two

From Good Homes Reunite for Two Shows - Dec 18 and 19

The members of From Good Homes have announced today that the band will reunite for a weekend of special shows- their first in 10 years.  The shows, scheduled for December 18th & 19th at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ will mark the first time the band has performed together since the band's legendary "farewell show" in August 1999.

The genesis of From Good Homes dates back to a high school band, when childhood friends Todd Sheaffer, Brady Rymer, and Patrick Fitzsimmons came together in rural, Northwestern New Jersey.  Originally called "Old Crow", and later evolving into "The Dogs", the core line-up remained.  With the addition of Dan Myers in 1988, and Jamie Coan in 1990, the band From Good Homes was fully formed.  The band's upbeat approach, solid songwriting, and unique sound allowed them to quickly develop a dedicated following on the touring circuit. Bringing together rock, jazz, folk, celtic and jam-band influences under one umbrella, rooted in Todd Sheaffer's inspired songwriting, From Good Homes forged their own, instantly lovable music. Their unique style prompted one critic to affectionately label the band's blend of influences as "Hick-Pop".

From Good Homes released 5 albums during their career- 3 on RCA Records- and performed over 1,500 shows across North America, including two tours with Dave Matthews Band and shows with Bob Dylan, Ratdog featuring Bob Weir, Widespread Panic, Hootie & The Blowfish, Blues Traveler and many more.  In 1998, From Good Homes received an achievement award from Billboard Magazine and Irving Plaza for the most consecutive sold-out performances ever (12) at the New York City venue.

After disbanding in 1999, band members went on to embark on individual projects.  Todd Sheaffer formed the bluegrass-influenced Railroad Earth, which has released 5 records and continues to sell-out shows throughout North America.  After starting a family of his own, Brady Rymer began a career making music for children and families; his most recent release "Here Comes Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could" was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award in the Best Musical Album for Children category.  Drummer Patrick Fitzsimmons has had a very successful run as a singer/songwriter, releasing 5 records independently and touring regularly in the Northeast.  Saxophonist Dan Myers runs a production company, Dirt Floor Studio, and has worked on records with Adam Green, Sam Champion, as well as with Rymer and Fitzsimmons.  He also appeared as a guest soloist on "Live Trax Vol. 16" the latest live release from Dave Matthews Band.  Multi-instrumentalist Jamie Coan continues to write, perform and record and currently plays fiddle and Dobro with The Red Top Ramblers in the Charleston, SC area.

"It'll be great to get back on stage with the guys and play again" says lead singer Todd Sheaffer.  "It's been a long time since the From Good Homes family was together and I know this is going to be a whole lot of fun".

Tickets for the shows are $28 in advance and $33 on the day of show.  They are on sale now through Tickets.com.  All information is available at www.wellmonttheatre.com and www.fromgoodhomes.com.

From Good Homes is:

Todd Sheaffer - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Brady Rymer - bass, vocals
Patrick Fitzsimmons - drums
Dan Myers - saxophones, melodica, vocals
Jamie Coan - acoustic guitar, violin, mandolin, vocals

Wild Beasts Release 'Two Dancers' on 9/8/09

Wild Beasts released their critically acclaimed debut album, Limbo Panto, last November on Domino Records. The band garnered a huge amount of attention in their home country surrounding this release. They made their first live appearance in the U.S. this past March at SXSW. It was this trip that made a splash for Wild Beasts in the U.S. and really made their mark as a promising young band on the rise. Wild Beasts are quickly following up with their sophomore album, Two Dancers, a record that is surely posed to officially break them stateside. It is an album that will further prove Wild Beasts are not just an of-the-moment band who will come and go within the course of three months, but a band of young men with real staying power.

wild beastsCo-produced by Wild Beasts and northern English enigma Richard Formby in remote Norfolk, UK earlier this year, Two Dancers finds Wild Beasts on fire. Its a record of tightrope-high drama, alive with its sense of possibility, a sound that shimmers and sways in the band’s own mercurial fashion. The band’s performances throughout are pure liquid energy. The needlepoint drama is a result of the band eschewing studio hyper-gloss by playing together in the room -  “recorded live, no over thinking” explains Wild Beasts' Hayden Thorpe. The sound and sensation of a band, to borrow the lyric of "This Is Our Lot," "dancing late / like young reprobates". Two Dancers is a streamlined, minimalist, and user-friendly Wild Beasts, with equal grace and gusto, equally elegant and ugly.

Two Dancers is full of references to the following: booty calls, puckered lips, bodies as perfect machines, and dim-lit streets.  LyricallyTwo Dancers is equally energetic and ripe. In "All The King’s Men" Tom Fleming sings with purposeful intent about “Girls from Rodean, girls from Shipley, from Hounslow, girls from Whitby” as Thorpe’s falsetto soars with palpable anticipation. In this song, as on the whole of the album, Wild Beasts dare you to cut loose and be seduced, but you’ll join in on the disorientation along the way.

Wild Beasts have made a record of earthly pleasures that sounds thrillingly widescreen, open and in awe of life; equally intoxicated and disturbed by the possibilities of pleasure. Two Dancers will be released September 8th on Domino Records.

Two Dancers Tracklisting:
01. The Fun Powder Plot
02. Hooting & Howling
03. All The King's Men
04. When I'm Sleepy...
05. We Still Got The Taste Dancin’ On Our Tongues
06. Two Dancers (i)
07. Two Dancers (ii)
08. This Is Our Lot
09. Underbelly
10. Empty Nest

EOTO Set to Play Two Shows During Summer Solstice

The left coast breakbeat, glitch-hop and house duo known as EOTO is set to play two monumental shows during the Summer Solstice in California on June 19 and June 20, on top of their already jam-packed festival schedule. Since the new year rolled around has toured relentlessly and played more than 80 shows and making a name for themselves as pioneers of a new sound, an innovative blend of live instrumentation and digital mixing. Both the June 19 show at Rhythm Lounge in Long Beach, CA, and the June 20 show at The Belly Up in Solana Beach, CA, should be another set of landmarks performances for the ground-shattering, beat innovators.

eotoFeaturing Jason Hann and Michael Travis, formerly of the progressive jam outfit The String Cheese Incident, EOTO is a shot of adrenaline to the heart of the music industry. Differing in sonic stature from their mixing forefathers, the typical EOTO live experience is 100% atypical, meaning nothing is pre-recorded, nothing is pre-looped and no set is pre-planned. Every night is a distinctive journey into the musical minds of Hann and Travis, each feeding off of the other’s creativity and the audience’s vibes. EOTO combines cutting-edge technology with live instrumental performance to create truly original and melodic dance music in the moment.

No group on the circuit tours as hard as EOTO and nothing has changed for the foreseeable future, save festival dates in exchange for the night-after-night venue spots they have played so far in 2009. Hann and Travis have been from west to east and everywhere in between in just five months and are primed to play at least 35 shows between now and the end of September. It will be a nice break for the two to venture back indoors for the pair of Summer Solstice shows, where the bone-quaking and mind-rippling beats they create spontaneously are well at home. By the time they reach California, EOTO will have more than proven they are big enough and calculated enough for the wide open spaces of the festival tour, which includes stops at Summercamp, Wakarusa, SONIC BLOOM, Rothbury Festival, Camp Bisco, The Phamily Reunion, Shambhala Festival and Earthdance.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA'S ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL EXPANDS TO TWO DAYS

Southern California’s premier electronic music experience for over a decade, ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL (EDC) has announced it will expand to two days for the first time ever, following last year’s sold-out event with 65,000 attendees.  With over 100,000 people expected, North America’s largest electronic music gathering will return for its second run at the LA Memorial Coliseum & Exposition Park in downtown Los Angeles Friday, June 26 with Paul Oakenfold, ATB,  Eddie Halliwell and Boyz Noise and Saturday, June 27 with Fatboy Slim, Paul van Dyk, David Guetta, Benny Benassi and Roger Sanchez.

EDC will feature two full days and nights of beats, freaks, fun and festivities as Insomniac Events transforms the LA Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park into a carnival for the eyes and ears. Join in as the world's leading names in dance music descend upon Los Angeles for an entire weekend enhanced by extraordinary light and sound production.

EDC has hundreds of additional artists still to announce that will be placed throughout five stages, along with a mind-blowing array of attractions, more full-size carnival rides than ever before and an intensely surreal assortment of art installations and performers. With six themed areas of music, art and festivities, this will be a truly special ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, April 21 and will be available online via www.insomniac.com and www.electricdaisycarnival.com as well as at select independent retail outlets. Two-day packages as well as individual tickets for each day will be available.  Sell-out crowds are anticipated so early purchase is suggested.  VIP packages will be announced at a later date.

Founded by Pasquale Rotella of Insomniac Events in 1996, ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL has become a staple of West Coast electronic music culture.  For the last 12 years, many major staples of the genre have performed at the event including Moby, Above & Beyond, Infected Mushroom (live), John 00 Flemming, Deep Dish, Hernan Cattaneo, Cedric Gervais, Deslyn Masyello, Mark Farina, Stanton Warriors, Krafty Kutz, Pendulum, Ferry Corsten, Junkie XL, Sandra Collins, Jurassic 5, Ozomatli, VHS or BETA, Uberzone, Christopher Lawrence, Adam Freeland, Sander Kleinenberg, Rennie Pilgrim, Bassnectar, Armand Van Helden, Z-Trip, Rabbit In The Moon, BT, The Freestylers, Todd Terry, Harry Choo Choo Romero and Joey Beltram.

Over the years, there have been many unique venues in Southern California that have played host to EDC including the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach, Lake Dolores Waterpark in Barstow, Hansen Dam in Los Angeles and Tulare. Insomniac Events have also brought the festival to other states including Colorado and Texas.  On June 13, EDC will return for its second annual turn in Denver.

Last year’s ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL was tapped “Coachella in the city” by the Los Angeles Times Soundboard blog (Charlie Amter, June 30, 2008).  The news outlet noted, “…Italy's Benny Benassi…stole the show. The ‘Satisfaction’ purveyor wowed the masses with a varied electro-house set touching on his own offerings such as his Grammy-winning take on Public Enemy's ‘Bring the Noise’ as well as fresh looks at 1990s dance floor classics like Basement Jaxx's ‘Where's Your Head At’ and current favorite Busy P's ‘Rainbow Man.’ On the Circuit Grounds stage, SoCal's Donald Glaude and DJ Dan owned the old-school crowd, with the pumped-up believers unable to resist the duo's hyperactive set, which featured Justice vs. Simian Mobile Disco's ‘We Are Your Friends’ and older classics like Green Velvet's ‘Flash.’  But Dan and Glaude's tag-team style of playing sound effects over tracks live is what make their gigs so vibrant. Sped-up dancehall breaks and even Robert Plant's opening wail from Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ turned up throughout their set, as did more traditional DJ rig sound effects over house tracks.”

In addition to ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL, Insomniac Events also produce such electronic music festivals as Together As One, Nocturnal Wonderland, How Sweet It Is and Audiotistic, as well as Tiësto In Concert which sold out the LA Sports Arena with a 15,000 capacity.

Dale Watson | The Truckin' Sessions: Volume Two

Dale Watson has made a career out of defying contemporary country music standards. The Austin, Texas maverick has remained tried and true to the spirit of authentic country giants like Johnny Cash, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, and in the process has grown into an artist equal in stature.  Over his 25-plus year career, Dale has released one country classic after the next, while raising the roof with fiery performances at the smallest of honky-tonk dives to legendary music halls like The Grand Ole Opry.

Following up his critically acclaimed 2007 release From The Cradle To The Grave, Dale Watson returns with his second album on Hyena Records entitled The Truckin' Sessions: Volume Two. The collection reprises the most celebrated album in his discography, 1998's The Truckin' Sessions. A tribute to truck-driving men (and even a truckin' queen), the album's 14 songs pay homage to those who commandeer a mighty 18-wheeler rig for their livelihood. Through his sharp songwriting and soulful baritone vocals, Dale captures both the humor and sadness of lives lived on the road, while empathizing with these iconic characters of America's highways. Abetted by his seasoned band that has logged countless road miles themselves, The Truckin' Sessions: Volume Two is a big wheeled, classic country ride not to be missed.

Dale Watson's The Truckin' Sessions: Volume Two is available In-Stores and Online on April 21.

The Truckin' Sessions: Volume Two Tracklist:

1. Drag N Fly
2. Jack's Truck Stop & Cafe
3. Truck Stop In LaGrange
4. 10-4
5. Yankee Doodle Jean
6. Hey Driver
7. Hero
8. I Got To Drive
9. Truckin' Man
10. Me And Freddie And Jake
11. Truckin' Queen
12. Let This Trucker Go
13. No Help Wanted
14. Texas Boogie

Dale Watson Tour Dates:

04-03 | Carls Corner, TX | Willie's Place at Carl's Corner
04-04 | Forth Worth, TX | Stagecoach Ballroom
04-06 | Austin, TX | The Broken Spoke (6:30pm)
04-06 | Austin, TX | The Continental Club (10:30pm)
04-10 | Houston, TX | Blanco's
04-11 | Austin, TX | The Broken Spoke
04-13 | Austin, TX | The Continental Club
04-18 | Helotes, TX | Floores Country Store
04-20 | Austin, TX | The Continental Club
04-22 | Tucson, AZ | Vaudeville 
04-23 | Phoenix, AZ | The Rhythm Room
04-25 | Bakersfield, CA | Fish Lips Bar
04-26 | Indio, CA | Stage Coach Festival
04-30 | Oss, Netherlands | Groene Engel
05-01 | Tilburg, Netherlands | 013
05-02 | Groningen, Netherlands | Oosterpoort
05-03 | Zoetermeet, Netherlands | De Boerderij
05-04 | Lichtenvoorde, Netherlands | Stonevalley
05-05 | München, Germany | Rattlesnake 
05-06 | Arnhem, NL | TBA
05-07 | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Paradiso
05-08 | Austin, TX | The Broken Spoke
05-11 | Austin, TX | The Continental Club
05-16 | Spring, TX | Private Event
05-18 | Shreveport, LA | Eldorado Casino
05-22 | Newport, KY | The Southgate House
05-29 | Houston, TX | Blanco's
05-30 | Austin, TX | The Broken Spoke
06-12 | Chicago, IL | Martyr's
06-13 | Janesville, WI | Bass Creek Golf Course @ The Big Red Open
06-14 | Green Bay, WI | Oneida Casino
06-19 | Windelsbach, Germany | Old West Ranch
06-20 | Untermeittingen, Germany | Four Corners
06-21 | Untermeittingen, Germany | Petrol Club
06-24 | London, UK | The Luminaire
06-25 | London, UK | The Kings Head
06-27 | Skjaak, Norway | Skjaak Country Festival
07-03 | Delft, Netherlands | Stars & Bar
07-04 | Ydre, Sweden | Ydre Country Festival
07-10 | San Antonio, TX | Hangin' Tree Saloon
07-11 | Austin, TX | The Broken Spoke
07-17 | Austin, TX | One World Theatre w/Ray Price
07-18 | Bandera, TX | 11th Street Cowboy Bar
07-29 | Boise, ID | Grove Plaza "Alive After Five Series"
07-31 | Seattle, WA | Tractor Tavern
08-02 | Happy Valley, OR | Pickathon Roots Music Festival

PHIX to play TWO shows in Denver this weekend

Paul from Phix- for the Grateful Web

Ever since Phish announced their reunion, our heads have been FILLED with Phishy thoughts.  We've been digging back through our collections and listening to all of the old shows with a renewed love for the music.  And though rumors abound regarding some Phish shows in Colorado this summer, nothing has been announced yet.  And we are well aware that, as lucky as a couple of us are to be going to Hampton next month, MOST folks here in Colorado didn't get so lucky and will have to miss out.  So we thought, what the hell, let's play a couple of PHIX shows here in Denver...it'll be a little warm-up for the reunion shows and the summer tour, a little Phix for those who can't be there for whatever reason.  And it'll most definitely be a blast, and a great chance to get together with all of our friends who we don't see so often these days...

We should also add that we have opening acts on both nights, both of which feature Phix bass beeyotch Brian Adams, the hardest-working bassist in Colorado.  On Friday 2/13, the band is Ethereal Plane, featuring Patrick Latella on guitar and some outstanding funky, fusiony jams.  On Sat. 2/14, the opener is Magnolia Row, a wonderful bluegrass band featuring excellent musicianship and beautiful vocal harmonies.  We think you'll really enjoy both bands, and we hope you'll get there early both nights to hear them play.  Music will get going by 9:30, if not earlier, and Phix will take the stage by 10:45 or so both evenings.

We look forward to seeing our Colorado friends and family at these shows, and we thank everyone for all the support you have given us over the years.  It'll probably be a while before you get another e-mail from us, since these are the only Phix shows we have on the calendar.  We don't know what the future holds for Phix, but we have been very thankful for the opportunities we have had to get back together over the last year or so, and it may still happen again in the future...but meanwhile, we're all looking forward to getting out to see the real deal this spring and summer, and we hope to bump into some of you at the shows.  

Dark Star Orchestra's Two Night Celebration @ Boulder Theater

photos by Laura McDaniel- for the Grateful Web

A two night celebration of the Dead! Giving homage in a continually evolving artistic outlet, the Dark Star Orchestra recreates historic Grateful Dead set lists with compelling accuracy. Each night, the Chicago-based band decides on performing one show from the over 2,500 that the Grateful Dead originally performed during their 30 year tenure as fathers of improvisational rock.

Dark Star Orchestra presents the complete original set list, song by song, and in order, with uncanny faithful interpretation. To date, DSO has covered more than 1,500 different Grateful Dead shows The group has their craft so well-refined that even members of the Dead themselves, rhythm guitarist/singer Bob Weir, drummer Bill Kreutzmann, and late keyboardist Vince Welnick, have appeared on stage and performed with these live music interpreters.

Precision is king with this group, who position the stage plot based on the year of Grateful Dead show they are performing. Dark Star Orchestra adapts their phrasing, voice arrangements, and even arranges specific musical equipment for the various eras in which they perform.

At the end of every performance, the band announces the date and venue where the original show just covered took place. Dark Star Orchestra dips into every incarnation of the Dead, so most fans can "see" shows that happened long before some were born.

GA / $29.50 
Friday, 21+ 
 Saturday, All Ages Balcony
Tickets are on sale now at The Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone. 
Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

PRAANG Returns To Cervantes for Two-Night Stint

photo by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

Formed under a blanket of thick Colorado snow during the blizzard of 2006, PRAANG returns to Cervantes for a two night stand December 5th and 6th. Featuring Steve Kimock, Jason Hann and Michael Travis from EOTO/String Cheese Incident and Jamie Janover from ZILLA, PRAANG represents a new musical avenue for the four members to travel. Completely improvisational, spontaneous, and unrehearsed, the quartet's music reflects their fateful existence.

Originally scheduled to be a Kimock, Vega, White and Banyan gig one December night in 2006, plans were dashed as Kimock was the only member not stranded by an infamous blizzard. Making their way to Cervantes later that evening, Hann, Travis and Janover substituted for the stranded band members, and PRAANG was born. Mixing Kimock's blistering and masterful guitar work, Hann's perpetual and incessant groovin', 'Travis' and Janover's musical innovation, and Janover's flurries of hammer dulcimer and percussive embellishment, the quartet is a fresh and exciting project of intricate guitar leads and exotic rhythms.

Steve Kimock, known for his uncanny guitar prowess, leaves his musical mark through his many collaborations. From the Steve Kimock Band to KVMS to his recent work with Billy Goodman, Bob Weir (Ratdog), and Mickey Hart (Rhythm Devils and Mickey Hart Band), Kimock is a true working man's genre-bending guitarist. Jason Hann and Michael Travis, known primarily for work with String Cheese Incident and their present venture, EOTO, bring a new-groove/electronica/tribal/acid jazz aspect to the PRAANG project. From groovy slap bass to syncopated measures, the two provide the musical backbone to complement Kimock's melodic tapestries. Contributing additional innovative rhythms is Jamie Janover, a true pioneer on the musical scene. Maintaining a rigorous touring schedule with numerous projects and worldly travels, Janover's percussion skills are unmatched.

Hot Buttered Rum for Two Nights in Boulder - Oct 10 & 11

HBR @ All Good Fest - photo by Sanjay Suchak- for the Grateful Web

In the Fall of 2006, itching to release their first live album, Hot Buttered Rum announced that it would be recording a handful of shows for official release.  Live in the Northeast (released May 2007) beautifully reveals the true core of live Butter: music that is forceful without being flashy, serious without being stuffy, intricate without being inaccessible, and diverse without being distracting.  The performances were professionally multi-tracked and later carefully mixed by Butter's long-time sound engineer, Josh Osmond. The result is striking, presenting the unique energy and improvisational spirit of a Hot Buttered Rum live performance in studio-quality sound.

Often described as a rock band playing bluegrass instruments, no prior Butter recording has so perfectly displayed the band's bolder and heavier side.  Their full sound permeates Live in the Northeast - from the reggae-tinged "Return Someday" and psychedelica of "Desert Rat" through definitive covers of the Grateful Dead's "Cumberland Blues" and Leo Sayer's "Feel Like Dancin'" - winding the listener through a robust and intense set of acoustic rock.

Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, the guys of Hot Buttered Rum grew up on the trails, in the mountains, and on the slopes.  Their ties with nature have only grown and as a group, the band has dedicated much time and energy to reducing their carbon footprint and promoting alternative fuel sources.  As a heavily touring band, Hot Buttered Rum had to face the tough reality of how a national tour can affect the environment and counter it with a positive change.  In response, the band helped to promote the biofuel renaissance, touring the country on recycled vegetable oil and biodiesel as early as 2003.  Band members have participated in numerous Renewable Energy and Biofuel conferences, as well as sitting on discussion panels at such renowned music festivals as Bonnaroo and High Sierra.  Highlighted in the November/December 2005 issue of E: Environmental Magazine, Hot Buttered Rum is commended for trying to "leave an impact on its fans, and not solely on the road that passes beneath its bus tires as it travels from coast to coast".  For more information on Hot Buttered Rum and their greening efforts, visit the band's website.

The band's current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:

September 07 Rancho Nicasio Nicasio CA
September 13 Mulberry Mountain Music Festival Ozark AR
September 23 Humboldt Brewery Arcata CA
September 24 Stillwater Ashland CA
September 25 Domino Room Bend OR
September 26 Wonder Ballroom Portland OR
September 27 Triple Door Seattle WA Two Shows!
September 28 W.O.W. Hall Eugene OR
October 10-11 Fox Theatre Boulder CO
October 30-31 Las Tortugas at Evergreen Lodge Groveland CA
November 08 8 x 10 Club Baltimore MD
November 20 East Hartford Community Center East Hartford CT
November 21 Lowell Auditorium Lowell MA supporting Dark Star Orchestra
November 22 Electric Factory Philadelphia PA supporting Dark Star Orchestra
November 23 Fairfield Theatre Bridgeport CT supporting Dark Star Orchestra
January 24 Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute Utica NY
February 20-21 Wintergrass Tacoma WA

More dates to be announced. 

The widespread appeal of Hot Buttered Rum's music stems not only from the band's musical versatility and prolific songwriting, but also from the magnetic chemistry the group creates onstage together.  It is this chemistry that is propelling the band to ever greater success. The band has performed at festivals as diverse as the Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo, Grey Fox, High Sierra and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and has shared the stage with such artists as Phil Lesh, Bela Fleck, Ben Harper, Chris Thile, Mike Marshall and Peter Rowan, the last two of whom worked with the band on its critically-acclaimed studio release, Well-Oiled Machine.

Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two Basks in the Afterglow

photos by Amanda Bell- for the Grateful Web

The Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two held at the Krannert Center for Performing Arts on the University of Illinois campus September 13-15 proved that guitar music, in its many forms, is alive and well in the legends and up and comers alike.  From Kaki King and Natalia Zukerman to Buddy Guy and John McLaughlin, the various theaters, corridors, lobbies and patios of the Krannert Center exploded with the sounds of guitar: acoustic, electric, lap steel and oud.  Toubab Krewe kicked off the weekend Thursday night with their American-rock-meets-West-African-rhythm sounds, and master slide guitar player Cindy Cashdollar joined bluesman Sonny Landreth for an unforgettable lesson in blues music.  Also on Thursday evening, The Yohimbe Brothers featuring Vernon Reid and turntablist DJ Logic rocked the house.  All the while, globe-trotting guitar anthropologist Bob Brozman and Grammy winner Ledward Kaapana played beautiful Hawaiian music under the stars.  By late Thursday night, it was clear that the weekend would be full of unforgettable collaborations from a wide range of virtuoso musicians. 

Festival highlights included the percussive sounds of young Kaki King who performed in the Wood, Steel, & Beyond concert with veteran strings-men Tony McManus and Alex de Grassi.  A strong showing by Shawn Colvin and Natalia Zukerman assured the crowd that guitar music is not lost on young women, as their skillful playing highlighted their outstanding vocal performances.  On Friday evening, the festival's range was undeniable as the Global Guitar concert, which featured international players Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Rahim AlHaj and Pierre Bensusan , came to a close, and the audience moved from the Great Hall to the Tryon Festival Theatre to enjoy the Latin sounds of multi-Grammy winners Los Lobos.  The hill country, blues-infused rock 'n' roll of the North Mississippi Allstars offered what can only be called a romping throw down.  And when they brought in good friend and Chicago's own Jake Cinninger (guitarist for Umphrey's McGee) to play a handful of tunes, the crowd couldn't have asked for more.  The festival culminated Saturday evening as John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension took the stage in the Colwell Playhouse, playing to a sold out audience on the edge of their seats.  A true master of his art, McLaughlin did not disappoint and received rave reviews across the board.  Few performances could follow such a crowd pleasing show, but the Evening Blues concert with Abdoulaye Alhassane Toure & Banning Eyre, Jorma Kaukonen, Buddy Guy and Cindy Cashdollar was the perfect billing and the artists delivered a stellar performance. 

Now in its second year, the first Wall to Wall Guitar Festival took place in 2005 and was a huge success.  Building on the momentum of that inaugural year, The Wall to Wall Guitar Festival, Take Two offered more than 20 performances by more than 30 artists from all over the world.  The state-of-the-art facilities at the Krannert Center, paired with a handpicked line-up by Artistic Advisor David Spelman, provide Wall to Wall with top-of-the-line acoustic rooms to showcase the outstanding talent of some of the world's finest guitar players.  Truly a festival with something for everyone, Wall to Wall sent this year's crowd home more than satisfied, and already asking about the 2009 event.  With all that music, it's no wonder the festival takes a year off to gear up for the next one. 

For an inside listen on all things Wall to Wall, be sure to check out www.walltowallguitar.com and Tim Brookes' podcast series and a handful of featured performances available on iTunes .