MusicMarauders Contributors

Justin Picard (J-man)

My story starts out like so many… My parents raised me with music. I remember listening to the Allman Brothers on vinyl, sifting through mix tapes that my dad made me and attending the first Lilith Fair. If I showed an appreciation for music, my parents were there to support it. Whether it was my favorite band coming in concert or wanting to learn to play a new instrument, yet again; my folks were there to make it happen. Somewhere along the line I was lead astray and ended up listening to street rap. My father again, stepped in to make the save, this time with two Dave Matthews tickets. It was all down hill from that point. I quickly slipped onto the scene, discovering one band after another that blew me away.

From the beginning I wanted more of a connection than what a live show would offer. So, I would wait around after the shows to converse with the musicians and often ended up having crazy experiences with some of the very folks I came to idolize. For the next ten years I traveled all over, including 1,000 mile treks to Florida and back, twice annually. Around 2009, when I was living in Downtown Ann Arbor, MI and an idea came to me; What if I took my love of music and put it to some kind of plan? So, I started a blog which would feature music news, links, and general wook-humor. After moving to Upstate, NY I found myself in a new environment, for the first time feeling a sense of direction, motivation and drive. I began to tap my contacts and threw together some interviews and show credentials. The gears started grinding…

As my excitement grew, the progress took over and quickly MusicMarauders came to the forefront of the live music/festival scene. The overwhelming amount of support from the community has thrust me into a full-time position of maintaining MM. I am very pleased with where we are… We’re where I thought we would be years down the road! When I tell people that I have only been doing this for a few months, the typical response is laughter. I’m doing my best to get this thing running at it’s full potential and I appreciate the involvement and support of all of the contributors and readers.

I am always available to you. Feel free to reach out and get in touch.

Greg Molitor

Greg first was introduced to music when his parents gave him a The Four Tops cassette tape when he was four years old. His childhood love of Motown music led him to discovering The Beatles when he was in 5th grade. By the time he was in 6th grade, he owned their entire catalog. His passion for “the fab four” blossomed into a love for all things classic rock during his middle school years. In high school, his Uncle Bill took him to see The String Cheese Incident and Trey Anastasio Band which sparked his interest in improvisational music. After his senior year of high school, he and his buddy Chris decided on a whim to drive to Alpine Valley and check out a band named Phish, a group he knew nothing of but had heard good things regarding their shows…

Since those Phish shows in 2003, Greg has been traveling the country and beyond to see as many shows as his schedule allows. His travels include Bonnaroo, 10,000 Lakes Music Festival, Rothbury, Summercamp, Jam in the Dam, and multiple Phish and Umphrey’s McGee tours. In 2009, Greg graduated at the top of his class at Eastern Michigan University’s School of Business, earning a BBA in Finance. He currently does administrative and marketing work for his father at Innovative Polymers Inc., a polyurethane raw materials supplier. In his free time while not at shows, one could find Greg either watching sports, playing drums and stringed instruments, or writing about his first love…music. He enjoys nothing more in life than spending time with a kind, honest friend who preferably will offer him a tasty slice of pizza in the near future.

Rex Thomson

Narrator: "Hi, my name is Rex Thomson, and I’m a music Junkie"

Dozens of voices off stage: "Hi Rex"

Narrator: "No, I’m not high! My name is Rex Thomson, and I’m a music junkie."

Seriously though, for years I have been an obsessed music fan, with a perchant for photography. In my mad efforts to drag my friends along with me, I would document my travels with my beloved Sony Cybershot! And for eight years that was enough, but then, I saw a thread on the internet that changed my life. And, after the swelling went down and my vision returned, with most of the feeling regained in my left arm, I saw another thread asking if anyone liked to shoot photos at festivals. And that’s how it began for me. Thanks to my friend Tom, and the Festival Family website, I was able to hone my chops, and photograph moments that meant the world to me. Now I had the opportunity to spread the word of what I loved before me, only now on a vastly larger scale. Always one to bite off more than I can comfortably chew, I moved beyond shooting just festivals, and am now also working with J-man on the Music Marauders project, as well as shooting promotional pieces, press conferences and charitable efforts. If there is a way I can help by doing what I do, then I want to be there.

Likewise, if there is a chance to spread light and love on the music that moves me, then I will do that to the fullest of my abilities. Sharing our joy, our love is the fastest way to understanding. It’s far easier it seems to share hate, for some sad reason it seems to come easier. But, in the end, That’s not why I am here. I am here to find love and share it with the world. And that is what I intend to do, with whatever forum, podium or random street corners I find myself upon, shout the word of the music to the people, as loudly as my lungs will allow. And, have a little fun along the way! Thanks for taking the time to read this and any future ramblings you choose to, it means the world to me! And, I hope to see you some where some time soon, dancing in front of some stage some where! I’ll be the guy in the tie dye! You can’t miss me, I have a big smile on my face!

Andy Zimmer
A self-confirmed “music junkie”, Andy won’t be checking himself into any 12-step programs in the near future. In fact, he prefers to feed his addiction’s voracious appetite with plenty of live music and dance parties. At times, he has been known to disappear for extended periods of time on ridiculous musical-benders. Only to reappear sometime later……confused, with a pocket full of ticket stubs, and singing a catchy tune. As an equal opportunity addict, Andy feels just as at-home at a packed festival, stadium show, smoky blues or jazz club, or street corner. If there is good live music being performed, chances are good that Andy is there trying to get his fix. Clearly, this half-mad audiophile must have some limit to how much music he can soak up, but pure hedonism pushes him to keep feeding the monkey. Some day in the future, when his vice finally gets the best of him, and he collapses in a pile of set lists and glow sticks; we may be able to take several tissue samples to determine how he lasted as long as he did. However, until that day comes, he roams the land in search of good tunes, honest songwriting, monster jams, and the ultimate “Tweezer Reprise”.

Jessica Pace

Living the dream. Or at least thats what I'm trying to do with my life at this moment. I'm half way through my twenties and trying to find that fine line between responsibility and fun. I try to see as much live music as I can and I love to travel, which is why traveling for live music is so much fun! I have the best friends and family a girl could ask for, and recently got engaged to my best friend Greg. As far as my music tastes, I like to think I'm open to anything. A few of my favorite acts include Umphrey's McGee, Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, Primus, Fiona Apple, The Beatles, CSNY, The Band, Stanton Moore Trio... the list goes on and on but there is a general idea for you. I really enjoy camping, I have been going with my family since I was two years old. I have two kids... and by kids I mean cats, named Disco and Gussie. I currently reside in Jackson, Michigan and work in Ann Arbor.


Alex Pryor

I grew up in the DC area surrounded by music; from the very day I was born I was exposed to every variety I could get my hands on. From a very young age my mother insisted on me taking Violin and piano lessons, and eventually saxophone and guitar. I never grew into a prodigy or even good, this however did provide the groundwork for me to appreciate music on a cerebral level. My father was heavily involved in the scene and a talented guitar player; going to at least a show a week; some of my earliest memories are on his shoulders soaking in the music and sun and dancing with the 1st Street Gang at Wolf Trap and JGB shows (my mom would never let him take me to actual dead shows.) Of course until I was older I never started to truly appreciate “dad’s crazy hippie music” as my Mom put it. When I got to be older, around 11 or 12 I heard Mahavishnu Orchestra’s album “Birds of Fire” for the first time and it changed my life. I actually started to “feel the vibe” from there it has been kismet, every moment I have spent since has been for music, about music, in music, and around music.

Having spent most of my time at shows and clubs my teenage life and and my further exposure while in college I figured it was time for me to bite the bullet and make a living out of this passion. Although I had been working as a production manager and getting people together for good tunes for quite some time. My first major show was a four day festival in August 2008, "Keep it Cool Music & Arts Festival" The Grateful Dead's Donna Jean and her Tricksters Headlined, with The Hackensaw Boy's and twenty other bands from all over the east coast and as far west as Indiana. It was heald at the legendary Sunshine Daydreams Music Park where I was lucky enough to be mentored by one of the industries greatest, Trip McClenny!

From there KIC showed no signs of slowing down, totaling over twenty eight fully produced concerts and 12 national acts since. Shattering attendance records in Winchester VA, I have enjoyed many packed shows at the VA Brewing Company and ZP Live. We were mainly producing at a place called Virginia Brewing Company in Winchester Va. Having relocated to Santa Cruz CA, I am currently expanding with many promoters and venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as providing coverage of local events and happenings through the Premier online site for the Headiest content on the Live Music Scene, Music Marauders. Keep it Cool has gone through a transformation to Way of Life Productions and relocation to the Bay, we have a lot planned for 2010, and you can find everything very soon on our new website;

Karen Dugan

There’s something great about real life. I love feeling alive. My
strength is my enthusiasm. You know what you see is what you get. Some
days I feel preppy. Some day I feel rock-n-roll. Some days I feel
hippie. Some days I feel glamorous. Some days I feel like a rebellious
13-year-old boy. And I think all are acceptable.

I absolutely am 110% addicted to seeing talented and dedicated
musicians play their respective instruments. Funky beats and bass
lines are preferred and pretty much all I can ever think about. Just
turn up the silence and I am happy!!!

Scott Shrader

My name is Scott Shrader, I am 22 years old and I live for the thrill of live music. I was born in the late 80's so I grew up through the ninety's hearing my parent's various 70's & 80's records ranging everywhere from John Denver to Fleetwood Mac to The Eagles. Once middle school came around I was your typical skate rat listening to all kinds of punk, grunge, and rock I could tune my ears into. Before High school I became part of a band with some of my best-friends and soon after that music took over my life. Playing shows at local YMCA's, Skate parks, school events, parties, etc. This opened my eyes to what an actual music scene is like and that feeling you get when you're part of something unique. Over the years our music progressed and so did our fans, it really was a cool thing to watch unfold. I spent my summer's in the early part of High School going to the annual Warped Tour's and random shows for more than four years. Got to catch a handful of my punk-rock idols and favorite indie groups but as the years went on, I slowly started to lose interest in the scene and began to branch out into jazz and progressive jam kinda stuff.

In March of 2004, a very good friend of mine (still to this day my show buddy) told Me there was a show I had to see; Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, coming to a local auditorium in Greenville, SC. This just so happened to change the way I listened, observed, critiqued and discovered music from then on. From the moment the band started I was speechless. I had never experienced that overwhelming feeling and musical awe before. I just remember leaving the show that night speechless of what I had witnessed. Soon after that I began discovering what music really had to offer and the impact live music has on a person & their mind. It wasn't long after that I became more interested in what live music had to offer. The following summer I attended a small festival in Gaffney, S.C. that opened my eyes to another way of experiencing live music. I was introduced to Vince Welnick, Keller Williams, & Larry Keel that weekend; also go to see Jurassic 5, one of my favorite hip-hop acts then. That weekend opened doors to so many different genres and artists that lead me on the path of loving live music so much.

The following Summer of 06' was when I began really getting into the jam scene. Experiencing my first Phil Lesh, Umphrey's, and moe. shows at Bonnaroo that year I started following the band's more closely. Soon after my love for The Grateful Dead began to grow. I soon found a new love and appreciation for the scene that surrounds these artists and others like them. I soon enjoyed going to shows to critique and compare past shows I had heard and seen. There's nothing better than getting to see your favorite band play that perfect set that leaves you with that feeling of excitement, relief, and strange reassurance that all is well in the world at the moment. Still to this day I continue to enjoy the experiences, adventures, & friendships made that are associated with going to see live music. Still after four years I follow and catch as many Dead related shows as possible. Also still a huge moe. & Umphrey's McGee fan. I am grateful to be part of this growing community and honored to be able to write reviews and take pictures of the shows and adventures that I experience for MusicMarauders. I intend on reporting and reviewing the music I experience as well as I can for you reading pleasure.

Beckie Hodges

Music has always been a part of me. The first song I ever learned the words to was Eight Days A Week and when other kids my age were watching Disney movies I was watching The Beatles Anthology. A friend of my dads gave me a copy of The Woodstock Movie when I was about ten and since then I was hooked on the culture/scene. I was born on Friday the 13th on my parents 10th wedding anniversary and growing up in the NW burbs of Chicago was a blessing. I had music at my fingertips whenever I wanted it.

I’ve been going to see live music since I was fourteen. My friends and I would take the train to the city or get a ride from one of our parents. While it was mostly local punk/ska or mainstream rock/metal music, I loved it from the first time I stepped into a venue. All the while I was still listening to The Dead, Hendrix, Janis, The Doors and of course, The Beatles. I dabbled in Phish, Panic, Cheese etc. but it wasn’t until I went to college did I meet like minded kids that I could go to shows with.

I ended up in Charleston, SC for culinary school when I was eighteen. No snow meant LIFE IS GOOD! I lucked out again living in a city with such a great music scene. After graduation I was crazy broke and had to move back home. However, three years later I find myself back in the Lowcountry going to see music sometimes six days out of the week. I’m beyond blessed and I’m forever grateful for it. I have an amazing family, incredible friends and a life that just keeps getting better. Aside from going to see music I enjoy camping, making jewelry, cooking and just having a good time.

Natasha Gaye

"I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs, and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music." -Mary Anne Evans (George Eliot)

This quote embodies my emotions toward my music fixation. It started at a young age as my day’s were filled with artists that paved the way for many musicians to come. My parents were both huge influences on music taste, as I remember days of roots reggae and jazz filling my head and heart when I was young. I have grown from those genres and spread out all over the musical spectrum. My range is eccentric and that is what I think makes a true music listener, being able to grasping all the different areas of sound, even if they are foreign.

I am a Twenty-two year old that is a local native, born and raised in Orlando, Fl. I am heavily into supporting local music around central Florida and as well throughout the state. I am a true music addict and travel all over for the sake of seeing good live acts. There is something about the raw energy and sound that you get from a show, nothing like it actually. I am always looking and for new sounds and musicians that are coming up on the scene. I hope my words can capture and inspire the music obsessed as I do thoroughly enjoy sharing my perspective and love for music through my writing. I am hoping to share much of that on this site and I hope you the reader can gain from reviews and music endeavors.


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