Tag: The Travelin’ McCourys

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

The Bluegrass Ball w/ Jeff Austin, Drew Emmitt, The Travelin’ McCourys, Head For The Hills, Allie Kral – Old Rock House – 3/13/2011

Words and Photos by Bradley Darby

When it was announced that there would be a two day bluegrass concert, and that mandolin players Jeff Austin from the Yonder Mountain String Band and Drew Emmitt from Emmitt-Nershi Band would be sitting in with Head for the Hills (Saturday) and the The Travelin’ McCourys (Sunday), well it was certain that this was a don’t miss Bluegrass Ball. Then to make it better, days before the show they announced that the lovely and talented Allie Kral from Cornmeal would be joining on the fiddle as well. This was a rather limited event as it was only a four day run, featuring two nights at The Abbey in Chicago and two nights at Old Rock House here in St. Louis.

Sunday nights lineup featured Head for the Hills first. The previous night the order was reversed, so the Travelin’ McCourys played first, well you see where I am going. Head for the Hills are a bluegrass quartet from Colorado consisting of Adam Kinghorn on banjo and guitar, Joe Lessard on fiddle, Matt Loewen on bass, and Mike Chappel on the mandolin. They played for just under an hour and did a great job with tunes such as Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”, “Love Please Come Home” and others.

After a short break The Travelin’ McCourys started things off with a traditional bluegrass instrumental. You may know the name McCoury from bluegrass legend Del McCoury, well the Travelin McCourys actually comprise of four of the five members of the Del McCoury Band. The Travelin’ McCourys feature Del’s sons Ronnie and Rob McCoury on the mandolin and banjo respectively, as well as Jason Carter on fiddle, and Alan Bartram on the upright bass. When touring as The Travelin’ McCourys, Cody Kilby fills in for Del on the acoustic guitar, who is best known for playing with Ricky Skaggs.

The McCoury boys did their thing for about an hour and their set featured “Hard on my Heart”, “Devil in Disguise” and “Body and Soul” as well as a Jimmy Martin cover “Hold Watcha Got.” They dedicated the set to Del McCoury and said “he’s an idol and role model to some of us and a dad to others.” At around 9:45 they said they would be playing one final song, and then they were going to bring some friends out to get the Bluegrass Ball underway.

After a 20 minute break, The Travelin McCourys came back out and kicked things off by introducing Allie Kral from Cornmeal to kick the party off, ladies first of course. Together they jammed out a little instrumental that was heavy on the dueling fiddles courtesy of Kral and Jason Carter. When the smoke cleared, Ronnie McCoury introduced the final two gentlemen who were patiently waiting their turn to slay dragons with their mandolins, Jeff Austin from the Yonder Mountain String Band and Drew Emmitt from the Emmitt-Nershi Band.

Austin started things off with “Wheelhouse”, a Danny Barnes song. Then another traditional that showcased Rob McCourys banjo. They then played “Fiddling Around” a song that was made famous by Dierks Bentley on his most recent album. After a few more songs, Austin thanked the rest of the Bluegrass Ball and the crowd for “giving me a trip I will never remember!” Then he asked the crowd for some requests and they broke into a John Hartford song, followed by some Hank Williams.

The entire time it was Ronnie McCoury, Jeff Austin, Drew Emmitt on mandolins, Rob McCoury on banjo, Jason Carter and Allie Kral shredding the fiddle, Alan Bartram on upright bass, and Cody Kilby on guitar feeding off of each other. Just watching the eight of them together was something special. Where else are you going to see two fiddles, three mandolins, an upright bass, a banjo, and a guitar all picking on some bluegrass tunes together while a packed house that included Beatle Bob looked on?

Then everyone except the three guys with the funny looking little guitars took a break and Emmitt, Austin and McCoury, who actually switched to a mandola, took over for three songs including another song written by Danny Barnes, “Death Trip”, a song frequently played by Yonder Mountain String Band. They then pretended to leave the stage but were quickly joined by the rest of the Bluegrass Ball for “Steam Powered Aeroplane”, another John Hartford song.

You figured that would be the end up the evening, but they actually brought out the four guys from Head for the Hills and again thanked the crowd for giving them “four days we will never forget.” Jeff Austin then introduced the final song of the night, “Fire On The Mountain” but Austin quickly said that it was “not the one you are thinking of” but dedicated it to Owsley Stanley and together the 12 of them played the old traditional bluegrass tune featuring the lyrics “Fire on the mountain, run boy run!” while the folks holding string instruments bitch slapped you with their bluegrass.

All in all the night was a raging success. The crowd was pleased, and from what i gathered from folks that had attended both shows, it was a satisfactory weekend. I only wish I had been able to attend both nights, but this was a night I will never forget, or as Jeff Austin said, I will never remember.

For more pictures visit here

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