Illustrious musicians from the vanguard to the nostalgic, some of who began plying their craft in the ‘60s, and others who are poised for big recognition in the 2020s, all shared a distinctive Southern California seaside aesthetic at the inaugural BeachLife Festival May 3 to 5. BeachLife, the biggest fest ever to blast its jukebox along the Santa Monica Bay at Redondo Beach, combined sun, sounds, sand, and surf and passed its acid test with flying colors.
All-Star Grateful Dead Fundraiser: Keller Williams, Circles Around the Sun, Steve Kimock, Bill Nershi, George Porter Jr, Amy Helm & More
Ardmore Music Hall proudly reprises their annual 2-night fundraiser and concert event, Unlimited Devotion, on May 31st and June 1st with iconic social activist and “official clown” of the Grateful Dead, Wavy Gravy, as the guest of honor and yet another star studded lineup of musicians and bands to celebrate the music, spirit and generosity of the Grateful Dead community; The Unlimited Devotion event has raised over $80,000 in charitable donations so far - and counting.
Bluegrass royalty, Del McCoury Band, will headline the 15th Aiken Bluegrass Festival on May 10th & 11th in Aiken, SC. The two-time GRAMMY winner, celebrating his 80th birthday this year, is at the top of a bill that brings the three-stage festival back to the roots of bluegrass, while simultaneously celebrating the bright future of the genre. The full lineup includes red-hot Billy Strings, Keller Williams’ string band collaboration, Keller and the Keels, the 14th ABF appearance of Larry Keel Experience, hard-driving Horses
The WinterWonderGrass Festival had its first ever foray to the east in mid-December. It was a warm welcome to the beautiful Vermont Green Mountains at the Stratton Ski Resort. There’s a saying in New England, and it especially applies to Vermont this time of year. If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour. This adage proved true over all three days of the WinterWonderGrass Vermont festival. Opening day Friday started out mild, mid-40s a bit grey. Everything looked perfect for a fine festival kick-off.
The sad passing on October 12 of Andy Goessling, founding member of Railroad Earth, the ongoing host band for the Hangtown Music Festival (Oct. 25-28), was a unifying thread at this year’s fest, prompting outspoken love, respect, and admiration. In the end, the shared loss sparked a like-minded cause for life celebration and a shared process of moving forward amid a backdrop of fabulous music, Halloween costumes, and community.
Keller Williams is a stand-alone kind of guy. With looping as his signature musical move, he has been in and out of loops ranging from gospel to funk bluegrass to now instrumental? It’s true. The new Keller Williams album, SANS, hits the stores on Oct. 19th. Grateful Web had a chance to chat with him about the latest release.
KW: Trying out new headphones...Hello? Can you hear this okay?
GW: Yes I can! How ya doing?
It’s one thing to create an understanding of an artist by visiting Spotify, and another entirely to hear them play. Trout Steak Revival is the perfect example. I didn’t have the highest hopes for Trout Steak Revival after visiting Spotify. But by the end of the first song, I could confidently say I am enamored by them. Mixing and mastering all of their talent into an audio file is a job I’d avoid at all costs. Something so authentic as an acoustic show never reflects the true richness that comes from having so much raw talent and mastery on one stage.