A concert tour organized to encourage voter turnout has taken on a new dimension in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Organizers Magic Hat Brewing Co., CEG Presents and HeadCount announced today that all proceeds from the four city “Participation Tour” will be donated to the Red Cross and other storm relief efforts.The tour begins Friday in Baltimore, followed by stops in Philadelphia on Saturday and Washington, D.C, on Sunday. Then on “Election Eve,” Monday Nov.
As Tim O’Brien and Friends kicked off the final set of RockyGrass 2012, I planted my feet a couple of yards behind the elevated stage. The canopy of treetops overhead, awash in color from the stage lights, absorbed a light drizzle. To my right, the deity of all double bassists, Edgar Meyer, calmly warmed up next to the main stage staircase.
The RockyGrass bluegrass festival in Lyons may be sold-out, but KGNU radio has once again found a way to sneak everyone inside. Since 2008, the local community radio station has been broadcasting live backstage from the festival during their popular Saturday Old Grass Gnu Grass program. Last year they doubled the coverage and added a second day of broadcasting on Sunday morning.
I spent my entire weekend at DelFest thinking of a musician who wasn't even on the lineup: Doc Watson.. I had heard of his declining health just before I departed for the festival. I overheard many at DelFest expressing their own concern. It appears we all had a feeling, sadly. I wish we'd have been wrong.
I had a dream about Steve Martin, last night..
I knew I'd be writing this story, today.. That's likely why he was on my mind. Of course he was in a white suit, with an arrow headband on his head. [I'm a child of the seventies, after all..] But instead of playing for laughs, he was picking his banjo with fire, along with a bevy of world-class bluegrass musicians. This was an especially fun dream, considering I've never seen him perform in any capacity beyond the movie theater.
What can’t Bela Fleck do? Or maybe the question is what can’t Bela Fleck do with a banjo? Aside from his history with the Flecktones, bridging and bending the idea of genre and fusion music he produced his first film, “Throw Down Your Heart”, a journey into the true origins of the banjo in Africa. The film also drew awareness to culture and struggles abroad, something rarely achieved through a concert film.
This year’s Magnolia Festival was characterized by the usual wonderful blend of bluegrass, reggae and families and by unusually cold night- time temperatures. Hovering above freezing at night, the mountain music sounded just right in the cool mountain air of the Florida “hills”. As I sit in tank top and shorts in eighty degrees of Florida sunshine to write this, frozen fingers, frozen breath, the warmth of the fire and being bundled up from head to toe here last weekend seems surreal. Though it was “crisp” t
It was 7am and the sun was already beating down relentlessly on my tent, so much for sleeping in. In an “I don’t want to wake up now” haze, I attempted to claw my way out of the sealed vessel in search of cooler air. As I emerged, hair sticking straight up and out, I could hear a few people stirring around me, but most were just snoring. Our neighbors had finally passed out and were resting up for round two, the line for the port-a-potties was already exceeding thirty folks, and the showers… two hour wait. As people walked by our camp you could just see clouds of dir