Suwannee Springfest, held March 22-25 at the beautiful Spirit of Suwannee Music Park, Live Oak, Florida was the rainiest, most violently stormy festival I have ever attended, but it was still a great time and the show went on. It rained off and on and then just on until late afternoon Saturday. After lightening struck by our tent and the crescendo of its thunder rang in our ears, the sun did come out in all its glory.
Summer is music festival season. Plain and simple. It’s the easiest time to travel to whatever destination and have the assurance that you will be comfortable and satisfied with variable weather conditions. July festivals do have their pitfalls on that end though, with scorching temperatures and fields filled with thousands of festival-goers, sometimes the dead of summer multi-day musical festivals can be exhausting and problematic to those who are more about the music and less about sunscreen and lugging camping gear around.
Many different bands could be sited as having created the Boulder music sound. Since the 1970s and even before, Boulder has been an outlet for “freaks” everywhere to unite and be free in artistic creation and expression. Along with having a large population of young people from University of Colorado’s Boulder campus, the spirit of the town itself has always been young, wild, and free. Of all the artistic mediums, Boulder’s live music scene and support has always seemed strongest.
Saturday night, I had the privilege of catching an up and coming Boulder folk band called Gipsy Moon. They combine bluegrass, soul, alternative rock, and a little bit of gipsy jazz, weaving an intricate aura of acoustic song. A friend of mine called me up, telling me that the group was playing at the Lazy Dog on Pearl Street and it was not to be missed. He was right.
Having lived and worked in Boulder, CO for almost 20 years now, I can’t help but reminisce about how my life has changed since I first moved here from the East Coast in 1992. In July of 2012 I will have officially lived here longer than where I grew up.
It had been way to long since I last saw Leftover Salmon play together as a band. I recall the last time, way back in 2004, driving to the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in upstate New York, destined to see the band play as a festival headliner in one of their final gigs before ‘hiatus’.
The greater Boulder-Denver area is growing as an undeniable mainstay of excellent live music and the culture contained within. We get the likes of the best acts in jazz, rock, jam-band, electronic, and popular music. Something about the devotion and enthusiasm of our crowds keeps bands coming back to this very specific location. Naturally we also have plenty of mainstay bands that grew in popularity out of Boulder-Denver if they weren’t born there to begin with.
Jam-grass pioneers Leftover Salmon are spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Denver and treating fans with 2 shows. After the pumpkin pie has been carved, founding members Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman will take the stage with Greg Garrison (bass), Bill McKay (keys), Jose Martinez (drums) and new addition Andy Thorn (banjo).
As a relative newcomer to Colorado, I've been waiting to find a festival than can live up to the wonderful Arkansas festivals I've come to know and love over the years. I can definitely say I've found just such a festival high in the mountains at Rancho Del Rio, YarmonyGrass.