Wed, 09/06/2017 - 6:57 pm

This year’s Louisville Kentucky’s Bourbon and Beyond Festival is being held September 23rd to 24th combines the best of music, drink and food. What better place to have a music festival revolving around Bourbon than Louisville Kentucky? The early forecast of upper 70 degrees for the weekend looks to be a beautiful one and the perfect time of year.

It is being held on the banks of the Ohio River in Champions Park, a total of three primary music stages, there are two main stages on one side of the park and a Bluegrass stage curated by the Bluegrass Situation located elsewhere on the grounds. Across the park there will be the Mash Stage powered by GE Appliances where there will be chefs doing cooking demos and seminars. There is also a spot for those who like to camp and plenty of onsite parking for those who like to drive. The festival is also partnering with bus.com offering a shuttle service from nearby cities, Lexington, KY, Indianapolis, IN and Cincinnati, OH.

While music is one of the main attractions for this festival, there’s also plenty of food involved with celebrity chefs signed on like Tom Colicchio and Carla Hill amongst many others. They will be hosting some private parties throughout the weekend as well. Love and Fire presented by Larceny Bourbon, which involves cooking over live fire. Southern Soul hosted by Maker’s Mark, a BBQ and Asian influenced sides with tunes by Derby City Soul Club with the winners of the 2016 Louisville Music Award best Live DJ’s Matt Anthony & Kim Sorise. The third party is the Big Easy Boil hosted by Southern Comfort. Bringing the spirit of New Orleans with delicious Cajun cooking and SoCo cocktails.

If you’re a local Louisville foodie you may be familiar with Edward Lee who has also signed on many restaurants to provide food for festival goers all weekend featuring tacos, grilled cheeses and more. If you are vegetarian and/or looking for gluten free options they’ll have you covered there too. There are also going to be celebrity bourbon masters hosting tastings and workshops. F.Y.E. will also be on site selling music with chances to meet & greet some of the artists, there will also be plenty of merchandise stands to buy Bourbon and Beyond gear as well as artist vendors. Cambridge Massachusetts technology company iZotope will be there showcasing its latest professional quality products in their RV turned mobile recording studio. There will also be an area dubbed the Music Experience tent that will feature an interactive exhibit with instruments used by popular bands.

With a stellar lineup including Seattle Washington’s mighty Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, who has been touring solo much of this year, and the multigenerational American rock band led by Steve Miller, aka Steve Miller Band are headlining their respective stages the first night. The Queen of Rock and Roll, Ms. Stevie Nicks and guitar extraordinaire singer songwriter Joe Bonamassa are headlining Sunday night. Other artists on Saturday will be blues legend Buddy Guy, Band of Horses, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, ZZ Ward, and newcomer but must-see Fantastic Negrito. On Sunday it doesn’t stop, Jonny Lang, Philadelphia’s G Love and Special Sauce, and New Orleans' Jazz collective Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, just to name a few. Don’t forget the Bluegrass stage featuring acts like NewTown (Saturday and Sunday), Mipso (Saturday), and Town Mountain and The Steel Wheels (Sunday.) Needless to say there will be plenty of music to keep everyone dancing throughout the weekend no matter where they are around Champions Park!

For those who are still on the fence, this is bound to be one of the best blues/rock festivals this year. There are tickets still available including certain VIP/Mint upgrades. More information can be found at Bourbonandbeyond.com including all the parties and more details about all the wonderful music to be had. Stay tuned as Grateful Web will be covering all the action throughout the weekend. Hope to see you down at the park!

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 7:27 pm

A few weekends ago, the inaugural Bourbon and Beyond Festival rocked Champions Park on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Even though the calendar indicated it was the first weekend of Fall it was very hot and humid in bourbon country, the park was geared up and ready to host what ended up being approximately 50,000 people for two days of music, food, and drink. The two main stages had alternating sets of the biggest names in blues, rock and a little bit of country music. The bluegrass stage also had music going all weekend long.

Bourbon & Beyond | Louisville, KY

The few smaller/independent artists played first to prime up the audience for the bigger names as the day turned into night. Such as indie soul rocker Dave Cavalier, quirky and swaggering Fantastic Negrito [some Eddie Vedder fans may be familiar with his name as he had an opening slot on the 2016 Temple of the Dog tour], and country singer Caitlyn Smith. Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland also played with his country group. Unfortunately, those were some of the acts that Grateful Web wasn't able to catch.

Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy, he is 81 years old, and that man still has a ton of energy! When it comes to the blues, Buddy Guy he is a timeless staple. Humoring the crowd by talking about hip-hop music and how his daughter is a fan of it, He had a younger band with him that kept things current. They played raw and unadulterated blues. It started the afternoon off on the right foot.

Kenny Wayne Shephard | Bourbon & Beyond

Kenny Wayne Shepherd band brought a little more modern flavor and hard rock to his blues. Equally as impressive as Guy before him he powered through a set trading lead vocal duties with Cincinnati, Ohio native Noah Hunt. Celebrating his 8th studio album Lay It On Down, at only 40 years old, he’s had quite the impressive career and showed the crowd his talents. Not many could follow up Buddy Guy, but he and his band did an excellent job.

Bourbon & Beyond | Louisville, KY

In between some music, Grateful Web caught a seminar “Like Father Like Son” with Jim Beam seventh generation distiller Fred Noe III and his son Freddie Noe IV, who is now working with his father. The Noe’s were with bourbon critic and Wall Street Journal best-selling author, Fred Minnick who moderated while Fred and Freddie discussed what it’s like to be in a family of distillers. They also shared a little of the history and legacy, and jokes like Fred’s relationship with Mila Kunis and how she was afraid to swear around him, and Freddie having to come up with concoctions that ended up not tasting very good. It was interesting to hear the stories and how making the spirit is ingrained in many lives.

Amos Lee | Bourbon and Beyond Festival

Amos Lee played later in the afternoon before the sun started to set the soulful sounds that came from his voice were a perfect addition to the festival. His band was as smooth as their frontman and it was apparent how much they enjoy playing together.

Eddie Vedder | Bourbon and Beyond

Second to last performer of the night, arguably the highlight for many in attendance was Pearl Jam frontman, Eddie Vedder. Although it wasn’t a full-on Pearl Jam show, the energy in the field may have matched the intensity. Vedder came out all smiles and went right into “I Am Mine” from Pearl Jam’s 2002 Riot Act album. He mentioned that it was his daughter’s birthday that happened to be the same day as the festival, he may be older and have children, however, passionate performances are still one thing that hasn’t changed with him. He continued to play a few more Pearl Jam covers, classics like “Wishlist,” and “Elderly Woman...” He also played a few hard-hitting covers like Fugazi’s “I’m So Tired” and “I am A Patriot” by Little Steven. This was also the 2nd to the last date of his 2017 solo tour, no doubt that he would be a bit tired. Still, all in all, a great performance by a veteran artist.

Steve Miller | Louisville, KY

Speaking of veterans, last but not least for Saturday night was Steve Miller and his band. The Steve Miller band has been a staple of blues rock since the late 1960s. There are at least five songs that any rock fan should know and they were all played. “Abracadabra,” “Take the Money and Run,” “Space Cowboy,” “The Joker,” and “Fly Like an Eagle” all sounded great soaring from Miller’s mouth. As well as other on-stage collaborations with Kenny Wayne Shepherd during Elmore James’ “Stranger Blues” and “Mercury Blues” originally by K.C. Douglas. Playing in front of a gigantic backdrop of the iconic unicorn from their 10th album Book of Dreams. The whole set was tremendous and a good finale for day one of Bourbon and Beyond.

Steve Miller Band | Bourbon and Beyond

Now onto day 2, this day was also stacked as much as the first day. Knowing a little more what to expect such as the lay of the land and where things were navigating was more straightforward for most of the crowd. The air was a bit cooler, but not much. Kiefer Sutherland, yes, that Kiefer Sutherland opened the afternoon with his brand of country rock. Other big names but unfortunately not captured on camera but worth noting were names like blues great Jonny Lang, and Trombone Shorty rocked their respective stages, to an already full crowd in front.

G Love | Bourbon and Beyond

Late afternoon rolled around, and Garrett Dutton better known as G Love graced the Bourbon and Beyond stage to play with his band Special Sauce. Forming in Boston in the early 90s, he’s one hard working musician who always is evolving. He essentially invented a genre of hip-hop blues. His most recent release Love Saves the Day, is mostly straight up blues and less hip hop. They still played a wide variety of songs, and still mixed some old school tunes with hits like “Cold Beverages.” Stay tuned for a Grateful Web interview with him.

Gary Clark Jr. | Bourbon and Beyond Festival

Gary Clark Jr. also had a commanding presence. A little more subdued in nature than G Love, but just as powerful, Clark Jr. wore dark sunglasses on for most of his set in the late afternoon sun. He and his band played a 10-song set consisting of a few blues classics like Elmore James’ “Can’t Stop Loving You,” and later on “If Trouble Was Money” by Albert Collins, he played a few of his own hits like “When My Train Pulls In,” and “Travis County.” His set also included his rendition of “Come Together” by the Beatles. He is a must see if you’re a blues/rock fan.

Paul Rodgers | Bourbon and Beyond

Another music veteran played after the comparatively young Clark Jr., Paul Rodgers well known for forming and fronting the band Bad Company, as well as Free and The Firm, and has had a successful solo career. He was arguably one of the most colorful performers of the whole weekend. He wore a bright yellow shirt with flower patches on the sleeves with a black vest over it and a black hat to top it all off. The set consisted of mostly all Bad Company hits opening with “Can’t Get Enough” and played “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” “Shooting Star,” and “Run With the Pack” with a few Free hits “Mr Big,” and “All Right Now” and one song from the Firm “Satisfaction Guaranteed” to balance it all out. While interviewing G. Love, he was playing, and Dutton stopped and said: “How many hits does Paul Rodgers have?!” It was a great set indeed and perfect for the setting sun.

Joe Bonamassa | Bourbon and Beyond

After the colorful and hit-filled set of Rodgers, it was guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa’s turn to wow the crowd with his talent. After seeing his massive 18-wheeler tour trucks earlier in the day, you knew him, and his crew means business. He played his hits like “Mountain Climbing,” “Blues of Desperation,” and “Lost Times.” He had a full horn section backing him outfitted behind JB branded podiums, as well as backup singers. When Joe Bonamassa comes, he comes big and in style.

Stevie Nicks

Last and certainly not least, after everyone was rocked in the sun by Trombone Shorty, G Love and Special Sauce, Jonny Lang and more, transitioned into the nighttime darkness by Paul Rodgers and rocked by Joe Bonamassa. The woman sometimes referred to as the Queen of rock and roll, Stevie Nicks took the stage. She felt a little sensitive about her voice and asked people not to smoke too close to the stage. Her voice seemed flawless, nearly like velvet rippling through the park. With a band that was as tight as can be and have been working with her for decades, there was Waddy Wachtel on lead guitar, Carlos Rios on rhythm, Al Ortiz on bass, Jimmy Paxson behind the shielded drum kit and Darrell Smith on keyboards. Lori Nicks and Sharon Celani provided beautiful backup vocals.

See you next year @ Bourbon and BeyondShe opened the night with “Gold and Braid,” and played a few Fleetwood Mac tunes, on point, like “Gypsy,” and “Gold Dust Woman.” She also played some hits of her own like “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” “Wild Heart” “Edge of Seventeen” and “Bella Donna.” She wore a black dress and fingerless gloves, and colorful ribbons hung down from her tambourine and microphone stand creating a majestic effect. For her encore she played “Rhiannon,” and a grand finale of “Landslide” which was the perfect end to the two-day festival.

Bourbon and Beyond 2017

Check out more photos from Bourbon and Beyond - 9/23/17 | 9/24/17

Sat, 10/06/2018 - 10:06 am

It was the second to last weekend in September which meant it was also time for the 2nd annual Bourbon and Beyond Festival to come to Champions Park in Louisville, Kentucky. Unfortunately, it also accounts for unpredictable weather, as last year’s festival had relentless sun and heat. This year was the opposite, pouring rains made the grounds spongy and turned to mud very quickly. But while that was happening, it didn’t stop 25,000 people to enjoy the music that was in store for the day.

Sheryl Crow | Bourbon and Beyond

There were plenty of people dancing in the rain to the southern rock and soul sounds of JJ Grey and Mofro. Ms. Sheryl Crow was a definite highlight of the early evening. She rocked nearly a dozen songs to a very full crowd playing all her hits almost off the bat, (“If it Makes You Happy,” “Every day is a winding road,” and All I wanna do.”)  but notably no songs from her most recent album Be Myself from 2017.

Reignwolf | Bourbon & Beyond

Playing nearly simultaneously to Crow was newer artist Jordan Cook aka Reignwolf. He played the smaller bluegrass stage, across Champions park, however jokingly noted his style of music was far from bluegrass. It’s more of a hard rock/blues fusion with an emphasis on hard rock. As this stage was in a tent, he had a huge crowd watching him, so it was difficult to get too close. It was one of my favorite sets of the entire day, and he is definitely a band to keep an eye on.

David Byrne | Louisville, KY

After Reignwolf, new wave legend David Byrne was set to take the stage. He’s been touring hard all year with his marching band musician cohorts. They seem to be having the time of their lives on stage, including Byrne who doesn’t seem tired at all even though he’s been at it for most of 2018.

John Mayer | Bourbon & Beyond

The last artist to play was John Mayer; his grand finale was enough to keep the fans hanging in the rain to see him and his band. The set was mellow and a perfect way to end the day. The plan was to rinse and repeat the next day, but Mother Nature decided Saturday rocked so hard, Louisville wasn’t ready for another day of music and 2018’s Bourbon and Beyond festival was cut short. I do not doubt that 2019 will be just as fantastic as this years originally was planned to be.

A rainy and fun day @ Bourbon and Beyond 2018

Check out more photos from Bourbon & Beyond.

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 4:04 pm

When an outdoor music festival is held the organizers are at the mercy of mother nature. Unfortunately, the three-day hard rock and metal-oriented Epicenter held at Rockingham NC drag way had to work around a bit of extreme weather. Day 1, however went off without a hitch.

Meshuggah | Epicenter

I arrived at the site a little late due to traffic, the first band I caught was the Swedish extreme metal band Meshuggah. Surprisingly enough they were playing one of the smaller stages and it was still daylight, it was a treat to see them in that environment which also indicated how deep the festival lineup was. The lack of usual strobe lighting and natural daylight made for better pictures.

Evanescence | Epicenter

Next up was rock group Evanescence, on one of the mainstages. You likely remember them from their hit single “Bring me to Life” from 2003 release Fallen. Frontwoman Amy Lee has been in the industry for a while and after a few years of hiatus was back in full form. She sounded great as did the rest of the newer band members. Their newer sound is more symphonic than it was before when they were skirting the nu metal genre.

Machine Gun Kelly | Epicenter

Now completely dark outside, on the other main stage Machine Gun Kelly brought his band of rambunctious hip-hop/rock mix to the table. The set was very energetic and during the first three songs, MGK came out into the crowd and climbed up a scaffolding tower near the soundboard in the middle of the field.

Rob Zombie | Epicenter

After that, Rob Zombie played and rocked the house with his brand of horror metal. The set was nothing short of a spectacle. Zombie jumped around from platforms that had screens underneath them. It had to be one of the most visually stimulating sets of the day which was not unexpected from him and his band.

KORN | Epicenter

Following the horror induced metal of Rob Zombie, Bakersfield, CA metal pioneers Korn were the next to take the stage. As headliners of the first night, you knew they’d be up for putting on a show and that they did. Opening their set with “Falling Away from Me” from 1999’s Issues. They continued to play at least 1 song from all of their albums throughout the years. Including heavy hitters like “Blind,” “Shoots & Ladders,” “Twist” and “Got the Life,” from their first 3 albums. While it wasn’t all Korn’s night they didn’t go too deep into their catalog but it was a perfect cap to end the first day and left all festival goers satisfied.

Rockingham Speedway, Marston, NC

Check out more photos from day 1 @ Epicenter 2019.

Wed, 06/19/2019 - 10:50 am

The 2nd day started early, with New Zealand born lads in Alien Weaponry. They draw their influences on the Maori culture as each member has bloodlines in. Similarly, to the funk-metal stylings of Sepultura. They add some regional tribal themes to their heavy metal. They are also very young; I really cannot wait to see how their career goes as it’s off to a great start already.

Sylar | Epicenter

The first band on one of the bigger stages, New Yorker’s Sylar was up next. Taking their name from the villain in the NBC hit show Heroes. Their blend of metalcore with a hint of hip hop brought a lot of energy to the afternoon. Lead singer Jayden Panesso encouraged people to crowd surf especially people that had never done it before, which brought atypical people above the crowd, moving toward the stage.

Badflower | Epicenter

Badflower played next, the Los Angeles, CA natives haven’t been around that long, they released their debut album OK I’M SICK back in February and have been touring the festival circuit all spring.

The Damned Things | Epicenter

After them, heavy metal supergroup The Damned Things took over the other main stage. Led by Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die), Scott Ian (Anthrax) playing rhythm guitar, and Andy Hurley and Joe Trohman (Fall Out Boy) behind the drum kit and lead guitar. Their music isn’t as heavy as ETID and Anthrax, it’s not exactly poppy like FOB either. For me, anything Buckley is a part of is great. Being able to see the musicians in a different band was a highlight of the day.

Crobot | Epicenter

Another highlight was Crobot who played the small stage. They were one of the most photogenic bands of the whole weekend, and they played one of the smaller stages. They play hard rock that sounds like it came out of the 70s. Brandon Yeagley has a varying and strong vocal range. He also played the part of a confident frontman with tight shiny fish scale pattern black pants and an opened studded jacket.

Zakk Wylde | Epicenter

Next up was metal giant Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society. Always fun to see, with straight forward heavy metal. Wylde stands on a center platform in a yellow plaid kilt and his long blonde hair whipping around with ferocity.

Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society

Throughout the day the weather seemed iffy, with the threat of thunderstorms and then not. Finally, lightning struck 4 miles away from the festival site according to an app on my phone, and that’s when it got real.

Black Label Society | Epicenter

When the extreme weather was heading closer to the festival site, after 2.5 songs of Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society, they had the band stop and evacuate the grounds. The best part was the festival organizers handled it as best as they could, stopped the music so everyone could get to safety.

Scott Ian | The Damned Things

Right as I evacuated and got back to my rental car/campsite is when the high winds and a torrential downpour started. Other camper scrambled around as they tried to keep their tents and canopies from blowing away, some with no luck. Thankfully I secured my tent after getting drenched and decided to take down the tent and wait out the storm in the car. That’s when we got word that the festival was canceled for the remainder of the night. Disappointment ensued as there would be no appearances from Bush, The Cult, Judas Priest and Tool.

Andy Hurley | The Damned Things

It was great that the festival organizers decided to call it when they did as there was damage to one of the main stages. They kept everyone safe to the best of their abilities. They advised us to stay in our vehicles via the app, and not in tents, some took shelter under concrete structures of the drag way. Many wondered how the final day would turn out, most decided to stick it out and see. I decided to sleep in my rental car as I was looking forward to a busy day 3.

Crobot | Epicenter

Check out more photos from day 2 @ Epicenter.

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 6:06 am

After waking up on Sunday I immediately wanted to see who was still around. The people that were still camping felt a sense of accomplishment that they literally weathered the storm. The weather seemed iffy still that morning, but then it turned into the best day out of the whole weekend.

Boston Manor | Epicenter

Started off fairly early, the UK’s Boston Manor played one of the smaller stages. Sunday was a day that featured many UK bands. They are a really fun band to see, they have a hard rock/punk vibe and they aren’t too flashy. The first band on the Sunday main stage I caught was Canadian indie rock trio The Dirty Nil. Also, nothing too flashy but a very solid band.

Yungblud | Epicenter

An up and comer from the UK named Yungblud put on a fantastic set after the Dirty Nil did their thing. He rocked the emo flamboyance and had the talent to back up everything he put out there. Definitely an artist to keep an eye on for the future.

Fever 333 | Epicenter

I left Yungblud’s set to catch a bit of Ho99o9, the horrorcore masters mastered the smaller stage. Caught the set just in time to see Eaddy in the crowd making friends with the fans and crowd surfing in the friendly pit. Next band to get some attention from me was California’s Movements, a downtempo emo punk rock outfit. Back over on the main stage, Grammy-nominated punk hip-hop social justice aware Fever 333. Some may remember the frontman of this band Jason Aalon Butler from his previous band Letlive. These guys put their hearts out on the stage and it showed. Butler thrashes around the stage while he was singing his lungs out. 

The Interrupters | Epicenter

Ska new-comers The Interrupters, a late addition to the festival put on a great set. Their upbeat punk/ska/rockabilly music was perfect mood music for the Sunday afternoon lineup. 90s rock giants Live arrived late but had enough time to play 4 of their biggest hits. Over on the side stage, you may remember Tom Morello from his time in Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, and now Prophets of Rage. He performed a guitar-centered set of his own music and some covers definitely cool to see. 

Tom Morello | Epicenter

The finale of Sunday night were huge sets from some pretty huge names in music today. Bring me the Horizon, celebrated the release of their newest album Amo. Frontman Oliver Skyes is not afraid of putting on a show, inclusive of pyrotechnics, back up dancers and sharp costumes. They were also a sight to see.

311 | Epicenter

Omaha Nebraska hip-hop/rock/metal pioneers 311 played next, they are still rocking after over 30 years in music. Catch them on tour with the dirty heads this summer!

Foo Fighters | Epicenter

Also, rock giants, Foo Fighters capped the busiest day of the festival, playing a gigantic set of hits that I’m sure everyone that stuck around for the day was happy to see. Dave Grohl is no slouch when it comes to anything, their 21-song set included a few covers like Queen’s “Under Pressure,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “Breakdown,” and “Stay with me” by Faces.

Foo Fighters | Epicenter

Overall, despite the weather, the festival was a success. All stages had fantastic bands and it was hard to keep up with everything. I hope you enjoyed the coverage, until next year!

Epicenter 2019

Check out more photos from day 3 @ Epicenter.

Wed, 06/26/2019 - 11:57 am

This year’s rendition of Bourbon and Beyond is set to outdo the festival of last year that unfortunately was rained out due to dangerous conditions of the grounds. The new location will be outside the Kentucky Expo center at Highland Festival Grounds, more inland than the previous location on the banks of the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Robert Plant will headline Bourbon and Beyond

Even with the new location, the festival will have the same perfect blend of bourbon, food, and rock and roll music. For the food, there will be celebrity chefs like Edward Lee, Graham Elliot, The Voltaggio Brothers, and even former Saved By the Bell star turned chef Tiffani Thiessen. 

John Forgerty will play Bourbon and Beyond

In addition to delicious food, the bourbon is highlighted with various seminars throughout the weekend that will teach you the history of bourbon, talks with executives and also let you sample a taste. There is also a seminar focusing on women in the industry. 

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats will play Bourbon & Beyond

With all that don’t forget about the music! Three stages with some of the biggest names in rock and blues music are set to play over three days. Bands like Foo Fighters, John Fogerty, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, and Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real are playing Friday. Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Trey Anastasio Band, Alison Krauss, and Squeeze are just a few of the big names on Saturday. Then to top off the weekend Zac Brown Band, ZZ Top (50th Anniversary) and Leon Bridges are some of the big names on Sunday. 

Trey will play Bourbon and Beyond

The last 2 years of the fairly new festival have been great successes. With the new location, it’s bound to be even better, especially in case there is inclement weather.

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 4:49 pm

If you’re trying to solidify your plans for the summer music festival season, look no further. Levitate Music Festival at the Marshfield Fair Grounds in Marshfield MA has you covered, and it’s almost sold out! The surf shop and apparel line, Levitate, based out of Marshfield, started the festival back in 2013. it's grown to what it is today and will bring a healthy dose of soul, funk, jam, and reggae to the south east section of Massachusetts all weekend. Grateful Web will be there to cover the action! 

Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi

Starting Friday, to ease you into the weekend of music, Tedeschi Trucks Band headlines with a special wheels of soul performance featuring Blackberry Smoke and Shovels and Rope. Ripe and Andy Frasco & the U.N. also make an appearance Friday.

Joe Russo's Almost Dead

Saturday will be busy with bands like Seattle’s 7-piece band, The Dip are performing. As well as the sweet sounds of Alabama’s St. Paul & the Broken Bones. For the reggae fans, Soja and Sublime with Rome are set to play. For more of the jam-oriented fan, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead play before rockers Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats close out the night.

Nathaniel Rateliff

For Sunday, while Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley is headlining, Michael Franti and Spearhead, The Wood Brothers, Stick Figure, Steel Pulse and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will be perfect to keep your pallet wet before! There are some other great artists as well, so head over to levitatemusicfestival.com to see who else is there and to grab your tickets before they’re gone. Stay tuned to Grateful Web for the coverage.

Stick Figure - Levitate Music Fest 2018

Check out our coverage from last year's Levitate Music Festival.

Wed, 07/24/2019 - 6:45 pm

Ever thought of visiting Martha’s Vineyard, or simply looking for an excuse to go back? Beach Road Weekend has got you covered. The three-day music festival starts on Friday, August 9th, with a screening of Jaws with a live orchestra. The rest of the weekend has some great music in store for the island, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty will be headlining Saturday night, along with Vermont’s jam legends Dispatch. Alejandro Escovedo, North Mississippi Allstars, and Mason Jennings will also be performing.

Mr. Philip Lesh

Sunday, Phil Lesh & Friends and Grace Potter will headline the day. With Al Anderson, Berklee alum and his group the Original Wailers, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Jewish rapper and reggae great Matisyahu and New Orleans’ jazz-funk jam masters Galactic also make an appearance. 

Grace Potter will play on Sunday @ Beach Road Weekend

Tackling logistics, the organizers [Innovation Arts & Entertainment] of the three-day music festival have everything covered. There will be plenty of ferries bringing people back and forth from the island each night. Ferries from Hyannis, Woods Hole, and New Bedford will be running as well as shuttle service on the island. There will definitely be plenty of good food, beer, and wine being sold.

Beach Road Weekend

Allowed items include a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, strollers, rain protection umbrellas, binoculars, and blankets/beach mats. Leave your laser pointer and musical instruments at home. You can find out all the information about the weekend at BeachRoadWeekend.com

Sun, 08/18/2019 - 1:21 pm

It was a summer New England weekend at the site of the Marshfield Fairgrounds in Marshfield, MA. The 7th Levitate Music & Arts Festival was underway with some big names in rock, reggae, blues, and jam music. Not only does it bring great music, but it also brings great philanthropy and a homegrown vibe. 

Derek Trucks | Levitate Music and Arts Festival

Friday night, the Tedeschi Trucks Band led by the amazing Derek Trucks and his wife Susan Tedeschi. The chemistry they have is amazing and the rest of the band is fantastic. They blend blues with rock and roll. Accompanied by a horn section and great backup singers, it’s always a treat to catch them at a show. 

The Dip | Levitate Music Festival

Saturday afternoon started off with a 7-piece soul/funk/rock outfit from Seattle, WA. They are currently on tour all summer and are celebrating their album The Dip Delivers released early this year. They were a perfect mix of pop-rock and soul, a perfect sound for a summer afternoon. 

Eric Wilson | Sublime

Next up were ska/rock giants Sublime with Rome. After finding singer Rome Ramirez back in 2009 after original frontman Bradley Nowell had died of a heroin overdose right before their major-label debut had come out, the band has been touring back since. With founding member Eric Wilson on bass, the crowds certainly came out for this band. I think they could have handled playing on the mainstage, as they practically overwhelmed the 2nd stage. It was pretty cool to see them on somewhat of a secondary stage environment. Ramirez plays the original sublime songs well and his live singing is great. He isn’t a replacement for Nowell, as no one could replace him, but it was cool to hear some of the old sublime hits like “What I got,” “Smoke Two Joints,” and “Bad Fish.” 

Kat Wright | Levitate Music Festival

Kat Wright played the small soul stage immediately following Sublime with Rome. Her style was similar to Amy Winehouse with a reggae vibe. On the main stage, Alabama’s St. Paul and the Broken Bones were performing. Not sure how, but frontman Paul Janeway was dressed in a black suit with a feathered outfit over it. He must have been hot, however, he put on the most entertaining show. He didn’t scoff at the heat or miss a soulful beat of leading the band. One of the definite highlights of the weekend. 

Tom Hamilton | JRAD

After them was Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, on the style stage, similar to Sublime with Rome, JRAD pulled a big crowd. It also helped them that no one was playing at the same time. They played Grateful Dead covers as well as they do, and it was a very tight set.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats headlined on Saturday. After seeing them playing a support-like set at a Festival year prior. It was very fun to catch a headlining show by these guys. They stepped it up and sounded great as a headliner.

David Hinds | Steel Pulse

On Sunday, the day began for me on the stoke main stage with the Mihali & Friends community jam. They were a group of fantastic musicians doing great covers like Sublime. It was a good way to start the afternoon. After that, Grateful Web caught the legendary reggae band Steel Pulse, who put on a fun and engaging set.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong

Next up, Baltimore Maryland jam band rockers Pigeons Playing Ping Pong took the main stage and showcased their talents. Their show is arguably better at night with a fantastic light show however seeing them during the day was fun and a change from the usual club darkness. You could see the singer’s expressions perfectly. 

Chris & Oliver Wood | The Wood Brothers

The Wood Brothers, Oliver, and Chris played after on the other side of the fairgrounds. Their Americana folk style was a little slower tempo but it fit in nicely with the whole weekend. A band can rarely go wrong with an upright bass. 

Michael Franti | Levitate Music Festival

Over on the other side of the fairgrounds, Michael Franti and Spearhead were next I had never seen them before and from the beginning montage film being played before they took the stage, I was all in. Franti is all about peace love and humanity. He wants a better world for his son and he expresses that through his music. He had full crowd interacting tunes and he was amazingly fun to photograph. I am looking forward to seeing him again. He was one of my favorite sets over the whole weekend.

Damian Marley | Levitate Music Festival

The grand finale for the festival was Bob Marley’s youngest son Damian. There was built up anticipation of his set and he put on a tremendous show. Filled with lights, and his full reggae band. Also, a guy running on stage waving the Rastafarian flag. Marley had a grand presence on the stage with dreadlocks nearly down to his ankles, with great reggae beats and great vocal talents he showed he was fit to headline the Levitate Music and Arts Festival 2019. My biggest suggestion would be, switch a few bands to the main stoke stage as the popularity of artists playing cramped up the Style Stage, but other than that it was a fantastic weekend full of great music. 

Levitate Music Festival 2019

Check out more photos from day 1 | day 2 | day 3

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 1:11 pm

The weather was perfect for a weekend in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Whether it was your first trip or 100th. For me, it was my first trip, but no better excuse to go than a mid-August weekend to see some great music.

The afternoon started with a surprise; I didn’t realize that opening the festival was Super Diamond, a Neil Diamond tribute band. Upon hearing the familiar songs, I ran over to snap some photos. They were thoroughly engaging, and it didn’t matter that they were on first on the main stage at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Vineyard Haven. Everyone in the band was introduced with the last name Diamond which made it very Ramones-like and very entertaining.

Rose Guerin | Beach Road Weekend

One of the best parts of the Beach Road Weekend was the fact that there was a whole stage dedicated to local Martha’s Vineyard bands and musicians that not many people off the island would necessarily be familiar with. In between each band at the main stage, the MV stage was full of action all weekend long. After the sounds of Neil Diamond were finished blasting over the park, Rose Guerin took the stage with her band. In between the acts at the mainstage Guerin got to play most of the afternoon mostly with her full band but also a few solo songs as well. Her soulful voice filled the air, and it grabbed people’s attention. Then in between, she was hanging out in the crowd with the rest of the patrons.

Alejandro Escovedo

Mason Jennings took the stage and played some low-fi solo acoustic songs. Good for a midsummer afternoon day. Next up was the North Mississippi AllStars, the southern rock band rocked the festival stage. A highlight of Saturday was seeing the music legend, Alejandro Escovedo. He has been touring since the late 70s and doesn’t seem to be ending soon. His full set of southern rock songs was a treat to see.

The local stage after Escovedo had the Dock Dance Boys. They had the most fun set of amusing pop-rock songs. After the fun set, the all-mighty Dispatch played the main stage. The funk-jam greats started off acoustic and then went into a full-blown jam. They were a definite treat to see as they don’t go on many tours these days.

Johnny Hoy | Beach Road Weekend

After Dispatch, another fun local band fronted by Johnny Hoy took the MV stage. They played New Orleans’ style blues/rock. It was a definite highlight to headline the main stage.

John Forgerty | Beach Road Weekend

To wrap up night one altogether, another legend John Fogerty who fronted Creedence Clearwater Revival and played the first Woodstock in 1969. He played a great retrospective set along with some amazing backup singers, and his sons played guitar and sang respectively. He played all his hits like “Centerfield” and then many of the CCR classics people love like “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Proud Mary.” It was the best way to end the first full day of Beach Road Weekend.

The Outskirts | Beach Road Weekend

Right when you maybe thought who could top a lineup like what happened on the first day? Well, Sunday may have arguably been the fuller day with just as much great music as the first day. Grateful Web’s day started with the local group The Outskirts who hail from Vineyard Haven. They played some fun pop-rock music. After their set, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe played. Denson is an American funk/jazz saxophonist who used to be a part of Lenny Kravitz’s band; he also plays with the Rolling Stones and his own trio when he’s not with the Tiny Universe. After all of that funk greatness, the Outskirts returned to play the MV stage to keep the music going!

Karl Denson | Beach Road Weekend

Next on the mainstage was Jewish reggae, rapper, and beatboxing great Matisyahu. After breaking the scene with his live album “Live at Stubb’s” back in 2005 and signing to Epic Records, he’s been a mainstay in reggae and dub music. He was a perfect fit for the weekend.

Matisyahu | Beach Road Weekend

After his set, The Phil Darosa Project played the MV stage, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but there is so much local good music coming from residents of Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts! Darosa and his band we’re no different. They played a great set of rock as well.

Stanton Moore | Galactic

Another fantastic funk band, Galactic, played the main stage. They filled the field with their blend of acid-jazz and jam styles to a full audience. They primed the crowd up for the local great Evan Dando (you may remember him from the Lemonheads) to play the MV stage. He had a great set of his songs, some acoustic that had the crowd’s attention.

Grace Potter | Beach Road Weekend

Grace Potter was the next to play the mainstage. She rocked it and had a gigantic set for the late afternoon on Sunday. She played the piano and commanded the stage with her performance. She played a majority of songs that she plays with her band the nocturnals.

The Mike Benjamin Band | Beach Road Weekend

The Mike Benjamin band from Martha’s Vineyard was the last to play the local stage. They were another fantastic rock band. To top of his set, he even had a guest appearance with him on stage, the one and only Kori Withers (daughter of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bill Withers) who happened to be in town for a birthday party. She performed “use me” with the band. Having Ms. Withers there was a definite highlight of the whole MV stage all weekend.

Kori Withers | Beach Road Weekend

Last but certainly not least, Phil Lesh & Friends headlined the mainstage. It’s a pleasure to have seen this man twice this past summer (first at Newport Folk Festival). As the sun went down on the Vineyard, Lesh & friends were the perfect soundtrack to a sunset. It’s tremendous that the man shares his musical talents with the masses after not keeping a steady touring regimen; after all, he is almost 80 years young.

Phil Lesh & Friends | Beach Road Weekend

They played great songs including starting the set with “Help on the Way” into “Slipknot!” and also playing one of my all-time Grateful Dead songs “Scarlet Begonias.” They also played “Deal” originally by Garcia. After writing this recap, I read that Beach Road Weekend was the last gig Phil Lesh played since he had minor back surgery. He is expected to make a recovery! Definitely feel fortunate I got to see him at this great music festival.

Beach Road Weekend 2019

Also, news that the community enjoyed the festival so much they’re invited back to have it again in 2020! Until then, Summer music festivals come to a close, but there are a few fall ones to look forward to. 

Phil Lesh & Friends | Beach Road Weekend

Check out more photos from Saturday | Sunday

Wed, 10/23/2019 - 9:17 pm

It was that time of year again for the annual Bourbon and Beyond Music Festival in Louisville, Kentucky. This time in a new location, at the Kentucky Exposition Center fairgrounds it was 3 fantastic days of music, food and more! 

Mipso | Bourbon & Beyond

On the first day, I eased myself into the festival by catching some of the Bluegrass situation side stages with Mipso. They had played Bourbon and Beyond in the past and I had always missed them so now was the time to get them in front of my lens. They had a great folky style that had a pleasant sound. 

Bourbon & Beyond 2019

Next up was the appearance of 90s giants Live. This was the 3rd time for me catching them this year and I can’t say I ever get sick of hearing their songs live. They celebrated 25 years of their 3rd studio/mainstream breakthrough album Throwing Copper as well as wrapping up the ALTimate tour with Bush and Our Lady Peace. 

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips put on an expectedly left of the center show with trippy visuals during the sunlight. Their set included confetti being blown out into the crowd, as well as a huge balloon frontman Wayne Coyne pranced around the stage holding balloons that spelled out “Fuck Yeah Louisville.” While their sound may not be for everyone, their almost 4 decades creating music and art is nothing to scoff at. 

John Fogerty | Bourbon & Beyond

John Fogerty was a highlight of the first night as well, he has been touring his 50 years of Woodstock themed set, as he was one of the original artists to play the first Woodstock in 1969. The retrospective set showcased Fogerty’s legendary music status, along with great backup vocalists, and his sons getting to showcase their talent by playing guitar and singing during the set. 

Dave Grohl | Foo Fighters

Last but certainly not least, one of the biggest bands in the post-grunge era, Foo Fighters headlined night one. Dave Grohl and company know how to put on a fantastic rock show. They played all their hits and more. They certainly know how to captivate a crowd. Even switching it up letting Grohl play the drums while drummer Taylor Hawkins sang on their cover of Queen’s “Under Pressure.” They played for as long as they could and packed 20 songs to end the first day of Bourbon and Beyond. 

Ben Sollee | Bourbon & Beyond

Saturday was up and gearing up to be a busy day. Early in the afternoon, I caught Louisville musician Ben Sollee on the Bluegrass Situation Stage. He rocked the cello, with a drummer and guitar player. He played well, had a great voice and vibed well with his band. If there wasn’t so much action going on, I would have stayed and watched more of his set.

Maggie Rose | Louisville, KY

Onto the mainstage, Maggie Rose did her country-rock thing to a field that was starting to fill up a little bit. After Rose, the raspy deep-voiced Jake Smith professionally known as The White Buffalo played. They put on one of the best sets all weekend and were a definite highlight for me. He has a truly unique style that stood out. 

Samantha Fish | Bourbon & Beyond

Another highlight was Samantha Fish, I had heard of her through various friends always talking up her performances and shows but hadn’t been able to catch her myself until Bourbon and Beyond. She combines rock, blues with a little bit of rockabilly style, she’s also a great guitar player. 

Tiffani Thiessen with her husband

I took a break from the music a bit to catch Tiffani Thiessen (yes, THAT Tiffani Thiessen) give a food/drink presentation. She cracked jokes and brought her husband out to say hi and made drinks for the time that I stood in front of the stage.

Squeeze | Bourbon & Beyond

Next up was some other legends the UK group Squeeze. They had very high energy and put on a fantastic performance. The biggest surprise midway through their set was that Mr. Dave Grohl had come out on stage (surprising everyone) and just sat behind the kit to drum with them. 

Jenny Lewis | Bourbon & Beyond

Then back to more girl power, Jenny Lewis performed and knocked it out of the park. She combined the style of Dolly Parton with the performance power of Elton John with her sequin outfit and big sunglasses. After her Grace Potter also killed it with her set. She has so much power behind her voice and stage presence. 

Alison Krauss

After, to tone things down a little bit, bluegrass-country singer Alison Krauss took the stage. With an elaborate stage set up of cool back alley looking setting with show posters on a brick wall. She dazzled the audience with her enchanting voice. 

Trey Anastasio | Bourbon & Beyond

Trey Anastasio band took the stage and picked up the tempo again. With one of the most rocking sets of the evening. After seeing Trey and friends and Newport Folk Festival earlier in the year I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he picked it up and catered to a more blues-rock oriented audience.

Daryl Hall & John Oates

The finale for Saturday was the duo, Daryl Hall & John Oates. These guys seem timeless and put on a great show, hard to imagine they have been doing their thing for 4 decades! The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers played all their hits too, and more. 

Edie Brickell | Bourbon & Beyond

Now onto the 3rd and final day of Bourbon & Beyond, as if the first two days weren’t enough. Sunday included a fun soul band Southern Avenue to start things off. Next up were Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians with their folky pop sensibilities. They were really fun to see live. Whiskey Myers a southern rock outfit played after them. Lo-fi rocker, multi-instrumentalist and singer Kurt Vile and his band the Violators also played. His approach to rock is slightly minimalistic but it worked. 

Adam Carolla and Fred Minnick

For the food/drink portion of the day to round off the weekend. Adam Carolla dropped by and did a demonstration with best-selling author Fred Minnick. They had a barter deal going with Minnick’s ascots. It was entertaining.

Edward Sharpe | Bourbon & Beyond

One of the most fun sets was from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Pretty much from the start of the set throughout the first few songs, frontman Alex Ebert jumped down into the crowd and interacted with the audience. He made a field of people feel like a small club show. After their set Ebert had come to the media tent to do an interview, I said to him that I hope the photographers weren’t in his way and his response was “it’s okay you guys are like extra fans and I like that.”

Leon Bridges | Bourbon & Beyond

The incredible Texan soul singer Leon Bridges graced Louisville with his presence. He always puts on a great show and his voice is one of the best right now. Like a modern-day Sam Cooke.

ZZ Top | Bourbon & Beyond

After Bridges, some other legendary Texans took the stage the trio known as ZZ Top with all their bearded glory. They’re also a group that has been playing for decades and still know how to put on a top-notch show. 

Zac Brown Band | Bourbon & Beyond

Zac Brown Band headlined the final night. Inclusive of many great covers such as Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” Dave Matthews Band "Too Much," and even Beastie Boys “Sabotage.” Their blend of country-rock capped off the biggest Bourbon and Beyond festivals yet. Looking forward to what’s in store for next year. 

See you at Bourbon & Beyond 2020!

Check out more photos from Friday | Saturday | Sunday