Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jam of The Day: Jim Weider

JIM WEIDER'S ProJECT PERCoLAToR Live at Inn on the Blues on September 24, 2010.

Set 1:
01 Squirrels in Paris
02 Release Yourself
03 Troll
04 Hey Joe
05 Broken Glass
06 New Day
07 No Exit Strategy

Set 2:
01 You're a Great Girl
02 Pinball Wizard
03 Dreamline
04 Life Is A Carnival
05 Motivator
06 Man Cry
07 The Weight

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wuhnurth Music Festival: Friday

Words By J-man
Photos By Greg Molitor

Friday, September 17th, 2010

When it comes to festivals, there are two ends of the spectrum; the powerhouses who's sole focus are ticket sales and income. Don't get me wrong, these festivals often also care about the music, community and event itself... But the focus is on quantity as opposed to quality. A lot of the vibes get lost in the sea of corporate sponsorship, massive crowd's and bands that seem better placed on a television show as opposed to the festival scene. Then there are are festivals like Wuhnurth, who focus solely on the music, the community and the environment. The vibes from many of these smaller festivals are unachievable by a lot of those previously mentioned "powerhouses".

Leading up to Wuhnurth my excitement was high. I had been talking to James Nimmer, the promoter of the festival on and off about different band options, time slots and the new venue. Needless to say I was excited to see it all come to fruition. Additionally, I had heard great things about the previous year's Wuhnurth and expected the following year to only improve.

The trip from Michigan began Friday around nine o'clock am, with a short drive from Ann Arbor across the state to a town just south of Grand Rapids to pick up a friend. Then a short five and a half hour drive south to Spencer, Indiana. Unfortunately for us our Global Positioning navigation system lead us to a location that was indeed not the festival. As we drove back and forth in the area, we met several other unhappy festival goers in the same position. It took us a solid hour plus of being lost in the area, before a nice older couple pulled onto the property where many of us were searching and informed us that "Folks have been coming here the past couple of days looking for a festival... it's actually up the road a couple of miles." With that we headed in the direction of Wuhnurth.

As we approached the road in, it's only marking was a white sheet with a red, yellow and green arrow pointing down the road. Not even a sign that said "Wuhnurth". Needless to say I was irritated that such a simple and important part of getting people to the grounds had been overlooked. Finally arriving at the festival, we were directed into the parking area by a very friendly staff member. As we pulled into the lot we noticed folks parking their cars and hauling their gear to random vehicles, from pick-up trucks to four wheelers; pulling flatbed trailers to be drivin' to the fest. At this point I was already on edge from driving around for an hour or two looking for the grounds. The thought of having to make three trips in and out of the fest to retrieve my gear on a trailer; had me borderline furious.

We grabbed our first round of gear and loaded onto an open shuttle/trailer. It was packed full of hippies by the time we pulled away. As we zipped towards the festival, I was surprised at how fast the shuttles were driving. It was actually a lot of fun, but also a potentially dangerous situation. There were folks standing up while the shuttle was in motion, folks stumbling around and some flatbeds with no railings. We flew down the hilly road towards the festival grounds, arriving in a matter of minutes.

Entering the festival grounds I glanced around and immediately forgot about my prior irritations. Wuhnurth was beautiful. We walked passed some vending and in the distance we could see the side stage located just outside of a covered, yet open-sided structure that housed the main stage. As we passed the structure, the park opened into area with a pond, tons of trees and additional structures and vending in the distance. I was impressed.

It was at this point that we were offered assistance shuttling in our gear to a camping location of our choosing. I was impressed how helpful the staff was. I realized then the location was worth the sacrifice of on-site parking, and that the organizers were doing what they could with what they had. We located some friends from our music community who had saved us some space, and set up camp. I loved the fact that the bulk of the camping was wooded, allowing us the opportunity to sleep in later due to the lack of direct sunlight/heat.

After getting set up and comfortable, we made our way over to check out some music...

The Ragbirds

The Ragbirds are a Michigan based band whom I have caught on several occasions. As some already know, I am not a fan. I won't say "It takes a lot to impress me." but simple melodies and rhythms aren't going to cut it. One of my biggest pet peeves about the Ragbirds is the lack of variation in their setlists, however; during the half hour that I dedicated to the Ragbirds at Wuhnurth, I was caught off guard with some of the improvements that they had made in regards to the complexity of their melodies as well as their incorporation of some new tones/sounds.


The next act of the evening that I caught was the Ohio based band Papadosio. My first experience with this band came early this year at All Good Festival in West Virginia. I was impressed and in turn looking forward to their set at Wuhnurth. They did not disappoint. They sounded great. Their music made me want to dance, space out and want more. I like how they explore, not only in their jamming; but in their tones and approach. The production was great, levels almost perfect, as well the lights had my attention. I will be watching this band as the progress.

Sometime during the Papadosio set, I had the privilege of meeting Chicago musician Jaik Willis. We had some good conversation and planned for an interview (That in the end never came to be).

The Malah

Following Papadosio's main stage set we wandered back in the direction of camp towards a sizable "circus" tent. The Malah had already taken the stage and was playing to a crowd of about seven people. I was drawn in immediately. After just a couple of songs the tent was crawling with people. It was simple music, but smooth and pleasing. The drumming was tight and the bass player brought some pretty impressive lines. The guitar player kept it really simple. There were points where I wanted more than he was willing (or able) to offer the crowd. But at the same time, he fit well with the mellow simplicity of what they played. Regardless, I enjoyed their set a lot; even missing out on Family Groove Company's set which I had forgotten about entirely. Touche' Malah... Touche'.

Sometime during the Malah's set, I recieved a text message from my co-editor Greg Molitor informing me that he was near and should be arriving shortly. I made my way to the front entrance to assist him with his gear and I noticed that my phone was dead. I headed over to where the shuttles had been picking up and dropping folks off earlier, and saw nothing. I looked down the long dark road to see nothing but darkness. Not even a headlight. A moment of contemplation set in: How would I get in touch with Greg to help him? And how was he going to haul all of his gear from the parking lot, down the road to the festival?

I quickly made my way over to what appeared to be the main gate and saw a couple of workers assisting incoming vehicles and manning the entrance. As I approached I recognized one of the gentleman, James the festival promoter/organizer.

"Hell of a party you kids got here." I said.

James turned and smiled "Hey J-man." Reaching out for a hand and a hug.

"Have you seen Greg?" I asked.

"Yeah. He just pulled up here with some others and was directed to the parking lot." James said.

"I see... Are the shuttles still operational?" I asked.

"No. They stopped at midnight" He said with a sorry look on his face.

"Hop into the car and I'll drive you down there to pick them up." He said with a smile.

I was thrilled! I couldn't imagine Greg and the cats he was with, wandering down the road in the dark, while we were partying at the festival. I was blown away that James would take time out of what he had going on at the festival to accommodate myself and my staff. This situation also allowed me some time with James to gain his perspective on how he thought the event was going. We arrived at the parking area approximately a mile up the road, and I thought to myself; "Now what?" My phone was still dead. Was I going to have to walk through the parking area looking for Greg? A second later, up he walked with his hands full of gear, glancing down the road.

"Molitor" I yelled.

Greg looked over at the vehicle confused, as it was dark and he was not expecting a ride.

"Load up." I said smiling.

They did just that and we headed back to the festival grounds. We pulled in just as Digital Tape Machine was getting ready to take the stage. James told everyone to leave their gear in his car and that we would worry about it later, in order to catch DTM. We thanked him again and made our way to the main stage.

Digital Tape Machine

DTM is the side project of Umphrey's McGee drummer Kris Meyers. I was looking forward to this set, based on my knowledge of Kris' skills. Initially, I was intrigued. But as the set went on, I lost interest quickly. The drumming was solid, but not even Kris' drumming drew me to the music. It was dance-able, at times it was heavy, but it felt chaotic and sloppy. I'd like to give them another listen, but I had to move on.

The time came when everything started to blend together, the lights had that little extra sparkle, and my mind began to wander. We passed by Zmick at one point on the tent stage and I remember enjoying it, but I remember little else.

We wandered back over to James' car to retrieve the remaining gear. On our way to do so, we ran into some of our Michigan friends talking to Kris Meyers by his tour van. He seemed excited and extremely engaged in conversation.

At some point in the wee hours of the night, maybe five am; I committed myself to sleep. I crawled into my tent, and stared at the ceiling as the non-sense around me seemed to increase. I remember nothing more of that day...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Jam of The Day: Flecktones

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones Live at Congress Theatre on December 12, 2009.

1. Tuning/Noodling
2. Next
3. Silent Night >
4. Sleigh Ride
5. Christmas Time >
6. Linus and Lucy
7. Band Intros
8. Throwdown At The Hoedown *
9. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman ** >
10. Christmas Song **
11. 12 Days Of Christmas ***
12. Throat Singing Demo ***
13. Jingle Bells ***
14. Future Man Solo
15. Big Country
16. Ene-Sai &
17. Alash Ensamble Intros
18. Oitulaash Xever &
19. Dekei-Oo And Saiyzrai ***
20. Christmas Medley
21. 1st Noel > Jesus's Joy Of Man's Desiring > Joy To The World +
22. Banter
23. What Child Is This/Dyngyldai ^

* - With Casey Driessen
** - Vic Solo
*** - With Alash Ensamble
& - Alash Ensamble with no Flecktones
+ - Bela Solo
^ - WIh Alash Ensamble and Casey Driessen

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Toubab Krewe in Ann Arbor

Photos By Greg Molitor
Words By Justin Picard

There are very few bands on the scene that get me as excited as Toubab Krewe. The unique combination of African, folk, blues, rock, and dance provide a fresh sound to the scene. The folks within' my circle had been talking about this show for a while. As the day came, more and more of my friends committed to turn out. Per usual, the Blind Pig's listed door time appeared as a baron wasteland. Not even one lingering wook.

I have been seeing Toubab for a couple of years now, and have always enjoyed what they did. Their 2009 Summercamp set blew me away. From that point on, I have sought out their music, both studio and live. Over the course of the past year I have really enjoyed the direction that they have gone. Their songs have morphed into hard, dance-able jams that peak, and peak, and peak. Often times, I find myself just laughing at the utter intensity of it all. Ultimately it's their energy and uniqueness that draws me to them. They are talented musicians who know exactly what the crowd wants... Rage.

As Toubab took the stage, the turnout at the Pig was better than I had seen in a while... And folks were still filing in. Right away the energy was high. Everyone was dancing like crazy as Toubab laid out their vision of destruction for the evening. I'm not going to pretend that I know the song titles, or attempt to give you a break down. I will however, highlight the band members and some of the key moments of the show from the perspective of a casual fan.

Justin Perkins' utilization of the Kora is nothing short of captivating. It's so easy to get sucked in to the melodic sounds that Justin brings to the table. With a look of focus, he thumb picks the notes as the crowd throws their hands up around him. Additionally, he contributed some electric guitar playing which I dig, but at times grew old due to what is in my opinion an over utilization of the surf guitar tones.

The low end was handled by David Pransky on the bass. His playing is at times heavy, driving, and solid. What stands out most to me is his ability to read the situation and provide exactly what is needed to push the jam over the top. Dave provided some excellent funk bass, leaving no other choice but to get down.

On the guitar, and I thought fiddle as well, was Drew Heller. Drew has a way of feeling out the jam and giving it that extra spice, whether it be through a slide lick or a dance-able breakdown of fingered notes. Drew's playing is often subtle and fitting to the Toubab sound.

Lastly is the percussion section made up of Teal Brown on the kit and Luke Quaranta on the djembe and hand drums. This is by far the most crucial aspect of Toubab Krewe. Teal is an absolute beast on the drums. He is consistent, precise and rhythmic. He takes the jams and adds that beat that is impossible not to dance to. It creeps up and drops on you without warning. There is nothing left to do but dance. Luke absolutely kills the percussion section. He is one of the most rhythmic cats on the scene and offers folks a taste of of what actual hand drumming should sound like.

Together Toubab Krewe brought an absolute raging dance party. At one point Erin Zindle of the Ragbirds joined Toubab on the fiddle, escalating the jam and bringing additional matching melodies to the songs. I thought she sounded better with Toubab than the Ragbirds.

Following the show my friends and I were literally horrified... Toubab had torn down the Blind Pig and left several people's minds (and faces) melted.

Go and see Toubab Krewe for yourself. As stated they are one of the most unique bands on our scene today. Consistently, night after night; they please fans all across the country. Open the door to the possibility of being one of those fans...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Late Night Jam: Jeff Bujak

Jeff Bujak Live at Indian Lookout Country Club on July 16, 2010.

Machinist > Snoopify > Machinist > Mutator > Prodigium > Yogoque > Slimmy > Kicker > Crowd

Dark Star Orchestra in New Jersey

Mexicali Live 9.20.10
Photos By Vernon Webb

Jam of The Day: Willie Waldman

Willie Waldman Project Live at Quixote's True Blue on July 16, 2010.

Fareed Haque - guitar
Ray White - guitar/vocals
Willie Waldman - trumpet
Garret Sayers - bass
Mike Goletz - drums

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cornmeal in Ann Arbor

Words & Photos By Tyler Sporer

Impromptu shows are always the best. I had been scheduled to work a night shift on this Thursday evening but ended up being let out early. I struggled very little with the decision to head straight for Ann Arbor. Cornmeal was in town and I wasn’t about to let this one pass by. A quick phone call to my pal Andrew and we were good to go. He’s always down for some quality live music.

When we got to the Blind Pig, we were surprised to find it virtually empty. The dimly lit joint had a pretty decent vibe going on with pictures and memorabilia from countless years gone by. Upon discovery that there would be a band playing before Cornmeal, I was somewhat disappointed… each of us had to work in the morning so we were looking to get in as much Cornmeal as we could before we hit our self-imposed curfew. But this was nothing compared to the disappointment we were about to face. Now, keep in mind that writing a “bad” review about a band or artist that I have seen live is something that I try to avoid at all costs. In fact, as a music journalist, I find it hard to believe that you would ever put yourself in that kind of situation intentionally. Sometimes, however, it is unavoidable. I am unaware of the name of the band that opened for Cornmeal and to be quite honest, I think its better this way. To start things out, a man with some sort of bongo-like drum strapped around his neck came up to the microphone and gave a super loud, super enthusiastic countdown that made it sound like the group was going to come out guns-a-blazing. But when he hit four, this totally underwhelming, utterly spineless, trashy blend of folk rock of some sort came pouring out of the speakers. The Tom Petty-looking mandolin player and primary vocalist kept squealing and screeching out these vocals that were well outside of his range while he strummed a very simple, very repetitive and quite sloppy number on his instrument. The bass player, albeit enthusiastic, was playing the same 3 notes over and over with his index finger and that was about it. It got so bad, that Andy and I made the unanimous decision to check out the downstairs bar to avoid the rupture of our ear drums that would have surely resulted in hospitalization. We were pumped to find a pool table downstairs and even though the it smelled like a moldy mixture of feet, armpits, and fish, we shot a drawn out game of pool and then headed back upstairs just in time for the beginning of Cornmeal.

It was so relieving to hear this sound, this Cornmeal sound. This music that is so inspiring. Being relatively new in my exposure to this band, it will be difficult for me to offer any insight on the set list or the song selection. I can, however, attempt to describe this sound and, at the very least, persuade you in any way I can to check these guys out. Cornmeal is some of the most high energy, emotionally exhilarating, and jam-centered blend of progressive bluegrass that I have ever heard. To me, this music exemplifies the term “jamgrass”. It is electrified acoustic instrumentation that cascades over such a wide variety of sounds and dips into such a range of genres that it is impossible to pin down. It begins as a slow paced exchange between banjo, fiddle, and guitar and it slowly gains momentum and transitions into this surge of futuristic experimentation that defies everything you thought you knew about acoustic instruments. With Chris Gangi laying down the foundation on this gorgeous-looking stand up bass and J.P. Nowak manning the drums with extreme tempo, timing, and technical proficiency, the stage is set for these otherworldly science experiments to begin.

When you witness a Cornmeal show, it’s easy for your attention to be drawn to fiddle player, Allie Kral. Usually sporting a pretty dress, tall boots, and a look of seduction, Allie has a stage presence that is hard to deny. But her talent on the fiddle is what really sucks you in. Allie’s fingers are a blur as they dance up and down her instrument with great speed and accuracy. As she bounces up and down to the rhythm of the music, stomping her boots to the sound of the beat, it becomes obvious how talented of a musician Allie really is. To her left stands acoustic guitarist Kris Nowak. Kris is an unbelievably adept musician with a brilliant knack for jamming. With a plethora of pedals and effects at his disposal, the range of different sounds that he achieves with the acoustic guitar makes me question why anyone would ever want to play the electric. Nowak’s improvisational ability at the peak of a heated Cornmeal jam session is something you will not forget. Kris absolutely SOARS up and down the neck of his guitar in a truly psychedelic fashion. He rips and bends and pulls and hammers down on top of his strings, exploring the sounds that come pouring into his mind and then transcribing those sounds to the strings of his instrument. With Dave Burlingame sporting a full-blown Zappa-stache and attacking his banjo with a similar enthusiasm, Cornmeal becomes a jam force to be reckoned with.

With our 1:00 curfew quickly approaching, I tapped Andy on the shoulder and gave him the signal. Everyone in the room, whether they knew it or not, was in full-blown dance mode, thrashing around uncontrollably to the sounds of Cornmeal. They had the jamgrass fever and there was no stopping them now. As we headed for the exit, we heard it… those unmistakable opening lines of a Grateful Dead cover. On this evening it was “They Love Each Other”, a song that Andy instantaneously recognized from the infamous 1977 Barton Hall show. For the next however many minutes, Cornmeal absolutely killed it and converted what had been a great show into an extraordinary one. We left the blind pig grinning ear to ear and not doubting for a second why we had come to Ann Arbor to see this band.

Jam of The Day: Elephant Revival

Elephant Revival Live at The Woods on September 12, 2010.

01 Intro [0:47]
02 Makchi Tamboui [2:12]
03 Instrumental [3:45]
04 Forgiveness [4:40]
05 Truth [6:26]
06 Barefoot Friend~> [3:08]
07 Elzik's Farewell~> [2:09]
08 To Freedom [3:49]
09 Rogue River [3:30]
10 Passing Lane [5:07]
11 Spinnin' [4:30]
12 Raindrops [3:58]
13 Story [4:11]
14 Rhythm Of The Road [4:33]
15 Go On [3:02]
16 Tamlyn [4:43]
17 Remembering A Beginning [5:14]
18 Cosmic Pulse [3:52]
19 Ziri Piri [5:02]
20 Drop [7:18]
21 Beat It On Down The Line # [4:11]
22 Sing To The Mountain # [6:29]
23 Ring Around The Moon # [7:07]
24 Over The River # [9:46]
25 E: Darlin' Corey # [7:19]

# w/ Scott Law on guitar and vocals

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jam of The Day: The Breakfast

The Breakfast Live at Camp Barefoot 4; Bartow, WV on August 19, 2010.

1. Metropolis
2. Dougboy>
3. Psygn
4. Wake Up in a Coma>
5. Pygmy Twylyte>
6. Jam>
7. May Fly Disarray
8. Buquebus*

*With Todd Stoops sitting in

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blackwater Music Festival: Saturday

Words By Joe Davidson
Photos By Joe Davidson & Amy Castaldo

Saturday 8.28.2010

Saturday brought out the diversity of the line-up for the last day of music. Sunny weather greeted me when I woke up which put a huge smile on my face, finally, a break from the constant dampness. A great reggae band call Groundation started the day off. There were a few dub bands that played throughout the weekend and this was by far the best. I couldn’t think of a better way to start the day, the music felt like a vast prayer session for everyone to repent from the mischief of the night before.

I must say it was so nice to hear a reggae band that didn’t sing about smoking sensi every other song. After taking some pictures Amy and I sat down to enjoy the rest of the set while Darryl Hance, formally of Mofro, began to sound check.

The familiar guitar work of Darryl was quite pleasant but he looked very uncomfortable on stage. In between each song he would mutter a few words in his monotone voice and seemed to rush into the next song. His vocals seemed a bit shaky at first but he settled down halfway through his set. He played a few Florida summer songs in honor of the humid weather and wrapped up his time on stage with a nice blues jam.

After Darryl’s set I took off for the amphitheater to check out the Zach Deputy set. As soon as I got there I noticed that the Lee Boys had arrived. I went backstage to greet them and they asked us to do some promo photos. We gladly said yes and started to look for a cozy spot. After searching the backstage area we decided to take them up to the farm field camping area to get a nice background free of generators and trailers. The ride up was fun, we caught golf cart ride and the boys followed in their van. It proved to be quite a challenge navigating through all the wookie kids who couldn’t grasp the concept of,” big van coming through, move please.” We made it up to the location, took some shots, and headed back. It’s always such a pleasure hangin’ with the Lee Boys, such a great group of genuine people.

As we escorted the van back through the labyrinth we made it in time to catch the last few songs from Zach Deputy. There are a lot of people who seem to be over the one man band thing but Zach has always impressed me every time I have seen him. I think his biggest strength is his ability to keep the crowd involved with his set, whether it is old cover songs or sing-alongs. After his set, Zach walked out the backstage entrance to meet his fans.

I love seeing acts like this. Its people like Zach that make me proud to be a part of this scene. After twenty minutes or so of laughter and photo ops, Zach found a comfy spot for his hammock and we prepared for The Lee Boys.

With storm clouds brewing up around the three o’clock hour The Lee Boys hit the stage. I’ve been listening to these guys for five or six years now and this was the best set I have ever seen. So much energy.

Roosevelt threw down some of the nastiest pedal steel I’ve ever witnessed. Just like the last Lee Boys show I covered in Tampa, I had to put the camera down a few times and just groove. A nice breeze came through halfway into the set which was heaven sent. More and more people made their way to the stage dancing and jumping around, adding to the vibe.

After the last song we met up with the band and went into their trailer to load video of the set and enjoy some refreshing air conditioning. We hung out with Zach and his manager for a few minutes before they took off and then got a plate of food thanks to Uncle Al from the Lee Boys and took a load off.

The rain started to fall just before Particle hit the stage. I wasn’t thrilled to see the rain come back but it was a well needed temperature drop. I was so excited to hear that Michael Kang would be joining them. I’ve always been a huge Particle fan and was taken back to see how much the band has evolved since I saw them five years ago. As the rain steadily picked up so did the band. The dynamic between Kang and the band was nothing less than stellar, simply perfect. Steve Molitz had a huge smile on his face as always which infectiously spreads throughout the crowd. As they were wrapping up their last song of the set the band played a breakdown that kept crawling and crawling. As they hit the final note the crowd lost it and began jumping around and hugging each other in pure delight, a great moment.

The rain continued at a steady pace in between sets but the crowd remained. Up next was a crowd favorite, JJ Grey and Mofro. I rigged up a fancy camera cover out of a water bottle six-pack sleeve and made my way into the monsoon. The photo pit in front of the main stage was a hazard all weekend. Between the muddy spots I always slipped on or the massive ant pile that I continued to forget about and stomp on, the pit certainly made me earn my keep this time. I was very impressed with the sound crew all weekend keeping the stages alive amidst sudden downpours but something went all kinds of wrong during the Mofro set. The vocals went out for twenty seconds during the second song. I was setting up a shot and suddenly I could hear JJ’s voice unamplified. I looked up and saw extreme frustration on his face. As soon as the vocal mic was fixed he started to play his guitar and nothing. A couple seconds later the guitar came in so loud everyone had to cover their ears for a split second. The guitar level quickly dropped to normal and the show continued on. I have to give it to the seasoned group of performers because they didn’t miss a beat amidst all the difficulties. A few songs went by problem free and the set paused for a wedding proposal. A little cheesy of course but everyone does their own thing.

The vocal continued to sway up and down through the second half of the show. It’s not the worst thing ever but this misfortune was really taking away from the vibe being built up. As for the music I was pretty impressed. The last time I saw this act was back in 2005. I’ve noticed a strong change in the studio releases in the past few years but the magic I saw in the past was still present in the live show. The passion that spews out of JJ is intense. He had that crowd wrapped around his finger the entire show. The band broke out with “Lochloosa” towards the end of the set and everyone joined together to sing the lyrics back to the creator. The band closed with one of my personal favorites “Brighter Days” with a guest spot from former guitarist Darryl Hance. The song slowly faded out, the lights went black, and everyone joined in on a dance party in anticipation of Slightly Stoopid.

I was very surprised to see Slightly Stoopid on the bill. Ever since the release of Live and Direct: Acoustic Roots in 2001, the band has taken a more commercial tone to their studio releases. As with some of the other bands from the weekend I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the show. Playing a blend of old and new songs from their arsenal, every song had the signature So Cal sound that always sounds good to me. I’ve always loved the fact that the two front men, Miles and Kyle, continually trade off the guitar and bass and take turns singing throughout their sets to keep the sound fresh.

I stayed down at the stage for a few songs and made my way to the shelter of the VIP area. After a few minutes of making sure all my gear was good I hiked over to camp to switch out cards for my camera and get a bite to eat. Slightly Stoopid finished up their set and the crowd all migrated to the amphitheater for the final show of the weekend, Galactic ft. Cyril Neville.

All I can say is “wow”. I was so exhausted all I could think about was sleep but I posted up in my chair and enjoyed the hell out of this show. The composition of the instrumentals was divine; it’s always a real treat to watch real musicians get down. The band started with “Bakers Dozen,” one of my favorites. The addition of Neville was the great highlight for me. His skills on the trombone shined through and mixed perfectly with the Galactic sound. Neville’s ability to work the crowd with his vocals was another great aspect of his contributions, creating an extraordinary Galactic set. I watched in awe as the funk nasty spewed from every corner of the stage. Smooth transitions and great bridges were constructed with nothing more than a quick glance and a head nod. I haven’t seen a crowd this wild in a while. Halfway through the set I could no longer fight the exhaustion coursing through my body and made way for the tent.

I could hear the crowd roaring from my campsite half a mile away. What a great way to end a weekend of music. The rain lingered all weekend but failed to damper our spirits. Amy and I woke up early Sunday morning and packed up as fast as we could. We weren’t ready to leave but we were definitely ready to be dry. We made our way to our friend Misha’s house thirty miles away to readjust ourselves to the “real” world. All in all, this festival was a great time. With an assorted line-up, a mix of all breeds of people, and one of Florida’s premiere outdoor venues, the first-annual Blackwater Music Festival was a delight and I look forward to getting’ down next year.

Zingara Photography