Friday, June 30, 2017

Dopapod 6.16 - 6.18.17

Words by Joel Whitmore
Photos by Coleman Schwartz Media

Star Theater
Portland, OR

Originally hailing from Boston and now largely residing in Denver, Dopapod is a musical machine that careens through a sea of genres leaving a joyously intense experience in it’s wake. Dopapod made a triumphant return to Portland, Seattle, and Eugene to the pleasure of avid and new listeners alike. They last performed in the Pacific Northwest in July of 2015, a string of shows that were musically excellent, but sparsely attended. The band has been steadily growing for nearly a decade and represents some of the most energetic and engaging music in the jam scene today. Any given song can take listeners from the depths of space, to a twangy southern blues jam, to an LCD Soundsystem type groove, and wrap it all up with a ferocious head-banging detonation.

The band made their first stop at the cozy and beautiful Star Theater in Portland Oregon. The Star theater offers a small lounge atmosphere with high ceilings and small balcony seating area. The high ceilings provide an exceptional opportunity for lighting wizard Luke Stratton to dazzle the crowd with intricate and synchronized lights to bring an extra dimension of life to the band’s performance. Though Luke represents the band from behind the curtain, he has been as integral a member of the band as Eli Winderman on keys, Rob Compa on guitar, Chuck Jones on bass, or Neal Evans on drums.

The crowd at the Star was strong and on their feet for the opening act. Swatkins and The Positive Agenda got the people in the mood with a handful of infectiously loving originals and some succulent covers, most notably “P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)” by Michael Jackson. Swatkins prominently featured the vocoder and guest vocalist, Arietta Ward, delivered one smashing vocal performance after the next. The interplay between the musicians on stage was smooth and dance inspiring, and the positivity radiating from Swatkins and Arietta set the stage for Dopapod.

Dopapod used the first set to showcase several of their lyrically driven songs. Set opener "Braindead" was an intense beginning to an excellent first set. The song choices remained relatively short time-wise for Dopapod, and they quickly moved from one to the next. A favorite moment with song choice was the move from “Super Bowl” to “Roid Rage.” “Super Bowl” is a somewhat newer addition to the song-book and takes the audience on a journey with a smooth slide guitar opening, a tale told of adventure and the pursuit of personal understanding, and an ending that builds incessantly and culminates with both Compa and Winderman delivering an impressive vocal harmony. “Super Bowl” is a growth in the band’s ability to write songs that demonstrate their diverse skills and hold a more familiar song structure for newer fans that are not as familiar with the path of a song like “Roid Rage.” “Roid Rage” is one of the most classic Dopapod songs, from their second album Drawn Onward. While “Super Bowl” is largely written and only has a few moments of variation between each performance, “Roid Rage” is an intense funk weapon that jumps into pure improvisational territory within a minute of it’s introduction. Seeing the two songs back to back was an unexpected joy, and a great demonstration of the progress they’ve made with song writing and the effortless nature of their more experimental jams.

The first set closed out with an exciting sit-in from Steveland Swatkins on keys beside Eli Winderman. The band played the written portion of a newer tune called “Trickery” before calling Swatkins out to join them. Eli and Steveland swapped riffs on the clavinet and organ for a lengthy jam. The energy and joy shared by the two on keys spread around the room and gave the crowd the best dance groove of the first set. Swatkins stayed on stage to close out the set with a cover of “No One Knows” by Queens Of The Stone Age. The implementation of the vocoder by Swatkins was a unique take on a great song. The crowd gave Dopapod a wild roar of approval as they took set break.

Whereas the first set featured some of the bands shorter songs, the second set was packed full of jam heavy crowd favorites. The first song they played, “Indian Grits,” is another off of Drawn Onward. This song goes in and out of the live performance rotation, but the Star Theater was blessed to receive this exceptional version. The band stretched the song to impressive territory with a jam that felt like a renegade crew of martian motorcycle cowboys took over your favorite discoteque. The crowd was taken on a ride of segues from that point on and Dopapod really hit their stride. “Mucho,” another highlight of the evening, has become a crowd favorite of late. It bounces on an uplifting Rhodes piano groove and hefty bassline, this version featured Chuck Jones rattling our bones with extended bass improvisations - a somewhat rare and beloved treat at any Dopapod show.

If there was anyone in the crowd who had not quite been won over by the band, the encore sealed the deal with a playful cover of "Toxic" by Britney Spears. In years past the band would sprinkle little pieces of "Toxic" into jams and tease the audience with the 2003 Spears smash hit, a habit common in the jam scene, but taken to new highs by Dopapod of late.

Coleman's Photo Gallery

Set One: Braindead, Present Ghosts, Cloud World, Super Bowl, Roid Rage, Sleeping Giant, Trickery*
No One Knows *^

Set Two: Indian Grits > Bats in the Cave, Nuggy Jawson, Mucho, Nerds

Encore: Toxic&

*with Steve Watkins
^Queens of the Stone Age cover
&Britney Spears cover

Nectar Lounge
Seattle, WA

On Saturday night, Dopapod took the stage at Nectar Lounge in Seattle Washington. The neighborhood of Fremont was celebrating the Summer Solstice a few days early and the area surrounding Nectar had been buzzing with celebration and life since early in the day. Prior to Dopapod performing, Seattle favorites Polyrhythmics performed at the festival main stage followed by the ever-funky Orgone. Nectar Lounge has a wide stage and floor space that allowed for varied views of the action, a lovely expanded patio area, and a balcony which has exceptional sound quality and a great view. By the time Dopapod went on stage to soundcheck, the Nectar was packed to the gills with expectant partiers. There was a buzzing amongst the crowd of audience members discussing Dopapod. It seemed as though few people were familiar with the band, but there was a solid contingent of faithful fans that had made their way up from Portland. New and old fans alike were in for a classic performance.

With a relatively unfamiliar audience, the band went for a bold opening choice with “Dracula’s Monk,” a song with waves of dissonance and heavy opening synth lines. The crowd bought in immediately and followed the band through a powerful first set that featured some of the most classic and immersive songs with long jams. The most exceptional standout moment from the first set was “Blast.” “Blast” is another crowd favorite that was placed on the shelf for nearly three years until Neal Evans returned to the band. The song alternates between punishingly heavy licks and light, almost silly, interludes before concluding in iconic Dopapod fashion. “Blast” captures so much of what there is to love about the band. It demonstrates their masterful instrumentation, dynamic song structure, ability to jam and rewrite on the fly, and features portions of musical humor that is so rare for a band to convey. The crowd turned to a soupy mess as “Blast” went through its powerful ending, and the crowd gave Dopapod the most enthusiastic response of the first half.

The first set was packed with energy and power, and yet the second set was the what made this evening a show that the Dopafam will listen to and discuss for years to come. The band opened up with the jewel of their crown, “FABA,” a song that is epic in the truest sense of the word. Dopapod masterfully alternated between intensity and low-key melodic jams throughout the set. “Weird Charlie” opened in traditional fashion before taking on a very mellow, uplifting, and beautiful middle jam section. Whereas sometimes the band eases out of these more tame interludes, this jam seemed to be ripped in half by a screaming guitar wail and went soaring into the concluding written portion that features massive bass thumps from the song’s namesake Chuck Jones.

The second set had it all, but what it had most of was pure funk. With one of the bounciest and oddest songs, “Vol. 3 #86,” the crowd was privy to a lengthy and extremely high energy dance groove. When I talked to folks in the crowd after the show, the most common questions were “What was that song?” and “How often do they do stuff like that?” Although the crowd thinned out a little bit toward the conclusion of the set, the energy was powerful - and every move the band made seemed to be just what the people wanted.

Dopapod closed out the set with the classically intense “French Bowling,” bookending the show with two of their heavier tunes. The new fans that were made in Seattle will have a beautiful jumping off place into one of the best live bands performing today. With the band’s new streaming music platform Podify, available through Bandcamp, we will be able to relive this great night of music for years to come.

Coleman's Photo Gallery

Set One: Dracula’s Monk > Picture in Picture > Blast, Bubble Brain, Priorities

Set Two: FABA, Confabulation, Vol. 3 #86, Weird Charlie, Indian Grits > The Happy Song > Indian Grits

Encore: French Bowling

Hifi Music Hall
Eugene, OR

Dopapod and followers spent their Sunday night at the Hi-Fi Music Hall in Eugene. The Hi-Fi is a a multi-room venue with a main stage area that allows audience members to watch from beside and behind the stage - an opportunity I used to catch some of the close-up action of Eli Winderman on keys. The Hi-Fi also has a second lounge bar and music area in which a DJ was spinning before and after the show, as well as in-between sets.The crowd for the opening act Blue Lotus was modest, but grew as the show progressed. Blue Lotus played a funky set of Americana driven rock tunes that was very enjoyable to listen to. It was a beautiful evening and the patio area at the venue allowed me to rest my dancing feet and kick back on a couch before Dopapod rocked me once again.

The band took the stage with a comedic grace and asked the audience for requests. All manner of responses came hurtling from the group. Rob heard someone holler “Freight Train!” and he appreciated that idea, launching right into the fiery and fast paced “Freight Train Filled With Dynamite.” After the first tune, Rob asked a fan in the front row who had been to the Seattle and Portland shows for his request. “Bluetooth or Sonic!” And off they went into the funky jazz inspired tune “Bluetooth,” a favorite of mine. The song opens with a sparkling Rhodes diddy before dropping into a funky dance groove led by Chuck’s strong basslines. The request pattern continued with Rob asking people for requests and playfully ribbing them if they did not know the name of any of their songs. The first set featured a more relaxed approach with shorter interpretations of songs and a more low-key attitude. The audience had plenty of room to stretch out and dance, and the free spirits of Eugene were falling in with what Dopapod was providing and loving every minute of a great first set.

During set break, I had the chance to catch up a few friends and fellow fans that had tracked the last few shows as well. We agreed that Portland was fun, and that Seattle was an exceptional performance. A new friend, Susan, told me she had personally requested “Vol. 3 #86” in Seattle because it is a favorite song for her young kids to listen to when they play an imagination game. She was so thankful that the band obliged and was thrilled to be seeing Dopapod for her first three times in consecutive nights. She and her husband Derrick are even making the trek down to High Sierra to keep the party going. Getting to know the West Coast fam-base has enriched my love and appreciation for the music even more.

Eli and Neal returned to the stage without Chuck and Rob, they settled in and Neal began to set a beat. Eli laid down a funky array of knob turning and wobbling synth lines while Neal dug in on the drums. A few times recently the band has given the audience some quality Chuck and Neal time in which the rhythm sections gets grimy; it was a unique opportunity to see Eli jump in on the fun. Once Rob and Chuck returned to the stage, the show raged on. Neal was the star of the second set, pushing songs to the breaking point with powerful fills and destructive endings in “Please Haalp,” “8 Years Ended,” and “Black and White.” “Cure” featured a unique jam direction I had not seen the band take with this newer tune. As the written portion transitioned into the jam, Rob lead the crew with a twanging guitar riff that Neal quickly ran with and accelerated the pace to a foot stomping partner swinging roundabout. The band does dip into the western and bluegrass theme every now and then and it was thrilling to see it pop up in a new place.

For the encore, the band treated the audience to two deep dives into rock history with Frank Zappa’s “I’m The Slime” and AC/DC’s “TNT.” Both songs give Rob a platform to go deep with raucous shredding. Any time the band covers “I’m The Slime,” the highlight for me is always the approach on the vocals. The terror and dominance of the performance is enthralling, and continues to be a crowd favorite when it comes to covers. The audience got extremely active for set two and the encore. When the show concluded there was a big group of folks lamenting the band’s infrequent visit to this corner of the country. Here’s to hoping that we showed them a good enough time, and then they’ll be back again soon!

Coleman's Photo Gallery

Set One: Freight Train Filled With Dynamite, Bluetooth, Like a Ball, My Elephant vs. Your Elephant, Present Ghosts, Onionhead

Set Two: Eli and Neal Jam, Please Haalp, Eight Years Ended, Bahbi > November, Brookline Bridge, Cure, Black and White

Encore: I’m The Slime*, TNT^

*Frank Zappa cover
^AC/DC cover

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Clear Creek RapidGrass 6.23 - 6.25.17 (Photos)

Shelly/Quinn Baseball Fields
Idaho Springs, CO

Photos by Nancy Isaac Photography

View Nancy's Full Photo Gallery Here!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

MusicMarauders Spotify Playlist - Volume 35 (6.28.17)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What The Festival 6.17 & 6.18.17 (Photos)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Bokante 6.20.17 (Photos)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Silver Cloud Campout 6.9 - 6.10.17

Silver Cloud Campout
Haugan, MT

Words by Mitch Melheim
Photos by Coleman Schwartz Media

Nestled in the Bitterroot Range of the Rocky Mountains just off of Interstate 90 lies Haugan, Montana. Known mainly for its 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar and tourist area, it was in the woods directly behind that where the focus was shifted for one weekend referred to as the Silver Cloud Campout.

The event has grown rapidly in its three short years of existence. The inaugural campout was headlined by locals who played for a sparse crowd in a rainstorm. The following year, Tauk and Fruition joined defacto host band Kitchen Dwellers for an intimate two-day festival with around 200 in attendance. Dumpstaphunk, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Spafford joined the party this year along with 800 happy campers who helped solidify this as a festival to be reckoned with, especially when considering the never-ending beauty surrounding the site that begs for expansion.

Friday June 9, 2017:

The festival was set up with one main stage and a “between acts” stage that allowed smaller bands the opportunity to play multiple 30-minute sets each day. In fact, nobody got less than an hour of stage time all weekend. A model that I wish more festivals would follow. Canyon Collected’s “folk ‘n roll” sound kicked off the festival with Folkinception’s even more unique take on the folk genre following.

Missoula’s funky dance floor instigators Shakewell brought upon the sunset with some of the more infectious grooves of the entire festival, quite the accomplishment considering their set preceded Dumpstaphunk, your typical shoe-in for that title.

Dumpsta’s set was full of those deep, dark, and gargly grooves we’ve come to expect after years of perfecting the brown note. I don’t think I’ll ever stop getting a kick out of when they decide to employ a double bass attack. They were scheduled to play two sets, but stopping wasn’t an option for them that night as what should’ve been the set break was instead one of the spaciest funk jams heard in recent memory.

Hometown heroes, the Kitchen Dwellers, closed out the night with a long late-night set lasting well past 3:00 AM. Their set spanned the entirety of their career with newer songs “Ghost In A Bottle” and “Guilty” leading into a cover of John Hartford’s “Back In The Goodle Days” before the bust outs began. The rarely played but fan favorite “Redneck Bastard” off of their debut album sandwiched The Bad Livers’ “Death Trip” and was followed immediately by my personal favorite, “Rejuvenation,” your typical 20-minute galaxy grass exploration.

Saturday June 10, 2017:

The most surprising set of the weekend for me was Locksaw Cartel, who kicked off the schedule on Saturday with a mesmerizingly psychedelic start to the morning. With listed influences ranging from Portishead and Ween to John Scofield and Les Claypool, it's no wonder why I can’t quite put my finger on how to describe their sound; it’s just something you need to experience for yourself.

Bozeman’s “revved-up Montana soul” act Hawthorne Roots is led by sister duo Emma and Madeline Kelly and I can’t explain their sound much better myself. For obvious reasons, I couldn’t stop myself from making the Shook Twins comparison, but both them and their bandmates bring a bit more of an edge than you would typically see at a Shook Twins show. They also brought their dogs, Tater and Keller Williams, the former of which rushed the stage and decided to finish the rest of the set with his mom. Something normal fests may scoff at, but not this one. In fact, all dogs are allowed to attend and can be found roaming freely throughout the festival grounds.

Another homegrown band followed, this time Dodgy Mountain Men and their “home-brewed stompgrass” as they call it. There wasn’t much for bluegrass in this set though, and I mean that in a good way. This band really straddles each side of the genre beyond recognition at times. Exploratory playing and experimental pedal usage define their sound just as much as their Bozeman counterparts, the Kitchen Dwellers.

The Shook Twins played their typical diverse set ranging from straight-forward folk music, to poppy songs that will make you dance, and even off the psychedelic deep end at times. Multi-instrumentalist Niko Daoussis continues to impress on mandolin and guitar as well as bassist Josh Simon, proving this group runs deeper than the quaint sister act their name suggests.

“Bluegrass” then took back over for the next couple sets as Colorado’s WhiteWater Ramble took the stage, plugged in with drums. They have an impressive sound and will definitely make you move around a bit, but I was bummed to see a set of so many covers from a band whose material I was anxious to check out. That being said, they can all play the hell out of their instruments and I did enjoy the set.

The Infamous Stringdusters headlined the night with two sets on the main stage. These guys are in my opinion, and I know I’m not alone on this one, the most talented “jamgrass” band on the scene right now. I’ve become so used to getting blown away by them that it’s almost lost its surprise factor for me. That is, until they’re chasing each other around the stage trading riffs on a fifteen-minute “Black Rock.”

Up and coming Arizona jam band Spafford closed out the festival with a two hour late night set that featured some of their more known material such as “Virtual Bean Dip” and “Electric Taco Stand” (yes, those are real song names.) Coming into the festival, this was the particular set I had my eye on most because of the staunch amount of support they’ve received over the past year or two. While there were flashes of impressive musicianship, I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed by their set due to having such high expectations heading in. Admittedly, as a Spafford virgin I wouldn’t take my word as the deciding factor and do think they’re still worth checking out for yourself.

It got cold the last night, cold enough that I took my dog and cuddled up in my tent instead of seeing what type of mischief I could find in the campgrounds. There was, of course, no shortage of that although it remains a very family-friendly festival. Those who stayed up crowded around bonfires, some played their instruments and others just shivered.

Coleman's Photo Gallery

Friday, June 23, 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Andy Hall & Roosevelt Collier's Let The Steel Play

Words by Kevin Hahn (Split Open & Shoot)

When a master of his/her specific craft reaches what some people may call “The Peak” or “The Top of the Mountain,” realistically what do they do next? Do they keep their usual routine intact, possibly leaving new opportunities on the shelf due to obligations, contracts, or in some cases the fear of something new? What if the ever-evolving world we live in didn’t accept an accomplished master’s new art, music, or desire to explore the unknown? Thankfully, two of these very “masters” I speak of have decided to come together after a few years of a budding friendship to release a truly fantastic duo album.

The first time I was fortunate enough to witness this duo of Andy Hall (Infamous Stringdusters) and Roosevelt Collier (The Lee Boys, Bokante) was a beautiful day on the banks of Rancho del Rio for YarmonyGrass festival. Slated as an exploration into the sounds of “Slide/Steel” this short, but insanely worthwhile festival set allowed both Andy and Roosevelt to explore a whole new side of their respective slide instruments and to the lucky few in attendance a meaningful collaboration was formed. Fast forward through a few years of heavy Stringdusters touring and Rosie flying all over the country for a variety of his funky “Get Down” guest-filled events and us slide/steel junkies finally getting our fix. Let the Steel Play is a pure collaborative effort between these two masters of the slide-craft, with each bringing their unique tones and skills to every song choice. Having no lyrics/singers on this album also allows for the audience to purely enjoy what these two have been working on for a good time now.

Starting the album off with the well-known song “This Little Light of Mine,” this first tune showcases the variety of picking and sliding skills that both Roosevelt and Andy possess. With an up-tempo, almost bass-like sound coming from Rosie’s signature steel, Andy shreds from one side of his dobro to the other giving us a great rendition of the famous tune. “A Maiden’s Prayer” slows everything down for a bit as both slide-masters move up and down the strings with an ease that most musicians are not capable of. One of my favorite aspects of this album is the very evident uniqueness that each and every song choice has. From a slow twang, to a funky/fast thumping bass-line “Let the Steel Play” gives fans an insight of what Rosie and Andy can do when musically unleashed. “Singing Steel” is another perfect example of the variety of genres, techniques, and chords this duo put together for their first collaborative album. Harmonizing together via their respective slide-weapons, Rosie and Andy take us on an up and down ride going from one solo to the next.

Two beautiful covers come in the next three songs of the album, with the Jerry Garcia penned “Crazy Fingers” and The Dillards “Reuben’s Train” taking center stage in showcasing the true musical prowess of this duo. Highlighting chord transitions and an immense over-laying of tones with these instrumental renditions, Andy and Rosie take “Fingers” to a level of twang unheard by most before. The Let the Steel Play version of the classic bluegrass song “Reuben’s Train” is much slower than the original and gives off a funk-like quality which always is a pleasure for me personally. Rosie’s electric steel comes front and center with this cover, as he utilizes a variety of slide-playing techniques throughout the tune.

“The Darkest Hour” is a haunting song choice for this usually happy/smiling duo, but the change-up is a nice break from the overall twangy-ness of the album. At first Rosie provides a deep and chest-beating bass line, while Andy does some strumming that reminds me of a John Wayne movie scene. As the song evolves, Rosie gets his turn to unleash some powerful electric-pedal steel turning this into one of my favorite songs on the entire album. Rosie brings us back to church with “Power in the Blood," as it carries a “Light of Mine” type of quality to it. Rosie exclaiming “Yah Brotha” at the end of the song is a perfect way to bring the album to a close as the dirty funkiness of “Colfax Boogie” starts coming slowly through each side of my headphones. This song brings everything I have seen these two do full-circle, as I remember the foundation of this tune being laid down on that fateful day alongside the banks of the Colorado River. Joining Andy and Rosie for this tune is another "Brother of Slide," Greensky Bluegrass' Anders Beck. A highly talented dobro player himself, Beck and Hall playing in unison together is something a dobro fan dreams of. Bringing together all of the qualities Let the Steel Play has, “Colfax Boogie” has some twang, funk, and good ole-fashioned sacred steel mastery laid on top of each other creating a perfect end to this fantastic album.

To say, "I hope these two absolute masters of the slide/steel instruments stay together and collaborate more" would be a huge understatement. The sounds created by the dobro and/or the steel guitar are unlike most I get to hear during the busy summer festival season. There are not many trying to continue the traditions of Jerry Douglas, or even those carrying on the slide-mastery of Duane Allman or Robert Johnson. We need more people such as Andy and Rosie who play instruments that might not be as popular in our modern musical age. The twang of the dobro and the rearing of a pedal-steel guitar are too important for us musical junkies to live without. Where would I be without people such as Andy, Rosie, or even Derek Trucks being living and breathing tributes to the sounds of the past? Who knows, but to start a journey into this world do yourself a favor and check out Let the Steel Play, as this duo is bringing light to a unique sound unheard by most.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blue Ox Music Festival 6.8 - 6.10.17 (Photos)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

MusicMarauders Spotify Playlist - Volume 34 (6.21.17)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Afrodisiac & Joey Porter's Vital Organ 6.16.17 (Photos)

Cervantes Other Side
Denver, CO

Photos by Jarred media

View Ryan's Full Photo Gallery Here!

Silver Cloud Campout 6.9 & 6.10.17

Silver Cloud Campout
Haugan, MT

Words & Photos by Brad Hodge

In only its fourth year since inception, the family farm gathering known as Silver Cloud Campout has grown up to be a full fledged music festival. In Montana we like things comfortable and friendly, so it should come as no surprise that our up and coming premiere music festival is held on a family farm, the beer tent writes your name on your beer cup and dogs are allowed to roam the grounds of the festival at will. I mean if there wasn’t a music festival happening, there certainly would be some critters roaming these beautiful grounds. The site is nestled in the mountains of western Montana, nearing the border of Idaho. There is no shortage of hiking, biking, river floating and fly fishing to be done in the down time from a stellar music line up.

The music line up showcased an array of local talent ranging from the Black Keys-esque duo of The Rotgut Whines to the funky horn driven jams of Shakewell. However, in the fourth year of booking this party, the headliners moved toward national touring acts. Day one brought a headlining set from New Orleans’ Dumpstaphunk and late night set by Montana heroes of the bluegrass world, Kitchen Dwellers. Both the Dwellers and Dumpstaphunk delivered amazing sets as a very stoked crowd danced away the evening under what was most certainly a gorgeous full moon engulfed by the festival namesake’s Silver Cloud. No doubt providing one of the summer’s best Friday nights yet.

Saturday was filled with sunshine, lots of socializing and another day of great music. I took advantage of being close to Silver Mountain’s Bike Park (the Pacific Northwest/Northern Rockies favorite bike park) all day, and jumped back into the music action with the early evening show from the Shook Twins. This powerful ensemble delivered one of my favorite sets of the weekend. They were followed by Colorado’s season pros Whitewater Ramble for a delightful set.

The Infamous Stringdusters have a history of delivering the goods in Montana and the evenings two set headlining performance lived up to the expectations. At one point Jeremy Garrett addressed the audience to let us all know that being here was as much a treat for them as it was for us. Before he and other members of the band showed off their Wilma/Top Hat t-shirts that were tucked away under winter coats (the night got chilly and lots of dancing was required for warmth). Late night saw one more act. Spafford is a band many in attendance had heard good things about, however most had never seen them. If they wanted to impress the newly obtained audience they certainly accomplished that. Well in to the early morning hours they delivered phenomenal grooves and kept the party moving. Around 3:30 when the music finally stopped parties began to huddle around fire barrels throughout the campgrounds, as laughter and socializing took most on thru to the sunrise. Well-played Silver Cloud Campout! No doubt we will see you again next year.

Brad's Photo Gallery

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Perpetual Groove & Broccoli Samurai 6.16.17 (Photos)

Friday, June 16, 2017

DBST & Klozd Sirkut 6.16.17 (Photos)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Summer Camp Music Festival 5.26 - 5.28.17 (Photos)

Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL

Photos by Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)

View Nick's Full Photo Gallery Here!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MusicMarauders Spotify Playlist - Volume 33 (6.14.17)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bill & Jillian Nershi 6.8.17 (Photos)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Dead & Company 6.9.17 (Photos)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Deadphish Orchestra 6.8.17 (Photos)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Tuxedo 6.8.17 (Photos)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

MusicMarauders Spotify Playlist - Volume 32 (6.7.17)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Joan Osborne Sings Dylan 6.2.17 (Photos)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Andy Hall (Infamous Stringdusters) & Mimi Naja (Fruition) 6.1.17 (Photos)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

PREVIEW: 4 Peaks Music Festival 6.15 - 6.18.17

Stevenson Ranch
Bend, OR

Words by Mitch Melheim
Photo by Jason Charme Photography

4 Peaks Music Festival will return to the gorgeous high desert mountain peaks of Bend, Oregon on June 15 for its tenth anniversary, celebrating in style with an expanded lineup and new location. East coast jammers moe., Railroad Earth, and The Infamous Stringdusters top the lineup while west coast mainstays like Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Poor Man’s Whiskey combine with a bevy of homegrown talent to round out the festival's biggest lineup yet.

The lineup isn’t all that’s growing. Moving to Stevenson Ranch presented the festival with much needed room for growth that was taken advantage of with the addition of “The Junction,” a large grass area in the campgrounds next to the Furthur Bus that will be dedicated to non-stop late night music all weekend long. For those with children, don’t worry, the family-friendly vibe that 4 Peaks was built upon still remains a priority and can be appreciated quietly in its entirety from the family camping area at night or the newly expanded “Kidlandia” during the day.

Local acts constitute the diverse lineup on Thursday night until Friday takes off in a decidedly “grassy” direction with Far Out West, Warren G Hardings, and Coral Creek beginning the day. The Infamous Stringdusters and Railroad Earth close out the main stage before long-time host band Poor Man’s Whiskey’s late night in the tent ends the amplified music for the night and “The Junction” pickin’ begins.

Saturday takes its own direction as well, opting for the jams over strings, but not until mandolin prodigy-turned-virtuoso Sierra Hull’s early afternoon set is over. Psychedelic roots-rockers Moonalice kick start the jamming in the tent before Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe takes over the main stage, followed by another set from Poor Man’s Whiskey, and then of course, moe. Dan Lebowitz of ALO has put together a “Summer of Love Super Jam” for Saturday’s late night featuring songs from 1967 and an all-star collection of musicians.

Sunday, as usual at 4 Peaks, will make for a mellow and relaxing end to the weekend. Beginning after early morning yoga, The Pitchfork Revolution will be pickin’ “tweener” sets all day long between main stage acts including Ashleigh Flynn and local jam-rockers Watkins Glen.

4 Peaks is offering a variety of flexible ticket options that range from the now $200 four-day pass all the way down to the $20 Sunday-only ticket. The festival also offers what essentially pans out to two ($110) and three-day passes ($145) as well, leaving little excuse to miss out on this one. And as always, both camping and admission for children under ten are free.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Digable Planets, Reminders, Old Man Saxon, Mikey Thunder 5.26.17 (Photos)

Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Denver, CO

Photos by Ryan Fitzgerald (Jarred Media)

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Head For The Hills with Paper Bird & Caribou Mountain Collective 5.13.17

Mishawaka Amphitheatre
Bellvue, Colorado

Words & Photos by Nicholas Stock (Fat Guerilla Productions)

For the 13th consecutive year, Head For The Hills took part in opening up Mishawaka Amphitheatre for their summer concert season. And in its 101st year in existence, Mishawaka continues to be a vibrant and diverse meeting hall in the hills. This string-filled, folk-centric lineup included support from Colorado locals Caribou Mountain Collective and Paper Bird. This concert doubled as an album release party for Head For The Hills’ Potions and Poisons which dropped just a few days prior. For those of you that don’t know, Mishawaka is a small, but unbelievably picturesque venue, tucked deep in the Cache La Poudre. It’s worth your attention.

Just prior to the start of show time a man near the front of the stage had a seizure. Security and medical personnel were quick to respond and by all reports the man was in stable condition by set break. Always be aware that Mishawaka sits at just about 6,000 feet above sea level so it can affect people in crazy ways. The Caribou Mountain Collective were a man down, but mandolinist Dave Pullins filled in nicely with his fast picking and idiosyncratic singing style. CMC got the crowd engaged early with a spot-on rendition of Merle Haggard’s “Old Man From The Mountain.” The vocals of Miles Perry ooze with authenticity as seen in the brooding moonshine ballad “Up In Them Hills.” The slack jawed fiddle tune “Dirt” was a stark juxtaposition to the tragically magnificent “Fire Of 53.” After Pullins took a turn with the enigmatic “Neil Diamond’s Dress,” CMC closed with the bluegrass traditional “Reuben’s Train.” Caribou Mountain Collective continues to breathe new life into the classic songs of yesteryear, while innovating bluegrass with distinctive picking and powerful lyrics. They were a great addition to the lineup.

Paper Bird is no stranger to Mishawaka having performed there regularly over the years. They took the stage with the newly minted lineup sans Genevieve Patterson. Their sound is tighter overall with less focus on the massive harmonies that made them a Colorado institution. With the self-titled album comes a reinvention of sorts. They still treated us to beautifully blended vocals like in the set opening “Sleepwalker,” but their protest love song “As I Am” took on a more streamlined approach than previous renditions. The highlight of their hour long set was a rowdy and rocking version of “To The Light.” With a stacked summer tour, Paper Bird is committed to bringing the powerfully alluring vocals of Carleigh Aikins and Sarah Anderson to festivals and audiences across the country.

Head For The Hills is simply put the best musical endeavor to emerge from Fort Collins in recent memory. Focusing on many of the tracks off of Potions and Poisons, Head For The Hills treated local fans to a powerful pair of sets. They opened with the feisty “Afraid Of The Dark” featuring violinist Joe Lessard’s gritty vocals. Their version of the Merle Haggard classic “Mama Tried” was received well, they segued beautifully into the instrumental “Wild Horse.” It was around this time they were joined by local legend Boots Jaffee on harmonica. He would sit in again during set two. If the legend is correct, Boots has sat in with H4TH at every one of their Mishawaka shows. (As of press time I was unable to confirm.) Head For The Hills regularly includes composed instrumentals which almost act like various bridges for the set. Sam Parks has taken on many new roles with the band including singer and songwriter. His talents were obvious on the unabashedly catchy “Sit And Whittle.” They continued with their now classic version of Mickey Newbury’s “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” before another instrumental in the form of “Tipsy Gypsy.” After performing “Kill Your Mama” into “Banish Misfortune” Lessard declared, “That was an Alicia Keys song into an Irish traditional because here at Head For The Hills we don’t give a fuck… wait I’m being corrected it’s because we do give a fuck.” They closed with a celebratory “Fire” sung by Adam Kinghorn.

The second set featured several Head For The Hills standards starting with their love letter to the snow “Goin Down.” They didn’t wait long before treating us to a smoking version of Bill Monroe’s “East Tennessee Blues.” After an intoxicating “Suit And Tie” that featured Matt Loewen holding it down marvelously on the bass, they proceeded with the Grateful Dead’s “Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad.” That was two "Goin's" for those keeping track. Additional second set highlights included the title track off the new album Potions And Poisons and the orient-inspired instrumental “Japan” into Ryan Adams’ “Let It Ride.” The tight “Light The Way” was a nice throwback for old fans before the shred-fest “Bucker.” H4TH closed the set with a perfect “Time To Spare.”

The band returned for a quick one-two punch in the form of “Solar Bowling Shoes” into Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill.” Jubilant fans streamed out of the Mish towards the busses and towards home. Each year this concert marks the beginning of summer music for many Fort Collins natives. It’s a chance to reconnect with friends, the personnel at the Mish and to make plans for the summer. The story of Head For The Hills is intimately intertwined with that of Mishawaka. I for one am grateful for this tradition. Things change, but some things never do. I hope Mishawaka is one of those that never does.

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