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.
Recently, Dylan Muhlberg of Grateful Web chatted with virtuosic flatpicker, singer/songwriter and bandleader Larry Keel. Two years after the heralded revival of The Larry Keel Experience, Keel and some esteemed collaborators are at it again with his new release Experienced. In a humbling conversation, Dylan and Larry dug deep into Larry’s musical past including his roots as a champion Telluride Bluegrass Award Winning Picker with his foundational band Magraw Gap, and of course all the beautiful music since.
Of all the events that I have covered and shows that I have attended, none sparks or enlightens the soul more than ARISE. Creators and producers Tierro Lee and Paul Bassis have worked extremely hard to craft a festival that has something for everyone. This festival just feels good, like the energy in Maui. The music lineup is extremely diverse, the activities are plentiful, and the vibe is second to none.
ARISE is excited to share this special roster of noteworthy musicians as part of the line-up of Larry Keel's All-Star Tribute to Jerry Garcia: Dave Watts (The Motet), Chris "C-Bob" Elliot (Springcreek) Joe Lessard (Head for the Hills), Paul Murin (DeadPhish Orchestra) Ted Tilton (DeadPhish Orchestra) & one mor
Last week Denver bluegrass fans were smitten by the presence of a seven-piece bluegrass super-group of some of our favorite musicians for a two night run at the Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. Adam Aijala and Ben Kaufmann from Yonder Mountain String Band, Drew Emmitt and Andy Thorn from Leftover Salmon, Bridget Law and Bonnie Paine from Elephant Revival, and guitarist Larry Keel all shared the stage for a first tier, foot stomping picking party. Gipsy Moon opened on Friday night, bringing their soulful, eclectic sound to an upbeat collaboration.
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.
So many years after the disbandment of Grateful Dead that in turn relocated tens of thousands of devoted tour followers to various other acts and bigger life purposes, folks still crave that familiar feeling that kept them on tour. It didn’t only come from the music that Garcia and the gang connected with so many people through, but the sense of community and thriving weirdness that expanded continuously over decades of different intersections.