tour with Rundstrom called Never Make It Home: Kirk Rundstroms Final Tour. They then slowed it down with “I’ll Be Around” the title track from the 2008 album, followed by one of my personal favorites “The River”, also from that album. The final song of the set was Jeff Eaton’s “How Many Biscuits Can You Eat?”, a crazy fast song that features Eaton growling barely coherent lyrics into the mic. After walking off the stage, they came back out rather fast and said they had one more for us…. no big surprise to hear the crowd sing along, “Used To Call Me Baby” from Never Make It Home, released in 2001. When the song was done, Split Lip quickly huddled and then told us “we love playing for you guys, thank you so much you guys were great to play for” and as the crowd continued to go nuts they started their final song of the night, “Outlaw.”, which only seemed to leave the crowd pumped up and wanting even more.

On the same night in St. Louis, two bands that typically would draw crowds away from each other played only 10 minutes apart, and both bands were able to fill the house. Split Lip Rayfield was officially a sold out show, and Chicago progressive bluegrass band, and another favorite live band of mine, Cornmeal played at 2720 Cherokee to a few hundred people as well. I can attest to the Split Lip show being one of the better SLR shows I have had the pleasure of seeing over the last few years, a count that is somewhere around the ten mark by now thanks to music festivals. I am sure Cornmeal brought the house down as well, I just hope next time they are booked on the same bill or separate nights. Keep the great shows coming St. Louis!!!

 

 

PREVIEW: Yonder Mountain String Bands Harvest Festival – Oct 13-16

Yonder Mountain String Band Get By With A Little Help From Their Friends at the Harvest Music Festival
Words and pictures by Bradley Darby

Jeff Austin - Yonder Mountain String Band

In a world flooded by music festivals priding themselves on having a diverse lineup that will attract fans of all genres, Yonder Mountain String Bands Harvest Music Festival stands apart. Entering its second year with the Yonder Mountain taking over the main billing, the Harvest Festival features some of the best bluegrass and folk acts out there today as well as one of the premiere festival sites in the country, Mulberry Mountain.

 

Taking place October 13-16 in Ozark, Arkansas (about an hour from Fayetteville) this year the incredible lineup is led by Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Railroad Earth, 7 Walkers feat. Papa Mali and Bill Kreutzmann, Emmitt-Nershi Band, Trampled by Turtles, Todd Snider as well as Harvest regulars Cornmeal, Mountain Sprout, and Split Lip Rayfield. In addition to their friends, your festival hosts the Yonder Mountain String Band will play 3 sets, and if the 2010 fest is any indication you will find them popping up all over guesting with other bands throughout the weekend. Music is scheduled to go until 3A.M. most nights with late night sets featuring Speakeasy, Split Lip Rayfield, and and of course Dirtfoot, who played a set that lasted until 5 A.M. last year and are scheduled for two more late night sets this year.

Dirtfoot - 2010 Harvest Festival

 

The Harvest Festival is a family friendly event as well, with The Roost area offering a Kidz Kamp, Hooping Lessons, Tye Dye lessons, and glass blowing classes as well as Yoga sessions each morning. This year will also mark the First Annual Fiddlin’ and Pickin’ Contest, where contestants will compete in four competitions – Mandolin, Banjo, Flat Picking, and Fiddle – with winners of each receiving cash prizes. On Friday make sure to stop by the Chompdown, a free communal breakfast put on by festi-folks for festi-folks taking place in the RV Reserved campground at 9A.M. featuring a morning set by Dirtfoot…. the Chompdown is always one of the highlights of the weekend. Bring some bacon and eggs, or just bring yourself and meet some new friends while filling your belly. Check out the video below for a better idea of what the Chompdown really is.

Mountain Sprout - 2010 Harvest Festival Chompdown

 

But Mulberry Mountain offers so much more than just great music and people….. you can arrange a float trip on the gorgeous Mulberry River, or take one of the many trail heads off of Highway 23 for a scenic hike in the beautiful rolling hills of Northwestern Arkansas. Don’t forget about the waterfall located near the festival grounds, a popular site for many patrons.

 

Though the event is capped at only 7500 people, making it one of the more intimate festivals out there, tickets can still be purchased online or possibly at a local retailer near you to save some fees. Check www.yonderharvestfestival.com for ticketing info and last minute changes. Don’t forget to check back here at the end of October for a full recap and photo gallery!

 

 

“I’ll Do It Tomorrow” – A Procrastinators Review of Wakarusa 2011

Words & Pictures by Brad Darby

For the fourth consecutive year I made the trek to the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival to enjoy four days of music and camping in a setting that they call “Where Music Meets Mother Nature.” With acts ranging from My Morning Jacket and Ben Harper to the Budos Band and Dark Star Orchestra to STS9 and Bassnectar, a total of over 100 bands spread out across six stages, with on-site camping, showers, and even a grocery store to pick up last minute forgotten items.

Taking place the first weekend in June, and located just outside of Ozark, Arkansas, Wakarusa is in their third year at Mulberry Mountain. The festival, started in 2004, was previously held in Lawrence, Kansas at Clinton State Park through 2008 but has now moved to a much more fitting location in the beautiful rolling hills of the Ozark National Forest. Showcasing bands from a wide array of genres and now featuring the Interstellar Meltdown, a late night festival inside the festival including electronic acts and DJ sets, Wakarusa is one of the premiere festivals in the country drawing upwards of 20,000 people.

For a complete photo gallery, including something like 100 pictures of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, click his link.

Thursday – Dirtfoot Main Stage

Wakarusas favorite Gypsy Punk Country Grumble Boogie band kicked things off Thursday on the main stage with a bean can shaking good time. This was the second of Dirtfoot’s FIVE sets over the weekend, including the previous night on the Backwoods Stage for the early arrival crowd, along with Mountain Sprout and Dumptruck Butterlips.

 

Wakarusa Press Conference – Thursday

Members of Dirtfoot, Cornmeal, Lotus, as well as Grace Potter and Simon Posford sat down with part of the Wakarusa braintrust for a press conference featuring free Boulevard beer and an air conditioned building. It was difficult to hear, but questions were asked to Grace Potter about how her band has grown quite a lot since starting the festival circuit in 2004, and Dirtfoot talked about their affiliation with the Chompdown, a FREE communal breakfast put on by a group of volunteers in the campground featuring a live set by Dirtfoot started by a man named Rabbit five years ago in Lawrence, Kansas.

 

Thursday – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – Main Stage

The beautiful Grace Potter took the stage on Thursday afternoon after participating in the first ever Wakarusa Press Conference. With her band The Nocturnals burning it up in the hot Arkansas sun, GP&N played an hour and a half set that was one of the highlights of my weekend. The set included Grace doing an amazing vocal solo of “Nothing But The Water Pt 1” and a rocking version of “Stop the Bus.”

 Thursday – Umphreys McGee – Mainstage

Umphreys McGee played from 10:15pm-12:15am on Thursday night and though only having one set after getting a late night and mainstage set the prior two years, Umphreys made up for the lack of sets with a cover of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” as well as The Who’s “Baba O’ Riley.” (Video courtesy of RebelINSoo)

 

Friday Morning – Chompdown – RV Reserved Campground

  

The Chompdown takes place on either Friday or Saturday morning at each Wakarusa or Harvest Festival. It was started five years ago in Lawrence by John “Rabbit” Cabarara and is a completely FREE communal breakfast put on by about 30 volunteers and donations from anyone and everyone. Dirtfoot has been fortunate enough to be asked to play the prestigious slot at 9 am for the last 5 years and if you ask any of the 6 members they will tell you it is the highlight of the weekend for them.

 

 

Friday – My Morning Jacket – Main Stage

Friday was a day of recovery, and a day that I didnt get the camera out as it charged most of the day after taking a few hundred pictures of Grace Potter. My Morning Jacket headlined the Main Stage, and were followed by 3 and a half hours of Dark Star Orchestra. Other acts on Friday were bluegrass mainstays Split Lip Rayfield, who also played Thursday night late night, and Cornmeal as well as Ryan Bingham and soul sister Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. (Video credit to Colbruce)

 

Saturday – Dirtfoot Campground Set 

Dirtfoot had announced about a month before the festival that they would be playing a special surprise set at the campsite that created the best Dirtfoot flag for their campsite. There were actually two winners, and each site received a visit from Dirtfoot on Saturday afternoon. Our site was fortunate enough to have one of the creators of the Dirtfoot pirate flag camping with us, so we were treated to a special three song set including “Little Bit of Rum.”

 

Saturday – Mumford and Sons – Main Stage

  

England’s newest craze Mumford and Sons took the main stage on Saturday afternoon for their first ever appearance in Arkansas. Vocalist Marcus Mumford made it completely clear how hot it was, and seemed fascinated by the waterfall just a short hike off the Wakarusa property. They played most of their debut album Sign No More as well as three new tunes. Noticably missing was the upbeat dance worthy “Dust Bowl Dance.” Great to see them, though I was slighty disappointed. They were followed by Ben Harper & Relentless 7 show played a great cover of Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter” and prevailed through some sound problems that were persistant with the main stage all weekend.

 

Inside of Revival Tent

Swimming Hole on Mulberry River

 

Saturday – Budos Band – Revival Tent

  

Budos Band threw down some serious funk in the Revival Tent on Saturday night. As a matter of fact, all day Saturday the Revival Tent featured funk acts including March Fourth Marching Band, Papa Grows Funk, and Budos. Other acts on Saturday included Galactic, Thievery Corporation, Wookiefoot and Arkansas’ very own “hillbilly bluegrass machine” Mountain Sprout.

 

Sunday – Dirtfoot Late Night Sexy Panty Party – Backwoods Stage

Sunday night to close out Wakarusa, the grumble boogie boys took the stage for their fifth and final set of the weekend, a set dubbed the Dirtfoot Late Night Sexy Panty Party by Scott Girardy, the sax player for Dirtfoot. Other bands playing on the toned down Sunday lineup included Ozomatli, Beats Antique, EOTO and Toots and the Maytals.

Initial Artist Lineup For 2011 Wakarusa Music Festival Announced

Initial Artist Lineup For 2011 Wakarusa Music Festival Announced

Over three days in early June, the 8th annual Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival will once again take over Mulberry Mountain.  Located just outside of Fayetteville, Arkansas the festival will once again feature a top notch lineup of artists from both the electronica and jam bands scene.  In addition to some great music, the festival will feature disc golf, yoga, hiking and swimming in the Mulberry River.  Our very own Brad (aka SaucerfulofSecrets) will be making his fourth appearance at the festival, and you can expect to read a full report as soon as he fully recovers from the event.

The initial artist lineup is listed below.  Additional artists will be added in the following months.  Click here for information on tickets and camping for Arkansas premiere music festival.

SaucerfulofSecrets Top 11 Shows of 2010

Photos and words by: Bradley Darby


Anymore it seems though every average Joe has to come up with their Best Of… list for the end of the year. Well, I’m no exception! This list started at 21 shows and I was able to knock it down to 10. I then decided I couldn’t make this list without including Split Lip Rayfield. So 11 it is!

2010 was a great year for me in terms of live shows. It all started off in February where I attended shows 4 consecutive nights including State Radio, Split Lip Rayfield and back to back nights of Yonder Mountain String Band. Three nights later it was Trey Anastasio. Instrumental jam bands like STS9, Galactic, and Perpetual Groove. From The Dead Weather and Flaming Lips to the legendary Furthur, Phish, Chuck Berry, Dave Matthews, Mark Knopfler and The Eagles….it seemed like night after night it was a different show. I decided to exclude the 2010 Wakarusa Music Festival, and the first annual Yonder Mountain String Band Harvest Music Festival, otherwise shows from those two magical weekends would have taken up a majority of the list. I think I’ve seen approximately 45,256 shows this year including somethings I never thought I’d see such as Jamie Lidell and Chiddy Bang, both of which I really enjoyed.

So here it is, my Top 11 Shows of 2010.

Click on the links throughout to link to a YouTube video, some are from the show listed, some are just ridiculously good live videos from other shows. Some also feature links to full reviews for said show. And most of all support these great bands and all (good) live music.

Honorable Mentions: Cornmeal @ 2720 Cherokee, North Mississippi All Stars w. Hill Country Revue @ The Pageant, The Bridge @ Old Rock House & Off Broadway, Stephen Kellogg @ Old Rock House

11. Split Lip Rayfield 2/18 Blueberry Hill & 5/12 Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

Split Lip Rayfield - Old Rock House 5/12/2010

Split Lip has become one of my favorite bands over the last few years, and their live show is a big reason why. A three piece band from Wichita, Kansas consisting of banjo, mandolin, and “Stitchgiver”, a standup bass made from the gastank of a 78 Grand Marquis, a piece of hickory and strung with one piece of weedwhacker line. They headlined at Blueberry Hill in February and opened for Reverend Horton Heat at the Old Rock House in May. Throw in a few shows at Wakarusa and Yonder Mountains Harvest Festival and I had the chance to be amazed by this band 7 times this year…..and can’t wait to see them again!  Every show is dedicated to fallen former guitar player Kirk Rundstrom who passed away in 2007.

10. Furthur 11/11 – Chaivitz Arena – St. Louis, MO

Furthur 11/11/2010 - Chaivitz Arena

Maybe it was because this was my first Phil Lesh / Bob Weir / Dead experience, or maybe it was because they did a cover of one of my favorite Ryan Adams songs of all time, “Magnolia Mountain”, but something magical was in the air on this November evening on the Saint Louis University campus. There were quite a few open seats and I went to this show ticketless, hoping to score one on the lot. No problem whatsoever thanks to a man also selling hippie crack on the open lot that was Shakedown Street. The show started with “Uncle Johns Band”, ended with “Attics of My Life” and included “Stella Blue”, “Cumberland Blues”, George Harrisons “Any Road”, and “Eyes of the World.”

9. Umphreys McGee “Monster Mashup” 10/30-10/31 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO

Umphreys Halloween STL

Umphreys McGee as Paul Stanley Cup, Dr. Evil Knivel and Mini Me, Larry David Letterman, Yoko Bono

Halloween weekend with Chicagos best and one of my favorite jambands, Umphreys McGee. What more could I ask for? How about mash ups including Rage Against the Machines “Bulls on Parade” with “Mark on The Bus” by Beastie Boys. Guns N Roses “November Rain” mashed up with UM’s own “Cemetery Walk.” A mashup being called “The Way You Make Me Rule The World” (Tears for Fears/Michael Jackson) “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve mixed with another UM song. And you better believe, Journeys “Don’t Stop Believing” mashed up with “Spirit of Radio” by Rush. Throw in a sold out crowd full of mashed up costumes including Curious George Clinton, Alice in Wonderland in Chains, Lady GaGarth and Lil Waynes World and you have the makings of one of the best shows of the year! As for me, I was Abrahamburglar Lincoln.

8. Jackie Greene 2/6 The Pageant, 3/10 & 10/22 Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

Jackie Greene - Old Rock House

Jackie first played in St. Louis this year opening for Gov’t Mule in February, then came back to headline an acoustic solo show at Old Rock House. But when the FULL BAND show was announced for October, I went from 6 to 12! Jackie has an amazing voice, and is a great talent. He will be around for years to come and seems to channel Jerry Garcia on his “Grateful EP” featuring covers of “Sugaree”, “New Speedway Boogie” and “Brokedown Palace” available for download here. FREE! Also, heres a video, great quality, of Jackie with Gov’t Mule from the show at The Pageant playing “Don’t Let Me Down”

7. Avett Brothers & Grace Potter & The Nocturnals 9/24 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO (Full Review)

Avett Bros - The Pageant

Avett Brothers is a band I had been waiting to see live since I first heard them last year. Grace Potter is my make believe girlfriend. When I first heard the two were paired together for a tour, and The Pageant was on the agenda, nothing short of death would stop me from attending this show. GP&N opened the show and dominated the stage for roughly an hour, not long enough. She performed songs from all of her albums, including “Apologies.” The Avetts came out and played a killer nearly two hour set that featured 20 songs including “I and Love and You”, “Kickdrum Heart”, and a three song encore that started with my favorite song, “Murdered in the City” For a 3 (sometimes 4) piece band to do what they do, is impressive.

6. Trey Anastasio & Classic TAB – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO (note: all links are high quality audio/video, do yourself a favor and click them!)

Trey & TAB

Whats better to tide me over until the Phish summer tour than a TAB show at The Pageant? How about a Trey show that featured “Gotta Jibboo”, acoustic versions of “Kill Devil Falls”, “Bathtub Gin”, “Backwards Down the Number Line” and “Wilson.” That was just to close the first set. The second set featured a cover of Zeppelins “Black Dog”, “Liquid Time”, and ended with “First Tube.” Thanks for melting my face Trey!

5. Dirtfoot 5/13 – Ciceros – St. Louis, MO

Dirtfoot at Ciceros

Never heard of Dirtfoot? I’m sorry! You need to! Dirtfoot is the only Front Porch, Whiskey Swillin, Foot Stomping, Gypsy, Punk, Country, Grumble, Boogie band in the land. They are pretty much the Mulberry Mountain house band for Wakarusa and Harvest Music Festival, typically drawing large dedicated crowds at their infamous late night sets as well as their 9am set at the Chompdown, a free communal breakfast put together by and for the festi-folk. They claim Shrieveport, LA as home and use guitar, banjo, drums, percussion, washboard, upright bass and sax to create their sound. It’s tough to find a band similar to Dirtfoot, and even tougher to find one that can duplicate the energy of a Dirtfoot show! This marked their first trip to St. Louis as part of the Wakarusa Pre-Party Tour with Mountain Sprout. They pulled out a cover of “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, and played a nice mix of their own tunes, most of which involve crowd participation. Favorites of mine include “My Girl”, “Cast My Plans”, and “Little Bit of Rum.”

4. Widespread Panic 5/1  – BOK Center – Tulsa, OK

Widespread at BOK Center, Tulsa

This was my first time seeing JB & the Boys live, and well worth the commute to Tulsa to see great friends and great music. I was going to be seeing them in a month at Wakarusa and wanted to see what I was getting into. There is no surprise as to why Panic has been as successful as they have over the past 20 years when you see these southern rock / jam band giants live. The lightshow is one of the most spectacular things I have ever witnessed (see: The highlight of the night was during the second set during “Chilly Water” when the entire crowd seemed to scoop up every bottle of water in the building to make it rain. Seriously, you couldn’t find a bottle to purchase ANYWHERE. Also played were “Hatfield”, “Surprise Valley”, “Lets Get The Show On The Road” and “Impossible > Makes Sense To Me” to close it out.

3. Roger Waters 10/29 – Scott Trade Center – St. Louis, MO (Full Review)

Roger Waters - Scott Trade Center

My favorite band of all time is Pink Floyd. I have never had the opportunity to see anything other than Pink Floyd tribute bands, including Aussie Floyd, Think Floyd, and St. Louis heroes El Monstero. Roger Waters announced his “The Wall 2010’ tour and I was unable to get tickets up until a week before the show. $115 later, I was wishing I had paid $250 for floor seats. The production of this show alone was worth the ticket price, but throw in the fact I got my first actual Floyd experience and this show is damn near impossible to top. I knew it was going to be nothing but “The Wall” but I didn’t care. “Mother”, “Goodbye Blue Sky”, “Young Lust”, “Comfortably Numb” they all sounded amazing and I had goose bumps for a majority of the show. Now I just need to keep my fingers and toes crossed for a Gilmour tour next summer or a Gilmour/Waters/Mason reunion (yeah right!)

2. Phish 8/14-8/15 – Alpine Valley – East Troy, WI

Phish - Alpine Valley

Photo by : K. Soncasie

Last summer was the first time I had gotten a chance to see Phish, as I had taken their break as my chance to really get into them. Stupid, yes. Worth the wait? Also yes. Last summers Chicago stop was a great show, but was lacking something. Whatever that was, they found and brought it along for Summer 2010 tour. The weekend not only ended up being recorded and released on DVD/CD, but also was considered by many to be some of the best shows of the tour. We had lawn for the first night, and some amazing seats for night two but it didn’t matter. Set lists from both nights rival any other Phish sets I have listened to. Night one started with “Tube” and included “Fuck Your Face”, “Lawn Boy”, “Gumbo”, “Down with the Disease”, “Mikes Song”, and “Sneaking Sally” into “Weekapaug Groove”. Night two was bookended by “Tweezer” and “Tweezer Reprise” and also included “Divided Sky”, “Farmhouse”, “David Bowie”, “2001”, “You Enjoy Myself”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Character Zero.” Thank you Phish, and no matter what most say, you are back!

1. The Black Keys 6/10 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO (Full Review)

The Black Keys - The Pageant

I have had a small obsession with The Black Keys for a few years and had been dying to see them for the same period of time. I was granted the chance twice this year, both within a week of each other. They played at Wakarusa in June, and just a few days later trekked through St. Louis to play to a sold out show at The Pageant. We had arrived early to get a premium spot. All the stars had aligned finally and I was going to get my eardrums exploded by the 2 piece monster that is The Black Keys.

The beginning of the set featured favorites like “Girl is On My Mind”, “The Breaks” and “Stack Shot Billy”. They ripped through songs off of the ‘Brothers’ album, my vote for Album of the Year, with highlights including “Next Girl” , “Howling For You”, and my personal favorite, “Ten Cent Pistol”. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney closed the night out with “Everlasting Light” and “Till I Get My Way” before leaving the capacity crowd on their feet, and scraping their faces off of their shoes.

This show lived up the every expectation and made me forget about seeing them days earlier at Wakarusa. From “Thickfreakness” all the way through “Til I Get My Way” the energy never stopped. Not only did they release my top Album of the Year, but this show was far and away my favorite show of the year, and a show I will remember forever.

The Black Keys - The Pageant

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