What a magical weekend it was indeed at the Dark Star Jubilee. Each year is just as good as the last if not better. I had the honor of attending this festival for the fourth year in a row out at Legend Valley, Ohio over Memorial Day weekend. There are so many positive things to be said about this festival. It is a world of its own filled with beautiful music, positive people, smiles in every direction, and of course Grateful Dead Tunes.
Since his debut album Freek back in 1994, Keller Williams has never stopped pushing musical boundaries when it comes to the exploration of different genres and sounds. The lively, self taught multi-instrumentalist plays whatever he feels is right at the time, most of the time barefoot and always with a big grin on his face.
The Infamous Stringdusters put the spurs to their spring tour with a fret-blazing, shape-shifting show featuring special guest Keller Williams at Eugene’s McDonald Theatre (March 5th). The ‘Dusters delivered a convincing account of their distinctive “high country” sound while Williams complimented nicely, both with an impressive opening set and later, playing alongside the headliners. The pairing made for an entertaining combination of Nashville polish and free-spirited, festival charm.
Years before the actual word 'jamband' emerged as a genre or even a word, the Home Grown Music Network was there helping talented independent bands reach fans on a new level. Through its nationwide collective of bands, venues, stores and fans the Home Grown Music Network (HGMN) has catalyzed two decades of incredible audio offerings including the 2004 launching of Harmonized Records, going on to introduce the world to such powerful scene bands such as Lotus, Perpetual Groove, Garaj Mahal, The Motet and more.
Last Friday at The Fillmore in San Francisco, I felt right at home. As a Colorado native who moved to the Bay Area just three months ago it’s been an incredible transition and vast discovery process with the amount of incredible local and national musical talent that plays here constantly. Last Friday was humbling on multiple levels. It was the debut Fillmore performance of my favorite improvisational funk band The Motet.
Before even getting into the music, a big shout-out needs to go The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park. It is such a beautiful and well run festival venue. Upon entering the park, you a see dense forest of large trees dripping with moss and many nooks to set up camp. Then when going into the festival grounds you are greeted by some of the kindest staff I have ever encountered at the music festival. Very rarely did you find yourself waiting the lines for security or bathrooms. The park has lots of experience with festivals and it clearly shows.
Our society has developed a Chicken Little mentality that leaves lots of folks either glued to their cell phone or computer while waiting for a miracle or cringing that the good old days are gone.